Former Tánaiste brands Dublin's planned white-water rafting centre 'grotesque vanity project'

Former Tánaiste brands Dublin's planned white-water rafting centre 'grotesque vanity project'

IRISH SENATOR Michael McDowell has hit out against Dublin City Council's plans to construct a white-water rafting facility, calling it a "political obscenity" and a "grotesque vanity project".

Current plans will see €22.8 million spent on the construction of a 'flagship' white-water rafting facility in the Custom House Dock in the centre of the city - €1 million of which has already been spent.

The planned works were widely criticised when they were announced in 2019 in the midst of a national housing and homelessness crisis.

But critics are even more shocked to hear that construction will still be going ahead in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Former Tánaiste McDowell said the proposed facility "is a political obscenity in the context of the calamitous failure of the Council to address the crisis of housing shortage for many years".

"The threadbare excuse for this grotesque vanity project is that it is needed to train fire brigade personnel. That is absurd,"he said in a statement on Saturday.

"I am calling on the Government and the Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien to withdraw the tender process and to indicate that there will be no funding to the council as long as the tender project is proceeding.

"More than €1 million has already been wasted on the project.

"Shame on the craven councillors who have not stopped the process months ago."

Dublin City Council have claimed that around €13 million of the funds will be covered through Government grants, and a further €8.9 million covered through development levies and capital reserves.

The centre, if completed, will include a white-water rafting course, swift-water rescue training facility and a kayaking and canoe polo pool area at George's Dock on the River Liffey.