IN 1984, a 21-year-old check-out girl, Mary Manning, working in a Dunnes Stores on Henry Street refused to register the sale of two Outspan grapefruits.
Mary was acting in support of a directive from her trade union to support the boycott of products from South Africa, which since 1948 had operated the discriminatory segregated society system of apartheid.
For this, Mary and 10 of her colleagues were suspended. They believed the suspension would last only a couple of days, but following the arrival of South African Labour leader Nimrod Sejake, the workers became radicalised and from 1984 to 1987 led Irish efforts to raise awareness of and opposition to apartheid.
That struggle, and the important role it played in the downfall of the notorious racial political system in South Africa, will be examined in Blood Fruit, a new documentary which will have it’s world premiere in the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday (July 10) at 3pm as part of the Galway Film Fleadh.
Blood Fruit director Sinead O’Brien, as well as Mary Manning, Karen Gearon, Cathryn O’Reilly, and many of the other strikers will be attending this screening and take part in a Q&A afterwards. There will also be a press statement from Archbishop Desmond Tutu - a main contributor in the film - that he has requested be read out on the day of the screening.