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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 17 January, 2018
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UCD students vote to impeach Students' Union president Katie Ascough

Ascough’s impeachment was voted for by 4,540 students (69%), with 2,032 (31%) voting against.

Katie Ascough
Katie Ascough

UCD STUDENTS’ UNION President Katie Ascough has been overwhelmingly impeached following a row over the publishing of abortion information in a student handbook.

A petition calling for Katie Ascough’s impeachment was accepted by the union’s Returning Officer Stephen Devine after it collected 1,200 signatures.

The campaign calling for the impeachment of Ascough was launched after she made the decision to remove a page about access to abortion from a magazine handed out to new students.

In voting carried out over the last number of days, Ascough’s impeachment was voted for by 4,540 students (69%), with 2,032 (31%) voting against.

Speaking after the result was made official, Ascough said that she had “respected the law” after arguing the decision to remove the information was made on foot of legal advice.

I have fought the good fight. I have been open and honest in answering very many questions. I have respected the law. I feel confident that I have done all that I could for the students that I am grateful to have been elected to represent.
This is a sad day for me, but this is also a sad day for our university. Universities should be a place of freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of association. Fairness, respect for those who do not wish to break the law and respect for others with different beliefs are critical to debate on campus.

Ascough said that she was “honoured” to have been elected last May and said that she wished the wished the students’ union team well.

Amy Crean of the campaign to impeach Ascough said in her speech:

We are so proud of our campaign in its success in asserting democracy, transparency and accountability in UCD Students’ Union.

“UCD students can now look forward to a president who represents them and is accountable.

“We hope that this referendum has brought attention to the importance of democracy in our union, which we would like to emphasise is bigger than one individual.”

Read: ‘Bullying tactics to try to discard a democratically elected president’ – UCDSU head writes open letter to students

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