Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 49

Mary McAleese - Background, Presidency

queen northern belfast university

President of Ireland (1997– ), born in Belfast, NE Northern Ireland, UK. She studied at Queen's University, Belfast, moving in 1975 to Trinity College Dublin as professor of criminal law. She also worked as a television journalist (1979–81), and in the 1980s became known as an outspoken campaigner for a wide range of social causes. In 1987 she moved into university administration at Queen's, becoming the first woman and Catholic pro-vice-chancellor in 1994. Despite her northern background, she became the presidential successor to Mary Robinson in the 1997 election. In 2004, she was elected for a second 7-year term.

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