White Water Shafting


Artist’s impression of the site for the €22m white water course at George’s Dock on the North Quays , Dublin given the green light last week by Dublin City Council

Who really wants to go white water rafting in the city?

Sarah Maria Griff tweetz::

i have a scalding hot take on the white water rafting thing.

The fact of it costing €50 a head has revealed the true purpose of the folly: it’s not even for tourists. it’s ‘for’ tech companies having team building days and offsites. it explains the location and the cost.

Like everything in Dublin right now: including the hotels, all strange new roads lead back to tech. the hotels are for ~ conferences right?

This weird new monument to bullshit in the docks? An extravagant playground for our city’s most importantest people: tech folks.

i know this sounds left of field but i think it’s the key to the wild price and the central location and the sheer stupidity of the undertaking.

‘Who wants to go white water rafting?’ tech companies trying to entertain their staff. fifty euro a head is within that kinda budget.

All roads of change in Dublin lead back to the presence of tech giants here. it was the same when i left San Francisco in 2015: the rent, the neighbourhoods being renamed on Google maps, surging homelessness contrasted with childlike pleasure attractions opening all the time.

And you might think ‘Nah, Dublin City Council wouldn’t realistically build a €22m white water rafting center in the middle of Dublin during a homelessness crisis just for tech companies right?

But think about ‘Who Dublin is for?’ Now as a query. Who is wanted here?


Previously: Bleedin’ Vapid

Thanks Tomas

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35 thoughts on “White Water Shafting

  1. Chris

    Rewording your unfounded assertion in three ways is not an argument. This is being built for people who think that a city should be more than free housing in the city centre, not just for tech company employees.

    And by the way, Tech companies contribute ALOT to the city in terms of jobs and general life to the city. They aren’t the reason that Dublin has drug addicts and permanent welfare recipients.

    1. Ringsend Incinerator

      Tech companies don’t contribute jobs and culture to the local community. Get real. Dublin now sucks. It’s displacement by some of the most vile corporations on the planet.

      1. Chris

        The local community can get jobs cleaning and serving food in these companies but they choose not to as it’s easier to sit on the dole and wait until your number comes up in the social housing list.

        1. Slightly Bemused

          Is that all you think the local community is worth: being the servants of the tech companies? What a sad world view to have. Not everyone in Dublin city centre is on the dole. You only see the ones who are because the ones who are not are at their jobs doing their best to provide for themselves and their families. I have several friends who live in that area, many for a couple of generations. They do say that there are few amenities for them and their families in the area, so it is not unreasonable to thing that something accessible to them might be provided by the Council to whom they have to pay their property tax.

          And by the way, it is two words: “a lot”, not one word “alot”. Capitalising it only emphasises the mistake.

          1. Rob_G

            “They do say that there are few amenities for them and their families in the area, so it is not unreasonable to think that something accessible to them might be provided by the Council to whom they have to pay their property tax.”

            Indeed – look, and now they’re getting a white water rafting facility, so that’s something, at least.

          2. Slightly Bemused

            Regardless of cost, a white water rafting facility is not an amenity for regular use by families. It is not really somewhere to go every day, and definitely not with small children.

            What they want is something like a gym and pool, but that is being taken away from them. To get to a place where their kids can run about freely, or kick a ball, they have to travel a distance to a park.

            Strangely enough, I am not against the rafting proposal. I just would argue that DCC should not provide it. Rent out the space and allow a commercial venture to build it and charge what they will. The funds DCC would then have put into it could be put into providing for alternatives to the Countess Markievics centre (although I think it should be kept and upgraded) and some other amenities for regular families. The ongoing rental income from the rafting venture could then provide for the cost of maintenance and upkeep of those amenities.

          1. Rob_G

            What – providing them with a world-class sporting amenity? How could they, those b@st@rds!

            (btw, if you had an iota of awareness about what was going on in the world, you would realise that FG are only the third biggest party on DCC, after FF and the Greens)

      2. Zaccone

        “Tech companies don’t contribute jobs and culture to the local community.”

        The tens of thousands of Dublin residents who’re employed by the tech companies would probably disagree with that statement rather a lot.

        1. Dr.Fart

          tens of thousands yea? you onion. head on down to google there and see how many employees are irish. or facebook, air bnb, any of them. tiny percentage in each. they bring in employees from overseas, who then hog up loads of accomodation too. on top of that, they pay practically no corporate tax. in effect, we get fupp all from handing the city over to tech companies, it’s just our politicans, mostly ex-primary school teachers get dazzled by johnny america coming over, and dont have the same negotiating skills so they get rings run around them, but they dont care coz they think its cool to talk about at dinner parties that they had a meeting with the head of google.

          1. Rob_G

            I would have thought that someone working in the health service, which is itself heavily-reliant on foreign labour, would be sympathetic to the notion of migrant workers. All of whom pay lots of taxes, and as they are mostly young and well-educated, are less likely to access services like healthcare and social welfare.

          2. Dr.Fart

            we desperetly need them in the health sector because we cant hold on to irish staff because of terrible pay and conditions. as for ploughing a load of tech nerds into grand canal dock and then calling it silicon docks, not so necessary.

          3. Dr.Fart

            your undying cycnisism won’t allow you believe i am a doctor. it doesnt matter tho. it really really doesnt.

          4. Zaccone

            30% odd of staff in the large MNCs are Irish. That means Google and facebook have close to 6,000 Irish staff alone, nevermind the many, many other tech firms. And nevermind their families that benefit from their income too.

            And nevermind the benefits to other businesses in the community – go out on a weekend to any bar in Dublin full of young professionals under 30 and half of them will be tech workers, spending their money on heavily taxed pints to be benefit of our local publicans and their employees. Or ask local restaurateurs, or taxi drivers, etc etc.

            Its absolutely nonsensical to claim tech firms don’t have massive benefits for Dublin’s locals.

        2. Ringsend Incinerator

          Less than 10% of the employees in Silicon Docks are native born in ireland yet alone Dublin. Back to your free nosh there pal.

    1. Rob_G

      I don’t know if you ever actually visited Ringsend prior to gentrification – it was a run-down kip.

      Bring it on, I say.

      1. Slightly Bemused

        I would agree – I did and it was. But one of the things they did as part of it was improve Ringsend Park, which is a resource anyone can use for free. Catering to the families that live there as well as those ,moving in is important.

        1. Rob_G

          Given that there are currently already two rowing clubs in Ringsend (nearly all of whom’s members are from the area, as far as I can gather), I imagine that people that live in the area currently will get great use out of this resource, if it gets built.

          I’m sure the clubs will be able to negotiate an off-peak rate with the operators; I don’t think it would be feasible for such a facility to be offered free of charge, unfortunately, as staffing levels are not comparable to a park.

          1. Slightly Bemused

            I did not see this comment before I posted a response to you above.

            The rowing clubs in Ringsend are great, and I once had the pleasure of being taken out for a short Liffey and close-in bay trip with one of them.

            As I mentioned above, I actually do not object to the rafting scheme, just to DCC funding it when other facilities and amenities are needed in the area. As DCC’s proposal indicates that the scheme for the rafting would in relatively short time recoup it’s costs and even become income generating, this should make it attractive to a private investor.

            They could then exploit the team building opportunities as mentioned by the original poster, as well as family packages and perhaps as you suggest off peak for local clubs.

  2. John

    I would have thought this was so obvious it didnt need a “revelation”.

    Of course the Tech companies would also prefer somewhere for their workers to live. Its a major impediment to attracting staff.

  3. Rob_G

    perpetually outraged: “littie townie kids need more facilities to stop them being little scrotes”

    DCC: *proposes some facilities*

    perp. outraged: “gah, how could you propose that?!”

    I thought it was a slightly unusual proposal as well, but given that it is a outmoded, surplus-to-requirements square hole filled with water, I imagine that there are limits to what this space can be re-purposed as.

    From what I know of tech companies team-building activities, they are much more likely to fly all of their staff off to some adventure resort for a three-day white water rafting experience at great expense, rather than settle for a paddle in a pool 15 mins away from the office.

  4. george

    The thing is clubs won’t be paying that rate. Regular users, including local young people, would be accessing the facility through a club. Of course it is also a facility for emergency services but the outrages always ignore these two details.

  5. Panty Christ

    The only public swimming pool in Dublin City centre is being closed down. DCC could have built an inside and outdoor baths area here for all to use. Built in a rescue training element too. Lack of ambition.

    1. garrett

      Panty Christ, total lack of facts in your post:

      NTA will fund and reinstate new Markievicz Leisure Centre

      DCC swimming pools:
      Sean McDermott

      1. Rob_G

        In fairness, Panty did say ‘Dublin City Centre’, and not ‘Dublin City Council’.

        Still does leave Sean McDermott Street, though…

  6. b

    there’s loads of genuine uses for the facility from kayaking clubs and emergency services. If it’s location means it will get used by private companies who are willing to pay to keep it financially viable – that is a good thing (unless you’re looking for a searing hot take against tech companies)

  7. ____

    This guys has it all wrong

    The €50 commercial rate would effectively subsidise the place for regular users – typically kayakers/clubs who would expect to pay about €10 per session or an annual membership of about €350.
    Same ballpark as going to a council pool.

    The amount of ignorant whinging about this is incredible.

    1. ____

      FWIW, the rafting bit is getting pushed because that’s where most of the income will come from and people love to see things making money (which I think kind of misses the point of public services…but hey).

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