The DCU student who travelled to Sydney as part of the recent ‘Trinity Jailbreak’ fundraiser was offered a flight to anywhere in the world, he has revealed.
The flight’s sponsor first met 21-year-old International Relations student Tommy Browne at Zurich Airport in Switzerland, where he had arrived on Sunday, March 10th with his Jailbreak teammate, Jack Cantillon.
The sponsor, who does not wish to be named, offered the team the use of her frequent flyer miles so they could travel as far as possible and spread awareness of their charities.
“Due to the nature of their business, the sponsor had a considerable amount of miles built up,” Browne told The College View. “Needless to say, Jack and I were rather dumbfounded.
“We had been exceedingly charming and had made a good bit of noise at the airport and gotten a few laughs. [But] we hadn’t realised we had impressed them so much”, he added.
Browne and Cantillon considered travelling to South Africa, China, Japan or Indonesia as part of the fundraiser which saw competing teams endeavor to travel as far away from Trinity College in just 36 hours, without spending any money.
Choosing their destination was an experience that Browne described as “the most surreal of my life.”
“We settled on Sydney because it was absolutely the furthest we could get. Our sponsor was very keen on raising awareness for the competition. She was so impressed and enthralled by it.”
Browne and Cantillon have raised over €1,100 in online donations. They also collected donations from passengers they met on their 38-hour journey to Sydney. The funds will be donated to Trinity College’s St. Vincent de Paul Society and Amnesty International.
Over €14,000 in total has been raised by the Trinity Jailbreak Challenge, in which 74 students participated.
Jailbreak organiser Claire Doyle told The College View that the total amount raised will be divided equally between the two charities.
“We’re absolutely blown away by the amount,” she said. “Our original target was €4,000.”
Doyle also said the Jailbreak challenge was partly inspired by DCU’s Cumann Gaelach. The society has run a challenge in the past where participants attempt to visit all 32 counties in Ireland without any money, and without speaking any English.
In Australia, Browne and Cantillon met the Irish ambassador, Noel White, as well as a top representative from the Australian branch of Amnesty International. While in Sydney, they stayed with Trinity students that are on a deferred year abroad.
“My favourite reactions were from the people at check-in,” Tommy recalled. “They asked us if we wanted to check any bags in. When we said no, they were like: ‘You do know you are going to Australia?’”
The team was the last to leave Dublin, with their Zurich flight taking off 26 hours after the challenge began at 9am on Saturday, March 9th.
This meant that they could not reach Sydney by the Jailbreak deadline on Sunday night. Despite this, Browne and Cantillon travelled the furthest of all the Jailbreak teams – over 17,000 km.
The winning team, Matthew Hainbach and Claire Cullen travelled 7,020.4 miles from TCD to Mirimar in Argentina.