Arklow Leisure Centre given less than 24 hours notice to vacate to make way for Ukrainian refugees

A number of sports clubs and businesses who currently occupy a Leisure Centre attached to The Coral Gym in Arklow were given less than 24 hours’ notice to remove themselves from the Centre after it was designated as an accommodation site for incoming Ukrainian refugees by Wicklow County Council.

The popular local centre also has an on-site Coffee Shop, which must also close to ensure the building can be utilised exclusively for accommodation purposes.

Chairperson of the Racquetball club Susan Neary Farrell has told East Coast Fm that while they are not opposed to the site being used by those arriving from Ukraine, they are upset that the decision was taken without any prior notice or engagement by Wicklow County Council.

East Coast Fm are reporting that the groups and business who use the sports hall only found out yesterday with little time allowed to depart the facility.

Ms Neary Farrell also says they were informed by Coral Gym staff, who she says were put in a very difficult position by the Council, that they had a few hours to remove all equipment, pictures, photos, trophies, from the Centre.

The Centre also hosts a popular spinning class, a Taekwondo club and is regularly used every week by parents for children’s birthday celebrations with bouncy castles.

One local father, speaking to Gript.ie, said the way in which the Council have managed the situation was ‘cowardly and pathetic.’

He went on to say that many families in the area are angry at the move but do not feel that they can freely express their objections to the way in which entire local amenities are being absorbed and taken out of use, effectively on an overnight basis.

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