Constance Markievicz honoured in the House of Commons
On Wednesday 18th July Constance Markievicz was honoured in the House of Commons as the first elected female to the British Parliament. A photographic reproduction of an oil painting of Markievicz, owned by the Hugh Lane gallery, will go on permanent display in Westminster. This is as part of Westminster’s ‘Voice and Vote’ exhibition, which highlights the role of women within parliament.
The Lilliput Press published Anne Haverty’s biography ‘Constance Markievicz: Irish Revolutionary’ in 2016. It is a landmark text in Markievicz studies, which provides a complete account of a woman often maligned and misunderstood. It is must read for anyone from the general reader to the serious student of Irish history.
Constance Markievicz remains a remarkable figure in Irish history. She was a founding member of Cumann na mBan and the Irish Citizen Army. During the 1916 Easter Rising she fought in St. Stephens Green. For this she was sentenced to death, but this was reduced to a prison sentence on grounds of her gender. She was the first woman elected to the House of Commons in 1918. However, Markievicz never took her seat in Westminster due to the Sinn Fein abstentionist policy. She and the other Sinn Fein TDs at the time formed the first Dail Eireann in 1921. Markievicz was the first Irish female cabinet Minister. After joining Fianna Fail when it was founded in 1926, Constance Markievicz died in 1927. Her legacy lives on and can be discovered fully in her biography by Anne Haverty.