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Category: Peace

Students 4 Change Releases Plan to Make Trinity Divest from the War-Industry and Cut Ties with Declan Ganley

Dear TCD BDS, dear SU Citizenship Officer, dear SU Ethnic Minorities Officer, dear SU President,

I am writing as Chairperson of Students 4 Change on behalf of our Students 4 Peace campaign, and all the students in this campaign who are very concerned about Trinity College Dublin’s involvement with the war-industry. 

Students 4 Peace brings together students fighting for the pacifist and humanitarian principles of Irish neutrality. One of our goals, namely that of making our College divest from war-related stocks, is also the aim of BDS and TCDSU. As of 2020, our College invests ~2.6 million euros into Arms and Weaponry manufacturers, such as BAE systems, Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company through its endowment fund. These companies are used, for example, by the Israeli government to uphold their illegal colonial project on the territory of Palestine.

We are writing in essence to inform you of the next steps that Students 4 Change will take to make our College divest from their unethical investments in arms and warfare activities across the world. When we emailed Provost Linda Doyle in August, she was very forthcoming and informed us that she will convene a Committee on ethical investment the following month, with the involvement of a diverse range of representatives from College. 

Since then, they have taken steps to divest from the fossil-fuel industry, but no news of the Committee and divestment from the war-industry. In addition to the news that our College has 2.6 million € invested in the war-industry, Students 4 Change has also uncovered that College has close research funding links with Mr. Declan Ganley, a multimillionaire who campaigned for anti-abortion in Ireland, is involved with the war-industry, and has close ties with Trump and the far-right.

I would like to note in particular, that Declan Ganley’s ex-Party, Libertas, allied itself with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a pro-Israel organization which claimed in 2013 that BDS is a “thinly-disguised effort to coordinate and complement the violent strategy of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim ‘rejectionists’ who have refused to make peace with Israel for over six decades, and to pursue a high-profile campaign composed of anti-Israel big lies to help destroy the Jewish State by any and all means”.

We propose, if our College does not take further steps by the end of Semester 1 towards ethical investment and ethically-sourced research, for you to join Students 4 Change in formally challenging our institution’s status as a ‘University of Sanctuary’. Currently, our College, despite its efforts and certain notable achievements, does not live up to the latter award which is given for work in promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.  

We are informing the Provosts’ Office of this plan, so that they have ample time to act.  

From the attached document, here is a quote from the Irish branch of the ‘University of Sanctuary’ movement. Awards should not be awards for the sake of awards; they should be given for concrete and continued commitments to a set of ideals. 

University of Sanctuary Ireland (UoSI) is an initiative to encourage and celebrate the good practice of universities, colleges and institutes welcoming refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities and fostering a culture of welcome and inclusion for all those seeking sanctuary.   

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Best Regards,

László Molnárfi

Students 4 Change

Chairperson 

Picture1.pngis an alliance of Marxist and Anarchist students from Trinity College Dublin focused on the housing crisis in relation to student accommodation, Irish neutrality, SU reform and other matters of student politics. Go on our website students4change.eu, follow us on social media or email us at [email protected]!


And here is our email to Provost Linda Doyle.

Dear Provost Linda Doyle, 


I am writing again as Chairperson of Students 4 Change to seek your official commitment and update on the steps taken towards policies on ethical investment and ethically-sourced research at Trinity College Dublin, including cutting all ties with Israel, Declan Ganley and divesting completely from the war-industry. We would like to thank you for your work on fulfilling our College’s pledge to divest from the fossil-fuel industry, but we believe there is more work to do on this front. 
To reiterate again: 

  • Students 4 Change has uncovered that College has close research funding links with Mr. Declan Ganley, a multimillionaire who campaigned for anti-abortion in Ireland, is involved with the war-industry, and has close ties with Trump and the far-right.
  • As of 2020, our College invests ~2.6 million euros into Arms and Weaponry manufacturers, such as BAE systems, Lockheed Martin and the Boeing Company through its endowment fund. These companies are used, for example, by the Israeli government to uphold their illegal colonial project on the territory of Palestine.
  • We would also like to note in particular, that Declan Ganley’s ex-Party, Libertas, allied itself with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a pro-Israel organization which claimed in 2013 that BDS is a “thinly-disguised effort to coordinate and complement the violent strategy of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim ‘rejectionists’ who have refused to make peace with Israel for over six decades, and to pursue a high-profile campaign composed of anti-Israel big lies to help destroy the Jewish State by any and all means”.

After discussing with members of Students4Change, we propose that if our College does not take further steps by the end of Semester 1 towards ethical investment and ethically-sourced research and provide an official commitment, decrying its links with Israel, the war-industry and Declan Ganley, that we will challenge our institution’s status as a ‘University of Sanctuary’. Currently, our College, despite its efforts and certain notable achievements, does not live up to the latter award which is given for work in promoting the integration, inclusion and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants. Every day, lives are lost, families are destroyed and oppression continues to reign because of the military-war industry – we must actively fight against it, regardless of profits or the prestige of our College. 


The prestige of our College should lay not in its research funding or links with business donors, but in its eternal commitment to virtues such as social reform, democracy, independent research and peace – most of these virtues are listed on our College’s mission statement as well. 

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Best Regards,


László Molnárfi


Students 4 Change


Chairperson 


Picture1.pngis an alliance of Marxist and Anarchist students from Trinity College Dublin focused on the housing crisis in relation to student accommodation, Irish neutrality, SU reform and other matters of student politics. Go on our website students4change.eu, follow us on social media or email us at [email protected]!

Trinity’s Links with Declan Ganley and the Far-Right are Morally Reprehensible

László Molnárfi

From the lovely Cafe Tri Via in southside Dublin one can see a stretch of buildings, most of them the property of Trinity College Dublin, accumulated over the years for real estate investment. One of these, on the right, is CONNECT’s headquarters, a research center for telecommunications projects with the involvement of third-level institutions across the country. It is funded by the government, headquartered by the College and influenced by over 45 industrial partners. Partners, who hold sway over the institution, like Rivada Networks, whose controversial founder Declan Ganley is involved with the right- to far-right sphere.

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It is this link that has led to Rivada Networks directly funding Trinity researchers, like in the case of then-Professor Linda Doyle’s and Peter Cramton’s 2016 paper on wireless markets, and many more through CONNECT.

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This is somewhat of an open secret amongst people familiar with academic research, but is not widely known. It is important to note, however, so as to realize that the corrupting influence of capital goes much further than Trinity’s two and a half million euro investment into the armaments industry, and gets its claws much deeper in the institution. The history of CONNECT is representative of the ruling mode of production and the intensification of capitalism over the past few decades.

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CONNECT used to be the CTVR, the Center for Communication and Value Chain Research of Trinity founded in 2004. It was now-Provost Linda Doyle who embarked on an ambitious project to transform it into what she envisioned to be a nation-wide multi-institutional research center. From this, CONNECT was born in 2015 as a public-private partnership, with the government’s Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and corporate players funding its 300+ researchers who come up with ideas, and third-level institutions like Trinity managing their projects and profiting from the system through getting paid for administrative expenses. Trinity has an especially important role in the project, not only in headquartering, but it also hosts its directors, one of them who was now-Provost Linda Doyle until 2018, when another professor from the College took over.

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Of course, the involvement of the government who demand spin-off companies with profitability and multinationals means it has an entrepreneurial bent.

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This is where Rivada Networks comes into the picture, which is one of the corporate players involved in funding research and real-world applications thereof. Mr. Ganley, its Chairman and CEO, sits on the board of CONNECT. And if by nothing else, his influence can be measured by his net worth of €455 million euros, which he amassed through a network of businesses in Ireland, the United States and Russia, primarily in the telecommunications field. In June 2021, he and then-Provost-elect Linda Doyle did an interview on CONNECT’s YouTube channel, indicating his continued involvement, which becomes problematic when considering his political views, the organizations he runs and where he spends his money.

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Mr. Ganley is described as one of Ireland’s most prominent conservatives, and he is on the limit of political respectability at first glance. Always one step shy from explicitly engaging in the extreme right network, he works to support the Christian, right-wing and far-right forces from the background. This is done mostly through funding and donations.

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In 2017, he gave the seed money for so-called ‘conservative student newspaper’ The Burkean, which at the time described itself as a publication of Trinity students aimed to fight the ‘degeneracy’ in the western world. This is, of course, a common far-right dog whistle.

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To take another example, at the time of the abortion referendum in 2018, he campaigned fiercely on the ‘No’ side, even saying that he will ‘not pay taxes that fund abortion’.

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The question is, of course, where the profit motive lies and where his money is coming from. Naturally not solely from endeavours such as CONNECT’s spin-off companies, Rivada Networks is supported by right-wing interests around the world. It is not a coincidence that his company employs people such as John McGuirk, the editor of far-right newspaper Gript.ie and political player who once called a pro-choice TD, Kate O’Connell, a “catty, spiteful, loathsome twit”. He was communcations director for the anti-abortion “Save The 8th” campaign in 2018, and during his time at Trinity College Dublin he was “was forced to apologise after anonymous emails used to make allegations of sexual harrasment against a member of TCD’s College Historical Society were traced back to him”.

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To find other proof for the involvement of vested interests one only has to open a newspaper. Near the end of his presidency, it was reported that Donald Trump was pressuring the Pentagon to give a no-bid contract to develop 5G spectrum to Mr. Ganley’s company, ‘whose prominent investors include Fox News regular Karl Rove and Peter Thiel, Trump’s biggest supporter in Silicon Valley’.

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This is not to mention that the directors of Rivada Networks include a former lieutenant general, two formal admirals and a former deputy-secretary of Homeland Security, who also sits on the board of LockHeed Martin, a defense contractor that Trinity coincidentally has an investment of 721,473 € in. In addition, it includes Richard B. Myers, fifteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who oversaw the 2001 invasion of Iraq by the United States. Mr. Ganley himself, through using Rivada Networks as a telecommunications supply company, tried to profit from the U.S. invasion of Iraq by securing contracts for the failed reconstruction effort in 2003.

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Later, between 2004 and 2008, ‘Rivada Pacific won contracts totaling $37.3 million from the U.S government.’

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In this light, Mr. Ganley’s former political party, the so-called Libertas, also makes sense. He set up Libertas to campaign against the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2018 in alliance with national-conservative forces, on a platform that presented itself as defending the ‘libertarian democracy’ of the European Union (EU). However, upon closer inspection, this was a red herring. The Irish Times in 2008 reported that Mr. Ganley’s aspirations came as part of his vision, written down in a paper for the Foreign Policy Research Institution (FRPI) in 2003, a neoconservative think-tank that promotes military interventionism and U.S. foreign policy goals, which at their core arise from an ever-growing need to expand the markets that capital can spread to.

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In this paper, he denounced European criticism of the Iraqi invasion, and declared that the EU must cease its ‘contradistinction to the United States, [that] this new Europe must be an equal partner and influence in the worldwide extension of justice and liberty,’ – a goal which Libertas shamelessly promoted.

Declan Ganley’s ex-Party, Libertas, also allied itself with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a pro-Israel organization which claimed in 2013 that BDS is a “thinly-disguised effort to coordinate and complement the violent strategy of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim ‘rejectionists’ who have refused to make peace with Israel for over six decades, and to pursue a high-profile campaign composed of anti-Israel big lies to help destroy the Jewish State by any and all means”..

As such, if Trinity wants to adhere to its mission statement to promote a campus culture of ‘dedication to societal reform’, it should be more careful of where it gets its funding.

TCD’s Investments in the Arms Industry Amounts to 2,6 Million Euros

László Molnárfi

Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) Endowment Fund’s equity portfolio (c.65% of total Endowment Fund portfolio) comprises equity investments via units held in two indexed life assurance Funds which are passively managed by Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) as detailed below.

 • MSCI World ex-Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund

 • TCD High Yield Equity ex-Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund

By way of a FOI request answered on the 30th of July 2021, TCD and ILIM provided a list of “full portfolio listings of the two indexed equity funds at 31 December 2020” to us.

In our research, we looked at the following arms companies to see whether TCD has any investments in them. There may be some which are not on the list and therefore not in the table below. In total, according to this list, Trinity College Dublin has 2,6+ million euros invested in the arms industry, which is increased from 2015 when a journalistic inquiry determined the same figure to be around 850,000 €. For example, it has 721,473 € invested in LockHeed Martin, a company whose handheld weapons and fighter jets have been used by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians. Through the ceaseless self-expansion of capital, capitalism has made us complicit in conflict over resources, imperialist wars and colonial oppression.

Aeroflex Ltd, Airbus Defence, Airbus Group Ltd, Airbus OP Ltd, BAE Marin Ltd, BAE Surface Ships, BMT Defence Ltd, Boeing, General Electric Co, Halliburton Energy, Halliburton Man, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell Ctrl, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Qinetiq, Thales UK Ltd, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, GKN, Smiths Group, Cobham, VT Group, General Dynamics, General Electric, Halliburton, L3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Motors are the companies involved in the global arms trade that we looked for.

Thank you to UCL’s demilitarization campaign (@demilitariseucl on Instagram) for their support through providing valuable tips on FOIs and the list of companies involved in the arms trade. Their FOI requests can be found here, here and here.

Our FOI request and the original documents are attached here. Students 4 Peace’s site can be found here!

FundAmount Total of FundName of CompanyPercentage of FundAmount Invested in Company
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €AIRBUS0.14%111,030 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €BAE SYSTEMS ORD GBP0.0250.04%31,722 €
Global High Yield Equity Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202068,895,311 €BAE SYSTEMS ORD GBP0.0250.20%137,790 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €BOEING CO COM USD50.24%190,337 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €HALLIBURTON COM USD2.500.03%23,792 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €HEWLETT PACKARD EN COM USD0.010.03%23,792 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €HONEYWELL INTL INC COM USD10.31%245,852 €
Global High Yield Equity Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202068,895,311 €LOCKHEED MARTIN CO COM USD10.84%578,720 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €LOCKHEED MARTIN CO COM USD10.18%142,753 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €THALES EUR30.02%15,861 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €ROLLS ROYCE ORD GBP1.500.03%23,792 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €SMITHS GROUP ORD GBP0.3750.02%15,861 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €GENERAL MOTORS CO COM USD0.010.11%87,238 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €L3 HARRIS TECHNOLO COM USD1.000.08%63,445 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €NORTHROP GRUMMAN COM USD10.10%79,307 €
MSCI World Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202079,307,312 €RAYTHEON TECHNOLOG COM USD1.000.22%174,476 €
Global High Yield Equity Ex Fossil Fuels ex Tobacco Fund 31/12/202068,895,311 €RAYTHEON TECHNOLOG COM USD1.001.02%702,732 €
Figure 1: TCD’s investments in the arms industry through its Endowment Fund as of December 31st 2020.

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