Now is a time of crisis, of reflection, of change in Ireland, and a time when decisions must be made about the future. The years 1913 to 1923 were also a time of intellectual and political turmoil, when the State was born following the conflicts of the War of Independence and the Civil War. Cork City Libraries put this programme forward as an attempt towards understanding what happened, and why, and as a chance to learn lessons for our own time.
The IT SEEMS HISTORY IS TO BLAME programme for 2015 centred on two main projects: remembering and learning lessons from the Gallipoli disaster, and seeking public suggestions about a possible Irish National Day. In 2015 the City Library hosted ‘Better to die ‘neath an Irish sky, than at Suvla or Sedd-el-Barr?’, an exhibition highlighting Corkmen who fought and died in Gallipoli in 1915, and it sought to answer what sent so many of them so far from home. This was accompanied by a programme of ancillary events ~ on the music of WWI, on individual Corkmen who died in Gallipoli, and on lessons from other instances of military adventurism.
The decade-long programme, under the banner ‘HISTORY IS TO BLAME’, began in May 2013 when the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, officially opened ‘The Crucial 100: one hundred books which inspired a revolution’ exhibition in the City Library, Cork. Review the full programmes for 2013 and 2014 on left under Programme Archive.
In 2016 a focus on the centenary of 1916 was hosted, and from now until 2023 we will reflect on the other centenaries, including the famous Sinn Féin Election of 1918, the War of Independence, and the Civil War — both wars had their fulcrum in Cork city and county.
Explore the options on the left to learn more about this exciting programme, and see how you can get involved.