McAleese's joy at lay role with Church of Ireland
Former Irish President Mary McAleese has described her appointment as an honorary lay canon at Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral as an "enormous act of generosity".
Dr McAleese, who is from north Belfast, and three others were installed by the dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev Dermot Dunne, yesterday.
Professor Jim Lucey, who is medical director of St Patrick's Mental Health Services, Jesuit priest Fr David Tuohy and Rev Lorraine Kennedy-Ritchie were also bestowed with the honour.
The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Dr Michael Jackson said the opening up of these roles to two lay people and two ministers of other churches was "an expression of reconciliation".
Dr McAleese said: "At a time when we are reflecting back on the Reformation in a hugely significant anniversary year, isn't this just the most perfectly beautiful bridge acknowledging our oneness. By taking a risk on one another we are sending a message of great hope for the future."