It was a case of “Christmas coming early” as members of Kilkenny County Council welcomed the news that €780,000 is being provided for a library in Ferrybank.
The money is coming from the Department of the Environment, county manager Joe Crockett noted at this month’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council, and a further €300,000 will be provided from the council’s development levies, as set out in its three-year capital budget due to be finalised shortly.
Coinciding with the library going into the Ferrybank shopping centre, the council is planning to move services from its area office into an adjoining space in the shopping centre. Both the library and area office are expected to be open in May.
“This is great for the people of Ferrybank and also for the whole of South Kilkenny,” said Cllr Cora Long (FF), who is a member of An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council), although that body is being abolished in February.
Of the additions to the Ferrybank shopping centre, she said: “It might seem little, but when something goes in there you will have other people wanting to go in it.”
“It’s just phenomenal what’s going to happen in the south. Everybody in Kilkenny will realise that South Kilkenny is up and running,” she said.
Cllr Anne-Maria Irish (FG) welcomed the “very significant amount of money to come into the south of the county” and added that moving the council’s local services to a more visible location “gives a statement of intent by the council of how seriously they take development in the south.”
“I had to pinch myself when I heard the news coming through, because it wasn’t expected,” said Cllr Pat Dunphy (FG). “I would like to welcome it thoroughly.”
Cllr Malcolm Noonan (Greens) asked about staffing numbers for the new library, but no reply was given.
And although welcoming the news of funding for a library in Ferrybank, Cllr Eamon Aylward (FF) said he hoped the council would not “forget its long-standing commitment to a community library in Mullinavat” – to which Chairman Paul Cuddihy (FG) replied: “It will not be forgotten.”