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21 May 2018

Cllr McCarthy Praises Cruise Ambassador programme

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     Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy at the recent Tourism Events Arts and Marketing Functional Committee of Cork City Council praised the initiative of the Cruise Ambassador programme. It commenced for the season on 2 April. To date Cruise Ambassadors have boarded six liners, five of which were clocked at Cobh and one at Ringaskiddy, this location is used as a second berth when there are two large vessels in the Port and Cobh is already occupied. Passengers have the option of availing of a rail service scheduled by Iarnrod Eireann to facilitate the cruise market. As the season progresses Ambassadors will also board a number of smaller liners who can berth at Customs House Quay in Cork City.

    Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Cruise Ambassador Programme continues to be very well received both by Port of Cork and by the Cruise Line companies. The Ambassadors have now established contact with staff on board who make return journeys and so it has been possible to have information on board in some cases prior to their arrival in Cork. Ambassadors continue to make available the Top Attractions brochure and Cork City maps etc”.

   “The Cruise Ambassadors will serve Cruise Liners due to the end of the 2018 Cruise Season and continue to provide tourists with information on Cork increasing the footfall of cruise tourists to the City. The City Council has been engaging with business interests in relation to the development of initiatives that will maximise the economic benefit in terms of retail, hospitality etc” said Cllr McCarthy.

18 May 2018

Cllr McCarthy: More Thematic Top Attraction Brochures Needed

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      Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy at the recent Tourism Events Arts and Marketing Functional Committee of Cork City Council  has called for further thematic Council brochures to be printed showcasing the city’s bridges and churches as part of the city’s attractions. Cork City Council has reprinted the Top Attractions in Cork brochure for the 2018 season. Circulation began with a French print prepared for the Cork City Council participation in the Rennes Tourism Fair in February, when almost 4,000 brochures were distributed from the Cork stand.

    Cllr McCarthy noted: “To date over 100,000 brochures have been printed and circulated in English, French, German, Spanish and Polish. The Tourism Section has engaged the services of Glance Promotions who distribute brochures to hotels and tourist hot spots in the City and County, stocking them in specially designed stands in reception areas or areas with high footfall. The brochure is also being distributed via the Tourist Office on the Grand Parade and Car Hire Companies and is also available to View online. The brochure is also distributed Via the Cruise Ambassadors boarding liners at Cobh, Ringaskiddy and Customs House Quay. There is huge scope to develop a thematic series of these top attraction brochures for the region”.

17 May 2018

Cllr McCarthy: EU Maritime Military and Industrial Atlantic Heritage Seminar Coming to Cork

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     Cork City Council’s involvement in an EU Interreg Heritage project is a great learning curve for all involved according to Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has expressed delight that the Recovery and Valorisation of Maritime Military and Industrial Atlantic Heritage MMIAH Interreg Project is already helping the thinking process in the design of interpretation.

    Cllr McCarthy noted: “The MMIAH project at Cork City Council officially commenced in the first quarter of 2018, with the appointment of a Project Manager to oversee this three-year project. Work on completing the technical details for the project are well underway, including preparation of an evolutionary study of the MMIAH assets of each partner area, and a study concerning best practice examples of recovery of MMIAH assets in Cork city”.

   The outcome of this study will allow for the infrastructural element of the MMIAH project budget to be invested in Elizabeth Fort over the next three years. To date, two steering committee meetings for the project have taken place; the first at Ferrol in Spain, and the second at Ilhavo in Portugal.

   Cllr McCarthy highlighted: “Cork City Council will host the third steering committee meeting to coincide with Cork Harbour Festival on 5 and 6 June 2018, and delegates from the nine partners involved in the project will be in attendance. A full programme has been developed for this meeting, including a (free) MMIAH public seminar in the Council Chamber at City Hall on 6th June. The aim of this seminar is to publicise the MMIAH project, and to show how the project aims fit with wider tourism and urban regeneration and enhancement proposals to Cork City”.

17 May 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 17 May 2018

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946a. SS Inniscarra berthed at Penrose Quay, c.1915

 

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 17 May 2018

Stories from 1918: The Sinking of the SS Inniscarra

 

    Another ship, another sinking occurred on 12 May 1918. This time the SS Inniscarra was sunk by torpedo by German submarine ten miles south east of Ballycotton Island on the approaches to Cork en route from Fishguard. Built by Wigham Richardson & Co. Ltd Newcastle in 1903, the ship was a passenger steamer of 1,412 tons. She was owned at the time of her loss by City of Cork Steam Packet Co. Ltd.

    At the time of the disaster the ship was Cork bound with a general cargo and carried no passengers. At 4.20am the roar of an exploding torpedo was heard. The ship was struck on the port side, abreast the forward engine space, killing those in that space quickly below. While still making headway the ship sank bow down. Before this a barrel raft got away with one lifeboat. On the raft lay Captain Kelly, with his legs crushed and Chief Officer Swan, who was badly bruised. From the raft a cattleman slipped off and sank. Minutes later, the submarine emerged beside them from the waters, questioned the men on their rank, and then made off. As dawn broke one of the ship’s Seaman Mr Warren, was picked up by a passing small boat into which as well four other male survivors transferred themselves from the raft. Four hours later they landed them at Queenstown. From Queenstown the survivors were rapidly conveyed to the midst of their friends and family in Cork.

    The five survivors comprised Captain Kelly (Ballyhooley Road), Chief Officer Swan (5 Beechwood Place, Douglas Road), Steward Keane, Seaman Bird arid Seaman Warren, (Kinsale). In his account to the Press Association, Captain Kelly stated that this was his second similar experience since the war began. He detailed that the SS Inniscarra commenced going down bow first about three minutes after being struck. He jumped from the bridge down on to the fore deck just as the ship was making her last plunge. He succeeded in netting upon a barrel raft, but was washed off. In trying to keep the raft clear of the bridge he got his left leg badly bruised and mangled. He was then picked up by a lifeboat containing the few survivors.

    Mr Stewart F Swan, who was badly injured, was a member of the Mercantile Marine Service Association. He had plenty experience in shipping. He held the Royal Humane Society’s bronze medal and parchment for life-saving in the River Lee. He distinguished himself on the night of 13 May 1913, when he made a gallant rescue of a passenger who had fallen overboard from the steamer Innisfallen in Fishguard Harbour. The cry of “man overboard” having been raised by some of the cabin staff, Swan, who was in his berth, rushed on deck to see what he could do. Seeing the struggling man in the water about 30 feet from the ship’s side, without hesitation he plunged overboard. He swam towards him and after a struggle succeeded in placing a lifebuoy over his head.

    Through the sinking of the SS Inniscarra, many relatives of the deceased were plunged into deep mourning. For example Maurice Geary, Fireman (42), lost his life and he left behind his wife Margaret and seven children, and resided in Ballinure, Blackrock. I have added the list of those who lost their lives below, the vast of which were from Cork and region; Patrick Cox, Fireman (47), was husband of Ellen Cox (nee Murphy), of Ballinure Quarries, Blackrock, Cork. Robert Hayes, Greaser (53), was husband of Margaret Hayes (nee Regan), of Convent Road, Blackrock. William Neil, First Engineer (60), was husband of Mrs Neill, of Marion Ville, Blackrock. Michael Forde, Quartermaster (66) was husband of Norah Forde, of 91, Friar Street, Cork. John O’Connell Fireman (27) was husband of Norah O’Connell (nee Jones), of 1, Desmond Square. Mathew O’Sullivan, Able Seaman (53), was the husband of Mary O’Sullivan (nee Creedon), of 29, High Street, Cork.

    Arthur Attridge, Carpenter (72), was husband of Bessie Attridge (nee Riordan), of 3, St James Place. Mr Buckley, Trimmer (27), was son of Hannah Buckley (nee McCarthy), of 5, Hegarty’s Square, Blarney Street. John Harrington, Firerman (48) was husband of Mary Harrington, of 4, Cassidy’s Avenue, Barrackton, Cork. John Mullane, Cook (37) was the husband of Mary Agnes Mullane (nee White), of 23, Kelleher’s Buildings. John O’Brien, Trimmer (27), was the husband of Mary O’Brien (nee Murphy) of Mayfield.  Denis O’Mahony, Fireman (29), was the son of James and Sarah O’Mahony, of 10, Alfred Street. Denis O’Shea, Fireman (30), was the son of Edward and Eliza O’Shea, of 76, Great William O’Brien Street, Blackpool. William Ryan, Donkeyman (38), was the son of Margaret and Hugh Ryan, of 7, Mahoney’s Avenue, Lower Road.

     George Clarke, Able Seaman (61) was the son of the late George and Catherine Clarke (no location noted). Daniel Driscoll, Able Seaman (39), was husband of Nora Driscoll (nee Hayes), of Scilly, Kinsale. Michael Murphy, Able Seaman (34), was husband of Catherine Murphy (nee Coughlan), of 2, Cork Hill, Kinsale. James Harris (36) was the son of James and Alfina Dunne Harris, of Curraghboy, Youghal.

    Laurence O’Connell, Fireman (36), was the son of John and Ann O’Connell, of Glencarney, Rockchapel. William Evans, Second Mate (54), was the husband of Alice Kate Evans (nee Patrick), of Tan-y-Bryn, New Quay, Cardiganshire. Michael O’Hare, Greaser (41) was the husband of Margaret O’Hare (nee Masterson), of 48, Cecil Street, Newry, Co. Down.

      Joseph George Page, Leading Seaman (no age given), was the son of Charles and Catherine Page, of 2A, Chaucer Street, Kingsley Park, Northampton. Robert James Peters, seaman (no age given) was born at Neyland, Pembrokeshire. George Tucker, Able Seaman (20), was the son of Charles and Martha Tucker, of Rock House, Llanrhidian, Reynoldstone, Glamorgan.

Caption:

946a. SS Inniscarra berthed at Penrose Quay, c.1915 (source: Cork City Library)

16 May 2018

McCarthy: Tramore Valley Park Update, May 2018

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      Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed progress on the opening of Tramore Valley Park. Given the increased amount of additional work necessary to satisfy Health and Safety requirements the opening is scheduled for early Autumn 2018. Information given to Cllr McCarthy at last week’s City Council meeting outlined that a works programme to address the essential works necessary prior to opening are presently underway: it includes additional carparking, realignment of the main access road from the South City Link, creation of internal roundabout and, segregation of the civic amenity activities from park activities. These works are essential in the context of satisfying Health and Safety requirements for a park and civic amenity site users. A Management Plan to manage, open and maintain the park is also being prepared at present.

Cllr McCarthy noted:” While the BMX track and a number of playing pitches in the park are used from time to time, access for the general public has been limited due to a number of staff shortages and operational issues. It will be great to see the park fully opened and become a key in the expansion of the city, ensuring that family, community and park life all remains at the heart of a bigger city centre. It will be the equal of the Ballincollig regional park in the city. Family and community life will be enhanced by the opening of this enormous resource”.

16 May 2018

McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition, Final, May 2018

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Well done to all the participants in the recent final of McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition 2018, held recently at Firkin Crane, Cork.

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participants at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Special guest at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Special guest at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Special guest at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Participant at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Special guest at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Audience at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

Winners Charlie and Rachel with Cllr Kieran McCarthy at final of McCarthy's Community Talent Competition, May 2018

14 May 2018

Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s Comments, Morrison’s Island Public Realm, Part 8 Report, Cork City Council meeting, 14 May 2018

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Lord Mayor,

 My gut on the Morrison’s Island project at this moment in time is to vote no.

 I have many sleepless nights on the whole OPW scheme to be honest; it has really physically upset me. I have had many early morning debates in my head and I v much appreciate the positives, negatives and ways of looking at the project.

Currently I am here in my head.

 There are many competing demands on the overall OPW project from government, residents, businesses heritage interests, One size does not fit all the needs of the city and estuarine & Harbour region.

I v much accept that flooding- Riverine and Tidal is a consistent challenge and opportunity to the future life of the city.

 I v much appreciate the work of the work of the OPW, Cork City Council & groups such as Save Cork City in raising the profile of this important debate; I wouldn’t overall agree with the strategy of the Save Cork City – some of their social media has been prone to narrative spin at times but I v much respect the essence of their campaign, their passion and their volunteerism. I don’t agree with their terms “Walls Scheme”- what is currently proposed are multi-faceted interventions and what will ultimately appear on the Cork landscape needs also to be multi-faceted intervention. The geography of the river and estuary demands that.

 Personally, I think the Morrison’s Island design is too sterile with the metal railings, and story less. The story of the river seems to be lost; that does not mean though I am for open quays. To me it needs a little more investment to make it work better- somewhere between last year’s International Design Competition and the current plan; I recognise there isn’t an endless pot of funding; large scale funding mechanisms do not exist for Cork City Council; the pot for Morrison’s Island needs way more government funding to be honest.

 I am pro the substantial tidal barrier in the lower Harbour proposed by the OPW and not at the Little Island location proposed by Save Cork City; places like Midleton and Ballinacurra will need protection in decades to come. We will only get one shot at the tidal barrier if it becomes an option. I am also conscious of the international natural heritage habitats in Cork Harbour, changes upon which are governed by national and EU law.

 I am v concerned that any future barrier to combat climate change is not in the National Planning Framework, which takes the country to 2040. A v big discussion needs to take place in the Dail regarding rising sea levels at the country’s principle cities at least – especially the country’s southern growth Centre such as Cork.

I am not for an Independent Review; I think the whole scheme just needs much more substantial funding; I think the OPW reps have proposed a scheme that is within the national budget set and I accept their brief and hard work on this; but as a city we should not just accept the finance and not question the possibilities.

I am for calling for a review of government expenditure on the overall OPW Schemes. It is way too little.

 There is a need for riverine defences in the city but I think better ways of raising the old limestone walls need to be thought about; the pumping stations I have a v deep worry about- it is the one issue I am getting a lot of engineers contacting me on,

 It also should not be just a question of protection of the city’s heritage but it a question of how we manage our heritage assets such as the limestone wall on our quays.

 There is also a huge need to have more public information sessions- the public relations campaign around the whole project has been weak to be honest.

Overall I think we need a bigger vision, yes there has been a lot of work done but can we all live with these interventions ?”

Go raibh maith agat.

 

14 May 2018

Kieran’s Question to CE & Motions, Cork City Council Meeting, 14 May 2018

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Kieran’s Question to CE:

To ask the CE about progress regarding the upcoming opening of Tramore Valley Park? (Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Motions:

That the Council install flower beds at Audley Place, Our Lady’s Well and clean up the dumped rubbish on the Fever Hospital Steps – ultimately making the space more of a tourist and community quarter (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

That the Council install air quality monitors in the City Centre (Cllr Kieran McCarthy).

12 May 2018

Kieran’s June 2018 Historical Walking Tours

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Saturday 9 June 2018, Cork City & its Bridges, historical walking tour (new) with Kieran, learn about the early history of the city’s most historic bridges, learn about their construction and their relationship with the river and surrounding areas; meet at the National Monument, Grand Parade, 2.30pm (free, duration: two hours, finishes in City Centre) in association with Meitheal Mara’s Cork Harbour Festival.

Saturday 23 June 2018, The Cork City Workhouse; historical walking tour with Kieran, learn about the workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841; meet at the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 12noon (free, duration: two hours, on site tour), in association with the Friends of St Finbarr’s Hospital Garden Fete.

Saturday 30 June 2018, The Lough & its Curiosities; historical walking tour with Kieran, explore the local history from the Legend of the Lough to suburban development; meet at green area at northern end of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough; 12noon (free, duration: two hours, on site tour)

10 May 2018

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 10 May 2018

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945a. South Gate Bridge c.1900

 

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 10 May 2018

Stories from 1918: A Disappearing Band Room

 

    One hundred years ago, in early May 1918 the upper portion of No.1 Barrack Street showed physical signs of serious deterioration and a portion of it was ordered by the engineering department of Cork Corporation to be taken down. Today, the gap in the building line is clearly visible in front of Fordes Pub, at the intersection of Sullivan’s Quay and South Gate Bridge. The Barrack Street Band started in the upper part of the premises. The premises was a focal point for the band took part in various political or social incidents. For nearly 80 years it was the rallying place for large sections of the people of the city’s south ward whose interests were identical with those of the band.

    Founded in 1838 and inpired by the work of Fr Theobald Mathew, the band room and its associated temperance hall recruitment space was one of the first Cork recruiting quarter for the temperance cause. By the end of 1838, it is argued that 6,000 people were recorded on the temperance pledge register in the Cork region through the springing up of other local recruitment spaces and band spaces. The lead organisers on Fr Mathew’s campaign in the early months were James McKenna and William Martin. John Hockings, a leading teetotaller campaigner in Birmingham was also invited over to lecture to teetotallers in Cork.

    By 1839, the temperance movement began to gain popular support in rest of the country. Branches were organised in surrounding towns. These included Passage, Cobh, Aghada, Whitegate, Blarney, Cloyne, Midelton, Carrigtwohill, Glanmire, Fermoy, Rathcormac, Riverstown, Ladysbridge and Carrigaline. John O’Connell was primarily involved in visiting these branches. Large numbers also began to flock to Cork from the surrounding countryside to take the pledge. By the end of 1839, the reputation of the Cork Temperance Society began to spread further into north Munster into areas like Limerick.

   Within four years of the founding of the Cork Total Abstinence Society, the movement had found its way into every corner of the country. It was not a political movement; indeed Fr Mathew’s principal concern was to keep it clear of politics, but it had, nevertheless, a deep political effect. With their new-found dignity, the converts became more acutely conscious of the weaknesses that surrounded their social state and thinking inevitably led to more constant support for the national cause. The temperance movement brought an immediate accession of strength to Daniel O’Connell, his successors benefited from it, and the foundations were laid for the better things that were to follow.

    Scholars John Borgonovo and Jack Santino in a book entitled Public Performances: Studies in the Carnivalesque and Ritualesque (2017) note that Fr Mathew encouraged the formation of temperance brass bands at the local level to gather crowds for pledge meetings and to offer non-alcoholic entertainment to working classes. Band practice kept men out of the public house, while Sunday band processions and concerts served as a wholesome nonalcoholic family events that spread the temperance message. bands were locality based and had numerous followers who would accompany them on excursions through the city. At the movement’s height the city of Cork maintained thirty-three temperance bands, with uniforms financed by Father Mathew. The instructors of the Barrack Street Temperance Band at this time and up to the 1870s were non-existent; but according to tradition the military bands had a great influence on them Brass bands often developed alongside reading rooms. Working class self-improvement was a key point.

    At the Annual Temperance Rally in late March 1842, the Cork Examiner notes the location of the event was at the new Corn Market (now Cork City Hall site). It was densely crowded with countless societies, each headed by its band of 20 or even 30 musicians. According to the media, there was much pomp and ceremony; “members dressed with blue, or pink, or green scarfs of Irish Manufacture, and holding a long white wand decorated with colored ribbons or laurel. Before the several societies was borne a flag or banner, generally with either the name of the particular room to which they belonged, some having painted on them an appropriate device, or allegorical representation, and, in many at least 23 city bands, each containing 20 to 30 musicians, participated in a huge temperance procession through the centre of Cork. Many came from poor localities such as Fair Lane, Blarney Street, Blackpool and the Barrack Street area. cases, a full-length figure of the Apostle himself”. In further newspaper articles across the Cork Examiner in the ensuing two years, it is revealed that up to 55 bands became operational.

    Local historian, Richard T Cooke in his book Cork’s Barrack Stret Silver and Reed Band (1992) recorded from the band’s annals that the No 1 Barrack Street building comprised three storeys and was constructed at the end of the eighteenth century. The society occupied the first and second floors of the building. On the first floor was the society’s reading and recreation room and the second floor housed the bandroom where instruments and banners weres tored. Its rooms were quite spaciousand well-lit with the main entrance on Sullivan‘s Quay, No. 37. The building had no water supply, drains or backyard; and, therefore no outhouse forpublic convenience. The opening hours of the society were from 7pm to 11pm each evening and remained open all day Sunday.When the building was condemned in 1918, the Barrack Street Band moved to Tuckey Street for a time.

Captions:

945a. South Gate Bridge c.1900 (picture: Cork City Library)

945b. Portrait of Fr Theobald Mathew from Frank J Mathew’s (1890) Fr Mathew’s Life and Times (source: Cork City Library)

945c. Site of No. 1 Barrack Street, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

 

945c. Site of No. 1 Barrack Street, present day