Protestors storm campus in search of Trinity Professor

Protestors who gained access to campus at 4pm today leave following requests from College security

A group of protestors entered campus this afternoon, supposedly in search of a Trinity Professor. 

Access to campus is limited under current restrictions to students, staff and tourists who have a booking for the Book of Kells exhibition. 

At approximately 4pm today, a group of protestors gained access to College through the Pearse Street entrance, with videos of the gathering captured and shared on Twitter. 

The two short videos show approximately thirty individuals, with one protestor shouting “we will find you Luke”, and “you have committed mass murder in Ireland”. Several protestors also carried placards with “liar” written on them. 

According to the video shared on Twitter, this was in reference to Luke O’Neill, a Professor of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity. 

O’Neill has been a prominent public figure throughout the pandemic, and won the Science Foundation Ireland Science Communicator of the Year award for his media work. 

Dahnan Spurling, the PhD student who shared these videos on Twitter, spoke  to Trinity News about protestors storming campus this afternoon. 

Spurling stated that “they [the protestors] really have it in for Luke O’Neill”. 

He continued: “They did this a couple of weeks ago too but didn’t go on campus. They were eventually escorted off by security after about five minutes or so, there were sirens but I didn’t personally see any Gardai involved.”

Images from the previous protest shared online saw attendees carrying signs reading “No Vaccine Coercion” and “No Mandatory Vaccine”. 

According to a second video uploaded today by Spurling, the protestors also attempted to gain access to the Lloyd Building. 

Speaking to Trinity News, a College spokesperson said that “a group of around 30 protestors gathered outside the CRANN building on Pearse Street at around 4 pm today and pushed their way into the Trinity College Dublin campus through the Science Gallery Gate for several minutes.”

The spokesperson continued: “They left when requested to do so by security personnel.”

The spokesperson added that “an enhanced security protocol has been put in place for the gate”. 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, students and staff can only access College with valid ID, and evidence that they have essential business on campus.  

Today’s protest follows a series of anti-lockdown demonstrations which have taken place over the last year, with a protest in Dublin on March 20 resulting in 11 arrests. 

Grace Gageby

Grace Gageby is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News. She studies English and Philosophy and was previously Deputy Comment Editor.