Students protest ‘death of education’ funeral cortege in Dublin
Published 24/11/2011 | 14:56
STUDENTS today mourned the "death of education" with a funeral cortege through the capital.
Members of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) followed a hearse and coffin across Dublin, before laying a wreath outside the gates of the Dail.
USI President Gary Redmond said people will suffer if there is another increase in university fees and cuts to student support.
"This really will be the final death nail in education, and not only education, but any hopes for Ireland's economic recovery," he said.
The USI vowed to step up its campaign to stop a hike in fees and save the student grant in the looming Budget on December 6.
Its procession followed a mass rally earlier this month, when some 20,000 students and their families took to the streets of Dublin.
"We will continue to campaign right up to Budget Day and beyond if necessary to ensure that education is protected, because an investment in education is an investment in the country and Ireland's economic future," said Mr Redmond.
The USI maintains Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is reneging on a pre-election promise to protect education, claiming the then Labour spokesman for education had pledge to half the 2,000 euro fee to win votes.
"Nine months on we have a minister going back on that challenge," said Mr Redmond.
"These pledges swayed votes, not only for students but for parents and families across the country.
"These are the same families that are struggling to pay mortgages, struggling to put food on their tables and to keep the lights on.
"Many families are losing sleep because they don't know where they are going to get this additional money from for September."
The last two Budgets have seen the student grant cut by 8.8pc and fees rising from below €1,000 euro to around €2,000.