Friday 28 July 2017

Fergus Black: 'My one regret is I never got to meet the great man in person'

Striking Dunnes workers in 1985: Sandra Griffen, Alma Bonnie, Karen Gearon,
Striking Dunnes workers in 1985: Sandra Griffen, Alma Bonnie, Karen Gearon, "Nimrod", Mary Manning with anti apartheid activist Nimrod Sejake and Tommy Davis.
Mary Manning with Prof Kader Asmal at the unveiling of a plaque honouring strikers
Actor Mick Lally at the protest
Seamus Heaney joins the strikers

ALMOST three decades after striking a blow against South Africa's racist apartheid regime, Mary Manning's one big regret is that she never got to meet Nelson Mandela.

The former Dunnes Stores checkout operator knew little about Mandela when, as a 21-year-old, she sparked one of the most influential strike actions every taken by a group of Irish workers.

It was July 1984 when Mary refused to handle two South African grapefruits that had been placed at her till by a customer in Dunnes' Henry Street, Dublin, store.

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