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Reprieve on the books to stop library moving

A MUCH-LOVED Dublin library which looked destined to be moved from its 100-year-old home could get a reprieve as councillors hold a hastily-arranged meeting on the issue.

Locals in Balbriggan were outraged after learning of a proposal to move the Carnegie Library, which first opened its doors in 1905, from the town hall building in the heart of Balbriggan in north Co Dublin, to make way for a new social welfare office.

The plans were part of the Department of Social Welfare's national roll-out of new Intreo offices, welfare offices dubbed one-stop-shops, where people can receive jobseekers benefit as well as advice on returning to work.

LOCATION

The proposal by Fingal County Council would see the new Intreo office installed in the Balbriggan Town Hall building with the library moved to the Gallen's Mill building around the corner from its current location.

Locals have launched an online campaign to save the library as well as holding a number of public meetings and protest rallies which have attracted hundreds of people.

A petition has also been circulated which one local councillor said she understood had collected thousands of signatures from people in the town.

Locals are angry that there was no public consultation on the issue and say it makes more sense to put the new Intreo centre in the Gallen's Mill building or in one of a number of vacant buildings around the town or just outside it.

Local Councillor Grainne Maguire, who is opposed to the library being moved, told the Herald said the town did have a need for a new social welfare office, but not at the expense of the library.

"A motion was amended last week to say nothing would be done with the library until the proposals had been examined. But we don't want proposals, we want the library," she said.

CONTROVERSIAL

The opposition to the controversial move seems to have been acknowledged by Fingal County Council with acting manager Peter Caulfield announcing a special meeting of the Balbriggan/Swords Area committee meeting for Wednesday.

"A progress report in relation to options under consideration for Balbriggan Library and the development of an Intreo office in the town by the OPW will be presented to councillors for discussion on Wednesday," Mr Caulfield said.

"This meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss the issues raised and clear up any inaccuracies or misinformation that have emerged in a transparent way," he added.

hnews@herald.ie


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