Lyons rejects calls for Leisureland board to be dismissed

The fallout from the announcement that Leisureland swimming pool is set to remain closed until at least the end of this year continues, with demands that the current Leisureland board be dismissed.

Fine Gael Galway City West candidate Pearce Flannery is calling for “a change of the board”, over what he believes is the mishandling of insurance issues that is prolonging the closure of the facility.

According to Mr Flannery, the management and board “did not scrutinise the insurance details and that is why the delay is taking place”. He added that the board is unwilling to admit to mistakes “as they are afraid of the consequences of this situation being exposed”.

However Donal Lyons, Independent city councillor and chair of the board of Leisureland, has hit back, saying he “rejects any accusations of incompetence by the board”.

Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, Cllr Lyons said the board was “happy that the complex was fully insured and that we have sufficient insurance to cover the damage” that occurred in January.

“The damage is so severe that it went beyond just the board and management. We had to appoint an insurance assessor, which was done by emergency procurement procedure by the board of management and City Hall within a week of the flood damage occurring. We are looking forward to Leisureland being brought back into operation as soon as possible, but there is no simple solution and this situation doesn’t warrant a ‘sticking plaster’ solution.”

Cllr Lyons added that the issue of replacing the damaged tiles in both the pool and the changing rooms “has been resolved” and will be discussed at a board meeting next week. Following this, clubs and organisations which use Leisureland will be “notified of the outcome of the meeting in writing”.

Mr Flannery called for “business focused individuals” as well as representatives of swimming clubs and pool users to be “appointed to the board immediately”. However Cllr Lyons said the board, which is appointed by City Hall, will run its course and there will be “a new board after the local elections”.

Nevertheless swimming clubs remain concerned about a lack of facilities while Leisureland remains closed. Independent Galway City Central candidate Mike Cubbard is calling on the Salthill facility’s board of management to see if arrangements can be made with The Clybaun Hotel, The Clayton Hotel, Kingfisher Club, The Ardilaun, The Salthill Hotel, and The Galway Bay Hotel to provide times for clubs.

“I would call on the management to actively pursue all of these avenues and arrange to have an acceptable amount of community hours available where the public can go along and use the facilities as they would normally do with Leisureland,” Mr Cubbard said. “Rates applicable in Leisureland should of course transfer to a temporary facility.”

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