Republican Plot: Countess Constance Markiewicz

(1868 - 1927) Revolutionary, MP & TD.

Republican Plot: Countess Constance Markiewicz
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About Republican Plot: Countess Constance Markiewicz

Republican Plot: Countess Constance Markiewicz in (1868 - 1927) Revolutionary, MP & TD..

Born at Buckinham Gate, London, 4th February 1868, educated by governess at Lissadell, Co Sligo, and Slade School of Art, London.

In Paris, while studying to become a painter, 1898-1900 she met Count Casimir Dunin-Markievicz and married him in London in 1900.

They settled in Dublin in 1903 and in 1906 while renting a cottage at Ballally, Co Dublin came across back numbers of "the Peasant" and "Sinn Fein" left by a previous tenant, Padraic Colum, thus arousing her interest in the struggle for freedom.

In 1908 she entered politics, joining Sinn Fein and Inghinidhe na hEireann. In 1909 she founded Na Fianna, an organization for boys, who were taught drill and the use of arms.

During the lockout of workers in Dublin in 1913 she rang a soup kitchen in Liberty Hall. In the 1916 Rising she served at the College of Surgeons, St Stephens Green under Michael Mallin and was condemned to death. Her sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life and she was imprisoned in Aylesbury Jail; released in the general amnesty of June 1917.

In the General Election of 1918 she was returned for St Patrick's division of Dublin, the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament; in accordance with Sinn Fein policy she refused to take her seat. She was member of the first Dail Eireann, which met on 21st January 1919, and Minister for Labour.

On the run, as were other ministers, she served two jail sentences, in Mountjoy Jail, Dublin and Cork. She opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and in 1922 toured America to enlist support for the Republican cause. Defeated in the General Election of 1922, she won the Dublin Borough South seat in August 1923 when the Civil War had ended. She continued to advocate republican views and was arrested in November 1923, and went on hunger strike. She joined Fianna Fail when it was founded by De Valera in 1926, and was re-elected to the Dail in 1927. She died in Dublin on 15th July 1927 after some years of bad health.

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