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Opening of 'The Crucial 100' exhibition

President Michael D Higgins‌On 4 May 2013 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.

To view and listen to an extract of a recording of the President’s speech on the occasion, select the adjoining photograph. Near the beginning of the recording the President refers to the burning of Cork’s Carnegie Library [by British Crown forces] in December 1920 and the co-ordination of the restoration of library services by James Wilkinson, Cork’s first city librarian. The recording finishes with Lord Mayor John Buttimer’s response and presentation to the President.

You can read more about the one hundred books by selecting options on the left.

This is the first event in what is intended to be a decade-long programme, under the banner ‘HISTORY IS TO BLAME’. Now is a time of crisis, of reflection, of change, and a time when decisions must be made about the future. 100 years ago was also a time of intellectual and political turmoil. Cork City Libraries put this programme forward as a means of understanding what happened, and why, and as a chance to learn lessons for our own time.