Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project launches in its 20th year
and is open to schools in Cork City. Funded by Cork City Council, the Project
is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan.
The Project (est.
2002/03) is aimed at both primary and post primary level. Project
books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. Suggested topics are
over the page. The theme for this year’s project – the 2021/22 school season –
is “Cork Heritage Treasures”.
FREE and important project support in the form of funded workshops (socially distanced, virtual or hybrid) led by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in participating schools will be held in October 2021. This is a 45min physical or virtual workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy has asked Irish Water that a strongtraffic management plan be kept in place for the duration of the replacement works of problematic water mains on Beaumont Drive.
The works involve the replacement of approximately 1km of problematic water mains with new modern pipes. The programme to replace the water mains on Beaumont Drive will commence on week commencing 30 August 2021. These works are being carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme.
The works will also involve laying new water service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customers’ water supply. Where the existing service connections on the public side are lead these will be replaced as part of this improvement work.
The works will be carried out on behalf of Irish Water by Ward and Burke Limited and are expected to be completed before end of October 2021.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Local and emergency access needs to be maintained at all times. Beaumont Drive is a very busy avenue, especially when local school traffic hits in the morning and afternoon. Working with local residents is crucial to make sure a flow of traffic”.
Steven Blennerhassett from Irish Water, explained: “To facilitate the safe delivery of the upgrades, a stop-go traffic management system may be in place and will be limited to short sections to minimise impact on customers. During this project there may be some short-term water outages and the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned water outages. Residents and businesses will be notified directly and can phone Irish Water on 1800 278 278 if they have any questions about the project”.
27 August 2021, “In his submission, Mr McCarthy said while he supports the museum and cafe elements, he has serious ecological concerns about the construction of a car park next to the Atlantic Pond. He said the car parking issue linked to stadium events has never been fully resolved, and a proper transport plan to and from the stadium is needed”, Cork councillors have ‘serious concerns’ about Páirc car park revamp, Cork councillors have ‘serious concerns’ about Páirc car park revamp (irishexaminer.com)
This week, one hundred years ago,
coincided with the return from the United States of Harry Boland and Annie (Eithne)
McSwiney, sister of Terence McSwiney. Mr Harry Boland, secretary to Éamon de
Valera, who was in Washington DC for two years as “representative of the Irish
Republic” landed at Southampton on Saturday 20 August 1921 from the White Star
liner Olympic. Addressing the journalists present on his return he noted
of the Irish Independence question; “The Americans were all anxious for the Irish
Independence question to be settled soon”, but the majority were of the opinion
it was a question solely for the Irish people to decide, and they would welcome
any decision come to by Ireland”.
Addressing the journalists, Annie
MacSwiney detailed that she had been on an eight-month tour of the US, and
found, with few exceptions, support for the Irish standpoint. Some of the
earlier parts of her tour was with her sister Mary and Terence’s wife Muriel.
Annie described her tour of meetings as
successful and noted there were few States she had not visited. She found that
the people she met were as friendly as possible. Her campaign lasted eight
months, during which she detailed she had only a week’s rest, and during that
week she had a series of private meetings. She describes that she had spoken as
often as ten times a day. Annie added, “The American people were very anxious
that the Irish question should be settled, and they were eager to help in every
way…Peace will come when we have taught the English sense and they can realise
During her tour Annie describes that
she had addressed many meetings in the “non-Irish” and “non Catholic quarters”
and believed that she had succeeded in winning over a record number of such
groups of people. They came to her meetings, Annie believed out of curiosity –
in the first instance, that they came to to see her as Terence McSwiney’s
sister – and in the second and third instance respectively that numbers of
women’s clubs and guilds, wished to hear her as a prominent female speaker and
because she was interested in women’s suffrage.
Asked for her opinion on the Truce,
Annie declined to say anything, but pointed out that she was now a member of Dáil
Éireann, and had journeyed from America bound for Dublin for a session on the
nature of the Truce negotiations. In answer to a journalist question: “Are you
hopeful?” Annie said that she was and expressed that the Republic would be
quickly recognised; “We have beaten them already. They have recognised the
Irish Republic no matter what they say. In the first place the truce was a
recognition of the Republic. The release of Commandant [Seán] McKeown was a
further recognition, and finally they recognised Mr Boland and myself by giving
us safe conduct so that we had not to apply for British passports. We travelled
on the boat, we went on, not as British subjects, but as citizens of the Irish
Republic. When we were told we were British we said were not but Irish and pointed
to our safe conduct authorisation, which was not a British passport”.
Annie expressed satisfaction with the
way in which Irish propaganda in the States was progressing. She paid a tribute
to Éamon de Valera’s work during his recent mission to America, which she said,
she said had done enormous good. Annie noted to the press: “As one indication
of the effect of our propaganda. I may mention that we had English
propagandists going all over the work we had been doing, but they didn’t
Annie was the second youngest of a family of seven. She had trained in Newman
College, later University College Dublin for a degree in science. From 1904, she taught English to German and
Dutch students for some time in Ventnor in the Isle of Wight. On her return to
Ireland in 1914, she helped her sister Maty to establish St Ita’s (Scoil Ité)
in September 1916. Here her capabilities as an educationalist contributed in no
small way to the success of the school. The development of character was one of
the principal aims of the school’s curriculum. The school was based on Patrick Pearse’s Scoil Éanna and
highlighted Irish history, language and culture.
From her earliest
days, Annie was inspired by the same nationalist ideals as her brother, Terence, and the other members of the
family. A fluent Irish speaker she was an ardent worker in the language cause. In
1914, she was a founding member, with Alice Cashel, of Cork’s Cumann na mBan
circle and was an initial courier on behalf of her brother Terence between Cork
and Dublin in the organisation of the Easter Rising. In October 1920, Annie
maintained a constant vigil at the bedside of her brother, Terence, during his
hunger strike in Brixton Prison. A broach, now in Cork Public Museum, containing strands of hair
of her dead brother Terence, was worn by her every day until her death.
Annie was prominently identified with
the leaders of the Republican side after the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1922 split. During
November 1922, she went on hunger strike herself when her sister was imprisoned
in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin. When she considered that others were diverging from
the vision of full freedom, she remained with the narrow Republican minority.
She was invariably outspoken and uncompromising in her views, yet she always
retained the respect of political opponents. She stood by her principles
throughout her life.In an obituary in the Cork Examiner on 16
October 1954, it remarked that “her passing removes one of the city’s most
esteemed educationalists and one of the foremost members of the Republican
Just before Annie’s death in
1954 Scoil Íte amalgamated with nearby Scoil Mhuire and took that name. The
building at 3 Belgrave Place, Wellington Road, which housed Scoil Íte, is now
occupied by Sheila’s Hostel. Annie lived at 4 Belgrave Place for many years.
Scoil Mhuire is still operating at Sidney Place, Wellington Road.
1114a. Muriel MacSwiney, Mary McSwiney & Annie
MacSwiney, late 1920 (source: National Library of Ireland).
1114b. No.3 Belgrave Place, formerly the McSwiney St
Ita’s School, the blue building, now Sheila’s Hostel, Wellington Road (picture:
Next Thursday 26 August is the last day for public submissions to the Planning Directorate, City Hall on this proposal. My objections on the encroachment, via building a new car park onto the edge of the Atlantic Pond, are outlined below and have been acknowledged as received by the planning unit.
Public submissions may be made on any planning application by post and accompanied by the €20 fee. They may also be made via email to email@example.com and the submitter will be contacted by a member of Planning staff to take a card payment.
“Re: Planning Application at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork, 21/40374Dear Director,I write to make my concerns known regarding the planning proposal submitted above.There are parts of the proposal I support such as the GAA museum and cafe, but I have very large concerns on the car parking and on the Atlantic Pond intrusion. The car parking issue has never fully been resolved down by the Pairc.
Even at the most recent matches cars were still parked across immediate green spaces and in the new bicycle lanes on Centre Park Road and beyond. And the crowd at that match was smaller than usual because of COVID measures. A proper transport plan to and from the Pairc is needed. One cannot just keep building another carpark and hope that eliminates the problem. In addition for me providing another car park is not about enhancing the public realm. A car park brings many hazards plus does not add to what the new adjacent Marina Park is trying to do in terms of a very valuable green space or add to the new pedestrianisation areas such as The Marina.
The other principal issue I have is the construction and intrusion of a car park on the physical western bank of the Atlantic Pond. There are serious ecological concerns in pursuing the construction on the ‘edge’ of the pond. Another car park will destroy the ecology of that immediate area of the pond in particular, and have a knock-on effect on the whole pond. In addition, I feel the proposed playground to be provided is a tokenistic one at best.
Irish International Trading Corporation presents archive materials to Cork City Library
As part of Ireland’s National Heritage Week celebrations, Irish International Trading Corporation (IITC) has handed over an extensive collection of archive materials to Cork City Library, ensuring that the rich history of the 101-year-old company will be maintained for generations to come. Local historian and Cork City Councillor Kieran McCarthy has also presented copies of his new book to the library, Irish International Trading Corporation (Cork), Celebrating 100 Years which details the company’s growth from 1920 to the present day.
archive materials presented to Cork City Library include minutes from board
meetings, cash books, ledgers, letters and notes all dating back to the
company’s inception against the backdrop of the Burning of Cork in 1920. These
materials, as well as an exhibition of photographs will remain on display in
the public areas of the library until September 17th.
at the formal handover of archive material to Cork City Library, the Lord Mayor
of Cork, Councillor Colm Kelleher said, “The handover of these historic
documents and copies of Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s book is an opportunity to
celebrate the legacy of IITC and its shared history with Cork, whilst also
highlighting the important role that Cork City Library plays as a custodian of
the city’s rich history. I am delighted to be helping IITC celebrate this
occasion, and I look forward to its continued success”.
Managing Director, David Heffernan said, “Today marks another
significant milestone in the history of IITC. The original headquarters for the
company was located on Grand Parade, across the road from Cork City Library, so
in effect we are returning these materials close to the site of the inaugural
meetings that took place in the 1920s. In Cllr McCarthy’s book, we now have a
definitive and detailed account of the work that our founders carried out to
ensure that Cork played a key role in establishing trade routes with other
countries in the early 1900s”.
The duty of care for these documents of significant historical importance now falls upon Cork City Libraries, and the newly appointed city librarian David O’Brien. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to preserve these materials in our archives. IITC was founded at a time of enormous historical significance in Cork, so it is truly fascinating to be able to reflect on the work that was done in setting up a company that fostered crucial trading links to Europe and America. It is our duty as trustees of Cork’s history to ensure that these documents, which are sure to be of public interest, are preserved for generations to come”.
IITC was founded by a collective of Cork business families at the Grand Parade in Cork in 1920. The founders were motivated by a desire to support commercial and industrial development in a new emerging Ireland. IITC has played a key role in the development of Cork, from supplying materials to aid the rebuilding of the city after its burning in 1920 all the way through to supporting local enterprise today. From relatively small beginnings, IITC has grown to become a national business with a global reach, employing over 120 people with annual sales of €60 million.
The midway point has been reached for
National Heritage Week 2021. There is still time to engage with my two virtual
projects this year – the audio heritage trails of the Bridges of Cork and The
Marina respectively. Usually, I am up to my eyes happily facilitating historical
walking tours. But Covid is still scuppering my physical events. but hopefully
the next few months will coincide with better news for the gathering of large
groups that do not have to be socially distanced apart.
Both new audio trails are hosted by Meitheal
Mara and I. All you need is your smartphone and some
headphones. The first audio trail provides insights into
the histories of the Cork city centre’s bridges, their place in Cork and some
of their surrounding histories.The walk around the bridges is about two hours in
duration. The trail is clockwise from South Gate Bridge up the south channel
and down the north channel to cross back to the south channel. It ends at Nano
They say the best way to get to know a place
is to walk it. Through many centuries Cork has experienced every phase of Irish
urban development. It is a city you can get lost in narrow streets, marvel at
old cobbled lane ways, photograph old street corners, gaze at clues from the
past, engage in the forgotten and the remembered, search and connect for
something of oneself, and thirst in the sense of story-telling – in essence
feel the DNA of the place. With so many layers of history in Cork, there is
much to see on any walk around Cork City and its respective neighbourhoods. The
River Lee has had and continues to have a key role in the city’s
Corkonians and visitors have crossed over the River Lee’s bridges and have
appreciated the river’s tranquil and hypnotic flow.
The audio trail begins at the oldest of the city’s bridges –
that of South Gate Bridge. In the time of the Anglo Normans establishing
a fortified walled settlement and a trading centre in Cork around 1200 AD,
South Gate Drawbridge formed one of the three entrances – North Gate Bridge and
Watergate being the others. A document for the year 1620 stated that the mayor,
Sheriff and commonality of Cork, commissioned Alderman Dominic Roche to erect
two new drawbridges in the city over the river where timber bridges existed at
the South Gate Bridge and the other at North Gate.
In May 1711, agreement was reached by the council of
the City that North Gate Bridge would be rebuilt in stone in 1712 while in
1713, South Gate Bridge would be replaced with a stone arched structures. South
Gate Bridge still stands today in its past form as it did over 300 years ago
apart from a small bit of restructuring and strengthening in early 1994.
The second of the new audio trails is on The Marina. A stroll
down The Marina is popular by many people. The area is particularly
characterized by its location on the River Lee and the start of Cork Harbour.
Here scenery, historical monuments and living heritage merge to create a
historical tapestry of questions of who developed such a place of ideas. Where
not all the answers have survived, The Marina is lucky, that archives,
newspaper accounts, census records and old maps and other insights have
survived to showcase how the area and the wider area has developed. These give
an insight into ways of life and ambitions in the past, some of which can help
the researcher in the present day in understanding The Marina’s evolution and
sense of place going forward.
Cork’s Marina was originally called the Navigation Wall or in essence it
was an additional dock for ships adjacent to Cork City’s South Docks area. It
was completed in 1761.
Following the constitution of the Cork Harbour Commissioners in 1814 and
their introduction of steam dredging, a vigorous programme of river and berth
deepening, quay and wharf building commenced. The dredger of the Cork Harbour
Commissioners deposited the silt from the river into wooden barges, which were
then towed ashore. The silt was re-deposited behind the Navigation Wall.
During the Great
Famine, the deepening of the river created jobs for 1,000 men who worked on
widening the physical dock of the Navigation Wall. In essence a fine road was
constructed, which linked into Cork’s South Docks. To give an aesthetic to the
new road, a fine row of elm trees was planted c.1856 by Prof. Edmund Murphy of
Queen’s College Cork (now UCC). The elm trees were part of a crop and tree
In 1870, the Gaelic
poet and scholar Donncha Ó Floinn put forward to the Improvements Committee of
Cork Corporation that the new road of the Navigation wall be named Slí na
hAbhann, which means the ‘pathway by the river’. Ó Floinn’s proposal was not
accepted. The matter came before the Improvements Committee again in 1872. This
time Ó Floinn suggested that the promenade be named ‘The Marina’. He outlined
that ‘The Marina’ was the name allocated to a recently reclaimed piece of land
near Palermo in Sicily. In July 1872, Cork Corporation formally adopted ‘The
Marina’ as the name of the new road or promenade.
Listen to Kieran’s new audio trails under history trails at www.corkheritage.ie
1113a. Daly’s Bridge aka Shaky Bridge, present day, which is one of the
featured bridges in Kieran’s new audio heritage trail (picture: Kieran
1113b. The Marina, Cork, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy).
Cllr Kieran McCarthy, in collaboration with
Meitheal Mara, is delighted to present two audio heritage trails this year as
part of this week’s National Heritage Week (14-22 August). Take a walk and
discover everything about the beautiful bridges of Cork with Kieran’s brand new
audio trail. Stroll along the popular Marina and find out about its rich
The Bridges of Cork audio trail provides insights
into the histories of the Cork city centre’s bridges, their place in Cork and
some of their surrounding histories. The walk around the bridges is about two
hours in duration and the trail is clockwise from South Gate Bridge up the
south channel and down the north channel to cross back to the south channel. It
ends at Nano Nagle Bridge. All you need is your smartphone and some headphones.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “With so many layers of
history in Cork, there is much to see on any walk around Cork City and its
respective neighbourhoods. Covid, though, has scuppered my physical walking
tours for a second year in a row. However, I’m very excited about this new audio
trail, which provides insights into the histories of Cork city centre’s
bridges, their place in Cork and insights into some of their surrounding local
“This trail around the bridges is about two hours
in length and the trail is clockwise from South Gate Bridge up the south
channel and down the north channel to cross back to the south channel”,
“A stroll down The Marina is popular by many
people. The area is particularly characterised by its location on the River Lee
and the start of Cork Harbour. Here scenery, historical monuments and living
heritage merge to create a historical tapestry of questions of who developed
such a place of ideas”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
The audio trails are free to download. Just access
them from Cllr McCarthy’s www.corkheritage.ie website under the History Trails