FROM first family to one of the best in the class, Emma McAleese yesterday walked off with one of the top student honours at Trinity College, Dublin's.
The 26-year-old daughter of President Mary McAleese was named as a Trinity Scholar, marking her outstanding achievement in recent second-year exams.
Academic glory aside, a Trinity Scholar enjoys certain benefits, including an annual salary of €254, free rooms on campus and the waiving of fees and registration charges.
Emma is a Dental Science student, having taken a belated decision to follow in the career footsteps of her father, Dr Martin McAleese. She previously graduated in Engineering from UCD.
It has been a busy year for Emma, whose engagement to barrister Michael O'Connell, son of ex-Kerry footballer Mick O'Connell, was recently announced.
Emma, the eldest of the three McAleese children, is maintaining a strong family link with Trinity, where her mother was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology in 1975.
Emma was one of 83 scholars announced yesterday at a ceremony where 21 new Trinity Fellows -- the college's highest academic honour -- and three honorary fellows, including historian and broadcaster Dr John Bowman, were also named.