Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy will host three events for the upcoming Cork Harbour Festival. Two of the events focus on the rich history of the city’s bridges and the third focuses in on the history and sense of place on The Marina. The events and dates are as follows:
– Bridges of Cork, Online Talk by Kieran, Tuesday 8 June 2021, 7.30pm-8.30pm, FREE:
This zoom presentation explores the general development of the city’s bridges and why they were historically so important and are still so important in connecting the different parts of Cork City together. Details of the link for the talk are available at www.corkharbourfestival.com
– Bridges of Cork, Heritage Treasure Hunt, hosted by Kieran, Saturday 12 June 2021, 1pm, FREE, self-guided walk:
This treasure hunt is all about looking up and around and exploring the heart of Cork City whilst exploring the stories and place of the city centre’s bridges. Suitable for all ages, approx 2hr, with mixed footpaths on city’s quays.Meet Kieran at National Monument, Grand Parade, Cork, between 1pm-1.15pm on Saturday 12 June, to receive the self-guided treasure hunt pack, no booking required. Bring a pen.
– The Marina, Self Guided Audio Trail with Kieran, 4 June 2021 -14 June, FREE:
A stroll down The Marina is popular by many people. The area is particularly characterized by its location on the River Lee and the start of Cork Harbour. Here scenery, historical monuments and living heritage merge to create a rich sense of place. The audio tour will be available here to stream live on your smartphone from 4-14 June 2021. Details of the link for the audio trail are available at www.corkharbourfestival.com
8 June 2021, 19:30 – 20:30, In association with Cllr Kieran McCarthy.
Cork City’s growth on a swamp is an amazing story. The city possesses a unique character derived from a combination of its plan, topography, built fabric and its location on the lowest crossing point of the river Lee as it meets the tidal estuary and the second largest natural harbour in the world. Indeed, it is also a city that is unique among other cities, it is the only one which has experienced all phases of Irish urban development, from circa 600 AD to the present day. Hence its bridges all date to different times of urban growth and possess different architectural traits. This zoom presentation explores the general development of the city’s bridges and why they were historically so important and are still so important in connecting the different parts of Cork City together.
12 June 2021, 13:00 – 13:15, In association with Cllr Kieran McCarthy.
They say the best way to get to know a city is to walk it – in Cork you can get lost in narrow streets, marvel at old cobbled lane ways, photograph old street corners, look up beyond the modern shopfronts, gaze at clues from the past, be enthused and at the same time disgusted by a view, smile at interested locals, engage in the forgotten and the remembered, search and connect for something of oneself, thirst in the sense of story-telling – in essence feel the DNA of the place. This treasure hunt is all about looking up and around and exploring the heart of Cork City whilst exploring the stories and place of the city centre’s bridges.
Suitable for all ages, approx. 2hr self-guided walk, mixed footpaths on city’s quays.
FREE, Join: Meet Cllr Kieran McCarthy at National Monument, Grand Parade, Cork, between 13:00-13:15, no booking required. Bring a pen. Self guided heritage treasure hunt.
4 June 2021 – June 14, 2021, 06:00 – 23:55,In association with Cllr Kieran McCarthy, FREE
A stroll down The Marina is popular by many people. The area is particularly characterized by its location on the River Lee and the start of Cork Harbour. Here scenery, historical monuments and living heritage merge to create a historical tapestry of questions of who developed such a place of ideas. Where not all the answers have survived, The Marina is lucky, unlike other suburbs, that many of its former residents have left archives, autobiographies, census records, diaries, old maps and insights into how the area developed. These give an insight into ways of life and ambitions in the past, some of which can help the researcher in the present day in understanding The Marina’s evolution and sense of place going forward. Take a walk with us and discover more.
Europe Day is upon us once again. Traditionally,
the 9 May is marked by senior European politicians recalling the history of the
EU, its treaties, coupled with the EU’s added value and solidarity, and
outlining the priorities and challenges of the EU in the modern world.
The European Committee of the Regions (COR) remains
at the heart of the EU narrative. It is an assembly of local and regional
politicians from across the 27 member states. Through my membership, I have
been involved in many discussions on the frontline role of the EU’s cities and
the 281 regions in how they approach issues from poverty to climate change,
from enterprise to connectivity and how they faced down the COVID pandemic. The
crucial role of local and regional government is plain to see. I have seen first-hand
the importance of sharing knowledge and experience to help each other, create
more sustainable cities, towns and regions and to feed into present and EU
future policy areas.
On this year’s St Patrick’s Day, Cork City Council
projected onto the old concrete R & H Hall grain silo in Cork’s South docks
an old Irish proverb. It ran – “ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na
daoine” – which means – it is in each other’s shadow we live – which
invokes the sense of community and interdependence. And it is clear that both the member state
and the local and regional authority both live in each shadow and both are
dependent on each other. Consistently
the COR asks to be partner with the European Council and seeks to bring the
idea of community back to the top table in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Resilience and solidarity, more so than ever
before, are needed across the EU in the next few months as European cities and regions
continue the massive task of organising vaccinations.
The battle with the pandemic is, of course,
not over yet and there are still many challenges ahead. In the first place, a
fine balance between, on the one hand, the measures we need to take to limit
the spreading of the virus as much as possible, and on the other, the strong
need of many of our businesses to go back to work and the long-awaited wish of
our citizens to go back to normal life and to enjoy their social life and
freedom of movement freely. We also need to look towards recovery and ensure
that it is felt across all sectors of society. It is my belief and that
of the Committee of the Regions that regional and local government needs to be
to the forefront of national recovery and resilience plans.
Local and Regional governments are on the frontline in
building the future of Europe. We are the story builders, strategy
builders, the capacity builders. We build ideas from scratch and bring them to
life. We are more than the sum of our parts. If you empower the Regions the EU
will be a success.
In the past year I have been fortunate to be
President of the European Alliance political grouping with the COR. In the past
few weeks with my secretariat, I have organised events focussing on the bigger
picture challenges of recovery in the post pandemic. Most recently we have
explored the impact on tourism and on regional airports. We also organised
a very interesting event “Preserving ‘PEACE’ on the island of
Ireland”. The PEACE programme is vital to ensure cross-community project
development in Northern Ireland and to avoid a border on the island of
My group’s members are continuing to focus on
topics ranging from green recovery to rural revival, from smart specialisation
to SME development, from Cohesion Policy critique to urban policy – to name but
a few. We continue to push these positive priorities for the benefit of
our regions. There is much to learn from each other.
I have also been very proud to see
Cork City Council’s involvement in an array of EU co-operation programmes. In
2019, CCC appointed a full-time EU Affairs Coordinator, Ronan Gingles, to facilitate
and fully inform access to quality engagement in EU opportunities and
initiatives. The role has a whole-of-organisation remit to support European
activity that clearly contributes to and informs Cork City Council’s objectives
and the development of Cork as an inclusive, future-focussed, sustainable, and
competitive European city of scale.
Cork City Council continues to be involved in EU projects such as URBACT, Interreg,
H2020, EU Urban Agenda, Digital Cities – they all help local government to gain
further perspective on how it is ahead or behind in thinking upon a topic or in
the provision of infrastructure. The
projects are providing opportunities to significantly broaden our horizons by
means of in-depth exchange and collaboration on specific issues.
City Council also currently maintains memberships of a number of European
networks as a means to enhance engagement in EU activity, create interaction
with peers, access to knowledge and tools, including best practice; and identify
opportunities including project bids.
Europe Day this year will also coincide
with the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe. It needs to be
a truly bottom up approach and local and regional government and citizens are
best placed to provide clear and understandable input into the discussions. The
Committee of the Regions commits to be actively involved with this process and to
ensure that it leads to real benefits and tangible outcomes.
It is in each other’s shadow we live, but it is how
those shadows blend together to create solidarity, to celebrate diversity and
ultimately showing that the European project is leaving no one behind – that
are all crucial in the European Union of today.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy
serves on the Irish delegation to the EU Committee of the Region in Brussels
(CoR) for 2020-2024. The 329-strong body of elected representatives from across
Europe’s cities and regions provides the formal mechanism for sub-national
input into the EU policy process. Kieran is currently the President of the
European Alliance political grouping in the CoR; read more at www.web.cor.europa.eu.
Douglas Road and Independent Cllr
Kieran McCarthy invites all Cork young people to participate in the eleventh
year of McCarthy’s Make a
Model Boat Project. This year because of COVID all interested participants
once again make a model boat at home from recycled materials and submit a
picture or a video of it to the competition organisers. All models should be photographed or
videoed and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 23 May 2021.
The event is being run in association with Meitheal Mara and the Cork Harbour Festival Team. There are three categories, two for primary and one for secondary students. The theme is ‘At Home by the Lee’, which is open to interpretation. The model must be creative though and must be able to float. There are prizes for best models and the event is free to enter. For further information, please see the community events section at www.kieranmccarthy.ie
McCarthy, who is heading up the event, noted “I am encouraging creation,
innovation and imagination amongst our young people, which are important traits
for all of us to develop. I am going to miss this year seeing the models float
at The Lough. The Make a Model Boat Project is part of a suite of community
projects I have organised and personally invested in over the years– the others
include the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project with Cork City Council,
the Community local history walks, local history publications, McCarthy’s
Community Talent Competition and Cork City Musical Society.
At Ballycannon, Kerrypike lies a memorial (erected
in 1945) to the memory of six young IRA men that were killed near the spot on
23 March 1921. Farmer
Cornelius O’Keeffe was witness to the killing of the six men. His detailed affidavit
appears in the appendix of the witness statement in the Bureau of Military History
of Daniel Healy, C Company, 1st Battalion, Cork IRA Brigade No.1.
Aged 21, Cornelius
O’Keeffe had a farm of 105 acres, which was situated on the northern side or
the high road leading from Cork to Blarney and was approached by a laneway
leading from main road. The farmhouse consisted of a kitchen, parlour and four
bedrooms. There were also extensive out-offices, barns, and sheds for cattle,
also stables. It was one of the safe houses for the IRA.
In his affidavit,
Cornelius remembers that on the night of Tuesday, 22 March 1921 about 11.30pm
on that night there was a knock at his door after they had all gone to bed. He asked,
“Who is there?” and a voice replied, “There are a couple or us [volunteers]
going to sleep down in the stables; give us a call at seven in the
morning”. He said “alright” and went to sleep.
About 4am, there
was a thundering knock at his door. He leapt out of bed and looked out through
the window. He saw the police outside. Before he could say anything, they
roared at him to open the door. Cornelius relates:
“Just as I rushed
downstairs to open the door it was burst open by the police and they said to me
“Why the bloody hell didn’t you open the door”? I explained that the
delay was due to the lamp not 1ighting. They then asked me if I had any man in
the house. I said there was no win there only myself. They asked me if there
were any men in the out-house. I said, ‘I can’t tell but the doors are unlocked’.
They ordered me back to bed and searched the buds and the other rooms in the
house. They then went outside, and I heard then search the out-houses”.
looking out the window and suddenly saw all the police rush up to where the
lads or volunteers were sleeping. He went to bed and ten minutes later the
police came in and took him out into the yard. There they charged him with
harbouring rebels, which he denied. They then took him about 100 yards away
from the out-house and gave him in charge to a sergeant and constable of the
Royal Irish Constabulary.
One of the Black
and Tans present came up to where he was standing with the other policemen and
told them that they could find no arms in the house. He was then asked him to
tell them where the arms were, and he said he did not know. As they were
speaking to him Cornelius heard one of the boys roaring as if he was being
“I then saw one of
the boys being pushed across the field. It was still somewhat dark, and he was
too far away to distinguish who it was. The Black and Tan then returned and
said, ‘he is showing where the arms are’. They then carried the same boy over
to the ditch and brought him back to the stables again. A few minutes after I
heard a shot. Then at intervals there were two or three shots and then a volley
the policeman what the shooting was about, and he replied they were only blank
cartridges. A report then came up from the other body of police that some of
the lads had escaped and to watch out for them. The police with him then
prepared to shoot in case anyone would attempt to escape. There were then
volleys fired where the boys were.
Cornelius then knelt
and said his prayers as he thought his turn would be next. The police near him
began shouting to the others not to shoot in their direction for fear they
would be shot themselves. Cornelius was sent up for then and taken down to
where the boys were. There two lines of Black and Tans in front of the stables
so that he could not see who was there. As he was being taken down the field
where the shooting took place, he saw two of the boys stretched out, on the
grass. He was then taken over the road and down to Kennedy’s public-house at
the nearby crossroads.
“There were five
police with me – three old RIC and two Black and Tans. After some conversation,
in which they accused me of keeping arms on my premises which I denied, I was
brought back to Flaherty’s gate and I then saw five bodies being removed from
my farm. They were all covered up in blankets. These bodies were placed in a
lorry. They then brought out the sixth of the boys who was then alive and as
they were throwing him into the lorry he said “Oh, my leg”. There was
a bandage around his forehead”. [The sixth volunteer was subsequently killed].
Cornelius was put
into the third lorry. They drove him in by Healy’s Bridge and the Lee Road as
far as Gale’s quarry. When they got there the first lorry in which the bodies
were want on and I did not see it again. He was taken up to the Military Barracks
where he was kept in the Detention Barracks until 17 April 1921, and then he
was released without any charge being brought against him.
The six men killed were Daniel
Crowley of Blarney Street (aged 22), William Deasy of Mount Desert, Blarney
Road (aged 20 years), Thomas Dennehy of Blarney Street (aged 21 years), Daniel
Murphy of Orrey Hill (aged 24 years), Jeremiah O’Mullane of Blarney Street
(aged 23), and Michael O’Sullivan of Blarney Street (aged 20 years).
This week the local community group of Clogheen/ Kerry Pike
Community Association will place a wreath at the monument in Kerry Pike. They
have also ordered six benches, which will have plaques dedicated to the six
young men who were murdered at the location.
My thanks to Jim O’Mahony of the Community
Association for his help and insights.
1092a. Pat O’Regan, Vice Chair of Clogheen/ Kerry
Pike Community Association, with the Ballycannon Monument, March 2021 (picture:
20 March 2021, “Historian and Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy described the former Lord Mayor as a true ‘colossus in Cork history’. ‘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’, ” Marking MacCurtain’s murder 101 years on, Marking MacCurtain’s murder 101 years on (echolive.ie)
The conclusion of this school season’s Discover Cork
Schools’ Heritage Project was recently marked by an online awards ceremony and
presentation of winning projects. A total of 25 schools in Cork City took part
in the 2020-21 edition, which ranged from schools in Ballinlough, Ballintemple,
Blackrock to Blarney and Glanmire, and from Ballyphehane to the Shandon
area. Circa 1,000 students
participated in the process this year with approx 200 project books submitted
on all aspects of Cork’s local history & heritage.
The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 18th year
and is a youth platform for students to do research and write it up in a
project book whilst offering their opinions on important decisions being made
on their heritage in their locality and how they affect the lives of people
locally. The aim of the project is to allow students to explore,
investigate and debate their local heritage in a constructive, active and fun
Co-ordinator and founder of the Project,
Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted that: “The Project this year was even more apt this
year as we all find ourselves within our localities much more. In particular,
this year’s entries focussed on famous buildings of Cork City, historic
walkways, public parks and many oral history projects. Again, this year
students made fab models and short films on their topics. One could also see
the family and friend involvement in projects. Technically with this project
for every one student, there are another four people who have been consulted
and who are consulted to help with projects. One could argue that over 4,000
people have some input into project books every year”.
“The Schools’ Heritage Project remains focussed about
developing new skill sets within young people in thinking about, understanding,
appreciating, and making relevant in today’s society the role of our
heritage – our landmarks, our stories, our landscapes in our
modern world. Ultimately the project focuses on motivating and inspiring young
people through them working on a heritage project for several weeks and seeks
to build a sense of place and identity amongst younger people”, concluded Cllr
The Project is funded by Cork City Council with further
sponsorship offered by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran
Full results are online on Cllr McCarthy’s local
history website, www.corkheritage.ie. There is also a link there to the YouTube
award ceremony. On the YouTube video Kieran, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe
Kavanagh, and Niamh Twomey, City Council Heritage Officer speak about the
winning projects for this school season.
“Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the beginning of the phase 1 of the Passage Railway Greenway Improvement Scheme on next Monday 22 February. Great credit is due to officials in City Hall of the Infrastructure section; there is great momentum at the moment between drafting plans, gaining the input of the public, amending plans where needs be, and presenting them to the National Transport Authority for funding. There is a deep affection for the old railway line walk and in these COVID times is used regularly by locals”.
“The widening of the footpath is to be welcomed and one which locals have called for. I am personally excited that the old Blackrock Station platform is to get conservation works. It is in a poor state and it would be a shame to lose the platform completely due to neglect. I am also excited by the planting of 60 semi mature trees and over 2,000 saplings along the phase 1 from the Mahon Point to The Marina. It is also welcome that the greenway will be kept open to the greatest possible extent throughout the works”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
This presentation outlines the history and recent refurbishment of the iconic ‘Shakey’ Bridge which was originally built under the stewardship of the City Engineer, SW Farrington, who was also the first Chair of the Cork Region of Engineers Ireland. Kieran McCarthy, an Independent Councillor in Cork City and a noted local historian with an avid interest in the architectural and industrial heritage of his native city outlines social and economic context of the original construction which opened in 1927 to replace an earlier ferry crossing at the same location. The bridge remains the only suspension bridge in Cork City and is the only surviving bridge of its type in Ireland.
Michael Minehane, Chartered Engineer and Principal Engineer at RPS details the recent rehabilitation of the bridge which re-opened in December 2020, including the special inspection and structural assessment, site investigations and material testing, rehabilitation works, the approach to conservation, structural dynamics and aspects of design and construction.