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File image of runners at the start of the Dublin Marathon Alamy Stock Photo
Marathon

Dublin Marathon start and end points will 'preferably' include the city centre, organisers say

Discussions on next year’s route have begun and it’s hoped a ‘positive solution’ will be announced in early 2024.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has said it is working on options for next year’s Dublin Marathon route and that it will “preferably” begin and end within the city centre.

Dublin Marathon was established in 1980 and usually starts in Fitzwilliam Square and ends in Merrion Square.

However, there were reports that the National Transport Authority (NTA) has asked the organisers of Dublin Marathon to find a new location outside of the city centre for the start and end point of the race.

Reacting to those reports, Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne said a move away from the city centre would be “shortsighted and frankly nuts”.

Speaking on 6 November, Byrne said: “Relocating the marathon away from its city centre location would not only inconvenience runners, tour operators and city centre businesses that benefit from the race, but it would cause a serious loss of prestige to both the race and Dublin’s international reputation. 

“The marathon already takes place on a bank holiday weekend, which minimises disruption as significantly less commuting takes place compared to a regular weekend.

“Many other capital cities across the world cherish having their marathons starting and finishing in city centre locations and Dublin should be no different.”

Dublin City Council and the organisers of Dublin Marathon today issued a joint statement following reports of moving the start and finishing points outside of the city centre.

The statement noted that the required infrastructure for Dublin Marathon has “grown incrementally over time, as have the number of runners applying to take part in the event each year”.

It added: “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.”

The statement said that “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”.

“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 on next year’s route have begun and it is hoped that a “positive solution” will be announced in the first quarter of next year.

For this year’s marathon, which was held last month on 29 October, some road closures began two days before the event and continued for a day afterwards.

While most road closures began on the morning of the marathon and were lifted by 5pm on the same day, parts of Merrion Square had been affected from the Friday before Sunday’s race.

Merrion Square North remained closed until 4pm on the day following the race.

Public transport was also affected, with diversions in place on a number of Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann routes.

There was also a temporary partial closure on the Luas Red Line.

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