The launch of the 2015 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School was held at the Maldron Hotel on Thursday 2nd July. It was an outstanding success. In front of a capacity audience, and having been introduced by Mr Joe Kennedy, Manager of the Maldron Hotel, Cork Lord Mayor Cllr. Chris O’Leary officially launched the fourth festival and declared himself delighted at the packed and exciting programme of events which will take place in Shandon from Wednesday 29th July until Saturday 1st August next.
Departing from his script the Lord Mayor stated that he wished to comment that Mother Jones has never been more relevant than at present. He had read extensively about her commitment to social justice, her defence of workers rights and her work for the union movement. He believed that Mother Jones would be in the forefront of the campaign against austerity today, that she would be in favour of a living income for all and for a fairer and just society. He was proud to honour her and he was delighted to launch the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Shandon, the place of her birth. He promised he would return to open the festival on Wednesday 29th July.
A number of speakers gave details of the events, from the music sessions, to the Joe Hill concert to the summer school events. Young Aoife Delaney even sang a song! In all over 30 events are fixed for the four days ensuring a wide range of interesting and challenging talks, lectures and discussions, with a broad appeal. It was emphasised that all events are free and open to the public. There is just one fundraising event, a play “Cant Scare Me’… The Story of Mother Jones” performed by Kaiulani Lee on Friday 31st July. The attendance included the Shandon Shawlies and CobhAnimation whose outfits were outstanding and created a turn of the 20th century atmosphere to the proceedings. Even Mother Jones aka Joan Goggin arrived to captivate the attendance.