Former Tanáiste Mary Harney appointed Chancellor of the University of Limerick
Former Tanáiste Mary Harney has been appointed Chancellor of the University of Limerick (UL) and chairperson of it governing authority.
The authority voted unanimously in favour of her appointment, which takes effect immediately, and extends until 2022.
Ms Harney, who had a 34 year career in politics, was the longest serving female TD in the State’s history and was also the first woman to lead a political party, the now-defunct Progressive Democrats, which she helped to found after leaving Fianna Fail.
She is currnetly the director of a number of private companies in pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology and financial services sectors.
UL has been engulfed in a series of controversies in recent years, relating to unsanctioned severance payments, expenses and governance, culminating in a independent review commissioned by the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority.
Prof Des Fitzgerald, who took over as UL president last year, promised swift action in response to the findings of the review.
Prof Fitzgerald welcomed Ms Harney’s appointment, which, he said “will allow us to draw on her extensive experience as a leader and as an eminent public figure in Ireland and internationally.
“ 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..”