top of page

Balbriggan locals make a case for outdoor swimming facilities.

David Flynn

A swim platform will give Balbriggan hugely increased "actual swimming" hours. By this I mean people having accessibility to waist-deep water without being confined to the two hours or so before and after high tide, or the need to walk for 10 minutes and beyond the harbour mouth outside that. This would be a huge benefit, resulting in more people to swimming on days that the sun isn't shining and the tide times are not ideal.

With the platform in place, Swimming would be possible from 2 hours past low tide until 2 hours before low tide. In simple terms, we would double the swimming hours available.

There are many other advantages too;

The Pollock Holes, County Clare

By moving more swimmers towards the north end of the beach, they are taken away from the harbour mouth, which does attract younger swimmers once the tide has come in past that point, which unfortunately is also when the trawlers and other boats are active (it is a very tidal harbour).

The platform would help infuse a 'community spirit' amongst the many sea swimmers, like we see in other Fingal seaside towns. People would be able to gather / change (with some privacy) and leave their gear in one location with the knowledge of safety in numbers (the nature of open water swimming is that people organically arrive and depart at different times).

The Forty Foot, Glenageary, near Dublin

If the platform incorporated some simple fresh water showers, it would allow users to wash off their swim gear (wetsuits for example), which is very important for their proper maintenance and improve longevity.

The platform would be almost entirely built from re-enforced concrete. This is by far the most cost effective building material used in construction, and is also extremely durable, easily lasting a hundred years with very little maintenance.

Concrete in itself is naturally waterproof material . By building all associated benches and walls at the same time as the walkway and platforms, all components of the structure give each other increased strength. This also extends to the proposed tidal pool.

If a tidal pool was also to be incorporated, that would bring people from outside Balbriggan for swimming, whereas today Balbriggan open water swimmers often go to other local towns due to the limitations of the current front beach facilities.

A tidal pool also brings safer swimming to all. It could be especially used by younger children in the summer, and would even allow snorkelling with natural sea-life changing every turn of the tide.

Belmullet tidal pool, County Mayo

The idea of an open water swimming complex encompassing both the swim platform and the tidal pool, would allow promotion of water safety during the school summer holidays like other coastal towns in Fingal. Swimming is a life skill, and the tidal pool would be a safe environment to introduce children to open water swimming before they get into the sea itself.

Further to the north, at the Martello tower, we used to have a walk-way pier out to 'Black-Rock'. This was unceremoniously removed, due to safety concerns, but with limited community consultation. However, if the original structure was structurally compromised, repairing and/or retrofitting with modern safety rails / barriers to comply with current safety standards should have been performed to convert the area on 'Black-Rock' to be a secure viewing platform.

bottom of page