Tuesday 22 May 2018

Markievicz to be honoured in Westminster

The UK Government has confirmed that a specific event will be held in December this year to commemorate 100 years since the election of Countess Markievicz to its parliament.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that a centenary celebration was warranted to mark the role women have played in the House of Commons.

Though Markievicz, who was a republican and Sinn Féin member, wasn't mentioned by name as the first woman elected, a spokesperson for the House of Commons has confirmed she will feature in Westminster commemorations. Constance Markievicz played a prominent role in the 1916 Rising and was sentenced to death afterwards, although her life was spared.

She was the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons in a general election held in December 1918, but, as a Sinn Féin candidate with a policy of abstentionism, she didn't take her seat in Westminster.

She was the first female minister in the Ireland's first Dáil, and the second woman in the world to hold a Cabinet position as Minister for Labour from 1919 - 1922. She grew up in the family home at Lissadell House.

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