The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131201 Message #3500441
Posted By: Jim Carroll
08-Apr-13 - 08:59 AM
Thread Name: Chord Req: The Dunnes Stores Girl (John Spillane)
Subject: RE: Chord Req: The Dunnes Stores Girl (John Spillane)
My favourite 'Dunne's' girl song.
If you take the road from Leenaune (location for the film 'The Field') and head for Louisburg alongside Killary Harbour (Ireland's only fjord), arguably the most beautiful road in Ireland, along the way, with spectacular views, you will come to a monument to the Dunne's strike.
TEN YOUNG WOMEN AND ONE YOUNG MAN
Ewan MacColl (1986) – to the tune Spanish Lady
Lis Deasy, Dorothy Dooley, Michelle Gavin, Karen .Gearon, Sandra Griffin, Mary Manning, Theresa Mooney, Veronica Monroe, Catherine O'Reilly, Alma Russell and Tommy Davis were all employees of the Henry Street branch of Dunnes Stores, a chain
of supermarket and clothing shops in Eire. When they came out on strike, all the odds were against them. They were young and inexperienced and the other branches of Dunnes steadfastly refused to come out in support. Nonetheless, their enthusiasm and
dedication caught the imagination of the British public—and of the African National Congress, who invited several of the eleven to visit South Africa. When the strike ended, its main point had been won: the Irish government introduced a ban on the importation of all South African fruit and vegetables.
Now pause awhile, my friends, and listen to what I'm going to tell to you
About the events in Dublin City and the girls of the I.D.A.T.U.
Dunnes Store, the branch in Henry Street, is where the trouble all began
That led to the strike, the famous strike, of ten young women and one young man.
That year at the union conference they said we should not compromise
With apartheid and they voted to boycott all South African merchandise;
When Karen Gearon, the Dunnes shop-steward, told her mates about the ban,
They said, "We'll stand by the resolution." Ten young women and one young man.
Now Mary Manning of Kilmainham, a twenty-one-year-old cashier
Was put to the test the very next morning when she spoke up loud and clear:
"No, I'm afraid I cannot serve you, that grapefruit's South African!
And some of us here are opposed to apartheid." Ten young women and one young man.
Well, what a hell of a hullabaloo, the threats and groans and the angry cries,
The management foaming at the mouth and the suits buzzing round like blue-arse flies;
"You'll sell those goods or be suspended, we'll tolerate no union ban!"
Little did they understand the will of ten young women and one young man
So Mary Manning got the push, this lass of independent mind,
And ten of her workmates came out and joined her there on the picket line.
For days and weeks and months they stood there, persevered and stood their ground,
Proclaiming the will and determination of ten young women and one young man.
Then here's to the girls of Dublin City who stretched their hands across the sea,
Their action surely is a lesson in workers' solidarity.
And here's to the folk who heeded the boycott, who won't buy Cape and spurn Outspan,
And also the lad who joined the lasses—ten young women and one young man.
Music note: This is the same tune as "The Day of the Fight. "