After less than an hour and a half of counting, Thomas Monaghan and Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich have been elected to the roles of Entertainments Officer and Irish Language Officer, respectively for the new academic year 2019/2020.
Voting in the by-election took place on Wednesday and Thursday 25th/26th April across the Belfield and Blackrock campuses to fill the vacant positions. Out of only 945 total votes, Monaghan received 517 votes, representing 54.83%, while his opponent, former Arts, Humanities and Social Science College Officer, Sophie Sheridan-Burns gained at total of 399 votes. After the final votes had been called, Sophie Sheridan Burns announced that she’s “not going anywhere, and [she] plans on running for the Ents forum,” noting that she has learnt from this experience.
Notably, Monaghan’s biggest win was in the Arts (day) building, where he gained 120 votes in total, but lost that building to Sheridan-Burns who gained 143 votes. Sheridan-Burns also beat Monaghan in the Science building, 72 votes to his 56, with both buildings playing the deciding factor among races in previous years.
In his acceptance speech, Monaghan thanked his campaign team, his girlfriend Sarah, the SU and returning office, and the staff of the Clubhouse and commended Sophie for “putting up one hell of an election, and if it had gone the other way, I’d be absolutely happy out that she would be next year’s Ents Officer. I really do hope that she runs for the Ents forum, I think she’d be fantastic.” With Monaghan’s election, there are now an equal number of male and female sabbatical officers in the new year.
The sole candidate in the Irish Language Officer race, Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich was elected with 855 votes across all faculty buildings. Arts (day) was the highest turnout for Nic Fhionnlaoich, representing 29.4% of her total at 252 votes. Nic Fhionnlaoich spoke after the count and expressed hopefulness working with both Thomas and Sophie and the Union next year.