Countess Constance Markievicz

A short list highlighting the greatness and importance of Countess Constance Markievicz:

A feminist, labour activist and Irish nationalist.

  • Born in London to a wealthy family but developed an affinity for the poor, as her father helped the tenants of his land during the famine
  • Daughter of an arctic explorer
  • Childhood friend of W.B Yeats
  • Met the Queen
  • Involved in the Labour movement and women’s suffrage
  • Married and subsequently amicably separated from a Polish Count
  • Ran a soup kitchen for poor school children
  • Was 2nd in command during the 1916 Easter Rising.
  • Initiated the conflict by approaching a police officer and shooting him in the head.
  • Sentenced to death but survived on account of her gender.
  • “I do wish your lot had the decency to shoot me.”
  • “I did what was right and I stand by it.”
  • Opposed the Anglo-Irish treaty, demanding a United Ireland
  • Became a Member of Parliament but refused to take her seat as it would have meant swearing allegiance to the King and the British.
  • Became one of the first members of the Dáil Éireann, an illegal government at the time.
  • By the time she had died she had given away all of her wealth and passed in a public ward “among the poor where she wanted to be”.
  • When she died thousands of working class people lined the streets to honour her,

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