The new road marker at I-55 south of Springfield, Illinois. Photo courtesy of Mike Matejka
A commemorative road marker in honour of Cork-born Mother Jones was unveiled near Mount Olive, Illinois on Monday (11 December) in the presence of the Honorary Irish Consul in Chicago, Mr. Brian O’Brien.
Irish Consul General Brian O’Brien (Photo courtesy of Mother Jones Heritage Project MJHP)
The marker itself will be seen by over a million people a year who come to take a break just off the world-famous Route 66. After the ceremony, Mr O’Brien visited the indoor exhibition area at the location. They the group travelled to Mount Olive where Mr. O’Brien placed a wreath at the grave of Mother Jones in the Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive.
The wreath contained the words of her motto “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living” in both Irish and English. There then followed a toast to Mother Jones at the grave which was celebrated using Red-Breast Whiskey. Congratulations to everyone involved in this amazing project.
Group at the grave of Mother Jones at Mount Olive. (L-R): Brigid Duffy of Irish American Heritage Center, Mother Jones Performer Amy Rueff of Illinois American Federation of Labor, Rosemary Feurer of Mother Jones Heritage Project and Consul General Brian O’Brien
The Wreath with inscription in English and Irish
Our thanks to Prof. Rosemary Feurer of the Mother Jones Musuem for forwarding photos and other material.
A new Historic Marker to be unveiled to Cork born Mother Jones in Illinois near Route 66.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee welcomes the wonderful news that a new Historic Roadside Marker monument is to be unveiled near the I-55 Southbound Coalfield Roadway in honour of Cork born woman Mother Jones.
The large marker has been placed with the cooperation of the Illinois Department of Transportation and will be unveiled on Monday 11th December next by Mr. Brian O’Brien, Ireland’s Consulate General in Chicago.
“We are delighted to congratulate the Mother Jones Heritage Project committee in Illinois for their enormous work to ensure that Mary Harris/Mother Jones is never forgotten. We especially wish to thank Professor Rosemary Feurer who has brought this project to fruition in Illinois and who has supported and inspired the Spirit of Mother Jones festival over the past 6 years and has spoken at it twice.” stated James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.
In addition to the Irish Consulate, representatives of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Labour History Society, the United Mine Workers of America, the Irish American Heritage Centre, the Route 66 Association and many others will attend the historic unveiling of the Mother Jones Marker.
The Coalfield rest area where the Marker is placed receives over 1 million visitors each year. This is the brainchild of the Mother Jones Heritage Project which established a museum near Mount Olive where Mother Jones is buried.
Helen O’Donovan sings “Black Flowers” by Lynn Miles at the annual toast to Mother Jones at the Mother Jones Plaque, Shandon, Cork on the final day of the sixth Spirit of Mother Jones Festival & Summer School 2017.
Karan Casey sings her new song “Mother Jones” at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2017.
The new song was in the course of completion when Karan was asked to sing it at the Maldron Hotel during the 2017 festival. Well done Karan.
Today is Day 4 of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival & Summer School 2017 and promises a full day of events. The main theme of most of today’s activity is around the Spanish Civil War (1936-1937) and we will also be honouring Michael O’Riordan who fought on the Republican side in the war and whose centenary is being marked this year. Michael was born at number 37 Pope’s Quay, under the shadow of Shandon Steeple.
Timetable for Day 4
Timetable for Day Three of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival – Thursday, 3rd August 2017.
There is an environmental theme to today’s events which begin at 11.00am with what promises to be an interesting and topical talk by Councillor Marcia D’Alton on “The Environmental Battle for Cork Harbour”.
We will have Music at the Maldron Hotel at 1.00pm and at 2.30pm at the Firkin Crane we will be showing the thought-provoking documentary “A Plastic Ocean” by Australian journalist and film-maker Craig Leeson.
at 7.30pm we will have a lecture at the Maldron entitled “Climate Change – Our Response” by Fr. Sean McDonagh who has written extensively on environmental issues and is currently President of An Taisce.
All are welcome.
Above: The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Tony Fitzgerald, Tony Fitzgerald being presented with an ornamental urn containing earth from the grave of Mother Jones at Mount Olive by Jim Goltz of the United Mine Workers of America – on the opening night of the 6th Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at the Maldron Hotel, Cork, last night. Photo via William Hammond.
Julianna Minihan who gave a most interesting talk about the life and work of U.S. social reformer and campaigner Florence Kelley,
James Goltz with framed proclamation from the International President of the United Mineworkers Union of America. This and two other proclamations presented by James to the Cork Mother Jones Committee can be seen in full on the Spirit of Mother Jones festival website.
Ethel Buckley of SIPTU who gave an informative lecture on “Revitalising the Labour Movement”
Ed Byrne, outgoing President of the ASTI who spoke on “Challenging Injustice, Inequality and the Unethical”
Ann Piggott of the Cork Mother Jones Festival (and former President of Cork Council of Trade Unions) presents a memento to James Goltz on behalf of the Cork Mother Jones Committee
Ann Piggot makes presentation to Ethel Buckley on behalf of the Cork Mother Jones Committee
Ed Byrne of the ASTI with presentation from the Cork Mother Jones Committee presented by Ann Piggott of the committee.