DCUSU votes to support the reunification of Ireland

TCDSU voted to remain neutral on the issue last year

  Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU) has voted in favour of supporting a united Ireland in a referendum on the topic.

The referendum was brought about after DCU’s Sinn Fein Republican Youth (DCU SFRY) submitted a petition calling on the Union to define their stance on the reunification of Ireland and, if passed, to call on the government to hold a referendum on the topic.

The campaign for reunification was run by DCU4Unity. The DCU branches of Ógra Fianna Fáil, Ógra Shinn Féin and Labour Youth also supported the campaign.

The campaign focused largely on the effects that Brexit would have on students from Northern Ireland. Issues such as access to programmes like Erasmus, the possibility of a hard border and the loss of funding opportunities provided by the European Union (EU) were highlighted.

Voting for the referendum opened on Wednesday and lasted for two days on DCU’s online learning platform, ‘Loop’. The vote coincided with DCUSU’s annual sabbatical elections, which saw a 40% drop in voter turnout compared to last year, according to the College View.

University College Dublin (UCD), the University of Limerick (UL) and National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) all voted to support Irish unity in early 2017. Trinity voted to remain neutral on the issue, as did Queens University Belfast in 2014.

This comes after an announcement earlier this month by President of DCUSU Niall Behan, deeming a petition calling for DCUSU to hold referendums on both the issues of the union becoming opt-in and abortion invalid. The invalidation was due to the fact that signatures were collected on a single petition asking both questions. “They won’t be going ahead simply because the signatures were collected on one question, and that cannot be done. You can’t have two questions on the same sheet”, he told the College View.

Michael Gilna

Michael Gilna is a former Investigations Editor of Trinity News.