THE newly-refurbished changing rooms at the Wild Atlantic Pool in Baltimore were put into immediate use at their official opening.
Jim Daly TD slipped into the pool after getting ‘a pretend push’ at the opening, admitting he did get a shock but adding ‘It’s all good publicity for the pool.’
He had first use of changing rooms to get out of his drenched blue suit and get into a tracksuit.
Deputy Daly had originally been invited to mark the occasion by swimming alongside Oceans7 star, Steve Redmond, who was named ‘patron’ of the Wild Atlantic Pool on the same night, but he declined as he’s not a strong swimmer. Little did he know that he would end up in the water anyway.
Steve, who is also a member of the die-hard crew, the Lough Hyne Lappers, spoke in praise of the pool. The Oceans7 star said: ‘Without this, I wouldn’t have been able to do most of the swims I have been involved with because I train in this pool – it is a centre of excellence.’
Mr Redmond urged people to continue to use the community-owned pool, and to support it, because when a community facility closes, ‘it closes.’
The Wild Atlantic Pool should, in fact, have closed about 10 years ago, when the adjacent hotel ceased trading, but a community group stepped in and ran it as a going concern.
By 2014, the community group was in a position to buy the pool outright and the members have, ever since, been applying for various government grants to maintain and improve the pool, sauna, steam room, and its gym facilities.
A lot of investment has gone into upgrading the centre’s heating system and the air conditioning. In addition, the windows have been triple-glazed; a new pool cover has been provided; and the main plant, which is essential to the good running of the centre, has been reorganised.
The latest investment – the new changing rooms – was made possible by a grant under the Sports Capital Programme. And now, thanks to Jim Daly, they are probably the best-known changing rooms in the country!