THE road repairs needed for Ironman Youghal are to set to cost more than €600,000.
The globally-renowned endurance race is coming to the East Cork town this summer, but a major programme of works is required to ensure road surfaces are fit-for-purpose.
The event involves a 180km bike ride, a 3.8k swim and a full marathon, meaning road surfaces will need to be up to scratch to ensure the safety of competitors.
The competition will see 2,500 athletes competing on the day and is expected to bring almost €8 million to the local economy.
East Cork councillor Danielle Twomey is calling on Cork County to front all the cash necessary to complete the work.
So far, €575,000 is being ringfenced for the repairs by County Hall, the sponsors of the event, but further funding will need to be found to ensure all works are carried out.
Ms Twomey said that the roads around East Cork and the Youghal area are treacherous.
“Some of the Ironman route is not the worst, but if Cork County Council want to be the face behind the brand, they need to put their money where their mouth is and set aside a special budget so that other roads in the municipal district are not set back,” she said,
Ms Twomey said that the money set aside by Cork County Council will not be enough to cover the whole cost of the repairs.
She also expressed concern that even minor repairs along the Ironman route were taking precedence over high priority repairs in other areas.
“Some of the repairs needed on the Ironman route are not priority and they are being bumped up over other priority roads in the area.”
The East Cork councillor also highlighted the fact that there will be road closures during the event and traffic will be sent through alternative routes that may not be used to heavy traffic and may not be in good condition.
“Also there will be road closures in the area and people will be diverted down other roads that need work and that are not used to heavy traffic.”
Ms Twomey emphasised the point that she is not anti-Ironman.
“I am looking forward to the event and the economic activity that it will bring to the area. I embrace it with open arms, but if Cork County Council want to be behind it, then they should pay for the work needed.
“It should not be up to the municipal district to pay for road repairs out of our small roads budget that we are struggling to cover all of the work needed. It is not fair on the people of East Cork.”
Ironman Youghal has been one of the brand’s fastest selling events, with global appeal. The race will have competitors from 62 countries, bringing an estimated €8m economic boost to the local economy.