UCDSU President Katie Ascough has released another open letter to students. The letter comes as voting continues in the impeachment referendum which will continue until 8pm tonight.
In the letter Ms Ascough outlines again the reasons for removing the abortion information from Wingin It and says ‘I did not agree to break the law’. She further explains ‘The advice I received on the issue was clear. It said that the prudent action was to redesign the books or, if it was too late – and it was – to cancel them. Some have referred to the SU’s “proud history” of breaking the law, especially in the 80s and 90s, but the question is this: Is it fair to demand that I break the law, too?’
She also addresses the issue of the group campaigning for her impeachment again reiterating ‘It has been said that the “cause to impeach Katie Ascough from her position is not based off her prolife views”. This is just untrue. The leader of the impeachment campaign wrote, only 5 minutes after my election was announced.’ This makes reference to a Facebook post made by Amy Crean the day that Ms Ascough was elected stating her unhappiness with Ms Ascough’s election.
Ms Ascoughs letter also addresses the illegality of the information saying ‘I realised the book contained abortion information. Never for one moment did it look illegal to me, it just looked like abortion information. No one on the team told me that I was signing off on something illegal, despite the fact that they admit they knew.’ It has since been revealed by the University Observer that the new page is still illegal.
Ms Ascough goes on to state that her sabbatical officers went behind her back saying ‘It’s been said an officer was asked to lie and defend me regarding the books. This is news to me, and I find it misleading that this officer hasn’t specified who said this to him. I can confirm it was not me though he frames it to be. Before I knew it, some of my team members had gone behind my back to the papers. In national papers it was stated how I didn’t delegate on the Winging It books – but my team knew I couldn’t delegate a criminal conviction.’
She also makes reference to the stress placed on the union in the letter and promises to try fix relationships if she isn’t impeached. She adds ‘It is a shame to see this happen to our Union. There has been a lot of stress and pressure on everyone in the Union over the last few weeks. But I am willing, ready, and determined – if UCD students Vote No – to return to my job on Friday morning and begin to mend what has been broken.’
The full letter can be read here.
Voting will take place today until 8pm. A result is expected tonight around 11pm. Follow The College Tribune on Twitter and Facebook for live updates throughout the day.
Rachel O’Neill – Editor