Two portable swimming pools are set to tour the country to promote water safety.
The pools will rotate between communities every twelve weeks and will travel to all corners of Ireland.
The first of the pools is currently at the Donabate Portrane Community Centre and will be moved to locations in Sligo and Wicklow in the coming months.
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Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers said the initiative is “about bringing a pool in to the heart of a community and integrating it with our education system.”
He said: “Many people across most schools in the country would not be close to any swimming pool in their local areas but water safety is really important.
“We have 6,000km of coastline and we know, unfortunately, we have many drownings – around 115 last year for example.
“So, it is important that we deliver water safety into communities and this is a new pilot to try and advance that.
“To deliver a pool into the heart of a community and offer an opportunity for swimming lessons and water safety in communities that might be too far from a swimming pool or where an existing pool is at capacity.”
He described the pools as “an above-ground steel structure”.
“It’s 12 metres long, 3.5 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep.
“It is heated to 30C and it is covered in a hard sided marquee so it is not open to the elements.
“It is also fully accessible with a ramp and a hoist. It has changing facilities and holds 45,000 litres of water.”
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