Removal of pool roof infuriates residents

by Emma Nolan

LOCALS and politicians alike have expressed outrage at the removal of the Glenalbyn Swimming Pool roof, further delaying the possibility of its refurbishment.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have removed part of the pool building roof, which has been closed since 2013, for health and safety reasons.
Glenalbyn swimming pool closed suddenly in December 2013 and has remained derelict since. Pool staff and locals have been campaigning for the council to provide the amenities that have been lacking in the community since the pool’s closure.
Speaking to The Gazette, a council spokesperson said: “Following the recent extreme weather conditions and further recent weather warnings issued by Met Eireann, the decision was taken to remove the roof from Glenablyn in a controlled manner.”
However, Deputy Shane Ross (Ind) and Cllrs Deirdre Donnelly (Ind) and Catherine Martin, deputy leader of the Green Party, believe that letting the building deteriorate to its current state, made it vulnerable to bad weather conditions and this further delayed refurbishments.
Commenting on the latest development Ross and Donnelly said: “While we support any move to ensure public safety, it is disappointing that such measures have to be taken at all. These measures are necessitated in part by the neglect of the building for several years, even before its closure.
“It is to be hoped that any infilling of the pool will not be so permanent as to add additional expense to the restoration of the pool at a future point.”
Martin has expressed grave concerns with these recent developments, saying: “Instead of refurbishing the pool as promised by the council and as the local community wants, this is further proof that it is the intention of the council to take irreversible steps to decommission the building and render the challenge of refurbishment twice as difficult.
“The latest works to be carried out and the expenditure thereof would have been unnecessary had the council followed through on the commitment given almost two years ago to refurbish the pool.”
The local authority says a recent inspection has identified a further deterioration in the condition of the roof of the facility with fallen panels at both gable ends of the building meaning a significant risk that the openings in the roof resulting from the fallen panels will increase pressures on the remaining areas of the roof leading inevitably to additional panels blowing or falling off, posing a risk to nearby houses and civilians.
Public safety is the council’s priority and it was confirmed to The Gazette that “works are currently under way to make the structure safe, including the removal of the roof and the infilling of the pool.”
The council also confirmed that work was progressing to deliver on the decision made at the council’s special meeting on November 2, 2015 to progress the preliminary design proposals for either the refurbishment of the existing pool at Glenalbyn or the construction of a new pool and gym on an alternative site close by.

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