May 8, 2024

Encampment to End, College to Cut Ties with Israeli Companies

Five days after the TCDSU and BDS encampment began, Trinity College have released an outline their plan regarding their ties to Israeli companies and institutions.

Leah DowneyDeputy News Editor
Photo by Fionn Bowes-Fitzpatrick for The University Times

The Trinity branch of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) encampment protesting College’s ties to Israel will end after College agreed to divest fully from Israeli companies, marking an unprecedented win. 

Five days after beginning the protest, representatives of the student organisations engaged in “successful talks” with senior management that resulted in a “unanimous agreement” from students to accept College’s terms. 

In a statement released by Trinity this evening, Senior Dean Prof. Eoin O’Sullivan thanked students for their engagement, adding that “[Trinity] are glad that this agreement has been reached and are committed to further constructive engagement on the issues raised”.


The statement continues to say that Trinity will “engage with all students and staff who are impacted by these issues”.

TCD provided an outline of the steps they plan to take in line with the demands issued by BDS and TCDSU, alongside reaffirming their support for the “ferocious and disproportionate onslaught in Gaza”. This portion of the statement concluded by saying “a real and lasting solution that respects the human rights of everyone needs to be found”.

In addition, College has “initiated a process to divest from investment in companies that have activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and “appear on the UN blacklist”. This process is expected to be completed in June 2024. According to a statement given by the college to Trinity News, this will exclude one company who the college has to work with until March 2025 due to contractual obligations.

They further stated that since January 2024, Trinity has been actively involved with “local and international stakeholders” to facilitate continued access to education for students from Gaza. Through this, they “have identified places for eight scholars” in collaboration with We Are Not Numbers (WANN), a Palestinian non-profit organisation. Fees for these students have been waived and Trinity will use their Sanctuary Fund to provide accommodation.

Trinity has also established its commitment to setting up a Task Force that will comprise an external chairperson, student representatives and staff. This Task Force will “discuss how we continue to preserve academic freedom while understanding better how we engaged – or not – with states that are in contravention of human rights”. 

The statement acknowledged that some members of the college community will argue that “all ties with Israeli institutions are cut”, however, Trinity has maintained that such a decision will lie with individual academics. 

The statement concluded with Trinity stating their “firm commitment” to implementing the terms agreed upon in today’s meeting. A further meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow. At present, the campus remains closed to the public but an email circulated this evening claims it plans to open “during the course of the day”.

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