‘This week I was made aware that a decision will be taken this week at Galway Co. Council in relation to closing swimming pools in Ballinasloe and Tuam.
The pool in Ballinasloe is a resource for families, community groups and clubs 7 days a week. Swimming appeals to all ages and all abilities.
When it opened again the Active Retirement group were the first ones knocking down the door to get in. This swimming pool is used by the Brothers of Charity, St Teresa’s Special Needs School, Athlone Tri-Club.
People from Moore, Taughmaconnell, Loughrea, Portumna use this pool. Over 40 primary & secondary schools in the region from Garbally College & Ardscoil Mhuire to primary schools from Clontuskert & Lawrencetown
This is an issue when our Local Authorities are facing financial challenges now in Covid. I’ve spoken with Galway Co Council and understand how housing and housing maintenance has to be prioritised within an extremely stretched budget. Pools are operating at 30% capacity and private operators are doing their utmost to keep staff and facilities operating.
Today in the Seanad I called on Minister Darragh O’Brien & Minister of State Peter Burke in Local Government to ensure that funding is available to keep our swimming pools open across the country and particularly in regional areas.
This is not just a leisure centre – a swimming pool is a vital in our community’s health & wellbeing especially during this Covid crisis.