Thursday 14 June 2012

Festival for formidable female

The city of Cork will be celebrating one of its lesser known heroines – Mary Harris Jones – in a three-day festival this summer.

Mary Jones nee Harris was baptised in Cork's North Cathedral on 1 August 1837 and emigrated to Canada as a teenager. She subsequently married and had four children. Following the death in an epidemic of her entire family she went on to become a force in the North American trade union movement, specificially the Miner's Union.

Known as Mother Jones and the Miner's Angel, she was once labelled 'the most dangerous woman in America' for her ability to organise strikes and communities, often choreographing dramatic stunts.

Marking the 175th anniversary of her baptism, the Mother Jones Festival programme (31 July to 2 August) includes an exhibition, documentary screening, music, lectures and tour, and the unveiling of a limestone plaque to this formidable Irish woman.