DUBLIN (Reuter) - Mary McAleese was sworn in as Ireland`s eighth president at Dublin Castle on Tuesday. McAleese, a devout Roman Catholic and nationalist from the British-ruled province of Northern Ireland, follows Mary Robinson to become the second woman president of Ireland, and is the first from Northern Ireland. The presidency is a largely ceremonial role but was transformed into a crusading one by Robinson who resigned just before the end of her seven-year term to become U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. McAleese, a 46-year-old lawyer and senior academic at Belfast`s Queen`s University, was born in the nationalist Ardoyne area of the city and was expected to refer to the conflict in Northern Ireland and the peace process in her inauguration speech. She survived attempts during the election campaign to paint her as a tacit supporter of Sinn Fein, which she strongly denied, and swept to victory with 60 percent of the vote.