Cork – where Mary Harris was born

A few people have asked us to put up some images and songs about Cork, the birthplace of  Mother Jones.  She was born on the Northside of Cork in 1837, probably in the last week of July.  We do know for certain that she was baptised in St. Mary’s North Cathedral, known locally then and now as the North Chapel and featured in the first video here.  It is to the right of the video shown here.  The tall pepper-pot shaped spire is the  steeple of St. Ann’s Shandon which is known the world over for its famous bells.   The North Cathedral was and still is the Roman Catholic parish church for the area while Shandon is the Church of Ireland (Anglican / Protestant) parish church.

You can see both and the general  area of the Northside which would have been known to the young Mary Harris before she and her family left for North America sometime around 1851/’52.  The singer in this short clip is Kieran Goss, from Co. Down on the other end of Ireland.

and below this more recent video from the Shandon Street Festival with local singer and historian Richard T. Cooke singing his own composition, “Cork City is my home” – Richard is also a member of the Cork Mother Jones Commemorative Committee and will no doubt give us a rendition of the song on the day of our celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of Mother Jones.

and here are the Shandon Bells, which have been ringing out over Cork city for almost 300 years

Cork to remember Mother Jones, America’s “Miner’s Angel”

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.

Mary Harris Jones – aka Mother Jones – is one of the heroines of  early history of  the North American trade union movement, particularly United States miners. She is still known as “The Miner’s Angel” and is remembered in the US as an iconic figure of late 19th and early 20th century United States history.

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.  In 2011 the Cork Mother Jones Commemorative Committee was founded to prepare for celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of Mother Jones’ birth.   As we don’t know the exact date of her birth, we intend to hold a series of events on the anniversary of her baptism, which took place in Cork’s North Cathedral on 1st August 1837.   The highlight of the celebrations will be the unveiling of a limestone plaque, designed by local sculptor Mike Wilkins, in the Shandon area of the city,

Further details on the upcoming events and preparations can be reached by clicking on the “About” tab on the top right hand side of this page.  We are also looking for donations to help defray the cost of the plaque and other events.  Details of same can be found in the same place

The Committee can be contacted by email at or by telephone at any of the following mobile numbers (086) 3196063,   (086)1908281 or (086) 3033576.  International telephone number is +353-21-4503481.

Mother Jones speaks (1930)


This is a very short excerpt from a slightly longer interview with Mary Harris Jones done shortly before her death in 1930 when she was 93 years of age (not 100 as stated on the video captioning).   She even has retained a bit of her Cork accent!