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UCD Students' Union had set up a 'Save Our Ball' campaign after being forced to cancel the event by university authorities.

College agrees to restore UCD Ball after student campaigns

Authorities and students strike a deal to reschedule the UCD Ball, which was cancelled last week after a licence dispute.

AUTHORITIES AND STUDENTS of University College Dublin have struck a deal to ensure that the UCD Ball – which was cancelled last week due to a dispute over the licence for the event – can still go ahead.

The Ball, which initially had a projected attendance of 8,000 students, was set to take place on Thursday 21 April – but UCD Students’ Union was force to abandon its plans last week when college administrators said they could not agree to a stipulation that closed off the Belfield campus to non-event and non-emergency traffic.

Because that closure was among the conditions demanded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council when it granted permission for the event – and because the council was not willing to amend the event licence – the union had argued that campus authorities had effectively ensured the cancellation of the event.

But after an intensive week-long campaign, and following renewed discussions between the students’ union and the university administration, a deal has been struck to allow the Ball to take place on Saturday 23 April, two days after the original scheduled date.

Under the revised agreement published by the two parties this morning, the Belfield campus will remain closed for the entire day, as ordered by the Garda, while the union committed to advising students about the need for good behaviour at the event and in the days preceding it.

The parties also agreed to engage in early preparation for the 2012 event, in order to avoid any conflict with the academic calendar.

The students’ union first held a UCD Ball in 2006, before the event became an annual fixture of the student calendar in 2008. Last year the event was billed as “Europe’s largest private party”.

The Ball is typically held on the final day of UCD’s second semester, which this year falls on Thursday 21 April. The students’ union said it would not have been financially feasible to hold the event on Friday 22 April, which is Good Friday, because it was reliant on the revenue from alcohol sales to cover the cost of the event.

The capacity for this year’s revised event has now been limited to 4,999, so as to circumvent the requirement for a new event licence.

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