UCD Students Amy Crean, Sadhbh MacLochlainn and Finn McLysaght (pictured above) have handed in their impeachment petition to the Returning Officer Stephen Devine. The petition obtained a total of 1,620 signatures, nearly double what was required for an impeachment referendum to be called.
Spokesperson Finn McLysaght who will be on the yes side of the campaign said “We’re looking forward to a respectful and democratic campaign”.
The petition which was launched last Tuesday is calling for the UCDSU President Katie Ascough to be removed from her position following her decision to remove information on how to procure an abortion from the fresher’s handbook “Winging It” earlier this year. The decision to reprint is estimated to have cost the SU approximately €7,000. The students main issue with Ms Ascough’s decision her refusal to allow other officers to rewrite the pages in a legally neutral way.
In a public statement the group said “The manner in which she did this also worries many students. The President overrode the other sabbatical officers’ collective stance, despite stating that she would “delegate,” and “facilitate” UCDSU’s stance on abortion. Many students who have signed this petition are fearful of whether more stances made by the other sabbatical officers, and UCD students as a whole, will be altered, or even overridden to assuage the UCDSU President.”
The petition is expected to be accepted by the end of the week with a referendum date towards the end of October likely. If and when an impeachment referendum goes ahead, a quorum of approximately 2,500 students will need to vote for the result to be valid. Of those, a majority must vote in favour of impeachment for Ms. Ascough to be removed from office. It is expected that Katie Ascough will take a leave of absence to campaign against the referendum. So far, there is no official “No” campaign that have themselves known to the Returning Officer. It’s expected this will change in the next few days.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor