IRISH President Mary McAleese received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Queensland when she visited Brisbane earlier this month.
She said Australia was a country where she ‘felt so at home’.
Australia was President McAleese’s first official destination when she became President of Ireland in 1998.
On her latest visit from March 11-18, President McAleese attended a number of Irish community events connected with St Patrick’s Day celebrations and undertook a number of economic promotion activities.
Beginning her trip in Brisbane, the President travelled to Sydney, where she attended the city’s annual St Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16. She also visited Melbourne, as well as Canberra for a meeting with Governor-General Peter Hollingworth.
In Brisbane, the President visited the Irish Club where she delivered a message of peace and good will to Queensland’s Irish community.
The next day she was conferred with the honoury doctorate at a special graduation ceremony held at Customs House.
She was presented with the doctorate in recognition of her distinguished career and outstanding contribution to Ireland’s social and economic development.
University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Hay said President McAleese was respected internationally as a leader in law, academia and government and was a worthy recipient of an honorary doctorate.