POLYPHONYJournal of the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists

Healing and Growing Through Arts Therapies: Mary McAleese

Published on Jan 04, 2024 by Mary McAleese

In this video, Professor Mary McAleese welcomes participants at the Frontiers All Ireland Creative Arts Therapies/Arts Therapies Conference and Convocation, held on Saturday, October 14th, 2023 at Technological University Dublin.

In her welcome address, Prof McAleese focuses on the transformative power of arts therapies in facilitating healing, growth, and self-expression. She refers to arts therapies as instrumental in helping individuals heal, grow, develop, and blossom. They offer unique ways for people to express themselves, especially in situations where they find it challenging to do so through conventional means. The Frontiers conference, Prof McAleese states, represents a new beginning, fostering new collaborations, friendships, hope, and opportunities. It emphasises the importance of community and shared learning in the field of creative arts therapies.

Frontiers is a conference co-produced by the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists, the British Association of Art Therapists, Crawford College of Art and Design at Munster Technological University and Belfast School of Art at Ulster University. It is also supported by the British Association of Dramatherapists, the British Association of Music Therapy and iCommunity Shared Practice Hub.

Mary McAleese

President of Ireland  - Uachtarán na hÉireann

Chancellor, Trinity College Dublin


Prof Mary McAleese is currently Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin. She holds a Doctorate and Licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University Rome and a Master’s Degree in Canon Law from the National University of Ireland (Milltown Institute).

Prof McAleese graduated in Law from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1973 and was called to the bar of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland and the King's Inns Dublin. In 1975, she was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin and in 1987, she returned to her Alma Mater to become Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies. In 1994, she became the first female Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Queen’s University of Belfast. She served as President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011.