Tag Archives: Mary Robinson

UPDATES: ‘Blood,’ ‘Snow’ and the Irish Proclamation

I want to update three blogs from earlier this year. Links are provided to the original post. It’s also a good time for me to say, “Thanks for reading!”

Thanks for repairing ‘Deed of Blood’

In May, I wrote about finding the missing passages of a 19th century political pamphlet, “A Deed of Blood,” which had been cut from the text of a copy I borrowed from the University of Notre Dame. I received a nice note from Therese C. Bauters, supervisor of Interlibrary Lending Services, at ND’s Hesburgh Library:

I received your return of “Deed of Blood” and thank you for your good will in sending us the missing pages (cut out).  Why anyone would ruin material is always beyond my understanding. The Notre Dame Libraries appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending the information to complete this title.  We will have it prepared and bound together.

Cover of the 1888 pamphlet.

Cover of the 1888 pamphlet.

More on ‘Alfred D. Snow’ crew list

In March, I wrote about the wreck of the ship “Alfred D. Snow” near the Wexford coast in 1888, based on my review of U.S. consulate in Ireland records at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The Cork consulate’s documentation included a list of the 28 missing crew. Later reporting contains several discrepancies in the men’s names, including the lone Irishman aboard the ill-fated ship. I reached out to John Power, author of “A Maritime History of County Wexford.”

“The receiver of wrecks in Wexford at the time was William Coghlan and the Lloyds agent was Jasper Welsh. The two were very intelligent in collecting information because they visited every shipwreck around the Wexford coast [in those] days. They would have supplied the report to the local People newspaper.

Power sent me a clipping from the newspaper, published three weeks after the tragedy, with “the correct list of the crew,” including “Michl. O’Sullivan, a native of Ireland, aged 38.” The crew list in the consulate’s records, which is undated, shows the Irishman as “Thos Lloyd” (or Floyd) of “Ireland England.”

Crew1

Crew list from 'Alfred D. Snow' at U.S. consulate office in Cork, 1888.

Crew list from ‘Alfred D. Snow’ at U.S. consulate office in Cork, 1888. The Irishman is the last name on the bottom image.

Irish American Partnership and ‘Proclamation Day’

In January, I heard former Irish President Mary Robinson speak at the fourth annual Nollaig na mBan breakfast in Washington, D.C.  The event is sponsored by The Irish American Partnership, which distributed copies of the 1916 Irish Proclamation to the guests. As part of the nation’s centennial commemoration, the Irish government and national school system encouraged students to “write a proclamation for a new generation.”

In its “1916 Commemoration Report,” released in April, the Partnership reports that $12,000 was raised at the breakfast for Ireland’s first presidential library, appropriately honoring the Republic’s first woman president–Robinson. It also reproduces two of the student proclamations, one from the Tarbert National School in North Kerry. This  is six miles from where my maternal grandmother lived until her emigration four years before the Easter Rising. The Tarbert students wrote, in part:

…we shall undertake the responsibility to keep our rivers, lakes and coastline unpolluted. … We wish to promote and preserve the Irish language throughout all the counties of Ireland. We treasure our history and culture, our myths and legends, our poets and musicians, our Irish dancing and Gaelic games.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson gave the keynote speech at the fourth annual Nollaig na mBan hosted by the Irish American Partnership. The event celebrates Irish and Irish-American female leaders and the positive impact they have worldwide.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson gave the keynote speech at the fourth annual Nollaig na mBan hosted by the Irish American Partnership. The event raised $12,000 for her presidential library.

 

 

Mary Robinson on climate change, women’s leadership

Recent flooding in Ireland is linked to global climate change, and those who live on the island can “expect more in the future,” says former Irish President Mary Robinson. Nevertheless, 2015 marked a “significant year for sustainable development” around the world, thanks in part to the milestone climate accord reached in Paris in December.

Robinson spoke 6 January 2016 at the the fourth annual Nollaig na mBan breakfast in Washington, D.C., (photos in previous post). The event, hosted by the Irish American Partnership, raised $12,000 for Ireland’s first presidential library, appropriately honoring the Republic’s first woman president. See my earlier post.

Robinson, who participated in the climate conference, said the gathering of nearly 200 countries was most notable for the attention that was given to smaller, more vulnerable nations. While “the agreement is weak,” she said, “business will have heard that signal” and have to act accordingly.

“This is a new stage in the way we will live with Mother Nature,” Robinson said. “We are in a new era where women’s leadership matters more than ever.”

Here’s Robinson’s September 2015 TED Talk on “Why climate change is a threat to human rights.” And here’s a December 2015 Democracy Now interview with Robinson from Paris.

Robinson did not address the 1916 Easter Rising centennial, or 2016 elections in Ireland and the U.S. (which could produce America’s first woman president). Such matters dominated the breakfast chatter before Robinson’s talk. It appears she wanted to keep the “honorable tradition” (her term) of past presidents avoiding direct comment on Irish policy and politics.

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The Irish American Partnership also released its 2015-2016 Annual Campaign Report during the event. The Partnership “works to empower the next generation of Irish leaders by supporting educational initiatives through direct grants to primary schools, science teacher training, university access scholarships, employment learning programs and … provides forums for visiting leaders from Ireland to speak in the U.S., connecting Irish-Americans with their heritage and promoting economic development through tourism, trade, and mutual exchange.

Mary Robinson addresses Nollaig na mBan in Washington, D.C.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson gave the keynote speech at the fourth annual Nollaig na mBan hosted by the Irish American Partnership. The event celebrates Irish and Irish-American female leaders and the positive impact they have worldwide.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson gave the keynote address at the fourth annual Nollaig na mBan hosted by the Irish American Partnership. The event celebrates Irish and Irish-American female leaders and the positive impact they have worldwide. Her first-in-Ireland presidential library will open in 2017.

Mary Robinson greets guests at the Nollaig na mBan event in Washington, D.C.

Mary Robinson greets guests at the Nollaig na mBan event in Washington, D.C., 6 January 2016.

Mary Robinson developing Ireland’s first presidential library

Mary Robinson, Ireland’s first woman president, is developing Ireland’s first presidential library.

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The Mary Robinson Centre is expected to open in 2017 at her childhood home in Ballina, County Mayo, with an adjoining state-of-the-art archive and research facility. The Centre will be run as an academic partnership with National University of Ireland in Galway, as well as cooperative relationships with some of the more than 60 universities around the globe that have conferred honorary doctorates to Robinson.

Digitization of Robinson’s papers from her years as president, 1990-1997 (read about functions of the office in Ireland); United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, 1997-2002; as well as her earlier work as a barrister and member of the Irish Senate, is expected to be completed by the time the centre opens.

The €8.5 million project has all but the last €1 million of funding in place. Toward that end, Robinson will be the keynote speaker at the Irish American Partnership’s annual Nollaig na mBan (Woman’s Christmas) on Jan. 6, 2016, at the University Club of Washington, D.C. Register here.

The opening of the centre will be real boost to Ballina, which lies at the mouth of the River Moy and offers some of the finest salmon fishing in Ireland. The town is already home to The Jackie Clarke Collection, which includes artifacts associated with Theobald Wolfe Tone; letters from Michael Collins, Douglas Hyde, Michael Davitt and O’Donovan Rossa; plus rare books, proclamations, posters, political cartoons, pamphlets, handbills, maps, hunger strike material and personal items from leaders of the 1916 Rising.

Is it possible America’s first woman president will join the international visitors who attend the grand opening of the Mary Robinson Centre?

Irish tributes, north and south, pour in for Mandela

UPDATE: The Irish Story website has posted a detailed article, “Ireland and South African Politics: A Tangled History.” It concludes:

Irish republicans at the start of the 20th century had little to say, by and large, about the oppression of black South Africans, identifying instead with the most racist European faction, the Afrikaner republicans. By contrast at the end of that century the Irish Republicans of that era identified totally with the anti-apartheid struggle. One of the things this illustrates is the discrediting of racialist ideology in the western world since the late 20th century, an ideology which was so dominant at the start of the century that even anti-imperial nationalists were not totally free from it.

ORIGINAL POST:

The global outpouring of tributes following the death of Nelson Mandela, who was so much more than the former South African president, includes reaction from both sides of the border on the island of Ireland.

“Why are we so bereft? Because he was the best of us, the best of our values,” said former Irish president Mary Robinson in this roundup of leaders in the Republic by The Irish Times.

The BBC offers a similar collection of comments from Northern Ireland politicians; plus a separate story about Mandela’s impact on the Ulster peace process:

The closest Nelson Mandela came to visiting Belfast was the mural depicting his image on a gable wall along the Falls Road. But his presence was felt in many ways as Northern Ireland moved from conflict to peace. His long walk to freedom, from prison in 1990, inspired others to follow in his footsteps out of conflict.

This mural on the Falls Road was unveiled in August 2013.

This mural on the Falls Road was unveiled in August 2013.