' THEY say cutbacks, we say fightback!' was the clear message of Dundalk students who marched on TD Peter Fitzpatrick's office on Monday.
The protest was part of a nationwide lobby of TD's constituency offices, with DkIT Students' Union calling on the government's local representative to 'stand up and fight' for the right of every student to their education.
DkIT Students' Union's president David Branagan said that students had marched on Market Square to highlight the current 'Fed Up, Stand Up' campaign.
' We have come here today to call on current local TD Peter Fitzpatrick with a letter calling for a stop to all planned cutbacks and fee hikes.'
He told of college fees having increased from €150 in 1996 to the current rate of €2,250 in 2012. Reported planned increases could see these costs rise by €250 every year to total €3,000 by the year 2015.
Mr Branagan said: ' One third of our students have to emigrate for employment. This Government should be focusing not on cutting educational supports for students and raising fees, but on creating employment for our young people,' said David.
The students were met by Peter Fitzpatrick, who briefly addressed the crowd.
Speaking to the Argus, the TD said: 'I feel that everyone should be entitled to free education. However, with the situation we are in, that is not possible. I welcome the students protesting today, and I gave a commitment to speak directly to the Minister, Ruairi Quinn and Taoiseach Enda Kenny which I will do.'