Monthly Archives: July 2023

Lord Mayor’s The Echo Column, 29 July 2023

Collaboration is Crucial:

The past few weeks coincided with Cork rated 24th in world rankings for quality of life. It is great to see Cork achieve such a global accolade – yes there are lots of challenges to tackle but a truckload of opportunities to keep pushing forward with as well.

In that light of positivity, it is important to note the work of many Cork entities who are pushing for a better quality of life and many of which are working with each other to make sure any collaboration opportunities are maximised. Cork City Enterprise Office in collaboration with my own Lord Mayor’s office recently celebrated the contributions of several local entrepreneurs, who contributed to a new online guidebook on enterprise development.

Entitled “Business Development in Cork: An Entrepreneur’s Guide, 2023” it is the first of its kind nationally and provides an extensive overview of the range of supports available from key stakeholders including Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Enterprise Ireland, The Local Enterprise Offices, Cork BIC, University College Cork, and Munster Technological University.  

The case studies included highlight best practice across the different stages of business development, pre-start, start and growth stage. The case studies provide some excellent examples of the creativity and resilience of Cork citizens who are making a significant difference by providing much needed jobs, products and services.

Ultimately, the downloadable publication aims to assist entrepreneurs and businesses in Cork to navigate the wide range of financial and non-financial supports available at all stages of development. get in touch with Cork City Local Enterprise for more information.

Pure Cork:

A second online collaborative platform of note is the Pure Cork website It is a one stop shop to help anyone interested – locals and tourists – exploring what activities are going on the city and the wider region. Pure Cork is a strategic project, which began in 2015, and which set out to brand Cork as a visitor destination.

The strategy is led by Cork City and County Councils and a high-level Tourism Strategy Group. There is a collaborated vision and action plan, which gives cohesive direction to the future growth of tourism in Cork. This process is supported by Fáilte Ireland. 

Cork Sports Partnership:

A third online collaborative platform of note to check out is that of Cork Sports Partnership. Their website and social media showcase a wide range of actions with the aim of increasing sport and physical activity participation levels in local communities across Cork. They work closely with the sports division of Cork City Council and together organise some really great summer sports activities in the city’s parks and public greens in housing estates.

The Partnership works closely to develop clubs, coaches and volunteers and support partnerships between local sports clubs, community-based organisations and sector agencies. They create greater opportunities for access to training and education in relation to sport and physical activity provision. They provide targeted programmes, events and initiatives to increase physical activity and sport participation. They also provide information about sport and physical activity to create awareness and access.

Meeting Notes from the Lord Mayor’s Desk:

My social media at present is filled with short interviews with people I am meeting. It is a personal pet project I call #VoicesofCork, which over the next few weeks and months will build into not only a mapping of the diversity of the work of the Lord Mayor but most importantly also to give a voice to a cross-section of those I meet.

17 July 2023, A visit to the Old Cork Waterworks Experience to chat to Manager Mervyn Horgan who spoke about the heritage venue’s historical context & its present day science work with Cork students.

17 July 2023, A Voices of Cork interview with Ciara Brett who is Cork City Council’s Executive Archaeologist and who has been researching & helping with the conservation of Elizabeth Fort for many years.

18 July 2023, A visit to Cork City and County Archives to Brian Magee who is Cork City Council’s Chief Archivist at Cork City & County Archives. The archives is one of the city’s & region’s collection points for historical documents, photographs & ephemera. Read more on their fab website.

18 July 2023, My Irish dancing is very rusty but good fun was had in Blackrock Community Association with MC Carmel Hatchell, music provided by Douglas Comhaltas, & it all ended with a cup of tea & some cakes. Community life in Cork rocks as always.

20 July, An afternoon launch of new outdoor callisthenic gyms, which are installed by the Council across the city. Calisthenics is a workout that uses a person’s body weight with little or no equipment. Eight of the thirteen outdoor gyms are now open with the remainder under construction.

20 July 2023, I was honoured to launch the “Era of kind-heartedness, an art exhibition by Oksana Lebedieva at Cork’s Hideout Café. Oksana expressed her thanks by the welcome she has received since coming to Cork from Ukraine.

20 July 2023, A trip to the Cork Arts Theatre to see the amazing Cora Fenton and Ciarán Bermingham in the play Fred and Alice. This standing ovation play is written and directed by John Sheehy.

21 July 2023, I was delighted to receive Cork, Estonian and Greek students on an EU Erasmus Plus project. Their central theme was music collaboration.

21 July 2023, The fourth of five Lord Mayor’s historical walking tours for July took place on Shandon area & its history – from its famous churches to the butter market story to the shambles, and the streetscape development. Discover more of my tours under heritage tours on my website.

21 & 22 July 2023, It was great to visit the garden parties of Care Choice, Montenotte & Farranlea Community nursing unit in Wilton, respectively, and even sing for a few moments.

23 July 2023, Family fun activities continue in Cork’s Fitzgerald’s Park with a fab array of music headliners! The annual Joy in the Park is always a big gem in Cork’s cultural calendar, and I was delighted to launch the day of activities.

Cllr McCarthy’s Black Ash Historical Walking Tour. Saturday 29 July 2023, 2pm

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Kieran McCarthy continues his series of summer historical walking tours. He will conduct a walk across the area of Tramore Valley Park, formerly the Black Ash on Saturday afternoon, 29 July. The meeting point is the Halfmoon Lane gate, 2pm. The tour is free with a duration of 90 minutes. There is no booking required.

The Tramore Valley Park tour will explore the development of the area from being a swamp through to being a landfill and then onto being an artificial mound to enable the development of a park.

Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy noted: “Cork’s Tramore Valley Park is an exciting park addition by Cork City Council. What is also great is the rich historical archive of documents and maps, which reveal not only historical development of the immediate area but also the surrounds of the southern suburbs.

“Historically William Petty’s 1655 map of the city and its environs marks the site of Tramore Valley Park as Spittal Lands, a reference to the original local environment and the backing up of the Trabeg and Tramore tributary rivers as they enter the Douglas River channel. We are lucky that there is also really interesting perspectives on the area recorded through the ages, which have been great to research”.

“Walking across the park, one can feel the tension in its sense of place, a place haunted and engineered by its past and teeming with ideas about its future. Of course, there are green spaces scattered across the city but none with the same scale of development and story as the 160 acre site off Kinsale Road. This is a site where the city’s environment has also been a regular topic of debate across local newspapers and in the city’s council political chamber”, concluded Lord Mayor, Cllr McCarthy.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 27 July 2023

1212a. Map of Fever Hospital 1949 (source: Cork City Library).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 27 July 2023

Recasting Cork: A Fever Hospital Report

The annual meeting of the President and Assistants of the Cork Fever Hospital and the House of Recovery was held on 26 July 1923. The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor W Ellis, presided. Sir John Scott read the annual report for the year 1922, which had been compiled by the hospital’s Committee of Management. Dr A G Sutton, Resident Medical Officer, recorded that the number of cases admitted during the year were 505. Of these 351 were diphtheria, 21 were scarlatina, 47 were measles, 10 were typhoid fever, 31 were pneumonia, 7 were erysipelas, and all other cases 38.

The official details compiled by Dr Sutton show many interesting details of the hospital’s work, which was located atop Fever Hospital steps near the top of St Patrick’s Hill. A total of 290 cases were admitted from the north area of the city, 86 from the South, 78 from the flat of the city, and 51 cases from the rural districts. These comprised patients of various categories: labourers and their wives, labourers’ children, clerks and their wives and children, servants, students, clergymen, doctors, nurses and people of various other occupations.

The amount received from Cork Corporation was £1,800, £100 from the County Council, £414 from paying patients, £215 from the Joint Labour and Hospital Committee, £134 from subscriptions and donation and proceeds of a whist drive from a Mr D Barry – bringing their receipts to £4,563. The expenses amounted to £3,402.

The serious outbreak of small pox in England caused the Fever Hospital committee some anxiety and there was a fear Cork would be visited by such a dreadful disease. Constant means of communication by sea and by rail increased the danger of the disease being brought to Cork. Preparations were made with a view to coping with any call, which would be made on the resources of the hospital. The committee had twice publicly called upon and communicated with the public health authorities urging them to put a Vaccination Act into thorough operation in the city immediately. Over 2000 children in the City of Cork were unvaccinated.

The water supply of the city was also the cause of some anxiety to the medical profession. However, the committee were pleased to note that the Corporation and the Water Works Committee were taking very practical steps to have the sources of the water supply constantly and thoroughly inspected, and all causes of contamination or pollution promptly dealt with.

The hospital grounds also gave an excellent return of crops of potatoes and vegetables. In addition to being highly appreciated by the patients, it saved the hospital a considerable amount of money.

The report thanked friends and supporters of the hospital – Lady Scott for flowers and plants, St Paul’s Work Guild for articles of clothing, Miss Tel Murphy for toys, Mrs Cantillon of Carrigaline for flowers and cakes, Mrs Lyons of Church View House, Killinadrish for eggs, cream and cakes, Mideleton Dairy for cream, Miss Murphy of Wellington Road for magazines, Mrs Peters of St Finbarr’s Place for home made bread, Mrs Maltby and Mrs Ryan of Sutton’s Buildings for picture books, and many more individuals who sent cakes and prizes for the bridge tournament and whist drive.

The report also referenced Mr P L Smyth of Dublin who through his Derby Sweep (see past columns) organised by him gave a donation of £10,000 to be divided equally between four of Cork city’s hospitals – the North Infirmary, South Infirmary, Mercy Hospital, and Fever Hospital. Each got a sum of £2,500 in cash.

Rev Canon Flewett, in proposing the adoption of the reports, said that in listening to them that he had two points to make. The first was that the Fever Hospital had a great work to do in Cork City, and often “proved a bulwark for the general community against attacks of insidious disease”. He noted thus in the past the Fever Hospital had been most successful and keeping away from the city “every great disaster or trouble that might arise from a possible epidemic”. He further articulated that the hospital was doing great work; “It was doing that work well, and he could not help feeling that one and all connected with institution, the doctor [Dr Sutton], matron [Nurse MacCullagh], nurses, and the attendants, and those who attended the committee meetings, had all contributed their share in carrying out that work”.

Mr S H Newsom seconded the adoption of the reports and endorsed everything that had been said about the working of the institution. He had been associated with hospitals for a considerable time, and his experience had given him an idea of their worth and how they should be appreciated, and he felt that the fever hospital was a very important institution; “The fever hospital staff and nurses were practically always at the front and always in danger, but there seemed to be providential care over them we almost invariably escaped infection. The citizens of Cork are indebted to the institution, which is like a safety valve in connection with any infectious diseases that came on, and I hope it will long continue to be a blessing advantage to the city”.

Another committee member P Brady endorsed the report and made reference to the condition of certain streets in the city come from his personal observation the very worst streets were those abutting on corporation property, especially around the churches of Saint Peter and SS Peter and Paul’s; “The approaches to those churches were often loaded with domestic refuse and the refuse of stables. The bylaws affecting public health should not be allowed to go into abeyance, and had their operators forgotten their duty as regards the supervision that should be exercised over the officials. It was their duty to point out this matter to the cooperation and to raise public interest in it.

Kieran’s Upcoming Tour:

Saturday afternoon, 29 July 2023, Views from a Park – The Black Ash and Tramore Valley Park & Surrounds, historical walking tour; meet at Halfmoon Lane gate, 2pm (free, duration: 90 minutes no booking required). 


1212a. Map of Fever Hospital 1949 (source: Cork City Library).

Lord Mayor’s Column, The Echo, 22 July 2023

Rediscover Cork!

Summer in Cork brings holidays and many visitors to Cork historic core. The multitude of different languages is amplified as one strolls down the always busy Oliver Plunkett Street. Indeed, in my strolls through the city centre to different events the past few weeks, there have been days that the city has been rocking with laughter, chats, concerts, and many people sitting out enjoying the atmosphere in the myriad of different restaurants and cafes.

And yes the City has many challenges – which we are taking on – but we also have many days where Cork’s charming heart is very much on show. Those days we need to talk about much more in order to keep the city centre a positive space and to enhance its sense of place.

 Not only is the summer an important opportunity for tourists to discover our city, it is also an important opportunity for locals to rediscover the City and its wider region. Sometimes I feel as Corkonians we can take for granted what is front of us. For me in the past few summers, I have used the time to create new walking tours in different neighbourhoods of the city. The City has its challenges but it has very rich historical layers to rediscover.

Walk the streets, sit on a park bench, support the cultural activities, spend a few minutes or an hour at one of the city’s park festivals, and shop local.

Where to start? Google the Pure Cork website or check out my history trails on my heritage website, or take a walking tour!

Bláithin the Lizard is Back!

One City Centre related summer project, which is firmly aimed at families, local and tourist is the city’s annual Playful Culture Trail, which focuses on a trail around a colourful character called Bláithín the Lizard. The trail has proven a great success in encouraging families and children to explore Cork’s museums, galleries and historic sites – all of whom have collaborated on the trail.

The Playful Culture Trail was first established in Cork in 2021 as part of an ongoing commitment towards making Cork a ‘Playful City’ and to make cultural and heritage spaces more accessible and fun for children. The idea proved hugely popular with locals and visitors to the city alike and opened a new way of thinking about attractions in the city.

The trail is about finding new ways for families and children to rediscover the city’s many cultural attractions and greenspaces. This year’s theme encourages kids to get creative and use environmentally friendly ways to play and engage with our city’s rich heritage.

Meeting Notes from the Lord Mayor’s Desk:

My social media at present is filled with short interviews with people I am meeting. It is a personal pet project I call #VoicesofCork, which over the next few weeks and months will build into not only a mapping of the diversity of the work of the Lord Mayor but most importantly also to give a voice to a cross-section of those I meet.

3 July 2023, I was honoured to be able to launch the 2023 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival today and to sing with Danny Boy with Cork’s Ukrainian Choir. The festival will occur from Thursday, 27 July, over three days and nights until Saturday, 29 July.  It will be based at the Shandon Maldron Hotel, and the events will all be held in and around the old historic community of Shandon. Read more on the festival’s website.

5 July 2023, It was a very short trip as a member to the EU Committee of the Regions in Brussels for its plenary session, and to conduct a short interview with Vasco Cordeiro, President, European Committee of the Regions on how Cork connects to the EU. 

7 July 2023, The Cork Lions Club made their annual visit to City Hall. They have served Cork since 1957 and one of 100 Lions Clubs in District 133 Ireland part of Lions International. Cork Lions Club have supported local and international charities for over six decades.

10 July 2023, It was great to attend the Mardyke arena gym. Sporting performance in UCC has been taken to another level with the official opening of a high-performance team gym at the Mardyke Arena. Almost 100 people attended the official opening ceremony of the new University College Cork Mardyke Arena Elite Athlete/ Team high-performance strength conditioning gym, with the new facility coming as a major boost for Cork’s elite athletes and teams competing at national, international and Olympic levels.

10 July 2023, It was my first chairing of a Cork City Council meeting! My thanks to my colleagues for their patience and support. It was a long five hour meeting where everything from bridge naming to greenways to the Council’s social and affordable housing projects, were discussed.

12 July 2023, To celebrate Frederick Douglass Week, I joined Dr Adrian Mulligan on the Cork Abolitionist Trail with members of the public. We met at the impressive mural designed by Cork artist Kevin O’Brien on the Grand Parade. American Abolitionist Douglass visited Cork in the winter of 1845 where he met a number of prominent Corkonians including Fr Theobald Mathew.

12 July 2023, It was great to visit Cork County Hall and to chat to Mayor of County Cork Cllr Frank O’Flynn and to explore further collaborations across topics & policies such as housing, transport, heritage & sport. 

12 & 13 July 2023, Thanks to everyone who attended the first of my Lord Mayor historical walking tours. More to come for National Heritage Week in mid-August.

13 July 2023, Cork City Council launched its Community Recognition fund amongst several of the city’s community projects. The €50 million central government fund is a major initiative designed to support local authorities such as Cork City Council specifically support communities across the country that are hosting people from Ukraine and other countries.

14 July 2023, Major congrats to the five new officer of Cadet Class 61 who were commissioned as officers in Haulbowline this week. Great to chat with senior officers of the Defence Forces; my thanks to Flag Officer Commodore Michael Malone & Commander of the Naval College Caoimhín Mac Unfraidh for their courtesy.

Lord Mayor’s Press Release,Cork City Council installs Eleven New Outdoor Gyms, 21 July 2023

Cork City Council, in association with Cork Sports Partnership and Cork Education and Training Board, are in the process of installing eleven new outdoor gyms in our Parks around the city. These clustered Callisthenic Gyms, with age friendly and accessible elements, have proven very popular at Tramore Valley Park, Harty’s Quay, and Ballincollig Regional Park. The new locations are:


Following a pilot program to provide people with the confidence and skills to use the gyms, a series of free sessions, given by trained instructors, are being offered to the public. These sessions will be open to all ages and abilities but with some targeted at young women who can be too intimidated to use the gyms.

The Lord Mayor Cllr. Kieran McCarthy praised the installation of the gyms: “The installation of new Outdoor Gyms in City parks across our city is a great way to provide a space for the people of Cork to keep active and healthy. These gym installations have proved very popular so far and there have already been public calls for more in other city neighbourhoods. The pilot programme with instructors for our younger citizens is an important opportunity to give them the confidence to use this equipment without assistance in the future”.

These sessions are all about giving people knowledge and the confidence to be able to come to these gyms with a friend, a parent or sibling and use themselves. This program is starting off with five locations, Gerry O’ Sullivan Park, Tramore Valley Park, John O’Callaghan Park, Murphy’s Farm and Lough Mahon but will be rolled out to other areas in due course.

The free training sessions will take place in the coming weeks at the following locations and times:

On Wednesdays:

Tramore Valley Park –  11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Gerry O’Sullivan Park, Gurranabraher – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Thursdays:

John O’Callaghan Park, Glanmire – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Lough Mahon, Blackrock – 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

On Fridays:

Tramore Valley Park (female only sessions) – 12:30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.

For further information or for booking groups you can contact Gary O Sullivan at / 086 168 6159.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 20 July 2023

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 20 July 2023

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2023

The 2023 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival will take place in the Maldron Hotel, Shandon from Thursday 27 July to Saturday 29 July.The festival celebrates the life and achievements of Cork woman, Mary Harris. She was born in the Shandon area in 1837 and went on to become Mother Jones, known as the “most dangerous woman in America” due to her activism on behalf of the miners, and exploited workers.

The 2023 Festival poster which features the stunning new portrait of Mother Jones by artist Lindsay Hand which was commissioned by the Consulate General of Ireland in Chicago. The original is currently on display at the Consulate. 

It has a wide programme of events for everyone. From trade union leaders like Mick Lynch to historians like Anne Twomey and Liz Gillis to Freewoman of Cork City Mary Crilly, the festival will cover a wide range of topics.  Full details can be obtained from the website 

According to Jim Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee, there will be 20 events: 

“We will have over 20 events ranging from challenging talks and lively discussions, to walks and exhibitions, to singing, traditional toasts and music all related to the festival’s themes of social, labour and environmental justice and human rights in celebration of Cork’s Rebel Daughter, Mother Jones. 

We wish to thank our sponsors in particular the Cork City Council, the Cathedral Credit Union, the SIPTU trade union, the ASTI Trade union and many other unions and individuals who help by their support and sponsorship. Through their assistance this festival and summer school remains free and open to all to participate in and enjoy”. 

Speakers will include Liz Gillis, Mary Crilly, Mick Lynch, Eoghan Daltun and many more as well as regulars such as Anne Twomey, Luke Dineen as well as walking talks by Maggie O’Neill and Peter Foynes. The return of the Cork Singers’ Club, Jimmy Crowley, Johnny Nyhan as well as the Cork Ukrainian Choir and singer Martin Leahy should ensure entertainment for all. 

The Festival will feature documentaries such as the trade union classic Salt of the Earth from 1954 as well as a timely documentary on the “Mother” of the Environmental movement Rachel Carson.  

The very active Cork Mother Jones Committee members work hard to create the festival, which ranks among the most popular summer schools in Ireland, throughout the year on an entirely voluntary basis. They are grateful too to the wonderful Shandon Community for their positive role in holding this festival.  

Mary Harris was born in Cork in 1837 and was baptised by Fr John O’Mahony in the Cathedral of SS Mary’s & Anne on 1 August of that year. As with thousands of other children on Cork’s north side, she was baptised in the 200-year-old baptismal font which is still positioned at the entrance to the North Chapel. Her parents were Ellen Cotter, a native of Inchigeela and Richard Harris from Cork city.

    Mary had two brothers, Richard born in 1835 in Inchigeela, and William in 1846, her sisters were Catherine born in 1840, and Ellen in 1845. William later became Dean of St Catherine’s in Toronto and was a noted Catholic author and scholar. The Harris family lived through the Great Famine, which claimed thousands of lives in the slums of Cork City. They then survived the horrors of the coffin ships when the family emigrated to Toronto in the early 1850s.

   By 1860, Mary had qualified as a teacher and was teaching in Monroe, Michigan. She later worked as a dressmaker and married George Jones, an iron moulder, and who was a member of the International Iron Moulders Union. They settled in Winchester Street in Memphis, Tennessee. George and Mary had four children, Catherine in 1862, Elizabeth in 1863, Terence in 1865 and Mary in 1867. After living through the American Civil War, tragedy struck the Harris family and George and his young family was wiped out by the yellow fever epidemic in 1867 in Memphis. Mary survived this appalling horror.

Mary went to Chicago where she resumed her dressmaking, established a little business. Again disaster struck when on 9 October 1871 the great fire of Chicago destroyed her premises. Little is known of Mary for a decade or more however it seems that she became very active in the growing Labour movement which was then organising for fair pay and decent working conditions in the factories, mills and mines of a rapidly industrialising North America. It was a time of huge labour ferment with rail strikes in 1877 and the 1886 Haymarket incident in Chicago. Mary’s political and social consciousness led her to support the underdog in society and she got involved into active union activity.

   In 1890, the United Mine Workers union was formed; many of the tough union organisers were Irish and Mary too became an organiser. She was nearly sixty years old. As a woman operating in a rough male world of miners and mining pits, she was utterly fearless. She was outspoken and she cut an inspirational figure, being immaculately dressed in her long black dress, bonnet and carrying a handbag amidst the industrial debris of coal pits.

   Mary witnessed the terrible conditions under which thousands of men, women and young children worked. In this decade she helped miners to demand better pay and conditions in Alabama, West Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania. She had become known as “Mother Jones” to countless thousands of workers. In 1903, Mother Jones led the March of the Mill Children from Pennsylvania to New York, in which highlighted the exploitation of young children in the mines and factories in America. By then she had become known as “the most dangerous woman in America”. She also organised women workers and she became one of the most famous women in America being front page news for decades as a result of her union activities.

   In 1905 Mary was the only woman at the inaugural meeting of the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies). She became a confident of James Connolly and was arrested and jailed many times in her quest across America for justice for workers. Her cry of “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living” has resonated through the decades. Mother Jones was now in her seventies and remained active in the face of injustice. When she passed away at the age of 93 in 1930, tens of thousands attended her funeral. Over 50,000 people attended the dedication of her grave memorial on 11 October 1936 at Mount Olive in Illinois.

Kieran’s Upcoming Tour:

Saturday afternoon, 29 July 2023, Views from a Park – The Black Ash and Tramore Valley Park & Surrounds, historical walking tour; meet at Halfmoon Lane gate, 2pm (free, duration: 90 minutes no booking required). 


1121a. Mother Jones by artist Lindsay Hand (source: Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago).