Lido plea for River Liffey instead of ‘contentious’ rafting plan

by Sylvia Pownall
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Dublin City Council is being urged to swap contentious plans for a €25m white water rafting centre on the River Liffey for an outdoor swimming pool.

A petition urging DCC to “do the right thing for Dubliners” has begun circulating online with well over a thousand people backing the idea.

Organisers want a public, outdoor pool at George’s Dock instead of the ambitious white water rafting facility which would predominantly be aimed at tourists.

The petition states: “We acknowledge that elite water sport athletes and the fire brigade require facilities to train.

“But we believe that this space, in Dublin’s inner city, is not the right location for this facility. Surely there is a better solution?”

It points out that several European cities have heated outdoor pools with prime examples of lidos in London, Berlin, Moscow and Barcelona.

A heated fresh-water swimming pool was suggested last summer but there has been little sign of progress on the idea since.

However Dublin City Council admitted it remains on the agenda. The only public swimming pool in the north inner city, Marcievicz pool, is due to close to make way for MetroLink.

In a statement DCC said: “Dublin City Council is still considering the next steps in relation to the sea pool complex. It is hoped that we will develop the outline design of the proposal further during 2021.”

City officials and councillors are under growing pressure to abandon the idea for the white-water centre at George’s Dock near the International Financial Services Centre.

The project has more than doubled in cost and there are fears that the price of admission would be too high for local residents.

Proposals for a €15m outdoor swimming pool beside the Sean O’Casey Bridge, between Custom House Quay and North Wall Quay, were presented to the council last summer.

They are based on similar facilities in Helsinki, Paris, Berlin and other European cities which include saunas and cafes.

The proposal sees the pool as helping to create a cluster of tourist and visitor attractions in the area which also hosts the diaspora museum EPIC, the Jeanie Johnston, and the proposed white-water rafting centre.

The white-water rafting centre has gone to tender, seeking construction companies to submit proposals and costings to build the facility. The deadline for submissions has been set for February 22.

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