Podcast | How to Revive a Seaside Gem – The Dun Laoghaire Baths

On the Making Waves podcast we talk about the Irish coast and how to make a positive difference.


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.

Seaside Gem Dun Laoghaire Baths

Dun Laoghaire Baths First opened in 1843

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.

Seaside Gem Dun Laoghaire Baths

Rainbow Rapids The baths final incarnation before finally shutting in 1997

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.

Seaside Gem Dun Laoghaire Baths

A new future on the horizon for the Dun Laoghaire baths

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.

About the Author

Daniel Farrell
Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews

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