Photo from The University Observer
Barry Murphy, the former University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) campaigns and communications officer who took over from Katie Ascough after her impeachment, has been re-elected as UCDSU’s president.
Murphy won on the 6th count with 1,566 votes defeating Ryan Oakes who came second with 1,452 votes and Breifne O’Brien who came third with 1,112 votes.
In his manifesto Murphy stated that he wants to continue the work he has completed with UCDSU this year and referenced his experience recruiting class reps and campaigning for environmental and disability issues. Murphy also referred to the constitutional review he has started and wants to trial online voting believing this will increase voter turnout.
According to the University Observer this year’s UCDSU Presidential race with its six candidates is one of the largest UCDSU sabbatical elections in recent years with voting taking place across UCD campus on Wednesday and Thursday.
The elections follow a turbulent year for UCDSU. An impeachment campaign was launched after former UCDSU President Katie Ascough’s decision to retract information about abortion from the college’s Student Union handbook, with Murphy campaigning for her impeachment. She was later impeached with a turnout of 6,572 and 69% in favour.
Murphy penned an open letter against Ascough, saying that her defence for her actions “consists of lies”. He later said: “Voicing my support to the Yes vote was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I stood up for what I felt was right and I stand by that decision.” Murphy also clashed with Ascough over funding cuts for the UCD for Choice campaign, stating in his open letter that he had experienced “forceful manipulation” over this.
An election was held following Ascough’s impeachment, in which Murphy was opposed by Rebecca Hart, ultimately winning with 76.8% of the vote.
Four other Sabbatical officers were elected: Melissa Plunkett was elected Welfare Officer; Stephen Crosby was elected Education officer; Niall Torris was elected as Graduate Officer and Thomas Monaghan won the election for Campaigns and Communications Officer.