Council may splash out on pool for Balbriggan at Castlelands

by Sylvia Pownall

A long-awaited public swimming pool for Balbriggan looks set to be provided on a landbank owned by the council at Castlelands.

The pool is just one of the amenities earmarked for delivery in response to a survey encouraging locals to have their say on a €20 million transformation of the town.

More than 4,000 people – more than 25% of the local population aged 11 and over – took part in the Our Balbriggan poll to prioritise a wish list of improvements.

Transforming the Main Street and connecting it to a reimagined harbour area topped the board across all age groups in the public realm pillar of the survey.

A leadership group, chaired by DCU president Professor Brian MacCraith, prepared suggestions for an ambitious new vision for the town, shaped by residents’ views.

Prof McCraith said: “We couldn’t have dreamed of this level of response. When asked to name the thing that people most valued about Balbriggan, the five most popular words used were beach, community, people, sea and harbour.

“By connecting all of these, and creating a properly functioning town centre, we can build a bright future in a town with fabulous assets and a diverse and rapidly-growing talent base.”

Fingal County Council chief executive Paul Reid said: “An idea which strongly emerged in the survey results was the desire of the people of Balbriggan to have a swimming pool.

“In response to this, provision is being made for a swimming pool in the Castlelands master plan.

“What we need to do next is to work through the most effective models to deliver and manage such a fabulous facility for the town.”

More than half of respondents wanted to see Quay Street transformed so it can be used as a multi-purpose plaza area with a linear park alongside the Bracken River featuring tiered seating for open air events.

The Railway Viaduct arches will also be revamped into a vibrant market space, including redevelopment of the RNLI Boathouse.

In a joint statement, three local elected representatives on the Balbriggan Leadership Group, Cllrs Grainne Maguire (Ind), Tony Murphy (Ind) and Malachy Quinn (SF) said they were “delighted with the huge numbers” who had their say.

They added: “We now have a strong set of priorities such as the redevelopment of the main street and reimagining the harbour which will transform the town, realising its full potential.”

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