Ailbhe Noonan has been elected University Times (UT) editor on the second count of a bye-election.
Noonan, Deputy Editor of the paper’s Radius supplement, received 538 first-preference votes, or 45.2%. Her opponent Mairead Maguire received 404 votes, or 34.0% of the total valid poll.
The option to reopen nominations received 247 (20.8%) of first-preference votes.
On the second count, 143 RON votes went to Noonan and 25 to Maguire, while 79 did not transfer. Noonan was therefore elected with 61.4% on the second count.
Speaking to Trinity News following the result, Noonan said: “I want to thank everyone who put their faith in me, it means the world to me that people have given me their trust. I also want to thank everyone who campaigned for me, I couldn’t have done it without their support!”
She continued: “I will do my absolute best to live up to the trust that people have given me, and I’m so incredibly excited to work alongside the union and the student body over the next year!”
Noonan’s bye-election campaign focused on core themes of transparency, accessibility and welfare. Her manifesto proposed a strong focus on the paper’s social media and digital presence, as well as working with organisations such as the Trans Equality Network of Ireland (TENI) and BelongTo to prioritise welfare of staff and readers. Noonan also pledged to make the paper more responsive to criticism and students’ voices.
Noonan’s victory is the first time that the UT editorship has not gone to the paper’s previous deputy editor since the position was separated from that of Communications & Marketing Officer, and only the second time that another member of staff has contested the position. In 2020, then-Radius Editor Susie Crawford lost narrowly to Cormac Watson.
In the first race for UT editor, in March, voters opted to reopen nominations (RON) for the position. RON received 59.4% of the vote, compared to 40.6% for Maguire. That election saw an active campaign calling on students to vote RON in the uncontested race.
Maguire chose to run again in the bye-election, emphasising her experience in news coverage, and saying that she was “the only one with the journalistic experience” to fulfil the role of Editor.
Noonan will take over as UT editor from Emer Moreau during the summer.
This article was updated at 7:04pm to include a statement from Noonan.