“A shameful attempt at union busting”: TCDSU President László Molnárfi speaks out against €214k fine at USI awards

Mólnárfi was the recipient of two of the four awards won in total by TCDSU at last night’s SAAIs, winning the President’s Award and Student Activist of the Year

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) swept last night’s Student Achievement Awards Ireland (SAAI) with four award wins, including Large Student Union of Year. 

TCDSU President László Molnárfi took home two awards, winning both the President’s Award and Student Activist of the Year.

Oifigeach na Gaeilge Pádraig Mac Brádaigh was awarded An Gradam Éacht ar son na Gaeilge for his work in the successful referendum to introduce a full-time Irish language officer role within the union.. 

After winning the President’s Award, Molnárfi said that the student movement “woke up at the eleventh hour” this year. 

He used his speech to condemn the €214k fine issued to the Student Union by College yesterday calling it a “shameful attempt at union busting”.

“We will not give in and we must not give in. We must continue. And we see that the more they try to suppress us, the more we will grow,” he said.

Later in the evening Molnárfi dedicated his Student Activist of Year Award to activists for “Palestinian liberation”, which he called the “greatest cause in the world”. 

“Our student counterparts in the United States are currently being brutalised by the police, arrested, criminalised all for the crime of speaking out against connections with Israeli institutions, that our universities here in Ireland also have,” he said. 

“These institutions do research that when put into practice is in fact the bombs and the weapons and the propaganda that the apartheid state of Israel uses to continue its brutal suppression of the Palestinian people.”

“We must never ever ever stop talking about Palestine,” he concluded. 

The SAAIs, which are run by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), aim to celebrate the “contribution students from across Ireland have made to the student community and Irish society in the past year”. 

Last night’s ceremony constituted the 11th edition of the awards. 

In a statement following TCDSU’s win for Large Student Union of the Year Welfare and Equality officer Aoife Bennett said: “None of this would be possible without the hard work of student volunteers. Keep getting involved and have your voice heard. We are stronger together!”

Charlotte Kent

Charlotte Kent is the Co-News Editor at Trinity News and a Senior Freshman PPES Student.