Category Archives: Climate Action

Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy Goes Poster Free, 11 May 2024

Ahead of the upcoming Local Elections on 7 June Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Kieran McCarthy has gone poster free on poles across the south east local electoral area. Kieran noted; “I have been particularly inspired by the work of Douglas Tidy Towns who have advocated the non-postering of posters in Douglas Village. I also have a very keen and active interest and participation in promoting the environment and heritage in the city”. 

“To those asking about if I am still running because they don’t see my poster – As an independent candidate I am very much in the race in this local election in the south east local electoral area of Cork City – I have been canvassing for several weeks at this moment in time. I won’t get to each of the over 15,000 houses in the electoral area, but certainly and against the backdrop of a very busy Mayoralty post, I am daily trying to knock on doors in the various districts of my local electoral area. My manifesto is online at, which champions such aspects such as public parks, environmental programmes, city centre and village regeneration, and the curation of personal community projects such as my historical walking tours, concluded Kieran”.

Read my manifesto here: 2. Kieran’s Manifesto, Local Elections 2024 | Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Kieran McCarthy

Kieran continues his suburban historical walking tour series next Saturday 18 May, 11am with a walking tour of Ballinlough. The meeting point is at Ballintemple Graveyard, Temple Hill, 11am. The tour is free, two hours and no booking is required. Kieran noted of the rich history in Ballinlough; With 360 acres, Ballinlough is the second largest of the seven townlands forming the Mahon Peninsula. The area has a deeper history dating back to Bronze Age Ireland. In fact it is one of very few urban areas in the country to still have a standing stone still standing in it for over 5,000 years. My walk will highlight this heritage along with tales of big houses such as Beaumont and the associated quarry, rural life in nineteenth century Ballinlough and the development of Ballinlough’s twentieth century suburban history”.

Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy Launches his Local Election Campaign, 23 March 2024

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Independent, has confirmed his attention to run in the forthcoming local elections on Friday 7 June. He has once again chosen to run in the south east local electoral area of Cork City which includes the Douglas area. The south east area extended from Albert Road through Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock, Mahon and takes in Douglas Village, Donnybrook, Rochestown and Mount Oval districts. 

First elected in 2009 Cllr McCarthy has won three terms of office in Cork City Hall on an Independent platform. In launching his manifesto this week Cllr McCarthy outlined his vision across five policy areas – developing more recreational and amenity sites, moving Cork to become net zero in Carbon emissions, marketing the City Centre and village renewal, local government reform and financial accountability, and continuing his suite of community and history projects. 

At the launch of his campaign Cllr McCarthy noted his broad range of interests from community development, city planning, culture and history, village renewal environmental issues and regional development. “Over the past fifteen years I have gained much experience in local government and in particular during my year as Lord Mayor. In City Hall, I continue to fight the corner of my constituents . My website and social media sites showcase my work pursued and achieved over the past decade. It also sets out my stall of interests and what an Independent strong voice can offer local government plus a vision for Cork City’s future in working with local communities. Collaboration with local people is very important to me”.

“Over the past fifteen years I have created and curated several community projects including local history programmes in local schools, a youth community talent competition, a youth Make a Model Boat project. I also founded Cork City Musical Society for adults. I also run free historical walking tours regularly across over 25 Cork City suburban sites.  Against the backdrop of very busy Lord Mayor’s schedule I look forward to meeting people again at the doors over the next few weeks, and if anyone would like to help with my campaign in any shape of form, it would be greatly appreciated”, concluded Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy.

Building Communities Together, Six Months In, The Echo, 22 December 2023

Dear Corkonian, as you read this I am at my half way mark in my term as Lord Mayor of Cork. So far it has been a great adventure since my term began in late June this year. As a chronicler of Cork’s history, there is one thing researching Cork, but there is another when one becomes part of its story board, and one gets to wear the 236-year old Mayoralty chain every day and become Cork’s ambassador. The chain has been witness to many stories across time and the urban space of Cork.

My days have been filled with meeting groups across many thematic communities in Cork – from sporting to general community groups to the business community. On average, there are seven to eight events to attend a day – so 35 to 40 events a week is easily the average. So, todate there have been just over 850 events attended in the first six months of my office. The diary is time-managed, curated and packed solid with meetings and opportunities. Days are long but the meeting experiences are very interesting and very enjoyable.

In my first six months, the chain has been witness to all of my key activities, from representing the city in meeting President Michael D Higgins to playing a diplomatic role in hosting Ambassadors from various countries to being head of delegation of the sister city twinning meeting with the Mayor of Shanghai and his various departments from health to culture.

On the ground in Cork it has been important to me to promote local economic development, to highlight the City Council’s work programmes from housing to roads mobility and parks works programmes, to highlighting the history and heritage of our city through the Council’s decade of commemoration programmes, to highlighting arts and culture in the guise of the new urban sculpture trail or through the Community Heritage Concert and Christmas Gala Concert in aid of key charities in our city.

It has been fun and important to actively participate in and showcase festivals such as the Pride Festival and Cork International Film Festival and helping lead this year’s edition of the Dragon of Shandon, platforming the importance of climate action and projects such as community gardens, hosting charities and giving them a space to chat about their work in City Hall. There has been lots of showcasing Cork’s sporting events including honouring our Cork camogie teams. In truth the list of activities is long. And sometimes, there also has been a song along the way.

It has also been an honour to formally open new pedestrian and cycle bridges such as Vernon Mount and mark the completion of public realm works such as MacCurtain Street. To be able to showcase their immediate and surrounding histories and memories has been a privilege.

The 118-school visit programme left me humbled, emotional, and exhausted from a rollercoaster of meeting so many young people on mass but also full of great memories for years to come. To meet the bones of over 35,000 dynamic young people or Cork’s up and coming generation, complete with teachers and principals of city schools, is one of the largest projects on democracy development each Lord Mayor takes on every year. One of my core reflections was that Cork City is very fortunate with a generation coming through that is curious, dynamic, diverse, unique, enthusiastic and ‘up for the match’ to be the next guardians of what we as Corkonians are proud to call home.

I created a social media film series called Voices of Cork, which gives voice to some of the people I have met. My social media encompasses the hashtag Got Cork and WeareCork and ProudofCork, which is also my continued focus on all things positive that Cork people engage and promote.

For me as well, showcasing the voices of different communities matter. Whereas, the daily themes could be diverse from each other, all of the groups I meet are pursuing an aspect of importance to Cork’s DNA and its evolving development. All of the groups are everything that is great about our City – its sense of caring, its sense of place, its sense of pride, its sense of frankness and honesty, its sense of identity, its sense of camaraderie, its sense of life affirmation. Such groups are writing the best version of the city’s evolving story.

All of the groups pack an enormous punch to the heart by bringing people together who volunteer to carve out and create a space for the common good. It is not random that the Latin motto on the city’s coat of arms is Statio Bene Fida Carinis or translated as a Safe Harbour for Ships. However, after the first six months I am of the view that the motto could also be interpreted a safe harbour for people or safe place for people.

Such groups have spent years supporting the city or a specific neighbourhood. They are hard grafters, who are intrinsic to the future of many people’s lives, the important moments in people’s lives. ideas of hope and solidarity, and what I call saving people’s souls. They create incredible special moments of human connection. That tenacity and vision needs to be noted – the holding firm needs to be noted. As a city we need to rejoice and embrace in such a vision.

Such communities of people are genuinely interested in connecting people together, and supporting and helping each other. Building stronger communities brings more opportunities to talk, share, support each other. and to learn.

A more connected community builds a stronger community for everyone in our city. In the world, we find ourselves, supporting each other matters more than ever before. Togetherness matters more so than ever before. What the communities stand for matters more than ever before. These elements of Cork’s DNA need to be minded carefully as the city moves forward into the future.

One cannot buy that energy or connection but it is so important to have in a city such as Cork whose heart when it comes to social and cultural capital beats very passionately.

So, there are lots of moments to reflect upon in the first six months. Sincere thanks to Lady Mayoress Marcelline and Finbarr Archer, Nicola O’Sullivan and Rose Fahy in the Lord Mayor’s office as well as the team in Corporate Affairs ably led by Paul Moynihan, and Chief Executive Anne Doherty, for their partnership, curation of activities, story board creation, support and advice over the past six months.

Kieran’s Lord Mayor’s Column, The Echo, 9 December 2023

The Power of Place:

They say that stories have the power to stop, impress, make one question, make one wonder, make one dream, make one remember, make one be disturbed, make one explore and make one forget – a whole series of emotions. In a historic city such as Cork, one could easily say that such emotions run rampant in approaching all aspects of the city’s stories.

Indeed, the more one studies the vast narratives at play in Cork City, the more they pull you in to study them more. The more they pull you in the more one gets under the skin of our historic city, one becomes even more enamoured by the rake of very interesting narratives, which created our beautiful city.

There were two events at which I recently spoke at and launched, which re-connected the relevant areas back to their history.

A Bridge Through History, Vernon Mount Bridge:

There has been much anticipation for and much looking forward to the opening of the pedestrian and cycling Vernon Mount bridge for many years – mainly down to the dedication, ambition and vision of the immediate community in Grange in particular on the northern ridge here.

Indeed, much of the call for a new connecting bridge has also been bound up with the strong sense of pride and place in the area and the need to renew and reconnect the sense of pride and the sense of place up physically and symbolically to nearby neighbourhoods.   

There is now a new bridge now re-connecting the proud neighbourhoods of Grange to the proud neighbourhoods of Ballyphehane and Douglas and Turners Cross. In the past, before the motorway was connected up you could wander across the Tramore Valley river plain across the many historic and informal human pathways.

Indeed, where the bridge is located there are many stories, embedded in the local landscape – the story of Ballyphehane townland, where Tramore Valley Park stands. Baile an Feitheáin stands for the townland of the sharp grass or marshland; the story of the public commons land on this swamp in the eighteenth century; the story of the sailcloth factory, which created Douglas village in the early eighteenth century; the creation of the beautiful Vermon Mount House and estate by the Hayes family; in the mid nineteenth century, the story of the adjacent Cork Union Workhouse; in the late nineteenth century, the advent of the two railway lines Cork Macroom Railway Line and the Cork Bandon Line and how they were built on raised platforms through one side of the swamp.

In the early twentieth century, one has the story of the Irish War of Independence and the volunteer training that went on here and the story of the Civil War executions near here; the stories of recreation of wandering, hunting and courting out here in the twentieth century; to the story of the traveller community; the story of the landfill from the 1970s for over 40 years, the creation of Tramore Valley Park and in our time the Creative Ireland Kinship programme, which explores our connection to the natural environment here through artist and community participation.

Several of the locations around the new Vernon Mount Bridge possess a strong sense of character, sentimentality, place and belonging, symbolic ownership and are a source of inspiration. Cork people deem such sites as being appealing, timeless, ancestral, eternal, enshrined or sacred in conjuring and summoning a sense of place.

A Street Through Time, MacCurtain Street:

Similarly the recent completion of the revamp of McCurtain Street allows us to take back in for the first time in many decades, through widened footpaths in particular, the array histories, heritage and memories and champion MacCurtain Street’s rich sense of place. street is in the history, heritage and memory of the city and how it connects to the overarching sense and power of place.

The historical DNA of this corner of the work of Cork is rooted in the story of an emerging in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries where the city was branding itself as one of the Venices of the North and the Athens of Ireland in terms of cultural output.

When the Corporation of Cork the time invested in planning St Patrick’s Bridge in 1787 it opened up this quarter for development. The 1790s coincided with the creation of St Patrick’s Hill – a hill-up avenue from Bridge Street, which aligned with an old windmill, the foundation of which is now incorporated into Audley House. The decade also coincided with an early MacCurtain Street– back then known as Strand Street and later King Street, named after MP Robert King in Mitchelstown House. The earliest eighteenth buildings can still be seen at the western side of the street.

One by one, some of Cork’s greatest architectural structures were added to the area. Between 1801 and 1832 Summerhill North built as well a new myriad of new residences; in 1855, the Cork Dublin Terminus & tunnel opened – the tunnel in its day one of the major features of engineering in western Europe and part of plethora of railway networks beginning to appear in Western Europe. In 1861, Trinity Presbyterian Church was opened at the foot of Summerhill.

In the 1880s, the former Ogilive and Dobbin Wholesaler buildings were revealed and are now the Greene’s Restaurant and Isaac’s Hotel complex. About the same time, the elaborate twelve-bay five-storey structure building, which hosted Thompson’s Bakery emerged as well as the seven bay three storey Victoria Buildings.  In 1892, the Baptist Church building was opened. In 1897, Dan Lowry opened the building as a luxurious new theatre called The Cork Palace of Varieties.

It was the energy of all those sites that led to the development by the brothers Stuart and Thomas Musgrave of the Metropole Hotel, designed by Arthur Hill in 1897. The prospectus for the hotel in 1897 sold its luxuriousness and embraced the brand of modernity – a modern hotel for a city of modern vitality.

The Coliseum Cinema opened in September 1913. By the time the street name changed in April 1920 from King Street to commemorate the then recently martyred Lord Mayor Tomás MacCurtain, the modern street had emerged with an enormous array of services but also a set of buildings with diverse functions and narratives.

Of course, I haven’t mentioned the people involved in creating these sites and their background and ambition. I haven’t mentioned the architects, the business people, the old families, the old shops, all of which we can gleam from old street directories or even legacies of great musicians like Rory Gallagher immortalised in this historic premises.

MacCurtain Street is full of places of tradition, of continuity, change and legacy, of ambition and determination, experiences and learning, of ingenuity and innovation, places of nostalgia and memories, places that are cherished and remembered with fondness. All such places, Cork needs to mind in its future as well.

Third round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors for Cork

Third round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors for Cork

The National Transport Authority has launched the third round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors earmarked for development as part of the BusConnects Cork programme.

The latest round of public consultation centres on the Preferred Route Options which have been identified. These preferred route options brochures are available to view and download below. This comes following the first round of public consultation on the Emerging Preferred Routes between April and June 2023.

Following the first and second rounds of public consultation, the NTA has been reviewing the submissions made by the public and engaging constructively with 35 residents’ , business and special interest groups across the city. Community Forums were also established for each corridor to enable a two-way dialogue with local communities to help inform the review process.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 18 December 2023

View here now: Sustainable Transport Corridors | Busconnects