A number of people have asked if any video footage was available of Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures singing their anthem from the Miners Strike era – “The Women’s Song”. The song was written by Mal Finch. Our thanks to Frameworks Films for the video. By popular demand here it is – performed during their session at the Firkin Crane on July 31st.
Anne Scargill and Betty Cook, Women Against Pit Closures at the Firkin Crane with Yorkshire Mother Jones banner.
The Cork Singers Club at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Maldron Hotel 29th July 2014.
(Left to Right): Teresa Mac Carthaigh, Sean Mac Carthaigh, Tom Long, Monica Dineen, Bill Daly, Pat O Grady, Helen O Donovan, Cliff Wegbury, Bridie Murphy, John Murphy. Helen O’Donovan was Bean a Tí for the spectacular evening of songs and stories. Many of the festival guests such as Anne Feeney, Betty Cook and Anne Scargill also joined in.
Teresa McCarthaigh is the author of “The Ballad of Mother Jones” which she sang once again to huge acclaim.
US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn. Here she is singing at an “open mike” session at the Maldron Hotel. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.
Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply “The Women’s Song” about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner’s Strike. Photo: William Hammond.
by Professor James Green
Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.
Prof. James Green of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of Death in the Haymarket and the West Virginia Mine Wars delivered the Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014 at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork on the opening day of the festival, Tuesday 29th July.
You can view or download the full text of Prof. Green’s excellent lecture by clicking on the link below.
Shortly after they appeared at this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork, representatives of Yorkshire mining communities including Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures paid a courtesy visit to Liberty Hall, Dublin, national headquarters of the country’s largest trade union, SIPTU. There they were received by SIPTU’s General President Jack O’Connor. SIPTU were also generous part sponsors of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
Anne Scargill (right) and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures being presented with a copy of Padraig Yeates’ book on the 1913 Dublin Lockout by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.
The Cork Mother Jones Festival Committee has received a warm message of support and encouragement from Illinois Senator Andy Manar.
Sen. Andy Manar
Senator Manar in a thoughful and positive message to the Cork Mother Jones Committee for the Spirit of Mother Jones festival states that “you have all my deepest respect for the work you have done on behalf of Mother Jones and I share in your admiration of this great woman from County Cork, Ireland”
“I believe your festival is wonderful as it attracts people from all over the world and stands tallest among other known Mother Jones Festivals. I’d welcome a similar event in my district. Your festival sets a very high bar for other to reach and you should be extremely proud of that”
Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois
The Cork Mother Jones Committee acknowledges and supports the huge effort being made by the Unions, the Illinois Labour History Society and the Mother Jones Foundation to preserve and restore the monument over the grave of Mother Jones in Mount Olive cemetery. The restoration project will ensure that this monument over her final resting place will remain for ever as a fitting symbol of positive action for social justice which the spirit of Mother Jones inspires in thousands of people across the world.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee received an enormous number of messages of support for the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival from around the world. Among those received was the following message of support from Martin J Walsh, Mayor of Boston. We are delighted to have received this message of support for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and wish to thank Mayor Walsh for his kind message.
Letter from the Mayor of Boston
Dear Delegates to the Mother Jones Festival,
On behalf of the people of Boston, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you as you stand together for the dignity of working families in Ireland, America, and around the world.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston. Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia
Ireland holds a special place in my heart. Like the young Mary Harris, my parents were emigrants. I was shaped by the voices and values of Irish working people. And I share that Irish foundation with many of my fellow Bostonians. President John F. Kennedy spoke of an “emerald thread” running through the history of the Irish: a resilience in the face of struggle that survives in their descendants around the world. This pattern is woven deeply into the rich and diverse tapestry of Boston’s people.
And the struggles of all working families are never far from my mind. I grew up in a union household; I’ve belonged to the Laborers union since I was 18 years old; and I’ve spent my career in public service advocating advocating for workers’ rights. I know that the simple notion of a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work is far from a simple thing to achieve. Securing justice takes a hard, complex, and constant struggle. It takes collective action that can only be accomplished by the kind of community building you are doing this weekend in Cork.
I know, as you do, that this struggle takes place the world over. Like Mother Jones, we must “abide wherever there is a fight against wrong”. So I thank you for honoring her powerful legacy. And I thank you for shining a modern light on the timeless struggles of working people to defend their dignity and secure their rights.
Martin J. Walsh
Mayor of Boston