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 motherjones175@mail.com  – 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.”

Andy Irvine to play in Cork’s Shandon steeple

Andy Irvine is a truly legendary figure in Irish folk music. Born in London in 1942, he recently celebrated his 70th birthday. Andy has been ‘on the road” for almost 50 years.   He was one of the original folkies associated with O’Donoghue’s Pub in Dublin and an early devotee of the music and songs of Woody Guthrie, the centenary of whose birth falls on the 14th July.

In 1966, he and his friends Joe Dolan and Johnny Moynihan came together to form Sweeney’s Men and a unique sound involving the interplay of bouzouki and mandolin worked itself into Irish folk music consciousness. “Waxie’s Dargle, Old Man in the Garret and Sullivan John” came from that wild period.

Always traveling, always meeting other musicians, always learning, Andy explored the folk traditions of Eastern Europe, Romania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, all behind the iron curtain through the 60s and 70s. His trips to County Clare inspired him further! He has traveled extensively in the USA and Australia picking up songs and tunes as he goes.

The recording of the Christy Moore album Prosperous in 1971 brought together Christy Moore, Andy, Donal Lunny and Liam O’Flynn, who afterwards formed Planxty in 1972.    Their first album, known as the Black Album remains another milestone recording in Irish Folk music. Classics such as “Sweet Thames flow softly”, “The West Coast of Clare” by Andy himself and “Only our Rivers run Free” remain as landmarks in Irish folk tradition.

Albums such as “The Well Below the Valley” and “Cold Blow and Rainy Night” soon followed in a later period by “After the Break” and “The Woman I loved so Well” are  remembered with affection by Irish folk music lovers.

Andy has toured extensively with many Irish folk musicians over the years such as Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, Donal and Kevin Burke, Arty McGlynn, Jackie Daly. Later still in the 80s Andy played with a group Mosaic along with Hans Theesink and others. Later still he was a member of Patrick Street. This was followed by Mozack with Donal Lunny and with Bruce Molsky adding Appalachian tunes.

Performance at the Mother Jones Festival & Ticket Information

His solo 2010 album Abocurragh, produced by Donal Lunny, contains the track “The Spirit of Mother Jones” inspired by his visit to the grave of Mother Jones in the union Miners Cemetery near Mount Olive in Illinois.  His visit to Cork to play a fundraising concert during the Mother Jones Festival in the famous Shandon Bells Church (St. Anne’s Shandon) on the evening of Wednesday August 1st after the unveiling of the Mother Jones plaque around the corner on John Redmond Street, will be an eagerly highlight of this event. Tickets are 10 euro from the Maldron Hotel, St.Anne’s Shandon or phone 086 3196063 or from www.tickets.ie from week beginning 9th July.

The making of a monument

The creation of the Mother Jones Commemorative Plaque by sculptor Mick Wilkins.

These photos show the creation of the Mother Jones plaque from a simple slab of limestone to the finished memorial complete with bronze image of Mother Jones.    The plaque is the work of talented sculptor Mick Wilkins who is based at the National Sculpture Factory on Albert Road in Cork (formerly the Cork Tramway company offices).

You can see more of Mick’s inspiring work on his website at www.wilkinsart.ie

You will have to wait for the unveiling on August 1st 2012 to see the completed image in situ at John Redmond Street.  We will of course put a photo and photos of the unveiling ceremony on the site when that takes place.

sawing Mick Wilkins starts work by sawing the limestone slab to the correct size Continue reading

Mother Jones in the Irish Times today

Following on from yesterday’s marvellous item on RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany, Mother Jones is again in the national spotlight with an excellent article in today’s Irish Times by the paper’s Southern Correspondent, Barry Roche.   This has resulted in a huge jump in the number of visits to this website and enquiries about the event to our committee and at various other sites where the event is featured.  It’s all coming together for what looks to be one of the best festivals of its type in Ireland this year!

Mother Jones featured on Sunday Miscellany

Mother Jones was featured on the long-running RTÉ Radio 1 programme Sunday Miscellany this Sunday (July 1st) with an excellent summary of her life by local writer / journalist Colette Sheridan who also mentioned the Cork Mother Jones Festival which takes place from July 31 to 2nd August in the Shandon area of Cork City.  It also included Andy Irvine singing his ballad “The Spirit of Mother Jones”

Sunday Miscellany is one of Irish radio’s longest running and most popular weekly programmes which features a collection of essays, poems and other short items contributed by listeners, interspersed with appropriate music.   You can listen to or download the programme by clicking on the link below.   The item on Mother Jones begins at 00:29.15 minutes.

http://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/rteradiowebpage.html#type=radio&rii=9%3A3332542%3A68%3A01%2D07%2D2012%3A

Our thanks and appreciation to Collette Sheridan, Andy Irvine and Sunday Miscellany series producer Cliodhna Ní Anluain.