Martin McAleese

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Martin McAleese
Martin and Mary McAleese.jpg
Martin McAleese (left) with wife, Mary McAleese
Chancellor of Dublin City University
Assumed office
21 August 2011
PresidentBrian MacCraith
Preceded byDavid Byrne
In office
11 May 2011 – 2 February 2013
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Martin Phillip McAleese

(1951-03-24) 24 March 1951 (age 68)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Mary McAleese (m. 1976)
Alma mater

Martin Philip[citation needed] McAleese (born 24 March 1951) is an Irish politician, dentist and accountant who has served as the Chancellor of Dublin City University since August 2011. He served as a Senator from 2011 to 2013, upon being Nominated by the Taoiseach. He is the husband of the 8th President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.[1]

Early life, education and family[edit]

McAleese was born in Belfast in 1951. He was educated at St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Belfast. He then studied at Queens University Belfast, obtaining an honours BSc in Physics. He played Gaelic football for the Antrim Minors and was captain of the team in 1969. In 1972, after he graduated he moved to Dublin and trained there as an accountant with the chartered accountancy firm of Stokes, Kennedy, Crowley. He later worked as financial controller for an Aer Lingus subsidiary.

McAleese married Mary Leneghan in 1976. The couple resided in Scholarstown, Dublin, for a short period, and then for almost twelve years near Ratoath, County Meath.[2] In 1980, he returned to full-time education at Trinity College, Dublin, to study as a dentistry,[2] subsequently moving back, with his family, to Northern Ireland, where he practised as a dentist in Crossmaglen and Bessbrook, County Armagh.

Public service career[edit]

While his wife served as President of Ireland, McAleese initiated a series of meetings with senior Ulster loyalist paramilitary leaders to pursue peace negotiations. These actions did not take place without controversy, but have been widely viewed as instrumental in bringing loyalist paramilitary groups to peace talks.[3]

In May 2011, McAleese was appointed as a Senator by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.[4][5] In August 2011, he was appointed the Chancellor of Dublin City University, taking over from David Byrne.

On 1 February 2013, McAleese announced his intention to resign as a member of Seanad Éireann.[3][6]

McAleese accepted an appointment as Chairman of the Inter-Departmental Committee which was set up by the Government of Ireland to investigate the Magdalene laundries.[7][8] His findings have been criticised by some survivors and researchers from the Magdalene Names project.[9]

On 18–19 October 2014, McAleese attended the One Young World Summit in Dublin as a keynote speaker. Here, he hosted a special session for the One Young World Peace and Conflict Resolution Project alongside former Ulster Defence Association (UDA) prisoner Jackie McDonald and former Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner Sean Murray.[10] They addressed young people from 191 countries to share and develop ideas to strengthen efforts at conflict resolution in their own countries.[11]

Personal life[edit]

With his wife Mary, they together have three children, Emma and twins SaraMai and Justin. The family moved to Rostrevor, County Down, in 1987, when Martin set up practice in County Armagh.[2]


  1. ^ "Martin McAleese". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "People of Ireland". Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b "McAleese resigns his seat in Seanad". The Irish Times. 1 February 2013.
  4. ^ Edwards, Elaine (20 May 2011). "McAleese appointed to Seanad". The Irish Times.
  5. ^ "Martin McAleese". Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  6. ^ "Martin McAleese to resign from Seanad". RTÉ News. 1 February 2013.
  7. ^ "State had 'significant' role in Magdalene laundry referrals". The Irish Times. 5 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries". Department of Justice and Equality. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  9. ^ Lloyd Roberts, Sue (24 September 2014). "Demanding justice for women and children abused by Irish nuns". BBC News.
  10. ^ "Peace and Conflict Resolution". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  11. ^ "One Young World Peace and Conflict Resolution Project – Irish context". 17 October 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2015 – via YouTube.
Academic offices
Preceded by
David Byrne
Chancellor of Dublin City University
August 2011–present