UCDSU to hold referendum on united Ireland stance

The UCD referendum comes as TCDSU Council votes to have a preferendum on the issue


University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) is to hold a referendum on whether the union should adopt a stance in favour of Irish unity. The decision came in the same week as a motion was passed at a Council meeting of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) to hold a preferendum on the same issue.


A Facebook post by UCDSU this afternoon said that upwards of 1,000 students signed a petition in favour of the vote. The question to be put to Belfield students on March 7 & 8 will be a straight yes or no, asking “should UCDSU have a pro-unity stance on a united Ireland?”


Another post, from the UCD Sinn Féin society, claimed credit for the move, saying: “we collected over 1000 signatures in little over 8 hours of petitioning.” An event held on February 9 had advertised an “open discussion” on the issue, asking people to get involved in a “campaign to make UCDSU a pro-unity SU”. In the wake of the petition, UCDSU is now to recognise official campaigns for both sides of the argument.


At a meeting of TCDSU Council this week, a motion passed in favour of a similar preferendum on the issue of a united Ireland. Conall Moran, a BESS student, brought a discussion item on the issue, referencing Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding it as evidence that the status of Northern Ireland is “increasingly a student issue”.


A motion followed from the discussion, with students speaking both for and against a preferendum, with a number worrying that it could be excessively divisive. Current TCDSU Welfare Officer Aoibhínn Loughlin drew parallels with the Repeal campaign, comparing non-Northern students speaking on the issue with male politicians legislating on abortion.


A date has not yet been set for the preferendum in Trinity. There will be at least three options on the ballot, with the options including a pro-unity stance, an anti-unity stance, and the maintenance of neutrality.


Niamh Lynch
Kelly McGlynn
Michael Foley
Katarzyna Siewierska
Clare McCarthy


Aisling Crabbe
Natalia Duda
Sarah Morel
Mike Dolan
John Tierney
Naoise Dolan
Sarah Larragy
Mubbashir Ali Sultan
Nadia Bertaud
Daniel Tatlow


Kevin O'Rourke
Ines Niarchos
Huda Awan