Minister Joe O’Brien and Councillor Karen Power announce successful funding for the Springers in Skerries
21st November, 2023
ORIS funding will facilitate a feasibility study for improved infrastructure and facilities at the much loved sea-swimming location
Skerries residents Joe O’Brien TD, and Green Party Councillor Karen Power have welcomed funding of €40,500 from Minister O’Brien’s Department to help develop an iconic amenity on Skerries coastline.
The investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) of Minister O’Brien’s Department of Rural & Community Development, will provide €40,500 for a feasibility study for improved infrastructure and access at the sea-swimming location known locally as “The Springers” close to the Martello Tower, overlooking South Beach.
The funding was awarded following an application to the scheme by Cllr Power with assistance from members of the Skerries Frosties and is specifically for a Feasibility Study and Options Report for the development of infrastructure such as showers and changing facilities and completion of the ramped access to facilitate an inclusive space for the entire community.
The study will identify the challenges and opportunities of developing such facilities for leisure, tourism and amenity uses. The Report will consider whether the provision these
facilities at this location is feasible given the prevailing natural conditions at the
proposed location and the potential construction costs of such a facility. The study and options report is being commissioned in response to an identified community need for enhanced sea-swimming facilities in Skerries.
Announcing the funding Minister O’Brien said:
“I’m delighted my Department has been able to support this project. The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is all about making outdoor activities more viable for everyone. Our coastline is an amazing asset and while the Springers is a great place to facilitate sea swimming with better facilities, I think we could get a lot more people going for a regular dip”.
“This feasibility study and options report will look at how we can provide supporting infrastructure that will make sea swimming safer and more enjoyable at the Springers for all users young and old. Hopefully it will encourage more people to engage in sea swimming which is not only beneficial for their physical well-being but their mental well-being as well.”
Speaking on the announcement, Cllr Power said:
“Despite the significant numbers that engage in sea swimming in the town we have a clear deficit in the required facilities to sustain it. We have had continuous growth of sea swimming but unfortunately not the same growth in parallel to the infrastructure. I welcome the installation of the coat and towel hooks we had requested a while back but there is much more potential.”
“So, I am delighted that our funding application for this feasibility study has been approved. We have long talked about the need for improved sea swimming facilities in the town but have been unsure how to progress the infrastructure. I am hopeful that the outcome of this study will not only identify a clear path to delivering this much needed infrastructure but also identify the funding stream that will help deliver it in its entirety.”
“I want to thank the members of the Frosties who first met me on that very windy day back in February last year along with engineers from Fingal County Council to look at locations that would lend themselves to this infrastructure, as well as those members who met me for many coffees and chats as we pulled together the application ahead of the submission in July. I am looking forward to the outcome of the report and working with the community to deliver this exciting project”
Sea swimming in Skerries has become increasingly popular and many local swimmers have been calling for improved facilities for some time now. Such a project will not only support those who swim all-year-round but it will also support the Water Safety Week which runs every August in Skerries and is attended by over 700 children with senior classes take place at The Springers as part of the annual event.
Consultants are expected to commence the report shortly with a final report due in 2024.