A number of the city’s key heritage and cultural institutions have come together to mark 250 years since the birth of one of Belfast’s most important citizens the abolitionist, philanthropist and reformer, Mary Ann McCracken.

The Mary Ann McCracken Foundation, in partnership with Clifton House, National Museums Northern Ireland, Linen Hall Library, Reclaim the Enlightenment and the Frances Hutcheson Institute, has created a unique series of events to mark the occasion. The diverse programme will tell the story of Mary Ann McCracken – who she was and what she achieved. The series will also link her legacy to current issues including slavery, poverty and women’s rights, some of the many issues that she campaigned for during her lifetime.

Norma Sinte, Chair of the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation, commented, “Two hundred and fifty years after her birth, the legacy of Mary Ann McCracken’s achievement and what she stood for is alive and well today. Her fight for the rights and welfare of workers, the poor, women and children continues to influence the work not only of the Belfast Charitable Society but also the Foundation, which was established in her name.

Norma continued “we are delighted to be working with so many diverse organisations to provide such a wide range of events to mark Mary Ann’s 250th Birthday. To honour Mary Ann, all those involved have given their time and resource free of charge. Details of all events can be found on the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation website”.

Mary Ann McCracken 250 will launch on the 10th June with guest speaker Cathryn McWilliams presenting her doctoral research into Mary Ann’s life. Other events include a discussion on ‘The Spirit of Inquiry and Age of Enlightenment’ organised by Reclaim the Enlightenment and the Frances Hutcheson Institute, and Mary Ann’s cultural endeavours are explored in talks hosted by Linen Hall Library. On her birthday, 8th July, there is a special event exploring ‘Who and what did Mary Ann fight for?’ examining the causes closest to her heart and their relevance today.

Events will run until 14th July 2021. To find out more, or to book, visit www.maryannmccrackenfoundation.org/