The Minister for Foreign Affairs has congratulated former president and Ballina native Mary Robinson on being awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
The medal was awarded to Mrs Robinson on Wednesday at a special ceremony in the White House. It is the highest civilian honour awarded by the United States and is a “fitting tribute to Mary Robinson,” according to Minister Micheál Martin TD.
Former president Robinson is among other distinguished honourees including Senator Edward Kennedy who was described as “a great and loyal friend of Ireland in the US”, by Minister Martin.
Mrs Robinson received the honour for her contribution to human rights in Ireland and internationally.
Minister Martin said: “Throughout her career, in particular in her role as President of Ireland and as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and more recently through her work as founder of The Ethical Globalisation Initiative, Mary Robinson has been an outstanding advocate and champion for human rights and fairness for all. Irish people everywhere are very proud of her being honoured by this award and her many achievements during a distinguished career of advocacy.”