Portrait of Constance Markievicz, c.1896 published in her biography by Seán O'Faoláin in 1934.

Who was Constance Markievicz?

An avowed revolutionary, Constance Markievicz (1868–1927), was a suffragist, Irish republican, radical thinker, and the first woman elected to Westminster Parliament in 1918. In accordance with the abstentionist policy of her party, Sinn Féin, Markievicz never took up her seat in the House of Commons. No stranger to civil disobedience, at the time of her election, Markievicz was imprisoned in Holloway prison for her anti-conscription activities. She was jailed previously, in 1916–17, for her active involvement in the 1916 Easter Rising, which was an armed insurrection by Irish Republicans to end British rule in Ireland. Markievicz was a member of the Irish Citizens Army, and was implicated in both an organising and combat role.