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Dun Laoghaire Baths Refurbishment Completion Now Given as December 2021

10th September 2021
Despite delays, there is significant progress on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths
Despite delays, there is significant progress on the refurbishment of Dun Laoghaire Baths Credit: Afloat

Works at the Dun Laoghaire Baths continue, and though many are asking when will it ever be completed (now some three years and three months duration), there is evidence of progress at the site in the latest shoreward taken photos of the building works.

The €9 million redevelopments of the old Baths, derelict for over 30 years, began in June 2018. 

When complete, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council says, it will provide for the continuing public use of the area located at the East Pier at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 

Currently, the construction team are taking advantage of spring tides to position rock armour at low water.

While significant progress has been made, constructing the works has been slower than anticipated. The latest in revised completion dates given by the council is in three months, December 2021, according to the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown website. Still, given the pace of things, that date may also be an ambitious one.

As photos above and below show, works include the retention and securing of the existing Baths Pavilion and removing dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to create a new route between Newtownsmith and the East Pier.

This walkway is at a level that puts a safe and secure walk offering panoramic views over Scotsman’s Bay.

The council says that the form of this walk will reflect the original rocky shoreline and the historic alignment of the old gun battery that was originally located on this site.

Dun Laoghaire Baths  - The old Pavilion building has been stabilised enclosed and is now fully weatheredDun Laoghaire Baths - The old Pavilion building has been stabilised, enclosed and is now fully weathered.

The walkway will incorporate sitting and viewing points, and the land adjoining this walk will be re-graded to create sloping grassed areas. 

The existing Baths Pavilion, together with a smaller outbuilding, has been retained, weathered and secured (for strong winds and seas that batter the site each winter). In contrast, the remaining dilapidated outbuildings to the rear and side of the Pavilion have been removed.

The plan is out the Pavilion to accommodate studio space for artists and provide gallery and café facilities.

The DLR Arts Department will manage the studios. The original Baths entrance along Windsor Terrace will be restored to provide access.

Dun Laoghaire Baths The old Pavilion building has been stabilised enclosed and is now fully weathered.The new Casement Memorial Sculpture by the sculptor Mark Richards is complete and will be dramatically sited on a plinth at the end of the jetty (with the orange flag above)

An outdoor ‘café terrace’ linked to the new café will provide an attractive sitting area for viewing, eating and relaxing.

It is also proposed to create new public toilets facilities at street level, which will also be accessible for wheelchair users. Footpaths along Windsor Terrace will be upgraded, and new street trees planted.

The small gazebo situated along the new route from Pier to Newtownsmith has been refurbishedThe small gazebo situated along the new route from Pier to Newtownsmith has been refurbished.

The building project is divided into several work zones.

These zones include work to the new jetty, the new sea walls, the Pavilion, and the works to tie into the existing walkway at Newtownsmith. Currently, works on the new jetty are nearing completion. This has created a new viewing point with stunning vistas across Scotsman’s Bay to Sandycove Harbour.

The new long bench on the jetty has also been completed, inspired by the sitting bench where swimmers relax overlooking Sandycove Harbour.

The new Casement Memorial Sculpture by Mark Richards is complete and will be dramatically sited on a plinth at the end of the jetty

The construction of massive new sea walls supporting the new walkway at the back of the pavilion is also nearing completion.

This has allowed the artists’ studios at the lower level and café at the upper level to be progressed with the installation of electrical and mechanical services.

The December completion date is subject to the ongoing impact of the site closure caused by the Covid pandemic. Team

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Dun Laoghaire Baths Renovation

Afloat has been reporting on the new plans for the publically owned Dun Laoghaire Baths site located at the back of the East Pier since 2011 when plans for its development first went on display by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. 

Foreshore consent was applied for in 2013.

Last used 30 years ago as the 'Rainbow Rapids' before falling into dereliction – the new site does not include a public pool.

The refurbished Dun Laoghaire Baths include the existing Baths Pavilion for use as artist workspaces, a gallery café and for the provision of public toilet facilities. 

Work finally got underway at Dún Laoghaire on the €9 million redevelopments of the old Dún Laoghaire Baths site in June 2018 under a contract with SIAC-Mantovani.

The works have removed dilapidated structures to the rear of the Pavilion to permit the creation of a new route and landscaping that will connect the walkway at Newtownsmith to both the East Pier and the Peoples Park. 

Original saltwater pools have been filled in and new enhanced facilities for swimming and greater access to the water’s edge by means of a short jetty have also been provided.

The works included the delivery of rock armour to protect the new buildings from storm damage especially during easterly gales. 

It hasn't all been plain sailing during the construction phase with plastic fibres used in construction washing into the sea in November 2018

Work continues on the project in Spring 2020 with the new pier structure clearly visible from the shoreline.

A plinth at the end of the pier will be used to mount a statue of Roger Casement, a former Sandycove resident and Irish nationalist.

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