Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed the unveiling of a new portrait of the Sinn Féin abstentionist MP Countess Markievicz in Westminster 100 years after the Enactment of the Representation of the People Act which gave some women in Britain and Ireland a vote in the December general election.It comes just two months after the launch of the Countess Markievicz Cumann(branch) in the Culmore area of Derry.
The portrait was presented to Speaker John Bercow in the Palace of Westminster and the portrait will remain on display in Westminster until October as part of the Houses of Parliament’s Vote 100 celebrations. The gifting of the portrait is part of the Vótáil 100 celebrations organised by a cross party committee of female parliamentarians in the Oireachtas.
Sandra Duffy said “I had the honour of launching the Countess Markievicz Cumann(branch) in the Culmore area of Derry back in May so the unveiling of her portrait in Westminster is an important milestone in recognising her contribution to the history of Ireland and Britain.
“The unveiling honours the achievements of a woman who showed that rights which are hard won must be utilised. She showed that gaining the vote was only the first step in achieving political change and progress.
“The life of Countess Markievicz embodied the complex relations between our islands. This event is recognition of her electoral achievement and of her contribution to the subsequent phase of political struggle to achieve Irish freedom and independence.
“Constance Markievicz was a revolutionary, a feminist, a socialist and an abstentionist Irish MP. I am profoundly grateful to carry forward her radical political and social agenda.”
“I want to thank the authorities in the Houses of Parliament for organising this event which plays its own role in the continuing changing and developing of relationships between our islands.