The Trinity Student Union elections concluded last night and successful candidates were chosen to represent the student body for the next 12 months.
Controversy arose earlier in the week when allegations of sexual harassment were made against the favourite candidate in the presidential race, Sean Ryan. The allegations were reported by a number of student newspapers and appeared on social media.
Ryan denies any allegations made against him, and in a post on Facebook announced his withdrawal from the race:
The full statement reads:
I, Sean Ryan, am announcing, with immediate effect, my resignation from the race to be TCDSU President. I reject the allegations of sexual harassment against me. This afternoon, I met with Junior Dean, Tim Trimble, and discussed the charges made against me. I am very happy to comply with the relevant procedures. I remain confident that I will be able to fully clear my name of any charges of sexual harassment
I nevertheless want to apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by my remarks as published in student publications. I do now understand that certain language I used in the past was inappropriate and has fallen short of what is expected of a tcdsu President and what I expect of myself. It was never my intention to cause hurt or offence to anyone. Regarding the racial slur quoted in the article, this was totally and utterly reprehensible and not representative of my views of members of the black community. Again, I deeply and sincerely apologise to anyone who this comment hurt.
**I deeply and sincerely apologise to anyone to whom my previous comments have caused hurt or distress.**
I am extremely disappointed with the way such serious allegations against me have been published. I feel there was a severe lack of fair procedure and any kind of journalistic ethics. I hope this emerges more fully over the coming days.
I would like to sincerely apologise to my campaign team for the way this has ended. Many people have believed in me and worked tirelessly to help me. I know they are totally shocked and dismayed by these allegations and by my words. I cannot thank you enough for your support and your belief in me. I am so sorry for the upset this has caused to campaigners who I know are personally devastated by these events. I owe each and every one of you a personal apology and a debt of gratitude. The situation that has led me to resign is my doing and mine alone.
The campaign has been difficult but I am glad that I have been able to outline my vision for a better students’ union. I wish all of its students and the other candidates the best of luck in the future.
Ryan was one of four candidates running for the the role of President of TCDSU and, according to a poll conducted by Trinity News several days ago, was the favourite for the presidency, with approximately 37% of first preference votes forecast to go his way. However, with Ryan out of the race, rival Shane De Rís was elected President of the Student Union on the third count. An increase of 20% of votes was cast in this years election.
We will keep you updated on any developments to this story.