Mary McAleese

President McAleese, Naughton Fellow

Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, Distinguished Martin and Carmel Naughton Visiting Fellow

Mary McAleese served as the eighth President of Ireland, 1997 – 2011, and was the first Irish President born in Northern Ireland.  A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she received her law degree from Queen’s University of Belfast. Prior to her distinguished term as President, she held several positions in higher education, including Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin and Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Queen’s University of Belfast.

McAleese described the theme of her Presidency as "Building Bridges”, which was reflected in her efforts towards reconciliation and peace building with Northern Ireland.  Her ideas and work in this arena were presented  in Love in Chaos: Spiritual Growth and the Search for Peace in Northern Ireland; President Mary McAleese: Building Bridges - Selected Speeches and Statements (forward by Seamus Heaney).

Following her Presidency, McAleese pursued a Doctorate in canon law from Gregorian University (Rome); her studies resulted in Quo Vadis?: Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law, which was released in 2012. 

President McAleese will teach a class in the Notre Dame Law School and participate in the Institute's Speaker and Public Talks Series.