The former Dominican Church
By Paula Campbellpaula@leinsterleader.ie@leinsleadernews
Works are well underway on the €4 million new library development for Athy at the former Dominican church in Athy.
Kildare County Council bought the church and the adjoining lands from the Dominican Order when they left Athy after nearly 800 years in the town.
The former church and local landmark will now be transformed into a state-of-the-art community library.
Last month the Minister for housing and urban renewal Damien English travelled to Athy to witness the start of the project, which is due to be completed by November.
Minister English was welcomed to Athy by the Mayor of County Kildare Ivan Keatley, Cllr Aoife Breslin and Kildare County Council chief executive Peter Carey.
According to Kildare County Council, the library has been designed to meet the significant and diverse needs of the citizens of Athy and the surrounding environs.
It says it will act as a hub of educational, cultural, information and civic engagement resources.
A statement said the site located in the centre of Athy town, is considered an ideal location for this innovative library project as it offers excellent size and scope for a multi-faceted library and community service.
Meanwhile a mezzanine level of 90 square metres will also be developed as an additional leisure reading and study space.
The relocation of the existing library from Emily Square will in turn allow for the expansion of the Athy Heritage Centre, which recently received museum status. Local TDs Martin Heydon and Fiona O’Loughlin, the former prior of the Dominican Order in Athy Fr John Walsh, representatives from Athy Municipal District and Council staff also welcomed Minister English to the site.