Clontarf baths will only admit public if extra funding can be secured for staff

Refurbished leisure facility will include 250-seat restaurant and bar when it reopens

January 24th, 2018: Originally built in 1884, Clontarf seawater baths was a popular swimming destination for Dubliners over many years. It closed in 1996 but now is to re-open after a €2.4 million make-over. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

The public will not have access to the refurbished Clontarf Seawater Baths when it opens next month, unless its owners can secure additional funding.

The new €2.4 million leisure facility will include a 250-seat restaurant and bar when it reopens, some 22 years after its closure.

A representative of Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Company, which will run the venture, told The Irish Times that resourcing difficulties associated with securing pool staff and lifeguards mean the baths may initially only be available for groups that can cater for themselves.

As things stand entry to the 20m x 40m pool will be restricted to bookings by groups such as swimming or water polo clubs, which do not require watching or assistance by paid staff.

The spokeswoman said admission to the baths is expected to be extended to the public later in the summer, and that it will be “very disappointing” for all involved if this timeline is not met.

General entry

It was added that the company may even be in a position to allow general entry from the start if funding can be secured to cover the attendant additional staffing costs, and the company has approached Dublin City Council and Dublin Port for financial assistance.

Refurbishment of the baths began in September 2016 after approval was granted by An Bord Pleanála, and earlier reports had suggested the facility may be opened as early as last September.

Fine Gael councillor Naoise Ó Muirí, a member of Dublin City Council’s north central area committee, said he was not surprised to hear that the baths may not be open to the public from the beginning based on submissions made by its owners last year.

Mr Ó Muirí said the attempt to secure additional funding to allow general entry could make for a good crowdfunding-type appeal, but he expressed reservations over the potential for Dublin City Council to provide a financial boost to one private leisure entity given that there are others in the area.