Photo courtesy of Mary Robinson. Michael Collopy's portrait
of Mary Robinson is forthcoming.
Mary Robinson was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1944.
The daughter of two medical doctors, her family heritage
was a mix of Catholics and Protestants who had variously
been rebels against and loyal servants of the crown. A Catholic
herself, she received permission from her bishop to study
at Dublin's Trinity College where, still in her twenties,
she received a prestigious appointment as Reid Professor
of Law. She ultimately became one of Trinity College's three
members of the Irish Senate, which led to her first national
exposure on the issue of the legal availability of contraception.
She went on to become Ireland's first female president,
after which she received an appointment as United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights. She is currently an
active member of the Council of Women World Leaders and
the Ethical Globalization Initiative. In 2004, Robinson received Amnesty
International's Ambassador of Conscience Award for her work in promoting human rights.
Resources for Teachers
Reflections on Working
Architects of Peace Award Citation for Mary Robinson