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€22m white-water rafting scheme to be reviewed post-virus

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Artist’s impression of proposed white-water rafting facility

Artist’s impression of proposed white-water rafting facility

Artist’s impression of proposed white-water rafting facility

The plug may be pulled on Dublin's controversial €22m white-water rafting project in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis battering the country's economy.

When asked about plans for the project, a spokesperson said all Dublin City Council (DCC) capital projects are "currently on hold".

"Post the current Covid-19 emergency, every project will be reviewed and a decision will be made as to whether or not it should be progressed," he told the Herald.

Polo

However, DCC chief executive Owen Keegan has insisted he still supports the rafting project, which was mooted for the north inner city.

The proposed site - the basin between the IFSC and the CHQ building - which covers an area of 100 metres by 70 metres, is currently not in use.

One major money-spinner there had been the annual Oktoberfest, but the popular event was cancelled after organisers failed to get insurance amid soaring premiums.

Plans had reached an advanced stage to convert the 19th century dock into a mechanically-propelled rafting facility.

The amenity also made provision for a water polo pool and an emergency services training centre.

It was given the go-ahead last December, despite concerns from some councillors that it might be used by stag and hen parties.

Mr Keegan said that while all of the council's capital projects are on hold, it is important that "as a county, once we get beyond the current phase, there are major construction projects completed".

He told Newstalk in an interview yesterday that if there is to be a strong tourist sector in the future, investing in infrastructure is vital.

"So we're hoping that our full capacity programme will be implemented," he said.

"That project will be ready and waiting at the appropriate time to be implemented."

It has also emerged that DCC will seek compensation from the Government for loss of revenue and additional emergency spending that have resulted from the crisis.

Mr Keegan said the council's finances are "under considerable pressure".