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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Mary Robinson: economic crisis is the collective mistake of Irish people

Former president says she believes responsibility lies not just with banks and politicians, but with all Irish people, and admits she regrets leaving office before end of presidential term.

Robinson photographed with fellow UN Elder, former US President Jimmy Carter.
Robinson photographed with fellow UN Elder, former US President Jimmy Carter.
Image: Majdi Mohammed/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER PRESIDENT OF IRELAND Mary Robinson has said in an interview with the Sunday Times that Irish people have only themselves to blame for the economic crisis.

Robinson said that “greed was the main problem”.

She said that while a lot of blame could be put on people with political responsibility and in charge of the banks, “it’s our own mistake as Irish people, collectively”.

She also says she regrets leaving the Irish presidency before her term had been fully served to take up a human rights post at the UN. Robinson, who left office three months early, said she did not take any summer break that year so she could honour her scheduled engagements before leaving.

Robinson is returning to live in Ireland, from where she will run her climate change organisation.

Before travelling to the UN climate change summit currently being held in Cancun, Mexico, Robinson wrote for Oxfam that climate change is “not only a problem for the future, it is happening now. The impacts are already harming people around the world”.

Read the interview in full on the Sunday Times >

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