Biography of Robinson, Mary (Mhic Róibín, Máire) - Archontology
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Robinson, Mary (Mhic Róibín, Máire)

Máire Treasa Úna Mhic Róibín = Mary Therese Winifred Robinson

b. 21 May 1944, Ballina, Co. Mayo

Title: Uachtarán na hÉireann = President of Ireland
Term: 3 Dec 1990 - 12 Sep 1997
Chronology: 7 Nov 1990, elected President by direct vote
3 Dec 1990, sworn in, St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, Dublin
12 Sep 1997, resignation submitted to the Council of State
Names/titles: née Máire Treasa Úna de Búrca = Mary Therese Winifred Bourke; surname changed to Mhic Róibín = Robinson on her marriage in 1970

Mary Robinson (née Bourke) was born in the family of medical doctors. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, King's Inns, Dublin, and Harvard University. From 1969 to 1975, she was Reid Professor of Law in Trinity College. In 1969 she was elected to Seanad Éireann for the University of Dublin (1969-1989). As a lawyer she had been involved in many constitutional cases in both Ireland and the European courts. In 1976 Robinson joined the Labour Party and in 1977 and 1981 unsuccessfully contested Dáil elections. She resigned from the party after the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement in protest at the exclusion of Unionists from the prior negotiations. In 1988 she founded the Irish Center for European Law. Robinson accepted a Labour party nomination for the presidential election on condition that she did not have to rejoin the party or run strictly as a Labour candidate. Her election (7 Nov 1990) as Ireland's first woman president was widely welcomed. Robinson was the most active president in the history of Ireland, one of her priorities being visits to deprived or disaster-stricken areas of the world. She was also assiduous in visiting places like Warrington and Manchester to show solidarity with the victims of paramilitary violence. She became the first Irish head of state to pay an official visit to Britain, where she was received with appropriate ceremonial by Queen Elizabeth II. She did not seek a reelection in 1997 but instead accepted an appointment as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and formally resigned as President of Ireland on 12 Sep 1997. Biography source: [1]

Candidate First count (See note) Second count (See note)
Brian Lenihan 694,484 731,273 (incl. 36,789 Currie's votes)
Mary Robinson 612,265 817,830 (incl. 205,565 Currie's votes)
Austin Currie 267,902
total valid poll 1,574,651
spoiled votes 9,444
quota 787,326
Information source: [2]

[1] "A Dictionary of Irish Biography", ed. by Henry Boylan (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1998).
[2] Toghcháin Uachtaráin 1938-1997 Presidential Elections. Dublin: Stationery Office, September 2000.