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18 Jul 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 19 July 2018

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955a. General plan of the premises of the City of Cork Steamship Company


Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 19 July 2018

Stories from 1918: Buying Out the City of Cork Steamship Company


    One hundred years ago this week, public concern grew to the future of one of Cork’s oldest businesses – that of the City of Cork Steamship Company. A process had begun by Coast Lines Limited for the large-scale purchase of shares from the Cork company’s shareholders through the company chairmen Ebenezer and Joseph Pike. Public meetings were held in Cork City to address the consequences in terms of jobs and business to the city and region. The City of Cork Steamship Company was established in 1843 under the direction of Ebenezer Pike (senior) and was built on the former structure of St George Steampacket Company in England. The principal building still survives today on Penrose Quay and the statue of St George slaying a dragon still adorns the top of the building. In the beginning, the Cork company bought older steamships and as well purchased new ones. In 1903, it is recorded that there were 16 vessels, varying from 1,000 to 2,400 tons.

    At the request of several prominent citizens on Monday 22 July 1918, a public meeting, convened by the Lord Mayor, Thomas Butterfield, was held in the Council Chamber, in Cork City Hall (covered by the Cork Examiner). The Lord Mayor noted of the purchase that the shareholders were concerned as to what future facilities would be accorded to the trading community of the City and County of Cork by the new deal. He did not have knowledge of who the new owners were to be but requested the same high business calibre as the company in place. He protested in every way that there could be a diversion of the trade of the Port of Cork especially outside companies that have interests in other ports.

    A letter was read out at the meeting, which was signed by the steamship company Chairman Ebenezer Pike. He highlighted that the transfer of shares from one set of shareholders to another in the company was a continual process and that the number of shares to be bought were higher than ever before. He noted that the majority of the principal shareholders were not in business anymore and their knowledge was poor of contemporary trade and shipping knowledge. The company, he claimed, could not stand alone as a single unit and it would not be able to redeem the company’s position because of the destruction of the company’s fleet during the war. Further losses he claimed would make it almost impossible to continue operations. He was satisfied that the proposal put forward was the best prospect of rebuilding the company in due time from what he deemed a very difficult position.

      The City Hall meeting was made open to the public for discussion. Many present agreed with the sentiments of Mr Pike’s letter and the need for the company to adapt to changing times but for the trade of Cork to be safeguarded. Major G B O’Connor proposed the motion; “that this meeting representing the commercial community of the City of Cork and surrounding district respectfully request the Directors and shareholders that in any agreement come to for the sale of the City of Cork Steam Packet Company Ltd, the interests of the Port of Cork shall be safeguarded. That it being vital to the prosperity of the City of Cork and the South of Ireland that the pre-war Cross-Channel service at least be maintained…to take such steps as will render a monopoly of the Cross-Channel carrying trade of the Port of Cork, and that this condition be part of the agreement announced”.

    The Register of Members of the City of Cork Steam Packet Company reveals that from 14 September 1918, The British and Irish Steam Packet Company Ltd is recorded as owning Cork aggregate shares totalling 125,474, out of a total of 140,000. Further purchases brought that company’s holding to 136,417. This information lays within the main archival body of the City of Cork Steam Packet Company Ltd, which was transferred from B&I Offices, Penrose Quay, Cork, in February 1984, by Mr Foley, Manager to Cork City and County Archives. Additional material was acquired on 22 January 2007 and form the basis of an enormous and valuable source of information on shipping and trade in Cork and beyond.

     The P & O archive is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK and their archive catalogue is available online. Here the story of Coast Lines Ltd is told. Coast Lines Ltd of Liverpool was formed by the merging of three companies in 1913, and was known initially by their joint names – Powell, Bacon and Hough Lines. The name Coast Lines Ltd was adopted in 1917 when the company was taken over by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. Between 1917 and 1925 Coast Lines acquired a controlling interest in a large number of coastal shipping companies, eventually numbering about twenty, many of which including Cork retained their trading name. Among the most important were: the British & Irish Steam Packet Company Ltd (acquired in 1917), City of Cork Steam Packet Company Ltd (1918), Belfast Steamship Company Ltd (1919), Burns & Laird Lines (acquired separately as Laird Line in 1918 and G & J Burns in 1920 and merged in 1922), Geographically the Company’s activities eventually spanned the whole of the British and Irish seaboard and extended to the Scottish and Channel Islands.



954b. General plan of the premises of the City of Cork Steamship Company, from Goad’s Insurance Plan, 1915 (source: Cork City Library)

954b. Joseph Pike, 1911 from Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century by Richard J. Hodges (source: Cork City Library)

954c. Ebenezer Pike, 1911 from Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century by Richard J. Hodges (source: Cork City Library)



12 Jul 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 12 July 2018

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Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 12 July 2018

Stories from 1918: The Aeridheachts of Fr O’Flynn


       During the summer of 1918, the Cork Gaelic League branch was active, especially through community projects under the leadership of Fr Christy O’Flynn. He arranged a number of aeridheachts across County Cork. His personal contributions to local concerts and such functions always ensured successful outcomes (several years later in 1924 he set up the Loft Shakespearean Company). The organisation of aeridheacht or “Taking the Air” was the brainchild of Pádraig Pearse’s title for St Enda’s School Annual Open Day. He revived the ancient Feis (festival) of Tara. The ‘Aeridheacht’ or open-air concert and the ‘Ceilidh’ or social indoor party encouraged original literary compositions, oratory and storytelling in Irish, the music, songs and dances of the Gael. The concept spread outside of Dublin. For example, in August 1915, an aeridheacht was held at Millstreet under the auspices of the Gaelic League and an address was delivered by Pádraig Pearse himself. A number of Sinn Féin Volunteers from Cork City attended this aeridheacht in uniform, travelling by train to Macroom and cycling from there through Carriganimma. The Aeridheacht process enabled public assemblies to pursue recruitment of Volunteers.

      Fast forward in time to after the 1916 Rising and the hosting of aeridheachts were banned by Westminster’s Defence of the Realm Act. On Saturday evening, 13 July 1918 the local Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) were under orders to prohibit the holding of the Cork Gaelic League’s aeridheacht on Dublin Hill, Cork, on the ensuing day. News spread that the organisers had decided to abandon it. However, this was entirely inaccurate. By the hour advertised for its commencement on the Sunday afternoon at 3.30pm – bodies of police, fully armed, had taken up positions in and near the field in which the platform was erected. The Cork Examiner of the day reveals that Fr O’Flynn, one of the principal organisers, of the aeridheacht had re-arranged the location of the event farther into the country along the Old Mallow Road. It was held near Murphy’s Rock near Kilcully in a secluded field near a mill.

            The opening item of the programme was an Irish song sung by three boys. Not more than a few hundred persons were present at first, but as the event progressed it was recorded that a great stream of crowds flocked to the scene, until within an hour the little glen was swarming with people. Fr O’Flynn, during the course of the aeridheacht, addressed the people in Irish, and also in English highlighting the importance of culture and language. “we had been warned that they should not hold their aeridheacht today…In attempting to suppress our language or the Gaelic League Mr Lloyd George had overstepped himself. It was very important that Irishmen should know how to act. Nothing rash must be done. First of all, they should take up the study of their language. In batches in the streets let them talk it, in the trains, in the homes—let them in batches take their books along the Lee Fields and there study it”.

     Fr O’Flynn’s advice to the young men present was to keep cool; “do not allow their tempers to rise through provocation. Let the young men learn their native language. Young men who did foolish things to policemen were only harming their country’s cause, were throwing it backwards. Irishmen’s action should be quiet and dignified above all things at a time like this. Their nationality could never be suppressed”.

    The programme of the aeridheacht was a very varied. The vocal items, solos, duets, and concerted numbers were enjoyed, as well as some splendid dancing was witnessed. At the conclusion of the entertainment the crowds dispersed quietly homewards. The programme was carried out. without interference. There were several scouts placed some distance away encircling the location of the field watching for the approach of the police, who ultimately did not arrive.

    Over a week later Ballyvolane was the place originally announced for the holding of an aeridheacht on 21 July.  The attentions of the RIC were anticipated, and with forethought the plans of the organisers were flexible. A make shift platform of a few tables had been constructed on the lands of Mr Kennedy at Arderrow. The force of police took possession of it, but the organisers never really intended rolling out the aeridheacht there. By way of a decoy, a certain number of the public were allowed to go in that direction, but the bulk of them were directed to Upper Lota, a considerable distance away, where, in a field on the lands of Mr Hegarty an enjoyable open-air function took place. The programme, which consisted of a short address in Irish, songs, dances, recitations and violin selections, had been practically completed when two police scouts were observed. The programme was concluded. A collection was made amongst the 600 or 700 people present, and a substantial sum realised.

    In July 1918 as well aeridheachts under the auspices of the Cork Gaelic League took place at Ovens, Little Island, Clonakilty, Ballinhassig, Mallow and Knockraha, In August, Inniscarra hosted one, whilst Tower and Ballygarvan hosting theirs in September 1918. All went through the challenges of organisation and re-organisation along similar lines as the Murphy’s Rock and Ballyvolane one.



954a. Fr O’Flynn in his twenties/ thirties (source: North Cathedral Archive, Cork)

954b. Public flyer advertising an aeridheacht presentation in Millstreet, Co Cork, 22 August 1915 where Pádraig Pearse was guest speaker (source: Cork City Library)


9 Jul 2018

Cllr McCarthy: EU Urban Agenda Action Plans Crucial For Europe

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Press Release:

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for the need a long-term political commitment and resources to cater to the needs of EU cities of all sizes from regional hubs such as Cork to the metropolises of Paris or Athens.

   The strengths and weaknesses of the implementation of the Urban Agenda for the EU was the subject of an adopted during the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on 4 July in Brussels. Member of the CoR, Rapporteur/ Opinion writer and Cork City Councillor Kieran McCarthy (IE/EA) calls on the EU institutions to reaffirm their commitment to urban matters and place the process on a formal footing. He welcomes the early signs in this direction proposed in the framework for regional development and cohesion policy beyond 2020.

  The Urban Agenda for the EU seeks to mobilise the experience and expertise of local authorities and enable them to contribute to the development and implementation of EU policies and instruments which most impact cities. It is based on a multi-level governance working method across twelve key urban themes. Cork City Council has a voice on the sustainable land use partnerships and action plan. In November 2017, the European Commission presented its initial assessment of progress and results arising from the first year of the implementation. The local and regional representatives in the CoR are pushing to go a step further.

The Urban Agenda offers too much potential to improve the way in which our cities will work in future to be restricted to a mere high-quality networking exercise. It must instead be recognised as a binding political commitment, with tangible investments and outcomes, which have real legitimacy and an impact on legislation. The European Commission’s move to dedicate 6% of the European Regional Development Fund to investments in sustainable urban development proposed in the framework for cohesion policy beyond 2020 presented on 29 May is a step in the right direction. The same is true for the European Urban Initiative, a new instrument for city-to-city cooperation, innovation and capacity-building across all the thematic priorities of the Urban Agenda for the EU“, said Cork city Councillor Kieran McCarthy, CoR rapporteur on the Implementation assessment of the Urban Assessment of the Urban Agenda for the EU.

  The main concerns so far have been the lack of resources, particularly to cover the costs of smaller cities participating in the twelve partnerships, the lack of ownership due to the voluntary profile of the governance structure and the passiveness of certain Member States due to a lack of rules on distributing tasks. The rapporteur also points out that a key aspect of the Urban Agenda for the EU was to establish the link with better regulation in the EU and to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.

“In the progress reports so far it is hard to detect whether and in what way the partnerships have contributed to better EU regulations, to improving access to funding and to the exchange of knowledge and best practices for an inclusive and sustainable urban development. Any future assessment needs to focus on these key outcomes and should be accompanied by an own assessment of the partnerships giving feedback and suggesting possible improvements”, said Cllr McCarthy.

   The rapporteur further calls for the Urban Agenda to be featured prominently in future Commission’s annual work programmes and for cities and regions to have access to the European Council working groups and the European Parliament on urban matters. He also advocates for the proposal to set up a steering committee to discuss future developments of the Urban Agenda on key messages and possible new thematic partnerships.

   After many years of discussion, the Urban Agenda for the EU has at last become a reality with the signing of its founding document, the Pact of Amsterdam, on May 2016. It is composed of twelve priority themes essential for the development of urban areas. Each theme has a dedicated partnership and the partnerships are the key delivery mechanism within the Urban Agenda for the EU. The aim of the partnerships is to develop a multi-level (vertical) and multi-dimensional (horizontal) approach involving all relevant bodies at all levels of government. The results of the discussion are supposed to be taken into consideration by the EU institutions and Member States to improve urban-related policies and regulations by eliminating existing overlaps and inconsistencies.

5 Jul 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 5 July 2018

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Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 5 July 2018

Stories from 1918: Showcases at Cork Summer Show 1918


     Cork citizens looked forward to the Cork Summer Show at the Cork Showgrounds in early July 1918. The event received a two-page spread in the Cork Examiner highlighting the prominent exhibits. Several challenges were alluded to in particular the transit of animals and sales of them. Arising from World War I, the archived minute books of the Munster Agricultural Society reveal there was a high dependency on exporting livestock, dairy and poultry produced to Britain. In 1915 the detained cattle at the ports was of serious concern for agriculture creating serious hardships for farmers across the country. The previous agricultural boom was reversed as declining prices set in.

    The war brought unemployment amongst agricultural labourers and less work for small farmers. The society struggled during the war years to attract farmers to their shows and sales. As an incentive, in year 1915 a sale of bulls was introduced into the spring show of cattle. In the year 1917 it was decided to amalgamate the cattle and horse shows and to hold it in the summer and to hold a show and sale of bulls and pigs in the spring.

    The 1918 summer show aspired to showcase a number of innovative Cork based companies in the Cork region. Rural innovation had a particular focus especially on companies who were developing new products in veterinary medicine and animal feed. The Cork Chemical and Drug Company (established in 1805, run by Harringtons in 1918 and based at 80-81 St Patrick’s Street) was prominent amongst the exhibits of the Show and was situated at the main entrance. Harrington’s extra superfine oat meal, a preparation prepared from the finest flesh and bone forming foods based on scientific experiments, was on display. The food had an exceptionally high percentage of oil, which was ideal to induce health animal metabolism. The firm had already received large orders from stockholders for this food, which was finding a high place in public favour. Their products were approved by the Department of Agriculture and were extensively used by County Councils and large stock breeders in Ireland.

   There were many veterinary medicines on view at the stall of the Cork Chemical and Drug Company. Visitors could peruse a useful booklet, Harrington’s Practical Handbook for Farmers. At this stall as well a great variety of brushes were also shown, all of which had been manufactured in Harrington’s Brush Factory. The company was started six years previously by Messrs Harringtons. The brushes were sold in Ireland, England and Scotland.

   E Love and Sons was also a popular stand just inside the main entrance. They had an extensive display of feeding stuffs for all classes of stock. Messrs Love made a special effort to meet the animal food shortage situation and introduced several new methods to distribute in large quantities all over the South of Ireland. Special attention was directed to their No. 2 Feeding Oatmeal, which was on par to Indian Meal for fattening pigs. In addition to this, they displayed special meals arid grains for horses, cattle, pigs and poultry.

    J Atkins and Company Ltd had an exhibit from the UK division of Iowa, USA’s Amanco of paraffin engines. They were pitched as being simple and economical, were suitable for naming, grinding and food preparing machinery and also for pumping and sewing. A special exhibit of the Bamford rapid grinding mill was on display as well as the Hinman milking machine. The exhibit put a focus on work efficiency and the fact that a child with the latter milking machine could milk 25 cows per hour, or a farmer could milk 30 cows per hour with four machines. There were over 30,000 of these machines in successful operation, and the Hinman has won all the competitions in which it has been entered, including the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, where they won the gold medal.

   In a central position at the show, was the engineering and agricultural implement works of William McBride and Sons Ltd, Merchant’s Quay, Cork. The firm had a well-arranged display of the most up-to-date farming machinery. The company, which was founded in the late nineteenth century was well-known. Special prominence was given to the McBride patent thistle cutter, of which close on 5,000 machines were now manufactured at the Merchant’s Quay Ironworks. The thistle cutter was not only a favourite in Ireland, but was also exported in large quantities to England, Scotland and Wales. They held two gold medals, awarded at English shows. The harvesting machinery comprised a very fine collection of binders, mowers, reapers, wheel rakes and swath turners. Many of their man-hole designed covers for Cork Corporation in Cork City over time have also survived.

     Prominent as well on display was a fine selection of Cork-made solid silver cups and bowls shown by Messrs William Egan and Sons Ltd. This old established firm had resuscitated the old Cork industry of silver-making. Orders for their manufactures came from all parts of the country, and a great many from Irish priests in America and Australia, for chalices, ciboria, and other sacred vessels. Egans were also makers, on a large scale of all manner of church embroideries, etc., Irish poplin vestments, lace, albs, surplices, oak altars, pulpits, brass candelabra, gongs, sanctuary lamps, religious and sporting medals in gold and silver, which they supplied in large quantities, to all parts of Ireland.

For more information on the Munster Agricultural Society, check out Munster Agricultural Society: The History of the Cork Showgrounds (2011) by Kieran McCarthy



953a. Advertisement for Cork Chemical and Drug Co. 1907 from Guy’s Directory of Cork City and County (source: Cork City Library)

953b. Advertisement for William McBride & Sons Ltd, 1919 from Cork: Its Chamber and Commerce (source: Cork City Library)


 953b. Advertisement for William McBride & Sons Ltd, 1919


30 Jun 2018

Kieran’s The Lough Tour, 30 June 2018

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Saturday 30 June 2018, The Lough & its Curiosities; historical walking tour with Kieran, explore the local history from the Legend of the Lough to suburban development; meet at green area at northern end of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough; 12noon (free, duration: two hours, on site tour)

28 Jun 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 28 June 2018

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Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 28 June 2018

Stories from 1918: The Conciliations of Fr Dowling


    One hundred years ago this week, on 21 June 1918, the Freedom of the City was awarded by the Corporation of Cork on Capuchin Fr Thomas Dowling. He was honoured for his invaluable services resolving industrial disputes in the city.  Fr Dowling’s obituary in the Cork Examiner on 9 January 1951 highlights that he was a native of Kilkenny, where he was born in 1874. He entered the Capuchin Order in his native city at the age of sixteen and was ordained in the Capuchin Church in Kilkenny in December 1896. He arrived shortly afterwards to Holy Trinity Church in Cork.

    During the early years of his ministry, Fr Thomas was called on to fill some of the principal offices in the Order He was appointed Guardian of the Friaries of Cork and Dublin, elected a Definitor of the Province in 1907 and Provincial from 1910 to 1913. He was for many years an active member of the missionary staff and earned the reputation of being a pulpit orator of merit.

   In his early years in Cork Fr Thomas directed with zeal and energy the Total Abstinence Society attached to the Holy Trinity Church.  He hosted 300 members of the Total Abstinence Society attached to the Church. Recreational events took place in a nearby building.  On 30 January 1907, the present Fr Mathew Hall was opened in what was then Queen Street. Fr Dowling led the work to create a good auditorium for plays and concerts and plenty of rooms for activities such as a billiard room, a card room, a reading room. For a time attempts were made to run pictures – it was called a Picturedrome. The Christmas Pantomines became popular – the cast being hall members and monies that were made defrayed expenditure. At different times, members organised dramatic societies, bands, orchestras and choral groups. Classes were held in cookery, sewing and needlework, gymnastics and first aid. Outdoor recreation comprised hurling, football and cycling. Teams were entered in the Cork County Championship and local leagues. The positive relationship with the GAA led to frequent permission to run tournaments in aid of the hall.

    During the Great War 1914-1918 the cost of ordinary commodities rose considerably in Cork City. As a result, the interplay between rising costs and wages began to affect the economy. Wages could not match prices so strikes were called. Fr Thomas, who had studied social reform, threw himself wholeheartedly into the work of mediation and arbitration in 1918 between employers and trade unions. In late February 1919, he even succeeded in establishing a Cork Conciliation Board and was its first president. It consisted of four delegates from the Employers’ Federation and four appointed by the Cork and District Trade and Labour Council. The office of the board aspired to “endeavour to amicably adjust any dispute that threatens to result in strike or lock-out with a view to preventing same”. Both the Trade and Labour Council and the Employers’ Federation approved the principle that, “no stoppage of work, strike, or lock-out shall take place without the matter in dispute having been first referred to and dealt with by the Conciliation Board”.

    Operative bakers, Tramway workers and Cork Gas workers were negotiated with in the first eight months of the board. In early September 1919, the strike of the Cork Gas Works, which entailed considerable loss and serious inconvenience to the public, was suspended by mutual agreement between the directors of the company and their workers. This was in order that the matters in dispute should be referred to Board. The Board met over two days at the Commercial Buildings, South Mall under the Chairmanship of Father Thomas. Representatives of the workers and the directors appeared before the Board and stated their case. The proceedings lasted several hours at each sitting, and at the conclusion Father Thomas announced to both sides that a unanimous recommendation was arrived at by the Board which he appealed to both sides to-accept.

Fr Thomas clocked up notable accolades. The Freedom of Cork City was conferred upon him in June 1918. The Senate of the National University of Ireland paid tribute in 1920 by conferring on him the honorary degree of LL.D. A physical recognition for his general services for the Cork Trade Unions exists in a stained-glass window, to his memory in Holy Trinity Church. It was unveiled on 4 May 1919 and was the design of the famous stained-glass artist Harry Clarke but it was made by his father Joshua.

    At the luncheon of Dublin Rotary Club, of 6 November 1922, Fr Thomas as guest speaker, criticised the general tendency to lay emphasis on the rights of employers and the duties of workers, which, as he aptly put it, led people to forget that employers had rights as well as duties; “The fundamental law of the social state should be equality of essential rights and equality of essential duties…It was a fundamental religious principle that human labour should not be treated as an article of merchandise, the value of which is to be measured merely by the fluctuating of supply and demand”.

   In early 1923, whilst still Guardian of the Cork Friary, Fr Thomas generously offered himself for the service of the Order in the American section of the Irish Capuchin Province. In 1946 Fr Thomas celebrated his golden jubilee in Los Angeles, USA.


952a. Fr Thomas Dowling, on the left, c.1924 from The Irish Capuchins, Record of a Century, 1885-1985 (source: Cork City Library)

952b. Fr Thomas Dowling Memorial Window, Holy Trinity Church, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy)


Kieran’s Upcoming Historical Walking Tour:


Saturday 30 June 2018, The Lough & its Curiosities; explore the local history from the Legend of the Lough to suburban development; meet at green area at northern end of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough; 12noon (free, duration: two hours, on site tour)

27 Jun 2018

Shandon Street Festival, 23 June 2018

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Well done to all the organisers of the Shandon Street Festival, June 2018

Shandon Street Festival, June 2018

Shandon Street Festival, June 2018

Shandon Street Festival, June 2018

Shandon Street Festival, June 2018

Shandon Street Festival, June 2018

23 Jun 2018

McCarthy: Family Hub Accommodation Required to Meet Demand

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Press Release:


  Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for more supported accommodation for homeless families who need it in the city and region.

“There has been much engagement between the Housing & Community Directorate and various stakeholders in the property and construction sector with regard to the delivery of sustainable housing solutions as part of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness. The term sustainability though carries extra responsibilities. Yes homeless families need a house over their head but the homelessness list of Cork City Council also reveal that many people need social supports as well to move their lives forward and those of their families- to get themselves back on their feet”.  


    Following approval of funding by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government, Brian Geaney, Director of Services of Housing and Community Services Cork City Council has supported the acquisition of a premises at the Western Road, Cork which was a former hostel. It will now provide temporary supported accommodation for up to seventeen families that are currently residing in bed & breakfast and hotel accommodation. As part of the Council’s response to the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, the Family Hub Project will provide temporary supported accommodation with cooking & laundry facilities.


   Cllr McCarthy highlighted that the provision of supports to families in the Family Hub is crucial: “supports will be provided in the following areas – access to a family support worker with regular engagement, Support to families to identify and access long term accommodation, Support plans for families to include health and schooling, Linking families to services for housing. childcare. Education & health, Life skills supports including budgeting, parenting, meal planning and recreation, and access to the City Council’s Placefinder Service”.


   The Good Shepherd Cork Limited, will have overall responsibility for the day to day management of the facility and will therefore deal with all health and safety matters, service agreements and collate any related outcomes health& safety matters, service agreement sand collate any related outcomes. The facility will become operational in June and families are currently in the process of taking up occupancy.

22 Jun 2018

McCarthy: Repair of the Historic St Patrick’s Bridge Moves to Phase Two

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    Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has praised the ongoing work programme on St Patrick’s Bridge. “Phase one is about to be completed and Phase 2 of the works includes for the repair, restoration and renewal of substantive elements of the bridge is to begin from late June onwards. The Bridge is a key landmark in the city and a crucial piece of infrastructure into and out of the city centre island. Investing in its future is very important”.

   A report by Gerry O’Beirne, Cork City Council’s Director of Roads and Transportation, last Monday revealed that works commenced on site in February 2018 with the careful removal of heritage lamp standards located on the bridge parapet. They, together with a further four in storage, were dispatched to lighting restoration specialists, Neri, based in northern Italy, for repair and restoration. Works involved the cleaning, repair and restoration of the lighting standards and their protection and repainting under factory conditions. As part of this process, a mould was also created to make additional duplicate columns. Upon completion, 12 restored/replicated standards are to be returned to the bridge complete with new lantern heads with LED fittings where they will be remounted under Phase 2 of the works in their original positions as when the bridge was first constructed. These works are now well advanced, with the 12 restored/replicated standards and lantern heads due for delivery to Cork City Council in late June 2018. Following a competitive tender process, Cork City Council appointed SSE Airtricity Solutions Ltd.to undertake Phase 1 of the project. The project is fully funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

   Cllr McCarthy noted: “the bridge opened in 1861 and is representative of nineteenth century design and construction. Its restoration must be sympathetic to these values as well as to its unique heritage and historical importance. The structure is included in the Record of Protected Structures and is listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. I am looking forward to seeing the return of the lamp standards”.

“It is also important that the three elliptical ashlar limestone arches are checked and repaired. They have some really beautiful carved keystones of St Patrick, St. Bridget, Neptune and three sea goddesses, as well as carved limestone balustrades and v-shaped cut waters to the upstream and downstream elevations”.

    Phase two of the works on St Patrick’s Bridge will be overseen by Cumnor Construction Ltd. The works include for the repair, restoration and renewal of substantive elements of the main structure as follows: Removal of all vegetation and algae from stonework. Cleaning of stonework, including carbon deposits. Repair and replacement of damaged or missing sections of stonework. Repointing of missing or defective masonry joints. Replacement of statutory and directional signage. Replacement of footway surfacing and kerb stones. Replacement of existing traffic signals on northern junction. Repainting section of pedestrian barrier railing on Merchants Quay. Waterproofing of existing reinforced concrete slab. Replacement of carriageway surfacing and road markings. Installation of newly refurbished heritage lighting standards and lanterns on bridge parapets. Erection of Public Lighting Columns and Lanterns within the eastern (downstream) footway. Installation of new elevation lighting. Cabling, conduits, ducting, meters, mini pillars and all electrical works for lighting elements.

900b. St Patrick's Bridge, c.1900

21 Jun 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 21 June 2018

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951a. Marina Mills, Cork Docks, from Cork, Its Chamber and Commerce, 1919

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 21 June 2018

Stories from 1918: The Ambitious Region


     Building on last week’s article, the annual report of the Cork Industrial Development Association (IDA) was unveiled to the public on 19 June 1918 to meet their fifteenth annual public meeting. Many insights into Cork’s commercial life and regional challenges are given in the document, which was published for the most part in the Cork Examiner.

      Ambition was the name of the game in 1918 Cork for the Cork IDA. They neglected no opportunity to promote industrial development in the South of Ireland. Important conferences were held in the Association’s offices with investors attracted by the advent of Henry Ford and Son Ltd. Plans were prepared for the establishment after the war for additional manufacturing enterprises on the harbour, which could host large and continuous employment. Special reference was given to the advantages, which the Cork district offered for the manufacture of agricultural implements portland cement, solid rubber tyres and for the establishment of additional flour and margarine factories, oil and cake mills, leather tanneries, and a dressed meat industry. One development highlighted was the establishment by local businessmen of the Mahon Shipbuilding and Concrete Construction Company. They built concrete barges (built of steel and reinforced concrete instead of steel or wood), which was deemed a step in keeping with the times in that the materials were cheap and readily available.

       The challenge of being open to international investment whilst protecting local trade was a constant debate. For example, the Cork IDA, on behalf of a firm eminent in the English floor and milling industry, made an application to Cork Corporation for the purchase of a block of land with river frontage for the construction thereon of a modern port mill. However, local rival trade interests prevailed upon the Corporation of Cork not to entertain the application, which they did.

     On the protection of older industries, the Cork IDA praised the acquisition by Richard Beamish of the old-established leather tanning industry of Messrs Dunn Brothers, Watercourse Road, Cork. They publicly congratulated the gentleman on his enterprise and on his plans for the development, of the leather industry in Cork (for which in previous years, the city possessed a good reputation in the leather world).

     Watching the importation and impact of non-Irish products was also a core activity and deemed of considerable importance to Irish producers. The supplies to public southern institutions were regularly examined by the Cork IDA’s expert, with a view to ascertaining the origin of such goods. Numerous samples of woollens, linens, handkerchiefs, collars, and writing papers were submitted to the Association by correspondents in various parts of the country for examination as to their place of manufacture.

     On occasion, the Cork IDA took action in respect to unnecessary importations in the shape of foreign-made joinery, office furniture, cardboard boxes, etc. The Association drew the attention of the Irish Industrial Development Association (Incorporated) to a trade announcement in The Times of India, in which a Cawnpore (a former British garrison, now named Kanpur) firm of woollen manufacturers offered “Donegal” tweeds for winter suiting. The Cork IDA was asked to take action in respect to on English-made baking powder, the label of which bore a representation of the shamrock printed in green. In addition, an application of an English bottling firm to register a whiskey label with the words “Ould Paddy No 1” was brought by the Association to the notice of a local whiskey distilling company, who controlled a whiskey label bearing the word “Paddy”.

     The Cork IDA participated in many public conferences on Irish economic affairs. Mr Andrew O’Shaughnessy of Dripsey Woollen Mills and the Secretary represented the Association at the Fourteenth Congress of the Irish Technical Instruction Association, held in the Royal College of Science, Dublin. The association were also represented on the Conference convened by the Cork Borough Technical Instruction Committee to consider the industrial training of apprentices, with special reference to the needs of Cork. Major G B O’Connor, MP, represented the Association at the All-Ireland Protest Meeting held in Dublin with respect to the demand for the establishment of a receiving depot in Dublin for the convenience and encouragement of Irish manufacturers catering for Government supplies. The Cork IDA also participated in local conferences convened in Cork City Hall by the Lord Mayor to deal with such matters as food supplies, milk supply for the poor, currency fluctuations and the shipping requirements of the port.

     The Cork IDA were hopeful for Cork’s future after the war had ended and the need for business and trade to stand together to resolve challenging issues; they noted in their report; “The after-war period will witness greatly increased commercial competition between the nations of the world; it will also, we firmly believe, witness an awakening of industrial development in our city, and district that cannot, fail to influence appreciably the industrial status of our entire community…It is, therefore, a matter of more than ordinary importance that associations and organisations such as ours, especially interested in the economic affairs of the country, should be not only amply endowed with finances, but actively supported by individual and collective action of this character the industrial condition of our country will be improved and the general prosperity of our people be stimulated to that decree which will eradicate for all time the evil of emigration from our national life”.


951a. Marina Mills, Cork Docks, from Cork, Its Chamber and Commerce, 1919 (source: Cork City Library)


Kieran’s June Historical Walking Tours:

Saturday 23 June 2018, The Cork City Workhouse; learn about the workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841; meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 12noon (free, duration: two hours, on site tour), in association with the Friends of St Finbarr’s Hospital Garden Fete.

Saturday 30 June 2018, The Lough & its Curiosities; explore the local history from the Legend of the Lough to suburban development; meet at green area at northern end of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough; 12noon (free, duration: two hours, on site tour)