Decade of Commemorations 2012-2023 Remember and Renew reflection


6 November 2023

Cork City Decade of Commemorations 2012-2023

Remember and Renew reflection 

Thursday 16th November 2023


The Decade of Centenaries National Programme was initiated in 2012, intended to be a broad and inclusive programme, led by the Minister at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media with guidance from an Expert Advisory Group.

In response to the national programme, Cork City Council formed a Commemorations Committee of Council and established its own Community Commemorations Fund, working with a range of stakeholders both locally and nationally to commemorate events significant to Cork. The programme has created a rich and diverse legacy which will help us develop a deeper understanding of how Irish society has been shaped by our past.

As we near the end of the Decade of Commemorations Programme, Cork City Council will hold a series of events on 16 November 2023 to honour and reflect on the activities and achievements of the Decade of Centenaries Programme in the City.  The reflection will be in four parts, including a seminar, a special meeting of Council, an exhibition and a Gala Concert.


Seminar | UCC CUBS building | 2.00 – 4.30pm

Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Kieran McCarthy will be joined by invited guests from across the academic, historical, political and community sectors, including Dr Maurice Manning, Dr. Martin Mansergh, Dr. John Borgonovo, Ann Twomey, Dr. Gabriel Doherty, Dr. Aodh Quinlivan, Dr. Heather Laird.

The seminar will consider how Ireland has measured up to the aspirations of the leaders of the Irish Revolution, over the past century; What the Decade of Commemorations taught us, with a special focus on community-organized commemoration and otherwise unrecognized groups e.g. women? 


Special Meeting of Cork City Council | Council Chamber | 5.45pm – 6.45pm

Following on from the Special Meeting of An Chomhairle held on 30 January 2020 to commemorate the Election of Comhairleoir Tomás MacCurtáin as Lord Mayor of Cork, another commemorative Special Meeting of Cork City Council will be held to reflect on the important events of the decade.

The years 2012 to 2023 saw the centenary anniversary of some of the most significant events in the history of modern Ireland.  The aim of Cork City Council’s Commemorations programme was to commemorate the significant events for the city and gain a deeper understanding of how our society has been shaped by our past.

Sixteen members of the current council will read extracts from newspaper cuttings from across the decade reflecting the important events of the period and the role and impact of the events on ordinary lives.  This will be followed by an Ecumenical Service of Remembrance.

Gala Concert | Cork City Concert Hall| 7.00 – 9.30pm

Renowned Cork playwright and author, Cónal Creedon and radio presenter and passionate advocate for the arts, Elmarie Mawe will host a gala evening of music, poetry, song and film to reflect the activities of the Decade of Centenaries programme in Cork and our aspirations for the society of the future.

The Band of First Brigade, the Cork Fleischmann Symphony Orchestra, Cór Chúil Aodha and Sean O’Sé are amongst the musical performers joining us on the night.  There will also be contributions from poet Dr. Yairen Jerez Columbié and other special guests.

Footage of special events held during the decade of centenaries will be screened, particularly those events which due to the pandemic had restricted public participation, for example the small ceremony which took place outside Cork City Hall on Friday December 11 2020 to mark the centenary of the Burning of Cork 100 years ago, attended by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, An Taoiseach, Mr Micheál Martin T.D., Cork City Chief Fire Officer, John Ryan.

Seats for this event can be reserved via Eventbrite, or using the QR code below – 

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Exhibition| Cork City Hall Atrium| openly daily from 10.00 – 4.00pm 13-17 November

A number of exhibitions which were curated as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme and extracts from these exhibitions will be hosted in City Hall Atrium, including: -

Cork – A City Burning: A City Reborn – created by Cork City Libraries this Exhibition explains how the heightening tensions and deepening conflict set the stage for the catastrophic events which befell Cork City on the night of December 11, 1920.