Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2015 – Music




The music programme for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2015 has been released.  The above poster features the full list of musical performances during the festival which will be held from Wednesday, 29th July to Saturday, 1st August.  The two venues will be the Firkin Crane and the Maldron Hotel, Shandon.

A host of talent, new and old, will be on display at the festival over the four days.   A downloadable version of the music poster in PDF format will be added here after the weekend.

Jimmy Crowley to appear at The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Jimmy Crowly at the Maldron Hotel during the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

Jimmy Crowley at the Maldron Hotel during the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

Jimmy Crowley was born in Douglas in Cork and took up singing in the late 1960s. He formed Stokers Lodge called after a landmark in Douglas where local huntsmen met for a day’s sport. The group comprised Jimmy himself, Mick Murphy, Johnny Murphy and the late Chris Twomey.

Jimmy Crowley with Mick Moloney

Jimmy Crowley with Mick Moloney (The Johnsons)

He began writing songs in 1971 and he also encouraged, sang and promoted older working class ballads and long lost songs from all over Cork as well as running the legendary folk club at Douglas GAA club for many years. Jimmy likes to talk and sing songs of hunters and drag hunting, of harriers and the Shandon foot beagles and sportsmen such as bowler Mick Barry, and hurler Christy Ring, of stupendous deeds of valour, local rivalries and personalities, great and little events, and the real topics of conversation of the people. In this way he reveals just a little insight into the inner sanctum of that frustratingly (to a non Cork person) complex and contradictory Cork vision of humour and life and the locals somewhat detached engagement with the everyday world outside of Cork itself. His first album “The Boys of Fairhill” released in 1997, contained such classics as The Pool Song, Johnny Jump Up, Salonika, and of course The Boys of Fairhill. These songs live on now in the soul of Cork regardless of cultural globalisation. Where else in the world would you get a famous song about Connie Doyle’s legendary harrier known as The Armoured Car?

Jimmy Crowley at Cork City Library

Jimmy Crowley at Cork City Library

This was followed by a second album “Camphouse Ballads” and “Some Things Never Change”. Later still “Uncorked” was released in 1998, while “The Coast of Malabar” appeared in 2000. Jimmy is a versatile performer as his recent American albums show, he is also an ethnographer and loves the Irish language and fun. Jimmy’s song about the sailing ship, the Asgard, “My Love is a Tall Ship” is well known among the sailing fraternity, as is his classic “The Queen of the White Star Line”. Jimmy has played all over Ireland, Europe and America and is a familiar face on the streets of Cork. He is known as the Bard of Cork as his unique style of singing and his love of his native City especially the Shandon area is central to his musical imagination.

Jimmy with Richard T.Cooke

Jimmy Crowley with fellow troubadour and Cork Mother Jones Committee member Richard T. Cooke

Jimmy Crowley recently launched what many consider to be his finest work, when his book and songs “Songs From The Beautiful City… The Cork Urban Ballads” was unveiled. After many hard years of research, much ferreting out of local traditional ballads, song writers and characters, collecting of lost words which portray a lively and earthy narrative of our history and bealoideas, Jimmy has delivered his masterpiece!

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2015 proudly presents the Bard of Cork, Jimmy Crowley: “Songs from the Beautiful City: The Cork Urban Ballads”   Jimmy appears at the Maldron Hotel on Friday July 31st from 1pm to 2pm.   Admission is free.    

Anne Feeney update

Anne Feeney group 2014

Anne Feeney group 2014 

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted that singer songwriter and activist Anne Feeney has been enjoying good health. In her recent newsletter she has recalled the terrific time she had in Ireland in 2014 when she brought her tour to Shandon for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival for the first time. She has just announced that she is planning “another one for the summer of 2016”. Anne introduced a fabulous group of people to the festival and to the local community and all played their part in making the festival a great success. We look forward to meeting up again in 2016, where they will be most welcome in Shandon.
So to Maya, Anne, Paddy, Mark, Jane, Julien, Melodi,Jeff, Joan, Laura 1, Dori, Nina, Marjie, Dan, Dorrie, Sue, Bonnie, Laura 2, Vickie, Leah, Ray and Martha we send our best wishes and thank you all for coming to Cork and making a difference. Hope to see you all back soon again.

The Limerick Soviet

Limerick Strike Proclamation

Limerick Strike Proclamation

A new documentary, The Limerick Soviet, which has been produced by Frameworks Films, the Cork based film production company in collaboration with the Limerick Council of Trade Unions will be shown at the Maldron Hotel, Cork as part of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival on Friday evening 31st July at 5.30pm.

This documentary tells the thrilling story of a workers rising in Limerick in April 1919 when a general strike was called by the Limerick United Trades and Labour Council.

It followed the deaths on the 6th April of Robert Byrne, a local trade union activist and IRA member, as well as a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, during an audacious escape attempt from custody by Byrne.As a result the British Authorities declared Limerick City a Special Military Area (SMA) whereby military restrictions would applyand permits were required to enter and leave.

The Limerick United Trades and Labour Council refused to accept that the workers of Limerick required permits to come and go to work and declared a general strike. Some 14,000 workers answered the strike call on Monday 14th April 1919. The Strike committee took control of the city and as a self- governing committee declared itself a Soviet. It was a highly effective, disciplined and a well organised operation under the leadership of John Cronin, a carpenter and Chairperson of the Trades Council.

John Cronin and his committee organised and supervised the distribution of food, transport, communications and movement in the City and even printed its own currency during the period. The strike received unprecedented international media coverage owing to the presence of journalists covering an international air race.

Limerick Trades Council

Members of Limerick Trades Council 1919

Eventually following negotiations and due to Church pressure and the lack of wider national union support, the Soviet decided on a full return to work by the 25th April and the SMA was abolished a few days later.

The Soviet was remarkable in its organisation, in its general unity of workers and in the courage and solidarity of the workers and trade unions. The words of Mother Jones on her death bed could be applied to this Limerick Soviet in that the workers of Limerick “showed the world what the workers can do”.

The Trades Council affirmed the right of workers to come and go from their employment without hindrance by the national authorities. It also displayed to the British Authorities and the Republican movement the potential power of organised labour and its potent force for action when provoked.

Limerick Soviet 10 Shilling note

Ten Shilling note issued by the Limerick Strike Committee

This compelling documentary was produced with the support of the Sound and Vision Scheme, an initiative of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Mr Mike McNamara President of the Limerick Council of Trade Unions along with the film makers Emma Bowell and Eddie Noonan of Frameworks Films will introduce the documentary at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. It will be followed by an open discussion.

It takes place at the Maldron Hotel in Shandon on Friday evening 31st July 2015 at 5.30 pm. 

All are welcome.