A hugely-popular county council-run leisure centre in North Cork will not reopen for several months as the replacement for its malfunctioning air filtration system needs to come from a factory in a Covid-19-ravaged area of Italy.
Cork County Council has, or is about to, open all its indoor swimming pool/gym complexes in Dunmanway, Cobh, Youghal and Mallow.
However, that will not be the case in Fermoy due to the malfunctioning air system.
The complex in Fermoy Town Park is highly popular with people from a large swathe of North East Cork, South Tipperary, South Limerick and West Waterford.
The leisure centre, which is normally open seven days a week, contains a 25m five-lane swimming pool, a kiddies splash pool, sauna and steam room.
It offers numerous classes and plays host to children's parties on a regular basis.
Schools from the region use it often, as do the local sub aqua club and triathlon club for training purposes.
Council officials have said that it will be at least three months before it reopens.
However, there's an important caveat to that because the factory in Italy, which manufactures the vital equipment, is on Covid-19 restrictions and its manpower has therefore been reduced, making it likely it could take even longer to build the product and ship it to Cork.
Fine Gael councillor Noel McCarthy said this will be a huge blow to people from up to 30kms-plus away who have been waiting with bated breath to use the amenity.
“I am very disappointed with the news that Fermoy swimming pool will not reopen in line with other such facilities in the county. However, I will be raising this issue with the council and will be seeking to speed up this process so that it can reopen without such a lengthy delay,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Given the long closure over the last number of months, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, this is doubly disappointing news,” he added.
Youghal Leisure Centre, which the local authority runs in conjunction with the Aura Holohan Group, will open on July 6.
The council-run swimming pools in Mallow and Carrignafoy, Cobh reopened on June 29, while the one in Dunmanway opened on July 1.