The College Tribune 22nd September 2009
The Difference is we’re independent
Issue 2 Volume 23
Fight against fees intensifies l Students camp outside Dáil in protest l USI query UCD registration fee Philip Connolly The fight against fees has stepped up a gear as students took part in demonstrations last week. Some 30 students camped outside the Dáil last Tuesday. A protest attended by 150 students followed on Wednesday. The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) joined Students’ Unions from across the country in their refusal to concede ground in the fight against the introduction of fees for third level education. “This is the first of many actions we intend to have over the next few weeks. We hope to heat up our campaign,” Dan O’Neill, USI Vice-President and former UCD Campaigns and Communications Officer, said. USI President Peter Mannion said the protests reinforced the message that the Union would fight tirelessly against any reintroduction of fees, including a deferred-loan system or graduate tax. Mannion said the deferred-loan system for students in Australia and New Zealand had been described as “taxation on education”.
“This type of student loan system hits graduates at a tender time in their lives, when they are prevented from buying property, starting families and even purchasing cars,” he said. O’Neill said that third-level fees were “a stealth tax on education at a time when we should be encouraging people to up-skill”. UCDSU President Gary Redmond issued the following statement: “Over the past few weeks, the presidents of the National Unions of Students in Australia and New Zealand have been visiting politicians with myself and USI to paint a true picture of the consequences of a student loan scheme, in particular the social problems it has caused amongst young graduates in those countries”. “Many of them emigrate to avoid paying back their loans, while others put off starting a family as they simply cannot afford it. Continued on page 6
INSIDE Fees focus, pg 6-7
Road Rage Hits UCD
l Car parking attendant hit by car l Student convicted of drink-driving offence Karina Bracken UCD authorities have been investigating two separate driving incidences that occurred on campus, the College Tribune has learned. The first incident involved two UCD members of staff on the 8th December 2008. A car parking attendant was knocked down in one of the car parks on campus. The driver of the car was a UCD lecturer, who cannot be named for legal reasons. It is alleged that the event occurred after the lecturer was denied access to the car park. UCD were unable to confirm whether the attendant was injured or not. A UCD spokesperson said: “The University cannot comment on any incident for which a case is pending.” A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office confirmed that an investigation had been launched at the time of the incident. They
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also confirmed that the case was coming up in court, but could not state when. In a separate instance, a UCD student was convicted for a drunk-driving offence this week. On Monday 14th September, UCD authorities secured their first ever drink-driving conviction. The Business & Legal student had been caught driving under the influence of alcohol on campus. When contacted by the College Tribune, the Garda Press Office said they that are unable to comment on cases that have resulted in a conviction. The Garda Court Services were closed at the time of going to print. A spokesperson for UCD issued a statement about the conviction. “The university works closely with the Gardai to ensure that any potentially unlawful incidents which take place on campus are subject to the full rigor of the law. This close cooperation helps maintain a safe and secure campus community.”
UCD top table after comfortable win
College Tribune September 22 2009
Should College Fees Be Reintroduced?
“I don’t think they should be allowed at all; student life is hard enough as it is and money is scarce, especially in these recessionary times.”
University chiefs refuse pay cut
“Well it’s terrible news for new students coming in but the government has got to get the money from somewhere and no faction in society is going to be happy about paying extra money”
l Education Minister calls for cut of €270,000 l Chiefs earn combined salary of over €1.6 million Philip Connolly The heads of Ireland’s seven main universities have refused a government plea to reduce their salaries by a combined total of more than €270,000 per year. Their refusal to accept a pay cut comes as students around the country worry they will struggle to meet the cost of third level education. Education Minister, Batt O’Keeffe, asked them to “show the way” six months ago by volunteering for a pay reduction. On Friday, the minister made no effort to hide his disappointment. In a blunt message to the seven, he said: “One would have expected that people in such senior positions would do the right thing.” The combined salaries of the university chiefs totals more than €1.6 million per year. A source stated that university chiefs felt angered at being singled out by the minister having already taken a pay cut through budgetary levies. They also got less of an increase than originally recommended by the review body on higher remuneration.
The row erupted as new figures show record numbers of students are applying for means-tested higher-education grants this year. Some local authorities are reporting increases in applications of up to 40 percent because parents have lost jobs and family financial circumstances have changed. Union of Students in Ireland president Peter Mannion said: “It’s absolutely outrageous these people won’t take a cut when everyone else has done so.” Mannion said that because of delays in processing the applications, many families had to borrow money from credit unions just to allow their children to start college. “It’s grotesque that the presidents are saying their colleges are in debt when they are on such high salaries.” He said. It is understood, the Presidents had considered the Minister’s request after it was made in March on the radio. At the time, O’Keeffe said that the Presidents were earning much the same money as secretary generals of government departments whose pay had been reduced by ten percent. O’Keeffe said that he did not intend to write to the seven presidents now. He
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stressed that the Higher Education Authority was aware of his views. He assumed it had conveyed them to the college chiefs. “It is a voluntary decision for them,” he said. One university president, Dr Jim Browne from the National University of Ireland, Galway, has come out publicly in favour of pay cuts across the board in the public sector. A spokesperson for the Irish Universities Association stated that a further report from the review body, which is due shortly, would determine salary levels for senior public servants. This includes university presidents. Sources said the report was likely to recommend salary cuts for some senior public servants. The pay issue is fuelling tensions between the minister and the university heads, who are also annoyed over a new staffframework protocol, which they claim undermines their traditional autonomy. In future, universities have to get permission from the HEA before they can fill vacancies, and then only on a temporarycontract basis.
Fashion Editor: Aoifa Smyth Photography Editor: Barry Hennessy Copy Editors; Sebastian Clare Eileen Gahan
Contributors; Jennie Moles, Eileen Gahan, 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
I don’t think it’s good at all. I feel bad for first years but I am thrilled I never had to pay fees as there’s no way I would have been able to afford them.
Well I go to the University of Leister, so I think you’re really spoilt to be honest because we pay loads more fees than you do so Irish students should have to pay a bit more as far as I’m concerned.
I’m pissed off. It’s fairly crap because my sister is going to have to pay fees going into college next year and my parents can’t really afford to be paying ridiculous money for her education.
I think it’s a disgrace. It’s pretty awful first years are looking at having to borrow money to get their education and having a huge debt before they’ve even graduated or begun working.
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
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College Tribune September 22 2009
UCD academics front ‘No’ to lisbon campaign
l Anti-treaty groups speak out against Lisbon l Lecturers oppose “militarisation of EU” Jenny Moles Two prominent UCD lecturers have hit out at the Lisbon Treaty, urging people to vote no in the up-coming referendum. A vote is being put to the Irish public a second time after it failed at referendum last year. Ireland is among one of the few EU countries able to vote on the Treaty due to a clause in its constitution. The UCD academics are part of anti-treaty groups that have been vocal in condemning Lisbon. Dr Kieran Allen is a senior lecturer in sociology and member of the Socialist Workers Party. Allen is editor of the anti-Lisbon website, VoteNo.ie. Ailbhe Symth is a lecturer in the School of Social Justice and member of Women Say No to Lisbon – Again. Allen and Symth spoke to the College Tribune about their respective ‘No’ campaigns. “Many people see the No vote as a way of driving the current government from office,” says Allen. Allen’s VoteNo.ie website was set up to campaign against the Treaty. It provides his principal arguments for a No vote. “Each of the bank bailouts that have occurred has received the express permission of the EU,” according to Allen. “The programme of cutbacks, which the government will introduce after the Lisbon vote, is connected to the EU Growth and Stability Pact,” claims the site. Allen is keen to stress his opinions on the European Defence Agency (EDA). He believes the Lisbon Treaty will provide legal
backing to the EDA. “A Yes vote will make military spending mandatory in order to produce more efficient war machines. I prefer spending money on jobs.” Smyth agrees with Allen on the issue of militarisation. She believes that the Treaty could “further militarise the EU by giving a legal base to “battle groups”; constitutional support to NATO and requiring countries, even neutral ones such as Ireland, to increase their military capacity and spending, thus shifting money away from essential public services.” From Symth’s position as a lecturer in Women’s Studies, she speculates that the Treaty would have a negative impact upon women. “Lisbon places the interests of the market, not people, at the heart of the European project. Lisbon would harm the interests of women in Ireland and throughout the EU”. The College Tribune asked both lecturers if they have engaged with UCD students on the issues involved in the Treaty. “Unfortunately, as yet I have not had the chance to engage in informal discussions with students.” says Allen, who has been devoting time to the website and his public campaign. Symth was unaware of the general feeling of students towards the Treaty. Both Allen and Symth expressed their desire for students to make their voices heard and vote on the issue. The referendum takes place across the country on October 2nd.
More top grades suggest lower standards lUCD accused of discrepancy between standards of marking across different subjects lUCD is placed second with regards to number of firsts and 2.1s awarded Cathy Buckmaster Irish colleges have been accused of “dumbing down” this week after it emerged that a higher percentage of students were being given top degrees. This comes amid controversy that Irish universities are lowering their standards by producing graduates who are less competent. The Sunday Times reported last Sunday that many of Ireland’s third level institutions were being more generous with marking. With reference to findings from The Sunday Times University Guide 2010, the article suggested that in previous years, less than half the students received top grades. However, last year saw 58% of third-level Irish students graduating with a first or 2.1. Grades have been increased so much in some Colleges that TCD has fallen from first to joint third place in regards to the
amount of high grades awarded to students. UCC holds first place with the highest number of firsts and 2.1s and UCD comes second. Despite evidence suggesting that academic standards are weakening, the grades continue to climb. The Sunday Times also found there were inconsistencies with marking across different subjects. It mentioned there was evidence of more difficult marking in subjects which had required higher CAO points, such as medicine, architecture and engineering. According to the article, in 2003, for example, only 19% of UCD veterinary students graduated with a first or 2.1 despite most entering with upwards of 500 points in the Leaving Certificate. Whereas, 74% of UCD’s Arts students, which had lower requirements, got a top degree. When asked about the higher number of top degrees awarded, a spokeswoman from UCD said, “We’ve used the same
calculations, [to calculate the number of firsts] for the past four years. There is no basis to any suggestion from an anonymous source that suggests that we are giving out degrees easier.” A senior NUI source commented about the new findings, that the policy of gradually “using the full range of available marks” is intended to align marking standards with international levels. This is most likely as a result of research carried out by Garrett Fitzgerald, a former Taoiseach and NUI chancellor which found that other countries are more generous in their marking. With regards to marking, third level institutions are normally self- regulated. However, exams and coursework that go towards final grades are checked by academics from other universities. There is little evidence to suggest that the rise in grades is a result of any new system of learning or improved quality of teaching.
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College Tribune September 22 2009
News in Brief Compiled by Cathy Buckmaster Overnight guests now permitted in Res Discussions between the manager of residential services Richard Brierly and the Students’ Union have had positive results. It has been decided that overnight guests are now permitted in campus residences. The agreement was reached with the condition that the resident informs their reception before 4pm that day. This is a change from previous years when the residential committee ruled that no overnight guests were permitted on campus. A suggestion to install a condemn dispenser in the launderettes on campus is also in discussions. UCD will not close if Swine Flu outbreak occurs Professor Michael Monaghan who is Head of UCD’s Swine Flu Committee has stated that the University has no plans to shut its doors should there be an outbreak of the virus. Monaghan stated that they would not eliminate the possibility completely. “Current HSE advice is that institutions should not close down, but this will be kept under review.” Students should not worry if they miss lectures due to the illness “Schools and Programme Offices have developed contingency plans for delivery of course material and for dealing with problems arising as a result of students being absent due to the flu,” Monaghan explained. UCDSU now lowest paid in country UCD Students’ Union president Gary Redmond has come up with one way to tackle the University’s huge budget deficit. Redmond recommended a pay freeze to the independent appeals board for all Sabbatical Officers. UCDSU are now the lowest paid in the country in comparison with other Students’ Unions. STI screening available on campus For the first time ever, a full STI screening service will be provided on campus. Last year, STI screening was available at a subsidised price off campus. The first appointment date is the 28th September. To make an appointment, please email clinic@ ucdsu.ie. World contraception day will also take place on 25th of September. Events to raise awareness about sexual health will be taking place on campus.
Rent increase on campus l Many rooms in UCD student residences remain empty l Other Irish Universities have decreased rents Niall Dolphin The UCD Accommodation Office has raised rents on campus residences by seven percent this year. The decision was made despite the fact that average Dublin rents are down abou t seventeen per cent. Students have taken advantage of the decreased rents off campus. Unlike previous years, many rooms in student residences such as Glenomena, Merville and Belgrove now remain empty. Students’ Union President Gary Redmond said increase in rents is a yearly occurrence. “The University has a policy of
increasing the cost of campus accommodation by five per cent each year. The University uses the proceeds of the increase to pay for the renovation of Merville, the planned renovation of Belgrove, and additional on campus residences.” “Despite the current economic conditions and the significant drop in private rent in the areas surrounding Belfield, the University decided to maintain its five per cent increase policy,” Redmond says. The Accommodation Office was unavailable for comment. The College Tribune has learned that other Universities have not increased their rents for on campus accommodation. The Accommodation Office in University College Cork confirmed this. “Prices have fallen across the board at UCC. The aver-
age on campus accommodation is down from €120 last year to about €100 to €105 this year. This was instigated from within our own Accommodation Office,” a representative said. Rose Merrigan, Accommodation Executive at University of Limerick, commented that prices for on campus accommodation are “down roughly €60 per person in a six bedroom apartment.” She said that this was also due to the fact that “the price of electricity and gas has gone down.” A representative from the Residence Office at NUI Maynooth said that a “rent freeze has been implemented which was instigated by the Student Residence Officer Fiona Kenny.” The only increase in campus accommoda-
tion at NUI was in the University Village apartments. The complex is run by St Patrick’s College Maynooth, a separate body from the University. The increase was €2 a week. No rent freeze has been implemented in UCD. Redmond said that the Students’ Union believed it was “unwise” to raise rents. Redmond added, “We were very vocal on the matter. The SU raised it at the University’s Finance Committee and in meetings with the Commercial Office” In the coming weeks, Redmond will be “raising the matter at the Finance Committee and lobbying for a halt on the implementation of the five per cent increase policy.”
Report finds religion reduces suicide danger l Report by academic links religion with reduced risk l Please Talk set up after suicide Karina Bracken A report produced by a prominent UCD academic has found that religion can reduce the risk of suicide. The report entitled, “The psychosocial benefits of religious practice” was produced by Professor Patricia Casey of the UCD school of Medicine in association with the Iona Institute. It investigates the link between religious practice and mental well-being. UCD Student Chaplain Leon Ó Giolláin has spoken to the College Tribune about suicide among students. Ó Giolláin believes that the report contains some important insights. “At the beginning, the main benefit that the report mentions is the reduced risk of suicide shown in those who practise religion. Similarly studies have shown that it can also reduce the risk of depression and ease bereavement effects.” Ó Giolláin confides that suicide is a problem that concerns chaplains. “This worry prompted us to set up the Please Talk campaign. It was originally developed here at UCD, but I am glad to say that it then became national. I am involved in the committee together with the Students’ Union officers.” Please Talk began in UCD February 2007 in response to the death of a student by suicide. By March 2008 it had been adopted by all of the Universities in the State. “Chaplains would be particularly concerned
with looking at the causes of the malaise at the root of suicide. Why do people feel that this is the only escape? Is it something to do with a modern inability to accept that life isn’t always easy? Or a difficulty in finding meaning behind things?” “By talking to students who may be experiencing these feelings, we hope to find any underlying causes that can be addressed.” “Basically, we are interested in people’s quality of life. We help people that come to us who feel that they are unable to live life to the full, that that capacity has somehow diminished.” “We aid the person in looking at their life and help figure out why. At the end of the day we are concerned about people and their well being,” says Ó Giolláin. Ó Giolláin advises students who are finding college difficult to join societies like the Saint Vincent de Paul. “Sometimes helping other people is a great way to forget your own problems for awhile. It is a key insight for well being.” “Culture tells us that it always has to be ‘me, me, me’, my career and my fulfillment. Sometimes when you leave this sense of ‘me’ behind and focus on another human being, you actually find that all your own needs are met.” So you can see how chaplains might be relevant to the modern university. Professor Casey’s report demonstrates that religion is not irrelevant and can deal with current issues. Sometimes the human answers are not enough. You may need something bigger to help cope.”
College Tribune September 22 2009
UCD student swims Channel
l10 hours to complete 21 mile swim l€4,500 raised for charity Karina Bracken A second year PhD student has successfully completed the English Channel swim for charity. Julieann Galloway is studying for her PhD at the Clinton Institute for American Studies. In August she undertook the mammoth physical challenge of swimming the Channel. “The English Channel at its shortest point is 21 miles. It’s about 22 miles of actual swimming because of the tides. I trained for about two years for it. This included a lot of cold water training, really long sea swims of about seven hours and building endurance in the pool.” Galloway swam on behalf of Headway Ireland, which assists people with acquired brain injuries. “I decided on Headway because I suffered a brain injury when I was three.” “I fractured my skull, and had substantial brain swelling, which almost took my life. I was in a coma for five days, but miraculously woke up and proceeded to make a full recovery.” A boat with two experienced Channel swimmers accompanied Galloway the whole way. She shared her experiences of the swim with the College Tribune. “The first hour was hell. It was very choppy and I was swimming in pitch black
water with mirrored goggles. Plus, I had a Black Eyed Peas song in my head the whole time.” “Overall the swim, for lack of a better word, hurt” She exclaims. “I encountered a storm around the two to three hour mark. It was very choppy with Force four winds. Luckily, it had subsided by about seven hours.”
“At six hours I was tired, really, really tired. I was in so much pain that I was feeling mentally down. My shoulders, arms, elbows, hands and fingers were aching with a pain that is hard to describe. At one point, I quoted South Park’s Cartman, saying, ‘Screw you guys, I’m going home’.” “I was extremely nauseous and dizzy during the entire thing. I did get sick a few
times toward the end.” I kept telling myself, ‘You can puke the rest of your life, just hold it in now.’” “My mind was a bit weird; I felt so focused on not hitting the boat, swimming powerfully, and not puking that I didn’t think of anything else really. Normally I have some great thoughts when I swim.” “I had a secret goal of going under ten
hours, which I am happy to say I made,” Galloway exclaims. Galloway has so far raised €4,500 Euro, with an eventual target of €10,000. “I hope to do more swims on Headway’s behalf, so I am now fundraising for the future.” If you would like to read more about Galloway’s swim visit http://www.jgalswims. com
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College Tribune September 22 2009
Fight Against Fees
Students’ Unions put pressure on Government l l
USI and UCDSU plan to lobby TDs UCD only gets third of Registration fee Philip Connolly
...Continued from front page If the Education Minister gets his way and a student loan scheme is introduced in Ireland, we would experience the same problems.” “Over the coming weeks, myself and Donnacha Ó Súilleabháin intend to meet Green Party TDs to gauge their definite stance on this issue. The Green Party has always claimed to support a free education system; we’ll see if that is true in our meetings with them.” The USI plans to lobby representatives as part of a postcard campaign and to consider a ‘name and shame’ campaign against those TDs supportive of bringing back third-level fees. O’Neill said they would consider resorting to direct action such as occupying offices, if their objections are not listened to. “We’ve had meetings with various politicians. Certain members of Government are willing to break ranks with the Government about college fees, including Charlie O’Connor who is a Fianna Fáil TD in Dublin South-West and Ciaran Cuffe who is a Green party TD in Dun Laoghaire,” stated USI Eastern Area Officer Chris Bond. “It’s very important that we keep the issue of fees on the agenda, and we would like students to send letters to their local TDs and take part in protests.” “There is talk of a general election in the next few months. We believe that because of the pressure that USI have put
on various Government TD’s, they may be less likely to introduce fees now but it could be introduced in the near future.” September 15th marked the deadline set by Minister Bat O’Keefe for cabinet members to submit their views on the reintroduction of college fees to him. The fee protest comes at a time when UCD President Hugh Brady and his fellow University chiefs have refused Minister O’Keefe’s calls for them to take a pay cut (for more information see Page 2) In documents attained by the College Tribune, it was revealed that only 33% of the €1500 student services charge fee, paid by students at the beginning of every academic year, goes directly to UCD. “I think it’s unacceptable that the registration fee is used to subsidise the costs of tuition when it is the Government’s responsibility to pay,” stated Bond. “The registration fee was brought in for the benefit of student services, and it isn’t being used for this.” The College Tribune has learned that of the €1500 euros paid by each student, €993 is used to counter the reduction in the HEA core grant. This is compared to the €983 registration fee paid by TCD students, of which €306 euros is paid to the government. “Essentially this is a way of bringing in college fees through the back door” said Bond. “It undermines the whole concept of publicly funded education.”
Fees Timeline August 11th 2008
In a significant policy change, Education Minister, Batt O’Keefe told The Irish Times that third level fees were back on the agenda. He claimed there was “no question of imposing new charges on those who could not afford them.”
September 10th 2008
O’Keefe reveals that he personally backs the return of third level tuition fees. The Union of Students in Ireland(USI) slams the Minister as “Misguided and out of touch.”
by cathy buckmaster
September 23rd 2008
UCD students express their discontent at the developments in a protest march to the Tierney building.
September 26th 2008
The USI releases a statement expressing that the return of fees could spark further graduate emigration.
October 22nd 2008
In a demonstration organised by the USI, 10,000 students marched to Leinster House in protest against increases in college registration charges and the possible reintroduction of third level fees.
February 4th 2009
15,000 people once again took to the streets to protest against the potential return of college fees. O’Keeffe signalled that student loans or a graduate tax could form a key part of the Government’s plans for third-level funding.
April 1st 2009
In response to the impending cabinet discussions concerning third level fees, an ‘education lockdown,’ took place. This saw students skipping lectures and gathering by the lake where they were addressed by the USI president, Shane Kelly and SIPTU member, Kieran Allen.
August 12th 2009
The USI held a demonstration outside Trinity College advising Leaving Cert students they may face payments should they enrol in third-level courses. It was held to coincide with the release of the Leaving Cert results. O’Keeffe has signalled that a student loan system may play a part in Government plans for funding the third level sector.
August 20th 2009
In a letter circulated by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the department, college presidents were asked to inform all new students, as part of their induction, that third-level fees may be re-
introduced in the 2010 academic year. The department hopes this move will help to avert any legal challenge by students to a new fees regime.
September 15th 2009 After camping outside Leinster House the night before to protest against the reintroduction of third-level fees, the members of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) got ready for another protest against fees. They were joined by hundreds of students from around the country for a rally as it was the deadline set by O’Keeffe for Cabinet members to submit their views on the reintroduction of fees issue.
College Tribune September 22 2009
EU Fees Austria €363 Per Semester Belgium €500-800 Per Annum Bulgaria €50-€200 per annum Czech Republic None Cyprus None Denmark None Estonia €420 - €1200 per semester Finland None
Government warned about fee consequences l l
New Zealand economy suffered from loan schemes Graduates could be left with 10 billion euro debt Philip Connolly
The President of New Zealand’s National Union of Students, Sophia Blair, has warned Minister Batt O’Keefe that the introduction of third level education fees could have serious ramifications for Ireland in the long term. Blair has spent the past few weeks in Ireland campaigning with the USI and various Student Unions in opposition to college fees. In an interview with the College Tribune Blair expressed her fears that Irish students will be forced to contend with the same problems as her fellow countrymen. “In New Zealand we currently have a €10 billion debt owed by students and graduates to the Government. Considering that New Zealand and Ireland have similar populations, it would be quite revealing for the Irish Government if they could see a €10 billion debt hanging over graduates heads. It is obviously very worrying.” “Some of the key issues that have come out of the student loan scheme have had a much wider impact on society, particularly issues like home ownership and mortgages. A survey of bank managers showed that the most common reason for turning down a mortgage was student debts. In turn this has had an effect on the property market as a whole.” “My generation has been shut out of buying a home. How can you save for a deposit when you have a €20,000 loan hanging over your head?” “We also suffered a lot from “brain drain”.
People started heading over to Australia and the UK so they could pay off these debts due to the favourable exchange rates. New Zealand is now in need of highly qualified doctors as health care officials are leaving the country. We have a lot of skill shortages because of the debts.” “Another problem we suffer from, according to New Zealand’s leading demographer, was that the student loan scheme was the most anti-natalist piece of legislation that the government had ever enacted.” Since she has been in Ireland, Sophia Blair has met many TDs on behalf of the USI. Blair has warned them of the direct and indirect consequences caused by student loan schemes as experienced in her country. She hopes the Irish Government will learn from New Zealand’s example. “Most of the TD’s we have spoken to have been quite surprised about the impacts that student loan schemes have had on New Zealand society.” “I think that Batt O’Keefe has used Australia and New Zealand as a practice models to really sell the system. He hasn’t told the full story. So we have brought up a lot of questions that perhaps the Government hadn’t thought about. I think that’s quite positive that they are now thinking about some of those problems.” “I think we will get some positive responses. I know that there are great economic problems, but it is the long term future of the country we’re talking about. Students will eventually have to pay the consequences of what happens.”
What your registration fee is spent on 2009/10
Student sevice charge per student; €1500 paid by 13,283 students (55.68%) Total income from student sevice charge €19,925,000, of which €6,667,000 Income to UCD Per Student €503 income to UCD €997 used to counter reduction in HEA grant Of €503; Student services 19%, Careers Office 3%, Health and Councilling 8%, Sports and recreation 6%, Caption and other grants (socs, SU, clubs) 10%, Examination costs 24%, Space costs associate with college facilities 12%, Costs relating to registration, admission etc. 18%
France Universities No, Grandes Ecoles up to €7500 Germany €100-€500 per semester Hungary €16-€48 per month Italy
minimum €750 per annum,Universities set fees
Latvia €700-€5811 per annum Lithuania €0-€3475 Semester Luxembourg €100 per semester Malta
Netherlands €1583 per annum Norway None Poland Public universities none, private €4000-€10000 Portugal €500 per annum Romania USD $350-650 Per annum Slovak Republic None Slovenia None Spain
Public €550-€900 per annum, Private up to €6000 per annum
Sweden €1230-€2900 per annum United Kingdom Public Up to £3,070, Private up to £1600 per annum
Russia 15% of students pay Fees (those who are taking 2nd degree, those who did not meet entry requirements USD $2500-$8000 per annum United States University set fees, average between $12000-$16000 *Fees are stated according to CESifo DICE Report 4/2007, accurate as of academic year 2007/8
College Tribune September 22 2009
Being part of the bigger picture Philip Connolly speaks to Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland about the experience of Muslim life in Ireland In the early 1950s, Muslims first began arriving in Ireland. They came mainly as students, but some of them later settled in Ireland and married Irish nationals. The first Muslim organisation in Ireland, the Dublin Islamic Society, was formed in 1959 by a group of Muslim students. Ali Selim, one of the organisations leading scholars, is a tall man with a gentle softly spoken manner, and speaks elequently about how the Islamic community has experienced Ireland. “We see ourselves as part of what you would describe as the Irish culture. This is because we’re now talking about second and third Muslim generations, they are Irish of birth. According to latest statistics, one third of the Muslim population in Ireland is Irish. In the past we were talking about integration but at the moment were talking about contribution. Look at Ireland - I mean the Muslims who originally came here used to see Ireland as a transit. However they raised families in Ireland and had their children educated in the Irish system. They may have also gotten a job here, so they started to look at Ireland as the home of their children and the children will probably not go back.” Selim speaks about the differences between Muslim and Irish social culture and how they can be difficult to overcome. “There is one thing that you can see quite clearly when it comes to socialisation in Ireland. You guys are very good at socialising, but it inevitably involves alcohol. The problem is that we cannot do it. Muslims don’t drink alcohol. Similarly we don’t like being in an environment in which alcohol
is consumed. To be honest, it is difficult for a younger Muslim man or woman to socialise in Ireland. To be fully integrated they would have to be able to go to pubs. There’s nowhere to go to be honest. Even for Irish people who do not drink, where do they go?” “I see it as a responsibility of the Government to facilitate alcohol-free places. Let’s say, for example, you want give yourself a day in the week when you don’t consume alcohol. If you want to go out on that day where will you go? I think that’s one of the major problems that Muslims are facing here”. Selim believes that social integration is important for cultural integration. He feels that socialisation is very important because it brings people closer. “Socialising means that people mix at leisure time and it is not serious like at work. It is important that people are relaxed. It shows the good side of everybody when people are not under stress and are relaxed. This is more difficult for Muslims because of the absence of alcohol.” “The Muslim community in Ireland is a very different one to that in much of the rest of Europe,” Selim explains. “If we try to compare the Irish situation to the situation in other countries it would not be fair for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Muslim community in Ireland is a relatively new community. It is also a small community of 45,000. If I want to pass a message to these people it would reach them easily.” “The Irish population is small, only 4 million. I believe in this kind of smaller circle
you can pass information quickly and that can help you to organise your affairs in a faster way. The Muslim community in Ireland is a highly educated community. You can hardly find a member of this community who has less than a third level qualification. A lot of them have PhDs, Masters and things like that. The fact that they
have these degrees of qualification means that they are contributing to Ireland. In my comprehension education is the foundation of understanding and living well together. When you’re dealing with highly educated people you find it easier to communicate and live with them. They know what they have and what they owe. They
know their rights and responsibilities.” “The second thing is that Ireland is different because it has never occupied any countries in the past. Ireland has never looted natural resources of any country. Ireland is not involved in fighting with any countries. For example if Ireland is involved in a war against country A, you can find citizens from that country living in Ireland. What will their feeling be in such a situation? Like you are killing my brother or cousin over there, how do you want me to deal with you? It’s a great obstacle. I think this creates a tension and a counter tension. I have to say Ireland is not like this at all.” It is refreshing to hear that the Muslim community is very much at ease in its surroundings, and experiences few problems regarding race. “Actually most of the Muslims here feel comfortable enough to live in Ireland. Muslims have been here in Ireland since the early 50s. They’re about 60 years here now. And if you look at the number of racial events for example you can count them on our fingers, which is great. It means that there are no problems. When in fact you just cross the boarder there are a lot of other issues”. “I have to say after the 11th of September some Muslims were accused of these actions. We have seen in some countries Muslims living in other parts of the world that suffered a lot. For us here in Ireland we actually received a lot of letters, many people came to offer their solidarity with Muslims. Nothing of what we have seen on the screens happened in Ireland.”
College Tribune September 22 2009
Across the Oceans
As UCD’s own Dr. Emmanuel Reynaud sets off with the Tara Oceans expedition, he caught up with Philip Connolly to tell a story of true adventure The ship rocks heavily starboard as a wave burst up over the bow, the water is on the wrong side of zero degrees and the cold bite of the wind rushes over the deck. This is not your average science laboratory. There are few real life stories of adventure in the modern world, the days of shackletons unknown voyages or Edmund Hillarys long steps are confined to the history of a time different to ours. Yet Dr. Emmanuel Reynaud is setting out on such an adventure, which will take three years travelling around the worlds seas. As with any high sea adventure, there must be a villain, and as with most sea tales pirates are involved “I know we will have some problems around the red sea with pirates, it is an issue at the moment. It will set us back a month and there is one place where we cannot collect anything.” More realistic worries are of a financial nature, and a expedition as big as this is bound to have many. “We use a system called a CTD,its a big guy that we used to grab down, this thing is €150,000 so each time you put it down on a cable, you risk losing it, and there goes another €150,000.” The boat itself is also a worthy character in the tale. “The boat has a history as well, it was built 20 years ago by a french explorer, he
wanted to explore the Arctic but he could not get the money, so he sold it to sir Peter Blake, who was killed on that boat.” World famous yachtsman Sir Peter Blake, the man who once set the fasted time to sail around the planet, met his end aboard what was then called the seamaster, when on 6 December 2001. Pirates shot and killed Blake while he was on an environmental exploration trip in South America, monitoring global warming and pollution for the United Nations. The two-month expedition was anchored off Macapá, Brazil, at the mouth of the Amazon delta, waiting to clear customs after a trip up the Amazon river. At around 9 pm a group of six to eight armed, masked robbers wearing balaclavas and crash helmets boarded the Seamaster. As one of the robbers held a gun to the head of a crew member, Blake sprang from the cabin wielding a rifle. He shot one of the assailants in the hand before the rifle malfunctioned; he was then fatally shot in the back by Ricardo Colares Tavares. Aside from adventure, the Tara expedition may be vital to our plants well being. With our planets climate changing, global warming and its consequences are beginning to effect our lives. The increase in CO2 and its acidifying effects on the oceans are at the heart of the problem. Half of our CO2 production
is absorbed by planktonic organisms. They are at the very origin of life, and a major component of the climate engine. Through their photosynthetic activity these microscopic organisms produce as much oxygen as forests. Without oxygen-producing plankton, humans would never have seen the light of day, and without them, we will disappear. Our future is bound to the fate of the microscopic life in the oceans. How will plankton adjust to abrupt changes in the environment? Will the oceans bloom with invasive species or will there be ocean desertification? The Tara expedition will embark for 3 years on a unique trip around the world in search of answers to these basic questions. What makes this expedition unique is the multidisciplinary and continuous exploration of the world’s oceans and seas using the same collection and observation methods everywhere. “If you really want to understand how climate change is going, you need to understand what is happening under the sea. At the moment all of our data on Carbon comes from land, at the sea? We have ab-
solutely no clue.” Reynaud and a multinational team of scientists will do their utmost to understand life under the sea, but as with every expedition, the unforeseen is often beholds the most important discoveries. “that is the thing with an expedition, you hope to find something and you get something else. Darwin went first because he maybe didn’t want to be a priest, he didn’t
know what he was about to find, he just wanted to collect, the idea of a survey is to collect information and see what you can do with it. We think about climate change because its a big problem, but maybe we will find something completely different and that’s the interesting thing, you are going to the unknown, you have big questions”
10 Features Business and Finance
College Tribune September 22 2009
in Brief Nama will pay €54 billion for €77 billion worth of propertyrelated loans held by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank, EBS and Irish Nationwide. Nama will pay €7 billion more than the market value of €47 billion to reflect long-term economic value.
After the Fall A year on after the collapse of Lehman brothers sent the financial world into turmoil, George Lee explains the how and why to Philip Connolly, and passes judgement on the governments plans of recovery “It’s totally down to management, very bad regulation and significant mistakes right across the board. Not just in the policy areas of government and regulators they’re also obviously in relation to the management of organisation of banks.” “And with that I guess people got carried away as well individually about what they felt that they could pay back amount achievable. When there’s so much money available human nature tends to be a bit greedy and people probably when for it when they saw easy money, cheap money that was one of the things.” A year after the financial world stared into the abyss, the world is still coming to terms with the consequences. As chief economist for RTE George Lee picked over the bones of the financial ruin, and then decided he could use his skills in a different manner, as a TD for Fine Gael. “We had a very good economy up to 2002 and in 2001 I think there were very significant events which caused the whole global theme to change, and they were foot and mouth disease, the dot com bubble, which burst, and also the September 11th .After that because of the global shock associated with the two international elements interest rates came down in America to the lowest level in modern history stayed down very low. They were pushed down in Europe as well because of the fears about global recession and deflation and gradually came down to the 2% in Europe.” “At the same time there’s so much money available because of China’s surplus. The Chinese weren’t consumers, they linked
their currency to the dollar and because they linked their currency to the dollar it made sense for them with the surplus for the country. “So they put their surplus back into the global financial markets so you had this enormous surplus of cash available to anybody, you had very low interest rates available globally and that was like very very encouraging for all sorts of people to borrow and invest.” “At the election of 2002 here the government listed those restrictions and not only listed them but gave enormous tax breaks to investors to invest in our property market. The tax breaks we’re talking about were enormous.’ They were called section 23 which meant that if you or I went out and bought an apartment we could claim in some cases up to 90% of the costs of that apartment back off our taxes on the earnings form that apartment until as long as it took to pay off that amount of tax. So you had massive tax breaks on top of the cheapest money in the world, on top of the most available money in the world and that’s what switched it.” After months of a struggle to come to terms with the recession, the government has unveiled a plan to combat the banking sector’s malaise. Lee however, thinks that NAMA won’t help the public. “ Nama will work for the banks, it fixes up the banks but it stitches
up the tax payer, that’s the reality. It’s an enormously attractive thing now the way it’s shaped up for the banks and it’s enormously unattractive and enormously risky prospect for the tax payer. It is also extremely unfortunate in so far as it doesn’t guarantee any new lending in the economy, something we desperately need in the economic stimulus. I think that’s one of the biggest flaws with it.” “They have a huge economic crisis and they have decided to cut government spending, they decided to raise taxes with commissional taxation, and they have decided that us the tax payer will stand
behind all of these banks. They can’t keep taking from smaller and smaller taxpayers in my view without, what they have to do is deliver and economic stimulus.” “I understand that what’s going on in trying to fix the banks is making the economy competitive, we’ve got to get our cost base down, we have to get out banking system working so that when global growth comes we can jump over on the global growth bandwagon but we might be waiting a long long time for that global growth bandwagon and in the meantime we need something to keep our economy ticking over, we need a stimulus. This bank plan could have been a better stimulus. It could have insured and guaranteed that there would be more lending in the economy” And how do we try to achieve clarity in Banking? “The banking system for the economy it’s like the heart, it pumps the blood around the economy where the blood is the money, and what has happened is like a massive heart attack or a heart failure.” “if you have a heart failure the one thing the doctor does when they get them past the point of the crisis is they change their lifestyle, they make them eat differently, they make them exercise differently, they make them take more time, they make them de-stress, they make them go more slowly, they monitor them and that what has to happen to the heart of the financial economy, that’s what has to happen to the banks.”
A fraction of the money, €2.7 billion, will be paid in the form of subordinated bonds that will only pay out if Nama makes money. Property prices will have to recover by 1 per cent a year over 10 years for Nama to make money. Nama valuations of banks’ property-related loans are based on the assumption that prices have fallen 50 per cent since 2007 and are now close to the bottom. No new measures to ensure that banks lend on the money they receive from Nama. Banks will be given time to find new investors or else the State will take equity stakes. Bank guarantee scheme will be revised and extended. Windfall tax on land speculation will be introduced at committee stage. Anglo Irish Bank is the largest participant and will sell loans of €28 billion to Nama.
College Tribune September 22 2009
Back from Black With the recent media alertness to the dangers of depression, Cathy Buckmaster speaks to Fran Gleeson of Aware and a UCD student who once suffered from the illness about their experiences and advice they have to offer “The only way I could describe what it feels like is that you’re actually in a black hole and every time you try to climb back out, something falls on top and pushes you back down.” So explains Tom, a third year UCD Arts student, about his personal experience with depression. Stressed about those three essays due and no time to do them? Worried that there’s not enough money for rent? Upset you have nobody to eat lunch with? Feeing lonely after a break up? Stressed about the exams and reading lists? Students deal with various pressures and diversities that can get them down. University can be an incredibly overwhelming place when you arrive. It is normal to feel consumed by the work that is expected and the loneliness that such a huge campus results in. Fran Gleeson is a regional executive officer for Aware, a charity specialising in helping people suffering from depression, explains some of the more obvious symptoms of depression. “Often the first symptom is disturbed sleep.” “Poor concentration, memory loss, lack of interest in hobbies and predominantly negative thinking are also aspects and tiredness and fatigue as well. They can be the first signs of depression but the person may not necessarily feel unhappy yet.” Tom explains the events that led to the on-
set of his depression. “When I came to college, I found it a huge shock to the system to suddenly be faced with a huge University and to be away from my family.” “Very few of my friends came to college with me and it gave me a lot of time to myself to actually start thinking about things. I started thinking about my past and things I wasn’t generally happy with.” “It lasted quite a long time and it got quite severe to the point where I was self harming; I tried to commit suicide at one stage and took an overdose. I just had feelings of horrible self loathing.” Gleeson from Aware explains that a move to somewhere new, like coming to University, is a common trigger for depression. “There are different kinds, such as reactive depression after an event has occurred. It’s usually an event that involves losing something.” “Maybe the breakup of relationship, loss of loved one or particularly for students: moving away from home for the first time. It’s the loss of a comfort zone or previous way of life.” When Tom moved to Dublin, he was living by himself and found this was detrimental to his mental state. “I was an only child so I’d grown up not having a lot of other people around the house. However, I’d never properly lived alone.” Tom goes on to explain his conflicted
feelings about being around people at the time. “I was so suspicious of everybody so I tried hard to push my friends away. I wanted to be on my own but at the same time I didn’t want it. You’re crying out for somebody to come but also can’t stand anybody being around you.” “Two friends in particular - who really helped me a lot - actually sat me down one day and demanded I go see a councillor. So they walked me down to the healthcentre to see a nurse who arranged for me to see a councillor.” Gleeson offers advice on how somebody who suspects their friend is suffering can help them. “Probably the best thing to do is to talk to them first. Don’t underestimate how effective that can be. People when they’re depressed will withdraw from social contact. To have a friend ask them how they’re feeling and be persistent can be very beneficial.” There are many different types of treatment available for a sufferer of depression and even more opinions on which are the most effective. Anti-depressants have recently received some negative media attention when a student of Trinity College who was on medication murdered his friend before killing himself. Tom goes on to explain the negative impact prescribed medicine had on him; “I was on anti-depressants and was also
on Lithium for the manic side of things. I actually found that people were a little to quick to diagnose antidepressant tablets. The idea of being on them my whole life really freaked me out and I also hated the way I felt on them. I felt numb; I didn’t feel sad or happy. You have no extreme emotion of any kind.” Gleeson explains the complications associated with the controversial antidepressants. “Antidepressants are important for certain types of depression like genetic types. The difficulty with them is trying to get the right type of medication for the specific person.” “What works for one person, mightn’t work for another. It’s important that the person takes what’s prescribed and only increases or reduces after consultation with their doctor. They’re powerful medication so you should be careful with them.” Tom explains how the only treatment which succeeded for him was art therapy. “I think counselling can help people, but for me I feel it actually made me worse. The councillor was bringing up things from my past which I really had blocked away. Bringing them up was like opening a can of worms for me.” “Depression rules your life but you realise you still have some say. I had to come to terms with the fact you can’t change the
past. Someone said to me to not let memories of my past dictate my future and that had a lot of resonance. I realised that letting what had happened affect me now was like empowering the person who had hurt me back then.” “I also walked a lot, sorting out everything in my head and wrote and took up painting which would calm me down. Painting and walking have helped me a lot. They’re something you don’t have to think about and they really help you sort out your thoughts. I found it a better help than the medication.” Gleeson lend some advice for someone who may suspect they’re suffering from depression. “The place to go to in initial stages is a doctor as sometimes it can be a mental issue. Other times it can be a physical cause like underactive thyroid gland which can leave a person depressed.” “For types of reactive depression, talk therapy can be very beneficial whether it be a counsellor or a friend. You should never underestimate the power of getting together with friends and how much better it makes you feel.” For more information on depression, visit www.aware.ie
Íoc as scoil, Íoc as Colaiste A rang, éistigí; lámha suas na daoine a cheapann nár chóir dúinn táille choláiste a íoc? Gach duine! Lámha suas aon duine a cheapann gur ceart bunúsach é an t-oideachas do chách agus ní amahain do dhaoine saibhire? Gach duine! Lámha suas aon duine a bhí ag gearán faoi seo ar feadh na seachtaine? Gach duine! Agus lámha suas aon duine anseo a d’fhreastal ar scoil phriobhaideach? Sibhse, scriobh amach “Is fimíneach ceart mé” ar an gclárdubh caoga uair. Tagann go leor macleinn ó scoileanna príobhádeacha, scoileanna le táille idir cúig is ocht míle euro ar feadh bliana. Ach nach fiú é, nuair a tá na muinteoirí is fearr sa tír iontu, an chaighdean oideachais is áirde, agus criochnaionn na daltaí níos oilte agus éirimiúla ná na daltaí i bpobalscoileanna? Margadh ceart! Bhuel, bheadh – dá mbeadh puinn fhírinne sna ráiteisí thuas. Faigheann scoileanna príobháideacha torthaí níos fearr mar gheall ar rud amáhain: leathrom sóisealta. Tagann
na daltaí i scoileanna príobháideacha ó bhailte meánaicmeacha, lán cinnte go leanfaidh siad ar aghaidh don ollscoil agus go bhfuil sé tuillte acu. Baineann daltaí i scoileanna priobhaideacha taitneamh as ranganna lán le daltaí ag iarraidh torthaí maithe, lán sásta eolas a shú agus a athchraoaladh. Ní bhionn siad imníoch faoi dhaltaí nach bhfuil díograsach ar scoil, agus ní bhionn aird an mhuinteoir dírithe ar na daltaí sin ag iarraidh iad a choimead faoi smacht nó ag iarraidh orthu obair a dhéanamh. Freisin ní bhionn siad imníoch faoi dhaltaí le míchumas fholaigh nó dith speisealta, agus go mbionn aird an mhuinteoir toghta leo, mar tá scoileanna priobhaideacha iomráiteach gan na daltaí sin a thogáil sna scoileanna – níl siad ag iarraidh go mbeidh aon laghdu sna torthaí agus ansin na leigheanna, nó ainm na scoile a chur i mbaol, an bhfuil? Na maclainn atá ag gearán, caithfidh sibh glacadh le cúpla rudaí: 1; nach rud nua é táille ar choras aírithe oideachais, nach
pleann olc é ón rialtas chun ár airgead a fháil, ach rud coitianta le haghadh go leor daltaí fiú i meanscoil, 2; nach é príomh aidhhm ollscoil seans tri bliain a chaitheamh ag dul craiceálta sa bar ach cáilaíochtaí a fhail atá cabhrach post le tuarastal ard a fhail, ionas go mbeadh sé éasca iasachtaí maclainn a ais-íoc má thagann táille ollscoile isteach; agus le sin, tagaim go neata ar 3; má tá go leor daltaí sásta freastal ar scoileanna le táillí arda nuair a íocann Mamaí agus Dadaí astu – an í an fhadbhb go mbeidh orthu féin íoc as na táillí nua ollscoile? Ní chruthfeadh táille ollscoille córas oideachais árdnósach; tá sé sin cruthaithe cheana féin. I ndairire; Meanscoil, Ollscoil. An í mise an t-aon duine amháin a cheapann go mbeadh sé níos ciallmhaire an fhadhbh a réiteach go cróineolaíoch? B’fheidir gur fhreastal mé ar scoil níos costasai ná sibhse. Roe McDermott
College Tribune September 22 2009
Do the Locomotive In an effort to experience an adventure on a shoestring, Christina Finn donned her tourist crushing backpack to interrail the tracks around Eastern Europe The New Year has only just begun and already we find ourselves gazing out the lecture room window at the beautiful Irish weather and thinking about where our next holiday destination will be. The problem is however that the world has changed into a very different place. We used to be happy go lucky students without a care in the world. Now the stresses and strains of our messed up economy is on all our faces. We now no longer have the luxury of planning elaborate holidays abroad. We barely even have the option to plan a working summer abroad to America, Canada or Australia because all those countries that once opened their arms to us friendly Irish are now looking after their own. The downturn is doing just that, bringing us down. All this doom and gloom talk is the very reason we need a holiday and all is not lost. Options include a rainy weekend in a caravan in Cork but there are a lot more imaginative alternatives. You may not be able to afford the stateside visit this year or the five star hotel so why not look closer to home. If you want good time on a budget, interrailing is the holiday for you. Europe is right on our doorstep and the majority of us have been too busy exploring the far reaches of the world in the past few years to properly explore this gem, only a cheap Ryanair flight away. Both Usit and Sayit offer interrailing deals, prices depending on what zones in Europe you intend on visiting and how long you want your rail ticket to last. They offer similar prices for 22 day tickets and one month tickets. Usit offers over 26’s a one month ticket and a 22 day ticket for €609 and €479 respectively. Under 26’s get a better deal at €409 for the one month ticket and €319 for the 22 day
ticket. Sayit offer the same package but at a euro or two cheaper. Both companies also offer ticket passes for people who just want to visit one or two countries also. Your ticket will come into action from the first train you take and depending on the duration of ticket you choose, each day subsequent will be a countdown until it expires.
“Europe is a cultural melting pot with a million things to see”
These ticket options are still way too expensive for our cash strapped wallets and are just not worth it. From my experience interrailing these ticket prices are the maximum amount you could pay out on trains. Trains do not cost that much, the best option is to just pay as you go. For even more money saving and even more craic, an overnight train is the best option. You will save yourself paying for a night in a hostel and you won’t waste a nice day travelling. Carriages usually sleep four, and don’t believe everything you hear about night trains; they are not as bad as people say. You won’t be gassed in the middle of the night and find all your stuff stolen and the people you usually come across are perfectly friendly. Having said that, you do need to be aware of safety here as much as anywhere else. Lock your doors and sleep with your backpacks on your bed. Keep all your valuables such as passport wallet etc at the bottom of your sleeping bag or in a bum bag.
Night trains are an experience in themselves. All night chatting and stuffing your face with grub is the usual procedure, unless you’re a serious tourist who needs their beauty sleep for all the sightseeing. Don’t panic however, if the train stops and you hear loud bangs and a different language outside your window. As trains pass through other countries they are stopped for passport control. As they hold a flash light in your face, hold up your passport, wipe the sleep from your eyes and don’t worry how you look, they’ve seen a grumpy head on an Irish student before. Backpacking is just that; packing all your stuff on your back and hauling it around for a month or so. If there is any advice to give it is to pack lightly. I know it is a tough one whether to bring the strappy heels, but after hauling all the clothes that you will never wear around, you will be kicking yourself; hauling a 70 kilo bag around Europe is no fun. Boys don’t really have this problem, one pair of shorts and a t-shirt seems to suit them down to
the ground. Hostels are another issue people seem to worry about when interrailing. Book your first hostel in advance and then book as you go along. Rooms tend to be in even numbers so if you don’t want to share travel with an even number of your friends. Don’t be worried about sharing with others; it’s all part of the experience. After a drink or two with them, they will be your new foreign friends and you will meet them everywhere you go; turns out, it is a small world. Europe is a cultural melting pot with a million things to see but it has to be said that some countries are more visited than others and therefore more expensive. The popular capitals’ of Europe such as Paris, Rome, Berlin are all fantastic cities to see and if you have the cash flaunt it. For those more economical students who are saving for next year’s college fees, Eastern Europe is the place to go. These countries are truly the best up and coming destinations and the value of money com-
pared to home will astound you. Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia Herzegovina are the must see spots for broke Irish students this year. These destinations are simply beautiful; you’re in no way losing out by not getting to Western Europe and the culture and architecture is just as good. Prague has a nightlife Dublin would envy but also offers culture with the breath taking castle which looks like it’s been taken straight out of a gothic fairy tale. Our Polish neighbors are more similar to us than you might think because with some vodka shots, they could drink us under the table. Krakow is a wonderful city, the people are friendly, you will find great value for money and the town square is something that puts Eyre Square to shame. It is also not too far from Auschwitz, a moving and necessary tour every student should take. If you like the sun however, Hungary and Croatia in the Summer are the places to be. The Budapest Baths entrance fee is dirt cheap and for your few Euros, you can enjoy the full range of medicinal, eucalyptus, thermal baths as well as many swimming pools. A boat trip down the Danube River will give you the best sights of the city. Interrailing is a must have experience for all students and especially in these times. Eastern Europe is not downsizing your usual holiday; it’s just an option you may not have thought of while we all were counting our millions in the Celtic Tiger. Interrailing is really all about slumming it, not caring about the GHD and the matching luggage. It is about having the time of your life on a budget. After all, the best things in life are free and if not free then pretty damn cheap over in the East.
Student Assistance Fund 2009-2010 Applications are now being accepted for the Student Assistance Fund 20092010. This scheme is funded by the Department of Education and Science with assistance from the European Social Fund. It is means tested and funding will be targeted at those students who are in most financial need.
Students who are currently registered at UCD to a course of at least one year are eligible to apply. Please note that students who have completed a degree, and are registered for a second degree at the same level, (e.g. students undertaking a 2nd Bachelor, Masters or PhD degree ) are not eligible to apply. Closing Date: Friday 23rd October 2009, at 12.00 noon. Application forms are available to download from www.ucd.ie/studentadvisers. For further information, contact your Student Adviser. All applications must be submitted to Ann Oâ€™Hanlon, Student Adviser, School of Computer Science and Informatics, Room A.1.16, Computer Science Building, Belfield. Only fully completed forms, together with relevant supporting documentation will be considered. No late applications will be accepted. If you are considering making an application, you are strongly encouraged to request the appropriate financial documentation (e.g. P21, P60, etc) from the relevant source immediately as there are usually delays in obtaining this information.
College Tribune September 22 2009
Why Young Ireland Should Vote yes to Lisbon We face many interconnected and urgent global crises - economic recession, rising unemployment, pathetic regulation of financial markets, global warming, transnational crime, violent conflicts and global injustice and poverty. We need a more effective and democratic European Union to lead the way in finding solutions to these problems. Otherwise the consequences for our world and in particular for small countries, like Ireland, will be devastating. The NO campaigners such as COIR, Declan Ganley, UKIP and Sinn Fein, with their narrowly focused and selfish agendas, are choosing to ignore this reality. Declan Ganley was defeated in the last European elections, not only personally, but across Europe all but one of his 500 anti-Lisbon candidates were trounced. His single Libertas MEP has now jumped ship to join Sarkozy’s pro-Lisbon UMP. Yet despite this slap in the face Ganley continues to insist that Europe’s public supports his position and opposes the Lisbon Treaty. Sinn Fein says renegotiation would result in a ‘better deal’. This is a politically naïve, and even a dangerous argument from those who claim they want a more progressive treaty. Ten years ago parties affiliated to Labour’s European group, the Party of European Socialists, led the Governments of 11 of the then 15 Member States. It was this centre-left European Council that established the Conventions that prepared the Charter of Fundamental Rights in 2000 and the draft European
Constitution in 2003, the precursor of the Lisbon Treaty. Over the intervening decade however, Europe’s political balance has shifted to the centre-right. Europe’s conservative and liberal parties now govern 18 of the 27 Member States, the reverse of the situation ten years ago. The far right has also gained. How do they expect a more progressive outcome to renegotiations in those circumstances? Renegotiation did not take place after last year’s referendum primarily because Member States led by centre-left governments didn’t want to lose what had been achieved, particularly the binding Charter of Fundamental Rights, the binding Social Clause, the new protections for public services, and the new provisions on the social market economy, climate change, and eradicating poverty. A less progressive treaty of course would suit Ganley and COIR and UKIP, but is not the interests of working people, women or children. In addition to the broad democratic and social reforms and protections Lisbon offers there are firm practical reasons why younger voters should support the Treaty: It introduces a new binding commitment to ‘full’ employment - the existing treaties speak only of ‘high levels’ of employment (Art.3, TEU). It enhances Europe’s ability to tackle people trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children. (Arts.79 & 83, TFEU). For the first time ever, the campaign
against global warming would be made a core aim of European environmental policy (Art.191 TFEU). It envisages the establishment of a Voluntary European Humanitarian Aid Corp, enabling young people from across Europe to take part in civil humanitarian missions worldwide (Art.214, TFEU). It affords full consular protection for Irish citizens from other Member States’ embassies where there is no Irish diplomatic representation (Art.20 TFEU). It proposes a European sports policy (Art.165 TFEU) and better animal welfare requirements in EU policies (Art.13 TFEU). Lastly, it obliges Europe to consult directly with young people before issuing proposals likely to affect them while the ‘Citizen’s Initiative’ would enable at least one million people from across Europe to formally call for a specific European initiative (Art.11 TEU). If Ireland votes no again, we lose all this. It makes sense therefore that these progressive, democratic and social advances should be nailed down now, giving us a good foundation for more improvements in the future. Proinsias De Rossa MEP Labour MEP for Dublin Leader Irish Delegation, Socialists and Democrats Group Former Member European Convention on Future of Europe and Ireland’s National Forum on Europe
Why Young Ireland Should Vote no to Lisbon On October 2nd a lot of us students might not bother voting on the Lisbon Treaty. That would be a huge mistake and one that would cost us in the future, when we got our degrees and are looking for jobs. So while your preference might be to roll your eyes and turn the page, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read a bit more about this treaty. The Lisbon Treaty contains a lot that could damage your ability to get a good job or to earn a decent wage. Cóir is calling for a No vote, because once you’ve read the treaty it becomes pretty clear the damage it might cause. It could lose us jobs, drive down wages, take power from the people and give it to an unelected Commission, and allow the EU to overrule the Irish people and the Irish Constitution on important social issues. Voters are hearing a lot of heated debate on the treaty, but it is important to know what the treaty itself actually says. Cóir’s advice would be to check whether each point being made by Yes or No campaigners actually references the treaty itself. For example, the Lisbon Treaty doesn’t mention being at the heart of Europe, but Article 16 is very clear about halving Ireland’s voting power to a miserable 0.8%. Other alarming aspects in the Lisbon Treaty are that: It’s very clear that the Treaty helps to drive down wages. That’s
because Protocol 27 of the treaty upholds rulings made by the EU Court which allow a Polish contractor, for example, to bring Polish workers to Ireland and pay them the Polish minimum wage. Irrespective of the fact that the Irish minimum wage won’t change, in reality, Irish workers will have to accept similar rates or stay on the dole.
“Article 16 is very clear about halving Ireland’s voting power to a miserable 0.8%.” Lisbon threatens the remaining high-end jobs we have left in Ireland. More than 150,000 people are employed in Ireland by multinationals who come here because our corporate taxes are low. Article 113 of the treaty allows the EU Court to decide whether those low tax rates cause a distortion of competition. If our corporate tax rates are forced up, we’ll lose tens of thousands of jobs as those multinationals leave. Yes campaigners are desperately denying
this, but the truth was admitted by our own Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, who said in an interview last year that the EU “long term hidden agenda” is to “take control of taxation.” We lose voting power in Europe under the Lisbon Treaty. Article 16 of the treaty slashes our voting power to a miserable 0.8% while Germany’s doubles to 17%. We’ll be out-voted and marginalised, at a time when we urgently need to retain control over EU decisions. Article 6 of the Treaty makes the EU Charter of Rights binding on all EU member states including Ireland. That means the Charter is superior to our Irish Constitution and gives the EU Court the right to decide on important social issues, like abortion. Finally, this is exactly the same treaty that we rejected last year. Not a word has been changed, and the so-called assurances given by the EU Council on issues such as abortion, defence and taxation are not legally binding as they are not part of EU law. The Chairman of the Referendum Commission has confirmed that they will not change the treaty and simply described them as statements. Kate Bryan writes on behalf of the Cóir Campaign and is a student of Political Communications in DIT, Aungier Street.
College Tribune September 22 2009
To fee or not to fee, that is the question As the protest season begins again in earnest, and the University presidents refuse to take a pay cut; are we powerless to stop the reality of Third level Education fees? Should we the students pay for the education we receive? Given that a third of our registration fee already goes directly to the government, and the salaries of those in charge of our institution would embarrass many CEO’s, the students may seen powerless on an issue which will have long standing consequences in our lives. We are not a manufacturing nation, nor do we have great industries or natural resources. What we do have, or at least had, is expertise, education, a knowledge base that will encourage investment. Are we now going to mortgage this on a deficit born of bad practices and short term outlooks? The key to this countries future is an educated work force, one that can not just do a job but create jobs. Our education is key to this. By putting obstacles in the way, education in Ireland will falter, and so too will our economic future. Nor are we powerless. Stand up and fight, show the government elected to represent you that you will not take this lying down. Any clever politician has one thing in the forefront of his mind, votes. You have one of these, as do you parents, your family and your friends. The vote is not just powerful on a polling day, it is a dagger to hold over the head of a politician, show them you can hit them where they hurt. The wonder of a democratic state is that its government is answerable to its people. Its now that we should all be asking questions.
UCD’s repute; irreparably damaged?
The question of lowering standards in Irish Universities is not a welcome thought for a recent graduate like myself. After three years with over 60 essays/exams under your belt, the sheer idea that employers will see the third level, honours degree you were awarded with, in a lesser light is very disturbing. On top of the time and effort poured into achieving an honours degree, the possibility that new students may have to pay €12,000 to €15,000 as well as dedicate three years of hard work to achieve this feat is completely unacceptable. To ensure future graduates are not faced with worthless degrees, this College needs to take action. Many options can be considered to ensure students are getting the grade they deserve, be it excellent or poor, so a UCD degree’s credibility cannot be questioned. Where have the skilled and accomplished graduates that were so in demand in the late nineties and early noughties gone; is the capable student dead and gone, with the Celtic Tiger in the grave? Introducing a fair marking system, which could be applied across every faculty, where all essays and exams are marked or simply rechecked by an outside party. Alternatively, assessment markers could be specifically trained in specially designed courses before being given a bundle of papers to correct, to ensure objectiveness. Changes need to be instigated before the Universities reputation is irreparably damaged. If unskilled graduates are being awarded good degrees unjustly, they will soon become unemployable, wounding UCD’s character even further. Not a welcome prospect for the graduate of the recession who is concerned enough about their future prospects as it is.
Please do talk
The number of people that die from suicide each year in Ireland is estimated to be larger than the amount that die in road accidents. Yet is something that we rarely discuss openly. Death from suicide is usually not reported in the media; the euphemism “tragic” is often employed. Obviously the family of the person must be respected and protected. However this has added to the culture of silence surrounding the issue. Men are particularly affected. Young Irish males do not talk about their problems, bottling their feelings up or turning to drink to ease pain. There is the misconception that sharing your troubles signifies weakness. In fact speaking out, rather than suffering in silence, shows great strength and courage. Studies have shown that men are three times more likely than women to die from suicide. Even though more women attempt suicide than men, they are more likely to survive it. Only a very small percent of people that survive a suicide attempt actually go on to kill themselves. The larger percentage of people must have found something to live for. One point to hammer home is that there is always someone there for you. Look at the amount of people that have attended the funerals of those that have committed suicide. Everybody there in some way cared for that person in life. They would surely choose to help their friend/family member/co-worker than live with the inevitable guilt that affects people who were close to someone who took their own life.
Dear editor I would like to applaud the foundation of a UCD Secular Humanist society. It is long overdue. I’m sick and tired of the religious oppression that pervades UCD; the prayers before every lecture, the declaration of faith that each new student is forced to sign, the puritanical dress code that prohibits so much as a glimpse of flesh below the neck, the prudish censorship of society posters, and the stifling Catholic orthodoxy inculcated by lecturers and tutors. Was it just last term that a biology lecturer was dismissed for tentatively suggesting support for the theory of evolution? Of course, going beyond the boundaries of Belfield, the picture only gets bleak-
er. If the theocracy that is Father Brian D’Arcy’s Ireland is to be challenged, we need all the secular humanist societies we can get. I would just like to warn these brave crusaders that next year, no doubt, the UCD Nietzschean Transhumanist Society will arrive on the scene, keen to debunk the crypto-religious assumptions (equality, altruism, all that stuff) and fuddy-huddy conservatism of their elders. In fact, I thought I spotted a first-year cyborg or two wandering the campus already.... Yours Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh President UCD Groucho Marxist Society
found it impossible to function normally. I began cutting and starving myself about two weeks into the second semester.
Dear Editor, I write to you in relation to the introduction of fees for the student health service. In particular I am concerned with the introduction of the fee to attend the psychiatrist; these fees, as I’m sure you know, have been set at 40 euro. I’m now a third year student in UCD and my weekly spending money amounts to around 100 euro, when you subtract food and bus fares, that leaves me with under 50 euro to use for going out etc. When I was in first year of college I became overwhelmed by depression. I
At the time it was the only release I could find, the only way I could alleviate the oppressive ache that was within me. You see for someone who has never struggled with mental health issues, they can seem rather ridiculous and even childish and vain, but for those of us who have, then the pain is often indescribable. To feel like the world is against you, to feel detested, dirty, unnatural, to feel fear, to feel self loathing every day of your life is one of the hardest things anyone will ever have to deal with. It’s also a condition which needs medical attention. I found that medical attention in the student health service. I couldn’t actually afford it any other way,
I don’t have the money to pay for help and I don’t qualify for a medical card. I received the highest standard of care and can only praise the work of the health service in UCD. The sad thing is however that I know there are more students like me. Students who can’t afford 40 euro to see a psychiatrist. I can say with honesty that the student health service helped save my life, three years ago. Perhaps the university would re-consider the introduction of these fees so that the health service might be able to assist others in the same position. Anonymous
ive s u l c x E l l e b r e Tink lf e s r e h Lets Go
Organ festival ends in smashing climax New study on obesity seeks larger test group. War dims hope of peace Red tape holds up new bridges. Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing. Garda raid gun shop and find weapons Casket found as workers demolish mausoleum. And the weather, bright today, dark tonight.
Mary Harney tackles obesity The ever expanding minister for health, Mary Harney, has taken it upon herself to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity in Ireland. Mrs. Harney has revealed in a recent speech that she has created a supersize plan in order to deal with the developing problem of obesity in children. She has stated to The Turbine that this plan will entail her selflessly ridding Irish society of fatty carbs. When pressed as to what process this “ridding” will involve, Harney said that she has, as Minister for Health, taken it upon herself to consume as much fast-food as possible, thus cutting down the amount available to the general populace. She has enlisted the help of the Taoiseach Brian Cowen in completing this arduous task. Both have launched into the mission with gusto, ordering fast food outlets to deliver half their produce directly to Leinster House for inspection. Harney hopes this move will improve her public image, if not her personal one. She has, in the past, come under scrutiny as health minister due to her own voluptuous appearance. At a recent meeting of the European health ministers she caused a scene
when her XXL chair collapsed due to the stress it was under. The French Minister for Health is reported to have advised, “She ought perhaps to lay off zee fried mars bars.” Harney did comment on this unpleasant incident, unfortunately however her mouth was so full she could not be understood. At home she is currently under investigation in relation to an incident where she is supposed to have eaten a number of small children. She is reported to have lead the children into her Gingerbread house and while there, to have tricked them into getting in the oven, where they were cooked and later devoured. Garda press office is currently out of action due to Swine Flu and was unable to comment on the investigation. Harney did however manage to swallow in time to answer the accusations, and stated, “If I did intend on eating small children, why would I be introducing a system whereby they will in fact lose weight?” As nothing can as of yet be said with certainty on the matter, all we here at The Turbine can do is advise you keep younger relatives away from Leinster House.
Too sexy for UCD Last week Mr. Richard Butler insisted that several posters advertising societal events be removed, due to the fact that they were too sexually provocative. It has now emerged that the college authorities are taking the desexing of UCD one step further. Posters featuring the UCD SU are coming under attack from all sides. The posters which can be seen throughout UCD are now being deemed too sexy for public exposure. It seems that students are being distracted by the lustful and flirtatious SU posters, featuring the boys in all their godlike glory, and as a result are unable to function at their normal level without distraction. One university official commented that, “It is totally indecent to
display pictures of such sexy men throughout the college, and it is ridiculous to think that such posters would not have a major affect on the student body here.” Several young female students have had to pay the high price of a doctor’s visit as a result of gazing at the posters. It seems that upon viewing our sexy SU, they became weak at the knees and as a result fell to the ground, injuring themselves severely. Medical staff at the college have also noted an increase of students presenting with the symptoms of achybreaky heart syndrome since the election of our present SU. Cleaning staff are also calling for the removal of any photography of the SU within the college. One member of the janitorial team said that she is “sick and tired of mopping up drool left on the ground after people have
been staring at these posters.” Several of the posters have however, already been removed by students and stolen. The copy print shop in the arts block has been able to confirm to The Turbine that they have had several requests, from a number of students for copies of the poster to be laminated for what is described as “personal use.” Welfare officer, Scottie Ahern, was asked how he felt about the allegations being made against the sexy SU, but alas it seems, Scottie doesn’t know. The SU has also failed to deny claims that they are planning on printing a nude Christmas calendar, which will feature the lads au natural, covered only by strategically placed holly. It seems for now, this tantalising thought will simply remain speculation.
College Tribune September 22 2009
the college tribune
The College Tribune 15.9.09 ucd.ie/tribune/sport
Down the Line
Proving the doubters wrong
After all the media-fuelled doubts, Kerry came out on top in the All Ireland Final. Colman Hanley reflects on the buzz of All-Ireland Football Final day and assesses the achievement of this Kerry team. Colman Hanley The third Sunday in September saw Dublin awash in sunlight as the green and gold of the Kingdom and the red of the Rebels descended on Croke Park. The usual features of an All Ireland Football Final day were apparent, the scramble for last minute tickets, while the transport network was stretched by the crowds converging from the south. Unfortunately for the people of Cork, defeat to the Kingdom in Croke Park can be called a regular occurrence too. The game was filled with so much promise at the beginning for Conor Counihan’s side, but after leading 1-03 to 0-01 after just ten minutes, Cork went on to add only a further six points to their tally in the remaining 60 minutes of the game. By contrast, Kerry had no problems in front of goal, adding a further 15 points in that hour period. Even worse for the Cork men will be the statistic that they hit 14 wides. In past Croke Park encounters with Kerry, the Rebels failed to get enough possession of the ball and conceded goals to the Kingdom at crucial moments in the game. However in this year’s final Cork managed to win enough ball in midfield in the second half to have registered more on the scoreboard, while they also prevented Kerry raising the green flag. In reality though, it was the Leesiders’ lack of prowess in front of goal that lead to their down-
fall. By contrast, Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan and Tommy Walsh led the line with great composure for Kerry. The victory was Kerry’s third All-Ireland crown in the last four years, and their sixth final appearance in a row. For veteran midfielder Darragh O Sé, the victory represented his sixth All-Ireland winning medal. The feat is a remarkable achievement in this modern era of Gaelic Football for the 34 year old continues to put in consistently high levels of performance. Another Kerryman who deserved the plaudits was Tadhg Kennelly, who left Aussie Rules side Sydney Swans to return to the ‘amateur’ set-up of the G.A.A so he could emulate the achievement of his late father, Tim, and win an All-Ireland medal with Kerry. In a day and age where sportsmen are fuelled by a desire to earn as much money as possible and where loyalty is an alien word to many, Kennelly’s story is heart-warming. The real reason for Kerry’s victory though, were the hard-working performances of the under-rated members of the team. Diarmuid Murphy was again reliable between the posts for Kerry, his save from Daniel Goulding in the second half was crucial as a goal for Cork could have turned the game in their favour. In the full-back line, man of the match Tom O’Sullivan excelled as he kept Cork’s Daniel Goulding quiet, Marc O Sé put in his usual excellent performance, while Tommy Griffin was solid under the bar-
rage of high ball that Cork kicked into the forward line. In the half-back line Mike McCarthy came out on top in his battle with Pierce O’Neill, while Séamus Scanlon covered the midfield ground and disrupted Cork’s powerful midfield duo of Alan O’Connor and Nicolas Murphy. By comparison, a lot Cork’s key players were ineffective. John Miskella struggled to get space when raiding forward, while Paul Kerrigan and Daniel Goulding had days to forget as they were substituted before the end of the game. However, both are young enough to learn from this experience and can come back to fulfil their undoubted potential. All-Ireland final success for Kerry was an unrealistic prospect after the eight point defeat that Cork inflicted on them on June 13th in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. However that result showed that a rebuilding process for Jack O’Connor’s team was badly needed, so the defeat was perhaps a blessing in disguise. Mike McCarthy’s return to the Kerry panel was crucial, and he was slowly re-introduced back into the thick of things during the qualifiers. Kerry faced Longford, Sligo, and Antrim, but despite three victories, doubts were still being expressed about the Kingdom. Colm Cooper and Tomás O Sé were dropped after breaching team rules of discipline. When Kieran ‘Star’ Donaghy became a long term injury casualty, having re-aggravated an ankle injury, some people wrote off any hope of All-Ireland success for Kerry. However,
the draw for the quarter finals now came to Kerry’s aid because if there was anything that would get the Kingdom fired up and working together as a tight knit group, it would be a game against ‘The Dubs’ in Croke Park. The quarter-final display against Dublin was the most complete performance of the summer as Dublin were swept aside by a sublime Kerry. Despite their best efforts, the minor teams of Mayo and Armagh failed to serve up an entertaining curtain-raiser to the senior match. The game was littered with handling errors, mis-placed passes and poor decision making. However, in the crucial last ten minutes of the game, Armagh stood up and took charge of the game as they notched late points from impressive corner forward Robbie Tasker (2) and substitute Thomas McAlinden. The result was cruel on Mayo who suffered their second successive defeat in the minor final, but as Armagh captain Daragh McKenna best put it in his winning speech, “Don’t give up Mayo, you’re a good team”. After the disastrous planning for the Kilkenny and Tipperary hurling final two weeks ago, in which ‘Plan B’ was forced to be reverted to, the G.A.A. got their wish to have an on-field trophy presentation ceremony for the minor winners, Armagh. Despite the delay in erecting a stage on the field, the presentation proved to be a nice touch and the Armagh team looked to enjoy their lap of honour around the Croke Park pitch. Whether this becomes a com-
mon event in future All-Ireland Finals, remains to be seen. However in this day and age, pitch invasions could soon be a thing of the past as they only serve to increase the levels of danger for the spectators, while the cost of repairing the damage to the Croke Park pitch is also considerable. The G.A.A summer season was an overall success. There were sour moments in the year, too, the scenes witnessed in Clones in the tie between Derry and Monaghan gave a bad name to the game, and rightly, both players and officials were criticised for their roles. Two great positives of the summer were the emergencies of Wicklow and Kildare. Wicklow’s run in the qualifiers was a fairytale story as Mick O’Dwyer’s side defeated Down, Cavan and Fermanagh before falling to Kildare. For their part, Kildare also had a great summer. Despite losing the Leinster final to Dublin, they recovered from that blow to defeat Wicklow and reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals. Tyrone edged out the Lilywhites in a tight affair, but the year still proved a success for Kieran McGeeney’s side. His decision to remain as Kildare boss for another season should mean that the Lilywhites return next year as a very capable side. However the team to beat next year will still be Kerry. The pool of talent in Kerry is still there and even if one or two of the elder statesmen leave the Kerry panel, the replacements will most likely be found. Kerry for two in a row in 2010 seems like
College Tribune September 22 2009
Shadow Boxing Eoghan Brophy examines how the death of Darren Sutherland overshadows Bernard Dunne’s big fight
Photography by Barry Hennessy
This week, the Irish boxing public focus should be on the excitement and anticipation surrounding Bernard Dunne as he defends his WBA Superbantamweight title for the first time against Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. Instead they are mourning the tragic loss of Olympic Bronze Medallist, ‘The Dazzler’, Darren Sutherland. Frank Maloney, Sutherland’s manager, found the 27-year-old aspiring star, hanged in his southeast London apartment on Monday, the 14th of September, and he was pronounced dead at the 3pm that day. Maloney subsequently suffered a heart attack and is currently recovering in hospital in a stable condition. Tributes have poured in from the boxing world at home and abroad, with Ricky Hatton describing the middleweight as
“one of the outstanding talents from the Olympics. All of the Olympic boys have looked sensational but he had a little bit of class, he was very exciting and stood out.” One of Ireland’s Olympic boxing heroes, he was a popular man with many friends in the boxing world. Kenny Egan roomed with Sutherland on many tours and was devastated when hearing about the tragic death of the fellow Beijing medallist. “He was a great athlete, a close friend and a role model for any aspiring athlete. Darren was one of the hardest-working and most dedicated people I ever trained alongside.” ‘Hard-working’ and ‘dedicated’ keep cropping up in the tributes to the bronze medallist. In The Peacock Gym in Bromley, London, people weren’t aware of anything wrong with ‘The Dazzler’ saying “we never
knew anything was wrong. If we did we would have put our arms around him and pointed him in the right direction.” Life must go on and in the boxing world, things are no different. 11 days after the tragic loss of a potential future world champion, the current WBA Superbantamweight Champion from Neilstown, Dublin, will be defending his title for the first time against number 1 contender Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym. Even Jimmy Magee will have trouble pronouncing that name. The Thai boxer has won 37 out of 38 professional fights, 27 coming via knockout. Similarly, Dunne has only lost one of his 29 bouts with 15 wins by KO. It is certainly the biggest challenge of Dunne’s career, but after defeating Ricardo Cordoba in
thrilling fashion last March, the Neilstown man has shown he is up there with the best of them after finally ridding himself of ‘that’ defeat to Spaniard Kiko Martinez. Defeating Poonsawat and retaining his world title will cement his reputation in Irish boxing history. No stone has been left unturned in the lead-up to the fight with the Dublin dynamo bringing in experts from the sport and further afield to aid in his preparation. Mike McGurn, known for mainly in rugby circles as conditioning expert for our Grand Slam champions, has put Dunne through his paces, making sure he is fit and ready for anything. “Some of the sessions we’ve been having have been phenomenal,” says Dunne. “They make you heave. They’re that type of session. It’s
what you have to do.” By defeating Cordoba, Dunne took his boxing to another level, but he knows he will have to up his level of performance once again if he has any chance of retaining his title. He will have the passionate Irish support behind him and the support of the whole boxing community. Yet even in such a focussed mode, Dunne is brought back down earth when he thinks about the tragic loss of Sutherland. “His death puts everything in perspective,” says Dunne. “It’s hard to come to terms with it. Darren was such a brilliant talent. He’ll be a huge loss to Irish boxing and to his family and friends.” The Irish boxing world needs some light at the end of the tunnel. Bernard Dunne is the man who can bring that to them.
UCD fail to push through to semi-finals ....Continuned from back page
Photography by Ian Mulholland
Mary’s soon replied through a great point near the sideline from midfielder Shay Kelly and ended the half strongly with another point to leave UCD two points down at the break. A positive start to the second half was needed for Dave Billings’ men, but instead they fell further behind. Blaine Kelly’s high free from the left touchline was spilled by UCD keeper Stephen Gallagher, as he tried to prevent a point going over his crossbar. However, all he managed to do was spill the ball to the onrushing Mary’s forward Declan Byrne, and he tapped the ball in to leave UCD trailing by five points. Despite this blow, UCD again fought back. The impact of second half substitute Ryan Mallon gave UCD some extra impetus going forward, while half-backs Shane Redmond and Robert Maloney showed great energy in getting forward and joining the attack. Five points in a row from half-forward Murphy, Maloney, Mallon and Ronaldson (2) levelled the game once more. However, UCD never managed to hit the front, and this would be their downfall. David Marshall and Ronaldson traded points, before Marshall pointed again to give Saggart the lead in the final five minutes. A late point from Benjy Kelly killed
the hopes of UCD, who, despite late pressure, could not find the goal that would have taken them through. On a night with perfect football conditions, the UCD forwards just did not get the luck or breaks required in front of goal. Had the chances fallen to UCD, the game could have ended differently. The Dublin Senior Championship has given chances to some of UCD’s younger members of the panel, in the absence of others who have been unavailable. Daniel St Ledger, in particular, has impressed in the competition. For players like the young Carlow man, the news that the 2010 Sigerson Cup final will be played in GAA Headquarters at Croke Park will come as good news. The announcement made by GAA President, Christy Cooney, at the AGM of Comhairle Ardoideachais (Third Level GAA), will come as welcome news to Dave Billings and everyone involved with UCD GAA. The hope will now be that this group of players can repeat the feat first achieved in 1911 and lift the trophy in 2010. UCD: S Gallagher; D Curran (B Curran 15), P Kelly, M McSimon; R Maloney, B Teehan, S Redmond; S Fitzpatrick, M O’Loin; M Smith, P Kelly, D St Ledger (C Kelly 60); N Higgins (R Mallon 36), J Loughlin, M Ronaldson.
College Tribune September 22 2009
Crashing for cash Once again Formula One is in the spotlight for controversial reasons. Colman Hanley examines ‘Piquet-gate’ by talking to Irish F1 expert David Kennedy Formula One has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons a lot recently. Last year there was the McLaren ‘spy’ story, in which documents about the design of the Ferrari were used by McLaren designer Mike Coughlan, and a $100 million fine was dished out. At the start of this season, Lewis Hamilton was reprimanded for deliberately lying to race officials after the Australian Grand Prix over a racing incident with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli. Meanwhile, the conflict between the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and the main constructors of F1, and whether they would break away to form their own racing series, was only solved last August. However this deliberate and pre-planned ‘cheating’ scandal involving the Renault team, and former driver Nelson Piquet, appears to top all of the past scandals in F1. The story goes back almost 12 months ago to the first Singapore Grand Prix and the first race to take place under lights. Fernando Alonso won an action packed race after starting the race from in 15th position on the grid. A combination of a fast start from the Spaniard and a bit of luck with a well timed safety car was key to Alonso’s success in Singapore. However, after the events of the past 2 weeks, we now know that this safety car was no accidentally well timed occurrence. Nelson Piquet’s confession that he had crashed on purpose, after being told to do so by Team Manager Flavio Briatore, and Chief Engineer Pat Symonds, has been proven to be true. It was arranged for Piquet to crash at a certain time and place on the track so that team-mate and 2 time World Champion Alonso would move up the order. Only weeks ago, this claim by Piquet was being laughed off and dismissed by Renault, with the threat of legal action against Piquet being suggested. However, after Briatore and Symonds
handed in their resignations, Renault have said they will they will not defend the allegations and instead, they will accept whatever punishment the FIA hand out. It has since emerged that several racing drivers had their suspicions about the crash. One such driver, Felipe Massa, is said to have confronted and questioned Briatore about the incident. Massa, who had led the race last year until Piquet’s crash, ended up point-less from that race and went on to lose the World Championship by just a single point. The Brazilian had good reason to be upset. David Kennedy, a Formula One driver in 1980 and a widely respected individual in motorsport, agreed that the whole affair was shocking. “Firstly, in the aspect of it being flabbergasting, is the fact that he (Briatore) asked someone to crash a car at racing speed. To some degree, this seems to be in ‘mist’, the FIA are instead more concerned about the strategy implications and any possibly gambling influence there could have been over things. But to ask someone to risk their life is a step beyond the pale.” “Sport has had a lot of nefarious affairs
from footballers diving, horses being doped and people being bribed. But this has probably got to be ahead of anything else, that you can say ‘I want you to risk your life so you can pull this off ’ is really just shocking in the extreme. The fact that it wasn’t just Briatore, and that he had an ostensibly very sensible guy beside him in Pat Symonds. That was equally shocking to people in the sport who know the characters that are in it. Everyone knew that Flavio was a buccaneer, and at the best of times was a real maverick, and sometimes they are to be applauded. But I suppose from a maverick to step over to being a pirate is really quite substantial.” This is not the first scandal involving Briatore and Symonds. Briatore was quick to steal a young Michael Schumacher from Jordan Grand Prix and bring him to the Benetton F1 team in 1991. Later in 1994, the Benetton team were constantly being accused of cheating through the illegal use of ‘traction control’. While never proven, Benetton were disqualified from the Belgian Grand Prix and then driver Schumacher was banned for 2 races. Schumacher still went on to win the World Champion-
ship but the victory was achieved under questionable circumstances. The question mark is now on another World Champion, Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, who allegedly has an agreement in place to join Ferrari in 2010, was the major benefactor out of Piquet’s crash. However before the scandal became public, Alonso denied knowing anything about the events of Singapore, saying “I cannot imagine these things or this situation.” On Alonso’s possible involvement, Setanta Sports F1 pundit Kennedy commented, “I think the normal rule of law is ‘you’re innocent until proven guilty’, and so far there hasn’t been anything to say. He couldn’t have influenced the events as he drove, though he could’ve influenced the events as a discussion in terms of strategy. I think all that needed to be done was for Briatore to put the pressure on Piquet. Remember, Briatore had a conflict of interest because not only was he the team manager, but he was also Piquet’s manager as well. This was certainly a huge influence on a young driver.” Another view is that the affair was engineered as a way of getting rid of Flavio
Briatore, with Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello claiming, “Someone wants Briatore’s head.” Following conflict between the FIA and FOTA (Formula One Teams Association), FIA president Max Mosley tendered his resignation. With Briatore a key figurehead in FOTA, Mosley may have held some lingering resentment. One thing in no doubt is that F1 is losing one of its biggest personalities, and Kennedy was quick to point this out. “I think Briatore brought something to the table, with his charisma and his view of how the sport needed to be marketed. This was very positive as he always reckoned that Formula One needed to be more ‘fan friendly’. The strategy that they (FOTA) came up with was very ‘fan friendly’, but its consequences of asking someone to risk their life was not very friendly at all.” F1’s media mogul Bernie Ecclestone is always keen to push the sport into the media spotlight, but he could not have wished for this affair to take centre stage. There may be no such thing as bad publicity, but Formula One could take quite a while to recover from this scandal and retain its credibility.
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Interview Page 19
Profile Page 18
the college tribune
The College Tribune 1.9.09 ucd.ie/tribune/sport
Photography by Ian Mulholland
Mary’s knocksUCD out of senior championship Colman Hanley Parnell Park UCD 0-09 Saint Mary’s 1-08
Students top after Finn Harps Rout Photography byBarry Hennessy
Jim Scully Finn Park UCD 5 Finn 33 McMillan 45, 68 Kilduff 47, 72
Finn Harps 0
UCD strolled to a comfortable win over Finn Harps in Ballybofey last Saturday. It proved to be a good night for the College; not only did they continue their unbeaten run, but the five goal haul saw them surge to the top of the table on goal difference ahead of Dublin rivals Shelbourne, who they meet in two weeks time. Manager Martin Russell named an unchanged team. Greg Bolger remained out through suspension, while Chris Mulhall was named on the substitute bench after serving a suspension.
A shaky start from UCD saw the Donegal natives threatening Gerard Barron’s goal on more than one occasion in the opening fifteen minutes. A Shaun McGowan shot from a corner forced a good save from the UCD keeper, while the pressure persisted as Christy Connaghan had his shot cleared off the line on ten minutes. However Harps’ luck was soon to change with an injured Shaun McGowan bowing out on eighteen minutes, Trevor Gethins taking his place in the middle of the park. It wasn’t long before UCD began to gather a bit of momentum with two headers falling wide just before the thirty-minute mark. The College took the lead through a controversial penalty decision on 33 minutes after a tangle in the box. Skipper Ronan Finn confidently slotted the ball past Ciarán Gallagher, scoring the first of many on what was to be a tough night for
Harps’ underage international keeper. UCD came close to extending their lead on a number of occasions, their confidence on the ball growing more apparent as the game developed. Ciarán Kilduff was denied by the assistant referee’s flag on 37 minutes as he ran through on goal, while John Reilly’s shot deflected wide off the inside of Ciarán Gallagher’s post. UCD finally got their second in the dying moments of the first half, a great cross from Paul Corry being met by a strong header from Evan McMillan. After the break UCD responded sharply to early pressure from Finn Harps, with Ciarán Kilduff letting fly from the edge of the area on 47 minutes, his shot finding the net after a failed attempt from the Harps’ keeper to palm the ball over the bar. UCD comfortably closed down Harps’ attacks, the Donegal men’s best chance of the half headed onto the bar, as Ste-
phen McLaughlin attempted to convert a Packie Mailey cross from the right side. Despite Harps’ good spells of possession and persistence throughout, UCD were rarely tested. The pain was further compounded for Harps when UCD again hit the net on 68 minutes with a fine David McMillan strike from the left hand side, looping over Ciarán Gallagher. Four minutes later, Gallagher’s net was breached again. The young keeper slipped and failed to clear, with Ciarán Kilduff notching his second of the night. UCD next face Kildare County this Saturday at the UCD Bowl. UCD: Barron, Shorthall (Matthews 57), Nangle, Boyle, E McMillan, Corry, Reilly (Purcell 72), Finn, Kilduff, McMahon (Mulhall 59), D McMillan. Subs not used: Ward, Brennan.
UCD were knocked out of the Dublin Senior Football Championship by Saint Mary’s, Saggart, in a tight contest in Parnell Park last Thursday evening. Two late scores from Mary’s were enough to edge a tight contest which UCD will be disappointed not to have won. Having defeated O’Toole’s impressively in the last round, UCD had been confident of progressing to the semi-finals, but after the early exchanges of this game, it was clear that Mary’s were not going to be a pushover. Within 30 seconds of the throw in, Mary’s registered their first score, Blaine Kelly quickly getting off the mark. UCD soon replied through the trusty right boot of Mark Ronaldson, but Mary’s soon notched two further points to lead 0-3 to 0-1. To add further misery, UCD’s Donegal under 21 full-back Danny Curran left the field with a leg injury, Barry Curran replacing the Gaoth Dobhair man. However, this young UCD side showed great character, as scores from Daniel St Ledger and Ronaldson got UCD back on level terms again. Continued page 18