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Kids in Kildare are donating their Communion money to keep their local pool open

The second oldest swimming pool in Ireland will close this summer – but locals are up in arms about it.

A message posted on the 'Save Our Maynooth Pool' Facebook page.
A message posted on the 'Save Our Maynooth Pool' Facebook page.
Image: https://www.facebook.com/saveourmaynoothpool

A LOCAL CAMPAIGN to save a swimming pool in Maynooth is being organised, in the wake of the announcement of the facility’s planned closure.

Maynooth University announced on Friday it would be closing the swimming pool on its South Campus from 31 August, citing costs.

“The pool was the second oldest swimming pool in Ireland,” Director of External Relations Rebecca Doolin said.

With that distinction comes a deteriorating facility in need of significant repair and extensive refurbishment that would cost more than €250,000, in addition to ongoing maintenance and staffing costs.

The University had operated the pool at a loss for several years, Doolin adding – issuing an apology to the community.

Response 

Siptu members who work at the pool have organised a public meeting, to take place at McMahon’s Pub next Monday at 7.30pm.

56 Source: Save Our Maynooth Pool/Facebook

“The decision by the administration of the university to close the pool came totally out of the blue,” organiser Louise O’Reilly said.

“There has been no consultation with staff regarding a survival plan for the facility or the impact that its closure would have on them.

The workers are devastated by the pool’s closure, not only for themselves and the loss of their jobs but for the community that used the pool on a regular basis.

800 children regularly use the pool, O’Reilly said, while the facility is also used by local Special Olympics club the Sting Rays, the local Special Olympics Club, as well as other clubs and societies.

pool5 Source: Save Our Maynooth Pool/Facebook

Parents have been contacting staff all weekend, according to O’Reilly – and a Facebook page set up to call for the pool to be kept open already has over 2,500 likes.

One little girl who regularly uses the facility said she would donate her Communion money to help save it.

Others who have posted on the page say it’s an essential part of the community, and that they were saddened by the news of its planned closure.

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