John Cronin, President of Athletics Ireland opens all-weather track (14th Sept)
Terrific turnout for the official opening of the new track
There was a great attendance at the Club on Thursday evening 14th September for the official opening of the new all-weather track, We were very lucky with the weather and everything could take place outdoors, right beside the new track. Club Secretary, Greg Duggan, was MC for the evening and got proceedings got underway by welcoming the many invited guests including our local elected representative from the Dail and Westmeath County Council, our near neighbours Mullingar Educate Together National School and Reverend Daniel Martin, Brian Collentine and Adam Price of O’Reilly Stuart Consulting Engineers who designed the track, Colin Delaney of Midland Sports Surfaces who built the track, Conor Isdell the Chair of North Midlands Credit Union, representatives from other athletics clubs in Westmeath, the editors of the local print media, Catriona Duffy the Chair of Athletics Leinster and of course the guest of honour, John Cronin, the President of Athletics Ireland.
Margaret Daly, Chair of Mullingar Harriers then addressed the crowd by giving a quick history of developments carried out at the grounds since Westmeath County Council first granted a lease for a site on a sloping field in 1985. A clubhouse was built first, the field was levelled to lay a grass track, then followed further developments such as fencing and floodlights, all-weather sprint lanes, a gravel track around the perimeter of the grounds, and coming right up to date with a massive leap forward when the decision was made to develop an all-weather track, the most significant step taken by the Club in its history. Margaret paid tribute to the support of the Department of Sport through the very significant grant allocated under the Sports Capital Programme and the work of our politicians, both in the Oireachtas and in the Council, in supporting the application, the generosity of Club members and sponsors to raise our own funds towards the cost, and the invaluable input from Athletics Ireland who supported the application for Capital Funding.
John Cronin, the President of Athletics Ireland, was then invited to say a few words and then he unveiled the commemorative wall plaque and cut the tape on the track to officially declare the track open, a huge milestone in the development of Mullingar Harriers. Everyone was then invited to enjoy some refreshments in the Clubhouse, where the evening concluded with a presentation on behalf the Club by Joanna Tyrrell and Sinead Whitelaw to John Cronin to thank him for coming to open the track.