Nov 8, 2021

Students to Vote on Irish Times Boycott From November 24th to 26th

The boycott constitutes a long-term union policy, so must be passed by a referendum.

Emer MoreauEditor
Alex Connolly for The University Times

A vote to decide whether Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) will boycott the Irish Times will take place from November 24th to 26th.

The referendum was triggered when TCDSU council voted to boycott the newspaper and its subsidiaries last month over its “anti-trans ethos”. Boycotts constitute long-term union policy, which must be enacted by referendum.

The vote will take place alongside another referendum to lobby Trinity to divest from arms and weapons manufacturers, which was also triggered at the last meeting of council.


If the referendum to boycott the Irish Times is passed, the paper will not be sold in TCDSU shops and the union will refuse “advertisement from and printing by the Irish Times media conglomerate”. TCDSU sabbatical officers will also decline media requests from the Irish Times.

Speaking at council, TCDSU LGBT+ Rights Officer Jenny Maguire said that the Irish Times has “been platforming an anti-transgender ethos” by publishing articles and letters to the editor which are “simply transphobic and rife with scaremongering”.

Such articles, Maguire said, seek to prevent transgender people from “living life free of persecution”.

She implored council to “support trans writers” by boycotting the paper.

Officer for Students with a Disability Chloe Staunton said she did not think it was fair that TCDSU had “something like the T fund” for students who are transitioning, while “supporting a newspaper that is putting out pieces like this that are so discriminatory”.

“It’s not a welcoming place for students if we still have things like this that we are supporting.”

Yannick Gloster, the student representative on Trinity’s undergraduate studies committee, said that ShoutOut and the Transgender Equality Network Ireland were not joining the boycott. Maguire said she had been unaware of this.

The boycott, spearheaded by the Trans Writers Union, demands that the Irish Times withdraw and apologise for an op-ed it published over the summer questioning a total ban on conversion therapy.

The union has called for the Irish Times to take practical, committed steps to adopting a trans-inclusive editorial line.

The motion stated: “Council notes that an anti-trans editorial stance does not serve in the interest of debate, or journalistic balance, but only seeks to harm transgender individuals because of nothing more than their existence.”

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