The Union of Students in Ireland held a Lobby Day this week to discuss with Oireachtas members what students need to see in Budget 2024, ahead of the finalisation of the USI Pre-Budget submission. 


All TDs and Senators were invited to the event, which took place in Buswells Hotel on Tuesday, July 11 from 11am to 4pm. 


Students’ Union representatives from across Ireland joined the new USI Coiste Gno to talk to the attending politicians ahead of the Dáil summer recess. 


The aim of the Lobby Day was to ensure Oireachtas members were aware of the six key issues for students before decisions on Budget 2024 start to be made. 


Some 39 TDs and Senators attended the Lobby Day – a list of who attended, or sent a representative, is included at the bottom of this statement. 


The six areas highlighted by student representatives on the day, were:

1. Student accommodation 

2. Student finances 

3. Public transport 

4. Postgraduate and international student supports 

5. Ring-fenced mental health support funding 

6. Funding for Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht (Gaeltacht placement for student teachers) 


USI Vice President for Campaigns, Zaid Al-Barghouthi said“From reviewing the Summer Economic Statement released last week, we expect Budget 2024 to again contain a number of once-off measures for students and the third-level sector. While the asks we focused on for the Lobby Day and in our pre-Budget submission concentrate on getting the most for students from this once-off spending, we will also be advocating for long-term policies and core funding for long-term plans. 


“Various TDs and Senators who attended on Tuesday, pledged to support our asks during the Budget 2024 debates. We agreed on certain follow-up actions with the members and will keep in contact ahead of the Budget.” 


The USI pre-Budget submission – based on the current USI policy file – will be finalised in the coming weeks and will be circulated to all involved in making the budgetary decisions and to Students’ Unions and the media. 


The Oireachtas members who attended or sent a staff representative on the day were: 

Alice Mary Higgins, Independent 

Aindrias Moynihan, Fianna Fáil 

Annie Hoey, Labour 

Brendan Smith, Fianna Fáil 

Brid Smith, People Before Profit 

Cian O’Callaghan, Social Democrats 

David Stanton, Fine Gael 

Denise Mitchell, Sinn Fein 

Eamon O Cuiv, Fianna Fáil 

Eileen Flynn, Independent 

Fergus O’Dowd, Fine Gael 

Fiona O’Loughlin, Fianna Fáil 

Frankie Feighan, Fine Gael 

Gary Gannon, Social Democrats 

Ged Nash, Labour 

Gerry Horkan, Fianna Fáil 

Gino Kenny, People Before Profit 

Holly Cairns, Social Democrats 

Ivana Bacik, Labour 

John Paul Phelan, Fianna Fáil 

Lisa Chambers, Fianna Fáil 

Lynn Ruane, Independent 

Mairead Farrell, Sinn Fein 

Marc O Cathasaigh, Green Party 

Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein 

Michael Healy-Rae, Independent 

Mick Barry, People Before Profit 

Ned O’ Sullivan, Fianna Fáil 

Pa Daly, Sinn Fein 

Pádraig O’Sullivan, Fianna Fáil 

Patrick Costello, Green Party 

Paudie O’Sullivan, Fianna Fáil 

Paul Donnelly, Sinn Fein 

Pauline O’Reilly, Green Party 

Peadar ToibinAontu 

Roderic O’Gorman, Green Party 

Roisin Shortall, Social Democrats 

Ruairi O Murchu, Sinn Fein

Thomas Gould, Sinn Fein

Violet-Anne Wynne, Independent 

The flyer we gave out on the day is below – click in to read.