May 7, 2024

College Senior Management Meet with BDS, Concede to Encampment Demands

Protesters have celebrated the "partial success" of College's agreement to divest from investments in occupied Palestinian territories and the promise of a taskforce to reconsider academic ties with Israel.

Brídín Ní Fhearraigh-JoyceDeputy News Editor
Photo by Alex Payne for The University Times

On Monday, May 7th, the Senior Dean and Dean of Students met Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) protesters encamped on Fellows Square after the 4th day of the BDS occupation. 

Addressing the encampment, College stated that they are in the process of divesting from investments in occupied Palestinian territories and will set up a taskforce to consider College’s academic ties with Israel. 

College stated that they recognize the International Court of Justice’s ruling of genocide committed in Gaza by Israel. Additionally, College stated they have eight Palestinian scholars placed on courses in Trinity and more will follow. 


College further stated that “in view of the disproportionate response we have seen at some institutions overseas, Trinity is committed to addressing the issue of the encampment as an internal process”, implying that they will not call law enforcement on the encampment. 

College continued: “We wish for a return to normal services for our students, staff, and the public as soon as possible.” At present, only Trinity students may enter campus, and the current entrances to the college are Front Gate, Printing House Square Gate and Lincoln Place Gate. The Pavilion Bar remains closed, however the Sports Centre is open again. 

The taskforce considering College’s academic ties with Israel is prefaced with the following: “Some in our community argue that Trinity should ensure all ties with Israeli institutions are cut. Such decisions rest with individual academics. Some colleagues will see value in maintaining a free exchange of ideas; others will feel deeply uncomfortable having any relationship at all. These conflicting perspectives must be explored in a formal setting.” 

The divestment from Israeli investments will be taken from a list that appears on the UN Blacklist. 

Isobel Duffy, the chair of Trinity’s BDS stated that the meeting with the college is “a partial success” and that the activists “will never be satisfied with half-measures”. Protesters have shown scepticism at the efficacy of the taskforce that College has recommended, believing that the committee may be a deescalation tactic. 

Protesters will further continue to encamp until the Students’ Union fine of over €214,000 is rescinded. Trinity issued this fine to earn back financial losses from multiple closures of the Book of Kells from the blockade of protesters. 

Trinity’s Office of Communication further stated that a further meeting has been scheduled with the encampment protesters today.

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