Sunday 19 November 2017

New city library for Parnell Square could cost up to €100m

Dublin City Council’s impression of the project
Dublin City Council’s impression of the project

A new City Library planned for Parnell Square in Dublin will cost up to €100m, city councillors have been told.

Substantial costs on top of the original €60m estimate need to be factored into the overall figure, including professional fees of €10.5m, Vat of €13m, the provision of digital systems and other equipment and significant cost factors.


Dublin City Librarian Margaret Hayes gave an update on progress on the proposed project to members of the council's Central Area Committee yesterday.

Committee chairman Ciaran Cuffe welcomed the project but questioned the €100m cost and asked if the old Central Bank building on Dame Street, on the market for €40m, could have been bought and converted.

Ms Hayes said the Central Bank building was considered but the central core of that building was "too gloomy" for a library.

It was felt the families and children of the north inner city would benefit greatly by locating it in Parnell Square, she said.

The project is being financed by the Parnell Square Foundation, a registered charity, and will be carried out by its wholly-owned development company PSQ Developments Ltd, with the support of the city council, international real estate firm Kennedy Wilson and the Office of Public Works.

The project will incorporate the old Colaiste Mhuire school's Georgian buildings, the Hugh Lane Gallery and a number of other adjoining buildings to form an extensive cultural campus for the city.

Deputy City Architect Owen O'Doherty said construction will begin in 2019 and it will open in 2021. It will replace the Central Library in the Ilac Centre.

A 200-seat conference and auditorium space is also envisaged, along with a live music venue suitable for recording.


There will also be a child-friendly educational centre with capacity for up to 120 people, a music centre, a design space and a business innovation centre.

The Kennedy Wilson firm has donated €2.5m in seed capital funds to get the project to the planning application stage. The Council has committed €1.8m over three years.

Funds are also being raised via the Parnell Square Foundation at home and abroad.

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