Almost one year after the UCD running track was closed due to health and safety concerns, shop UCD Athletics Club are still training in Ringsend.

Commenting on the situation, here UCD Athletics Club Captain Dan King said that the closure of the athletics track has been a “huge loss in many of [the] club members’ eyes and they feel that it’s more difficult with travelling to Ringsend…as time is wasted travelling in rush hour.”

When the closure of the athletics track took place last November, UCD provided the club with buses to an off campus facility in Ringsend.  There are now fears that these buses may no longer be run due to financial constraints.

Speaking to the College Tribune, UCD Director of Sport, Brian Mullins, said “We will be providing transport comparable with last year’s arrangement with the athletics club. As of yet we don’t know how long that will last because the funds to build and provide the new track aren’t completely in place.”

Mr Mullins went on to say that the  “new track is planned for the Richview site” and that “UCD is currently waiting for the 2013 Sports Capital Grants scheme announcements by the Government in October/November”.

Full planning permission has been granted for the new running track close to the School of Architecture’s Richview building by Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council in 2009 with 12 conditions attached on the west of the Belfield campus.

Meanwhile, the location of the next years UCD Ball is as yet unknown. In previous years the ball has been held on the UCD Athletics Track, however speaking to the College Tribune, UCDSU Ents Officer, Eoin Heffernan said, “as of yet we have not received confirmation on a site for the UCD Ball 2013.” This follows speculation that the college plans on building a multi-story car park on the site which has been left vacant since last November.

Mr Heffernan added that he is “currently looking into a number of options for potential sites.”

A UCD spokesperson was unavailable for comment on this issue at the time of print.


– Ronan Coveney