BIG UPSET GIVES IRELAND ITS FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT!

From:    Coeta Mills
To:      Ann Waldrum, 10:29am Nov-10-90
Subject: ANOTHER VICTORY!

Bringing to your attention from Ireland:
			BIG UPSET GIVES IRELAND ITS FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT!

Mary Robinson, a feminist civil-rights attorney, became the first
woman president in Ireland's history Friday. She thanked the
country's women saying "instead of rocking the cradle, [you] rocked
the system." -- "I don't know whether to dance or to sing. I have
done both and I hope to do more", she said after being declared the
winner of a tradition-shattering presidential campaign.

Robinson finished with 52.8% of the vote, overtaking former deputy
prime minister Brian Lenihan, the nominee of the dominant Fianna
Fail party, in the second round of counting. Robinson, 46, is a law
professor.  "We were up against the might and the money and the very
effective machine of the greatest political party of this country
and we beat them", Robinson said.

She pledged to work for the poor, the homeless, the sick and the
unemployed and "above all the women of Ireland who are still
struggling in the long march to equality and equity.  To all those
who have no voice or whose voice is weak, I say take heart, there is
hope. Look what you did in this election. You made history", she
said.

By tradition, Ireland's presidents are above politics, and Robinson
had acknowledged that winning will mean an end to the battles she
had fought to legalize divorce and contraception, and to make
information available on abortion.

Robinson seemed to have no chance of victory when the campaign
opened several months ago in a country whose population is 95%
Catholic. Although a practicing Catholic herself, she is married to
a Protestant lawyer -- her parents refused to attend the wedding --
and she has accused the "patriarchal, male-dominated presence of the
Catholic Church" of subjugating women in Ireland.  She also
confounded her own supporters by expressing sympathy for Protestants
in Northern Ireland, and even repudiated the popular Anglo-Irish
Accord because she said it does not take into account Protestant
fears and objections.


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