Politician and barrister elected to University of Limerick governing body

Maria Flannery


Maria Flannery

Sarah Jane Hennelly, the Social Democrats’ national chairperson, topped the poll for the UL governing authority

Sarah Jane Hennelly, the Social Democrats’ national chairperson, topped the poll for the UL governing authority

A LIMERICK politician and a barrister have been elected as graduate representatives to the University of Limerick’s Governing Authority.

Sarah Jane Hennelly, the Social Democrats’ national chairperson, was a candidate in the 2016 general election, and has been chosen to represent the party again for Limerick city at the next general election.

Now she will sit on the board responsible for overseeing university affairs, after topping the poll out of six candidates for the two graduate positions, in the Authority election last week.

“Like many others affiliated with the university, I was disappointed to see such unacceptable practices come to light recently. I have extensive experience in governance and reform through my political and professional work, so I intend to bring that to bear during my time on the Governing Authority,” she said.

The 29-year-old has a degree in Politics and Public Administration, as well as a Master’s degree in European Politics and Law from UL. She works in community development in Limerick city.

The second graduate governor is Dromkeen native Liam J. Carroll, a barrister.

The 24-year-old has a Master’s Degree in Law from UL. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Law as well as a Barrister-at-Law Degree from the Honorable Society of King's Inns.

Meanwhile, a new vice-president has been appointed at UL – one of two vice presidents who will be appointed for a new split role.

Professor Kerstin Mey, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean at University of Westminster has been appointed to the new role of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Engagement at UL.

Professor Mey, from Germany, will direct a number of key UL services, including the library and other academic units as part of her role.

“Over the past 25 years, Kerstin Mey has built a track record of successfully initiating and implementing pioneering academic and research initiatives and cultural projects in higher education,” said UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald.

Speaking on her appointment, Prof Mey said: “Having been attracted by UL's values and its innovations in co-operative and entrepreneurship education, advanced research, academic programmes and rich offerings in culture and sport, I feel very privileged to join its community.

“I am very excited to work with UL staff, students, alumni, employers, partners and the wider community of Limerick and the region to shape the next generations of inquisitive and imaginative, engaged and resilient professionals, who make a difference in the world. I look forward to moving to Ireland and to continuing to promote a Europe that embraces openness and mobility, inclusion and equality.”

Professor Mey is due to take up the UL post in April 2018.