Liam Coyle, a candidate for UCDSU President, has received a 2-week campaigning ban for an incident related to his breach of the election regulations of the Executive Elections by using his position as College Officer for the School of Business to advertise his candidacy.
Originally revealed by The College Tribune, Coyle sent an email requesting nominations for his candidacy to 943 students, primarily from the College of Business from his official UCDSU email account using an external mailing list.
The UCDSU Returning Officer, Stephen Crosby has now stated that as a result of the “serious breaches of election regulations” a “campaign ban” would be implemented on the campaign team of Liam Coyle. This ban will be in operation from 9:00 am today, March 5th, to 9:00 am March 19th. For the duration of this ban, Coyle will not be permitted to post on his campaign social media pages/accounts. As with any judgement by the Returning Office, this ban may be appealed to the Independent Appeals and Disciplinary Board of UCDSU.
The College Tribune has reached out to Coyle for comment on this additional sanction, Coyle has not responded to that request at the time of publishing.
Originally, the Returning Officer had announced that Coyle would send an email informing the recipients of his campaigning email of the other candidates for UCDSU President and their campaign pages upon the close of nominations today, March 5th. However, this has been upgraded to a full-campaigning ban following the news that more than one candidate has successfully received the full complement of 75 nominations. The full list of candidates for the Presidency has not been announced, with nominations closing at 5 pm today, March 5th.
Coyle: “I was not aware of the regulations[…]”.
Speaking to The College Tribune last week, Coyle stated, “I was not aware of the regulations[…]”. He assured Council that he had since made himself aware of the election regulations since then. The provisional list of election regulations was supplied to candidates during a nominations briefing on Monday, two days before Coyle committed the breach of the regulations. Coyle did not attend the briefing,
Fellow candidate for SU President, Ruairí Power commented on the campaigning ban saying; “As candidates, we are responsible for making ourselves aware of the election regulations. I don’t think the justification provided at Council was credible. Liam attended an election briefing last year and the rules were explained at Council 7 where he was present.”
“Liam has been a hard-working college officer this year but being in that position comes with a responsibility not to use the role for personal gain.”
Ed Leonard, another candidate for UCDSU President, said, “I accept Liam’s apology that he made a mistake and think the punishment is fair. I hope now that we can put it all behind us and that we can focus on debating ideas on how to help make the lives of students better.”
This year’s election regulations were explained on two occasions, SU Council 7 and during the nominations briefing on Monday, February 22nd. Coyle was present at Council 7 but did not attend the briefing.
Stay tuned to The College Tribune for full coverage of the UCDSU Executive Elections.
Hugh Dooley – News Editor
Edit: This article has been updated to include a comment from Ed Leonard and to give further explanation of the reason for the regulation breach. – 13:46 05/03/2021