Thursday last saw Dundalk’s Cuchulainn Cycling Club hold it’s AGM in the Crowne Plaza, with a good turn out of over 60 members in attendance.
Given the club’s good relationship with the local Gardaí, club chairman Pat O’Shaughnessy opened proceedings with a minute’s silence in recognition of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.
After the minutes of the previous year had been read through, the various officers presented their yearly reports. Of most interest was the treasurer Peter Tomany’s round up and he presented a healthy set of figures for the year ending December 2012.
Both Peter Collins and Michelle Dolan reported impressive growth in their respective areas of BMX and Women’s Cycling. The BMX Cycling is on a break for the winter and will resume in the coming months, again on the grounds of St Mary’s College.
The Women’s Cycling saw great success with the Women’s only league last year and has started to have a women’s cycling group leave from Felda at 9:30am on Saturday mornings.
One potential problem going further was highlighted by the mountain bikers, with potential changes by the government as to how Coillte forests are managed.
The potential for private companies to come in and manage the harvesting of the land is very possible and if this goes ahead, access for walkers, hikers and mountain bikers is sure to be severely restricted. The club does have a top class state of the art off road circuit at Bellurgan Park, however the open mountain is hard to beat for a training ride.
An update on the club’s plan to build a Velodrome in the town was also discussed. Plans drawn up by Shiels Engineering are at an advanced stage and have been developed with both the local town council and town planners.
Also discussed was the club’s hosting of the National Male and Female Elite Road Race Championships for 2013. Ireland’s best will battle it out for the national jersey on the roads of Carlingford in June of this year.
One of the undoubted highlights of the night was that club secretary Karl Dolan informed those present that membership currently stands at 282, the highest it has ever been at.
It is a testament to how the sport has been directed within the town that in the late nineties and early noughties the club was almost wound up. Long standing members saw little appetite for the sport in the town and with no new blood coming down the line the club looked to be doomed.
However under the guidance of a number of dedicated members the club found its feet again and has grown into one of the countries largest sporting clubs, a fact recognised by the fact that twice in the last three years the club has been voted by the members of the sports governing body, Cycling Ireland, as club of the year.