Plans For New Youghal Library Get Go Ahead But No Funding In Sight

By Seamus Whelehan

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Dramatic changes reshaping the library service in Youghal to attract more people and events have been unveiled.
Cork County Council this week gave the go ahead for plans to develop Collins Bakery into a state of the art library service to proceed to public consultation.
No funding has been approved for the €5million project but planning is required for inclusion on the Government’s capital programme for libraries.
Included in the blueprint for the provision of a modern branch library for Youghal are improved facilities for self-directed learning, e-learning, business information, exhibits, heritage events, book clubs, local history collection, arts and crafts groups, author visits, writers groups, workshops and storytelling.
The new library would be built around the fabric of the 17th Century building at 58-60 North Main Street as the site is in an architectural protected area.
Cllr Linehan Foley told this week’s full sitting of Cork County Council she was not opposing a move to go to public consultation but she did have reservations over the costing for the programme of work.
Fearing the project and plans looked “very expensive” and felt the authority would be waiting a long time for funding.
The independent Cllr said she did have her own ideas regarding the library service and location of the library in the town, which she would bring to council at a later stage.
The Youghal based Cllr added that “other buildings that are vacant might not cost as much.”
According to a library source they feel the former district courtroom on market square would make an ideal location for the new facility.
The listed structure has been derelict for a number years, following the move by the judicial service to the Mall Art Centre.
Located just yards from Youghal’s newest attraction the Clockgate it has lain idle for over a decade.
While some works were carried out to the roof and guttering to secure the building from the elements, its believed renovation of the structure could cost less than the estimate for the bakery building.
The Irish Court Service say they are open to approaches from Cork County Council to discuss possible uses for Youghal’s vacant Courthouse building.
The Court Service say it’s their “policy to make such unused former courthouses available for other community or public uses” and that they “are open to approaches from the local authorities to discuss the transfer of this building for other public uses, if they have need of it.”

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