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Change of Venue for National Championships not guaranteed

19/05/2016

Possible Wicklow Championships as High Security Event closes Access to Phoenix Park

The National Road Race and Time Trial Championships may take place in Wicklow, following an announcement from the Garda Síochana, that they cannot take place in the Phoenix Park as previously planned. On the weekend of the 23-26 June there will be restricted access to the Phoenix Park due to a major security operation that will be in place; this means that no public events will be granted access to the park. Likewise no other location in the Dublin area could be considered due to Garda resources required for this security operation. This recent development comes as a massive disappointment to the event hosts Orwell Wheelers. The National Road Championships take place on the 23-26 June, with the Championships fielding competition for Elite Women and Men, U23 Men, Veteran Men and Masters Men and Women.

Race director Stephen O’Shea said “Naturally, we are devastated to learn that we must change locations, as we were so excited to bring road racing back to the Phoenix Park. Our 10 weeks of planning just got put in the bin. The statutory meeting was in full flow when a very senior member of the Gardaí interrupted the group meeting and gave us the bad news. We will need a few days to consider our options and allow us to regroup. I always had a plan for another location but to pull this off now will be incredibly challenging. Putting my personal views aside we must push on…. we only have 5 weeks to go.“

Denis Gleeson, President of Orwell Wheelers said “In all my years involved in various sports, I have never been so disappointed when the news broke. We were shell-shocked. Our club is one big family and moving location now will be difficult. We have a fantastic club spirit but we will need support now from all in the bigger cycling Family. We still plan a big event but have also to be realistic with such a short run in time.”

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