Censure motion against TCDSU president interrupted after mass walkout

EC Chair Conor Casey dismissed council by saying: “This is obviously quite undemocratic”

A motion of censure against Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President László Molnárfi was interrupted by a mass walkout of his supporters preventing a vote from taking place.

The motion of censure was brought to council by STEM Convenor Ruaidhrí Saulnier following the recommendations of an Oversight Commission (OC) report.

Censure is the highest form of disapproval council can give an officer without impeaching them. It was recommended by the OC after it ruled Molnárfi breached the constitution on multiple occasions.

Quorum was immediately called after the walkout, stopping the vote on the motion of censure against Molnárfi as council was no longer quorate.

Immediately following the walkout, Electoral Commission (EC) Chair Conor Casey said: “This is obviously quite undemocratic.”

“And then use the mechanism of quorum to try and stop holding officers to account, I’m quite disappointed by the actions taken today and it will be noted.”

“You are dismissed.”

Speaking in defence of Molnárfi, TCDSU President-elect Jenny Maguire had said Molnárfi did break the constitutional rules, but it was wrong to “punish” him.

“If the rules don’t work in that way then let’s break them,” she said. “To punish László would be a contradiction of everything this union has stood for.”

She concluded: “It’s reactionary – I think it’s passing and I think it’s just nonsense and I think we should leave.”

Maguire, Molnárfi and those against the censure motion then promptly left the Stanley Quek Theatre, shouting “quorum” as they stormed up the stairs.

Immediately following the dismissal, Saulnier walked over to the microphone in front of Casey and shouted “impeachment”.

Before the walkout, Saulnier criticised Molnárfi for “acting like the rules are what he wishes them to be and not as they are”, likening the situation to the “wild west”.

“He’s a paid employee and a representative and simply not the best person for the job if you’re not able to respect the constitution,” he said.

Another student also noted that Molnárfi “has a tendency of calling things that he doesn’t agree with undemocratic”. 

He noted Molnárfi has previously said that “he’s not afraid of impeachment because his faction is too big”, slamming the table and saying, “I would have probably gone for impeachment, but oh well.”

In his own defence, Molnárfi confirmed that he “will not stop being radical” in his actions as president. 

He said that not organising a referendum to amend the chapter 1.4 of the constitution “gives right wing agitators […] the ability to hamper the collective effort to make change”. 

He further labelled the government as “the enemy” and stated that they hate students, staff, and “the ordinary people of Ireland”. 

“Why should we not be able to call them out explicitly?” he said.

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Editor-in-Chief of Trinity News, and a graduate of Sociology and Social Policy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.

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

Gabriela Gazaniga

Gabriela Gazaniga is the Deputy Editor of News Analysis and is currently in her Junior Sophister year earning a degree in Law.

Charlotte Kent

Charlotte Kent is the Co-News Editor at Trinity News and a Senior Freshman PPES Student.