First woman MP Constance Markievicz to be honoured in Parliament

The first woman elected to the House of Commons, Constance Markievicz, is to be honoured there today.

She was elected in the general election of 1918. However as a member of Sinn Féin, she did not take her seat.

Constance Markievicz was the first Irish woman MP, one of the first female cabinet ministers in the world and Minister for Labour in governments set up by the Dáil between 1919 and 1922.

She passed away in 1927.

Her portrait, donated by the Dáil, is to be received by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow this afternoon.

Born Constance Georgine Gore Booth in Lissadell, Co Sligo she is most famous for her leadership role in the Easter Rising of 1916.

Constance became a commissioned officer in the Irish Citizen Army, and was involved in the planning of the 1916 Rising.

Her notebook, recording the planned manoeuvres, is now on display in Lissadell.

She fought in St Stephen’s Green and retreated to the College of Surgeons, where she eventually surrendered.

She was sentenced to death for her part in the Rising, which was commuted to life imprisonment because of her gender.

Constance was released from Ailsbury Gaol in England in 1917 following a general amnesty.

However she served a further five terms of imprisonment during The Troubles.

In March 1926 Eamon de Valera called an extraordinary meeting of Sinn Féin to discuss the future of the party.

Failing to achieve agreement, he resigned as leader of and established Fianna Fáil.

Its inaugural meeting was held in La Scala theatre in Dublin.

Among the founding members were Seán Lemass, Gerry Boland, Countess Markievicz and Frank Aiken.

In June 1927 Markievicz fell seriously ill and passed away on the morning of July 15th, 1927.

Some 300,000 people attended her funeral to pay tribute to her.

Eamon de Valera, with whom she founded Fianna Fáil, delivered the funeral oration.