Kinsale Library Vying to be Named Ireland’s Favourite Building

Kinsale Library.

Kinsale Library has been shortlisted in the RIAI Architecture Awards and is in the running to be named Ireland’s favourite building or public space for 2024. 

The new library is located in the James O’Neill Building (Old Mill) in the heart of the town and is one of 42 projects through to the finals of the Public Choice Awards. The RIAI awards celebrate excellence in the design and delivery of buildings by registered architects. 

Kinsale Library was designed inhouse by Cork County Council’s Architects Department. The project saw the transformation of the three-storey Old Mill from a boarded-up shell of a 19th century grain store into an innovative public library and exhibition space. 

It was officially opened by the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn and Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries TD in December 2023. The €4.8 million project was undertaken by Cork County Council with the support from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the European Investment Bank through the Social Sustainability Investment Programme.  

Mayor O’Flynn said,


Kinsale Library is a beautiful building inside and out. There were 180 entries for this year’s RIAI awards, and I am delighted to see Kinsale Library through to the finals. The library is now ten times larger than the previous premises and has transformed the service offered to the people of Kinsale and surrounding areas. This project has also brought an historical building back to life, conserving it and redesigning it sensitively to the benefit of the entire community. I hope the people of County Cork will cast their vote for Kinsale Library in these prestigious awards

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan added, 

Valerie O'Sullivan

Chief Executive

Cork County Council Headquarters, County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, Ireland. Eircode: T12 R2NC.

Creating a new public library and exhibition space for Kinsale was a longstanding objective of Cork County Council’s Development Plan. The Old Mill was built sometime between 1840 and 1800, it was badly damaged by fire on two occasions before it was acquired by us. We now have an incredible, state-of-the-art space that is used by people of all ages

The winners will be announced by RIAI President Sean Mahon at a ceremony held in the National Gallery of Ireland on Friday the 21st of June.

Visit to vote for Kinsale Library in the RIAI Public Choice Award 2024. The closing date for voting is Wednesday the 19th of June.