A DUNMANWAY businessman has questioned the early closing times of the new pool in the town.
Peter Walsh said the local Chamber of Commerce have met with the management of the pool with a view to promoting the facility.
But, he told The Southern Star: ‘There isn’t a sign, a leaflet, a specific website, or information in any of the tourist offices in West Cork, about the new pool.’
He said he wanted to highlight the fact that the pool closes at 3pm on a Sunday which, he maintains, is ‘a wasted opportunity for the town.’
Mr Walsh said he is aware that people have travelled to Dunmanway to use the pool, only to be turned away.
‘Sunday is the one day that everybody is off,’ said Mr Walsh, who also pointed out that the pool was built, not just to replace the old pool, but to promote activity.
‘If it’s closed when children are off, what’s the point?’ he asked.
Mr Walsh suggested that an intern should be taken on for six months to promote the pool because ‘after waiting all this time for the pool to open, it is disappointing that there is no proper marketing in place.
‘When the pool was officially opened this summer, there were high hopes that it would bring business to Dunmanway,’ said Mr Walsh, who is adamant that the opening hours at the weekend are ‘questionable.’
However, his remarks have been taken to task by County Mayor and local Cllr Declan Hurley. ‘Since the pool opened on May 22nd last,’ the mayor said, ‘business has been steadily growing, extra staff have been hired, and many suggestions made by the regular customers – including early opening – have been implemented.’
He pointed out that the pool is now open at 7am two mornings a week, and that the Sunday opening hours have been changed from 2-5pm to 10-3pm and it remains open until 9pm Monday to Thursday.
The mayor also pointed out that there are activities at the pool to suit everyone, from infants to the elderly, such as water babies, aqua aerobics, swimming classes for children and adults, as well as club and triathlon training.
Furthermore, he said, the pool provides services to the public outside the public opening hours, and facilitates school groups.
He said: ‘The staff at Dunmanway Swimming Pool are working hard to provide a variety of services to the West Cork area and will continue to listen to its customers’ requests and do its best to meet their needs.’
And Mayor Hurley called on everyone in Dunmanway to get behind the €5.5m facility, saying: ‘There is no room for negativity when it comes to promoting our town. The new pool is a real asset and I’d call on anyone who has anything negative to say to come meet with me and we can discuss it.’