Parents started queuing at 5am yesterday morning to enrol their children in swimming lessons.

Online petition started for new swimming pool in Mullingar

A petition has been set up to try and get decision makers to get the ball rolling on a new swimming pool for Mullingar.

The online petition has been set by Lisa Corcoran, who posted online that while Mullingar is an “excellent town for many kinds of sport”, the current pool in the town park “does not meet the demand for our growing population”.

“Mullingar swimming pool has served our community so well for many years but an upgrade of our public swimming facilities is badly needed.

“There are no current public shallow or baby pool facilities in our town. These facilities are so important for babies, toddlers and preschoolers to gain confidence in the water and ultimately learn to swim, a basic life skill. Parents are queuing at 5am to try and get their children enrolled in swimming lessons as our town does not have public pool facilities to meet our needs.

“Our neighbouring towns of Tullamore, Longford and Trim all have state of the art swim facilities so why not Mullingar? We are one of the biggest regional towns in the midlands and many of our children are losing out on the opportunity to acquire the vital life skill of swimming.”

A new pool for Westmeath's county town was first mooted back in 2008 when plans for a €20m sports and recreation centre in Robinstown were first unveiled.

Although councillors approved the part 8 planning process for the facility, the project was shelved when the country entered recession. Almost 15 years later, Ms Corcoran says that it is time that the project was revived.

“We implore our local councillors to push this critical issue up the agenda. We need a decision from the Department urgently so that work can commence on the proposed new swimming pool at Robinstown,” she said.

The petition was set up yesterday and in less than 24 hours had been signed by over 520 people.