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The 132-year-old Clontarf seawater baths
The 132-year-old Clontarf seawater baths

Clontarf Baths will not fully open to the public next week - but perhaps later in the year

The bar and restaurant area of the facility is set to open next Wednesday but it needs to secure funding for lifeguards and other safety measures.
Feb 23rd 2018, 12:05 AM 29,034 34

THE CLONTARF SEAWATER baths in Dublin will not fully open to the public for the foreseeable future, its owner has confirmed.

David Cullen, owner of Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Company Ltd, which will run the facility, told that the baths will initially open only to bookings from sporting clubs and swimming clubs, who can provide their own lifeguards, from late April.

“Going forward from that it’s going to be a case of, yes we do want to open to the public, but opening to the public is a very different beast than opening to clubs,” Cullen said.

Cullen said that the venue will not open to everyone from the public until it irons out its operational requirements from safety, risk and regulatory points of view.

“There’s a few things that we need to iron out and make sure we have all our ducks in a row with regards to regulations, safety and insurance,” he said.

The baths have existed on the site since 1886, however, they closed around 22 years ago. The Cullen family bought the premises in the year 1994 and secured approval from An Bord Pleanála for refurbishments in October 2016.

Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Ltd was granted a full seven-day publican’s licence in the Circuit Civil Court on Wednesday. The bar and restaurant area of the new facility is set to open next Wednesday.

‘We need to take it slow’ 

It is understood that the baths cannot open fully to the public until it secures further funding to have lifeguards and pool staff available at all times.

“We just need to take it slow to make sure that it’s going to be safe, that it’s going to be properly run and that it’s going to be accessible for all,” Cullen said.

We’re absolutely committed to opening to the public, but when that’s going to be I can’t really say right now. I would expect it to be later in the year.

“We’re aware of how important it is to the people of Clontarf and the Greater Dublin Area.”

013 Clontarf Seawater Baths copy_90521299 The ongoing refurbishment of the Clontarf Baths Source:

As the premises is now a privately-funded enterprise, Dublin City Council has not provided any funding to the refurbishment project.

Cullen said that the company has requested funding from Dublin City Council to “help us operate because the cost of running it at the levels of regulation and safety that we feel is appropriate is going to be prohibitive to opening to the public”.

However, Dublin City Council said in a statement to “Clontarf Baths is a private enterprise and although there have been informal approaches about subsiding the cost of running the pool, the Council is not in a position to do so.”

A spokesperson for Clontarf Residents Association, Deirdre Nichol, said that locals are “very disappointed” at the situation.

“We’re delighted to see what was a derelict site being renovated and it will improve the amenity and the visual look of the promenade but we are disappointed that members of the public won’t be able to go in,” Nichol said.

Read: Seawater swimming pool, bar and restaurant to open in Clontarf next week

More: Clontarf Baths set to reopen in six weeks after €2 million facelift

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Hayley Halpin


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