The late Valerie Jones remembered as author royalties presented to charity
The memory of the late Dr Valerie Jones was honoured on Friday, July 7, when the author royalties of her book Rebel Prods: The Forgotten Story of Protestant Radical Nationalists and the 1916 Rising were presented to the Irish Cancer Society. Valerie’s daughter, Dr Heather Jones, presented a cheque for €1,000 to the Irish Cancer Society. This is in addition to €1,125 donated to the organization from royalties of sales of the book from the Church of Ireland website.
Valerie was a former lecture at the Church of Ireland College of Education and Diocesan Communications Officer for Dublin & Glendalough. Her book was launched in November 2016 and has been very well received. Valerie died in February 2014 and the book was brought to fruition by Heather, an Associate Professor in History at the London School of Economics, and her son Mark. It is published by Ashfield Press and its publication was supported by the Church of Ireland’s Historical Centenaries Working Group as one of its several contributions to marking the centenaries of 1916.
Heather was joined in presenting the cheque by the Bishop John McDowell (Clogher), former chairperson of the Church of Ireland Historical Centenaries Working Group, and Dr Susan Hood, Librarian and Archivist at the RCB Library.
Heather thanked by Bishop McDowell and Dr Hood for all their support and help in publishing the book. She said her mother had been researching the book since 2001 and she and her brother had promised to see that it was published. “It’s really nice to see the culmination of all my mother’s hard work being put to good use for a good cause. Other families experiencing cancer will benefit from this,” she said.
Bishop McDowell said it was a great privilege to be associated with the publication of the book. “As well as the sentimental connections to Valerie, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this is a first rate book which begins to fill a gap in the historiography of the period,” he stated.
Dr Hood noted the very positive impact that the Church of Ireland Online Bookstore had on sales of the book. She added, “This book provides an interesting insight into Irish history written by a fondly remembered member of the Church of Ireland community.”
Brenda McCarthy, Community Fundraiser with the Irish Cancer Society, said the donation of the author royalties was a fantastic way to honour Valerie. She outlined the work of the organization in prevention, services and research and said 98 percent of their funding came from donations. “We are so grateful to you. Without people like yourself, these services wouldn’t happen,” she stated. At the request of Heather and Mark, the funds will go towards the society’s night nursing service.
Rebel Prods: The Forgotten Story of Protestant Radical Nationalists and the 1916 Rising is still available to order through the Church of Ireland Online Bookstore. (https://store.ireland.anglican.org/store/product/120/rebel-prods-the-forgotten-story-of)
The book provides the first overall study of the role of Protestant radical nationalists in planning, and participating in, the Easter rebellion and reveals that a far larger number were involved than previously known. The revolutionary generation of 1916 spanned the deep religious divisions in the Ireland of the time – while still a predominantly Catholic uprising, the 1916 rebellion was more religiously diverse than its later historical image suggests. Based upon a range of detailed sources, this study reveals the significant collective contribution of Irish radical Protestants to the Rising and their fate in the new Irish Free State.