Friday 24 November 2017

'First husband' revolutionised Aras role and was a rock of support for his wife

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

AT FIRST glance you might not link Martin McAleese, who operates below the radar, and the highly visible Michelle Obama in the same sentence. But the Belfast-born dentist and America's iconic first lady do share common ground.

Both have carved out a place for themselves in presidential mansions. Both have turned being a 'plus one' into a meaningful job.

Dr McAleese's role has been more revolutionary, however, transforming a position once viewed as silent, supportive -- and several paces behind. He has prepared the way for Sabina Coyne as Ireland's first lady if she chooses to take on enhanced duties at the Aras.

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