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Mary Harney named chancellor of UL

The former Tánaiste will take up the appointment immediately.

90436769_90436769 Mary Harney, pictured in December 2016 Eamonn Farrell / Eamonn Farrell / /

FORMER POLITICIAN MARY Harney has been named as the new chancellor at the University of Limerick (UL).

Harney, a former Tánaiste under Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has been retired from politics since 2011.

Since then, she has operated as director of a number of private companies.

During her 30 years in Dáil Éireann as a TD for Dublin Mid West and Dublin South West, Harney became the first woman to lead an Irish political party (the Progressive Democrats, which she co-founded). She served as Tánaiste for nine years between 1997 and 2006.

Her appointment as chancellor, an honorary title which was voted on unanimously by the university’s governing authority, is effective immediately.

In welcoming Harney to the university, UL president Dr Des Fitzgerald said the appointment will “allow us to draw on her extensive experience as a leader and as an eminent public figure”.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the decision of the governing authority,” he said.

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.

Harney herself said she is “deeply honoured” by the appointment, which will see her tenure extend until 2022.

“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,” she said. “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,” she added.

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