Cork City Libraries decided to close early today due to gatherings surrounding books offered to young people.
The library said it would close at 12.30pm today “in light of planned demonstrations”.
“This decision is taken in the interests of the safety and wellbeing of the public and library staff,” it said on Twitter/X.
Protests have taken place in recent weeks against the availability of LGBTQ+ books for young adults and children in the library.
In light of planned demonstrations on Grand Parade, the City Library will close to the public at 12.30pm on Sat 29 July.
This decision is taken in the interests of the safety and wellbeing of the public and library staff.
We regret this temporary disruption to library services. pic.twitter.com/JUnnduI9kM
— Cork City Libraries (@corkcitylibrary) July 29, 2023
Labour Education Spokesperson Aodháin Ó Ríordáin TD said the demonstrations are “disgusting”.
“This is a manufactured protest,” he said. “If we are genuinely going to accept that library should close because of the minds of these people, then we've turned a very dark corner.
“This isn't just a protest; this isn't a legitimate course of action.”
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said librarians and staff have been intimidated and verbally abused by protestors objecting to books on offer.
“This is a manufactured campaign trying to whip up misinformation and disinformation about young people's education,” he said.
“It has no basis in fact, and it has all the signs of very narrow-minded people trying to cause fear.”
Counter-protests have also formed in support of both the LGBTQ+ community and the migrant community in Ireland.