Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy invites all Cork young people to participate in the thirteenth year of McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project. All interested participants must design and make a model boat at home and bring it to The Lough on the evening of Friday 19 May 2023.
The event is being run in association with Meitheal Mara and the Cork Harbour Festival Team for the Cork Harbour Festival itself. There are three categories, two for primary and one for secondary students. The theme is ‘Boats of the Past which is open to interpretation. The model must be creative though, made from recycled materials and must be able to float. There are prizes for best models and the event is free to enter. For further information and to register a boat, log onto http://www.corkharbourfestival.com
Cllr McCarthy, who is heading up the event, noted: “Over the 13 years of this annual projects, the Make a Model Boat Project has gone from strength to strength. The Cork Harbour festival team and I have seen really creative entries and of course it is great to be able to float boats on a fantastic amenity such as The Lough. I am encouraging creation, recycling, innovation and imagination amongst our young people, which are important traits for all of us to develop. The Make a Model Boat Project is part of a suite of community projects I have organised over the years– the others include the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project with Cork City Council, the Community local history walks, and local history publications”.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy is encouraging community groups in the Douglas area and beyond to avail of Cork City Council is making €840,000 available to community organisations across the city to support them to take collective action on climate change.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Community Climate Action Fund, funded by the Department of Environment, Climate and Community, is inviting groups via local authorities to design projects around one, or ideally more than one of the following themes – Home and energy, Travel, Food and waste, Shopping and recycling, Local environmental management and biodiversity”.
“Interested groups can contact the Council’s Climate Action Unit at email@example.com before they make an application so they can get further details and discuss their project ideas”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
Grants are available to non-profit community-based organisations who can contribute to climate action. Small grants of up to €20,000 are being made available, medium grants between €20,000 and €50,000, or larger grants between €50,000 and 100,000.
Applications for funding are welcomed via an online grant submission system. The application window closes on Friday 16 June at 5pm. Further information is available from www.corkcity.ie
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy is to restart his free historical walking tours during the month of April. Tours will be of the old Cork City workhouse site on Douglas Road in St Finbarr’s Hospital, the Shandon quarter, and the Barrack Street/ Friar’s Walk area respectively.
Cllr McCarthy noted; “This year my talks and walks reach their 30th year. There have been many walks given since my teen years. I have pursued more research than ever in recent years as more and more old newspapers and books are digitised these have allowed greater access to material and hence more material to create historical walking trails of some of Cork’s most historical suburbs”.
“I am also trying to sharpen the tours I have and to create new ones in a different suburb. The three areas I am re-starting with for the 2023 all have their own unique sense of place, their own cultural and built heritage, their own historic angles, some really interesting ‘set pieces’ and add their own stories to how the city as a whole came into being; they also connect to the upcoming 2023 Cork Lifelong Learning Festival”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
Full details of Kieran’s April tours are below:
Saturday 1 April 2023, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; explore Cork’s most historic quarter; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp Cork Volunteer Centre, 2pm, in association with the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival (free, duration: two hours, no booking required).
Sunday 2 April 2023, The Cork City Workhouse; learn about Cork City’s workhouse created for 2,000 impoverished people in 1841; meet just inside the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 2pm, in association with the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival (free, two hours, on site tour, no booking required)
Saturday 15 April 2023, 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).
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for more consistent and meaningful communication between the NTA and Residents Groups. Proposals for 12 Sustainable Transport Corridors including Maryborough Hill to Douglas Road for BusConnects Cork were published in June 2022 as part of the first round of public consultation. The consultation closed in early October last year.
Following the first round of public consultation, the NTA has been reviewing the almost 3,000 submissions made by the public. The BusConnects Cork team has also met with 33 residents’ and business groups across the city since summer 2022 with meetings ongoing. The engagement process has resulted in a number of revisions and alternatives to the initial proposals and these will inform part of the next round of public consultation for people’s feedback.
However Cllr Kieran McCarthy has noted that some of the feedback has been haphazard; “I am hearing that some residents groups in the Douglas area have had multiple meetings and others have had none. The communication process must be consistent. We will entering phase 2 of the public consultation process in early April and it important that compromises and alternatives, where relevant are actually discussed and explored – otherwise the consultation element is just a tick the box action”.
“I remain deeply worried for the built and natural heritage of several areas of the NTA plans. The decision to omit the bridge proposal over the Mangala is welcome but the thought of kilometres of trees and garden space being ripped out along route ways such as Douglas Road, Boreenmanna Road and Well Road is very worryingly indeed. Hence why meaningful dialogue is very important between stakeholders”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
This weekend the award ceremony of the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project 2022/23 takes place at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience. A total of 30 schools in Cork City took part in the 2022/23 school year, which included schools in Ballinlough, Beaumont, Blackrock and Douglas and with a reach to Glanmire, Ballincollig, and inner city suburban schools as well. Circa 1,000 students participated in the process with approx 250 project books submitted on all aspects of Cork’s local history and it cultural and built heritage.
The Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project is in its 21st year and is a youth platform for students to do research and write it up in a project book on any topic of Cork history. 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: “It’s been a great journey over twenty years of promoting and running this project. Over the years, I have received some great projects on Cork landmarks such as The Marina to Shandon to villages such as Douglas but also on an array of oral history projects – students working closely with parents, guardians and grandparents. I’ve even seen very original projects, such as this year I received a history trail on streets of Cork pavements. The standard of model-making and in recent years, short film making – to go with project books – have always been creative”.
The Project is funded by Cork City Council with further sponsorship offered by Learnit Lego Education, Old Cork Waterworks Experience and Cllr Kieran McCarthy. Full results for this year’s project are online on Cllr McCarthy’s heritage website,
Cllr Kieran McCarthy is calling on any community groups based in the south east ward of Cork City, which includes areas such as Ballinlough, Ballintemple, Blackrock, Mahon, Douglas, Donnybrook, Maryborough, Rochestown, Mount Oval and Moneygourney with an interest in sharing in his 2023 ward funding to apply for his funds.
A total of E.12,000 is available to community groups through Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s ward funds. In general, contributions to groups range between e.150 to e.250 or slightly more depending on the project.
Application should be made via email to Kieran at firstname.lastname@example.org or via letter (Richmond Villa, Douglas Road) by Friday 3 February 2023.
This email should give the name of the organisation, contact name, contact address, contact email, contact telephone number, details of the organisation, and what will the ward grant will be used for?
Ward funds will be prioritised to community groups based in the south east ward or the south east local electoral area of Cork City who build community capacity, educate, build civic awareness and projects, which connect the young and old.
Cllr McCarthy especially welcomes proposals where the funding will be used to run a community event, digital included, and that benefit the wider community.
Cllr McCarthy is seeking to fund projects that give people new skill sets. That could include anything from part funding of coaching training for sports projects to groups interested in bringing forward enterprise programmes to encourage entrepreneurship to the ward.
Cllr McCarthy is particularly interested in funding community projects such as community environment projects such as tree planting and projects that that promote the rich history and environment within the south east of Cork City.
Cllr McCarthy publishes a list of his ward fund allocations each year on this page.
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.
Launch of Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project, Year 21
It is great to reach year 21 of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project. It is just slightly younger than this column but both this column, the schools’ heritage project (below) 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.
Never before has our locality and its heritage being so important for recreation and for our peace of mind. In the past two years, 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 “The Value of the Past”. 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 as well as entry information.
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 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 21 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.
1168a. Front cover of 2022-2023 brochure for Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project.
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has launched the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project 2022/23. The project is in its 21st year and is open to schools in Cork City. It is funded by Cork City Council and the Project is an initiative of the Cork City Heritage Plan.
The City Edition of the Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage 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.
The fourth-class level is open to fourth class students. The primary senior level is open to students of fifth and sixth class. Post primary entrant/s will be placed in Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate levels. The post primary level is open to any year from first to sixth year.
A student may enter as an individual or as part of a group or as part of a class project. The theme for this year’s project is “The Value of the Past”.
Free and important project support in the form of free virtual workshops led by the Project Co-ordinator Cllr Kieran McCarthy will be held in participating schools across September and October 2022. This is a 40 minute workshop to give participating students ideas for compilation and resources.
Free workshop support is also available to schools who have never entered before and wish to have a workshop to see how the project works or to get some perspectives on Cork history. Information on entering this year’s project is on Kieran’s heritage website, www.corkheritage.ie.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “It is great to reach the twenty-first year of the project. Over 15-16,000 students have participated in the project through the years with many topics researched and written about – from buildings and monuments to people’s stories and memories. The Project continues to encourage and work with Cork students in celebrating, highlighting, debating and creating fresh approaches to Cork’s cultural heritage. The Project also focuses on students gaining acknowledgement and self-confidence from their work”.
“In addition, never before has our locality and its heritage being so important for recreation and for our peace of mind. In the past two years, more focus than ever has been put on places and spaces we know, appreciate, and attain personal comfort from”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy has launched his September set of public historical walking tours. They will focus on three locations – Ballinlough, Blackpool, and the old Cork Union Workhouse site at St Finbarr’s Hospital.
Cllr McCarthy noted; “These three suburbs have much cultural and built heritage. There are many nineteenth century tales running through these locations. Blackpool has a rich industrial heritage at its heart. Ballinlough has everything from historic graveyards to stories of big house estates to tales of market gardens. Whilst the old workhouse site contains stories from impoverished society and those who struggled to make ends meet”.
“These three locations follow quickly on the back of a successful and recent series of tours for National Heritage Week. It’s great to be able to host physical tours again. The September tours are the last set of public tours till next spring again. I began the public tours in early April and by the time late September rolls around, 22 free public tours will have been given by me this year. All aim to build a sense of civic pride and also just to put a focus on the history and heritage in our own city”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.
Kieran’s September 2022 Tours:
Saturday 3 September 2022, Blackpool: Its History and Heritage, historical walking tour with Kieran; meet at square on St Mary’s Road, opp North Cathedral, 2pm, (free, two hours).
Sunday 4 September 2022, Ballinlough – Knights, Quarries and Suburban Growth; historical walking tour with Kieran; meet at Ballintemple Graveyard, Temple Hill, 2pm (free, two hours).
Saturday 17 September 2022, The City Workhouse, historical walking tour with Kieran; meet just inside the gates of St Finbarr’s Hospital, Douglas Road, 2pm (free, two hours, on site tour).