Michael Staines
Michael Staines

16.01 11 May 2021


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Residents in Dublin’s north inner city are questioning why the council spent more than €1.2m on its white-water rafting plan, if it can’t afford to keep their local pool open.

The swimming pool on Sean McDermott Street has been closed for two years.

On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, local TD Gary Gannon said it was closed due to some broken tiles on the pool floor – with Dublin City Council claiming it does not have the funds to fix them.

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Dubliners slam spend on white water rafting while city centre pool remains closed

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He said the facility has “lacked a bit of love for the last decade” and noted that there have been a number of attempts to shut it down for good in that time.

“One of the issues of tension locally is the fact that this Sean McDermott Street building is less than half a mile up the road from the proposed white Water Rafting facility down at George’s Dock,” he said.

“It was revealed yesterday that the council have spent over €1.2m on consultation fees for this facility that will never emerge, when there is a locally loved and used public pool that has fallen into decline – and they’re telling us they don’t have the money to fix a couple of tiles.

“So, the community itself is highlighting the fact that there is a level of disrespect here, given the level of money that went into a white-water rafting facility that may never emerge, when the pool just has a few broken tiles and could do with a bit of love.”

He said the pool closure has a “massive” impact on the local community.

“It is closed because of broken tiles but actually that seems like a really small issue to be honest with you and I don’t think anyone really accepts that that is a good enough reason to close it,” he said.

“This is a real meeting place in the north inner city […] There is a huge amount of demand there, from sports clubs to people who just want to use it as an amenity and then a couple of the local schools.”

He said the students at the Central Model Senior School (CMSS) on Marlborough Street are absolutely mad to get back into the pool and have launched a campaign to get it reopened.

Campaign

Also on the show, CMSS sixth class teacher Sinead Crosson said the school would normally have at least one class in the pool every day – and noted that there are 11 schools in the community that use it.

“The pool is a resource in the community they absolutely love,” she said.

“They are missing it every day. It is something that we as a school and other schools in the area, use all the time.

“It is two years now that that pool has been closed and it is just too long for the children. They really, really do miss it.”

Swimming

She said a recent survey of school students in Dublin’s North East Inner City (NEIS) put the pool as the number one amenity in the area.

“That was their most loved extra-curricular activity and their most loved sports facility in the area,” she said. “They have spoken about how much they miss it.”

She said the students are determined to continue their campaign to get it reopened.

You can listen back here:

Dubliners slam spend on white water rafting while city centre pool remains closed

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