'We have wood, nails, food, toilet, chimney': Protesting students occupy TD's office

Eight students from NUI Maynooth have occupied the constituency office of Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor to highlight their fear that student maintenance grants may be cut in next week's Budget.

Eight students from NUI Maynooth have occupied the constituency office of Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor to highlight their fear that student maintenance grants may be cut in next week's Budget.

There is also speculation that third-level fees could be re-introduced, or college registration fees increased.

The students have been asked to leave Deputy Lawlor's office, but have refused.

Student Union President of NUI Maynooth Rob Munnelly said the students were there for the long haul.

"We've got wood, nails, a toilet, enough food to last a few weeks, a change of socks, a change of clothes…We've even got a chimney," he said.

"If it comes to Christmas and we're still here, family can come and visit us. We are here for the long haul.

"One of two things will happen. One is that (Kildare North) Deputy Lawlor will keep his campaign promise and not vote for a Budget that will raise student fees or cut the grant. The other is that the Gardaí will come and drag us out. Those are the only two ways we're leaving."

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