Dublin City Council is to develop of a whitewater rafting course at George’s Dock. The development will also include a swift water rescue training facility for the Fire Brigade and a kayaking and water polo pool. The white water rafting course will be located around the edge of the Dock with the swift water training facility and pool located in the centre.
George’s Dock was built in 1821, the year of the visit of George IV to Ireland, and historically formed part of a complex of warehouses and docks constructed immediately west of the Custom House.
The setting of George’s Dock has undergone very significant change with the redevelopment of the Docklands area. Today George’s Dock lies within the Docklands business district with the IFSC to the west and the restored CHQ building to the east. A glazed canopy covers an outdoor terrace on the western side the CHQ building along the full length of the dock.
George’s Dock and the Inner Dock are currently seawater docks with water pumped in from the River Liffey. The project envisages they will be converted to fresh water, being drawn by culvert from the Inner Dock which in turn will be filled by a combination of treated seawater or the public water supply.
It is also proposed, as part of the overall project, to repurpose the City Councils Docklands Offices on Custom House Quay to service the new facility with changing facilities, training rooms, a reception area and office space for both the white-water facility, other water activities on the River Liffey and the City Council’s Docklands Office.
The project will consist of the white-water course channel of approximately 250 metres in length that is capable of catering for national and international white-water kayaking events to International Canoe Federation (ICF) standard. The swift water rescue-training channel which will include an urban street scene will be used by Fire Brigade and emergency services to undertake regular swift water rescue training.
The white-water rafting course and the greatly improved access to water activities on the River Liffey will constitute a major new attraction for tourists, visitors and residents in Dublin which is well located and highly accessible;
• It will help to develop a cluster of high-quality tourist attractions in the Docklands area around the Epic Centre, the Jeannie Johnson and the Famine sculptures.
• This new facility will help to animate George’s Dock and address the current inappropriate uses of the dock.
• It will assist the Sports Section of Dublin City Council in providing a range of programmes targeted at groups with particular needs.
• It will assist the development of whitewater kayaking, slalom kayaking, canoe polo and water polo in Ireland.
• It will provide safe access to water-based activities and provide developmental opportunities for residents of the Docklands area.
Current status of the project
The City Council recently commenced the EU procurement process to appoint an integrated design team to undertake a detailed design of the facility. The prequalification stage has been completed and the Stage 2 Tender Documents were issued to the 3 successful firms in early September.