The use of Merrion Square North for future Dublin Marathons' is being examined
In a joint statement, Dublin City Council and Dublin Marathon addressed the controversy over the race's starting/finishing line situated in Merrion Square North. Following this year's event in October, the National Transport Authority hit out at traffic disruptions caused by the annual event. Speaking about the concerns just a few weeks ago, DCC Executive Manager, Brendan O'Brien said, "Merrion Square is not a suitable place to have out of action for three days," adding that "in particular with the active travel schemes that are going to be in that area, and in particular with the Bus Connects network redesign - it's the build up and breakdown of those over a long period of time. We don't mind the marathon still using that area but no longer to have it closed for three days and the impact on public transport, so that's what the issue is about."
While Wexford senator Malcolm Byrne, recently described proposed changes to the route as "short-sighted and nuts" he added "the Dublin Marathon’s city centre location is not an inconvenience, rather it provides what is a landmark event in the city’s calendar a route that should be celebrated."
The organisers and DCC are "reconsidering" the use of Merrion Square North, in an attempt to ensure minimal "disruptions" to the "day-to-day running of the city". A spokesperson has said;
"Concerns expressed by the National Transport Authority in recent years relating to the duration of road closures required to set up and maintain the start/finish area on Merrion Square North and its negative effect on public transport in the area have led to a requirement to reconsider the use of Merrion Square North for future Dublin Marathons."
"As with all events that take place in the public realm, Dublin City Council and the event organisers attempt to ensure that the best locations are used, that present the best experience both for participants, attendees and spectators, while ensuring that disruption to the day to day running of the city is minimised where possible.
With this in mind, Dublin City Council and the organisers of Dublin Marathon are working together to consider viable options for next year’s event, preferably within the city-centre, that will showcase the city and continue to provide the best experience for all those involved with the Dublin Marathon."
Discussions are currently underway between Dublin City Council and the organisers of Dublin Marathon with the intention of reaching a "positive solution" early next year.
While there has been no formal announcement about the alternative starting/finishing location, there are recent reports that Dublin City Council and the NTA proposed to move the race’s venue to outside the city centre.
Header image/ dublinmarathon on Twitter