Paddling pool ‘filthy’ claim angry parents

Paddling pool at Oxford Island
Paddling pool at Oxford Island

Parents have criticised the filthy state of the paddling pool at Oxford Island and called on the local council to clean it up.

The pool, which is beside the play park and the Discovery Centre, close to the shore of Lough Neagh, is full of weeds and algae.

Children who ventured into the paddling pool this week described the base as very slippery and slimy.

One mother, who travelled from Lisburn on Monday to Oxford Island, refused to allow her daughters into the paddling pool.

“They both wanted to get in but I wouldn’t let them,” Annette Reid said.

Her two girls, aged ten and eight, had pleaded with their mum to let them go for a swim but she said she felt the pool was too dirty.

Annette, aged 46, said she used to come to the paddling pool when she was young and loved swimming in it, but is now disappointed that it is so dirty. “I remember it when I was young. If it had a proper clean it would be great for kids.”

The concrete base has grass growing through cracks. The water in the pool is full of gunge and algae.

One father said that while he didn’t mind his kids kicking off their socks and shoes to paddle, he was too concerned about the water quality to allow them to get in properly.

Another child said she could feel the base very slippery underfoot.

Oxford Island has been packed this summer and one parent said the pool had let the tourist attraction down. “The state of the paddling pool is a disgrace. The council should clean it up,” she said.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council said: “The paddling pool at Oxford Island is drained and cleaned every three to four weeks from April to October. Staff also carry out weekly inspections of the pool with the most recent having taken place on August 21. Fly hatch and algae growth can occur overnight which can cause a slime and particularly with the warm, damp weather over the weekend. The pool has been drained, treated and cleaned and staff will continue to carry out regular inspections and repeat the deep clean every two weeks.”