Belfast Telegraph

Belfast council 'must do everything possible' to ensure marathon continues, says ex-mayor

A former Lord Mayor of Belfast has called on the council to do “everything possible” to ensure the Belfast Marathon continues.

The organisers behind the marathon, which has been operating since 1982, have said the future of the event is in jeopardy as new legislation will mean organisers will have to pay for policing.

The PSNI has said the reality of financial pressures facing the organisation means it must direct resources to priority areas- such as drug dealing, burglary, anti-social behaviour, road safety and cyber crime.

Alderman Jim Rodgers, a former Lord Mayor of the city, called on Belfast City Council to do everything possible to make sure the event continues.

2017-07-05_new_32600294_I1.png
UUP Alderman Jim Rodgers

“The Belfast Marathon is such an important occasion which brings thousands of participants into the capital city along with a large number of spectators, including visitors from many countries,” the UUP alderman said.

“It would be a massive loss to the city if it were to cease.

“I believe a meeting of all interested parties needs to take place as soon as possible to discuss all the issues surrounding policing of the race.

“An event which brings so many people together must be retained and I will play my part as one who takes a keen interest in all sports to get a resolution.”

David Seaton, organising committee chairman for the Belfast Marathon, told the BBC he hoped the new legislation will be applied "softly" so that the marathon can continue in Belfast.

He said: “If it’s not, we are in big, big bother. The future of the marathon and many other road racing events throughout Northern Ireland which are organised primarily by volunteers could all go to the board.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

From Belfast Telegraph