Born in 1530 in the far west of Ireland, Gráinne Ní Máille (anglicized as Grace O’Malley) was the only child of Margaret & Owen O’Malley. Her father was chieftain of the O’Malley clan and made his money through seafaring, fishing, international trade and exacting tolls on shipping in the O’Malley waters off Mayo. As a child Grace’s determination and indomitable spirit was apparent, legend has it that on being told she couldn’t sail with her father’s fleet because her long hair would get caught in the ships rigging, she cut her hair and was subsequently nicknamed Gráinne Mhaol – bald Grace.
Constance Gore-Booth was born on 4th February 1868, the oldest of five children. Her father was a landowner in County Sligo, Ireland.
Constance is most well known for her role in Irish politics, but long before then her first passion was art. In 1892 she went to London to study painting. While there her political beliefs began to take shape and she joined the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). From London she moved to Paris to continue her studies. It was there that she met her soon-to-be husband, a Polish Count.