University College Dublin Students' Union

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University College Dublin Students' Union
Institution University College Dublin
Location Student Centre, UCD, Dublin 4.
Established 1975
President Feargal Hynes
Members Approximately 30,000

University College Dublin Students' Union (UCDSU; Irish: Aontas na Mac Léinn COBÁC) is the Students' Union of University College Dublin. It was founded in 1975 as the successor of the Student Representative Council, with Enda Connolly acting as the organisation's first president. Its primary role is to represent its members views and defend their interests.[1]

All students of UCD who are studying for a degree or postgraduate diploma of the National University of Ireland are, on registration at the university, members. The Union is funded by a membership fee paid at the same time as the student services levy ("registration fee") at the start of the academic year. In addition to its campaign work the Union also provides some services such as five shops; welfare and education services such as a second-hand bookshop and Niteline phoneline; and the provision of a full-time Accommodation and Employment Officer. UCDSU has offices in the Student Centre and Library Building in Belfield.

The Union was a constituent organisation of, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).[2] UCDSU members decided to leave USI in a referendum which was held in February 2013. 67% of students voted to leave the national union. UCDSU ceased being a member organisation on July 1, 2013.


The main governing body of UCDSU, subject only to referenda and General Meetings of the members of the Union, is the Union Council, which meets every second week of term.[3] The Union Council is composed chiefly of the Class Representatives elected in their respective constituencies. These constituencies are elected at a flexible ratio, far lower than a previously arbitrary ratio of one representative per 125 students. The power of Union Council is conferred in a de facto manner on the Union Executive outside of term. The Union Executive, composed of all elected Union Sabbatical and non-Sabbatical Officers as well as the Union Secretary, meets weekly during term and fortnightly outside of it. There are four Sabbatical Officers, who are involved in the day-to-day running of the Union. The President and two nominated Vice-Presidents, as agreed by the Executive, are student representatives on the UCD Governing Authority. A Sabbatical term of office is twelve months in duration and commences on July 1 each year, although the incoming officers are, in accordance with the UCDSU Constitution, given job training by the incumbents from June 15. Sabbatical elections take place in late February–early March of each year. Sabbatical officers take a year out from academic studies and work full-time for the Union.

The composition of the Union's Council includes:[4]

  • The four full-time directly elected Sabbatical Executive Officers
  • The directly elected non-sabbatical Executive Officers
  • The Council elected Executive Officers
  • The Programme Officers
  • Class Representatives
  • Four Residence Representatives
  • Four members of the Union elected by a general meeting of the Students’ Consultative Forum
  • One member of the Union nominated by the Committee of Management of the Student Club
  • One member of the Union nominated by the Management Committee of the Student Centre Forum Club
  • One member of the Union to represent the interests of students with disabilities and elected by such a body as may be recognised for this purpose by the Independent Appeals Board
  • One member of the Union to represent the interests of mature students elected by such a body as may be recognised for this purpose by the Independent Appeals Board
  • The immediate outgoing President and Vice-Presidents

The President is the first officer of the Union in accordance with the Union Constitution, and the other three Sabbatical Officers are equally ranking Vice-Presidents of the Union. The four Sabbatical positions are:

  • President
  • Undergraduate Education Officer
  • Postgraduate Education Officer
  • Welfare & Equality Officer

Sabbatical Executive Officers[edit]

Directly elected by Union members (1975-2013)[edit]

President Undergraduate Education (formerly Education VP) Welfare & Equality
(formerly Welfare VP)
Entertainments VP
(formerly Social & Cultural VP)
Campaigns & Communications VP
(formerly Deputy President VP)
Graduate Education
1975/76 Enda Connolly Joseph Little Billy McGrath Billy McGrath
1976/77 Charles McNally Joe O'Reilly David Kavanagh Marcus de Cogan
1977/78 Conall Ó Móráin Mary Raftery Tommy O'Connor Anna Purcell
1978/79 Dave Waddell Brian Macaba Brighid Ruane Kenin Higgins
1979/80 Chris O'Malley Derek McDowell Colm de Bhaldraithe Oliver O'Rourke
1980/81 Marguerite Ahearne Billy Linehan Diarmuid de Paor/ Greg Byrne Lughaidh O'Clerigh
1981/82 Conn Gregg Aideen Hayden Moire Leyden Patrick Ralph
1982/83 Giollaisa Ó Lideadha Tony Medhurst Hubert Mannion Billy Linehan
1982/84 Giollaisa Ó Lideadha Catherine Neville Rosa Meehan Paul Hickey
1984/85 John O'Neill Sean Kinneane Josephine Kirwan David Ralph
1985/86 Diarmaid Fleming Sean Kinnane Stephanie Walsh Mickey O'Rourke
1986/87 Ulick Stafford/ Andrew Burke Yvonne Judge Finnola MacAodha Andrew Burke
1987/88 Kevin McDermott David Hughes Belinda Flaherty Dave Kilroy
1988/89 Diarmuid Coogan AnnA Farrell Anne-Marie Keary Francois Pittion
1989/90 Tom Duke Eoin O'Neill Joan O'Connor Lorcan Fullam
1990/91 Joe Delaney Denis Murphy Elaine Butler Mark Collins
1991/92 Denis Murphy Ollie Doyle Muireann Grogan Mark Collins
1992/93 Barry Roche Liam Kelly Cydney Foote Karl O'Hanlon
1993/94 Liam Kelly Shaymus Kennedy Noeleen Hartigan Paul Davis
1994/95 Aisling Ní Bhriain Malcolm Byrne Stephanie Leahgy Conor O'Kane
1995/96 Loughlin Deegan Garrett Tubridy Shane Fitzgerald John Mitchell
1996/97 Shane Fitzgerald Cormac Moore Fiona Hannon Darragh Purcell
1997/98 Ian Walsh Liam Dockery John Nisbet Darragh Purcell/ Niall Donnelly
1998/99 John Nisbet Charlie McConalogue John Moynes Scott Millar
1999/00 Carol Fahy Eamon O'Lionáinn Alison Gibney Niall Donald
2000/01 Eamonn Ó Lionnáin Michael Shovlin John Paul Swaine Paul Burke
2001/02 Aonghus Hourihane Aisling Maguire Róisín McKeon Eoin Holohan Christian Hughes
2002/03 Aonghus Hourihane Abey Campbell Séamus Ó Maoinaigh Marc Ryberg Ross Higgins
2003/04 Paul Dillon Oisín Kelly Jennifer Allen David Sherry Aidan Regan
2004/05 Fergal Scully James Carroll Shane Hennelly Gearóid Cashman Ciarán Weafer
2005/06 James Carroll Jane Horgan-Jones Dan Hayden Anthony Kelly Dave Curran
2006/07 Dan Hayden Brian Doyle Barry Colfer Holly Irvine Dave Curran
2007/08 Barry Colfer Ronan Shanahan Vivian Rath Stephen Quinlivan Ciara Brennan
2008/09 Aodhán Ó Deá Paul Lynam Conor Fingleton Gary Redmond Dan O'Neill
2009/10 Gary Redmond Donnacha Ó Suilleabháin Scott Ahearn Mike-Pat O'Donoghue Paddy Ryan
2010/11 Paul Lynam James Williamson Scott Ahearn Jonny Cosgrove Pat de Brún
2011/12 Pat de Brún Sam Geoghegan Rachel Breslin Stephen Darcy Brendan Lacey
2012/13 Rachel Breslin Shane Comer Mícheál Gallagher Eoin Heffernan Paddy Guiney
2013/14 Mícheál Gallagher Adam Carroll Cian Dowling Position Abolished Position Abolished Dylan Gray
2014/15 Feargal Hynes Amy Fox Maeve DeSay Anabel Castaneda

Other Offices and Administrators[edit]

The supreme judicial organ of the Union is the Independent Appeals Board as detailed in Article 18 of the Union's Constitution.

The individual who has been the longest involved and longest associated with the Union is Patrick J. O'Flynn, the Union's Chief Returning Officer and an employee of the University. Most of the ground-work involved in Union elections and referendums is performed by the Union Returning Officer, currently held by Morgan Shelley BBLS. Both of these office holders sit on the Independent Appeals Board.

The Union Financial Administrator, Dave Carmody, is not a Union employee, but is permanently seconded to the Union by the university. He is the only other university employee who sits on the Independent Appeals Board. As of late 2011 he is on extended sick leave.[5][6]

The Union Legal Advisor is Leo Mangan of Mangan O’Beirne Solicitors.[7]

The General Manager of UCDSU is Philip Mudge, who worked previously as the general manager of the University of Limerick Students' Union.


External links[edit]