Mary McAleese was born in Belfast in 1951. In 1975 she was appointed Reid Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin, and in 1987 she became Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. She was elected President of Ireland in 1997, and re-elected unopposed in 2004. Since stepping down as President in 2011, she has earned a PhD in canon law while emerging as a forceful critic of the institutional Church’s misogyny.
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