The UCD Students’ Union is owed more than €120,000 by the Student bar, according to UCDSU President, Rachel Breslin. Union representatives have blamed the liability on financial mismanagement.
Breslin told UCD’s The University Observer: “From the draft balance sheet that I have seen that is about to go to the auditors, there is a liability owed to UCD SU, so money owed to UCD SU in excess of €120,000 and no mention of moneys owed to the Bar. Perhaps this is the case because all I have seen is our management accounts but if that is so, then it’s certainly offset by the money owed to UCD SU”.
This follows a recent publication in the Sunday Independent which claimed the Union owed the bar “a massive €90,000” in unpaid bar tabs.
Breslin criticised UCDSU’s past practices saying, “I would never in a million years condone a bar tab. I don’t think it is in any way an acceptable practice for the Students’ Union to have, whether that is as a result of class rep tokens and drink tokens but…I think the days of bar tabs are certainly over. There’s no justification for doing that.”
DCU Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Neil Patrick Collins commented on the allegations, telling The College Vie:; “There is clearly a mismanagement of finance there. At DCU Students’ Union we definitely don’t have bar tabs.”
The accounts are currently awaiting finalisation once the committee adopts accounts presented to them by the McNally Business Services at the Bar’s AGM, due to take place next week.
The Union is now awaiting confirmation of a €1.1 million loan to refinance their debt. They have submitted business plans to various financial institutions and say “one of them is coming close to accepting it”.
Although they have applied for the €1.1 million loan they do not tend on drawing the full amount straight away. Breslin said: “Some of the money was towards capital investment in our shops so that’s not the extent of what we need, but that’s the amount we sought in order to fully enact the business plan that we are projecting over the next five years”.
However, UCD students have new facilities to look forward to, with a spokesperson for UCD recently saying that a “new student center is currently under development”.
The new €50,000, 11,000 sqm development will be a sanctuary for many. It will feature an Olympic standard swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and tepidarium. The center will also offer another drinking house with a news sports bar.
The development, designed by Fitzgerald Kavanagh and Partners will also facilitate a 90 seat cinema, debating chamber, 125 seat theatre and meeting rooms.
Gill Fitzsimons is our Deputy News Editor