Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Questions (149)

Bernard Durkan


149. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the roll-out of the 2019 libraries programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23025/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

My Department funds a libraries capital programme that will invest some €29 million in 19 projects, and in the My Open Library service, between 2016 and 2022.

Two major developments have already been completed under the programme with Kevin Street library in Dublin and Athy library in County Kildare opening in 2018. Moreover, two mobile libraries have been commissioned in Kerry and Wexford; a new schools library van has been funded in Tipperary. Equipment, furniture and fittings have been funded for approximately 20 libraries to support the continued roll-out of My Open Library service which is now available in 13 public libraries and due to launch in seven more in the coming months.

I expect local authorities to continue to make good progress in 2019. To this end, I have secured an increased capital allocation of €6 million for the programme this year. The allocation reflects increasing activity under the programme with, for example, construction on four major developments advancing significantly or completing this year, namely the libraries in Edgeworthstown (Longford), Portlaoise (Laois), Ennis (Clare) and North Clondalkin (South Dublin).

To date in 2019 just over €628,000 has been paid. I expect this to increase considerably as the year progresses and further projects commence.