Mayo County Council has confirmed that construction of the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina will commence on December 5.
The project entails the conservation and refurbishment of the original Robinson family home at Emmet St on the banks of the River Moy together with a contemporary new-build extension.
When completed, the centre will include a museum, archive, research and educational facility and events venue.
Mayo County Council recently signed a €3.10 million contract with LPB Construction Services for the development which is expected to be completed in 2021.
Welcoming the progress on the project, council chief executive, Peter Hynes, remarked that the centre, which will be Ireland’s first Presidential Library, will be great for the county. It will honour the legacy of the country’s first female president and inspire future generations to realise their potential.
Mary Robinson is world-renowned for her contribution to discourse on human rights, gender equality and climate change.
This initiative sees Mayo County Council partner with NUI Galway to provide the public with access to her prodigious archive as well as to papers arising from her ongoing work, which she has gifted to the museum.
Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Brendan Mulroy, said the centre will be a fantastic resource for researchers and visitors alike:
“It will greatly benefit the local area, provide a boost to the tourism economy of Ballina and the north Mayo region and prove another emerging jewel in the Mayo crown.”
The establishment of the Mary Robinson Centre will compliment and reinforce Ballina’s existing cultural suite of civic projects which includes the Jackie Clarke Collection, The Ballina Theatre and Arts Centre and the soon-to-be-realised Ballina Military Barracks Quarter.