“Protests must be conducted within the rules of the university” – Trinity release statement on BDS encampment

Campus access is to be restricted to students, staff, residents and sports department members this weekend

Trinity College Dublin said protests “must be conducted within the rules of university” amid a joint encampment by the students’ union and Trinity Boycott Divestment Sanctions (TCD BDS) outside the Book of Kells.

​​In a statement to Trinity News last night, College said: “An unauthorised BDS encampment is in place in Trinity”. 

“While Trinity supports students’ right to protest, protests must be conducted within the rules of the university.”


The statement continued saying: “To ensure safety, access to campus is restricted to students, staff, residents and Department of Sports Members with college ID cards only.”

“As custodians of the Book of Kells, Trinity has an obligation to protect this national treasure at all times. The Old Library and Book of Kells Experience will be closed on Saturday, 4 May”.

“All ticket holders have been refunded.”

In an Instagram story, College said: “Trinity supports students’ right to protest within the rules of the university and is monitoring the situation closely.”

The encampment by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and TCD BDS began last night at 8.30pm. 

Approximately 60 people gathered on Fellows Square to protest Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza. 

The protesters are calling on College to cut its ties to Israeli institutions such as Tel Aviv University.

The protest follows College issuing an invoice for €214k on Thursday due to financial losses caused by “disruptive protests” this year.

The invoice cites five dates that TCDSU protested which caused College “partial losses” of income.

These include a silent blockade of the Book of Kells Experience last week, a blockade of the Book of Kells last month by Trinity Postgraduate Workers’ Organisation (PWO TCD), two cases where TCD BDS blocked the Book of Kells and the Old Library and also TCDSU’s blockage of the Book of Kells last September.

College also noted: “As stewards of the Old Library, Trinity has a duty to protect the building and the Long Room. The closure of the Old Library impacts on researchers, whether they are students, staff or visiting international researchers.” 

“It also impacts on the staff working there, many of whom are students themselves”, it concluded. 

At present College has investments in a total of 13 Israeli companies and Trinity researchers have at least five ongoing collaborative research projects which involve Israel. 

34,262 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed with a further 77,229 wounded due to Israeli assaults on Gaza since October 7. 

Aoibhinn Clancy

Aoibhínn Clancy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in her Junior Sophister Year studying History and Political Science.