Cork residents gathered outside the City’s Grand Parade Library to demand the legalization of abortion this afternoon.
The event which lasted for two hours included a march from Grand Parade to Parnell Place, Patrick’s Street and back. Speakers from various organizations also spoke to protesters.
Union of Students in Ireland President, Annie Hoey, was the first talker of the event. Hoey compared today’s protest to marriage referendum protests in Cork and said:” We do not need to call for a referendum anymore, we are having a referendum.”
Hoey encouraged everyone to get registered to vote in the long-awaited 8th Amendment referendum.
Liz Madden of Cork Feminista was the second speaker of the protest. “ Statistic from the U.K. Government shows that 3000 Irish women have traveled to the UK to access abortion,” said Madden to the crowd. Madden counted poverty, being underage, being in unhealthy relationships, dealing with mental issues as some of the reasons for why women are willing to travel to the United Kingdom to access abortion. “There are many reasons why women want to have an abortion, and it’s not even our place to ask,” added Madden.
Actress, comedian, and writer Tara Flynn also spoke to the crowd. Flynn said that since her experience with abortion (having to travel to Netherlands to access abortion) she has become involved in this campaign.
“Anti-choice rhetoric has had the floor all to itself. That’s why we need to let people know what exactly pro-choice means. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It is pro-facts, pro-reality, and pro-kindness. It is pro-pregnant people from every class and background,” added the Irish comedian.
After the rally, more people spoke to the crowd including a South African asylum seeker who had traveled to Ireland while pregnant and was shocked to find out that abortion was illegal in the country. “ It was a huge culture shock for me because where I come from in South Africa, abortion is legal. It has been since 1994.”
Eli Doliver from University College Cork’s feminist society was the last speaker of the gathering. “ The government fails the women who leave the country to seek medical help. Last year alone more than 3000 women went to England and Wales to access abortion. Doliver called the fact that Irish women have to travel to England to seek abortion “an international disgrace” for the country.
Pro-life activists also stood behind with their banners and displayed their objection throughout the event.
One Pro-life activist crashed the pro-choice rally and was trying to convince the protester that they are wrong. Abortion rights in Ireland were specially brought into the spotlight in 2015 and after the death of Savita Halappanavar. Halappanavar was a young dentist who died due to complications of a septic miscarriage after being denied an abortion.
Banners printed and advertised around the city by Diarmaid Ó Cadhla and his followers shames Cork people for not supporting the campaign for changing British street names in Cork.
The campaign was first started by Ó Cadhla back in October last year when the Cork man had not been appointed as a County Councillor yet.
The banners invite people to Ó Cadhla’s office located at 99 Douglas Street on June 27th to discuss the issue. This meeting is part of series of sessions devoted to changing British street names in Cork, such as Victoria’s Cross, Marlborough Street, etc. Inside O’Cadhla’s Meetings
Ó Cadhla’s meetings usually take place in his tiny office at 99 Douglas Street. Corkonians who attend the meetings are usually older citizens. The same group of his supporters regularly attend the meetings – except for people who attend out of curiosity or to object the cause.
This campaign along with the Irexit activism has given Ó Cadhla a considerable amount of publicity lately, helping him to get elected as Cork County Councillor from Cobh.
Just a few months ago the Councillor was detained on charges of vandalism when the Gardaí caught him painting on British street signs of the city. Ó Cadhla claims he was verbally abused by the Gardaí during an alleged two hours questioning.
In an exclusive interview with The Logical Radical last year, Ó Cadhla painted a gloomy image of the country and promoted nationalistic ideas.
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla Independent Councillor for Cobh, set the EU flag on fire in front of the City Hall this evening.
Ó Cadhla who was surrounded by dozens of his supporters and bystanders spoke to them before setting the EU flag on fire.
Counting examples of other Europen Union countries Councillor Ó Cadhla said:” We’ve seen the heated debate in France and Holland, we know European Union membership is a red hot issue,” before going to praise Italy’s nationalist party for promising to hold a referendum on leaving the EU (Italexit) if elected in the next general election.
Ó Cadhla counted the entrance of the United Kingdom the main reason behind Ireland’s joining the EU back in 1973. ” We are going to modernize you, they said. What has happened? We now have the highest levels of homelessness since the Great Famine,” said O’Cadhla blaming country’s housing crisis on the European Union Membership.
” We have a lack of future for young people, every day is filled with anxiety. Senior citizens are afraid to get sick, so they’d be left on hospital trolleys. This is what modernization has brought us!”
Ó Cadhla finished his speech in Gaelic language and set the EU’s flag on fire in front of the City Hall to his supporters’ delight. He then invited his supporters to his office at 99 Douglas Street to have ” many cups of tea.”
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla who considers himself an independent politician had made news recently when he got arrested on charges of vandalism while painting on British street signs in Cork. Ó Cadhla was released after a couple of hours of questioning by the gardaí.
He was also briefly jailed for refusing to disclose his campaign donations for his unsuccessful run in Ireland’s 2011 general election. The jail time was due to his refusal to pay a 300 Euro fine.
He is currently serving as Councillor for Cobh in Cork County Councill.
The second edition of Cork Loves Music event will kick-start on 27th of April in Patrick’s Quay’s Village Hall Vintage Shop.
The evening of talks and live performances will feature writer and Editor Jamie Coughlan former radio programming director Colm O’Sullivian, and music bloggers Gary Meyler and Siobhán “Shiv” Brosnan.
Lowli, Spekulativ Fiktion & JusMe and Circuits of Heaven are going to perform live music at the event.
The changing faces of music journalism, the place of Irish artists in foreign and domestic media and media relations policies for artists and producers are among the topics that will be discussed at Thursday night’s event, according to the announcement published on the event’s social media page.
Mike McGrath-Bryan Music journalist and one of the main organizers of the event said that he is hoping to expand the knowledge of art and music in the community with these series of events.
“Local, interesting acts are the ones that we choose,” said McGrath –Bryan about the organizers’ preference in selecting the event’s acts.
McGrath-Bryan also described the first Cork Loves Music event as an introduction to these series of events that would hopefully “lead to larger ones.”
Music journalist Jamie Coughlan who is also a guest speaker at the event described his concern for addressing the issues in the music industry and starting a dialogue between “people from different sides of the industry” as the primary motivations behind his participation in the event.
Coughlan believes that the exchange of insights between people from the sector is the most significant opportunity that the event is providing for the individuals involved in the music industry. The journalist is hopeful that such talks would take place all over the country.
The last Cork Loves Music event was held back in February at Coughlan’s Live. Young, budding musicians performed in the February’s event. Journalists such as Irish Examiner’s Ellie O’Byrne and also First Music Contact’s (FMC) CEO Angela Dorgan were the event’s guest speakers of the previous gathering.
The event first started in September last year as part of TEDx talks and got expanded following its success.
Nicola Brandonisio’s apartment window opens to a large-scale concrete building in Cork’s city center called Sample Studios. Being a researcher at Tyndall National Institute his mind is always preoccupied with data and research progress. “I like to start the day feeling calm and happy considering the amount of work I have to do during the day, but I look out the window every morning and I see this giant ugly building. It really depresses me,” says the young researcher.
On the busy desk of Marcus Mulvihill at the glass building of Cork City Hall erasers, pencils and numerous pencil-drawn sketches make the visitor mistaken it for an artist’s desk. Asked why not completely switch to a computerized design, Mulvihill smiles and says that he finds drawing on paper “more pleasurable.”
That is the story of Cork. A city that has its fair share of unsightly buildings but also has architects who draw her pretty structures on paper in hope of passing them by in real life one day, looking just as they envisioned them to be. But right now the old Sample Studios unknowingly ruins a beautiful morning for a young researcher, every day.
Ironically, Sample Studios is now a semi-operational art studio that is going to be completely closed in the unknown future. The artist residents of the former tax office have tried to give it a better look by drawing graffiti on the building’s old entry and parking walls. The building has or used to have a white coat of paint as dark patches have emerged upon its concrete surface.
Sample Studios is not the only building in Cork that has aged badly and Cork residents find it a “depressing site” to look at. If you go to St. Patrick Street on a Sunday afternoon and ask everyday people to name the least aesthetically pleasing buildings in the city you’ll get a long list of answers: Gardner House on South Mall, the Fire Station, Garda Station, the library- this last one might surprise you since Cork Library has competed in the category of People Choice Awards for Architecture at Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland’s (RIAI) annual Architecture Competition in 2016.
City architect Marcus Mulvihill blames fear of change for the functional, simple designs of some of Cork’s buildings. “I think the reason why there are so many white, bland designs in Cork is that we’ve become a developer-driven society and most people are in fear of doing anything that isn’t standard and normal. So we stick to the most neutral designs as much as possible.” Mulvihill thinks that regrets and what ifs after every project are an inseparable part of a city architect’s job. “You’re strongly encouraged to stick with the average and mundane for the sake of a quick and easy fix,” says Mr. Mulvihill.
Looking at the history of Cork architecture one can find stories of hope, ruined beauties, and risings from the ashes. Cork Opera House has such story in its long history. Originally called “The Athenaeum”, the building was built in 1855. Irish architect Sir John Benson along with his British colleague C.J Phipps were the designers of “The Athenaeum”. Their design follows a style that is close to Neo-Classical architecture. Renamed to “The Munster Hall” in 1875, it became known as the “Cork Opera House” we all know today in 1877.
Burnt down in 1955, the beloved building stood there burnt, ugly and looking disheveled for almost a decade, only to regain its beauty in 1965 thanks to one of the most famous – arguably the most creative as well – Irish architects Michael Scott. The building got a modern makeover in the 20th century when it was renovated in 2003. Cork-based architecture firm Murray O’Laoire Architects designed a huge shiny facade for it that has connected all three floors of the place together from a visual standpoint. The exterior changes were fundamental: stone entrance, tower-like components, and wooden doors. The building is currently going under development again.
The English Market is another old building that is going to get a new look. Mulvihill and his colleagues at Cork City Hall envision a glass ceiling for the tourist-favorite spot. The Victorian style designed market has been around since 1610. However, the “covered market” we all know today was built in 1786. Just like the Opera House, English Market is a survivor of fire (1980 and 1986 fires) and has been restored twice. Both restoration processes remained loyal to the original Victorian architecture of the market.
The market is also getting a new neighbor as construction work on the site of the former Cinema Capitol is almost finished and a new modern building with a chocolate brown clock on its top has emerged in its place. Wilson Architecture is the firm behind the design of the soon-to-be five-storey retail and office complex. The sharp contrast of modernism and tradition between the two neighbors is an interesting sight to look at. It is like watching tradition gasping for air while Capitalism swiftly inhales oxygen into its massive lungs.
Irish architecture has gone through many styles and movements. From towers and castles in the medieval Ireland to the reasonable forms of Palladian architecture in the early 18th century, architecture in Ireland has come a long way. Cork is a city that has at least one structure from most architecture movements. Cork City Hall that has been designed by Jones and Kelly in the early 1930’s keeps the light of Georgian architecture bright, while English Market originally designed by Sir John Benson is a constant reminder of Victorian architecture. Traces of 1950 to 1970’s modernist movement such as the controversial Brutalist architecture can still be seen in the old houses at Douglas and Mayfield.
It is true that Ireland has lost some of her most talented architects such as Michael Scott and Andrew Devine (who had studied under Frank Lloyd Wright). However, there’s still place for creativity and art in Cork’s buildings while there are architects like globally- recognized John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell who are still alive and working today. They do not like the idea of specifying their style, in their own words they like to design buildings that are “strangely familiar”, (novel but free of intimidation).
University College Cork’s Lewis Glucksman gallery was one of their projects. Finished in 2005, the building stands on the edge of the college. It is raised among the trees in a series of twists and turns and has a calming view of both up and down the river. O’Donnell and Tuomey decided not to worry about measuring the space between the trees and let the building stand free among them as to create an illusion of turning. It is as if the Glucksman plays a mediatory role between two places: the campus and the city. It turns to keep an eye on Cork but turns to the college again. The gallery’s café has also a unique feature, in that it appears interconnected with the surroundings outside the building. As in most O’Donnell and Tuomey Avant-garde projects the concept behind Glucksman is also open to interpretation.
There is no doubt that bringing art into architecture requires a great amount of funding from the government. Dublin-based architects Marcus Donaghy and Will Dimond of Donaghy + Dimond Architects, learned this fact the hard way as their artistic vision for West Cork Art Center (Uillinn) won the favor of jurors at a 2009 international competition but encountered many difficulties to come to life as the country hit the recession and the promised funds could not be delivered on time. Even today, the digital illustration of their design for the Uillinn appears slightly different from the actual building.
As the aftermath of the recession, the homeless crisis started to worsen in the country and is still ongoing today. Does that mean designing artistic, beautiful buildings would be wrong when there are so many people that don’t have a simple roof over their heads? Marcus Mulvihill does not believe that there’s any correlation between the two issues. Calling them two separate issues this architect thinks that building beautiful buildings does not have to be more expensive than building ugly ones, “if you do everything in a proper way.”
But it might not be as simple as that. Some architects strongly believe that the government contracting system (GCC contracts) is limiting the control of architects over the final outcome of projects. Mulvihill confirms this argument and believes that after the architects are done designing the buildings; contractors take over and might sacrifice the artistic aspects of the building for delivering a low-cost project in order to increase profit margins.
The reflection of buildings in Cork’s River Lee fools the daydreamers as a watercolor painting. Construction workers talk and laugh together after a long working day. The shadow of art dances on some buildings and dies little by little on others. That is the story of Cork City and her buildings.
Solidarity party TD Mick Barry spoke to party members and supporters at the Imperial Hotel last night, ahead of Jobstown trials.
Re-branding Anti Austerity Alliance
The public meeting in which Cllr. Kieran Mahon was a speaker as well was focused on the party’s reactions to Jobstown trials and the controversial issue of water charges.
TD Mick Barry started the meeting by explaining the reason behind his party’s recent name change from Anti Austerity Alliance to Solidarity. “We changed our name to Solidarity. The reason for that is that we want a name which doesn’t just refer to economic issues but refers to a broad range of the campaigns that we are engaged in. In other words, not just the water charges and the campaign for pay- justice but the campaign for the repeal of the 8th amendment and abortion rights for women in Ireland,” said the Solidarity TD.
Fine Fail and Fine Gael to Blame for Water Charges Abolition Postponement
As it was expected the water charges was the focal point of the meeting. TD Barry informed the audience about the actions that has been taken in the Dail regarding the issue. “The water committee that’s been established in the Dail has postponed its decision until April the 14th. Blaming Ireland’s two major parties Fine Fail and Fine Gael TD for the postponement TD Barry went on to say:” They have joined forces and have engineered a majority for the postponement. Our representative on the Committee (TD Paul Murphy) has opposed their decision.” The TD refers to a decision that can abolish water charges once and for all.
More Positions than the Kamasutra!
TD Barry praised people’s protests against water charges and counted that as the main reason behind the potential abolition of the proposed law. He described the movement against water charges something more than that the raised issue. “ Enda Kenny was right when he said it was not just about water. It was about drawing a line in the sand and saying : no more austerity for working people,” said the solidarity TD.
TD Barry was quick to speak of his party’s distrust in Fine Fail and Fine Gael. “ They are trying to pose as the champion of working people and campaign for the abolishing of water charges. But we remember full well that very first party to raise the idea of charging households for water in 2010 was the Fine Fail party. They deny it but the facts refute their denial. “According to TD Barry the Irish Examiner has gained accesses to cabinet papers which prove that Fine Fail ministers proposed a law that would charge households at a rate of 500 Euros for water, but they’ve changed their positions many times on the issue as the protests broke out in the country.
TD Barry quoted one of his colleagues in the Dail that has jokingly said to Fine Fail members that “they had more positions on the issue than the kamasutra!” He described the main danger of the issue the so-called “ Excessive use charge” . He said that his party believes that “ there must be no charge whatsoever for water.”
After TD Barry’s speech Cllr. Kieran Mahon spoke to people and invited them to participate in the “ Jobstown is not Guilty” rally that takes place in Dublin’s Liberty Hall on the first day of April.
In October 2016, a 17-year-old boy was found guilty of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and her adviser back in November 2014 while protesting against water charges in Jobstown. The then 15- year-old boy blocked them from leaving a graduation ceremony in Jobstown in Dublin by standing in the way of two Garda cars.
Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six others are set to stand trial on April 24, with further trials to take place in June and April 2018.
The jam-packed room at Coughlan’s Live proved that Cork truly loves music. The organizers were thrilled about this fact and kept telling each other what a “good sign” it was.
After a brief introduction by famous music reviewer Mike McGrath , Ghostking , started the show. Matt Corrigan the singer and song-writer of this solo act refers to his genre as “post-mortem” . Corrigan who appeared nervous at first delivered a good performance at the end of the day. More importantly the audience seemed to like him very much as he received a warm applause from them.
However, Silk was by far the best act of the night as their song “Switchblades don’t Sleep” was so catchy and different that compelled some audience members to shout “one more time”!
No Place for the Ordinary Music Consumer
Ellie O’Byrne, one of the speakers of the event asked the audience members how many of them were music reviewer, fans of certain genre of music, producers or even aspiring musicians themselves.
At the end, it was proved that all the audience members or at least most of them did belong to one of those categories. O’Byrne then explained that she was asking these questions to make a point that these events are not supposed for ordinary music consumers such as taxi drivers. Trying to get everybody involved was the main point that this journalist tried to make.
History of the Event
#CorkLovesMusic was first presented by TEDx CorkSalon last year as a two night performance and talks in Coughlan’s Live. The first night of which took place last night.
Even though Coughlan’s live is a humble place with limited space and equipment but the audience had a very good time on the whole, this Wednesday. Mike McGrath music reviewer who also hosted the night , followed the talks and performances sitting on the floor, since there was not enough space for putting more chairs in the small room at Coughlan’s live.
All in all, the up- and- coming performers found a place to showcase their talent (and probably attract a music producer) at the event and this is never a bad thing.