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Staffless Library the location for Taoiseach’s Rural Development Plan launch – Tóibín

23 January, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural, and Gaeltacht Affairs Peadar Tóibín TD has learned that the Ballymahon library in Co Longford which will host the Government’s launch of the new Rural Development Plan is to be operated in the future as a staffless library every morning, evening and on Sundays.

The Meath West TD said:

“Internet connectivity is an extremely important element to future growth and development in rural areas but not enough attention is being paid on the need for Human Connectivity. Its telling that the government would chose to launch their Rural Development Plan in a library that will see human connectivity replaced by automation.

“This trend is becoming increasingly evident throughout out rural Ireland as banks, post offices, Garda Stations, schools and shops are being forced to close. There has rightly been a greater focus on mental health in Ireland in recent years with isolation being identified as a significant contributor to difficulties.

“Libraries act as conduits of human interaction with mother and toddler groups, older people and children all interacting with librarians on a daily basis. It is of the utmost importance that any rural plan positions staff centrally in the delivery of services throughout our regional towns and villages.” 

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