'I feel like I've been robbed' - Maynooth students anger over abandoned centre

The college said the project had been hit by rapidly escalating costs and hyperinflation
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.50 28 Sep 2022

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'I feel like I've been robbed'...

'I feel like I've been robbed' - Maynooth students anger over abandoned centre

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.50 28 Sep 2022

Share this article

Current and former students of Maynooth University are venting their anger over a now-abandoned student centre, first proposed in 2015.

The centre was due to be completed next July to serve as a hub for the students union and a focal point for student activities.

On Monday, the college said it "regretfully" decided to halt construction on the new building.


It said the project was "adversely impacted" by rapidly escalating costs linked to technical construction issues, as well as hyperinflation.

It added that authorities remain committed "to providing students with additional spaces for informal learning and gathering that are so important for a vibrant campus experience."

The project was being funded through an annual student levy of €150, which has been ongoing since 2015, when students voted in favour of the plans.

The levy was set to fund the students centre, as well as an arts and cultural quarter and sports development facilities.

Fintan is a former student who attended Maynooth University and contributed to the levy.

He told Lunchtime Live where the funds went should be investigated.

"I was back in Maynooth in 2015, and I can vividly remember them closing facilities for students because there wasn't enough space for lecture halls [and] other things like that.

"I remember they did a whole campaign on this €150 levy - that we pay into it and then we would get a student centre.

"So I feel like I've been robbed, honesty - that I paid this €150 every year, where has this money gone?

"Somebody should tell us".

But he said he rejects claims that the money was used for other building works and things like flood lighting for pitches.

"I think if you calculate the money, it's in the millions and a few floodlights here and there - that's not where that money's gone.

"Someone needs to properly investigate this and figure it out".

'A lot of anger'

Maynooth University students union president, Niall Daly, said: "We are disappointed, we are angry.

"We are members of the various forums where this was discussed, and at every level the student unions has opposed the termination of this contract.

"It's really brought out a lot of anger in students - and I think you only have to go as far as Twitter and look at #WheresMyLevy to see the outrage that students have".

He said they have been told this decision will not impact the levy fund, which will "remain intact and will not have been used in this project".

He added that the levy's been used for other aspects - such as additional seating, sports facilities and the students union itself.

Fifth year student at Maynooth, Aoife, said they're not being listened to.

"I'm very disappointed, we were very much looking forward to this.

"We're paying for this centre and we've been promised it for so long.

"It does feel like the university isn't really listening to us as students.

"This is my fifth year in the university and they've been talking about this student centre since before I was even in the university.

"I'm never going to get to see it by the looks of things - it is a massive disappointment", she added.

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Construction Issues Hyperinflation Lunchtime Live Maynooth Maynooth University Niall Daly Student Centre Student Centre Project Student Levy

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