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Wednesday 31st October 2012

Volume XIV - Issue 3

The College View

People’s Choice - Smedia Award 2012

Features On November 6th, the world will find out who will be the President of the United States. Do We Care? Features » 19

Sports Prodigious athletics coach Brother Colm O’ Connell tells Will Slattery the secret to his success. Sports » 20

Flux Flux details the troubles with finding the perfect Halloween ensemble.

Students’ Union unveil ambitious community garden plan for DCU By Brendan White Editor-in-Chief DCU Students’ Union have unveiled ambitious plans for a community garden to be located in DCU. The plans for the garden, which is to be located on the east side of the DCU campus, will be constructed on a strip of land that is currently unused. The land has been described as a ‘hidden gem’ by the Union. The land currently has two wooden cabins with full electric and plumbing along with two former polytunnels and a large glasshouse. The unused property, which also consists of a dozen apple trees, has been damaged over the years but SU President, Paul Doherty, is confident that it can be developed into a new student space. Initial stages of the plan (pictured right) have progressed and Sustainability Initiative Manager, Samantha Fahey, has obtained some funding for the development of the project. “It’s still in planning stage,” Doherty told The College View, “with a committee to be set up.

“We are hoping for work to start over the winter with an opening in the spring. I definitely think it has potential as an alternative student space to accommodate students from all walks of life.” The plot of land was uncovered during the summer as the SU sabbatical team were looking

to maximise student space within the university with uncertainty still remaining over the use of the Old Bar at the time. The Students’ Union have said that it is important to pursue all avenues for student space and they hope that this will be one of many developments in DCU, for DCU students, in the near future.

USI will no longer look for DCU re-affiliation By Gill Fitzsimons Deputy News Editor

President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), John Flux » inside 4 Logue, has said that the USI will no longer be seeking affiliation for non-affiliated colleges like DCU. “We’re hoping colleges like The first day in Ireland was DCU will be enticed to join again themselves by the campaigns and somewhat frightening, hard work we do in representing realising that you are on Irish students.” your own in an unknown But Logue disagreed with DCU country and barely Students’ Union Education Ofspeaking the language ficer, Aaron Clogher’s claims that didn’t help. there had been “no communication from the USI in our three Lifestyle » 14 and a half months in office”.


The wooden cabins to be renovated that currently occupy the unused land.

“I haven’t personally contacted Paul [Doherty, DCU Students’ Union President], but it is possible that one of the other officers has. One of the regional Vice Presidents within the USI has more than likely made contact.” Logue also spoke to The College View about the problems the USI have encountered. “There have been a lot of issues in the past regarding the USI; I will admit that. But we are a revitalised, very professional organisation now.” Commenting on the possibility of a referendum being held in DCU on re-affiliating with the USI, Logue called for a “mutual information campaign”. He said

he “would be delighted if one were to come up”. A referendum on re-affiliating with the USI was held in DCU two years ago. The referendum was defeated. During the campaign, DCUSU refused to allow the USI on campus to canvas for re-affiliation. Logue hopes this won’t happen again if a referendum is held in DCU. “I feel it would be a concern as it would give an advantage to the non-affiliated account.” He spoke of the need to meet with DCU students, calling it a “fantastic idea”. He also took the opportunity to call on DCU students to enforce the USI’s ‘Fed Up? Stand

Up’ campaign against cuts to the maintenance grant and fee increases in the upcoming budget. He advised students to contact their local Labour TDs and raise the important issues facing higher education funding and cuts in December’s budget. “Look for the Labour TDs. John Lyons for example; he came in on the back of the pledge.” Logue urged students to “apply consistent, solid pressure. Remind [TDs] who it’s going to affect; not just students, but families, local businesses, communities also. It’s time to get angry and vocal”.




Tightening the DCU purse strings DCU has a very busy campus that makes it hard for students to keep up with everything that is going on. But with a busy campus, we should have a happy student body with so much going on to keep students busy. The Students’ Union have been very busy and once again, look like they will come up trumps with their ambitious community garden. The piece of land, that most didn’t know even existed, can now be redeveloped into a student base, with cabins and much more being developed to make another student space. The use of money in DCU will now be scrutinised to the extreme and that is something everyone will need to get used to. Where any money is spent, complete accountability is needed. Money needs to be accounted for and needs to be done in an open way. This issue of The College View was produced by:


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 editor@ Editor-in-Chief: Brendan White Deputy Editor: Jenny Darmody Production & Layout Editor: Marie Lecoq Layout team: Zofia Domaracka News Editor: Aoife Mullen Deputy News Editors: Adam Higgins, Aisling Kett, Gill Fitzsimons Lifestyle Editor: Emma O’Rourke Features Editor: Jenny Darmody Deputy Features Editor: Catríona Hughes Irish Editor: Derek O’Brien Deputy Irish Editor: Fiach Mac Domhnaill Sports Editor: Eoghan Cormican Deputy Sports Editors: Will Slattery, Tom Rooney Flux Editor: Valerie Loftus Deputy Flux Editors: Megan Ecock, Claire Healy Sub-Editors: Eve Kerton, Sarah Bermingham, Sarah Kirk, Brian Byrne, Sam Griffin, Jennifer Holmes, Róisín Treacy Images Editor: Fiona Hughes Staff Photographers: Lorraine Walker, Viktorija Drozdova Online Editor: Nicky Ryan Printed By Datascope, with the DCU Journalism Society Thanks To Sportsfile, SPC, Office of Student Life

Where grants can be received, as with the new community garden, where it will be of some benefit to the student base. The issue of the construction of the Labyrinth is once again in the news. After getting the go ahead for money to be given last year, the decision was reversed after a student vote. Fundraising has continued, but it will be very difficult to raise upwards of €50,000 in this economic climate, especially if a student contribution is needed. Although there may be a lot of positives to come out of it, as spoken about at the time last year, whether this is the right time to try and fund the project is another question. Student spending is down, and money will not be given lightly. Money spent in college will be under intense scrutiny now, especially money spent within colleges, and DCU is no different.


Do you think the Students’ Union should be encouraging students to dress provocatively for the Halloween Ball?


Ciaran Gibney I’m not going to complain if they do. Encourage them if they want, it’s their own decision what they wear.

Cian Gallagher I don’t really mind, but I am a man so I would say that.

While we may continue to complain about the costs of attending college, we fail to see that we get more than we think from college. Joining clubs and societies is the best way to enjoy college life more and more, and a lot of money is put into these societies. Grants are given to clubs and subs on a regular basis for trips and events, and these form a valuable part of college life and getting through college. Whether it’s a trip abroad, or a trip around Ireland, these grants allow members to get more involved, make more friends, and make the most of their time. Money is tight, nobody is arguing that, but it is still fantastic to see that students can enjoy their time in college, and that various clubs and societies are still given the necessary funding to add to a valuable and enjoyable time in the life of students.

Rachel Bowers I don’t think they should be advertising to dress provocatively because it’s fancy dress. You can wear what you want, you can dress like a potato if you want. It’s grand to have it on the posters but a prize? No, I don’t think so.

Rebecca Stacey I really don’t think it would make a difference what way the posters are. People are going to dress the way they’re going to dress. Using the word ‘sexiest’ just brings it down to the students level.

Edmond Brookes I think the SU should be encouraging students to dress however they feel like and to bring out their own personality. If they’re open sexually well then they should be encouraging them to dress like that.






SU receive complaints over ‘sexist’ Halloween Ball advert By Aoife Mullen News Editor DCU Students’ Union were forced to change the wording on their online advert for the Halloween Ball after students complained it was sexist. Last week, the SU’s website, had an image advertising tonight’s Halloween Ball, which stated a prize would be given to the student wearing the ‘sluttiest’ costume. The advert had read: “We’re taking fancy dress to the next level this year with four costume categories you can enter to win prizes. These are - most original, sluttiest, funniest and scariest.” However the wording on the advert was then changed, with the word ‘sluttiest’ replaced by the word ‘sexiest’ after the SU received serious complaints that the wording was sexist.

DCU SU Welfare Officer, Neil Collins told The College View he met with DCU Equality Office Director, Paul Smith, to discuss the poster after he received emails from students complaining about it. Smith advised Collins the word ‘sexiest’ was more suitable to use. “As far as everyone is concerned, ‘sexiest’ is more gender balanced.” The SU have not received complaints over the wording on the poster since it was changed. Collins told us the controversial advert was never actually printed and only ever appeared on the site. The wording had been changed before the posters were printed and went on display on campus. Students also took to the online forum, to complain about the ‘sexist’ advert. The initial comment was posted by user ‘Hawshand Redemption’

who said: “The campaign for this year’s Halloween Ball is disturbingly sexist. I know we have an all male SU exec, but we should still expect a higher standard than this. For many students this will be their first major college event and to be encouraged to behave in this manner is extremely inappropriate and offensive.” Collins told The College View he was not aware of the discussion on the site. Many students on the forum felt a prize for the ‘sluttiest’ costume was the result of an all male executive. Collins told The College View the SU had no input in the design or wording of the poster. He said Communications and Marketing Co-Ordinator, Emer Fitzgerald is responsible for designing the adverts. Collins said he does not see the images used or the wording for the adverts prior to them being

published online and printed on posters. Although Collins had nothing to do with the posters, he accepts the SU had a responsibility. “I’m not pushing the blame at all, it was a mistake made by the Stu-

dents’ Union and we all take part of the blame. Maybe we should have all looked at it.” Collins said the SU would look at posters prior to being published in future to ensure it won’t happen again.

Drinkaware campaign launched for DCU students By Cian Murray News Reporter A new student campaign highlighting the consequences of embarrassing nights out has launched in DCU. The campaign is being run by, and it features images of students passed-out drunk on the toilet floor. On Thursday, October 25th, life-size vinyls of an unconscious young man and woman were found on the floors of the bathrooms in The Hub, accompanied by a poster showing hundreds of Facebook ‘likes’. The campaign was aimed at showing students that an embarrassing night out can live on forever due to social media, with the poster reading “What happens here doesn’t stay here. Pace yourself”. Speaking about the campaign, Chief Executive Fionnuala Sheehan described the response from students as “very positive”, with many students admitting that it made them stop and think about their drinking. “We first launched these floor

vinyls in 2010 as part of a pilot scheme. On a night out, students wil invariably pay a visit to the bathroom. It is here, away from the party atmosphere, that you often start to really notice the effects of alcohol. “The floor vinyls are a reminder to students that this could be how their night will end if they drink irresponsibly and don’t pace themselves. “The inclusion of ‘likes’ in the accompanying poster is another reminder that with the increasing popularity of social media, images such as these don’t get left in the bathroom.” But Ms Sheehan stressed that being ‘drink aware’ isn’t at odds with having a vibrant student life. “Recent studies have shown that although Irish people drink less often than our European counterparts, we do tend to drink too much and too fast when we do. “Slowing down and pacing yourself – having food and water between drinks, for example – allows you to enjoy the night’s events for longer, and to wake up feeling refreshed and hydrated

the next day”. The floor vinyls will be rolled out in several other colleges across the country as part of this nationwide campaign, including Waterford Institute of Technology, the University of Limerick and Cork Institute of Technol-

ogy. Speaking about the campaign, Neil Collins, Welfare Officer of DCU Students’ Union, said he was “thrilled” to see drinkaware. ie apply their campaign in DCU as he believes it tackles every issue around student life.

“The vinyls are really attention-grabbing, and send a strong message about responsible drinking. The posters also remind students that, thanks to Facebook, everyone can end up finding out about a bad night out.”

DCUSU President Paul Doherty, Chief Executive Fionnuala Sheehan and DCU student, Louise Cooney launching the new campaign.




DCU students more likely to graduate with a first-class honours degree By Sarah Curran News reporter Students are more likely to graduate with a first-class honours degree from Dublin City University than from any other Irish university, a survey has found. The news comes as a survey of employers published by, found that graduating grades are increasingly more important for the jobs market. Almost 60% of those surveyed by The Irish Times were expecting their applicants to have a 2.1 degree or higher. Two years ago, just 38% of employers carried expectations of similar grades. The survey of graduating grades handed out by Irish universities since 2005 showed DCU has awarded the highest proportion of first-class honours degrees, with an average of 19% managing to score top marks, 3% higher than the overall average. However, the rate of firsts has fallen substantially since 2005, when 25% of DCU students graduated with a first-class honours degree. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Cork (UCC) awarded the highest proportion of first-class honours last year

- Credit: via Wikimedia Commons

with 18% of the graduating classes in those colleges achieving top marks. NUI Galway and the University of Limerick (UL) awarded the lowest proportion of firsts with just 14% of students awarded the top grade. The proportions of students graduating with upper second-class honours (2.1) degrees also varied. An average of 56% of TCD graduates left college with a 2.1, while 51% of UCC graduates graduated with a 2.1 degree.

RSA launch film competition By Sarah Bermingham News Reporter The Road Safety Authority and Setanta Insurance are calling on budding young filmmakers to submit an original concept for a short film, with €3,000 prize money on offer as well as the chance to work with professional film producers. The ‘Keep Drama off our Roads’ competition aims to remind young people to play a role in reducing deaths and injuries on our roads. This year’s competition, launched by Irish actor, Keith McErlean, focuses on the dangers of using a mobile phone, and particularly texting, while driving. Of the 131 fatalities on Irish roads this year so far, one-third were drivers aged between 16 and 25. Driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions and mobile phones are a big contributor to this in terms of young drivers.

Applicants must submit, via, an original and innovative concept for a short film that tackles the issue of mobile phone use, and particularly texting, while driving. A panel of experts will determine the overall winner, who will have the chance to turn their short film concept into reality. Three runners-up will each win €500. McErlean described the competition as a “fantastic opportunity for a young student to put their creative talents to good use and develop a film concept that could make a real impact on the behaviour of their friends and other young people”. Last year’s winning entry, ‘Loaded Weapon’ by UCC student Richard Lahart, has been viewed over 31,000 times on YouTube. Closing date for applications is November 16th and further information can be found on

Almost half of UCD graduates achieved second class honours and DCU awarded a similar proportion. The national average of second-class honours was 47%. UL awarded the lowest proportion with just 36%. Less common were 2.2 degrees, with just over a quarter (26%) of students graduating with the mark while a further 10% of graduates left college with a pass or third class honours degree. The survey only looked at students who graduated.

Students in 24 hour charity broadcast By Ben Egan News Reporter DCUfm are staging a 24-hour charity broadcast this Wednesday, October 31st, in aid of the charity ‘Headstrong’, a non-profit organisation supporting young people’s mental health in Ireland, which is supported by DCU Students’ Union. Third-year students, Colin Brennan and Ciaran O’Connor, station manager of DCUfm, organised the event. The broadcast will take place from 9am on Wednesday morning until the same time on Thursday morning. Many of DCU’s major societies will be represented with speakers from MPS, Art Soc, RAG Soc, A&F, E-Soc, Drama Soc, Dance Soc, Music Soc, DJ Soc, Harry Potter Soc, Photosoc and Style Soc set to drop into the studio on the day. Special guests also include, DCU lecturers, Paul O’Flynn,

whom reveals the secrets of breaking onto national television, and Julian Vignoles, who speaks of his experience working with Jedward as the head of the Irish delegation at this years’ Eurovision. SU sabbatical officers, Paul Doherty, Aaron Clogher and Neil Collins will be interviewed on the day, along with communications and marketing officer of student life, Emer Fitzgerald. Speaking about the broadcast, co-organiser Colin Brennan said, “The main aim of the broadcast is to raise awareness for mental health and if anyone is walking through The Hub on the day, they’re more than welcome to call in”. Posters will be on display around campus and you can donate at SU Welfare Officer Neil Collins has also put his support behind the 24-hour broadcast, saying it great to see different people raising money for Headstrong.

O’Connor elected Class Rep Council Chair By Brendan White Editor-in-Chief DCU’s Class Rep Council has elected Rob O’Connor as chair for the 2012/13 academic year. The council held their first meeting last week in The Venue with the SU sabbatical officers, which O’Connor elected to the position of Chair. Eolann Kitteringham has been elected as Class Rep Council Secretary while Steve Conlon has been elected as Returning Officer. Conor Palin-Stewart, Sam Elliott, Daniel Flynn, Robert Reid, Alan Prendergast, Aideen Holden, Peter Fahy have all been voted to the Electoral while a number of positions of the Officers of Council have been held over. Mary-Claire Fitzpatrick (Hampstead), Fionnuala Moran (College Park), Claire Diamond (INTRA), Derek O’Brien (Irish), Erin O’Reilly (Mature), Sophie Revel (Nursing) and Molly Gilmore (Equality) have all also been appointed. Some newly created, or merged, positions have been held over, including officer positions for Sustainability and International, in order for their Terms of Reference are redrawn and approved at the next Class Rep Council meeting before appointments are made.






Gerry Adams calls on DCU students to stand up By Gill Fitzsimons Deputy News Editor Sinn Féin leader and TD, Gerry Adams, has called on DCU students to “stand up” and call for a “different type of Ireland”. Adams was speaking at the Union of Students in Ireland public talk promoting the “fed up stand up” campaign held last Monday in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk. He told The College View, “DCU students need to stand up for their right to education, it has come to the point where only the wealthy can afford to go to college. “It’s not Irish and it’s bad economics to exclude certain socioeconomic groups from the right to education.” Adams called on the current government to make changes.

“We have to make allowances in relation to college fees, the government have cut the grant and now they intend to further increase the fees, it is the same with other sections of society, for example the disabled and home help.” Adams reinforced the importance of DCU students being proactive in achieving this change; he feels students need to make connections with all aspects of the community and unite as one force to oppose these cuts to higher education. Speaking to The College View, he said DCU students have to “make connections and build upon an organic network throughout communities”. The USI talk was the first of 15 being held around the country to highlight the growing concern over the cost of college for the average Irish student and how

the increased registration fees will affect the level of education or lack of, as a result. The Sinn Féin leader also offered some advice for Irish students in rallying support and targeting public representatives. He said students needed to “get TDs to raise the issue of the registration fees within their own parliamentary group”. He explained that this tactic has worked in the past and successfully turned the government on a number of issues. He commended the USI for their work and pledged his “full support” for their current campaign. He also commented on the “progressive attitude” of Irish students in their bid to oppose the further cuts to higher education grants and increased registration fees.

The College View Deputy News Editor Gill Fitzsimons with Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams. - Credit: USI

Anti-fees campaign was a failure, says USI President By Gill Fitzsimons Deputy News Editor Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President, John Logue has admitted the student rally to Leinster House last year was a failure. Going forward, he believes students need to become proactive and loud in targeting public representatives and making their case. Logue emphasised the volume of participation needed. “We need to exert enough political force on these guys in government so they run scared.”

Logue spoke at the first public discussion of the campaign in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, Co. Louth on Monday, October 22nd. It was the first of more than 10 being held around the country to raise awareness and highlight the further cuts proposed to higher education in Ireland. The USI has organised the meetings in a bid to educate and reinforce the effect these cuts have on students, families, businesses and communities themselves as students are failing to complete their degrees as a result.

Registration fees in budget 2012 rose from €2,000 to €2,250 and they are set to reach €3,000 by 2015. The maintenance grant has been cut by 12% and those living less than 45km from college no longer qualify for the non-adjacent rate of financial support. Logue feels Irish students are fighting a negative stereotype and perception of the average student held by a large proportion of society. As a result he believes the campaign needs “to make it about everyone but the student”.

Speaking at the event he said: “Colleges are an integral part of local economies. Local businesses on account of these cuts are on the edge. “Colleges are huge to these local communities. Take Dundalk for example. Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) brought €8.45 million to the town in fiveyears.” Logue openly criticised the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn in failing to keep his promise not to increase registration fees. Speaking to a crowd of about 40 people he said: “he lied

- Credit: USI

to get your vote, your parents’ vote. TDs got elected on the back of that pledge. “Now he says he can’t keep that promise because of the state of the economy, but he knew the state of the country’s finances.” He called Quinn’s promise “fallacious”, saying the Minister “did exactly the opposite of what he said and now that he is not running for re-election he will get away with it”. Drogheda local Councillor, Ken O’Heiligh, attended the talk as both a parent and a public representative. Speaking to The College View he said: “I am here to support the campaign. As a parent I can see the difficulty many have in trying to educate their children. “I intend on submitting a motion tomorrow supporting the USI and their fight.” President of DKIT, Denis Cummins also attended the event. He said DKIT was against the proposed hike in fees. Cummins said a large proportion of DKIT students are the first generation of their family to enter into any form of third level education and therefore the increased fees have a huge strain on families. “They have to recognise that this could be a huge burden on families”.





Education minister confirms Labyrinth committee have delays on grant payments By Sarah Bermingham News reporter Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has confirmed that of more than 60,000 applications made to the new central student grant processing authority over the summer, decisions have been made on just over 12,000 applications while just over 3,000 grants have been awarded so far. The Minister was responding to a parliamentary question posed by Sinn Féin TD, Peadar Toibín, with regard to serious delays in the processing of grants applied for through the new on-

line system. Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) took over responsibility from local VECs and authorities for all new thirdlevel student grants in June. Applications are now made via According to Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien: “The new online system was supposed to make the process of applying for a grant a good deal easier but regrettably, there have been serious flaws which have resulted in delayed payments, poor communication and inadequate responses to applications and documents submissions… As thousands of fami-

lies struggle to make ends meet it is unacceptable that students are having their grants delayed”. Dublin students have made the most applications for grants through SUSI, with a total of 13,114 applications. Of these, only 2,754 have been decided upon. Students have expressed discontent on sites such as the www. forum. Around 40% of Irish third-level students are in receipt of a maintenance grant. Students who received grants in previous years still renew these through their local authorities and VECs.

Students urged to vote yes in Children’s Referendum By Aoife Mullen News Editor “The state should not have to wait for a near death situation before it can intervene” when it comes to the safety of a child, according to constitutional law lecturer and Green Party member, Roderic O’Gorman. O’Gorman was speaking at a public meeting organised by Labour DCU and DCU Young Fine Gael on the upcoming Children’s Referendum on Saturday, November 10th. O’Gorman spoke about the changes a yes vote in the referendum would have on our Constitution. Currently, under Article 41 of the Constitution, the state gives special protection to families with married parents. This means families with unmarried parents and single mothers have less rights than a family with married parents, while single fathers have even less rights. The Constitution also states that the state will only intervene in a married family in extreme cases. If the referendum is passed, the Constitution will be amended so that all parents will be treated equally regardless of their martial status and if required, the state will intervene to protect children. Changes will also be made to the provisions of adoption if there is a yes vote, which will allow children of married parents to be adopted. Barry Fitzgerald, who works in the area of children’s rights, also spoke at the meeting and said the proposed adoption amendments are “practical and reasonable”. The state will also officially recognise the rights of children and will protect those rights under the new amendments if the referendum is passed. Speaking at the meeting, Labour TD, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin disagreed the referendum would give

“adult rights” to “mini adults”. He argued “children are human beings with human rights”. Ó Ríordáin said the referendum will give the next generation the opportunity to change. He pointed out the referendum is not just a “box ticking exercise”. He urged students to vote yes to enshrine the rights of children in the referendum and ensure future governments protect those rights. The Labour TD also expressed concern that the referendum is being held on a Saturday because it’s “outside people’s normal routine”. All three speakers encouraged students to vote yes in the referendum. Both Labour DCU and DCU YFG are calling for a yes vote in the referendum, therefore there was no speaker to represent the no side.

raised €14,000

By Sam Griffin News Reporter The group who want to build the controversial Labyrinth in DCU have already raised €14,000 towards its construction. The Committee set up to promote the Labyrinth and create awareness of it will be meeting this week to discuss how to raise the remaining €36,000 required. A labyrinth is an ancient meditation tool consisting of a winding stone path that people walk while in thought or meditation. Permission has already been granted to build the Labyrinth in the green space in front of the library. Last year DCU Students’ Union agreed to contribute €10,000 towards the construction. However a referendum was held on the issue after DCU Sinn Féin petitioned students to reject any financial input from the SU towards the Labyrinth’s construction. In the referendum, students voted by a two-thirds majority for there to be no SU contribution towards the construction. In an interview with The College View, Head Chaplain of the Inter Faith Centre, Fr Joe Jones who is spearheading the project revealed that the university had already contributed €10,000 towards the construction of the Labyrinth with the other €4,000 coming from the DCU Quality

Speakers (Left to right) Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Roderic O’Gorman and Barry Fitzgerald.

Improvement Fund. He said the Labyrinth Committee will meet this week to discuss how to raise money for the development. Fr Jones believes a lot of students who voted against the Labyrinth last year did so because they didn’t understand the idea behind the Labyrinth, or saw it as a religious themed development. “The students who were objecting to the Labyrinth did so for the sake of objecting. I don’t think they quite understood what they were objecting to. I was quite disappointed by that”, he said. “I think some people saw the project as being led by the Catholic Church and they were opposing the church as opposing the Labyrinth.” He said that he is hopeful the Labyrinth will be built within the year and will provide a space for students for meditation and reflection. The Labyrinth dates back as far as 5,000 years ago and predates most world religions. Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School’s Mind/ Body Institute has found that focused walking meditations can reduce anxiety levels. Labyrinth meditation gardens are also believed to lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. A replica Labyrinth is laid out in the Inter Faith Centre every Tuesday afternoon from 2.30 to 4.30 for people to try out.

- Credit: Viktorija Drozdova






Olympic medallist attends honorary doctorate ceremony By Aisling Kett Deputy News Editor David Rudisha, 800m world record-holder and 2012 Olympic gold medallist, was in DCU recently to witness the presentation of an honorary doctorate to his coach, Brother Colm O’Connell. Known as “the godfather of Kenyan running”, O’Connell said it was “a very humbling experience for me to stand here today to receive such an honour”. He joked that when he attends events with Rudisha “usually he’s ahead…this time I’ve got one up on him”. President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, spoke at the ceremony and said the award was given to “recognise outstanding achievements in a certain field”. He thanked O’Connell for “graciously accepting the award”. MacCraith extended a particular welcome to Rudisha as well as O’Connell’s

- Credit: Fiona Hughes

Jennifer Holmes News Reporter

- Credit: Fiona Hughes

family and friends. He said that Rudisha’s presence at the ceremony “conveys a multitude of respect and gratitude”. MacCraith said O’Connell was a wonderful ambassador for Ireland and finished with a Swahili proverb “every bird flies with their own wings”. O’Connell moved to Iten in western Kenya in 1976 to teach geography in St Patrick’s High School with the Patrician missionary order, who he calls his “second family”. He got involved in athletics as a way to get to know students better and became the world’s most successful coach of endurance training. He said that though the facilities in the school are poor, he doesn’t blame this for any problems because if you do that you won’t get anything done. O’Connell’s camps have become known for training world-class athletes; 60% of the athletes who attended have gone profes-

sional. They have produced five Olympic Gold medallists and 25 world champions. His philosophy is “all about the person; it’s about personal development and forming positive attitudes” and viewing his protégés not as winners or losers but people. As he said: “you cannot put in what God left out.” He too, finished his speech with a few words of Swahili. The award is the highest honour the university bestows. Previous recipients of the honorary doctorate are Seamus Heaney and former presidents, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese. The Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya, Catherine Muigai Mwangi, was present at the ceremony. Also in attendance were students from local primary schools and the President of the Students’ Union, Paul Doherty and Education Officer, Aaron Clougher. The ceremony was held in The Helix.

Men are more romantic: DCU SHAG week By Aisling Kett Deputy News Editor Men are more romantic than women. Or at least according to Dr Liz McLoughlin, a DCU staff member, who gave a talk on the psychology behind sexuality during SHAG week. She said that it is proven that when you first have sex in a relationship, it makes no difference to the outcome of the relationship. She added that friends are better than the couple themselves at predicting the fate of relationships. One major reason people are attracted to each other is physical looks. McLoughlin says “beauty matters even when it shouldn’t” and people who are physically attractive are assumed to be happier with better career options and prospects for relationships.

E-Soc launches Dragons’ Den competition

Familiarity, she said, breeds contentment not contempt. A crucial determinant of whether we like someone is the extent to which we believe they like us. She also said those who believe they are being subtle about their feelings of attraction are most likely wrong. The talk was organised by the DCU Physchology Society. SHAG week ran from October 15th-19th and the aim of the week was to encourage students to have safe sex and educate them on the benefits of doing so. The theme of the week was ‘Do the Maths’ to inform students that unprotected sex could link them to hundreds of other people. Other events during the week included sex magician, Shane Quilty, a SHAG quiz in The NuBar and an information fair. There was a ‘Sexpression Board’ in The Hub where students anonymously wrote down what they love or hate about sex, which

was then revealed on Wednesday, also known as, ‘Girls carry condoms too’ day. The Interfaith Centre held a service to remember those who have died from AIDS. The Spar on campus got involved by giving students 50% off tea and coffee when they presented a condom at the counter. The restaurant gave away a free bottle of water for doing the same. One of the annual SHAG week events is ‘The SHAG Pad’ where students tell their sex confessions. This is recorded every year by MPS and DCUtv and was broadcast on Thursday in the Students’ Union. There was free stage 1 (gonorrhea and chlamydia) STI testing for all students at the Student Health Centre if they made an appointment during SHAG week. Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Neil Collins even allowed himself to be filmed getting a STI test to encourage students to do the same.

DCU’s largest society, the Enterprise Society (E-Soc), which promotes innovation and entrepreneurship among the student population, has launched an exciting Dragons’ Den style competition. Representatives from Irish Distillers and joined members of the society in The Hub on October 23 to discuss details of the competition with students and to reveal what it would take to win. Entrants are required to create a mechanism that will best promote responsible and paced drinking among students. Speaking to The College View, Chief Executive of, Fionnuala Sheehan said; “ is very pleased to support this initiative, as students have a valuable role to play in the promotion of responsible drinking. Excessive drinking is particularly prevalent among young adults, including those who attend third-level institutions in Ireland. “We hope that this competition will encourage DCU students to think carefully about ways in which we can effectively challenge this drinking culture, and we are looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts at the final event in November.” Ideas for the competition could include a marketing campaign, digital tool or an event or community programme. In order to be in with a chance of winning the cash prize of €3000, entrants must present their idea to dragon, Bobby Kerr, of Insomnia Coffee fame. E-Soc Chairperson, Danielle Mathews told The College View; “I can’t wait for the mentoring session at the offices of Irish Distillers, it is going to be a really exciting part of the competition and hopefully will be unbelievably beneficial for all involved.” Sarah Connolly of Irish Distillers said; “Irish Distillers are thrilled to be working with DCUs E-Soc and to promote the important message of responsible drinking while encouraging students to use their entrepreneurial skills.” The industry-focused competition is open to all degree programmes and is aimed at final and penultimate year students. Entries closed yesterday and the final will take place on November 21.




Counselling Service encourage students to talk By Aoife Mullen News Editor


s part of Mental Health Awareness Week in DCU, The College View spoke to the Head of the Counselling and Personal Development Service, Helena Ahern, who is a Psychologist/Psychotherapist, to find out what services are available to students experiencing problems and what issues are affecting young people in Ireland. The main service they offer to students is one-to-one professional counselling, which Ahern says is “confidential and non-judgmental”. The purpose of these sessions is to see “what could really help a student in whatever predicament, situation or personal circumstances they’re experiencing while in college, especially when it interrupts with their college life”. A student’s first meeting with the counselling service usually lasts an hour. In the first session, the student gives an overview of what brought them to the counselling service and what they hope to get from the counselling.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 6 Week Lunch Time Series Time: All sessions take place from 1pm – 2pm Location: The Venue in the Hub Admission: Free. Simply turn up a few minutes before 1pm Week 1

Learn how to live more in the present Wed 7th Nov 2012

Week 2

Learn how to step out of automatic pilot Wed 14th Nov 2012

Week 3

Learn how to negotiate barriers/feeling stuck Wed 21st Nov 2012

Week 4

Learn how to access a wider level of awareness Wed 28th Nov 2012

Week 5

Learn how to respond rather than react to stress Wed 5th Dec 2012

Week 6

Learn how to deepen your mindfulness practice Wed 12th Dec 2012

As well as the one-on-one counselling, the Counselling and Personal Development Service are running a six-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Series every Wednesday lunchtime, starting November 7th. Ahern received very positive feedback last year when they ran it and she hopes they’ll get the same interest this year. She recommends students that are interested in going along attend all six sessions for a richer learning experience. Students are not required to register for the talks and there is no fee, however there will be a CD and a booklet available to students for the small price of €10. There are a number of ways a student can contact the counselling service to make an appointment. Students can register their details online in confidence, under the ‘how to make an appointment’ section on their website, Students will then be invited to come into the centre to give more details and will then be given an appointment. How quickly a student gets an appointment to speak to a counsellor depends on the time

of year. According to Ahern, December is the busiest time of the year. While students wait for their appointment, they keep in contact with them as well as offer them other options. However, no matter how busy they are, Ahern says emergency cases will always be dealt with. When it comes to the issues young people have, Ahern says all counselling services across Ireland see the same reoccurring issues. “We get a lot of people who experience high levels of stress; anxiety is very high. Depression is very high and I think this is a reality, it’s becoming less shocking for people because I think it’s being named more which in a way I think is a good thing.” Difficult relationships from home and break-ups also affect students who come to counselling. However, Ahern makes the point that often when a break-up is the issue, there is something else behind that causing the problem. Self-harm and contemplating suicide is also a reality, Ahern points out. Two other issues affecting young people in Ireland that Ahern feels are worth mentioning are financial strains and alcohol consumption. In terms of financial strains, “if there’s pressure financially, anything else that’s pressurised in that system is going to be more intensified, because now there’s another layer of stress on top of everything else”. She believes alcohol consumption is a “very real problem. There’s very intensive bingedrinking and then forgetting where they are, putting themselves at quite a risk, blanking out and the following day not knowing what happened and getting anxious because they don’t know what happened, what did they say, how did I get home. “The alcohol itself is a depressant and especially when you poison the system in a binge like that. Then if anyone is prone to feeling down, they’ll go down further, or if they’re anxious their anxiety goes up.” For apprehensive students who want to talk to a counsellor, Ahern says the service is confidential and suggests students “come along and try one session and see

what it’s like yourself. “The whole thing isn’t about judging a person it’s more about what can we actually do together that will really help and that while it does require a certain amount of courage to make the jump, the potential benefits are quite rewarding. Nothing is going to be forced so I would say to students trust yourself and trust your own reaction to the counsellor.” Ahern says her room is not an office set-up and she’s right, it’s not. There is a desk with an office chair behind it, but in front of that there are two comfy armchairs, one in which she sits during sessions. ‘Thank you’ cards are spread around the room. The window is tinted so that no one can see in and there is a sign on the window asking passers-by not to stand at it. Ahern feels young people are opening up more about their mental health, however there is still the stigma there and the

belief that you should keep your problems to yourself. “There’s a lot of good work being done to bring down the stigma and opening up the prejudice. “Having said that, there is still a lot of stigma there as well that still needs to be worked on.” She believes the more DCU pulls together as a community, the more we can do to bring down the stigma and promote mental health. Students can contact the Counselling and Personal Development Service by phoning 017005165, visiting the website, or by calling in to CG72 in the Henry Grattan building. The phone number for the Niteline service, which allows students to speak confidentially to fellow students is 1800 793 793. Ahern’s advice to students is “if you’re experiencing something, do it sooner rather than later. Reach out to someone you feel you can trust”.






RAG Soc and E-soc get DCU to ‘say hello’ By Emma Jane Hade News reporter DCU Raise and Give Society (RAG Soc) and the Enterprise Society (E-Soc) joined forces yesterday to ‘say hello’ to everyone on campus. ‘DCU Says Hello’ was run by the two societies as part of Mental Health Week. The aim of the campaign was to urge students to say hello to each other. It was based upon a campaign, which ran in August throughout Dublin City, ‘Dublin says hello’. The idea is that you simply said ‘Hello’ to a stranger, possibly making a huge difference in their day. As part of the event, DCU and E-Soc had a central area called the ‘Hello Zone’ set up in the Old Bar in The Hub. Students could go there to have a chat and enjoy some of the snacks available. Those who took part were given ‘I said hello’ stickers to wear

around campus. There was also a number of ‘Secret Hello-ers’ walking around campus. People who greeted them were awarded with prizes. This small but effective campaign proved very popular across the city when it ran in August, and was just as popular across campus yesterday. Jane French of E-Soc told The College View; “We feel that something as simple as saying ‘hello’ can make such a difference to someone’s day.” Hannah Dobson of RAG Soc said that it “was all about spreading a positive friendly atmosphere around campus”. ‘DCU says Hello’ is just one of the many events that will be held on campus this year to raise awareness for mental health. The Students’ Union has designated ‘Headstrong’, the national centre for young mental health, as their flagship charity for the year.

Collins hoping to remove mental health stigma By Brendan White Editor-in-Chief Students’ Union Welface Officer, Neil Collins, is hoping that DCU’s Mental Health Awareness Week will remove the stigma from mental health problems. Collins hopes that students will open up about mental health and has a week full of events in order to inform students. Mental Health Awareness Week takes place in DCU this week, with another expected in the second semester. “We’re hoping to achieve awareness about mental health”, Collins told The College View. “We’re hoping to encourage people that sharing their story is the best practice and we’re hoping to take the stigma away from having mental health problems. “Our tag line for the week is ‘Share Your Stories’, so basically we want people to open up about what problems they have.” Collins is hopeful that people will seek help, rather than keeping a problem to themselves. “In a lot of cases, you don’t have to actively look for help; you just need to speak to those close to you. A lot of people feel, even if it’s a small problem, that they don’t feel the need to talk about it, because they feel they’re maybe burdening other people. But when you don’t talk about small things, they can escalate.” The Students’ Union’s flagship charity for this year is Headstrong, The National Centre for

Youth Mental Health. Collins is delighted that his chosen charity has been picked at this year’s flagship charity. “We all gave a shout for our charity for the year, and I put forward Headstrong, and we had to chose one to be 50%, with the other two to be 25% each. Luckily Headstrong was voted to be our flagship charity for the year and I’m personally delighted with that. I think it gives a good message too from us that the Union are showing that they are prioritising mental health.” DCU will have another Mental Health Awareness Week next semester, while this week will see many clubs and societies also work toward fundraising for mental health. “I’ll have another one in the second semester too, so definitely we’ll highlight it and make a difference for mental health in DCU. We’ve loads of events including the UV wall and we’ll also have a new video for mental health, tying it in with Halloween. “There’s load of them helping, it’s brilliant. Colin Brennan and Ciaran O’Connor are also going to do a 24-hour broadcast in association with the Students’ Union and the money that they raise for that will go to Headstrong. Also, Music Soc are doing a bit of busking on Thursday, which is great.” Collins said that a fundraising target was still being calculated but that any money that is raised will help Headstrong.




LGBTA Society named DCU’s Best Dance Crew By Ciara Moore News reporter DCU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight Allies Society (LGBTA) has been crowned the winner of DCU’s second annual Best Dance Crew competition. The group battled fellow DCU clubs and societies and received a standing ovation from the audience. 12 societies entered this year’s competition and each dance crew had a mentor from DCU Dance to choreograph their routine. 400 people attended the event. Chairperson of DCU Dance, Sarah Flanagan said it was “a great way of bringing clubs and societies together and have a bit of fun learning how to dance”. The Harry Potter Society wore cloaks and carried glowing wands while the Students’ Union recreated the famous lift from the movie “Dirty Dancing”. DCU Dance member and choreographer for the Accounting and Finance Society, Sarah Curran said: “I’m so proud of my group and the effort that they put into learning their routine. The Dance Society put so much commitment into running the event and the energy on the night was great.” DCU LGBTA entered the competition

for the first time this year. The group choreographed its own routine. The judges, former SU President Meg O’Riordan and DCU Dance’s Don King and Lisa Craddock picked the top four

acts. The audience then chose DCU LGBTA as the 2012 winner. DCU Dance plan to donate a portion of the profits from the event to charity.

Eminem stole the show at DCU Drama society’s Stars In Their Eyes event held on October 16th. Oisín Kelly emerged on stage having dyed his hair blond and gave a perfect imitation of the rapper’s “Lose Yourself” song. Speaking to The College View, Chairman of the DCU Drama Society, Dallan Shovlin said that the event was a huge success. Tickets were five euro on the night and the Venue in the Hub was almost full for the show. Shovlin said: “All our events are in aid of Bee for Battens so all profits go to charity. Normally we wait until the end of the year to give Bee for Battens a meaningful amount. The event was a great success and hopefully with more events as high a standard as Stars, we can really help them out.” DCU Students’ Union President, Paul Doherty, was also at the event and described the show as “a musical masterpiece”. He said: “I couldn’t keep my eyes off the stage for the whole night.” The event was judged by Mater Dei’s

By Adam Higgins Deputy News Editor

Over 115 people took part in this year’s Human vs. Zombie event on campus last week. The event was run mainly by the Game society but the Strange Things and Paranormal societies also took part in organising and setting up the event. Human vs. Zombies is a campus wide game of tag where zombies wear orange bands around their head while humans wear a similar band around their arm. Students had to register online for the event and were required to register their ‘kills’. Speaking to The College View, Game Soc Secretary, Mark Gorman explained the event. “Humans vs. Zombies is basically just a campus wide game of build-up tag that originated from a college in the US. The aim of the game is for either the humans to survive, or for the zombies to wipe out all human players by tagging (or killing) them. Humans can stun zombies, rendering them unable to kill any human for 15 DCU SU recreate lift scene from ‘Dirty Dancing’. - Credit: Lorraine Walker minutes, by either shooting them with a nerf gun, or hitting them with a sock. After going 24 hours without a kill, Zombies are ‘starved’ and are out of the game.” According to Gorman the only purpose of the game is to have fun and help peoKenneth Farrell, DCU’s Tanis Tonge, last Stars In Their Eyes, Lisa Hopper, per- ple to make friends. “And there’s no easyear’s runner up Darren Morgan and the formed her winning song, Adele’s “Some- ier way to do that then blasting Zombies together”, he added. SU’s Emer Fitzgerald. one Like You”. The humans are considered the winners All four judges agreed that Kelly’s perThe event was hosted by Eoin O’Dowan formance as Eminem was uncanny with who presented the winners with their if one survives while the zombies win if Tonge saying it was “unbelievable and hiprizes. Kelly was awarded a gold medal, a they can wipe out all humans. However larious”. Fitzgerald commented: “When I Te s c o’ s hamper and a bottle of Gorman said: “Human vs. Zombies is not heard you were doing Eminem I was very champagne. Rice re- a true competitive event and there is no conscious of your Irish accent but you ceived a silver medal prize for winning. Players are encouraged were Marshall Matters for that entire perand a bottle of wine more to have fun than to win.” While there is no prize for the winners formance.” while Young reFarrell, who got the reputation as the ceived a bronze Gorman says the trophy is “a sense of satjudging panel’s Simon Cowell, said that medal and a box of isfaction” for the victors. The event was completely free and he “nearly exploded when you [Kelly] chocolates. Gorman thinks there is a big difference took off that hood. The performance was between this year’s game and last year’s brilliant”. award winning event. “In terms of playThere were 13 acts in total fighting ers, I think this year has a slightly smaller for the top prize including a Taylor count of players, but has more actual Swift, One Direction and even a male players, rather than people who sign up Catherine Jenkins. but never actually take part.” Second place on the night went The entire event was streamed live on to Laura Rice for her Britney their website where you could keep up Spears parody which included with how each team was doing and who fake cocaine, two back up dancers and a bald cap. The bronze was surviving. medal went to Jade Young for her In the end the Humans were victorious. performance as Etta James singing “At The Game Soc are going to have a 24 Last” which received a standing ovation LAN on the 24th and 25th of Decemfrom the crowd. ber for Christmas. They will be hosting The audience was then treated to a tournaments with prizes for the winners - Credit: Rachel Byrne along with a few other mini events. special surprise as last year’s winner of

Eminem act wins Drama Stars In Their Eyes By Adam Higgins Deputy News Editor

Humans and Zombies attack DCU



Over 5,500 Brazilian students are expected to be studying in Ireland by 2016, bringing a €136 million boost to the economy. DCU is a partner university of the programme. It will offer Brazilian students doctorate courses in areas such as biotechnology, chemical sciences, mathematical sciences, aerospace and engineering. Trade and Development Minister, Joe Costello signed an agreement this month to receive 4,000 Brazilian undergraduate students in Irish universities as part of Brazil’s ‘Science Without Borders’ scholarship programme. “This is on top of the previous agreement between Ireland and Brazil announced in June this year for up to 1,500 postgraduate Brazilian students to study in Ireland,” Minister Costello explained. “Ireland currently hosts just 100 thirdlevel Brazilian students per year so this will be a truly substantial increase,” he added. “This new partnership between Ireland and Brazil will be a major boost

for the international third level education sector in Ireland.” Head of Education at Enterprise Ireland, Marina Donohoe explained: “In the context of Ireland’s strategy for internationalising Irish higher education, this agreement will help to drive collaboration and growth in research, academic and student exchange between Ireland and Brazil. “In terms of economic benefits to the Irish economy, Ireland’s inclusion in the ‘Science Without Borders’ programme has the potential to deliver €15 million in fee income, plus an additional €19 million in additional spend in the Irish economy [for each year of the initiative],” she added.

To support the initiative, Education in Ireland set up an online portal in Portuguese to allow prospective students search for the courses available, get advice on the application procedure and learn more about living conditions in Ireland. The programme aims to send 100,000 of the best Brazilian students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and creative industries to top universities around the world. The agreement was secured during Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to Brazil led by Minister Costello. It aims to highlight the strengths of Ireland’s education offering in key target markets such as Brazil.

Cork residents seek more security against “out of control” students By Aaron Mc Nicholas News reporter A security levy for University College Cork (UCC) and Cork IT students has been proposed by local residents angry over unruly student behaviour in the area. Residents have complained about antisocial behaviour that has caused disruption and “outrageous incidents” in the area near the Cork colleges. Barry Keane, spokesman for the Cork University Residents’ Forum, said there are “a small number of students” that are on their own at the age of 17 and 18 and can’t handle adult behaviour. Keane attributed the behaviour to the fact that students are consuming alcohol in the small urban area near Cork city centre where the colleges are situated. He told The College View of one incident where a sofa was moved out into the middle of the road and set on fire during a house party. Keane also mentioned that there are a large number of unregistered landlords offering student accommodation in the area, which makes it harder to enforce discipline.



New scholarship to attract 5,500 Brazilian students to Ireland By Céline Loriou News reporter


However Keane also said that the situation has improved. “Our solution has been to include the gardaí and the colleges. The gardaí didn’t actually know there was a problem until we sat them down.” Now, there are gardaí patrols in the area on Thursday nights. A levy of between €3 and €5 to cover the cost of more security was one suggestion made by residents at a meeting of the Cork University Residents’ Forum. UCC Students’ Union President, Eoghan Healy said that the SU was not in favour of such a levy, adding that it was the role of the gardaí to cover security. Cork IT SU also showed no support for this suggestion. “My opinion is that you can’t tax every student on this, because it’s a minority of the minority that’s causing it”, said SU President Danny O’Donovan. O’Donovan added that using alcohol in a public place is subject to an onthe-spot fine of €75, and such fines can cover the cost of security. The UCC Accommodation Office allows local residents to make written complaints regarding troublesome student behaviour. UCC Accommodation Officer, Maura O’Neill told the Irish In-

dependent that the procedure appeared to be working and the university had already disciplined 28 students using this system. O’Donovan expressed to The College View his support for a similar system to be introduced at Cork IT. He also advised students ahead of Halloween to use alcohol responsibly. “Respect your neighbours,” he said. “They could be your grandmother, your grandfather, or your aunt.” Keane estimated that there were a total of 10 parties in the area on last year’s Halloween, with up to 300 people. However, he remained optimistic after attending a recent meeting of the Cork Residents University Forum with the Students’ Unions, the gardaí and the Lord Mayor of Cork. “It was a very civilised, very sensible discussion,” he said. Healy added that the meeting had resulted in progress towards CCTV surveillance in the area, with UCC releasing its part of the funding towards this venture. O’Donovan said that Cork IT SU had been proactive in arranging such discussions, having been the one inviting the various parties.

First public transgender rally attracts hundreds By Jennifer Holmes News reporter Several hundred people attended the first public transgender rights rally, The Rally for Recognition, which took place outside Dáil Éireann on Saturday October 20th. Activists gathered to mark the International Day of Struggle for the Depathologisation of Transgender* Identities, the campaign which demands to have trans recognised as an identity and not as a mental disorder. Members of the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) also took part in the rally. Ireland is one of only two EU countries that does not provide a mechanism for gender recognition of trans individuals. Campaigners from several representative groups including Gay Doctors Ireland, advocates LGBT Noise and BeLonGTo Youth Services called for legislation to be introduced which would give full legal recognition for trans people. Several speakers called for the removal of the categories of gender dysphoria and gender identity disorders from the medical diagnosis manuals of the World Health Organisation, as well as calling for the provision for trans specific health care. Chairperson of DCU LGBTA, Oisín Cotter said: “While LGB people have been seeing increased support and acceptance in recent years, trans people unfortunately still face adversity in Ireland. “Controversial and derogatory depictions of trans people in Irish media such as the Paddy Power and Meteor adverts promotes an unhealthy perception of trans people, especially students who might find they don’t have any support or acceptance.” The activists accused Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, of delaying the introduction of legislation to protect the rights for transgendered people who remain anonymous in Irish law. The minister was urged by campaigners to provide gender recognition legislation that will not include pathologisation of trans people. Vanessa Lacey, a development worker for Transgender Equality Network Ireland, addressed the rally. She said: ”the effects of trying to access health care in this country can be very challenging and in many cases can lead to depression and self-harm and in some cases suicide. Many of the kids who need access to healthcare need to be diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, in itself this is disgraceful.” The rally took place on the same weekend of the 16th European conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association, which also took place in Dublin. “The rally was a fantastic achievement for trans rights and visibility in Ireland,” Cotter said.




Maíonn suirbhé Eorpach go bhfuil an Ghaeilge i mbaol faoi bhás digiteach a fháil Fiach Mac Domhnaill Leas-eagarthóir Gaeilge Tá an dainséir ann go dtiocfaidh bás digiteach ar an nGaeilge mar go bhfuil easpa mais chriticiúil d’inneachar Gaeilge digitithe ann, dar le páipéar bán Eorpach a foilsíodh le déanaí. Dóibh siúd nach bhfuil mórán cur amach acu ar chúrsaí ríomhaireachta teicniúla, is é nach bhfuil an Ghaeilge á n-úsáid go forleathan sa réimse digiteach. Foilsíodh ‘An Ghaeilge sa Ré Dhigiteach’ ag deireadh

mhí Mheán Fómhair seo haite. Chuir acadóirí ó Choláiste na Tríonóide, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Saint Louis chomh maith leis an Dochtúir John Judge ó Ionad Logánú an Chéad Ghlúin Eile (OCBÁC) an páipéar le chéile. Tá sé ráite go bhféadfadh le cur i bhfeidhm teicneolaíocht teanga feabhas a chur ar chúrsaí Gaeilge in Éirinn agus go mbeadh féidearthachtaí ann poist a chruthú sa réimse níos leithne de theicneolaíochta teanga agus logánú. Táirgeann teicneolaíocht te-

- Credit: Eumaros

anga bogearraí atá in ann teanga scríofa nó labhartha a phróiseáil. Sampla dóibh siúd ná seiceálaithe litriú agus graiméar agus na ‘guthanna’ a mbíonn ar chórais Sat Nav. I leith thionsclaíocht teanga na tíre seo, tá 166 cuideachta sheirbhísí aistriúcháin agus ateangaireachta . Meastar go raibh luach €686 milliún ann don gheilleagair mar thoradh ar an tionsclaíocht seo in 2011. Dúirt Aire Stáit na Gaeltachta Donnchadh Mac Fhionnlaoich, T.D. go “léiríonn suíomhanna ar nós agus focal. ie cé chomh tábhachtaí is atá an cheist seo i.e. go mbeadh an Ghaeilge agus teangacha eile i lár mhargadh na teicneolaíochta. Braitheann an nuálaíocht ar éagsúlacht, ar dhifríocht agus ar chumarsáid – feictear dom mar sin go bhfuil teangacha fíorthábhachtach sa réimse seo.” Deir an Dr Judge go bhfuil sé deacair teacht ar chéimithe le spéis acu i gcúrsaí teanga agus teicneolaíochta. Don chuid is mó, déanann cainteoirí Gaeilge staidéar ar litríocht agus ealaín na Gaeilge agus nach dtéann siad i mbun teangeolaíocht ríomhai-

Tá na trioblóidí ar ais i dTuaisceart na hÉireannlabhair duine éigin Gaeilge Derek O’Brien Eagarthóir Gaeilge “Dia duit”. Dhá fhocal shimplí, agus beannacht Ghaeilge atá ar eolas ní amháin ag formhór dhaonra an domhain, ach ag muintir na hÉireann. An Tuaisceart san áireamh. Ach is cúis náire é agus seans go bhfuil sé in aghaidh dlíthe fostaíochta, de réir Comhalta den Tionól Reachta, Maurice Morrow. Tá argóint agus gearáin ag dul ar aghaidh maidir le fáilteoir Chomhairle buirge Dhún Geanainn agus Tír Eoghain Theas. An ‘fhadhb’ atá ann ná go raibh an fear fiáin seo ag freagairt gach glaoigh leis an dá fhocal uafásacha seo. Tá comhairleoir Shinn Féin ag iarraidh suaimhneas a chur ar intinne na ndaoine áfach, agus

deireadh a chur leis an gcoimhlint seo. Dúirt an tUasal Pádraig Ó Cuinn, atá mar ionadaí ar Oileán an Ghuail, nach raibh polasaí ar bith ag an gcomhairle buirge maidir leis an nGaeilge. “Is Gaeilgeoir é an fáilteoir i gceist anseo, agus rinne sé an cinneadh seo ag gníomh dó ar a thionscnamh féin”. Nochtaigh an tUasal Ó Cuinn go raibh sé aineolach nach raibh polasaí i bhfeidhm maidir le chéad teanga na hÉireann. “Tá tréanpholasaí againn chun tacaíocht a thabhairt don Ghaeilge agus tá Oifigeach den scoth againn chun an teanga a chur chun cinn agus a fhorbairt”. “Thuigfinn go mbeadh imní ar dhaoine dá mba rud é go raibh drochsheirbhís á tabhairt dóibh agus go raibh an bheannacht go léir as Gaeilge, ach ní raibh ach dhá fhocal ann. Tá an

reachta. Deir sé chomh maith go raibh ionchur faighte acu ó Fhoras na Gaeilge le linn cur le chéile an pháipéir le dhá bhliain anuas. Dar leis, ní leor é an Plean 20 Bliain le dul in gleic leis an mórcheist ar fhorbairt na teicneolaíochta teanga. Dar le Ferdie Mac an Fhailligh (Príomhfheidhmeannach, Foras na Gaeilge), “Ní rud roghnach í an teicneolaíocht teanga i gcás fhormhór na dteangacha Eorpacha - tá sé lánriachtanach dóibh má tá siad le teacht slán mar mheáin chumarsáide sna réimsí saoil ar fad ón ngnó go dtí na healaíona, agus ní haon eisceacht í an Ghaeilge thar aon teanga Eorpach eile.” Fáiltíodh an foilseachán i measc Gaeilgeoirí agus thug Ardrúnaí Conradh na Gaeilge, Julian de Spáinn, a smaointe ar an ábhar. “Tá teicneolaíochtaí ilteangacha fíorthábhachtach agus beidh siad níos tábhachtaí fós sa todhchaí. Is iontach an tionchar a bhí ag teicneolaíochtaí idirlín chun daoine óga go háirithe a spreagadh an Ghaeilge a úsáid níos

minice.” “Is gréasán iontach atá in META-SHARE chun teangacha a chur chun cinn agus a áireamh i gcroílár teicneolaíochtaí nua agus dá bhrí sin cuidíonn siad le claonadh daoine dul i dtreo mórtheangacha na hEorpa, go háirithe an Béarla, a stopadh.” “Bheadh sé dochreidte dá bhféadfaí ardán ilteangach a fhorbairt, a éascódh úsáid gach teanga Eorpach, trí úsáid a bhaint as teicneolaíocht.” B’iad Ailbhe Ní Chasaide, Elaine Ní Dhonnchadha (an bheirt acu Coláiste na Tríonóide), Rose Ní Dhubhda (Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh) agus Kevin P Scannell (Ollscoil Saint Louis) a d’fhoilsigh an páipéar i dteanna leis an Dr John Judge.

Gluais Inneachar [content] Logánú [localisation] Nuálaíocht [innovation] Claonadh [disposition] Éascaigh [facilitate]

Nath na seachtaine: Ar

mhaith leis an gcraic [For the cra

cinneadh ag an nglaoiteoir an glaoch a chríochnaigh as Béarla nó as Gaeilge. Is amhlaidh atá sé go dtugann an rogha teanga seo seirbhís níos fearr do thoghthóirí”. Maíonn an tUasal Morrow áfach, ón bPáirtí Aontachtach Daonlathach, go ndeachaigh daoine buartha ón bpobal i dteagmháil leis maidir leis an ‘scannal’ seo. “Rinne mé teagmháil láithreach leis an gcomhairle buirge chun freagra a fháil agus is cosúil gur bhain ball den fhoireann saoirse phearsanta amach agus iad ag labhairt Gaeilge le glaoiteoirí. Ar ndóigh, níl sé seo mar pholasaí ag an gcomhairle”. Dúradh leis an gComhalta den Tionól Reachta go ndearnadh nóta den fhadhb seo ach tá faitíos fós ar an bpolaiteoir. “Cuireann an t-iompar seo

comhartha uafásach don phobal Aontachtaigh agus Protastúnaigh, atá mar níos mó ná 40% de dhaonra na buirge”. Deir Morrow go bhfuil eagla air go mbeidh Comhairle Buirge Dhún Geanainn agus Tír Eo-

ghain Theas mar “teach toirmiscthe” do Phrotastúnaigh, agus go bhfuil tuairisc chuimsitheach de dhíth aige. Beidh iniúchadh chun go bhfeicfeá an bhfuil sárú déanta ar dhlíthe fostaíochta san áireamh anseo.

- Credit: Incase






Beidh an rud céanna á dhéanamh ag múinteoirí meánscoile sa chóras oideachais nua, de réir Ruairí Quinn Derek O’Brien Eagarthóir Gaeilge Ní gá go mbeadh imní ar mhúinteoirí meánscoileanna agus iad ag marcáil mheasúnacht a mhac léinn, dar leis an Aire Oideachais, Ruairí Quinn. Tá an ráiteas seo á fhógairt ag an Aire i ndiaidh an t-athchóiriú ollmhór a rinneadh ar an Teastas Sóisearach. Faoin gcóras nua, beidh measúnú leanúnach á dhéanamh

ag múinteoirí i rith na tríú bliana. Bronnfar 40% den mharc iomlán ar na measúnaithe seo agus ansin rachaidh an 60% eile ar an scrúdú ag deireadh na bliana acadúla. Is í aidhm an chórais nua ná go gcuirfidh sé deireadh den fhoghlaim de ghlanmheabhair a bhí á déanamh ag daltaí scoile agus go spreagfaidh sé dóibh a nintinn agus a dtionscnamh féin a úsáid. Dúirt rúnaí ginearálta ar Chumann na Meánmhúinteoirí Éire, Pat King, go bhfuil impleachtaí

- Credit: Wikimedia commons

r aic]

tromchúiseacha ag na leasuithe seo ar mhúinteoirí timpeall na tíre. In litir oscailte chuig baill an chumainn ag tús na míosa, mhaígh an tUasal King go ndearnadh na leasuithe seo gan aon phlé leis an gcumann nó an tAontas Múinteoirí Éireann. Léirigh Cumann na Meánmhúinteoirí Éire agus an tAontas Múinteoirí Éireann imní faoin ualach oibre breise, an oiliúint agus na himpleachtaí a bheadh ar na caidrimh idir daltaí agus múinteoirí. Gheall an tAire Quinn áfach, nach cóir go mbeadh aon fhaitíos orthu agus nach bhfuil sé ag iarraidh orthu ach “an rud céanna is atá á dhéanamh acu sa dara bliain agus sa chúigiú bliain cheana féin”. Ag labhairt ag comhdháil bhliantúil Chumann Náisiúnta na bPríomhoidí agus na leasPhríomhoidí, dúirt Quinn go gcuireann an frása ‘measúnú leanúnach’ daoine ar mhíthreoir agus spreagann sé eagla iontu faoin ualach oibre. Beidh an córas nua á chur i bhfeidhm ag an Roinn Oideachais diaidh ar ndiaidh agus

níl an tAire ag glacadh leis an téarma ‘measúnú leanúnach’. Maíonn seisean go bhfuil sé níos cruinne agus níos giorra don fhírinne ‘clár oibre tréimhsiúil mar mheasúnú’ a rá. Tógfaidh sé ocht mbliana chun an córas seo a chur i bhfeidhm i gceart agus tosóidh scoileanna ag baint úsáid as in 2014. Ach an phríomh-fhadhb atá ann ná nach raibh aon teagmháil déanta leis na múinteoirí. Deir Cumann na Meánmhúinteoirí Éire go gcaithfear tabhair faoi na hábhair ríthábhachtacha is cúram do mhúinteoirí na hÉireann roimh a dhéanfar aon athrú ar an Teastas Sóisearach. Beidh próiseas comhairliúcháin á thosú ag an mbuanchoiste leis a bhaill agus beidh comhdháil náisiúnta i mí Aibreáin an bhliain seo chugainn chun plé eile a dhéanamh ar an topaic. Dúirt an tUachtarán ar an gCumann, Gary Breslin, gur cuireadh alltacht ar na múinteoirí de dheasca an easpa teagmhála. “D’fhoghlaim na múinteoirí faoin athchóiriú ollmhór seo trí

na meáin chumarsáide. Tá go leor feirge agus frustrachais sna scoileanna nár lorgaíodh taithí agus dearcthaí na múinteoirí”. Dúradh leis an mbuanchoiste go ndéanfaidh dochar suntasach ar an oideachas má tá easpa teistiúchán náisiúnta ann ag an leibhéal sóisearach. “Tá fadhbanna ag an Teastas Sóisearach, níl aon duine ag diúltú sin. Ach ceann de na buntáistí is mó a bhí aige ná go raibh ardstádas aige i n-intinne na ndaltaí, dtuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí. Beidh éifeacht dhiúltach ag an gcinneadh seo”, críochnaigh an tUasal Breslin. Is cosúil go mbeidh an scéal seo ag leanúint ar aghaidh agus ag forbairt go rialta

Gluais Comhdháil [conference] Comhairliúchán [consultation] Buanchoiste [standing committee] Alltacht [disgust] Teistiúchán [certification]

Dea-nuacht do mhic an léinn an choláiste- bronntar na céimeanna is airde sa tír in OCBÁC

Orla Mc Gettigan Rinne an Irish Times suirbhé ar na gráid ghrádúcháin sna hollscoileanna ar fud na tíre ó 2005 agus aimsíodh go bhfuil meascán leathan de ghráid éagsúla ag brath ar cén ollscoil atá i gceist. Dar leis an suirbhé, is in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath a bhronntar an líon is mó de chéimeanna céad onóracha. Tá meánlíon de 19% de mhic léinn ag baint amach na marcanna is airde thar an seacht mbliana den suirbhé. Sna hollscoileanna Éireannacha eile, ní raibh ach meánlíon de 16% de chéimeanna céad onóracha á mbaint amach. Faraor, le linn na tréimhse suirbhéanna, is iad Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Luimnigh na cinn a bhronnadh an méid is ísle de chéimeanna

céad onóracha le 14% de mhic léinn á mbaint amach. Tá réimse níos éagsúla de mhic léinn a bhain céimeanna dara honóracha amach thar na blianta sin. D’fhág 56% de mhic léinn na Tríonóide an ollscoil le céimeanna dara honóracha ó 2005, an céatadán is airde óna hollscoileanna go léir sa tír. Bhain 51% de mhic léinn ó Choláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh an céim chéanna amach thar an tréimhse céanna chomh maith. Arís, bronnadh an líon is ísle de chéimeanna dara honóracha ó 2005 in Ollscoil Luimnigh. Bhain 36% de na mic léinn céimeanna dara honóracha amach, céatadán de 20 % níos lú ná Coláiste na Tríonóide. Ar an iomlán, ba é 47% an meánlíon náisiúnta. Bhain thart ar 49% de chéimithe ón gColáiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath céimeanna dara

honóracha amach agus bronnadh líon cosúil leis sin dóibh ag OCBÁC. Sa tríú háit, bhí Coláiste na hOllscoille, Maigh Nuad an-chóngarach don mheánlíon le 46%, agus ansin bhí 43% de mhic léinn Choláiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh ag fágáil le céimeanna dara honóracha. Ar an iomlán, bronnadh céimeanna 2.2 do 26% de mhic léinn ar fud na tíre idir 2005 – 2012. Bhí 35%, an méid is airde, de chéimeanna 2.2 bronnta ag Ollscoil Luimnigh. Ní raibh teipeanna agus daoine a d’éirigh as ollscoil san áireamh toisc nach raibh ach líon fíorbheag dóibh. Tá an chuma ar an scéal go bhfuil gráid níos tábhachtaí d’fhostaitheoirí le blianta beag anuas. Aimsíodh go mbíonn fostaitheoirí ag súil le céimeanna 2.1 nó níos airde a bheadh ag a n-iarratasóirí i suirbhé a rinne

Credit: Emma O’Rourke níos luaithe sa bhliain. Tá sé sin i bhfad níos mó ná dhá bhliain ó shin, nuair nach raibh ach 38% d’fhostaitheoirí ag lorg na ngrád airde sin. Tá

OCBÁC an-bhródúil as na gráid airde atá á mbaint amach agus tá sé i gceist acu an caighdeán ard sin a choimeád.




GM crop bombshell may prove untrue By Jeff Harte Lifestyle writer The results of a French study were published last month in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal and showed that rats fed on a lifetime diet of genetically modified (GM) corn, ended up suffering from tumours and severe internal damage. The international media hugely promoted this story. It was a controversial bombshell in the scientific world. It could prove a decisive “game-changer” in the extremely volatile issues of genetically modified crops. However, this ‘controversial bombshell’ might be completely untrue. Well-renowned scientist, the late Carl Sagan said, “You must prove your case in the face of determined, expert criticism. Diversity and debate are valued”. Thanks to this method, the GM crop scandal faced a multitude of strong critisisms, which were published in the Science Media Centre. The study included a species of rat that is said to be prone to cancer formation. It also only used ten rats, where the reccomended number is 50. The raw data from the study was never released and, to top it all off, the study was funded by an anti-bio-

technology organisation. Upon further investigation, a multitude of strong criticisms of the study were published in the Science Media Centre, made by experts, ranging from: “This is not an innocent scientific publication. The study was designed to produce exactly what was observed,” according to Professor Dr Bruce Chassy of the University of Illinois. Some believe this was simply a poorly structured study, in which the results are inconclusive and unsatisfying. Alternatively, if the study is the result of manipulations, it becomes an indictment of the scientific method and the ways the public can be so easily deceived. When politics and individualism are brought into the lab, the scientific method’s value and its structural integrity is completely compromised. Several examples of this have appeared in cases involving the big pharmaceutical industries in the UK. The problem is that drugs are tested by those who synthesise them. Tests are manipulated, specific analyses can be flawed, and certain trial data can simply be not shown. The drugs are then authorised for market, and the general public are the ones who

Superfood of the week By Lauren Kelly Lifestyle Writer

suffer while the pharmaceutical companies profit. In a study in 2003, Industryfunded trials were found to be four times more likely to produce these flattering, positive results. It is hard for the general public not to distrust these large pharmaceutical companies, when the researchers themselves are the only witnesses to their own experiments. Scientists can distort evidence when communicating results, through removing outliers, changing baselines and a number of other techniques. Carl Sagan saw Seralini’s fault in all scientists, “If you examine science in its everyday aspect, of course you find that scientists run the gamut of human emotion, personality and character”. It is only through overcoming this with humility and a strong belief in what is right, that we, the public, can offer our full confidence in science again.

Many people believe that delving your hand into the moist and seedy centre of a pumpkin is just as scary as the ghosts associated with Halloween - and that’s before the issue of actually eating it is tackled. But once you’ve faced those fears, pumpkins are a real ‘treat’ for your body’s well-being. Come October, supermarkets are filled to the brim with them and most can be bought for less than a euro: a bargain not to be missed. Pumpkin seeds carve a smile on the face of anyone brave enough to eat them as they are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is responsible for the production of serotonin helping to boost our mood. The seeds also fight ‘bad cholesterol’ which is a major cause of heart disease. Can’t see that hottie on the other side of the lecture hall? Then grab a pumpkin and eat it like there’s no tomorrow as our orange friend contains beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which are beneficial to healthy vision. If you’re looking to lose weight, then the pumpkin is your vegetable as it is low in calories and full of fibre putting hunger at bay for longer. With the pumpkin, one can have the best of both worlds as it boasts high energy but also promises a good night’s sleep due to the hormone melatonin. As we head into winter, colds and flu become rampant around Ireland and the sale of chicken soup peaks. Cheap and cheerful pumpkin soup can be just as effective as it has copious amounts of vitamin C, a powerful tool for strengthening our immune system. If you crave for something sweet to eat, they can also be used to make tasty muffins and cookies. So when you’re carving out your masterpiece this Halloween, remember that although pumpkins make great jack o’ lanterns, they have a lot more to offer besides.

A shoebox can make a Christmas By Emma Jane Hade Lifestyle Writer With just 55 days to go until the man in the red suit arrives, our attention is beginning to turn to Christmas. Many of us are worrying about clothes, food and gifts. For the majority of us, Christmas day will be spent like the picturesque scenes we see in the movies. It’s all about family and friends, coming together to eat, drink and be merry. Of course, it wouldn’t be the same without the added crudeness and swear words when someone realizes they forgot the batteries or when the stress in the kitchen gets too much. However, it’s all fun and games and everyone puts their differences aside, sits together and watches endless box sets. It is hard to believe that while we

sit around in our warm homes during this festive time that there are families who will have nothing this Christmas. In some parts of the world, Santa won’t be visiting families. It is tragic, as these children are merely innocent bystanders in areas of financial stress and political unrest, yet they’re the ones who are suffering the most. They will never experience the joy of waking up on Christmas morning to see what presents they have received. However, the Christmas Shoebox Appeal is just one effort at trying to make this day a little more special for these children. Team Hope Ireland is just one organization participating in this huge attempt at bringing Santa to some of the world’s victims. Every year, they deliver small and simple gifts to over 1 million children in over

- Credit: MakeLessNoise via Flickr Creative Commons

21 countries all over Europe and as far as Africa and Asia. It’s a simple, inexpensive idea, and a great Christmas deed. You simply wrap up a shoebox in some festive paper and fill it with some appropriate small gifts. So, while we sit back in our chairs in our warm homes this Christmas, we can smile in the knowledge that we’ve brightened up one child’s day, and made it that little bit better. If you would like any more information on this appeal, see the Team Hope Ireland website ( Alternatively, if you would like to participate in this initiative in DCU, just send an email to the following address: emma.






From France to Ireland with love By Marie Lecoq Layout Editor Everything started with a click. Sitting in the shade of a pine tree, majestically extending its branches at the back of the garden, I was glaring at my computer. The heat was unbearable even though summer was coming to an end. On the computer screen, the very unappealing booking reservation mail from Aer Lingus announced that the return tickets to Dublin were confirmed, the only thing left to do was pack a bag and say goodbye. This one-month-trip backpacking around Ireland was going to take an unsuspected turn. And it all started with a click of a confirm button. The idea of backpacking for a month in a foreign country was thrilling. After failing a year in college and working all summer to make amends, I decided to skip the repeats. Now was the time to enjoy the present.

First impressions

The first day in Ireland was somewhat frightening, realising that you are on your own in an unknown country and barely speaking the language didn’t help. But as the first hours came and went, Dublin put on a friendly face and became more recognisable. Landmarks during the day

and pubs at night, after a couple of days I was ‘Dublined’ out. I packed my bag and headed to the bus station, this trip would be punctuated by spontaneity. Back in France I had to take the bus every morning to go to college, and always wondered what it would feel like to jump into the next bus and go where it brings you. The bus journey to Donegal took what seemed like days, from bus to mini bus and finally a taxi, because “the bus doesn’t go that far this late at night” so the driver said. The hostel was four miles up a hill, up a dark little road, with dogs howling.


In the morning the sunrise revealed one of the most beautiful landscapes my eyes had ever seen: a white sand beach circled by hills, black and silver waves incessantly bashing against the sharp rocks and rolling towards the beach to finally disappear in white foam. I had never seen such fierce wilderness. The south of France is different, the landscapes are golden in summer and green is scarce. The bright blue of the sky reflects in the sea. The sun radiates against the chalk-like cliffs. The water turns turquoise in those little havens of freshness and peace called calanques; the cicada’s songs swinging and swirling with the warm wind, smells of salt and pine filling the air.

Facing the ocean, at the edge of a cliff in Donegal, it felt as though I were sitting at the edge of the world. There was nobody around but some antique looking ships and gliding sea birds waiting for a piece of my ham sandwich.

To the West

After a few days there, it was time to go and hitchhike down to Galway. The next three years would take the shape of a dark-haired, deep blue-eyed Irishman from Cork. A few return flights would be missed, exchanged and postponed for those reasons. We first met in the hostel by the docks and with a bunch of backpackers spent a week of partying, dancing and early morning street singing.

Making the dream a reality

The trip back to France had a sour taste, and the time spent in Ireland seemed like a dream. It was hard to settle back in. A

month later I had given up my apartment, closed my phone line, sold the most of my belongings and packed up the essentials in a small backpack: mainly the only coat I owned at the time, and left for Ireland. This time there was no return ticket. After a year waiting tables in Galway to all sorts of tourists and considering to become a bingo caller: “blue, forty two!” I made one last big decision and decided to go back to college. A challenge really as my practice of English had somewhat limited itself to “want fries with this?” for the past eight-months.

Three years and counting

Two years in Galway and one in Dublin have taught me that Irish drink as if every night was the last, that Buckfast is a genuine drink and has to be drank by the Spanish arch on a sunny day, and that rain all year long is possible. It taught me how it feels like to walk on ice in the small harbour and slide to town on black ice.

Learning a language - the fun way By Emma O’Rourke Lifestyle Editor Ever wanted to learn another language in a fun, cheap and stress-free way? Language Exchange Ireland has created this environment. They hold a language exchange night in Dtwo on Harcourt Street every Monday night at 6.30p.m. It is a sociable way for people to improve their chosen language of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or English. It is informal and set in an easy-going pub environment. The night is set out similar to a ‘speed dating’ system. You are assigned a seat number upon arrival and sit opposite a native speaker of the language you are learning. You speak English for five minutes and then the other language for five minutes before moving onto the next table and meeting the next person.

The night isn’t too expensive at €5, which includes food, and Dtwo have a drinks promotion during the event with all pints and bottles only €3. It is an event, which was started in March this year by language students and is becoming increasingly popular with an average of 50 attending every Monday night. Language courses are generally so expensive and time consuming for those with a busy college schedule that learning a language would not be considered a priority. Brian Heavey from Language Exchange Ireland told The College View, “For so many learning a language seems to have a barrier, as people spend their money doing courses, private classes and studying at home but do not actually reap the benefits as they cannot actually speak the language they want. The exchanges cater for all levels, so whether you have just

- Credit: Camila Munoz Garcia

started a language or are fluent, check out this event.” If you can’t make it into the city centre on a Monday night, fear not. There are still many chances for DCU students to learn a foreign language. The

Street area of the Henry Grattan building has a languages noticeboard for students to get in touch with other students wanting to learn a language. There are many students looking to learn English in exchange for their knowledge

of French, Spanish and other languages. There are also two very good websites which let you practise your languages. Check out www. and .




- Credit:

State of Mind, Are you Well? The need for mental health reform

By Catríona Hughes Deputy Features Editor When we, the members of Irish society think of mental health, do we think of the word ‘mad’ and associate it with individuals’ own preconceptions of their mental state? Depression, anxiety, eating and compulsive disorders are just a small fraction of disorders encompassed in mental health difficulties. We often disregard some of these disorders as unimportant or even benign, until we absolutely can no longer. It can be daunting for people to think of the concept of a mental health difficulty; the feeling of a loss of control over one’s mind with regard to stress management in a countless number of forms is imaginably frightening. Yet, thousands of people continue to suffer in silence, perhaps due to a feeling of self-denial or shame, as they do not want to admit that they may have mental health difficulties. Today in Ireland, there are limitless contributing factors to poor mental health within the population; income inequality and unemployment remain persistent issues. According to a 2011 report on ‘Women and Men in Ireland’ published by the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO), unemployment levels rose significantly across all age groups for men from 6.6% in 2008 to 17.5% in 2011. Equally, the level of unemployment increased starkly for women of all ages from 8.% in 2009 to 10.4% in 2011. Luckily, there is a vast number of or-

ganisations and support services available to mental health sufferers in Ireland. But during the current economic turbulence, it is debatable whether the government will continue to invest an adequate amount of capital in mental health services., Mental health reform is a group that is working to try and influence the government to continue to invest in this aspect of the health sector.


of the population will experience a mental health difficulty at some stage in their lives Mental Health Reform is an independent coalition of organisations working to improve mental health services, social inclusion and vindication of rights. Director of Mental Health Reform, Orla Barry, told The College View that the association promotes a “model of health and social care where all citizens have equal access to, affordable, sustainable and high quality, primary care and specialist mental health services”. Mental Health Reform’s ongoing work hopes to eventually see a new Ireland, where people experiencing

mental health complexities can achieve and enjoy the highest standard of mental health. The organisation is currently running a campaign under the title: ‘Government, Don’t Drop the Ball on Mental Health’, which will urge the government to keep the promise they made in the Programme for Government to “vastly improve access to modern mental health services in the community”. Communications and Campaign Officer, Lara Kelly, told The College View that the campaign hopes to “raise awareness of issues concerning mental health” and “that the government invests €35 million in developing community mental health services”. Kelly also said that the campaign aims to help mental health treatment to make the transition from “industrial-based” care to contemporary “institutional hospital-based care”. As an independent group, Mental Health Reform does not receive any government funding. It relies solely on membership fees, philanthropic funding, grants, corporate donations and individual donations. The Atlantic Philanthropies and The One Foundation proudly support the association. On October 1st, former Ireland and Munster rugby star, Alan Quinlan, joined forces with Barry to urge the Government not to ‘drop the ball’ on mental health in the budget for 2013. Quinlan spoke at the campaign launch, urging the public to give support and he highlighted the need for local support services in stating: “I know

from my own experience how important it is that people get the help they need in their local communities”. He also said that people will have the “chance to recover their mental health and live their lives to the fullest” if the correct support services are put in place. “We need to show that there is public support out there for this issue” Quinlan added. According to national and international studies, 25% of the population will experience a mental health difficulty at some stage in their lives and that almost half of the Irish population have had first-hand experience of mental health problems, either through their own personal problems or through those of family or friends. That public figures and well-known celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Mel Gibson and Sinead O’Connor, all sufferers of bipolar disorder, have come forward to say that they’ve come out the other end since seeking help is encouragement to other sufferers to seek help. Familiar to the limelight in Ireland, Sinead O’Connor said in a 2007 interview that treatment helped her mend, what she referred to as, “a hole in the centre of her being”. If you feel that you could have a mental health difficulty of any kind, let your voice be heard.






Through my Eyes… thoughts will visit them. If Eventually, the thoughts besomeone had said to me years came so intense, that Caroline atago, ‘you’re going to have these tempted suicide, but luckily, she Caroline McGuigan never thoughts’, I’d say they were com- survived. “I ended up in hospital thought she’d experience panic and I was zapped back to life and attacks, depression or suicidal it was absolutely awful. It was just thoughts. Thankfully, she was an awful feeling. But thankfully, I No one ever given a second chance at life and got a second chance in life. I said used it to set up Suicide Or Surto myself, ‘you’re obviously here believes those vive. for a reason’. thoughts will visit Caroline lived her life like any“I was offered talk therapy, one else in their 20s. But faced which I was never offered before; them. If someone with feelings of anxiety, she was and I was very lucky because I had said to me unable to cope with what she happened to be in a hospital with didn’t understand. “What I didn’t years ago, ‘you’re a training facility, if I wasn’t, I still understand then was panic and wouldn’t have been offered talk going to have anxiety. I got a lot of weird feeltherapy. “I didn’t like it, I hated it. these thoughts’, ings that something bad was goI’d come away feeling worse half ing to happen and I got very anxthe time. But it helped me. I’d say they were ious; I kept getting these weird Eventually, Caroline found a completely mad. feelings. That got worse and besupport group that she could go came a bit of an obsession for me. to. “It took me ages; I used to drive “I thought to myself, ‘don’t there every week for six months tell anyone about these thoughts pletely mad. and just sit outside the door… you’re having, they’ll think “I was caught in a spiral; I didn’t It’s worse living in a country you’re mad’. So I went to my GP, know what was happening to me. with such a stigma; you don’t talk hoping that those thoughts would I felt my whole life was taken to people, because people will eventually go away but in the away from me. I did not believe think you’re mad.” meantime, they could prescribe that people recovered from this Having gone through the health something to make me better. I because nobody told me.” system and still working with her By Jenny Darmody Features Editor

support group, Caroline began to get an insight on how mental health issues were dealt with. “I trained as an advocate and I got very angry about the system, because it was not about recovery it was not about support, it was not about education. It was about prescribing medication and institutionalisation. “I thought about what I wanted to do and decided I wanted to be a therapist. So I trained as a therapist for six years, I learned what the medical model was about, I learned what the system was about and that’s when I really saw the power of the system”. Caroline remembers going to one of the psychiatrists to tell him the great idea about how she could change the system. “He just smiled at me and I knew there and then he was thinking, ‘you haven’t a hope’. Caroline came up with the idea of SOS after this encounter, when she realised the power of the system. “I sat at my kitchen table ten years ago when I thought of SOS.

Surviving suicide

couldn’t tell anyone, of course, because I thought, ‘this is weird stuff going on, so you must be weird’.” Caroline soon became addicted to the medication she was prescribed and her anxiety accelerated. “I agreed to go to a psychiatric service as a day patient. By then I was really caught in anxiety rituals, it was really horrible. “I kept taking the tablets waiting for something to happen and I kept going to the psychiatric service waiting for something to happen. But over a period of time, I started to lose hope in myself; that’s when the thoughts of suicide came in. It was really scary, and I said, ‘don’t tell people about what you’re thinking, you’ll be locked up’. I really started to feel worthless. I felt like if I was gone people would be able to just get on with their lives. “No one ever believes those

I was still on medication at that stage; I was still caught in the system thinking, ‘what if I had been given information? What if there was no stigma in Ireland’? “People need to hear from people who have been through it and have trained up as therapists. I started sharing the vision of SOS with people; I got a lot of doors closed on me, but I also got a lot of open doors. “Some [of us] have been through the system, some haven’t, but all of us are working towards the same vision. I’m not about blaming anyone anymore. I used to fight the system quite a bit, now I work with them. There’s still a lot of resistance though.” One aspect of SOS is ‘The Eden Programme’, for people who have attempted suicide or have suicidal thoughts. “It’s designed to help people deal in a crisis situation. We say, ‘what would help you to keep you alive in that moment when you’re having those thoughts?’ The important thing for people is if you’re struggling, it’s normal. But if you carry stuff with you, it festers in your body and that’s how we get anxiety or depression. But it’s important to remember that it’s normal and if we reach out to each other, we can get through it.”

Caroline McGuigan never thought she’d experience panic attacks, depression or suicidal thoughts. Thankfully, she was given a second chance at life and used it to set up Suicide Or Survive.




Body talk

Credit: Brett Jordan via Flickr Creative Commons

The effects of image obsession By Zofia Domaracka Feature Writer Body image - it is something that most teens think about on a daily basis. To be exact, out of every 2,000 Irish teenagers 26% of girls and 10% of boys are unhappy with how they look. So how does that affect their mental health? Dáil na nÓg asked over 2,000 Irish teenagers, aged between 10 and 21 that exact question and discovered a prevalence of negative self-image. Figures that paint an even starker im-

Credit: BrightStarPhoto21 via Flickr Creative Commons

age are that 82% of girls and 70% of boys surveyed said body image was important to them. The ‘How We See It’ study, published by

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, found that only 37% of girls and almost half of boys said they were “fairly satisfied” with their bodies. In the teenage years, “feelings of belonging” and that of “fitting in” can take on new proportions, explained Mary Crean of Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland. “The importance of looking a certain way in order to do this can take precedence over other things that may have been important in childhood”, Crean added. The stress of trying to fit in becomes increasingly overwhelming with age. It affects concentration, happiness and general wellbeing. Teens’ mental health can start to suffer as they spend more time seeking acceptance than enjoying their time in school and with friends. Of the test group, 15-year-olds showed the most body dissatisfaction, as 43% claimed they were unhappy with how they look. The Dáil na nÓg Council survey found that the most negative influence on girls’ body image was when they made comparisons between themselves and other girls. Because of this, girls are up to twice as reluctant to take part in activities that expose their body, swimming ranks amongst the most avoided. The unhappiness associated with girls’ misconceptions of themselves also affects their social life as they are conscious of social acceptance through dating and even photos they put up on Facebook. Bodywhys feels that “teenagers today are going through changes within the

To Conform or Not Conform? By Claire Corrigan Features Writer

There’s pressure for lads to be really fit and work out in the gym all the time and I sometimes feel the pressure but I don’t bother because I’m too lazy”, said Science Education student, Colin Dunne. In terms of the need many students have to ‘dress well’ Colin said: “It’s hard to not care. I kind of want to dress a certain way sometimes but it costs a serious amount of money”.

Applied Languages student, Laura Cullinan told The College View that she thinks there is pressure on girls to look a certain way, “I think it’s got a lot to do with models. I heard that they’re on average 23% under a healthy weight”. She added: “I couldn’t find a Halloween outfit this year that wasn’t ‘sexy’, which kind of bothered me”.

context of a media saturated existence, where they are bombarded and surrounded by images of what is perceived as perfect, or imperfect, images that are distorted, Photoshopped, changed in order to create an aesthetic that sets the standard”. It’s easy to forget that teenage boys are just as affected as girls. The survey showed that a high number of boys think that they exercise more in order to ‘‘stay in shape” as opposed to exercising to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bodywhys are launching a campaign for third-level education to highlight this problem. As part of their ‘Size doesn’t matter – I DO!’ programme, they are using the slogan ‘It’s as hard to be Ken as it is to be Barbie’. To boys with a muscular body comes strength and admiration both from their peers and the opposite sex. This often results in overuse of steroids, which can have negative effects on health and mental

health, with side effects ranging from acne and liver failure, to depression. The survey found that bullying had the most negative influence on body image. Most young people can’t meet the idealised social standard presented to them by the media. It would be impossible to Photoshop yourself in real life, yet anyone who sticks out of that standard is often subjectED to cruelty. With the development of the web and social media, it is easier to bully without getting caught. This has been seen in the recent cases of Ciara Pugsley and Phoebe Prince who both died as a result of cyberbullying. The next time you look in the mirror, be positive about your image and your body.

Aside from the usual stresses of exam deadlines and difficult lecturers, many students find themselves under pressure to conform to a certain look based on images they see in the media or portrayed by their classmates.

“A lot of people are under pressure to look a certain way due to the different industries that we’re surrounded by - the media, the models and actresses”, said 19-year-old Dearbhla McNally.

“Personally, I don’t really care much about fashion. If you are doing nothing, you focus on things such as your clothes, makeup or boyfriend but if you’re really busy you don’t care that much”, 21-year-old Lisa Malibet told The College View.

Student Farida Ahmed shares this outlook. “Sometimes I feel pressure to look a certain way but I usually just ignore it. I think if you hang out with people who are not really into looks or style then you can ignore it quite easily.






Credit: DonkeyHotey via Wikimedia commons


Election: Do We Care?

On November 6th, the world will find out who will be the President of the United States. Aaron McNicholas looks at how much we really care.


n American election features a pounding mix of campaign adverts and speeches, with massive amounts of money being spent. One would hope that it’s all being done for an important reason. But how important is the US presidential election to the people here in Ireland? Americans will cast their votes on Tuesday November 6th, choosing between Democrat and current President Barack Obama, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Romney, who served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, won 11 states in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries before John McCain won the party’s nomination. The Republican candidate for Vice President is Wisconsin congressman, Paul Ryan. The state of the US economy is the number one issue that will affect voters’ decision on Election Day. Unemployment in the US stands at 7.8%, and the national debt has reached $11.2 trillion. “What I will do as President is make sure it’s more attractive [for enterprises] to come to America again.” This was the promise Romney made during the second presidential debate. The United States’ corporation tax rate currently stands at 35%. In Ireland, businesses complain about paying 12.5% corporation tax. Ron Davis, professor of economics at UCD, dismissed the idea that the US corporation tax rate could be changed to a degree that would affect the Irish economy. “There are so many special interest groups there, that the ability to get any meaningful change is zero,” he said. “If you lower the tax rate down to 30%, it’s still nearly three times the amount in Ireland.” Davis added that, in order for the corporate tax rate to be lowered, the US government would have to cut spending or raise other

taxes. Obama is in favour of increasing taxes on Americans who earn more than $250,000 annually. Romney’s focus is on spending cuts, aiming to limit government spending to one fifth of the gross domestic product. Davis said that a change in US policy towards the Middle-East could have consequences for the Irish economy. “If we get [a president] who’s very aggressive towards the MiddleEast, we’ll see a spike in petrol prices.” According to the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association, nearly all of energy consumed in Ireland comes from imported oil and gas. This year, the European Union imposed a phased embargo on crude oil imports from Iran, following similar sanctions that had been implemented in the US. Iran faces such sanctions as a result of its nuclear program, which is thought to include weapons development. Speaking to The College View, Dr John Thompson of the Clinton Institute of American Studies at UCD, pointed to cooperation in dealing with Iran as an example of Obama’s success in working with the EU in foreign policy. “I think it’s clear that, overall, Europeans are much happier with the tone, and mostly happier with the substance of, US foreign policy in the post-Bush era. “If Romney is elected, all of the European governments will continue to seek to maintain a good relationship with the new administration. It will begin to suffer, as it did under George W Bush, if the Romney administration acts recklessly and is disdainful of its European partners.” States where the presidential race is most competitive include Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. On Election Day, their results will be awaited with more anticipation than anywhere else in the country. You can be sure the world will be watching but maybe only a fraction actually care.




The best coach you’ve never heard of Prodigious athletics coach Brother Colm O’ Connell tells Will Slattery the secret to his success. For many sports fans in Western Europe the dominance of Kenyan middle distance runners has made the sport all too predictable. If that is truly the case, then Brother O’Connell is as banal as they come, because the runners under his tutelage have won 25 world championships and five Olympic gold medals. O’Connell arrived in the small Kenyan village of Iten back in 1976 as a geography teacher and soon after started coaching athletics. He went from distinguishing between tributaries and streams to moulding world and Olympic champions. As you do. How does a geography teacher become the world’s most successful athletics coach? Simple really; after the departure of the athletics coach at his school St Patrick’s, O’Connell simply filled the void. It is probably safe to say that if you had told him of his future success that first day, he would have advised you to seek mental help. “If someone told me 36 years ago that I would have coached 25 world champions and five Olympic champions, I would have thought you were crazy. I started out with a very simple programme that gave young ath-

letes a positive outlook on doing something that they enjoyed. There have been ups and downs and sometimes we don’t hear about the disappointments but over the years it has just grown and grown.” What started out as a school athletics team gradually became a nationally regarded athletics camp and over the years the success that O’Connell’s runners have enjoyed is breathtaking. A total of 60% of runners that attended his camp have turned pro. Were those statistics coming out of Ireland, we would no doubt try to canonise him. It was the early 80s when O’Connell realised that not only were his runners competitive on a national stage but that they could be running at world class events. “When I started there were very little opportunities for Kenyan athletes because they boycotted both the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. So it was a down period for Kenya but it was an opportune time for me because initially there were no big expectations. In the early 1980s when there were junior, national and international competitions, I began to realise that these athletes were much

better than I expected. After that it really started to click and come together and then in 1988 I had my first Olympic gold medallist.” There is a certain amount of myth-making that accompanies successful coaches. People want them to look and act a certain way. They expect hair-raising speeches, furrowed brows and tactic covered boards, be they black, white or yellow. But O’Connell does things a different way. He works with athletes in a way that is devoid of ego and is more a facilitator of talent than a nuts and bolts coach. “I have a very simple approach and attitude towards how my athletes train. I try to be more athlete-orientated rather than programme or system orientated. When a young person comes to me full of interest and enthusiasm, I say ‘what are you bringing to me?’ Sometimes coaches can micromanage athletes and bombard them with information and statistics. I try to do it in reserve. With a new athlete I forget about myself and who I have coached and start as if this is my very first athlete.” said O’Connell. Many pundits say that middle distance running now belongs to the Kenyans and Ethiopians and that their natural talent will always prevail against other nations. But O’Connell feels that it is the strong work ethic of his

Brother Colm O’Connell, pictured alongside David Rudisha, was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy at DCU. - Credit: Sportsfile

runners coupled with their talent that makes them special. “Nowadays you need a lot more than talent to be an elite sportsman. The person needs to have the discipline, the focus, the commitment and they need to realise the sacrifices that you have to make to your lifestyle.” Ireland loves a good coach. When a sportsman or a team wins something, we want to know who and how it happened. Jim McGuinness’ system is as famous as any of his Donegal players. It is ironic that while Brother

O’Connell’s athletes have been enjoying so much success, Irish athletics has often been quite stagnant. But are O’Connell’s methods the treatment for the malaise in Irish athletics? “I wouldn’t understand Irish athletics because I developed my system from within Kenya. I didn’t bring technical knowledge from another country into Kenya. I have never been involved in how Irish athletes are trained and prepared. It’s very hard to put a Kenyan solution on an Irish problem.”

World class Rudisha has a chance at immortality By Will Slattery Deputy Sports Editor For some, it was one of the greatest races ever run, for many it may not have even been a blip on their radar; about an hour and a half before Usain Bolt became the first man to win the 200m at consecutive Olympic Games, David Rudisha ran the fastest ever 800m recorded. The world record at the London Games meant Rudisha has the top three and six of the eight fastest times ever run at said distance. The spectacular nature of his Olympic race stems from the fact that it was the first time anyone had broken 101 seconds at 800m. While the difficulty in that might be hard to gauge for non-mathematicians, it means Rudisha aver-

ages a little over ten seconds for eight consecutive 100m sprints. Even the man himself found it difficult to realise the pace he was setting. “It is very hard to determine how fast you are actually running but when you are motivated and running a fast race anything can happen. In London I gave everything and was left with nothing so I was expecting quite a fast time. I didn’t run the first lap as fast as I wanted so I really pushed myself in the second lap so I could break the record,” said Rudisha. People now want to know if he could be the first to run 800m under 100 seconds and go from world-class to immortal. During Roger Bannister’s quest to run a sub four minute mile in 1954,

many people thought not only was it an impossible achievement but if it was possible, it would result in certain death for the runner. While Rudisha’s attempt might not generate the same amount of prayer and handwringing, it would certainly bring accolades that would equal Bannister. And given that Rudisha has ticked all the boxes in his career thus far, is it an impossible task for him? “That is the question that so many people are asking now. But my current world record is still a long way from being under 100 seconds. To reduce that, one second is between seven and eight meters so that would be very hard for me. We are still looking forward and I hope I still have a lot of good years left. We are go-

ing to try to see how fast I can go and I don’t want to promise anything but it is possible because I can still get better,” said Rudisha. Besides an attempt at another world record, there is another potential step in his career. It is spoken about in hushed and hopeful tones backstage at Diamond League athletics events. It is a pipe dream some say, while others consider it to be a mouthwatering finale to two glittering careers; David Rudisha racing Usain Bolt over 400m. The logistics would be messy and the training time consuming, but the payday would be huge, and likewise, the prestige. Could the showdown ever take place? Rudisha’s coach, Brother Colm O’Connell, is uncertain. “The way David runs the 800m

is very unique and for him to change to 400m would mean a complete change in style for him. At the moment it would be a big risk to start running 400m at the elite level. Bolt is sticking to defending his existing medals in the next Olympics also. They are both elite athletes and will be worrying about their own events. I’d be really cautious about David getting involved other than a once-off to see who would win,” said O’Connell Rudisha versus Bolt may just be a distant dream but their spectacular achievements this year are not. Whatever Rudisha decides to do in the build-up to the next Olympics, you can guarantee he will make his decision very, very fast. That has been his style so far anyway.





DCU hurling in need of a healing Hurling Club chairperson Seamus Kelly tells Eoghan Cormican that Fitzgibbon hurling is the only way forward for the college’s beleaguered stickmen In the chronicles of DCU hurling, the past 12 months must surely rank among the worst. An Annus horribilis without question. All five league games ended in defeat, ensuring relegation to the Ryan Cup and Division 2 of the league. This disappointment was compounded by two spankings in both Fitzgibbon outings by an average margin of 22 points. Seven goals were shipped at the Mardyke, while GMIT found the target 25 times in a hugely comfortable fifteen-point win. DCU have spent two seasons in top flight hurling barely threading water, let alone being competitive. Put simply, they were out of their depth. So, when Croke Park retained DCU’s Fitzgibbon status last March, there was many an eyebrow raised. What was to be gained from weekly hammerings at the hands of UCD, UCC et al? DCU hurlers were far better served plying their trade at a level in which they could compete. Recent league results against DIT (4-16 to 0-10) and UCD (6-13 to 2-9) supported this argument. Hurling club chairperson, Seamus Kelly, however, steadfastly disagrees. The Engineering student played at corner back on last


year’s team and while admitting that the results of the 2011-12 campaign speak for themselves, believes that in the grander scheme of things, this is a smart move for DCU hurling. “Every year is different. Every year there are new guys coming in. Last year, we had some fantastic guys coming through. It’s not like a club team where you can see down the road as clubs breed their own players on their own ground. DCU hurling do not breed players so you can’t plan ahead and say that Division 2 is where we need to be at.” Calling a spade a spade, when it comes to GAA, DCU is a Gaelic football college. Proof positive of this is the deluge of success enjoyed over the past 12 months. The Sigerson and O’Byrne Cups were annexed once again, contrasted with the fortunes of the hurling club, where another barren year in terms of silverware materialised. It is at this stage, elementary, where immediate surgery is required. Kelly believes this could be remedied by the appointment of a hurling development officer. “The football club is a massive club with three Freshers’ teams, Junior, Intermediate and Sigerson. It’s an inter-county stand-

John Whelan in action during last February’s Fitzgibbon trouncing at the hands of GMIT. - Credit: Sportsfile

ard of club-running. The GAA is football, hurling, camogie, ladies football and handball and one man cannot look after that. I think the calling of a hurling development officer is needed. “You have one for rugby who focuses on rugby and one for soccer who focuses on soccer. We are at the level where we need one and this can also work for camogie. With someone focused on one goal, I think it can do a lot for the club and it is the next step in bringing the club to the next level.” All hope, however, is not lost; Paul O’Brien’s charges did reach

the semi-final stage of the Kehoe Cup last year and this is a competition where Kelly believes silverware is a realistic target. “Before I finish up I would love to see the senior team win the Kehoe Cup. Moving out of the competition would boost hurling further and would improve our game. We’ve let the Kehoe Cup slip over the years but if we want it, I believe it’s there for the taking.” Have DCU the talent at their disposal to be as competitive as the Chairperson would like? Galway’s Padraig Breheny, in a recent interview with College

View Sport, suggested otherwise. Again, Kelly strongly disagrees. “DCU have the people and they have the players also. In my time coaching here, I have worked with close to 72 people. In 200910, the Freshers team reached an All-Ireland semi-final. A lot of that team had inter-county experience and players such as Aidan Moran, Willie Eviston and JJ Lennon have contributed massively to the Fitzgibbon squad. Recent results suggest another difficult year lies ahead, but with Kelly at the helm, you get the feeling anything is possible.

Fate of soccer team lies in their own hands By Tom Rooney Deputy Sports Editor Sitting pretty at the top of the CUFL Premier Division East, DCU are within touching distance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in its present incarnation. Declan Roche’s men have amassed the maximum nine points from their opening three league encounters; beating UCD and Coláiste Íde 3-0 and 3-1 respectively at St. Clare’s and IT Blanchardstown in last week’s 2-1 away victory with a last

minute Michael Isichei penalty sealing victory. The Blanchardstown game was the first genuine spell of adversity DCU have had to navigate this season. Despite playing all the productive football, they were a goal behind after 25 minutes courtesy of Darren Keogh and it was close to the 17th minute before Stephen Traynor managed to equalise. While pursuing the winner Mark Logan was sent off, and DCU had to lay the host’s box under siege before Isichei’s spot kick guaranteed the points. Soccer development officer, Fran Butler, commended the player’s perseverance, “They

were patient, they kept playing the football, they didn’t panic and eventually they got a welldeserved equaliser. They kept pushing for the winner and despite being down to ten men got the penalty in the dying minutes,” he said. As it stands DCU are three points clear of DIT and UCD who are both on six points, and sit in second and third place respectively; DIT have the far superior goal difference. Incidentally, DCU also have the league’s best goal difference, having scored eight and only conceded two. IT Tallaght come to St. Clare’s a week from today, at the bot-

tom of the table without a win. This will mean little to the DCU players remaining from last year, as a 2-1 loss in the corresponding fixture meant the end of their qualification prospects. IT Tallaght have nothing to lose, and without Mark Logan at the vanguard, due to his suspension, it’s a potential banana skin. Declan Roche and his coaching staff will be curious to hear how DIT’s trip to Coláiste Íde and UCD’s fortunes in Blanchardstown unfold on the same day. Coláiste Íde and IT Blanchardstown are both essentially out of the race, so they may present a similar threat to that of Tallaght.

Well, here’s hoping. DCU go to DIT on November 20th for the final game, without a crystal ball it is hard to say how the table will look. What is for sure is that DIT comfortably won their first two fixtures before slipping up in Belfield a week ago, and with a far larger playing pool have the potential to rain on DCU’s parade. All games are must wins from here on out, with a first place finish guaranteeing a home draw against a second seeded side for the quarter-finals. It’s still all to play for.




60 seconds with DCU Fencing Club Lorna Finnegan talks with Club Chairperson Hugh Power 1. Describe your club in five words. Friendly, active, encouraging, competitive and a great laugh. 2. How did you get involved in Fencing? I got involved in my first year of college when I joined the club. I had grown up watching the movie of the ‘Three Musketeers’ and felt that it would be a bit of fun to see what it was like in reality. 3. Tell us about the rest of the committee. Our club secretary and general shepherd of the flock Killian ‘Jimmy’ Dolan has been performing above and beyond the call of duty in aiding a captain new to the position. Our club treasurer, Tom, keeps us on the straight and narrow and as one of the most experienced fencers in the club, provides invaluable experience from which to provide support. Our club armourer, Colin, keeps the gear in working condition for the competitions which we participate in. 4. What are the main events your club partakes in? The club regularly takes part in competitions around Dublin and Ireland. Last weekend, (27th and 28th) the club participated in the ‘Ireland West Open Competition’ in Galway. We also participate in the intervarsities with other colleges in Ireland and in smaller competitions such as the ‘Pembroke Open’ in which we won the medal for the most promising fencers of the year. 5. Why would you encourage people to join DCU’s Fencing Club? All in all, this is a great club to join. With a well co-ordinated and efficient committee and friendly people all round who look forward to meeting new people and passing on to them the skills they’ve learnt. And if not that, then there’s always the drinks in The NuBar after training which help slow the racing heart. You can follow the Fencing Club on: Facebook - DCU Fencing Club Email -

French’s accuracy fails to save hurlers from second league loss St Pat’s 1-09 DCU 0-11 By Patrick Ward At St. Clare’s A spirited fight-back and eight points from the hurl of Tony French proved insufficient in preventing the college’s freshers slumping to their second league defeat on Wednesday last. Beaten by NUI Galway in the opening round, the clash with neighbours St. Pat’s was viewed as the ideal fixture to get a first win on board, but DCU, try as they did, were unable to claw back a six point deficit in the

final 10 minutes. The home side started the game in a commanding fashion as a long range free from Tony French and a fine score from Brendan Furlong edged DCU ahead. St Pat’s issued a swift response, but DCU continued to hold the scoreboard advantage and Robbie Greville swelled their tally subsequently. The visitors however, assumed control thereafter, hitting three unanswered points to take a slender advantage to the break. Tony French knocked over two frees at the change of ends and though Darragh Lawlor also found the target, St. Pat’s remained in front. Then came the game’s crucial period as the winners hit 1-2 in a hugely productive spell to move into a six-point lead.

A second defeat looked ominous, but James Donnelly’s charges were not prepared to throw in the towel just yet and French slotted two consecutive frees to leave the door ajar. Robbie Greville was presented with a guilt edge opportunity subsequently to re-ignite DCU’s challenge, but the St. Pat’s ‘keeper produced a smart save to deny the forward. French converted two further frees, while also finding the mark from open play as the clock spilled into time added on, but DCU couldn’t muster the required minor to gain parity and so any chance of advancing to the knockout-stages has all but evaporated. DIT provide the opposition in DCU’s third league outing on Wednesday, November 7th.

Neary and Kennedy enjoy handball success Kennedy flew the DCU flag with distinc- respective categories. tion at the recent World Handball ChamKilkenny native Neary teamed up with pionships, as both handballers climbed the Mícheál Ó Brien in overcoming Tadgh CarCiarán Neary and past lecturer Eugene podium following outright success in their roll and Dale Cusack in a tie-break in the Men’s Doubles B final. The Business graduate also came close to capturing a double of Doubles, but he, along with partner Shane Brody, just lost out in the One Wall ‘C’ Doubles. Current president of the DCU handball club, Eugene Kennedy, was successful in the singles and doubles in the Masters level. Also on the podium were DCU students, Leona Ryder and Clodagh McMenamin, both of whom reached their respective finals; Ryder was defeated in the final of the Doubles event, while McMenamin was edged out in the decider of her B Singles final. Peter Hughes, a St. Patrick’s Mater Dei student who represents DCU, reached the semi-finals of the A Division. Amongst the other DCU students who competed at the Citywest Hotel was Gavin Cawley, who competed in the 40x20 Men’s Singles, as well as the One-Wall competition, where he reached the last 16 before being defeated on a scoreline of 15-8. Commenting on the experience of the Championship, Cawley said; “The atmosphere in the Citywest was very good. It was packed every day and the facilities were great. Overall, it was a great experience and many new friendships were formed over the DCU’s Ciaran Neary 10-day competition.” was victorious in In all, 11 handballers from DCU competed the Men’s Doubles at the Citywest Hotel; Leona Ryder, Clodagh B division at the recent World McManamon, Marina Kilduff, Terry McElhandball vaney, Gavin Cawley, Paudy McKenna, John championships. Walsh, Peter Hughes, Conor O’Gorman, Donal Wrynn and the aforementioned Ci- Credit: Sportsfile arán Neary.

By Darragh McGhee Sport Reporter



By Carina Canavan At Grangegorman The Sigerson champions once again found themselves in rough waters when they went head to head with DIT in the second round of the Division 1 Senior Football League. Despite impressive performances from the likes of Colin Compton, Shane Carey and Conor Moyna, DIT used their strength and power to dominate for large stretches, making excellent use of possession, which ultimately swung the verdict in their favour. After a succession of wides, the home



Impressive DIT make short work of struggling footballers DIT 3-12 DCU 1-05


outfit eventually broke the deadlock with a point on seven minutes. Colin Compton gained parity on the quarter-hour mark and over the ensuing four minutes, DCU hit three-on-the-trot to claim the initiative. With Shane Carey and Stephen Gilmore imposing themselves effectively, it appeared DCU were in fighting form and on the road to success. Not quite. As the opening thirty progressed, DIT, abated by some questionable refereeing decisions, grew in confidence and stature and DCU started to lose grip of proceedings. Nevertheless, even with the substitution of the injured Conor Moyna, DCU made a positive start to the second period with a stylish Fiontán Ó Curraoin point. This

was to be their last score, however, for 17 minutes, during which time DIT assumed control, showing no little pace, power and precision in front of goal. With high probing ball pumped into DIT full forward Tomas O’Connor, the home side rapidly accumulated a tally of 1-5, leaving DCU struggling to stay within reach. Colin Compton goaled on 51 minutes to provide DCU with a glimmer of hope, but it proved too little too late as DIT finished strongly, grabbing two goals to hand them a deserved 13-point win. DCU’s final group game is a home fixture against NUI Maynooth on Tuesday, November 6th where another loss would condemn Niall Moyna’s men to the relegation scrap.

Fiontán Ó Curraoin was amongst the scorers in DCU’s heavy league defeat to DIT. - Credit: Sportsfile

Camogie team to meet NUIG in play-off By Eoghan Cormican Sports Editor The DCU camogie team will play NUI Galway to determine which side competes in the Ashbourne Cup for the 2012-13 season, The College View has learned. The play-off encounter has been provisionally fixed for the end of November and DCU, for unknown reasons, will have to travel to Galway for the game. Although the eligibility ruling to participate in the Ashbourne Cup states that the previous year’s defeated Ashbourne Shield finalists must play the previous year’s Purcell Cup winners, DCU’s stickwomen were hopeful that they would be automatically promoted. To this regard, a meeting of Comhairle Chamógaíochta Ard-Oideachas (CCAO) took place on Friday, October 19th to finalise the championship structure. A motion was put forward at the meeting to extend the number of teams competing at Ashbourne level from six to eight, but as CCAO President Shane D’Arcy explains, it was not passed. “At the meeting it was voted 19 to nine to retain the current structure which sees DCU take on NUI Galway in a playoff, the winner of which will play Ashbourne camogie and the loser will play in the Purcell Cup.” Prior to the meeting, DCU Camogie Club had put forth a motion proposing they be promoted automatically, but this was withdrawn on the day. League

Industrious freshers claim third league win DCU 4-12 DIT 0-11 By Cian Roche At St. Clare’s

An excellent performance in front of goal saw the Freshers football team run out hugely comfortable 13-point-winners against local rivals DIT on Thursday last. The home side wasted little team in carving out an early lead, posing a litany of questions that their opponents never looked like answering. Despite passages of erratic shooting, the boys in yellow and navy racked up an impressive 2-4 in the opening 20 minutes with the diligent Conor McHugh among the chief contributors.

In relatively benign conditions, the contest was won and lost not by poor kicking, but the aerial battle which pitted the DCU midfield against the towering figure of DIT’s Conor Grimes. The physical presence tabled by Grimes, time and again, was enough to barge through the centre as he landed three points from open play. That said, as the match progressed DCU began to display glimpses of their real potential. Dominant in the air, the half-back line were hungrier in the scavenge for possession, providing the platform for a plethora of second half scores. Unable to cope with wave after wave of attack, the visitors’ defence began to creak. DIT weren’t enjoying much look at the oth-

er end either, with Shane Matthews the only forward on show to make any impression on the scoreboard. Marshalling DCU’s rearguard was Johnny McGuigan. The solid and dependable defender led by example in his hard but fair challenges and his distribution of the ball to attack was superb. All in all, it was another positive result for the freshers outfit, who now boast three wins from three. The high-tempo nature of the contest made for an entertaining spectacle, but in the end, DIT were simply outclassed by DCU’s instinctive finishing. Two goals without reply in the opening stages left the visitors with a mountain they never looked like scaling.

Away from the uncertainty of Ashbourne camogie, the college’s stickwomen are just one win away from a place in the Division 1 league semifinals. Despite falling heavily to UCD in their opening game (7-4 to 0-7), the team, under the guidance of Brian Lawlor and Sean Flynn, bounced back with a hugely impressive 3-12 to 3-02 victory over UUJ. Their final group fixture against Queen’s University Belfast takes place today, Wednesday October 31st at St. Clare’s. The two sides are well accustomed having clashed in the last two Purcell Cup finals. The Northerners emerged on top in the 2011 decider, but DCU exacted sweet revenge last February when claiming a 4-7 to 0-7 win.


The College View




Athletics’ powerhouse partnership Page 20

Michael Murphy was one ofour DCU students to collect a GAA/GPA All Star award. - Credit: Sportsfile

DCU students among All-Star winners By Sam Griffin Sports Reporter Four DCU students have been included in the GAA/GPA Football All-Star team for 2012. Unsurprisingly, All-Ireland champions Donegal dominate the selection with eight players picking up awards. Among them is PE and Biology student, Michael Murphy, and Business School MBA student, Paul Durcan, while Cork’s Aidan Walsh and Dublin’s Paul Flynn were also honoured. Murphy fended off stiff competition from DCU graduate, Bernard Brogan, among others, to take his position in the full forward line. The award caps off what has been a fantastic year

for the Donegal captain whose goal and Man of the Match performance in the All-Ireland final steered the Ulster side to their first All-Ireland title in 20 years. Fellow PE and Biology student, Aidan Walsh, was selected in midfield despite a disappointing year for the reigning Munster and 2010 All-Ireland champions. Cork came unstuck against Donegal in the semi-finals this year but Walsh, who has just begun his undergraduate degree in DCU, was one of the county’s most consistent performers. Dublin failed to mirror their 2011 form this season but Paul Flynn, another student of the PE and Biology course, gets the nod at half-forward. This is Flynn’s second All-Star award after win-

ning selection in last year’s team for the same position. Flynn is the only Dub to win an All-Star Award this year. As noted, there was success also for Paul Durcan, who ends former DCU student, Stephen Cluxton’s stranglehold on the number one jersey. Cluxton previously won All-Stars Awards in 2006, 2007, 2008 and was also selected in goals in last year’s team. Between current students and alumni, eight DCU footballers had received a nomination for the 2012 All-Stars. As well as Brogan and Cluxton, there was disappointment for Dublin’s Kevin Nolan, a graduate of the PE and Biology degree, and Longford’s Michael Quinn who earned his first All-Star nomination.

Both Nolan and Quinn had been nominated in the half-back position but lose out to Frank McGlynn and Karl Lacey of Donegal, earning his fourth All-Star Award, and beaten finalist Lee Keegan of Mayo. DCU GAA Club PRO, Barry Lenihan, told The College View how proud the club was of the four players’ achievements. “The club is delighted for Aidan, Michael and Paul as well as Paul Durcan who also passed through the DCU gates. Their performances throughout the year as well as their attitude, commitment and devotion means they are very worthy winners of the award. Paul Flynn and Michael Murphy helped get a lot of lads in-

volved with the club and that’s what the club is really all about. While we may have All-Star winners in our midst, the most important thing is people participating and playing games no matter their skills or ability.” With only four counties represented, the selection is the narrowest based in seven years. In 2005, only three counties – Tyrone, Kerry and Armagh – were included in the All-Star team. The awards were presented at a gala event last Friday night. The All-Star Hurling team for 2012 was also announced, along with the awards for Players and Young Players of the Year for both Hurling and Football.

The College View 31/10/2012  

The College View

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