IMPACT gathers community support for Sligo library closure protest

“The library service is a vital point of connection for young and old, students and jobseekers. The entire Sligo community will fight to save it” – Richy Carrothers

IMPACT trade union has gathered support from community, voluntary and other campaign groups for its protest rally tomorrow (Saturday 17th September @1pm) at Sligo Central Library.

The rally was organised by IMPACT to protest against the unilateral decision, by Sligo County Council management, to close the library from Monday 19th September on a temporary basis. Other library services are also at risk, with local authority management set to permanently close one of the three libraries, Sligo Central, Ballymote or Tubbercurry.

IMPACT assistant general secretary Richy Carrothers said the entire Sligo community has begun to organise resistance to the closure. “The library services in Sligo are a vital resource and are greatly valued by the community throughout the county. There are already more than 2,200 signatories for the Keep Sligo Libraries Open petition, and we’re expecting strong support for our lunchtime rally tomorrow.

“The decision to close the central library from Monday was a unilateral decision by management. They failed to make any efforts to consult with staff, despite the support of our members in the local authority. For example, it was IMPACT members in the Tubbercurry motor tax office who agreed to cover Tubbercurry library on Saturdays and evenings in order to ensure this vital service stayed open,” he said.

Mr Carrothers added that the financial plan agreed between Sligo County Council and the Department of Local Government was having the effect of “strangling” local services. “There has been a 37% reduction in staffing levels at Sligo County Council in recent years, one of the biggest falls in staff numbers for any local authority in the country.

“The threat to our library services, which is vital point of connection for young and old, students and jobseekers, has galvanised the entire Sligo community to fight to save it,” he said.