Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has pledged a number of measures to support students living on campus who have been affected by the ongoing noise of the Luas construction works.
In a statement released this evening, TCDSU said: “We had not been told of the last three weeks of Luas works and we were informed that this was a mistake. After the works of early last week, we requested an urgent meeting as we had been warning the Luas since November that April/May was not an acceptable time to do works.”
The statement continued: “On Friday, an exclusion zone was proposed by the Luas contractors, essentially blocking the areas outside TCD from night works. We will have confirmation on how long this zone will be covered for on Friday next. In essence, most of the works will stop now. We are working with the Accommodation Office to help students affected.”
The statement concluded by saying that TCDSU will accommodate students elsewhere if future works are planned. College has also supported TCDSU in booking lecture theatres as extra study facilities, if Luas construction works occur on weekends.
The measure come following pledges made by TCDSU President Kieran McNulty this week to re-house students sitting exams in hostels, after a number of students complained about ongoing Luas construction works taking place around campus. In a post in a Facebook group for students living on campus, McNulty stated that any student sitting an exam would be reimbursed if they wished to book themselves into a hostel. McNulty also pledged to forward money as soon as possible to anyone who could not afford one.
McNulty said in the Facebook group that TCDSU had not been informed about the night works on March 28.
A fourth year medical student, Niamh O’Connor, told Trinity News that while she had originally accepted the Luas works as an “inconvenience”, they had recently become more “sinister”. “Fourth year of Medicine is a stressful year, with obstetrics and gynaecology particularly well known for being hard to do well in. I certainly did not need the extra stress of being of being abruptly woken up from my sleep at 3am by the incessant cacophony of pneumatic drills.” O’Connor went on to say that College “has a duty to protect the physical, mental and academic well-being of its students as much as possible, and it has certainly failed to do so within the context of the Luas works”.
There have been many complaints throughout the course of this year about the night-time construction works from students living in Front Square, Botany Bay, Pearse Street and the Graduates Memorial Building (GMB). Provost Patrick Prendergast has moved from 1 Grafton Street into a city centre apartment in Dublin 2 to escape the noise of the ongoing Luas Cross City construction works.
When previously asked by Trinity News about remuneration to students affected by the noise from the ongoing construction works, the Accommodation Office refused to comment.
The construction of the new Luas lines began around Trinity in January 2014. The project, costing €368 million, will connect the current Luas Green and Red lines and will include 13 new stops, including Dawson Street, Westmoreland Street, O’Connell Street and the Trinity stop, which will be situated on the Pearse Street side of campus. Testing of the lines will commence later this year with Luas Cross City hoping to carry the first passengers by the end of 2017.
Additional reporting by Daire O’Driscoll.