Originally published in Volume I, Issue 9 on 1st March 1995 by Dara O’Briain .
A member of the committee of the Commerce and Economics Society has resigned in protest at the use of the society’s name to promote a privately organised event. The Blind Date Ball, on February 14th, was organised by treasurer David Greaney who paid the society £125 for the use of the name, with claims from society members that he could have made in the region £2,000 from the venture.
Liam Barton, debates convener, resigned posting notice of resignation on the society board on Friday last. The only comment made by members of the committee was issue a statement, drawn up at the a meeting on Thursday last which stated that “sufficient consideration was not given to the sale of the society logo.” An apology was offered to “any aggrieved” members of the society.
Both treasure Greaney and auditor Mulcahy state that the society’s names has been sold before, most recently to then third year commerce student Dan Murray for last year’s Halloween Ball. According to both, £50 was the amount then paid.
The C&E logo appeared on 150 posters in the college. There were also lecture addresses to 1st and 2nd Commerce and a stand on the concourse. This work was done by Greaney and friends of his on the committee, including Paddy Lennon and Cathal Kenny, who were working on the door at the event. The use of the name was sanctioned by auditor Elaine Mulcahy.
The source who informed the Observer of the sale describes himself as “an ordinary member of the C&E,” said that the C&E “shouldn’t be used as a platform for personal gain.” Dave Greaney, was adamant, however that the disco had always been a private venture and one into which he had invested £1,000, he said that C&E’s names had been inactive due to academic pressure on the committee, would have and event to their credit. Our source stated that 700 tickets were sold at a price of £4, and Lennon and Kenny were said to have been paid £250 for their work. Lennon is 2nd Commerce rep. on the committee. Both these figures were confirmed at the of going to press by auditor Elaine Mulcahy.
Mulcahy was absent until Thursday evening attending interviews in London. A committee meeting was held on Friday, a meeting which Mulcahy described as “heated”. Both she and Greaney have now expressed regrets over their actions. Greaney said that 250 posters were also put in other colleges, and that 400 people were turned away on the night. He said that the complaints were “begrudgery and political opportunism” as he was intending to run for auditor himself. He has since retired from the auditorial race, as has Barton, stating that his resignation was not connected to his candidacy.
Mulcahy has said that her actions were “in hindsight, ver rash” but that she genuinely felt that it was a no loss situation for the society which was short of money at the time. She said that she would have resigned if the committee had asked her to, but that no such request had been made. She also made it clear that she never attended the disco, not regarding it as a full C&E event. The majority of the committee are said to have accepted tickets from Greaney to the event.
After this meeting, a notice was posted with committee members Bill Gleeson and John Curtis as proposer and seconder of an amendment to the constitution that no member of the society or the committee be “permitted to franchise out the name and/or logo of the society” for activities “outside the auspices of the society.” The committee have now presented a unified public face on the matter, but the society may yet face investigation on the matter from authorities in the Forum.