Approximately thirty students joined a protest outside the Science Gallery this afternoon, calling for the institution to be preserved.
Organised by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), the demonstration on Pearse street was also attended by representatives of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and campaign group Students4Change (S4C). National broadcast and print media were present to cover the event.
Speaking to Trinity News before the protest, TCDSU President Leah Keogh said: “We’re protesting today for a number of reasons; the main one being that the future of the science gallery is in jeopardy. We’re asking College to secure a sustainable funding model so that this cultural hub will be protected.”
Keogh also said they are “also here today to celebrate over a decade of the Science Gallery’s existence” noting that “it’s an informal learning space, which are few and far between these days, and a space where the College connects with the community, which it doesn’t often do”.
“These are some of the reasons why it’s worth protecting”.
Keogh said that TCDSU is “absolutely committed to continuing to use its voice on various forums like College Board, to drive this project along and to keep up momentum after the Science Gallery closes its doors this Sunday”.
TCDSU are “asking everybody over the next 3 days to go in, to thank the staff, to see the exhibition, to donate to the future of the gallery, and hopefully the doors will reopen very soon”, according to Keogh.
Several attendees at the protest held signs that said “Dublin is dying”, a slogan also used at protests against the demolition of the Cobblestone pub in Smithfield and the redevelopment of Merchant’s Arch late last year. Speakers at today’s demonstration said that the closure of the Science Gallery is part of a “cultural death” of the city.
Speaking to Trinity News, S4C chairperson László Molnárfi said: “In reality we are protesting against something that’s much bigger and overarching.”
“Education—by the government and by the senior leadership in Trinity is increasingly viewed as a commodity.”
Molnárfi continued: “We’ve also seen that when we take to the street…we can actually affect change. So that’s why we’re out today.”
Earlier today, Provost Linda Doyle confirmed that the Science Gallery will close its doors permanently this weekend.