Blowing up campus buildings, employing seagulls and jousting addressed at Piranha hustings

The satirical magazine put candidates to the comedic test at the Piranha hustings in Doyle’s

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) sabbatical candidates were grilled about blowing up campus buildings, dealing with seagulls and jousting at the Piranha hustings last night.

Taking place in Doyle’s, this was the first Piranha husting to take place since 2017.

While previous election hustings have focused on candidates’ policies and promises, last night candidates were challenged to be as funny as possible in 60 seconds.

Presidential candidates Jenny Maguire and Ralph Balfe were asked how they would address “the seagull problem” on campus.

Maguire suggested the food stolen by seagulls and dropped on the ground could simply be resold in the Buttery, while Balfe promised to take a more active approach to the birds.

“I’m keen to employ all students in part-time jobs,” he said. “It doesn’t have to stop with humans.

“Part of my flagship policy to ban all tourists – maybe we could get the seagulls to help.”

While Maguire and Balfe kept up a rapport that has become typical of the presidential race, including wearing each other’s campaign t-shirts, education candidates Eoghan Gilroy and Sé Ó hEidhin were put head to head by the Piranha.

“You argue the Trinity style of assessment is archaic,” the host asked Gilroy. “Would you be willing to joust for this position?”

Gilroy enthusiastically said he would be willing to fight Ó hEidhin: “I think it would be a real good battle between myself and Sé, almost akin to… do remember that scene in Game of Thrones where the Mountain came out the big sword… and the other guy fucked off and ran.”

The education candidates were also asked what campus building they would blow up given the opportunity.

While Gilroy’s call to blow up the Arts Building was met with boos from the audience, Ó hÉidhin suggested destroying the new Book of Kells experience, which received resounding applause.

Other questions took aim at experience candidates have listed that will prepare them for a sabbatical role.

University Times editor candidate Brídín Ní Fhearraigh Joyce, who has emphasised her experience within University Times, Trinity News and TN2, was asked to a play a game of “fuck, marry, kill” with each publication.

“I would like to have hate sex with UT,” Ní Fhearraigh Joyce answered. “Trinity News I would probably kill and TN2 I would marry because it’s for life, I was editor last year.”

Other questions asked include whether communications and marketing candidate Connor Dempsey would support a free Luas, while all welfare and equality candidates were asked how they would help a first year who needed a nappy change.

Gaeilge candidate Padraig Mac Brádaigh and Ents candidate Peadar Walsh, both running uncontested, did not attend the hustings.

While Mac Brádaigh’s absence was not noted, in the place of Walsh, questions regarding attendance and “stopping the Trinitones” were answered by a silent Hozier impersonator.

Welfare and equality candidate Hamza Bana was also unable to attend, with his questions answered by his campaign manager.

Finishing up after just under an hour, the Piranha hustings concluded with candidates and audience members swiftly kicked out because another booking was on its way upstairs.

Reporting by Ellen Kenny, Kate Henshaw, Charlotte Kent, Emily Sheehan, Madison Pitman, Stephen Conneely, Conor Healy, Ruby Topalian, and Jayna Roshlau.