ELECTED members in Clare got a first glimpse at the new de Valera library in Ennis during a site visit last Friday.

Councillors, Oireachtas members, senior management and staff with Clare County Council plus representatives of glór’s board attended a tour of the library and art gallery located at the Causeway Link in Ennis.

They were guided through the new building by members of the project team who briefed those in attendance on the layout and proposed finish of the impressive multi-functional space. The 2,321sqm building comprises a public library over two floors which includes the local studies centre, a 100sqm art gallery and incorporates the County Library headquarters on the top floor.

London based, Keith Williams Architects designed the building. Keating Construction successfully tendered for the initial construction contract but the company entered liquidation, construction re-commenced with Coolsivna Construction in April 2022.

Late 2021 was the original target for the finishing of the library which has a price tag close to €14m. The onset of COVID-19 and the pause in construction greatly disrupted these plans.

Pictured at an event hosted by Clare County Council on Friday (31st May, 2024) to officially mark the end of construction and commencement of fit out of the new De Valera Library were (l-r): Cllr Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council; and Patrick Gardiner, Director, Coolsivna Construction Ltd.

Friday’s site visit marked the ending of the construction phase and the commencement of library fit-out which will take several weeks to complete.

Work Rest Play based in Belfast was awarded the tender fit-out and the visitors were shown aspects of shelving, desking, and seating which have arrived recently to site and are presently being installed. It is expected that the library will decant the three service points of public library, local studies centre and library headquarters onto the site over the coming weeks, with an anticipated opening date of later in the summer.

Cllr Joe Cooney (FG), Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, expressed his satisfaction with the building stating that, “I’m delighted to see that the interior reflects the scale and ambition of the exterior of the building and I would like to acknowledge that for myself and my fellow Councillors we feel we have contributed to creating a lasting legacy for the people of Ennis and the county”.

Pictured at an event hosted by Clare County Council on Friday (31st May, 2024) to officially mark the end of construction and commencement of fit out of the new De Valera Library were (l-r): Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; and Anne Haugh, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, added that, “This new County Library project is a landmark initiative aimed at providing a modern, engaging and inclusive space for learning, community engagement and cultural enrichment. I am especially pleased to have delivered this project during my term as Chief Execuitve and I look forward to watching the community make it their own and embrace the many opportunities it will afford in the future”.

Anne Haugh, Director of Rural Development with responsibility for libraries, Clare County Council, stated that, the long-anticipated project “represents a significant investment in the future of our community. The new library is designed to cater to the diverse and changing needs of the population, offering a wide range of facilities and services that reflect the evolving role of libraries in the 21st century”.

Currently, the present library holds a book stock of 49,000 items, of which 19,000 are devoted to children’s services, the local studies centre holds a stock of 15,000. The new branch will combine the public library and local studies centre. The library recorded close to 80,000 visits last year by the public, and it is anticipated that with the new facilities and services available in the new building this figure will double when it opens.

Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, added that, “The new library will now hold a stock of 70,000 items. The branch will also hold an additional store of 22,000 books which will supplement the public offering.” She added that “the dedicated children’s area will contain a cubby sensory hub providing an immersive multi-sensory space as well as access to sensory toys, board games and a dedicated ‘maker space’.”

Pictured at an event hosted by Clare County Council on Friday (31st May, 2024) to officially mark the end of construction and commencement of fit out of the new De Valera Library were (l-r): Peter O’Toole, Senior Quantity Surveyor, Coolsivna Construction Ltd; Adrian Headd, A/Senior Engineer Clare County Council; Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; Anne Haugh, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council; and Patrick Gardiner, Director, Coolsivna Construction Ltd.

Other items of note include laptops and hublets which will be provided for use in the library and there will be ample seating and study spaces provided throughout the building. There is a dedicated teenage space and a multi-purpose meeting room available for use for lectures and library clubs while three single booths, which provide privacy if required for interviews or research, are located on the first floor. The library contains a universally accessible toilet compliant with the ‘changing places’ policy.

A 100sqm art gallery which sits separate to the library but is adjacent to glór is an additional element of the build and puts a focus on a joined-up approach to the provision of cultural services on the site – unifying the visual, performing, and literary arts.

Related News

clareabbey
Clareabbey dumping has 'accelerated beyond belief'
cratloe quiz team 1
New initiative targeting primary school students preserves O'Regan's legacy
inis housing association 16-02-24 cathal crowe darragh o'brien
Frustration building with no sight of shovels in the ground in Broadford & Cooraclare
Magowna Hotel Inch Protest 04
Magowna House operator receives €3.2m in first quarter for accommodating Ukrainians and IP applicants
Latest News
cratloe quiz team 1
New initiative targeting primary school students preserves O'Regan's legacy
clare v limerick 09-06-24 david reidy david fitzgerald 1-2
Costly misses at crucial stages lamented by Lohan
inis housing association 16-02-24 cathal crowe darragh o'brien
Frustration building with no sight of shovels in the ground in Broadford & Cooraclare
Magowna Hotel Inch Protest 04
Magowna House operator receives €3.2m in first quarter for accommodating Ukrainians and IP applicants
No Repro FeeTUS LSAD 24 ExpoPic
Tina takes 2024 Global Travel Award
Premium
le24 election joe cooney 2
The Electoral Chair: Election reflections in Co Clare following dramatic two day count
WhatsApp Image 2024-06-09 at 19.17
Limerick lower Clare in Munster final again
clare v tipperary 26-05-24 ian galvin 1
'Nobody is going along for the ride' - Galvin says strength of panel key to Clare's run back to Munster final
conor mcquillan 1
GAAGO may have finally met its match warns Ennis' McQuillan
clare v cork 05-03-23 cillian brennan 1
'There's still a place in All-Ireland championship' says captain Brennan

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top