Mar 26, 2018

Trinity Ents Clarifies Sniffer Dog Presence, After Student Concerns

There will be no sniffer dogs at Trinity Ball itself, Trinity Ents has confirmed.

Aoife KearinsSenior Staff Writer
Sinéad Baker for The University Times

Trinity Ents has said that there will be no Garda sniffer dogs at Trinity Ball itself, after online guidelines for the ball sparked concern among students.

Sniffer dogs will search Trinity’s campus before the ball begins, but will not be present during Trinity Ball.

In ball guidelines shared on Facebook by the Trinity Ents page on Sunday night, students were told: “Drugs are not permitted in the ball area. Before the ball starts, the complete ball area will be searched by trained sniffer dogs under the direction of the Garda drug squad, who will be on duty in the campus for the duration of the ball.”


Since Sunday night, numerous students have commented on the post, criticising the decision and arguing that it may instead lead to people taking all their drugs at once before entering campus. Students called for the introduction of test kits as a harm reduction policy rather than the presence of sniffer dogs.

Speaking to The University Times, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) Entertainments Officer, Jonah Craig, clarified that there will not be sniffer dogs at Trinity Ball itself. However, he said that, as usual, sniffer dogs will do a sweep of the grounds before the ball starts.

Every year, some drugs are found smuggled onto Trinity’s campus before the ball begins. Craig described MCD, the company that runs Trinity Ball, as “very professional” and said the use of sniffer dogs was standard “at every festival”.

Last week, TCDSU ran a drug harm reduction talk, which was streamed online.

In previous years, Trinity Ball has seen world-famous acts such as Jessie J, Professor Green, Marina & the Diamonds, Basement Jaxx, the Kooks and Years & Years headline.

Trinity Ball 2018 will take place on April 6th. Headline acts include George Ezra, Hannah Wants, Jax Jones and Versatile. Tickets went on sale on February 21st this year, with online tickets sold out in record time after just one hour and 14 minutes.

The document shared by the Trinity Ents group on Facebook also contained information about access, dress codes and alcohol consumption ahead of the sold-out event.

Dominic McGrath also contributed reporting to this piece.

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