Constance elected to Government

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Following the execution of the 1916 leaders, public opinion in Ireland gradually changed in favour of those who had been involved in it. Constance was elected to the Executive Council of the new party, Sinn Fein.

In 1918 in the General Election, Sinn Féin won 73 seats. Constance won a seat in Dublin, becoming the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons. Constance was in Holloway jail

Holloway Jail in England

Constance Markievicz was in solitary confinement in Holloway Jail, England.

Image courtesy of Richard Clark.

  at the time.

When she was released in March 1919 she refused to take her seat in Westminister. A decision was taken by Sinn Fein to set up their own government in Dublin rather than take their seats in Westminster.

In this first Dail, the first Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera

Eamon De Valera October (1882 - 1975)

De Valera served in public office from 1917 to 1973. He served two terms as Irish President from 1959 until 1973.

Copyright Sligo County Library.

 , appointed Constance as Minister of Labour. She was the only women to get such a post. Her life became dedicated to the cause of Irish freedom and Constance had little contact with her daughter, Maeve, or her husband, Casimir, who had returned to live in Poland by this time.

Constance Re-elected

In May 1921, an election was held for a parliament in Dublin and Sinn Féin won power. Constance was re-elected and re-appointed as Minister for Labour. Soon afterwards an agreement or treaty was signed by the Nationalists and the British government, in which the British gave the Nationalist power to rule the 26 counties that now make up the Republic of Ireland.

This treaty brought an end to the War of Independence but it divided Sinn Féin. Arthur Griffith

Arthur Griffith

Griffith, Arthur 1871 – 1922 was born in Dublin. He started his career as a printer, becoming a journalist and writer and finally a politician. Arthur Griffith was strongly influenced by Charles Stewart Parnell, Thomas Davis, and John Mitchel. He was a founding member of the Celtic Literary Society in 1893 and he was active in the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and the Gaelic League. He edited the weekly paper, the United Irishman in which he wrote editorials urging the Irish to work for self- government. In 1900, he founded Cumann na nGaedheal, a cultural and education association aimed at the promotion of Irish culture.

  and Michael Collins led the supporters of the treaty. De Valera and his followers, including Constance, opposed the treaty. Constance then went to tour America in order to get support for those who disagreed with the Treaty. She returned to Ireland in 1922 to contest an election but was unsuccessful.

Can you put the 32 counties in their place?

Can you put the 32 counties in their place?