The Elders

  • Ballina Lions Club will honour former President Mary Robinson as the Chair of the internationally renowned  The Eldersat a special function in the town this evening.

    The former President of Ireland and Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson, succeeded  the late Nelson Mandela as Chair of The Elders.

    The Elders is an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They describe themselves as "independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights".

    Before the Lions Club ceremony in Ballina this evening, South African human rights activist Kumi Naidoo will deliver the fifth Mary Robinson International Human Rights lecture in Ballina Arts Centre this afternoon at 2pm.

    Kumi Naidoo is a former general secretary of Amnesty International and was the first African head of Greenpeace.

    The lecture will be followed by a discussion between Mr Naidoo and Mary Robinson, facilitated by journalist Olivia O'Leary.

    Then at 5pm in The Great National Hotel, The President of Ballina Lions Club Conall Calleary together with Oliver P. Bourke, the family of the late Aubrey de Vere Bourke junior, Henry O. Bourke & Adrian P. Bourke in honour of Bernard Black, district governor district 133 will salute Mrs Robinson and she will address the National Lions Club Convention as the inaugural speaker.

  • Former President of Ireland, Ballina native, Mary Robinson has been appointed as the Chair of ‘The Elders’, an international organisation of public figures noted as elder states people, peace activists and human rights advocates. That’s according to today’s Irish Times.

    Ms Robinson is the third person to hold the position since the non-governmental organisation was founded in 2007 by the former South African president Nelson Mandela. She follows Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who died earlier this year.

    In a statement on The Elders’ website, Ms Robinson described her appointment as a huge honour at a critical moment for peace, justice and human rights around the world.

    “Building on the powerful legacies of Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I am confident that our group’s voice can both be heard by leaders and amplify grassroots activists fighting for their rights,” she said.