President of the European Council Donald Tusk became an Honorary member of University College Dublin (UCD) Law society.
Mr Tusk gave a speech addressing his vision of Europe, Politics and Brexit , the future of European integration beyond the completion of the Monetary and Banking Union and his personal experience as a student political activist in Poland.
Mr Tusk told the audience (including Louise Hogan, Law Society auditor, top):
“I don’t like Brexit. Actually, that’s an understatement: I believe Brexit is one of the saddest moments in twenty first-century European history. In fact, sometimes I am even furious about it.”
The Freedom of the City of Belfast is bestowed by Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister (left) on former US President Bill Clinton and Senator George Mitchell, both in town to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement
Kathleen McNamee and Dominic McGrath, in The University Times, reported on the impeachment of UCD Students’ Union president Katie Ascough.
Ms Ascough is the daughter of Tom Ascough, who sits on the Iona Institute’s board of directors.
Ms McNamee and Mr McGrath reported:
An overwhelming majority of voters, 69 per cent, chose to impeach University College Dublin Students’ Dublin (UCDSU) President Katie Ascough from her role.
The result follows two days of voting which saw thousands of students participate. Today’s vote saw one of the highest voter turnouts the union has seen in recent years.
Ascough came out defiant in her speech following the vote. “I fought the good fight. I have been open and honest. I have respected the law”, she said. While she offered something of an olive branch to her former UCDSU colleagues, she didn’t apologise for her actions.
Universities, she said, cannot function without “respect for those with different beliefs”. Such rhetoric was a mainstay of the campaign, with Ascough pitching the vote as a battle for democracy and freedom of speech.
In her speech, after a long night of disappointment for her supporters, Ascough seemed to suggest her defeat tonight might be something of a catalyst for change in Irish universities. “I hope we can build an atmosphere of inclusion to those who might not fit the stereotypical image of an SU president”, she said.
…Through the twists and turns of a campaign that seemed surreal at times, many have suggested tonight’s vote was something of an early indication of what a repeal referendum might look like in 2018.
…With over 1,200 signatures, the petition to trigger the referendum was submitted three weeks ago. It was started after Ascough removed abortion access information from the UCDSU freshers’ guide, Winging It. The move was seen by the pro-impeachment campaign as undermining the union’s pro-choice mandate. The campaign also objected to the €8,000 cost of reprinting.
UCD Students’ Union, TCD Students’ Union and Daft.ie are working together to create more student-specific bed spaces in Dublin ahead of the 2016/17 academic year.
The campaign idea is simple: encourage Dublin homeowners [or tenants who have permission to sublet] to let out spare rooms as digs to students by advertising the available tax incentives. Under Irish law, homeowners don’t have to pay tax on rental income earned from digs unless it exceeds a yearly cap of €12,000.
TCD, UCD and Daft.ie are promoting this information with geo-targeted adverts online which will be featured on DoneDeal.ie, Adverts.ie as well as a joint social media campaign.
The project is valued at €8,000 and features blog post testimonials of positive experiences.
“UCD will be hosting the largest academic 1916 conference of the year this weekend. On Friday, February 5, and Saturday, February 6, ‘Globalising the Rising: 1916 in context’ brings together academics from across the island of Ireland and as far afield as India, South Africa, and the United States to discuss the impact and implications of Dublin’s insurrection as an event in world history.”
UCD Students’ Union have pledged to raise €100,000 for registered charity, Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland (YSPI). They’ve recruited 530 students in support of this challenge as part of a major campaign which culminates in a mass charity skydive and a naked calendar.
They’ve raised over €10,000 so far and hope to raise a further €30,000 by selling 3,000 naked calendars for €10 through campaign participants and on campus shops. All proceeds will assist YSPI reduce levels of youth suicide in Ireland through a classroom based programme, The Four Steps to Help, provided free of charge to secondary schools around the country.
Dustin Lance Black at UCD on the May marriage equality referendum.
A memorable speech.
But don’t take our word for it.
Ian Fahy, auditor of the UCD Laaw Society, writes:
I would like to draw your attention to a speech delivered by Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk (2008), Dustin Lance Black at an event to confer him with Honorary Life membership of the UCD Law Society.. Black’s boyfriend, British Diving Champion, Tom Daley also attended the award event.
He delivered an impassioned speech about the strength of storytelling and the effect it can have on winning the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland.
It was truly one of the most incredible speeches delivered to the UCD Law Society and has been recognised as such by long standing University officials.
Black is an internationally recognised advocate for Gay rights across the world and took time to specifically come to Ireland to deliver this speech in the hope of having some impact on the upcoming referendum.
He reminisced about his youth and the struggle he faced with coming to terms with his own sexuality – something that was extremely difficult and dangerous coming from a Mormon-Texan-military family. He called for the youth of Ireland to tell their own stories, something that he claims is the most powerful form of achieving positive change.
My term as Auditor is coming to end, and over my last three years in UCD I have never felt so strongly that an address to our society needed to be published in the national media. I genuinely believe this video if shared can have a real and positive impact upon the Marriage Equality referendum. All I ask is for you to please watch this 18 minute clip (above), and see for yourself.