This evening, Provost Patrick Prendergast announced that Professor Shane Allwright has been appointed as a Pro-Chancellor in Trinity.
Allwright is a Fellow Emerita and has worked in public health and primary care in government departments and Trinity.
Allwright is a former registrar, having held the role from 2011 to 2016.
Announcing Allwright’s appointment on Twitter, Provost Patrick Prendergast said: “Prof Shane Allwright admitted a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin. She is a Fellow Emerita of the College and served as Registrar from 2011 to 2016.
She has worked as associate professor of epidemiology in Trinity, while also being an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Ireland.
Her research interests have included various topics, including the health effects of active and passive smoking and of alcohol misuse, as well as participating in the evaluation of tobacco and alcohol control policies. Allwright has also conducted research into prisoner health.
Allwright was previously the lead investigator on a study of the impact of the ban on the respiratory health of bar workers, which was an all Ireland study, and chaired the report to the Minister for Health and Children at the time.
The report led by Allwright played a role in the introduction of the Irish smokefree workplace legislation and was entitled “Report on the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace”.
Historically, the role of the Pro-Chancellor has been to act on behalf of the Chancellor during periods of absences from College. The office of Vice-Chancellor was abolished in 1964 and replaced by a panel of Pro-Chancellors, amounting to a maximum of six, who hold power in Trinity after the Chancellor and between themselves in order of their election.
Speaking to Trinity News, Allwright stated: “I would just like to say that it is a very great honour to have been admitted as a Pro-Chancellor. When I started in Trinity several decades ago as a junior lecturer, I never in my wildest dreams imagined being admitted to such high office.”
She continued: “In fact, back then it would have been impossible as almost all these roles were restricted to men!”
“I hope that I can do justice to the various tasks required by the role,” Allwright added. “I particularly look forward to presiding over Commencements ceremonies whether online or – at some point in the future – in person, albeit with social distancing.”
Pro-Chancellors have the same powers and privileges as the Chancellor when acting in their place, such as in the awarding of degrees.
Allwright joins current pro-chancellors Sir Donnell Deeny, Sheila Mary Greene, Jane Barclay Grimson and Stanley Swee Han Quek.
Mary McAleese is the current Chancellor of Trinity.
This article was updated on the 13 August 2020 at 1:56pm to include a comment from Professor Allwright about her new role.