Three students were lucky they weren’t expelled after throwing eggs at Enda Kenny. Orla Ryan has more…
Three UCD students have avoided expulsion from the university following an egg-throwing incident involving the Taoiseach last year.
Enda Kenny was officially opening UCD’s new student centre and sports complex on November 29 when the fracas occurred.
As he took to the podium, Mr Kenny encountered a group of protestors who were voicing their disapproval of grant cuts and increased registration fees.
The eggs missed their intended target; instead hitting the college’s Vice President for Students, Martin Butler.
Suzanne Lee (23) from Belfast, Aidan Rowe (22) from Mayo and Ben McCormack (24), originally from Chichester in England, were brought before a preliminary disciplinary hearing on 13 February.
The trio were formally reprimanded and given a suspended €200 fine. They were also ordered to write a letter of apology to Mr Butler, which they have agreed to do.
Speaking after the hearing, the students thanked lecturers, students and members of the public who supported them. They said they considered the verdict a victory for students’ right to protest.
Ms Lee maintained she had no regrets about her actions; “I’m not from a background that most students in this university are,” she stated.
“If we had stood outside and chanted things and had banners, there would never have been as much media coverage as there was of what we wanted to get across, which is that people should not be stopped from obtaining third-level education.”
In total, four students were removed from the event by Gardaí. They were each cautioned under Section 8 of the Public Order Act and asked to leave the vicinity, while others continued the demonstration.
The Union of Students in Ireland president John Logue stated: “He [Enda Kenny] promised not to increase student contribution. He is the leader of the country. Sounds like fair game to me [sic].”