USI President John Logue was arrested by Gardaí in the Dáil while representing the students of Ireland. Cáthal Power of The Daily Shift reports…
The President of the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) was led away from the Dáil in handcuffs by Gardaí this evening.
The Donegal native was being questioned by Gardaí for an alleged breach of Dáil rules, before it was confirmed by Deputy President of the USI that Logue had been released.
The USI President was taking part in a protest which involved 100 other students relating to the recent debacle with the SUSI grant payments. Logue and the rest of the students were in the public gallery observing a Private Members Bill from Fianna Fáil.
It is understood the students all rose from their seats and turned their backs on proceedings in protest to amendments by government parties. Mr Logue was told to sit down by security staff within the Dáil. He refused to sit down however, and was subsequently arrested by Gardaí.
A USI spokesperson had this to say about the affair:
“John Logue was arrested for the simple act of turning his back on a Dáil which has turned its back on students.”
“By voting down an amendment that would have preserved the current level of the grant and stopped fee hikes, this government has once again failed students and families.”
“Logue was supported by over 100 students, including sabbatical officers from TCDSU, DITSU and NCISU. It was a peaceful act of civil disobedience, intended to highlight the issues facing students, especially as students face into €3000 fees, cuts to the grant and a grant system that has only paid out to a minority of students who qualify for it.”
Sinn Féin TD for Donegal South West, Pearse Doherty, immediately called for Logue’s release for Garda custody. “Mr Logue should be released without charge immediately,” said Deputy Doherty.
Cork North Central TD, Jonathan O’Brien felt that it was ironic that wrecking the economy isn’t worthy of arrest, but that Logue’s actions were. The Sinn Féin TD commented, “It’s ironic that if you wreck the economy you get a €500k per year salary, but if you stand up for students you are slapped in handcuffs.”
Logue has recently been in the media, having been part of The Frontline panel on RTÉ, as well as being on the panel on Vincent Browne’s show on TV3.