Article from Dublin People

October 14, 2010

Cycle Track damaged in fire attack <Link>
It will cost tens of thousands of euro to repair the damage vandals caused to the country's only velodrome cycle track, which is located on the Southside. The track at Eamon Ceannt Stadium, Sundrive Park in Crumlin was completed last year at a cost of e600,000, which was funded by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.
Hugh Byrne, the PRO for Track Cycling Ireland, who is also a member of the Sundrive Track Cycling Club, said that on the night of Tuesday, September 14, a number of vandals hauled two plastic roadwork barriers onto the track and set them alight. “They took the barriers and placed them 10 metres apart before setting fire to them and they melted into the tarmac,” he said.
“This is not going to stop track cycling here but the question is whether we can get it back to the way it was.
“It will be a five figure sum at least to fix it,” he added. “A ball park figure would be e20,000. The council has already been talking to us about getting this fixed.”
Track cycling requires an extremely smooth surface, which is made with a special kind of tarmac to allow water to drain quickly. Mr Byrne said that by their actions the vandals had not only affected the Sundrive Club but also a wide range of people who also use the track. “We don't know who did this or why they did it,” he said. “They are not taking into consideration the range of people who they are affecting.
“Last Saturday was supposed to be the national tandem championships. That is where blind athletes are on the back and the sighted athletes are on the front of the bikes.
“Those tandem championships were cancelled so they basically became the first victims of these actions. The second are the kids who are training here every Monday. The vandals might think that they are getting at us but they are affecting a whole variety of people who use the track. Some of the kids were very upset and asking why someone would damage their track.”
The track was resurfaced last year by the city council with a view to boosting Ireland's hopes for producing a competitive cycling team.
The Sundrive Club was primarily established to cater for local youth.
Mr Byrne has appealed to anyone who may know who was responsible for the act of vandalism to dissuade them from repeating it.
 “If we go down the road of demonising whoever has done this it will just encourage them to do it again,” he argued.
“We would like for these people's peers or parents to say that this track is there for the good of the community and to leave it alone.”
A spokesman at the Garda press office said the matter was under investigation

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