Former president Mary McAleese elected chancellor of Trinity College Dublin
Mrs McAleese, whose husband Martin is chancellor of DCU, succeeds Mary Robinson in new role
Former president Mary McAleese has been elected the new chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin.
It's expected her formal inauguration will take place at the university later this year, when she will succeed her predecessor in the role of president Mary Robinson.
Ms Robinson was elected as the first female chancellor of TCD in 1998 and has held the post since.
It's understood Mrs McAleese's candidacy was supported by leading members of the university’s senate, including Senator Ivana Bacik, who holds the position of Reid Professor of Criminal Law at TCD, current TCD pro-chancellor Prof Sheila Greene and former pro-chancellor Prof David McConnell, according to the Irish Times.
Mrs McAleese's husband is currently serving his second five-year term as chancellor of Dublin City University.
The former president graduated with an honours law degree from Queens University Belfast in 1973 and was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at TCD in 1975. At 24, she was the youngest person to hold the post.
In that role she was a founding member of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform and its legal advisor.
She was the first Catholic and the first woman to be appointed director at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at QUB in January 1988. In 1994 she became the university’s first female pro-vice-chancellor.
Mrs McAleese went on to serve two terms as president of Ireland from 1997 to 2011.
She is now a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of 74 current and former female Prime Ministers and Presidents.
In the role of chancellor, she will be the official head of the university and preside at meetings of its senate.
She will also preside at important ceremonial occasions such as commencement ceremonies and the awarding of degrees and honorary degrees.
Belfast Telegraph Digital