Pool is on the way – Minister

by Ian Begley

After 30 years of waiting, Lucan will finally get a swimming pool following the forthcoming re-opening of the national swimming pool programme, according to local Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
The reopening of this programme will eventually see the development of a public swimming pool in Lucan, to be located on a new sports and leisure centre campus at Griffeen.
Speaking exclusively to The Gazette, Minister Fitzgerald said: “Lucan deserves and needs a swimming pool and this Government will deliver the funding for it. I’ve been working on this for a long time and have met with Michael Ring (Minister for Sport) and Danny McLoughlin (chief executive of SDCC), and discussed the need for a pool in Lucan.
“The council have opened up their funding and announced the money for its planning, and obviously their capital budget will have to contribute later in the year towards its funding.
“Funding has to be provided from a number of sources, but I am confident that Government funding will be provided for a pool in Lucan.
“The national pool scheme will be re-opened for a number of pools and I am confident that Lucan will be included among them.
“I would expect announcements will be made very shortly, later on this year. This is part of a large investment in services locally,” said Minister Fitzgerald.
The swimming pool was also recently included in the council’s Draft Development Plan for 2016-22 and will benefit from a sum of €400,000 towards the pre-design and tender preparation for the Lucan pool from a council surplus fund.
The project will also be incorporated in the council’s capital programme for 2016-18.
The last assessment on the estimated cost for the swimming pool was about €10m, and the total funding will be sourced from a number of bodies, including South Dublin County Council, government capital, and from the sport’s capital programme.
The campaign for a public swimming pool in Lucan has been ongoing for about 30 years and has been the topic of many county council motions tabled by local representatives.
A lobby for a public swimming pool for Lucan has also been set up by local residents and to date has amassed over 1,200 signatures in a petition
Helen Farrell, organiser of the Pool4Lucan campaign told The Gazette that she was “lost for words” upon hearing the news” and that this latest update is “fantastic news” and will be of huge benefit to Lucan.
She said: “We’ve been waiting 30 years for a pool in Lucan and for that to happen would just be incredible.
“I would just be ecstatic for Lucan and everyone who has been involved and supported the pool campaign.
“There was a lot of negativity towards South Dublin County Council this time last year, but they seem to have really turned around in the way they’ve given their commitment towards a public pool for Lucan.
“Our campaign put a lot of pressure on many people and made them aware of how much a pool is needed here.
“If you look at the large population of Lucan you just have to question why Lucan doesn’t have a public swimming pool already.
“I think a pool shows huge potential and it will vastly improve the quality of life for everyone,” said Farrell.

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