38 Facts About Constance Markievicz


Constance Georgine Markievicz, known as Countess Markievicz and Madame Markievicz, was an Irish politician, revolutionary, nationalist, suffragist, socialist, and the first woman elected to the Westminster Parliament, and was elected Minister for Labour in the First Dail, becoming the first female cabinet minister in Europe.


Constance Markievicz served as a Teachta Dala for the Dublin South constituency from 1921 to 1922 and 1923 to 1927.


Constance Markievicz was a Member of Parliament for Dublin St Patrick's from 1918 to 1922.


Constance Markievicz was one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position, as Minister for Labour, from 1919 to 1922.


Constance Markievicz continued as Dail member for Sinn Fein until 1926 when she became a founding member of Fianna Fail.


Eva later became involved in the labour movement and women's suffrage in Great Britain, although initially Constance Markievicz did not share her sister's ideals.


The Markieviczes settled in Dublin in 1903 and moved in artistic and literary circles, with Constance gaining a reputation as a landscape painter.


At Purser's house, Constance Markievicz met revolutionary patriots Michael Davitt, John O'Leary and Maud Gonne.


In 1907, Constance Markievicz rented a cottage in the countryside near Dublin.


In 1908, Constance Markievicz became actively involved in nationalist politics in Ireland.


Constance Markievicz joined Sinn Fein and Inghinidhe na hEireann, a revolutionary women's movement founded by the actress and activist Maud Gonne, muse of WB Yeats.


Constance Markievicz came directly to her first meeting from a function at Dublin Castle, the seat of British rule in Ireland, wearing a satin ball gown and a diamond tiara.


Constance Markievicz performed with Maud Gonne in several plays at the newly established Abbey Theatre, an institution that played an important part in the rise of cultural nationalism.


In 1909 Constance Markievicz founded Fianna Eireann, a nationalist scouting organisation that instructed teenage boys in scouting, in the style of Robert Baden-Powell's then-paramilitary Boy Scouts.


Constance Markievicz had drawn in Bulmer Hobson, who had earlier founded a less successful boy scout group in Belfast.


Constance Markievicz supported her, and she was elected to the committee.


Constance Markievicz was jailed for the first time in 1911 for speaking at an Irish Republican Brotherhood demonstration attended by 30,000 people, organised to protest against George V's visit to Ireland.


Constance Markievicz joined James Connolly's socialist Irish Citizen Army, a volunteer force formed in response to the lock-out of 1913 to defend the demonstrating workers from the police.


Constance Markievicz recruited volunteers to peel potatoes in the basement of Liberty Hall while she and others worked on distributing the food.


Constance Markievicz was deeply inspired by the founder of the ICA, James Connolly.


Constance Markievicz designed the Citizen Army uniform and composed its anthem, based on the tune of a Polish song.


Constance Markievicz supervised the setting-up of barricades on Easter Monday and was in the middle of the fighting all around Stephen's Green, wounding a British army sniper.


Constance Markievicz was transferred to Mountjoy Prison, Holloway Prison and then to Aylesbury Prison in England in July 1916.


Constance Markievicz was released from prison in 1917, along with others involved in the Rising, as the government in London granted a general amnesty for those who had participated in it.


Constance Markievicz was in Holloway prison when her colleagues assembled in Dublin at the first meeting of the First Dail, the Parliament of the revolutionary Irish Republic.


Constance Markievicz was re-elected to the Second Dail in the elections of 1921.


Constance Markievicz served as Minister for Labour from April 1919 to January 1922, in the Second Ministry and the Third Ministry of the Dail.


Constance Markievicz was the only female cabinet minister in Irish history until 1979 when Maire Geoghegan-Quinn was appointed to the cabinet post of Minister for the Gaeltacht for Fianna Fail.


Constance Markievicz left the government in January 1922 along with Eamon de Valera and others in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty.


Constance Markievicz worked actively for the Republican cause in the Irish Civil War, including directing the Citizen Army in the occupation of Moran's Hotel in Dublin.


Constance Markievicz was not elected in the 1922 Irish general election but was returned in 1923 for the Dublin South constituency.


Constance Markievicz left Sinn Fein and joined the Fianna Fail party on its foundation in 1926, chairing the inaugural meeting of the new party in La Scala Theatre.


Constance Markievicz was married, though separated, at the time they met; his wife died in 1899 and he and Gore-Booth married in London on 29 September 1900.


Constance Markievicz gave birth to their daughter, Maeve, at Lissadell in November 1901.


In 1913 Constance Markievicz's husband moved back to Ukraine, and never returned to live in Ireland.


Constance Markievicz died at the age of 59 on 15 July 1927, of complications after two appendicitis operations, a dangerous surgery in the days before antibiotics.


Constance Markievicz had given away the last of her wealth, and died in a public ward "among the poor where she wanted to be".


In 2018, a portrait of Constance Markievicz was donated by the Irish parliament to the British House of Commons to commemorate the 1918 Representation of the People Act, under which, some women were allowed the right to vote for the first time in the United Kingdom.