Day 3 at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival

Days Posters 2016_Page_3

Today is the 3rd day of the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones festival in Cork.  The first two days have been most interesting and have attracted large crowds including a number of international guests.

Today’s events begin at 11.30am with local historian Luke Dineen who will talk about the 1922 Post Office strike which was the first major industrial dispute in the history of the state.

At 2.30pm we have Anne Twomey of Blackpool Historical Society who will tell the story of the Wallace Sisters.

At 4.00pm we will show Yvette Vanson’s documentary The Battle for Orgreave which deals with the disturbing events at Orgreave during the UK Miner’s Strike. Pat Egan of Unite, the Union, himself a former miner will talk about the events.  We will include here a tribute to Dave Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miner’s Association who was due to speak again at this year’s festival but died suddenly earlier this month.

At 7.00pm Randall MacLowry’s film The Mine Wars will be shown. This tells the story of the West Virginia mine wars of the early years of the 20th century in which Mother Jones herself championed the rights of the miners and their.

To finish off the day, at 9.00pm a musical treat is in store with John Nyhan, Mick Treacy and Friends who will perform and sing “Songs of the Mining Tradition.

The festival continues until Monday evening, 1st August – Mother Jones Day.

 

Mother Jones wows visitors and locals alike at Cork tourist office

Mother Jones window display at Cork Tourist Office

Mother Jones window display at Cork Tourist Office

Mother Jones has arrived back in the window of Cork’s main tourist office to highlight the fact that the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival starts this Thursday (28th July).  The display, put together by Cork Mother Jones committee member Ann Piggott, is both eye-catching and excellently laid out.  Our thanks to Ann for a job well done and to the staff and management of Cork Tourist Office and Fáilte Ireland.  The display will remain all this week.

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Video review of our first four years

The following video is a brief review of the first four years of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival which has now become part of Cork’s cultural and heritage fabric.  From our initial plan in 2012 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the birth of Mary Harris / Mother Jones the festival has burgeoned into a very popular and well loved festival.  The 16 minute film can only hope to show a small sample of the many speakers and performers we have had over the years.  It includes two of our contributors who recently passed away, Professor James Green from the United States and Dave Hopper of the Durham Miners’ Association.  We are glad to have recorded their presence and longer excerpts have been recorded by Frameworks Films to whom we are so grateful for staying with us and recording those four years. We hope you enjoy it.

 

Jimmy Crowley returns to The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Jimmy Crowley at Cork City Library

Jimmy Crowley at Cork City Library

Jimmy Crowley was born in Douglas in Cork. He began writing songs in the early 1970s and he has encouraged, sang and promoted older working class ballads and long lost songs from all over Cork. He ran the folk club at Douglas GAA club for many years. His band Stokers Lodge was known throughout Ireland.

Jimmy likes to talk and sing songs of Cork characters such as hunters and drag hunting, of harriers and the Shandon foot beagles and sportsmen such as bowler Mick Barry, and hurler Christy Ring, of stupendous deeds of valour, local rivalries and personalities, great and little events, and the real topics of conversation of the people.

 

His first album “The Boys of Fairhill” released in 1997, contained such classics as The Pool Song, Johnny Jump Up, Salonika, the Armoured Car and of course The Boys of Fairhill. This was followed by a second album “Camphouse Ballads” and “Some Things Never Change”. Later still “Uncorked” was released in 1998, while “The Coast of Malabar” appeared in 2000.

Jimmy Crowley book / album

“Songs from the Beautiful City”

 

Jimmy Crowley recently issued what many consider to be his finest work, with his book and songs “Songs from the Beautiful City… The Cork Urban Ballads”. Described by Jimmy himself as proclaiming “the true history of the people of Cork City through their only resource of expression: the humble ballad.”

 

Containing such classics as Marilyn Munroe (words by Paddy O’Driscoll), Cheer, Boys, Cheer (words by Helen O’Donovan) and The Old Skellig Lists (words by Teresa Mac Carthaigh), it should ensure the continuation of the humble ballad in Cork for a long time to come.

 

Visit www.jimmycrowley.com for details.

 

Jimmy has honoured the Cork Spirit of Mother Jones Festival each year to huge acclaim and we are delighted that he will do so again in 2016. Not to be missed!

 

Jimmy appears at the Maldron Hotel, Cork on Friday July 29th from 1pm to 2pm.

 

 

Luke Dineen to tell little-known story of one Ireland’s 1922 post office strike

Luke Dineen has been a regular contributor to the Mother Jones summer school and we are delighted to welcome him back in 2016. He will address the significance of the Postal Strike of 1922 at the Maldron Hotel on Saturday 30th July at 11.30.

JJ Walsh Countess Markievicz

J.J. Walsh with Countess Markievicz

 

”The Postal Strike of 1922 was the first major industrial dispute the new government of the Irish Free State faced and it occurred right in the middle of the Civil War.

When the dispute began, the government refused to concede the right of public servants to strike. The postal workers were condemned for taking industrial action against wage reductions because, as members of the public service, they enjoyed permanent, pensionable positions.

The government’s handling of the postal strike challenges the narrative that the establishment of the Free State represented the triumph of democracy. Rather, it shows an authoritarian government that was intolerant of dissent and willing to use harsh measures to suppress it.”

(Extract from Cathal Brennan in online article in The Irish Story).

The Cork postal workers had earlier voted to strike in February 1922 due to threatened pay cuts, but action was postponed as a result of union intervention whereby an independent commission was established to examine the issues in relation to pay.

Luke Dineen

Cork historian Luke Dineen

The Postmaster General during the strike was James Joseph Walsh, known as J.J., a TD from Cork. Born near Bandon, Walsh was a former postal worker himself, an active trade unionist and member of Sinn Féin. He had taken part in the 1916 Rising in the GPO and received a ten year sentence.Described by Marcus De Burca author of The GAA…a History as “a dominating Cork personality”, he had also been Chairman (President) of the Cork County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). His Departmental Secretary in 1922 was P. S. O’Hegarty, another Corkman and a former post office worker in London who was friendly with Michael Collins.

The events during this strike in September 1922 and the government’s brutal reaction form a surprising if largely forgotten portrait of the new Irish State at the time and raise a fundamental question….…was the labour movement the biggest casualty of the Irish Civil War and its aftermath?

Luke Dineen will tell the story of the events surrounding this strike on Saturday morning 30th July at 11.30 am. Luke is currently writing his PhD Thesis at University College Cork.

Opening Concert of 2016 Festival

Richard T. Cooke

The inimitable Richard Cooke. Picture: Andy Jay

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2016 

Opening event.

 

 Lunchtime Song & Music Concert 

 

Maldron Hotel, Shandon.

Thursday, July 28th, 1-2pm

 Concert with the best of Cork talent

 

 Richard T. Cooke MC

Muddy Lee & Shandon Street Shawlies Choir.

 

Clann Chorcai members: 

Aoife Delaney (Young Mother Jones, Singer, Actor)

Joan Goggin (Singer, Poet, Actor)

Eadaoin Delaney (Singer, Musician, Poet, Actor)

 

NICHE: Sing Your Heart Out Group members:

 (singers) Rose Broderick, Eileen White, Nuala Panek, David McGrath,

John Lane,Michael Dineen 

Frances O’ Sullivan (Traditional Singer, Cork Rokk Choir)

See you there

Admission Free