Monthly Archives: June 2020

Cork City Council Press Release, 28 June 2020

In line with the accelerated Government roadmap, our public counters in City Hall, Anglesea Street, Cork will reopen from Monday June 29, from 10 – 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

However, they are asking residents, business and communities to telephone our Customer Service Unit at 021 492 4000 or to visit our website before coming to City Hall.

For your safety, strict social distancing measures will be in place including:
Meetings by appointment where possible;
Supervised queuing system outside the building;
Limitation on numbers in the building;
Maximum of two callers per household.

Many of our services are available online or over the phone so you may be able to avoid an unnecessary journey. Our dedicated Customer Service team will help you to make an appointment with the right department, should you need one.

The following services can be accessed online or over the phone in the following ways:

HAP tenants can contact the Council via the Customer Service Unit at 021 492 4000, email or via

The Accommodation Placement Unit is now located at City Quarter, Lapps Quay and can be telephoned at 021 – 4924248 or by email
Housing tenants with urgent queries, including emergency housing maintenance repairs, can contact our Customer Service Unit at 021 492 4000.


The following services are available online at :
Resident parking permit applications;
Payment of parking fines;
Parking fine appeals can be posted or emailed to

From Monday 29 June shoppers and visitors to the city centre can avail of two hours free parking at North Main Street and Paul St multi-storey car parks.
There are over 900 parking spaces between both sites.
Normal charges will apply after two hours. This parking promotion will continue until August 31.

Libraries, leisure and cultural spaces:

Cork City Libraries are delighted to re-open their doors on a managed basis in line with national public health requirements tomorrow, June 29.

The City Library on Grand Parade will open its Childrens, Music and Lending Department for borrowing and return, as will Bishopstown Library.

On Tuesday, 30 June, Ballincollig, Blackpool, Glanmire, Hollyhill, Mayfield and Tory Top Libraries will open for borrowing and return.

Due to social distancing, Blarney Library will continue operate a Phone, Collect, Return service only and Douglas pop-up is closed.

Please note that the Reference Library and Local Studies will not open but are operating a phone and email service.

Priority hour for elderly or at risk patrons is 10 am – 11 am and all under 12s must be supervised at all times. As maximum numbers will apply we ask that you limit your time to a quick visit.

Please note all other services, public PCs, photocopying, printing, newspapers, magazines and so on are not available in our libraries at the moment due to hygiene and social distance rules.

For full information…/us…/covid-19-information/

Under 12s must be supervised at all times. Returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours. Please observe social distancing, good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette on your visit to the library.

As maximum numbers will apply, we ask that you limit your visit to a quick visit.

Cork City Libraries have many online resources at where you can still borrow eBooks, eMagazines, listen to music, take an online course or renew your borrowed books – all free with your library card.

Cork City Hall, Late June 2020 (Picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Cllr McCarthy encourages businesses in Cork City to avail of the Government’s Restart Fund Grant, 29 June 2020.

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind business owners to apply for the Government Restart Fund Grant, which has been created nationally by the Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation to help micro and small enterprises with the costs of reopening during Covid-19. Cllr McCarthy noted: “Companies can apply to their local authority for a grant of an amount equivalent to no more than their 2019 rates bill. There will be a cap of €10,000. The grant can be used to pay ongoing fixed costs, for replenishing stock and for measures needed to ensure employee and customer safety”.

To receive the grant from Cork City Council a business must have an existing rate account with the Cork City Council, have an annual turnover of less than €5 million and employ between 1 to 50 people, have closed or suffered a projected 25% or more loss in turnover to the end June 2020, commit to remain open or to reopen if it was closed, declare the intention to retaining employees that are on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and to reemploy staff on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment where applicable.

            Cllr McCarthy continued: “businesses can make an online application for the Cork city grant.  There is also a great Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the grant scheme, which is available on the front page of the website. The Closing date for receipt of applications is 31 August 2020. For any other queries, please contact Cork City Council’s Customer Services Unit at 353 21 4924000”.

Consultation Begins, New Cork City Development Plan, 26 June 2020.

Cork City Council has launched a consultation process for the preparation of the vitally important City Development Plan (CDP) 2022-2028 which will provide the framework for how the city will grow and develop in the coming years.

This CDP comes at an extraordinary time for Cork.  Last year, the city’s population grew to 210,000 following an extension of the city boundary which positioned Cork as a city of scale. Furthermore, it has been set government targets to grow by 50% over the next 20 years so that it can provide a counterbalance to Dublin.

As part of this initial consultation, Cork City Council is seeking the views of the public on how to best develop Cork City to meet the changing needs of our society, environment and economy while realising the ambitions set for our city.

The public is invited to read the ‘Our City – Our Future’ issues paper which is available at , at Cork City libraries and by appointment at the Planning Counter at Cork City Hall. A submission on the plan can be made as part of this initial public consultation from today, June 26 until August 21 2020.

Cork City Council will engage in an extensive public consultation process to gather the views of people around the City Development Plan. This will include webinars, community engagement, surveys, a photographic competition for young people and we intend to hold a public meeting in August, whilst ensuring public health guidelines are upheld. 

The preparation of a City Development Plan involves a 13 step process, with three separate public consultation phases. The City Development Plan process should be completed within a two year period.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 25 June 2020

1054a. Postcard of RMS Celtic, 1920 (source: Cork City Library).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 25 June 2020

Remembering 1920: The Return of the White Star Line

In the summer of 1920 there was much excitement at the resumption of the call to Queenstown (now Cobh) by the White Star Line and their America to Europe line of ships. The connection to Queenstown had been broken since 1907. In late April 1920 the ships RMS Celtic and RMS Baltic were scheduled by the White Star Line to arrive at Queenstown on the outward bound route to New York, from 3 June to 23 September 1920.

The linkage to such a prominent liner company and its heritage was important for Cork and the country. In 1845, John Pilkington and Henry Wilson in Liverpool established the first company displaying the name White Star Line. It concentrated on the UK–Australia trade, which grew subsequent to the discovery of gold in Australia. In 1871 White Star began their journey across the North Atlantic between Liverpool and New York (via Queenstown) developing six nearly identical ships, known as the ‘Oceanic’ class.

The White Star Line is more famous for its losses more so for what its passenger liners achieved. These included the wrecking of the RMS Atlantic at Halifax in 1873, the sinking of RMS Republic off Nantucket in 1909, the loss of the RMS Titanic in 1912 and the RMS Brittanic in 1916 while serving as a hospital ship. However, the company retained a prominent hold on shipping markets around the globe before falling into decline during the Great Depression, which ultimately led to a merger with its chief rival, Cunard Line. The Cunard-White Line lasted until 1950.

The RMS Celtic was an impressive liner, which was built at Harland & Wolfe in Belfast in 1901 and was over 21,000 gross tons in weight. Leaving New York on 15 May 1920 the liner was bound for Liverpool with a stop at Queenstown. Over a week later on 23 May 1920, “Celtic Abreast” was the radio message received at the White Star Wharf in Queenstown. The Cork Examiner records that the Clyde Shipping Company’s tender Ireland cast off about 3.30pm from Queenstown and proceeded out the harbour to await the liner coming along the coast from the Old Head of Kinsale.

 Approaching Spike Point those on the tender could see that a thick fog was coming in as Roche’s Point was approached. But this was where Pilot James O’Donovan was taken on board. Locating the RMS Celtic would not be an easy matter. After a time the tender began to steer due south towards Daunt’s Lightship. Before reaching she blew her siren to alert the RMS Celtic. There was no sign of the liner in any direction. The fog at this time, was very dense, and appeared to be much more so further out.

The lonely lightship Fulmar, which marked Daunt’s Rock, ten miles south of Queenstown loomed up out of the fog and a megaphone message to the crew on board brought the disheartening response: “Yesabout half an hour ago, we heard her siren going  it seemed to be coming from about two miles astern, and the ship sounded as if travelling to the eastward”.

This dispelled all hope of the RMS Celtic stopping to land the 380 passengers due to disembark at Queenstown and after a short interval the tender’s bow was put towards Scot’s Wharf at Queenstown – a town which was decked with flags to celebrate the beatification of Oliver Plunkett at the time. It was estimated that the fog cost the town a loss of £1,000 – the loss being to the hotels, boarding houses.

The RMS Celtic made for Liverpool where passengers for Queenstown and Ireland were transferred and sent via Holyhead to Dublin. On 26 May 1920 they arrived at Dublin’s North Wall just in time to meet the Railwaymen’s strike arising out of refusal to carry British munitions to meet the ongoing War of Independence. The strikers downed tools and left the passengers’ luggage buried deep in the hold of the Dublin-Holyhead ship the Curraghmore. The Americans were kept all day at North Wall Station, where they sat surrounded by cabin boxes and light luggage until the evening train to came to move the heavy goods from wall.

On 3 June 1920, the RMS Celtic arrived to Cork Harbour again bound for New York. This time the tender did connect with her. Upwards of 500 people wished to travel on the steamer. One of the noted passengers on board was merchant and yachtsman Thomas Lipton, who was presented with a series of addresses of presentations by Crosshaven yacht Club and Cove Sailing Club.  Thomas Lipton was a Scotsman with Irish parentage. He pursued broad advertising for his chain of grocery stores and his brand of Lipton teas. As a keen yachtsman between 1899 and 1930 he challenged five times the American holders of the America’s Cup through the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. His yachts were named Shamrock through to Shamrock V. His endeavours met with failure but were so well-publicised that his tea became famous in the United States and made the cover of Time magazine in November 1924.

Cork Harbour as a call location for the RMS Celtic lasted for 8 years till her dashing off the rocks adjacent Roches Point on 10 December 1928 by a southerly gale. Her two hundred and sixty-six passengers were placed on tenders and landed at Queenstown at noon. At low tide the RMS Celtic was virtually high and dry about thirty yards from Calf Rock, hump of rock, and lying parallel to the mainland, three hundred yards distant.

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


1054a. Postcard of RMS Celtic, 1920 (source: Cork City Library).

1054b. White Star Wharf at Queenstown (now Cobh), c.1910 (source: Cork Harbour Through Time by Kieran McCarthy, Dan Breen & Cork Public Museum).

1054b. White Star Wharf at Queenstown (now Cobh), c.1910 (source: Cork Harbour Through Time by Kieran McCarthy, Dan Breen & Cork Public Museum).

Old Court Woods Update, 22 June 2020

Great news for Old Court Woods at Garryduff People power wins out! Officially, the application for the road has been withdrawn 🙂

I look forward to engaging with An Coillte at the Local Area Committee Meeting in the days to come. There are alot of questions to ask on what their future plans are.

I received the email below this morning.

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I refer to an application for a forest road licence, reference CN86326, and to your recent submission.
The Department has been advised by the applicant that they have decided to withdraw this application.
The Department will therefore not consider the application further.

Best regards,

Approvals, Forestry Division
An Roinn Talmhaíochta, Bia agus Mara
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Eastát Chaisleán Bhaile Sheáin, Co. Loch Garman, Y35 PN52

Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Y35 PN52″

Old Court Woods, Garryduff, Early March 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

South East Cork City – Ward Road Works 2020

Fourteen sections/ parts of main roads in the south east were officially signed off on 19 June 2020 by ward councillors; they are listed in green on the attached picture.

Usually 5-6 housing estates are sanctioned for resurfacing each year. However due to the economic downturn in the Council’s financial income arising from Covid-19, only a large section of just one estate is going to be done – that of Pic Du Jer Park in Ballinlough.

All works are to be completed over the summer of 2020.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 18 June 2020

1053a. Custom House Quay (centre), Spring 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 18 June 2020

Remembering 1920: The Dilemmas of Dockers and Railwaymen

With the early summer of 1920 passing it coincided with violence escalating in the War of Independence. In late May and early June 1920, the Cork Examiner records several ships, which docked at Queenstown (now Cobh) and at the city’s Custom House Quay to unload British soldiers and weapons.The SS Csaritsa made a number of trips between England and Ireland bringing soldiers to be quartered in the South of Ireland. At Queenstown on 26 May 1920 the War Department vessel Sir Evelyn Wood came alongside the Deep Water Quay to discharge some guns destined for removal to Ballincollig Barracks and provisions destined for the military in Limerick. However, civilians unloading the goods onto the quayside put anything in the nature of war aside and refused to unload them.

Similar problems of resistance by dockers occurred on 7 June 1920 at the city’s Custom House Quay. The dockers would only work on the ordinary cargo from the SS Eblana. The unloading of the barbed wire from was completed by the military. Similarly, on the same day, at the unloading of the HMS Bacchus at Custom House Quay, resistance was also met. Motor lorries were removed, many of which contained ammunition. However, to discharge her it was necessary to use the crane erected on the quay. Application was made to the Board of Cork Harbour Commissioners for the key of the crane. However British soldiers did not wait for the meeting later that day and broke the crane lock to use the crane for unloading. Later in the day, the breaking of the lock drew the anger of some members of the Cork Harbour Commissioners.

At the meeting of the Law and Finance Committee of Cork Harbour Commissioners (on 7 June 1920), Cllr Seán Good, took the floor to call for solidarity of resistance amongst dockers and railwaymen. Seán was an active Trade Unionist within the Cork and District United Trades Council. He was elected in January 1920 to Cork Corporation representing the College Road district. At the meeting Seán drew attention to the breaking of the lock of the crane. He did not know whether an application had been made for the use of the crane.

Seán sympathised with the railwaymen and dockers who he deemed were doing everything they possibly could to prevent disturbances in the country. He argued that the Commissioners should not help in the bringing of people to the country to “mow them down when the first opportunity arose”. He also drew the attention of the Seamen’s and Firemen’s Union to the men working the crane. He deemed them not to be the paid servants of the British Government and called on them to continue to desist. Seán believed that as soon as the Government had completed its landing arrangements that it was going to make a “wholesale attack on the people”.

In particular, Seán Good was angry by an intervention the previous days in the British House of Commons when the question was debated on the hoisting of the Irish Republican flag over the flag staff at the Admiralty Pier, Queenstown, and across their buildings. He noted that it was “downright impertinent for anyone to question their right to do as they liked with their own flag”.

Captain Collins, supporting the general remarks of Seán Good, said that the action taken in regard to the crane was a most high-handed one. He denoted; “Any English ship, or any other ship, going into a foreign or any other port dare not disrespect the authority of the port which she entered to the extent of breaking a padlock on a crane. They are not getting the crane for nothing. It will have to be paid for, but common courtesy must be used towards the harbour authorities”. In response to the debate.  Mr Lucy, as Chairman of the Board, gave directions that the key was not to be given in any circumstances until application and a decision was made by the Board.

On 17 June 1920, the HMS Bacchus arrived back off Queenstown Harbour and called upon the services of a pilot being required to enable her enter port. She blew her siren repeatedly but to no avail. No civilian pilot responded to her call. The King’s Harbour Master came out and the Bacchus was brought to Custom House Quay. The vessel had on board a cargo of motor lorries for the military. When unloading, the military sentries were armed with fixed bayonets on the quay and subsequently took up positions on the vessel itself.

Meanwhile In Dublin since late May 1920 there was an ongoing refusal continued of the members of the National Union of Railwaymen to handle munitions of war carried by cargo or express vessels. By 28 June the usual trains on the main lines ran to time but there was a serious dislocation of the service between Mallow and Tralee and on the Nenagh-Limerick and Nenagh-Dublin lines, where it was found impossible to get substitutes for the men dismissed for their refusal to work trains carrying police and military.

On 28 June 1920 a statement was issued by the Irish Labour Party with reference to the special conference they held whereby it was unanimously resolved that railwaymen would continue their refusal to work trains, which carried munitions of war. Railwaymen were also to refuse to work trains conveying armed soldiers or police in any number. Ireland’s train system descended into complete chaos and ultimately stoppage as British troops were refused to be carried.

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


1053a. Custom House Quay (centre), Spring 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

1053b. Kennedy Quay, Spring 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

1053b. Kennedy Quay, Spring 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Cllr McCarthy: Douglas Flood Relief Scheme on track for October 2020 Completion.

Press Release: 17 June 2020

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed that the Douglas Flood Relief Scheme is on track in its schedule to be finished this October. The works are being carried out in five separate areas – St Patrick’s Mills, Douglas Community Park, Ravensdale, Ballybrack Woods & Donnybrook Commercial Centre. A report this week from Cork City Council, who are working with the OPW, outlines that the works at St Patrick’s Mills are fully complete. The works and Ballybrack Woods are 99% complete apart from the installation of surface dressing to the maintenance access road. The works through the Community Park are progressing well with the construction of flood embankments, footpaths, gym equipment area and public realm works under way at present.

The works in the community park are currently programmed to be completed at the end of October 2020, but the project team are hoping that this works area can be progressed ahead of schedule. The works through Lower Ravensdale are underway with the installation of sheet piled walls and the installation of the new Church Road culvert, outside Douglas Community Park. Access to Westbrook Gardens will be maintained from Douglas West. Access to the Community Centre and Ravensdale is maintained from the East of Church Road. The associated closure of Church Road is scheduled to be lifted on the 03 July 2020, but may require an extension of time.

Cllr McCarthy noted that much of his correspondence from constituents are serious worries about the cutting down of trees around Church Road; “the programme of works places emphasis on the replacement of trees as well as improving the connectivity and pedestrian routeway from Ballybrack Woods across to Douglas Community Park. In the Community Park, the Contractor cut down less trees than was originally outlined in the public consultation process in the past two years. Trees will be replaced on a one-to-one basis. They will not be as mature as the originals but re-planting will be done with trees that have a 200-250mm girth trunk, which depending on the tree type would be three to five metres tall. The one-to-one replacement ratio in the area along Church Road may not be achieved as the area will have a large paving plaza across Church Road and the river has been widened, but there will be new trees re-planted there. I am watching progress carefully and getting updates from engineers. There is a project website for Douglas (including Togher Works) Flood Relief Scheme at, which has drawings and photograph montages on what the end product will look like”.

Ward Cycling Route Proposals, June 2020

Three interim cycle infrastructure are proposed as follows:

1 Centre Park Road Scheme

2 Monahan Road Scheme

3 Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay & Victoria Road

If approved, these measures will be constructed in the coming months. The infrastructure is an interim solution pending delivery of more comprehensive plans for the relevant areas i.e. The Docklands to City Centre Project and the broader infrastructure plans for Docklands. The drawings can be viewed by clicking on the following link as the file sizes are too large to email.

Farewell to Lord Mayor, Cllr John Sheehan, Cork City Council AGM, 12 June 2020

Cork Coat of Arms on Port of Cork building

“The Watcher”

Carvings and Meanings:

Congratulations Lord Mayor on a really great year as a leader in Cork.

I’d like to v briefly tell a story.

In my daily evening walks around Cork during the heart of the lockdown in April and May, empty streets spanning for entire vistas make for some interesting photography opportunities. And features, which you wouldn’t normally see because of the cars and busyness usually at the forefront. One of the features I began to photograph on my solo walks were the depictions of the city’s Coat of Arms on various buildings and in public spaces.

There has never been any history project compiling these pieces – some are stone carvings, some are mosaics, some are plaster casts, and of course some are pure gold in terms of the Lord Mayor’s chain.

All the pieces on buildings are from different eras, where the civicness of Cork was drawn upon when needed and usually the building on which they appear was important to Cork’s future and the idea of pulling people together to build a resilient future.

The theme of togetherness, which was very prevalent in your year of office, was one you championed very well– the thread of togetherness was at the heart of the boundary extension last June and at the heart of the Community Response team and even this week at the launch of the Council’s regeneration social housing project, which you launched.

Some of the Coat of Arms depictions are more thought provoking than others with liberty taken to etch in some features within and outside of the Coat of Arms spaces especially adjacent the Latin inscription of Statio Bene Fida Carinis or the safe harbour for ships. Certainly, the journey to having an official registered coat of arms in 1949 – a document, which hangs in the Lord Mayor’s office – has been several centuries in the making.

Versions of the Past:

My solo walks led me to doing research in the oldest of Cork’s newspapers, which are now online. An archival record of a seal cast from 1498 records the original Coat of Arms, which was just one castle with two towers coming out from either side; a person stands in one tower with a bow, and in the other a person blows a trumpet. A bridge connects the two towers in the background, and beyond which a ship is seen.

 During this year I didn’t see you blowing your own trumpet but perhaps you symbolised the bowman, serving the office of Lord Mayor with accuracy, credibility and professionalism.

Nearly 200 years ago, in 1825 a digging up beneath the floors on North Main Street around Castle Street and the site of the reputed medieval custom house – a stone carving of a coat of arms was discovered, which local historians at the time said it came from the early 1600s.

The stone has been lost to time but a pen and ink sketch by early nineteenth century Cork artist Daniel Maclise of it still can be viewed in our public museum. The sketch shows the Coat of Arms having being upgraded again since the 1400s version. The arms was now a ship between two towers or castles with a sailor in Elizabethan period dress and a bird, both on the rigging of the ship.

There is no record to who was the Elizabethan Sailor and clearly the sailor and the bird did not make it into the modern day depictions.

But certainly there is a sense in the old coat of arms depictions of denoting those who looked upon Cork from a physical height, and to reflect on their very responsible posts in protecting and watching over the infrastructure of the physical walled town of Cork, the shipping docked within its walls or over its citizens.

Very little information has been gathered on who could be called the watchers, who they were, their experiences, what they saw of everyday life from their physical height, and their perspective on citizenry.

A Watcher of a City:

I would deem you one of the core positive Cork watchers in the present day. 

It is very clear that you are someone who is aware through your professional work and other hats, the importance of the physical space of Cork for people’s health plus also the importance of the human spirit and maintaining the resilience of such. One of the most apt terms you used this week in one your speeches this week was– Ar Scáth a Chéile a Mhairimid or ‘We live in each other’s shadows’.

You certainly championed the importance of people’s stories of resilience for the greater good of the community and the city – whether that be the Mary Elmes story, those who sat on the council in 1920 during such turbulent times, the stories of Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, those who you gave Lord Mayor’s community awards to, or those who you met on your community visits in recent visits.

The beliefs you champion about people and their voices, and the importance of listening and being listened to need to continue to be the bedrock of Cork’s rebuilding into the future.

I want to sincerely thank you for your work and know that historically the City will not forget your service especially over the past 12 months for not just embodying the symbolism of the coat of arms but also pushing for a safe harbour or place for all citizens.

I’d also like to give a nod of congrats to the Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Sean Martin, who I listened to with impressiveness at many public events, when he let his historical knowledge loose.

Once again sincere thanks to you Lord Mayor, your Deputy and to the Lady Mayoress. Go raibh maith agat.