Central Catholic Library reject plans for DCU to care for library

DCU's offer to care for Irish Catholic Library is turned down by their board members

The decision of the board of the Central Catholic Library to permanently reject a plan for DCU to care for the library’s collection is contrary to its best interest, according to six former board members who recently resigned from their positions.

A proposal to allow DCU to take on the running of the historic library in Merrion Square, Dublin came to a halt after the Library board’s Annual General Meeting, in early September. New members were elected to the board of the library and a majority opposed plans by the previous board to effectively merge with the library in DCU.

While the previous board determined that a merge would secure the future of the library, some of the new board members expressed fear that the move would jeopardise the identity of the library and wished to consider alternative routes to secure the library’s future.

Last year the library made an operating loss of €11,240, with a loss of €12,461 the previous year. That figure was reduced to €2,498 following a bequest.

The DCU proposal would have preserved the collection and strengthened Catholic studies, the six claimed in a letter distributed to all library members on October 24th.

“There is no other proposal on the table that will achieve this, only ill-defined aspirations to identify other solutions to the problems which face the Library,” they wrote, noting that previous boards had not found any other funding options, despite the help of marketing and fundraising experts.

The six long-standing board members resigned in mid-October due to a loss in confidence in other members of the board, in light of the disagreement about the library’s future.

The six ex-board members are; former treasurer Fr. Brendan Comerford SJ, former keeper of the collection Peter Costello, Felix Larkin, Frank Litton, Michael Sheehy and Tony White.

Hitting back at the resignation of the board members, the chairperson of the Central Catholic Library, Edel Purcell, insisted that they are not in a state of crisis.

“The decision was made at the AGM and we’re working from the enthusiasm and the energy and the expertise that were demonstrated there that the library should go forward as an independent institution,” Purcell said.

She added that she believes the library will secure further funding and that they “are confident that we will be able to do this, with the help of God”.

Hayley Halpin

Image Credit: Irish Catholic

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