Camp Saoirse at UCC has held out for over a week already.

UCC encampment: ‘They’ll need to move us soon’

There is a sense of renewed determination amongst students camping out on UCC grounds today as they feel an official response from the college regarding Palestine may be imminent.

The students, who have named the encampment Camp Saoirse, have endured all kinds of weather since setting up camp on UCC’s grounds last Wednesday.

The UCC Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) has since met twice with college officials demanding they release a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, UCC BDS spokesperson, Mikey Rose, said: “We're happy that we were able to explain our demands quite clearly and that's there has been a quick follow up and feedback on that. There have been discussions and they have some sort of response prepared, but it's very unclear to us at the moment how positive that feedback is going to be.”

With graduations looming on 31 May, UCC BDS members feel the college is eager to find a resolution.

Mr Rose continued: “Medical students are graduating on the 31st and obviously we don't want to be disrupting anyone's graduation. Of course, the college is aware that they'll need to move us soon.”

The UCC BDS has been in regular communication with the wider Irish student movement, which the group says is essential to ensuring the full scale of its demands can be addressed on a national basis.

The group is now calling on other student groups to hold their universities to account and to connect on the basis of solidarity between students and workers, both across the country and internationally.

The group says union groups are key to building a solidarity movement, and that members were pleased to have received support while continuing the call to trade unions to join the global movement.

Looking ahead, Mr Rose said the camp remains firm in its actions.

“We've been here through all types of weather at this stage: heavy rain, strong wind, lovely sunny days too, and each of those has their own challenges. I think because we set up in the rain, people are ready to just push through,” he said.