25 November 2020, “Permanently pedestrianising one of Cork’s best-loved amenities has been cemented by “overwhelming public support” and signals a sea change in the urge people have for increased green and liveable city areas. That is according to independent Cork city councillor, Kieran McCarthy”. ‘Overwhelming’ support for permanent car ban at Cork’s Marina, ‘Overwhelming’ support for permanent car ban at Cork’s Marina (irishexaminer.com)
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed progress on Marina Park. In response to Cllr McCarthy’s question on the floor of the most recent City Council meeting to the Chief Executive, he was informed that Phase 1 of the contract commenced in early March 2020 with a scheduled completion date of May 2021. Works were suspended on 30 March due to the COVID – 19 lock-down in accordance with Government guidelines. Works resumed on site on 18 May following the lifting of restrictions for construction works. The contractor is making great progress on the works and is confident of achieving the scheduled completion date of May 2021.
Phase One, which covers the area from the Marquee Link Road (linking Monahan and Centre Park roads) to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, also incorporates new pathways, the installation of sunken lawn areas as well as the diversion of a watercourse.
The current works comprise the creation of a new public car park at the Shandon Boat Club end of the Marina, as well as a new cycle lane and pedestrian walkway (all completed), and the installation of a prominent red steel pavilion on the site of, and reproducing, the essence of the central hall of the former Munster Showgrounds.
Liam Casey, senior parks and landscape officer with the Council has noted in recent weeks that this structure will be roofed, but the sides will not be enclosed, and there will be opportunities for coffee pods and outdoor seating and arts and crafts.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “there is local excitement about the Marina Park development. It is now over seven years since the Part 8 document came before the City Council. The park was held up in the early days due to a lack of funding but has since received funded from an Urban EU funding pot. This is enough finances to develop phase one of the park, which is basically the foundations and greening of the former brownfields site of the former showgrounds”.
However, Cork City Council anticipates that it will go to tender later in November for the second phase of its bold Marina Park project which will ultimately see the formation of a contemporary city park, about five times the size of the famous FitzGerald’s Park. Phase 2, which concentrates on development to the east of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, takes in the Atlantic Pond and continues down as far as Blackrock Village.
Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind the public on the public consultation, which remains open till 2 November for proposals by Cork City Council to continue restricting vehicular access to The Marina. The proposal is to close the Marina to cars 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, from its junction with the northern entrance of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to its junction with Church Avenue.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “To open up public consultation on the pedestrianisation of The Marina is very welcome. Up to this year and for many years previously, the pedestrianisation process had been a goal of local councillors and many local residents, and in fairness to Roads officials and the Director of Operations they have responded to public calls”.
Cllr McCarthy continued: “During Covid-19 lockdowns, the pedestrianisation of the road as a temporary measure was the life-saver for many people who needed the outlet to walk and just take time-out during the 2km and 5km restrictions. I have had much correspondence by locals and other Corkonians calling for the continuance of the pedestrianisation beyond the phase 1 temporary measures. Many have emphasised to me the importance of this historic tree-lined avenue to public health and recreational use. However, I have also received correspondence from those who wish to tweak some of the parts of the pedestrianisation proposals. It is important that everyone gets their voice heard on the future of the Marina”.
Submissions on the proposal may be made via this online consultation portal, https://consult.corkcity.ie/. Alternatively, the documents will be made available for inspection by appointment at Reception Desk, Cork City Council, City Hall, Cork to Monday 2 November 2020 from 9am to 4.30pm. Please phone 021-4924000 in advance to arrange an appointment. Representations may be also be made in writing to “Senior Executive Engineer, Traffic Operations, Room 339, City Hall, Cork”. The closing date for receipt of submissions is on or before 5pm on Monday 2 November 2020.
Douglas Road Councillor Kieran McCarthy has been blogging about the centenary of the War of Independence in Cork in 1920. His website at www.corkheritage.ie contains links to his newspaper articles and pictures. Kieran’s work attempts to provide context to this pivotal moment in Cork’s history. The centenary of Terence MacSwiney’s death after his 74-day is fast approaching on 25 October and Terence also once lived at Eldred Terrace on Douglas Road with his wife Muriel. Kieran notes: “Terence is truly a colossus in Cork history who has attracted many historians, enthusiasts and champions to tell his story. His story is peppered with several aspects – amongst those that shine out are his love of his family, city, country, language comradeship, and hope – all mixed with pure tragedy. In many ways, the end of his 74 day hunger strike changed the future public and collective memory narrative of Cork history forever”.
Continuing Kieran details: “The blog pieces also explore Cork in 1920 and how the cityscape was rapidly becoming a war zone. Risky manoeuvres by the IRA created even riskier manoeuvres as ultimately the IRA took the war to the RIC and Black and Tans. Reading through local newspapers each day for 1920 shows the boiling frustration between all sides of the growing conflict. Tit-for-tat violence became common place”.
Earlier this Kieran released a new book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain with John O’Mahony. The last time Tomás’s inquest in full was published was in the Cork Examiner between 23 March 1920 and 18 April 1920. Despite the ordeal and daily fallout from the interviews, over time the fourteen hearing sessions have not overly been revisited by scholars of the Irish War of Independence. The verdict has been highlighted on many occasions by many historians, but the information of the inquest has never been overly written about or the narratives within it explored.
Covid-19 has brought many challenges to every part of society and never before has our locality being important for recreation and for our peace of mind. In the past few months more focus than ever has been put on places we know, appreciate and even on places we don’t know but now depend on as we remain grounded in our neighbourhoods and corners of Cork City.
Against the backdrop of Covid 19, the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021 (Cork City Edition) launches in its 19th year and is open to schools in Cork City. Funded by Cork City Council. The Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan.
The City Edition of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project (est. 2002/03) is aimed at both primary and post primary level. Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past.
Over the past few days great progress has been made in relation to the monkey puzzle tree and how best to use it. Following a very productive meeting between O’Callaghan Properties, St. Michael’s Credit Union, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy and Dr Eoin Lettice of UCC, a plan has been developed to distribute the felled iconic monkey puzzle tree back to the community where it was here for approximately 161 years.
It is a beautiful wood and we’ve worked together to make sure it’s used in a variety of forms to commemorate this iconic tree. Crafts people and artists in the area and from Cork City have been contacted about using the wood to create artistic pieces.
A number of local businesses have also expressed an interest in wanting to use the wood to create a featured piece to be displayed within the communities of Blackrock and Mahon. St. Michael’s Credit Union has engaged with a number of local sports clubs and organisations to see if they would like to acquire a piece of this historic tree. A section of the tree will also be provided to University College Cork for educational purposes.
Collectively the decision has been made to also offer blocks sized approximately 30 cm x 23 cm from the tree to members of the public for them to use and remember this iconic tree. This is an initiative that gives the tree back to those from within the Blackrock and Mahon areas who had enjoyed the tree for generations.
Due to limited availability and COVID 19 restrictions we ask people who are interested in securing a piece of this iconic tree to complete the follow short online registration of interest form on this website.