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State of the Unions

Cheap frills

Moyna’s men march on

Sarah Doran wades into the murky waters of student politics. Features »12

Our arts section does budget fashion from the movies Flux

Quarter final success for footballers Sport » 23


Wednesday 22nd February 2012 Volume XIII - Issue 8

Extra security needed as students flock to the Hub on Tuesday nights See page 3 Security check ID as students enter Toxic Tuesday last week in the Hub. Image by Adrian Harmon

SU asked to make €10,000 donation to build labyrinth on campus By Aishling Phelan News Editor DCU Students’ Union has been asked to donate €10,000 towards the cost of building a labyrinth on campus. A labyrinth is an ancient meditation tool consisting of a winding stone path that people walk while meditating. Plans are in place to build one of the structures on campus for students to use to relieve stress and promote concentration, particularly during exam time. The total cost of building the stone labyrinth is an estimated

€40,000-€50,000. Its winding path is 964ft long and the structure itself will be 40ft in diameter and will be built in one of the square greens in front of the library. At last week’s Class Rep Council meeting, there were mixed reactions as to whether to give the large donation and many class reps believed the money could be better spent elsewhere. One class rep said, “I take issue with this at a time when the student registration fee is going up”. Another suggested that the money could be spent on student support services. Class reps will ultimately decide whether the Students’ Union can

give the donation by casting a vote at the next Class Rep Council meeting. The project, which is being spearheaded by the Head Chaplain of the Interfaith Centre, Fr Joe Jones, is in its early stages of development and in need of funding. Fr Joe says that if students don’t get behind the project it will have to be abandoned. Other bodies in the university are waiting to see if students get behind the project by making a donation through the Students’ Union before injecting money into the project themselves. He said the labyrinth would give students the chance to get away from the stress and strains of uni-

versity life. Speaking to The College View, Fr Joe Jones acknowledged that the money could be spent in other areas but said, “one of the difficulties for people is that they’re no longer involved in the church the way they would have been in the past, so people aren’t taking time out to look after themselves, which is really important in the whole well-being of a person”. He added, “We’re really, really dependent on the students to get behind this project. If we don’t get a sense that the students are behind it, we’ll have to let it go and we don’t want to do that”.

Education Officer of the SU, Cillian Byrne, suggested that the sum of money was so large that class reps should consult with their classes before making a decision on donating. Council deferred their decision and will decide at the next council meeting next Wednesday. Despite the consensus among many class reps that the money could be better spent elsewhere, council didn’t reject the idea of the donation. “We put in a proposal to the Students’ Union, because ultimately this will be something that will be used very much by students and it will be used by staff as well. But » pg 3

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Living the student stereotype


n the last week, local residents’ complaints saw a change made to DCU’s long-running ‘Toxic Tuesday’ club night; added security and an attempted re-branding as ‘Tuesdays @ The Hub’. While such complaints are usually generated by the behaviour of a minority of students, there is no denying that they cast an unfavorable light upon students in general, to those outside. Viewed as rowdy, thoughtless and alcohol-obsessed, this view has evidently spread. On Friday, a number of online ads by Midnight, a Dublin-based promotion company, created for Alchemy Nightclub, confirmed that this tainted image of students had seeped to advertisers too. They showed a young woman with her underwear around her ankles and another dancing on a

pole, paired with slogans such as “if you’re not up for it, don’t cum” and “drippin’ moths and cheap shots”. The images sparked uproar online, fueled further by comments on the ‘Mondays at Alchemy’ Facebook page. One user commented on one of the photos and said, “Wow – this is a perfect example of sexist advertising against women,” and received the response “maybe you’d be more suited to a nightclub like the kitchen”. It’s clear that the advertising was completely unsuitable, and the promoters themselves have acknowledged their error and said the will amend their “promotional strategy going forward, and the screening process for anything that is to be published”. However, that doesn’t remove that fact that Midnight assumed that the sex-sells myth was true and that a promiscuous, drink-

Corrections? If you have any complaints about what we’re reporting, or have spotted any factual mistakes, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant section editor, or email

This issue of the College View was produced by: Editor-in-Chief: Catherine Dennehy Production & Layout Editor: Conor Donohoe Production Deputy: Ian Goode News Editor: Aishling Phelan News Deputy Editors: Frances Mulraney, Aisling Kett, Aoife Mullen Travel Editor: Philippa Hood Features Editor: Jenny Darmody Deputy Features Editor: Hiromi Mooney Irish Editor: Derek O’Brien Deputy Irish Editor: Fiach Mac Domhnaill Sports Editor: Eoghan Cormican Deputy Sports Editors: Brendan White, Tom Rooney Arts Editor: Sinead Brennan Deputy Arts Editor: Valerie Loftus Sub-Editors: Emma-Louise Hutchinson, Tim Barnwell Images Editor: Sinead Walsh PR Team: Dervilla O’Reilly, Kim Gavin, Kacey O’Riordan Printed By Datascope, with the DCU Journalism Society Thanks To Sportsfile, SPC, Office of Student Life

fueled mess is what students want to buy into. So, is this messy, moral-less image deserved or have people got us all wrong? DCU Students’ Union Welfare Office, Collie Oliver, called the Alchemy posters “a bit extreme. Freshers are only being exposed to the whole idea of cheap drinks and promotions in the nightclub industry and they are extremely impressionable”. However, he also said that from the viewpoint of the locals “DCU students are behaving badly and are leaving a negative impact on the local community”. Is this really a culture that’s being force upon us by the nightclub industry or are we bringing it all on ourselves? Within DCU, there’s only so much that the Students’ Union can do if some students refuse to behave themselves. “If these issues keep

arising, unfortunately there’s not much more that can be done. We can keep increasing security, yeah,” said Oliver. “It might come to it that we have to cancel Toxic Tuesday.” So the classic cliché of ‘one person ruining it for everyone’ may come to be, if things don’t start to change. We can complain all we want about advertising companies dealing with us with a lack of respect, but we now have the chance to prove that we deserve to be treated better. UCC’s RAG Week resulted in copious amounts of drunken damage (See page 10), and now that our own RAG week is here, we can put ourselves to the test and see if the results are the same. We can see if we can enjoy ourselves without the need for alcohol and general mindlessness, or if the stereotypes are indeed true.


DCU student Paul Bunbury has been missing since Thursday 2nd February (The below information was accurate when going to print) The 19 year old was last seen in the O2 area of the Dockloads in North Dublin City He was previously seen in the Eurospar on Ballymun Road. He was captured on CCTV footage buying ‘something small’ according to Aileen Parnell, a worker in the shop. Gardaí in Whitehall Garda Station are appealing for anyone with information to come forward and contact them on 01-6664500 or the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111. When last seen, Paul was wearing a blue t-shirt, blue jeans and a grey jacket. He is described as being 5ft 10in (1.78m) and has brown eyes, long brown hair, a thin build and a beard. He is a third year student in Computer Applications. One of his lecturers, Dr Mark Humphrys posted a message on Facebook via the Students’ Union stating, ‘‘Dear friends of Paul

Bunbury I saw you on the “Find Paul Bunbury” Facebook page. I need your assistance. I don’t use Facebook, so could you upload this information for me to that page. I am a lecturer in Paul Bunbury’s department (Computing). We would like to reassure Paul that he passed all 6 modules comfortably. And that if Paul sees this, for him to get in touch with family or friends or the university to let us know he is okay.’’ Social networking sites have

been flooded with messages of support for his family and friends. One message said,‘‘Hope Paul is found safe and well soon. My Prayers and Thoughts are with all his family and friends for his safe return home xx’’. Welfare Officer of the Students’ Union, Collie Oliver said: ‘‘The SU is doing all it can to help in the search for Paul - actively communicating with the student media on all student mailing lists, social media platforms etc. Thankfully the message has spread virally and has generated alot of awareness on Facebook, Twitter, Boards etc. An email has also gone out to DIT, UCD, Trinity and Maynooth students also. The Union will provide financial support to those students directly involved in managing the search process to pay for posters/ flyers etc and have helped poster and flyer campus in the local area, in the hope of finding a lead as to the whereabouts of Paul.’’ He added: ‘‘Paul and his family are in all our prayers.’’

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Over 500 students turned away from first Toxic Tuesday -Increased security presence needed

By Catríona Hughes News Reporter

A high number of students were refused entry to Toxic Tuesday recently to prevent overcrowding in the Hub. DCU Events Manager, Shea McNeils, told The College View that an estimated 500 students were turned away from the NuBar for the first Toxic Tuesday of the semester. The popular student night has attracted huge crowds lately and many students are left disappointed when they’re turned away after spending a long time in the queue. Contemporary Culture and So-

ciety student, Jade Whelan said: “Toxic Tuesdays are great and really popular amongst the students. A lot of people, including myself, didn’t actually make it into the first one this semester because so many people turned up.” “It was ridiculous, after queuing for ages in the cold, I was refused entry,” claimed Grainne Smith, an Arts student at St Pats. The issue of queues outside the Hub prior to the event appears to be a factor of annoyance for students, many of whom dislike the formality of separate queues for male and female students. “We must do what is best for the safety of the students. “It is up to the students how they

behave, that’s the bottom line,” said Shea McNeils. The event, newly named Tuesday’s @ The Hub, has been at the centre of recent controversy. Students’ Union President, Ed Leamy, said: “Tuesday nights are raising some serious concerns amongst local residents, the Gardaí, the SU and university management. Local residents have had damage done to their cars and bins have been overturned regularly.” SU Welfare Officer Collie Oliver said that ultimately, Toxic Tuesday might have to be cancelled if the new measures don’t make a difference, but that it is just a few students causing the trouble. “It isn’t all students, it’s only a

handful of students… that’s what we want to put across to the the neighbours and to the police and hopefully try to suss these individuals out and make DCU events and nights out, not only in DCU but in town, as safe as possible for DCU students.” After the events of the first Toxic Tuesday of the semester, there was an increased security presence put in place, particularly to monitor students as they left the Hub. The Garda Press Office confirmed to The College View that no public order issues or formal resident complaints were made to Whitehall Garda Station on the night of February 7th. One student posted on Boards. ie saying: “The Old Bar needs to be

opened. It’d extract extra revenue for the bar, create more jobs and avoid the nonsensical queues at 10 o clock every week.” The Old Bar was forced to close following the discovery of 23 problems, including a lock and chain around the exit door beside the ladies toilets and lack of smoke detectors. The ladies toilets in the Old Bar were formerly used during the busy Toxic Tuesday night in the NuBar but the lock and chain around exit doors would be removed. The results of a survey on the safety of the Old Bar will determine whether or not the building can be reopened. The results of the survey are due to be announced soon.

Students’ Union asked for €10k to build labyrinth » continued from front the whole idea is really around the whole area of students and helping them with meditation, something that will help them to be calm,” said Fr Joe. “Everyone today is so busy and running around with all kinds of tensions and stresses. The labyrinth is great for relieving that kind of stress and tension.” He believes the main challenge now will be getting students to understand the benefits. Newly elected Access Officer,

Amy Lucas, suggested that having the labyrinth on campus would give more prestige to the university and help DCU increase its position in world rankings. As class reps debated whether €10,000 was too much to donate, Students’ Union President Ed Leamy asked if class reps would be interested in making some sort of contribution. He confirmed that the SU did have the money to donate to the project. Fr Joe said that it was important the students were educated on the benefits of having a labyrinth on

campus. “At the moment a lot of people are not necessarily behind it because they don’t know very much about it. “We’ve gone for funding to different places and hit a bit of a brick wall in a few places. I’m really hoping that the students get behind it, particularly the union because it’s an instrument that will be very much for students of the college.” Another concern for class reps was whether the labyrinth would actually be used by students in DCU. This Friday, Fr Joe and six other members of the labyrinth committee will travel to Scotland to visit the University of Edinburgh, which had an outdoor labyrinth build on its campus in 2004. The trip will be paid for by the Interfaith Centre, whose yearly budget is €1,700 and the committee will take part in workshops and speak to students about their personal use of the labyrinth. Members of the committee include two DCU students from the Raise and Give Society, Claire Bohan, the Director of Student Support and Development in DCU and Helena Ahern, Head of Counselling & Personal Development in DCU. Fr Joe said, “In Edinburgh, it’s great around exam time, walking the labyrinth can put things into perspective”.

Above and bottom left: Examples of labyrinth structures A labyrinth canvas was placed in both the library and the Interfaith Centre in DCU for the past few weeks to give students a sense of what the labyrinth is. President of DCU, Brian MacCraith is interested in the project along with the DCU Educational Trust. They believe the labyrinth will improve the aesthetics and landscape of the campus. “The beauty of the labyrinth is that it can work for people regardless of their spiritual or religious background. It’s actually much older than most religions in the world,” said Fr Joe.

“The idea is really to give students a place they can go to, to let go of their stress and walk the labyrinth with mindful meditation.” The labyrinth dates back as far as 5,000 years ago. The Celts described it as the Never Ending Circle. Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute by Dr Herbert Benson has found that focused walking meditations are highly efficient at reducing anxiety. Labyrinth meditation gardens can be used for relaxation, can lower blood pressure, clear the mind and reduce insomnia.

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LGBTA society finds DCU’s greatest drag queen By Grainne Coyne News Reporter

Cillian Byrne, better known as Collie Flower at the event, has won the title of Mr. Drag Queen DCU 2012. The title was awarded at the LBGTA society’s annual event in The Venue last Thursday. The other six contestants taking part were SU Welfare Officer Paul Doherty as Amanda Reckonwith; SU Returning Officer, Sean Rooney, as Beverly Blowjob; Chairperson of Labour DCU, David Healon, as Zu Zu la Whore; SU Class Rep Council Chairperson and Chair of LGBTA, Sean Cassidy, who was Tessa Tickles and John Sullivan as Connie Linguistic. The judges for Mr. Drag Queen DCU were SU President Ed Leamy, School of Communications lecturer Dr. Des McGuinness and a mystery guest judge who was a member of the audience with VIP printed on the back of their ticket. Drag Queen Kate Fiddleton and Humanities convener Aisling Foley, better known as Gash on the night, were the main hosts for the evening. Grainne Aylward stepped up to the role as co-host for the second half of the show.

Dr. Des McGuinness, Olamide Harrison and Ed Leamy discuss judges notes | Image by Eoghan Barry The show opened with Kate Fiddleton singing ‘Prejudice’ by Tim Minchin. Due to technical difficulties with the speakers, it could not be heard clearly during the opening performance but Kate was given a second chance to perform the song during the judge’s deliberations. The first round involved each of the contestants modelling their walk and personalities. Amanda Reckon-

with hit the catwalk in a blonde wig, flowery see through blouse and nipple tapes. Collie sported short black curly hair, a blue dress and leather leggings and showed off his special talent of blowing up condom balloon animals. Connie Linguistic strutted the catwalk in a brown dress, Tessa Tickles with blonde curly hair and a purple dress, Zu Zu la Whore with a pink

frilly skirt and Beverly Blowjob in a green dress. The talent round consisted of different dance performances, Amanda danced to Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ giving the SU president a personal dance. Collie danced to Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ and Connie took Dr. Des for a dance to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.

Dr. Des abdicated his role as judge as he “was taken in by Connie’s charm”. When crowned as Mr. Drag Queen DCU 2012, Cillian Byrne/ Collie Flower said he “would of been heartbroken if he had not won”. The night ended with all of the contestants arm in arm, swaying side to side to the song ‘Isn’t She Lovely’.

New group could monitor proposed second referendum By Aishling Phelan News Editor

A new Campaigns Working Group consisting of class repscould be given the power to oversee the running of a possible second referendum on campus this semester. Class reps must still decide whether to hold a second referendum on funding higher education after last December’s was declared null and void after a constitutional breach. Potentially, the group could be actively involved in overseeing the running of a second referendum. This could avoid the confusion and lack of communication between those running the referendum the

last time. If a second referendum is called for, it could be held at the same time as the SU elections. The SU elections, which are usually held towards the end of the semester, may be brought forward this year and could be held in week seven or eight. Returning Officer of the SU, Sean Rooney has hinted that a second referendum will take place and must now wait for class rep council to issue him the legislative power to call a second referendum. He said, ‘‘The cost of the referendum was in the region of 300 euro. Much of this however was capital expenditure on signs and shirts which will be reused. The paper also that was purchased for ballots also has a sufficient surplus to cover the next referendum.’’

At the moment, SU Executive would have to take charge if a second referendum was called for by Class Rep Council. Class rep and original proposer of the referendum on funding higher education, Steven Conlon said, ‘‘That may or may not be amended by council. “It may still stand that executive have to run the campaign which means the Campaigns Working Group will have nothing to do with it. The executive can incite the working group to run it [the referendum] on their behalf.’’ The idea of creating a Campaigns Working Group was approved at last Wednesday’s Class Rep Council meeting. The group will assist in the design and implementation of mandated

Council campaigns and must oversee and report on their effectiveness. The Working Group can also assist in campaigns that the Executive are running. Class reps will elect members to the Working Group next week. Any class rep is eligible to get a position in the group. When asked whether class reps running for a position must have knowledge of the processes of the SU and its campaigns, Conlon said, “You don’t always get people who know exactly what they’re at when they start out but by the time they’re finished they’ll know more about campaigning than anyone. Ideally the best people get the job, those with the most experience, those who know how to run a campaign but what you want is people who

communicate and who understand the needs of students and the issues that they face.” Conlon was also the original proposer of the Working Group and said, “It should not be seen as confrontational towards the executive” “This committee for the first time will allow council independently of the executive to run campaigns in partnership with the executive.’” Howeverthe group will have to go through the president if they require the assistance of the executive. Education Officer of the SU, Cillian Byrne has made it clear that the group will not be responsible for campaigns initiated by exec such as Please Talk Week. The group will only be responsible for campaigns proposed by Class Rep Council.

The College View 22.02.12 5


6 The College View 22.02.12


Toxic Tuesdays, “bitches be crazy”, the girls in Coppers - DCU Debate shifts and drifts

Jerry Onianwa Speaking against the motion that “This house would shift and would subsequently drift” | Image by Eoghan Barry A spectacle laced with language ann and Sean Cassidy while Daisy drifting at Toxic Tuesdays, the idea By Eoghan Barry and concepts that condemned the Vera, Jerry Onianwa and Trisha Fitz- that “bitches be crazy”, the objectiNews Reporter debate to nothing more than a co- patrick argued the opposition. fication of girls in Coppers, double medic affair of absolute hilarity, the The debate resulted in the motion penetration and much more, the Last Wednesday, DCU Debate and society can consider their perfor- being opposed based on a vote from debate was decorated with biblical Law argued the motion that “this mance a job well done. the audience. references and personal anecdotes house would shift and subsequently The proposition team consisted of Addressing topics such as fre- that made for a hilariously witty drift”. Derwin Brennan, Benedict Gohm- quent occurrence of shifting and argument.

Wednesday’s event somewhat coincided with Valentine’s Day, but secretary of the society David Gormley, who chaired the debate, explained that this happened by chance. “Actually, it wasn’t Valentine’s Day themed, that was just coincidental. The purpose of the debate tonight was just a comedy debate because a lot of the time debating gets very serious. “We debate really serious things like Syria and prisons so it’s nice to take a break from that once in a while and to just do something funny, to allow people to give funny speeches.” Anyone is welcome to attend the house meetings, which take place every Tuesday at 6.30pm in CG04. They provide an opportunity for students to practice the art of public speaking and based on the charisma and confidence of those present at last week’s debate, these meetings are definitely worthwhile. The society also has a pro-am night coming up, in which people who may not be that good at public speaking are teamed up with regular debaters. The teams compete against each other until a final where the winners leave with a prize.

RAG week fundraising continues By Aisling Kett Deputy News Editor The DCU RAG Challenge continues today with a pyjama day, in which students spend the day in their pyjamas to try to raise €15 each for RAG charities. The RAG Challenge is a set of four challenges open to DCU students during Raise and Give week. The final challenge will take place tomorrow and encourages students to sign up for volunteering and other social opportunities in the Street from 10am. A Golden Week Challenge has been running all week, challenging students to go to all lectures and raise €20. According to the RAG Challenge’s Facebook page, students can take part in as many challenges as they like as long as they raise the required amount for the challenge. RAG Soc are also hoping to enter a team into the SIFE World Cup, to become the Irish winners and win an all-expenses paid trip to Washing-

ton to compete in the world finals. SIFE is a non-profit organisation that encourages university students to make a difference in their communities. Other events are taking place in the Hub during RAG week. These include a gig by Michael Winslow from the ‘Police Academy’ movies and TV shows in the Hub tonight. Tomorrow Esoc are holding ‘Take Me Out’ in The Venue before a free bus takes students into town to the Palace nightclub on Camden Street. The money raised during RAG week by RAG Soc and the Students’ Union will go to a number of charities including Bees for Battens and The Aisling Project. The end of RAG week will be marked by a fry-up at 9am in the NuBar, which the first 150 people will receive free. The DCU RAG Soc is the first raising and giving society to be established in Ireland. Members of the DCU society travelled to the University of Limerick last week to help them launch their A member of the Mountain Dew crew demonstrates brushboarding outside the Henry Gratten building on Monday | Image by Conor McTernan own RAG Society.

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Business students uncertain about future in Ireland Almost half will take their education and talent overseas By Aishling Phelan News Editor Almost half of students studying Business Studies in DCU plan to emigrate when they finish their degree. A survey conducted online by The College View among DCU Business Studies students, found that only 31% of the students intend on staying in Ireland when they finish their degree. Forty-four per cent of students want to emigrate. As the government launches initiatives aimed at boosting Ireland’s indigenous business environment, over 70% of those studying the Bachelor of Business Studies degree believe the government is not doing enough to help new small and medium sized businesses develop. One student who took part in the survey said, “The government are making cuts in the wrong places, not doing enough to support and develop new jobs.” Over half of the students believe that Ireland will not be a safe environment for start-up businesses in the next number of years. Only 17% of students think Ireland will be a safe place for new businesses. Almost 60% of the students are budding entrepreneurs and intend on setting up a business in the future. Of these students, only 41% intend on setting up their business in Ireland. However, only 17% want to set up their business abroad so there is uncertainty among the remaining 42% of students. Students who don’t want to set up a business (17%) gave a mixed reaction as to why. Some of the reasons cited were, “work load, stress, economic environment”, “a lot of time and commitment and it’s very hard to be successful and know if your business is going to work. I would rather have a steady income” and “too much risk involved. I’m not a risk taker”. Another student said it was, “too risky in the current economic climate”. Just over 50% of students believe their course is preparing them for the businesses challenges they will face after they graduate. One student said, “There should be a choice module that deals with starting up a business, showing people how to go about doing it IN IRELAND!” Another student responded, “I study business and I am in final year. 1st and 2nd year I felt were total rubbish with the exception of a few subjects. However, I have to say final year is both interesting and relevant


of the students would like to set up their own business in the future.

{ {

Of those who would like to set up their own business


41% 17% 42% intend on setting up their business in Ireland.

intend on setting up their business abroad.


53% 17% 30% of Business Studies students think the Irish economy will NOT be a safe environment for start-up businesses in the next number of years.

believe that it will be a safe environment for start-up businesses in the next number of years.

don’t know.


44% 31% 25% of Business Studies students intend on emigrating when they finish their degree.

“The government are making cuts in the wrong places, not doing enough to support and develop new jobs.” to the business world, particularly the new enterprise development module.” Mr Billy Kelly, Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning in DCU Business School, said that the Bachelor of Business Studies degree has had to change over the last number of years and adapt to Ireland’s changing economic climate. “All modules are reviewed on a year-to-year basis but there will be much greater scope or reason for change in some modules than others. Most business modules take their context from current business events and the current business climate and in this way the particular

will be staying in Ireland.

challenges facing business will be part of the focus of the module at that point in time,” he said. Some specific changes were made to the Business Studies programme for 2011/12 to ensure students are prepared for the challenging business world they will face when they graduate. There’s a new optional module on sustainability in business and a new module emphasising innovation in digital media. There was also a review of the New Enterprise Development module to further reward development of new business ideas through externally funded competitions like ‘Dragons Den’ style pitches. There were revisions to information systems modules to place greater emphasis on business applications. One student commented on the difficulties of learning how to deal with the economic downturn and the business challenges it brings. “Our course mentions them in classes but it’s not made such a big issue - Then again nobody knows the exact way to behave in a recession so this is difficult to study and teach!”

of students are unsure of what they will do.

The survey was conducted last week as the government introduced its latest initiative, the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, to help small and medium sized businesses survive in Ireland through business loans and


are not sure where they want to set up their business.


of Business Studies students believe that the government is NOT doing enough to help new small and medium sized businesses develop. ( eg. access to finance, tax exemptions etc).


of Business Studies students believe their course is preparing them for the business challenges associated with the economic downturn they will face. tax exemptions. The survey was sent to all students from 1st to 3rd year studying the Bachelor of Business Studies degree. Approximately 60 students responded to the survey.

Business Convenor of the SU, Eoin Clancy believes business students are ambitious despite their lack of faith in the Irish government The survey shows that our business students are clued-in to the current economic situation. I think the high percentage of people who wish to set up their own businesses is very promising for the future of Ireland’s economy. Even during times of uncertainty for the Irish economy people believe they can make a change and pursue their ideas. The survey also shows a clear lack of confidence in the government’s support and encouragement of small and medium businesses, and the insecurity of the Irish market for those who want to

establish their business. I believe this an opinion that is shared by fellow business students throughout the country and I am not surprised by the high numbers of people who believe they will have to emigrate to find work when finished their degree. Though a large part of the survey has taken a negative tone with regards to the Irish government I’m glad to see that the business students of DCU have found that their education here has prepared them sufficiently for the challenges they will face in the work place associated with the economic downturn.

8 The College View 22.02.12


Chancellor of DCU wants system of means testing for fees By Catríona Hughes At Leinster House

Chancellor of DCU, Senator Martin McAleese, believes a means-testing system for third level fees could help prevent feelings of resentment in society. Speaking to The College View after his first term at DCU he said: “Economically, the country is in a bad way at the moment and we have to deal with the problems we are faced with. We have some very tough times ahead of us and there is no getting away from that.” But the senator feels that the proposed budget changes risk evoking a sense of unfairness in relation to the increase in fees for some students. “I accept that every sector has to fight very hard to get the best deal possible from the exchequer but I think that there has to be a sense of fairness, equality and openness so that it is clear what each sector is receiving.” In terms of education, Senator McAleese said that we have to “fight for the best possible deal”, while accepting that funds are limited. “Perhaps this can be solved by introducing a system of meanstesting,” said McAleese. “There are

DCU Chancellor Martin McAleese | Image courtesy of Sinn Féin (obtained through Flickr Creative Commons) people in our society who could pay a little bit more and people who should pay a little less. “Means-testing is something that we could look at in that context. Government seems to shy away from it, because their view is that it costs too much to implement. However, it could bring about a degree of fairness in education and other sectors. “People know that there is an economic burden to be carried, but if

we have a sense that each person is carrying a fair share of that burden, then we will get through. It could be the beginning of creating a national collective effort where we would be pulling together in the national interest.” “We have to find a way to avoid resentment, which is not a healthy thing for society as a whole.” McAleese commented on the currently high emigration rates for graduates in Ireland, explaining that

although undoubtedly difficult, emigration need not be as daunting as it once was. “We live in a globalised economy and sometimes it is not that important where we are based. The nature of emigration is also totally different today with improvements in modern communications and greater ease of travel.” He highlighted that having a degree in a particular area does not mean that you have to spend the rest of your live chasing that specific area. McAleese himself first studied physics at Queens University in Belfast before going on to study accountancy and subsequently dentistry. “I think change is a fantastic thing. We should look to ourselves to uncover the other skills and abilities we possess, to identify a greater spectrum of opportunity.” “Everybody would love to win the lotto, but for me, education and the opportunity for education is as good as the winning lottery ticket for our young people. That’s why DCU has to be commended for its Access programme,” McAleese told The College View. “Our future is in how we address the issues surrounding education and we must be fair in the distribu-

tion of capital that is available to do so. Mean-testing may be one way of achieving this.” McAleese also said: “We have to have a first class education system in this country and we have to have first-class graduates, we need as many post-graduates and post-doctoral students as possible.” McAleese was appointed as Chancellor of DCU in August 2011. During this time he and his wife Prof Mary McAleese were coming to the end of their 14 years in Áras an Uachtaráin. “The President of DCU, Prof Brian MacCraith, is visionary and has great plans for the university. I think our role fundamentally is to encourage and support him in everything that he does.” Reflecting on his first term as Chancellor, Senator McAleese said that he thinks that the university environment is a great place to work, “It’s great to be associated with a university campus, it keeps you rooted and it keeps you young in your outlook and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” Dr Martin McAleese said that he looks forward to contributing in any way that he can to the development of DCU.

Doubts on whether the bleep Students urged to test is a safe way of testing get involved in student fitness levels Engineering Week By Adam Higgins News Reporter

A DCU lecturer has shown that Irish teenagers are among the fittest in Europe using the controversial bleep test. Over 8,600 12 and 13 year olds from 125 schools across the country took part in the First Year Fitness Challenge, an initiative spearheaded by our own Prof Niall Moyna. The results of the programme were documented on RTÉ’s Operation Transformation and showed that Irish boys are in the top 30% of fitness in Europe, while girls are among the top 20%. The First Year Fitness Challenge was run by DCU and RTÉ Radio One’s The John Murray Show. Speaking on the show last Wednesday, Moyna said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the results. However the test used to mea-

sure the fitness levels of the students has recently come under some controversy. The bleep test consists of a series of 20 metre shuttle runs, ran against a timer on a radio or laptop in the PE hall. PE inspectors with the Department of Education and Skills have recommended against using the test because of the exertion placed on the students during it. Lee O’Reilly of the Physical Education Association of Ireland, and a practicing PE teacher for the past ten years, is personally against the use of the bleep test in secondary schools. “I myself no longer use the bleep test. It pushes students to the limit which puts them in danger of injuring themselves.” O’Reilly now uses the three-minute step test or the Harvard step test as an alternative. However, the bleep test is used by professional

sports men and womenall across the world. Director of the athletics committee here in DCU, Enda Fitzpatrick, believes that the bleep test is a very useful benchmark for accessing fitness levels. “It is something people can test themselves against. People can use it as a yardstick to measure where they are for fitness. However, it can be overused.” The bleep test is only dangerous when used in the wrong way, if it is only done once and never returned to. Prof Moyna began the First Year Fitness Programme with the bleep test and then after weeks of training the students did the test again to gauge their improvement. Despite its somewhat controversial issues most agree that the bleep test is still a relevant exercise with a place in physical education.

By Brendan White News Reporter Students have been urged to get involved in Engineers Week 2012, which takes place throughout Ireland later this month. Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, joined Engineers Ireland as they launched this year’s campaign, held to promote engineering in Ireland. The project aims to highlight engineering as a career and the importance of the engineering profession in Ireland. This year’s events take place across Ireland between February 27th and March 4th. Minister Quinn said: “I hope that the events planned as part of Engineers Week 2012 will show students that maths is important in everyday life. This is a key principle of the new

Project Maths programme, which is being rolled out across all post- primary schools.” Kate Cannon, of Engineers Ireland, told The College View that she believes that it is important to promote engineering. “This is the sixth year of Engineers Week in Ireland and we feel it’s very important to promote the engineering industry in Ireland. “Other countries also do this, with the UK’s being called National Science and Engineering Week. We’re hoping that people come out and get involved in the activities arranged all around the country.” The theme for Engineers Week 2012 is “Connecting Our Lives”. Events have been arranged over the week aimed at students of all ages, to highlight the importance of engineering to our daily lives, and will take place across the country.

The College View 22.02.12 9


YFG support gay adoption motion By Aoife Mullen At Tullamore DCU Young Fine Gael’s (YFG) motion calling on the government to bring forward legislation allowing gay couples to adopt has been adopted by the National Executive. DCU YFG attended the 25th annual Young Fine Gael conference in Tullamore last weekend, where their motion on gay adoption was almost unanimously supported by members. DCU YFG plan to put pressure on the senior party to adopt the policy at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, which will take place next month in the Convention Centre, Dublin. They were also responsible for a motion calling on the government to re-negotiate the Croke Park Agreement to eliminate nonperformance based increments and to protect low-income earners in the public sector, while tackling highincome earners. The branch also had a motion

SU to lobby the government on voting age The Students’ Union is to campaign for a reduction in the voting age from 18 years of age to 16. A motion supporting this was put forward at a Class Rep Council meeting and passed by 25 votes to 12. The Returning Officer, Sean Rooney, put forward the motion at the meeting. Reducing the voting age to sixteen would allow all third level students to have a say in Dáil and presidential elections, and constitutional referendums. It is argued that a reduction in the voting age would encourage young people to be more interested and involved in politics. Rooney also drew attention to the fact that the minimum age for membership of the Dáil is 21 while the voting age is 18. It was suggested that a separate campaign be started to lobby on this. The voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 in 1973, following a referendum in 1972. It was also suggested at the council meeting that the Students’ Union approach other universities to lobby on the issue with DCU to create a stronger campaign.

Una Clarke of DCU YFG | Image by Dave Nowak Photography similar to Kilkenny YFG’s motion proposing the 1989 Incitement of Hatred Act be updated to include provisions relating to social media and social networking. Both motions were passed. YFG National Conference sees YFG branches and members from

around the country come together to debate issues affecting the youth of Ireland, such as student fees and social issues. As an autonomous body, it allows the organisation to challenge Fine Gael on it’s own policies and decisions and offer it’s own solutions. An example would be YFG’s opposition to Fine Gael’s plan to abolish the Seanad. Members were addressed by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism, Leo Varadkar, who both called on YFG to continue to be the “conscience of Fine Gael” and to challenge the senior party and the government when they felt necessary. The conference was also attended by a number of Fine Gael TDs and councillors and Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton. MEP Mairead McGuinness opened the event and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald was also present at the event.

Red Bull paper plane world championships come to DCU By Aoife Mullen Deputy News Editor Qualifier rounds for the Red Bull Paper Wings 2012 World Championships will be coming to DCU next Tuesday, February 28th. Nine third level institutions in Ireland will hold qualifiers and the winners will go on to compete in the national final of the worldwide paper plane contest. The national winner will then represent Ireland at the world final in Hangar 7, Salzburg, Austria from May 4th - 5th. The 613 qualifier rounds are held in universities in 85 countries for the world’s biggest paper plane competition. The competition, which is specifically aimed at students, is in its third year. Entrants will be judged in three categories: longest airtime, longest

distance and aerobatics. In the longest airtime and longest distance categories, entrants cannot use any form of assistance. Assistance, such as scissors, glue and sticky tape will only be allowed in the aerobatics category. The aerobatics category, which is the creativity and style of the paper plane, will be judged on construction, art and design, and flight performance. Those interested in entering the competition need to register, or ‘check-in’, on the official website for the competition, More details of the competition, including the rules and individual category specifications can also be found on their site. If you’re not sure how to make the perfect paper plane, event organisers have provided a step-by-step guide on the site on how to make a “top class paper airplane”.

10 The College View 22.02.12

NEWS RAG movement reaches Limerick

UCC RAG Week arrests treble

By Emma-Jane Hade

University of Limerick last week launched their newest society, the UL Raising and Giving Society. The society is only the second of its kind in the country, with DCU being home to the first set up just this year. Rónán Ó Dálaigh and Daithí De Buitléir started the DCU society last September and serve as the co-chairs on the committee. Rónán told the College View this week about how the society has become a national success. “When myself and Daithi started it we had a national organisation in mind and that’s what we’re working towards. RAG was launched in DCU first by DCU students but the aim is to have a RAG society in every Irish university within 3 years, all of them working together to achieve the same goals.’ He expressed how he hopes the UL branch ‘ is the first of many’. Limerick’s RAG society launched last Wednesday with a lantern ceremony and several of of the DCU committee members travelled down to show their support. Daitihi explained how several students from various universities contacted them, and how one UL student really understood the concept. ‘We were contacted by Caomhán O’Bolghuídhír of UL and although we have received a lot of interest from students in other universities we felt that Kevin understood the concept and had a lot of potential.Therefore, we decided to back him fully and so far they’re doing amazingly wellthey received almost 1500 Facebook likes in one weekend!’ UL Rag Soc share the same logo as the DCU Rag Soc, and this is all part of the national movement with Daithí De Buitléir spearheading that campaign. Ó Dálaigh revealed that De Buitléir was successful in seeing the organisation through the second round of the Arthur Guinness Fund, a philanthropic investment fund for social entrepreneurs. When DCU Rag society was founded, it kicked off with many events around campus such as the ‘Naked Mile’ and the hugely successful white collar boxing event. Ó Dálaigh expressed to the College View how none of this would have been possible without the hard-working committee.

Image by b@nfy (Obtained through Flickr Creative Commons)

By Róisín Treacy

UCC saw arrests treble during their annual Raise and Give week this year. Gardaí made 50 arrests for public order offences in the first four days of the week-long event. The arrests, made in the city centre and college area, amount to three times the normal rates during RAG Week. Almost half the arrests involved students and seven involved students of UCC. Offences included public drunkenness, people being a danger to themselves or others and damage

to property and cars. Gardaí also issued on-the-spot fines for drinking alcohol in public places. Dozens of complaints were made to Gardaí over the week about parties going on into the early hours of the morning. An estimated €15,000 worth of damage was caused to one student occupied house on College Road during the course of the week. UCC Accommodation Officer Maura O’ Neill told the student website ‘Studenty’ that there was a large party in the house when the damage was caused. Somebody went up into the attic and adjusted the ballcock position, causing the tank to overflow and flood the house.

One UCC student explained that many people held house parties because the clubs and bars in the city were too busy during RAG week. She said: “The bouncers at the nightclubs were quite strict about letting people in, but that made it worse because people who were refused entry just went home and had house parties instead. Some people didn’t bother trying to go into town at all because they felt it would be too packed so they just had huge parties at home instead.” A spokesperson for UCC’s Students’ Union said they recognised there were some issues late at night among a small amount of students. The spokesperson said: “It’s a mi-

nority who are involved in antisocial behaviour and many aren’t even UCC students.” However, UCC student, Rosie Dunphy told The College View that she felt the college encouraged the disorderly behaviour. She said: “They had people in the student bar doing piercings. A lot of people were just getting piercings because they were drunk. There’s a lot of peer pressure surrounding RAG week because it’s like if you don’t drink, you’re completely left out of it.” The annual RAG week is organised by UCC Students’ Union. All money raised at official UCC events goes to charities.

Trinity affiliation with USI in question By Suzanne Cooper

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) held a debate last week regarding the college’s affiliation with the Union of Students in Ireland. Philosophical Society speaker David Byrne proposed the motion, “that this house would disaffiliate from the USI”. The motion was opposed by USI President Gary Redmond. TCD’s decision to hold a referendum on the college’s affiliation with USI was decided upon by a majority vote. In order to hold a referendum, a petition must be presented to the Students’ Union. The petition has already begun circulation. TCD would be following in the footsteps of colleges such as the University of Limerick and Dublin City University, who both voted against affiliation with USI in recent years. The Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology also

Image by fabiolaoleri (Obtained through Flickr Creative Commons) announced a proposal to hold a referendum on termination of their affiliation with the USI. Trinity SU President Ryan Bartlett stated that a lack of student support for the Stop Fees campaign last year was one of the contributing factors to the decision to hold a referendum.

In an interview with ‘The University Times’, Bartlett stated, “I’m not convinced that the “Stop Fees, Save the Grant” campaign has represented Trinity students... This means that students have to ask whether or not they want to continue being represented by USI.”

One benefit of TCD disaffiliating with the USI will be the €111,000 that will be saved from not paying its membership fee. TCD’s Students’ Union plan to fund national campaigns with the savings they will make through the proposed disaffiliation.

The College View 22.02.12 11


Word on the Ground: The Proposed UCD Constitution By Lisa Gorry – Deputy News Editor, The College Tribune, UCD Reading through the existing and proposed constitutions, I was struck by one particular addition. That is the article which reads “any person holding an elected position shall not use that position for personal or financial gain.” The inclusion of such an article, in my mind, epitomizes the change that is needed in the existing constitution. While Pat de Brún, current president of the SU, defended the addition as “prudent” and emphasised that he had no evidence of such an abuse of power, de Brún admitted that he did feel there could be scope for it to happen; a sad reflection on the level

on which we have found ourselves. It’s hard not to agree with the fact that a change in the fiscal policy of our Students’ Union is long overdue, with the effects of previous inefficient SUs coming to light every day and with the revelation that UCD’s SU is nearly €1 million in debt. In my opinion, the proposed constitution does seem to lay down a good foundation for a more productive union, by seeking to alleviate some of the many problems that exist in the SU. For example, I support the idea of a professional Entertainments Manager; the continuity of an

objective manager could add to the already strong ENTs faculty here in UCD, while eliminating the problem of perhaps preferential organising of events on the basis of who’s a rep for what. However, will these changes necessarily relieve the debt that has been incurred? And will the policies come at the price of the students’ involvement? While these changes undoubtedly work for the benefit of the fiscal issues surrounding the SU, they have in fact impeded some of the student inclusiveness that the union strives for so eagerly, and could ultimately affect how the students vote in this regard. One particular

proposal that sticks in my mind is the recommendation that UCD’s only radio station, Belfield FM, lose its much relied upon SU funding. What a fine way to support student media. It is unquestionable that there is need for change, and in that respect, I am thankful for this referendum. However, I don’t know if the changes proposed will necessarily solve the debt crisis that our SU finds itself in. As I said earlier, it is a foundation; a foundation on which we can build. While I don’t support the idea that a new constitution is going to make all our problems go away, I concede that it is a step in the right direction.

UCD SU referendum to abolish Ents Officer By Frances Mulraney Deputy News Editor

A proposed UCD Students’ Union constitution will see the abolition of the Entertainment Officer as a sabbatical position, the suggested establishment of College Councils and a new rule requiring a referendum on affiliation with USI every four years. A referendum on the new constitution will take place on February 29th and March 1st. The referendum announcement comes after the recent revelation that the university’s SU is €1 million in debt. However Conor Fox, News Editor with UCD student paper ‘The College Tribune’, stated that although “the new constitution will help streamline the union finances, it wasn’t drafted with the aim of affecting the debt”. The previous constitution only referenced the word finance once. This increases to 30 times in the new proposed version. The proposed system of college councils will see a council set up for every college in the university, resulting in seven in total. The existing PROs of these colleges will become “convenors” with the possibility of payment on a part-time basis. The roles of sabbatical officers will also change. The president would be responsible for Ents with the removal

The UCD Students’ Union of the Entertainment Officer. UCD and Trinity are currently the only Students’ Unions in the country to retain an Ents Officer as a full-time elected role. The Welfare Officer will become responsible for equality. Final year and postgraduate students will elect a “Undergraduate Education Officer” and a “Graduate Education Officer”. Speaking to the ‘College Tribune’, UCD students Jamie Rath and Mark Stokes of the “No” campaign, claimed that: “This constitution was designed behind closed doors with minimal input from students. It was

designed by and for ‘The Clique’, the insiders in the SU.” However, UCD Students’ Union President, Pat de Brún, feels that the new constitution would open up the SU. He says it will “recognise that the class rep who likes organising parties may be a very different animal from the rep who enjoys matters of union policy”. He believes that by creating College Councils and then a Union Council it will allow for a differentiation between these people and allow the SU to be more “inclusive and representative”.

He continued to counter the “No” campaign’s argument by saying that suggestions from students were considered at the start of the semester and that they had been incorporated in the proposed final draft instead of a “closed door” system. Speaking in relation to the Ents Officer, De Brún states: “People generally believe that there is too much financial risk being put into the hands of an elected student. The hope is that UCD Ents can run at a profit as opposed to a loss.”

First EGM in 24 years fails to reach quorum By Catríona Hughes

UCD Students’ Union spent over €3,000 on their first Emergency General Meeting in 24 years, despite being €1 million in debt. The meeting regarding staff members Jacqueline Carey and Anne Dunne, made redundant before Christmas, failed to reach quorum. On February 6th, the assembly opened to all Students’ Union members and around 1,000 students in order to decide upon the motion, “Should the Union General Meeting overturn the decision by the Union to close the Print Bureau (SU General Office) in the Library/Arts Tunnel?” The meeting is estimated to have cost over €3,000 for the printing of ballot papers and payment of twelve staff members. A total of 157 votes were cast, 156 of the votes were valid which left the meeting over 800 votes short of reaching quorum. Eighty-seven participants voted in favour of the motion, while 69 were opposed. Morgan Shelley, Returning Officer, declared the motion invalid with less than 1% of the student body partaking in the vote. “I’m disappointed, because let’s be honest, 23,000 students – how many actually elect the Students’ Union? Very few students within the college go for election. We got 3,000 signatures in seven to eight days,” said Elizabeth Coote, the final speaker for the proposition. Pat de Brún, UCD SU President commented: “Reaching quorum was extremely unlikely. I think that was clear for everyone from the start, including the proposer, with the full knowledge of what the cost would be to the union. I think the end result is quite counter-productive compared to what the intended result behind the petition was.” The proposer of the motion, Karl Gill stated: “I think the campaign proved a lot that there is a frivolous attitude when it comes to finances in the union, there is a tendency towards Ents and less of a tendency towards educational services.”

12 The College View 22.02.12


State of the Unions Apathy, acrimony and accountability. Sarah Doran navigates the murky waters of Students’ Union politics.


he year of the dragon is certainly proving a fiery one in the realm of student politics. UCD students are reeling at the news that their Students’ Union is almost €1 million in debt whilst at the University of Limerick, two sabbatical positions have been cut to ensure the Union’s financial viability is maintained. The USI has come under fire, with students across the country turning their attention toward Crumlin College of Further Education. A new constitution offering a pay rise to its officers and a third term for any potential president has stoked the flames of dissatisfaction. In Trinity College, USI affiliation has become a hot topic while in IADT, students have already gone to the polls to decide if they will cut ties with Gary Redmond and co. At home, DCU student Gill Maguire thinks the SU is helpful and inclusive. “I think that they really do care,” she says. “I feel that students wouldn’t hesitate getting onto them if they had problems because they’re really approachable.” However, the majority of students nationwide seem to be apathetic when it comes to student politics and participation is a major issue. In the University of Limerick, SU president Derek Daly claims a recent survey shows over 60% of students believe his Union is effective. “Irrespective of sideline issues, students value the services a Students’ Union provides,” he declares. Science graduate Mikey O’Connell and Arts graduate Katie Quinn both say that ULSU do a lot of good work but argue that only small groups of people are actually involved in the Union. Daly agrees. “We have over 5,000 students signed up to clubs and societies, but it’s likely that Union officers would

know 75% of the engaged participants by name.” He’s trying to counter the problem by going out and talking to students on campus but admits that participation is still not high enough. Rosemary Gallagher, editor of NUIG’s SIN, explains that participation is also an issue in Galway. She believes that the majority of NUIG students are disinterested in their Union but also in politics in general.

“Most students wouldn’t know what to say if asked for their opinion on the Union.” - Rosemary Gallagher, Editor NUIG SIN

“When we polled students across campus in the lead up to the presidential election last October we learned that only 57% of NUIG students intended to vote, far below the national average across six campuses of 74%,” Gallagher explains. “Most students wouldn’t know what to say if asked for their opinion on the Union.” However, both she and former class rep James Field-Corbett say NUIGSU do a lot of good work for their students. Fourth year student Fay Ryan echoes their sentiments. “There’s a great service where you give them your email address and they’ll send you information about jobs around the city,” she says, “but there’s a terrible new rule coming in for the upcoming elections. Candidates

Image credit: aren’t allowed bribe us with food so there’ll be no more free muffins and lollipops”. UCD student Dylan Gray argues that nobody really knows anything about the Union or how it works “unless they’re writing for one of the papers or they’re looking to get a position within the SU”. UCD Students’ Union president Pat de Brún admits that it has been “an exceptionally difficult year with huge cutbacks and some highly controversial decisions”. However, he believes that most students “appreciate that we are taking decisive action and tackling some big issues which have been ignored in the past”. Alyson Gray is in her fourth year and says the debt is definitely the major topic of conversation on campus. “I feel like I’m constantly talking about it either with housemates or with friends in college,” Gray explains. “Everyone is shocked and most people are questioning how the SU could let something like that happen. People who never took notice are talking thanks to the scandal.” Indeed, if there’s one thing that motivates students to play politics, it’s controversy, and since January there have been three letters on most student journalists’ lips: U.S.I. Trinity College SU president Ryan Bartlett says they’re currently conducting a survey to discern how students feel about TCDSU and USI. At a debate hosted by TCD’s Philosophical Society, the audience voted for disaffiliation from USI. Whether this will be followed by a referendum on the issue is still unclear. Mollie Guidera thinks her fellow Trinity students don’t really engage with the SU unless they’re class reps or friends with class reps, but says they do seem to care about getting

rid of USI. “The consensus would seem to be that Trinity doesn’t really need it, we haven’t agreed with it for a while and we could save money and do a better job without them,” Guidera explains. Former class rep Fionnán Howard agrees. “As far as I’ m concerned, USI has outlived its purpose for TCD and at the moment, it would be more appropriate if we weren’t members.” In NUIG, Rosemary Gallagher suspects that most students don’t actually realise that they are members of USI or “that they are paying for this privilege. We managed to get around 1,000 students to attend the march this year but one day of student activism does not a fully-participatory union make”. She puts ignorance down to apathy but says that many of the students she has spoken to view the USI as little more than a launch pad to a political career.

“UCC student Brian Byrne says he’s not sure many students even understand exactly why the USI exists” UCC student Brian Byrne says he’s not sure many students even understand exactly why the USI exists but adds that many do take part in the annual protests. UL is disaffiliated but it’s still surprising that some students don’t even know what USI stands for.

“I don’t feel that students on the ground necessarily see what value USI has or what it can offer them that we can’t offer them here,” explains ULSU president Derek Daly. DCU’s Kim Connick has her reservations about her own SU but admits she’s happy that the college has disaffiliated from USI. Alyson Gray says the recent scandal in UCD has motivated her friends to question the issue of compulsory SU membership. “A lot of the people I know said they’d rather it was optional and, given the option, they’d opt out.” There is no provision in the Irish Universities Act that says membership of a Students’ Union is mandatory but most Irish SUs follow a compulsory model. In UCC, Brian Byrne also thinks membership should be optional. UL’s Katy Quinn agrees and says, “Some of us just want to pass through college anonymously enough”. UCDSU president Pat de Brún supports the compulsory model. “Without the backing of the full student body, the Union would not be taken seriously by the university or by government. While it’s easy to criticise a Union for what they’re not doing, it’s also relatively easy to take the vital work that does happen for granted,” he says. Mollie Guidera agrees and believes compulsory membership is the only way to ensure that all students have access to services. The debate rages on but one thing is clear: there is no consensus on the state of the Unions. With calls for accountability ringing out across campuses and the issue of disaffiliation firmly on the table, 2012 could be the year that it all goes up in smoke.

The College View




Time for TV talent shows to face the music? By Freya Drohan


ith almost seven billion inhabiting this planet, it’s a given that countless people assume that they have the requisite talent to make it as a global star. This century has thus far been defined and shaped by reality television. While the idea of talent shows can be traced back to the 1940s, the appeal to a modern generation of instant celebrity status being attainable has contributed to their dominance in recent years. Shows like Pop Idol and Popstars came to the fore in Britain in 2001 and 2002 respectively, and introduced the idea that if your mum thinks you can sing Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’ like no one else, then the rest of the world should be obliged to listen. Ireland too saw the opportunity to cash in, and Irish Popstars debuted in 2002. Ironically, it remains most famous for introducing an underage Nadine Coyle to the general public. The talent show is a platform for aspiring performers to prove they have what it takes to make it in a competitive industry that grants the wishes of a few but destroys the dreams of many. Naturally, they became popular for their entertainment value and the way in which we could relate to the contestants.

Image credit: Ten years after Simon Cowell first graced our screens on Pop Idol, the questions that remain are whether shows like this still hold any value, and whether they are still being watched. Surveying several DCU students, the majority claimed they did not watch shows such as The X Factor (though relatively few of its estimated 12 million viewers seem to admit to watching). Reasons offered for this included its formulaic approach, it being repetitive year after year, the show’s irritating contestants, its overwhelming commerciality, and the way in which the show ridicules contestants.

Top 5… However, there are ways to get organised and prevent this from happening. The following top five steps should help in preventing those “Next semester things will be differ- dreaded mini meltdowns. ent...” We’ve all made this claim at some stage of our college lives. With 1. Buy some kind of the second semester rolling in, some students have the usual lectures and folder assignments to focus on, whereas others have an upcoming thesis and This will make your life so much easier when you need to read up on work placement. Fun times. Letting the work pile up and get on your notes- especially if you have top of you is all too easy. Most of us one of THOSE lecturers who don’t have learned the hard way that leav- post material up on Moodle. Make ing everything until the last minute sure that you stash your sheets into is seriously not worth it. Beginning separate compartments to make a a 3,000 word essay the night before more structured filing system, and it’s due creates a level of panic and colour code each module. stress that you would not have believed was humanly possible, along 2. Set goals with an overwhelming sense of self- Write them down on post-it notes and place them in your room, allowhatred for causing the situation.

Talent shows introduced the idea that fame, glory and recognition could be anyone’s, whether you’re a genuinely gifted singer with the ability to sell millions of records, or a pair of quiffed, hyperactive brothers. However, shows such as The X Factor appear tired and outdated in an age where Facebook and YouTube can act as career starters. As Communications student Jamie Harrold put it, “the Andy Warhol ideal of 15 minutes of fame does not apply now when you can instantly post videos, thoughts and images online… it’s not real fame.” The backlash against talent shows seems to be rooted in their manu-

factured approach. Bachelor of Civil Law student Thompson Barry Doherty said: “They were once a good idea, but now they’re so commercial and the winner is predetermined by those behind the camera on the ability of contestants to generate revenue.” Take this year’s X Factor winners, Little Mix, as an example. They’re the first band to win in the history of the show, yet those four young girls were put together by a judge in the early stages of auditioning. The idea of exploitation also undermines talent shows, with many feeling they cruelly take advantage of people for the sake of ratings.

Doherty disagrees, stating many of those victimised “intentionally set out to search for fame when they are knowingly devoid of talent and deserve what they get”. First year student Paul O’Donoghue feels that The Voice of Ireland offers a much better concept whereby the outcome of your audition is determined solely by your musical ability. This flies in the face of the “whole package” ideal pedalled by the The X Factor which Paul maintains is ridiculous as “very few of them can dance or perform anyway, it’s just a polite way of saying that they want young, good looking people”. Ellen Brannigan agrees that The Voice is appealing because it’s “close to home” and it’s the opposite of The X Factor where people are judged on their personality and looks. The power of TV talent shows has certainly dwindled, with hopefuls seemingly destined to join the likes of Gareth Gates, One True Voice and the impossible-to-name seven previous winners of X Factor who ultimately end up in a worse position than before they started the show, with the bitter taste of short lived fame and a sharp fall from the dizzy heights of brief stardom. It appears that the talent show format has run its course. Will YouTube and similar sites become the most influential outlet for wannabe dreamers? Best get the ear plugs out.

ways to get organised this semester

By Niamh Devereux

“If you set large goals, break them down into smaller ones” ing you to be reminded of your aims on a regular basis. If you set large goals, break them down into smaller ones so that you can achieve them bit by bit.

3. Make a to-do list

My housemate is constantly on top of everything by making daily lists of what needs to be done, crossing

off each task as she goes. Even not- 4. Sort out your ing little things that you have to do, bedroom/study area like collecting your laundry, will make a huge difference in your time This is a major factor in being organised. If you live on campus, you will management. be aware there is a cleaning inspec4. Get healthy tion per semester. However, this This is probably the most difficult does not mean that on every other step to follow as college is notorious day of the semester it is acceptable for deteriorating your health. Late to be the owner of a floor-drobe. I’m nights plus excessive drinking plus no neat freak myself, but I know how student deals in Dominos equals a much of an impact a messy room recipe for laziness and being seri- can have on your focus and conously unproductive. Improving your centration. Keeping things as tidy as sleeping pattern and your diet, even possible will mean that once you sit by making sure that you have three down to study or do work, you won’t solid meals every day, can make a be distracted by the countless empty huge difference in your ability to bottles of Lucozade or months-old get your work done. However, it is magazines floating around, and you probably a good idea to just accept might actually get something done. that Wednesdays will always be a write-off. Toxic Tuesday will do that to you.

14 The College View 22.02.12


2012: prophecy or hoax? Planetary collisions, galactic alignment and black holes? It looks like we’re all done for in 2012, writes Katie Coyle.


he prediction forecasting that the world will end in 2012 is one that has sparked much controversy, interest and fear. There are a number of myths and predictions but there are five main theories. They include Mayan prophecies, polar shifts, galactic alignments, the sun overheating, and planetary collisions. Of course, if you’re not a major in astronomical physics, it’s all a bit confusing. NASA offers a website where users can ask questions regarding the 2012 doomsday predictions, and the service has been flooded with thousands of queries. Many express genuine fear and some are even disturbing. Some users were apparently contemplating suicide for fear

of witnessing the end of the world. Such is the level of controversy and speculation that it has resulted in a new genre of film which deals with the world ending. Such films include The Day After Tomorrow, Doomsday, and of course, 2012. It is arguable whether Hollywood is expressing a credible theory or simply exaggerating things in order to enhance the entertainment value of their films. The most popular 2012 theory is based around the ancient Mayan calendar, which many believe ends on December 21st 2012, marking the end of the world. However, Anthony Aveni, a Maya expert, has disproven this theory in his book, The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012.

Aveni explains that the Mayans in fact followed a long count calendar, a way for them to worship the gods at the time. This calendar dated thousands of years, suggesting that rather than signifying the end of the world, the idea is that the world is being renewed. So the Mayan belief is actually a positive thing in the same way that New Year’s Day is. The Mayans did pass down an end of the world scenario about a worldwide flood, but is not meant to be read literally. This exact scenario has been depicted in many religious documents, like the tale of Noah’s Ark is in the Bible. In addition, the Mayan apocalyptic image is undated and of no relation to 2012. Another theory that is depicted in the 2012 film is that the earth will undergo a pole shift, resulting in continents colliding with each other. Similar to the Mayan calendar theory, this is no more than fiction, according to The National Geographic documentary 2012: Countdown to Armageddon. It is natural for the earth to undergo subtler changes, and these are so minor that they takes millions of years. No one would even feel them. What about galactic alignments

Image credit (above top): CarlosVanVegas via Flickr Creative Commons Image credit (above):

dragging humanity into a black hole? Fortunately, no, this isn’t going to happen either. Galactic alignments occur every year. No planetary alignments are due for decades and the sun aligns with the earth on December 21st every year. In another 2012 disaster theory, the sun overheats, unleashing solar storms and burning up the earth. According to astronomers, the opposite of this is actually happening. The sun is being quieter than it is usually, and we are more likely to experience an ice-age than a galactic storm. The last and most outlandish myth is that a mysterious planet called Nibiru is on a collision course with earth. If this was true and a dwarf planet was heading our way, astronomers would have been examining it for the past decade and it would be visible to the naked eye by now. In addition, the myth was initially perpetrated by a woman who claimed to have had contact with aliens from the planet. DCU science student, Aimee O’Dowd, said that she believed the only reason the theory was popular was “because of the speculation of one particular ancient religion that everybody just blew out of proportion”. A UCD science student, Rachel Nally, said: “I’ve never given it much thought but I really don’t think it’s true. If the world was going to end, there would be a lot more evidence at this stage.” Head of Physical Science at UCD, Professor Padraig Dunne, said that none of the above theories are true and that people should “carry on regardless”. Still scared? I didn’t think so. 2012 doomsday scenarios seem comparable to the Y2K scare or the 1999 Nostradamus predictions. DCU actuary student Rachel Rycroft said, “being honest, there’s a doomsday scare like this every few decades and I think it’s just hype created by the propaganda caused by retailers. The more hype there is about the end of the world, the more people

will spend on items they think they want to have before they die”. Perhaps 2012 isn’t as big a conspiracy as this would suggest, but it is true that doomsday predictions are common. As recently as 2000, people believed that the turn of the millennium would trigger the end of the world. People now are also claiming that the 16th century prophet Nostradamus has predicted that the world will end in 2012. This is also wrong. This is no more than rumours fuelled by the misinterpretation of the Mayan Calendar. Nostradamus had in fact predicted the coming of an anti-Christ and the end of the world in 1999. In some letters, Nostradamus also spoke of prophecies as far into the future as 3786. Although these prophecies are a paradox, they do prove one thingthe world shouldn’t end in 2012. So why are people so fascinated with a theory that is untrue? Niamh Mackenna, an IADT art student, said: “Through propaganda of the internet and tabloids and conspiracies, this myth has spread like wildfire. Even the company Lynx is using it to their advantage, creating an ad campaign and fragrance, calling it ‘2012 - the final edition’ based around the Mayan belief.” Mackenna admitted that she has watched 2012-style disaster films, but said that “films create a world in which we can never live. It’s just a harmless bit of fun using controversial topics to make them money and give us cinematic enjoyment. It’s also a way of showcasing their film manipulation talents [like the scenes featuring] the Statue of Liberty in The Day After Tomorrow”. It seems safe to say we can all go back to our ordinary lives. Apart from at New Grange, it’s highly doubtful that we are going to experience anything significant or out of the ordinary this December. It appears that the 2012 myth is just another excuse to watch blockbuster films, splurge cash and live life to the full.

The College View




Through my Eyes… Getting into gear By Grainne Coyne

“Clutch, brake, handbrake, handbrake!” To drivers, learner drivers, or perhaps those with the patience to teach others how to drive, these words will sound all too familiar. It’s hard to forget the first time you put your hands on the steering wheel and take that first spin in the car. I remember my first lesson like it was yesterday. I was 17 and after constantly nagging my dad for a lesson, he finally gave in. My little brother would swear that he suffered whiplash as result of that first lesson - something of an exaggeration considering I only slightly jerked the brakes out of panic when the car began to move forward. I froze for the rest of the lesson, forcing my dad to steer the whole time. After that, though, I began to make some progress. I learned to start the car, steer, brake without giving anyone whiplash, and even use the clutch appropriately. Driving lingo became easier to understand, as did the use of hand signals, indicators, signs and lines on the road. The day before my Leaving Cert results, I sat the theory test and, to my relief, I passed- even though numerous questions on tractors let me down. I could now move on from reversing in circles in fields to actually driving on main roads - a prospect which did not appeal to my dad. Despite us having a healthy relationship, our tempers usually clashed when it came to the issue of driving. So my parents hired a professional driving instructor, even though I would debate his qualifications in my later years of driving lessons. I had no problem starting the car and moving into first and second gear, but the idea of third was too frightening to consider, and thus I was the most painful person to drive behind. I crawled around my home town and panicked when another car came towards me. After six paid

lessons, little progress seemed to have been made, much to my instructor’s frustration. College then got in the way and it wasn’t until summer time that I was allowed to put my hands on the steering wheel once again. This time it was decided that if my father and I wanted to maintain a good relationship, perhaps it was best to let my mother teach me how to drive. This would have been great, had she not been too scared to get in the car with me. After many botched attempts, my mother hired yet another professional instructor who was seemingly more patient and attractive than the first. Despite the fact that I was only coming to grips with indicators and fourth gear, he decided that I was ready to hit the big city. I was not. Prone to the dramatics, I would safely say driving around the city centre at rush hour was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life so far. I cut out so many times that I lost count, I almost ran over tourists, and freezing at roundabouts and major junctions was such a common occurrence that the beeping horns became just background noise. Having escaped the city with both our lives intact, I had made some improvements when it came to driving. I was finally able to change into fifth gear and after being thrown into the worst possible traffic scenarios, a lot of manoeuvres seemed less daunting. My mother still wasn’t convinced though and a year after passing my theory test, the driving seemed to stop entirely and I began to focus more on college work instead. There was the odd lesson which would usually end in angry words being exchanged, and sometimes tears. But when applying for my second provisional licence, I knew I had to take the initiative. Convincing my mother that I was safe as a learner driver could be, we ventured to take driving lessons together and even-

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“This time it was decided that if my father and I wanted to maintain a good relationship, perhaps it was best to let my mother teach me how to drive.” tually she developed some form of confidence in my skills. It was still slow progress though. We would only drive certain routes and still avoid busy areas, or indeed anywhere where there was a possibility of other cars. Gradually, I gained the confidence to drive

around congested areas with ease. I still felt that I wasn’t ready to sit the actual driving test, that I had too many faults to count. These included my complete inability to reverse in any form, park in a straight line, and turn in the road. Some gear changes were quite jerky, and I even managed the feat of driving with no gears at all from time to time. I finally decided to bite the bullet and book the test and two weeks later, I got the e-mail. The date suited me perfectly and I had over a month to prepare, but in typical fashion, it was cancelled, and the new date was scheduled for two weeks’ time – for which I was in no way prepared. I crammed and practised as much as I could for the impending test day. Sitting numerous mock exams, though the first one left a lot to be desired, I felt a bit more prepared for the test. I was able to do a turn in the road, but I still could not reverse around corners. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t grasp it, and it seemed like the more I practiced, the worse I got. But for some reason, the day before my test, it clicked. I actually felt ready for once, but it didn’t stop the nerves building up.

The actual test passed in a daze. Everything ran smoothly (aside from me having to run back to my car to get my licence - not a great start), and the test went as well as it could, considering the roads were busy with children heading home from school at the time. I could list all the mistakes I made, but was not sure if they would cost me the right to remove those pesky L-plates from my car. Walking back to the test centre, I knew it could go either way. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the result I had hoped for. It was the offence of driving too close to a line of parked cars, thereby causing a hazard, which ultimately caused me to fail. It still bothers me that it was that sole thing (an offence whose existence I’ll admit I was not even aware of ) which let me down. In fact, I was upset to the extent that for weeks I didn’t tell many people I had sat and failed my test. Some still won’t know until now. I know it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I am not the first to fail my driving test and I certainly won’t be the last. But after years of learning how to drive, to fail as a result of one (admittedly significant) fault grinds my gears.

16 The College View 22.02.12


Spring surprises By Conor McTernan and Jenny Darmody


over the mid-latitudes, and the positive phase which is the opposite. As the AO changes, it affects temperatures across Europe. However, Emily Gleeson from the Research Department of Met Eireann says, “A negative phase does not always mean cold weather in northern Europe.” She explains that it is not as simple as that, and that “negative AO does not automatically mean colder weather for us.”

pring has arrived and it offers a wide range of weird and wonderful experiences that we can embrace, especially as Ireland escapes the icy conditions that have affected mainland Europe. With DCU’s Reading Week on the horizon and offering the prospect of time off, spring sees a Spring break Spring is the perfect time to renumber of festivals happening both accustom yourself with the great here and abroad. outdoors and go camping. A destiThe Big Freeze nation of choice could be Donegal, We had a mild winter this year, where the Aurora Borealis (Northand in comparison to last year’s ern Lights) has been active and snow-in with temperatures falling sighted. Its activity forecast can be below -16 degrees, we got off very followed online. lightly indeed. DCU’s Reading Week runs from Now it’s spring and we’ve been Monday March 12th to Friday blessed with sun showers while the March 16th with weekends either rest of Europe has been gripped by side. If you don’t have too much a deep freeze which has claimed academic work to be focusing on, over 600 lives. The commercially vi- this represents a great time to plan a tal River Danube has frozen over for short getaway abroad or a road trip hundreds of miles, while snow fell in at home. Rome for the first time in 26 years. It’s not climate change that’s Festivals The Las Fallas festival in Valencausing this bizarre weather, but a naturally occurring climatic pattern cia runs from March 15th-19th, and called the Arctic Oscillation (AO). sees the city taken over by a carnival The pattern experiences two differ- of fiesta, fireworks, bonfires and paent phases; the negative phase in rades, where people set fire to satiriwhich there is high air pressure over cal papier-mâché figures. The Budapest Spring Festival is the North Pole and low pressure

How to… By Hiromi Mooney Deputy Features Editor


“Take some time out to go through everything that you have, and ask yourself why you need or want it.”

ow are your New Year’s resolutions working out for you? Making and sticking to the changes you’ve promised yourself is not as easy as it sounds. Trying to keep several positive new habits all at once can be overwhelming or even impossible. But now that it’s February, why not use the new season as a reason to start afresh and spring clean your life? This time, take it in baby steps by making small, simple thrown into it over the years? Is your changes to your lifestyle. wardrobe bursting with clothes that 1. De-clutter your room you’d forgotten you owned? Rather Are you avoiding opening the draw- than ignoring these cluttered spacer full of random things that you’ve es, take some time out to go through

The Las Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain Hungary’s largest and most prestigious, and attracts fans of classical music and jazz from all over the world. It takes place during the last two weeks of March. And of course, St Patrick’s Day – perhaps the most internationally celebrated national day of all – is coming up. The traditional parade, run as part of the St Patrick’s Festival, is sci-

Image credit: shelmac via Flickr Creative Commons

ence themed this year. “Our parade is based on the questions, ‘how,’ ‘what’ and ‘why’,” said the festival’s Michelle Kenny. “Each parade company is given a question and they have to interpret it themselves.” Kenny says the questions include “Why do we dream?” and “What lives under the sea?” The Irish Craft Beer Festival takes place at the RDS throughout the

week of the festival. Expect fine craft beers and artesian food from across the land. Spring is often overlooked as a fun time; it’s usually regarded as a transition between winter and summer. That’s not the case and, provided the weather remains as kind as it has been, there are plenty of things for the reveller to enjoy.

spring clean your life everything that you have, and ask yourself why you need or want it. Get rid of anything broken or anything you don’t need anymore. Can you remember the last time you used it, and for what? Is it torn or stained? Be realistic - get rid of it. You can bin it, recycle it, or donate it to charity shops. If you have a ‘maybe’ pile, ask your close friends or relatives to help you decide what to do with those items.

check out what’s in your fridge and food presses. Swap junk food and takeaways with a healthier, nutritious diet. Cut down on processed food and stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables instead. If you find anything out of date, bin it. For a fuller body detox, try giving up alcohol for a week (or a month if you’re ambitious). If you smoke, try cutting down. You’ll never know the results until you actually give it a go.

2. Detox

3. Organise your work

There are countless articles and television shows advising on how to improve your diet and revitalise your general health. But be honest – have you ever managed to apply their tips to your life for more than a month? If you have, great! But if you haven’t, maybe it’s because you don’t know where to begin. First,

Gather your academic notes into neat, organised piles, and do the same for other work that you may have. For example, file your college work by sorting everything by date, module, semester and year so that you can find what you need easier. Set yourself a goal of not procrastinating this year. Do what you need

to get done now so that you won’t panic later. You’ll still have plenty of time to do what you like after you get the job done – not before it.

4. Stress management

Identify any problems that you have, analyse what you can do about them, solve them before they pile up, and move on. Of course, in reality, things aren’t always as simple as that. Talk to a close friend and let them know what’s bothering you, and make some time for yourself every day to clear your head. If you’re taking on too many activities, analyse whether you can manage to do all of them, and allow yourself to take some time out from things if they’re draining you. Try and stick to a regular sleeping pattern too as it will affect your daily energy and concentration levels.

The College View 22.02.12 17


DCU Media Production Society goes to Berlin By Sarah Bermingham


fter lengthy college holidays, the latter end of which was devoted to study and exams, nothing could have stopped these thirty students in their quest for fun; not even Europe’s ‘big chill’. Scarves and gloves were a must from the moment we touched down in freezing Germany. The Generator Hostel became our base at small cost. The modern hostel was well-equipped, and conveniently located beside Landsberger Allee train station. From here we availed of transfers to and from the

airport, as well as around the city. A three-day city travel ticket covered a range of transport modes and cost €23. Members visited iconic landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gates and the TV Tower, from where visitors can observe the German capital from a 360° perspective. While this town now conveys the presence of the 21st Century on the surface, one does not have to dig too deep underneath to realise the extent of its turbulent recent history. An ultra-modern shopping centre, for example, lies opposite remaining slabs of the Berlin Wall; only 25 years ago a wall dividing this city, and in effect Europe, stood on this

very spot. Visits to some significant media establishments were an essential element of the trip. One specific highlight was a tour of the RBB broadcasting centre, home of the public broadcaster for the Berlin region. In the Berlin Film Museum, we obtained interesting information on the history of film and viewed significant movie memorabilia. Amidst this busy schedule we found time to sample the party city’s nightlife scene. Members enjoyed a ‘Berlin Club Tour’ on the Friday night, which for a mere €12 gave us entry to a varied spectrum of three nightclubs, culminating in a visit to the popular ‘Matrix’ club. We par-

tied, German-style, until the early hours of the morning. There was an abundant presence, perhaps surprisingly, of Italian restaurants in the German capital. Visitors can sit down in these to a filling pizza or pasta dish for as little as €6. Sampling a ‘currywurst’ however, is a must on any trip to Berlin. One of these tasty and warming snacks can be bought from street vendors across the city. There were many beaming faces on show as MPS members boarded the homebound plane. Not only had they thoroughly enjoyed three days of adventure in the German capital, they were heading for the balmy climes of 7° Ireland.

Barcelona’s Alt Festival By Conor McTernan


always wanted to go to Barcelona, to experience the decadent Spanish city that I had heard so much about. When I found out about Sónar: “The International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art” that was taking place in the heart of the city for three days & nights, in May 2011 I began planning my trip straight away. I travelled with friends, flying out from Knock Airport to Reus (an airport located about an hour outside Barcelona). The return flights worked out at €90 which was a bargain, while a return bus ticket from Reus to the city was €22. The Sant Jordi Hostels are one of a kind. The one I stayed in was ultra modern and was situated right beside Antoni Gaudi’s ongoing masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia cathedral. It is an unmissable tourist attraction which is easily accessible on the subway. The hostel’s facilities surpass those of any other hostel that I’ve ever stayed in. The walls are decorated with retro skateboards and there is a quarter pipe in the hostel. We got a private room for €25 a night but you could get beds from as cheap as €10. Their website also offers helpful tips for tourists: When eating out in the city you’ll need to shop around if your on a budget. If you look in the right places, however, it is possible find three course meals with beers included for €15. Nevertheless, in the common tourist , such as in and around the crowded La Rambla, “main

street” you could easily expect to pay over €10 for a pint of San Miguel. Eating in is a far cheaper option if available. The Sant Jordi Hostel offers excellent cooking facilities and we cooked with other travelers staying in the hostel. It’s a fun and interesting way to meet people, and learn new recipes! For getting around, the Metro system is a godsend. It’s accessible and the trains are frequent, fast and punctual. It makes the huge urban sprawl easy to navigate in a short

time. The festival was a rare, mind blowing experience, a breathtaking scene unfolded before us when we entered the grounds for the first time. A myriad of musical genres and experimental multimedia arts came together to create the perfect vista, everyone there was on the same wavelength. At night the festival moved out of the city to a huge Airplane storage facility. “Sónar by Night” was where things got crazy and crept on into the early hours.

A limited amount of tickets for Sónar 2012 are now on sale at a reduced price of €155 for a full festival pass. That’s great value and you can even pay it in installments. Sónar 2012 will be taking place on the 14, 15, 16th of June. The first wave of artists for the promising 2012 line-up was announced last week. Big names like Fatboy Slim, Amon Tobin, The Roots, James Blake, Hot Chip, Deadmau5 and Modeselektor are just some amongst the diverse list of artists already listed, and there will be many more announced in the coming weeks. There will also be massive showcases from three of today’s leading record labels Brainfeeder, Hyperdub and 100% Silk. Barcelona is an essential stop on the backpacking/Inter-railing route across Europe, there’s so much happening, and the city has so many wonderful attractions that if you arrive without any solid plans you can easily play it by ear. Barcelona is charming city on the coast, it truly is one of a kind.

Goin’ Loco Down in Acupulco By Katie Kelly

I’m a massive fan of Mexican food. Having tried most Mexican restaurants in the city centre, Acupulco is by far the best in terms of value and quality. The restaurant is located on Georges Street, just off Dame Street. The first time I ate there I was dubious as I am a notoriously picky eater. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. What I like about Acupulco is that they are very accomodating and will alter the dishes to suit those with food intolerances, vegetarians, and those who like myself are somewhat specific in their likes and dislikes! Acapulco is a perfect haunt for even the most poverty stricken of students. From noon to five, they offer a fantastic lunch menu, with dishes starting at €6. As it’s so cheap I would normally get two dishes. For starters, the Nachos are ideal. There are also the other classics such as Quesadillas, Burrito’s, Taco’s, and my personal favourite, the Chimichanga. All the dishes are served with homemade salsa, or guacamole, and the spicy Mexican rice is really unusual. As well as having the lunch menu, Acupulco now offers a superb early bird menu running from 5-7pm daily. It is €16 for two courses, and €20 for three. The early bird features many of their lunchtime favourites and the desert is pleasantly interesting try the deep fried ice-cream, (although it might not be for those watching their weight). I love the atmosphere in this place, the staff are friendly and the service is quick. If you’re making a night of it, try the Margaritas they’re tasty and after a pitcher you will definately think you can speak Spanish... Phone 01-6771085 for reservations.

18 The College View



Seachtain na nGiobal á Iniúchadh i gCorcaigh Fiach Mac Domhnaill Leas-Eagarthóir Gaeilge


á sé tuairiscithe ag na Gardaí Síochána go raibh damáiste de luach €15,000 déanta ar réadmhaoin Choláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh agus go raibh méadú triarach ar an uimhir gabhála a rinne na Gardaí le linn Sheachtain na nGiobal. Thuairiscigh Brian Byrne ón suíomh go raibh damáiste déanta do theach ar bhóthar an choláiste. D’athraigh duine suíomh an snámhbhuacaire in áiléar an tí, rud a bhí cúis le forsceitheadh an tanc agus sceitheadh an tí, dar le Maura O’Neill ón Oifig Chóiríochta, Coláiste na hOllscoile. Dúirt na Gardaí go raibh na dosaenacha gearrán déanta faoi mhic léinn agus an méid torainn a gcruthaítear ó chóisirí a leannán ar aghaidh go breacadh an lae. Dúirt cónaitheoir áitiúil nach mbíonn a chlann in ann dul a chodladh go dtí a ceathair a chlog ar maidin, de ghnáth, toisc torann na mac léinn. Ag labhairt leis an Irish Examiner, dúirt sé go raibh leibhéal forrántachta ard ann nach bhfuil feicthe go dtí seo. Dúirt sé gur féile ólacháin amach is amach atá ann. Dúirt sé gur sheandaoine iad cuid mhór de chónaitheoirí an cheantair atá ag cónaí leo féin agus eagla orthu ina

theannta sin. Chuir urlabhraí Aontas na Mac Léinn milleán an drochiompair ar “mionlach” de mhic léinn. Le linn Sheachtain na nGiobal, bailíodh breis is €3,500 ar son eagraíochtaí carthanais. Bhí an tseachtain féin agus an fiúntas a bhaineann leis á phlé ag an gcumann díospóireachta i gColáiste na hOllscoile Chinneadar, toisc gur chuir Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, deireadh leis an imeacht go huile is go hiomlán. Bhí costas €60,000 ar dheireadh a chur le Seachtain na nGiobal i nGaillimh. Tar éis an trioblóid a bhí ann i gCorcaigh beidh brú mór ar an gcoláiste sampla na Gaillimhe a leanúint agus deireadh a chur leis an tseachtain. Tá an tseachtain á rith faoi láthair i DCU agus beidh sé suimiúil le feiceáil cé chomh rathúil is a mbeidh sé. Beidh ócáidí móra ar siúl le linn na seachtaine chun airgead a bhailiú ar son eagraíochtaí carthanais ar leith. Bhí gearráin faoi iompar mhic léinn le tamall beag anuas go háirithe ar oícheanta Dé Mháirt maidir leis an ócáid sheachtainiúil, Toxic Tuesday. Beidh Aontas na Mac Léinn agus RAG Soc ach go háirithe ag iarraidh nach mbeidh fadhbanna le linn na seachtaine ach tá drochchlú ar mhic léinn na tíre i leith an ólacháin, go háirithe mar go bhfuil nasc mór aige le Seachtain na nGiobal I gcultúr na hollscolaíochta.

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Gluais Seachtain na nGiobal [RAG Week] Iniúchadh [scrutiny] Réadmhaoin [property]

Snámhbhuacaire [ballcock] Forsceitheadh [overflow] Forrántacht [aggression]

Téarma na seachtaine

Gearbach púdrach [corky powdery scab]

Céard é an scéal, meáin? Padraig Ó Cairbre


ndiaidh blaina eile de ghearráin faoi na Smedias, gradaim na meáin do mhic léinn tríú leibhéil, fós níl faic déanta acu chun feabhas a chur ar na catagóir Ghaeilge. Anuraidh, bhí fíordhíoma ar lucht na Gaeilge toisc gur baineadh catagóir scríofa agus catagóir raidíó ó na gradaim, agus níor fágadh ach catagóir fhíse ann sa Ghaeilge. Nuair a tháinig an nuacht seo amach an bhliain seo caite, ní raibh mic léinn Gaeilge sásta in aon chor, agus cuireadh go leor litreacha, ríomhphost agus teachtaireachtaí ar line chuig na Smedias á ghearáin faoi. Fiú leis an méid ghearáin a bhí ann, níl aon duine cinnte an bhfuil aon rud tar éis athrú. Fós an t-aon catagóir Gaeilge atá ann ná “Iriseoireacht i nGaeilge” – Teilifís, de réir an suímh oifigiúil www. Chuir sé seo díomá an

domhain ar go leor mac léinn tríú leibhéil is dócha, toisc go bhfuil na deiseanna teilifíse i bhfad níos lú ná raidió ná obair scríofa. Tá i bhfad níos mó deiseanna ann, idir Gaelscéal agus Foinse, a chuireann fáilte chuig mhic léinn ailt a scríobh is a chur isteach, chomh maith le cé chomh éasca is atá sé blag a scríobh trí mheáin na Gaeilge. Chomh maith le sin, ach go háirithe i mBaile Átha Cliath, le Raidió RíRá agus Raidió na Life, a chuireann lán fáilte chuig mhic léinn tríú leibhéil teacht is dul ar aer lena gclár féin mar óglaigh. Tá sé seo go léir roimh a smaoiníonn tú faoi raidiónna ollscoile is nuachtáin ollscoile chomh maith. Ag breathnú ar seo go léir, is soiléir go bhfuil i bhfad níos mó deiseanna meáin na Gaeilge a úsáid trí raidió nó trí chló i gcomparáid le fís. Ach nuair a thagann sé chuig aitheantas a fháil mar iriseoir Gaeilge tríú leibhéil, is fíor-dheacair aitheantas a fháil, níl rochtain ann do thallann a thaispeáint go náisiúnta murar scannánóir tú.

An mearbhall atá curtha ar dhaoine ná go ndeir an suíomh www. go bhfuil catagóir scríofa ann. Ní raibh duine atá i gceannas ar na Smedias ar fáil chun seo a shoiléiriú. Le 32 duais an bhliain seo chaite, agus dhá cheann sa bhreis i mbliana, cén cúis atá ann dhá catagóir eile a chur leis na Smedias, gan ard ar bith a thabhairt ar an nGaeilge? Scéal níos dearfaí go lucht na Gaeilge sna meáin, in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath ar aon nós ná go bhfuil na Hybrids, gradaim na meáin tar éis feabhas ullmhór a chur ann dá ngradaim Ghaeilge, eagraithe ag ‘An Cumann Meáin’ (MPS). Anuraidh, ní raibh catagóir ar bith don Ghaeilge ann, rud ar cheap lucht Gaeilge OCBÁC go raibh mar mór an trua. Ach i mbliana tá athrú ullmhór tar éis teacht. Beidh catagóir chló agus fhís ann, deis ullmhór do dhaoine le Gaeilge le suim sna meáin is san iriseoireacht. Arsa Robyn Kelleghen, Cathao-

irleach MPS, “Tá an Ghaeilge fíorthábhachtach dúinn a bheith cuimsithe sna Hybrids, toisc, gan é, ní bheadh suíomh ag iriseoirí le Gaeilge a dtallann a thaispeáint, ach go háirithe mic léinn atá ag déanamh staidéir ar an iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge. Ní chór neamhaird a thabhairt ar aon mac léinn nuair a dhé-

Image credit: anann said deonachán luachmhar. Chomh maith le sin, leis an nGaeilge againn, déanann sé cionroinn orainn ó ghradaim mheáin na mac léinn i dtíortha eile, agus freisin, ag aibhsiú an aitheanteas leithleach atá againn in Éirinn”. Beidh sé suimiúil le feiceáil cén suíomh a bhfuil an ceart aige.

The College View 22.02.12 19


Féile den scoth le billí beaga- is féidir! Kate Lynam Jones


ás mór-rince ceann scoile le cairde níos óige, féile DCU, nó aon ócáid chun a bheith gléasta suas, coimeád do chuid airgid in bhur bpócaí. Le séasúr na bhféilte bliantúla ag teacht anuas, seo roinnt leideanna do chailíní agus bhuachaillí chun airgead a shábháil maidir le hullmhú don oíche mór. Ó thaobh na gcailíní de; ní fiú gúna fíorchostasach a cheannach le haghaidh oíche amháin, nach gcaithfear arís-agus is cinnte go bhfuil sé fíordheacair iad a dhíol. Tá an chuid is mó de mhic léinn tar éis mór-rince ceann scoile a bheith acu san am atá thart, mar sin tá seans ann go mbeidh aithne agat ar dhuine a bhfuil gúna oiriúnach duit. Má tá ceann agat cheana, is féidir dul chuig mhaintín agus rud amháin difriúil a chur air nó a bhaint ionas go mbeidh cuma nua air, ní bheidh ach praghas fíoríseal ar seo. Má tá crón á lorg agat, bíonn sé i gcónaí níos fearr nuair a dhéanann duine eile é. Ní gá €20 nó níos mó a chaitheamh ar sciamheolaí nuair is féidir le cara nó deirfiúr an jab céanna a dhéanamh. Maidir leis na hingne, tá sé fíordheacair lámh-mhaisiú a dhéanamh duit féin. Nuair atá an gúna rogh-

naithe agat faigh vearnais iongan ar bith atá an dath céanna leis an gúna. Cuir cnagarnach thar an vearnais iongan. Is féidir an cnagarnach a fháil i Penneys, níl sé ach €2. Cuireann sé dearadh den scoth ar na hionga go nádúrtha de réir mar a thriomaíonn sé-cheapfaí go bhfuil siad déanta go proifisiúnta. Ó thaobh na mbróg, déan iarracht gúna fada a fháil, clúdóidh sé na cosa agus is cuma cén dath atá ar na bróga a bhítear á gcaitheamh. Nó is féidir cinn a fháil ar iasacht. Bígí cinnte go bhfuil siad compordach. Bí in ann siúil, beidh níos mó muinín agat. I ndiaidh an crón a bheith déanta, de gnáth ní bheidh an dath céanna ar do bhonnsmideadh. Seachas dul amach agus ceann nua a cheannach le haghaidh oíche amháin, cuir an crón ar d’aghaidh agus measc do bhonnsmideadh isteach leis chun cumadh nádúrtha a fháil. An smideadh is riachtanach le haghaidh ócáidí mar seo ná béaldathanna, seasann sé amach ar son na bhfáthanna maithe. Seodra – bíonn blas ar an mbeagán. Measaim gurb é stíl na gruaige an ghné is tábhachtaí. Caithfear é a bheith go hiomlán difriúil ón ngnáth stíl atá agat agus oiriúnach don ghúna. Ní gá dul go dtí an gruagaire ach an oiread. Ceannaigh masc gruaige, chun uigeacht mín gleoite a bheith agat. Téigh ar YouTube chun stíleanna gruaige a fháil

agus bígí ag cleachtadh suas chuig an tseachtain roimh an ócáid ionas go mbeidh sé foirfe ar an oíche. Má theipeann gach rud seol téacs chuig chara atá go maith leis an ngruaig! Ó thaobh na mbuachaillí, tá sé i bhfad níos éasca ar ndóigh. Mura bhfuil culaith agat faigh iasacht ó dhuine nó is féidir iad a fháil ar cíos le lascaine mac léinn san áireamh. Ní gá léine nó carbhat nua a cheannach, déan cinnte go bhfuil siad iarnáilte i gceart agus feicfidh siad úr. Cuir snas ar na bróga agus beidh cuma nua orthu! Rud ríthábhachtach: ná caith stocaí bána. Mura bhfuil glóthach ghruaige agat is féidir veasailín nó séiream agus sprae gruaige cailín a úsáid. Déanfaidh siad an jab céanna, ná bíodh eagla ort. Mar achoimre sciobtha ar mo leideanna, sula gceannaíonn tú na “riachtanais”, caith súil ar céard atá agat cheana féin, cliceáil ar YouTube agus tá sé ceart go leor tallann do chairde a úsáid i mbealach maith.

Image credit:

Gluais Mór-rince ceann scoile [Debs Ball] Crón [tan] Sciamheolaí [beautician] Ingne [fingernails]

Lámh-mhaisiú [manicure] Cnagarnach [crackle] Bonnsmideadh [foundation]

An craic is mó in Éirinn le fáil i mBÁC- an fhianaise Derek O’Brien

Eagarthóir Gaeilge


s é Baile Átha Cliath ceann de na cathracha is fearr ar domhan do mhic léinn, sin de réir suirbhé nua déanta ag an eagraíocht ‘QS’ a luann ‘an craic’ mar cheann de na príomhthoisc. Tá an chathair san ochtú háit le Beirlín sa liosta inar aimsigh Páras an chéad áit, le Londain, Bostún, Melbourne, Vín, Sydney agus Zurich á leanúint. Bhí an eagraíocht lán le dea-fhocal don chathair. “Do na daoine leis an tuairim go bhfuil áit le háiseanna den scoth chun staidéar a dhéanamh le timpeallacht stairiúil, le suíomh sóisialta iontach agus daoine fíorchairdiúil mar an ceann scríbe is foirfe chun staidéar a dhéanamh- is é Baile Átha Cliath d’áit”. “D’eascair tionscal clísé Gaelach

Image by Sean MacEntee (obtained through Flickr Creative Commons) ar domhan de bharr rudaí cosúil le oiread aithrise sin ann”. ‘an craic’, Guinness agus Lá Fhéile Faightear torthaí an tábla ó go Pádraig ach má thugann tú cuairt ar leor tomhas cosúil le hinachman áit, feicfidh tú an fáth go bhfuil an hainneacht, mianach saoil, táillí

coláiste, mianach agus lion na gcoláistí atá rangaithe go hidirnáisiúnta agus clú na gcoláistí i measc fostóirí. Cruthaítear an table ón eolas

a bhailíonn QS I gcomhair a rangú bliantúil de na hollscoileanna ar domhan. Tá sé luaite ag QS go bhfuil comhchruinniú ard de mhic léinn sa chathair agus go bhfuil cóimheas ard de mhic léinn idirnáisiúnta ann. Tá sé dea-rangaithe de bharr an mhianaigh shaoil ina dteannta sin. “Ar an taobh diúltach, tá na táillí coláiste fíorchostasach, agus sin roimh a chuireann tú do bhuiséad don Guinness san áireamh!”. Glacann na 26,000 mac léinn in Éirinn leis an tábla go dáiríre, ach tá an rialtas fós ag iarraidh lion na mac léinn a ardú. Tá an rangú fíor úsáideach chun próifíl Bhaile Átha Cliath a fheabhsú le mic léinn ionchasach, sin de réir Méara Bhaile Átha Cliath, Andrew Montague. Leis na trioblóidí atá feicthe i gCorcaigh agus i bPort Láirge le déanaí, (agus i nGaillimh cúpla bliain ó shin) is cosúil go bhfuil Baile Átha Cliath ag fail áit chun tosaí maidir leis an íomhá is fearr agus is mealltaí a chruthú.

20 The College View 22.02.12



For one DCU student Olympic qualification is almost a reality. Just six tenths of a second off the 400m A standard, Brian Gregan speaks to Brendan White about chasing that elusive time.


whirlwind 12 months has pushed Brian Gregan to the brink of Olympic qualification, but the DCU athlete still needs a little more to get over the line. Fifth in the World Student Games last summer and a second place finish in the European Under-23 Championships leaves Gregan in a positive frame of mind as he sets about the task of attaining qualification. “Last year was brilliant for me, finishing fifth at the World Student Games and I was just a blink of an eye away from a medal,” Gregan said. “Preparation has been going well and I have wintered very well. I still have a couple of months to get the (Olympic qualification) time. I’ve just got to get the head down and train hard. I’m also heading to Los Angeles in April to continue my

training.” Gregan was part of the DCU team that took part in the Millrose games in New York recently. The world famous distance relay event took place in The Armory this year, widely regarded as one of the premier indoor track and field venues in the world. It was the first time the University have been invited to the competition that pits some of the best colleges in America against each other, but Gregan remained a little disappointed despite an impressive second place finish. “We were the first Irish college to be invited over to the games, it really was a big thing,” Gregan said.“It was a great oppor-

tunity for us as athletes. We were staying in the same hotel as some of the best athletes around. We were a little disappointed, we would have liked to have won but it was a great experience for us all.” Gregan has a busy few months ahead. Olympic qualification, a thesis, America and the little matter of the European Championships in Helsinki are all in the very near future. “I’m a fourth year Sports Science student so I’ve still got my thesis to do, but the plan is to train hard. I plan on going to America in April for a month to train hard there and hopefully take part in a couple of races too.” With the London Olym-

pics just five months away, Gregan’s mind is set on one thing. “After my thesis, I’m going to go to Helsinki to the European Championships. I’m hoping to get the Olympic time in Helsinki if I haven’t already got it at that stage.” Gregan has a rigorous training schedule but was quick to acknowledge t h e part that

DCU play is his preparation. The guidance of the Athletics Academy has played an important role in his development. “I train twice a day, six days a week. I do weights two or three times a week. I run, I’m on the bike or in the pool; I’m using all different techniques. “DCU have been brilliant to me and have been very accommodating. I was on INTRA last year and they made it very flexible so I could still compete in events around the world. They have allowed me to travel abroad for different races too. Enda Fitzpatrick, Niall Moyna and all at DCU have been brilliant to me. Athletics in DCU is going very well at the moment.” Gregan’s PB of 45.96 is someway off the required 45.30. The B standard however, is set at 45.90, well within Gregan’s capabilities, but it remains to be seen whether or not the AAI will be sending athletes with the B standard to London. In any event, it is evident that the trajectory of Brian Gregan’s athletics career is heading in only one direction.

DCU complete successful defence of Varsity Indoor crown By Ronan Duggan


CU once again defended their Varsity Indoor Track and Field titles; the men for the sixth consecutive year with the women’s team completing the five-in-a-row. DCU has for many years relied on its distance stalwarts such as Ciara Durkin and Linda Byrne, but this year the strength in depth of the Academy came to the fore. Mary Ann O Sullivan showed that DCU middle distance have nothing to fear from the loss of the older generation by romping home to set a 1500m DCU record for the win. The men’s middle distance were in all conquering form with Brian Kelly showing great composure and tactical awareness to win the 800m in 1.54 and Darren McBrearty effortlessly taking the 1500m crown in a shade outside four minutes. At the same time on two different continents, DCU were conquering

the American college scene with Mark English winning the 800m in Boston in 1.49 and Paul Robinson running a fantastic 3.43 for 1500m in Australia the very same evening. Not to be outdone, the sprinters also made their presence felt with Stephanie Creaner, a first year student, putting in a fantastic weekend’s work by breaking the DCU records in both 60m and 200m, finishing 3rd and 1st respectively. Steven Colvert kept the men almost on par with the women by breaking the DCU record over 60m clocking a time of 6.99, very impressive considering the 60m isn’t his strongest event. Catherine McManus did enough to win the women’s hurdles while Kourosh Foroughi displayed his versatility with a strong second place showing in the men’s hurdles. Catriona Farrell also retained her High Jump title along with many other athletes who contributed points to ensure the Women’s Team victory was never in any doubt. Foroughi and Pender battled out

the High Jump again with Pender winning and breaking the collegiate record with a 2.16 leap. Foroughi would have to be content with a combined events victory. Both teams achieved easy victo-

ries overall with the days athletics capped by the drama of the relays. Barnstorming runs from both the men and women’s teams with DCU coming out on top in the women’s, but only managing fourth place in

the men’s. The ever-dependable Feidhlim Kelly, who celebrated his 10th year of Varsity Athletics, took bronze in the 1500m anchoring the men’s team.

The College View 22.02.12 21



With little or no financial funding, marathon runner Linda Byrne speaks to Eleni Megoran about overcoming all obstacles on the road to realising her Olympic dream.


n August 5th at 11am, Linda Byrne will be on the Olympic marathon starting line, ready to begin the 26.2 mile race. The DCU athlete is heading to the London 2012 Olympics after achieving the qualifying time at the Dublin Marathon last October. She will be racing against some of the superstars of the marathon world, athletes like Paula Radcliffe. It has been a lifelong ambition of Byrne’s to make it to the Olympics. Battling illness and without financial funding, she has overcome all obstacles to qualify in the Dublin Marathon with a time of 2:36.21. Her first thought stepping over the line, “Yes, I did it! I made it to the Olympics!” The petite framed women relived the moment as she explained the last few moments of the race: “I could see the line 100 meters away but I didn’t want to celebrate until I got over the line, because you never know what could happen in a marathon. Your legs could go to jelly. So when I got to the line, I knew I had it. It was a lot to take in, it was an amazing feeling.” Byrne has been running inter-

nationally since she was 15 years old. At that age, she had already represented Ireland, running in the World Cross Country Championships and she continued to run in the European Cross Country and on the track. However, a lengthy illness, in which Byrne suffered stomach problems and low iron levels, forced the athlete to prematurely hang up her spikes. She eventually found her way back to the track and started building up her miles. “I have always wanted to make the Olympics, it’s been my dream, my whole life,” she said. After the Irish Sports Council pulled the plug on Byrne’s funding, she found it difficult to support herself and run full time. Byrne continued: “There is criteria that you have to meet to get funding, for cross-country runners there isn’t much funding. So when I was a junior and under 23, I was meeting the times they needed. But when I came out of under 23, I wasn’t making the time for the seniors, there’s a large jump and it takes a while to get to those times.” Her coach Enda Fitzpatrick suggested that she should try to com-

Linda Byrne (inset) has overcome several obstacles to achieve Olympic qualification | Image by Sportsfile pete in road races. Byrne decided with the help of her coach that the best way to support herself financially and train full time was to compete in road races. “You can make money out of road races. I found out that I really enjoyed it and I was actually pretty good at it.” So she started running in road

races with Byrne and her coach deciding that the Dublin Marathon would be a realistic goal for her to qualify for the Olympics. In preparation for the Dublin Marathon, she ran two 24 mile runs and three half marathons alongside her two sessions per week. At the start of October leading up to the marathon she ran a 20 mile race. Byrne said, “I

felt comfortable throughout the race and I felt my pace was very good. It gave me a lot of confidence.” For a runner and especially a marathon runner mental strength is key to success. “You have to be mentally strong to be a marathon runner. I had a lot to focus, which kept me mentally strong.” Her family supported her throughout the race. “I had to take jells through the race. At 10k I had my boyfriend there to hand me my jells, at 20k my dad was there, at 30k my coach Enda was there and my brother was at 35k. I had that focus throughout the race and I concentrated on the times I needed.” The Dublin Marathon was Byrne’s first ever marathon. Even more impressive, Byrne looks like she has much more to give. “I don’t think I hit the dreaded wall that everybody talks about. I felt good up to 22 miles and then the last few miles they were pretty tough, my calves were getting tight but they didn’t completely cave in on me. That comes down to all the preparation and training that I did coming into the race,” she explained. For marathon running she does have a young profile, with most marathon runners starting in their thirties. At just twenty five, Linda Byrne looks set to have a long career at the top end of marathon running, admitting that her first Olympic marathon will be a massive experience. For any marathon runner and for many athletes, the road to the finish line can be difficult. “It’s all worth it, now that I have the qualifying time,” concluded Byrne.

O’Byrne Cup winners

The DCU squad which captured the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup on Friday evening last Image by Sportsfile

22 The College View 22.02.12

SPORTS Glorious redemption for DCU By Brendan White Deputy Sports Editor

A masterclass from Emma Brennan ensured DCU’s camogie team had a weekend to remember as they lifted the Purcell Cup on Sunday morning after a brilliant 4-07 to 0-04 win over Queens University Belfast. After last year’s heartbreaking defeat to QUB, DCU achieved glorious redemption when taking the crown at the expense of their Northern opponents and in the process, earning promotion to the Ashbourne Cup. Brennan’s free taking ability was given plenty of time to be scrutinised, but the Psychology student from Carlow was up to the test as she bagged 1-04 in the decider against QUB. Unlike their semi-final showing on Saturday, DCU were quick out of the blocks and led by two points with a Brennan free sailing between the posts; a sign of things to come. A brilliantly taken Aoife Bulger goal was added minutes later. QUB hit back with three quick points, reducing the deficit to the minimum. Miriam Twomey, impressive over the weekend, settled DCU with a point as they began to regain control. A minute later QUB again fired over to leave just the minimum between the teams. That was the as close as it would get as DCU were to completely dominate from the 20 minute mark onwards. A Catriona Regan goal sandwiched two frees from Brennan leaving DCU six points clear at the break. A ruthless second half the previous day was matched in the final as they prevented QUB from adding to the scoreboard with Brennan (1-01) adding to her tally. Aoife Bugler and Sinead Byrne added minors subsequently with Orlaith Durken also finding the back of the net as DCU saw out an entertaining game. DCU’s passage to the final was a relatively easy one as they defeated NUI Maynooth 5-12 to 1-06 in the semi-final with goals from Aoife Bugler, Emma Brennan, Miriam Twomey, Catriona Regan and Orlaith Durken. Brennan showed her dead ball capabilities hitting 1-8 over the hour. Indeed, Brennan would finish as the sides top scorer, shooting 2-12 over the weekend. Eimear McCarthy (0-02) and Orlaith Durken also added to Brennan’s points tally ensuring a final appearance.

DCU Rugby enjoy rich vein of form By Tom Rooney Deputy Sports Editor Not even George Hook could rain on the DCU Force’s parade at this juncture; the Senior, Second and Fresher sides have already qualified for the All Ireland College’s quarter finals and the women’s team will be in the same position, providing they do the business against Queens Universitylater today. The Firsts have managed to top Group C, guaranteeing a home quarter final, playing only two of the four scheduled matches. The regular season proved a logistical nightmare; both ties with UU Jordanstown were rescheduled and subsequently cancelled, due to clashes in the academic timetables of the colleges. The University of Coleraine were the opposition for both group ties. The Force travelled to Coleraine for the season’s opening fixture in October and managed to secure a losing bonus point. Due to the aforementioned administrative issues the corresponding fixture was not played until No-

vember 30, but provided an entirely different outcome to its predecessor. Despite less than ideal conditions for rugby, the Force managed twelve tries including four from Matt Healy in the first half. The final score at St Clare’s was 74-5 Serious game time has been sparse in the regular season, but the squad is reporting no injuries and should be firing on all cylinders come the knock out stages. The Seconds have advanced by topping Group C in Division 3, recording wins over Griffith College, Athlone IT and DIT. The highlight of which was the 56-0 annihilation of Griffith College on February 10. The Freshers travel to the University of Coleraine today, hoping to continue the run of form that has already secured them a minimum second place qualification in Group A. This position was solidified because UU Jordanstown conceded a tie earlier in the season. Their clash with Athlone IT a fortnight ago has been their finest outing to date; at half time the score was tied at10apiece, the Force however, went on to score 34 unanswered points in the second period winning

44-10. The Woman’s team take on Queens University at St Clare’s this afternoon, kick off is at 3pm. With Bernard Jackman travelling to Coleraine with the Freshers, Liz Comerford and Louise Austin will take the reins for this final Group A encounter. Today gives the Force a chance to correct the only blemish on what has been a great campaign, the corresponding fixture being their sole loss in the group stages. Prior to today, proverbial cricket scores had been amassed against Athlone IT and Sligo IT; 65-0 and 48-0 respectively. Standout performers so far include half backs Sinead Byrne and Heather Purcell, as well as Andrea Birchill and Jane Hyland. The draw for all Quarter Final ties is this Friday at 12pm in the CUSAI Head Office. On a lighter note, the Force also sent a team of representatives to the Snow Sevens in Latvia last week. However, the consensus seems to be that the tournament is more about libations than athletic endeavour, so match reports may be hazy.

French farce could benefit Ireland By Will Slattery Five minutes before the start of a 6 Nations game is meant to be as good a time as any for rugby. The crowds are loud, the atmosphere is good and if you’re lucky you could be sampling a foreign culture for the first time. Well, that’s the idea anyway. Five minutes before the start of Ireland vs France was as bad a time as there’s ever been for the 6 Nations. The crowd was quietened due to the freezing conditions, the atmosphere was nervous bordering on uneasy as both coaches inspected the pitch and while sampling a foreign culture is all well and good, it is hard to do so when the match is held in a stadium that has basically been dropped from the sky into an industrial estate like a flying saucer. There are a couple of aspects about the Stade de France that beggars belief. When the Irish Government floated the idea of building “The Bertie Bowl” out in Abbotstown they were met with ferocious criticism that verged on ridicule. The French obviously had no such qualms about implementing a similarly buffoonish plan and while the need for a stadium of that size is plain, it severely inconveniences

supporters and allows little pre match atmosphere to build. Then you have the high comedy of Ireland U20 winning with backbreaking effort in a medium sized stadium in Grenoble that has the luxury of undersoil heating. The mystery of why the Stade de France have never installed under soil heating is something that belongs in an Inspector Closeau episode not international rugby. France hosted a World Cup. Was that not an appropriate time to take a hammer to the piggy bank and make an investment? Whatever the monetary cost, the hit to French rugby’s reputation undoubtedly exceeds it. The post mortem of the debacle fast turned into a live action game of cluedo: It was Dave Pearson in the billiards room with a lead pipe! No wait; it was the French Federation in the drawing room! And while this affair was as tiresome and petty as the real version of the board game, unfortunately we can’t just unseal an envelope and put an end to the accusations. And while this saga has left fans, referees and administrators in a Mexican standoff, do we know where it has left the Irish team? Will the postponement help or hinder the team? Probably help.

There seems to be a consensus that an extra few weeks of wound licking coupled with a home clash with Italy should be a better lead in to the fixture than a crushing defeat to Wales. The prolonged break will give Keith Earls and Luke Fitzgerald a chance to heal further and also put some distance between Stephen Ferris and the farcical nature of his sin binning and citing. But what if Italy come to town and ruck, maul and generally heavy there way around Lansdowne Road? If Ireland were to win unimpressively or lose to Italy, we are right back where we started except this time with a Sunday kick off and a six day turnaround after the second trip to Paris. But even though everyone has been sticking the boot in on the team recently, they should still avoid that doomsday scenario. The rescheduling means they should get to arrive in Paris on their own terms, with the hope being that they put in a performance against the Italians similar to the intensity and execution of their World Cup clash. It will be a therapeutic for both fans and players to put Paris behind them before putting it in front of them again. The Italian game is a perfect opportunity to rebuild some confidence.

Fresher double on the cards DCU AIT

5-14 0-09

By Eamon Donoghue

The DCU Fresher A side qualified for the All Ireland final in overcoming Athlone IT on Tuesday last. Following on from their semester one All Ireland league success, Ross Munnelly’s charges extended their unbeaten run with a comprehensive victory in the Downs, Mullingar. Despite having played two tough games in quick succession, DCU tore into this semi-final with two early goals to set the tone for this encounter. From the throwin Galway senior Tom Flynn won possession and drove at the heart of the Athlone defense before finding Simon McCoy, who sidestepped his man and dispatched his effort to the back of the net. From the resulting kick out, centre half back Fintan Kelly gathered possession, laying it off to Scott Oates, who found corner forward Andy O Brien bursting off his shoulder. O Brien calmly slotted his shot past the on rushing keeper. AIT delivered an immediate response with two points. Thereafter, the two teams went score for score for much of the half before DCU found the net for a third time. A spirited Athlone side refused to give up though and ended the half with a flurry of scores. DCU put the game to bed in the first ten minutes of the second half, when aided by the wind; they added two goals and three points. This all but ended the game as a contest, as the DCU attacking unit displayed a ruthless streak in front of goal, while the defense were forcing AIT to work for every score. DCU introduced a number of subs early in the second half, all of whom added to this performance. No doubt the management will have a number of selection headaches before their final showdown with Queens. The venue has yet to be announced, with Dundalk looking to be the most likely option. This team has displayed a terrific work ethic and team spirit throughout the year and will be prepared for a ferocious final battle. As the two teams go head-tohead, DCU will be vying for not only a league and championship double, but their second championship victory in as many years.

The College View 22.02.12 23


DCU 1-14 DIT 0-07 By Eoghan Cormican At St. Clare’s A sublime opening half, in which a hugely impressive DCU outfit outscored DIT by 1-8 to 0-2, saw Niall Moyna’s men advance to the semifinals of the Sigerson Cup. The large crowd which filed into the DCU Sportsgrounds anticipating a tight and tough local derby were left disappointed as the home side easily brushed aside the challenge of DIT. As is often the case with February football, the elements played an important role in determining the outcome of this quarter-final encounter. DCU’s commanding interval lead, while thoroughly deserved, was heavily influenced by the gale they opted to play with in that lobsided opening half. From the off, the home side displayed an insatiable hunger and drive, operating at an intensity which DIT never looked like reaching. All over the field in that opening half DCU ruled with an iron fist, limiting their opponents to just two points (both free’s) and rendering them scoreless for twenty three minutes of play. DIT were off the mark through an Alan Freeman free inside four minutes, but the problem for the losers was that they simply could not penetrate a DCU rearguard anchored by the outstanding Kieran Gavin and Johnny Cooper. Philip McMahon (0-2), Jack Brady and Dean Rock (free) all hit the target in an ultra productive first quar-

Paul Flynn is fouled during DCU’s Sigerson Cup quarter-final win over DIT.| Image by Sportsfile

Lively DCU blast Sigerson warning ter as DCU swept forward at every opportunity, harrying and hassling throughout the pitch. DIT were in dire straits at the back and might have been further in arrears at the break but for Alan O’Mara’s penalty save from Dean Rock after Paul Flynn was upended as he was about to pull the trigger. O’Mara made another superb save in the second half from Eoghan O’Gara, but was powerless to deny

Antoin McFadden who registered the game’s only goal on 26 minutes. Captain Kieran Gavin roared up the field before a neat interchange between McFadden and Jack Brady ended with McFadden blasting an unstoppable effort to the net. Dean Rock (free) and Eoghan O’Gara also found the target late on in the half to cap a blitzkrieg first period. Trailing by nine, DIT were handed

a lifeline at the change of ends when Offaly’s Bernard Allen was dragged to the ground inside the area. Referee Gary McCormack showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, but Alan Freeman’s effort was well saved by Michael Boyle. It was a crucial moment as a major at that stage might have sparked a DIT revival. The miss however, deflated the visitors and DCU kept the scoreboard ticking over through

Eoghan O’Gara and Johnny Cooper. Harry Dawson kicked DIT’s first score from play thereafter with Gearoid McKiernan adding to their tally subsequently. It proved but a brief period of dominance for Paul Clancy’s side as Dean Rock (free) and Colm Begley re-established DCU’s eleven point cushion. Further points from substitute Fionn O’Shea and Jack Brady in the closing stages cancelled out similar efforts from Freeman – a close range dead ball which he drilled over- and Bernard Allen. By this stage, though, the contest had petered out with DCU long since assured of their place in the Sigerson weekend.

14-man DCU brushed aside by Westerners GMIT 1-24 DCU 0-12 By Mike Hurley At St. Clare’s Indiscipline and a poor first half showing proved costly as DCU’s stickmen suffered a second successive defeat, bringing to an end their interest in the Fitzgibbon Cup. Hopes were high that Paul O’Brien’s charges would make amends after suffering a humiliating seven goal defeat at the hurls of UCC, but got off to the worst possible start. GMIT raced into a 1-9 to 0-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes, James Liddy’s dazzling solo run and subsequent goal, the icing on the cake. Strong winds swept across the

field and at first appeared to favour neither team. The Galwegians, however, showed the benefits of training on the west coast as they shrugged off the conditions and played an exciting brand of hurling, stringing together passes with consummate ease. Quite the opposite for DCU, who struggled to get the sliotar out of their own half. The defence was under severe strain in attempting to stem the barrage of GMIT attacks, while the forward unit just didn’t carry the same consistent threat as their opponents. GMIT’s Jimmy Gelston was unremorseful, punishing every silly foul committed by DCU. Equally important was Ger Mahon at centre-half. The 6’3” Kinvara native was absolutely imperious in the middle, both in disruption and distribution. It was the 16th minute before DCU registered a score, Joe Cul-

len splitting the posts. With it came a sigh of relief from the home support, who had no doubt feared a whitewashing. DCU did manage to get a foothold soon after with a couple of frees from Emmet Kent and a point from the industrious Wes O’Brien, making it 1-11 to 0-5 on 22 minutes. It proved to be a short lived fightback though, as GMIT began to pile on the pressure again with James Liddy further adding to the Westerners tally. DCU’s Peter Gill was kicking his helmet on the slide-line after been shown two yellow cards in quick succession for persistent fouling. GMIT were unlucky not to bag a second major thereafter as Gelston’s probing free went narrowly wide. Eddie Byrne converted from a tight angle as the visitors led 1-14 to 0-6 at the break. A much more competitive second

half ensued with DCU showing significantly more promise. Cullen, Kent and Wexford’s Aidan Cash added points for the home side before Eddie Byrne added a great score. The Mount Leinster Rangers man battled through two challenges before unleashing a bullet from the right touchline. He added another shortly after, cutting the deficit to ten points. Gelston brought his tally for the day to 0-9 (6 frees) in the latter stages as GMIT scored five uncontested minors. Donagh Maher blotted his copy with a silly second yellow but the visitors did enough to see out play. It was a crushing day for the DCU boys, who finish bottom of their Fitzgibbon cup group, with a poor -44 points difference to boot. Paul O’Brien’s men will look to put this season behind them and improve for next year’s campaign.

DCU: B McCormack; C Woodgate, W Eviston, J Whelan; O Ó’Maoileidigh, JJ Lennon, P Gill; Q Lynch, A Cash (0-1); C Foley, W O’Brien (0-2), E Byrne (0-4); S Griffith, E Kent (0-4), J Cullen (0-1). Subs: S Kelly for Woodgate (10 mins); T Ó hUallachain for Griffith (half-time). GMIT: J Keane; G O’Halloran, D Maher, B Mulrooney; C Forde, G Mahon, S Coughlan; K Waters, J Hanrahan (0-2); K Greene (0-3), W McNamara (0-1), J Gelston (0-9); N Mannion (0-4), C O’Donnell, J Liddy (1-2). Subs: M Donoghue for Forde (39 mins); B Regan (0-2) for Liddy (47 mins); C O’Brien for Mannion (49 mins); K Feeney (0-1) for McNamara (56 mins); A Lynch for Hanrahan (60 mins). Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath)

24 The College View 22.02.12

Olympics Special



Interviews with Linda Byrne and Brian Gregan Page 20-21

McMahon strike clinches O’Byrne Cup DCU Kildare

CAMOGIE CLUB’S FINEST HOUR Dublin City University captain Laura Twomey lifts the Purcell Cup, full report of the weekend’s camogie action on page 22 | Image by Sportsfile

Attacking power set to tip balance in DCU’s favour By Eoghan Cormican Sports Editor DCU make their bid for a place in the Sigerson Cup final when they face 2011 runners up University of Ulster Jordanstown in the semi-final at the NUIG Sportsgrounds this Friday (throw-in 3:30 pm). When two teams, heavily laden with both ambition and pedigree clash, then something has to give. An insurmountable amount of hard work and graft will be on the line in this intriguing duel, where two of college’s ‘big three’ will battle it out for a final berth. For all the hype surrounding the squad, DCU are a very well grounded team – traditionally slow starters to the season, but very focused by the time the Sigerson weekend comes around. They set themselves high targets and would love to add a third Sigerson crown with the likes of David

Kelly, Kieran Gavin, Cathal Cregg, Johnny Cooper and Paul Flynn bidding to secure a second Sigerson winners’ medal. Niall Moyna’s side received the perfect preparation for the game with a dramatic one point win over Kildare in Friday’s O’Byrne Cup final. As a result, As a result, the side will enter this weekends clash brimming with confidence. UUJ – runners up last year and winners in 2008 – may not enjoy the same level of high profile players that DCU boast, but their ability to eke out victories suggests they are force not to be underestimated. The Northerners have made their way to the semis without setting the world on fire but they’re still standing, and nothing else matters at this stage of the competition. At times in their quarter-final triumph over NUIG, they looked vulnerable and their 12 point end of match tally was a modest one, but

yet when the pressure came on, UUJ had that little vein of composure and confidence to see them through. DCU, for their part, were pushed to the pin of their collar by CIT, before finally emerging on a scoreline of 0-11 to 0-8. They encountered little such difficulty in the quarter final with DIT, who they dismissed with consummate ease. Dean Rock continues to impress both from play and dead ball situations, and between DCU’s two Sigerson wins and the O’Byrne Cup final, Rock has tallied an impressive 2-14 (0-10 placed balls). Others to feature have been Donegal’s Antoin McFadden (1-2) and Cavan’s Jack Brady (0-2). Defensively, DCU have been extremely sound with full back Kieran Gavin and centre-half Johnny Cooper so impressive in their opening round victories. Philip McMahon and James McCarthy add strength to a frugal rearguard which has

conceded only 0-15 to date. Consequently, it would be somewhat of a surprise if the management were to stray from the team selection that so comfortably accounted for DIT. UUJ mightn’t have the heavy artillery up front that DCU possess, but they have a very balanced team built on the foundation of a rock solid defence in which Leo McLoone has been in magnificent form. Diarmuid McNulty and Mattie Donnelly are two of their strongest attackers, tallying 1-3 and 0-6 respectively, in their first round and quarter-final wins. Other contributors include Kieran Hughes and Paul Devlin. All in all, given both teams’ recent history at this stage of the competition, it is a difficult one to call. Be it sentiment or favour, DCU get the nod to reach Saturday’s decider, but as to whether the Sigerson Cup will be heading back to Capital remains to be seen.

3-07 0-12

Just two days after securing a semi-final spot in the Sigerson Cup, DCU captured the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup with a dramatic one point win over Kildare. Victory appeared to be heading the way of the Kieran McGeeney’s side, but for a 72nd minute Philip McMahon goal to wrench it from Kildare’s grasp. DCU, who fielded just nine starters from the win over DIT, started in whirlwind fashion posting three points in quick succession – Dean Rock and Cathal Gregg the providers. The Lilywhites, however, assumed control thereafter hitting nine points without reply to lead by 0-9 to 0-4 at the break. Matters went from bad to worse for the students after the restart as Kildare found the net when Eamonn Callaghan slotted past Rob Hennelly in the DCU goal. It propelled Kildare into an almost unassailable ten point lead, crucially though; they failed to build on this as DCU clawed their way back into contention. The key moment of the final arrived in the 51st minute as a poor kick-out from Robbie Eyre’s was worked to Dean Rock who applied the most clinical of finishes. Points subsequently from Antoin McFadden and Paul Flynn further reduced arrears before Rock netted his second major to leave just two between the sides. A Rob Hennelly wide in the final minute appeared to sound the death knell for Moyna’s troops, but there was to be another twist in this ever dramatic tale. Rock collected a long delivery in the third minute of time added on and sprayed it across to Philip McMahon. Kildare claimed square ball, but the referee waved on play and McMahon fired beyond Eyre’s to seal victory and provide the perfect tonic ahead of their Sigerson semi-final.

The College View 22/02/2012  

The College View 22/02/2012