Removal of UCD students’ union president


Sir, – I was utterly astonished to watch the unfolding removal of the UCD students’ union president by its own members. That a third-level institution would be the setting for such a spectacle of narrow-mindedness makes it even worse.

Katie Ascough was guilty of having the wrong opinion and it was deemed intolerable that she should articulate her views. Is there no space for differing perspectives and opinions? Where is freedom of thought and expression?

Ms Ascough’s has paid a high price for being in the wrong camp; she met with the muted rage of those who were intent on removing the mouthpiece for a different view to theirs.

You can have your opinion it seems – as long as it is in line with the angry mob. – Yours, etc,


Cloghroe, Co Cork.

Sir, – Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan refers to the Council of Europe’s European Convention on Human Rights in his defence of the Eighth Amendment (“Bishop expresses support for ex-UCD SU president Katie Ascough”, October 31st).

Both the Council of Europe and the United Nations Human Rights Committee have in fact called on Ireland to decriminalise abortion and provide a safe abortion service for women in Ireland. – Yours, etc,



Specialist Registrar in

Obstetrics and Gynaecology,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – It is now very common practice, even by supposedly well-educated members of the news media, to use the term “impeachment” as meaning removal from office. The most immediate example is the case of Katie Ascough from her role in UCD students’ union.

To impeach somebody means to accuse an office-holder of some offence in office and to commit him or her to some further process which will decide if he or she should be removed from office.

Thus two US presidents – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – were impeached by the House of Representatives but remained in office after their subsequent acquittals by the Senate. – Yours, etc,


Raheny, Dublin 5.