UCD Law Society Auditor Francis Mc Namara has described his behaviour as “arrogant and reckless” when questioned by the University Observer regarding the controversy which led to the resignation of nine members of the Law Society committee last week.
In an email sent to a member of the Lawsoc committee on January 15th, Mc Namara expressed his preference for that member as his successor as Lawsoc Auditor, as well as stating which other committee member he would prefer either as Vice Auditor or Treasurer; “In my opinion, the optimum result for next year would be you as Auditor with … as your right hand.”
Mc Namara went on to imply that there was an agreement between himself and Societies Officer Richard Butler regarding his selection as next year’s Chairman of Societies Council, an elected position; “Myself and Richard Butler have reached an understanding and I will probably run for Chairman of Societies Council as Stephen’s successor.”
Speaking to the University Observer, Butler stated that he did not know to what Mc Namara was referring to and that no such ‘understanding’ existed. “There is no arrangement, understanding, agreement or any other form of outcome discussed, arranged or in any way planned for any position within the Societies Council for Mr. Mc Namara, or any individual, nor could there be, as this is something that the Auditors vote on among themselves.” He went on to say that Mc Namara had already made a statement to him regarding the matter; “I have already accepted Mr. Mc Namara’s statement to me that he inadvertently phrased his email in a careless manner, such as to allow a number of interpretations to be made from his comments.”
Mc Namara stated to the University Observer that he had incorrectly phrased his comment regarding this ‘understanding’; “I mis-phrased, I believed that we had come to an understanding on how far I’d progressed as Auditor.” He continued by expressing regret for his actions; “I was arrogant and reckless; I didn’t appreciate my committee and my pride has led me to hurt many people with whom I’ve shared wonderful friendships … Over the past week I’ve realised some truths about myself and I will do my best to learn from past mistakes in the execution of my role as Auditor.”
A prominent member of Lawsoc, who wished to remain anonymous, indicated that elections for Lawsoc Auditor could, subject to UCD approval, now be held as early as next month. This source also maintained that the society was unlikely to disband over the controversy.