Ireland Second petition to impeach pro-life UCD Student President Katie Ascough accepted

11:25  11 october  2017
11:25  11 october  2017 Source:   independent.ie

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Katie Ascough. © Independent.ie Katie Ascough. A second petition to impeach UCD Students' Union President Katie Ascough has been accepted.

The petition calling for her impeachment was handed in on Monday evening after collecting 1200 signatures.

UCD Returning Officer Stephen Devine accepted the petition and an impeachment referendum will now take place on October 25 and October 26.

Ms Ascough announced last night that she will take annual leave until the referendum has been called.

Campaigns and Communications Officer Barry Murphy who is Vice-President will be acting UCDSU President during this time.

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Earlier this month, UCD students drew up a petition to impeach their student union president after she withdrew the university 's guide book Winging It due to the information about abortion. However, now a second petition against Katie Ascough has been accepted .

In a public statement on the UCDSU Facebook page, Ms Ascough called for students to not let the campaign “impact the day-to-day work of the Union, and that we continue to support and represent students.”

She asks that people “allow the campaign for impeachment and indeed my own campaign against impeachment to remain outside of SU business.”

In order for the impeachment campaign to win the referendum, a minimum of 10 per cent of the registered union members must vote, which equates to between 2,000 and 3,000 students, and the majority must be in favour of the motion.

If fewer than 10pc of union members vote, the impeachment campaign will lose the referendum.

Earlier this month, Returning Officer Stephen Devine, rejected the first petition as he was concerned with its validity.

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Ask Katie Ascough (pronounced azkoe) if she ever dreamed a year ago that she would be elected president of the Student Union of the 32,000 strong University College in Dublin ( UCD ), only to be impeached eight months later for following the law regarding advertising abortion services.

A prominent pro - life activist, Katie Ascough was elected President of UCD earlier this year. UCD students have voted to remove the president of their students ' union Katie Ascough .

Over 1620 students signed the petition calling for UCD SU President Katie Ascough to be impeached due to her pro-life views.

Just weeks into her presidential term Ms Ascough was criticised after she withdrew information over access to abortion services in a magazine circulated to new students.

Ms Ascough said she took an “executive decision” to redact the information after receiving legal advice that the abortion information was illegal in Ireland, despite the fact the information was previously available in UCD.

The information in the 'Winging It' magazine that was removed included pregnancy help websites, the prices of abortion in other countries and information on abortion pills.

While it is lawful to provide information in Ireland about abortions abroad, it is subject to strict conditions.

Ms Ascough's decision was widely criticised by the student body as the decision to remove the page, which required reprinting the annual guide, is estimated to have cost the union about €8,000.

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