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  • Northside East

Council to undertake review of marathon

Monday, 2nd October, 2017 8:00am
Council to undertake review of marathon

Green Party representative Mark Henry pictured at the Dublin Half Marathon in Donabate. He completed the race in a time of two hours and seven minutes.

Council to undertake review of marathon

Green Party representative Mark Henry pictured at the Dublin Half Marathon in Donabate. He completed the race in a time of two hours and seven minutes.

FINGAL County Council last week apologised for the disruption and inconvenience caused to both participants and residents by the Dublin Half Marathon in Donabate. 

The beginning of the race had to be delayed due to major traffic delays and a large number of runners failed to make it to the venue.

It was the first year that the Dublin Half Marathon had been moved from the Phoenix Park to Newbridge Demesne. 

The council said a full review is now being undertaken in consultation with all stakeholders. 

“The review will include an assessment of the Traffic Management Plan and its implementation as well as an evaluation of the suitability of Newbridge House to accommodate large crowds from an access/egress point of view,” a spokesperson for the council said. “This review will be completed by the end of October.”

Mark Henry, the Green Party representative for Swords and Donabate, has called for a thorough review of the staging of the Dublin Half Marathon in Newbridge Demesne following the traffic chaos.

“If it proves physically impossible to get 10,000 runners to the venue in cars and public transport then the race should revert to the Phoenix Park,” he said. 

Mr Henry, who was a participant in the race, said he had to abandon his car and walk to reach the start in time.

“What is usually a 10-minute car journey from Swords took me an hour an 10 minutes and I still didn’t make it to Newbridge,” he told Northside People.

“I had to abandon the car near Turvey service station and walk for 20 minutes to reach the race in time for the delayed start.

“After the race I could see that runners had parked their cars as far away as the Seatown roundabout, which was a punishing six kilometre walk from the finish for people who had just run 21 kilometres.”

Mr Henry, who completed the race in two hours and seven minutes, said he felt sorry for the runners who couldn’t get to the race on time and had their preparations for the Dublin Marathon interrupted.  

In a statement, the council said there were many months of planning by the Dublin Race Series, who organised the event. 

“This included a series of meetings and consultations with statutory stakeholders,” the council spokesperson said. 

“A full Event Management Safety Plan and Traffic Management Plan was prepared by competent professionals and submitted to Fingal County Council. 

“A Communications Plan was also in place under which 11,000 leaflets were distributed locally in the week leading up to the event. 

“Information was also disseminated on social media and there was also engagement with local community groups.”

The council said the main issue which caused delays was the failure to properly manage the junction at Lissenhall (M1/R132). 

“This was despite a review after similar issues at the 2017 Flavours of Fingal event in June,” the spokesperson said.

“Following Flavours of Fingal, Fingal County Council approached the Dublin Race Series and advised that there was a need for a robust Traffic Management Plan to deal with any potential issues which could arise. 

“A professional traffic management company was engaged by Dublin Race Series and a Traffic Management Plan submitted and accepted by Fingal County Council. 

“There were also several hundred volunteer stewards and 59 members of An Gárda Siochána in attendance at the event. 

“This is a very complex junction to manage and it is accepted that this Traffic Management Plan proved insufficient to deal with the high volume of traffic utilising the junction over a short period of time on Saturday morning.” 

The spokesperson said Dublin Race Series have an “excellent reputation” in the delivery of similar events over many years. 

“Fingal County Council also delivers, funds and facilitates many successful and safe events on an annual basis,” the spokesperson added.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion, this event fell below the standards we hold ourselves to and for this we again apologise.” 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here