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In pictures: the 14 years of President Mary McAleese

As it is the last day of President Mary McAleese’s time in office, we have taken a look back at the highlights of her two-term presidency.

PRESIDENT MARY MCALEESE will move out of the Áras today to make way for President-elect Michael D. Higgins.

The country’s eighth president, McAleese closed her tenure with a busy year, including successful state visits by US President Barack Obama and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Although she may be remembered for those visits, her 14 years in office have brought other highlights. She has also overseen some of the most important – and tumultuous – moments in Ireland’s recent past.

In pictures: the 14 years of President Mary McAleese
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  • Elected

    31 October 1997: Mary McAleese is congratulated as she arrives at Dublin Castle after becoming the eighth president of Ireland. (Photo Owen Humphreys/PA)
  • Inauguration

    President Mary McAleese signs an Inauguration document at Dublin Castle on 11 November 1997. (Photo by Brian Little/PA)
  • Meeting QEII

    Britain's Queen and President McAleese built up a rapport after their first meeting in 1998. The pair are pictured here during a visit to Buckingham Palace in 1999. (Photocall Ireland)
  • World Trade Centre Attacks

    McAleese lays a wreath at the site of the attacks in New York in 2002. (Photocall Ireland/Irish Embassy)
  • Girl Power

    The Clintons met the McAleeses on numerous occasions. Here the former First Lady and current US Secretary of State is pictured with McAleese in 2002.
  • Meeting Santa Claus

    7 December 1999: Getting an early visit (and kiss) from Santa Claus. (Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!)
  • Broken Ankle

    Probably a low-point in her two terms, McAleese returns to Dublin Airport after breaking her ankle while on holiday in Austria in December 2002. (Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland)
  • Star Wars Premiere

    There are some perks to the job...here is McAleese with actor Liam Neeson at the Dublin Premiere of Stars Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace in 1999. (Chris Bacon/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • In Uganda

    McAleese pictured with her husband Martin during a 2001 visit to Uganda in Africa.
  • Meeting the Pope

    McAleese pictured meeting His Holiness Pope John Paul II at the vatican during the president's three-day official visit to Rome in November 2003.
  • Suicide Prevention

    McAleese addresses the Console National Suicide conference at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin in April 2009. Suicide prevention and mental health awareness were two issues that the president has tried to tackle during her two terms. (Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • Royal Visits

    Prince Charles visited the Áras back in 2002.
  • Special Olympics in Ireland

    The torch arrives at Áras an Uachtaráin in June 2003. (Photocall Ireland)
  • Two Terms

    1 October 2004: President Mary McAleese waves to photographers as she leaves the Customs House in Dublin, after being returned unopposed as President of Ireland for a second seven year term. (Haydn West/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • Inauguration II

    President Mary McAleese during her inauguration ceremony in Dublin Castle on 11 November 2004.
  • Inauguration II

    11 November 2004: McAleese is congratulated by well wishers outside Dublin Castle after her inauguration ceremony. (Cathal McNaughton/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • Cabinet Reshuffle 2004

    Bertie is at the Áras once more to reshuffle his Cabinet.
  • Commemoration

    One of McAleese's roles is to attend commemorative ceremonies on the anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
  • Ploughing

    Traditionally, McAleese opens the National Ploughing Championships in Ireland each year.
  • Meeting Blair

    McAleese greets Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Áras on 26 January 2006. Blair held a summit with then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in a bid to kick-start a fresh bid to bring back the Northern Ireland Assembly and other political institutions. (Niall Carson/PA)
  • Peace Process

    10 September 2007: Northern Ireland First Minister Dr Ian Paisley stands with Mary McAleese for the first time. The picture was taken at the Somme Heritage Centre, which honours the sacrifices of British soldiers from Ireland in World War I at Conlig in Northern Ireland. The leaders shared a platform for the first time, a move which was seen as another symbolic milestone on Ireland's road to reconciliation. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
  • Peace Process

    Irish president Mary McAleese played a key role in the Northern Ireland peace process. Here, she speaks to members of the Finaghy Crossroads Group at Finaghy Library in Belfast.
  • Northern Ireland Visit

    It was not always smooth sailing however. Here, demonstrators gather outside the gates of Milburn Primary School, Coleraine to protest against her visit on 10 June 2008.
  • Omagh Victims

    President Mary McAleese meets relatives of the Omagh victims at a special event at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin in January 2010.
  • Meeting Nelson

    Former South African president Nelson Mandela meets with McAleese in Maputo, Mozambique on 14 June 2006. (AP Photo/Ferhat Momade)
  • 2007 Elections

    McAleese dissolves the 29th Dáil ahead of the May 2007 elections. (Photocall Ireland)
  • Bertie Ahern's New Government

    McAleese has her picture taken with Irelands Taoiseach Berie Ahern and his cabinet at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin in 2007.
  • Getting Involved

    McAleese is pictured with 12-year-old Gavin Trueick on his bike during a European Child Obesity conference.
  • University Honours

    McAleese was conferred with honorary degrees from numerous universities, including the Royal College of Surgeons and Dublin City University (pictured here).
  • Bertie Resigns

    Bertie Ahern leaves Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin, after tending his resignation as Taoiseach to Irish President Mary McAleese on 6 May 2008.
  • A Cuppa at the Áras

    President McAleese and her husband Dr Martin McAleese hold their annual Christmas afternoon tea for retired people at Aras an Uachtarain, Dublin.
  • Brian Cowen becomes Taoiseach

    7 May 2008: President Mary McAleese and new Taoiseach Brian Cowen sign the seal of office in Aras an Uachtarain. (Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • Council of State

    Then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen and President Mary McAleese join members of the Council of State as they meet at Aras an Uachtarain to discuss the Credit Institutions (Stablisation) Bill 2010.
  • Old Friends

    McAleese meets Hillary Clinton during the Clinton's visit to Ireland in October 2009.
  • Another Resignation

    Taoiseach Brian Cowen with President Mary McAleese after he asked her to sign his request to dissolve the Dail on 1 February 2011.
  • First day of the 31st Dail

    Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny collects his seal of office from President McAleese on the first day of the 31st Dail in March 2011. (Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • Chernobyl Children

    McAleese held multiple receptions for the Chernobyl Children's Project. Here she is thanked by Adi Roche and 8-year-old Masdha Liaschanina for her support in 2003. (Photocall Ireland)
  • Meeting the Troops

    McAleese pins a medal to an Irish UN peacekeeper soldier at their base in the southern village of Tebnine, Lebanon on 15 Ocober. McAleese spent three days visiting Lebanese officials and checking in with the Irish soldiers serving with the UN peacekeeping unit. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
  • Cheers

    Mary McAleesen and Spain's King Juan Carlos raise a toast during a lunch at the Royal Palace in Madrid on 21 March 2011. (AP Photo/Sergio Barrenechea, Pool)
  • QEII in Ireland

    The President and the Queen's relationship was solidified during the four-day State visit in May. (AP Photo/Pool)
  • Queen Elizabeth II in Ireland

    The Queen and Mary McAleese visited the Garden of Remembrance for a Wreath Laying Ceremony in Dublin. This picture captured an important moment during the State visit as the Queen bowed her head and observed a minute of silence. (Arthur Edwards/The Sun)
  • New Cystic Fibrosis Units

    In her last few engagements, McAleese opened a new children's hospice, as well as the new cystic fibrosis units at Crumlin Children's Hospital. (Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)
  • Michaela McAreavey Funeral

    Irish President Mary McAleese arrives for the funeral of Michaela McAreavey on 17 January 2011. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte, was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius. (Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association Images)
  • Garret FitzGerald Death

    21 May 2011: McAleese bows her head at the coffin of former Taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald in Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook. Attending funerals as the Head of State is part of the President's role.
  • The Obamas

    US President Barack Obama signs the visitors book during his visit to Ireland last May. (Maxwells/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
  • Monaco Royal Wedding

    2 July 2011: Mary McAleese and husband Martin arriving for the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock at the Place du Palais. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
  • Rugby Appreciation

    21 March 2009: McAleese shows her delight after Ireland wins its first Grand Slam for 61 years by beating Wales 17-15. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi, Pool)
  • Ireland rugby team reception

    Irish Rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll shows President Mary McAleese the RBS Six Nations Championships Trophy as she hosted a reception for the Grand slam winning team at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin in 2009.
  • The Rugby Fan

    Captain Brian O'Driscoll and coach Declan Kidney talk with the presidential couple and their daughter Sara during a reception for the at Aras an Uachtarain during the Irish Rugby Football Union ahead of the 2011 World Cup.
  • The President and BOD

    The President's admiration for Irish rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll was obviously matched by Queen Elizabeth II at Dublin Castle last May. (Maxwells/PA Wire/Press Association Images)
  • Wax Musuem

    A model of the president at the Wax Museum in Dublin. (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)
  • Holding Babies

    Just because. Awwww.
  • The Marys

    Mary McAleese greets Mary Robinson during her Thank You reception for members of the Council of State. (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)
  • July Garden Party

    Another tradition at the Áras is the McAleese July 12 Garden Party.
  • Handing Over The Reins

    McAleese welcomes president-elect Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina to Aras an Uachtarain for a meeting before his official inauguration.

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