The launch of the 2021 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival took place among the autumnal crimson and carefree covered walls of the Quad at UCC, during the recent Community Week. The surrounding College wings were constructed during the Irish Famine in the late 1840s. So we wondered if young Mary Harris ever visited the site!
Cork’s own Mother Jones, Joan Goggin looking resplendent, arrived accompanied by her daughter Eadaoin and granddaughter Aoife adding to the atmosphere of this unique occasion.
Following a welcome from J.P. Quinn of the UCC Visitors Centre, and with William Hammond performing a Gene Autry song about Mother Jones and a recital “And the Bells went Hallelujah!” from Richard T Cooke, the formal launch of the tenth Spirit of Mother Jones festival took place.
John Barimo thanked the Department of Civic and Community Engagement for cooperating on the opening event, an interview with Mona Polacca a Native American elder. Shannon M.D. Smith from the New York based Centre For Earth Ethics in New York attended the launch and spoke of her interest in the natural environment.
On several occasions during the launch, the Alex Pentek monument Kindred Spirits at Midleton to the Choctaw Native American tribe was mentioned and the efforts of people in Ireland and the Native Americans to assist each other since the Irish Famine, The Trail of Tears and the Great Hunger are connected forever in the fight against injustice.
Later the zoom event with Mona Polacca proved highly successful and her innate wisdom and knowledge in relation to the threats to the natural environment shone through the discussion.
Among those who participated was Karenna Gore, founder and director of Center for Earth Ethics. Karenna is the daughter of former US Vice President Al Gore. Claire Young and Austin Dean, American post graduate students at UCC also contributed. A repeat of the presentation will be shown at the forthcoming Spirit of Mother Jones festival.
The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2021 will take place from Thursday 25th November 2021 to Sunday 28th November 2021, mostly on Cork Community TV.