NUI Galway’s annual charity Christmas Day underwent some drastic changes this year as the administration’s building’s office threatened to cancel the event the day before it was scheduled.
The Student’s Union posted the news in a statement and video message on their Facebook page the day before the event.
The statement detailed the new plan, “…to make Christmas day a ticketed event, with a maximum of 550 tickets to be sold. The event will run from 1pm to 6pm. Tickets will cost €5 and this includes your Christmas Dinner in a box. Tickets also guarantee entry into SULT, so there’s no need to queue.”
The event, which is now in its fifth year, typically begins with revelers queuing outside of college bar SULT, and then heading into town with their charity wristbands. The SU tried to adhere to the usual structure of the day and, “proposed extra security, food being served earlier and that the consumption of alcohol would not be allowed in the queue,” which was not successful.
The day did go ahead and still drew massive crowds to SULT and to town, especially to The Hole in the Wall in Woodquay, where students began to queue at 10am. When asked about the changes to the day students seemed unperturbed. Everyone was donning Christmas jumpers and were content with going to The Hole in the Wall instead of SULT. Many still got into SULT, but one student claimed that her friend waited up to an hour in the queue for tickets.
NUIG was lucky enough that the event still went on as Maynooth University cancelled their Christmas Day this year, with their SU President Leon Diop citing that, “serious operational, public order and safety concerns have been raised around this day in general.”
Christmas Day is criticized as being an excuse for students to go out and get drunk, but SU president Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh says that Christmas Day is a way for student’s to have fun ahead of the stressful exam season and raise money for charity. This year the SU aimed to raise €35,000 for charity, this year’s recipients being Amach and domestic violence response.