By Rose Barrett
For Balbriggan native David Flynn, the introduction of a swimming platform and tidal pool at the north end of the local beach is a no-brainer.
David is calling on Fingal County Council to include the addition of the platform and tidal pool into the coastal provision within the Bremore Development Plan.
He told Dublin Gazette: “We went to consultations in mid-2019 with the council and planning officials and our proposals for a swimming platform and tidal pool were well received.
“In the next publication of ‘Our Balbriggan’, there were references to the tidal pool – even a mock-up photo used – and the swimming platform. Now the actual planning process is at Part 8 and neither are mentioned? They seem to have disappeared off the planning radar.”
Last month campaigners organised a swim, with up to 300 participants including members of Balbriggan Swimming Socks, the Selklies and Mako Triathlon Club.
“Although I swam all my life in the sea at Balbriggan,” said IT worker David, “I wasn’t a competent swimmer until my two children were learning to swim; then I got lessons and improved my water skills.”
He feels the addition of a platform and tidal pool would have many benefits for the community – not only would it increase swimming hours in open waters but it would provide a safer swimming area, and have a positive tourism aspect.
“We feel a swim platform will give Balbriggan increased ‘actual swimming’ hours, where swimmers could access waist-deep water without being confined to the two hours or so before and after high tide.
“With the platform in place, swimming would be possible from two hours past low tide until two hours before low tide – doubling the swimming hours available.”
Moving swimmers towards the north end of the beach (which attracts young swimmers) and away from the harbour mouth where there is trawler and boat activity, would also be safer.
Campaigners maintain a platform would help infuse a greater community spirit among sea swimmers, as evidenced in other Fingal seaside towns.
“The platform would be almost entirely built from re-enforced concrete. This is by far the most cost-effective building material used; it’s extremely durable, easily lasting a hundred years with very little maintenance.
“Add a concrete wall, seating area and the platform in concrete, and all the components give each other increased strength. This also extends to the proposed tidal pool.”
David is urging locals to have their say. Submissions on the Bremore Development Plan will be accepted until April 30 (https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/proposed-bremore-regional-park-development-project).