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19th Jan 2021

DCC reveals details of proposed George’s Dock White Water Centre

James Fenton

Dublin City Council has released information on the George’s Dock White Water Centre that was first proposed in August 2019.

The council has begun a tender process during which a ‘realistic cost estimate’ will be made. They have also stated that no additional Council funding can be allocated to the project and no additional borrowing can be undertaken without the approval of the Elected Members.’

If the White Water Centre goes ahead, it will consist of the following four elements:

  1. A Swift Water Rescue Training (SWRT) Centre. This will be based around a floodable street with a mock rescue village. It will be used by Dublin Fire Brigade, other emergency services and certain local authority staff. It is essential, given the increase in severe weather flooding events that local authority and other emergency service staff can train for these events in controlled conditions with no water quality issues. The SWRT Centre is based on a recently commissioned ‘state of the art’ facility developed at the New York State’s Preparedness Training Centre in Utica, New York.
  2. A white water course for rafting and canoeing. This is expected to be a major tourist attraction as well as catering for members of the public, business groups etc. The course will also be used as a training facility for elite slalom canoeists. This is an Olympic discipline which Ireland has over the years been represented in. The provision of tourism, and sporting aspects of the facility is entirely consistent with Government tourism policy.
  3. A flat water training facility for canoeing and other water sports. This will be open to members of the public, schools, youth groups, community groups etc. 
  4. Two new high quality buildings on the Custom House Quay. One will service the White Water and the Swift Water Rescue Training facilities and will also cater for access to water activities on the River Liffey. The other building will be the new City Council Docklands Office.

Greg O’Neill, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Dublin Fire Brigade has described the value of the SWRT Centre to Dublin Fire Brigade by saying: “The proposed George’s Dock Whitewater Centre will be an excellent resource for carrying out all NFPA and Rescue 3 International Swift Water Rescue Technician, Flood Responder and Water Awareness training course syllabi prerequisite activities.”

He added that “The urban flooding streetscape will be the most unique feature of the facility as it will be a very realistic and probably the only practical way to simulate a sense of what a flooded street with fast moving water looks and feels like, but achieving it in a safe and controlled manner.

Meanwhile, five clear objectives of the White Water Centre have been outlined as follows:

  • Swift Water Rescue Training: The development will provide a world class training facility for Dublin Fire Brigade and other emergency service personnel.
  • Community and Physical Regeneration: The George’s Dock development will help facilitate the regeneration of the social and community life in the North-East inner city area.
  • Tourist Destination: George’s Dock will be a major new popular tourist attraction in the centre of Dublin.
  • Sport and Leisure: George’s Dock will establish an accessible centre of excellence for water based sporting and leisure activities.
  • Education and Skills: George’s Dock will maximise local educational, training and employment opportunities.

You can read more about the proposed George’s Dock White Water Centre here.

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