Category Archives: Enterprise

European Opportunity for Elizabeth Fort

Cllr McCarthy: Crowd Control or Missed Opportunity

   Arising from the review of limiting tourists numbers at the English Market, Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has acknowledged the lesser numbers freeing up trade in the English Market but again makes the point of the opportunity to tell the story of Gastronomy in Cork City and Region; “there is a clear interest in the history of the market and in the food itself; there is a huge opportunity for the region to promote these stories. The English Market is a thriving food venue but some other venue should be developed close by to tell the story of the market viz-a-vis a small food museum and an opportunity to buy English Market hampers of food. The English Market INC can be more than just a market. There is an opportunity to push more of an international story. We can do more to push and showcase Failte Ireland’s food trails of Cork”.

“There are international gastronomy trails in several countries across the world and even college courses in colleges such as CIT which aim to reveal people and key influences in the historical development of regional gastronomy, and the evolution and social, cultural and economic influences of contemporary Irish cuisine and Irish culinary arts”.

“Apart from the physical market, we should also be championing its heritage and legacy in our city and region more in the form of a food centre or on a digital hub; at the moment in time, this is a missed opportunity”.

Cork: Towards an Atlantic Maritime Hub of Innovation

Speech given to Jim MacKinnon, City-County Expansion/ Merger advisory group under Jim MacKinnon,

February 2017

Cork: Towards an Atlantic Maritime Hub of Innovation
Cllr Kieran McCarthy

Mr MacKinnon you are very welcome to this chamber – it’s great to meet another geographer – where you took the planning route in Scotland, I took the cultural geography route to explore memory, narrative making and identity within case studies within this city – attempting to champion its history, heritage and its ambition. Both the planning and cultural are important branches of geography and embody principles of exploring space and place and the concept that place matters. We need to pursue sustainable place making and not only as elements of economic efficiency – we need to create places as part of society, integrated into society, and with a strong narrative, great story and persistent identity structure such as Cork possesses.

For the past two years, I have been fortunate to be an Irish member of the EU Committee of the Regions and am fortunate to have colleagues from Edinburgh and Glasgow and as far as Lerwick on the Shetland Islands. I have always appreciated the Scottish appreciation of the idea of place matters especially those which are marginalised and geographically disconnected from the heart of macro decision making. Indeed, there is much Scotland and Ireland have in common in cultural but also in believing in the power of place.

Being on the COR I am also a member of the Europe 2020 Strategic Monitoring Committee and Territorial Cohesion and EU Budget committee, both of which look at European Spatial planning frameworks and challenges within them. So, I get to regularly read, explore and critique policy and macro pictures and case studies of the importance of second tier cities such as Cork – and how to survive they need to tweak, brand and reposition themselves strategically in a very competitive European and global market of commerce. One gets to see that it is not a time for second tier cities to stay still or be diluted but an exciting time to explore their assets and to scale-up. I make this statement not only being involved in the European Capital of Innovation alumni project but also in the light of Cork City and the need not be diluted or scale down but the need to scale up. We need to reposition and capture its energy and expertise not only as a strategic gateway in the south of Ireland but also as a key hub in maritime north-west Europe.

Small Cities and Opportunities:

Cities, large and small, in the European Union are now more than ever before focussed on the idea they are becoming the representatives of member states.

Cities are the powerhouses of economic growth, innovation and employment opportunities.

Cities are the living environment for 72% of all Europeans. This percentage is expected to rise to 80% by 2050. The developments in the cities are increasingly indicative for the quality of human life.

Cities are facing ever greater social challenges in respect of the environment, transport and social cohesion. The Urban Agenda for the EU aims to address those challenges.

Cities ever before are seen as the glue that keep the EU together – regions alone cannot function without a central ambitious heart driving them.

Vast sums of structural funds are now being invested in cities and the public interest – to address poverty, housing, innovation, waste management, climate change measures and urban mobility.

Much of Cork City’s key infrastructure the last twenty years has been, for a large part, been funded by the EU – our new streetscapes, waste management, transport mobility, mechanisms and our larger public parks and amenities. We secure funds because we are an ambitious and strategic city with a vision for its future within a bigger picture – the city’s DNA is rooted in vision in its historical development in its past.

In the macro picture, cities are seen as stronger mechanisms that have population capacity, which can create better funding models. With cross-sectoral financial instruments, they can simplify use of funds, and combine funds to more possibilities – the larger the city the more funding it attracts.

Indeed, in the bigger picture towns in surrounding regions are seen as satellite hubs for developments of cities.
More and more collaboration is happening.

City-smart EU policies are sensitive to the needs of our urban areas, will enable and empower cities to deliver results that benefit all.
Well-performing cities benefit their surrounding areas, driving growth & innovation in our regions as well as Europe’s overall competitiveness.

This is apparent in projects such as Eurocities.

The eminent Eurocites project of 130 European cities marks that 3 out of 4 people in Europe live in urban areas.

Cities are drivers of Europe’s economy, frontline managers of social inclusion and key players in climate action – check out Cork City’s work on lifelong learning and the promotion of social inclusion. Cities are the key to Europe’s objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – that if we don’t get it right in our cities, we won’t get it right at all.

Last November, Cork was able to host an international entrepreneurial network and win kudos at international level for it.

At this moment in time, a city must have a population of 250,000 to be a member and to become a key player within urban strategy – so Cork City is behind.

A Time to Scale Up:

Cork City has the opportunity to scale up and become an Atlantic Maritime Hub of strategic planning in areas such as enterprise innovation and education and skill building; that is the crossroads that Cork has the potential not only to scale up from Ireland’s southern capital – the opportunities for Cork City is to capitalise on historic good will and enhance its reputation as Europe’s oldest and leading port city, which has ideas and can compete with the best of them.

This ambition is clear as well in the smaller Atlantic Area European projects, we are currently pursuing under the guidance of our EU funding co-ordinator:

Atlantic Social Hub- Atlantic cooperation for the promotion of social innovation  (S.O. 1.1. Enhancing innovation capacity through corporation to foster Competitiveness), Ayuntamiento de Aviles

Atlantic Food Export-Business Cooperation to Increase Atlantic Food Products Exports Innovation  (S.O.1.2 Strengthening the transfer of innovation results to facilitate the emergence of new products, services and processes), Chamber of Agriculture of Dordogne

A4RES – Atlantic Area for renewable energies and energy storage systems, Fostering resource efficiency  (S.O. 2.1: Fostering Renewable Energies & Energy Efficiency)

AREAM – Agência Regional da Energia e Ambiente da Região Autónoma da Madeira

MMIAH – Recovery and valorization of maritime, military and industrial heritage of the aa coast, Biodiversity, Natural & Cultural Assets, (S.O. 4.2 Enhancing natural and cultural assets to stimulate economic development), Ayuntamiento de Ferrol

ODYSSEA ECO MOVEA – Ecomobility and Green Growth model based on eco-innovation triple helix, Resource Efficiency  (S.O. 2.2 Fostering green growth, eco-innovation and environmental efficiency), Public Ports Agency of Andalucia

Energy Bank – Energy bank: an efficient tool of alleviating energy poverty Resource Efficiency (S.O. 2.1: Fostering Renewable Energies & Energy Efficiency), Andalucian Institute of Technology

ADSA – Atlantic Digital Start Up Academy Innovation,  (Specific Objective 1.1 Enhancing innovation capacity through corporation to foster competitiveness), Technopôle Brest-Iroise


The potential for this city is enormous. It has the potential to be a really important player in the development of this country but also a trusted player in the Atlantic Region of the European Union. Such ambition should not be thrown onto the fire of efficiency but should be allowed grow with the proper and most effective framework in place.

Many thanks for coming here this afternoon.


McCarthy’s Ward Funds 2017

   Cllr Kieran McCarthy is calling on any community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City, which includes areas such as Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock, Mahon and South and Front Douglas Roads, with an interest in sharing in his 2017 ward funding to apply for his funds. A total of E.8,000 is available to community groups through Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s ward funds. Application should be made via letter (see for address) or email to Kieran at by Friday 10 February 2017. This email should give the name of the organisation, contact name, telephone number, details of the organisation, and what will the ward grant will be used for?

  Ward funds will be prioritised to community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City who build community capacity, educate, build civic awareness and projects, which connect the young and old. Cllr McCarthy especially welcomes proposals where the funding will be used to run a community event that benefits the wider community. In addition, he is seeking to fund projects that give people new skill sets. That could include anything from part funding of coaching training for sports projects to groups interested in bringing enterprise programmes to encourage entrepreneurship to the ward.

   Cllr McCarthy is also particularly interested in funding community projects such as community concerts, coffee mornings and those that promote the rich history and environment within the south east ward. More guidelines can be viewed under ward funds at his blog at

Cork to host International Conference on Learning Cities, 2017

Cork City Council, Press Release



  Cork has been chosen by UNESCO as the location to host its International Conference on Learning Cities in 2017 – the first time this prestigious conference has been held in Europe.  Securing the conference for Cork will further enhance Ireland’s reputation internationally in the field of education and also strengthens Cork’s reputation as a Learning City. 

    The conference will bring approximately 700 delegates from over 95 countries to Cork (including Ministers, mayors, representatives of national governments and cities and other key international decision-makers and influencers) to share knowledge and experiences in building inclusive and sustainable learning cities.  The reputational benefits to Ireland of hosting the UNESCO conference will not only support efforts to recruit international students, but can also help attract and retain the skilled workers needed to support continued economic growth. 

   Cork’s reputation as a city of lifelong learning is given international recognition in hosting this global event. Securing the conference was a competitive process, and key determining factors in Cork’s winning bid were its long standing record in developing education within the wider community and the success of its annual Lifelong Learning Festival.

 Cork’s hosting of the UNESCO Conference will have many long-term positive benefits for both the Cork region and for Ireland and will help to establish it internationally as a place of learning excellence.

   The news was also welcomed by representatives of Cork’s learning institutions:

  Ted Owens, Chief Executive of the Cork Education & Training Board said: “Cork ETB’s core business coincides with the learning city agenda in many ways, in particular in tackling educational disadvantage and enabling all citizens to engage in learning activities.   We welcome the opportunity to work together on the organisation of the conference and will strive to do everything to ensure its success”.

 Registrar and Vice President of Cork Institute of Technology, Dr Barry O’Connor said:

 “Cork Institute of Technology is at the very centre of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development in Cork City and County and we look forward to joining with UNESCO, our Cork Learning City partners and the wider learning community in hosting this prestigious international conference. Cork Learning City will make a strong contribution to this UNESCO conference and will enhance the global UNESCO Learning City network, establishing new international partnerships through exchange of best practice and experiences in lifelong learning.”

 Dr Michael B. Murphy, President, UCC said:

 “UCC has been working closely with local government, other local institutions of higher education, and other learning stakeholders to further develop Cork as a learning city. We wholeheartedly support and commit to the bid to host the 3rd UNESCO International Conference on Learning Cities in Cork.  To be placed in the company of Beijing and Mexico City is an extraordinary achievement.  All should be very proud”.


Local Enterprise Office Cork City announces events schedule for Local Enterprise Week 2016

 The first nationally co-ordinated ‘Local Enterprise Week’ led by the Local Enterprise Offices takes place around the country this March, and from Monday 7th to Friday 11th, the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City will host a wide array of events for the local business community and those seeking to embark on new ventures.

  Aimed at anyone thinking of starting a business, new start-ups, and growing SMEs, 19 separate events including workshops, seminars, information and networking sessions with guest speakers, and business advice clinics, are being hosted across the city during the week-long initiative.

  Local Enterprise Week provides business owners, managers and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to take time out of their busy schedules to hear from other business owners and practitioners. The week also provides an opportunity to make new contacts through networking, as well as learning more about the wide range of supports available through LEO Cork City to entrepreneurs and the local small business community, from grants to mentoring, and from training to business advice.

  Most events are free to attend and all local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to take part in these. Topics that will be addressed include accessing finance, ideas generation, using technology to build a better business, retail excellence, and building sales.

  Local Enterprise Week kicks off with a “Future Proofing Your Business” event at 9.30am on Monday, March 7th in the Clarion Hotel, Cork City. This event will focus on three key areas for SMEs – Health and Safety, Taxation, and Insurance and Pension Provision.

   On Tuesday, March 8th at 12.30pm, the “How to attract the Silver Euro” event in the Imperial Hotel, will focus on how to make businesses more accessible to an older generation. On the same day, retailers looking for tips from some of the best in the business should consider attending the “Speed Mentor your Retail Business” at 6pm in the Millennium Hall, City Hall. Here retailers and related businesses will get invaluable advice from leading retailers and retail experts  in breakout speed mentoring sessions and hear about the latest retail trends.

  On Tuesday, March 9th, a “Making Sales” event will take place at the Port of Cork at 5.30pm. Attendees at this seminar will be treated to a range of practical tips on how to generate sales and improve their revenue. This session will be delivered by Pat Lynch, a self-made business man, who has founded some very successful businesses over the last 20 years. Pat will share his knowledge on how to grow your sales and add value to your business.

  An “Ideas Generation” workshop, offering practical tips specially designed for aspiring business owners who currently have a business idea they would like to progress, or perhaps are still looking around for “the right idea” for their new business takes place on Thursday, March 10th at 9.30am in the Clarion Hotel.

  An introduction to “Office in the Cloud” takes place on Friday, March 11th at 10.30am at the Lifetime Lab on Lee Road. This seminar will give participants an initial intro to the Cloud Office and an overview of the main enterprise apps available to businesses. The idea is to change people’s perception of technology and what it can achieve with a business in terms of cost savings, increased efficiency and collaboration with others.

Most of the events are free to attend, however prior booking is essential. The full programme of events is now available to view online at

Sweet Charity, 4-7 June 2015

Cllr Kieran McCarthy will direct, fund and produce Sweet Charity, the musical at the Firkin Crane from Thursday 4 June to Sunday 7 June. Sweet Charity tells the story of dance hall hostess Charity Hope Valentine, an eternal optimist who is forever unlucky in love. Her trusting nature and naiveté makes her prey for a succession of opportunistic men. The razor-sharp script lifts the veil on the exquisite agony of living on the under-side of life. This is a comedy with an edge. With music direction by David O’Sullivan, choreography by Aileen Coffey, production management by Yvonne Coughlan the new Cork City Musical Society promises to entertain you with a highly-theatrical, fast-paced and entertaining show, featuring such well-known musical numbers as “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “Big Spender” and “Rhythm of Life”. Tickets available at the or 021 4507487.

Film Making and Marketing

The Local Enterprise Office South Cork is holding a two day hands-on workshop for small companies/ organisations and people who are self-employed (including artists and performers) and who want to shoot, edit and upload video for the web as part of their marketing/ social media strategy.
This course is suitable for absolute beginners and no previous technical experience is required. And after the course, follow up support and advice is available so you won’t be on your own as you put your new skills into practice!
Workshop Content:
The course covers planning your video content, integrating the use of video into your marketing strategy and using it to boost your online presence.
It includes basic camera skills, basic lighting, basic sound, editing your video content, hosting on Vimeo, hosting on Youtube and hosting on your own site. It also discusses the best, most cost-effective options for investing in equipment.
Dates:        Thursday 16th and Thursday 23rd Oct
Time:          9.30am – 5.00pm
Cost:           €75 (heavily subsidised by Local Enterprise Office – South Cork)
Booking is online at:

Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Event Centre Comments, Sunday 17 August 2014

I welcome the new tendering process for the event centre. The centre is a key piece of infrastructure that this city needs.

However no discussion has taken place with councillors on the new tendering process despite pleas for information over the last few weeks. It is also surprising to see that e.4m from Council funds has now been ‘Officially’ set aside for the eventual chosen site.  Up to now, tentative figures have been bounced around but nothing set in stone but now on the new tender document, a figure is set. No one has approached the elected members of Council to tell us this in person. I have had to read it in the press. As an elected member, this is a disgrace. One of our powers is to control and debate value for money for the Council’s expenditure.

The Lord Mayor needs to convene a special meeting to discuss the parameters of the councillors’ role in this the new tendering process. Spending e.4m of e.14m means that councillors ‘Now’ have a significant say in the choice of site. The event centre does not need to become a political football, which make no mistake about it is about to become. The new tendering process demands a transparent process where all sides, Councillors, City Hall officials, the external review committee and the proposed developers all know the parameters of the new process. The whole process will unravel again closer to decision time again if parameters are not set now.