[Sinn Fein]

3rd December 2002

Sinn Fein support Dept. of Finance office take-over by students

Sinn Fein TD Aengus Ó'Snodaigh has expressed his support for the actions of the Campaign for Free Education in seizing an office in the Department of Finance in protest at the refusal of the government to give a commitment not to reintroduce fees.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``This government has shown its ability to ignore the pleas of the people in relation to the first time buyers grant and the extension of medical cards. This has driven a number of young people to take this form of direct action and I, for one, think they are to be congratulated. It must be brought home to the Minister for Finance that his actions tomorrow will have real and serious consequences for families cross the state in terms of access to third level education.

``I call on the Minister to give the young people who are taking this action in support of their fellow students and future students the assurance that they need that fees will not be introduced during the lifetime of this government and that real investment in grant support, rather than mere rhetoric, will come from Minister McCreevy tomorrow.''

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