Slow Start, as Campaign Teams Find Their Feet

All candidates emphasised the strength of their campaigns today, seeking to gain an edge on the first day of campaigning proper.

Donal MacNameeSenior Editor
Ivan Rakhmanin for The University Times

After the noise, comes more noise. With the drama of yesterday’s Dining Hall Hustings out of the way, the 12 candidates running in this year’s Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) elections will certainly be hoping to make an impression on the first day of campaigning, with their teams bounding around and their manifestos shoved in the face of every passerby, indifferent or otherwise.

For the four presidential candidates, a good start to the campaign is essential. However, with the Arts Block slightly on the quiet side, candidates may want to step up the intensity of their efforts in an attempt to gain ground early.

Speaking to The University Times, Ryan said he was “happy enough” after yesterday’s hustings, describing the support he received from his vocal supporters as “empowering”. He and De Rís made the well-worn pilgrimage to Halls last night. Missing last night, it remains unclear whether Molloy will visit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, McDermott was also absent, though he did disclose to The University Times that he intends to hold a stunt on Wednesday. Given his performance yesterday, it promises to be interesting.


Harty’s ‘Don’t Back a Hack’ campaign slogan says much about the approach he’ll be adopting over the next two weeks

For his part, Molloy told The University Times that he plans to ask students to leave questions in a box, which he will answer at the end of the week.

Welfare and Education candidates James Cunningham and Aimee Connolly were also in Halls last night, perhaps seeking to create some excitement for their uncontested races.

After a strong performance at hustings yesterday, Ents candidate Matt Dundon told The University Times that he was very excited “to be telling everyone in the college about how fantastic I’m going to be”. He was in the Arts Block this morning doing just that. His fellow candidate David Flood, who exuded a similar confidence yesterday, albeit of a more understated sort, spent time in the Hamilton this morning with his campaign managers. He told The University Times he was enjoying spreading the “ideas and ideals” contained within his manifesto.

After an opening day, hustings at which communications and marketing candidates took markedly different lines, Paraic McLean, Cian Rynne and Niall Harty put boots on the ground around College this morning. Harty’s “Don’t Back a Hack” campaign slogan says much about the approach he’ll be adopting over the next two weeks. He told The University Times that he’s “delighted” with his campaign material.

For the four presidential candidates, a good start to the campaign is essential

Somewhat in chorus with this, though arguably more left-field, the anti-establishment rhetoric of Rynne’s campaign appeared to strike a chord with the crowd at yesterday’s hustings. Rynne said he was satisfied at having “communicated a little bit of my personality instead of just standing statically reading some pre speech”.

At the other end of the spectrum, McLean will hope to set an agenda in which he can market his extensive union experience to the benefit of his campaign. He told The University Times he was looking forward to addressing students in a “warmer climate” at tonight’s TCDSU council hustings.

Finally, in the race for Editor of The University Times, contested this year for the first time ever, Eleanor O’Mahony hit the Arts Block to extol the virtues of her campaign. If McDermott, her opponent, was campaigning this morning, he kept it quiet. He previously told The University Times that he intends to focus mainly on the online aspect of his campaign.

Ciaran Molloy, Matthew Murphy, Jack Synnott, Louise McCormack and Blaithin Wilson contributed reporting to this piece.

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