Development & Alumni Relations Office 


24 June 2019

Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has formally inaugurated the Queen’s Management School Annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture series during an event at the University (Friday 21 June).

The lecture, entitled: 'An Interview with Mary McAleese', was hosted by Queen’s Management School, in association with the Chief Executives’ Club and was compered by BBC broadcaster, Wendy Austin. 

The new lecture series is part of Queen’s Management School’s mission to promote greater equality and diversity in the workplace, particularly with regards to ensuring equality of opportunity and respect for diversity across the University and the wider community.

Speaking at the event, Professor Nola Hewitt-Dundas, Head of Queen's Management School said: "I am delighted that former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has loaned her name to this new lecture series at Queen’s Management School.

“The School is committed to promoting equality and wider diversity in the workplace with a particular focus on gender equality. The lecture series will highlight the importance of diversity and will inform us of the latest research and practice.

“Speakers from diverse backgrounds will act as role models for staff and students in the Management School and wider community.”

In a wide-ranging exchange with Wendy Austin, Mrs McAleese said that social media companies needed to be ‘reined in’ after photos of two 14-year-old boys convicted of the murder of schoolgirl Ana Kriégel in May 2018 in the Dublin suburb of Lucan in were published on Twitter and Facebook last week following a seven week trial.

She warned of the ‘anarchy’ that would prevail on social media and the impact this might have on people’s lives, if social media giants remained unchecked.

Mrs McAleese, who is a Professor of Children, Law and Religion at the University of Glasgow, also touched on female empowerment, same sex marriage, misogyny and homophobia, during the course of the evening in a packed Great Hall at Queen’s.

A barrister by profession, Mary McAleese graduated from the School of Law at Queen’s in 1973, and was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1974. She was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin the following year and later took up the position of Director of the Institute of Legal Studies at Queen’s in 1987.

Professor McAleese became the University’s first female Pro-Vice-Chancellor in 1994.

Mary McAleese, was elected the 8th President of Ireland in November 1997, succeeding Mary Robinson. She is the second female president of Ireland, the first president from Northern Ireland and served as for two terms until November 2011.

Media enquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s Communications Office on telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 3259. 

Pictured (L-R) are: Dr Renee Prendergast, Athena Swan Champion at Queen's Management School; Dr Martin McAleese; Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland; Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's; and Professor Nola Hewitt-Dundas, Head of Queen's Management School.


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