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18.19 14 Mar 2018


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Students protesting at Trinity College in Dublin have claimed that they are being denied access to toilets, water and food.

The students have vowed to continue their protest against the introduction of repeat exam fees for "as long as it takes."

Trinity has insisted the €450 euro charge is to help students save time and money.

The demonstrators blockaded themselves inside the college’s 18th Century dining hall yesterday afternoon.

The Trinity Student’s Union said a private security company had been brought in to lock the demonstrators inside the hall.

It said the security officers had made it clear that no food or water would be allowed inside the hall, with toilet access also cut off.

The students have been told they will be allowed to leave the building if they choose.

Around 60 protesters remain within the hall.

Shane Collins, president of the Graduate Students Union at Trinity, said those inside are concerned:

“There is no access to food in here as well,” he said.

“So obviously supplies are an issue as well.

“Depending on how long they are going to continue what they have implemented so far, we could be here for hours; we could be here for days.”

In a statement this evening, the college insisted the students are “not locked into the Dining Hall.”

“They can leave at any time they want, and the College is taking all steps to ensure that the students inside are safe,” it said.

It said the decision was taken to block off access over “concerns concerns that large numbers of non-students had been invited into the building.”

It said this would have ended in “unacceptable risks for all concerned.” 

The group are protesting against a plan to introduce a flat-rate €450 charge for repeat exams.

The college has insisted it will move forward with plans to introduce it – despite 82% of students voting against it.

The students insist the introduction of the fee demonstrates Trinity's "continuing disregard for students, their opinions, and their welfare." 

Yesterday the protests saw the students blocking off two entrances to the university.

Entrances, including those providing access to the Book of Kells, were also blocked off last week.

 


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