Glenalbyn pool roof removed due to safety fears, council told

Former Stillorgan swimming spot is in the process of being filled in

Three pieces of the roof of the former Glenalbyn swimming pool in Stillorgan in Dublin were brought to a Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on Monday night.

The roof was removed from the building at the start of the year in the interests of health and safety, council chief executive Philomena Poole told councillors.

The pool was closed in December 2013 after an inspection raised concerns over the stability of the roof. Since then councillors had ringfenced €10 million to refurbish the pool complex.

A consultants’ report commissioned by council management and published early last year suggested a refurbished pool on site would not be economically viable, in part due to the ageing population of the area.

Since then a council committee identified an alternative site for the development of a new pool, adjacent to the Stillorgan Leisureplex, on a site which currently incorporates Stillorgan library.

The council is currently in the process of drawing up detailed plans for the development of both pools, a procedure which is expected to take nine months. A final decision on the location of a swimming pool will then be taken.

Roof pieces

Ms Poole produced three pieces of the roof when asked to discuss the removal of the roof and plans to fill in the pool.

She said each piece represented a layer of the roof and each was made of light materials with sharp edges which could and were blowing around in recent high winds, posing significant danger to neighbouring housing.

County architect Pamela O’Connor said an issue with an underground spring leaking into the swimming pool had also been identified. “It is quite a danger to have a pool like that with water coming in,” she said.

“There was no way of repairing it. It had reached the end of its life,” Ms O’Connor said of the roof.

Council management said the pool itself would be filled in and the walls and windows bricked up. Cathaoirleach Barry Saul said the issues surrounding Glenalbyn pool had been well debated.

He said the council had been “extremely responsible” in taking the action it did which followed complaints from local residents.

However, Independent councillor Deirdre Donnelly, who had been to the forefront of the campaign to refurbish Glenalbyn pool, questioned why, in the two years since the pool had been closed, the roof had not been made safe.

People Before Profit's Cllr Melisa Halpin said "if you decide your roof is unsafe you do something about it".

Fianna Fáil Councillor Mary Hanafin said the problem was that constituents did not trust the council on the issue of Glenalbyn pool and she called for better communication with local residents.

Mr Saul assured the members the ongoing works to make Glenalbyn Pool safe would not impact on the process that was underway to design and select a site for a new pool.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist

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