Last night marked the official launch of Jailbreak 2019, an annual fundraiser organised by Cumman Gaelach, DU Amnesty and Trinity Vincent de Paul society (VDP). The event consists of a race to a mystery location or ‘location X’ which is selected somewhere around the world for teams of two to find, all within 36 hours and spending none of their own money along the way. Students from colleges across Ireland compete by raising money for these charities in the months leading up to the day of the race. This will be its seventh year running and it appears things are only getting better for this nationwide event. As everyone filed into the room yesterday evening, there was a palpable air of excitement among those gathered for the official beginning of the many festivities that Jailbreak entails. It seemed everyone was eager to share stories about their past experiences and the antics that ensued. Hosting a pleasant reception in the TBSI, the evening was filled with gratitude, laughter and some memorable speeches.
Enlisting both the English and Irish language, the speakers for the evening were known faces within the activist community. Kieran Stafford represented SVP, Colm O’Gorman spoke on behalf of Amnesty International, and Ciaran Wadd said a few words for Cumann Gaelach. All spoke of the amazing work done by the organisations and the extent to which Jailbreak has aided in the progression and expansion of the activities carried out by their volunteers. Last year, Jailbreak raised over €60,000 for both Amnesty and Vincent de Paul, with one team raising over €4,000 alone.
Senator David Norris launched the event last night and did so with unparalleled passion and vigour. He expressed his delight multiple times for being invited to speak and detailed his sincere gratitude for the work being done by the participating charities and their members present. His bursting energy was infectious and his many anecdotes were met with roaring laughter from the crowd. His youthful spirit was a perfect representation of the nature of what Jailbreak is and aims to be. Norris was not the only one who delivered impassioned speeches. All four men stressed the importance of student activism and the spread of the Irish language and culture.
Applications for Jailbreak 2019 are now open to all students in Trinity. For many, it has been an unforgettable experience in their college lives and will continue to be so for years to come. After all, it’s more than a spontaneous adventure across Europe. It’s a key part of raising awareness for those at a greater disadvantage to ourselves, and a crucial part of annual donations to these worthy causes. Senator Norris verbalised the sentiments of the evening quite simply; “‘Charity starts at home.’ It might, but it shouldn’t stay there.”