Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the positive news that
Douglas Village is to receive its first parklet. The National Transport
Authority (NTA) provided Cork City Council stimulus funding to implement a
suite of initiatives to support mobility across the city. This included
the provision of 10 parklets to enhance greening of the city and to
improve the attractiveness of the city to pedestrians. Partners in
businesses and communities were sought to maintain and manage the
noted: “A public call was issued to communities and businesses and as a
result the parklet initiative was significantly oversubscribed, which
highlights the enthusiasm of residents, businesses and communities to see
greening projects of this nature in the city. In line with the objectives
of the stimulus, prioritised areas in the city centre and villages / towns
throughout the Council’s administrative area were chosen.
of the suitability of areas was conducted to accommodate parklets, in
terms of health and safety and access to essential services. Ten parklet sites
with partners were chosen. All parklets must encourage a pollinator friendly
approach. The Douglas Village Parklet will be managed by Douglas Tidy Towns who
have an excellent track record in the roll out of community biodiversity
Council also engaged with Benchspace, a social enterprise, to deliver the
timber-clad parklets. The parklets, which occupy a traditional car space,
will be installed over the next number of weeks/months as they are available
“The parklets are
installations in the midst of busy streets with the focus on important
issues such as the environment and biodiversity. They also offer people
an alternative place to sit down for a few minutes and to reflect on their day or
to meet friends”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
This week, Cork remembers the centenary of martyred Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney. A colossus in Cork history Terence 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, social bonds, 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. Each generation since his death has marked his contribution, reflected on its history, and have made sure that his memory will not be forgotten about and that his legacy will live on.
In our time, never
before have ideas such as social bonds, family, comradeship and hope being so
important as we journey through our challenging COVID times. There is much to
learn from Cork 100 years ago and from some of the positive characteristics of
society that imbued such a time.
One aspect, which is
most welcome in 2020, is the continuous local history writing of new angles on
the lives and experiences of those involved with the Independence struggle. The
city is blessed with historians who spend each year retelling the story of the
war but who also go out into communities and local schools, refreshing the
stories amongst the older community and engaging the next generation.
Such latter scholars
are also pushing for more scholarship on the time. There is still much
work to be done in mining into Terence’s key works, his writings,
perceptions and learning from his legacy. His book Principles of
Freedom inspired many to rise up against British control in the
late 1920s and 1930s. He was also a playwright, poet, founder of the Cork
Dramatic Society with another of Cork’s famous literary sons Daniel
Corkery. Terence wrote five plays with themes around revolution, democracy and
freedom. Terence McSwiney was also a son, a husband, a father and a brother.
The journey his relatives had to go through during his hunger strike also need
to be explored more. The story of his sisters and their involvement in the
local Cumann na mBan with the Cork Cumann’s story being told more and more, and
this is most welcome.
Terence was also a proud Corkonian. His speech, when
elected Lord Mayor on 30 March 1920, made reference to Cork’s place as one of
Ireland’s first cities – indeed his call to work together for Cork’s
advancement is one, which transcends every Corkonian generation and ever more
important in the times we find ourselves in the at the moment; “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 new zeal…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 ways in her new dignity
as one of the first cities of Ireland, to work for, and, if need be, to die
I have been blogging
about the centenary of the War of Independence in Cork in 1920 on my website at
www.corkheritage.ie, which contains links to my newspaper articles and
pictures. My work attempts to provide context to this pivotal year in Cork’s
history. My blog pieces also explores 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
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 year I
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.
What I have learned so
far through my journey trying to understand the War of Independence in Cork is
that the narrative is not black and white – it’s not a full on “them versus us”
narrative – but very nuanced with all those involved living in a
small city, where everyone knew each other – where harsh decisions on life and
death needed to be made.
commemoration of the centenary of Terence MacSwiney may be lessened due to
COVID this year. But there is an onus on all those who have championed his
story to reflect this week on his sacrifice and also on the men and women, who
fought for Irish Independence one hundred years ago. Many put their lives on
the line and many were killed for what they believed in. Each one of their
stories is an important one. Terence and Tomás MacCurtain may be the duo who
annually receive much attention in our city but I have seen through my
engagement in local communities the many War of Independence medals in personal
collections, which are treasured, and the many stories still waiting to be
told. There is still much work to do to try to understand Cork and Ireland of
1920, which defined how Cork and indeed Ireland approaches its national history
narrative in the present day and going into the future.
The voices of those who
were on the frontline of the War of Independence must not be forgotten but
learned from – they all add up to the sense of pride amongst its public have
but also to the many complexities and nuances of the history of our southern
capital, and what makes it lovingly tick – with all its positives and ongoing
Cllr Kieran McCarthy is a local historian and is an
Independent member of Cork City Council. His heritage website is
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.