An interview with NUIG’s Jailbreak students, Aaron Molloy and Shane Tierney (March 2014).

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Last month, local NUIG students, Aaron Molloy and Shane Tierney, took part in Jailbreak 2014. They raised over €1000 for their selected charities. 

They recently answered some questions about their experience.

What is Jailbreak?

“Jailbreak is a national student charity weekend, where students from Ireland’s Universities have 36 hours to get as far away as possible from their starting point in Kilmainham Gaol, without using any of their own money on travel. Teams were allowed to seek sponsorship from companies and businesses before the weekend began. Money was raised for the charities before and after the adventure started”.

And why did you decide to get involved?

“We thought it was a great opportunity to fundraise for charity and see the world at the same time”.

Had you decided on a destination before the trip?

“No, we had no set plan, but we intended on heading in the direction of Istanbul or Dubai. We had a small amount of money raised, which was donated by multiple sponsors so we knew we would be able to get out of Dublin. We decided to just check how much flights would be to the States last minute and to our surprise we found a flight to New York within our budget. We had 45 minutes to book our tickets, register for the visas and make it to the check in. We legged it, got to the gate with minutes to spare and got on our way to the USA. First stop was Heathrow, then Newark”.

Did you get a lot of support from people, both in the community and further abroad?

“The amount of support we got from the local community, from the generous strangers we encountered and from the lovely staff of British Airways was unbelievable. At Dublin airport itself people were so generous. United Airlines staff gathered together €50 between them and another random woman donated the last €20. We couldn’t believe it”.

“A coffee morning was also organised prior to the trip and a huge amount of money was raised for the charities. We are so grateful to Dermot, Lin and Staff in Breathnach’s Bar for hosting the coffee morning and for their continued support on our adventure. We would also like to thank all the people who came along and supported the coffee morning. The charities were St Vincent de Paul, Amnesty International and Draiocht. Also the support from our friends both in Oughterard and in college was phenomenal and we are very grateful”.

Was there any ‘standout’ moment from the trip?

“It was an amazing experience, but the highlight was probably the top of the Empire State Building. We just about managed to make it there for the deadline. We were proud and delighted to have gotten as far as we did. By then, Jailbreak was over, and having come 2nd place in NUIG, we were delighted. We had some time to explore New York and we certainly packed a 5 day holiday into 36 hours!”.

Any advice for students thinking of getting involved next year?

“If we were to give any advice to students participating in Jailbreak next year, we’d say, don’t think about it any further and just do it. It was an unbelievable experience. We would also advise that the participants enjoy the whole experience and don’t make plans. Just go with it”.

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