Wednesday 23 August 2017 04:47:55 PM

Newcastle Rock Pool Opens on First of July
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It’s time to get the swimming togs looked out once again! The Rock Pool will soon be opening in Newcastle.

Councillor Willie Clarke (Sinn Féin) and Councillor Carmel O’Boyle (SDLP) have welcomed confirmation that the Rock Pool in Newcastle will open on the 1 July to the 31 August and the opening hours will be on a seven days a week basis.

There had been great concern among users that this community facility would have been closed during the weekends because of resource difficulties. The good news was delivered following a meeting between senior Recreation Department officers on Down District Council and councillors Willie Clarke and Carmel O’Boyle (SDLP) yesterday (20 June).dn_screen

Councillor Willie Clarke, the new Vice Chair of the council’s Recreation Committee said: “I wish to commend Down District Council staff for identifying other areas where savings could be found to ensure this front line community facility remains open on the weekends during the summer months. The Rock Pool, which is celebrating its eightieth anniversary, provides a valuable resource for people to enjoy swimming in a sea water environment with added safety.  It also trains many young people in lifesaving skills.

“Councillor O’Boyle and I will be looking at funding options for the Friends of the Rock Pool group and will be meeting with the group to prepare a partnership approach with Down District Council, similar to the model used to manage the Castlewellan Community Centre.

“I have requested that Council organises an event at the Rock pool in Newcastle to recognise the contribution it has made to the heritage of Newcastle Harbour area, given this is the eighyth anniversary of it first being opened to the public in June 193,” added Councillor Clarke.

On Thursday, Councillors Carmel O’Boyle and Willie Clarke met with Council officers to discuss the summer arrangements for Newcastle Rock Pool.  It has been confirmed that the Rock Pool will open on 1st July and will close on 31st August and will be fully staffed seven days a week during the summer months.

Cllr Carmel O’Boyle, the incoming Chair of the council’s Recreation Committee said, “It would be unthinkable for the Rock Pool not to be opened as usual in July and August, but today’s meeting confirmed that the facility will be fully staffed and open seven days a week in July and August.

“This is such an important year for the Rock Pool which opened 80 years ago on 10th June, and now is the time for us to start planning for the long-term sustainability of this wonderful pool. The Vice-Chair of Recreation, Councillor Willie Clarke and I will meet with the Friends of the Rock Pool in the coming days to map a way forward and to put our proposals and ideas to them for consideration. With the amalgamation of Down and Newry and Mourne Councils now very much on the cards, we need to work together on behalf of Newcastle to safeguard and make secure our valuable assets.”