Liam Coyle's campaign suspended for 2 weeks

Image Credit: UCDSU

The suspension prevents Coyle and his team from posting on campaign social media.

Returning Officer Stephen Crosby in a press release stated: "In response to serious breaches of election regulations, the UCDSU Returning Office has decided to implement a campaign ban on presidential candidate Liam Coyle's campaign from 9:00am March 5th to 9:00 am March 19th. During this time Coyle and his campaign team are forbidden from posting via his campaign social media pages/accounts, including sharing these pages for the purposes of growing followers. The ability to appeal this decision to the Independent Appeals and Disciplinary Board of UCDSU has been made available to Coyle."

Coyle had previously sent an email advertising his candidacy through his UCDSU email address, a violation of campaign rules against using current positions in UCDSU, as well as clubs or societies, to promote a candidacy. At UCDSU council on March 1st, Coyle apologised for the breach. At the time, it was understood that a follow up email was to be sent through the same address advertising all other candidates, to "level the playing field".

UPDATE 5/03/2021:

In response to a follow up question sent by the University Observer, the UCDSU returning office has stated: "This additional penalty comes as a result of the Returning Office being made aware that approximately half of the students emailed by Coyle had their information scraped from a campaigning list regarding the current Smurfit postgraduate fee compensation campaign, which was not compiled by UCDSU. Following consultation with the Chief Returning Officer, it was decided that this misuse of data which was not controlled by UCDSU or UCD warranted a further penalty given that Coyle (and by extension UCDSU) were given access to this data by Smurfit-based campaigners to aid their goals, not to individually contact students in order to benefit themselves."

Liam Coyle has been contacted for comment on this story, and this article will be updated upon his reply.