Words: Ellen Kenny
After multi-million euro renovations, the Dún Laoghaire Baths are reopening after 25 years on December 13.
Renovations on the Dún Laoghaire Baths are set to be completed by December 13, allowing Dubliners to enjoy a chilly swim this Christmas.
The refurbishment project includes a walk linking Sandycove to the East Pier, a 35-metre jetty into the sea and work on the Pavilion building to create a cafe and gallery space. The jetty includes a sheltered changing area with built-in seating along its length. While the current renovations don’t actually include a sea bath, future developments could see a seawater pool added.
The site also now includes a three metre-high statue of Roger Casement, so don’t confuse him for a lifeguard. The statue was commissioned by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and commemorates Casement who was born in Sandycove in 1864.
The baths originally opened in 1843 and have seen plenty of change in the years since.
In the 1970s, heated outdoor pools were added to the facility with the ‘Rainbow Rapids’ water fun park bringing children from all over Dublin to the seaside town in the 1980s. The site was closed in 1997 amid plans for a major water complex that never actually happened.
Work to restore the historic site along the seafront has been ongoing since 2018 and will be completed for use this month. The cost of the redevelopment was originally set at 2.5 million euros, but has since grown to 13.5 million euros. The project had originally been due to be completed by early 2019, but it was delayed following a site spillage and in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic further delayed works at the site.
Fine Gael Councillor Mary Fayne told Newstalk that the baths “have been derelict probably for far too long. It’s very important because its right on the seafront there with the old Dún Laoghaire beach beside it so there’s a lovely walkway from there over to the East Pier”.
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