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


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”.

‘Donegal Tuesday’ is an annual event started up in response to the cancellation of the Galway RAG weeks in 2011 – it celebrates “Daniel O’Donnell, Football Special, Jim McGuinness and all things from the hills”.

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The day basically involves students putting on Donegal GAA jerseys and drinking at the Hole in the Wall pub in Galway city from around 10.30am on Tuesday morning.

The event has seen a considerable backlash from those who believe it encourages binge drinking and rowdy behaviour – perfect fodder for Joe Duffy, who made it the central topic on LiveLine today.

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.

More: Here’s the massive queue outside a Galway pub this morning for Donegal Tuesday>