Marina Park Update, 12 October 2020

12 October 2020, “In a question posed by Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy who requested a progress report on the Marina Park, Cork City Council’s Director of Services David Joyce said the contactor is making “excellent progress” despite a seven-week period of being off site from the end of March until mid-May due to Government guidelines”, First phase of Marina Park Project on track for 2021 completion date,   https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/First-phase-of-Marina-Park-Project-on-track-for-2021-completion-date-7608fcc9-0216-4a01-97b9-7b8871a6e796-ds

Kieran’s Question to CE and Motions, Cork City Council Meeting, 12 October 2020

Question to CE: 

To ask the CE for a progress report on Marina Park? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

Motions:

That road safety measures be again looked at the junction of Ballinlough Road and Bellair Estate. The corner of Old Lady of Lourdes National School is a blind corner and has many people crossing this dangerous stretch of road everyday (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

That arrangements be made that the 1779 archway behind Supermacs on Kyrl’s Quay be abstracted and placed in a more prominent position nearby to reflect its stature, history and design (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

To get a progress report at the South East Local Area Committee on progress in installing ramp on Churchyard Lane as agreed by Councillors some time ago (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

That Cork City Council consider signing up to the Walk 21 International Charter for Walking (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

Old Cork City Hall, 1920 (source: Cork City Library)
Old Cork City Hall, 1920 (source: Cork City Library)

Autumnal Transitions, Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

The Marina, Cork, 11 October 2020 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 8 October 2020

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 8 October 2020

Remembering 1920: The Attack on City Hall

1069a. Old Cork City Hall, c.1920 (source: Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen).

1069a. Old Cork City Hall, c.1920 (source: Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen).

Reprisals by the Black and Tans for the Barrack Street Ambush on Friday 8 October and for the connected death of Private John Gordon Squibbs were quick. The stakes were heightened again when that Friday night City Hall (old) was targeted by the Tans for an arson attack. Even though it was not fully successive, much damage was caused. The attack commenced about 3.45am, when a volley of shots was fired evidently from rifles at the building. The witness to the attack was the building’s night watchman who described to the Cork Examiner how the events unfolded. 

The firing ceased after a few minutes, and all was again quiet for some ten minutes or so, when there was a renewed outburst of rifle firing. While the second volleys were being fired the night watchman heard two loud bomb explosions. He went into the vestibule of the City Hall and saw that the western portion of the building was in flames. He had already telephoned the city’s Fire Brigade when he had heard shots, and now when he saw the conflagration in the Public Health Offices he again communicated to the brigade.

The fire brigade, under Captain Alfred Hutson, were not slow to arrive. Lines of hose were speedily laid, and water was soon poured into the Public Health and Waterworks offices. The flames at first spread with alarming rapidity, and at one time it looked as if that portion of the Hall would be completely burnt out. The strenuous efforts of the members of the fire brigade, however, soon brought it under control. After several hours, the flames were overcome, and the fires subdued. Two men were left in charge for the remainder of the morning.

The destruction of the offices of Public Health and the Waterworks, and the adjoining offices was very considerable. Document, records, and other literature relating to municipal affairs were all were destroyed. The windows in this portion of the building, looking out on the river, were all smashed, and it was obvious that the bombs, which exploded in the building were hurled through these windows. In the interior of the building there is ample evidence of the destruction wrought by the bomb explosions. In the Public Health Department, picture frames and other accessories were smashed to pieces by the force of the explosion, as was also the fender of the fireplace. A bomb, which exploded in the eastern portion of the building, also caused considerable damage.

At this side of City Hall were situated the lamplighter and watchman’s shed and further back was a yard in which wheelbarrows, spades, and similar implements were kept. The bomb appeared to have exploded in the centre of the yard, and the ground was all torn up, with one of the wheelbarrows badly damaged. The rifle firing seemed to have occurred at the other side of the building for the walls and ceilings around the Public Health and Waterworks Office’s bore several bullet marks.

Immediately overhead, the City Engineer’s department narrowly escaped destruction both from the conflagration and the bombs which were hurled up at the windows. One bomb, indeed, entered, and exploded in a corner near a safe, blowing portion of a floor away.

Later on that weekend, on Sunday 10 October 1920 large parties of RIC, working in conjunction with the Black and Tans, carried out a very unexpected raid in Cork City Centre. The streets were, as usual on Sunday afternoon, thronged at the time, and the sudden swoop created much alarm and panic. About 2.40pm the police and the Black and Tans took possession of MacCurtain Street, Coburg Street, Bridge Street, St Patrick’s Bridge, St Patrick’s Street, the Grand Parade, and other thoroughfares in the centre of the city. The lorries in which the military arrived were escorted by armoured cars. Cordons were drawn across the streets at several points and the large numbers of people on the streets at the time found themselves surrounded military or police pickets.

As the civilians were ordered to halt, they were obliged to submit to be searched. Even those outside the cordons, but in the immediate vicinity, were not exempt from the searches. For the most partthe people quietly allowed themselves to be searched, after which they were permitted to go outside the cordons, and wherever they wished.In this manner hundreds of civilians were searched.

In some cases, the military commands to halt were not obeyed, and one man, who it is stated, did not halt when called upon to do so, was shot. His name is given was Michael Griffin, a labourer, aged about 60 years residing in Cattle Market Street, Cork. It appears that he was passing through Merchant street at the time, and was called upon to “halt”, but either did not hear or refused to obey the challenge. The Black and Tans opened fire and he was struck by a bullet. The wounded man collapsed and was unable to move The Corporation ambulance was sent for and was quickly on the scene. He was conveyed to the South Infirmary but in the hours that followed he died. The military parties withdrew from the streets about 3.45pm, having made one arrest. Such policing manoeuvres only increased as October and November 1920 progressed.

More next week…

This week’s column marks the 21st year mark of Our City, Our Town (started in early October 1999). Thanks to everyone for their support along the journey.

My new book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain is now available to purchase online (co-authored with John O’Mahony 2020, Irish Examiner/www.examiner.ie).

Captions:

1069a. Old Cork City Hall, c.1920 (source: Cork City Through Time by Kieran McCarthy & Dan Breen).

Cllr McCarthy welcome City Council’s Blue Vest Initiative

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed Cork City Council’s launch of a new initiative that aims to promote social distancing and help protect vulnerable members of the community from Covid-19. 

One thousand social distancing blue vests have been distributed across Cork City through various community centres and community groups. The blue vests will allow people with an underlying condition or who had been cocooning to get out and about, while reminding others to respect social distancing guidelines. 

Cllr McCarthy notes: “The idea came about through the Covid-19 Community Response Forum in Mahon, just one of the 16 community response groups set up by Cork City Council with the HSE and partners in response to the Covid-19 restrictions. Feedback received from people cocooning as they came back out into communities when restrictions eased indicated that that they were very nervous and felt that people weren’t giving them enough space. The purpose of the vests is to indicate clearly that the person is asking others to keep their two-metre distance”.

Following a pilot of the initiative in Knocknaheeny and Mahon, the blue vests are now available through local community centres and a further 250 blue vests will also be distributed through the Friendly Call programme.

Family members of people who are still cocooning will also find the vests very useful in terms of indicating to others that they need to keep their distance in order to decrease the risk of bringing Covid-19 back into the family home. If interested please contact Cork City Council on community@corkcity.ie.  Please note that the vests are available on a first-come first-served basis. 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 1 October 2020


1068a. Cove Street and Barrack Street junction, 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 1 October 2020

Remembering 1920: The Barrack Street Ambush

As the War of Independence intensified, the tit-for-tat violence continued in late September and into October 1920. Engineer Officer of the 2nd Battalion, Cork No.1 Brigade Michael O’Donoghue in his witness statement (WS1741) in the Bureau of Military History records he was twenty years of age running the intelligence, engineering and the signals and communications services. A Special Services unit was also organised and trained in Cork City. A small group of the latter group were trained in machine gun use and assembling. These skills were put to full use during the autumn of 1920.

At the end of September 1920, an attempt was made by men of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of Brigade No.1 to assassinate the British General Peter Strickland who, at the time, had his quarters in Cork Barracks, Cork. Occasionally at irregular tames, Strickland left the barracks in a motor car accompanied by an armed escort.

Michael Murphy, who was Commandant of the 2nd Battalion in his witness statement (WS1547) notes that in late September 1920, he and others watched for his arrival. Every day, different Volunteers took up duty at various street corners in the vicinity of the barracks. All were armed with revolvers and some with grenades. On 25 September 1920, Strickland’s car appeared, travelling at a fast pace along King Street. Volunteers were taken somewhat by surprise but opened fire on him and his escort with revolvers and grenades. However, the attack was not a success. The convoy got through safely with Strickland.

On the night of 7 October 1920, Michael recalls a further ambush scenario on Barrack Street. He happened to be in the shop owned by sisters Nora and Sheila Wallace in Cork’s St Augustine Street. This shop was used as a clearing house for IRA dispatches and was a regular meeting place for IRA men generally. The Wallace sisters were active Cumann na mBan figures and were well respected in their collaboration with the brigade officers.

On the night in question whilst in Wallace’s with Seán Hegarty, Brigade Officer in Charge, an IRA member came into the shop. He was a civilian employee in the military barracks, Cork, where he worked as a clerk in the British Military Intelligence office. On many occasions he had passed on information of very great value. He told those present that a lorry of armed soldiers would be leaving Cork barracks the following morning about 9am and would proceed across the city to Elizabeth Fort, off Barrack Street. Michael Murphy discussed the possibility of attacking the lorry with Seán Hegarty and it was agreed that Michael himself should undertake the job on the following morning, 8 October 1920. That night, after curfew, Michael contacted about 20 men from his battalion area and told them to be at the Thomas Ashe Hall, Father Mathew Quay, the following morning about 8am. They were to come armed with revolvers and grenades.

On the morning of 8 October Michael met the men in the Hall as arranged and explained his proposed attack strategy on the military lorry. It was his intention to attack the military lorry himself along with Tadhg Sullivan, one of his company captains. They were to engage them with grenades and revolvers. The remainder of the party were then dispersed to positions covering the British military garrison at Elizabeth Fort and the police barracks at Tuckey Street and Union Quay. All of these posts were within a couple of hundred yards radius of the point in Barrack Street where the proposed attack was to take place.

Michael and Tadhg took up position at a corner on the junction of Barrack Street and Cove Street where there was a steep incline. They knew the lorry would have to slow down to get in gear when it reached that point. At about a quarter to nine the lorry came into view. As expected, the lorry slowed down, and Michael saw that it contained three soldiers in the driver’s cab and eight to ten inside in the open lorry section. He threw the first grenade, which hopped off the side of the lorry and exploded wounding Tadhg and himself but not seriously. Tadgh and Michael then hurled grenades into the cab killing one of the private officers. The third grenade got into the back of the lorry causing casualties amongst the soldiers there.

The lorry continued on up the hill and was met by a volley from revolver-men stationed further up the road. Those soldiers who were not wounded now jumped out of the lorry and took refuge in nearby houses. The ambush lasted about fifteen minutes when Michael ordered the lads to break off the attack due to a lack of ammunition and they scampered.

William Barry, Captain of D Company of the 2nd Battalion in his witness statement (WS1708), notes that the Barrack Street action was a short one by reason of the fact that military and police garrisons were within a couple of hundred yards of us and were stationed at Elizabeth Fort, Tuckey Street RIC Barracks and Union Quay RIC barracks. He further notes that that his side suffered no casualties on that occasion and records that the arms and ammunition used by them on this occasion were kept in a large box in Hosford’s Bakery, South Terrace, Cork, where Commandant Michael Murphy and himself were engaged building the premises.

Kieran’s new book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain is now available to purchase online (co-authored with John O’Mahony 2020, Irish Examiner/www.examiner.ie).

Captions:

1068a. Cove Street and Barrack Street junction, 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

1068b. Present day interior of Elizabeth Fort – former site of RIC Barracks 1920 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).


068b. Present day interior of Elizabeth Fort – former site of RIC Barracks 1920 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Cork Business in 1920, RTE Radio 1, 26 September 2020

Great to have a slot on The Business (show) on RTE Radio 1 yesterday speaking about the history of Cork in 1920 and the creation of the Irish International Trading Corporation (Cork).

“The future around Brexit remains unclear for Irish exporters. This week hauliers in the UK learned of potential two day delays at a de facto border in Kent. We could probably learn a thing or two from the 100 year old history of the Irish International Trading Corporation, based in Cork. Kieran McCarthy has been looking at their history”.

https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21840558


Letterhead of Irish International Trading Corporation , 1925

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 24 September 2020


1067a. Project page on the local history of the Vikings in Cork from Our Lady of the Lourdes NS student 2019/20 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 24 September 2019

Launch of Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2020-21

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 2020/21 (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 project is aimed at both primary and post primary level.  Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. The theme for this year’s project is “Living Through History”, which is a nod to the historic pandemic we are living through.

The Project 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. There are two sub categories within the post primary section, Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. The project is free to enter. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or a part of a class entry.

   Co-ordinated by myself, one of the key aims of the Project is to encourage students to explore, investigate and debate their local heritage (built, archaeological, cultural and natural) in a constructive, active and fun way. Projects on any aspect of Cork’s rich heritage can be submitted to an adjudication panel. Prizes are awarded for best projects and certificates are given to each participant. A cross-section of projects submitted from the last school season can be gleamed from links on my website, www.corkheritage.ie where there are other resources, former titles and winners and entry information as well.

    Students produce a project on their local area using primary and secondary sources. Each participating student within their class receives a free workshop in October 2020. The workshop comprises a guide to how to put a project together. Project material must be gathered in an A4/ A3 size Project book. The project may be as large as the student wishes but minimum 20 pages (text + pictures + sketches). Projects must also meet five elements. Projects must be colourful, creative, have personal opinion, imagination and gain publicity before submission. These elements form the basis of a student friendly narrative analysis approach where the student explores their project topic in an interactive and task-oriented way. In particular, students are encouraged (whilst respecting social distancing) to attain material through visiting local libraries, engaging with fieldwork, making models, photographing, cartoon creating, and making short snippet films of their area. Re-enacting can also be a feature of several projects.

   For over eighteen years, the project has evolved in exploring how students pursue local history and how to make it relevant in society. The project attempts to provide the student with a hands-on and interactive activity that is all about learning not only about heritage in your local area (in all its forms) but also about the process of learning by participating students. The project is about thinking about, understanding, appreciating and making relevant in today’s society the role of our heritage, our landmarks, our oral histories, our environment in our modern world for upcoming citizens. So, the project is about splicing together activity on issues of local history and heritage such as thinking, exploring, observing, discovering, researching, uncovering, revealing, interpreting and resolving.

    The importance of doing a project in local history is reflected in the educational aims of the history curricula of primary and post-primary schools. Local heritage is a tool, which helps the student to become familiar with their local environment and to learn the value of it in their lives. Learning to appreciate the elements of a locality, can also give students a sense of place in their locality or a sense of identity. Hence the Project can also become a youth forum for students to do research and offer their opinions on important decisions being made on their heritage in their locality and how they affect the lives of people locally.  I know a number of students who have been involved in the project in schools over the years who have took their interest further and have gone on to become professional tour guides, and into other related college work.

   The project is open to many directions of delivery. Students are encouraged to engage with their topic in order to make sense of it, understand and work with it. Students continue to experiment with the overall design and plan of their work. For example, and in general, students who have entered before might engage with the attaining of primary information through oral histories. The methodologies that the students create provide interesting ways to approach the study of local heritage. Students are asked to choose one of two extra methods (apart from a booklet) to represent their work. The first option is making a model whilst the second option is making a short film. It is great to see students using modern up todate technology to present their findings. This works in broadening their view of approaching their project.

    This project in the City is free to enter and is kindly funded by Cork City Council (viz the help of Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer) Prizes are also provided by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Lee Road, Learnit Lego Education, and Sean Kelly of Lucky Meadows Equestrian Centre, Watergrasshill (www.seankellyhorse.com). Overall, the Schools’ Heritage Project for the last eighteen years has attempted to build a new concerned generation of Cork people, pushing them forward, growing their self-development empowering them to connect to their world and their local heritage. Spread the word please with local schools. Details can be found on my website, www.corkheritage.ie.

Captions:

1067a. Project page on the local history of the Vikings in Cork from Our Lady of the Lourdes NS student 2019/20 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

1067b. Gameboard on Cork historical landmarks created by Eglantine National School student 2019/20 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy).


1067b. Gameboard on Cork historical landmarks created by Eglantine National School student 2019/20 (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2020/21

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.

http://corkheritage.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2021-City-Brochure.pdf