A woman has been announced as the first president of the country's soon to be newest university.

Professor Maggie Cusack will become just the second ever female president of an Irish university when the Munster Technological University (MTU) is officially established on 1 January.

Professor Cusack is currently Dean of Faculty of Natural Sciences and Professor of Biomineralisation at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Earlier this year, Professor Kerstin Mey became the first female president of an Irish university when she assumed the role at the University of Limerick.

MTU will replace Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee.

Professor Cusack has said that she is "thrilled" to be appointed inaugural president of the new university.

She said: "MTU's mission is to lead change and, through education, empower people for a successful future in a globalised world.

"I look forward to working with my MTU colleagues at this exciting and profoundly important time for staff, students, and all stakeholders to maximise the opportunities of a Technological University to bring educational, economic and social benefit to the region for generations to come."

Bob Savage, Chair of CIT's Governing Body, welcomed Professor Cusack's appointment, saying: "This is a key strategic appointment in our emerging technological university higher education sector.

"Maggie will lead Ireland's newest technological university and realise its vision of leading transformation though education."

Lionel Alexander, Chair of IT Tralee's Governing Body said: "Prof Maggie Cusack has an outstanding academic record, renowned research, and established leadership.

"Maggie will provide excellent leadership to MTU and I wish all in the technological university well as they embark on this new and exciting journey."