ASKEATON SWIMMING CLUB OPPOSED TO COUNCIL’S PLAN TO CLOSE POOL
Askeaton Swimming Club are shocked and deeply concerned by the council’s plan to close Askeaton pool for what they say will be 12 months. “This is terrible news for the locality”, said Colm Dore, local resident and Swimming Club parent. “There are facilities all over the country closing and not reopening due to lack of funding”, Dore continued. “I have been involved in swimming for several years through the local swimming club and have visited many pool facilities across the country and the Askeaton pool is hard to rival.”
“Askeaton Swimming Pool is the only public 25 metre pool between Limerick City and Tralee, Co.Kerry. Thousands of people, including children learning to swim and people with additional needs, use it every week. It is time for our government and local council elected officials to take a closer look at the impact this will have on their constituents, said Sandra Houlihan, Chairperson of Askeaton Swimming Club, Kilcornan resident and Swimming Club parent. “The impact of closing the pool on the area would be huge. Askeaton Swimming Club wants the impact of these necessary works minimised, rather than a resource taken away from the area entirely” continued Houlihan. “The preferred approach by the club is to keep the pool and centre open while necessary works occur on a phased basis. There is a major concern that if the pool closes, it will never reopen.”
Askeaton Swimming Club is a minority shareholder of the special purpose company, Askeaton Pool and Leisure DAC, which owns and runs Askeaton Swimming Pool, with Limerick City and County Council the majority shareholder. Askeaton Swimming Club has no involvement in the running or management of the facility and were not consulted about the closure. The EUR5.66M public facility, the only one of its kind between Limerick City and North Kerry, was opened in 2008 by Mary MacAleese, and consists of an indoor 25m swimming pool, kids pool, sauna and steam room, changing village and gym facility.
The history of organised swimming in Askeaton goes back to the 1950s when the Askeaton Swimming Club was established. Through the efforts of the swimming club and local community, in conjunction with Limerick County Council, an outdoor heated swimming pool was provided in 1971. Prior to this galas and swimming events were held in the Deel river, which passes through the town. The Askeaton Pool and Leisure Centre is constructed on the site of the original outdoor pool.
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