Antoinette Keegan will be formally presented by the Cork Mother Jones Committee with the 2020 Spirit of Mother Jones Award on Friday 29th July at 3pm at the Dance Cork Firkin Crane theatre.
Antoinette and her late parents Christine and John along with other families and survivors have campaigned for justice and answers as to why 48 young people including Antoinette’s sisters Mary (19) and Martina (16),lost their lives at the Stardust Fire in the northside of Dublin on Valentine’s Day 14th February 1981. Over 200 people were treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the fire.
In spite of her own injuries, the loss of two of her sisters and the failure of the State Authorities to provide answers, Antoinette has campaigned to uncover the full truth of the events of that night. What caused this fire and who was responsible?
Her resilience and commitment to pursuing justice for the 48 children who never came home to their families remains an inspiration to many people.
In 2019, the Attorney General approved the holding of new inquests to establish the full facts. After 41 years of the campaign for justice, the inquests should finally begin this year.
We wish to express our thanks to Antoinette and members of her family for coming to Cork and speaking about the long standing efforts of the survivors to seek the facts.
All are welcome to the presentation and discussion.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee has announced that the late Dave Hopper and the Durham Miners’ Association are the recipients of the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones Award.
Mr Hopper was General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association. Tragically, Dave, who was due to arrive in Cork to introduce a film on Orgreave at the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival passed away on Saturday 16th July last and his funeral was held yesterday (Friday).
The Cork Mother Jones Committee have extended our sympathy and solidarity to his family and friends everywhere.
“Dave Hopper attended the past two Mother Jones festivals in Cork and was looking forward to coming again this year. He was a legend in the trade union movement and was instrumental in organising the largest union gathering in Europe at what is known as the Durham Miners’ Gala this year. It was held on Saturday July 9th and was attended by over 150,000 people, making it one of the largest crowds to attend there in living memory.”
“Mr Hopper loved coming to Shandon, he loved the people of Shandon and made a great contribution to the festivals. In 2015 he delivered (along with Kaiulani Lee) the annual Cork Mother Jones Lecture. He will be sadly missed by the many friends he made in Shandon and is a huge loss to the labour movement. We intend to honour his memory at this year’s festival by an appropriate tribute and we know the Durham Miners Association will carry on his work”
Jim Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee:
In his recent message at the 2016 Durham Gala, Dave Hopper in his honest and forthright manner stated:
Dave Hopper, a fourth generation miner, had been the General Secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association since 1985. In spite of the closure of the pits and collieries, not alone had he continued to fight for justice for miners and continued to seek compensation benefits for work related sickness and injuries endured by his colleagues but had led the transformation of the Durham Miners’ Association into a community based organisation. This Association had the organisational resources to showcase working people’s solidarity through the growth of the inspirational Durham Miners’ Gala each July.
Dave Hopper and the Durham Miners’ Association are worthy recipients of the 2016 Award. The award has been made each year to those who we feel act in the Spirit of Mother Jones and we are satisfied that our selection for 2016 is very true to this spirit.
The Cork Spirit of Mother Jones Award recipients to date have been,
2013, Margaret Aspinall and Sue Roberts. (Hillsborough Family Support Group,)
The Liverpool Echo, Merseyside’s biggest selling daily newspaper, last Saturday (June 29th) featured the decision of the Mother Jones committee to award The Spirit of Mother Jones Award to Margaret Aspinall, Chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group. The Echo, which has an average daily circulation of over 85,000 copies, has been in production since 1879. The Hillsborough Disaster led to the only ever Sunday edition of the newspaper in its history when on 16th April 1989 it produced a special issue to bring news of the disaster to the grief-stricken city and surrounding areas. You can read the article on the Cork Mother Jones’ festival award here:-