2018 sees the celebration of the tercentenary year of the birth of Nano Nagel who was the founder of the Presentation Order.
By the time of her death in 1784 Nano Nagle had opened seven schools for children in poverty in Cork city.
Nano was born into a wealthy catholic family in Cork during a time when the penal laws meant that education for Catholics was forbidden and as a result she had to go abroad for her education.
Life experiences led Nano to devoting her life to helping the poor. She saw education as key to empowering children to break free from the cycle of poverty.
The Penal Laws forced Nano to work in secret but this did not prevent her opening a school in the 1750s for girls. Within ten years Nano was operating seven schools across the city of Cork for both boys and girls. Each day saw Nano working in her schools while each night she worked with the poor in the city. As she moved about the city at night she carried a lantern to light her way. It was because of this that she became known as The Lady of the Lantern. The lantern would become the symbol of the Sisters of Presentation worldwide.
The constant hard work took a toll on her health and she died aged 66 in 1784. A compassionate and determined woman, devoted to the poor and needy, her legacy lives on throughout the world today. The year 2000 saw Nano Nagle voted Irish Woman of the Millennium in recognition of her pioneering work for education.