Resolution in sight for Loughrea Pool
Loughrea town councillors are hopeful that the 15-year Loughrea swimming pool saga might finally be put to rest in the near future.
Galway County Council is believed to be in talks with a private developer regarding a proposed 25-metre pool at a site near the Cross Street, Mount Pleasant area of the town.
Loughrea Town Councillor Gabriel Burke, who is chairman of Loughrea Swimming Pool Committee, said this week that he expects the matter to be resolved within the next month.
Over €250,000 in funds donated by the public towards a swimming pool has lain dormant in a bank account since plans for a pool on the Athenry Road fell through due to the withdrawal of private funding.
Cllr Burke said that while the committee had not been approached by the developers behind the Cross Street project, they were prepared to back the new project, subject to approval from Galway County Council and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
“If the council and the department says that their project is up to standard, we have no problem in going with them,” he said.
Galway County Councillor Pat Hynes said he too was an advocate of the committee throwing their support behind the Cross Street pool project, owing to its proximity to local schools, but that when he had raised the issue at Loughrea Town Council, he had received a “mixed reaction”.
Councillor Burke also expressed concern that a government grant of €1.7 million, which had been approved for a swimming pool in Loughrea, might be withdrawn if it is not put to use in the near future.
“The department has written to Galway County Council to see if it is going to be spent. If it’s not going to be spent, they’re going to take it back, they’re going to withdraw their grant,” he said.
Cllr Burke said the committee members had not fully considered what would be done with the €250,000 if the grant was withdrawn and no pool was built, but said that it would likely be put towards another project in the town.
“We haven’t even looked at it, but what we’re thinking of doing is maybe doing something using the money for some public project in the town. What, I don’t know,” said Cllr Burke.