Apr 7, 2018

Students Join Fight for Better Housing Conditions

Around 20 Trinity students took to Dublin's streets today to protest against government inaction on the accommodation crisis.

Ciaran MolloyAssistant News Editor
Ciaran Molloy for The University Times

A group of around 20 Trinity students joined approximately 800 protesters gathered outside the Garden of Remembrance today to demand better housing conditions in Ireland.

The protest was organised by the National Homeless and Housing Coalition, which includes organisations such as the Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland, the Simon Community and multiple trade unions.

Fifteen demands were made by the protesters, including labelling the housing and homelessness situation a crisis, an end to economic evictions and regulation of the rented private sector.


The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) was present at the march, representing students amid a housing crisis that has seen many students struggle to find somewhere to live. Speaking on behalf of students, USI President Mike Kerrigan noted that “almost 8 per cent of all those homeless are students” and with a trend of more students heading into third level education the need to address this issue. He also commended the actions taken by students of Dublin City University (DCU) students and their students’ union.

Organisers emphasised how this crisis was affecting youth and children, with speakers like Anthony Flynn, the CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless, flagging this in their speeches.

The protest enjoyed support from political parties such as People Before Profit, the Workers’ Party, Sinn Féin, the Green Party and Social Democrats, as leaders of both Sinn Féin and the Green Party made appearances. Some protesters took to megaphones to explicitly condemn Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour for what they saw as inaction on this issue. Yet even with these condemnations, a small contingent of Labour Youth joined the march.

Chants of “less talk, more action”, “what do we want? Tenants’ rights” and “join the protest!” were echoed down the line of protesters leaving the Garden of Remembrance and heading to the Custom House.

And though a shower of heavy rain dampened the posters held by protesters, the mood remained high as drums and whistles sounding off along the quays. However, the number of protesters did slowly dwindle to a smaller dedicated group.

Speaking to the crowd, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, said: “Our message today to Eoghan Murphy and those in power is to do the job they were elected to do!” He told the crowd that the government was not willing to solve housing problems. “We are not going away. This is just beginning of a massive campaign.”

The protest not only saw speeches from prominent figures but also featured performances from various artists including Nugget, a rapper from Ballymoney, and poet Rachael Hogan.

The protest comes just one week after DCU students protested against the increasing prices of over €1,000 by three student accommodation providers. Though a contingent of Trinity students, associated with the Take Back Trinity Movement, attended this rally, there were very few students present at today’s rally, likely due to the fact that Trinity Ball happened last night.

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