28 Nov 2021

Laois County Council says new €5 million library is a ‘priority project’

Laois County Council says new €5 million library is a ‘priority project’

The grand design for the new €5 million Portlaoise Library

A restart is urged this year on the stalled new €5 million county library on Portlaoise Main Street but there is still no sign of most of the cash from the Government.

Laois County Council bought the old Shaws shop for almost €500,000 in 2013. Plans were drawn up to knock it and build a new library but progress stalled last May when the pricetag rose to almost €5 million. Only €1.65 million is secured in a Government grant. The council requested a grant of €3 million but it has not yet been granted. 

At the January council meeting, Housing Officer Michael Rainey said the council intends to “bring it back as a priority project”.
It is listed as a “key action” in the council’s Service Delivery Plan for 2018, to “further progress development of the new County Library”.

Cllr Jerry Lodge urged the council to proceed.
“Grab hold of the library... It is an integral part of development for Portlaoise, a huge amount is being spent this year on Lyster Square and the three lanes, I want the library work done in tandem, it would be hugely positive,” he said.

Cllr Mary Sweeney works in Portlaoise library on Lyster Square. She said that it is “not fit for purpose in many ways”.
“There are health and safety issues, there is a lack of space, it is not able to accommodate what it currently does,” she said.
She noted that a site is to be bought for a new courthouse off Main Street.
“It is great news for the courthouse, and for business on Main Street, but I ask that the library be given the same sense of urgency,” Cllr Sweeney said.

Council CEO John Mulholland confirmed last summer that the build would not go ahead until a government grant of €3 million is obtained.
"The council cannot proceed unless it gets more grant assistance. It leaves too big a hole in this council,” he said.

Council chiefs heading to New York for St Patrick's day

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.