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Councillors to consider rescinding their support for white water rafting facility in Dublin

If the motion passes it will see the project shelved after originally getting the green light form councillors last month.

Image: Dublin City Council

COUNCILLORS ARE SET to vote on whether they should rescind support for the white-water rafting course in the centre of Dublin, next month. 

The €22.8 million project was backed by almost two-thirds of councillors on Dublin City Council at a meeting last month.

Those opposed to the plans say they cannot justify backing a project such as this when there is a housing and homeless crisis that has not been resolved. 

Fine Gael councillor Danny Byrne, who is opposed to the development going ahead, put forward a motion to rescind councillor’s support for the facility, which will be discussed at next month’s council meeting. 

“I will be putting this proposal to reverse the vote taken earlier this month and will put it before my council colleagues in the New Year.

“It will be on the agenda at the January 6th  meeting. If there is a majority vote in favour of the motion, it will be rescinded,” Cllr Byrne said.

Plans were first floated for the white-water rafting facility on George’s Dock in Dublin’s IFSC back in January and the Docklands Development Office formally lodged a planning application in August.

Construction is set to begin on the new facility in the second half of 2020 after councillors gave the green light for it to go ahead. 

Designed for use as a tourist attraction and by sports clubs, it will also be made available to Dublin Fire Brigade and other emergency services as a training resource. It is expected to draw thousands of visitors on an annual basis.

Around €13 million of the required funding will come from grants, with a further €5 million coming from Dockland development levies, and another €5 million coming from capital funding. 

Fianna Fáil Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick voted in favour of the proposal and said it was an investment in Dublin’s emergency services and that it has potential to provide recreational facilities. 

“That’s much better than a beer fest which is what it has been used for,” said Fitzpatrick. “But there’s also a social and educational dimension to this.”

Others, such as People Before Profit Councillor Tina MacVeigh told TheJournal.ie that the city needs to “get the basics right” before approving these projects.

“Firstly, there’s the issue of cost already massively increasing before it’s even gone through planning stages,” said MacVeigh, who voted against the proposal. 

As a part 8 planning application, a report was furnished to councillors who had the final say on whether it would go ahead or not. 

A vote in favour of Byrne’s motion next month would see the project shelved. 

White water rafting has been topic of conversation for many in recent weeks following councillor’s support for the George’s Dock project. TheJournal.ie, in The Explainer podcast, examined what’s involved, why it has been so controversial, and who will be best served by such a facility. Check it out here. 


Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

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