Pádraig Mac Brádaigh elected as first sabbatical Oifigeach na Gaeilge

Mac Brádaigh received 92.25% of the vote in the uncontested election

Pádraig Mac Brádaigh has been elected as the first full-time sabbatical Oifigeach na Gaeilge (Irish Language Officer) of the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU).

Running unopposed, Mac Brádaigh received 92.25% of first preference votes. The remaining 7.75% voted to re-open nominations (RON). In total, 2438 ballots were cast in the Oifigeach na Gaeilge race. Of these 167 were spoiled.

Mac Brádaigh received 2095 first preference votes while RON received 176.  

Mac Brádaigh is a final early and modern Irish student current part-time Oifigeach na Gaeilge. He headed the “Gaeilge Initiative” campaign, which passed with a landslide 90% majority in a referendum.

Ag labhairt le Trinity News, dúirt Mac Brádaigh: “Mothaíonn sé ar fheabhas, tofa mar chéad Oifigeach Gaeilge in Aontas na Mac Léann Coláiste na Tríonóide. Tá mé iontach bródúil as an éacht atá bainte amach againn, go bhfuil Oifigeach lánaimseartha againn le freastal ar phobail Ghaeilge Choláiste na Tríonóide.” 

“Mar an duine a bhí i gceannas ar an reifreann agus an duine is mó a bhí ar an turas go dtí seo, tá sé ar fheabhas go bhfuil sé ar fad bainte amach againn.”

Speaking after the election, Mac Brádaigh said: “It feels great to be elected as the first Irish Language Officer in the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union. I am very proud of what we have achieved, that we have a full-time Officer to serve the Irish-speaking community of Trinity College. As the person who led the referendum, it feels great to have achieved it all.”

It sought to make the position of Oifigeach na Gaeilge a full-time sabbatical position within TCDSU, give the Irish language official status within the union, and provide funding for other College bodies to boost Irish on campus. 

Mac Brádaigh’s campaign, which capitalised on the momentum from the “Gaeilge Initiative” campaign, focused mainly on the practicalities of the Oifigeach na Gaeilge role. 

His manifesto proposed pushing for modules to be taught in Irish outside the Irish department, the right to write a dissertation in Irish, a bilingual communications strategy, and Irish classes for international students who want to engage with Irish culture.