Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has said he believes the people of Athlone must do whatever it takes to remain as the host town of the Community Games national finals.
Deputy Troy was speaking following comments from president of the Community Games Gerry Davenport, who stated that the future of the annual event in Athlone will be decided before the end of the month. Mr Davenport had said during the summer that a lack of support from local businesses may force the board to look at an alternative venue.
However Deputy Troy says he firmly believes the town of Athlone is right behind the annual staging of the Community Games finals at its present venue.
“Athlone Institute of Technology has been a fantastic host of this event and I know from speaking to competitors and their families that the services which are provided and the supports which are put in place are second to none. It is obvious that there are many towns across Ireland who would be falling over themselves to be given the honour of hosting this event as it means a major injection of spending to a town.
“I would have to seriously question as to whether there is any town which is as well qualified to do so as Athlone. The sporting facilities at AIT are without doubt world class and the town itself offers a large capacity of accommodation as well as a wide variety of dining,” said Deputy Troy.
“I would urge all of the stakeholders in the staging of the Community Games finals to engage openly with the organisers over the coming weeks to ensure that the national finals remain in the heart of Ireland.”
The games have been held in Athlone IT since 2009 and have generated over €3.5 million in that time for the local economy. Mr Davenport is hopeful that a meeting with local traders and repesentatives of the Municipal District will be held in the coming weeks and says he wants next year’s landmark 50th games to be held in Athlone.