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NTA will fund and reinstate new Markievicz Leisure Centre but no council sites available

The pool and leisure centre are set to be demolished to make way for MetroLink.

Markievicz Leisure Centre, Townsend St.
Markievicz Leisure Centre, Townsend St.
Image: GoogleMaps

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority has said it will fund and reinstate a new facility following the planned demolition of the Markievicz Leisure Centre in Dublin city centre to make way for MetroLink. 

The Markievicz centre was refurbished by Dublin City Council in 2016 at a cost of €1 million. As well as the leisure centre, which is located on Townsend Street in the south inner city, College Gate apartment complex above is set for demolition.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland has said it will help residents of the 70 apartments find new homes. Residents have cast doubt over how successful it will be, however. 

Residents have also called into question the NTA’s logic for demolishing the complex and MetroLink’s alignment. 

The NTA has agreed to fund and build a new leisure centre in advance of MetroLink’s construction, if possible, correspondence released under the Freedom of Information Act shows. 

The plan is dependent on Dublin City Council finding a suitable site, however. There are no sites available at present, according to a council spokesperson. 

The ‘Preferred Route’ for Dublin’s underground rail system – which will link Swords to the city centre via Dublin Airport – was unveiled in late March. The overall cost of the project is an estimated €3 billion. 

John Dean of the Save Markievicz Pool and Gym campaign has said that his group has been disappointed with the communication from the NTA and DCC.

Previous queries to the local authority from TheJournal.ie went unanswered.

The funding and construction of a new leisure centre was confirmed by both the council and the NTA this week, however. 

The campaign to save the leisure centre and College Gate has been one of the most widely publicised issues facing residents affected by MetroLink. 

The Save College Gate and Save Markievicz Pool & Gym campaign have now set up a website “on the back of deficiencies” of the analysis undertaken by TII into possible alternative routes. 

The group has also called on the NTA to extend public consultation beyond 21 May. 

Meanwhile, the council has said that it won’t oppose the MetroLink Tara Street alignment which requires the demolition. 

According to the NTA, the station is forecast to be the busiest on the MetroLink route, with almost 12,000 passengers expected to board and alight there during morning rush hour by 2057.

With reporting by Stephen McDermott

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