Trinity has divested from arms and weapon companies, College confirms 

Trinity has “thoroughly restricted its equity portfolio”, a College spokesperson confirmed today

Trinity no longer has investments in arms and weapon companies, College has confirmed.

This follows a petition launched by Trinity Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) alongside Trinity College, Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) last year.

The petition, which had reached 446 signatures as of yesterday, is calling for Trinity to “divest from the war-industry”.

In a press release yesterday, Trinity BDS said: “Trinity has € 2.5 million invested in arms and weapons companies across the world, as revealed by an FOI request.”

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by chairperson of Students4Change László Molnárfi last year revealed that College had approximately €2.5 million of equity investments in the armaments and defence industries.

“This includes companies which manufacture arms or security technologies used by the state of Israel to carry out ethnic cleansing and implement apartheid against the Palestinian people, such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies and BAE Systems,” the release continued.

“For example, Trinity has €721,473 invested in LockHeed Martin, a company whose handheld weapons and fighter jets have been used by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians.”

“The signatories of this petition call on Trinity College Dublin to take a principled stance against apartheid, colonialism, and military occupation in historic Palestine by endorsing the principles of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement”, the petition writes.

In a statement to Trinity News this afternoon, a College spokesperson responded: “Trinity has thoroughly restructured its equity portfolio and has no investments in any of the companies mentioned.”

The statement confirmed: “In the last 12 months, the Trinity Endowment Fund has transitioned its 2 equity funds to bespoke ILIM (Irish life Investment Managers) Climate Focused and Low Carbon Funds.”

“In constructing the funds, ILIM have applied ‘best in class’ bespoke fossil fuel exclusions developed to meet Trinity’s needs, along with ILIM’s firmwide exclusion list which excludes companies in violation of the UN Global Compact and those involved in tobacco or controversial weapons,” the statement continued.

“The newly developed funds will materially enhance the climate risk and sustainability profile of the Endowment Fund.”

In 2018, Trinity students voted in a referendum for TCDSU to support the BDS campaign. 64.5% of a total poll of 2050 voted in favour, receiving widespread international coverage.

Last month, Trinity BDS joined a protest outside Leinster House calling for an investigation into apartheid in the state of Israel.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.