Opening Up

Crumlin Swimming Pool will be open to the public seven days a week starting this summer, said a report from Karl Mitchell, director of services, at a meeting of the council’s South East Area Committee on 14 February.

In 2018 the pool was open to the public on Saturdays for six and a half hours. Currently, it is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays between fixed hours, and used by clubs during the week.

Opening times from later this year will run from Monday to Thursday from 7am to 9pm, Friday from 7am to 8pm, Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, says the report.

The pool will be operated by Dublin City Sports & Leisure Services CLG (DCSLS), which runs the Swan Leisure Centre in Rathmines.

Staff from Swan Leisure Centre are planned to operate the Crumlin pool, says the report and the existing staff at Crumlin Swimming Pool are planned to be moved to another council facility.

Membership at the Crumlin pool would be available with rates in line with other facilities, the report says. DCSLS have also proposed installing a sauna and steam room, and improving the reception and entrance to the pool.

“These improvements would provide a wider range [of] services for our customers and encourage people to meet and stay longer, creating a greater sense of community and engagement,” said the report.

Pat Dunne, an Independents4Change councillor, said the pool currently isn’t open to the public in a meaningful way. “The frustration of people in the area was absolutely huge.”

He first got involved in the issue in 2009, when there had been an attempt to close the pool, he said. “As a result of a great community campaign it was agreed to keep it open.”

DCSLS has been successful with Swan Leisure Centre, Dunne said. “The decision has been made to use the expertise, to use the knowledge, to use what is an underused facility in Crumlin, and to bring all those things together.”

Tara Deacy, a Social Democrats councillor, at the meeting said: “We rarely get the opportunity to congratulate our fellow councillors, but Pat, you’ve been working on this since 2009.”

Councillors get emails weekly, and have collectively put in motions, said Deacy. “It’s taken an enormous amount of collaboration, work, conversation and frustration to get to this point.”

Said Deirdre Conroy, a Fianna Fáil councillor: “Swimming in the pool is so important and the more people that can attend and enjoy, the children and adults, all the better.”

Carolyn Moore, a Green Party councillor, said the discretionary fund, a pot of money that councillors can choose how to spend each year, gave €35,000 annually that was used to keep the pool open on the weekends, can now be spent on other things for the community. “It really just couldn’t be better news.”

On Dolphin’s Barn Street

There’s a lot happening over the next few months in Dolphin’s Barn, said Bruce Phillips, a South Central Area manager, at a meeting of that area committee on Wednesday 16 February.

The area office got funding from theUrban Regeneration and Development Fund, he said. (That fund supports compact and sustainable development, by part-paying for rejuvenation projects, according to the Department of Housing website.)

Crash barriers, the metal gates which surround each refuge island and footpath around the junction in Dolphin’s Barn, will be removed “to improve the presentation of the village”, said Phillips.

Trees will be planted, he said, and they will paint some railings along Dolphin’s Barn Street. “We’ve also improved the steps down to the canal at that location.” He expects all that in the next three months, he said.

These improvements are long overdue, said Darragh Moriarty, a Labour councillor, on Friday. “It should be a village. It should be a place that people go and spend time as opposed to just passing through to go somewhere else.”

The main roads that cross through Dolphin’s Barn are Dolphin’s Barn Street and South Circular Road. These roads are key arteries, he says, for BusConnects, the planned redesign of the bus network, which is currently being rolled out bit by bit.

The D spine – along which five routes will pass – runs down Dolphin’s Barn Street and the O Orbital route runs along the South Circular Road.

Council engineers have to ensure they won’t impact on BusConnects, says Moriarty, so for now, removing barriers and adding plants and possibly benches, are the current efforts towards making Dolphin’s Barn more pedestrian friendly.

The executive decided, after a briefing with councillors, for Iveagh Trust to be the Approved Housing Body to develop the derelict strip of buildings between 33 and 37 Dolphin’s Barn Street, said Moriarty. “They have a fantastic record of delivering good quality accommodation.”

There isn’t a timeline yet for that project, but there may be a presentation on plans for the strip in March, he said, later over the phone.

Claudia Dalby is a freelance journalist. She has worked as a city reporter for Dublin Inquirer, writing about the southside, transport, and kids in the city.

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