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Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, is interviewed by Kirsty Young.

Kirsty Young's castaway is Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and ex-UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

Her professional life has been defined by public service at the very highest level and she appears the epitome of the cool-headed pragmatist. And yet she is also something of an enigma: a committed Catholic who fought hard to legalise contraception and divorce; an elected head of state with both a noble bearing and a common touch.

As a lawyer she lead from the front championing controversial causes at home in Ireland and fiercely defending human rights at the UN. She also has a habit of making history - she was Ireland's first female president and the first Irish Head of state to meet Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

She says of her life and work "over the years I have given many talks and taken part in many discussions on leadership: women's leadership, political leadership, business leadership, grass roots leadership. But the element of leadership that really fascinates me is moral leadership."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 2 Aug 2013 09:00

Music Played

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Nessun dorma

    Performer: Luciano Pavarotti, London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta

    • Turandot - highlights.
    • Decca.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Symphony No. 8, ‘Le Soir’ Joseph Haydn (iv.La tempesta: Presto)

    Performer: Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Gerard Korsten

    • Night Moves.
    • The Arts Council of Ireland.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Édith Piaf

      Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

      • Legends Of The 20th Century: Edith Piaf.
      • EMI.
  • Bob Dylan

    The Times They Are A-Changin’

    • Bob Dylan Biograph.
    • Columbia.
  • Luke Kelly

    Raglan Road

    • The Best of Luke Kelly.
    • Celtic Airs.
  • Joan Baez

    We Shall Overcome

    • Joan Baez In Concert Part 2.
    • Vanguard.
  • The Treorchy Male Voice Choir

    Eli Jenkins's Prayer (from "Under Milk Wood")

    • The Magic Sounds of The Treorchy Male Choir.
    • Music For Pleasure.
  • The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

    The Parting Glass

    Composer: Liam Clancy

    • Raise Your Glasses with the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.
    • Emerald.
  • Luxury Choice

    • Solar cooker and fridge


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Mary Robinson
Producer Cathy Drysdale


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