Mother Jones Festival 2013 – Music Programme

Mother Jones Festival Concerts 2013

Admission Free

The following is line up for the Mother Jones Theatrical Musical Concert in the Firkin Crane, Wednesday,July 31st at 9pm is as follows:

Group: Cork Rokk Choir who will perform a medley of songs from the Mother Jones area for ( 15 minutes).

Next we will have Cork Shakespearean Company who will perform a MJ monologue for ( 7 minutes).

James P. McCarthy, Musician/Singer will perform more MJ songs (15 minutes ).

Shakespearean Company will then performing another theatrical monologue on MJ (7 minutes).

Muddy Lee will blast out Cork Songs and the new Mother Jones song titled: A True Cork Rebel by (15 minutes ).

William Hammond and friends will finish off the Concert with some popular high spirited tunes.



Maldron Hotel Concerts 2013

Wednesday, July 31st – 10.00pm:  Hank Wedel & Friends

Tuesday, July 30th – 9.30pm: The very popular Cork Singer’s Club.

Lunch Time Concerts

Wednesday, July 31st – 1pm – 2pm: Cork Rokk Choir members will perform popular songs and Muddy Lee performing good auld songs of Cork as part of the Gathering as well as the Mother Jones Song titled: A True Cork Rebel.

Thursday, August 1st – 1pm -2pm: Cork Memory Lane Group will perform popular songs.

Jimmy Crowley Workshop

Wednesday, July 31st at 4.30pm – Jimmy Crowley with Songs of the Beautiful City.
Admission Free


Thursday, August 1st – Mother Jones Day

Maldron Hotel at 10.00pm – Two Time Polka




Andy Irvine Concert

Firkin Crane Centre, Smurfit Theatre, Shandon

Thursday, August 1st at 8pm

Tickets  €15 each

Tickets available from and the Maldron Hotel, Shandon, Cork

Mount Olive remembers its heroes, including Mother Jones


Mount Olive is a small city of a little over 2,000 people in Macoupin County, Illinois in the Mid-Western United States.
It is situated 250 miles south-west of the metropolis of Chicago although it is just 47 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. It is a typical mid-western small town US community.

Mount Olive is best known as the burial-place of Mary “Mother” Jones whose last wish was to buried beside the victims of the Virden Massacre of 1898 in which strikebreakers and a company militia for the Chicago-Virden coal company did battle with striking members of the United Mineworkers of America.

The following photos were sent by Don and Patty Schmeder whose 30 year old union-activist son Donny is buried just yards from the grave of Mother Jones at his own last request. The Union Miners Cemetery of Mount Olive is maintained not merely as a shrine but as a testament to those who fought so that others could have rights.





Andy Irvine returns to Shandon


Venue: Firkin Crane, Shandon, Cork

Tickets: €15 from or

from the Maldron Hotel, Shandon or phone Jim on 0861651356

Andy Irvine - a unique performance at Shandon

Andy Irvine


Andy Irvine is a truly legendary figure in Irish folk music. Born in London in 1942, he recently celebrated his 71st birthday. Andy has been ‘on the road” for almost 50 years.

He was one of the original folkies associated with O’Donoghue’s Pub in Dublin and an early devotee of the music and songs of Woody Guthrie, the centenary of whose birth falls on the 14th July.

In 1966, he and his friends Joe Dolan and Johnny Moynihan came together to form Sweeney’s Men and a unique sound involving the interplay of bouzouki and mandolin worked itself into Irish folk music consciousness. “Waxie’s Dargle, Old Man in the Garret and Sullivan John” came from that wild period.

Always traveling, always meeting other musicians, always learning, Andy explored the folk traditions of Eastern Europe, Romania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, all behind the iron curtain through the 60s and 70s. His trips to County Clare inspired him further! He has traveled extensively in the USA and Australia picking up songs and tunes as he goes.

The recording of the Christy Moore album Prosperous in 1971 brought together Christy Moore, Andy, Donal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn, who afterwards formed Planxty in 1972.

Their first album, known as the Black Album remains another milestone recording in Irish Folk music. Classics such as “Sweet Thames flow softly”, “The West Coast of Clare” by Andy himself and “Only our Rivers run Free” remain as landmarks in Irish folk tradition.

Albums such as “The Well Below the Valley” and “Cold Blow and Rainy Night” soon followed in a later period by “After the Break” and “The Woman I loved so Well” are remembered with affection by Irish folk music lovers.

Andy has toured extensively with many Irish folk musicians over the years such as Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, Donal and Kevin Burke, Arty McGlynn, Jackie Daly. Later still in the 80s Andy played with a group Mosaic along with Hans Theesink and others. Later still he was a member of Patrick Street. This was followed by Mozack with Donal Lunny and with Bruce Molsky adding Appalachian tunes.

His solo 2010 album Abocurragh, produced by Donal Lunny, contains the track “The Spirit of Mother Jones” inspired by his visit to the grave of Mother Jones in the union Miners Cemetery near Mount Olive in Illinois.

Andy remains active in trade union matters and is current President of the Musicians Union of Ireland

His visit to Cork to play a fundraising concert during the Mother Jones Festival in the famous Shandon Bells Church (St. Anne’s Shandon) on the evening of Wednesday August 1st 2012 was a major highlight of the Mother Jones Festival. Also his practical support for the event from its inception was much appreciated by all the committee.

We are really delighted to welcome Andy back again for the 2013 event. This time the venue is the Firkin Crane stage and a fantastic concert is planned for Thursday evening of Mother Jones Day, August 1st.

This festival fundraising concert begins at 8pm and tickets are 15 euro each. Capacity is limited to just over 200, tickets can be obtained from or phone Jim on 0861651356. They are also available at the Maldron Hotel and will be on sale at the festival until they are sold out.

Note, entry to all other events, lectures, films and music sessions is free on a first come, first served basis.

Mt. Olive, resting place of Mother Jones, counts cost of Tornado

Mount Olive is arguably best known as the last resting place of Mary Harris, Mother Jones and the victims of the Virden Massacre of 1898. However Mount Olive was recently in the news for other reasons. Like many surrounding districts Mount Olive suffered major damage in the May 2013 Tornado outbreaks. Our thanks to Patty and Don Schmeder who sent us these photographs of the damage caused by the tornado. Our best wishes to the people of Mount Olive and other areas damaged by the tornadoes. Hopefully they will be able to rebuild soon.


Mt. Olive Tarnado




Cork Coal Quay Family Festival

From our friends at the Cork Coal Quay Family Festival.   The “Coal Quay” (pronounced as Coal Kay by locals) is a historic area in the centre of Cork City.  Built on an ancient marsh, the Coal Quay area is one of the oldest parts of Cork city.   The Coal Quay Family Festival kicks off on Saturday, 17th August.


At 11.45am, the Cork Butter Exchange Band will open the Festival by marching from North Gate Bridge along the good auld North Main Street, Kyle Street to Cornmarket Street accompanied by the Coal Shawlies where they will meet the Lord Mayor who will open the Festival. The people of Cork are more then welcome to join the colourful parade.
This unique voluntary fun filled family festival will celebrate the heart and soul of Cork City – the Coal Quay with its rich vibrant colourful heritage, tradition and culture in music, song, story, poetry, theatrical performances, & comedy. For the children, there will be face painters; clowns; magic shows, & balloon modelling on offer. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the grand auld characters of the Coal Quay winding and weaving their way through the colourful crowd! Also on show will be a fabulous photographic exhibition of old maps and illustrations exhibited along the entire streetscape, showcasing the Coal Quay Market in its former days with its quintessential traders dressed in traditional shawls. Free traditional food will be will served by The Bodega and The Cornstore on the day.
Why not dress-up in traditional costume – your grandmothers and grandfathers clothes and join in the party atmosphere. Come along and join the fun on the good auld Coal Quay- a treat for all the family. See you there!
For further information contact:
Event Organisers: Breda Scanlon: / Richard T. Cooke:


Liverpool Echo highlights Margaret Aspinall Award

The Liverpool Echo, Merseyside’s biggest selling daily newspaper, last Saturday (June 29th) featured the decision of the Mother Jones committee to award The Spirit of Mother Jones Award to Margaret Aspinall, Chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. The Echo, which has an average daily circulation of over 85,000 copies, has been in production since 1879. The Hillsborough Disaster led to the only ever Sunday edition of the newspaper in its history when on 16th April 1989 it produced a special issue to bring news of the disaster to the grief-stricken city and surrounding areas. You can read the article on the Cork Mother Jones’ festival award here:-

Spirit of Mother Jones to shine at 2nd Festival

local performer Kate Magrew as Mother Jones local performer Kate Magrew as Mother Jones

The Cork Mother Jones Committee today announced details of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at a packed press launch at the Maldron Hotel in the city’s historic Shandon area. In addition to the launch of our new festival programme and poster, the recipient of the Spirit of Mother Jones Award was announced as Margaret Aspinall, Chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

Margaret Aspinall

Margaret Aspinall

The launch was chaired by committee member Michael Lally who welcomed the assembled press and guests including some local women who had come dressed in period costume. Among those was performer Kate Magrew who skilfully reprised some of Mother Jones fiery and inspiring speeches. John Jefferies gave a brief outline of the long life of Mother Jones, her origins on the Northside of Cork and her history of struggle and activism across North America. Cllr. Ted Tynan spoke about the official designation by Cork City Council of August 1st as Mother Jones Day to mark the anniversary of Mother Jones baptism in the North Cathedral in 1837. William Hammond gave a run-down of the musical acts that will be appearing at the festival and Ger O’Mahony made the formal announcement that the Spirit of Mother Jones Award 2013 would go to Margaret Aspinall.

Some of the costumed local ladies at the launch

Some of the costumed local ladies at the launch

A year ago the first ever Cork Mother Jones festival was held in the Shandon area of the historic Northside of Cork city and successfully rekindled the legacy of one of Cork’s iconic women, then all but unknown in her native city, but famous in the United States and elsewhere.

A year on and Mother Jones no longer needs to be introduced to Corkonians and today we are pleased to announce our second festival which we have entitled The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2013 which will be held from Tuesday, 30th July to Thursday, 1st August which has appropriately been formally declared as Mother Jones Day thanks to Cork City Council and a motion from Cllr. Ted Tynan.

The location of the festival in Shandon is designed to enhance the tourism potential of this historic area and of Cork City in general as the birthplace of Mary Harris, who later achieved international recognition as the union organiser, Mother Jones. All but forgotten for over 80 years she has now become “one of our own” and the Spirit of Mother Jones will shine at our forthcoming second festival ensuring it will be bigger, better and bolder than the first.

The inaugural Mother Jones Photographic Exhibition in 2012 was immensely popular last year so we have brought it back again it will open at the Maldron Hotel at 5pm on July 30th and run right through to the close of the festival on the evening of August 1st.

The festival will once again showcase some great local and national music talent with a concert by Andy Irvine, an informal afternoon session with Jimmy Crowley and performances from Hank Wedel, the Cork Singers Club, Richard T. Cooke and others.

There will be first public showing of the film “116 Days – the Vita Cortex workers’ struggle” by Declan O’Connell a re-showing of Rosemary Feurer’s film on Mother Jones and Frameworks’ Films recent documentary on Cork’s hero Tadhg Barry.

Lectures and discussion will be led by Padraig Yeates on the Dublin Lockout of 1913 in its centenary year, Luke Dineen will talk about the forgotten 1909 Cork Lockout, Professor Simon Cordery will talk about Mother Jones and Ken Fleming of the International Transport Federation will talk about “Slavery on our Seas, the story of the poor conditions endured by seafarers on “Flags of Convenience” ships.

The culmination of this year’s festival will be the presentation of the Spirit of Mother Jones Award 2013 to Margaret Aspinall, Chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. As some of you will know Margaret’s 18 year old son James was one of the 96 people who died in the 1989 stadium disaster. In addition to the presentation of the award to Margaret she will also be our keynote speaker on the opening night of the festival at the Smurfit Theatre, Firkin Crane, Shandon on “Hillsborough, the torment of injustice”.

The 2013 festival will take place over 3 days from 30 July to 1st August and will consist of talks, lectures, concerts, films and music.