Activist MP Chris Mullin to speak at Cork festival

Chris Mullin

A British MP whose campaign had a huge bearing on freeing the Birmingham Six will be guest speaker at a festival in Cork to honour another human rights champion.

Chris Mullin, a journalist and former MP for Sunderland South, will address the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and Summer School, which will be held in Shandon, Cork.

Mullin was the author of Error of Judgement which revealed the injustices behind the convictions and the truth about the Birmingham bombings.

The book was later made into an acclaimed drama documentary by Granada Television.

He was often savagely attacked in the tabloid press but continued to write and campaign as an activist.

He was also regularly the first MP to be declared elected to the British Parliament in each general election.

Mullin led a very varied career which embraced political activism, a role as defender of human rights, advocate of social justice, a sharp observer of and commentator on political events.

He also found fame as a noteworthy and acclaimed author.

He spent 23 years in parliament and eventually announced his retirement in 2010.

Highly regarded, he is very much an independent thinker, a man who like Mother Jones was utterly fearless in saying what he believes in and what he stands for.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee said it was honoured to announce Chris Mullin as the guest speaker at the summer school between July 29 and August 1.

It will be the fourth Spirit of Mother Jones festival and summer school and is organised by an independent group representing history, community, musical and trade union interests who celebrate the life and achievements of Cork woman, Mary Harris.

She was baptised in the North Cathedral on August 1, 1837.

She had been known the world over as Mother Jones.

“The festival and summer school is now a highlight of the summer in Cork City for many people,” said Jim Nolan, spokesman for the organising committee.

“In 2014, over 2,000 people from eight countries attended events. We are again planning a varied and interesting programme of films, talks, lectures, music and exhibitions in the Shandon area over the four days.”

Mr Mullin will deliver two lectures, one based on his key role in the Birmingham Six campaign and also on the late Labour MP Tony Benn.

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