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 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  – 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.




Possible relations of Mother Jones sought

We are seeking out people who believe that they may be related to Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones).  As people will know, Mary lost her own children, four of them and her husband George Jones in an outbreak of yellow fever when the family was living in Memphis, Tennessee, so there are no direct descendants alive, however there must be people alive today in both Ireland and the United States who are related either through the Harris and Cotter families in Ireland or the siblings of Mother Jones.   We know that Mary’s eldest brother, Richard, became a Catholic priest but she had another brother, William, and two sisters, Catherine and Ellen.

Regarding the Harris family in Ireland , Mother Jones grandparents on the Harris side seem to have been: William Harris & Mary White.They were the parents of Richard Harris, Mary’s father.Richard seems to have had a sister Hanorah Harris, b 1805 and a brother John, b 1798.   Mary’s father Richard Harris was from Cork and her mother was Ellen Cotter from Inchigeelagh in the Lee Valley, West Cork.

If you believe you are related to Mother Jones, or that there may be a family connection, we sould love to hear from you. Send us an e-mail or telephone Jim on (086) 3033576.

Our guest contributors – Marat Moore & Rosemary Feurer

Profiles of two more of our guest contributors, author and former coal miner Marat Moore and film producer and author Rosemary Feurer


Marat Moore


Marat Moore book cover

Marat Moore book cover

Marat is the author of “Women in the Mines, stories of Life and Work”, former coal miner and UMWA staff member. She is a founder of the Daughters of Mother Jones, which were involved in the Pittston coal strike of 1989-90.

Marat is currently writing a novel on Mother Jones and will be doing some research while in Ireland on her roots in Cork. She is seeking information on Cork in the period 1830 to 1850, with particular emphasis on the famine period.

So would anyone who has information on Cork in this period make contact with Marat during the course of the Mother Jones festival from the 31st July to 2nd August? Marat has encouraged the Cork Mother Jones Committee from the very start and the end result is the Cork Mother Jones Festival.




Rosemary Feurer.

Rosemary Feurer

Rosemary Feurer

Rosemary is a historian based in Northern Illinois University. Along with Laura Vazquez, Rosemary directed a 24 minute documentary entitled Mother Jones, America’s most Dangerous Women, which was first shown in 2007.  This documentary recalls the terrible conditions and labour oppression that motivated Mother Jones to travel the country mobilizing thousands of workers to fight for justice.

It shows scenes of the 1914 Ludlow massacre in all its horror and brings to life the extraordinary brutality visited on the miners and their families during this period.

The film includes the only known footage of Mother Jones proclaiming herself to be still a radical and longing for the day “when labour will have the destination of the nation in her own hands”.

Rosemary will introduce her documentary to Ireland at the Maldron Hotel on Tuesday evening 31st July at 7pm. This will be followed by a discussion and general talk on Mother Jones. There will be further showings of the documentary during the course of the festival depending on demand.

Rosemary’s husband’s grandfather was a breaker boy in the coal mines of Pennslyvania when he met Mother Jones. Rosemary has inspired and supported our Cork Mother Jones Committee in every way to ensure this festival will be a fitting tribute.

Our guest speakers – Professor Elliott J. Gorn

Elliot J. Gorn

Professor Elliott J. Gorn – will speak at Cork event about the life and legacy of Mother Jones

As we come nearer to the date for the Cork Mother Jones Festival we would like to take an opportunity to introduce you to some of our guest contributors, starting with Professor Elliot J. Gorn.

Elliott Gorn is Professor of American Civilisation and History at Brown University. He specializes in the social and cultural history of the United States in the 19th and 20th century.

His books include Mother Jones, the Most Dangerous Woman in America, Dillinger’s Wild Ride, Muhammad Ali, the People’s Champ and a Brief History of American Sports.

Mother Jones, the most dangerous woman in America (book)

Elliot Gorn’s book, “Mother Jones, the Most Dangerous Woman in America”

He has contributed to numerous articles and publications and has received several awards and research fellowships for his work.

Elliott has very kindly agreed to come along to the very first Mother Jones festival in Shandon and will speak at the Firkin Crane at 3pm on Wednesday 1st August 2012, along with Marat Moore. Elliott’s biography of Mother Jones, identifies her Cork connections, details the actual contributions of Mother Jones to the labour movement in all their complexity. This classic book gives a comprehensive account of the very complex, fascinating and authentic human being, that was Mother Jones.

He concludes about Mother Jones:-

“A common woman whose early years yielded toil and tragedy and whose old age promised nothing but obscurity. She was expected to go silently through life, for she was a mere worker in a country that worshipped success, an immigrant in a nativist land, a woman in a male dominated society and an elderly person in a nation that cherished youth. Hers was the voice that Americans were not supposed to hear. That was her final legacy- out of nothing, but courage, passion, and commitment; she created a unique voice, a prophetic voice, and raised it in the cause of renewing America’s democratic promise.”