Under Section 78 of the Local Government Act 2001, the provision of premises and facilities in the public library service is a matter for each local authority in its capacity as a library authority. My Department provides capital funding towards the provision and refurbishment of new and existing public libraries. In this regard, in 2008 my Department requested library authorities to provide details of priorities for library development within their areas.
In its response, Longford County Council ranked Ballymahon branch library as its main priority, followed by projects at Granard and Edgeworthstown and the provision of a library delivery vehicle. Grant aid of €900,000 was approved and drawn down in respect of the Ballymahon project with the final payment being made in October, 2011. In addition, my Department provided €80,000 for the purchase and fit out of a library vehicle in 2010. Available funding for 2013 is expected to be fully committed to ongoing library projects.
The library service provides very valuable social, educational and cultural services to communities around the country and my Department will continue to work with local authorities to ensure that every effort is made to continue the delivery of appropriate services within budgetary constraints.