Category Archives: Landscapes

The Blessing of a Candle, Christmas 2020

by Cllr Kieran McCarthy

Sturdy on a table top and lit by youngest fair,
a candle is blessed with hope and love, and much festive cheer,
Set in a wooden centre piece galore,
it speaks in Christian mercy and a distant past of emotional lore,
With each commencing second, memories come and go,
like flickering lights on the nearest Christmas tree all lit in traditional glow,
With each passing minute, the flame bounces side to side in drafty household breeze,
its light conjuring feelings of peace and warmth amidst familiar blissful degrees,
With each lapsing hour, the residue of wax visibly melts away,
whilst the light blue centered heart is laced with a spiritual healing at play,
With each ending day, how lucky are those who love and laugh around its glow-filledness,
whilst outside, the cold beats against the nearest window in the bleak winter barreness,
Fear and nightmare drift away in the emulating light,
both threaten this season in almighty wintry flight,
Sturdy on a table top and lit by youngest fair,
a candle is blessed with hope and love, and much festive cheer.

McCarthy Christmas Candle

McCarthy Christmas Candle

Cllr McCarthy: Democratic Call Held Up On Pedestrianising The Marina, December 2020

Press Release:

Cllr McCarthy has welcomed that the democratic call on permanently pedestrianising The Marina has been upheld and passed at the most recent City Council Ordinary Meeting. Cllr McCarthy notes; “The recent public consultation process of 250 submissions showed that 90 per cent were for the plan, with 5 per cent with specific issues on carparking and access, which are also resolved in the Directors response leaving 5 per cent against the proposal.

Several referred to The Marina’s function as a road in modern times and several have called for a review of the heavy traffic on Blackrock Road – and that latter thorn is something the City Council will have to grasp – especially around traffic speeds and pedestrian safety.

What we have seen down The Marina in recent months – in terms of the temporary pedestrianisation and the investment into Marina Park, phase 1 –  is probably the first time in several decades that investment has filtered into renewing this area  as one of the City’s key recreational areas.

The Marina as a pedestrianised space has a great future ahead of it – there is much to do on its place-making vision and to enhance the vision of the Council for The Marina walk, that has been around for almost 170 years.

My hope is that Marina Walk 2.0 would be worked at – I certainly would like a refocus to be placed on some of the heritage assets both built and natural – and also that we become bold in beginning to look at river front of ESB Marina and the Marina Commercial Park in terms of extending the western end of the Marina Walk and extending it to Cork Docks. That right of way was there 150 years ago when The Marina name was fashioned”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020

Evening Echo  is a public artwork by New Zealand artist Maddie Leach. It is sited on old gasometer land gifted by Bord Gáis to Cork City Council in the late 1980s. This site was subsequently re-dedicated as Shalom Park in 1989. The park sits in the centre of the old Cork neighbourhood known locally as ‘Jewtown’. This neighbourhood is also home to the National Sculpture Factory.

This year the last night of Hanukkah is Thursday 17 December and offers the only opportunity to see the tall ‘ninth lamp’ alight until next year. The cycle begins 10 minutes before sunset, which occured this year at 4.13pm, and continued for 30 minutes after sunset when the ninth lamp was extinguished.

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Cllr McCarthy: Cork’s ‘Shaky Bridge’ set to reopen this weekend following €1.7m restoration

14 December 2020, “The Councillor and historian has long been a champion of the suspension pedestrian bridge, one of the last of its kind in operation in the country”,
Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ set to reopen this weekend following €1.7m restoration,
Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ set to reopen this weekend following €1.7m restoration – Cork Beo

Kieran’s Speech, The Marina Pedestrianisation, Cork City Council, 13 December 2020

“Lord Mayor,

The section 38 on the proposed pedestrianisation of the Marina is most welcome. The public consultation process of 250 submissions has shown that 90 per cent are for the plan, with 5 per cent with specific issues on carparking and access, which are also resolved in the Directors response leaving 5 per cent against the proposal.

So we are dealing with 95 per cent of those who wrote in wanting this pedestrianisation to happen and I wish to support this democratic call this evening.

I see within the arguments of the 5 per cent – several referred to The Marina’s function as a road in modern times and several have called for a review of the heavy traffic on Blackrock Road – and that thorn is something the Council will have to grasp – especially around traffic speeds and pedestrian safety.

What we have seen down The Marina – in terms of the temporary pedestrianisation and the investment into Marina Park, phase 1 is probably the first time in several decades that investment has filtered into renewing this area  as one of the City recreation destination area – not just a local recreational landscape.

October 2022 will mark 150 years since the name change of the New Wall to The Marina – a proposal at the time by ex town councillor Denis O’Flynn – at that time – the Council saw the Marina as a key recreational site and the debate within the Cork Examiner of the summer and autumn of 1872 shows the Council’s ambition to put an extra focus on the old Navigation Wall dock – a proposal by one Cllr was Slí na hAbhann, which wasn’t adopted – the lofty name The Marina was chosen as a reference to a gorgeous Mediterranean garden in Palermo, Sicily.

Dedicated funding was followed up by the Council of Corporation of Cork in the 1870s and new structures appeared– an elaborate care-taker’s lodge, decorative drinking fountain, a flag post symbolic of shipping, two canons mounted from the Crimean War, a bandstand, the support of placing rowing clubs on the Marina, and the continued support of the Cork Passage Railway Line and Cork City Park Racecourse.

Almost 150 years later, one can visibly see the effect of the car as being king on this history and heritage.

–  the Cantillon family sponsored Drinking fountain is now just pieces of metal up on a mound up by Shandon Boat Club,

 – the Captain Hanson donated flag post  is cut in half,

– on the Crimea War guns – one is missing and one is almost thrown on the grass,

– The Caretaker’s Lodge is gone,

the removal of Gunpowder Pier and the Crinoline Railway bridge,

and one now has the tree ridden Barrington’s Folly.

The Marina as a pedestrianised space has a great future ahead of it – there is much to do on its place-making vision and to enhance the vision of the Council for the Marina, that has been around for almost 150 years.

My hope is that Marina Walk 2.0 would be worked at – I certainly would like a refocus to be placed on some of the heritage assets both built and natural – and also that we become bold in beginning to look at river front of ESB Marina and the Marina Commercial Park in terms of extending the western end of the Marina Walk and extending it to Cork Docks. That right of way was there 150 years ago when The Marina name was fashioned”.

Ends

Pictures: Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020

Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

RTE Radio 1 Interview with Kieran on The Burning of Cork 1920, 5 December 1920

5 December 2020, “This week coming marks 100 years since the Burning of Cork. The Black and Tans destroyed homes, dozens of businesses and buildings. To take a look at this a bit more we’re joined by a local Cork historian Cllr Kieran McCarthy”, The Burning of Cork, 1920, The Business (rte.ie)

Title page from Who Burnt Cork City, 1921 (source: Cork City Library)
Title page from Who Burnt Cork City, 1921 (source: Cork City Library)

Cllr McCarthy Welcomes Douglas Village Parklet

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the positive news that Douglas Village is to receive its first parklet. The National Transport Authority (NTA) provided Cork City Council stimulus funding to implement a suite of initiatives to support mobility across the city.  This included the provision of 10 parklets to enhance greening of the city and to improve the attractiveness of the city to pedestrians.  Partners in businesses and communities were sought to maintain and manage the parklets. 

 Cllr McCarthy noted: “A public call was issued to communities and businesses and as a result the parklet initiative was significantly oversubscribed, which highlights the enthusiasm of residents, businesses and communities to see greening projects of this nature in the city.  In line with the objectives of the stimulus, prioritised areas in the city centre and villages / towns throughout the Council’s administrative area were chosen. 

 “An assessment of the suitability of areas was conducted to accommodate parklets, in terms of health and safety and access to essential services. Ten parklet sites with partners were chosen. All parklets must encourage a pollinator friendly approach. The Douglas Village Parklet will be managed by Douglas Tidy Towns who have an excellent track record in the roll out of community biodiversity programmes”. 

 “Cork City Council also engaged with Benchspace, a social enterprise, to deliver the timber-clad parklets.  The parklets, which occupy a traditional car space, will be installed over the next number of weeks/months as they are available from Benchspace”. 

 “The parklets are installations in the midst of busy streets with the focus on important issues such as the environment and biodiversity. They also offer people an alternative place to sit down for a few minutes and to reflect on their day or to meet friends”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy. 

Cllr Kieran McCarthy: Work in Garryduff Woods on Track

Press Release:


Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed that Garryduff Woods is fully open to the public again. This followed a series of works by the wood’s manager, An Coillte. It was agreed earlier this year with the local community that the next step was to replant the area with broadleafs. The programme of works already completed included hedge cutting, tree surgery and road maintenance prior to the felling, the felling itself, ground cultivation and timber haulage.
The site is now prepared for planting which is planned to take place in quarter one of 2021 when plants are available.

The site does not need to be closed for this operation as it is manual work only and no heavy machinery will be required. The replanting will consist of the following species – Oak (2 hectares), Birch (2 hectares), Scots Pine (1.4 hectare), Norway Spruce (1 hectare). The Oak, Birch and Scots Pine will be planted, mixed at a ‘stocking rate’ of 3,300 stems per hectare for the oak and birch and 2,500 stems per hectare for the Scots Pine. Norway Spruce to be planted in small groups throughout the site at 2,500 stems per hectare.


This site will be managed primarily for biodiversity values and a critical element of this is will be future interventions that will form part of the overall biodiversity management plan. Such interventions are necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of the biodiversity values for e.g. light thinnings to favour Oak, which will be done manually.

The Norway Spruce cones are favoured by red squirrels due to the soft cones that it produces. The cones produced by the Scots Pine will also add to the diversity of food source for red squirrels on site. This new replanting will also allow for the staggering of age-classes should help the red squirrel and the biodiversity value of the site.


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

Pictures, The Marina, Cork, 20 November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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