Student president Katie Ascough issues open letter to UCD students as impeachment vote held

Student president Katie Ascough issues open letter to UCD students as impeachment vote held

The president of the UCD Student Union has urged students to vote no to her impeachment, writes Cillian Sherlock.

Katie Ascough has issued an open letter and video address to students asking them to vote no in the referendum.

The second day of voting is underway today with the final ballot box closing at 8pm.

The vote was prompted after information regarding access to abortion was removed from a student guide. Campaigners for Ascough's impeachment have said the removal of the content was against Ascough's election promises.

UCD is a pro-choice campus and supports the Repeal the 8th campaign.

Ms Ascough, who is openly pro-life, said she took out the information from the student handbook following legal advice.

"Is it fair to demand that I break the law? I ran on a platform of things like cutting the cost of college and improving mental health supports. I did not agree to break the law and run the risk of a criminal record for the rest of my life," she said.

She claims the impeachment campaign is due to her pro-life views. Those urging her impeachment deny this, and say it was her manner of handling the issue that led to the vote.

Ascough also denies that she tried to force thorugh a decrease the budget for an Eighth Amendment Repeal campaign.

As to the legal advice that she said led her to remove the abortion-referrals information from the student handbook, Ascough has made it publicly available (see below).

"Risking up to €4,000 in fines each and permanent, personal criminal convictions for the staff, officers, and volunteers of UCDSU was not something I could stand over," she said.

In an open letter to students, Ascough denies several other claims made against her including that she warned an officer not to recruit representatives interested in repealing the Eighth Amendment.

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