Monday, January 29, 2018

Ballinrobe Public Library 3

This is the story that Mary, our local librarian in Ballinrobe, told us how the library moved in to the converted church. 

The library moved into their current location about 17 years ago, all because of a library patron named Dorothy, who had a dog friend named Coco.

Dorothy was "Church of Ireland" member and she was increasingly disturbed by the sorry state of the unused church. She was also a book lover and frequent visitor to the library. One day she approached Mary and asked if the county council might be able to use the old church building as a library. Mary said to talk to the council about it. Dorothy did and in the end, Church of Ireland leased it to the Mayo County Council for 1 cent.

It needed some restoration work, not least on the stained glass window, which was sent to Dublin piece by piece and cleaned at a cost of 70,000 pounds (this was just before the euro, I guess).

Dorothy, the woman that set the move in motion, continued to use the library a lot. She always came in with Coco and Coco was the only dog allowed in the library. Once, when Mary was away on holiday, her sub told Dorothy that the dog was not allowed in the library and Coco had to be tied up outside. Dorothy was not happy and I'm guessing that Coco wasn't, either! When Mary returned, she said, "Don't ever do that again! Do you know whose dog that is?" Coco was never banished again!

When it became difficult for Dorothy to get into town, Mary would pick her up on her lunch hour and bring Dorothy to town to do her shopping and pick up her library books. When Dorothy was unable to get to the library, Mary brought her books to her. Dorothy was found passed away in her bed with an open library book in her hand and Coco at the end of her bed. Coco died two days later.

This story was first published by Shari, my wife, back in 2014.



Shari blogging at the library



The previous library before the church was converted.  As you can see, it was very small.


30 comments:

  1. A fascinating story as to how one woman can change the world! And thanks for the interior photos. It's all quite beautiful and so nice to see how the old church has been put to good use!

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  2. Nice story and a good use of the church. It stil raises the mind.

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  3. What a nice moving story, Dorothy did a great job to get the library moved to the church building!

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  4. I love to read the stories behind things. This is a good one. It is amazing what a difference even one person can make when the push the right buttons. It sounds like she died doing what she loved best- reading. How fitting that her little Coco followed right behind her a couple of days later.

    Wonderful photos, Bill! xo Diana

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  5. Love the story by Shari. Beautiful photos. What a beautiful place to sit with a book!

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  6. Hello Bill.
    What a lovely and very touching story,thanks to Shari!
    Like the old Church and the beautiful stained glass!
    Great series of pictures!
    Have a happy new week!
    Dimi...

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  7. What an interesting story! This is a nice and cozy library.

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  8. Oh I knew it would be gorgeous inside Bill, what a super place to blog ☺ That was a very sweet story about how the library came to be there, well done to Dorothy for getting the ball rolling. I'm sure she spent many happy times here before she passed away.. awww poor Coco.

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  9. What a wonderful story and what a wonderful building on the inside (and out). I wonder how many of the books in the library she had read.

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  10. Hi Bill.

    How special this has been achieved.
    It's nice that someone has worked so hard to achieve something.

    Greetings from Patricia

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  11. Great story. When you look inside the library it is appealing. Sometimes a character can move projects along and then oversee them to the end.

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  12. That is a wonderful story and a beautiful library. Thanks for sharing it.

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  13. What a lovely library. I like the clock.

    God bless.

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  14. This is a very touching story & just shows what can be done by someone with a passion!
    It’s a wonderful library with a quirky clock!
    I love the original library building too!

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  15. A poignant, lovely story. The library is beautiful inside!

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  16. Nice story! Thanks for sharing. Best regards from Italy.

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  17. I'm just now catching up on your posts about the library. Beautiful photos and a fascinating story Bill!

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  18. What a beautiful building. I am so glad it was restored and put to good use and a wonderful story.

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  19. That's a great story. Dorothy must have been quite a woman. And I love the look of the library she brought to life.

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  20. An interesting tale of a marvelous library! Beautifully shot!

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  21. Hey Bill, mooi verhaal, mooie gebeuren van die vrouw en de bibliotheek en de trouwe hond.
    Groet kees.

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  22. Oh my, what a great story. Interesting clock. I think I would like a comfy chair up in the balcony to get lost in some books.

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  23. I love that story about Dorothy and Coco, even though it was sad at the end.

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  24. O relógio é único, eu gostei!

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