800 Irish schoolboys form world's largest 
human shamrock (Irish Independent)

Hundreds of students in Dublin gathered together to set a Guinness World record for forming the largest human shamrock just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, all while raising money for charity.

The Irish Independent reports on the endeavor that saw 800 schoolboys from Blackrock College and Willow Park schools in Dublin assembled on the lawns of Blackrock College.

Once in the shamrock formation, the Irish schoolboys had to hold their positions for five minutes in order to adhere to the Guinness World Record’s strict guidelines.

The Dublin attempt at a Guinness World Record came just a week after organizers in Limerick were told that a gathering of 250 St. Patricks wouldn’t be recognized by the famous record book as the patron saint of Ireland wasn’t “iconic” enough.

The gathering for the largest shamrock was also used to pay homage to the 25th anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Badges charity campaign that the Blackrock College conducts. Since the charity’s conception in 1988, more than €2 million has been raised in support of the world’s poor.

“We were determined to mark the 25th year of the badges campaign in a very special way,” said Blackrock College principal Alan MacGinty.

MacGinty continued, “Given the success of the initiative over the years - and the difference the €2 million raised has made in some of the most deprived parts of the world - we are hopeful that we can raise more money for GOAL and Aidlink this year than ever before.”

"We will be sending evidence of the attempt off to London in the coming days and then we just have to wait and see if we were successful", he said.

Barry Andrews, CEO of GOAL and a former Blackrock student, said “The fact that they are attempting such a feat is indicative of Blackrock’s imaginative approach to charitable fundraising. It was this college, after all, that came up with the idea, 25 years ago, of making shamrock badges and selling them on St Patrick’s Day, with all proceeds going to charity.”

"GOAL has been a major beneficiary of the St Patrick’s badges initiative,” added Andrews, “and for this we are extremely grateful. GOAL is delighted to have been associated for so many years with Blackrock College. We trust this association will continue for many years to come.”