‘Suzanne’, who was among those attempting to pelt Enda Kenny with eggs at UCD yesterday, defends her protest.

To my Students’ Union,

I am writing you this letter  to explain my motives for ‘attacking’ Enda Kenny yesterday. I hope you will excuse my terrible writing, but I feel that I have the right to explain, if not defend my actions.

I realise that more than likely I am in the minority of students. I have by all standards not had the best time in life. During my studies at UCD I have had some very good times and some very bad times, so I guess I will start at the beginning.

I entered first year of UCD in 2009 to study Mathematical Science. I had already dropped out of Queen’s in Belfast, as I could not cope with college after having been raped the summer previous. Being raped is something which has essentially all but destroyed my life. I started self-harming, the scars on my arms are still very visible;  I think that I attended maybe 6 weeks of my entire first year. The rest was spent in psych wards or being ferried from counsellor to psychologist to psychiatrist.

I still passed though, and most of that was down to Scott Ahearn, Welfare Officer at the time. He took me to doctor’s appointments, found me somewhere to live. He was the first person I phoned when I got arrested (Section 12 of the Mental Health Act if you’re wondering). I owe so much to him. I also come from an estate where very few people go on to third level education; instead they turn to drugs and paramilitaries. It is a constant source of amazement to my family that I went. I often get told by them that ‘people like us don’t go to college.’ My only hope is to prove them wrong.

When I began second year things weren’t much better, by this stage I had moved house 5 times, each move being a runner from one house to another in the middle of the night. I had no money, no food and it was looking very likely I would have no home either. I ended up in the psych ward again, I couldn’t cope. I decided that the best plan of action was to defer a year, to get a job, so as to have some money. It was easier said than done, but I did eventually start working with disabled students in DCU. It paid less than the dole, but it was more money than I had ever had. In this time I did become homeless, I lived with people who ended up putting a knife to my other housemate’s throat.

Third year has been slightly better, yes I am repeating a lot of exams, I still struggle to cope, but I have been getting by.

So I guess I should tell you why all this is relevant.

Enda Kenny, dear leader of our government, will no doubt raise fees in the budget next week, he will cut my disability benefit (the only reason why I have money this year), he will cut the grant, psych wards are already falling apart from lack of funding, not to mention the fact that the Rape Crisis Centre in Dublin has to ask for donations for counselling.

Am I expected to stand by and watch while he opens something I contributed money (money I really didn’t have) to? That was never going to happen. On a more personal note, Enda Kenny and Fine Gael believe I should spend life in prison for having an abortion. For making the most responsible choice for me, they believe I should be punished. I guess it is selfish to egg the man who wants you in prison, but I am not going to apologise for that.

I stand by my actions; I feel that everything has been blown incredibly out of proportion. (It was an egg like). If the Students’ Union had organised a peaceful protest I would have taken part in that, but they didn’t and it was left to me and other angry students to do something. It saddens me that the Students’ Union would condemn me, but I understand why. I understand that this doesn’t fit in with the nice plan of lobbying and marching from A to B, but I am sick of being walked over, I am sick of struggling through life and I can tell you now that this is only the beginning.

I am angry, I am sad, but most of all I am determined that eventually something good will be achieved.
Yours,
Suzanne

An Open Letter to UCDSU (‘Suzanne’, FreeEducationForEveryone)

Thanks Mark Malone

160 thoughts on “I Threw An Egg

    1. anvil

      Yup.
      She’s ” sick of struggling through life. ”
      Says a student privileged to enjoy third-level education and before she’s even tried her hand at a real job.
      You couldn’t make it up.

      1. realPolithick

        Some of the people who comment on this site are the most self absorbed, mean spirited, unempathetic bollix’s you could hope to come across. How you could read this young woman’s letter and come away with the attitude you have is beyond me. You must lead a very small, sad life.

          1. anvil

            I read the letter.
            Life can be a bummer,alright,but frankly why air the dirty washing of hers as somehow a justifcation for criminal behaviour.
            Stuff happens to people all the time but not everyone feels the need to be an attention-seeker for the rest of their lives.
            She should be grateful for having the opportunity of a university education instead of lobbing eggs at the democratically-elected leader of this country.

        1. soundmigration

          Heres the full letter.
          To my Students’ Union,

          I am writing you this letter to explain my motives for ‘attacking’ Enda Kenny yesterday. I hope you will excuse my terrible writing, but I feel that I have the right to explain, if not defend my actions.

          I realise that more than likely I am in the minority of students. I have by all standards not had the best time in life. During my studies at UCD I have had some very good times and some very bad times, so I guess I will start at the beginning.

          I entered first year of UCD in 2009 to study Mathematical Science. I had already dropped out of Queen’s in Belfast, as I could not cope with college after having been raped the summer previous. Being raped is something which has essentially all but destroyed my life. I started self-harming, the scars on my arms are still very visible; I think that I attended maybe 6 weeks of my entire first year. The rest was spent in psych wards or being ferried from counsellor to psychologist to psychiatrist. I still passed though, and most of that was down to Scott Ahearn, Welfare Officer at the time. He took me to doctor’s appointments, found me somewhere to live. He was the first person I phoned when I got arrested (Section 12 of the Mental Health Act if you’re wondering). I owe so much to him. I also come from an estate where very few people go on to third level education; instead they turn to drugs and paramilitaries. It is a constant source of amazement to my family that I went. I often get told by them that ‘people like us don’t go to college.’ My only hope is to prove them wrong.

          When I began second year things weren’t much better, by this stage I had moved house 5 times, each move being a runner from one house to another in the middle of the night. I had no money, no food and it was looking very likely I would have no home either. I ended up in the psych ward again, I couldn’t cope. I decided that the best plan of action was to defer a year, to get a job, so as to have some money. It was easier said than done, but I did eventually start working with disabled students in DCU. It paid less than the dole, but it was more money than I had ever had. In this time I did become homeless, I lived with people who ended up putting a knife to my other housemate’s throat.
          Third year has been slightly better, yes I am repeating a lot of exams, I still struggle to cope, but I have been getting by.
          So I guess I should tell you why all this is relevant.

          Enda Kenny, dear leader of our government, will no doubt raise fees in the budget next week, he will cut my disability benefit (the only reason why I have money this year), he will cut the grant, psych wards are already falling apart from lack of funding, not to mention the fact that the Rape Crisis Centre in Dublin has to ask for donations for counselling. Am I expected to stand by and watch while he opens something I contributed money (money I really didn’t have) to? That was never going to happen. On a more personal note, Enda Kenny and Fine Gael believe I should spend life in prison for having an abortion. For making the most responsible choice for me, they believe I should be punished. I guess it is selfish to egg the man who wants you in prison, but I am not going to apologise for that.

          I stand by my actions; I feel that everything has been blown incredibly out of proportion. (It was an egg like). If the Students’ Union had organised a peaceful protest I would have taken part in that, but they didn’t and it was left to me and other angry students to do something. It saddens me that the Students’ Union would condemn me, but I understand why. I understand that this doesn’t fit in with the nice plan of lobbying and marching from A to B, but I am sick of being walked over, I am sick of struggling through life and I can tell you now that this is only the beginning.

          I am angry, I am sad, but most of all I am determined that eventually something good will be achieved.
          Yours,
          Suzanne

  1. Tom

    ‘… this is only the begining.’ It’ll be tomatoes next. Dear Lord won’t someone please think of the dry cleaning bill.

    1. David Higgins

      “This is just the beginning” has been uttered by just about every far-left protestor since 2008.

      It took you guys 4 years just to begin…..

      1. αναρχικός

        all you do is comment on news sites. go do something constructive you piece of s**t. did FG hire you to be a professional hack on the internet?

    2. KeithFahey's moustache.

      Technically you are correct you me and every other tax payer will be paying the Dry cleaning bill.

    1. S

      Because while Enda Kenny can walk away with the atrocious decisions he has made as Taoiseach without any consequences whatsoever, Suzanne realises that the Students Union of Ireland collaborates with the Gardai and would penalise her for doing exactly what most of us would want to do. It’s about time the USI grew a pair and start thinking along the same lines as Suzanne.

        1. Bobby

          Suzanne is a good friend of mine, and though I agree with many of her political points, I’m not sure she is a ardent anarchist.

          Or wait… do you just not understand what the word ‘anarchy’ means and are using it out of context because you didn’t realise that words can be warped to favour a certain political agenda.

          WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

        2. oscarthefuzz

          throwing eggs is anarchy now? Jaysus hallowe’en must be the anarchists ball for the last 50 years then…

  2. IDB

    I tend to agree with her. No one got hurt and she made a valid point.
    Enda has not been very public about any of the recent controversies. He is well hidden by the political machine, so when he does finally make a public appearance, he should expect a degree of anger (but not physical violence). If there was no protest from a dispassionate student body, I’d be disappointed.

  3. Frodo Baggins

    “It was an egg like”

    And with that she lost any support she had from the majority of people. It’s one thing to speak like that when speaking with friends, but to write it down in an open letter and expect to be taken seriously? Unforgiveable.

      1. The Old Boy

        I am a chronic pedant when it comes to such matters and I agree that it is rather jarring, but it doesn’t detract in any way from the content of the letter. It was written by a student of mathematics who is, by her own admission, from a deprived background where education was not a priority and it is a minor miracle that she has done so well as she has. Know when to leave well alone.

    1. Ella

      We should only talk protests and explanations seriously when written in the formal language that comes most easily to those who have already have the privilege of a good education?

      Her aside doesn’t detract from her meaning. It’s familiar vernacular to most people, I’d say. Certainly to them of us that do be after growing up not speaking that formally on the day to day, like.

      I really don’t think it’s on to dismiss her point on the grounds of how it’s phrased. Not when the very thing she’s protesting is the unequal system which has left her with less of a talent for eloquent smarm than those in power.

      (And for my own part I find “It was an egg like” far less offensive that “assessing how x will impact y going forward”.)

      1. Xiao Liu

        +1, Ella. When I see or hear “going forward” I note down the culprit’s name and put them on my list of enemies.

        1. Daithi

          Good bone structure, little pale, dark chocolate eyes, some acne scarring, strong shin and a button nose.

          Done.

    1. Dkeys

      I’m really taken back by the responses to this girl’s letter. She has suffered abuse, rape, mental trauma, homelessness and now faces even tougher times with cutbacks to facilities upon which she is reliant. She threw an egg at a gobshite and missed.

      Broadsheet readers decide to victim-blame and ridicule her for speaking out and explaining her side, something I can’t imagine was an easy thing to do. She didn’t ask for your forgiveness nor should she feel the need to. In fact she says she is determined to make something good come of her hardship and I admire her courage.

      I seriously hope the people who have negative things to say on this site will never have to suffer the same as Suzanne.

        1. ThomasP

          Agreed. The lack of empathy on display by some is pretty disgraceful, she threw an egg at someone. The worst she could do to him is that he’s splattered with egg. This is nothing compared to what his budget will do to her.

  4. Grumpyoldman

    Big F*cking Deal, an egg.

    Egging is a standard of protesting and I don’t like the elevation of egging to some kind of violent terrorist attack.

    There is a sustained attempt by western governments to quash protesting and give it a quasi-illegal / subversive status.

    When your public representatives act on behalf of the international money lending industry instead of you and your family and friends, then egg them. Egg them and keep egging them.

    1. Mister Mister

      Yeah, big deals, eggs are harmless, particularly when hit in the eye with one.

      [img]http://www.imperfectparent.com/topics/images/2012/05/grant-253×300.png[\img]

      1. Grumpyoldman

        Like that’s the most likely effect.

        Get real and stop using very unusual examples.

        Are you a young FG giddy intern?

  5. Frodo Baggins

    I know my comments aren’t particularly disparaging but could BS remove them? Having read the full letter, I don’t like the flippancy in what I’ve posted above.

    1. BC

      Don’t make flippant comments on something you haven’t even read then. Typical of this country,people constantly commenting on things they don’t understand or haven’t even read about. Consider it a lesson learned.

      Just want to say that many of the comments here are disgusting and border on abuse. BS comments can be very acerbic and full of sarcastic wit. However, it’s stories like this that should not be subjected to any of this, and it’s sad people continue to treat such issues as a joke. – this is not directed at Frodo individually, just a general comment.

      I think BS should have slightly stricter moderation

  6. Mister Mister

    I’m sick ot struggling through life ? What age is she ? She’s in for a shock if she thinks her student years are the struggle.

    1. Mister Mister

      F you boradsheet and your selective quoting. I take it al back, this girl has had to struggle through a lot more than I ever had.

        1. Jim

          Well why don’t both of you keep your traps closed until you’ve read everything provided to you?

          Absolutely hilarious that you then blame this website.

          Just sitting at the keyboard, pouncing on the “Post Comment” button.

  7. ruairi

    After reading what this woman has been through, If I had been through the same, I would have thrown a photocopier at him!
    What a brave woman.

    1. Pat

      You are SO right! Let’s abandon civility and just take the law into our hands whenever we feel like it. That will fix everything. Well thought out plan, good man

        1. ruairi

          is it civil to leave sick people in suffering?
          is it civil to give your mates made up jobs, and cut vital funding to groups such as the rape crisis center?
          is it civil to waste public money on feathering you and your mates nests, while you pull money from life saving services?

      1. Bobby

        I think Pat is right here.

        Lets just let the state, it’s Garda and judges do everything. Turn on your TV, relax.

  8. Ross

    You’re nothing short of a disgrace and should be arrested and put in jail as well as kicked out of University. A place of learning is no place for you.

    1. Mani

      Ross, it’s ok. Just because you’re impotent doesn’t mean the end of your sex life. If a hard (ha! a joke!) man like George Hook can open up about it, then you know there’s no shame in it. Visit your GP. He/she can give you advice on how to get back in the saddle again.

      Of course, then there’s the lifelong problem of finding a horse, but one problem at a time, eh?

        1. Hopeful_cynic

          Ross, you smarmy unintelligent poster, you. It’s quite well known that UCD’s emphasis on learning has slipped massively. It has become a hub for regressive idiots who seem to go to college in order to avail of free drink tokens and nights out getting as hammered as possible.

          Good on Suzanne for acting given the inaction of UCDSU who think their time is better spent protesting back bencher Labour TDs than it is the leader of the country who has the most amount of say in the ENTIRE cabinet.

          Idiot Ross be idiot.

  9. D

    It’s an attempted assault on the democratically elected leader of the country. You have serious issues if you think that’s something that is going to pass without anything happening to you.

    1. Frodo Baggins

      Again – Read the full letter.

      BROADSHEET – Either quote the full letter or just link it without the out of context paragraph above – It doesn’t reflect the contents of the letter in the slightest and changes the tone entirely – surely you can see that from the comments here?

      1. Dave, Dublin

        “Democratically elected TD for Mayo, co-incidental leader of Fine Gael and co-incidental Taoiseach” didn’t scan so well.

        I reckon you’d be hard-pressed to find any leader of a democracy with less of a public mandate than our Enda (17,472 first preference votes).

    2. Red

      More like “hung-around-being-largely-useless-in-opposition-until-the-other-lot-f**cked-up-so-badly-no-one-wanted-the-job” elected leader, really…

      1. Mani

        I exsanguinate a couple of smurfs and use their precious blood, like any normal person. What do you do, wierdo?

        1. JW

          that +1000000 was to this comment, not Eddies!:~

          “Read the whole letter. Then look at yourself in the mirror. Then punch yourself in the face.”

    1. greypalm

      Not like you Eddie, a shining beacon of culture.

      It’s always a yawn when older generations moan about the younger generation (which they always do no matter what century you’re in) as if they’ve willingly wandered down a genetic cul-de-sac. They’re thick, they’re vacuous, they don’t like the right music, they talk funny, they’ve got stupid ideals. Things were better in my day… HAW HAW HAW.

      Language evolves. Even older generations use a lot of bastard grammar and stupid phrases different to the generation before them. But it doesn’t make ye stupid or give anyone the right to be smug and flippant about your opinions.

  10. cyclecrunk

    people making offensive comments about this poor woman without even having read the letter should really have good look at themselves and how they spend their time on the internet and interact with life. You are frankly not worth the air you breath.

    1. Eddie

      It was just a post, loike!

      But as per your suggestion, I’ve had a good look at myself and decided I’m just a keyboard warrior with no life. I need to change my ways. I will also be reviewing how I spend my time on the internet. Thanks, coach!

  11. John Doh!

    The BS comments section is rapidly declining to Mail online levels of analysis….yeah, DAMN BE TO YOUNG PEOPLE!

    1. woesinger

      Comments here are like the weather – expect blue shirts and heavy falls of jack boots any time FG are criticised, or there’s some travellers or hippies to be punched.

      At other times it’s warm and cozy liberal haze, with the occasional squally outbreaks of Murran. Sturm and drang when it’s abortion or religion, and areas of high pressure centred over Cabra West for “where’s this?” posts.

      The puns are always terrible though.

          1. Dave, Dublin

            You too Mani. Leave the chattering classes behind, it’ll improve Broadsheet in the long run.

            Your witty contribution only encourage morons who think they’re equally engaging. If you stop, the comments can continue their descent into semi-literate whining until BS mercifully turn them off.

          2. heyyouinthebushes

            Ah don’t leave us lads. Yis are the only reason I drop by.

            Way I see it, the lizard brained do more damage to their cause the more they spew. Let them wither under your wit.

  12. TomTom

    Just read the full letter:

    Shortened version:

    I’m a Nordie scumbag that thinks the world owes me a living. I can assault whoever I like.

  13. Eddie

    “…it was left to me and other angry students to do something”

    Go forth, Suzanne, for nobody else will! Our fate is in your hands now – godspeed! You have totes made a difference, loike!

  14. Luny Loo

    I worked two jobs in college… A waiter and security. it was tough.

    …. I also got a grant, fees paid and money off the folks….

    and I partied. It was fun.

  15. JW

    Broadsheet, please quote the whole letter (you’ve done very long quoted posts in the past, like dialogoues on tv etc.), the rest of the letter is required reading to say the least

  16. Rain Dog

    Look, if you didn’t agree with her actions before reading the letter, you can’t agree with them afterwards.
    Someones personal circumstances can’t really justify something you disagree with. You can understand her motivations but that doesn’t make it alright. Its very selective reasoning. You would all still be calling this person an idiot if you did’t read the letter.
    It’s a tragic story and you’d have to be cold not to empathise with her but in the end of the day that doesn’t change the fact that it was a childish protest that only went on to show students in a horrible light and justify a fee increase in the publics mind

  17. Miss T

    Hey, BS, I can’t read the whole letter because my work has banned the internet (mostly). I think the paragraph you have quoted is a stinking pile of self-indulgent, self-important, holier than though tripe so I would be very interested to read the rest of the letter, as so many others here are decrying, and see if it changes my opinion of “Suzanne”‘s actions.

    Any chance you could post the whole letter?

    Pretty please?

    With egg meringue on top?

  18. Miss T

    Wow, yeah, way wrong paragraph to extract as a representation of the entire letter. I feel like an even bigger dope now. I don’t think egging someone is ever helpful, but Jesus. That woman is acting out of anger and frustration. Yes, her story definitely explains her actions.

    Actually, having read that letter, it’s a wonder there aren’t more bricks being thrown around.

    1. ZeligIsJaded

      I forgot the “the”!
      The flippin “the” was essential!

      She is “the” .04612 %.

      I ruined it

  19. Kath

    I’m bracing myself for BS commenter backlash but here goes… I think BS did a fine job in the original posting of part of her letter. I initially felt like this was a young woman who was frustrated and made her views known and after reading more of her story I still feel like this is a young woman who was frustrated and made her views known.

    I didn’t assume she had zero reason to do what she did in the first place.

    I’ll crawl back into my box now.

    1. oscarthefuzz

      I find it very very draining to read BS comments section sometimes, it seems to invigorate other people to greater heighs of apoplexy but I just find my shoulders sloping lower and lower the nearer I get to the end.
      I only occasionally even read the comments these days, usually just stick to the main pages, I think it’s the intolerance that gets to me most, the people with the balanced views just get shouted down (and foolishly take the bait a lot of the time), the people with strong but potentially correct views get called trolls whether they are or not, and if there’s even a smell of middle class Dublin off your comment it’s all ‘roysh Saoirse, loike’ comments all over the shop. Then there’s the opposite ‘farmers from the Wesht will farm’ comments. All of the above can have a valid opinion and it certainly doesn’t make you any smarter to disparage them, though it might seem witty and intelligence-proving to call someone an idiot because you either disagree with them or they are not as informed as you about something, it really isn’t a good case for insulting someone, sometimes this goes under other monikers; arguing a point or debating being two, there’s no need to throw insults. ‘I think you’re wrong and this is why…’, so much more constructive than call someone stupid.
      Sin sin

  20. Pigeon Street

    Agree with the earlier post that the comments are descending into Daily Mail territory.

    I don’t agree however with the egg throwing as a form of protest. As a course of action it garners no sympathy. If Suzanne had of brought her story to a respected publication (if there are any left) before the egg throwing, then surely it would have been much more effective.

  21. rapmachinenodiggidy

    the taoiseach is not conducting himself in the interest of our most vulnerable, i dont blame anyone who strikes out against him or his pals

  22. OnATroll

    I think custard pies are a much better tactic. Harder to achieve, but less chance of the target moaning about injuries, and better publicity all round.

  23. NF

    Bye bye Broadsheet. The last few years were nice but I can’t be reading comments like the ones left above without feeling ashamed to have ever stumbled across this community.

  24. Baby Jesus

    Shouldn’t all you students be, loike, studenting or something?
    If she’s so hard up, she should have boiled the egg and had it for her tea.

  25. Grumpyoldman

    Protest needs to be protected and encouraged. Those who criticize it are doing so because they know they are the target, the inner circle of cushy numbers and protected professions.

    When the tables turn and SF get in, you’ll be wanting to protest yourselves.

    Works both ways.

Comments are closed.