Peace and Reconciliation: The 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement

Norman McClelland and Irish President Michael D. Higgins

The 2017/18 Lecture and Exhibition Series is dedicated to the memory of our founder, Norman McClelland, who created the McClelland Library in Phoenix to inspire the public to learn more about Irish history and heritage, to discover their family roots and to promote peace and understanding among all the peoples of Ireland and Arizona.

In the eaves of Friday evening April 10th 1998, what is now known as The Good Friday Agreement was signed and entered into by conflicting sides of the Northern Irish conflict. The signing of the agreement signaled a break in a long history of violence, known as The Troubles.  Peace was achieved under seemingly insurmountable differences of political opinion and a storied history of multigenerational prejudice.

In commemoration of the 20 year anniversary of the landmark peace agreement in 1998, the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library are presenting a full season of activities exploring the notion of conflict; its precursors and causes, and solutions to its end. With an overarching theme of Peace and Reconciliation, programming will feature Book Discussions, Lectures, Events, and Films exploring not only the what and why, but where we go from here.

From Protest to Peace Exhibit

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Opening Soon

  • Book Discussion Group – September 30, 2017 10:30AM – Norton Room
  • “The Seeds of Discontent,” a lecture by Dr. Leoutre- September 30, 2017 7PM
  • From Protest to Peace Exhibit Opening- September 30, 2017 (following public lecture)

Two Lectures will be held at the Irish Cultural Center and McClelland Library to in Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018.

The Seeds of Discontent – September 30, 2017, 7PM in the Great Hall:

Join us on September 30th at 7:00PM for a lecture by Dr. Marie Leoutre as a kickoff to our 2017/2018 season: “Peace and Reconciliation The 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.”  Often described as a sectarian conflict opposing Catholics to Protestants in Northern Ireland, The Troubles will be placed in their historical context- going as far back as the 16th century. This broad timeline will shed light on the birth of the nation-state and emergence of religion as a political instrument in Europe.

Immediately following the lecture will be the grand opening of the McClelland Library’s newest exhibit “From Protest to Peace,” a look at The Troubles through the Northern Irish muralists, The Bogside Artists.

There is no admission fee to the lecture and exhibit grand opening, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Spring 2018 Lecture– More Information Coming Soon!


From Protest to Peace Exhibit

Exhibit Opening– September 30, 2017, 7PM in the Great Hall

The new exhibit at the McClelland Library, From Protest to Peace, will open to the public at the conclusion of the Fall 2017 lecture on the evening of September 30th.  For more information on tickets and details about the brand new exhibition please visit our From Protest to Peace page.

Dr. Marie Leoutre (above) graduated from University College Dublin with a PhD in History. Alongside teaching, she worked as an archivist at the Manuscripts Department of the National Library of Ireland, as a historical consultant to the Oireachtas (Parliament of Ireland) Library and as a research assistant at Marsh’s Library in Dublin. Before moving to Arizona for a cultural exchange at the McClelland Library, Marie was working for the Irish Government as a researcher on one of the current Commissions of Investigation. For her academic publications see and

Arizona Premiere of In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America

The Arizona premiere of the Irish documentary film will take place on October 18th, 2017 at 7PM in the Great Hall of the Irish Cultural Center.  Tickets are available online.  To reserve your seats or learn more about the film please check out: In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America.

This is the story of the extraordinary work of Nobel Prize winning John Hume to secure peace in Ireland. The film shows how Hume, inspired by Martin Luther King and rising from the riot-torn streets of Northern Ireland, enlisted American Presidents from Carter to Clinton. Narrated by Liam Neeson and scored by Bill Whelan (Riverdance), In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America includes interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, US Senators and Congressmen, as well as Irish leaders and British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major. At a time of political instability, this is a timely film examining steady leadership and international co-operation.


Each year, the McClelland Library is proud to host a series of visiting lecturers on various topics related to Irish literature, culture, and history. By bringing in experts in various fields, the library hopes to cultivate new interest and excitement about the many aspects of scholarship that make up the realm of Irish Studies. In addition to the traditional definition of Irish Studies, the McClelland Library expands the scope of its lecture series to include the personal connections to history discovered through family history research and genealogy. The Library lecture series is intended for audiences of all experience levels. Please join us each year to learn more about the various areas and experts that continue to teach us so much about Ireland.

Book Discussions

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