Wednesday 11 December 2019

White water rafting facility for Dublin Docklands being considered by city councillors

Allison Bray

Dublin city councillors are to vote on whether they will give the go-ahead for the construction a white water rafting facility in the city centre.

The council released these images and a 3-D video of the proposed site at George’s Dock on the North quays adjacent to the IFSC today.

The €22m facility includes a simulated white-water slalom course and flat pool that can be used for white water rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

It is intended to be a major tourist attraction and urban amenity, but will also be used as water rescue training facility for Dublin Fire Brigade. The plan envisages that it could be used for training by visiting fire brigades from around the world.

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Local councillors on Dublin City Council’s Central Area Committee approved the plan, but it needs the blessing of the full council at its December meeting before it can proceed.

Sports and community clubs, including Canoeing Ireland, have said the facility would be very welcome and would be the first training facility of its kind here.

The white water rafting facility proposed for the Dublin Docklands.
The white water rafting facility proposed for the Dublin Docklands.

The facility will take about 18 months to build and will take over the now vacant space beside the Epic Immigration Museum.

The venue formerly housed an annual Christmas market. It also hosted the annual Oktoberfest festival, which had taken place there for the past nine years, but was cancelled this year due to concerns over rising insurance costs.

But the cost of the project, at a time when Dublin City Council, has been forced to raise local commercial rates by almost 3pc as well as increase the cost of on-street parking and tolls at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly known as the East-Link Toll Bridge), has raised some eyebrows.

A number of people took to Twitter to denounce the project as a waste of money when Ireland – especially Dublin - is facing the worst housing crisis in modern history

“This is a ridiculous waste or resources,” said one tweeter in response to an image of the facility posted on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce twitter feed.

“For God’s sake, we’re at breaking point with increased rents and staggeringly high homeless rates.”

A spokesman for the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said it merely posted the image on its #BetterDublin post but has no opinion on the project.

“It’s not a project we’re commenting on,” he told Independent.ie.

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