Petition urges council to turn Dublin whitewater rafting project into outdoor pool

A petition urging Dublin City Council to turn a proposed whitewater rafting project into an outdoor swimming pool for Dubliners has garnered over 3,000 signatures.

The proposed project at George’s Dock was delivered a major setback earlier this year when the Government refused to provide funding for the controversial €25 million facility.

A petition has now gained 3,200 signatures, with signees supporting the conversion of the space into a “large, public, outdoor swimming facility, for all Dubliners, accessible to all abilities”.

The petition cites several reasons it believes the outdoor swimming pool is a better option, saying multiple European cities have heated city-centre outdoor pools called lidos – including London, Berlin and Barcelona.

It says there are currently no publicly-accessible, open-air swimming pools in Dublin and that the pandemic has highlighted the importance of using public spaces as meeting points and exercise locations.

‘Space for all’

“The site could accommodate multiple pools, including one Olympic-standard pool. It would be a space for all, with public health benefits,” the petition says.

“We acknowledge that elite water-sport athletes and the fire-brigade require facilities to train,” it says of the proposed whitewater rafting facility.

“But we believe that this space, in Dublin’s inner city, is not the right location for this facility,” the petition continues, urging the city council to locate the project outside the city centre.

Daily users of a lido at George’s Dock would be a large multiple of anything at a whitewater rafting centre

“The needs of our inner city residents and families have not been catered for,” the petition continues.

“Daily users of a lido at George’s Dock would be a large multiple of anything at a whitewater rafting centre. The business case for the George’s Dock Lido makes financial sense, but also services a public interest at its core, whereas DCC’s current proposal does not.

“The cost per usage favours an Olympic swimming pool, which would be approximately €5-€10 per use, versus estimates of €50 per use for the whitewater rafting facility.

“Given the unique historic setting of George’s Dock, with the right design, the George’s Dock Lido could become a truly exceptional municipal asset for Dublin. Citizen voices should be heard and a public consultation explored.”

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