Club is at a disadvantage over pool ‘boom’ problems

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SWIMMERS from a local club have been left at a “severe disadvantage” when competing against other clubs, as the boom mechanism that they need to extend the swimming pool in Tallaght Leisure Centre to the required 25-metre length has been broken for the past 18 months.

The failure of the boom mechanism, which separates the moveable floor end of the pool from the static end, means the pool can no longer be extended to the 25-metre length that swimming groups, like Fortunestown Swimming Club, need to train to the required standard in swimming competitions.

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Tallaght Leisure Centre have been fantastic in dealing with the problem.

Following the failure of the boom mechanism in the swimming pool in Tallaght Leisure Centre, Fortunestown Swimming Club then trained in the swimming pool in Clondalkin Leisure Centre, both of which are maintained by South Dublin County Council, until the boom in that pool also failed.

Since then they have been using Dublin City Council’s swimming pool in Crumlin which has come at “great cost” to the swimming club and is inconvenient for the swimming club’s members and coaches.

An email which was sent by Maria Robertson, the chairperson of Fortunestown Swimming Club, to local councillors on behalf of the swimming club’s members outlined the difficulties the club has faced as a result of the inability to extend the pool.

“For a swimming club, the [failure of the boom] posed a big problem for us as we had to adjust training to suit a 17-metre format.

“It also affected the stamina and speed of our swimmers and left them at a severe disadvantage compared to their peers at competition,” they stated in their email.

“At the end of the 2016/2017 season, [our members’] competition times stalled, they had a lack of stamina as they didn’t have proper 25-metre training and while in previous years we had six or seven swimmers qualify for national competitions, we only had two in 2017.”

When contacted by The Echo, Ms Robertson said: “We want to make sure it’s clear that our grievance isn’t with Tallaght Leisure Centre as the staff and management there have been fantastic in all our dealings with them.

“They have been doing their best to keep us up-to-date with whatever information they have been given.”

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council told The Echo: “Tallaght Swimming Pool issues are complex as the damage is quite significant.

“The report from the engineering company highlights a number of repairs that need to be carried out urgently such as works to the floor and many others.

“The urgent repair works to Tallaght Leisure Centre’s movable floor and boom will be carried out as soon as possible.

“However, the company estimate that the full refurbishment cost of the boom to get the pool back to full operation will be  substantial.

“We now know the extent of the works, cause of damage and costs; full consideration is being given to the best solution but in the meantime the urgent works identified will be arranged.”

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