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In her first public comments on the issue, McAleese said the vote next month is "about Ireland's children, gay children" and said passing the referendum would help dismantle the "architecture of homophobia". [119], In 2008, McAleese addressed a gay youth forum in Galway and encouraged people to confront those who make anti-gay remarks. As a heterosexual I had wondered what it must be like for those who are outside the mainstream, the self-discovery, when you can reveal it to no one." She opened the Bloom Festival, Ireland's largest gardening show, on 3 June 2010, acknowledging an improved interest in gardening in Ireland, particularly among younger people. In 1976, she married Martin McAleese, an accountant and dentist. She later claimed that she was given to understand that the nature of the meeting was to be a discussion among all sides and opinions.[35]. McAleese has a long-standing involvement in ecumenism and anti-sectarianism. "[106], In response to her speech, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said "Her challenge to the internal culture of the Church today was brutally stark. In May 2011, McAleese was appointed as a Senator by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny. [87][99] McAleese also holds a Masters in Canon Law (2010) from the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy. Martin 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. Some may find it unpleasant or unwelcome. Mary Patricia McAleese /mækəˈliːs/; née Leneghan (Irish: Máire Pádraigín Mhic Ghiolla Íosa;[1] born 27 June 1951)[2] is an Irish politician who served as the eighth President of Ireland from November 1997 to November 2011. [96], On 1 November 2019, McAleese was elected as Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin. [54], McAleese undertook an official two-day visit to London on 28–29 February 2010, where she visited the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and was guest of honour at the Madejski Stadium for a rugby union match between London Irish and Harlequin F.C..[55] On 13 May 2010, she attended the Balmoral Show at the Balmoral Showgrounds, which includes the King's Hall, in south Belfast. [51] A reception held in her honour was attended by Ed Begley, Jr. and Fionnula Flanagan. President Mary McAleese Mary Patricia McAleese Mary. [11], With his wife Mary, they together have three children, Emma and twins SaraMai and Justin. While Cardinal Desmond Connell called her action a "sham" and a "deception", Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said it was ironic that "the Church was condemning an act of reconciliation and bridge-building between the denominations. He then studied at Queens University Belfast, obtaining an honours BSc in Physics. [9], On 18–19 October 2014, McAleese attended the One Young World Summit in Dublin as a keynote speaker. [2] In 1980, he returned to full-time education at Trinity College, Dublin, to study as a dentist,[2] subsequently moving back, with his family, to Northern Ireland, where he practised as a dentist in Crossmaglen and Bessbrook, County Armagh. McAleese was a member of the Catholic Church Episcopal Delegation to the New Ireland Forum in 1984, and a member of the Catholic Church delegation to the Northern Ireland Commission on Contentious Parades in 1996. [6] She worked as a barrister and as a journalist with RTÉ. The Belfast woman married her husband Martin in 1976, on the same morning that two of the couple’s best friends had been shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries before being set alight. She said "The toxic attitudes which were heard in homes, streets, workplaces even in schools and churches caused untold suffering and nothing is surer than the fact that those attitudes can have and will have no place in the Ireland we are building, for they belong in the same toxic waste dump along with sexism, racism, sectarianism and all those other contrary forces which would diminish the innate dignity, freedom and nature of the human person, reduce their life chances and opportunities and consign them to half-lived lives.

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