Students’ silent protest to highlight accommodation crisis

‘There was an entire lack of empathy for the concerns we were presenting’

DCU students outside the Dáil at a previous protest over student accommodation in April. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

DCU students outside the Dáil at a previous protest over student accommodation in April. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A silent protest by students demanding the Minister for Housing to build affordable accommodation was held on Friday.

DCU Students’ Union, the Union of Students in Ireland along with volunteers from Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) group gathered outside new privately owned student accommodation New Mill on Merchants Quay.

DCU Students’ Union said they are concerned these new rooms are being counted as part of the government’s student accommodation building strategy. The union said rates at the New Mill accommodation start at €255 per week.

“Prices such as these are feeding the student accommodation crisis and are simply locking students out of education,” it said.

DCUSU vice-president for education and placement Craig McHugh said: “It appeared there was an entire lack of empathy for the concerns we were presenting, the reality is that projects like these are pushing market prices up further.

“This set up only services profit, not the welfare of students. Unless the Government allocations funds to the Higher Education Authority to build public, affordable purpose built student accommodation, the crisis will only worsen.”

DCUSU said they have been guaranteed a meeting with the developer to discuss the issue further.