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11 Nov 2017

Update: Douglas Pool Carpark, November 2017

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   Douglas Road and Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy is expecting the end of the upgrade works at Douglas Pool car park to be in the next four to five weeks; “Everything will be finished and the adjacent field be put back in place as before”.

   The works consist of the following:  provide and place new kerbing and a footpath from Nursery Drive along the access road and on the swimming pool, kerbing in the car park area along with cutting the trees back from the existing street lighting to provide more light, new gullies and drainage works along access road and car park including a soakaway in the sports ground field, new macadam surface in car park and access road including road marking for cars/buses in car park.

    Cllr McCarthy continued; “Contractors began their work on site starting 11 September. The phasing of the works is in four different phases. Phase three of four involves opening up all the car park, placing kerbing, footpath and drainage works along access road. These works will be carried out through a combination of traffic lights and ‘STOP/GO’ flagman system. The intention is to place the first layer of macadam on the access road. This work will be carried out using a ‘STOP/GO’ flagman system. Complete access will also be maintained to all other properties during this phase save for the macadam surfacing which will take approx 2 days to complete. The footpath, kerbing and drainage works will take approx three weeks to complete with the surfacing taking approx 2-3 days to complete”.

   “Phase four involves Site clean-up, placing topsoil, placing the final layer of macadam on car park and placing road markings. The placing of the final layer of macadam will be carried out in 3 parts.  These works will take approx. 1-2 weeks to complete. I look forward to seeing the actual project complete.  “This has been a very difficult project to secure funding of e.300,000 for and there has been much frustration by local residents, pool users and I in trying to get the project in place. I would like to thank Stephen Scully in the City Council’s Recreational and Amenity Directorate for his help and support on this project”.

9 Nov 2017

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 9 November 2017

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920a. St Finbarr’s Cemetery, present day


Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 9 November 2017

150 Years of St Finbarr’s Cemetery


   This month St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Glasheen marks its 150th anniversary of its opening for public burials. Since mid-November 1867, this beautiful cemetery has become an iconic space of reflection, art and architecture. Its back story is a long and complex one and this article attempts to shine some light on it.

   The Burial Ground Act of 1856 gave great legal and financial powers to Cork Corporation for attaining cemetery ground. A growing population and limited cemetery space in graveyards such as St Joseph’s in Cork City led the Cemeteries Committee of the Corporation in late February 1863 to seek new burial ground. The Committee publicly sought in newspapers like the Cork Examiner tenders for forty acres of ground in or adjacent to the northern suburbs of the City, and a similar acreage on the south side. Sealed proposals were to be lodged on or before 28 October, to the town clerk, Alexander McCarthy, whose office was at 33 South Mall. Some ideas were received but a lack of momentum existed to pursue the matter.

   Nearly seven months later, a meeting at the Mayor’s Office at no 20 South Mall on Saturday 25 May 1864 was held for the purpose of considering the defective state of burial accommodation in the City. The Mayor, Sir John Arnott in the chair, resolved that a company be formed, on the principle of limited liability, with a capital of £10,000 in 2,000 shares of £5 each, with power to increase it if it was necessary. It was decided that when the company was formed, sites should be advertised for and the most suitable should be selected for shortlisting. The committee consisted of the Mayor, Sir John Abbott, C J Cantillon, J P Booth, Thomas Jennings, Dominic O’Connor, Alderman Hegarty, Alderman Keller and M J Collins.

    In late June 1864, daily advertisements by the Cork Cemeteries Company in the Cork Examiner sought twenty acres of land to purchase, to be situated within three miles of the City. Sealed proposals, stating particulars of title and cost, were to be lodged at Alexander McCarthy’s office on the South Mall. In the autumn of 1864, three sites were discussed at length in the Cork Examiner. The present site St Finbarr’s Cemetery on Glasheen Road was pitched but there was initially limited support for it within Cork Corporation. In late September 1864, Fred G Deverall, County Surveyor inspected the lands called the Commons, part of the Corporation’s lands, situated on the north side of the City, He examined the ground and found three sites, which could be made available for the purpose, one of which. contained twenty acres held by one tenant. His team dug six trial pits to ascertain the nature and depth of the soil in different places, and found an average of over seven feet of dry clay and gravel.

    The third piece of ground proposed was close to Wellington Square, comprising six acres. It was not supported by those living and working within the vicinity. The Jennings estate was nearby as well as 31 inhabited cabins within a radius of 100 yards, and 55 within a distance of 200 yards. It was also in the immediate vicinity of the County Gaol and the Queen’s College. In Wellington Square there was a well or pump, which was the source of water used by the residents of the locality, and would be within twenty-three yards of the cemetery. The Professor of Geology in Queen’s College, Cork testified that the ground in some places was deficient in depth of soil.

    By spring 1865, the Cork Cemeteries Company failed to get the public investment it needed and the company folded. The search for a burial ground continued for another year into early 1866. However, a sum of finance was acquired from the Westminster Treasury on favourable terms through the intervention of Cork MP John Francis Maguire.

     By late November 1866, the Corporation’s cemetery committee and the Corporation selected 15 acres of flat and rectangular ground at Glasheen. The cost would be £600 to the occupying lease-holder and £125 to the tenant who was growing crops on the site. The Cemetery Committee prepared to receive proposals for building a boundary wall, to enclose the land taken by the Corporation for the cemetery. The ground combined the various qualities required for a cemetery as the soil was dry, sandy and deep. A plan of the intended cemetery was prepared by Sir John Benson, the city engineer. The ground was to be laid out much on the plan of Glasnevin in Dublin, and planted with ornamental shrubs, and divided by walks.

    A fourth of the entire new cemetery space was to be allotted for the burials of persons of the poorer classes who would not be able to pay the charge to be made for interments. Two thirds of the cemetery were to be reserved for Roman Catholics and one third for Protestants. Each religion was to have a mortuary chapel for its separate use. By mid-January 1867, the Cemetery Committee sought tenders from competent parties for the erection of two chapels on the grounds of the new cemetery. In late April 1867, the Committee sought proposals from competent parties for the building of a registry office at the entrance to the cemetery.


920a. St Finbarr’s Cemetery, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

920b. Ornate statue, St Finbarr’s Cemetery, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy)


920b. Ornate statue, St Finbarr’s Cemetery, present day

9 Nov 2017

Kieran’s Comments, Budget Night, Cork City Council, 9 November 2017

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Ready for Expansion

Thanks Lord Mayor; the annual budget evening for me offers lenses to see where the Council is progressing.

It is important to note that 2009 coincided with an expenditure of e.200,427,800 whereas today its e.160,241,400. And that drop in support for Ireland’s southern capital needs to be consistently highlighted.

In a year where the debate rages on the city pursuing an expansion, I would like to thank our twitter team during the week for drawing out some big picture positives on how much is spent per citizens on a multitude of services.

I am glad that we remain championing competing demands across the city’s social, economic, cultural, environmental and infrastructural development.

It is important that the Council does not become a one trick pony. Too often this Council is pulled into silo-ised debates on housing and roads. It is true to say they are very important but only make up about 45 per cent of the total budget. An increased homelessness budget is welcome but does show the increased homelessness challenge. I don’t want to welcome an increased budget for homelessness, I want the issue addressed and that there should be no need for a budget line on homelessness.

Need for Holistic Vision:

We need to retain a holistic vision for this city. Cork has such great gorgeous public spaces and we should never forget to call to mind our urban space and to celebrate our historic urbanism. The 500 trees recently blown down need to replanted; our parks and graveyards need to be maintained. I see next week St Finbarr’s Cemetery is celebrating its 150th birthday since its opening and its story is one of the Corporation of Cork seeking to expand its service but in 1860s Cork.

And I note with joy that funding for the 180 acres Tramore Valley Park has been allocated. This will be as the CE notes in her introduction as a “tremendous facility”, but it is also a serious advancement of the city’s investment in all things green, in renewable energy from beneath the park in the decaying landfill, in family life, in community life, in our parks development, in our Healthy Cities programme, in thinking in creating a series of regional park, and engaging all of the citizens in it.

We also have aspects such as the Local Economic and Community Development plan, which I would like to unpack and move forward with plus I think there should be more focus on showcasing the Local Economic Development Fund and getting more and more visibility to the many entrepreneurs, start-up and SMEs in the city. Streets such as the South Mall should be fully re-imagined as start-up street.

Interestingly from the outside looking in, the city is known for education and learning and its creativity and culture. Education and culture matters in this city as do many other aspects.

These concepts were also borne out as well with the UNESCO conference. We need to celebrate this city’s drive and ambition more. Yes, there are challenges but there are also multiple layers of success stories.

Being pro-active and not reactionary:

I think the future when the expansion takes place into the County will require experience of multiple strands of imagination, and pro-active pursuit of challenges to meet in an enlarged city. To be stuck in the gear stick of reactionary local government instead of a pro-active one does not help this Council or any other one.

Ongoing toolkit:

So I would like to think this budget is an ongoing toolkit of sorts on what the priorities in an enlarged city will lie. Many are positive investments. And in a week where this Council and the County Council made joint submissions on the draft National Planning Framework a core message must be to give local authorities access to further funding streams. And I don’t think the game is with increasing the Local Property Tax here – our Council require millions of euros to advance any national urban agendas.

And as before we gained large scale funding from European Structural Funds – because of our re-territorial classification as a much improving state, any of the new infrastructure coming online such as the Merchants Quay Bridge and Marina Park come from small EU urban agenda grants.

It is difficult to raise locally the funding required for large scale infrastructure and once again I call for a second EU officer who is tasked to track down future funding schemes.

I am very proud of some of the finished capital projects this year such as Blackrock Pier Regeneration project or the methodology adopted by our housing officers to accumulate near e.100m to pursue inner city renewal social housing projects. I think giving senior officers time to think through future funding avenues is highly important.

And we need to acknowledge v talented staff to bring such work forward.

Thanks Lord Mayor.

6 Nov 2017

Beaumont Quarry Clean Up and Education Day, 19 November 2017

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Beaumont quarry clean up and Education Day, 19 November 2017

2 Nov 2017

McCarthy: Huge Opportunities for European Data Economy

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   Last week the European Committee of the Regions adopted with unanimity their member Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s opinion on the European Commission’s Communication “Building a European Data Economy”.

http://cor.europa.eu/en/activities/opinions/pages/opinion-factsheet.aspx?OpinionNumber=CDR 2884/2016


   The Data Economy is an important element of the Digital Single Market (DSM). It involves generation, collection, storage, processing, distribution, analysis, elaboration, delivery and exploitation of data enabled by digital technologies. This data enables market players to create applications with a great potential to improve daily life. Cllr McCarthy focussed on the collation of machine read data as opposed to personal data. Local and regional authorities are keys in developing DSM via their roles in providing digital services, which represent the engine of economic growth at local and regional level offering opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.

   Cllr McCarthy describes; “local and regional authorities have a key role in creating a database of public information on aspects such as transport movement, climate change, energy demand, providing data security, developing necessary digital and entrepreneurial skills, and securing and facilitating funding for broadband networks. I call on the European Commission to support local and regional authorities in their financing activities by continuing to authorise priority deployment of the European Structural and Investment Funds towards digital infrastructure in all European cities and regions including small cities and regions such as Cork and similar size”.

   In the opinion, Cllr. McCarthy proposed four lines of action to build a European data economy: Firstly, that a clear and adapted policy and legal framework be adopted for the data economy, removing remaining barriers and risks to the movement of data and addressing legal uncertainties created by new data technologies. Secondly that potential virtual criminality be combated against through effective and coherent preventative cybercrime strategies, which includes training for local and regional authorities. Thirdly that interoperability be improved – to make existing clouds or clouds under development at national, regional and possibly local level interconnectable and interoperable or intertransferable, exploring the potential for standardisation.

     Representatives of the European Commission welcomed Cllr McCarthy’s opinion as a clear and important message, that local and regional authorities need and want to play a key role in the sustainable roll-out of the EU’s Digital Agenda and the building of the EU data economy.

The European Committee of the Regions, the EU’s assembly for democratically elected local and regional politicians and public representatives, has a consultative role in EU policymaking.

Cllr Kieran McCarthy, speaking at the recent plenary of the European Committee of the Regions in the European Commission, Brussels, October 2017


2 Nov 2017

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 2 November 2017

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919a. Cork School of Commerce as pictured in 1919 on Jameson Row, South Mall


Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 2 November 2017

The Wheels of 1917: Prepare for the Jobs of the Future


    To draw the attention of the Westminster Government to the great need for the provision of increased funds for technical instruction in Ireland, a public meeting was held on 31 October 1917 in the Council Chamber in Cork City Hall. The outcome of the debate was recorded in the Cork Examiner the following day. The general calls made were similar to calls in Irish society today for a focus on creating the jobs of the future and that an educational system be put into place to prepare students for them.

   At the meeting Lord Mayor T C Butterfield presided, and the large attendance included Bishop Cohalan, UCC President Sir Bertram Windle. M Healy MP, E Crean, the City High Sheriff, and Arthur Sharman Crawford. The Lord Mayor noted it was essential that they should be prepared for conditions after the war, and that it was necessary for them to be “up and doing, and not to be caught napping”. To him technical education was one of the essentials to which the youth of Ireland would need to prepare for and meet after the war concluded. It was therefore necessary for them to get an increased grant from the Government for the purpose of technical education.

    Sir Bertram Windle of UCC spoke and wished to remind the Westminster Government of the fact that the local authorities in Ireland voluntarily raised rates for the maintenance of the technical instruction schemes. He based his demand for extra funding not only upon the right of Ireland to an equivalent to the increased expenditure on education in England and Scotland, but also upon the fact, that technical education in Ireland had advanced so rapidly since its inception. Windle stressed that it had long since outgrown its original endowment, which had been actually reduced since the commencement, of the war. In addition to the existing grants, he strongly appealed for the active cooperation of the public bodies and public representatives in bringing pressure to bear on the Government to secure for technical education in Ireland the funds required.

    Arthur Sharman Crawford, Vice-Chairman of the Borough Technical Committee, remarked on the success of the Crawford Municipal Technical Institute but there was a need for more technical education colleges. He highlighted that the School of Commerce, which began in Cork in 1908 at the Cork School of Commerce on Jameson Row on the South Mall, held its classes in premises totally unfit for its 500 students. The rooms were few, small, and quite unsuited for class purposes. He deemed it essential that the Chamber of Commerce must offer full and adequate day courses of instruction in commerce. A new building was urgently necessary for the development of commercial education. He highlighted that the School of Art was built by a private individual, and was, therefore, the only one of the city’s four school’s that was free of a charge for loans or rent. The extension of day trades preparatory instruction was clearly necessary. Cork had an excellent day trades school at the North Monastery, but another school was urgently required in view of the industrial developments such as the Ford plant that were taking place He noted that the Technical Institute had apprentice classes, workshops and laboratories in the daytime but night course could also be run there. However, a lack of funds limited this vision.

    According to Mr Sharman Crawford, teachers should be properly prepared for their work through special training, such as that given in the Irish Training School, and he claimed that an extension of this work was urgently necessary. He appealed for the creation of a central bureau where manufacturers and trader, could chat with experts on difficulties of production and marketing. It was necessary that teachers should be experts in their respective branches. He requested that teaching posts should have a sufficient salary attached to them. He argued that in many cases their training encompassed long and expensive course of education. He noted; “To attract these teachers the present rates, of remuneration are entirely inadequate. It is absolutely necessary, if the right type of teacher and officer is to be secured; that there should be a guarantee of pension in reward for-services rendered during the best years of their lives”.

    In a Cork Chamber of Commerce publication entitled Cork: Its Trade and Commerce (published in 1919), commercial classes began in Cork in 1908 at the Cork School of Commerce on Jameson Row on the South Mall and these were given to 550 students. The business methods department was particularly well equipped containing the latest filling systems, duplicating apparatus, specimens of various types of loose leaf ledgers, and other examples of modern saving appliances.

   Courses could be studied for four or five years and comprised: commercial arithmetic, book-keeping, accountancy, auditing, commerce including commercial practice, commercial English, salesmanship, insurance, banking and finance, railways, home and foreign trade, economics, French, German, Irish, Russian, Spanish, commercial geography, commercial and industrial law, company law, shorthand, typewriting, and manifolding (or carbon copying). Introductory course subjects were English, mathematics and drawing. In addition to the course of study above, the School arranged each term for a number of public lectures for Cork citizens.


919a. Cork School of Commerce as pictured in 1919 on Jameson Row, South Mall (source: Cork: Its Trade and Commerce available in Cork City Library)

919b. Photograph of Bertram Windle (picture: UCC Library)


919b. Photograph of Bertram Windele

1 Nov 2017

Dragon of Shandon Parade, 31 October 2017

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Pictures from the Dragon of Shandon, 31 October 2017 – another really super spectacle by the organisers, Cork Community Art Link.

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017

Dragon of Shandon Festival/ Parade, Cork, 31 October 2017


1 Nov 2017

Cllr McCarthy: Regular Maintenance a Must for Shaky Bridge

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   Press Release

Local historian and Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has described Daly’s Bridge or the Shaky Bridge as a significant cultural asset and has called for repairs to its fabric to be fast-tracked. Cllr McCarthy got reassurance from the Director of Roads, Gerry O’Beirne, at the recent Cork City Council meeting that “the bridge is safe for pedestrians”.

   Cllr McCarthy noted: “The bridge affectionately called the Shaky bridge is an important historical and national asset and needs continued maintenance due to its engineering fabric. For too many years, this bridge has not seen any investment into its fabric. The bridge is celebrating its 90th birthday this year. The bridge in 1927 was a co-funded project between Cork Corporation and James Daly who was a butter merchant in the city. The bridge is of a suspension type, which is supported at intervals across the river with the aid of anchored cables, which need annual maintenance. The building contract in 1926/27 was awarded to a famous London based steel company owned by David R Bell”.

   Cork City Council recently made an application funding to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for the repair and rehabilitation of Daly’s Bridge as part of the annual application process. An assessment of Daly’s Bridge was undertaken in December 2016 by an external Consultant Engineering firm with grant funding from the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport. The assessment established the nature and extent of the repair and rehabilitation works required. The information gathered was subsequently used to develop an initial design for the necessary works.

    Cllr McCarthy continued; “The bridge is currently the subject of planned inspection following recent severe weather related closure from Friday 20 to Wednesday 25 October. The updated information gathered will be submitted in support of the funding application. Subject to grant approval, rehabilitation works could commence in April 2018. The Department of Transport Tourism and Sport have funded extensive repair/renewal works for a number of bridges in recent years including Clontarf Bridge and Curaheen Bridge. It is important we get funding to repair our great and historic Shaky Bridge”.

31 Oct 2017

Autumn arrives to Cork, The Lough, Late October 2017

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The Lough, Cork, October 2017

31 Oct 2017

Kieran’s Question to CE and motions, Cork City Council Meeting, 31 October 2017

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Question to CE:

To ask the CE about plans for the future regeneration of Daly’s Bridge, which is celebrating its 90th birthday this year and is much revered by citizens? The lattice ironwork is in a poor state and parts of the structure need urgent repair (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).


That the City Council through Cork Innovates take an active part in the Start-Up Europe Network. The network gathers all EU regions actively engaged in promotion of startups and entrepreneurship and interested to cooperate and develop joint actions with other regions for this purpose (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

That the City Council consider installing a footpath where Tramore Lawn joins the Douglas Road. Currently, there is no footpath on this intersection of the two roads making it unsafe and difficult for residents to access the footpaths of the main road (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)