President Michael D Higgins has praised front line workers and described Mother Jones as a “catalyst for positive change” ahead of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival this weekend.
In a recent letter to the Cork Mother Jones Committee, President Michael D Higgins sent his best wishes to all of those involved in organising the ninth Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
On the eve of the first conference of the festival, President Michael D Higgins expressed his solidarity with all of those whose work continues to play a vital role during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the great, significant moments of the labour movement, we can identify moments when a single individual becomes a catalyst for positive change. Mary ‘Mother’ Jones is one such figure, among those emancipatory figures to whom we all owe a great deal of gratitude,” read the letter.
“We gather together at a time of unprecedented risk for those who work tirelessly and selflessly in our health services and those who ensured the continued delivery of essential services," it continued.
“Let us remember and celebrate also the many thousands more who continue to put their lives at risk in order to continue their important work.”
The first conference of the festival will take place on Frida is titled ‘The Dynamic Role of Labour Unions in the Wake of Covid-19 and the Safe Keeping of Front-Line Workers’ and will be held in partnership with University College Cork Civic Engagement.
Speaking ahead of the event, James Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee welcomed the President’s positive message.
“We are delighted with this very positive message from President Higgins to organisers of the festival and for this warm tribute to the powerful, gritty and sustained contribution of Cork-born Mother Jones to the labour movement in the United States.”
Among those taking part in the conference are speakers such as Ann Piggott, President of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and Edward Lahiff of the Irish Federation of University Teachers.
The festival will feature a number of documentaries, discussions, festival archives and music.
Access is free to those who wish to view the events which will take place from Friday 27 until Monday 30 November, marking the 90th Anniversary of the death of Mother Jones.
For more information visit the website.