Category Archives: Enterprise

Cllr McCarthy: Launch of Douglas Main Street Parklet Warmly Welcomed, 3 September 2021

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has warmly welcomed the official launch of the Douglas Main Street parklet in the past week, as well as its other seven companions across the city. In May of this year, Cork City Council announced that it was looking to provide new parklets in the greater metropolitan area.

The parklets, designed by Siobhán Keogh Design and built by Benchspace Cork, are planted and maintained by the “parklet partners”, with funding for their upkeep administered by the City Council. The Douglas Main Street Partners are Okura Japanese Cuisine and Douglas Tidy Towns.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The parklets have converted several on-street parking spaces into public open space and are a cost-effective way to create more vibrant streets, promote economic vitality, and provide an inviting green space for residents and passers-by to sit, relax, and interact. Providing greening on the urban street and encouraging biodiversity are two key elements of the parklets project. And certainly are very important to main streets like those in Douglas which is completed dominated by car traffic”.

 “The intention is for planting is to be maintained in the parklets at all times, and the majority (if not all) of this planting should be “pollinator friendly”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

Lord Mayor, Cllr Colm Kelleher emphasised at the launch of the eight parklet launches: “The feedback to date is that there is a huge welcome for the parklets with every indication that they are being used on a daily basis by pedestrians. The success of the parklets is not possible without the dynamism and commitment of the partners”. 

Cllr McCarthy: Phase 2 of Small Business Assistance Scheme Now Open, June 2021

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind business owners that the expanded Small Business Assistance Scheme (SBAS) for COVID is now open for applications through Cork City Council. Phase two of this scheme has been expanded to include those that had previously been ineligible. Cllr McCarthy noted: “SBASC gives grants to businesses who are not eligible for the Government’s COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), the Fáilte Ireland Business Continuity grant or other direct sectoral grant schemes. This scheme aims to help businesses with their fixed costs, for example, rent, utility bills, security. If you have received Phase 1 of SBASC you can apply for Phase 2 if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. The closing date for this scheme is 21 July 2021”.

Businesses working from non-rateable premises are now eligible to apply and if they meet the other eligibility criteria will receive a grant of €4,000. Businesses with a turnover between €20,000 and €49,999 are also now eligible to apply if they meet the other eligibility criteria and will receive a grant of €1,000.

The scheme is available to companies, self-employed, sole traders or partnerships. The business must not be owned and operated by a public body. The business must operate from a building, including working from home, or similar fixed physical structure such as a yard or a street trading pitch for which rates are payable or in a co-working hub or a rented fixed desk. This does not include businesses carried on from motor vehicles, such as PSVs or construction trades. The business must have a current eTax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Commissioners. Cllr McCarthy concluded: “Further information can be obtained from Cork City Council’s Business Support Unit on the home page of or at the following phone number, 021-4924484 or at the following e-mail address,”

Cllr McCarthy: Former ESB Sub Station Should be a Major City Cultural Asset, 24 May 2020

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called on the City Council and the ESB to work on a joint programme of works to return the sub-station on Caroline Street to an art gallery/ cultural space.’

The sub station on Caroline Street is in the ownership of the ESB. Until recently the Sub Station was advertised for Commercial Let. Cllr McCarthy has been informed that Cork City Council does not have sight of the ESB’s plans for the building. And that the wider needs in terms of cultural infrastructure in the city will be reviewed in the context of the forthcoming Arts & Culture Strategy, currently under development.

Cllr McCarthy noted; “there is massive scope to do a joint partnership in re-opening the disused ESB substation as a cultural space. It has a very rich industrial history. It was built in 1931 and was originally used to convert direct current electricity to alternating current. This substation is representative of the design employed by the ESB in the first part of the twentieth century in Ireland.

“In 1932, the ESB could boast cables running from Ardnacrusha Hydro Electric Station to Cork as well as having the old generating station and offices at Albert Road, a Station at Kilbarry, a transformer station at Fords, and the central substation in Caroline Street. The annual consumption of electricity in Cork City was 8 million units by 1934 and 16 million units by 1945”.

“The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage notes of this building: “This functional building is a well-articulated building, with a high level of architectural design. The building retains many interesting original features and materials, such as the metal casement windows and metal folding doors”.

“It is also ten years ago when the Triskel Arts Centre, whilst waiting for the renovation of Christ Church, moved its gallery off site to the ESB substation on Caroline Street and did a great job in utilising the space. In addition, in 2018, Brown Thomas teamed up with Cork City Council and artist Shane O’Driscoll to transform the exterior of the then disused ESB station building which had fallen into disrepair. The City Centre Placemaking Fund from Cork City Council was used to support the project”.

“It is a real shame that such a prominent building remains vacant with so many possibilities for its use. I will be continuing my lobbying of the City Council to partner up with the ESB in finding an appropriate cultural use for the building”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.

Press, 25 May 2021, “The abandoned substation has massive scope for transformation now that Cllr. Kieran McCarthy is urging the city council and ESB to turn it into a new entertainment venue for Leesiders. Originally built in 1931 in the art deco style favoured by ESB at the time, the substation was last used by Triskel Arts ten years ago”, Endless possibilities for this gem of a building on Caroline Street to be transformed as council consider new proposal, Derelict Art-deco substation could become amazing Cork city music and arts space – Cork Beo

Caroline Street Former ESB Sub Station, Cork present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy)
Caroline Street Former ESB Sub Station, Cork present day (picture: Kieran McCarthy)

Cllr McCarthy: Rates Deferral is of Huge Benefit to Businesses

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the continued deferral of rates payments for the first quarter of 2021 for businesses most impacted by Level 5 restrictions introduced on 6 January 2021.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “With financial support from central government Cork City Council will be deferring rates payments. The three-month waiver will apply to eligible businesses and will be applied to rates accounts in the form of a credit in lieu of rates. Support from government has also kept the Council’s operations going and it is essential that forms of financial support remain as businesses return in the months ahead. The Council’s income will be significantly down later this year as the full economic fallout from businesses that do not re-open is revealed”.

 Cork City Council Head of Finance, John Hallahan said, “Cork City Council is acutely aware of the challenges faced by businesses, large and small throughout the city and county. We will continue to work with our rate payers on a case by case basis and are asking businesses to contact us”. 

Cork City Council will issue Rate Bills for 2021 commencing in March 2021. Rate payers are advised that these bills will not include the recently announced Covid-19 rates waiver but that rate payers that are eligible for the waiver will get a statement showing their reduced liability in April/May 2021. For queries on the rates waiver scheme, contact or phone 021-4924484.

Cork City Local Enterprise Office offers a number of supports to businesses to address the challenges posed by Covid-19, such as mentoring, Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan, businessadvice clinics, and trading online vouchers are available for businesses wishing to establish or enhance their online presence. For further queries on these supports, contact Cork City Local Enterprise Office on 021-4961828 or at

Kieran’s 2021 Ward Funds, Now Open

The call for Kieran’s 2021 Ward Fund is now OPEN.

  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 2020 ward funding to apply for his funds. A total of E.11,000 is available to community groups through Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s ward funds.

Application should be made via letter (Richmond Villa, Douglas Road) or email to Kieran at by Friday 5 February 2021. 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?


Please Note:

– Ward funds will be prioritised to community groups based in the south east ward 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 (as per COVID guidelines) that benefits the wider community. In addition, he 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 enterprise programmes to encourage entrepreneurship to the ward.

   – Cllr McCarthy is also particularly interested in funding community projects such as community environment projects such as tree planting, community concerts, and projects those that promote the rich history and environment within the south east ward.

– Cllr McCarthy publishes a list of his ward fund allocations each year on this page.

Cllr McCarthy Welcomes Douglas Village Parklet

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the positive news that Douglas Village is to receive its first parklet. The National Transport Authority (NTA) provided Cork City Council stimulus funding to implement a suite of initiatives to support mobility across the city.  This included the provision of 10 parklets to enhance greening of the city and to improve the attractiveness of the city to pedestrians.  Partners in businesses and communities were sought to maintain and manage the parklets. 

 Cllr McCarthy noted: “A public call was issued to communities and businesses and as a result the parklet initiative was significantly oversubscribed, which highlights the enthusiasm of residents, businesses and communities to see greening projects of this nature in the city.  In line with the objectives of the stimulus, prioritised areas in the city centre and villages / towns throughout the Council’s administrative area were chosen. 

 “An assessment of the suitability of areas was conducted to accommodate parklets, in terms of health and safety and access to essential services. Ten parklet sites with partners were chosen. All parklets must encourage a pollinator friendly approach. The Douglas Village Parklet will be managed by Douglas Tidy Towns who have an excellent track record in the roll out of community biodiversity programmes”. 

 “Cork City Council also engaged with Benchspace, a social enterprise, to deliver the timber-clad parklets.  The parklets, which occupy a traditional car space, will be installed over the next number of weeks/months as they are available from Benchspace”. 

 “The parklets are installations in the midst of busy streets with the focus on important issues such as the environment and biodiversity. They also offer people an alternative place to sit down for a few minutes and to reflect on their day or to meet friends”, concluded Cllr Kieran McCarthy. 

Kieran’s Comments, Cork City Council Budget Night, 16 November 2020

Thanks Lord Mayor,

There is a great depth across the activities of the various directorates of the Council. I think all our Directors bring a level of openness, listening and hard work ethic, which is warranted and very welcome in this challenging times.

Despite the cuts, there is still much work being pursued as well as many opportunities being mined.

COVID may have drawn us into a worrying time about finances but has clearly showed the resilience of this organisation.

The turning around of the various government financial stimuli by this organisation in very short time frames has been impressive. Certainly 12 months ago no one was predicting aspects such as the pedestrianisation of 17 streets and urban spaces and the strong ramping up of work on walking and cycling in our city.

We must not let that momentum on improving the urban fabric and environment slow down but keep pressure on, and keep the collaborations with traders and citizens effective and positive.

Perhaps the only certainly that goes with next year is that there will undoubtedly be further financial challenges– but it is important that we advance on preparing part 8s, whether it is for housing or roads, and keep sending such plans to either government or the NTA for approval respectively.

We have three 3 government cabinet Ministers from Cork – and I strongly think that we need a Microsoft Teams meeting with Minister McGrath in DPER to run over this Council’s ambitions in the short term.

What I learned recently from intervening with Minister Ryan on his Teams meeting with us is that we should not assume as a Council that all of the Cabinet are au fait with the Council’s work.

Where the meeting with Minister Ryan was very positive and very open, I was still not content to hear the narrative of bungling Cork in with Galway, Waterford and Limerick as just a mere regional city instead of the country’s second city.

I would like to see a meeting with Minister McGrath set up as soon as possible and that we liase with Minster Ryan early in the new year.

It is important opportunities are seized to realise the stepping stones on the way to achieving our ambitions.

Certainly, if you empower a local authority such as Cork City Council, it will deliver in spades.


Kieran’s Interview, Plans for Ireland’s Tallest Building Receive Permission, Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1, 15 October 2020

15 October 2020, “Kieran McCarthy, Independent Cork City Councillor and Local Historian discusses plans for the tallest building in Ireland to be built in Cork City, and what it means for the redevelopment of the country’s second city”, Plans for Ireland’s Tallest Building Receive Permission, Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1,

Cllr McCarthy: Crucial Role for Local Enterprise Office in Times Ahead

    Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the ‘one stop shop’ approach of the Cork City’s Local Enterprise Office (LEO), which is based in Cork City Hall and is linked to the work of Cork City Council. Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Local Enterprise Office network is evolving and stands prepared to help businesses especially SMEs to address the critical challenges presented by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. There are an array of financial and mentoring instruments to help SMEs during this very challenging time. Ninety-nine percent of businesses in Cork’s suburbs are SMEs and are crucial to their local communities they serve”.

   The COVID-19 Business Loan The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with the LEO, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty.  It is designed for micro-enterprises that are having difficulty accessing bank finance and are impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

   The LEO Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people. The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

   The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost their sales and reach new markets.  The Scheme is administered by the LEOS’s on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. There is up to €2,500 available through the Local enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Training and further business supports are also provided.

   Cllr McCarthy also recommends the free mentoring services for SMEs. “Clients work with an experienced mentor at the Local Enterprise Office to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities around COVID-19 challenges. The website contains many links to the above financial supports and to mentoring and training. In terms of mentoring I also wish to point out the work online of the Cork Chamber of Commerce who are offering some really helpful webinars as well for businesses responding to the crisis”.