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.

Tadhg Barry Remembered

The extraordinary life and death of Tadhg Barry from Blarney Street.

 

Tadhg Barry

Cover image of Donal O Drisceóil’s pamphlet on Tadhg Barry

Tadhg Barry Remembered produced by Frameworks Films in collaboration with the Cork Council of Trade Unions.

 

The film of Tadhg Barry was first shown in Cork in 2013 and was also shown at the 2013 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. The film has provoked a huge reaction from many people, based not least as to how an extraordinary Irishman could be nearly forgotten. However that is now changing and the film has been shown in Cork, Dublin, and Belfast and also in England and there are plans to show it on TG4, Ireland’s Irish language television station. Recently a new road on the north side of Cork City near Apple Computers has been named the Tadhg Barry Road.

 

This film will be introduced by Trevor Quinn of SIPTU and Jack O’Sullivan of the Cork Council of Trade Unions and will be shown on Friday morning 1st August 2014 at 11am at the Firkin Crane as part of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Ann Piggott, President of Cork Council of Trade Unions, speaking at the naming ceremony for Tadhg Barry Road, Cork.

Ann Piggott, President of Cork Council of Trade Unions, speaking at the naming ceremony for Tadhg Barry Road, Cork.

 

Tadhg Barry was born in Cork in 1880. He lived on Blarney Street, went to school in the North Monastery and commenced work at Our Lady’s Asylum in 1899 as an attendant and after a period in England, came back to work as a public servant in the Pensions Board.

From the turn of the century, he became immersed in the growing national, cultural literary and political revival and moved in these circles which were led by Tomás Mac Curtain, Sean O’Hegarty and Terence MacSwiney. Tadhg was a brilliant organiser, keeper of notes and minutes, fine writer, quietly efficient and had wide interests.

Barry was an active member of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) but he and some others grew impatient with an inefficient Cork GAA Board and re organised it over a period of years. He had been involved with a number of GAA Clubs including Eire Og, Sundays Well Hurling Club and Fainne an Lae Camogie Club on Blarney Street. He played hurling, refereed, coached hurling and camogie, and wrote as the columnist Ciotog in the Cork Free Press. He even found time to write a book “Hurling and How to Play it” in 1916 especially for the boys of the North Mon.

He became more active with the Irish Volunteers and organised meetings for Larkin and James Connolly. Following the period of confusion in Cork which accompanied the 1916 Rising, Barry was active in re-establishing the Irish Transport & General Workers Union in the city, following its virtual demise locally after the 1909 Cork Lockout. As he became more prominent, due to mass imprisonments of leaders after 1916, he attracted attention from the authorities and spent much of 1917 in prison.

Barry threw himself into union activities during 1918 onwards as well as being very active in Sinn Fein and the Volunteers. He began to write for the Southern Star, under the heading “Neath Shandon’s Steeple” and contributed articles to various trade union publications.

Following a further period of imprisonment in 1918, he emerged to become a full-time organiser and secretary of the ITGWU No 1 (James Connolly Memorial) Branch. Never one to stay still for very long, Barry led strikes, pursued demands for wages increases and made the branch a model unit. He was selected as a candidate in the local elections of 1920 and Alderman Barry romped home.

He then combined his union activities with his public duties, which was very difficult at a time when two Lord Mayors of Cork died, one murdered and one on hunger strike. With virtual war taking place on the City streets, he managed to organise the Irish Trade Union Congress AGM in the old Connolly Hall in August 1920.

Finally in early February 1921, he was arrested and sent to Ballykinlar Camp in Co. Down, where he organised the camp activities and recreation, many socialist in nature, to keep the hundreds of volunteers active in those months. As the Treaty talks progressed after the Truce, some of the volunteers were being released.

On 15th November 1921, as he joined many others to say goodbye to a departing group, he was suddenly shot dead by a young sentry named Barrett. The cover up started immediately and the inquest was inconclusive as the British military authorities refused to cooperate.

His remains were returned to Cork; thousands of people marched in his funeral procession in Dublin or attended the passing of his remains through various towns.

On arrival in Cork, the body of Tadhg Barry was met by tens of thousands of people representing all shades of union, labour, nationalist and republican opinion as his remains were taken to the North Chapel. Sunday 20th November 1921 saw a huge turnout of people again on the route to his final resting place at St Finbarr’s cemetery.

Tadhg Barry represented a proud socialist republican tradition in the Connolly mould. The British forces regarded him as a serious troublemaker; however his active involvement in trade union, community, sporting and social organisations made him widely respected throughout the city. He operated quietly, had a reputation of a man who got things done effectively. His relatively short lifetime of service in the GAA, trade unions, and politically, so much of it behind the scenes out of the limelight in key pivotal positions, deserves to be more permanently commemorated in his native city.

We wish to thank Dr. Donal O’Drisceoil of U.C.C for his research from which the above account is drawn and which is contained in his pamphlet Tadhg Barry (1880-1921) The Story of an Irish Revolutionary.       

 

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Interesting films at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014

Film has beenfilm reel an important part of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival since the beginning.  This year we will be showing five films covering the struggles of  people in extraordinary situations in the fight for justice and rights.  All film showings are free of charge. All welcome.

Tuesday 29th July – Friday 1st August 2014 

Admission is free and all are welcome. Firkin Crane Centre Shandon 6.00: “Mother Jones, America’s Most Dangerous Woman” a film by Rosemary Feurer and Laura Vazquez.     Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman is a documentary about the amazing labor heroine, Mary Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones. Mother Jones’ organising career influenced the history of early 20th century United States. She overcame class and gender limitations to shape an identity that allowed her to become an effective labor organizer in the early 20th century. Mother Jones transformed personal and political grief and rage about class injustices into an effective persona that led workers into battles that changed the course of history. The terrible conditions and labor oppression of the time motivated her to traverse the country, in order to organise against injustices.

Release Date: May 2007 (Canada)Runtime: 24 min

Thursday: 31st July  

(Firkin Crane Centre downstairs)   11am:              Film: The Battle for Orgreave, (A film by Yvette Vanson, Producer/Director. www.yvettevanson).   In this film we witness the violent struggle of miners trying to save their jobs in what became one of the biggest public disturbances Britain has ever seen. The camera focuses on the blood covered face of an angry protester, he looks defiant as he is led away by riot police. This is no criminal but a man trying to protect his livelihood. 55 miners faced long prison terms because of their involvement in the disturbance at Orgreave. This film looks at their fight for justice. Orgreave in the North of England was the focal point for a mass protest by miners in June 1984. At this time miners were angry over proposed pit closures and reacted by striking and pressurising other pits to close. The culmination of these protests was a mass gathering of miners from all over the country at Orgreave. On the morning of 18th June miners were escorted into Orgreave. At this point police tactics already resembled a military campaign. After a push by the miners the police acted with force charging the pickets on horses. The protest soon turned violent with the police using heavy-handed tactics such as dogs and batons in an attempt to suppress the riot. In this film we interview defendants about their experiences of being at Orgreave and the tactics used by police.

Release Date: 1985   Runtime: 52 min   5.30 pm     

 

“Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre” a film from Greece by Lamprini    Thoma and Nickos Ventouras. (Irish Premier)   The Ludlow Massacre and the assassination of Greek immigrant and labor leader Louis Tikas (Elias Spantidakis) is one of the decisive moments of the American labor movement, an event that connects, a century later, the United States of 1914 to the labor and immigrant demands of Greece of 2014. Lamprini Thoma and Nikolaos Ventouras examined the memories, the history and the legacy of Louis Tikas and the Ludlow massacre in Colorado, talked with prominent historians, artists and descendants of Ludlow miners, and documented the scars left by this tragedy on the body of working America. Release Date: 2014 Runtime: 92 min http://www.palikari.org/

Friday 1st August. Mother Jones Day. 

(Firkin Crane Centre downstairs)   11am:        The extraordinary life and death of Tadhg Barry from Blarney St.         (Frameworks Films) with Trevor Quinn SIPTU, Jack O’Sullivan CCTU.   This documentary tells the story of Tadhg Barry (1880-1921), a native of Cork city, who has largely been forgotten. It seems hard to believe that a man whose funeral closed shops and factories could be relegated to a footnote in history. And yet this is what has happened to a man who was one of the last people to be killed by British forces during Ireland’s War of Independence, just weeks prior to the signing of the Treaty.

Release Date: 2013

Tadhg Barry Remembered has been produced by Frameworks Films in collaboration with the Cork Council of Trade Unions for broadcast on Cork Community Television. It was first broadcast on Cork Community Television on Sunday 5th May at 8pm. The documentary was funded under the Sound & Vision scheme, an initiative of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

8.00 pm:   “Mother Jones and her Children”.  (Firkin Crane upstairs.) Documentary Premiere by Frameworks Films. Release Date: 2014

Tadhg Barry signature

A fascinating piece of history has come to light thanks to an Irish Times reader who forwarded a copy of a unique document to Frank McNally after his article on the Mother Jones festival in the newspaper last week which referred to the story of Alderman Tadhg Barry who was shot dead at Ballykinlar Internment Camp, County Down in November 1921.

Owen Smyth from Monaghan forwarded the following document which has never before been published.  It is a letter in the Irish language in which a presentation and note of thanks is made to the camp chaplain at Ballykinlar (Fr. Sean McLeister).  Hand drawn and written in old Gaelic you will find the signature of Tadhg Barry (Tadhg de Barra) on the sheet, fourth from the top. Our sincere thanks to Owen for sharing this and to Frank McNally for forwarding to us. The documentary and discussion on Tadhg Barry will be held at the Firkin Crane theatre, Shandon, Cork on Wednesday, 31st July at 12.00 Noon as part of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival. All welcome and admission is free.

BALLYKINLAR  1 Ballykinlar 2 Ballykinlar 3

More on Tadhg Barry

There has been a lot of interest following our article on Tadhg Barry and the piece on him in today’s Irish Times  (see http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/locked-out-of-history-1.1473824)

Among those who contacted our committee was Tadhg Barry Galvin, a grand-nephew of Tadhg Barry now living in England.

Tadhg Barry Galvin (right) with Chris Ruane MP at the House of Commons

Tadhg Barry Galvin (right) with Chris Ruane MP at the House of Commons

Tadhg sent us the above photo of him presenting booklet on his grand-uncle Alderman to Chris Ruane MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary group for the Irish in Britain.

Newspaper clipping of Tadhg Barry's funeral cortege leaving Dublin

Newspaper clipping of Tadhg Barry’s funeral cortege leaving Dublin

Also (above) a press clipping from November 22nd 1921 showing the funeral of Alderman Tadhg Barry at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. Mourners, led by the Lord Mayor of Dublin include TDs Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha and WT Cosgrave. Bottom photo on cutting shows the train carrying Tadhg Barry’s remains leaving Kingsbridge (Heuston) station on its poignant voyage back to Cork. Alderman Tadhg Barry is buried in the Republican Plot St. Finbarr’s cemetery, Cork.

Film on Tadhg Barry to screen at Mother Jones event

Tadhg Barry union banner

Tadhg Barry union banner

A recently launched documentary film on the life of Cork trade unionist, Irish republican and socialist Tadhg Barry is to feature at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival on Wednesday, 31st January. It will be shown at the Firkin Crane theatre at 12.00 Noon. Barry, a city alderman on Cork Corporation, was shot dead at Ballykinlar internment camp in Co. Down in November 1921.   Tadhg Barry Remembered, a documentary by Framework Films in conjunction with Cork Council of Trade Unions was made for Cork Community Television and  explores Barry’s growing involvement in labour politics and the advanced nationalist movement.  It tells of his journalistic writings on the Gaelic Athletic Association and the labour movement.   The following article is by local historian Donal Ó Drisceóil from UCC.

Tadhg Barry was born in Cork in 1880. He lived on Blarney Street, went to school in the North Monastery and commenced work at Our Lady’s Asylum in 1899 as an attendant and after a period in England, came back to work as a public servant in the Pensions Board.

From the turn of the century, he became immersed in the growing national, cultural literary and political revival and moved in these circles which were led by Tomas MacCurtain, Sean O’Hegarty and Terence MacSwiney. Tadhg was a brilliant organizer, keeper of notes and minutes, fine writer, quietly efficient and had wide interests.

Police photo of Tadhg Barry after his arrest at City Hall meeting

Police photo of Tadhg Barry after his arrest at City Hall meeting

Barry and some others grew impatient with an inefficient Cork GAA Board and re-

organised it over a period of years. He had been involved with a number of GAA Clubs including Eire Og, Sundays Well Hurling Club and Fainne an Lae Camogie Club on Blarney Street. He played hurling, refereed, coached hurling and camogie, wrote as the columnist Ciotog in the Cork Free Press. He even found time to write a book “Hurling and How to Play it” in 1916.

He became more active with the Irish Volunteers and organized meetings for Larkin and James Connolly. Following the period of confusion in Cork which accompanied the 1916 Rising, Barry was active in establishing the ITGWU, following its virtual demise after the 1909 Cork Lockout. As he became more prominent, due to mass imprisonments of leaders after 1916, he attracted attention from the authorities and spent much of 1917 in prison.

Barry threw himself into union activities during 1918 onwards as well as being very active in Sinn Fein and the Volunteers. He began to write for the Southern Star, under the heading “Neath Shandon’s Steeple” and contributed articles to various trade union publications.

Following a further period of imprisonment in 1918, he emerged to become a full-time organiser and secretary of the ITGWU No 1 (James Connolly Memorial) Branch. Never one to stay still for very long, Barry led strikes, pursued demands for wages increases and made the branch a model unit. He was selected as a candidate in the local elections of 1920 and Alderman Barry romped home.

He then combined his union activities with his public duties, which was extraordinarily difficult at a time when two Lord Mayors of Cork died, one murdered and one on hunger strike. With virtual war taking place on the City streets, he managed to organize the Irish Trade Union Congress AGM in the old Connolly Hall in August 1920, however it was only a matter of time before he was arrested.

Finally in early February 1921, he was picked up and sent to Ballykinlar Camp in Co Down, where he organised the camp activities and recreation, many socialist in nature to keep the hundreds of volunteers active in those months. As the Treaty talks progressed after the Truce, some of the volunteers were being released.

On 15th November 1921, as he joined many others to say goodbye to a departing group, he was suddenly shot dead by a young sentry named Barrett, who seemed to have fired in panic. The cover up started immediately and the inquest was inconclusive as the British military authorities refused to cooperate.

Funeral of Alderman Tadhg Barry

Funeral of Alderman Tadhg Barry

His remains were returned to Cork; thousands of people marched in his funeral procession in Dublin or attended the passing of his remains through various towns.

On arrival in Cork, the body of Tadhg Barry was met by tens of thousands of people representing all shades of union, labour, nationalist and republican opinion as his remains were taken to the North Chapel.

Sunday 20th November 1921 saw a huge turnout of people again on the route to his final resting place at St Finbarr’s cemetery.

Tadhg Barry represented a proud socialist republican tradition in the Connolly mould. The British forces regarded him as a serious troublemaker; however his active involvement in community, sporting and social organisations made him well known throughout the city. He operated quietly in many organizations and had a reputation of a man who got things done. His short lifetime of service deserves to be more widely remembered.

Our thanks to Donal O’Drisceoil for his research from which the above is drawn and which is contained in his pamphlet Tadhg Barry (1880-1921) The Story of an Irish Revolutionary.

“Tadhg Barry Remembered,” Produced by Framework Films in collaboration with the Cork Council of Trade Unions.

This film followed by a discussion will be shown at 12 noon at the Firkin Crane on Wednesday 31st July 2013 as part of the “Spirit of Mother Jones Festival”. All are welcome.