Welfare: Harkin on lowering doctors fees, STI checks and combatting fines on campus

Domhnaill Harkin is a final year law student from Donegal. He has been heavily involved in youth representation form an early age through his role as head boy in his school. Upon moving to Dublin then, Domhnaill became involved in SpunOut.ie’s action panel and since then, has been actively involved in most of their major projects and campaigns.


He believes that his connections with SpunOut.ie will prove beneficial to him in his role as Welfare Officer, particularly when it comes to organising mental health campaigns.


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“We have a really small and hardworking mental health service here which is being cut all the time and I think … with my contacts in Spunout, mindfulness and stress relief classes can help [students]”.


One of the major aspects of his campaign is his promise to lower the doctor’s fee in the Health Centre to 10euro. He believes that this is a realistic expectation and will lobby for a drop in price.


“The Health Centre never makes money, it never made money and it’s not going to make money. It’s there to provide a service for students and 20euro for a student is a lot”.


“I really think that if enough pressure can be put on by the SU, we can bring it down”.


When asked by The College View if this would see an increased demand for the Health Service, Domhnaill says that wouldn’t be a major problem.


“It would increase demand but is that a bad thing? If you’re sick, you need to go to a doctor … It’s something we need to work with”.


Domhnaill also hopes to increase sexual health services and aims to bring in free regular STI testing, maybe twice a semester, for students who need to avail of the service.


“Having STI tests a regular thing would be very beneficial. Some night sya that’s money again but I’d say that’s money well spent”.


Another area which he’d like to tackle is that of accommodation. He plans to work alongside Campus Residences with the aim of introducing an appeals system for fines.


“People are being fined for ridiculous things like 20euro for posters on the walls … that’s ridiculous” he says.


He agrees that most fines are reasonable but adds that “Campus Residences are there to provide a service and the rights of students need to be respected as well”.


“Just because they’re students doesn’t mean they can be walked over”.


Domhnaill is running a joint campaign alongside a friend of his, Timmy Crowe who is running for the role of SU President. He says the pair of them were hesitant to run in this years elections.


“I actually didn’t want to go for the SU because I felt intimidated by it. I felt like I wasn’t involved very much in societies … which is a big disadvantage”.


“Timmy’s a lot like me … he was intimidated by it too”, he says. “Timmy’s really into health and fitness and that’s something both of us can really improve on”.


Sharron Lynskey

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