Minister of State Colm Burke announces allocation of €500,000 in funding for outdoor swimming projects

The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Colm Burke has today announced the successful applicants for a €500,000 funding scheme for outdoor swimming facilities.

The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Colm Burke has today announced the successful applicants for a €500,000 funding scheme for outdoor swimming facilities.

This initiative, developed in line with the Healthy Ireland objective of enabling more people to be more active, more often, builds on the recent growth in popularity of outdoor swimming by improving the facilities and equipment at designated swimming locations across the country.

Applications for the Healthy Ireland funding were received from Local Sports Partnerships in almost every county. Awards of up to €30,000 have now been granted to 51 projects around the country, including designated swimming spots at beaches, lakes and rivers, as well as outdoor pool facilities.

The funds, which will be administered by Sport Ireland on behalf of the Department of Health, will be used to improve access, enhance changing facilities and to purchase equipment to assist people with disabilities.

Minister Burke said:

“Outdoor swimming has so many benefits for our physical and mental health and is a valuable outlet for social connection that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

“In line with the Healthy Ireland principles, the funding we’re allocating today will improve the access and facilities at swimming spots nationwide, encouraging more people to engage in an activity that promotes improved health and wellbeing.

“I am very encouraged by the large number of funding applications received, with very creative proposals that will enhance the usability of our many wonderful swimming spots all over the country.

“I want to thank our outdoor swimming groups, our Local Sports Partnerships, and our local authorities for their work on this initiative. I look forward to seeing work commence in the coming weeks so that swimmers will be able to enjoy the benefits of this funding throughout the summer.”

CEO of Sport Ireland Una May said:

“Today marks a valuable opportunity to take what is becoming a very popular avenue for physical activity and make it more accessible to more people. Sport Ireland has been proud to work with our network of Local Sports Partnerships, with contacts in the local authority sector, and with representatives of swimming groups across the country, taking the principles behind this funding and turning them into practical actionable projects.

“Open Water swimming is one of the most equitable sporting opportunities in the country, and today marks the culmination of an intensive body of work to analyse the range of outdoor swimming locations across the country and identify infrastructure or equipment that can open them up to more people. Sport Ireland looks forward to engaging further on this range of proposals to get works under way as soon as possible.”

Swim Ireland CEO, Sarah Keane said:

“Swim Ireland has been proud to support the Minister by helping to shortlist the successful initiatives from the breadth of applications that were submitted. This funding is a welcome opportunity to help to further grow Open Water swimming participation across Ireland. We are fortunate to have a beautiful and diverse range of great locations in our seas, lakes and rivers across the length and breadth of our country. Opening them up to more people enables us to further grow participation levels in outdoor swimming and support the health and wellbeing of our people.”

Outdoor swimming facilities allocations

The disbursement of this funding will be carried out by Sport Ireland on behalf of the Department of Health, in line with their vision of an active Ireland where everyone can enjoy the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity.

The below table shows the funding recipients in each county.

LocationFunding purposeAmount
Carlow – Bagenalstown Boat Slip and Barrow PathImproved access handrails and swimming ladders at Bagenalstown Boat Slip€26,000
Cavan – Lakesides at Arvagh (south west), Virginia (south), Killashandra (west) and Barnagrow (east)Changing and showering facilities, accessibility mats, access hand rails, demarcation buoys€30,000
Cork – Garretstown, Garrylucas and Inchydoney beachesImproved pedestrian and disability access to all three swimming sites€15,000
Donegal –Buncrana (Culdaff, Ned’s Point), Dunfanaghy, Carrickfin beach, Mountcharles pier, Killybegs, Rossnowlagh, Bundoran outdoor poolPrecast swim shelters with changing facilities across all locations€24,000
Dublin City – Dollymount StrandAccess railings, shower facilities, demarcation buoys€13,000
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown – Forty Foot, SandycoveRepairs and upgrades to changing and showering facilities€20,000
Fingal – Balbriggan BeachShelter facilities€25,000
Galway City – Ladies BeachUpgrades to access points to facilitate universal access to swimming area€15,000
Galway County – Loughrea, Portumna, Kinvara, Gurteen Bay; Traught Beach KinvaraAccess ladders, changing facilities€28,000
Laois – Ballinaskill Outdoor PoolChanging facilities€7,000
Leitrim – Gulladoo lake, CarrigallenInstallation of storage and changing facilities€28,000
Limerick – Riverside at Glin, Loughill, Kilteery, Curragower, Castleconnell, Limerick CityAccess handrails, portable changing units, access mats, towfloats, amphibious wheelchairs€21,000
Longford – Fitzpatrick’s Shore, Lough GownaChanging facilities, access gantry and pontoon€28,000
Louth – Clogherhead, Port, Templeton beachesAmphibious wheelchairs at each location€10,000
Mayo – Ross and Kilcummin beaches at Killala; Eachleaim beach, BelmulletSwimming shelters at each location€24,000
Meath – Laytown beachBeach shelters and changing facilities€23,000
Monaghan – Emy LoughChanging facilities€15,000
Offaly – Banagher riversideRamp and access rails€15,000
Roscommon – Lough Errit waterwayShelter, demarcation buoys, tow floats, booms€16,500
Sligo – Curry Outdoor PoolAccessible shower, toilet, improved pool access, handrails€25,000
Tipperary – Dromineer BayRescue and emergency equipment, demarcation buoys, safety information€5,500
Waterford – Access points to Clonea beach, DungarvanChanging shelters, showers, access handrails€26,000
Westmeath – Diving board area at Lough OwelChanging shelters and facilities€20,000
Wexford – Whitegap beach, Rosslare beachChanging shelters€25,000
Wicklow – Wicklow Harbour, Greystones south beachAccess ladders, handrails, demarcation buoys, beach access matting€15,000
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