Students to stage Dáil rally over fees plan

Students to stage Dáil rally over fees plan

Angry students are to stage a mass rally outside the Dáil tomorrow at the possible reintroduction of third-level fees.

Up to ten tents were being pitched overnight outside Leinster House in advance of the protest.

Guest speakers at the demonstration include former Education Minister Niamh Breathnach as well as students union presidents of Australia and New Zealand.

Dan O’Neill, Union of Students of Ireland vice president, branded fees a stealth tax.

“Hardworking people have already been hit hard by this recession and now the Government wants to hit them even harder by charging them to go to college,” he said.

The union said its sleepover falls on the eve of Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe’s deadline for Cabinet members to submit their views on the fees issue.

It was to last from 8pm tonight to around lunchtime tomorrow when the rally will kick off, expected to attract hundreds of students from across the country.

USI said the Government should be encouraging people laid off in the recession to return to college and not hit them with disincentives.

The body said a return to fees will also cripple students with debt and discourage others from going on to third-level education.

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