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TCD Students' Union president faces impeachment as students go to the polls

The vote was called after Tom Lenihan, son of late former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, admitted to cheating in a exam shortly before he took on the role of SU President.

The front arch at Trinity College Dublin.
The front arch at Trinity College Dublin.
Image: Olivier Bruchez via Flickr/Creative Commons

STUDENTS IN TRINITY College Dublin will begin voting this morning on the impeachment of Students’ Union (SU) President Tom Lenihan.

Lenihan, son of late former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, could be removed from office after admitting earlier this year to breaching college examination rules by taking a note into a third year Law exam.

A motion was passed at the first meeting of the Students’ Union council this academic year that a referendum be held on whether or not students support the removal of Lenihan from office.

Lenihan had been elected President of TCU SU at the time of the incident, although had not taken up office.

In a statement to campus newspaper the University Times, Tom Lenihan put the action down to “personal difficulties” he was having at the time, and that a panic attack resulted in the “random irrational reaction” of taking the note into the exam.

A disciplinary board decided Lenihan was to repeat the exam.

Last month, Lenihan opened up about his struggles with his own mental health in an interview with 2FM.

He said that when he revealed the extent of his problems, including an attempted suicide at age 18, his late father “broke down in tears”. He also said an aim of his term as SU President was to focus on breaking down the stigma around campus on mental health.

Students begin voting at 10am this morning, with a result expected by Friday evening after polls close.

The Union of Students in Ireland have not taken on a stance on the vote as they do not intervene in local referendums.

Read: Dad broke down in tears when I told him I was depressed >

More: Trinity College Dublin falls 19 places in world university rankings >

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Nicky Ryan

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