THERE was disappointment in Dunmanway this week when it was revealed that the new swimming pool, due to open last summer, won’t now open its doors until March.
The facility has also been scaled down from the original plan, as a coffee shop and gym have now been put on hold.
Local Cllr Declan Hurley confirmed to The Southern Star that a ‘snag list’ of works needs to be sorted before the facility can be insured and opened to the public.
Cork County Council has declined to comment on the details of the ‘snag list’ for the €3.8m project.
‘I am asking people to give it a chance and not be negative about the project,’ urged Cllr Hurley. ‘I’m passionate about this project and I’ve been chasing this for 20 years. When it does open, it will be a fantastic boost for Dunmanway.’
A spokesperson for Cork County Council said that they have a contract with a builder and they will not be commenting on the specifics.
Cork South West TD Michael Collins (Ind) said there is very little information coming out about the reasons for the delay in the project which was meant to open last summer.
‘There are rumours about, and both Cork County Council and MMD Construction need to dispel those rumours and give the people of West Cork the pool they wanted. This is public money and there needs to be transparency,’ said Deputy Collins.
The new facility is equipped with a 25m swimming pool, a movable floor hydrotherapy and learner pool, a sauna and steam room. However, plans to incorporate a gym and a coffee shop at the facility have now been put on hold by the Council.
‘The gym and coffee shop will happen, but we need to open the doors first and while there are time delays on the delivery of this, we are nearly there. It won’t be the Rolls Royce of a complex, but the rest will come down the line,’ promised Cllr Hurley.
Well-known marathon runner and fire fighter Alex O’Shea, who uses the swimming pool on a regular basis with his children, said he was disappointed that the promised gym or coffee shop will not be in the new facility.
‘I’m not knocking the facility or the hardworking staff there either, but we were promised a gym and a coffee shop, and I’m asking why the Council haven’t delivered on this,’ said Alex.
‘It seems like an open ended promise of a gym and there’s no timeline as to when this will be up and running. If it’s down to money, then they should bring in a private operator.’
Alex added that the new facility is brilliant, but pointed out it could be ‘fabulous’ if they could get the gym and coffee shop over the line, and said the people of West Cork have been sold short.
‘Having a gym and a coffee shop also means that parents could use these while their children are using the pool, as opposed to sitting up in the gallery,’ added Alex.
Cllr Hurley said that Cork County Council are looking at how they can incorporate the gym and a coffee shop at a later stage. The existing swimming pool will be knocked to make room for additional parking at the new complex but it is currently still operational.
MMD Construction were contacted to comment on the development but were unavailable at time of going to press.