Saturday 20 January 2018

Library is staying put, end of story!

John Manning

FINGAL'S acting county manager has given a 'guarantee' that Balbriggan Library will stay at its current location, finally killing a proposal to move the library to a refurbished Gallen's Mills.

At a special meeting of the Swords/Balbriggan Area Committee, acting county manager, Peter Caulfield gave a commitment that the library will stay at its George's Square location and the Department of Social Protection, Intreo office would look elsewhere for a home in the town.

The Intreo office had been earmarked for the Town Hall building and would have meant the relocation of the library but the acting county manager revealed that the OPW was now investigating the suitability of Gallen's Mills to house the Intreo office.

Mr Caulfield said that in making the decision, county management were trying to satisfy two needs in the town.

He said: 'The need for an Intreo office in Balbriggan was recognised by everyone and I was heartened that there was so much concern around that.'

He said the current facilities for jobseekers in Balbriggan and Swords were 'wholly inadequate' and it was a priority to provide space for an Intreo office in both towns.

But allied to this, county management recognised there was a 'clear overall desire among the people of Balbriggan and members (of the council) to retain the library where it is'.

Mr Caulfield said he believed leaving the library where it is and examining the suitability of Gallen's Mills for the Intreo office, provided a compromise solution that satisfied those two criteria.

He acknowledged that the Town Hall may have been an easier option for the Intreo office and said the OPW now had a lot of work to do to see how the facility can be accommodated in Gallen's Mills or at another location in Balbriggan.

The acting county manager did open up the possibility of vacant space in the Town Hall or somewhere else in the town being used on a temporary basis to accommodate the Intreo office while a permanent home for the office was being developed, but he said no decision had been made on that as yet. Commenting on what plans there are for a museum for the town, given that was to be provided alongside the new library at Gallen's Mills under the council's original proposals, Mr Caulfield said he was happy to provide a commitment 'subject to funding' to look at the acquisition of a building in Balbriggan for a museum.

Fingal Independent

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