Cllr McCarthy: Lifelong Learning can have a Huge Ripple Effect, 24 March 2023

“The smallest idea on learning can have a huge ripple effect on someone’s life” noted Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy at the spring European Committee of the Regions plenary. During a debate with European Commissioner Dubravka Šuica on the 2023 European Year of Skills Cllr McCarthy highlighted the importance of lifelong learning and Cork’s ongoing work including its annual festival.

Speaking at the plenary Cllr McCarthy emphasised this week’s organisation of the annual lifelong learning festival with over 100 events and the motto of “investigate, participate, and celebrate”. 

Cllr Kieran McCarthy on the importance of promoting lifelong learning, COR Plenary, Spring 2023

Cllr McCarthy observed: “For me, yes, it’s important that jobs and human capital have a focus; but we not only need to build an economy, but also we need to build a society, and put focus on society building and building society capacity as well”.

“In my city, out of the lifelong learning festival, we’ve also created learning neighbourhoods. We’ve brought together an ecosystem of people with different interests, and I’ve seen first-hand in my own community the building of community capacity, building upon the sense of place-making, inclusiveness, and sense of empowerment”, Cllr McCarthy observed.

Cllr McCarthy concluded; “I think the smallest idea on learning can have a huge ripple effect on someone’s life, on a citizen, on someone maybe who hasn’t changed anything in their life for a while. I think one of the keywords that has been appearing is that the world is change, but I think to change as well you need to learn – we all need to learn – new abilities through life”. 

Cllr McCarthy’s upcoming Cork Lifelong Learning Festival Walking Tours:

Saturday 1 April 2023, An Introduction to the development of Cork, meet at Elizabeth Fort, Barrack Street 11.30am, in association with South Parish Learning Neighbourhood and fort activities on the day (free, duration: 30 minutes, no booking required).  

Saturday 1 April, Shandon Historical Walking Tour; meet at North Main Street/ Adelaide Street Square, opp Cork Volunteer Centre, 2pm (free, 2 hours, no booking required).  

Sunday 2 April, 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 (free, 2 hours, on site tour, no booking required).