Writes Ciaran Dineen
Cork County Council have poured cold water over the prospect of Carrigaline having its own publicly run swimming pool, stating that the funding simply isn’t there for such an amenity.
It comes in the wake of two separate motions submitted by Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF) and Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) at the September meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).
Both Councillors have recently received correspondence from the public with support for the project gathering momentum.
It has been perhaps kickstarted following the announcement of recent planning proposals in Carrigaline, namely the intention of Lidl to vacate their current site on Strand Road and move into the Circus Field. With the Council set to inherit the proposed vacated site, which is set to become one large public carpark, its potential future use has created debate amongst the community.
In recent months, the support for a new public swimming pool in Carrigaline has cropped up on numerous occasions on public forums such as the Carrigaline Noticeboard, while in the past it has also been high on the amenity agenda from various local surveys that have been circulated.
Given supportive calls, Cllr Seámus McGrath requested that a feasibility study be carried out by Cork County Council to consider whether it was possible for Carrigaline to have a public pool, while Cllr Dalton O’Sullivan made a similar request.
The response from the Council was pretty blunt, leaving Cllr McGrath frustrated given that they had poured water over the idea in general, and declared that they would not be considering the possibility of carrying out a feasibility report as requested.
Speaking to The Carrigdhoun Newspaper Cllr McGrath said “this is something I’m not going to give up on that easily. Carrigaline is the largest town in the county. The Council are putting money into upgrading existing public swimming pools and yet we are the largest town in the county, where I believe there is huge demand for it, and yet it’s simply being knocked straight on the head.”
He received support from other colleagues, including Ben Dalton O’Sullivan who noted that much smaller towns in the County, such as Mallow, Dunmanway and Fermoy have swimming pools. He added to Cllr McGrath’s comments by stating that people in Carrigaline had been in contact with him arguing that the amenity was in demand, and supported the motion from Cllr McGrath to keep the item on the agenda.
Council officials were frank on the matter, with references made to the fact that there are a number of both private and public swimming pools in close proximity to Carrigaline, including the Carrigaline Court Hotel, The Gus Healy Swimming Pool, Rochestown Park Hotel and Leisureworld Bishopstown.
Senior Executive Officer, Nicola Radley, did however throw the councillors a bone, suggesting that if there was a big demand in Carrigaline for the amenity from the public, then they would open a dialogue with an advocacy group if one was formed. It remains to be seen whether there is enough of a demand in the area for such a working committee to be created, but the proposal is likely to crop up again the near future.