Her life in brief

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Constance Gore-Booth


Timeline of Constance's Life

Timeline of Constance's Life

Her Family

Constance was born into a wealthy Anglo Irish family in County Sligo in 1868. As she grew up, the family divided their time between their country estate in Sligo and their town houses in London and Dublin. Their house in Sligo was named Lissadell

Lissadell House

This photograph shows Lissadell House in County Sligo. It was originally the home of the Gore-Booth family. One of the most famous members of this family was the Irish revolutionary Constance Markievicz. This was where she grew up.

Copyright Sligo County Library


Her early life was typical of girls from her class and wealthy background. She was educated at home. She enjoyed painting, drawing, parties and hunting.

Growing up

When she was older, she studied art in London and Paris. In Paris, she met her husband, Count Markievicz. He was from a wealthy Polish family. They married in 1900. Constance Gore-Booth became Countess Markievicz. They had a child and for a time settled in Dublin, enjoying the theatre, painting and tea-parties.

Constance began to be interested in the political and social issues of this time. Dublin, in the early 1900s, was the centre for nationalist and social unrest. Constance joined the nationalist party, Sinn Fein, which fought for Irish freedom.

Her Interests

She set up and managed a soup kitchen to support the families of workers during a general strike in 1913 - called 'the Dublin Lockout' - which was led by Jim Larkin

James Larkin (1874-1947)

He founded the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, the Irish Labour Party, and later the Workers' Union of Ireland. He played a significant role in Ireland when fighting for employees rights and in the Dublin Lockout 1913.

Image courtesy of SIPTU.


She fought in the 1916 Rising and was sentenced to death. As a woman, her sentence was changed to life imprisonment, unlike the other leaders who were executed. In 1917, she and other 1916 prisoners were released.

In 1918, she was elected to the House of Commons. She was the first woman to be elected to parliament. As an Irish nationalist, she refused to take her seat. Sinn Fein set up their own parliament in Dublin, called 'Dail Eireann

The First Dail

The first Dail, as it met in Dublin 1919. Included in the photograph are Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Eamon de Valera, W.T. Cosgrave and Richard Mulcahy.

Courtesy of Hugh Oram.

 '. Constance was appointed Minister for Labour.

Her Career

Constance held a seat in the Dail over several terms, but she never took her seat. She died in 1927 at the age of 59. Her funeral at Glasnevin Cemetry was attended by great numbers of people.