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Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 24 November 2022

1178a. John O’Callaghan Foley, President of Cork Chamber of Commerce 1922 (source: National Library of Ireland, Dublin).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 24 November 2022

Journeys to an Irish Free State: Commercial Optimism and New Connections

Contrasting against the escalating Civil War, the business community in Cork did what they could to manage the disruption. Indeed, an editorial in the Cork Examiner on 16 November 1922 highlights an actual revival and growth of trade with the city’s and region’s economy in the winter of 1922.

Wholesale houses of Cork during October and November 1922 witnessed their orders steadily increasing. Traders of county towns were gaining confidence in the protection afforded to property by the new Civic Guard. In addition, many traders of wholesale houses no longer went to England to make purchases due to the danger, difficulty, and cost of travel. They were content to send their orders to Cork. One of the effects of this was more employment being given to the factories – a welcome change from half-time to five days a week having taken place in some instances. For example, the manufacture of boots for the National Army troops gave much needed local employment in the boot factories of Cork. About £400,000 worth of boots were made annually in the country with the importation rate at six millions’ worth.

The Cork Examiner also focusses on other aspects, which combined to help the revival of industry in Cork. A greater number of the goods, previously carried to the country towns and to the city by rail, was conveyed by motor. It was not unusual to see hundreds of motor cars and lorries enter and depart from the city to places as far distant as Castletownbere, and districts equally remote.

The quays of Cork were busy spaces. Little steamers, sailing vessels and motor boats made their way regularly between the port and nearly all the sea coast towns of the south and west of the country. There was the large steamer of 150 tons side by side with the modest little schooner of fifteen tons. The Cork Examiner highlights that the names of the vessels were striking – St Brigid, St Michael, Alice, Young Dan.

However, car loads of goods were sometimes waiting in a queue on the quays for half the day, which added to waiting and ultimately the cost. In addition, for a horse and car to take a ton of goods to Macroom, a charge of £5 was made. The distance to Macroom by road had greatly increased due to the destruction of bridges during the Civil War. One had to get to the town in a roundabout way via Blackpool and Blarney. Road transport charges were expensive. Commercial travellers also had to pay high prices.

The Cork Examiner also highlighted that the principal retail houses of Cork were also optimistic. The extreme cold weather of the winter of 1922 compelled men and women to rush to the draper’s shops to spend some of their savings.

On the third week of November 1922, the annual general meeting of the Cork Chamber of Commerce also provided insights into the commercial world. In the annual report by its Honorary Secretary Mr M O’ Herlihy, and published in the Cork Examiner on 24 November 1922, it noted of commercial challenges; “The outbreak of Civil War, threatening our existence as a nation and as a commercial unit, has meant for our city a certain amount of isolation, which has lost for our merchants a big portion of our inland markets”.

Under the circumstances, the Chamber took the initiative in the formation of representatives of the city’s two Chambers of Commerce, Cork Employers’ Federation Ltd, and the County Cork Association of the Irish Farmers’ Union. The standing executive acted as a local advisory body to the Irish government. Representing the commercial community of the city, it dealt with all matters of the public interest such as the provision of transport facilities, the presentation of claims, commandeering etc. It has also acted in an advisory capacity on such matters as the administration and collection of income tax, road and motor licence duty.

Under the auspices of the Chamber and the Cork Industrial Development Association, in early 1922 a trade deputation visited Belgium first and then visited France to investigate the possibilities for the development of direct import and export trade between Ireland and the continent. The deputation was met by Count Gerard O’Kelly, Irish Consul, Belgium. The deputation visited the leading commercial magnates of Belgium and all the large factories in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Hall, Liege and Verviers.

Dr Leon Moreau, managing director of the Compagnie Ultramarine de Commerce, visited Cork and delivered an illustrated lecture at the Pavilion cinema on Belgo-Irish trade.

Mr Leopold H Kerney, the Irish Consul based in Paris, made two visits to Cork during the year, and interviewed the directors and managers of local firms interested in promoting direct trade with the Continent. Mr Kerney successfully urged on French traders the necessity of linking up Brest and Cork, by running a direct passenger-cargo service between the two ports. There was also a Compagnie France-Irlande of which share capital could be bought.

In October 1922, Mr Kerney and twenty others came to sell their manufactures and products, others came to buy the products of Ireland and to transact merchanting by direct methods.

One of the key drivers to search for new markets was Mr John O’Callaghan Foley, President of Cork Chamber of Commerce. He noted of the French support at the annual general meeting in mid-November 1922; “I may say the French people were the first to recognise and were quite enthusiastic about it that Ireland dropped out of the United Kingdom, and they were anxious to secure some business here, and come and transact business with the people they have so much in common with”.

John was a member of the Council of the Cork Industrial Development Association and held directorships at Messrs Dowdall and Company Ltd, John Daly and Company, Ltd and the Victoria Hotel Company Ltd. He openly had interests in the development of direct foreign trade for companies such as the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, Moore and MacCormack Company Ltd, New York, Michael Murphy Ltd, Dublin and Cork, Societé De Navigation, France-Irlande, Brest, France. John was also a member of the Governing Body of University College, Cork.


1178a. John O’Callaghan Foley, President of Cork Chamber of Commerce 1922 (source: National Library of Ireland, Dublin).

Cllr Kieran McCarthy: People Power leads to Mangala Bridge Proposal Abandonment, 23 November 2023

The National Transport Authority has confirmed that a proposed bridge over the Mangala Valley connecting Grange Road to Carrigaline Road will not be included in the revised proposals for the Kinsale Road to Douglas Sustainable Transport Corridor as part of BusConnects Cork. The delivery of the Southern Distributor Road connecting Rochestown /Douglas to  Grange/ Frankfield and onwards to Sarsfield Rd remains a longer term objective of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted:

“It is great news for The Mangala / Ballybrack Woods. My sincere thanks to everyone who made a submission to save the woodland. Citizen voices were heard. It is a great day for democracy and for the protection of the local environment and biodiversity. But there is much more to do. My flyering and public meetings will continue; there are still challenges in my area when it comes to proposals by Bus Connects for Douglas Road, Well Road and Boreenmanna Road. It is also imperative that the NTA continue to work with the local population in these areas, and of course other areas of the city where built and natural heritage is so crucial to the DNA of an area”.

The NTA is currently reviewing the almost three thousand submissions made by the public as part of the first round of consultation on the 12 proposed STCs for Cork. It is anticipated that the next round of public consultation will commence with the revised proposals in the spring of 2023”.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 17 November 2022

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 17 November 2022

Journeys to an Irish Free State: Questions of Sanitation

Across October and November 1922, there were regular debates in the press commenting on the condition of internees in Cork’s gaols – namely the City Gaol and County Gaol. During the Civil War it is estimated that over 14,000 men were interned by the Irish Free State in gaols across the country. Due to such a large number, public pressure for release for such prisoners and calls for lessening the internee population in such confined cell spaces were common place.

On 10 October 1922 at the meeting of the public health committee of the Cork Corporation Alderman Seán O’Sullivan presided. The Cork Examiner recorded that Councillor Gamble asked if it were known that there had been an outbreak of diphtheria in the County Gaol, and that some of the prisoners had been conveyed to the Fever Hospital. The outbreak, he was informed, was due to bad sanitary arrangements. He continued to ask what was the role of Dr O’Donovan, who was in charge of the health of the city, in remedying the sanitary conditions.

Mr William Ellis, Deputy Lord Mayor, noted that he had called attention to the sanitation and Councillor Barry Egan and himself had already gone to the military authorities. They were received by General Emmet Dalton who told them that Dr Donovan would get permission to visit the gaol. However, when a letter was forwarded to Dr Donovan, the doctor noted apprehensively that the matter was outside his locational jurisdiction that the County Gaol fell in the jurisdiction of the Cork Rural District Council.

Deputy Lord Mayor, William Ellis, then relayed that he had immediately got onto public health committee of the district council. However, they noted that they had no control whatever over the public healthy practicalities within the County Gaol. They had though sent their Medical Doctor of Public Health, Dr D Gleeson, to express their concerns to General Dalton.

The Deputy Lord Mayor in his concluding remarks noted: “Where the lives of five or 600 men are involved they could not stand by professional etiquette or red-tapeism. I understand however, that the doctor has no power to go into the gaol, but they should take whatever action was possible to safeguard the health of citizens”.

On 14 October 1922, at the Cork Rural District Council Mr Micheál Ó Cuill, Chairman, presided and raised the sanitation issue at the County Gaol. The Cork Examiner detailed that the engineer that was present reported that many complaints had been made to him has to the existence of a very bad stench in the vicinity of the bridge near the gaol. During investigation he found that this was due to two damaged openings to the sewer. These acted as outlets when the sewer was over charged, discharging the excess sewage into the river. This took place during heavy rain.

In addition, the engineer noted that the Corporation of Cork were responsible for the upkeep of the stone weir at the waterworks upstream. Until the gaps in the weir were made good practically all the water would continue to flow down the north channel leaving the south channel as an open sewer not being flushed out by the river.

At the meeting a notification of three cases of diphtheria in the County Gaol were highlighted. The Medical Officer of Health of the Rural District Council Dr Gleeson visited the gaol and had a personal interview with Commandant Scott. The patients suspected of having diphtheria were removed to the Fever Hospital and the cells in which they were confined or disinfected under the supervision of the Medical Officer of the National Army forces, Dr Kelly.

At the meeting of the Council of Cork Corporation on 10 November 1922, Alderman O’Sullivan presided. The Cork Examiner reported that the Town Clerk read the following letter: “W. Ellis, Esq, Deputy Lord Mayor, Cork. A Chara, I am directed to inform you that a deputation of ladies from the Republican Prisoners’ Relatives Committee intend to lay before the Corporation at its meeting this evening the treatment of prisoners in Cork gaols at present, and as to the sanitary conditions there, with a view to requesting the Corporation to appoint a committee to investigate these and other facts forthwith. I am also directed to ask you to be so good as to allow the deputation to lay its facts briefly before the Corporation under your privilege”.

When the deputation arrived, Miss O’Mahony, who spoke for the delegation, said that apart from the “sufferings of the men” they felt that unless drastic action was taken by the Corporation an epidemic of disease would break out in the city, and then the Corporation would have to bear the responsibility. She deemed that the sanitary conditions were appalling – “the dirt of the place was indescribable, and clothes were in an unspeakable condition”.

The delegation proposed that the Corporation of Cork appoint a committee to inquire into the conditions at the gaol, and demand permission from the military authorities to enter the gaol and see the conditions for themselves;

“Such an investigation would relieve the anxiety of the relatives and friends of the prisoners. A good many persons didn’t know whether their relatives who had been arrested were alive or not. An agitation had gone on in Dublin, but the Provisional Government had so far refused the demand for an investigation. If all was well with the prisoners, there should be no hesitation about allowing a committee to carry out an inspection”.

The proposal was carried a committee of seven councillors were tasked with approaching General Emmet Dalton.


1177a. Cork County Gaol adjacent UCC, c.1920; it is now the site of the Kane Science Building. Only the entrance portico has survived (source: Cork City Library).

Cllr McCarthy: LED Public Lighting Roll-out Ongoing, 16 November 2022

Approximately 40% of the public lighting network of 25,000 lanterns including those in the Douglas area have now been fitted with LED lanterns according to Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

In 2022 alone Cork City Council has upgraded 2,500 lanterns (approx. 10%) from old “SON/SOX” lanterns to LED. In addition, a dimming profile, where lanterns are dimmed to 75% output from midnight onwards, in also in operation on some street lights.

A combination of the above interventions has resulted in a reduction of the energy used powering public lighting in the City. In relation to Energy Reduction, Cork City Council have identified the need to change public lighting lanterns to LEDs to help reduce the energy consumption related to the provision of this service.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “As part of the Council’s tendered public lighting annual maintenance contract works, a small percentage of lights are converted to LED annually. The Public Lighting Department of the Operations Directorate is preparing further proposals in terms of a Public Lighting Strategy to tackle legacy electrical issues, old public lighting column issues and the replacement of the remaining old SON/SOX lanterns and converting them to LED. The delivery of this strategy will be subject to securing the required funding for this replacement project”.

Kieran’s Question to CE, 15 November 2022

Question to Chief Executive:

To ask the CE on an update on the current management arrangements for public lighting in the city, and in particular what climate action measure are being taken and what contractors are being engaged with? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).


The Public Lighting Framework adopted 2021 by the City Council identifies three strategic pillars with regards to the provision of public lighting:
• Asset management
• Service provision
• Energy reduction.
In relation to Energy Reduction, Cork City Council have identified the need to change public lighting lanterns to LEDs to help reduce the energy consumption related to the provision of this service. As part of our tendered public lighting annual maintenance contract works a small percentage of lights are converted to LED annually. Additional funding, to accelerate the changeover of 1,000 additional old SON/SOX lanterns to LED, was put in place mid-2022 and this accelerated programme will be implemented over a 12-month period.

As a result of this incremental approach, at the end of October 2022, approximately 40% of the public lighting network has been fitted with LED lanterns. In 2022 alone Cork City Council has upgraded 2,500 lanterns (approx. 10%) from old SON/SOX lanterns to LED. In addition, a dimming profile, where lanterns are dimmed to 75% output from midnight onwards, in also in operation on some street lights. A combination of the above interventions has resulted in a reduction of the energy used powering public lighting in the City, dropping from 95.87watts to 84.59 watts in 2022 alone.

The Public Lighting Department of the Operations Directorate is preparing further proposals in terms of a Public Lighting Strategy to tackle legacy electrical issues, old public lighting column issues and the replacement of the remaining old SON/SOX lanterns and converting them to LED. The delivery of this strategy will be subject to securing the required funding for this replacement project.

David Joyce,
Director of Services,
Roads & Environment Operations Directorate

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 10 November 2022

1176a. Mary MacSwiney TD, 1921 (Source: Houses of the Oireachtas Archive).
1176a. Mary MacSwiney TD, 1921 (Source: Houses of the Oireachtas Archive).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 10 November 2022

Journeys to an Irish Free State: Mary MacSwiney’s Hunger Strike

November 1922 coincided with the hunger strike of Mary MacSwiney as part of her continued protest at the Treaty and as her part in the Irish Civil War. After Mary’s re-election to Dáil Éireann in June 1922 she abstained from the political institution. She fought the Irish Civil War making regular speeches in the public realm but remained in a non-combatant role.

On 4 November 1922, Mary was arrested at the home of Nell Ryan at 40 Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Her premises were raided by National Army soldiers. She was interned at Mountjoy Gaol where she immediately went on hunger strike. At once Mary’s national political presence attracted attention. The gaol doctor, Dr O’Connor, asked for a waterbed for her comfort. Nevertheless, during the hunger strike Mary refused doctor visits. Just outside the prison walls Cumann na mBan members held vigils demonstrating against Mary’s internment and the internment of others like her.

The Cork Examiner reported on 9 November 1922: “Dublin, Wednesday 8 December 1922 – Miss Mary MacSwiney, sister of Terence MacSwiney, late Lord Mayor of Cork, entered today on her fifth day of hunger strike in Mountjoy Prison. She has been joined since Monday in the hunger strike by four other prisoners, Madame O’Rahilly, widow of the [Michael Joseph] The O’Rahilly, Mrs Humphries his sister and her daughter, Sheila, and Miss Honor Murphy”.

In connection with messages of protest received by President WT Cosgrave of the Irish Provisional Government from the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic referring to the arrest and detention in prison of Miss Mary MacSwiney, TD, the Government Publicity Department issued a statement in the evening of 3 November. President Cosgrave wrote about returning with General Richard Mulcahy from a tour of the Dublin hospitals where he had visited seriously injured soldiers of the National Army and his thoughts upon such suffering;

“Deaths and sufferings, and a daily toll of further deaths and sufferings, are the direct consequences of the doings of people who formerly were, and still claim to be, political leaders, the consequence of the action which Mr De Valera has described as Rory O’Connor’s unfortunate repudiation of the Dáil, which I (De Valera) was so foolish as to defend”.

“Mr De Valera, Miss MacSwiney, and their associates, far from wishing to make amends for what they refer to as their ‘foolishness’, show that they intend to go on being foolish, even at the terrible cost of Irish blood and suffering. They are responsible for the shedding of blood in Ireland, and for its continuance cannot themselves claim immunity. We, on whom the Irish people have placed the responsibility of asserting their authority, will not allow the discharge of that duty to the nation to be hampered by the consideration of any individuals, be they whom they may”.

At a Cork Harbour Board meeting in mid-November 1922 the chairman received a delegation of ladies (Mrs Sheehan, Mrs K Riordan, and Miss Sheehan) who read a document asking for the release of Mary MacSwiney; “We the constituents of Miss MacSwiney ask the Provisional Government, as an not of chivalry, to forthwith release Miss MacSwiney, hoping by this kindly act to alleviate bitterness between Irishmen will help towards the cessation of fratricidal strife, which is slowly destroying our country”.

Continuing the Chairman said he appreciated the manner in which the document had been worded. He described it as having no party bitterness in it, and he hoped that as they were celebrating the second anniversary of Terence MacSwiney’s death, which had evoked such world-wide admiration, he hoped the Government would act on it.

Board member and member of Cork Corporation Sir John Scott, in proposing the adoption of the resolution, said that there were times in the “affairs of men and women when politics had to be put aside”, and he thought that was one of them. He regretted that Miss MacSwiney had been arrested, because he thought that action was an “error of judgment”, and he had no hesitation in asking that she be released Mr Barry Egan seconded.

Mr T J Murphy wished to be associated with the request. He noted that Miss MacSwiney was a member of their Board and TD for the city, and he did not think it would hurt the Provisional Government to grant her release. He thought, in fact, it would be much better for the Provisional Government if they did so. Mr O’Brien also supported the resolution. He did not think it would serve any patriotic purpose to keep Miss MacSwiney in prison. The Chairman said he supposed there was no objection whatever to passing the resolution. The motion was formally passed and the deputation withdrew.

Members of Cork Corporation also called for Mary’s release as well as the Cork Worker’s Council. In addition on the twentieth day of the hunger strike, Mary’s sister Annie MacSwiney, who had been fasting outside the gaol for a week, was removed in a very weak state to a private nursing home in Eccles Street, Dublin. Annie was determined to fast until she was admitted to the gaol to see her sister.

Beyond the twentieth day of Mary’s hunger strike, her condition was grave and she was given the Last Rites by a Roman Catholic priest. On the 24th day though the Government were not prepared to let hunger strikers die, and she was released.

In early April 1923 Mary was arrested again and taken to Kilmainham Gaol and was released after 19 days of hunger strike.


1176a. Mary MacSwiney TD, 1921 (Source: Houses of the Oireachtas Archive).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 3 November 2022

1175a. Interior view of Albert Road electricity power house with some electric trams worked by the Cork Electric Lighting and Tramway Company (source: Tram Tracks of Cork by Walter McGrath).
1175a. Interior view of Albert Road electricity power house with some electric trams worked by the Cork Electric Lighting and Tramway Company (source: Tram Tracks of Cork by Walter McGrath).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 3 November 2022

Journeys to an Irish Free State: The Civic Guard Arrives

On 4 November 1922, about 7.40pm the entire city of Cork was plunged into darkness. Ten armed men Anti-Treaty IRA Volunteers with sledge hammers entered the Albert Road electricity power house, run by the Cork Electric Lighting and Tramway Company. They commanded the staff at the point of revolvers to enter a room, and there kept them prisoners, and immediately set about to reduce the plant to bits with sledge hammers.

The Cork Examiner records that the first immediate effect was that all electric current ceased, and the city was in darkness. The trams halted and shops that were still carrying on business continued with the aid of candle light, while others were more fortunate to have an auxiliary supply of gas. The city’s churches, where the Litany in honour of the saints of Ireland and special prayers for peace were being recited by large congregations, were also thrown into darkness. It being a Saturday night, there was the usually large numbers of people going to Confession, and in some of the churches the priests suspended the hearings.

Once the National Army troops arrived at the power plant, they freed the engineer and five other members of the staff who had been locked into one of the offices. The Cork Examiner reported on the quick response by the troops: “The Power House was probably only saved from complete destruction by the alertness of the military, who became suspicious when all the lights failed suddenly. It was realised, of course, such as failure might occur from ordinary causes, but it was fortunately worth investigating and two officers and four men rushed off to the Power House from Headquarters. They arrived just in time to prevent the total destruction of the plant…as soon as they entered the building the raiders made a hasty exit from the rear, their work unfinished, and indeed scarcely started”.

The engineering staff quickly got to work to remedy the damage done. The steam pump, and booster had been put out of action and the feeding tubes damaged. These were badly bent, but not broken. They were, however, rendered inoperative, and had the machinery been allowed to run for any time afterwards, an explosion would have taken place, bringing the centre building to ruins. Repairs were duly made. After 40 minutes the city was lit up once again, the trams were running, and everything was normal. Searches were carried out in the neighbourhood and several arrests on suspicion were made. All were subsequently released.

On 10 November 1922, between 7pm and 8pm, an attack was made on Victoria Military Barracks, Cork. Snipers opened fire on the buildings from the Blackpool side, and heavy firing continued for over twenty minutes. The troops replied to the attackers, who ceased fire altogether after about half an hour. The soldiers suffered no casualties.

About the same time, two civilians were wounded in Blackpool. It was not clear whether they were hit by stray bullets from the direction of the Barracks during the attack, or were hit during some firing in Blackpool, where a patrol carrying out searches were said to have been fired on.

The two civilians were standing near the corner of Messrs Murphy’s Brewery with others, and a military patrol a short distance away were carrying out searches. Suddenly shots rang out and one of the group of men was hit in the leg. They scattered, and a one armed ex-soldier named James Murphy ran for cover towards a doorway. He had just reached the house when he pitched forward gasping “I’m hit”. The ambulance was immediately sent for, and in it James Murphy was conveyed to the North Infirmary. The other man who had been shot had apparently gone home. He was not admitted to hospital.

In the midst of scuffles in the neighbourhoods of Cork, a party of the Civic Guard, numbering about sixty men, arrived in Cork on 9 November 1922 from Dublin to take up their police duties in the city and county. The Civic Guard (renamed the Garda Síochána na hÉireann on 8 August 1923) had earlier in 1922 been established by Michael Collins and the Irish Provisional Government. The first contingent of Civic Guards came to Cork by boat and were stationed in the Cork School of Music as the former RIC barracks at Union Quay had been burned by the Anti Treaty forces in the wake of its evacuation. It was intended to send some of the members of the Civic Guard to Bandon, Clonakilty Midleton, and Youghal.

The editorial in the Cork Examiner wrote about the need for citizen co-operation with the Civic Guard: “A sense of civic responsibility will, it may be assumed, urge all classes to co-operate with the Civic Guard and on all occasions to give its members every assistance possible.…The creation of the Civic Guard is a direct result of Irish liberty, and it is for the people to prove that they appreciate that freedom by cordially upholding the body that has been brought into being to maintain the peace and to ensure that order and honesty are fundamental parts of the society to which we all belong, and which it is everyone’s duty as worthy citizens to uphold”.


1175a. Interior view of Albert Road electricity power house with some electric trams worked by the Cork Electric Lighting and Tramway Company (source: Tram Tracks of Cork by Walter McGrath).

Cllr McCarthy: Consultation open on safe intersection proposals at Maryborough Woods and Berkeley, Douglas, 2 November 2022

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed Cork City Council’s proposed junction safety works on Carrigaline Road between lower Maryborough Woods and Berkley estate, and calls on local people with issues or concerns to engage with the consultation process.

Cork City Council proposes to provide a shared cycle track on the western side of the distributor road within Berkeley to the junction with Carrigaline Road and through to the distributor road within Maryborough Woods. This shared space will provide a safe route for cyclists from Ballybrack Walkway Phase 3 and the proposed Ballybrack Walkway Phase 4 through Berkeley to the Carrigaline Road and into Maryborough Woods.

The main elements of the proposed works are; Provision of a 3m shared cycle facility connecting Ballybrack Phase 3 in Berkeley to Maryborough Woods. The length of this shared facility is approximately 160m; Footpaths in Berkeley and Carrigaline Road adjacent the scheme will be upgraded to 2m; There are new proposed zebra crossings to facilitate a safe crossing point for both pedestrians and cyclists while also slowing vehicles for added safety; Modification to kerbs and road widths to accommodate proposed cycling infrastructure; And new road marking and signage.

More details here: Active Travel Improvement Works from Maryborough Woods, Douglas to Berkeley, Douglas | Cork City Council’s Online Consultation Portal

Cllr McCarthy noted: “There is quite a number of small footpath widths in this area – so making the immediate area pedestrian friendly and creating pedestrian crossings are welcome. On any given day, the traffic moves at speed through the area. With the opening of the new school shortly nearby, there will be much more pedestrians on local footpaths. It is also not envisaged to take any treeline. It is important though that local residents are aware of the proposals”.  

Any observations in relation to this proposal should be made electronically through or forwarded in an envelope marked “Active Travel Improvement Works Maryborough Woods to Berkeley, Douglas” to Senior Engineer, Infrastructure Development, City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork. Final date for submissions is 5pm on Monday, 28 November 2022.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 27 October 2022

1174a. Fr Thomas Dowling, on the left, c.1924 from The Irish Capuchins, Record of a Century, 1885-1985 (source: Cork City Library).
1174a. Fr Thomas Dowling, on the left, c.1924 from The Irish Capuchins, Record of a Century, 1885-1985 (source: Cork City Library).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 27 October 2022

Journeys to a Free State: Quests by the Trade Union Movement

During October and November 1922, the Cork and District Trade and Labour Council came to the forefront of promoting peace plus endeavoured to champion local industry. With regard to peace, on 26 October 1922, at a meeting of the Council, Mr George Nason, Chairman, presided, and praised the peace seeking work of their Honorary President, Fr Thomas Dowling, had, for some time past, been very busy in an endeavour to bring about peace in the country.

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 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. 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.

George Nason commented that Fr Thomas was leaving no stone unturned to bring about peace, and he asked the delegates, to pass a resolution showing that the workers of Cork were with him in his good work. Proposing the motion, Mr Weldon said they heartily welcomed the efforts of Fr Thomas, and felt proud that these efforts emanated through him as a representative of Labour. Mr Weldon proposed the following resolution:

“We, the Workers’ Council of Cork, gladly welcome the news of the efforts for peace that have reached us. We appeal to all concerned to submerge all personal feelings in an effort to save our loved country from the ruin that threatens it. The stagnation of industry is causing appalling suffering, to thousands in our midst, and on their behalf we strongly appeal. We congratulate our beloved Honorary President, Very Rev. Dr. Thomas on his patriotic efforts to end the present deplorable position in the country, and feel sure that if any man could effect a settlement he will do so”.

Mr Matheson seconded. The resolution was passed unanimously. Miss Buckley of the Women’s Workers’ Union), supported the motion and called for peace; “If we do not take a stand now and put an end to this awful tragedy we cannot expect other people to do it for them…I hope that this peace would be a lasting peace, and not one calculated to give breathing space to either side”.

Apart from promoting peace, the Cork District Trades and Labour Council objected strongly through a campaign to lessen the wholesale importation of goods, which could be very easily manufactured locally. They liased closely with the Executive Council of the Cork Industrial Development Association. They asked the Association to appoint a deputation to interview the manager of the Cork Clothing Factory for the purpose of discussing ways and means to avoid the importation of ready-made clothing. As a result of the interview, it was discovered that in the purchase of ready-mades the public still regarded price as the chief determining factor. Indeed the workers and housekeepers when purchasing ready-made garments rarely enquired as to whether such garments were made in Ireland or were made up of Irish material.

It was demonstrated to the members of the deputation of the Cork Industrial Association that in the case of two to three garment articles of Leeds and Cork manufacturersthat although the Leeds product was a few shillings cheaper in price, the Cork product had wearing properties of three times the duration of the corresponding English ready-made suit. However, the material of the all-Irish ready-made very much excelled the material and finish of the corresponding English ready-mades.

The Cork Industrial Development Association were quick to note that in purchasing a ready-made suit turned out in Leeds that Cork workers were keeping English woollen mills in operation and English workers in constant employment.Whilst on the other hand the Association argued that they were helping to close up Irish woollen mills and to disemploy Irish factory hands in clothing establishments.

Under these circumstances it was decided to circularise all the trade unions in Cork asking the officials of same to circularise all their members a request that when purchases were being made that Irish goods should be given preference. Where there was a marked discrepancy in prices as compared with those of foreign make, the Cork Industrial Development Association was prepared to investigate the reasons and to take up all cases.

Coupled with the promotion of Irish goods, the Association approved of the formation of the Cork Animated Advertising Agency at St Patrick’s Street, Cork and several “Irish manufacturers of good standing” availed of the medium of advertising offered through the Agency. The Association was satisfied that the advertisements inserted in the publication of the Agency would be in the interest of Irish industry.


1174a. Fr Thomas Dowling, on the left, c.1924 from The Irish Capuchins, Record of a Century, 1885-1985 (source: Cork City Library).

Cllr McCarthy: Ballinlough Road works at Bellair onto next step, 26 October 2022

Proposals for Road Safety Improvements at Ballinlough Road, Wallace’s Avenue and Bellair Estate Junctions, 2022 (image: Cork City Council)
Proposals for Road Safety Improvements at Ballinlough Road, Wallace’s Avenue and Bellair Estate Junctions, 2022 (image: Cork City Council)

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the formal passing of a planning proposal by members of Cork City Council for  proposed Road Safety Improvement Scheme on Ballinlough Road. The proposals include the construction of two table top raised areas at the junctions of Bellair Estate and Ballinlough Road, and Wallace’s Avenue with Ballinlough Road, respectively, and a zebra crossing from Our Lady of Lourdes School to the current Bean Brownie shop. In the early discussions on design a controlled crossing was ruled out due to people’s driveways adjacent to the junction. It is also proposed to reconstruct and improve footpaths in the vicinity of both junctions, and modify and improve public lighting, road markings and road signage.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “Twenty submissions were received from the general public with the majority of them being supportive. The next steps now were to carry out an independent Road Safety Audit followed by the tender process. It is hoped that works will commence in late 2022. Discussions will take place with the school prior to commencement”.

“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. Public safety has been a regular issue that local people have raised with me. Over many years, I have received much correspondence and phone calls from people highlighting stories of near misses and outlining fears for themselves and in many cases, children living in the local area”, continued Cllr McCarthy.

“It was people power, which drove the funding to be put in place. The funding came as part of a central government package of funding to Cork City Council as part of a Low Cost Safety Scheme for local road networks”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.