Yesterday, Trinity News published a story regarding allegations of sexual harassment against TCDSU Presidential candidate Sean Ryan, and a resulting complaint brought against Ryan to the Junior Dean. Despite the heavy criticism we received from Ryan for this story, we stand by our reporting and our decision to publish the article.
In a post on his official campaign Facebook page, Ryan accused Trinity News of various charges, all of which we strongly refute. At all times, in every story we publish, we strive to treat serious allegations with the utmost sensitivity. We also strive to meet high standards of journalistic ethics and integrity. We are satisfied that we have done both in our reporting of this story.
In the past few months, various industries and communities across the globe have arrived at the harrowing conclusion that sexual misconduct is an ingrained aspect of society. Women have been emboldened to no longer put up with this behaviour, and the tidal wave of anger and hurt has commenced a movement that has, and will, change society forever.
Over the past 24 hours, many students have had to grapple with resurgent emotions and memories evoked by the allegations. They’ve looked around their social groups, their lecture theatres and have had to remain composed in the face of emotionally draining reminders of similar actions they have been unfortunate enough to experience.
Despite this, Ryan’s statement shows a complete disregard for over half the students he wishes to represent. Instead of acknowledging the claims and treating them with dignity and compassion, he attacked the newspaper which reported on them, as he has done throughout the campaign.
What has been more jarring to Trinity News staff, who have faced the brunt of the criticism, are the continual defences of Ryan, at the expense of the woman’s character and experience. The hypocrisy was bewildering – those who would criticise public figures for their actions excuse the same behaviour when the person in question is popular or in their social circle.
This is not to mention the racist comment made by Ryan, which has been glossed over in the response to the article. Ryan did not attempt to use the “context” excuse for it, and outrage and criticism were not levelled in the same way as it was for the other comments. This is indicative of a much larger problem that hasn’t been broached at all.
Trinity News commends the bravery of the woman in question in coming forward, and stands with her, and all victims of sexual misconduct.
Trinity News Senior Staff.
Michael Foley, Editor
Niamh Lynch, Deputy Editor
Emma McCarthy, Online Editor
Rory O’Neill, Managing Editor