Gaeilge Initiative referendum passes by landslide 90% majority

TCDSU will now establish a full-time Irish language officer along with the six other sabbatical roles

The Gaeilge Initiative referendum has passed with an overwhelming 90% majority, creating a full-time Irish language officer (Oifigeach na Gaeilge) and funding for other College bodies to boost Irish on campus.

89.56% of the 1,590 voters supported the introduction of the Gaeilge Initiative, the largest majority a referendum result has seen in recent years.

A €4 levy will be introduced from the next academic year, creating a fund of up to approximately €80,000 each year for the initiative.

TCDSU will receive up to 70% of funding from the Gaeilge Initiative, while the Central Societies Committee (CSC) will receive up to 15% of funding to increase Irish visibility in College societies.

Trinity Sports Union will receive up to 10% of funding and Trinity Publications, the body responsible for funding several College publications, will receive up to 5% of funds.

TCDSU will now grant Irish official language status in its constitution and introduce a sabbatical Oifigeach na Gaeilge, dissolving the current part-time role.

The referendum saw the highest turnout for any union referendum in six years.

The 2018 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) mandate referendum saw a total 2,050 votes cast and passed with a 64.5% majority.

This referendum was also the first major vote to take place in person since the Covid-19 pandemic forced the union to hold elections online.

A trial of paper ballots took place earlier this academic year with class representative elections.

The union’s first Oifigeach na Gaeilge will be elected along with the other sabbatical officers in the upcoming elections.

Nominations for the new role are now open to all union members and will close next Friday.

The other sabbatical election candidates were announced today following the announcement of the referendum results. 

Campaigning for sabbatical elections will begin Monday, February 12, with the Dining Hall hustings.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor