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Students at university founded by John Henry Newman vote to impeach pro-life union president

Katie Ascough's ousting from the student union comes as Ireland prepares for a referendum on abortion next year

Students at an Irish university founded by Blessed John Henry Newman have voted to remove the pro-life president of their student union.

The vote came after Katie Ascough stopped the union at University College Dublin from publishing information on the cost of abortion in other countries and information on abortion pills.

Ms Ascough said she ordered the union to reprint the material containing the information because it would have been illegal, and could have exposed the union to criminal proceedings.

She produced legal advice to that effect, however students calling for the impeachment said student unions have been publishing similar advice for decades, despite the illegality.

Amy Crean, who campaigned for the impeachment, justified the action by saying student unions had also distributed condoms when that was illegal.

Students voted 69 per cent to 31 per cent to remove her, on a turn out of 6,611.

Ms Ascough said: “This is a sad day for me, but it is also a sad day for our university.

“Universities should be a place of freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of association.”