Trinity College students have clashed with tourists as they blockade access to the Book of Kells this morning.
The students are blockading the entrance to the historic tourist attraction throughout the day today as part of a ‘Freeze the Rents’ housing protest.
It is in response to the college’s decision to raise on-campus student accommodation rents by 2% this year.
Trinity College students have clashed with tourists as they blockade access to the Book of Kells this morning, as part of a ‘Freeze the Rents’ housing protest. pic.twitter.com/HZ1woviSX9
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) September 13, 2023
Trinity College Student Union has said the raise will put extra strain on students already facing serious financial challenges.
“Trinity makes €10 million a year from their student accommodations,” TCDSU said in a statement.
“If they take money from the students, then the students will take money from College, by blockading one of Trinity's most profitable attractions.”
The Old Library of Trinity College Dublin and @BookOfKellsTCD are currently not accessible to the public.
We will provide further updates as needed. All customers with prebooked tickets will be refunded in full.
We apologise for the disruption. pic.twitter.com/MdKbegfsn8
— Trinity College Dublin (@tcddublin) September 13, 2023
The protest has angered some tourists who were planning to visit the Book of Kells this morning – with one man telling them his family was on, “our first holiday in ten years”.
The protesting students responded by saying: “Some of us can’t afford to take a holiday”.
A Trinity spokesperson said the 2% increase was necessary, “in light of persistently high inflation”.
“Modest increases in rents have been required to cover rising costs,” she said.
“Inflation has been high for an extended period; in the 12 months to August 2023, the category of housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels rose 17.3%.”
The blockade is due to remain in place from 9am to 5pm today.