On Saturday 10th March, the sixth-annual JAILBREAK fundraiser began at Dublin Castle, with ninety teams departing on a race to make it across Europe while raising money for charities St Vincent de Paul and Amnesty International.
This year’s challenge ended up being the tightest race the competition has seen since it began. Of the ninety teams who set out, however, only four were successful in crossing the finish line in Pula, Croatia on Sunday evening. The four teams were all from UCC, and when asked who had crossed the line first, they decided to share a joint victory. Team 13 (Seán Hilliard & Eoghan Meaney), Team 74 (Conor Foskin& Adam Mulcahy), Team 103 (Siobhán O’Donnell & Claire Buckley) and Team 136 (Bríd Byrne & Róisín Russell) all managed to cross under the Arch of the Sergii – an Ancient Roman triumphal arch – in the centre of the beautiful city.
As of Sunday, the 11th, Team 31 from Trinity College Dublin (Billy O’Hora and Liam Daly) were the winners of the fundraising element of the competition, having raised a staggering €2,606.19, with donations still coming in. They came in hot on the tails of the UCC teams, and secured second place, with Team 130 from UCC (Sean O’Mahony and Samuel Grace) coming in third.
This year’s challenge was co-organised with An CumannGaelach and, in order to qualify, teams were required to complete three charity events which demonstrated the work of the three organisations involved. On top of this they were tasked with showcasing the best of Irish language and culture throughout their travels.
Team 13, Seán Hilliard and Eoghan Meaney spoke to the Express once they’d returned home, and they explained why they had taken part in JAILBREAK – “it sounded like a great way to help two great charities (especially SVP and all the great work they do in Ireland), while also getting to experience Europe in a way we’d never seen before”. They organised fundraisers in Cobh the week before leaving, as well as obtaining sponsorship from companies in Cobh. The two were the only team who succeeded in leaving Dublin Saturday morning, and praised Cork Airport for their support. The airport sponsored flights for the two students to Wroclaw, as well as fast-tracking them through security and checking in. After joining forces with other UCC teams and setting up a GoFundMe page (which their friends, family and RedFm helped out with), Team 13 was able to cross the finish line in time. “The whole experience was amazing and surreal, and we were delighted to contribute to the 60,000+ which will eventually be raised for Jailbreak 2018’s charities.”
If you are looking for a different way to see some of Europe, consider signing up to Jailbreak 2019, as it is a fantastic fundraiser for Cork charities.