The University of Limerick’s (UL) ‘Raising and Giving’ (RAG) week, which took place from Monday 30th March to Thursday 2nd April, has raised an estimated €20,000. The money was raised in aid of four charities; Limerick Red Cross, Milford Hospice, Limerick Mental Health Association and St Gabriel’s School and Centre. It has been estimated that over €5000 has been raised for each charity.
The first event of the week was a sponsored rubber duck race, which saw almost 100 rubber ducks being launched on the River Shannon. A number of live acts performed over the course of the week, such as DJs, comedians, a hypnotist and bands. Live Acts included DJ Sash!, Japanese Popstars, Derek Warfield, and the Young Wolfe Tones.
The RAG Ball, held on Thursday the 2nd April, saw a number of acts taking to the stage, including Dirty Epics and the Blizzards, perform. There were eating and drinking competitions as well as some Father Ted themed events.
Other events included a raft race, a five aside soccer tournament and a driving race, known as the ‘Great Race Around Ireland’, where teams drove all over the country.
However, the week also saw some antisocial behaviour by students; it is reported that less than 20 arrests were made during the week and there have been complaints submitted to the university by residents of the city. A car was overturned in College Court, a UL student residence area and it is reported that there were litter and noise disturbances in College Court and in other local estates.
It has been reported that gardaí were called to between 60 and 70 houses in relation to house parties. A spokesperson also said that no one had been charged over the incident involving the overturning of a car.
The actions of the students involved have been condemned by the President of the Students’ Union (SU). There were cleanups of the estates by students with community service hours, held twice daily, overseen by the Community Relations Officer.
Other university’s RAG weeks were also marred with complaints about antisocial behaviour by students this year. In March, the National University of Ireland (Galway) revoked its support for their students RAG week after an estimated 40 students were arrested by gardaí for unlawful behaviour. However, the event raised over €32,000 for charities CD’s Helping Hands, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, L’Arche Community and the Belarusian Orphanage Project, the highest figure made in RAG week history.