Mar 17, 2020

Students Unable to Find Travel Can Extend Move-Out, Says Provost

In an email to Eoin Ó Broin, Prendergast said Trinity won't 'ask for evidence' from students who feel they meet the criteria to remain on campus.

Emer Moreau and Donal MacNamee
Eleanor O'Mahony for The University Times

Students unable to make travel arrangements to get home can extend their deadline for moving out of Trinity’s accommodation, Provost Patrick Prendergast has said.

In an email to Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin, published on Twitter this afternoon, Prendergast also said that Trinity “will not ask for evidence” from students who feel they meet the criteria required to be allowed to remain on campus.

Trinity is also not guaranteeing compensation for students living in Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court, Prendergast said. “We believe that private-providers should also do this but of course that is ultimately a matter for the accommodation providers.”


Last night, in a message seen by The University Times, Prendergast told Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne: “No one will be moved if they don’t have a home in Ireland to go to, and those that remain we will be able to look after much better.”

In the email correspondence published by Ó Broin, Prendergast wrote: “I appreciate you contacting me and your concern for the welfare of our students.”

“The timeline for implementation of the decision seems very short”, Ó Broin wrote. “If students cant [sic] find alternative accommodation or travel arrangements by the 18th can that deadline be extended.”

Prendergast responded: “No student will have to leave who has no other accommodation – students have been told to go home if they can. For travel it can indeed be extended, but of course a travel ban may come into force.”

Ó Broin also asked what process would be in place “for students who feel they meet the criteria” for an extension.

Prendergast said that College “will accept the students [sic] word and bone fides in this matter”.

“We will not ask for evidence”, he said.

Prendergast told Byrne last night: “There are good reasons for this. The Trinity GPs are pushing for it.”

“Self-isolation”, he added, “is almost impossible with shared bathrooms and kitchens in student residences”.

Prendergast told Ó Broin that College has been in contact with Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) president Laura Beston “all day”.

“My biggest concern”, Ó Broin told Prendergast, “is to ensure that no student is rendered homeless as a result of the University’s decision. I was very encouraged to see this listed as one of your criteria”.

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