Dublin County Council

Dún Laoghaire Baths reopen after years-long refurbishment

Original plans did not include a swimming pool but the county council have said one can be developed in the future.

DÚN LAOGHAIRE BATHS have reopened after an €18 million refurbishment which included a new 35 metre long jetty and a statue of Roger Casement.

The works also included the refurbishment of the baths pavilion, a refurbished Edwardian gazebo in the beach garden and a new walkway from Newtownsmith. 

The former pavilion building has been substantially refurbished to provide studio space for artists, as well as a gallery and a café. 

Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Councillor Mary Hanafin, said:

“The re-opening of the Dún Laoghaire Baths is a significant milestone for the Council and the people of the town. This well-known landmark has been an important part of the history and heritage of families all over the County.”

“Once again, we can welcome visitors to this popular bathing area. This beautiful restoration will facilitate swimming, water sports, and a great concert area.”

The café will have a terrace outside which will link across to a park as well as down to the sea. The pavilion building and café will open in the New Year.

There are also toilet facilities, including a “changing places” bathroom, which is for people with additional needs. 

The finished results are the culmination of 12 years work at the site.

Photo 3 The new jetty and Roger Casement statue Ste Murray Ste Murray

The work has encompassed different phases – the design phase, the preparation of tender drawings and construction phase, which took five years to complete. 

Significant structural work was required to underpin and stabilise the main building when extensions were removed and to restore walls along the embankment at Queens Road.

Additional challenges included the rocky coastline and proximity to the sea. 

Chief executive at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Frank Curran, said:

“The project was guided by our policy of improving public realm for our communities and linking the sea front with the town centre. It complements and is linked to the People’s Park, the Lexicon library and The Metals. We look forward to welcoming local residents and visitors to the newly restored landmark.”

“Once again, the iconic Dún Laoghaire Baths is back at the heart of it all, in this unique location.”

There are plans for a new walkway between Dún Laoghaire’s East Pier and the Dún Laoghaire Baths in 2023. 

The original plans did not include a swimming pool, but a future phase of development on the site can include an open seawater pool, subject to approval.

During the construction, a rectangular concrete void was left below the surface of the amphitheatre area, with a concrete “lid” covering it, allowing for the inclusion of a tidal pool.

TD for Dún Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barret, was chairperson of the Save Our Seafront campaign which protested against plans to privatise the area.

Welcoming the opening, Boyd Barrett said:

“The re-opening of the baths site as a public amenity today is a testimony to the vital importance of local protest and people power, which the government is now attempting to restrict in the interests of private property developers, with its proposed new planning legislation.”

“Today’s re-opening of the Baths site is a victory for people power and protest, but it is a telling fact that it has taken 17 years for the people to finally get the baths site re-opened and even now the seawater swimming pool that we have been demanding for all those years has still not been delivered.”

The project was mainly funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council with a contribution by the European Regional Development Fund. 

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