Robinson 'humbled' as Annan presents award
Former President Mary Robinson said that she is "humbled" to receive the top accolade at this year's Business and Finance Awards.
Mrs Robinson, who also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, was presented with this year's Outstanding Contribution to Ireland Award.
The presentation was made by former UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Refugees, Kofi Annan.
She follows in the footsteps of other well-known names such as businessmen Martin Naughton, Dermot Desmond, and Arthur Ryan, as well as one of the leading figures in the Irish horse racing world, JP McManus.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mrs Robinson, said she was deeply honoured by the accolade.
"I'm very pleased. I'm humbled because there are so many people who have fought for human rights," she said.
The special ceremony in Dublin's Convention Centre was attended by over 1,200 specially invited guests.
Martin Shanahan, CEO of the IDA, presented the Foreign Direct Investment of the Year Award to Intel Ireland.
Microsoft also received a Special Recognition Award for their investment in Ireland over three decades.
This year's awards also recognised the 100 most outstanding companies over the last 60 years of Foreign Direct Investment, across the island of Ireland.
Ian Hyland, president of Business and Finance, stressed it was important to celebrate the achievements of Ireland's leading innovators.
"This year it gives me an enormous sense of pride to see former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, present former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, with the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Ireland Award," he said.
Throughout its 41-year history, the Business and Finance Awards programme has recognised some of Ireland's most significant business success stories.
Established in 1974, it has become the longest running and most coveted business awards programme in Ireland.