Northern Ireland

Belfast City Hall statues of historic female activists installed ahead of International Women’s Day unveiling

City Hall statues of Mary Ann McCracken and Winifred Carney put in place for unveiling on International Women's Day this Friday. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
City Hall statues PICTURE: MAL MCCANN (Mal McCann)

Workers at Belfast City Hall have begun installing statues of Mary Ann McCracken and Winifred Carney ahead of their unveiling on Friday to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The statues, created by artist Ralf Sander, are designed to recognise the two female activists’ historical contribution to the city.

Winifred Carney
Winifred Carney

Winifred Carney, who died in 1943, was a suffragist, trade unionist, and Irish republican, who was born in Bangor but raised on the Falls Road.

She was in charge of the women’s section of the Irish Workers Textile Union before becoming a friend and personal secretary to James Connolly.

Mary Ann McCracken was a Belfast-born businesswoman, social reformer, anti-slavery campaigner, and supporter of the United Irishmen who lived from 1770 to 1866 and was born into a liberal Presbyterian family of Scottish and French Huguenot heritage.

Mary Ann McCracken. Picture by Mal McCann.
Mary Ann McCracken. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

A founding member of the Belfast Harp Society, she was also the sister of Henry Joy McCracken, a founder of the United Irishmen, and took care of his daughter after his execution in 1798.