A protest was called by the Hands Off Our Libraries Campaign outside the constituency office of Minister for Communities Paul Givan in Lisburn. Lisburn library and thirteen other branches across Northern Ireland are threatened with having their opening hours reduced. Minister Givan has responsibility for the library service.
Organiser Peter Dynes said:
“This is only the latest round of cuts to our libraries as a result of Stormont austerity. These community hubs provide vital resources, especially for some of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. If we don’t resist this attack, more will come down the line. Our libraries will be run down to the point that they are no longer viable. We must defend public, free access to knowledge and culture.”
“The politicians tell us there is no money for libraries and other public services, yet they plan to give big business another huge handout at taxpayers’ expense in the form of a corporation tax cut. We demand they prioritise community services over profit. We demand Minister Paul Givan and the Stormont Executive provide the necessary funding to cancel these cuts.”
On Saturday 25th June, protests took place at the other branches under threat as part of a day of action endorsed by Unite the Union’s Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly.