Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Activist Inez hailed as an ‘inspiration’ by Hillary Clinton

Trade Union stalwart Inez McCormack has said she was “humbled” by Meryl Streep’s portrayal of her in a broadway play.

The Northern Ireland human rights activist said the Oscar-winning star “played me much better than I did!”

Streep appeared in an ensemble reading of a groundbreaking documentary play, SEVEN, which captures the important work and remarkable lives of a diverse and courageous group of women leaders around the world, including Ms McCormack.

Inez added: “It was extremely moving to watch such a powerful and renowned actress as Meryl Streep portraying my story on the stage.”

Meryl spoke to Inez after the performance in New York at the weekend.

The actress said she was honoured to read her role and would love to come back to Belfast. The Oscar winner, famous for portrayals of strong women, said she researched Inez’s life and loved that her greatest achievement was “seeing the glint in a woman’s eye who believed she was nobody and now knows she is somebody”.

Inez said he was delighted to be in the audience in New York at the weekend to see the actress step into the role. The work, commissioned by Vital Voices, depicts the lives of seven inspirational women from across the world.

She has invited Meryl, when she next comes to Belfast, to meet women helped by The Participation and the Practice of Rights Project (The PPR Project). Working in housing and health groups, Inez said: “These women have that ‘glint in their eye’ and it would be a wonderful opportunity for her to come to Belfast and meet them for herself.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at the play and paid tribute to Inez: “She has been an activist on behalf of women’s rights, labour and peace and her efforts to promote human rights and social justice remain an inspiration to me.”

Amid all the celebrity glamour and glitz, Inez said the highlight of the weekend was sharing it with her daughter, Anne.

“The pride on her face transformed it from a wonderful event into one of the warmest and most enjoyable experiences of my whole life. We even went shopping in New York, buying toys for my three-year-old granddaughter, Maisie.

Following the performance Meryl gave Ms McCormack the necklace that she was wearing and was invited back to Belfast to visit community projects.

Inez said: “Meryl's warm gesture of friendship and respect in giving me the necklace in the way she did and her perceptive and thoughtful comments affirmed my work that rights are only made real when those who need them assert their dignity through using and owning them to make their own change.”

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