Former President , Ballina native, Mary Robinson "had nothing to do" with a decision that sees a speech she is to deliver to Ireland's top diplomats later today  - take place behind closed doors, her office has insisted.

Mrs Robinson, who has been at the centre of controversy over her recent visit to Princess Latifa in Dubai, is due to address a gathering of ambassadors in Dublin Castle today.

Her spokesperson, Bride Rosney, told the Irish Independent that the decision to keep the media out of the event was a matter for the Department of Foreign Affairs. She insisted it is not related to criticism of her trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Ms Robinson travelled to Dubai in December at the invitation of Latifa's stepmother, Princess Haya bint Hussein, who she said she has "known and worked with" for many years on humanitarian issues at the United Nations.

The former President was pictured having lunch with Princess Latifa.

The nature of the visit has been criticised on social media.

Mrs Robinson has insisted that she travelled to Dubai to meet Latifa "in good faith" and has written a report of her visit for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The former President is due to address the 'Global Ireland 2025: Making it Happen' conference being held today to launch the Government's plan to double Ireland's 'global footprint'.

She is due to give a 20-minute keynote speech on global challenges and opportunities for Ireland followed by a panel discussion. It is not open to the media


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