Students to stage 'funeral' protest

Students are calling on the Government to protect our future by protecting education.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is holding a "funeral" to mark the death of education - after the Minister for Education failed to publicly stand over his pre-election promises not to increase college fees or cut the maintenance grant.

Today's demonstration forms part of USI's "Stop Fees. Save the Grant" campaign.

The group is calling on Minister Ruairí Quinn to keep to the promises made by the Labour Party and Fine Gael during the election campaign.

USI President, Gary Redmond, says we must invest in the future of the country, and that means investing in education.

“Students and their families have a right to know what the Labour Party’s position on fees is," Mr Redmond said.

"In the dying days of the General Election 2011 campaign, the Labour Party made an unequivocal commitment to students and families that they would not support any increase in fees, and that they would undo the increase to €2,000.

"That commitment was a deciding factor for many thousands of voters across the country and it is simply unacceptable for the Labour Party to row back on that commitment now.

"At a time when Ireland’s economy is in dire straits, we must not erect any more barriers to higher education for disadvantaged families nationwide. We must invest in the future of the country, and that means investing in education."

The protest will begin from the Department of Education in Dublin's Marlborough St at 11am this morning.

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