About 1 500 students from GMIT and NUIG gathered on the 18th of November on the Spanish Arch in Galway. They were protesting against the government cuts in the education budget. On the stage, Peter Mannion, SU President of NUIG, Patrick Bonner, USI Representative and Gary Redmond, President of the Irish Student Union were accompanied by papier-mâché heads of Mary Coughlan and Éamon Ó Cuív. Peter Mannion, was outraged, saying “this government wants to raise the registration fees, cut the student grants. This government wants us to pay for its mistakes.”
The protest went peacefully, with an extraordinary deployment of Gardaí at every corner and undercover policemen taking pictures of the crowd and the stage. The Socialist Workers Party was present as well, waving banners.