Statement by the Taoiseach on forthcoming resignation of President Mary Robinson.
The announcement today by Uachtarán na hÉireann of her forthcoming resignation as Head of State was not unexpected. President Mary Robinson has represented the people of Ireland with the greatest distinction for almost seven years now, in what was, by common consent, an outstandingly successful term of office. Our very best good wishes go with her as she takes up her new and challenging role as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights next September.
We know she will bring her own unique style, insight and personal commitment to her new position, reaching out to the forgotten ones, to those who live their lives under oppression and duress. President Robinson, from her very earliest involvement in public affairs, has always espoused Human Rights issues, and this honour bestowed on her confirms the quality of her work, the strength of her convictions, and the length of her committed public service.
President Robinson's appointment comes on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the historic UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 5th Anniversary of its modern day equivalent, the Vienna Declaration.
On behalf of the Government, and speaking on this occasion for all the Irish at home and abroad, I wish the President, her husband Nick and their family, every success and happiness for the future, and I thank them for their selfless pursuit of the public interest on behalf of the Irish nation over the past seven years. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude. This is not only a great personal honour bestowed on the President but also a most notable honour for the Irish nation. We salute Uachtarán na hÉireann on her remarkable term