Incoming Students’ Union President and current Campaigns and Communications Vice-President, Pat de Brún, has admitted that UCD Student Bar is “really struggling”. This news comes after it emerged that its manager reportedly suffered a broken ankle, after a random assailant attacked a car in which he was a passenger.
De Brún told The University Observer: “The [price of] soft drinks went down, but unfortunately, as with all other drinks, they’ve now gone back up, because the bar is really struggling. Once it gets to a certain point, we can’t demand that drinks are a certain price if the accounts aren’t adding up. So it was there for a while and then unfortunately the bar wasn’t bringing in enough revenue to maintain that.”
This admission comes a few months after Ents Vice-President Jonny Cosgrove announced that there were no more free drinks tokens available for class parties.
Cosgrove told The University Observer: “The bar – it’s our venue. It’s our thing to work.” Cosgrove said that his aim for the bar was that “if you didn’t know anyone you could go down to the bar and meet someone, because it’s not about getting drunk, it’s about enjoying the process. I do think that’s something that has been lost, particularly in our generation.”
Cosgrove attributes the fall in bar sales to students who go out mid-week and “get the bottle of vodka…the average spend for a first-year going out in Dublin is about €6 to €8. That’s insane. That’s not manageable.”
De Brún, however, is optimistic that the drinks promotions can be reinstated in the next academic year: “It’s something that I would like to re-instate next year.”
Cosgrove also said that the bad weather in December cost the bar: “That put us back in terms end-of-exam parties, which were a great form of income for the [Students’] Union.” He cited the fall in bar sales as among the reasons why he was not able to promise some of his aims for the Student Bar in his election manifesto last year.
“I think that we battled it pretty well by making it cheap enough for people to come,” Cosgrove explained. “On big nights where there was an act that was definitely going to sell out, those nights we wouldn’t have drinks promotions on. I was not going to stand behind that. I said ‘just because you’re getting them in doesn’t mean you can rob them blind’.
“I think it’s something that’s across the board. As I said, licensed premises are shutting down across the country everyday, purely down to economics. I think we’re doing the best we can,” he added.
The University Observer also understands that the Student Bar manager, Declan Hyland, was reportedly injured in an incident while driving out of UCD last week. Hyland suffered a broken ankle after an unnamed individual approached a car in which Hyland was a passenger.
A university source told this newspaper how the individual in question began “bonnet surfing” on the car and damaged the windscreen in the process. Hyland subsequently suffered the injury while attempting to pursue the perpetrator.
The attacker has been reprimanded, however it is yet to be confirmed whether he is a UCD student.
Representatives of the Student Bar and the university were unwilling to officially comment on the incident at the time of going to print.