File photo via Pixabay
A councillor has asked the local authority why "huge money" was invested in the Carlow/Graiguecullen Sub Aqua Club at Webster's Lock that "two years on has no water in the building".
Cllr Ken Murnane raised the matter at this month's full meeting of the Council and he said: "There's no water in the building. Two years later, still no water in it.
"We invested huge money. Carlow County Council invested hundreds of thousands into it and not a drop of water there. Can someone find out what's going on?"
Director of Services at the local authority, Dan McInerney, said he did not know what was going on but he would endeavour to find out and revert back to the councillor.
In September of 2014, the Council members agreed to sub-let Webster’s Lock House to Carlow/Graiguecullen Sub Aqua Club for a period of 20 years however, five years on and the club is still endeavouring to address its water issue.
It's understood the facility is owned by Waterways Ireland who lease it to Carlow County Council and they in turn sub-lease it to the club.
It was previously reported that approximately €400,000 was being spent on the transformation of the old lock house, with the finances coming from a range of parties, including the club itself, the county enterprise board, the then Carlow Town Council and the County Carlow Development Partnership.
The club boasts a 14ft by 10ft water tank with a height of nine feet, the tank features a glass wall on one side so that trainee divers could see what’s happening in the water.
Carlow Live understands that to fill this with fresh water from the mains would incur huge costs and so the club features the finest facilities for a diving school in the country but is without water.
Speaking to Carlow Live, Racey Byrne, chairman of the Carlow/Graiguecullen Sub Aqua Club, said there are ongoing meetings at the minute but everything is above board and members have been trained at other facilities.
He said: "The building is finished and everybody is trained. Everything but the water is in it.
"We were planning to drill a well but you can't drill that close to the river with fish in it. Carlow County Council are looking after it. It's not holding us up until the season starts in April but by then it should be sorted."
When asked what the solution would be, Mr Byrne added: "We're looking into a way of taking water from the river and filtering it. The club is not in a position to pay for that, so we're doing fundraisers and that to pay for it.
"In fairness to the local authority, the facilities are perfect. It's the only one of its kind in Ireland. With new rules and regulations the supply of water has to be changed on a regular basis."
He said this was a problem that nobody foresaw as regulations changed.
"The facility was finished to the exact specifications outlined," he added.