Image: Revellers at the Dance Stage at UCD Ball 2012. File photo
UCD Students’ Union have confirmed that attempts to hold an end of year ball on campus this year have been unsuccessful. In a statement released by the Union, President Feargal Hynes said that “We met as many key stakeholders as early as possible to find a way to host the ball on campus with our main priority being the safety of students. We felt that we had a strong argument when presenting an event management plan and other details to address the concerns of the Gardai.”
According to the statement, safety concerns were raised by Gardaí relating to previous balls held on campus. Gardaí also insisted on a full campus closure, which the statement claims that the University were not willing to provide. Hynes went on to say that “Despite our best efforts all of our proposals did not meet the requirements of the statutory authorities on this occasion. I would like to tell students that we as a team did absolutely everything we could to make this happen, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a solution for this year’s event.”
The UCD Ball, which was last held on campus in 2012, was traditionally held on the last day of term and was considered the most important event in the Ents calendar. Since being moved off campus due to difficulties obtaining proper Gardaí approval, the ball has been held in the venue currently known as the 3Arena. Last year’s ball was noted for low attendance, and made a “substantial loss”, according to Hynes, who made returning UCD Ball to campus a central campaign promise in his candidacy for President last year.
UCDSU commissioned a report into UCD Ball last Summer, which was carried out by Mazars, an international auditing and accounting firm. Hynes noted that the report found that “the venue is the unique selling point of the UCD Ball” and that it would be difficult for a financially responsible SU “to be investing such sums of money into a ball if it’s not in UCD.” There are no plans to hold a UCD Ball in an alternative venue.
The Union has indicated that it will be shortly announcing a new festival of events on campus that will mark the end of the academic year.