Skip to main content

News & Events

As Cork celebrates more than a decade as a World Health Organisation Healthy City, a new book is launched to showcase ground-breaking projects in Cork

14 Mar 2024

On 14th March, Commitment, Collaboration & Continuity: Celebrating Cork as a Healthy City, the first book of its kind published in Ireland and across Europe, was launched in Cork City Hall.

It showcases the projects partnered with or led by Cork Healthy Cities so that other cities and urban spaces across Ireland can enhance the lives of their city dwellers.

Edited by the coordinator of Cork Healthy Cities, Denise Cahill, and Monica O’Mullane from UCC’s School of Public Health, many of the contributors were from UCC including Ivan Perry, Colin Sage, Michelle Syron, Mary Cronin, Christie Godsmark, Janas Harrington, Justina Jurley, Martin Davoren, Tara Kenny, Cliona O’Carroll & James Furey with the Catching Storiesproject, Tadhg Crowley from the Glucksman, and Aodh Quinlivan.

Denise and Monica commented:

The event was simultaneously a night to launch the book and to celebrate the work of Cork Healthy Cities since its inception in 2009. Martin Davoren, co-author, and current Chair of Cork Healthy Cities Steering Group, was a fantastic MC for the evening.

The book was officially launched by Lord Mayor Kieran McCarthy, also co-author of Chapter Three ‘Minding the People - The Place of Public Health in Cork History’.

It was wonderful to see so many of our firmest champions from across Cork City Council, HSE, WHO, Togher Community Garde and UCC, including Professor Ella Arensman (School of Public Health) and Professor Maggie O’Neill (ISS2 and CSF). We are so grateful for the funding for the book from Cork City Council, Cork Healthy Cities, Cork City Libraries and ISS21, UCC.” 

By 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities and Cork is one of Ireland’s rapidly growing cities with population projections estimating that the city grows by 50% to 335,000 by 2040.

In order to meet the health needs of a growing population and to meet to challenges of exacerbating health inequalities and the climate emergency, the designation of Cork by the WHO in 2012 set the scene for the city to embrace in a tangible way the evidence that health is influenced by the context of our daily lives, including where we live, work, play, and learn.

Commitment, Collaboration & Continuity: Celebrating Cork as a Healthy City – showcases the key projects in Cork that have changed the dial to develop Cork as one of Ireland’s most liveable cities.

In this book readers will learn about a number of projects and initiatives partnered with or led by Cork Healthy Cities, which started from 2012 and have initiated a transformation of the lives of communities in the city. An example of one such project is Green Spaces for Health, which started in 2018 coordinated by Maria Young, and has initiated and supports 17 (and counting) projects, including community gardens. This is the first project of its kind in Cork and has resulted in a number of life-changing health impacts for communities including increased local food availability, community cohesion and support, and the critical mental health benefits that flourish when communities engage with green spaces together in a neighbourhood,” states Dr Monica O’Mullane.

We wanted to develop a book that would not only showcase our work but to inspire and guide other cities and counties across Ireland and in fact Europe.  This book is unique, we hope it will act as a useful guide to how you can change lives through innovative and creative partnerships and projects at city level.  It sets out the ambitious journey we undertook since 2010; the highs and the lows and the learning along the way” states Denise Cahill.

Commitment, Collaboration & Continuity: Celebrating Cork as a Healthy City editedby Monica O’Mullane & Denise Cahill is co-funded between Cork Healthy Cities, Cork City Council, Cork City Libraries & ISS21 in UCC.

The book (ISBN: 978-1-9163790-8-4) is available to buy for €20 in the UCC book shop and Waterstones in Cork City very soon. It will also be available in Brookfield Library, UCC, and in all Cork City libraries.


For more on this story contact:

Monica O'Mullane

School of Public Health

Scoil na Sláinte Poiblí

4th Floor, Western Gateway Building, Western Road,