Earlier this month the award ceremony of the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project took place outdoors at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part in the 2021/22 school year, which included schools in Ballinlough, Beaumont, Blackrock and Douglas and with a reach to Glanmire, Bishopstown, and inner city suburban schools as well. Circa 800 students participated in the process with approx 220 project books submitted on all aspects of Cork’s local history and it cultural and built heritage.
The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 20th year and is a youth platform for students to do research and write it up in a project book on any topic of Cork history. The aim of the project is to allow students to explore, investigate and debate their local heritage in a constructive, active and fun way.
Co-ordinator and founder of the project, Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted that: “It’s been a great journey over twenty years of promoting and running this project. Over the years, I have received some great projects on Cork landmarks such as Shandon and Nano Nagle Place but also on an array of oral history projects – students working closely with parents, guardians and grandparents. I’ve even seen very original projects, such as this year I received a history trail on fossils on Cork’s buildings and on public pavements. The standard of model-making and in recent years, short film making – to go with project books – have always been creative”.
“This year the Project technically had two award ceremonies – an online YouTube video presenting winning projects to the Lord Mayor of cork Cllr Colm Kelleher, and an informal and outdoor prize-giving event at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
The Project is funded by Cork City Council with further sponsorship offered by Learnit Lego Education, Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran McCarthy. Full results for this year’s project as well as the YouTube award ceremony are online on Cllr McCarthy’s heritage website, www.corkheritage .ie. This website also has several history trails, his writings, and resources, which Kieran wrote up and assembled over the past two years.
Irish Water working in partnership with Cork City Council, are undertaking vital water network improvement works on the Douglas Road, Cork City, to ensure a safer and more reliable water supply to customers in the area.
These improvement works are being carried out as part of Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme. This is a programme underway to provide the community with a more reliable water supply, improve water quality, remove old damaged pipes from the water network and reduce leakage.
The works are due to take place for 5 nights from Monday 28 February through to Saturday morning 5 March. In order to safely and efficiently complete these works they will be undertaken at night and under a road closure as granted by Cork City Council in consultation with An Garda Síochána. The road closure will be in place from 7pm to 6am with the road re-opening outside of these hours.
Due to the location of the existing water mains and requirement to cross both lanes with excavations, closure of one lane to maintain traffic flows is unfeasible and therefore a full road closure is required.
The Douglas Road will be closed from the bottom of the Southern Road at the Infirmary Road/Old Blackrock Road/Langford Row Junction to the junction of the Douglas Road and Tramore Lawn. The recommended vehicular diversion will be via Langford Row, Summerhill South, Evergreen Road, South Douglas road to the turn for Tramore Lawn where traffic will re-join the Douglas Road. The diversion will be signposted on approach.
26 February 2022, “Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy said that, while any measure to tackle vacancies in Cork is welcome, the new regulations could open up a ‘can of worms’. “Many of these pubs are historic structures within villages and towns. My concern would be that someone could now just come along and create some modern monstrosity and not need planning permission”, Pubs to homes plan: Residential potential for disused pubs in Cork, Pubs to homes plan: Residential potential for disused pubs in Cork (echolive.ie)
26 February 2022, “Independent Cork city councillor Kieran McCarthy has said he will be using his position on the European Committee of the Regions (COR) to lobby the European Commission and Parliament to issue humanitarian aid to Ukrainian people”, City Hall lights up in support of Ukraine, City Hall lights up in support of Ukraine (echolive.ie)
Journeys to a Free State: Challenges of Commercial Life
There were plenty concerns for Cork society in early 1922. In early February, the 39th annual report of the Cork Incorporated Chamber of Shipping and Commerce – and one of two Chambers of Commerce in the city at the time – was published in the Cork Examiner. Reflecting on the previous twelve months, the Chamber report describes that during 1921 they hosted fifteen meetings of the Chamber’s central council and several meetings of subcommittees dealing with special subjects were held. John Crosbie was the elected president and the Vice President for 1921 was Braham E Sutton.
Social and political unrest were key characteristics of their 1921 report, which details the practical paralysis of business. In the early part of the year, large areas were cut off from communication with Cork by rail owing to the shutting down of portions of the railway system by the military authorities and through the closing down of the Cork and Bandon, and Cork-Macroom railway lines, due to industrial strikes in late 1921. In June 1921 the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway was closed by the military and was shut down for nearly four weeks. The transport situation was much alleviated after the proclamation of the Truce in July 1921.
During 1921 the topic of the transhipment of the mails to the south of Ireland was one of the most repeated campaigns by the Chamber’s council. They continued to point out that the delivery of cross channel letters to Cork at 1pm daily rendered it impossible to reply to them for the next outgoing mail at 2pm the same day. A Belfast incoming mail delivery system of cross channel mail had been accelerated to 10am. No solution was forthcoming for Cork.
The Chamber’s council identified that firstly an acceleration of 40 minutes in the delivery of mail could be affected by firstly a quicker transfer at Holyhead and Kingstown. The delay at Holyhead had been due largely to the examination of luggage there. Secondly the Great Southern and Western Railway could run a special engine with the South of Ireland train from Kingstown to Kingsbridge at an extra cost of £450 per annum to the post office. Representatives of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company promised to bring the matters affecting their mail system before their directors but by early 1922, everyone was still waiting for that outcome.
In general, though, the Chamber’s council expressed ongoing and strong disapproval of the postmaster general’s increased postal charges on the ground. This was also coupled with a late morning delivery of local letters and the curtailment of Sunday mail facilities. They also championed the acceleration of the Fishguard and the Rosslare mails service.
The aftermath of the Burning of Cork was still felt in early 1922. However, in the early part of 1921, the Chamber lobbied for the General Strickland enquiry into the Burning of Cork in December 1920 be published. In a letter by the Council’s Honorary Secretary, Christian Danckert, to UK Prime Minister Lloyd George in February 1921 the Chamber noted: “We learn from the newspapers that it was considered by the Cabinet some weeks ago, and we are at a loss to understand why no indication of its contents has as yet been allowed to transpire. Seeing that property and the value of millions of pounds is in question, the very existence of the city as a commercial community may be said to be at stake. The Council think it lamentable that the unfortunate victims of this terrible calamity should be left in suspense week after week. Nor is interest in the matter confined to Cork, seeing that London underwriters are also concerned for large amounts of compensation. One would suppose the common feelings of humanity would prompt those in authority over this unhappy country to allay the lacerating anxiety, both public and private, which for more than a month has been allowed to prevail. No other means being available to us, my council now addresses this enquiry to you in the hope that I will obtain a response more adequate than the bold acknowledgement, which was thought sufficient for previous communications to the Chief Secretary on this terrible subject”.
Early in 1921, the Chamber’s council created a conference of the owners of property affected by the Burning of Cork. A special committee consisting of representatives of the firms affected and members of the council was formed. This committee held several meetings, collected valuable evidence regarding the origin of the burnings, took up the question with the server insurance companies involved, and obtain special legal advice on the various aspects of the question. They deemed that the preliminary work of that committee would be of much assistance from the final claims for reparation in connection of the Irish settlement come to be adjusted. The council specifically called for Cork claims to be presented separately from these of the other parts of Ireland – due to the extent of “exceptionally aggravating circumstances” and the “convincing evidence of the origin of these fires”.
The Chamber’s council was also involved in a campaign for the establishment of a proper cattle market for Cork. Such a campaign had been ongoing for a quarter of a century. They supported the work of the County of Cork Committee of Agriculture. The proposal was to establish a Cork central cattle market to serve as a clearing ground for the south of Ireland.
A committee was appointed to explore the question and they reported back that their preference was for the site occupied by the corn and Haymarket behind City Hall. However, with City Hall in ruins and its compensation still not sorted the report of the committee was stalled, and ultimately did not come to fruition.
The Chamber’s council was also active in strongly protesting the continuance of the embargo on Eastbourne vessels calling at Cork Harbour. Irish passengers and mails, instead of being landed at Cork harbour, were taken onto English ports and sent back again to Ireland. The embargo was lifted at the end of 1921.
1139a. Postcard of Parnell Bridge, Cork City Hall & Cork Carnegie Library, c.1900, pre the Burning of Cork, from Cork City Through Time (2012) by Dan Breen & Kieran McCarthy.
An Post Press Office has sent the official press statement below today denoting they have had trouble finding a new postmaster for High Street. I didn’t see the call and I don’t believe at all it was widely advertised. Whether or which, there is a job going for someone.
In otherwords, the only way to save the post office is to find someone interested in taking it over. Full details of jobs spec from High Street Post Office, and it would be an immediate start from early March.
An Post: “Our Postmaster in High Street, Cork City tendered his resignation at the start of January.We advertised the contract on two occasions but we have received no applications and no interest in the vacant contract. Our PM wishes to exit the High Street contract on Saturday 5th March.We have no alternative but to close the High office on that date and transfer customers in receipt of payments from the Department of Social Protections SP to South Douglas Road PO.
Customer notices to that effect will go on display this week.Customers will move initially to South Douglas road, less than 1k away, and will then have the option of transferring to other offices in the area including Albert Road, Friars Road, Ballinlough PO or our Cork city office”.
Season 20 for Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project
This month marks the conclusion of the 20th school season of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. Over the past twenty years the school wing of my local history work aims to engage younger generation to take up an interest in the history, heritage, and geography of the city.
This city-based project is kindly funded by Cork City Council (thanks to Niamh Twomey, Heritage Office), and supported by Old Cork Waterworks Experience Lee Road (thanks to Meryvn Horgan), It 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. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part in this school season. Circa 800 students participated in the process and approx 200 projects were submitted on all aspects of Cork’s history.
A full list of winners, topics and pictures of some of the project pages for 2022 can be viewed on my YouTube film at my website www.corkheritage.ie. A virtual presentation of the projects and students’ work was given to Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Colm Kelleher. For those doing research, www.corkheritage.ie has also a number of resources listed to help with source work and loads of Cork City History virtual trails to discover..
One of the key aims of the project is to allow students to explore, investigate and comment on their local history in a constructive, active and fun way. The emphasis is on the process of doing a project and learning not only about your area but also developing new personal skills. Many of the topics in the city such as general histories of how Cork developed have myriads of history books written on them. However, the challenge in this project is to get students to devise methodologies that provide interesting and personal ways to approach the study of local history for up-and-coming generations.
Submitted projects this year and in previous years have been colourful, creative, contain personal opinions, imagination, and gain publicity. These elements form the basis of a student friendly narrative analysis approach where the students explore their project topic in an interactive way. In particular students are encouraged to attain primary material through engaging with several methods such as fieldwork, interviews with local people, making models, photographing, cartoon creating, and making short films of their study topic.
For example, a winning class project this school season from fourth class in Scoil Naomh Caitriona in Bishopstown focussed on the story of Nano Nagle and her legacy. They visited Nano Nagle Place, took the great educational tour, and returned to their classroom to create a project book thinking about how Nano’s story could be presented to a younger generation. The project book is full of historical snippets but also impressive art and craft work, making their project one that a reader wants to turn the page on. Another impressive and winning project on the life and times of Nano Nagle was delivered by fifth class in St Patrick’s Boys National School, Gardiner’s Hill
Light was also shone on the story of Henry Ford and his legacy in Cork, when an overall winning student, Cuan O’Neill from Beaumont Boys National School wrote about the history of the tractor and car factory on the Marina. He wrote to experts in the field of Ford history engaging their views, and really created a project book, where one could hear the voices of why the Ford legacy should be championed in the present day, but also perhaps how to look at how Corkonians remember such a legacy.
This year marks went towards making a short film or a model on projects to accompany history booklets. Submitted short films this year had interviews of family members, neighbours to local historians to the student taking a reporter type stance on their work. Some students also chose to act out scenes from the past. One winning student, Oscar Ó Loinsigh, from Beaumont Boys National School did a short film tour of the Queenstown Story in Cobh.
The creativity section also encourages model making. The best model trophy in general goes to the creative and realistic model. Models of GAA pitches, Cork City Gaol and the Crawford Art Gallery, and even board games of Elizabeth Fort and Spike Island featured this year in several projects – not only physical models but Minecraft digital models as well.
Every year, the students involved produce a section in their project books showing how they communicated their work to the wider community. It is about reaching out and gaining public praise for the student but also appraisal and further ideas. Covid scuppered a fuller publicity element, but projects were presented to other classes in schools. Over the years students have been putting work on local parish newsletters, newspapers and local radio stations and also presenting work in local libraries. Open days for parents in schools to view projects have been successful as well as putting displays on in local GAA halls, credit unions, community centres and libraries.
Overall, the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project attempts to provide the student with a hands-on and interactive activity that is all about learning not only about your local area but also about the process of learning by participating students.
Check out the YouTube awards ceremony under the Schools’ Heritage Project at www.corkheritage.ie. Here’s to school season 21 coming this September 2022!
1138a. Portrait of Nano Nagle by fourth class in St Catherine’s National School in Bishopstown.
1138b. Minecraft model of old Ford Factory, The Marina by Cuan O’Neill, Beaumont Boys National School.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the allocation by government of e.161,000 for a safety revamp of the junction Bellair Estate and Ballinlough Road, adjacent to Our Lady of Lourdes School. The sum came as part of a central government package of funding to Cork City Council as part of a Low Cost Safety Scheme for local road networks.
Cllr McCarthy highlights: “The corner of Old Lady of Lourdes National School is a blind corner and has many people crossing this dangerous stretch of road every day. Public safety has been a regular issue that local people have raised with me. With colleagues, it’s been a very long battle through many Council motions and debates at Council level to get funding in place for the revamp of the junction. I do think though that when the campaign to seek funding was ramped up last year by the local school community and residents in the local area, that it pushed the narrative strongly to central government to intercede, and finally deal with the large scale funding needed to meet the junction’s problems”.
“Over many years, I have received much correspondence and phone calls from people highlighting stories of near misses and outlining fears for themselves and in many cases, children living in the local area. It was people power, which drove the funding to be put in place. It is envisaged that the junction will be raised with pedestrian crossings. Ward Councillors do not have a design to show yet or a timeline for public consultation and construction, but we can now work on those aspects and through those aspects”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
To ask the CE about the mechanisms in place to combat homelessness this winter in the city?
How many homelessness cases on the streets in the last weekend of January 2022?
Are their beds available for all homelessness at this point in time in the city (early February 2022)?
How many emergency accommodation units?
To ask for the breakdown of finance given to housing homeless agencies in the city in 2021 & for 2022? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).
That the public lighting provision be examined and new lighting, as appropriate, be installed at Flaherty’s Lane, which gives access into Glencoo Estate, Ballinlough, and at Wallace’s Avenue if needs be (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).
That the circular road/ trail around Tramore Valley Park be examined and resurfaced, if needs, be to help people walk and cycle upon it (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).
That the Skehard Road park get signage erected on site naming it as such, plus an examination of how to deal with flooding and drainage in its southern section plus the provision of new trees, as appropriate (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).
That Ballybrack Heights, Donnybrook be added to the re-surfacing list for the South East LEA, as well as prioritising repairs of the estate’s footpaths (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).