Harney handed top university role
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 the first woman to lead a political party, the now-defunct Progressive Democrats, which she helped to found after leaving Fianna Fáil.
She is currently 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 an independent review commissioned by the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority. Professor Des Fitzgerald, who took over as UL president last year, promised swift action in response to the findings of the review.
He 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".