AFTER TWELVE YEARS OF WORK ON SITE
I am a bit disappointed with the photographs and I cannot determine what caused the lens not to focus correctly.
In December 2022 the people of Dun Laoghaire witnessed the re-opening of the Dún Laoghaire Baths and it was a significant milestone for the Council and the people of the town. This well-known landmark has been an important part of the history and heritage of families all over the County.
The works included the refurbishment of the baths pavilion, the construction of a new 35m jetty with built in seating, the installation of the Roger Casement statue, a simple changing shelter, the refurbished Edwardian gazebo in the beach garden and a new walkway from Newtownsmith.
The former pavilion building has also been substantially refurbished to provide studio space for artists, as well as a gallery and a café with a spectacular view of Scotsman’s Bay. The café will have a terrace outside which will link across to the People’s Park as well as down to the sea. The pavilion building and café is now operational. There are also toilet facilities, including a “changing places” bathroom, which is for people with additional needs.
The finished results are the culmination of 12 years work at the site. The work has encompassed different phases – the design phase, the preparation of tender drawings and construction phase, which took five years to complete. Significant structural work was required to underpin and stabilise the main building when extensions were removed and to restore walls along the embankment at Queens Road. Additional challenges included the rocky coastline and proximity to the sea.
There are plans for a new walkway between Dún Laoghaire’s East Pier and the Dún Laoghaire Baths in 2023. The original plans did not include a swimming pool, but a future phase of development on the site can include an open seawater pool, subject to approval. During the construction, a rectangular concrete void was left below the surface of the amphitheatre area, with a concrete “lid” covering it, allowing for the inclusion of a tidal pool.
The project was mainly funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council with a contribution by the European Regional Development Fund. Final costs are estimated to be in the region of €18 million. There was an increase in the cost due to the significant structural work required to underpin and stabilise the main building and to restore walls along the embankment at Queens Road as well as the construction of the jetty.