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Hundreds of Maynooth students DELIVER petition against Bertie Aherns appointment.

category kildare | education | news report author Wednesday December 02, 2009 17:26author by Donal Ó Fallúin - WSM/FEE NUIM Report this post to the editors

'no ifs, no buts- no education cuts!'
'no ifs, no buts- no education cuts!'

Today, Wednesday the second of December, almost 300 NUI Maynooth students showed up to deliver a petition against the appointment of Bertie Ahern T.D as an Honorary Professor by the University.

Campaigners decided to call on those who had signed the 1,000+ petition to help deliver it, and the turnout surpassed all expectations.

Activists from Labour Youth, the Socialist Party, the WSM, Sinn Féin and others assisted with the petition, and todays huge delivery showed the feeling on the ground is obvious.

The campaign can only grow from here. The University continue to argue that Bertie Aherns contribution to the Northern Irish peace process renders him fitting for an Honorary Professorship. These are not merely 'guest lecture', this is awarding a man who played no small part in bringing down the Irish economy, and belongs to the same school of politics as Ray Burke and Charles Haughey.

It is not at all surprising that the University President was not present when we arrived at his office. The huge crowd, which included academic staff, demanded he accept it in person from the students, but in the end two representatives of the student demonstration were permitted to leave it in the office of his secretary.

If hundreds of students will show up merely to hand in a petition, how many will protest Berties physical presence here? This demonstration can not be ignored. Students and staff have made it perfectly clear they do not want Bertie Ahern awarded an Honorary Adjunct Professorship on our campus. Today, this was made perfectly clear. As the protestors chanted- 'No ifs, No buts- No education cuts!'

This is a grassroots campaign, seperate from the Student Union, which highlights the levels of anger amongest students with regards the massive education cutbacks our campus has seen as a result of bad government policy.

While Bertie Ahern remains a Fianna Fail TD, and while his political history remains a mystery, he will not be welcome on our campus. We extend solidarity to all education workers and students nationwide currently resisting massive and unjust cutbacks to education. Our campus is not a place for Fianna Fail photoshoots, it is an academic institution. Bertie Ahern being awarded an Honorary Adjunct Professorship would be an insult to all those who have been awarded such positions in the past from third level institutions.

The petition was delivered by a Free Education for Everyone activist, along with a member of Labour Youth on campus.

Campaign Homepage: www.free-education.info
Event Page For Petition Delivery: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186345684162&...ef=mf

for information or reports on the day

email: feemaynooth@gmail.com

A section of the crowd on the march
A section of the crowd on the march

Caption: Video Id: YR6FUlHthCw Type: Youtube Video
Bertie Not Wanted In NUI Maynooth

author by Garpublication date Wed Dec 02, 2009 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's the actual text of the petition:

The following students wish to condemn the appointment of Bertie Ahern T.D. as an honorary professor in NUI Maynooth. We believe the University should take into account the views of the student body before offering an award to such a controversial political figure. We believe that such a step should not be made if it contradicts the views of the students and staff of the University. Considering Bertie Ahern’s record in a government that led us to the current economic crisis, the questions surrounding his personal finances and the damaging cutbacks to education being pursued by the Government to which he belongs as a T.D., this appointment is not appropriate.

Thanks to all who turned out.

Bertie led a government that contributed to the current economic mess, it's an insult that he's awarded an honorary professorship when there are graduates struggling to find jobs.

author by lulupublication date Wed Dec 02, 2009 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What's he to do with honour? He disgraced himself & Ireland.

author by DÓF.publication date Wed Dec 02, 2009 19:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A fantastic day, I honestly thought November 24th was our finest showing to date, but there are no words to describe how happy I am with today.

On the march past StPats
On the march past StPats

The group first comes to the bridge
The group first comes to the bridge

names and student numbers, thank you.
names and student numbers, thank you.

author by Orla McDonald - NUIM LGBTpublication date Wed Dec 02, 2009 21:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What an overwhelming turnout there was! I'm rather surprised to hear that 250 plus students showed up - just goes to show you the level of opposition there is to his "Honorary Professorship" or whatever they're calling it. I'm really annoyed I couldn't be there, I had every intention of doing so, well done everyone! And best of luck with the rest of the campaign...it's speaking volumes.

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If it was the president of the university that desided to appoint Aherne, then your campaign should call for his removal. It is Fianna Fail cronyism that has ruined our country and the future prospects for our young people. It is time to stamp it out.
Aherne was the fiqurehead but he had many cronies that are just as guilty as he is. Don't let them hide away to return in the future.Our future depends on the cleansing of the whole system.

author by Shooter Gavin - NUIM studentpublication date Thu Dec 03, 2009 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The turnout on Wednesday was great but the petition hasn't done anything.

From RTE yesterday:
In a statement this afternoon the NUI said the unpaid appointment was approved by both the University's Professorial Board and Academic Council, which contains over 60 senior academics of the University. The statement added: 'It is entirely appropriate for NUI Maynooth to acknowledge the former Taoiseach's mediation skills and benefit from his unique experience in the context of the work he did, in particular on the Nice Treaty and in bringing peace to Northern Ireland.'

The student and public anger just isn't sinking in with these people, you can acknowledge his mediation skills with guest lectures, there is no need for the honorary title (the point of the petition). In fact, as its been argued it is entirely inappropriate to give Bertie this title given the man's questionable ethics and policies.

The Students Union and the entire student body need to be properly informed of how NUIM are 'honouring' this joker and they need to get involved en masse (e.g. sit down demonstrations and refusal to go to lectures). And as for Bertie's actual lectures if it ever gets that far, someone should throw their shoes at him!

author by Donal ÓF - WSM/FEE (both pers cap)publication date Thu Dec 03, 2009 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course there's a need for students to step up the level of activity, this was a good starting point. Massive nationwide media attention, and many hundreds of students now aware Bertie is coming (You wouldn't even believe how many students didn't even know he was coming until they heard it in a lecture address/from somebody collection petition signatures)

This is not the end, not at all.

author by From one who knowspublication date Thu Dec 03, 2009 23:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The academics at the Academic Council meeting need to look at themselves as well. They allowed this through, senior academics in NUIM.
Yes, the President of NUIM has a lot to answer for - he was the one who decided that this appointment went through. It makes education, academic appointments, qualifications, PhDs and the work that people carry out a joke.
It demeans anyone who worked for years to get a PhD.
This man is nearly solely responsible for the state the country is in now - he should be shunned by any right-thinking person in society and not welcomed and lauded. Ahern should be in jail for treason not welcomed by senior academics in NUIM - they didn't raise it at all when proposed. This shows that academic freedom is dead in Maynooth. Those who head up the departments have no morals any more.
We have to make ethical choices, the academics at NUIM have been silenced by a bully of a president, who treats the place like his own little country to rule. Ethics have disappeared.
Look to those in charge - they are the culprits. NUIM now exists in a culture of fear - when Personnel becomes Human Resources the institution is dead. NUIM has been dead for a long time.
Not a good omen for the future of third-level education, the dumping ground for a bankrupt government who don't know what to do with the newly-unemployed: educated, vocal and angry. But not angry enough - they voted FF in the past and probably will again. Educated yes, intelligent - no.
Ireland is f********

author by Shooter Gavinpublication date Fri Dec 04, 2009 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Regarding the academic council agreeing to his appointment, there is a rumour that his name was presented along with a list of other names for similar positions and guest lectures, but he was listed as Patrick Bartholomew Ahern. If a controversial figure is slipped into the mix in such an underhand manner than it is understandable that people would not object, if this is true then his appointment was a sort of trick. At most, the academic staff can be levied with laziness or incompetence for not inspecting the list of names closely enough or not recognising Bertie's full name on there. It would be nice if someone who was at this meeting in March or someone who has access to staff who were present can clarify this as it would be very interesting for the media if it is true.

author by Bertie the destroyerpublication date Sat Dec 05, 2009 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... as it would be very interesting for the media if it is true.

This is true. But I'm not a reporter and this highlights one of the major fault lines today - a lazy media who want the public feeding them news instead of investigating themselves. NUIM has a lot more stories of bullying and rewarded bad behaviour worth investigated as well. We are really badly served by all the media with very, very few exceptions. Radio programmes for example take their stories from the newspapers and if it hasn't appeared there then the likes of Pat Kenny or 106 will not bother getting their own stories.
Here is a link to the minutes of the meeting, on the University website for all to see and investigate, those present also open and transparent. Scroll down to item 8, page 4. Not a squeak out of any of these people that is known about. Culture of fear in NUIM.

Up to journos to do the work themselves, pick up the phone, plenty of names there to ring!

author by paul o toolepublication date Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. The joke that is the 'peace process' is nothing more than bribery from the capitalists machine headed by such warmongers as the Clintons, and Tony Blair. Raytheon is a global arms manufacturer and sadly as part of the 'peace' the dividend is in the form if inward investment from Raytheon who make weapons now known to have been used in the Israeli attack onPalestinian children and in the invasion of Lebanon'
The chuckle brothers-mcguinness and Paisley, Adams, Bush, Aherne, Blair etc all shake hands and giggle senslessley at the new 'peace' they take responsibility for, as they all now subsumed into part of a huge military destruction of the Middle East.
Im not against the 'peace'...but the process is anything but ....

2. Bertie Aherne and Ray Burke should be tried for treason for the giving away of 562 billion euro in IRISH GAS.

3. Bertie Aherne said that it would be 'A Hostile Act' to remove facilities at Shannon to the US military.
Murdering 2.3 million Iraqi, 7 million homeless, 5 million orphaned children, a country destroyed for non existent WMD...and not a word of condolence about this 'hostility' against innocent people...another holocaust. Bertie is a war criminal..

4. Destruction of the oldest man made monuments on the plannet and a huge part of our heritage.

5. His friends make off with the wealth of the celtic tiger years and we are left with keeping the bankers-NOT the banks-afloat.

He is the epitome of what is decrepid, greedy, and self indulgent in all things Irish.

No wonder Mr potatoe (Tayto) head's autobiography is outselling his own.......

Well done to all in Maynooth....keep it up....

author by RGpublication date Wed Dec 16, 2009 19:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So, The Irish Daily Mail report that the Professor behind the appointment is HIMSELF a member of Fianna Fail, and even attended the Fianna Fail Ard Fhéis only weeks after getting this past Academic Council. Here, he calls the appointment a "fantastic idea".

It's a small world afterall....

"A MAYNOOTH professor helped get Bertie Ahern appointed as an honorary professor - just weeks after he attended the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis.

The former taoiseach was named as an ‘Honorary Adjunct Professor’ of NUI Maynooth’s new Mediation and Conflict Intervention programme on April 7. He was proposed for the post by the head of the university’s business and law school, Dr Robert Galavan.

The appointment has provoked outrage from a large number of students and academic staff.

On Thursday, a petition signed by more 1,200 students against the move was handed over to university president Professor John Hughes, after a protest march by 250 students.

The Irish Daily Mail has learned that Dr Galavan is a Fianna Fail member who attended the party’s Ard Fheis in the City West hotel in February.

Dr Galavan said he thought the appointment of Mr Ahern was a brilliant move. ‘I think it’s a fantastic idea,’ he said. ‘It’s got nothing to do with what I’m a member of or what I’m not a member of.’ The student petition said it condemned the appointment of Mr Ahern as it contradicted the views of large numbers of students and staff at the University"

Robert Galavan, the Fianna Fail Professor who thinks its a 'great idea'
Robert Galavan, the Fianna Fail Professor who thinks its a 'great idea'

Related Link: http://www.free-education.info
author by RGpublication date Wed Dec 16, 2009 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Professors personal website can be viewed over at www.robertgalavan.com, where no mention of Fianna Fail is made.

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