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Dunmanway swimming pool shut for mid-term

October 31st, 2021 8:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Dunmanway swimming pool

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PARENTS in the Dunmanway area were surprised to see that the town’s multi-million euro swimming pool was closed this week, especially during the mid-term break.

A parent rang the pool ahead of going there on Tuesday morning only to be told that it was closed and would remain closed for the rest of the week.

On Wednesday Cork County Council posted online that the facility was closed due to unforeseen circumstances, and a further update would follow on Friday October 29th.

The issue of staffing at the pool has dominated council meetings in recent weeks, and while the recruitment of part-time pool assistants is underway, the pool is still operating at reduced hours and is closed on some days. These closures and reduced opening hours are forcing families to travel to Kealkil for swimming lessons.

Councillors were told last week that five of the eight full-time staff are not available because they are availing of ‘normal but in some cases extended leave arrangements.’

At this week’s meeting of the local authority, Cllr Deirdre Kelly (FF) sought a suspension of standing orders to discuss the issue and said: ‘We have been made aware that there are staffing issues and I welcome the recruitment drive for temporary staff currently underway, however it should never have got to this point.

‘It has now culminated in a petition of well over 1,000 signatures being taken up which indicates the sheer frustration by people in relation to the matter.’

Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) called on the Council to look again at their recruitment drive to make a more attractive proposition for any potential pool attendants, after being told that no one has been hired yet for the roles.

According to the job advertisement on the Cork County Council website, potential temporary pool assistants would be on the minimum wage of €10.20 per hour. Mum-of-two, Anna Hurley, who lives behind the pool, said the whole situation is very frustrating for her family and many others who were regular visitors there.

‘The Council really need to have a good look at the whole operation of the pool to make it work. The staff who are there are great but their hands are tied and I think the terms and conditions of the temporary positions being advertised needs to be improved to attract new staff.’ Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the matter has been extensively discussed at both West Cork and Divisional meetings, and that the Council are working on finding the best solution to the problem.

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