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16/09/2021

Laois outdoor pool 'back bigger and stronger' next summer

Ballinakill outdoor pool back ‘bigger and stronger’ next year- 600

Ballinakill outdoor swimming pool

The summer is coming to an end for the only outdoor swimming pool in Laois, one of the few in Ireland.

Ballinakill swimming pool heated their 30 metre pool for the first time this summer and despite Covid-19 limits to numbers, had a very busy season, being almost completely booked out all summer.

Patrick Moore is chairperson of Ballinakill Community Development Association CLG who run the facility on a volunteer basis.

"We were blessed with the weather this summer. We were booked out 99.9% of the time. I don't think any of us envisaged that it would take off like it did. We opened in early June, and we are closing now because a lot of our staff are going back to college. We employed 10 staff between lifeguards and door staff and most are local and young. 

"We hope that by next May when we plan to reopen that Covid is a distant memory. We aim to open until September next year, weather permitting," he said.

in the meantime they will be upgrading equipment behind the scenes including the filtration system. Work on a new playground beside them also starts next week.

"Volunteers will be moving in here next week to complete the work for the Town & Village Renewal Grant. I have to say the local community are a huge help, they couldn't support us any better, and Laois County Council and all the clubs that use us too. We hope to be back bigger and stronger next year," Patrick said.

The committee will oversee the last swim this Sunday evening August 29, and have issued a huge thank you to everyone.

"To all patrons and supporters of Ballinakill Outdoor Swimming Pool. We have reached the end of the season and our pool will close for 2021 on Sunday 29th August. It has been a whirlwind of a summer and we couldn't have imagined a season such as we've had.

"We would like to acknowledge everybody who helped us in any way- Laois County Council for their financial support and advice, the many clubs and groups who used the pool for training, competition and fun, the individuals and groups who contacted us with recommendations as to how to improve our facility, our lifeguards, instructors and door staff and, most importantly, the hundreds of you who came to swim in the pool.

"We've had 'Swimmin' Women', 'Swim a Mile', 'Sensory Sessions', 'Adult Only Sessions ' 'August Aquafit with Claudia', 'Aquafit for Additional Needs', Swim Camps, hurling, camogie, football, swim, triathlon and pony clubs and some local schools.
We've had wind, rain, thunder & lightning and plenty of sun!

"We've had late nights, early mornings and busy days. Most of all we've had the pleasure of being involved in something which we think has added to many people's summer.

"The weather is still looking good and we'd love to stay open for longer, but we have 'a lot done, more to do' and the 'more to do' must start immediately.

"We are always delighted with feedback and advice and should you have comments, opinions or suggestions regarding your experiences of the pool please send them to us via Messenger. Thank you so much for all your support, see you in 2022! Ann, Aoife, Bernie, Declan, Emma, Joan, Kathleen, Liz, Michael, Paddy K, Paddy M and Sandra,"

The swimming pool got a new 51 space carpark and set down for busses this summer. Work will now continue to add a playground and a multipurpose sports court, with landscaped open space and meadow. It is funded by a Leader grant of €200,000, with the local development association adding another €20,000, raised by local supporters.

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