White-water rafting plan for Dublin


Sir, – I agree with Michael McDowell’s excellent article (Opinion, December 4th) in which he criticises the proposed white-water rafting development at George’s Dock, Dublin.

Dublin City management and their lacky councillors, in voting for this waste of €23 million (likely to be spectacularly exceeded), have ignored the obvious – that this money should be put to so much better, urgently-needed use like housing the homeless.

However I would differ with Mr McDowell in one respect – Dublin City Council, along with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council, have not so much lost their way, as become unwavering in their single-minded pursuit of trophy projects.

In addition, the proposed admission fee of €50 will put it out of reach of many ordinary citizens.

Dublin City Council, along with the writers of the environmental impact assessment report for this project, have also ignored the fact that the powerful pumps required to create the white-water will be running off the electricity grid (there is no mention of renewables) which is still largely dependent on fossil fuels thereby increasing CO2 emissions in contravention of Ireland’s much vaunted commitment to reduce same. Perhaps in this instance there is still time for common-sense to prevail. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 18.

Sir, – In response to Michael McDowell’s article (Opinion, December 4th).

The €23 million white-water rafting project has indeed been met with despair and dismay, next door, as it were, here in Gardiner Street, the most densely populated residential street in the city!

The street has a residential population of 5,000, yet it is zoned commercial and is an arterial traffic route into the city.

Lower Gardiner Street has pollution levels above acceptable EU standards. However, the NTA BusConnects plans more traffic in the form of two core bus corridors as well as two lanes of traffic. Five of the new bus routes will park buses around Mountjoy Square, one of the few green spaces in the area.

We expect transport engineers to plan and think about traffic routes, but where are the urbanists, landscape architects, city architects that such a huge infrastructural project requires? Designing white-water rafting projects perhaps? – Yours, etc,


Dublin 1.

Sir, – Presumably Michael McDowell’s negative opinion regarding the proposed white-water rafting development in Dublin city is heavily informed by his own decision to spend €30 million (and counting) when purchasing the Thornton Hall site in North Dublin, which has spent the 14 years since then resplendently vacant of any development whatsoever?

One would imagine that such a track record in public development opportunities would give one severe pause for thought before deciding to dip one’s oar into this debate. – Yours, etc,



Sandymount, Dublin 4.

Sir, – According to a business case prepared by Peter Brett Associates for Dublin City Council justifying its €23 million white-water rafting project “by year five it is predicted the net surplus will be €789,000. It is understood that such figures do not include the capital costs” (Home News, December 5th).

Surely any cost benefit analysis should not have omitted capital and especially interest costs being incurred over this five year period besides any hoped-for revenue stream arising from the project. Just getting the advantages and not the total financial risks involved opens up the prospect that this proposed white-water project might end up as a white elephant. – Yours, etc,


Malahide, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Inspired by the white-water rafting plan, next month I would like Dublin City Council to consider my plan to build a monorail. – Yours, etc,


Ballinlough, Cork.