Category Archives: Improve Your Life

Call out 1: Cllr McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project 2021

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 admin@corkharbourfestival.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

Cllr 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.

VIEW winning model boats from 2020:

Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2021 concludes with online Awards Ceremony


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 way.

    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 McCarthy.

The Project is funded by Cork City Council with further sponsorship offered by the Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran McCarthy.

 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. 

Cllr McCarthy: Better Communication with Public Needed on Broadband Fibre Optic Cable Roll-Out Progress

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for the need for stronger communication to be given to the general public and public representatives on the extent and progress of the roll-out of fibre optic cable for broadband in neighbourhoods across Cork City.

This week representatives of broadband service providers attended an online meeting of Cork city councillors to give an update on the national broadband roll-out plan in Cork City.

Cllr McCarthy, who asked the Council executive to bring in the service providers for a special meeting noted; “I certainly welcome the ambition of the National Broadband Plan but every week, I’m getting emails from constituents asking for updates. With many people working from home, the demand for broadband is so high at present. I am getting emails that people are unable to log onto basic zoom calls or students who cannot take part effectively in online schooling. The areas they live in are not in far out rural areas but in the inner suburbs of Cork City. The old copper coil cable technology is not fit for purpose for the modern world.

“The roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is most welcome but the plan is just in year two of seven at the moment and its communication with local people needs to be improved immensely. I have had constituents who are so frustrated by the lack of communication of when their neighbourhood is due to be upgraded”.

“It also doesn’t help that service providers such as SIRO and EIR cannot speak to each other due to competition rules. So joining up the dots of communication and ramping up broadband to make sure Ireland’s second city has future proofed broadband, which can also drive regional development, is difficult”.

“I heard at the service providers online meeting this week that the roll out of fibre cable in the city centre is being stalled due to the need to dig up the streets and the complexities that go with that. And that it may not be looked at for several years. We may end up with efficient broadband in the suburbs and anyone who needs effective broadband in the city centre island not being able access fast and sustainable broadband. This is not good enough for a city of scale such as Cork. Better solutions for the city centre need to be fast-tracked”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

READ MORE: ‘People are unable to log onto basic Zoom calls’: Cork councillor bemoans quality of broadband (echolive.ie)

Cllr McCarthy welcomes new outdoor gym for Lough Mahon Path


A new outdoor gym is to be built this year on the green area adjacent to the start of the Lough Mahon walkway by Blackrock Castle as part of Cork City Sport and Amenity Fund 2021. Such “Cluster Outdoor Calisthenic Gyms” already exist in some areas of the city e.g. Tramore Valley Park and at Harty’s Quay

 Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the project; “Such equipment are age friendly and accessible elements that have proven very popular during the last year. They are suitable for all ages. The Parks section of Cork City Council have committed to maintain the amenities installed”.

 “The findings of the public consultation process saw calls by the public that any new amenities in any area should be available free to all in the Community regardless of age, ability, financial situation etc. Any project should also take the ‘Green Agenda’ into consideration. The overwhelming feedback was that amenities should be increased in our public parks which have been a great outlet for communities in the last year. The outdoor gym is to be built in the next few months. I continue to raise the need for further investment into the local electoral area’s parks, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

READ MORE: Outdoor gym to be built at popular Cork walkway (echolive.ie)

Ward Watch – Greenway construction to begin on 22 February on Marina to Mahon Point section of the Old Railway Line:

Press Release:

“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.

READ MORE: Extensive improvements in the pipeline for Passage Greenway (echolive.ie)

The History & Rehabilitation of Daly’s (Shakey) Bridge, Cork City, 19 February 2021

Press Release by Engineer’s Ireland, Cork:

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.

VIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j52poh2ZfSA&feature=youtu.be

Cllr McCarthy: NTA Investments in Marina Area Warmly Welcomed, 15 February 2021

Press Release:

“Last week’s announcements by the National Transport Authority (NTA) are really positive for the Marina area and the Old Railway Line Walk through to Bessboro. Firstly phase 1 of the Greenway has been given funding of e.3.2m to progress construction. It comprises widening of the existing surfaced area along the old railway line path from 3m to 5m, the installation of new public lighting and CCTV, emphasising the heritage of the railway (especially at Blackrock Station) and producing a biodiversity corridor along the railway line. 

Secondly, it is also really great to see funding following the public consultation and its vision for the Marina and the Council’s subsequent vote to pedestrianise the Marina walk full-time.

A total of e.240,000 has received from the NTA to progress preliminary design, planning, design team appointment & detailed design for the Marina Promenade Pedestrian and Cycle facilities project. Many people have complained that is very difficult to walk over certain sections of the Marina’s road plus the need to have a think about public lighting after dark and the counter balance of that with protection of natural habitats around the Atlantic Pond and eastwards. The project will also seek funding for some repairs to the quay wall and some general improvement to the public realm including seating, bike parking etc.

In March/ April this year, the Infrastructure Development Directorate of Cork City Council will be publishing a notice seeking tenders from suitably qualified and experienced Design Consultants for the upgrade and enhancement of the Marina (Centre Park Road to Blackrock Village).

By the end of 2021 City Hall officials aim to present a recommended layout to Council members with construction to follow in early 2022 subject to the necessary consents and funding approval.

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”.  

The Marina, Cork (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)
The Marina, Cork (picture: Cllr Kieran McCarthy)

Talk on the History and Rehabilitation of Daly’s Bridge (The Shakey Bridge) 16 February 2021

On Tuesday, 16 February at 7pm the latest in a series of online talks by Engineer’s Ireland will be available: The History and Rehabilitation of Daly’s Bridge (The Shakey Bridge) presented by Michael Minehane, Chartered Principal Engineer at RPS and Kieran McCarthy, noted local Cork historian.

“As part of the Cork Regional 80th Anniversary celebrations, we are delighted to host this presentation on the history and refurbishment of the iconic “Shakey” Bridge which was originally built under the stewardship of the then City Engineer, SW Farrington, who was also the first Chair of the Cork Region of Engineers Ireland” says Ronan Keane, current Chair.

The presentation will outline the social and economic context of the original construction, first opened in 1927, replacing an earlier ferry crossing at the same location. It remains the only suspension bridge in Cork City and is the only surviving bridge of its type in Ireland.  Michael Minehane says, “I will be giving the second part of the talk which will outline 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, approach to conservation, structural dynamics and aspects of design and construction.” 

Kieran McCarthy will talk about the history of the bridge “of all the bridges in the city centre island, one can argue that Daly’s Bridge is the one which holds the fascination of the public the most. The removal of the main body of the bridge to deep clean it off site caused a large tinge of public sadness. Its return to the Banks of the Lee in the spring of 2020 heralded hope, and almost a sense that a valued family member had 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 Cultural Heritage.” 

The History & Rehabilitation of Daly’s (Shakey) Bridge on Tuesday, 16th February at 7pm online via zoom, It’s a FREE event and all are welcome: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7M2J_bAKQsGsGxKCD4QBaQ