Half-day Library Visit Tour 6: Athy and Abbeyleix


Libraries: Athy Community Library and Abbeyleix Public Library

Type of Library: public

Total Distance Return Trip: 239 km

Meeting Point: Convention Centre Dublin

Price per person: € 11

Visit two award-winning refurbished and repurposed public library buildings.

Winner of the Best Public Library Service in 2018, Athy Community Library opened in March 2018 following the redevelopment of the former landmark building, St. Dominic’s Church, to a high quality, modern and accessible community facility. The initiative is an excellent example of a change of use which reenergises both the immediate building and the surrounding area. The new library was designed to meet the significant and diverse needs of the Athy community and to act as a hub of educational and cultural information and civic resources.

Abbeyleix Public library is located in the heritage town of Abbeyleix, County Laois. A former market house built in 1836 by Viscount John de Vesci, it was extensively redesigned internally in 2008 as a public Library. The renovation and restoration work to this nearly 200-year-old building stands out as fantastic resource to the community. The central library room, with its three storeys of books, offers over 450 meters of public space, an art gallery, a dedicated children’s floor, digital learning and other study areas. The library received a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) People’s Choice award for best public building in 2008 and the silver medal for conservation in 2019.