“An Injury to one is an injury to all”

NUI, Galway Students’ Union was originally established in 1911 as the Students’ Representative Council. This council was short-lived, but the re-establishment of the body was proposed in 1913. The council was firmly established by the mid-1920’s, and in the 1960’s was formally developed into the university’s Students’ Union, then known as Comhairle Teachta na Mac Léinn.

Founded in 1964 the function of the Union as per the Constitution shall be “to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society”. Below are some highlights from the Unions past.

``An injury to one is an injury to all``



  • Led by Michael D. Higgins 600 students marched to protest about “poor relations generally between the University and the local community” as many hotels refused to take visiting students, landladies discriminated against students in summer etc.
  • The Union also supported the Cement Strike at the time. View list of SU Officers


College Week (RAG Week) run for the first time after being banned by the Bishop in 1950s.View SU Officers


  • In December a protest by 1,000 students is held over not being allowed to use Aula Maxima during College Week for intervarsity ballad competition and other events.
  • Also in 1970 300 students attended the courthouse for the trial of Michael Hehir and some are allegedly beaten up by Gardaí which leads to a subsequent protest by the students against Garda brutality and thuggery.
  • Students also hold protests about grants this year.
  • The Union becomes involved in the Resources Protection Campaign which is against Government ownership of Irish minerals, mining, off-shore oil and gas. View SU Officers


  • In December three students are suspended following the occupation by 500 students of the Common Room. This occupation was to protest about a small reading room being taken away from students against the wishes of the student body and without authorisation of Governing Body.
  • Students marched to Dublin to collect money for the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, to reassert the demand that there be no collaboration between Free State and Stormont Government and to protest against internment. The march had overnight stops in Loughrea, Athlone, Kinnegad and Maynooth with a mass meeting in Dublin. View SU Officers


  • In October a national day of protest is held boycotting classes over fees and grants.
  • In December a mass meeting is held as part of National Protest Day with the following demands: Repeal of Bill to amend the Offences against the State Act, Forcible Entry Act and Defence of Property Act; Release of all political prisoners; Repeal of Section 31 of Broadcasting Act; End of Government Censorship.View SU Officers


USI forms a working group on Infringement of Civil Liberties in Ireland and subsequently the Union becomes affiliated to Irish Council for Civil Liberties from 1977 – 1982.View SU Officers


  • The Union supports the strike by the teaching section of the Workers Union of Ireland in UCG who were seeking parity of earnings with their colleagues in UCD.
  • The Union attempts to set up an Inter-Union Council in UCG in which each staff Trade Union and section of the College could discuss and act on matters of common interest. View SU Officers


The Union ran and subsidised the Creche/Nursery service for staff and students on Munster Avenue. However, this service had to close in June 1978 due to debts. In 1979 the Union began campaigning for a new crèche/nursery to be funded by College. View SU Officers


  • Union opposed the Minister for Educations proposals to restructure higher education.
  • The Union supported the Irish Union of School Students.
  • A major letter writing campaign to politicians regarding late payment of grants was held.
  • The Union encouraged students to only pay the first half of their registration fees in Autumn as a protest against fee increases of 140% over 5 years. View SU Officers


  • Following the USI Grant campaign the Grant was increased by IR?150.
  • The Union produces a major report on the fishing industry in Ireland arguing in favour of a minimum 50 mile exclusive limit for Irish fisherman to safeguard their interests. View SU Officers


  • Campaign by the Union against 7% fee increase by UCG receives huge public support (originally proposed a 15% increase but backed down).
  • The SU Constitution is reviewed.
  • The Union supports the Anti-Nuclear Campaign.
  • A meeting is held entitled “The Future of Irish Education” which highlights the need for a White Paper on Education. This is followed by further marches against increasing fees and cutbacks in education.
    View SU Officers


  • The Union organise a College boycott to highlight the issues of increasing fees and inadequate funding of education.
  • Planning Permission is granted for the provision of a bar in the Student Common Room in the Quad which will become the Students’ Union Club (College Bar). View SU Officers



  • The Union supports the Postgrad Strike and gives them monies raised in the Aula on Thursday nights. Postgrads are striking due to the withdrawal of the fellowship teaching grant for postgrads by the College.
  • The Union pushes for on campus accommodation for students.
  • The Union supports the call for political status by the prisoners of H-Block and Armagh Jail. Several UCG students involved in the H-Block campaign claim they are being harassed by the Gardaí.
  • The third annual First Year Festival of “Gibs” (Freshers) is held with gigs by Stocktons Wing and Bagatelle.
    View SU Officers


  • The Ballot Box Campaign (BBC) is held to increase the number of students registered to vote in Galway West. A test case is taken to court by the Students’ Union to allow students’ to register to vote in the constituency where they attend College and this test case is a success.
  • A further fees boycott is proposed as part of the Finance for Education Campaign.
  • Students hold an occupation of the staff hall to protest against increasing prices, poor service and limited opening times in the staff hall and the restaurant.
  • The Union holds a Community Action Week as part of College Week.
    View SU Officers


  • During College Week Gerry Ryan DJ’d the disco at Leisureland and the Manger of Leisurelands car was set on fire by students.
  • The SU is affiliated with the Irish Polish Solidarity Campaign which was set up following the declaration of martial law in Poland. This left students stranded in other countries and interned in Poland due to Union involvement.
  • 12th – 21st of May a group of 13 representing the Students’ Union occupy the Presidents office. The occupation was initially meant to last 24 hours and was about the proposed increase in fees and the cut backs in essential Student Services. However, following intimidation from College authorities (student phones cut off, closure of the SU bar and an attempt to cut off the nursery allowance) they decided to extend the occupation. 1,000 students marched in support of this occupation on the eve of their exams. The increase in fees still went through however.
  • A catering boycott of the restaurant was held. Terms of settlement included a freeze on prices and an 8% increase in chip quantity. View SU Officers


  • In February three days of action are held regarding education cuts. The Union organises a boycott of lectures, pickets on campus, a march through town and the distribution of information regarding the campaign to locals from a stall set up in Eyre Square. They also join the national march in Dublin.
  • The case in favour of the introduction of capitation was put forward by the SU.
  • The Union supports the Release Nicky Kelly Campaign after he was wrongly convicted for the Sallins Mail Train Robbery. View SU Officers


  • In March a referendum passes to allow for the introduction of a capitation fee in 1984/85 academic year.
  • Occupation of Western Health Board offices by some members of the Union regarding the withdrawal of medical cards from students. National USI campaign is successful and the automatic loss of the card by students is gone. View SU Officers


  • The Union proposes the establishment of a Student Health Service. View SU Officers


  • A referendum in favour of disaffiliation from USI fails.
  • The College buys the IMI (Irish Metal Industries) building which is a former ammunitions factory.


  • The Union joins campaigns against extradition and strip searches in women’s prisons.
  • The Pogues, Alison Moyet, The Waterboys, John Martyn and Nik Kershaw play various Union organised gigs.
    View SU Officers


  • Sit-ins are held at the library by up to 400 students regarding the cut in library opening hours. This results in the necessary overtime for library staff being sanctioned.
  • Students occupy the University Telephone Exchange to protest at the 10% increase in fees.
  • The Union is a member of Galway Council of Voluntary Youth Organisations.
  • The Union commences operation of cloakroom and exam papers services.
    View SU Officers


  • Students are dissatisfied with Ents. offered by the Union. A review of ents. department is held. The Ents. department is not making a profit, poor service, bad PR for SU, poor relations with socs and clubs. The report concludes there is no need for Ents Dept & employees (had full time officer and 2 part time assistants)
  • RAG week “important that the emphasis be taken away from drink and that the charity aspect be stressed more”.
  • An Exec review is held regarding the possible merger of Campaigns Officer with UDO and change of secretary to publicity officer are suggested.
  • Gaysoc is set up and the SU brings people from other colleges with Gaysocs to visit the college.
  • Auditors pass motion asking SU not to pay USI affiliation fee and suggest a referendum to disaffiliate. An EGM is called.
  • New secretarial service is set up by the SU.
    View SU Officers



  • A Union day is held.
  • It is agreed that Exec meetings will be non-smoking.
  • A Board of Management for SU is set up consisting of President, VP, College Rep, Independent Rep.
  • Management structure for SU commercial services is introduced.
    View SU Officers


  • The Union Bilingual policy is formulated.
  • Lighting on campus is a big issue.
  • Common room facilities for Engineering Department and St. Anthonys
  • A campus laundry is proposed.
  • A Library amnesty is held.
  • Protests are held about overcrowding and delays over IMI. The College says it can’t develop until the Corrib Rowing & Yachting Club is bought out.
  • Campaign against water charges.
    View SU Officers


  • The Union decided to reaffiliate to level O of USI.
  • The Union adopts a neutral position on pro-life issue.
  • Efforts are made to resurrect the Student Assembly.
  • The Student Centre campaign is set up.
  • A meeting is held regarding living conditions in Baile na Coiribe and 120 residents out of 180 attend same.
  • The Union runs “Almost Las Vegas” a pool hall in the IMI
    View SU Officers


  • There is disappointment with the content of Cool Chaint which is blamed on time involved in translating/typing due to bilingual policy.
  • Students Summer Job Scheme is run by the Union providing jobs for students setting up a computer system for lockers, running a housing survey, typing, cleaning lockers.
  • Increase in Under Grad fees and capitation to pay for IMI. The IMI building is due to start January 1994.
  • Application for Q mark for Shop and Smokeys
  • A Reclaim the Night march is held over attacks at Corrib Village with self defence classes being held and rape alarms going on sale.
  • Referendum to re-affiliate with USI is held and increase capitation to meet cost of this.
  • An Environment week is held with bottle banks being a key issue.
  • Complaints are made that permanent college staff don’t speak Irish.
  • Honorary Life Membership of SU to Everett Kavanagh.
    View SU Officers


  • Following RAG week losses in 1991, 1992 and 1993 the Union aims to revamp RAG week through running a small number of well organised events with an increased emphasis on community involvement and charities.
  • Evening students rights are an issue.
  • Possibility of increased capitation to fund SU.
  • Possibility of setting SU up as limited company so any service not trading properly/not profitable can be shut down.
  • The Union begins setting up an orientation programme.
  • Campus Watch is introduced due to safety concerns on Campus.
  • Suggested 24 hour computer and reading room.
  • A referendum is held over proposed Nestle ban.
  • RAG week charities: Aids West, The Samaritans, the RNLI, VSA, Waterside Womens Refuge
    View SU Officers


  • In February the Minister for Education announces the abolition of Undergraduate fees in Third Level Institutions.
  • In July the Minister for Education establishes charge of up to ?150 intended to fund student services such as Students’ Union, Societies, Clubs and contributions to cost of registration and exams. Following this the Minister accepted that 3rd Level Institutions may increase this basic charge from ?150 to ?250. Students’ Unions throughout the country set out a position paper on this charge as they are concerned it may be increased again. Marches are held about fees.
  • Aslan and the Pale play the RAG ball other RAG week events include the Bogmans Ball, the Race of Disgrace and Blind Date.
  • The Nurses case begins over non payment of their fees by Western Health Board.
  • Quality of UCG sports facilities is criticised.
  • Groups of students are walking to Corrib Village together at night for safety.
  • A complaints book for nightclubs is introduced in the SU.
  • Concerns are raised over Student Services office allocation in the new IMI building as it is feared this will interfere with autonomy of SU.
  • Lack of facilities for Christmas exams is a big problem.
  • Recycled paper is on sale in the shop.
  • The importance of keeping representational and commercial sides of SU separate is discussed.
  • The possibility of introducing an Environmental Officer is raised.
    View SU Officers


  • SU home page is set up online.
  • In return for the SU agreeing to support the passing of a referendum for ?30 increase in capitation the college agrees to install video cameras and extra lights on Campus to improve security, provide a grant to the Health Unit and build a theatre.
  • Proposed that SU accept advertising from cigarette companies.
  • The Union Irish policy is drawn up.
    View SU Officers


  • Warning leaflets are drawn up regarding accommodation.
  • Sabbatical wages to increase in line with USI wages.
  • Student help line is set up.
  • Smoking is banned in Exec office
  • Group walks to Corrib Village are restarted.
  • Opening library on Sundays campaign.
  • USI Pink Training is held at NUI, Galway
  • Union has a weekly slot on FLIRT FM
  • The shortage of computer facilities causes problems.
  • SU suing Minister for Education over non-payment of nurses fees.
  • CAO day at SU office to help 2nd level students fill in their application forms.
  • Dail protest regarding nurses fees and postcard campaign to Taoiseach regarding same.
  • USI capitation campaign is launched.
  • The revamp of CRC begins.
  • Constitution review/referendum
  • Increased investment in Student Services (?120,000 pa)
  • Referendum of USI affiliation – SU campaigning for YES vote
  • The 4 of Us play RAG week
    View SU Officers


  • Library will begin opening on a Sunday for ten Sundays in the college year.
  • Officers receive suicide intervention training.
  • Increasing circulation of Cool-Chaint off campus eg. Shop in Corrib Village
  • Clamping for bikes is proposed.
  • Lack of vegetarian meal options on Campus.
    View SU Officers


  • Student nurses and strike continue.
  • USI joining SIPTU
  • Campaign begins for pedestrian crossings around university.
  • Lack of Vegetarian meals on Campus.
  • Security cameras/lighting/safety/Garda presence on campus
  • Overcrowding and overcrowding causing the spread of disease on Campus is highlighted.
  • Reform of 1929 Act to state all lecturers at NUI, Galway must be able to conduct a lecture through Irish
  • RAG week charities: The Lions Club, Leukaemia Trust, Gorta, VSA, Threshold, Goal – feedback requested on how money benefited people/used and beneficiaries attend cheque presentation
  • Submissions for changes to constitution via SU website
  • Stall outside exam hall with Disprin, pens, calculators and exam stress leaflets
  • Strategic review to incorporate relationship between SU and its commercial services.
  • President and Welfare Officer take a pay freeze and contribute the balance to a fund for disadvantaged students.
  • Student Finance Survey
    View SU Officers



  • Publications manager to be appointed with responsibility for SU newsletter, website etc.
  • Cloakroom to be used as SU information point
  • Employment Officer to start database of students looking for jobs and employers
  • Student petition and protest over use of Sports Hall for non-sporting activities
  • Constitutional review
    View SU Officers


  • “Sex on Campus” campaign held with sex workshops and sex packs to freshers
  • Voter registration campaign
  • SU awareness week with SU clinics in Smokies, St. Anthonys, CSI/Nurses, Nuns Island etc.
  • 10K walk
  • Overcrowding
  • Constitutional amendments dealt with getting rid of Post-grad officer and ADO & Womens into Equality & Disability officers
  • Dún Áras Shuttle bus was abandoned after ran out of funding and due to a lack of student interest
  • Union involved in Green nose day
  • RAG week charities: Local- St. Joseph’s Special School, Ábalta. National – CARI, MS Ireland, Meningitis Research, Diabetes. International – Gorta, VSA
    View SU Officers


  • Fees protests held.
  • Safety week
  • USI Fresher packs not handed out as had alcohol vouchers and went against alcohol policy.
  • Overcrowding in lectures a problem.
  • Proposal to disaffiliate from USI
  • Committee to run RAG week, list of events on website from Jan onwards. “Events organised outside the spirit of raising money for charity and taking advantage of the weeks main objectives are condemned by the SU”
  • RAG week charities: St. Josephs Special School, Ábalta, St. Vincent de Paul, MS Ireland, Meningitis Research, Diabetes Ireland, VSA.
  • Enforcement and promotion of alcohol policy
  • Steps at Quincentenial Bridge/ Zebra crossings campaigns.
  • Sticker campaign on drug rape
  • SU Clinics at Nuns Island etc.
  • Online secondhand bookshop set up.
    View SU Officers


  • Levy Referendum – membership fee on top of proposed levy
  • Possible fourth sabbatical position of Press & Communications Officer
  • Campaign for steps at Quincentenial Bridge
  • Campaigns included Cancer Awareness, Healthy Mind, Healthy Eating, Depression, Alcohol, Campus Watch, Fairtrade Campaign, Environment Day, Equality Day and SHAG week.
  • RAG week committee “moving focus towards charity. RAG week charities: VSA, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Josephs Special School, Ábalta School, Threshold, Samaritans, Meningitis Research Foundation, Diabetes Federation of Ireland, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, The Marie Keating Foundation.
    View SU Officers


  • Mentor programme
  • Tuesday Night Ents begins
  • Honorary Membership of SU to Gene Browne (City Bin Co)
  • Steps at Quincenntenial Bridge campaign continues.
  • Online locker system introduced
  • Campus parking issue leads to protests.
  • Safety Week, Campus Watch
  • 10K walk
  • Referendum on USI affiliation
    View SU Officers


  • New Logo introduced
  • Access students can join SU, clubs and socs.
  • Residence Runs
  • Celebrating Diversity week, Mental Health week, Craic Campaign, Voter Registration Drive, Fora, World AIDS Day
  • Sign Language classes, French classes and SU book sale held
  • SIN TV proposal and Re-launch of SIN website
  • Market fair
  • ASIST training, PINK training
  • CEO for Commercial Services, Admin. Secretary and Communications Officer appointed
    View SU Officers


  • Class Reps Referendum held – changes were approved by student body
  • University begins collecting University centre levy – €100 each year for 18 years
  • Fresher Packs are brought back
  • Saw Doctors play RAG week
  • Bebo and facebook sites for the SU set up
  • Union supports protesting nurses and hospital staff
  • Class reps vote to not hold a referendum on USI membership
  • Assistant manager appointed
  • SIN boards moderator policy approved
  • Case Work policy approved
  • Class Reps training moved onto campus
    View SU Officers


  • Freshers’ Week changed to Freshers’ Fortnight
  • Fees campaign begins with thousands marching to Eyre Square
  • Grant information Evening held
  • Part Time students become members of Union
  • Elections take place in two locations – turnout up on previous years
  • Full Time Editor for SIN
  • 45th Anniversary Held
  • Controversy over visit by Ministers Éamón Ó Cúiv and Batt O’Keefe
  • Controversy over Bertie Ahern visit
  • National March Against Fees in Dublin
  • RAG week raises €32,000, University withdraws support
  • Math and English support centres established
  • Work begins on Áras na MacLéinn refurbishment
  • Union financial year changed to reflect academic term
    View SU Officers


  • Third level fees ruled out in the Green Party program for government.
  • Life Skills training programme run during year offering sign language, CPR and ASIST training to students.
  • 397 registered Class Reps, an increase of 40%
  • Rebranding of RAG Week as College Week featuring gigs by Calvin Harris, The Coronas and Jason Byrne. €20,000 raised for Cope Galway, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Peter McVerry Trust and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Elections see the highest voter turnout in 10 years due to higher number of candidates running for full time positions.
  • SU Loyalty Card launched with over 8,000 sign ups.
  • SU Sessions run for a 2nd year in the Canteen with 21 acts playing over the year.
  • Reading room opening hours increased to 1:30am
    View SU Officers



  • launched – 50,000 letters sent to TDs.
  • New SU Constitution approved.
  • NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards launched.
  • Student Support Act signed into law.
  • €22,000 raised during College Week for Ability West and Alan Kerins Projects.
  • Life Skills Programme expanded.
  • Overcrowding in lecture halls tackled.
  • 1,000 NUI Galway students at national demonstration against Registration Fee increase. 2,000 students attend Galway march.
  • Largest ever voter turnout in SU Elections.
  • Anonymous marking scheme agreed and improved student feedback policy passed.
  • Student Assistance Fund protected.
  • Corrib Village rent reduction secured.
  • Mature Students Officer introduced and Class Reps overhauled.

View SU Officers


  • Reformed Sin newspaper, with a new editor, design and editorial policy alongside the introduction of the SU Pages.
  • Raised over €20,000 for the Galway Rape Crisis Centre and the mental health charity
  • Threw 42 students out of a plane while another 20 walked over hot coals and 34 climbed Croagh Patrick for charity
  • Had fees for Repeat Years reduced from €2,350 to €1,600 – a decrease of €750 or 32%
  • Sent over 1,000 students to the national student demonstration against fee hikes and grant cuts in November (the highest number from NUI Galway ever)
  • Hosted ‘Pink Training’ for LGBT students from across the country
  • Organised Ireland’s first ‘Slut Walk’ with the Feminist Society
  • Registered hundreds of students to vote in a single day, and watched SU President 1964-65, Michael D. Higgins, become Uachtarán na hÉireann
  • Issued over 2,000 student travel cards and sold over 1,000 lockers on campus
  • Served over 400,000 cups of tea and coffee and over 80,000 meals throughout our catering outlets
  • Organised dozens of music and comedy gigs during the year, including Des Bishop, Natty Wailer, Dead Cat Bounce, David O’Doherty, the Freshers’ Ball, An Seisúin Mór and Neil Delamere
  • Launched Ireland’s first staff-student innovation initiative: EXPLORE ( which partners staff and students and provides funding to work on innovative projects on campus
  • Opened two new SU-operated cafés in The Hub and Áras na Gaeilge
  • Signed the ‘Rag Week deal’, which included: an extra €60,000 a year for a fund for students in financial need, the abolition of the €2 entry fee at the Kingfisher Gym for clubs training, guarantees on free access to the Student Health Unit, more poster boards on campus for the SU, and the long-term protection of the respect given to this University and your degrees
  • Began negotiations for universal membership of the Kingfisher Gym, but deferred the vote until next year to ensure we get the best possible deal for students
  • Participated in “NUIG Wants It That Way” and helped raise €10,000 for a suicide-prevention charity
  • Introduced €5 daily meals in the College Bar, offering good quality food at a fair price, while also improving the SU Card system across all our outlets
  • Elected our first SU Mature Students Officer
  • Successfully addressed incidences of anti-social behaviour in the Newcastle area, winning commendations from several residents’ associations in the process
  • Introduced ‘remote voting’ for SU elections, so students can vote online if they’re off-campus on polling day
  • Gained over 2,000 Facebook friends this year, and grew our Twitter followers by 1,000

View SU Officers


  • Lobbied with other SUs for additional €3 million to National Student Assistance Fund. €334,000 went to NUI Galway.
  • €3 chicken rolls and €3.50 dinners in College Bar.
  • Built new website for Sin newspaper
  • Worked with University and students to decrease anti-social behaviour during unofficial RAG Week.
  • Established two new committees for non-traditional student support and disability cases.
  • Put Marriage Equality motion to Donegal Co. Council.
  • Áras na Mac Léinn committee re-established due to questions over the use and spending of the levy.
  • Opened mini SU Shop in The Hub.
  • Plans put in place for North Campus office to open in September 2013.
  • Created better access to college via a walkway from Dyke Road to Quincentennial Bridge.
  • Handed out over 33,000 condoms on Condom Wednesdays.
  • Occupied An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency office.
  • Held first information evening for members of the travelling community regarding third level education.
  • Had biggest voter turnout ever recorded for SU Elections as pro-choice Referendum passed.
  • Passed Equality Policy, Gender Identity Policy and Marriage Equality Policy.

View SU Officers


  • The grant was protected from cuts this year – which was the first time in four years
  • We had national and international coverage on our “Marriage Equality” and “Support for the Boycott of Disinvestments and Sanctions” referenda. I was delighted to see 96% percent of NUI Galway Students vote in favour of the Union working to support the Marriage Equality referendum that will take place in 2015. Overwhelming support was also achieved for the BDS Movement, which shows the political awareness and activism of our students.
  • Highest part-time election turn-out in SU history.
  • The Reading Room Extended it’s opening hours to 24 hours for exams/ extended hours during the year
  • The Cloakroom was secured for three years and was redesigned and so continues to hire students as staff and provide an invaluable service
  • Student Card replacement fee reduced to €20 after extensive lobbying
  • Agreed that repeat exam results will be released prior to college commencement to allow time to register earlier with relevant modules/preferences
  • Successfully lobbied to get the lift fixed from the Bialann to outside the library-as it had been broken for years.
  • CÉIM was launched in the College of Engineering, which is an example of Peer Assisted learning at its best. An SU Staff member facilitated the programme and second year Student Leaders facilitated groups of first year students.
  • Continuing success of EXPLORE (Irelands only Staff Student collaboration of its kind). Where Students and Staff bring an innovative idea to fruition. They are facilitated by SU Staff and funded €1000 each to make it happen. 28 projects were funded this year.
  • Life Skills training programme run during year offering sign language, CPR and ASIST training to students.

View SU Officers 2013/14


  • After consistent lobbying efforts, an ‘on balance’ favourable budget to students was revealed.
  • Following difficult negotiations with University management the Students’ Union remain in control of their commercial operations, being one of the few remaining SU’s nationwide to do so.
  • The Union successfully lobbied Galway City Council for a safety audit of the city’s waterways following a series of tragic drownings – this was regarded as an important strategic step to make the city safer, not least for our own members.
  • Following very serious revelations regarding gender equality at the University, the President and Vice President robustly challenged the University on issues surrounding this at several Údarás na hOllscoile meetings.
  • Following the decision to establish a Gender Equality Taskforce, upon which there was no intention to include a student, the President and Vice President of the SU indicated at Governing Body that the Union would not be supporting the Taskforce unless there was a student. A student was then added to it.
  • After the imposition of a new policy regarding deferrals, there was much disquiet among students – the SU lobbied for this policy to be relaxed, which was acceded to by the University.
  • Elected 416 Class reps (which is the highest in the last 3 years).
  • Repeat Exam results out before term starts and Christmas exam bus service arranged.
  • Added 4,000 NUIG students to the Electoral Register to vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum as part of a two year campaign to get the Marriage Equality referendum passed. IT PASSED!
  • Raised €12,500 for the SU Charities Console and BeLonG To through events such as the Aquathon, Croagh Patrick Climb, Table Quiz, Christmas Day and Pet Farm Visit & Cake Sale.
  • The students of NUI Galway voted via Referendum that the Students’ Union will now actively support the legalisation and regulation of the cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis for adults aged 18 years and over.
  • Gigs during the year included: Panti Bliss, Foil, Arms & Hog, Al Porter, The Dirty Circus, Karl Spain, Fred Cooke, Eric Lalor and The Viper.

View SU Officers 2014/15


  • After consistent lobbying efforts, an ‘on balance’ favourable budget to students was revealed.
  • Following difficult negotiations with University management the Students’ Union remain in control of their commercial operations, being one of the few remaining SU’s nationwide to do so.
  • The Union successfully lobbied Galway City Council for a safety audit of the city’s waterways following a series of tragic drownings – this was regarded as an important strategic step to make the city safer, not least for our own members and now is part of a collaboration to address water safety in Galway City with many organisations as well as the council.
  • Following very serious revelations regarding gender equality at the University, the President and Vice President continue to robustly challenge the University on issues surrounding this at several Údarás na hOllscoile meetings.
  • Following the decision to establish a Gender Equality Taskforce, upon which there was no intention to include a student, the President and Vice President of the SU indicated at Governing Body that the Union would not be supporting the Taskforce unless there was a student. A student was then added to it.
  • After the imposition of a new policy regarding deferrals, there was much disquiet among students – the SU lobbied for this policy to be relaxed, which was acceded to by the University.
  • Elected 416 Class reps (which is the highest in the last 3 years).
  • Added more than 2,000 NUIG students to the Electoral Register to vote in the 2016 General Elections which is the most out of any other Institution/Union in the country.
  • Raised €22,500 for the SU Charities Irish Cancer Society and the Galway Rape Crisis Centre through events such as the Croagh Patrick Climb, Table Quiz, Christmas Day and Pet Farm Visit & Cake Sale.
  • The students of NUI Galway voted via Referendum that the Students’ Union will now actively support decriminalization of Drugs for personal use.
  • NUI Galway Students’ Union hosted the national Pink Training which is the largest LGBTQ training event in Europe which saw more than 350 students across the country learning about key issues and building a support network for LGBTQ students.
  • Working alongside Gigsoc (NUI Galway’s LGBTQ Society), we held the first ever Trans* Awareness week and were the first institution in the country (and possible the UK) to raise a Transgender flag on campus.
  • NUI Galway SU teamed up with USI and SIPTU on a workers’ rights campaign to highlight key issues in the workforce and to educate students on their rights be that in part time employment and beyond. The campaign also sought to increase the minimum wage in Ireland to that of a living wage and is ongoing.
  • NUI Galway Students’ Union won Best Large Delegation at the Annual USI Congress in Clare for our contributions throughout the event.
  • President Phelim Kelly was short-listed by the Junior Chambers Ireland Galway Top Outstanding Young Persons Award for his work on the Marriage Equality Referendum and the General Election.
  • The Students’ Union continues to actively campaign for Safe, free and legal access to abortion in Ireland and to Repeal the 8th Amendment to Bunreacht na hÉireann.
  • The Students’ Union voted via referendum to condemn the direct provision system which is inhumane and denies asylum seekers their basic rights and calls for its abolition and replacement with a system which respects the human rights of asylum seekers. In line with policy supported by the Migrant Rights Centre and other concerned NGOs
  • Gigs during the year included: Al Porter, David O’Doherty, The Dirty Circus, Kevin McGahern, Fred Cooke and comedy hypnotist Michael McCoy.
  • NUI Galway Students’ Union was part of the delegation chosen to represent Galway at the European Youth Event in Strasbourg in May. This is a two day gathering of 7,000 young people to discuss key youth issues. The Galway delegation will be representing both the Galway European Youth Capital 2019 bid and the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 bid.

View SU Officers 2015/16


  • The Students’ Union lobbied every TD in Galway on multiple occasions regarding the Peter Cassells Report, the societal benefits of Publicly Funded option and the detrimental impact of an Income Contingent Loan Scheme option.
  • We campaigned across campus and in lectures for weeks, mobilizing students to travel to Dublin to march for their future. We filled ten fifty seater buses of 500 students, adding to the largest student demonstration in over 5 years
  • After more than a decade of consideration from NUI Galway, The Students’ Union were committed to seeing anonymous marking of exams being finally introduced. The perseverance of our Vice President / Education Officer proved successful, gaining a unanimous agreement from the University’s Academic Council.
  • As the only pilot University in Ireland, we successfully integrated the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP), where students are seen as partners in decision making – the beginning of a new milestone in our Union’s potential to enhance an environment of academic excellence.
  • We have progressed in our aims to achieve excellent working relationships with all University staff, ultimately benefiting our students.
  • After three incredibly successful years, through lengthy negotiations our CÉIM programme secured €100,000 funding to run in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.
  • Gained new student representation on both internal and external committees to the University. Internally, we secured representation on new college boards, a student staff liaison committee in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the Equality & Diversity Committee and were notably involved in the process of appointing the new University President. Externally, we gained representation on the Steering Committee of the Western Region Drug & Alcohol Task Force (WRDATF) and the Galway Children and Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC).
  • Through community outreach we secured additional student accommodation (200+ beds) in the midst of a national crisis.
  • The REACT (Responding to Excessive Alcohol Consumption at Third Level) agreement was co-signed by the Students’ Union and the University President.
  • We successfully lobbied and secured funding for the continuation of our on-campus free STI Clinic for the second year.
  • Our Vice President / Welfare Officer also lead our Union in being successfully awarded the ‘Amber Flag’, as recognition of our hard work in stigma reduction, awareness and training surrounding mental health and suicide.
  • We introduced ‘Disclosure Training’ run by Galway Rape Crisis Centre to our list of Life Skills Programmes.
  • We welcomed the inaugural team of Equality Volunteers, to add to our established Class Representative System and Welfare Volunteers.
  • We brought our members to Dublin have their voices heard nationally, on issues regarding access to education, the 8th Amendment, and the Direct Provision System.
  • We continued on from two very successful years of voter registration campaigns on campus, and registered an additional 500 members.
  • We worked closely with the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Society to see NUI Galway commit to divesting from Fossil Fuel shares (total of €3.4 million) by the end of 2017.
  • We collaborated with a number of external people to successfully run an in depth Workers’ Rights campaign.
  • We openly challenged the University on its decision to remove the Irish language requirement for the Presidency.
  • During the uncertainties of Brexit, on request of our members we facilitated a referendum on the unification of Ireland, passing by a three quarters vote.
  • SU Council’s agreement to make a constitutional change to our SU Election regulations combined with an incredible calibre of candidates, saw an increase in voter turnout of over 1,000 students.
  • We secured funding to upgrade and renovate our Commercial Services, and welcomed a new Chairperson to the Board of Directors.
  • Vice President / Education Officer, Cathal Sherlock, and Equality Officer, Megan Reilly, were nominated for their work at the Student Achievement Awards Ireland 2017.
  • NUI Galway Students’ Union won ‘Best Large Delegation’ and ‘Best Speaker’ (Cathal Sherlock) at the annual USI Congress, with President Jimmy McGovern being elected on the Officer Board of the Union of Students in Ireland.
  • Our Union donated €15,400 to Galway Lifeboat Station / the RNLI and Threshold after a year of charity events.
  • The Students’ Union was nominated for three awards in the Online Marketing in Galway Awards – People’s Choice, Best Website and Best Social Media.

View SU Officers 2016/17


  • We gained new student representation on both internal and external committees to the University. We increased our representation at Academic Council to ensure equal representaiton across the colleges and the President is now Vice-Chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Vice-President for Welfare now sits on the Garda Appeals Committee and externally we are a member of the ONE Galway Movement, Galway Alcohol Strategy and the “Coiste Stiúrtha Planála Teanga”.
  • With St. Angela’s College Sligo and NUI Galway merging, an arrangement was found to ensure that both the NUI Galway Students’ Union and the St. Angela’s College Sligo Student’s Union could continue their work for the respective representative bodies.
  • PINK Training – We were honoured to host Europe’s largest Student LGBT+ conference (350 people) which included 3 days of workshops, safe spaces and interactive talks to support and celebrate the student LGBT+ community.
  • We worked in tandem with the library to increase opening hours for students around exams.
  • An online Meal Plan Service was put in place following the securement of a €20,000 grant. Recipes, Shopping Lists and online tutorial videos for 6 weeks were for students.
  • Through partnership with Galway City Council we secured €5,000 funding to run an “Exam De-stress Campaign” including exam packs, pet farms, basketball pop-ups, and ice-cream days.
  • We laid the ground-work for an on campus music festival called “Éalú”.
  • We chaired a Q&A session on Project Ireland 2040 and spoke about the importance of Student Engagement in relation to future plans. Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister Seán Kyne, Minister Eoghan Murphy, Minister Denis Naughten and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were present.
  • The executive was reformed through a referendum to be more reflective of our student body which included the introduction of a Disability Rights Officer, an International Students Officer, Gender and LGBT+ Right Officer and Ethnic Minorities Officer.
  • Promotion of the Galway Safe App encouraged our members to be vigilant around the Galway Waterways and also to understand their mental health through our partnership with the Western Regional Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce.
  • The Union brought in to the Welfare Office pregnancy tests, which are made available to students on request.
  • Following the retraction of health care for medical students on placement, we worked with USI to launch a partnership with VideoDoc which is an online medical consultation service which is free of charge.
  • We brought our members to Galway and Dublin to have their voices heard nationally, on issues regarding access to education, the 8th Amendment, LGBT+ issues, Housing, Homelessness and the Direct Provision System.
  • We continued on from two very successful years of voter registration campaigns on campus, and registered an additional 3,000 members to vote.
  • At the Student Achievement Awards Ireland 2018 we were nominated for 7 awards to which we had 4 winners!
  • Student Independent News – There are now plans in place to give SIN a home in the shape of a communal space and office opposite the Students’ Union Shop.
  • Bhí ár Lá Dearg againn. Máirseáil 100 mic léinn trí sráideanna na Gaillimhe chun agóid a dhéanamh ar son ceartaí dóibh siúd atá ina chónaí sna Gaeltacht agus a labhraíonn Gaeilge gach lá.
  • We secured €20,000 in funding to increase the amount of essential appliances for students around campus such as microwaves and water coolers
  • Secured €7,000 funding for more recreational areas around campus.
  • With an increase of 2 new charity events (NUI Galway Students’ Union 5k and Charity White Collar Fight Night vs GMIT) our Union donated €20,500 to Amach LGBT+ and Domestic Violence Response.
  • Following on from last year’s work, we ensured that the anonymous marking of exams was finally introduced and implemented across the university.
  • Through community outreach in tandem with the university we secured additional student accommodation (300+ beds) in the midst of a national crisis that continues to this day. We also opened up communication channels with the “Save the Westwood Campaign” and attended marches against homelessness and the housing crisis. We also worked with “HomeShare” to encourage students to live with elderly residents.
  • We worked with the CUSP committee to plan that smoking would be phased out on campus by 2021.
  • We started engaging the student body through new platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat which now have garnered a following of 2,000 and 4,000 respectively. These methods of communication are key to informing our student body of what we do on a day to day basis.
  • We acted as a mean of communication and support for students during Storm Ophelia and Emma.
  • In relation to the environment, we took part in the Galway City Mayor’s Plastic Free Initiative, USI Switch off Campaign and SUCS Ltd’s coffee cups will now all be compostable.
  • We have campaigned to be a University of Sanctuary, which is a student and staff initiative, it’s core focus is to be more inclusive and welcoming to asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Through working with Buildings and the Sports Office the Dangan Sports Bus Service was reinstated and we expect it to recommence in September 2018.
  • Women in Leadership – we had the highest representation of any Students’ Union at this event.
  • €30,000 secured for cloakroom refurbishment in order to ensure a 5-day automated service.
  • We are now a member of the “One Galway” Trade Union movement.
  • NUI Galway Students’ Union was part of the delegation chosen to represent Galway at the European Youth Event in Strasbourg in June. This is a two day gathering of 8,000 young people to discuss key youth issues.

View SU Officers 2017/18


  • We gained new student representation on both internal and external committees to the University. We increased our representation on interview panels for the Dean of Students, Brexit Officer and University Sustainability officer. 
  • We held a protest during the year around the underfunding of Mental Health services, and secured an extra €5,000 for the University Counselling service.  
  • We sustained a substantial campaign about seating across campus, including a stunt where we ‘borrowed’ chairs from the Aula Maxima, and had a petition in the form of a chair (Chairlie), as well as a protest in the Quad.  
  • We worked with the SMART Consent programme to train up over 40 students and staff to deliver Consent classes to over 400 first year students. 
  • We were nominated for 15 Student Achievement Awards and our Welfare and Equality Officer Clare Austick won Student Activist of the Year on the night.  
  • We ran Mental Health Mondays during each semester, increasing our presence on North campus by being there once a week to give out free fruit and water.  
  • We ran themed weeks each semester; on Mental Health, Equality, Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) and Culture.  
  • We had hundreds of staff and students walk out of class to join us in our Fund the Future Protest.  
  • We were chosen by USI to have a delegate attend the European Students’ Union Convention.  
  • We lobbied for a new library to be built and have seen the fruits of our labours in that this has become the number one priority for the University in terms of funding bid for capital projects.  
  • We attracted national media attention around our journalism students being awarded fees back, as well as our criticisms of Menlo student village for their increase in rent, and our Fund the Future rally.  
  • We used the opportunity of the opening of Goldcrest to call out extortionate prices in student accommodation.  
  • We worked closely with the One Galway movement during the year; a collection of Trade Unions and Students’ Union. In particular we hosted the crisis campout during the year, a stunt where we pitched tents in Eyre Square to call attention to how the accommodation crisis is affecting students. 
  • We lobbied successfully to stop the Hub being used as a catering space during Graduations 
  • We helped organise and spoke at the Christmas tree lighting this year, using it as an opportunity to speak out against the Direct Provision system.  
  • We were given the chance to present alongside USI to the Joint Oireachtas committee on Housing around the increases in Purpose Built Student Accommodation. Shortly after this the announcement came that rent pressure zones will extend to PBSA and that student residences will have to register with the RTB; this was a major victory and something the Union has been lobbying for for two years.  
  • We expanded our Board of Trustees to include former Vice President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, Dr Pat Morgan, and former NUIGSU Welfare Officer and current Registrar and CEO of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, Eucharia Meehan  
  • We tightened up our processes at our Council meetings, having more motions passed than in previous years, as well as a sustainability policy. We created a documents section on our website where speeches and presentations we have given are posted.  
  • For the first time ever we presented to the University Management Team on Student Issues, and followed up by hosting a UMT in our Board room for a student specific meeting.  
  • We worked on the University of Sanctuary committee to secure Sanctuary status.  
  • We brought motions to the National Students Union around accessible campuses, the Irish language, Hate Crime legislation, sustainability and transport, all of which were passed.  
  • We have worked closely with St. Angela’s College Students’ Union in the run up to the merger to ensure student representation continues to be strong on their campus.  
  • We developed links with reps in Shannon College of Hotel Management and committed to being present at their orientation, as well as helping them improve services there.  
  • CÉIM, our peer assisted learning programme, saw another a great year of success. In September it will be piloted to the School of Psychology, bringing the number first year students CÉIM is offered to up to over 1,500.  
  • We were honoured to host Pink Training, Europe’s largest Student LGBT+ conference (350 people) ran by the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) for the second year in a row which included 3 days of workshops, safe spaces and interactive talks to support and celebrate the student LGBT+ community. 
  • Through partnership with Galway City Council we secured €5,000 funding for a second year running to run a mental health campaign.  
  • We ran our first ever Charity week, with events like the ‘line of euros’ and a special Superclub with Electric 
  • We ran our first ever ‘Wind down week’ which saw a second and very popular outdoor cinema, as well as free yoga and hula hooping classes.  
  • We developed a Student Partnership Agreement, to be signed by the University and the Students’ Union; detailing where we commit to establishing committees and working together to ensure students are represented at every level.  
  • We hosted a European Elections Hustings, to encourage students and the wider community to educate themselves and participate in the vote. 
  • CÉIM was introduced for 1st year Political Science and Sociology students. 
  • We raised over €11,000 for the SU Charities COPE Galway & Galway Rape Crisis Centre.  

View SU Officers 2018/19

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