BY JACKIE KEOGH AND KIERAN O’MAHONY
THE opening hours of Dunmanway’s swimming pool are likely to be extended as soon as job offers issued by the Council have been accepted.
Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) raised the issue at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District when he requested an update on the staff recruitment process. Throughout West Cork there is a problem in recruiting staff for both private and public swimming pools.
The Council’s senior executive officer, MacDara O h-Icí informed Cllr Hurley and Cllr Deirdre Kelly (FF), who also expressed concerns about the delay in extending the opening times at Dunmanway, that the offers of employment have gone out. ‘When they are appointed,’ he added, ‘we will be extending the opening hours.’
Meanwhile, seven private swimming pool operators across West Cork have secured funding from Sport Ireland and Ireland Active. They are: Actons Hotel Leisure Centre €9,521.11, Celtic Ross Hotel and Leisure Centre €7,287.76, Clonakilty Park Leisure Club €17,043.97, Club Maritime Bantry €9,521.11, Kinsale Hotel & Spa €11,519.37, Schull Harbour Hotel Leisure Centre €8,345.67 and Westlodge Hotel & Leisure Centre in Bantry €9,286.02.
Cork South West Fine Gael Tim Lombard said the funding is particularly welcome as ‘they provide a service which is unfortunately not adequately provided by the local authority run Dunmanway Swimming Pool due to ongoing issues around staffing and opening hours.’
Sen Lombard recently highlighted the fact that many parents are waiting up to two years in West Cork to secure swimming lessons for their children. He added that the fact that West Cork’s only public swimming pool is only operating at ‘half capacity’ has added to the problem as swimming lessons have not recommenced yet. Several parents in West Cork are being forced to travel as far as Kealkil or Mayfield in Cork city to access swimming lessons.
Two recruitment campaigns for part-time pool assistants in Dunmanway were undertaken in January, but so far no new staff have been employed and the opening hours are remaining the same, much to the frustration of its many pool users.