Our performers – Hank Wedel

Hank Wedel has been part of the music scene around Cork City and County for over 20 years with his eclectic mix of folk, country, jazz and rock and other music styles.

Hank Wedel

Singer-songwriter Hank Wedel was born in the USA in the 1960s,
grew up in New York City and Mallow, Co. Cork in the ‘70s, he lived for awhile in NYC in the ’80s and ’90s but is based in Cork City

Hank is well known for his involvement in the live music scene in that city, working with bands such as “Princes Street” and “Open Kitchen”, as well as a long-standing Monday night residency at Charlies Bar on Union Quay with mandolinst Ray Barron.

Hank has also performed with Irish music legends Kila, Shane McGowan and Bono.

Irish folk-singer legend Christy Moore recorded Hank’s song “Listen” and made it the title track of his best-selling 2009 album on the Sony records label.

Hank will be one of the headline performers at a night of music, song and dance at the Maldron Hotel as part of the Mother Jones Festival on Wednesday 1st August.




We have been asked by a number of groups and individuals outside of Ireland how they can make donations to the Cork Mother Jones Commemorative Comittee.  Donations in the Republic of Ireland can be made through our bank account at Ulster Bank, Blackpool, Cork, Ireland, account number 10793602, Sort Code 98-54-81. Those wishing to donate from outside the Republic of Ireland can do so  by direct bank transfer to (IBAN) IE85ULSB, Account Number 985481 10832608 or Bank Identifier Code (BIC) – BIC ULSBIE2D.

All donations will be receipted and we are most grateful for them.  Without such donations and the assistance of a number of organisations it would not be possible to run the festival.

Countdown begins to Mother Jones Festival

The countdown begins for the Cork Mother Jones Festival which takes place from Tuesday, 31st July to Thursday, 2nd August.

There has been huge interest in the festival from right around the Ireland but especially in Mary Harris Jones native city of Cork, Ireland and in her adopted home in the United States of America.    We still have some tickets left for the Andy Irvine concert in Shandon on the Wednesday night (1st August) and for the bus tour to Cobh on Thursday 2nd August (see related posts below for more details).  And of course there has been great interest in the commemorative medallion that we have produced which is for sale at €10 and will undoubtedly become a collectors item in years to come.

Our guest contributors – Kaiulani Lee

Kaiulani Lee

Kaiulani Lee

Kaiulani Lee is an author and actor with more than 35 years of experience in theatre, film and television, mostly in the United States.   She has appeared in numerous films, television dramas and theatrical work, including her acclaimed stage performance in the role of Mother ones in Can’t Scare Me, the Story of Mother Jones.  Another award-winning play is A Sense of Wonder.

Kaiulani Lee has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award on Broadway and has won the OBIE Award for outstanding achievement off-Broadway.

Ms. Lee has guest starred on numerous television series from The Waltons to Law & Order.  Her film work began with The World According to Garp and has continued through Civil Action, Stephanie Daley and A Bird in the Air.   She portrayed “Martha Ballard” in the critically-acclaimed PBS film A Midwife’s Tale.

She taught in the film department at New York University’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and for the past thirteen years has taught acting at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Ms. Lee is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College for her contribution to and excellence in the arts.

Kaiulani as Mother Jones

Kaiulani Lee as Mother Jones (Photo Todd Messegee via DC Theatre Scene)

In Cork, Kaiulani will reprise her role as Mother Jones in excerpts from her stage show Can’t Scare me, the Story of Mother Jones.    According to critic Terry Ponick of the DC Theatre Scene, “(Kaiulani) Lee speaks in Mother Jones’ native Irish dialect throughout and carries it on spectacularly well without breaking stride as some thespians occasionally do. She’s also at home with the character she embodies, behaving gently and solicitously when her labor union charges need grandmotherly advice, but then erupting into a full-blown radical rabble-rouser when she climbs the barricades. It’s an awesome performance, a phenomenal realization of a bigger-than-life historical character, impressive whether you’re on the side of labor unions or not.

Her performance in Cork will add a sense of living history to the story of Mother Jones and we are sure that she will impress her audience and bring Mother Jones to life in our midsts during the Cork Mother Jones festival.

Some of our musical performances

Below is a list of some of the musical treats that can be enjoyed during the Cork Mother Jones Festival on July 31st and August 1st.

Venue and Performers:-


(1) The Maldron Hotel, John Redmond St

Tuesday 31st July at 9.30pm, admission free.
The Cork Singers Club and Jim Williamson.
Featuring union song covers from Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger
and some Mother Jones songs from Si Khan’s new musical.
Jim Williamson will sing some of the songs from this new
exciting musical, the first time they will be played in public
in the world.

(2) The Firkin Crane, Shandon

Wednesday 1st August at 1pm admission free
Mother Jones concert with Richard T Cooke, the
Cork Memory Lane Group, the Active Pulse Drama
Group, James McCarthy play the songs and stories
associated with Mother Jones. Richard himself will
perform a tribute to Mother Jones for the first time.
(3) Outside St.Anne’s Church, Shandon.
Wednesday 1st August at 6.45.
The Butter Exchange Band recital. Free open air
The famous Butter Exchange Band will play the
songs associated with Mother Jones, such as Union Maid
(Woody Guthrie), She’ll be coming round the Mountain when she comes”
“The death of Mother Jones” Gene Autry and stirring union and
mining songs.   .

(3) St.Anne’s Church, Shandon, (The Bells Of Shandon).

Wednesday 1st August at 8.30 pm, Ticket only.
Tickets 10 euro from www.tickets.ie or 086 3196063.

Featuring Andy Irvine.

This legend of Irish folk music intends to pay
his own tribute to Mother Jones. His album Abocurragh
features his famous track,”The Spirit of Mother Jones”
This will be a unique once off musical event at the
home of Mother Jones, not to be missed.

(4) Maldron Hotel, John Redmond St.

Wednesday, 1st August at 9.30pm. admission free.
Mother Jones Celebration Concert featuring
Hank Wedel, Two Time Polka and a host of musicians,
singers and dancers.
We would like to acknowledge the support
of all the musicians for this unique celebration in honour
of a famous Cork woman, who was born on this day 175 years ago
but who was written out of Cork’s history until this festival.
We are also grateful for the organising skills
of William Hammond of the Cork Folk Festival.


Cork Mother Jones Coin / Medallion

Our special commemorative coin / medallion is now available and will, we believe, become a must-have souvenir of the Cork Mother Jones Festival.

Mother Jones Commemorative medallion / coin

Cork Mother Jones Festival Medallion / Coin

The Cork Mother Jones committee has had a very limited number of these specially designed coins for the Mother Jones 175th anniversary.

The medallion / coin features an engraved image of Mother Jones on front with the legend “Mother Jones 1837 – 1930” and on the reverse side it features an engraving of the Cork City Coat of Arms with the legend “175th Anniversary, Cork, Ireland, 1st August 2012” and around the perimiter it has the famous quote from Mother Jones, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living”.   The Coat of Arms includes the City of Cork’s motto “Statio Bene Fide Carinis” (A Safe Place for Ships).

The coins are 50mm in dimension and we are selling them at a very reasonable price of €10 (plus post and packaging for orders by post); they will be on sale during the festival but if anyone wants to order one in advance ( at the moment we can only sell one per customer), they can do so by contacting Jim ( with customer’s name, address and  contact telephone number) at motherjones175@mail.com  – please put the word “coin” in the subject field of your email. Or you can telephone Jim at (086) 3033576.

Details of lunchtime concert (August 1st)

Thanks to Richard T. Cooke for organising the lunchtime concert which will take place as part of the Cork Mother Jones Festival on Wednesday, 1st August 2012.  This will be a free concert starting at 1.00pm and the venue will be the Firkin Crane centre in Shandon.

Performers will include:-

  • Cork Memory Lane Group
  • Cork Shakespearean Company
  • James P. McCarthy
  • The Publiners

The concert will last for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes and will be rounded off with a medley of Cork songs with the finale being a new song about Mother Jones written and performed by the inimitable Richard T. Cooke.