Abandoned ireland


Blackrock Swimming Baths,


Documenting our Heritage

Blackrock Baths

In 1754 a proposal was put forward to build a bathing place at Blackrock.

Following the development of the Dublin-Kingstown Railway in 1834, the Blackrock Promenade and Pier Company Ltd., decided to establish 'a Promenade Pier and suitable Bathing Place for the residents in the locality and for the use of the public at a point near Blackrock Railway Station'. This followed public outcry that access to the sea had been cut off with the building of the railway line.

References from the 'Irish Builder' mention the development and modernisation of the baths in 1887.

By 1928 the Municipal Council took over the Baths in time for the Tailteann Games in 1929.

Eddie Heron, diving supreme gave exhibitions during the Sandycove Galas, held in Blackrock Baths.

The Baths were extremely popular with all age groups.

In 1941 Dun Laoghaire Borough Corporation renovated the Baths again.

Blackrock swimming baths fell into disuse in the 1980s and have laid derelict ever since.

The council at some point handed the baths over to private developers and the site is now owned by a consortium that includes Treasury Holdings, Alanis Ltd and the property developer Paddy Kelly, with the Council holding a long-term lease.

The group "Save Our Seafront" are trying to prevent the site being developed to build private apartments.

Diving in Ireland and Eddie Heron

A young man named Eddie Heron first came to prominence at the 1924 Tailteann Games when his father won the men's event and Eddie won the boy's event. His father was a noted gymnast and Eddie learned gymnastics and diving from his father.

At the 1928 Olympics "Fancy Diving" was introduced for the first time, which included somersaults and twists.  To gain proficiency in this, Eddie went to the U.S.A. and trained with Olympic Champion Pete Destardine.  Pete was so impressed with Eddie that he asked him to emigrate to the U.S.A. and try for a place on the U.S. Olympic Team.

Eddie, born in Dublin in 1910 and originally a Sandycove Diver won his A.S.A. Title representing Half Moon Swimming Club and continued with Half Moon until 1940 when he returned to Sandycove and almost single handed established the club as the cradle of Irish diving for more than forty years.  In 1948 he represented Ireland at the 1948 Olympic Games in London.  Eddie was also awarded the "Texaco Sports Award" for his great achievements and contribution to diving.  This trophy is now competed for at the Irish Diving Championships on the 5 meter Spring Board.

Eddie died in 1985, there is a plaque celebrating his life and swimming achievements located outside Blackrock train station.




Eddie Heron in action at Blackrock baths in the 1930s

The very same diving platform at Blackrock baths  as it stands today.