14 Aug 2022

The birth of a fantastic facility for Longford Athletics Club

Construction of the building has started on the grounds of St Mel’s College

Longford athletics club

The interior view (architect graphic) of the fantastic new facility for Longford Athletics Club currently under construction on the grounds of St Mel's College

Almost 200 of Longford Athletic Club’s junior members returned to training in the Mall in recent weeks after a long period of lockdown. 

This winter these juvenile  athletes will be training in their own indoor facility which will include an 8 lane running strip, a long jump/triple jump pit, a high jump area, pole vault area, and a high-performance testing area including strength and conditioning.

It has been just over two years since the club started their campaign to possess their own facility. There have been many milestones since then: securing LEADER funding, finding a home for the facility on the grounds of St Mel’s College, and receiving planning permission to build it. And now, after all that effort, construction of the facility has started, as anyone passing by the rear entrance of St Mel’s College will witness. 

“It was very exciting to see development work start in recent weeks,” said club chairman Donal Mulligan. “Seeing the building’s steel frame being erected in recent days really brings it home to the club that this facility is really happening.” 

Donal is also full of praise for the individuals and organisations supporting the project and the club. 

“Our progress to date is thanks to a great body of people working on behalf of the club”, he said. “Thanks to them, we should see young athletes training at the facility this January”.

Donation Scheme

As part of an ongoing fundraising campaign the club recently announced a “Friends of Longford Athletics Club” donation scheme.

“Many people had supported us in buying a ticket for our club draw in 2019/2020” says the club’s Facility Task Force Chairman John Fitzpatrick, “and others provided loans through our recent bond scheme. However many people just wanted to offer a straightforward donation. So we are planning to set up a donation facility on the club website. These donations will ensure that the facility can be finished to best-in-class internally“.

John says that those making a donation of €500 or greater will have their family name included on a “Friends of Longford Athletics Club” plaque at the facility. 

Businesses are also very welcome to contribute and can contact the club directly to discuss. Full details of the scheme will be published on the club website


This project was assisted by Local Community Development Committee, Longford Community Resources Clg. and Longford County Council through the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020 which is part-financed by the EU, “The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas” and the Department of Rural & Community Development.

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