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Students protested on the campus grounds earlier this month. Sasko Lazarov
Good Education

Students' union hails 'win for the right to protest' after Trinity drops €214,000 fine

It’s the latest climbdown by Trinity in its dispute with the SU, coming on foot of it dropping disciplinary proceedings against protesting students.

TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN has confirmed it has withdrawn a €214,000 fine issued against its students’ union over a series of protests on its campus.

In a short statement issued to The Journal, the college said it made the decision that it will “not be pursuing the invoice” following talks earlier today between management and student leaders.

Responding to the decision, the SU’s president László Molnárfi said on social media that dropping the fine was a “win for the right to protest”.

It’s the latest climbdown by Trinity in its dispute with the SU, after it dropped disciplinary proceedings against the students who took part in recent protests.

Trinity had invoiced the SU for €214,285 after a series of demonstrations about fees and rent, as well as pro-Palestinian solidarity protests.

The college claimed the fee was related to losses accrued due to blocking access to the major Book of Kells tourist attraction on the campus.

However, the union rejected this and has instructed Trinity that it does not intend to pay the fine.

It said that such a process “would have trapped the TCDSU in a permanently institutionalised form of engagement” in which the union would be liable for future protests.

Separately, Trinity had also initiated disciplinary action against a group of student leaders. Students at the university formed an encampment on the campus in protest against the fine, as well as Trinity’s ties to Israel.

Following engagement with the protesters, the college said it would complete a divestment from investments in Israeli companies that have activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and appear on the UN Blacklist in this regard.

This process is expected to be completed by June.

The students dismantled the camp after Trinity said it would “endeavour” to divest in other Israeli companies, noting that its supplier list contains just one Israeli company which will remain until March 2025 for contractual reasons.

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