herald

Friday 17 November 2017

Hanafin needs to splash out now or pools are doomed

PLEA: Outrage mounts as funding runs out

DUBLIN City Council has appealed to Mary Hanafin for the funding to keep three popular swimming pools open.

The pools, in Crumlin, Sean McDermott Street and Coolock, will be closed in August if the extra cash is not found.

The council is still exploring ways of keeping the pool open.

Council chiefs said that, since the last update report in early April, "meetings have been held with local groups in each of the three areas".

"Suggestions have been made that FAS/CE schemes could contribute to the running of the pools and cover some of the staff costs whilst operational costs will remain the same," the council said.

"This is being explored with FAS to determine whether such CE schemes are feasible and what resources could be made available through FAS," it added.

However, in such a scenario the city council "would have to continue to put substantial staff and financial resources into the pools for their management".





Exhausted

In the meantime, the council has written to Ms Hanafin, the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, seeking financial help to keep the pools open.

The €600,000 put aside in the 2010 council budget for the operation of the facilities until June "will now stretch as far as the end of August 2010".

"But this sum will definitely be fully exhausted by that date," the local authority insisted.

Campaigners have mounted petitions in the three city council districts to try to reverse the decision to close the pools.

They say the council is making no effort to look for solutions to save the pools.

Joe Mooney, of the Save Our Swimming Pools campaign, said: "The council's attitude seems to be that the pool is closing in August and that's it. We're very angry -- they've made no effort to help save the pool."

However, the council has said the centres are losing money. It said they are in poor condition and the local authority does not have the funds to renovate them properly. The facilities ran up losses of over €1.1m last year.

comurphy@herald.ie

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