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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Student ‘kidnapped’ on UL campus

Limerick Gardai have confirmed they are investigating an alleged kidnapping incident on the grounds of The University of Limerick.

The incident happened on Monday as a male student was driving along the grounds of the college. Reports say two men wearing Barney the Dinosaur masks approached the car, pulled a knife and demanded the freighted man drive them to Dublin airport.

In a bizarre turn of events the kidnappers allegedly gave the young driver €500 when they arrived at the airport "to cover the cost of the trip".

However NewsWire has learned that within the college a Rag Week competition is currently running for students that if they get on the national news, they win a prize.

Deirdre O' Shaughnessy Publications and Publicity Officer for The University of Limerick Students' Union told the NewsWire,

"The competition we are running is a charity event called “The Great Race”. Students must raise sponsorship of €500 for charities including Milford Hospice in order to compete.

One of the tasks is to get on the national news, but this alone will not win students a prize, and they would have to be named if it was a newspaper, so this event is unlikely to be related. Also, the Great Race does not begin until this weekend, so this coverage would not be eligible."
The spokeswoman also said that The Students Union has been campaigning for a long time for better security on the campus,

Obviously we are concerned for the safety of our students and, should these allegations prove true, the student in question will have our full support. We have been looking for increased security measures on campus for some time now..
Students’ Union President St. John Ó Donnabháin said in a statement this evening,

“This is obviously a serious incident and we hope the student is doing ok. The Students’ Union is completely committed to helping our students in any way we can. We hope that the improved security will guarantee students’ safety into the future.”
Gardai are also taking the matter seriously, a formal complaint has been made by the driver of the car, a 1st year student at the college.

The University Of Limerick say they are treating the reports very seriously.

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