Kieran’s Cork History Summer Course, CPD, Cork Education Support Centre


Kieran's Summer Course, Class of August 2014, in association with Cork Education Support Centre



Education Course (2002-2014)

C/O Cork Education Support Centre

Tutor: Kieran McCarthy

(A1) Introduction:

This course is an introduction to Cork History and will present several aspects of the Core Strand Framework of the Primary History Curriculum in a local context. The course is only for teachers as part of continuous professional development with the Cork Education Support Centre and the Department of Education.

Key local historic issues such as everyday life, society, work and culture (e.g. home life, literature, technologies, group relationships) in Cork’s past will be explored. In particular, Early Christian Cork, Viking Age Cork, the Anglo-Norman walled town of Cork (Cork’s Medieval World) and Georgian –Victorian Cork will be examined.

This course will discuss ideas on how to present Cork local history to students in particular in senior classes. What issues should a teacher and student first explore when approaching the study of Cork History ? What are the local historic issues that are most relevant to the history curriculum in senior classes ? What are the key historic issues that have formed the modern city of Cork ?

(A2) Aims of Course:

This course comprises lectures, fieldtrips and workshops, and explores key historical issues in Cork’s development. A successful course should provide the teacher with:

· Increased self-awareness of the importance of identity, respect, and how to develop a sense of place for one’s city.

· Provision of an up-to-date appraisal of the time-scale of the physical, social and cultural development of Cork City and surrounding areas.

· Provision of several ideas on how to pursue local history in the classroom – through use of the lecture notes; workshop outcomes; how to use Cork History in the context of the wider primary school history curriculum.

· Above all, the teacher should see why local history is purposeful; how it can add to the identity of the child and provides the child with enthusiasm, appreciation, sense of place and pride for one’s home area.

(A3) Methodology of Course:

The cores themes of this summer course are addressed in my own Inside Cork History Column, Our City, Our Town and associated books, e.g Discover Cork (O’Brien Press); and in my locally co-ordinated Discover Cork: School’s Heritage Project, which provides a base for the completion of projects on any aspect of Cork’s past in Cork City and County schools.

The delivery of the lectures will be aided by the use of a large personal slide collection on aspects of Cork’s past along with maps, overheads and local history projects from the latter mentioned school’s history project. Handouts and full bibliography on other sources will be provided. The fieldtrips and workshops will also offer further context to the course.

Teachers, July 2010, Architecture of Cork quiz

Teachers on fieldwork at the Cork Vision Centre

(A4) Content of Course:

20 hours – 5 days @ 4 hours each day to include lectures and four field-trips / walking tours

Day 1:

– Introduction, Early Christian and Viking Age Cork

Morning Session – Classroom, 9.30-11.30 a.m.:

(1a) Introduction, aims, methodology and content of course

(1b) Exploring values and practice in heritage

(1c) Cork History: Issues within the public educational arena

(1d) Revised Primary School Curriculum – Context of local studies

(1e) Case Study: Discover Cork: School’s Heritage Project

(1f) Helpful Resources

Afternoon Session– Classroom, 12-2 p.m.:

(1f) Early Christian Period and St. FinBarre

(1g)Viking Cork: History, settlement and society

Day 2:

– Early Christian Cork Fieldtrip

plus Introduction to the Anglo-Norman Walled Town of Cork

Morning Session –Fieldwork, meeting at St. FinBarre’s Cathedral at 9.30 a.m.( to 11.30 a.m.):

(2a) Early Christian Cork – Discussion, and walking tour of St. FinBarre’s Cathedral; Viking Cork – Barrack Street, South Main Street (Viking Settlement)

Afternoon Session –Classroom, 12-2 p.m.:

Introduction to the Walled Town of Cork:

(2b) The advent of the Anglo Normans and the creation of the Walled Town of Cork; archaeology of walls, towers, streets, houses.

Day 3

The Walled Town of Cork: Further Characteristics

Plus Medieval Cork Fieldtrip

Morning Session – Medieval Cork Fieldtrip – Meeting at Chorus Multi Channel, Georges Quay at 9.30 a.m.( to 11.30 a.m.):

(3a) Discussion on St. Nicholas Church, Red Abbey, South Gate Drawbridge,

South Main Street, Christ Church, Crosses Green, Bishop Lucey Park, Castle Street, North Main Street, St. Peter’s Church, Skiddy’s Castle Site, and Kyrl’s Quay.

Afternoon Session– Classroom 12-2 p.m.:

The Walled Town of Cork – Further Characteristics:

(3b) General history, trade, merchants, tower houses, abbeys

(3c) Seventeenth century politics, King Henry VIII, Elizabethan Wars, Elizabeth

Fort, James I, Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Charles II, James II, Siege of Cork 1690

Day 4:

Eighteenth Century Cork: Expansion and Reclamation plus

Nineteenth Century Cork: Emergence of the Modern Cityscape

Morning Session– Georgian Cork Fieldtrip; meeting at the Gate Cinema, at 9.30 a.m. (to 11.30 a.m.):

(4a) Fieldtrip highlighting eighteenth and nineteenth century Cork; discussion on

Shandon, Butter Market, St. Patrick’s Bridge, Crawford Art Gallery

Afternoon Session– Classroom, 12-2 p.m.:

Victorian Cork / Cork in the 1800s:

(4b) Act of Union, Era of Napoleonic Wars, typhoid and cholera epidemics, buildings and churches, Fr. Mathew, Impact of Great Famine in Cork

(4c) Post Famine churches and monuments, railways, slums

(4d) Re-imagining Cork: Photographing Cork 100 years ago

Day 5:

– Fieldtrip highlighting features of Nineteenth Century Cork

plus Twentieth Century Cork

Morning Session: Classroom (to 11.30 a.m.):

Cork in the 1900s:

(5a) 1900 to 1950 – slums, politics, 1926 Civic Survey, Suburban developments in

the 1930s -Gurranabraher, Turners Cross, Ballinlough, 1944 Manning

Robertson Report.

(5b) 1950 to beyond 2009 – Suburban developments – Lough, Ballyphehane,

Farranree, social housing, Cork Corporation development plans, Land Utilisation and Transport Study, Cork Area Strategic Plan

(5c) Reflections and Conclusions

Afternoon Session– Trip to Cork City Gaol, 12-2 p.m.:

(5d) Field trip to Cork City Gaol Heritage Centre; Meeting at the Heritage Centre, 9.30 a.m. (to 11.30 a.m.)

Kieran McCarthy B.A.,MPhil.

On behalf of Cork Education Support Centre,

The following notes were compiled from group workshops during the summer courses for July 2009-11

Fieldwork in South Presentation Convent

Workshop Question: What defines Cork as a place?

River valley, by its inhabitants/ people


Past & current history

Location (south of Ireland)

Influence of foreigners, Huguenots, Viking, Spanish, English etc

Christian influences (St. Finbarr, nuns, Christian brothers)

University city / town

Trade and merchants

Industry, e.g. Fords/ Dunlops, Butter Exchange etc.

Sport, GAA modern success – Rugby

Parochial city

Rich/ poor

Army Barracks


Sport – hurling/ football/ rugby/ athletic

Traditions – bonfire night

Water! A wet place

Colour red


Superiority complex of people

The real capital

People’s Republic of Cork

Beamish & Murphy’s


Tripe and Drisheen

Pig’s Head

Skirts and Kidneys

Tradition of Music


The Lough

Famous people – Jack Lynch, Roy Keane, Jimmy Barry Murphy, Christy Ring

West Cork Countryside – its affects on the city

Shandon, St. Finbarre’s & Churches

Cha & Miah


Limestone & Sandstone

Coat of arms

English market

Very strong sense of place – loyalty/ pride/ arrogance


Articulate people


Local language

North/ south divide


Workshop Question: If Cork was a type of person, what type of person would it be?

Self assertive






musical/ artistic,

sense of humour,

easy going


Open and closed



Family orientated

Criminal activity rising

Church going (change)




Loud / hyper

Witty/ sarcastic


Workshop Question: Early Origins & St. Finbarrr

Who were his parents?

What was his original name?

Who renamed him?

What was his new name?

What did his new name mean?

Where was one of St. Finbarr’s original oratories?

Where would find the source of the Lee

How did he get to Cork?

What was the landscape like?

Was Cork a good place to settle? (Pros and cons?)

What was the original name of Cork?

What were the houses made of?

What food did the people east?

How do we know?

Why are some of Cork’s buildings constructed of limestone and some of sandstone? Give examples of buildings built of both?

Can you name four/ five Cork places called after St. Finbarre – associated with St. Finbarre?

What is St. Finbarre’s feast day?

From what you know of him describe the kind of man St. Finbarre must have been? (strong, determined/ leader…?)

Fieldwork in South Presentation Convent

Workshop Question – Viking Age Cork:

When were the first Viking raids on Cork?

How frequently were the Viking raids?

Where can one see an example of a Round Tower?

How do we know that Viking Children played games – what type of games?

Did the Vikings eat well in Cork – prove? What food stuffs made up their Viking diet?

How they overcome flooding?

Why did people die so young?

If you as a child travelled back to Viking times in Cork – what would you like most of all / dislike most of all.

What tools/ materials did the Vikings used to build their homes?

What was wattle and daub?

Name some streets, places in cork with Viking names?

Name some other Viking settlements in Ireland

What evidence of trading has been found?

Look at a Viking map & a modern map of cork and see what they have in common?

What new ways of life/ technologies did the Vikings bring to Ireland (farmin/ house building…)

Describe a Viking house

Possible project topics

A day in the life of Cork City – Photographic record

A model of a building / area that is due for re-development

Bridges of Cork City

Church/ Cathedrals around the city

Roadways – then & now

Port of Cork – changes

Origins of streetnames, e.g. Keyser’s Hill

Fieldwork in Elizabeth Fort

Workshop Questions: St. Finbarre’s Cathedral

Where did they find a cannon ball?

Identify bible stories from the windows

Can you find family surnames you recognise on plaque?

How would you decorate pillars (v.plain)

List animals you can identify from art work – windows in church

Sketch coats of arms – suggest why there are family names on wall

Name skills used in church construction –what was the most difficult task – how did they overcome this problem

Using google – name some famous people connected with the church

Why would the “organ” problem not be a problem today?

Who was the architects and write three facts about him

What is the style?

What was his initial budget and what was its final cost?

Who were the main donors?

In what year was the Cathedral built?

Why is there gold writing on the walls?

For what cathedral was the angel designed?

For what Cathedral was the lectern designed?

Who appears on the pulpit?

What stories do the stained glass windows depict? (observe, discuss, recognise – rose windows, side windows)

What design is the window facing west?

What story does it tell?

Who sits in the oak carved throne?

Where in the Cathedral are the names of locals who died during WWI?

Where did Captain Travers and Travers die in battle?

What does the Union Jack on the Cain and Abel window symbolise?

What four types of marble were used in the construction & where did they come from?

How many organ pipes are there in the Cathedral?

Fieldwork in South Presentation Convent

Workshop – Way of life in Medieval Cork:

Q. The Way of Life in Medieval Cork – contrast how life was like then and now – Food, clothing, home, games, pastimes, education, chores???

Q. Contrast your parent’s occupation with the ones of long ago

Publican – brewer, teacher- housewife

Q. Life was very hard in medieval cork, do you agree?

No – no school?

Yes – you didn’t have a very nice house – lots of diseases, dependent on herbalists and local cures. Parents expected many of their children to die – diet limited, fruit and vegetables in short supply

Medieval town life:

What type of houses did the people live in?

Who lived in the walled town?

Who lived outside the town walls?

What type of occupations did people have?

If you had your choice of a trade, which would you choose? And why?

What games did children play?

Is there any evidence that they had pets in Medieval Cork?

How long did people live?

What did the people eat?

Design a menu for the family meals

Did the children go to school?

How did children under twelve spend its day?

What type of clothing did they wear?

What materials were used to make houses? Toys? Cooking implements? Clothes? Tools? Buttons?

What transport did they use?

What did you see at the quays every day? What kind of interesting visitors came to the port?

What was the role of the town crier/ executioner?

What was the fate of a criminal in Medieval Cork?

What were the changes in the city since the Middle Ages

Fieldwork, Elizabeth Fort

Workshop – Ideas for future projects:

History of School Project

Use of newsletters


Class photographs – interview grandparents about story of the photo


Plans of extensions

Gym – before and after

Sports Day

Oral history from teachers

Oral histories from neighbours, parents, grandparents, invited guests, librarian, caretaker of school

General work:

Local GAA, Tennis, Rugby clubs

Farmer’s Market Project – Long ago / today

Holidays – long ago / now

Junior Infants – visit to local church, phones through the ages

6th Class – panoramic view through school windows

3rd Class – St. Luke’s / Collins Barracks,Frank O’Connor – preparation / photos, walking tour, written project

History of school

Transport in the area

Architecture in the area

Model making e.g. Shandon, School, Church, Streetscape, spries, graveyard & dates on gravestones

Pairc Ui Rinn Project

Then & Now Photographic Comparison

A week in the life of… Photographic Record

Memories of grandparents (interviews), National Grandparents Day,

Classroom visit of local historian / older persons

Investigation of past industries / occupations of the locality

Develop a local quiz as a means of imparting information to children & creating awareness

Do a project on the history of local GAA club / soccer club etc.

Classroom museum – bringing in artefacts and display

125th anniversary of GAA project

History of Cork Showgrounds, Cork Munster Agricultural Society

Port of Cork – two different eras – 50’s and modern, compare and contrast

Project on Fords, 25 years since closure

Churches of Cork

Bishop Lucey Churhces, models and sketches

Cork to Midelton train line

Bridges of Cork

Pairc Ui Chaoimh

Pastimes on River Lee

Great Exhibition 1902

Street Furniture

Doorways / gates / entrances

Old City Walls, models/ sketches

School uniform / fashion

School equipment – nylon board, film strips, overhead projectors, interactive whiteboards

Older teachers/ younger teachers – memories, how teaching has changed

Picture from 2013 Summer Course:

Class of 2013 at the old workhouse building in St Finbarr's Hospital, Kieran's Summer Course, July 2013

Picture from 2012 Summer Course:

Teachers on Kieran's Cork Education Centre local history course, July 2012

Pictures from 2011 Summer Course:

Class of 2011, Kieran's Summer Course, July 2011

Workshop with Teachers, Kieran's Summer Course 2011

Workshop with teachers, Kieran's Summer Course, July 2011

Workshop with teachers, Kieran's Summer Course, July 2011

Workshop with teachers, Kieran's Summer Course, July 2011

Pictures from 2010 Summer Course:

Teachers, July 2010, St.Finbarre's Cathedral workshop

Teachers, July 2010, St.Finbarre's Cathedral workshop

Class of July 2010, Cork City Gaol workshop

Teachers, July 2010, Cork City Gaol workshop

Pictures from July 2009 Summer Course:

Kieran McCarthy, tutor, fieldwork on Cornmarket Street

South Presentation Convent, Douglas Street

Fieldwork, Elizabeth Fort

Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol

Class of July 2009