Constance Markievicz was one of the more outstanding women
in Irish history
. Devoted to the cause of rebellion
, she was the first woman elected to the House of Commons
- in the election of December 1918
- but famously refused to attend, staying in Ireland
to be Minister for Labour in the First Dail
, the illegal Irish parliament that led the political side of the Irish War of Independence
Born in 1868, Constance Gore-Booth involved herself in the suffragette movement from 1896, the socialist movement following the great Dublin Lockout of 1913 and the nationalist movement for most of her life. She was Second in Command of the Citizen Army in the 1916 Easter Rising, where she played a prominent fighting role at St. Stephen's Green. She narrowly survived execution after the Rising to play a committed role in the working class movement up to her death in 1927.
Her title was gained through marriage to the Polish Count Dunin-Markievicz 1900, a marriage that barely lasted two years.