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Wheelchair Users Decry Delay of Access Ramp Upgrades at Dun Laoghaire Baths

6th January 2023
Aerial view of Dun Laoghaire Baths
Ramps to access the lower-level amphitheatre space at the newly reopened Dun Laoghaire Baths have been deemed too step by accessibility campaigners

Wheelchair users have highlighted accessibility issues at the newly reopened Dun Laoghaire Baths — with the current temporary ramps deemed as too steep.

As The Journal reports, one accessibility advocate described the ramps to the lower-level amphitheatre as “disgraceful”.

“They knew very well that they were building these, as I like to call them, wall-like ramps, because you may as well build walls, they are so steep,” Sean O’Kelly of Access for All said.

A spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council acknowledged that the site “isn’t currently as accessible for all as we would like it to be” and promised that upgrades would come in the second phase.

However, the tendering process for this phase has yet to be opened. The local authority says it expects to have contractors on site later this year — a situation Access For All decries as “not good enough”.

The Journal has more on the story HERE.

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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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.