Students arrested after 'occupation'


Four students arrested for occupying a room at Department of Social Protection today have been released.

The four males, led by Union of Students of Ireland President Gary Redmond, entered the building on Store Street at around 4pm.

Speaking tonight, USI deputy president Colm Murphy said the four “went into the department saying they were not leaving until they got an answer from Government on what they are going to do in relation to the fees”.

Mr Murphy, who said the occupying students had “walked into the department and run up the stairs” said gardaí arrived quickly, had discussions with students about ending the occupation before breaking down the door of the room they occupied.

The four students who were brought to Store Street Garda Station were later released without charge. A file has been sent to the DPP.

Mr Murphy said an attempt earlier in the day by the students to occupy a room at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation was unsuccessful as the students were unable to close and barricade the room.

Speaking about the occupation he said: “We want the Labour Party to clarify their position in relation to student fees and the maintenance grant. Just four days before the election earlier this year, Ruairí Quinn signed a pledge in front of Trinity College in which he said that if the Labour Party was in government there would be no increase in college fees or reduction in the maintenance grant.”

Mr Murphy said students voted for parties on the basis of their pre-election promises.

“We’re a week away from the budget, and the Government is saying we can’t confirm or deny anything. They’ve been dallying on this question for the last nine months.”