€500,000 in government funding has been allocated to Granard Library - an investment that has been awaited for some time.
The announcement was officially made by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan during his visit to the north Longford town last Friday. “Funding for libraries had been closed and so when this money did become available, it was decided that it would go towards Granard,” the Minister said, adding that he was also aware that the building in which the library was housed “was iconic”. “I understand that there are plans for a Kitty Kiernan room here as well, and I am also delighted to announce that the second phase of Lanesboro Fire Station will get under way. It is great to see enhanced library and fire services in Co Longford.” When asked if the amalgamation of the fire services in Longford/Westmeath would have a negative impact locally, Minister Hogan said, “this is about the delivery of services for every citizen”.
“Services must be provided effectively and efficiently and we can’t just stop at a border any more,” he added. “I do not believe that Longford County Council will put services at risk and we certainly do not envisage job losses as a result of the amalgamation.”
The Minister then went on to advise householders about the importance of paying the household charge, and rubbished claims that lighting and other infrastructural services would be curtailed if payment wasn’t forthcoming. “I would be advising people to pay it; there is no doubt that there is a lot of misinformation out there, and the government is not going to deprive people of essential services,” he added. Minister Hogan then pointed to the importance of library services in local communities and their role in the education and development of the country’s young people. “Libraries are a huge community resource,” he continued. “They are about lifelong learning and cater for the young and the young at heart. I am delighted that €500,000 has been made available for the enhancement of library services in this county, and for the regeneration of what is a very iconic building here in Granard.” Meanwhile, members of the People’s Voice are to make a complaint to Garda Ombudsman with regard to an incident involving Minister Hogan’s Car in Athlone last Friday, as he was leaving the Midlands PAL launch.
“A foot of one of the protesters became trapped under the front wheel of the Minister’s car and to highlight his plight he banged on the widescreen of the vehicle, casusing it to break,” it stated.