Countess Markievicz image

Constance Gore-Booth was born on the 4th February 1868 in London and was brought up at Lissadell House, County Sligo. She married Polish Count Casimir Dunin Markievicz in 1900.

She entered politics in 1907 and in 1909 founded Na Fianna, an organization for boys, who were taught military drills and the use of arms. During the Easter Rising of 1916 she was second-in-command at St Stephen’s Green. Following the surrender she was arrested and although initially sentenced to death, this was commuted to life imprisonment. She was released in 1917.

In the General Election of 1918 she was elected as MP for the St Patrick’s Division of Dublin. She was the first women to be elected to the British Parliament. Constance was a member of the first Dáil Éireann when it met on the 21st January 1919. She was both the first Irish female Cabinet Minister and at the same time, the first female Cabinet Minister in Europe.

Constance was against the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 and during the Civil War she saw active service in Dublin. She was arrested again in 1923 and led a mass hunger strike.

In 1926 she joined Eamon de Valera’s new party Fianna Fáil and was elected to the Dáil in 1927 but died a month later on the 15th July 1927.