The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn and Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD, have officially opened Kinsale’s new library and Ballydesmond’s Pocket Park.
Opening its doors to the public a couple of months ago, the new Kinsale Library has already had over 30,000 visits, 14,000 items issued and 2,722 new or re-registering members. The new library is ten times larger than the previous premises in Kinsale over three floors. With over 25,000 items available to borrow, its stock has increased fivefold. 44 Events have taken place since its opening, with 1073 attendees. These include author visits, Space Week events, Exhibition Launches, Children’s Book Festival events, History talks, Culture Night, Chair yoga, Story Time, Ciorcal Comhrá, class visits and tours to name but a few.
Designed inhouse by Cork County Council’s Architects Department, the project has seen the conversion of the James O'Neill Building (Old Mill), a 3-storey structure in Church Square, Kinsale into the town’s new library. This development has transformed the service offered to the people of Kinsale and the wider community that it serves across surrounding areas. The large, multi-purpose building offers a wide variety of opportunities for community and cultural use. The development is an investment of €4.8m, €2.1m of which is being funded by the Rural Regeneration and Development fund administered by the Minister’s own Department of Rural and Community Development.
Also benefitting from the Rural Regeneration and Development fund is Ballydesmond, especially its new Pocket Park. Designed as a multigenerational and environmentally attractive space, the park is the result of an extensive community consultation process conducted in 2018 and 2019, delivered as part of a larger plan to support Ballydesmond’s socio economic needs. The plan was supported by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund to the value of €56,250, with a total of €75,000 including match funding from Cork County Council. Planning for the new pocket park was granted in early 2021 and later that same year, Cork County Council received further Rural Regeneration and Development Funding of €774,000, totalling €903,000 with match funding from Council.
Much welcomed by the community, the pocket park provides increased accessibility and connectivity within the village centre and keys amenities, resulting in an increase in footfall for the village centre and subsequent economic spin off with an enhanced experience for shoppers, the community and visitors. The pocket park offers social and cultural benefits as well as an exercise area. It will also be used for future events and festivals.
In opening both developments, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said,
Speaking at the library, Minister Humphreys said, “This really is a landmark day for this community – and I know there are many people here with us who have put their hearts and souls in making today happen. But it’s also a very special day for our public library and I want to welcome all the librarians and library staff who are with us this morning. This project really goes to the heart of what the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is all about. Supporting and empowering communities in taking old historical buildings, bringing them back to life and re-purposing them for 21st century use.”
Speaking in Ballydesmond, Minister Humphreys said, “Through this project, we’ve delivered much needed public realm improvements and recreational amenities, including this wonderful new ‘Pocket Park’ right in the heart of the village. Time and time again we see how delivering enhanced public spaces like this do so much in terms of making our towns and villages better places to live work and raise a family.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Valerie O’Sullivan added,
Kinsale Library is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am - 5.30pm with ‘My Open Library’ hours coming into effect from early 2024, extending access until 10pm, 7 days a week. The library offers a wide range of materials for lending to adults, young adults, and children. Free Wi-Fi access is available to members and a range of services including Study Spaces, Public Computers, Photocopying and Remote Printing.
Contact email@example.com or visit the premises at Church Square, Kinsale to join today.