by Gazette Reporter

PLANS for a €15m heated swimming pool in the River Liffey have been described as a “ludicrous” waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Docklands Office – an arm of Dublin City Council – wants to develop the floating pool at Custom’s House Quay.

A detailed proposal was presented to Dublin Central area councillors on Tuesday with mixed reactions to the ambitious scheme.

Independent Cllr and CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless Anthony Flynn described it as “ludicrous” and called for the money to be spent helping communities.

He said residents living at East Wall and North Wall had been forgotten about while the council pursues “pet projects” nearby including a e22m white water rafting centre.

Cllr Janice Boylan (SF) said: “We cannot justify spending €15m on a pool for bankers and tourists while communities are still waiting for playgrounds and pitches.”

The scheme includes a 50m outdoor swimming pool on a floating platform beside the Sean O’Casey bridge, alongside sauna, yoga and café facilities, modelled on a Helsinki spa which attracts 800,000 visitors a year.

It would be located a short distance from the white water rafting facility which will be developed at George’s Dock and is due to go to tender later this year.

Docklands Manager Derek Kelly said an international competition could be held to find a company to design, build and operate the facility on a 30-year lease.

The aim is to create a “cluster” of visitor attractions near the white water rafting centre, the Jeanie Johnston ship and The EPIC Diaspora Museum.

Cllr Boylan said: “I welcome extra investment for recreational facilities. But €15m for a novelty swimming pool in the River Liffey is a non-runner.

“Especially when communities across Dublin are crying out for basic sports and recreation facilities.”

She questioned why the local authority was closing down its own pools – including Markievicz Pool – while “trumpeting the investment of a privately run pool”.

Residents of Greek Street flats, where a steel railing has collapsed and been left in a dangerous state for several months, also questioned the investment.
However Dublin Chambers spokesperson Graeme McQueen said: “Amenities like this work really well in other cities abroad.”

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