Newly elected UCD SU President under fire for social media activity

A male candidate has been elected UCD SU President despite concerns over his activity in a Facebook group objectifying women.

Marcus O’Halloran liked various posts on a group page titled “Girls I’d shift if I was tipsy”. The most recent post he liked was of a mixed race couple kissing in a nightclub. The caption read “bitta cross breeding going on here” with two emojis depicting one Caucasian person and one person of colour in a turban.

UCD publication, The University Observer, ran the story of O’Halloran’s membership of the group, which has since been deleted.

The president elect issued a statement of apology, claiming he never wished to offend and that membership of the group was not representative of his views on women’s rights or gender equality.

The story was met with mixed reaction. While some students found the page derogatory others condemned its discussion as petty tactics by political competitors.

Former SU Welfare Officer Cian Dowling referred to the story as an attempt by a “rat candidate” to “tank a competitor’s election, hiding behind the pretence of equality”.

Valerie Tierney, a third year UCD student found O’Halloran’s participation in such a group highly offensive and asked “Is this the person you really want to trust with your problems and issues for the forthcoming academic term?”

Marcus O’Halloran released his statement on the issue but was unavailable to comment further since his election.

Aoife Geary

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