It was announced at a recent meeting of Longford Town Council that the old swimming pool located in the Market Square is to be demolished at a cost of €60,000 to the local authority.
“€60,000 has been allocated for the demolition and the job will go out to tender next week. In the overall scheme of things, it’s not a major piece of work,” explained Longford Town Mayor, Cllr Peggy Nolan. “The area will be landscaped and will become a green amenity area in the town centre, and we hope it will be a lovely communal area for the people.”
Cllr Nolan confirmed that the removal of the building, which dates from the 1960s, is expected to be straightforward. “There is no asbestos or any other hazardous materials contained within the structure,” she confirmed.
With town councils due to be abolished next year as part of reforms introduced by Minister for Local Government Phil Hogan, the mayor said this announcement is just one of a number of projects the local authority will focus its remaining funds on: “Longford Town Council has highlighted 10 projects it wants to complete before the measures are introduced next year – projects that will lead to the betterment and enhancement of the urban area.”
It has been proposed that the area around the old swimming pool, which was once the harbour for a spur of the Royal Canal which served the town, be excavated and reconnected to the recently restored waterway
And while funds are not currently available for this venture to proceed, the mayor revealed that the removal of the old swimming pool will provide an opportunity for remaining features of the harbour facility to be inspected.
“When the pool is being torn down, the old harbour walls beneath it will be checked to see if they are still intact, with a view to reopening the harbour once funds are available,” Cllr Nolan said.
“One of my objectives is to see the Royal Canal return to the town. In the meantime, the area will be filled-in temporarily until such time that Waterways Ireland are in a position to get involved.”