University of Limerick appoints former Tánaiste Mary Harney as new chancellor

Former Tánaiste Mary Harney has been appointed Chancellor of University of Limerick and Chairperson of UL’s Governing Authority

Former Tánaiste Mary Harney has been appointed Chancellor of University of Limerick and Chairperson of UL’s Governing Authority

THE University of Limerick has announced that former Tánaiste Mary Harney has been appointed chancellor and chairperson of its governing authority.

The former minister replaces former Supreme Court judge John Murray in the honorary position and was a unanimous appointment.

Ms Harney, who retired from politics in 2011 and is now the director of a number of private companies in pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology and financial services sectors, will take up office as UL Chancellor immediately. 

Her tenure will run until 2022.

UL president Dr Des Fitzgerald said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of the Governing Authority and know that the appointment of Mary Harney as our Chancellor will allow us to draw on her extensive experience as a leader and as an eminent public figure in Ireland and internationally.

“Mary has always been a pioneer in her field and a mould breaker in her political and public life. I look forward to her bringing that same pioneering spirit to UL’s new Governing Authority at a time of change and renewed ambition for this great institution.”

The Galway-born politician, who spent 17 years in government and held ministerial portfolios in environment, enterprise and health, is the longest-serving female TD in the State's history. She was a founder member of the Progressive Democrats with Desmond O'Malley.

She said: “I am deeply honoured and delighted to have been appointed Chancellor of the University of Limerick. UL is a nimble, responsive university at the forefront of innovation in pedagogy, delivering research with significant real world impact and yet has huge potential to grow and mature.

“I look forward to working with the President and the Governing Authority to develop further and enhance the education and research potential of this great university.”