Tag Archives: Mary Robinson

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, a daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, meets Mary Robinson in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 15, 2018.

Anything good in The New York Times?


Via The New York Times:

On Christmas Eve, Dubai released the first public photos of Sheikha Latifa since her disappearance. They showed her sitting with Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who confirmed that she had met the sheikha at her family’s request.

Ms. Robinson said Sheikha Latifa was safe with her family, but said she was receiving psychiatric care, calling her a “troubled young woman” with a “serious medical condition.”

“This is a family matter now,” Ms. Robinson said.

The sheikha’s advocates were taken aback that a respected human rights crusader had seemingly embraced Dubai’s official line. They disputed that she had a psychiatric condition, apart from any she might have developed because of imprisonment or drugging.

“I know 100 percent for sure that she doesn’t need mental care,” Ms. Martinengo said. “Maybe now, after all these treatments, but not before. How can you think that a person who’s been in prison for nine months wouldn’t seem troubled?”

Friends also found Sheikha Latifa’s appearance in the photos — slightly dazed, her eyes missing the camera — concerning.

With negative attention thickening around her, Ms. Robinson issued a statement saying that she had made her assessment “in good faith and to the best of my ability,” adding that the sheikha’s “vulnerability was apparent.”

By mid-January, a lawyer who had been working with activists left the sheikha’s case without explanation. Several friends still in Dubai said they were too frightened to speak, while Mr. Jaubert abruptly stopped responding to requests to be interviewed for this article.

Sheikha Latifa had little doubt about what would happen to her.

“If you are watching this video, it’s not such a good thing,” she said in her video. “Either I’m dead, or I’m in a very, very, very bad situation.”

A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming Clues (New York Times)

Previously: Oh, Mary

Pic: United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation via AP

Thanks Eoin

Ah Hoya here.

This afternoon.

Mary Robinson, fresh from her Dubai rescue mission, addresses The ‘Global Ireland 2025: Making it Happen’ conference.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.

The climate really has changed, amirite?

Robinson ‘had nothing to do’ with press ban on her speech (Independent.ie)

On Christmas Eve, the family of an Emirati princess released pictures to rebut ‘false’ abduction allegations.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, 33, daughter of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was seized from a yacht off the coast of India in March and had not been seen from since.

In the pictures, Latifa appears alongside former Irish President Mary Robinsonn, who the UAE foreign ministry said was invited by her family to meet Latifa.

In a video  made before her escape (above), Princess Latifa said she spent seven years trying to flee a gilded prison and feared torture if captured.

Via The Guardian:

The dilemma was that Latifa is vulnerable, she’s troubled. She made a video that she now regrets and she planned an escape, or was part of a plan of escape,” said Robinson, who told how she had lunch with Latifa, Hayat and others and was able to “assess the situation”.

Robinson said the princess was receiving psychiatric care, adding: “She’s a very likeable young woman but clearly troubled, clearly needs the medical care that she’s receiving.” She said the family “did not want her to endure any more publicity”

Robinson faced intensive criticism on Thursday from rights campaigners, with one alleging she had been “used as a willing pawn in the PR battle between the UAE ruling family and the rest of the world”.

There was also a sceptical reaction from Human Rights Watch (HRW), which was name-checked during a BBC interview on Thursday with Robinson, who said she had been asked by Princess Hayat, one of the Sheikh’s wives and someone she had known for a long time, to come to Dubai to help with a “family dilemma”.

“Mary Robinson said in the BBC interview that Princess Latifa is ‘a troubled young woman’, though I would be troubled too if I had tried to escape a gilded prison and was kidnapped back into it,” said Roth.

Radha Stirling, the chief executive of the Detained in Dubai group, said listeners to the interview with Robinson would have been “astonished at the extent to which Ms Robinson appeared to be reciting almost verbatim from Dubai’s script”.

Meanwhile, via the BBC:

Another rights group, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, also said it was concerned by Mrs Robinson’s comments.

“Mrs Robinson appears to have spent a couple of hours with Sheikha Latifa, and despite having no formal medical or psychiatric training, has somehow diagnosed her condition and concluded that she is receiving appropriate treatment. It is unclear on what basis Mrs Robinson considers herself qualified to do so,” it said in a statement.

Mary Robinson labelled a ‘willing pawn’ over visit with UAE princess (The Guardian)

Sheikha Latifa: Mary Robinson ‘backed Dubai version of events’ (BBC)

Pics: UAE



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From top: Artist’s impression of the Mary Robinson  Presidiential Library in Ballina, Co Mayo; Mary Robinson

Staying in tonight?

Grab a tay.

Laura Fitzgerald at RTÉ writes:

Tonight RTÉ Prime Time will feature a special report delving into the funding of the new Mary Robinson Centre project. It’s estimated it will cost almost €8.5 million to develop a Presidential library in the former President’s home town of Ballina.

A number of concerns have been expressed about the cost of the centre, it’s location and the fact that papers of a former President will not be housed in many of the existing archive departments in universities.

Traditionally the papers of former Presidents have been donated to University College Dublin or Trinity College Dublin. Controversially, Mrs. Robinson has applied for tax relief for making the donation.

Mayo County Council has also been officialy designated as an institution to which donors can now contribute items of Heritage value, which would entitle them to tax relief. NUI Galway is the academic partner for the Centre, the Department of Arts & Heritage has given a grant of €2 million and Mayo County Council has committed €1.5 million.

The establishment of a separate Presidential Library in Ireland is unprecedented.

The Chairman of the Oireachtas Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs Committee Peader Tóibin speaks on tonight’s RTÉ Prime Time, he tells the programme;

“At our next meeting I will be putting it to the committee that this is a serious concern and I will be asking the committee for their backing to send a letter to those three groups so they will come before us and shed light on the process they are involved in. We just want to make sure that the money is spent properly.

We simply want to make sure that the State is not on the hook for money into the future and we don’t have a crisis like we had in the Picture Palace in Galway and the only way to do that is to create transparency and that is the objective of the committee.”

Mr. Tóibin has also raised concerns about the role local politics has played in the state funding of the project.

He said:

“I think when a Taoiseach is involved in a particular project in his own county. When a Taoiseach gives his backing to a project before a decision is made within the Department, then there are major concerns then you would ask the question – is it being proceeded with for the greater good or is it being proceeded with maybe for local parish pump politics reason”


RTÉ Prime Time tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.

Pics via Mary Robinson Centre

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This afternoon.

Former Presidents Mary Robinson (top and above) and Mary McAleese (above) joined current President Michael D Higgins  at the Funeral of Dr Maeve Hillery, widow of former President Patrick Hillery at  St. Fintan’s Church, Sutton, Co Dublin this afternoon.



Michael Martin and Brian Cowen at St Fintan’s Church this afternoon.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)



At the Mandela funeral this morning.

Smellyer writes:

Mary Robinson gives [Archbishop Desmond] Tutu a heads up to put his phone away…



Niall de Buitléar, of T-Shock, writes:

Hi I’ve made some new Mary Robinson Tapestry badges which are available from a new shop called Five and Dime that launches tonight from 6-8pm (I hear there will be Tiger Beer). Five and Dime is a temporary shop selling music, books, t-shirts, posters, calendars and home/lifestyle accessories at 62 Dame Street, Dublin (beside Crackbird).”

More here

p01d872vMary Robinsons’ appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs hosted by Kirsty Young (right) from last Sunday and repeated this morning is now online.

Listen here

Mary’s castaway choons:


Thanks Gerard McCarthy