Life and Times of Mary Ann McCracken at Belfast’s Féile an Phobail

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Mary Ann McCracken’s story and endeavours for social justice and reform will be told at Clifton House on Thursday 26th July, the 152nd anniversary of her death.

Many may not have heard of Mary Ann McCracken, a formidable lady, born on 8th July 1770 who died at the age of 96 in 1866. She had fought for reform, equality and social justice throughout her life which spanned some of the most turbulent years of Irish history, including the 1798 rebellion. Her own brother, the liberal Presbyterian Henry Joy McCracken, a leading member of the United Irishmen Society, was executed for his role in this rebellion.

Active in anti-slavery circles in Belfast; involved in the early women suffrage campaigns; prison reform schemes as well as a committee set up for abolishing climbing boys in chimney sweeping, she was a woman who strove to change society.

Mary Ann McCracken

Mary Ann McCracken

Féile an Phobail

Paula Reynolds, CEO of the Belfast Charitable Society said, “The Belfast Charitable Society is extremely pleased to be part of the Féile An Phobail. This is an opportunity for those partaking in the Festival, as well as others, to hear how one woman strove against social injustice, helped the poor, ran a muslin business and took in her brother’s illegitimate daughter, defying family opposition, after he was hanged in the 1798 rebellion.

“Mary Ann McCracken is a central figure in Belfast’s history, a great philanthropist who campaigned tirelessly for the welfare of women and children and the political equality. If you are interested in the history of Belfast then you must listen to this impressive woman’s story.”

Find Out More

The event, ‘The relevance of the life and work of Mary Ann McCracken for Belfast Today’ in partnership with Féile An Phobail and the Greater New Lodge Community Festival, ‘ will take place on Thursday 26th July at 7pm in Clifton House. The event is FREE but booking is essential. Please call 028 90 997022 to reserve your space.

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