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21.12 2 Dec 2019


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Dublin City councillors have voted to let a controversial plan for a white water rafting facility be built at George's Dock in the north inner-city.

It will be open to the public and sports clubs, as well as for training for the emergency services.

The facility will mostly consist of a rafting course, but also controlled teaching facilities and a 'floodable mock village' for training purposes.

The project has been welcomed by some, but also faced significant criticism online.

The project's costs have risen from just €12.2m to over €22m since it was first proposed.

Councillors spent over an hour debating the plan at their monthly meeting on Monday evening.

They eventually backed it by 37 votes to 19.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWbISoBeqJ0

Speaking on Newstalk last week, Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan argued: "We're pretty confident we can fund it predominantly from grant funding and a small amount of our own resources... the rest if needs be we can borrow.

"Based on the experience of centres in Glasgow and in Cardiff - municipal centres that we've looked at - this thing will be a success and will generate a surplus."

Mr Keegan said they looked at a lot of options for the site, and the white water idea struck them as the one that would have the greatest impact.

He added: "I don't think we should be discouraged from being ambitious - I think this is ambitious.

"It's a new project, and it's been hard to explain to people... we've put up good graphics to illustrate it.

"But there are five or six of these [facilities] in the UK, they're all over Europe... there's no reason why Dublin wouldn't have one.

"It does touch a number of different goals, and we just think it's an ideal setting - we're very confident we can deliver this project, and it will be a success."


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Costs Dublin City Council Dublin City Councillors Facility George's Dock Owen Keegan White Water Rafting

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