The decision taken by management at Fingal County Council to cut local library hours has caused justiﬁable outrage from community groups and residents in Rush and Balbriggan. The libraries which these communities fought so hard for will now be forced to close at 5 pm four days a week! This is an absolute disgrace and must not be allowed to happen.
The government’s public sector recruitment embargo has meant that the libraries cannot replace retiring staff. While council ofﬁcials argue that they have struggled to keep the library open, local groups are asking why the burden was not shared, as there are no cuts in hours at Malahide, Swords and Blanchardstown.
Rush has already lost a Garda Station and AIB branch in recent months. The library cuts have come as yet another blow to the community and to those studying for second and third level exams in particular, and it must be challenged.
A Public meeting will be held in the community centre in Rush at 8pm this evening to discuss this matter and how the community can organise to oppose cuts to this vital service.
Now more than ever the library is needed by young, old and jobseekers. This is a vital community resource if it is undermined it will have a disproportionate effect on the poorest in our communities who may not have easy access to transport or interent. Alternatives must be found. This is a step too far.