Category Archives: Enterprise

Cllr McCarthy: Support Local businesses and Local Jobs In Douglas

 Press Release:

     Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has warmly welcomed the upcoming parking proposals for On Street Parking in Douglas Village in the lead-up to Christmas. The arrangements will only apply to the City Council controlled On Street parking spaces. A large number of parking spaces are controlled by private operators. Previously these operators were invited to participate in a joint initiative, but the offer was not accepted. The implementation of the initial parking promotion together with the lead-in Christmas proposal will impact on parking income from Douglas, approximately e80,000 to the end of 2019.

    Cllr McCarthy noted: “Since 9 September, after the devastating fire in the Douglas Shopping Centre, Cork City Council responded to local businesses and their call for help and provided one hour free parking in the On Street parking spaces. The promotion was continued as part of the Autumn Parking Promotion for the city that runs until 17 November 2019. Business remain active in their call for support measures. The temporary closure of the Douglas Shopping Centre Car Park has caused a knock-on effect to business in Douglas. Supporting local businesses and local jobs is never more apt for Douglas village in light of the September fire.

    The following Christmas parking arrangements in Douglas are to be applied to On Street parking spaces: Two hours free parking from Monday 11 December to Tuesday 31 December; no parking charges on the Saturdays in the run up to Christmas and just after, from Saturday 30 November to 28 December; no parking charges on Sundays, no parking charges on Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day. Normal parking arrangements will resume on 2 January 2020.

    As Cork City Council has done over the last number of years it will extend the operating hours of Paul Street Car Park, North Main Street and Black Ash Parka and Ride, as well as opening all the latter facilities on Sundays/ extending the Sunday opening hours as appropriate. A temporary Park & Ride will also operate from County Hall at the Weekends.

McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat Project 2019

   Douglas Road Cllr Kieran McCarthy invites all Cork young people to participate in the tenth year of McCarthy’s ‘Make a Model Boat Project’. All interested must make a model boat at home from recycled materials and bring it along for judging to the Lough on Thursday 16 May 2019, 6.30pm. The event is being run in association with Meitheal Mara and the Cork Harbour Festival. There are three categories, two for primary and one for secondary students. The theme is ‘Stories of Cork’, which is open to interpretation. There are prizes for best models and the event is free to enter. Cllr McCarthy, who is heading up the event, noted “The project is ten years old this year and over the years, all of the participants have been very creative and innovative. This youth project complements the Discover Cork Schools’ Heritage Project and McCarthy’s Community Talent Competition”. In addition, Cllr McCarthy emphasises that places like the Lough are an important part of Cork’s natural and amenity heritage. For further information and to take part, please sign up at

    The Cork Harbour Festival (1-9 June) will bring together the City, County and Harbour agencies and authorities. It connects our city and coastal communities. Combining the Ocean to City Race and Cork Harbour Open Day, there are over 50 different events in the festival for people to enjoy – both on land and on water. The festival begins Saturday 1 June, with the 28km flagship race Ocean to CityAn Rás Mór. Join thousands of other visitors and watch the hundreds of participants race from Crosshaven to Blackrock to Cork City in a spectacular flotilla. Cllr McCarthy noted: “During the festival week embark on a journey to explore the beautiful Cork Harbour – from Douglas Estuary to Roches Point – and enjoy free harbour tours, sailing tasters, open days at heritage sites, and lots more; we need to link the city and areas like Blackrock and the Marina, Douglas estuary and the harbour more through branding and tourism. The geography and history of the second largest natural harbour in the world creates an enormous treasure trove, which we need to harness, celebrate and mind”.

A Year in Review: Heritage, Memory & Culture in Cork, 2018

January 2018, A Light in the Winter: Lord Mayor’s Tea Dance at Cork City Hall, with the Cork Pops Orchestra under the baton of Evelyn Grant, with Gerry Kelly, and singer Keth Hanley; next tea dance on 27 January 2019.

Lord Mayor's Tea Dance, Cork City Hall, January 2018

February 2018, What Lies Beneath: Archaeological discoveries on the proposed Event Centre site by Dr Maurice Hurley and his team are revealed at packed out public lectures; they unearth objects and housing dating to the 11th and 12th Century AD; there is an ongoing exhibition in Cork Public Museum in Fitzgerald’s Park.

March 2018, Upon the Slopes of a City: Storm Emma creates a winter wonderland.

Snow on St Patrick's Hill, Cork, March 2018

April 2018, A Safe Harbour: Cork Community Art Link do another fab display of the Cork Coat of Arms on the Grand Parade providing a brill entrance to Cork World Book Fest 2018.

 Cork Community Art Link, Cork Coat of Arms, Grand Parade, Cork, April 2018

May 2018, The Truth of History: A reconstruction at UCC of a fourth class cottage from the times of Ireland’s Great Famine laids bare the realities of everyday life for many people. It was built to coincide with Cork hosting the National Famine Commemoration at UCC.

Reconstruction at UCC of a mid 19th century fourth class cottage,  May 2018

June 2018, The Challenges of the Past: Charles, Prince of Wales, visits Cork.

Prince Charles, Cork City Hall, June 2018

July 2018, Shaping a Region: US artist Tamsie Ringler begins pouring the molten ore for her River Lee iron casting sculpture at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork.

US artist Tamsie Ringler begins pouring the molten ore for her River Lee iron casting sculpture at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork, July 2018

August 2018, The Beat of Community Life: Ballinlough Summer Festival organised by Ballinlough Youth Clubs at Ballinlough Community Centre reaches its tenth year; its Faery Park and Trail also grows in visitor numbers.

Ballinlough Summer Festival organised by Ballinlough Youth Clubs at Ballinlough Community Centre reaches its tenth year. August 2018


September 2018, On The Street Where You Live: Douglas Street AutumnFest brings businesses and residents together once again for a super afternoon of entertainment, laughter and chat. The ongoing project wins a 2018 national Pride of Place award later in December 2018; & a new mural by Kevin O’Brien and Alan Hurley of first City Librarian, James Wilkinson, who rebuilt the city’s library collections after the Burning of Cork, 1920.

Douglas Street AutumnFest, September 2018

967b. Picture of new James Wilkinson mural on Anglesea Street

October 2018, The Playful City: Cork’s Dragon of Shandon is led by a host of playful characters and the citizens of the city.

Dragon of Shandon, Cork, October 2018

Marina Walk, Cork, October 2018

November 2018, Lest We Forget: Marking the centenary of Armistice day at the Fallen Soldier Memorial on the South Mall for the over 4,000 Corkmen killed in World War 1, led by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn.

Marking the centenary of Armistice day at the Fallen Soldier Memorial on the South Mall for the over 4,000 Corkmen killed in World War 1, 11 November 2018

December 2018, A City Rising: the Glow Festival on the Grand Parade & in Bishop Lucey Park attracts large numbers of citizens and visitors to Ireland’s southern capital.

The Glow Festival on the Grand Parade & in Bishop Lucey Park attracts large numbers of citizens and visitors to Ireland's southern capital, December 2018


Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s Comments, Cork City Council Budget Meeting, 15 November 2018

Lord Mayor,

Can I thank the CE, the Finance Officer John Hallahan and Cllr Martin, the chair of the Finance Functional Committee for their work on this draft annual budget book.

History is being made this evening as this marks the last budget of over 60 years of the city in its current size. But within the word history are the words Hi Story. And the realities of our future story are mapped out in this document this evening.

At the 2020 budget meeting next November 2019 the members of the Council will budget for 210,000 people and a city five times more in size with more challenges and more calls for funding. This City is ready to take on the challenge of an expanded city. I firmly believe our directors of the various service directorates are ready for the transition and added work. I might clash with them at times and call for more from them on certain elements, but I always respect their frankness and honesty on what can and can’t be done whilst outlining their pride of their staff and their vision of the future.

Reading through the various sections you can see the strengths of our directorates and the ongoing work programmes – the 30 per cent of our income spent on Housing with several hundred social housing constructs coming on stream in the next two years – 17 per cent on roads with several construction and enhancement projects ongoing.

I have been vocal that our staff at the housing desk everyday at reception, community wardens and homeless outreach team are collecting the voices of citizens and acting upon them for those who need support in the accommodation sector. I do believe that once the city expands that much work needs to be done on where we can build mixed housing projects.

On roads, I believe firmly that the city has seen nothing yet in terms of traffic problems as the economic bounce continues to reach citizens on the ground. I am content that we are on the right track regarding our mobility measures but I am going to take this opportunity this evening to re-iterate strongly my call for more parking incentives and marketing measures. It has also become clear that there has been a break down in communication between the small trader and the Council, where much work needs to be done to resolve it.

When you read through service divisions such as water services – you can see the extent of the drainage operation and maintenance, you can see read about the economic development programmes and the depth of the EU programmes we are part of.

I have been vocal that this city needs to be more aware of its southern capital position and being a European Regional Hub. So I am proud that members of staff have got stuck into a range of Interreg projects from start-ups to social innovation plus from a budget perspective the added funding the city can garner from EU urban funding projects.

In environmental services, a glance through the draft budget you can find out about waste planning, recycling measures, the great work of the Lifetime Lab Education Programme and Fire Department. I think sometimes we don’t always state that this is a budget not only about services but a budget for those who carry out tasks and who want their wish list answered.

In recreation and amenity, you can read about our tourism projects in Elizabeth Fort and Shandon, the myriad of festivals, arts projects, libraries projects, capital park projects. I have been vocal to get Tramore Valley Park open plus have a strong Urban Forestry programme. I am happy that we are edging more and more towards them.

And you can also read about agriculture, health & welfare and aspects such as our ongoing work on the expansion of the boundary.

Indeed, from this budget document you can see the range of work that Cork City Council does to make a living city – it is clearly outlined in this document this evening. It is a very difficult task to respond to the myriad and myriad of asks of customers and citizens. Those in the County suburbs worried about inclusion in the city can from this document see clearly that Cork City Council has a vision. We have the ambition. We have the work ethic. Ultimately, using our own wordage, We Are Cork. However, with that accolade comes much work and responsibility especially with the new canvass of satellite county areas entering Cork City next year.



UNESCO Conference – Cork Learning City 2017

   Cork has been successful in its bid to host the third UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities Conference in Sept. 2017. The two previous conferences were held in Beijing 2013 and Mexico 2015, each involved over 600 delegates from countries worldwide. The conference will be presented by UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning, held in Cork City Hall, from Sept 18th -20th 2017, supported by Cork City Council and Cork ETB hosted with its Learning City Project partners, UCC, CIT, and other agencies in the city.

Sept 20th Learning Festival Showcase Programme

This is a first for Ireland and for Europe:

    Cork is the only Irish city currently recognized by UNESCO for its excellence in the field of Learning, and was one of just 12 cities globally, and 3 in Europe, presented with inaugural UNESCO Learning City Awards in 2015. A case study of the city was published by UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL) in Unlocking the Potential of Urban Communities, Case Studies of Twelve Learning Cities also in 2015. The other two European cities are Espoo (Finland) and Swansea.

   Cork successfully bid against 3 other European cities to host the conference because of its track record. The international conference presents Ireland with a unique opportunity to further cement the reputation of the country and the city as a centre of excellence in education and learning. The UIL Directorate team visited Cork during the Lifelong Learning Festivals of 2015 and 2016 and selected the city following a strong bid prepared with the assistance of the Cork Convention Bureau who have recognised experience of hosting international conferences of this scale in the city previously.

European Opportunity for Elizabeth Fort

Cllr McCarthy: Crowd Control or Missed Opportunity

   Arising from the review of limiting tourists numbers at the English Market, Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has acknowledged the lesser numbers freeing up trade in the English Market but again makes the point of the opportunity to tell the story of Gastronomy in Cork City and Region; “there is a clear interest in the history of the market and in the food itself; there is a huge opportunity for the region to promote these stories. The English Market is a thriving food venue but some other venue should be developed close by to tell the story of the market viz-a-vis a small food museum and an opportunity to buy English Market hampers of food. The English Market INC can be more than just a market. There is an opportunity to push more of an international story. We can do more to push and showcase Failte Ireland’s food trails of Cork”.

“There are international gastronomy trails in several countries across the world and even college courses in colleges such as CIT which aim to reveal people and key influences in the historical development of regional gastronomy, and the evolution and social, cultural and economic influences of contemporary Irish cuisine and Irish culinary arts”.

“Apart from the physical market, we should also be championing its heritage and legacy in our city and region more in the form of a food centre or on a digital hub; at the moment in time, this is a missed opportunity”.

Kieran’s Comments, Cork: Towards an Atlantic Maritime Hub of Innovation

Speech given by Cllr Kieran McCarthy to Jim MacKinnon, City-County Expansion/ Merger advisory group under Jim MacKinnon,

February 2017

Cork: Towards an Atlantic Maritime Hub of Innovation
Cllr Kieran McCarthy

Mr MacKinnon you are very welcome to this chamber – it’s great to meet another geographer – where you took the planning route in Scotland, I took the cultural geography route to explore memory, narrative making and identity within case studies within this city – attempting to champion its history, heritage and its ambition. Both the planning and cultural are important branches of geography and embody principles of exploring space and place and the concept that place matters. We need to pursue sustainable place making and not only as elements of economic efficiency – we need to create places as part of society, integrated into society, and with a strong narrative, great story and persistent identity structure such as Cork possesses.

For the past two years, I have been fortunate to be an Irish member of the EU Committee of the Regions and am fortunate to have colleagues from Edinburgh and Glasgow and as far as Lerwick on the Shetland Islands. I have always appreciated the Scottish appreciation of the idea of place matters especially those which are marginalised and geographically disconnected from the heart of macro decision making. Indeed, there is much Scotland and Ireland have in common in cultural but also in believing in the power of place.

Being on the COR I am also a member of the Europe 2020 Strategic Monitoring Committee and Territorial Cohesion and EU Budget committee, both of which look at European Spatial planning frameworks and challenges within them. So, I get to regularly read, explore and critique policy and macro pictures and case studies of the importance of second tier cities such as Cork – and how to survive they need to tweak, brand and reposition themselves strategically in a very competitive European and global market of commerce. One gets to see that it is not a time for second tier cities to stay still or be diluted but an exciting time to explore their assets and to scale-up. I make this statement not only being involved in the European Capital of Innovation alumni project but also in the light of Cork City and the need not be diluted or scale down but the need to scale up. We need to reposition and capture its energy and expertise not only as a strategic gateway in the south of Ireland but also as a key hub in maritime north-west Europe.

Small Cities and Opportunities:

Cities, large and small, in the European Union are now more than ever before focussed on the idea they are becoming the representatives of member states.

Cities are the powerhouses of economic growth, innovation and employment opportunities.

Cities are the living environment for 72% of all Europeans. This percentage is expected to rise to 80% by 2050. The developments in the cities are increasingly indicative for the quality of human life.

Cities are facing ever greater social challenges in respect of the environment, transport and social cohesion. The Urban Agenda for the EU aims to address those challenges.

Cities ever before are seen as the glue that keep the EU together – regions alone cannot function without a central ambitious heart driving them.

Vast sums of structural funds are now being invested in cities and the public interest – to address poverty, housing, innovation, waste management, climate change measures and urban mobility.

Much of Cork City’s key infrastructure the last twenty years has been, for a large part, been funded by the EU – our new streetscapes, waste management, transport mobility, mechanisms and our larger public parks and amenities. We secure funds because we are an ambitious and strategic city with a vision for its future within a bigger picture – the city’s DNA is rooted in vision in its historical development in its past.

In the macro picture, cities are seen as stronger mechanisms that have population capacity, which can create better funding models. With cross-sectoral financial instruments, they can simplify use of funds, and combine funds to more possibilities – the larger the city the more funding it attracts.

Indeed, in the bigger picture towns in surrounding regions are seen as satellite hubs for developments of cities.
More and more collaboration is happening.

City-smart EU policies are sensitive to the needs of our urban areas, will enable and empower cities to deliver results that benefit all.
Well-performing cities benefit their surrounding areas, driving growth & innovation in our regions as well as Europe’s overall competitiveness.

This is apparent in projects such as Eurocities.

The eminent Eurocites project of 130 European cities marks that 3 out of 4 people in Europe live in urban areas.

Cities are drivers of Europe’s economy, frontline managers of social inclusion and key players in climate action – check out Cork City’s work on lifelong learning and the promotion of social inclusion. Cities are the key to Europe’s objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth – that if we don’t get it right in our cities, we won’t get it right at all.

Last November, Cork was able to host an international entrepreneurial network and win kudos at international level for it.

At this moment in time, a city must have a population of 250,000 to be a member and to become a key player within urban strategy – so Cork City is behind.

A Time to Scale Up:

Cork City has the opportunity to scale up and become an Atlantic Maritime Hub of strategic planning in areas such as enterprise innovation and education and skill building; that is the crossroads that Cork has the potential not only to scale up from Ireland’s southern capital – the opportunities for Cork City is to capitalise on historic good will and enhance its reputation as Europe’s oldest and leading port city, which has ideas and can compete with the best of them.

This ambition is clear as well in the smaller Atlantic Area European projects, we are currently pursuing under the guidance of our EU funding co-ordinator:

Atlantic Social Hub- Atlantic cooperation for the promotion of social innovation  (S.O. 1.1. Enhancing innovation capacity through corporation to foster Competitiveness), Ayuntamiento de Aviles

Atlantic Food Export-Business Cooperation to Increase Atlantic Food Products Exports Innovation  (S.O.1.2 Strengthening the transfer of innovation results to facilitate the emergence of new products, services and processes), Chamber of Agriculture of Dordogne

A4RES – Atlantic Area for renewable energies and energy storage systems, Fostering resource efficiency  (S.O. 2.1: Fostering Renewable Energies & Energy Efficiency)

AREAM – Agência Regional da Energia e Ambiente da Região Autónoma da Madeira

MMIAH – Recovery and valorization of maritime, military and industrial heritage of the aa coast, Biodiversity, Natural & Cultural Assets, (S.O. 4.2 Enhancing natural and cultural assets to stimulate economic development), Ayuntamiento de Ferrol

ODYSSEA ECO MOVEA – Ecomobility and Green Growth model based on eco-innovation triple helix, Resource Efficiency  (S.O. 2.2 Fostering green growth, eco-innovation and environmental efficiency), Public Ports Agency of Andalucia

Energy Bank – Energy bank: an efficient tool of alleviating energy poverty Resource Efficiency (S.O. 2.1: Fostering Renewable Energies & Energy Efficiency), Andalucian Institute of Technology

ADSA – Atlantic Digital Start Up Academy Innovation,  (Specific Objective 1.1 Enhancing innovation capacity through corporation to foster competitiveness), Technopôle Brest-Iroise

The potential for this city is enormous. It has the potential to be a really important player in the development of this country but also a trusted player in the Atlantic Region of the European Union. Such ambition should not be thrown onto the fire of efficiency but should be allowed grow with the proper and most effective framework in place.

Many thanks for coming here this afternoon.