Countess Markiewicz Sinn Féin

Countess Markiewicz (centre) with Thomas D O'Connor, Secretary of the Irish Republican Delegation, and Kathleen Barry.
Countess Markiewicz was the first Woman MP elected to the British Parliament in 1918

Source: PA Archive/PA Images

First Woman MP Elected British Parliament
Sinn Féin Candidate

Constance Markievicz was elected to parliament in a United Kingdom general election in 1918 and as Ireland was still ruled by the UK government at the time, she was obliged to take her seat in Westminster.

Countess Markiewicz, as a member of Sinn Féin, and whose members abstained from taking their seats as it would mean swearing an oath of allegiance to the crown, never took the seat she was elected to. It is said she visited the cloakroom in the Houses of Pariament to see if she had been allocated a coat hanger.

Born in February 1868, Constance Markievicz (her maiden name was Gore-Booth) was a suffragette, a socialist and a leading figure in the Irish Republican movement.

She played a major part in the 1916 Easter Rising and was sentenced to death. Her life was spared because of her privileged and powerful background.

Not because she was a Woman!

She was a founding member of Cumann na mBan and the Irish Citizen Army, became the first female minister in the Ireland’s first Dáil, and the first woman in the world to hold a Cabinet position as Minister for Labour from 1919 – 1922.

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