Making Waves is a podcast about action, awareness and the Irish coast. It’s hosted by Dan Farrell and Ann Robinson. New episode every Saturday.
How to Revive a Seaside Gem – The Dun Laoghaire Baths
You can walk from Sandycove to as far as the East Pier along the coast and enjoy many a fantastic vista of Dublin Bay but for the last 20 years arguably the best vantage point along the way has been occupied by a large derelict building.
The former Dun Laoghaire Baths, most recently home to the Rainbow rapids waterpark, has been a ghostly presence on the Dun Laoghaire waterfront ever since they closed for the last time in 1997. A place that has perhaps suffered from having too much potential, it remained empty and unloved even through the heady days of the Celtic Tiger despite various plans and architectural visions appearing from time to time.
Fortunately and at last, that looks set to change.
For more than 150 years the Dun Laoghaire baths were a popular attraction on the Dublin coastline.
The Royal Victoria Baths were built in 1843 and became the place to go to rejuvenate and revive by the seaside. Through the years the baths underwent a number of renovations and re-builds.
In the 1980’s the baths opened as Rainbow Rapids – a now fondly remembered waterpark with two giant waterslides. Many Dubliners can recall the fun they had sliding down the slides and of course the post-swim Teddy’s ice cream.
Since 1997 the baths have stood empty and slowly fallen into disrepair.
Happily though new plans to revive the area are in place including a new cafe, artist gallery and jetty.
If redevelopment is finished on time for next summer, the baths will no doubt once again become a popular destination along Dublin Bay.
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