[Sinn Fein]

17 October 2000

Mayor supports students at Sligo protest rally

The Mayor of Sligo, Sinn Fein Alderman Sean MacManus has described Grants for Third Level Students as ``disgraceful and totally inadequate'' and has called for the government to accede to Student demands for a significant and realistic increase in Grant levels.''

Speaking at a Union of Students of Ireland (USI) organized rally in Sligo, Alderman MacManus said:

``Current grant levels for third level students are a pittance which result in great inequality in third level education as many people from working class backgrounds are forced to drop out of College for financial reasons. Others are forced to find part-time employment in order to pay their rent and eat, taking them away from their studies and causing great problems for their academic work.

``The Governments coffers are overflowing with excess cash. It is time that they concentrated on investing in the future of our young people, the future of our Country and awarded Third Level students the necessary and realistic funding and assistance required to ensure that additional financial pressures, already added to by the present crippling level of inflation, are not placed on those attempting to further their academic careers.''

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