DCSIMG

Committed to Portarlington

While the pool is now run by Portarlington Leisure Centre, Port Swimming Pool Association continues to run fundraising bingo sessions every Tuesday in the GAA Hall.

Honorary secretary and treasurer for 52 years is Niall McElwaine.

“We thought of disbanding, but the bingo is very popular, and over the years we used profits to pay for things like the Chernobyl children’s free swims, and a free swim every Sunday for people with special needs,” he said.

Over the years they raised over €225,000, and €25,000 for the astroturf pitch.

The idea of building a pool in a small town was radical in the 1960s.

“I remember we approached the county manager with the idea, and he said ‘sure you have a river’,” said Mr McElwaine.

They fundraised for ten years, opening the 25 metre pool in 1974, offering healthy exercise at a reasonable cost.

 

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