President Fr Conn Ó’ Maoldhomhnaigh and Assistant Registrar for Academic Affairs Dr Margaret Murphy announce inaugural Countess Markievicz Award for Academic Excellence. The Award commemorates Constance Markievicz who in 1918 became the first female M.P. elected to the House of Commons in London, and later the first Cabinet Minister in a native Irish government. The story of Constance, Countess Markievicz, is a story of a woman of determination, independence, idealism and self-sacrifice in pursuit of freedom for the Irish people. It is the story of a woman who has inspired generations of Irish men and women.