An emergency motion declaring no-confidence in the current government was passed by the Union of Students Ireland (USI) Congress today.
The motion was tabled by the Trinity College Dublin Students Union (TCDSU) President-elect, László Molnárfi, alongside Dublin City University Students Union (DCUSU) President Thomas O’Dowd and Vice-President for Community and Citizenship Nathan Murphy.
Labelling the government as a representative of “big capital, vulture funds and corporations” who is not on the side of “the people, our communities and workers”, Molnárfi urged those in attendance of the council to “make history” by “[booting] them out of power, [removing] them from their positions”.
The motion began by stating that the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Green Party coalition government “has failed students, workers, pensioners, families, and the ordinary people of Ireland”.
It continued by highlighting what they view as failures of the government – focusing on housing, immigration policy, the climate crisis, the healthcare system, and transgender rights.
It noted that in their opinion, the current Dáil has “failed to deliver on housing”. They said that the “homelessness crisis is tearing apart the social fabric of Irish society and [it is] leading to the scapegoating of refugees and International Protection applicants”.
The motion comes after months of anti-immigrant protests nationwide, particularly in Dublin. In response to this, many “anti-facist” marches have taken place to counteract this, supported by the TCDSU.
The motion also stated that there exists a “developer-led, market-based provision of housing” which has “inevitably deepened the housing crisis”. It claims that the government has “failed to halt the rise in housing insecurity”, particularly regarding the recent lifting of the evictions ban.
In Molnárfi’s election his manifesto focused in part on housing. He promised “to make sure that students have as much access to housing as possible under the current exploitative system”.
Congress acknowledged that on October 13, 2022 “thousands of students walked out of college […] to protest against the lack of affordable accommodation”. They also said that “20,000 people demonstrated […] at the Raise the Roof Rally for Housing”.
Congress further noted that government has “failed to act on” both the climate crisis and the state of Irish healthcare. They particularly claimed that “Fine Gael [is] recently sporting anti-trans rhetoric” after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was accused of transphobia after responding to a question regarding the status of transgender women in prison.
The motion ended with the declaration that the USI “is a political body, but has so far not expressed a direct opinion on the government”. Moreover, it stated that the union “has not advised its members to vote against them (the current government) in the upcoming election”.