FormerPresident Mary McAleese has been elected as Chancellor for Trinity College Dublin after receiving a large number of nominations from the Senate.
McAleese, who was president of Ireland between 1997 and 2011, was elected unopposed as the new chancellor as no other candidates were put forward. She replaces Mary Robinson, who is also the former president and was elected as the first woman chancellor in 1998.
The former president is “hugely excited” about the position going on to say “I never thought when I first walked through the door here in 1975 and I was so overwhelmed, that I’d be coming back as chancellor”.
During her time as president, she addressed many issues, specifically in relation to social equality and justice. She is a current member of the Council of Women World Leaders which touches on equality.
McAleese has previous history with Trinity having held the position of Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology between 1975 and 1987. The Belfast native holds an honours degree in law and became the first pro-vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast in 1994.
Since being elected as chancellor, the former president has sold out the Edmund Burke Theatre twice, addressing certain issues such as the Irish state and the Catholic church. She expressed her views on how she believes that Pope Francis doesn’t make women a priority and the exclusion of women from priesthood.
When questioned about Brexit, McAleese gave a lecture on how she believes that Brexit will have implications for a reconciled Ireland as well as church-state relations. She argued her point on how repeating the past is not good for the future.
Her position as chancellor will involve overseeing important ceremonies such as commencement ceremonies when various degrees in Trinity College are awarded, as well as deciding who is awarded honorary Degrees.
Professor McAleese is said to be coming into office later on in the year when she makes a statutory declaration. Her inauguration will be held at Trinity College Dublin where she must make a declaration to the Provost of Trinity.
Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Trinity College Dublin is honoured to have an academic of such great distinction as Professor Mary McAleese as Chancellor of the University of Dublin”.
Author: Joy Nderitu
Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons