Volume 21 / Issue 8
19th February 2008
THIS WEEK IN
Exclusive interview: The Siren - Page 6
Williams Uncovering Dublin's Gangland Underworld - Page 14
Ten week wait for counsellor slated ■ Three counsellors sharing two ■ rooms for 22,000 students Leading Irish support-groups for tackling depression have branded UCD’s counselling facilities as “wholly unacceptable”. Mental Health Ireland and Aware have joined the Students’ Union in condemning the college’s waiting list for students to see a counsellor, which currently stands at eight to ten weeks. They have also condemned the fact that there are only three counsellors in UCD at the moment, and that they are required to share two rooms. A spokeswoman for Aware, Sandra Hogan, declared, “The waiting list is wholly unacceptable. If someone needs help, they need it now, and a waiting period can cause a greater impact as problems get worse.” Brian Howard of Mental Health Ireland spoke about UCD, and declared, “Anyone with any sort of mental health diﬃculty needs to be seen. The sooner it’s recognised and action is taken, the better. That’s for everybody concerned. Ten weeks is far too long. They need help immediately.” The College are currently in the process of seeking two new counsellors to add to the Health Centre, but it has emerged that, as of yet, they have nowhere to put them, should they appointed in the near future. Students’ Union Welfare Oﬃcer Vivian Rath highlighted the lack of coun-
■ Jennifer Bray
cilors as being behind the length of the waiting-list, and declared, “The two new counsellors are a while down the line, but there’s no point bringing in these two when there is nowhere to put them.” College chaplain Tony Coote is the founder of the Please Talk campaign, which is a campaign that has encouraged students to talk about their problems and to take care of their mental health, and he also voiced concerns about the waiting list. “It is unacceptable, taken as a pure fact.” The Health Centre, however, does currently provide a ‘duty hour’, which is le free for those who need to be seen straight away. Coote commended this aspect of the service, “One thing that the Health Centre has been strong on, is that they keep a slot for emergencypeople. “If people come in and they show signs of crisis – they are seen straight away. It’s a sort of emergency slot. It must be very hard for the Health Centre to keep that slot, knowing the waitinglist is there, but if they didn’t keep that slot, then if I had someone coming to me in a crisis – I’d be stuck.” Continued on page 4
"I was tortured in Guantanamo Bay" Exclusive Interview with Moazzam Begg - Page 16
19th February 2008
UCD Lecturer urges a No Vote ■ Caitrina Cody
Editor Caitrina Cody Deputy & Features Editor Colin Gleeson Design Editor Simon Ward News Editors Jennifer Bray, Philip Connolly Sports Editor Jordan Daly Health & Fashion Editor Cathy Buckmaster Arts Editor Cian Taaffe Music Editor Lorcan Archer Contributors: Adam Watts, Vicky McKenna, Eoin Brophy, Eoghan Glynn, Bryan Devlin, Ben Blake, Eoin Boyle, Karen O'Connell, Pete Mahon, Dermot Looney, Aoife Ryan, Helen O'Sullivan, Sarah O'Hegarty, Fiona Redmond, Claire Geraghty, Sophie O'Higgins, Lisa Towell, Eimear Hanratty, Sebastion Clare, Heather Landy, Maeve Devoy, Orla Kenny, Helen O'Sullivan, Eoghan Rice, Richard Mulrooney
UCD Lecturer Dr Kieran Allen has spearheaded a campaign against the Lisbon Treaty, establishing a website dedicated to encouraging Irish people to vote no in the upcoming referendum. Allen, a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology states that the articles of the Treaty are couched in vague terms that are not accessible to the Irish public. “The problem is where’s the text? Sixty-nine percent of the Irish population doesn’t know what it’s about and that’s not surprising seeing as the government has not produced a consolidated text for people. In France however, the text was printed and distributed freely to everyone and there was a huge turnout of voters. “I would encourage people to vote no to the Treaty because it involves the militarization of Europe. One of its articles essentially maintains that member states shall progressively increase their military capabilities. “It also has a terrorism solidarity clause which if invoked would mean that Ireland would be involved in wars where EU countries claim to have suﬀered a terrorist attack. Such open clauses are quite dangerous.” Meanwhile, members of Labour Youth voted last weekend to support the Lisbon Treaty by only one vote. Enda Duﬀy, a UCD student and Chairperson of Labour Youth emphasised the positive aspects of the Lisbon Treaty that will see Ireland strengthen its links with the European Union.
■ Kieran Allen: Editor of VoteNo.ie (above)
“The European Union has played a positive role in promoting the equality agenda in Ireland. For example equal pay in the work place and in social welfare payments as well as decriminalisation of homosexuality were as a direct result of Ireland’s membership of the EU. Where successive right wing led government’s failed, Europe delivered. “The debate on the Lisbon Treaty ought to be informed and it is for this reason that we call for a copy of the treaty to be sent to every home in the country. The eyes of Europe will be on Ireland in the coming months and it is of vital importance that all citizens get the opportunity to make a decision that is conversant when it comes to polling day.” According to a recent Irish Times poll, two thirds of Irish people are as yet undecided as to how they will vote in the referendum.
Special Thanks To: Stephen & Billy @ Spectator Newspapers, Eilis O'Brien, Dominic Martella, A&B, Michael & Denise Cody.
Contact Us: E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01-7168501, LG 18, Newman Building
UCD academic defends rogue college
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■ Jennifer Bray A UCD academic has come out in support of an institution that has recently come under ﬁre from the Department of Education for selling ‘worthless’ degrees for fees of up to 18,000. The Department has stated that the degrees of the self-styled ‘Warnborough College’, which up to this point, has rented premised at the All Hallows College in Drumcondra, are not accredited. However, Dr. Gabriel Byrne of the UCD Smurﬁt School of Business has defended the institution, stating that the claims that the college has been selling worthless degrees are false and that the college is doing a ‘very reputable job.’ He added that “It is not a postage service where
Will you vote in the Sabbatical Elections? Nick Furlong, 3rd B&L
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you send in money and get a degree. There is a lot of work involved.” The courses which include Bachelor, Doctorate and MA at varying prices are not recognised by the Department of Education, The Higher Education and Training Awards Council and the National Qualiﬁcations Authority of Ireland (NQAI). The NQAI described the qualiﬁcations on oﬀer as eﬀectively “worthless”.
Warnborough College also has oﬃces in Canterbury in Kent, and it is unrecognised by the UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills as an institution with the power to award its own degrees. The College was set up by Australian Brendan Tempest-Mogg in Oxford in 1973. It caused controversy in 1995 when it brought overseas students to England with the promises of attending Oxford University, and was closed soon aer. However, the college was registered as a company in Ireland with premises in Cork before moving to premises in Bray, and eventually All Hallows in Drumcondra. All Hallows, whose degrees are validated by DCU has stated it will not continue to rent out the oﬃces to the ‘college’.
“I voted last year for lads in B&L, this year I probably wouldn’t vote for them. If I’m in I’ll vote; I know one of the lads in the union but apart from that not much. They gave us some free drinks on exam day.”
Hillary Johnson, 2nd Arts “I kind of generally know what the Students’ Union do, I know they do inﬂuence my life in college somehow but not in what areas. I guess I’ll vote if I’m in UCD on the day.”
Mairead Johnson, 2nd Arts
an awful lot, or aﬀect me much to be honest.”
“I’ll deﬁnitely vote. I know a lot about the Students’ Union and what they do. I’ll trust the oﬃcers that I vote in. I think that the union have been going from strength to strength; since I was in ﬁrst year I think they have more of a presence.”
Aisling Drummand, 1st Arts
Niall Vaughan, 2nd Science
“Yeah I know some of the oﬃcers, Barry Colfer and Ronan Shanahan are good guys, and they’ve all done good work. I’ll deﬁnitely vote”
“I didn’t even know about the elections, I have no interest in it at all. I don’t think they do
“I don’t know, I don’t really know much or hear much about them. I would trust them, I’m sure they do there bit and I just don’t hear about it. They must do a fair bit I suppose.”
Ciaran Lyons 2nd Arts
19th February 2008
Just out for a stroll...
University Of Google ■ Grades falling due to reliance on internet For UCD students that rely on the eﬀorts of Google and Wikipedia while doing academic research, it may be time to ﬁnd an alternative road or face worsening grades. UCD History lecturer Declan Downey has criticised the heavy reliance of students on such non-academic online resources. “The student who depends totally on Google is completely missing the point. It’s merely intended as a search engine. A student should be prepared to go into the college library and take out the recommend books. “The whole point of a student coming to University is to develop their mind. The only way they can do that is to read the books recommended.”
■ Jennifer Bray Downey goes on to slate the History Department’s nemesis, Wikipedia. “Wikipedia is a very unreliable source because anybody can add or change things. Some crazies, conspiracy theorists, will put their own twisted version on it, and it might appear to some unsuspecting student who will take it at face value. It’s completely unreliable and open to abuse.” Furthermore, the student resources that not be relied on too heavily extends to Blackboard, according to the lecturer. “I don’t use blackboard due to the fact that students who depend on blackboard have usually not attended class,” claims
Downey. Tara Brabazon, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Brighton, stated in a lecture earlier this month that Google has created a generation of students that are unable to distinguish between relevant, factual information and irrelevant, false information. According to Brabazon, “Google oﬀers easy answers to diﬃcult questions. But students do not know how to tell if they come from serious, refereed work or are merely composed of shallow ideas, superﬁcial surﬁng and ﬂeeting commitments” Many of Ireland’s Universities, including UCD, have now issued guidelines on proper use of the internet and its sources.
Five UCD students prepare to take part in the fashion extravaganza that is the 2008 UCD Fashion Show, taking place in the RDS on the 29th of February. All proceeds will go to Down Syndrome Centre Ireland.
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19th February 2008 H
NEWS IN BRIEF COMPILED BY CAITRINA CODY
John Banville lecture Irish author and Booker Prize Winner John Banville is set to come to UCD to give the Philosophy Society’s inaugural lecture on Wednesday this week.
The award-winning author will make a rare public appearance at the lecture, entitled ‘Beckett’s Last Words’. Banville is the author of The Sea, which won the Booker Prize in 2005 and many other award-winning novels. The Wexford native was the subject of a recent RTE documentary, entitled Being John Banville, which explored his career and well-known writing style. His work is known for its dark humour and sharp work, employing perfectly-crafted prose. The author will attend the lecture on the 20th of February, 7pm, Theatre P, Newman Building.
Ten week wait for counsellor slated From front page Leading Irish support-groups for tackling depression have branded UCD’s counselling facilities as “wholly unacceptable”. College chaplain Tony Coote explained that he does not believe that the two new counsellors will be adequate to solve the problem of the waiting-list, “They won’t make a huge diﬀerence but they will make some diﬀerence – maybe not discernible straight away, but they will make some diﬀerence. “I do think that we will need two more aer the two that are coming. That would deﬁnitely make a diﬀerence. But they are tight on space there at the moment. When that Students’ Centre was built, I don’t think anyone foresaw that there would be this much demand for counsellors.
■ Chatty: The Please Talk Campaign “It’s really cart before the horse stuﬀ getting new counsellors when there’s nowhere to put them. But they’ll have to go somewhere. So, there’ll be some accommodation in the short-term. There has to be.” In comparison to UCD, Trinity Col-
lege Dublin provides a service for students that contains an individual website listing out all members of staﬀ, relevant phone numbers, frequently asked questions, services and feedback. With a population of just over 15,000 students and eight counsellors, waiting
UCD reaches for the stars
New Masters course in Criminology A news Masters course in Criminology has been established in UCD. The Criminology and Criminal Justice course is designed to afford a deeper understanding of crime and its consequences to prospective prison guards, police, probation officers, social workers or anyone interested in working in the field of crime and its reactions. There are a wide range of modules available in the course, including two options from the Law school. Semester one modules will be comprised of Prisons and Penal Community, and Communities Crime and Consequences. Semester two will provide modules in Advanced Criminal Theory and Crime and Society. Electives include Punishment and Violence, Crime and Punishment and Crime, Law and Social Control. The course will begin in September 2008.
Cultural Diversity Week Last week saw UCD play host to Cultural Diversity Week, an event which celebrated the many cultures of the world, their traditions, foods, song and dance. Information stands were placed in the Newman Building, providing information and demonstrations from the countries of Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa. A photography exhibition featuring family portraits from around the world had a prominent place in the week of events, which also saw traditional dance and music displays, including African drummers and Malaysian dance students take place at many different locations around the campus. Exotic international dishes were made available in the UCD Restaurant, while foreign film nights were also held. The purpose of the week was to encourage awareness of
lists do not normally extend beyond a few days. A spokeswoman for Aware, Sandra Hogan, explained, “Students are vulnerable. Many will be living away from home for the ﬁrst time, and with lifestyle issues such as peer pressure, drugs, alcohol and exam pressure, it is an important period, during which many may need extra help to get through.” Coote concluded by saying, “The experts are now saying that by 2010, depression will be the most reported illness in this country – bar heart disease. So, there is an increase in the number of people showing signs of depression or having diﬃculties with life. So, that must be a contributory factor to this waiting-list.” UCD’s Director of Counselling Marie Murray declined to comment on the matter.
UCD scientists make cancer breakthrough Scientists at UCD have found an anticancer drug that they claim can reduce breast cancer tumours by a third. It has also been successful at treating kidney cancer, which kills 100,000 people worldwide every year and is unreceptive to most chemotherapy. The scientists at the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology conducted tests using their titanium based compound – Titanocene Y – on human tumours that were implanted into mice. The substance caused cancer cells to die at a similar or better rate than the chemotherapy drug Cispaltan. It works by poisoning the breast or renal cancer cells, but leaves healthy ones relatively unharmed. Matthias Tacke, a senior lecturer in medicinal chemistry in UCD said, “We are trying to ﬁnd a chemotherapy against advanced kidney cancer because there is no standard treatment. There is an obvious gap in cancer therapy and we are trying to ﬁll that.” The metal-based compound is usually used in manufacturing to speed up chemical reactions. “This is a compound class that you wouldn’t look at as an anti-cancer drug and we just tried it out,” said Tacke. “The molecules are made slightly diﬀerently so the body can absorb them and they are
■ Jason Timmons
taken up selectively by cancer cells, which was a very surprising eﬀect we found a couple of years ago. It was serendipity and good luck. At university we have more time to think than big companies do.” There are about 260 new cases of renal cell cancer in Ireland each year and 140 deaths of the disease. Finally, a chemotherapy drug against this form of the disease is diﬃcult because the kidney tries to ﬁlter out the drug sent in against the cancer. Some drugs are not toxic enough to kill the cancer cells but may still trigger unwanted inﬂammation of the organ or even organ death. The UCD team has transplanted human kidney cancer into immune-deﬁcient mice and treated them with the drugs. The cancer cells take up the compound and die. They are poisoned selectively inside the mouse. Tacke hopes clinical trials on human with Titanocene Y could happen in three to ﬁve years. Although there has been success in treating human cancers in mice, it is too early to say what the eﬀects will be with people.
A group of UCD researchers have assisted the European Space Agency (ESA) with its largest contribution to the International Space Station, the Columbus laboratory, which was launched into space on February 7th on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis. The research group, led by Dr David Browne from the UCD School of Electric, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering, are at the forefront of coordinating and driving initiatives which the ESA is planning for the future use of this laboratory. “With these incredible experimental facilities available, we can become much more ambitious with our research,” says Dr Browne. The UCD team is actively supporting ground-based research which will lead to new near zero-gravity experiments on Columbus. “Ireland may still be some way from producing its ﬁrst astronaut, but we are developing the scientiﬁc ideas which will
■ Philip Connolly
keep European International Space Station astronauts busy in years to come, hopefully inspiring Irish children to become space-bound.” With a 10 year projected lifespan, the module, equipped with ﬂexible research facilities, will enable earth-based researchers, together with the International Space Station crew, to conduct thousands of scientiﬁc experiments in the weightlessness of orbit. The UCD Phase Transformation Group is led by Professor David Browne, and its Microgravity Project Manager is Dr Shaun Mc Fadden. Their prime interests are in the eﬀects of gravity on the solidiﬁcation of novel alloys, and have been involved in developing computational models of solidiﬁcation, in design of space experiments, and in analysis of the results.
19th February 2008
Students say no to SHAG week
It's Harry Time
■ Uproar over nationwide USI sexual health awareness week Religious students across the country have condemned the nationwide Students’ Unionorganised Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) week. Catholic students, as well as other non-Catholic groups, have voiced their anger over the issue, labelling the event as ‘irresponsible’. Colleges such as UCD, DCU, Trinity, Galway, and UCC have all participated in SHAG week, which took place in UCD last week. The focus of the week held by the UCD Students’ Union (SU) centred on the complimentary information packs, which include free condoms, information leaflets, and lubricants. SHAG balls and various other events, such as ﬁlm screenings, have also taken place around the country. “The desired eﬀect is that students will go away with the necessary information and tools to ensure their health is not at risk, and to simply promote safe sex,” stated Vivian Rath, SU Welfare Oﬃcer. Credo, a student-run Catholic
■ Aoife Ryan journal has declared their opposition to the national sexual awareness campaign, as well as to the decrease in the tax on condoms that was announced by the government recently. “We support the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Bishops of Ireland. We are young people who love college life but oppose any irresponsible campaign like SHAG week. “We are encouraging all students not to accept a SHAG goodie pack, which will contain condoms. Students deserve better.” Rath maintains that the complaints of Catholic students are unfair. “We are trying to encourage the use of condoms and identifying possible choices of contraception because students deserve to know their options. We would also like to encourage students to get STI checks on a regular basis. All the information is provided in the packs, not just a load of condoms. Abstinence was mentioned, it’s in the SHAG handbook, which is ready for print. I just want students to be aware.”
UCD Connect down again The college has highlighted “great volumes of staﬀ and students simultaneously attempting to log into UCD Connect” as the cause of the system’s collapse last week. Aer problems with the service earlier on in the year, many UCD students were again affected by issues relating to both UCD Connect and Blackboard. With some students experiencing problems relating to assignments, tutors were forced to postpone assignment due dates. A spokesperson for UCD explained, “There may, at certain times, be great volumes of staﬀ and students simultaneously attempting to log into UCD Connect. And, on occasion, this may result in some users being unable to successfully log in. “However, in relation to last week’s diﬃculties, information pages were provided, advising students and staﬀ, that at busy times, they could go directly to
■ Philip Connolly services such as email, Blackboard and the student information system. “An upgrade to UCD Connect is scheduled for implementation in June 2008. This upgrade will signiﬁcantly increase the number of simultaneous logins that can occur.” The college spokesperson also addressed the problems with Blackboard, declaring, “Once logged in to UCD Connect, some students did experience diﬃculty getting through to Blackboard, but this problem was resolved when a solution was put in place on Thursday morning. “UCD IT Services will continue to monitor the performance and availability of UCD Connect in order to ensure that a valuable service is provided to UCD students and staﬀ.”
Crowds gather to see JK Rowling prior to her acceptance of the L&H’s James Joyce Award
19th February 2008
That time of the year again As the blossoms begin to bloom on the trees, and the birds clear their throats and begin to ﬁnd their voices again, the onslaught of blue skies and long, hazy evenings herald that time of the year again. It’s Students’ Union Sabbatical Elections time. Approaching are the weeks whereby you, the students of UCD, will be bombarded with the faces, names, and opinions of ten eager candidates – all seeking your precious vote. Emotions are sure to ﬂy high as highjinx, fun and frolics engulf the college. But
if it’s quick dashes from one lecture hall to the next that you are looking for – you better keep your head down and run. Canvassers and candidates will be prowling the halls of every faculty in search of fresh blood for the polling booths. In order to help you through this period of posters, manifestos and ﬂiers galore, the College Tribune has met and spoken to all the candidates running in this year’s elections, in order to try and help you decide who it is that you want to see representing your interests in the Students’ Union next year. Enjoy.
PRESIDENT Áodhán O’Dea 3rd Business and Legal Why are you running for president? I’ve been involved with the Student’s Union now for a few years, and this year I’ve been involved as an executive oﬃcer as Irish Language Oﬃcer and I’ve seen a lot of good things in the SU. However, there’s also a lot of bad things and lot of room for change. There are a lot of possibilities for the SU to accomplish things they could do but aren’t doing at the moment. The main reason I decided to run is because I can bring a lot of change to the Union, bring it to a higher platform.
What are the changes needed? The main problem with the Students’ Union is that most people don’t really know what it does. From the last few weeks from talking to students on campus, they felt it was kind of a clique, kind of hackish, that’s a big problem. For an SU to have that image, it’s a very bad thing. We need to open up to all areas of the campus. I would completely change the structure of the Union, even in the corridor, and the structure of the Class Reps to make sure that every single class has a class rep they can communicate with, and feel encouraged to get involved.
What kind of qualifications do you think you can bring to the job? For the ﬁrst time in a good few years, someone is running for president who has not been a Sabbatical Oﬃcer. I think it’s a good thing. I’ve been a student myself for the past three years,
and I think it’ll make a change to the Union to have someone going in coming straight from three years as a student, someone much closer therefore to the student population. If big changes need to be made, now is the time to make them. I know what the student wants, how they feel.
What would your priorities be? Accommodation, because it’s a joke. There are only 2,838 places on campus for students and approximately 13,000 students are in need of accommodation. It needs to be dramatically increased. UCD have laid out the policy for the next two years about how many beds there will be introduced. From being a student this year, I think people are afraid to do anything on campus residences, there’s not as much fun around campus around UCD at all. People also need to get actively involved in clubs and societies.
How active or radical do you think the SU should be? Well I wouldn’t use the word ‘radical’, I think the days of mass protesting are gone in a way. These days we sit with authorities and decide how to make changes. We need to get that representation with these authorities. A lot of time it comes down to going along and saying ‘Listen, we’re students we know what we need’.
What do you think of the outgoing officer?
Barry Colfer has been much more proactive than other years’ presidents and has brought in some great changes and has been a great leader. I couldn’t criticise Barry because he’s done some great work in making sure the Health Centre fees don’t come in, and lobbying for the grants, which was a major issue this year. The only fault or thing I would say I need to change is the structure of the Union and the Class Reps.
How do you feel about running unopposed? To be honest I was a bit shocked, normally a good few people run for the position of president. I think the good thing about running opposed is that you have criticism, debates; they’ll test you on your issues. The thing about running for SU President is you need to have been a bit involved in the Union before. It’s better to have a good battle, to thrash it out.
Would you consider yourself qualified for the job? Completely. This year as Irish Language Ofﬁcer was a very successful year, I brought Cumann Gaelach back and had a great Seachtain na Gaeilge. I run an Irish college so I have a lot of leadership qualities. The Union needs someone more in touch with the students, that’s the most important qualiﬁcation.
Favourite Film? Once
19th February 2008
DEPUTY PRESIDENT Dan Isobel O’Neill O’Connor 3rd Arts
■ Campaigns: A central aspect of the Deputy President’s job description
Why do you want the job? I think its one of the most important positions in the union. I think a union works best when it’s campaigning on behalf of its students. I think as deputy president, I want to be student’s voice in the union; I want to listen to students, hear what they have to say.
What qualifications do you think you can bring to the job? I’m a campaigner, I’ve been involved in various campaigns in the past, and I’ve been involved in UCD students for free health care which defeated the introduction of fees. I’ve also been involved in student’s action on Climate Change that was initially started by former deputy president Dave Curran. I was heavily involved. I think I have the skills necessary to campaign.
What would you prioritise next year? There are many issues, and just listening to students I’ve heard many shocking things. My dad is disabled so disability awareness is something I hold dear. For instance, simple things like the space between shelves in the library for wheelchairs to ﬁt in, or making it easier to ﬁnd a book.
Next year UCD authorities will not bring in Health charges under my watch. I want to make the Union represent normal students.
Do you think the SU is connected with the students? I don’t so at all. I think the Sabbatical Oﬃcers this year have done their job in certain areas but one thing I’ve heard from many students is that they don’t see the Sabbatical Oﬃcers enough. I believe it is the students that the Union should be listening to. I am not a hack. I haven’t been hanging around the student corridor.
What’s your opinion on the outgoing officer? Ciara Brennan has done a good job in certain areas but I do think that she could have been out there a little bit more with the students. Visibility is important. I think you should negotiate with the college as much as you can, but when it comes to it you should take a strong stand.
Favourite film? The Godfather trilogy.
Why are you running? I feel quite strongly that the Students’ Union is a very powerful thing and that the way its going to be most powerful is to fully engage with the students. In the last few years the Students’ Union has managed to secure a lot more representation in various college departments, taking a lot of time from the President and Welfare Oﬃcer so that’s why the role of deputy was created.
What qualifications do you bring to the role? I have a lot of experience; I was a class rep for a year and health science programme oﬃcer. I’ve had experience recruiting class reps, who I believe are the key to the Students’ Union. Its not just about ﬁve people sitting in their oﬃce, it’s about those ﬁve people and one hundred and ﬁy class reps communicating with 22000 students.
What do you view as the main parts of your role? The main parts of the role are campaigns and communications, the role could possibly be renamed in the future. Obviously my number one priority is the recruitment of class reps
and to help them be eﬀective, they are a huge tool that are available to the union.
Has the SU been in touch with the student population last year? In the last few years the proﬁle of the SU has been improved, but there’s still a lot more to do. I’ve been out talking to people in the architecture building and they’ve told me I’m the ﬁrst SU rep they’ve seen this year. I think it’s a sad thing that the SU’s proﬁle is at its highest during the elections. Throughout the year it wouldn’t be practical to have the same level, like full time lecture addressing but maybe a few times a week, to put a face to the names.
How do you feel about the outgoing officer? I think Ciara Brennan has done a great job. There have also been a lot of good program ofﬁcers this year, and a lot more class reps were elected. Every faculty apart from arts had an increase so it has been a good year.
What’s your favourite film? Grease
ENTS Gary Redmond Why do you want the job? I’ve been involved in Ents since I came to UCD three and a half years ago. I’ve been involved in pretty much every gig we’ve done this year; I feel I have the experience not just in Ents but with all the large scale societies on campus, and the contacts in the industry. I have the conﬁdence to meet with outside promoters and production companies so I can bring the best acts to UCD.
Do you feel that you have any qualifications that you could bring to the job? I know at this stage what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been the Events Manager this year. Over the last year I’ve worked with Stephen Quinlivan (Ents Oﬃcer), and before that Holly Irvine (Ents Oﬃcer, 2006).
What’s your opinion on the outgoing officer? Stephen has done a fantastic job this year. We’ve moved on an awful lot from last year. We’ve worked hard over the summer to re-build the Ents
SU Forum Representative
brand; we’ve had a lot of large scale gigs this year. Ents wasn’t in the best position when Stephen took it over; he’s worked hard to rebuild it. It was tarnished.
Is there anything different that you would do next year? There’s a perception on campus that Stephen’s had too many Electro acts. They were the ones that were most successful so maybe that’s where that perception came from. I would like to run something called Blast From the Past which would bring back acts from the 90s, people we grew up with. This year Fresher’s Ball was so big it couldn’t ﬁt into the venue. I’d like to bring it back to campus. Ents needs to adapt to modularisation. We also need to look at acts for end of mid-term exams.
What’s your opinion on the UCD Ball, would you like to see it back next year? The UCD Ball is a concept that has been bandied around for a few years now. I would love to do a UCD ball,
but there’s no point in doing a UCD ball if it’s going to loose vast sums of student’s money. I’d like to do it if it’s possible though.
Are you disappointed that you’re running alone? I am disappointed. Stephens had the biggest Ents crew this year, we’ve seen how much work goes into it, so I can see why no one else wants run, people maybe don’t want to give a whole year to Ents, but that’s what’s needed.
Do you think the SU is engaged with the students? The guys have done a fantastic job, but maybe they should look at better ways to engage with students. They know they need to get out to students more. Ents seems to be the face of the SU, it’s funny, if Ents has had a good year, it always seems like it’s been a good year for the SU as a whole.
Favourite film? Layer Cake.
19th February 2008
EDUCATION Paul Rory Lynam Geraghty USI Eastern Area Officer
■ The ongoing grants crisis: Which of these men will solve the problem?
Why do you want the job? I like the challenge. I want to change the scene. I want to take on the challenge here at UCD. UCD has been good to me and my family. I’m twice the candidate I was last year.
What qualifications can you bring to the job? Of all the candidates, I’m the most experienced. I’ve had a year now with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), I worked with the Student Support Bill, the Student Accommodation taskforce, and I’m a former chairman of the National Education group. I was a programme rep for the Arts faculty.
What would you prioritise next year? Student support without question. UCD is like a degree factory. I’d like to make students aware when it comes to exams and things they need to know.
Do you think the SU connects with the student population? From what I can tell you, this would be the strongest SU in the country, they are deﬁnitely the most active. There’s a gap between the two, but I think its getting smaller and smaller, eventually that threshold will be gone.
What sort of campaigns or policies do you want to bring in next year? A system to reward students in second or third year who do well in their exams. Too much is lumped onto second year. Thirteen months aer doing your Leaving Cert, you’ll be doing your ﬁrst essay that goes towards your degree. We would encourage students to participate in college life. Part time fees are another issue. It’s the student issue; I want to get rid of that fee. Even the situation with the Grant Threshold is ridiculous. I would like to set up a staﬀ student body. Electives- it should be a choice if you want to take up electives.
What’s your opinion on the outgoing officer? Excellent. His work with the USI on a national level has been phenomenal. He’s one of the most approachable people you’ll ever meet which is very important, it’s probably one of the most important characteristics you need to have. What he’s done with the Education section on the website has taken everything to a new level. I would have a very high appreciation for him.
What’s your favorite film? True Romance.
Why do you want the job? I’ve been involved in the Students’ Union since I was in First Year, it’s always something that I’ve felt was very important to college life. I’ve always been interested in the Education Oﬃce because it deals with speciﬁc things relating to people’s degrees. At the end of the day it all comes back to how students are getting on in college, how they’re getting through college and I think the Education Ofﬁce has a huge role to play in that.
Do you feel that you have any Qualifications? I’ve served on a lot of SU committees that the Education Oﬃcer would sit on already. I was on the Arts Programme Board and the Academic Council in First Year, I’m currently on the Teaching and Learning Board. Also as a Class Rep, I’ve dealt with a lot of issues that have come up with my class, like essay deadlines, we’ve highlighted issues and resolved them. I’m also very approachable as a person and I feel that I will be able to deal with personal cases.
Are there any issues that you hope to prioritise next year? There are a lot of things that need to be done next year. I’d particularly like to look at the issue of Stage X, where people don’t have enough
credits to progress to the next stage of their degree. and the idea that people aren’t being informed, about registration, about paying fees. There are also a lot of problems with exams, and I will deﬁnitely want to address those next year.
Do you think that the College consults with the SU? Having served as a Class Rep, it doesn’t seem that way. I don’t think we are consulted enough. We need more consultation, better communication between the college and the students.
What are your views on the outgoing officer? I’ve been very impressed with Ronan Shanahan’s eﬀorts this year. I don’t have any criticisms with his year, I feel that he has done a great job, that he has been very approachable.
Do you believe in protesting? I do, but I believe it has to be organised properly. It has to be done very carefully because it can also be used as a sign of weakness if enough people don’t show up. I wouldn’t use it as a ﬁrst resort.
What is your favourite film? Crash
RON Re-open Nominations What does this mean? If more people vote RON than for any of the candidates the election will have to be held again and new nominations will have to be invited. RON is counted as a candidate under the Proportional Representation System used in these elections.
When can I vote RON?
RON will ‘win’ and the election will be run again, probably in the next term and more nominations will be invited.
Why would I do that? If none of the candidates appeal to you and you still want to utilise your vote.
Has RON ever won?
You can vote RON in all elections.
What’s the story with this race?
Yes, in the mid 1990s. A couple of uncontested Welfare races have also come quite close.
Can I run a RON campaign? Yes. You are perfectly entitled to run a RON campaign in any of the election races.
13th 19thNovember February 2007 2008
3rd Architecture and Engineering
Why do you want the job?
Why do you want the job?
Why do you want the job?
Why do you want the job?
Welfare seems so personal, really one to one. I know the issues. Everyone has individual issues now, but for example, the counselling service has a twelve week waiting list, which is outrageous. For the ﬁrst time the counselling system needs to be really highlighted. I want to bring these issues to the forefront and really make a diﬀerence to people’s lives.
I didn’t want to be one of those students who just le college and regretted not getting involved in more. I had such a good year with the Union by being involved I just want to keep it going. I was one of those students in ﬁrst year that started out knowing nothing about the SU or anything about the services. Now I want to get it out there to students what it is we have for them. I want to promote the position so much more.
The reason I joined the Union two years ago is that although it is very good, it doesn’t serve enough people. Many of my friends hadn’t even heard of the Students’ Union, and had never availed of the Union’s services. One of the things I’d love to do as Welfare Oﬃcer next year is make it even more inclusive. I want to get more people involved, because although the SU does do a good job, it doesn’t really cater to everyone.
I feel that I would be good in the position. I feel I’d be the best person in that position. Is something I’ve looked at for the last year and a half and seen the various welfare oﬃcers come and go. I really respect the position. It’s important; it’s the position students come to when they have an issue, where they look for guidance.
What qualifications can you bring to this position?
Do you have any qualifications that you can bring to the job?
The fact that I have been very active in the Union, in protesting for Grants and the Student Support Bill. I’ve been involved in student life in UCD so I’ve seen a lot of the problems that we have.
Nothing speciﬁc, but I do plan to do some courses over the summer to prepare myself. I see the Welfare Oﬃce as more of a referral service though, a point of contact, about making people feel comfortable about looking for help.
There are various diﬀerent ones. I’ve always worked with people. When I was 15 I volunteered with the Irish Wheelchair Association, where I worked with adult and children with physical and intellectual disabilities, aer that I worked with a lot more young people with disabilities. Are there any issues that you would perhaps concentrate on next year that haven’t been addressed eﬀectively this year? The issue of the Student Medical centre, I would try to ﬁnd a way that the funding of the health centre could come from somewhere other than the students. In terms of access to facilities and resources for people with disabilities, that’s been dealt with quite well this year.
Are there any qualifications you can bring to the job? I’ve been involved in Young Fine Gael in UCD and there I developed leadership qualities. I’m also Arts programme oﬃcer, so I get feedback on academic issues such as modularisation. Listening is a fundamental skill, and I have it. Thirdly, I’m the secretary of the largest society in the college so I have organisational skills, which will be vital next year with the organisation of campaigns.
What are your views on the outgoing officer? Vivian Rath has done an unbelievable job. People go into Welfare expecting the sun star and the moon. Viv went in with a mandate of speciﬁc things to do, and he did it. I hope to continue his work.
What issues would you prioritise next year? The counseling service, it’s not enough of a priority. It’s never been a hot topic. Also disabilities. How can people with disabilities enjoy the privileges of college life, in nightclubs? How can people in this concrete jungle beneﬁt in UCD? I want to help them. I also want to focus on those with learning disabilities. I can take a new approach to all these issues and tackle them head on.
Do you think there are any issues that haven’t been addressed properly this year that you would address next year? One big thing I’d want to focus more on is mental health. Young males of 15-21 are most vulnerable and don’t talk about it. I would love to introduce a speciﬁc mental health clinic, where students can get even information and where conﬁdentiality is the key.
What’s your opinion on the outgoing officer? I think Vivian Rath is amazing. I was with him this morning aer a tough morning and he managed to cheer me up. He has tough shoes to ﬁll.
What are your views on Abortion?
I would have to take an in-directive approach on the issue. If a pregnant woman comes to my oﬃce, in the strictest conﬁdentiality, and she asks me for all the options, I’ll give her all the options. Including abortion. That would be me doing my job.
If a student came to me, I would give them any kind of support no matter what. I would never push my opinions on any student. First of all, for a student to be in that position is tough enough. I would show the student both sides if they were unsure and support them in their decision. I don’t think personal opinion should come across.
What’s your favourite film? Blood diamond.
What are your views on abortion?
What are the issues that you think haven’t been addressed properly this year and that you’ll be addressing next year? I’d like to see an STI screening service introduced to the UCD Health Centre, or at least to see the existing system expanded upon. It’s great that we have the clinic in Donnybrook but it’s time to build on that and to make it widely available, as opposed to only at certain times. Ideally, it would be available nine to ﬁve in the Student Centre. I’d also like to increase the amount of counsellors in the Health Service.
What are your views on the outgoing officer? I’ve been very impressed with Vivian Rath’s work this year. He ran some great campaigns, but personally I don’t feel that he met enough First Years or that he was on the ground enough.
What are your views on abortion?
What qualifications do you think you can bring to the job?
What’s your opinion on the outgoing officer? Vivian Rath has done a very good job, in some aspects he’s done too much of a good job in promoting himself because it’s led to him being in his oﬃce and talking to people a lot. What that’s led to in my opinion is there seems to be fewer welfare campaigns, or they are slightly smaller. He’s done an excellent job on a one to one basis, on campaigns I don’t think he’s done quite so well.
What are your views on abortion?
I think a Welfare Oﬃcer should be there to give non-judgemental information, as a referral service. I would be prepared to supply any information that would be required.
I think that in the case of sexual assault or danger to the child or mother, we should provide the information. Otherwise it’s up to the person themselves.
The Shawshank Redemption
19th February 2008
OPINION Equal rights Trapping one for all including of the greats terrorists With the US set to use confessions induced under conditions of torture to charge detainees with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Richard Mulrooney argues that the law must stand as a sentinel to changing trends in society, not bend when times get tough September 11, 2001 is a date of signiﬁcance for the world, not merely because of the attacks on the World Trade Centre, but because of the follow-on eﬀect of tightening security and heightened fear of future terrorist attacks. In this climate of fear, war was waged on Afghanistan and Iraq, and civil and political rights in many western nations were eroded. In the UK, for example, detention without trial was extended for terrorist suspects. Many EU countries co-operated with the euphemistically labeled “extra-ordinary rendition” of suspects by the United States. In this context, The Baroness Hale of Richmond was speaking at the Law Society on Friday February 15 in her speech on “Terrorism and Human Rights”. In 2003, Lady Hale became the ﬁrst female Law Lord of the House of Lords, the highest court of appeal in the UK. She attended the UCD Law Society to receive Vice-Presidency of the Society, which was accepted last year by Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court. Antonin Scalia is described as being on the conservative wing of the US Supreme Court, whereas Lady Hale is one of the most liberal of the Law Lords of the House of Lords in the UK. In her speech she on “terrorism and human rights”, she quoted Cicero, who said “in battle, the laws are silent”. Lady Hale stressed that this cannot be the case today, because, whereas conﬂict and wars will pass, laws do not. When precedent is set or legislation is passed, it becomes part of the law and is diﬃcult to subsequently change. In this context, the rendition ﬂights and interrogation methods have been called “a legal black hole” and a “monstrous failure of justice” by Lord Stein, another Law Lord of the House of Lords. The interrogation methods being used include recognised torture methods such as waterboarding, which simulates the drowning experience, among other widely condemned techniques. Dick Cheney stated that waterboarding was “a no brainer (for him)” in the battle against terrorism. These techniques have been declared as unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights but there is still participation by many nations of the EU in rendition to these detention centers. It seems that despite the attitude taken by many of the judiciary, these impingements on human rights continued. The council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg reiterated the criticism of the detention centers stating that what happened “was torture and it is illegal to provide
facilities or anything to make this torture possible. Under the law, European governments should have intervened and should not have given permission to let these ﬂights happen.” The rendition ﬂights violated both articles six and seven of the UN Convention on Civil and Political rights. Article Six of the Convention cover Article Seven of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights enshrines the Right to freedom from “Torture..or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” which is an absolute right for all human beings. Article Six protects the right to life and states, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” The illegality of the rendition ﬂights, the methods of information gathering and lack of fair trial all point toward unfair deprivation of life in the case of a death sentence of a detainee. It is easy in times of crisis, such as post 9/11, to forget the reasons behind the protections the law aﬀords everyone. The UN Conventions were written in the aermath of the atrocities of the Second World War and at a time when torture and war crimes were not such a distant memory as they appear to many today. The law, in this context, serves to protect against tyranny, because, as Justice Scalia stated in UCD last year, society does not always advance, but sometimes society devolves and becomes more primitive. Law must stand as a sentinel to the changing trends in society, giving credence to those values that were enshrined to protect us from becoming retrograde. It appears that society has become retrograde, however, in the United States where terrorist suspects have been labeled “enemy combatants” and have lost their basic right to fair trial. The United States has recently announced that it will charge six of the Guantanamo Detainees and will be seeking the death penalty before a military commission. Evidence will include confessions induced under conditions recognised as torture. This abuse among others renders the trials unfair. It is important to heed Cicero when he laments the loss of justice in the face of war, because as Lady Hale says, anyone can make just pronouncements in times of peace, but it is the duty of the judiciary to stand up for justice most staunchly in times of stress and war.
Richard Mulrooney is a graduate of law and is studying for an MA in Commercial Law
The appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni as manager of the Irish international soccer team is a sign the football in this country is going from strength to strength, writes FAI Communications Executive Eoghan Rice
They say that good things come to those who wait and certainly that is true in relation to the hunt for the new Republic of Ireland senior football manager. It may have taken over 100 days to ﬁnd the new boss, but in delivering Giovanni Trapattoni to the Irish public, the recruitment panel of Don Givens, Don Howe and Ray Houghton have pulledoﬀ what in time may be recognised as one of Irish sport’s greatest ever coups. Lovers of football will need no introduction to Giovanni Trapattoni. He is, quite simply, the Godfather of modern European football. Having created one of the all-time great Juventus sides, Trapattoni has gone on to enjoy success in Portugal, Germany and Austria. His reputation is, literally, second to none and the prospect of Trapattoni managing the Boys in Green is one that should have Irish football fans pinching themselves. If one were to compile a list of the truly great coaches of the modern era, it would be impossible to ignore the name of Giovanni Trapattoni. The prospect of a coach of this stature guiding Ireland through the qualiﬁcation group of World Cup 2010 is tremendously exciting. While some of the Italian’s greatest managerial achievements were in the 1980s and 90s, a look over his recent records shows that he certainly still is a world-class manager. Just three years ago, he led Benﬁca to their ﬁrst Portuguese title in eleven years, and he has since added an Austrian title – with another looking very likely – to his long list of achievements in football. For the Irish players, this is a wonderful opportunity to shine under one of the most respected men in world football. Indeed, this is a very good time for Trapattoni to take-on the Ireland job. Players such as Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duﬀ and Robbie Keane are all approaching their peak, while the new talent coming through – Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Stephen Hunt, Aidan McGeady, Stephen Kelly, Darren Potter, Anthony Stokes, Daryl Murphy, to name just a few – can all learn a lot from a manager who has won so much in his glittering career. And what an inspired appointment this is for the players yet to make the step-up to full international level. For our Under-21, Under-23 and B internationals, the prospect of working for a man like Trapattoni will certainly act as a spur to them as they push for a place in the squad. The fact that Trapattoni has won so many trophies does not just reﬂect on his ability as a manager, it also reﬂects on his mental strengths. To win just one game of football takes skill and determi-
nation, but in order to win a league of a cup you must have the right mental attitude. Football competitions are long and mentally draining and in order to keep yourself at the top right until the end, you need a certain character. Trapattoni clearly has that character, and he has the winning mentality that he can pass onto the Irish players. This appointment shows the ambition of the Football Association of Ireland. It also comes at a time when our game is developing at an unprecedented rate. The FAI is investing strongly in underage development because only by coaching players when they are young can you be sure of having a team capable of challenging for World Cups in the future. The entire structure of Irish football
is changing and the FAI is also investing massively in the eircom League of Ireland to ensure that we have a football league capable of producing players of international quality. The eircom League of Ireland has never had so many good young players and that is a sign of the progress being made on that front. Ten or twenty years ago, the FAI would not have been able to attract Giovanni Trapattoni to the Ireland manager’s job. The fact that we can now do that is a sign of how far Irish football has come. More importantly, it is also a sign of where it is going.
Eoghan Rice is a Communications Executive with the Football Association of Ireland and is a former editor of the College Tribune
19th February 2008
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Sensationalism Dear Madam, It was with a sinking feeling that I read your coverage of the article on bike the on campus in the 5th of February edition. As a daily visitor to the university since 2001, I have continually le my bicycle between the Arts block and the library on a daily basis, the area you allege to be a site of four bike thes per day. This statistic was continually repeated as empirical evidence, when there in fact seems to be little evidence other than an unconﬁrmed quote from an unidentiﬁed source.
As a cycling enthusiast and owner of an expensive and cherished bicycle, I’m fortunate to have never been the victim of a the (in UCD at least). I ﬁnd the prescribed solution of increased CCTV surveillance disturbing; we live in a society of continual surveillance, and rather than solving the problem, this may serve only to increase the feelings of paranoia and suspicion which permeate our society. We certainly do not need a proliferation of such feeling in our university. I was further disappointed by the inclusion of such tabloid-quality sentiments as ‘Services believe the main
perpetrators of the bicycle thes in UCD to be the inhabitants of a council estate not far from the Belﬁeld campus.’ This is both unnecessary and sensationalist; even were I not an inhabitant of ‘a council estate not far from the Belﬁeld campus’ myself, I would still ﬁnd this regressive and short-sighted. I would recommend that people who care about their bikes purchase a good strong lock and not leave them there overnight. Yours, Cormac O’Síocháin, MA.
The trouble with Scientology Dear Madam,
I am writing to you in order to express my happiness at the relative success of the worldwide protests against the Church of Scientology that took place in major cities across the globe on the 10th of February, including a protest in Dublin at the group’s building on Abbey Street that was attended by a number of UCD students. In a campus that has been the subject of targeting by other dubious cult-like organizations in the past, such as several fanatical South Korean ‘Churches’ that have repeatedly attempted recruitment on the college grounds, it’s heartening to see such awareness. The protests that were simultane-
ously organised around the globe drew thousands, and far from being what the dubious ‘Church’ would seek to characterise as religious persecution, instead represent a new understanding of the dangers that a rising organization like Scientology poses to society as a whole. The Church of Scientology has recently been given a celebrity makeover, with actors such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise extolling the virtues of the organization, Cruise going so far to as to claim they are the only worthwhile authorities on drug rehabilitation and mental illness. Last week’s protests are a heartening show of rejection for the so-called star status of the Church, which among other things rejects any form of psy-
chotherapy in all forms in favour of its own fantastical treatments, and which has an openly hostile attitude towards investigation. European states like Germany and Belgium have oﬃcially labelled the Church of Scientology as a dangerous ‘cult-like’ organization, despite the acceptance it enjoys in the USA. It is good to see students of colleges like UCD taking a stance against such a questionable presence in the city that their college belongs to. The vast majority of protesters chose to be Anonymous. So I will remain so.
Yours, Anonymous, 2nd Arts
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The Counselling Service Mental health is an all-important issue for young people, especially in light of reports that state that Ireland comes third in the world for the numbers of young people taking their lives. Depression has ﬁnally seen widespread recognition as a valid illness and UCD students have been made aware of the importance of looking aer their mental well-being. The Please Talk campaign has been eﬀective at raising the issue in a proactive way, at encouraging UCD students to speak out, to seek help, to look upon speaking to someone as a sign of strength, not weakness. Finally the stigma that has traditionally been attached to the idea of attending a counsellor or psychiatrist has faded, and students would be more likely to applaud their peers for taking this crucial step than to ostracise them. While the issue has seen many awareness campaigns over the past year, it is disappointing to learn that the average student who approaches the UCD counselling service for an appointment will be put on a waiting list of over two months. Many students will be discouraged by this fact and wonder why, if they are being urged to seek professional help to tackle their problems, that there are no adequate resources in place to ensure that they get the help that they need and deserve. There are at present three full-time counsellors operating out of two rooms in the UCD Health Centre, meaning that two counsellors must share a room, with only a screen enclosing what should clearly be a completely private environment for the students involved. Although two more counsellors have been allocated to the Health Centre, there are as yet no plans to enlarge the facilities in the UCD Student Centre, meaning that the already cramped space will be stretched even further. University is a particularly vulnerable time for students who are experiencing a whole new way of life- many will be living on their own for the ﬁrst time, coping with ﬁnancial diﬃculties and the demands of their rigorous academic schedule. They are in need of a haven, a place where they can go to unburden their anxious minds, free of judgement or censure, and to get the professional advice that they need. UCD simply does not fulﬁl these demands at present, with only three counsellors for 22,000 students. This newspaper would strongly urge the university to increase its funding to this vital sector and to follow the example of Trinity College, a university with an eight-member strong counselling team for its 15,000 students, a far more reasonable ratio and an informative and updated website, accessible by all its students.
UCD Connect The problems experienced by UCD students attempting to access vital information and emails in their UCD Connect accounts is a cause for much concern. This is the method of communication selected by the university for both students and staﬀ and yet it is growing a reputation for unreliability. Its temperamental nature has frustrated lecturers and students alike, who depend on the service for access to lecture schedules and assignments. If a service like this is to be successful, it needs to be dependable one hundred percent of the time and with the portion of the university’s budget that is spent on computer services, this should be readily achievable.
19th February 2008
Hitting the bottle Pat, a recovering alcoholic from Alcoholics Anonymous, speaks to Jennifer Bray about how he became an alcoholic and how he’s stayed sober for 23 years The manager of a swanky plush hotel, Pat recalls spending every day intoxicated, keeping topped up during the day, in order to stay drunk. “My day would start with some sherry at eight in the morning, and I’d keep it topped up. I would move on to whiskey at eleven, then some wine. I’d have vodka in the evening. I did this every single day. “I’d be maintaining a certain level of drunkenness, staying topped up all the time. One day it stopped working and the tolerance just disappeared. I wasn’t nasty or vicious with drink, so most people felt OK with me. Some of my employees would sometimes say, ‘Maybe you should leave that one out’, but most people would be afraid to step over the line with me being their employer. “One day I lost the ability to predict what was going to happen. Where I could have had maybe three or four gin and tonics before, suddenly I could only have one. I just reached my level of tolerance; my body couldn’t take any more of it.” Many self-confessed alcoholics have tales of misery that led them into the arms of drink, but for Pat, he became an alcoholic from the very ﬁrst drink. “I’ve no idea how I started on the path to being an alcoholic. I took a drink like every other kid around, and when they were able to let it go, I wasn’t. “It gave me a buzz that it didn’t give other people. It let me do things that I wasn’t able to do otherwise. It became an issue when I didn’t know when to stop.” The dependency on alcohol that was to grow from this was to have
a destructive eﬀect on every other part of Pat’s life. Eventually he would neglect his family, his job and his health. “Drink had taken over my life. I neglected my family, not ﬁnancially, but by being absent. Not all alcoholics are non-functioning or on the street and in gutters. Health-wise, my hangovers were desperate. I don’t mean a sore head in the morning where it hurts for a few hours until a cup of coﬀee, it was much worse. I’d shake non-stop and my eyes wouldn’t work. Usually I drank the hangover away, if one drink didn’t make it go away, then another would. Eventually I would settle.” For Pat, coming to terms with the fact he had a problem was not the hardest part; it was the taking action. “It took me two years to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I thought I’d learn a course on how to stop drinking in two months. It doesn’t work like that. The ﬁrst time I tried to give up drink, I was oﬀ the wagon aer a week. “What changed me were the people talking at the meeting. They were smiling and laughing at the horrible situations they had been in, situations worse than mine. I wanted to be able to do that. Now I am.” Sober for an impressive 23 years, Pat insists that there is no going back. “It’s been 23 years since I’ve had a drink. I never get tempted. I could swim in it. If they found a cure for alcoholism, I wouldn’t take it. I’ve found my way to live. There is no cure for alcoholism except personal motivation; addiction is a mental thing a lot of the time I believe. Drink does not rule my life anymore.”
Murder on the dance floor
Philip Connolly donned his black suit to join the bouncers workin door of a popular Dublin nightclub last Saturday night, to sample trials and tribulations of being a doorman “You can see the lads coming in here, in good form and fairly normal, smart guys. Wait until about 2am and you’ll really see what drink and drugs can do – they’re like completely diﬀerent people,” remarks one of the bouncers outside the club. It had been a fairly quiet night so far – a few underage lads getting turned away, and then a couple of lads stumbling up to the door and being told in no uncertain terms where to go. Standing on the other side of the queue, it becomes all the more apparent how diﬃcult a bouncer’s night can be. “I’ve had a gun pulled on me three times, always just for show, none of those lads would ever have the bottle to use one. It could be diﬀerent some night though, and someone is going to seriously get hurt.” It seems to be a recurring theme. The majority of the men who have been working in nightclub security for any decent length of time have apparently had some experience with these guys, and something that they all seem to agree on is that there is a dangerous gunculture developing in Dublin. “It’s to be expected, with drugs becoming so widespread. 80 percent of the people in here tonight are on something – drink just isn’t enough anymore.” However there’s not an awful lot these men can do about letting people on drugs into the club, he explains, “If there’s no one in there, then we’re out of a job. “If you take away all the people on drugs, then you’re going to have some very bored bar staﬀ. We get hassle from some of the lads, but we get to know them.” He goes on to explain that he’d had a very real experience with a very notorious drug dealer.
“I was working at a club out in the suburbs, and this lad waltzed up to the door, skipping the queue. I heard a whisper in my ear, not to let this guy in. I stopped him at the door and told him where to go, but he was having none of it. He started mouthing oﬀ, how he was going to deck me, how he’d be waiting outside later. He stared me straight in the eyes and just said that I was dead. “It wasn’t the ﬁrst time or the last; you hear all that crap all the time, and just brush it oﬀ. As the night went on, I started hearing from a few of the other lads that this guy had a bit of a reputation, and they were saying that I needed to watch myself. As I went out that night, he was waiting outside in the car. I was getting a li home so I
unceremoniously marched out the door. “There’s no such thing as a ﬁstﬁght anymore, it’s always either that someone is carrying a knife, or a glass is smashed. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen a lad have a glass or a bottle smashed over them. “The drunker some of these lads get, the more vicious they get too. They get abusive towards us a lot, usually when we’re not involved. If there’s a serious problem, we just don’t listen, you just have to get a bit physical with them, usually the smart-arse comments stop then. “Girls are always the cause of it; someone has insulted some lad’s girlfriend, or has been getting a bit too close to her. Sometimes the lads will be aer the same girl and something will start, it’s never just the two though. It’s a long time since I’ve seen a ﬁght between just two lads. All of their mates pile in and suddenly we have a problem on our hands.” The bouncers have had a relatively easy night so far, two ﬁghts and a few people who have had one too many. “Women are the worst; some of them can’t even talk. They get so drunk so quickly and end up getting sick or having ﬁghts. “They don’t usually get involved in many ﬁghts, just start them between the lads, but they can be impossible to deal with.” Aer having to throw a girl out who had been getting sick by the bar, one of the guards reveals a more positive aspect of the job. “I just have to get her out, it’s some other poor chap has to clean that up.” “When you’re dealing with lads, you can get a little bit rough. Once they know you’re bigger and stronger than them, they become very easy to deal with, but with the girls it’s diﬀerent. You can’t lay a ﬁnger on them, and without being able to use any physicality, it can be diﬃcult to communicate with them. Some of these girls are so hammered they can’t even string a sentence together, never mind do what your asking them.” The atmosphere in the club changes palpably during the night. While it’s still quiet and relatively
“This lad had pictures of my house, and my girlfriend. God knows what he was planning, I think he was lifted by the police pretty soon after” hopped in the car and went straight away home. “A few nights later, I noticed a car sitting outside the house. It happened a few times. Later, the police got involved, but the lad had pictures of my house, and my girlfriend. God knows what he was planning, I think he was lied by the police pretty soon aer. I was blessed.” It had been a cold evening; the club wasn’t quite full at around one. One lad had been thrown out; he had gotten sick all over one of the seats. We hadn’t been inside long when a ﬁght broke out between a few lads on the dance-ﬂoor. The bouncer in the surveillance room shouted over the earpieces that most of the bouncers wear. The ﬁght didn’t last long. Aer a few punches were thrown, the bouncers jumped in and three lads were
19th February 2008
ng the the
harmless early on, an air of menace begins to creeps in as the hours tick by. The excess drink and drugs take their toll, and while at this stage the list of people expelled from the club has become long and distinguished, more hassle breaks out as the club starts to empty. Again, out go four lads, all over some pushing in the queue that turned ugly. Someone said something out of turn and a punch was swily thrown. “You can see now how much more aggressive most of these lads have gotten,” remarks the bouncer. Clearing out the club is no easy task. “There used to be an urban myth going around,” says one of the older bouncers, “That one night in a very
popular Dublin night-spot, there was a girl who was so hammered that she was having sex with some lad standing behind her. I’ve seen it more than once. “I was sitting up, looking at the surveillance cameras one night, and there was a girl on the dance-ﬂoor looking a bit rough with a guy standing behind her. I looked at it from another angle, and the lad’s pants were halfway down his legs, and her dress was pulled up. I don’t really need to spell out the rest. “He saw one of the bouncers heading his way and made himself scarce,
but one of the lads was talking to the girl, and she barely knew where she was, never mind who the guy was.
“Another night, I was working at a pub, and there was some girl sitting on top of a guy. On closer inspection, it was fairly obvious what was going on. You’d be surprised at how oen you see underwear lying on the ﬂoor aer the place has been cleared out.” Over the past few years, certain habits seemed to have changed, “It used to be a case that if someone showed up who was already on their way, we wouldn’t entertain them. Now, everyone is showing up like that. “I think the simple diﬀerence here is that people don’t know when to
“One night in a very popular Dublin night-spot, there was a girl who was so hammered that she was having sex with some lad standing behind her. I’ve seen it more than once’ There must have been ﬁy people standing around them, and nobody seemed to take any notice.
stop. People seem to think that unless you don’t remember what went on the night before – then it must have been a shit night. “A lot of people think that the way we just toss people out is harsh and unfair, but you see how much hassle goes on even aer that. I don’t need to hear anyone’s life story, and I don’t really care what happened. It’s not easy to keep a place safe, and most of the time we’re right anyway. “It’s not just a case of keeping the door or stopping ﬁghts, we’ve got lads stealing stuﬀ, dealing and doing drugs in the bathrooms.” As a ﬁght breaks out just outside the door, it seems that even on a quite night, the job of a bouncer is not an easy one.
Picking up the pieces Paramedic Tom Searson speaks to Jordan Daly about encountering the drunks that are part and parcel of his average night driving an ambulance Paramedic Tom Searson has been driving an ambulance for thirteen years and has seen some pretty nasty stuﬀ while out on the beat. He talks about the scenes he’s been called to and the messes he’s had to clean up, placing the blame for the alcohol-related injuries at the door of the student demographic, “It’s the seventeen-30 year olds, mostly students away from home, living the life of parties, who are doing most of the binge-drinking and ending up in hospital.” Searson has a practical approach to the sometimes disgusting smells, horrific sights and hostile people he encounters on his rounds. “I don’t get sick of it. It’s just part of my normal duties in the course of the night. I don’t have pre-determined notions of what any situation will involve. I take each as they come.” Each drunken mess is just a medical patient for him to treat. He does not judge, but simply attempts to resolve the situation, “I’m not
interested in how they receive their injuries. It doesn’t make their treatment any diﬀerent to me. People have died from alcohol right in front of me.” As a paramedic, Searson sets out with his colleague at about eight in the evening with equipment checked, ﬁnding themselves in the line of ﬁre as early as ten or eleven. A cut to the head or a minor fracture will start the rounds. Then, an unconscious youth surrounded by a panicked and aggressive group of tanked-up males will increase the stress levels, while the peak of the night at three or four in the morning will ﬁnd Searson frantically performing CPR on a woman who has just been stabbed with the jagged edge of a broken bottle by a jealous female friend. The most annoying element of alcohol abuse for Searson is the awful waste of
valuable resources. “I see it happen so much in the country. An ambulance is called out miles down the road to someone who has had too much to drink, and has fallen over. Then, with
getting them to hospital, an hour has been spent with one minor casualty.” The time of the Gardai is also taken up with providing protection to paramedics
when drunks threaten their safety, with women not escaping the blame, “There is more of a gender balance these days in the cases of drunken assaults. It used to be a male-dominated issue but now it’s about 60/40 in favour of men.” Searson went on to conﬁrm that over ﬁy percent of his calls were drink related, especially at the weekends and public holidays. Searson is a very enthusiastic worker and clearly enjoys the selﬂess occupation, “I enjoy the challenge. It’s diﬀerent every day. There’s a certain satisfaction in helping people but I do feel that I am taken for granted when people get drunk for the sake of it and use the A&E as a clean up service.” So, the next time you hear an epic story of drunken debauchery, or even notice a few heads missing in the morning lectures, think of the courageous paramedics whose speed in getting you to a hospital could be the diﬀerence between life and death.
19th February 2008
The new Veronica Guerin Prominent crime correspondent Paul Williams speaks to Cathy Buckmaster about Dublin’s increasingly dangerous underworld and the major criminals creating a stir
Sitting in her car, waiting for the lights the change at an intersection on the Naas Dual Carriageway, was where Veronica Guerin met her end, aer she was brutally shot ﬁve times by a motorcyclist alongside her car. In the wake of the infamous murder of the Irish crime journalist in 1996, very few would choose this line of career. Paul Williams, however, is the crime correspondent for the Sunday World, and has been writing about Ireland’s most dangerous criminals for twenty years. “I do it for a living, so I don’t know anything else. But I do enjoy it,” he confesses. “I have had loads of threats and intimidation and all kinds of stuﬀ. I’ve had a hoax bomb in my house and one of my cars was attacked. There were several efforts and attempts made to do things to me through the years, so I’m well used to it. I try not to do stupid things, but I have had a few hairy experiences.” Despite this, Williams doesn’t think that crime in Dublin is any worse than in other cities. “There are gangs in every city. An underworld culture exists in every town in the world. The only difference is that they’ve got diﬀerent accents, but they all have guns and they all sell drugs.” Recent underworld events have catapulted Dublin criminal, The Viper, to the spotlight. “Martin Foley, The Viper, has been around in organised crime in this town since the seventies. He has an incredible ability for ﬁghting with people and causing trouble. “He was a key member of The General, Martin Cahill’s gang, until he was thrown out of that gang, and nicknamed The Viper by The General because he didn’t trust him; he reckoned he was a police informant. “He’s had four murder attempts on his life. He has survived one kidnapping. There have been at least 30 bullets ﬁred at him and he’s been hit at least sixteen times. He has been seriously injured four times. He has at least 25 to 30 entry and exit wounds on his body from bullets. He’s 55 years of age and he really is quite an extraordinary character,” remarks Williams. One of the more well-known criminal rivalries over the last decade has been the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, which has been fuelled by the drug trade. “The Viper has been involved on one of the sides of the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud that’s been going on for the past eight years. So far, at least ten people have been murdered as a result of it. “As for what began it, a gang of guys used to hang out together and sell drugs. Somebody got caught and they started ﬁghting amongst each other, and one side accused the other of being a rat. It went from blows and a few smacks to stabbing and then eventually shooting.” Incidents such as shootings and stabbings make it diﬃcult to humanise these criminals as people with friends and families. However, in his line of work,
Williams has come into direct contact with almost all of Dublin’s major ganglords. “They’re all playing the game and they’re all very cute, with their rat-like cunning. They’re covering their asses all the time. The ﬁrst impression of John Gilligan is the lasting impression I have, that he was a nasty vicious little bastard. He’s a fucking slimeball. “I met the Monk who I found to be a friendly enough guy, but takes things seriously. The General was always taking the piss, he was a bit smart. Some of these guys like to pretend they’re smarter than everybody.” However, even as his job entails a lot of intermingling in these criminal circles, Williams has never warmed to any of these men. “I don’t trust a lot of them; I don’t trust them ever since Veronica Guerin used to talk to them. The people she was talking to set her up and murdered her. I don’t trust the fuckers. They’re always looking for something to do.” Not much criminal activity has been identiﬁed with the Monk recently, who is staying under the radar while running his limo business. “The Monk would like everyone to think he’s on the straight and narrow. However, his nephews and a number of his family members are popping up all over the place, involved with serious criminal incidents. “Once a criminal, always a criminal. A lot of people would tell you that he’s still very much at it and may even be involved with the drug trade, even though he denies it. He hangs around with an incredible number of major drug trafﬁckers himself.” Nicknames such as The Monk, The Viper and The General are now household names, and help to establish these criminals as almost mythical ﬁgures in Irish history. So, the question remains, should we be using names that possibly venerate these men? “Nicknames don’t glorify these guys,” according to Williams, who is adamant on that point. “The reason nicknames are put on these people is to identify them, and oen you can’t properly name them as they’re protected by the libel laws. A lot of them don’t like having nicknames. If they were being glamorised, they would be happy with the publicity and would be doing interviews all the time, but they’re not. They hate the media.” As for the fuel that keeps the underworld going, Williams is certain about the root of the problem. “Drugs are the main source of organised criminal activity, all the time. For the past twenty years, the drugs-trade has been worth between one and two billion euro a year. It is a vast industry. “The phenomenon of gangland murders started when they got involved in drugs. Ever since they got involved in drugs, they started killing each other. But then Veronica Guerin was murdered
■ Gangsters: John Gilligan, Martin Foley (right) and the General (inset). and that showed how omnipotent they started to feel. John Gilligan reckoned he could do what he liked. “As a result, criminal activity quietly sort of died. The year and a half aer Veronica was murdered, there was only about three gangland murders altogether. Now there is an average of between thirteen and eighteen gangland murders a year.” Williams claims however that these criminals are getting increasingly dan-
they’re going away and doing training courses for themselves. “The other disturbing thing is that the proﬁle of the average killer or drug dealer is getting younger. The average age of the suspect in most of the murders in the past year is under thirty. Some are as young as nineteen. There’s no sense of boundaries. They’ll do anything. They don’t care.” Williams warns that it is not just guns that we have to be worried about, but that makeshi bombs are now becoming popular amongst these men. “The bomb-squad is busier now than it has ever been,” he says, “There are so many gangs using pipe-bombs and improvised explosive devices around the place at the moment. “It’s only a matter of time before one of those things actually does go oﬀ, and goes oﬀ under somebody’s car, and gets people, and even kills kids, anything. It’s getting very dangerous, and it will only be aer some atrocity that people will pay attention to it.” He remains pessimistic but logical about gangland wars ever disappearing completely. “It will never come to a head. It’s a constant of life. The same principles apply to the criminal underworld that apply to the legitimate world. It’s all about supply and demand, and the politics. If you have demand, you will always have people to supply.
“He’s had four murder attempts on his life. He has survived one kidnapping. There have been at least 30 bullets fired at him and he’s been hit at least sixteen times” Paul Williams on the Viper
gerous because of certain steps they are taking. “With the new millennium, things just went crazy. Every year, we’re in the double-digit ﬁgures for gangland deaths. “It’s due to a number of reasons. Firstly, the kinds of weapons that are being used now. These are automatic weapons. Secondly, they’re getting much more accurate in how they kill each other, as
“The reason the crime world is going crazy at the moment is that they’re all taking and dealing in cocaine. Everyone’s at the coke. As long as that’s going on, that will fuel organised crime. Somebody has to be making a few bob out of it.” An answer to ending organised crime, although perhaps excessively simplistic, could be to legalise drugs so that there is no demand and therefore no need for a supplier. But Williams doesn’t see this as a hypothetical solution, “You can never legalise drugs, because how do you do it? “Say you legalise hash. The thing is, how does the hash get to Ireland if it has to come through the territorial waters of the UK, Portugal or Greece? It’s illegal in all those areas, so it still has to be smuggled to get into Ireland. “In countries where needle parks have been created, people’s quality of life has been destroyed. The junkies arrive from everywhere to shoot up and have fun. They leave the place devastated. People are lying around, stoned out of their head, needles thrown everywhere. It’s just a mess.” Whatever lies ahead, one thing is certain. Williams will be there on the frontline, digging deep to tackle those gangsters that lie low in the heart of Dublin’s criminal underworld. “I do it for a living. I don’t know anything else,” he reiterates deﬁantly.
19th February 2008
Confessing with a gun in his mouth Paddy Joe Hill of the Birmingham Six speaks to Caitrina Cody about being tortured, framed for murder and imprisoned for sixteen years On the 22nd of November, 1974, Paddy Joe Hill was sitting on a bench in a police station in the early hours of the morning, smoking a cigarette, and reading a book lent to him by one of the oﬃcers in the station; an Alistair McLean thriller called Bear Island that he’d read before. He had been called in to make a statement about his whereabouts on Friday the 21st of November, the day that two explosions shattered the peace of innercity Birmingham, destroying two pubs, the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern, and killing twenty-one people. As he sat on the hard bench, he wondered just how long this whole thing was going to take, and when he would ﬁnally be able to go and catch the ferry to Belfast with his ﬁve friends, whom he presumed would be waiting for him at the dock. Paddy’s reverie was disturbed when a shadow fell upon him. He looked up to meet the piercing glare of a police oﬃcer, whom he hadn’t seen before. The man approached the bench. He leaned right over him, and rubbing his hands. “Soon you little bastard, soon. You dirty little Irish fuck pig. You’re mine,” Sergeant Dunlop murmured, “You’ll ﬁnd out soon enough what’s in store for you. You murdering cunt.” Earlier that Friday night, the six Northern Irishmen, who would soon become known to the world as the Birmingham Six, had caught the train to Heysham, playing cards on the way and catching up on each other’s news. Once there, they bought their ferry tickets. Paddy remembers the purpose of their journey, all those years ago, a journey that was to shape each of their destinies irrevocably. “The six of us were taking the boat to Belfast to go to the funeral of Jamesy McDaid. He’d blown himself up. He was an IRA man, make no mistake about that.” At this point, Paddy le his friends to check his luggage in and pass through security. “I walked up the gangplank, waited for the others in the bar, and got myself a pint. There was no sign of the others, and the next thing I knew, a constable was walking up to me, asking to speak to me. I had heard something about an explosion in Birmingham, it was on the TV in the bar, but I didn’t think anything of it. There were bombs going oﬀ all over England at the time – every other fucking day it seemed like.”
As Paddy sipped his pint of lager, he was approached by two police constables. “One was a really nice guy. I’d been talking to him on my way past security, we’d had a bit of craic, and I’d been giving him hell about England being kicked out of the European Cup by Poland the night before. He told me that I had to make a statement about where I’d been that day, and oﬀered me a li to the local police station. “I got out of that car, and as I walked up two ﬂights of steps of my own free will, on my own, I never imagined that they would be the last steps of freedom that I would take for the next sixteen years.” As Paddy sat smoking and reading his book, waiting to be released aer making a statement, he noticed an armed police oﬃcer staring at him, with what he describes as intense hatred. “I remember looking at him and his guns, and thinking, ‘Jesus, some poor bastard is in for a rough ride.’ I never for one minute thought it was me.” It was about half seven in the morning when Paddy was properly introduced to Sergeant Dunlop and the Westlands Serious Crime Squad for the ﬁrst time. Hearing Dunlop’s threats, Paddy was apprehensive but still conﬁdent at that point that his statement had been accepted as the truth. “Then I was brought upstairs and was punched in the back of the neck. I remember someone shouting that my face wasn’t to be marked. That was about ﬁve to nine in the morning and they played football with me from then until 5pm. “My mother, God rest her, she used to say to me ‘Son, don’t be bitter, because bitterness is like a cancer that eats away at you inside.’ But I am bitter about those policemen. Even today, as I tell you this, I can still feel it happening to me all over again. “Eventually I was picked up oﬀ the ﬂoor and slammed into a chair. The guy in charge says to me, ‘We know you didn’t do the bombs. We don’t give a fuck who done the bombs. We’ve got you and that’s good enough for us. Our orders are to get confessions and convictions out of you, using any means possible. There’s only one thing to be decided. And that’s when you go on trial, whether you’ll get a natural life sentence or a forty-ﬁve year recommended.’ And he was fucking right.” The six men were beaten, interrogated and tortured over the course of three days to force them into signing false
■ Paddy Joe Hill confessions of their involvement in the Birmingham pub bombings. Their Irish roots and departure for the coast within hours of the explosions to attend the funeral of a known IRA ﬁgure had given the police all the grounds they needed to suspect them. “They started lashing me with the leather thong of a police truncheon across the chest and across the thighs. They rammed the truncheon into my privates, telling me that I’d make no more Irish bastards when they were through with me.
“They rammed the truncheon into my privates, telling me that I’d make no more Irish bastards when they were through with me” “One of them turned around and hit me down on top of the head with his handgun. Then he put the gun into my mouth and broke all my teeth. He said to me, ‘I’m
going to count to three. If you want to sign a statement, blink your eye. If you don’t, I’m going to blow your fucking head oﬀ. He cocked the gun, then pulled the trigger. He did that three times that evening.” The policemen subsequently set about keeping them awake all night to lower their resistance and weaken their resolve. “They brought Alsatian dogs in and they told us that if we tried to talk, they’d set them on us. One of them came up to the cell door, put a shotgun through a gap in the door and started screaming, calling us murdering Irish bastards, that our wives and daughters were going to become IRA whores. “They made us stand in the middle of the room with our arms and legs outspread. They did that to everyone, went around to all the cells one by one, threatening us with their guns and then they would start again. It went on all night.” The next morning, Paddy was separated from his friends and taken upstairs. “I was beaten all morning until one of the guys looked at his watch and said it was time to go for dinner and put me back in my cell. “They told me they’d be back, and sure enough they came in at three, smelling of booze, and took me upstairs and battered
me then until about seven, at which point they took a break, then continued beating me until around twelve o’clock. One of them said, ‘Take him back downstairs because I can’t hit him anymore, my hands are too fucking sore.’” The Birmingham Six were forced to sign statements written by the police over the three days of interrogation. In order to avoid facing disciplinary procedures for the serious injuries inﬂicted on the men, Paddy maintains that ‘a reception committee’ was organised for them by the police force in the prison that they were escorted to. “They said that when the ‘committee’ was through with us, we’d never be able to prove who it was that had tortured us. That’s exactly what happened; they brought us up to prison and started telling the screws about the explosions in Birmingham, about picking up the bodies and body parts. “We got a terrible beating that day from those prison guards, that bad that we couldn’t even walk, we were crawling around the exercise yard on our hands and knees. We now have statements from those prison oﬃcers admitting what they did to us.” Paddy was sentenced to life imprisonment in a maximum security prison for a crime which he did not commit. “People haven’t got a fucking clue what prison is really like, it’s not the Mickey Mouse affair that you see portrayed in the movies. I ended up in Parkhurst, where sixtyeight percent of the inmates have serious mental disorders. “Life is cheap in them places, I’ve seen people killed, seen people get stabbed. That’s the way you live twenty-four hours a day. As soon as you wake, it’s welcome to the killing ﬁelds. “You don’t see nothing, hear nothing. Those are the rules of prison. The prison oﬃcers hated the six of us especially; they’d piss in our tea and spit in our food. It’s no wonder the six of us are all so fucked up.” Since his appeal and subsequent release in 1991, Paddy has been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Today Paddy Joe Hill is the founder of the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation and lives in Scotland. “I’m in a worse condition now then when I came out of prison seventeen fucking years ago. Nobody knows how to help us. How does a psychologist help someone like me when he doesn’t even know where to start?”
19th February 2008
Left to die in Guant Moazzam Begg speaks to Philip Connolly about being accused of training al-Qaeda soldiers, spending time in a Pakistani detention camp, before being detained and tortured in Guantanamo Bay “I had my hands tied behind my back with my legs,” explains Moazzam Begg, “I was hogtied, hooded and beaten. I was interrogated in a room with a woman screaming next door. I was led to believe that this was my wife being tortured.” Begg was on holiday with his family in Pakistan when he was abducted from his home by men who accused him of being involved in the training of alQaeda soldiers. “There was a knock on the door at midnight; I opened the door to be greeted by several non-uniformed armed men. They held a gun to my head and pushed me to the ground, and a hood was put over my head. I was then thrown into the back of a car, all in front of my wife and children. “I was taken to some secret unknown location and locked away. I was beaten and questioned, not asked who I was, and they didn’t produce any identiﬁcation. For all intents and purposes, this was a kidnapping. “Once there, I had my hands shackled above my head to the top of a cage. I fared much better than most people because I was an English speaker. The interrogators and guards could speak to me and I could understand. The non-English speakers were screamed and shouted at. We were told that the dogs had more rights than us. We were basically classed as subhumans. “I ﬁrst spent about three weeks in this unknown hidden camp in Pakistan, and then I was handed over to US custody. I was there for about six weeks with a few hundred other people who had been captured in Pakistan. “There, we were punched, kicked, and stripped naked. There were dogs barking all around me, their saliva was dripping all over my face. We were being photographed, shaven, spat and sworn at. We were interrogated while naked. It was a very brutal process, and that was just the beginning.” The brutality of the American and British foreign policy in the past seven years has been shocking in both its frequency and its excess. While they may argue that these camps are a necessary evil in order to keep the public safe, there are far too many cases of releases without charge aer years of brutality, some of which Begg became all too familiar with. “I was in Bagram, which is a detention centre, where I was held for around eleven months. This was an old soviet warehouse. There, I was witness to, and subjected to, some serious torture. I saw two people beaten to death by American soldiers. Through all of this time, I had no communication with my family. “In February 2003, I was moved to Guantanamo Bay. There, I was put into solitary conﬁnement and remained there for almost two years. It was a shock to the system. “I have to say that the conditions in
Guantanamo were a relief compared to the rendition camp. Everybody goes through the camps, a lot of them are in Third World countries, and sadly, as a Muslim, many are in Muslim countries usurped by the Americans, and so torture is an unwritten convention. “I was never beaten by the Pakistanis, which I expected from them, but the Americans made up for it in more ways than one. A lot of people I came across had been severely beaten. I came across one man who had been tortured very badly. He had his ﬁngernails pulled out, had been water boarded, electrocuted in his genitals and been severely beaten. “A lot of time was spent in a cell. There were sporadic interrogations, but I fared much better than many people. I think that had to do with the complicity of the British, who allowed the Americans to hold many of their citizens, but ensured that they didn’t go too far, knowing that they would have to answer for it sometime.” The American rendition programme has become infamous. It is brutal, violent and it seems to care little for nationality. If you are Muslim and have been either mentioned or have any ﬂimsy link to a terrorist, knowingly or not, they you are fair game. “They told me that they had it from a senior al-Qaeda oﬃcial that I was an instructor in a training camp. I said, ‘Tell me when and what I was doing?’ I asked for facts but there weren’t any given. How do you cooperate with this? How do you challenge it? “They tell you that you’ve done this, but won’t tell you how, when, where or why. It’s all a secret. I asked to take a polygraph test, but I was never allowed. The Geneva Convention is a myth in these hidden rendition camps, violence and hate seem to permeate every duty and faculty. “During my time in Bagram, I saw a man hanging beside where we were all being held in a communal cell, around eight of us. I couldn’t see his face because he had a hood over it most of the time, except when he ate his meal. He was locked in what they call the airlock, a small area of around two feet between two doors. His body had slumped and become limp from hanging for so long. “When they opened the cage, instead of checking to see if he was OK, they punched him in the stomach and kicked him. Then they shackled him like a pig and dragged him oﬀ. Around a year and a half later, I heard that he had died. “He had been taken to a smaller cell and interrogated. He was kicked continually on his legs, to such an extent that had he survived, his legs would have had to be amputated. This is according to his autopsy report, which stated that the man looked like he had been run over by a truck. “He was kicked simply because every time he was hit, he would scream out, ‘Allah, Allah, God, Oh God, help me.’ I also was shown pictures by an internal
“I asked to take a polygraph test, but I was never allowed. The Geneva Convention is a myth in these hidden rendition camps, violence and hate seem to permeate every duty and faculty”
■ Welcome to Hell: Scenes from Guantanamo, and former prisoner Moazzam Begg (above) investigator later in Guantanamo.” At Guantanamo itself, Begg was held in solitary conﬁnement, and remained there for two years without charge or opportunity for defence. “There was a time when I completely lost hope. I smashed my head against the walls and completely lost it. I was in an eight-foot by six-foot cell with no natural light. I was in solitary conﬁnement. I had no contract with anyone apart from the guards. “During that period, I reached an alltime low, but then aer, I would say a great high. I came to a realisation and acceptance of my fate, and decided that in this six-foot by eight-foot cell, that I
couldn’t take more than three steps in any direction. I was going to better myself in any way possible. “I started memorising the Qu’ran and memorising everything I could think of, capital cities and lists of words in French, Latin and Arabic that I had studied before. I did lots of press-ups, sit-ups. I wanted to use this period, however long it was going to be, to become as physically and mentally strong as possible. “One of the things that comes to mind was all those prison ﬁlms that involved people doing push-ups, but in all honesty, being held in solitary conﬁnement in that sort of a situation is enough to
drive a man insane. Some people actually lost their senses, and four people committed suicide. “I knew that I had four children at home, one of whom I still hadn’t seen. He was born six months aer I was taken into custody, and was nearly four years old when I saw him for the ﬁrst time. I had those things keeping me going; I believed in the concept of natural justice, and that one day, I would be released and get to see my family again. “They did have recreational time, which was twenty minutes, twice a week, and involved going into a caged yard that was around ﬁeen feet by ﬁfteen feet. But they wouldn’t take me out
19th February 2008
anamo Bay Torture of the mind
Forensic psychologist Anne Boyle and clinical psychologist Linda Quinn explain the severe effects of torture on victims to Aoife Ryan
unless there were three guards present – two holding me, and one standing behind me with a pistol. “At the same time, they brought in a dog with a handler, and in the area where I was being held, there was also a Humvee with a mounted machine gun and armed infantry. That’s just when I would come out by myself. I couldn’t understand what the need for this overkill was. “I was about ﬁve-footthree in height, and I’m not a violent person, yet that was their attitude towards me. It changed over time though; they began to become a bit more relaxed. That was the routine- 40 minutes a week outside my cell. “It was monotonous, routine, and dreary for me. I spent my time sleeping, memorising things, thinking a lot, and engaging sometimes in discussions with some of the guards who were more apathetic and open minded.” Aer four years in custody, locked away from any semblance of the outside world; Begg saw a diﬀerent world when he was ﬁnally freed. And while it was the Americans that held Begg, as a British national he received little help from his fellow countrymen. “I see the British government’s process is this; you don’t stick a knife nine inches into a man’s
back, and then pull it out three inches and call it progress. The British were present from the beginning. At my ﬁrst interrogation, MI5 were present. They told me to co-operate with the Americans because that was the only way I was going to get out of this. “They were present every step of the way. They always main-
ing to the ﬁrst person tried by a military commission, and when they spoke of the possibility of me actually being executed, as a British citizen, people stood up and took notice.” Aer being away for so long, Begg was faced with the near impossible task of returning to life in Britain, “The children were all three years older. I couldn’t throw my daughter up in the air anymore. I had a new son, who, as far as he was concerned, was a complete stranger to me. “The attitudes towards Muslims had changed, between tabloid media coverage, and the aermath of 7/7 of course. Britain has taken this position with the United States and complies with everything from war to its detention laws. “It has lost its way completely. I think Northern Ireland oﬀers some hope for a solution; I have been there four times now and met with both communities. The answer lies in dialogue, but in dialogue with people you don’t want to talk to.” While there is a solution, little progress has been made. “It’s a very long way away,” confesses Begg. For a man who has seen and experienced the horrors ﬁrst-hand, a solution will never give back the four years that have been erased on the long road home from Guantanamo bay.
“There was a time when I completely lost hope. I smashed my head against the walls and completely lost it. I was in an eight-foot by six-foot cell with no natural light” tained, in letters that I still have to this day, addressed to my father and my wife, that the Americans would never give access to any British oﬃcials, which was complete lies. As far as they were concerned, I could remain there for decades on end and no one would care. “It wasn’t the British government that brought me home, but the campaigning of people back home. I think what really changed opinion also was that the Americans were building an execution chamber, and I was go-
Anne Boyle works in the ﬁeld of forensic psychology. Besides treating patients from all walks of life on a daily basis, her job may lead her into court appearances as an expert opinion, competency evaluations, and the treatment of psychologically-damaged prisoners. “People all around the world are now taking an interest in psychology, because of the psychiatrists involved in internment centres like Guantanamo Bay, she explains, “The public will begin to wonder if they can trust doctors who participate in acts of torture like those in the interrogations there. “I don’t blame them. As a psychologist, I’m worried myself. Those who have expertise in how the brain works should be helping people to improve their lives – not inventing ways to mentally torture them. Any psychological trauma, be it physical or mental, impacts signiﬁcantly upon a person’s ability to simply cope day-to-day. It all depends on the individual’s resilience.” According to those trained in the area of mental health, the brain is one of the most sensitive parts of a human. “The biggest problem when it comes to dealing with torture victims is that they cannot be un-tortured. A limb can be healed, but we’re not really sure if the brain really ever can be.” According to clinical psychologist Linda Quinn, “The best you can do for a patient is to help them to cope and improve their quality of life. There is a special area in psycho-analysis called neuropsychology that tries to understand how the functions of the brain are linked to our behaviour. “In other words, are we programmed to act in a certain way?” When faced with this possibility, that some of us may be susceptible to acts of aggression, it is hard to not think of the interrogative torture methods used by governments nowadays against possible terrorists. It leads to the question that if we are programmed to act in a speciﬁc manner, can we be held fully accountable for our actions? “The reason why mental torture is used so oen is because it’s a sure thing that answers will be given,” says Boyle. Clearly though, when under severe pressure, the answers given may not always be right, but simply a way to end the suﬀering, even if it means admitting to something you did not do. The latest studies on torture suggest that mental torture is as equally damaging to a person as physical torture, if not worse. For many experts, the two go hand in hand. If a person is physically tortured, they will experience mental repercussions. Likewise, if a person is mentally tortured, there will be physical eﬀects. “Everybody knows that a victim of physical abuse will suﬀer psychologically, but not many people think it works the other way too,” Boyle exclaims. As a result of mental torture, the victim may feel continually sick, and in extreme cases actually worsen their physical health by sheer concentration in the belief that they are unwell. When asked whether the brain can be brainwashed into believing lies, in a situation like an intense interrogation, Boyle pauses. “I would have to say yes. An accredited psychologist once said, ‘If the
brain at its most basic level can form an idea into something that has never happened before, like a ﬁctional story, why couldn’t it be possible to brainwash somebody into believing what they say?’ That’s why many victims experience severe conﬁdence blows.” Selective amnesia, mood swings, ﬂashbacks and depression are eﬀects of mental torture. But there are treatments available. “One way to deal with it is with therapy known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Their psychiatrist would get them to write diaries and face simple social situations that the victim had previously gone out of his way to avoid.” And so, she concludes with the message that there is indeed light at the end of those, the darkest of tunnels.
19th February 2008
the diary of eimear...
Gripped with election-fever, Emer Fabulous is struggling to balance the books, the manifestoes, and the men in her life, as she ponders running for Miss UCD as well as SU President Well it’s barely a week before the polls open, and things are not going as well as planned at all. Boo to this whole business is what I say. God I wish that I had something that would help raise my proﬁle a little, like that Paddy Irish lad who is running against me. He has more tricks up his sleeve than Paul Daniels. He was at every event for that Shocktin na Gillycuddys and was totally networking it. Boo to me too. I should have joined one of them political parties last semester to use them as a campaign team. How hard can it be to win a bogie old Students’ Union election. Looking at some of the specimens over the years here, not very. Jesus, these old hacks are taking things so seriously. Take last week for example, me, Miss E Fabulous was ﬂat out getting ready for an MA presentation to the whole freakin department, and some lad called Morg Shelly starts e-mailing me, nagging at me to submit ﬂyers and manifesto thingies, so I was like, manifesto what? And he got all snappish with his e-mails because I wasn‘t taking things seriously. So, I was told him, cool the jets there, there is no need to be getting up on my back. So anyway, I was considering entering Miss UCD, as well as running in the elections, but Mirikka says that I shouldn’t have my ﬁngers in too many pies, but Au Contraire, Mirikka, I contend that one cannot have enough pies. Organic of course. Think about it. If I run in the elections, and obviously win, because lets face it, who is going to win running against Miss Fab – well then I’ll be a shoe in for the Miss UCD pageant. Horses for courses, or something. So, I’m going to be so under pressure because the audition is ﬁve days before the elec-
tion, but hey, who cares. How else will I leave my mark on this concrete jungle. Mirikka says that I’m too ambitious, but I
don’t think I’m ambitious enough. She would say that anyway. Never one for the ambition Mirikka. Look at that hopeless runt she calls
a boyf. Barely made the starting XV the other day. Not a Senior Cup in him, nor a lot else it seems. So I was thinking of building a campaign team – something I saw on the West Wing – but all of my friends were way busy with their projects etc. So, I decided to use a little innovation. Last Monday, I told my ﬁrst year class that if they helped me win this election, I would pass them all with As. So aer some humming and hawing, I ﬁnally got them all to agree. What better way for them to learn about college life and stuﬀ anyway? Mirikka, AKA the new and improved Director General Responsible for the Successful Election of Miss E Fabulous, is totally in control of things. We might have to work on that title though. More Westie Wing than West Wing. She took some working on about the ﬁrst year thing, but now she is full steamboats ahead and ready to annihilate the competition. Now I just have to woo over my lecturers and get a few extensions sorted until this madness dies down a bit. I tried to explain how much pressure I was under since I started this campaign and all, but Dr Will was having none of it. I think him and Yoko are ﬁnito. He was in such an Adrian Fowler the other day. Rumour has it that aer Yoko found out she was up the Damien, she decided to go back to her ﬁrst husband for security or something. She is such a fool. The good Doc Will is such a hottie, even though we all call him Dr Scorpy now. I’d still start raging aﬀair number two in a second. Anyway, that was in the past. I need to set my sights on a union type that will be advantageous in the upcoming weeks. Hmm, I wonder who the lucky man will be?
Five things I hate about… BEBO 5. Photo albums Nobody wants to see hundreds of your holiday snaps, each featuring you in a bikini/ Speedo with your arm around all of your many friends, none of whom I know. Neither do we want to see dozens of pictures of your various nights out in Copper Face Jacks, all of which are close-ups of drunk people, leering at the camera and licking their neighbour’s faces. We especially do not want to see artfully posed black and white shots of you pouting at the camera, in various outﬁts and hairstyles. Oh you just happened to take all those by accident, did you?
4. Love Nobody wants your love. We didn’t want your love back in secondary school; we deﬁnitely don’t want it now. Giving people your
love will not buy you friends, because this is not the real world, this is the Internet and love does not exist in cyper-space. Should the fact that the girl I sat next to in a tutorial last week is now sending me love hearts every second day be disturbing, or is she just trying to be friendly? Does the fact that I ﬁnd myself missing those hearts when she doesn’t send them be even more disturbing?
3. Personal relationships This is speciﬁcally directed at couples who conduct their relationships via the Internet so that all their friends and enemies alike can see how much in love they are. Who put up proﬁle photos showing their boyfriends looking lovingly into their eyes or of their attractive girlfriends, or worse yet, awful posed photos of ‘Me and Ciaran at the Strauss Ball’, ‘Me and Ciaran at the Arts Ball’ and ‘Me and Ciaran at the B&L Ball’.
Although, why meet up in person, or God forbid, make a phone call, when you can send a smiley face and a heart instead?
2. Personal descriptions Do you go for a witty and intellectual excerpt from Pulp Fiction to show how cool you are or a profound passage from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to prove that you are well-read? Decisions, decisions. Your choice of favourite songs is crucially important here too, because it will dictate the level of respect that your friends will feel from you, and indeed the kind of person that you really are. Will you go for Indie Rock to show your cutting edge taste in emerging artistes, or will you opt for a touch of Nineties nostalgia to show that you have a sense of humour? Think very carefully about this section before you proceed.
1. Bebo-users who complain about Bebo You can’t have it every way- either delete your account and be free to lambaste Bebo to anyone who will listen, or keep your account and keep quiet. Nobody should be entitled to have a Bebo account but also complain about it ceaselessly at every opportunity, emphasising the entire time that they ‘haven’t been on it for weeks.’ Meanwhile, any chance they get they access their proﬁle sneakily through one of their friends’ proﬁles (so that it looks as though they haven’t logged in for ages) to check how many messages, emails and invitations have built up since they last checked two hours ago. Hypocrites, be warned.
THE TURBINE THE TURBINE
ISSUE XXI ■ VOLUME VIII
IT’S SATIRE, STUPID!
INSIDE MAN SAVING FOR RAINY DAY BUYS UMBRELLA COCAINE-USE AMONG YOUTHS TO NOSE-DIVE GARDA HEAD SEEKS ARMS SHOCK AS SURVEY REVEALS MAJORITY OF REVENGE IS SERVED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE SUPREME COURT GRANTS NEW HEARING FOR DEAF KILLER STAN STAUNTON TO SUE FOR UNFAIR DISMISSAL
STILL JUST 31P!
Student Bar to introduce vomitorium Following a severe warning from the HSE investigate unit, College authorities are forced to build a vomitorium on the east side of the Student Bar. This was met with great delight with students and staﬀ agreeing to the proposal. One student claimed, “It will be great to go into to the bar now knowing that your health will not be at risk from passive vomiting.” The only opposition was from the adjacent Quinn School, who say that leading businessmen “may or may not be turned oﬀ by the sight, sound and smell of it. Although I suppose nothing much can be done about the location as the other side faces the restaurant.” A spokesperson for the Students’ Union stated, “This is making history. Barmen will
no longer have to work in fear of getting “casually vomited on” by students buying drinks. It certainly brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘vomitorium’.” However, fears of how long the structure will take to build are increasing as the smoking garden promised to the students in the 1960s is still underway. College authorities countered this argument by saying, “Welcome to Ireland”. The budget for this project is expected to reach between ﬁve and ten million euros but methods of reclaiming this money are being researched. “One plan was to have the students pay by quantity and content. One gallon of vomit is expected to cost the student two euro, but we will oﬀer a ten percent discount if the content is mostly spirits, as this can be recycled as fuel.”
UCD students in “great danger” Several UCD students are in “great danger” after their photographs appeared on a radically republican notice board in the Arts Block. According to the notice itself, Orangewatch is “a warning to the orangewomen and their fellow boyfriends, that whenever they leave their house caked with the colour of the Williamites, they are for forcing us to act as defenders of our nation”. The “orangewomen” that are mentioned on the poster refer to those who put copious doses of fake tan on their faces, which highlights them as ‘loyalist’. The slogan of the poster is, “Remember faces, no matter how diﬃcult it is to distinguish between them”. The Turbine contacted the head of Orangewatch to seek their motives for violence, and they declared, “What makes the matter worse is that they put on so much [fake tan] that they’re literally shoving their opinions in our faces. As well as that, it makes them unidentiﬁable, which to me is the ultimate act of cowardice.” One student suﬀered injuries to the skirt when she was approached by one of the Jacobites, Oh my God, I like totally didn t know what was going on, one minute I was standing with my Latté checking out my Bebo when all of a sudden this
total greenbean came along and spilled it all over my Dona Karans, on purpose. Knob. Diﬃculties were met when the D4 elite tried
to detest what was perceived as their political stance, but a language barrier was met on both sides.
Electric Ents Presents…
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19th February 2008
DOWN THE LINE
More success for ladies volleyball ■ Ben Blake Both the UCD men’s and women’s volleyball team qualiﬁed to go over to Leeds last weekend to compete in the EVA Student Cup, aer clinching the Intervarsities last October. It was a successful weekend for UCD as the women’s team took the trophy home for the fourth time. The last time UCD won the competition, they had trouble getting the trophy back to Ireland. Ladies captain Noemi Kuncik explains, “The winners of the Irish Varsities are allowed to play in the English Championship. Then we go over and win it. They don’t like it when that happens. We had trouble getting the cup home a few years ago because they didn’t want it leaving English soil.” The men’s team, though aiming to reach the quarterﬁnals, ﬁnished in a credible tenth position, the captain remarking aerwards, “We were aiming to reach the quarterﬁnals, but with a team like Cambridge in our group, it was always going to be tough. It was between East Anglia, Liverpool and ourselves.” The competition took place over two days. The group matches were played on Saturday with the top two from the group moving to the quarterﬁnals and knockout stages on Sunday. The format of the games was also slightly diﬀerent according to Kuncik; “Fitness will be a factor once we are over there. There are no time limits like games in Ireland. Over there we were playing three sets.” The ladies team have won the All-Ireland for the past seven years in a row, so they know all about the competition. For the men’s team, it was a new experience, because, as their captain explained, “There is only one player in the team who was there the last time we played in the tournament.” The ladies’ Setter, Aileen Minihan, picked up the Most Valuable Player award.
A 39th nail in the coffin The proposed extra game at the end of the Premiership season is just the latest example of football selling its soul, argues Philip Connolly As he sauntered into a press conference, Richard Scudamore looked nothing like the man who killed football. Goethe would perhaps recognise the story, a man signs over his soul to the Devil for great riches. Yet while Faust sold his own soul and repented and received salvation, Scudamore showed little remorse or repentance in allegedly selling the soul of British football. We have been here so many times. Many see the day of the Bosman ruling as the death of football, a clear shi toward player power. Or perhaps the day Manchester United declined to enter the FA cup, instead to partake in the ill-fated World Club Championship. Since the dawn of the Premiership era, many have tried to document the fall of British football; yet here we still are, not without a few casualties along the way. The cautionary tale of Leeds United will still keep many prospective investors up at night. Scudamore believes that if he does not take the premier league forward, to new and fertile shores, the world’s most watched, and wealthiest league, will wilt and fall away. Standing still is never ideal in a commercial global market. His business logic, however soulless, is sound. His opponents are staunch and plentiful. To almost every British football fan he is the Grim Reaper, the man who killed football, or at the very least sold his soul. Those who believe the end is nigh are already shouting from the rooops, and the journalists are already running out of clichés. Should the critics face reality and accept that the premier league is a global phenomenon and that it cannot aﬀord to stand still and risk being overtaken? Or are we just seeing further evidence of a greedy game losing what little is le of its soul? So to the grand plan, the ‘demon’ proposal to see competitive premiership games played outside Europe. Following the end of the 2009/2010 season, a draw containing all twenty Premiership teams will take place, the top clubs seeded to avoid each
other. Five host cities will win a bidding war to host matches, each receiving two games. The following January, the teams will go to their destinations for a week of acclimatisation, and doubtlessly engage in some over-the-top promotion, Premiership fever will take over the world. One game on Saturday and another on Sunday, all played in diﬀerent time zones, keeping Mr. Murdock happy. It’s been coming for a while. Individual teams have been neglecting their root support for years, so surely it was only a matter of time before they clubbed together and decided to do it collectively. However, while we may have seen it coming, to describe the proposal to play ten Premier League games outside of these shores as ‘logical’ is ludicrous. All twenty Premier League club chairmen have apparently agreed to explore the proposal. Most domestic fans will not be happy with the idea. In any case, that kind of argument does not wash with the clubs or the league. Otherwise, it would still cost a ﬁver to get into Old Traﬀord. The truth is that the idea has no grounding in logic. The theory is to add a game to the calendar, the points of which will count towards each team’s total at the end of the season, with the top ﬁve teams seeded. The ﬁrst thing to note here is the outstanding unfairness. The top ﬁve are seeded so they don’t play each other, meaning that they have an extra ‘easy’ game per season, thus widening the gap even further between the big boys and the rest. Even within these elite ﬁve, it is lopsided. What happens if Arsenal draw Derby? That’s nine free points as opposed to the mere six that the rest will get. Essentially the title could be decided by the luck of the draw. Secondly, this idea is based on the theory that the football-mad residents of Melbourne or Dubai will ﬂock to the games, pouring cash directly from their wallets into the pockets of the Premier
League. Perhaps that will be the case if a Manchester derby magically comes out of the hat, but what happens if Wigan and Fulham are drawn, hardly a promoters dream. The result: a halfempty stadium, red faces and jetlag all round. Thirdly, it’s well-documented that Premier League clubs play too many games each season. Last season Manchester United reached the ﬁnal of the FA Cup and semi-ﬁnal of the Champions League, meaning they played 59 competitive games. In Italy, they have one cup-competition and play 38 league games a season, and a winter break. Who won the World Cup again? While it may be diﬃcult to muster much sympathy for the men earning more in a week than most do in a year, ‘The players get paid so much so they should earn it’ argument, doesn’t exactly stand up under scrutiny, they are only ﬂesh and blood. If a man were oﬀered 50,000 euros to run a marathon aer just ﬁnishing a triathlon, he wouldn’t be able to do it. Yet, the touted worth is ﬁve million pounds per club, meaning that it will come under serious consideration. Mr. Scudamore seems to think all of this may keep the Premier League on top of the pile. Right as he may be ﬁnancially, it will not go down well with the men who put the premiership there in the ﬁrst place, those who pay more than they can probably aﬀord to ﬂock to the Emirates or Old Trafford every week. How refreshing was it to see Manchester United line out in a 50’s style jersey to commemorate the Munich Air disaster, free from the signs that turn your average footballer into a walking billboard. In fact, if you really did like it, it’s sure the Glazers of Manchester would be happy to oblige – in exchange for sixty euros of course. Scudamore seems to think he is gaining much for the men he represents; he may be losing a lot more. And unlike Faust, salvation may not be as poetically simple.
19th February 2008
Sporting Lesbians close in on title It’s scary stuﬀ at the top of the Saturday Premier, as the former Blackrock College teams take over, with H-Bam and FC El Messidor just lagging behind table toppers, Sporting Lesbians. Top Sharking nearly caused them a shock Barnsley-esque defeat on Wednesday when Sporting went two goals down in the ﬁrst half, much to the delight of the watching El Messidor players. They should have thought twice about all the insults hurled from the sidelines when Ciaran Carroll, Kevin McGettigan, AKA Turkey, and Justin Barry scored in the second half on Wednesday night. The Sporting players made a beeline to the sidelines, so the watching Messidor players got the full brunt of the celebrations. They are missing Captain Mark McHugh for the rest of the season through injury, but Sporting pushed on regardless. McHugh was watching from the sidelines and was delighted with his team’s performance. “We did well in the second half, but to be fair, they were the better team in the ﬁrst and gave us a tougher game then we expected. We were very lucky to get the win in the end.” He wasn’t long in getting a jibe in at El Messidor as well. “I think El Messidor are out of the running really. Dalhousie are our main rivals.” Sharking were unlucky and probably deserved a draw for their eﬀorts. “We were too defensive in the second half and that cost
■ Eoghan Brophy us in the end,” Dave Kinlen, Sharking’s captain commented aerwards. “We played well in the ﬁrst half, but when we were 2-0 up at half time, we went out with the wrong attitude and instead of killing the game oﬀ, we let them attack us.” Sporting followed on from the win on Wednesday with a 7-1 thumping of Team X. Turkey squawked in with a hat-trick and Rob Cullen should have had a hat-trick, scoring two and missing a penalty. Ciaran Carroll and Mark O’ Conner also added more goals to leave Team X dumbfounded. Sporting will be happy to learn of H-Bam’s 4-2 loss against Park Celtic on the Saturday. Leback Conor Barnwell knew the team was disappointed aer the game. “We weren’t great really and we know we can do better. They were just more clinical in the end and that was the main diﬀerence. We had a young keeper in nets as well but overall we are disappointed with our performance.” It was quantity, not quality on Friday night as Just Jeﬀ started the game with only 10 men. Fishy Toothbrush (named aer an incident on holiday) scored in the opening ﬁve minutes. Jeﬀ’s eleventh man arrived soon after, and along with the one they called “Toaster” up front, they managed to get back into the game. Sporting Lesbians and Dalhousie seem to be the favourites for ﬁrst place but there are six teams that could ch a n g e the odds qu i ck e r than those in the race for the Ireland job. Or could it be the Italian sounding, El Messidor that come out of nowhere and get the job done. Photo: Neil Dorgan
Knockout stages beckon in Fitzgibbon Cup ■ UCD
■ ST. PATS/MATER DEI
■ Eoghan Glynn
“These are the days you live for,” declared the rising Dublin star Ross O’Carroll aer his late 1-2 led the UCD hurlers to a spirited victory against St. Patricks/Mater Dei in the Fitzgibbon Cup in Drumcondra last Wednesday. Although a modest O’Carroll believed, “I wouldn’t be getting the ball if it wasn’t for the rest of the lads,” there is no doubt that these scores were the main diﬀerence between the sides at the end. It was clear for everyone to see how much this victory meant for the Belﬁeld side from the jubilant celebrations witnessed at the ﬁnal whistle. “They were well up for it”, admitted O’Carroll, “the big crowd from Pats also made it tough to play against them.” Indeed, the crowd in Drumcondra did make for an intimitading atmosphere, but one sensed this UCD side relished such an occasion. This victory showed the courage and bravery within this team, a point UCD manager William Cleary was keen to point out - “We were three points down at halftime and ended up winning by four, so that shows the character that’s in this side. A seven points turnover in one half, away to Pats, it’s a great turnover considering we had four injuries during the week.” The manager was also well aware of the importance of O’Carroll’s contribution to the game ; “Ross came up trumps there towards the end with the goal and two points. It turned the game as we were in big trouble then. Pats have one hell of a team so when they got a few big scores and the roar from
Photo: Rita Monahan the crowd was going up, I thought we were in trouble. But our lads have a big heart and pulled through in the end.” For what seemed like such an exciting and enthralling match, the ﬁrst half was really a rather dull and uneventful one. While UCD’s Maurice Nolan and Pats’ Richie Hogan tussled in a battle of frees, one which Nolan would eventually go on to win 0-8 to 0-6, the game never really settled from its frantic start, which made it a scrappy contest at the best of times. However, three quick points in succession meant Pats led at the halfway point, 0-9 to 0-6. A quick start to the second half was essential for UCD, which they promptly delivered with three unanswered points, two coming from the impressive Nolan. However, UCD struggled to take the initiative following these three scores and the sides were engaged in an end-to-end exchange with neither side being more than a point ahead at any stage.
With the sides so close and the defences as dominant as they were, it became clear that only a goal would kill oﬀ this tie. This was le to the centre-forward O’Carroll, who found himself with thirteen yards to run before he buried the sliotar behind the helpless Pats goalie. This gave UCD the crucial conﬁdence boost. O’Carroll ﬁnished the game oﬀ for good in the following minutes with two points, with the second in particular displaying the great strength of the player as he simply shrugged his marker away before slotting the sliotar over the bar. Pats huﬀed and puﬀed in the ﬁnal minutes but failed to blow the UCD house down leaving the Belfield men ecstatic at the ﬁnal whistle. UCD now go on to play Limerick Institute of Technology next Wednesday in Belﬁeld as the Fitzgibbon Cup reaches the knockout stages. “We’ll go into this game as underdogs”, admitted Cleary, “But by God we’ll give one of them a hell of a game.”
College win Colours UCD reclaimed the Hockey Colours in style as they easily overcame rivals Trinity last week. Losing out in the previous two years, there was much jubilation as the Belﬁeld side won out comprehensively, seven points to two on home soil. “It was a really successful day for UCD Hockey,” said Ladies’ club captain Muirreann O’Keefe. “It was brilliant to win by such a margin.” In the Ladies Firsts game, UCD squandered a 4-0 lead and encountered a nervous ﬁnish as Trinity pulled the score back to 4-3. They succeeded in holding out for victory with the help of Catriona McGlip
■ Eoghan Brophy however, who put in an outstanding performance and took her three goals well. O’Keefe was also quick to praise the men’s sides, who won two of their games and drew the other. “In previous years, the Ladies Firsts and Seconds normally won their games, but our men’s side usually struggled. This year though, both sides performed as well as each other, so we were very pleased,” she said. “The men’s ﬁrst have been playing in Di-
vision 1 since last year. They have a really strong squad this year and I think that playing in a higher league really beneﬁted them when they came up against Trinity.” Although silverware doesn’t look like it will be making its way to UCD’s hockey teams this season, there is still a job to be done consolidating their respective league positions. The sides are currently preparing for the Dublin Fest, which takes place this Easter. Held in Three Rock Rovers, the tournament consists of mixed gender teams from Ireland and England.
19th February 2008
Buckley banking on Ashbourne success Having been part of a Cork ladies football side that has won two All-Ireland Championships in a row, camogie-star Rena Buckley speaks to Eoghan Glynn about UCD’s bid for success One would forgive UCD’s camogie team of feeling the pressure of the expectation surrounding them this year. Next weekend, the favourites go to Jordanstown in search of a historic repeat of last year’s Ashbourne Cup glory. However, one thing you cannot accuse physiology student Rena Buckley of, is feeling the pressure. “The fact that we are defending champions probably should put more pressure on the team,” remarks Buckley, “But we’re just more aware of the fact that we are defending champions, that we are a good team, and have great prospects as a team. “We were never going to be favourites for this year’s tournament before we won the cup last year, but now we probably are the favourites. There’s no doubt it’s a harder title to take than being underdogs. We hadn’t won
the cup in a long time before last year, so now that we have it we’ll be looking to hold onto it for as long as we can.” Change is surely an essential element in a successful team, due to its ability to freshen things up and avoid any complacency within the team. Although there have been far from any wholesale changes with this camogie side, Buckley accepts that the small changes within the team and backroom team have made a diﬀerence. “We’ve had a change in selectors, and they’ve brought in their own ideas. You have to keep bringing in new people to freshen things up. The freshers who’ve come into the team have been a great boost too.” Another boost for this team is the inﬂuence of the numerous Wexford players who would’ve come into this campaign on the back of their All-Ireland success last September. “There’s no
doubt that it. It was a great boost for all the Wexford players at the start of the year,” admits Buckley. “They’re now playing with a bit more conﬁdence and their winning ways can only help the team. There’s always the bit of banter between the Wexford and Cork ones, and of course they’ve the upper hand at the moment.” With only one qualiﬁer match under their belts in the Ashbourne Cup so far, it’s still hard to judge how this team will fare in the semi-ﬁnals. However,
Buckley still believes that improvement is required from their qualiﬁer match if they’re to have any chance of success this year. “We felt we didn’t play as well as we could have in the qualiﬁer match. We didn’t seem to ﬂow, as we know we can. Everyone will have to improve on their own individual performance, then hopefully the team can play better as a whole.” NUIG provide the next potential stumbling block to UCD’s path to glory
as the two teams clash in the semi ﬁnals next Saturday in Jordanstown. Conﬁdence is certainly not lacking with Buckley or her teammates, who believe that playing their own game is what’ll be the key part of any success this year. “All we know about NUIG is that they have fast forwards and like to play the ball wide, but if we stick to our own game we should get through. Then, hopefully, things will go well in the ﬁnal for us.”
FOR PETE’S SAKE PETE MAHON WRITES EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE COLLEGE TRIBUNE The big news in Irish football last week was the appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni as the new manager of the national team. From ﬁrst impressions, I’m very positive about the situation. In my opinion, this is a new departure for the FAI. Bringing in a foreign coach of such high calibre is a statement of intent that they mean business. The one reservation I would have is that his international record isn’t great. At club level however, it is unparalleled, and if he can transform those achievements into success for Ireland, it would turn out to be a great capture. During the tenure of the last two managers, both Brian Kerr and Steve Staunton were blamed for the team’s poor form while the players got away scot-free. Now, we have a man who is widely respected in the game, and if the players can’t perform and give it their all for him, we’ve got a serious problem. Hopefully he can
get the best out of them. It is a real challenge and we will now ﬁnd out what kind of a socalled ‘world class’ team we have. The last couple of Ireland games I have watched, there have been a few fat-arses in the team. I spotted a couple of lads who had lead for legs. Juande Ramos was shocked at the poor condition the players at Spurs were in when he took over, but these coaches usually have a good code of discipline and organisation, and the new manager will get them into the shape that they need to be in. Trapattoni has been around the block and the fact that he is bringing in his own ﬁtness coach, tells you all you need to know.
Some parts of the media have been making an issue out of the fact that he will be 69 this coming St. Patrick’s day, but I don’t feel it should be one. Every time I have seen him on television, it has been on the training ground. He seems to have a great work ethic and looks pretty lively. You would only have to look at the man to see he is in very good health, so I wouldn’t be worried. We learned last week that Irish businessman Denis O’Brien will be footing the bill for half of Trapattoni’s wage bill as well as the salary of his assistant. I think this is a high proﬁle venture on his part. I feel he could have put €2 million into football in this country and it would have been far
more worthwhile. We need to have the team qualifying for major tournaments because that brings a feel good factor around the game and it ﬁlters down to grassroots level. It can give the country a great buzz and entice more young people into the game. There has been a lot of negativity in regards to the FAI and the team in recent times. Maybe this will be a new beginning. Getting back to UCD, there has been something of a void le aer losing the players that we have and we are still attempting to ﬁll it. The players that are here have been working very hard by showing fantastic commitment and great levels of ﬁtness. We had 35 players the nights we trained last week, but I just hope we can keep our main players free from injury this season. If we do that, we have a real chance of staying in this league. It is getting harder to compete with the top teams in this league. With the sums of money I have been hearing other teams are paying for players’ wages, I am wondering how the league is going to police the rule that only 65 percent of a club’s expenditure can go on player wages. We will have a very young team this season, and I have no doubt we will have a very tough campaign but we are ready for it and I believe we will be okay.
19th February 2008
THE TRAP IS SET PETE MAHON’S VERDICT: PAGE 23
HURLING: UCD MARCH ON PAGE 22
Top-four finish beyond College
Photo: Alba Vallejo
With ﬁve minutes to go, it looked like College were about to suﬀer a drubbing at the hands of the Corkmen. But when the southerners le the pitch aer the ﬁnal whistle had blown, their faces were not painted with looks of ecstasy at win, but with the look of relief aer a close escape. This was thanks to a stunning soloeﬀort from College winger Vasily “Vas” Artemiev who dashed past the proud Munster backline to set up a nail biting ﬁnish. Dolphin certainly started out the better side, putting College under tremendous pressure inside their twenty-two. The College pack, the stronger of the two, weathered the storm and eventually turned over. This would be the motif of the aernoon as UCD’s pack veritably bossed their Munster counterparts for the full eighty minutes. Kevin Croke at open side ﬂanker, once again showed his prowess in the back row.
■ DOLPHIN RFC
■ Bryan Devlin For an example of UCD’s dominance up front, one need not look any further than College’s ﬁrst try. A twenty-ﬁve metre rolling maul which saw Croke go over in the corner to score the ﬁrst try of the encounter. Unfortunately, the conversion attempt from inside centre Killian Lett was unsuccessful. Naturally, College’s strength up front prompted Dolphin to resort to their backs. This presented a welcome break, for both bands of supporters, from the cancer that is pick and go rugby. In this match in particular, the back play from both sides was outstanding and made for truly edge-of-your-seat stuﬀ. In midﬁeld, it appeared that Dolphin had the edge but in terms of wingers,
College certainly had the advantage. Both “Vas” and Cian Aherne gave fantastic performances, skipping by their opposite numbers on numerous occasions. Moments aer Croke’s try, an error from Dolphin at the breakdown saw UCD awarded a chance to further increase their lead. Lett wisely signalled the slots and the Belﬁeld boys went eight in front. From this point on, Dolphin countered everything. In the next passage of play, a Dolphin scrum miraculously drove over for their ﬁrst score of the aernoon, and the bright home start suddenly became cloudy. Five minutes later, the touch judge alerted the referee to the constantly oﬀside Corkmen, and a penalty was awarded, which was promptly converted by Lett. This, however, was subsequently negated by the fact that Dolphin came straight down the pitch to score an unconverted try straight
from the kick-oﬀ. In the second half, it began to slip away from the home side, as Dolphin began to put them to the sword. The visitors went ahead for the ﬁrst time straight from the oﬀ, via the boot of their out-half Barry Keeshan. From the kick-oﬀ, the UCD backs worked very hard to move up the pitch. A shocking lapse in concentration saw the Dolphin pack turn over a college scrum and ﬂash the ball wide to their winger who proceeded to sprint the length of the ﬁeld only to be halted by ‘Vas’ who had covered the ground from the opposite wing. The supporting ruck couldn’t keep up and Dolphin crashed over to stretch their lead further. Inevitably, Dolphin went ahead by 16-28, but then suddenly, UCD came alive, putting the Corkmen under ﬁerce pressure. The break came ﬁve minutes from the end. Gied winger, “Vas” Artemiev, sprang outside his opposite number then skipped inside the
supporting tackler to race home for a sensational try, which was converted moments later to bring the diﬀerence to ﬁve. Miraculously, UCD retained possession from the restart and clawed their way up the pitch to make for a photo ﬁnish. Sadly, despite the agonising closing seconds, Dolphin scuppered the College advances, and held out until the ﬁnal whistle, at which they breathed a collective sigh of relief. Post-game, Captain Hastings seemed a bit critical of the performance, but in the harsh light of defeat, only the pimples and boils show. With lines of a disappointing result etched on his and the faces of his team, he admitted that perhaps a top-four ﬁnish is out of the question now. He did add however, that they certainly intend to give a good account of themselves when the return to Blackrock in two weeks time to over turn the Continued pageago. 22 dismal cup result of a fewon weeks
Friends like these We interview French Electro Kings Justice: Page 6
Ham Sandwich ■ Sawdoctors ■ La Rocca ■ Darren Shan
n e r i S the
| Issue 8 19.02.08 t en m le pp Su t en nm ai rt te En e College Tribun
TH E THE
19th February 2008
Music “We’ve been to the States almost sixty times in our career, so we’ve branched out quite a bit” The Sawdoctors: P4
Music “We’re not sure how people are going to react to it, but for us, that is a good thing” Justice: P6
Fashion “Always cleanse tone and moisturise. It is the only way forward!” Make-up made easy: P9
Arts “I want to take readers to the edge and give them an experience they’ve never had before”
Darren Shan speaks: P10
Wouldn’t mind a Ham Sandwich… Ham Sandwich singer Niamh Farrell is on the 77A bus into town from Tallaght. She’s on her way to HMV to do an in-store performance before she has to shoot oﬀ to the Meteor Awards. “We’ve a pretty big day ahead of us,” she remarks. This is a group that instantly stands out from the ra of current Indie rock groups thanks to the so but soulful vocals of Farrell, which interplay with the robust vocal delivery of guitarist/singer Podge McNamee, to create music that has a more subtle atmosphere in a single track than most bands can ﬁt into an album. This, combined with a very tight rhythm section and some sublime catchiness, makes it clear that the band has been craing its sound for some time. “It is the way to go when you start out, don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” she remarks philosophically. “We’ve been together for four years, and we’re just putting out an album now. We’re starting to gain better success for that time well spent now.” That ﬁrst record, the newly released Carry The Meek, was birthed in an environment that was as unorthodox as the band’s measured growth. “We didn’t actually go into a studio, we went to diﬀerent places. We went to this old seventeenth century mansion in Kells, which is also a boarding school. “We rented a house just outside Kells as well, and brought down
Ham Sandwich singer Niamh Farrell discusses her band’s steady success with Lorcan Archer, just before they won the Hope For 2008 Meteor Music Award all our recording equipment. It was just better. We weren’t restricted to a time-frame like we would have been in a recording studio. We stayed up until three o’clock in the morning, because it can be done with that set-up.” The move worked well for the band, eliminating stress and aiding their productivity. “There is no limit, so it’s great to have that freedom. It was a lot of fun too, we really squirreled ourselves away.” This diﬀering attitude to the usual high-pressure situation that new bands oen ﬁnd themselves in, with so much being expected of them, is evident in other aspects of the group’s work, such as their artwork production. “We asked for fans to send in their own ideas of what heartache means to them for the album. So, people sent in pictures representing what the word means to them, and we got so
many responses.” Such a move allowed the band to connect with fans, and maintain a strong pool of choices, rather than giving all the control to a single artist. “Several of them have gone into the actual inlay of the album, so it has worked out very well. It’s satisfying to get people involved like that.” Nevertheless, to properly promote their debut album to the extent it deserves, the band must do what is required, and that means taking to the road. “We’ve a big tour around Ireland in March, with lots of gigs lined up. Then we’ll be heading over to England again later in the year, before doing the festival circuit. “We plan to make every show special, not just the release party, and really get the music out there.” While playing their hometown of Kells is always fun, Farrell admits the west of Ireland is where she
“It’s funny, when people ask me what type of music I think we play, I can’t tell them”
enjoys performing most. “God, I love playing Galway. It’s just such a lovely city in general.” With the Irish scene in a healthy state at the moment, Farrell is quick to point out the improvements she has noticed in the nature of homegrown music. “I think the Irish scene has gotten better over the last while. It used to be so much smaller, very acoustic based, but it’s really broad now. “There are loads of bands and lots of diﬀerent types of music. Personally, I think it’ll be a big year for Fight Like Apes and We Should Be Dead.” This unwillingness to pigeonhole genres applies to her own group also. “It’s funny, when people ask me what type of music I think we play, I can’t tell them.” The level of success the band are experiencing now means priorities have shied for the band members, as they gear their lives around the needs of Ham Sandwich. “It’s a fulltime job for me now, I spent all my time on it. You have to. In fairness though, it really is a great job to have.” Ham Sandwich play Whelans on Sat. 23rd of February
19th February 2008
Rocca ‘n’ Roll in the USA Singer and guitarist Bjorn Ballie of Irish rockers La Rocca takes time out from their all-out assault on America to speak to Sophie O’Higgins about their unexpected appearances on Of all of those Irish would-be bands that are tucked away in their parents’ garages, dissecting guitar lines with dubious dreams of recognition, there are only a mere handful that are likely to gain the appropriate degree of exposure required to propel them into real musical eminence. For many of those that do succeed in gaining recognition, only a few tend to fare well in the greener grasses, tackling the Everest that is the America. U2 did it. Glen Hansard ‘did’ it, to a lesser degree. The Thrills claimed they did it, though the proof has yet to surface. So, enter La Rocca, who have burst the bubble of playing in their comfortzone at home, and decided to focus on the challenge of tackling the all-important United States. “We’re working hard over there at the moment to try and get as much going as we can,” says singer Bjorn Ballie, who is back in Europe for a few days, before heading back to the band’s new home in Los Angeles.
Hard work is the order of the day, but the group is more than ready to seize their chances. “While obviously we’re still only scratching the surface there, we’d like to go as far as we can as an Irish band, and that means spending a lot of time there.”
“We’d like to go as far as we can as an Irish band” Named aer a dank dive bar in Bristol where the band ﬁrst played, and dealing in a brand powerful but undeniably thoughtful rock, La Rocca have been resounding the airwaves over the past few months and have been steadily advancing ten-fold through the ranks of recognition. The band assembled in 2002 as college friends in Cardiﬀ City, and has since been living stateside for musical purposes. Aer the release of their self-
titled debut EP, interest was circulating around the Irish quartet, and they were quickly signed in 2004 to Los Angeles based Dangerbird Records, alongside esteemed producer Tony Hoﬀ, whose musical credentials include Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Phoenix and Supergrass. Hoﬀ has proved an eﬃcacious tool to a band’s success and longevity. Travelling across America, and thus acquiring some serious industry acknowledgement due to shows in the famous SXSW Texan music festival, as well as countless gigs across the US, plaudits for the band were numerous. Such was the enthusiasm amongst the music industry buﬀs, that La Rocca’s songs were featured in several televised airings, most notably, The OC and One Tree Hill, as well as on the game Fifa ‘08 and Indie ﬁlm 50 Pills. “I don’t really watch any of those shows, but I had heard about The OC of course, so I knew how big that was,” she remarks, “With One Tree Hill, I hadn’t really heard of it, so I wasn’t sure how
big it was, or if it was just another teen program.” Nonetheless, TV exposure doesn’t come along every day, so Ballie was appreciative. “We were told when the episode would be on and we all sat down to watch it, and a song of ours, Non Believer, was used in quite a big scene in it. They played the song and named our
band and the girl pulled out our vinyl,” he recalls with some amusement. “We were just sitting there stunned.” Such shows have been responsible for bringing attention to bands like The Killers and Death Cab for Cutie, and are duly regarded as an exceptional catalyst for obtaining what potential prosperity a band may have.
Aural Examinations guitar notes of See These Bones, to the mellow harmony between lead singer Matthew Caws and guest collaborator Liane Smith on the album’s ﬁnale, The Film Did Not Go ‘Round, it is apparent that this is Nada Surf at their radiant, luminous best. Their trademark catchy, up-tempo eﬀorts replete with highly addictive choruses are here, particularly in the form of the genuinely sweet I Like What You Say and Ice on the Wing, while the production is more polished than before. The adorable harmonics and incesnnnnn santly beautiful strains will have you nodding your head and humDespite the fact that it is now twelve ming along despite yourself. years since their 1996 breakthrough However, if you reserve disdain for artalbum High/Low, Indie rockers Nada ists who stick to the same formula that Surf are still predominantly known for achieved success in the past, and crave the hit single from that album, Popular, constant innovation, then it’s probably which saw a sharp satirical swipe at best that you steer clear. What is undeniHigh School life in the US. able is that this album represents no novel This is unfortunate, as that particular imaginative leap on the part of Nada Surf. song’s bitter and sarcastic edge is unrepHowever, if you loved previous albums resentative of the band’s characteristic Let Go, This Weight is a Gi, or The Proxsound. The New Yorkers have, in the in- imity Eﬀect, or indeed have a taste for tervening period, demonstrated a pen- similar Indie groups such as Death Cab chant for cutting, insightful lyrics, allied for Cutie, then this release is absolutely with warm melodies and catchy hooks. guaranteed to be right up your street. Lucky is no diﬀerent. From the relatively darker opening Sebastion Clare
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grand pocket orchestra nnnnp
Health are an acquired taste. A slow burning ﬁrst track builds into a wall of noise, and rarely returns to any sort of single form for the rest of the album. At ﬁrst, it’s noisy and diﬃcult to ﬁnd any discernible structure or direction, but in time, the seemingly random cymbal crashes and guitar breaks begin to make sense. Health execute their noisy rants and sharp stomps with such precision that even their most generic tracks are impressive. Despite all the in-your-face clatter, the group also excels at small accents and mild surprises. Crimewave’s charming guitar chords come as a slight surprise. While none of those sounds really ever eﬀectively shock, given what’s gone before, each deviates just enough from the other, as the band ﬁnds tiny variations inside steadfast repetition. Health’s sound starts to slip interestingly oﬀ its hard-earned course during the album’s last three tracks. Glitter Pills is a stoic dance piece with canned drums and handclaps, like a sleepwalking version of new group Black Dice, while Perfect Skin and Lost Time are both slow, hypnotised marches. Here, Health stick to simple, unvarying rhythmic lurches beneath the sounds of sky-reaching vocals. As audible earlier in the album, the reference points here are clear, and Health at times meld them into their own wholly singular work. Yet, it never quite works as a whole despite some nice moments. Similarities between Health and bands such as Battles or Liars are obvious, but judged against these bands; their structured mayhem doesn’t quite stand up so well.
Have you been looking for something to just make you happy, music wise? If so, look no further than Grand Pocket Orchestra (GPO), the fun-loving, quirky quartet from Dublin having just released their debut EP. There should be a sticker on the side saying that happiness is guaranteed aer six minutes. Intriguing instrumentation from the outset resembles the music to a children’s cartoon, with bells, keyboards, xylophones and all sorts of sounds chiming together. However, it would be a mistake to think that this is a childish attempt at making Indie pop music, as the EP is a showcase of how to use your instruments as creatively as possible. Drums come at intervals; they disappear and then return to almost take over. Guitar solos resemble Blur’s guitar in their earliest years, muﬄed and trapped, contrasting with the clear keyboard. Almost everything comes as a surprise, the band shouts spontaneously, as much with their instruments as with their voices. This would be the band to listen to if you thought Animal Collective sounded promising and then let you down. They sound quite alike, but GPO are more innovative in how they go about making a lighthearted but engaging track. Front-man, Paddy Hanna’s kooky voice is hard to decipher, but you can just about hear his repeated pronouncement that, ‘It’s alright.’ Listening to these guys will convince you that it certainly is. They will almost certainly be one of the most refreshing Irish acts you will probably hear all year.
Just wh doctor Leo Moran, front-man for legendary Irish band The Saw Doctors, speaks to Lisa Towel about winning the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award and touring America with Pat Shortt Last weekend, The Saw Doctors were honoured with the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award. Presenting the award was D’Unbelievables funny-man Pat Shortt, and the band are no strangers to the Tipperary-man aer appearing on the famed comedian’s hit television show Killinaskully. What’s more, Shortt le a lasting impression on front man Leo Moran when he played with the band during their American tour. “He is a great saxophonist,” remarks Moran, “He used to come out and do songs with us. He is really an unbelievable musician.” Moran goes on to talk about the award and what it means to the band, “Receiving something like this is almost like an out-of-body experience for me. Its great. It’s the sort of thing you always expect somebody else to get, so we’re delighted to get the recognition. It is good to know
we’re being thought of.” The award seems as though it has been a long time coming for the band that formed more than twenty years ago in Tuam, Co. Galway. The group ﬁrst came together to play in 1986. Their ﬁrst major hit, I Useta Lover, reached number one in 1990 and remained in the charts to become a Christmas number one, gaining the title of the best ever selling Irish single in the process. The Saw Doctors are well known for other popular songs like N-17 and The Green and Red of Mayo, but there is more to the veteran Galway group than crowd-pleasing anthems. Amongst their seven studio albums, their songs move from ballads about unrequited love to poignant commentaries on the position of single mothers in a strongly Catholic society. The diversity of The Saw Doctors’ songs is reﬂected in songwriters Moran and Davy Carton’s approach. “Our writing style is very varied. One day you might decide to go for a certain style, and another day you’d follow a totally diﬀerent path. We just try to put a few songs together, and some things work, others don’t. You can never tell,
its all very trial and error,” explains Moran. “I think that my favourite song, that I’ve written myself, would have to be Same Old Town. As for other people’s songs, I would like to have maybe written Born to Run.” Like fellow countrymen Aslan, The Saw Doctors follow the Irish tradition of continuously being on tour. In March, they once again embark on a tour of the United States. Over the last two decades, the band has created a great reputation for performing fun, energetic gigs and being a mustsee band on the live stage. They have received critical recognition here and abroad, playing different venues to attract new and old fans alike. “We’re known for playing the usual rock clubs in towns and cities around the world, and of course if Irish people abroad wish to attend, then that’s great, but we’ve been to the States almost sixty times in our career, so we’ve branched out quite a bit into the communities over there. Extensive touring has le Moran with philosophical reﬂections about culture and people. With extensive experience at his disposal, he muses
at the ordered
on the common spirit of fans he meets worldwide, “It’s funny, the more you travel, the more you realize people across the world, while so varied, are just that. People. Everyone really has a lot in common.” Despite The Saw Doctors being recognised on the international
stage, and his naming of the legendary Bruce Springsteen as his inspiration, Moran is still inspired by new homegrown bands. “There’ll always be new things coming up in the Irish Scene – be they girl-bands or rockbands. I seem to stumble on a new Irish artist I like every week, which can only be a good thing.” For many, The Saw Doctors are
both folk-poets as well as being the lads from down the road. As one fan put it, they are the only national but always local band in Ireland. The Saw Doctors play the UCD Student Bar on Thursday 21 Feb.
19th February 2008vz
dropping the writ
This noisy duo, consisting of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power, has been going from strength to strength since late 2004. Street Horrsing showcases a band that isn’t your usual electro group. The album opens with a rippling piano melody that quickly leads into an electronic drone, which becomes one crucial element of their overall sound. Thrashing, erratic vocals also feature prominently, which is somewhat reminiscent of Aphex Twin. Sweet Love for Planet Earth is something that one might hear in an underground venue in Dublin City Centre on a Saturday night, and is one of the stronger tracks on the album. This album is interesting in that diﬀerent musical styles are incorporated to create a musical mishmash. Ribs Out shows a progression to primitive music, with the addition of animal noises and castanets also creating an exotic ﬂavor. Okay, Let’s Talk About Magic is perhaps the weakest oﬀering on the album, in that it fails to create musical sparks at all, and neither does the following track, Race You To My Bedroom, which, with its scratchy and fuzzy sound, is reminiscent of what you hear when the TV reception goes wonky. The ﬁnal track is not so bad and there are shades of the Afro beat, while the blend of harsh electro with euphoric background-music is quite interesting. Overall, this is not an easy album to listen to, and not one that people will be running to the shops to grab a hold of.
Lion Killer, the ﬁery opening track oﬀ Cass McCombs’ third album, Dropping The Writ, sets the tone for this eclectic dream. With feet ﬁrmly tapping and head sincerely swaying, McCombs’ inspirational blend of folk and resonating guitar sequences, while common to many singer-song writers, create an overwhelming eagerness on the listener’s part to hear more. McCombs’ lyrics are amazingly honest, endearing, and at times beautifully tragic, whilst they also oﬀer an insight into the Californians’ nomadic lifestyle. Dealing with personal life experiences, many songs oﬀ the album, like That’s That, beckon the return of the wonder and innocence of youth, making it impossible to keep the listener from the grip of nostalgia. McCombs has constantly been subjected to change. Having lived in many diﬀerent places and also being forced to re-form his band numerous times, McCombs is able to create a sense of uncertainty throughout the album. Full Moon Or Inﬁnity especially promotes lively and upbeat guitar playing as McCombs’ ﬁngers move eﬀortlessly across the fret board. Other songs however, like Deseret, generate a darker and more mysterious side to McCombs’ style, heard through voice echoing and light drum syncopation. Also, having returned to California to write Dropping The Writ, with tunes such as Petriﬁed Forest, McCombs southern roots steal their way across the guitar strings to produce a warm, blues sound. McCombs’ so, almost whining voice clings to notes, reminiscent of Thom Yorke, and throughout the album, it never fades or fails to hold the admiration of the listener. For those of you out there looking to welcome spring and the dawn of summer, Dropping The Writ is a brilliant way (in McCombs’ own words) of “melting frost”.
Wednesday. 20nd These New Puritans / Cap Pas Cap, Crawdaddy, doors at 8pm, €14 Grand Pocket Orchestra / Betamax Format, Whelans, doors at 8pm, €8 Thursday, 21st Editors, Olympia Theatre, doors at 8pm, €30 Cathy Davey / Halves, Tripod, doors at 8pm, €22.50 Sweet Jane / Voodoo Jack / The Funeral Suits, The Hub, doors at 9pm, €8 Friday, 22nd The Saw Doctors, The Academy, doors at 8pm, €31.50 Ebony Bones / Cadence Weapon, Crawdaddy, doors at 11.30pm, €14 Saturday, 23rd Seasick Steve, Tripod, doors at 8pm, €24.50 Ham Sandwich (Album Launch), Whelans, doors at 8pm, €15 Damian Dempsey / Various Guests, Noggin Inn, doors at 8pm, €20
Seasick Steve plays Tripod this Saturday, Febrary 23rd
Monday, 25th Kate Nash, Olympia Theatre, doors at 7.30pm, €25 Staathaat / Tunguska, Lower Deck, doors at 8pm, €6 Tuesday 26th Rihanna, RDS, doors at 8pm, €40 (and following night)
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19th February 2008
Crying out f Justice
French duo Justice take time out from t to speak to Lorcan Archer about the y beginnings and the runaway success have been enjoy
It has been quite the year for Justice. So much so, that it is fair to say that most people have probably already heard the group, even if they didn’t know it at the time. Breaking into mainstream infamy in 2006 for their hugely successful dance ﬂoor hit and remix track We Are Your Friends, they’ve been truly been turning heads the world over ever since. Xavier De Rosnay and Gaspard Augé are reﬂective about the ins and outs of the music industry. We ﬁnd nowadays that record companies give less and less money for music videos, because they know they are not of the same importance as in the past, remarks De Rosnay, in perfectly ﬂuent English that is tinged with a strong Parisian accent. “In the past, it was so much about the all-important videos. Nowadays, videos aren’t such a big promotion tool – mainly because of the Internet. So, you have to ﬁnd really simple, clever ideas that are cheap and easy to do while matching the music.” It’s a philosophy that is more than evident on the lead singles on the band’s acclaimed debut album, †, having picked up a ra of Grammy nominations this month, including best Electro/Dance album, and another Best Video nomination for the song D.A.N.C.E. Such praise might distract lesser musicians, but the twosome is committed to keeping it reserved. “Of course we’re grateful for nominations and awards, it’s cool,” says de Rosnay, drawing out the prolonged French pronunciation of ‘cool’ like a pro. “But we try not to pay too much attention, because we have to think about what we’re doing professionally. You must always be thinking of keeping it fresh and new.” While many more casual music fans may know of the group through their music appearing in high proﬁle TV advertisements like Sony’s
current campaign, the live arena is where the group are currently engaged, taking part in a monster world tour that is set to last until next November. Things are a bit crazy at the moment, admits Augé, as car alarms go oﬀ in the background, We are in Manchester tonight, the ﬁrst show of our UK tour. It is very good over here, very diﬀerent from France. Justice have played their fair share of shows on Irish shores as well, including an impressive headline show in the Phoenix Park, and the fans they’ve found have certainly made an impression. “In Ireland and Scotland especially, we have a great time. We ﬁnd the crowds are so strong, and always go for
“We have to think about what we’re doing professionally. You must always be thinking of keeping it fresh and new” it. People are very enthusiastic about the sound that we have. The group’s travelling has taken them around the globe in the last couple of years; touring locations as varied as Japan and the US to promote their unique sound. “We are especially looking forward to playing this tour,” explains De Rosnay. “We are using a whole new idea for our shows, and we have a new way of performing, as we are going aer a more powerful live sound. We’re not sure how people are going to react to it, but for us, that is a good thing. More freedom means more danger, which is a bit scary, but it is a good system for us.” The duo are known for taking risks on the live stage, going so far as to perform versions of songs that would normally never be associated with them, Metallica’s Master of Puppets for example. “Something we deﬁnitely enjoy is being comfortable enough with the live performance to do things like
that,” remarks De Rosnay. Justice’s success on the stage is partly due to their well-known image. The group performs under the glare of a massive illuminated cross that unﬂinchingly beams over the assembled masses as the seismically loud tracks are aired. While such use of the cross has become commonplace in modern society, with count-
less celebrities fashionably wearing the powerful symbol, the use of the iconic image has a particular signiﬁcant for De Rosnay. “If you think of the things in society that really make people come together and go crazy, or become hypnotised, you mostly come up with religion and music,” he explains. “So, we’ve tried to combine both of them and make the most
powerful thing possible.” That strong visual presence has given the group infamy over the countless hordes of anonymous House DJs and Dance acts, with one glance at the band onstage conﬁrming exactly who they are, and what they’re here to do. The Music Media has long since pointed to the similarity the Electro House duo has
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19th February 2008
heir current European Tour year to come, their modest s that their infectious beats ying in their style of presenting themselves as being like a rock band, having character and style that reaches far beyond the norm. “More than rock, we are really more into disco bands. Our rock and roll inﬂuence is mainly visual, but our inspiration is mainly modern Disco bands. We don’t listen that much to rock really. Mainly 70s rock music if we do at all.” Drawn on the issue of playing live, De Rosnay hammers home the importance of the touring they are now engaged in. “For the moment, the live show is 100 percent of our musical life. Because that is all we do at the moment (tour), we are totally into it. “In March, we will be going back to America. It is strange though. Much of the time, it is not the shows that you remember, but far more the atmosphere of a place that you experience and the people you meet.” The modesty of the group is evident when they reject all ideas of having reached some sort of personal fame. Despite selling out venues everywhere, and with legions of fans, it’s not even on their radar. “Really, I don’t think we’re famous as people,” confesses De Rosnay, “We eat and sleep every day in our tour bus. We go to bed in our one-metre-squared tour bunks every night. “So, it’s not too glamorous really. We do like the life on the road and meeting new people. That aspect is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. Even
if we are the least rock ‘n’ roll guys ever,” he adds with a chuckle. De Rosnay is modest and quick to emphasise, even if in jest, that the band never believed they would
sic on the road, and we’ll be touring until late this year,” explains De Rosnay. “We will go back to the home environment, to just me and Gaspard together on our own, in my bedroom at home. That is how we make music.” It is in such an intimate mode that the group pens their tracks, but unashamedly absorbs inﬂuences from music all around them. And who better to take direction from than the troubled King of Pop, Mr. Jackson himself. “Our single D.A.N.C.E. is made from a collage we put together from Michael Jackson lyrics. “You can see it if you look, lines like ‘music and me’ and ‘black or white’. But we were certainly not trying to be cool or chic with that, more going for an old disco vibe,
“It is not the shows that you remember, but far more the atmosphere of a place that you experience and the people you meet” make it as far as they have. “I never thought we’d get to play anywhere outside of France,” he jokes. Then he pauses and re-evaluates. “No wait, actually, I never thought we’d get to play anywhere outside my bedroom,” he adds with a laugh. “We never thought we would make it to these sorts of places. But when you actually go and do these things, it is easy to forget about all the people who actually come out to see you, and actually go out and buy tickets for the show. So, everywhere outside my house is amazing in that respect.” With their much lauded album † having more than made its impact, both critics and fans alike have been clamouring for new material. This is a demand that the band addresses with their proliﬁc remixing, having produced versions of artistes so diverse as Fatboy Slim, Justin Timberlake and the Klaxons. However, the group are strongly averse to prematurely releasing a follow-up, instead preferring to retreat to the intimate environment that ﬁrst birthed their sound. “We do not make mu-
like Sister Sledge or someone.” It is obvious that the group more than pay homage to the forbears of their sound, but make a point of keeping an open eye on the current goings on in the worldwide scene. Falling out of touch with relevant music is not an option, and the group have their own favourites. “We do listen to a lot of other groups while we are on the road. “At the moment, we love Midnight Juggernaut from Melbourne in Australia. They play some very
good modern pop music, and their album is excellent. Also stuﬀ like Estelle and Kanye West, I really like their latest work.” Such a deliberate mention of Kanje West certainly shows that there is no animosity lingering between the two acts, and the songs are what really matter.” The time is up, and the duo is hurried along to the sound-check. A quick good-luck-wish for the show is graciously accepted, and they’re gone. Here’s hoping the crowd do them justice too.
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Dealing with grief How does one cope with the passing of a loved one? Cathy Buckmaster talks to a student who has recently lost a friend and explores the importance of the funeral ritual with an undertaker
Michael, a former UCD student, recently experienced the shock of the unexpected death of a friend. He explains how he felt and dealt with his grief when he ﬁrst heard the news that his friend had committed suicide. “It was a massive shock for me. I would describe it as almost like being hit by this huge board, like being completely knocked back. Then you suddenly start to think about all things you used to do together. You just go into shock and become quite numb.” “As time goes on, more obscure memories start to come to the forefront of your mind. Things that you hadn’t thought about for years or thought you wouldn’t ever again, start to come back. During this process, you start oﬀ with a real sense of disbelief. I found myself asking questions like ‘Is he really dead? Did it really happen? How did this happen?’” Feelings of bereavement aer a loss are a very normal thing and generally bring on feelings of strong emotion for the individual who is mourning. Working through this grief is always diﬃcult but immensely important for your mental health. Individuals grieve in order to accept the momentous loss and attempt to carry on with their lives and ensure their emotional well being. In cases of sudden or unexpected death, family and friends are oen le extremely shocked, with no opportunity to say goodbye oen becoming an important factor. Michael reﬂects on the devastating impression le on his young friend’s family and friends. “His death was a tragedy, as it would be when any young person passes away but I guess it was more so in his case, as it was pre-meditated. He felt lonely and as if no one could help him.” Many bereavement experts have broken the grieving process down into phases, starting with a feeling of numbness which is succeeded by a yearning for the person who has passed away. This can oen be followed by feelings of anger or agitation which premeditate intense sorrow and withdrawal. Eventually most people learn to accept the loss and let the person go. Michael is familiar with the intense feelings of loss. “Eventually, once you’ve settled into the realisation, it can really overwhelm you and you can become quite sad and even feel like crying quite oen, depending on how close you were. I never felt angry but I did feel a tremendous amount of regret. “I knew he had distanced himself from our group and he never really wanted to see me. I kept thinking that I should have made more of an eﬀort to contact him or force him to see me, which I would have if I had known he was going to die. Now I’ll never get the chance and am ﬁlled with feeling of regret.” There is no one right way to grieve and everyone is diﬀerent and grieves in their own way. When someone close to you is mourning the loss of someone they were close to, oen you feel unsure how to act and may feel there is little you can do for them. However, helping with minor tasks as well as just being there either on the phone or in person can go along way, according to Michael. “It does depend on the personality but I personally preferred to be le alone to come to terms
with it myself. I did like to meet up with my friends and go on walks and talk about what happened. However, the idea of getting hugs all the time from people who I normally wouldn’t be that close to was a bit oﬀ-putting for me at the time. “In fact, all I really wanted was that kind of tight-lipped half-smile and sympathetic look. I didn’t want anyone to say they were so sorry or that it was awful because they didn’t know him and it would just feel insincere. All I wanted as for them to acknowledge that I was sad.” Michael found that the funeral rituals were almost therapeutic to his grieving. “Going to the funeral gave me a sense of closure. I got to go and see the coﬃn and see the picture on top and it was just the conﬁrmation I needed that he was really gone. “Although it wasn’t physically saying goodbye, it was like acknowledging that he was gone, pushing away, setting sail, moving on from it. The removal and funeral mass was of great importance to me more so than the burial, but it might be diﬀerent for others.” Val Lanigan of Lanigan Funeral Di-
rectors explains the importance of the funeral ritual at this particular stage of grieving. “A death in the family is a diﬃcult time for everyone involved. Whether it’s sudden or expected death, no one is ever completely ready or prepared for it.
“I found myself asking questions like ‘Is he really dead? Did it really happen? How did this happen?’” “Empathy is so important for anyone who is helping someone through a loss. However you must never assume that you know exactly what they’re going through as everyone deals with grief in diﬀerent ways. The most important thing is to be patient and to be there to listen.”
As for helping a friend or acquaintance through a diﬃcult time like this, he suggests some practical ways to be there for someone coping with grief. “Mass or sympathy cards as well as condolence letters are generally valued by the bereaved, especially if you have something pleasant but sincere to say about that person. “However, you shouldn’t necessarily expect a reply from the bereaved as they probably have a lot to do or may not have the inclination to acknowledge at this time. Flowers are usually also welcome unless they speciﬁcally request not to have them but rather donations to a certain charity.” In Lanigan’s experience, the best advice for friends of a person dealing with bereavement is to be yourself. “Act around them as you would at any other time, taking your lead from their response towards you. Most bereaved people just want the chance to get it all out or talk about it to someone. The greatest assistance you can oﬀer is allowing them to express themselves without interruption and to demonstrate to the person that you’re absolutely ﬁne with
their emotion.” When considering the funeral, he talks about how there are a number of events involved which need to be carried out but are oen too diﬃcult for the family to deal with during this immediate period following a death. “Grief can overwhelm many at this time and the last thing a family member probably wants to deal with is the complexities involved at this time. The purpose of the funeral is to comfort the bereaved and pay respect for the person who has died. “During this time of grief, friends and relatives will gather to pay their condolences and oﬀer their support to the family. The support of friends is so important during this time when even the smallest tasks seem impossible.” The funeral director explains that the funeral ritual can be compared to the ﬁnal milestone of the person’s life and that these days the funeral is considered more as a celebration of the person’s life. “It gives comfort to those who knew the deceased by giving them a chance to say their good byes and is the ﬁrst stage in the recovery of the grieving process.”
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19th February 2008
Top make-up artist Michelle Pormey shares some tips and tricks with Fiona Redmond and explores the colours set to dominate the season, testing it all out on a very willing guinea pig “This season, the main emphasis is on the skin,” explains make-up artist Michelle Pormey, demonstrating as she applies make-up to the model. “The idea is to have fresh glowing skin, kind of like a morning freshness, so it looks youthful and really healthy.” Skincare has taken a prominent role this season and the fresh-faced look is easy to obtain once you remember a few basics. “No matter how
much make-up you put on, unless your skin is in good condition underneath, it’s not going to look right,” Pormey warns. “A good skincare regime is really important. First of all, always cleanse tone and moisturise. It is the only way forward.” However for those of you who suﬀer from bad skin don’t despair. Pormey recommends using a primer, such as Mac’s Prep and Prime Skin solution, before putting on your foundation. “Anything with light particles
WHAT’S IN: OVERSIZED BAGS The bigger they are, the more useless stuff we cram into them. There really is no need for all the extra space.
gives the skin that fresh look. Also, avoid putting foundation around and underneath eyes. This is because the skin around the eye area is so much ﬁner than the rest of the face and the foundation will only dehydrate it. Go for a pink-based concealer instead because this will take away any darkness.” Another cray trick is to use a bit of shade and highlighter like All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminiser by Stila to bring out your features. “The main thing is to blend and contour
FRINGES Keep this ever-so stylish hair do full and heavy to have it looking its best.
ASHLEY COLE After cheating on Cheryl, almost everyone would agree that he needs his head examined.
WWW.80STEES.COM With slogans like ‘Sweep the leg’, you’d be a fool not to whip out your credit card.
HEAD-TO-TOE SEQUINS Still tasteful in moderation, but complete sparkly coverage is a no-go for 2008
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your face. Maybe use a darker shade powder or a bronzer such as Mac’s Redeﬁned Golden Bronzing Powder, to add contours to your face. “To start, if you put your ﬁnger under your cheekbone you can feel where the bone goes in and that’s where your shade should go. Always put the darker colour under your cheekbone, maybe a little bit on your temple and a bit across the forehead. “If you’ve a larger nose bring the shade down the side of your nose, and under the chin to get rid of a double chin as well. Use a highlighter powder on top of your cheekbones to make your cheekbones pop out. Or use it in the centre of the face just to give that really nice highlighted skin.” Once you have the basics sorted you are free to experiment and if you want to keep in with the upcoming trends simply think bright, vivid, tropical colours like and smooth sun kissed skin. “It is all about bronzed skin but that does not necessarily mean false tan or over doing it on the sun beds. “It’s more about your own natural skin tone but it’s great to use bronzed colours to give the skin that sun kissed look.” The key is to think golden bronze rather than orange, according to Pormey. “As for the eyes there are a lot of metallic eye shadows, for example burnt bronze, burnt orange or a really metallic gold.” “Metallic lids this summer are going to be really big. Turquoise blues, apple greens are also really p o p u l a r.” Mac Pigments such as Pink Bronze or Melon are ideal for the metallic look and to get maximum colour, apply it wet. “Smoky eyes are also in but the look has changed, they’re not as angular. Instead of Amy Winehouse, think more Bridget Bardot with her doe eyes. Think sixties, really smoky and
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raghty ■ Modelled by Claire Ge
sexy. This look is not about being perfect, the eye shadow should be smudged and misty.” White eye shadow also appeared on the runways, demonstrating a beautifully so look. “Using a pearly white eye shadow such as Urban Decay’s Polyester Bride shade can be very so and will brighten up your eyes. A white eye pencil is also great especially for tired eyes, it tones them down. However, try to avoid chalky whites for fear of looking demented.” The pearly-eyed look can be used in combination with the startling bright lipsticks that are set to be huge this season. Good examples of this are Mac’s Full Fuchsia shade, the Girl About Town shade or Vegas Volt which is the colour that the model is wearing. Pormey explains that citrus colours will be key. “The focus is deﬁnitely on lips. Think bright, citrus colours. Our model’s look was created by using quite a nude face, so you have your contoured cheeks and a bit of highlighter, loads of mascara but still quite a nude eye, and really strong citrus lips.” Many might be a bit wary of the bright colours and shocking new looks, but shouldn’t be scared a w a y . “Make-up artists are in a store to advise and help you try certain looks so take advantage of this” advises Pormey “The main thing is to focus on what brings out your features and what makes you feel good. Make-up is fun, it’s about making you feel good, and it’s not meant to be a chore.”
YSL TOUCHE ÉCLAT The miracle concealer of the stars, covering up anything facially undesirable.
19th February 2008
Never a story of more woe ■ ■ ■
Romeo and Juliet The Abbey Theatre
The Abbey Theatre’s ﬁrst ever full production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the latest attempt to pimp-up and modernise what is widely regarded as the greatest tragic love-story of all time. Director Jason Byrne has adopted a Tarantino-esque slant with this adaptation, perhaps seeking to appeal to those in Dublin’s adolescent quarters. “Fair Verona” is portrayed as not that fair at all – but rather as a dim, dank, weary, setting that sees little radiance – either aesthetically or emotionally – before Romeo encounters his beloved. There is great emphasis on the violence in the play, with as much weight placed on the brawls between the warring Capulets and Montagues, as on any interaction between the star-crossed lovers. The presence of contemporary Dublin is never far away as crumbling public buildings covered in scaﬀolding tower over the characters who speak in inner-city accents. The production has been famed for its modern costuming, but it is here that it founders, and distorts some of that which is integral to the play. Juliet (Gemma Reeves) is introduced to the audience in a classy red dress, an expensive looking necklace, and jazzy, sparkling red shoes. The magic of Juliet’s character in Shakespeare’s play is that in spite of her proximity and exposure to one of the most despicable characters in the play – that of her father – she remains pure – even before she encounters Romeo. She is innocent, untouched by the feud that has driven everything around her to rack and ruin. Juliet’s costume portrays her as anything but pure, and this oversight is compounded by the scene where Romeo (Aaron Monaghan) ﬁrst sets eyes upon her. She is seen dancing seductively with Paris, her would-be suitor. Her costume and demeanor portray her as very much a part of the corrupted world that her father has created for the Capulets. This is just one example of where this adaptation misses the point of Shakespeare’s classic. It is too concerned with appearing exciting and hip – something it is very successful in as a result of the spectacular props and special eﬀects – but fails to capture the enormity of what is happening with the characters in the play. It is glitzy, but emotionless. Romeo proclaims his lines to Juliet rather than actually talking to her. The balconyscene, which contains some of the most powerfully emotive prose ever portrayed on stage, evoked chucking from the audience – which captures the faults of this play in a nutshell. While the excellent lighting does wonders to rescue some semblance of the atmosphere that should snugly grip the audience of a play like this in a powerful trance, it cannot compensate enough for the misconception that to modernise a play like this means to place emphasis on the actions rather than the words. Colin Gleeson
TH E THE
Irish author Darren Shan speaks to Cian Taaffe about striking terror into the hearts of children, how he got into writing and what the future holds for him
“I was six when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I wrote a story in school and got to go to another class and read it out. My Mum taught in the school, but I decided to go to a diﬀerent class, where a girl I fancied was. I can remember her beaming up at me while I read it out - and that was that,” claims Irish author Darren Shan, best known for writing children’s books about Demons and Vampires. Born Darren O’Shaughnessy, the author decided to write under the pen-name Darren Shan when he began writing for children. “The ﬁrst book I ever published was for adults and I released it under my real name. When I came to write a book for younger readers, I decided to change my name, so as not to cause any confusion. Given the number of books I’ve signed since then, I’m delighted I did. My hand would have dropped oﬀ years ago if I’d had to sign O’Shaughnessy every time.”
Shan who started out writing for adults, found his literary feet with his children’s series’, The Saga of Darren Shan which began in 2000, and more recently The Demonata, although he never realised his children’s novels would be as successful as they became, “I wrote the ﬁrst book for fun, as a
side-project. I hoped it would get published and do well, but I never thought I’d make a career out of it. Children’s books don’t normally sell in huge quantities in the short run, despite anything you might read to the contrary; you need to be very, very lucky to succeed in this branch of the writing busi-
ness.” Shan’s style of writing can be truly terrifying at times, especially if you’re a twelve-year-old child, but Shan conﬁrms that he doesn’t make it his goal to scare his younger readers, “I oen temper scenes in my books; as hard as that might be to believe when you read about a boy seeing his father hanging upside down with his head cut oﬀ, or another boy visiting a world made entirely out of guts; but I’m not interested in grossing readers out. “I want to take readers to the edge and give them an experience they’ve never had before, but it would be too easy just to throw a load of gore their way. When I’m editing a particularly juicy scene, I always think, ‘Would I be comfortable reading this out in a live environment, in front of a group of kids and their teachers or parents?’ If the answer is ‘No’, I look at ways to ﬁne-tune it.” There has been much speculation made as to why Shan chose
Success side story As a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story deals with themes of forbidden love and unnatural death, which are issues that have been around since the beginning of time, as well as injecting modern issues, such as racism and gang warfare into the story. The love story of Tony and Maria is incredibly moving and believable, and the violence between the two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, is realistic and an issue we are all to familiar with in modern times. Despite touching on controversial issues, West Side Story has always been well received, due to its wel- known musical numbers, which oen make the audience overlook the serious issues that are being dealt with, and this production was no diﬀerent. The performance ran smoothly, the music was ﬂawless, the choreography was spectacular and the set was magniﬁcent. The standout set added greatly to the performances of the actors. The audience were met with a dreary back-
West Side Story
ground; a street with high buildings on either side and a wiremesh fence at the end of the street. Before the musical even began it was easy to understand, from the set, that the story was set in a lower-middle class area outside of a big city. Gillian O’Halloran, a second year psychology student, stole the show with her breath-taking performance as Maria. As well as having a great voice, O’Halloran blew the audience away in the ﬁnal scene, by creating an overwhelming tension throughout the audience, almost bringing some punters to tears, as she lay crying next to the body of the man she had loved. First year arts student, Alec Ward, who took on the role of Tony, also gave a fantastic performance, as did Rebecca Rice as Anita. Daithi Mac Suibhne provided some comic relief, during the second act - which is quite intense otherwise, in his portrayal of Action, one of the Jets. Not only was the acting and musical talent up to scratch, but some of the somer-
saults performed were absolutely spectacular. Donal Cumiskey, who played Diesel in the production, revealed that the cast and crew were all very happy with their performances, “We always feel in any production that we could’ve done something better, but all the feedback we’ve gotten so far has been positive and we feel great about it.” Despite critics claiming that there was lack of community involvement in the musical, Cumiskey believes that there was involvement on many levels of the college. “There were plenty of people involved from diﬀerent courses, from diﬀerent years,
there were people who can act, dance, sing, there were people who can build and paint and people who could handle the technical aspects. I felt it was very community orientated.” Cian Taaffe
19th February 2008
astic to name the main character of his ﬁrst children’s series, The Saga of Darren Shan, aer himself, but according to Shan, that character is based no more on himself than any of his other characters, “All of my main characters are based on myself to a certain extent, but I’ve never tried to represent myself entirely with a single character, not even Darren in The Saga.” With a ﬁlm adaptation of The Saga in the making, Shan reveals that he has nothing to do with the ﬁlm and is more than happy to stay out of it, “When you sign a deal with a Hollywood giant like Universal, you give them the right to do whatever they want with your stories. As a writer, you can’t exercise control over what happens next with the ﬁlm, and most writers who try end up bitter and disillusioned, having wasted a lot of time and energy trying to ﬁght the system and control that which is uncontrollable. “My philosophy is a simple one; take the money, thank them nicely, and use it to ﬁnance your writing career, to ensure you can go on writing the sort of stories that matter to you most.” Although Shan is currently focusing on writing novels for an adult audience,
he is adamant that he will continue to write books for children, “I’ll deﬁnitely be writing more children’s books. Whether I ever do another long series again, I don’t know. I’ve never planned a multi-book series - The Saga of Darren Shan and The Demonata both grew organically. I hope that happens again,
lished formula.” As an Irish writer, one may presume that Shan would only be a recognised name in Ireland, but Shan’s books have been successful worldwide and many readers are not even aware that Shan is Irish, as his stories are never set in any speciﬁc location, “I like the vagueness of location. It means readers in any location can imagine the story happening wherever they live. I think that’s part of the reason the books have worked so well for diﬀerent audiences, all around the world.” “The only advice I can oﬀer to aspiring authors is to write. There are no shortcuts; the more you write, the more you learn, the better you get. When you’ve put a lot of hours and gra in, and think you might be getting to the stage where you could get your work published, read The Writers And Artists Yearbook that gives you all the practical advice about publishing you’ll ever need.” Shan is currently working on his ﬁrst trilogy aimed at adult readers, in his home in Limerick. The ﬁrst book of the trilogy, Procession of the Dead, will be released in March this year under the name D.B. Shan, with the second part, Hell’s Horizon, being released in March 2009, and the conclusion, City of the Snakes, in March 2010. “So I’ve a busy few years ahead,” he concludes.
“I want to take readers to the edge and give them an experience they’ve never had before, but it would be too easy just to throw a load of gore their way” as I love working on such an ambitious scale. But it’s not something I’ll ever try to force. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes out. “Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Jonathan Carroll and James Ellroy have all had a huge inﬂuence on me, but so have many other writers, along with ﬁlmmakers and artists. No matter what genre you work in, you should seek inspiration from a variety of sources and ﬁelds. Good writers should try to subvert and change the rules of the genres they work in, not just work to an estab-
Breaking down barriers As a young author, James Hopkin is delighted to ﬁnally have his novel published, “I have been writing for almost twelve years now and when I won a national arts competition for short stories in 2005, publishers became interested in my work. “Prior to that, I would send publishers a few chapters of my novel and they would say to get back to them when I was ﬁnished. Out in the real world, I had to be earning money, so my novel got put on the backburner. The short story was the breakthrough that I needed.” Having written for international newspapers, Hopkin was not without experience in the world of publishing, and when writing Winter Under Water, he was glad to be aware of the pitfalls of the industry. “I wrote for The Guardian and the Times reviewing books. It is a good
English author James Hopkin speaks to Adam Watts about having his first novel,Winter Under Water, published place to start and a great way of clearing space for yourself by being critical of all the deadwood out there.” Hopkin’s choice to become a writer stemmed, as it does for many, from the choices he made in university. “I ﬁrst realized that I wanted to be a writer when I was nineteen or twenty. I had always been a voracious reader and constantly jotting down poems. When I went to university to study economics, I realised that it was completely the wrong thing for me.” Overcoming the obstacles of having to re-sit his A-levels and re-enter university to do a literature course highlights Hopkin’s determination to become a writer. Hopkin was ﬁrst inspired to write Winter Under Water while travelling in the late 1990’s, “I ﬁrst went to Poland to interview some writers. When I got there I was completely
taken by the place, especially Krakow.” Winter Under Water paints a budding relationship between Joseph and Marta who ﬁrst meet in England. When Marta returns to her native Poland, their relationship ﬂourishes through letters to
came from.” Winter Under Water is being translated into Polish and should be released in Poland in September. Hopkin is bridging the wide cultural gap that exists between western and eastern European cultures with his novel. “Many of the letters and phone calls between Marta and Joseph are inspired from experiences of my own. There are loads of nods and winks to Polish literature, I will either be given the freedom of the country or I will be banned from ever going there again.” Hopkin’s novel was ﬁrst released in hardback in 2007, but knowing that most sales would be in the paperback edition, he describes this release as being “given a second life”. He goes on, “One of the gripes of the literary scene is that with so many books being published, the decent ones can still disap-
“In an age when so many Polish people are coming to Ireland, it felt like a good time to show somebody going the other way” each other. “I didn’t want to do a westerner’s view on an eastern country. I wanted to balance it a bit more. In an age when so many Polish people are coming to England and Ireland, it felt like a good time to show somebody going the other way, trying to understand where they
pear; you just have to hope that it will catch a marketing peg or trend.” Hopkin is excited that his work is being published but is also anxious to see what fate beholds it. The acclaims that Winter Under Water has been receiving from book reviewers have been getting better and better, “I was a bit surprised with the initial reviews, some have been OK, while others have been rampantly good,” he remarks. Having only returned to England for the release of his book, Hopkin will be relieved when he is back on the road to Berlin, his current home. “I’m busy getting on with my next book. “Spending my time in Berlin is a good way of escaping the marketing mechanism; it doesn’t get me down.” Winter Under Water, James Hopkin’s ﬁrst novel was released as a paperback on Friday
15th of February by Picador.
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19th February 2008
A feisty heist Directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Jason Statham and Saﬀron Burrows, The Bank Job is the story of Terry, a charming car dealer who has his fair share of dodgy transactions buried in his past. Now though, attempting to make a fresh start, Terry has managed to straighten himself out and start afresh with his new family. That is, until Martine turns up. An old friend from Terry’s neighbourhood, Martine offers Terry the chance to take part in one last heist. That this ‘foolproof” job involves a potential haul of millions of pounds worth of jewellery and cash, convinces
The Bank Job nnnpp
Terry to throw his hat in the ring, but his decision is probably influenced by the fact that Martine is an absolute ride of a supermodel. Inevitably, things don’t go to plan, and Terry, Martine and their crew end up uncovering a trove of secrets, becoming embroiled in a dirty web of scandal involving government ofﬁcials, diplomats and even the royal family. Based on a true story of a heist gone wrong in London, this ﬁlm
purports to uncover the truth behind a robbery that never led to any arrests or the recovery of any money. Fast-paced and edgy, this ﬁlm lacks the grit of some of its British predecessors such as Green Street but still has the momentum to keep the audience gripped throughout, while the performances from Statham and Burrows are very engaging. Overall, there’s a wealth of enjoyment in this bank job.
Planet of the remakes ■
Be Kind, Rewind nnppp
Be Kind, Rewind, starring Jack Black and Mos Def, is Michel Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) latest ﬂick. The ﬁlm’s plot is straight forward enough; Mr. Glover owns a failing VCR rental store in New Jersey. With the town’s industry spiraling downwards there is very little excitement. However this all changes when Mr. Glover leaves his store in the hands of Jerry (Black) and Mike (Def). They accidently expose all the VCR tapes to magnetism and as a result all the tapes become blank. Desperate to appease their few remaining customers, the boys do cheap remakes of some classic ﬁlms such as Ghostbusters and Back to the Future. On paper, the plot is a potentially brilliant idea for a ﬁlm but this attempt by Gondry is hollow and contains no volume. The ﬁlm provides a few amusing moments, however laughter only occurs during the re-
Jumping into the fire ■
makes of the ﬁlms, but with the plot being tainted with a weak start, the viewer is never going to be fully immersed in this ﬁlm, and will remain detached from the characters throughout. As you watch this ﬁlm, one can’t help but start to ﬁnd Jack Black incredibly annoying, and as suspected, he fails to shi from his typical crazy, ﬁnger-ﬂicking persona which we see in School of Rock. All factors taken into account, you can’t help but leave the ﬁlm disappointed and slightly cheated. Ultimately, Be Kind, Rewind is a fractured fairytale that few will ﬁnd heartwarming. Helen O’Sullivan
Jumper is a ﬁlm that promised a lot - an action ﬁlm that centres on a guy who realises that he has the power to teleport to any place that he has been before, hence him being called a jumper. He is a superhero, just without any of those heroic intentions, having been able to stand on his own due to the robbing of a bank. This ﬁlm has a very interesting premise, the fact that there has been a war for centuries between these jumpers and the paladins, a powerful and fanatical religious sect who believe that only God should have the power to be anywhere. They are led by the threatening
Samuel L. Jackson. Our main man (Hayden Christensen) comes in contact with another jumper, a smart and secretive one (Jamie Bell), who knows the whole story, and he tries to keep our hero quiet and out of trouble. We are told that this ﬁlm is from the director of The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but unlike the latter, Jumper fails to be saved by tremendous performances. Jackson and Bell do well with their limited roles, but Christensen remains wooden and unconvincing throughout, whilst the love story interjected in to it is paper thin to say the least. For an action ﬁlm Jumper fails to hit
A sci-ﬁ masterpiece Set in 2019 in Los Angeles, Rick Deckard is a semi-retired blade runner whose job is to hunt down and kill six humanoids who have escaped from oﬀ-world servitude. At the core of the ﬁlm, despite its high octane thrills and stunning cinematography, is Rick Deckard’s (Harrison Ford) inner struggle about the right and wrongs about killing a man created consciousness. It’s a precursor to ﬁlms about artiﬁcial intelligence and mankind’s desire to play God as well as bringing to the forefront
Blade Runner (1982)
modern issues of globalisation and climate change. Directed by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner is based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick. Harrison Ford coming oﬀ the success of Star Wars and Indiana Jones was seeking a more challenging role, but poor reception and disagreement with Scott has prevented Ford from talking about the ﬁlm until
recently. Blade Runner divided critics on its release; performing better overseas, but slowly became the cult classic that it is today. Its set design is the foretelling of a darker, polluted, somewhat emotionless future, void of identity, as presented by the new language spoken on the streets, which is a mixture of a variety of European languages. The ﬁlm shares many similarities with Metropolis in its landscape and effects. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it as the 97th greatest American ﬁlm, and it is as controversial as it is illuminating. Lisa Towell
many of the marks; the action being all too swi and ﬂeeting and suspense being virtually non-existent. The end leaves you with the notion of a possible sequel, one that many can only hope never appears. Eoin Boyle