Traditionally the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival each year concludes at the plaque on John Redmond Street, where we toast Mother Jones and remember absent friends.
This year was especially poignant as we recalled John Jefferies, who died on February 10th 2020. John was a founding member of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.
The committee made a special presentation to Monica Ross, John’s sister, as a token of the esteem and affection he was held in by many associated with the festival. The inscription read “In recognition of John Jefferies, Friend of Mother Jones” from the Cork Mother Jones Committee 2022.
John spoke at the 2015 festival about a hero of his, Jack (Sean) Dowling, who was one of the leaders of the Limerick Soviet in April 1919.
Monica thanked everyone and, in tribute to her brother, read a poem, ‘Thoughts on a beach‘, which John had composed.
The thoughts of the large gathering also were with labour historians Liam Cahill and Manus O’Riordan, both of whom had participated in the 2019 Spirit of Mother Jones festival.
Thoughts on a beach I walk on the beach and wonder Who has passed this way before me? What joyous child looked awestruck at the scene? Or picked a periwinkle from a rock Curious at the sight. What brave explorer chanced upon this way? And sat upon that rock Resting for a while Letting cares abate. Did some ancient beast waddle from the sea And linger where I stand? Looking for its prey Or frolicking in the waves. We are all but travelers on our way Leaving footprints in the sand There a fleeting moment ‘Til tide marks have their say. I was here today And marvelled at the sight Danced in the waves Drew pictures in the sand. I dreamed I was a sailor Or the first to set foot here Carefree and inquisitive I left a sign right there – A footprint on the shoreline And now I am elsewhere. The imprint it has faded Much time has passed since then My shadow in the ripples My laughter in the wind. I will be here always As long as daylight breaks Aeons will pass Humanity will fade But it cant take away The fact that I was here Someday, some time And I’m still here today.