UCC Students’ Union has become the second Students’ Union in Ireland to vote in favour of supporting the reunification of the country. It will join NUI Galway Students’ Union in calling on the Irish government to hold a referendum on the issue.
The referendum was held following the efforts of the Yes2UnityUCC campaign and was proposed by UCC Sinn Féin. It stated: “Should UCC Students’ Union campaign in favour of a United Ireland? Students were asked to give a “Yes” or “No” response to the motion.
The referendum was held in conjunction with the UCC Students’ Union annual student elections. 3949 votes were cast from a student population of nearly 19,000. The “Yes” response received 63% of the total votes.
Speaking to Trinity News, Kate Kelly, the cathaoirleach/chair of UCC Sinn Féin, said: “Being part of the Yes2UnityUCC we were thrilled with the result. It has now passed by a strong majority in both NUIG and UCC showing that students are engaging with the topic. We hope to see the same result in UCD and TCD.”
Kelly continued: “Our Students’ Union is now mandated to campaign for a united Ireland. We see it as a necessity that our Students’ Union recognises issues and campaigns from an all-Ireland perspective. We feel that the only way students’ needs can truly be addressed is by firstly achieving the Ireland we want to live in – one based on equality and fairness. This can only be realized by the reunification of Ireland. Now the SU can begin to bring the issue of Irish unity to the discussion table, and begin to lobby on behalf of student’s who voted in favour of Irish unity.”
When asked why she believed the motion passed by a considerable majority in both UCC and NUIG, Kelly answered that students are “really starting to engage with the possibility of 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.