Ten candidates will contest this year’s Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) leadership race, of which six are women, with Laura Beston becoming the first female Presidential candidate since Lynn Ruane in 2015. This a considerable change from last year’s male-dominated race which saw only two women run. Of the six positions available, only three are contested. Meet your 2019 candidates:
Laura Beston is a fourth year English and Film Studies student from Co. Mayo. As a second-time TCDSU Officer for Students with Disabilities, she established a Disabilities Committee, and extended Disability Day to a week-long event. Her other roles within College have included Secretary of DU Film Society, Global Development Society OCM and JCR Welfare Team member. A notable figure in the Take Back Trinity protests, Beston was awarded “Activist of the Year” at the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Awards. Beston was also Coordinator of the 8×8 Festival and joint founder of the awareness charity Disability and I. Beston has previously campaigned for 2016/17 Presidential candidate Bryan Mallon and last year’s sole Welfare candidate James Cunningham.
Daire Hennessy is a third year Business, Economics and Social Studies (BESS) student. Originally from Tallaght, Dublin, Hennessy is this year’s TCDSU Access Officer, with responsibility for November’s College Awareness Week. In addition to being an Academic Senator in TCDSU, he is the head S2S mentor for the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy and was a BESS class rep in his second year. Hennessy is an ambassador for the Trinity Access Programme (TAP), with duties including volunteering at events and providing tours to secondary school students around campus.
Sally Anne McCarthy is a fourth year Astrophysics student. She is the current TCDSU Engineering, Maths and Science (EMS) Faculty Convener, and is heavily involved in the Women in STEM group. She previously was the TCDSU Science Programme Convener and Undergraduate Studies Committee Representative. She was a member of the Vote for Neutrality campaign in the 2017 Irish unity campaign. McCarthy previously campaigned for last year’s joke Presidential candidate Michael McDermott, 2017/18 Education Officer, Alice MacPherson, and 2016/17 Ents Officer, Padraic Rowley.
Niamh McCay is a third year Political Science and Geography student and current TCDSU Citizenship Officer. McCay is from Derry, Northern Ireland where she attended Thornhill College. McCay took up the position of Music Officer of Trinity Hall JCR in her second year at College, and is also involved in the Phil. McCay was a member of current TCDSU Welfare Officer, James Cunningham’s campaign in last year’s elections.
Aisling Leen is a fourth year English Literature and French student from Kerry. She is currently the Treasurer of DU Meditation. Leen is the Volunteer Coordinator of the Welfare Committee and previously served as Secretary of the Welfare Committee. She spent her second year studying in Université Paris Diderot in France and was part of current TCDSU Welfare Officer James Cunningham’s campaign team during the 2018 elections. Leen was also one of the occupiers of the Dining Hall in March’s Take Back Trinity campaign.
Communications and Marketing
Muireann Kane is a Senior Sophister History of Art and Architecture and Italian student from Edenderry, Co. Offaly. She is currently the Art Installations Officer at Trinity Ents and held the position of Deputy Art Editor at the University Times. Kane was also the Ents Officer for the Italian Society and was part of Shane De Rís’ Presidential campaign team during last year’s elections.
Jerico Alcaras is currently undertaking a Masters in Computer Science in Trinity, having graduated from his undergraduate degree last year. From Dublin, he is the Public Relations Officer for the Korean Society and has also served as an S2S mentor. Alcaras is also involved with Dublin University Computer Science Society (DUCCS) and Trinity Basketball.
Judith Robinson is a Junior Sophister Music and Drama student from Wicklow, and attended secondary school in Killiney, Co. Dublin. She is currently the Ents Officer of DU Players, and was involved in the organising of the DU Players Women’s Week 2018.
Luke Rynne Cullen is a Senior Sophister English Literature and History student. He is the current President of Trinity Orchestra, and is the Live Music Officer at Trinity Ents. He is also the founder and CEO of the online booking agent for musicians, Applaud.
University Times Editor
Donal MacNamee is a Senior Sophister English Literature and History student from Limerick. He is currently the Deputy Editor of the University Times, and previously served as the paper’s Sports Editor. During his time in college, he has also been involved with Trinity FM, having hosted a show on the radio station for the past two years. MacNamee runs uncontested this year.
Reporting by Debra Daly, Eliza Meller, Finn Purdy, Lily Rice, Lorna Aylward, Mary Hartnett, Michael Gilna, Peter Kelly, Sarah Moran, Sean McElroy, Shauna Bannon Ward, Victoria Mitchell and Yasmin Mello.