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An tÚdarás Rialaithe

An tÚdarás Rialaithe (“The Governing Authority”) is the body appointed by the Trustees to govern and control all the affairs of the College subject to this Scheme of Incorporation and in accordance with the Instrument of Government approved by the Trustees.

In performing its functions, An tÚdarás Rialaithe shall promote the objectives set out in the College Mission Statement and, in particular, it shall regulate its affairs to preserve, protect and support the College’s denominational status and shall act in accordance with the ethos and traditions of Mary Immaculate College as a Catholic College. Furthermore, it shall have regard to –

(i) the promotion and preservation of equality of opportunity and access
(ii) the effective and efficient use of resources, and
(iii) its obligations as to public accountability.


                                         An tÚdarás Rialaithe (2013 -2018)  


Bishop Brendan Leahy (Chair, An tÚdarás Rialaithe)

Bishop Brendan Leahy was born in Dublin in 1960 and ordained Bishop of Limerick in 2013. He studied law in UCD and became involved in Free Legal Aid Centres (FLAC). He worked with UCD chaplaincy. In 1980, he entered Clonliffe College, Dublin and in first year studied theology, spirituality and psychology at the Mater Dei Institute of Education. At this time, he  also studied for the Bar in King’s Inns being called to the Bar in 1983. He became involved with the Focolare Movement.

On completion of philosophical and legal studies, he went to Rome to continue his study of theology (1983-1991). He attended the Jesuit-run Gregorian University, leading to a Doctoral award. During this time too, he spent a period at the Ecumenical Centre, Ottmaring, near Augsburg and continued his contact with the Focolare Community.

In 1991, Bishop Brendan was appointed to Clonskeagh Parish, Dublin and became chaplain to the German school there. He was appointed to the staff of Clonliffe College and of Mater Dei Institute of Education. becoming Registrar in Mater Dei in 2004 and a member of the Standing Committee of the Academic Council of DCU. He was appointed professor of Systematic Theology at St. Patrick’s College in 2006.

Since the mid 1990s, Bishop Brendan has been involved in ecumenism at both a diocesan and national level. In the 1990s, Bishop Brendan was Confessional Lecturer at the Irish School of Ecumenics. From 2007 to 2012, he was a member of a team from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in conversation with the Salvation Army. In recent years, he has engaged in inter-religious dialogue, becoming a member of the Three Faiths Forum of Ireland and, more recently, working towards the establishment of an Inter-Religious Council in Dublin.

Bishop Brendan is a member of the Pontifical Theology Academy since 2004. He has written many articles and books on peace and forgiveness, faith questions, ecumenism, new movements and communities, Mary, Church, priesthood, historical treasures of Ireland and spirituality. He is a member of the Focolare Movement’s International Study Centre.   He has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Sophia University Institute, Loppiano, Florence, since 2009



Prof. Eugene
Wall  - College President

Professor Eugene Wall graduated from UCD in 1975 with a degree in psychology.   He was awarded a UCD postgraduate scholarship and undertook a research MA in the field of developmental psycholinguistics.   He qualified as a primary teacher from Froebel College and taught part-time in several third-level institutions in Dublin prior to moving to Limerick in 1980. In 2001, he qualified from UCD with a PhD in Education.

Eugene taught developmental psychology and educational psychology in Mary Immaculate College from 1980 to 1998.   For the latter part of that time, he was also Assistant Dean Academic Affairs in the College of Education of the University of Limerick.   Following appointment to the role of Registrar/Vice-President Academic Affairs in 1998 he continued to lecture part-time on the BEd programmes and the MEd programme on educational psychology and on educational policy issues.

He served for 21 years on the Council of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and was a member of several of its sub-committees over that time, including the Co-ordinating Committee which was responsible for overseeing the development of the 1999 primary school curriculum.   He chaired the Council’s Primary Assessment Advisory Group.

Eugene is co-author of the MICRA-T and the SIGMA-T, the two most widely used standardised tests in Irish primary schools.

Eugene was the founding Chairperson of the Learning Hub, which works in partnership with local education providers, families and young people to develop and implement practical and solution focused responses to the high levels of educational disadvantage and early school leaving experienced by local communities on the Northside of Limerick City.

He was President of the Irish Federation of University Teachers from 1994-1997 during which time IFUT played a key role in shaping the 1997 Universities Act.   Following this, he was appointed for a three-year term to the Higher Education Sectoral Committee of Education International.

Eugene was appointed to the post of President of MIC in May 2018.

Mr. Michael Keane, Vice-President, Administration and Finance

Mr. Michael J Keane was born in Limerick and educated at Clongowes Wood College. He graduated from UCD in 1989 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and then worked as an articled clerk with Coopers & Lybrand accountants (now PWC). He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1993 with the firm and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.
From 1993 to 1995 he worked for the relief and development agency GOAL in Sudan and the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.
On returning to Ireland he joined Shannonside Oil Co Ltd.  – an oil distributor servicing the Mid West region as Financial Controller. In 2000 he became Managing Director of Shannonside Oil.
Michael studied with the Trinity College / Irish Management Institute during 2009 and 2010 earning a Masters of Science (Management) degree. 
In 2013 he joined Mary Immaculate College as Director of Finance and served in this role for three years. He also completed the TMP programme with the “Leadership Foundation for Higher Education” during this time.
In 2016 he was appointed Vice President Administration and Finance at the College. He is part of the College Executive Team, Audit and Risk Committee, Finance and Resource Committee and Equality Committee. He is also a Board member of the Lime Tree Theatre.
Outside of Mary Immaculate College - Michael also sits on the Board and Audit and Finance Committee of Adapt Services in Rosbrien, Limerick.
He lives in Ardnacrusha, Co Clare with his family and maintains a strong interest in local sports – in particular rugby, swimming and triathlon. 


Ms. Caitríona Breathnach

Is ó Ghaeltacht na nDéise do Chaitríona Breathnach ó dhúchas, agus tá sí ag feidhmiú mar Oifigeach Gaeilge i gColáiste Mhuire gan Smál ó mhí na Márta 2005. Tá BA sa Nua-Ghaeilge agus i dTír Eolas aici, mar aon le MPhil sa Nua-Ghaeilge ó Choláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh. Chaith Caitríona tréimhsí ag obair le hOireachtas na Gaeilge, le hÓgras agus le Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge agus mar Oifigeach Gaeilge le Comhairle Contae Phort Láirge. I 2013 chuir sí tús le Céim Dhochtúireachta Tír Eolaíochta den teideal ‘Spáis Phátrúin in Úsáid Mhionteangacha: Cás staidéar de Ghaeltacht na nDéise, Co Phort Láirge’.

Caitríona Breathnach is from the Ring Gaeltacht, Co Waterford has been in the role of Irish Language Officer in Mary Immaculate College since March 2005.  She has a BA in Modern Irish and Geography and an MPhil in Modern Irish from University College Cork.  Caitríona has worked with Oireachtas na Gaeilge, Ógras and Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge and also as Irish Language Officer with Waterford County Council. In January 2013 she commenced research in a PhD with the Department of Geography in MIC with the title ‘Spatial Patterns in Minority Language Use:A Case-study of the Ring Gaeltacht, Co Waterford’.




Ms. Catherine Kelly

Catherine Kelly is a native of Cobh, Co Cork. In June 2016 she was appointed General Manager/Diocesan Secretary of Limerick Diocese and is the first lay person in the role.  Catherine brings over 30 years work experience in the voluntary sector, primarily in the area of youth work and has practiced in Cork, Limerick and Dublin.  Her role prior to coming to work in the Limerick Diocese was that of CEO of Limerick Youth Service for a period of 14 years. 

Catherine has solid experience in youth work practice, management and policy development both regionally and nationally.  She is a Governor on an tÚdaras Rialaithe, Mary Immaculate College, where she chairs the Equality Committee and is also a member of the Audit & Risk Committee.  Catherine chairs the Limerick Diocesan Child Safeguarding Committee and is a Director of Limerick Social Service Council.


Dr. Áine Lawlor

Áine Lawlor, a native of Tulla, Co. Clare, graduated from Mary Immaculate College in 1969. 

Áine taught in Ballyfermot and Leixlip before becoming Principal of Scoil Nano Nagle in Bawnogue, Clondalkin in 1975.  She subsequently served as Assistant National Co-ordinator for RSE (1996-1998), National Co-ordinator for the Primary Curriculum Support Programme (1998-2004) and CEO of the Teaching Council (2004-2011). 

Áine is currently Chair of MIREC at Mary Immaculate College and she is also the Deputy Chairperson of An tÚdarás Rialaithe.


Mr. Declan Madden

Declan Madden is a career Banker with Bank of Ireland who has over 40 years experience in Retail Banking, and has held several Senior Managerial positions with the Bank in the mid-west region.

Declan has had a lifetime commitment of service to community through his involvement in rugby football, as a player, coach and administrator in Garryowen Football Club and Munster Rugby. Declan is a past President of Munster Rugby, was chairman of The Finance Committee and a member of the Munster Commercial Board. Declan is currently a member of the Munster Branch and IRFU committees, and also sits on the IRFU Finance Committee.

Declan is a native of Rathkeale, and was educated at St Munchin’s College, Limerick. 

Rev. Tony Mullins

Very Rev. Tony Mullins is a native of Ardagh Parish. He studied in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from 1977 to 1983, was ordained in Ardagh in June 1983, and went on loan to the Archdiocese of Armagh.   He returned to Limerick as Curate in St. Mary’s Parish, in 1984 and worked as Spiritual Director of St. Munchin’s College from March, 1985.   He was appointed Curate in St. John’s Cathedral in 1987, and then Administrator of St John’s Cathedral In 1995.    In 1999, he took a sabbatical, Renewal for Ministry, at All Hallows. He was appointed Diocesan Secretary in September, 2000, and Diocesan Financial Administrator in 2001.  In September, 2004, he was appointed Parish Priest of Dromin/Athlacca, continuing, on a part-time basis, as Diocesan Secretary until December 2005.   He was elected by the Limerick Diocesan College of Consultors on 22 December, 2009 to administer the Diocese pending the appointment of a Bishop,  he continued in this role until the Ordination of Bishop Brendan Leahy in April, 2013. 


Mr. Conn Murray

Conn Murray's career commenced 34 years ago in his native County of Meath. He has since worked in 9 different local authorities including Clonmel, Limerick City, Cork City and was appointed City Manager in Waterford in September 2003.  Subsequent to that he was appointed Manager of Louth County Council in September 2007.  In August 2012 he was appointed CEO/Manager of both Limerick County and City Councils.

As a member of the County & City Manager’s Association he has served as Chairman of the Housing Committee for a considerable period of time and continues to serve as a member of the Committee.  He currently serves on the National Fire Directorate.  He also plays a role on the Local Authority National Council, the Change Management Committee of the Local Government Management Agency and the Performance Management and Monitoring Group. Conn Murray holds an MA in Local Government.


Mr. Seán McMahon

Seán Mc Mahon was born in Co Clare in 1958.  He received his primary education in  Coore N.S. and  attended CBS Ennistymon at second level. He graduated with a B.Ed in MIC in 1979 and commenced his teaching career in an all boys school in Rathdowney Co Laois.  While teaching full time, Seán continued his personal academic development securing a Diploma in Computer Studies from MIC in 1986,  a Diploma in Parish Pastoral Ministry from St Patrick’s Pontifical College Maynooth in 1987, a Master of Rural Development (M.R.D) from NUIG in 1979 and a  H.Dip. in Professional Education Studies again from NUIG in 1984. In the interim he moved to his native Co Clare and became principal of Mullagh N.S. in 1990.  He has worked with the Dept. of Education and Skills as a part time School Development Planning Facilitator and has been involved in the provision of professional development for Boards of Management.

The INTO represents over 40,000 primary teachers across the island of Ireland and Seán  has served on the Central Executive Committee for the past seven years. He is the currently INTO President. Is cainteoir líofa gaeilge é freisin agus dimigh sé go scoil lángaelach nuair a bhí sé óg. Seán  is married to Gerardine who is also a primary teacher. They have five children. 





Dr. Nicholas O’Brien

Dr. Nicholas O’Brien currently serves as Diplomatic Adviser and Head of International Relations at the Department of Finance, on secondment from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Prior to this, he served as Deputy Head of Mission at Ireland’s Embassy in Berlin (2008-2011) and as Consul General of Ireland in Shanghai (2004-2008).  He was Africa Director at the Department of Foreign Affairs during Ireland’s term on the UN Security Council (2001-2002) and Presidency of the EU (2004).

Prior to this, he worked with the European Commission (DG External Relations) and several EU policy areas in the Department of Finance.

He holds a Doctorate in Governance from Queen’s University Belfast and a Master’s degree in Public Management.  His primary degree is in economics and public administration.

His publications include Irish Investment in China: Setting New Patterns and articles on Irish investment in China and the ASEM political process between the EU and Asia.


Judge Thomas E O’Donnell

Judge O’Donnell qualified as a solicitor in 1976 following which he joined a busy family practice in Limerick. From 1980 to 1991 he was a member of the Limerick Legal Aid Panel and developed an extensive criminal defence practice, operating in the District Court, the Circuit Criminal Court and the Central Criminal Court. In 1991 he joined the firm of Holmes O’Malley Sexton where he assumed responsibility for a substantial and wide ranging civil law caseload. 

In 1998 he was nominated to be a Judge of the District Court and was initially appointed to the Dublin Metropolitan District Court. Subsequently, in 1999, he was appointed to District Court Area 14 (Limerick City).

In 2003 he was appointed to the District Court Rules Committee and served on that committee until his appointment to the Circuit Court in 2008. He was appointed to the Digital Audio Recording Project Board (DAR) in 2004 and in 2009 was instrumental in the introduction of video link facilities between Limerick District Court and Limerick Prison.

Judge O’Donnell has a special interest in Human Rights law and holds a Diploma on the European Convention on Human Rights from University College, Dublin, and a Masters Degree (LL.M) in International Human Rights from University College, Galway. In 2007 he was further awarded a Diploma on International Human Rights and Criminal Procedure by the International Bar Association. He is the author of a number of articles in the Judicial Studies Institute Journal.
In 2011 Judge O’Donnell was appointed a Judge of the Circuit Court


Mr. Fachtna O'Driscoll   

Fachtna O'Driscoll is a graduate of UCD B.Agr.Sc (Hons) 1970, M.Agr.Sc (1973) Thesis.

During his professional career he worked as a Science Teacher (Dublin VEC). Adviser, Lecturer, Assistant Principal, Kildalton College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny

In 1985 he was appointed Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO) for Co. Carlow and moved to Limerick as CAO in 1987 until retiring in 2009. He was a Governor of University of Limerick (UL) 1993-2012 and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) 2000-2005, chairing the Audit and Risk Management Committee (UL) 1997-2012.

A former President of the Agricultural Science Association (ASA) and now serves on the Limerick County Enterprise Board and Moyross Development Company. He is married to Attracta, they have three adult children.


Mr. Lee Dillon

Lee Dillon was elected as President of Mary I Students’ Union (MISU) for the academic year 2017/18. Lee is a graduate of the BEd. programme at MIC.

The SU President is the main representative of the Union and his role is to co-ordinate all aspects of the SU and its dealings with students.



Sr. Michele O'Kelly

Sr. Michele is a Sister of Mercy. Her background is in law and she was a practising barrister on the South Eastern Circuit for five years. She then worked with UNHCR in Bosnia followed by a period working for Amnesty International and other NGOs. In 2009, she set up the Mercy Law Resource Centre which provides free and accessible legal services for people at risk of homelessness.

Her formation in the Sisters of Mercy included studies in philosophy and theology and she worked in the area of spirituality in Glendalough Hermitage Centre. Currently, she works in the field of addiction counselling in Cuan Mhuire, Athy.


Mr. Eamonn Stack

Eamon Stack is currently Chairperson of the National Council for Special Education and was recently appointed, by the Minister for Education and Skills, to chair a Working Group to develop a proposal for a new model for allocating teaching resources for special education needs to primary and post-primary schools.

He was Chief Inspector in the Department of Education and Skills (DES) from 1997 to 2009. As Chief Inspector, he played a significant role in the reform of the Inspectorate, the introduction of Whole School Evaluation (WSE), the establishment of the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS), the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the State Examinations Commission (SEC). Prior to his time in the DES, he was the founding principal of St. Nessan’s Community College, Limerick (1978-1992). Enrolment in the school increased from 90 to 1,000 students in the first ten years.

Eamon edits Eurypedia, the European encyclopaedia on national education systems, for Ireland and is also a member of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland (NMI). 


Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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