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Board of Trustees

The Mary Immaculate College Board of Trustees appoints An tÚdarás Rialaithe (the Governing Body of the College) which in turn governs and controls all the affairs of the College, subject to the Scheme of Incorporation and in accordance with the Instrument of Government. See the membership below.

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.

Most Rev. Prof. Brendan Leahy is also Chaiperson of An t-Údarás Rialaithe, MIC.

Most Rev. Raymond Browne, a native of Athlone, was ordained a priest for the diocese of Elphin (County Roscommon and part of County Sligo including Sligo town) in July 1982. 

He ministered as chaplain in a Secondary school, in parish work, and in Canon Law at Galway Catholic Marriage Tribunal prior to being ordained Bishop of Kerry in July 2013.

Mr Seán Burke

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.

She is currently Chair of the Mary Immaculate College Research Ethics Committee (MIREC).

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 the Deputy Chairperson of An t-Údarás Rialaithe.

Mr Richard Leonard was a partner in Grant Thornton for 33 years, retiring in 2016. He was reappointed by the Minister for Finance for a second term as a member of the Investment Committee of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.

He is an external examiner with the Revenue Commissioners, and is Chairman of St Gabriel’s School and Centre, and of a number of Redemptorist Charities.

He was a member of the University of Limerick Governing Authority 2012-2017 and a Director of the University Concert Hall 2004-2010.

He is a director of a number of private companies.

Sr Frances Minahan RSM

Most Rev. Kieran O’Reilly

Sr Angela Hartigan RSM is a Sister of Mercy and a teacher by training. She spent many years teaching in secondary schools in Clare and Tipperary and was involved in curriculum development in Nenagh, which pioneered the Transition Year Project in the 1970s.

In 1989 she retired from An Roinn Oideachais and went to Kenya with ‘an open mind’, having acquired a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from UCG in 1970.

While working in an extremely deprived area of Kenya, Sr Angela sought to develop leadership among the youth through education. Reflecting on her experience in Kenya at that time, Sr Angela observed that ‘the AIDS epidemic left many child-headed households and human rights were non-existent. There was always some new crisis, but life never lacked a new challenge and community support.’

Sr Angela returned from Africa to live in Spanish Point in 2016. She joined the MIC Board of Trustees in 2020.

Fr. Gerard Whelan is an Irish Jesuit who teaches Fundamental Theology in the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Previously, he lived for fourteen years in Kenya and Zambia, including six years as pastor of a poor parish in Nairobi. Academically, he specialises in the thought of Bernard Lonergan, who wrote on a philosophy of education and was much influenced by the thought of St. John Henry Newman.