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Councillors give the green light to white-water rafting facility in Dublin city centre

Members of the central area committee approved the plans.

Image of another white water rafting facility submitted by DBF who support the plans.
Image of another white water rafting facility submitted by DBF who support the plans.
Image: Dublin Fire Brigade

DUBLIN CITY CENTRE looks set to receive a new tourist attraction in the form of white-water rafting after councillors voted to approve plans at a meeting yesterday. 

The new facility, which was signed off by councillors on the central area committee and will now go forward to the next monthly council meeting for a vote, would take 18 months to build according to a planning report. 

The plans propose to turn George’s Dock in the IFSC, which previously hosted events such as Oktoberfest, into a “world-class facility”.

It was endorsed by several members of the public and water sports clubs, receiving 41 submissions during the planning application process. 

Proposals in support of the plans cited “significant benefit for the community in having a world-class facility” which would “remove barriers to sport, including the need to travel”. 

Existing buildings will be demolished at George’s Dock, and changing and storage facilities will also be erected. This will help to “enhance and rejuvenate the area… reimaging (sic) of the space for recreational, tourism and sport use,” it said. 

It will also act as a training centre for Dublin Fire Bridge (DFB) and will be used for “swift water rescue training for emergency services, particularly in light of greater risk for flooding as a result of climate change”. 

In support of the planning application, DFB said its officers visited a white water rafting centre in New York and would get behind a training facility in Dublin. 

A noise report for the facility – which will use hydraulic pumps to send water around the course between 8am and 10pm daily – was prepared and found that the sound of pumps and machinery would not be audible above background street and traffic noise.  

As a protected structure, a conservation officer will also be employed to design, manage, monitor and implement all works that will impact on the historic fabric associated with it. 

Cllr Christy Burke said members at the committee meeting unanimously supported the plan which will now go to all councillors for a vote next month. 

“The right questions were asked and they were answered and it was supported. One of the big attractions for me is that Dublin Fire Brigade will get the use of it for training personnel and anyone in the community will also be able to enter it,” he said. 

“There was no amplified or complex issues, and I think there were questions about whether it would cost the city council anything and the answer was no, and if there would be an entry there for young people there and the answer was yes.

“As I said the Dublin Fire Brigade attracted me to it. I highly respect them and when they say it’s of benefit to them and is a terrific facility, well who am I to argue against that. 

“I worked down there when it was a dockyard and now it’s the most ugliest site that you could ever look at. It reminds you of a huge open grave that’s just left there.”

“So I absolutely welcome this with open arms,” he added. 

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