Hillsborough campaigner to be honoured at Mother Jones Festival in Cork

Organisers say Mother Jones would have been proud of Margaret Aspinall for her tireless campaigning

A woman who has spent almost quarter of a century campaigning for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough Disaster is to be honoured in Cork next month with the inaugural Spirit of Mother Jones Award.

Margaret Aspinall lost her son James (18) when he was among the 96 Liverpool football fans to die in the Hillsborough Disaster on April 15th 1989. Since then she has been campaigning with other Liverpool families for justice for their loved ones.

Ger O'Mahony of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Committee based in Cork said Ms Aspinall through her work as the Chairperson of the Hillborough Family Support Group was a worthy winner of the inaugural Spirit of Mother Jones Award.

“For almost 24 years Margaret and the Hillsborough Family Support group have faced endless setbacks at inquests, in courts, let down repeatedly by politicians and the political system,” he said


“They have fought on to expose the injustice, the cover ups, they campaigned for the truth and the truth has come out with the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel last year when the verdicts of accidental death from the original inquest in March 1991 were quashed.”

Mother Jones, who was born Mary Harris in Cork city on 1837, became a leading figure in the American labour movement, campaigning for union rights and an end to child labour and last year a committee was set up in Cork to commemorate her life and achievements.

"We feel Mother Jones would be proud of Margaret and her friends. They have campaigned tirelessly for justice just as Mother Jones did in the United States at the start of the last century so we're very proud to present her with the Spirit of Mother Jones Award."

The Spirit of Mother Jones Festival kicks off in Cork on July 30th and continues until August 1st which has been declared Mother Jones Day by Cork City Council and events this year include the Mother Jones Lecture by Professor Simon Cordery from the US.

Other events include lectures on the Cork Strike of 1909 and the Dublin Lockout of 1913.as well as the screening of documentaries about the Vita Cortex workers sit-in and a concert by Andy Irvine. For further information, visit motherjonescork.com

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times