31 March 2005

Irelandclick.com

New Marathon course decided -
West Belfast is back in the Belfast City Marathon – and that’s official!


The Andersonstown News campaign to have the West reinstated in this year’s Marathon paid dividends on Friday when the Marathon Committee met with local community representatives. At the meeting it was agreed that the May Day race would be ‘tweaked’ so as to bring West Belfast back into the race.

It followed an Andersonstown News campaign after this paper first revealed earlier this month that the Falls and Andersonstown Roads had been excluded from the race for the first time in 23 years.

Following our exclusive story hundreds of people signed a petition calling on the route of the race to be redrawn.

And yesterday, after a further meeting with the Marathon Committee, Upper Falls Sinn Féin councillor Paul Maskey finally secured a new route for this year’s Marathon.

“The race will be coming up the Grosvenor Road and will turn right at the Dunville Park and down the Falls to the city centre,” said a jubilant Councillor Maskey.

“This is a victory for people power. We’ve been inundated with support since this story first broke and now the Marathon Committee have agreed that West Belfast should not have been left out of the race in the first place.”

The Sinn Féin councillor also revealed that local representatives will meet with the Marathon Committee in August to draw up a new route for next year’s Marathon.

“What we would like to do now is to get the local community groups together and to organise a big event in Dunville Park around the day of the Marathon.
“It will be a day for the whole family to come out and enjoy,” he said.

Last night West Belfast MLA Alex Attwood welcomed the route change to the Belfast Marathon and said: “It is an important first step in undoing the decision of this year and we would encourage the Committee to include more of West Belfast in future years.”

Although the Andersonstown News has learned that Cllr Attwood is a member of the Belfast Marathon Company Limited, he said that he has never attended any of the meetings or received notification of meetings.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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