Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the
conclusion of the public consultation process on the permanent closure of the Marina
from its junction with the northern entrance of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to its
junction with Church Avenue, to vehicular traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a
Cllr McCarthy noted: “The report arising from the consultation
was discussed by local councillors at their local area committee meeting this
week. Two hundred and fifty (250) submissions were received in relation to the
proposed scheme. A total of 224 of the submissions expressed support for the
proposal and in some cases suggested additional work or amendments to the
proposal. A total of 21 of the submissions objected to the proposal. Overall,
there was strong support for the proposal presented for the pedestrianisation
of The Marina”.
The City Council propose to respond to a number of recurring items
that were raised by the general public. The current proposed pedestrianisation
on The Marina will be given effect initially by installing removable bollards
on The Marina at its junction with the northern Páirc Uí Chaoimh entrance and
with its junction with Church Avenue. A consultant has been appointed to look
at the feasibility of providing fixtures of a more permanent nature such as
automatic rising bollards at this location.
The current proposed pedestrianisation on The Marina will only
provide access to the area for emergency vehicles and vehicles used for the
purposes of the operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of services
& infrastructure. A car park accommodating approximately 200 vehicles and
disabled bays has been provided as part of the Marina Park development and is
located at Centre Park Rd/ Marina junction running west towards Shandon Rowing
Requests to extend the scheme to the City Centre is outside the
scope of this proposal, however, this may be considered as part of the
development of the South Docklands area.
Public realm improvements such as the resurfacing, shared space, public lighting, seating, etc. are outside of the scope of this proposal, however funding is being sought to upgrade The Marina. Subject to the allocation of funding, a scheme will be designed and be brought forward for consideration to the public and local councillors.
Following assessment of the submissions received and the issues
raised at the local area committee meeting, the report has now been referred
for voting upon at the mid-December Council meeting of Cork City Council.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed that Garryduff Woods is fully open to the public again. This followed a series of works by the wood’s manager, An Coillte. It was agreed earlier this year with the local community that the next step was to replant the area with broadleafs. The programme of works already completed included hedge cutting, tree surgery and road maintenance prior to the felling, the felling itself, ground cultivation and timber haulage. The site is now prepared for planting which is planned to take place in quarter one of 2021 when plants are available.
The site does not need to be closed for this operation as it is manual work only and no heavy machinery will be required. The replanting will consist of the following species – Oak (2 hectares), Birch (2 hectares), Scots Pine (1.4 hectare), Norway Spruce (1 hectare). The Oak, Birch and Scots Pine will be planted, mixed at a ‘stocking rate’ of 3,300 stems per hectare for the oak and birch and 2,500 stems per hectare for the Scots Pine. Norway Spruce to be planted in small groups throughout the site at 2,500 stems per hectare.
This site will be managed primarily for biodiversity values and a critical element of this is will be future interventions that will form part of the overall biodiversity management plan. Such interventions are necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of the biodiversity values for e.g. light thinnings to favour Oak, which will be done manually.
The Norway Spruce cones are favoured by red squirrels due to the soft cones that it produces. The cones produced by the Scots Pine will also add to the diversity of food source for red squirrels on site. This new replanting will also allow for the staggering of age-classes should help the red squirrel and the biodiversity value of the site.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Since the boundary extension last year, Cork City has inherited this very beautiful 26-hectare forest amenity managed by An Coillte. It is a site I am rediscovering over the past year especially from a historical perspective of the Old Court estate and the Civil War Battle of Douglas in 1922, which was held across the woods. Plus I have been vocal many times in the Council Chamber that the City Council needs an effective urban forestry management strategy within the city area. Such a strategy should also connect to other entities such as An Coillte for cross collaborative work”.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy has asked the Operation Directorate of
Cork City Council to re-examine the road safety measures at the junction of
Ballinlough Road and Bellair Estate. Cllr McCarthy highlights: “It’s a regular
issue local people have raised with me. The corner of Old Lady of Lourdes
National School is a blind corner and has many people crossing this dangerous
stretch of road every day”.
In response to Cllr McCarthy’s motion, the Operations Directorate of Cork City Council noted that “earlier this year improved signage and line markings have been installed on the western arm of the junction on the one-way portion of the Ballinlough Road to increase visibility and awareness that this section is a one-way road”. Notwithstanding this, the Council have said the road junction will remain on the list of areas for assessment for a traffic management project or road safety improvement scheme. The assessment will also consider which additional measures may be appropriate and feasible to improve road safety in the vicinity of the area. Concluding the operations directorate have noted to Cllr McCarthy’s motion; “Currently there is no funding available for traffic management projects. Any works deemed appropriate can be added for consideration in the future roads programme and undertaken subject to selection by the Members and available resources”.
This week coincides with the centenary of teenager Patrick Hanley, who was shot by crown forces on 17 November 1920. George Hurley was a comrade of Patrick within Fianna Éireann or the youth division of Cork IRA Brigade No.1. He recalls the lead-up and incident in his witness statement to the Bureau of Military History (WS1630).
In 1919, the Fianna Éireann headquarters was moved to a
private house on Cork’s Pope’s Quay, and, in 1920, to a house on North Main Street.
This latter place served as headquarters up to the Truce of July 1921. The
training programme of the Fianna consisted of drilling, signalling instruction
and lectures in first-aid and in the use of the revolver and rifle. A rifle was
used for instruction purposes. Frequent parades took place and on occasions the
boys marched out into the country where field training was carried on. A
distinctive uniform was worn consisting of a blue short pants, a green shirt
with a saffron scarf, and a green broad-brimmed hat.
The use of revolvers was discouraged by the senior
organisation of the IRA in the city. A direction was given to the Fianna by
headquarters in Cork that the Fianna Éireann was not to carry out any attacks
on enemy forces by shooting, unless with the prior permission of the IRA.
The youth division pasted up posters concerning meetings,
concerts and public parades. They helped in taking up collections of money for
national purposes prisoners’ aid. funds, Sinn Féin election funds and such like.
Enemy posters proclamations were torn down.
As time went on and the struggle became more intense in
1920, so also did Fianna Éireann activities increase. They carried out scouting
duty and dispatches for the IRA and helped in the removal from suspected places
of IRA ammunition and guns. They carried out daylight raids on shops and vans
containing provisions and various other goods being dispatched to military
barracks in Cork. On several occasions, they held up individual soldiers or
Black and Tans and took their equipment.
The murder of Paddy Hanley was by way of a reprisal by
the British for the shooting of an RIC sergeant named O’Donoghue by G Company
of the IRA earlier on the same night of 17 November 1920 in the course of an
IRA raid on Lunham’s bacon factory.
Patrick lived with his widowed mother at No. 2 Broad
Street. He was the sole support of her and his sister. At about 11.45 p.m. on
the night of 17 November 1920, the residents of No. 2 Broad Street were
awakened by the noise of the front door being broken open; a man rushed up the
stairs and entered the bedroom of Mr and Mrs Coleman who also resided in the
house. The man was wearing a policeman’s uniform, cap and goggles. He came to
the bedside with a revolver in one hand and a flash lamp in the other.
When asked by Mrs Coleman what brought him there, he
merely exclaimed “Hello”, flashed his lamp on the bed, raised his revolver and
fired point-blank into the bed. The bullet wounded Mr Coleman in the arm. The
assailant then turned and walked out of the room leaving Mrs Coleman screaming.
Paddy Hanley opened the door of his room when he heard
the man rushing up the stairs. The man in police uniform had just come from Mrs
Coleman’s room. Whilst standing at the door of his bedroom door, Patrick was
fired at. It missed him. The man fired a second time and the bullet struck
Patrick above the heart, killing him instantly. He was in his night attire at
the time.An ex-British army soldier who lived in Broad Lane was
also shot dead.
Leo Buckley, Intelligence Officer with Cork Brigade No.1,
was a witness of the shooting (WS1714, Bureau of Military History). At the
time, he was sleeping in a top back room of an apartment house in Sheares
Street. He recalls that some hours prior to Patrick’s death, an RIC Sergeant
had been shot by Tommy Healy and Willie Joe O’Brien of G Company. Tommy and
Willie were hiding on Sheares Street. Leo denotes in his witness statement that
he felt that Patrick had been shot in mistake for Tommy Healy, while the
shooting of O’Brien’s brother-in-law the ex-British army soldier was also a
In another reprisal raid the same night by the RIC in the
Grattan Street, another Fianna boy O’Brien was shot in the mouth. He
subsequently recovered from the wound. Volunteer Eugene O’Connell was also
killed on the same evening as a reprisal for his part in the murder of the RIC
Sergeant. An IRA man suspected of giving information as to who shot the RIC Sergeant
was later apprehended and executed by the IRA.
Patrick Hanley’s remains were laid out in his Fianna Éireann
uniform in the mortuary of the Mercy Hospital and later removed to the church
of SS Peter & Paul. He was buried in St Finbarr’s Cemetery, the tricolour-draped
coffin being shouldered all the way to the cemetery by the dead boy’s comrades.
At the Republican Plot there are two memorials to his
memory – an individual cross and a marble stone to Fianna Éireann. In addition,
on 17 November 1957, a plaque was unveiled by Lord Mayor Jago in memory of Patrick
Hanley on Patrick Hanley Buildings on Grattan Street. Eugene O’Callaghan’s
headstone can also be viewed in the Republican Plot.
Kieran’s latest book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás
MacCurtain is now available to purchase online (co-authored with John
O’Mahony 2020, Irish Examiner/www.examiner.ie).
Portrait of Patrick Hanley 1920 (source: Cork City Library).
Gravestone of Patrick Hanley in the Republican Plot in St Finbarr’s Cemetery,
present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy).
Remembrance plaque to Patrick Hanley on Grattan Street, Cork, erected in 1957
(picture: Kieran McCarthy).
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy
has welcomed progress on Marina Park. In response to Cllr McCarthy’s question
on the floor of the most recent City Council meeting to the Chief Executive, he
was informed that Phase 1 of the contract commenced in early March 2020 with a
scheduled completion date of May 2021. Works were suspended on 30 March due to the COVID – 19 lock-down in accordance
with Government guidelines. Works resumed on site on 18 May following the
lifting of restrictions for construction works. The contractor is making great
progress on the works and is confident of achieving the scheduled completion
date of May 2021.
One, which covers the area from the Marquee Link Road (linking Monahan and
Centre Park roads) to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, also incorporates new pathways, the
installation of sunken lawn areas as well as the diversion of a watercourse.
current works comprise the creation of a new public car park at the Shandon
Boat Club end of the Marina, as well as a new cycle lane and pedestrian walkway
(all completed), and the installation of a prominent red steel pavilion on the
site of, and reproducing, the essence of the central hall of the former Munster
Casey, senior parks and landscape officer with the Council has noted in recent
weeks that this structure will be roofed, but the sides will not be enclosed,
and there will be opportunities for coffee pods and outdoor seating and arts
Cllr McCarthy noted: “there is local excitement about the Marina Park development. It is now over seven years since the Part 8 document came before the City Council. The park was held up in the early days due to a lack of funding but has since received funded from an Urban EU funding pot. This is enough finances to develop phase one of the park, which is basically the foundations and greening of the former brownfields site of the former showgrounds”.
Cork City Council anticipates that it will go to tender later in November for
the second phase of its bold Marina Park project which will ultimately see the formation
of a contemporary city park, about five times the size of the famous
FitzGerald’s Park. Phase 2, which concentrates on development to
the east of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, takes in the Atlantic Pond and continues down as
far as Blackrock Village.
There is a great depth across the activities of the
various directorates of the Council. I think all our Directors bring a level of
openness, listening and hard work ethic, which is warranted and very welcome in
this challenging times.
Despite the cuts, there is still much work being
pursued as well as many opportunities being mined.
COVID may have drawn us into a worrying time about
finances but has clearly showed the resilience of this organisation.
The turning around of the various government financial
stimuli by this organisation in very short time frames has been impressive.
Certainly 12 months ago no one was predicting aspects such as the pedestrianisation
of 17 streets and urban spaces and the strong ramping up of work on walking and
cycling in our city.
We must not let that momentum on improving the
urban fabric and environment slow down but keep pressure on, and keep the
collaborations with traders and citizens effective and positive.
Perhaps the only certainly that goes with next year is
that there will undoubtedly be further financial challenges– but it is
important that we advance on preparing part 8s, whether it is for housing or
roads, and keep sending such plans to either government or the NTA for approval
We have three 3 government cabinet Ministers from Cork – and I strongly think that we need a Microsoft Teams meeting with Minister McGrath in DPER to run over this Council’s ambitions in the short term.
What I learned recently from intervening with Minister
Ryan on his Teams meeting with us is that we should not assume as a Council
that all of the Cabinet are au fait with the Council’s work.
Where the meeting with Minister Ryan was very positive
and very open, I was still not content to hear the narrative of bungling Cork
in with Galway, Waterford and Limerick as just a mere regional city instead of
the country’s second city.
I would like to see a meeting with Minister McGrath
set up as soon as possible and that we liase with Minster Ryan early in the new
It is important opportunities are seized to realise
the stepping stones on the way to achieving our ambitions.
Certainly, if you empower a local authority such as
Cork City Council, it will deliver in spades.