Category Archives: Kieran’s Council Work

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020

Evening Echo  is a public artwork by New Zealand artist Maddie Leach. It is sited on old gasometer land gifted by Bord Gáis to Cork City Council in the late 1980s. This site was subsequently re-dedicated as Shalom Park in 1989. The park sits in the centre of the old Cork neighbourhood known locally as ‘Jewtown’. This neighbourhood is also home to the National Sculpture Factory.

This year the last night of Hanukkah is Thursday 17 December and offers the only opportunity to see the tall ‘ninth lamp’ alight until next year. The cycle begins 10 minutes before sunset, which occured this year at 4.13pm, and continued for 30 minutes after sunset when the ninth lamp was extinguished.

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Evening Echo, Shalom Park, 17 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Cllr McCarthy: Opening of Douglas Library will support social and cultural inclusion

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the reopening of Douglas Library in Douglas Village Shopping Centre. The library will be a transformed space both in design and enhanced services. The refurbished library includes a complete transformation of the children’s space, including a new children’s fiction area, a larger children’s story time area and a new personalised kiosk for the children and families to use.

The Listening Lounge is new to the adult area and will be a space for the public to listen to audio books and music on cd and vinyl. It will be a relaxing and calm space. My Open Library will be part of Douglas Library early in the new year and will significantly increase the opening hours for the public.

Plans are also being finalised to support those with dementia in the community, including a new Tovertafel magic table and memory café which will be a great addition to our Age Friendly Libraries initiatives.

A Per Cent for Art Commission has been awarded to two Cork based textile artists as part of the reopening of the refurbished Library. Taking its inspiration from the historic textile industry of the Douglas area the proposal includes a strong community engagement element with nursing homes and local schools. The end piece will be a textile wall hanging, a focus for discussion of the local history of the area for many years to come.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The staff of Cork City Libraries put in extra hours adding new items to ensure the stock of Douglas Library will be second to none, providing the most up to date titles available to the people of Douglas and the surrounding areas. The library will continue to host many activities, book clubs, writing groups and craft activities for all ages within the community. The City Council’s intention is that the library will continue to proactively support learning, diversity and social and cultural inclusion”.

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the reopening of Douglas Library in Douglas Village Shopping Centre. The library will be a transformed space both in design and enhanced services. The refurbished library includes a complete transformation of the children’s space, including a new children’s fiction area, a larger children’s story time area and a new personalised kiosk for the children and families to use.

The Listening Lounge is new to the adult area and will be a space for the public to listen to audio books and music on cd and vinyl. It will be a relaxing and calm space. My Open Library will be part of Douglas Library early in the new year and will significantly increase the opening hours for the public.

Plans are also being finalised to support those with dementia in the community, including a new Tovertafel magic table and memory café which will be a great addition to our Age Friendly Libraries initiatives.

A Per Cent for Art Commission has been awarded to two Cork based textile artists as part of the reopening of the refurbished Library. Taking its inspiration from the historic textile industry of the Douglas area the proposal includes a strong community engagement element with nursing homes and local schools. The end piece will be a textile wall hanging, a focus for discussion of the local history of the area for many years to come.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The staff of Cork City Libraries put in extra hours adding new items to ensure the stock of Douglas Library will be second to none, providing the most up to date titles available to the people of Douglas and the surrounding areas. The library will continue to host many activities, book clubs, writing groups and craft activities for all ages within the community. The City Council’s intention is that the library will continue to proactively support learning, diversity and social and cultural inclusion”.

Cllr McCarthy: Daly’s Bridge Press, 17 December 2020

17 December 2020, “We got a sneak-peak into the new-and-improved bridge earlier this week, and chatted to Cllr Kieran McCarthy about the work that went into the historic and culturally significant structure”, WATCH: First glimpse at the new-and-improved Shakey Bridge, WATCH: First glimpse at the new-and-improved Shakey Bridge – Cork Beo

17 December 2020, “Historian and independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy, who campaigned for years for the investment in the project, said he thinks people will be pleased. “I think people will be very happy that it still shakes. I would invite people to come down to test it out. Don’t come in large numbers but do come down to see the refurb job”,   Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ to reopen on Saturday with its shake intact,
Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ to reopen on Saturday with its shake intact (irishexaminer.com)

17 December 2020, Cllr McCarthy, who described the bridge as being “infused in the city’s DNA”, explained that it got its nickname “due to the fact that a large number of people used the bridge to go to GAA matches in the Mardyke. Consequently, the bridge would shake with the masses of people walking across it”, Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ reopens after €1.7m refurbishment, Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ reopens after €1.7m refurbishment

17 December 2020, “Local historian and Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy was amongst the first people to test out the newly restored bridge”, Iconic Cork bridge is formally reopened but has it retained its signature shake?, Iconic Cork bridge is formally reopened but has it retained its signature shake? (echolive.ie)

Daly's Bridge, Post Refurbishment, 16 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Daly’s Bridge, Post Refurbishment, 16 December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Cllr McCarthy: Cork’s ‘Shaky Bridge’ set to reopen this weekend following €1.7m restoration

14 December 2020, “The Councillor and historian has long been a champion of the suspension pedestrian bridge, one of the last of its kind in operation in the country”,
Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ set to reopen this weekend following €1.7m restoration,
Cork’s ‘Shakey Bridge’ set to reopen this weekend following €1.7m restoration – Cork Beo

Kieran’s Speech, The Marina Pedestrianisation, Cork City Council, 13 December 2020

“Lord Mayor,

The section 38 on the proposed pedestrianisation of the Marina is most welcome. The public consultation process of 250 submissions has shown that 90 per cent are for the plan, with 5 per cent with specific issues on carparking and access, which are also resolved in the Directors response leaving 5 per cent against the proposal.

So we are dealing with 95 per cent of those who wrote in wanting this pedestrianisation to happen and I wish to support this democratic call this evening.

I see within the arguments of the 5 per cent – several referred to The Marina’s function as a road in modern times and several have called for a review of the heavy traffic on Blackrock Road – and that thorn is something the Council will have to grasp – especially around traffic speeds and pedestrian safety.

What we have seen down The Marina – in terms of the temporary pedestrianisation and the investment into Marina Park, phase 1 is probably the first time in several decades that investment has filtered into renewing this area  as one of the City recreation destination area – not just a local recreational landscape.

October 2022 will mark 150 years since the name change of the New Wall to The Marina – a proposal at the time by ex town councillor Denis O’Flynn – at that time – the Council saw the Marina as a key recreational site and the debate within the Cork Examiner of the summer and autumn of 1872 shows the Council’s ambition to put an extra focus on the old Navigation Wall dock – a proposal by one Cllr was Slí na hAbhann, which wasn’t adopted – the lofty name The Marina was chosen as a reference to a gorgeous Mediterranean garden in Palermo, Sicily.

Dedicated funding was followed up by the Council of Corporation of Cork in the 1870s and new structures appeared– an elaborate care-taker’s lodge, decorative drinking fountain, a flag post symbolic of shipping, two canons mounted from the Crimean War, a bandstand, the support of placing rowing clubs on the Marina, and the continued support of the Cork Passage Railway Line and Cork City Park Racecourse.

Almost 150 years later, one can visibly see the effect of the car as being king on this history and heritage.

–  the Cantillon family sponsored Drinking fountain is now just pieces of metal up on a mound up by Shandon Boat Club,

 – the Captain Hanson donated flag post  is cut in half,

– on the Crimea War guns – one is missing and one is almost thrown on the grass,

– The Caretaker’s Lodge is gone,

the removal of Gunpowder Pier and the Crinoline Railway bridge,

and one now has the tree ridden Barrington’s Folly.

The Marina as a pedestrianised space has a great future ahead of it – there is much to do on its place-making vision and to enhance the vision of the Council for the Marina, that has been around for almost 150 years.

My hope is that Marina Walk 2.0 would be worked at – I certainly would like a refocus to be placed on some of the heritage assets both built and natural – and also that we become bold in beginning to look at river front of ESB Marina and the Marina Commercial Park in terms of extending the western end of the Marina Walk and extending it to Cork Docks. That right of way was there 150 years ago when The Marina name was fashioned”.

Ends

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 10 December 2020

Aftermath of the Burning of Cork on St Patrick’s Street photograph by W Hogan (source: National Library of Ireland).

Aftermath of the Burning of Cork on St Patrick’s Street photograph by W Hogan (source: National Library of Ireland).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 10 December 2020

Remembering 1920: The Burning of Cork

It was a night like no other in Cork’s War of Independence. The Cork Examiner records that about 7.30pm on Saturday night, 11 December 1920 auxiliary police were ambushed near Dillion’s Cross on the way to Cork Barracks. Bombs were thrown at the lorry and several of the occupants were injured, some badly. Reprisals began in the locality of the ambush, and during the night several houses in the district were burned. Buttimer’s Shop and Brian Dillion house were targeted. The latter House, which had a tablet on it dedicated to Irish Fenian Brian Dillion, was completely gutted. Rifle shots rang out and the crackling burning of timber was heard.

Between 8pm and 10pm volleys of revenge gunfire from auxiliary police and Black and Tans reverberated through the flat of the city and created considerable alarm as people stampeded away in various directions. Many people elected to stay in hotels and others sought the hospitable shelter of friend’s houses in the neighbourhood in which they happened at the time. The people sought their homes, extinguished all lights, and then passed through many hours of fear.

Passengers on the last tram to St Luke’s Cross, which left the Statue at 9pm had an eventful journey. The car had got about 60 to 70 yards beyond Empress Place Police Station on Summerhill North when a number of armed men in police uniform carrying carbines, and accompanied by auxiliaries, held it up. They ordered all the passengers off at the point with revolvers. Male passengers were ordered to line up for searching. Some tried to run and a voice rang out, “I’ll shoot anyone who runs”. Shots were fired in the air while the searches were being conducted.

The tram car was smashed up and was brought back by the conductor to the Fr Mathew Statue, who at that point was ordered off. It was set on fire and completely destroyed.

It was hoped that when curfew hour was reached there would be cessation of the firing and explosions, but such hopes were not realised: in fact as the night advanced the situation became more terrifying, and the people especially women and children were rendered helpless amidst fire and shots by Black and Tans stalking the streets with rifles and revolvers. About 10pm, following explosions, Messrs Grants’ Emporium, in St Patrick’s Street, was found to be ablaze.

The Superintendent of the City of Cork Fire Brigade, Alfred Hutson,received a call at 10.30pm to extinguish the fire at Grants. He found that the fire had gained considerable headway and the flames were coming through the roof. He got three lines of hose to work—one in Mutton Lane and two in Market Lane, intersecting passages on either side of these premises. With a good supply of water they were successful in confining the fire to Grant’s and prevented its spread to that portion running to the Grand Parade from Mutton Lane, while they saved, except with slight damage, the adjacent premises of Messrs Hackett (jeweller) and Haynes (jeweller).

The Market – a building mostly of timber – to the rear of Grants was found to be in great danger. Except for only a few minor outbreaks in the roof the fire brigade was successful in saving the Market and other valuable premises in Mutton Lane. The splendid building of Grant’s though with its stock was reduced to ruins.

During the fire-fighting at Grants Alfred Hutson received word from the Town Clerk that the Munster Arcade was on fire, just some doors from where he was. This was about 11.30pm. He sent some of his men and appliances available to contend with it. Shortly after he got word that the Cash’s premises were on fire. He shortened down hoses at Mutton Lane and sent all available stand-pipes, hoses and men to contend with this fire as well.

Hutson’s men found both the Munster Arcade and Cash’s well alight from end to end, with no prospect of saving either, and the fire spreading rapidly to adjoining properties. All the hydrants and mains that they could possibly use were brought to bear upon the flames and points were selected where the fire may be possibly checked and their efforts concentrated there.

The flames ranged with great intensity, and within an hour, buildings were reduced to ruins. Owing to the inflammatory nature of the materials in these premises, or as the result of petrol having been sprinkled within the buildings, the conflagrations became most fierce and the blocks of buildings running between St Patrick’s Street and Oliver Plunkett Street on one side and Cook Street and Merchant street on the other side became involved. It was impossible to subdue such outbreaks.

In the early hours of Sunday morning at 2.50am in the upper end of Dublin Hill in Blackpool the Black and Tans encroached on the houses of the Delaney family. IRA members Joseph Delaney, aged about 24, was shot dead and his brother, 30-year old Cornelius and his 50 year old uncle, William Dunlea, were wounded, the former very dangerously. All were shot at point blank range by uniformed soldiers. The two wounded men were removed to the Mercy Hospital where Cornelius succumbed to his wounds.

It was approaching 4am when it was discovered that the work of destruction continued. At that time the City Hall and Carnegie Library became ablaze. Both of these buildings were gutted, only the walls left standing. The upper portion of City Hall including the clock tower fell in. Such was the intensity of the fires the firemen were driven out of the buildings.

As dawn broke on Sunday morning, 12 December, residents of Cork were then able to see the picture of Saturday night’s work of devastation. Fine buildings, with highly valuable stock, had been wiped out, and thousands of people were to become unemployed.

In one twenty-four period, over four acres of Cork City’s Centre had been reduced to ruins – 2,000 people had lost their jobs, and an estimated three million pounds of damage had been inflicted on Cork’s City Centre building stock. Nearly one hundred businesses and homes had been destroyed or badly damaged by fire and looting.

Kieran’s latest book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain is now available to purchase online (co-authored with John O’Mahony 2020, Irish Examiner/www.examiner.ie).

Caption:

1078a. Aftermath of the Burning of Cork on St Patrick’s Street photograph by W Hogan (source: National Library of Ireland).

Pictures: Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020

Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
Beaumont Park, Cork, 8 December 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

RTE Radio 1 Interview with Kieran on The Burning of Cork 1920, 5 December 1920

5 December 2020, “This week coming marks 100 years since the Burning of Cork. The Black and Tans destroyed homes, dozens of businesses and buildings. To take a look at this a bit more we’re joined by a local Cork historian Cllr Kieran McCarthy”, The Burning of Cork, 1920, The Business (rte.ie)

Title page from Who Burnt Cork City, 1921 (source: Cork City Library)
Title page from Who Burnt Cork City, 1921 (source: Cork City Library)

Cllr McCarthy Welcomes Douglas Village Parklet

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 parklets. 

 Cllr McCarthy 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. 

 “An assessment 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 programmes”. 

 “Cork City 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 from Benchspace”. 

 “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.