Joan St Leger
Deputy News Editor
The UCC Arts Ball, which was organised by the Student Union, ran into difficulties when a large quantity of forged tickets allegedly surfaced on the night. According to Student Union Entertainments Manager, Vincent O’Brien there was sixty six forged tickets caught by security on the night of the ball which was held in the Rochestown Park Hotel on the 3rd of February.
It was through security measures such as ultra violet ink on the tickets, which allowed for the forgeries to be detected when scanned. According to Mr. O’Brien “This year was particularly bad” for forgeries compared to just four or five fake tickets in previous years.
A student from CIT told the Express how her friends were able to get forged tickets for just €8. “They looked like they were just photocopies, looked easy to make. I don’t know where they were coming from but anyone who had one, got in.”
However, Vincent O’ Brien claims that no one got in with forged tickets. “People didn’t get in with them, that’s a myth. We found forged tickets on the floors inside, people came in, they might have had more than one forged ticket on them, and they got the option when they approached the door to pay in cash or to leave.
“That person went in, having paid in, would still have another ticket in his or her pocket and that’s how they got in, but they didn’t get in by virtue of a leak in the system.”
When asked about people getting in with fake tickets, Tom Tobin from the Rochestown Park Hotel said that he was not be able to confirm or deny that this happened as he did not see anything like this happen on the night.
Another student who wished to remain anonymous stated that “People were sneaking in through the smoking area, or Sutton’s, a pub in the hotel. Lots of people just bribed the bouncers. As long as you’re relatively good looking, you were let in.”
However Mr. Tobin argued that people were unable to get in through these areas unless they had a stamp or a ticket. The claims of bribery towards bouncers were also discredited by Mr. Tobin who was “99% sure that that did not happen.” The Rochestown Park Hotel has cameras on all entrances and as a rule they do not accept cash for anything other than for the meal itself and drinks.
The only money that exchanged hands was for those who were found with forged tickets or had none, and were then given the choice to pay in or to leave. This money then goes back in to the UCC Arts Ball, UCC entertainments officer, Tara Copplestone explained.
Despite all the trouble with fake tickets, both Mr. O’ Brien and Mr. Tobin were happy with the end result. “The Arts Ball was very successful overall” said Mr. Tobin, who was the manager on duty at the time, added that it was the one ball this year where no guards were called.