Combating Brutal traditions through education
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The College Tribune October 6th 2009
The Difference is we’re independent
Issue 3 Volume 23
Greens join Students in fight against fees
l Party demands commitment to free education
l Greens may pull out of Government if talks fail
Philip Connolly University students have found a new ally in the fight against third level education fees. The Green Party look set to demand a commitment on behalf of Fianna Fáil not to introduce University fees or loan schemes. The Greens have presented a series of demands as a part of a deal to see them stay in the coalition with Fianna Fáil. The party needs the Greens to remain in Government. Talks between the two parties are on-going. The outcome is to be presented at a special convention of the Green Party that will take place on Saturday. The party’s members will then decide the future of their position in government. The new programme will require approval by two thirds of the members at the convention. If the new programme is not approved, the party will be obliged to pull out of the coalition with Fianna Fáil and force a general election. Among the demands presented to Fianna Fáil are a reversal of recent education cuts, a reduction in the number and salaries of TD’s and a pledge to continue the policy of free third level education. Speaking in advance of the talks, Green Party leader John Gormley made no comment on the on the specific demands of his party. He did, however, defend the need for his party to vote on its position in Government. “I am confident as a result of this renegotiated programme for government that we
UCD students from FEE group demonstrate against third level fees outside Lisbon Debate. will get on to a new transformative stage in terms if this government and what is required.” University students can now count on the Green Party, along with Sinn Féin and the
Labour party, as allies in a fight against third level education fees. UCD Student Union President Gary Redmond has welcomed the Green Party’s stance.
“There was some concern in the summer when media reports suggested that the Green Party would support a student loan scheme, but we’re delighted with their recent announcement.”
Young, educated and out of work Cathy Buckmaster The amount of unemployed third level graduates in Ireland has more than doubled in the last twelve months. According to results from the Central Statistics Office’s Quarterly National Household Survey, the percentage of unemployed graduates has radically increased from 2008 to 2009. The CSO survey found that in 2008 2.5%
Photography by Jim Scully
INSIDE Continued, pg 6
l Sharp rise in unemployed graduates l Recession hits inexperienced workers
of third level graduates with an honours degree were unemployed. In 2009, the survey found that 6% of those with an honours degree had not found employment. Similarly, in 2008 CSO revealed that 3.9% of graduates with a third level non-honours degree had not found work. This percentage has risen sharply to 8.6% in 2009. UCD economist Colm McCarthy agrees that these are worrying times for students. “Unemployment in the younger age groups has gone up faster than the older
age groups, that’s a common thing in recessions. When the labour market turns sour it tends to hit less experienced workers more heavily, and the job outlook in Ireland is obviously not as good as it was.”
INSIDE Focus, pg 7
October 6th 2009
do you know who who your Class Rep is?
Planning Permission granted for campus development
“I didn’t vote, but then I didn’t hear much about the elections. In class only one guy came up to talk about them. I don’t know who was elected.”
“No. I hardly saw anything about the class rep election. They don’t seem to do much. I only got one email about them.”
l UCD to cash in on playing fields l Local residents criticise UCD Niall Dolphin UCD has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for a controversial development on University land. The planning application was filed under the names of UCD and Pamarette Ltd, its commercial partner. The five acre site is situated behind University Lodge, adjacent to Beech Hill (Whiteoaks) and at the former Smurfit headquarter site. It is currently used as playing fields and famously, the Leinster Rugby team train there. In recent years UCD has been criticised over its plans to sell the land for the multi-
million-euro development. It was reported that it encompasses a 50,000 square foot area with houses, apartments, offices, technology blocks and retail units. The move by the College has been met with opposition from politicians and local residents during the planning stages. The Labour Party’s Cllr. Dermot Lacey is a resident of Beech Hill Drive, whose house backs on to the land in question. “There was no engagement between UCD and local residents. UCD officials refuse to talk to residents. I am quite shocked that the premier University in the country would behave in this manner.” Lacey described the University’s actions as “shameful and disgraceful”; also criticising UCD President Hugh Brady’s handling of
the situation. “Hugh Brady has never replied to my queries. Who gave him the moral right to sell these fields? I’d be happy to debate him on the issue.” A local resident of Beech Hill Drive agreed with Cllr. Lacey. The resident described the University’s actions as “very rude”. “It is the wrong development, for the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s far too big and bad for the community.” “The least residents deserve is some respect. RTE are also planning a similar development much further down the road and had the courtesy to send a letter to the residents,” the resident commented.
No, I didn’t vote in the elections and I don’t have a clue who my rep. is
Well, I’m the Class Rep for the Classics MA students but there wasn’t a huge response from other students
The University’s Response A spokesperson for UCD requested this statement to be printed in full: In 2003, UCD bought the Philips site adjoining the campus at Clonskeagh Road. The site consists of approximately 10 acres and buildings (circa 100,000 sq ft). The site and building were considered an ideal location for the remaining parts of the College of Engineering which was still located in Earlsfort Terrace. It was understood by the Governing Au-
thority and the Finance Committee that UCD would have to consider disposing of some property in order to part fund the purchase. During 2004, UCD entered into discussions with the consortium of developers in relation to land they had purchased from the Smurfit Group. Arising from these discussions, the two parties agreed to exchange a small portion of land which would enable the university to reconfigure its boundary and maximize that area
of the campus for sports purposes. It was also agreed that the two parties would enter into a joint development project, which would include both the Smurfit lands and almost 5 acres of the university lands at Whiteoaks (which adjoins Beech Hill). The original proposed entrance for this project is from Beaver Row and not Beech Hill estate. This investment would be used by UCD to make a significant contribution toward financing the purchase of the Philips site.
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The campus land in question had initially been used as a practice playing field. It was then used by School of Agriculture for a number of years and subsequently became fallow and in the more recent past was reconstituted as practice playing pitches. The reconfigured university land involved reallocating some of the lands which were previously part of the University Lodge gardens to accommodate three playing pitches. The University has always made an effort
to have good relations with residents living in the area around the campus. The campus itself is an amenity for the local community and they are welcome here. Planning permission for this project was sought and both Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council and An Bord Planala raised a number of concerns in relation to density, access, aspect and height. All of these concerns have been dealt with in the most recent applicant, which has been passed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council.
Contributors; Niall Dolphin, Christina Finn, Ian Mulholland, David Tracy, Laura McGlynn, Conor McKenna Katherine Creagh, Ashling Maguire
Fiona Kennedy, Aine Keegen, Cathal O’Gara, Aoife Hamill, Kathleen Henry, Noreen Maloney, Caoimhin Millar, Mark Hobbes, Ryan Cullen, Frank Black, David Murphy, Danny Wilson, Caragh Hesse Tyson, Aisling Kennedy, Roe McDermott Special Thanks; Huw and Mark at NWM, Amy and Chantal at Universal, Danielle, Colm and Rory at MCD, Colin Glesson and Catriona Cody, Professor Grumus, Asya, Maximillian Connolly, Eddie Buckmaster and Corah Lanigan, Jim Henderson, Dominic Martella,Dan Oggly, Jordan Daly, Simon Ward, Roe McDermott
The College Tribune Wants You If you are interested in writing for this newspaper please do not hesitate to contact us, no experience is required firstname.lastname@example.org
October 6th 2009
Poster theft hinders ‘Yes’ campaign
l Posters advertising lecture stolen l Turnout less than expected Caoimhin Millar A batch of posters advertising a lecture on the Lisbon Treaty was stolen from the Student Centre last week, the College Tribune has learned. Generation YES, a youth lobby group set up to campaign for a Yes vote in the recent referendum, had ordered the posters to advertise a lecture being held on campus. The event was co-sponsored by the UCD Students’ Union; who recently officially came out in support of the Treaty. The SU was previously mandated by its executive to support a Yes vote following a presentation by a member of Generation YES. The theft occurred on Thursday 24th of September. The posters were taken from the group’s campaign headquarters in the Student Centre. The posters were delivered at 12pm and went missing sometime before 4pm. UCD Buildings and Services were informed of the theft, and it is believed that CCTV footage of the incident exists. Dan Hayden, Research Director for Generation YES, spoke to the College Tribune about the incident. “I find it deplorable, especially seeing as GY is campaigning hard on the facts. But it is not surprising, as this is how the No campaign has been run - in the dirt.” “It simply beggars belief that they could be so cynical not just to attack our campaign - which was wrong - but to attack an event offered by three of UCD’s best minds for the purpose of answering peoples’ questions, which should have been
beyond reproach.” It is understood that UCDSU paid for the posters. President Gary Redmond released the following statement: “Posters were ordered to promote the Lisbon Treaty lecture that took place on Tuesday 29th September. Several of them were put up around campus, but when SU Officers returned later that evening to collect more from the poster rack, all of them were missing.” “We’re currently reviewing CCTV footage with Student Centre management to identify if someone took the posters out of the building.” New posters were not printed in time for the event. Instead the talk was advertised solely through the distribution of leaflets around the campus. The lecture went ahead as planned. Entitled “The Economic, Legal and Social Benefits of the Lisbon Treaty”, it was given by three pro-Lisbon UCD academics: Dr Gavin Barrett, EU constitutional law expert; Prof. Patrick Paul Walsh, economist and development expert; and Prof. Brian Nolan, public policy expert. Hayden believes the turnout was adversely impacted by the theft, an estimated 40 people turned up. However, he was satisfied with how the event turned out. “Ultimately I doubted very much that they succeeded in their aim of depriving UCD students of access to sufficient information and reaching appropriate conclusions on this basis,” commented one of the speakers, Dr Barrett.
Photography by Jim Scully
Low turnout at FEE protest l
Mary-Lou McDonald lends support James Grannell
Fees were on the agenda again at the Lisbon Treaty debate on campus where a small group turned out to protest the presence of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. UCD’s Law Society Lisbon debate was held in O’Reilly Hall last Tuesday 29th September. Ahern was among the speakers at the meeting. Members of FEE chanted slogans such as, “no cutbacks, no fees, no Fianna Fail TD’s”. FEE are campaigning against the Government’s plans to introduce fees for third level education. Mary-Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin, came out of the debate and joined the group in a show of support for the protest. “I think the student protest is very welcome and timely,” McDonald said to the College Tribune. “After Lisbon we’re facing a couple of months in the run up to the December budget. We’re looking at swinging cuts across the board. Everybody will be affected, not least students.” “There come moments in the life of a country that people have to stand up and be counted. Students have done that already and they’re going to have to continue to do that.” Paul Stewart of FEE spoke to the College Tribune about the low turnout at the protest. “We didn’t get the numbers that we’d have liked, but we only had about 24 hours to prepare. I don’t think the num-
l Conflict between anti-fee groups
bers themselves are a significant factor. The main thing to take from it, is that the students were there to protest the presence of Bertie Ahern on campus.” “I do think there’s a lack of awareness about the activism itself,” commented
Stewart. “I also think we’ve been misrepresented numerous times by various different sources. You could see that some stu-
dents weren’t actually sure why we were there. That’s partly our fault and partly the fault of people who’ve misrepresented our stance.” Stewart believes there is a resolution to the problem. “There is work we have to do: we have to make students know why we’re here. Let the student population know we’re there to help them; and that they can come along and play a part as well.” There has been some confusion among students about the aims and motivation of FEE in comparison to other groups. “We’re trying to differentiate ourselves from the Students’ Unions and the USI,” stated Stewart. “We think students have the capability to do this by themselves; we’re not here to guide them like drones. FEE want them to play an active participant role. We think if they do that they can win, and we’re just there to help them.” In the past, FEE has opposed UCDSU and other Unions with regards to tactics in the fight against fees. As a result conflict has arisen between the respective groups. Stewart believes that the SU’s effort is ineffective. “They’ve concentrated on lobbying politicians even though we know that hasn’t worked. They’re out of tactics and out of time and if they don’t step up their campaign, fees will be in and there won’t be anything people can do about it.”
October 6th 2009
News in Brief Compiled by Karina Bracken UCD announces ‘Cycle to Work’ Scheme UCD HR has introduced a Cycle to Work Scheme for its staff. The initiative allows University employees to purchase a bicycle and equipment tax free up to the value of €1,000. The money will be paid back to UCD through a one year salary deduction scheme. The move is intended to encourage staff to cycle to work and is part of UCD’s commuter strategy. The closing date for the scheme is Friday, 16th October 2009. For further information go to www. ucd.ie/hr UCDVO collects computers for Africa UCD Volunteers Overseas, in collaboration with Camara, will again be collecting second-hand computers within UCD for Tanzania. Summer 2009 saw three schools in Morogoro, Tanzania benefiting from the very successful computer collection on campus. It is estimated that 2,500 children will have acquired basic computer skills on reused UCD computers. In 2010 UCD volunteers will work in partnership with a local NGO called TanzEd. They require old computers to give Tanzanian schools access to much-needed computer technology and training. All makes and models of computers will be accepted, as well as monitors, mice, keyboards, printers, scanners etc. Windows 98 or better is preferred. For more information on UCDVO see www.ucdvo.org University Presidents back ‘Yes’ vote The presidents of the seven main universities expressed their support for a Yes vote on the Lisbon Treaty, acknowledging the key role of the EU in the development of higher education in Ireland. In a joint statement issued last week, they said a Yes vote is vital to the effective functioning of the EU and to secure Ireland’s place within it. The statement was agreed by the seven presidents after the campaigning of UCC president Dr Michael Murphy. It says EU policy has been “instrumental in driving and supporting the expansion and modernisation of the higher education system.” Dublin Bus will not stop at night Dublin Bus continues to refuse to stop in Belfield after 8pm at night. The No. 10 bus no longer comes into campus after a series of incidents of anti-social behaviour by UCD students. Some drivers on the 46a and 145 routes will not pick up students at the bus stop on the N11 entrance at night. UCDSU and Vice President for Students Martin Butler have condemned the behaviour of the small minority of students. Talks between UCD and Dublin Bus are ongoing.
Teacher Unions oppose pay cuts l Protest demonstrations organised nationwide l Disruption to schools and Universities likely Noreen Moloney The four Teachers Unions of Ireland have launched a joint campaign of opposition to cuts in their members’ pay. The Unions involved are the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) and Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI). The Irish Congress of Trade Unions also announced their support for the opposition. In a statement released to the press the Unions said that pay cuts “are totally unacceptable and will be resisted.”
The Unions claimed that they will no longer pay for the failings of the government. “We will not accept the scape-goating of our members to pay for a financial crisis which we did not cause.” The four Teacher Unions have planned a number of protest events across the country for the 6th November. Previous demonstrations held in December 2008 attracted crowds of over 100,000 nationwide. The General Secretary of IFUT, Mike Jennings, believes that this campaign will go a step further. “With the Congress of Trade Unions onside, we will be able to raise more awareness. We have started lobbying, launching poster campaigns and
planning protests. We will be listened to,” says Jennings. University teachers feel that they are facing further cuts after already suffering a severe drop in living standards, according to IFUT. Jennings claims that “teachers have sacrificed enough already in terms of salary discounts due to pension levees, simply because they work in the public sector.” The Unions have argued that a national consensus is necessary in order to resolve the current economic crisis, rather than what they see as a singling out of public servants. Is it expected that there will be disruptions to education at both schools and Universities as a result of the planned protests.
Jennings hopes that there will be little impact on students, something he re-iterated when speaking at the USI anti-fees demonstration earlier this year. “The campaign does not aim to interrupt the education of students. Yet it must be realised that if the Government doubles the workload of teachers and cuts salaries, education will inevitably suffer. We are not anti-student but anti-deception.” IFUT have said that they are determined that the recession will not affect the education sector further. “The government have issued a regrettable proposal and will have to face the consequences both if it goes through, in terms of falling education standards but most significantly its strong opposition.”
Night bus a no show l Bus organised by SU deemed unreliable l SU cite unprecedented demand Karina Bracken A night bus organised by the UCD Students’ Union has not been operating as promised, according to reports from a number of students. Posters around campus have advertised the “UCDSU Nite Bus”, a free service run by the Student’s Union every Wednesday and Thursday. The pick ups proposed are from the city centre on D’Olier St outside Club XX1 at 2:45am and on Harcourt St opposite Tripod at 3am. The SU organised the buses for two routes to areas most populated by UCD students including Rathmines, Ranelagh, Milltown, Clonskeagh, Belfield, Blackrock, Stillorgan and Beechwood Court Residences. Students were advised to bring student cards to be able to use the bus and to get there early as seats are limited. However, some students have alleged that the bus has not turned up at the places or times advertised. In a thread entitled “Magical bus back to UCD?” in the UCD forum on Boards. ie, one student commented that they had been assured that the bus was running but it never turned up. “It just didn’t show up, we weren’t amused”. A couple of others agreed that while the
bus picked up students from D’Olier St, it failed to stop at Tripod. The College Tribune spoke to SU President Gary Redmond about the matter. “The SU is committed to providing a safe method for students to get home from the city centre at night. The SU Nite Bus has been in operation for the past three weeks (since Freshers’ Week). It’s proved to be extremely popular.” Redmond explained why the bus had not stopped for late night student revellers on some occasions. “The service is advertised as having limited capacity; and the demand so far has been unprecedented.” “With the constraints on the SU’s budget, we’re looking at ways of saving money in other areas to fund additional buses. Each Thursday and Friday morning I receive a report from the bus operator regarding how the previous night went, how many students were on the buses, etc.” The SU were unable to comment on the future of the service and if it can be relied on. The move from the SU to organise a night bus came after a Dublin Bus decision last year to scrap its weekday Nightlink service, operating now only every Friday and Saturday.
October 6th 2009
McCarthy calls for education spending cuts lState spending €71 million a day to fund public sector l“Every area of government spending needs to be looked at” Philip Connolly UCD Economist Colm McCarthy believes that the Government cannot maintain its current system of funding third level education. The UCD economic lecturer is author of the government’s cost-cutting plan, the McCarthy report - commonly dubbed ‘An Bord Snip’. In an interview with the College Tribune, McCarthy said that money must be saved across all sectors in Ireland and the University system is no different. “A lot of the Irish universities seem to be running at a financial deficit at the moment. Clearly the Government is not in the position to maintain its current level of expenditure on education, health and social welfare. Those three account for three quarters of government expenditure.” “There is no point in saying were going to look at our expenditure and then not look at the three biggest items, education being one of them.” The McCarthy report was released last July and called for spending cuts across all government sectors. McCarthy believes that the introduction of university fees may be necessary. “Within that we have a situation in Ireland where the cost base of our education system is high.” “There is also the fact that most of those who avail of free third level education are typically in the middle to higher level income groups. Those who are in the very lowest income brackets are by and large not beneficiaries of free third level educa-
tion.” “An option for the Government is to back to a system where students are paying for a least some portion of their education fees.” As the Government struggles to cut its deficit, education is one of a number of areas where costs need to be cut. Third level education fees, in some capacity, are an option that Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe has openly stated as a possibility. McCarthy stated that the financial viability of the state is at stake and the Government needs to explore all options. “The background is that the Government is currently borrowing so much money that the medium term viability of the state itself is at risk if they don’t reduce spending, there is really no choice about that.” “Every area of government spending needs to be looked at in that respect. The report that was released in July proposed
savings under every area of government spending, including social welfare, agriculture, transport - everything you can think of.”
“Every group in society has responded, including students, and has said, why pick on us? We, of course, picked on everybody.” “You have to do it. The public finance crisis is so deep and so general that you have to be economising under every heading of government spending.” As students take to the streets in protest, along with many other groups, to oppose third level education fees, the Government is still borrowing around €71 million a day to meet the cost of running the public sector. Many students were angered by the increase in registration fees last year, of
which €1000 is paid to the Higher Education Authority. McCarthy, however, believes that this is only a fraction of what student may have to pay. “If Irish Universities were charging people the costs of their courses, in the case of most students it would be €6000 to €7000. In many of the professional courses it could be as high as €15000. It’s all very fine for students to go on about free education but it is only free to the users, not to the tax payers.” “There are also other issues; some courses are much more expensive to run than others.” “Typically Arts type courses are cheap to
provide whereas some professional course including medicine are expensive. They also take longer.” “So there is also equity issues involved as well as whether the state can afford to be paying so much for third level education.” Universities have also been criticised recently for their spending, but McCarthy stated that it was not a unique problem. “I don’t think that waste is necessarily a feature of university spending, or unique to it. There are whole areas of Irish public administration - and health and education are the two biggest nationalised industries in the county - where were going to have to do more with less.”
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College Tribune October 6th 2009
Row continues over University Presidents’ pay l Tension mounting between Minister and Heads l IFUT criticises O’Keeffe’s demands Karina Bracken The ongoing saga between Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe and the country’s University Presidents is continuing. The row over the Presidents’ refusal to accept voluntary pay cuts has been going on for over six months. “I would have exhorted the University Presidents to take the appropriate cut. One would have expected that people in such senior positions would do the right thing,” stated O’Keefe. The seven Presidents of Ireland’s main Universities, including UCD’s Dr. Hugh Brady, all earn salaries in excess of €200,000. The Minister is looking for a total decrease of €270,000 in the combined salaries. Mike Jennings General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has hit out at Minister O’Keeffe’s demands. Jennings admits that while he would not be a fan of the University Presidents, he disagrees with O’Keeffe’s statements. “The Minister is trying to reinforce the notion that somehow there is adequate funding in the University sector - if only it was properly spent. This is a gross oversimplification of the situation and I think it is pretty self-serving on his part.” “Saying this, I’m not sure that the money that is in the system is being properly used. Recently IFUT obtained and ex-
posed through Freedom of Information some pretty unjustifiable salary levels.” Jennings did not call for the University Presidents to take a voluntary decrease in wages. “We recently described an invitation to our members in University College Cork to take a voluntary pay cut as the equivalent of “moral blackmail”. Therefore I would be two-faced to suggest that there is a different rule for those on lower pay to the presidents on higher pay.” Jennings believes there is an alternative to pay cuts. “It should be done openly and transparently through the taxation system. That’s how a state runs. It shouldn’t be just a situation when everyone pitches in if they feel like it.” UCD Students’ Union has recently taken a cut in pay, making the Sabbatical Officers some of the lowest paid in Ireland. President Gary Redmond recommends that “each individual should examine their own circumstances in light of the recent... pay cuts and loss of bonuses throughout the public and private sector.” Redmond did not say if there should be a wage decrease. “All pertinent issues should be examined in light of the University’s current financial situation... the HEA has banned all bonuses and introduced an embargo on hiring of new staff in an effort to cut pay costs at thirdlevel.”
UCD Students queue outside Lisbon Debate
Photography by Jim Scully
Greens discuss future in Government l Talks with Fianna Fáil on-going l Greens call for spending on education Philip Connolly Continued from Front Page The Green Party negotiating team of Cabinet Minister Eamon Ryan, Chairman Senator Dan Boyle and Carlow Kilkenny TD Mary White met twice last week with the Fianna Fáil team of three senior Ministers, Noel Dempsey, Dermot Ahern and Mary Hanafin. They will continue to discuss their requests throughout this week. Among the other priority measures being sought by the Greens are a new third rate of income tax, the abolition of the PRSI ceiling, the integration of the income levies with the tax rates and a clampdown on tax exiles. The party wants a restoration of a pupilteacher ratio of one-to-27 in primary schools, the maintenance of capitation
grants to primary and secondary schools at September 2008 levels and the reinstatement of library and book grants to the levels that operated a year ago. An important part of the Green document focuses on the need for reform of the political system. The party wants a commitment to a constitutional amendment to reduce the number of TDs. They want to change the electoral system to a mixture of multi-seat Proportional Representation and a list system. Also proposed are substantial cuts in the salaries of all politicians - with the Taoiseach taking a 25 per cent cut, Ministers 20 per cent and backbenchers 10 per cent. The Greens, who have six deputies, are seen to be in a stronger negotiating position now than they were two years ago. This is because the Government’s voting strength in the Dáil has fallen by three since then and the Progressive Democrats
have ceased to operate as a political party. The Green Party leader has acknowledged that talks may prove difficult at times. “I believe it can happen, it will happen but you have to appreciate the negotiations themselves are taking place in private and have to remain private” He added that priority issues such as a greener and more sustainable economy would be part and parcel of the programme. That, he said, would meet with the approval of his party’s members. Another cherished Green objective is an animal health and welfare Bill to consolidate and update existing legislation on the health and welfare of the country’s animals. Among the provisions of the legislation would be a ban on fur farming, a ban on the importation of wild animals to be used in circuses, badger vaccination in place of culling, and a ban on stag hunting and hare coursing.
College Tribune October 6th 2009
No jobs for Celtic cubs l
Graduates not finding work in their field
Temporary employment only on offer
Cathy Buckmaster The decrease in graduate employment figures emerges with news this week of over 700 people queuing for 150 temporary part-time positions offered by Marks & Spencers in Dublin. In light of the figures released by the CSO, it is not surprising that there were reports of UCD graduates in the queue for interviews on Grafton Street. Last year’s UCD graduates have had mixed reactions about how the recession has affected them since last May. While most have found employment, it is mainly temporary. Very few have found jobs related to the field they were educated in. It appears that the general sense of pessimism has hindered some graduates in their search. David Maguire, a recent Commerce graduate, says that “the recession hasn’t really affected me. Obviously jobs are harder to come by, but I think it’s mainly those with families, mortgages to pay or houses to buy that are the worst hit and the ones I feel sorry for.” “I haven’t really looked into a job specific to my degree as I feel there’s little point due to so many people being let go. There are people who are better qualified and more experienced going for kind of jobs I want. However, I have found temporary work through a contact that I’m fortunate enough to have.” “Personally I don’t think an undergrad degree is enough to make you employable, definitely not for any job with serious career prospects anyway. I wanted to avoid further study but unfortunately I’ll have to consider it. I suppose it’s a good time to do so too.” Brian Devlin, a recent Arts graduate, spoke to the College Tribune. “I should’ve done a trade - then at least I’d have a decent qualification. Who seriously needs a degree in English and Geography? I’m working but I’m doing the same job I was doing when I was sixteen. At least I have one.” “My advice to everyone finishing up would be to stay in college and collect all
relevant and vocational based qualifications before you leave. Who is honestly going to employ an ex-student who is likely to be a high maintenance employee? That is, going out drinking on work nights, compared with an older individual with a few years experience behind him?” “For those in final year, start thinking right now about what you’re doing next year. If you don’t start planning now, you
will end up sitting at home, bemoaning a Government which is, if certain quarters are to be believed; conspiring to make life worse for its citizens.” The disparity between those unemployed with and without honours degree is explained in the following statement included in the CSO survey: “A break in continuity has occurred in the Educational Attainment series and, therefore, data
Where to get help UCD’s Career Development Centre is one place to go for assistance. Jim Casey, Deputy Director, and Ena Maguire, Career Advisor, have offered advice to Cathy Buckmaster for graduates seeking employment. “Definitely when you’re searching for employment now, you just have to try harder.” They offer some helpful tips for recent graduates beginning their job hunt. “Any graduate should approach it positively and strategically.” “Graduates and students need to encourage their focus on the hidden jobs market, as not every job is advertised. This is because of marketing spend; companies don’t have the budget to advertise for job availability.”
“It’s also important that students have a top class CV and be 120% prepared for interviews. Networking and targeting specific companies is helpful. Be careful not to present a one size fits all CV; just to show the employer you’ve done the research. Highlight that in the cover note.” Casey goes on to explain other options students should be considering if they are having difficulty finding employment. “One other thing would be to encourage students to keep learning.” “They need to really consider graduate study as their would-be method of employment for the next two years, due to the competition out there at the moment when they’re looking for employment.”
from Q2 2009 is not directly comparable with previous quarters.” “The classification of educational levels has been revised in order to facilitate the linking of education categories to the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), while also retaining links with the international education classification.” “This affects the classification in a number of ways. One key difference is the distinc-
tion between ordinary and honours level degrees.” While the level of degree attained is relevant, graduates with both honours and ordinary level degrees have been encountering similar problems in various fields of employment.
by cathy buckmaster
“The other thing is to keep building their portfolio skills; whether it be through volunteering work, getting involved in clubs or societies or even getting involved in things outside UCD. Employers really go for the rounded individual; they look for someone with a good education, relevant and other work experience. Then the interests and achievements section to show that they’ll fit into the company culture.” Casey and Maguire also explain the services the UCD Careers Office offers students and graduates who come to them. “We have our careers fair next Thursday in the O’Reilly hall. We’re delighted to say that we have 60 companies attending so that’s good news to show companies are coming on campus and they will
have vacancies for students.” “We also have a list of company presentations and networking evenings that we would encourage all graduates to attend. We have individual workshops that we run in the career service about CVs and interviews. As the different application process rolls on, we’ll be changing the type of roles.” “I mean at any stage, a student or graduate can call in with their CV and we will critique it there and then at a drop in time or if they email it in, we can do that as well.” Maguire encourages students not to become too pessimistic about the current climate and their chances of getting a job by explaining current happenings in the working world. “What were finding
is the companies are hiring graduates as they’re a relatively inexpensive resource in a company.” “A company is more likely to let people higher up go, as they’re more expensive. You can get two graduates for the price of the 40 year old person. So the graduates just have to be good enough and show they can add value. Prove that at an interview and on a CV by emphasising your transferable skills.” “For example, if you’ve had good interpersonal skills from working on the college paper or the radio etc you can transfer them to marketing or public relations.”
College Tribune October 6th 2009
Student Activism Timeline A look student activism’s most important achievements over the decades. 1968 Northern Ireland sees over 2,000 students of Queens University march on City Hall in protest at police brutality. Student Bernadette Devlin is elected to Westminster. 1969 Irish students join worldwide protests against the Vietnam War. UCD witnesses massive student sitin in protest, bringing about improvements in the academic structure. The Union of Students of Ireland is recognised by the Department of Education. 1970
Beyond the myth of student apathy Eileen Gahan investigates whether we should be concerned about growing levels of student apathy The evidence for indifference among the student body is evident in several areas. One example is the low turn-out at the FEE protest outside the Lisbon treaty Debate on the 29th of September. Only a handful of demonstrators came to object the proposed re-introduction of third level fees. Apathy is similarly apparent in the attitude of the general student body towards the UCD Students’ Union, which every student is automatically a member of. The 2009 College Tribune Student Survey showed that only 43% could name the Student Union President and less than 30% of students could name the Education, Entertainment, and Welfare Officers. Out of over 20,000 UCD students, only 5,000 to 6,000 on average vote in the Student Union elections every year. Yet these figures may not be the cause for concern that they first appear to be. Dave Curran, a former Deputy President of both UCDSU and USI explains why the turnout numbers for SU elections are not necessarily indicative of student apathy. “When you leave out the 7000-8000 mature students who are not likely to vote, and then the postgraduate and final year students who will be gone the following year, the turn-out among students is quite good” Dan Hayden, Research Director for the Lisbon campaign group Generation YES and former President of UCDSU, believes that a lack of great interest in the SU body does not indicate wider apathy among students. “Student politics, as representative democracy, is about delegating responsibility based on what students tell
them. Most students are as active as they need to be.” “Student apathy is not an abstract concept,” Hayden goes on to say. “It is a matter of finding something that resonates with students. If students are not turning up to certain protests, if they are not angry then maybe you as a representative have it wrong on what matters to them.” Curran has a similar view. “Students are strong when confronted by an issue. But most issues cannot easily be sold and ex-
“Young people do genuinely care about important issues”
plained a mass of students.” He explains that it is always a challenge to communicate to people. “An effective student campaign needs two things: first, a big issue that concerns students and secondly good communication - doing the ground work and getting out and talking to people.” Curran also talks about the common perception that student apathy has increased over the past few decades, since the golden age of student protesting in 1968. “A lot of people talk about the olden days when everyone used to be so active but it’s mostly nostalgia. I know student officers from decades ago and participation has always been an issue.” Chris Bond, the Eastern Area officer for the USI, thinks that student activism has actually increased since the early years of the decade. “Students are less apathetic
now than they were a few years ago due the issue of fees. It’s threat to their pocket.” “There have been two protests over the last year and both have had thousands of students demonstrating, more than there has been for many years”, he says. Bond refers to the student demonstrations October 2008 which attracted 25,000 people and February 2009 which had crowds of 15,000 students. Even issues that are not specifically related to students can gather great support. Hayden commented on the student support for the Lisbon treaty that he has encountered while working with Generation YES. “Young people do genuinely care about important issues, without being blinkered and blinded by political parties and vested interests…. I’ve been very heartened by the desire for involvement when confronted by a difficult issue.” While all this may demonstrate that students are not apathetic to issues that directly concern them, there are indications that they engage less with politics on a national level. In the 2002 general election only 43% of eighteen to twenty-five year olds voted, 15% lower than the national average. Of those who did not vote 43% cited failure to register as the reason, a figure that rose to 46% in 18 to 20 year olds. Despite these figures, the student branches of the main political parties here at UCD do not feel that there is a problem with student apathy towards national politics. Both Labour Youth and Young Fine Gael have reported that they have increased their membership on last year. Despite the national unpopularity of the Fianna Fáil party, the membership of the Kevin Barry
Cumann is consistent with previous years and remains the largest political party in UCD. Patrick Conroy, the chairman of Kevin Barry Cumann says that although students are interested in politics, getting involved is not a high priority at this stage in their lives. “It can be difficult to motivate students to get out and vote as many issues, like NAMA for example, don’t affect them directly in college. It’s not until they go out and get a job in the real world that these things really matter”. Yet the leaders of the Youth Parties say that students can really bring about changes on the national political scene. Charles O’Donnell, chairman of Young Fine Gael in UCD pointed out that 70 former members of Young Fine Gael ran for the local elections last June, with several, such as Leo Varadkar and James O’Sullivan being elected. The influence of youth parties on senior braches is also seen in certain aspects, such as their policies being adopted by the senior party. For example, a Graduate Work Scheme presented to Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan by Ógra Fianna Fáil was implemented into last year’s budget. Aideen Carberry, chair of Labour Youth at UCD, says that she has encountered increased interest in national politics among young people. “Younger people are realising that their vote matters and that they don’t need to wait for a hero to come along and inspire them in order to get involved. It’s important to get out and do it yourself.”
Following USI campaigns the Higher Education Grant Scheme is established. 1987-1990 Student lobbying contributes to changing the law regarding access to abortion information in Ireland, following the publicity of a legal battle with the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (S.P.U.C. v Grogan). 1993 After years of intensive student lobbying and campaigning Minister for Education Niamh Bhreathnach abolishes Third Level fees. 2003 Huge student protests lead to minister for Education Noel Dempsey dropping plans to reintroduce Third Level fees. 2008 Budget proposals to reintroduce Third Level Fees cause tens of thousands of students take to the streets of Dublin in protest.
October 6th 2009
Life Below the Breadline The global economy is taking a beating and no one is more affected than females in the third world. Sisi Rabenstein investigates this claim. Each year, over 900 million women are living on less than one dollar a day. CEO of Plan Ireland, David Dalton stated on RTE’s ‘The Afternoon Show’, on the 22nd of September, were the uneducated women of the third world to be educated sufficiently, the capital gained would be equal to the funds that are donated as aid every year. Given this information, the statistic that 62 million female children of primary school age are not in school, is even more shocking. There’s a well known tenet that says ‘If you educate a boy, the boy benefits but if you educate a girl, it benefits the community’ and Dalton very much agrees with this; ‘A girl will bring a much greater influence to the family than a boy, 80% of the benefits of any income that the girl brings in, will go to the family, that’s not the case with boys.’ Plan Ireland has commissioned a group of reports that started in 2007 and will continue annually until 2015, each year focusing on a different issue facing girls in areas such as Africa, Asia and the Americas. The BIAAG (‘Because I Am A Girl: The State of the World’s Girls’) campaign this year was titled “Girls in the Global Economy: Adding It All Up” and focused on the social and financial repercussions of the neglect of approximately half of an area’s population. It comes as no surprise that the idea for this years campaign would be rooted in the economic uncertainty of the world’s major powers. In a recession, charitable donations can decrease as a boom is seen as the time when charity is affordable, so touching on the idea that education is an investment that yields much in the future, is a good way to return attention to such a worthwhile cause. Also, while unemployment has recently
been set at 12.6%, we as ‘Celtic Kittens’ have little to no understanding of the hardship faced by those on a dollar a day. Dalton said ‘the recession has cost many Irish people their jobs and many more of us have experienced a drop in living standards, but in some countries it is costing people, especially girls, their lives. The global economic downturn means girls in the developing world are the first to lose their jobs, may end up in the sex trade and are more likely to die young. It has also undermined and reversed past progress made on girls’ rights.’
‘If you educate a boy, the boy benefits but if you educate a girl, it benefits the community’ Plan Ireland, an NGO (non-governmental organisation), receives funding from Irish Aid (the 6th most generous donor in the world, with a budget of €700,000,000 annually) and has been in existence for 70 years. More recently, the organisation has taken an interest in girls’ issues in particular, Dalton explained ‘Girls had not often been seen as a group in need of special assistance, but certainly that’s not the case from our research. We have picked up on a lot of basic stats and information that highlight cultural issues like female genital mutilation, lack of access to education,
sexual violence in schools and child marriages.’ The process of female genital mutilation is a surgical procedure used to ensure a women’s lack of pleasure during sexual intercourse and is often completed in unsanitary conditions, by ‘back-street doctors’, leading to later health issues for the women involved and possibly death. Every year two million women are subjected to this inhumane procedure and it is thought that around 140 million have already undergone it. The world in hardship is a difficult place for women, barring any feminist tendencies this writer may have, women are the physically weaker and in many cases more emotionally vulnerable of the sexes. The link between financial difficulty and domestic violence is well documented and that is in the more progressive, Western world. Women in the third world have less of a say what happens to them as their societies and cultures deem them to be inferior to their fathers or brothers. It is their job to cook, clean, care and be married. In an economic downturn, these priorities become more pronounced; child marriages are another area that Plan has researched. In the next decade more than 100 million girls under 18 (some as young as twelve years old) will be married off. Benedicta Attoh, former vice-chairperson of the Labour party in Louth and current Director of the Africa centre, said from her own experience, ‘For most young girls, the experience of a forced marriage is one of domestic violence, pain, frustration, anger resentment and even death. For some the wounds never heal, for others the scars never fade but for all survivors, the memories never die’. In the next twelve months, 68,000 women will die from unsafe abortions and more
still will die during childbirth. Issues such as these could be averted simply by educating women to count, read, write and take care of themselves. Returning to the economic benefit of education Dalton said ‘if you can keep a girl in school by one extra year, it can increase her earning potential by 10% per annum. Which is very dramatic, if you think of the cumulative effect of staying in school for a number of years’. Plan Ireland is working on 179 different girl-related projects in 48 developing countries, in 4 different areas. Dalton described them as follows ‘Health would be mainly focused on mothers and under fives, education is focused on three different strands, it would be about infrastructures and building schools, curriculum development and teacher training. Water and sanitation is reasonably self-explanatory, providing clean water for a community and proper sanitation facilities. Finally livelihoods and building relationships, which is linking people and institu-
tions with their equipment in developing countries’ ‘For example we have a community in Mitchelstown in Cork that is twinned with a village in Uganda, so the Ugandans have come over here and they’ve seen the credit union at work, they’ve seen the cooperative movement at work, they seen fish farms and they’ve brought all these ideas back to Uganda’. Problems like these, on such a grand scale can seem unsurpassable, but at such a relatively low cost, sponsoring a child in a developing country can make a difference. Sponsorship money is put into community based programmes that will benefit your sponsor child but also, Plan Ireland like to specify that the funds would benefit an additional nine children, on average. This can be done through their website: www.Plan.ie. Alongside this, Dalton impressed the importance of advocacy in these matters, ‘advocating equalisation between boys and girls, between men and women... through political mechanisms, you could lobby your TDs or senators and ask them to ensure that Irish Aid, for example, is directed more at girls, and that girls are recognised as being in need of direct assistance’. The average student at UCD would not remember the feminist struggle for political acceptance and what it did for the education and health sectors in many countries, but these issues are a modern example of what can happen when women have no one to stand up for them. Women need the political, financial and social support from somewhere to raise them above the kinds of problems that could be solved so simply, by education, hard work and funds.
10 Features Business and Finance
College Tribune October 6th 2009
Beggars can be choosers Happy to get his hands dirty, Sean Bonner does the hard work for you and sifts through all that financial jargon to tell you plain and simple, what loan is best for a student Given the current financial climate, securing enough money for three or four years of college is easier said than done. Just take a look at the residential accommodation price increase of 7% and you’ll see how much it can cost. Even though students are among the country’s best savers, eight out of ten students pay off their credit cards bills promptly, no amount of saving is going to help those who have to rent houses or apartments, have to pay for cars or simply have to get away from it all. Either way, with so few jobs going at the moment, a loan is most likely the only option; so we decided to do that hard work for you and sift through all that financial jargon and tell you plain and simple, what loan is best for a student. All of the major banks and building societies offer student rate-loans. For a student, your options are a little better than those who have already entered the workforce. One of the main reasons for this is that student loans are frequently interest free, providing they are paid off in a specific time period. Bank of Ireland offers a Travel loan of up to €2000 interest free, if paid off within nine months. If you go over the nine months, then you will have to pay interest at a rate which will be agreed between you and the bank. BOI also offer an interest free overdraft with the same conditions as the loan but up to only €1500. The problem with these
plans is that as most students are studying full time, they will most likely not get jobs during college, and will be unable to pay it off fully in the nine month period, and with the job market the way it is, part time jobs are few and far between.
“A €5000 loan at 8.7% for 3 years will run you about €6,421” Graduate loans are also on offer from BOI. These range from €300 to €65,000 and are payable from one to five years at 8.7% interest with a 90 day grace period in which you don’t have to start repayments. That means a €5000 loan at 8.7% for 3 years will run you about €6,421. Similar to Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank offer discounted student loans at a rate of 9.79%, a good 1% higher than BOI’s graduate loan. However, to avail of this discounted loan, you need to be in possession of an AIB Student Plus Account. This means that if you don’t have the Student Plus account, you cannot get the 1.5% discount. So a €5000 loan with AIB at 9.79% over 3 years will run you a total of €6616. It’s not all bad news though as AIB does offer interest free student overdrafts of €1500 in much the same manner as BOI.
AIB and BOI are only two banks, which offer Student discounted loans. There’s also Ulster Bank, National Irish Bank, Permanent TSB and even Credit Unions to a lesser extent, all offer some form of student loan. Ulster Bank personal loans have an even higher interest rate than AIB; however, as with AIB, you will get discounts if you have a student account or a “Ulike” current account. The Ulike account offers a 2% discount on their personal loans which can be anywhere from €1500 to €40,000. Even with this discount, your
“National Irish bank offers one of the more attractive Loans of the lot” rate will be slightly higher (up to 10.5% or 9.9% depending on loan amount). This means that an Ulster Bank loan of €5000 over three years at 10.9% will come
to a total of about €6747. One good thing about Ulster Bank though is that if you are borrowing in order to buy a car, with an amount of €3,800 or more for more than three years, they will give you one year’s free breakdown assistance, a nice little incentive to go with Ulster Bank. National Irish bank on the other hand offers one of the more attractive options of the lot with an interest rate as low as 6.05% , far lower than what any of the other banks offer, but the kicker is that your loan term is far longer as you get a two year grace period after college in which you don’t have to repay anything. This means you will pay interest for longer and in the end might end up paying more. National Irish Bank also do not expect you to pay off any of the loan during college and only start repayments after the two year grace period in a similar way that students get loans in the UK. On top of this, you can get your loan paid to you in instalments every month instead of one lump sum, which may help you budget and also may stop you from spending all your dosh too quickly. A €5000 loan at 6.22% for 7 years (including college, grace period and repayment period) will run you about €7,628, significantly higher than any of the other banks. So whether the money is for a nice little degree or a nice little Ford Ka, the options for borrowing money are there; deciding on one and availing of it is the hard part.
October 6th 2009
5 Facts you didn’t know about coffee
An Out-of-Coffee Experience
1) The term “Cup of Joe” stemmed from the fact that it was favourite drink among American soldiers. During WWII, American soldiers, also known as G.I. Joes, found Maxwell Instant Coffee in their rations and were known to consume large amounts; the phrase ‘Cup of Joe’ was adapted to describe a cup of coffee. 2) Coffee may be just a pick me up to the average punter, but it’s actually a sixty billion dollar a year industry which holds second place in the commodity world, right after petroleum.
3) Coffee is consumed at the rate of 1.4 billion cups per day. 4)Your average coffee tree has a life expectancy of up to 70 years. The first harvest is picked when the tree is only five years old and after that, the coffee plant provides a steady harvest of raw coffee several times per annum. 5) When coffee madness made it to Europe in the 1600s, Pope Clement VIII declared it to be a devil’s tool. When he happened to taste it himself, he quickly changed his mind and decided to baptize coffee and defeat the devil.
Reflecting on her daily cups of coffee, Eileen Gahan explores the recent studies which shows caffeine does not give us the boost we think it does and may even be damaging to our health To the average college student at UCD, coffee plays a fairly large role. Whether we are getting to know our new classmates in the café or downing double-espressos to keep us awake the night before an exam, coffee is one of the staples of student life. But could our favourite beverage may be doing us more harm than good? Most students drink coffee to perk them up during the day and to many, starting the day without a dose of caffeine is inconceivable. However recent research published in the journal The Biologist shows that caffeine does not actually increase mental alertness. Any regular caffeine user will tell you that they feel better after a cup of coffee but it appears that this is really the result of a mild dependence on the drug. Coffee drinkers actually develop withdrawal symptoms after being deprived of caffeine for long periods. These unpleasant effects can include fatigue and tiredness, headaches and even mild nausea. The best cure for all of these is, of course, another coffee. It looks as though the hoards of consumers at UCD need their coffee just to function normally. This is driven home by experiment results that show people who do not drink coffee or caffeinated drinks regularly have no increase in mental alertness a result of drinking it. In fact morning drowsiness
is less likely to affect them, because they are not going through nasty caffeine withdrawal symptoms. In general a coffee drinker usually feels tired more often than their friend who opts for green tea, because they suffer from caffeine withdrawal. Unfortunately there are also negative effects on health due to coffee and caffeine drinks. Research has shown that these stimulants can cause increase blood pressure and anxiety, and decreased hand steadiness. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands, putting the body into what is known as ‘fight or flight’ mode. While this may benefit an athlete, for a student sitting at a desk the increased pressure on the heart and adrenal glands may have serious long term effects. A stressed out student in the middle of exams who drinks coffee or Red Bull to help them concentrate may actually be making things worse for themselves by causing more anxiety and panic. Contrary to popular opinion, it appears that a student wanting to remain more alert and focused during exams would be better off cutting down on caffeine before exams, not drinking more. A continuous caffeine rollercoaster, aided by the prevalence of coffee and energy drinks around campus and the exam hall, will only lead
to an inevitable crash. Although a few cups of coffee a day probably not do much harm it is doubtful that the same could be said for the stronger caffeine products students turn to at times of stress. Caffeine pills and energy drinks decrease concentration and increase stress, in addition to being loaded with unhealthy additives and sugar. The wisdom of promoting and selling such products to students should be questioned, especially as the above research shows they do not even enhance mental performance above normal levels. Even more serious are the possible long term effects of regular coffee drinking. Increased blood pressure caused by caffeine may contribute to heart disease and strokes. And far from increasing mental alertness, long term use of caffeine may lead to decreased cognitive function in older people. Caffeine is the principle chemical in the drink, but there are up to a thousand others, most of which have not been tested by scientists. Of the 22 that have, seventeen were shown to be carcinogenic. Caffeine users who feel that the negatives of coffee outweigh the positives, and want to switch to a healthier alternative, can take heart from recent research. In experiments with long-term regular caffeine users it was shown that after only a week
without the drug their levels of mental alertness had returned to normal, and all withdrawal symptoms had stopped.
However despite all this, coffee drinkers should not worry too much about giving up their favourite beverage as there has not been any conclusive proof of caffeine use seriously damaging health. With such a vast mixture of substances in the drink not understood by scientist the overall affect of coffee drinking may not cause serious damage. More importantly coffee drinking is also an important social experience. Many students first get to know their classmates over a cup of coffee. With over a dozen various cafes and coffee outlets on Belfield Campus, it is the natural place to go and hang out with friends during the day. So although we may not be getting the boost we imagine from coffee, surely there is still a good side of taking a break from study to chat over a drink we enjoy. The catchword is moderation, and not over-estimating the benefits to our academic performance.
An Ghaeilge agus an réabhlóid atá ar siúl i UCD ‘Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam,’ a dúirt Pádraig Mac Piarais. Bhíodh daoine a rá anseo i gColáiste na hOllscoile Baile Átha Cliath (C.O.B.Á.C.), nach raibh aon Ghaeilge á labhairt ar an gcampus agus go raibh sí marbh. Ach níl hé sin an cás ar chor ar bith. Thosaigh an ‘Réabhlóid Ghaelach’ ag tús an haoise seo. Má fhéachann tú timpeall an champuis, tá fógraí as Gaeilge le feiceáil i ngach áit. Deirtear gur ‘binn béal ina thost,’ ach is léir nach dtugtar aird air sin i measc muintir na Gaeilge anseo i gColáiste na hOllscoile. Mar is eol do chách, tá páirt lárnach ag an nGaeilge i saol na hOllscoile ach go háirithe i C.O.B.Á.C. D’éirigh thar bharr leis na Cumainn Ghaelacha uilig i rith Seachtain na bhFreshers. Fuair an Cumann Gaelach breis is míle ball. Léim An Cumann Drá-
maíochta ó 52 ball go dtí 225 ball, agus fuair an Cumann Ceol Tradisiúnta an bhallraíocht is mó a bhí acu riamh. Mar a deir an seanfhocal ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’ agus i mbliana beidh An Cumann Gaelach, An Cumann Drámaíochta agus Cumann Ceol Tradisiúnta ag obair le chéile chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn. Bíonn go leor imeachtaí éagsúla ar súil ag na Cumainn idir oícheanta spraoi lasmuigh, comórtais spóirt agus seisiúin cheoil. An tseachtain seo caite, d’éirigh thar cionn leis an gCumann Gaelach nuair a chuaigh an chéad bhus ghaelach riamh ar an dTuras Mistéireach. Ar an gCéadaoin, beidh ‘Scóráil Sciobhtha’ ar siúl i mBear na Mac Léinn ag a hocht a chlog. Is deis iontach é aithne a chur ar dhaoine nua trí mhean na Gaeilge agus seans go gcasfar buachaill nó cailín dathúil ort!
Thosaigh an Cumann Dramaíochta an téarma le Fáiltiú Fíona agus ceardlanna trí Gaeilge. Anois tá ullmhú á dhéanamh do Gheamaireacht (Panto) na Nollag¸agus beidh sé ar siúl i mí na Samhna. Beidh neart scéalta sí agus spraoi ann nuair a thagann Cinderella go D4! Tá an Cumann ag súil leis ‘An Triail’ a chur ar stáitse i mí Feabhra, agus beidh ocáid speisialta ann do Sheachtain na Gaeilge . Beidh siad ag cur isteach ar na comórtais dramaíochta náisiúnta chomh maith. Gan dabht ar domhan, tá an teanga beo agus bríomhar anseo i gColáiste na hOllscoile Baile Átha Cliath. Scaip an scéal! Colmán Ó Háinle
College Tribune October 6th 2009
A fruitful taste of the Mediterranean
As the long, cold Winter months of Ireland disembark, Mollie Guidera remembers the many highlights of Seville, the cultural capital of sunny Spain “Seville,” wrote Byron, “is a pleasant city, famous for oranges and women.” He’s bang on. Although he might have added: a city of cultural expanse, authentic Spanish charm, rich in illustrious history and architecture, with a heat so intense that there’s a plethora of ice-cream kiosks to be seen in every plaza. Reaching temperatures of 45 degrees in the height of summer and enjoying a mild winter spectrum, Seville is always ideal for any type of holiday you may have in mind. If you’re looking for a European city which is classic, vibrant and surprisingly cheap, look no further than the provincial capital of Andalucia. Direct flights with Ryanair, an airport in close proximity to the city and many budget options for hotels and apartments are attractive excuses to visit the ancient kingdom. Seville is a city for everyone, with ample scope for party animals, linguists, historians, architects, artists and just those of you who want to elope to the continent for cheap and cheerful frivolity. Part of Seville’s ineffable charm is the lack of English spoken. It truly is the Connemara of Spain; in the most Spanish Spain way, not in the remote way. It is necessary to brush up on your Spanish before you arrive. Flamboyant gestures and affixing “a” to the end of English words just doesn’t work. Seville is unique in its ability to retain its Hispanic influences without being diluted by tourists. You’ll find a colloquial atmosphere with hundreds of tapas bars scattered around the beautiful city, even under the famous Eiffel designed Triana Bridge. Some of the best include those in the eclectic Plaza Alfafa, such as “Bar Giralda;” a converted Moorish bathhouse. The tapas tradition is popular, with grilled, salty bacalao sizzling to the mellow soundtrack of amiable Spanish voices, or the aroma of fresh calamares enticing
you into a bar, perfect with €1 beers. Everything is laid back. Fiestas usually wrap up at about six in the morning, leaving you moseying back for a cheeky siesta before brunch. With such a casual ambiance, and no official dress code, it’s fair to say that flip flops will suffice. However if you’re in the mood for a treat, the romantic Barrio Santa Cruz is a more upmarket quarter and boasts some fabulous cocktail bars and restaurants.
“Seville is unique in its ability to retain its Hispanic influences without being diluted by tourists”
An exception to the pricey area is “Bodegon Pez Espada”, a reputable seafood joint near the cathedral, acclaimed for its all-you-can-eat paella. Elegant horse and carriages form queues along the cathedral wall and can be a fun way of getting home if you barter them down to a reasonable price. Clubs get busy at around 2am, although if enquiring, refrain from using the word ‘club’, instead adopt ‘discoteca’ because a club is a seedy strip club. Schoolboy error. Live music is always a feature in Sevillian clubs like the Fun Club and Poseidon with free entrance and moderately priced drinks. Sangria, Tinto de Verano, shots and various beers won’t damage the funds as they all cost about €1 or €2. You won’t need to splash out on taxis either as the city is easily navigable on a grid of cobbled sidestreets which circulate the centre. Seville at night is safe and well-lit, encompassing
the cathedral which bathes the city in a golden glow, the largest Gothic church in the world. A roof-top visit is well worth all the climbing of spiral stairs because there is nothing like seeing the structural beauty of the city from a platform. The whole city is striking; the Giralda mosque especially stands out, dominating the untainted skyline. No matter what time of year you visit Seville, there is bound to be a feria kicking off. These festival celebrations are usually in honour of patron saints. Semana Santa during Easter week is always spectacular, displaying carnival-style floats and processions of masked penitents, they look like the Ku Klux Klan but don’t be alarmed. Another large festival is Feria de Santa Ana which takes place in August in Triana. Along the river, casetas (tents) are assembled and masses of people spend the week eating, drinking, watching flamenco and firework displays and happily sauntering home in the early hours of the morning. During the day, there are shows and games for young and old, including the Bull-run and the Slippery Pole Challenge, where contestants have to climb up a greased pole suspended over the river and retrieve a flag. Should they succeed there is a lucrative award but then again, hundreds don’t and the award for them is a Tetnis shot and a disinfectant spray-down. As well as the late night banter, there is so much to see and do in Seville which makes it the heart of Andalusian culture, with flamenco music and bullfighting, cathedrals, towers, palaces and parks. Seville is home to a 17th century bullring renowned all over Spain as the best venue to enjoy la corrida. Although controversial, those of you with the appetite for a passionate duel between a bull and a sequined-clad man will thoroughly enjoy it. The spontaneous nature of flamenco
makes it nearly impossible to entertain a 2 show cabaret night so to experience the real thing, check out “Los Gallos,” in Plaza Santa Cruz. Here you will encounter a dance which epitomises the essence of Seville, replete with vivid colours, traditional guitar playing and impassioned women sashaying around in elaborate dresses. After all, Seville is very close to the home of Flamenco; Granada. Seville is the ultimate budding architect’s paradise. As it was one of the earliest Moorish conquests (in 712) it exhibits the Giralda. The ascent of the bell tower is highly recommended if you want a panoramic view from indisputably the most beautiful building in Seville.
A view that vertigo-sufferers should avoid and photographers will love. The Toro de Oro – the Tower of Gold is another mustsee when in Seville. The Main Palace (the Alcazar) depicts all the grandeur of Moorish and Mudejar architecture perfectly, boasting exquisite high ceilings, Renaissance art and patios which rival Granada’s great Alhambra. A well-preserved Roman Theatre in nearby Santiponce is worth a trip outside the city to engage historically with the culture of Andalucia. Frequent buses and trains located centrally are ideal for getting around to nearby highlights like Ronda and the ilex-covered hills of Sierra Morena. A great way to spend the day is in Maria Luisa Park. It is one of the most impressive public gardens in all of Spain and definitely deserves a stroll or a cycle with the free bikes on offer. Never has anyone seen so many pigeons in one place before. Seville is not only a beautiful city, proffering culinary delights and cultural enrichment. The shopping is fantastic. Along the main promenade is a chain of high-street and designer shops, with a Corte Ingles department store and many typical Spanish dress shops and souvenir stalls. Every day the squares host markets and musicians. There is a subtle aspect of Seville which appeals to the traveller; the ease with which the stylish city embraces a relaxed Mediterranean attitude and lifestyle. Amidst the marble pavements and breathtaking regal buildings, a hint of Morocco prevails. Ryanair often advertise cheap flights to Seville. Before 28th September, a return flight to the city is just €38.37. Expect flights to cost about €130 normally, all inclusive, off-peak. Flight sales with Ryanair are a good opportunity to grab a bargain to Seville or other European cities. So what are you waiting for? Vamos!
October 6th 2009
Protecting the right to life There’s something missing from arguments supporting abortion. Women facing crisis pregnancy and their unborn children are among the most vulnerable lives in our society. For the unborn child abortion is a matter of life and death, while for the mother it risks affecting the rest of her life negatively. There’s something missing from arguments supporting abortion. They leave out of the picture the human relationships involved, the woman’s concern for her baby and the baby’s utter dependence on her. In the US, breathtaking new ultrasound images of unborn children have led people to think again. The most recent Gallup Poll on attitudes to abortion reveals that for the first time a majority of US citizens now describe themselves as “pro-life” rather than “pro-choice.”  In New Zealand, new research shows that abortion harms women’s mental health. This backs up research from Finland and Norway showing harm to women from abortion.    Rather than feeling pressured to introduce abortion, Ireland needs to adopt an ethically coherent approach where respect for the inherent dignity of each human life forms the basis of public policy concerning unexpected pregnancy. As Dr Alveda King (niece of assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King) said in a recent Newsweek article:
“I am a member of a group called Silent No More, of mostly women who say they regret their abortion. I’m post-abortive so I know this, when we abort the child, we violate his or her rights, we the mothers suffer tremendously, and our families suffer.” In Britain abortion is legal up to 24 weeks in pregnancy and up to birth where the baby has a disability.
“Respect for the inherent dignity of each human life forms the basis of public policy”
On a BBC Panorama Documentary on abortion, Dr John Wyatt, Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician, University College Hospital, London, noted: “You have this rather bizarre situation that you can have one group of doctors who are concentrating on trying to save the life of a very small baby and at the same time even in the same hospital abortions are being performed at the same gestational age.” Legalised abortion does not confront the reality of crisis pregnancy. It totally undermines the right-to-life of the unborn child and ignores the negative consequences of abortion for women.
Introducing an abortion regime in Ireland is not the answer. Instead as a society, we must commit to building a more life-affirming social climate for expectant mothers and their unborn children. The right-to-life is a challenging issue to talk about. It can be a polarising issue and one that creates a degree of misunderstanding. But it is also a defining issue if not the defining issue of our time. It goes right to the heart of human dignity and what constitutes an authentic vision of human rights. It is fair to say that without the right-tolife, all other rights are meaningless. Sources: 1. Gallup Polling USA (2009) 2. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2006) 3. The European Journal of Public Health (2005) 4. BMC Medicine (2005) Dr Ruth Cullen is a clinical psychologist based in Dublin. She is a graduate of UCD and contributes to media debates on rightto-life issues as a spokesperson for the ProLife Campaign.
Facing the Reality of Abortion Women will never achieve true equality until they are able to determine when they can and cannot have children. This belief lies at the core of pro-choice feminism. To lose control over one’s body means to lose power and agency in one’s life. When a government denies women the right to choose to have an abortion, it is implying that a woman cannot be trusted to make decisions about her own health and that her life is less valuable than that of a fetus. Thus, the Feminist Majority Foundation and other women’s rights organizations like it continue to fight for reproductive rights—not just abortion, but also the right to contraception, family planning, and comprehensive sexual education. In the United States, like Ireland, abortion is a divisive issue. A recent USA Today/Gallup survey found that 47% of Americans consider themselves to be “pro-life,” while 46% of Americans identify as “pro-choice.” These labels are thrown around casually and frequently, and while this poll reveals a nation divided, the reality of the situation is somewhat different. One out of every three women in the United States will have an abortion by the age of 45. 89% of these abortions are performed in the first trimester. Because abortion is legal in the United States, it is a very safe procedure. A doctor can perform a first trimester abortion in one to two minutes, without general anesthesia. Abortion is safer than taking an injection of pennicillin. Globally, 42 million abortions are performed every year. 20 million of them are illegal. Clear-
ly, the prohibition of abortion does little to curb its practice. Unfortunately, illegal abortions can be incredibly unsafe, and worldwide about 75,000 women die every year from unnecessarily botched abortions. 5 million women are hospitalized every year due to complications of illegal abortion. While abortion has been legal in the United States since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, the feminist movement has had to continually fight for legal, safe, and accessible abortion in this country. Year after year, individual states attempt to enact restrictive laws that hamper a woman’s right to choose, with varying degrees of success. Accessibility remains a huge problem; 34% of American women live in counties with no abortion provider, according to the National Women’s Law Center. The cost of travel is incredibly restrictive, and the cost of the procedure itself is also often prohibitive. Doctors who perform abortions face incredible risks from anti-choice terrorists, as the recent assassination of Dr. George Tiller tragically demonstrated. Women in the United States seeking an abortion face significant challenges, but those are nothing compared to what Irish women must go through. According to The Safe and Legal in Ireland Abortion Rights Campaign, 5,585 women traveled to the UK to obtain an abortion in 2005. This figure is probably higher in reality given the covert nature of such travel. There is also no way to estimate how many women travel to other countries in the EU for the procedure or
take their chances with an illegal abortion. While abortion has been prohibited in Ireland since 1861 and unconstitutional since the addition of the 8th Amendment in 1983, that has not stopped Irish women from seeking abortions. In December, three women will challenge Ireland’s ban on abortion before the European Court of Human Rights. The women, known as A, B, and C, rightfully argue that Irish law endangers their health and violates their human rights. Should they succeed in their case, these women could totally alter the status of women in Ireland, empowering them to control their own bodies and have agency over their lives. As the American situation has demonstrated, that would only be the first step in the ongoing struggle for reproductive rights, but it would be an astounding victory and bring remarkable change to Ireland. The Feminist Majority Foundation and other American pro-choice advocates support them and their heroic effort to usher in an era of safe and legal abortion in Ireland. Emily Kadar is a national campus organizer at the Feminist Majority Foundation (http://feminist.org) , a feminist non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Brandeis University in Massachusetts and also spent a brief time studying abroad in Dublin, where she researched Irish abortion policy, as well as the status of older women in Ireland.
College Tribune October 6th 2009
Finally the Green’s stand up They were accused of sleeping through the biggest financial crisis is decades, and widely derided for their role in Government, but finally it seems the Green’s have stood up for themselves. As talks are ongoing, it remains to be seen if there is substance to the Green’s grand plan, but we may be in for an interesting few months. Taking out any lingering cynicism, and you would be well advised not to, this seems like a win-win situation for students. Either we get to keep our beloved free education, or we can finally have that general election that we have all been hankering for. It speaks volumes that the greatest hope for those opposing Fees has come from Fianna Fáil being backed into a wall. The Green Party has made few friends among students, or indeed anyone, over the past few months. Yet many may draw the conclusion that this is a last ditch tactic of a dying animal that has alienated its base and found itself facing a tough future. Unashamed populism, it may be, but that is not without its uses. Fianna Fáil’s Lisbon party may have been ruined, but it may as well get used to being used as a punch bag from those pandering to voters. Bertie Ahern visit to campus however, showed how short memories can be. Lest we forget that only a matter of months ago he was publicly derided, and many of the problems plaguing the country are sourced from his policies. Apart from a few muted protesters outside, Bertie was treated as a welcome celebrity. Perhaps short memories may be Fianna Fáil’s last hope.
Skilled but superfluous
The suggestion that the three or four year degree for which many a student has given their blood, sweat and tears to attain will be essentially obsolete upon scouting for work after graduation is a startling thought. However, results from the CSO quarterly survey have found just that. They show that the amount of unemployed third level graduates, regardless of the quality of the degree, has doubled in just twelve short months. Although this prospect is a worrying thought, what is even more distressing is the fact graduates are too pessimistic to even begin looking for work. Yet, a lot of recent graduates, who appear too lethargic to look for jobs, remain quite content to complain about their unemployment and join the Dole queue. As the country is gripped by a recession that is only set to get worse, students must begin considering their options and the possibility of future employment as early as possible. Gone are the days when jobs are plentiful and a recent graduate is spoilt for choice. Students must start seriously considering further education on top of their undergraduate degree; not just masters and PHD’s but practical skills and volunteer work as well. Develop your talents and target the jobs that will suit you. Become the rounded individual that companies will notice, that will set you apart from the pack. This news comes in light of the widespread awareness of Ireland’s huge budget deficit and the worst Recession in twenty years taking hold. Also, it emerges with news this week that over 700 people were queuing for a temporary part-time job in Marks and Spencers on Grafton Street. It was reported that there was UCD graduates in the Queue. Last year’s graduates of UCD have had mixed reactions on how the recession has affected them since last May. While most have found employment, it is mainly temporary and very few have found jobs in the field they are educated in. Others are too pessimistic to even begin searching.
With another class representative training weekend finished, students might wonder what exactly it involves. If previous years are anything to go by, there may be reports of a big drinking party, with the tab paid by the Students’ Union. Last year there were reports of damage to both property and the reputation of UCD students. According to the SU’s own budget, the weekend alone cost €20,000. The SU has recently admitted that it is struggling with budget constraints. Hopefully this year they will fare better in both instances. This week the College Tribune learnt that in a class of over 300 students, only seven of those entitled turned out to vote for their class rep. This number included the vote of the nominated class rep himself, who won by a margin of four to three votes. It comes as no surprise then that the student body appears indifferent to class rep elections. Some involved in the Student Union cite apathy as the reason for the low voter turnout. Others believe that there are problems inherent in the system. It is a common complaint of students to be bombarded by their class rep when campaigning for votes, then to never see or hear from them once they are elected. The Students’ Union has put a lot of effort into advertising the class rep elections this year. The interesting thing will be to see if the reps stand the test of time. It is in the nature of their position that they should carry out their duties for the entire academic year. If done right, the system could be a valuable tool for students; that is if the rep lives up to the name. It is important that students band together and have a spokesperson to offer feedback to lecturers, tutors and the UCD authorities. Change will only come if you ask for it.
Dear Editor, I would like to take this opportunity to write about something that has been bothering me recently. I have just started a Masters in Arts at UCD. Having completed my undergraduate here I have experienced problems with the library like every other student. As you may be aware, the library has limited resources and books. This was particularly frustrating when I studied English. When essays were due you would have 300 people rushing to get the same book in the library. There are generally multiple copies of the core course texts, but the library usually only stocks one copy of books of say, literary criticism. Now that I am a postgraduate, I can take out books for a longer period. For over
three months. While I am glad to have an extension on the amount of time for a book loan, three months is ridiculous and way too long. If there is one book in the library on a certain topic, any postgrad can have it for three months. I feel that this is terribly unfair to other students who may want the book in question. Why would someone need a book for three months? If it takes you that long to read a book, then you probably shouldn’t be in college. I suspect that most of the books sit in people’s locker for most of the time instead of returning them. The library should reduce the time of the loan system to something like a month. The three months seem incongruous to the short term loans, which only last three days. With other commitments and
assignments, three days is not enough to have a book. It also means that students waste valuable time, resources and money on photocopying. Plus the extra use of paper and energy from the photocopiers is bad for the environment. I know that there are a lot of articles online now, but sometimes you can only find things in books. After all isn’t that what the library is for? Thank you for taking the time to read this. Kind Regards, Name and address with Editors Dear Editor, I am writing in regard to the FEE protest which took place outside The Law Soc Lisbon debate last Tuesday. The twenty or so gathered students holding up their fight fees posters offered a strong contrast to the hundreds of students lined
around the corner and around the lake in an attempt to get a seat in the O’Reilly Hall. As a post graduate student in this university, I feel student apathy has sharply risen in recent times. I think this lack of interest is a huge pity; when considering the amount of votes the student body holds as a whole and the subsequent power we wield as a result, the thought that students could not care less about political activism is a terrible reflection on the modern university goer. Similarly, although I complain about the student apathy towards politics, it must be noted that student activist groups are directing their anger and frustration in all the wrong directions. Their attempts are often badly organised and not thought through, obviously damaging their reputation and making it very difficult for people to take them seriously. Although I agree with some of their statements regarding the lack of action form the UCDSU, directing a protest at a
debate about Lisbon was a, as far as I’m concerned, ridiculous publicity stunt. The mile long queue was surely enough to show how much students are interested in becoming more politically aware and to encourage students not to attend was careless. Rational debate is a great way to educate the student population and FEE’s misdirected protest, which was aimed against the politicians attending, was ineffective as far as I can see. I hope in the future, students will take the time to become more politically aware and active and consider the long term consequences of not caring. However, I also hope that those who do take the time to stage protests and form groups will thoroughly think about their plans and aims before blindly jumping into what they consider activism. Name and address with the Editor
Cowen begins on ti re-elec ign a p m a c
Auditor of shy society get vote of no confidence. Astrologers deemed to have their heads in the stars. Panda mating fails- vet takes over. Traveller leader to resign saying ‘it’s time to move on. Louis Walsh wins big in porn awards: best solo performer. Ryanair impose new oxygen tax. Joint committee investigates marijuana use.
Lisbon set for Nobel Prize The European parliament has recently been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for the Lisbon Treaty. The Treaty, which is described by critics as “more unreadable than Joyce’s Ulysses,” has taken Europe by storm. The Treaty which was written by the European Union now only needs the vote of the Czech judge in order to win the prize. It was, for a while, feared that the unreadable nature of the work would hinder its popularity but last June, the E.U. and Irish government assured the Irish people that, “like Ulysses, it takes two readings before you really get it.” It now seems they were right as Irish voters last week approved of the Treaty on the second reading, with the help of some secondary material provided by such eminent scholars as Michael O’Leary and the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael/Labour propaganda offices. The Treaty is now officially more popular than its literary rival ‘Bunreacht na hÉireann.’ The Treaty is hoped to be a major hit in Europe and the authors are expected to follow up its success with the publishing of a new
book called, ‘How to Destroy Democracy in Two Easy Referenda.’ Speaking on the success of the Lisbon Treaty, German Fuhrerin Angela Merkel commented, “I’m so happy we won the Irish vote. I intend to personally show them how this will work for their benefit with my trusty strap-on.” Merkel went on to say, “This is a great day for European fascism, I mean democracy.” The E.U. has promised that those who read the Treaty are in for a surprise ending. They didn’t want to give too much away but revealed it has something to do with increased military spending and decreased workers rights. The authors were thoroughly jubilant at the positive outcome of the Irish vote and spent most of Saturday night celebrating in Brussels. Celebrations were also held in Dáil Éireann where a relieved government were served a dish of ‘tax revenue ala back of the people,’ washed down by a 2009 vintage of ‘Leftist blood’ desert which consisted of ‘brains of the electorate’.
LSD to replace Communion It has been reported that the Catholic Church in Ireland intends to replace communion wafers with LSD. The shift is part of a move to make the church more relevant to the younger generation of Irish people. It is also expected to increase the devotion of the faithful and boost church attendance. The move was announced on the 30th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland. “Since the Papal visit to Ireland in 1979, church attendance has fallen dramatically. The Irish bishops have decided to take drastic moves to counteract the ever growing unpopularity of the church world-
wide” says Bishop Anto McGee. Bishop McGee who himself proposed the replacement of the traditional communion wafer with LSD, has also said that he has had “many spiritual experiences under the influence of this amazing drug, not least when I saw the Virgin Mary in a tree in Limerick.” McGee, who runs a small factory in Columbia from where he imports thousands of hollow statues of various saints into Ireland, has campaigned tirelessly for the legalisation of drugs and says he is “encouraged by the recent move on the part of the Catholic hierarchy.” The Church also plans to upgrade the
traditional dower appearance of religious statues in churches. They plan as of next year to replace the gloomy symbol of the crucifixion with the ‘Buddy Christ.’ They hope this more upbeat icon will make people feel more at ease within the church. “Who, after all, really wants to see a dead guy in a nappy when they’re praying?” says McGee. Several bishops have however commented that they feel a certain affinity with a grown man in a nappy and there is still some debate over the introduction of the ‘Buddy Christ.’ This new proposal will however, certainly make the Catholic Church in Ireland a happier and all round more trippy place for all.
College Tribune October 6th 2009
the college tribune
The College Tribune 6.10.09 ucd.ie/tribune/sport
Down the Line
Commemor ation of UCD S c h ol a r s h i p founder occurs Last Sunday saw the tenth anniversary occur of former Director of UCD Sport, Dr. Tony O’Neill. The occasion was commemorated with the planting of a tree in his name in the Belfield Bowl. O’Neill was central to the founding of the scholarship scheme in 1979 as he helped implement the scheme as an executive with UCD AFC at the time. Scholarships were introduced with a view to allowing students the opportunity to play football and continue with their education, while it also acted to prevent teenagers leave Ireland in search of a career in football without an education. However it wasn’t until 1990, when Dr O’Neill was appointed Director of UCD Sport, that the scheme was extended to include other sports such as cycling, athletics, basketball, men’s and ladies gaelic football, hurling, rowing, rugby and table tennis. Without this work from O’Neill, UCD would not have been graced with such sporting alumni as Brian O’Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Derval O’Rourke, Alan Brogan and Peter Lawrie. Irish soccer is even more indebted to O’Neill for his role in the selection of a manager for the Ireland senior squad in 1986. O’Neill and Des Carey, then President of the Football Association of Ireland, were given a list of people to interview. After completing the interview process, the manager that O’Neill recommended to the FAI was none other than Jack Charlton, the most successful Republic of Ireland manager ever. ‘The Doc’, who passed away on the third of October 1999, was instrumental in UCD AFC’s rise to senior football in the League of Ireland. The work of Dr. Tony O’Neill is still seen today, and a lot of the success and infrastructure of sport in UCD is owed to him. May his achievements always be recognised. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Put ‘em under pressure
The World Cup campaign began in September last year and with qualification still possible with two home games remaining, Colman Hanley hopes, Ireland ‘Trap’ the Italians in Croke Park and edge first place September 2008 and began Ireland their quest to reach the World Cup. The location of Mainz in Germany was where the Irish team played their first ‘away’ game thirteen months ago. A 2-1 win in front of approximately 5,000 Irish fans was just the result Ireland and Trapattoni needed to kick start our campaign. This Saturday, a repeat score line could be a decisive blow to the Italians. Consequently, a further capitulation could occur in their final game versus Cyprus in Parma, leaving Ireland the chance to win the group. We can dream. The likelihood is that even if Ireland grab the three points on Saturday, the Italians should still win group eight and the ‘Boys in Green’ will likely have to settle for a play-off spot. The recent news from F.I.F.A. a fortnight ago was a blow to this Irish team as F.I.F.A. decided to introduce seeded rankings for the make-up of the playoffs. As a result, we would enter any play-off draw as second seeds. This would leave us with a more challenging draw against Russia or Germany, Serbia or France, Croatia or Ukraine or possibly even Portugal. To think that this Irish side could go through the group unbeaten, and then have to play Portugal over two legs to qualify, is gut-wrenching. Ireland’s record in play-offs, to say the least, is not the best. Memories of the
defeat to Belgium over two legs 3-2 and to Turkey 1-1 on away goals are still fresh in the minds of many a Republic of Ireland supporter. Unknown to many, Ireland also lost a play-off to Spain for the 1966 World Cup. There was one occasion where play-off victory was achieved. A 2-1 victory on aggregate over Iran to qualify for the 2002 World Cup was a laboured effort by Mick McCarthy’s side, but it was a victory nonetheless. Of course, all this play-off talk will only apply to Trapattoni’s side should they actually get the two points required to guarantee the play-off spot, or if Bulgaria fail to win their final matches away to Cyprus and home to Georgia. It does seem to be asking a lot for a dramatic U-turn in favour of Bulgaria to finish second. Even with a sudden lack of attacking options apparent due to injuries to Caleb Folan and the (expected) absence of Damien Duff, Ireland should still have enough to gather the points required. The absence of Folan is a massive blow. Having taken to the field against the Italians in Bari as a substitute after 22 minutes for the in-effective Andy Keogh (that’s not pronounced ‘key-oh’ for English commentators that pronounce the Dubliners name like that), Folan went on to create Robbie Keane’s equaliser. The Italian centre halves, Giorgio Chiellini and the great Fabio Cannavaro, struggled
with Folan’s physicality. Unfortunately, Trapattoni has no other striker of similar stature available. However with Cannavaro set to miss out on the clash at Croke Park through suspension, the expected forward of pairing of Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle could have some joy against a weakened Italian defensive line. Both Irish forwards have been in good form for their respective clubs lately. By bagging four goals against Burnley two weeks ago, Keane regained the faith of his manager Harry Redknapp. Otherwise, good old ‘Arry may well have been forced into dropping the ‘triffic’ Tallaght man. By contrast, Doyle started the Premier League season on the sidelines with Wolves. But having since regained full fitness, he has scored league goals which already justify the record £6 million that Mick McCarthy parted with to sign the Wexford man. Another key test for this Irish team will be to see how the midfield central axis of Keith Andrews and Glenn Whelan compete against the likes of Pirlo and Danielle de Rossi. The game should give us an indicator of what we can expect to see in the play-offs from the Irish duo should we make the play-offs and face top class opposition. With the Stephen Ireland issue dead and buried now, and the unlikelihood of Andy Reid ever being picked again, the places of
Whelan and Andrews seem secure. However the return to fitness of Stephen Reid could be crucial for Ireland’s World Cup hopes. The Blackburn player has shown in the few appearances he has made for Ireland that he can be entrusted with the role of acting as a creative central midfielder. Should Andrews or Whelan partner Stephen Reid in the future, they can easily act as the combative partner who covers more ground. Steve Finnan returned to Premier League action last Saturday when he made his debut for Portsmouth in their 1-0 win at Wolves, their first win of the season. The return to fitness of Finnan will be something that Trapattoni will note carefully. Due to the consistently poor performances of Kevin Kilbane, playing Finnan at leftback could be an option which could cross the manager’s mind. Elsewhere in the team, there is little competition or choices to be made. A few players again can feel hard done by to be overlooked once more by Trapattoni; Rory Delap, Keith Fahey, Clinton Morrison and of course, Andy Reid. However, Trapattoni appears unlikely to change his mind on most of these players. However, should results go the right way for ‘Il Trap’ and Ireland this coming week, all will be forgotten. The desire for ‘Trapattoni day’ to become a national holiday will be huge. No pressure now lads.
College Tribune October 6th 2009
Having a ball With the county scene finished for now and the College season set to commence, the Director General of the G.A.A. Paraic Duffy chats to Colman Hanley to consider the year Another season has been completed and the GAA has again received more coverage than any other sport. The man responsible for making sure the success of the GAA continues is Paraic Duffy. The Monaghan born man became steeped in GAA history by taking the job as Ard Stiúrthóir. However, before the aforementioned honour, Duffy attended UCD. “I did a degree in History from 1968 to 1971, two years in Earlsfort Terrace and then a year in Belfield. I was involved in the GAA club at that time.” “I wasn’t good enough to play at Sigerson level, but I still enjoyed it. I’ve a great feel for the college, two of my kids have gone to UCD and I’ve a daughter studying there now, so I’ve a strong connection with the College.” Having such affinity with the College made Duffy particularly proud when it was announced that the final of the thirdlevel Gaelic football competition, The Sigerson Cup, would take place in Croke Park. “It’s been difficult in recent years to facilitate both second and third-level colleges. However, because we re-laid the pitch this summer, it is possible to make it more accessible to second and third level colleges.” “I’m not saying that the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon finals will be played in Croke Park every year, but it’s something we
would like to do more often. I’m abso-
lutely delighted that the Sigerson is coming back to Croke Park.” Duffy expressed satisfaction at the standard of this summer’s hurling and football championships. “I think the hurling final was probably one of the best finals ever, the football fell a little bit below expectation, but I think most people will agree that it was a very good year. You’ll never have a year where every game was wonderful, but I think there were enough good games for people to say that it was a good year. “Wicklow and Kildare had a great year, but also Sligo and Antrim. Sligo put up a terrific show against Galway in Connacht and they probably should’ve beaten Kerry in the qualifiers, but for a missed penalty. Antrim’s success was a huge thing, as it is an area that we want to re-invigorate. The
Ulster Council launched a strategy for Belfast in terms of developing games, so seeing Antrim reach an Ulster final in the first year of that was fantastic.” It was a special year for the Association as it hailed its 125th anniversary. The Director-General honestly admitted that he did not want to overdo the celebrations. “We wanted to get a balance and I think we managed to do that. We didn’t want to sound triumphalist about proclaiming how good an organisation we are, but I think we’ve managed to celebrate the year in an appropriate way.” “At the same time, it’s been an opportunity for us to renew the association. I think that our members have entered into the spirit of that. It’s been a good year for the
are likely to join Aussie Rules side Saint Kilda. Headlines like this are more of a common occurrence these days, but Duffy downplayed the situation. “I think it’s an over-hyped issue. At the start of the year, we had nine players playing in the AFL. In the past number of weeks, Brendan Murphy has come back and now we hear that Martin Clarke is coming back.” “Marty was probably the biggest name to play in the AFL since Tadhg Kennelly. Now he’s returning as he wants to play at home, make a career for himself as a teacher and play for Down.”
“I’d prefer they stay at home, but I’m certainly not going to demonise players for going” GAA as we’ve looked at where we are as an organisation, what we need to do and I’m happy as I believe we’ve celebrated the year in an appropriate way without going over the top.” Last week, news broke that Kerry footballers Tommy Walsh and David Moran
“In the nature of things, young people want to travel and take opportunities that are out there. I don’t blame any player that goes to Australia. We haven’t seen a massive drain of players, and I think we
should calm down about the issue. Our players are amateur players, so we don’t own them.” “If a player decides he wants to go to Australia for a few years to try it out, I’ve no problem with that. I’d prefer they stay at home, but I’m certainly not going to demonise players for going.” “The number of players who are going to Australia is not only relatively small, it is very small. It is not the biggest issue facing the GAA. For the vast majority ofclubs and counties, the drain of players to Australia is not a key concern.” In terms of hopes for the future, Duffy targeted better relations between the Gaelic Players Association and the GAA. “We’ve made a commitment with the GPA in the coming weeks to resolve our differences.” “That process is under way and it will continue in the coming weeks. I would be hopeful that we can reach a compromise with the GPA in the weeks ahead that serves both their needs and the needs of the wider Association.” “In the relationships between players and county boards, there have been problems and that is something we are committed to trying to improve. Players are a hugely important part of our Association, and nobody wants to see conflict. If we can put our relationship with the GPA on a firm footing, I think relationships with players will improve as a corollary of that.”
UCD GAA fixture congestion likely to continue
Photography by Ian Mulholland
The constant menace of club and county games clashing with college fixtures is no nearer to being solved. Speaking to the College Tribune, General Director of the G.A.A. Paraic Duffy admitted there was no obvious solution to the predicament. As a result, a repeat of players having to choose club over college could occur again in 2010. UCD’s Cian O’Sullivan was one player that missed last year’s Sigerson Cup semi-final clash with DIT due to prior commitments to his club Kilmacud Crokes. “The problem is third level competitions take place in a very narrow timeframe,” said Duffy. “Colleges come back in September or October, but with semesterisation, exams take place in December.” “Once you get beyond February, students are looking towards their final exams. We have no control over this and have to respect the needs of the colleges. Unfortunately that window also cuts across county competitions, the Under 21’s and the National League, so I think you are
always going to have conflict.” “The solution is to be respectful of everyone’s position. Games at third level are so important and I think a greater recognition of college’s needs should be shown. G.A.A. people need to realise the importance of a vibrant third level sector. The only way this problem can be resolved is if people sit down and discuss the best interests of the player.” “Players can both play for their college and county. It is possible, but it requires maturity and common sense on both sides. In a lot of cases you have that, in others you don’t. It comes down to managers being sensible in terms of the demands on players. If they’re not sensible, it’s the player who suffers and we can’t have that.” Elsewhere, the build-up to the UCD G.A.A. season is underway. Both the hurling and Gaelic football freshers’ sides play challenge matches in the coming week, while the Sigerson Cup panel are due to play Queens University of Belfast next week.
College Tribune October 6th 2009
Promotion within the reach of Students
Eoghan Brophy With five games remaining, UCD find themselves top of the League of Ireland First Division. They lead on goal difference over Shelbourne, but having played a game more than the Reds. That game in hand is against Waterford United on Tuesday and will play a big part in deciding where the first division title and automatic promotion ends up. Waterford had a disappointing a 1-1 draw against Finn Harps at the weekend, but will still have bearing on the championship. They travel to the Belfied Bowl for the last game of the season and according to UCD midfielder Paul Corry, that game could decide UCD’s fate. “The way things are going these days it looks as if it’s going to come down to the final day of the season against Waterford, so fingers crossed it will go well for us. “ At present, the league is not in UCD’s hands. However, with some tough games coming up this week for Shels, and with Fingal and Waterford stumbling at the weekend, Corry admits they are in a great position. “We’re looking good. We’re going to keep on playing football and doing our stuff. That’s all we can worry about.” Confidence is high amongst the students with some impressive performances as of late before a creditable 2-2 draw against their main rivals on Friday. “There’s a lot of confidence within the group,” according to Corry. “We had three wins on the trot coming in
Rank 1 2 3 4
Team UCD Shelbourne Sporting Fingal Waterford United
Played 28 27 28 26
W 19 19 18 17
D 5 5 5 5
L 4 3 5 4
Goals 50:16 51:22 54:21 43:13
Diff. 34 29 33 30
Points 62 62 59 56
Photography by Barry Hennessy to this game so confidence is high amongst the lads. Hopefully we can use that and push on for the rest of the season.” His sentiments are echoed by influential striker Ciaran Kilduff. “We’ve got a great chance now. If we can win our remaining games, we know we’ll be up in the mix and that was our aim from the start of the season.” UCD came from behind twice last Friday, once when they were down to ten men. It is that character in the squad that confirms the belief that the Students could go straight back up to the Premier Division. As Kilduff pointed out, it’s not the first time circumstances have been against
them. “We’ve shown great character, today coming back and again down in Waterford we were down to ten men and it was Davy McMillian got the goal that won that game.” If UCD fail to achieve automatic promotion, they could end up in the dreaded playoff where second and third will face off against each other. However, this prospect shows no fears for the students, as Kilduff confidently pointed out, “We know on our day, we can beat anyone in this league.” UCD will have to show that confi-
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UCD cruise to victory over west coast opponents Photography by Philip Connolly
In a blustery Belfield the players of UCD showed just how possible a return to the top flight was. Even in the second half when the elements were against them, they looked impressive and dominant against a mediocre Corinthians side. Returning to basics after barely beating Middleton last week, the Students ran in a total of five tries, conceding only one, to rout their opponents 36-7. With variation in attack and a cool defence the men in blue never looked troubled. Even though the home side took an early lead through the boot of Niall Earls, it was Corinthians who made the more impressive start. An early foray into the UCD 22 was wasted by poor handling skills, an omen of things to come for the Galway team. After the first ten minutes however, the drive of UCD began to show. Their maul was active and pressurising, combining with the quick hand and line breaks of the backs. With a constant wave of attacks the defence finally broke, a wondrous back move initiated by Ian McKinley finished with Andy Cummiskey diving under the posts, which Earls easily converted. UCD’s success was equalled by the failures of Corinthians. When Earls kicked a beautifully placed kick for territory from outside his own 22, it was tempered through the unnecessary misjudgements by his opposite number. The glorious breaks of Cummisky and McKinley were aided by the total lack of defensive cohesion. It is not surprising that it was again the number 12 who initiated the move for
dence if they are to gain promotion out of the graveyard of the First Division.
the second try, allowing quick ball across the pitch to give Kevin Croke a chance in the corner, duly taken. The variety in UCDs game was shown again this time by scrum half, John Cooney. With quick ball and mixed moves by forwards and backs the Corinthians defence faltered again. With everyone looking left he went right from the base of the ruck, stepping round two last gasp defenders with ease to score under the posts. 22-0 to UCD at the half with Corinthians already looking beat. The second half was a dourer affair than the first. Handling became a problem for both sides, making the play increasingly scrappy and loose. A terrible bit of decision making by UCD backs lead to Corinthians only try, a dropped ball snapped up by fly-half Shane Mullally carrying into the UCD 22, with a smart off-load to hooker Dave Bardon for the finish. It was a reprisal, but was never going to be a full revolution. The bonus try for UCD looked promising in the first half yet didn’t materialise until the 60th minute. With the dead ball providing another opportunity for the explosive back line, a quick tap penalty rapidly spread along the pitch to allow Michael Twomey to dive in the corner. A beautiful conversion by Earls sent UCD fans into rapture. Game Over. The final 20 minutes, were merely a formality, but that didn’t stop Terry Jones putting the icing on the cake for the Students, intercepting for try number five. This was a powerful statement, a warning to all visitors to the Bowl this season; the new kids aren’t going to play nice.
Marian hope to net good start to season Mark Hobbes As the new basketball season approaches, UCD Marian have every reason to be excited about their chances in the national Super League. The progress made in the last few seasons has been astounding. Three years ago the club won only three times during the entire campaign; last year they proudly boasted the third best record in the country. The team’s performances last year surpassed all expectations when they reached the play offs in an impressive fashion, after a few lean and quiet seasons. The term ended on a disappointing note however, with UCD being comprehensively outfought by UCC Demons in their second knock out game. The first encounter had seen the Dublin outfit produce a thrilling comeback to draw the match despite having trailed by 13 points in the final quarter, but ultimately the Demons proved too strong an opposition. Basketball Development Manager Colm Meany was philosophical on the matter; “Considering that they lost one game all season and none after Christmas, to put it up to them like we did in UCD and to tie that game was the highlight of the season last year.” Tricky away matches with DCU Saints and Belfast Star mean the students have a tough start to the season. The loss of American duo of Dean Ryan and Mike Parker and scholarship student Barry Drumm won’t help matters either. However despite those departures, Meany is optimistic that something big is just around the corner for the men in blue. The addition of exciting youngster Cathal Finn, Thomas Varga, Michael Higgins and the return of former player Neil Baynes can help the team build on last year’s excellent run. No excuses are being offered this season and Meany is doing more than posturing when he speaks of silverware; “For a number of years we’ve been saying how young a team we have but this year there’s a spine to the team that’s been around for a couple of seasons, and nearly all of the team have experienced the playoffs so we hope to win something”. If UCD Marian match the heart and promise they showed during their spectacular play off comeback last season, there’s no reason why their hopes and
UCD’s Promotion push
Having a ball
Profile Page 18
Interview Page 19
College aim for return to top flight
Paraic Duffy looks ahead to a new year
the college tribune The College Tribune 6.10.09 ucd.ie/tribune/sport
Sport Photography by Philip Connolly
Students destroy Corinthians in Clash Ben McCormack Belfield UCD 36 Corinthians 7 The start of a new season, and a start in a new league, ended in a resounding victory for UCD this weekend. Tries from backs Michael Twomey, Terry Jones, Andy Cummiskey and John Cooney as well as No.8, Kevin Croke, showed the versatility of the now synchronised UCD midfield. In what was expected to be a close game, particularly after a string of recent results for the College, Corinthians were merely there to make up the numbers, only threatening the UCD line in the first and last ten minutes. A more energised and focused team, the men in blue were solid at the break down, eager to move the ball quickly as well as having a defensive line held solid though nearly all of the game. College were in full control of their opposition and fully deserved their win, with the stand-out player being number 12, Ian McKinley.
Photography byBarry Hennessy
UCD scrape draw with Shels
Eoghan Brophy Tolka Park Shelbourne 2
An eventful game, including a sending off for UCD goal-scorer Shortall, the students set the tone right from UCD 2 the start, a flowing move resulting in McAllister 8, 35 Shorthall 17, a early chance from Dave McMillan, D McMillan 75 putting it just wide of Dean Del (Shorthall s/off 62) aney’s goal. UCD came from behind twice to gain a Two minutes later and a similar vital draw against Shelbourne and main- move ended up with the ball in the back tain their place at the top of the table. of the Shels net but Ciaran Kilduff was Goals from Brian Shortall and Dave Mc- adjudged to be offside be assistant referee Millan cancelled out a brace from Shels Rhona Daly. top scorer Dave McAllister to take a point In the 8th minute of the game Shels were away from Tolka Park. in front. A shot from the edge of the area A good point but UCD boss Martin Rus- from David Cassidy was heading wide but sell felt it could have been more. “I think got a deflection on it. The ball fell to Dave we warranted something from it. Al- McAllister who smashed the ball in the though Shels were very competitive we net from close range. haven’t played as well as we had in previ- Less than ten minutes later and UCD were ous weeks but we were expecting a tough level. A dangerous corner from Paul Corgame.” ry fell to Brian Shortall and the defender
made no mistake, putting the ball in the back of the net and giving the students the equaliser their play deserved. UCD looked dangerous from corners but it was Shels who took the lead with one of their own. David’s Cassidy and McAllister were again involved, the former swinging the ball in while the later applied a finish on the volley after another goalmouth scramble and College found themselves behind for the second time in the game. The games momentum continued in the second half Shels coming close through Anto “Bisto” Flood. And it was the Shels frontman who was causing trouble on 61 minutes. Clean through on goal, he felt he had been pulled back by Shortall. Referee Pádraig Sutton waved play on as the Shels fans were screaming for a sending off. They got their wish just a minute later when a scramble on the half way line
resulted in Shortall shoving Cassidy and Sutton showing the goal-scorer a red card to continue the tradition in games between these sides this season. Shels were unable to capitalise on their extra man advantage and were made to pay on 75 minutes. Anto Flood was dispossessed on the half way line, unfairly according to the boisterous Shels fans. The ref didn’t agree and a quick move ended up with Dave McMillan taking the ball past Delaney and to put the teams level again. Both teams had their chances with Michael Synnott denying a certain UCD goal with a last ditch challenge on Kilduff but neither team could find the net before the ref blew for fulltime and the fight for promotion continues for another week.
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