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Pool at centre of tile dispute left with a €700k bill

A multi-million euro Dublin City Council swimming pool, which is at the centre of a legal dispute, is due to open in September - having being closed in April 2013.

The 25-metre pool in Ballyfermot was built by Spanish construction company Ferrovial Agroman Ireland (FAI), and opened in 2008.

However, at the beginning of 2013 the tiles began to lift off the bottom of the pool.

"You could physically see the tiles buckling underneath as you swam over them," said local councillor Brid Smith, who used the pool regularly.


It is part of the Ballyfermot Leisure Centre and the pool area was shut down for repairs in April 2013.

According to former councillor for the area Louise Minihan, the repair works have cost approximately €700,000.

It is understood that a dispute between the local authority and Ferrovial over who is responsible for the repairs has held up the reopening of the pool.

Dublin City Council confirmed that "the repairs are subject of an arbitration process".

When contacted by the Herald, a spokesman for the 
Spanish firm denied having any responsibility for the design or maintenance of the pool.

"FAI had no responsibility for the design of the centre, nor had any responsibility 
for the operation or 
maintenance of the centre 
from the date of practical 
completion over six years ago.

"FAI had no role whatsoever in relation to the council's decisions to close the pool in April 2013 and/or to carry out work to the pool area of the centre," he said.

Ms Smith explained that any problems with the tiles were unrelated to any work carried out by FAI.

In the course of repairs, all of the tiles were removed from the pool and replaced.

The gym and activity rooms remained open to the public during the renovation work.

The council said that they "anticipate" that the pool will reopen this September.