We imagine if Mother Jones visited Shandon, before Christmas 1920. During this time Ireland’s War of Independence was raging, and much of Patrick’s Street in Cork had been recently burned down by the Auxiliaries. The funeral of Terence McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, who died after a 74 day hunger strike in Brixton prison had taken place through the streets of Cork, a few weeks earlier. Mother Jones, (Joan Goggin) visits her former home near Shandon and walks around the deserted streets, where she played as a child (Aoife Delaney). She recalls her childhood memories where she, her mother (Eadaoin Delaney) and her family had once been happy prior to the Great Famine and the emigration of her family to Canada.
There is no evidence that Mary Harris/Mother Jones ever did return to Cork city where she was born in 1837 and left after the Great Hunger in the 1840s.
However for the purposes of the imagination, we imagine Mother Jones visiting her childhood home and streets in Shandon just before Christmas 1920 after the burning of Cork City.
Taking the lead role is actress Joan Goggin know to all as Cork’s own Mother Jones. Joan’s family, especially her Dad had an involvement in the labour/trade union movement for many years and the famous union leader Jim Larkin sometimes stayed in their house when visiting Cork.
The film also features a series of flashbacks to the 1840s where Joan is joined by her daughter Eadaoin Delaney who plays the role of Ellen Cotter, Mary Harris’s mother. Joan’s granddaughter Aoife plays a young Mary Harris skipping on the streets of Shandon.
In a remarkable twist of faith, in her soliloquy at Shandon, Mother Jones recalls her only son named Terence who was born in 1865, but who tragically died in the Memphis yellow fever epidemic in October 1867 and acknowledges Cork’s Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney who had died a few weeks earlier in October 1920.
This short film entitled Mother Jones Returns to Shandon was filmed in and around the Streets of Shandon by Frameworks Films.
All events will be streamed by Frameworks Films for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2020 and will be freely available to view by all.
Full programme of events will appear here and the Mother Jones Cork Facebook by mid-November.
Join our live celebration on zoom. WE SHALL RISE!
Preregister at link recommended. Join Sara Nelson (AFA/CWA), Cecil Roberts (UMWA) & Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S., Brian O Brien, Ireland’s consul general for Chicago & Midwest.& MORE !
Toasts from Cork Ireland, Mother Jones’ birthplace & Mother Jones
Monument, Mt. Olive Illinois.
Learn about our MJ Chicago sculpture
project in Chicago from our artists.
Registration recommended. We’ll give the live meeting info on the day of the meeting
Recommend you register in advance for this meeting:
The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. John Sheehan launched the 2019 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School at the Maldron Hotel in Shandon on Wednesday 26th June.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee would like to extend our best wishes to all involved at the Shandon Street Festival as they prepare for their 2019 festival which takes place next Saturday, 22nd June in and around Shandon Street on Cork’s Northside. The festival runs from 1 to 6pm and will have something for all the family.
The Shandon Street Festival is in many ways a sister festival of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. It was with tremendous help from the Shandon Street Committee that we got off the ground in 2012 and many of the same individuals play a key role in both festivals which take place in the same area of the city.
“The name of Mother Jones may not yet appear on a public edifice in Cork city, her native place, but her call for people to “pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living” will always live on “James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee
The Cork Mother Jones Committee is working away to organise our eighth annual Spirit of Mother Jones festival in the Shandon community this year (from 31st July until the 3rd August) and everyone will be most welcome as we will again have an interesting, challenging and relevant line up.
In an exciting new development, the Cork Mother Jones Committee is planning to hold an international song competition to select a new “Song for Mother Jones”.
Entries can be submitted at any time up to the commencement of the festival.
The theme of the song should reflect Mother Jones or associated issues such as social justice, mining or the labour movement.
The song has to be your own song, or played by yourself or someone you know or nominate. It has to be an original composition.
The song must be played live and with no more than one accompanist and must be performed during the festival.
If you want to submit a song or wish to take part please contact the festival committee or submit an MP3 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are encouraging and calling on songwriters and performers everywhere to participate and come up with an original work which reflects the life and work of Cork born Mother Jones.
Already there is a vast repertoire of Mother Jones songs and ballads from Gene Autry, Si Kahn to our own Andy Irvine. The song “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” is reputed to have been used following Mother Jones trips to isolated mining communities.
Now we want to enhance the Cork imprint on some further songs and these new songs will be performed at the forthcoming Spirit of Mother Jones festival.
We will announce full details of prizes, dates and venues closer to the festival on the festival website (www.motherjonescork.com) itself but we are asking potential songwriters to begin working on the songs which they propose to submit. “
The full programme for the 2019 festival and summer school in Shandon is in the course of preparation but will contain some new and interesting elements to involve increased public participation. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for the inclusion of material or topics please contact the Cork Mother Jones Committee as soon as possible at email@example.com.
A documentary on the lengthy struggle of the Vita Cortex workers will be shown at the Mother Jones Festival in Cork on Wednesday, 31st July. The workers sit-in at the Vita Cortex factory has already gone down in the annals of Cork’s long history of worker’s struggle. The 161 day long occupation of the plant at Kinsale Road began on 16th December 2011 after the workers at the factory were told that Friday evening that their jobs were gone and that would be getting no redundancy pay from the company. The shell-shocked workers, some of whom had given as much as 47 years of service to the company, decided this was completely unacceptable and they began a sit in that was to last until 24th May 2012 and gain the workers worldwide notice and respect.
The Vita Cortex occupation showed graphically that a century after the great labour disputes of the early 20th century workers are still under threat from unscrupulous employers and have to fight for every entitlement. While many gains have been made, especially through the efforts of the trade union movement and workers’ blood, sweat and tears, these gains can easily be reversed unless struggle continues and people are prepared to take a stand.
The film “161 Days – the Vita Cortex workers’ struggle” is a bird’s-eye view of the long fight of the workers for a just settlement from their employer. The film, shot by Cork filmmaker Declan O’Connell and produced by his son, Barra, engages with the workers and watches the developing situation as messages of support flood in from around the world. Among those sending messages of support were Sir Alex Ferguson, former footballer Paul McGrath, actor Cillian Murphy, ex-President Mary Robinson, singer Christy Moore and renowned philosopher and commentator Noam Chomsky. The film follows the highs and lows of the workers morale, the solidarity, the protests and the attempts to achieve a just settlement and, finally, the eventual jubilation when the workers succeed. The film will be shown at the Firkin Crane, Shandon at 11.00am on Wednesday, 31st July as part of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
Born in Cork, Ireland in 1837, she became known as the Most Dangerous Woman in America. This year, 2012, Cork will remember her formally for the first time.