Mother Jones – once described as the most dangerous woman in America – is to be honored in her native Cork.

Born Mary Harris in Cork city, the achievements of labor activist Mother Jones are to be commemorated at a festival in her hometown.

The three day celebrations will mark the 175th anniversary of Mary Harris’ birth on Shandon Street on the north side of Cork city.

The trade union activist lived until the age of 93 and earned the ‘most dangerous woman in America’ tag thanks to her campaigning on behalf of workers.

Born in 1837, she emigrated to America after her family had survived the Great Famine.

The Irish Times reports that Mother Jones settled in Tennessee where she witnessed the horrors of the American civil war.

She then moved to Chicago and at the age of 60 became involved in the fledgling US labour movement.

Mother Jones was a co-founder of the Industrial Workers of the World movement known as the Wobblies.

She was active in organising union campaigns in Alabama, West Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York and counted the Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa among her friends.

The Cork festival will feature a lecture by her biographer, Prof Elliot J Gorn, a documentary by filmmaker Rosemary Feurer, and a concert featuring famous traditional musician Andy Irvine and others.

The events will take place from July 31st to August 2nd at the Firkin Crane, St Anne’s Shandon and the Maldron Hotel.

A special memorial plaque to Mother Jones will be unveiled at John Redmond Street near Shandon.


Dubbed the most dangerous woman in America, Mother JonesGoogle Images