This site was established by the Cork Mother Jones Commemorative committee to mark the 175th anniversary of the birth of Mary Harris Jones in Cork, Ireland.
Although famous in other parts of the world, especially in the United States of America where she was once labelled “the most dangerous woman in America”, Cork born Mary Jones (née Harris) – or Mother Jones as she is perhaps more widely known – is still virtually unknown and certainly not recognised as yet in her native city.
However this is all about to change. The Cork Mother Jones Commemorative Committee, in conjunction with Cork City Council, has just commissioned Cork Sculptor Mike Wilkins to create a limestone plaque to honour Mother Jones in the Shandon area of the city, near her birthplace. This plaque will be erected near the famous Cork Butter Market and will be unveiled on 1st August 2012 which is the 175th Anniversary of her baptism in the North Cathedral (we have not been able to ascertain her actual date of birth but it would most likely have been a few days before this date). Her parents were Ellen Cotter, a native of Inchigeela and Richard Harris from Cork city.
Few details of her early life in Cork have been uncovered to date, though it is thought by some that she was born on Blarney Street and may have attended the North Presentation Schools nearby. She and her family emigrated to Canada soon after the Famine, probably in the early 1850s.
Later in the United States, after tragic deaths of her husband George Jones and their four children, she became involved in the struggle for basic rights for workers and children’s rights, leading from the front, often in a militant fashion. She was a constant thorn in the side of the establishment. When she died in 1930, she was a legend in her adopted land. A magazine (Mother Jones) is still published to this day, along with dozens of books and countless references in US Labour History. She certainly can claim to be the most famous Cork woman in the history of the United States of America.
In 2012, 175 years will have passed since Mary’s birth in Cork city and to honour her life, this broad-based voluntary Commemorative Committee, along with local community organisations, intend to honour one of Cork City’s most famous daughters. The unveiling off the plaque will be just part of a wider celebration which will be held in and around Shandon on 31st July and 1st August 2012. This celebration will feature a number of writers, film producers and people associated with Mother Jones in teh United States. There will be concerts, public lectures and discussions held in the Maldron Hotel and the Firkin Crane centre as well as an exhibition in the Firkin on the life and times of Mother Jones.
Then finally, at long last, one of Cork’s most celebrated daughters will be rightly and publicly honoured in her native city. Some of the cost towards the making of this plaque has already been met, but more finance is needed. The Committee respectfully asks that you might consider making a donation towards the cost of erecting this important memorial. A special bank account has been set up specifically for this purpose and all monies will go directly towards the costs of this plaque.
The Mother Jones Commemorative committee bank account is at the Ulster Bank, Blackpool, Cork, Ireland, account number 10793602, Sort Code 98-54-81. Those wishing to donate from outside the Republic of Ireland can do so by direct bank transfer to (IBAN) IE85ULSB, Account Number 985481 10832608 or Bank Identifier Code (BIC) – BIC ULSBIE2D.
All monies will be immediately receipted and acknowledged by the committee.
The Committee can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by telephone at Cork 4503481 or mobile (086)1908281. International telephone number is +353-21-4503481.