The official opening of the renovated Dunlavin public library took place last week amid references to its historic location. Dunlavin was the venue for one of the worst atrocities of the 1798 rebellion.
However as Cllr. Jimmy O’Shaughnessy noted the building dates back even further and “is older than the USA or Australia”.
It was constructed as a market house in the 1740s by the Tynte family at a cost of £1,200.
It was designed by architect Richard Cassells, who was also responsible for Russborough House, Carton House and Leinster House.
Cllr. O’Shaughnessy said that today the value of a modern library - where all are welcome - is as a provider of information and an educational facility, providing support for those who need it.
Wicklow County Manager Eddie Sheehy noted the increased usage since the reopening and encouraged all to use it. All the furniture and shelving is new and there is a designated area for adults to relax and read books or newspapers.
Wicklow County Council has a free library membership policy, which has led to an increase in members.
The former courtroom is now the childrens’ library. Some of the old courtroom features such as the witness box and part of the public bench, have been retained.
The room has new soft furnishings, book shelves and furniture, making it a welcoming area for children. The library also stocks cds, dvds, audio books, two pcs and has printing and photocopying facilities.
It’s managed by librarian Maura Greene. The library is open from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive at different times.