Category Archives: Ward Development

Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy Launches his Local Election Campaign, 23 March 2024

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Independent, has confirmed his attention to run in the forthcoming local elections on Friday 7 June. He has once again chosen to run in the south east local electoral area of Cork City which includes the Douglas area. The south east area extended from Albert Road through Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock, Mahon and takes in Douglas Village, Donnybrook, Rochestown and Mount Oval districts. 


First elected in 2009 Cllr McCarthy has won three terms of office in Cork City Hall on an Independent platform. In launching his manifesto this week Cllr McCarthy outlined his vision across five policy areas – developing more recreational and amenity sites, moving Cork to become net zero in Carbon emissions, marketing the City Centre and village renewal, local government reform and financial accountability, and continuing his suite of community and history projects. 

At the launch of his campaign Cllr McCarthy noted his broad range of interests from community development, city planning, culture and history, village renewal environmental issues and regional development. “Over the past fifteen years I have gained much experience in local government and in particular during my year as Lord Mayor. In City Hall, I continue to fight the corner of my constituents . My website and social media sites showcase my work pursued and achieved over the past decade. It also sets out my stall of interests and what an Independent strong voice can offer local government plus a vision for Cork City’s future in working with local communities. Collaboration with local people is very important to me”.

“Over the past fifteen years I have created and curated several community projects including local history programmes in local schools, a youth community talent competition, a youth Make a Model Boat project. I also founded Cork City Musical Society for adults. I also run free historical walking tours regularly across over 25 Cork City suburban sites.  Against the backdrop of very busy Lord Mayor’s schedule I look forward to meeting people again at the doors over the next few weeks, and if anyone would like to help with my campaign in any shape of form, it would be greatly appreciated”, concluded Lord Mayor Cllr McCarthy.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 29 February 2024

1242a. Cork Terminus at Albert Road, for Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway Line c.1925 (source: Cork City Library).
1242a. Cork Terminus at Albert Road, for Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway Line c.1925 (source: Cork City Library).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 29 February 2024

Making an Irish Free State City – End of the Line

On 25 February 1924 the annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway Company was held. Sir Stanley Harrington, Chairman, presided and read out a detailed report on the challenges facing the company. Annual AGM reports one hundred years ago and published by newspapers such as the Cork Examiner provide rich material to chart the rise and fall of the railway company.

It was in 1835 that the plan for a Cork Passage railway was first proposed by Cork based merchants. By the time it was built it was the third railway line to open in the country and the first in the south of Ireland. The line was opened to the public on Saturday 8 June 1850 and there was a service of ten trains each way at regular intervals.

In 1896, an Act of Parliament enabled the company to extend the line as far as Crosshaven. John Best Leith, Scotland received the contract for the regauging of the line. Works began in 1897. A new double track was laid between Cork and Blackrock, the only example of a double track in Ireland at the time.

At the 25 February 1924 meeting Mr Harrington related that a year on from the Civil War the damage on the span on the Douglas Viaduct had been repaired. Signal cabins at Rochestown, Passage and Monkstown had been rebuilt. The Blackrock cabin was in the course of rebuilding. The six carriages, which were burnt out, were replaced by new ones.

However, Mr Harrington’s core focus was on the difficulties to balance the company’s accounts. For several years the deficit on the account was accelerating. Reference is given that one of the serious reductions to profits was the withdrawal of the British military and naval forces from Cork and district. It was estimated at a loss of at least one million pounds annually to Cork.

From 1 January 1923 to 23 April 1923 closing down for goods and people traffic due to Civil War damage caused financial loss. The general dockers strike in Cork from August to November 1923 also caused a serious cost to the company. Rates and taxation created a large financial loss for the company, which ultimately led the way to the company’s demise a decade later.

At the AGM for February 1925, the financial losses had expanded. Persistent wet weather ruined the 1924 summer excursion traffic and ordinary traffic was disastrously affected by the depression in trade prevailing all over the South of Ireland. Furthermore, the closing down of Haulbowline and the dearth of work at Passage and Rushbrooke Dockyards, which used to bring the railway so much business, had seriously diminished receipts.

Reference is also made that on 13 August 1924, approval of the Great Southern Preliminary Absorption Scheme 1924 took place. Compensation was given to directors who suffered loss by the abolition of their office. Ultimately though, this took away a more localised focus and created a more centralised focus, whereby several railway companies came under the Great Southern Railway Company.

From 1925 to 1932 the Passage railway limped on with financial deficits. It still carried large crowds during the summer months, but the growing ownership of the motorcar ousted the popularity of travelling on the railway.

On 27 May 1932, it was officially announced that on and from 1 June 1932 all trains on the railway line between Crosshaven and Monkstown in both directions would cease to run. The Cork Examiner notes that the news was met with regret and that the train service between these points was up to some years ago “the main artery of holiday traffic at the popular seaside resort which it linked to the city”. The newspaper relates that within recent years the vast increase in the number of privately owned cars was responsible for a gradual but very noticeable falling off in the passenger service, and the advent of the buses was virtually the death blow to the railway.

In early September 1932, Mr Thomas Jones, chairman of the Passage Urban Council wrote a telegram to the Ministry of Industry addressing the concerns of in regard to the closing of the line. The response in a letter, and published by the Cork Examiner, outlined that the Minister had no power to intervene in the matter. The Minister was informed by the Railway Company, however, that their decision to close the line was reached after mature consideration of the fact that a continuous loss of approximate £4,000 per year in keeping it open; “The Company point out that the public have in a very large measure, deserted the railway services on that line for the more mobile, convenient, and attractive omnibus services, and that it is the intention of the Company to provide full and adequate alternative road services”.

In August 1933, one of the final stages in the abandonment of the Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway between Cork and Crosshaven was reached when Messrs. Woodward, auctioneers were appointed in charge of the disposal of a number of lots of sleepers and rails from the route.

The old railway’s line’s re-opening in 1984 as a walkway was seen as cutting edge amenity addition in the city. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength in its number usage – its promotion of public health, walking and cycling, connecting the river and the estuary and its strong sense of place makes for an exciting public space in the years that come. 

Strong political and public pressure have staved off such aspirations of a rail reboot function in the past decade in favour of Cork City Council developing a widened greenway, significantly improving its access ramps, and planting over 2,000 native species along the former rail route. A conservation programme in recent years restored the old stonework of the old Blackrock Station and replacing a long gone cast iron bridge. Currently there is also an ongoing work programme with local residents on how to bring the greenway from Rochestown to connect up with the Cork County Council section of the railway, which brings the line into the heart of Passage West.

Caption:

1242a. Cork Terminus at Albert Road, for Cork Blackrock and Passage Railway Line c.1925 (source: Cork City Library).

Building Communities Together, Six Months In, The Echo, 22 December 2023

Dear Corkonian, as you read this I am at my half way mark in my term as Lord Mayor of Cork. So far it has been a great adventure since my term began in late June this year. As a chronicler of Cork’s history, there is one thing researching Cork, but there is another when one becomes part of its story board, and one gets to wear the 236-year old Mayoralty chain every day and become Cork’s ambassador. The chain has been witness to many stories across time and the urban space of Cork.

My days have been filled with meeting groups across many thematic communities in Cork – from sporting to general community groups to the business community. On average, there are seven to eight events to attend a day – so 35 to 40 events a week is easily the average. So, todate there have been just over 850 events attended in the first six months of my office. The diary is time-managed, curated and packed solid with meetings and opportunities. Days are long but the meeting experiences are very interesting and very enjoyable.

In my first six months, the chain has been witness to all of my key activities, from representing the city in meeting President Michael D Higgins to playing a diplomatic role in hosting Ambassadors from various countries to being head of delegation of the sister city twinning meeting with the Mayor of Shanghai and his various departments from health to culture.

On the ground in Cork it has been important to me to promote local economic development, to highlight the City Council’s work programmes from housing to roads mobility and parks works programmes, to highlighting the history and heritage of our city through the Council’s decade of commemoration programmes, to highlighting arts and culture in the guise of the new urban sculpture trail or through the Community Heritage Concert and Christmas Gala Concert in aid of key charities in our city.

It has been fun and important to actively participate in and showcase festivals such as the Pride Festival and Cork International Film Festival and helping lead this year’s edition of the Dragon of Shandon, platforming the importance of climate action and projects such as community gardens, hosting charities and giving them a space to chat about their work in City Hall. There has been lots of showcasing Cork’s sporting events including honouring our Cork camogie teams. In truth the list of activities is long. And sometimes, there also has been a song along the way.

It has also been an honour to formally open new pedestrian and cycle bridges such as Vernon Mount and mark the completion of public realm works such as MacCurtain Street. To be able to showcase their immediate and surrounding histories and memories has been a privilege.

The 118-school visit programme left me humbled, emotional, and exhausted from a rollercoaster of meeting so many young people on mass but also full of great memories for years to come. To meet the bones of over 35,000 dynamic young people or Cork’s up and coming generation, complete with teachers and principals of city schools, is one of the largest projects on democracy development each Lord Mayor takes on every year. One of my core reflections was that Cork City is very fortunate with a generation coming through that is curious, dynamic, diverse, unique, enthusiastic and ‘up for the match’ to be the next guardians of what we as Corkonians are proud to call home.

I created a social media film series called Voices of Cork, which gives voice to some of the people I have met. My social media encompasses the hashtag Got Cork and WeareCork and ProudofCork, which is also my continued focus on all things positive that Cork people engage and promote.

For me as well, showcasing the voices of different communities matter. Whereas, the daily themes could be diverse from each other, all of the groups I meet are pursuing an aspect of importance to Cork’s DNA and its evolving development. All of the groups are everything that is great about our City – its sense of caring, its sense of place, its sense of pride, its sense of frankness and honesty, its sense of identity, its sense of camaraderie, its sense of life affirmation. Such groups are writing the best version of the city’s evolving story.

All of the groups pack an enormous punch to the heart by bringing people together who volunteer to carve out and create a space for the common good. It is not random that the Latin motto on the city’s coat of arms is Statio Bene Fida Carinis or translated as a Safe Harbour for Ships. However, after the first six months I am of the view that the motto could also be interpreted a safe harbour for people or safe place for people.

Such groups have spent years supporting the city or a specific neighbourhood. They are hard grafters, who are intrinsic to the future of many people’s lives, the important moments in people’s lives. ideas of hope and solidarity, and what I call saving people’s souls. They create incredible special moments of human connection. That tenacity and vision needs to be noted – the holding firm needs to be noted. As a city we need to rejoice and embrace in such a vision.

Such communities of people are genuinely interested in connecting people together, and supporting and helping each other. Building stronger communities brings more opportunities to talk, share, support each other. and to learn.

A more connected community builds a stronger community for everyone in our city. In the world, we find ourselves, supporting each other matters more than ever before. Togetherness matters more so than ever before. What the communities stand for matters more than ever before. These elements of Cork’s DNA need to be minded carefully as the city moves forward into the future.

One cannot buy that energy or connection but it is so important to have in a city such as Cork whose heart when it comes to social and cultural capital beats very passionately.

So, there are lots of moments to reflect upon in the first six months. Sincere thanks to Lady Mayoress Marcelline and Finbarr Archer, Nicola O’Sullivan and Rose Fahy in the Lord Mayor’s office as well as the team in Corporate Affairs ably led by Paul Moynihan, and Chief Executive Anne Doherty, for their partnership, curation of activities, story board creation, support and advice over the past six months.

Third round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors for Cork

Third round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors for Cork

The National Transport Authority has launched the third round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors earmarked for development as part of the BusConnects Cork programme.

The latest round of public consultation centres on the Preferred Route Options which have been identified. These preferred route options brochures are available to view and download below. This comes following the first round of public consultation on the Emerging Preferred Routes between April and June 2023.

Following the first and second rounds of public consultation, the NTA has been reviewing the submissions made by the public and engaging constructively with 35 residents’ , business and special interest groups across the city. Community Forums were also established for each corridor to enable a two-way dialogue with local communities to help inform the review process.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 18 December 2023

View here now: Sustainable Transport Corridors | Busconnects

Kieran’s Lord Mayor Echo Column, 14 October 2023

Community Grassroots Matters

            The past, present and future of community building is very regular theme in the Lord Mayor’s office. Two events recently reiterated the legacy of community life and the importance of grassroots activities in our city. I gave a civic reception to former Independent Councillor Con O’Leary and met with Cork City FC and Gerry McAnaney, the President of the FAI.

Honouring Con O’Leary:

            Whilst Con, like myself, served as an Independent Councillor in Cork City Council, I didn’t share the Council Chamber with him but Con’s family, friends and my colleagues in the Council shared some snippets from Con’s life and contribution to the City with me. Con was born in the Community he has served for most of his life – Gurranabraher, going to Blarney St. Boy’s School. Con and wife Ann lived in Charlemont Terrace, Wellington Road as newlyweds. They moved to Mayfield for a short period before returning back to Con’s roots in Gurranabraher in 1973.

            An opportunity arose to purchase ‘Molly’s Shop’ now known as ‘Con’s Shop’ and for over 50 years now Con has served the people of Gurranabraher from that shop. We all know the value of the corner shop.  The service they provide goes way beyond a pint of milk, a loaf of bread or a lottery card.  These shops are bedrocks of community life.  Con, like many shopkeepers – not only kept the shop, but kept an eye on the street, provided shelter from the rain and an open ear when no one else was listening.  He knew when people were struggling and pointed them in the direction of help. 

            It is borne out of the shop as a community service that Con got involved in a whole host of community initiatives – Churchfield/Gurranabraher youth club, St. Anthony’s over 60’s club, Churchfield/Gurranabraher Meals on Wheels, The Legion of Mary Gurranabraher, Ógra Corcaigh, and the North Infirmary Action Group

            Perhaps it was that Community involvement then that led Con into local politics in 1991– not only serving as a Councillor but also as a Member of the Southern Health Board, and as a Director of EACD (European Cities against Drugs). A glance at newspapers from 1991-2004 shows important and a myriad of councillor campaigns by Con. It is an honour to celebrate a master crafts person of community, someone who forged carefully community life in our city over many decades.

Honouring Football Legacies:

            Football in Cork became a major theme across one of my recent weeks. Cork City FC hosted a breakfast briefing at The Metropole Hotel, which I attended and I also hosted a reception to honour the work of the President of the FAI Gerry McAnaney, who has strong links to College Corinthians, amongst other.

            Cork City FC has invited sponsors of the club to gather and hear about the business of running the football club and about how the club is building on the relationships already established with some of Cork’s leading businesses.  The club is also hoping to increase its sponsors by establishing and developing relationships with other businesses in the city.

            Cork City FC like many of our sporting clubs matters in our city and region and add significantly to the essence of building community values in Cork and grassroots sports initiatives in Cork – the tangible and intangible benefits. This was also one of the themes of Gerry’s speech during his visit to City Hall.

            In addition one does not have to look far to see how football clubs are rooted in the life of the city and how proud the city are of them, and how it represents the many legacies of football clubs going back over one hundred years.

            Indeed, one just has to go to any match to see the sense of pride, ownership and love for Cork City FC amongst players, management and the supporters who chant, laugh, cry and shout more and then even chant, laugh, cry and shout more the local football team on. And that essence of pride is hard to physically replicate.

            There are individuals who have spent decades every week supported the team and there are parents or guardians who proudly bring the next generation on in all kinds of weather, and they wouldn’t miss it for anything. There are incredible special moments of human connection are bound up with football and indeed all of the sports that operate in Cork. One cannot buy that energy or connection but it is so important to have in a city such as Cork whose heart when it comes to social and cultural capital beats very passionately.

Notes from the Lord Mayor’s Office:

September 30: I was delighted to launch the Celebrating Cork Past Exhibition.

September 30: It was great to attend and take part in the Lord Mayor’s Community Heritage Concert.

October 2: It was a great honour to receive Douglas born and reared woman Mary Scanlon, who is celebrating her 100th anniversary early next month.

October 2: I paid a visit to the Elephant Sculpture as part of the Cork Samaritans Elephant in the Room campaign.

October 2: I was delighted to launch the Dragon of Shandon, which is all set for 31 October to re-enter the streets of Cork.

October 4: I was delighted to pay a courtesy visit to Collins Barracks to learn about its history and its role in the future of the Cork region.

October 5: I attended the Cork City FC Breakfast morning whose focus was on sponsorship.

October 5: I attended and presented the centenary event for the Insurance Institute of Cork.

October 6: I hosted a reception with College Corinthians to mark the completion of Gerry McAnaney’s presidency of the FAI.

October 6: I hosted a number of visiting scholars who were presenting the Western Front conference in Cork on aspects of the First World War.

Lord Mayor’s Press Release,Cork City Council installs Eleven New Outdoor Gyms, 21 July 2023

Cork City Council, in association with Cork Sports Partnership and Cork Education and Training Board, are in the process of installing eleven new outdoor gyms in our Parks around the city. These clustered Callisthenic Gyms, with age friendly and accessible elements, have proven very popular at Tramore Valley Park, Harty’s Quay, and Ballincollig Regional Park. The new locations are:

  • CLOUGHEENMILCON SANCTUARY WALKWAY, BLARNEY
  • GERRY O’SULLIVAN PARK, ST COLMCILLE’S ROAD, GURRANABRAHER, CORK
  • JOHN O’CALLAGHAN PARK, BALLINGLANNA, CO. CORK
  • LOUGH MAHON (BLACKROCK CASTLE CAR PARK B), CASTLE ROAD, BLACKROCK, CORK
  • MURPHY’S FARM, BISHOPSTOWN
  • POPHAMS PARK, FARRANFERRIS GREEN, FARRANREE, CORK
  • BALLYCANNON PARK, CLOGHEEN/KERRYPIKE
  • CLASHDUV PARK
  • TORY TOP PARK
  • THE LOUGH
  • MEELICK PARK, BALLYVOLANE

Following a pilot program to provide people with the confidence and skills to use the gyms, a series of free sessions, given by trained instructors, are being offered to the public. These sessions will be open to all ages and abilities but with some targeted at young women who can be too intimidated to use the gyms.

The Lord Mayor Cllr. Kieran McCarthy praised the installation of the gyms: “The installation of new Outdoor Gyms in City parks across our city is a great way to provide a space for the people of Cork to keep active and healthy. These gym installations have proved very popular so far and there have already been public calls for more in other city neighbourhoods. The pilot programme with instructors for our younger citizens is an important opportunity to give them the confidence to use this equipment without assistance in the future”.

These sessions are all about giving people knowledge and the confidence to be able to come to these gyms with a friend, a parent or sibling and use themselves. This program is starting off with five locations, Gerry O’ Sullivan Park, Tramore Valley Park, John O’Callaghan Park, Murphy’s Farm and Lough Mahon but will be rolled out to other areas in due course.

The free training sessions will take place in the coming weeks at the following locations and times:

On Wednesdays:

Tramore Valley Park –  11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Gerry O’Sullivan Park, Gurranabraher – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Thursdays:

John O’Callaghan Park, Glanmire – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Lough Mahon, Blackrock – 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

On Fridays:

Tramore Valley Park (female only sessions) – 12:30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.

For further information or for booking groups you can contact Gary O Sullivan at  gary_osullivan@corkcity.ie / 086 168 6159.

Vernon Mount Bridge Name, 11 July 2023

Press Release: Lord Mayor McCarthy Welcomes New Bridge Name

Cork’s new 4m wide pedestrian and cycle path bridge, connecting Grange to Tramore Valley Park, has been officially named Vernon Mount Bridge. Lord Mayor Cllr Kieran McCarthy would like to thank all members of the public who made submissions during the selection naming process.

Over a period of a month, a total of 598 nominations were received from the public through a naming submission process set up by Cork City Council.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted: ‘Many thanks to the general public for engaging in the naming process. This process has been used in recent years, for example in the naming of Mary Elmes Bridge. It is a process that my colleagues and I will continue to use, knowing that it provides the public an opportunity to be involved in shaping the culture and history of the city. This new amenity will provide much-needed connectivity for the residents of Grange and Frankfield, enhancing the active travel offering in the city.

The 63-metre pedestrian/cycle bridge and the adjoining kilometre-long cycle/ pathway will provide connectivity between Grange/Frankfield and the southern suburbs and will support residents, students, and commuters to opt for active travel and thereby reduce traffic congestion.  

Funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA), the kilometre-long pathway will provide a public amenity for local residents through the wooded area south of Grange Road, allowing direct access across the N40 dual carriageway to Tramore Valley Park via the new pedestrian and cycle-only bridge.  

The four-metre-wide pathway will also support people with mobility needs and will include environmentally sensitive public lighting. The bridge and pathway are due to be opened to the public in the Autumn.

To mark the naming of the new bridge, Kieran will conduct a historical walking tour of Tramore Valley Park and the Black Ash story on Saturday afternoon, 29 July. Meet at the Halfmoon Lane gate, at 2pm. The tour is free and no booking is required.