Kieran McCarthy is a born and bred Cork City man. Growing up in Ballinlough he developed a great love for his hometown and today remains dedicated to promoting the past, present and future of Cork city and its region.
After attending Colaiste Chríost Rí, Kieran went on to study Archaeology and Geography at University College Cork. On completing his Joint Honours BA degree, he went on to undertake a Masters in Geography. Even after devoting four years to furthering his knowledge of the city, Kieran was not satisfied to leave his love of all things Cork and has completed a PhD in Geography on the River Lee Valley and the importance of remembering, identity and protecting our historic landscapes.
Local History Advocate:
For the past twenty-one years , Kieran has written his well-known weekly column in the Cork Independent ‘Our City Our Town’, which addresses the local history of Cork City, the River Lee Valley and Cork Harbour. He has also written 25 books dedicated to Cork and its region. He is also an occasional writer on Cork historical topics in the Irish Examiner. Kieran’s commitment to instilling a sense of pride in the community is demonstrated through his involvement in a well-established school project currently running in Cork. The Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project, was founded by Kieran in 2003 and is now annually implemented in 25 schools across the city with the involvement of 1,000 students.
Kieran also created a new series of walking tours across the south east ward and across the city’s suburbs, extending out from his City Centre tours. These walking tours focus on the landscapes, built heritage, and memories within 22 areas, which one can read about on his dedicated Cork heritage website www.corkheritage.ie or even better come out on one and participate and share your own memories and thoughts.
For his heritage work, Kieran was awarded Cork Person of the month in January 2017 and the Mulvihill Publication/ Media Award with the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland in December 2019.
Community Project Advocate:
Other initiatives amongst our youth include his McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition, McCarthy’s Art Competition, McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project and his involvement in the foundation of Cork City Musical Society.
Kieran was elected to Cork City Council in June 2009, May 2014 and May 2019 as an Independent City Councillor for south east Cork City. He sits on the South East Local Electoral Area Committee, the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, the Community, Culture and Place-making Strategic Policy Committee, the Commemoration Committee, the City Council’s Arts Committee, the City Council’s Heritage Forum and an active participant on the Council’s Climate Adaptation Committee.
Member, European Committee of the Regions:
In January 2015 and January 2020, Kieran was appointed by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government to be an Irish member on the European Committee of the Regions (CoR, a formal EU opinion body of local authorities and regional assemblies to the European Commission and Parliament. He holds membership of the CoR’s Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) and has personal interests in the new Skills Agenda, informal and formal education, lifelong learning, the Digital Single Market, smart specialisation, science and innovation in regions and cities, cities and regions of the future, youth and sport, socio-cultural effects of IoT.
Kieran also sits on the CoR’s COTER Commission (Cohesion Policy and Territorial Development) with interests in the role and voice of small cities within the EU and the EU Urban Agenda. He is Rapporteur on the opinion documents, Digitising European Industry, Building a European Data Economy and the Implementation Assessment of the EU Urban Agenda.
Kieran is CoR Rapporteur on the opinion documents, Digitising European Industry, Building a European Data Economy, and the EU Urban Agenda respectively. Since January 2020 he is President of the European Alliance political grouping at the European Committee of the Regions, https://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/AbouttheGroup/Pages/President.aspx
- An Gaisce Gold medal, President’s Award Recipient
- Chief Scout Award Recipient
- Government of Ireland Scholar, Recipient of Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarship
- Feis Maitiu Winner (President’s Cup and Gilbert and Sullivan singing categories)
- Cork Person of the Month, January 2017
- Mary Mulvihill Publication/ Media Award, Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland, 2019 for The Little Book of Cork Harbour (2019, History Press) and for championing cultural heritage.
Kieran believes in living life to the full and when he has any spare time he enjoys horse-riding, acting, singing, photography, writing and getting involved in community activities. He is also an avid fan of the arts. His many achievements include receiving the President’s Gold Gaisce medal award, the President’s Cup for singing in the Feis Maitiú, and the Chief Scout Award.
Kieran’s Past Involvement in Community Projects:
- Former member of Ballinlough Pastoral Council- working on various projects with other members including setting up a folk choir, annual carol service, parish social and being a youth representative for the Cork City South Deanery on the Diocese of Cork and Ross Pastoral Plan
- Former Beaver Scout Leader in Ballinlough for 16 years plus Former scout involved in Ballinlough’s All Ireland Melvin win in 1992
- Advisor and investor, Cork Community Radio, 2009
- Former swimming instructor with Sunday’s Well Swimming Club, Douglas Pool
- Actor – appearing in a number of Cork productions on the Cork Opera House, Everyman Palace, Cork Arts Theatre and Firkin Crane stages
- Active member and sponsor of Cork-Kerry branch of Showjumping Association of Ireland -Amateur rider, indoor and outdoor gymkhana participant; 90cm, 1m classes
- Founder and Project Developer of Cork City Musical Society