Rathmines pool: delay

THE opening of a major new €35m council-owned leisure centre with pool facilities in Rathmines could be delayed because of a freeze on recruiting staff.

The centre at Rathmines near Dublin's city centre was handed over to the local authority in March of this year but will not open until at least September

Sources in Dublin City Council have told the Sunday Tribune there will be difficulties in getting the requisite manpower in place to staff the new centre.

They said that employees would have to be shifted from other areas to fill vacancies and make it possible to open it up.

However, the City Council has insisted they will "address the staff issue" in August when the centre is closer to its opening.

The opening of the pool and leisure centre could prove controversial as three other similar but older facilities face closure by Dublin City Council.

A statement from the City Council said: "We are planning to open Rathmines in September. The redevelopment of the site commenced in January 2008 and reached practical completion in March 2010, [a period of] 27 months.

"The development includes a leisure centre: swimming pool, steam and sauna rooms, gymnasium, sports hall, aerobics studios, etc.

"It also includes a new civic space to the front, a new public park to the rear, 46 apartments and an underground car park. The total project cost was approximately €35m."

A spokesman said that the staffing question issue would be addressed later in the summer and that no major problems were envisioned.

He said: "We do not see a major problem with that and we would be looking at that issue in August closer to the time it will be opening."

The Rathmines facility was developed in a public private partnership, which allowed the developer retain around 40 apartments in the scheme for sale or rent.