7 April 2005 Edition

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Marathon to return to West Belfast

The Belfast City Marathon Committee, following a meeting with Sinn Féin, has done a u-turn and re-instated West Belfast as part of its route.

The event organisers had been heavly critised by politicians and community groups after they announ-ced, in February, that the new marathon route would exclude the west of the city for the first time since it's inception 23 years ago.

After a meeting on Friday 1 April, Upper Falls Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Maskey secured a new route for this year's marathon, which will see the race being taken up the Grosvenor Road and down the Falls Road to the city centre.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, Maskey said "this is a victory for people power. The marathon committee have also agreed to involve themselves in a proper process of consultation with interested parties before deciding on next year's marathon.

"What we would like to do now is to get local community groups together and organise a big event at Dunville Park on the Falls Road on the day of the marathon for families to come out and enjoy themselves."

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1