Following a majority ‘Re-open Nominations’ vote prevailing in the UCD Students’ Union executive elections, the upcoming By-Elections are seeing significantly more contested races and candidates on the ballot. Previously empty, the Irish Language Officer role now has one candidate on the ballot, Shane Mac Amhlaoibh, a third year Law with Irish student and the current Auditor of An Cumann Gaelach.

Below is the College Tribune’s interview with McAuley.

1. Why are you running for the role of Irish Language Officer in the By-Elections? 

I’m running for the role because I understand the role and what it entails, and I feel I will be a strong candidate for the position. I personally know the last three Irish Language Officers and worked alongside them on the committee of An Cumann Gaelach so I certainly feel I know what it takes. I know that I have the skills and experience to not only fill the role but to ensure this year’s progress is continued and built upon. The role is an important one for Irish both within the Union and on campus and it deserves to not only be filled, but to be taken seriously.

2. What made you want to run in the By-Elections?

I have seen the great work that the Union under Ruairí has done this year and by Louise particularly as Irish Language Officer and so I was inspired to do my bit and see their work into fruition. Especially in light of recent events with the Union it is now more important than ever for people to get involved and take responsibility in their campus and in their Union. I believe that this year has been a strong one for Irish on campus and I know many great people in the Cumann and Gaeltacht UCD and I want to work alongside them next year to create an even stronger one.

3. Do you think UCD promotes the Irish language enough? 

While UCD is stronger on the promotion of Irish compared to some universities in Ireland (which are actively hostile to the language), it is certainly not as strong as other universities and there is much more that UCD could do to promote the language. For a start, much of the signage on campus is either incorrectly translated or lacks the Irish version at all. Furthermore, greater effort could be made to facilitate the use of Irish on campus and to make people aware of the ways that already exist in which they can use and promote the language.

4. What is the strongest part about your manifesto, in your own opinion?

While I am satisfied that my manifesto is well balanced, I am particularly excited to work on the efforts to translate the media of the Union into Irish. The credit for this development must go to this year’s team who have set the wheels in motion, but having been in contact with the Union during the year on this proposal and I am keen to apply pressure on the next team to see this endeavour is carried through.

5. What skills do you think you have that will transpose well into the role of Irish Language  Officer? 

I am well organised and diligent and have worked tirelessly over the last three years to promote the language on campus. As a law with Irish student I have a particular interest in language rights and translation of Irish, information I hope to bring to bear in the role. I have a lot of experience in the organisation of events, contacting Irish language bodies, collaboration with the Irish groups on campus and much more that I can bring to the role.

6. Could you please provide a short, roughly 75-word bio and summary of the main parts of your manifesto.

Hello, I’m Shane and I’m a third year law w/Irish student from county Meath. I’ve spent 3 years on the committee of An Cumann Gaelach, I was auditor of the society this year and I am also a Teach na Gaeilge scholar. Therefore, I have lots of experience with Irish in UCD and with organising events. I want to promote Irish within the Union, on campus and in the student life, so vote for me and vote ar son na Gaeilge!

The main points of my manifesto:

Gaeilge in the Union:

To continue the work completed this year on translating the Union’s constitution and producing Union media bilingually.

Gaeilge on campus:

To make efforts to allow the use of Irish with campus staff and making sure signs are bilingual. Using the social media account of the officer to share useful information on language rights and promotion of Irish.

Gaeilge in student life:

Working closely with An Cumann Gaelach and Teach na Gaeilge and organising another successful Seachtain na Gaeilge.

Mahnoor Choudhry – Co-Editor