The Hist, just like every other society in the world, has a set of laws in place that ensure that all members of the society know what their roles are and how debates in the chamber should proceed. These are updated from time to time to ensure the society can run smoothly and to change laws which are out of date, given the age of the society.

The most current version of the Laws are from the 248th Session and can be downloaded by clicking the below button:

The General Committee of the 249th Session

The General Committee of the 249th Session

General Committee

The Society is run on a day-to-day basis by the General Committee, who oversee the management and organisation of society duties.

The General Committee is constituted by the officers of the society ex-officio and those elected as Members of Committee. The General Committee is led by the Auditor, who is responsible for representing the society in college and pubic as well as overseeing the duties of the elected officers.

The Officerships include, by order of precedence, the Auditor, the Treasurer, the Record Secretary, the Correspondence Secretary, the Censor, the Librarian, the Debates Convenor, the Events Convenor, the Senior Member of Committee and the Equity Officer. These officers are charged with particular duties in the laws, and are aided by Members of Committee who are assigned to them as their pro tempre.

All executive authority is vested in the General Committee. This means, in effect, that where executive authority is not otherwise vested in officers or the auditor, the general committee can sanction actions made by other members of committee. Due to this, the General Committee acts as both the animus by which executive action occurs while also acting as a check on executive authority.

Find out more about the current Committee here.

Standing Committee

The Society also possesses a Standing Committee, which acts in an advisory role to the General Committee. It consists of a number of officers, Vice Presidents and the President of the society and is mandated to meet once a year or otherwise at the discretion of the General Committee.


The President of the Hist is a ceremonial position the holder of which is elected by the society membership for life. The president, by convention, chairs the Inaugural Meeting of the society and provides general guidance and advice to the committee.

David John McConnell

B.A, Ph.D., M.R.I.A., F.Z.S.I., F.T.C.D.,  ex-Auditor, Medalist

Dr. David McConnell was Librarian of the Society in 1963 and Auditor in 1964. He was a Gold and Silver Medallist, winner of the prestigious Irish Times Debating Competition (1965; 1966) and winner of the Observer Mace (1966).

He graduated with a Gold Medal in Genetics from Trinity in 1966 receiving his PhD in Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1971.  He was appointed as a lecturer in genetics in Trinity in 1970, elected FTCD in 1974 and appointed Professor of Genetics in 1990.  He specialised in molecular genetics applying the then revolutionary technology of genetic engineering to a wide range of projects.  He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy and of the European Molecular Biology Organisation. He has been widely consulted abroad, advising the United Nations, the EU and other international organisations on the organisation and role of scientific research in contemporary society. 

He served as Vice-Provost for the Quarter-Centenary celebrations in 1992, and later as Registrar, Vice-Provost and Chairman of Fellows.  He is now Fellow-Emeritus, Pro-Chancellor and a Member of the Provost’s Council. 

The Society is both honoured and delighted that he has been President since 2002.



As well as the President, there are Vice Presidents - and their numbers vary. Since its inception, the Society has had nearly 200 Vice-Presidents, usually former members who have become public figures or stay heavily involved. However, the Society may offer this privileged position to a person who has become a regular contributor to the affairs of the Society.

The current Vice-Presidents are:

Mary Theresa Winifred Robinson, M.A., LL.d., H.F.T.C.D., S.C., former Senator for Dublin University, former President of Ireland, Chancellor of Dublin University.
Professor Gary H. Holbrook, B.A., M.A., Professor of Argumentation, Metropolitan State College Denver.
Shane P. N. Ross, B.A., ex-Record Secretary, Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Leader of th.e Indpendent Alliance. (Visit Deputy Ross’s website)
David Patrick Bernard Norris, B.A., Senator for Dublin University. (Visit Senator Norris’s website)
Dr. Mary Henry, M.D., former Senator for Dublin University.
Eric Lowry, B.A., ex-Auditor
The Hon. Mr. Justice Declan N. O. Budd, B.A., LL.B., ex-Record Secretary, Justice of the High Court
David O’Sullivan, B.A., ex-Auditor, Medallist, Ambassador of the EU to the US, former Secretary General of the European Commission
Dr. Patrick Geoghegan F.T.C.D.
Professor Ivana Bacik, Senator for the University of Dublin.
The Hon. Mr. Justice Michael Hannaex-Auditor.
Dr. Sean Barrett, Senior Lecturer in Economics, T.C.D., former Senator for the University of Dublin.
Professor David F. Fordex-Auditor, Regius Professor of Divinty at the University of Cambridge.
Mary Harneyex-Auditor, former Leader of the Progressive Democrats 1993-2006, and Tánaiste 1997-2006.
Richard Clarkeex-Record Secretary, Archbishop of Armagh
The Hon. Mr. Justice Peter Charletonex-Auditor, Justice of the Supreme Court The Hon. Ms. Justice Iseult O’Malley, Justice of the Supreme Court The Hon. Mr Justice Donnell Deeny, Chancery Judge in the High Court of Northern Ireland.
Donal Donovan, ex-Treasurer, former Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund
Adrian Langan, ex-Auditor, PR Consultant, first Irish winner of Young European of the Year