The library in Westside will not be closed to the public again, according to Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath.
It follows controversy over the facility being shut last Saturday week. It emerged at this week’s local authority meeting that the library is operating at a minimum staff capacity, as four staff have left. A number of the remaining workforce were sick on that particular day.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ollie Crowe was extremely critical of the library’s closure labelling it a disgrace. “It is not acceptable for the people out there that this happened. The number of people who use the facility is huge. It is not on for a public facility to close because somebody gets sick.”
Councillor Crowe said that he had been informed that four staff members had recently retired and he sought clarity on when those positions would be filled.
Council CEO Brendan McGrath said it is hoped two of the four staff who have left will be replaced, but the public sector staffing embargo remains in place. “Any vacancy which the local authority tries to fill must be approved by the Department of the Environment.”
Mr McGrath outlined that the provision of library services is shared between the city and county councils, under the direct daily management of the county council. He agreed it was not acceptable that the facility had beenclosed and said he had got a commitment from county manager Kevin Kelly that it would not happen again.