Debate on “The New European Bauhaus and its territorial dimension” high-level event with Ms Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth and Ms Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms. 14 April 2021
by Cllr Kieran McCarthy
Sturdy on a table top and lit by youngest fair,
a candle is blessed with hope and love, and much festive cheer,
Set in a wooden centre piece galore,
it speaks in Christian mercy and a distant past of emotional lore,
With each commencing second, memories come and go,
like flickering lights on the nearest Christmas tree all lit in traditional glow,
With each passing minute, the flame bounces side to side in drafty household breeze,
its light conjuring feelings of peace and warmth amidst familiar blissful degrees,
With each lapsing hour, the residue of wax visibly melts away,
whilst the light blue centered heart is laced with a spiritual healing at play,
With each ending day, how lucky are those who love and laugh around its glow-filledness,
whilst outside, the cold beats against the nearest window in the bleak winter barreness,
Fear and nightmare drift away in the emulating light,
both threaten this season in almighty wintry flight,
Sturdy on a table top and lit by youngest fair,
a candle is blessed with hope and love, and much festive cheer.
Douglas Road Councillor Kieran McCarthy has been blogging about the centenary of the War of Independence in Cork in 1920. His website at www.corkheritage.ie contains links to his newspaper articles and pictures. Kieran’s work attempts to provide context to this pivotal moment in Cork’s history. The centenary of Terence MacSwiney’s death after his 74-day is fast approaching on 25 October and Terence also once lived at Eldred Terrace on Douglas Road with his wife Muriel. Kieran notes: “Terence 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 end of his 74 day hunger strike changed the future public and collective memory narrative of Cork history forever”.
Continuing Kieran details: “The blog pieces also explore Cork in 1920 and how the cityscape was rapidly becoming a war zone. Risky manoeuvres by the IRA created even riskier manoeuvres as ultimately the IRA took the war to the RIC and Black and Tans. Reading through local newspapers each day for 1920 shows the boiling frustration between all sides of the growing conflict. Tit-for-tat violence became common place”.
Earlier this Kieran released a new book Witness to Murder, The Inquest of Tomás MacCurtain with John O’Mahony. The last time Tomás’s inquest in full was published was in the Cork Examiner between 23 March 1920 and 18 April 1920. Despite the ordeal and daily fallout from the interviews, 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 explored.
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”.
Full PDF Document: Irish Government Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business 1st May 2020
The Roadmap is guided by a number of over-riding principles. That is, an approach which is:-
Safe –informed and guided by a public health assessment of risk.
Rational – includes consideration of the social and economic benefits and impacts of any modifications of restrictions and their feasibility.
Evidence-informed – uses all of the data and research available to us to guide thinking.
Fair – Ethical and respects human dignity, autonomy and supports equality.
Open and transparent – decisions are clear, well communicated and subject to the necessary checks and balances.
Whole of Society – based on the concept of solidarity and supporting cohesion as we exit over time.
Happy Easter to everyone. Stay safe everyone. We Will Prevail.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind people of the Community Response Forum phone number specifically to provide support to vulnerable citizens during the COVID-19 restrictions. The telephone number is 1800 222 226. Over its first week the forum received over 300 calls. The freephone helpline operates seven days a week from 8am until 8pm.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted: “The majority of calls to the helpline have related to the collection and delivery of groceries, prescriptions, fuel and other essential household items, and the delivery of meals. Cork City Council staff, the HSE, An Garda Siochána and community organisations such as Meals on Wheels are amongst the partner groups who are responding to these requests for support”.
Requests for support due to an increasing sense of social isolation have also figured in phonecalls received – with a number of people experiencing loneliness as they stay at home. Those who have contacted the phone number have also been put in contact with Friendly Call Cork who provide a listening ear and a friendly voice on the phone to anyone experiencing loneliness. Friendly Call Cork is set up to tackle loneliness among older people, those with physical and mental disabilities and those who are socially isolated. It has expanded its services to deal with Covid-19 and the Cork City Partnership team have brought on more volunteers to meet the increased demand.
Cork City Community Response Forum Co-Ordinator, Denis Barrett said: “Cork City has been broken into 16 local area teams with a Cork City Council community worker and HSE community worker in each area who will work with ‘local champions’ – the existing voluntary organisations and groups who know their locality and can help match need with service delivery”.
Cllr McCarthy continued; “Corkonians have also contacted the helpline wondering how they could register to volunteer their service in this crisis. Would-be volunteers are asked to contact Volunteer Cork on 021 4251572, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or on email@example.com. They maintain a database of volunteers and are coordinating the volunteer effort in the city. Many thanks to everyone involved”.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Sheehan said: “We are delighted to see that the people of Cork are using this helpline and we would encourage people, who maybe have never asked for help before, to not be afraid to pick up the phone. These are unprecedented times for us all – but don’t forget we are all in this together and we will likely come out the other side with a deeper appreciation of the important things in life – and that includes living in a city which is rich in community supports and community spirit”.
At a special European Committee of the Regions Conference of Presidents meeting held by video conference on the 24th March a five point action plan of the CoR was agreed to support and assist local and regional authorities on the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The five-points Plan includes the launch of an exchange platform to help local and regional leaders sharing their needs and solutions and to enhance mutual support between local communities across Europe. It will also enable CoR Members to give their feedback on the EU actions already put in place, allowing a policy reality check from the ground. The CoR will provide regular and practical information about EU measures, with particular focus on the financing opportunities.
The European Alliance Group President Cllr Kieran McCarthy (Cork City) strongly supported the action plan and said it was vital that Regions and Cities across the EU worked together to ensure that this virus would be defeated and that regions and cities had to means at their disposal via EU and National Funding. He added it was hugely important for citizens to heed the advice of the relevant authorities regarding ‘staying at home’ and ‘social distancing’.
Commenting the endorsement of the Action Plan, the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said: “Our CoR members and all EU’s regional and local leaders are making extraordinary efforts in the fight against the pandemic. In these difficult times we must be united and act responsibly. Many Presidents of Regions and Mayors have asked me to establish an exchange platform that will allow CoR members and EU local and regional leaders to share their needs, feedback and ideas and to elaborate common solutions. The Action Plan will also allow to better target local communities’ healthcare needs and to address the social and economic aspects of the pandemic and their impact on local and regional authorities”.
Cllr McCarthy has also emphasised that the outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19 is putting public sector organisations through great challenges and great stress with local governments, public administrations, local health services particularly at the forefront of the crisis; “This is a virus with a serious impact on public health, the economy and social and political issues. Different countries, and different regions within the same country are in different scenarios but knowledge of different interventions can help those on the front line with more information and how to drive the virus back”.
Cllr McCarthy added: “The EU has over 280 regions and members of the committee of the Regions stand ready to assist in core EU activities on COVID 19 combatting such as the collection of knowledge of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, to work with the EU’s advisory panel on COVID-19, offer advice on the operation on EU Civil Protection Mechanism and offer perspective on the roll out of the European Stability Mechanism and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative”.
The European Committee of the Regions:
The European Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives from all 27 Member States. Created in 1994 following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, its mission is to involve regional and local authorities in the EU’s decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. To sit on the European Committee of the Regions, all of its 329 members and 329 alternates must either hold an electoral mandate or be politically accountable to an elected assembly in their home regions and cities. There are 9 Irish members in the CoR.
For further information contact:
Cllr Kieran McCarthy 087 655 3389
Micheal O Conchuir +32 2 282 2251