Category Archives: Cork City Events

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 30 September 2021

1119a. Front cover of 2021-2022 brochure for Discover Cork Schools' Heritage Project.
1119a. Front cover of 2021-2022 brochure for Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 30 September 2021

Launch of Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project, Year 20

It is great to reach year 20 of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. It is just slightly younger than this column but both this column, the school project and the walking tours are all about popularising more of Cork’s history and story for interested citizens and the next generation.

Over 15,000-16,000 students have participated in the Schools’ Heritage Project through the years with many topics researched and written about – from buildings and monuments to people’s stories and memories.

Covid-19 has brought many challenges to every part of society and never before has our locality and its heritage being so important for recreation and for our peace of mind. In the past eighteenth months, more focus than ever before has been put on places and spaces we know, appreciate, and attain personal comfort from.

The Schools’ Heritage Project is aimed at both primary and post primary level.  Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. The theme for this year’s project is “Cork Heritage Treasures”. Funded by Cork City Council, the Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan.

The Project is open to schools in Cork City at primary level to the pupils of fourth, fifth and sixth class and at post-primary from first to sixth years. There are two sub categories within the post primary section, Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate. The project is free to enter. A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or a part of a class entry.

Co-ordinated by myself, one of the key aims of the Project is to encourage students to explore, investigate and debate their local heritage (built, archaeological, cultural and natural) in a constructive, active and fun way. Projects on any aspect of Cork’s rich heritage can be submitted to an adjudication panel. Prizes are awarded for best projects and certificates are given to each participant. A cross-section of projects submitted from the last school season can be gleamed from links on my website, www.corkheritage.ie where there are other resources, former titles and winners and entry information as well.

Students produce a project on their local area using primary and secondary sources. Each participating student within their class receives a free workshop in October 2021. The workshop comprises a guide to how to put a project together. Project material must be gathered in an A4/ A3 size Project book. The project may be as large as the student wishes but minimum 20 pages (text + pictures + sketches).

Projects must also meet five elements. Projects must be colourful, creative, have personal opinion, imagination and gain publicity before submission. These elements form the basis of a student friendly narrative analysis approach where the student explores their project topic in an interactive and task-oriented way. In particular, students are encouraged (whilst respecting social distancing) to attain material through visiting local libraries, engaging with fieldwork, making models, photographing, cartoon creating, and making short snippet films of their area. Re-enacting can also be a feature of several projects.

For over twenty years, the project has evolved in exploring how students pursue local history and how to make it relevant in society. The project attempts to provide the student with a hands-on and interactive activity that is all about learning not only about heritage in your local area (in all its forms) but also about the process of learning by participating students.

The project is about thinking about, understanding, appreciating and making relevant in today’s society the role of our heritage, our landmarks, our oral histories, our environment in our modern world for upcoming citizens. So, the project is about splicing together activity on issues of local history and heritage such as thinking, exploring, observing, discovering, researching, uncovering, revealing, interpreting and resolving.

The project is open to many directions of delivery. Students are encouraged to engage with their topic in order to make sense of it, understand and work with it. Students continue to experiment with the overall design and plan of their work. For example, and in general, students who have entered before might engage with the attaining of primary information through oral histories. The methodologies that the students create provide interesting ways to approach the study of local heritage.

Students are asked to choose one of two extra methods (apart from a booklet) to represent their work. The first option is making a model whilst the second option is making a short film. It is great to see students using modern up todate technology to present their findings. This works in broadening their view of approaching their project.

 This project in the City is free to enter and is kindly funded by Cork City Council (viz the help of Niamh Twomey, Heritage Officer) Prizes are also provided by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience, Lee Road.

Overall, the Schools’ Heritage Project for the past twenty years has attempted to build a new concerned generation of Cork people, pushing them forward, growing their self-development empowering them to connect to their world and their local heritage. Spread the word please with local schools. Details can be found on my dedicated Cork heritage website, www.corkheritage.ie.

Caption:

1119a. Front cover of 2021-2022 brochure for Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project.

Third Call-Out, Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project

The Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project launches in its 20th year and is open to schools in Cork City. Funded by Cork City Council, the Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan. 

The Project (est. 2002/03) is aimed at both primary and post primary level.  Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. Suggested topics are over the page. The theme for this year’s project – the 2021/22 school season – is “Cork Heritage Treasures”.

FREE and important project support in the form of funded workshops (socially distanced, virtual or hybrid) led by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in participating schools will be held in October 2021. This is a 45min physical or virtual workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.

Download the application form here:

Cllr McCarthy: Marina Park Section Opening Delayed Until November, 14 September 2021

In a recent reply to a question posed by Cllr Kieran McCarthy at the recent City Council meeting, Cork City Council have noted a revised completion date of the Marina Park section next to Páirc Ui Chaoimh. Due to Covid 19, delays in construction works and poor weather has pushed the opening date from this month to mid to late November this year.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The park looks more or less ready to open. It looks well and will add immensely to The Marina district. It’s been a long two years with construction work stopping and starting due to Covid 19. Phase one works has comprised the construction of a new public car park at the Shandon Boat Club end of the Marina, as well as a new cycle lane and pedestrian walkway – these are all now completed and are very well used. The public can now see the grass on sunken lawn areas in the park section and the diversion of a watercourse, as well as new pathways – all of which are in place.

“One can also see that the installation of perhaps the most eye-catching part of the project – a noticeable red steel pavilion on the site of, and replicating, the central hall of the former Munster Agricultural Showgrounds. The sides of the pavilion will not be enclosed, and there will be possibilities for coffee pods and outdoor seating and arts and crafts. The project is a e.10m investment into the area, of which nearly e.5m came from EU Urban Sustainable Funds, which are part of the EU’s structural funds and are a crucial source of funding for cities”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

Second Call-Out, Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021/22

The Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project launches in its 20th year and is open to schools in Cork City. Funded by Cork City Council, the Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan. 

The Project (est. 2002/03) is aimed at both primary and post primary level.  Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. Suggested topics are over the page. The theme for this year’s project – the 2021/22 school season – is “Cork Heritage Treasures”.

FREE and important project support in the form of funded workshops (socially distanced, virtual or hybrid) led by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in participating schools will be held in October 2021. This is a 45min physical or virtual workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.

Cllr McCarthy: Culture Night Approaches on this Friday 17 September 2021

Douglas Road Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has warmly welcomed the 2021 Culture Night edition, which takes place this Friday 17 September. Now in its sixteenth year, Culture Night once again presents a rich showcase of Cork as a creative city, with over 70 venues and organisations taking part.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “This year’s theme is ‘Come Together Again’, which represents a moment many of us have looked forward to for a long time. Cork City Culture Night presents a chance for those directly involved in the arts to showcase exactly why this sector is so crucially significant, and so fundamentally linked with our culture”.

“While certain events are to be enjoyed virtually, much of the 2021 programme can be accessed in person, safely in line with new guidelines as they come on stream – which will be welcome news to those craving that tangible cultural experience. But with numbers still very limited, patrons are advised to check booking requirements, and if plans change, to please release the tickets to allow someone else attend”, noted Cllr McCarthy.

Many in-person events this Culture Night will require booking, and some online events require pre-registration. View the full Cork City Culture Night programme on www.culturenightcork.ie in advance, and keeping up with latest news via @corkcityarts on Facebook and Twitter, and on instagram.com/culturenightcorkcity, particularly as new guidelines may lead to changes. Join in the conversation online with #CorkCultureNight and #ComeTogetherAgain.

First Call-Out, Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project, 2021/22

The Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project launches in its 20th year and is open to schools in Cork City. Funded by Cork City Council, the Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan. 

The Project (est. 2002/03) is aimed at both primary and post primary level.  Project books may be submitted on any aspect of Cork’s rich past. Suggested topics are over the page. The theme for this year’s project – the 2021/22 school season – is “Cork Heritage Treasures”.

FREE and important project support in the form of funded workshops (socially distanced, virtual or hybrid) led by Cllr Kieran McCarthy in participating schools will be held in October 2021. This is a 45min physical or virtual workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 19 August 2021

1113a. Daly's Bridge aka Shaky Bridge, present day, which is one of the featured bridges in Kieran's new audio heritage trail (picture: Kieran McCarthy).
1113a. Daly’s Bridge aka Shaky Bridge, present day, which is one of the featured bridges in Kieran’s new audio heritage trail (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 19 August 2021

Kieran’s Heritage Week Audio Heritage Trails

The midway point has been reached for National Heritage Week 2021. There is still time to engage with my two virtual projects this year – the audio heritage trails of the Bridges of Cork and The Marina respectively. Usually, I am up to my eyes happily facilitating historical walking tours. But Covid is still scuppering my physical events. but hopefully the next few months will coincide with better news for the gathering of large groups that do not have to be socially distanced apart.

Both new audio trails are hosted by Meitheal Mara and I. All you need is your smartphone and some headphones. The first audio trail provides insights into the histories of the Cork city centre’s bridges, their place in Cork and some of their surrounding histories. The walk around the bridges is about two hours in duration. The trail is clockwise from South Gate Bridge up the south channel and down the north channel to cross back to the south channel. It ends at Nano Nagle Bridge.

They say the best way to get to know a place is to walk it. Through many centuries Cork has experienced every phase of Irish urban development. It is a city you can get lost in narrow streets, marvel at old cobbled lane ways, photograph old street corners, gaze at clues from the past, engage in the forgotten and the remembered, search and connect for something of oneself, and thirst in the sense of story-telling – in essence feel the DNA of the place. With so many layers of history in Cork, there is much to see on any walk around Cork City and its respective neighbourhoods. The River Lee has had and continues to have a key role in the city’s evolution.  Many Corkonians and visitors have crossed over the River Lee’s bridges and have appreciated the river’s tranquil and hypnotic flow.

The audio trail begins at the oldest of the city’s bridges – that of South Gate Bridge. In the time of the Anglo Normans establishing a fortified walled settlement and a trading centre in Cork around 1200 AD, South Gate Drawbridge formed one of the three entrances – North Gate Bridge and Watergate being the others. A document for the year 1620 stated that the mayor, Sheriff and commonality of Cork, commissioned Alderman Dominic Roche to erect two new drawbridges in the city over the river where timber bridges existed at the South Gate Bridge and the other at North Gate.

In May 1711, agreement was reached by the council of the City that North Gate Bridge would be rebuilt in stone in 1712 while in 1713, South Gate Bridge would be replaced with a stone arched structures. South Gate Bridge still stands today in its past form as it did over 300 years ago apart from a small bit of restructuring and strengthening in early 1994.

The second of the new audio trails is on The Marina. 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, that archives, newspaper accounts, census records and old maps and other insights have survived to showcase how the area and the wider area has 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.

Cork’s Marina was originally called the Navigation Wall or in essence it was an additional dock for ships adjacent to Cork City’s South Docks area. It was completed in 1761.

Following the constitution of the Cork Harbour Commissioners in 1814 and their introduction of steam dredging, a vigorous programme of river and berth deepening, quay and wharf building commenced. The dredger of the Cork Harbour Commissioners deposited the silt from the river into wooden barges, which were then towed ashore. The silt was re-deposited behind the Navigation Wall.

During the Great Famine, the deepening of the river created jobs for 1,000 men who worked on widening the physical dock of the Navigation Wall. In essence a fine road was constructed, which linked into Cork’s South Docks. To give an aesthetic to the new road, a fine row of elm trees was planted c.1856 by Prof. Edmund Murphy of Queen’s College Cork (now UCC). The elm trees were part of a crop and tree growing experiment.

In 1870, the Gaelic poet and scholar Donncha Ó Floinn put forward to the Improvements Committee of Cork Corporation that the new road of the Navigation wall be named Slí na hAbhann, which means the ‘pathway by the river’. Ó Floinn’s proposal was not accepted. The matter came before the Improvements Committee again in 1872. This time Ó Floinn suggested that the promenade be named ‘The Marina’. He outlined that ‘The Marina’ was the name allocated to a recently reclaimed piece of land near Palermo in Sicily. In July 1872, Cork Corporation formally adopted ‘The Marina’ as the name of the new road or promenade.

Listen to Kieran’s new audio trails under history trails at www.corkheritage.ie

Captions:

1113a. Daly’s Bridge aka Shaky Bridge, present day, which is one of the featured bridges in Kieran’s new audio heritage trail (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

1113b. The Marina, Cork, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

1113b. The Marina, Cork, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

1113b. The Marina, Cork, present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 12 August 2021

1112a. Upstream view of the south channel of the River from Cork's Parliament Bridge on a recent sunset; Discover the story of the city’s bridges and some of the rich local history on Kieran’s new audio heritage trail on the history trails section at www.corkheritage.ie.
1112a. Upstream view of the south channel of the River from Cork’s Parliament Bridge on a recent sunset; Discover the story of the city’s bridges and some of the rich local history on Kieran’s new audio heritage trail on the history trails section at www.corkheritage.ie.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 12 August 2021

Cork Heritage Open Day and Week Approaches

Cork Heritage Open Day and Heritage Week are looming. Cork Heritage Open Day which is organised by Cork City Council in partnership with the Heritage Council, is a wonderful celebration of the built heritage in the city. To mark the start of National Heritage Week, Cork Heritage Open Day will take place virtually on Saturday August 14.

The website www.corkheritageopenday.ie will go live on Saturday 14 August and will feature virtual guided tours of over 45 historic buildings from all over Cork City. Members of the public are allowed a glimpse of some of Cork’s most fascinating buildings ranging from the medieval to the military. The event showcases the many elements of Cork City’s rich heritage in a fun, family friendly way. The team behind the Open Day do group the buildings into general themes, Steps and Steeples, Customs and Commerce, Medieval to Modern, Saints and Scholars and Life and Learning.

These themes remind the participant to remember how our city spreads from the marsh to the undulating hills surrounding it, how layered the city’s past is, how the city has been blessed to have many scholars contributing to its development and ambition in a variety of ways, and how the way of life in Cork is intertwined with a strong sense of place.

It is always a great opportunity to explore behind some of Cork’s grandest buildings. With the past of a port city, Cork architecture is varied and much is hidden amongst the city’s narrow streets and laneways. Much of its architecture is also inspired by international styles – the British style of artwork pervading in most cases – but it’s always pays to look up in Cork and marvel at the Amsterdamesque-style of our eighteenth century structures on streets such as Oliver Plunkett Street or at the gorgeous tall spires of the city’s nineteenth-century churches.

For my part I am involved in a short film on the history of Cork City Hall. Cork has had a number of City Hall sites through the ages but none as grand as the present one. In the age of the Anglo Norman walled town and eighteenth century, civic business was conducted in King’s Castle. Business was also conducted in Cork City Courthouse for a time in the nineteenth century. In 1883, it was decided by a number of Cork businessmen that the Corn Exchange should be converted into an exhibition centre, a centre, which in 1892 became Cork’s City Hall. In December 1920, the premises were burned down by fires attributed to the Black and Tans as retribution for republican attacks. A new City Hall by architects Jones and Kelly was subsequently built. The limestone like for so many of Cork’s buildings is from nearby Little Island. The foundation stone of Cork City Hall was laid by Éamon de Valera on 9 July 1932.

 Sites that also appear on the online Cork Heritage Open Day are Riverstown House in Glanmire, the Quaker Meeting House and Graveyard, The Maryborough Hotel, Cork Opera House, The Courthouse on Washington Street, Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills, Blarney Castle, Cork City Hall, Cork Savings Bank, St Luke’s Church and the Military Museum in Collins Barracks.

The virtual one stop shop www.corkheritageopenday.ie celebrates various Cork Communities who through interviews, video and imagery tell their story. For example, check out:

  • Memories of a Cork Jewish Childhood, which has been produced by Ruti Lachs and sees former Cork residents remember their childhoods in Ireland, their Jewish upbringing, the synagogue and the characters. Interspersed with photos from the last hundred years of life in Jewish Cork, these stories paint a picture of a time and community gone by.
  • Anne Twomey from the Shandon Area History Group speaks about Emma Hourigan, an extraordinary woman from the Maddens Buildings in Cork who played a central role in the Irish Revolution 1916-1923.
  • Biddy McDonagh and Jean O’Donovan from the Traveller Visibility Group discuss their language Gammon and Cant and the tradition of the Beady Pockets in the Traveller Community.
  • Jim Fahy speaks about the language of the Stone Masons “Bearlager na Saor”.
  • Valerie Power, Breda Scanlon and Suzanne Dineen pay tribute to the Shawlies in Cork.
  • Historian Michael Lenihan uses historic postcards to show how Cork has changed in the past 100 years.

For the first time, Cork Heritage Open Day, celebrates the natural heritage of Cork and members of the public can enjoy a wonderful guided tour of the Mangala in Douglas with William O’Halloran and a fascinating insight into the Glen River Park with Julie Forrester and Gerard O’Brien. For those wishing to test their knowledge of the streets, bridges and buildings in Cork, historian Liam O’hÚigín has created a special quiz for Cork Heritage Open Day!

Heritage Open Day is usually the start of weeklong heritage week events in Cork. For the second year in a row, physical events have been curtailed. My own historical walking tours remain ‘off the road’ at present. I have written up over fifteen of my tours complete with pictures and some very short films and put them in a new section on my website www.corkheritage.ie.

In addition on the website I have partnered with Meitheal Mara and Joya Kuin in putting together two audio heritage trails. The first is on the various historic sites down The Marina and this came out in early June. Our Heritage Week Audio Heritage Trail is on the 31 bridges of Cork. Start at South Gate Bridge and make your way anti-clockwise around the South Channel and North Channel of the River Lee. All you need is a smart phone and a set of head phones!

Captions:

1112a. Upstream view of the south channel of the River from Cork’s Parliament Bridge on a recent sunset; Discover the story of the city’s bridges and some of the rich local history on Kieran’s new audio heritage trail on the history trails section at www.corkheritage.ie.

1112b. Canon from the Siege of Sevastopol, 1854-55 on The Marina, Cork, present day; Discover the story of The Marina and its rich local history on Kieran’s new audio heritage trail on the history trails section at www.corkheritage.ie.

1112b. Canon from the Siege of Sevastopol, 1854-55 on The Marina, Cork, present day; Discover the story of The Marina and its rich local history on Kieran’s new audio heritage trail on the history trails section at www.corkheritage.ie.

Cllr McCarthy to Discuss History of Cork City Hall for Virtual Cork Heritage Open Day

Local historian Cllr Kieran McCarthy will participate in the virtual Cork Heritage Open Day this Saturday 14 August. Cork Heritage Open Day which is organised by Cork City Council in partnership with the Heritage Council. The website www.corkheritageopenday.ie will go live on Saturday 14 August and will feature virtual guided tours of over 45 historic buildings from all over Cork City. Members of the public are allowed a glimpse of some of Cork’s most fascinating buildings ranging from the medieval to the military.

Kieran will participate by showcasing some of the stories connected to Cork City Hall as an important heritage building within the city. Kieran noted: “Cork has had a number of City Hall sites through the ages but none as grand as the present one. In 1883, it was decided by a number of Cork businessmen that the Corn Exchange should be converted into an exhibition centre, a centre, which in 1892 became Cork’s City Hall. In December 1920, the premises were burned down by fires attributed to the Black and Tans as retribution for republican attacks. A new City Hall by architects Jones and Kelly was subsequently built. The limestone like for so many of Cork’s buildings is from nearby Little Island. The foundation stone of Cork City Hall was laid by Éamon de Valera on 9 July 1932”.

Maryborough Hotel will also feature in this year’s Heritage Open Day. For the first time, the Open Day will also celebrate the natural heritage of Cork and members of the public can enjoy a wonderful virtual guided tour of the Mangala in Douglas with William O’Halloran.

In addition, for National Heritage Week, Kieran has partnered with Meitheal Mara and Joya Kuin in putting together two audio heritage trails. The first is on the various historic sites down The Marina and this came out in early June. Their Heritage Week Audio Heritage Trail is on the 31 bridges of Cork. All you need is a smart phone and a set of head phones. The bridges audio trail can be found on Kieran’s www.corkheritage.ie website under history trails from 14 August.

Cllr McCarthy: Consultation on Draft Cork City Development Plan Open, 31 July 2021

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy is calling on residents, and communities in the south east of the city and beyond to have their say on the 2022-2028 draft Cork City Development Plan. The draft Cork City Development Plan, has recently been published and provides an overarching framework to help shape the transformation of the City over the next six years by supporting the creation of 20,000 homes and 31,000 jobs.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “Eight weeks of public consultation on the plan have just commenced and I encourage members of the public, community groups, representative organisations to make a submission to the draft plan before the closing date of 4 October. The draft plan can be viewed at www.corkcitydevelopmentplan.ie and the public can have their say on the Plan at https://consult.corkcity.ie/”

“There is some great ideas and opportunities within this draft blueprint for Cork as the city embarks upon an exciting phase of growth and change – with sustainability, quality of life, social inclusion, and climate resilience at the plan’s core. In particular the need to protect green spaces and create more in areas from Ballinlough to Douglas is essential”.

Cork City Council CE, Ann Doherty said: “This Plan is significant in many ways; not least it is the first local policy-based expression of the ambition for Cork contained in ‘Project Ireland 2040’ and the National Planning Framework. The Plan follows widespread listening and engagement with stakeholders in the first round of public consultation. The draft plan’s rationale is further informed by a suite of evidence-based studies on the various opportunities and challenges facing the city”.