Petition has clout

November 15, 2002

Queen's University Belfast's decision to axe classics ("Poet Heaney joins protest over axeing of classic", THES , November 1) means that potential students "will have to leave the province to do a degree". This is why those who protested to senate on October 25 included not only poets Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, myself and academics such as Onora O'Neill, but also a former Stormont minister of education, the former ombudsman, the former head of the civil service here and a member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition. The lord mayor of Belfast and more than 1,000 others - mostly from Northern Ireland - have already signed a further petition of protest.

Michael Longley

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