Congress book returned to library... 80 years late

As far as fines for overdue library book go, a sum of €4,160 is a whopper.

Mind you, the book was returned 80 years late.

It should have been returned on Dec 30, 1932.

And the guilty party, or whoever was acting on their behalf, did what anybody in their shoes might do — they shoved it through the letterbox of Navan library and scarpered.

There wasn’t even much reading to be done over the eight decades, as the book was mainly pictures.

Entitled The Pictorial Record of the 31st International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 1932, it provided a photographic history of the last time the congress was held in the capital city.

A somewhat stunned Meath county librarian Ciarán Mangan composed himself enough to reassure what may be a very worried borrower.

“This is one occasion we will not be charging overdue fees on a book, I can guarantee them that.”

Mr Mangan and his colleagues are, however, intrigued as to who borrowed the book in the first place, as their records don’t go that far back.

“We did have a record of the fact that it was missing from stock. However, we certainly wouldn’t have a record of loans going back to the 1930s.

“It is probably unlikely it is the original borrower who left it back, maybe it is a relative of theirs who had their conscience pricked when they became aware the Eucharistic Congress is back in Dublin this year.

“Whoever it was we are very grateful to them, and we invite them to come in and see the book on display.

“It deserves a display of its own, it has to have set some sort of record.”


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