UCD students establish pro-Palestine encampment at Belfield

Protest camp follows similar encampment at Trinity College Dublin which led to that university agreeing to divest from Israeli investments

Students at University College Dublin (UCD) have set up an encampment in Belfield in solidarity with Palestine.

The camp was established on Saturday evening at the main lake at the south Dublin campus by UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) and the college’s Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) group.

It is the second such encampment at an Irish university in recent weeks. Trinity College students last Wednesday ended a six-day encampment, which had resulted in public access to the Book of Kells being blocked, after the university committed to divest from three Israeli companies in which it held investments as part of its endowment funds.

In a statement, the UCD protest organisers issued a list of 12 demands, and said that the peaceful encampment would continue until these demands are met.


These include calls for the university to end all academic ties with Israel; to disclose all ties, academic and financial, with Israeli institutions and enterprises and to commit to divest from any investments in the country; to provide scholarships for Palestinian students and pathways for Palestinian academics to work within UCD; and to remove Israeli goods and supplier contracts from campus.

The protest organisers also called on the university to issue a public statement calling for “an end to the genocide of the Palestinian people by the settler state of Israel”.

Other demands include flying the Palestinian flag on campus until a permanent ceasefire is agreed; and the naming of the Centre of Future Learning building, which is under construction, after Palestinian writer and poet Refaat Alareer, who was killed in an airstrike in Gaza last December.

“We will not accept the inclusion of any neutral statement that condemns all forms of violence on both sides, which creates a false moral and material equivalence, underplaying the genocidal destruction Israel has unleashed on the Palestinian people,” concluded the statement.

UCD students in April protested against the visit of Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the US House of Representatives, to campus to receive an honorary degree.

UCD students’ union president Martha Ní Riada was removed from the conferring ceremony by security staff as she called Pelosi “a Zionist and war criminal”.

In a post on X on Saturday evening, Ms Ní Riada said “academic freedom can’t be used as a reason not to stand against genocide when all universities in Gaza are destroyed”.