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Judge Catherine McGuinness been appointed as Chair of NUI Galway’s Údarás na hOllscoile (Governing Authority). Údarás na hOllscoile, the University’s Governing Authority, is responsible for managing and controlling all of the affairs of the University. She will take on the role for a period of three years.


Catherine McGuinness is a retired Supreme Court judge, former senator and lifelong activist. In January 2012 she was appointed to the Council of State by President Michael D. Higgins. Judge McGuinness was called to the Bar in 1977 and to the Inner Bar in 1989. She was a member of Seanad Éireann between 1979 and 1982 and was previously a member of the Council of State from 1988 until 1990.


She served as a Judge of the Circuit Court from 1994-1996; of the High Court from 1996-2000; and of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006. From 2005-2011 she was President of the Law Reform Commission. She is currently Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway.


Catherine McGuinness has served on the Employment Equality Agency, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and the Irish Universities Quality Board. In June 2011 she became patron of the Irish Refugee Council and in November 2011 she was appointed Chairperson of the “Campaign for Children”. She has also just completed her role as personal representative to the Minister for Foreign Affairs through Ireland’s Chairmanship of the OSCE during 2012 in the field of Human Rights and on the Freedom of Religion.