After three counts and a recount, Paddy Guiney was elected incoming Campaigns and Communications Vice-President. He defeated closest opponent James Atkinson by a total of 92 votes.

Atkinson initially led the race by a slim margin but Guiney edged in front after strong showings in Arts and Science. Guiney commented that he was “cautiously optimistic”.

RON was eliminated in the first count while Karl Gill (total 596) and Aisling Sheerin (total 680) followed after the second.

Gill stated that “I enjoyed getting around the college … talking to the people … seeing what kind of Union they want”. He thanked all of his supporters and that he hoped the elected C&C Officer would campaign for the rights of student nurses and student teachers; as well as continue working on a ‘free fees’ campaign.

Sheerin left the count before the announcement and was unable to comment. She later posted on Facebook that “I do not regret getting involved … I feel I have only gained from the experience. … I truly believe that if I didn’t win then it wasn’t meant to be!”

Atkinson gained 356 votes after transfers bringing him to 1,861 while Guiney received just 342. This was not enough for him to surpass Guiney’s total of 1,931.

Guiney was declared incoming Campaigns and Communications Officer but as just 90 votes separated the two, Atkinson called a recount.

Returning Officer Morgan Shelly allowed the two candidates to address the crowd before the recount began. Defeated candidate Atkinson stated that Guiney had run an “amazing campaign and [he] never gave up”. He thanked his own team saying that their support was “humbling”. Atkinson told the crowd that as it was “incredibly tight” he would be calling a recount.

A visibly shaken Guiney said that he “didn’t really know where to start”. He addressed his campaign team, “the amount of work you have put in … I will never ever forget that”, and thanked his campaign manager Roisin, believing “[she was] the best out of any team”. He stated that he enjoyed every second of his campaign.

It was later announced that evening that the recount led to a difference of 92 votes as Atkinson’s total fell to 1,859. Paddy Guiney was officially deemed elected Campaigns and Communications Vice-President for the coming year, beginning July 1st.

Conor Fox