Confirmation that Sport Ireland is to undertake a cost benefit analysis on the construction of an €8 million national velodrome represents a major opportunity for Clare’s elite cyclists, according to Fine Gael TD Joe Carey.

Responding to a recent Dáil question from Deputy Carey, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan said that once the appropriate financial appraisal was completed, the project could proceed subject to the availability of capital funding.

Planning permission has already been secured for the velodrome, which will incorporate a 250 metre Olympic standard track, to be built at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.

“With a significant increase in the number of competitive cyclists around Clare, the development of a national velodrome means that they will be able to participate in track cycling for the first time,” Deputy Carey explained.

“The track will circle 15 badminton courts and this is great news for Badminton Ireland as it continues to develop its high performance programme. The development will also feature office space, meeting rooms and other facilities, as well as ample car parking space.

“As with any of these facilities, the track will be dual purpose – giving our elite athletes greater opportunities to train and improve, while also being available to the public and so increasing participation levels in the sport. The same will apply to the badminton courts when they are completed,” Deputy Carey added.