Muireann has been elected as the next Communications and Marketing Officer of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). The sole candidate in the race, received 51.4%% of the vote, or 1,410 votes, with the option to re-open nominations (RON) receiving 1,332 votes, or 48.6%.
The total vote count was 2,883, with 141 spoiled votes, leaving a total of 2,742 valid votes.
Her narrow victory comes after a controversy-filled campaign for the uncontested candidate, where a campaign to re-open nominations was launched against her.
At Council Hustings, the accessibility of her manifesto to visually impaired students was called into question due to her choice of font and colour. In response, the candidate said that she herself was of “the glasses persuasion”, an answer which was branded as “dismissive” in a later question from the audience.
Her decision to campaign solely on her personal Instagram and not run a campaign Facebook page also garnered criticism. In response, she subsequently set up such a page, commenting: “If some people did feel more comfortable with a Facebook page in terms of reaching me, then absolutely I will set that up for them for their sake.”
Following this, a Facebook page advocating a RON vote in the race surfaced. Speaking to Trinity News, a spokesperson for the page highlighted the impetus for the campaign as their disappointment with the “state of the Comms [sic] race” following the first two hustings, continuing to note their fear that the race seemed at risk of being “neglected and essentially turning into a coronation rather than an election”. The candidate’s failure to set up a designated Facebook page for campaigning was also highlighted as being particularly disappointing: “[A] major part of the Comms Officer’s job is to run the TCDSU page after all.”
The candidate described the campaign as a “thinly veiled attack”, pointing to the fact that there were two other uncontested candidates in this year’s leadership race who were not the subject of such a campaign. She refused to give comment after the announcement of her results.