This year, the annual Maples Law Ball undertook a move from the big city to the rolling countryside, taking place in Tullamore, County Offaly. The “jewel” in Trinity Law Society’s social calendar, this hotly anticipated event sold out at the reasonable price of €45, with students from all disciplines attending due to its famed reputation on campus.
Confused tourists fought their way through the fake-tan fumes and sequined ballgowns, as the Law Ball attendees made their way onto the dazzling carriages (buses) that awaited along Nassau St, ready to charter students to their final destination. This was perhaps one of the highlights of the night – the craic was in full swing as the obliging bus driver turned up the tunes and pre-drinks became mobile, as we made our way out of Dublin and onto the route to Tullamore.
Two hours and several litres of alcohol later, we disembarked at the Bridge House Hotel, greeted by the much-anticipated champagne reception. Following some excited squealing, the inevitable selfies and painful but necessary queuing in the bathroom, we were ushered into the Charleville Suite. Law Soc had provided an online form for the seating chart, which worked well as they seemed to have managed the impressive feat of seating friend groups together, a nod to the overall smooth operation of the event.
Maples teddies and free wine adorning the tables, we indulged in a delightful three course meal, the standard ball dishes of soup, chicken and a medley of deserts. Next came the awards. Not being the most dedicated of Law students myself, I’ll admit to have been slightly lost, but for those in the know, the awards were seemingly hilarious, with medals for “Biggest Corporate Sellout” and “Most Affected By Erasmus” to name but a few.
The tables were cleared away to make room for the dance floor where the DJ delivered several crowd pleasers; from ABBA to Beyoncé, people were up and boogieing away the stress accumulated over the first three weeks of term. To me, it seems a necessary detail to confirm that the bar was indeed reasonably priced – much to everyone’s relief. With vodka and juice for a fiver, no one could complain. Perhaps moving the ball to Tullamore was a wise move in this sense.
At around 1am, the party trickled into Palace, not the notorious club on Camden street but the hotel’s very own club, where once again happy attendees bopped away to what was essentially Spotify’s Global Top 50 playlist. The weak ones among us began to drop, as visions of passed-out students took well-deserved naps around the club – and after nine hours of partying, who could blame them?
The more experienced amongst us danced until the early hours, as the heels were abandoned and tuxedo jackets were flung into corners, perhaps never to be found again. Romance was of course ignited over vodka number seven, as couples retreated into the corners for intimate conversations about their Law modules, unfortunately for those who around them trying to take a quick nap.
At 3.45am, we got our call to leave. Bleary-eyed, we collected up our belongings, what was left of our dignity, and shuffled onto the buses home. As the clock struck 5am, we gracefully stumbled around College Green in search of the gold at the end of the rainbow that is is McDonald’s, relaying our overall experiences over chicken nuggets that had never tasted quite so good. As a first-time attendee at Law Ball,I can confirm that it does live up to its reputation. In that sense, I wouldn’t hesitate to go again.