Mary Keane has been named as Director General (DG) of the Law Society on an interim basis.
She is the first woman to hold the position in the Society’s 191-year history.
She takes over from Ken Murphy, who retired on Monday (22 March) after more than 26 years as DG.
The appointment was made by the Law Society Council on 19 March.
A qualified barrister and graduate of University College Dublin, Mary Keane has worked for the Law Society since 1992, most recently as deputy director general and director of policy and public affairs.
The Law Society tweeted: “Congratulations to Mary, who becomes the first female director general in the Society’s history.”
From Swinford, Co Mayo, Keane was educated at the Convent of Mercy in Claremorris, completed her BCL at UCD in 1985, and qualified as a barrister in 1989.
Her working life began in the Department of Industry and Commerce (1980-1982), taking time out to do her law degree.
She moved to the Companies Registration Office at Dublin Castle (1985-1990) and entered the private sector when she joined the tax department of Craig Gardner/Price Waterhouse (1990-1992).
Keane joined the Law Society in 1992 as policy development executive, working alongside the then director general Noel Ryan.
At the age of 34, she was appointed deputy director general in December 1996, breaking her first glass ceiling by becoming the first woman to be appointed to a director’s role in the Society’s history.
She was appointed director of the Policy, Communication and Member Services Department in December 1997. Currently, she is the director of the Policy and Public Affairs Department, and continues to serve in that role.
Keane is also chair of the National Gallery of Ireland, serving on the 17-member board since 2014 and taking the chair in May 2020. She lives in Carne, Co Wexford.