The latest public consultation session on the subject of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ 2012–23 took place in the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork city, at 8pm on the evening of Thursday 7 November. The event was free and was open to all members of the public.
It was being organised by the Expert Advisory Group, established by the Irish government in 2012 to assist it in its efforts to frame an appropriate approach to the centenary commemoration of the ‘revolutionary decade’ in modern Irish history, 1912–23. The following members of the Group were in attendance: Maurice Manning, Chair and Chancellor of the National University of Ireland; Martin Mansergh, vice-chair, historian, and former Senator, T.D. and Government Adviser; and Gabriel Doherty, School of History, University College Cork.
The first part of the session consisted of a brief overview of both the work of the committee itself (its personnel, remit, activities) and the broader range of commemorative initiatives involving the Irish government. The main part of the evening was, however, to be a forum in which the Cork public could express their opinions on what considerations the government should take into account in framing its policy towards the commemorative decade, especially in the years leading up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising. A vigorous and lively question-and-answer session took place, in which a range of issues were raised. The meeting concluded with a presentation by Dr John Gibney of History Ireland on the forthcoming Decade of Centenaries website.