Today 166 third level students are taking part in the iconic Jailbreak race. The competition started this morning at 9am from Collins Barracks, Dublin. In teams of two, the students have 36 hours to travel to a mystery location somewhere in the world without spending any of their own money. Throughout the competition, the students are given a series of clues which guide them toward a particular location. It’s only when the students arrive at this location will they be given the competition’s final finishing point. They must then make their way to a second destination, the first team to arrive will be declared the Jailbreak champions for 2017.
Jailbreak is Ireland’s largest student-run charity challenge originating in Trinity College Dublin. All funds raised are split equally between Amnesty International Ireland and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP). Jailbreak has now expanded to 10 third level institutions across Ireland. Over the past five years, it has raised €165,000 for the two charities. Participants had to raise €400 for the charities to qualify for a place on the starting grid, and are unable to use any of their own money.
Organizers for the event include Trinity students Gemma Caulwell from An Cumman Gaelach , Sam McMahon, Katie O’Houlihan, Cian Weldon, Sadhbh Sheeran head of DU Amnesty and Anna Whitaker. Niamh Carruthers is Head Organizer with Benn Ó Hógáin – a previous winner of Jailbreak.
“Now in its fifth year, we are delighted that Jailbreak continues to attract such fantastic support from Irish students. The money raised by the students and their supporters will play a crucial role in our campaign to protect the human rights of refugees and migrants,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Grainne Lee, SVP National Youth Committee Chair, also highlighted the impact of the Jailbreak campaign: “Jailbreak has been a fantastic way for students to raise awareness about the issues faced by some of the most vulnerable members of our society over the last 5 years and I have no doubt that this year will be even more of a success. The positive and far-reaching impact of the projects that will benefit from this year’s Jailbreak cannot be understated.”
This year’s participating colleges are: Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, Mary Immaculate College.