Education campaigner honored with Spirit of Mother Jones Award – The Meczyki Times

An educational campaign that has dedicated its life to providing an alternative learning environment for those who cannot continue in mainstream schools has been honored with this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Award. Is.

Dawn O’Leary, who is in her mid-60s, was selected by the Cork Mother Jones Committee in recognition of her work with the Cork Life Center in Sundayvale where she has worked with young people who have not been involved in mainstream education. are out of the system.

Jim Nolan of the Cork Mother Jones Committee said he was particularly pleased to present Mr O’Leary with the Spirit of Mother Jones Award 2022 for the work the Cork-born American trade unionist had done campaigning for children. Along comes the sounds of their work. Mother Jones.

“In his role as Director of the Cork Life Centre, Don has shown by his example and dedication to young people how they can thrive within a different system that places them at their core, and which Tries to meet unique needs and requirements.

“His efforts to advance children’s rights for decades resonated with fellow Carconian, Mary Harris, aka Mother Jones, in her desire to free children from slavery in America’s mills, mines, and factories into a can study during the century. First.”

Mr Nolan said Mr O’Leary had worked to ensure no young people were left behind in the mainstream education system and thanks to his dedication, vision and hard work with the staff at Cork Life Centre, he Provided education to many youths. Real opportunity to progress in life.

“Dawn’s practical and inclusive approach to embracing young people in their diversity and developing their individual unique talents makes Dawn and Cork Life Center a worthy recipient of the 2022 Spirit of Mother Jones Award,” she said. “

A native of Ballyfahane on the south side of Cork, Mr O’Leary first became known as a Sinn Féin community activist in Knocknaheny on the north side of the city in Cork, but his community work was interrupted when he was arrested in 1987. Sentenced to five years imprisonment. For IRA membership.

He served for three years and unsuccessfully contested the Cork North Central ward in the 1991 local elections for Sinn Féin, but was elected eight years later for the Cork North West ward in the 1999 local elections. He resigned from his seat in January 2000 on health grounds.

Father-of-two Mr O’Leary recently spoke about how he has reacted to being diagnosed with terminal cancer, telling the Echo that the Cork Life Center has excellent staff and that he knows will continue even after they enjoy each one. Working days at the center.

“I’ve enjoyed every second of it, even though some of it has been really sad but there’s also a kind of joy in it, that you come out on the other side and the young people and the families come out on the other side, too. And you were part of his support,” he said.

“I’ve always been happy here at the Life Center – it’s my happy place here, here and at home, and I want to be here as long as I can,” said Mr O’Leary, who will be presented. Spirit of Mother Jones Award at a ceremony at the Maldron Hotel on Saturday.

The Spirit of Mother Jones Award is presented by the Cork Mother Jones Committee to the person who they feel best represents the fighting spirit of Mary Harris, as Mother Jones, the trade unionist. and became known throughout America for her work as a children’s rights campaigner.

The Spirit of Mother Jones award is the third to be given to Mr O’Leary in the past year, following an honorary doctorate of arts from University College Cork in November and a Cork Civic Award from Cllr Colm Kelleher in January for his contribution to education. was given

Previous winners of the Spirit of Mother Jones Award include Hillsborough campaigners Margaret Aspinall and Sue Roberts. homeless advocate Father Peter McVarry; lawyer Gareth Paris; anti-apartheid activist Mary Manning; and children’s rights campaigner Louise O’Keefe.