Campaigners claim to have halted library’s ‘death by a thousand cuts’

Carrick Library. INCT 31-082-tc
Carrick Library. INCT 31-082-tc

Campaigners against a cut in opening hours at Carrickfergus Library have welcomed additional funding for the service.

Minister for Communities Paul Givan announced an extra £225k for LibrariesNI following public consultation.

In June, the Hands Off Our Libraries group organised a protest at the Joymount branch, which was one of 14 faced with having opening hours reduced by up to five hours per week.

A petition initiated by Labour Alternative and backed by various trade union councils and anti-austerity groups, gathered almost 500 signatures in Carrickfergus.

Local spokesperson Conor Sheridan said: “This is a significant U-turn on the part of the minister, under pressure from community activism. We have halted the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ to which our libraries have been subjected by successive administrations, both at Stormont and Westminster.

“We can’t be complacent going forward, but this an important victory for the communities which would have been effected by further cuts to these vital services.”