Countess Constance Georgina de Markievicz

Irish socialist, revolutionary, and politician. Founder of Na Fianna, the republican youth organization, in 1909, she joined the Irish Citizen Army and took part in the Easter Rising of 1916; her resulting death sentence was commuted. In 1918 she was elected to Westminster as a Sinn Fein candidate (technically the first British woman MP), but did not take her seat, instead serving as minister for labour in the first Dáil Éireann (then the illegal republican parliament) 1919–22.
Markievicz was prominent in the Gaelic revival before her involvement in nationalist politics. She joined Sinn Fein in 1908 and, during Dublin’s industrial unrest in 1913, worked closely with James Connolly as an officer in his Irish Citizen Army. She was also active in the women’s movement Inghinidhe nah Éireann, and became honorary president of the Irish Women Workers’ Union. She opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921), which established the Irish Free State within the British Commonwealth, and was elected for Fianna Fáil in 1927 shortly before her death.
The daughter of Sir Henry Gore-Booth of County Sligo, a privileged Anglo-Irish family, Markievicz was born in London and educated at Slade School, London, and Paris. In 1900 she married Count Casimir Markievicz, from whom she later separated. Imprisoned after the Easter Rising until 1917, she was indignant to learn that her death sentence had been commuted because of her gender. Her election to Westminster was for the St Patrick’s, Dublin, constituency.


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