donegal tuesday

Student defends Donegal Tuesday to Joe Duffy: ‘February is the drinking month’

Queues formed in the morning for the now annual “Donegal Tuesday” event in Galway city.

IF YOU WERE in Galway this morning, you may have noticed scenes like this:

City Taxisa City Taxis City Taxis

In some pubs and clubs, queues formed in the morning for the now annual “Donegal Tuesday” event in the city.

But, what is it?

It’s important to note straight off that there is no official RAG week in Galway’s third-level institutions.

After things like this happened, it was discontinued in 2011. Gardaí shut down an unofficial Galway Rag Week event after a crush outside a nightclub last year.

minim77 / YouTube

Both the student unions in NUIG and GMIT say that any RAG Week activities that go on this week are not organised by them. There is no sponsorship or organisation carried out by the SUs.

That hasn’t stopped students taking to the pubs and clubs in the middle of February, including an all-day drinking session that starts at 10.30am on the Tuesday.

According to the Facebook page, Donegal Tuesday was established to “celebrate Daniel O’Donnell, Football Special, Jim McGuinness and all things from the hills”.

However, nobody we spoke to is quite sure how old the event is or why it starts so early.

Joe Duffy 

A Galway student defended the event known as ‘Donegal Tuesday’ on RTÉ’s LiveLine today, telling host Joe Duffy that “February is the designated month for drinking”.

A Galway student going by the name of John tried to defend the day to an incredulous Joe, saying Donegal Tuesdays are just “part of Irish culture” and comparing the event to the annual Race Week in Galway city.

There are so many dates on the Irish calendar that are just complete piss ups, and it’s unfair to single out Donegal Tuesdays in such a way. Today is as good as a holiday for me, and I know there’s a load of other people who think the same.

“February is kind of the designated month for drinking,” he said.

“Are you having me on?” sputtered Joe.

“No, I’m not,” continued John.

It’s probably the biggest month for drinking, I think. It’s just a quiet month between being finished Christmas exams – you’re still working, but it’s before the real exams start.

John said that Donegal Tuesdays were really no different to Race Week in the summer, which is “romanticised” by outsiders. If you’re a Galway resident, he said, you will know the true picture:

You’ll know that there are people getting glassed outside Supermacs, there are middle-aged men starting fights at 9am, there’s sick everywhere – it’s way worse than RAG Week, but people just won’t admit it.

But would John be down in the Hole in the Wall himself?

“I’ll be in town for 6pm this evening, but I don’t think they’re going to let anyone else in,” he said. “A lot of pubs aren’t very open to students, they’ll have bouncers out from 2pm this afternoon.”

  • Listen to John’s passionate defence of Donegal Tuesday here.

Queues formed from 9.30am outside the Hole In The Wall pub, with around 500 people reportedly showing up, many wearing Donegal GAA jerseys.

The jerseys can be gotten especially.

Gardaí say that there has been one public order arrest, but that the event has been largely quiet.

Those on the scene say that the students involved have been respectful.

Additional reporting 

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