College inaugurates former Chief Justice Frank Clarke as new Pro-Chancellor

The inauguration took place at a ceremony in the Provost’s House

Barrister and former Chief Justice of Ireland Frank Clarke was inaugurated as a new Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin at a ceremony held in the Provost’s House on March 31.

Clarke joins the University’s five other Pro-Chancellors: the Rt Hon Sir Donnell Deeny, Prof Jane Grimson, Dr Stanley Quek, Prof Shane Allwright and Prof Ignatius McGovern. Appointment to this role is “considered to be the highest accolade the university can bestow,” according to College.

Clarke graduated from University College Dublin with a degree in Economics and Maths in 1972. He then studied to become a barrister at the King’s Inns, and went on to practice commercial, constitutional and family law for a number of years. He was a member of Fine Gael and served as a speechwriter for Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald. He also ran for a Seanad seat.

Clarke was appointed as a High Court judge in 2004 and became a judge of the Supreme Court in 2012. He also served as Chief Justice of Ireland between July 2017 and October 2021, returning to his work as a barrister and rejoining the Bar of Ireland after his retirement.

Clarke was a Professor at the King’s Inns between 1978 and 1985 and was appointed an Adjunct Professor at University College Cork in 2014. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at Trinity College, Dublin. Clarke is married to Dr Jacqueline Hayden, Assistant Professor in Trinity’s Department of Political Science.

On April 8, Trinity conferred honourary degrees on former Circuit Court judge Yvonne Murphy, poet Micheal O Siadhail, scientist and Chair of the Wexford Opera Festival Mary Frances Kelly, and businessman Terry Neill.

Ella Sloane

Ella Sloane is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of English Studies. She previously served as Life Editor and Student Living Editor.