Sink or Swim

€7 of €500 goal

Raised by 1 person in 2 months
Created April 4, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Adrian Acosta
This project has been part-funded by Journal Media. If you would like to contribute to our general fund or pick another proposal to support, visit our site here .

You can read this project at this link .

It cost €2.4 million to refurbish with local residents hoping that their long-closed sea water swimming baths would finally re-open to the public.

More than a year on from its opening however, the 132-year-old Clontarf baths are closed to swimmers for six months of the year. And even when they are open, access is only available through a local swimming club or private hire.

So how did this happen even when planning permission appeared quite explicit on how the site should be used?

Authorisation for the redevelopment in Dublin seemed to make clear that the main purpose of the project was the restoration of the baths.

The opening of the restaurant on the site was intended to be “subsidiary to the main use of the site for swimming” according to the decision from An Bord Pleanála.

That has not been the case though with the owners even running into separate planning difficulties over an extension to their eating area (a battle they eventually won).

Is there anything that Dublin City Council could have done differently?

And what happens when local residents hope for one type of development, only to end up with something quite different to what they expected?


This project will require a deep dive into the history of the site, how it came to be derelict, the numerous failed plans for its redevelopment, and its reopening in 2018.

We will also use information access laws to see what Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála can – and can't do – when a proposed development does not go exactly as foreseen.

If you want to see more from Noteworthy, return to our home page here.
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Dear Supporter,

Thank you for your contribution to this project.

Our special projects and investigations editor Peter Bodkin used details obtained from freedom of information requests and other sources such as council records, newspaper archives and interviews to uncover the story behind the controversy over public access to the Clontarf Baths.

These searches helped us uncover the history of planning disputes behind the site and the clashes between residents and the site’s owners over its redevelopment.

He also spoke with interested parties such as the developer, those managing the pool facility, local councillors and residents in order to present a balanced and accurate view of the dispute.

In doing so, we found that Dublin City Council closed its investigation into the pool’s availability to the public based on a literal reading of planning conditions despite several complaints from locals.

One planning expert we spoke to believes the council may have been too quick to wash its hands of the situation, and that there is scope for officials to take a more commonsense approach to making sure the developer meets their requirements.

You can read the full article at this link: https://www.noteworthy.ie/clontarf-baths-development-4625138-May2019/

Please help us spread the word about Noteworthy by sharing this article.

The Noteworthy Team
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€7 of €500 goal

Raised by 1 person in 2 months
Created April 4, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Adrian Acosta
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