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19 Jan 2017

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 19 January 2017

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878a. Main Street, Doneraile, c.1910

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 19 January 2017

The Wheels of 1917: Made in Cork

    This week’s article is inspired by a summary report, 100 years ago today, in the Cork Examiner on 19 January 1917. The article addressed the activity levels of technical instruction in County Cork and the educational, arts and crafts activities associated with it for the season 1915-16. The article is also inspired by the current and great exhibition in the Crawford Art Gallery called Made in Cork, it celebrates the unique history of the arts and crafts movement in the County and city of Cork from the early twentieth century. The collection of 70 beautiful examples of the finest crafts Cork has to offer is curated by art historian Vera Ryan. The exhibition runs till 25 February 25 and commemorates both the centenary of the Honan Chapel, which was opened in 1916 and the centenary of the 1917 Arts and Crafts Society exhibition in Cork, which took place in the Crawford Art Gallery, then Cork School of Art.

    The meeting of the County Cork Technical Committee was held on the third week of January 1917. It was a monthly meeting and was chaired by Canon Thomas Barrett, Parish Priest in Passage West. He had deeps interests in promoting community life and education and also had fundraised successfully monies for the construction of the Catholic Young Men’s Society Hall in Passage. The committee, Canon Barrett chaired, had been created some years previously, under the banner of the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act in 1899. The act recognised the need for an Irish framework for technical education in an attempt to halt industrial and manufacturing decline and provide employment. Technical instruction was re-organised under local authorities and committees were funded to run local programmes. County Councils also had to rent schools, and in many instances had to also build them. A system of instruction outreach was planned in experimental science, drawing, and manual work, and domestic economy in day secondary schools.

    At the January 1917 meeting a summary of Technical Instruction Inspector, Mr J J McCaffrey’s report was read out on the scheme of technical instruction in County Cork during the session 1915-16. He praised the work of the instructors but as per the national mantra in technical instruction he pressed to have them work longer hours. The committee was quick to note that it’s finances were at breaking point, was struggling to rent appropriate spaces for instruction and was finding it difficult to provide twenty hours of teaching for instructors in some of the outlier districts. The debate and results do offer an insight into the nature of arts and crafts in Cork and its geographic spread in 1917 and the underpinning of the importance of local industry to provide personal opportunity one hundred years ago.

   During the winter session, the work of the eight manual instructors employed under the technical instruction scheme were organised in elements such as woodwork, domestic economy, embroidery, needlework, commercial work, and art classes. Classes were about to be arranged in farriery for blacksmiths and in rural science and school gardening for National school teachers. From late Spring the eight technical instructors were occupied five days weekly and taught on an average for eighteen hours a week. McCaffrey, the inspector, noted that the results from the classes in manual instruction work were excellent in the Charleville, Doneraile, Youghal and Passage West. Several tradesmen received instruction in carpentry and joinery in Kanturk, and there was a small day class for apprentices in Fermoy. A small first year building construction class was taught in Youghal. McCaffrey noted that instruction in Baltimore in manual instruction, practical geometry and several stages of boat-building drawing were taken concurrently with the students meeting in three different classrooms. Under such circumstances progress was not being made.

     Syllabuses were followed in domestic economy, and in many of the centres the number of students enrolled was quite large. The classroom used at Killavullen was deemed by McCaffrey as satisfactorily lit, but stood in need of repairs, whilst that at Ballyhooly the room gave a very good floor space, but was also poorly lit. Courses in cookery were held in two permanent centres – Mallow and Youghal. The Mallow class suffered from oversubscription. The teaching of needlework was deemed satisfactory in many centres. At Macroom, instruction was given in various kinds of plain needlework. At Ballineen the accommodation was reported as quite unsuitable as seats were not provided. An instructress in crochet work conducted courses in temporary centres. McCaffrey highlights that the accommodation at Knockavilla was deemed satisfactory, but that at Crossbarry was unsuitable and that the work-room needed to be more comfortable.

     The commercial courses were deemed well conducted at all centres from Bantry to Charleville. The accommodation provided though was deemed not suitable for commercial students. Art classes for teachers were satisfactorily conducted at Mallow and Bantry. Art classes for ordinary students were held in Fermoy. At Passage West, classes were held in three science subjects under part-time teachers. In each of these, parallel instruction was given in two or more syllabuses, much to the detriment of students who wished to attend all the classes. McCaffrey’s report offers an interesting light into arts and craft education in County Cork but check out Vera Ryan’s Exhibition, Made in Cork in the Crawford Art Galley to discover more on the production of some real treasured and local crafted work from circa 1917.

If you missed one of the columns in 2016 and before, check out the Our City, Our Town index at my website, www.corkheritage.ie

Cork 1916, A Year Examined (2016) by Kieran McCarthy & Suzanne Kirwan is now available in Cork bookshops.

Cork City History Tour (2016) by Kieran McCarthy is also available in Cork bookshops.


878a. Main Street, Doneraile, c.1910 (source: North Cork Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen)

878b. New Street, Bantry, c.1910 (source: West Cork Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen)


878b. New Street, Bantry, c.1910

12 Jan 2017

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 12 January 2016

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877a. Fr Mathew Memorial Fountain, Fitzgerald's Park, c.1917

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 12 January 2017

The Wheels of 1917: Addressing a Food Crisis

     The theme of the shortage of food emanates throughout the press columns of Irish newspapers in 1917. In the second week of January 1917, or one hundred years ago this week, problems of labour shortage and supply and distribution of food were the key concerns of Westminster’s Food Controller. Lord Devonport or Hudson Ewbanke Kearley was a British grocer and politician. He founded the International Tea Company’s Stores, became the first chairman of the Port of London Authority, and served as Minister of Food Control during World War I. He was appointed as Minister in December 1916 by Lloyd George and he submitted a proposal for compulsory rationing in May 1917. He developed a set of proposals designed to reduce the consumption of certain articles of food such as bread and meat.

    According to the editorials of the Cork Examiner in January 1917, the price of bread was high. There was a notable disparity between the price of bread in Cork and Dublin. The high costs of freight stood out. To provide a sustainable supply, regulation was enacted to create a new “standard” bread. The bread was rolled out in Cork in the first week of January and baked in the factories of the master bakers. It was proposed at the time that the scheme would continue during the war. The price charged for this bread was to be the same as that previously in operation for beet white bread. The price was to be 11d per pair when the bread was delivered, but would be a halfpenny less per pair when purchased at the counter, and another half penny per pair less in the case of “cold” bread. Under the new rule, no “household” bread was to be on sale.

   Other debates on food shortages also began on encouraging citizens to grow vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beans and peas and to establish allotments in the city. The growing of vegetables was not a new concept in the city’s suburban market gardens but creating labourer allotments of one eight of an acre in Cork were a relatively new concept. In early 1917, between Dublin and Belfast there were 2,000 plots in working order. In the bigger picture in Britain and Ireland, the concept of allotments and the total number of plots has varied greatly over time. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the allotment system supplied much of the fresh vegetables eaten by the poor. Westminster reports record that in 1873 there were 244,268 plots and by 1918 there were around 1,500,000 plots. To fulfil the need for land, allotment legislation was enacted. The law was first fully ordered in the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908, then modified by the Allotments Act 1922. Under the Acts, a local authority is required to maintain an “adequate provision” of land, usually a large allotment field which can then be subdivided into allotment gardens for individual residents at a low rent. In August 1917, the Local Government Allotments and Land Cultivation (Ireland) Act was sanctioned.

     Several months before the 1917 act, the lack of real legislation governing the legalities around Ireland’s allotment scheme is evident in Cork Corporation’s initial discussion in pursuing an actual scheme. As highlighted in the Cork Examiner on 15 February, an important meeting of the city’s allotments committee was held. The Lord Mayor Cllr Thomas Butterfield presided and he gave an account of the visit of a deputation to Dublin to the Local Government Board (LGB). There they asked questions which they considered would help them in rolling out Cork City’s allotment scheme. They asked for compulsory powers to acquire land and for an independent valuer from the LGB. Compulsory powers were not granted – the same applied to other public representatives from Irish towns seeking new legal powers. The second question they asked was to be allowed to increase the grant from one-eighth to a quarter of an acre, and the Corporation to take title land for a term of years. The Cork committee made the case that a family could work an acre. This also was not granted.

     At the meeting on 15 February 1917, the allotment committee proposed that Fitzgerald’s Park display an eighth of an acre demonstration plot. Councillor Sir Edward Fitzgerald was to arrange to have his gardeners look alter the plot in the park. By late February the O’Donovans of Rutland Street offered four acres on Ballinlough Road at £4 an acre purchase price. Mr Joyce gave an offer of six acres in of Mayfield at £4 an acre purchase price. Fifty acres were offered at Beaumont, the estate of Mr R Woodhead free of rent. Part of these were only subsequently utilised and control was given to the Rural District Council in this part of the city’s county suburbs.

     In early March 1917 Thomas Donovan wrote to the Corporation offering 6 acres of land at Gillabbey free of charge for nine months and Frank Murphy in Shanakiel gave 2 acres free of charge. By 23 March, the committee had 229 applications with 99 in the south of the city, 52 in the north-east, 56 in the north-west, 16 in the west, and 5 in the city Centre. The key problem was that only 19 acres of land was actually secured by the Corporation and applications could not be met. The struggle to secure land continued into 1918 and 1919.

    If you missed one of the columns in 2016 and before, check out the Our City, Our Town index at my website, www.corkheritage.ie

Cork 1916, A Year Examined (2016) by Kieran McCarthy & Suzanne Kirwan is now available in Cork bookshops.

Cork City History Tour (2016) by Kieran McCarthy is also available in Cork bookshops.


877a. Fr Mathew Memorial Fountain at Fitzgerald’s Park, c.1917 (source: Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy and Dan Breen)

877b. Present day pond area of Fitzgerald’s Park (picture: Kieran McCarthy)


877b. Present day pond area of Fitzgeralds Park

10 Jan 2017

Marina Park Progress, January 2017

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   Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the recent positive response to his question of the Director of Environment and Amenity of Cork City Council i.e. that there is now a timeline to have Marina Park, the public park to circulate the new Pairc Uí Chaoimh, in place and open by the end of 2018. The demolition of the existing Showgrounds buildings is currently out to tender with responses due back on 25 January 2017. A contract will then be awarded following the completion of the tender assessment process.

   Consultation with the Cork County Board design team is ongoing to ensure that the final stadium design will be seamlessly into the proposed Marina Park. The detailed design of the Marina Park will be progressed over the coming months with the tender for the construction of same issuing once the detailed design works are completed.

   Commenting Cllr McCarthy noted; “these are exciting times for the Blackrock and Marina area as public amenities are cleaned up, enhanced and developed. By the end of 2018, this part of the city will have impressive public realm spaces in the shape of Blackrock Pier, Marina Park and the new stadium. It’s important now that the Council projects are kept on track and funding put aside to progress them to successful conclusions”.

9 Jan 2017

Kieran’s Question to CE, City Council Meeting, 9 January 2017

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To ask the CE for a progress update on the development of Marina Park ? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

5 Jan 2017

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 5 January 2017

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876a. Postcard of Cork Harbour, c.1910


Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article

Cork Independent, 5 January 2017

The Wheels of 1917: Setting the Scene

    The 1 January 1917 began with historical echoes of the previous year. The year 1916 coincided with many great stories of a changing society in Cork from the adjustment of the clocks to Greenwich Mean Time to differing attitudes towards the Easter Rising versus those on the front lines in trenches in France to the celebration of Irish culture through the architecture of the new Honan Chapel. As the year progressed, so many different aspects of Irish culture and society came under bombardment or were progressed as outlined in the various Our City, Our Town columns last year.

    I hope for the next few weeks to write about some key themes of physical, social and political developments in the city and region in 1917. A study of the daily news stories that made the headlines in local newspapers such as the Cork Examiner at first glance showcase a less eventful year than 1916. Controlled by the British government, censorship was ever present in the newspaper. However, taking many of the overarching news themes over a year, one can see key changes within society to how to best approach society issues such as war, industrialisation, the political quest for Home Rule, the role of the church, the role of violence in campaigns for a United Ireland, the impact of the re-emergence from prison of key Easter 1916 Rising key participants in late Spring 1917 such as Éamon DeValera and Countess Markievicz. The Countess herself brought a renewed call to rebellion in public meetings on the streets of Cork and Clonakilty in mid-August 1917.

   The news of the first week of 1917 set the undertone for what was to come. War was ever present and by the late spring of 1917, one can feel the closeness of the front of war to Cork as more and more references are given to German submarines waiting in Irish waters to attack mercantile vessels. There are also continued references to Irish soldiers in various battalions awaiting action on the frontlines. The Reserve Camp of the 3rd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers in Aghada was focused upon on the 1 January 1917 in the Cork Examiner as a space of peace and quiet over the Christmas period. The Royal Munster Fusiliers raised a total of 11 battalions from the pre-war, two regular and two reserve battalions. The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion was mobilised at Tralee on 4 August 1914 and later that month deployed to Berehaven and Bantry Bay for training. In October 1914, it was moved to Cork. In May 1915, it was relocated to Aghada and Cork Harbour. Here the camp was tented and hutted in nature because nearby Fort Carlisle was full. The camp was in a field opposite the Presbyterian (former Church of Ireland) Church. The reality of the hutted camp was that it was in a poor state of repair, the training grounds confined to a few fields with no elaborate training trench system and the musketry course was thirty miles away in Youghal.

   On Christmas Day 1916, Christmas Services were held in the Catholic Church and Presbyterian Church for the Battalion. The Christmas dinners in the various companies commenced at 1 o’clock, the huts where the dinners were served were decorated. The Commanding Officer, Buttevant man, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Sherlock Brasier Creagh, visited the various companies, where he was joined by the company officers. He read the King’s message to the troops, and expressed the hope that “the men were thoroughly provided for, and that they would enjoy themselves to the fullest extent”. In addition to refreshments, tobacco, cigars and cigarettes were distributed among the men. In the evening a dance look place in the local Y.M.C.A. Hall. In October 1917, the Battalion was re-located to Ballincollig and in November 1917, the battalion was moved to England at Devonport.

   A key term shining through various historical sources for the City and region in 1917 is that of Americanisation. The year 1917 was to coincide with re-election of President Woodrow Wilson and the subsequent call by the American House of Representatives and Senate to declare war on Germany. Through entering the war in April 1917 there arrived to Cork Harbour fleets of gun ships to attack the increasing attacks of German submarines, and a proliferation of American soldiers into the towns of the Harbour area and Cork City. At the end of January 1917, Germany, determined to win its war of attrition against the Allies, announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare.

   Another key piece of Americanisation was the negotiations to bring a Ford tractor factory to the site of Cork’s City Park Racecourse and Deep Water Quay at the Marina. By January 1917, negotiations between representatives of the promoters and the heads and legal representatives of the local public bodies concerned, had been brought to a successful conclusion. It was announced in the press on 1 January that all preliminary details had been arranged, and that, subject to the necessary Parliamentary sanction being obtained i.e. the Cork Improvement Bill – everything would be in order and the scheme could proceed. These Parliamentary powers were to be sought for immediately but it would take until mid-July 1917 before the bill got final royal ascent after passing through Westminster and the House of Lords.

If you missed one of the columns in 2016, check out the Our City, Our Town index at my website, www.corkheritage.ie

Cork 1916, A Year Examined (2016) by Kieran McCarthy & Suzanne Kirwan is now available in Cork bookshops.

Cork City History Tour (2016) by Kieran McCarthy is also available in Cork bookshops.


876a. Postcard of Cork Harbour, c.1910 (source: Cork Harbour Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen)

876b. Aghada, c.1910 (source: Cork Harbour Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen)


876b. Aghada, c.1910

3 Jan 2017

McCarthy’s Ward Funds 2017

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   Cllr Kieran McCarthy is calling on any community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City, which includes areas such as Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock, Mahon and South and Front Douglas Roads, with an interest in sharing in his 2017 ward funding to apply for his funds. A total of E.8,000 is available to community groups through Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s ward funds. Application should be made via letter (see www.kieranmccarthy.ie for address) or email to Kieran at info@kieranmccarthy.ie by Friday 10 February 2017. This email should give the name of the organisation, contact name, telephone number, details of the organisation, and what will the ward grant will be used for?

  Ward funds will be prioritised to community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City who build community capacity, educate, build civic awareness and projects, which connect the young and old. Cllr McCarthy especially welcomes proposals where the funding will be used to run a community event that benefits the wider community. In addition, he is seeking to fund projects that give people new skill sets. That could include anything from part funding of coaching training for sports projects to groups interested in bringing enterprise programmes to encourage entrepreneurship to the ward.

   Cllr McCarthy is also particularly interested in funding community projects such as community concerts, coffee mornings and those that promote the rich history and environment within the south east ward. More guidelines can be viewed under ward funds at his blog at www.kieranmcarthy.ie.

1 Jan 2017

Evening Echo at Shalom Park, 31 December 2016

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    Evening Echo is a public artwork by New Zealand artist Maddie Leach. It is sited on old gasometer land gifted by Bord Gáis to Cork City Council in the late 1980s. This site was subsequently re-dedicated as Shalom Park in 1989. The park sits in the centre of the old Cork neighbourhood known locally as ‘Jewtown’. This neighbourhood is also home to the National Sculpture Factory.


   Evening Echo is an art project generated as an artist’s response to the particularities of place and locality. Now in its fifth year, the project continues to gather support from the Cork Hebrew Congregation, Cork City Council, Bord Gáis and its local community.

“The project is manifested in a sequence of custom-built lamps, a remote timing system, a highly controlled sense of duration, a list of future dates, an annual announcement in Cork’s Evening Echo newspaper and a promissory agreement. Evening Echo is fleetingly activated on an annual cycle, maintaining a delicate but persistent visibility in the park and re-activating its connection to Cork’s Jewish history. Intended to exist in perpetuity, the project maintains a delicate position between optimism for its future existence and the possibility of its own discontinuance”.

Pictures below rom 31 December 2016:


Evening Echo light installation, artist, Maddie Leach with National Sculpture Factory and Cork City Council, Shalom Park, Cork City, 31 December 2016

Evening Echo light installation, artist, Maddie Leach with National Sculpture Factory and Cork City Council, Shalom Park, Cork City, 31 December 2016

Evening Echo light installation, artist, Maddie Leach with National Sculpture Factory and Cork City Council, Shalom Park, Cork City, 31 December 2016

29 Dec 2016

Christmas in Cork City, December 2016

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A great Christmas in Cork City, December 2016!


Christmas on the Grand Parade, December2016

Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

View from the Ferris Wheel, Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

GLOW experience in Bishop Lucey Park, Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

Narnia GLOW experience in Bishop Lucey Park, Christmas on the Grand Parade, December 2016

Christmas on St Patrick's Street, December 2016

24 Dec 2016

Happy Christmas

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Christmas Candle, my house

Happy Christmas, time to slow down and enjoy!

23 Dec 2016

National Sports Grants Scheme 2017

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The Sports Capital Grants Scheme has just been announced. For 2017 €30m is being made available under the Sports Capital Programme to develop sports infrastructure around the country. In this regard, online applications will be accepted from the
23rd January to the 24th February, 2017.

Clubs not previously registered on the Department’s online application system need to do so in advance of this date.

The guide to making an application was also published on the Department’s Sports Capital Programme website today on Sports Capital 2017 https://www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie/

Important Application Dates

The programme will be open for applications from 9am on Monday 23 January 2017.

The deadline for registration of new clubs is 5pm on Friday 10th February 2017.

If your organisation is not registered on OSCAR by 5pm on the 10 February 2017, you will not be able to make an application.

If our organisation has already registered, you do not need to register again.

The Closing date for receipt of completed applications is no later than 5pm on the 24th February 2017.