UCD Law Society has been accused by Martin Sheen’s wife of breaking promises made to the Hollywood legend in order to secure his visit to UCD for the society’s 100th session. Janet Templeton, online Sheen’s spouse of 40 years, has alleged that promises crucial to her husband’s at- tendance were not kept. Societies Officer Richard Butler has ordered a full audit into LawSoc’s accounts.
The highly respected actor, who accepted an honorary life membership of the society in February, was invited to the event by humanitarian charity People’s Recovery Empowerment Development Assistance (PREDA). Mr Sheen has a long association with PREDA, which was developed through his extensive humanitarian work.
In documents seen by the College Tribune, former LawSoc auditor Kieran McCarthy refers to his decision to contact Fr Shay Cullen, head of PREDA in the Philippines, as a “brain wave”. McCarthy then met with Cullen to examine “the possibility of setting up a national university initiative” in support of human rights associations which Sheen would be “happy to come to UCD to officially open.”
Several months after the Sheen’s visit, current auditor Francis McNamara attempted to secure a visit by Emilio Estevez, Mr Sheen’s eldest child, to the society’s 101st session via the same channel of communication. This approach elicited a direct response from the Apocalypse Now and West Wing star’s wife, Janet Templeton.
In an email seen by the Tribune dated July 1st, Ms Templeton declines on behalf of her son before stating that she “was heavily involved in the lengthy process of having Martin, my husband, available to accept this same award some months ago. During that [sic] negotiations, some promises were made, based on his acceptance. Those promises were not kept.”
The email goes on to advise the society to “not promise anything you cannot deliver” and suggests that Law Soc should invite Fr Cullen to speak about his work in the Philippines.
In a separate email dated July 4th, released to the Tribune simultaneously, Kieran McCarthy contacted Fr Cullen attempting to ex- plain his actions in relation to the creation of a human rights focussed society in UCD. McCarthy cites the summer break as a factor de- laying the establishment of such a society.
He told the Tribune that a “small group” of students had indeed expressed an interest in working on letter writing and other pro-human rights projects. He also explained the “lack of reference to my work in Mr McNamara’s email”, stating that the current auditor was “unaware of the lengths I have gone in this project since ending my term as auditor on April 6th 2011.”
The current auditor has pledged to honour any agreements made by his society to the best of his ability.
In an official statement to the Tribune, Mr McNamara stated that “through this visit, the Society has developed contacts with a human rights organisation based in the Philippines, and as a result will be assisting with various initiatives in this area, including a debate in this subject area in the coming session.”
LawSoc was adamant that “The Society has not received any complaints about Mr Sheen’s visit to UCD, which went off without any problems or difficulties”. A fur- ther statement added that there was “no ‘controversy’ and the plans of the Society have proceeded as usual.”
Sheen has recently emerged as a popular alternative candidate in the Irish presidential election, with a Facebook group attracting over 5,000 members.
COLLEGE TRIBUNE WRITERS