Category Archives: Kieran’s Council Work

Kieran’s Question to CE and Motions, Cork City Council Meeting, 8 March 2021

Question to CE:

To ask the CE for an update on fixing the Atlantic Pond valve problem? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Motions:

That safety signage be erected at the unprotected pier in Blackrock. There is no life jacket sign. There is no indication that it is a dangerous area for vehicles (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

In light of the recent presentation on the city centre and the difficulty of rolling out broadband fibre cable to replace the old copper cable, that a suitable, sustainable and efficient technological solution be sought out with service providers. Cork City Centre cannot be left behind in the roll-out (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

That the remains of the Cantillan family sponsored drinking fountain atop a grassy mound at the western end of The Marina in front of Shandon Rowing Club be re-imagined – either as a conservation project or a new drinking fountain installed at the location – or a mixture of both (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

Cllr McCarthy: Rates Deferral is of Huge Benefit to Businesses

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the continued deferral of rates payments for the first quarter of 2021 for businesses most impacted by Level 5 restrictions introduced on 6 January 2021.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “With financial support from central government Cork City Council will be deferring rates payments. The three-month waiver will apply to eligible businesses and will be applied to rates accounts in the form of a credit in lieu of rates. Support from government has also kept the Council’s operations going and it is essential that forms of financial support remain as businesses return in the months ahead. The Council’s income will be significantly down later this year as the full economic fallout from businesses that do not re-open is revealed”.

 Cork City Council Head of Finance, John Hallahan said, “Cork City Council is acutely aware of the challenges faced by businesses, large and small throughout the city and county. We will continue to work with our rate payers on a case by case basis and are asking businesses to contact us”. 

Cork City Council will issue Rate Bills for 2021 commencing in March 2021. Rate payers are advised that these bills will not include the recently announced Covid-19 rates waiver but that rate payers that are eligible for the waiver will get a statement showing their reduced liability in April/May 2021. For queries on the rates waiver scheme, contact rates@corkcity.ie or phone 021-4924484.

Cork City Local Enterprise Office offers a number of supports to businesses to address the challenges posed by Covid-19, such as mentoring, Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan, businessadvice clinics, and trading online vouchers are available for businesses wishing to establish or enhance their online presence. For further queries on these supports, contact Cork City Local Enterprise Office on 021-4961828 or at info@leo.corkcity.ie

Cllr McCarthy: Call for historic Cork archway that led to offices of creators of Tanora to be relocated, 4 March 2021

4 March 2021, “Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy, who is spearheading the call for the archway to be moved, has reiterated his call to the council to come forward with a plan to bring the historic archway out of its hidden corner and into the public realm”, Call for historic Cork archway that led to offices of creators of Tanora to be relocated,
Call for historic Cork archway that led to offices of creators of Tanora to be relocated (echolive.ie)

Cllr McCarthy: Draft Air Quality Plan Open to Public Consultation, 5 March 2021

3 March 2021, “The air-quality plan is an essential part of the council’s Climate Adaptation Plan and one which I, and other councillors, have been calling for. Great credit is due to the council’s executive scientist department for gathering together best-practice insights with the help of UCC experts”, said Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

Public to have say on strategy after air quality ‘dropped seriously’ in Cork this week, People are unable to log onto basic Zoom calls’: Cork councillor bemoans quality of broadband (echolive.ie)

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 4 March 2021

1089a. Branding for Irish White Cross, 1922 (source: Report of the Irish White Cross to 31st August, 1922)
1089a. Branding for Irish White Cross, 1922 (source: Report of the Irish White Cross to 31st August, 1922)

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 4 March 2021

Journeys to a Truce: The Relief of Irish Distress

In the first week March 1921, members of an American Committee for the Relief of Irish Distress arrived in Cork City. They were hosted by members of Cork Corporation and the Cork Harbour Board, amongst others. Their arrival was a positive one in the context of the narrative of repair after the Burning of Cork and of donating money to the impoverished of the city.

Towards the end of 1920 men and women came together on the invitation of (and under the chairmanship) of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Laurence O’Neill to form the Irish White Cross. They met to consider how it was possible to alleviate the great amount of suffering that, even at that date, had resulted from the Irish War of Independence. The group were representative of practically every section of the political and religious beliefs of the Irish community. They were motivated solely by humanitarian motives.

Independently of the Irish White Cross in Ireland, in December 1920, a Committee for the Relief of Irish Distress was founded in America by Dr William J Maloney, a Republican cause sympathiser. The committee carried out its task in the same humane spirit that had inspired the many charitable organisations that went out from the United States to offer relief in the days of the First World War.

The committee influenced a series of great drives for funds, which were organised throughout 48 States of America. In a short period of time, it had at its command a large sum – approximately five million dollars – for the relief of people in Ireland.

From the establishment of the committee American members of the Religious Society of Friends were prominent in the ranks of its active members. In January 1921, several members of the latter group with experience in relief and reconstruction work in France and other areas devastated in the great war arrived in Ireland. The group comprised Messrs. R Barclay Spicer (Philadelphia), Oren B Wilbur (New York), William Price (Philadelphia), John C Baker (Philadelphia), Walter C Longstreth (Philadelphia) accompanied by Messrs C J France, (Seattle, Washington) and S D McCoy (New York) City. Their aim was to ascertain the nature and extent of American aid necessary for the relief of the Irish people.

During their mission of 49 days, which lasted until April 1921, C J France acted as Chairman, and S D McCoy as Secretary (the latter not returning to America until October 1921). Mr France remained in Ireland until June 1922, acting as a representative of the American Committee in connection with the distribution of the American Fund.

The delegation’s subsequent published report (which in the present day is now digitally scanned and online) outlines that during their visit members visited nearly one hundred communities in Ireland in which acute distress existed. They visited no less than 95 cities, towns, villages, and creameries, in which destruction of buildings or property by the military or police forces of the British Crown has occurred. In the 95 places visited there occurred 95 per cent, of the material damage to property owned by the civil population, which has been recorded during the twelve months ending 31 March 1921.

The places visited range in geographic location from Gortahork, on the extreme north-western coast of Ireland, to Timoleague, on the extreme southern coast; from Dublin, in the east, to Clifden and Aran Islands, in the west.

The delegation viewed the damage personally, and personally collected on the spot evidence as to the value of the property destroyed. In addition, written statements from reliable sources were supplied to the delegation regarding material damage in the small number of afflicted communities which they were unable to visit. They reported forty co-operative creameries, which were totally ruined and which had their whole machinery reduced to scrap-iron; thirty-five were partly wrecked and rendered unfit for work. The delegation reports on the conflict;

“In the course of this conflict at least 2,000 houses – dwelling houses, farmsteads, shops –were utterly destroyed, while about 1,500 were partially destroyed, many of the latter being rendered uninhabitable. In this way nearly 3,000 families were cast on the world homeless, and very often with the loss of their entire possessions. The majority of the victims were of the small farmer class in the country, and, of the shopkeeper and artisan class in the towns. These had little or no resources to fall back upon, and were it not for the aid of the charitable large numbers must have perished from cold or hunger”.

Summarising this data in regard to material damage and personal distress, the delegation reported that the material damage to Irish shop-buildings, factories, creameries, and private dwelling houses, inflicted by the British forces during the previous twelve months, amounted to approximately $20m. Without reductions in the cost of labour and materials they estimated the cost of replacing the buildings would be approximately $25m.

On arrival in Cork City the committee took the time to hear about the economic and fallout and the destitution created from the Burning of Cork event;

“In a city such as Cork it is difficult to estimate with accuracy the number of people who were directly involved in distress by this destruction, but it is safe to take the estimate given in the same report, that close upon 4,000 persons – men, women, and children – had to be relieved by reason of the loss of their employment. The ordinary charitable associations could not cope with the burden thus cast upon them, and the Irish White Cross had to undertake responsibility for their maintenance”.

Following the delegation’s report, over the ensuing 18 months £788,215 was sent to Ireland to be distributed through the Irish White Cross in Dublin and down to parish committees and in the Cork context to the city’s own Distress Committee. A total of £170, 398 was sent to Cork City to be distributed to those effected by the Irish War of Independence.

Caption:

1089a. Branding for Irish White Cross, 1922 (source: Report of the Irish White Cross to 31st August, 1922)

Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021 concludes with online Awards Ceremony


The conclusion of this school season’s Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project was recently marked by an online awards ceremony and presentation of winning projects. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part in the 2020-21 edition, which ranged from schools in Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock to Blarney and Glanmire, and from Ballyphehane to the Shandon area. Circa 1,000 students participated in the process this year with approx 200 project books submitted on all aspects of Cork’s local history & heritage. 

The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 18th 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 this year was even more apt this year as we all find ourselves within our localities much more. In particular, this year’s entries focussed on famous buildings of Cork City, historic walkways, public parks and many oral history projects. Again, this year students made fab models and short films on their topics. One could also see the family and friend involvement in projects. Technically with this project for every one student, there are another four people who have been consulted and who are consulted to help with projects. One could argue that over 4,000 people have some input into project books every year”.

“The Schools’ Heritage Project remains focussed 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. Ultimately the project focuses on motivating and inspiring young people through them working on a heritage project for several weeks and seeks to build a sense of place and identity amongst younger people”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

The Project is funded by Cork City Council with further sponsorship offered by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

 Full results are online on Cllr McCarthy’s local history website, www.corkheritage.ie. There is also a link there to the YouTube award ceremony. On the YouTube video Kieran, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, and Niamh Twomey, City Council Heritage Officer speak about the winning projects for this school season. 

Cllr McCarthy: Better Communication with Public Needed on Broadband Fibre Optic Cable Roll-Out Progress

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for the need for stronger communication to be given to the general public and public representatives on the extent and progress of the roll-out of fibre optic cable for broadband in neighbourhoods across Cork City.

This week representatives of broadband service providers attended an online meeting of Cork city councillors to give an update on the national broadband roll-out plan in Cork City.

Cllr McCarthy, who asked the Council executive to bring in the service providers for a special meeting noted; “I certainly welcome the ambition of the National Broadband Plan but every week, I’m getting emails from constituents asking for updates. With many people working from home, the demand for broadband is so high at present. I am getting emails that people are unable to log onto basic zoom calls or students who cannot take part effectively in online schooling. The areas they live in are not in far out rural areas but in the inner suburbs of Cork City. The old copper coil cable technology is not fit for purpose for the modern world.

“The roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is most welcome but the plan is just in year two of seven at the moment and its communication with local people needs to be improved immensely. I have had constituents who are so frustrated by the lack of communication of when their neighbourhood is due to be upgraded”.

“It also doesn’t help that service providers such as SIRO and EIR cannot speak to each other due to competition rules. So joining up the dots of communication and ramping up broadband to make sure Ireland’s second city has future proofed broadband, which can also drive regional development, is difficult”.

“I heard at the service providers online meeting this week that the roll out of fibre cable in the city centre is being stalled due to the need to dig up the streets and the complexities that go with that. And that it may not be looked at for several years. We may end up with efficient broadband in the suburbs and anyone who needs effective broadband in the city centre island not being able access fast and sustainable broadband. This is not good enough for a city of scale such as Cork. Better solutions for the city centre need to be fast-tracked”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

READ MORE: ‘People are unable to log onto basic Zoom calls’: Cork councillor bemoans quality of broadband (echolive.ie)

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 25 February 2021

1088a. View from Woodford Bourne street corner, Daunt’s Square, St Patrick’s Street, c.1910, from Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy and Dan Breen.
1088a. View from Woodford Bourne street corner, Daunt’s Square, St Patrick’s Street, c.1910, from Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy and Dan Breen.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 25 February 2021

Journeys to a Truce: Revenge in the City

By the last week of February 1921 revenge was the talk of Cork IRA Brigade No. 1 for their fallen comrades of the Dripsey Ambush and the Battle of Clonmult.  On Saturday evening, 26 February, a comrade of Michael O’Donoghue’s whispered to him, “Go to Confession to-night, Mick, and be ready for Monday near St. Augustine’s [Church]”.

In his witness statement for the Bureau of Military History (WS 1741), Michael recalls that the members of A Company, got the mobilisation order on that Monday afternoon, 28 February 1921. By 6.30pm, members had reported at the college tower, at UCC’s quadrangle and had been issued with small firearms and ammunition from the arms dump there. Their instructions were clear – to shoot down at sight, every enemy soldier and policeman in uniform on the streets of Cork City that evening.

Michael outlines that the particular area of operations allocated to ‘A’ Company, was St Patrick’s Street and the adjoining streets between South Mall and the Coal Quay. This was the most dangerous section of the City as it was ringed by a chain of police barracks barely 150 yards apart between the two river channels. On Cornmarket Street was the Bridewell police station and its detention cells, all of which were strongly garrisoned. On Tuckey Street corner, there was another large RIC barracks. These two barracks effectively dominated the approaches to St Patrick’s Street from the west. At its other extremity was the bottleneck of St Patrick’s Bridge. Michael recalls of the event:

“This then was the sector where our University Republican soldiers were to challenge the military might of the Crown Forces and exact bloody revenge for the execution by firing squad of the six Republican prisoners that same morning. Every man of ‘A’ Company who had a gun was in action that night. We operated in small groups of two or three. Zero hour was 7pm by Shandon Church clock. By 6.45pm, we had made our way unobtrusively to Patrick Street and begun to scout along quietly marking down our quarry”.

 Michael’s companion was Dan Barton, a fellow engineering student. They strolled casually up the south side of St Patrick’s Street. No policemen in uniform were anywhere to be seen in the whole section. Civilians, men and women, hurried by, each focused on some vital personal business.

At 6.53pm, Dan and Michael reached St Patrick’s Bridge, meeting Mick Crowley, Connie Lucey and “Nudge” Callanan, three of our lads who had come in from West Cork, where they were with Tom Barry’s Column, to share in the night’s desperate work.

            It was 6.57pm and almost dark when they saw a party of three khaki warriors with bandoliers ahead near Prince’s Street corner. With two minutes to go at least, they ran rapidly down to Oliver Plunkett Street and turned up Prince’s Street intending to get to the soldiers as they emerged on to St Patrick’s Street again. Seven o’clock struck as they swung into Prince’s Street. Michael describes the engagement.

“Loud and clear and ominous the strokes rang out. A few seconds tense silence and then desultory shots to the north. Then shooting seems to break out all over. Three soldiers came running from Patrick St. straight towards us, all scared by the nearby shooting. Our revolvers are drawn and I have the big Colt cocked. Fire! Within eight yards of us, two of the soldiers crash to the ground, the survivor stops, shrieks in panic, turns and flees back”.

Michael raced after him as the survivor ran in through an open shop door:

“I am almost at his heels. It is a fancy shop with a variety of musical goods. The soldier huddles, crying in a corner against the counter. Another shot and he slumps down. I turn on my heels quickly towards the door. I don’t even search the khaki body or glance at it. Then as I reach the door I hear a loud shriek of terror behind me. I look back and see the face of a terrified woman behind the counter. I do not know if she has witnessed the ghastly business, but I am now scared”.

Outside near the corner Dan awaits Michael. The two slain policemen lay motionless on the street. Shooting continued and seems to come from the streets all round. It was now quite dark and the streets are completely deserted. Both chose to escape outside of the ring of police barracks. Curfew time was approaching and it was only minutes until the streets were going to be filled with armoured cars and lorries and machine-guns.

As they emerged from St Patrick’s Street to cross to Castle Street a volley of revolver shots rang out and crash went a plate-glass shop window behind them. They were seen and fired at.  Two dark figures, Black and Tans evidently from Tuckey Street were firing at them from Singer’s Corner about fifty yards away. Crouching low by the van of Woodford Bourne’s. Michael fired three rounds at the two Tans to disconcert them.

Then together Michael and Dan rushed across the street to Castle Street corner. They made it safely and continued down Castle Street. Michael had but one round left in the Colt gun now.

Shooting could still be heard at intervals, now more heavily in the Sunday’s Well and Blarney Street direction. It was almost on curfew hour as they reached the Dyke Parade.  Dan agreed to smuggle Michael into the Honan Hostel where he stayed and to shelter him there for the night. As they reached O’Donovan’s Bridge opposite UCC after crossing over the Western Road. Michael ejected the five spent shells from the Colt end dropped them in the River Lee.

Caption:

1088a. View from Woodford Bourne street corner, Daunt’s Square, St Patrick’s Street, c.1910, from Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy and Dan Breen.

1088b. UCC quadrangle tower, A Company’s arms dump, 1920-21 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

1088b. UCC quadrangle tower, A Company's arms dump, 1920-21 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).
1088b. UCC quadrangle tower, A Company’s arms dump, 1920-21 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Ward Watch – Greenway construction to begin on 22 February on Marina to Mahon Point section of the Old Railway Line:

Press Release:

“Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the beginning of the phase 1 of the Passage Railway Greenway Improvement Scheme on next Monday 22 February. Great credit is due to officials in City Hall of the Infrastructure section; there is great momentum at the moment between drafting plans, gaining the input of the public, amending plans where needs be, and presenting them to the National Transport Authority for funding. There is a deep affection for the old railway line walk and in these COVID times is used regularly by locals”.

“The widening of the footpath is to be welcomed and one which locals have called for. I am personally excited that the old Blackrock Station platform is to get conservation works. It is in a poor state and it would be a shame to lose the platform completely due to neglect. I am also excited by the planting of 60 semi mature trees and over 2,000 saplings along the phase 1 from the Mahon Point to The Marina. It is also welcome that the greenway will be kept open to the greatest possible extent throughout the works”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

READ MORE: Extensive improvements in the pipeline for Passage Greenway (echolive.ie)

The History & Rehabilitation of Daly’s (Shakey) Bridge, Cork City, 19 February 2021

Press Release by Engineer’s Ireland, Cork:

This presentation outlines the history and recent refurbishment of the iconic ‘Shakey’ Bridge which was originally built under the stewardship of the City Engineer, SW Farrington, who was also the first Chair of the Cork Region of Engineers Ireland. Kieran McCarthy, an Independent Councillor in Cork City and a noted local historian with an avid interest in the architectural and industrial heritage of his native city outlines social and economic context of the original construction which opened in 1927 to replace an earlier ferry crossing at the same location. The bridge remains the only suspension bridge in Cork City and is the only surviving bridge of its type in Ireland.

Michael Minehane, Chartered Engineer and Principal Engineer at RPS details the recent rehabilitation of the bridge which re-opened in December 2020, including the special inspection and structural assessment, site investigations and material testing, rehabilitation works, the approach to conservation, structural dynamics and aspects of design and construction.

VIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j52poh2ZfSA&feature=youtu.be