Tidal pool plan to go ahead despite councillors’ wishes

The old swimming pool in Ranafast. Photo: Eoin McGarvey

The old swimming pool in Ranafast. Photo: Eoin McGarvey

CONTROVERSIAL plans to regenerate an old tidal swimming pool in Rannafast are to be lodged with Donegal County Council in the coming weeks, it has emerged.
Councillor Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig is part of a local committee, Coiste Poll a tSnámh in Rann na Feirsde, who are leading plans to spend in excess of €750,000. They met on Wednesday afternoon and have decided to press ahead with the plan, without the support of the other five councillors in the Glenties Municipal District (GMA).
The project hit the headlines earlier this year after councillors questioned how the proposed Poll an tSnámha project made it onto a list of county-wide tourism projects without their approval.
Following the most recent meeting of GMA councillors on Tuesday, Cllr Enda Bonner, chairman, claimed the project was “dead in the water” and would no longer be put on the agenda.
“The other five councillors feel money could be better spent on upgrading a number of other worthy projects in the Glenties Municipal District,” Cllr Bonner said.
However, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig remains adamant that the plans – which include changing areas, toilets and showers, a play area and a slipway – remain very much alive.
“We’re moving forward and we’re hoping that plans will be submitted for planning permission in the next few weeks. The committee is fully committed to seeing this pool project to fruition and that was the unanimous feeling to come out of this afternoon’s meeting,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said on Wednesday.
When asked about the fact that members of the GMA have withdrawn the proposed Poll an tSnámha project from the list of projects for funding, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said that he wouldn’t allow the project to be de-railed.
“It’s clear with the amount of support from the public that the project has received that their negativity and attempts to damage the project have failed. We will continue to move forward and we’re quietly confident that we’ll receive the financial support we need although I do accept that it will have to be done on a phased basis.
“This project is for the benefit of the greater west Donegal area, especially Irish language students who come here every year. If the west Donegal Gaeltacht is to compete with other colleges in other Gaeltachts it’s vital that we have the proper facilities in place,” he said.
A local Irish college built the old tidal swimming pool in Rannafast in 1934 for students but in more recent times it fell into disrepair.
“This project is not dead in the water although I’m not surprised to hear those comments coming from people who would prefer to see the project stopped than actually going out and meeting the committee to see how they could help.
“It’s a shame that the two largest party in this area, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, are doing their utmost to damage the project. It’s all about how best they can undermine their political opponents,” Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said.
Where do Coiste Poll a tSnámh in Rann na Feirsde hope to attract the necessary funding that would allow the project to proceed?
“The money was never coming from Donegal County Council and the other councillors know that. There’s European money, Sports Partnership grants and Leader funding.
“That’s what hurts me most. You can’t buy a loaf of bread in this village and here’s a group of people who are trying to put something in place that will benefit tourism and students alike and here’s Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin trying to take the bread out of their month,” he said.

A MAJOR political row has broken out in west Donegal over plans to spend in excess of €750,00 regenerating...


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