‘Trilateral’ meeting needed to finalise Glenalbyn Swimming Pool access, cllr saysGary Ibbotson 16 Feb 2023
A meeting between local politicians, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, and Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club should be called in order to finalise an agreement that would grant the council access to Glenalbyn Swimming Pool.
Local Fine Gael councillor John Kennedy said the “long-drawn out saga” could finally come to a close if a face-to-face “trilateral” meeting was agreed to.
Glenalbyn Swimming Pool closed in 2013 due to safety concerns and has not yet reopened.
The pool is only accessible via land owned by Kilmacud Crokes and mediatory talks between the GAA club and the local authority have failed to produce an agreement so far.
“The deliberations between the club and the council in relation to access and use of car park spaces necessary for the pool project have been a long-drawn out saga lasting nine years,” Kennedy said.
“At one stage a mediator was appointed by a Cabinet minister as an attempt to secure agreement.
“It is disappointing that a lack of agreement has so far prevented an injection of €10 million investment into Glenalbyn that was agreed by councillors for the pool project in 2014.
“It is time, in my view, for all the politicians for the area (including Oireachtas members for Dublin Rathdown as well as Stillorgan ward councillors), relevant senior council staff and club executive representatives to meet together where there should a serious intention to secure agreement within the next three-six months.”
Ever since the closure of Glenalbyn Swimming Pool, local residents and councillors have called for its renovation and subsequent reopening with several demonstrations taking place over the past decade.
Funding for the facility was previously ring-fenced but the council has so far failed to receive approval from Kimacud Crokes to gain access to the building.
“Such a dialogue should strive to be fair-minded and balanced towards Kilmacud Crokes while at the same time the council’s clear entitlements to necessary access for the pool project should be asserted, as it represents a public project in the council’s Capital Programme on public land,” Kennedy said.
Glenalbyn Swimming Pool was formally opened by former President of Ireland Erskine Childers and at the time of it becoming operational in 1973 was the largest public swimming pool in the country.
“The fact that the pool was operational for 40 years from 1973 to 2013 is likely to be very significant in relation to the factor of access rights for the pool,” Kennedy says.
“Such rights have been built up that they would not yet be extinguished as under common law – 20 years of continuous non-use would be required for extinguishing of such rights, where the pool has been closed for nine years at this stage.”
“There would be a recognition held by all local politicians and the council in relation to the great benefits to the local community of the sporting activities of Kilmacud Crokes who have a strong identified need for extra public playing facility time.
“The council demonstrated goodwill towards the club in this respect.
For example, by the provision of an extra pitch on a temporary basis at Marlay Park in 2021.
“I am confident that there is potential for similar co-operation, encouraged by politicians for the area, to continue between the club and the council in the years ahead.”