Daly pledges full support for students’ campaign

Meeting in Kerry tomorrow night gives students a chance to air their concerns

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly has pledged his full support for the Kerry students who will hold a public meeting at the Brandon Hotel in Tralee tomorrow night against the Government’s broken promises to students and their families.

The action is part of a nationwide campaign by the Union of Students in Ireland, which has already seen hundreds of students attend public meetings across the country to voice their anger about the planned increase in student fees, the cuts to grants and the on-going crisis in the new SUSI system.

Senator Daly said: “Students in Kerry and across country have been treated appallingly by Labour and Fine Gael since they got into power.  Many young people and their parents across the South West voted for these parties based on their solemn pledge not to increase student fees.  It quickly became clear though that Labour and Fine Gael made these promises with the sole purpose of getting into power, and had no problem abandoning them once they achieved it.
“The meeting will present students with a great opportunity to voice their concerns about how the delays in student grants have affected them.

“The palpable anger among students at Tralee IT is completely justified.  Not only do they feel betrayed by the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn and his colleagues, many of them are seriously worried about how they will now afford to stay in college.  Far from reducing the cost of college as he promised he would do, Minister Quinn actually plans to increase the student registration fee by at least €1,000 within his term in office.  He has also slashed grants, and he continues to preside over a deeply flawed grant processing system that has left thousands of students across the South West still waiting for their grants.

“In the Dáil last week, Fine Gael and Labour TDs in this region failed to stand up for the students and families who elected them.  They refused to support a Fianna Fáil motion opposing further increases in student fees and cuts to frontline education services.  I am calling on them to listen to the students who are protesting here today and to reconsider their damaging increases in the cost of college,” said Senator Daly.

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