Hayes intervenes in bid to keep famed Bolton Library in Cashel

Minister of State Tom Hayes says moves are underway to keep the famed Bolton Library in Cashel.
A concerted bid is being made to save the Bolton Library in Cashel from closure.

A concerted bid is being made to save the Bolton Library in Cashel from closure.

Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes, representatives of the local Church of Ireland organisation, Mayor of Cashel Joe Moloney, former Minister Martin Mansergh and Cashel Heritage Trust have combined in a bid to secure a future for the Bolton Library in Cashel.

The library’s future, which contains a priceless collection of books dating back to the 18th century, is under threat as a lack of funding threatens the preservation of valuable books stored in the library and it has been proposed to transfer the books to the University of Limerick.

Minister Hayes said: “The Bolton Library is an important asset to the people of Cashel and is of strategic importance to the town from a tourism perspective.

“We held a very positive meeting with all sides re-iterating the importance of the library to Cashel’s future. The issue of preserving the valuable books currently in the library and the current lack of funding to properly maintain these dominated the agenda but with constructive contributions from all sides a clear path has now been decided upon to try and save the library.

“The next steps will be to meet the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory Michael Burrows and senior management in the University of Limerick to secure the necessary funding to keep the Bolton Library open in Cashel. While all sides agreed that the on-going deterioration of books in the library cannot continue in the immediate future, I am hopeful that following meetings with Bishop Burrows and UL that the library will have every chance of being maintained in Cashel and that will be a positive development for Cashel’s tourism potential” said Minister Hayes.

The move to transfer to UL announced last week was greeted with dismay in Cashel. Bishop Burrows said the decision was “deeply regrettable” and that moving in this direction had been a difficult decision.

“But that decision is undoubtedly right and responsible if this important collection is to be safeguarded for the future,” he said.