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Saturday 25 May 2019

Push for Markievicz to be honoured as a hero

Constance Markievicz
Constance Markievicz

Allison Bray

It's about time that Ireland's iconic women took to the streets, according to a Dublin city councillor.

Labour's Rebecca Moynihan is among a number of local councillors who will next month vote in favour of a proposal to erect a statue of Countess Constance Markievicz on O'Connell Street. If passed, the countess would be the first woman to be commemorated on Dublin's most famous street.

Vincent Jackson, an Independent councillor who proposed the motion, said Markievicz was not only a leading 1916 rebel, she was an important suffragette and politician. "She is sufficiently significant within Irish history to warrant a place on O'Connell Street too," he said of the statues of labour leader Jim Larkin, nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell and the street's namesake Daniel O'Connell, who all grace the iconic thoroughfare.

"The fundamental issue is the lack of women commemorated in the city," Ms Moynihan said.

Markievicz was the London-born daughter of a wealthy aristocrat and chose helping the poor and fighting for social justice over a life of privilege.

Second-in-command of the battalion that fought at St Stephen's Green during the 1916 Easter Rising, she was sentenced to death.

The sentence was commuted to life - ironically because of her sex.

After her release from prison in 1918, she became the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons and the second female cabinet minister in the world when elected to the Dáil.

Irish Independent

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