Mary McAleese

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Mary Patricia McAleese (pronounced /mækəˈliːs/, née Leneghan) (Irish: Máire Pádraigín Bean Mhic Ghiolla Íosa, [ˈmoɪrʲə ˈpɑːdriɡʲiːɲ vʲikʲ ˈjilə ˈiːᵊsə];[1][2] born 27 June 1951) is the eighth and current President of Ireland. Prior to becoming president she was a barrister, journalist and academic.

McAleese is Ireland's second female president. She was first elected president in 1997 and won a second term, without a contest, in 2004. Her birth in Belfast means she is the first president to have come from both Northern Ireland and the Province of Ulster. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders.



McAleese was born Mary Patricia Leneghan (Irish: Máire Pádraigín Ní Lionnacháin) in Ardoyne, north Belfast, the eldest of nine children.[3] She is a Roman Catholic.[4] Her family was forced to leave the area by loyalists when the Troubles broke out.[5] Educated at St Dominic's High School, she also spent some time when younger with the Poor Clares, The Queen's University of Belfast (from which she graduated in 1973), and Trinity College Dublin. She was called to the Northern Irish Bar in 1974, and is also a member of the Irish Bar (which operates in the Republic of Ireland). In 1975, she was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology in Trinity College,[6] succeeding Mary Robinson.[7]

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