Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has issued an official statement condemning the arrest and hospitalisation of a Trinity student last night.
Trinity student Conor Reddy was arrested by Gardaí last night among other activists who were occupying a building on North Frederick Street. In a statement signed by five sabbatical officers, TCDSU stated: “TCDSU strongly condemns the arrests and hospitalisation of a student and member of our organisation.”
“This arrest and abuse of peaceful protesters is truly horrifying and must never be tolerated,” the statement continued. “These activists are part of a generation who have had their future stolen from them by an incompetent Government and a greed-driven ruling class.”
The arrests took place last night as occupiers were removed from 34 North Frederick Street by Gardaí in balaclavas, which they had been occupying for 25 days. The High Court issued an injunction two weeks ago calling on occupiers to vacate the premises.
TCDSU announced their intent to join activists across the country in the #RaiseTheRoof rally outside Leinster House on October 3, which is supporting a private members’ bill in the Dáil. “The time for action arrived long ago and the inaction exhibited by the Minister for Housing has driven young people to rise and take it upon their own hands to bring about change,” the statement outlined.
TCDSU President Shane De Rís and Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) President Oisín Vince Coulter attended the launch housing coalition, “Raise The Roof” last week, alongside the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).
Speaking at the launch, USI Vice-President for Campaigns Michelle Byrne emphasized that students are “priced out” of accommodation across the country. She outlined that students are “sick of being taken advantage of” and need student accommodation that is “fit for purpose”.
Activists arrested last night were brought to Store Street Garda Station after they were evicted from the property. Protesters marched to Store Street where they called for the occupiers’ release. The activists, including Conor Reddy, were released later last night.
Take Back Trinity also released a statement this morning condemning the arrest of Reddy and other occupiers, in which it denounced “the use of excessive force” by guards evicting the occupiers. Take Back Trinity expressed that it wanted to “highlight the tactic of the state: to quash peaceful housing activists in the midst of an ever deepening housing crisis”.