HomeBussinessTrinity fines students’ union €214k over Book of Kells blockade

Trinity fines students’ union €214k over Book of Kells blockade


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The threat follows a number of blockades at the popular tourist landmark, which has caused a fall in the college’s ticket sales.

Students want the college to promise no increase in one-year Masters’ fees, and instead introduce a €2 price hike on tickets to the Book of Kells to pay for operations at the college, which they believe will net €1m in revenue.

The body received an email this morning informing it of the fine, the colleges student newspaper Trinity News has reported.

Trinity College is heavily reliant on the income generated by tourists visiting the Book of Kells.

Tickets to visit the Book of Kells cost €18.50. In 2022, the exhibition, along with income from the Old Library shop and guided tours, brought in €16.7 million.

On April 28th Student Union officials wrote to the Provost of Trinity in which they threatened “actions that are seriously damaging to the reputation and finances of the university”.

Rather than submit to the students demands, the following day, Aidan Marsh wrote an email to the Students Union Officials on behalf of the Junior Dean.

Mr Marsh said he wanted to put the students “on notice” that “any such actions may represent disciplinary offences that would lead to the institution of disciplinary proceedings against persons involved.”

He said: “Should this happen, your letter may be used in evidence.”

Mr Marsh warned student union officials that they may face huge costs in compensation, which student union officials have since estimated at €100,000 and above – based on daily ticket sales to the Book of Kells.

Mr Marsh also warned students that penalties “for a major offence” may include “disqualification from an examination”, suspension of “accommodation privileges” and “suspension from the University and College”.

The email warned that for the “avoidance of doubt”, the financial penalties will become “a debt to the university” that must be paid if the student wishes to graduate.

In response, the students’ union President László Molnárfi slammed Trinity College officials and said that the college has now “dropped its pretence of being a progressive college”.

Mr Molnárfi said that the email represents an “ill-fated attempt” to “intimidate and suppress the students movement and we will not stand for it.”

He said that “the university seems to think we shed our constitutional rights once we walk through the university gates – we will defend our right to protest”.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated 2nd May the Junior Dean invited student union officials to meet at his office. Mr Molnárfi has indicated that he is willing to attend this meeting with other student’s union officials.

When contacted about the email, a spokesperson for Trinity College Dublin said: “We do not comment on individual cases and correspondence between the Junior Dean and students.”

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