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 email@example.com 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.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy continues
his commissions of street art on Douglas Road. In recent weeks, two new pieces
have emerged on traffic switch boxes. The first mural, which is located at
Cross Douglas Road, is that of Terence and Muriel MacSwiney who lived at 5
Eldred Terrace in 1917.
Cllr McCarthy highlighted: “There was a commemorative plaque erected on the wall of their former house in June 1980 but unfortunately the plaque was taken down a few months later. There have been calls within the Ballinlough area and Douglas Road by locals to once again mark the story from over hundred years ago of the MacSwineys living within the local community. This mural’s central image is from an old photograph of the couple whist the rose motif is a nod to the always beautiful adjacent flower shop.
The second mural is opposite the entrance
to St Finbarr’s Hospital. Cllr McCarthy noted: “The mural has the theme of
“hold firm” and is dedicated to healthcare staff within the hospital who have
held firm against COVID-19. The mural adds to the existing street art mural,
which was painted Kevin O’Brien outside CUH last year”.
“It has been great to commission artist
Kevin O’Brien again. This is my sixth commission with him. He really brings
ordinary municipal utility boxes to life with his creativity, imparting
uplifting and positives messages. Roads such as Douglas Road are well walked everyday,
so it is great to bring his work into heart of suburban communities, concluded
Artist Kevin O’Brien noted: “Street art is
a fantastic way to improve the aesthetic of urban areas and build a sense of
character in communities, but beyond that, with cultural
spaces currently closed, the availability of street art in public
spaces takes on an even greater importance”.
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.
the past two to three years, three bridges in Cork have received much media
focus – St Patrick’s Bridge and its cleaning and restructuring, the new Mary
Elmes Bridge and its modern design, and thirdly Daly’s Bridge, AKA the Shaky
Bridge and its mass cleaning and re-strengthening programme. Such work was spearheaded by Cork
of the three bridges that I have listed the last one, Daly’s Bridge or the
Shakey Bridge, opened in 1927, is one which holds the fascination of the public
the most. The recent removal of the main body of the bridge to de-clean it off
site caused a large tinge of public sadness. Its re-opening this week heralded
hope and almost the sense of a valued family member having returned. The
bridge’s essence has transcended time from a physical bridging point to one of
playfulness, one of fun and one whose shakiness is a key part of Cork’s
The story of Daly’s Bridge is rich. With the development
of Fitzgerald’s Park and the adjacent Rugby Grounds circa 1905, the
ferry crossing that had formed a route from Sunday’s Well to Shanakiel came
under increasing pressure.
28 August 1908 a deputation of residents of Sunday’s Well appeared before the
members of Cork Corporation in the then City Hall. Coroner Blake acted as
spokesman and noted that he had got a recent letter during that week from Mr
Thomas Dooley, proprietor of the ferry at Ferry Walk, stating that he was
willing to sell his interest in it (due to his impending retirement) to the
Corporation of Cork for £100, if they sought to purchase it.
Blake outlined that the Corporation had been, as far he knew, owners and
proprietors of most of the ferries in the city of Cork, and if they attained
Dooley’s ferry rights in question it would be, he believed, “an advantage
to the citizens at large”. If the Council thought the proposal a good idea, he
suggested that instead of a ferry, a suspension bridge could be erected.
Edward Fitzgerald, councillor, said he believed that the bridge proposal was a
necessity and asked that the matter be referred to the Corporation’s Public
On 1 September 1908,
the proposed Ferry Walk Bridge was discussed at the Public Works Committee.Sir Edward Fitzgerald said the first thing to be
done was to instruct the City Engineer to supply the Committee, at his earliest
convenience with the cost of a suspension bridge.
In April 1910, the City
Engineer gave particulars regards the site and the approaches to the bridge and
a general discussion took place on the question of the situation and character
of the new bridge. Shortly afterwards, the proposed cost of a new bridge became
a stumbling block for the Corporation to be able to move forward developing the
Sixteen years later, the substantial
financial contribution by local man James Daly eventually broke the deadlock on
funding the suspension bridge project. Born at Moycollop, County Waterford in
1856, James Daly (1856-1942)began his busines life in his native
district as a butter and egg merchant. His business acumen was not long in
making itself felt, and at an early age he was able to open up as a butter
merchant being founder and managing director, of the firm of James Daly
and Sons, Ltd., Shandon Street, Dominick Street, and Mulgrave Road. His
association with the butter industry extended over 50 years from the 1880s to
the early 1930s – over half a century.
Under his own
personal supervision James merited for his firm a world-wide reputation and
employed many people. In addition to the butter industry, the firm were
also proprietors of the Shandon Castle Margarine Factory, which was established
until 1905, and erected on the site of the ancient Shandon Castle.
was one of the trustees of the Cork Butter Exchange. As an agriculturalist, James was
well known throughout Cork and Waterford, being the owner of large farms in
each of these counties, while he also possessed extensive
fishing preserves on the River Blackwater, and game preserves in the same
vicinity. James was also a Justice of the Peace, a member of the Cork Chamber
of Commerce, and a member of the National Liberal Club of London.
decision was made by City Engineer, Stephen Farrington that the new bridge
should be a steel suspension bridge, a type popular in the early decades of the
twentieth century, though few were built in Ireland. The decision was made to
purchase a bridge from the English bridge manufacturers David Rowell &
In his 3 February 1927 report, Stephen Farrington
said he was notified by Messrs Rowell & Co that the steel erectors were
coming over that week to start work on the suspension bridge at Ferry Walk. In late
February 1927,the new suspension footbridge was rapidly nearing
The formal opening of Daly’s Bridge took place on
Saturday 9 May 1927. Very Rev Canon O’Sullivan presided at the function. Mr M
O’Driscoll, PC on behalf of Mr James Daly opened the bridge.
Mr O’Driscoll said that he felt that a very great
honour had been conferred on him in asking him to formally open the bridge,
which “would do so much to enhance the attractions of the district, and at the
same time confer such as substantial benefit on the citizens in general, and on
the residents of Sunday’s Well in particular”.
For more information on the story of Daly’s Bridge
aka The Shakey Bridge, check out Kieran’s History Trails on www.corkheritage.ie
Happy Christmas to everyone.
1080a. Daly’s Bridge AKA Shakey Bridge, post
refurbishment, December 2020 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).