Council paid €7m for ‘library’ building that was never used – report
KILKENNY County Council paid €7 million for a building to house a library at the height of the economic boom that has since remained largely vacant.
The revelation is contained in a 2017 Local Government Audit Service report on Kilkenny County Council.
The report also criticised the council for awarding contracts for housing maintenance, valued at about €1 million, “without recourse to full compliant tendering processes”.
The auditor’s report notes the council bought the building at 75/76 John Street, Kilkenny, in 2007, for €7 million “for the purpose of relocating the county library”.
However, it also noted that “although this is now not going ahead, no formal decision has yet been made in respect of its long-term use”.
The audit service said “it is now overdue” for the council to develop a long-term strategy on how it can “finally obtain a return on the significant investment made.”
In a response contained in the auditor’s report, the council said the site at 75/76 John Street is now being considered for “additional office space to consolidate the delivery of council services from County Hall”.
However, the council added that “development is dependent on funding being available”, according to a report in The Irish Times.
It is understood the building is occasionally used for arts-related events.