The Programme for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2016 is now available. This year’s festival offers a great variety of events including lectures, film and musical performances.
Mother Jones has arrived back in the window of Cork’s main tourist office to highlight the fact that the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival starts this Thursday (28th July). The display, put together by Cork Mother Jones committee member Ann Piggott, is both eye-catching and excellently laid out. Our thanks to Ann for a job well done and to the staff and management of Cork Tourist Office and Fáilte Ireland. The display will remain all this week.
The following video is a brief review of the first four years of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival which has now become part of Cork’s cultural and heritage fabric. From our initial plan in 2012 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the birth of Mary Harris / Mother Jones the festival has burgeoned into a very popular and well loved festival. The 16 minute film can only hope to show a small sample of the many speakers and performers we have had over the years. It includes two of our contributors who recently passed away, Professor James Green from the United States and Dave Hopper of the Durham Miners’ Association. We are glad to have recorded their presence and longer excerpts have been recorded by Frameworks Films to whom we are so grateful for staying with us and recording those four years. We hope you enjoy it.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee is pleased to announce that Fergal Keane has agreed to speak to the topic “Human Rights in a Divided World”.
He will appear on Sunday evening 31st July at the Maldron Hotel at 7.30pm.
Born in London, his mother Maura Hassett wasfrom Cork city and father Eamonn Keane from Listowel, both actors, who had met in Cork and were married in Ballyphehane church. The family also lived in Dublin for some before he moved to Cork to live with May Hassett, his grandmother. Fergal Keane spent much of his youth in Cork, attending St Joseph’s National School on the Mardyke and then the Presentation College nearby where he came under the influence of Brother Jerome Kelly, “a man who would change my life”. In 1972, Brother Kelly, founded SHARE – Schoolboys Harness Aid for Relief of the Elderly which was set up to assist the elderly in Cork to obtain a home.
He says of Cork “More than any other place I have lived, it is Cork I regard as my home.”
He became a reporter with the Limerick Leader and later went to Dublin where he worked in The Irish Press. Moving to RTE he gained experience as a foreign correspondent especially in Africa, before joining the BBC.
In his memoir All of these People published in 2005, Fergal describes, while reporting on the Eritrean war, seeing a badly wounded boy Ande Mikail lying in a tent covered in a foil blanket after being wounded from an Ethiopian MiG fighter…
“That moment on the Eritrean hillside was a point of departure for me. I had seen news photographs of war victims and I’d watched documentaries. But they didn’t smell the way that tent did, and the eyes of the dying on the screenhad never caught me the way Ande Mikail’s had. Having looked into the eyes of this child of war I could not look away again.”
He is one of the BBC’s most distinguished foreign correspondents and is a multi-award winning journalist and author. He has reported and borne witness from many of the world’s trouble spots such South Africa, Rwanda, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland. He describes the conflicts around him from the perspectives of the ordinary people and children who are suffering and dying in circumstances over which they have no control or say. The recipient of a BAFTA, he has won the George Orwell prize for literature. He was named Amnesty International’s Human Rights reporter of the Year in 1993.
Fergal has made several documentaries such as Forgotten Britain for the BBC and The Story of Ireland (RTE and BBC Northern Ireland)
He is the author of many books including The Bondage of Fear, Road of Bones,and Season of Blood Rwandan Journey, Letter to Daniel and All of These People…a memoir.
Fergal loves to potter by the sea shore at Ardmore in West Waterford.
Thursday 28th July – Monday 1st August 2016
Admission is free and all are welcome.
Thursday 28th July.
Maldron Hotel Shandon 2.30: “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman” a film by Rosemary Feurer and Laura Vazquez.
Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman is a documentary about the amazing labor heroine, Mary Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones. Mother Jones’ organising career influenced the history of early 20th century United States. She overcame class and gender limitations to shape an identity that allowed her to become an effective labor organiser in the early 20th century. Mother Jones transformed personal and political grief and rage about class injustices into an effective persona that led workers into battles that changed the course of history. The terrible conditions and labor oppression of the time motivated her to traverse the country, in order to organise against injustices. Also deals with the Ludlow Massacre.
Release Date: 2007 (Canada) Runtime: 24 min
Thursday 28th July.
Maldron Hotel 3.30 pm “Mother Jones and her Children” a film by Frameworks Films and the Cork Mother Jones Committee.
This film tells the story of Mary Harris (1837 – 1930) from Cork who went on to become “the most dangerous woman in America”. Starting with her early years in Cork, this documentary goes on to detail her life in America following the famine, her marriage to George Jones and the birth of her four children. It details the tragedies which befell her. Her growing involvement in the labour movement in America, defending the rights of children and workers is documented. Through interviews with leading experts on Mother Jones, we learn of her fearless and tireless campaign to organize workers at a time of severe labour strife and her international legacy today. www.frameworksfilm.com
Release Date: July 2014 Runtime: 52 min
Saturday 30th July
Maldron Hotel 4pm: Film: “The Battle for Orgreave” a film by Yvette Vanson, Producer/Director. www.yvettevanson.
In this film we witness the violent struggle of miners trying to save their jobs in what became one of the biggest public disturbances Britain has ever seen.
The camera focuses on the blood covered face of an angry protester, he looks defiant as he is led away by riot police. This is no criminal but a man trying to protect his livelihood. 55 miners faced long prison terms because of their involvement in the disturbance at Orgreave. This film looks at their fight for justice and their fight for justice continues over 30 years later.
Orgreave in the North of England was the focal point for a mass protest by miners in June 1984. At this time miners were angry over proposed pit closures and reacted by striking and pressurising other pits to close. The culmination of these protests was a mass gathering of miners from all over the country at Orgreave. On the morning of 18th June miners were escorted into Orgreave. At this point police tactics already resembled a military campaign. After a push by the miners the police acted with force charging the pickets on horses. The protest soon turned violent with the police using heavy-handed tactics such as dogs and batons in an attempt to suppress the riot. Many miners are interviewed about their experiences of being at Orgreave and the tactics used by police. A stunning production.
Release Date: 1985 Runtime: 52 min
Saturday 30th July 2016
Maldron Hotel 7pm. Film “The Mine Wars” a film produced and directed by Randal MacLowry.
A production of the Film Possee for American Experience (WGBH-Boston)
The Mine Wars explores the largely forgotten story of the epic struggle between Capital and Labour over the recognition of the United Mine workers of America union in the coalfields of South West Virginia. These culminated in the largest civil insurrection in America since the Civil War at Blair Mountain where thousands of miners took up arms and were even bombed from the air.
Between 1890 and 1912, miners in West Virginia endured the highest death rate in America. Mother Jones was active in 1902 and again in the period 1912-1913 when Paint Creek and Cabin Creek featured. Later Mingo County, Logan County, the Matewan Massacre and the Battle of Blair Mountain where at least 50 people were killed are highlighted. This film concentrates on a UMWA leader and former miner Frank Keeney, who inspired by Mother Jones went to organize West Virginia.
Mother Jones, herself incarcerated for three months in West Virginia, described the state as “Medieval West Virginia with its tent colonies on the bleak hills! With its grim men and women! When I get to the other side, I shall tell God almighty about West Virginia.”
The Mine Wars tells the story on this side! See The Film Possee Facebook. www.pbs.org
Release Date: 2016 Runtime: 120 min
Monday 1st August. Mother Jones Day.
Maldron Hotel 4pm:“Tadhg Barry Remembered.” A film produced by Frameworks Films in collaboration with the Cork Council of Trade Unions for Cork Community Television.
This documentary tells the story of Tadhg Barry (1880-1921), a native of Cork city, who has largely been forgotten. It seems hard to believe that a man whose funeral, one of the largest ever in Ireland, and which closed shops and factories from Co Down to Cork city could be relegated to a footnote in history. And yet this is what has happened to a man who was one of the last people to be killed by British forces during the War of Independence, just weeks prior to the signing of the Treaty.
Active in numerous organisations such as the G.A.A and the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, Tadhg was also involved with Sinn Fein and was friendly with James Connolly. He was later elected as an Alderman to Cork City Council.
It was first broadcasted on Cork Community Television on Sunday 5th May 2013 at 8pm. The documentary was funded under the Sound & Vision scheme, an initiative of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. www.frameworksfilms.com
Release Date: 2013 Runtime 60 min
Monday 1st August 2016
Maldron Hotel 6pm. Spirit of Mother Jones festival highlights 2012 – 2015. Frameworks Films.
Experience some highlights of the lectures and talks and music of the previous four festivals. Remember the spellbinding talk given by Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough Family Support Group in 2013, the riveting lecture of Gareth Pierce in 2014, Ken Fleming’s account of the present slavery on our seas. The late Jim Green’s address in 2014 for the Cork Mother Jones lecture. Speakers such as Rosemary Feurer, Dave Hopper, Fr. Peter McVerry, Marat Moore, and many more. Experience the music, songs and stories of the past years. All welcome.
More details from https://motherjonescork.com/
On Saturday 9th July Dave Hopper presided over the 132nd Annual Durham Gala which was a triumph for the huge organisational powers of the Durham Miners’ Association. Upwards of 150,000 people attended one of the largest Gala’s in living memory, including thousands of young people to show their support for the leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who was introduced to the vast throng by Dave.
Dave was delighted afterwards with Jeremy Corbyn’s speech which summed up for many what the Labour movement stands for and what Dave has stood for and fought for all his life. In a way this speech will now be forever associated with Dave Hopper and it is fitting that it should serve as a rallying call to the thousands of young people present. That will be Dave’s real legacy!
The Cork Mother Jones Committee is shocked to learn this evening of the sudden death earlier today of Dave Hopper, Chair of the Durham Miners’ Gala and a great friend and supporter of our festival. Dave was due to visit Cork later this month for the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and we were very much looking forward to his as always forthright and intelligent contribution. Just a week ago a member of Cork Mother Jones festival visited Durham for the annual Miners’ Gala and met with Davy who was also looking forward to his trip to Cork.
We are deeply saddened to hear of Davy’s passing. We are certain that he will be a huge loss to the trade union movement and to the struggle for social justice and decency in his own country and internationally. Davy as truly a man with the determination and spirit of Mother Jones. Our sympathy to his family and friends.
Greenshine to play at The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2016.
Maldron Hotel on Friday 29th July, Tickets €5
GREENSHINE is a family trio comprising Noel Shine, Mary Greene and their daughter Ellie. Their material straddles the boundaries of contemporary, folk and roots and includes many self-penned songs. Their fast picking and close harmonies are a treat to the ear.
Noel is a multi-instrumentalist, turning his hand to guitar, bass, mandolin, bouzouki and traditional whistle and this musical dexterity had seen him much in demand as a session and band player by artists as diverse as The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and funk and soul legends The Republic of Loose amongst many others.
Mary brings rhythm guitar to the mix and her voice is a wonderfully versatile instrument. She is much in demand for her recording session work and has added her talents to the albums of Christy Moore, John Spillane, Mick Hanly and Frances Black as well as cult psychedelic outfit Dr. Strangely Strange.
As a duo, Noel and Mary have released 3 critically acclaimed albums to date ~ The Land You Love the Best (placed no. 3 in The Irish Times Folk albums of the year of its release), Unspoken Lines (described as ‘The heart and soul of folk music, coming from a deeper well…,’ by John Spillane) while Mary’s solo, Sea of Hearts, earned an impressive 8 out of 10 in Hot Press.
Ellie Shine has grown up surrounded by music and has been performing in concerts and festivals since the age of 13 including an appearance with GREENSHINE for President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at The Abbey Theatre. Despite her tender years, Ellie has featured on 4 recordings to date. She has a huge interest in the songs of the Muskerry Gaeltacht and reached the All-Ireland final of Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann’s under 15 Sean-Nós Singing competition in her debut try-out. She enjoys singing songs of all genres and has a special place in her heart reserved for classic Beatles and country as well as good contemporary songwriting. She accompanies herself on the ukulele.
The music of Greenshine has been covered by several Irish music artists and has been used commercially by Follain Preserves in their ad campaigns, Carrie Crowley in her film Waterway and as signature tunes by several national radio station programmes.