Dublin People

Demolition of Amhraclann to make way for new Parnell Square Library to begin soon

The demolition of the Amhraclann on Parnell Square is due to take place later this Summer, Dublin City Council has said.

The site of the old theatre will be the location of the new City Library which is due to be completed in 2027.

Last week, the local authority provided an update on the development of the library which was originally proposed in 2013.

The ambitions plan will see the construction of a new expansive library as well as cultural facilities, including a music centre, design space and an innovation hub.

There will also be a business library, conference facilities, education centre, café and exhibition area.

The project will include the redevelopment of a number of Georgian houses on Parnell Square West, along with a new public plaza in front of the city library buildings and the Hugh Lane Gallery.

Earlier this year, the council took full responsibility for the project after plans to fund it through philanthropic efforts fell through in 2019.

The overall cost of the project has not yet been revealed with the first phase expected to come in at between €80 million and €90 million with “funding being provided by the DHPLG from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (75%) and Dublin City Council (25%),” says Mairead Owens, City Librarian.

In an update delivered to councillors last week, Owens said that a senior resident engineer has been appointed to oversee the demolition of the Amhraclann and a “design team is currently being procured.”

“Once the new design team is appointed, the detailed design of the new Library and the works to the Georgian Houses will take approximately one year,” she said.

“Procurement of the Contractor will take approximately six months.

“Construction will take approximately 32 months with completion expected in 2027.”

The council said it would have a clearer view of the final cost of the full project, originally estimated at €130m, at the construction tender stage.

In February, Dublin City Council said that so far €2.5 million has been spent on security, site surveys, investigation works and building maintenance.

It intends to make a business case to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in advance of borrowing the balance of funds needed.

As part of the scheme, the Ilac Centre library will move to a new premises when the new city library is built and described the Hugh Lane Gallery as “an integral part” of the project.

Under the planning permission granted, it’s also proposed to remove parking and reduce traffic lanes on Parnell Street North to the minimum width required.

The local authority said it did not expect the cultural quarter to have any impact on the Parnell Square area being used as an assembly point for gatherings such as protests or the St Patrick’s Day parade.

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