Community spirit is alive and kicking in a Laois village where locals have pulled together to fix and reopen the well-known outdoor swimming pool in the village.
The last can of paint has been voluntarily painted onto the swimming pool in preparation for its reopening on July 12.
James Furlong said the revitalisation of the pool started with a shovel and a bucket with the Ballinakill Community Development Committee and it 'snowballed' into a labour of love.
“It has all been done by locals, volunteers who have donated money and materials. I had sanitary items, toilets, pumps and plumbing, people donated their time with a digger or a paintbrush, anything they could help with.
“It started with one person shovelling out clay. It was in a bad state with broken windows and doors at the toilets it has taken two months of work so far, it has been a fantastic community effort.
“There is a lot of positivity there now with friends and neighbours bringing each other tea and coffee as they work on the site.
“I just moved here two years ago and every morning I walked past and got so sick of seeing it there lying idle.
“It is such a brilliant facility, it should be used. We do a lot of water sports in this community and I wanted to get involved with fixing up the swimming pool.
“It started with a shovel and a bucket and it started to snowball, someone else came in to help and then another person,” he said.
James said this is an important step for Ballinakill as a community because it will allow them to take on more projects that will benefit everyone.
“By doing something like this together and showing that we can come together as a community paves the way for people to take us seriously about getting a playground beside the swimming pool and that will be our next project as a community.
Everyone in the village from all walks of life can have fun in this pool and it is brilliant for the village. When we get this started we can take on more in future,” he said.
The Swimming Pool Committee is in charge of the maintenance and running of the pool. A coat of paint will be needed once a year and installing heating in the pool is one of the next plans.
The committee has thanked Ballinakill Parish Council for its continued support in this project.
See opening times and costs below.