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Elsie Trainor’s brave stand struck a blow for women in politics

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Sometimes it’s hard for the public to size up a politician. We see the speeches and soundbites, the tweets and TV interviews.

But what they’re really like beyond the carefully-crafted image can be almost impossible to gauge.

Until a few days ago, most people in Northern Ireland had never heard of Elsie Trainor — and there’s no reason why they should have.

New to politics, she’s on the SDLP Assembly election ticket in South Belfast. I bumped into her earlier this month on the campaign trail.

I thought her perfectly pleasant, but otherwise unremarkable. How wrong I was. Elsie’s Monday evening wasn’t much different from that of most mothers across the city.

She was cooking dinner for her three children and sorting out the laundry when the phone rang.

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