Friday 24 February 2017

Answerable to no one, McAleese can now speak boldly

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

Mary McAleese
Mary McAleese

Here's what she isn't: an ambassador, a politician or a head of state. Here's what she is: influential, articulate and possessed of a conspicuous platform as a former President.

Clearly, Mary McAleese is intent on using that portable podium to advocate on behalf of causes she holds dear. In recent times, she has been busy carving out an imaginative space in relatively uncharted waters as an envoy without portfolio.

When she speaks in public, she chooses her subjects so deftly that her interventions have the authority of giving voice to the Irish people. She managed it last week in the wake of a 'New York Times' article, which made callous inferences about Irish students on J1 work visas following a balcony collapse in Berkeley, California.

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