Did you ever feel that to make a difference you needed to do something extraordinary?
That you would need a special kind of superpower not available to ordinary people?
Or that ordinary people are rarely extraordinary compared to people like Elvis, Nelson Mandela or Annie Lennox?
Thinking we cannot make a difference without doing something magnificent can often blind us to the many ordinary people who paved the way for what we take for granted in an “enlightened world”.
This month I have been looking up extraordinary Irish female history makers in preparation for a new course for the autumn and one of the most extraordinary women I have come across (and there are many!) is one Albert D. J. Cashier, who was born Jennie Irene Hodgers, on December 25th, 1843, in Clogherhead, Co. Louth.
As a young emigrant, Jennie adopted a male persona somewhere between leaving Ireland and arriving…
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