Minister Ring announces additional €5 million investment in public libraries in Edgeworthstown, Portlaoise, Ennis and Stillorgan

Published 12 October 2018

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has today, announced an additional €5 million investment for public libraries in Ireland. The additional funding will bring the overall value of the Libraries Capital Programme to almost €29 million.

The breakdown of the additional €5 million capital investment is as follows:

  • An additional €1m for Ennis library, bringing the Department’s total allocation to €4 million
  • An additional €1.15m for Edgeworthstown Community Library, bringing the Department’s total allocation to €2.4 million
  • An additional €1.35 million for PortlaoiseLibrary bringing the Department’s total allocation to €3 million

€1.5 million for a new public library in Stillorgan

Announcing this funding in Edgeworthstown, the Minister said “I am delighted to be in a position to announce an additional €5 million for the Libraries Capital Investment Programme bringing it to a total of €29 million. This funding will be matched by approximately €7.5 million from local authorities.”

The Minister stressed the importance of continued investment in the library service and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment he added “Investment in library buildings is a key enabler of the new public library strategy, Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities, and we are committed to developing high quality library buildings across the country.”

“I gave a commitment that we would underpin the new Strategy with continued investment in our library buildings and also to enhance ICT capacity. Today’s announcement coupled with the recently approved €8 million in ICT funding is taking steps towards realising this commitment.”

The Libraries Capital Programme which is now expected to run until 2022. The Minister added “The new Edgeworthstown Community Library will benefit from this funding to the tune of €1.15 million bringing my Departments overall contribution to €2.4 million.”

€1.5 million is also being provided for a new public library in Stillorgan. It is being developed by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council as part of an integrated project that will include social housing and new civic spaces and amenities in Stillorgan town centre.

In addition, Ennis Library is being allocated a further €1 million bringing its programme allocation to €4 million and Portlaoise Library will receive an additional €1.35 million bringing its allocation to €3 million.

In concluding, the Minister thanked the local authorities for their ongoing support of the library service and in particular, the Minister thanked the staff of every local library “for their continued professionalism, enthusiasm and their commitment to providing a high quality service to all sections of the community”.


Note to editors:

Libraries Capital Programme

The Department’s Libraries Capital Programme was launched in 2016 and supports 19 capital projects, including My Open Library.  The programme supports priority proposals submitted by local authorities following a call for proposals in 2015.  Almost €29m has been allocated under the programme, with a spend of €6m expected by end-2018.

Our Public Libraries 2022 – Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities

The strategy has three Strategic Programmes that reflect the core functions of the public library service –

  • Reading and Literacy,
  • Information and Learning, and
  • Community and Culture.

It focuses on removing barriers to access and improving accessibility for all.  The library service will draw on capacity across the library network to support and facilitate services provided by other sectors, developing existing relationships and building new ones to support delivery of integrated public services.

Libraries will also work with local partners to reach disadvantaged, marginalised and new communities, increasing these communities’ awareness of services available and firmly establishing the library as a resource for all.

The strategy will be delivered using enablers such as: –

  • infrastructure and services with a focus on fit-for-purpose buildings and ICT capacity,
  • library team development with skilled staff taking a more proactive and confident customer-focused approach,
  • promotion and marketing, at national and local level, to raise visibility and awareness generally, but also to reach out to those communities that may not consider the library a place for them,
  • high-quality collections based on the latest technology and innovative solutions, and
  • continued investment to support infrastructure, ICT, staffing and collections development.