White-water rafting scuppered by costs, delays and icy sentiment

Alternative water project for Dublin’s George’s Dock might not be dead in water

George’s Dock at the IFSC: It was the white-water rafting plan’s champion, council chief executive Owen Keegan, who pulled the plug when funding did not come on stream. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

George’s Dock at the IFSC: It was the white-water rafting plan’s champion, council chief executive Owen Keegan, who pulled the plug when funding did not come on stream. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

There are many reasons the white-water rafting proposals for George’s Dock in Dublin sank. Cost was certainly a major factor. When plans for the facility – which would include a water polo and kayaking pool, and a Dublin Fire Brigade training facility – were originally presented to councillors in January 2019 it was expected to cost €12 million. By December of that year, when it was approved by councillors it had risen to €23 million. Ultimately, when the council sought expressions of interest to build the scheme more than a year later, it hit the €25 million mark.

The fact the project had a price tag which exceeded €20 million meant it was subject to additional cost analyses tests and funding applications

The likely cost of a trip down the mechanical rapids also raised some eyebrows. Figures produced as part of the council’s business case for the facility, which emerged in the days after it was approved by councillors, indicated group water rafting for eight people and one instructor would work out at €400 per raft or €50 per person. Family white-water rafting for six and one instructor would total €150 per raft.

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