University College Dublin nominates anti-abortion activist as SU President
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Two days after women marched against the anti-abortion laws in Ireland, anti-abortion activist Kate Ascough was elected as president of University College Dublin’s student union. The third year science student won with 46% of the votes in what was a four-way race for the top position. In her acceptance speech, Kate claimed that she would be a union president for all students: “They put the person who they believe will do the best job as UCD SU President first. I am so proud. I will represent all students.” The new head of the SU was happy that people were able to see passed her views, something she is not willing to compromise on. “I would hope that students would not expect me to throw my beliefs away at the door. That is untrue to who I am, and what I believe.” Kate Ascough is the daughter of Tom Ascough, who sits on the board of directors for the Iona Institute and plays a role in youth evangelisation programmes. Kate herself has made a number of high-profile media appearances advocating her staunch pro-life views. The new elect also writes a youth column for the monthly Catholic magazine, Alive! Despite this, Ms. Ascough states that she will respect the SU’s pro-choice mandate and act in accordance with it within her role. “Wherever my position as official spokesperson of the union, I can say that in line with that and in line with what we communicate, I will not be crossing the line and doing stuff that is going to compromise my relationship with the SU team or my role as President.” Kate states that she is torn over whether she will attend a march seeking the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution as Student Union President. She says this is something she is will be debating. “I came to UCD with opinions that might not be the norm . . . There’s so many different issues where we could, and we do disagree, and that’s perfectly healthy.” Lead image by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo.