Schoolchildren let down by Glenalbyn pool closure, says Ross

Independent accuses council of ‘inexplicable delay’ in spending €10m to reopen facility

Glenalbyn swimming pool in Stillorgan, Dublin, operated for 47 years before structural defects forced its closure in December 2013. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Glenalbyn swimming pool in Stillorgan, Dublin, operated for 47 years before structural defects forced its closure in December 2013. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Large numbers of schoolchildren in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, have been let down by the closure of Glenalbyn swimming pool and no longer swim, local TD Shane Ross has claimed.

At a public meeting on Monday night, Mr Ross told an estimated 400 people that schools in the area were deeply concerned at the prospect of travelling comparatively long distances to alternative pools.

He also accused Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council officials of an “inexplicable” delay in spending €10 million, which was approved by councillors in 2014, on reopening Glenalbyn pool.

Mr Ross further said the elderly of the area had been “insulted” by a consultant’s report which had claimed the population of the area to be significantly ageing. To applause he said: “Old people can swim”.

Glenalbyn pool operated for 47 years before structural defects forced its closure in December 2013.

A council committee is currently considering options for the reopening of the pool, or opening a new pool elsewhere.

Dr Aiden Meade of Kilmacud Medical Centre said he had learned to swim at Glenalbyn as had his four children. He said all GPs in the medical centre were “shocked” the pool had not reopened.

Childhood obesity

He referred to childhood obesity and said there were five local primary schools in the area which needed the pool and were potential customers.

Mary Duignan said she had been a swimming teacher at Glenalbyn for 42 years. She said it offered a range of classes to schools and the general community including aqua aerobic classes and exercise classes and was the focal point for the community.

She said the failure to reopen the pool was not the fault of local councillors but that of the “mandarins” in the local authority.

A number of speakers from the floor questioned why the terms of reference for the councillors’ working group were written by council officials.

A number of councillors said they were working towards reopening the pool, but this required a process being worked through.

Cllr Deirdre Donnelly who chaired the meeting said a report from the councillors’ committee would be presented at the September meeting.