Category Archives: Cork City Events

Kieran’s Open Letter & Submission to NTA on Bus Connects, Cork, 3 October 2022

Image: Proposed path to be destroyed at Ballybrack Woods, Douglas to facilitate bridge proposal from Grange Road to Carrigaline Road (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Image: Proposed path to be destroyed at Ballybrack Woods, Douglas to facilitate bridge proposal from Grange Road to Carrigaline Road (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Dear Bus Connects Team,

As a public representative for the south east of Cork City and having two and a quarter bus corridors in my area, it’s difficult to know where to start with my representation.

At the outset I do acknowledge the need for improving the city’s public transport. Indeed, I was one of the core political members, who connected the European Commission to Cork City with regard to the Horizon Europe mission of being 100 Climate Neutral Cities by 2030. So, I am acutely aware of the steep uphill journey the city has to travel to be climate neutral and to work closely between the public and all the stakeholders involved to make sure a strong partnership is maintained.

To be honest at this moment in time I see a very fragmented partnership between the general public and the stakeholders involved in Cork Bus Connects. That partnership and dialogue seriously needs to improve if this epic project is going to get across the line.

To begin with in early July the scatter gun communication to the public via unsigned two-page documents, circulated in a hit and miss way to directly affected houses especially those whose gardens may be part of a CPO process, led to much mistrust and much frustration of the consultation process. Mistrust and frustration has led to further mistrust and frustration. So yes, there is a sense of “you are taking my land” in many cases but moreover there is a case of “you are not reaching out enough to me”.

Coupled with that I have found that the multitude of people who have contacted me unable to read the series of produced maps and unable to digest the many devils in the detail of the different corridors. In effect, I have spent three months in a continuous loop trying to get information to local people via flyering, knocking on doors and hosting a multitude of public meetings – many on the side of affected roads.

Having a public consultation in mid-July led to many local people just becoming aware of the proposals when they came back from holidays in early September. The obligatory ads on bus stops and in newspaper gave nothing of the depth of the detail in the proposals. The info meetings in Nemo Rangers and the subsequent for the bus corridors in my area led to further feedback around the lines of the NTA “don’t know what they are doing”. The engineers who were present were not briefed enough on how to temper the public frustration. So, I remain adamant in my call for the communication team to resign or be completely overhauled.

I have received some positive feedback from the zoom meetings, but the overall feedback I am getting is that because of the scale of the proposals, the NTA should have offices in the heart of affected communities, so people can meet people face to face as these dramatic proposals are being negotiated over the next two years. It is not good enough that the process is being conducted from board rooms of sorts in Dublin. If the NTA are really serious about Bus Connects Cork in Ireland’s second city, the need for a publicly accessible office is crucial.

The various compulsory purchase order proposals are of serious concern to all my constituents and the amount of these proposals is a high price to pay for the implementation of Cork Bus Connects. Having a good garden is a core historical part of suburban design in Cork through the past few decades. Coupled with that the stone encircling walls are unique as well the trees and hedgerows. The overall proposal to remove over 1,000 trees between Ballinlough, Douglas and Grange is high handed environmental vandalism at its worst and I what I deem a very serious attack on Cork’s historic suburban sense of place and quality of life. I acknowledge that there would be replacement but would take several years for said replacement trees to catch on and ecosystems to catch on.

 Indeed, even the thought of 1,000 trees literally being culled has emotionally upset many people by the vision of an almost urban ruinous tree landscape. In an age where trees, biodiversity and wildlife are core aspects of National, regional and local climate action plans, the proposal pitch, for example, to build a bridge across Ballybrack Woods or the Mangala is very disappointing. That this is deemed a proposal has painted a picture to many of my constituent of lack of caring of the importance of ecology and biodiversity to a suburb such as Douglas or to Cork City. The same sentiment could be applied to the proposals to wipe out biodiversity along Douglas Road, Boreenmanna Road and Well Road.

There is a very clear worry on the removal of on-street car parking, which needs a lot more public consultation.

 There are many devils in the detail of Cork Bus Connects. I sincerely ask a way improved partnership with the general public. I ask that a detailed response be given to each maker of a submission, and a complete over haul of the communication process. The current mistrust and frustration, even anger needs to be negotiated with empathy and fairness for all involved.

Sincerely,

_________________

Dr Kieran McCarthy

Member, Cork City Council

Cllr McCarthy: Fortnight Left for Cork BusConnects Consultation, 19 September 2022

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy calls on householders with concerns on the proposed BusConnects route from Maryborough Hill through to Douglas Road across Boreenmanna Road and Well Road to make submissions to the consultation process by Monday 3 October on Cork BusConnects.ie.

BusConnects Cork aims to enhance the capacity and potential of the public transport system. It will support the delivery of a low carbon and climate-resilient public transport system in addition to greatly improving accessibility to jobs, education whilst playing a key role in regeneration and improvements to public realm and City Centres.

Cllr McCarthy noted; “The plan is ambitious but proposes dramatic changes to the roadscape in order to future proof public transport across the city. I continue to receive a lot of calls and emails from locals asking for City Council members to intervene but on this enormous set of plans, the democratic powers of local Council members have been dismissed, and the National Transport Authority is now the key decision maker.

“If local residents have questions, they can still contact me. I have heard from many local residents who have concerns on the widening of Douglas Road, Boreenmanna Road, Well Road and Grange Road. It is crucial that those who live along these roads and who are still not unaware of the plans that they log onto Cork BusConnects website and come up to speed with proposals to take strips of front garden space, tree corridors and on-street car-parking”, detailed Cllr McCarthy.

Cllr McCarthy also organised a number of public meetings on the National Transport Authority proposal to place a 20 metre wide bridge to facilitate bus and cars over Ballybrack Woods from Donnybrook Hill to Maryborough Woods as part of the Grange to Douglas Bus Corridor. Cllr McCarthy noted: “This is a shocking act of environmental vandalism. Yes there is a need to improve the nature of public transport in the city and in the south east of the city but not at the expense of demolishing half a woodland to do it”.

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town, 11 August 2022

1163a. Cork City Hall, one of Kieran’s National Heritage Week tour sites, 13-21 August 2022 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).
1163a. Cork City Hall, one of Kieran’s National Heritage Week tour sites, 13-21 August 2022 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Kieran’s Our City, Our Town Article,

Cork Independent, 11 August 2022

Kieran’s Heritage Week Tours, 13-21 August 2022

It is great to be back to physical tours after a hiatus of two years with Covid. So far this summer, my tours across the city’s suburbs for locals have, in particular, been very busy. Certainly, the Covid period and this post Covid era has brought a renewed interest in people’s local areas and their development and sense of place. The tours I have chosen for National Heritage Week this year are all important areas in the city’s development plus they all have a unique sense of place and identity. I will host seven tours, and all are free. There is no booking required bar the one for Cork City Hall for Cork Heritage Open Day.

 Saturday 13 August 2022, A Tour of Cork City Hall as part of Cork Heritage Open Day, 10am, meet at entrance at Anglesea Street entrance (90 minutes, booking required from Cork Heritage Open Day website with Cork City Council).

Learn about the early history of Cork City Hall and Cork City Council; learn about the development of the building and visit the Lord Mayor’s Room. The current structure replaced the old City Hall, which was destroyed in the Burning of Cork in 1920. It was designed by Architects Jones and Kelly and built by the Cork Company Sisks. The foundation stone was laid by Eamon de Valera, President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, on 9 July 1932.

Sunday 14 August 2022, Cork Through the Ages, An Introduction to the Historical Development of Cork City; meet at the National Monument, Grand Parade, 6.30pm (2 hours, no booking required). 

 Cork City 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 600AD to the present day. This tour explores the city’s earliest historical phases.

Monday 15 August 2022, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; explore Cork’s most historic quarter; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp. Cork Volunteer Centre, 6.30pm (2 hours, no booking required).  

 Tradition is one way to sum up the uniqueness of Shandon Street. Despite being a physical street, one can stroll down (or clamber up), the thoroughfare holds a special place in the hearts of many Corkonians.  The legacy of by-gone days is rich. The street was established by the Anglo-Normans as a thoroughfare to give access to North Gate Drawbridge and was originally known as Mallow Lane. Shandon Street locals identify with the special old qualities of the street. Different architectural styles reflect not only the street’s long history but also Cork’s past.

Tuesday 16 August 2022, The Northern Ridge – St Patrick’s Hill to MacCurtain StreetHistorical walking tour of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Old Youghal Road to McCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 6.30pm (2 hours, no booking required; finishes on MacCurtain Street). 

This is a tour that brings the participant from the top of St Patrick’s Hill to the eastern end of McCurtain Street through Wellington Road. The tour will speak about the development of the Collins Barracks ridge and its hidden and interesting architectural heritage.

Thursday 18 August 2022, Views from a Park – The Black Ash and Tramore Valley Park, historical walking tour in association with the KinShip Project; meet at Halfmoon Lane gate, 6.30pm (90 minutes; no booking required). 

 The Tramore Valley Park tour will explore the development of the area from being a swamp through to being a landfill and then onto being an artificial mound to enable the development of a park. Historically William Petty’s 1655 map of the city and its environs marks the site of Tramore Valley Park as Spittal Lands, a reference to the original local environment and the backing up of the Trabeg and Tramore tributary rivers as they enter the Douglas River channel. Of course, there are green spaces scattered across the city but none with the same scale of development and story as the 160 acre site off Kinsale Road. This is a site where the city’s environment has also been a regular topic of debate across local newspapers and in the city’s council political chamber.

Saturday 20 August 2022, Douglas and its History, historical walking tour in association with Douglas Tidy Towns; Discover the history of industry and the development of this historic village, meet in the carpark of Douglas Community Centre, 2pm (no booking required, circuit of village, finishes nearby). 

The story of Douglas and its environs is in essence a story of experimentation, of industry and of people and social improvement. The story of one of Ireland largest sailcloth factories is a worthwhile topic to explore in terms of its aspiration in its day in the eighteenth century. That coupled with the creation of forty or so seats or mansions and demesnes made it a place where the city’s merchants made their home it. Douglas makes also makes for an interesting place to study as many historical legacies linger in village’s surrounding landscapes.

Sunday 21 August 2022, The Battle of Douglas, An Irish Civil War Story, historical walking tour, meet at carpark and entrance to Old Railway Line, Harty’s Quay, Rochestown; 2pm, (free, 2 hours, no booking required, finishes near Rochestown Road). 

The Battle of Douglas is a three day Irish Civil War battle, which occurred from 7-10 August 1922. In particular, the battle sprawled across the heart of Rochestown Road to Garryduff. Across fields and woodlands, Anglo Irish Treaty supporters faced off against Anti-Treaty forces. Aiming to take Cork City, General Emmet Dalton of the National Army of the Irish Provisional Government led over 450 men, with two artillery pieces and armoured cars, all of whom landed at Passage West.

Caption:

1163a. Cork City Hall, one of Kieran’s National Heritage Week tour sites, 13-21 August 2022 (picture: Kieran McCarthy).

Press, Ready to take part in Cork Heritage Open Day, 10 August 2022

A walk around some of my head space – Great to be involved in this “Person to Person” article in tonight’s Echo ahead of National Heritage Week next week, https://www.echolive.ie/corklives/arid-40936976.html

The City Hall tour on Saturday 13 August is booked out but all the rest require no booking and all are free!

Here is the link to all my historical walking tours starting this Sunday, 14 August, http://kieranmccarthy.ie/?page_id=122677 tours! Game on!

First Call Out, Cllr McCarthy Launches Walking Tour Programme for National Heritage Week

Tours of Douglas and Rochestown respectively and across to Shandon and St Patrick’s Hill are part of Douglas Road Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s upcoming National Heritage Week programme. The Week takes place from Saturday 13 August to Sunday 21 August.

Cllr McCarthy noted; “It’s great to be back to physical tours after a hiatus of two years with Covid. So far this summer, my tours across the city’s suburbs for locals, in particular, have been very busy. Certainly, the Covid period and this post Covid era has brought a renewed interest in people’s local areas and their development and sense of place. The tours I have chosen for Heritage Week this year are all important areas in the city’s development plus all have a unique sense of place and identity. I will host seven tours and all are free. There is no booking required bar the one for Cork City Hall for Cork Heritage Open Day”.

Kieran’s National Heritage Week 

All tours are free.

Saturday 13 August 2022, A Tour of Cork City Hall as part of Cork Heritage Open Day, 10am, meet at entrance at Anglesea Street entrance (90 minutes, booking required from 3 August at Cork Heritage Open Day website with Cork City Council).

Sunday 14 August 2022, Cork Through the Ages, An Introduction to the Historical Development of Cork City; meet at the National Monument, Grand Parade, 6.30pm (2 hours, no booking required). 

Monday 15 August 2022, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; explore Cork’s most historic quarter; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp. Cork Volunteer Centre, 6.30pm (2 hours, no booking required).  

Tuesday 16 August 2022, The Northern Ridge – St Patrick’s Hill to MacCurtain Street; Historical walking tour of the area around St Patrick’s Hill – Old Youghal Road to McCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 6.30pm (2 hours, no booking required; finishes on MacCurtain Street). 

Thursday 18 August 2022, Views from a Park – The Black Ash and Tramore Valley Park, historical walking tour in association with the KinShip Project; meet at Halfmoon Lane gate, 6.30pm (90 minutes; no booking required). 

Saturday 20 August 2022, Douglas and its History, historical walking tour in association with Douglas Tidy Towns; Discover the history of industry and the development of this historic village, meet in the carpark of Douglas Community Centre, 2pm (no booking required, circuit of village, finishes nearby). 

Sunday 21 August 2022, The Battle of Douglas, An Irish Civil War Story, historical walking tour, meet at carpark and entrance to Old Railway Line, Harty’s Quay, Rochestown; 2pm, (free, 2 hours, no booking required, finishes near Rochestown Road). 

The Mangala Bridge Proposal, Public Meeting No.2, Friday 22 July, 6.30pm

Site of Mangala Bridge Proposal by the NTA (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Site of Mangala Bridge Proposal by the NTA (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

As noted in my flyer to houses in Donnybrook and in (some of- photocopying issues!) my Maryborough Woods flyers this week, I note I will host another Q & A meeting on Friday 22 July 2022, 6.30pm, Ballybrack Woods.

The meeting is on the flat green area by the stream at the proposed site of the bridge, next to the central tree in the picture.

Last week’s meeting was targeted at the social media market but I got alots of emails and calls during the week recommending another meeting for those not on social media.

So Many thanks to the flyering team yesterday and today. Over 1500 houses were flyered. We put in alot of steps 🙂And there may be people on social media who missed the meeting last Friday, are seeing this, and want to attend 🙂

But if you are concerned and are up to speed with the bridge proposal, don’t leave your submission to someone else.

It doesn’t have to be an epic submission, but why the woods is important to you.Make your submission here: https://busconnects.ie/cork/

We Can and we Will stop this together.#saveballybrackwoods#savethemangalaView the scale of the Mangala bridge proposal and what it impacts here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDkqzvd8qe8

My thanks as well to all those I met last evening at the public meeting on Boreenmanna Road, and the calls and emails that came into from the Shamrock Lawn area today.

Cllr McCarthy’s July Historical Walking Tours

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has announced his free historical walking tours for July, which have a focus on historic streets, lakes, and woodlands. He will conduct walks across the area of Shandon, The Lough area, and also around the Rochestown area.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Rochestown tour is one I first ran just before Covid and focusses on Irish Civil War known as The Battle of Douglas. The three day battle occurred from 7-10 August 1922. In particular, the battle sprawled across the heart of Rochestown Road to Garryduff. Across fields and woodlands, Anglo Irish Treaty supporters faced off against Anti-Treaty forces. It was part of the largest seaborne landing of the Irish civil war and was aimed at taking Cork City. General Emmet Dalton of the National Army or Irish Provisional Government led 800 troops, with two artillery pieces and armoured cars, all of whom landed at Passage West”,

“Coupled with the Civil War heritage there are also some great heritage assets in Rochestown from the old railway line platform to the Capuchin Friary off Monastery Road, no mind the surrounding heritage of the big houses and their estates which once stood in areas such as Monsfieldtown, Belmont and Garryduff”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

Kieran’s July Tours:

Saturday 2 July 2022, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; explore Cork’s most historic quarter; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp Cork Volunteer Centre, 2pm (all tours free, duration: two hours, no booking required).  

Friday evening, 8 July 2022, The Lough and its Curiosities; historical walking tour; meet at green area at northern green of The Lough, entrance of Lough Road to The Lough, Lough Church end; 6.45pm.

Saturday 16 July 2022, The Battle of Douglas, An Irish Civil War Story, historical walking tour with Kieran, from carpark and entrance to Old Railway Line, Harty’s Quay, Rochestown; 2pm.

McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project 2022

Create your own model boat from recycled materials and bring it along for judging at the Lough.

The entrant(s) will be placed in categories or levels, of which there are three, 4-6 years olds, 7-11 years olds and 12-15 year olds.

All model boats must be brought to the Lough at 18:30 on Thursday 9 June for display, launching and adjudication. There will be prizes for the best boats and all prize-winning boats will be exhibited during this year’s Cork Harbour Festival 3-13 June, at Cork City Library.

This event is being run in association with Meitheal Mara and The Old Cork Waterworks.

Register now: Cllr. Kieran McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project 2022 – Cork Harbour Festival

Press Release – Cllr McCarthy: Timeline given on Old Railway Line Greenway Re-opening, May 2022

An update on the Old Railway Line greenway was given to Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy at last Monday’s City Council meeting.

The Contractor is currently working within the old Blackrock Station. During the course of these works it was necessary to undertake additional conservation and repair work to boundary walls, platforms and adjoining structures. The full extent of this work only became apparent when the overgrowth was fully removed.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “A good few people are asking about the delays to the re-opening of the Old Railway line walk. I questioned the Chief Executive at the last Council meeting and it has been the conservation works around the old Blackrock platform, which has delayed the works. On pulling back the vegetation, the damage on the masonry was worse than expected. I realise that many people are anxious to get back to using a much loved community space. It’s down to a few short weeks now before it’s re-opening”.

Completion works for the new access ramp between the Greenway and the Marina (i.e. through Holland Park) is scheduled to commence in late 2022 as per the original programme. The work on this ramp is staggered to allow for the settlement of the earthwork’s embankment.

The last remaining section of the Passage Greenway Project Phase 1 is scheduled to be fully open to the public in mid-July. The Contractor is likely to have some remaining off line works to complete beyond this date such as the completion of snags etc however this work will not affect users of the Greenway.

Kieran’s May Historical Walking Tours

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has announced his historical walking tours for May, which have a focus on the hills and views of Cork. He will conduct walks across the area of Tramore Valley Park, St Patrick’s Hill area, and also around the Barrack Street area. The Tramore Valley Park tour will explore the development of the area from being a swamp through to being a landfill and then onto being an artificial mound to enable the development of a park. All of Kieran’s tours are free and no booking is required.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “Cork’s Tramore Valley Park is an exciting addition and recent initiative of Cork City Council. It is great to be able to revisit the cultural heritage of the park and its surrounds with the Kinship arts project this month. Historically William Petty’s 1655 map of the city and its environs marks the site of Tramore Valley Park as Spittal Lands, a reference to the original local environment and the backing up of the Trabeg and Tramore tributary rivers as they enter the Douglas River channel. We are lucky that there is also really interesting perspectives on the area recorded through the ages, which have been great to research”. 

“Walking across the park, one can feel the tension in its sense of place, a place haunted and engineered by its past and teeming with ideas about its future. Of course, there are green spaces scattered across the city but none with the same scale of development and story as the 160 acre site off Kinsale Road. This is a site where the city’s environment has also been a regular topic of debate across local newspapers and in the city’s council political chamber”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.


Kieran’s May Tours:

Saturday 14 May 2022, The Northern Ridge – St Patrick’s Hill to MacCurtain Street; Tour around St Patrick’s Hill – Old Youghal Road to McCurtain Street; meet on the Green at Audley Place, top of St Patrick’s Hill, 2pm (free, duration: two hours, no booking required).

Sunday 22 May 2022, Views from a Park – Tramore Valley Park, historical walking tour in association with the KinShip Project; meet at Halfmoon Lane gate, 2pm (free, duration: 90 minutes no booking required).

Saturday 28 May 2022, The Friar’s Walk; Discover Red Abbey, Elizabeth Fort, Barrack Street, Callanan’s Tower & Greenmount area; Meet at Red Abbey tower, off Douglas Street, 2pm (free, duration: two hours, no booking required).