Mary McAleese was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1951. In 1975, she became the Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin, and in 1987 she was appointed Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University Belfast.
She was elected President of Ireland in 1997, making her the first woman in the world to succeed another woman as president.
After stepping down as President in 2011, she earned a Licentiate and PhD in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Her latest book 17 Irish Martyrs (2022) has been published by Columba Books.