Mary Robinson

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 and Students

Reflections on Working Towards Peace

2005 Architects of Peace Award Citation for Mary Robinson