The UCD Student Bar was forced to close early on the first day of term, Black Monday, as a result of overcrowding and the collapse of the smoking area.
The closure coincided with tensions, as a number of people were refused admission for not producing a UCD student card, despite students with valid student cards being permitted to bring a friend to the bar.
It is understood that, as the day progressed, a number of non-UCD students were refused admission and that the bar was at maximum capacity at approximately 11pm.
The manager of the bar, Declan Hyland, said that he decided to close the bar for health and safety issues, as a result of the bar reaching its maximum capacity.
“Due to the fact that there was about 100 people in the queue, and also we had people that had been refused for being non-UCD students, and then those people that were in the smoking area – we had no way of differentiating between who had been in and who hadn’t been in and so forth. For health and safety issues, we had to close the bar.”
Mr Hyland emphasised the fact that no one was permitted to the bar without presenting a valid UCD student card to the security person on duty. “We probably turned away up to 50 people, for basically not having their student card.”
Pulse Security, the security firm employed by UCD, declined to comment, however Mr Hyland emphasised the fact that they were not to be held responsible for the closure and that he was satisfied with their response that night. “I have to commend the staff that we had last night for handling the situation.”
SU President Paul Lynam said the closure was due to the length of the queue and also due to “capacity issues”. “We couldn’t monitor the way that they were coming in and out,” he later stated.
When asked about the issue of non-UCD students being permitted entry, the President said: “We operate on a system of ‘You can bring a friend if you have a student card.’” However, Lynam was adamant that the admission of friends had nothing to do with the early closure, and that it was a combination of overcrowding and the collapse of the smoking area.
Lynam echoed the words of Mr Hyland, despite reports from students stating differently. He said: “There was really no major incidents to report on – troubles were a minimum. Security was quite pleased. The report from the day is positive.”