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Library News Archive >> 2010

Cork World Book Fest 2010: exciting programme of events

WBF 2010 logoThe Festival is fast developing into a prestigious and eye-catching event in Ireland’s cultural calendar and will showcase a rich cross-section of contemporary writers, from household names to cult classics to new talent.

The festival which is attended by 15,000 people annually will open with a reading from world renowned writer Joseph O’Connor, on the evening of April 21, who has received international praise for his best selling novels Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls.

One of the most enticing events will be the visit of John Montague, one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets; as well as John Montague’s reading, the event will include mezzo-soprano Aylish Kerrigan singing some of his poems set to music by Aloys Fleischmann, accompanied by Dearbhla Collins.

The Cork Festival continues to attract world renowned international and Irish writers. In 2010 these include

  • Simon Van Booy, author of Love Begins in Winter which won the 2009 Frank O’Connor Award, the most valuable prize for short stories in the world.
  • Fintan O’Toole, one of Ireland’s leading political and cultural commentators, will read from his latest publication The Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger.
  • Brian Turner, American poet and former US Army veteran.
  • former Professor of Psychiatry at University College Dublin, Dr Ivor Browne, reading from Music and Madness.
  • a must for Charles Dickens fans is Gaynor Arnold whose latest novel Girl in a Blue Dress tells a fictionalised account of the marriage of Charles Dickens as told by his wife.
  • locals such as Leanne O’Sullivan, Liz O’Donoghue, Billy O’Callaghan.
  • renowned performance poet from Italy, Rosaria Lo Russo, and Syrian poet, Hussein Bin Hamza, will pay their first visits to Ireland. 

World Book Day (Dia de Sant Jordi), which is a long established Catalan tradition, will take place on Friday April 23. To mark this unique day a series of events including children and teenage readings, book exchanges, a lecture on publishing in Cork, a discussion on the impact of the eWorld and the screening of Todo Para Mi Madre, directed by Pedro Almodovar will take place. The Festival takes to the streets – to Cork’s Grand Parade – on Sat 24th April with street performances, book stalls, food markets, and much more. For further information see or

This is a link to the full WBF 2010 Programme PDF(425KB)

Opening of Blackpool and Douglas Libraries

Opening of Blackpool and Douglas Libraries

The new libraries in Blackpool and Douglas were officially opened by Lord Mayor Dara Murphy on Friday, 30 April 2010. 


 blackpool_library_opening  douglas_library_opening
 Cutting the ribbon in Blackpool  Storytelling session at official opening in Douglas

Rising from the Ashes Exhibition

Rising from the Ashes Exhibition
Rising title panel
In December 1920 the Carnegie Free Library on Anglesea Street in Cork was destroyed by a fire set by members of the British Crown Forces, along with the adjoining City Hall, and large swathes of the city centre.

Librarian and poet Thomas McCarthy tells the story of the destruction of the library, and its subsequent rebuilding in a narrative both exciting and moving.  He covers the various efforts to rebuild the city and its library, set against the evolving political struggles, the generosity and public spirit of the many donors, and the single-mindedness of then City Librarian James Wilkinson in pursuing his goal of a new city library

This book, and accompanying exhibition, was launched at the Central Library on Wednesday, 17 November, at 7.00 p.m. Copies of the book are for sale at €7 each from all our library service points.  The exhibition runs until 22 December in the Central Library, Grand Parade.

Rising from the Ashes book launch, 17 November 2010

Rising from the Ashes book launch, 17 November 2010
Rising book launch 2010

City Librarian Liam Ronayne speaking at the launch of Rising from the Ashes on 17 November, with Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell, Thomas McCarthy, author of Rising from the Ashes, and Norma McDermott, Director of An Chomhairle Leabharlanna 

11 December 2010

11 December 2010

On Saturday, 11 December 2010, the 90th anniversary of the burning of the Carnegie
Library and of the 14,000 books on its shelves, along with the subsequent restoration of services in a new City Library on the Grand Parade in 1930, was commemorated by a symbolic procession comprising some one hundred people.  The procession began at the former site of the Carnegie Library on Anglesea Street and finished at the City Library in Grand Parade.  Before the procession commenced, the group of invited guests and general members of the public met in the Council Chamber of City Hall, where they were addressed by Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell.  Each person then selected a sample book to carry on the procession, from the thousands of books donated to the City Library after the burning of the Carnegie Library.  The procession — including the Lord Mayor, City Councillors, City Librarian Liam Ronayne, members of the different reading clubs in Cork City Libraries, the president of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, descendants of benefactors who donated books after the 1920 fire, representative staff from Cork City Libraries, members of the Cork City Fire Brigade, and many friends and users of Cork City Libraries — was escorted by An Garda Síochána and led by the Band of the First Southern Brigade, after leaving City Hall through a guard of honour from Cork City Fire Brigade.  The involvement of the Cork City Fire Brigade recalled the brigade’s obstructed efforts to fight the 1920 burning of the Carnegie Library.  The procession through Oliver Plunkett Street included a fire engine until the procession reached the City Library on the Grand parade, where samples of the donated books were held up in symbolic triumph for the restoration of library services on the Grand Parade ten years after the 1920 burning.   The old donated books where then re-presented to the Lord Mayor in the Central Library. 

Procession 1 
Band of the First Southern Brigade leading the procession from City Hall

City Librarian Liam Ronayne then hosted a commemorative reading ceremony.  After the Lord Mayor read some of the sworn eyewitness accounts of the night of the burning, selected excerpts were read from some of the donated books.  The readers were:  Patricia Bogan, great-granddaughter of Alfred J. Hutson, Cork’s Fire Superintendant in 1920;  Salim Bachi, Director of Alliance Française de Cork, representing the people of France who donated books in the 1920s;  Thomas McCarthy from Cork City Libraries, author of Rising from the Ashes;  Sue Ryan who represented library users;  and Kevin O’Sullivan, President of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. 

Burning of Cork Procession
At the closing of ceremonies commemorating the 90th anniversary of the burning of Cork’s Carnegie Library:  Thomas McCarthy, author of Rising from the Ashes;  City Librarian Liam Ronayne;  Kevin O’Sullivan, President of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society;  Hilary and Richard Dring, great-grandson of book benefactor Mary Louise Dring and grandson of benefactor Marjorie Dring;  Patricia Bogan, great-granddaughter Fire Superintendant Alfred J. Hutson 

 Procession 2

Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell and some of the participants from the 90th-anniversary parade, outside the City Library on Grand Parade

Procession 3

Triumphal raising of samples of the many books donated in the 1920s for the restoration of library services. 

Closing of Rising procession

Cork City Librarian Liam Ronayne speaking at the closing ceremony commemorating the 90th anniversary of the burning of the Carnegie Library and the subsequent restoration of library services to the people of Cork.

8 Dec. 2010: Guest talks reflecting on the burning of Cork’s Carnegie Library

Enduring the most
Pat McMahon event

City Librarian Liam Ronayne introducing Galway County Librarian Pat McMahon, Member of the Board of the National Library of Ireland, and Thomas McCarthy, author of Rising From The Ashes, before they presented public talks on international reflections on the history of libraries destroyed in times of war. 

Music Library wins International Award

Music Library wins International Award
The Rory Gallagher Music Library has won an Excellence Award for Music Libraries, covering music libraries in the UK and Ireland.  This is the first year that these awards have been run, organized by IAML – the International Association of Music Libraries.  The judging panel felt that Cork City Libraries was a good example of a service at the centre of its community, building on local connections and taking a full part in local festivals. Attention was drawn to the library’s broad spectrum of users including those with physical and learning disabilities, the development of the Cork Music Archive, its participation in a number of partnerships within Ireland, its programme of musical events – recitals, lectures exhibitions and launches – and to its role as an important meeting place for the musical community of Cork.

This new biennial award scheme aims to acknowledge ‘outstanding music services to the library’s user community’, and to ‘highlight and celebrate activity in music libraries showing sustained good work and good practice which has the potential to be adopted and adapted by others’. The Award is presented every two years and is open to all music libraries no matter what their sector, size or type. This year’s nominations were assessed by an international panel of experts chaired by the distinguished musicologist John Tyrrell. The panel included music librarians from various sectors, professional musicians, and leading figures from the wider library profession.

2010 Children's Book Festival

2010 Children's Book Festival
Hans Christian AndersenIt's the 2010 Cork City Libraries' Book Festival! This year the Festival's hero is Hans Christian Andersen, one of the world's greatest storytellers. The month long festival will be launched on Friday, 1 October by Niall de Burca who will reawaken the magic of Andersen's fairy tales. The prize of the trip to the wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen, where Hans Christian Andersen lived, will also be presented to the child who has succeeded in reading 44 books or more over the summer months in our Stick With Reading challenge!

This year's Bisto award winner and former Hans Christian Andersen award nominee, Marie Louise Fitzpatrick, will visit later in the festival schedule. Also, Sophie Carton will help children to bring their fairy tales to life with clay workshops.

The Goethe Institute invite author of Over The Wall, Renate Ahrens, to talk about experiences in Hamburg after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Author Keith Charters will get reluctant readers reading and the irrepressible Ré O Laighléis will encourage children to read Irish books.

The Irish Dogs Trust will visit all libraries and talk about the importance of caring properly for your dog.

The Blackrock Observatory Cooks Up A Comet! and will allow children to experience the magic of the stars in their StarDome, all as part of World Space Week 2010.

Oceans of Notions will perform Ashputtel and Other Tales and Seán O Laoghaire will keep children entertained with his stories and puppets.

Poet Alan Murphy drops in to read from his book The Mona Lisa's On Our Fridge while another poet, Paul Tubb, will bring poetry to places where no poet has gone before!

We have other events too: Storytelling, Halloween colouring, Yu-Gi-Oh & much more.

So there's lots to look forward to in the 2010 Children's Book Festival, where everyone's a beautiful swan and there are no ugly ducklings!

Click on the link below to open the full festival brochure in PDF format.

2010 Book Festival Brochure(2,977KB)

Stick With Reading

Stick With Reading
Cork Rose Laura MitchellCork City Libraries’ Stick with Reading programme caught the imagination of hundreds of children throughout the city during July and August. Children were encouraged to continue reading when school was out by collecting specially designed stickers for every book they read. Whether they read 4 books or 44 all children were presented with an Excellence in Reading Certificate at the end of the summer, and 7 lucky children representing each branch in the city are entered into a draw for a trip to the home of Hans Christian Andersen in Copenhagen which is kindly sponsored by International Education Services. The draw will take place on October 1 at the launch of Children’s Book Festival. Cork Rose Laura Mitchell presented the Excellence in Reading Certificates in Bishopstown Library.

Daniel Florence O'Leary Memoirs presented to Cork City Libraries

Daniel Florence O'Leary Memoirs presented to Cork City Libraries

H. E. Dr Samuel Moncada, the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, presented a complete set (34 volumes) of the memoirs of General Daniel Florence O’Leary to Cork City Libraries on 13 May 2010.  Dr Moncada was in Cork to officiate at a number of events commemorating O’Leary who was born in Barrack Street in the city in 1801, and who was a close aide to Simon Bolivar in the liberation of Venezuela, Bolivia and Equador from Spanish rule.  The set of memoirs will be available for consultation in the Reference Library, Grand Parade.

Photo shows Dr Moncada accepting a reciprocal gift of books on Cork from City Librarian Liam Ronayne.  Also present are members of the Daniel Florence O’Leary Association, including Michael O’Leary (front left), great grandson of a first cousin of Daniel Florence O’Leary.