An t-Údarás Rialaithe
An t-Údarás Rialaithe (The Governing Authority) is appointed by the MIC Board of Trustees to govern and control all the affairs of Mary Immaculate College subject to this Scheme of Incorporation and in accordance with the Instrument of Government approved by the Trustees.
In performing its functions, An t-Údarás 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 Colleges 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:
- The promotion and preservation of equality of opportunity and access
- The effective and efficient use of resources
- Its obligations as to public accountability
See below for membership of An t-Údarás Rialaithe, 2018-2023.
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 Kings 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. Patricks 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 Vaticans 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 Movements International Study Centre. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Sophia University Institute, Loppiano, Florence, since 2009.
Dr 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.
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 B Ed programmes and the M Ed 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 Councils 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 north-side 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 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.
Prof. Niamh Hourigan is a Sociologist and Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Mary Immaculate College. She has worked for four Irish universities and has published widely on a range of themes including values, social protest, corruption and community violence.
She has led research projects funded by the Irish Research Council, Universities Ireland and Irish Aid. Her monographs including Escaping the Global Village: Media, Language and Protest (Lexington Books, 2003, 2004) and Rule-breakers: Why ‘being there’ trumps ‘being fair’ in Ireland (Gill and Macmillan, 2015). She has also edited a number of collections: Understanding Limerick: Social Exclusion and Change (Cork University Press, 2011), Minority Language Media: Concepts, Critiques and Case Studies (with Mike Cormack, Multilingual Matters, 2007) and Social Movements and Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2006 with Linda Connolly).
Her PhD, which focused on minority language nationalisms in Europe was highly commended under the European Union Committee of the Region’s Doctoral Thesis Prize Competition. In 2010, she co-authored The TEACH Report (Traveller Education and Adults: Crisis, Challenge and Change) with Dr. Maria Campbell which mapped challenges faced by young Mincéirs (Irish Travellers) in dealing with adult transitions in the Irish education system. In 2011, she was awarded a CACSSS Special Research Commendation Award for her three year ethnographic study of social exclusion and community violence in Limerick city which was published as part of the Understanding Limerick collection.
She is a former editor of the Irish Journal of Sociology and former Chair of the Editorial Committee of Cork University Press. She served as Head of the Department of Sociology at University College Cork for three years and in 2018 was appointed Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC in her native Limerick. Having worked as a journalist and presenter while completing her PhD, she is a frequent contributor to the Irish media on themes of sociological interest.
As Vice-President of Academic Affairs, she is responsible for promoting academic standards and maintaining intellectual quality of teaching and research at MIC. She also oversees the operation of the Student Academic Administration Office which deals with student applications, admissions, registration and examinations.
Chaith Maedhbh Uí Chiagáin a saol oibre i gColáiste Íosagáin, Baile Átha Cliath, i dtosach mar mhúinteoir ceoil agus ansin mar phríomhoide. Ó d’éirigh sí as tá sí gníomhach ar dhá bhord bainistíochta meánscoile, chomh maith le roinnt oibre a dhéanamh ó am go chéile don JMB. This includes, in 2012, the editing of Catholic Schools – Faith in our Future, a collection of essays to mark 25 years of the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools.
As a parish volunteer, she prepares and accompanies a group of young singers for one of the weekend Masses.
Mary Considine is the CEO of Shannon Group, a commercial semi state Group comprising of Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties & Shannon Heritage. Mary is the former Shannon Airport Director and during her time as Airport Director she led the successful setting up of Shannon Group plc and the transition of Shannon Airport, the property element of Shannon Development and Shannon Heritage into the Group prior to its incorporation in 2014. She also managed the successful separation of Shannon Airport Authority from the DAA in 2012 leading to Shannon Airport becoming independent on 31 December 2012.
Mary was appointed President of Shannon Chamber in June 2018 and currently sits on the VHI Members Advisory Council. A qualified accountant by profession, she has extensive financial, commercial and governance services experience from a number of previous senior roles.
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 Munchins College, Limerick.
Conn Murray's career commenced 34 years ago in his native County of Meath. He has since worked in nine 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 Managers 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.
A well-known Limerick City businesswoman and voluntary community activist, Helen was Limerick Person of the Year 2012. She is the proprietor/manager of the Hunt Museum Café and bespoke event catering business, and also chairperson of the Board of Management Crescent College Comprehensive SJ.
Helen is Chairperson of Limerick City Tidy Towns committee; a member of the JP McManus Benevolent Fund committee; past Chairperson of Adapt woman's refuge; past President Limerick Federation of Women's Organisations and has served on the board and executive committee Limerick Chamber of Commerce. At national level served as a member of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and is presently Chairperson of the Safefood Advisory Board, a North South body established under the Good Friday Agreement. A native of Sligo, she was educated at Grange National School, Grange Vocational School, Convent of Mercy Claremorris, and College of Catering RTC Galway.
Married to Tom, a former Government Minister and MEP, they have one son—Thomas.
Fachtna O'Driscoll is a graduate of UCD B Agr Sc (Hons) 1970 and M Agr Sc (1973). During his professional career he worked as a Science Teacher (Dublin VEC); as an adviser and lecturer, and Assistant Principal at 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), he now serves on the Limerick County Enterprise Board and Moyross Development Company. He is married to Attracta and they have three adult children.
Gerry Reeves, a native of Limerick City, is a retired Bank of Ireland career banker with over 40 years experience in Retail & Corporate Banking. He held a number of senior management and executive positions across the country and was Regional Manager-West Munster from 2000-2012.
He is a business studies graduate of the University of Limerick and was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland in 2003. Gerry has a strong commitment of service to community. He is a past president and treasurer of The Rotary Club of Limerick Shannon. A keen golfer, he is a member of the Board of Management of Limerick Golf Club and is also its membership chairperson. He is a former board member of the University of Limerick’s Alumni Association.
Gerry is married to Lucy and they have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Eamon Stack is now completing his second three-year term as Chairperson of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).
Eamon’s formal educational qualifications includes a first-class honours B Comm, a Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) and an M Ed on school leadership. Between 1971 and 1978, he was a post-primary teacher of business studies subjects. He became the founding Principal of a large co-educational post-primary school in Limerick in 1978. Enrolment in the school increased from 90 students in its first year to over 1,000 students within 10 years.
Eamon was Chief Inspector in the Department of Education and Skills (DES) from 1997 to 2009. He was a member of the Management Board of that department and the main education advisor to the Minister of the day. He led and managed 150+ primary and post-primary inspectors located in various parts of the country. He was also a member of the Management Board of the European Schools.
As Chief Inspector, he played a significant role in developing and leading a major structural change and reform of the Inspectorate, the introduction of Whole School Evaluation (WSE), subject inspections and incidental inspections in all schools in Ireland and the publication of inspection reports. He also played a lead role in the establishment of the national Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) in 1998, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) and the State Examinations Commission (SEC) in 2003.
Eamon retired from the DES in November 2009. Since 2010, he has worked as independent facilitator, investigator, interviewer, mediator and adviser on many issues and he occasionally makes presentations at meetings and conferences on many issues relating to education.
Marie Griffin, PhD, is a former Guidance Counsellor and School Principal. After subsequently working for County Dublin VEC, she was CEO of CEIST (Catholic Education an Irish Schools’ Trust) 2014 - 2020.
Catherine spent over 30 years working in the voluntary sector, primarily in youth work in Cork, Dublin and Limerick before moving to Limerick Diocese in 2016 as the first lay General Manager/Diocesan Secretary.
She has been a Governor of an tÚdaras Rialaithe, Mary Immaculate College, since 2013, has chaired the Equality Committee and was a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. Catherine is honoured to have been nominated by the Sisters of Mercy to serve another term.
Catherine is a former Director of Youth Work Ireland, Southside Partnership, PAUL Partnership and is currently a Director of Limerick Social Service Council, Moyross Development Company, The Bonaventure Trust and a board member of the Ostia Community and the Institute for Pastoral Studies, MIC Thurles.
Catherine is a native of Cobh and was educated in Coláiste Muire and UCC.
Sr Coirle McCarthy is a native of Cork City and was educated in the Ursuline Convent, Blackrock, Cork. She joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1970. She is a graduate of Mater Dei Institute of Education and was for many years involved in Religious Education at second level before being appointed as Diocesan Advisor for Religious Education for the Diocese of Cork & Ross.
In 1995, Sr Coirle was elected to the Provincial Leadership Team in the Southern Province of the Sisters of Mercy. Subsequently she became leader of the International Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy.
Currently she is involved in Leadership in her native Cork while also serving on the Boards of Mercy Care South and Mercy University Hospital Foundation Cork.
Áine Finucane is the Librarian at Mary Immaculate College. A native of county Limerick, she graduated with a degree in history and sociology from UCC before obtaining a postgraduate qualification in Library and Information Studies from UCD. More recently, she completed an MA in Business Management from UL.
Áine also held the position of Information & User Services Librarian since joining Mary Immaculate College in 2005. Prior to joining MIC, she worked in the Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick, and in Central Services at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Emma Barry is from Ardagh, Co. Limerick. She graduated with a BSc from University College Cork in 1999 and worked in a variety of Quality Assurance roles in industry prior to joining Mary Immaculate College as Quality Officer in February 2007.
She was appointed Quality Assurance Manager in May 2017.
Aisling Cusack was elected as the President of Mary Immaculate College Students’ Union (MISU) for the academic year 2019/20 and re-elected for AY 2020/21. Aisling is a graduate of the BA programme in Irish and Geography at MIC.
The SU President is the chief spokesperson of the Union and the main representative for the students of MIC. Their role is to coordinate all aspects of the union and its dealings with students.
Laura was elected as Vice President/Academic Officer of Mary Immaculate College Students’ Union (MISU) for the academic year 2020/21.
As MISU Vice President, he is the first point of contact for students seeking academic support and advice.
Seán McMahon was born in Co. Clare in 1958. He received his primary education in Coore NS 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 (MRD) 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 NS 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 and is a former INTO President.
Seán served as Deputy Chair of the Teaching Council, the statutory professional standards body for the teaching profession, which promotes and regulates professional standards in teaching since 2016 and was elected Chairperson of the Teaching Council on 8 June 2020.
Seán is married to Gerardine, who is also a primary teacher, and they have five children.
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 (LLM) 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.
Prior to taking up the post as President of University of Limerick in May 2017, Dr Des Fitzgerald was Professor of Molecular Medicine, UCD Vice-President for Health Affairs and Chief Academic Officer of the Ireland East Hospital Group. He is a UCD medical graduate who trained in Cardiology and Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. He remained in the US until 1991 as Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Director of the VA Coronary Care Unit. From 1994, he was Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and later Head of Research at RCSI. From 2004, he held various positions in UCD including Vice-President for Research. He has served on several national bodies, including the Irish Medicines Board, the Health Research Board (which he chaired) and the Irish Heart Foundation, as well as committees of the European Society of Cardiology, the UK National Institute for Health Research and the Merck Foundation International Fellowship Programme. He has published over 350 papers on cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, genetics and proteomics. He took up his appointment as President of the University of Limerick in May 2017.