This is a dream come true for outdoorsy folk.
Cork’s brave sea swimmers will be soon able to warm up with a hot shower after a dip; Fáilte Ireland has announced that two Cork beaches are among 22 locations across Ireland set to get all-weather changing facilities.
The first two Cork facilities will be installed at Claycastle Sports Activity Facility in Claycastle, Youghal and at GarryLucas Beach in Ballinspittle.
Announcing the €13m project on Newstalk today, Fáilte Ireland spokesperson Fiona Monaghan said the grass-roof buildings will be installed at “beaches, inland waterways and canals” in 13 counties.
Ms Monaghan said the facilities will be unlike anything we currently have in Ireland. They will be fully wheelchair accessible and built using sustainability best practices such as solar heating panels.
“Basically, there will be an enclosed section to the building but it will be open on many sides,” she said.
“It will contain a number of showers, toilets, secure lockers and storage so people can leave their personal belongings while they are participating in their water-based activity.
“There will be enough protection from the elements so that, when you are changing on a wild day on the west of Ireland, you won’t be freezing – or at least you won’t be as cold and you’ll have that hot shower at the end of it.”
There will be a small fee for using the hot showers but beachgoers can be assured that their belongings are safe, with a separate wash down facility for equipment so you can de-sand your surfboard before you leave.
Phase 1 of this scheme has an expected completion date of Summer 2022 and a potential second phase will be considered for 2023.
With any luck, the idea will be rolled out to include more Cork beaches in the near future.
Here’s the full list of locations announced today:
Docklands Water Sports, North Wall Quay, Pontoons, Dublin 1
DLRCC Killiney Beach Facilities Project, Killiney Beach, Killiney, Co Dublin
Ireland’s Ancient East
Claycastle Sports Activity Facility, Claycastle, Youghal, Co. Cork
Kilkenny Water Sports Hub, County Hall, John St, Kilkenny
Tramore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre, Promenade, Tramore, Co. Waterford
Ardmore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre, Public Car Park, Cois Tra, Ardmore, Co Waterford
Curracloe Water Sports Activity Centre, Whitegap, Curracloe, Co. Wexford
Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands
Ballycuggeran Sports Activity Facility, Ogonnelloe, Killaloe, Co. Clare.
Acres Lake Activity Facility, Acres Lake, Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim
Dromineer Sports Activity Facility, Dromineer, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Wild Atlantic Way
Kilkee Waterworld Activity Facilities, Waterworld, East End, Kilkee, Co. Clare
GarryLucas Beach, Ballinspittle, Co Cork
Tullan Strand Centre for Water Sports Activities Bundoran, Drumacrin, Tullan, Strand, Bundoran, Co Donegal
Downings Water Sports Activity Facility, Cnoc Na Muirleog, Na Muirleog, Na Dunaibh, Co Donegal
Corrib Sports & Adventure, Dyke Road, Terryland, Galway
Ballybunion Beach Shared Facilities Centre, Men’s (South) Beach, Ballybunion, Co Kerry
Fenit Beach Shared Facility Centre, Fenit Beach, Fenit, Co. Kerry
Magherabeg Shared Facilities Centre, Magherabeg Lower, Castlegregory, Co Kerry
Keel Facility Centre for Water Sports Activities, Keel Sandybanks, Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Carrowmore Beach, Louisburgh, Co Mayo
Enniscrone Beach, Mackduff, Enniscrone , Co Sligo
Rosses Point, County Sligo