TCD and freedom of speech

 

Sir, – I was a mature student at Trinity College Dublin in 2017 when a group of 40 protesters, not all of them students, protested the proposed talk of the Israeli ambassador to members of the College Society for International Affairs.

The right to protest should not be allowed to override the right to academic freedom within the university environment.

The atmosphere at the protest was toxic and the protesters sufficiently intimidating that college security requested support from the Garda Síochána to manage the crowd.

It is difficult to see how a professional assessment that the protest might have become violent is “a deplorable attack on freedom of expression”, as claimed by Conor Reddy (Letters, November 16th).

Mr Reddy also claims “overwhelming” student support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The student referendum to which he refers was passed by a margin of 57 votes, with just under 2,000 students voting out of a student body of some 18,000. – Yours, etc,

TERESA

TRAINOR,

Dublin 16.