About Kieran McCarthy

 Kieran, Commitee of the Regions, EU Parliament, Brussels

  Kieran McCarthy is a born and bred Cork City 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, collective memory, identity and protecting our historic landscapes.

Local History Advocate:

  For the past twenty years, Kieran has written his well-known weekly column in the Cork Independent ‘Our City Our Town’ which has addressed the local history of Cork City but also the River Lee Valley and Cork Harbour. He has also written 25 books dedicated to Cork and its region. 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 25 schools across the city.

  He also created a new series of walking tours across the south east ward and across the city’s suburbs, extending out from his City Centre tours. These ward walking tours focus on the landscapes and memories within 23 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. He was awarded Cork Person of the month for his heritage work in January 2017.

Community Project Advocate:

   Other initiatives amongst our youth include his Community Talent Competition, Art Competition, Make a Model Boat Project and his involvement in the foundation of Cork City Musical Society.

Councillor Role:

   Kieran was elected to Cork City Council in June 2009, May 2014 and May 2019 as an Independent City Councillor. He sits on the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, the Culture, Community and Place-Making Strategic Policy Committee, the City Council’s Arts Committee, Heritage Forum and the Commemoration Committee.


Member, European Committee of the Regions: 

     In January 2015, Kieran was appointed by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government to be an Irish member on the European 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, science and innovation in regions and cities, cities and regions of the future, youth and sport, socio-cultural effects of IoT. He also sits on the COTER Commission (Cohesion Policy and Territorial Development) with interests in the role and voice of small cities within the EU and the EU Urban Agenda. He is Rapporteur on the opinion documents, Digitising European Industry, Building a European Data Economy and the EU Urban Agenda.


  • Chief Scout Award Recipient

  • An Gaisce Gold medal, President’s Award Recipient
  • Government of Ireland Scholar, Recipient of Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarship
  • Feis Maitiu Winner (President’s Cup and Gilbert and Sullivan singing categories)
  • Cork Person of the Month, January 2017
  • Mary Mulvihill Publication/ Media Award, Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland, 2019 for The Little Book of Cork Harbour (2019, History Press) and for championing cultural heritage.


   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.

Kieran’s Past Involvement in Community Projects:

    • Former member of Ballinlough Pastoral Council- working on various projects with other members including setting up a folk choir, annual carol service, parish social and being a youth representative for the Cork City South Deanery on the Diocese of Cork and Ross Pastoral Plan

    • Former Beaver Scout Leader in Ballinlough for 16 years plus Former scout involved in Ballinlough’s All Ireland Melvin win in 1992

    • Advisor and investor, Cork Community Radio, 2009

    • Former swimming instructor with Sunday’s Well Swimming Club, Douglas Pool

    • Actor  – appearing in a number of Cork productions on the Cork Opera House, Everyman Palace,  Cork Arts Theatre and Firkin Crane stages

  • Active member and sponsor of Cork-Kerry branch of Showjumping Association of Ireland -Amateur rider, indoor and outdoor gymkhana participant; 90cm, 1m classes

  • Founder of Cork City Musical Society