"This thing will be a success" - Head of Dublin City Council on white water rafting plan


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.10 28 Nov 2019


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The head of Dublin City Council says he is confident a white water rafting facility will be a success and make money.

Councillors will decide next month whether to approve the plans for the €22 million project at George's Dock in the IFSC.

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.

Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe argued it will have high energy use and "likely to be out of use much of the time":

DCC Chief Executive Owen Keegan suggests it will be a major tourist attraction - and that the reaction to the plans so far has 'overwhelmingly been very positive'.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he 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."

Dublin City Council expects the €22.8m facility to attract 30,000 people a year.

Main image: Artist's impression of the planned new white water facility. Image via Smart Docklands

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