Student defends 'Donegal Tuesday', telling RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy: 'February is the designated drinking month'
A student has told RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy that "February is the designated drinking month" in a spirited defence of 'Donegal Tuesday'.
Speaking to RTE Radio One's 'Liveline' programme earlier today, the student, whose name was John, told Joe that 'Donegal Tuesday' was as good as a holiday for him.
Duffy was hosting a discussion of the event on his programme when the student rang in.
The discussion arose after a number of images were posted on social media platforms showing hundreds of students queuing to get in to the 'Hole in the Wall' pub on Eyre Square in Galway.
The queues formed at approximately 8.30am this morning,
Both students unions in NUI Galway and GMIT officially pulled of RAG week events in 2011.
However, a number of unofficial RAG week events are taking place in Galway this week, organised by students through social media.
'Donegal Tuesday' is one of those events.
John told listeners that students were being bussed into Galway from around the country for the event.
"There are many dates on the Irish calendar that are just absolute piss-ups," John told Joe.
"Today is as good as a holiday for me," he added.
He told Joe that the event was a "nice day to meet people".
When quizzed by Joe as to why people were arriving en masse to Galway for the event, he said: "What happens is RAG week in Athlone is this week and RAG week in Limerick was last week and February is kind of the designated month for drinking."
"February is the designated month for drinking. Are you having me on?" Joe asked.
"I'm not. No," John replied.
"Well it's not when everyone lets their hair down but it's probably the biggest month for drinking I think," he added.
John was then asked to explain the 'cycle' that has led February to being the month for RAG weeks.
"It's a quiet month between you finishing your Christmas exams, you're still working but it's before the real exams start so it's that middle cycle point," he explained.
He told Joe that he hoped to get down to the Eyre Square pub but "I don't think you'll get in there after 6pm".
John claimed anti-social behaviour is just as bad if not worse regarding other events such as the Galway Races.
He claimed the races were a "romanticised institute" and he's seen "glassings outside Supermacs".
"There are middle-aged men starting fights in the morning, they're getting sick everywhere. It's worse but they just won't admit to it," he said.
Earlier in the programme, Barnardos Chief Executive Fergus Finlay, who is also involved with 'Stop Out of Control Drinking', told Joe Duffy he was worried that people would get hurt during events such as 'Donegal Tuesday'
"One of the things we [Stop Out of Control Drinking] wanted to do to be honest was try to hold up a mirror to that deeply unhealthy relationship with drink in Ireland.
"I don't know if you can hold up a better mirror," he said.
"Some people are going to have a whale of time, some people are going to get very badly hurt, some people are going to wake up tomorrow morning wondering what they've done, some people are going to live with the consequences of a riotous day for months and perhaps for years to come.
"It's all trackable I think to this idea that we have in Ireland that if there's drink on offer, we're going to be the first in the queue.
"They're the pictures from the early part of the day, the pictures from the later part of the day, you know, won't be easy to look at
"People are really going to get hurt before this day is out," he said.