Category Archives: Ward Events

The Blessing of a Candle

The Blessing of a Candle

Cllr Kieran McCarthy

Sturdy on a table top and lit by youngest fair,
a candle is blessed with hope and love, and much festive cheer,
Set in a wooden centre piece galore,
it speaks in Christian mercy and a distant past of emotional lore,
With each commencing second, memories come and go,
like flickering lights on the nearest Christmas tree all lit in traditional glow,
With each passing minute, the flame bounces side to side in drafty household breeze,
its light conjuring feelings of peace and warmth amidst familiar blissful degrees,
With each lapsing hour, the residue of wax visibly melts away,
whilst the light blue centered heart is laced with a spiritual healing at play,
With each ending day, how lucky are those who love and laugh around its glow-filledness,
whilst outside, the cold beats against the nearest window in the bleak winter barreness,
Fear and nightmare drift away in the emulating light,
both threaten this season in almighty wintry flight,
Sturdy on a table top and lit by youngest fair,
a candle is blessed with hope and love, and much festive cheer.

Kieran's Christmas Candle

Douglas Library to Pop-Up at Douglas Community Centre, November-December 2019

    Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the news this week that the Douglas Pop-Up Library has begun at Douglas Community Centre, three times-a-week. Douglas Library will pop-up on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Douglas Community Centre from Thursday 07 November to Saturday 21 December. The part-time opening hours will be Thursday will be 2.30 pm-7.30 pm, Friday 10am-1pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. Douglas Library Service has noted: “Come along and choose from our specially selected collection of brand new books for all ages, or read your favourite newspaper or magazine. Special events and activities for children; keep an eye on our website and social media pages for details as they are announced”.

    Director of Services Adrienne Rogers has also highlighted that the City Council is also making progress in restoring a full library service in Douglas on an interim basis. This would be in a smaller location than the Library damaged by the fire, but would be on the basis of a 5-day, 40 hours per week service.  It is expected that there would be some refurbishment to be carried out to enable this interim solution, and Council Officials are urgently progressing this matter. Refurbishment is likely to take a number of months, and more detailed information will be provided to councillors in the near future.

   As Douglas Library was a lending facility, like other local libraries, one third approximately of the stock was in circulation outside of the premises at the time of the fire, and this stock will be available to initiate the resumption of service in Douglas.  The Council is in discussions with the relevant government department to secure funding for additional stock, and is hopeful of a positive outcome.

    Cllr McCarthy noted; “Douglas Library is a cultural focal point in the village and has a high membership with adults and in particular younger people using it. It also hosted a large number of weekly community events, which attracted a lot of interested local people. It is imperative that the permanent library is got up and running again. I am also very happy that Douglas Community Centre is a partner in the pop-up-library as they themselves provide amazing community services locally.

“There are also moves afoot to make provision for local organisations who wish to help with collections of donations of books for the new full Douglas library to be restored sometime during 2020. More information on this donation mechanism is to come forward to the public very shortly”, noted Cllr McCarthy.

Cllr McCarthy: Moves afoot to Re-open Douglas Library


    Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has highlighted that re-opening Douglas Library is a must in the short term for Douglas Village. At the recent Culture, Community and Place-making Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) of Cork City Council Cllr McCarthy noted; “Douglas Library is a focal point in the village and has a high membership with adults and in particular younger people using it. It also hosted a large number of weekly community events, which attracted a lot of interested local people”.

   Cork City Council officials fear the damage caused to Douglas library following the recent shopping centre fire is worse than first imagined, with over 40,000 books and other items covered in soot from the blaze. The local authority is working on creating a replacement service for the library, but staff do not yet know the amount of the damage to computers and other electronic equipment in the library.

   Cllr McCarthy noted: “Information given to me at the recent SPC and to those present noted that currently a cost analysis is being done to see what books can be saved and cleaned and what books need to be destroyed. The Library Service is also seeking advice from the Department of Local Government and sought an urgent meeting to see what rescue funding mechanisms are available”.

   Mr Liam Ronayne, City Librarian, has articulated that the library’s position on the first floor of the Douglas Village Shopping Centre put it in close vicinity to where the blaze commenced on 31 August, meaning the facility has also suffered damage from the thousands of litres of water poured into the car park to extinguish the fire. The contents of many books are covered in a film of soot throughout the Library, worse in the northern side of the building nearer the car park. All of the stock, over 40,000 items, has been covered in soot, both along the edges and inside the individual books. Unfortunately, the delay in getting access meant that it is going to be more problematic to try and alleviate the situation.

   Fortunately, Mr Ronayne has said there are no items of high value in Douglas Library, and that all stock was for borrowing by local patrons meaning there are no irreplaceable books there. The Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty has given a commitment to have a replacement service as soon as is physically possible.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 12 September 2019

1014a. Project page on the local history of St Patrick’s Bridge from Our Lady of the Lourdes NS student 2018.



Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 12 September 2019

Launch of Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2019-20


   The advent of the new school year coincides with the seventeenth year of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. Brochures have been sent to all Cork City schools including the schools within the newly extended city areas. Launched again for the 2019/20 school term, the Project is open to schools in Cork City at primary level to the pupils of fourth, fifth and sixth class and at post-primary from first to sixth years. There are two sub categories within the post primary section, Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. The project is free to enter. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or a part of a class entry. The County edition unfortunately has been discontinued temporarily.

   Co-ordinated by myself, one of the key aims of the Project is to encourage students to explore, investigate and debate their local heritage (built, archaeological, cultural and natural) in a constructive, active and fun way. Projects on any aspect of Cork’s rich heritage can be submitted to an adjudication panel. Prizes are awarded for best projects and certificates are given to each participant. A cross-section of projects submitted from the last school season can be gleamed from this link on my website, where there are other resources, former titles and winners and entry information as well.

    Students produce a project on their local area using primary and secondary sources. Each participating student within their class receives a visit and free workshop in October 2019. The workshop comprises a guide to how to put a project together. Project material must be gathered in an A4/ A3 size Project book. The project may be as large as the student wishes but minimum 20 pages (text + pictures + sketches). Projects must also meet five elements. Projects must be colourful, creative, have personal opinion, imagination and gain publicity before submission. These elements form the basis of a student friendly narrative analysis approach where the student explores their project topic in an interactive and task-oriented way. In particular, students are encouraged to attain material through visiting local libraries, engaging with fieldwork, interviews with local people, making models, photographing, cartoon creating, making DVDs of their area. Re-enacting can also be a feature of several projects.

   For over seventeen years, the project has evolved in exploring how students pursue local history and how to make it relevant in society. The project attempts to provide the student with a hands-on and interactive activity that is all about learning not only about heritage in your local area (in all its forms) but also about the process of learning by participating students. The project is about thinking about, understanding, appreciating and making relevant in today’s society the role of our heritage, our landmarks, our oral histories, our environment in our modern world for upcoming citizens. So, the project is about splicing together activity on issues of local history and heritage such as thinking, exploring, observing, discovering, researching, uncovering, revealing, interpreting and resolving. This year as well there is a focus on the theme, The Past and its Legacy, which ties into the centenary commemoration of the Irish War of Independence in Cork.

    The importance of doing a project in local history is reflected in the educational aims of the history curricula of primary and post-primary schools. Local heritage is a tool, which helps the student to become familiar with their local environment and to learn the value of it in their lives. Learning to appreciate the elements of a locality, can also give students a sense of place in their locality or a sense of identity. Hence the Project can also become a youth forum for students to do research and offer their opinions on important decisions being made on their heritage in their locality and how they affect the lives of people locally.  I know a number of students who have been involved in the project in schools over the years who have took their interest further and have gone on to become professional tour guides, and into other related college work.

   The project is open to many directions of delivery. Students are encouraged to engage with their topic in order to make sense of it, understand and work with it. Students continue to experiment with the overall design and plan of their work. For example, and in general, students who have entered before might engage with the attaining of primary information through oral histories. The methodologies that the students create provide interesting ways to approach the study of local heritage. Students are asked to choose one of two extra methods (apart from a booklet) to represent their work. The first option is making a model whilst the second option is making a short film. It is great to see students using modern up todate technology to present their findings. This works in broadening their view of approaching their project.

    This project in the City is free to enter and is kindly funded by Cork City Council (viz the help of Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer) Prizes are also provided by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Lee Road, Learnit Lego Education, and Sean Kelly of Lucky Meadows Equestrian Centre, Watergrasshill ( Overall, the Schools’ Heritage Project for the last sixteen years has attempted to build a new concerned generation of Cork people, pushing them forward, growing their self-development empowering them to connect to their world and their local heritage. Spread the word please with local schools. Details can be found on my website,


1014a. Project page on the local history of St Patrick’s Bridge from Our Lady of the Lourdes NS student 2019.

1014b. Model on the Shaky Bridge from Our Lady of the Lourdes NS student 2019.

1014b. Model on the Shaky Bridge from Our Lady of the Lourdes NS student 2018.

Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2020 Launched for New School Term

   The Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project is entering its seventeenth year and is open to all schools in Cork City. The new areas of the City are especially welcome (including Douglas, Rochestown and Frankfield and beyond). The project encourages students to compile a project on any aspect of Cork history. It is about exploring and investigating local heritage in a constructive, active and fun way. Interested students can pick any topic on Cork’s local history to research and can participate as individuals, groups or as a class. Students produce a project using primary material such as fieldwork, interviews, making models and short films of their area.

Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. The theme for this year’s project is “The Past and its Legacy”.

FREE and important project support in the form of funded workshops led by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in participating schools will be held in October 2019. This is an hour workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.

FREE Workshop support is also available to schools who have never entered before and wish to have a workshop to see how the project works.

   The fourth-class level is open to fourth class students. The primary senior level is open to students of fifth and sixth class. Post primary entrant/s will be placed in Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate levels. The post primary level is open to any year from first to sixth year. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or as part of a class project.

  Co-ordinator and founder of the Schools’ Heritage Project, Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted that “The project is about thinking through, understanding, appreciating and making relevant in today’s society the role of our local heritage – our local history, our oral histories, our landmarks in our modern world for upcoming citizens. The annual workshops involve visiting circa 20 schools in Cork City with hours of workshops given overall to over 800 students. The workshops comprise showing students projects from previous years and providing a framework to work to and to encourage colour and creativity”.

   The City Edition of the Project is funded by Cork City Council. It is also sponsored by the Old Waterworks Experience, Lee Road, Learnit Lego Education, Sean Kelly of Lucky Meadows Equestrian Centre, Watergrasshill and Cllr Kieran McCarthy. Application forms to express interest and participation have been sent to all principals and history teachers in Cork. Unfortunately, due to back surgery for Kieran last year, the County Cork edition of the project has been discontinued. Contact Kieran at for details or log onto Kieran’s heritage website under the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project section to learn more and download the brochure.