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#USI18 Election results

At USI Congress, held last week in the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe (Co. Galway), the Officer Board for next year’s Union of Students in Ireland Officer Board (USI OB) were elected. Delegations, formed of incoming & outgoing SU officers and class reps, would vote on behalf of their student bodies, with some delegations being mandated in advance. Only two UCC students, Rachel Sherlock and Anna Heverin, contested the elections, though neither received the mandated votes of their alma mater.

The candidates for the USI Officer Board were as follows:

  • President
    • Síona Cahill, Deputy President and VP for Equality & Citizenship – USI Officer Board
  • VP for Academic Affairs
    • Oisín Hassan, VP for Academic Affairs – USI Officer Board
  • VP for Campaigns
    • Michelle Byrne, VP for Southern Region – USI Officer Board
  • VP for Welfare
    • Jessica Elder, Welfare Officer – Queen’s University Belfast SU
    • Damian McClean, Welfare Officer – Trinity College Dublin SU
    • Niamh Murtagh, VP for Welfare – USI Officer Board
    • Rachel Sherlock – University College Cork
  • VP for Equality & Citizenship
    • Aisling Cusack, VP for the Dublin Region – USI Officer Board
    • Anna Heverin, Societies Executive President – UCC Students’ Union
  • LU don Ghaeilge
    • Aoife Deasy, President – Saint Angela’s College Sligo SU
  • VP for the Southern Region
    • Adam Clarke, President – Carlow College SU
    • Philip Desmond, President – Limerick Institute of Technology SU
    • Lorna Fitzpatrick, President – Institute of Technology Carlow SU
  • VP for the Border, Midlands and Western Region (BMW)
    • Barry Clohessy, President – Institute of Technology Sligo SU
    • Robert O’Donnell, Societies Senator – Maynooth University SU
  • VP for the Dublin Region
    • Kayla Gaffney – Dublin City University
    • Colm O’Halloran, Faculty Convenor for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Trinity College Dublin SU

As with UCC SU elections, RON (Re-Open Nominations) is a candidate in all elections. This is only the second year the position of VP for the Dublin Region will be voted in, and 2018/19 will be the first year the position of LU don Ghaeilge will be paid.

Delegations are assigned a number of votes based on the student population of their University/College. The UCC Students’ Union delegation, lead by current Deputy President & Campaigns Officer Seán Ó Riabhaigh, was mandated to vote for the following candidates at the last meeting of UCC Student Council:

  • President – Síona Cahill (USI OB – Equality & Citizenship, Maynooth University)
  • VP for Academic Affairs – Oisín Hassan  (USI OB – Academic Affairs, Queens’ University Belfast)
  • VP for Campaigns – Michelle Byrne (USI OB – Southern Region, Waterford Institute of Technology)
  • VP for Welfare – Damien McClean (Trinity College Dublin SU)
  • VP for Equality & Citizenship – Aisling Cusack (USI OB – Dublin Region, Institute of Technology Tallaght)
  • LU don Ghaeilge – Aoife Deasy (St. Angela’s College Sligo)
  • VP for Southern Region – Lorna Fitzpatrick (Institute of Technology Carlow)

As UCC is in the Southern Region, they do not vote in the elections of VP for BMW nor VP for Dublin elections.

University College Cork has, approximately, 22,000 students attending, which means it holds a substantial amount of votes in the elections. Having not secured the votes of their own University, Sherlock and Heverin would be fighting an uphill battle to be successfully elected.

It was not to be for the UCC pair, as the odds against them were just too great to be able to succeed. RON was unable to claim a scalp, despite the relatively high amount of unopposed elections. The results, as tweeted by the Returning Officer, are as follows:


Total Valid Poll – 218
Quota – 110

Cahill, Síona – 208
RON – 10

Síona Cahill elected.


VP for Academic Affairs

Total Valid Poll – 219
Quota – 110

Hassan, Oisín – 214
RON – 5

Oisín Hassan elected.


VP for Campaigns

Total Valid Poll – 218
Quota – 110

Byrne, Michelle – 210
RON – 8

Michelle Byrne elected.


VP for Welfare

Total Valid Poll – 219
Quota – 110

(Second Count)
McClean, Damien – 122
Murtagh, Niamh – 78
Sherlock, Rachel – (Elim. -43)
RON – (Elim. -3)

Non-transferable votes – 19

Damien McClean elected.


VP for Equality & Citizenship

Total Valid Poll – 219
Quota – 110

Cusack, Aisling – 187
Heverin, Anna – 30

Aisling Cusack elected.


LU don Ghaeilge

Total Valid Poll – 219
Quota – 110

Deasy, Aoife – 218
RON – 1

Aoife Deasy elected.


VP for the Southern Region

Total Valid Poll – 60
Quota – 31

Clarke, Adam – 5
Desmond, Philip – 14
Fitzpatrick, Lorna – 41
RON – Nil

Lorna Fitzpatrick elected.


VP for the Border, Midlands and Western Region

Total Valid Poll – 65
Quota – 33

Clohessy, Barry – 53
O’Donnell, Robert – 11
RON – 1

Barry Clohessy elected.


VP for the Dublin Region

Total Valid Poll – 77
Quota – 39

Gaffney, Kayla – 31
O’Halloran, Colm – 43
RON – 3

Colm O’Halloran elected.


USI Officer Board for 2018/19 is as follows: Síona Cahill (President), Oisín Hassan (VP for Academic Affairs), Michelle Byrne (VP for Campaigns), Damien McClean (VP for Welfare), Aisling Cusack (VP for Equality & Citizenship), Aoife Deasy (LU don Ghaeilge), Lorna Fitzpatrick (VP South), Barry Clohessy (VP BMW), Colm O’Halloran (VP Dublin).