Roof leak leads to partial collapse of ceiling in a Laois library

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Roof leak leads to partial collapse of ceiling in a Laois library

Rathdowney Library where a leaking roof has resulted in a hole in the ceiling

Continuous leaks in the ceiling of a library in a Laois town have caused part of the ceiling to fall.

The library in Rathdowney needs an entire new roof, Laois county Council has agreed, but it could be another two years before it is renovated.

Cllr John King who provided these photos of the library, said it is "shameful to see" in his home town.

He tabled a motion to the February meeting of the Mountmellick Borris-in-Ossory Municipal District.

He asks the council to "address the continuous water damage that is being done to the library in Rathdowney as a result of water coming through the roof and ceiling and nothing seems to be done to solve this problem".

He has spoken to the librarian Catherine Fitzpatrick about the problem.

"It's not nice to have a library with a hole in the roof. It's not healthy to have the ceiling fall, with patrons inside," he said.

"It is shameful to see. Rathdowney library is very well used by children and by adults doing courses," Cllr King said.

He added that buckets have to be used in the library to catch drips.

The county librarian Bernie Foran replied to his motion stating that repairs will be made, with a longer term plan for a new roof by 2021.

"Laois County Council's Capital Indicative Programme 2019-2021 included a draft provision of €100,000 for Rathdowney Library Fabric upgrade. Interim maintenance measures will be carried out pending the future fabric and roof upgrade".

The area engineer Stan Cullen explained why the new roof takes time. It would start with a survey of the building.

"We hope to do the design work later this year, including energy saving measures. This funding was written in the budget and adapted at the December meeting," he said.

Cllr Brendan Phelan had seconded the motion.

"Will repairs be done before the survey? We don't need a survey to repair a hole in the roof" he said.

"It needs a new roof," Mr Cullen said.