Day 3 at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

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Today is the 3rd day of the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones festival in Cork.  The first two days have been most interesting and have attracted large crowds including a number of international guests.

Today’s events begin at 11.30am with local historian Luke Dineen who will talk about the 1922 Post Office strike which was the first major industrial dispute in the history of the state.

At 2.30pm we have Anne Twomey of Blackpool Historical Society who will tell the story of the Wallace Sisters.

At 4.00pm we will show Yvette Vanson’s documentary The Battle for Orgreave which deals with the disturbing events at Orgreave during the UK Miner’s Strike. Pat Egan of Unite, the Union, himself a former miner will talk about the events.  We will include here a tribute to Dave Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miner’s Association who was due to speak again at this year’s festival but died suddenly earlier this month.

At 7.00pm Randall MacLowry’s film The Mine Wars will be shown. This tells the story of the West Virginia mine wars of the early years of the 20th century in which Mother Jones herself championed the rights of the miners and their.

To finish off the day, at 9.00pm a musical treat is in store with John Nyhan, Mick Treacy and Friends who will perform and sing “Songs of the Mining Tradition.

The festival continues until Monday evening, 1st August – Mother Jones Day.

 

Memories of Jim Green

James Green

Prof. James Green

Professor James Green was a guest at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork two years ago and impressed everyone with his knowledge of the history of the North American labour movement, of Mother Jones and of the mining wars that took place in Virginia a century ago.  Sadly Jim passed away in June but he will not be forgotten.  Our thanks to Jim Monaghan for forwarding on the following excellent obituary of Jim Green from Jim O’Brien of the US based but international Labor and Working Class History Association.

Click on link to read article: http://lawcha.org/wordpress/2016/07/25/memories-jim-green/

 

 

Mrs. Catherine McGuinness

Catherine McGuinness

Catherine McGuinness

Mrs. Catherine McGuinness is indisposed and unable to travel to Cork on Friday 29th July. All at the Cork Mother Jones Committee send our best wishes to Catherine for a speedy return to good health. Once recovered, she has promised to come to Cork to address this issue.

The meeting in relation to Direct Provision will go ahead at the Firkin Crane on Friday evening at 7.30. Ms, Fiona Finn, CEO of NASC, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre, will speak in relation to the operation of Direct Provision in Ireland. Everyone with an interest in this topic is very welcome to come along to her talk and discussion.
We wish to thank Fiona for agreeing to speak on this important issue.

About Fiona Finn

Fiona holds a Bachelor of Law degree (BCL) and a Master of Law (LLM) from University College Cork. She has a particular interest in International Human Rights Law and Public International Law.

Fiona Finn

Fiona Finn

Fiona has over eighteen years of experience in the fields of social justice, human rights, asylum and immigration. Fiona joined Nasc in 2008 and became CEO in 2010. Prior to that she worked for fifteen years in London, initially with a homeless charity and latterly as a senior officer with in the London Borough of Camden. During her time with the Borough, Fiona worked at a senior level across a number of departments including the Welfare Rights Section and at an Independent Law Centre, dealing with access to social protection for asylum-seekers and refugees. She also headed up a policy unit working to promote social inclusion policies for Irish emigrants in the Borough. Fiona also holds a Diploma in Business Studies and Marketing and is a graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

Mother Jones wows visitors and locals alike at Cork tourist office

Mother Jones window display at Cork Tourist Office

Mother Jones window display at Cork Tourist Office

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.

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Video review of our first four years

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.

 

Human Rights in a Divided World.

Fergal Keane

Fergal Keane (Photo: Limerick Leader)

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.

Films at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2016

Thursday 28th July – Monday 1st August 2016

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Thursday 28th July.

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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.

www.motherjonesmuseum.org

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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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/