Old Library closes amid Trinity BDS protest at front entrance

TCDSU President László Molnárfi leads group of protestors calling for Trinity to cut ties with Israel

The Old Library was forced to close this afternoon following a protest by members of Trinity BDS calling on College to cut ties with Israel.

Protestors stood on the steps of the building, prompting security to block off the entrance, preventing tourists from entering.

It is understood the Old Library, which still currently holds the Book of Kells, will open again when protests are over.

Trinity BDS gathered in various locations on campus to protest College’s refusal to cut ties with Israel.

On an Instagram post announcing the protest, it said: “Israeli institutions are complicit in Palestinian genocide. Trinity will not cut ties. Demand better”.

Beginning at Front Square, the group, led by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President László Molnárfi, stood on the steps of the Exam Hall holding a banner stating “Boycott Apartheid Israel” and several Palestinian flags. 

They also held a poster listing the names of the victims in Palestine. It read: “They have names. They had dreams”. 

Shortly after, the group marched to the Book of Kells Experience, blockading one of the entrances. 

Chants such as “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, “Linda Doyle in her ivory tower, this is called people power” and “Trinity College Dublin, shame on you” were heard at both protests.

Half of the group then moved to the Old Library entrance, continuing protests. 

Speaking to Trinity News, Mólnárfi said Trinity BDS has “been asking Trinity College Dublin for so long to at least make a statement condemning what is going on in Gaza. They haven’t done so”.

“They are now, as of yesterday, out of step with other universities in Ireland. The University of Galway issued a statement saying that they will grow closer links to universities in Palestine.”

“[Galway] addressed what was going on. Yet Trinity is silent, and the silence speaks 1000 words. Trinity College Dublin should be embarrassed of itself and probably Provost Linda Doyle should be embarrassed of herself,” Molnárfi stated. 

The protest today was triggered by escalating violence in Gaza where it has been reported that over 100,000 people have been killed, injured or are missing since the escalation of violence began on 7 October 2023.

“Nearly 30,000 people have been killed by Israel’s brutal siege on Gaza in the last 4 months. This is not to mention countless others displaced, wounded and orphaned. Israeli institutions are directly complicit in these war crimes,” the Trinity BDS Instagram post reads. 

College has declined to comment.

Ellen Kenny

Ellen Kenny is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News and a Senior Sophister student of Politics and Sociology. She previously served as Assistant Editor and Features Editor

Madison Pitman

Madison Pitman is a Deputy News Editor and is currently in her second year studying Law with a minor in Political Science.