Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.47 18 Jan 2021


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A Senator says plans for a €25m white-water rafting centre for George's Dock is a 'vanity-driven' project by Dublin City Council.

The project has moved a step closer, after the council invited expressions of interest to build it.

The attraction would include state-of-the-art fast-water facilities and canoeing infrastructure.

Dublin City Council has previously said it expects the facility to attract 30,000 people a year.

Senator Michael McDowell, former Tánaiste and Justice Minister, told Newstalk Breakfast the council should focus on its primary duty of housing.

"I think Dublin City Council has lost its way completely - one of it's primary functions is to address the housing crisis.

"Under the Housing Act, as a housing authority, it has a direct responsibility to provide homes, social housing and to make available and to re-organise the planning of the city so there is actual housing available.

"Instead of that, they are engaging in a tendering process for a project... which is peripheral to their function, and suggests that the management of Dublin City Council aren't concentrating on the day job and are pursuing their own personal [interests]."

White water rafting Image: YouTube/Smart Docklands

He claimed this is not an idea that came from councillors, but from the executive of Dublin City Council itself.

"This is a project which is vanity-driven and at the peculiar interest of some people in the executive of Dublin City Council."

He suggested that even though it was voted on by councillors, this process should be looked at.

"That process whereby councillors are effectively lent on - and a lot of councillors did oppose it - but a majority of councillors felt that because the executive of Dublin City Council favoured it, they should go along with it".

"The impetus for this came from the executive, no councillor ever stood on a platform of having such a facility available.

"The idea came from outside - it is the personal interest of people on the executive of Dublin City Council - it is not something which came organically upward from the councillors".

Senator McDowell said he is not against development, but this is not the time.

"I've no problem with the development of the Docklands area, I'm just saying that Dublin City Council should not waste between €25m and €30m on this project at this time when it is failing miserably to do it's primary function - which is to look after the people who are looking for homes in Dublin".

"It's a waste of time, it's a waste of money - Dubliners will not pay €50 per head to participate in it, and it's about time it was called out for what it is".

Senator hits out as 'vanity-driven' white-water rafting centre for Dublin moves closer

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Main image: Plans for a new White Water Rafting facility in the Dublin Docklands. Picture by: Dublin Chamber

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Dublin Dublin City Council George's Dock Newstalk Breakfast Senator Michael McDowell White-water Rafting Centre

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