Irish Student Newspaper of the Year 2008
DOING IT THE THE GUIDE TO HARD WAY VOLUNTEERING
Transatlantic yacht journeys for those in no rush to get there
Tuesday 13 January 2009
Stand up and be counted with Trinity’s volunteer societies NEWS FEATURE 8
SILLY SCIENCE The research that should have been forgotten
Issue 6, Volume 55
Leaked email questions Stokes’ power » Stokes attempts to discipline Piranha! editor » Leaked legal advice states ‘the Junior Dean does not have a role in dealing’ with editors By Deirdre Robertson & Jessica Ryan DOCUMENTS OBTAINED by Trinity News have revealed that Junior Dean Emma Stokes acted against legal advice in attempting to discipline Andrew Booth, editor of Piranha!, regarding the content of the magazine. Dr Emma Stokes summoned the editor of satirical magazine, Piranha!,
following the publication of an article that included a map of the best places to commit a massacre in Trinity. Editor Andrew Booth was called to the Junior Dean’s office to answer claims that he had breached rules 1a and 4a of the College and Conduct Regulations. An email written by Dr. Stokes has now emerged revealing that Dr Stokes was knowingly acting outside her jurisdiction as Junior Dean in
Bonuses under investigation
attempting to discipline Booth. In the email, Dr Stokes noted that her role as Junior Dean did not include the power to discipline editors for the content of student publications. The College Regulations outline disciplinary offences against the college. 1a relates specifically to “activity which brings the College into disrepute” while 4a notes the Junior Dean’s power to judge “conduct which does, or is liable to cause, violence to person or damage to property.” However, her power in this matter does not extend to the decisions made by an editor of a student publication. This information came to light in a series of emails between Dr Stokes and
Junior Dean, Dr Emma Stokes
former editor of Trinity News, Gearoid O’Rourke, in 2007. Dr Stokes had attempted to discipline O’Rourke for publishing a letter that criticised staff members of the Trinity sports centre. Following a lengthy exchange of emails, O’Rourke received an email from Dr Stokes stating “Following a request for legal advice, I understand that, under current arrangements, the Office of the Junior Dean does not have a role in dealing with what you, as Editor, allow to be published in Trinity News.” Dr. Stokes referred Trinity News to the Communications Office when pressed for clarification on the future of the investigation into Piranha! in the light of the information revealed in this
By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor CENTRAL SOCIETIES Committee appeared to breach their own rules on alcohol promotion in an email advertisment sent out to societies last week. An email sent to all college societies from a CSC Administrative Officer on 7th January, advertised ‘Heat at Tripod’, a student club night that offers “more 2e Drinks than ever”. The email advertising the Tripod event had no source other than the CSC Administrative Officer’s
Education Authority (HEA) said that a number of allowances given to university staff were unauthorised and that it had sought clarity on the issue from Trinity and other universities. Fourteen members of Trinity’s staff including eight professors are listed. Professor John Boland from the Department of Chemistry was paid €123,008 in ‘additional allowances’ on top of his salary of €143,394. This bonus payment, amounting to 85% of his salary level, takes his total
“I never received this email...it could not have come from CSC” Joe O’Gorman
“Our education system cannot afford these hugely expensive individuals” IFUT remuneration €115,000 over the maximum recommended salary level to university academics. The other Trinity academics being paid in excess of the Review Body’s recommended levels are Professor Igor Shvets, Professor John Coey and Professor John Bethica of the Department of Physics, Professor Kenneth Wolfe and Professor Seamus Martin of the Department of Genetics, and Professor Kinston Mills of the Dpartement of Chemistry. The College Treasurer, College Secretary and Senior Lecturer also
Photo: Caroline O’Leary
TRINITY COLLEGE has been called for investigation by an emergency Oireachtas committee over “secretive” bonus payments and perks paid to Trinity’s elite administrative and academic staff. The information emerged through the Freedom of Information Act following a recent investigation by the Sunday Independent. The earnings of some fourteen members of Trinity’s top staff - including Provost John Hegarty - are potentially subject to the investigation. The high earnings have been condemned as “hypocritical” and “hard to comprehend” by the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) and government officials in light of pleas by Trinity’s senior staff for increased funding in the difficult economic climate. Trinity News obtained information released by the Staff Office noting that Trinity’s high-earning academic staff receive bonus payments and perks which bring their pay levels outside normal pay grade structures. In many cases the total pay received by them is in excess of recommended pay levels established by the government’s Review Body for Higher Remuneration in January 2007. It appears that the effect of these recommended salary caps are being avoided through the payment of bonuses. A spokesman for the Higher
continued on page 2
Flyers at dawn: O’Riordan vs. Halls JCR By Brian Barry A RIFT has broken out between Trinity Hall Entertainments Officer Amy Dunne and events promoter Ed O’Riordan over “underhand” flyering of O’Riordan’s Citibar Tuesday nights. Ex-Student’s Union Ents Officer O’Riordan was locked into Trinity Hall by security at Ms. Dunne’s request while he tried to get out of the complex after flyering for the Law Society welcome back party held at Citi Bar. As a result of the altercation, the Trinity Hall Ents team have pulled out of supporting Rag Week’s ‘Thai Beach Party’ to be held in Citi Bar - a charity event to raise money for Trinity Cancer Society organised by the Student Union Ents team and
Ed O’Riordan pictured in Citi Bar
continued on page 2
CSC email promotes alcohol
PHIL FIELDS BEST IRISH TEAM AT WORLDS: PAGE 4
» Lavish bonuses given to top academic staff » Oireachtas calls emergency investigation By Brian Barry
email. However, they did not wish to add any further comment. Responding to Dr Stokes’ recent actions against Piranha!, O’Rourke commented “It is quite clear that the Junior Dean accepts that she has no jurisdiction over what a student editor can print, which make her moves against Piranha! highly improper.” Although the Communications Office informed Trinity News that Piranha! magazine has been removed from publication, editor Andrew Booth was not notified of this. It is believed that copies are still in circulation. Trinity News understands that Booth
promoted by O’Riordan. Mr. O’Riordan, who has enjoyed considerable personal financial success promoting Citi Bar Tuesday nights, posted flyers around Trinity Hall, contrary to Trinity Hall Ents’ regulations brought in recently which require prior permission. Ms. Dunne called for security to close gates around Trinity Hall, making it impossible for O’Riordan to leave the complex. “I felt like a f***ing 10 year old” O’Riordan told Trinity News. Ms. Dunne told Trinity News that O’Riordan’s actions were “very underhand”, and that O’Riordan and his team “have behaved very badly since. They came in behind my back”. O’Riordan bemoaned the Trinity Hall policy on event promotion, describing
it as an “artificial monopoly created by their own rules”. Trinity Hall Ents team will now not be supporting the Student Union Ent’s ‘Thai Beach Party’ at Citi Bar on Tuesday of Rag Week as had been initially negotiated. Ms. Dunne told Trinity News why Trinity Hall Ents pulled out of the Cancer Society’s event: “If you’re trying to say Trinity Hall isn’t supporting the cancer society, that’s not the case at all. We want to stand on our own two feet ourselves, and focus on promoting our own charity event on Wednesday of Rag Week”. Ms. Dunne spoke of Trinity Hall Ents’ successful run of events this year, suggesting O’Riordan “doesn’t know what to do with us anymore. He’s used to dominating the whole scene”. Ms. Dunne also refuted the suggestion that
pulling out of a Student Union event would be seen as bringing her Ents team in direct conflict with Ents on campus. “People forget that we’re part of the SU. I’m fully on the side of the SU. They are so good to me” she said, pointing out that she has previously worked her calendar around Student Union events. O’Riordan spoke of his disappointment at Trinity Hall Ents pulling out of the event. “I can understand where they’re coming from, but don’t punish a charity”, he pleaded. Ms. Dunne offered another point of view, saying O’Riordan, by hosting the charity event, is merely motivated by “gathering momentum” for subsequent Citi Bar Tuesday nights – from which venture O’Riordan stands to make substantial profit.
email address from which it appeared to be sent. The email directly contravenes CSC’s regulations on alcohol advertisment. CSC previously informed societies that they ‘may not advertise the cost of drink, or “free drink”, “cheap drink” etc.’ Any society that receives more than one warning for disobeying these rules can be punished by a 10% cut in their annual grant. To date, a number of societies have received a preliminary warning. Joseph O’Gorman told Trinity News that he had never seen the email in question and commented that it could not have come from CSC because they do not advertise alcohol and always - unlike this email - use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) in emails to student societies. Indeed, in the same email which had outlined the College’s alcohol policy to societies, CSC advised all societies to use BCC in any group emails. He further said that the CSC would contact IS Services this week.
Jesse Malin / Bats / Fashion and fur / Cake shops / Reviews and more
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
“A voracious reader of all forms of literature from biography to novels which enrich the soul and ease me to sleep at night” - Provost John Hegarty outlines his hobbies for his entry into the 2009 Who’s Who? “If you’re trying to say Trinity Hall isn’t supporting the cancer society, that’s not the case at all. We want to stand on our own two feet ourselves, and focus on promoting our own charity event on Wednesday of Rag Week” - JCR Ents Officer Amy Dunne speaking about her recent run-in with Ed O’Riordan.
THIS FORTNIGHT THEY SAID... Compiled by Deirdre Robertson
“I felt like a f***ing 10 year old” - Former Ents officer Ed O’Riordan on his recent clash with the JCR which led to him being locked into Halls.
NUMEROLOGY Compiled by Deirdre Robertson
» The cost of the ten new solar powered bins around the Trinity campus.
500 » The expected number of guests at the International Parrot Symposium which is to be held in Trinity this June.
€123,008 » The additional allowances of Professor John Boland on top of his €143,194 salary.
3 » The number of players Trinity’s under-21 hockey team were short at the start of their match against Avoca on Sunday 11th January.
€2 » The price of the drinks promotions in Tripod that were advertised in a CSC email last week.
received remunerations that included bonuses that took their pay packages in excess of recommended levels. Although Provost John Hegarty’s salary and expenses are not above the guidelines, he lives at his residence at 1 Grafton Street at Trinity’s expense. His security and cleaning staff are also paid for. Dr. Hegarty’s use of the house cost the college €5093 in 2007. Trinity management has defended all “additional allowances” and “expenses” as “expenses incurred by them in discharging their duties”. Minister for Education Batt O’Keefe said: “My understanding is that there are certain restrictions (on how they spend their money). At this point, the matter is being investigated, and let’s see what comes out of that.” The Comptoller and Auditor General is looking into Trinity’s spending of their allocated budget. Mr O’Keefe said he may look at reducing funds to Trinity. The HEA issued a statement on the matter of remuneration of Trinity staff and staff at other universities. “Certain matters in this regard are currently
» The number of new listings in this year’s Who’s Who? including Provost of Trinity College John Hegarty.
CLARIFICATIONS AND CORRECTIONS The vital try in the rugby Colours match was scored by Johnny Iliff, not John Byrne, as we incorrectly reported on page 24 of our issue of November 25.
INFORMATION Editor: Deputy Editor: Website: Business Manager: Copy Editors:
Photographs: College News: National News: International News: News Features: Features: Opinion: World Review: Travel: Business: Science: College Sport: TN2 Editor: Film: Music: Fashion: Books: Theatre: Art: Food and Drink:
Martin McKenna Anna Stein Stuart Martin Lia Prendergast Tom Lowe Eleanor Friel Kara Furr Kiera Healy Ruth Mahony Sarah-Kate Geraghty Rachel Kennedy Deirdre Robertson Una Geary Kasia Mychajlowycz Deirdre Lennon Emily Monk Aoife Crowley Aaron Mulvihill Derek Larney Grace Walsh Luke Maishman Conor James McKinney Hugh McCafferty Michael Armstrong Steven Lydon Patrice Murphy Jean Morley Kathy Clarke Caroline O’Leary Melanie O’Reilly
All Trinity News staff can be contacted at email@example.com. Trinity News is funded by a grant from DU Publications Committee. This publication claims no special rights or privileges. Serious complaints should be addressed to: The Editor, Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. Appeals may be directed to the Press Council of Ireland. Trinity News is a full participating member of the Press Council of Ireland and supports the Office of the Press Ombudsman. This scheme in addition to defending the freedom of the press, offers readers a quick, fair and free method of dealing with complaints that they may have in relation to articles that appear on our pages. To contact the Office of the Press Ombudsman go to www.pressombudsman.ie
‘I’m on the RAG” -The SU Ents slogan that has incited the anger of some female students.
“Trinity takes matters of security and the welfare of its students and staff most seriously.” - Trinity Communications Office commenting on the current investigation into Piranha! magazine. “It is quite clear that the Junior Dean accepts that she has no jurisdiction over what a student editor can print, which make her moves against Piranha! highly improper” - Former editor of Trinity News, Gearoid O’Rourke on the Junior Dean’s attempt to discipline Piranha! editor Andrew Booth.
being addressed. Where unauthorised allowances have come to light, the HEA, in co-operation with Department of Education and Science and Finance, has tackled the institutions concerned. The HEA acknowledges the strong leadership in education and research that is being provided by the Provost of Trinity, John Hegarty”. As recently as last October the HEA defended pay levels of university heads saying they were comparable to chief executives of similar sized privatesector companies. IFUT expressed their disappointment with the figures being paid. Joseph Brady, President of IFUT said: “Our education system cannot afford these hugely expensive individuals”. IFUT also issued a statement expressing their disappointment with the HEA’s reluctance to issue the information describing the “secrecy and selectivity which attended the award of exceptionally high pay to a few chosen people.” The findings of the Oireachtas Committee have yet to be published and it remains to be seen if Trinity staff will be subject to pay cuts.
SALARIES AND ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES AND EXPENSES: BASED ON 2007 FIGURES. Salary
Provost John Hegarty Secretary Michael Gleeson* Treasurer Grace Dempsey* Senior Lecturer Colm Kearney* Prof Igor Shvelts Prof Kenneth Wolfe
Prof Seamus Martin
Prof John Coey Prof Kinston Mills Prof John Pethica Prof John Boland
€136, 034 €136,034 €143,194 €143,194
€26,159 €30,895 €15,372 €123,008
*Micheal Gleeson, Grace Dempsey and Colm Kearney no longer hold these positions. Source: Trinity Management, figures from 2007 obtained under Freedom of Information Act
Editor disclipine proscribed continued from page 1
“It’s too bad that the York administration is immune to rational requests. They’d rather spend almost 200 million dollars on a BS 59th birthday party” -Scott McIver Thorn on the strike in York University
“Your team-mates are your best friends as well and if I look back now, playing for Trinity... would have been the most important year for me.” - Hockey star Ciara Murphy on her days playing with Trinity.
Pay above max levels continued from page 1
“When parents and children around the country see these, they will find it hard to comprehend why they will now have to pay for these people granting themselves generous bonuses -- and they’d be right” - Fine Gael Education Spokesman Brian Hayes on top paid lecturers in Irish universities.
has been called to the Junior Dean’s office but is refusing to attend. He has offered to speak to Dr Stokes informally but has received no response to this. When asked to make a comment to the Irish Mail on Sunday, Mr Booth referred to the inside cover of Piranha! which states that all views, comments and articles are opinionated satire and not meant to be taken seriously. Piranha! also state in the magazine that it is a member of the Press Council of Ireland. The article which sparked Dr Stokes’ summons was a two-page spread titled ‘Going Out With A Bang: How To Leave Trinity In Style’ outlining a number of potential massacre scenarios around campus. Trinity Monday, Freshers Week and Last Pav Friday of the Year are all cited as potential opportunities. Catriona Gray, chairman of the DU publications committee that partfunds the magazine, said that she had
not received any complaints about this edition of Piranha! However, the Communications Office told journalists in the Irish Mail that “There have been complaints from internal sources” and that the action was a proactive measure. Speaking on behalf of Dr Stokes, Trinity Communications told Trinity News “Trinity College withdrew the publication of Piranha by ensuring that it was removed from circulation and the future of the publication is currently under consideration. The College cannot comment further on this matter as it is subject to ongoing investigations. However, Trinity takes matters of security and the welfare of its students and staff most seriously.” Piranha! was in controversy in 2006, when it printed a piece entitled “Stinking sand niggers outraged by Danish slight on their towel-headed religion”. All 1500 copies of the disputed issue were collected by college security and destroyed within 24 hours.
RAG week slogan draws fire this week until Friday 16th January. It is a week that concentrates on raising money for the charities under the Trinity Volunteering Opportunities Forum. The five charities involoved are Vincent de Paul, Volunteer Tuition Programme, Student 2 Student, Suas and the Free Legal Advice Centre. A source close to the Ents Officer claimed that the College Equality Officer had been in touch with Longworth over the contentious phrase. This, however, could not be confirmed. In relation to the complaints that the SU have received, Foley said that each would be taken very seriously and all queries should be addressed to her. She pointed out that she has already been in touch with Dean of Students Gerry Whyte in order to confirm that the SU had not breached the Equal Status Acts. A brief survey of Trinity students indicates a wide variation of opinions on the slogan stretching from indignation and disgust to hysterical laughter. A number of students, however, were merely confused.
By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor FEMINISTS HAVE taken a stand against the Students Union this week objecting to the ‘derogatory’ slogan of RAG week. Ents Officer Nick Longworth and Welfare Officer Orlaith Foley have received complaints about the slogan ‘I’m on the rag’ which is featured on bright red hoodies, tshirts and stickers posted all over campus. Foley commented that a complaint she received objected that the slogan is derogatory to the female population of Trinity. Longworth likewise received two complaints. It has emerged that the slogan was chosen by a RAG week committee composed entirely of male members. Foley insists, however, that she was consulted before the decision was finalised and that she had no problem with it going to print. ‘It was in no way meant to insult or offend anybody’ she said, noting that she had asked the opinion of a number of other girls before agreeing that the wording was not offensive. She continued that the reason such an attention grabbing phrase had
The back of the RAG week t-shirt. been used was in order to increase the publicity of RAG week which has not been as successful as hoped in previous years. ‘In fact,’ she added, ‘It’s great that
the tshirts are getting such attention because RAG week needs a lot of publicity.’ RAG week is running throughout
“Offensive Ents slogan is a red rag to a bull” Opinion section, page14
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Who’s who? The Provost, that’s who By Conor Sullivan THE PROVOST of Trinity College, John Hegarty, outlines for the ordinary man what he gets up to in his spare time in the 2009 edition of Who’s Who. Founded in 1897, Who’s Who is a directory of people worth knowing about, the great and the good and the famous. As they put it, the book “aims to list people who through their careers affect the political economic, scientific, and artistic life of the country”. An appearance in the book apparently “recognises distinction and influence”. Now, none other than Dr. Hegarty has been included in the latest edition of the famous book. The hefty tome, Who’s Who 2009, costs over €200. Each profile page begins with a description of achievements such as qualifications and professional positions, before a description of each entrant’s interests. Provost Hegarty
is noted for his position and lists his achievements. These include his conferral with an honorary doctorate of laws from Queen’s University, Belfast, his founding of Optronics Ireland, and his Professorship in Laser Physics in Trinity. For those who have ever wondered what the Provost gets up to in his spare time, each entry includes a short paragraph on this. We now know that he is a “voracious reader of all forms of literature from biography to novels which enrich the soul and ease me to sleep at night.” On a more active note, his hobbies include, “sailing and a love of the power and unpredictability of the sea”. He also enjoys cycling “for leisure, especially around West Kerry’. The original aim of Who’s Who was, and still is, to recognise people whose “prominence is inherited, or depending upon office, or the result of ability which singles them out from their fellows in
The Provost meets with US Senator John McCain during his visit to the Phil in 2004. Photo: Matt Pitt
‘Fiery’ Campbell speaks to Phil Supermodel Naomi Campbell accosted by anti-fur protesters on her way to receive an honorary patronage from the DU Philosophical Society
By Lisa Byrne FIERY SUPERMODEL, Naomi Campbell, paid a visit to the College last month to receive an honorary patronage courtesy of the Philosophical Society. Arriving 30 minutes late (fashionably), Campbell seemed unfazed by the presence of anti fur campaigners outside of the college. Having been introduced by Phil President Ruth Faller, Campbell thanked the Society and expressed her happiness at being back in Ireland. The model gave an account of her story thus far, discussing her highs, lows and current charitable activities. Campbell described being spotted by the head of Synchro Model Agency, Beth Boldt, while out shopping. 15 year old Campbell found unimaginable success on the catwalk. She went on to star in a number of high profile campaigns for the likes of Lee Jeans and Ralph Lauren. Shortly before her 16th Birthday, Campbell graced the cover of ‘Elle’ magazine. She went on to become the first black cover girl on French ‘Vogue’. Campbell continued to break the mould becoming the first black cover girl for English ‘Vogue’, and ‘Time’ magazine, amongst others. To date, Campbell has appeared on the cover of over 500 magazines world wide. Modelling has not been Campbell’s only career choice with the model dabbling in acting, singing and writing along the way. Campbell made a number of appearances in music videos throughout the 1990’s including George Michael’s “Freedom! ‘90” and Madonna’s “Erotica”. She has also appeared in videos for Jay-Z, P. Diddy, Michael Jackson and Nelly to name but a few. Having had a taste of the music life, Campbell went on to record her own music working with the likes of Vanilla Ice and Quincy Jones. Her solo debut album “Baby Woman” was released in 1995 but her chart success did not mirror her success on the catwalk. Her single “Love and Tears” failed to set the chart alight. Campbell’s career choices have led to controversy at times. In 1994, Campbell set her sights on the literary world ‘penning’ the novel “Swan”. It later emerged that Campbell did not in fact write the book, claiming she simply didn’t have the ‘time’ to sit down and write one. Controversy has followed her onto the catwalk also. After staring in an anti-fur campaign for animal rights group PETA in 1997, Campbell was seen modelling fur coats on the Milan catwalks only weeks later.
occupations open to every educated man or woman”. The College did not respond to requests from Trinity News as to which category Dr. Hegarty falls in to. According to its website, when selecting people to include, “Prominent figures in numerous fields are considered by the [Selection] Board on the basis of their continuing achievements, and ultimately selected due to their exceptional pre-eminence.” The book now contains over 33,000 biographies, including 800 new listings this in this edition, the 161st. Apparently during the Second World War Churchill personally intervened to ensure it would be continue to be published. Entries are for life, and the individual entries are moved to Who Was Who when the entrants die. Some controversy surrounds the publication since the entries are selfreported, and there has been a tendency of entrants to omit details.
Catholic institute on way? By Thomas Raftery
Her criminal record is almost as colourful as her career. To date, Campbell has had assault charges brought against her by 5 members of staff including threatening to push an assistant out of a moving car in ‘98. In ‘05, Campbell punched Italian actress Yvonne Scio for daring to wear the same dress as the model. Most recently, Campbell punched a police officer after one of her bags was lost following a flight on British Airways. While in Trinity, Campbell spoke on her frequent brushes with the law, saying “I feel terribly ashamed of what I’ve done .. I’ve apologised and I did my community service …” She then flashed a smile adding “in style”. Campbell discussed her charity work, which has mainly focused on the needs of those living in Sub Saharan Africa. Campbell’s charity work includes “Fashion for Relief”, a fashion show where the clothes are auctioned off to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, she presented the Live Earth concert in Johannesburg. As with most aspects in Campbell’s life, even her charity work has not been without controversy. Her alliance with human rights campaigner Nelson Mandela, whom she often affectionately referred to as her ‘grandfather’, appeared to come to an end this year. It was reported that Mandela asked to have Campbell’s name removed from his ninetieth birthday party list following her most recent conviction of assault. When Campbell finished speaking she was happy to take questions from the audience. Asked about her current relationship with U2 star Adam Clayton, to whom she was engaged to in the early 90‘s, Campbell diplomatically answered “I’m very good friends with all my U2 family”. It would certainly appear to be true as Campbell was accompanied to the event by Ali Hewson, wife of Bono. Asked about her time spent in Ireland, Campbell enthusiastically replied that she loved the Irish and surprisingly revealed a penchant for Irish takeaways. “I don’t work out everyday and when I was here I used to go to Abrakebabra”. Perhaps out of relief that Campbell had managed to keep her temper under control and refrained from throwing her blackberry at anyone, the 200 audience members gave the supermodel a round of applause. The model then strutted out of the auditorium with billionaire property developer and rumoured fiancee Vladislav Doronin back to her home for the weekend, the Westbury Hotel.
Top: Naomi regards the fur protestors outside Trinity. Photo Courtesy of Showbiz.ie Right: Phil president Barry Devlin Sch. attempts to retain his composure
DUBLIN’S ORIGINAL Protestant academic institution, Trinity College, may well see a Catholic institute of technology established here this autumn. Negotiations are currently ongoing, and reportedly ‘at an advanced stage’ between TCD and the Jesuitcontrolled Milltown Institute in Dublin. It has come as a surprise to many that University College Dublin (UCD) has rejected a similar proposal from the Institute. UCD, founded by Cardinal John Henry Newman in 1851, grew out of the Catholic University of Ireland. Throughout its history it has traditionally been seen as the Catholic alternative to Trinity, famously founded by staunch Protestant Queen Elizabeth I. A UCD spokesperson has denied suggestions that their rejection of the proposal was routed in their fear that they would once again be labelled as ‘the Catholic University’. Senior academics have similarly distanced themselves from this anti-Catholic stance. A spokeswoman for the university asserted that it had moved on to ‘a more mature place where religion and the past are concerned’. She added that it was ‘a concoction to suggest that there had been an anti-Catholic recoil’ at UCD during the talks with the Milltown Institute. The same spokeswoman claimed that “Contrary to popular mythology, UCD’s overriding concern had been about academic quality” The Milltown Institute, of which 17 Catholic religious congregations are trustees, comprises of two entities: a recognised college of the NUI (National University of Ireland), and a pontifical faculty. The difference being that the former half awards its students with civil degrees, while the latter awards degrees accredited by the Vatican. It offers courses on theology, philosophy and spirituality and has become one of Ireland’s leading authorities attracting international students from an estimated 40 countries. A statement from the Institute said, where negotiations with Trinity were concerned, its trustees wanted ‘to see Catholic Theology in a major university in dialogue with the surrounding culture, in ecumenical dialogue and in dialogue with other religious traditions. This vision is shared by TCD. The preservation of the ethosand identity of the respective partners forms a cornerstone of this alliance’.
Music technology course cancelled By Kasia Mychajlowycz A NEW course for 2009 entitled “Music and music technology” that was offered to prospective undergraduate students in the 2009 prospectus has been cancelled. Students who arrived at the College for Open Day on December 10th were dismayed and confused on learning that the course they had hoped to apply for, was no longer available. Music and music technology was meant to be focused on music theory and composition, offering an education to those who wish to pursue
composition, recording and sound engineering, but who don’t necessarily play an instrument. Unlike other music courses, the focus was not on becoming a proficient performing musician, but on behind-the-scenes production for the recording arts, television and film. The course was to provide traditional lectures on musical history “from Bach to hip hop”, as well as access to “the best available equipment” in music technology. Not only were prospective entrants required to take an entrance examinations, the prospectus reads, interviews were to be conducted before
the final selection. Conor Barry, a Leaving Cert student at Gonzaga College, arrived at Trinity College’s Open Day only to find that the course he was most interested in was no ‘There were a lot of poeple like me, and there were pissed off about it.’ longer available. He had read about the goals of the music technology course in the Prospectus, and wanted in. “When I showed up to the Trinity Open Day, they
didn’t exactly have a music technology stall. I went to the music department, and they told me it was cancelled. There were a lot of people like me, and they were pissed off about it.” When Mr. Barry asked why the course was cancelled, someone from the music department told him they were going to involve more music technology in the music course that’s already offered. An administrator at the Admission office told Trinity News that his office was informed of the cancellation on December 8th by the head of the Music Department, Professor Kevin Rocket, who could not be reached for comment.
A notice on the prospective student’s website was then put up to inform students of the change, but further details could not obtained as Admission Officer Susan Powers is out of College until the end of the week. A shrinking budget and the financial crisis may be to blame for the course’s cancellation, as the offer of high-tech and high-priced equipment in a small class setting may have proved too expensive for a college where some class sizes exceed the capacity of their assigned auditorium. What made this course different from the other music courses offered
by Trinity is what attracted Mr. Barry in the first place. “It isn’t all based around compositional theory, it’s around computer-based music, and software music and I’m really interested in that, it’s a hobby of mine, and I thought it would be really cool.” He will still apply for the music course offered by Trinity, but would prefer the music technology courses in Queen’s Belfast, or the University of Edinburgh. The only other Irish universities to offer music technology, he said, are Limerick and Maynooth, but Maynooth requires that students take the course in conjunction with another course.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Phil debators in world quarter finals
TRINITY COLLEGE debating was given a considerable boost at the recent Cork World Debating Championships, with the University Philosophical Society team of Ruth Faller and Kiera Healy reaching the quarterfinals and becoming the highest placed Irish team in the competition. Faller and Healy broke 9th into the knockout rounds and were one of 6 teams from Trinity College, representing both the University Philosophical and College Historical Societies. Faller and Ruth’s successed meant that they gained the top position in the competition out of all of the Irish entries.
FACEBOOK NOW AS GAEILGE A TRINITY student is leading the initiative to translate popular networking site, Facebook, into Irish. Gabriel Beecham, a medical student in Trinity College is part of a consensus group of Irish speakers who aim to translate the site’s key phrases into Irish. Terms such as ‘tag’ and ‘poke’ are already as Gaeilge. ‘Poke’ is now ‘sonc’ and ‘to tag’ has been changed to ‘clib a chur’. Facebook itself has been translated as ‘Feidhmchlair.’ Mr Beecham believes that translating Facebook will help to portray Irish as a modern working language. Similar initiatives are translating the site into Esperanto, Welsh and Afrikaans.
By Caroline O’Leary
Faller, a former President of the Phil, and Healy, the society’s current registrar, were delighted at the success, as well as being the first Trinity team to reach the knockout stage of the competition since 2005. Kiera Healy told Trinity News “Ruth and I are so pleased to have reached the quarter-finals. It feels particularly good as neither of us had any experience debating before coming to college, whereas many speakers have been doing this since secondary school. Less I’m in second year, and had never even heard of competitive debating until I got involved with the Phil last year. It feels fantastic, and I hope we have many more successes to come.” The team were joined in the competition by other Phil teams “A”
Former Phil president Ruth Faller ranked ninth speaker overall
Jonathan Wyse and Brian O’Beirne, and novice team “C” Andrew Linn and Shauna Maguire, as well as the 3 teams form the Historical society of Niall Sherry and Niamh ni Mhaoileoin, Harry McEvansoneya and Ciaran Parkin, and Graham Kelly and Kate Hayes-Brady. Linn and Maguire, who both took part in the Phil Speaks initiative in school before attending Trinity, had previously won the novice competition in Cork the previous October and took the place of Phil President Barry Devlin and David Maguire who decided to give them their place to gain experience. The competition was ultimately won by Oxford team Will Jones and James Dray at the January 3rd finals. Jones, who regularly runs debating workshops in the GMB, said, “Debate is important
and more than just random argument. Debating is people expressing their opinions and articulating their ideas in a persuasive manner. College is the perfect time to start learning how to do this, and organisations such as The Phil and The Hist can teach you these valuable life skills along with public speaking, logical reasoning and confidence. I’d recommend involvement to anyone.” In preparation for the competition, the teams competed in several Inter Varsity competitions such as those held in Cork, Oxford, UCD and Cambridge. At the Cambridge competition Faller and Healy reached the final while Wyse and O’Beirne reached the semi-finals. Will Jones will giving a workshop on public speaking at The Phil on Thursday 22nd at 11.am.
TRINITY CLOSE TO CANCER CURE TRINITY COLLEGE have joined together with Queens University in a new cancer research initiative. The project aims to develop treatments for the most dangerous forms of cancer. It is one of the first cross-Border projects of this kind. The initiative will cost €1.4m and create 12 new research positions. If focuses on cancers which have the lowest survival rates. The effort began when Queens University found potential biological targets against cancer cells. Trinity’s part is now to use its computer modelling system to design completely new drugs that can exploit these biological targets.
The tension builds as Professor Mike Jones of the School of Botany guides David Attenborough as he opens the Centre of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development on December 18. Photo: Katherine Southall
BIDS FOR NON-EU STUDENTS TRINITY COLLEGE will attend the Malaysian Star Education Fair for the first time this year in order to encourage Malaysian students to come to the college. The Malaysian Star Education Fair is an annual event in Kuala Lampur which includes universities from all over the world. Malaysian students are offered the opportunity to speak to representatives from international colleges. Institutions that want to advertise at the fair have to ballot for booths at the fair. Trinity College have successfully gained a booth alongside nine other Irish institutions. Executive secretary of Enterprise Ireland, Sabrina Ng told Malaysian press that she would be promoting business, IT, engineering and hospitality degrees in Ireland.
Solar powered waste disposal for college By Jelena Ivanovic Deputy College News Editor THEIR BIGBELLYS arrived before Christmas 2008 and can be seeen dotted around Fellows’ Square. Not your average trash can, Trinity College have invested in 10 innovative solar powered rubbish bins at a cost of €3,500 each. Kyron Power and Energy distributes the bins around Ireland. According to Marketing manager Dominick Devereux, the rubbish bin is essentially a mini compactor that is 80% more efficient than a normal rubbish bin. The battery to power the compactor mechanism is fully chargable by solar energy making them self-sufficient. Maintenance involves an oil and battery check every six months. The solar bins
have currently freed from three to treeand-a-half hours per day for grounds staff. The original US design was customised especially for Trinity to include a cigarette receptacle. According to Grounds and Gardens Supervisor David Hackett there are plans to extend them to the whole campus if they prove a success. Mr Hackett said he is always on the look out for improvements to the waste facilities and had seen the bins whilst travelling abroad. The bins are an environmentally friendlier alternative to the average cast iron bins that are also used at Trinity, and better adhere to new health and safety regulations for staff. They are at present emptied every three days,
whereas daily emptying is required for all the other bins. However, the real test will be the summer months which are the peak rubbish season. At €3,350 each and costlier than their cast iron counterparts by nearly €500, the bins involve less maintenance and improved hygiene through complete enclosure of rubbish, Their capacity is five times greater than regular bins, A series of three lights – green, yellow and red, alert their owner to what fcapacity they
are at, yellow implying that compaction has taken place and red that emptying is required. Compaction takes 41 seconds but the bin can still be used whilst this is taking place. Speaking to Trinity News, Mr. Devereux noted that four hours of daylight are required to power the 12-hour battery life, which can then power the bin for 28 days, effectively meaning that they are always charged. Trinity College was first roll out the BigBelly in Ireland and was fast followed by Dublin City Council. Orders have since come from Tramore, Bray, Naas and Cavan, confirms Kyron.
YOUR VIEW WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE SLOGAN “ON THE RAG” ?
SS CIVIL ENGINEERING
JS ECONOMICS & POLITICS
SF FRENCH & DRAMA
I’m not sure. I probably don’t get it because I am French, it’s a slang joke lost on me!
I don’t think it’s that offensive. I’ve certainly seen worse things on T shirts.
I think student societies often use slogans like this to grab attention. It’s not that bad - just another failed attempt to catch our notice.
I think it’s disgraceful. The person who permitted this set back the course of feminism by centuries. Where can I get one of the hoodies? To burn, of course...
RACHEL KAVANAGH PHD GEOGRAPHY My instant reaction is that it’s a bit tasteless. Obviously it’s been thought up by a boy!
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
No love for Trinity parrots By Sarah Rose Montague MOST PEOPLE have heard of drugs and arms being smuggled on the black market, but an international symposium being held in Trinity College this summer hopes to highlight something very different that is also prevalent on the black market: parrots. The first International Parrot Symposium is being held in the college in June of this year and will host 16 keynote speakers from all over the world. Experts in the field will address issues such as conservation in the wild, breeding and conservation in captivity and behaviour of parrots in a series of lectures. The organizer of the event, Mr. Jerry Kidd, claims that the ‘smuggling of endangered animals is the third largest black market in the world’ and within this, parrots are the most commonly smuggled animal. Through the symposium Mr. Kidd hopes to bring attention to this rather unusual side of the criminal underworld. In addition to the international problem, Mr. Kidd, hopes that the event will bring attention to his own personal battle of bird preservation. He has gained recent publicity in his
quest for permission to retain his collection of rare and endangered birds despite complaints from his Terenure neighbours. Mr. Kidd has been breeding different species of birds for the past 30 years. He declared he ‘had a love for birds since I was about 12 years old’ Mr. Kidd’s bird collection, including six pairs of macaws and Australian parakeets as well as parrots, have been been bringing a bit of tropical colour
to the suburbs of Dublin for years, but some of his neighbours are not too impressed with these particular sounds of nature and have issued noise complaints to the council. The birdcalls at sunrise and sunset are evidently unwelcome alarm clocks for many of the residents. Mr. Kidd’s request to renew the planning permission of his aviary was rejected due to these noise complaints. He is now making an appeal to be
allowed to retain a smaller and reduced aviary. The aviary, located in the large back garden of his house in Terenure, had previously received planning permission back in 1998 and had been inspected by the Health Services Executive. Now, in order to remove the noise objection, Mr. Kidd has said that he is ‘willing to reduce the number of birds and remove some of the loudest’. Until
the result of his appeal is announced, all of the birds have been removed and set up in temporary residence with other breeders. Despite a personal interest in various species of birds, Kidd decided to concentrate the upcoming symposium solely on parrots. He says that ‘parrots from around the world constitute the greatest percentage of smuggled animals’. He adds that the main reason for the symposium is ‘to highlight the need for protection of endangered species both in the wild and in captivity’, by educating people and raising money for conservation. The event, which hopes to attract approximately 500 people from all over the world with a similar interest in parrots, is the first of its type in Northern Europe. The host of speakers includes world-renowned child-psychologist Susan Friedman, who has applied her expertise to parrot behaviour because their mental ability is apparently similar to that of a three to four year old human child. Accordingly, Kidd is concerned for his own birds and the distressing effect that their displacement may have on their mental wellbeing. ‘The whole thing has been very stressful for them,’ he commented.
Future uncertain for Lincoln Place watering hole By Jelena Ivanovic Deputy College News Editor THE FUTURE of the Lincolns Inn pub is uncertain due to the extensive financial difficulties of the Thomas Read group. Rent payments to Trinity College are outstanding on the lease held by the Thomas Read group for the Lincolns Inn pub. The Group had bought the lease for the Trinity owned premises in 2006 and with the College and Dublin City Council, undertook renovations which saw the pub re-open in early 2007 with a traditional and student-friendly feel. The dispute came to light when national press reported that Trinity agents were seeking to reenter the premises. The Director of Buildings Office subsequently denied this. The Thomas Read group, better known for its considerable bar portfolio around the capital, ended 2008 with a file for examinership, bringing into
question the future of The Lincolns Inn and of other notable drinking holes operated by the group such as, The Bailey, Ron Blacks and The Harbourmaster. Paul Managn, The Director of Trinity’s Buildings’ Office confirmed that they had “initiated legal action arising from the non-payment on rental,” but noted that no attempts were made to enter the premises, as had been reported in some national press. He added “The College is hopeful that the examinership will lead to appropriate restructuring of the financial position of the Thomas Read group for the benefit of its creditors and in order that its various components, including the Lincolns Inn, will continue for trade.” Trinity College is just one of the many creditors awaiting to hear the outcome of the application for examinership which was brough to the Hight Court on 28 November 2008 by Guernville
Lincoln’s Inn, owned by Thomas Reads group. Photo: Martin McKenna Ltd, the parent company of Sharmane Ltd and 14 related companies, known collectively as the Thomas Read group. The story began to unravel in October 2008, when Mark Leavey, the
Experience something something Experience newin inthe theOld Old Library Library new
The Trinity Library Shop The Library Shop opening hours are: 9.30 – 5.00 Monday to Saturday 12.00 – 4.30 Sundays Email:firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.tcd.ie/Library/Shop
managing director of Sharmane Ltd, took an injuction against his employers after he was told his position was being made redundant. In actual fact, the company could no longer afford to
pay him. The process of examinership provides court protection for the group’s operations from creditors while they try to restructure debts and save their business. The pub, situated at 18/19 Lincoln Place, has been of interest to Trinity students since its lease was offered for sale in 2004 amid speculation that the Students Union might take over the premises. The Thomas Read group operate a total of 22 bars, mainly in Dublin City Centre and all eight of the bars at Dublin Airport. The groups combined debt stands at over €26m, with the main creditors including Diageo Ireland, Heineken and Britvic C&C. €15m of its debt is owed to ACC bank, a subsidiary of Rabobank – coincidently the dutch bank also implicated in the Enron Scandal in the early 2000s. The Thomas Read group did not respond to requests for a statement on the matter.
SHORT CUTS USI FEES PROTEST
‘GOVERNMENT PANIC’ THE CAMPAIGNS officer of the Union of Students in Ireland said the organisation’s aim is that the Government “starts panicking” over its plans to introduce student fees. David Curran made the comment at a public meeting in TCD shortly before the end of the last term. He also revealed the union’s plans on the issue for the coming months. Aside from the national demonstration on fees on February 4th, USI plans to encourage as many students to vote in the upcoming local elections as possible. The protest is to be explicitly related to the forthcoming local elections, and registering students to vote was “very important” in this regard said Curran. USI also plans a Student Activist Summit, held most likely at a DIT campus in the near future. The aim is to teach the skills needed for effective campaigning, and it is estimated that between 400 and 500 people will take part. By Rory O’Connor HONORARY DEGREES
ATTENBOROUGH AND PRATCHETT TERRY PRATCHETT and David Attenborough have both been awarded honorary degrees by Trinity College. The acclaimed author, Terry Pratchett has sold more than 55million copies of his satirical works and has also given significant donations for Alzheimer’s research, a disease which he himself has. Attenborough was awarded the degree for his significant contribution to natural history and broadcasting.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
UCC test-drives iPhone hitchking app By Aine Pearl Pennello
€5M FUNDING FOR NUIG CENTRE NUI GALWAY’S newly established Energy Research Centre has been granted €5 million in initial research funding. The centre which aims to become a hub for energy research in Ireland anticipates filling up to 20 research and development positions in 2009. The centre’s director, Prof Vincent O’ Flaherty believes in a “holistic approach”, which focuses on education and outreach in addition to progressive research. He envisages clear opportunities for Ireland in this critical field which integrates “sciencedriven understanding with engineering-based implementation”. Potential for new approaches extends from electricity-producing microorganisms to smarter wind power. Researchers from Teagasc, the Marine Institute, partner universities and other international bodies will collaborate with the centre dedicated to Energy research. It is widely believed that Ireland needs to upscale energy research and take a more co-ordinated approach nationally if it wishes to secure a leading role in this vital sector, where future economic growth is guaranteed. Lillian O’ Sullivan FEES
“BIGGEST STUDENT PROTEST EVER” THE UNION of Students in Ireland is planning what is described as “the biggest mass protest Ireland has ever seen” in Dublin on February 4th next. This action is in opposition to the proposed reintroduction of third level fees in the Irish education system and the proposed increase in the registration fee for students. These reforms, which would see the registration fee rise to €1,500, have recently been proposed by minister for Education Batt O’Keefe. The last few months have been dominated by controversy regarding these proposed increases. There have been student protests and blockades of ministerial visits in many campuses across the country. This includes forcing Minister of State Conor Lenihan to withdraw from attending a debate hosted by the University of Dublin’s Literary and Historical Society on 12th November last. Trinity College’s Students’ Union has sent an email to students asking them to come out and protest on the day. James Arthurs HEALTH
RISE IN FLU-LIKE ILLNESSES A SHARP nationwide increase in seasonal reports of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) has recently been reported by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). The HPSC is Ireland’s specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases. Its calculations are based on data gathered from a network of 54 GPs across the country. The College Health Service (CHS), following a previous recommendation made by the World Health Organisation, temporarily offered a vaccination service to staff and students, which was made available from Monday September 29 for eight weeks. Despite the recent HPSC findings, there are no official plans on behlaf of the CHS to renew its vaccination service. However, it is still provisionally able to continue the service while its stocks of the vaccine last. The cost is €15 for studnts, and €30 for staff members. Hussein Sarhan
STEPHAN KOCH, commuter plan manager at UCC, plans to test what he calls “computer-driven hitchhiking” early this year. Avego, based in Kinsale, has developed a new iPhone application, which will allow drivers and potential hitchhikers to meet up in a safe manner while helping to reduce traffic congestion. The system, explains managing director Sean O’Sullivan, works like so: a driver who is willing to offer a lift must download Avego’s application from the web, map out their route and destination and then place their iPhone on the dashboard of their car. The iPhone records the driver’s route and sends it to the Avego network which will then insert pick-up locations for hopeful passengers. While drivers must possess an iPhone to use the service, passengers do not. Passengers can find a ride by texting, calling or using the Avego website. Once the passenger finds their desired route and is accepted by the driver, s/he can identify the driver (and vice versa) through photographs and
The software to facilitate car pooling commuters will run on Apple’s iPhone.
identifying PIN numbers. The journey itself is paid by the passenger via the web. The application works much like a taxi service with the passenger charged 30 cents per mile, 85% of which goes to the driver to cover petrol costs with the remaining 15% to Avego. Mr. Koch hopes the system, in conjunction with public transport and cycling, will ease congestion for UCC commuters. With 17, 000 students and 2, 600 staff, “the road capacity simply isn’t there” ,Mr. Koch says. In a study it was found that 70% of UCC’s staff and 36% of the university’s students use a car to go to and from campus daily. Mr. Koch hopes that by using Avego, staff and students alike can reduce these daily single-occupancy commutes, meaning less traffic on the road and less competition in the car park. The application and others like it allow the driver to offer a ride without the pressures and dependency of committing to regular carpooling. S/ he also has the ultimate freedom of choosing when, to where and with whom to offer a ride even whilst on route. The photographs and PIN numbers ensure an increased level of safety for both the
driver and passenger alike. While Mr. O’Sullivan admits it will take drivers used to the solo commute some time to give up their private space, he hopes that reduced transportation costs offered by the system will act as a big incentive. “It will require behaviour changes on the part of the drivers and riders”, he says. However similar iPhone applications such as Carticipate, have caught on quickly with both drivers and hitchhikers alike. Carticipate, released in October 2008, has already had 10, 000 downloads. Hendrik Hilbolling of the Netherlands uses Carticipate instead of the train to see his girlfriend in France. Hendrik enjoys the system’s economical value as well as the companionship such applications offer, having shared one of his recent journeys with a film director, “This is a nice ride” he says, “we can talk, and this way is much cheaper”.
we need to be prepared to look at new ways to provide the services the public need in the most efficient and effective manner. We must focus spending on areas of greatest priority and reduce sharply those activities which are not essential.” Mr. Cowen also placed an emphasis on the need for a highly skilled and flexible workforce in order to ensure a vibrant economy for the future. However while Mr. Cowen and the Tanaiste Mary Coughlan made their way to China for trade talks, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan was left to weather the storm of controversy surrounding proposed cut-backs in the public sector. Speculation surrounding the planned cut-backs include cuts of between 5 and 10 per cent in the public sector. These cuts will most likely be instigated through redundancies, nonreplacement of retiring staff and actual pay cuts. The salary decreases would target public service workers who earn over 40,000 euro. Cutbacks in the public sector seem more inevitable now, as the unemployment rate is set to increase further. While Mr Cowen prepares for talks with the social partners, he
issued a warning that there is no quick fix solution to the economic turmoil of recent months. Speaking to the Irish Times ahead of his meeting, he made a sobering declaration that it could take up to five years to return the Irish economy to a state of equilibrium. Meanwhile the crushing news of job losses has hit the mid west of Ireland hard. Once a hub of multinational software production, the technology bubble appears to have finally burst, in Limerick at least. Dell announced late last week that it intended to migrate all production of computer systems for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to Poland. While it promised competitive severance packages for its affected workers the loss of almost 2,000 jobs looks set to impact greatly on the local economy. Mr. Cowen described the proposed out sourcing of production as a major blow to the mid west. It also comes as a major blow to the leader and his party. His words at the announcement for a sustainable economic renewal last month will do little to ease the sobering reality of those recently laid off.
For more information you can visit Avego’s website, www.avego.com or do it the student way and check out their video on www.youtube. com. The iPhone application is now available from the Avego website as a free beta download.
Recession hits public sector Cowen seeks to allay fears of public sector pay cuts amid massive job losses in the midwest, reports Kate O’Regan
HE DOWN-WARD spiral of the Irish economy took a dramatic turn this week when the Dell plant in Limerick announced the axing of 1,900 jobs. This followed a call earlier in the week by Taoiseach Brian Cowen for the Irish public to join him and his government in their cost-saving measures. Speaking to the Irish Times, Brian Cowen defended his party’s line on the worsening economic crisis, “We have indicated to the public what the strategic strengths of the economy are”. He asked the Irish people to support the government’s initiative and strive for a spirit of innovation in the public sector. While attempting to allay the fears of the Irish peoples, Mr Cowen insisted that tough measures would have to be taken to withstand the stormy seas of recession. In the short term, he indicated that cuts would have to be made across the public sector, including the health service. He expressed a need for efficient cost saving measures that did not jeopardize the most vulnerable in society. However recent cuts in the health service and education have been met with some resistance from those affected.
Dell’s plant in Limerick, now closed. As almost 2,000 job losses across Ireland were announced this week - the hardest hit being Limerick, with the elimination of 1,900 jobs - Mr Cowen called for a realistic outlook in these uncertain times. Referring to the global fiscal crisis, the Taoiseach was adamant that the best approach in these times is versatility. “We are in a recession. The fact that it is such a global recession makes it harder because we depend on selling into these markets”. He continued to push for a more versatile outlook in terms of industry, claiming “a switch of emphasis may be needed”. With the loss of so many jobs in one week, it comes as no surprise that unemployment hit a ten year high of 8.3% in December. The Taoiseach’s words were of limited comfort to those struck off the pay roll and to those entering the job market. However he encouraged people to focus on the positive economic climate of the last 12 years. Outlining the government’s plans, Mr Cowen suggested that investment in education, research and development would pave the way for a more stable future. “We believe it is a worthwhile investment for the country that will
bring benefits” he said. Before Christmas, Brian Cowen attended the announcement of Building Ireland’s Smart Economy: A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal in Dublin Castle. In his speech at the event Mr Cowen stated that “we will have to come through this (recession)”. He went on to say that it is up to the Irish workforce to come through it in a creative manner. Confirming his economic vision for the future of Taoiseach calls for skilled workforce to tackle economic crisis Ireland he stated,“When this is over there will be a new economic order and I want Ireland to be positioned to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be presented.” Maintaining a positive outlook he spoke of first-class infrastructures and the ‘best tax deals’. Yet he issued a word of caution to those in the public sector, suggesting that cuts in the sector would be essential to ensure a more efficient service. “Particularly in the public service,
Oxford wins debating final in Cork By Fearghus Brian Roulston & Caroline O’Leary 6 TEAMS from 308 entries from more than 40 countries who visited UCC to take part in the 29th World Universities Debating Championship this month. With more than a thousand delegates visiting the campus, the economic boost to the Cork economy is estimated to be as high as two million Euros. Conor Healy, the Cork Chamber of Commerce chief executive, was pleased with the additional revenue brought in by the competition, and its potential to raise the global profile of Cork. “Education tourism would generally be fairly low at this time of year, so it’s a welcome boost to the economy in that sense. But it’s also of benefit in raising the profile internationally of UCC and Cork as a conference destination and that’s very positive for the region.” Hosted by the university’s Law and Philosophical Society, the event is the largest academic competition in the world. It attracted teams from all over the globe, including the US,
The Worlds final at Cork City Hall. Photo: Caroline O’Leary Japan, Australia and Korea. Mark Collins, director of registration and communication for the event, felt that Cork was honoured to have been chosen to host the annual event. “University College Cork was selected to host the competition by the World Universities Debating Council at Vancouver in Canada in 2006 and
then that decision was ratified last year at Bangkok in Thailand – so it’s a great honour,” Mr Collins said. The event has increased unrecognisably in scale in the past few years with up to 78 debates before the knockout stages. The decision to hold the competition over the Christmas/ New Year’s break stems from the fact
that it is the only time in the year when universities in both the northern and southern hemisphere are on holidays simultaneously. After the gruelling group stages, 32 teams were chosen for the knockout rounds, before a final four teams competed in the final on January 3rd. The teams were only informed of the motion on which they would debate fifteen minutes before the event. The victorious Oxford team were presented with a Waterford Crystal replica of the Sam Maguire cup after standing in opposition to the motion “That this house would allow abortion at all stages of pregnancy”. Mr Jones, 22, studies politics at Balliol College. He said that although their experience debating together in previous events had helped, the motion was difficult to discuss. “We knew it would be very hard competing in the world championships and we had a couple of lucky shots and here we are.” The two politics students had previously won the event in Vancouver, before missing out on last year’s final in
DEBATABLE FACTS » UCC have history in the competition, winning it once in 1986, and hosting it previously in 1995. » The competition is judged by a panel drawn from more than 300 adjudicators. » Among the guests at the finals were the president of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, and vice president for the Student Experience, Con O’Brien. Bangkok. Both of the winners were full of praise for the organising committee in Cork and the standard of debate they encountered. Ireland was wellrepresented this year with six teams from University College Dublin, six from Trinity, three from NUI Galway, two from DCU and two from UL. However, it was Oxford that left with the trophy this year.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Two month strike, no end in sight
York University in Toronto, Canada, has halted classes since Nov. 8th due to a union strike. Neither side is conceding, and meanwhile students “put their lives on hold” and wait By Kasia Mychajlowycz International News Editor 50,000 UNDERGRADUATE students in Toronto, Cananda have not been in class for 2 months, with some specualtion as to whether they will be able to complete their courses at all this year. York University, located on a sprawling campus just shy of the city’s northern limits, has been locked in a battle with a union representing the 3,400 faculty members, teaching assistants and graduate researchers who walked off the job on November 8th due to failed renegotiations of their contract with the university’s administration. Among the demands of the members of the Canadian Union for Public Employees local 3903 is an extension of part-time contracts from eight months to five years, a 10% wage increase across the board, and a promise of more fulltime tenured positions for faculty to replace those who will be retiring in the near future. Job security is a major part of the union’s platform, but perhaps the most contentious demand is that this contract lasts 2 years, so that its expiration will coincide with other university unions in the province of Ontario, creating the possibility of a province-wide strike that would bolster unions’ bargaining power. Most recently, the university administration has made a move to end the strike in the next week by calling on the Ontario Ministry of Labour to supervise a forced vote by union members on their latest offer, which they made public last Wednesday, and which the union tabled without bringing it to a vote, with CUPE spokersperson
Tyler Shipley calling the offer “a step back”. The Toronto Star reported that the offer included better job security through more tenured positions, and a 0.7% increase in wages through benefits such as childcare from previous offers. According to labour laws in Ontario, employees can demand that the Ministry force union members to vote on one offer during each bargaining round; in 2001, the same union went on strike for 11 weeks, and forced elections brought about the agreement that ended that dispute. Alex Bilyk, spokesperson for York, said that the administration was “I can no longer aimlessly wait for York to figure out what they are doing.” -Amy Levy, BScN forced to make this move after the offer was rejected, and no counterproposal was forthcoming. “We have students out there who have put their lives on hold for two months already,” he said as he announced what the media have been calling York’s “surprise move”. Amy Levy, a 3rd year Nursing (BScN) student at York, is one of those students who has had her life ‘on hold’ along with her studies. Because she couldn’t know when the strike was going to end, she has held off on getting a job, hoping the strike would have been long over by week 11. Now, she says, she is “currently looking for work because I can no longer spend my days aimlessly waiting for York to figure out what they are doing. Not to mention, I am also looking for a
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new school.” York has announced that there will be no reading week, a week-long, campus-wide break in February, and that summer and fall exams will be on compressed schedules this year and next to try and compensate for lost time. The school year could also stretch into the summer, which would interfere with Levy’s nursing placements, a requirement for her degree, and would make pursuing a higher education that much more difficult for the many students who rely on summer jobs to financially carry them through the academic year. A few students have set up a group called Yorknothostage.com, which also has a Facebook group called the Anti-Strike group. Their website reads that this they represent the 4,000 students who have signed their petition demanding an immediate resolution to the strike, and has issued an open letter to Labour Minister Peter Fonseca to hold the forced vote at the earliest opportunity. Co-founder Catherine Divaris, a 5th year Kinesiology student, was helping to prepare a “shot-gun rally” for November 10th, 2 days after the strike started, when she met the other co-founder of Yorknothostage.com Lyndon Koopmans and other students who would eventually made up the group. When asked about the content of the Facebook sight, which includes photos of graffiti on campus giving lewd names to the teaching assistants and other union members on strike, she
emphasized that the site’s intention is to be a forum for students. “Our group is for the student voice, we try not to censor anybody unless it’s really offensive,” she told Trinity News in a phone interview. As for the forced vote by the Ministry, she explains that the union supporters “feel it takes away their rights as a union, but we’ve been waiting as students with no voice and no say and they hadn’t even started negotiation until last week. I don’t know how much longer we’re meant to wait.” As for accusations that the group is anti-union, Divaris says, “We’re a neutral group. We think both sides are to blame.” Despite the interruption to their school year, many students are backing the union and their right to strike, and oppose any back-to- work rules from the provincial legislature. They are with union workers at the picket line, and also support them by voicing their frustration with the administration’s priorities. “It’s too bad that the York administration is immune to rational requests. They’d rather spend almost 200 million dollars on a BS 59th birthday party for the university than [sic] fund the producers of knowledge and wealth in the school,” writes Scott McIver Thorn, a 4th year Political Science and Social and Political Thought student at York. “I REALLY hope there is some REAL negotiation SOON.” Thorn’s Facebook status: “Fair Wages, Job Security and Quality Education for the New Year!”
Student-led organisation Yorknothostage.com staged a Christmas-themed demonstration in fronf of the Provincial Legislature in Queen’s Park, Toronto. Photo: Yorknothostage.com
High Point Uni Proposed ban of now smoke-free Israeli scholars
By Jennifer Doyle Staff Writer FROM JUNE 1st this year, High Point University in North Carolina will introduce a ban on all tobacco products throughout the campus. A small private liberal arts college with an attendance of 2760 students, HPU has decided to introduce the ban on smoking and chewing tobacco after conducting a survey in March last year. The survey, which was completed online by over 1000 students, showed that almost 70% were in favor of banning all tobacco products from being used on campus. This decision has recently been upheld unanimously by the university’s Board of Trustees and the process of making the campus smoke free will begin in June at the end of the academic year. The process will begin with the rezoning of designated smoking areas and removal of smoking paraphernalia such as ashtrays. On September 1st, when the students return after the summer break, they will find fines and sanctions in place for those caught smoking on campus -this includes smoking in cars parked within the college confines. The result of these measures is that students and staff who wish to smoke will be forced to leave the campus in order to do so. The Vice-President of student life at High
Point, Gail Tuttle, has welcomed the decision to introduce the ban, saying that it reflects the desires of students living on campus who want ‘a living situation that is conductive to healthy choices and clean air.’ Rachael Parker, a sophomore at the university, is delighted with the ban, saying that ‘there won’t be cigarette butts’ spoiling the campus any more. In 1993, North Carolina State law banned smoking in all state run buildings and in 2007, the legislature deemed it legal that schools should be allowed to institute a ban on smoking in areas up to 100 feet away from school buildings. Bennet College was the first such college to enact the law and others have followed suit, with High Point University being the 21st to do so. It has been a success in many of the other colleges and according to Kathy Carstens, Director of Student Health Services at Greensboro College, the ban prepares students for a work environment where smoking is prohibited. The majority of colleges who have introduced the smoking ban have also offered classes to help their staff and students beat tobacco addiction. High Point is following suit, offering smoking cessation classes in spring and autumn of 2009 to help the student’s transition to a smoke free environment.
By Caitriona Murphy Deputy International News Editor DURING THE past weeks the world has been exposed to increasingly shocking reports from the crisis in the Gaza strip. With a cease-fire looking increasingly unlikely, one workers union in Canada has taken a drastic measure – to ban all Israeli academics from speaking, teaching or research work in Ontario universities. Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario arm of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has this week announced that the union will seek to pass a motion banning Israeli scholars from universities in the area. He stated that the only way the ban would be lifted would be if the scholars explicitly condemned Israel’s actions in the Gaza strip - “We are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general,” In 2006 CUPE boycotted all Israeli goods in a protest against the ‘apartheid’ wall. However it would seem that not even the Palestinians are in agreement with the opinionated organization. The Palestinian Al-Quds University in Jerusalem condemned the ban, stating that it wished to ‘build bridges not walls’ with Israeli scholars.
There has also been a strong backlash from the Jewish community, with many labeling CUPE as ‘bigoted’ and ‘anti-Semitic’. Ryan sparked further debate by making an analogy comparing the Israeli bombings of a Gaza university to book-burnings during the Nazi regime. However many Canadian scholars have argued that though unfair, the ban is not anti-Semitic. Michael Neumann of Trent University stated that that in these extreme circumstances, the proposal is ‘reasonable and perhaps justified’. He argued that “It targets Israeli, not Jewish, professors,” and is therefore not anti-Semitic. Mira Sucharov, a professor at Carleton University, agreed that the proposal is not anti-Semitic but that it is unacceptable -”Excluding someone is fundamentally against the entire enterprise of academia.” This is not the first time that controversy surrounding Israel and Canadian universities has occurred. Currently, prestigious centres of learning such as the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto host an annual ‘ Israeli Apartheid Week’ – a weeklong festival of anti – Israel speeches and programs. Last year the festival created such problems that 125 of the University of Toronto professors took out an advertisement in the national paper condemning the University’s support of the week.
DESPITE THE current economic climate, a new bank is preparing to opens it’s doors this year in Carbondale, Colorado. However this is no ordinary bank – the staff won’t even have graduated from high school. Non-profit organization Computers-for-kids, based in Carbondale, is helping high school students from the area set up their own exclusively student-run bank. The organization has already converted an old school building in the town into a business centre for the students, featuring conference rooms, flat-screen televisions and cybercafes. They hope that running a bank will give the students a chance to learn how to manage their money. The venture was developed between Computersfor-kids and Alpine bank, who have set aside a $25,000 grant to get the bank started. The students themselves will run it, and groups from the local high schools are determining all of the products and marketing strategies. The bank will most likely keep student hours, and will offer saving accounts and debit cards. Kirsten McDaniel, executive director of Computers-for-kids has been helping students to develop the project. She notes that already the students have made some interesting insights into youth banking - they don’t support the idea of giving out credit cards, feeling that young people won’t be able to manage them properly. McDaniel believes the venture will teach students about key concepts in the banking world such as compound interest, as well as helping them set their own financial goals. She hopes that the experience will help them make better choices in life. Caitriona Murphy
UNIVERSITY GRENBOLE, FRANCE
TRINITY STUDENT ABROAD SUNDAY. APART from the optional extra of going to mass, Sunday in Ireland is virtually like any other day of the week. Grafton Street still swarms with tourists and window shoppers, closing time in the pubs and nightclubs of the city will see the typical amount of worse for wear students staggering into Abrakebabra. It didn’t take too long to discover that things aren’t quite the same chez les Francais however. These hardworking people, who toil for 35 hours every week (with only a measly 2 hour lunch to break the monotony of their day), take the commands of our Lord to a new level on the Sabbath. Everything is shut. If you want cigarettes or a newspaper, then get yourself out of bed before noon in order to take the brief window of opportunity when the tabacs (French newsagents) open for business. As for milk and bread, a failure to prepare on Saturday afternoons means a bleak and hungry end to the week. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m writing this on a Sunday. And yes I’m hung-over. After some terrifying experiences of trying to survive the boredom of Sunday afternoons in a state of sobriety, we quickly decided that the best tactic is to go out on the razz on Saturday nights and sleep right through the next day. It’s slightly depressing that Monday mornings have now become something we almost look forward to, but us Irish aren’t the only ones affected - whole books have been written on the subject by bored and disillusioned frenchies themselves. But I digress. There are six other days in the week, and France hasn’t turned out to be all that bad. Us Erasmus students are treated a bit like mentally-challenged aliens - 12 hours of classes per week, a distinct lack of homework and foolproof guides to passing the exams posted online. As for the language barrier, although some animated lecturers have proved quite difficult to follow (we managed to achieve the impressive feat of sitting in the wrong tutorial for more than an hour during the first week) le Francais has improved, although with our class encompassing students from Germany, Holland, Britain, Norway, USA, Canada, China and even Turkey, English has become the common language of communication. Whether this is a blessing (for our sanity) or a curse (on our learning) I’ve yet to decide. So with Sundays and class time taken care of, what does an Erasmus student in France do for the other 132 hours every week? Well, if you’re a lycraloving weirdo like myself, you join the local cycling club. Although it’s hardly the best sport for the street cred, it passes the time, and with Grenoble dubbed “the capital of the Alps” the scenery is spectacular. For normal people however, the common student hobby of alcohol consumption does exist over here as well - even if the locals haven’t yet managed to reach the level of perfection as the Irish. Bars close at a measly half-one every night, and although clubs generally stay open until five, you have to take out a mortgage just to pay the entrance fee, let alone get a drink. Cue the recession-time tactic of loading up on unbelievably cheap supermarket beer before even considering venturing out. So it’s three months into Erasmus and its going assez ok. France has its pitfalls (did I mention Sundays?) but it also has it’s advantages. There’s no snow yet, but skiing is only a month away. Until then... Domhnall O’ Sullivan
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Count me in: your guide There have never been more opportunities to spend some time volunteering. The experince can very rewarding, as this week’s RAG Week will prove, writes Niall Walsh
T’S THAT time of year again. The t-shirts have arrived, people are getting ready to lose items of clothing in exchange for money and dignity, and of course, volunteers will be shaking a bucket to try and raise much needed funds for Trinity’s Volunteer Societies. I’m talking of course, about RAG Week. Trinity’s RAG Week is unique in so far as the money raised actually goes to supporting student volunteering initiatives within the college, as opposed to simply fundraising for an outside charity. Trinity has a long history of volunteering and getting involved in the local community. Throughout the years, Trinity’s students have excelled themselves in their capacity to effect change in these communities. As time has gone on, and as the gap between the rich and the poor in Ireland has grown, the role that students have to play in bridging this gap has become more and more important. Trinity, in many ways, exists in a sort of bubble, housing some of the country’s brightest young minds yet surrounded by some of the city’s poorest communities. This process has been picking up speed in a big way over the last ten or fifteen years and again, students have been at the heart of it. Just as
the Saint Vincent De Paul Society was created by a student in nineteenth century France, Frederic Ozanam, numerous initiatives, such as the Voluntary Tuition Program and Suas, have been created and driven forward by Trinity students. If you look at the massive amounts of people that both of these organizations have benefited it is incredible to think that these were just ideas in the heads of students not too many years ago. One of the ways in which the current crop of Trinity students is attempting to bridge this gap is through a focus on education. This is an area in which huge inequality exists in terms of opportunities available to children; and the Vincent De Paul Society, Suas, and the Voluntary Tuition Program all have projects dedicated to helping students from disadvantaged areas reach their potential. The societies’ work in helping students from both primary and secondary schools and the impact that they have, both in their capacity as role models and in the practical help they offer, is pretty astonishing. Niall Walsh was head of Trinity VDP in 2007-2008. He is currently head of TVOF, an umbrella term for voluntary organisations in Trinity.
SUAS at home and abroad
OTH SUAS (St Connell’s School) and the Vincent De Paul (St Enda’s and St. Audeons Schools) send volunteers almost every day of the week to Homework Club’s in primary schools located in the city centre. These homework clubs are run by parents and teachers in the local community, who recognize how difficult it is for these children to get down to completing their homework in the face of often unstable domestic environments. The clubs run from 2.30 to 4pm – essentially keeping the children in school an extra hour and a half, to at least make a start on what they need to have done for the next day. Some of the clubs have as many as 60 children in one large room, and as few as four parents and two teachers to help. As such the role that Trinity students have to play in providing one to one assistance and guidance for the kids is crucial and more importantly they get to have a lot of laughs with them along the way. The Vincent De Paul also organized presents for the 150 or so children they deal with who are in primary education and I personally was lucky enough to attend the Christmas Party, where the presents were given out after the much more important, and hotly contested, talent show was out of the way. While the practical impact may not be easy to see from volunteering with primary school children, it would
not be fair to say the same about the work that Trinity students are doing with secondary school students. Both Suas and Vincent De Paul help out at refugee centres in the city centre, and provide help and assistance to Leaving and Junior Cert students who are living there, often completely separated from their natural families. At the VDP centre the volunteers help in a broad range of subjects, from Physics to English and from Maths to Science. Volunteers at the Suas centre, on the other hand, focus solely on English language classes and their help is on a completely one-to-one basis, almost in the form of mentors. The rapport which is built up between students and volunteers over the course of the year is a wonderful by-product of the mentoring, and last year there was even a St Patrick’s Day party thrown for the refugees. Another superb education based project run by Suas is the Bridge to College Programme, based in Oriel House on Westland Row. The programme provides students from designated disadvantaged second-level schools with an innovative technologymediated learning experience and was established in 2007 with the help of the Trinity Access Programme (TAP). The main aim of the B2C is to demonstrate the power of technology to facilitate a dynamic, creative and cross-curricular learning experience. The B2C is designed to engage young people,
typically Transition Year students, in creative, technology-mediated projects, mentored by volunteers from the Dublin based student Suas societies. The programme trains its volunteers with the necessary technology before they begin mentoring so don’t worry if, like me, you are not the most tech-savvy person in the world. It is truly remarkable that the Suas society keep all these projects running amidst all the fundraising work they do for their overseas partners in India and Kenya. The Suas movement, all told, includes student societies all over the country, and of course a head office, out of which the entire organisation is run. The Suas Trinity branch was one of the first student societies set up and is always heavily involved with the larger Suas publicity and fundraising efforts. They run many events with the aim of advocating for multi-culturasim in Ireland and also run Global Issues seminars to inform students, and the wider public, about the key issues in the developing world. Every year a huge fundraising drive is set in motion by the larger Suas organisation to raise crucial funds for their primary and secondary school partners in India and Kenya. Suas Trinity get involved in organising volunteer collectors for face painting on the streets of Dublin on St Patrick’s Day, run a Christmas collection in the pubs around Dublin, among other initiatives.
SUAS » Suas runs diverse projects such as the Bridge to College (B2C), Refugee mentoring and Homework Club among others » The B2C programme, organized in conjunction withe the Trinity Access Programme (TAP), is a cross curricular learning experience, in which volunteers from Suas based societies get to work with Transition Year students in technological project. » Suas also sends volunteers to the Dublin Central Mission on Abbey Street, to chat with refugees in beginner English classes, in an informal setting » The Suas Volunteer Programme sends 80 students abroad every Summer to volunteer in five partner schools, based throughout Kenya and India. » Suas Trinity plays a crucial role in fundraising for these partner schools.
Trinity students share their knowledge
HE LEADERS in Trinity when it comes to providing voluntary assistance in education are the participants in the Voluntary Tuition Programme. The programme was founded in the 1980s and since then has grown exponentially, currently helping over 300 primary and secondary school students in the local community. One huge reason for this growth was the foundation of the Trinity Access Programme in 1994. This initiative was set up to attempt to make it easier for students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds to reach third level education in Trinity. TAP has worked with VTP to help them deliver their programme and also helps fund the work that they do. The programme is based in four city centre locations: St Andrews Resource Centre on Pearse Street; Goldsmith Hall; Ringsend Technical Institute; Pearse Area Recreation Centre, and the children come from a plethora of schools based all over the city, ranging from Ringsend technical to CBS Westland Row. The kids are then paired up with student volunteers and receive one-to-one tuition once a week for the academic year. The single best thing about VTP though, is the continuity it offers for the students who are involved, many of whom lack such stability in their home life. In many cases, pupils stay with the programme from primary school to Leaving Cert level, and have the same tutor for several years. F o r the primary level, particular emphasis is placed
on the younger children developing numerical and literary skills in an unthreatening and enjoyable way. At secondary level, students request specialist tuition in particular subjects, whatever they feel they need help in. The aim of the programme is not only to improve academic performance, but also to stimulate interest in learning, and encourage the children to continue in the education system. As well as catering for primary, secondary school students and refugees there is also a separate project that aims to help facilitate kids who are particularly high risk. In the Parallel Programme volunteers spend the first hour teaching the 13 secondary school students involved and then have the second hour free to take part in more enjoyable activities like ice skating, rock climbing or even a competitive five-aside game of football. Both VTP and VDP have moved to increase the number of fun-based activities for the children in an attempt to strike a balance for the kids and of course to let them show their wacky, creative sides. In 2007, the Vincent De Paul set up Art, Drama and Dance Club’s a n d year have brought this even further with the creation of a Music
Club. The Dance Club is run with a school just off Connolly Street and the three other clubs are run in conjunction with St. Enda’s Primary School. These clubs have been hugely successful since their inception and have gone down really well with the kids, who always seem keener on them than they do on their homework! The Dance Club will be putting on a show later this year and then the Art, Drama and Music clubs are coming to the Atrium in Trinity on the 27th April to perform for any interested Trinity students. The children’s parents will of course also be invited, but I would thoroughly urge you try and make it along, even if it is only to relive your own first experiences with that most complicated of all instruments, the tin whistle! The Voluntary T u i t i o n Programme has been developing their own set of activities since 2001. At present they also have Art,
Drama and Music Clubs which take place in St Andrews Resource Centre and run along the same lines as the VDP activities but take place, in contrast to the VDP activities, in the evening. All of these activities are run by one fantastic volunteer, who also helps run homework clubs and Music Clubs for Vincent De Paul. This example highlights just how hooked some people can get on volunteering, and how much of a difference one person can make to the process. Suas also runs a programme which tries to strike the work/life balance in the volunteering that they do. This term they have begun sending volunteers up to the Dublin Central Mission on lower Abbey Street to get them to chat to refugees in beginner English conversation classes. This is an informal way to get involved, and a great change to get to know people from other cultures without the pressure of an open book in front of you.
» The Voluntary Tuition Programme was founded in the 1980s and is currently working with 300 schools to offer assistance in various aspects of education » VTP offers tutoring in four different locations around the city: St Andrews Resource Centre on Pearse Street; Goldsmith Hall; Ringsend Technical Institute; Pearse Area Recreation Centre and the students come form a wide range of schools
» It also runs Art, Drama and Music clubs each week, to strike a balance between educational time and social time » The Parallel Programme is another component of VTP, as it works with 13 secondary schools students on a two hour basis, again combining education and recreation
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
to volunteering in Trinity Where your RAG money goes
Kids from the Pearse Steet flats and volunteers from Trinity get acquainted with a fire engine
UNIQUELY AMONG Irish colleges, all proceeds of Trinity RAG Week go to college volunteer societies. These societies fundraise throughout the year to keep these activities going but the money raised in RAG Week is a crucial part of their funding for the academic year. There is a huge amount going on this Rag Week in terms of events, and there will be bucket collections at the vast majority of these so you will have plenty of opportunities to donate. The central point of fundraising will be the Street Collections that will take place on the Wednesday of RAG Week from 8am to 6pm and for this we really need as many volunteers as possible so please come to the stand in the Arts Block. Vinny O’Mahony, one of the main organizers of the street collections this year and last year, stressed that this year it was “more important than ever” to get out and shake a bucket for the charities, given the current economic climate.
“We hear all this talk of a recession and people losing their jobs, etcetera, but the people we are trying to help have been living in poverty for the last fifteen years, missing out on the prosperity created by the Celtic Tiger”, he said. “It’s vital that these people are not forgotten as their plight is worse now than it has ever been. The impact that the Trinity volunteers have in helping these people improve their standard of living is immeasurable – so support them and get out and shake it!” All week there will be a Volunteering Awareness Stand in the Arts Block with further photos, information and sign up sheets for all the societies available. Please come and check it out as we are always looking for new volunteers to join us. Also, keep an eye out for posters during the week that are attempting to raise awareness of the problems faced by people in disadvantaged communities.
RAG WEEK » All Rag Week proceeds go the five volunteer societies involved in TVOF – which makes it different to Rag Weeks of other colleges around the country » Those who volunteer with these societies get the opportunity to work on a practical level with students from all backgrounds and could potentially have the capacity become role models
Spreading the joy with Vincent De Paul
LL OF the volunteer societies make it their priority to help people who are, in many ways, on the fringes of society, and the huge variety of the projects in this area mean there is something for everyone who wants to volunteer. The VDP send volunteers fortnightly to visit the elderly and single parents, people who are often marginalized and alone. This is a very laid back form of volunteering, with the students delivering fuel vouchers and staying around for a quick chat and even the customary cup of tea. A date for your diary to note is the Annual (and much belated) Christmas Party, which takes place on the 29th of January in the Dining Hall. This is always an event to remember for the volunteers and of course for the elderly themselves. With a three course meal, a disproportionately competitive raffle and some quality dance moves on the agenda, you would be crazy not to come along. Every day the society also sends volunteers to the Homeless Day Centre on the quays and the students help out in the preparation of food and have a bit of good natured banter with the people using the facility, who are often just looking for someone to talk to. Another group which the VDP deals with are young teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds. These teenagers are in many ways never given a chance to prove themselves by society and as such the work that is done by volunteers at the Youth Club. Every Thursday the volunteers head up to the club and chill out with the teenagers there, playing the Playstation, some pool, and even the odd game of table tennis. Although the lads might not show it, they definitely appreciate this interaction with the Trinity students and
inquire after volunteers when they don’t show up. One of the most interesting of VDP’s projects is Prison Soccer. Every couple of weeks a team of Trinity’s finest go in to Mountjoy prison to play a game of 6-a-side football with the inmates - it’s not for the faint hearted. The prisoners certainly give as good as they get, but at the same time, all is forgotten at the final whistle and the guys always take time to thank the volunteers for coming in for the game. Unfortunately, for the volunteers, a victory for Trinity has never been recorded in living memory but hopefully the current crop (and you) can help right this wrong. Another group in society that has long faced difficulties are those with intellectual disabilities. A massive step forward in how this group was viewed came with Ireland’s hosting of the Special Olympics in 2003, but it still remains difficult for people with disabilities to advance themselves, or express themselves, within society. The main advancements in VTP over the last few years have come about through the move towards the creation of specific programmes for children with special needs. They work in conjunction with St Augustine’s School in Blackrock as well as with children with autism, Down
VDP » Vincent de Paul (VDP) was founded in the 19th century by a French student, Frederic Ozanam » VDP’s activities include Trinity Club, Homework Club, and Art and Drama Clubs, Prison Soccer, volunteering in the Homeless Day Centre to name a few
Syndrome, various disassociative conditions, right the way through to children with severe learning disabilities or social disabilities. This has been a huge development in the society, insofar as it has opened up VTP to all sorts of new possibilities, involving volunteer undergrads from such diverse backgrounds as social work and psychology and has also helped move VTP towards some informal integration of study and volunteering which could have massive potential in the future. The Vincent De Paul also is involved with helping people with mental disabilities, but this is done in a much more social context than in VTP. Trinity Club is one of the oldest Vincent De Paul activities and is also without doubt one of the most enjoyable. The volunteers meet the members at 6pm, Front Arch, every Wednesday during term time and then embark on activities such as DVD nights, pool, bingo and even t r i p s out to
» Trinity Club runs all year involving 20 members and 20 volunteers, who participate in DVD nights, games nights and trips to places to outside Dublin » The society also sends volunteers to Barrett Cheshire, a home for people with physical disabilities, to engage in some recreational time Stillorgan for a game of bowling. Every year the twenty volunteers and twenty members travel to an adventure centre down the country for a weekend filled with orienteering, kayaking, and lots of laughs. This weekend, and indeed the club in general, gives the members an enormous sense of independence as they are interacting with the Trinity students as equals, and often bettering them when it comes to the pool and the bowling. This week look out for the members (they make lots of noise so they are not hard to miss) as they make their way up Grafton Street, on the way to see Cinderella in the pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre. The TCDVDP also send volunteers to Barrett Cheshire, a home for people with physical disabilities, playing board games a n d having a chat with them. Some of these guys will also be at the Christmas Party on the 29th, so you’ll meet them if you can make it along. A m i d s t all this
volunteering that is going on outside the college, it is often easy to forget all the great work that Trinity students are doing to help their peers. Trinity can often seem like a daunting place not only to those who are arriving for the first time, but also for those among us who find it difficult to adapt in certain social situations. People can begin to feel alienated from their peers for a huge variety of reasons but whenever they do Student to Student(S2S) is always ready to step in and help. Their student volunteers are trained in counseling and then help run services such as the one to one peer support program that is currently in place. Any student who is feeling under pressure from college or home life can email email@example.com or phone 01-8962438, and the coordinator will then set them up with a student volunteer for free confidential advice and support. The society also moderates a mental health discussion board online, runs training programmes in listening skills for the student body and also volunteer with the Student Union on Welfare campaign’s such as mental health awareness week and SHAG Week. S2S also have a massive impact on the immediate welfare of incoming Trinity students. This year their focus has been on students of the Sciences and those in Trinity on Erasmus. There is no doubt that the role they’ve played in helping these students adapt to the Trinity environment has been invaluable, and much appreciated. The students are matched up with mentors who know their way around, and they are their first point of contact when they arrive in the college. Next year S2S hope to mentor every incoming home and international student to the college, so they need as many volunteers as physically possible. Another initiative which often goes under the radar at Trinity is the work done b y
the Trinity branch of the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC). FLAC is a nongovernmental voluntary organisation which provides free legal advice to those who would not otherwise be able to afford it. At the heart of FLAC’s existence is a concern that the law be accessible to all in society, not just to the privileged few. All too often, it is exactly those with most difficulties gaining access to the legal system who are the most in need of it to vindicate their legal rights. FLAC TCD is a student society which has at its core a legal advice clinic for all Trinity students, where they can speak directly to a qualified solicitor. This clinic runs on a regular basis throughout the academic year. It also aims to heighten awareness of access issues, especially those of students, and the need for reform of the current legal aid system. Of course, it would not be fair to write an article on volunteering and not include the brilliant work done by the Vincent De Paul’s Kids Clubs. The society sends volunteers to the MyWorld Kids Club just off and then completely runs a separate kids club for the children in the Pearse Street flats. These flats are literally less than a minute from Trinity’s Sports Centre and as such provide a perfect example of how volunteering is going about bridging two communities that, while in close physical proximity to one another, couldn’t be further apart. Every Sunday volunteers from Trinity meet at the Pearse St flats and then bring about twenty or so kids out for the day. Past excursions have included trips to the aquarium, the cinema, walks up to Bray head and even a recent incidentfilled day out at Funderland! The current leaders of the club have been working hard to get new volunteers, without whom their good work is impossible - I hope that anyone reading this will consider offering their help for one of these g r e a t projects.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Everyone in it for Ethiopia Two Trinity students have set up an innovative development project in Ethiopia. Catherine McCabe describes their successes, aims and visions and the hippy festival fundraiser.
E HAVE all felt it at some stage in our lives. You’re mid sitcom, listening to the pithy dialogue of an episode you’ve seen a thousand times over when suddenly your lukewarm entertainment is interrupted by an add break. The screen is filled with poignant images of emaciated children, grief stricken mothers and murky drinking water. Guilt begins to swarm over you faster than scabies. Suddenly you remember that you negated that standing order of 5 euro leaking out of your bank account to concern, that you had a sneaky bag of crisps during your 24 hour fast, that you joined several St. Vincent de Paul clubs and never attended, that you never bothered sending that Amnesty International plea letter. Some of us are more susceptible to that creeping sinking guilty feeling and have fallen at the mercy of another cruel mistress-charity collections. It’s enough to make you cringe, that memory of standing by the church/main street/shop front, knuckles frozen and red with your hand clasped around a crude plastic charity box, a hole gored into its surface with scissors. Over and over you’d shout “help the ‘insert unheard charity here’”, until your voice went hoarse and the rain had seeped through your mac in a sac. Your heart leapt with every single clinking sound, even though the only previous donations had been your own in the hopes of getting the ball rolling. It is experiences like this that have left the youth disheartened when it comes to charity, most opting for pseudo-aid in the form of volunteer tourism. So many students have succumbed to this ever growing trend, organising endless streams of bag packing, marathon running and table quizzing fundraising events in the hopes of generating even a quarter of the funds needed. In many cases, over 1,000 euro of their own earnings are then bundled up and offered to internet sourced organisations that provide hassle free volunteer tourism-packages. This, at times, involves flying them over to lay three bricks a day in some unknown part of the world with room and board. Some even factor in a beach holiday for a well deserved rest. Of course the people that go on these life changing ventures are well intentioned. Regardless, when
organisations are using the bulk of donations for ‘administrative costs’ one has to wonder whether this well intentioned ‘difference’ is really being made. Three enterprising young girls have gone one step further, rebelling against this growing trend to provide something life changing, not for themselves, but for others. These ladies have not simply sat idly whilst ‘contributing’ monthly to a cause. They created a cause. This is better known as the innovative Ethiopian development project, Gach Duine. The Gach Duine organisation was first established by Trinity’s own student and volunteer entrepreneur, Rachel O’Brien in early 2008, following her preceding visits to Ethiopia. During her time there, Rachel recognised the acute need for community based development. We can all recall the charity-style proverbs cited on various advertisements calling for aid in Africa, “Give a man a fish and
“Gach Duine aims to incite gradual and sustainable community based change, acting directly in specific rural areas of Ethiopia.” he will eat for a day, give a man a net to fish with and he will eat for the rest of his life”. Gach Duine has taken this concept and run with it. The project recognises the reality that injecting endless funds and providing tangible aid to a country such as Ethiopia will not provided sustainable improvement. Gach Duine isolates its input to specific rural areas in Ethiopia where it aims to incite gradual and sustainable community based change. Rather than becoming passive recipients of aid, Gach Duine aims to empower the inhabitants of these communities to become actively involved in its development. Such developments will include educational centers to house educational training programs providing training for women and children on subjects such as personal advocacy.
A women’s group that Gach Duine work with. Photo: Alice Clancey Rachel’s vision for Gach Duine was shared by her friend Grace Kearney, a Primary school teacher who had collaborated with her on previous volunteer projects based in Ethiopia in 2006. Grace became involved in the foundation of Gach Duine and is now its Assistant Director. The final addition to the spearheads of the Gach Duine team was Claire Griffin, Trinity student, who operates as the secretary of Gach Duine and has been involved in the process of its development since mid 2008. Borrowing its title from our own native tongue, Gach Duine strives to provide empowerment and equality for its translation, “Everyone”. The project is based in the rural Bale region of Ethiopia. The primary area that Gach Duine have been working within is the village named Adaba. In this village the lack of basic services such as education, health, shelter and food is preventing development socially, economically and culturally. The current focus of Gach Duine is to help the inhabitants of Adaba create indigenous growth through the construction of a community centre, library, IT training centre and sports facilities. The initial stages of this process began in June 2008 and recently phase one of the project the community centre was completed. Gach Duine is working in a partnership with a local Ethiopian NGO, HWCA. The HWCA (Hope for Women and Children) has set up dedicated women’s groups in the Bale region. These groups, working on the idea of a cooperative system, have seen the women start saving schemes with the intention of using their money to further their domestic industry. The groups have provided the women with a focus in their lives as they work
towards personal empowerment. The main use for the recently constructed community centre will be the housing of the women’s groups’ weekly meetings. Gach Duine has also been involved in the funding of training for local elders in the promotion of women’s rights through the local women’s office. The aim of the programme was to ensure that even women in the most remote areas of this mountainous region were educated about their rights and entitlements regarding their health and education according to Ethiopia and international law. In a country that still experiences female genital mutilation, programmes like this are vital if such destructive practices are to be eradicated. In Adaba the Gach Duine members, never ones to hide behind desks and admin work, oversaw the construction of the community centre, building their concept into a reality brick by brick. Although Rachel, Grace and Claire quite clearly have more moral fibre than Pope Benedict’s smalls, they are adamant that it is the community members developing their own source of aid. The project in Adaba has the full support of local government and is the first legal project of its kind in the region. They are the catalysts to the project itself but true to the ethos of the organisation, all the manual work is completed by employed local labourers. As eloquently outlined by Ms. Griffin, “our main focus is not to establish projects that will remain dependent on Gach Duine’s support in the long-term instead we see ourselves as facilitators of change. Helping local people to set-up and organise structures or educational training programmes that they will themselves eventually be in charge and control of. “ The most endearing thing about this program is its core value of
The Community Centre. Photo: Dara Munnis
independence. Unfortunately, for most of us, raised amongst the ‘drop the debt’ generation, dependence is something which we heavily associate with the third world. Dependence on the west for food, money, medicine, contraception, even arms. In fact, whenever the sullen subject of Africa arises, the smug mugs of Geldof, Bono and Sarandon are more likely to spring to mind than the distressing images of the Ethiopian famine victims. It is hard to avoid cynicism when after so many years of so many millions being relentlessly pumped into the continent, our screens are flooded with those familiar images and the same old message about the people in need. It’s difficult to feel anything but disheartened when you realise that the 50 pound you once implored your parents to send to comic relief probably went towards a shiny new Kalashnikov for a child soldier. The real significance of Gach Duine
Stewart, has become somewhat of a guiding sovereign for the small festival organiser, offering the venue free of charge in support of Gach Duine’s cause. SHAKEFEST shares its home with the ever growing Castlepalooza nominated for best European festival within the UK festival awards of 2008. But the best news is yet to come, this hippy-hectic-electric shakedown will cost you no more than 40 euro, with over half the proceeds of every ticket going towards Gach Duine’s structural community developments in the Bale region of Ethiopia. Not only does that 40 euro ensure a weekend funfest of music and dance workshops, it all leads to a weekend camping, frolicking bonfires and non-stop sessions. The workshops range from belly dancing, disco dancing, hip hop and salsa. For the percussion-heads a non-stop drumming circle is on offer. On the Friday night, Gach Duine promises a fiery welcome
SHAKEFEST, set in the gothic splendour of Charleville Castle, Co. Offaly, is a funfest of music and dance workshops. Think strumming a three stringed guitar, think twirling your midriff to the sound of panpipes til dawn, think of pounding an African drum and dancing barefoot to the beat, think befriending cheese makers with matted hair is that it leaves all these things behind, its community focus promotes a more positive outlook on Ethiopia. This outlook moves away from peoples past perceptions of this country, a perception of helplessness and fatalism. It allows for tangible constructive changes to be made. Not only that but it allows for a creation of mutual trust, not simply between its founders and villagers but also between the Gach Duine members and the greater college community. I say this because, as we all know, no charity is complete without its inevitable counterpart, fundraising. However, being the worldly women that they are, Rachel, Grace and Claire have realised that for us insolvent students, parting with the final 10 euro in our bank account for nothing in return is just too heartbreaking. The girls know this pain all too well and so they swapped bag packing for the whimsical, ethnic, electric musical extravaganza known as SHAKEFEST. The fest is set for the May bank holiday weekend 2009 to be held in the gorgeous gothic splendour of Charleville castle, Tullamore, Co.Offaly. True to its title, SHAKEFEST offers not only raucous marquee music but a weekend of midriff gyratory with its famed belly dancing workshops. Hoards of weekend summer fests are helping to dot Ireland’s landscape with poorly pitched tents, stray guitars and warn out bodies of militant sessioners. But if you ask me when it comes to the weekend fest, if it is small scale and unexpected, you can pretty much guarantee to lose your shoes and have a damn good time. What is unique about this summer weekend is that it offers an ethnic slant without forcing the new-agey dream catching and incense burning down your throat. Although, if its hemp skirt swaying and dread rolling you seek, it won’t disappoint. The concept of the fest began with the ‘Shake movement’ at Charleville in 2006. Terri Dale is the principal organiser behind the Shake movement Read and has been the volunteer administrator at Charleville Castle since 2005. The ever inspiring owner of Charleville castle, Dudley
complete with flaming poi swirling and an outdoor BBQ. The lineup is still to be fully confirmed but so far counts IAMA, Eric Noone, Lauren Guillery, Will Softly, and The Aunty among the many acts set to perform for the SHAKEFEST masses. The capacity of the fest itself is expected to be anywhere between 8001000. That’s just big enough so that you’ll need to leave a trail of quavers leading to your tent so you can find it in a midnight haze but still small enough that you can still bump into that hot belly dancer dressed as Pocahontas. So when you sit slumped on your couch, guiltily watching the news whilst balancing a pot noodle on your belly and thinking “what can I do”. Don’t automatically thinking about shaking a plastic money box in the rain. Think strumming a three stringed guitar by the bonfire, think twirling your midriff to the sound of panpipes until dawn, think tent hopping, think about making war paint from the bonfire charcoal, about leaving your friends and family to join a belly dancing colony, think of pounding an African drum and dancing barefoot to the beat as mud squishes through your toes, think befriending cheese makers with matted hair and never seeing them again, think new, exciting music, think of the fun side to charity, think SHAKEFEST.
SHAKEFEST INFORMATION SHAKEFEST will be held on Friday the 30th to the 31st of May 2009 It offers a mix of music, dance culture and camping (with hot showers and free outdoor BBQ) all for €40 More information can be found on the SHAKEFEST and Gach Duine websites: www.shakefest.net www.gachduine.org
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Winter in the Wakhan
What legal rights can you expect as a tenant? FREE LEGAL ADVICE CENTRE If you pay rent to a landlord for the use of accommodation or property you are a tenant. The following is a general overview of your rights, duties and obligations as a tenant, however, if you are living with your landlord you are not covered by landlord/tenant legislation. • Can my landlord enter my accomodation? There is a right to peaceful and exclusive occupation of the dwelling outlined in the Act. Nobody, including the landlord, has the right to enter accomodation without permission. • Can I hold gatherings / parties in my accomodation? You are entilted to entertain and to invite guests to stay unless it is stated at the start of the tenancy and provided it does not interfere with the your neighbour’s peaceful enjoyment of their premises. Your landlord has no right to forbid anything you hold.
The Wakhan Corridor allows no time for Autumn. Thomas Wilde describes why the bitterly cold, mountainous temporary villages are welcome respite from the killing in Kabul
INTER BROUGHT me to the Wakhan. My little propeller plane was buffeted on its breath through Afghanistan’s central mountains. It set me down at Faizabad on the Russian-built landing-strip; a rust-red corrugated iron platform that rattled like mad and woke me up to a colder air. I had come here to watch Winter arrive in the Wakhan, but it felt like it was already watching me. The Wakhan Corridor stretches like an incriminating finger out of the NorthEastern corner of Afghanistan towards Tajikistan, Pakistan, and China. It is a product of late 19th century British paranoia- an area designed to act as a buffer to any Russian imperial aims on India. It is also one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world: snowcapped mountain passes, deep smooth valleys, milky melt-water rivers. It is a harsh land and the people who work it are hard people- Wakhi farmers and herders graze their animals all the way up the valleys, before they give way to the last Kyrgyz in Afghanistan, a nomadic group of lost lotus-eaters in the fertile grasslands of the Afghan Pamir.
“I started suffering from the altitude and was soon dizzy and nauseous. I collapsed in the next village and a blanket was thrown over me to keep the snow off. I woke up retching. It was well below -10 and I was weak.”
dust and dirt of Kabul’s fading city, couldn’t get enough of it. Our second day saw a deep rivercrossing where the cold took the curses out of our mouths. Another steep climb took us into the Wakhi Valley. Here, small villages of five or so stone-built houses huddle on the lip of the grasses. We drank salty yak’s butter tea that I’ve never had a taste for- it reminds me too much of the salt water I was given to make me throw up when I was nauseous as a child. The village leader was a bombastic round fellow who slapped our backs, laughed at our clothes, and was made for winter. He was leaving the next day for winter quarters in the opposite direction. We carried on, with glimpses of rich powdered snow on our right. Yaks grazed together with fatty-bottomed sheep that move like overweight joggers. That night we slept in a yurt in a small Wakhi village under thick blankets and heard the snow gently falling. The temperature dropped with the snow. The valley was now blazing white under a cold sun, and I was cursing forgetting any shade for my eyes. I started suffering from the altitude and was soon dizzy and nauseous. I collapsed in the next village, and a blanket was thrown over me to keep the snow off. I slept fitfully until the next morning, and woke up retching. It was well below -10 and I was weak. I needed to get to a lower altitude and unfortunately that day held a big pass through thick snow. We were forced to go back and find a different route. We left with the villagers who had packed up their lives into bags and
were heading down. The women were wearing their best scarlet clothes, and riding prize yaks. The young sons rode donkeys and the sag-i-jang dogs ran ahead on guard; huge animals that act as watchdogs for the villages and are bred for their strength and aggression. As we dropped altitude I felt my strength returning. Villages on the other hand that had been full of life the day before were now empty shellsthe exodus down the mountains was in full swing and we were going with the current. A few guards watched some of the sheep that remained- one nine year old boy I met owned 400 of them; his father was dead, the boy now a rich man. Lower down, the valleys had escaped the snow and had a thick carpet of grass. Eagles and ‘wind-eaters’ skirted the mountains gashed with purple. This purple, Malang told me, is from the blood of a dragon slain in a village a few miles west. At Langar one could have been in the Yorkshire Dales in mid-summer- green vales surrounded by dark soft slopes- and only the snowpeaked tops in the background, leading to Pakistan, giving away one’s true location. A long day’s walk brought us to Kasch Goz, the first Kyrgyz settlement and the gateway to the Little Pamir and its fertile grazing ground. It’s an exposed place at the mercy of biting winds and we soon found shelter in their guesthouse with an old wood burner in the centre that smoked more than it warmed. We shared the guesthouse with a couple of traders who claimed to be ‘prospecting’ for sheep, although their bags full of pipes gave away their game. Opium has become a serious problem up in the Wakhan- Ted Callaghan, an American anthropologist who is spending winter up here, told me that 90% of the population of Sarhad Boroghil were addicts, and the cost of the habit is slowly destroying the Kyrgyz herd numbers as they are forced
to sell to feed their addiction. The traders were particularly unimpressive; one introduced himself to me as ‘Sultan’ Muhammed and proceeded to rail against our guide for his lack of education, and inability to read the Qur’an. I couldn’t stomach this, and asked him in Arabic how his reading was. This quietened him down for a few minutes (very few Afghans understand Arabic) until he got his revenge by bellowing his prayers in my ear at three-thirty the next morning. That morning was market day, and the place was swarming with magnificent sheep and goats with fine
The Wakhan Corridor. Photo: Imran Schah
“Far from cowed by the weather, the Kyrgyz and Wakhi thrive in it. The Wakhan has largely escaped the fighting that scars the rest of Afghanistan. Bleak winter seemed infinitely preferable to Kabul’s dusty compound existence.”
• Who is responsible for maintenance and repair? Your landlord is responsible for maintenance of the dwelling and repair due to ordinary wear and tear. Wear and tear is defined as the loss or deterioration due to ordinary, everyday use. Example, the wearing of the carpet in a traffic area. All maintenance problems should be brought to the landlord’s attention. If he/she does not carry out the necessary repairs within a reasonable time limit (e.g. a day or two for running water and heating issue, a few weeks for a dodgy door) then you can hire appropriate services to rectify the situation and be reimbursed by your landlord for the cost. • Should my landlord keep a record of my rent payments and documents? Your landlord should record all rent payments in the rent book. It is your landlord’s responsibility to give you a rent book • What if I am late paying my rent? You have an obligation, as a tenant, to pay rent and any other charges on time. If you fail to do so, the landlord may seek redress with the PRTB. • Is an oral agreement with my landlord a valid lease? An Oral Contract of Tenancy is as good as a written contract of tenancy in terms of the general rights and obligations of a tenant. A written agreement is still preferable as it clarifies many issues for both parties.
curled horns. High up here, several thousand meters above sea level, several days walk from the nearest permanent settlement, and well-below zero, the place was busy with life. Far from cowed by the weather, the Kyrgyz and Wakhi thrive in it. It seems, in fact, that the harshness of those elements is one of the Wakhan’s greatest elements; it has largely escaped the fighting that scars the rest of Afghanistan, and certainly provided me with a welcome respite from Kabul’s dusty compound existence. Indeed, returning to a Kabul where three suicide attacks had killed tens of people in the last few days, Wakhan’s bleak winter seemed infinitely preferable to a city so unsure of itself.
• Can my landlord increase my rent by any amount? Landlords cannot charge more than the open market rate for the apartment or house, which is defined as the rent that a willing tenant would give and a willing landlord would take for vacant possession having regard to the tenancy terms and the letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type character and located in a similar area. Your landlord cannot review the rent more than once a year unless the accommodation has changed substantially. Your landlord has the right to review the rent annually. However your landlord must give you at least 28 days notice (in writing) before increasing the rent. If there is any dispute about the amount of rent or about arrears of rent, either side can refer the dispute to the PRTB. You must contact the PRTB before the date the new rent comes into effect or within 28 days of getting the notice, whichever is later.
Wakhan I wanted to come here as summer turned to winter. It is a quick change. There’s no time for autumn to prepare our fingers and set our stores in order. Driving to the mountains, the fields were full of wheatsheaves tied in the old English manner. Men were threshing under a hot sun. However, by evening the temperature plummeted and we were soon looking up at the sky expectantly for the snow to come. It did not take long. Our first days walking- a steep uphill climb over the Daliz pass and then a long gradual descent into a valley cut by a fast-flowing stream- was interrupted by a blizzard that caught us unawares. The Wakhan is an inhospitable place when the wind is whipping the snow through the valleys and the temperatures are falling to -15 or more. Yet these last dying days of summer allowed for patches of brilliant sunshine, mid-day warmth, and a light that could be intensely pure and bright. The interplay of bright sunshine and bitter cold was mirrored in the Wakhan’s mix of barren landscape and vegetationsnow-sprinkled peaks loomed over slate-cracked paths coloured with the oranges, reds, and yellows of buckthorn, rosehips, and willow. One wakes early in the Wakhan. The whole of the Wakhan lies above 2000 metres and the air feels deliciously rarefied. My lungs, more used to the
• Where to go if you feel your rights are being infringed? If you feel your rights as a tenant have been infringed, you do have some methods of redress. In the case of disputes regarding private tenancy agreements, you may take your case to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) who provide a dispute resolution service for the private rented sector. Landlords must register each tenancy with the PRTB.
• Could I lose my deposit? Tenants may lose their deposits if they do not give proper notice or leave before the end of the term agreement; they damage the landlord’s property over and above normal wear and tear or; they have left bills unpaid or rent owed. You should also check your letting agreement for more specific arrangements. Your landlord is prohibited from seizing your goods as a means of enforcing payment of rent without a court order. • When can my landlord terminate my tenancy? Landlords can ask tenants to leave without giving a reason during the first six months of a tenancy. Landlords can terminate a tenancy that has lasted between six months and four years only in the following circumstances: If the tenant does not comply with the obligations of the tenancy. If the property is no longer suited to the tenants’ needs (e.g. overcrowded). If the landlord needs the property for him/herself or for an immediate family member. If the landlord intends to sell the property. If the landlord intends to refurbish the property. If the landlord plans to change the business use of the property (e.g. turn it into offices).
The Wakhan Corridor marked on the map. Public domain map: CIA
• How much notice should my landlord give me if he wants to terminate the tenancy If you have a term tenancy, your landlord is tied to that. However, if he wants you to leave the dwelling for not complying with your tenancy obligations, your landlord must give you at least 28 days notice. (Where there is serious anti social behaviour or which threatens the property then your landlord can give 7 days notice.)
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
INDIA AND PAKISTAN
Peace process on a knife edge What lies ahead for Indo-Pakistani relations following the November terrorist attacks on Mumbai, asks Alison Spillane?
OLITICAL PRESSURE on the Pakistani government, predominantly from India, the U.S, and Britain, has been unrelenting since British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Lahore-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are behind the terrorist attacks carried out in Mumbai at the end of November 2008. The Pakistani government, who pledged their full cooperation to their Indian counterparts during the attacks, does not seem to be following through on this promise. So far they have refused to extradite suspects in the attacks, maintaining that no extradition treaty exists between Pakistan and India. They have also made the decision not to ban
“I presume they are state actors or stateassisted actors” the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a front for LeT, despite UN sanctions classifying the outfit as a terrorist organisation and naming four of its top commanders terrorists. A breakdown in communication is evident as Islamabad claims it has not been given any clear evidence implicating suspects such as Jamaatud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in the attacks. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has made a slight concession, indicating that Indian authorities may be permitted to question the suspects in Pakistan if sufficient evidence is provided. However, for the Indian government this appears to be too little too late. On January 4 India’s Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told NDTV news channel: “Somebody who is familiar with intelligence and who is familiar with commando operations has directed this operation, and that cannot entirely be a non-state actor. In fact, I presume they are state actors or state-assisted actors unless the contrary is proved.” This is a severe escalation in the accusations against the country as Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has maintained throughout that the perpetrators of the attacks were nonstate actors. Mr. Chidambaram’s suspicions are not completely unfounded though, as links have been found between the LeT and Pakistan’s Inter-
Services Intelligence in the past. The CIA,too,has been accused of funding the LeT in the 1980s to fight against Soviet Union forces in Afghanistan, although at a time when the U.S is giving its full support to the Indian government this point is not being raised. It seems that links between the LeT and previous Pakistani governments are more relevant in the present climate than their connections with previous U.S administrations. Mr. Chidambaram travelled to Washington last week to share with U.S officials evidence linking Pakistan to the Mumbai attacks. With regard to the JuD, Pakistan’s refusal to ban the organisation may seem unreasonable. Yet after the sanctions were imposed by the UN Security Council, Hindu minority groups in the country came out in support of the group. The JuD’s charity work is of vital importance to Muslims and Hindus alike, and the group reportedly played a major role in helping the victims of the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake in which more than 70,000 people died. Yousaf Raza Gillani’s government took initial steps to crack down on the JuD’s activities after the UN ban; they placed Hafiz Mohammad Saeed under house arrest, closed the organisation’s offices and froze its bank accounts. However, none of the five hundred Jamaat-run schools and seminaries were touched. As for Amir Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving gunman, a senior Pakistani official has doubted the authenticity of a letter purportedly written by Kasab while in the custody of Indian Pakistan’s leadership has denied involvement in the attacks authorities. The letter allegedly sought legal assistance from the Pakistani government, although Pakistan’s Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah claimed the language and content of the letter did not “match those of a real Pakistani”. The letter also requested a meeting with the Pakistan High Commission and stated that the nine other terrorists, all killed in the attacks, were also from Pakistan. Islamabad has been reluctant to acknowledge that Kasab is a Pakistani citizen, even though he has been traced back to the village of Faridkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province where his father identified him by a photograph. It is clear that tensions are running
‘They had both a weariness of violence and the pragmatism needed to get on with their lives’ Martin McKenna travelled to New Delhi a week after the attacks in Mumbai ended. Here he shares his view of the Indian reaction to the attacks. The Taj Mahal hotel burns during the attack. high between the two countries but what lies ahead if the present state of misinformation and miscommunication continues? Pakistan is naturally on the defensive, seeing Indian demands as unreasonable unless they are prepared to share more information with Islamabad. Moreover, they see the pressure from New Delhi as a means for invoking nationalism and distracting the Indian people from their own government’s failures. India in turn sees the Pakistani reaction as unwillingness to cooperate, implying they may have something to hide. And though India may appear to be fingerpointing, history justifies their response to some extent as Pakistani militants have carried out numerous attacks in India such as the 2006 bombings in Varanasi in which 28 people died. There is an evident lack of trust between the two states, despite the ongoing peace process. War may very well be on the cards once more, despite Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s assertions to the contrary. Pakistan has cancelled all army leave, and the Indian government is facing serious domestic pressures from voters (who will go to the polls by May) who are angered by what can only be seen as serious internal intelligence and security failures. A strong response to the Mumbai attacks could do a lot to ease voters’ concerns. The presence of the United States may be the only restraint as with U.S interests in Afghanistan it is unlikely the Americans would allow the situation to escalate to such a level that would involve Pakistani troops being withdrawn from the Western border.
In order for the India-Pakistan peace process to continue in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks it would benefit both countries to take stock of their own failures before putting the blame on their neighbours. Pakistan may feel victimized but until it stops turning a blind eye to the activities of all Islamic militant groups in the country it cannot maintain its innocence. Successive governments have failed to curtail Taliban activities in the west of the country and India will continue to see the Pakistani administration as complicit in terrorist attacks such as those in Mumbai while it allows groups like LeT to operate on its soil. India, for its part, needs to recognize the presence of disaffected Muslim youth within its own borders. The outlawed Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has been behind numerous bombings and their activities have intensified in recent years. Many SIMI activists are suspects in the 2008 bombings in Bangalore and Delhi. The Indian Mujahideen, an amalgam of SIMI and LeT, also appeared on the scene in 2008 claiming responsibility for the Jaipur bombings on May 13 in which 63 people were killed, as well as bombings in Ahmedabad on July 26 where 56 people died. Furthermore, Manmohan Singh’s government needs to seriously reassess its intelligence and security set-up if it is to prevent other such attacks in the future. But with neither country willing to be introspective, the gloves are coming off and the scar of partition is far from healed.
Shooting an elephant Pakistan and India are being goaded into an unwanted war, says Aaron Mulvihill, World Review Editor
OBODY HAD heard of the Deccan Mujahideen. Which ought to be surprising, considering they had orchestrated the deaths of scores of Mumbai residents and tourists in a small-scale urban war culminating in a 60-hour hotel siege. Analysts scratched their heads over the email sent to Indian news agencies which, in stilted Hindi, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Then other more familiar names surfaced, as they always do - rightly or wrongly - crystallising the culprits as members of the generic extremist Islamic terror. Many countries have difficulties defining terrorism, and not surprisingly. It encompasses state terrorism, making definition problematic for states that occasionally find themselves funding foreign political movements with military wings. The November attacks in Mumbai showed up the quandary encountered when trying to pinpoint the root of an attack that serves the individual interests of disparate groups of criminals, drug barons and religiously motivated extremists, not all of them Muslim, and at the same time collectively advances political interests. While flames licked the Taj Mahal Palace, the last stragglers holding off both the police forces and firefighters with the few bullets they had left, reports were already piling up. The
early deluge of conflicting data on the news wires that is the modern Fog of War overwhelmed all but the few who took a step back to see the patent forest of Pakistani involvement. The full extent of the Pakistani connection was revealed later. The funding, training and ideology, it seems, originated in the Islamic state. Indian PM Manmohan Singh may order an attack on Pakistan The planning was thorough, and the attackers well equipped, suggesting the support of a large, well-funded organisation. Most telling was the terrorists’ composition of college-age Muslims and apparent lack of any real demands. One spoke to a Indian television station by telephone during the siege. Evidently on a whim. His wishlist sounded like it was composed on the spot, and the exasperated interviewer was hard pushed to coax even this much out of the tongue-tied terrorist: “We demand the release of all mujaheddin put in jails ... and we, the Muslim who live in India, should not be harassed.. Things like demolition of Babri Masjid and killings should stop.” But frustrated youth don’t fund and arm themselves. An overwhelming amount of evidence points to Pakistan – too much for India
to ignore the forest, even if it would rather focus on the trees. India’s government is now under immense pressure to respond to the attacks. The private intelligence agency Stratfor reckons the best case scenario would be Indian airstrikes on suspected terrorist camps and short range incursions into Pakistan. The reasoning is that India can take out its national anger in a few noisy bombing raids while avoiding all-out war. And the beleaguered Pakistani government may even give silent consent while ostensibly resisting the raids until the calls for revenge quieten. For nearly a year now the United States has been sending missile drones into Pakistan without its authorisation to target terrorists who have fled across the Afghan border. More likely – and destructive - scenarios envisage strikes against Pakistani government buildings. With the Hindu nationalist party goading it
and elections in under five months, the Indian government will be forced to show what will be interpreted as resolve and good statesmanship. A sahib has got to act like a sahib. Pakistan’s elected central government is largely blameless, analysts say, but renegade officials and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency are taking orders from elsewhere. More worrying still, the young democracy is struggling to contain terrorists operating in the major cities as well as the mountainous northwest where Osama Bin Laden is thought to be holed up. The two nuclear nations have spent the sixty-one years since partition between war and tense mutual brinkmanship. Ground wars over the sovereignty of Kashmir have claimed tens of thousands of lives. With the two nations’ troubled history in mind, it is a short logical hop from confirmation of Pakistan’s involvement in the attacks
FOR ME, it was a bus journey that revealed most about violence in India. The buses in India seemed an utterly impossible mode of transport, crammed as they were with passengers. The ones we could see from our rickshaw driving alongside were sitting by the windows (not that there was any glass in them). Incredibly, these passengers seemed quite calm despite there being an impenetrable sea of people between them and the door. I have absolutely no idea how they got off at their destination. Happily, my short bus ride was with the assistance of two locals who were showing us around and kindly, the bus even almost stopped for us to get on and off. Though there are gleaming new Tata buses, ours was a rusted old boat. On the back of each seat were spray painted the words “Check under your seat, there may be a bomb. If found report it and you will be rewarded”. I mentioned this to our companions who seemed almost surprised I had noticed. “Many years ago” was their contribution offered as an explanation. The bus seats revealed what I knew to be the case: that sadly, India is no stranger to terrorist violence, and that the attacks in Mumbai are tragic, but not unique. Most travel literature on India agrees that it is a country that you will leave with more questions than you arrived with. It is unfathomably enormous and populous. The rich-poor gap is like a massively stretched out accordian compared to Ireland’s. Their caste, or class, system is so complex that I utterly failed to understand it. In trying to comprehend India’s reaction to the attacks, I looked for a sort of ‘ordinary’ middle class. Of course, I learnt that this was a largely futile attempt to shoehorn to another imminent war with India’s neighbouring adversary. All the signs point to a backer with a vested interest in an unstable Indian subcontinent. The line of undesirables smacking their lips at the thought of a fractured Pakistani state begins in the Hindu Kush in the north-west of the country, where mujahedeen and Taliban fighters nest. It continues down along the western border, following the opium traders’ route as they traffic the narcotic nectar from Balochistan province into Iran. It ends in the southern port city of Karachi, the largest city in the Muslim world, which, as the Mumbai terrorists found, is easily reachable by speedboat from Mumbai. Dawood Ibrahim is one of these geopolitical entrepreneurs, and he stands at the front of the line. The billionaire crime don is an Indianborn Muslim, and the mastermind of bombings in Mumbai (then Bombay) which killed over 250 in 1993. Interpol
Graffiti on the embankments of Marine Drive Mumbai. Photo: Ian Watkyn
what I was seeing in India into Irish categories. As it happened, I interacted overwhelmingly with two groups. Firstly, the betteroff poor, who had perhaps a cart of goods for sale to their name, and secondly, super-rich young adults. It was difficult to quiz the first group on matters of national security when you’re struggling to haggle over the price of a souveiner tee-shirt. The super-rich youth, for all their phenomenal wealth, had apathy in common with comfortable youth the world over. It was the media, specifically the Times of India, which provided most information. Reading Western media shortly after the attacks, they reported that the Indian media was driving the agenda with inflammatory and reactionary treatment of Pakistan, and this was borne out by the headlines and articles I read. The Times of India used a wonderfully conversational style in their hard news stories, and the impression I got was that they were trying to tease out reactions from their readers. Wide-ranging polls questioned the Black Cats, India’s elite security force; the role of the disputed territory in the north (drawn in dotted lines by Google Maps’ gallant cartographers); the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; and the possibilty of military action against “Pak” as it is referred to in space-tight headlines. In all, it would be a fallacy to say that Indian media’s somewhat sensationalist treatment poorly reflected the reactions on the ground, since sensationalism is a part of media the world over, like it or not. But the Indian people I met had a combination of weariness of the violence and the pragmatism needed to get on with their lives despite terrorists’ best efforts. believes he is currently living in Karachi, and the he is on a United Nations list of Al Qaeda associates. The top official in Russia’s narcotics agency is confident that Ibrahim’s drug network funded the latest Mumbai attacks. In any event, the increased tension means Pakistan has no choice but to relocate troops from its north-west, where they police the Taliban-infested Afghan frontier, to the Indian border, giving drug smugglers and cave-dwelling terrorists alike a chance to stretch their legs. It has already begun to do so. Even inside Pakistan, many powerful people would be happier with a crippled state. The government and ordinary Pakistani citizens have already survived the trauma of the September Marriot Hotel bombings in Islamabad and the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, whose widower now holds the presidency. They have everything to lose from war. If India is pushed into military conflict with its neighbour, any remaining hope that the new democratic civilian regime is capable of keeping a lid on Pakistan’s internal tensions will dissipate. Calls for General Pervez Musharraf to return to power will take a louder form than Facebook groups (there are well over a hundred). Indian Muslims have disowned the attackers, refusing to allow them be buried in Muslim graveyards. Their bodies are still in a government morgue. But this show of ecumenical solidarity does not take the immense pressure off the Indian government to strike Pakistan a symbolic revenge blow, whatever consequences it may have. The voters are marching at its heels, and India holds the rifle with an elephant in its sights.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Piracy could shore up our economy There’s no lack of liquidity on the open seas. Sean Doyle concludes that Ireland is wellplaced to emulate the buoyant maritime economy on Somalia’s coast
HE YEAR 2008 was not kind to Ireland, and with the economy still in freefall, it looks like 2009 will be nastier still. Factories will close, businesses will go bust, bankers will flee in the same direction as their money (i.e. offshore), and an awful lot of people will be without work. This is not simply an economic crisis, however, but a total crisis of confidence. Bankers, corporate leaders, even politicians; these were people we respected, listened to, aspired to be, or hoped to parasitically squeeze a living from. Many of us in the student body benefited directly from their lax attitude towards hand-outs and student promotions: building forts in our living rooms from AIB paperweights, relying on Google’s recruitment stand for all our stationery needs, and clothing ourselves exclusively in KPMG t-shirts. Now after the government bank bailout, we, or at least the lucky few with a taxable income, will be paying for those t-shirts for a very long time to come. Gone are the times when every fresher could look forward to buying high grade drugs with their 0% APR student credit card on a trip to Amsterdam paid for by their student loan. All we can look forward to in the New Year is a House 17 run on Cuppa-Soups and the hope that our student union handbooks have enough pages left to keep us in toilet roll until June. But do not despair. In its own little bid to avert social meltdown, Trinity News has sent an investigative team to research economies that have reacted to crisis with innovation and success; economies that Ireland could use as a template for recovery. This issue we will be looking at a developing and geographically marginal economy which, by successfully exploiting a niche industry, has managed to reinvent itself as a globally recognised brand, drawing millions of dollars into the region. The place is, of course, Puntaland in Somalia, and the industry - high-seas piracy. Pirates have traditionally maintained a popular image of swashbuckling adventurers and naughty
yet amiable ne’er-do-wells. Of late, the sterling efforts of Disney studios notwithstanding, this fine reputation has come under pressure and been tarnished in both the print and visual media. Piracy is now seen as the harsh exploitation of weakness through a mixture of aggressive and cunning, if not downright despicable, behaviour. This also being an accurate description of Irish corporate practice, it was felt that the Somali brand of piracy was a template we could work from. The hope is that through a balanced and fair investigation of best practice, we at Trinity News can cut through the mainstream media agenda to the truth about piracy in Somalia in the hope of learning some valuable lessons about how Ireland might reposition its economy in adverse conditions. Piracy is an innovative form of capital accumulation that can be developed in any maritime economy, requiring minimal investment (whether it be from
Piracy in Somalia has led to a surge in technical innovations in telecommunications, radar, and ground to air missile production. the state or private sector) and yielding high returns. Its benefits to Somalia, and the Puntaland region in particular, are manifold. Initial investment was negligible, and even after 17 years of civil war, the Somalis were able to convert an ageing and outmoded national fleet into one of the high seas’ most effectively run enterprises. In 2008 alone, up to 200 boats were commandeered, the return of which earned the local economy an average of $1.5 million per boat (sources: BBC World News Service; Foreign Policy Magazine). In a country where average earnings per head are lucky to hover around $600 per year, this is an crucial source of national income.
Global business leaders of tomorrow? Furthermore, piracy has led to a surge in technical innovations in telecommunications, radar, and ground to air missile production. Most importantly, in the case of piracy, a rising tide really does raise all boats. Garowe, once among the dreariest towns in Puntaland, is now one of the blingest cities along the East African coastline. Manufacturing has blossomed as demand for dinghy construction and pirate accessories skyrockets. The service sector has likewise expanded to support the new buccaneer lifestyle, and tourists, who rarely visited before piracy became a growth industry, throng the hotels and eateries of the town. Puntaland’s success is all the more impressive when we compare the region to the neighbouring sections of Somalia which do not actively engage in piracy. Somalia proper, to the south of Puntaland, is still engaged in an interminable civil war. With little hope of an end in sight, it has been universally labelled a failed state. To the north exists the breakaway republic of Somaliland, a peaceful and relatively democratic former British Protectorate, With a state budget of about $50 million dollars per year, however, it can barely supply Garowe’s monthly champagne demands, much less build practical things such as schools and hospitals. In fact, being too peaceful to bother dealing with, Somaliland remains unrecognised by any independent state. Despite its democratic institutions it simply
lacks the PR-power of piracy to put itself on the international agenda. Ireland’s opportunity BEFORE DISCUSSING the conclusions of our study and the suitability of a piracy-based solution to Ireland’s economic crisis, it should be noted that piracy is currently an illegal activity, and neither the authors of this piece, nor the editors of the paper in which it appears would in any way condone acts of piracy of any sort. However, we feel it our duty to lay all the options for recovery on the table, for the sake of balanced argument. Moving on… Ireland is well positioned to act on Puntaland’s example. Strategically positioned along the mid-Atlantic shipping lanes, and reasonably near to the Mediterranean, Ireland could have a captive market (no pun intended) stretching from New York to the Canary Islands. This would allow us to build on trade links and business connections that were laid out while Ireland was becoming a globalised economy. Unlike Puntaland, Ireland has the advantage of an existing, if small, fleet. The Irish Navy could finally start earning its bread, championed by the state in much the same way as the banking sector, only profitably. That is not to say that state-led piracy will stifle free trade and enterprise. It will be a competitive sector, encouraging the set-up of small and medium sized businesses all along the coast. As Puntaland has shown, all that is needed is a radio, radar, a few
mobile phones, and light weaponry (items which the current spate of shootings has demonstrated to be readily available). Piracy would regenerate marginal areas of the West Coast, whose many islands and inlets would make fine bases for smaller pirate bands. Moreover, the cross border business cooperation which would be the natural result of an increased demand for ship building (almost certainly Belfastbased) could lay the foundations for a truly all-Ireland economy in which each region supports the others. What we are talking about here is peace in our time. Apart from the narrow considerations of money and politics,
State-led piracy will be a competitive sector, encouraging the set-up of small and medium sized businesses all along the coast it should be noted that piracy was traditionally an Irish speciality. Every child knows about Grace O’Malley, the pirate Queen of Connaught. It has even been suggested that the word ‘Gael’ derives from a Welsh word for ‘pirate’, or more simply ‘thief’ - the Irish found
the description so apt, that they began to use it when addressing each other. Another point which should be taken into account is that piracy is genuinely good craic, and people work best when happy in their jobs. As such, piracy could also be contemporary Ireland’s solution to the alienation of the modern ‘commute-work-commute-sleep-die in debt’ cycle into which many people were sucked during the Celtic Tiger years. This is not to say that no difficulties would be encountered while redirecting Ireland’s economy towards piracy, but most are surmountable. Easiest to solve is the moral problem. As piracy’s reputation deteriorated, many Somalis re-designated themselves ‘coastguards,’ protecting Somali territorial waters. This claim was based on their original role, where they genuinely protected local fisheries from foreign super-trawlers. This change from pirate to coastguard is much the same as re-labelling a secretary an ‘information engineer,’ and the pirates have lost none of their efficiency while gaining much legitimacy, not to mention a morale boost. There is no reason why Ireland could not do the same. Our partners in Brussels are, it should be noted, unlikely to enjoy paying ransoms for goods and citizens flying under their national flags, particularly when demanded by a country that is nominally their ally. Under such protest, the Irish government would eventually have to cease all pirate activities – but, as the re-negotiation of the Lisbon treaty has shown, not before wringing some juicy funding concessions from the Commission. At any rate, given the length of time it takes to make a decision, we should have ridden out the crisis and replenished the national coffers before any real action has to be taken. This, it must be admitted, would not be in the spirit of partnership or fairness, but then, it is arguable that our membership of the Union has often been more about freeloading than real participation. An adverse reaction on the part of NATO is also a worry, but yet again, the Somali example shows that there is little to fear. An enormous naval force is now patrolling the Gulf of Aden. Their success rate so far: eight pirates arrested by the French – all released, as no one knew what to do with them. If worst comes to worst and military intervention looks likely, one option would be to declare the Aran Islands independent, blame it all on its inhabitants, who can then be renditioned extraordinarily to The Hague – making room for new holiday homes and the beginning of another building boom. Puntaland has managed to turn its economy around without international aid, the support of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, or the E.U. Many of the factors that spurred Somalia’s rise into the premier league of great maritime powers are present in Ireland. In fact, it is arguable that Ireland is in a much stronger position than Somalia ever was both economically and regarding its potential for reorganization. Perhaps for some, high seas piracy may resemble the Celtic Tiger economy a bit too closely for comfort, rendering it an unpalatable solution to our woes. However, the Somali spirit of entrepreneurship, selfreliance and innovation in the face of adversity is one that Ireland could, and maybe should, imitate.
150 years ago in Ireland, Obama’s message was born By Patrick Cosgrave BARACK OBAMA owes a whole lot more to Ireland than an ancestor or two. His journey of change and his central vision were born 150 years ago because of Ireland. Ireland was the “transforming” catalyst in an extraordinary untold journey of change. And understanding the roots of that extraordinary journey begins with a simple question: Who inspired Barack Obama? One figure, it seems, stands above all others: Frederick Douglass. So who was Frederick Douglass and why has his influence on Obama been told across the pages of The New York Times and International Herald Tribune by his former students and leading historians? In short, because it was Douglass who first began Obama’s journey of change over 150 years ago; because it was Douglass who first articulated a vision for a truly United States of America that Obama has made his own; and because it was Douglass who first articulated change in a way America has never forgotten and in a way Obama has given a new meaning. In 1818, Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, but by 20 years of age had escaped. He rose to become the foremost African American abolitionist and one of the most significant figures in American history. So significant that eminent academics, such as Harvard historian Prof. Henry Louis Gates, confidently conclude that “Douglass towered over Lincoln as a brilliant orator, writer, agitator, and public figure”. Douglass may have begun Obama’s journey of change over 150 years ago, but what is most surprising is that the
greatest catalyst for that journey of change appears to have been Ireland. It was because of Ireland that Douglass was first able to truly formulate and articulate his vision for a United States of America, a vision Obama has made his own. In 1845, Frederick Douglass, aged just 27, left the United States for Europe. While Douglass’s star had been on the rise, his morale had begun to sink. He hoped for “a little repose” in Europe, where he might regain his strength, as well as a better sense of
A former student of Obama’s recalls his professor’s admiration for the soaring but plainspoken speeches of Frederick Douglass his future actions in the United States. His first port of call, outside of a night in Liverpool, was Ireland. He stayed for nearly six months. Two of Douglass’s biographers, Alan Rice and Martin Crawford, note that he arrived as “the raw material of a great black figure”. Within weeks, however, Douglass began to transform. In a letter from Ireland to William Llyod Garrison, one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Douglass wrote that “I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life.” Douglass went on to add that “instead of the bright, blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft, gray fog of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes a man! I
gaze around in vain for one who will question my equal humanity, claim me as a slave, or offer me an insult.” Prof. Patricia Ferreira, of Norwich University, concludes that “although from a young age Douglass possessed the inclination to be a leader, Ireland was the site where this trait blossomed”. However, it wasn’t just Douglass’s ability to lead that blossomed in Ireland, so too did his vision. His vision grew from that of a champion of African American rights, to that of a champion of universal human rights. In another letter to Garrison from Ireland, Douglass wrote that “I see much here to remind me of my former condition, and I confess I should be ashamed to lift up my voice against American slavery, but that I know the cause of humanity is one the world over. He who really and truly feels for the American slave, cannot steel his heart to the woes of others; and he who thinks himself an abolitionist, yet cannot enter into the wrongs of others, has yet to find a true foundation for his anti-slavery faith”. In turn, Douglass’s vision for United States of America grew to reflect his expanded world view. He hoped that one day all citizens would be treated equally “without regard to colour, class or clime” and that the United States would become a truly “more perfect union”. By 1850, he had firmly broken with the traditional Garrisonian disunionist line and had begun “to employ union as an inspirational concept,” to quote Prof. Rogan Kersch of New York University in Dreams of a More Perfect Union. And some 150 years later, Obama would emerge to once again “employ union as an inspirational concept”.
Ireland was also the site, according to Prof. Bill Rolston, where Douglass “honed both his oratorical and political skills”. He gave many lectures, numbering up to fifty in Ireland alone, and had the good fortune of speaking alongside Daniel O’Connell, who had a profound impact on Douglass. Douglass later recalled O’Connell’s “truly wondrous eloquence”, “Until I heard this man,” wrote Douglass, “I had thought that the story of his oratory and power were greatly exaggerated…but the mystery was solved when I saw his vast person, and heard his musical voice. His eloquence came down upon the vast assembly like a summer thundershower upon a dusty road. He could stir the multitude at will, to a tempest of wrath, or reduce it to the silence with which a mother leaves the cradle-side of her sleeping babe.” Douglass concluded that he “never heard surpassed, if equalled, at home or abroad” such soaring rhetorical brilliance. Douglass returned to the United States in 1847, “transformed” by his Irish experience. He went on to become, in the words of Prof. James A. Colaiaco who authored a book on his rhetoric, the “greatest orator of the 19th Century”. It was the type of oratory that inspired Obama. A former student of Obama’s recalls in the The New York Times “his professor’s admiration for the soaring but plainspoken speeches of Frederick Douglass”. That admiration was on show in the final weeks of Obama’s campaign when he constantly quoted one of Douglass’s most famous lines: “Power does not concede.” Some years previous, according to The New York Times, Obama had told his class that “no one speaks [like Douglass] anymore,” as he “wondered
Frederick Douglass, immortalised on a mural in Belfast aloud what had happened to the art of political oratory”. At that time, Obama “in particular, admired Douglass’s use of a collective voice that embraced black and white concerns”. The Douglass that Obama admired was the Douglass “transformed” by Ireland and his time abroad. Prof. Scott Williamson writes in The Narrative Life, that the years from 1848 onwards “mark the years of his maturity as a thinker”. While Dr. Michael A. Cohen, a former Democratic speechwriter, author and regular contributor to the The New York Times, concludes that “the thinking of the older Douglass appears to have had a more significant impact on Mr. Obama’s political thinking and in
particular his campaign rhetoric”. Douglass, it seems, inspired Obama more than any other individual. Because it was Douglass, “transformed by Ireland,” who first truly set in motion Obama’s journey of change some 150 years ago; because it was Douglass, “transformed by Ireland,” who first formulated the very vision that Obama has made his own; and because it was Douglass, “transformed by Ireland,” who first articulated change in a way America has never forgotten and in a way Obama has given a new meaning. “Behold the change!” Douglass wrote from Ireland. Behold the change, Mr. Obama.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Offensive Ents slogan is a red RAG to a bull Hilary Allen Caoilfhionn Nic Conmara Niall Sherry IF YOU are a class rep, or in any way involved in the Students’ Union, you will have been asked to wear a t-shirt with the slogan “I’m on the RAG” stamped across the chest this week. For those of you who don’t know (and, in a college that strives to be international, there are plenty of people for whom this is the case) to be “on the rag” is not to be on a major night out, it is to have a period. This is a step too far in the pursuit of publicity. This slogan was chosen by a small, appointed committee, who appear to be answerable to no one in particular. Unsurprisingly, this committee is all-
male. Whether or not this is an offensive slogan is of course up for debate. For those who suffer while on their period, or who find it embarrassing (as many do – it’s hardly a topic that comes up in casual conversation) it could be seen as hugely offensive; for those who have never had a period it may make no difference. Personally I find the fact that is completely targeted towards one gender and designed to draw a laugh from the discomfort, and perhaps pain, of that gender outrageously offensive. Others may disagree. Either way, it’s a debate that should have been had prior to now. When the Students’ Union, of which we are all members, is throwing its considerable weight and funding behind a drive, it should
“We’ll never see the men of the SU walking around in SHAG week t-shirts with ‘I SUFFER FROM ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION’ emblazoned across the front, no matter how funny the female population might find it.” take care to at least try and avoid being blindly offensive to 60% of the student population. It might be seen as ‘ranty feminism’ to say that it’s typical misogyny from a body whose upper echelons are still primarily dominated by men, but let’s face it – even though they’d draw a lot of attention, we’ll never see the men of the SU walking around in SHAG week t-shirts with “I SUFFER
FROM ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION” emblazoned across the front, no matter how much attention that might draw, or how funny the female population might find it. Either way, it is evident that this slogan is crude, puerile and designed as nothing more than a cheap stunt. Complete with stickers. The only reasoning that I have been
able to receive from the Students’ Union is that, while crude, it raises attention and therefore does its job. Similar to SHAG week, apparently. There are a few things wrong with this logic, notably that SHAG week aims to raise awareness of sexual health and gender. To promote safe “shagging” practices and to provide information about “shaggingly” transmitted infections. The slogan “I’m on the RAG” has nothing to do with Raising A Grand. It has nothing to do with promoting philanthropic values or feeling, it is simply a tool being used to grab attention. The main tenet of charities is respect towards human dignity. This campaign is an affront to this aim and thus RAG week’s entire purpose in the first place. Why bother with an offensive RAG week
at all? The argument could of course be made that it is managing to achieve said aim on the very basis of the fact that I am writing this article. But there are better ways of raising awareness. There are better ways of informing people. When I look at a t-shirt with “I’m on the RAG” splashed across the front I do not consider what I may be doing in order to support the cause; instead, I think about periods. We expect more from RAG week, and more from a Students’ Union that sets out to represent us all. We expect more than cheap jokes and childish slogans. We expect better and I think underneath my personal distaste for this slogan, expecting better is why I felt the need to raise this issue and write this article.
IN PROFILE: DARREN MCCALLIG
Irreverent Reverend Dean of Residence, Rev Darren McCallig enlightens Conor Gannon about his recent series of eyebrowraising sermons based around TV shows, and making his voice heard amidst the din of secular life in Trinity FORMER GALWAY student union leader and current Anglican Chaplain, Darren Mc Callig is the epitome of enthusiasm. Determined to make students aware that the Chapel is a place of welcome, he is a man who wants to make a statement to the world. “Competition is tough with the market leader these days” he says, jokingly, as he refers to his Roman Catholic counterparts. “We’ve got to make our voice heard even if it’s only heard by Trinity’s niche market, the Anglicans”. In Trinity term, Mc Callig caused something of a stir with the controversial titles of his sermons. From “The Gospel according to Sex in the City” to “The Gospel according to Fr Ted”, he wanted to do something which would grab people’s attention, and that it did. Interviewed by 2FM and appearing on RTÉ, he was determined to demonstrate that links can and should be made between the secular and the spiritual. So what better place to start than his favourite television programmes? As his catchphrase goes, “our faith is 2000 years old, but our thinking doesn’t have to be”. Born in Claremorris in Co Mayo in 1974, faith was an important aspect of family for McCallig, and it was shown more in deeds than in words. He speaks with great admiration of his parents’ willingness to open their home to children who needed emergency foster
care. But similar to most people, he challenged the faith he understood in his youth. Understanding the Bible in the way he did as a child no longer made sense. For many of his friends the next step was to give up, but Darren was determined to seek a new understanding of his identity as a Christian. A chaplain at University College Galway, Rev Robert McCarthy, who is now the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral and also well able to raise a few eyebrows with his preaching, played a pivotal role in Darren’s spiritual development. McCarthy inspired him to delve deeper into that broad church tradition within Anglicanism which is at once scholarly and open to new perspectives. He took it to heart and was ordained a priest. “Quite frankly, I sometimes wish I wasn’t a clergyman”, he says. “I find it so frustrating when people who don’t know me automatically assume that I must be homophobic, misogynistic, fundamentalist anti-sex and antiintellectual nutcase.” “What’s more, they assume I think non-believers and people of other religions are all going to hell.” Looking at the Church, McCallig sees an institution which has contributed greatly to human flourishing over the last two thousand years. He also sees an institution which has been, and still is in many ways, guilty of a long list of crimes including the abuse and exploitation of women, discrimination against gay
“I find it so frustrating when people who don’t know me automatically assume that I must be a homophobic, misogynistic, fundamentalist, antisex and anti-intellectual nutcase.”
people, persecution of people of other faiths and the most terrible abuses of power. But breaking down those negative images of the church is the first step in trying to reach out to the student population, Darren believes. “We’re very lucky in Trinity to be able to play to our strengths. First, we have a beautiful Chapel in which to celebrate our liturgies and second, we have an outstanding musical tradition, with the Chapel Choir delighting the ears of worshippers and enticing passers-by to come into the Chapel to sample some of their heavenly melodies.” In good Protestant tradition, Darren emphasizes the importance of preaching in order to convert hearts and minds.
“On the morning of my sermon on the Shawshank Redemption, I was delighted to be met by a family after the service who told me that that watched the film the previous night, having read about it in the Irish Times.” For those who may not be as well prepared for their Sunday worship, McCallig reminds us that the preaching doesn’t have to be confined to the pulpit. If you miss a sermon you can download it from the chaplaincy website and listen to it at your leisure. Around fifty percent of students declare their religious affiliation when they register. Out of that, McCallig estimates that about five percent are Anglican. “When you get down to the proportion of that group who live on
Campus and who would be likely attend a service on a Sunday, it’s a wonder we have a congregation at all”, he exclaims. “It’s wonderful to see that the numbers in the congregation are increasing”. How does he feel about stepping into the shoes of the former Anglican chaplain, who was renowned for his liturgical innovations? McCallig points out that each chaplain brings his own strengths and weaknesses. Trinity wasn’t always a place of bells and smells, he observes. “I think there’s a lot to be said for traditional Anglican liturgy. It speaks for itself. The music and the setting do the rest.” So is there anything interesting in the pipeline? “You’ll just have to wait and see.”
Failure to bring home bacon butchers export market Fionnuala Barrett THE DUST kicked up in December with the short-lived pork scandal has now begun to settle, but some of the wounds sustained during the scuffle may take a while longer to heal. Quite apart from the approximately 1,800 jobs which were threatened just two weeks before Christmas, others have taken a battering because of this scandal. Galtee, for instance, will probably be lying low for the foreseeable. A caller to Joe Duffy revealed that before the warnings about pork had been made, she had ordered one of Galtee’s “Traditional Irish Breakfast” hampers for a far-flung relative who craved a taste of the old country. Upon contacting Galtee to cancel her order, she was told that the meat in these hampers is not Irish at all, but sourced from the EU and the US.
Their website has since dropped “Irish” from their name. However, it is the government who will prove most affected by the fiasco. This is just the most recent in a litany of high-profile messes in recent months, including, but by no means limited to, the medical card furore, the vigorous back-pedalling over promises made about primary class sizes and the overall rabbit-in-the-headlights response to the credit crisis. The governmental response to the dioxin scare was unsatisfactory in just about every aspect. To begin with, the routine checks which led to the discovery of the presence of dioxin in meat had not been carried out at the factory in question for over a year. This alone should have been enough to cause uproar: upon what, exactly, does Ireland base its claims to be a producer of “quality” meat when checks
are so infrequent that they’re not even annual? The Food Safety Authority (FSAI), in an effort to be safe rather than sorry, chose to recall all pig meat rather than to rely on the traceability system to choose only the meat known to have come into contact with the contaminated feed. It was a move which prompted Alan Matthews, professor of European Agricultural Policy in Trinity, to express wonder at the fact that pigs which never came into contact with this feed weren’t getting to supermarket shelves. Although beef is traceable back to factory and farm, as it has been since the BSE crisis of the 90s, pig meat, though traceable to the factory, generally cannot be traced further back because the pork industry does not enjoy the lavish funding afforded to beef producers. Thus out of only ten farmers affected by the contaminated feed, four
hundred producers suffered the effects of the product recall. If nothing else, the debacle has proven beyond all doubt that the traceability of every pack of pig meat – claims on the packs which might lead you to believe that the worker in your local Spar knew every individual pig farmer by name – was a comforting myth which, when put to the test, spectacularly failed to yield results to anyone’s benefit. As food writer Georgina Campbell put it at the time, “There’s this awful feeling that there’s no-one in control.” Such a feeling only escalated when, resulting from the conflicted conferences, warnings were similarly confused and apparently contradictory, keen to reassure the public that pork was not dangerous and yet insistent that it had to be destroyed. In turn, the consumer response was at ambivalent and, in many cases, sceptical.
While it has yet to be proved whether the scare significantly weakened the current government’s popularity or perceived ability to keep its head in times of trouble, it can be guessed that this latest fiasco has not helped its already ailing stock. The comparisons drawn between the latest mess, under inexperienced Brendan Smith, and the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001, which was handled with far greater aplomb by a seasoned Minister for Agriculture, Joe Walsh, have opened up Cowen’s kitchen cabinet of friends and supporters, to even greater criticism, while better-qualified rivals wait on the sidelines. The fallout abroad from the crisis has yet to be fully realised, though there was a foretaste of the reaction with South Africa’s swift move to ban all EU meat and dairy products. The ban has now been lifted on EU beef and dairy but at
time of writing still remains in place on Irish pork. As the chorus of commentators have been unanimous in affirming, good reputations take years to build and bad ones years to overcome; in some cases, a bad reputation never entirely goes away. The consequences of this latest dent to Ireland’s agricultural reputation are not to be underestimated, particularly facing into the year of the big slump, when sterling has taken a 30 percent dip on its standing at the start of the year. Considering that the UK makes up more than 40 percent of Ireland’s food export market, Ireland needs to keep its reputation as clean as possible in the coming year if it is to weather the inhospitable economic tide on the horizon. On the home front and abroad, the pork scandal makes for a thoughtprovoking, if none too positive, augury for Ireland in 2009.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
STOKES: A dubious guardian?
In trying to discipline the editor of Piranha, Dr Emma Stokes, shows her disregard for the College rules she is employed to uphold, writes Gearoid O’Rourke
T IS a perennial event – once again, student satirical magazine Piranha is in trouble. It seems that at least one of the articles it published this year was of such grave impropriety and general offense that the complaints received by College authorities forced them to take action against the publication and its unfortunate editor Andrew Booth. Actually, no, that is not the case. Yes, Piranha is in trouble again, but as you could have read in the Mail on Sunday on January 4th or on the front page of this publication, no complaints were received. It seems that Piranha had the bad luck of falling across the desk of one Dr Emma Stokes – known to you and me as the Junior Dean. You can again read on the front page of this issue that Stokes made, in her own words, a “proactive” move and declared the publication banned, its future under question, and imperiously summoned its staff to her office. Stokes, it seems, sees herself as the keeper of the torch of public indignation in Trinity. She has acted unilaterally, even if that very public indignation is distinctly lacking. It was suggested that she may have received verbal complaints. Maybe those complainants know how dangerous it is becoming to put pen to
paper here in Trinity. “So what?”, the average student might say. So what if, once again, free speech has received a knee-jerk kick in the pants, at the whim of one over-zealous administrator. “Why does it matter to me?”, you may ask. Well, if you get into a sticky situation in College you would like to think that the authorities are playing by the rules. You would like to think you are entitled to due process, that your right to a fair hearing is protected. If Stokes’s behaviour in this case is anything to go by, then clearly they are not. ”What was wrong with Stokes’ action?” you might ask. I may seem authoritarian, even draconian, but “that’s her job,” right? Wrong, it’s not her job. What is even worse is that she knows it is not within her authority, yet she attempts it anyway. I can say categorically that it is not within her authority, not by virtue of some interpretation of my own, but rather as a result of Stokes’ written admission that it is not. This admission was made just over twelve months ago. It all began with a letter to the Editor published during my tenure as Editor of Trinity News last year. The letter criticised one group of college staff for providing a poor service to students. It suggested that they improve their performance or else
seek alternative employment. The letter was tough, it pulled few punches, but it did not identify any individuals, it was not libelous and it expressed a genuine student grievance. In short, it was exactly what you expect to see on the letters page. Days after it was published, I received an email from Stokes summoning me to appear before her to explain myself. I stood accused of an “activity which brings the College into disrepute” and of “harassment or misbehaviour on College property or in dealings with others”. At this point I re-read the letter carefully, trying to figure out how these charges could possibly be justified. Secure in the knowledge that there was no case of “ harassment” or “disrepute” to answer and over the initial shock of Stokes’s email, my annoyance grew. There were many problems with the email – its adversarial and combative tone, its invocation of a very serious charge of harassment without reference to any specific evidence, its general “school principal” approach to the situation – but what irked me most was the obvious and knowing disregard for the actual, College-approved procedures for handling a complaint of its nature. For those unfamiliar with these, in brief, the chain of complaint goes as follows: you first complain to the Editor, then to the Publications Committee, then to the Senior Dean. You can, if you feel the need skip the first two and go straight to the top. The College itself is quite explicit about this and previous Senior Deans have not been shy about exerting their power in this area. The powers are far-reaching and, in my experience, the small number of complaints received are always given the gravitas they deserve. Notice that nowhere is the Junior Dean mentioned, invoked or referenced in these procedures. Back to my own experience: Over the course of three more emaiIs I repeatedly replied firmly that I would not be appearing before the Dean as the issue lay outside her jurisdiction. I encouraged her to ask the complainant to take up the issue in accordance with College procedures. In response, Stokes repeated her assertion that I must present myself to her or face “dire consequences.” In fact, she even asserted that this was in line with the College’s own procedures. I maintained my line, that this was not with her jurisdiction and an impasse was reached. After a lull, the impasse was surmounted by Stokes herself in her final email. She wrote: “I refer to your [last] correspondence of 30 November 2007. Following a request for legal advice, I understand that, under current arrangements, the Office of the Junior Dean does not have a role in dealing with what you, as Editor, allow to be published in Trinity News.” Yet this is exactly what she has attempted to do with Pirhana. Stokes, it seems, had gone to the College’s lawyers and now understood that she didn’t have any jurisdiction in this matter. Yet just over one year since this admission, we are back at the same impasse. Stokes has attempted to act against the editor of a student publication for something he allowed to be published. Booth is standing firm, but this time, with full knowledge that her actions are proscribed, Stokes seems bent on having her way. In her correspondence with Trinity News, quoted, above, she went on to say that “the wider issues raised by this case will be referred to the Senior Dean and Dean of Students in early 2008”. These issues seemed to be that Stokes felt that student publications were not accountable enough and that she was the one to bring them into line. This review of procedures happened. Stokes wanted a new College officer to be created, a sort of internal Trinity Press Ombudsman who could refer editors to her for discipline or impose a fine. She of course would have a hand in the Ombudsman’s selection. This was never going to fly. However, an agreeable consensus was reached. All Trinity student publications signed up to the national Press Council and Ombudsman and became the first student publications in the country to do so. Despite this, Stokes has acted unilaterally. She has ignored the agreed procedures and undermined the Press Council. In disciplining Booth for something he had printed, she has clearly transgressed the rules she is employed to uphold and has violated the rights of a student that she is employed to serve. Given that she is failing in the most basic part of her job description, to uphold the College code of discipline, her continuation in the position of Junior Dean must be questioned. However, the banning of Piranha is not a singular incident – it is indicative of a broader
pattern of over-reaching, ill-thought out and regulation-breaking behaviour by Stokes. What are her motivations, her goals? How does she justify her actions to her superiors? One doubts she is ever asked to.
ROUND UP AOIFE CROWLEY
HE RECORD of Stokes’s most recent years as Junior Dean makes for worrying reading and suggests she rules the roost in the office of the College Deans. She has unilaterally changed the College’s alcohol policy to restrict the serving of alcohol before 6pm and to lengthen the notice needed of an event. This change came mere days before Freshers’ Week 2006 much to the outrage of the Students’ Union and the larger societies. The previous policy had been a negotiated consensus, reached after months of consultation between some of the better minds of the college administration and student representatives. Her’s were snap changes, never justified. On her campaign against consumables, cake sales were the next to go, as was well reported in this paper last year. She has wilfully circumvented the authority of the new Senior Dean to deal with student society, club and publication related disciplinary matters and has even tagged her own conditions onto the new Intermission of Studies legislation after its final version was passed by University Council. This legislation was supposed to regularise the taking of years out to run large societies. Stokes, post hoc, decided that a bond would have to be signed with her before the students would be allowed to be, well, students. Again this shows a total disregard for the limits of her authority. A working group had devised the legislation, University Council debated it and passed it and Stokes ignored all of this and effectively changed it at a whim. She has reduced at least two chairs of capitated bodies to tears in the last two years and has revelled in calling heads of societies at 8am to reprimand them. She banned nighttime events in the GMB in Trinity term as they were too disruptive to student study. When asked to clarify her position by the thenpresident of the Phil she bitingly declared “I don’t have to justify myself to you”. Those in authority should always have to justify the exercise of it, even the Junior Dean. These incidents do not paint a pretty picture. I would normally be willing to mark
“Fear is an insidious tool, a despicable one for somebody who gleefully told the The Irish Times that her focus was on ‘pastoral care’ not discipline.” some of them up to student exaggeration, to enlargement by the rumour mill and to the usual animosity students reserve for disciplinary roles. However, given her current flaunting of College’s own regulations, her behaviour cannot go unexamined. Why does she get away with it? Because of fear, and her willingness to bandy about “dire consequences” with abandon. Students fear to stand up to her they fear they may not get rooms the next year, that their society might lose funding, that their magazine might be shut down, and they fear the dire yet undefined consequences that Stokes threatens. Fear is an insidious tool, a despicable one for somebody who gleefully told the The Irish Times that her focus was on “pastoral care” not discipline. That she uses fear in such a way, to enforce decisions that are far beyond her remit shows a disturbing willingness to let the ends justify the means. Disturbing particularly given the responsibilities to students’ safety claimed by Stokes herself. She claims that she takes student safety “most seriously” but it seems student rights rank much lower in her estimation. The College – embodied by the Senior Dean, College Secretary and the Provost in this case – cannot just ignore the actions of Stokes. She has set herself “above the law” in Trinity. College disciplinary procedures are in place to protect both the College and the student that they are initiated against. Due process, fairness and transparent judgements are caveat-free rights beholden to students. They cannot be abandoned to get a quick result, or at the whim of one person who feels that they know best. Abandoning these rights robs Stokes, and thus Trinity, of any moral authority in matters of student discipline. Allowing her to continue in her post would be an admission by this College that justice for students and their protection from reckless prosecution have become unimportant. In 1788, Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States and first Secretary of the Treasury, wrote that “To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the courts, it is indispensable that they should be bound down by strict rules and precedents, which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case that comes before them.” By acting outside the rules that should have bound her, it is Stokes, not any student, that has truly brought this College into disrepute. Gearóid O’Rourke is a regular contributor to Trinity News and was Editor of this newspaper from June 2007 to June 2008. He was awarded Journalist of the Year and Editor of the Year in the 2008 Irish Student Media Awards
SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD IN HIS column, Frank McNally fondly remembers Hugh Massignberg, who turned the obituary into an art form. “In his lexicography of coded terms, the description of someone as “convivial” indicated that the dearly departed had been an habitual drunk; a person who had “relished the cadences of the English language” was an insufferable windbag; and an “uncompromisingly direct ladies’ man” had probably been prone to exposing himself to women after a few drinks.” But it wasn’t only his use of understatement that attracted readers: “The unvarnished truth was popular too, as in this 1988 tribute to a London restaurateur (who had been famous for his conviviality): “Often he would pass out amid the cutlery before doing any damage, but occasionally he would cruise menacingly beneath the tables, biting unwary customers’ ankles””
BRITISH HONOURS FOR IRISH CITIZENS IN THE Irish Times, Tom Cooper firmly objects to the granting of British honours to Irish citizens. “To allow this situation to continue amounts to no less than a surrender of sovereign control over State ceremonial to our former colonial masters.” Simon Partridge of East Finchly retorts, “British citizens live in a constitutional monarchy and not a medieval state.” He goes on to say ,“This surely indicates not a surrender of Irish sovereignty, but rather recognises that both countries have entered an era of mutual respect.”
WHERE NOW FOR GUANTANAMO INTERNEES? AS THE American government prepares to shut their Guantanamo camp, Ireland has been asked if it would take some of the former prisoners. “This would be a logical consequence of this country’s call for that concentration camp to be shut down,” writes one contributor in the Examiner. “While cynics may suggest that the Americans should be left to solve the problem they created, this would only complicate and extend the problem. It would be a logical and humane move on our part, and would also be a friendly gesture towards the Americans, to whom this country has regularly turned in times of trouble.” In the same paper, Brian P. disagrees. “At present the country has serious economic difficulties and cannot afford any non-fee-paying guests or otherwise. Furthermore these detainees come from a culture in which there are elements seeking to take over the world. It would be foolish in the extreme to let such people put down roots in Ireland.” Meanwhile in the Irish Times, Paul Delaney wonders “Should the lucky individuals happen to land at Shannon, will they get a distinct sense of deja vu?”
INCREASED PRICE, IMPROVED EFFICIENCY? NOT SO, writes James Doorley in the Independent. “Surely increased revenue would lead to increased efficiency. Would this turn our quirky and muchloved Irish Rail into one of those clinical operations so prevalent on the continent? I needn’t have worried.” He describes his trip on the improved rail service. “Five minutes after the train was due, a muffled announcement was made. Iarnrod Eireann were apologising for the delay due to a points failure at Malahide. I breathed a sigh of relief when the announcer gave no indication of when the train was actually due. This unpredictability is what we cherish. The train finally trundled into the station 15 minutes late. And no harm. There’s too much rushing around in life as it is.”
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Hedonism of Tiger years leaves nasty hangover Debra Wigglesworth LIKE HER perma-tanned, acrylic nailed, Chloe bag and Jimmy Choo clad counterparts, Aisling got regrettably and irresponsibly, absolutely and unequivocally, “where am I and what’s my Christian name” drunk this New Year’s Eve. Awaking in a Febrezesmelling bed and turning slowly to avoid motion sickness, she sees the beefy beast that snared her last night - he is snoring and salivating all over her sun-shimmer streaked arm. Rather than wake the heaving creature Aisling would prefer to gnaw her own arm off. The urban legend of “coyote ugly” – finding yourself in the above situation and taking the latter option - applies uncannily to the situation Ireland as a nation finds itself in. We lived recklessly and hedonistically in the good old Celtic Tiger days. We made our money and we drank and we were merry. But now we collectively face the consequences of our binge. And the hangover is of biblical proportions.
You may have gathered that the Biffo administration is the ugly to Aisling’s coyote. We chose them during the drunken stupor of the Celtic Tiger days and now we are stuck in bed with them. The property boom was unsustainable. That was predictable to everyone, but the extent of the bust was not. The Economic & Social Research Institute’s recent report does not make cheerful reading. Our Gross National Product is forecast to contract by 4.6% in 2009 and the unemployment rate is estimated to exceed 10% by the end of 2009 forcing a projected 50,000 to have emigrated by April 2009. This predicted doom is set against the backdrop of a government planning a 3.5% pay rise for Government next September; an increase which the ESRI calculates is unaffordable. During the boom, economic growth was the bottom line for the government. Short-term speculative reward trumped sustainable growth of the country’s economic infrastructure. The country’s growth was the national manifestation of the ‘fur coat no knickers’ cliché.
Social and environmental planning was utterly neglected and abused by the government to the benefit of developers and bankers. Planning for a rainy day did not factor in government policy, and for that gross oversight, our health system, our education system and the private sector will pay. We could have been prepared for this downturn more so than any other country. Instead domestic economic recovery is at the mercy of a return of stability of international finance. The ESRI recommends that government policy be based on ensuring Ireland is as well placed as possible to participate in a global upturn when international economic decline ends. The government’s previous failures in planning in times of economic prosperity does not bode well for this aspiration. Before the Dáil rose for six weeks for the Christmas break we were presented with the Government’s plan for revival of economic growth in Ireland. At best we were presented with a list of distant aspirations. The government want to make Ireland the leading location for
business and innovation and a world centre for research and development. The headline for this plan is “Building Ireland’s Smart Economy: A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal”. The jargon-rich aspiration soundbite nature of their plan does little to ease the immediate and real worry of those about the security of their jobs or businesses. Where’s the leadership and coherence that is urgently needed from the government? Brian Cowen persists in insulting the people of Ireland with incoherence in his policies and in his communication. It appears, that he, more than most is suffering the effects of the boom-time hangover, slurring and blurring his words with bombast and tautology. Brian Lenihan proselytises on Morning Ireland about the need to tighten our belts and yet in the next breath implores people to spend more this Christmas. We as a nation need conviction and action and more than anything we need a clear short- to medium-term plan to send Ireland in a new direction. This is an opportunity to reform the public sector - privatise
unnecessary semi-state assets, freeze pay and cut wanton spending. The absolute incompetence of the Financial Regulator given our present banking crisis, raises serious questions about how many other quangos are equally useless. The Lisbon Treaty is another example of incoherence by the government. The Yes campaign was a complete disaster by a government who were out of touch with the people to an insulting extent. Spoiled by the grace and hope inspired by Barack Obama, perhaps to ask for charisma from our Taoiseach is unrealistic or unfair. But it is clear to me that the line between chutzpah and churlishness was long ago crossed. The people of Ireland need a map out of this crisis. A coherent, well thought out plan would breed not only some security in the public conscience but also hope. A new direction for Ireland with emphasis in the long-term on sustainable economic, social and environmental growth and in the shortterm prioritising the education system, the health system, job security and job
creation. We will never return to the days of the property boom. But that is not such a bad thing when we look at where it has brought us. The bravado of the Celtic Tiger was transient and glib but the bravery that will emerge in these times of adversity is what could make Ireland a great nation. As Bill Cullen would say it is a time for “liathroidi”. Maybe the Celtic Tiger is gone, but the Celtic Warrior is something inherent in all of us. Adversity can bring out the best about being Irish... or at least what is Irish about being Irish. One thing to believe in is the quality of our education system. We remain extremely attractive to foreign investors as a result of our bright young workforce. In the knowledge economy it is within our grasp to become the leading innovators of the world but this will not come to fruition without the conviction and clarity of our government in dealing with the short-term problems. The Celtic Tiger is dead and gone. We now await the Government’s coherent plan for the New Year... or at least some Alka-Seltzer for Aisling.
HEAD TO HEAD: TRINITY’S COBBLESTONES
“AN INCONVENIENCE TO EVERYDAY LIFE” ORLAITH FOLEY WITH CATHAL REILLY
FOR SOME, they symbolise the important history behind Trinity’s settling in Ireland. Others see them as an aesthetic asset, without which Trinity’s popularity with tourists would be damaged. The ladies reading this will, most likely, forever remember them as the curse that prevents them from getting across Front Square in the normal two minutes due to the thigh-hardening heels we wear strapped to our feet and for some they are the physical barrier that creates an ever-present inconvenience to everyday life as a Trinity student. Yes, the cobbles of Front Square have impacted on most Trinity students’ lives, But for some, this impact has become more than just that. Recently, they have given rise to the debate on accessibility. As a result of this, the “Cobble Reduction Programme” was given the task of deciding the future of Front Square and her cobbles. There are many strong arguments that people have about such a programme coming into existence, but why would you dare rid Trinity of her cobbles, some ask? The arguments against the plans of the Cobble Reduction Programme are supported by a number of points: the historical value of Trinity and her physical beauty, the aesthetics of putting in accessible pathways zig-zagging through Front Square, and that there are plenty of other entrances into campus so there is little need to make the way to Front Arch another route. Interestingly enough, the cobbles of Front Square are no older than any of our Grandparents, having been laid down less than sixty years ago. Surely, any argument for the historic tradition of cobbles in Front Square can be immediately refuted on this point. Secondly, to look at this from a legal perspective, the Disabilities Act of 2005 requires that, where practicable, all public access areas should be universally accessible. As we are all aware if we have seen a wheelchair attempting to cross
Front Square – especially on those wet or icy mornings – Front Square in her current state most certainly does not accommodate all. As your elected Students’ Union representatives, we see it as of the utmost importance that we make our campus welcome not for some but for all. And now for all of those who have been led to believe that the Cobble Reduction Programme would result in Front Square resembling some sort of concrete path maze, I shall give you a brief summary of what is in store for Front Square’s makeover. The case was made several years ago to lay paths across Front Square to make the Square universally accessible. The Physical Access Working Group and the Site and Facilities Committee gave birth to what I have already referred to, the Cobble Reduction Programme. Under this programme, a number of designs were proposed for planning permission to Dublin City Council. One design of diagonal paths across the square to the western flanks of the GMB and the Old Library from the top of Front Square, the case for which is strong as it allows equal access for those walking and those in wheelchairs, was rejected as is was said to be disruptive to the character of Front Square. Instead, conditional planning permission has been granted for a layout of straight paths on and around the square with a pathway also between the Campanile and Front Arch. The paths will be made up of granite-type cobbles, similar to what is currently in place but square and with a smoother surface. However, the exact nature of the stone to be used has yet to be finalised. The fact remains that the new paths will have a cobbled effect, and for those that see the removal of some cobbles from Front Square as a complete aesthetic travesty, perhaps this will ease their despondency. In this author’s opinion, the ability for all to traverse Front Square equally is of far greater importance than her visual beauty. Soon will be the day that those walking, in wheelchairs and even those of us who have suffered at the plight of Front Square ruining the heels of our shoes, will be able to cross the square together. Orlaith Foley is the Students’ Union Welfare Officer
“THE COBBLESTONES MUST STAY” KIERA HEALY THE NEWS that the iconic cobblestones of Front Square are to be removed in the name of accessibility is the latest in a long line of blows to Trinity’s heritage. With students already relegated from the attractive buildings of the squares to the concrete monstrosities on the outskirts of campus, and with more empty beds on campus than ever – due not to lack of demand but rather to college inefficiency – we have to wonder: where will it end? When will Trinity as we know it disappear beyond all recognition? It may seem churlish to complain about a plan designed to make things easier for the disabled. But the redevelopment of Front Square is sure to be as costly and inefficient as most of college’s other recent schemes. Furthermore, one has to consider the fact that Front Square is no longer really for the students: nearly all the buildings around the picturesque part of Trinity have been given over for administrative purposes. It’s hard to see exactly who benefits from this plan. It is true that disabled students should have the same right as the rest of us to avail of the services of House 6 – but even with an accessible path through the cobblestones, they will still only be able to visit the shop or buy a Student Travelcard, but the society and Students’ Union rooms above the ground floor remain inaccessible. This move, therefore, is an inefficient solution to the problem. If the question is about access to buildings like the Examination Hall, it seems irrelevant – there are already plenty of accessible rooms for examinations to take place, such as the Chamber of the Graduates’ Memorial Building, which is served by a wheelchair lift. Bigger obstacles, like steps – which are rather more difficult to make wheelchairfriendly – prevent disabled students from being able to enter the Dining Hall, College Chapel or Examination Hall with ease; one can hardly blame the cobblestones for this.
It would be quite a different story if the buildings of Front Square were being used regularly by all students, but the sad fact is that they are not: over the last few years, college has worked to steadily erode the student presence in Front Square. The current situation is that the largelyinaccessible House 6 is the only student building left in the area (along with the limited accommodation of the square – most of which is inaccessible due to stairs anyway; there is accessible accommodation provided elsewhere for disabled students who require it). The reason why this is not an issue which most students can get behind is simply because there does not seem to be a need for it. It is perfectly easy to go through the four years of your degree hardly ever setting foot in Front Square – and I doubt it’s a case of the food in the Buttery being so good that people are crying out to get it. What, then, will this nonsensical plan achieve? All it seems to do is strip Trinity of a little more of its heritage. Sure, the cobblestones are inconvenient, slippery, and near-impossible to traverse in heels. Yes, there are Facebook groups set up to complain about how hard they are to cross when drunk. The fact remains, however, that they are a huge part of what makes Trinity College what it is. Why do tourists linger so long in Front Square? Because Trinity College, cobblestones and all, is an enduring icon of Dublin. The more we allow college administration and bureaucracy to take over our campus, the less of Trinity’s character we retain. It’s not as if keeping the cobblestones will result in all disabled people being effectively banned from our college: the Arts Block, Hamilton, libraries, 24-hour reading room, and other important academic facilities remain completely accessible, as they should be. But there are times when we need to reach a compromise, and this is one of them. The massive cost of removing the cobbles, just to allow a small number of people access to buildings that the vast majority of students never even use, cannot be justified. Let’s preserve Trinity’s past, and protect our heritage from the constant onslaught of bureaucracy: the cobblestones must stay. Kiera Healy is the Registrar of the University Philosophical Society.
Green lobby bears increasing resemblance to cult Environmentalism has abandoned the scientific approach in favour of setting itself up as a new religious order, according to Hugo O’Doherty THE QUESTION of climate change has been, and justifiably continues to be, one of the foremost global issues of our day. That it is being asked is commendable, but how it is being addressed is lamentable. The global green movement has unnecessarily, and perhaps destructively, taken upon itself the traits of a religion: faith, original sin, Armageddon, one true path, evangelism. This is no birthmark of the cause, neither is it a necessary development to achieve the objective of a safer, more secure, and viable existence on this earth. Rather, it an affectation that serves no valuable purpose to anyone. It has become the case that one is “converted” to the “truth” of environmentalism. Somehow, environmentalism has entered the
mixed bag of world religions. To adhere to the view that climate change is occurring due to human activity requires the expectation and belief that the scientific community is both competent and scrupulous, assuming of course that one is not a scientist working in this field. To assert that the pervading, almost universal, position among the scientific community is indeed not the case would require either mass incompetence or conspiracy among the community as a whole. This latter point of view is highly unlikely. Most people, including myself, do not have the training or instruments needed to speak authoritatively for or against the empirical truth of man-
made climate change. As a result, non-scientists ought to consider the political, legislative, and ethical aspects of the debate, but many seem loath to do so, preferring instead to regurgitate a set of figures and hypotheses that they have read or heard from authority figures to back their arguments. It is at this juncture that the green movement, a noble concern for the general well being of the planet, sadly takes on the lineaments of a religion. The first religious characteristic of the new religiosity of environmentalism is the idea of original sin. This is similar to the Christian doctrine of original sin, which says that as a result of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, humanity is in a fallen state, and can only be saved by God’s grace. In the case of the new Green original sin, we are to feel guilty for our very existence because existence necessarily pollutes. This notion was brought home to me recently by a singer-songwriter who introduced a song at a show by saying that the song was about how the world would have been better off if we had
never existed. How can this viewpoint possibly be justified? This self-loathing and the desire for this whole exercise of life itself to be over is overtly religious when taken in the context of the three great monotheistic religions, and has no grounding in the empirical and reasoned findings of those who provide the main investigative work on this issue. The religious zeal of contemporary environmentalism promotes the idea of punishment for sinning against the planet itself. Visions of apocalyptic destruction of the planet, the anger of Earth flogging and whipping her inhabitants for their maltreatment via an attack of droughts, floods, and tidal waves are put forward by everyone except those who we ought to be listening to, namely scientists working in this area. Who is the main figurehead of the global green movement? Al Gore - a politician, not a scientist. If we are to believe things on the basis of evidence, but we can’t ourselves provide the evidence, we really ought to look to science first. A central tenet to most organised
religion is that the given faith is the one true path; the only way to salvation. Rather than point out the joys of positive salvation, most evangelism takes the form of exhibiting the scenario should one reject the faith or disappoint the deity. This tactic plays upon an individual’s fear to sway them to the faith. Similarly, the case for counteracting global warming is usually couched in terms of what may or will happen should we fail to recycle our bin-liners or reuse our tea-bags. It would be far more beneficial to frame the case by showing how counteracting global warming can be economically and culturally beneficial if it is done in the right way. It would seem to be the case that what ought to be a reasoned and secular movement has taken on the moniker of a religion because many of its adherents are so culturally ingrained with the traits of religious society that they don’t know how to do any different. When the slaves of Sicily rose up in rebellion against their Roman masters towards the end of the second century
B.C., they adopted the Roman form of government with its magistracies and customs, even though it was this system that had subjugated them for so long, presumably because, despite their benevolent and crucial intentions, they knew no better. Similarly, the green movement has to shake off the shackles of its own self-imposed religiosity before it can successfully achieve its allimportant aims. Religion rests upon a substantial guilt trip; your imperfection compared with God’s perfection, the filth of your body, and your soul which is awash with sin. The guilt of existence itself is the trip that Green religion sends us on. A movement that was established on the principles of evidence, science, and ethics has thrown these principles away in favour of blind faith in its convictions and hysteria. The new environmentalism can have zero positive effect on its main goals: to point out the apparent empirical veracity of man-made climate change, and to then do something about it. It’s time for the Green agenda to return to its roots in scientific method and reason.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
TRINITY NEWS Issue 6, Volume 55 Tuesday, 13 January 2009 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 www.trinitynews.ie
TRINITY’S SPORTING EMBARRASMENT THE SPORTING grounds at Santry are an embarrasment to Trinity. “Out of sight, out of mind” seems to be the policy adopted towards Santry, and towards the sporting men and women who wish they could enjoy their time there. For those of our readership who have not visited Santry before, which, given the conditions can only be presumed to be the majority, here follows a description. The journey from Trinity to the grounds is of a length that is signficant when you’ve got traffic to contend with – as is the case for those going to training after hours. The desolation of the area, mostly industrial parks and warehouse-sized Aldis, is oddly appropriate to the windswept desolation of the area of Trinity’s lot given to sport. Driving in, one is made feel most unwelcome before even exiting the vehicle, as the car park is so pot-holed as to resemble a testing circuit for Land Rovers. The facilities in the way of changing rooms or a clubhouse are optimistic at best. By all appearances, uncounted years have passed since the building has been given even a lick of paint - in stark contrastt to the cosy facilities beneath the Pav, which is soon to be upgraded at considerable expense. Small chance of any of the hundreds of thousands of euro earmarked for that project ever making its way out to the northside; Santry doesn’t make money, and so, it seems, can never hope to attract any. Looming over this sadly dilapidated spectacle is the Library’s book depository, itself hardly a model of good upkeep. The rooftop appears to have been commandeered by teenagers, judging by the grafitti and empty cans visible even from below. Most players observed this weekend shrewdly, if wearily, arrived dressed for the day’s activity. The idea of ordinary students coming out to support our sporting teams is a noble one, but one which feels a long way away from becoming reality. In fact, it is apparent that a sort of vicious cycle is in effect. Students have little incentive to traipse out to Santry to offer their support, when that very support would buoy a team. Similarly, even our own players’ incentive to attend Santry for training and matches is reduced by the poor quality of the facilities; and then their team-mates who do show are less likely to attend next time, if they suspect they will face a situation in which they cannot field a full squad. Santry’s lack of suitability cannot be escaped when visiting it. Players last weekend didn’t even bother with the facilties there, instead just piling into cars to escape straight after play. If our own players just want to get away from the grounds in Santry, what hope is there of supporters ever wanted to attend?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
LETTERS TO THE Editor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. The Editor reserves the right to edit submissions for style and length. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Trinity News, its staff or its Editor.
Don’t breed support for dissidents IT WAS with a considerable measure of disgust and disappointment that I read Ronan Costello’s article in the University Record on 19/11/08. I find it offensive and worrying that such an unapologetic glorification of violence is still given a platform more than ten years after the Belfast Agreement. On the political status of prisoners during The Troubles, Mr. Costello seems to have missed Mrs. Thatcher’s point. Not only would political status have excused the actions of these terrorists and belittled the suffering of their victims, it would have also gone some way in legitimizing the republican movement. By granting political status, the British government would have been conceding de facto, if not de jure, recognition of the Provisional IRA and INLA as legitimate forces with which the UK was at “war”. Mrs. Thatcher was understandably avoiding such an interpretation of the conflict. Moreover, loyalist paramilitaries had their political status revoked as well; this was not an attack on republicans alone but on the plight of terrorism in Northern Ireland. Not only did Mr. Costello try to justify violence as a means to an end, he made some ill-informed and wide-sweeping remarks. First of all, in reference to the Provisional IRA’s use of violence, he asks, “When faced with the reality, an unmoving British government, what other choice did they have?” I wouldn’t have considered the British government to be unmoving. Is he forgetting the deployment of troops (initially welcomed by Catholics) in 1969 to ease tensions, the proroguing of the failed Unionist administration in 1972 and the attempts at power-sharing as early as 1974? The Unionist governments at Stormont
before 1972 were unreservedly sectarian and I shall not attempt to justify this. The Catholic community in Northern Ireland, however, never sought to destroy this system by violence. In fact, in the 1950s the IRA border campaign garnered little, if any, public support. The fact is that the IRA, and later the Provisional IRA, rode on the coat tails of the Civil Rights Movement but never in its thirty years of violence did it have the support of the majority of Catholics. In short, its actions were without mandate. Therefore, regardless of their motives, these actions were unjustified. Mr. Costello incorrectly states that “a united Ireland was the sole goal of the republican movement...” This is untrue. The republican movement not only sought an end to Northern Ireland’s position within the UK but the dismantling of the constitutional structure of the Republic, to be replaced, according to some, by a loose, Marxist federacy of the four provinces. Furthermore, it was mooted in drafts of Sinn Féin’s Scenario for Peace (1987) that Unionists unable to accept a united Ireland could be repatriated (presumably to somewhere they are not from). Such a policy, if published, would have had little support among mainstream nationalists. While Britain’s “claim” to the North is often disputed, Mr. Costello contradicts himself somewhat in saying that Britain had no “real claim to the North” while praising the Old IRA for achieving the Free State under an agreement which effectively created partition. The position of the North has been reaffirmed by successive Irish governments through the Anglo-Irish Agreement 1985, The Belfast Agreement 1998 and the amendment of articles
2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution. Violence should not be permitted to overturn such an established consensus. In addition, the Provisional IRA did nothing to bring the British government to the negotiating table as Mr. Costello so claims. It was actually the good work of John Hume that brought Sinn Féin into the negotiations, much to the displeasure of some in the British government and factions within his own party. While opposed to Bobby Sands’ ideology, I do admit that his sacrifice was, in some respects, admirable and those of similar views will wish to remember him. I do, however, warn against the dangers of romanticizing a bloody conflict which was both costly and pointless. The violence wasn’t a means to and end because the end was not achieved. Did the Provisional IRA honestly believe that it could militarily defeat a well-funded and well-trained national army? Did it equally believe that it could bomb Unionists into changing their minds about the relationship with Britain? I doubt many republicans would be so eager to praise the violence of 9/11 or 7/7 as a means to an end. There is, however, a new generation of republicans who wish to cling to stories of the past and, without any direct experience of The Troubles, glorify such violence as the “good fight”. During The Troubles the Provisional IRA killed 1821 people, 621 of whom were civilians. Somehow, this aspect of republicanism is being overlooked. We need to be careful about justifying violence in these early years of peace. We don’t want to breed potential support for the already strong dissident groups. Shane Quinn JS Law & French
A dry well, if not dry Commons
FINANCIAL QUESTIONS MOST PRESSING OF ALL THE RECENT questions raised around payment of bonuses and renumeration to some of Trinity’s top professors and staff must be regarded seriously. The situation is now unaccepably opaque, and the onus now lies on both Trinity and the HEA, not discounting the Oireachtas committee investigating the issue, to clarify satisfactorily the arrangements. This requirement could not be more timely given the foremost role that money has had in the news surrounding education for at least the last twelve months. It started with the university heads’ assertion that larger salaries were required to attract the level of talent required to run our third-level institutions to the desired standard. This was particularly shrewdly analysed by one letter-writer to the Irish Times, who at the time inferred that if salaries for university heads were not sufficient for the calibre of leaders required, the current university heads taking home those insufficient salaries must, by their own admission, not be at the level of talent being discussed. Of course, this is a simplistic, if not irreverent argument, but it revealed the deep-seated cynicism that the public have for the monetary hardships that those on top salaries bemoan. And this was all before financial matters in education became the top topic of discussion after the budget, driving students from all three levels of education onto the streets in opposition to threats to class sizes, grants for transition year, and the reintroduction of fees. For all these reasons, the questions raised by this story require the clearest and timeliest of anwsers. Every student who is concerned about their financial situation; whether their registration fee growing by 66%, the possibility of fees returning, the funding available to their department – even the possibility of their course being cut entirely, as Music and Music Technology has been, has an entitlement to have the renumeration provided to those taking those decisions explained in the most expedient fashion.
Sráid Thobar Phadraig: the Irish name of Nassau Street refers to Trinity’s own Holy Well. Photo: Martin McKenna LOOKING THROUGH the railings at the entrance to college on Nassau Street one can see, below street level, what looks like a gated doorway leading under the road. This is St Patrick’s Well, Trinity College’s own “holy well”. Holy wells – outdoor centres of popular piety – were hugely popular in Ireland in previous centuries, and St Patrick’s Well was once frequented by large crowds on March 17th. Nassau Street itself was called St Patrick’s Well Lane until it was renamed (after the royal house of Nassau) in the 1700s. The name in Irish continues to be Sráid Thobar Phádraig, as street signs attest. The oldest mention of a well in the area is in a 12th century Life of St Patrick. The author refers to a “fountain of St Patrick” existing in Dublin. The Life says that St Patrick, in the manner of Moses in Exodus, struck a rock with his staff. The rock then “flowed forth abundant waters”. In 1592, when Trinity College was founded, the description of property granted to the new college defined the southern border as “the lane that leads to St Patrick’s Well to the south of the monastery”. It was around this time that the St Patrick’s Well’s popularity among Dubliners was at its height, and a dismissive English writer in around 1610 left us an account of devotions at the well. On St Patrick’s Day, he wrote, “the water is more holy than it is all the year after, or else the inhabitants of Dublin are more foolish upon this day than they be all the year after.” On that day, he wrote, “thither they will run by heaps, men, women and children, and there, first performing certain superstitious
OLD TRINITY by PETER HENRY
ceremonies, they drink of the water”. At the end of that century, a story goes, frogs were introduced to Ireland at St Patrick’s Well. A doctor, “a very good protestant ... to show his zeal against popery”, allegedly brought frog spawn from Liverpool and deposited it in the well. In 1729 the well ran dry, inspiring Jonathan Swift to write his satirical poem On the sudden drying up of St Patrick’s Well, near Trinity College, Dublin. “Here, from the neighbouring nursery of arts/The students, drinking, raised their wit and parts” he wrote. Public pressure led Dublin Corporation to restore the flow of water to the well two years later. While the opening underneath the Nassau Street entrance currently claims the title of St Patrick’s Well, and has done so for quite some time, it is unlikely to be very same well which has such an interesting history. Several sites along Nassau Street have claimed to be the well of pilgrimage of 400 years ago, with that at the Arts Building entrance being the latest. Early Dublin maps place St Patrick’s Well nearer to what is now Lincoln Place. The renovation of the Provost’s House Stables has led to increased and easier access to the well, and a new publication, The Provost’s House Stables: Building and Environs, contains
an excellent investigation into the history of the well by Dr Rachel Moss. NJD WHITE’S Some Recollections of Trinity College, Dublin, published in 1935, contains an interesting description of the beer served at Commons when he was a sizar in 1879. “The beverage supplied,” he tells us, “other than water, was a light beer, brewed at a special brewery in Rathdowney. It was the fashion to rail at this beer; but I believe it was then, as now, quite good light beer.” Hinkson, in 1892, says it was “an attenuated small beer, peculiar to college.” Today it is draught Guinness which is grudgingly provided to those dining in hall. Can anyone provide evidence for the story that this Guinness is paid for by a fund of some kind? The first and second earls of Iveagh, Edward and Rupert Guinness, who served successively as chancellors of the University of Dublin, were generous with benefactions, so there may be truth to the story. PARENTS ARE generous on the day of Commencements, but warn them against any temptation to buy the graduates’ scarf currently available in college for a preposterous price. This item resembles a tea towel more than a scarf. A graduates’ scarf in these colours (black, red, green and light blue – the colours of the TCD Association) is available in traditional two-ply wool for half the price from Ryder and Amies of Cambridge. email@example.com
BUSINESS & CAREERS
FINAL DAYS OF INTERNSHIPS AS THE New Year begins and students return to academic drudgery after the festive period, thoughts longingly turn to the summer. Many, no doubt, will head stateside on a J1 Visa or discover the far-flung regions of Europe and Asia but for some an internship could just be the ticket. Internships are periods of work experience in the professional world and are an opportunity to gain some real experience in your chosen field of expertise. Internships take place in many firms all over the world, particularly in the United Kingdom, Europe and America. Foreign internships are a great combination of travelling abroad and work experience, offering not only a holiday but an opportunity to develop your skills and experience a new culture and way of life. Employers tend to recruit graduates who have relevant experience in their profession, who
There are some that pay a wage whilst others don’t; some may require you to fund living expenses whilst others provide benefits such as meal vouchers have amassed some valuable life experience partaking in volunteer work or travelling and who demonstrate a maturity in coping with the stresses of professional life. Internships or volunteering for charity organizations are great methods of boosting the impression your CV makes on your prospective employer and benefitting you in a myriad of different life enhancing ways! Different internships have different stipulations; there are some that may pay a wage whilst others may not. Others may require you to fund all personal living expenses, whilst some may provide benefits such as meal vouchers. Many require applicants to be either recent graduates or third and fourth year students but may also accept applications from freshmen. It is often advisable to directly contact the person in charge of recruitment to fully clarify the application requirements. Other factors such as acquiring a visa and background checks may also be important. The application process can be tiresome, there are many that require online application forms, which can be several web pages long, requiring detailed information and convincing original personal statements. Finally there may be two rounds of interviews, which may be done over the phone, especially if you are applying for an internship abroad. It is useful to update your CV and practice interview techniques with friends or arrange a meeting with your Careers Advisor. Many internships will be closing their application dates soon so it is essential to decide which, where and when you will do your internship. For more information go to the Careers Advisory Service or go online at www.tcd.ie/careers. Other websites such as www.internships.com and www. internabroad.com provide valuable information to budding interns.
Location Ireland UK UK UK Ireland UK Abroad Ireland Abroad UK UK UK UK Ireland Ireland Position Extreme Blue Corporate Banking Finance Summer Internship EMEA Summer Analyst Internships Internships Internships Internships Internships Internships Internships Pharmaceutical Marketing Quantitive Summer Summer Internship Summer Internships Companies IBM Royal Bank of Scotland AkzoNobel Credit Suisse First Boston Google Data Internships United Nations Ombudsman Hilton Hotel Global Policy Forum ICAP Fidelity International GlaxoSmithKline Credit Suisse Shell L’Oreal
POCKET GUIDE TO INTERNSHIP CLOSING DATES
Closing date 27/02/09 11/01 31/01 23/01 28/02 27/02 18/01 01/03 01/02 31/01 31/01 09/02 23/01 31/01 31/01
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Money: the easy way out Darragh McCashin investigates the many ways to beat the penny pinching after a pricey festive season. Alternatives abound for the open minded and courageous student.
TARTED COLLEGE? Starting college? Taken a year out? No matter what your situation, money is most likely going to be of utmost importance to you, especially with the unpredictability of student life. There are obvious ways of going about creating an income for oneself, i.e. getting a bloody job! However that is not to say it is as straight-forward as that, likewise, that is not to say that there are not alternative ways of keeping your bank account reasonably healthy-looking. Let us take a look at both ways of doing so to get you out there fully prepared. Parents out there who are considerate enough to supplement their offspring with funding usually have a limit (I say usually, this is not a rant about spoilt students!), which is why many students define their income as what they earn themselves and whatever they can get
Call Centres and promotional work are often dismissed but in fact pay extremely well. from the hierarchy. Living at home, where possible of course, obviously makes sounder economic sense compared to leaving and the endless expenses involved, yet that doesn’t stop the demand for cash. Without doubt , the part-time job is your ‘‘bread ‘n’ butter’’, not least because you will, sooner rather than later, have a job that is your only source of income. Firstly, as everybody should know, a CV (curriculum-vitae) should be created with all the trimmings. Popular student jobs include work in shops, bars, sales, call-centres and so on. So how do you get one? It is common knowledge that the best way to go about this is to walk straight in and confidently speak with the manager. One remembers a face more than a random envelope or email. It is also the quickest way to get things moving. The method of email/phone/ post is still commonplace nonetheless. Using internet sites such as www.nixers. ie in addition to companies internet sites (checking the vacancies option; for example, look at www.meteor.ie) to find potential work is crucial. Take a look at the links on the ‘Nixers’ site as well for other sites and help with CV
construction. There is reason to be wary about where you decide you would like to work though. Stereotypically speaking, the girlygirl might favour working in her favourite clothes shop whilst the machoguy would prefer to be a trendy barman. Be careful. The up-market clothes/music shop is quite used to this character of job-seeker and will have no problem filling vacancies, which sometimes leads to exploitation. Unsociable hours and mediocre pay in a hectic environment is what many experience: this goes some way towards explaining why students move between part-time work so often. University experts frequently bemoan students working because there is little point in the student turning up for labs at 9am if they were working in a bar till 4am just to fund their party lifestyle. If such a student fails exams, this question becomes even more relevant. This is why it is worthwhile to devote some time to thinking about your desired source of part-time income. On a more positive note, part-time work offers the opportunity to make friends outside the bubble that is the college community. It establishes genuine links within society at large which is not often thought of as signifigant by students because, well, they are students! If you attend college away from your own area, it can help re-establish a role for you within your suburb and its people. Also, if you are astute enough about it, you can develop your career and CV with your work. For example, if you are doing a business-related course, perhaps doing some office work is better than stacking shelves? Perhaps working with children is better than pulling pints if you’re doing education? Especially if you consider that the day will arrive where your full-time employer is asking if you have any experience in an environment related to your desired job? Any? So how are you meant to find the suitable job? The issue here is that it depends very much on circumstances. This includes: how many hours you have to spare which depends on your timetable. Many students fall into the trap of recognizing that they only have 25 (or much more/less) hours per week and cut out study time, family time, exercise time, rest time, to name but a few. There are plenty of jobs out there that many would not initially consider.
Photo: Jason Meredith
Call-centre work and promotional work is usually dismissed as a potential job. Have you seen the rates of pay? €11-€13 per hour for call-centers with flexible hours including evening work, commission and opportunities to interact with customers. Promotional campaigns, albeit irregular, pay very well. Drink companies pay up to 20euro per hour. Getting involved with organizations with good reputations is invaluable. ‘Marks & Spencers’ and ‘Superquinn’ provide good-paying opportunities and chances to work as part of a team. Compare this to the more traditionally obvious jobs - sweaty bar work or exploitative high-street shops- and you see the point. A wise way of going about things is to keep a routine where you include everything that, at the end of the day, is important. Yes, that includes family time, study time and everything else. Maybe one night a week for going out, but that can change. It’s all about self-control. Keep a savings account so when there’s a busy week, you can allow yourself to go out more and most likely, spend more because you have savings from quieter weeks. You can top up your savings with clever income methods. Have you ever thought about the following nifty sources? www.movieextras.ie : Sign up for one year for 70euro (approx.) and receive offers to be in advertising, films, TV shows and radio. Example: for standing in front of a camera for 2 hours, you could get 80eur, which is what many earn in a day. For one big commercial: Pay could go up to 500eur daily.
www.irishopinions.ie: Instead of looking at Bebo, take a survey. They pay you to do each one. It may not be a lot but as they build up, you’ll suddenly have 10eur vouchers for HMV, Amazon and Tesco. The student in dire need of funding couldn’t say no to this. To steal a saying, ‘Every little helps’! Beats Bebo
With a pinch of cleverness and a touch of ambition you are ready to start earning quizzes anyway. Last but not least, here is a secret. Within every university, usually in medicine, psychology and physiotherapy departments, there are notice-boards. On these, are requests from researchers for your time, it could be one hour, maybe more. They pay anywhere from 10eur upwards to sit there and let people examine you. It could be to take a survey, a bone scan, test a computer application, anything! These projects go on all the time. This is a fantastic way of spending those big gaps between lectures. If you do one three times a week, then you have over 30eur that you weren’t planning for. Remember that savings account? It all builds up. Everything advised and suggested here is easy-to-understand. The only thing you need to do is sit down and make a rough plan and you are ready to start earning wisely.
Are the Irish banks safe now? Aisling Deng investigates the current crisis surrounding the all important issue of Irish finanical services. What is to be done at this late stage if we are to salvage any shred of economic dignity? AS WE start the New Year we’re only beginning to comprehend the extent of the global credit crunch and the ensuing recession. Specifically, are we seeing the end of the Irish banks? Share prices are small percentage of what they were only a year ago now! Does this reflect simple confidence in the banks or the reality of the situation? When we come out of the credit crunch will the banks still be the same? And most importantly, has the government done enough to save our beloved banks? What the government is doing? After months of speculation and pressure, on the evening of 21 December 2008 the Irish government announced a €5.5 billion recapitalisation (some might say “bailout”) of the three major Irish banks - AIB, Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank. This is the second major move by the government to restore confidence in the financial services sector and comes after its move in September to guarantee all deposits and debts of the major banks for a period of two years. The recapitalisation
will be in the form of perpetual preference shares (securities than rank higher than ordinary shares but lower than debt) which counts as core tier 1 and carry voting rights (a measure of solvency for banks). Anglo Irish Bank, arguably the most needy and controversial will receive €1.5 billion and pay 10% (€150 million) in annual dividend to the government. In return, the government will effectively control Anglo with 75% of the voting rights. Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland and AIB will receive €2 billion each in a similar deal and pay a dividend of 8% (€160 million annual dividend) but the government will only get 25% of the voting rights in these two banks. In addition to these measures, the banks are also encouraged to raise a further €1 billion a piece from to improve its capital adequacy even further. This is an extremely interesting move by the government and the terms of the deal appears to be more positive when compared to similar deals provided by other governments. Does this mean the government did not get a good deal? Have
they mortgaged the country’s future? Are these measures enough? These are all questions we are asking ourselves and the truth is, only time will tell. One thing we do know for certain now is that these measures will improve the financial positions of our banks but it is by no means a magical solution that solves all their problems. Post the recapitalisation, Anglo Irish’s core tier 1 ratio will improve to about 7.7% (6% pre-recapitalisation) while Bank of Ireland and AIB’s will improve to 7.9% (6.1%) and 7.8% (6.4%), respectively, according to estimates by major investment banks. Though this is an improvement it still lags behind other major international banks which have gone a lot further to ensure they have adequate resources to deal with the challenging times ahead of us. The fact the government is encouraging the banks to raise further capital indicate it is only really a “stop gap” measure. What difference will this make? This recapitalisation most importantly ensures the viability (they won’t go down yet) of the country’s major banks and shows the emphasis the government is placing on the role these institutions play in our economy (obvious I suppose). But politically it shows the lack of authority and negotiation ability of the government, especially when they are resorting to “encouraging” rather than “demanding” changes and action from the banks which before the recapitalisation were seriously flirting with insolvency. In
truth one of the main reasons it stayed afloat for so long is the steadfast support and guarantees of yours truly, the government! Though the bank’s shareholders have avoided a straight dilution at least for now and thus clear winners in this round (they remain the ordinary shareholders and have upside optionality should markets recover), this may be a small consolation in the grand scheme of things as most importantly these measures are just not enough to restore stability in the long-term. What does it mean for the tax payers? The recapitalisation has simply increased the tax payer’s exposure to the fortunes (perhaps more likely misfortunes) of the banks. Not only are we in line to guarantee all the deposits and loans of the banks, we have doubled down like good old riverboat gamblers hoping for the best! The punchline is unlike all the other governments that have injected money into their respective banks, the tax payer is not going to see much upside except the satisfaction of bringing banks back to their glory! So is the government being prudent? Are they really helping the banks and the economy or just doing the bare minimum to satisfy public opinion and keeping the boat afloat? Do Mr Cowen and Mr Lenihan have what it takes to get us out of this recession? Will they do the right thing when they need to do it? Will they make the tough decisions? To an extent, unless we want to emigrate, our fate is in their hands! Watch this space...
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thrie wa CHARLES CLAUDE Gu ad onto the side of grafting one dog’s he in g. ed ed ce suc , 08 19 in n-made two-headed do ng the world’s first ma t the tha so ck ne the another’s neck, creati of se was sewn on at the ba ve The transplanted head imacy in what must ha chin – an illusion of int to in ssed pa d ha e tim ch mu two heads were ch fortunately too Un e. nc ste exi d ed ed tor ain res str been a very circulation was and the moment that ing d ad ed he ord be rec the ie n thr ee betw ction – Gu ad to regain much fun s, for the transplanted he ion and nostril twitche act ntr co pil pu eye as h suc s exe its er refl aft some basic y brain-dead ad was almost certainl but the transplanted he itation. twenty minutes of decap
CAN MAGNETIC FIELDS COMMUNE WITH GOD?
DR MICHAEL Persinger (1945-) is a cognitive neuroscience research er working at Laurentian University in Canada . In the 1980s Persinger designed and built the “God Helmet”, a dev ice ce that aimed to stimulate a religious epiphany in the wearer. The God Helm lme ett apparatus was essentially a mod ified snowmobile helmet that indu ced complex magnetic fields in the righ t hemisphere of the wearer’s brai n. Persinger enthusiastically tried the helmet out on volunteers, and repo rted that 80% of his subjects experie nced some kind of religious pres ence in the room, described normally to be e either God or a dead person that the subject had known. Recently, in 2004 a grou ectt p of Swedish researchers attempt ed to o replicate Persinger’s experiments but fond none of the miraculous effects that had originally been claimed. Pers hat inger took issue with these Swedish attem mpt stating that they “don’t replicate pts, ss, it, not even close”.
LECTURE Y Z Z A N S Y B D E L O ng: PERTS FO
ew all alo ow what we all kn ct just goes to sh mething in fe ef so t x Fo ou ab DR lk E ta TH sically, if you Ba . ow sh e you’re talking th at t th It’s all abou won’t notice ce en di au ur yo y, an interesting wa t ish. logical experimen complete gibber me from a psycho na ld its na s Do ke . ta Dr ct a. fe ni This ef ity of Califor ntt 70 in the Univers t an experimen carried out in 19 nnelly carried ou Do k an Fr en d ev an ol e fo ar n W ca e hn Naftulin, Jo livered lectur esis that a well-de when the to test the hypoth learnt something ve ha ey th at th g kin in experts into th y. g or contradictor s its name, was contents is wron o the effect take wh m fro x, Fo l hematical Game An actor, Michae entation on “Mat es pr a er t was liv de ion.” The conten employed to Physician Educat to d ie pl Ap as Theory se. complete nonsen s, of psychiatrists, parate audience se e re th And yet d other university s worker trainer an l cia so , sts ne realizing thatt gi lo psycho fooled, with no-o y el et pl g that m co all diences believin graduates were e the combined au of cturre % le 93 std po an f on oo ed it was a sp king (as record in th r ei th ed at the lecture stimul associates may questionnaires). Naftulin and his Dr at th orr ow sh inly knew a thing Which all goes to s, but they certa ist nt ie sc ad m not have been man condition. two about the hu
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A LITTLE BITT SEX-CRAZED?
lyst who really believed in the power of WILHEM REICH (1897-1957) was a psychoana sexuality. own “primordial cosmic energy” that he He proposed that the human libido has its e for such far reaching phenomenon as nsibl called orgone and claimed that it is respo the formation of galaxies. the weather, the color of the sky, gravity and very much like large, hollow capacitors, Reich built “orgone accumulators”, which were on people suffering from a wide variety of and conducted clinical tests on their effects of even convinced Einstein to test the effects diseases, as well as on mice and plants. He some of his orgone accumulators in 1941. dly Orgone Radiation” or DOR, Reich After postulating an anti-orgone energy, “Dea manipulate streams of orgone energy built a “cloudbuster” which he claimed could s to form and disperse. Reich even cloud g in the atmosphere to induce rain by forcin inced that his “cloudbuster” could be claimed to have done battle with UFOs, conv ” from the sky. deployed to extinguish the anomalous “stars m potency as a foremost consideration for orgas of e Reich emphasized the importanc arily caused by depletion or blockages of health. According to his theory, illness is prim on this he built 250 orgone accumulators for the orgone energy within the body. Based nts rented the accumulators as a cure for therapeutic use in a town in Maine, USA. Patie until the FDA shut down the whole operation cancer, the common cold and impotence, of some kind and “fraud of the first order”. t” in June 1956, suspecting a “sexual racke
21 GRAMS 1907
20) did some startling DUNCAN MACDOUGAL (1866-19 l may have mass. research into the idea that the sou 1907 he weighed six in W Working in Massachusetts, USA ess of dying, and was proc the in e p patients while they wer the human soul does a able to claim from his results that s leaves the body mas this iindeed have mass, and that average weight the d foun He th. dea a at the moment of h is the original whic s, o of the human soul to be 21 gram ms. Gra 21 lm fi the ssource of the name for on dogs, weighing MacDougall also experimented th and concluding dea 15 different dogs at the point of majority of dogs the e sinc ls, sou e tthat dogs do not hav lts of these resu . The did not lose weight as they died York Times New the both in d experiments were publishe the time. at icine Med n rica Ame nal jour and the medical
DRUGGED UP AT EASTER
IN 1962 Walter Pahnke decided to investigate the effect of mind-altering drugs on religious experiences. A theology graduate student at Harvard Divinity School at the time, Pahnke conducted his experiment on Good Friday in Marsh Chapel at Boston University. This experiment was part of the Harvard Psilocybin Project, a whole series of experiments in psychology led by Dr Timothy Leary and Dr Richard Alpert carried out between 1960 and 1962. The experiments were part of Leary and Alpert’s personal discovery of psychedelic drugs and included frequent personal use by these two leading academics as well as other such experiments. Pahnke administered psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to 11 divinity graduates who were attending the Good Friday service. The experiment was organized as a double blind, an especially stringent way of conducting an experiment where neither the subjects nor the researchers know who got the active drug and who the placebo until after the results have been collected. The “placebo” was niacin, a drug which causes flushing but has no psychedelic effect. Almost all the individuals who received the magic mushroom drug reported profound religious experiences during that service. Even 25 years after the experiment some of the test subjects (many of whom became priests) described the Good Friday service of 1962 as one of the high points in their spiritual lives.
KEVIN WARICK (1954 -) is a British scientist and professor of cybernetics. In his most famous set of experiments, know n as Project Cyborg, Warick had a computer chip implante d into his arm, with the aim of becomi ng the first cyborg. The first part of this res earch, which began in 1998, involved the implanta tion of a fairly simple RFID transmitter beneath his skin, allowin g him to mentally contr ol special lights, doors and heate rs that were set up to receive a signal from the chip. The second part of the experiment was the ins ertion of a specially designe d neural interface consi sting of 100 electrodes, which was implanted in 2002. Th e electrode array interfaced direc tly into Warick’s nervo us system and allowed Warick to contr ol a robotic arm so tha t it mimicked the actions of his own arm. The second impla nt was even detailed enough that it allowed Warick’s ne rvous system to connect to the internet and control the roboti c arm in the University of Reading , UK from Columbia Un iversity the US. The final and highly pu blicised experiment wa s the implant of a similar ele ctrode array into Waric ks wife, with the aim of making the m “telepathic” via the internet. The experiment was a suc cess and Warick and his wife became the first two humans to communicate purely electronically from nervous system to nervous system.
WHEN IT co mes to a selfsa higher than Romanian fo crificial dedication to sc ie rensic scien beginning o tist Nicolas M nce, there are few who f th rank inovici. Stud out on himse e twentieth century, Min ying hangin ovici decided lf. A 238-pag g at the e paper, “Stu analysis of n to try the ex dies on Han ecution tech ot only 72 su ging nique icides (by han hangings. ging) but also ”, published in 1905 in cludes his descriptions Minovici seem of his own vo s to have rese luntary includes an arched this extensive an fa ir ly m orbid topic alysis of the gender, place almost exhau suicides that , season, typ stively – he he studied, e also had a st categorising rong propen of knot and circumfere them by nce of the ro sity for reality himself and pe , or possibly the others th a death wish among others. He at h times by the , not only su neck, he also e convinced to act as liv bjecting e subjects to asked his as meters of th sistants to p e grou hanging 12 ull the rope separate Minovici seem nd in his own hanging. until his feet s to have bee were two regardless. n w el l aw Indeed, des cribing the ex are of the danger of su again that “d ch activity, ye periments la espite of all t continued ter our courage three to fou we could no Minovici apologises ag r seconds”. ain and t take the ex periment an y longer than
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
In at the deep end
Crossing an ocean in a small yacht is truly an adventure. A Trans-Atlantic passage offers trepidation into the unknown and a reward that is hard to beat, writes Noel Connolly
LAST WEEK it was announced that the controversial exhibition ‘Bodies’ is to come to Dublin. The exhibition has always courted controversy. Organisers admit that they cannot guarantee the origins of the bodies they use in their displays. We do know they are from China but many claim they are the bodies of political prisoners and family consent was never given nor requested. ‘Bodies’ is set to exhibit in the Ambassador in the next few months. In the meantime there are no shortage of places one can catch up with some world-famous dead heads. In Moscow the preserved body of Lenin is on display . Visitors to Red Square make a beeline to his mausoleum, open daily from 10am until 1pm. The irony about the preservation of Lenin is that in the early days the Russian authorities had yet to figure out the art of embalmment. They turned to a U.S. company for help who duly gave Lenin a chemical bath every two years. He may have disagreed with U.S. policies whilst alive but U.S. ingenuity kept him looking his smartest whilst dead. The Chinese also decided to preserve the body of Chairman Mao. He lies in a mausoleum on Tiananmen Square where thousands view him on a daily basis. Mao insisted that he be cremated, but his wishes fell on deaf ears. The communist politburo used his cadaver for propaganda purposes. In Vietnam the head of Ho Chi Minh is on display. It can be seen in his mausoleum in Hanoi, northern Vietnam’s largest city. The structure is located on Ba Dinh Square where Ho had read Vietnam’s Declaration of Independence in 1945. Ho wished to be cremated in order to “save some land for agriculture”.Rather than saving land they built a 42m wide building to house his tiny frame. If travelling to Russia, China or Vietnam is out of the question, but you still have a lust for all things dead fear not; there is a dead head here in our midst. The preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett ison permanent display in St. Peter’s Church, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Plunkett was the last Roman Catholic ma martyr to die in England. L o r d Sh Shaftsbury ord ordered his co conviction fo treason for a n d re rebellion. Plunkett w was hung, d drawn and q quartered The head of St Oliver in 1681. Plunkett on display in St Some of his Peter’s Church. remains are in a Benedictine monastery in Germany. His head is on display in Drogheda and has proven to be a leading tourist attraction over the years.
HERE WERE four of us; Jim, the captain, was an American with seven Atlantic crossings under his belt. Danny, the first mate, was half-Italian, half-Spanish, born in Germany and living in London. Igor, the second mate, was a Russian Jew, now living in Israel. All came with extensive sailing experience. Completing the motley crew was myself, whose sailing experience amounted to multiple ferry crossings between Ireland and the UK. I didn’t know a halyard from a spinnaker, so as I boarded Buff, the 15-meter sloop we were going to sail to the British Virgin Islands, I was a little apprehensive. The first twenty-four hours from Mallorca to Ibiza were not enjoyable. We sailed out of the bay of Palma into the November night. The sea was relatively calm as Igor handed me the helm, however as the night wore on the constant motion started to affect me and before long I was doubled over the side donating my dinner to the fish. “It happens to everyone the first time” were Danny’s consoling words. My misery continued all night. I tried sea-sickness pills, not realizing they are a prevention rather than a cure. First light revealed
paperwork. As Buff crossed the straits and entered the Atlantic, the sea turned ugly. Huge black swells threw the boat about like a sea-borne roller coaster. The wind screamed in our ears. “Okay, life-jackets and harnesses on” shouted Jim, wrestling the helm. Still, he seemed fairly calm and in control of the situation, so I didn’t worry. In fact I was rather enjoying the theme park ride. Entering Barbate harbour at night in those conditions would have been impossible, we anchored near a beach and docked the next morning. The high winds stayed with us for a few days, so we sat it out in Barbate. Then with weather conditions in our favour we set a course south for the four day journey to the Canaries. Our destination was one of the lesser known islands; La Palma. Having become more accustomed to life aboard, I was now given my own watches on the helm to do. The watches were divided equally among the four of us. Three hours on, nine hours off. With La Palma only a day’s sail away, we received a radio report that a tropical storm was due to hit the Canaries. We needed to get to the shelter of a port, and quickly. Realizing that we could reach Tenerife before La
“In the distance, maybe an hour’s sail behind us, the tall grey funnel of a tornado loomed menacingly” a rather pathetic figure lying on deck, exhausted and wondering why he hadn’t stayed on land. But there were more serious problems to contend with. In the distance, maybe an hour’s sail behind us, the tall grey funnel of a tornado loomed menacingly. “That could smash a boat to pieces, I hope it doesn’t catch up with us” mused Jim. Fortunately it didn’t, but as we eased into Ibiza that evening, the thought of catching a plane back to Mallorca did cross my mind. We left Ibiza the next morning and headed for Gibraltar. I was given the job of ship’s cook for the first couple of days while we sailed towards the Rock. Cooking at sea proved to be one of the biggest challenges. A swaying saucepan of boiling water on a boat heeling up to 30 degrees from side to side can be a dangerous thing. I learnt to keep the meals as simple as possible. The next leg of the journey proved to be even more perilous. In Gibraltar, we refueled and enjoyed a beer. A storm had been forecast, but the captain elected to head up the coast to the small fishing port of Barbate in Spain rather than remain at the Rock and deal with the hassle of immigration
Palma, we changed course and arrived in the capital, Santa Cruz, twelve hours before the storm hit. That night all hell broke lose. Nature unleashed her fury, boats were smashed and power lines fell, leaving Tenerife without electricity for three days. Struggling with fenders to protect Buff from being slammed against the dock side proved ineffective in preventing superficial damage to the yacht’s starboard hull. I was grateful we weren’t at sea when the storm hit We were now ready for the longest leg of the trip, at least three weeks cut off from the rest of the world to cross one of the biggest oceans on earth. After re-provisioning the vessel and filling the water and fuel tanks, we set a course of approximately 240 degrees and slipped out of Tenerife. Sailing past the Canary island of Gomera I realized this was the place where Columbus made his last stop before his own crossing (in a rather larger vessel than ours). I managed to send off a few last texts to friends before the coverage faded and Gomera disappeared. There was no turning back now. The days became warmer as we headed southwest, leaving Europe’s winter behind. We stayed on Canaries time
By Derek Larney Travel Editor
The open sea. Photo by T Giramondo as we traveled west across time zones, each day it would get a little darker when I started my morning watch. When not on the helm, or cooking and cleaning, we would pass the day reading, or playing cards or chess. Jim was an excellent chess player. Each day he would greet me with the familiar refrain, “Ready for another pummeling Noel?”, nodding towards the chess set. It was a bit demoralizing to be beaten so many times, but since my diary was a little empty, I always consented to another beating. One of the best experiences of this part of the trip was sailing at night. Alone, the rest of the crew asleep, with ones hands on the helm guiding the boat to the Caribbean, one could look up at the heavens to contemplate a firmament of incredible luminosity and brilliance. Perhaps four times as many stars were visible at sea without the light pollution from land. Whilst in the water glowing plankton complemented the heavenly display. We dragged a line behind the boat with a lure and managed to catch a regular supply of fish to supplement our provisions. Igor, never the most gifted crew member when it came to his turn in the galley, was given the task of cooking after we landed a large wahoo. He cooked it well enough and was just about to serve it when I noticed the bottle of oil he had been using. A closer inspection revealed it to be wood polish oil. The wahoo was back in the sea ten minutes after it had left. Our main problem now was lack of wind. The fabled trade winds failed to blow. One day, without the motor running, the speedometer read zero. We weren’t moving, so we took down the sails and went for a swim and a proper
wash - the deepest bathtub I’ve ever used. Due to this lack of wind power, we resorted to the motor for much of the crossing. Two thirds of the way across, with fuel levels running low, we realized we may be spending Christmas at sea. Luckily, we came across a generous super-yacht. A request for fuel was accepted, and with the two boats sailing perfectly parallel, a line was thrown across, and three jerry cans of fuel were passed across. We were on our way again. A day later the winds picked up, coaxing us towards the Caribbean. We could almost smell it now, and at about 11pm on Christmas Eve, the faint lights of the island of St Martin crept over the horizon. On Christmas morning, we cruised into the turquoise bay of Phillipsburg and docked. Four rather bedraggled and not particularly clean sailors stepped off their vessel And onto dry land for the first time in 23 days. Bliss. I did a John Paul II and kissed the wooden dock. Then I telephoned my mother to wish her a happy Christmas. She hadn’t known the truth about what I had been up to; I had told her that I was working on a transatlantic cruise ship. It was time to come clean. “Mum there’s something I really need to tell you” I began. “Don’t tell me you’ve gone and got married without me being there” (her worst fear) she answered “I don’t even have a girlfriend, how could I do that? No it’s about that cruise ship, well it was more of a boat really” I admitted. She answered that she had suspected all along. The British Virgin Islands, our final destination, were a further day’s sail
away. After delivering Buff to her new owners on Tortola, we discussed the previous six weeks over a Painkiller cocktail. “Do you remember that storm off Gibraltar?” inquired Jim. “Of course,” we answered. “ I was really worried we were going to die,” he admitted. Like all good captains, he had never let it show.
SETTING SAIL THERE ARE several ways in which one can go about sailing the Atlantic. One is to hang around marinas in the Canaries or the Azores from where Caribbean yachts typically make their last stop before heading west. Marinas can be a good source of information on who is going where and may need a spare hand. Another avenue are web-sites such as w w w. f l o a t p l a n . c o m and www.7knots.com, which regularly have advertisements seeking crew, not just for crossing the Atlantic but in all partss of the world. n Another option is to join a crewing agency, such ass www.reliance-yachts.com Agencies usually have a list of vacancies that they need filled in order to assist captains in the delivery of yachts from the Med to the Caribbean. Positions are usually unpaid and it is the crewmembers responsibility to fund their return.
Backpacking the world for the long haul By Derek Larney Travel Editor SOME JOURNEYS can be eventful, some can be complicated, others can be rewarding. But then there are the journeys that are truly epic and take months of travel, planning and execution. Trips like these tend to be for the backpacker who is in it for the long haul, for those that know a shower is a luxury and who know a hitching thumb can be the best source of information and adventure. With this in mind we decided to take a look at some of the world’s classic backpacking routes and figure out why they are still so popular. Trans-Siberian Railway MANY PEOPLE think the TransSiberian is the world’s longest railway journey which might help to explain its popularity. The world’s longest single scheduled service actually runs from the Ukraine to Vladivostok but that doesn’t put people off plumping for the Tran-Siberian instead. It is possible to go all the way from southern Portugal to Singapore using only railways (this journey incorporates the Trans-Siberian) but for most people a 9,000km journey across the Ural Mountains and into deepest Siberia before finishing in Beijing is enough. The Trans-Siberian has three different
routes- the Trans-Manchurian which snakes from Moscow to Beijing, visiting only Russia and China; the TransMongolian, which traverses Mongolia, and the classic Trans-Siberian, which goes from Moscow to Vladivostok in far eastern Siberia. From here it is possible to take a 36-hour ferry to Japan which won’t seem like such a big ordeal after nearly a week spent on a train. The Trans-Siberian involves what were once quite luxury train carriages, built in the Soviet days; first class compartments have two beds apiece and come with a radio to listen to some Russian classics. Along the route there are a few places of interest to hop off and spend a few days- Lake Baikal, near the Siberian city of Irkutsk, is the largest freshwater lake in the world as well as the deepest. It reputedly holds one fifth of the world’s fresh water and is also known as one of the coldest lakes in which to swim. Those on the Trans-Mongolian trip won’t want to miss out on a stop off in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia which, as one of the coldest deserts in the world, offers visitors a chance to see snow falling on sand. Istanbul to Kathmandu THIS A route first made famous by Marco Polo and Alexander the Great. More recently the hippie movement in the 60’s and 70’s brought it back to
the most amazing scenery to be found on the planet as well as an indigenous population that are both warm and welcoming. The capital Lhasa is home to the Potala, one of Buddhism’s most revered monasteries.
A Bull Elephant on the Plains of Africa. Photo: John Spooner life and thousands of dreadlocked ones went in search of finding themselves and cheap dope. There is no set route per se but most people take in Iran, Pakistan, then travel the Karakoram highway to Kashgar in western China before making a beeline between Tibet and Nepal. There are of course many different variations to this, some take a ferry across the Caspian Sea from Iran to Turkmenistan and then onwards to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan before entering China at its western flank and proceeding south to Nepal. Highlights of this route include the cultural delights
of Iran where one can view remnants of Alexander and Darius the Great at the ruins of Persepolis as well as some of the most stunning mosques in the Islamic world. Turkey holds the magical tundra of Cappadocia where visitors spend nights in fairy chimneys or cave houses and explore bizarre rock formations by day- the area was used by George Lucas in Star Wars. Pakistan has plenty to see and do for the trekker, there are any number of walks both east and west of the Karakoram highway- many snake high into the Himalaya to remote tribal villages. Tibet, of course, offers some of
Capetown to Cairo THIS TRIP involves more than 10,000kms of some of the world’s bumpiest roads - in other words you’ll love it! The route spends some time in Capetown, perhaps the jewel of South Africa which offers scuba diving with Great White Sharks and awesome views from Table Mountain. It then traverses Botswana, Zambia and Malawi from where one can take a dip in the tropical Lake Malawi. The plains of the Serengeti are also on offer as is an attempt on Mount Kilimanjaro, which at 21,000ft is Africa’s highest mountain. Other highlights include opportunities to see the near extinct mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda as well as Kenya’s famed wildlife safaris. The problems begin here though as Sudan, just to the north of Kenya, has been facing political turmoil for a good few years now. Travel there is possible but best avoided. It is possible to take a ferry to Yemen however Saudi Arabia is closed to tourists. The only real option here is to fly over Sudan and into southern Egypt from where the Pyramids and
Giza await. These are just three of the classic overland routes that have been pioneered over the years. Others include Route 66 in the U.S. which is mainly done as a road trip from Chicago to L.A. Another is the Appalachian Trail which is considered the world’s longest walk- it cover over 2,100 miles from Maine to Georgia. Bill Bryson wrote about his experience on it in the book A Walk in the Woods. Finally for a really long road trip check out www.oz-bus.com This recently formed travel company is offering bus trips from London to Sydney- they take in 20 countries in 13 weeks, costs are from €4500 per person.
EPIC INFO CHECK OUT the Lonely Planet books Istanbul to Kathmandu and Capetown to Cairo to get a sense of what these journeys involve. Online forums such as the Lonely Planet’s Thorntree also offer some excellent information from travelers who have been there. The website www.seat61. com is an invaluable source of information, not only for the Trans-Siberian but all manner of rail travel worldwide.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Ladies soccer on the rise Soccer Correspondent Niall Walsh has been following the fortunes of the Trinity Ladies side since the beginning of the season. He talks to Ladies captain Mikaela Kotschack and coach Cormac Ryan about their successes in Michealmas Term and the challenges that lie ahead in the coming months
HERE HAS been a massive resurgence in Ladies Soccer in Trinity so far this year. Determined not to be outshone by their male counterparts, they have achieved some exceptional results in the first part of the season. The team officially began training as a squad towards the end of October but in reality, the work that was put in before the beginning of the season by their captain, Mikaela Kotschack, laid the foundations for the success that has followed. Kotschack, a
“The trainings are great quality and there is a great turnout because obviously all the girls really enjoy it” second year BESS student who hails from Sweden, was elected as captain by her peers at the end of the 07/08 season and instantly began devising a strategy aimed at revitalising ladies soccer within Trinity. Having spent half of the previous season without a manager, Kotschack was well aware that finding an enthusiastic and committed coach had to be her number one priority and it did not take her long to find her man. Cormac Ryan was then in his final year of an Irish degree in Trinity and himself a long serving member of the Trinity men’s soccer team. Kotschack spoke to the manager of the men’s soccer team, Jimmy Cummiskey, and discovered that Ryan was about to embark on a one year postgraduate course in Trinity and she thus outlined her vision for the coming season to him and spoke about his potential involvement. The Trinity striker was “hugely impressed with her enthusiasm and determination” and following an interview, promptly accepted the job. Since then the two have been working in tandem to ensure that 08/09 would be a season to remember for women’s soccer in Trinity. Both had very positive things to say about their respective impacts this year and Kotschack went so far as to say that Ryan was almost the model coach with his only imperfection being his “language with the referee”! Many of the problems the team had faced in previous years had been down to the small pool of players available, a situation which Kotschack was keen to rectify. By the time the trials arrived in early October Ryan told me that she had “coaxed nearly half the girls in
Trinity to try out” and in their early training sessions they had almost forty girls taking part, making the coach’s life pretty difficult. It did not take too long for this to even itself out though and he soon had a squad of about twenty girls to choose from. Their coach was hugely impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm of the ladies in the early training sessions, as well as with the footballing abilities on show. Kotschack has highlighted the importance of their new coach’s role in getting so many of the girls out on the training field. “The trainings are great quality and there is a great turnout because obviously all the girls really enjoy it”, she said. “He has introduced some new elements to training, amongst others spinning and yoga, and is full of good ideas to make it as diverse as possible.” There was to be no easy transition from the training field to competitive football, however. In their first game of the season on the 23rd October the Ladies faced a tough league game against Maynooth, league finalists the previous season, at home in College Park. The coach admitted that his expectations were not too high, given that many of his team had never played with each other before. However, it was the Trinity side that started the game the brighter, creating five or six clear-cut chances before the half hour. They were unable to put any of them away though and were made to pay the price when Maynooth took the lead against the run of play. In the second half the coach switched pacy Molly Whiteman, making her debut for the side, from right wing to striker and the move paid off almost instantly. Whiteman made a terrific run in behind the Maynooth defense and was picked out with a perfectly timed ball by midfielder Sarah McGrath, allowing the fledgling striker to calmly slot the ball past the onrushing keeper. Trinity re-assumed control of the game and began to push for the winner. They were denied by a couple of superb saves from the Maynooth keeper and then with five minutes to go, disaster struck. Maynooth’s no. 9 jumped highest after a corner from the right hand side and headed the Kildare college into a shock lead. Determined not to come out of their first game empty-handed Trinity threw everything at the Maynooth defense for the remaining minutes and, well into injury time, they got the goal - and the result - that their performance deserved. American striker Whiteman picked the ball up on the half way line, ran straight at the centre of the Maynooth defense and unleashed a rasping
drive from the edge of the box that found the bottom right corner of the net. Ryan was delighted with the attitude of the Ladies in their first game and had seen enough to convince him that they could mount a genuine challenge in the league. Their next game served to reinforce this as his team hammered NCI 0-12 away from home. The Ladies were simply too good for their Ringsend counterparts and amazingly, under horrific conditions and torrential rain, were 9-0 up within half an hour. Striker Whitman was again on target, bagging a hat trick, and captain Kotschack bagged her first two goals of the season but the real star of the show was influential midfielder McGrath. Her performance, which included an incredible five assists and three goals, was one of a plethora of reasons why the referee decided to call the game up after sixty minutes. Trinity thus went into their third game of the league campaign on a high but soon realized that Drogheda would provide a much stiffer test than their previous opponents. The midlands side boasted two Ireland players in midfield but right from the first whistle at College park Trinity got in their faces, not allowing them any time on the ball and putting in some fierce challenges all over the pitch. Trinity were without top scorer Whiteman due to injury but thankfully their midfield stepped up to the plate with some crucial goals. Midfield general Hannah Tyrrell scored an impressive hat trick and winger Aoife Merrigan, herself making a return to the team on the left wing after a long absence out injured, popped up with two very well taken goals. Even though Drogheda pulled a late goal back to make the final score 6-1, nothing could take away from Trinity’s superb all-round display. The team then left aside their league game to play DIT in the first round of the cup. For the more experienced players this was a chance to gain some revenge as the Glasnevin side had thrashed them 8-0 the previous
season. Amazingly this current crop of Trinity players proved just how far they have come in twelve months by completely dominating the game and reversing last season’s scoreline. Another superb defensive performance gave the ladies a perfect platform to build on and captain Kotschack led by example by getting her team off the mark. Whiteman took her tally for the season to seven with two more clinical finishes and another brace from midfielder McGrath left the Trinity side five to the good with twenty minutes remaining. As the DIT players visibly began to tire, in form midfielder Tyrell decided she wanted to make her own mark on the game and promptly set about scoring a fifteen minute hat-trick, culminating with a sublime volley from 25 yards out in the 87th minute. Although their last game of 2008, against Sallynoggin, may have ended in defeat there is no doubt that this has been one of the most successful terms of football in the history of Trinity Ladies soccer. In the New Year they have a quarter final with Tralee to look forward to in the cup as well as a semi final playoff date with Dundalk in the Leinster League. The Ladies are confident they can progress in both of these competitions and both their coach and their captain were bullish about their chances, claiming they can beat any team on their day. Kotshack’s role in the Ladies’ transformation cannot be understated. She had a vision for where she wanted the team to be since she took over the captaincy and she believes that all of the girls on the team have bought into it. “My goal was that there would be at least 15 girls at every practice who love the game and enjoy being on the team”, she said. “I wanted the team to be a good social group that got along both on and outside the pitch. If we could win that was a bonus but I wanted every player to be proud of being on the team. Hopefully the girls agree that we are quite close to that goal now…And we’re winning too!”
Team members show off some early season silverware. Photo: DU Ladies Soccer
Bleak December for First XV
Christmas didn’t provide much in the way of cheer for the Trinity rugby team. Photo: Martin McKenna
While the rest of us were on holidays, the Trinity rugby team was still soldiering on, albeit to little avail; James O’Donnell reports on a bad patch for DUFC ANY LINGERING vestiges of the euphoria surrounding the Colours victory in November were well and truly dispelled over the run-in to Christmas, as DUFC endured a profoundly disappointing three losses on the trot. Despite having a settled team and few injuries to contend with, Trinity picked up just two points from their games and now sit a relatively mediocre 11th place in the AIL Division 2 table. Having dispatched Division 1 side UCD just a couple of weeks previously, Trinity would have had every right to be confident as they traveled to Killballyowen Park on November 29th to face Bruff, who played their rugby in Division 3 last year. A Colclough try from the set-piece, and Tristan Goodbody’s try from nowhere, put them 12-3 up and in the driving seat near the end of the first half. But the impressive Co.
Limerick club had been sitting in second place in the league at kick-off, and weren’t about to let a bunch of upstart students put a spanner in the works of their dream season. Aided by the departure of Chris Jebb to the sin-bin, they came back strong to come within a score at halftime, and spurred on by their supporters proceeded to turn the screw in the second half. Despite a brave defensive effort by Trinity, they were at the wrong end of a grandstand finish this time around, as Bruff finally crossed the whitewash to leave the First XV departing for civilization with only a bonus point with which to console themselves. In a somewhat ominous sign, College Park was a washout the next week, so the clash with Wanderers had to be played at a neutral venue. A poor performance against poor opposition led
to a frustrating afternoon; having gone ahead through a try from the set-piece, Wanderers never relinquished their advantage, and another losing bonus point was the best Trinity could do, Jebb kicking a penalty towards the end to claw back to within seven points. Trinity haven’t beaten UCC since dropping back into Division 2 in 2006/07, and another trip down the country on December 13th yielded no more fruitful a return. There wasn’t even the sniff of a bonus point in this last game before the Christmas break; Gavin Dunne kicked the representatives of the People’s Republic into a 12-3 halftime lead – Jebb being unable to match him with the boot despite several opportunities – and was the architect of a fine UCC try soon after the interval. Trinity responded with a converted try, but were unable to add to their total before UCC punished further infractions to record a 23-10 victory. Memories of last year’s end of season slump, during which the side lost seven league games on the bounce, must surely be surfacing. The first opportunity in 2009 for DUFC to halt their slide comes this Saturday against Thomond.
FIRST XV 15. P. Gillespie 14. C. Jebb 13. C. Colclough 12. R. Brady 11. C. Murphy/S. Hanratty 10. A. Wallace 9. E. Hamilton 1. T. Goodbody 2. M. Murdoch 3. J. Gethings 4. C. McDonnell/J. Byrne 5. S. LaValla 6. M. Cantrell 7. S. Young (c) 8. B. Coyle.
Interview: Trinity law graduate Ciara Murphy talks to Johnny Watterson about her hockey career
I STARTED playing hockey in Galway at six years of age. Actually I’m still playing with Galway HC for the Indoor European Championships, which are on next month in Portugal. Galway are travelling as Irish champions, and during the Christmas break I have been training with them. But I’ll be going back to Bruges this week and will continue to play with Ghent. When I went to Trinity to study Law and French I initially began to play with Old Alexandra. But I took a break in my second season to sit exams in March and then in my third year I went to France on Erasmus. I went to study political science in Sciences Po, Paris. When I was there I played for Stade Français. I thought that we’d be able to get to some of the club’s rugby matches but the hockey was based out at a golf club at Haras in a suburb of Paris. It was very different from hockey in Ireland. It took an hour and a half to get to training, but I got to play indoor hockey there too, which I really enjoyed. However, it was a transitional team and we didn’t have a good season. I’m enjoying Belgium much more. The challenge in Paris was to keep going because of the It was a most travelling and rewarding time, sometimes I’d great camaraderie, arrive and only four others great fun and a would turn up. That drove me great coach mad. But, in our international student environment, the only French people I met was through the hockey. My friend Emily Balbirnie played for Racing Club. I then went back to Trinity for final year and played with the college team. We were able to get to the final of the Leinster Senior Cup but lost out to Hermes. After my final year at Trinity I chose a masters course in European Law in the College of Europe in Belgium. There is a second division club located in Bruges but I had decided to take my car with me this time and was able to make the hour-long drive twice a week for training in Ghent. There are about 300 of us in a tiny little campus in Bruges and they now mostly know me as the girl who plays hockey. It is a real trek to Ghent but worth it for a serious club. We have two Argentinean players on the team who are full time professionals, while we get things like our petrol paid for. Once they heard I was a hockey player they came looking and so far it has been really good. They speak four languages at training, English, French, Dutch - because it is a Flemmish region of Belgium - and Spanish for the girls from Argentina. The Dutch people in college laugh at me because all I can say in Dutch is “run faster” and “dribble left”, in a Belgian accent. The coach is a guy called Pascal Kina, who was the assistant coach for the Belgian men’s team when they played in the last Olympic Games in Beijing. The game is so well supported over here and it gets three or four pages on a Monday morning in the papers. The league is full of foreign players from all over the world and you regularly hear accents from New Zealand and Australia. The main difference is it is very, very professional. There is a lot more money in the sport here. We have a full-time team coach and full-time fitness coach. The team do three sessions a week, although I only do two, but I do a lot of my physical training in Bruges, where a group of us go running. The main difference between Belgium and Paris is that here there are a lot of kids playing and in Paris there were very few. Here there are also a lot of mixed clubs and clubhouses with a big community feel. There is no way I would like to be a full-time professional. Hockey has always been something that complements my travelling and studies, as an aside to everything else. If it came down to it study would have to come first. I played with the Irish A side in Wales last August. I really enjoyed it and it opened my eyes. Your team-mates are your best friends as well and if I look back now, playing for Trinity in my final year would have been the most important year for me. It was a most rewarding time, great camaraderie, great fun and a great coach (Fingal’s David Bane). But wherever I go in the world, I always somehow find myself back playing at Dangan in Galway where I started out. Reproduced with the kind permission of The Irish Times
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
2008/9 sport scolarships By Conor James McKinney College Sport Editor THE COLLEGE Sports Scholarships for 2008/09 were announced on December 9th at a ceremony in the Pavilion Bar. A total of 25 awards were made to athletes representing some 13 different sports. Beneficiaries receive a grant as well as being provided with extra support and training from the Department of Sport. Terry McAuley, head of the department, who was at the helm, told those present that supporting sport in Trinity throws up unique challenges. Unlike certain other universities, he said, Trinity requires all students to go through the CAO system and achieve the points requirements for their course regardless of their sporting ability. Futher, those who are subsequently recognised with a scholarship must represent the College for their club. Other Irish Universities which award sporting scholarships, such as NUI Maynooth, make similar stipulations, while DCU requires a more vague “appropriate level of commitment to the DCU sports club” and a contribution to “the administration, coaching, promotion and development of the DCU club”. UCD, which awarded 83 sport
scholarships in 2007/08, says that “the scholarship student must represent UCD and only UCD in competition”. However, the example of rugby player Rob Kearney, who plays for Leinster and Ireland with such frequency that he would rarely has time to tog out for UCD in the AIL, would appear to indicate that the rule is merely to prevent scholars from competing against UCD in competition, and not to positively compell them to represent their college. Mr. McAuley also mentioned that the College “tends to target [our] traditional, strong sports” in order to “keep our teams at the very highest level”, going on to single out rugby, hockey and rowing in that category. While these three disciplines accounted for 9 of the 25 scholarships awarded, athletes from pursuits as diverse as squash, volleyball and orienteering were also recognised. Pat Hickey, President of the both the Olympic Council of Ireland and the European Olympic Committees (and a black belt in Judo), made the presentation to the new sports scholars, and was in turn given a DUCAC tie and a copy of The Bold Collegians by the author, Dr. Trevor West.
PAT HICKEY ON THIRD-LEVEL SPORT “WE IN the OCI believe strongly that succeeding in studies and having a good balance between sport and other important commitments in life make a positive impact on the sporting performance. So in order to succeed in the complex world of elite sports one needs to be educated. Fortunately the success is not wanted at any price. In Ireland – as well as in many other countries – it is strongly recommended that athletes’ academic progression must not be unnecessarily sacrificed to the needs of athletic performance and success. Therefore, during recent years
more and more attention has been focused on athletes’ career planning and education during their sports career. It has been recognised that athletes need comprehensive support in order to succeed in combining training with education and other commitments in life. The Irish Institute for Sport has taken up this challenge on behalf of Ireland’s sporting community and is developing special education and career programmes for third level elite athletes. I know this work is ongoing but hope that it will not be affected by the current cutbacks in government expenditure.”
AIL DIVISION 2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
Team Ballynahinch Lansdowne UCC Bruff Bective Rangers Malone Greystones Old Crescent Belfast Harlequins Highfield Dublin University Wanderers Clonakilty DLSP Thomond Instonians
P 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
W 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 0
D 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
L 2 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6
17/01/09 Dublin University 24/01/09 DLSP
F 207 146 136 109 129 91 123 90 69 71 97 72 81 94 78 83
A 85 91 88 73 102 78 141 85 81 108 110 124 87 109 130 184
TB 3 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
LB 2 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 2 0 3 2 2 2 4 1
Pts 25 25 24 24 22 19 18 17 14 14 13 12 11 11 8 3
Thomond Dublin University
LEINSTER WOMEN’S LEAGUE 18/01/09 St. Mary’s
Team Fitzwilliam A Fitzwillam B Sutton A Westwood A Mt. Pleasant A Curragh A Old Belvedere A Trinity A
P 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6
Pts 95 88 83 83 67 60 51 10
14/01/09 Trinity A v Fitzwilliam A 21/01/09 Trinity A v Sutton A
Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Team Total Fitness Trinity A Westwood B Mt. Pleasant A Fitzwillam B Aer Lingus A
P 8 8 8 8 8 8
Aoife Byrne (Postgraduate) – a former full-time athlete, Byrne has represented Ireland at European level and is the current holder of the Irish U23 record for the 800 metres. Has getting to the London Olympics as her next target while she studies for a HDip in Education. Cycling: Melanie Spath (Postgraduate) – a German PhD student, Spath has only been mountain biking since 2006, but has already won a clutch of Irish competitions, including the Elite Women’s K-Capital Cup and Elite Women’s NPS, also took the British National 100km Marathon. She was judged “Most Awesome Racer” of 2008 by her club, Mountainbiking Association of Dublin.
(SF Engineering) – last year’s Fresher of the Year in the GAA club has experience with St. Sylvester’s of Malahide and Dublin U21s. This is his second year to be awarded a sports scholarship. Paul O‘Neill (JF Engineering) – also a full forward, the Kildare man plays for Leixlip and Kildare minors. Also looking to play senior inter-county football in the future. Therese McCafferty (SF Pharmacy) – plays for Termon in far-flung Donegal. Looking to win the Lynch Cup with Trinity this year. Hockey: Maebh Horan (SF Medicine) – another one in her second year of scholarship, Horan came to Trinity with a glittering underage career under her belt, representing Ireland at all levels to U18, and was nominated for the U18 Player of the Year in 2005/06. Qualified for the Leinster Senior Cup Final with Trinity last year. Caroline Murphy (SF Law) – a native of Cork, Murphy
Camoige: Rachel Ruddy (JS Physiotherapy) – the Ballyboden St. Enda’s woman is also a fixture for Dublin at corner back, and a 2008 AllStars nominee, along with A n d r e a Fitzpatrick, in recognition of her performances last season.
14/01/09 Aer Lingus A v Trinity A 21/01/09 Trinity A v Fitzwillam B
rower boasts Leinster Schools Junior and Senior Cup medals from his days at Belvedere College SJ. Played for Trinity U20s last year.
Craig Moore (SF MSISS) – another graduate of Midleton College, Moore was selected for Irish Universities in 2007. Has represented Munster at all underage levels, and aims to make the breakthrough into the senior squad.
Colm Moore (JF BESS) – the scrumhalf played for Ard Scoil Ris in his schoolboy days, showing sufficient promise to be called into the Munster U16 and U19 squads. Captained Shannon U18s and has appeared for their senior squad.
Orienteering: Niamh O’Boyle (Postgraduate) – another repeat winner and an exception to the norm of only awarding scholarships in team sports. O’Boyle has won intervarsities six years running and represented Ireland at the World University Championships in Estonia in 2008. Squash: Sarah Corcoran (JF Pharmacy) – one of the top female squash players in the country, the Tipperary native is an underage provincial champion and came runner-up in the Irish U19 Championships in last year. Rowing: Eoin Mac Domhnaill (SS Engineering) – a shade off 2 metres tall, Mac Domhnaill has represented Trinity in three Gannon Cup races (winning two). Hopes eventually to compete in the World Rowing Championships and the 2012 games. Sarah Dolan (JF Engineering) – having cut her teeth at the Commercial Rowing Club, Dolan has her sights set on the World U23 Championships. Will compete in the Corcoran Cup for Trinity this year. Iseult Finn (JF Medicine) – has clearly been marked out, alongside her schoolmate Dolan, as the future of the ladies’ boat club. The medical student has previously rowed for top clubs Commercial and Neptune. Rugby: Caolan Doyle (JF BESS) – the back Craig Moore accepts his award
Gaelic Football: Eoin Fanning
Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
SAT MAJOR 1D Team DUAFC Templeogue United Swords Celtic Brendanville FC Clonee United Dunboyne AFC Garda FC Confey FC Verona FC Boyne Rovers Rush Athletic Greenhills AFC Loughshinny United Rathcoole Boys
P 13 12 11 12 9 12 11 11 11 12 12 10 9 11
W 11 8 8 8 7 4 4 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
D 1 3 1 1 1 3 1 3 1 4 4 4 3 2
L 1 1 2 3 1 5 6 5 7 6 7 5 5 8 0 5
F 57 34 34 28 35 25 15 11 24 19 25 19 10 11
A 10 12 17 18 15 23 36 13 35 35 36 31 27 39
Pts 34 27 25 25 22 15 13 12 10 10 7 7 6 5
UNIVERSITY LEAGUE 24/01/09 UCC
WINTER LEAGUE Ladies: 25/01/09 Carrickmines 2 Men’s: 25/01/09 Trinity 1
Sailing: Claudine Murphy (JS Engineering) – As Mr. McAuley pointed out, Trinity has a “big tradition in sailing”, and Murphy was on the team that won the World Student Yachting Championship in 2006, and was awarded a University Pink for that achievement. She is a beneficiary of the International Carding Scheme, run by the Irish Sports Council to support elite Irish athletes. Tuathal MacColgain (SF Law and German) – again a repeat sport scholar and ISC athlete, MacColgain is aiming to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. Soccer: Niall O’Carroll (SF Engineering) – The Trinity goalkeeper started in the Collingwood Cup while still a fresher, and was selected for Irish Universities last year. Hopes to play for Ireland in the World University Games in Belgrade this summer. Evin O’Reilly (JS BESS) – also called up for Ireland Universities last season, midfielder O’Reilly is the captain of DUAFC for 2008/09. Christopher Allen (JS BESS) – the former Man United trialist is having a superb season for Trinity this year. Former Home Farm man Allen is also on the Ireland futsal (indoor soccer) side, the only non-League of Ireland member of the team. Volleyball: Fionnuala Nevin (JF Pharmacy) – a new addition to Trinity’s team in what Mr. McAuley described as an “up and coming sport in Trinity”, Nevin has played for the Ireland Junior team and is looking to make the logical progression to the U21 and senior national sides.
LEINSTER DIVISION 2
Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
Harry Murphy (SF BESS) – a fixture on the U20s last year in the side that reached the McCorry cup final, the out-half also won a sports scholarship in 2007/08.
ULTIMATE FRISBEE Pts 83 76 60 60 53 35
has represented both Munster and Ireland in age grade hockey, but played for Leinster at U21 level. Also won a scholarship in 2007/08.
Equestrian: N i c o l a FitzGibbon (JS Engineering) picked up the Young Rider Trophy for her performances in the 2008 National Grand Prix League. Currently on Erasmus at the University of Lyon.
PREMIER DIVISION FIRST DIVISION Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Athletics: Bryony Treston (JS Medicine) – Helped Trinity to second place in the IUAA Cross Country Championships in March last year, and represented Irish Universities at the Celtic International Cross Country event later that month, coming in runner-up again. Hopes to be selected for the Senior Irish side and win the Intervarsities with Trinity.
Trinity 1 Carrickmines 2
Team Clontarf Skerries Bray Suttonians Dublin University Weston Avoca Navan Naas
P 6 8 7 6 6 7 5 6 5
W 6 6 5 3 2 2 1 1 1
D 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
L 0 2 1 3 4 5 3 5 4
F 29 29 17 29 17 9 7 6 3
A 7 15 9 12 17 25 9 23 29
Pts 18 18 16 9 6 6 4 3 3
A disappointing loss to Bray, in which Trinity conceded three goals in the second half, sees the students languish in mid-table with a game against Suttonians to come. 10/01/09 17/01/09 24/01/09
Bray 3 Suttonians DUHC
DUHC DUHC Weston
LEINSTER DIVISION 1 Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Team Railway Union Loreto Hermes Pembroke Old Alexandra UCD Glennane Bray Corinthian Trinity College
P 10 11 11 10 10 10 10 11 10 11
W 9 6 6 5 5 4 3 1 1 0
D 1 4 3 3 2 3 2 3 1 2
L 0 1 2 2 3 3 5 7 8 9
F 21 26 28 17 18 12 10 8 9 9
A 2 5 12 13 14 8 19 20 32 33
Pts 28 22 21 18 17 15 11 5 4 2
There’s no let-up for the First XI this week; following a brave effort against Hermes, the ladies will face a similar calibre of opposition at Santry on Saturday when they entertain Loreto. 10/01/09 17/01/09
Hermes Trinity College
Trinity College Loreto
DU Sub-Aqua given Branch of the Year DUBLIN UNIVERSITY SubAqua Club has won the inaugural Branch of the Year award from the sport’s governing body. The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) has over 1,000 affiliated branches in the UK and Ireland, and gave the award based on participating clubs’ diving, training, recruitment, instructor training and skill development activities during the year. As a reward for their efforts, DU Sub-Aqua will now receive five sets of diver starter kit, worth over £4,500. They were presented to the club by sponsors Scubapro at the annual Diving Officer’s Conference last month, Dublin University Sub-Aqua’s Diving Officer, Padraig O’Flynn, said he was delighted by the news and that the new kit would make a real difference. “We will put the equipment straight into club service. We’ve had a big drive this year to try and recruit more student members... the new equipment will go a long way towards reducing costs for students by avoiding the need for them to buy their own equipment”. The judging panel, led by BSAC’s National Diving Officer Sean Gribben, were impressed by the response to the new initiative and by the sheer volume and standard of diving activity being delivered.
SPORT SP PORT
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
THE SCIENCE OF SPORT
Sport, college and the ESRI At the severe risk of having too much fun for one issue, Conor James McKinney takes a break from Santry to examine the statistical links between attending university and playing sport
HAT, YOU don’t play sport in college? Strange. Statistically, you’re much more likely to if you’ve managed to reach the heady heights of a university education. Research carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) shows that among the four factors that are relevant in determining whether or not someone plays a sport is education. That age and gender have an influence will come as no surprise; it is however interesting, and worrying, that the richer you are, the more likely you are to tog out; those in the richest 25% of the population are twice as likely to play as the poorest quarter. Even more intriguing is the influence of education: the crop of sports participants, as it stood in 2006, included only a quarter of those with no Leaving Cert and half of those who had only completed second level. Among third level graduates, however, the figure stands at an impressive 64% - meaning that almost two thirds of people with a college degree play some sort of sport. This would appear, on first sight, to dovetail with the income statistics, given that third level graduates will make more money than those without such qualifications, and to indicate that the increased leisure time that comes with material comfort is a factor in sporting participation. However, the ESRI assures us that after subjecting the data to “multivariate statistical analysis [whatever that might mean]... two distinct relationships can be discerned. There is a general trend towards playing
more sport as the level of educational attainment increases. Meanwhile, within each category, those with a higher income are also more likely to play sport... the impacts of financial well-being and educational attainment on playing sport are substantially separate.” Which means that education doesn’t make you more sporty because it gives you the time and money to participate -
they have more opportunities to develop contacts, off-field skills, habits and fitness that ensure a much more significant role for sport in their future lives. Those who leave education at a younger age miss out on these contacts, opportunities and habits. It is the time spent in the education system rather than the qualifications gained that produces the impact on sport.” The figures are remarkable in their linear progression: those who have primary education are more likely to play than those with none, those who have Junior Cert are more likely to play than those with primary education only, and so on, right up to postgraduates being more sporty than those with a plain old BA or BSc. This is admittedly on a decidedly undemanding definition for “playing sport”, reckoned as physically participating in sport at some
The ESRI published its report entitled Fair Play? Sport and Social Disadvantage in Ireland in March 2007. Authored by scientist and economist Dr. Pete Lunn, the data for the report came from a survey of 3,080 adults carried out in late 2003, involving faceto-face interviews about their involvement in sport. something else is at work to explain the tendency of college graduates to keep playing. Something, presumably, to do with the range of sports on offer in our third level institutions and the facilities they provide, as well as being on of three key social outlets - societies and class groups being the other - that students have. The ESRI report draws pretty much this conclusion, albeit in fancier language: “[At third level,] people establish connections with adult sports clubs, make contact with a wider range of alternative sports they might explore, and are more likely to maintain their fitness through continuing to play. The result is that
time over the 12 months prior to survey. The pattern is however the same when is question is whether someone plays sport regularly, or whether they have never played a sport. Only 7% of postgrads fall into the later category, for example, as opposed to double that for people with only a Leaving Cert, and 45% for those with primary education only. The upshot is that third level graduates contribute 43% of all amateur sportspeople despite being only 28% of the population as whole - those who have attained the Leaving Cert or below, 72% of the population, make up the other 57% of players. So there.
25.0 12.5 0 No education
THE FIGURES THE STATISTICS below show the percentages of (i) those who “play sport” (ii) those living a “sedentary” lifestyle within different catagories of educational attainment. The first measure is defined as having physically participated in a sport at least once over the previous twelve months. For the second measure, respondents were asked whether they had been on a recreational walk of greater than two miles within the previous twelve months. Respondents who had not done so, nor played any sport, are defined as “sedentary”. There is a consistent correlation between education and the likelihood of playing sport (the first percentage) and a similar but reversed relationship with living a sedentary lifestyle (the second percentage). » » » » » » »
No education : 14/51 Primary only : 15/43 Junior Cert (or equivilant) : 33/26 Leaving Cert : 50/17 Diploma/Cert: 59/8 Degree: 67/8 Postgrad: 73/4
The same picture emerges among those who said they had never played sport in their lives: » No education: 46% » Primary only: 45% » Junior Cert (or equivilant): 23% » Leaving Cert: 15% » Diploma/Cert: 10% » Degree: 9% » Postgraduate: 7%
Likelihood of playing a sport
Never played a sport in their lives
0 No education
Spirited display not quite enough SCORE
By Conor James McKinney College Sport Editor THERE WEREN’T much grounds for optimism as Trinity went out to face a crack Hermes outfit at St. Andrews on Saturday afternoon, a vicious and unrelenting wind reminding all present of the joys of winter sport in Ireland. The home side had come out 5-1 victors in a Jacqui Potter Cup match just weeks before, and such was the quality available to them that the best hope seemed to be that the plentiful Hermes Ireland A internationals didn’t want to wear themselves out too much before their midweek fixtures. Happily, the ladies of DULHC exhibited flagrant disregard for both form and reputation in a pulsating first half played at a frenetic pace, putting in a strong performance to deny Hermes the walk in the park that – with only a single sub on the bench – they must have been expecting. Maebh Horan, pulling the strings in midfield, and captain Claire Hearnden in particular caught the eye with committed displays. The two linked up early down the right to put Hermes on the defensive, before a pretty egregious foot-block gave the champions a short corner opportunity. Christine Boyle was quick out of the blocks, however,
and managed to put the shooter under enough pressure that her powerful shot flew just wide. Off the hook, Trinity set to work, and aided by some Hermes rustiness (“too much turkey in the belly”, groaned their coach) were dominant for large periods of the first half, stringing the passes together and playing some excellent hockey. Although it was by no means all oneway traffic, it was evident that Hermes were feeling more under pressure, as two of their players were carded, and despite Jessie Elliott needing to be on her toes to make a great double save, more half-chances came Trinity’s way. A marvellous Hearnden run saw her evade her marker to put in a fast cross that Danielle Costigan was just about unable to get on the end of, and it took a wellplaced Hermes defender to intercept another ball bound for Katie O’Byrne, unmarked in the circle. For all that, they didn’t manage to get in any shots on goal in that promising spell. Rachel Scott’s skills were being negated by a well-organised Hermes midfield trio, and when one of them was allowed too long to loiter between 25 and circle, Trinity conceded a free which was quickly transformed into a short corner. Thankfully, Hermes fell foul of the umpires for crossing before the shot was taken in another let-off. Trinity came right back to create what was probably, in retrospect, their best chance of the game. The ball glided from Small to Hearnden to Costigan,
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whose precise shot from close range was cleared off the line. Dave Bane’s judgment that the champions were “takeable” seemed more and more justified as the game wore on and Trinity held their own. Ailbhe Coyle, making a rare start at right back, was making the most of her opportunity with a sound defensive display in a backline that gave little away in open play. Unfortunately a lapse in concentration from Caroline Murphy as she deliberated over a long ball led to a short corner; Boyle, again hounding the takers ferociously, paid the price with a blow to the wrist that at least had the effect of denying Hermes for the third time. At the end of a half containing far fewer unforced errors than in previous outings, things were looking good. Alas, Hermes came out strong in the second half, created a number of chances in the opening minutes. The Trinity defence was equal to them at first, but after Buckley had put in a seemingly impossible tackle to prevent a certain score, the ball was worked across the circle and short corner No. 4 was awarded. It had looked all along as if Hermes were going to need something special to get past Elliott and her defence, and that something turned out to be luck; the shortie was mis-hit badly and the ball bobbled up, evading the on-rushing defenders, and fell kindly for Aoife Mitchell, who showed her appreciation of Fate’s offering by sticking it away for a demoralising goal.
THE TEAM J. Elliott A. Coyle V. Buckley C. Murphy C. Boyle K. O’Byrne R. Scott M. Horan C. Hearnden (capt) I. Gorman D. Costigan Subs: C. Costigan, N. Douglas, L. Small
A brief, retaliatory, Battle of the Bulge style resurgence followed – Horan and Hearnden again hard at work to win the ball in good field position to set up halfchances – but eventually, as the game opened up, tired legs and bruised spirits took their toll. Under less pressure in possession, Hermes were free to display their admirable range of skills, and laid siege to the Trinity goal for the final 20 or so minutes. Murphy broke up a number of attacks single-handed; Boyle send one dangerous ball just around her own post; a borderline goal-mouth melee was resolved by the umpires in Trinity’s favour. On the sideline, the inadequacy of the second runner on the short corner defence was adjudged to have been as responsible for the first goal as bad luck, and the problem wasn’t resolved in time to prevent Hermes eventual second goal being deflected in by former Trinity star Linda Caulfield from the set-piece. With less than ten to go, Trinity didn’t give up – Nadia Douglas being introduced to give the final effort some vigour – but couldn’t find their way into the opposition half, and rarely threatened. The final whistle blew through more defensive heroics from Murphy and O’Byrne. Although a loss, this was a far cry from the tame capitualtions to Bray and Glennane. Pride intact and with a good performance under their belt, Trinity will go into another tough fixture against Loreto this Saturday with more cause for optimism than despair.
THE COMMENTARY BOX ANYONE WHO has digital television may have, at some stage, stumbled across CNBC Europe on a Sunday afternoon, when they have a slot purely devoted to “executive sports”. There is undoubtedly a special hell being made ready for the person who devised this concept. It embraces the likes of golf, tennis and sailing, none of which are calculated to be of much interest to such of the world’s population as does not wear a suit, carry a briefcase and put the world’s economy into the shredder every so often. That, indeed, is their appeal to the elitists of the world. No doubt there are responsible adults out there capable of playing tennis or golf outside the confines of a snooty club, and without thinking themselves to be a cut above the great unwashed. Still, in this column’s view the world would be a better place if they just played something else (and cut down on their carbon footprint a bit, but that’s not strictly the business of the sports section). One regrettable statistic is that most people who play sports in Ireland do not play team sports, despite there’s a reason the huge media coverage that is why nobody lavished on these compared with turns out to see as individual pursuits. the up-andAlthough at secondary school coming stars at most participation is in team games, some track and by the time field meeting in people reach adulthood they Ballydehob will have switched to something like swimming, jogging, cycling or one of the three mentioned above (which, although they can be played in something resembling a team, don’t generate the type of common atmosphere found in soccer, rugby or hurling). Around three quarters of adult sports participation is done in this spirit of rugged individualism. Which is a pity, because at the risk of oversimplifying things, team sports are just better. Even disregarding the eternally outrageous notion of “executive sports”, in which the chaps from Deloitte can put the top brass of Proctor and Gamble through their paces before all retire to the clubhouse bar for a well-earned brandy and cigar, giving thanks that they don’t have to tog out with the plebs on some ghastly soccer pitch, everyone likes games that are played on pitches and involves a decent level of running around. That’s why they get far more coverage and attract more fans (with the obvious and inexplicable exception of golf) than do individual games. Athletics, for example, gets its fifteen minutes at every Olympic Games, and is one of the great showpieces of that impressive event, but there’s a reason why nobody turns out to see the upwhile the and-coming stars at some track and individual athlete field meeting in Ballydehob. It’s not can learn only interesting, it’s not how to master dramatic and you don’t find yourself themselves, the wishing you had captain of a team that kind of talent. And there’s a must learn to strong case to be trust others, to made that a team sport is technically better. If golf is skill delegate and to without athleticism, lead sprinting or marathon running could be described as athleticism without skill. By contrast, the broad range of talent involved in running with the ball at feet, giving the pass, going for the return, controlling with the head or chest, playing the through ball off the outside of the foot or curling in a shot, well… there’s no comparison. The same goes for rugby, Gaelic football and, especially, hurling, the fastest field game in the world and also surely one of the most technically demanding. Boxing might be an exception to this general rule, if one were to consider that hitting people in the face is much to be proud of in terms of sporting endeavour. I don’t. The process of competing in a team sport also teaches the virtues of cooperation, teamwork and leadership. So while the individual athlete can learn only how to master themselves, the captain of a team must learn to trust others, to delegate and to lead. In terms of the example set by elite sportspeople, it is also surely more worthy to honour the achievements of a group of people working together than a solitary victory. After all, in the real world, the only way to accomplish anything is with the assistance and cooperation of others. Even a star in a purely solitary field such as sprinting must rely heavily on a plethora of coaches, sports psychologists, physios and nuitritionists. The increasing tendency to fete particular sports stars, divorced from the team around them, is largely a media creation – it is simply easier to deal with and analyse individuals, rather than superb teams. So take heart; even the lowliest social team is more worthy, on this viewpoint, than any number of Olympic victories.
TRINITY NEWS January 13, 2009
Trinity News attends glitzy awards ceremony for 2008/9 recipients Page 22
TRINITY NEWS Tuesday, January 13, 2009
MATCH STATS SCORE
DUHC U21S AVOCA U21S
11 JANUARY VENUE
DAVE ADLEY CHARLIE BROWN TEAM
Douglas Alexander tangles with the Avoca attack as a depleted Trinity strive to keep their opponents at bay. Photo: Martin McKenna
U21s lose glamour fixture Despite far better individual skills, an injuryhit Trinity hockey outfit prove unable to cope with 11-man Avoca and miss out on chance for silverware in Under-21 Cup By Conor James McKinney College Sport Editor WITH THE vigour typical of students on a Sunday morning, Trinity’s Under 21s strode out at a remarkably dark and typically miserable Santry to face Avoca in the First Round of the U21 Cup. Captain Andrew Beverland, himself rather the worse for wear, was optimistic as he surveyed his side’s desultery attempts at a warm-up. “We have quality, they’ve got quantity” was his verdict as his eight-man lineup took to the pitch against a more regular number of opposition players, whose pre-game routine was markedly sharper. The Avoca coach was more cautious than his numerical advantage seemed to warrant, past heroics from under-strength student outfits clearly weighing heavily with him: “Trinity seems to be able to play with seven and
still get a result”. Unfortunately, the plucky Trinity Eight were a goal down by the time player number nine had arrived at pitchside. Ginger goalkeeper Andy Stevenson – as he was christened for the day lest his side fall foul of age-related technicalities – had warned his team mates not to “expect any miracles in goal”, and was duly beaten at his inside post by a well-struck Avoca shot in a bright opening for the away team. The only chance Trinity were able to create in the opening period fell to Darragh Mangan, who miscued, and Avoca were still revelling in the space afforded them by their two-man advantage. Good close control by an Avoca forward led to a short corner, but fresher Douglas Montgomery was on hand to block. The ball was worked back in to give them another bite at the cherry only for the ball to come off
a stray Avoca foot in the circle; umpire Dave Adley was quick to give a relieving free to the home side. Trinity were able to get into good positions a few times in the first half and play the ball into the circle, but rarely had enough men forward to get the vital touch. Their only short corner opportunity of the half was fluffed – the uncertainty as to their set-piece tactics before kick-off possibly a factor – and apart from a long-range effort from Charlie Nairn the main threat was the running of Hal Sutherland and Tolly Humphreys out of midfield, where their vastly superior stick skills were starting to shine through. Beverland was close to deflecting in a Sutherland cross on around the twenty minute mark, making the Avoca goalie work for the first time. It was still easy for Avoca to play the ball out of defence, however, despite the tireless efforts of the undermanned Trinity midfield. Another good run by a white shirt down the left-hand side won a short corner, which was tucked away easily for 2-0. Scenting blood, more pressure followed; a goalmouth scramble went Trinity’s way, but they were caught napping by a quick free on the edge of the circle, which was deftly angled in by a waiting forward to give
Avoca an imposing three-nil lead. A lesser side might have given up hope. But the halftime huddle was anything but sombre, despite Sutherland’s hacking and coughing after a metronomic first half, the very exemplar of one suffering for his art. Those able to speak were undaunted, discussing the amount of gaps to be found in the Avoca defence – “let’s just go get some goals” was the rallying cry as Beverland led his troops back out to the battlefield. They had some grounds for optimism, if you were to listen to the Avoca coach prowling the touchline, who expressed the view that “it’s always difficult when you’re playing against 8 or 9 guys” with an impressively straight face.As if out to prove the truth of this affront to common sense, Humphreys came close to setting up Beverland with a ball in from a free won himself, but the Northerner was just unable to connect. Avoca then figured out how to overcome the handicap of being two players up and struck again on the break, a stretched Trinity defence easily broken to leave the scorer with an easy close-range finish. Determined not to go down without a fight, Trinity stepped up a gear. A mazy run from Sutherland saw him
beat three men before winning a short corner, which the Avoca keeper had to get down low to save. The resulting sideline ball was worked up the right by Beverland, and Humphreys’ vicious reverse was on target but again saved. Another fruitless short corner followed, but the partisan crowd could sense that it was only a matter of time before the breakthrough came. After Montgomery had pulled off a huge defensive tackle, the ball was worked upfield to Mangan on the left, whose delayed pass to Louis Jamieson allowed the forward to switch it inside for Sutherland to dispatch the ball coolly into the bottom right-hand corner - fitting reward for a great day’s work from the midfielder. As the rain began to fall, Trinity upped the work-rate yet again – Jamieson’s relentless hounding of the Avoca back four was a sight to behold – and took a stanglehold on the game, manufacturing a host of chances. A long reverse from Sutherland and a short corner attempt from Humphreys were the highlights, but a combination of bad luck and good goalkeeping kept the students from adding to their tally until late on. A ball in from Montgomery took the usual deflection in the circle, and
ANDY STEVENSON DANIEL RYAN DOUGLAS MONTGOMERY CHARLIE NAIRN DARRAGH MANGAN TOLLY HUMPHREYS HAL SUTHERLAND ANDREW BEVERLAND (C) LOUIS JAMIESON MAN OF THE MATCH
HAL SUTHERLAND A TIRELESS performance from the midfielder was duly rewarded with two goals. Alongside partner in crime Humphreys, tormented the Avoca midfield all day; at times, his dribbling has to be seen to be believed. Never gave up the fight and deserves to be given a shot on the first team this season. Sutherland’s reflexes were the sharpest when the ball came to ground. It was too late too matter in terms of the result, but cemented a brave effort especially given the team’s litany of disadvantages: neither fatigue nor numerical disadvantage nor their captain’s obvious need to vomit kept the U21s from making the game a contest, and playing some lovely hockey to boot – honourable sportsmen all, showing the true Trinity spirit. Long may it continue! More TN hockey coverage inside: Ladies First XI in brave effort against champions Hermes, p23; Ciara Murphy interview, p 21.
Graduate XI no match for eager students SCORE
TRINITY CORINTHIANS DUAFC
By Niall Walsh Soccer correspondent DUAFC BEGAN the new year with a promising win against the Trinity Corinthians, themselves at the top of their own respective league, the UCL Premier Division. The Corinthians side is made up of a collection of Trinity graduates who all played for the college soccer team during their time at university. The college side began the brighter of the two under the Santry floodlights, creating plenty of chances in a first half played at a frenetic pace.
Trinity striker Cormac Ryan was first to try his luck, hammering a header against the bar from 6 yards out after a superb cross from full back Jonathan Cummins and moments later his strike partner Niall Walsh rattled the crossbar with a thunderous drive from 20 yards out. Danny Trimble and Conor Molloy were keeping things tight at the other end and Trinity almost went in front just before the break. Walsh laid the ball out to Cormac Farrell on the wing and his pinpoint cross found fellow winger Fergal Mullins in acres of space at the back post. His first touch let him down, however, and his close range strike flew over the bar. At half time managers Terry McAuley and Jimmy Cummiskey changed things around, bringing on a plethora of substitutes and moving away from the
tradtional 4-4-2 set-up and back to the diamond formation that has served them so well this season. The college quickly took control of the game in the centre of the park and it did not take long for the breakthrough to come. Walsh raced through the Graduate defense after a flicked through ball by Chris Allen and smashed a first time swerving left foot volley into the top corner of the net. Moments later Walsh could have doubled his tally after a defensive mixup but his tame shot was cleared off the line by a Graduate defender. They then swept up the pitch on the counter attack and after a missed header at the back found themselves two on one, bearing down on Trinity goalkeeper Michael Schroll, and the German keeper was helpless to prevent the a low shot from
THE TEAM 1. M. Schroll 2. O. McMahon 3. J. Cummins 4. C. Molloy 5. D. Trimble (c) 6. L. Guerin 7. C. Farrell 8. C. Allen 9. C. Ryan 10. N. Walsh 11. F. Mullins Subs: M. Storan, L. Martin, E. Keegan, E. O’Reilly, E. Tinnsley, L .Keogh, C. Lawler Man of the Match: D. Trimble
squeezing under his body. With the teams at level pegging, the Trinity managers brought on some more changes to freshen up the side and the students rallied superbly, getting back on top in the game by moving the ball quickly around the center of the park. Captain Danny Trimble urged his team onwards and led by example at the back with some crunching tackles at crucial moments. Trinity created chance after chance but had to wait until the 75th minute until they got their noses in front again. A neat passage of play in Trinity’s midfield led to substitute Ed Tinnsley playing a peach of ball with the outside of his left boot perfectly into teammate Chris Allen’s stride. He ran directly at the keeper, feinted left and right and ended up walking the ball into the net
having successfully rounded him. As the competitors trudged off the frosty pitch at Santry, the players and management will most definitely have been encouraged by a determined performance that belied the friendly nature of the game. Trinity followed up with a comprehensive win over Loughshinny United in the Leinster Senior League on Saturday 11th. The students ran out 5-0 victors in an impressive performance; two goals from Niall Walsh, along with strikes from Ryan, Guerin and Lawler sees Trinity sitting pretty at the top of the league. More TN soccer coverage inside: Our correspondent examines the recent success of the ladies soccer team, page 21.