she’s still alive, but garnered many a mention in my Irish history class: bernadette devlin mcaliskey, youngest female MP in the british parliament, ever.
born and raised in northern ireland, she won the mid-ulster parliament seat in 1969, when she was 21 and still studying psychology at university. where lots of irish nationalists refused to take a seat in parliament, devlin (also a nationalist) straight up said “i will take my seat and fight for your rights,” and that’s what she did: an hour into her tenure she made her first speech in parliament. she had just turned 22.
in the summer of 1969 she served a short jail term for her participation in the bogside riots, but was re-elected to parliament in 1970. in 1972, after the events of bloody sunday, she slapped the home secretary across the face for suggesting that the british army had opened fire in self defense, for which she was suspended from parliament for six months.
but, because bernadette devlin is awesome, she came back with a vengeance and continued to hold her parliament seat until 1974.
also, she did all of this while raising the daughter she had when she was 23. yeah, she’s awesome.