Category Archives: Ward Development

Cllr McCarthy – “A Further Dagger into the Hearts of the Survivors’ Alliance”

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has noted that the proposal for a Strategic Housing Development of 179 units in Bessborough and the proposal for 67 units as a general application to Cork City Council are a further “dagger into the hearts of the Cork Survivors and Supporters Alliance (representing 56+ families)”.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has just submitted its final report to the Minister for Children. The document, which runs to more than 4,000 pages, will be published after it has been reviewed by the Attorney General. It will include the testimonies of people who lived and worked in 14 mother-and-baby homes and four county homes between the 1920s and the 1990s.

But here we have an SHD proposal and a proposal to Cork City Council, which really should wait and see what the findings are first and to review what the recommendations are for each one of the Mother and Baby Home sites. By not waiting just drives another dagger into the hearts of the Survivor’s Alliance, who are just looking for recognition, knowledge of what happened, and a chance to memorialise their babies.

The Survivor’s Alliance deserve way better than an SHD proposal and a proposal to Cork City Council on a fence outside the premises. There has been no consultation with them. The Alliance have put forward, in my opinion, very straightforward proposals.

They want to ensure that the Childrens’ Burial Ground, the nuns’ marked graveyard and the castle folly are brought under City Council jurisdiction, and that the City Council could facilitate grounds maintenance, visitor access and preservation of these connected sites. We should wait and see what the recommendations of the Mother and Baby Home Commission are – there could be provision within that for funding for local government to maintain Mother and Baby Homes graveyards in the public interest.

A City Council managed site at Bessborough’s burial grounds could honour the human rights obligations of the state to the family members of the deceased children. Currently access to the area (Childrens’ Burial Ground, castle folly and adjoining nuns graveyards) is limited to pre-arranged access or trespass.

The Bessborough Commemoration Group have been obliged to negotiate access, on a year by-year basis, and pay public liability insurance for the annual Bessborough Babies Commemoration event.

Many survivors and family members living abroad return to Ireland for this event and others return to Cork from other Irish counties. Indeed the diaspora of survivors includes others who have never returned but may do so if they have somewhere to visit and honour – i.e. memorials and burial grounds. Surely in this day and age the installation of headstones can be done.

The creation of a survivors’ memorial park on the ‘waste ground’ to the east and south of the Bessborough buildings should be pursues. It is important that this park be created in consultation with the wider community of Bessborough survivors and family members.

The establishment of an onsite interpretive centre and archive in collaboration with the survivors and family members of Bessboro inmates should also be looked at – not just a SHD proposal on a fence with no proper and real public consultation”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

Bessboro Strategic Housing Development, Application to An Bord Plenanala Site Note, 28 November 2020

Bessboro Strategic Housing Development, Application to An Bord Plenanala Site Note, 28 November 2020

Cllr McCarthy: “Permanently pedestrianising one of Cork’s best-loved amenities has been cemented by ‘overwhelming’ public support, 25 November 2020

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)

Cllr McCarthy: Welcome Publication of Public Consultation Findings on The Marina Pedestrianisation

Press Release:

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the conclusion of the public consultation process on the permanent closure of the Marina from its junction with the northern entrance of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to its junction with Church Avenue, to vehicular traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The report arising from the consultation was discussed by local councillors at their local area committee meeting this week. Two hundred and fifty (250) submissions were received in relation to the proposed scheme. A total of 224 of the submissions expressed support for the proposal and in some cases suggested additional work or amendments to the proposal. A total of 21 of the submissions objected to the proposal. Overall, there was strong support for the proposal presented for the pedestrianisation of The Marina”.

The City Council propose to respond to a number of recurring items that were raised by the general public. The current proposed pedestrianisation on The Marina will be given effect initially by installing removable bollards on The Marina at its junction with the northern Páirc Uí Chaoimh entrance and with its junction with Church Avenue. A consultant has been appointed to look at the feasibility of providing fixtures of a more permanent nature such as automatic rising bollards at this location.

The current proposed pedestrianisation on The Marina will only provide access to the area for emergency vehicles and vehicles used for the purposes of the operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of services & infrastructure. A car park accommodating approximately 200 vehicles and disabled bays has been provided as part of the Marina Park development and is located at Centre Park Rd/ Marina junction running west towards Shandon Rowing Club

Requests to extend the scheme to the City Centre is outside the scope of this proposal, however, this may be considered as part of the development of the South Docklands area.

Public realm improvements such as the resurfacing, shared space, public lighting, seating, etc. are outside of the scope of this proposal, however funding is being sought to upgrade The Marina. Subject to the allocation of funding, a scheme will be designed and be brought forward for consideration to the public and local councillors.

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

Following assessment of the submissions received and the issues raised at the local area committee meeting, the report has now been referred for voting upon at the mid-December Council meeting of Cork City Council.

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”.

Cllr McCarthy calls for Ballinlough’s Our Lady of Lourdes Road Junction to be Re-Examined, 21 November 2020.

Press Release:

Cllr Kieran McCarthy has asked the Operation Directorate of Cork City Council to re-examine the road safety measures at the junction of Ballinlough Road and Bellair Estate. Cllr McCarthy highlights: “It’s a regular issue local people have raised with me. 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”.

In response to Cllr McCarthy’s motion, the Operations Directorate of Cork City Council noted that “earlier this year improved signage and line markings have been installed on the western arm of the junction on the one-way portion of the Ballinlough Road to increase visibility and awareness that this section is a one-way road”. Notwithstanding this, the Council have said the road junction will remain on the list of areas for assessment for a traffic management project or road safety improvement scheme. The assessment will also consider which additional measures may be appropriate and feasible to improve road safety in the vicinity of the area. Concluding the operations directorate have noted to Cllr McCarthy’s motion; “Currently there is no funding available for traffic management projects. Any works deemed appropriate can be added for consideration in the future roads programme and undertaken subject to selection by the Members and available resources”.

Our Lady of Lourdes road junction, Ballinlough, Cork from Google Maps

Cllr McCarthy: Marina Park Progressing, 17 November 2020

Press Release:

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.

Kieran’s Comments, Cork City Council Budget Night, 16 November 2020

Thanks Lord Mayor,

There is a great depth across the activities of the various directorates of the Council. I think all our Directors bring a level of openness, listening and hard work ethic, which is warranted and very welcome in this challenging times.

Despite the cuts, there is still much work being pursued as well as many opportunities being mined.

COVID may have drawn us into a worrying time about finances but has clearly showed the resilience of this organisation.

The turning around of the various government financial stimuli by this organisation in very short time frames has been impressive. Certainly 12 months ago no one was predicting aspects such as the pedestrianisation of 17 streets and urban spaces and the strong ramping up of work on walking and cycling in our city.

We must not let that momentum on improving the urban fabric and environment slow down but keep pressure on, and keep the collaborations with traders and citizens effective and positive.

Perhaps the only certainly that goes with next year is that there will undoubtedly be further financial challenges– but it is important that we advance on preparing part 8s, whether it is for housing or roads, and keep sending such plans to either government or the NTA for approval respectively.

We have three 3 government cabinet Ministers from Cork – and I strongly think that we need a Microsoft Teams meeting with Minister McGrath in DPER to run over this Council’s ambitions in the short term.

What I learned recently from intervening with Minister Ryan on his Teams meeting with us is that we should not assume as a Council that all of the Cabinet are au fait with the Council’s work.

Where the meeting with Minister Ryan was very positive and very open, I was still not content to hear the narrative of bungling Cork in with Galway, Waterford and Limerick as just a mere regional city instead of the country’s second city.

I would like to see a meeting with Minister McGrath set up as soon as possible and that we liase with Minster Ryan early in the new year.

It is important opportunities are seized to realise the stepping stones on the way to achieving our ambitions.

Certainly, if you empower a local authority such as Cork City Council, it will deliver in spades.

Thanks.

Cllr McCarthy: Unpicking Legal Titles Crucial for Future of the Lakelands Bar Site, 13 November 2020

Press Release:

Further calls from Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy to compulsory purchase order the derelict Lakeland’s Bar site on Avenue De Rennes and its carpark have been rejected on the grounds of cost by property officials in City Hall at the recent South East Local Area Meeting. Cllr McCarthy noted; “this site is in a very poor condition and is an eyesore in the area; it is also the key in unlocking the regeneration of the area around it”.

“Cork City Council have acknowledged the poor condition of the Lakelands Bar site and the need for the removal of dereliction and to fill the giant potholes. To this end, a number of solutions have being considered by the Council in particular a full mapping of the landowners on this part of Avenue De Rennes. What has been revealed is a complex network of over a dozen owners of property in a small area. Such a network complicates the short term renewal of this part of Avenue de Rennes. What has become very apparent is the area needs a substantial packet of investment, probably from central government, so that the legal complexities can be began to unpicked, legal titles with liquidated owners gathered, and then new plans drawn up”.

“The look of the Lakelands bar building on the outside is atrocious. The adjacent car park also remains in limbo and is in dire need of resurfacing. The local people of Mahon deserve better than what is currently there. Such conditions completely jar against the very positive work of Mahon Community Centre and the Mahon Community Development Project and the community work of the local schools. On a positive note, the moving ahead of considering a public library in the adjacent secondary school is very welcome news”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

Cllr McCarthy: Public Consultation on The Marina still Open, 27 October 2020

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.

Marina, Cork, October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Marina, Cork, October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Marina Park Update, 12 October 2020

12 October 2020, “In a question posed by Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy who requested a progress report on the Marina Park, Cork City Council’s Director of Services David Joyce said the contactor is making “excellent progress” despite a seven-week period of being off site from the end of March until mid-May due to Government guidelines”, First phase of Marina Park Project on track for 2021 completion date,   https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/First-phase-of-Marina-Park-Project-on-track-for-2021-completion-date-7608fcc9-0216-4a01-97b9-7b8871a6e796-ds