Everybody remembers on pre-covid times (2018) all that money that was coming to the town. First it was 20million, to convert Balbriggan into the “envy” of the country, as Irish independent described (https://www.independent.ie/regionals/herald/news/20m-plan-to-transform-balbriggan-into-envy-of-the-country-37564620.html), then it was a further 25 million announced all over the place (https://balbriggan.ie/announcement-our-balbriggan-rejuvenation-projects/) . Every week we seemed to receive more and more money so a website/group was created to manage part of it, with a budget currently projected at €54 – €57 million (https://balbriggan.ie/?lang=en).
What to do with all that money? That was a difficult decision. In an unprecedent move, every resident was being asked to “Get Involved” and have their say in a three World Café events organised by Fingal County Council, as part of a series of public engagement activities (https://balbriggan.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/World-Cafe-Analysis.pdf). The support and responses were phenomenal, a great success. Thousands of residents answered the call (http://balbriggan.ie/amazing-response-to-our-balbriggan-public-launch/) and the request for a swimming pool was so huge that it was granted (https://www.theraven.ie/post/balbriggan-to-get-transformed-main-street-harbour-and-new-swimmingpool ). Exact words of Fingal County Council was: “An idea which strongly emerged in the survey results was the desire of the people of Balbriggan to have a swimming pool. In response to this, provision is being made for a swimming pool”
Feasibility studies, surveys, everything was done, the swimming pool gathered its momentum. It was Our time.
So we’ve got our congratulations. All local politicians and people in Balbriggan area thought we’ve got our pool. Fingal committed, all paperwork done. Hooray (https://www.niallkeady.ie/post/a-united-community-engaging-with-public-bodies-and-representatives-delivers-pool-for-balbriggan)
What’s happening since then? That’s a disappointing road.
- Fingal County Council (FCC) didn’t even mention the swimming pool in the Fingal Development Plan 2023- 2029. This is the swimming pool that FCC itself committed to deliver to our area, and it's not in this plan. https://www.swimfingal.ie/post/deadline-approaching-have-your-say
- The swimming pool was “dropped” from the “Our Balbriggan” literature. Why?
- North Fingal Pool Campaign met FCC a couple of times and FCC assured us in each single occasion that they are committed to building a pool, but NO funding has been “allocated” (they haven’t even applied for).
- A motion to transfer 8.2 million surplus into a swimming pool for Fingal didn’t pass (https://dublingazette.com/dublinlocalmatters/news/pool-swimming-fingal-56423/ )
- Fingal is still the only county in Ireland with No public pool (https://www.swimfingal.ie/post/recap-so-far)
- The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP) hasn’t received any application for a swimming pool in Balbriggan District.
- Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF), which aims provide support for larger sports facilities hasn’t received any application for a Swimming Pool in Balbriggan either.
Basically Fingal County Council is still committed to provide a swimming pool for Balbriggan District in a hugely controversial Masterplan planning permission (with no plan B), having dropped all mentions of a swimming pool/leisure centre/sport complex from Our Balbriggan literature, and haven’t even included this provision to the Fingal Development Plan, nor applied for any funding from LSSIF, and essentially not applied for any funding at all.
We have to make sure our voice is heard again. This can not be happening.