Kieran McCarthy is a born and bred Cork man. Growing up in Ballinlough he developed a great love for his hometown and today remains dedicated to promoting the past, present and future of this city and region.
After attending Colaiste Chríost Rí, Kieran went on to study Archaeology and Geography at University College Cork. On completing his Joint Honours BA degree, he went on to undertake a Masters in Geography. Even after devoting four years to furthering his knowledge of the city, Kieran wasn’t satisfied to leave his love of all things Cork and has completed a PhD on the River Lee Valley and the importance of remembering, identity and protecting our historic landscapes.
Kieran’s commitment to instilling a sense of pride in the community is demonstrated through his involvement in a well-established school projects currently running in Cork. The ‘Discover Cork: Schools’ Heritage Project’, was founded by Kieran in 2003 and is now annually implemented in 50 schools across the city and county. Other initiatives amongst our youth include his Community Talent Competition, Art Competition, Model Boat Project and his involvement in the foundation of Cork City Musical Society. He also created a new series of walking tours across the south east ward extending out from his City Centre tours. These ward walking tours focus on the landscapes and memories within 10 areas, which one can read about on his dedicated Cork heritage website www.corkheritage.ie or even better come out on one and participate and share your own memories and thoughts.
Kieran has also written nineteen books dedicated to Cork and its region and has published a wide range of articles including his well-known weekly column in the Cork Independent ‘Our City Our Town’ which has built a loyal following over the past 17 years. Kieran believes in living life to the full and when he has any spare time he enjoys horse-riding, acting, singing, photography, writing and getting involved in community activities. He is also an avid fan of the arts. His many achievements include receiving the President’s Gold Gaisce medal award, the President’s Cup for singing in the Feis Maitiú, and the Chief Scout Award.
Kieran was elected to Cork City Council in June 2009 and May 2014 as an Independent City Councillor. He sits on the Housing, Planning and TEAM (Tourism, Events, Arts and Marketing) functional committees, the TEAM Strategic Policy Committee, the City Council’s Arts Committee and Heritage Forum and the Cork-Coventry twinning sub committee.
In January 2015, Kieran was appointed by the Minister for the Environment to be an Irish member on the EU’s Committee of the Regions (an opinion body of local authorities and regional assemblies) to the European Parliament. He holds membership of the Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) and has personal interests in the new Skills Agenda, informal and formal education, lifelong learning, the Digital Single Market, smart specialisation, socio-cultural effects of IoT. He is Rapporteur on the opinion:
Digitising European Industry, http://cor.europa.eu/en/activities/opinions/Pages/opinion-factsheet.aspx?OpinionNumber=CDR%202884/2016
Kieran also sits on the Commission for Territorial Cohesion and EU Budget (Coter) with personal interests in the representation of small cities and rural regions in Cohesion Policy, and the dissemination to EU citizens of the work of EU structural funds He also sits on the EU 2020 Monitoring Platform which monitors c.180 EU regions giving a voice to local and regional authorities in the work of the EU Commission and EU Parliament.