Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy asks householders with concerns on the proposed BusConnects route from Maryborough Hill through Douglas Road to submit to the consultation process and to attend the consultation meetings.
BusConnects Cork aims to enhance the capacity and potential of the public transport system. It will support the delivery of a low carbon and climate-resilient public transport system in addition to greatly improving accessibility to jobs, education whilst playing a key role in regeneration and improvements to public realm and City Centres.
Cllr McCarthy noted; “The plan is ambitious but proposes dramatic changes to the roadscape in order to future proof public transport across the city. What I particularly don’t like is the over-riding of public reps and their decision making processes and their knowledge of localised roads needs on the ground. I am receiving a lot of calls and emails from locals asking for City Council members to intervene but on this enormous set of plans, the local Council members have been dismissed, and the National Transport Authority is now the key decision maker. The further centralising of public reps powers to national level is to be deplored”.
“If local residents have questions they can still contact me. I am already hearing from local residents who have concerns on the widening of Douglas Road and the proposal to take a large number of property strips of land from 96 private gardens along Douglas Road. The removal of 91 on-street parking spaces is also proposed along the western section of Douglas Road. To achieve some of this. a new area of replacement parking is proposed by the entrance to St Finbarr’s Hospital”, continued Cllr McCarthy.
“In sections where buildings are located close to the road and it is not possible to provide bus lanes, it is proposed that an outbound (towards Maryborough Hill) bus priority will be provided using traffic lights that will hold back general traffic during times of congestion. Traffic as well would not be able to continue inbound from Bellair estate straight through to Southern Road”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
Public information events, hosted by the National Transport Authority on the proposed bus corridors, are on Wednesday 27 July 2pm -7pm and on Thursday 28 July 9am – 2pm at Nemo Rangers GAA Club. Cllr McCarthy further added that it is crucial affected residents attend the public information events and put forward comments and concerns.
Today, Thursday 30 June 2022, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has published, for public consultation, the Emerging Preferred Route Options for the 12 Sustainable Transport Corridors of BusConnects Cork. The consultation period will run from Thursday 30 June until Friday 09 September 2022.
The Sustainable Transport Corridors, involves the implementation of continuous bus priority and cycle tracks along 12 key radial bus corridors around Cork City. The plans include approximately 93 km of bus lane/ bus priority and 112 km of cycle facilities across the city. The 12 Sustainable Transport Corridors are designed with the aim of making the bus system operate more efficiently and to encourage more people to cycle by enhancing infrastructure.
A series of Public Information events will be held during the first round of public consultation. These information events will be in accessible venues at locations near the Proposed Sustainable Transport Corridors.
The dates and locations of each Public Consultation Event are listed in the table below.
At each Public Information event, the following will be available:
· Personnel from the BusConnects Infrastructure team and relevant Engineering Design service providers on site to engage with stakeholders.
· Large scale overall route maps to view.
· Hard copies of the STC brochures for members of the public to view and take away.
· Electronic interactive screens to access other information like Google Maps.
· Comment sheets for members of the public to make comments or provide their submission in writing on the day.
Sustainable Transport Corridors
E- Ballincollig to CityF- Bishopstown to City
Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland, P31 DY93
Tue 19th July 2pm -7pmWed 20th July 9am – 2pm
A- Dunkettle to CityB- Mayfield to CityC- Blackpool to CityD- Hollyhill to CityL- Sunday’s Well to Hollyhill
A self-guided audio tour of the Shandon historic quarter has been launched by Shandon Area Renewal Association (SARA) SARA is an advocacy group representing the residents and businesses in the Shandon Area. Their Tidy Towns committee does Trojan work keeping the area not only tidy but welcoming to all who live in and visit the area.
The new audio tour takes approximately an hour. Through it you will learn about the history and the life of the area and see where the many historical characters, born and reared in the area, lived. You will also hear the voices of locals who speak about the area’s history and their relationship to it. The tour is comprised of twenty three audio tracks, with associated waypoints. Each track is specific to each waypoint. Log onto walkingshandon.ie to access the tour. The project is supported By Cork City Council and Cathedral Credit Union.
One could do the tour from your sofa but the Shandon area makes for a great area for walking and exploring. The starting point is at the Cornmarket Street side of the Shandon Footbridge. Then one climbs the hill to one of the first stops – Maldron Hotel, formerly the North Infirmary.
There are conflicting historical reports of the infirmary’s origins sometime between 1720 and 1744.Cork historians have argued that that the first infirmary was constructed in 1720 and then a rebooting of sorts of the infirmary in 1744. The latter reboot was supported by a musical society who appropriated their surplus funds for its support.By the 1840s the original infirmary had been considerably enlarged. In 1842, there were admitted 558 patients, and 17,630 externs. It was attended by two physicians and two surgeons. From 1867 onwards the Daughters of Charity cared for thousands and thousands of patients.
The infirmary’s history is peppered with tales of hardship and examples of perseverance to maintain a place of care for the sick in the impoverished northside of Cork during the 1700s and 1800s. The battles to fend off threats of closure were faced, and won. Crises were overcome because the management committees could depend on voluntary funding. Indeed, the hospital flourished and expanded, thanks to the pennies of the people of Cork. However, in 1987 due to National Health Cuts the hospital closed resulting in 205 redundancies. Despite vocal and physical protests from far and wide, there was to be no last minute reprieve. The doors were finally closed on 27 November 1987. Ten years later the building’s next host was the Shandon Court Hotel (now the Maldron Hotel).
Close by is the next stop on the audio trail, which is the Mother Jones plaque. The Cork Mother Jones Commemorative committee was established in 2012 to mark the 175th anniversary of the birth of Mary Harris / Mother Jones in Cork. After a highly successful festival marking that anniversary it was decided to make the festival an annual event marking the life and legacy of Mother Jones. The Commemorative Committee, in conjunction with Cork City Council also commissioned Cork Sculptor Mike Wilkins to create a limestone plaque to honour Mother Jones in the Shandon area of the city, near her birthplace. This plaque was erected near the famous Cork Butter Market and was unveiled on 1 August 2012.
Although famous in other parts of the world, especially in the United States of America where she was once labelled “the most dangerous woman in America”, Cork born Mary Jones (née Harris) – or Mother Jones as she is perhaps more widely known – was virtually unknown and not recognised yet in her native city. The festivals and activities of the commemoration committee have changed that and now the name of Mother Jones is better known in Cork and beyond.
Mary’s parents were Ellen Cotter, a native of Inchigeela and Richard Harris from Cork city. Few details of her early life in Cork have been uncovered to date, though it is thought by some that she was born on Blarney Street and may have attended the North Presentation Schools nearby. She and her family emigrated to Canada soon after the Famine, probably in the early 1850s. Later in the United States, after tragic deaths of her husband George Jones and their four children, she became involved in the struggle for basic rights for workers and children’s rights, leading from the front, often in a militant fashion.
Mary is best known for her fiery speeches against the exploitation of miners; she was utterly fearless, travelling all over America to defend workers and their families. Mother Jones was one of the best and most active union organizers ever seen in America. She became a legend among the coalminers of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Nearby to the plaque to Mary Jones plaque is the historic façade of the Cork Butter Market. By the mid 1800s, the Cork butter market had enlarged to such an extent that there was a large need for expansion of the premises. In 1849, an elaborate roman temple style portico, designed by Sir John Benson, was added to the front of the butter market. In the late 1800s, there was a distinct decline in the economic fortunes of the city. The profits of the export provision trade of agricultural products such as butter and beef declined.
In 1858, 428,000 firkins of butter were being exported per annum and by 1891, this was reduced to 170,000 firkins. Competitive European prices out-competed the prices set by the butter market at Cork. Eventually, the Cork butter Market closed in 1924. In recent decades, a butter museum, which is well worth visiting has opened up next to the craft centre in the Tony O’Reilly Centre. The old Butter Exchange is currently the subject of a planning application proposal for its interior conversion into an innovation/ start up hub.
To celebrate and mark the stories above and the multitude of other stories including the 300th anniversary of St Anne’s Church Shandon, and the launch of the self-guided walking tour, one of my walking tours for July takes on the local history of Shandon. See all the information on my three tours for July below.
Kieran’s July Tours:
Saturday 2 July 2022, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; explore Cork’s most historic quarter; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp Cork Volunteer Centre, 2pm (free, duration: two hours, no booking required).
Friday evening, 8 July 2022, The Lough and its Curiosities; historical walking tour; meet at green area at northern green of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough, Lough Church end; 6.45pm (free, duration: two hours)
Saturday 16 July 2022, The Battle of Douglas, An Irish Civil War Story, historical walking tour with Kieran, from carpark and entrance to Old Railway Line, Harty’s Quay, Rochestown; 2pm, (free, 2 hours, finishes near Rochestown Road).
1157a. St Anne’s Church Shandon with members of the Shandon Area Renewal Association 14 June 2022 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has announced his free historical walking tours for July, which have a focus on historic streets, lakes, and woodlands. He will conduct walks across the area of Shandon, The Lough area, and also around the Rochestown area.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Rochestown tour is one I first ran just before Covid and focusses on Irish Civil War known as The Battle of Douglas. The three day battle occurred from 7-10 August 1922. In particular, the battle sprawled across the heart of Rochestown Road to Garryduff. Across fields and woodlands, Anglo Irish Treaty supporters faced off against Anti-Treaty forces. It was part of the largest seaborne landing of the Irish civil war and was aimed at taking Cork City. General Emmet Dalton of the National Army or Irish Provisional Government led 800 troops, with two artillery pieces and armoured cars, all of whom landed at Passage West”,
“Coupled with the Civil War heritage there are also some great heritage assets in Rochestown from the old railway line platform to the Capuchin Friary off Monastery Road, no mind the surrounding heritage of the big houses and their estates which once stood in areas such as Monsfieldtown, Belmont and Garryduff”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy.
Kieran’s July Tours:
Saturday 2 July 2022, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; explore Cork’s most historic quarter; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp Cork Volunteer Centre, 2pm (all tours free, duration: two hours, no booking required).
Friday evening, 8 July 2022, The Lough and its Curiosities; historical walking tour; meet at green area at northern green of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough, Lough Church end; 6.45pm.
Saturday 16 July 2022, The Battle of Douglas, An Irish Civil War Story, historical walking tour with Kieran, from carpark and entrance to Old Railway Line, Harty’s Quay, Rochestown; 2pm.
Journeys to a Free State: General Election Fall Out
On Friday 16 June 1922, the 1922 Irish general election took place. The result of the election in Cork City was announced shortly before midnight on Saturday 17 June 1922. Some thousands of people waited to the hear the end result outside Cork City Courthouse. The first step was reached at 7.30pm, when businessman Mr Robert Day, having secured 6,836 votes, the quota being 6,070, was declared elected. At intervals afterwards Alderman De Róiste and Alderman JJ Walsh, having received the quota, were also safe.
Later Mary MacSwiney TD, though four short of the quota, secured the fourth place. The defeated candidates, next in order, were – Alderman Beamish, Mr Frank Daly, and the shock defeat of Lord Mayor of Cork, TD and Cllr Donal Óg O’Callaghan.
Poll topper Robert Day said that he was in the happy position of having to propose a vote of thanks to the Returning Officer and also to his staff. Mary MacSwiney said on behalf of the Republican candidates she wished to express her sincere thanks for the way the election had been carried out. At this stage cheers were raised for Mary by members outside the door of the Court house and another group called for cheers for ”the senior member for Cork” i.e Donal Óg O’Callaghan
In the days that followed, the 128 seats up for grabs in Dáil Éireann were filled. Out of a valid poll of 621,587 votes, the pro-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin won 239,195 votes and the anti-Treaty faction won 135,310 votes. The other parties and independents all supported the Treaty and secured a further 247,080 votes. The vote was seen as considerable in many ways but in essence the pro-Treaty parties had secured support from over 75% of the electorate.
On 21 June 1922 Éamon de Valera gave a formal statement on the election to the press such as the Cork Examiner: “These results seem indeed a triumph for the Imperial methods of pacification, outrage and murder and massacre, and then a threat with a concession – the policy of the kick and caress, with a kick in reserve. By the threat of immediate renewal of an infamous war our people harassed and weary, and fearful of chaos, have in a majority voted as England wanted, but their hearts and their aspirations are unchanged, and Ireland unfree will never be at rest or genuinely reconciled with England. England’s gain is for the moment only, and England’s difficulty will still be prayed for as Ireland’s opportunity”.
De Valera further articulated about patriotism and dying for Ireland; “The men and women who have been rejected by the electorate have gone down with their flag flying, untouched by prospect of place or power, true to their principles, true to every pledge and promise they gave, true to the dead who died for Ireland—with those hallowed names, theirs will forever be coupled in honourable mention, in one of the most glorious chapters in their nation’s story”.
As for the published Dáil Éireann Constitution, he said, it was still only a draft, and he felt confident Dáil would not pass it as it good. He claimed that as it stood it would exclude from the public services, and practically disfranchise every honest Republican. He noted: “It isa test code as comprehensive against Republicans as the last acts of the Clarendon-Shaftesbury code against Catholics and dissenters in the reign of Charles II. It is as Burke described the Irish Penal Code, a machine of wise and elaborate contrivance, a complete system well digested and well composed in all its parts, and particularly fitted to the end in view – the degradation of a people – directed not against the few but against the many. Dáil Éireann will not dishonour itself by passing it”.
Michael Collins remained quiet in the press up to after his election in his West Cork constituency. He did not formally respond to De Valera’s comments. However, the immediate aftermath of the general election result was that despite the pre-election coalition pact, the division between pro-treaty Sinn Fein members and anti-treaty members intensified.
On 28 June 1922, the Irish Civil War began, when the Irish Provisional Government’s troops began a shelling of the Anti-Treaty IRA’s ongoing take over of the Four Courts in Dublin. The Cork Examiner reported that there had been many casualties. Armoured cars, trench mortars, and machine guns were in action. Graphic accounts of the fighting were printed. The Provisional Government forces also seized the Fowler Hall. The building was besieged, and eventually set on fire. Telegraphic communication with Dublin continued, though irregularly, but the telephone service to the capital ceased A striking fact was that with the exception of the districts in which actual hostilities were taking place, business proceeded as usual.
At 6.30pm the Press Association stated that the Provisional Government had imposed a censorship on telegraphic messages. By 8pm breaches had been made in the river frontage of the Courts, and the Chancery Section and Library have been damaged by shells. During the evening there were a series of attacks on Provisional Government troops, who suffered six casualties in Oriel House, the headquarters of the attacked. Sniping operations extended throughout the city.
The shelling continued until 5 July 1922. At that point at least fifteen individuals were killed on the Republican side, with an unknown number wounded and over 450 individuals taken prisoner. On the Provisional Government National Army side, at least 29 were killed and over 150 were wounded.
1156a. Fire and explosions – the shelling of Four Courts Dublin, late June 1922 (source: National Library of Ireland, Dublin).
Lots of people have asked over the past two years is there a plan to resurface the Marina Walk with a more amenable surface. The old concrete in many places is broken and is dangerous to the walker. So I am delighted to see the Marina Promenade progressing now to public consultation.
The project will in essence restore the road to its original state as a walkway (see the images attached). It is also more or less 150 years to the day since the name The Marina, named after a walkway in Palermo, Sicily, replaced the name Navigation Wall. So this public call is very apt.
Cork City Council is asking residents, communities, businesses, and other key stakeholders to have their say on a proposed upgrading of the Marina which will further enhance the much-loved amenity for pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities.
Today, it published a planning notice seeking Part 8 planning permission on the promenade which was pedestrianised nearly two years ago.
The project team are seeking to repurpose approximately 1.8km of the existing Marina Promenade to deliver a combined footpath-cycle path and improved public spaces.
The plans also provide for the creation of plazas, balconies and new seating areas at intervals along the Marina.Public lighting will be replaced between Church Avenue and Blackrock Harbour and new public lighting and feature lighting installed between Centre Park Road and Church Avenue.
As is currently, the Marina promenade will remain car free from Centre Park Road to Church Avenue (1.5 km) with a shared 6-metre-wide surface for pedestrians and cyclists, widening to 7.0m at the filtered permeability gate at Church Avenue. Similarly, car access will be maintained for residents on Church Ave and those living north of Church Ave on the Marina.
The plans also include:
• Provision of new pedestrian and cycle access points from the Marina Promenade into the adjacent Marina Park including Atlantic Pond and the Cork City to Passage West Greenway.• Retention of the iconic formal tree planting along the route
• Protection and enhancement of the natural heritage, green space and biodiversity of the area and the conversion of some footpath areas to green space
• Provision of an access road serving Lee Rowing Club, Pairc Ui Chaoimh/Atlantic Pond and the lands in between.
More detail is available on https://consult.corkcity.ie/en or alternatively, plans & particulars will be available for inspection or purchase on working days at Reception Desk, Cork City Council, City Hall from Thursday 23 June to Thursday 4 August 2022.
Closing date for all submissions is Thursday 18 August 2022 at 4pm.
Journeys to a Free State: Collins Comes Back to Cork
In last week’s column I wrote about, the general election, which was called on 19 May 1922 by a resolution of Dáil Éireann by an order of the Irish Provisional Government. The treaty had split the Sinn Féin party. To diminish losses due to contesting other parties, Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins created a pact, which was approved on 20 May 1922. They decided that the pro-treaty and anti-treaty factions would fight the general election jointly and shape a coalition government afterwards. On Saturday 10 June 1922, Éamon de Valera arrived in Cork by train at 9.15pm for a series of election rallies across the county.
Four days later on 14 June 1922 Michael Collins arrived to rally support for his election cause. He arrived with Cork TD J J Walsh. The general public had not more than a couple of hours’ notice of the arrival of the distinguished visitors. The train was due to arrive at 9.15 pm, but long before that hour the station premises and yard were crowded with people while immediately outside there was a vast gathering.
Inside the station when the train was signalled there was a tussle for points of vantage. Several men climbed on to the railings of the subway. and perched themselves on windowsill and lamp post. As the train emerged from the tunnel rousing cheers were given and frequently repeated to the cry “Up the Treaty”, “Up Collins”. With difficulty the party made their way to the waiting motor cars.
Preceded by the Lee Pipers Hand and Fair Lane Fife and Drum, the cars slowly emerged to the highway. Along the broad stretch of the Lower Road there was a sea of people, and the “stands” made by the tunnel steps and the terraces of houses along to and including St Patrick’s Church, were densely packed. The streets along the route to Turner’s Hotel on Oliver Plunkett Street were packed with people.
Michael was technically on route to Skibbereen for a rally in his own constituency. However, in response to repeated calls for a speech, he appeared at a window of Turner’s Hotel and was received with rounds of cheers. He thanked the crowd for their welcome. He noted that it was his second time since February 1922 to address the Cork city public. He remarked of his personal perspective; “My position is fairly well known to you, and to everyone in Ireland. You here are facing an election on Friday, and I am not hampered now by being on a platform where there are Coalitionists. I can make a straight appeal to you citizens of Cork to vote for the candidates you think best of – to vote for candidates whom the electors of Cork will think will carry on best in the future the work that the citizens of Cork want carried on”.
Michael continued; “When I spoke in Dublin, I put it that the country was facing a very serious situation, and if that situation was to be met, as it should be met, the country must have the representatives that it needs. He concluded by noting to the public: “You understand fully what you have to do and I will depend on you to do it”.
There were also repeated demands for JJ Walsh to address the crowds from his window in Turner’s Hotel. Opening his short speech that it would be unfair of him “to his old friends, the citizens of Cork, those of them who marched with him for the last 10 or 12 years in an Irish Ireland movement”, if he failed on that occasion to thank them for their loyalty and their goodwill through trying times.
JJ Walsh responded to the cheers that Michael got by observing; “It was a fitting answer and offset to the unfortunate circumstances, which occurred in this neighbourhood a few months ago [during the War of Independence], and demonstrated fully the fact that the people of Cork correctly interpreted the Gaelic spirit which operated in and animated Michael Collins and men of his type in the immediate and distant past on behalf of the people”.
JJ Walsh also articulated that he was not going to say anything in connection with the pending election. That was a matter for the people in their discretion in casting their votes. He remarked; “It was simply a case of voting in whatever direction they thought best for the Irish nation. In that spirit and with that intention alone I voted for the Treaty six months ago. The discretion and intelligence necessary to direct that vote on my part are equally available with you, and it is entirely a matter for yourselves to do what you think is right in the circumstances.
Concluding, JJ Walsh expressed the hope that Michael Collins and those associated with him – those who were returned on Friday and who the nation would return in its wise discretion would save this poor nation and bring it to the goal of destiny which you and I, and every sincere Irish man and woman has honed for in the past”. Once JJ ended his few words, the crowds dispersed shortly after from Oliver Plunkett Street.
Kieran’s June Tours:
Saturday 18 June 2022, The Workhouse and St Finbarr’s Hospital; meet at entrance to St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 2pm (free, 2 hours).
1155a. Michael Collins in London, July 1921, by John Lavery (source: The Hugh Lane Gallery).
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy welcomes the proposed segregated cycling lanes at Maryborough Hill but has called on City Hall to reach out more in terms of communicating the project and asking for public feedback. The works proposed to provide segregated cycle tracks on both sides of the main distributor road through Maryborough Woods. These segregated cycle tracks will provide a safe route for cyclists through the estate from Maryborough Hill to the Carrigaline Road.
The cycle infrastructure proposed is approximately 2.1 km. Most of this length will comprise of raised tracks separated from road traffic and adjacent to the footpath in the zone currently occupied by grass verges. There will be modification to kerbs and road widths to accommodate proposed cycling infrastructure. Junctions are to be raised to provide suitable crossing points for both pedestrians and cyclists while also slowing vehicles for added safety. There will be new road marking and signage.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “This is such a large project that I would call upon residents in Maryborough Woods to log onto consult.corkcity.ie to see the plans and make an observation if needs be. Public feedback is crucial on such a large project. Any observations in relation to this proposal can be made electronically through www.consult.corkcity.ie/en/ or forwarded in an envelope marked “Active Travel Improvement Works at Maryborough Woods, Douglas”to Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Development, City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork. Final date for submissions is 5pm on Monday, 11 July 2022”.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has asked the valve and flooding issue at the Atlantic Pond be prioritised. At this week’s City Council meeting, in response to Cllr McCarthy’s written question, Director of Services David Joyce outlined that the delivery of the proposed works to the outer valve and associated localised quay wall repair has been delayed due to the backlog of work arising from Covid 19 as well as significant workloads associated with other functional areas e.g. planning applications for housing, responding to flooding and other emergency incidents etc.
Mr Joyce noted: “this site consists of a twin valve configuration, with an inner and outer valve. The inner valve is fully functional with the outer vale in need of repair and reinstallation. While this interim configuration is not ideal it does function, albeit without the redundancy of the twin valve setup. The intention is to carry these works as quickly as possible. A sustained period of dry weather will be required to enable the works to proceed”.
Cllr McCarthy highlighted at the City Council meeting: “The Atlantic Pond valve work needs to be accelerated by the end of the year. There was funding of over e.50,000 put aside for the works to proceed this year. It is essential that they proceed and that the funding is not thrown back into the Council’s budget pot. The Atlantic Pond is a fantastic amenity, and its footpaths seem to get regularly flooded during the winter hindering full use of the pond for walkers and amenity users”.