Minister hits back at comments that Glenalbyn’s in ‘jeopardy’

by Rebecca Ryan
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Local Minister Shane Ross is hitting back at comments that Glenalbyn pool is in jeopardy because of the transfer of Dun Laoghaire Harbour to the council.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) took over the running of the company on October 3 and some local councillors said they are now faced with a huge financial burden.

The Irish Times reported that according to the local council, the €10 million fund ring-fenced for Stillorgan pool may be scrapped because of “costs associated with Dun Laoghaire Harbour.”

In the report, council chief executive Philomena Poole said: “The harbour really has created that degree of uncertainty. At this stage I couldn’t say that any project that is not already in contract can go ahead until such time as we have adequate information at our disposal.”

Catherine Martin TD said the chief executives’ comments are “deeply alarming” for the local community.

“The consequences which flow from this transfer as assessed by the Chief Executive are extremely worrying and at the very least appear to jeopardise the money ringfenced almost five years ago for the reopening of Glenalbyn Swimming Pool.

“This project must now be saved by formally putting in place a written contract to rebuild Glenalbyn Pool to prevent Minister Ross’ actions from permanently closing the doors on this invaluable recreational facility.”

However, Minister Ross told Dublin Gazette there is a lot of “scare mongering” going on and he believes the pool is not in jeopardy as the transfer of the harbour is a net gain.

“Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a cash and asset rich amenity which is now in the competent hands of DLRCC.

“What the council is inheriting is a €2 million cash pile. They are also inheriting assets worth up to €40 million and they’re taking over a business with a new cash flow of €750,000. This is going to be a very cash rich deal for them and I think that’s being completely ignored.

“There will be obviously some normal maintenance work to be done on the harbour but the latest figures I saw on that will be spread over ten years and will be nowhere near the absurd figures which are being quoted, which are purely being quoted for political reasons.

“The council will not be put in debt at all. They’re getting a real jewel in the crown. I have full confidence that this asset will develop and prosper.”

Minister Ross also stated that negotiations between both parties working toward the re-opening of Glenalbyn swimming pool are “progressing well, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated,” and that he is confident that concrete promises made by DLRCC concerning the funds ring-fenced for Glenalbyn swimming pool will be honoured.

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