There was a huge crowd in the Fitzgerald Chamber on Thursday to attend a talk and award presentation with Ireland’s seventh President – Mary Robinson. Originally from Ballina in County Mayo, Mrs Robinson was an academic in Trinity College before running for President after being approached by the Labour Party.
President Robinson launched into the core part of her speech which centred around climate change and global warming. It was highlighted that 2015 was a monumental year for this cause. She outlined that the plight of our environment has only recently become a topic of passion for her, admitting she never made a major speech about it during her time as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mrs Robinson later revealed that in her opinion, climate change affects those least responsible the most and we are heading towards a “catastrophe” unless the problem is addressed.
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When considering the subject of Ireland’s approach to climate change the Former President said that our country was not “pulling its weight” and that her generation has failed. Mrs Robinson also outlined why we need less consumerism and made a plea with young people to put climate change at the top of their political activism.
As the speech continued, Mrs Robinson gave the attendees a glimpse into her Presidency by revealing that leaving office early was a “mistake”. When asked about her inspiration she spoke at length about former South African President Nelson Mandela.
The award given to Mrs Robinson acknowledged her hard work in fields she has championed, both as President and High Commissioner for Human Rights. The packed Fitzgerald Chamber got a glimpse into a person who captivated the imagination of Irish society and who’s actions will be remembered in this country for many generations to come.
Cian Byrne – News Writer