NOTE: A PROTEST HAS BEEN ORGANISED FOR 1PM TODAY IN ENNIS. BUSES FROM GMIT, NUIG AND LIT WILL JOIN STUDENTS IN ENNIS. ALL SUPPORT MOST WELCOME – THIS MUST NOT SPREAD TO OTHER COUNCILS!
The Union of Students in Ireland has severely criticised Clare County Council’s decision to demand proof of payment for the household charge before it processes maintenance grant applications. USI says that young people must not be penalised for their parents’ decisions.
Students affected by the measure taken by Clare County Council have already contacted USI, asking if the demand is legal. USI President John Logue has spoken to a number of County Councillors, asking them to come out against the measure.
USI President John Logue said:
“The action taken by Clare County Council must be condemned in the strongest terms. This is an unprecedented move. Never have I heard of a grant being refused until proof of payment is offered for a completely unrelated tax owed by another person. Students are being punished for the decisions of their parents and their education is being put at risk.
This is a particularly cynical and craven way to manage a government. The Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has denied any Departmental involvement, yet he has not criticised the move. Indeed, he expects other County Councils to follow suit. Once again Minister Quinn shows us that he is no friend of students. He is the best Fine Gael Minister for Education we’ve ever had.
I have spoken to Councillors in Clare and am awaiting a legal opinion on the matter. If the Councillors do not come out against this measure then USI will mobilise its membership and we will protest until the Council backs down. If other Councils follow the example of Clare, then they too will see protests.
Students will not accept this.”
For more information contact USI Media and Communications Executive, Ronan Costello, on 085-1164263 or email email@example.com