Belfast Telegraph

Belfast's radical is celebrated in style

By Andrew Johnston

The story of early Belfast radical Mary Ann McCracken was brought to life last night in the historic surroundings of Central Library as part of the One City One Book festival.

Born in 1770, McCracken lived to the age of 96.

The Belfast-born firebrand was a social reformer, author, businesswoman, co-founder of the Belfast Harp Society and sister to the Irish revolutionary Henry Joy McCracken.

And last night Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leyden celebrated her in style. They performed lovely folk ballads, with Cassidy on keyboards and Leyden on guitar.

Meanwhile, poet Ruth Carr held the crowd rapt with a selection of new work about her.

On a day when some of Northern Ireland's less inspiring figures were attracting attention around the world, it was nice to have one of our finest citizens back centre stage, if only for a couple of hours.

Four stars

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