The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to announce the publication of the remarkable story of Mother Jones. This is now available here on the Spirit of Mother Jones festival website (under the heading “The Story of Mother Jones”).
This story, the first Irish account, concentrates on the birth of Mary Harris in July 1837, her baptism on 1st August and her life in Cork. It may be of interest to Cork people to learn that the Baptism font in use today at the North Cathedral is the same font in which Mary Harris was baptised over 180 years ago.
The Story of Mother Jones deals with the appalling conditions experienced by people in Cork and Ireland during the Famine years. Among the references is a copy of the Cork Examiner of 2nd December 1930 announcing her death, as well as some of the last published photos before her passing on 30th November.
The story also includes a huge record of books, songs, articles, theatre works, museums, magazines associated with the life of Mother Jones. This is a work in progress and we intend to update it regularly with further information about her life and work as it comes to hand.
The following links tell the story of Mother Jones.
We imagine if Mother Jones visited Shandon, before Christmas 1920. During this time Ireland’s War of Independence was raging, and much of Patrick’s Street in Cork had been recently burned down by the Auxiliaries. The funeral of Terence McSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, who died after a 74 day hunger strike in Brixton prison had taken place through the streets of Cork, a few weeks earlier. Mother Jones, (Joan Goggin) visits her former home near Shandon and walks around the deserted streets, where she played as a child (Aoife Delaney). She recalls her childhood memories where she, her mother (Eadaoin Delaney) and her family had once been happy prior to the Great Famine and the emigration of her family to Canada.
There was a sizeable turnout on Tuesday night (30 July) for the opening session of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2013. After the opening of the Mother Jones exhibition at the Maldron Hotel by Cork’s Lord Mayor Catherine Clancy, the attendance moved to the Firkin Crane theatre up the street for the main session.
Margaret Aspinall (centre) and Sue Rogers enjoying performance by members of the Cork Singers Club at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2013 (Photo: John Jefferies)
Margaret Aspinall of the Hillsborough Family Support Group gave a passionate speech to the crowd which included both veteran Liverpool supporters and people from all walks of life. She told the gathering about how officialdom had conspired against the families of the 96 victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster and outlined long struggle of the families for the truth, a campaign which continues to this day. Accompanied by another Hillsborough relative, Sue Rogers, Margaret impressed the audience with her honesty and no-nonsense manner. The Spirit of Mother Jones Award 2013 was presented to Margaret and the session ended with a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone sung by Jim Williamson.