Mary-Liz grew up in south Dublin and was educated at St Mary’s College, Arklow where she boarded. A Senior Bank Official at Bank of Ireland’s Head Office, she transferred to their Leeds branch when she married her Mancunian husband, Peter in 1985.
In the 1990s Mary-Liz changed careers, qualifying as a Horticulturist (RHS Wisley), Garden Designer (Reaseheath) and Garden Historian (Manchester University), setting up her garden design and construction business.
Appointed to the National Trust’s Mercia Regional Committee in 1998, she was invited to remain in post with the NW Regional Committee until 2004.
In 1997 she was appointed a Magistrate to the City of Salford Bench. A member of the Salford Community Justice Panel, she regularly delivered their highly regarded primary schools programme (2000 – 2014). She was also a member of the Salford Neighbourhood Justice Panel steering group (2012 – 2016).
Mary-Liz served as Chairman of the Training & Development Committee (TDC) and was Deputy Bench Chairman from 2009 – 2011. In 2012 she served as Deputy Bench Chairman for the newly merged Manchester & Salford Bench. She was elected Bench Chairman from 2013 – 2016.
On the 1st April, 2016 a new single Bench for Greater Manchester was created and comprised almost 1,000 Magistrates across eight courthouses – the largest bench in England and Wales. Mary-Liz was honoured to have been elected the first Bench Chairman of Greater Manchester. Throughout her 12 month tenure she continued to oversee the pastoral support and performance of her Magistrate colleagues, leading, implementing and developing this new bench structure.
Mary-Liz was appointed to the scrutiny and strategy board for Barton Moss Secure Unit for young offenders (2009 – 2014).
She also represented the North West region at the National Bench Chairmen’s Forum (2016- 2017).
Mary-Liz has been a guest lecturer at Salford University’s Law with Criminology degree course since 2012.
Mary-Liz enjoyed competing abroad with school and past pupil choirs and has been a chorister at Salford Cathedral since 1995. A keen sportswoman, she represented Ireland at the 1984 European Club Hockey Championships and later played county hockey for Greater Manchester.
Retired from her garden design and construction business, she enjoys music, travelling and fell walking with her husband and their cocker spaniel, Marco.