Category Archives: Cork City Events

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 9 April 2020

1043a. Cover of Witness to Murder by Kieran McCarthy and John O'Mahony

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,
Cork Independent, 9 April 2020
Remembering 1920: Witness to Murder

 

     The new book Witness to Murder by John O’Mahony and I is a transcript of the Tomás MacCurtain Inquest from March and April 1920. Tomas (1884-1920) 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 murder of Tomás MacCurtain on the night of 19-20 March 1920 changed the future public and collective memory narrative of Cork history forever.

     One hundred years on after his murder, the memory of Tomás and his life and times and works are a central part of the history of politics in the city and the city and region’s role within the Irish War of Independence. Remembrance is carried through a variety of ways – books by local historians and seasonal historical newspaper articles in for example the Irish Examiner, yearly exhibitions in Cork Public Museum and Cork City and County Archives, conferences at University College Cork,  portraits and sculptures at Cork City Hall, and annual speeches by incoming Lord Mayors. Annually the MacCurtain family work closely with Cork City Council and community groups to highlight his memory and without fail every 19-20 March there are memorial civic ceremonies and political and community group ceremonies. All of the latter examples keep the candle lit on his story, legacy and memory. Indeed, one can say his narrative is highly structured as he retains his position amongst Cork top historical figures.

   As the news got out into the public realm after the murder of Tomás MacCurtain it sent shockwaves throughout every household – he had been Lord Mayor for less than 50 days an just 36 years old. People began to discuss their relationship with Tomás within Cork City. Some revered his character and work. Others saw his work as another part of the way of life of a busy port city, which had many activities happening on any given. But for a time in Cork, his murder brought the city and region to a standstill. This was another intensification of all-out war held across the streets of Cork that in time would be named the Irish War of Independence.

   The out-pouring of public grief was heard in the speeches in the days following through his successor to the Lord Mayor’s chain Terence MacSwiney, by fellow Corporation members, by MPs in the chamber of Westminster and visibly seen in the enormous turnout on the streets of Cork during the funeral procession. In the weeks that followed the civilian inquest of his death revealed more questions than answers to who actually killed him. The verdict proposes that it was a government and RIC cover-up but unfortunately, no official statement has ever come forward. So, in truth history will never be able to officially record who killed him and who the masked person was who pulled the trigger. That’s why the revisiting of his inquest is important.

     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 championed.

   So, this book firstly is about bringing together the data inquest into one source. It is about giving a voice to the solicitors, jury and those interviewed (see more in the next few weeks).

   Secondly, within the interviews and the remarks of Counsel, jurors, and solicitors, the frustration is plain to read plus one can view the complex relationships of all sides of the debate. The interviews and the answers given also provide multiple narratives on what life was like to those who interacted in the power play with authorities in the city, the nature of policing but above all the raw emotion attached to the murder of Tomás. On the raw emotion element, the witness statement by his wife of Elizabeth and family, and even the account of the bullets in his chest makes for harrowing reading.

   Thirdly, the publishing of the data is a nod to the Cork Examiner journalists present at the time who wrote up each verbatim what witnesses said from each individual session, and turned around the information in just a few hours, so it could be published in the following day’s edition.

   Fourthly it is my hope that this transcript of newspaper text will help scholars of the War of Independence in their research to mine down further into the complexities of the time but also to keep the human dimension at the heart of new emerging research. This transcript in particular is inspired by the epic Atlas of the Irish Revolution and the ongoing digitisation of State files and interviews of veterans of the War of Independence held at the Bureau of Military History in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin– both sources, the Atlas and the Bureau try to bring a holistic perspective to what narratives, sources and memories have survived.

    The book has an epic amount of valuable historical information but one, which I hope will help assist to create a roadmap of sorts in commemorating the life and legacy of Tomás MacCurtain in the next hundred years and place the inquest at the heart of future scholarship on Cork’s role within the Irish War of Independence.

Witness to Murder by Kieran McCarthy and John O’Mahony (2020, Irish Examiner) at this moment in time is only available to buy online at www.examiner.ie. Stay safe to everyone.

 

Caption:

1043a. Cover of Witness to Murder by Kieran McCarthy and John O’Mahony (2020, Irish Examiner).

Cllr McCarthy: Neighbourhood Watch More Crucial Than Ever Before

Press Release:

 

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called on neighbours to be vigilant of older neighbours during this difficult time; “I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for daily community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection. I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city. Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list. Many do not have the internet.  Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing”.

A Covid-19 Community Response Forum (CRF) has now been set up in Cork to ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access vital grocery, medicine and fuel deliveries and social care supports. The new Cork City Covid-19 CRF helpline is 1800-222-226. Support can also be accessed via covidsupport@corkcity.ie.

The dedicated community support helpline is running from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week. The new phone line is just one aspect of the Forum’s work. Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring a coordinated community response. The Council’s COVID-19 CRF will work to ensure that local resources – including social care support and social contact – are targeted at the people who need them most.

Taking part in the Cork City CRF are Cork City Council, the HSE,  GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others. There are many agencies currently doing super work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities and this forum is aimed at building on this, not duplicating it.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “As part of the Community Response Forum, there are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city. There are two in the south east area. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them though will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door. I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system at 087 6553389”.

COVID 19 Community Response Forum, 4 April 2020

I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection.
 
I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city to have them looked after.
 
Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list.
 
Many do not have the internet.
 
Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing.
 
The new Cork City Council dedicated community support helpline will be running from 9-5pm seven days a week to help ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels and can avail of social care supports, if needed.
 
Taking part in the Cork City Community Response Forum are Cork City Council, the HSE, GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others.
 
There are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city.
There are two in the south east area.
The helpline is 1800-222-226. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable, and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door.
 
I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system.
 
https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/news-room/latest-news/covid-19-community-response-forum-established.html

COVID -19 Community Response Forum, 31 March 2020

 
I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection.
 
I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city to have them looked after.
 
Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list.
 
Many do not have the internet.
 
Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing.
 
The new Cork City Council dedicated community support helpline will be running from 9-5pm seven days a week to help ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels and can avail of social care supports, if needed.
 
Taking part in the Cork City Community Response Forum are Cork City Council, the HSE, GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others.
 
There are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city.
There are two in the south east area.
The helpline is 1800-222-226. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable, and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door.
 
I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system.
 
https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/news-room/latest-news/covid-19-community-response-forum-established.html

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 2 April 2020

1042a. Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney, Spring- Summer 1920

 

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,
Cork Independent, 2 April 2020
Remembering 1920: Arise Lord Mayor MacSwiney

 

     A special meeting of the Council of the Cork Corporation was held on 30 March 1920 in the old Cork City Hall, for the purpose of electing a Lord Mayor in lieu of the tragic death of Tomás MacCurtain. In light of the turbulent times just 32 of the 56 members were present. On the motion of Alderman Liam de Róiste, Professor Stockley was moved to the chair. Alderman de Róiste, speaking in Irish proposed that Terence MacSwiney be elected. Alderman Barry seconded, and the motion was supported by Sir John Scott.

   There was no other candidate proposed, and the Chairman, amid loud applause, declared Cllr Terence MacSwiney unanimously elected.  As Terence left his seat in the Chamber to walk to the chair, the audience and members of Council stood up and cheered.

    Having been invested with the chain of office the Lord Mayor first spoke in Irish. He then continued in English outlining his view of the events of the previous weeks – the murder of his friend Tomás MacCurtain and his thoughts on hope, sacrifice and endurance. Below is  his speech from his inauguration, which was published in the Cork Examiner of the day and in a number of other regional newspapers:

“I shall be as brief as possible. This is not an occasion for many words, least of all a conventional exchange of compliments and thanks. The circumstances of the vacancy in the effect of Lord Mayor governed inevitably the filling of it. And I come here more as a soldier, stepping into the breach, than an administrator to fill the first post in the municipality. At a normal tine it would be your duty to find for this post the Councillor most practised and experienced in public affairs. But the time is not normal.

We see in the manner in which our Late Lord Mayor was murdered an attempt to terrify us all. Our first duty is to answer that threat in the only lilting manner by showing ourselves unterrified, cool and inflexible, for the fulfilment of our chief purpose – the establishment of the independence and integrity of our country the peace and happiness of our country. To that end I am here. I was more closely associated than any other hero with our late murdered friend and colleague, both before and since the events of Easter week, in prison and out of it, in a common work of love for lreland, down to the hour of his death.

 For that reason I take his place. It is, I think, though I say it, the fitting answer to those who struck him down. Following from that there is a further matter of importance only less great – it touches the efficient continuance of our civic administration. If this recent unbearable aggravation of our persecution by our enemies should cause us to suspend voluntarily the normal discharge of our duties it would help them very materially in their campaign to overthrow our cause. I feel the question of the future conduct of our affairs is in all our mind. And I think I’m voicing the general view when I say that the normal functions of our Corporate body must proceed, as far as in our power lies, uninterrupted, with that efficiency and integrity of which our late civic head gave such brilliant promise. I don’t wish to sound a personal note, but this much may be permitted under the circumstances – I made myself active in the selection of our late colleague for the office of Lord Mayor. He did not seek the honour, and would not accept it as such, but when put to him as a duty he stepped up to his place like a soldier.

Before his election we discussed together in the intimate way we discussed everything touching our common work since Easter week. We debated together what ought to be done and what could be done, keeping in mind, us in duty bound, not only the ideal line of action, but the practicable line at the moment as well. That time he followed with an ability and success all his own. Gentlemen, you have paid tribute to him on all sides. It will be my duty and ready purpose to follow that line as faithfully as in my power, though no man in this Council could hope to discharge its functions with his ability and his perfect grasp of public business in all its details and, as one harmonious whole. I have thought it necessary to touch on this normal duty of ours, though – and it may seem strange to say it – I feel at the moment it is even a digression. For the menace of our enemies hangs over us, and the essential immediate purpose is to show the spirit that animates us, and how we face our future.

Our spirit is but to be a more lively manifestation of the spirit in which we began the year to work for the city in a now zeal. Inspired by our initial act when we dedicated it and formally attested our allegiance, to bring by our administration of the city glory to our allegiance, and by working for our city s advancement with constancy in all honourable wavs in her new dignity as one of the first cities of Ireland, to work for, and, if need be, to die for.

 I would recall some words of mine on that day of our first meeting after the election of Lord Mayor. I realised that most of you in the minority here would be loyal to us, if doing so did not threaten your lives; but that you lacked the spirit and the hope to join with us to complete the work of liberation so well begun. I allude to it here again, Because I wish to point out again the secret of our strength and the assurance of our final victory. This content of ours is not on our side a rivalry of vengeance, but one of endurance – it  is not they who can inflict most but they who can suffer most – will conquer – though we do not abrogate our function to demand and see that evil doers and murderers are punished for their crime? But it is conceivable that they could interrupt our course for a time; then it becomes a question simply of trust in God and endurance. Those whose faith is strong will endure to the end, and triumph. The shining hope in our time is that the great majority of our people are now strong in that faith”.

To you, gentlemen of the minority here, I would address a word. I ask you again to take courage and hope. To me it seems – and I don’t say it to have won – that you have a lively faith in the power of the devil, and but little faith in God. But God is over us, and His Divine intervention we have perfect trust. Anyone surveying the events in Ireland for the past five years must see that is approaching a miracle how our country has been preserved. God has permitted this to be to try our spirits, to prove us for a great and noble destiny. You among us have yet no vision of the future, have been astray by false prophets. The liberty for which we today strive is a sacred thing – inseparately entwined as body with soul with that spiritual liberty for which the saviour of man died, and which is the inspiration and foundation of all just government because it is sacred, and death for it is akin to the sacrifice on Calvary, following far off but constant to that Divine example in every generation our best and heaviest have died.

Sometimes in our grief we cry out foolish and unthinking words; “the sacrifice is to great”. But it is because they were our best and bravest they had to die. No lesser sacrifice would save us. Because of it our struggle is holy – our battle is sanctified by their blood, and our victory is assured by their martyrdom. We, taking up the work they left is complete confident in God, offer in turn sacrifice from ourselves. It is not we who take innocent blood, but we offer it, sustained by the example of our immortal dead and that Divine example, which inspires us all – for the redemption of our country. Facing our enemies, we must declare our attitude supply. We ask for no mercy, and we make no compromise. But to the Divine author of mercy, and we will make no compromise. But to the Divine author of mercy we appeal for strength to sustain us, whatever the persecution, that we may bring our people victory in the end. The civilised world dare not continue to look on indifferent. But if the rulers of earth fail us we have yet sure succour in the Ruler of Heaven; and though to some impatient ears. His judgements seem slow; they never fail, and when they fail they are overwhelming and final.

Caption:

1042a. Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney, Spring/ Summer 1920 (source: British Pathé).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 19 March 2020

1040a. Tomás & Eilís MacCurtain with family, March 1920

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 19 March 2020

Remembering 1920: The Murder of Tomás MacCurtain

 

      One hundred years ago on the night of 19 March and the morning of 20 March 1920, Tomás MacCurtain (1884-1920), was murdered at his home in Blackpool. His murder is linked to the tit-for-tat violence between the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA). For example, on 10 March 1920 District Inspector McDonagh was shot dead by IRA members. The response by the RIC was the ransacking of Sinn Féin clubs and the homes of key members such as Seán O’Sullivan and Professor William Stockley. On 19 March 1920, RIC Constable Joseph Murtagh was shot and killed by the IRA near the City Centre. The RIC response was quick and this time Brigade no 1 Commander Tomás MacCurtain was to be the target. He was murdered later that night. The details of the murder were detailed by his wife Eilís in her inquest interview some days later, of which I lay out below.

    Tomás and Eilís MacCurtain had lived for some years at 40 Thomas Davis Street in the heart of Blackpool. By March 1920 they had five children living, of whom the youngest was ten months. In addition to her late husband her three-sisters, brother, two nieces, and a nephew lived in the house. Eilís went to bed at 8.30pm on Friday night 19 March 1920, but she could not say when her husband retired. Sometime during the night she heard a tapping as with a man’s fingers at the door, and sometime after that she heard the door being broken in. After she heard the tapping, and before it was being broken, in, she looked out of the window and asked who was there, and those below said, “Come down”. She asked, when they were breaking in the door, if they would give her time to dress. But she got no reply. “I had a candle lighting in the bedroom”, she said. “My husband got up out of bed and said, ‘Lizzi, I will go down myself”.

    Eilís went to the door and opened it. She had a candle in her hand. A man rushed in with a blackened face. One man outside the door then asked “where was Curtain?”, and she said that he was upstairs. Six men rushed in the hall—four tall men and two small men. The two smaller men carried rifles, which they held against their side. One gave orders to hold that her, and the second tall man turned around and caught her and shoved her towards the door. He wore a big overcoat and cap. The men immediately went upstairs, with the exception of one who stood beside me at the door. They were not up several steps of the stair when she heard the firing of rifles or revolvers. When they were upstairs the baby that was in the room of Eilís and Tomás cried. Eilís called out “you have mothers, and I am a mother; for God’s sake let me bring down the baby”. The baby stopped crying when shots were fired. When the crying stopped she thought the baby had been shot.

     Shortly afterwards as the six men left the house they shoved Eilís out before them on the street, where she cried for help. She asked if someone could go for the priest, that her husband was shot. There were ten or fifteen men on the road outside the door then. The six men who had been in the house were part of that group. Her brother was also calling out for a priest from a top window, and after an order of “fire” was given the body of men faced the door and fired up towards the windows. The groups left and immediately, she closed the door and saw no more of them.

     The body of Tomás was taken from the floor and placed in the bed. Eilís remained downstairs for some time after the men left as she telephoned for a priest to the North Presbytery, and there was some difficulty in getting communication. She, however, succeeded in getting the priest. Before the priest arrived, she went upstairs and addressed her husband by his Christian name, and Tomás opened his eyes. Eilís then telephoned again for the priest, the ambulance, and the doctor. The priest arrived first and heard his Confession end administered the Rites of the Church, but he was dead when the doctor arrived.

   At 20 minutes past 1am on Saturday 20 March the telephone of Dr William O’Connor on St Patrick’s Hill rang. He was told by a man at the exchange to hurry to Blackpool – that the Lord Mayor Tomás MacCurtain had been shot and was very bad. Being connected to the MacCurtain phone he heard Mrs MacCurtain’s voice who said the Lord Mayor was shot and she was afraid he was dying. The doctor immediately dressed, got some surgical dressings, rushed out and got a car on Patrick’s Bridge which took him to Blackpool immediately. When he got to the house he found the Lord Mayor lying on the landing, On examination, he found he was dead. His shirt was stained with blood and he had two wounds on the right side of his chest. Dr O’Connor did not make any further examination under the circumstances but made a postmortem examination on the following evening.

   An hour after the murder Eilís was downstairs with the baby in the shop when a second visit was paid to the MacCurtain house. There was another tap at the door, and she asked “Who was there?” and the answer was: “Military, open”. She opened the door, and was met with four bayonets to her face, I asked; “In the name of God, what do you want now?” and I got no answer. I then said: “Didn’t ye tear the heart out of him with bullets, and do you want to get my brother, now?”. About six soldiers went into the house with fixed bayonets and four remained outside the door, and two on the street outside. One was familiar to her. He was an RIC officer stationed at Blackpool. The group left after checking the body of Tomás.

More next week…

Captions:

1040a. Tomás & Eilís MacCurtain with family, March 1920 (source: Cork City Library).

1040b. Crowd outside MacCurtain House, Blackpool Bridge, the day after the murder of Tomás 20 March 1920 (source: Cork City Library).

1040b. Crowd outside MacCurtain House, Blackpool Bridge, 20 March 1920

Award Ceremony, Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project 2020

   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.

 

 

http://corkheritage.ie/?page_id=5110

Kieran McCarthy elected to lead the European Alliance Group for the new European Committee of the Regions mandate

    As the European Committee of the Regions, a Brussels based EU Institution, which represents local and regional government, begins its new term of office on of the six Political Groups, the European Alliance (EA Group) has elected Independent Cork City Councillor Cllr Kieran McCarthy as its new President.

   Cllr McCarthy has been an active member of the European Committee of the Regions for the past five years in particular on issues of Urban agenda, Ports policy, green agenda and the Digital agenda, and cultural heritage – all areas, which are hugely important for CoR as a leading European City.

 In the first CoR Plenary session held on the 12th and 13th February and during a debate with Vice President of the European Commission Mrs Šuica responsible for democracy and demography, Cllr McCarthy highlighted the need for the European Union to have an open consultation with citizens across the European Union.  He said it was important to hear and act on the views of citizens whether they are in Cork or in Corsica, and we need to have actions on issues that matter to people in Environmental policy or on transport.  He added that the debate held in the context of the new initiative on the “conference on the future of Europe” would allow this to happen.

 The Governor of Central Macedonia in Greece Apostolos Tzitzikostas (EPP) was elected President of the European Committee of the Regions for the next two and a half years where he also focussed on increasing the local and regional government influence in the EU decision making process.

Photo: CoR President Apostolos Tzitzikostas with Cllr Kieran McCarthy Cork City Council and President of the European Alliance Group.

Photo: CoR President Apostolos Tzitzikostas with Cllr Kieran McCarthy Cork City Council and President of the European Alliance Group

Cllr McCarthy: Commemoration Fund to Help Communities Tell the Story of Cork in 1920

   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 lord_mayor@corkcity.ie”.

   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’.