The 132-year-old Clontarf Seawater Baths in Dublin will open to the public next week following the granting of a full seven-day publican's licence in the Circuit Civil Court.
Publican and hotelier David Cullen was in court to hear the finalisation of his 25-year-long dream to re-open the baths development, consisting of an open seawater swimming pool, bar and restaurants which will be managed by his son David.
Mr Cullen, of Seafield Hotel, Ballymoney, Gorey, County Wexford, owns the Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms company and has spent €2.4million in a major redevelopment scheme.
He told his barrister Dorothy Collins that he had obtained a declaratory order from the court last year guaranteeing him a seven-day license on the basis the development was completed in accordance with planning permission which had been carried out to the satisfaction of the planning authorities, the fire department and the gardaí.
Ms Collins, who appeared with Wallis Solicitors, Boatstrand, Co Waterford, said the company had recruited 33 staff who were currently undergoing on-site training in anticipation of next week’s opening.
The court had earlier been told that the company had completely reconstructed and refurbished open-air seawater baths that had existed on the site since 1886 and which would use filtered water from Dublin Bay.
Ms Collins said the new development provided a fully modernized swimming pool for members of the public and would serve all of the city of Dublin and even parts of Co Wicklow as the DART ran very close to it.
She said the seawater baths was in a unique position within Dublin City Council’s linear park consisting of the grassy acres and walkways sited between the Clontarf-Howth Road and the Irish Sea.
The very large swimming pool contains a sluice that will allow filtered and clean Irish Sea water to enter and pump it out again in a refreshment process every few weeks.
Part of Wednesday’s court application included the presentation of a food menu for the Baths’ two restaurants and include seaweed-seasoned cocktails and Dublin coddle pizzas. The main restaurant can provide covers for 160 with a further 90 seats available on a weather-proofed outside terrace, both with panoramic views of Dublin Bay.
In order for a new development to be granted a pub license and existing one has to be extinguished and Mr Cullen, who owns the Seafield Hotel and Spa Resort in Co Wexford, and the Turk’s Head in Dublin, bought out the license formerly attaching to Browns Bar on the Naas Road, Co Dublin, for €60,000.