Donegal Tuesday, which took place during Galway’s Unofficial RAG Week, saw busloads of students once again descend on the city for the annual event. Áine O’Donnell reports…
Masses of Donegal natives and adopted supporters flocked to The Hole in the Wall pub in Galway to celebrate the annual event known as Donegal Tuesday on February 19.
Donegal fans started queuing before the pub opened its doors at 10am. Revellers enjoyed a day honouring Donegal’s All Ireland win in the pubs of Galway before attending Donegal Tuesday club nights organised by Bentley and Karma nightclubs respectively.
A heavy Garda presence was evident from the early hours of the morning due to the huge crowds which attended the event last year.
A number of public order arrests were made throughout the day. Security was maintained by the bouncers in The Hole in the Wall with unruly patrons being removed immediately.
A video of Supermacs bouncers attempting to break up a fight between two men in the fast food establishment has gone viral on YouTube with many of the reposts of the video having over 6,000 views.
The men fighting in the video are not wearing jerseys and are presumed not to be part of the Donegal Tuesday contingent.
Many buses departed from towns all over the country including Letterkenny, Athlone, Limerick and Kilkenny.
Student Union President Paul Curley stated that these non-Galway attendants would be most likely to be the source of trouble on Tuesday; “I’ve seen that people from all around the country come to Galway for this… of course it worries me”.
Out-of-town visitors departed early in order to gain entry to the popular pubs The Hole in the Wall and Fibber Magee’s. Both pubs were offering cheap deals on beer as an incentive for more custom as Donegal Tuesday has become one of the most important business days for both establishments.
Eager Donegal followers queued from as early as 9am with latecomers being forced to wait to gain entry to The Hole in the Wall for several hours in some cases. Due to unprecedented crowds, a “lock in” was staged from 1 o’clock until after 4.
The Hole in the Wall staff were kept very busy with a wait to get to the bar averaging at 20 minutes. Bar staff were forced to restock several times due to an extraordinary demand from the huge crowds at the event.
The day passed peacefully for the most part; bouncers were tested when a few young men living in an adjoining apartment attempted to sneak into the smoking room of the pub over the roof of a neighbouring building. The men were escorted from the bar instantly.
Donegal Tuesday was first organised five years ago and has increased in popularity with every passing year, becoming notorious countrywide with many leading newspapers reporting on the event.
NUI Galway considers the day a RAG Week event and continues to denounce all associated unofficial celebrations.