— Teams of two must travel as far as possible without spending any money
— The first team to find the Jailbreak Rat will win the #SnapChatRatRace


UCD students are being encouraged to support participants in the upcoming Jailbreak 2014, a charity event that challenges students to travel as far as possible across the world within just 36 hours and without any money. The 36-hour event will commence at 9am on Saturday, February 22nd in Kilmainham Gaol.

Each year the “jailbreakers” raise funds for two chosen charities before they depart, with Amnesty Ireland and St. Vincent de Paul set to benefit from this year’s event.

Jailbreak 2014 is set to be one of Ireland’s largest ever student charity events, with over 100 active participants coming from four Irish universities; UCD, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), NUI Galway (NUIG) and University College Cork (UCC). Previously, participants have managed to travel to Singapore, Argentina and Australia within the allotted time.

This year’s event sees the introduction of the Jailbreak Rat, who will travel somewhere in Europe and snapchat their location to contestants under the username TheJailbreakRat. The first team to grab a picture with the Jailbreak Rat will win the #SnapChatRatRace, but the Jailbreak Rat will be deemed the winner if he is not found.

The uniqueness of the challenge has led to increased media attention over the years, with RTÉ News reporting on the travels of TCD students last year.

Due to the demand, each university can only enter 40 teams of two, which were chosen last month based on video submissions. Would-be “jailbreakers” were challenged to create a video explaining why they were the best candidates for the task.

Each team selected to participate is given a sponsor.ie page for donations, and they are aiming to raise at least €200 per team. Several teams have been running campus-based events in an attempt to raise funds, like the team of Tom Williams and Trisha Fitzpatrick, who are aiming to surpass that minimum threshold and raise “a couple of hundred euros on top of that.”

Speaking to the University Observer, Williams said he would love to reach Angel Falls in Venezuela. “We based our application video on the movie UP, so the dream is to get to Angel Falls in South America where much of the movie is based, but realistically anywhere outside Dublin airport would be super.”

Another one of UCD’s teams, team Keiller & Carlos, have taken their campaign online. Speaking to the University Observer, Roisin Carlos explained how Leinster Rugby’s Mike McCarthy donated an “official Irish rugby kit and signed ball” to her and her partner, Caroline Keiller, to auction off.

They are taking part in Jailbreak as the event is for them a “different and fun way to raise money for charity.” Team Kellier & Carlos, who dressed up as superheroes for their nomination video, are ready to travel as far as possible across the world.

Reflecting upon the challenge involved, Carlos said, “With the current weather like it is, we’re dreaming of going somewhere far away and warm.

“The dream location, if luck is on our side, would be somewhere no other team has made it before, perhaps a country in South East Asia? A more realistic answer might be Southern Europe though.”

You can keep up to date on Jailbreak 2014 through their Facebook and Twitter pages or on the hashtag #Jailbreak14. To track the progress of UCD students, follow @UCDJailbreak, while the Jailbreak Rat can be found on Twitter and added on snapchat @TheJailbreakRat. Donations can be made to any team through their sponsor.ie page.