university challenges

'No ifs, no buts, no education cuts' - thousands of students march on Leinster House

Student leaders will meet the Education Minister tomorrow…after they’ve dried off.

Student Protest Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

THOUSANDS OF THIRD-LEVEL students marched through wet conditions in Dublin city this afternoon, demanding the protection of student supports and maintenance grant levels.

An unofficial Garda estimate placed the number of demonstrators at 6,000, and protest leaders said students from 20 to 25 institutions had come to the capital from throughout the island.


The march, under the banner of the USI’s “Education Is” campaign, also had the support of university lecturers, SIPTU, the National Parents’ Council, and the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, among others.

“Students are running to stand still in Ireland,” USI president Laura Harmon told after this afternoon’s march.

“There has been a massive hike in rental prices, especially in Dublin,” she said, adding that young people were already dropping out or not availing of college places this year, simply because they can’t afford to go.

Harmon will meet with Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan tomorrow, ahead of Tuesday’s Budget announcement.

Despite the perilous predicament of many students, she’s optimistic that the pleas of thousands of students’ outside Leinster House today, will be given a fair hearing.

We do feel like we’ve been listened to by the Minister.
We were the first group to meet with her after she became Education Minister, so I’m cautiously hopeful student supports will be kept.

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