NUI Galway votes to support Irish reunification
The motion was proposed by Sinn Fein at NUIG
NUI Galway Students’ Union (NUIGSU) has voted to support the reunification of Ireland and will now call on the Irish government to hold a referendum on the issue.
The motion was proposed by Sinn Féin at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), stating: “NUI Galway Students’ Union supports the reunification of the island of Ireland and calls on the state to hold a national referendum on the question of such reunification.” Students were asked to give a “Yes” or “No” response to the motion.
The referendum, which was held in conjunction with NUIGSU’s annual student elections, saw 3,231 students out of a total population of approximately 17,000 vote on the issue, with the “Yes” response receiving 74% of the total votes.
Sinn Féin’s D’Arcy/Mellows Cumann at NUIG had received the 500 signatures necessary to hold a referendum on a unity stance. They cited possible increased difficulties for Northern Irish students following the Brexit vote as a reason for the referendum, claiming that students from the North studying in the Republic may face an increase in fees and could encounter difficulties when travelling.
In a press release, NUIG Sinn Féin commented: ”This is just the beginning. The message is clear, we’re stronger united which is why NUI Galway students have endorsed the call for a United Ireland.”
A motion was passed to hold a preferendum on the same subject by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) on February 14. The vote will be held on March 14 and 15.
In 2014, a similar referendum, also proposed by Sinn Féin, was not passed by Queen’s University Belfast. University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) will vote on the issue on March 7 and 8, where the student body will be asked: Should UCDSU have a pro-unity stance on a united Ireland?
TCDSU President Kieran McNulty has declined to comment on the result.