Saturday 23 September 2017

Mary Robinson: I won't avail of €1.2m tax credit

Former President Mary Robinson
Former President Mary Robinson

Alan O'Keeffe

Plans for a Mary Robinson Presidential Library in her hometown of Ballina, Co Mayo, have been abandoned after the former President decided to donate her archive of documents to NUI Galway university.

Mrs Robinson also indicated she will not be availing of a tax credit worth €1.2m for donating the archive, estimated by Mayo County Council to be worth €2.5m.

Controversy had surrounded the plans for a presidential library by the Victoria House Foundation, which has been working to develop a centre at Ms Robinson's childhood home.

In a statement this evening, the foundation said the former president had said she would not avail of tax credits that may be available to her when she donates her archive.

A statement from the board last night said: "The Board and its project partners Mayo County Council and NUI Galway reiterated their commitment to the vision to use Mary Robinson's legacy at a location in Ballina to inspire and foster personal leadership in the service of promoting human rights, gender equality and women's leadership."

Mayo County Council will have "full access to any part of the collection required to support the mission of the centre in Ballina," it said.

Developing her childhood home into a special centre will be one of a number of options to be explored by the board before coming to a decision by the end of next March.

Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said the university was honoured to accept the archive.

"It is a tremendous gift to the West of Ireland. NUI Galway, which has on its own campus recently built state-of-the-art archival facilities with an established team of experienced archivists and librarians, is privileged to receive such a wonderful gift," he said.

Mr Peter Hynes, Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, said he looked forward to a phased development of a centre in Ballina.

Irish Independent

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