A member of the ‘Fight4Katie’ campaign team has contacted the University Observer to express their dissatisfaction with the running of the Vote No campaign.
The team member has stated that they find it “extremely worrying” that a member of the Ascough family and “other pro-lifers external to the University” are involved in the campaign.
WhatsApp conversations seen by the University Observer show members of Ascough’s family involved in organising the campaign. Also seen was discussion of the effectiveness of the bullying narrative.
The University Observer has previously reported that at least 3 of the 36 members in the private Facebook group, ‘#Fight4Katie – Vote No!,’ have never been associated with UCD.
Members of the WhatsApp group discussed how feedback from the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis was positive for Ascough’s ability to win the referendum. One member talked about the effectiveness of campaign tactics such as the timing of releasing Ascough’s open letter and the legal advice she received.
In the same message, the group member says “the bullying line is good according to them.”
This may suggest that the group’s use of the “bullying line” as little more than a campaign tactic.
The source continued to express their concern that “events billed as public are being withheld from the media such as university papers to avoid scrutiny.” Recently the University Observer and the College Tribune were barred from a campaign event which was advertised as public on Facebook.
Additionally, the University Observer viewed messages where the ‘Fight4Katie’ campaign explicitly discuss not advertising an event on Facebook in case campus media arrive at the event.
Ms Ascough did not respond to requests for comments at the time of publishing.