The 29th July 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the death of one of Belfast’s truly remarkable women. Mary Ann McCracken was a social reformer whose work, philanthropy and courage continues to have a lasting legacy on the social, political and economic landscape of Belfast today. She worked tirelessly to help many people suffering from disadvantage and poverty in its many forms but one of the main causes she fought for was the Poorhouse and the welfare of the children who lived here.

Belfast Charitable Society commissioned the production of a short play to celebrate this work. Through this performance Actually Belfast presented an insight into her struggles and challenges in advocating for the children and shone a light on the true character of this lady. Much of the production was developed from the actual archive which the Society continues to preserve at Clifton House.

This production was performed at Clifton House on Thursday 29th September.  The audience were treated to a harp performance by Ruth Corry and an introduction by Dr Eamon Phoenix who brought 18th century Belfast to life for the guests.  The play highlighted some of Mary Ann’s dealings with the Men’s Committee and her triumphs in the face of adversity.  The memory of Mary Ann McCracken lives on in the work of the Belfast Charitable Society.