Hit refresh for more updates as they happen.
14.25- Dave Ryan here. No major news to report so far today, with one exception. The occupiers completed a game of Monopoly in the early hours of the morning without a fist fight breaking out, which may be a first for the game of Monopoly. Overnight Tweet machine and media roundup coming shortly.
14.31- Mainstream media coverage throughout the occupation has been few and far between. We have previously linked to two pieces the Journal have written about the occupation, which were very good. In addition to that (and the Kildare TV coverage), Donie O’ Sullivan has written for the College Tribune about it here. RTE wrote what I suppose qualifies as an article on its website yesterday. Inexplicably, our own national broadcaster was beaten to the punch by Italian (yes, Italian) news-site Diretta News (God bless you, Google translate.)
14.42- Tweet machine:
- Focal an lae; Áitíocht=Occupation. Go n-éirí go geal libh!!
@maynoothsu #gaeilge #stoptáillí #stopfees #savethegrant #OccupyNaas (@johnoliodain)
- Day 3 in The Lawlor House. Most of the housemates are sleeping. Stephen is in the diary room.
#occupynaas #stopfees (@RuaidhriBoland)
- Another 2 crates of supplies arrived this morning. We’re not moving.
#occupynaas #stopfees http://lockerz.com/s/161988319 (@RuaidhriBoland)
- [On watching Lawlor/Munnelly KTV Debate] ”What disappoints me is the way they entered the office, they opened the door and then they all rushed in.” As opposed to fucking what? (Donal Fallon, Internet Citizen)
@naoiseoc Jaysus, just watched the video with Rob, that TD is some gobshite, talking about his secretaries getting a fright…get the boat (@alancostello)
- C’MON MAYNOOTH SU!
#stopfees #occupynaas I ❤ my college! (@CaoverHo)
- Thanks to EVERYONE for the support – it keeps us going.
#stopfees #occupynaas (@RobertMunnelly)
- Day three. /settles in to the Sunday papers (Rob ‘The Big Cheese’ Munnelly)
- Got Muppets Take Manhattan and Muppets’ Christmas Carol. If you do not like these movies, it’s ok, you’re probably just dead inside. (@daveryaniv: This should probably give you an indication of how little is going to happen today)
- A graduate from NUIM has just dropped down with even more supplies. Very good day #3 so far. (@maynoothsu)
17.53- I’m back from an afternoon at the Occupation. All inside still going strong.
17.55- MSU Press Release:
Student Occupation Looks Set To Enter Fourth Day
Students occupying a Fine Gael TDs office look set to enter day four of their protest.
9 members of Maynooth Students’ Union have been occupying Deputy Anthony Lawlor’s office since Friday in the latest escalation of their campaign to get Government TDs to keep their election promise: not another hike in tuition fees, no more cuts to the maintenance grant.
The leader of the occupation, SU President Rob Munnelly, said that “The cuts last year were just too severe. If you think last year’s budget wasn’t cruel, then ask yourselves why this September Maynooth Students’ Union had to introduce food vouchers for broke, hungry students. These are 18 and 19 year old boys and girls. It’s an absolute disgrace, and we simply can’t let it get any worse. We’ve tried everything else and it’s come to this – occupying a local TDs office.”
USI President Gary Redmond has visited the occupiers to show his support.
The Union has been quick to point out that they see this not as a student issue, but as a family issue and a national recovery issue.
In the past 5 weeks, Student Unions around the country have encouraged their members to send tens of thousands of emails and letters to their local TDs, and to make thousands of phone calls in their “Stop Fees – Save The Grant” campaign.
Furthermore, the Union of Students in Ireland took out full-page ads in major newspapers listing all the Government TDs who would no longer commit to their education promises detailed in their manifestos.
A week later, over 20 thousand students took part in a peaceful protest in Dublin.
Last week, Students’ Unions around the country protested outside their local TDs’ constituency offices.
19.07- For those who have yet to read it, this was the response yesterday of the Maynooth Branch of Young Fine Gael to the occupation of Anthony Lawlor’s constituency office:
Yesterday afternoon members of Maynooth SU occupied the constituency office of Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor in Naas. The protesters are expressing their opposition to any possible cutting of the grant and any increase in fees for third level education.
“It is completely understandable that there is much fear from students as they await the Budget, which will be released on Tuesday. However, from the numerous Tweets and Facebook status updates from the occupiers this seems to be more of an attack on a Fine Gael TD and his staff than an opportunity to stand up against fees,” Chair of YFG Maynooth said today.
“Most of these updates mention Fine Gael and they also encourage other students to call or text Anthony Lawlor on his mobile phone and to give him abuse. Any democratic protest should not be an attack on one particular TD, from one party within the government coalition,” he continued.
If Maynooth Students’ Union wanted to send a strong message to the coalition government on this issue, they could have occupied the offices of all coalition party members within the constituency.