Politicians have criticised a decision to remove students from university accommodation with 24 hours notice.
Trinity College in Dublin took the decision yesterday that all students must leave campus accommodation, Trinity Halls, and other linked private student accommodation in an effort to tackle the coronavirus.
The letter said it was “one of the most difficult decisions to date”.
It’s understood a number of people involved with the institution, both staff and students, have been infected with the virus.
A letter was sent via email yesterday from the administration that all students should vacate with all their belongings by Tuesday evening by 7pm unless they meet certain criteria.
Overseas students have until Wednesday at 5pm.
The criteria for staying includes, if a family member at home is self-isolating, if the student is subject to visa restrictions or the student would be at risk of homelessness.
Those staying in Trinity Hall will be refunded on their rent, those in other linked accommodations will be “supported” in their efforts to claw back payments.
The letter caused widespread shock and criticism from students who noted that many would not be able to organise parents or other family to travel across the country to help them move all their belongings at such short notice, or organise flights and luggage transfer for those living overseas.
The Labour Party have described the move as “worrying”, with Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin saying the decision is questionable.
“The decision by Trinity College Dublin to give students less than 48 hours notice to leave their student accommodation is questionable at best,” Mr Ó Ríordáin said.
“Many students who remain in Trinity-owned accommodation are international students. They have already paid high tuition fees on top of their accommodation fees.
“We are in the middle of a very troubling health situation coupled with the worst housing crisis the State, it is unacceptable to expect students to find accommodation at such short notice.”
Likewise, Sinn Féin Housing Spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said he would be contacting the university to discuss the issue.