Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) presidential candidate Leah Keogh yesterday received a minor strike from the Electoral Commission (EC), adding to a previous major strike picked up before campaigning began.
In an email statement to The University Times, Chair of the EC Yannick Gloster said that Keogh would not be allowed to campaign for two hours during the campaign period “effective immediately”.
“Keogh’s campaign manager requested permission for the candidate to speak at a Law Soc charity event on Thursday, March 4th, which is permitted”, he said. “Keogh’s campaign manager did not disclose to the EC that she is also the Social Secretary of Law Soc.”
“A video of the candidate at the event was posted to the LawSoc Instagram shortly afterwards, where Keogh, while wearing her campaign t-shirt, promoted both herself as a candidate and spoke to her work for mental health awareness.”
“This video was removed shortly at the request of the EC. Based off of this, the EC has awarded this strike to the candidate for breaching Schedule 3 – 2.5.a.v. in posting in groups such as class groups or society groups is forbidden and in conjunction with 2.8.b which deems the Candidates Campaign area as their official social media and was determined by the EC to be the candidates’ official online social media pages, prior to the election.”
In a statement to The University Times, Keogh said that while the campaign accepted the strike, “we do not agree with it”.
“Candidates were briefed that ‘societies are not permitted to reshare content…’, and so, because the content was original, was not campaign content and the Mental Health event was approved by the EC, we saw no issues.”
“Myself and my team have gone out of our way to run a clean campaign and I’d like to commend them for their stellar work so far. We will keep pushing, and do not regret the event that raised money for the wonderful Tribe Charity”, she added.
Keogh, the incumbent welfare officer, received a major strike before campaigning after a member of her team accidentally published her campaign page last Friday, breaching regulations by campaigning early. The page notified 295 people and was live for eight hours before being taken down.
Both a major and minor strike were handed out to fellow presidential candidate Cummins on Monday resulting in a ban on campaigning on social media on Tuesday March 2nd.
Schedule three, which lays out the rules of the election, states: “If a candidate receives more than 3 minor strikes they will be struck off the ballot.”
“Similarly, if a candidate receives two major strikes a decision will be made at the discretion of the EC as to whether they will remain on the ballot.”
Candidates will face into the equality hustings this evening at 6pm.