Presidential candidate Ralph Balfe proposes to opponent in joke stunt

Balfe’s main stunt was an attempt to throw a diabolo toy further than the height of the Campanile

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) presidential candidate Ralph Balfe proposed to his opponent Jenny Maguire as part of a stunt on Front Square this afternoon.

At 2pm today, students gathered around the Campanile following a stunt announcement by Balfe yesterday.

In his opening statement, Balfe said: “[The stunt] might surprise you, it might shock you, but I do hope it will entertain you at least.”

Preparing the crowd, Balfe shared an anecdote about how he decided on the stunt and stated it was a childhood hobby: “I really enjoy it but I never felt comfortable doing it in front of anyone else”.

“But today I finally found the courage to share this hobby … with all of you.”

Balfe promptly grabbed a diabolo toy out of his bag and shared that his plan is to “make a very important political point”, referencing his campaign promise to tear down the Campanile and replace it with a “1:1 replica of the Burj Khalifa”.

He explained his stunt is based on the premise that if a tower such as the Campanile is built, it should be “tall enough that no person can throw a diabolo to its height” and catch it.

Balfe then told voters that if he fails this attempt, they should vote for Maguire.

After several attempts, Balfe succeeded in throwing and catching the diabolo, but failed in surpassing the height of the Campanile.

Photo by Ellen Kenny for Trinity News

Before sending the crowd off, Balfe asked Maguire to join him in front of the Campanile. Speaking to her “intelligence” and “beauty”, Balfe surprised students by getting down on one knee and proposing.

The two opponents hugged before Maguire put on the ring offered by Balfe.

Balfe also encouraged onlookers to support the protest also happening at the Book of Kells Experience calling on College to cut ties with Israeli institutions.

Voting for the TCDSU sabbatical elections closes today at 4pm and results will be announced tonight in Lost Lane.

Gabriela Gazaniga

Gabriela Gazaniga is the Deputy Editor of News Analysis and is currently in her Junior Sophister year earning a degree in Law.