H.E. Dr. Mary McAleese

Bussola Institute Honorary Board Member Former President of Ireland

H.E. Dr Mary McAleese served as the eighth President of Ireland for fourteen years, from 1997 to 2011.

Mary McAleese graduated in Law from Queen’s University Belfast in 1973 and was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1974. In 1975, she was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin and in 1987, she returned to her Alma Mater, Queen’s University, Belfast to become Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. In 1994, she became the first ever female Pro-Vice Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast.

Prior to becoming President of Ireland, she also worked as a political and current affairs broadcaster and expert commentator with Ireland’s National Radio and Television Networks.

In 1997, she was nominated by Ireland’s largest political party to run as a candidate in the Presidential Election and was subsequently elected. At the end of her first seven-year term as President, she was re-elected, unopposed, as the Irish President, for a second term.

Since her second Presidential term ended in 2011, former President McAleese has travelled extensively promoting peace and tolerance. She has participated in many significant international events and has served as Visiting Professor at Boston College, USA, Notre Dame University, USA and St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. She is a member of the World Council of Women Leader and is also engaged in completing a Doctorate in Canon Law.

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