Wednesday evening, 4 March coincides with the Cork City award ceremony of the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part in the 2019-2020 edition, which included schools in Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock and Douglas. This year the project was open to new schools within the broader area of the new city boundary. Circa 1200 students participated in the process with approx 220 project books submitted on all aspects of Cork’s local history & heritage.
The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 17th year and is a youth platform for students to do research and write it up in a project book whilst offering their opinions on important decisions being made on their heritage in their locality and how they affect the lives of people locally. The aim of the project is to allow students to explore, investigate and debate their local heritage in a constructive, active and fun way.
Co-ordinator and founder of the project, Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted that: “The project is about developing new skill sets within young people in thinking about, understanding, appreciating and making relevant in today’s society the role of our heritage - our landmarks, our stories, our landscapes in our modern world. The project also focuses on motivating and inspiring young people, giving them an opportunity to develop leadership and self-development skills, which are very important in the world we live in today”.
The City Edition of the Project is funded by Cork City Council with further sponsorship offered by Learnit Lego Education, Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran McCarthy. Full results for the City edition are online on Cllr McCarthy’s heritage website, www.corkheritage .ie.
Douglas Road Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called upon communities and organisations across Cork City to avail of a new Cork 2020 Commemorations Fund to support local events commemorating the centenary of the War of Independence – a monumental year in the history of the city.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Cork City played a pivotal role in the country’s fight for freedom with two of the city’s Lord Mayors martyred in 1920 and the Burning of Cork by British Forces also taking place that December. Community, social and voluntary groups as well as schools can apply for funding under the open Cork 2020 Commemorations Fund. This is an opportunity for a community to come together to commemorate the events of such seismic year in Cork history. Application Forms can get got by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Cork is set to host a major state event in 2020 to mark the centenary of the War of Independence. In March 2019, a public consultation event was held at City Hall so that members of the public could share ideas on how the Decade of Centenaries 2019-2023 might be commemorated in Cork City. Participants shared their ideas at workshops that took place across the afternoon.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Sheehan, who is chairing a cross-party committee of Elected Members on the 2020 commemorations, said: “Stories around the events of 1920 have been handed down for generations in Cork and local groups have been commemorating these events for many years. The Cork 2020 Commemorations Fund is about communities and organisations bringing our proud history to life in a respectful way that showcases the city’s rich cultural and historical fabric”.
Meanwhile, Cork City Council will hold a Special Meeting on January 30 to commemorate the centenary of the first meeting of Cork Corporation elected by proportional representation. This Special Meeting will be the first of a programme of events in Cork to mark the 1920 centenary. Under the steerage of Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr John Sheehan and a cross party committee of Elected Members, a rich and varied programme of events is planned for 2020 which is roundly described as ‘Cork’s 1916’.
Douglas Library is set to re-open in a temporary premises. Douglas Library suffered considerable damage as a result of the recent fire in Douglas Village Shopping Centre. In a question by Cllr Kieran McCarthy to the Chief Executive of Cork City Council during the past week, it has been confirmed that three-quarters of the books have been burned or charred and need to be destroyed. Since the fire, Council officials have been working to try and restore a library service to the community in Douglas and environs, as quickly as possible.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “the Council proposes to provide a pop-up library facility initially on a three days per week basis, in a suitable location in Douglas. They expect that this will commence early in November 2019. Discussions are continuing with the owners of the premises involved”.
Director of Services Adrienne Rogers hopes that discussions will be concluded in a satisfactory manner in the very near future; “The Council is also making progress in restoring a full library service in Douglas on an interim basis. This would be in a smaller location that the Library damaged by the fire, but would be on the basis of a 5-day, 40 hours per week service. It is expected that there would be some refurbishment to be carried out to enable this interim solution, and Council officials are urgently progressing this matter”.
Refurbishment is likely to take a number of months, and more detailed information will be provided to councillors in the near future.
As Douglas Library was a lending facility, like other local libraries, one third approximately of the stock was in circulation outside of the premises at the time of the fire, and this stock will be available to initiate the resumption of service in Douglas. The Council is in discussions with the relevant government department to secure funding for additional stock, and is hopeful of a positive outcome.
Cllr McCarthy noted; “Douglas Library is a cultural focal point in the village and has a high membership with adults and in particular younger people using it. It also hosted a large number of weekly community events, which attracted a lot of interested local people. It is imperative that the Library is got up and running again”.