Feb 8, 2024

BDS Protesters Block the Book of Kells, Demand Trinity End their Silence

The Trinity branch of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement protested the college’s complicity in the Israel-Palestine conflict by blocking access to the Book of Kells.

Isabella ReyesContributing Writer
Photo by Isabella Reyes for The University Times

At 12pm on February 7th, the Trinity branch of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement protested the college’s complicity in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Chants such as “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” echoed through the front square and beyond.

The protest began in front square with the intention of gaining notice and traction from students, tourists, and college management alike. Roughly 30 minutes into the protest, the group made their way to the Book of Kells Experience in the hopes of blocking tourists. They were successful. Management started diverting tourists through another entrance, however the protesters were quick to split up to barricade all the ways in. With approximately 30 protesters in attendance, equipped with speakers, chants, posters and lots of energy, the crowd garnered a lot of people’s attention.


The motivation for yesterday’s protest was to demand action from Trinity, asking that the college formally cuts ties with Israel, or at the very least, issues a statement calling for a ceasefire. When the Russia-Ukraine war started, Trinity was quick to cut ties with Russia. This included sanctions, protests, and barring students from studying abroad in Russia. According to the protesters, this shows that Trinity is making a conscious decision to do nothing in the case of Palestine. Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President László Molnárfi explained that these protesters are showing students are “no longer accepting College’s silence”. For Trinity, “it comes down to money, and it comes down to corporate interest. It is all about the bottom line and profit margins”, according to Molnárfi. 

However, the protesters present today have hope. The University of Galway recently released a statement condemning Israel. While Trinity has yet to do the same, change across Ireland is clearly on the way. Protester Hamza Bana, the Union’s Ethnic Minorities Officer and a Welfare candidate for the upcoming sabbatical officer elections, describes that BDS’s impact is still gaining traction and momentum. Sooner or later, College will likely have to listen because the students show no signs of stopping anytime soon. The pressure is on.

Sign Up to Our Weekly Newsletters

Get The University Times into your inbox twice a week.