SF honours women representatives to mark Constance Markievicz election

January 22, 2009 by  
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During the ‘An Chéad Dáil’ Mansion House event Sinn Féin General Secretary Rita O’Hare made an emotional presentation to a number of women elected representatives to mark the election of Constance Markievicz into the first Dáil following the introduction of universal suffrage in the 1918 general elections, and also her appointment as Minister for Labour.

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The Sinn Féin representatives honoured for their achievements were Donegal Councillor Gráinne Mhic Géidigh, Dublin City Councillor Críona Ní Dháliagh, MEP Bairbre de Brún, Martina Andenson MLA and Agriculture Minister Michele Gildernew.

When making the presentation to the women Rita O’Hare said:

“This evening we republican women of today pay special tribute to those brave, beautiful and extraordinary women who defied the social mores of that era, who came form every class and creed and background, from rural communities, from the slums of this city and those who rejected the confines of class and privilege to join that combination of the national movement, the women’s movement and the labour movement in declaring that they stood for the republic.  Tonight for us is not just the marking of this Anniversary date, it is about continuing the struggle for what they struggle for, an Ireland united, free and independent.

“I am proud to note that there are in this room tonight the daughters and granddaughters of women who were also in this room 90 years ago today.

“Constance Markievicz was elected to the First Dáil and appointed as Minister for Labour in that First Dáil, the First woman government Minister in Europe.

“In her memory and in memory of all republican women I wish to present to these representatives of Sinn Féin’s elected women councillors, MLAs, MEPs and Ministers a memento of this Anniversary. These too are brave and committed women.  It takes great courage to stand for elected office.  It is hard and sometimes thankless work.  I commend and thank them all – Michelle Gildernew, Bairbre de Brún, Martina Anderson, Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Gráinne Mhic Géidigh.” ENDS


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