Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, formed a partnership with NUI Galway last November as part of a collaborative measure to promote research and education in the fields of human rights, and on Monday January 14 she visited the college for a public interview. In front of an estimated crowd of 700 people, Mrs Robinson discussed her life and work with journalist Fintan O’Toole as part of her association with the college.
The interview was then followed by a panel discussion with Professor Bill Schabas of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, Dr Nata Duvvury and Dr Niamh Reilly from the University’s Global Women’s Studies Programme.
The objective of this newly arranged partnership is to establish a Mary Robinson Centre in her hometown of Ballina. A visitor centre and an academic research centre will comprise the new Mary Robinson Centre and will accommodate scholarly research and education in the fields of human rights and women's leadership. Mary Robinson's archive will be the centrepiece of the education facility, and to illustrate the new partnership between the university and Mary Robinson, NUI Galway will bring researchers and students from all over the world to the centre to appreciate the collections in the archive. It is also hoped that the university can catalogue and make available the extensive archive, valued at approximately €2.5 million.