Sunday 22 October 2017

New impeachment effort in abortion dispute at UCD

Katie Ascough: took an ‘executive decision' 'after receiving legal advice'
Katie Ascough: took an ‘executive decision' 'after receiving legal advice'
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A second petition to impeach the UCD students' union president Katie Ascough has been accepted.

Just weeks into her presidential term, Ms Ascough was criticised after withdrawing information over access to abortion services in a magazine circulated to new students.

Ms Ascough said she had taken an "executive decision" to redact the information after receiving legal advice that the abortion information was illegal in Ireland, despite the fact that it had previously been available in UCD.

The information in the 'Winging It' magazine that was removed included pregnancy help websites, the prices of abortion in other countries and information on abortion pills. While it is lawful to provide information about abortions abroad, this is subject to strict conditions.

Earlier this month, returning officer Stephen Devine rejected the first petition as he was concerned with its validity.

Over 1,620 students signed the petition calling for Ms Ascough to be impeached.

But a second petition was handed in on Monday evening, with 1,200 signatures. Mr Devine accepted the petition and an impeachment referendum will take place on October 25 and 26.

Ms Ascough will take leave until the referendum is called.

Irish Independent

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