Recollections of Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School 2019

Louise O’Keeffe with the 2019 Spirit of Mother Jones Award

 

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is very proud of our choice of Louise O’Keeffe as the recipient of the 2019 Spirit of Mother Jones award. An extraordinary fighter, an inspirational woman who had stunned the 2018 summer school with her lecture, “One Woman’s Fight for Justice”. Louise is unique and Cork people should be so proud that we have such fighters for justice in our midst.

The theatrical recreation of the March of the Mill Children organised by the wonderfully creative Cork Community Art Link through the historic streets of Shandon, also captured headlines. The parade was staged and directed by two talented artists Elisa Gallo Rosso and Beibhinn O’Callaghan. The stylish Cobh Animation team provided the classic New York backdrop for the marchers arrival at Shandon Bells.

A scene from the reenactment of the March of the Mill Children (Photo by Claire Stack)

The redoubtable Joan Goggin, Cork’s own Mother Jones, led the children who carried the same relevant messages as the original young marchers in 1903. And yet the economic exploitation of children continues in many countries……. ever wonder who makes the mobile phones on which you read this article or the clothes you wear?

Lord Mayor Dr John Sheehan accompanied by Aedemar joined in the March festivities and later performed the official opening at the Maldron Hotel having been piped in the traditional manner by Norman O’Rourke.

 

 

Still Relevant! – One of the young re-enactors with the slogan attributed to Mother Jones over 100 years ago (Photo: Claire Stack)

 

 

 

 

Elliot Gorn

The atmospheric Cathedral Visitors Centre saw author Séan O’Tuathaigh discussing his new book, Outlanders – Stories of the Displaced, and pleaded for people to realise that migrants and refugees are just like us (Some 70 million people are now displaced across the world). Quoting Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd…… Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate and hate leads to violence. This is the equation. How true!

The opening night lectures featured Joe Creedon and Elliott Gorn as they discussed the origins and legacy of Mary Harris/Mother Jones. As the Inchigeelagh Lass rang out around the Firkin Crane Theatre, no one could be in any doubt about the fighting qualities of the men and women of Uibh Laoire. Elliott then discussed the fighting qualities of Mother Jones.

The unique Cork Singers’ Club sang out the night as many singers remembered our late Bean A Tì, the great Helen O’Donovan. Helen remains in our hearts, she so loved the Spirit of Mother Jones festival and was missed. To Mick and family we extend our sympathy.

Lorraine Starsky receiving presentation from Ann Piggott on behalf of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

Retired public health nurse Lorraine Starskey from Pittsburg told the story of the Rebel Girl, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn on Thursday morning. A visitor to the festival Nancy Wallach, daughter of Lincoln Brigadista Hy Wallach, (1914-1986) described to the attendance how as a young woman she had met Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and how Elizabeth had later joined Nancy on vacation. Nancy had been named Nancy Elizabeth Wallach after Elizabeth. Living history!

The sadly ignored Irish Radical diaspora ensures we only celebrate politicans and business people who made good, rarely those who like Mother Jones who actually assisted the millions of forgotten Irish emigrants.

 

Dr. Kieran Groeger

Another member of the ignored Irish radical diaspora was John Swiney who fled to France. Youghal based author and historian Dr Kieran Groeger has rescued the Shandon based United Irishman from obscurity and provided substantial evidence to show that Swiney was indeed a very senior figure in the United Irishmen organisation. Why does Swiney not feature on the National Monument on the Grand Parade?

Liam Cahill (left), author of Fogotten Revolution, Limerick Soviet 1919, with Mike McNamara, President of Limerick Trades Council.

The author of Forgotten Revolution – Limerick Soviet 1919, Liam Cahill introduced the documentary The Limerick Soviet. It is noteworthy that the pivotal role of Cobh born Jack (Sean) Dowling friend of James Connolly in the Limerick Soviet, is at last receiving renewed attention.

Later on Thursday evening before a packed attendance, historian Anne Twomey of the Shandon Area History Group gave a very vivid and comprehensive account of Ballintemple born humanitarian Mary Elmes who will be honoured by the latest bridge across the River Lee.

On the same evening, Cork-based street artist Paddy D’Arcy unveiled his mural painting tribute to local heroes Mother Jones and Michael O’Riordan on the Widderlings Lane gable of café Myo with the assistance of it’s owner Liam Mullaney. Michael’s son Manus O’Riordan attended the festival, the O’Riordan family lived a few doors from Myo’s.

LUke Dineen

An early start on Friday for historian Luke Dineen whose fascinating account of the role of Craftsmen and the craft unions in the War of Independence was a revelation to many of the attendance, which in turn led to an animated discussion. This is Luke’s seventh summer school presentation and his original research into labour history is very revealing.

Dr. John Barimo presented the facts on Climate Change and its potential impact on the poor nations. His frightening analysis should be a catalyst for action, as the clock is ticking past the point of no return. Hope may rest with the young people who attended and the presence of Micah Neilson and Alicia O’Sullivan whose optimism in the power of an invigorated youth may yet provide a key element for the solutions. The discussion uniquely witnessed three generations of activists participating in the examination of what is required to save our planet.

John Barimo, Michah Neilson and Alicia O’Sullivan receive presentation from Ann Piggot of Cork Mother Jones Committee

The world of work and working relationship and community was portrayed by the classic Frameworks Films documentary Fords – Memories of the Line and Bill Daly led the discussion.

The continuing impact of the explosion of the Total Oil tanker, the Betelgeuse at Whiddy Island on January 8th 1979, in which 50 people died was laid before the large attendance present by Michael Kingston, whose father Tim was among those who died. We were honoured to have his mother Mary attend the presentation. Michael described how he had just celebrated his fourth birthday with his father a few days earlier. His emotional pleas for compassion, humanity and justice from those in authority carried far beyond the confines of the Firkin Theatre. He announced the commencement by the relatives of court action to obtain justice and everyone can help him to achieve this by contributing through the Whiddy GoFundMe page.

Whiddy Disaster talk

Whiddy talk: (left-to right)Tom MacSweeney, Rory Warner son of Whiddy victim, Capt. David Warner, Michael Kingston, Mary Kingston and Cllr. Alan Coleman

Tom MacSweeney , who presents This Island Nation on radio, reminded everyone that we are “An Island Nation”and our neglect of the sea and seafarers is to our detriment. Placing the Whiddy disaster in this context, he mentioned that there had been 25 earlier incidents connection to the Gulf operation in Whiddy yet still the regulatory powers were not put in place.

More official silence remains over the Dublin/Monaghan car bombs in 1974, Frank Connolly in his book A Conspiracy of Lies uses the worst incident of the “troubles” as a backdrop for this interesting thriller.

Briege Voyle and Eileen McKeown (2nd and 4th from right respectively) with members of the Cork Mother Jones Committee

In their quiet and dignified matter, Briege Voyle and Eileen McKeown, the daughters of Joan Connolly and Joseph Corr who were killed by the British Parachute Regiment during the Ballymurphy Massacre from 9th to the 11th August 1971, described the raw and devastating results of these murders. Fifty seven children immediately lost a parent, generations lost their innocence and the trauma of this period have placed a huge personal toll on all the families over the almost 50 years since. No one has been brought to justice. The Inquest continues in Belfast.

Later on Saturday afternoon we learned what Rosa Parks was thinking about when she refused to give up her seat in the front of the bus in Montgomery in Alabama on December 1st 1955. Professor Elliott Gorn returned to tell the story of young Emmett Till whose face looking out from his open casket still haunts America. His mother Mamie, demanded to let the people see it and they did!

The festival had featured local Cork groups such as Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Ballad Group, and Vocalic. Jimmy Crowley had again displayed his unique ability to entertain a crowd with new and old songs each with a story. William Hammond and Linda Quinlan played a lively traditional set. The songs of Pete Seeger sounded as fresh as ever in the hands of John Nyhan, Mick Treacy and Pat Kelleher. Conal Creedon packed Maureen’s and the laughter could be heard down on Christy Ring Bridge.

The toast at the Mother Jones plaque featured Rory MacCarthy and John Murphy winner of the 2019 Mother Jones Song contest with ‘Mine Workers Angel’. The annual toast was also to absent friends.

Rory McCarthy who sang the ballad of James Connolly

Once again the last gentle sinking rays of the early August evening sun appeared from over the empty historic Butter Market building and illuminated the limestone plaque as the crowds slowly dispersed until 2020.

The four days and nights of rememberings, celebrations, talks and discussions were over. We had experienced a lot emotionally and yet the spirit of solidarity and connectivity with living history and the ongoing campaigns for justice was never more alive. The Spirit of Mother Jones festival 2019 had remained challenging, relevant and interesting.

 

Betty Cook (left) and Ann Scargill of Women Against Pit Closures with their Mother Jones banner which they brought with them from Barnsley, South Yorkshire (Photo: Claire Stack)

 

Day 3 of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival & Summer School, Cork

The 8th annual Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School continues today (Friday, 2nd August) and until tomorrow night.  Below you will find today’s programme.

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School events on Friday 2nd August.  

Friday 2nd August

11:00 a.m.  L     Luke Dineen 

                           “Craftsmen and the Irish revolution, 1920-23” .

Cathedral Visitor Centre

 

1:00 p.m.    M     Music at the Maldron.

                            Jimmy Crowley.

  

2:30 p.m.    L       Dr. John Barimo.

Social Justice, Inequality and Climate Change”. Cathedral Visitor Centre

 

3:30 p.m     F      Remembering the Cork Climate Change March 2019

                   L      Micah Neilson.    Fridays for Future Cork.

                   L      Alicia O’Sullivan.  Irish Ambassador for the Worlds Oceans. 

 

5:00 p.m     F      Fords – Memories of the Line.

A film documentary produced by the Ford Ex-workers Group and Frameworks Films.

Maldron Hotel.

 

7:30 p.m.   L      Michael Kingston, Tom McSweeney.

                         The Whiddy disaster

                          Statement by Madame Ginette Ravaleu, President of the

French-Irish Association of Relatives and Friends of the Betelgeuse                         

                           Firkin Crane Theatre.

 

9:30 p.m  M     John Nyhan and Mick Treacy present the songs of Pete Seeger (1919- 2014)

Maldron Hotel.

 

 

 

Day 2 of Spirit of Mother Jones Festival & Summer School

The 8th annual Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School continues today and until next Saturday night.  Below you will find today’s programme.

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School on Thursday 1st August.

The Radical Irish Diaspora

11:00 a.m.       Lorraine Starsky

        “In the Footsteps of Mother Jones – The Life and Legacy of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn         1890- 1964”                

Cathedral Visitor Centre

1.00 p.m.         Music at the Maldron.

William Hammond

2.30 p.m.         Dr Kieran Groeger.

                        “The Extraordinary Life of John Swiney, the United Irishman from Shandon.”

Cathedral Visitor Centre

 

5.00 p.m          The Limerick Soviet

A collaborative documentary between the Limerick Council of Trade Unions and                  Frameworks Films. We celebrate the 100th Anniversary of The Limerick Soviet. Author Liam Cahill will introduce the documentary. An exhibition on the Limerick Soviet courtesy of Cork City Library will be on site.

Maldron Hotel, Shandon

7.30 p.m.         Anne Twomey Shandon Area History Group.

“Mary Elmes …………An Irish Heroine”   

                          Firkin Crane Theatre 

 

8:00 p m         Fili Na Reabhloide (Poets of the Revolution)

                        Myo Café, Popes Quay.

Readings  from your favourite poets of revolution and social change.

(Tel. 083 0425942)

9.30 p.m        Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Ballad Group.

Evening includes the Song for Mother Jones.    

Maldron Hotel

 

The 8th annual Spirit of Mother Jones Festival begins today

The 8th Annual Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School opens in the Shandon area on the northside of Cork city today.

Events at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival on Wednesday 31st July 2019.

 

10:30 a.m.  F   A film by Rosemary Feurer.

Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman             

                        Cathedral Visitor Centre

11:00 a.m.   F  Frameworks Films

                        Mother Jones and Her Children.    Cathedral Visitor Centre

12: 30 a.m.     The March of the Mill Children pageant at Shandon Plaza.

(With the assistance of Cork Community Art Link.)

1:30 p.m.        Official festival opening by the Lord Mayor of Cork at Maldron Hotel, Shandon

3:00 p.m.   L   Séan Ó Tuathaigh 

“Outlanders – Stories of the Displaced”.  Cathedral Visitor Centre

7: 00 p.m.  L   Joe Creedon

                      “Ellen Cotter, the mother of Mary Harris, and Inchigeelagh in the early 1800s”

 

Firkin Crane Theatre

 

8:00 p.m   L   Professor Elliott Gorn. (Author of Mother Jones…..the Most Dangerous Woman in America)

The story of Mother Jones”   

                        Firkin Crane Theatre

9:30 p.m.  M   The Cork Singers’ Club

                        Maldron Hotel, Shandon.

 

 

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2019 – Press Launch

­­

Launch of the 2019 Spirit Of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School at the Maldron Hotel on Wednesday 26th June 2019 at 1pm by Cllr John Sheehan, Lord Mayor of Cork.

Click here to view or download the full brochure

 

Spectacular March of the Mill Children pageant planned for Shandon.

 The Eighth Spirit of Mother Jones festival and Summer School will take place in and around the Shandon Historic Quarter from Wednesday 31st July until Saturday 3rd August 2019.

 

The festival celebrates the life and achievements of Cork woman, Mary Harris who was born in the Shandon area in 1837 and went on to become Mother Jones, known as the “most dangerous woman in America” due to her activism on behalf of the miners, and exploited workers.

 

Over 30 events will be held, and will include dozens of participants from the US, UK and from all over Ireland. Events include the summer school itself as well as a host of singers, poets, films, book launches, music and the traditional toast at the Mother Jones plaque to conclude the festival.

 

One of the principal highlights will be the very first performance and recreation on the streets of Shandon of the historic March of the Mill Children led by Mother Jones in July 1903.

 

In cooperation with Cork Community Art Link and the Blarney Street Foroige group, the Festival committee have organised a pageant to celebrate this huge event in US history, which highlighted the exploitation of young children who were forced to work in the mines, mills and factories of America at the beginning of the 20th Century. (See note)

 

According to James Nolan spokesperson for the Cork Mother Jones Summer school.

 

“In its eighth year, the Spirit of Cork Mother Jones festival and Summer School in 2019 will be an interesting, relevant and challenging occasion. With over 30 free access events, it promises to be a wonderful four days in locations across the Shandon Historical Quarter and community.

 

Everybody who participates including speakers, musicians and committee give of their time on a voluntary basis in what is an absolutely unique festival covering heritage, labour, social justice and human rights issues.

 

We are again expecting hundreds of people to attend from the USA, the UK and from all over Ireland. (2018 saw nearly 2000 people attended events at the festival). The March of the Mill Children pageant will be the very first celebration of one of the most famous marches in the history of the USA outside of America. This took place in 1903 was organised and led by 66 year old Mother Jones. It should be an amazing morning in Shandon.”

 

Declared  James Nolan.

 

Other talks include  remembering the The Whiddy Disaster. This explosion in Bantry Bay in January 1979 caused the greatest loss of life of workers and seafarers in the history of the Republic of Ireland. The relatives of both the Irish and French people who lost their lives are still seeking justice. Michael Kingston who has led the campaign will speak along with Tom MacSweeney.

 

Briege Voyle, the daughter of Joan Connolly who was among those shot dead in Ballymurphy on the 9th August 1971 will speak on the impact of what has become known as The Ballymurphy Massacre. The will be followed by a showing of the Channel Four documentary, The Ballymurphy Precedent, directed by Callum Macrea, is a stunning account of events in Ballymurphy in Belfast on the days following the introduction of Interment Without Trial in August 1971.

 

We’re delighted to welcome back Professor Elliott J Gorn from Chicago, whose book in 2001 Mother Jones – The Most Dangerous Woman in America, led to the discovery of the correct date of Mother Jones’ baptism in the North Cathedral. Elliott will tell the story at the Firkin Crane Theatre on Wednesday 31st July, the opening night of the festival.

 

He will be accompanied by Joe Creedon well known historian from Inchigeelagh who will tell the story of Mary Harris’s mother Ellen Cotter who hailed from Inchigeelagh. Not to be missed by anyone with an interest in Mother Jones.

 

Current issues such as Climate Change will also be discussed. Dr John Barimo, a marine biologist from Miami will lead with a talk on Social Justice, Inequality and Climate Change, this will be followed by local schools activist Mical Neilson of Fridays for Future who organised the recent schools strikes and Alicia O’Sullivan Irish Ambassador for the World’s Oceans who have alerted us to the onset and impact of the effects of climate change on the world.

 

Of local Cork interest is the talk on John Swiney, the United Irishman whose woolen shop on Shandon Street was the HQ of the United Irishmen in Cork in the 1790s. An extraordinary character, he came back from exile in France to assist Robert Emmet in 1803. Historian Dr Kieran Groeger will provide an account of this amazing character, lost in Irish history.

 

Recently a bridge was named after Mary Elmes by the City Council, local historian and regular contributor to the Mother Jones festival Anne Twomey will give an account of her life. Another of the Irish Diaspora, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn known as “The Rebel Girl”, will have her story  told by Pittsburgh based Lorraine Starsky. Flynn had strong connections to Irish Labour leaders James Connolly and Jim Larkin.

 

Luke Dineen, historian will provide an account of the Irish Craft unions and their role in the Irish rebellion 1919 – 1923. A documentary on the Ford factory line also by Frameworks Films will be repeated.

 

The festival will remember the 100th Anniversary of the Limerick Soviet when the Frameworks Films documentary will be shown. The documentary will be introduced by Liam Cahill, author of Forgotten Revolution – The Limerick Soviet of 1919.

 

Writer and author Sean O’Tuathaigh whose recent book, Outlanders – Stories of the Displaced has been well –received will speak about his experienced among refugees and immigrants in the USA.

 

 Jimmy Crowley will again host Music at the Maldron concert on Friday 2nd August at lunchtime. The Song of Pete Seeger will be sung by perennial festival favourites John Nyhan and Mick Treacy. Richard T Cooke will again perform his Cork ballads, while William Hammond will play a traditional set. Vocalic and the Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Ballad Group also feature. Poets and writers Conal Creedon and Stan Notte are included.

 

The full programme of all the events will be released at the formal launch on Wednesday 26th June. (See  Mother Jones Festival Brochure 2019

 

This festival and summer school is almost unique in that it is entirely free to all and is sponsored by the Cork City Heritage Department, the Trade Union movement including SIPTU and the ASTI as well as the local community. It is organised by the community based and independent voluntary committee of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

For further information contact James Nolan 0861651356 and Ger O’Mahony (Coordinator 0863196063)

For details see www.motherjonescork.com or Facebook.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launch of the 2019 Spirit Of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School at the Maldron Hotel on Wednesday 26th June 2019 at 1pm by Cllr John Sheehan, Lord Mayor of Cork.

 

Spectacular March of the Mill Children pageant planned for Shandon.

 

The Eighth Spirit of Mother Jones festival and Summer School will take place in and around the Shandon Historic Quarter from Wednesday 31st July until Saturday 3rd August 2019.

 

The festival celebrates the life and achievements of Cork woman, Mary Harris who was born in the Shandon area in 1837 and went on to become Mother Jones, known as the “most dangerous woman in America” due to her activism on behalf of the miners, and exploited workers.

 

Over 30 events will be held, and will include dozens of participants from the US, UK and from all over Ireland. Events include the summer school itself as well as a host of singers, poets, films, book launches, music and the traditional toast at the Mother Jones plaque to conclude the festival.

 

One of the principal highlights will be the very first performance and recreation on the streets of Shandon of the historic March of the Mill Children led by Mother Jones in July 1903.

 

In cooperation with Cork Community Art Link and the Blarney Street Foroige group, the Festival committee have organised a pageant to celebrate this huge event in US history, which highlighted the exploitation of young children who were forced to work in the mines, mills and factories of America at the beginning of the 20th Century. (See note)

 

According to James Nolan spokesperson for the Cork Mother Jones Summer school.

 

“In its eighth year, the Spirit of Cork Mother Jones festival and Summer School in 2019 will be an interesting, relevant and challenging occasion. With over 30 free access events, it promises to be a wonderful four days in locations across the Shandon Historical Quarter and community.

 

Everybody who participates including speakers, musicians and committee give of their time on a voluntary basis in what is an absolutely unique festival covering heritage, labour, social justice and human rights issues.

 

We are again expecting hundreds of people to attend from the USA, the UK and from all over Ireland. (2018 saw nearly 2000 people attended events at the festival). The March of the Mill Children pageant will be the very first celebration of one of the most famous marches in the history of the USA outside of America. This took place in 1903 was organised and led by 66 year old Mother Jones. It should be an amazing morning in Shandon.”

 

Declared  James Nolan.

 

Other talks include  remembering the The Whiddy Disaster. This explosion in Bantry Bay in January 1979 caused the greatest loss of life of workers and seafarers in the history of the Republic of Ireland. The relatives of both the Irish and French people who lost their lives are still seeking justice. Michael Kingston who has led the campaign will speak along with Tom MacSweeney.

 

Briege Voyle, the daughter of Joan Connolly who was among those shot dead in Ballymurphy on the 9th August 1971 will speak on the impact of what has become known as The Ballymurphy Massacre. The will be followed by a showing of the Channel Four documentary, The Ballymurphy Precedent, directed by Callum Macrea, is a stunning account of events in Ballymurphy in Belfast on the days following the introduction of Interment Without Trial in August 1971.

 

We’re delighted to welcome back Professor Elliott J Gorn from Chicago, whose book in 2001 Mother Jones – The Most Dangerous Woman in America, led to the discovery of the correct date of Mother Jones’ baptism in the North Cathedral. Elliott will tell the story at the Firkin Crane Theatre on Wednesday 31st July, the opening night of the festival.

 

He will be accompanied by Joe Creedon well known historian from Inchigeelagh who will tell the story of Mary Harris’s mother Ellen Cotter who hailed from Inchigeelagh. Not to be missed by anyone with an interest in Mother Jones.

 

Current issues such as Climate Change will also be discussed. Dr John Barimo, a marine biologist from Miami will lead with a talk on Social Justice, Inequality and Climate Change, this will be followed by local schools activist Mical Neilson of Fridays for Future who organised the recent schools strikes and Alicia O’Sullivan Irish Ambassador for the World’s Oceans who have alerted us to the onset and impact of the effects of climate change on the world.

 

Of local Cork interest is the talk on John Swiney, the United Irishman whose woolen shop on Shandon Street was the HQ of the United Irishmen in Cork in the 1790s. An extraordinary character, he came back from exile in France to assist Robert Emmet in 1803. Historian Dr Kieran Groeger will provide an account of this amazing character, lost in Irish history.

 

Recently a bridge was named after Mary Elmes by the City Council, local historian and regular contributor to the Mother Jones festival Anne Twomey will give an account of her life. Another of the Irish Diaspora, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn known as “The Rebel Girl”, will have her story  told by Pittsburgh based Lorraine Starsky. Flynn had strong connections to Irish Labour leaders James Connolly and Jim Larkin.

 

Luke Dineen, historian will provide an account of the Irish Craft unions and their role in the Irish rebellion 1919 – 1923. A documentary on the Ford factory line also by Frameworks Films will be repeated.

 

The festival will remember the 100th Anniversary of the Limerick Soviet when the Frameworks Films documentary will be shown. The documentary will be introduced by Liam Cahill, author of Forgotten Revolution – The Limerick Soviet of 1919.

 

Writer and author Sean O’Tuathaigh whose recent book, Outlanders – Stories of the Displaced has been well –received will speak about his experienced among refugees and immigrants in the USA.

 

 Jimmy Crowley will again host Music at the Maldron concert on Friday 2nd August at lunchtime. The Song of Pete Seeger will be sung by perennial festival favourites John Nyhan and Mick Treacy. Richard T Cooke will again perform his Cork ballads, while William Hammond will play a traditional set. Vocalic and the Club Ceoil Ballyphehane Ballad Group also feature. Poets and writers Conal Creedon and Stan Notte are included.

 

The full programme of all the events will be released at the formal launch on Wednesday 26th June. (See www.motherjonescork.com)

 

This festival and summer school is almost unique in that it is entirely free to all and is sponsored by the Cork City Heritage Department, the Trade Union movement including SIPTU and the ASTI as well as the local community. It is organised by the community based and independent voluntary committee of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

For further information contact James Nolan 0861651356 and Ger O’Mahony (Coordinator 0863196063)

For details see www.motherjonescork.com or Facebook.

 

Best wishes to Shandon Street Festival 2019

The Cork Mother Jones Committee would like to extend our best wishes to all involved at the Shandon Street Festival as they prepare for their 2019 festival which takes place next Saturday, 22nd June in and around Shandon Street on Cork’s Northside.  The festival runs from 1 to 6pm and will have something for all the family.

Shandon Street Festival 2019

 

The Shandon Street Festival is in many ways a sister festival of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.  It was with tremendous help from the Shandon Street Committee that we got off the ground in 2012 and many of the same individuals play a key role in both festivals which take place in the same area of the city.

Programme outside

Shandon Street fesstival (outside)

 

Inside of Flyer / programme

 

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival – Timetable – Day 4 (Saturday)

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School

 programme 2018.

 

Saturday 4th August.

11.00  L   Frank Connolly,

NAMA-land…the inside story of Ireland’s property sell-off and the creation of a new elite”.

Firkin Theatre

2.30    L   Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington

“Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, feminist, nationalist, socialist, pacifist – her activism in Ireland                                                           and the US”

Firkin Theatre

5.00    F    PRIDE

The true story of how a group of London-based gay and lesbian activists supported the                   families of Welsh miners during the 1984 miners strike. In association with the Quay Co-op and the support of Cork LGBT + Pride Week.

Firkin Theatre.

7.30    M  Toast and songs to Mother Jones at the plaque on John Redmond Street. Followed by music and festival closing events at the Shandon Plaza.

All are welcome.

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2018 – Information for Visitors

The 2018 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2018 starts on Wednesday, 1st  August and runs until the evening of Saturday, 4th August.  This year we have a new venue in addition to our now established venues at the Maldron Hotel and the Firkin Crane Theatre.  That new venue is the North Cathedral Visitor Centre at the side of Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Ann on Roman Street.  All three venues are within a few minutes walking distance of one another in the Shandon area just to the north of Cork city centre.

The Maldron Hotel
Maldron Hotel

The Maldron Hotel

The Maldron Hotel is situated on John Redmond Street in what was formerly Cork’s historic North Infirmary hospital.   All of this year’s Music events will be held in the cosy atmosphere of Bells Bar in the hotel.

 

 

 

 

Firkin Crane

The Firkin Crane Theatre

The Firkin Crane Theatre is just 200 metres from theMaldron.  This iconic circular building from 1855 was originally part of Cork’s historic butter market but is now used primarily as a centre for dance, especially ballet, and for other music and theatrical events.  The Firkin Crane will be the venue of a number of lectures / talks during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2018

 

Cathedral Visitor Centre

Cathedral Visitor Centre

The Cathedral Visitor Centre is located to the rear of Cork’s North Cathedral (Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Ann) and can be accessed from just around the corner at Roman Street.  It is within 5 minutes walk of our other venues and will be the venue for many of the films and talks during the festival

Our sincere thanks the the management of all three venues for their assistance and cooperation with our festival.

How to get there:

Venue Map

Venue Map with Shandon Steeple at its centre

Bus Service.

The 202 and 202A bus travelling northside from the City Centre (Merchants Quay stop) will take one to the door of both the Maldron Hotel and the Cathedral Visitor Centre and to within 200 metres to the Firkin Crane Theatre.  The City Tour Bus stops also at the Firkin Crane Theatre as a regular stop on it’s City wide tour.
Walking distances.
Maldron is 5 minutes from Christy Ring Bridge (Opera House)
Firkin Theatre is 8 minutes from Christy Ring Bridge
Cathedral Visitor Centre is 10 minutes from Christy Ring Bridge.
Car Parks.
Pay car park in the grounds of the North Cathedral.
Carrolls Quay or Paul Street car parks are nearby.

Films at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2018

Films at the

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2018

Wednesday 1st August –Saturday 4th August 2018

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Wednesday 1st August

 

Cathedral Visitor Centre, 2.30: “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman” a film by Rosemary Feurer and Laura Vazquez.

             

Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman is a documentary about the amazing labor heroine, Mary Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones. Mother Jones’ organising career influenced the history of early 20th century United States. She overcame class and gender limitations to shape an identity that allowed her to become an effective labor organiser in the early 20th century. Mother Jones transformed personal and political grief and rage about class injustices into an effective persona that led workers into battles that changed the course of history. The terrible conditions and labor oppression of the time motivated her to traverse the country, in order to organise against injustices. This film also gives a deeply moving account of the Ludlow Massacre.

www.motherjonesmuseum.org

Release Date:  2007 (Canada).                   Runtime: 24 minutes

=======================

Wednesday 1st August. 

 

Cathedral Visitor Centre 2.50 pm “Mother Jones and her Children” a film by Frameworks Films and the Cork Mother Jones Committee.

 

This film tells the story of Mary Harris (1837 – 1930) from Cork who went on to become known “the most dangerous woman in America”. Starting with her early years in Cork, this documentary goes on to detail her life in America following the famine, her marriage to George Jones and the birth of her four children. It details the tragedies which befell her. Her growing involvement in the labour movement in America, defending the rights of children and workers is documented. Through interviews with leading experts on Mother Jones, we learn of her fearless and tireless campaign to organise workers at a time of severe labour strife and her international legacy today.

 

www.frameworksfilm.com and http://www.motherjonescork.com

 

Release Date:  July 2014.                                 Runtime: 52 min

 

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Wednesday 1st August

 

Firkin Crane Theatre 7.30 pm

 

“Fords – Memories of the Line”. A documentary produced by Frameworks Films and the Ford Ex-workers’ Group. Irish Premiere.

 

Frameworks

Emma Bowell and Eddie Noonan of Frameworks Films

Fords – Memories of the Line’ is a documentary about what is was like to work on the assembly line at Ford’s car manufacturing plant in Cork, which operated from 1917 to 1984. Much as the workers built the cars on the assembly line, a group of former workers build a picture, piece by piece, memory by memory, of life on the line. 2017 marked the centenary of the foundation of the factory in Cork and in this documentary, it is the men who built the cars, rather than the man who founded the factory, Henry Ford, who are celebrated, although his role too is acknowledged. Finally the documentary details the final closure of the factory on 13th July 1984 and the impact this had on the men, their families and the city of Cork. Over 800 workers lost their jobs with the closure.

This documentary as told by the former Ford workers should not be missed by anyone who worked in the factory on the Marina or their family members.

www.frameworksfilms.com

Release Date: 2018                                                     Runtime: 60 minutes

 

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Thursday 2nd August.

 

Firkin Crane Theatre 6.00 pm “Up to the last Drop – The Secret Water Wars of Europe.”

A documentary by Yorgos Avgeropoulos. Produced by Small Planet Productions. Co – produced by ARTE GEIE (France), ERT (Greece), KG Productions (France).

This timely documentary poses a central question: Is water for the European Union a commercial product or a human right?

As Europe is going through a crisis that is not solely economical, millions of European citizens demand a response to a crucial question: is water for the European Union a commercial product or a human right? Until today, the European Institutions have not given a clear answer. The EU has still to recognize water as a human right, as the UN did in 2010.

At the same time, cities, regions and countries all around the world are increasingly rejecting the water privatisation model they had adopted for years and are municipalising services in order to take back public control over water and sanitation management.

In Europe, the majority of the cases have been recorded in France, home of the most powerful and influential private water multinational companies of the planet. Nine cases have been recorded in Germany.

Although Berlin and Paris have recently taken back public control over their water services, the financial and political European elites are demanding from Greece, Portugal and Ireland to privatise their public water systems. Provisions about water can be found in every bailout agreement, which Greece, Ireland and Portugal have signed with the Troika signed between the debt-ridden countries and their lenders.

Up To The Last Drop follows the money and the corporate interests during a period of four years in thirteen cities of six EU countries. It’s a documentary film about water that reflects contemporary European values and the quality of the current European democracy.

 

Website: http://www.uptothelastdrop.com

 

Release Date:  2017                                    Runtime: 58 minutes

 

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Saturday 4th August

 

Firkin Crane Theatre 5pm.

 

“PRIDE”

 

Presented in association with the Quay Co-op and in conjunction with Cork LGBT + Pride Week.

 

In memory of Mark Ashton.

 

Pride was produced by the BBC Films and directed by Matthew Warchus.

This film is a true story of solidarity between an improbable alliance of Gay-rights activists known as the LGSM, (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) based in London and the striking miners from the Dulais Valley in South Wales.

The year is 1984 and the miners, led by Arthur Scargill, are on strike across most of Britain. The proud mining communities are suffering from the draconian actions imposed by the Margaret Thatcher led government and Tory press which have vowed to crush them.

The frisson and bonds between the gay rights activists and the mining community are portrayed with an accuracy, sensitivity and an edge rarely captured on film. It is an emotional journey for anyone who has ever felt marginalized and the final scenes are simply unforgettable. Pride, which portrays actual events and real people will renew people’s faith in basic solidarity and its legacy will endure.

Release Date: 2014                    Runtime: 2 hours.

 

Press launch for Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School

Launch of 2018 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School

 

The seventh Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and summer School takes place in Shandon Historic Quarter from Wednesday 1st August to Saturday 4th August.

Details of this year’s events will be released at a Press Launch in Cork’s Maldron Hotel tomorrow (Wednesday 26th June).

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to announce a varied and topical programme of events for the festival in 2018.

As well as the traditional venues at the Firkin Theatre and the Maldron Hotel, we are particularly pleased to announce that many of the talks at this year’s summer school will take place at the Cathedral Visitor Centre attached to the historic North Cathedral.

In effect Mary Harris/Mother Jones is coming home as it was on 1st August all of 181 years ago that she was baptised at the North Cathedral in the very same 200 year old baptism font which is still used today in the Cathedral.

Among the major highlights of the festival will be the premiere of a new documentary, Fords – Memories of the Line’, a film about what it was like to work on the assembly line at Ford’s car manufacturing plant in Cork, which operated on the Marina from 1917 to 1984. The documentary was produced by Frameworks Films, a Cork based production company, in collaboration with Ford’s Ex-Workers Group. It will document the closure of the factory in 1984 and the impact this had on the men, their families and the city of Cork. This should be of interest to anyone connected to the Ford Motor Company and its car factory in Cork

The Committee intends to celebrate the achievements of the suffragette movement and the one hundred anniversary of the right of women to vote, which took place in the 1918 election.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is very pleased to confirm that Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, the grand-daughter of suffragette leader Hanna Sheehy Skeffington has agreed to speak about her grandmother at the 2018 Spirit of Mother Jones summer school.

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was born in Kanturk, Co Cork in 1877 and went on to spend a lifetime fighting for the rights of women, including the right to vote, until her death on 20th April 1946. Hanna’s husband Francis Sheehy Skeffington was murdered during the 1916 Rising.

In an extraordinary coincidence, during a visit to America in 1918, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington had shared a speaking platform in San Francisco with Mother Jones.

The two Cork-born women met and spoke together at this meeting on April 16th 1918.

Hanna’s American visit and her meeting with Mother Jones will be described by Micheline at the Mother Jones summer school on Saturday 4th August, 2.30 at the Firkin Theatre in the Shandon Historic Quarter.

Professor Louise Ryan, a native of Cork, is professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, who has published extensively on the suffragette movement. Her recent publication Winning the Vote For Women is a huge contribution to an understanding of the period will examine the connections between the Irish campaigners for womens’ rights and the trade union movement.

Further Cork highlights include a specially commissioned lecture from noted Cork historian Anne Twomey who will speak on the lives and influence of Mary, Annie and Muriel MacSwiney. This will be of major interest to many people in view of the role of the MacSwiney family during the War of Independence and in the new State.

University College Cork historian Luke Dineen will lecture on Cork born Thomas “Corkie” Walsh, a member of the Irish Citizen Army, who fired the first shot of the 1916 Rising in Dublin. A memorial was recently erected to “Corkie” Walsh in St. Finbarr’s Cemetery.

 

According to James Nolan, spokesperson for the Mother Jones summer school

“We are thrilled that Dr. Sheehy Skeffington and a wide range of the other speakers have agreed to come and speak at the seventh annual Spirit of Mother Jones summer school.

They will explore the various connections between the campaigns for votes for women and the trade union movement as well as the war of Independence over hundred years ago while others will speak on current international and national topics.

The summer school has gone from strength to strength and many hundreds are expected in the Shandon area as a further indicator of the growing importance of this unique event and the line-up of speakers and films this year is testament to this.”

The addition of the new venue, the Cathedral Visitor Centre will allow for a further expansion of the summer school and we are so happy that Mother Jones is returning close to her birthplace and indeed the very place where she was baptised in 1837”

declared Mr Nolan.

 

Among the other speakers confirmed is Mary Manning who on the 19th July 1984 refused to register the sale of two Outspan South African grapefruits at the Dunnes Stores Henry Street branch and set off a chain of events which captured the world’s attention. Mary will tell the story of the Dunnes Stores Strikers and their historic fight against Apartheid which aroused the interest and gratitude of Nelson Mandela himself, on Friday evening the 3rd August at the Firkin Theatre at 7.30. Her book Striking Back. The untold story of an Anti-Apartheid Striker in conjunction with Sinead O’Brien, will be available.

 

Ms Louise O’Keeffe who having failed in the High Court and Supreme Court and who then took the Irish government to the European Court of Human Rights where she was successful over its failure in its duty to protect children in Irish school will speak about her lengthy 20 year battle through Irish courts.

Investigative journalist Frank Connolly will speak on NAMA-land. – How the transfer of billions of euro in public assets enriched a new elite which is the subject of his latest best-selling book.

The festival’s strong American connections is again reinforced this year by the presence of Dr John Barimo who will talk on the reasons why many American trade union and working class people supported Donal Trump.  Dr Emily Twarog of the University of Illinois will discuss the role of gender and the female vote in the USA, which had an influence in the election outcomes. Actress Loretta Williams from Illinois will re-enact Mother Jones at her fiery best.

Other films include the Cork premiere of Up to the Last Drop – The Secret Water War in Europe, produced by Small Planet Productions in Greece and directed by Yorgos Avgeropoulos.

On the final evening we have a special showing of the film Pride at the Firkin Theatre which documents the extraordinary cooperation between the London based LGBT community and the Welsh Miners during the 1984 British Miners Strike.

There will be a wide range of musical events, featuring Jimmy Crowley, John Nyhan, William Hammond, Richard T Cooke and the Shandon Shawlies and the Cork Singers Club in the wider festival at various locations in the Shandon Historic Quarter to celebrate the life and spirit of Mother Jones.

As the fame of Mother Jones spreads, 2018 has seen the erection of a road marker commemorating her on the famous Route 66 in Illinois as well as an exhibition at the new museum near Mount Olive her final resting place. There have been further exhibitions and gatherings in Chicago.

In early May 2018, the Irish Ambassador to America, Mr Dan Mulhall paid a visit to the grave and monument to Mother Jones at Mount Olive Miners cemetery accompanied by Rosemary Feurer of the American Mother Jones Heritage Project.

We wish to thank the Irish Trade Union movement, the Cork City Council and our sponsors for their support, all events are free and open to the public (but please come early as some events fill up quickly).