Leadership Race 2017: Candidate Profiles

12 candidates were announced today on the steps of House 6


With the annual election of the Sabbatical Officers of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) only weeks away, the announcement of this year’s candidates was made outside House 6 at 5:30pm today. This year sees contested races in 2 out of the 6 elections, with Education, Entertainment, Communication and Marketing and University Times Editor seeing only one candidate each. Campaigning officially begins on Tuesday 14th of February, with the results to be announced on the following Thursday night. Below you can find background information on all the candidates running for president, education, welfare, entertainment, communications & marketing and The University Times editor.


Thomas Emmet: 

Thomas Emmet is a Senior Sophister History student. From Kilpedder in Co. Wicklow, Emmet is the current Environmental Officer in TCDSU and also co-chairs the Green Campus Committee, which saw Trinity receive its second green flag. He previously spent one year studying English and Film in University College Dublin (UCD), where he was class rep, before dropping out and beginning in Trinity. Emmet also held the position of class rep in his third year. He is the current treasurer of DU History and was an editor of the Trinity Film Review last year.

Kevin Keane:

From Castleknock in Co. Dublin, Kevin Keane is a Senior Sophister Law student and currently the president of Suas Trinity. He taught at a school in India for three months through Suas’s 2014 Volunteer Programme. Keane is also involved in numerous clubs and societies on campus, ranging from An Cumman Gaelach and the basketball team. Within TCDSU, he was on the Welfare Committee last year and is now the Deputy Chair of the Lobby Group.

Bryan Mallon:

Bryan Mallon is a Senior Sophister Irish Studies student. From Julianstown in County Meath, Mallon is the chairperson of Dublin University Gaelic Football Club (DUGAA) and vice chairperson of the Fianna Fáil Wolfe Tone Cumann. His previous position in DUGAA have been as public relations and social media officer. He served as class rep for Irish Studies in the 2015/2016 academic year.


Alice MacPherson:

Alice MacPherson is a final year TSM History and English student originally from Newcastle in the north of England. MacPherson has been very involved in TCDSU, from becoming class rep for English TSM in her Senior Freshman year to being the Deputy Faculty Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Convener last year. This year she is serving as the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Convener and secretary to the TCDSU Education Committee. She has also partaken in the Women in Leadership campaign, which aims to increase female participation in student politics. During her time in Trinity, McPherson has volunteered with the Voluntary Tuition Programme.


Meabh Cullen:

Meabh Cullen is a Junior Sophister Environmental Science student from Naas in Co. Kildare. She currently holds the position of Disability Officer with TCDSU. She has been an ambassador for the Student Disability Service for the past two years. In the past, Meabh has been an active member of both the Trampolining Society and DU Players.

Laura Grady: 

Laura Grady is a Senior Freshman Economics and Sociology student from Sligo. She holds the position of Volunteer Coordinator on the TCDSU’s Welfare Committee and was an Ordinary Committee Member with the College Historical Society (the Hist) earlier this year. She has been involved in campaigns such as Body and Soul Week, and has volunteered with St Vincent de Paul and Special Olympics Ireland. She was awarded Class Rep of the Year for 2015/2016 at TCDSU Council in April, and is a writer for Trinity News.

Damien McClean:

Damien McClean, who is a Senior Sophister Mathematics student from Louth, currently holds the position of Citizenship Officer in TCDSU. He is a global student ambassador working in the Global Room and was on the Green Week Committee this year. McClean was also the TCDSU LGBT Rights Officer in 2014-15. In this role, he was heavily involved in the YesEquality campaign, organising a voter registration drive before the marriage equality referendum, and has been involved in lobbying efforts with the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). During his time in Trinity, McClean has been the convener for the School of Maths, a Climbing Society committee member, and an S2S mentor. Outside Trinity, Damien has worked with the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and was a carer and support counsellor for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI).

Emma Purser: 

Emma Purser is a Senior Sophister World Religions and Theology student from Co. Laois, and is a current member of the TCDSU Lobby Group. She is currently the convenor of the School of Religions, Theology and Peace Studies within the TCDSU. She is a committee member of the TCD Chapel and an S2S Peer Supporter. She has been an SU class rep since 2014. Previously, Purser was the public relations officer (PRO) of the SU Welfare Committee (2015/2016). Outside TCDSU, Emma is the secretary of Young Fine Gael Leinster Regional Council and is on the Amber Flag YFG committee, which focuses on mental health issues. Within YFG, her roles have ranged from chair of the party’s Laois branch, PRO, and member of the digital team.

Rachel Skelly:

Rachel Skelly, from Clontarf in Dublin, is a Junior Sophister student of Geography. In April 2016, she was elected to the position of TCDSU Gender Equality Officer. In this role, Skelly oversaw a campaign to discuss gender issues such as sexual consent and the mental health of young men. This campaign also provided support for the then newly-established sexual consent workshops. Skelly sits on a six-person steering committee overseeing these workshops, along with current Welfare Officer Aoibhinn Ní Lochlainn.


Jonah Craig: 

Jonah Craig is a third year Computer Science and Business student from Sligo. He is the current treasurer of Trinity Ents and a committee member of DU Business and Economics Society (DUBES). He runs the club night BoraBora with four of his friends. He was the Trinity Hall JCR’s entertainment officer last year and was previously an Ents rep as a Junior Freshman.

Communications and Marketing

Úna Harty:

Úna Harty is a Junior Sophister Nanoscience, Chemistry and Physics of Advanced Materials student from Limerick. She has been the Society and College Life Editor at Trinity News this year and is the PRO of Trinity Publications, as well as editing STAND, the official magazine of SUAS Trinity. She is a graphic and layout designer for tn2 magazine and committee member of the Central Societies’ Committee (CSC). A Gaeilgeoir, Harty is also very involved with the Cumann Gaelach and is TCDSU’s Irish Officer. Úna has been extensively involved in DU Players, including serving as the Freshers’ Fest Director for the society. She has presented several shows on Trinity FM and is now Senior Sound Engineer at the station. Outside of college, Úna writes for the lifestyle and food website lovindublin.com and lovin.ie.

University Times Editor

Dominic McGrath:

Dominic McGrath is a third year Law and Political Science student from Omagh and is the current deputy editor of the University Times. He began in the publication as a staff writer and later Deputy News Editor, before being appointed News Editor in his second year.

Oisín Vince Coulter, Johnny Byrne, Michael Foley, Sinéad Harrington, Cathal Kavanagh, Daire O’Driscoll, Stacy Wrenn, Leah Albertini, Ríain Fitzsimons, Sarah Meehan, Seana Davis, Aisling Grace, Conn de Barra, Aleksandra Kosjakova, Helen MacMahon, Zahra Khan, Jake Trant and Sam Cox contributed to this piece. 

Niamh Lynch

Niamh was Editor of the 65th volume of Trinity News. She is a History and Politics graduate.