Hundreds of Maynooth students deliver petition against Bertie Aherns appointment.


Today, Wednesday the second of December, almost 300 NUI Maynooth students showed up to deliver a petition against the appointment of Bertie Ahern T.D as an Honorary Professor by the University. Campaigners decided to call on those who had signed the 1,000+ petition to help deliver it, and the turnout surpassed all expectations.

Activists from Labour Youth, the Socialist Party, the WSM, Sinn Féin and others assisted with the petition, and todays huge delivery showed the feeling on the ground is obvious.

The campaign can only grow from here. The University continue to argue that Bertie Aherns contribution to the Northern Irish peace process renders him fitting for an Honorary Professorship. These are not merely 'guest lecture', this is awarding a man who played no small part in bringing down the Irish economy, and belongs to the same school of politics as Ray Burke and Charles Haughey.

It is not at all surprising that the University President was not present when we arrived at his office. The huge crowd, which included academic staff, demanded he accept it in person from the students, but in the end two representatives of the student demonstration were permitted to leave it in the office of his secretary.

If hundreds of students will show up merely to hand in a petition, how many will protest Berties physical presence here? This demonstration can not be ignored. Students and staff have made it perfectly clear they do not want Bertie Ahern awarded an Honorary Adjunct Professorship on our campus. Today, this was made perfectly clear. As the protestors chanted- 'No ifs, No buts- No education cuts!'

This is a grassroots campaign, seperate from the Student Union, which highlights the levels of anger amongest students with regards the massive education cutbacks our campus has seen as a result of bad government policy.

While Bertie Ahern remains a Fianna Fail TD, and while his political history remains a mystery, he will not be welcome on our campus. We extend solidarity to all education workers and students nationwide currently resisting massive and unjust cutbacks to education. Our campus is not a place for Fianna Fail photoshoots, it is an academic institution. Bertie Ahern being awarded an Honorary Adjunct Professorship would be an insult to all those who have been awarded such positions in the past from third level institutions.

The petition was delivered by a Free Education for Everyone activist, along with a member of Labour Youth on campus.

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for information or reports on the day