€12m white-water rafting plan for Dublin city resurfaces

Council makes new attempt to develop project labelled a ‘white elephant’ by ex-mayor

A schematic drawing of the proposed white-water facility at George’s Dock planned by Dublin City Council.

Plans for a €12 million international standard white-water rapids rafting circuit and polo pool in central Dublin have resurfaced, despite the project being described as a "white elephant" by the city's last lord mayor.

City councillors were presented with plans in January to convert the early 19th-century dock into a mechanically-propelled rafting facility with a water polo pitch and an emergency service training centre. The 100m by 70m basin is located between the IFSC and the CHQ building next to the river Liffey.

The council had hoped to have final approval for the project by July but members of the council poured cold water on the scheme before May’s local elections.

The then lord mayor of Dublin Nial Ring said the project didn't "add up".


“What’s the genesis of this? Whose baby is this? Who has decided the north inner city needs white-water rafting? . . . I can’t honestly support it at this stage, I think it could be a white elephant.”

However, following a change in the council’s composition since the local elections, council management is making a fresh attempt to develop the facility.

What is the final date for submissions?

The council inherited George's Dock from the Dublin Dockland Development Authority (DDDA) in 2016 following the quango's abolition and has since tried to find a use for the facility.

The council hopes to demolish the former DDDA office building on Custom House Quay and replace it with two buildings to provide offices and support infrastructure for the white-water facility, including changing rooms and equipment storage as part of the project.

Submissions can be made on the plans until October 3rd, but the final decision on whether to go ahead with the facility rests with councillors.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times