A Facebook campaign initiated in the wake of the recent student protest against fees is calling on USI President Gary Redmond to resign.
The description for the ‘Gary Redmond must resign’ group says: “Gary Redmond we believe is a member of Fianna Fáil. If he is, by default Gary endorses every single attack that Fianna Fail have launched on the ordinary people of this country, including, and especially, all of the cuts across the whole of the education sector.”
The description goes on to say: “He is not worthy of the office he holds as President of the Union of the Irish student body. He should be defending us against police and state brutality, whether it comes in the form of a baton or policy.”
The University Observer asked to Redmond for his reaction to the campaign: “To be honest, I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to comments about myself on social media; obviously National Council is what decides the future of USI and its officers, and certainly not a single students’ union has been in touch with USI with anything other than praise about how professionally run the march was.”
Redmond dismissed the resignation calls and expressed his belief that the campaign was to have little or no impact on his position: “If there is a Facebook of just over 100 people – a tiny minority of members of the union, if indeed they are members and obviously everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but certainly USI is guided by National Council and ultimately Congress.”
The group provides a link to a recent article published in Phoenix magazine that, it claims, exposes Redmond “for the right wing careerist that he is”.
Redmond declined to remark on accusations made by the group that he is “right-wing” and unworthy of his position as President of the USI: “I’m not going to be get into a discussion on what’s happening on Facebook; I think that my job here is to protect students from cuts in the budget and that’s certainly what myself, my officer board and students’ unions across the country will be focusing on.”
Moderators of the group were not available for comment at the time of publication.