Dublin City councillors have voted to approve controversial plans for a white water rafting course in the city centre’s George’s Dock that has already seen the council spend half a million euro, as The Irish Times reports.
Plans for the ‘elite’ rafting circuit, which would form a perimeter around the dock between the IFSC and the CHQ building, were first mooted in early 2018 and shown to councillors at the beginning of this year before falling off the agenda.
Last week it emerged that the then estimated €12 million cost had almost doubled for the plans, which were revived after a change in the council’s makeup following summer’s local elections. Previously they had been criticised by former lord mayor Nial Ring as a “white elephant”.
In a meeting last night (Monday 2 December) councillors were told that €5 million of the project’s now €23 million cost would come from development levies, with €4 million from the council’s own reserves, and the rest coming from grants — predominantly from the State.
Aside from envisaged “elite kayak slalom training”, the centre is also aimed for training use by emergency services. Assistant chief fire officer Greg O’Dwyer welcomed the plan, telling councillors it could revolutionise training for the city’s fire brigade.
But others raised questions about how the facility would serve the local community, how it would operate commercially, what rates it might be subject to and the potential for its future privatisation.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
Update: an earlier version of this article suggested that Dublin City Council had spent €1 million on the project so far. It has since been confirmed that the council spent €565,000 developing its plans, according to RTÉ News.