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Thursday 15 November 2018

Council unveils plans for projected €100m Parnell Square library

From left, Ali Grehan, city architect, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, and Brendan Teeling, acting city librarian
From left, Ali Grehan, city architect, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, and Brendan Teeling, acting city librarian

Ambitious plans for Dublin City Council's projected €100m public library will go to An Bord Pleanala for approval in the coming weeks.

The council is expected to spend €45m on the project at Parnell Square - with a further €55m to come from philanthropic funding.

As part of the 11,000sq metre plans, eight Georgian houses will be restored and a new public plaza will be created.

Cultural

The council expects the construction of the library to take two to three years, once planning permission is granted and the procurement process for contractors is completed.

Architect Ali Grehan said the project is designed to turn the Parnell Square area into a cultural quarter within the capital.

"The public library and cultural quarter will be a magnificent synthesis of historic and contemporary architecture unique to Dublin, drawing people along the pivotal route that connects Christchurch and Dublin Castle, through College Green and O'Connell Street to Parnell Square," she said.

Lord Mayor Nial Ring said the project would welcome an estimated one million people every year and described it as "bold".

"Parnell Square is the first and finest of Dublin's Georgian squares," Mr Ring said.

"It has a rich and important history with philanthropic origins.

"Welcoming an estimated 3,000 visitors each day - up to one million people per year - this bold and visionary project will act as a catalyst for regeneration in this part of the city, drawing Dubliners and visitors of all ages in new directions and creating new business opportunities."

Included in the plans will be a music centre, a 200-seat conference space and an education centre, along with an innovation hub.

City librarian Brendan Teeling said the final plans were the result of extensive consultation with the public and stakeholders.

Inspire

"Our objective is to create a world-class library that serves local and civic communities and is consistent with the status of our capital city and our Unesco city of literature designation," Mr Teeling said.

"It will inspire and excite, welcome and include, with collections, connections, places, services and programmes for learners, readers, researchers, children and families and all citizens.

"It will be a place to learn, create and participate."

A model of the design will be on display at the Ilac Centre from tomorrow.

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