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Today, Munster Technological University (MTU) officially reopened its athletics track at the MTU Arena in Bishopstown following extensive resurfacing works. The upgraded eight-lane running track now meets international standards, ready to host athletes from local, national, and global stages. The reopening comes just in time for the 70th Cork City Sports event on 9th July, reinstating a vital sports facility for athletes across Munster.

The track was officially reopened by Thomas Byrne T.D., Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, who said:

“As Sport Minister, I am delighted that my Department was in a position to provide substantial funding for this wonderful athletics project, which is of regional significance. The opening of Phase 2 of the MTU project also arrives at an ideal time for all fans of athletics in Ireland, following Ireland’s historic performance at the recent European Athletics Championships in Rome, and with the Olympics and Paralympics games just around the corner, they will no doubt inspire more people to use facilities such as this. As a Government, we are determined to invest in our athletics infrastructure and the significant funding allocated to the MTU project is a further demonstration of this commitment. I want to also wish the very best to all athletes using this facility tomorrow as part of Cork City Sports International meet.”

In attendance were notable figures including the CEO of Athletics Ireland, Hamish Adams; President of MTU, Professor Maggie Cusack; MTU Vice President Finance & Operations, Paul Gallagher; Chair of MTU Governing Body, Jimmy Deenihan, and President of MTU Students’ Union Cork, Richard Noonan.

Patrick O’Donovan T.D., Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, commented:

“These are exciting times at MTU. I am delighted to see the completion of the athletics track upgrade and this, along with the recently opened sports arena, will provide for exceptional athletics facilities in the Cork region. I am also delighted that there are some major infrastructure developments that are ongoing in MTU Cork. These include a new Learning Resource Centre, the upgrade and retrofit of the Melbourne Building, and the ongoing plans to renovate and extend Blocks D and A under the Technological Sector Strategic Projects Fund programme. This shows the commitment of my government to provide the required infrastructure for learners and staff in our Technological Universities which will allow them to continue to be key economic drivers in their regions.”

Hamish Adams, CEO of Athletics Ireland

, expressed his joy at the reopening:

“Athletes in Munster and beyond will be overjoyed to see the MTU Athletics Track reopen. The region has been lacking a high-quality athletics facility for some time now, so this state-of-the-art running track will be indispensable to them.”

Professor Maggie Cusack, President of MTU

, noted the significance of the reopening:

“Following a number of delays, including record bad weather last July and August, it’s wonderful to see the track reopen for the benefit of everyone from local sports clubs to athletes preparing for the Paris Olympics. This is a very special day for athletics in general but also for MTU and the wider community.”

Paul Gallagher, MTU’s Vice President Finance & Operations

, highlighted the advancements:

“Our athletics facilities have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. The funding through the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund has been transformative in enhancing MTU’s sporting amenities. This track will be a fantastic resource for our students and all of those who come to MTU for state-of-the-art sports grounds.”

Jimmy Deenihan, Chair of MTU Governing Body

, celebrated the collaboration:

“We are delighted to celebrate the reopening of the MTU Athletics Track today just in time for tomorrow’s 70th Cork City Sports. The reopening of the track is a testament to the successful relationship we’ve had with Athletics Ireland and our local City and County Councils and Cork County Board Athletic Association of Ireland (AAI). It’s really a great asset of international quality for sporting talent across Munster.”

The track improvements were funded through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s Large-Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund, marking the completion of phase 2. Phase 1 saw the completion of the MTU Sports Arena last year. Phase 3 is anticipated to bring a high-performance indoor athletics training centre, expanding the MTU Arena by approximately 5,000m².