“There’s strength in Unity!” - Hustings Special

by Elio Bonelli


Ahead of the upcoming referendum on USI membership, presidential candidates for Union of Students Ireland (USI), Chris Clifford and Eoin Crossen, made a combined appeal for a remain vote at the USI officer hustings at a special Student Council meeting in Grangegorman on the 13th of March 2024. 

“USI’s tagline is ‘Ní neart go chur le chéile - There’s strength in unity’ and I feel that we really are stronger together.” Crossen said that “we need more on the ground officers at TU Dublin to make sure that issues get solved. I think students really need to trust USI and I feel that by having more on-campus representation, students will feel like they have a voice on the issues that face them.” 

“I want to see increased USI presence on campus and a balance in on-campus and national advocacy work. I also want to make campus visits more productive for USI officers by holding student campaign workshops and gain valuable feedback from students on the work that USI is doing through annual national student surveys,” Crossen said. 

He acknowledged that that the borrowing framework for the student housing is “a total mess” and that the fact that Technological Universities, which make up over half of the members of USI, cannot get access to funding is a source of frustration given the extremely complex situation that it is. 



Current USI President and re-election hopeful Chris Clifford said that he hopes that TU Dublin students will vote to stay in USI, and he said that he’s confident that USI’s ‘Yes’ campaign will prevail. 

“We strongly believe TUD students are better served in USI to ensure TUD students can determine what USI focuses and campaigns on, and benefit from exclusive services like USI Pink Training, SIPTU membership, and national campaign support,” he said in a previous statement. 

In relation to improvements with the USI Constitution, Chris Clifford said that the USI needs to improve accountability with everything and that they need changes to the entire electoral system to allow for all students to vote in the elections and not just a select few. 



The hustings event also saw and heard from Bryan O’Mahoney who is running for Vice-President for Academic Affairs at USI, candidate for Vice-President for the Dublin Region Emma Monahan, and Blaithin Sheehy for the position of Leas-Uachtarán don Gaeilge (Vice President for the Irish Language), all of whom are the sole candidates for the respective positions. 

Attendees at the event also heard from Sachin Yadav and Sarah Fitzpatrick who are both running for Vice-President for Postgraduate Affairs alongside Mubashar Saeed who did not speak at the hustings. 

Sam Mooney, who provided their manifesto in the meeting, is running alongside Aoife Hynes, who also did not attend, for the position of Vice-President for Equality & Citizenship.  

A manifesto from Kelda McManus for Vice-President for Welfare was heard while Niamh Doherty, who is running for the same position, did not attend. 

Voting is not open to the general student body of TU Dublin. Delegates from every University affiliated with USI will vote on Tuesday, 26th of March at USI Comhdháil and election results will be announced on the same day.  

TU Dublin SU Comhdháil delegates will vote on the polling day for the preferred candidates that Student Council decides after the March Student Council meeting 



The USI hustings were not the only one to happen on the same evening, as TU Dublin SU held a part-time officers hustings event immediately before the USI hustings. 

The positions were contested by Annabel Biddulph for Gender Equality Officer, Yvonnick Hessou for Sustainability Officer, Éadaoin Ó Snodaigh for Oifigeach Gaeilge, Oisin Putt and Cara Clarke for Disabilities Officer and Matheus Diniz and Israel Ngombo for Ethnic Diversity Officer. 

Several Part Time positions will re-open to nominations soon, including: 

  • ACCESS Officer 

  • Mature Student Officer 

  • International Student Officer 

  • LGBTQ+ Rights Officer 

  • Placement Officer 

Polling for Part Time position elections took place immediately after Student Council on March 13th for twenty–four hours. Election results will be announced shortly, with the position starting in late Summer 2024. 

Full-time officer election polling will take place from Tuesday 19th March – Thursday 21st March 2024 across all campuses.  

TU Dublin students will also be asked to vote on two further items.  

Plebiscite: Do you have 'Confidence in the 33rd Government of Ireland?' 

Referendum: USI Affiliation  


For more information on the upcoming elections and referendum at TU Dublin, please visit here

For more information on USI, please visit here