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25/10/2021

Council wants Minister to fund library

Planning

The council has called on Minister Alan Kelly to provide funding for the relocated Portlaoise Library.

Proposing the motion at the last meeting of the municipal district in County Hall, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said there was a fantastic site selected for the new library.

“The onus is on us,” she said. “When we see traders trying to keep the town vibrant, the onus is on us. It would make a huge addition to the street.”

It was agreed to send a letter to Minister Kelly on the issue, but Cllr Willie Aird proposed a deputation to meet with the Minister.

“You might as well send a letter to me as Alan Kelly,” said Cllr Aird.

“You have to meet him in person. The one time we did meet him he gave us the greenlight for the school in Knockmay.”

Cllr Mary Sweeney said it was an important issue, as the new library has been in the pipeline for the last three or four years.

“It’s very important for the growing population of Portlaoise,” she said, adding that the new library would increase footfall in the town.

Cllr Aird urged Cllr Sweeney to use her “good influence” with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan on the matter.

He said the pressure was on, as there is a general election in January.

“Then it’s all over,” he said.

Cllr Noel Tuohy remarked: “It was always my belief that if you had a Minister, something would be done.”

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