Students at Ireland's prestigious Trinity College Dublin university manned an on-campus protest on Saturday against Israel's actions in Gaza, after barricading the main entrance to the site.

Student activists described the protest, which began Friday, as a "solidarity encampment with Palestine", echoing similar protests on US campuses.

Dozens of students pitched tents on one of the main squares at the university, which is a Dublin tourist attration, and piled benches in front of a library which contains the famous Book of Kells medieval manuscript.

Laszlo Molnarfi, president of the institution's student union, told Irish public broadcaster RTE that the students demand the university sever any relationships it has with Israel.

"The Book of Kells is now closed" for an indefinite period, Molnarfi posted on X, formerly Twitter.

"No business as usual during a genocide," he added, demanding Trinity "cut ties" with Israel.

Security staff closed the campus gates -- which are usually open to the public -- "to ensure safety", the university said in a statement.

It added that there was an "unauthorised" encampment on the grounds.

"While Trinity supports students' right to protest, protests must be conducted within the rules of the university."

Earlier in the week the union was fined 214,000 euros ($230,000) by the university for loss of tourist revenue after disruptive protests this year over student fees, rent and the war in Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian protests have rocked US campuses for weeks, but became more muted Friday after clashes with police, mass arrests and a stern White House directive to restore order.