Luke Dineen: “Connect Trade Union – An Early History, 1919-23”

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to welcome historian Luke Dineen to the 2019 Spirit of Mother Jones Summer School.

Luke will address the topic of “Craftsmen and the Irish Revolution 1920 – 23. The outline of the talk follows.

Connect Trade Union – An Early History, 1919-23”

Luke Dineen

“Organised labour was a vital component of the independence struggle from 1918-20. During those year labour was an open, though unofficial, ally of the republican movement. Many trade unionists were active members of Sinn Féin and/or the IRA. Although craftsmen were at the heart of the Irish revolution, their role in it has received little attention from historians. With the aid of the republicans, craftsmen launched breakaway Irish trade unions tasked with playing their part in destroying British rule in Ireland. Despite a tumultuous birth, one such union survives to this day: Connect Trade Union, until recently called the Technical, Electrical and Engineering Union. It was, and remains, an exclusively Irish union for the trades, catering exclusively for Irish needs.

Connect Trade Union logo

This talk will chart the early history of Connect, covering its launch in May 1920 and the first few years of its existence. It will explore the factors that birthed the union and the extensive links it had to senior figures in the republican movement in its early years, including Michael Collins and Countess Markiewicz. In so doing, this talk will examine how the Irish working class perceived and participated in the Irish revolution, and what they got out of it. “

Luke has now participated in seven festivals and his contributions explore the hidden and often ignored contribution of the Irish trade union movement and working class people to the Irish revolutionary period in the early 20th Century. Among the areas which he has explored are the 1909 Cork Lockout, the Cork Harbour Soviet, the Post Office Strike of 1922, the labour movement and the republican struggle in Cork 1919-1923 and the life of Thomas “Corkie” Walsh.

Luke will speak on Friday morning 2nd August beginning at 11am at the Cathedral Visitor Centre.

All welcome.

 

Outlanders: Stories of the Displaced.

Venue: Cathedral Visitors Centre

Date & Time: Wednesday afternoon July 31st at 3pm.

Séan Ó Tuathaigh is an activist and the author of Outlanders – Stories of the Displaced, his first book. He wants to use this book to highlight the plight of those often anonymous people who make the dangerous journey from their war ravaged countries to seek new lives and homes and peace in other countries.

“Ask yourself what would you do to survive? Would you cross an ocean, would you cross an armed border, walk across a desert?” Séan asks those questions of people who did just that and has published their stories.

Seán Ó Tuathaigh

Outlanders is a collection of refugee stories, compiled from some of the people who author met while working in the US. There are stories of old people and young, recently arrived and well established, originating from Laos, Burma (2), Afghanistan (2), South Africa, Somalia, Palestine, Bosnia and Kurdistan.

The first of its kind to explore the subject from a creative perspective, this book builds on the journalistic work available on the subject. The stories are presented in a style that immerses the reader into the experiences of the refugee, to see what they saw, smell what they smelt and feel what they felt.”

Listen to Séan and you will meet ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations, you will hear the stories of Zarhawar, Saadia, Mar Mar, Chue Vang, Hawraz, Nolwandle, Bojana, Nasruddin, Tuqa, and Azhar. No longer statistics or objects of mistrust…..these ordinary human beings tell their stories in Outlanders and humanity needs to empathise with their fear, their hopes and their courage.

Séan’s book serves as a timely echo from the seanscéal of millions of our very own Irish ancestors who fled this country to begin new lives in other places. Young Mary Harris and her family did in Famine times!

Outlanders: book cover

 

Seán Ó Tuathaigh was born and raised in Sligo and is a graduate of the M.Phil in Creative Writing at TCD. Before that course, he taught English in Hanoi, Vietnam. After graduation, in 2016, he moved to the USA for 18 months, where he worked as a refugee biographer in a resettlement agency and following that he wrote Outlanders.Published by Mercier Press, copies of Outlanders: Stories of the Displaced will be available at the talk at the Cathedral Visitors Centre.

Available now at Mercier Press

Free overseas delivery at Book Depository

  • ···········

Follow Outlanders on Facebook

 

Séan will speak at the 2019 Spirit Of Mother Jones summer school at the Cathedral Visitor Centre at 3pm on Wednesday 31st July 2019. All welcome.

 

 

Impressive line up for Limerick Soviet 100

DomEt_SX4AEgaMq

Our best wishes to the Limerick Soviet 100 committee on their forthcoming events to mark the centenary of the Limerick Soviet, an uprising of around 14,000 workers in a city which then had a population of around 40,000 people.   The Limerick Soviet 100 committee has produced an impressive line up events for the festival which runs from 5th to 28th April.  The full brochure can be downloaded from their website here: Limerick Soviet 100

220px-LimerickMoney1919

Money issued during the Limerick Soviet

The Limerick Soviet came about during Ireland’s War of Independence (1919-1921) in the aftermath of the death of a key member of the Irish Republican Army who also happened to be a leading trade unionist in the city.  The reaction of the occupying British forces to the attempted rescue of Byrne led to the declaration of the city as a Special Military Area and draconian regulations were introduced including the insistence that all citizens carry permits and blocking many of them from getting to and from their places of work.  This forced the Limerick United Trades and Labour Council to react and on 14th April 1919 some 14,000 Limerick workers went on strike to protest against the restrictions.  The Strike Committee, led by carpenter John Cronin, took over the running of the city and began to organise and supervise the distribution of food, transport, communications and movement in the City and even printed its own currency during the period. The Limerick Soviet was born!

It promises to be a most interesting series of events.

 

Mother Jones for 2019 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parades

Mother Jones for the 2019 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parades.

chicago-1535678_1920

Chicago – the Windy City

For the very first time, the Mother Jones Heritage Project committee has been invited to participate in the Chicago St Patrick’s Day parades.

The Illinois based committee has commissioned a new Mother Jones Banner especially for the parade and this banner will include a reference to her origins in Cork. Included also will be a 10 foot inflatable Mother Jones, while emigrant Brigid Duffy will march dressed appropriately as Mother Jones herself.

Mother Jones Patricks Day banner final

The new banner which will debut at this year’s Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The St Patrick’s Day parades in Chicago on Saturday 16th March and Sunday 17th are among the largest in the world with hundreds of thousands taking part. A million watch the event on Chicago TV while the Chicago River will turn green along with a number of prominent public buildings.

In welcoming this exciting development, Mr. James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee stated,

“This is a further example of the growing international recognition of Cork born Mary Harris/ Mother Jones’s contribution to the wider trade union and labour movements in the United States of America.

We are delighted that Chicago has decided to include Mother Jones for the first time and we hope it will become an annual feature of the parade. All Cork people in and around Chicago are asked to support and assist the Heritage Project group at the parade.

We congratulate the massive work being done on behalf of Mother Jones by this committee led by Rosemary Feurer, whose members regularly attend the Spirit of Mother Jones festival here in Cork.”

haymarket meeting

Haymarket poster

According to Rosemary Feurer of the Heritage Project

“We are thrilled that Chicago St Patrick’s Day parade committee was enthusiastic about highlighting Mother Jones and we are excited about continuing to work with our friends in Cork, who helped to spark our own project.”

Mother Jones has several connections to Chicago, the Windy City. Following the loss of her four children and husband in the Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic of 1867, Mary Harris, a seamstress went to Chicago and opened a clothing shop on Washington Street. However on the night of 8th October 1871, much of the city was burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire along with Mary’s business premises. Mary was made destitute and had to start all over again.

Some 34 years later in 1905, as Mother Jones, she attended the inaugural planning meeting of the historically famous Industrial Workers of the World (IWW – The Wobblies) in Chicago, she was the only woman present at this meeting and was the very first signature on the subsequent IWW Manifesto.

Mary Harris was also very influenced by the Haymarket Square incidents in Chicago on 4th May 1886 and its aftermath which saw the execution of the Haymarket Four.

Haymarket Affair ILHS

Haymarket event

These events are commemorated each year in Chicago on 1st May and has led to the annual celebration of May Day as an international labour holiday.

As Mother Jones, she declared May 1st as her birthday, a symbolic act, attributed by her biographer Elliott Gorn as perhaps the day she was born into the labour movement.

LI-sculp-6045c

The Haymarket Monument, Chicago

Vote for Cork’s new bridge to be renamed Mother Jones Bridge!

harelystbridge

Artist’s Impression of what the new bridge will look like

Cork City Council is constructing a new bridge across the River Lee.

This bridge will link Merchants Quay to St. Patrick’s Quay close to the existing Harley Street which runs alongside the Metropole Hotel.   The new bridge will provide improved pedestrian and cycle connectivity between the centre “island” of Cork and the Northside of the River Lee.
The City Council is seeking a new name for this bridge and is looking for nominations from all interested persons and groups. One can submit a nomination using the attached nomination form (see link below). Please read the guidelines.

Completed nomination forms should be returned directly to the Cork City Council 

to fiona_dinneen@corkcity.ie (note underscore) or go to https://consult.corkcity.ie.
Also the forms can be posted to Fiona Dinneen, Administrative Officer, Roads and Transportation Directorate, City Hall, Cork,
T12 T997.
All nominations have to be submitted by Thursday 15th November 2018.
 
The Cork Mother Jones Committee intends to nominate Mother Jones as the name for this new bridge and is urging all friends of Mother Jones to consider submitting and supporting her nomination before 15th November.
Mary Harris was born in Cork in 1837, baptised in the North Cathedral and lived through the Great Famine until 1852, when she emigrated with her family to join her father in Canada. In spite of huge personal tragedies in her early life; later as Mother Jones she overcame adversity to fight for social justice, and to defend exploited workers, including women, men and children across the United States of America for the final four decades of her life.
Renowned in song and story, Mother Jones is the most famous Cork woman in the world and she has become an international symbol of hope for people fighting for social justice. She was a proud, brave and passionate Cork woman, a skilled and fiery orator, a brilliant union organiser and a fearless leader of many thousands of men and women.
A true rebel, Mother Jones represents the very best attributes of  Cork people with their proud independent spirit, their passionate support for the underdog and their rebellious yet joyful nature. By now recognising Mother Jones, Cork will finally acknowledge the importance and contribution of countless Irish women who were forced to leave Ireland in Famine times and who by their subsequent actions to support exploited people elsewhere in the world have ensured a positive legacy of honour and pride for their historic achievements back in their own native places and among the wider Irish diaspora.
We ask you to honour the enduring spirit of Mother Jones in her own place by completing and sending a nomination form to call this new bridge, 
The Mother Jones Bridge.   

Photos from Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Day 3 (3rd August)

Photos from the second day of the 7th Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School 2018. Today (Saturday, 4th August) is the final day of the festival.  Timetable to be uploaded on this site shortly.

 

Mary Manning presentation with James NOlan

James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committtee presenting the Spirit of Mother Jones award 2018 to former Dunnes Stores striker Mary Manning at the Firkin Crane Theatre in Shandon last evening. The award was jointly made to Mary and the other former Dunnes Stores strikers who maintained their action in opposition to the sale of products from then Apartheid South Africa for almost three years

Dr. Emily Twarog

Dr. Emily Twarog at the Cathedral Visitor Centre

Video: Cork’s own Jimmy Crowley singing one of his own songs about the Spanish Civil War.

 

Jimmy Crowley

Cork’s own troubadour Jimmy Crowley was in fine form at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at the Maldron Hotel

Mother Jones Plaque

The Mother Jones Plaque at John Redmond Street. The final event of the festival will take place at this location at 7.30pm this evening (4th August) – the annual Toast and songs to Mother Jones. All welcome

Shandon Bells

St. Ann’s Church of Ireland, Shandon, Cork

Louise Ryan and Ger O'Mahony

Professor Louise Ryan with Ger O’Mahony of the Cork Mother Jones Committee

Mary Manning presentation with committee

Presentation to Mary Manning with members of the Cork Mother Jones Committee

Mother Jones 2018 Day 3 045

Photos from Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Day 2 – 3rd August 2018

Photos from the second day of the 7th Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School 2018. The event continues until next Saturday evening, 4th August.

Luke Dineen presentation by Ann Piggott

Ann Piggot of the Cork Mother Jones Committee makes a presentation to Luke Dineen who delivered a fascinating talk about the life and times of Thomas “Corkie” Walsh at the Cathedral Visitor centre

Louise O'Keeffe

Louise O’Keeffe (right) who received a presentation from Ann Piggott and Ger McCarthy of the Cork Mother Jones Committee

Linda and William

Linda Quinlan and William Hammond provided lunchtime Music at the Maldron Hotel

Mother Jones 2018 Day 2 Thurs 011

Just one section of the capacity crowd that attended the the Irish premiere of “Up to the Last Drop: the Secret Water Wars of Europe” at the Firkin Crane.

Noreen Murphy

Noreen Murphy who introduced the documentary “Up to the last Drop: the Secret Water Wars of Europe”.

 

Anne Twomey

Anne Twomey of the Shandon Area History Group who gave a fascinating and informative lecture on Mary Annie and Muriel McSwiney

Anne Twomey and Ger McCarthy

Local historian Anne Twomey (right) receiving a presentation from Ger McCarthy of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.