| 9.8°C Dublin

Calls for bikes firm to pay to save pools

DUBLIN city councillors have proposed that the city's at-risk pools should be paid for by the company involved in the dublinbikes scheme -- in a last-splash attempt to keep them open.

A group of councillors are requesting that the advertising company JCDecaux, which provides 450 bikes in return for advertising space around the city, pay for the refurbishment of the pools.

Families have been fighting to save the Coolock, Crumlin and Sean McDermott Street swimming pools which are facing the axe because Dublin City Council (DCC) says it has no funding to keep them open.


Now councillors have claimed that JCDecaux is required to provide public toilets as part of its contract with DCC, and it should redirect the money required for the toilets to the swimming pools instead.

Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick (FF) said: "We closed public toilets in the city as part of the revamping of O'Connell street.

"There are so many bars, restaurants, public galleries with public toilets in the city, and I've never had a constituent ask me about public toilets.

"In these times we have to use the resources we have, and if we have an opportunity here with this funding we should use it. The public toilets can even be provided in the context of the swimming pools."

According to co-sponsor Cllr Larry O'Toole (SF), Dublin needs the company's help with keeping the pools open.

"They're getting a good deal out of the city and they have their signs all over the place.

"Once they release that money, it's public money so it really is a matter of convincing the council. It's going to cost an awful lot to refurbish them," he said.


Councillors Marie Metcalfe (Ind), Julia Carmichael (FF) and Mannix Flynn (Ind) have also co-sponsored the motion.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for DCC said that the demands set out in the JCDecaux contract are already being met.

"The civic amenity contract between Dublin City Council and JCDecaux comprises the dublinbikes scheme, a public wayfinding scheme and civic advertising. All three aspects are being provided. There is no requirement in the contract for JCDeaux to provide any other amenities."

JCDecaux refused to comment yesterday.