Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ward Cycling Route Proposals, June 2020

Three interim cycle infrastructure are proposed as follows:

1 Centre Park Road Scheme

2 Monahan Road Scheme

3 Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay & Victoria Road

If approved, these measures will be constructed in the coming months. The infrastructure is an interim solution pending delivery of more comprehensive plans for the relevant areas i.e. The Docklands to City Centre Project and the broader infrastructure plans for Docklands. The drawings can be viewed by clicking on the following link as the file sizes are too large to email.

https://consult.corkcity.ie/en/consultation/interim-cycle-infrastructure-phase-1

Farewell to Lord Mayor, Cllr John Sheehan, Cork City Council AGM, 12 June 2020

Cork Coat of Arms on Port of Cork building

“The Watcher”

Carvings and Meanings:

Congratulations Lord Mayor on a really great year as a leader in Cork.

I’d like to v briefly tell a story.

In my daily evening walks around Cork during the heart of the lockdown in April and May, empty streets spanning for entire vistas make for some interesting photography opportunities. And features, which you wouldn’t normally see because of the cars and busyness usually at the forefront. One of the features I began to photograph on my solo walks were the depictions of the city’s Coat of Arms on various buildings and in public spaces.

There has never been any history project compiling these pieces – some are stone carvings, some are mosaics, some are plaster casts, and of course some are pure gold in terms of the Lord Mayor’s chain.

All the pieces on buildings are from different eras, where the civicness of Cork was drawn upon when needed and usually the building on which they appear was important to Cork’s future and the idea of pulling people together to build a resilient future.

The theme of togetherness, which was very prevalent in your year of office, was one you championed very well– the thread of togetherness was at the heart of the boundary extension last June and at the heart of the Community Response team and even this week at the launch of the Council’s regeneration social housing project, which you launched.

Some of the Coat of Arms depictions are more thought provoking than others with liberty taken to etch in some features within and outside of the Coat of Arms spaces especially adjacent the Latin inscription of Statio Bene Fida Carinis or the safe harbour for ships. Certainly, the journey to having an official registered coat of arms in 1949 – a document, which hangs in the Lord Mayor’s office – has been several centuries in the making.

Versions of the Past:

My solo walks led me to doing research in the oldest of Cork’s newspapers, which are now online. An archival record of a seal cast from 1498 records the original Coat of Arms, which was just one castle with two towers coming out from either side; a person stands in one tower with a bow, and in the other a person blows a trumpet. A bridge connects the two towers in the background, and beyond which a ship is seen.

 During this year I didn’t see you blowing your own trumpet but perhaps you symbolised the bowman, serving the office of Lord Mayor with accuracy, credibility and professionalism.

Nearly 200 years ago, in 1825 a digging up beneath the floors on North Main Street around Castle Street and the site of the reputed medieval custom house – a stone carving of a coat of arms was discovered, which local historians at the time said it came from the early 1600s.

The stone has been lost to time but a pen and ink sketch by early nineteenth century Cork artist Daniel Maclise of it still can be viewed in our public museum. The sketch shows the Coat of Arms having being upgraded again since the 1400s version. The arms was now a ship between two towers or castles with a sailor in Elizabethan period dress and a bird, both on the rigging of the ship.

There is no record to who was the Elizabethan Sailor and clearly the sailor and the bird did not make it into the modern day depictions.

But certainly there is a sense in the old coat of arms depictions of denoting those who looked upon Cork from a physical height, and to reflect on their very responsible posts in protecting and watching over the infrastructure of the physical walled town of Cork, the shipping docked within its walls or over its citizens.

Very little information has been gathered on who could be called the watchers, who they were, their experiences, what they saw of everyday life from their physical height, and their perspective on citizenry.

A Watcher of a City:

I would deem you one of the core positive Cork watchers in the present day. 

It is very clear that you are someone who is aware through your professional work and other hats, the importance of the physical space of Cork for people’s health plus also the importance of the human spirit and maintaining the resilience of such. One of the most apt terms you used this week in one your speeches this week was– Ar Scáth a Chéile a Mhairimid or ‘We live in each other’s shadows’.

You certainly championed the importance of people’s stories of resilience for the greater good of the community and the city – whether that be the Mary Elmes story, those who sat on the council in 1920 during such turbulent times, the stories of Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, those who you gave Lord Mayor’s community awards to, or those who you met on your community visits in recent visits.

The beliefs you champion about people and their voices, and the importance of listening and being listened to need to continue to be the bedrock of Cork’s rebuilding into the future.

I want to sincerely thank you for your work and know that historically the City will not forget your service especially over the past 12 months for not just embodying the symbolism of the coat of arms but also pushing for a safe harbour or place for all citizens.

I’d also like to give a nod of congrats to the Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Sean Martin, who I listened to with impressiveness at many public events, when he let his historical knowledge loose.

Once again sincere thanks to you Lord Mayor, your Deputy and to the Lady Mayoress. Go raibh maith agat.

Cllr McCarthy: Consultation still open on Strategic Housing Development at ‘Maryborough Ridge’, Moneygurney

Press Release:

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind residents within the Maryborough Ridge area that public consultation for the proposed Glenveagh Homes Ltd project is still open. The full application complete with architectural drawing and photo montages are available to view at www.maryboroughridgeshd.ie

Cllr McCarthy noted: “Strategic Housing Developments are overseen by An Bord Pleanála as a fast track approach to large scale housing proposals. Many of such developments usually have a large knock-on effect on the local road network and create more neighbourhood needs such as the need for more creches and more school spaces. It is important that concerned residents send in their submission to An Bord Pleanála, in this case by 29 June. Glenveagh is applying for a 5-year planning permission for a strategic housing development, which will include a mix of residential units, a creche and amenities”.

This site, which is 13.07 hectares in area is zoned for residential development under the Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal District Local Area Plan 2017. The proposed development, comprises: a) The construction of 449 no. residential units in to include 315 no. dwelling houses (comprising a mix of 2, 3, & 4 bed detached, semi-detached & terraced/town houses); 46 no. duplex-apartments comprising a mix of 1, 2 & 3 bed units), 88 no. apartments (comprising a mix of 1 & 2 bed units in 3 no. 3-5 storey blocks over basement); and one creche.

The provision of landscaping and amenity areas is to include a multi-use games area (MUGA), playgrounds, kick about areas, an amenity walkway along the western boundary of the proposed development, pocket parks, localised seating areas, garden parks, footpaths and cycle lanes. Two vehicle accesses are proposed via the existing and proposed road network.

Any person interested in putting in a submission must make a cheque out for e.20 to An Bord Pleanála and send with their letter to An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 by 29 June.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 11 June 2020


1052a. Gravestone of Bartholomew Murphy, founder member of Cork’s Sick Poor Society, at St Joseph’s Cemetery, Cork (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 11 June 2020

Remembering 1920: Sick Poor Society Celebrates 200 Years

One hundred years ago on 13 June 1920, to celebrate the centenary of Cork’s Sick Poor Society, Solemn High Mass was held at the North Cathedral at 12noon. Bishop Daniel Cohalan in his homily related some of the important work of the society.  The Cork Examiner also provided a short history of the Society, some of which I detail below. In 2020 the Society celebrates its bicentenary.

Throughout the early nineteenth century narrow lanes were widespread in Cork’s suburbs. The various habitations varied from cabins to cellars. Reports on their terrible nature record the presence of large dunghills strewn across adjacent laneways. In the northern district were the most crowded and populous streets. Wretched houses, divided into separate tenements, accommodated a large number of people – upwards of four people in small rooms. Many families were on the verge of starvation and many were ashamed to ask for help. The North Chapel and the South Chapel provided for the religious and charitable needs of the impoverished population.

In the early months of the year 1820, Bartholomew Murphy and his friend, both working men of the Cathedral Parish, met on their way home from early Mass on Sunday morning. Their conversation turned to the poverty and sickness all round them. One family near him (three being sick) had no food of any sort. They decided that they would go around the locality and collect some aid for them. They were joined by a third man, who, hearing of their determination to do something for the poor, decided to accompany them on their mission of charity.

The collection was far more successful than they anticipated, and the result was they were able to assist, not one, but three families. They decided to repeat the collection on the following Sunday, being assisted by three more volunteers. Henceforth their work was carried out on Sunday after Sunday and always with many additional Volunteers coming forward to help. By 1822, the membership stood at twenty-six.

Bishop John Murphy asked that these men should band themselves into a society, which he named the Sick Poor Society. Rules were formed for its better government and management. Notwithstanding the name of the Society, the members were always known, as the Friendly Brothers. Early records of the Society record that in addition to monetary aid to families the members had very often to enlist the assistance of some kind neighbour, to look after the wants of those who were unable to do anything for themselves.

In the olden days some of the members did not possess finance themselves, and when financial trouble came their way, the Friendly Brothers were there to assist. An example is given on the death of a member’s wife in the year 1839 when his 28 fellow members subscribed monies for her funeral expenses.

In 1848 under the guidance of Bishop Delany, members formed a Rosary Society for the purpose of reciting the Rosary each night in the Cathedral, an activity, which continued for very many years.

During the Society’s existence the parish experienced many severe and trying visitations of sickness and want, notably those of the cholera, the Great Famine period of 1847, small pox in 1872, and last, but not least the trying visitations of influenza during 1918 and 1919, all of which taxed the members and their funds to the utmost.

The average membership of the Society from 1822 to 1920 varied from 35 to 40, and the Cork Examiner estimated that between 1820 and 1920 that upwards of £50,000 was raised. Many miles had to be walked to make up this sum in pennies, and very often half pennies.

Some of the older members devoted the greater part of their lives to the work of the Society. The Cork Examiner article of June 1920 mentions minute books that show that many old members laboured continuously for over fifty years. Founder member Bartholomew Murphy gave 52 years service before he passed away and was buried in St Joseph’s Cemetery. Some families were recording as having four generations involved. Very often, when the funds were exhausted and the weekly collections became unequal to the demands of all applicants, members came to the rescue with their own money.

Off-shoot branches were also established in the parishes of SS Peter and Paul and St Finbarr’s South Chapel respectively. The South Chapel Society was formed as a Confraternity under the patronage of Mary Immaculate on 8 December 1853 – one year before the Immaculate Conception was made an article of faith by Pope Pius IX. In 1866, the Cork Examiner that over 900 families or 3,168 individuals were provided with relief in the South Parish culminating in near 2,000 visits.

In 1863, the Cork Examiner describes the Sick Poor Society of the SS Peter and Paul’s Parish as one of the most active and efficient benevolent societies in Cork. A total of 1,054 sick and poor persons were visited and relief provided in one year alone and in one parish in the city alone, by members of the society.

In addition to Sick Poor work, the members took a leading part in many other parish functions, such as the distribution of the coal fund, and the successful working of the Bishop’s milk fund, which was distributed to mothers and children of the poor. The Penny Savings Bank of the North Cathedral parish was also practically managed by the members, with marked success together with many other social undertakings.

Happy bicentenary birthday to Cork’s oldest charity – the Sick Poor Society.

Kieran’s new book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain is now available to purchase online (co-authored with John O’Mahony 2020, Irish Examiner/ www.examiner.ie).

Captions:

1052a. Gravestone of Bartholomew Murphy, founder member of Cork’s Sick Poor Society, at St Joseph’s Cemetery, Cork (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

1052b. Inscription on gravestone of Bartholomew Murphy at St Joseph’s Cemetery (picture: Kieran McCarthy)


1052b. Inscription on gravestone of Bartholomew Murphy at St Joseph’s Cemetery (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Submission by Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Ref: Garryduff Woods, CN86326, 10 June 2020

Dear Sir/ Madame,

I write with regard to the proposal for Garryduff Woods/ Old Court Woods, Cork and application CN86326.

I have had many constituents write to me to express their worries for the road proposal for the site. Since the boundary extension last year, Cork City has inherited this very beautiful 26-hectare woodland amenity managed by An Coillte. It is a site I am rediscovering over the past year since it passed into the city. In addition, I have also been vocal many times in Cork City Council that it needs an effective urban forestry management strategy within the city area.

Due to the urban location of the woods I would call upon An Coillte and Cork City Council to work closer together on its recreational uses and the management of challenges, which go with that. Good collaboration is crucial going forward especially with a new Cork City Development Plan being put in place.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 Old Garryduff Woods has seen a big increase in day to day usage by locals for walking and really has stood out as a public local amenity. The people I have met have described it as an oasis in the heart of suburban living. I would deem that An Coillte have done a good management job over the decades but clearly now Garryduff Woods has gone from being a purely rural location to now being in the heart of the urban suburb of Rochestown where over 5,000 people live.

Many locals have expressed the view to me that the woods are very small and the amount of timber that can be harvested is low, especially versus the amount of destruction which will be carried out by another felling. Locals have expressed their worry to me that some trees were never replanted some years back leaving a large gap with very little protection for remaining trees. So, every time there is a new storm, the woodland loses more trees again. 

The Red Squirrel, which I have seen myself on my walks in the woods, are becoming more and more rare in Ireland and the destruction of their habitat would also be lessened by further tree felling.

I do realise that Garryduff Woods is a working forest but with more and more houses being constructed in Upper Rochestown and Maryborough, I am calling on An Coillte to consider the plans they rolled out in Dublin recently and to apply some of these traits to Garryduff Woods.

I have received much correspondence from locals calling for an end to commercial operations in the woods and calling for the further protection of its bio-diverse and climate resilient woodland.

There is an opportune time now for a strategic collaborative plan between An Coillte and Cork City Council addressing the needs of local residents but also the needs of the biodiversity in this district of Cork City.

Sincerely,

Kieran McCarthy

Old Court Woods, June 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 4 June 2020


1051a. Scales of Justice atop Washington Street Courthouse being lit up by recent evening sunshine; the Cork City Republican Courts of the summer of 1920 took place in private houses in the nearby countryside of the city (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 4 June 2020

Remembering 1920: The Republican Courts

In 1920, as the War of Independence escalated, the formation Dáil Courts were seen as a contest to British rule. In May 1920, Dáil Éireann formally adopted the Courts and they were put under the Dáil’s Department of Agriculture, which connected to their initial function as a means of resolving land disputes. Omagh Barrister Kevin O’Shiel was put in charge of the Dáil Éireann Land Commission, an arbitration body set up mid-1920 to deal with land disputes. It proved quite successful at clamping down on cattle driving and land occupations. In May 1920, instructions were sent to all Sinn Féin branches to establish arbitration courts.

In June 1920, Republican authorities took the concept of the courts a step further, transferring the authority over the Courts to their Ministry for Home Affairs under Austin Stack. The Dáil Courts were now to be criminal and civil courts and professed to have the right to dispense law instead of the British courts.

Historian John Borgonovo in his article in the book Justice in Wartime and Revolutions (2012) outlines thatduring the summer of 1920, Dáil Éireann courts were established throughout the country. Courts were set up in each parish. There were also district courts, which dealt with cases referred to them by the parish courts or with the more serious eases. The courts dealt with all minor cases such as boundary disputes, assaults, and larceny. All decisions reached by courts were accepted by the litigants. Fines, where imposed, were collected by the Republican police force, which was also established.

On 19 June 1920 Sinn Féin announced in Irish newspapers that 84 arrests had been made by Volunteers between 3 June and 15 June. In addition, they detailed that 41 Republican Courts were held during that time across 24 counties. During the months of May to August, and indeed September in particular parts of the country, the Dil Courts operated without interference from the British authorities. Judicial Commissioner of Dáil Éireann Land Courts, 1920-1922 Kevin R O’Sheil notes in his Bureau of Military Archives witness statement (WS1770) that the toleration appeared to have been designed; “The Dublin Castle people felt that if they held their hands and let the republican Courts function, the result would be chaos, in which the entire Sinn Fein and Republican movement would be embedded”.

In the Cork context, Lord Mayor MacSwiney were involved in the organisation of the Court as well as Councillors Donal O’Callaghan, Thomas Daly, Liam de Róiste, and Professor Alfred O’Rahilly. In the first week of June 1920 special activities were noticed around the Marsh and the centre of Cork City, from which about fifteen people were arrested on the charge of robbery and taken to a Republican makeshift prison, about ten miles from the city. Three of the prisoners were honourably acquitted after three days detention. The others pleaded guilty to the charges and confessed to the robberies.

The Cork Examiner on 11 June 1920 records that when the sworn depositions of the prisoners were taken at a private house in the countryside, they implicated six receivers, five of whom were business people. Six parties that purchased the stolen property were summoned to the court. Five of the accused were found guilty of knowingly purchasing stolen goods, and the others found guilty of unknowingly buying them. They were ordered to pay the full cost of the stolen goods, as well as a heavy fine.

The prosecutor (unnamed in the press) in charging the accused stated that the receivers were far more guilty than the prisoners, who were only young boys. He wished for the court to close up any business house found trading in a dishonest fashion, and that the owners be ordered to leave the district. In particular the prosecutor wished to direct the attention of the courts to the fact that all the prisoners practically (whose ages ranged from 14 to 18 years) detailed in their statements that the ‘Pictures’ or films were mainly responsible for their desire to steal. The prosecutor called upon the Corporation of Cork to take steps to prevent children attending pictures, except on specified nights, when as he noted “pictures tending to educate and to elevate the minds of the boys would be shown with the permission of the Corporation”.

A large quantity of the property stolen was recovered. This included seven or eight suits of clothes, shirts, overcoats, socks, collars, cuffs, etc, belonging to draper Mr P O’Sullivan, of Washington Street. Some coats, opera glasses, razors, and other small articles belonged to pawn broker Mr Kiely of South Main Street; a new bicycle, lyres, tube, tool-bag, etc., belonged to Mr O’Callaghan’s cycle shop on the Grand Parade. One bicycle belonged to the Republican Bicycle Shop on Liberty Street. A suit of clothes and shirts belonged to Mr Leader of North Main street with boots belonged to the Lee Boot Factory. A bicycle was recovered that was stolen from Yost Typewriting Office.

The fines imposed were to cover the cost of stolen petrol from Dwyer’s Engineer Stores on Gravel Lane, leather belonging to McMahon’s stores on Washington Street, boots from the Lee Boot Company, marmalade from Baker’s Stores on French Church Street, sugar from Byford’s Stores on St Patrick’s Street, sweets and matches from Punch’s Stores on Crosses Green, whiskey, wines taken from Wren’s Hotel on Winthrop Street, and some fur skins and a rug from Mr Rohu’s on the Grand Parade.

The Cork court sat for the greater part of three days. A large number of the public were present during the hearing. A woman acted as one of the judges [unnamed in the press] for the first time in the history of Cork. The court also emphasised the fact that the Republican Government meant to use all its forces to preserve peace and property, and issued strong warnings to those who were disposed to robbery, and that in future severe punishment will be meted out to those who are found guilty.

By the autumn of 1920, seeing more and more the undermining of the Crown’s law, the British authorities began suppressing the courts, or at least sought to stop them from meeting in public.

Caption:

1051a. Scales of Justice atop Washington Street Courthouse being lit up by recent evening sunshine; the Cork City Republican Courts of the summer of 1920 took place in private houses in the nearby countryside of the city (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Cllr Kieran McCarthy: Serious Worry over Forestry Road Widening at Old Court Woods, Rochestown, 2 June 2020

Old Courts Woods, June 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Serious concern has been expressed by Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy on proposals to widen a forestry road within Old Court Woods in Rochestown to fell forestry. A notice from 12 May 2020 has been put up at the Garryduff entrance that Coillte have applied to the Department of Agriculture to create a wider road for 360 metres within the heart of the woods.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “I have several constituents write to me express their worries of the site. Since the boundary extension last year, Cork City has inherited this very beautiful 26-hectare forest amenity managed by An Coillte. It is a site I am rediscovering over the past year since it passed into the city especially from a historical perspective of the Old Court estate and the Battle of Douglas in 1922 was held across the woods. Plus I have been vocal many times in the Council Chamber that the City Council needs an effective urban forestry management strategy within the city area. This should also connect to other entities such as An Coilte for cross collaborative work.

Since the outbreak of Covid Old Court Woods has seen a big increase in day to day usage by locals for walking with their children and really has stood out as a public local amenity. The people I have met have described it as an oasis in the heart of suburban living. And to be fair to An Coilte they have done a good management job over the decades.

Many locals have expressed the view to me though that the woods are very small and the amount of timber that can be harvested is low, especially versus the amount of destruction which will be carried out by another felling. Locals have noted that some trees were never replanted some years back leaving a large gap with very little protection for remaining trees. So every time there is a new storm, we lose more trees again.

The Red Squirrel, which I have seen myself on my walks in the forest, are becoming more and more rare in Ireland and the destruction of their habitat would also be lessened by further tree felling.

I do realise that Old Court is a working forest but with more and more houses being constructed in upper Rochestown, I am calling on An Coillte to consider the plans they rolled out in Dublin to be also applied to Cork City. Coillte has announced that all nine of its forests in Dublin are changing to non-commercial recreational use.

The move means an end to commercial operations in the woods and will result in more bio diverse and climate resilient forests. It was heartening to hear that there will be no more planting, in Dublin, of Sitka Spruce the dominant species in Coillte’s plantations. It will gradually be replaced by native species including many more broad leaf varieties. Clear felling large areas will be phased out and replaced by a system called continuous cover. This will see some mature trees removed from areas to allow new planting and new growth as the forest canopy is thinned.

And lastly the access to public information on plans on the Department of Agriculture’s website needs to be a lot more people friendly if public consultation is to be really inclusive. An online interactive map would be great. It is a very difficult public consultation public information portal. I am calling upon the public with an interest in Old Court Woods to email their comments on the proposal for the widened forestry road to the Department of Agriculture at forestryappeng@agriculture.gov.ie before 11 June”.

Old Court Woods Site Notice, 30 May 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, May 2020

The Marina, Cork, late May 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Atlantic Pond, The Marina, Cork, late May 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, late May 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Cygnets, The Atlantic Pond, Marina, Cork, late May 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)