Q Soc criticises LGBTRO SU Officer at SU Council

Secretary of Q Soc Hiram Harrington made the remarks at Council this evening

Photo Credit: Michael Foley/Trinity News

A member of Trinity’s Q Soc has criticised the LGBT Rights Officer of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Noah O’Brien.

Speaking on behalf of Q Soc, Secretary Hiram Harrington told Noah O’Brien that they had not been “working effectively” in their role as LGBT Rights Officer of TCDSU. Among the issues cited was a lack of engagement with Q Soc and taking excessive time off.

Responding to Q Soc’s complaints, an upset O’Brien described the complaints as “unfair” and said “I have done so much this term”. They stated that they had taken personal time due to “burn-out” following Rainbow Week, which they claimed was “largely organised by myself with little support from Q Soc to be blunt”. They further stated that there has been little engagement from QSoc and they have responded to every email received from the society. They cited family bereavement as another reason for the taking of personal time.

Following the exchange, TCDSU President Kevin Keane expressed his “heartfelt thanks” to O’Brien on behalf of the sabbatical officers. Keane particularly cited O’Brien’s work in organising Rainbow Week, which he described as “fantastic”.

Speaking to Trinity News, Harrington said: “This was not meant as a personal attack on Noah in any way – we just feel there has been a total breakdown in communications and that Noah has not completed a crucial element of their mandate in not establishing this committee.” This committee refers to a mandate passed at the first SU Council of 2017/18 for a new LGBTQ sub-committee to be established to “work towards a more diverse representation of the LGBTQ community within the SU”. In their bi-annual officer report submitted to Council this evening, O’Brien said: “This [the committee] is still in the works as with the workload of first term it has to be deprioritised.”

Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU President Kevin Keane said: “I’m extremely proud of Noah’s work this semester. They have been consistently stellar in their contributions to the Union’s work, despite the significant stress and pressure that often is associated with their role. Their work for Rainbow Week, the Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil and far more were exemplary. I can’t wait to help them bring their plans for Purple Day to become a reality. It will be a hugely valuable addition to the College calendar.”

Additional reporting by Niamh Lynch.

Rory O'Neill

Rory O'Neill is a former Managing Editor of Trinity News, and a History graduate.