In the wake of the announcement that the UCD Ball will return to the Belfield campus this semester, infamous event organiser Billy McFarland has been employed to head the project of an un-ironic Fyre Festival-styled UCD Ball. The plans which senior UCD officials have said will "cost an arm and a leg", were leaked to The Harpy this morning along with correspondence between SU President Barry Murphy and UCD President Andrew Deeks, by a source close to the Union. Although requesting to remain anonymous, our source did wish to go on the record, stating "that the College Officer for Law, Edward Leonard is a really great guy who tries his best within the Union and is actually pretty good friends with [Barry] Murphy."
In the emails between the two, Murphy reassured President Deeks that he'll "find some way of coming up with the money." Leaked supplementary budgets which showed the UCD Fashion Show was forced back into the closet, to fund the UCD Ball, a decision that the source said he was not consulted on or agreed with. Deeks continued to voice his concern over the project, asking Murphy "is it really worth it for a few extra bob in the kitty? I just want to make sure the students are getting a good deal." Sources close to Murphy said that he was eager to fast-track this construction "in order to be the hero that brought back the Ball", going so far as to put down a deposit of €19,000 that was supposedly lost from last year’s Fashion Show. The Harpy approached UCD Student Services spokesperson, Jason Masterson to confirm these allegations, but were met with stifled tears and concerned glances at the CCTV cameras in the corner of the room.
The construction plans, which were awarded to construction company LL Flatigan, show that the dome will cost upwards of €14 million, with old televisions being strategically placed at various points around the campus to watch the main stage. The event will feature a cash-only bar with limited alcohol licences and a special area reserved for "SU Prez's private party." McFarland spoke to The Harpy about his vision for the Ball, stating “I’ve made a name for myself as the event organiser for the rich and clueless, and this guy Murphy guy seems to like my track record of robbing blind the unsuspecting and naive. He asked if he could intern for me over the summer.”
Campaigns & Communications Officer Thomas Monaghan was unavailable for comment at the time of publication due to prior commitments with the public relations officer in Dicey’s, but a Union staff member said that she would get back with a comment as soon as she informed Monaghan that an event of this nature was going ahead.
Architecture graduate and LL Flatigan intern, Tommy Green spoke to The Harpy about the construction plans, saying he received very specific instructions from Murphy for the design to have a long and winding tunnel from the N11 entrance to the main dome area surrounding the quad, with a smaller and slightly further back dome to be used for much needed car-parking facilities.
Questions were raised at a student council meeting, as to how the rest of the bill would be paid for, with one Welfare Officer noting a suspicious and unexplainable lack of counsellors in the Health Services in UCD that had been just hired. Dr Marian Freud of the Student Health Services later remarked that “the line to see the counsellors wasn’t long enough for UCD to justify another counsellor,” and advised students waiting to just go on their phones and download the app “sure there’s an app for everything nowadays.”
In the Council meeting, Education Officer Stephen Crosby announced that despite his best efforts, a new policy was passed that required students to pay for repeats and resits before sitting the exam "just to make sure." When asked if they would be refunded, Crosby gave a slight chuckle, alluding to a more sinister exam experience on the horizon for UCD students.
Murphy refused to comment on the decision process via an email interview, stating that he had a sore throat from being at a rally for students wanting Daylight Savings Time to be taught in universities. Flustered after the litany of pressing questions from both students and press such as “where can I get something to eat that caters to my dietary requirements?” or “what is the point of the President?”, reports came in to The Harpy that Murphy has been locked in office, mumbling “can’t we just go to a protest in town?” and “we don’t need USI.”
The UCD Ball is rumoured to feature such acts as Battle of the Bands winner Greyface, UCD Musical Society's Vocal Group, and former SU Presidential Candidate and radio-host, Breifne O'Brien. Tickets are estimated to be €500. Deposits in the form of a written reference from a reputable Dublin-based landlord will be accepted in the SU Corridor from the 1st April.