There are hopes that the relationship between the Community Games and Athlone Institute of Technology might yet be repaired, with both parties having agreed to talks in the coming weeks.
President of AIT Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said this week that he is looking forward to engaging with the body, in the hope that the games could return to the town for 2018.
The organisers of the Community Games announced in November that they were pulling out of the town after nine years of AIT hosting the event, following a falling-out between the bodies.
This year, the 50th anniversary of the games, the finals will be held at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin.
Drawing attention to the 90,000 children who had competed in Community Games finals in Athlone over the past nine years, Professor O’Catháin said the institute had a “very good rapport” with the body.
“We would be very interested in talking to them. We were very sad to see it go, and would love to see a re-engagement with the Community Games to look at bringing it back to Athlone,” he said.
Mayor of Athlone John Dolan, who will be involved in the talks alongside the council’s director of services Barry Kehoe, said he was hopeful an agreement would be reached.
“AIT are more than willing to do whatever they can to host the games again, and the Community Games have agreed to a meeting. I am looking forward to sitting down with them to see what we can do moving forward,” he said.