The Carnegie Library, Skerries

Paper 281

Lecture – 2011

Author – Grimes, Brendan

Published in: The author’s book Irish Carnegie Libraries, ISBN 0-7165-2618-2.

Grants from the Andrew Carnegie trust financed 66 public libraries in Ireland. This paper expertly describes not only how our library came to be built but also how it was used.

First you had to provide a site on which to build your library. Skerries was lucky – Lord Holmpatrick was pleased to provide the site in Strand Street. How did Skerries end up with its stunning library design complete with clock tower? Somehow they neglected to send the plans for approval, so the elaborate design with its clock tower was built before the Carnegie Trust could protest! Finally you need to actually build it. James Duff of Dublin Street put in the lowest bid and eventually was awarded the contract. Milverton quarry owner, William Flanagan, supplied the cut stone.

Apart from lending books and providing space for reading, soon there were lectures and a typing course and even dances upstairs. The clock was finally installed in 2011, 100 years late, but now always on time. (12 pages + notes)

Themes: Culture, Education, Organisations, Places & Buildings