The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2020 on Cork Community TV

Beginning on Saturday 1st August, the Cork Mother Jones Committee in conjunction with Cork Community TV are making available on television, some of the talks and presentations, which have been delivered at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festivals and Summer Schools since 2012.

The original series of Mother Jones annual lectures, will be shown on Saturday next while during the month of August, further talks delivered over the years at the Summer School will be televised. These will feature Margaret Aspinall, Louise O’Keeffe, Fr. Peter McVerry, Chris Mullin, Anne Twomey and many others.

These are free to view, thanks to Frameworks Films and Cork Community TV, for allowing us to celebrate Mother Jones during August.

The 2020 festival will be held in late November 2020. Further talks and speakers, will be televised during the November Festival.

To see the schedules or tune into the live stream please visit www.corkcommunitytv.ie

Mor tune into Virgin Media Channel 803.

Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Cork

Mother Jones Lives.

Some photos of past speakers, throughout the years.

Fr. Peter McVerry at the plaque in 2015.
Louise O’Keeffe receiving the Spirit of Mother Jones Award in 2018 from James Nolan and Ann Piggott of the Cork Mother Jones Committee.
Sue Roberts, Margaret Aspinall, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Catherine Clancy, and Professor Simon Cordery in 2013.
Kaiulani Lee with Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Buttimer in 2012.
Marat Moore, Professor Rosemary Feurer, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Buttimer, and Professor Elliott Gorn in 2012.
Former miner, Marat Moore in 2012.
Warren Davies in 2017.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Mick Finn, with the Mother Jones’, Joan Goggin, Aoife Delaney and Loretta Williams.
Luke Dineen in 2016.
Loretta Williams with Dominic O’Callaghan, Cork Mother Jones Committee in 2018.

The remarkable Wallace sisters.

Documentary on One – The Little Shop of Secrets by Bill Murphy.Saturday July 18th at 1pm on Radio 1.


In the early decades of the last century two sisters, Nora and Sheila Wallace, ran a small newsagents in the centre of Cork City. However, their customers were unaware that when they bought their Irish Times or Cork Examiner, that this small shop also traded in military secrets during the Irish War of Independence – from deciphering codes, to keeping the inventory of armaments for the Cork No. 1 Brigade, Irish Republican Army. 

Sheila and Nora Wallace grew up in rural north Cork, before coming to live and work in Cork City in the 1900s where they rented the premises on Brunswick Street (now St Augustine’s Street) in the centre of the city. On the very narrow street in the shadow of the large St Augustine’s Church, the shop sold newspapers, sweets, cigarettes, magazines and religious items such as statues and rosary beads. 


Over the shop the sisters lived in small, meagre quarters. Interested in nationalist and socialist ideals, Sheila and Nora became friendly with figures such and James Connolly and Countess Markievicz. Because of their deep-rooted sense of nationalism, they also came to know prominent local nationalist figures in Cork such as Tomás McCurtain, Terence MacSwiney, Florence O’Donoghue, Seán O’Hegarty, as well as Michael Collins.  
As the nationalist movement gained more popularity throughout Ireland, the Wallace Sisters became deeply involved with the Irish Volunteers. After the shutting down of the Cork Volunteers headquarters in Sheares Street in 1917, the Wallaces’ small shop became more than a meeting place for the leadership of the Cork Volunteers. It was essentially the Brigade headquarters where the intelligence and communications activities in the city and county were co-ordinated during the War of Independence. 


Records show that Sheila became a Staff Officer in the IRA, making her one of the highest female rank holders in the organisation at the time. Meetings of Cork No. 1 Brigade leadership were held in the kitchen at the back of the shop, where raids and ambushes were planned. Dispatches went through the shop for IRA operations. Spies in the Crown forces were recruited and handled by the Wallaces and British Army codes were deciphered by them. They also kept meticulous records of the armaments and equipment held by the Brigade, effectively acting in the role as quartermasters.


In The Little Shop of Secrets, Bill Murphy – grandnephew to Sheila and Nora Wallace – pieces together the remarkable story of two young women who placed their lives in grave danger by running an intelligence centre, safe house and spy network from their little shop in the centre of Cork City during the War of Independence, right under the noses of the Royal Irish Constabulary and British Crown forces. 
Contributors to the documentary include Dr. John Borgonovo and Gabriel Doherty from the History Department in University College Cork, local historians Anne Twomey and Gerry White, Commandant Daniel Ayiotis of the Bureau of Military History, Daniel Breen of Cork Public Museum, Bernadette Wallace – niece to Nora and Sheila Wallace, Ted Murphy – grandnephew to Nora and Sheila Wallace.


Saturday 18th July, 1pm, RTÉ Radio 1Sunday 19th July, 7pm, RTÉ Radio1 Narrated by Bill Murphy Produced by Bill Murphy and Sarah Blake www.rte.ie/doconone


Note:On 30th July 2016, Anne Twomey of the Shandon Area History Group gave a talk on “The Wallace Sisters” at the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones Summer School before a packed audience which included Bernadette Wallace, a niece of the sisters.The remarkable story of the sisters came as a surprise to many who attended, which showed how quietly these two extraordinary women went about their business.  

The Extraordinary Wallace Sisters | The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

An Irishman’s Diary about about a republican newsagents in revolution-era Cork.

March of the Mill Children re-enacted in Shandon, Cork

A re-creation of March of the Mill Children was held on 31st July 2019 and was staged by Cork Community Art Link. It was directed by Beibhinn O’ Callaghan and Elisa Gallo Rossi.

 The event took place on the historic streets of Shandon in Cork city in conjunction with the Cork Mother Jones Committee as part of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2019. Ms Joan Goggin was Mother Jones. The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. John Sheehan attended.
We thank everyone who participated in what was is a historic event which commemorated the original event led by Mary Harris\Mother Jones from Philadelphia to New York during three weeks in July 1903.
For more information on the background of the original March of the Mill Children see our previous article here:https://motherjonescork.com/2019/06/25/mother-jones-and-the-march-of-the-mill-children/

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

Shandon is Ready for Mother Jones!

Shandon
Shandon, Cork City

The flowers are blooming, the window displays are resplendent and the streets are gleaming in the Shandon area as it awaits tomorrow’s start of the 7th Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School which begins tomorrow (Wednesday) and runs until Saturday, 4th August.   Our thanks to all concerned.

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.

Music at the Maldron 2017

Richard and Jimmy
Jimmy Crowley and Richard T. Cooke

Music at the Maldron

Among the liveliest events at the Spirit of Mother Jones festival are a lunch time series of concerts held at the Maldron Hotel each day (Wednesday to Friday 1 to 2pm) featuring some wonderful Cork singers and musicians. Organised and compered by the irrepressible Richard T Cooke, these “Music at the Maldron” sessions should not be missed. Come along and enjoy……see you there!

 Lunchtime Song & Music Concerts

Richard T. Cooke MC

 Wednesday, August 2nd 

Muddy Lee & Shandon Street Shawlies Choir

 Frances O’ Sullivan 

(Traditional Singer, Cork Rokk Choir)

The Vocalic 

  Clann Chorcai members: 

Aoife Delaney (Young Mother Jones, Singer, Actor)

Joan Goggin (Singer, Poet, Actor)

Eadaoin Delaney (Singer, Musician, Poet, Actor)

Joan Goggin
Singer, Actor and Poet, Joan Goggin dressed as “Mother Jones”. Picture: Andy Jay

 NICHE: Sing Your Heart Out Group members:

Rose Broderick, Nuala Panek, 

David McGrath (Singers)

Thursday, August 3rd

 Mother Jones Ceili Band Concert & Guests

Friday, August 4th

The Jimmy Crowley Concert

Cork born, international renowned recording artist and author 

 performs a selection of songs from his songbook in his own quintessential Cork style. 

  • Admission Free
Cork Shawlies
Richard T. Cooke (centre) with Lord Mayor Des Cahill and the Shandon Street Shawlies at last year’s festival. Photo (c) Martin Duggan.

Shandon area Spruced Up, Flowers for Mother Jones

Plaque
The Mother Jones plaque with fresh flowers

The Shandon area has been freshly spruced up thanks to the work of Shandon Tidy Towns, Shandon Area Renewal Association (S.A.R.A) and the local community.  Weeds and overgrowth have been removed and fresh flowers are up at the Mother Jones plaque on John Redmond Street.

Looking good folks!

“A Plastic Ocean” at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School 2017.

plastic pollution at sea
Plastic Ocean – floating plastic

The Cork Mother Jones Committee will screen the stunning environmental film “A Plastic Ocean” at the sixth Spirit of Mother Jones festival on Thursday afternoon 3rd August 2017 at the Firkin Theatre in Shandon. While many regard tackling climate change as being vital to the survival of the planet, other threats are also accumulating in the environment.

This film investigates how the world’s increasing addiction to plastic is impacting the food chain and how that is effecting every one of us through new and developing human health problems. The results will astound viewers as the film captures never-before-seen images of marine life under threat from plastics.

A Plastic Ocean – film poster

A Plastic Ocean is filmed in 20 locations around the world and documents in chilling detail the effects of the some 8 million tons of plastic which we dump in the world’s oceans annually. Each year some 300 million tons of plastic are manufactured in the world, half of which we use just once before we dump it, making it one of mankind’s most destructive inventions.

The film follows documentary film maker Craig Leeson and a free diver Tanya Streeter, who while filming the blue whale, discover huge quantities of plastic floating in the waters off Sri Lanka. What follows is a global odyssey to discover what is happening in the oceans around the world.

Taking four years to film, and costing some $3.5 million the results should force people to question the plastic pathway and urge industry and all of us users to seek safe alternative solutions.

The evidence of plastic pollution which the film makers found shocked them and made them question a world where plastic is everywhere, yet few question why we produce so much, use so much and where it goes when discarded. The build-up of micro plastics and the creation of ocean garbage patches places the viability of the world’s oceans to sustain life under huge pressure.

Tanya Streeter
Tanya Streeter on the island of Tuvalu

The ratio of plastic to plankton in the Mediterranean Sea is 1:2, in some places the small plastic particles outnumber plankton by a ratio of 26:1.  A large amount of discarded plastic carries toxic chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, pesticides and PCBs. Over 90% of seabirds worldwide have plastic pieces in their stomachs. If this trend continues, and with studies showing that plastic is entering the food chains, then what is the future for human health and our very planet?

Plastics are created from the oil hydrocarbons and one solution would be to return plastics to oil. The search for bacteria to break plastic molecules down continues but the oceans or indeed the earth are not able to do so.  Some proposed solutions such as incineration create many toxic and poisonous emissions to the environment. Have the plastic manufacturers any real answers to safeguarding the environment from their products?

Oil Rigs
Oil – leaves lasting damage

Plastic Oceans is a global network of independent not for profits and charitable organisations, united in their aim to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation.

“A Plastic Ocean” will be screened on Thursday afternoon 3rd August at the Firkin Theatre in Shandon as a contribution to an “Environment Day” at the Spirit of Mother Jones festival. Discussion to follow. All are welcome. Further lectures on environmental issues will be announced shortly.

August 1st – Mother Jones Day

Days Posters 2016_Page_5

Today, 1st August, is Mother Jones Day in Cork and it is also the final day of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2016.

There are just three events on today’s programme all of which will be held at the Maldron Hotel, Shandon.  We start at 4.00pm with a showing of Tadhg Barry Remembered – the story of trade unionist, socialist and Irish republican Alderman Tadhg Barry who was shot dead by a sentry at Ballykinlar prison camp in November 1921, just hours before he was due to be released.  The documentary was made by Cork based Frameworks Films.

At 6.00pm we show The Spirit of Mother Jones Festivals Highlights 2012-2015 which features some of the memorable moments of the first four years of the festival. Our thanks to Frameworks Films who have recorded a huge amount of material at the festival since 2012 and who have similarly created a repository of film recording Cork’s present and recent past which we are certain will become a huge resource for this city.

At 7.30pm Bandon born author and award winning journalist Justine McCarthy will deliver a lecture on “Greed is Good for Nothing”.

 

All of today’s events are at the Maldron Hotel, John Redmond Street in the Shandon area of Cork and are completely free.