Criticism of Robinson Centre collection is unfair and unfounded — Calleary

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has reiterated his support for the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina. The centre is being developed in partnership with Mayo County Council and the National University of Ireland Galway. Deputy Calleary commented, “Some of the criticism being levelled at the Mary Robinson Centre in recent weeks is unfair and misplaced. The centre will be Ireland’s first presidential library, and the world’s first library dedicated to a female President. It is an extremely worthwhile project, reflecting the huge contribution that Mary Robinson has made not only to Ireland, but right across the world, during her time as president and later as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The centre will complement the tourism opportunities already on offer in Mayo and could incentivise a new wave of academics and people with an interest in social world and political affairs, to come and visit. The range of activities that have already been hosted by the Mary Robinson centre demonstrates that there is a big interest in this collection and in the themes represented within it.

“We are being constantly challenged to re-imagine the regional economy and to improve our offering — now when a sustainable long term project is being developed, it becomes the target of often unfair criticism. Not every national collection needs to be held in the capital, particularly when Mary Robinson herself expressed a preference that it remain in Ballina. I have full confidence that the board overseeing the delivery of this project will ensure that it is delivered in a timely and transparent manner.

“The partnership with Mayo County Council and NUIG brings together local and academic interests and will ensure that the archive is preserved and protected, while ensuring the public have access to this valuable collection”.

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