Apr 16, 2024

Hundreds of UCC Students Walk Out to Protest the College’s Neutrality on Ongoing Genocide in Palestine

Students staged a walkout demanding action, supported by a petition signed by over 1,300 students and staff.

Brídín Ní Fhearraigh-JoyceDeputy News Editor

On March 11th, the University College Cork Students’ Union (UCCSU) staged a walkout to protest the college’s neutrality on the ongoing genocide in Palestine. Between 300 and 400 students participated in the demonstration in the college’s square. The walkout was hosted in collaboration with the UCC Socialist Society 

Amongst their demands, the protest called for the Irish government to expel the Israeli Ambassador from Ireland, an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and unhindered access of aid to Palestine. 

The protest was held after a petition in support of Palestine was signed by 1,300 UCC students and staff members. The petition called on UCC to extend its solidarity and sanctuary to Palestinian students and academic colleagues.


Before the protest was held, a Palestinian Master’s student described being “censored” at her graduation ceremony. On an Instagram post that has since gone viral, Leen Marouf recalled being “abruptly stopped by security for carrying the Palestinian flag”.

Marouf wrote that “Not having the right to represent my heritage was crushing […] I spoke out, screaming ‘Free Palestine’. But my footage was censored from the live stream, depriving my family the opportunity to witness my moment of just ‘being’.” 

Her post continues:  “It was a painful reminder of the silence and erasure surrounding the Palestinian struggle, even within academic spaces. In a room where people were graduating with degrees in International Relations, Politics, International Public Policy, and Diplomacy, Irish revolution etc., I didn’t help but feel embarrassed by the glaring absence of acknowledgement of the Palestinian genocide.”

On February 29th, UCC President John O’Halloran met with the Palestinian Ambassador Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid to discuss “mutual collaboration” in an event organised by Ógra Sinn Féin for UCC Students’ Union Anti-Apartheid Week. For the duration of the ambassador’s visit, the Palestinian flag was raised by the college. 

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