Friday 15 December 2017

Mary, the public is not to blame

Former President Mary Robinson's view that we are all responsible for the crisis is plain wrong, writes Maeve Sheehan

MARY Robinson was based abroad for more than 13 years. She left the presidency before finishing her second term, when Kofi Annan insisted that the world needed her as human rights commissioner in the United Nations. Now she has returned to Ireland and delivered her verdict on the nation that apparently gorged on debt and excess in her absence.

From her privileged vantage point in the UN office in Geneva and later in New York, this is what she saw: "During the seven years I was president, it was wonderful to see the genuine growth track and a sense of sharing the prosperity but, increasingly, I felt that the so-called Celtic Tiger was actually dividing us.

"There was a kind of greed at all different kinds of levels. What I was hearing was, 'Oh, nobody will volunteer for anything.' Everybody wanted to be getting richer and richer," she said in a newspaper interview last weekend.

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