– Journey to a Truce, 1921, Kieran’s Our City, Our Town column in the Cork Independent
Welcome to year 22 for my column Our City, Our Town in the Cork Independent. The column for 2021 highlights everyday events and local history nuggets from this period of centenary commemorations, and are weekly posted on this blog website.
The indices for Our City, Our Town are here,
2021 Journeys to a Truce 1921 | Cork Heritage
– History Walks 2021:
Next free suburban tours with Kieran will be in summer of 2021 (COVID-19 pending):
In the meantime check out my local history blog for articles, photographs and resources on this blog.
Take a self-guided tour here! History Trails | Cork Heritage
– 12th Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition produced by Red Sandstone Varied Productions, deferred until 2022 due to Covid restrictions.
– Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021 concludes with online Awards Ceremony
The conclusion of this school season’s Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project was recently marked by an online awards ceremony and presentation of winning projects. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part in the 2020-21 edition, which ranged from schools in Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock to Blarney and Glanmire, and from Ballyphehane to the Shandon area. Circa 1,000 students participated in the process this year with approx 200 project books submitted on all aspects of Cork’s local history & heritage.
The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 18th year and is a youth platform for students to do research and write it up in a project book whilst offering their opinions on important decisions being made on their heritage in their locality and how they affect the lives of people locally. 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: “The Project this year was even more apt this year as we all find ourselves within our localities much more. In particular, this year’s entries focussed on famous buildings of Cork City, historic walkways, public parks and many oral history projects. Again, this year students made fab models and short films on their topics. One could also see the family and friend involvement in projects. Technically with this project for every one student, there are another four people who have been consulted and who are consulted to help with projects. One could argue that over 4,000 people have some input into project books every year”.
“The Schools’ Heritage Project remains focussed about developing new skill sets within young people in thinking about, understanding, appreciating, and making relevant in today’s society the role of our heritage – our landmarks, our stories, our landscapes in our modern world. Ultimately the project focuses on motivating and inspiring young people through them working on a heritage project for several weeks and seeks to build a sense of place and identity amongst younger people”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
The Project is funded by Cork City Council with further sponsorship offered by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran McCarthy.
Full results are online on Cllr McCarthy’s local history website, www.corkheritage.ie. There is also a link there to the YouTube award ceremony. On the YouTube video Kieran, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, and Niamh Twomey, City Council Heritage Officer speak about the winning projects for this school season.
– Talk on the History and Rehabilitation of Daly’s Bridge (The Shakey Bridge), 16 February 2021:
The History and Rehabilitation of Daly’s Bridge (The Shakey Bridge) presented by Michael Minehane, Chartered Principal Engineer at RPS and Kieran McCarthy, noted local Cork historian.
“As part of the Cork Regional 80th Anniversary celebrations, we are delighted to host this presentation on the history and refurbishment of the iconic “Shakey” Bridge which was originally built under the stewardship of the then City Engineer, SW Farrington, who was also the first Chair of the Cork Region of Engineers Ireland” says Ronan Keane, current Chair.
The presentation will outline the social and economic context of the original construction, first opened in 1927, replacing an earlier ferry crossing at the same location. It remains the only suspension bridge in Cork City and is the only surviving bridge of its type in Ireland.
Michael Minehane says, “I will be giving the second part of the talk which will outline the recent rehabilitation of the bridge which re-opened in December 2020, including the special inspection and structural assessment, site investigations and material testing, rehabilitation works, approach to conservation, structural dynamics and aspects of design and construction.”
Kieran McCarthy will talk about the history of the bridge.
“Of all the bridges in the city centre island, one can argue that Daly’s Bridge is the one which holds the fascination of the public the most. The removal of the main body of the bridge to deep clean it off site caused a large tinge of public sadness. Its return to the Banks of the Lee in the spring of 2020 heralded hope, and almost a sense that a valued family member had returned. The bridge’s essence has transcended time from a physical bridging point to one of playfulness, one of fun, and one whose shakiness is a key part of Cork’s Cultural Heritage.”
The History & Rehabilitation of Daly’s (Shakey) Bridge on Tuesday, 16th February at 7pm online via zoom, It’s a FREE event and all are welcome: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7M2J_bAKQsGsGxKCD4QBaQ
Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project, 2020/21, Project Launch:
To All Cork City National School Teachers and Secondary School History Teachers.
Covid-19 has brought many challenges to every part of society and never before has our locality being important for recreation and for our peace of mind. In the past few months more focus than ever has been put on places we know, appreciate and even on places we don’t know but now depend on as we remain grounded in our neighbourhoods and corners of Cork City.
Against the backdrop of Covid 19, the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021 (Cork City Edition) launches in its 19th 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 City Edition of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage 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 is “Living Through History”, which is a nod to the historic pandemic we are living through.
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 2020. This is an hour workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.
FREE Workshop support is also available to schools who have never entered before and wish to have a workshop to see how the project works.
The fourth-class level is open to fourth class students. The primary senior level is open to students of fifth and sixth class. Post primary entrant/s will be placed in Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate levels. The post primary level is open to any year from first to sixth year. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or as part of a class project.
The overall Project continues to encourage and work with Cork students in celebrating, highlighting, debating and creating fresh approaches to our cultural heritage. Research and creativity are encouraged in an effort to create relevancy, awareness and appreciation of the past amongst young people. The Project also focuses on students gaining acknowledgement and self-confidence from their work.
There are prizes for best projects – trophies, book tokens, digital cameras and school workshops to be won. Certificates will be given to all entrants.
Interested…then read on!
– The application form for the 2020/21 school season is available to download here,
– Remembering 1920, Kieran’s Our City, Our Town column in the Cork Independent
Welcome to year 21 for my column Our City, Our Town in the Cork Independent. The column for 2020 highlights everyday events and local history nuggets from this period of centenary commemorations, and are weekly posted on this blog website.
The indices for Our City, Our Town are here,
– New Book! Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain Publication Launched
The new book ‘Witness to Murder’ by Cllr Kieran McCarthy and John O’Mahony, and published by the Irish Examiner, has been launched. It is a transcript of the Tomás MacCurtain inquest one hundred years ago following his murder on 20 March 1920.
The last time Tomás’ inquest in full was published was in the Cork Examiner between 23 March 1920 and 18 April 1920. Despite the ordeal and daily fallout, over time the fourteen hearing sessions have not overly been revisited by scholars of the Irish War of Independence.
The verdict has been highlighted on many occasions by many historians, but the information of the inquest has never been overly written about or the narratives within it championed. So, this book brings together the inquest data into one source. It is about giving a voice to the solicitors, jury and those interviewed
The transcript of the newspaper text will help scholars of the War of Independence in their research to mine down further into the complexities of the time but also to keep the human dimension at the heart of new emerging research. This transcript in particular is inspired by the epic ‘Atlas of the Irish Revolution’ and the ongoing digitisation of State files and interviews of veterans of the War of Independence held at the Bureau of Military History in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin– both sources, the Atlas and the Bureau try to bring a holistic perspective to what narratives, sources and memories have survived.
Cllr McCarthy notes: “Tomás MacCurtain (1884-1920) is truly a colossus in Cork history who has attracted many historians, enthusiasts and champions to tell his story. His story is peppered with several aspects – amongst those that shine out are his love of his family, city, country, language comradeship, and hope – all mixed with pure tragedy. In many ways, the murder of Tomás MacCurtain on the night of 19-20 March 1920 changed the future public and collective memory narrative of Cork history forever”.
Cllr McCarthy continued; “One hundred years on after his murder, the memory of Tomás and his life and times and works are a central part of the history of politics in the city and the city and region’s role within the Irish War of Independence”.
At this moment in time Witness to Murder by Kieran McCarthy and John O’Mahony is only available to buy online at www.examiner.ie.
DEFERRED UNTIL 2021
– Suburban historical walking tours, Spring 2021 (Coronavirus Pending).
– 12th Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition produced by Red Sandstone Varied Productions.
Kieran’s Heritage Week Events 2020:
Saturday 15 August, 13:00-13:40
The River Lee and Cork City: Stories from the Past
Cllr. Kieran McCarthy in collaboration with Meitheal Mara
Online on Zoom and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meithealmara/
Register for Zoom invite here: https://forms.gle/CSu6F3owzeXzpUZg8
This online talk looks at the Cork City’s amazing development on a swamp. The city is constructed on a shift-shaping landscape – sand and gravel, rushes and reeds, and the River Lee – a wetland knitted together to create a working port through the ages. It was a combination of native and outside influences, primarily people who shaped its changing townscape and society since its origins as a settlement. The city possesses a unique character derived from a combination of its plan, topography, built fabric and its location on the lowest crossing point of the river Lee as it meets the tidal estuary and the second largest natural harbour in the world.
Saturday 22 August, 13:00-13:30
BRIDGES OF CORK: HERITAGE TREASURE HUNT
Cllr Kieran McCarthy in collaboration with Meitheal Mara
Meet Cllr Kieran McCarthy at National Monument, Grand Parade, Cork, between 1pm-1.30pm, no booking required. Bring a pen.
Suitable for all ages, approx. 2hr walk, mixed footpaths on city’s quays.
On meeting Kieran, he will give you a self-guided walking and heritage treasure hunt trail to follow around the historic bridges of Cork City Centre island. Discover the city’s unique relationship with the River Lee.
On the way your task is to explore the built heritage around the bridges and unlock the answers to the Heritage Treasure Hunt. Those who get all the answers right will be in with a chance to win a copy of Kieran’s new book, Witness to Murder, The Tomás MacCurtain Inquest (with John O’Mahony, Irish Examiner, 2020).
Cllr McCarthy to partake in Cork Heritage Open Day and National Heritage Week 2020
On next Saturday 15 August 2020 Cllr Kieran McCarthy will take part in the virtual Cork Heritage Open Day. Due to Covid-19 Cork Heritage Open Day, which has always had up to this year had 40 buildings opened to the public, will now go online with a mixture of virtual tours, interviews, history quizzes and completions. Cllr McCarthy has contributed to the virtual City Hall tour and the Chamber of Commerce Fitzgerald House tour.
To mark the start of Heritage Week the Cork Heritage Open Day website will go live on Saturday 15 August and members of the public will be able to explore virtually some of Cork’s finest historic and most beautiful buildings including Cork City Hall, Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills, the Custom House Port of Cork, Blarney Castle, the National Sculpture Factory, Cork Savings Bank, the Unitarian Church, Fitzgerald House and lots more.
Cork Heritage Open Day is organised by Cork City Council. Cork’s 96FM and the Echo are the media sponsors of Cork Heritage Open Day which is supported by Cork City Council and the Heritage Council.
On Heritage Open Day at 1pm Cllr McCarthy will also present a free webinar in collaboration with Meitheal Mara entitled “The River Lee and Cork City: Stories from the Past”. The link to the webinar is under Kieran’s Heritage Events at www.corkheritage.ie.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Covid 19 has brought my heritage work online more and more this year. I have had to put my walking tours to one side for the moment, due to the social distancing requirements but they will be back in time. My Cork Heritage Open Day online talk looks at the Cork City’s amazing development on a swamp. The city possesses a unique character derived from a combination of its plan, topography, built fabric and its location on the lowest crossing point of the river Lee as it meets the tidal estuary and the second largest natural harbour in the world”.
In addition, on Saturday, 22 August, Cllr McCarthy in collaboration with Meitheal Mara, will host a Heritage Treasure Hunt along the City’s bridges. Meet at the National Monument, Grand Parade, Cork, between 1pm and 1.30pm (for social distancing reasons). No booking is required. Just bring a pen. The treasure hunt is suitable for all ages and is approximately a two-hour walk. On meeting Kieran, he will give you a self-guided walking and heritage treasure hunt trail to follow around the historic bridges of Cork City Centre island. Discover the city’s unique relationship with the River Lee.
On the way your task is to explore the built heritage around the bridges and unlock the answers to the heritage treasure hunt. Those who get all the answers right will be in with a chance to win a copy of Kieran’s new book, Witness to Murder, The Tomás MacCurtain Inquest (with John O’Mahony, Irish Examiner, 2020).
– 10th McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project, At Home By the Lee
Douglas Road and Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy invites all Cork young people to participate in the tenth year of McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project. This year because of the Coronvirus all interested participants must make a model boat at home from recycled materials and submit a picture or a video of it to the competition organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is being run in association with Meitheal Mara and the Cork Harbour Festival Team who have cancelled nearly all of their festival this year bar their collaboration with Kieran on the Make a Model Boat Project. There are three categories, two for primary and one for secondary students. The theme is ‘At Home by the Lee’, which is open to interpretation. The model must be creative though and must be able to float. There are prizes for best models and the event is free to enter. For further information, please see the events section at www.corkharbourfestival.com. The closing date for participants is 30 April 2020.
Cllr McCarthy, who is heading up the event, noted “I am encouraging creation, innovation and imagination amongst our young people, which are important traits for all of us to develop. I am going to miss this year seeing the models float at The Lough. The Make a Model Boat Project is part of a suite of community projects I have organised and personally invested in over the years– the others include the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project with Cork City Council, the Community local history walks, local history publications, McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition and Cork City Musical Society. Many of the latter projects were have gone digital or soon will go digital for this year. I look forward to the digital challenge”.
Award Ceremony, Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project 2020
Wednesday evening, 4 March coincided with the Cork City award ceremony of the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part in the 2019-2020 edition, which included schools in Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock and Douglas. This year the project was open to new schools within the broader area of the new city boundary. Circa 1200 students participated in the process with approx 220 project books submitted on all aspects of Cork’s local history & heritage.
The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 17th year and is a youth platform for students to do research and write it up in a project book whilst offering their opinions on important decisions being made on their heritage in their locality and how they affect the lives of people locally. 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: “The project is about developing new skill sets within young people in thinking about, understanding, appreciating and making relevant in today’s society the role of our heritage – our landmarks, our stories, our landscapes in our modern world. The project also focuses on motivating and inspiring young people, giving them an opportunity to develop leadership and self-development skills, which are very important in the world we live in today”.
The City Edition of 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 the City edition are online on Cllr McCarthy’s heritage website, http://corkheritage.ie/?page_id=5110