Capital Building Programme

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Dublin City Library, Parnell SquarePARNELL SQUARE NEW CITY LIBRARY

This provision is for Dublin City Council’s costs in relation to the development of the new city library as part of the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter.  This budget is provided to cover DCC costs including security and maintenance of the vacant Coláiste Mhuire building and maintenance of other buildings prior to redevelopment.

In July 2019 the Chief Executive informed councillors that DCC intended to assume full responsibility for the City Library Parnell Square Cultural Quarter project.

The design team were instructed to undertake a feasibility study examining the options for delivering the project on a phased basis and a decision was made to progress a de-scoped phase 1 of the project which would deliver the entire new build and a full refurbishment of House 27.

The refurbishment of the remaining seven Georgian Houses and the public Realm have been deferred with the exception of works required to access the new building and certain protective works. The intention is to complete the work to the Georgian Houses and the plaza at a later stage.


The primary aim of this project is to refurbish, expand and provide universal access to Inchicore Library. It shall act as a public gateway to a range of services provided by the Libraries network and other selected community and voluntary services within the area; expand on the existing service located within the building; fulfil the operational requirements; exploit its unique location to make it accessible and visible.

The design and construction of the building will: be of architectural and public realm design quality; demonstrate compliance with and best practice in the areas of design; conform in all respects with the requirements of all relevant statutory provisions and regulations as defined under the relevant Acts.

The refurbishment will include:

  • The provision of ramped and lift access – access is currently by way of 20 steps;
  • Mechanical and electrical refit;
  • Provision of public rest rooms;
  • Expansion of the public space;
  • New furniture and fittings throughout;
  • Restoration of the steel windows;
  • Insulation and other energy saving works, such as replacing oil-fired heating with gas;
  • Structural repairs and other external works, such as re-pointing where required;
  • Landscaping improvements.

Walsh Associates have been engaged as Project Architects and design team lead. The Part 8 Planning Process will close in late 2019, with tender publication following as soon as possible afterwards. It is estimated that works will commence onsite in mid-2020, with the library due to reopen by early 2021.


This budget is used to assist with the maintenance of the library building network beyond the day-to-day operations provided for in the revenue budget. Since 2014 the budget has funded roof repairs at Raheny and Rathmines. During 2019, significant fire safety works were undertaken at Ballyfermot and Walkinstown libraries, and a painting programme was commenced with Ringsend, Phibsboro and Drumcondra being repainted internally and externally.

The painting programme will continue throughout the next 3 years with Charleville Mall and Ballymun in 2020. The Central Library will also be repainted as part of a wider redecoration, including changes in layout and new shelving throughout.

New gardens are planned for Walkinstown and Dolphin’s Barn offering expanded facilities to the library service and contributing to improvement in the public domain.

Structural repairs are required at Drumcondra and Phibsboro libraries, a new lift at Pearse Street will round off our programme of repairs and improvements for 2020.

We also plan to address longstanding issues with roofs at Ballymun and Dolphin’s Barn, redecorate Raheny Library, refurbish the garage at Ballymun Library to provide an event space, and reassess the use of basements and Pearse Street and Rathmines libraries.


An amount was provided in 2015 to carry out feasibility studies regarding the future development of the existing libraries or the possibilities to relocate to new premises. Studies were completed in 2015.

Options to expand Donaghmede Library are being investigated as part of ongoing negotiations with the landlord with the expiry of the lease in June 2019, and has therefore been taken out of the capital programme. Opportunities to develop a new library in Belmayne/Clongriffin are being investigated separately as part of the council’s masterplan for the area, with a site to be secured over the duration of the current capital programme.

The initial study for Finglas Library identified a number of potential sites in the area. Acquisition of the preferred site has been complicated by the presence of an electricity substation on the site. The feasibility of moving the substation has been investigated and the project will progress to initial design in 2020.


Bringing innovative technologies to citizens in support of Learning and Information objectives will be achieved via significant citywide upgrades to the libraries information technology infrastructure. The current stock of RFID Self-Service Kiosks will be replaced over the course of 2020.

Smart tables, digital display cameras and devices, tablets and eReaders together with extended PC provision have already provided learners with enhanced opportunities to experience and engage with contemporary digital realities.

In 2019 Libraries commenced the roll-out of Makerspaces in our branch libraries. These spaces offer library users the opportunity to create digital and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3D printers, audio and video capture tools as well as traditional arts and crafts supplies. A mobile library has been re-purposed as a mobile maker van with the aim of bringing making activities to festivals, schools and other outreach events such as the Dublin Maker faire and Dublin Start-up week. The newly refurbished Coolock Library has been equipped with a dedicated makerspace and plans are in train to offer making opportunities in Pearse Street Library and in Richmond Barracks in 2020


A report into access improvement works at Marino Library was one of four requested of City Architect’s division by the City Librarian. Work is currently underway on two of those reports, Coolock Library and Inchicore Library, with Marino and Terenure to follow. The budget provided is based on a previous proposal for access improvement works to the library, which did not go ahead.

Design work on the library and public domain has been completed and it is our intention to proceed in partnership with the North Central Area Office to improve accessibility for the library and the surrounding footpaths.


A new library serving the communities of Crumlin and Drimnagh has long been an infrastructural objective for the libraries section.  A number of potential sites in the area have been identified and it is now proposed that these sites are investigated more thoroughly.

The main criteria in selecting a site was location, with any new service having to be located within equal distance of the centres of both communities, while also not being close to areas already served by existing libraries, i.e. Inchicore, Walkinstown and Dolphin’s Barn. A portion of the Ardscoil Eanna site acquired by the council for housing has been identified as a suitable location. Initial design work on the housing and library developments on the site has been undertaken and it is estimated that works could commence on site in 2022.


A public meeting held in Terenure Library in November 2016 was well-attended and demonstrated public interest in the future of the library services in the area. A report into the feasibility of redeveloping Terenure Library was carried out in 2018. Having considered the recommendations presented, it has been decided that rebuilding the library on its current site is the most advantageous option. Project initiation has been deferred while entitlement to freehold on the site is clarified. It is estimated that works could commence on site before the end of 2022.