Petition to impeach Ascough declared invalid

Due to a constitutional technicality, the petition organisers will need to start again

The petition to impeach University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) President Katie Ascough has been declared invalid, as it failed to comply with UCDSU constitution regulations.

1620 signatures were gathered to impeach Ascough since the beginning of the campaign, according to organiser Finn McLysaght, but the campaign team will now have to start again and recollect the approximately 850 signatures, or 3.5% of the union membership, required for an impeachment referendum.

According to the University Observer, a member of UCDSU contacted the Returning Officer on Monday evening with concerns about the validity of the petitions. The reason for their concern was due to the UCDSU constitution, which states that: “In the case of a referendum by petition, each petitioner must sign the referendum petition underneath, at the end of, or on a sheet attached to, an exact copy of the wording of the proposed referendum and provide their name, programme, stage and student number.”

While there was space allocated on the petitions for four of the categories, there was no allocated section where students could write their signature. The petition was then rejected by the UCDSU Returning Officer on this basis.

The petition organisers will be gathering signatures for a slightly altered petition from tomorrow morning, October 4, where there will be space for each student to write their signature.

Petitioning began last Tuesday with the necessary amount of signatures reached the following day. Petitioning continued until yesterday, however, before it was handed to the UCDSU Returning Officer.

Calls for impeachment began when information on obtaining an abortion was removed from the handbook “Winging It”. The removal of the information was criticised by the impeachment campaign with reprinting costs of the magazine reaching €8,000. In the retracted version of the handbook, the magazine included price lists for clinics outside Ireland.

Seana Davis

Seana Davis is a fourth year Geology student and News Editor of Trinity News.