UCC’s Student Union president, Alan Hayes, has confirmed that the man who called Cork’s 96fm Opinion Line radio show on Friday February 15th was not, in fact, him despite claiming to be.
Hayes clarified the situation in a tweet sent from the @UCCSUPresident account. He noted that that the caller ‘He passed inaccurate remarks about the UCC Student Union and made people question if we really cared about our students and local residents”. He ended the tweet with #FakePresident.
Just to clarify that the man on @Corks96FM on Friday February 15th who portrayed himself as Alan Hayes from UCC Students’ Union was not me. He passed inaccurate remarks about @UCCSU and made people question if we really cared about our students and local residents #FakePresident
— Alan Hayes- SU (@UCCSUPresident) February 16, 2019
The caller, who’s voice is clearly distinguishable to that of Hayes, commented on a story from a previous caller, in which an elderly woman in her eighties walking to the Centra by Cissie Youngs had the hat she was wearing taken off her head and thrown in the air by a group of male students. Hayes’s impersonator said “To be fair, there’s nobody saying these guys are students or that they’re actually going to college in Cork. These days we get a lot of students travelling in from Limerick and around the country but everyone gets tarnished by the one brush”.
He also noted that residents should “know it’s par for the course this time of year. College is the time when we get out our boisterous behaviour and get ready for the working world”. When asked by the shows host, PJ Coogan, whether more should be done by the SU to warn students to behave during R.A.G. week, the impersonator said “If we look at any casual Saturday all this stuff goes unreported, but just because we’re students we’re painted as mischievous and airing on the side of criminal behaviour”. He also questioned, “Where are all the comments about the non-students events?”.
When confronted by the host with the fact that the amount of calls about anti-social behaviour increases during RAG week, even when RAG week was moved, the caller seems to blame it on the fact that “Students are a soft target”. He raised parallels between UCC’s RAG week and the impact on the local community of Kinsale during the Kinsale 7’s rugby tournament, or the area around Cork’s marquee during their summer concerts.
The impersonators call, and his brief appearance on air, sparked a lot of anger from listeners, with many texting the show itself. One such listener texted in following ‘Alans’ appearance saying “Is this guy for real? How can this guy be president of any organisation and not admit that rolling on bonnets and taking hats off old elderly people is wrong, deflecting from his own inability to control the people he represents and by saying ‘sure this happens in town all the time’”.
Alan Hayes himself was on air five minutes later to dismiss the impersonator’s statements and clarify the SU’s stance on RAG week. In a statement to the University Express, Hayes notes “I was glad to get back on air five minutes later to clarify things, but I’m still worried about the people who didn’t get a chance to hear me respond”.
The interview with both the impersonators and Alan can be listened to below. It begins on the 46-minute mark.