Honorary members & patrons

Honorary Members And Patrons According to the terms of the IALT Constitution, honorary membership may be conferred on an individual who has conferred important benefits on the Association or on legal education.

The Association is privileged to have six Honorary Members, President Mary McAleese, the Honorable Mr Justice Aindrias Ó Caoimh, the Honorable Mr Justice Bryan McMahon, Professor Desmond Greer, Professor Kevin Boyle and Professor Bruce Carolan.

Mr Justice Aindrias Ó Caoimh

Aindrias Ó Caoimh was awarded a Bachelor in Civil Law from National University of Ireland (UCD ) in 1971 and was called to the bar in 1972. A lecturer in European Law at the King’s Inns, Dublin, he took silk in 1994 and was a representative of Ireland on many occasions before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.  He was appointed to the High Court bench in 1999 and has been a Judge at the European Court of Justice since 13 October 2004.  He is a Vice-President of the Irish Society of European Law, as well as a member of the International Law Association (Irish Branch), and director of the Irish Centre for European Law. He also gives courses to Master’s degree students at the University of Luxembourg.

President Mary McAleese

Mary McAleese is a barrister and former Professor of Law at Trinity College Dublin. She graduated in Law from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1973 and was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1974. 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, Queen’s, 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.  On 11th November, 1997, she was inaugurated as the eighth President of Ireland, and re-elected on Friday 1st October 2004 being the only validly-nominated candidate.


Mr Justice Bryan McMahon

The Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan M.E. McMahon, Judge of the High Court, BCL, LLB, LLM, PhD received his BCL and LLB degrees from UCD and later undertook further postgraduate study at Harvard Law School, having been awarded the Harvard Fellowship. He returned to Ireland in 1967 to take up a post as a Statutory Lecturer in the Law Faculty, UCC. During his time at UCC Mr. Justice McMahon went on to become Professor of Law and Head of the Department of Law. In 1987 Mr. Justice McMahon joined the law firm of Houlihan and McMahon, Ennis, Co. Clare, as a Senior Partner. While continuing to practise law he simultaneously held a part-time Chair of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. In 1999 he was appointed a Judge of the Circuit Court and in 2007 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court. Mr. Justice McMahon has co-authored many legal texts including Law of Torts, co-authored with W. Binchy (Butterworths: 1980, 1989, 3rd Edition 2000), Casebook on Irish Law of Torts, co-authored with W. Binchy, (Butterworths 1983, 2nd Edition 1991), and European Community Law in Ireland, co-authored with F. Murphy (Butterworths: 1989). He is a founding member of the IALT.


Professor Desmond Greer

Des Greer was appointed an honorary member of the IALT at its annual Spring seminar in April 2011.

Desmond Greer is a graduate in law of Queen’s (1962) and Oxford (1964); in 1992 he was awarded the degree of LL.D. for his published work and in 1997 he was appointed an honorary QC by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. He became Professor of Common Law at Queens’ in 1973, and was Dean of the Faculty from 1973-1976 and 1983-1986. In 1976-77 he was visiting professor in the School of Law of the University of West Ontario, and he spent 1990-91 as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School.

He was President of the Irish Legal History Society from 1997 until 2000 and has had a great interest in19th century Irish legal history; publishing widely in the area see in particular (the co-authored) ‘The Factory Acts in Ireland, 1802-1914’. He has over the years been heavily involved in the founding and workings of the IALT and served as President from 1981-1982.

He retired from QUB in 2005 after a long and distinguished career, having provided outstanding leadership in the Law School at Queen’s during some of the most difficult times in Northern Ireland’s recent history. On 16 December 2002 he was appointed by the Irish Government to the Residential Institutional Redress Board, where until recently he used his considerable expertise to the benefit of the many applicants who have availed on this scheme.
Professor Kevin Boyle

Kevin Boyle was appointed an honorary member of the IALT at its annual conference in November 2010.

Professor Christopher Kevin Boyle, RIP
May 23, 1943 to December 25, 2010

The Council and Membership of the Irish Association of Law Teachers are deeply saddened to learn of the recent death of our esteemed co-founder, former President and friend, Professor Kevin Boyle. Professor Boyle, who had battled with cancer for some years, passed away on Christmas Day, 2010.

A lawyer, academic and human rights advocate of international repute, Professor Boyle was instrumental in the establishment of the Irish Association of Law Teachers in 1979. His vision of the Association as an all-island body committed to the development of teaching and scholarship on the island, and friendly collaboration between academics in both jurisdictions lives on to this day.

One of the original founding members of the Association, he served as its President from 1982-83 and again in 1986. In recognition of his contribution, Professor Boyle was made an honorary member of the IALT at our Annual Conference in Limerick in 2010. While he was unable to attend due to ill health, Dr. Edel Hughes of the University of Limerick delivered an address on his behalf at the conference, which was warmly and enthusiastically received.

The many international accolades that have followed Professor Boyle’s sad and untimely passing testify to his extraordinary contribution to the promotion of human rights both on the island of Ireland and beyond. From an early stage, he was active in promoting human rights, equality and conflict-resolution in Northern Ireland, where he served as a board member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. Professor Boyle proved, in particular, to be a committed advocate of human rights for the Kurdish people, mounting several important cases in the European Court of Human Rights addressing serious human rights violations against the Kurdish population in Turkey. For their endeavours on behalf of the Kurdish people, Professor Boyle and colleague Françoise Hampson received the Liberty/Law Society Gazette Lawyers of the Year award, 1998. A founding director of Article 19, and a former chair of Minority Rights Group International, Professor Boyle also served as senior advisor to former President Mary Robinson in her role as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Educated at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Cambridge, Professor Boyle started his auspicious academic career as a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast in 1966. In 1978, he became the first whole-time member of staff in NUI, Galway where, in 1980, he initiated the internationally renowned Irish Centre for Human Rights. In 1989 he was appointed Professor of Law at the University of Essex, at which he led the Human Rights Law Centre from 1990 to 2003, and again from 2006 to 2007. In addition to a forty year career in academia, Professor Boyle had qualified at the bar in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and in the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish Association of Law Teachers is deeply indebted to Professor Boyle for his contribution as founder and former President to the work of the Association. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, his two sons Mark and Stephen and his family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilís.


The Guardian (Sir Nigel Rodley):

Professor William Schabas’ tribute published in the Irish Times:

The Belfast Telegraph:

The Sunday Independent:


Professor Bruce Carolan


Bruce Carolan served as President of the Irish Association of Law Teachers from 1999 to 2000, hosting a well received annual conference in Kilkenny City, one that our members still speak of with great fondness. He was active on the Council of the Association for many years, having served as Membership Secretary, and was instrumental in promoting the Association both at home and abroad. In 2014, Bruce was awarded honorary life membership of the Association at our conference in Kilkenny.

Bruce was a leading light in the development of law at Dublin Institute of Technology. He served as the first formally appointed permanent Head of the Department of Law from 1997 to 2013, and as acting Head of School of Social Sciences and Law from 2004-2007. Bruce was instrumental in formalising and developing the provision of legal education at DIT and enhancing its academic profile.

Raised in Cranford New Jersey, and educated at Cranford High School, Bruce held a BA in Economics from the University of Arizona (1976) and a Juris Doctor (JD) law degree from the University of Miami School of Law (1981). He later qualified as an attorney at both the California and New Jersey Bars. From 1981 to 1983 he served as a law clerk for Judge Frederick Lacey at the US Federal District Court in Newark. From 1983 to 1988, he worked as a litigation associate at Thelen, a large multinational law firm, before taking up the post of Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Francisco, a position he held for 4 years. In that role, he managed several high-stakes personal injuries claims on behalf of the City, and worked on implementing legal measures designed to boost the proportion of women and minority firefighters in SF.

In 1992, he took up the post of legal advisor in Cork City Council’s Legal Department. In 1994 he completed a Masters in Law (LLM) at University College Dublin following which he served as Senior Lecturer in Law at University of East London (UK) for two years.

In 1997, he returned to Ireland to take up the role of Head of Department of Law at DIT, a post he held for 18 years before his retirement. He also served as Acting Head of the School of Social Sciences and Law from 2004-2007. Over the years, he served as visiting professor at Stetson University College of Law (Florida), at the University of Florida, and at Washburn University College of Law (Kansas). He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland. For nearly 15 years, he served as a professor and co-director on the University of Tulsa College of Law study abroad programmes, in which capacity he was instrumental in developing, teaching on and directing study abroad opportunities in Dublin, Geneva, Belgium, Granada, and Buenos Aires.

Bruce researched, wrote and studied prolifically. His specialisms included International Trade Law, Antitrust Law, Law and Economics, and European Union Law. He is the author of a major student text on European Union Law for Irish students (an excellent text, ideal for students), and of several peer-reviewed journal articles in US and international journals. Bruce was for many years an active member of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

As befits the very best of academics, Bruce was a lifelong student, committed as much to learning as to teaching. Bruce’s educational accomplishments included (in addition to his BA and JD degrees) an LLM from UCD, an MSc in Tourism Management, an MSc in Applied E-learning from DIT, and (most recently) a Certificate in Holocaust Studies from TCD. Bruce was also very active in cultural and literary circles in Dublin, and wrote several short stories, and plays, including a radio play for RTÉ.

Bruce sadly passed away - all too early - on September 4th 2015. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis (may his dear soul be at God’s right hand).

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