DCUSU rock the boat for Barretstown

Ryan Carrick

DCUSU will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest “Rock the Boat” on Tuesday 25 February on the Glasnevin campus, all in aid of Barretstown.


The SU is aiming for 1,800-2,000 students to take part in the record attempt.


The previous record consisted of 1,701 participants and was achieved by Stephen Murtagh, Brendan Kieran and the Carrick Carnival 400 Committee (Ireland). It took place in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, Ireland, on 2 June 2013. Funds were raised for the Irish Cancer Society.


Barretstown needs to raise €5.8 million every year to run therapeutic programmes. DCU student, and Activity Leader for the charity, Paddy Murphy, says fundraising events, such as the “Rock the Boat” record attempt, are important for Barretstown in terms of raising funds but also for spreading awareness.


“Barretstown needs over 2000 volunteers a year to keep the sessions running,” he said. “Events like these that target students of a volunteering age are absolutely massive in getting awareness out there that will bring these volunteers in.”


Barretstown was founded by Hollywood actor Paul Newman in 1994. The charity offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness.  


Paddy Murphy says the work Barretstown does for seriously ill children is “unbelievably important” in giving something back to a child who has missed out on their childhood due to serious illness.


“A hospital will heal the illness, perhaps,” he said. “But it’ll absolutely destroy the kid in terms of confidence and the childhood they might have missed out on.


“You have some of the top paediatric oncologists and consultants who are looking after seriously ill kids saying Barrettstown is just as important to their recovery as the treatment they get in the hospital,” he said.


According to CEO of Barretstown Children’s Charity, Dee Aherne, fundraising efforts are needed to run the charity’s therapeutic programmes and summer camps.


“The services provided to all the children and families who come to Barretstown are entirely free of charge, so volunteering and fundraising efforts are vital for us to help more seriously ill children to experience the magic of Barretstown each year.


In September 2019 DCU announced a 3-year partnership with Barretstown Children’s Charity to promote and raise funds for Barretstown and to increase volunteering. 


Registration for the record attempt opens at 11am on Tuesday 25 February with the “Rock the Boat” starting at 1pm.


Ryan Carrick

Image Credit: SwissFacades