Swimming club is left high and dry by Dunmanway Pool

October 21st, 2020 10:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Safe and socially distanced, the members of the West Cork Orcas swimming club at Dunmanway pool.

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A WEST Cork swimming club has been denied access to Dunmanway pool.

Mac Dara O h-Ici, a senior executive officer with Cork County Council, confirmed that the club has been asked to stop training pending a report from the pool’s management about its current operational plan.

Local Cllr Deirdre Kelly (FF) asked for standing orders at a  recent meeting of the West Cork Municipal District to be suspended to highlight the situation.

She asked why the West Cork Orcas swimming club was told it could not run its three weekly training sessions when other clubs are up and running in Mallow and Fermoy.

Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind), who is also based in Dunmanway, expressed his disappointment and said the Council had not offered an adequate explanation.

He also highlighted the fact that the toddler pool at the facility has been closed due to a calcium build-up, and said this had yet to be properly explained and rectified.

Cllr Hurley said the decision to close the toddler pool, about a year ago, was taken because it was believed the calcium build-up posed a safety risk in that it could cause users to slip and hurt themselves.

Cllr Joe Carroll (FF), who is a native of Dunmanway, asked that the 27 members of the Orcas be allowed to continue to use the pool while the management report is being prepared, but he was told that that was not an option.

Speaking at the Council meeting – which was held at the Dunmanway’s municipal swimming pool and gym complex – Cllr Kelly pointed out that club members travel from Schull, Bandon, Skibbereen, Glengarriff and Clonakilty to train in West Cork’s only 25m pool, and that the sessions are needed to prepare swimmers for county, regional and national competitions.

Mr O h-Icí said he would report back to the Council meeting as soon as the situation had been clarified by the pool’s management.

Chair of the Orcas, Clíodhna O’Sullivan, wrote to the public representatives describing the decision as ‘unexpected, frustrating and disappointing.’

Cllr Kelly said the cessation of the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday training sessions was ‘a huge blow to the children who are training and are competing at national level.’

Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) said: ‘This restriction makes no sense – it has left a bad taste.’

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