Living Through the magdalene laundries
Andrew Maxwell interview inside
Interview Page 9
The College Tribune 20th October 2009
The Difference is we’re independent
Issue 4 Volume 23
Registration fee to rise again l
Speculated increase up to €2,000
HEA faces crisis in funding
Niall Dolphin The registration fee for third level is expected to rise again next year, despite the Green Party’s recent agreement with Fianna Fáil not to introduce college fees. The registration fee recently rose from €900 to €1,500. It is expected that will rise again close to €2,000 next year. USI President Peter Mannion stated it would be “foolish not to think that an increase won’t happen again this year. The registration fee will now be more expensive than full fees in some European countries.” Brian Hayes, TD and the Fine Gael Education Spokesperson, said the increase would be “an attempt to get more money in for the government.” “This is the greatest scam in the history of higher education. The Government is introducing fees through the back door. I am very much against it and would be in favour of a graduate PPSI contribution scheme.” The scheme Hayes referred to is “the third way” option which involves students paying back fees through the tax system after they have graduated. Malcolm Byrne of the Higher Education Authority commented that “it is a government decision on what the maximum level of the registration fee will be. It is then up to the institution to determine whether to increase it or not.” Byrne added that the HEA are concerned at the current crisis facing the higher education sector. “We want to widen the participation of
students coming in to third level but not at the expense of maintaining quality. The HEA wants to continue the current 72% participation rate in third level education among eighteen year olds.”
Mannion queried the HEA’s budget of €132 billion. “There is clearly a lot of money being wasted and this needs to be examined very closely. We are currently waiting on a report to show us exactly
where all this money is going.” UCDSU President Gary Redmond, together with USI, “will be lobbying for a freeze on the charge, and will be seeking a review of its existence in the long-term.”
University rankings challenged Karina Bracken UCD’s success in recent university rankings has been disputed by a senior figure in the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) UCD entered the top 100 for the first time, coming in at 89 compared to the 2,000 other Higher Education Institutions (HEI) surveyed across the world. Mike Jennings General secretary of IFUT
Despite talk of another rise, DCU President Ferdinand von Prondzynski believes that “there will either be no increase at all or a very minor one as it would be politically too difficult”.
l Times rankings discredited, claim IFUT l OECD to spend millions on new system
has queried the validity of The Times Higher Education QS World University Rankings (THE). “We are very sceptical about the Times system. In fact, THE is probably just as discredited as any other rankings. There has been a mass of international research done and documentation available on this.” “Obviously, I don’t expect those who do well in rankings to be critics of them. What I am surprised at is the distinct lack of analysis in the media of the validity of
these claims.” In a statement released from the UCD President’s Office, Dr Hugh Brady accepted that “one could find fault with any university ranking system”. However Brady continued on to state that “the reality is that rankings matter.”
INSIDE Continued, pg 4
October 20th 2009
October 20th 2009
Was the €5000 fine on arts soc and b&l for the virgin ball poster fair?
Procedure costs student MA place
Anti-social behaviour sparks criticism
I just wonder if it was a smaller society would it have happened. Say if Pagan soc had done it, would the repercussions have been so bad
I remember seeing them and thinking there a little bit extreme and they might get into trouble but I wouldn’t think it was absolutely disgraceful
l Complaints of student antics from locals l Dublin Bus to reinstate full campus service Karina Bracken UCD Vice President for Students Martin Butler has deemed the behaviour of some students “unacceptable”. Butler recently received complaints from local residents and Dublin Bus after a number of incidences. “In September I received a letter from a group of concerned residents in the area regarding the persistent anti-social behaviour of UCD students which outlined the grievances involved.” According to Butler this semester has seen an increase in anti-social behaviour. “Matters have recently escalated and are now frankly out of control. These are the antics of a minority of students who believe that they are immune to the life of their neighbours around them.”
Butler cited the behaviour as a breach of the UCD Student Code. “It is a clear breach of the Code for a student to bring the University into disrepute. These people are persistently identified as UCD students, so it brings the whole name and reputation of UCD into disregard.” Butler has been charged with addressing the problem. “I intend to find these students and talk to them. I want to ask them if they are aware of the impact of their lifestyle on the neighbours around them.” “If they aware of it and they persist with it, then we have an issue,” Butler says. The complaints from local residents come in the light of the fact that the No. 10 bus continues not to enter campus after 8pm. “Dublin Bus phoned me to explain the situation. They are a public service and from their perspective it is part of their mandate to offer a full service to students here. However, out of respect for their own
drivers they will not ask them go into an area where he or she will not be shown due respect.” The College Tribune inquired if a full service to campus will be reinstated by Dublin Bus in the near future. “There was a meeting this week. According to the Head of Buildings and Services, it should be imminent. However, work has to be done to ensure that when it does come back, one act of stupidity doesn’t put it back another few months.” Butler agreed that alcohol plays a major role in student anti-social behaviour. “UCD has a strong alcohol policy. We are not against alcohol per se, just simply the abuse of alcohol. There are issues on campus were alcohol is abused by students. The UCD Health Promotion Committee is looking at ways to combat this.”
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It’s nice to see that just because they’re one of the biggest societies, doesn’t mean they have free range over what they can do with their poster
They were just kind of silly and I think the fine is a bit extreme to be honest
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l Assessment appeal delayed l UCD error causes missed deadline Noreen Moloney A delay on UCD’s part has cost one student his place on a Master’s course, the College Tribune has learned. The frustrated student, who wishes to remain anonymous as he is still wrangling with UCD over the issue, says that the assessment appeals procedure effectively stopped him from returning to college this year. The student originally appealed a module grade from a Summer 2009 exam. He applied to do a Masters degree in DIT, but he claims there was an error made by UCD in transferring the exam marks. Therefore the student did not receive the grades required in time to meet the application deadlines. After a lengthy appeal process, the student has only received his correct grade within the last few days. “At first I was told that I had no grounds for appeal, but I persevered and was eventually successful.
However, it is too late to apply for the MA.” According to the Academic Council Regulations, all students have the right to view their scripts if they have doubts about their grades. The student claims his request was refused and he did not get the opportunity to do so. Allegedly, an error on behalf of the appeal board also delayed release of the actual grade. The student says he has yet to be granted any apology for the inconvenience it has caused him. “Firstly, I don’t understand how errors could have been made with transferring the marks. Or why it took so long for someone to consider my appeal in a system that has to be sufficient enough to deal with a huge amount of students,” he commented. The UCD Assessment Appeals Office has stated that students who appeal results “should not assume a favourable outcome to an appeal or assume that the appeal will be decided prior to the sitting of a repeat assessment.”
Technology troubles Karina Bracken Within the last year many students will have noticed the increasing number of emails sent in error to their UCD Connect account. The College Tribune looked at why this has been happening. Professor Peter Lynch, who lectures in Meteorology at the School of Mathematical Sciences, recently sent an email originally intended for a few students to over 12,000 by accident. “The error occurred in the ‘Student Bulk Email’ in the academic staff menu. What happened with me was a mistake, which was completely my fault. However, the system makes it very easy for you to do this.” “Instead of going to those enrolled in the module, the email I sent went to all Stage One students in UCD – over 12,000 of
them. It didn’t even differentiate between under- and post-graduate courses.” Professor Lynch immediately tried to remedy the situation when he realised what had occurred. “It was very embarrassing. My first reaction was shock and horror, as you can imagine. Then I had to send an apology email to all those students, because if you think about it, if even only one in every ten replies to the email that’s a few thousand replies! So I had to try and stop that.” Academic staff have the ability to send an email to every student on campus, according to Professor Lynch. An email could be sent to over 20,000 without so much as a prior warning. “The software should be improved. There should be something to say ‘Are you sure you really want to send an email to every UCD student?’ There seems to be no checks and balances in this group email
system.” Professor Lynch believes that there are flaws inherent in the system. “I don’t think it should be possible for me to send an email to every student in the University, at least without warning.” “This could very well be a security issue. In a previous email I put password in for protected files on the internet and that could have been a copyright issue if it had gotten out. The system is also open to abuse. Actually, I got a particularly rude and unkind response from someone after that error.” Professor Lynch said reported the potential problem to UCD Business Support over a month ago, before he sent the email by mistake. “IT Services replied stating that they were aware of the problem and that it would be fixed in a few weeks.” UCD IT Services were unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.
The UCD Unicare program is a community approach to promote personal safety for all students, staff and visitors through awareness, partnership and prevention. Visit www.ucd.ie/unicare for tips how to:
· stay safe when you are out and about on your daily business around campus; · how to keep your bike, laptop and other belongings secure · what to do in case of an emergency Information about : o Walk Alone service o Campus Garda Office o Lost and Found o How to organise an event o ICE campaign
October 20th 2009
Compiled by Eileen Gahan and Karina Bracken
Societies fined €5,000
UCD head of HSE slated UCD Professor Brendan Drumm has been criticised over a €70,000 bonus he is to receive for his role as CEO of the Health Services Executive (HSE). The bonus is on top of Drumm’s annual salary of €370,000, excluding a €15,000 car allowance. The HSE has received numerous criticisms over the years with regards to patient care and wasteful spending. Health Minister Mary Harney defended the bonus paid to Drumm, stating that he “does a fantastic job”. Drumm is set to return to his position as Professor of Paediatrics at UCD’s School of Medicine and Medical Science when his tenure at the HSE ends.
Smurfit Business School remains in FT’s Top 100 The Michael Smurfit Business School at UCD has retained its place in the Global Top 100 Business Schools of the Financial Times. Its Executive MBA Programme ranks at 61st place in the same paper. The graduate business school is one of the only 25 business schools in the world to hold the triple crown of excellence from the three leading centres of business excellence: the AACSB, EQUIS and the Association of MBAs. UCD Nanovation opened
UCD has established new laboratories for research into sustainable energy using nanotechnology, which involves the use of incredibly small materials. Nobel Prize winning scientist Walter Kohn, who is one of the world’s leading researchers into solar energy, officially launched the facilities last week. The laboratories will receive €4.3 million and will facilitate 30 scientists and 120 PhD students.
Two thirds satisfied with accommodation UCD rents on average cheaper than TCD Karina Bracken
Auto know better l Student narrowly avoids George Lee TD l No dent in the Fine Gael machine Gubnet McDonagh A UCD student narrowly escaped a collision course with a government figure, it has emerged. It was not over NAMA or fees, but a dodgy three point turn. The recently elected TD’s political life was almost cut short when the UCD student took to the roads in town during the week. Luckily for politician George Lee, he is a Fine Gael – and not a Fianna Fail – TD, so the student did not hesitate to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him. The near-crash occurred as the student who was driving wanted to turn around. With knowledge gained from years of UCD education, the driver attempted a dangerous stunt on the road. The sudden U-Turn in front of the TD’s Mercedes forced Lee
to demonstrate those quick Fine Gael reflexes - usually reserved for the Dail - and brake his car. Lee’s relief was palpable. “I stopped just in time, so there was no damage to my car and just a nick on his.” Good sport George even sympathised with the stunned student, seemingly amused by the whole incident. “He was mortified, poor fellow. I told him not to worry about it. He just didn’t see me coming,” Lee said. George Lee was RTÉ’s Economics Editor before putting his name forward as a candidate for Fine Gael in the Dublin South by-election last May, winning the seat. Luckily for one UCD student, the TD also wears a seatbelt.
Who is the Belfield Bugler? l Vicious attacks on SU Officers l Identity remains a mystery Karina Bracken The Belfield Bugle is back and striking fear into the hearts of Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers. In the last two weeks, two different batches of the satirical Bugle have been distributed on campus. If reports are to be believed, then its presence had certain SU members scurrying to remove the offending sheets. According to onlookers, the windy conditions made it look like they were scrambling for golden tickets in the dome of the Crystal Maze. The Bugle treats issues such as rape and
abortion with the type of tact that makes the recent “Virgin Ball” posters look like an invitation to a child’s birthday party. Speaking of which, the UCD Recognition Committee might be looking to fine the Bugler infinity billion euro if they ever catch them. To some the Bugle might represent a pinnacle of free speech and “down with the man” mentality. To others the scathing attacks might seem like a vendetta by someone with too much time on their hands and too much printing credit in their account. The question on everyone’s mind is of course: Who is the Belfield Bugler?
O’Keefe still favours fees Minister for Education Batt O’Keefe said last Monday that he is still in favour of introducing third level fees. Fianna Fail bowed to pressure from the Green Party to halt the reintroduction of fees in the new programme for Government recently. O’Keefe refused to rule out fees being on the table at some time in the future. Speaking in Cork, he said that he believed students should contribute towards their college education.
October 20th 2009
Students give rented accommodation thumbs up
News in Brief
Two UCD societies, Arts Soc and B&L, have been fined €2,500 each. The fine was imposed by UCD Recognition Committee and Societies Officer Richard Butler after posters for their “Virgin Ball” event were deemed inappropriate and offensive. The posters were removed shortly after they were put up and the event was renamed. The societies’ Auditors spoke out this week at the severity of the fine. The money from the fine will go towards the Student Welfare Fund.
rating system subject to criticism l Invalid ranking methods cited l Claims system is harmful to universities Karina Bracken Jennings believes that there is an obvious anomaly inherent in the ranking system, particularly in Ireland. “It is curious that the argument has been pretty much won against the ranking of Irish secondary schools, about the distortion that it creates and the misleading impression it gives rise to. Yet many in the media and the higher education establishment itself still seem to be absolutely fixated on third level rankings.” Internationally, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) is allegedly developing its own ranking system for Higher Education Institutions. “The OECD is an organisation practically obsessed with ranking. They so go far as to undervalue things by simply trying to reduce them to metrics,” stated Jennings. “OECD is engaged in a project to devise an acceptable method of ranking and comparing HEIs. The OECD is prepared to spend millions on creating such a system. What this says to myself and IFUT is that there mustn’t be a valid system out there at the moment - this would apply to THE.” The rankings have little effect on students deciding upon their university,
according to Jennings. He believes that is impossible to measure the 17,000 Higher Education Institutions in the world against each other. “If it was the case that one university was ‘x’ times better than another university, than why would anyone go to that other university? This is incongruous with the fact that in this country there is an equality of demand across the institutions academically, research-wise and most crucially student-wise. It is spread evenly over the country.” “The truth is that the major determining factor for most students in selecting college is geography. So the idea that these rankings will increase the international pulling power of one university over another in Ireland is quite frankly fantasy. It is not supported by the facts.” Ultimately Jennings believes that rankings may be harmful to universities. “Could you say then these rankings are like puerile playthings? I don’t think so.” “In pursuit of success in these rankings worldwide, HEIs seek to highlight those things that are easily measurable; such as the criteria of academic staff, which has nothing to do with the quality of teaching. They enhance standards that are not central to the core value of a university. This is where the danger of rankings comes in.”
Dingy flats and dishonest landlords may be a thing of the past for most students. A new report has found that the majority of students renting in Dublin are satisfied with their accommodation. The survey “Students in the private rented sector: What are the issues?” was compiled by the Private Residential Tenancies Board of the Centre for Housing Research. The report was carried out with the assistance of the Department of Education and the Union of Students of Ireland. The report studied student experiences in private rented accommodation and focused primarily on those in the greater Dublin Area, as it had the largest student population living in rented rooms. Nine out of ten students answered that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their accommodation and their landlord. The document says that approximately 13% of students live on campus and 27% live in rented accommodation. 44% of students live at home. Half of those surveyed had found their accommodation online, with most of the others finding a place through friends or word of mouth. Two thirds of students found a place to live in under a month. Nearly 70% said that they had encountered no major problems finding accommodation.
The most important factors in students’ decisions were cost, quality, size, proximity to college and personal safety. Other concerns were transport and housemates. Cost was considered the most important factor in finding suitable accommodation. Rents in the private sector have gone down in recent months and the report cites better coherence of rented accommodation to minimum standards. On average students in Dublin pay €108.23 per week in rent. UCD (29.6%) was second to Trinity (30.1%) in the percentage of those who found finding accommodation “difficult”. Rent for those studying in TCD was on average more expensive by €8 per week than for those at UCD. According to the survey, “average rent in the private sector is approximately €18.69 more per month than for [UCD] on-campus accommodation.” Private sector rents for other Dublin colleges were on average cheaper than campus accommodation. Very few reported that their rent included bills. Over two-thirds of participants in the survey were supported financially by a parent or guardian. Proximity to college was highly rated among those surveyed. The majority of students (91.8%) got to college in under 45 minutes, half walked to college and one third took public transport.
Students were found to share on average with four people in one household, with most reporting no more than two sharing a bathroom. The majority of students had a single room. Overall, 62% of students were “generally happy” with their accommodation. While overall the news is positive, some students still have problems finding suit-
able accommodation. A Master of Arts student at UCD spoke to the College Tribune about her experience in the last few weeks. “My accommodation is within walking distance of UCD but I only stayed a few weeks before I decided to leave. The rent was alright at €400 a month but there were problems with the heating and shower and
parts of it were just downright dirty.” “I am currently looking for another place. I know rents have fallen in Dublin this year, but it seems that the cheaper places are of poor quality.” “I’m finding it hard to find decent accommodation for an affordable price. There are still a lot of very dodgy places out there.”
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College Tribune October 20th 2009
Research in numbers €116 million
the income gained by UCD through research
contribution to UCD overheads
Research and Education: Happily ever after? lUCD nets €116 million annually for research Karina Bracken UCD has been both applauded and criticised over its drive for research and funding in the last few years. The College Tribune investigates the benefits and downfalls of such an intense focus on research, and what subsequent effect it has on the quality of education in Ireland’s biggest third level institution. Professor Des Fitzgerald Vice-President for Research and Emma Kavanagh, Research Communications Manager for UCD Research spoke about the role of research in UCD. According to their office, research contracts awarded to UCD during the year amounted to a total of €116 million. While most of this income is spent on the research contract in question, its contribution to UCD overheads rose to €21 million this year. Additionally, some of the research capital awards will go towards the planned redevelopment of the UCD Science Centre. Fitzgerald believes that there are manifold benefits to research in UCD that compliment the financial aspect. “The advancement of knowledge is central to the mission of the university and in many disciplines this is funded externally through a highly competitive process.” Research is a large part of postgraduate life in UCD. “The university has 31% of the nation’s PhD students (over 1,700) enrolled. As with research, the student’s fees, stipend and research costs are funded in many cases through competitive grants awarded from outside the university.” “In addition, we have over 500 postdoctoral researchers that are also funded from external sources, so research funding is vital to the university’s mission.” Research funding contributes to the employment of staff in UCD. “Many of the university’s 950 plus full-time salaried academics are engaged in research, with over 40% receiving external funding,”
stated Fitzgerald. The term “research” covers a board range of programmes that UCD is engaged in. There are four main areas of research under the following themes: Health and Healthcare Delivery, Global Ireland, Earth Sciences and Information, Computation and Communication. Within these subject areas there are six UCD specific research institutes: UCD Conway, UCD Geary, Urban Institute of Ireland, Humanities Institute of Ireland, UCD Institute of Food & Health and UCD CASL. These work across a broad range of activities in biomedical sciences, humanities, urban studies, social sciences and computational science. UCD is also involved in a number of major collaborative programmes. Two of UCD’s biggest projects are ‘Clarity’ and ‘Systems Biology Ireland’. The core aim of the €16.4 million Clarity innovative research centre is to “‘bring information to life’. In effect, it uses sensors to bridge the gap between the physical world and digital information.” Systems Biology Ireland is a €19.4 million investment that will “provide a powerful new way to use the strength of computers
lCritics believe it harmful to education and mathematics to understand biology.” SBI will support Ireland’s pharmaceutical industry which employs 23,000 people and is responsible for more than 48% of the country’s export sales. “This is just a sample of the major research projects; visit our Images of Research exhibition in UCD Research and a special exhibit in Newman House Gardens to get a snapshot of UCD’s research activities,” says Fitzgerald. The university’s recent research alliance with Trinity was hailed as a “radical partnership” by both parties. Fitzgerald says that the alliance with TCD builds on a series of major collaborations in research and education that have developed between the two over recent years. “The Alliance goes one step further in combining our efforts to drive innovation and entrepreneurship, essentially leveraging our research to benefit Ireland and contribute to the economic recovery.” There are some in the education sector, however, who believe that research is taking away from universities and that it is ultimately detrimental to the quality of third level education. Mike Jennings of IFUT believes that the drive for research funding is fundamentally harmful to university education. “What is going to happen to universities if the ability to get funding is up there with the so called good attributes of an academic?” he asks. “Lowering our sights to short- or medium-term practical implications of research, that by definition takes away the “blue
skies” aspects of research, is wrong. Anything that limits the horizons of higher education is self-evidently bad and I don’t think there are many that would disagree with me.” Jennings thinks that there is a place for research, but in specific institutions such as units attached to private and public sector. He agrees that research “is of course needed for the Irish economy to survive.” “However, the university has to be somewhat set apart from that, in that it looks for knowledge for its own sake. For example, those that discovered DNA admitted that if they were required to have sought external funding for that, they never would have got it done. There has to be a freedom to look for knowledge for the sake of knowledge.” Jennings believes that there are limitations to research in universities. “There can only be short term research - as per funding allows. You are in danger of missing the big discoveries. This is what a University should be for, but this could be killed off because of the current short term applicability of research funding.” The Vice-President responded to some of the unfavourable criticism that UCD has received about its research practices. “John Newman, the founder of the university, did not support the ‘advancement of knowledge’, but neither did he favour formal teaching. Universities have evolved, with a relative handful becoming research intensive institutions. Their impact has been enormous, not least through their graduates (MIT and Stanford, for example),” said Fitzgerald. He believes that education is not negatively impacted. “Teaching benefits from research, not least as the researchers are also the educators. The benefit goes beyond the university, towards a better understanding of our society past and present, the generation of new ideas, the support of Irish industry and the generation of new enterprises.”
Number of academic staff connected to research
postgraduate students in UCD
UCD’s percentage of all postgraduate students in Ireland
Post Doctorate Researchers funded externally
College Tribune October 20th 2009
College Tribune October 20th 2009
Penitence for the past Sadie O’Meara, a survivor of the notorious Magdalene Laundries, talks to Cathy Buckmaster about the arduous years she suffered in the Convent and how she’s still fighting
Awoken at dawn, forced to repent by repeatedly attending mass and saying prayers, being fed appalling food and made a slave for long, arduous hours doing menial labour, before being locked away in a dark, silent cell at night, was how many Irish women wiled away years of their lives in the mid twentieth century. The skeletons of Ireland’s past have been emerging slowly in the last decade. This state has had an often sorrowing past. However, in 1993, upon discovering the existence of over a hundred unmarked graves in a convent cemetery, the citizens of the country wept for the injustice of an unimaginable tragedy. This land, which had once been a Convent Laundry was sold back to the state for public use. The graves belonged to the women who, for all their lives, had been worked to the bone while under the service of specific convents. They were buried without marking of who they were and without notification to their families. Relatives from around the country came forward with the hope of identifying their lost daughters, sisters and mothers. With the last Magdalene Asylum closing only in 1996, the ghost of this incident continues to haunt the state today. The Magdalene Asylums, initially designed to take in prostitutes off the streets who could not find regular employment, soon took on an increasingly prison like characters where the supervising nuns would enact harsh measures to encourage the women into penance. Sadie O’Meara is a survivor of the Magdalene Asylums where she was imprisoned for four years and forced to work long hours. O’Meara explains how she ended up in the Laundry. “I was fifteen years of age and I was working in a bed and breakfast in Dublin. Then one day, two ladies called to the bed and breakfast where I was and said to me, ‘I
think we should take you out of here and we’ll get you a much better job, a better position.’” “They told me to pack my clothes and go with them. I was only fifteen and at that time, back in the 50s, you had to obey people. You couldn’t say ‘No, I’m not going’.” “They brought me there and put me into this room and bolted the doors. I knew I’d done nothing and couldn’t understand what it was about so I cried all night because I was terrified.” O’Meara has a lot of terrible memories she can’t forget, half a century on. She finds her experiences there have had deeply lasting emotional impact on her. “I had no visitors for four years. We were up in
“If you weren’t fast enough doing your work, you’d get a belt.” the morning at dawn and in bed on summer evenings at eight and the food was diabolical.” “I remember when I got my first period. I didn’t know what it was all about; I was only fifteen. Children weren’t as clever as they are now. I had soaked the bed and they made me lie on that for three days. They wouldn’t even change the sheets. Next thing they got a doctor for me; they thought I was pregnant.” O’Meara goes onto explain her first experiences of the convent when she arrived and what a typical day in the Magdalene Laundry involved. “The morning after I got there, a woman brought me down to the laundry and showed me a big pile of washing which I’d never done in my life.” “We had to go to mass and after, we had
something to eat and then back to mass so two masses every morning. All day long besides that, we were in the laundry cleaning, ironing and washing.” “We had one hour’s recreation in the evening but we’d be making handbags and wallets. So more work for about two hours every night. Then up to bed at eight o clock in what were called at the time, our cells. We were locked in with a bolt outside the door.” “Then it was lights out until dawn when we were out on our knees on the floor in the corridor to say more prayers. That was the routine.” On top of the confinement forced upon the young women, they were also subjected to emotional abuse by being forbidden to communicate. “The nun told me it was a quiet place and that we weren’t supposed to speak and had to be silent all day.” “Generally we were too terrified to speak because that was the rule. We could talk quietly sometimes but just not very much and if we did, there was always one girl who’d go back and tell the nuns.” O’ Meara relates the day’s routine and her misery there as if it has haunted her every day since, sadly unable to shake the sorrow of it fifty years on. “I didn’t see the light of day for two years there. I was four years there altogether.” “I was two years in Dublin and then they told me I was going to Cork. So I was two years in Cork with much the same conditions; very disciplined. If you weren’t fast enough doing your work, you’d get a belt; they’d hit you.” O’Meara explains the worst aspect for her of being confined in the Convent. “I kept writing to my Mam but never got any message back and I couldn’t get over it. I used to cry about why my Mam wasn’t writing to me.”
“Then I found out after the four years my Mam had died and they’d never told me. They’d tear up the letters as they came into the convent.” O’Meara did eventually escape the convent, with the help of her aunt who had been unaware of her situation. “My aunt was the only reason I got out. She thought I was working in the convent cooking or doing something like that. If I wrote anything I shouldn’t have in the letters, she never got them.” Like many other victims of the Magdalene Laundries, O’Meara found it very hard to settle back into society once she got out. The years she spent locked away within the convent walls left a lasting emotional scar. “I stayed in my aunt’s house for twelve months before I built the courage to step outside the door. I was terrified. After I came out, I just wasn’t able to do anything.” Despite, being raised in a religious environment, after experience in the Magdalene Laundry, O’Meara found it impossible to maintain her beliefs. “It made me lose all faith in religion. I couldn’t understand it because I’d been raised as a Catholic. But now, with regards to religion, I just can’t relate to it anymore.”
Like many other Magdalenes, O’Meara also chose to leave the country; “I decided to go to England with a friend of mine. I was terrified if I stayed in Dublin they might take me back again. It was always over my head so I went to England and got married and had four children. A lot of girls went to England because they were running away from them.” After years away, O’Meara felt comfortable enough to return to the convent to see if there were any women still there. “I used to think about the girls I knew in Cork and so one day I decided I’d visit. I found out three of them were still there from when I was there.” “It had been too long and they weren’t able to face the world. So I asked if I’d be able to bring them up to my house for a week and they were allowed but they were too used to the ways of the convent.” “The three of them would have a cup of tea together and the three would go up to bed together. They were so nervous outside the door they couldn’t do anything at all.” The daughter of an unmarried mother, O’Meara says she never found out why she ended up there but is still looking for a reason why she was and seeking justice. “All the time I spent I there; they got four years slave labour.” “I did look for compensation but I was turned down because I wasn’t in an industrial school but I’m still here and fighting. The years have passed and nothing has been done about it. I got back to the nuns to ask them why and they couldn’t give me an answer, didn’t want to. The same nuns weren’t there.” “So that’s where I am at the moment. I’m still fighting and I’m 71 years of age. It’s not easy.” O’Meara concludes, full of sadness but determination.
October 20th 2009
Keeping the Peace Lt. Sarah Jane Comerford talks to Philip Connolly about her tour of the troubled African country Chad Its 6:30 am, the early morning heat bakes the barren surrounding landscape. A partitioning wall separates a camp of tents from the chaos outside as the 99th infantry battalion goes through their early morning parade. Welcome to Chad. In august 2007 the Irish government deployed 200 soldiers as part of the United Nations effort to establish peace between Chad and Darfur. Ireland has deployed the second largest contingent of troops, after France, conducting Peace keeping operations in the troubled region. “Our role was of an infantry platoon” states Lt. Sarah Jane Comerford who took charge of the mortar division of the Irish deployment between January and May 2009. “Essentially our role was to evacuate the NGO’s if there was an attack from rebel forces coming over the border from Sudan. Because the NGO’s have money, food and vehicles there were a target.” “They weren’t so much of a threat to us, we are unbiased and our mandate is not to get involved. On a local level we were beside a town called Goz Beida, we patrolled the town to keep it safe and monitor the NGO’s. We needed to be a deterrent against banditry also.” “There was quite a struggle when the rebel’s did come over the border about a month before we were due to come home we had to evacuate about 68 NGO’s. The local conflict is not ours to get involved with.” The land locked central African nation has a troubled history, as a victim of French colonialism and following a civil war in the 60’s; by 1979 rebel factions had conquered its capital. Libya where the next to
become involved but by 1987 the French backed President Hissene Habré succeeded in forcing the Libyans from Chadian soil. Habré consolidated power through corruption and violence with an estimated 40,000 people killed under his rule. “It’s a very barren country, almost Biblical, there’s not many vehicles, the only ones are owned by the army and the NGO’s (non-governmental organisations). The
people have very basic lives, they are still semi nomadic and live in mud huts, shops and things like that are things you just don’t see. It’s very barren, desert like, and it’s extremely hot” stated Comerford. “It got to around 55 degrees from ten o’clock in the morning onwards; working in those environments is very difficult for most people.” “We got up at half past 5 in the morning. We had tented accommodation so although there was a large wall for defence of the camp. We had a few a UN people living for a while, there was some Dutch
people when we arrived and after them Finnish company arrived.” Idriss Déby overthrew his President in 1990 and attempted to reconcile rebel groups and introduce a multi party political system. Yet when oil exploitation began in Chad in 2003, it brought with it all the hazards that Black Gold can cause. A new civil war broke out as ethnic violence increased, the UN warning that a genocide like that in Darfur could yet occur in Chad. Rebel forces have since made two failed attempts to take the capital by force, in 2006 and 2008, as the humanitarian crisis continues. The human cost of the attempted 2008 coup remained uncertain. Red Cross officials who estimated more than 1,000 casualties had no word on how many of those were fatalities. The Associated Press quoted Chadian Red Cross officials on the scene as saying that hundreds of people had died. The rebels say they are trying to overturn a brutal dictatorship; the government maintains that the rebels are backed by Chad’s eastern neighbour Sudan and that their attack represents a declaration of war. Foreign analysts say the fighting is in part a struggle to gain control of Chad’s oil production. Sudanese women who escaped the Darfur conflict to eastern Chad are facing high levels of sexual violence, according to an Amnesty International report. Despite the presence of a UN force, women and girls are being attacked
when they leave 12 designated camps in search of water, the report says. It also documented cases of refugees being attacked inside the camps by Chadian aid workers. Chad’s government has denied that any Chadian has attacked a Sudan refugee. Since 2003 about 250,000 Darfuris have fled the conflict in Sudan, where mass rape of civilians had allegedly been used as strategy to displace entire villages. As a peace keeping and humanitarian force, the Irish army has no mandate to involve themselves in the conflict. “When you know what your role is before you go out there you don’t really get frustrated, a lot of our briefs were very specific on what our role was. We were amicable with the surrounding forces, when we drove by there was no animosity between us.” “They are neither friend nor foe, we were wary because the forces were heavily
armed. You have to keep your eyes wide open and realise that you are foreign group of troops in someone else’s country.” “When we got the good to go to evacuate a NGO camp, we had to wait for a two hour window of opportunity as the rebels passed through to get them out of the town, if they weren’t with us we had to get out by then anyway. IT was good because we actually got to do what we were out there for, but at the same time the tempo was high and we were glad when it was over.” “If there rebels had come through and a battle commenced there was a chance we would get caught in the crossfire. We had specific rules of engagement and if we had been fired upon we could defend ourselves and the NGO’s. From that perspective we were trained to fight back if we needed to but we were always aware of our role.”
Features Business and Finance 10
College Tribune October 20th 2009
October 20th 2009
A Matter of Life or Death With the burning issue of euthanasia often being debated, Jessica Egan examines the legality matter and the ever changing levels of openness to this controversial act
Love Irish Food In the midst of the strongest buy Irish campaign since the 1980s, Charles O’Donnell asks what good buying Irish will do and talks to the big names both for and against this premise Just when it seemed the Sterling was doing us a few favours by regaining its strength, it turns out, that it was merely a pretence. So once again an ever-weakening Sterling is sending shivers up an ever-fragile Irish economy. But besides the problem of the exchange rate there seems to be many more issues facing Irish industries today. Agriculture and the Grocery retail sectors are two industries that both represent crucial areas in our economy. And these are two industries that are feeling the pinch. It is a worrying sight to see that a country such as Ireland is being priced out of the market by countries such as the UK and the Netherlands. Matt Molloy of the Irish Farmer’s Association (IFA) says, “Our cost base is significantly higher than the rest of Europe. We have higher energy costs we have higher minimum wages. Higher fuel costs. Just in general our cost base is higher here.” “The cost of machinery and equipment is higher. But that is the disadvantage. We have a lot of things that are under Government control that would help us out.” And this problem doesn’t just apply to production. As we all know retail is suffering greatly of late and no more so than to small businesses. Tara Buckley of RGDATA an interest group for smaller grocery retailers, advances this point; “We are fighting hard for governments to be looking at charges and costs that they have control over. For example, commercial rates for a lot of our members have gone up this year. Things such as water charges waste management charges.” “It is really frustrating for somebody running a small business to be getting hammered all the time; being asked to reduce their costs while at the same time having
to face increasing costs from their suppliers such as government organisations.” But, the question remains concerning what does this all mean for us as consumers; have we a role to play in all this? The re-emergence of a once forgotten Irish bias; ‘buy Irish’ has not gone unnoticed. One can hear negative criticisms of the Irish who spend their money in ‘German stores’ and on ‘foreign goods’. Such remarks are very short sighted and do nothing to aid the debate in trying to resolve the problems we are facing. Is it really as simple as that; buy Irish?
“So why should consumers be Burdened with this guilt, to buy Irish” Whether this romantic protectionist ideal is really going to save Irish jobs is debatable. The attitude of some consumers is that this island mentality is the way forward, that we shouldn’t be supporting foreign companies on this land. They are all calling for protectionism so do we answer that call and what the ramifications are. What would be the reactions of those countries that import 80% of the goods that we produce? One of the great failures that occurred in American capitalism was when it propagated to its people that American is better. And, so, as an act of patriotism, Americans bought only American. So while it seemed a great idea in principle, it caused the undesirable consequence of irritating the rest of the world. Annoyed with this form of American isolationism,
the rest of the world viewed American products with resentment. So the American economy suffered. No country has benefitted greater from exports than ourselves and we should tread carefully before we come out with remarks that insult foreign companies. But in saying this we should be respectful of Irish based products and what creates Irish jobs. Tara Buckley goes on to say that, “Consumers will always go looking for value, and I think they are right in doing this.” “But I would ask them to think before they buy of what the implications are. If they can get the same quality and value from local shops...they should shop there. The 6000 local shops in the country supply about 90,000 jobs.” Buckley makes a valid point because if we don’t support the Irish economy we will be risking jobs. Dermot Jewell of the Consumers Association of Ireland agrees with this assessment; “Consumers do have to seriously consider supporting local ini-
tiatives, local producers, and local retail. Why? Because that is where the jobs are.” “They have to consider that. But they are not thinking in that mode because they are annoyed at getting bad value for money, or almost an abuse of their good will as customers.” This is really getting to the point, that while Irish businesses need Irish customers, they cannot neglect to look at the fact that Irish customers have been ripped off for long enough. Consumers in the past may have been too passive in knowledge of their rights or even demanding them. But things are different now and the good will of the consumers towards the people who have, ‘ripped them off ’ for the past decade is probably now lost. So why should consumers be burdened with this guilt, to buy Irish. The problems Irish businesses are facing today are not being caused by consumers engaging in ‘jump-the-border’ shopping but because Irish businesses allowed the cost of doing business to get greatly out of hand. This was probably the doing more of big businesses rather than small businesses, and the ones suffering most today is obviously the boutiques and corner shops of the Irish market. Still though, it does not escape the reality that all businesses find themselves in today. Returning to the issue facing Irish industry today. Is it really the fault of others that industries find themselves in or should they take some of the blame themselves? If they did get these breaks they are
looking for would they be passed on to the consumers? Declan Jewell begs to differ; “Years and years have taught me in my role that when businesses get a break, some of them will pass that value on in their prices to the consumer, but too many will not and you end up with the situation where there is a benefit accruing to some and it’s been seen. Any benefit is open to abuse and history has shown that many times it is abused and it is why we are in the mess that we are in.” “When the ban on the below cost selling was abolished, it was acknowledged by many that it had the opportunity to change the market. But that was reliant upon retailers wanting to be competitive and entering into a price war, but that didn’t happen. They didn’t do that.” “And anyone suggesting there is a price war now is mistaken, because it is limited, there is a lot of competition on prices but that competition is being put on to many of the suppliers by the retailers. So they are buying cheaper but they are not selling by that much cheaper.” And if Sterling really is as big an issue as it is made out to be how does it explain Dermot’s fact that, “There are reports of up to 50% differentials in the price between a product in sterling and the euro. One thing that is often overlooked is that the sterling price actually includes a very hefty profit in it as well.” Dermot finishes off by saying, “If we don’t see a serious change, we are going to have a very serious problem. We are going to go back to the days where we will see shutters down and not a lot happening.” Like dealings with a corrupt foreign government, one has to wonder if the benefits given are getting to those in need (i.e. the consumers) or if these ‘boom-time’ prices will ever contemporise.
Until 1993, suicide was still a crime in Ireland. The idea that an individual driven to such a point of despair that they attempted to take their own life and failed could be subject to criminal prosecution, would surprise many people. The reason suicide is no longer a crime is the increasing acceptance of the view that if someone decides to end their own life it is ultimately their choice. No-one has the right to force another person to live against their will. We have the right to live so why not the right to die? Unfortunately, many people who express a wish to end their own life are suffering from serious illnesses or physical disabilities which render them incapable of doing so. The question concerning whether these individuals can be denied the right to end their own lives simply because they are not capable of doing so themselves is often debated. While suicide is now legal, it remains a crime to assist another individual to commit suicide. In England, the decision to prosecute in this regard rests with the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP recently published guidelines outlining the circumstances in which an individual who helped a friend or relative to go abroad to commit suicide would face
prosecution. These new guidelines on assisted suicide are a direct result from a high profile case brought by Debbie Purdy, a 45 year old woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Purdy brought a case to the House of Lords seeking clarification of what would happen to her husband if he assisted her in her wish to terminate her own life. The court found that, “The couple knows that no matter how desperate or determined to take her own life Ms Purdy may be, no matter how clear and balance her
state of mind, and no matter how motivated by raw compassion and devote love her husband may be, the law which prohibits assisted suicide does not permit exceptions.” The factors which will be taken into consideration include whether the individual had a “clear settled and informed wish” to end their lives and that such a wish was “indicated unequivocally.” The DPP will consider whether the individual was suffering from a terminal illness, a severe and incurable physical dis-
ability or some kind of severe degenerative physical condition. The individual should have asked personally for assistance and the helper should not stand to gain from the death of the individual. These guidelines are interim in nature and a final policy will be issued in the spring. They have been welcomed by organisations such as Friends at the End and Dignity in Dying, both of whom advocate choice and control to alleviate unnecessary suffering at the end of life. In its report, the Crown Prosecution Service emphasises that whilst assisting a loved one to take their own life may be permissible in some circumstances, euthanasia remains firmly illegal. The difference between assisted suicide and euthanasia lies in the distinction drawn between taking someone’s life as opposed to helping them take their own life. Currently four European countries authorize assisted suicide of terminal patients at their request; Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg and this practice is strictly regulated. Switzerland is the only country which provides assisted suicide for non-residents. Home to the infamous Dignitas clinic, assisted suicide in Switzerland is only a crime if, the motive is selfish. The individual will die by drinking a lethal
overdose of barbituates provided by Dignitas volunteers who do not profit in any way from the death. The entire process is videotaped and a copy is sent to the police. The organisation Care Not Killing represents the other side of the argument. They oppose all forms of euthanasia and assisted suicide emphasising instead greater efforts in the arena of palliative care. They argue that dying in pain is much rarer now than ever and given the great medical advances of late, there is no reason why anyone given expert palliative care should not die peacefully and with dignity. They point to the fact that depression is extremely common in terminal patients leading to suicidal thoughts however this can be treated effectively. They advocate that whilst a change in the law would make things easier for a small portion of mentally competent patients who choose to end their lives, it would ultimately come at the cost of exposing many vulnerable people to the risk of harm. At the moment, assisted suicide and euthanasia remain illegal in Ireland and there are no indications that these laws are likely to change in the near future.
An Tíogar Draíochtúil Fadó, fadó i tír nach bhfuil ann níos mó, bhí conaí ar trí Prionsa agus bhí cumhacht an ríocht á roinnt acú. Tir álainn a bhí ann, le tírdhreach den chéad scoth agus pearsanta deas fáilteach ag na ndaoine. Trí Prionsa cliste a bhí iontu, bhí oideachas maith acu, agus ní raibh acu ach deá smaointe agus paisean náisiúnach acu dá tír fhéin. Ach bhí fadhb mór amháin ag na Prionsaí. Bhí galar uafásach, “An Namaíocht” ag na daoine óga, agus bhí sé á mharú. Cé gur tháining na doctúirí is fearr ar domhan chun iarracht a dhéanamh “An Namaíocht” a leigheas, ní raibh siad in ann stop a chur leis. Tharla sé lá amháin nuair a bhí an triúr amach ag siúl gur tháining siad ar an Tíogar Draíochtúil. Labhair an Tiger Draíochta leo agus dúirt sé: “Tá mé tar éis taisteal anseo ó tir atá i bhfad uainn. Chuala mé go bhfuil cabhair uaibh. Níl baile ná bia agam ach tá leigheas agam ar an fadhb agus is féidir liom
comhairle a thabhairt daoibh ar chursaí ríochta a rith. Mar a tharla sé thug na Prionsaí seomra don Tíogar Draíochtúil sa chaisleán. Agus thosaigh an Tíogar ag obair dóibh. Tar éis sé mhí nó mar sin, bhí “An Namaíocht” imithe go huile ’s go hiomlán, agus bhí muintir na tíre fíor sásta. Thósaigh na Prionsaí ag lorg comhairle ón Tíogar ar abháir eile agus d’úsáid siad an eolas sin chun an tír ar fad a chur i bhfeabhas. Chuir siad béim mór ar an oideachas, ionas go mbeadh an tír is clistí ar domhan acu. D’athraigh siad an córas cánach freisin, ionas go mbeadh saol níos fusa acu siúd nach raibh mórán dóchas acu. Mar a tharlaíonn sé, de réir tamall, d’éirigh grúpa daoine mí-shásta leis an ríocht, toisc go raibh siad ag iarraidh níos mó saibhreas agus cumhacht dóibh fhéin. D’éirigh leo cogadh a bhuachaint in aghaidh na trí bPrionsa agus roghnaigh siad a Cheannaire féin mar Rí na tíre. Bhí an Cheannaire ceanndána, agus ro-
imhe sin ní raibh sé riamh mar bainisteoir ar siopa fiú, gan labhairt ar Rí na tíre. Thuig sé nach raibh an taithí aige an post a dhéanamh leis fhéin, agus mar sin, ghlac sé leis an comhairle a bhí ag an Tíogar Draíochtúil. Ach bhí cuid mhaith cairde ag an Ceannaire. Cairde a thug cabhair dó agus é ag iarraidh an ríocht a ghoid. Anois, agus é mar Rí, bhi na cairde sin go léir ag iarraidh rud éigin uaidh, ionas go mbeadh siad go léir in ann a bheith sabhair le chéile. Nuair a thuig an Tíogar Draíochtúil céard a bhí ar siúl, ní raibh sé sastá cabhair nó comhairle a thabhairt don Cheannaire níos mó. Thosaigh an beirt acu ag troid agus gortaíodh an Tíogar Draíochtúil go dona agus fuair sé bás. Le linn trí mhí tháinig “An Namaíocht” ar ais agus mar a bhí roimhe sin, bhí na daoine faoi bhrón. Fadó, fadó i tír nach bhfuil ann níos mó...
Le Eoghan Ó Braonáin
College Tribune October 20th 2009
It’s up to you, New York
New York is not just for the rich and famous, Sean Bonner dishes the insider knowledge Meeting people, drinking with them, riding around in a limo at 1 in the morning while drinking beer that you bought off the driver, all something that can and has happened in New York City. Yes, the Big Apple has something for everyone but let’s be honest, for students its all about the bars and the nightlife. Before all that however, you have to get there and find a place to stay. Getting there is the easy part; finding a good place to stay for cheap is far more difficult. New York is one of the most expensive cities to stay in (unless you know someone who lives there). Hostels are the way to go if you’re on a tight budget. Hotels can run well over $1000, depending on where you look, but there are some excellent hostels and hotels that are dirt cheap. The Pod Hotel on East 51st is fairly good with prices as low as $89 for a bunk bed room per night sharing. So $44.50 per night is about as cheap a hotel you will get.
Other great places to stay are the Chocolat Hostel up on West End Avenue, Hostel 1291 on 55th Street and The Gershwin Hostel on 27th street, just beside the Empire State Building. The Gershwin, an old haunt of Andy Warhol, is over 100 years old and, pay attention now lads, the 4th floor is the model floor where aspiring models can stay with its enlarged closets. For things to do there’s all the great touristy stuff. The Empire State (though top of the Rockefeller Center is better), Ellis and Liberty Island, Central Park, Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), The Museum of Sex (yes there is one) and so on. But among all the big hot shots of the tourist attractions, there’s all the smaller, lesser known secrets of New York. One of the best places to go for a feed is Katz Deli, an institution in its own right, which has served everyone from me to the man in the White House and appearing in that scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ where yer wan Meg Ryan starts making
her best sex moans to Joe Soap on the street. Katz Deli serves mammoth sandwiches full of salami, great for some soakage before heading up the road for a night of drinking. You can also try Teeney, Moby’s tea room and Public, both on the Lower East side.
with about 8 others and get stuck into your ale (ordered at least 4 at a time). This writer met a great bunch there and spent the night drinking with them after aforementioned the limo ride. However, as good as McSorleys is, there’s
This writer saw Josh Hartnett enter, order a drink and immediately start wearing the face off some blond girl, before which he presumably pointed at with his finder like a gun and said “Bam!!” Other good bars on Ludlow St are Pia-
also Hogs and Heifers, a true dive of a bar. Walking into this place you will most likely be immediately insulted by the bar staff over a loud speaker and then ordered to buy a drink. After which you will be insulted again because you ordered “a fuckin pussy’s drink!”. I refuse to comment on what I ordered that time. For everybody else, there’s Ludlow St. lined with bars from one end to the other, this street has a bar to suit everyone. Max Fish would be one of the more popular and is frequented by many celebrities.
no’s and Motor City, the latter being a rocker bar with scantily clad dancers in the window. And for the more budget conscious, there’s Down The Hatch near NYU which serves 1 dollar beers all night on a Tuesday. There’s not nearly enough space or time to mention everything to do, see, eat and drink in New York, but hopefully you will now know enough to look beyond the tourist traps and go where the real action is.
“Katz Deli serves mammoth sandwiches full of salami, great for some soakage before heading up the road for a night of drinking” Then of course, there’s the shopping. SoHo is the place to go for all your boutique shopping needs. And for the other end of the market there’s Macy’s (which offer an 11% discount card to all tourists) and Century 21, TK Maxx’s much better older brother, beside Ground Zero, complete with 5 packs of boxers for a fiver! And now for probably the most important bit, the bars. But before I go on I must mention...bring ID as most New York bars are quite strict. An absolute must for any visitor is McSorleys Ale House at 14 east 7th street. This is the oldest bar in New York and serves only light ale or dark ale, both equally delicious. Though this bar doesn’t have a wide selection of drinks, its true strength lies in its ability to get people together. Ask the waiters for a seat, and they’ll give you one, whether someone was sitting there or not. You’ll be put at a big table
October 20th 2009
I welcome the apparent admission by the Government that third level fees would be a block on those who want to receive a higher education. This has been the Labour Party position since we abolished fees in 1995. However, there is no guarantee in the new Programme for Government that the old trick of increasing the college registration fee won’t continue. Third Level Fees already exist. They are just disguised as registration fees. In last October’s budget, the Green Party signed up to increasing the college registration fee from €900 to €1500. They received no firm commitment that this won’t happen in the upcoming December budget. We need cast iron guarantees that students and their families won’t be faced with higher charges to attend college. Education isn’t free - it already costs a lot of money. Students have to pay for registration fees, books, accommodation, travel and other expenses. Adding fees on top of this would make it even harder for students to further their education and reach their full potential. I have called on Minister Batt O’Keeffe to clarify that the Programme for Government rules out any form of third level fees, including a hike in the registration fees over the lifetime of this government. I think Batt O’Keeffe’s proposed loan system was a flawed model from the start. Firstly, it would have blocked equality of opportunity to access third level educa-
tion. Studies show that people from more disadvantaged backgrounds are more averse to taking out loans. The loans system would have done little to improve access to education. The National Skills Strategy requires 72% of school leavers go on to third level by 2020. Yet if you look at the breakdown of current students, we already see that students from the wealthiest sectors of society go on to third level. We need to ensure that students from less advantaged families will have the opportunity to study at third level. I do not understand how fees would have made this situation better. They would have only made it harder for more people to go to college. The loan system would also have required a huge amount of start-up capital and it would not have returned any money to the State for at least four or five years. I think the University Presidents were misguided to support the Minister’s proposals because there was never any chance the money raised would have been ringfenced for investment in higher education. There is a black hole in our public finances and fees were always an attempt to plug that gap. Higher Education does need money, but it also needs a firm commitment from government. This government’s whole approach to education is to try and get it on the cheap. That’s why we have some of the largest class sizes in Europe and why we spend much less than the OECD average
What Future for Third Level? A week ago the parties in the coalition government, Fianna Fail and the Green Party, reached an agreement on a revised programme for government. A number of new commitments were entered into and old ones abandoned, but the point of most interest to higher education was the agreement not to introduce student contributions for third level. Therefore, for the remainder of this government, there will be no tuition fees or similar measures. Organisations representing students hailed this as a victory. I was in the audience at last Monday’s RTE programme ‘The Front Line’ with Pat Kenny, and I was struck at how, at every mention of this new policy (at least every mention until it was my turn), every speaker referred to it as a positive step. Of course I understand the reaction; those going through college, or those about to, and their families will feel relieved. But nevertheless, nobody is addressing this question: if students are not going to make a contribution to the cost of their studies, who will? How will we get the resources to fund what is an incredibly expensive process if it is done right? How can we sustain quality when nobody feels like providing the money? What we have now is not just third level education without fees; it is third level without fees and with serious funding reductions. Last weekend did not just see the commitment to free fees, but also commitments by the parties to new primary school teachers and protected pupil to teacher ratios. Someone will have to pay for that, and on the
sure assumption that the money will have to be found from the education budget as a whole, it’s a safe bet that it will be taken from third level (which is already facing serious cuts). So what we will have is no student contributions, and a dramatically reduced state funding envelope. At some point we will need to recognise that higher education cannot be done for nothing. We have long passed the stage at which funding reductions can somehow be ‘absorbed’ by the sector without anyone noticing. Right now the universities are reducing services, slashing library spending, closing buildings, abandoning regular cleaning, and increasing class sizes. Some of the worst effects could be held at bay while we were expecting that, at least somewhere down the line, funding would come from fees or student contributions. Now that this is not happening, and without any compensating funding, the decline will be very noticeable and swift. As a country, in the end we have to ask ourselves what the point is of having a ‘free’ system where the quality is in free fall. The attitude we have adopted as a country is that we want a world class system of higher education that nobody will need to pay for properly. That cannot work. And once we mess with the system, we are also messing with our national future. The standard response from many of those who, for perfectly honourable reasons, want ‘free fees’ is that proper funding should come from progressive taxation. OK in theory, but after many years we now know that, as a country, we are totally unwilling to do that. We
Not re-introducing fees; the right decision
didn’t do it when times were good, and we won’t do it now. So we need to draw the obvious conclusion: that we don’t really want a good system of third level education. And what is more, we believe that a free education for the wealthy is more important than special support for the disadvantaged: because over the years of ‘free fees’, we have ploughed money into the pockets of middle class families while disgracefully neglecting education for the poor. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds still don’t properly participate in higher education, and it is simply wrong to claim that free fees did anything for them. It didn’t, and because we spent so much money on those who didn’t need it we spent too little on those who did. I accept that free fees helped middle income families, but there are other ways of achieving that. So I cannot join in the applause. I believe a bad job was done here. And we may all pay the price.
Ferdinand von Prondzynski Ferdinand Von Prondzynski is the President of Dublin City University. Before this appointment, he was Professor of Law and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hull, England from 1991 to 2000. Previously he was also Lecturer in Industrial Relations at Trinity College Dublin from 1980 to 1990. He has also been a Director of the British-American Business Council.
on our education system. Quite simply, if we want to have a proper education system, as a country we have to prioritise funding for it. I think we need to develop a consensus that as a society we need to spend 6% or 7% of GDP on education. That will take time, but that should be the goal. Ireland is currently learning a difficult lesson. For years we thought we could have first rate public services without having to pay higher taxes. Our reliance on property-related taxes like Stamp Duty and the proceeds of VAT during a bubble economy gave rise to the impression that low income taxes were sustainable forever while spending could go unchecked. Taking fees off the table is welcome – but it should never have been seriously considered in the first place. I am glad the government has finally seen sense and vindicated the Labour Party’s position.
Ruairi Quinn TD
Ruairi Quinn TD is the Labour Party Spokesperson on Education and Science and a former Leader of the Labour Party.
College Tribune October 20th 2009
Anti-Social Behaviour Anyone who has ever had to get a bus stone cold sober from UCD after 10pm will know about so called “anti-social behaviour”. Unfortunately, this does not refer to when you listen to your ipod and try to pretend the rest of the world does not exist. Most students will know by now that the No. 10 bus will not stop in campus after 8pm. One incident last year resulted in an inspector being attacked by a UCD student. It is not surprising therefore that the drivers refuse to come into Belfield at night. Once Pulse Security and Services have escorted drunk and rowdy students to the N11 entrance, they are technically no longer UCD’s problem. This creates an oftentimes dangerous amount of inebriated students jostling for buses at the stop on the flyover. If the crowd looks in any way like trouble, or is even a big one, some drivers on the 46a or 145 routes will not stop. Standing among them, one can understand why, but it does not make it any less frustrating. No one is saying that you cannot have a few drinks and a laugh. It is a fundamental part of the college experience to get tipsy and go clubbing on a Tuesday night. However there is an acceptable standard of civilised behaviour. Remember you are at college, not kindergarten. Some UCD students have shown a distinct lack of respect for other people. The actions of a few got a bus service curtailed for the entire college. Local residents who have every right to live without disturbances have had to plead with the University to do something about the behaviour of its students. It is just not on. Have a good time when you go out, but know your limits. If you think you are going to get sick, then get off the bus. Don’t abuse drivers who are trying to do their job or other passengers who could not care less about you. Don’t bring glass bottles on board; you don’t need a college degree to know that they’re dangerous. A bit of cop on and common sense can go a long way.
To be fair or to fine Upon hearing that Arts Soc and B&L were facing a fine of €5000 for their Virgin Ball poster, I have to admit my sheer surprise and utter scepticism. The fine in question, five grand, is such a large sum that it could easily cripple a society. It must also be remembered that this fine lands on two societies which aim to improve campus life and are actively attempting to make UCD a more enjoyable place all round. As well as this, the posters in question were removed once the society officials were asked, meaning they were down three hours after they were put up. One also has to question the reason this fine was imposed. It was insinuated it was a result of the fact the posters would make students feel uncomfortable or inadequate for not having sex. Yet, recent Engineering posters states, ‘If you can’t get screwed, get hammered.’ Would this not cause the same emotion? Considering these points, we must ask the questions; where are the rules and regulations concerning this topic? Why this amount and why this society and this time? Where is the money going? €5000 is a hefty price to pay for a crime everyone is committing. Provocative posters are hardly a rare sighting in UCD’s concrete jungle. Although on the decline, students are all too familiar with raunchy images depicting half naked women spread across campus in the hope of shamelessly drawing attention to your society’s notice in the advertising chaos splattered around UCD. Bearing this in mind, it would not be unfair to suggest, these two societies are being made an example of, unfairly so. Recently Law soc were also made remove their Glamour Model Debate posters for being too vulgar. However, they were only fined a few hundred; the cost of printing the posters. However, the fact remains; Law Soc is a very big society which attains high profile guests for their debates and generates subsequent positive publicity for the university; not a society the university would like to cripple. Could column space really be the difference between a €5000 and €230 fine? I hope not.
The Fees debate won’t go away So the Greens have saved us after all. Or have they? As this paper has stated before, UCD’s registration fees are more than most European nations who don’t have free third level education. When €997 euro of a €1500 euro fee goes directly to the HEA I think its hard to say that we have fee education. Minister Batt O’Keffe has openly stated that he still prefers student contribution and don’t be at all surprised to find a hike in the registration fee when the budget comes about next month. Aside from that, if a general election does come sooner rather than later, which would hardly be a surprise, we will most likely have a Fine Gael led government, another who openly pine for a student loan scheme. So for now enjoy this thing we call free education, but beware; it may not last quite as long as you think....
I refer to the article ‘Facing the reality of abortion’, published in your edition dated October 6, 2009, and wish to respond to some of the opinions expressed by Emily Kadar, the lobbyist who wrote the article in question. Before I begin, I want to say that I genuinely sympathise with women who go through abortions. It is an horrific experience and a choice that nobody takes lightly, and it is not with those women, but with the pro-choice lobbyists and campaigners such as Kadar that my beef is with. Also, allow me to say that I do not believe abortions should be legislated for, not because I have radical, blind and unfounded views, but because I have never heard a single logical argument that has made me doubt my views. Having said that, I understand that abortion is a highly emotive and divisive issue, and I believe that there are credible arguments on both sides. I just happen to believe that those who are pro-choice, such
as Kadar, consistently fail to deal with the principle argument of the pro-life stance – namely the rights of the unborn – choosing instead to talk about the infringement of women’s rights. I would like to deal with this argument, even though vast numbers of pro-choice lobbyists, including Kadar, fail to deal with the principle pro-life arguments when they sit down to write an article or stand up to speak. Let me get one thing straight: Abortion has nothing to do with women’s rights. I believe abortion is an issue centred on the life, or indeed the imminence of life, inside the womb. Nature selected womankind to bear children. As we all know, this is both a blessing and something of a curse for women everywhere – but the negative connotations of it are something that cannot, and should not, be trodden out every time a pro-choice lobbyist seeks to make an argument. If a woman’s life is at risk in this country, she is entitled to an abortion. So there is no credible serious risk to a woman’s
health by being pregnant, and if one materialises, she is entitled to an abortion – so why is this argument consistently raised? Women don’t have the right anywhere in the world to abort a child when a woman is eight months pregnant, even though it is as much “her body” then as it is in the early stages of pregnancy – so, again, why is the argument rolled out at all? I genuinely sympathise with women who go through unplanned pregnancies, but I will not accept that this eventuality gives women the right to try and put things back the way they were by way of an abortion – and I certainly don’t believe that depriving them of this is somehow an abuse of their fundamental human rights. Kadar begins her article: “Women will never achieve true equality until they are able to determine when they can and cannot have children.” Women are of course able to determine when they can and cannot have children. In order to have children, you must have sex, and unprotected sex at that. Barring rape, women have ample control over getting pregnant. Regardless of mistakes, and accidents in the bedroom, women are still responsible for themselves and what happens when they engage in risky behaviour. Also, women hold just the same control
over when they are to have children as men do. Men, you might argue, have less control over when they are to become parents, because women can travel for abortions without the consent of the father – but this is beside the point. The most ridiculous argument that is commonly raised is that of when a girl is raped. This argument smacks of a viewpoint with no sound logical reason. It is a case of clambering for some semblance of common sense by resorting to radical, emotive situations. This discredits the arguments they are making. Most pro-choice advocates are campaigning for abortion on demand – not abortion when a fifteen-year-old girl is raped – so why does this point come up every time they get up to speak? Radical case studies are no basis on which to introduce legislation. Having said that, of course, cases such as this do happen, and it is an absolutely horrendous experience for any girl/woman to go through. However, it is my belief that it is fundamentally unjust to hold the life inside the mother responsible for the sins of the father. The child that has been conceived, or the life that is imminent, is wholly innocent. This is the fundamental cornerstone of
my pro-life beliefs, and it is one that I have never heard a credible argument against. Kadar goes on for several paragraphs about how a woman’s “lack of control” over her own body means that governments are saying that she “cannot be trusted to make decisions about her own health”. She says that this means, “They see her life as less valuable than that of a foetus”. Is there any way that Kadar can possibly think that these are the reasons why abortion is illegal here? Let’s hope not, and that she was instead attempting to use militant, emotive language in order to try to garner support for her cause. She goes on to quote the number of illegally carried out abortions around the world, making the point that “its prohibition does little to curb its practice”. Is this supposed to convince people that abortion should be legalised? Put simply, bad things happen in the world. The regularity of illegal activities such as this is no reason to legalise them – but only to fight all the harder against them. Regards, Colin Gleeson School of History Alumni (2008) UCD
College Tribune October 20th 2009
the college tribune
Its Satire Stupid!
Sex offender sells meat door to door. Dwarf shortage in Dublin. Apple set to relaunch i-prod orange. Army vehicle disappears after being painted camouflage. Calendar thief gets twelve months. New report reveals Saddam was well hung. Doctors confirm stalking athletes’ keeps you fit.
Gormless Gormley grows balls The Green Party have recently shocked and astounded the nation with their innovative organic growing methods. The Irish people, along with their government partners Fianna Fail, were left mystified and bemused last week when the Green Party presented them with a fine and well shaped pair of organically grown balls. ‘For many years the Greens have been seen as a bunch of impotent, tree hugging, doomsday freaks, but no more.’ commented party leader John Gormless Gormley. ‘We’re a serious bunch of hippies and we showed our government partners just what we were all about when we slapped our green balls on the cabinet table in the recent negotiation for the new program for government.’ Gormley stated, ‘In recent years many people have misunderstood the Green message.’ Many in the party believe this is what led to their dire result in the last local election, while those outside the party have tended to blame it on their association with Fianna (Fascist) Fail coupled with their wacky ideas. The Turbine met with the Green party chief Druid Gormley at his tree house to discuss the parties main policies. Top of the priority list for the Greens is the protection of all creatures great and small. They intend to put aside 300 million Euro for the planting of a small rain forest in the
The College Tribune 20.10.09 ucd.ie/tribune/sport
ng i k o m S o t n w o sh cause ageing
Boyne valley to make it all green and pretty. ‘We feel the country really needs more Green policies at this time of economic crisis’ says Gormley. ‘I mean think of all the little furry rabbits that might have their burrows repossessed and all the little fish that will no longer be able to go to school. It’s just not fair; I just think we need to think of the little furry things more, animals and trees are very important.’ ‘Up to recently most of the Green ideas have been brushed aside by the bigger parties but after we showed them our organic balls they have been forced to swallow their words and look us straight in the eye’ states Gormley. The Greens believe that money has been needlessly wasted on things such as health care and social welfare and that affluence has led to flamboyant spending among the populace. They propose that each household be allocated three hours electricity supply per day and each person be given one pair of open toe sandals per year. We can all rest easy in our beds at night knowing Gormley and the Green boys have a hold on their balls and a firm grip on the helm of power in our economically destitute land.
Grass roots as it should be
Down the Line
Down and Dirty Should Trapattoni listen to Dunphy about With the Season 4 matches in Eoghan Brophy takes a look at the world of Superleague
Bono takes in homeless ladies Irish rock star and general Mr. Good Guy, Bono, has recently come under fire for his charitable nature. It emerged last week that Bono has taken in two young homeless women who had been living on the streets of Dublin. Bono is understood to have allowed the two young women to live in his house and, if reports are true, to have shared a bedroom with them. Ivana and Bianka, both of whom moved from Eastern Europe three years ago had lived on the streets and worked as escorts in Dublin until Bono selflessly opened his home to them. ‘Mr. Bono is a good man’ states 21 year old Ivana. ‘He has taken me and my friend into his room and made us very welcome. He has thought us many new things about Irish custom like how to play the game with the sausage.’ Bono has denied claims that the girls youth and general hotness was a factor in his housing them
in his own home. ‘I just like giving that’s all’ states Bono. ‘I get a real kick out of it, I could just give all night over and over and then after an hours sleep I’m ready to give again.’ When the turbine questioned Bono on sleeping arrangements in the house he claimed there was nothing unnatural about it. ‘Sharing your bed with a person is a beautiful thing’ declared Bono. ‘People might think it’s strange or wrong, but that’s just ignorance, it’s ignorance. There’s nothing wrong with it at all.’ Bono who has previously come under fire for tax evasion along with his extravagant spending is also rumoured to be considering taking a position in the Dáil. It seems as more and more expense scandals come to light there will be many vacancies to fill in the government and Bono who has spent years using other people’s money for “charity” feels himself well qualified.
In Division 1 Saturday there were plenty of goals as ‘No FC’s FC’ came from behind against ‘Urmaz Athletic’ to draw 3-3 in a match that was vital in maintaining both teams mid-table obscurity position. No FC’s took the lead on 20 minutes, but Simon Maguire soon equalised. Ex-Irish international’s namesake Paul McGrath then scored two goals, one being a great 25 yard lob, to make it 3-1. No FC’s hit back with two quick fire goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half, as the sides earned a point each. “It was disappointing to draw, considering we had a two goal advantage,” said Urmaz right back Mark Baker. “We played well in the first half but looked asleep in the second.” So it looks like the old sleeping pills in the opposition drinks worked for No FC’s FC. ‘HIV Eindhoven’ won 2-0 against Temple 09. With Conor Barnwell and Cillian Caffrey as commanding figures in the centre of defence, HIV secured their first clean sheet of the season. Talking after the game Caffrey was very pleasd with the result. “I think we are more dynamic this year. We have a few new faces in that have really lifted the team and improved its appearence no end. I think we have the stuff to go all the way.” Goals from Brian ‘The Mallet’ Sheehan and Luke ‘The Barnet’ Keating secured the three points. Caffrey was delighted for his teammate commenting, “It really
says a lot about him as a player that he can have a shocker, but still step up when the team really needs him. I respect him for that!” Earlier on in the day, play had begun on the restaurant pitch with a nice fry up, though the eggs were a bit dodgy. The two tops teams in Premier Saturday went at it with ‘AC Alittlesiluettoofmilan’ ended up on top with a 3 goals to 1 victory. AC had most of the chances, and after failing to score early on, Larger Louts took the lead through John Duff. David Taylor proved influential for AC, breaking up play and placing one in the back of the net eventually to equalise. Further goals from Robbie Murphy and Michael Thornton cemented Louts to defeat. The concrete is due to settle in soon. Another entertaining 3-1 followed with ‘ABCDE FC’ getting the better of ‘Posh Town Boys’. More glaring misses ensured plenty of running for the ball as it went looking for a chicken fillet roll in Centra. In the end, after stopping for directions a couple of times, Patrick Meghan eventually found the goal. Meghan scored again shortly afterwards to make it 2-0 at half time. It was too much work to do for Posh Town after that. Jamie Nagle got one back but Barry Griffen put the final nail in the coffin, before throwing the empty packet in the bin and heading home. The game ended 3-1 and ABCDE FC retain their place at the top of the league.
the new slimline Andy Reid?
After so many people have publicly expressed their opinion on the Irish soccer team, Colman Hanley chooses to ‘analyse the analysts” The Republic of Ireland achieved great success last week in qualifying for a World Cup play-off. However in spite of now just being 180 minutes away from reaching South Africa 2010, certain members of the media just won’t give the this Irish side and manager Giovanni Trapattoni deserve. Unlike Stephen Hunt, we at the College Tribune can confirm that this negativity mainly stems from Eamonn Dunphy, and not a ‘skinny little rat.’ The comments of the RTÉ panel following the 2-2 draw with Italy were surprising and very harsh. Competing against a side littered with World Cup champions, Champions League medallists and Serie A title winners, Ireland battled bravely to draw. Ireland’s will and determination exceeded the Italians, but their counterpart’s technical ability was far superior. As a result, the Boys in Green struggled for large parts of the game. Looking at the basic facts, Ireland had two shots on target and scored from both of these set-piece opportunities. In comparison, Italy had upwards of 65% possession of the ball and created several chances and dangerous situations. When these statistics are examined, the Irish management can’t genuinely or credibly be criticised. How the Irish team even managed to come so close to victory is somewhat unexplainable. Of course, those two small words ‘Andy’ and ‘Reid’ make their way into the discus-
sion constantly. Eamonn Dunphy’s promotion of Andy Reid rivals the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels. The player has been talked up so much by the RTÉ panelist, one would think that Pelé, Maradonna or Zidane was being omitted from the Irish squad. Again, one must look at the facts. Reid broke the disciplinary rules set by Trapattoni in September 2008 after the Georgia game played in Mainz, Germany. On top of this, Reid was clearly nowhere near his peak physical condition. As Reid’s Sunderland manager Steve Bruce recently revealed, the Sunderland player lost nine kilograms of weight in order to get into better physical shape. As a result, should any manager really pick a player who is not in proper condition and breaks team rules? Dunphy believes so. The former Millwall player’s view on Trapattoni has changed massively since his appointment in February 2008. Speaking after the Italian took the post, Dunphy said “We’ve got a world-renowned coach who will take us to places where we’ve never been before. If I was a player I’d be just as excited as I am as a fan and as a critic. It’s a wonderful day for Irish sport. I’m like a little kid. I love this sport and for a very long time it’s been run very badly and it’s depressing.” Dunphy’s criticism then, perhaps for once, was completely valid. Irish football was and still is being run badly. Players went
on International duty for a massive drinking session and to have the craic. There was no code of conduct and no proper organisation. However, in a way, Dunphy wants to now go against the things he has been calling for since the 1980’s by re-installing Andy Reid in the Irish squad. Where is the consistency? A year after the appointment of Trapattoni, following the 1-1 draw with Bulgaria in Croke Park, Dunphy’s opinion had transformed. “I thought he would be great for our football. I feel a sort of despair. I really want to see our players at the World Cup.” He went on to add, “‘If you want my really honest opinion, I don’t think he cares enough. I don’t think he’s working hard enough. I think he is delegating too much work.” Seven months on and Dunphy is still unhappy, despite the fact that Ireland are two games away from playing in the biggest sporting tournament in the world. The sad fact of this all is that Reid’s name is dragged through all of this. The Dubliner has passionately represented this country at all age levels, including being a part of the successful Uefa Under 16 side that won the European Championships under Brian Kerr. Reid’s case, in reality, is probably being undermined by the ranting and ravings of Dunphy. The likelihood of three time European cup winner Trapattoni ever listening to the RTÉ analyst is slim to none.
College Tribune October 20th 2009
College Tribune October 20th 2009
Freshers ease to win Colman Hanley Belfield UCD 2-16
One step forward, two steps back With the Dublin City Marathon approaching, Garret Doherty tells Colman Hanley about the novel way in which he intends to complete the race The marathon is known to many as a treacherous 26 mile test of endurance. Nowadays, people put themselves through the hardship of a marathon in order to gain personal fitness or just for a simple boost in self-esteem. The concept of the race originated from the Battle of Marathon, and the feat of a man called Pheidippides. This Greek messenger ran from the town of Marathon to Athens in order to pass on the news of Greek victory over Persia in battle. However, it is very doubtful that Pheidippides completed his journey in the same manner in which Garret Doherty will do in one weeks time. The man from Carndonagh, County Donegal, intends to run this year’s Dublin City marathon backwards. Yes, that’s right, backwards. Of course, the question that this backward-runner is constantly asked is, how did he come up with this idea. “Well it came to me after my first ever marathon, which I did without any training. My aim was simply just to get to half-way without getting out of breath or sweating. From there on, I just hoped to rely on the crowd to bring me home for the second half of the race. And it worked.
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Team Lansdowne UCD Thomond D.L.S.P.
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So from that experience, I came up of the idea of running the marathon backwards. You know, just to show to everyone how easy it is!” To many this feat appears foolish, to others it appears to be just another person doing the marathon in a novel manner. But for the fitness instructor from the peninsula of Inishowen, it is an exploit which he has high aims and hopes for.
“I came up of the idea of running the marathon backwards. You know, just to show to everyone how easy it is” “The first ever marathon backwards was completed in five hours and eighteen minutes by Ernest C. Connor Junior in 1980, and I hope to beat that time. Since 1980 though, a man called Bud Badyna has been a huge advocate for retro-running. He completed the marathon in three
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hours and 53 minutes¸ but that was beaten in 2004 by a Chinese runner.” Garret Doherty may not beat the three hours and 43 minute World Record set by Xu Zhenjun, but he will succeed in raising some money for Paralympic Cycling Ireland. “My brother is a wheelchair athlete, and he’s looking to compete in hand-cycling at the 2012 Paralympics in London. I’m doing it for him so hopefully I can raise plenty of money so he and others can compete in London.” Commenting on Doherty’s entry to the race, race director Jim Aughney commented, “There is always room for people who want to try something out of the ordinary. We had someone do the marathon on stilts once. On another occasion we had a team who tried to push a plane over the distance. That one didn’t work because they left the wings attached and it couldn’t fit down some streets.” One thing Doherty has discovered about backward running is that it causes strain on different muscles. “I started training six months ago and run once every two weeks. I can’t run more frequently because it’s just too sore on my calf and knee. Basically, it feels as if my calf is on fire if I were to run longer than an hour. As well
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as that, the blisters on your feet can be severe as you are on the ball of your foot the whole time.”
Despite the issues that Doherty took time in re-adjusting to, he was still keen to promote retro running. “I have to stress how good retro-running is for people. It improves your balance and peripheral vision, it’s good for your shin splints and your cardiovascular strength in general. You also burn more calories in comparison to just running normally.” With added health advantages attached to retro-running, maybe we will see the huge masses of exercisers around UCD change their running style. Then again, maybe not.
UCD’s freshers comfortably out-performed their opponents from Clane to stroll to a fifteen point victory in UCD last Tuesday. In a contest against a Clane under 21 side, the gaelic footballers of UCD made a mockery off their opponents with an impressive and powerful second half display. The victory highlighted some of the fantastic team-work that the side have developed, a great feat when one takes into account that the squad has only been put together in the past few weeks. Despite the great team-work though, certain individuals shone. The performances of Con Carthy in the half back line, Éanna Tiernan in the half forward line and Niall Kilroy at corner forward particularly caught the eye. However, the opening exchanges of the game proved to be quite tight. Clane opened their account first, registering a point from play after just two minutes. The men from Kildare were only in the lead briefly though, a Tiernan free levelling matters. In fact, it proved to be the only time that Clane lead in the game. UCD went on to register a further four un-answered points, three of which came from the boot of the impressive Kilroy. Indeed, Kilroy should have added further to his tally. When released through on goal, the left corner forwards shot cannoned off
UCD golfers reign supreme
Photography by Barry Hennessy the Clane crossbar and was cleared. Shortly before half-time, Clane registered two further points either side of a David Larkin point. As the sides entered the break, UCD lead 0-06 to 0-03. Despite having a three point margin, the scoreboard didn’t reflect the dominance of UCD, poor shooting being the main difficulty for the freshers. However, after hearing the half-time thoughts of coach Billy Sheahan, UCD came out of the blocks quickly. Two points from Laois minor star Donie Kingston, and one apiece for Stuart Nerney and Kilroy saw UCD open up a seven point gap. The youngsters from Clane valiantly kept
The Dublin City Marathon takes place on Monday, October 26th 2009. If you want to help Garret Doherty raise money for Paralympic Cycling Ireland, you can do so by lodging funds to bank account number 04634198, Bank Sort Code 934178. Donations by cheque can be sent to Paralympic Cycling Ireland, Kelly Roche House, 619 North Circular Road, Dublin 1.
going in the hope of somehow turning the game around, but their efforts were wasted. With the inside forward line looking even more dangerous thanks to the presence of Kingston, UCD racked up the scores. Full-forward Lorcan Smith added two points, before scoring the first goal of the night. Good build-up play starting from the half-back line and through midfield ended with Smith finishing. The final score of the night was left to the impressive Kilroy from Roscommon. Intercepting the ball on the half forward line after poor Clane play, he advanced on goal before calmly slotting home. It was no more than Kilroy deserved, as he ended
Plenty of promise from the men in Blue Niall Earls has come up as the new numWith two wins from two games UCD have had an encouraging start to their quest to return to Division 1. With a bonus point destruction of both Greystones and Corinthians the students lie in second place with maximum points. After a disappointing season last year, that saw UCD fall from the top flight in the last game of the season, this start has to be seen as encouraging. The side was decimated over the summer when the very productive midfield left the club. Killian Lett has decided to remain in the Division 1, a serious blow to any squad wanting to recover. Lett’s influence on the squad last year was potent, many times the driving force of the team. Fergus McFadden left to concentrate on his Leinster and Ireland aspirations, after making appearances in the summer touring squad. After five years of service to Collidge, fly-half Michael Hastings decided to leave his position for Old Wesley. The two season club captain was a credit to the team, strong in organizing both in defence and attack The rebuilding has gone well though.
ber 10, making fine work of the vacated position, dominating the role needed. Ian McKinley has stepped up to the plate though as the perfect playmaker. With his eye for a gap and great turn of speed McKinley is the perfect man to replace Lett at inside centre. Matt Nagle has been named this year’s 1stXV captain, the back row possessing great potential. Sturdy at the breakdown and keen on the attack, Nagle has the ability to command the other players around the field. With this weeks game a cup match against Thomond, who lie just one point behind Collidge, the team can gain a serious psychological advantage, particularly as the to face each other again next week. In a league can be seen as easy, UCD have to be careful. Last year eight of the thirteen league defeats for UCD were less than seven points. Picking up losing bonus points is not going to be enough this season if they want to be promoted. Yet with a points for of 83 so far this season, the attack does not seem to be the Achilles heel it used to be. All things are looking promising for the men in Blue.
UCD: Farrell; Harkin, Lenehan, Logan; Nerney, MacAnespie, Carthy; Hanamy, Bolton; Larkin, Tiernan, O’Hara; Kilroy, Smith, O’Neill. Subs: Morgan (Gk), Kingston, Corrigan, Regan, Quinn.
UCD still seeking first win of season Contiuned from back page
the night with 1-05. UCD coach and Laois senior footballer Sheahan will have been happy with the win. Nevertheless, the display was far from perfect. With plenty of room for improvement apparent, it shows that this freshers side have the potential to have a very successful year.
Photography byIan Mulholland
The comeback from Marian was not a formality as they had looked sluggish in the opening half. Prior injury doubts Niall O’Reilly, Niall Murphy and captain Shane Coughlan all looked off the pace. However¸ the half-time instructions from Demons coach Luke D’Alessio clearly got through to his players as they opened up the third quarter scoring 3 baskets in a row to cut UCD’s lead to just a single point. Despite a two pointer from Conor Meaney, two Joshua Johnson baskets gave UCC the lead and they never looked back from then on. Marian did try their utmost to get back into the game. A Daniel James three pointer in the fourth quarter with four minutes remaining gave Marian hope. But UCC slowed the pace of the game down, and despite top-scorer Johnson being fouled-out late on, they saw out the final minute with relative ease. Speaking after the game, UCD Marian coach Fran Ryan chose to rather reflect on the positives. “The first half was a really good performance defensively¸ while we were also patient in the offence. We’ve played three games so far and in two, we led at half-time. We need to understand why we’re not playing in the second half, though in fairness, we’ve a
very young team. The season isn’t about the first three games. So we’ll keep trying to progress and develop, and then we’ll be able to win these tight games.” “UCC definitely had more experience than us today, but the big factor was that Demons got 10 offensive rebounds in the third quarter. They are probably as big a team as we are likely to play again, with players like Michael Plitchka, and their Americans Carlton Cuff and Joshua Johnson. We just couldn’t battle at the boards for the whole game, and I think when we look back at the stats, it’ll show that that was the difference.” Despite losing their first three games, Ryan was not too worried about the slow start to the year. “One of the things you get when you don’t win is that blank win column in the table and the physcological effect that comes with it. There’s no point in hiding from it, we know we need to get a win.” “The ability and quality is definitely there in the panel as we’ve competed well in our three games. With two or three minutes to go in each game, we were the potential winners, but we didn’t win any of them. That is the test of the group, and I’m happy that we have a group of terrific characters.” UCD’s next fixture is on Sunday November 1st against UL Lions.
Colman Hanley Both UCD’s male and female representatives won their respective competitions at Enniscrone Golf Club, Sligo. Gerard Kelly won the 3G Irish Universities Golf Championship, while UCD’s women won the Inter-Varsities Championship and scored the three lowest individual nett scores. The women’s achievement is particularly outstanding as their club was only formed recently. Therefore, captain Niamh O’Connor, Caroline Murphy, Aisling O’Shea and Tara Fahey deserve great recognition. In poor weather conditions, UCD edged out rivals Maynooth to claim the crown. On top of this, O’Shea claimed the best individual nett score ahead of teammates O’Connor and Murphy. UCD’s Gerard Kelly also claimed victory by one stroke in the equivalent men’s competition. The Louth man was delighted to have won. “I’m on a bit of a high to be honest, it was unbelievable. It was a great way to win it. I thought I was out of it and didn’t have a chance with nine to play. I was very unlucky on nine after losing my ball, and I was very down.” “After that, I’d nothing to lose, so I just started firing at pins and it just came to me. I just got on a run and the momentum carried me over the line. I went three under on the back nine and won by a shot on the final hole.” Kelly was also quick to recognise the success of the ladies team. “It was a very good weekend for UCD golf. The women’s team was put together two weeks ago, they’ve some good players there now. In the last few years, the team hasn’t been run right, but with Niamh O’Connor running the club now, things are looking bright.” By claiming victory, Kelly follows in the footsteps of ex-scholar Peter Lawrie who won the same competition during his time in Belfield. Kelly, who also once played alongside former UCD student and current Irish Open champion Shane Lowry, retains high hopes for the future. “I’ve had a pretty good year playing quite solid. If I keep doing the right things, it should work out for me.”
Freshers stroll to easy win
Garret Doherty runs the marathon
Report Page 18
Interview Page 19
the college tribune The College Tribune 20.10.09 ucd.ie/tribune/sport
Photography byBarry Hennessy
Demons prove too strong for Marian Colman Hanley Belfield UCD Marian 57 UCC Demons 68
Team Played UCD 30 Shelbourne 29 Sporting Fingal FC 30 Waterford United 29
W 21 19 19 17
D 5 7 6 6
L 4 3 5 6
Goals 54 53 60 45
Diff. 37 29 37 27
Points 68 64 63 57
Photography byBarry Hennessy
UCD within touching distance
Eoghan Brophy Terryland Park Mervue United 1 Keady 90+2 Ludden s/off 42
Corry 58 Finn pen 85
UCD are clear favourites for the League of Ireland First Division title after a win against ten men Mervue United in Terryland Park. UCD punished Shelbourne’s slip-up on Friday night against Athlone to go four points clear with only 3 games remaining at the top of the League of Ireland first division. Nigel Keady may have got a late consolation for Mervue with their only shot on target in injury time, but it wasn’t an easy task by any means for UCD. Mervue keeper Eoin Martin pulled off save after save in a man of the match performance, as he
continuously frustrated the UCD attack. Dave McMillan had a couple of early chances for the students, heading straight at Martin with a free header after five minutes. Midway through the half, McMillan threatened again as his 20 yard strike hit the woodwork. It would remain that way at half time with one major difference, Mervue were reduced to ten men. Referee Mark Gough brandished a second yellow card to Mervue’s Rory Gaffney after a poor challenge on Ciarán Nangle. The second half began briskly, a UCD move ending with Ciaran Kilduff fidning the back of the Galway-men’s net, only to be ruled offside. Undeterred, the Students continued on the attack, finding plenty of space against the ten men. Keith Ward and
sub Chris Mulhall’s efforts were well saved by Martin before the goal finally arrived on 57 minutes. Good work from Ronan Finn down the left resulted in a corner kick. Ward sent the delivery towards the far post where it was knocked back across goal by Mulhall before Paul Corry sent a glancing header into the far corner, his second goal in two games. UCD didn’t ease up, tricky winger Ward and Corry again were only denied by the post and keeper respectively. Ward kept the Mervue defence under pressure and it finally paid dividends after 83 minutes when he was tripped in the box by Mark Ludden. Skipper Ronan Finn stepped up to secure the points for UCD from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way. However Mervue never gave up and managed to pull a goal back two minutes into
injury time. Substitute Nigel Keady headed in a Ludden corner, but it was too late as the students made the trip back to Dublin a happy one. The win puts UCD four points ahead of second place Shelbourne with only 3 games to play. Shels have a game in hand but can’t catch the students should they win the remainder of their games. Shelbourne also must play three games away from home, leaving UCD as clear favourites for promotion. The next of which is at home to Longford in the Bowl next Friday night. UCD: Barron; Harding, Nangle, Boyle, E McMillan; Bolger, Ward, Finn, D McMillan (Mulhall 52), Corry; Kilduff (McMahon 52). Subs not used: Shortall, Creevy, Brennan
League and National Cup champions UCC Demons inflicted a third straight defeat on UCD Marian last Sunday at the Sports Centre. Joshua Johnson’s 22 point haul was decisive as Demons experience proved too much for a young Marian side. The game started so brightly for Marian as they came out of the blocks quickly to lead UCC 18-10 at the end of the first quarter. The workrate of ball carrier Niall Meaney was impressive as he intercepted the ball and passed to teammates with ease. But despite trailing by six points at halftime, UCC Demons powered through in the second half. Conor Meany was topscorer for Marian with sixteen points, while Luke McCrone and Peter Finn also managed to get into double figures. But their efforts were in vain as Demons American players Johnson and Carlton Cuffe came strong in the final quarter.
College Tribune Issue 4 20th October 2009