UCD students organise RTÉ 'Repeal protest'
Students protest over broadcaster's coverage of Strike for Repeal march
Photograph: Louise Flanagan
Around 80 people took part in demonstration on Monday outside RTÉ studios in Donnybrook, protesting the broadcaster's coverage of the Strike for Repeal march last Wednesday. The event was organised by UCD students.
UCD Masters student Eva Griffin, who arranged the protest, explained it was due to"the blatant lack of sufficient reporting on RTÉ after the success of Strike 4 Repeal and March 4 Repeal. It was very far down as the billing and used as a segue into a different story after a lot of attention was given to the rise in price of stamps."
UCD Students’ Union Welfare officer, Róisín O’Mara, attended the protest and explained: “We’re here at this protest because we don’t feel as though the strike for repeal was given sufficient coverage by RTÉ...We don’t feel that RTÉ as the national broadcaster has done its job in that manner…It’s difficult for people if they don’t know what side they fall on and they’re relying on places like RTÉ to give proper unbiased media attention to it.”
This was a sentiment echoed by those at the protest with one UCD student, Erica Jordan stating “there wasn’t much coverage at all.”
Griffin commented that media coverage is very important to the Repeal movement: "It can be easy to sit and tweet about it, but that only goes so far. A lot of the time it feels like preaching to the converted. Mainstream media is how we get the message out to the undecided and get them informed and thinking about it, which is why we need to demand responsible reporting from RTÉ."
The protest took place outside the main entrance of RTÉ, just off the Stillorgan Dual carriageway at 4.30pm.
The event was supported by UCDSU and UCD for Choice, with a number of Trinity College Dublin students also in attendance.
The protest comes the week after UCD students elected pro-life advocate Katie Ascough President of the Students’ Union.
While Griffin notes the need for prolonged and engaged protest she also stated that the election of Ascough could see a reaction from students.
“Students need to be politically engaged and be able to show up for a cause they believe in, no matter who is the head of our union. Maybe the election will be the kick that some people need, for others it's just one more reason they need to keep up momentum.”