President candidate Leah Keogh and Education Officer candidate Daniel O’Reilly have both received a minor strike each this evening, the Electoral Commission has decided.
The EC confirmed that Keogh has been afforded a minor strike, to “prevent her from campaigning for 2 hours during the campaign period, effective immediately”.
This strike is in relation to Keogh speaking at a Law Soc event today following a request from her campaign manager.
The EC explained that Keogh campaign manager requested permission for the candidate to speak at a Law Soc charity event today, “which is permitted”.
However, Keogh’s campaign manager “did not disclose to the EC that she is also the Social Secretary of Law Soc”.
“A video of the candidate at the event was posted to the LawSoc Instagram shortly afterwards, where Keogh, while wearing her campaign t-shirt, promoted both herself as a candidate and spoke to her work for mental health awareness,” the EC’s statement explained. “This video was removed shortly at the request of the EC.”
The EC has awarded this strike to Keogh for breaching Schedule 3 – 2.5.a.v., which stipulates that posting in groups such as class groups or society groups is forbidden, and in conjunction with 2.8.b, which deems the candidates campaign area as their official social media and was determined by the EC to be the candidates’ official online social media pages, prior to the election.
Speaking to Trinity News this evening, Keogh stated: “We accept the strike, although we do not agree with it.”
She said: “Candidates were briefed that ‘societies are not permitted to reshare content…’, and so, because the content was original, was not campaign content and the Mental Health event was approved by the EC, we saw no issues.”
“Myself and my team have gone out of our way to run a clean campaign and I’d like to commend them for their stellar work so far.”
Keogh added: “We will keep pushing, and do not regret the event that raised money for the wonderful Tribe Charity.”
Education Candidate Dan O’Reilly has also been afforded a minor strike, to prevent him from campaigning for 30 minutes during the campaign period, effective immediately.
The strike was awarded due to the campaign Instagram page following a student 13 minutes after the end of the campaign period.
Education candidate Daniel O’Reilly has received his first strike this evening, following an incident in which a member of O’Reilly’s campaign team is said to have accidentally followed an individual past the deadline of 4pm. The incident is reported to have been “an honest mistake” on the part of the member of the campaign team.
The minor strike comes in the form of a 30 minute social media ban, something O’Reilly says, given the role of the EC in ensuring that election campaigns are run fairly, is a “completely reasonable” punishment.
Speaking to Trinity News, O’Reilly commented: “This afternoon, one of my campaign team lost track of time and followed someone slightly after 4pm.”
“This incident was reported to the EC, and the campaign received a minor strike and a 30 minute social media ban,” O’Reilly explained. “It was an honest mistake, but unfortunately in these campaigns, honest mistakes have to be punished to deter dishonest actions, and so I think the punishment is completely reasonable.”
“I look forward to getting back to campaigning after the half-hour lie-in this has afforded me.”
The campaign period began on Monday of this week, with voting to take place from Tuesday March 9 to Thursday March 11.
Media Hustings took place this evening, with Equality Hustings taking place on Friday evening, hosted by a number of different groups on campus.
This article was updated at 12:04 am to include a statement from Leah Keogh.