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Mary Banotti

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Mary Banotti, author of 'There's Something About Mary' The book was released 5th March 2008 and is available at all good bookstores priced €14.99.

Mary Bonotti is a well-known political figure. She was born Mary O'Mahoney in Dublin into a political family. She is a grandniece of Michael Collins, and her sister, Nora Owen, is a former Fine Gael Minister for Justice.

Mary was a prominent respected elected representative in Ireland for many years. In 1984, she was first elected a Member of the European Parliament. There she worked on a variety of issues including environmental and women's rights.

She is currently the European Parliament President's Mediator for Transnationality Abducted Children and a well-known spokesperson in this area.

She was narrowly defeated by the current incumbent Mary McAleese in the presidential election of 1997.
Mary resigned from the European Parliament in 2004.

The Book: 'There's Something About Mary '- Mary Banotti conducts the frankest ever conversations with Ireland's Women Politicians

Mary is the first name of all the women ministers in the government and of the country's two women presidents to date. Such is the popularity of the name among Ireland's women political office holders that, 'children are inclined to believe that all presidents of the country are called Mary', says first time author Mary Banotti.

In this unique book, Mary investigates what unites all the political Marys and what drives them to take the risks that are essential for success. Why do so many Marys emerge from a variety of families to take their place in public life in a country that had so few women in public life until relatively recently.

Some common experiences include the nightmare of elections, public campaigns, caution about the media, experience of failure and back biting, family pressures and profound relief when elections when elections were successfully over. The author states that 'no one who has not had the multiple experiences of political life can imagine what these experiences are like .the experience of failure can be traumatic, particularly for women   -  in Mary's opinion women tend to take (failure) more personally and, if they fail, have difficulty in coming back for more.

One issue that is discussed repeatedly is the 'women can have it all' cliché. Of all the Marys interviewed it is notable that only two have young families. Mary Coughlan and Mary Lou McDonald discuss the perils of balancing family life with holding down a career in politics. The perennial issue of combing life with a demanding career is touched on by all the women, many of who sacrificed family life to get to where they are today.

This collection of interviews seeks to provide a snapshot of the personal and political lives of these courageous women. Without exception they have made a significant contribution to the life of our country.

Mary's interviewed for the book:
. Mary Coughlan
. Maire Geoghegan-Quinn
. Mary Hanafin
. Mary Harney
. Mary Henry
. Maire Hoctor
. President Mary McAleese
. Mary Lou Donald
. Mary O'Rourke
. Mary Robinson
. Mary Upton
. Mary Wallace
. Mary White
. Mary Banotti (Interviewed by her school teacher friend and literary mentor, John Fanagan)