April 17, 1969

On this day in 1968, Bernadette Devlin was elected to Britain’s Parliament on the “Unity” ticket, as MP for the Mid-Ulster constituency. The election followed the death of Ulster Unionist Party Member of Parliament for Mid Ulster, George Forrest, and Devlin found she was running against Forrest’s widow on the Unionist ticket. At 21, Devlin was the youngest woman ever to be elected to Parliament. Raised Roman Catholic in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Devlin became passionately involved in politics while a student at Queen’s University Belfast. She helped to form the Irish Republican Socialist Party along with Seamus Costello in 1974.

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