Some more pics from this year’s festival

Cork singers Club at Mother Jones Festival 2014 (1)

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.

US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn.  Here she is singing at an "open mike" session at the Maldron Hotel.

US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn. Here she is singing at an “open mike” session at the Maldron Hotel. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply "The Women's Song" about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner's Strike.   Photo: William Hammond.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply “The Women’s Song” about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner’s Strike. Photo: William Hammond.

Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014

by Professor James Green

Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014.  Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

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.

 

Mother Jones 2014 Lecture by James Green

 

WAPC group who spoke at festival visit SIPTU

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.

Betty and Anne with Jack O'Connor

Anne Scargill (right) and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures being presented with a copy of Padraig Yeates’ book on the 1913 Dublin Lockout by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

 

 

Illinois Senator praises Cork festival

The Cork Mother Jones Festival Committee has received a warm message of support and encouragement from Illinois Senator Andy Manar.

Senator Andy Manar

Sen. 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”

“I believe your festival is wonderful as it attracts people from all over the world and stands tallest among other known Mother Jones Festivals. I’d welcome a similar event in my district. Your festival sets a very high bar for other to reach and you should be extremely proud of that”
Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois

Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois

The Cork Mother Jones Committee acknowledges and supports the huge effort being made by the Unions, the Illinois Labour History Society and the Mother Jones Foundation to preserve and restore the monument over the grave of Mother Jones in Mount Olive cemetery. The restoration project will ensure that this monument over her final resting place will remain for ever as a fitting symbol of positive action for social justice which the spirit of Mother Jones inspires in thousands of people across the world.

Greetings from the Mayor of Boston

The Cork Mother Jones Committee received an enormous number of messages of support for the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival from around the world. Among those received was the following message of support from Martin J Walsh, Mayor of Boston. We are delighted to have received this message of support for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and wish to thank  Mayor Walsh for his kind message.    

Letter from the Mayor of Boston

Letter from the Mayor of Boston

Dear Delegates to the Mother Jones Festival,

On behalf of the people of Boston, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you as you stand together for the dignity of working families in Ireland, America, and around the world.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston.  Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston. Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Ireland holds a special place in my heart. Like the young Mary Harris, my parents were emigrants.  I was shaped by the voices and values of Irish working people.  And I share that Irish foundation with many of my fellow Bostonians.  President John F. Kennedy spoke of an “emerald thread” running through the history of the Irish: a resilience in the face of struggle that survives in their descendants around the world. This pattern is woven deeply into the rich and diverse tapestry of Boston’s people.

And the struggles of all working families are never far from my mind. I grew up in a union household;  I’ve belonged to the Laborers union since I was 18 years old; and I’ve spent my career in public service advocating advocating for workers’ rights.  I know that the simple notion of a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work is far from a simple thing to achieve.  Securing justice takes a hard, complex, and constant struggle.  It takes collective action that can only be accomplished by the kind of community building you are doing this weekend in Cork.

I know, as you do, that this struggle takes place the world over. Like Mother Jones, we must “abide wherever there is a fight against wrong”.  So I thank you for honoring her powerful legacy. And I thank you for shining a modern light on the timeless struggles of working people to defend their dignity and secure their rights.

Sincerely,

Martin J. Walsh

Mayor of Boston

 

 

Thank You message from the Cork Mother Jones Commmittee

Thank You!

The Cork Mother Jones Committee wishes to thank the many hundreds of people who worked on a voluntary basis in Shandon during the recent 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival to ensure another remarkable success story for this relatively new event. It has been a stimulating week!

It has been another wonderful event, drawing participants from far and wide, local visitors, trade unionists, historians and tourists from many countries to join in the activities of the summer school and festival which celebrated the life, the courage and the spirit of Mary Harris/Mother Jones.
We wish to thank our speakers, film makers, musicians, actors, media representatives and the huge community effort that went into what eventually became a week long event. We acknowledge the support and cooperation of all the people who work at our two venues, the Firkin Crane and the Maldron Hotel.
The responses from many of the several thousand people who attended at some stage during the week has been extremely positive and supportive for both the festival itself and acknowledge the huge and impressive input of the local community in Shandon.
The festival itself is tribute to the hard work and dedication of the members of the Cork Mother Jones Committee,the amazing local community spirit and huge growing international support which exists for the event. To our friends and supporters and those who honour the Spirit of Mother Jones across the world and are in turn inspired by her, we say thank you!

Today is Mother Jones Day

Today, Friday 1st August officially Mother Jones Day in Cork and is also the final day of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. After an inspiring day of film, music and debate Day 3 ended last night with a full house at the Firkin Crane for Si Kahn and Anne Feeney in concert which received rapturous applause and plenty of audience participation. The night ended with a fabulous music session at the Maldron Hotel.

Todays programme includes film on Cork socialist Tadhg Barry, discussion in Mother Jones’ links with James Connolly and Jim Larkin, a discussion with singer songwriter Si Kahn on his union and environmental activism , the Mother Jones Garden Party, plaque event. The highlight of the evening will be the premiere of Mother Jones and her Children, a film by Cork’s Framework Film. The number day and the festival wind down at the Maldron Hotel from 9.30pm with a bluegrass music session with Two Time Polka.

Children of Mother Jones – song lyrics

Below are the lyrics of Pete Duffy’s new song, “Children of Mother Jones” which you can hear on the previous post sung by Muddy Lee

 

Children of Mother Jones

 

We have freedom

Freedom in our bones

We are the children

Of our Mother Jones

We have freedom

As we fight for liberty

We’ll never be forgotten

While she strives to set us free

 

We were the first to march the protest trail

When the plight of children’s labour she unveiled

In our hearts we knew we could not fail

When Cork’s own rebel daughter told our tales

 

We have freedom

Freedom in our bones

We are the children

Of our Mother Jones

We have freedom

As we fight for liberty

We’ll never be forgotten

While she strives to set us free

 

The policemen had their batons bombs and guns

And drew from endless capitalistic funds

All we had were pockets full of stones

But we were led by fearless Mother Jones

 

We have freedom

Freedom in our bones

We are the children

Of our Mother Jones

We have freedom

As we fight for liberty

We’ll never be forgotten

While she strives to set us free

 

Those were cruel hard depressive times

With no thought they sent us down the mines

For us no school nor children’s nursery

We were the victims of the owner’s greed

 

We have freedom

Freedom in our bones

We are the children

Of our Mother Jones

We have freedom

As we fight for liberty

We’ll never be forgotten

While she strives to set us free

 

Those in power showed her no sympathy

In her fight to set the children free

She lies in Mount Olive Illinois

But Mother Jones’ true spirit never dies

 

We have freedom

Freedom in our bones

We are the children

Of our Mother Jones

We have freedom

As we fight for liberty

We’ll never be forgotten

While she strives to set us free

 

Yes, we have freedom

Freedom in our bones

We are the children

Of our Mother Jones

We have freedom

While we fight for liberty

We’ll never be forgotten

While she strives to set us free

 

Contact Pete Duffy, Tel (087) 2755031

Copyright (C) Frank E Lee and Pete Duffy

Mother Jones is back in Colorado!

Image

Mother Jones impersonator Kaiulani Lee begins a tour of Colorado next week.  Kaiulani, who wowed Cork audiences at the inaugural Spirit of Mother Jones festival in 2012 is touring under the auspices of the United Mine Workers’ of America with her play “Can’t Scare Me, the story of Mother Jones”.  We wish her all the best and hope she can return to Cork soon.

For more on Kaiulani and her show visit her website at www.kaiulanilee.com or view her Facebook page.

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival wins major award from Irish Hotel Federation

One of Cork’s newest festivals has just won a prestigious national award. Just three years in existence the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival, based at Shandon has been awarded one of the Irish Hotel Federation top Gathering awards in the Best Arts and Culture category.

 

The announcement was made at the Irish Hotel Federation Conference at the Knightbrook Hotel in Trim Co Meath on Tuesday morning.

 

The festival founded in 2012 and designed to celebrate Cork born Mary Harris, who became known as “the most dangerous woman in America” for her trade union activities and her support for the miners and their families has already become an international event.

 

Jim Nolan accepted the IHF award on behalf of the Cork Mother Jones Committee from Minister Michael Ring at a reception at the Hotels Conference and thanked the IHF for this practical demonstration of support for the event.

 

“We are absolutely thrilled with this award, it will really put historic Shandon and the Mother Jones festival on the map” stated Jim Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee. It is down to the amazing hard work of an outstanding voluntary committee”

 

“The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival is a unique and innovative event, which seeks out inspirational people who fight for social justice to come to our Shandon summer school

and tell their story” declared Mr. Nolan, “it has managed to attract huge interest from abroad, especially America”

 

“We are very much based in the community of Shandon and the festival prides itself on being free and open to everyone to come along and attend. We want to thank the local community, not least the local Maldron Hotel and the Firkin Crane Centre for providing practical support and venues and our sponsors SIPTU and Cork City Council for their encouragement which has enabled the event to grow and thrive.” reiterated Mr. Nolan.

 

The 2014 Festival will be held again from Thursday 29th July until 1st August at the Maldron Hotel and the Firkin Crane Centre in the heart of historic Shandon and will again feature a host of international and Irish speakers, concerts, lectures, workshops and music.

 

A full festival programme of events will be announced shortly and up to date details can be found on http://www.motherjonescork.com or contact Jim Nolan 086 1651356, or Ger O’Mahony at 086 3196063.