31 October 2020, “Cllr McCarthy said that he was calling for more building inspectors to be brought in to assess buildings in the city, and said that a root- and-branch analysis of the buildings on South Main Street and North Main Street was needed to prevent further incidents”, City’s dereliction crisis: Call for action after surge of damaged building, incidents,https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Citys-dereliction-crisis-Call-for-action-after-surge-of-damaged-building-incidents-f755e620-dc02-4ece-b751-340aac38ace4-ds
During the virtual October plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions, members held a debate on the first EU Annual Regional and Local Barometer, with the European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations.
The European Alliance Group was represented by their president, Douglas Road councillor Kieran McCarthy who in his speech to Ms Von der Leyen stressed that cities and regions need to be to the heart of resolving priorities such as environmental change, SME development, Just Transition & general citizen buy-in into EU-led projects. Such priorities were outlined by Ms Von der Leyen in her recent State of the Union address.
Cllr McCarthy added: “Many of the priorities represent common challenges for the over 95,000 local and regional authorities across Europe. The Committee of the Regions will continue to collaborate with the other EU institutions in the delivery of this vision albeit we wish for our work, the opportunities that go with such work, and the strong added value connected to such work, to be recognised more by those who lead the European Project forwards”.
During his intervention, Cllr McCarthy reminded the Commission President that local and regional authorities, from small to large, are on the frontline in building the future of Europe; “We are the story builders, the capacity builders, strategy builders, we are the builders of the lighthouses of innovation. We build ideas from scratch and bring them to life. We are more than the sum of our parts. Empower the Regions and the EU will be a success”. Kieran’s full recorded speech is on his facebook page, “Cllr Kieran McCarthy”.
Cllr McCarthy had also been active in lobbying for the EU Annual Regional and Local Barometer, which comprises a comprehensive report on the most pressing challenges for European local authorities ahead. This first report focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in EU Cities and Regions. Cllr McCarthy re-iterated as well the ongoing work of Irish local authorities such as Cork City Council and their approaches in being one the front-line bodies, which helped local communities with community response projects and social distancing measures on City streets.
Today Minister Eamonn Ryan recently attended a virtual Special Meeting of Cork City Council’s Roads, Transportation and Mobility Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) where he outlined central government’s commitment to the Cork Metropolitan Area Transportation Strategy (CMATS) 2040.
In his intervention to Minister Ryan, Member of the SPC Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted:
“It is important that Ireland’s second city gets the full CMATS project across the line – that it just doesn’t become another report collecting dust on a shelf. We cannot go on to have 70% of commuters arriving into the city utilising private cars or have trucks going through our city’s city centre because of a lack of options.”
“Cork City Council must remain as a strong partner in delivery of CMATS.There is an ambition at national level but it is also important to note Cork City Council’s ambition for its citizens and indeed our frustration on the ground when there is only a narrow bank of funding available at national level, and our complete dependency on such funds due to a lack of funds at local level”.
“When thinking about the delivery of CMATS, linkages also need to be promotedsuch as between sustainable housing development and public transport, air quality control, and the continuing importance to keep bringing a wide range of stakeholders around the table – silos need to be broken and linkages and building partnership capacity encouraged”.
“There is also a larger amount of work required to access funding from larger financial tools. The cost to deliver CMATS is far beyond the resources of Cork City Council and Cork County Council – both face vast cut-backs in this COVID and in the post COVID world – we also don’t have the localised funding in our budgets to bring about the significant behavioural change and infrastructure that needed. But we do have the expertise to implement projects on the ground”.
“I would ask of the Minister to explore the future role of expanding government’s Urban Regeneration Development Funds, the role of investment packages from the European Investment Bank, and even the role of the new Green Deal funds from European Regional Development Funds package”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
29 October 2020, “Independent Cork city councillor Kieran McCarthy has called for a historic arch in Cork city to be removed from its hidden corner and given more public prominence”, Calls for historic archway in Cork city to be given more public prominence, https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Calls-for-historic-archway-in-Cork-city-to-be-given-more-public-prominence-2bdbdb6f-5c8e-4fbd-9ed7-c17ddb9df561-ds
30 October 2020, “Independent councillor and historian Kieran McCarthy said it was the end of an era for the club and that “great credit is due to those that kept it alive and at the heart of community life for so many decades”. The end of an era’: Fr O’Leary Memorial Boys Club in Shandon closes its doors for the last time, https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/The-end-of-an-era-Fr-OLeary-Memorial-Boys-Club-in-Shandon-closes-its-doors-for-the-last-time-a97b6eef-bded-4f0d-a9ad-01cac143a568-ds
Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,
Cork Independent, 29 October 2020
Remembering 1920: Terence MacSwiney’s Return to Cork
Once St George’s Cathedral at Southwark, London opened its doors on Thursday 28 October, tens of thousands flocked in to see Terence MacSwiney’s body. Many were Irish or of Irish extraction. Mass was fixed for 11am, which was a ticketed affair. Police had to link arms to prevent those with no tickets from pushing their way in. Six men wearing long coats presented tickets to the policemen and once inside took their coats off to reveal that the green unformed members of the IRA. They replaced their colleagues as the honour guard by the coffin. Muriel was too sick to attend or to travel back to Ireland. Two of Terence’s sisters Margaret and Kit (both nuns) did not make it from America or Tokyo respectively.
After the Requiem, the procession of the coffin on the horse-drawn hearse, which was almost a mile long – began for Euston Station. Terence’s two brothers and two sisters reached Euston Station at 4.30pm. On arrival at the station, the siblings were informed the train was due to leave at 4.45pm. They had arranged to travel by the 6.20pm train. After they had accompanied Terry’s body to a good’s carriage van they hurried down the platform to their carriage. Without notice, the train changed to be a special train to leave at 6pm. The train was also crowded with police in every carriage.
A train guard came to family friend Art O’Brien and said the police Inspector wished to speak to him. The inspector was looking for Muriel and noted that he had a communication for her but could not make it until they had passed Crewe.
Soon after Crewe the Inspector visited the MacSwiney delegation again and gave a letter from Chief Secretary for Ireland Thomas Hamar-Greenwood, addressed to Muriel. Opening it they found a copy of a letter addressed to the Press to the effect that, owing to a possibility of trouble, the Government had ordered that the remains should go straight to Cork. They were utterly taken aback and began to lecture them on their duty to the dead and the sacredness of the dead. The family noted that the Lady Mayoress was in London and they could take no decision without consulting her, and that the coffin should remain in Holyhead while someone went back to lay the facts before her. The request was turned down and the transport of the body continued to the English coast bound for Cork.
The train reached Holyhead, about midnight. The family had arranged that all should go at once to the van where Terry’s body lay. The train stopped at the town station, and it was there the SS Kenmare, was immediately waiting to depart. Family friend Art O’Brien produced the contract of the railway to take Terence’s body via Kingstown, to Cork, and he ordered them to carry it out. The stationmaster said he would go to the telephone, but the police inspector had a talk with him and said it was a Government order, that he should not carry out the contract.
Subsequently the family joined hands around the coffin but the door near the coffin was opened and railwaymen came in and took away the wreaths, while police and Black and Tans and ordinary military lined the platform. The family did not try to prevent them taking the wreaths. The railwaymen came towards the coffin and, almost in unison, they all said: “Don’t dare touch that coffin, we forbid you to touch it”. On that, they all left the van and said to the police: “We are forbidden to touch the coffin”. On that, the police rushed forward, pushed the family to one side and away from the coffin and surrounded it. The coffin was lifted out of the van and onto the steamer, the HMS Rathmore leaving the family on the quayside looking on.
The MacSwiney family were forced to get the train for Holyhead and get a separate steamer there. The journey to Dún Laoghaire was quiet. On Friday 29 October they assisted at High Mass for Terence in Dublin without the coffin present. After the Mass, the family delegation went in funeral procession behind the empty hearse that Terence’s body should have lain in to Kingsbridge. They left for by train for Cork at 2pm.
Meanwhile back in Cork, within four hours of Terence’s death, large written notices were erected outside the Offices of the Cork Examiner and Cork City Hall, which caused a thrill of sorrow throughout the city. By mid-morning the streets of Cork were filled with people who wore Republican rosettes with black crepe. The Municipal and Harbour Board flags flew at half-mast, and most of the city’s establishments had their premises partly shuttered. Most of the ships in the harbour had their flags at half-mast. All public functions were cancelled, and theatres and other such amusement spaces closed.
A special meeting of Cork Corporation was convened where councillors expressed their condolences and raw emotion at losing the City’s Lord Mayor. The Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Donal Óg O’Callaghan issued the following statement, decrying that despite Terence’s death, the merit of Republicanism will still linger and pass on:
“In the short interval since his imprisonment, while I have been temporarily taking his place, I have received notices of official origin threatening me with a similar end. The only message that I on behalf of the Republicans of Cork give today over the corpse of the late Lord Mayor is that Cork has definitely not yielded its allegiance to the Republic, that the people of Cork will continue that allegiance unswervingly and that those of us who man the Municipal Council will attempt as far as us lies to follow the noble and glorious lead of the two martyred Republican Magistrates. The Republican hold on the Municipal Chair of Cork ceases only when the last Republican in Cork has followed Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney into the Grave. Death will not terrorise us”.
1072a. Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney, Spring–Summer 1920 (source: Cork City Library).
1072b. Invite to funeral of Terence MacSwiney at Southwark Cathedral, London 28 October 1920 (Cork Public Museum).
28 October 2020, “Many have emphasised to me the importance of this historic tree-lined avenue to public health and recreational use. However, I have also received correspondence from those who wish to tweak some of the parts of the pedestrianisation proposals. It is important that everyone gets their voice heard on the future of the Marina,” Cllr McCarthy said, Final few days for public to have their say on the permanent pedestrianisation of the Marina,https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Final-few-days-for-public-to-have-their-say-on-the-permanent-pedestrianisation-of-the-Marina-6d933ca1-15f3-4b64-b1f2-142482fd3445-ds
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has asked that a historic archway belonging to one of Cork’s oldest firms be removed from its hidden corner and get more public prominence in the public realm to reflect its stature, history and design. The 1779 archway was once part of the entrance door to one of Cork’s oldest firms John Daly & Co Mineral Water Manufacturers on Kyrl’s Quay.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “The year 1779 was the foundation of their company. The archway may not date to 1779 but may have been a later addition to the company’s premises celebrating its earlier origins. In 1991-3 as part of the development of North Main Street Shopping Centre the archway was placed at the back of an apartment block built next to it. It now lys in the public realm of Cork City Council.
“In 1915, John Daly and Co. were also the original creators of the well-known Tanora brand. At that time, Temperance groups lobbied manufacturers of Lemonade such as John Daly’s to produce another popular non-alcoholic drink. Tanora was created through the importation of tangerine oranges”.
“Fifty years ago, Daly’s owned Kyrl’s Quay Bonded Warehouses and the Victoria Hotel in Cork. Five decades ago Daly’s also bought the total issued share capital of Coca Cola Bottling (Dublin). They had the Coca Cola franchise for Munster which gave Daly’s extensive interests in the Irish market for soft drinks. However, it was a Munster Coca Cola bottling company that eventually bought out the company”.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy continued: “The archway is certainly a beautiful creation and deserves a more visual presence in the public realm. It is a real shame to see bins and rubbish piled high against it daily. It is in a very narrow and hidden corner, which doesn’t do its elaborateness any justice.
In a report to Cllr McCarthy at the recent South Central Local Area Committee, the City Council’s Conservation Officer proposes to prepare a report for the next meeting which will examine the history and background to the siting of the doorcase in this location and make recommendations following an assessment of the implications of re-locating it, including the identification of suitable types of sites. Once Councillors have an opportunity to decide on the most appropriate action for the protection and enhancement of the doorcase, they will liaise with the relevant operational sections of the City Council to progress the matter.
Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind the public on the public consultation, which remains open till 2 November for proposals by Cork City Council to continue restricting vehicular access to The Marina. The proposal is to close the Marina to cars 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, from its junction with the northern entrance of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to its junction with Church Avenue.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “To open up public consultation on the pedestrianisation of The Marina is very welcome. Up to this year and for many years previously, the pedestrianisation process had been a goal of local councillors and many local residents, and in fairness to Roads officials and the Director of Operations they have responded to public calls”.
Cllr McCarthy continued: “During Covid-19 lockdowns, the pedestrianisation of the road as a temporary measure was the life-saver for many people who needed the outlet to walk and just take time-out during the 2km and 5km restrictions. I have had much correspondence by locals and other Corkonians calling for the continuance of the pedestrianisation beyond the phase 1 temporary measures. Many have emphasised to me the importance of this historic tree-lined avenue to public health and recreational use. However, I have also received correspondence from those who wish to tweak some of the parts of the pedestrianisation proposals. It is important that everyone gets their voice heard on the future of the Marina”.
Submissions on the proposal may be made via this online consultation portal, https://consult.corkcity.ie/. Alternatively, the documents will be made available for inspection by appointment at Reception Desk, Cork City Council, City Hall, Cork to Monday 2 November 2020 from 9am to 4.30pm. Please phone 021-4924000 in advance to arrange an appointment. Representations may be also be made in writing to “Senior Executive Engineer, Traffic Operations, Room 339, City Hall, Cork”. The closing date for receipt of submissions is on or before 5pm on Monday 2 November 2020.