Three generations of the families associated with Margaret Taylor McCoubrey gathered to watch Baroness May Blood of Blackwatertown unveil a Ulster History Circle blue plaque to their ancestor.
Welcoming everyone, Dr. Myrtle Hill, vice-chair of the Circle spoke of how Margaret had lived in the house for thirty five years, and in the week that marked International Women’s Day, the Circle were marking their own tribute to a woman whose passionate engagement in suffrage, pacificism and the Labour and Co-operative movements, made her a worthy recipient of the prestigious blue plaque.
Dr. Hill said, ‘when Margaret became involved with the suffrage movement in Belfast, she was friendly with the Pankhursts and was committed to the causes in support of women, children and the working class’. As a young girl aged twelve, Margaret had commenced work in an outfitters but had wanted to further her education, and being proactive went on to study shorthand and typing. She fought all her life for better conditions for women, and eventually served as a councillor in Belfast.
Unveiling the blue plaque, Baroness Blood – a proud working class lady with an extraordinary career who had worked in a linen mill and had been an active member of the Trade Union and a Shop Steward, said that Margaret Taylor McCoubrey, had made a great difference to the lives of women and the working class. She said that she was proud to have been asked to unveil the plaque, and paid tribute to Margaret who had devoted her life to fairness, and to the laying of foundations for better lives and working conditions. 37 Candahar Street where the plaque was unveiled, had been an ‘ever open door’ .
Guests adjourned to the nearby Ballynafeigh Community Centre for refreshments, and to hear Dr. Hill deliver a presentation on the life of Margaret Taylor McCoubrey.
Photographs from the Plaque unveiling ceremony
- Margaret Taylor McCoubrey seated, with her daughter.
- Baroness May Blood unveils the blue plaque.
- Three generations of the family of Margaret Taylor McCoubrey.
- Dr. Myrtle Hill, extreme right and Baroness May Blood with members of the Ulster History Circle.
- L.R. – Carole Moore, actress, Maggie Cronin, actress, Ann Hope (Irish Congress Trade Unions)
- Paul Clements, Chris Spurr, Chairman-Ulster History Circle, Anthony Lundy, Alan Boyd, Hon.Secretary-Ulster History Circle.