Trinity College Dublin Students' Union

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Trinity College Dublin Students' Union
Institution Trinity College Dublin
Location Mandela House, Trinity College, Dublin 2
President Kevin Keane
Sabbatical officers Alice MacPherson, Damien McClean, Úna Harty, Jonah Craig
Members Approximately 17,500
Affiliations Union of Students in Ireland

Trinity College Dublin Students' Union (or TCDSU) is a students' union and the recognised representative body of the 17,000 students[1] of Trinity College Dublin. Its role is to provide a representative channel between all students (undergraduates and postgraduates) and the authorities of the College as well as to provide services to these students.[2] TCDSU is a constituent organisation of the Union of Students in Ireland.[3]

The day-to-day business and affairs of the Union are run out of Mandela House and managed by the Sabbatical Officers and the Administrative Officer, together with members of the executive. The Sabbatical Officerships are: The President, Education Officer, Welfare Officer, Communications and Marketing Officer and Entertainments Officer (aka Ents Officer)[4] and are elected on an annual basis; all capitated students are entitled to vote.[5] The President, Welfare Officer and Education Officer are elected members of the College Board.[6] The Education Officer and 3 Faculty Convenors are elected members of the University Council.[6]


Campaigns and Lobbying[edit]

The Union runs campaigns both internal and external of the College. Internal campaigns target students providing them with information on mental health or sexual health awareness.[2] External campaigns are part of larger lobbying efforts targeting the Irish Government over issues such as the re-introduction of third-level fees.[7] The Union also campaigns against decisions made by the College that are viewed as unfavourable to students.[8][9]

Trinity Ents[edit]

The Ents Officer is responsible for running social events for members of the Union on and off campus under the brand Trinity Ents. The events are designed to be affordable to cater to the Union's student members.

Trinity Ents is responsible for the annual Trinity Ball, Europe's largest private music party annually drawing 8,000 party-goers.[10] Until 2010, it was held annually on the last teaching day of Trinity term to celebrate the end of lectures and the beginning of Trinity Week. Due to a restructuring of the teaching terms of the College the Ball is now held on the last day of Trinity Week. It is a May Ball in the style of the Cambridge Colleges, with the emphasis on live music. The Ball is run in conjunction with Trinity's Central Societies Committee and event promoters MCD Productions, who hold the contract to run the Ball until 2012.[11] The Ball has hosted acts such as The Kooks, Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris, Mark Ronson, Justice, and Babyshambles and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.[12]

The University Times[edit]

A student newspaper, The University Times, (formerly The University Record and known as "Aontas" before 1997), which exists separate of the college's Publications Committee, is published every three weeks during term by the Students' Union.[13] Originally, the paper was edited by the Union's Communications Officer (or a delegate of their choice) with editorial independence from the Students' Union. As of the 2015/2016 academic year, the University Times Editor is a separately elected position, and the former Communications Officer is now known as the Communications and Marketing Officer. The University Times Editor is required to take an intermission of studies and receives their salary from the Union on a monthly basis, but is not considered to be an Officer of the Union, granting them editorial independence.[14]

The University Times won the Newspaper of the Year award at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 National Student Media Awards.[15][16]


TCDSU runs two shops in Trinity College. The shops are there to provide essential goods to students, including ethical trading products, and to boost the Union's income to fund other activities. The two shops are located in Mandela House and the Hamilton Building. A third shop was opened for a brief period in St. James's Hospital, but was shut due to poor business.

SU Café[edit]

Formerly known as the Junior Common Room (JCR) Café, this cafe and student space is run in Goldsmith Hall. The cafe is run by students and provides other students with meals for a cheap price or a place to eat their own food.


The Union's bookshop was located in Mandela House and provided students with cheap books, new and second-hand, academic and fiction. The shop was run by students. It held several book buying days a year, where students and others could come and sell their unwanted books. A catalogue of their stock was available to view online. The bookshop is now closed.[17]


Dust, Dublin University Student Travel, is a now defunct travel agency run by the Union, which helped students with obtaining J-1 and other similar visas.


Current Officers[edit]

Sabbatical Officers
Position Name
President Kevin Keane
Education Officer Alice MacPherson
Welfare Officer Damien McClean
Communications and Marketing Officer Úna Harty
Ents Officer Jonah Craig
Union Forum
Position Name
Faculty Convenor for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Colm O' Halloran
Faculty Convenor for Engineering, Mathematics and Science Paul Shanahan
Faculty Convenor for Health Sciences Ronan Doherty
Chair of Council Gillian Kiely
Secretary to Council Leah Keogh
International Students Officer Luiza Maddalozzo
LGBT+ Rights Officer Noah O'Brien
Mature Students Officer Carly Bailey
Officer for Students with Disabilities Laura Beston
Oifigeach na Gaeilge James Cotter
Student Parents Officer Casey O' Callaghan
Gender Equality Officer Áine Palmer
Sports and Exercise Convenor Aengus Officer
Access Officer Megan Atkinson
Environmental Officer Simon Benson
Ethnic Minorities Aghogho Atiyota
Citizenship Officer Stephen Sheil

Famous or Notable Former Officers[edit]

  • Joe Duffy - Former President and RTÉ broadcaster
  • Senator Ivana Bacik - Former President, Senator and Reid Professor of Law.
  • Robin Hanan - first Education Officer 1975/1976, CEO Irish Refugee Council 2007-2009, Seanad candidate 2011
  • Mark Little - Former President and RTÉ broadcaster
  • Averil Power - Former President and Education Officer, Irish Government advisor and Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Education [18]
  • Adrian Langan - Former President and former Chef-de-Cabinet for Pat Rabbitte during his tenure as Labour Party leader
  • Priya Nair - Former President, Managing Director at Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets
  • Sean Blanchfield - Former Education Officer and online gaming entrepreneur[19]

Former Sabbatical Officers[edit]

President and Vice-Presidents
Year President Education (Deputy President) Welfare Communications and Marketing Officer (prev. DepPres\Publicity) Ents
1977/80 Ian Wilson Paddy Smyth Brian Murray No position Paul Tipping
1979/80 Joe Duffy Liam Hayes Alex White No position Brian Dowling
1980/81 Eoin Scott Anne Gilliland Eamann Daly No position John Ralph
1981/82 Aine Lawlor No position
1998/99 Adrian Langan Eleanor Heffernan Áine O'Keeffe Barry Brophy Dec Forde
1999/00 Dave Tighe Sean Blanchfield Conor Power Colm Ó Mongáin Dec Forde
2000/01 Rory Hearne Averil Power Karen Griffin Joe Davitt Timmy Carthy
2001/02 Averil Power David Paul Memery Eimear Nic An Bhaird Tony O'Donnell Siobhan O'Dowd
2002/03 Will Priestley Ian Moynihan Annie Gatling Gareth Makim Robbie Smyth
2003/04 Annie Gatling Heledd Fychan Mike Miley Katie Dickson Kev Cahill
2004/05 Francis Kiernan Dáithí Mac Sithigh Luke Ryder Ruth Ní Éidhin Niall Morris
2005/06 John Mannion Dónal McCormack Stephanie Frances O'Brien Tom Dillon Niall Hughes
2006/07 David Quinn Robert Kearns Denise Keogh Simon Hall Barry Murphy
2007/08 Andrew Byrne Bartley Rock Úna Faulkner Claire Tighe Ed O'Riordan
2008/09 Cathal Reilly Hugh Sullivan Orlaith Foley Seamus Conboy Nicholas Longworth
2009/10 Cónán Ó Broin Ashley Cooke Cormac Cashman Robert Donohoe Mick Birmingham
2010/11 Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem Jen Fox Steph Fleming Tom Lowe Darragh Genockey
2011/12 Ryan Bartlett Rachel Barry Louisa Miller Ronan Costello Chris O'Connor
2012/13 Rory Dunne Dan Ferrick Aisling Ni Chonaire Owen Bennett David Whelan
2013/14 Tom Lenihan Jack Leahy Stephen Garry Leanna Byrne Seán Reynolds
2014/15 Domhnall McGlacken-Byrne Katie Byrne Ian Mooney Samuel Riggs Finn Murphy
2015/16 Lynn Ruane Molly Kenny Conor Clancy Aifric Ní Chríodáin Katie Cogan
2016/17 Kieran McNulty Dale Whelehan Aoibhinn Ní Lochlainn Glen Byrne Padraic Rowley


  1. ^ "Trinity College Dublin Student Numbers". Facts at your Fingertips. Trinity College Dublin. 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  2. ^ a b "TCDSU Explained". Trinity College Dublin Students' Union. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  3. ^ "USI's Constituent Organisations". Union of Students in Ireland. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Sabbatical Officers". Trinity College Dublin Students' Union. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  5. ^ "Elections and Referendums". Trinity College Dublin Students' Union. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  6. ^ a b "University and College Officers" (PDF). College Calendar, Part1. Trinity College Dublin. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  7. ^ Genevieve Carbery (2010-01-01). "University student charge a 'fee'". The Irish Times. 
  8. ^ Seán Flynn (2009-11-11). "Students at TCD campaign over cut in books budget". The Irish Times. 
  9. ^ "TCD students occupy library in protest over cuts". 
  10. ^ Paul Cullen (2010-04-04). "Old square hits Front Square". The Irish Times. By 11pm, only a fraction of the 8,000 ticketholders have filtered through the security checks. 
  11. ^ Conor Sneyd. "Havin’ such a good time, havin’ a Ball?". The University Times. Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. The contract with MCD for the running of the Ball is due to expire in 2012 
  12. ^ " events". Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  13. ^ "The University Times". Trinity College Dublin Students' Union. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Smedias 2010 - Winners List". Retrieved 2010-07-29.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ Genevieve Carbery (2010-04-04). "TCD paper takes prize". The Irish Times. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]