This post is the second in an occasional series: The Re-Invention of Cork.
Cork's Evening Echo organised a pubic meeting in Cork yesterday. It was the second in a series. The topic was
Life in Cork in 2030 - transitional change required to deliver prosperity
According to the invitation, the speakers were
Dr. Aodh Quinlivan, College of Business and Law, UCC (Ph. D. in Public Administration, Department of Government, University College Cork). Dr. Quinlivan lectures at UCC, can present academic view of what change is required.
• Bob Savage, Vice President Managing Director EMC Ireland. As an Irish business leader, CEO of Cork Chamber Business of the Year, he understands what is required to deliver prosperity for Cork.
• Joe Gavin, City Manager has been responsible for the development of the city, is in a key position to discuss the debate topic.
• Simon Coveney T.D. Front Bench Fine Gael Spokesperson for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. As our publicly elected representative is well placed to present the views of the political arena.
I tweeted during the meeting.
Afterwards I thought it would be interesting to sort tweets out, so you could read them in order. What follows are my @omaniblog tweets unedited. There are a few later comments inserted in italics. It's all a bit messy...
During the meeting tweets came from people who follow me on Twitter: I've included their views.
Sitting in a fair crowd gathered to talk about the future of Cork. 5 men in suits on stage. Evening Echo organised this
#omanisnap Panel of Cork heads http://yfrog.com/em7lyj
Cork City Manager is here. He's the one I've been complaining about: the mess on our main bridge still there gathered fag ends
4 speakers each have 3 minutes each. One hour for questions from audience in Cork
Cork city manager outlines the things that will have happened in Cork by 2030. Lots of change coming: long list
Bob Savage EMC next. Disruptive change is what he expects. He speaks of his company's commitment to Cork: multinationals matter
EMC ask is for "innovation" & customers from Cork
Political Simon Coveney says what Cork does in next 3 years will determine all: smart, green, excellence his key words
[@Cork_Business Lol. I misquoted Simon Coveney: his third word was "connected"]
Look at Cork as 400,000 people not 130,000 small city: almost merge city & county Coveney speaks in questions
Last speaker the academic from UCC: he reads, public services are his key. 2022 report by IDA influenced his view: he imagines the future
Cork of the future debate: now we hear what failure would be like: social isolation. Academic imagines Lonely Planet disgust at Future Cork
Public discussion now: questions from floor: technologies allow Cork to be searched, is there excitement or fear about this potential?
City Manager is proud of city council website: no dissatisfaction there
I think it's a disgrace there is no woman on this panel imagining future of Cork. How could anyone design such an event and exclude women?
The good thing about this experience of being with Evening Echo debaters is that it shows me how strong conservatives are here
Cork is a big energy hub already says politician Coveney, urges more attention to this
Gerry Kelly local councellor speaks about city boundary, says it's not easy to talk about this with county authority
Simon Coveney says public simply wants services. Now more boundary chat
Natural resources man speaks up with a well prepared speech on Corrib gas, provoking challenge to Fine Gael
Is this meeting going to be hijacked by local councellors and passionate campaigners? Cork's future is controversial
seems a long way from Cork, I'm getting bored by this bit of the meeting
I hope EMC man speaks soon. I'd like to hear the views of business, certainly no more platform for politicians: we have too many of them
Question to academic & industrialist: are we on track with education for the future. We are losing ground in maths says EMC in Cork
Academic says the quality of writing from school students is not good enough. Also university people too focussed on research grants
: I wish uni 1st-Arts(Eng) covers works dealt with on N'lands Jnr.cert = students here take 3 modern EU languages ]
Question re multinationals: attracting them to Cork? I didn't know Cork was at a disadvantage in IDA plan
Do we still have NAMA
in 2030? Question from elderly man
[ @billywaters we will still have NAMA and the Quinn insurance levy and the Insurance Corp of Ireland 2% insurance levy from 1984 ]
Bloody hell NAMA is endemic. The man is right : how can we think outsude the NAMA box?
We'll have to continue with the NAMA project says Fine Gael speaker. Even "we have to stop wallowing in it" Cork's future
Now we are on national policy: i feel disappointed not to have heard an inspiring vision yet. Innovation & creativity in Cahersiveen
Question re UN Climate Neutral: Cork an Eco city? City manager asks for more info about this
Develop Cork as a magnetic destination, like pharma cluster, Coveney v supportive
Vincent de Paul
speaks out about poverty in Cork. Will we have a society based on equality? Academic fears not, more social isolation
Infrastructure missing here and in whole country says young man. Where will we get entrepreneurs? I like this contribution: focus on island
City council is pro city centre says city manager. He defends what's been done: magnificent buildings on Opera Lane
I find myself horrified at the view that Cork centre is fine now: i think it needs to be re-imagined.
@Omaniblog What would you like to see for the City Centre, Paul? / Must write it down soon]
We have to get used to failure so that we make it easier to recover and go again: EMC view of cork
I'm sitting next to Cork city deputy lord mayor. Never knew until he spoke.
/ @Omaniblog that's the deputy mayor of the county. I'm the deputy Lord Mayor!! / Big mix-up by me. Now I'm clear]
" ahem - the deputy lord mayor is a she.. " / I dropped a clanger, not familiar with Cork politicians]
We are competing with cities all over the world, not just Dublin, Galway
Shanghai twinning is great opportunity says city manager
Did they mention how much Cork was spending on Expo out of curiosity? It goes on for 180days May-Nov. Not cheap id say]
Question: will there be a woman on the panel?
My contribution at this meeting was a bit of an outburst: I asked how each person on panel would rebrand Cork?
[These were the panel members' answers: Innovation & learning; smart green connnected make Cork stand out; sustainable socially responsible; there is a vision; Lille like festivals]
Authentic materials like Blackrock Castle says city manager
Woman says she's an ordinary worker: drink, drugs, jobs big issues for Cork
Transportation system in Cork needs to be improved says last questioner.
Green routes says city manager
Electric cars will dominate says Simon Coveney: we can produce our own fuel in future. City boundary came up again
Fiona Buckley UCC
speaks of how Chinese students have big problems with student visas
: Most of Chinese in Ireland as students are from Shenyang, Dalian and the Provinces of Lionang, Heiliongjang and Jilin. ]
[@billywaters: I think we should make a special case for Chinese students. They are our future like it or not. / I'm inclined to agree]
Twinning matters says FF local leader. He was in Rennes
recently. Shanghai gets a mention
Why has the ferry link Swansea Cork
not been mentioned here? Did I miss it? San Francisco got a mention. We need to publicise Ferry
We need to be positive but we need a good reason to support that attitude - says Coveney Fine Gael from Cork
Young people are despairing says politician. Stop wallowing= FG stance. EMC sees China as the big thing now. Academic highlights transport
At last a woman
[Mary Smithick] speaks from the platform, plugs contact by Twitter to the newspapers: she's from political desk at Cork Evening Echo
After the meeting ended, I met Kevin Smyth
from PLM Architecture
, Donal Healy
, chief executive, Cork Business Association, Vincent Kelly
, deputy editor Evening Echo & others who's names I can't remember (because I didn't get a business card). A photographer from the Echo was at work too. I tweeted on the way home.
Reading tweets about Cork from people interested in what went on in Crosbie Building during the public meeting
@ThinkTank_ I like that tweet v much= favourite
: Great running commentary tonight - it was like I had a ringside seat! 2Ts√ /Makes it all worthwhile, thanks
I think his name was Savage. Will check & let you know
@ saw another tweet by you mentioning him. Yep, Bob Savage is the Managing Director in Cork. Thanks
How many tweets did I do at that meeting? If i can make time I'll write blogpost
I too wish Fastnet Line had a better experience on Twitter & Facebook
We could meet sometime soon and discuss? You in Cork city?
The effort to write this piece has taken me well over an hour. The great thing about the internet is that it will be there for ever. I suppose this is a publication for posterity - a sort of marker to hint at what Cork is like today
-and what we shall change.
If you've read this far, I am very grateful for your interest. Let's improve Cork.