A number of people have asked if any video footage was available of Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures singing their anthem from the Miners Strike era – “The Women’s Song”. The song was written by Mal Finch. Our thanks to Frameworks Films for the video. By popular demand here it is – performed during their session at the Firkin Crane on July 31st.
During the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Mr James Goltz from Bunker Hill, Illinois presented the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mary Shields with a proclamation from the community of Mount Olive, Illinois seeking “to extend a symbolic hand of friendship to our brothers and sisters in the birthplace of one so great in stature as the legendary Mother Jones”
The proclamation of friendship, supported by the Mount Olive Council and signed by Mr John M. Skertich, Mayor of Mt. Olive calls on both Mt. Olive and Cork together to ” celebrate her spirit while crediting her role in the history of both countries and in the globe. This common duty of stewardship stands as an unbreakable bond between our two cities.”
Mother Jones passed away at the Burgess home in Hyattsville, Maryland on 30th November 1930. Her funeral was held on December 8th at the Church of the Ascension, the Mount Olive Catholic Church. From there, her remains were taken and buried in the Union Miners Cemetery at Mount Olive near the graves of the victims of the 1898 Virden Massacre.
Mayor Skertich concludes the proclamation by inviting an agreement between Cork and Mount Olive to “promise to safeguard and promote both her resting place and birthplace, as we celebrate her life by jointly continuing to tell the life story of this great Irish woman to a wider audience.”
The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to support the initiative taken by the city of Mount Olive. The Shandon Area Renewal Association has already agreed to promote, encourage and foster the links between the community of the birthplace of Mary Harris/Mother Jones and the community where she now lies at rest. A motion supporting the adoption of the Mount Olive proclamation will be presented to Cork City Council and it is the fervent wish of all involved that it be supported and formal fraternal links be established between the custodians of her native birthplace and her chosen resting place.
The Cork Singers Club at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Maldron Hotel 29th July 2014.
(Left to Right): Teresa Mac Carthaigh, Sean Mac Carthaigh, Tom Long, Monica Dineen, Bill Daly, Pat O Grady, Helen O Donovan, Cliff Wegbury, Bridie Murphy, John Murphy. Helen O’Donovan was Bean a Tí for the spectacular evening of songs and stories. Many of the festival guests such as Anne Feeney, Betty Cook and Anne Scargill also joined in.
Teresa McCarthaigh is the author of “The Ballad of Mother Jones” which she sang once again to huge acclaim.
by Professor James Green
Prof. James Green of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of Death in the Haymarket and the West Virginia Mine Wars delivered the Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014 at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork on the opening day of the festival, Tuesday 29th July.
You can view or download the full text of Prof. Green’s excellent lecture by clicking on the link below.
Shortly after they appeared at this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork, representatives of Yorkshire mining communities including Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures paid a courtesy visit to Liberty Hall, Dublin, national headquarters of the country’s largest trade union, SIPTU. There they were received by SIPTU’s General President Jack O’Connor. SIPTU were also generous part sponsors of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
The Cork Mother Jones Festival Committee has received a warm message of support and encouragement from Illinois Senator Andy Manar.
Senator Manar in a thoughful and positive message to the Cork Mother Jones Committee for the Spirit of Mother Jones festival states that “you have all my deepest respect for the work you have done on behalf of Mother Jones and I share in your admiration of this great woman from County Cork, Ireland”