The petition to impeach University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) President, Katie Ascough, has been rejected by the Returning Officer of the union.
Over the last few days, the petition had attracted over a thousand names as the campaign to impeach Ascough has gathered speed.
Ascough has faced significant backlash, both in University College Dublin (UCD) and nationally, for her decision to remove information about abortion access from the union’s freshers’ week guide, citing legal concerns. Critics have said her actions broke the union’s pro-choice mandate.
The petition gathered 1620 names, more than the number of votes she received in her election for President of UCDSU.
The University Observer reported this morning that the Returning Officer, Stephen Devine, had concerns about the validity of the petition. The UCDSU Constitution states that “in the case of a referendum by petition, each petitioner must sign the referendum petition underneath, at the end of, or on a sheet attached to, an exact copy of the wording of the proposed referendum and provide their name, programme, stage and student number”.
The petition to impeach Ascough did not have a section for signatures, triggering concern about how valid it was. It had been assumed that, with the required number of signatures, an impeachment referendum would be held in the coming weeks.
Ascough’s fellow officers were not supporting the campaign to impeach her, despite condemning her decision to remove the information.