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  • Northside East

Campaign gathers momentum

Wednesday, 11th September, 2019 1:00pm
Campaign gathers momentum

Pictured are members of the campaign group, Mark Pearson, Áine O’Beirne, David Flynn, Niall Keady, Alistair Smith, John Oghenetano and Laly Calderon.

Campaign gathers momentum

Pictured are members of the campaign group, Mark Pearson, Áine O’Beirne, David Flynn, Niall Keady, Alistair Smith, John Oghenetano and Laly Calderon.

MOMENTUM is building for a new swimming pool to be built in north county Dublin.

The campaign, which started as a Facebook page and petition, now has almost 2,000 followers.

The setting up of a new website (www.swimfingal.ie) has also been announced and local people are being urged to offer support. 

At the 2019/20 North Fingal Pool Campaign agm, Niall Keady, PRO for the group, said there was a commitment from the council to conduct a study into the feasibility of a pool in North Fingal in the Fingal Development Plan.

As a result of the Our Balbriggan public engagement process and the thousands of responses to the Draft Castlelands Plan calling for a public swimming pool, the council have committed to delivering a facility for Balbriggan.

A site at Castlelands has been earmarked as a possible location for the facility, pending a feasibility study.

David Flynn, speaking on behalf of the North Fingal Pool Campaign committee, pointed out that the campaign did not want to be limited to Castlelands as a potential site.

He argued that this could “possibly weaken” calls for a swimming pool in North Fingal if Castlelands as a location were to be ruled out at some future date.

Mr Flynn assured the meeting that the committee was very much in favour of a swimming pool in the North Fingal area, and that this would include in Skerries, for example.

Niall Keady spoke of Balbriggan having great potential as a tourist location and that additional options should be put forward.

“We should not simply accept that the Castlelands Plan will proceed and be satisfied that a pool is part of that project,” said Mr Keady.

“We need alternative suggestions, locations and plans should the Castlelands plan not proceed. Alternatives and additional plans should be linked with calls for a swimming pool which could include a waterpark tourist attraction.

“While this committee’s priority is a public swimming pool, we should widen the scope to include alternatives.” 

Mr Keady also put forward the concept of a major tourist attraction in the form of a Waterpark, located, for example, at the new Bremore Park or north of it, a project like the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) where a leisure waterpark is beside a professional pool.

“In the same way, a waterpark could also encompass a separate ‘public pool’ where resources are shared and revenue from a successful profitable waterpark tourist attraction would subsidise the expense of providing a public pool to the local community,” said Mr Keady.

“The tourist element would be a massive boost to the town of Balbriggan and create employment and much-needed footfall into the commercial district from tourists and people travelling out from the city.”

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council told Northside People it is currently carrying out a feasibility assessment for a multi-purpose sports facility in the north of the county including the viability of a public swimming pool. 

“This assessment is being carried out in two phases,” said the spokesperson.

“Phase 1, which is currently underway, includes a mapping exercise and an audit of existing sports and community facilities, both private and public, together with a gap analysis which will be evidence based and future proofed.

“Phase 2 which is due to commence later this year will assess funding opportunities, profitability, future business growth, operational models for the provision of a multi-purpose leisure facility for the North County, including a swimming pool. 

“The draft Castlelands, Balbriggan Master Plan, currently being progressed, includes a designated site for a swimming pool.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here