Category Archives: Improve Your Life

Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy Goes Poster Free, 11 May 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kieran’s Lord Mayor’s Column, The Echo, 2 March 2024

Celebrating Inclusion, Collaboration and Creativity:

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a civic reception in City Hall for Cork Community Art Link who are celebrating their 30th year of operation.

My first message on the reception evening was that it is truly inspirational that what started as a FAS Community Employment Scheme back in 1993 has evolved and developed over 30 years to become one of the most successful and admired community arts organisations in the country and complete with its own pioneering and persevering adventures so to speak. Their story places an enormous value on the societal, cultural and economic impact of inclusive collaborative creativity within the arts.

The early work of the group focused on hospital arts with key projects developed in psychiatric hospitals in Cork and a long term 10-year programme in Our Lady’s Hospital Cork, which was widely considered as Ireland’s first long term and pioneering hospital arts programme. 

The Dragon of Shandon certainly warrants a special mention.  The Parade, which is a celebration of Samhain (Halloween), is now well established as Cork’s own and each year thousands take to the streets of Shandon to walk with the Dragon – a 36-foot Dragon made by the hands of the Cork citizens.

Dragon of Shandon, 31 October 2023

In addition, the Igloo project, back in 2009, was delivered in partnership with St Mary’s Road Library, Shandon to celebrate the exploits of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean. Northside schools participated in workshops to create an igloo structure made out of more than 2,000 recycled plastic milk containers collected by children. This speaks to Art Link’s ambition to value that communities and individuals are empowered through creative exploratory collaboration.

Commitment and Passion:

Ron Melling Head of Adult Education at Crawford School of Art was the original driving force behind Cork Community Art Link back in 1993. Then in 1998, William Frode de la Foret was appointed Artistic Director and has been instrumental in growing and evolving the organisation. Cork Community Art Link is the organisation it is today because of the commitment of individuals who followed their passions.

The range of projects Cork Community Art Link is involved in now is immense and impressive. It includes work with libraries, youth clubs, disability organisations, accommodation centres and family resource centres. 

Cork Community Art link’s story has been peppered with ups and downs. In otherwords it has not always been a smooth path – there has been frustrations, battleships, dead ends. However, turning those aspects on their head and reflecting on the past thirty years – at the heart of the story of Cork Community Art Link is one of resilience, perseverance, and a belief in the power of the community arts, and empowerment of communities.

My sincere thanks to the staff team, the volunteers, the artists, the participants, and supporters who have taken us all on the adventure over the past thirty years and helped shape the organisation they are today.

Impact and Depth:

My second message on the reception evening was about mining down further into Cork Community Art Link’s story and the actual impact the range and depth of projects that they have been involved in over the years, how Art Link has worked with thousands of people, and hundreds of community, voluntary and statutory agencies in partnership across Cork City.

Deep in the Cork Community Art Link story is the story of thousands of people who have been empowered by their participation in their projects and bringing spectators to their projects. Very much at the heart of their story is one of bringing people together. It is embedded in their story. In a world where there are vast pressures to divide people Cork Community Art Link brings people together in a very tangible and cohesive way.

Culture and community participation has various meanings to people and Cork Community Art Link have through pure listening and engagement with people carved an impressive suite of methodologies to empower people.

Personal and People Orientated:

In essence, Cork Community Art Link motivates people. It moves people forward. Their projects help people develop in personal ways. Their projects create a focus for people, an understanding of sorts for people. Their projects inspire and their projects encourage. Their projects enable people and build tolerance. Their projects breed ideas amongst people, which breed even more ideas amongst people.

Their projects construct democracy and build active citizenship. Their projects build a sense of belonging. When their story is fully chronicled in the years to come, there will be multiple chapters on the how and what works for the empowerment of citizens and belonging.

Respect for the Dragon:

I have long been an admirer of the Dragon of Shandon with its multitude of participants and spectators. For years I have photographed its presence on the streets of Cork and admired how it subtlety gets under the skin of the city.

For all intents and purposes, it might as well be a real dragon – such is the respect for the artwork, the yearning by the crowd to view it – the almost standing back by the crowd, the almost bowing by the crowd as they stand back, as the dragon winds its way through Shandon and into the old historic core of North Main Street, Castle Street and the Coal Quay.

The sense of wonder and awe, cheering and shouting, and that sense of pride imbued on it by the people of Cork, you cannot buy that in one year or ten years, it is the result of many years of hard work and collaboration.

I had the deep honour of being part of the parade this year and I must add one of my lifelong goals. It will become one of my core highlights of my mayoralty.

It is only when one goes behind the scenes of organisation, from their headquarters in the old Lido cinema in the months leading up to the parade to the evening of the parade within the rooms of the North Cathedral and the Firkin Crane that one can see the multitude of moving parts, the element that everybody’s story is important to the mosaic that is the Parade – from volunteers to the stewards to the costume people, to the make-up artists to the float pushers, the dancers, the actors, the multi-cultural element, the crowd control to the vison of the spectacle itself, and much more.

A Great Lighthouse:

In fact, with their open-door policy and willingness to explore all art forms, I doubt there is an organisation in the City that has not benefitted from working with Art Link. Ultimately when you think deeply about the Dragon of Shandon or any other Cork Community Art Link project it is created by the people of Cork for the people of Cork. In a world where aspects such as togetherness is threatened, Cork Community Art Link stands as a great lighthouse where people flock to find shelter and to be inspired and much much more.

Kieran’s Lord Mayor’s Echo Column, 17 February 2023

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a civic reception in City Hall for Cork City FC who are celebrating their fortieth birthday this week. It is appropriate that the first event to mark the club’s birthday was held in City Hall, as, in the words of the founding Chairman, Jim Hennebry, “Cork City FC was conceived in the Cork Lord Mayor’s office”. The idea was mooted by the late Hugh Coveney (RIP) with Joe Delaney (RIP) FAI and Pat O’Brien, President of FAI (RIP).  Officially the Club was born in Bundoran at the League of Ireland AGM in July 1984.

For the People of Cork:

On 25 September 1984, the Cork Examiner published a write-up of an address of Jim Hennebry to the Cork Rotary Club luncheon on the vision of the club. He noted that Cork City AFC belongs to the people of Cork rather than to the group of individuals who formed the club. Jim further praised the efforts of the individuals who took up the challenge of getting a team into the League of Ireland in serious recessionary times.

Jim highlighted that much of the club’s income is derived from contributions from the private and commercial sectors in Cork business life, and he felt that sponsorship has a major role to play in the future of the game here;

“There is an urgent need for commercial involvement in the club, and having a team in the League of Ireland can only benefit Cork City as a whole. It is important that a city the size of Cork should have a recognised League team. With the support and backing of the people of Cork the team will continue to prosper. A successful team will have great effect would have on the city in terms of community spirit, and the commercial life of the city…The people behind Cork City soccer team hope to bring back top class football to the city, and hopefully it will not be too long before the League championship, or the FAI Cup are back on Leeside”.

From 1984 onwards, a boldness to put football in Cork and Cork itself on the map grew. The connections grew and the ambitions grew. Partnerships, friendships and followers grew.

Unrivalled Longevity:

Whilst many great clubs have been celebrated on Leeside over the years, such as the great Cork United, Cork Athletic, Cork Celtic and Cork Hibernians, the longevity of Cork City FC is unrivalled.

Much credit for the club’s longevity must go to FORAS, who stepped in to ensure the continuation of Cork City FC ahead of the 2010 season. Ten years ago, when the club celebrated its 30th anniversary, it became the first League of Ireland club from the city to do so, so to reach 40 years is yet another precious milestone.

Over the 40 years, the club has enjoyed some great days – the first national trophy, the League Cup, in the 1987-88 season, a first league title in the 1992-93 season and, finally, the first FAI Cup in the 1997-98 season.

The club has won the Premier Division title twice more, in 2005 and again in 2017, when City then lifted the FAI Cup as well to become the first Cork club to win a double since Cork Athletic in the 50’s.

As well as the national stage, the club has proudly represented our City, County and Country on the international stage in European competition for over 30 years. Beginning with a defeat against Torpedo Moscow in 1989, the club has memories such as the famous draw with Bayern Munich, defeating former European Cup finalists Malmo FF and Dutch side NEC Nijmegen in 2004 and Europa League runs in 2016 and 2017.

A Social and Cultural Asset:

Cork City FC is a really important social and cultural asset to the city and region of Cork. It matters in our city and region and how it adds significantly the essence of building community values in Cork and grassroots sports initiatives in Cork – the tangible and intangible benefits.

One does not have to look far to see how Cork City FC is rooted in the life of the city and how proud the city is of it, and how it represents the many legacies of football clubs going back over 100 years.

Indeed one just has to go to any match to see the sense of pride, ownership and love for Cork City FC amongst players, management and the supporters who chant, laugh, cry and shout more and then even chant, laugh, cry and shout more Cork City FC on.

That essence of pride is hard to physically replicate. There are individuals who have spent decades every week supporting the team and there are parents or guardians who proudly bring the next generation on in all kinds of weather, and they wouldn’t miss it for anything. There are incredible special moments of human connection are bound up with Cork City FC.

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

It is a testament to the impact and reach of the club in the city that so many friends and supporters joined the 40th birthday celebrations in City Hall. You can also see this reach clearly in the range of Cork City FC provides an enormous ripple effect across different layers of Cork City FC from the physical street corner green all the way up to the professional side of the teams – as well as the senior men’s team, there are seven academy teams (boys and girls), an amputee team and a senior women’s team.

As well as their loyal fans, I know the club is very fortunate to have the support of many great sponsors, without whom the club would simply not be able to function.   Zeus Packaging are in their second year as the club’s main sponsor, while the club is also fortunate to count University College Cork, the Mardyke Arena, SONAS Bathrooms, EZ Living, Everseen and Audivox among their key sponsors.

How lucky is our city to have a club with such memories and cultural and sporting heritage and which promotes community values and togetherness. Happy 40th birthday Cork City FC!

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 8 February 2023

1239a. Messrs Hill & Son's Corporation of Cork's Wycherley Housing Scheme, May 1922 (source: Cork Examiner City Hall Drawings).
1239a. Messrs Hill & Son’s Corporation of Cork’s Wycherley Housing Scheme, May 1922 (source: Cork Examiner City Hall Drawings).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 8 February 2024

Making an Irish Free State City – The Wycherley Housing Scheme

Lying just off Cork’s College Road lies Wycherley Terrace, such housing was constructed spanning from the spring of 1920 to the spring of 1924. The project completion was a slow one bound up with the War of Independence, Civil War, changeover of governments, building delays, rising costs and several debates on who the houses should be allocated to.

It was on 24 January 1924, Cork Corporation’s first of their 1920s housing projects came to fruition. The Wycherely suite of 76 houses were up for allocation of tenancies. The applications received was recorded numbering 850.

At a full Council meeting in late January 1924, Alderman Edmond Coughlan explained that the Working Class Dwellings Committee estimate contained a figure of £1,400 interest. Ground rent was due not just on the Wycherley site but on site at Fahy’s Well and the Cattle Market site as well. The Council needed to expediate the allocation of housing to bring some income so debts could be paid.

Cllr James Allen noted that the Council should give consideration to the people living in smaller Corporation dwellings who had large families and who had from £5 to £10 a week coming into them. People who could not pay the rent for the Wycherley houses could then be given the smaller Corporation houses. He suggested that a committee be formed to investigate all the claims and select the most deserving cases. Cllr Barry Egan also suggested that the whole Council should work with such a committee and a report submitted to a full meeting of Council. Cllr John Horgan wished for a committee to group and classify the applications, and also cut out the bogus ones. Then if the total number was still too high he suggested having a ballot.

However, the Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr William Ellis said he did not believe in putting the burden of going through 850 applications on five or six men. He pushed that the members from each ward should select the most deserving. Sir John Scott agreed and said that members for each ward should investigate the cases with a view towards finding the most deserving. Then he suggested that if the number was above the number of houses, the fairest way would be to put all the names into a hat and draw names out.

As the members of the full Council were split on which direction to pursue they voted on it, and the adoption of a committee to choose names came through as the way forward.

The pressure for allocations continued. A letter appearing in the Cork Examiner on 1 February 1924 was signed “A Faithful Mother”. It was penned by the wife of a British soldier who she describes “lost his senses through suffering in the Great War”. She noted she made an application three years previously but her case was not been considered and critiqued the preferential treatment some members of the public were getting; “I know everyone must live; but is that justice? I would like also to mention – there is no sanitary accommodation in the houses where I am living. I have three children, and I am very much upset owing to my situation in rooms. People might think anything is good enough for a ex-serviceman’s wife; but they are greatly mistaken. I have like very much to have my children have the best of comfort as regards a home. Hoping the Corporation will do what’s in their power for me”.

By 21 March 1924, the Council had reversed their decision due to public pressure. The houses were allocated to the different wards as follows: 10 large and 12 small houses each to the south and north west wards, 9 large and 11 small houses to the centre ward and 5 large and 7 houses to the north east ward. The matter was then referred to the meetings of ward representatives, who would allocate the houses to the approved applicants.

On the same week, a meeting of the housing committee met to mull over reports of dampness affecting the brickwork of the Wycherley housing. The architects, W H Hill & Son, reported that they had visited the site and an examination was made of the various houses affected with damp chimney breasts. They noted that only a comparative small patch of damp shows in the chimney breasts of the houses affected. They were of the opinion that all brick shafts should be coated with cement and pudlo or other suitable weather proof material.

The examination by the builders Messrs Wild and Co. and Youghal Brick Company were also heard. They detailed that the dampness was not of an aggravated kind and that of a pervading character; “A shadow of dampness shows chiefly in the chimney breasts on the upper floors of some of the houses. It is not widespread throughout each house, nor through the whole site of houses. It is confined only to one room in an odd house here and there on the site. Furthermore, it is restricted to one wall, and only to a small area of that wall. It shows itself in the chimney breasts where the outside shafts have a large surface exposed to the prevailing winds and rains”. Messrs Wild and Company suggested that the brickwork in the shafts be treated with a waterproofing material.

The question of treatment of the brick shafts were left in the hands of the City Engineer Joseph F Delaney and the architects Messrs Hill & Co. It was also agreed to, subject to the approval of the City Engineer, the immediate taking over of the Wycherley site housing.


1239a. Messrs Hill & Son’s Corporation of Cork’s Wycherley Housing Scheme, May 1922 (source: Cork Examiner City Hall Drawings).