Former president Mary Robinson has said she is optimistic that plans for a Presidential Library in her hometown will be realised.

Following controversy about the development last year, Mrs Robinson decided to gift her archive to NUI Galway. A decision on how to progress with plans for a centre in Ballina is expected shortly.

This afternoon she said that negotiations regarding the purchase of her former family home by Mayo County Council were moving forward.

Mrs Robinson said there had been an "evolution" in the thinking about the Presidential library.

She said that while the initial plan involved the construction of an annex alongside the family home to house her archive, it became clear that there was a difficulty about the "financial sustainability" of that approach.

She said that led to her decision to give her archive to NUI Galway, on the provision that it was used for the benefit "as much as possible" for Ballina, Mayo and the west of Ireland generally.

The former President said it was a bit painful last year when there was criticism by some who she said did not realise how important it was for a town like Ballina to use the possible benefits of having a centre that could attract visitors, academics and promote issues close to her heart like human rights, women's leadership and climate justice.

Last November, Mrs Robinson said she would not avail of any tax credits that may be available to her when she donates her archive.

The Victoria House foundation, which is overseeing the proposed Library, is understood to be close to finalising an agreement on how best to proceed with the plan.