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03 Jul 2022

New €4.5m Edgeworthstown library to boost county's revival

€677k rural renewal drive: North Longford secures bulk of monies

The long awaited unveiling of Edgeworthstown’s €4.5m library has been hailed as the latest impressive stepping stone in the mid Longford town’s ongoing regenerational drive.

Rural Affairs Minister Heather Humphreys officially set the seal on a project last Friday which has been five years in the making.

Minister Humphreys said the end product was a prime embodiment of the way in which local authorities and community groups can work in perfect harmony

“This is a state of the art library,” she said at the facility’s formal opening which coincided with ‘Ireland Reads Day’, a campaign to get the whole country reading.

“This is about communities and local authorities working together drawing down funds from central government and this is game changing.”

Minister Humphreys also announced a near €18.5m stimulus package as part of the Government’s Rural Future plan.

The plans provide for approximately 99 projects in 24 counties, many of which will see former banks, garda stations, convents and train stations being regenerated for community use.

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan said the occasion represented a “fairytale ending” to a project which promised to breathe new life into Edgeworthstown and the wider local community.

County Council chief executive Paddy Mahon was equally enthusiastic, saying the new library complex would form part of the town’s broader regenerational blueprint.

“It’s a credit to everybody that has been involved from the very beginning,” he said.

“This is part of a regeneration project in Edgeworthstown and will help fulfil the potential of the town centre.”

Mr Mahon said the imminent onset of a new digital hub on the opposite side of the town’s main street would be a “huge shot in the arm” for its economic renewal going forwards.

Under the Government's latest tranche of Town and Village Renewal Scheme, Longford received in excess of €677,000 with the bulk of that funding going towards north Longford based projects.

Approximately €236,000 was set aside for the ongoing redevelopment of Rose Cottage in Ballinalee.

The 150-year-old residence, which was the headquarters of General Seán MacEoin and the North Longford Flying Column during the War of Independence, is being developed into an interpretive centre.

State aid of €240,843 was also provided for a proposed amphitheatre and  the enhancement of the Latin School Tourism Centre in Moyne.

The Lanesboro Food Hub and Bunlahy will also receive €100,000 for significant local projects. 

Minister Humphreys said the large scale investment had all the trappings of changing the face of rural county Longford for decades to come.

“This is about combatting dereliction and breathing new life into our towns and villages,” she said.

“Town and Village is all about attracting people back into rural communities and making them more vibrant places to live, work and raise a family and run a business.”

Later in the day, Minister Humphreys also opened a series of new ‘Our Rural Future’ development projects across north Longford.

The Minister travelled to Ballinalee for the official opening of the Forest Walk (a project which received €64,838 under the Town and Village and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme).

She then went on to Aughnacliffe to open the River Walk(received €130,825 under Town and Village and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme) and on to Dromard for the official opening of Slí na Sláinte walkway (received €38,439 under the CLÁR Scheme) at Moyne Community School.

The Minister’s visit concluded in Dromard where she then opened a new walkway (which received €130,619.20 under the LEADER Programme) and unveiled improvements to Dromard community centre (received €79,968.56 under the LEADER Programme).

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