- 10 Sep 18
In an exclusive, in-depth interview, newly elected USI President Síona Cahill talks about her plans for the year ahead, her early political education, the dynamics of campaigning during the Repeal the 8th and Marriage Equality referenda, and her experience of speaking in front of a Planned Parenthood conference in America.
Getting elected to any public office isn’t just about previous victories. That said, if you had a Venn Diagram with circles like “created a national slogan for the marriage equality referendum (successfully)”, “campaigned for Repealing the 8th in deeply rural County Longford (successfully)”, and “represented Ireland with a speech highlighting the country’s journey towards progressive values in front of 2,000 people in America” – you could confidently circle them all and put Síona Cahill’s name in the middle.
A formidable and tireless campaigner, Síona has held various roles within student politics for almost five years. It was that experience, along with her high-profile work during the Repeal referendum, which made her such a natural successor to the outgoing USI President, Michael Kerrigan.
It is an interesting time to be at the helm. Some key colleges remain unaffiliated with USI, while issues such as consent classes and no-platforming continue to prove divisive each year. Not that these issues will phase Síona. She is open to all questions and answers frankly, mostly without hesitation. Well, except when asked something simple like, “What do you do in your free time?” – a question which is met with a look that suggests that she doesn’t know what free time is. Publicly funded education, Síona’s early association with Fianna Fáil, and the challenges in Northern Ireland are all on the agenda in this interview, while Síona also provides fascinating insight into growing up gay in rural Ireland…
- Film & TV
- 16 Feb 21