Press Release

MLAs Urge Universities to Discipline Holylands Students

Session: 2008/2009

Date: Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Reference: E&L04/08/09

At its meeting today, the Assembly’s Employment and Learning Committee condemned as outrageous the behaviour of students in the Holylands area yesterday.

Members of the Committee discussed the incident and voiced their support for Queen’s University and the University of Ulster to take action to discipline the students involved.

Chairperson of the Committee, Sue Ramsey MLA said, “This is a disgraceful display of anti-social behaviour that shows students in a very poor light. Although only a minority of students were involved in this sorry episode, the reputation of all students in the area will suffer. We support the Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey’s, call for the university vice-chancellors to act.”

Deputy Chair person of the Committee, Robin Newton MLA added, “This behaviour is unacceptable and no student involved should be left in any doubt that this Committee will expect to see appropriate action from the authorities of the universities.”

Anna Lo, Committee member and MLA for the area commented, “I have told members of the Committee how local residents have been left traumatised and fearful. They could not have imagined that a day of celebration would turn into this kind of hooliganism. The community is investing heavily in the future of these students and this kind of behaviour is not going to be tolerated.”

The Committee intends to ensure that the universities pursue the perpetrators of the trouble and properly discipline them.


Notes to Editors:
Committee for Employment and Learning

The Committee Chairperson is Ms. Sue Ramsey MLA
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr. Robin Newton MLA
Committee members:
Mr. Alex Attwood MLA
Mr. Paul Butler MLA
Rev. Dr. Robert Coulter MLA
Mr. Alex Easton MLA
Mr. David Hilditch MLA
Mr. William Irwin MLA
Ms. Anna Lo MLA
Mr. David McClarty MLA
Mrs. Claire McGill MLA

Media enquiries should be addressed to:

Ms Debra Savage,
Northern Ireland Assembly, Press Office,
Telephone – 028 90 521405/521137
Mobile: 07920 864221
Email –

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