Irish revolutionary Constance Markievicz to be honoured in British Parliament today
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Irish revolutionary Constance Markievicz to be honoured in British Parliament today

IRISH revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist Constance Markievicz will be honoured in British Parliament today for being the first woman MP.

Her portrait, donated by the Irish parliament will be received this afternoon by Speaker John Bercow on behalf of the House of Commons, 100 years after winning a seat in Westminster.

It was a seat the Sinn Fein politician never took, in line with her party policy of abstention.

Along with 72 other Sinn Fein MP’s, she refused to acknowledge the authority of the British government.

Constance Markievicz fought the 1918 election for the constituency of Dublin St Patrick’s from a cell in Holloway prison in London.

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Out of 18 women candidates, she was the only one to win a seat.

Madame de Markievicz, as she was sometimes known, was also the first woman elected to the First Dail.

She took part in the Easter Rising of 1916 and fought against British crown forces under socialist rebel Michael Mallin at St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, after which she was sentenced to death.

At her court martial, Markievicz said she was “ready to die for Ireland one way or another”.

Her death sentence was commuted to life in prison on account of being a woman.

Markievicz died in 1927 aged 59.

Her portrait will form part of the UK Parliament’s Voice and Vote exhibition until 6 October, when it will be transferred to nearby Portcullis House to go on public display.

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