Energy costs forced swimming pool to close in Ballybunion

Tue, Jun 19, 2012, 01:00

Energy costs were the reason for the abrupt closure in April of a modern swimming pool complex in Ballybunion, Co Kerry, which had been built on foot of substantial financial guarantees by Kerry County Council.

A combined heat and energy plant specifically for the pool to save about €5,000 a month in energy costs for the Ballybunion Health and Leisure Centre was the solution to any reopening, county manager Tom Curran told yesterday’s meeting of Kerry County Council.

“It may not be possible to keep the plant open for all of the year,” Mr Curran said.

The facility was being managed quite well but “no swimming pool” could break even because of the high cost of energy it took to operate them.

The €5 million centre was officially opened by former Fianna Fáil minister John O’Donoghue in May 2007.

Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae yesterday asked what financial monitoring had been in place and whether the council was entitled to yearly reports.

Mr Curran said the council had two representatives on the board of the leisure centre and it was aware of the tight financial situation with “skyrocketing energy costs”.