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grapevine NUM. 1 / APRIL 2019


L I F E S T Y L E the truth behind ketogenic diets

T R A V E L the world through

game of thrones


student substance abuse a 2ND YEAR JOURNALISM @UL PUBLICATION

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decided a long time ago that I wanted to be a journalist. I always got a kick out of telling someone something they didn’t already know. I think I get it from my Grandad. It’s one thing to tell a story that people have heard before, but it’s another to be the kick-starter of a discussion that needs to be had. So listen up because these are stories that you will want to hear. We hope to tell the type of stories you’d only know about if heard it through the grapevine, the ones that will really make you think. Thus, I am delighted to present to you, the reader, the 2nd Journalism class’ magazine publication for 2019, The Grapevine. The Grapevine offered our class a platform to initiate a conversation they wanted to be heard, to express themselves. These pages exude much more than passion. From veganism to plus-size fashion, the enthusiasm for representation that is radiated throughout these stories is second to none. With student drug use in Ireland taking to new heights, our lead story tells of the harsh reality of drug use in universities across the country. From Ketamine to MDMA, what students are putting in their body is frightening, and our story is pioneering a long-avoided conversation from a fresh angle. With real-life stories and real-life addictions right on our doorstep, we found out why students are turning to drugs. Weeks of research, verification, interviews, as well as discussions around design and layout have all led to this moment. I would like to thank my team of contributors for without whom there would be no story to tell and no editor to be found. They have kept me sane for twelve weeks and I am proud to have had such a talented team working with me. My thanks to Raúl Bobé, our editor or indesign and layout– a man of many talents, you have put our names up in lights for the whole world to see and I couldn’t be happier with the end product. Finally, a special thanks to Audrey Galvin, who has worked so hard in guiding us to this point, you have made me a better editor and I hope we taught you something along the way too. Reading these stories, from climate change to dating - I hope it reminds you that nothing lasts forever and we as humans often find ourselves taking the lazy way out. There are no do-overs in life, so, I hope you learn something. I will look back on this experience as editor fondly, I hope it has made you think, made you question, and has planted the seed of your very own grapevine. Cathal O´´´ ’SullivanEditor




erin carey

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enya mcintyre

christine costello


zoha khan

kate devaney


lisa diviney

nicky anderson


shannon sulliman

meghan mcenery brosnan


mary meaney

luyao liu


daimhlinn darling

conor clohessy


ciara mannion

caitlin reddie

(all illustrations inside are by Vecteezy and Freepik)


use amongst students is at an alltime high in Ireland. With the users getting younger and the drugs more readily available than ever, we have to ask ourselves, why are students taking drugs? As problems worsen, students are opting for sole drug use on nights out rather then alcohol. The new trend has been seen as a cheaper and easier option for some students, who also say the ‘high’ lasts longer and their nights are better. “I prefer drugs to drinking on a night out simply because it gives me a better experience,” says a 20 year old University of Limerick student who has chosen to rug

remain anonymous. “It works out way cheaper as well, and the effects of the drug lasts a lot longer. In my head I’m not doing as much damage to myself by mixing drugs with drink, but on the other hand I might be taking more on a night because of it,” he explains. Drugnet Ireland estimates that 36% of those aged between 15 – 35 will participate in illegal drug use at some point, and a 2015 student survey concluded that 82% of Irish

students try drugs while in college. “When it’s a night me and the lads are only taking drugs, it’s either gonna’ be ‘MDMA’ or ‘ket,’ they’ll give you the best buzz. I only really started doing’ it when I heard the guys saying how much better they felt the next day with no hangover, and how unreal their nights had been.” MDMA feeds on your serotonin which gives the user a high, when the effects wear off the person’s serotonin is depleted, lead-

“It is definitely having an effect on my head, especially the few days after during the come down, I am just in a pretty bad place, and is not something I can shake for a long while”


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ing to feelings of depression. “It’s definitely having an effect on my head, especially the few days after during the come down, I’m just in a pretty bad place, and it’s not something I can shake for a long while. It gets bad alright but honestly nothing bad enough to stop me.” UL offers students highly equipped counselling services that also deal with substance abuse. “Drug use makes counselling a difficult process because drugs tend to numb, shut down, and even overwhelm the mind.” Lucy Smith, professional counsellor at the University of Limerick, talks about the barrier drugs build when in counselling. “Counselling is all about exploring parts of the self, so you can see how the two conflict.” Ms.

Smith also explains the effects often seen on one’s mental health: “drugs affect their mental health by impairing capacity to function effectively, communicate, regulate the self, and maintain good relationships. Sleep, appetite, and concentration are all impaired as well as much more, and these are the building blocks of wellbeing.” “People don’t seem to be aware of the serious effects from drug and narcotic abuse, not just from illegal highs but also legal. The serious effects from drug use can just be from one bad ‘trip’ and not just from regular use,” says Siobhra Conway, studying mental health nursing in UL. Siobhra says even those in her course who know about the possible effects still take

part in dangerous drug use. “It’s also important to know that the drugs that peple are taking aren’t pure forms and are laced with other substances that can have horrible effects on the mind. Students need to realise they don’t know what they’re taking. You could think you’re taking MDMA every night but be completely wrong, and when they’re only taking drugs and not drinking they’re taking a lot more. It’s a recipe for disaster.” The European Drugs Report 2018 ranked Ireland as the 4th highest country in Europe when it comes to drug-induced overdose deaths, a frightening statistic for young people across the country.

digital detox

Technology has become our new normal. But how easy is it to start and more importantly, stick to a much needed digital detox?

by ciara mannion


tep away from the screen, you desperately tell yourself. But it was so tempting that it hurt. Just one more click and all will be fine. But you just can’t stop. Huddled amongst your bookmarks are a pile of guilty pleasures. You’re not quite sure why you keep on convincing yourself to keep on going back, even if you know half of them are viral just because they are fake. Yet you don’t want to miss a thing!

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Researchers are calling this a ‘digital addiction disorder’ and blaming modern life for our persistent inertia. Consistently updating your Instagram, checking your newsfeed and playing the latest video games are no longer a rare occurrence but a way of life, it seems, and beating it takes more than a few early nights and a dead battery. We caught with psychology student Yvonne Curtin to give us advice on how to ditch the gadgets and expand our social network without a digital screen.

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ake a step back and try to understand why this has become an addiction. Perhaps it’s low self-esteem, boredom or a lack of confidence. If you have the drive, do get involved in the organizations, hobbies or exercises you enjoy. You’ll also learn a host of practical skills that are often missing in more academic sides of your life.


his is the best opportunity to dip in and out of experiences you’ve always been too afraid to try and find people with the same interests. “Make a list of places to go, things to do, people to see. Then pick one every day and do it. Remember, this is your time and you get to do whatever you want with it, so spend it creatively.” So follow your whims and instant instincts- as long as they don’t pull you back to the computer. Always wanted to learn or get back at swimming? Try adult swimming lessons to face your water fears or water aerobics to release your inner water warrior. Fancy yourself the next Bono? Take up music to find what you’re looking for or busking to earn some extra cash. Yvonne says, “Getting into a new hobby such as surfing can be daunting at times but once you get out the technology rush, it’s going to easier to make better relationships, experience new hobbies and think clearer.

he first few weeks of a new life change can be hectic and it can be tempting to let anxiety get the better of you. One of Yvonne’s top recommendations is to take care of your mental health by taking up walking, meditation or giving back. “Walking is a proven method of reducing stress and fostering this habit will allow you to take a much needed time out.” No one is asking you to run a marathon, but a scheduled break away from your desk every hour can do you the world of good. Meditation is also a great way to relax and deflect attention away from screens. “ We often develop shallow breathing when are we are stressed, so if you find yourself getting tense from video games, exams or work, aim to breathe deeper and slower through meditation.” “ It is worthwhile looking into various charitable campaigns. Volunteering is a great way to feel better in yourself while also giving back to others.” Kind gestures release the happy chemicals dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, which means it’s scientifically better for you to do thoughtful deeds.



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BY MEGAN McENERY BROSNAN e all love a random act of kindness. It makes everyone, whether the giver or the receiver, feel good. But what about making that feeling last longer by incorporating little acts of kindness into your routine? Ireland currently has over 20,000 non-profit organisations, many of which have had to endure hard times because of the ill actions of a few. During these difficult times for charities, volunteers have proved vital. According to Volunteer Ireland, the number of people willing to offer their help is getting younger with each passing year: 17 per cent of volunteers are aged

between 15 and 24 while 21 per cent are aged between 25 and 34. Recounting her own experience, 20-year-old nursing student Orla O’Dwyer spoke about the significant impact volunteering has had on her life. “It’s a well-known fact that you’re much happier if you’re more willing to help out in your community,” she says. “I’m definitely much happier than I was before I started volunteering.” She also says volunteering has played a significant role in building her confidence and developing her social skills. “I have definitely grown as a person in the three years that I’ve been volunteering. I’ve met some incredible people and made some great

THINKING OF BECOMING A VOLUNTEER? If you’re considering becoming a volunteer but don’t know where to begin? Here a list of some Limerick-based charities in desperate need of your support.

1. LIMERICK ANIMAL WELFARE Is a registered charity dedicated to care for abandoned and neglected animals in the Limerick area. Volunteers are asked to walk, feed and care for the animals. They are also involved with organizing and promoting fundraisers.



friends that I probably would never have met if it wasn’t for helping out with the Girl Guides.” “Volunteering gives you a real sense of purpose like nothing else can,” Orla says, clearly proud of the work she has done. “I think that’s really important especially as you get older. Once you’re out of home or out of secondary school you sometimes feel lost and that brings you down. Volunteering is a great way to turn the energy you would use feeling down about yourself into something more positive.” In today’s hectic society, it can be difficult to find the time to volunteer, especially while balancing work, hobbies and a social life. “It’s hard. I won’t lie but it’s

so worth it. It’s incredible how much you can gain by giving so little of your time,” she adds. Volunteering doesn’t have to take over your life to be beneficial. Given that most of us are strapped for time these days, micro-volunteering is also on the rise. This could be anything from signing a petition to crowdfunding to counting bee flowers in your garden. Such simple gestures can be just as gratifying and impactful as traditional volunteer work. With everything from renovation to counting flowers, there’s a good chance that everyone can find a volunteer opportunity that suits them.

Has helped over 9,000 families since its foundation in April 2012. The charity runs a homework club, which helps children engage in one-to-one tuition, advice and encouragement, from the students of the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and Limerick Institute of Technology.

3. THE NOVAS INITIATIVES This association works with disadvantaged adults, families and children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the future. Novas run a buddy programme where a volunteer is paired with a client to establish a relationship and develop the client’s social skills through communication and spending time together.

4. THE LEARNING HUB Founded in November 2007. It aims to help young people reach their full potential by providing them with a safe, welcoming environment to learn, play and explore new hobbies and skills including music, art and technology. Volunteers are involved in delivering this experience to the students in a fun, inspiring way.

5. THE CARI FOUNDATION Is the leading voluntary organisation providing specialised therapy and support to children and families affected by child sexual abuse. Volunteers are asked to take part in a series of challenges such as the Great Limerick Run and Cork City Marathon to raise much needed funds for the charity.

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Breen in Green


nya Breen, 19 year old UL student, made her first appearance for the senior Irish women’s rugby team last weekend in their game against France, a big feat for such a young athlete. The Skibbereen native has always loved playing rugby and started out watching her older brothers play where she battled her way onto the boys’ team of Carrigaline rugby club. She belonged to a very sporty family who always pushed her to perform at her best and being the youngest of seven siblings, she always knew that sport was what she was going to pursue. After moving house, the second year physio student had to switch to Bantry Bay RFC, who


had just started a team for young girls, and since then her passion for rugby has skyrocketed. Enya now plays with UL Bohemians, a local Limerick club, which is home to many Irish rugby stars, including Enya’s long time inspiration. “The person I probably looked up to the most when I was younger was Niamh Briggs,” she explains, “I know she’s not involved in the [Irish] squad anymore for the moment but she has been one the most influential people in women’s rugby and for younger generations.” So it seems that the young athlete is not out of her depth when it comes to playing with these famous household names in the Six Nations. “You begin to realise that they’re all human and they all make mistakes,” she says,

“they want you to perform to the best you can so they don’t mind if you’re pushing them to do the best they can do because they’re doing the same to you.” Enya has known some of the Irish players from her earlier career in the Munster team and her club, which made integrating into the senior squad a little easier. “We’re all open to learning and developing so we’re all on the same level in that way even though they’re household names,” she explains, “I was a bit shy but they all welcomed me.” For any college student, balancing workload and training can be difficult. The elite athlete also feels as if it’s taken a toll on her social life, although she would much rather focus on her future goals. “It’s tough to balance,” she says, “the social part is kind of

Photo Credits: Bob Given - The Front Row Union

gone out the window but I don’t really mind that too much.” She explains that although she is often training up to six times a week the strain has become easier with time. With only 10 college hours per week this semester she says “it kind of suits [her], but last semester [she] was very busy and found it very tough.” The rugby star’s new training schedule is also much more intense than she’s used to. “There would be some days that you just wouldn’t want to move or your legs wouldn’t work,” she says. On top of this Enya must keep a food diary of what she eats and when she eats. This must be delivered to the team’s nutritionist after her shoulder injury. “Nutrition is a key aspect of sport,” she says, “all the other teams are doing it

so if we want to beat the best you have to do what they’re doing and do it better.” The young Irish international has big ambitions for her future in rugby. “I would hope to make a bit of a name for myself and keep working as hard as I can. I always want to get better as a player,” she says. Enya hopes to make it to the 2021 world cup and looking further to making

the squad for the 2025 World Cup. “I just want to play for my country,” she beams. Like her clubmate, Niamh Briggs, Enya hopes to emulate her fellow Skibereen native and inspire the next generation of women’s rugby.

“When you get a taste at this level you just want more”

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What do you want to do with your life? If that question scares you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s one of the biggest decisions that we have to make, not only in our academic lives but also for our personal ones, and that’s scary!

Are We There Yet? by: ERIN CAREY


oming into your final year of college can be daunting. As well as facing the hardest assignments you’ve faced yet, you’re finally coming to the end of what has brought structure to your life since before you could remember and unlike school, there is no right answer as to what you’re supposed to do now. Follow us as we explore some of the different paths that people have taken to get to where they are now after graduating. We’ll be delving into the lives of former students that explored two very different options after graduation day.



Following our first individual, we follow former UL student, 25-yearold Jessie Langridge as she uses her degree in Applied Languages to fulfil her dreams of travelling after college. Coming into her final year, Jessie spoke on how the ‘intensity’ of her last two college years influenced her decision greatly: ‘I didn’t want to go into a job that was any way stressful, I just needed a break’ said Jessie before moving on to her professional career. Aware of what she wanted, Jessie began searching for what she could do during this ‘break’ during the stress of her final year

and stumbled upon many language-based low-intensity positions online. After applying to many of them, she finally found a job working as a personal assistant as well as teaching English to Chinese children. As both jobs allowed for remote work, this was the ideal way for Jessie to travel wherever she wanted: ‘All I needed was a laptop, a decent Internet connection and a quiet room,’ said Jessie. ‘My best friend from my course and I decided to go travelling, so we spent three months around Europe visiting friends in different cities like Paris and Munich, stayed with a host family in Switzerland

for two weeks and spent a month surfing in Portugal. ‘ After her travel buddy decided it was time for a full-time job, Jessie returned home to friends and family with the intention of continuing with her two positions while she planned her next step. Jessie said: ‘My life hasn’t been set since I’ve graduated but I’ve always been happy, try not to think too much into the future, anything can happen in those six months, or in those 3 months or even in three weeks, what matters is that you’re happy.’



As popular as having the option of travelling post-degree may seem ideal to some, it’s not always the case for everyone. Our second person of interest, Nicole Healy decided to live at home while working at her dream job in order to save money for her future. Nicole, a 27-year-old former GMIT student used her degree in Business Management to land in her current position as a global recruiter for multi-national company Lionbridge.

Going into her final year, Nicole states: ‘I knew I wanted to work in the business world but had no idea as to what department, until I finally landed on HR.’ Nicole decided that the best way to go down her post-degree path was to work to get into a job that she could proudly call her career while saving money by living at home. To reach this goal, she researched and applied for many positions in the HR and management fields, of which was slightly disheartening at first, ‘Finding a job without any experience was a challenge…’Nicole said. However, it was only three weeks after her graduation that she finally found the position in Lionbridge, which worked to set her up with a steady income and an opportunity

to save funds for her future. When asked how she feels about the decisions she made that helped her get to where she is, Nicole said: ‘ These choices had a positive effect on my life, I love my job and where I am, I’ve been with the same company for four years and have had great experiences as well as made countless business connections already.’ No matter what you want to do after graduation, whether you have a ten-year plan or don’t know where you’ll be next week, there’s always a path to suit you and there are no right or wrong answers. You may have reached an end to an era in your life, but as it closes another one is only just starting, and you get to choose what you do with it.

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ghosting by Mary Meaney


t the wrong side of fifty, I found myself back on the dating scene. In my youth, life was simpler, I shifted (a fine half) as he was called in those days on the dance floor for a slow dance, it was just a given we were ‘going out’. Online dating is no modern Romeo and Juliet, instead is a brutal world. One man declared that he was optimistic, joyful, surrounded himself with positive vibrations of peace, love and harmony – Delete, I have no tolerance for happy people. The next in line ask me to drive all the ways to Mallow for a cup of tea, followed a walk, in view to dating? It sounded like an interview for a top executive job. I should be grateful he even considered my application. –Delete- Delete. Third time lucky, my date took me out for dinner. I felt like a recycled teenager that had swallowed a jar of butterflies. His photo did not do him any justice because I had an instant attraction to him, he was built like a like a fridge with arms. It was the perfect first date there was no awkward silence between us. When he kissed me, my heart expanded that once had shut down to the size of a pea. He described how his marriage ended, it was worthy of a Greek tragedy. At five to five on a Friday evening he got a text from his wife expecting it to say, ‘Honey will you go to Tesco and pick up milk, bread and a tin of cat food?’ Instead he read a sextext that was accidentally (on purpose) sent to him, to set off internal warning alarm bells. It was a wicked- but brilliant plot, but somewhat cruel because she perfectly executed with her cunning plan with precise timing. Being evil is outdated; she took the coward’s way out of their marriage. Unknown to him she was victorious in an undeclared war. He said it was a living bereavement, the kind of pain you get when you experience a body

blow knowing that you have lost something essential. He had followed a life- script; and assumed they would grow old together, this traumatic discovery was not part of the script. We were going out for a few months and I remember him holding me in those strong arms of his and repeating the words ‘we must spend more time together’. Then he ghosted me, which means when someone disappears from your life without any explanation, it is rude, and the height of bad manners Grief manifested itself in different ways maybe our time together made him realised he wasn’t ready to move on but instead live in yesterday- like a ghost. I will never know and beyond caring at this stage. Ghosting was an alien concept to me. I never played the online game and didn’t know the rules of engagement. In modern living ghosting is the new normal and depressing common. people are commodities now which are disposable. Similarly, no relationship is exclusive until explicitly stated, apparently people date lots people at the same time. Another trend too is omitting the truth, one girl said her date stated he was six foot, but a little over weight and slightly light on top. Which transcribed to mean he was up to her bellybutton, as wide as the door and bald an egg. Another girl was texting a man for months and was delighted when he asked her out to dinner. She already had seen his profile and had liked what she saw. He was tall, dark and handsome, and ticked all her boxes. When she finally met him, she was never so outraged and upset. The man is question had cut and pasted his son’s picture onto his profile. He was over seventy. She quickly ghosted him on the spot. This story is true and has a happy ending. She rushed out of the restaurant and bashed off the man coming in. He took her for a drink to cheer he up and they are happily married today. Ghosting has put me off online dating for life. I wish I could go back in time and shift a fine half on a dance floor.

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here’s no question that Limerick is a city teeming with musical talent. Limerick’s music scene has one of the best support networks in the country for aspiring musicians. Homegrown organisations like DIYLK, Out on a Limb and Seoda Shows have paved the way for some of Ireland’s most innovative and influential acts. Most are unaware of the city’s thriving, underground music scene. Limerick’s contributions to Irish culture expand far beyond the likes of the Cranberries. Hermitage Green and the infamous Rubberbandits. In no particular order, here is our list of the best Limerick music has to offer. Let us know if we’ve missed out on anyone. All these and more can be found on the Spotify Playlist below:

s c a n the code below!

CRUISER Cruiser have been making a name for themselves in Limerick for over four years now with their loud, fast-paced and thrilling sound, matched with thoughtful lyricism and a local charm. In 2017 they released their eponymous debut album which was met with nationwide critical acclaim. Throughout the album, Cruiser maintain a professional balance of genres; from the energy-fuelled tracks like ‘Spine’ to the reflective in ‘Things We Learnt’. One of the many peaks of the album comes from ‘Carthagenia’; a thrilling mash of infectious riffs and addictive hooks, merging to create a one of Cruiser’s defining tracks. The four piece have appeared at Whelan’s Ones to Watch 2016 and have performed at Limerick’s popular music event, DIE. Their most recent single, ‘No More Parties’ can be streamed on Spotify.

WHENYOUNG This band gained traction in media upon the release of their Given Up EP, most notably their touching cover of ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries; a gorgeous and flawless tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan. Whenyoung’s Limerick City roots and [lead singer] Aoife Power’s haunting vocals breathe new life into one of the Cranberries’ most defining sounds and a poignant tribute to Limerick’s loss in 2018. The indie-rock trio have been making their mark across UK in Ireland with a supporting slot on the Blossoms tour and a highly-acclaimed EP. Their established sound ranks them far beyond their years. There’s a confidence in the whenyoung identity that makes them a true musical gem of 2018 and sets them up as a promising act for 2019.

RUSANGANO FAMILY God Knows, MuRli and mynameisjOhn have come together to form one of Limerick’s most revolutionary and talented hip-hop groups to date. Their bass-led backing tracks run smoothly alongside honest lyrics touching on topics such as identity, belonging and politics. Previous releases from the group have been highly acclaimed by The Irish Times, Nialler9 and Pitchfork. They also supported Snoop Dogg and Run the Jewels. Rusangano Family’s debut album, Let the Dead Bury the Dead highlights the issues surrounding migrant struggles and explores the perspective of an African immigrant living in Ireland. Their track ‘Heathrow’, which features a harrowing depiction of the refugee crisis, received high praises internationally upon its release.

HIS FATHER’S VOICE In March this year, the long awaited EP, Context and Perspective was finally released after five years in the making. This Limerick four-piece have made an incredible name for themselves in a short few months with their music spreading across social media like wildfire. Their polished, shoegaze sound is teeming with a youthful energy that’s been absent from Irish charts for years. His Father’s Voice showcased music at a number of DIYLK shows throughout 2018 before finally releasing their self-recorded EP on March 16th.

POWPIG Despite only forming in 2017, this four-piece alt-rock group from Limerick have three EP’s under their belt and a have received a multitude of high praises from the press both national and international. They have played a multitude of Irish festivals including Body&Soul and RTE’s Other Voices. Their sound varies from poignant, slow-alt tracks like ‘Rosalee’ to fast-paced and boisterous rock, as seen in their second EP Buzz Buzz.




Photo: @jennybyrne_


ashion week, for many, is a fantasyland that one can only dream of touching. It’s like the Disneyland Florida for fashion crazed adultsunless you got the big bucks (or a connection with Mickey Mouse) you’re not getting there. Luckily for me, fashion designer, Jenny Byrne managed to carve time out of her busy day in Milan to give me a little taste of fashion week and their new collaboration with luxury brand, Moncler. The 23-year-old has much to be proud of as Jenny, and her team at Richard Quinn Design take a breath in Milan after running two shows in two days in two countries- now that’s something that’s worth twice the applause. “Even though I’ve had a total of about 6 hours sleep in the past week I don’t care because I love it and I’m willing to work whereas like if I was in a job 9-5 I don’t think I’d like it. I think you just have to find something you really love, and you’ll make it work”. The womenswear label hosted their biggest show to date in Westminster, Tuesday, exactly a year on from winning the first Queen’s Prize for Design- an event which launched Richard Quinn in the fashion scene. “He’s very connected to how the creatives are left behind in London so he wanted to create this secret garden of hope and everything inthe midst of all this Brexit bullshit”. Quinn’s floral collection was his biggest to date amounting to 43 looks- a success in itself, considering, as Jenny points out: “that’s like 20 off a couture Valentino show”. Quinn and his team followed up Tuesday’s show with a flight to Milan Wednesday morning, just in time to launch their collaboration with luxury lifestyle brand, Moncler. Jenny described the collaboration as “a complete 180” as the two brands; Moncler being primarily commercial versus Richard

“Be a hard worker, be willing to do the work and also give yourself a pat on the back every now and again for being a creative because it’s not easy” Quinn; low end couture- seemed to be an unpredictable match. “It’s just insane it worked” says Jenny. Behind the scenes, in the small team of only 4 people, Jenny’s role lies mainly in the design aspects of the business- ensuring seamstresses have enough materials to sew, pattern drafters know what they’re pattern drafting and so on. The other two girls on the team specialize in prints and naturally; Richard does a bit of everything and according to Jenny, is much of a team player! “He’s so driven by his team which is really nice because you do hear of designers being like it’s my way or the highway but he takes on our opinions for prints or designs or even the length of things”. “He’s great too he’s like if you f*ck it up, you f*ck it up”. Jenny admits her gratitude for stumbling upon her (now permanent) job at Richard Quinn, when she moved to London almost two years ago and applied to the label’s search for interns. Although, all loved up now, Jenny reveals it wasn’t always smooth sailing with her job as when she first moved to London womenswear was the last thing on her agenda. “When I left co-

llege I was like I don’t wanna be a womenswear designer I wanna be menswear I thought I knew everything”. “Even when I was interning here I was like why am I here I just don’t get it and then when I moved up and was working closer with him it’s like such a vision and he’s just this amazing person who pulls out these amazing ideas”. As a final word of wisdom, Jenny finished by encouraging any aspiring fashion designers to put their best foot forward and really go for it- regard-less of what anyone else thinks.


Photos: Pixabay

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ith veganism becoming more than a trend and breaking into a lifestyle, it can be difficult; especially in other countries. The worst part is, you might even realize it’s a problem until you are in another country, using strange hand gestures and trying to mimic to the non-English waiter at the restaurant that you are vegan. I spoke with vegans Anna Parkes and Ethan Carey and got their best tips on how to travel...on a diet restriction.

Anna has been a vegan for a year and half now after trying “Veganuary”, in which you go vegan for a month, and she said she “hasn’t looked back”. It has never put her off travelling and last summer, she even went to a kid’s camp in Belgium for two months and got on just fine. She used the Happy Cow app, shopped locally and explained her situation.On top of this, she has travelled to England, Holland, Belgium and Germany and has had a great time in all plac-

es. While veganism may pose many problems to begin with, as more and more people get on board, the easier and more accessible it has become. “Nothing would ever stop me from travelling and veganism is only a problem if you make it one”.

VEGAN O How to Trave


Know the area you’re travelling:

Before you book flights and plan your trip, try and research into the general area that you will be staying for the duration of your trip. You will probably be staying in a well-known area that has supermarkets, restaurants, etc. If you just look up your area in google maps, then you can scope out the general area and investigate the restaurant menus! So, try and research towns beforehand and identify vegan-friendly places to eat. UL Graduate Anna Parkes said: “It’s something you have to take in to consideration when setting off somewhere. I still love travel but being vegan and travelling does require a bit more planning”.

Meal prep in advance:


This is a hard one because you won’t know what’s available in supermarkets before you get there, but generally, all supermarkets sell the same stuff. You can go through how many days you will be there, what you will eat and when you will eat it. This way, initial fears before you leave will be gone and you know for certain you won’t go hungry during your trip. Anna said: “If you are staying in a hotel or hostel I would say hit a local supermarket and pick up vegan staples like milk, granola bars, nuts and fruit to save you money”

l , What to Know!

Look into helpful resources:

Currently, there is an abundance of books on veganism, how to cook vegan meals, how to snack and be a vegan, the list goes on! It is no harm to have a look in Easons before you leave and pick up a handy book that you can resort to if you have no options. There are also plenty of apps that can be a huge source of help, one that Anna loves is the Happy Cow app.


“It shows you all the vegan friendly options in your location which is amazing when you are travelling. It’s a lifesaver!



ROM Westeros to Winterfell and beyond The Wall, the alternate universe of Game of Thrones is complete with unimaginable destinations. The HBO fantasy drama based on the bestselling novels by George R.R. Martin was brought to life in 2011 and became an instant hit as soon as it hit our screens. Infatuated by storylines and characters alike, the fan count across the globe grew rapidly and before long it was the most popular show on television. With a special effects team honoured for its accomplished work on epic battle scenes, the HBO series is also renowned for it’s on location filming work. To accommodate both the winter that is coming and the summer of Kingslanding, the cast have been based in numerous locations some of which have gotten names for themselves as the real-life Game of Thrones. And fans have flocked to the foreign destinations to bask in the Westerosi world of ice and fire. With the final season of Game of Thrones right around the corner, after the final episode there will be a void in thousands of fans lives to fill. Why not fill it by planning a Game of Thrones themed holiday? From a walk through the streets of Flea Bottom to the Fist of the First Men, here’s how to see the world through Game of Thrones destinations. From Northern Ireland to the south of Spain, the variety that travelling the world through the eyes of Game of Thrones offers is second to none. Dedicated fans are sure to get a kick out of standing in the actual fighting pits in Meereen and walking along the King’s Road. Although it is recommended that you watch the series pre-travel, if you do end up in one of these magical locations, do visit these locations and get inspired to start the series, you’ll be sorry you didn’t start sooner. Game of Thrones, the final season airs on HBO and Sky Atlantic on April 14, 2019.


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OF ICE AND FIRE Seei ng t he world t h rough Game of T h rones

NORTHERN IRELAND Titanic Studios is one of Europe’s largest film studios, and has played host to the HBO drama for the past ten years. Spanning 160,000 square feet both The Paint Hall and The Hurst & MacQuitty Stages have been the main studios and post-production facilities for all eight series of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition will open at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on April 11, coinciding with the eight and final season of Game of Thrones which will premiere on April 14 on HBO. From the home of the Night’s Watch at Castle Black to the regal setting of Kingslanding will give fans the opportunity to step inside Westeros and the lands beyond. Just a step away from Belfast, on the Giants Causeway driving route you will find the town of Glenarm. Next, another picturesque and recognisable filming location is Cusheden Caves in the village of Cusheden. The caves are easily accessible by foot along the coast from the village. The beautiful landscape appeared in season two of Game of Thrones as a cove in the Stormlands where the Red Woman, Melisandre gave birth to the shadow creature. Finally, The Dark Hedges, one of the most recognisable sets from Game of Thrones used to depict the King’s Road en route to Winterfell throughout the series is located in Stranocum and fans from all over the world have flocked to the avenue to take that all-important picture. These are just three of many locations in Northern Ireland where the fantasy drama has filmed in and they are definitely one for fans who aren’t travelling abroad to feed their Game of Thrones fix


SEVILLE, SPAIN The capital of Spain’s Andalusia region, the fourth largest Spanish city, has become a part of the Game of Thrones family in season 4 and producers have returned to several locations right up to the final episode of season 7. Located in the heart of Seville, the Real Alcázar de Sevilla is home to House Martell. The Water Gardens wwand Sunspear, as they are known in the show are located in Dorne, a large peninsula in the southernmost part of Westeros. With its magnificent architecture and beautiful tiling, one of the oldest palaces in the world offers a Game of Thrones fan a huge opportunity to experience the Dornish life of luxury, all at the expense of only €8.00. If you have longed to place yourself in the Game of Thrones universe, the what better place to do than The Plaza de Toros de Osuna. This historic bullring was used to film the main fighting pit of Meereen, where Jorah Moremount fought to win over Daenerys Targaryen, The Mother of Dragons. Meereen is the largest city of Slaver’s Bay, conquered by Daenerys, its well worth a visit for a Thrones fan to imagine her flying above head on her dragon, Drogon. The infamous dragonpit in Kingslanding in the season finale of season 7, was made famous by the negotiations held here between Cersei, Daenerys, Jon and all of their entourages. One of the most famous scenes as it was the first time the actors had all filmed together after seven seasons. A tension filled scene to say the least, a Game of Thrones fan would be in their element pretending to be in Jon Snow’s shoes pleading with Queen Cersei to fight for the living.


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ICELAND Famous for the Northern Lights and hot springs, Iceland’s tourist count rose a great deal when it became a staple filming location for the television adaption of George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire.’ With ‘winter coming’ quick and fast, the glacial temperature across Iceland acted as the perfect representation of Castle Black and beyond the wall. ‘Take the Black’ as you start your Icelandic Game of Thrones excursion at The Ruins of Dimmuborgir. The spooky lava structure are home to Castle Black, where the men of the Nights Watch guard the people of Westeros from what’s beyond the wall. Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage sight and home of the White Walkers and Wilding’s. This chilling location would not only lower your body temperature but make your hairs stand on end as you fear an army of the dead around the next glacier. Finally, Lake Mývatn houses the Grjótagjá Rift, a cave-like subterranean space that was used in season 3 of the show, when Jon Snow broke Night’s Watch oath and spent a night with the Wilding, Ygritte. Visits to these key filming locations usually depart from the town of Akureyri.

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA The fictional city of Kingslanding is almost a double of that of the city of Dubrovnik. With narrow streets and cobblestone paths, Game of Thrones fans with experience a deja vù of sorts whilst walking through the streets. From the Red Keep at Fort Lovrjenac to experiencing Cersei’s Walk of Atonement, Dubrovnik is one of the set locations in which the infamous Game of Thrones special effects team had little or no work to do, making the experience for tourists that much more special. The pricing for a full Game of Thrones tour with entry fees included comes in at around €78.00, this might be worth it for the hardcore fans, however, it is probably easy to do it independently too.


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This drama festival is shapin exciting yet with the anno the Confined All Ireland an entertainment and theatre


The theatre capital of Ireland



he organisers of the West Clare Drama Festival have been chosen to host the All Ireland Confined Drama Finals 2019. This event will take place from the 6th to the 13th of April. Established in 1962, the West Clare Drama Festival is renowned for its success countrywide and is one of Clare’s biggest annual events. The festival traditionally takes place from the first Saturday in March running 10 consecutive nights each year. It is one of 36 qualifying drama festivals which take place around the island of Ireland both north and south from

mid-February to the end of March. The age range of actors that compete in the drama festival vary depending on the characters required for the play that is selected by the visiting drama groups. “There are no age restrictions as such - therefore on a number of occasions you will get young actors as children characters and also very elderly actors,” Ms McInerney said. “However, traditionally the age range of people involved in drama groups would be from early 20s to late 60s.” The group hosting the festival grew mostly in the 50s and 60s, like most rural drama societies - the reason behind this is cited to be linked to the lack of open pubs during Lent!

Entertainment on the Move “West Clare Drama Festival has seen over 500 performances and over 300 different plays since 1962, ranging from comedy to tragedy to farce to melodrama,” Rita McInerney said. Some worth mentioning are The Playboy of the Western World, The Field, Death of a Salesman and The Cripple of Inismaan, and John B Keane is noted to be one of the group’s favourite playwrights, as he is with many amateur societies. It was stated by the drama group that audiences respond well to live theatre because of its unique nature - the entertainment is otherworldly in some ways. Ms McInerney said: “The actors draw you into their

ng up to be one of the most ouncement of its hosting of nd would be a must-see for e lovers.

PHOTOS: Doonbeg Drama Festival world and make you part of it. They challenge and entertain you, to make you think about issues and question your own perspective on the topic that is being presented to you.”The biggest challenges for festivals such as this lies in funding and the cost of committing to the drama circuit to perform a play around the country.

alive and well Interest is as alive and well as ever, especially in rural communities. For this exact reason, the number of amateur groups getting involved in the festival fluctuates every year, but participation has always been steady since the festival’s foundation. Over 50 drama

groups around the country compete in these festivals in either the Open or Confined Section with the objective of qualifying for their respective All Ireland finals. These groups usually meet in September of the previous year to read scripts and conduct auditions in order to select a play that they will take on the festival circuit. Once a director and cast are in place, many groups will rehearse in local community halls three or four nights a week, from October until February. “They then perform the play in the local area for a couple of dry runs before competing on the festival circuit,” Rita McInerney, an organiser, stated.

curtain call Each drama group can apply to any of the festivals around the country to compete in either the Open or Confined section and can accept entry into up to 8 of them. There is huge time and financial commitment required for the drama group to put a show on the road. The drama group then begins its journey of competing in drama festivals, each festival having a professional adjudicator who gives the final decision on first, second and third prize, based on a points system. Nine groups qualify each year in both the Open and Confined sections. The Open All Ireland is held in Athlone every year at the end of April and the Confined Finals are hosted by a different festival each year which rotates between the

four provinces. “The West Clare Drama Festival is delighted to say that four of our founding members from 1962 are still heavily involved in the drama festival today,” Rita McInerney added.

Numbers & figures




200-300 people attendants

4000-5000 people participating in the festival in total

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Plus sized problems in the fashion world BY ERIN DYER


or many shopping for clothes is a guilty pleasure that they can do with ease. However many feel that fashion companies simply aren’t doing enough to cater for people who don’t fit the norm. And with statistics backing this fact it’s hard to understand why fashion companies are simply unwilling to embrace the change themselves. On the high street, brands are being left behind by their restrictive sizing and many are choosing to forgo the shops for online stores. For many years the fashion world has been attacked for it’s lack of diversity in terms of skin colour and ethnicity. Issues such as cultural appropriation and white washing are still rampant in the industry however these issues are few and far between in comparison to size issues in the industry. Black designers and photographers are now increasing in numbers, as well as other cultures being allowed the opportunities they’ve missed for years. But, while fashion has broad-

ened it’s lenses to more diverse colour of models, photographers and creatives, there is still a lot to be done. Fashion brands are still reluctant to include more than 3 sizesnames such as Victoria’s Secret even going so far as to state they would never allow plus sized models in their shows. While Victoria Secret is entitled to enforce this in their own ranges, it is still reinforcing the narrative that women should still have the “fantasy” to be like the models who wear their clothes. Following London Fashion Week 2018, the lack of “body positivity” and inclusive sizing issues were raised. Brands were accused of completely ignoring plus sizes or even just using one sightly larger women in their shows. This “fake” diversity is commonplace in high end fashion and European fashion houses specifically seem to lack the desire to effect change in their shows. While high end fashion houses are reluctant to include plus sized women, the high street and online stores are now far more inclusive in their sizes.. Sites such as Asos and Pretty Little Thing have now stared to use less airbrushing on their

models- an attempt to normalize stretch marks, acne and belly rolls. Asos also now carries a wider range than ever before- with their curve section now using plus sized models who are a variety of different sizes. However issues are still rampant in the plus sized world. Boohoo has consistently come under fire for the use of a size 10 woman in their plus sized campaign- a practise which is common online in many stores. The very definition of plus sized means that brands can avoid using larger sizes by hiring women who are slightly curvier or taller than the normal models. While the fashion industry has been slow to become more inclusive there is still evidence that change is coming. Across the pond, New York fashion week was hailed as one of the most progressive events in fashion in years. Shows were using models such as Tess Holliday and Ashley Graham even had her own show at the event. Moments like these show that there is still hope for a more inclusive industry, one which finally understands that bodies shouldn’t be excluded because they don’t fit the standard size of times passed.

ou can barely buy anything these days without it being wrapped up about 50 different times with plastic, card, labels and stickers. Some items obviously need packaging to be contained and kept fresh – but no one can deny that the quantity of packaging on most goods is excessive. Now let me tell you something you may not have considered before - you pay for the packaging. Not the company, not the manufacturer – you. As a consumer you pay for all parts of the process of production, the product itself and then extra so that the company makes a profit. So long story short you’re paying for extra packaging, going home and taking the goods out of the packaging and then paying again for the pointless packaging to be taken away in your recycling/rubbish. The moral of the story here is, if you buy products with less unnecessary packaging, you are not only doing yourself a favour but you are doing your part for the environment also.


ccording to purchase.ie the average 1,800 WATT dishwasher costs 36 Cent to run per hour used and the average 650 WATT washing machine costs 13 Cent to run per hour used. The average 5,000 WATT tumble dryer costs approximately 1 Euro to run per hour. The average dishwasher cycle ranges between 1 and 2 hours, the average washing machine cycle ranges between half an hour and an hour and a half and the average cycle of a tumble dryer ranges between half an hour and two hours. This may not seem like a lot but if you are only putting on half full washes in any of the appliances I’ve named above, and putting on several of these half loads a day, you are wasting both time, money and damaging the environment. By decreasing the amount of times you do your washing (clothes/ dishes), you’ll take a few euros off of your water and energy bill while taking being kind to poor Mother Nature.







his rule number one if you are serious about saving money and the environment it is something that everyone can do. Plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery, plastic bags and your takeaway paper coffee cups. All of these items can be bought in sustainable forms – a reusable plastic/ metal water bottle, metal cutlery, reusable shopping bags and reusable takeaway coffee cups. Plastic build-up in the sea and on land is having a devastating effect on our environment and to both people and animals everywhere. Not only will you save money on purchasing these items repeatedly, you’ll also save money on your recycling/rubbish. Most coffee shops are jumping on the green band-wagon and are offering discounts off their takeaway hot beverages to customers who bring in their own reusable takeaway coffee cups.


e live in a generation where trends go out of fashion just as quickly as they come in. We are also lucky enough to be in a generation that has the likes of depop and charity shops in almost every city. So I urge you when deciding that you no longer want an item of clothing, that you think of making yourself a bit of money and reselling on Depop. One mans trash is another man’s treasure ,right? Or if you are feeling extra generous find a local charity shop near you and donate your unwanted garments. Not only will you be doing a favour for the environment but also for a worthy charity. You can also donate unwanted furniture and other household items to charity shops.


ou may be wondering what weather-stripping is. Well, weather-stripping is the process of sealing openings such as doors and windows from the elements. It insures that less heat escapes your house through these openings and that cold air or moisture enters your house through these openings. Doing this will mean the heat you pay to be in your house actually stays in and you are not wasting energy trying to replace the heat that has escaped. Weather strips can be bought in many DIY stores and are very easy to use.


ike every other Irish person you probably have about 300 plastic shopping bags lying about your house. Not only are you wasting your own money by buying more every time you do your shopping, you are creating a catastrophic amount of waste for our planet. Always try and keep at least 10 of these reusable plastic shopping bags in the boot of your car or somewhere that you’ll remember them before you go on your next shopping trip.







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ot only is buying vintage/ used clothing money saving, but it is also exciting. Buying something from a charity shops means more than likely your friends won’t have it- you’ll be as unique as ever. You can get some great bargains on labels such as ‘Ralph Lauren’ and other things that are practically new or barely used. By not buying new clothes you are not supporting energy and water-intensive indusewtries, like clothing industries.


ot only will you save on waste and help the environment – but you’ll also naturally create a fertiliser for your garden. A small home compost container may cost you around 15 Euro but will save you money on future garden maintenance. Check out Stopfoodwaste.ie for how to get started!


green MONEY (8 ways to save money while saving the environment) BY NICKY ANDERSON


ALL SYSTEMS OFfLINE BY M E G H a n m c e n i r y b r o s n a n


our years may not seem like much, but the average person now spends more time online than eating and drinking combined. Shocking right?

Along with this surprising statistic, the study published in the Guardian featured an interview with two programmers behind some of the most notorious tricks social media platforms use to keep us hooked including Loren Brichter, creator of the “pull down to refresh” function and Justin Rosenstein, designer of Facebook’s “Like” function. Both men expressed concern and even re-

morse for their creations. With social media becoming increasingly popular, concerned professionals are warning us about the many issues related to excessive social media use. There have been many studies carried out on the psychological impact such features are having on young people. One study conducted in the US found a decrease in psychological well-being among adolescents after 2012 and linked to screen time as the cause. That was when it hit me. Something was telling me to get offline – or more accurately, cut back on my web hours. More offline than online. Back to embracing moments for what they are, not

assessing if they’re capture or share-worthy. Back to the real world. Social media had become too engrained in my life. Too frequent in my thoughts and too consuming in my daily behaviour. I knew something had to change. Enough was enough. But was it really possible to go back to the way we were before smart phones took over? How many of us rely on newspapers or TV to fill us in on current affairs? How many of you can travel by bus or train without using your phone? I knew this was going to be a challenge but I knew it would be worth it. Why should you cut the cord? You gain more time. Instead of

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“Technology is a major part of today’s society. It is in out best interests to learn how to control our online habits”


mindlessly scrolling, you find yourself reaching for other things to do or think about now in those chill times when you would have reached for an app in the past. I have found that my relationships have also benefited a great deal and yours will too. Instead of hearing minor life updates on Snapchat or Facebook, I’ve been having more genuine and authentic conversations where I actually want to know what they’ve

been up to rather than what they ate for breakfast. As much as I enjoyed cutting my digital footprint, I missed being online. You take for granted how powerful the internet truly is until you decide to revert back to the ways of old. I’m not saying we should pull the plug on the internet all together. In fact, in small doses the internet can be very beneficial. According to The Washington Post,

“The average person spends more time online than eating and drinking combined”


“Those who get a small amount of screen time, between one and five hours a week, are happier than those who get none at all. The least happy ones were those who used screens for 20 or more hours a week.” However, as much as these professionals and our parents would love to throw our devices out the window (and probably their own too) we can’t hide from reality. Technology is a major part of today’s society. Therefore, it is in our best interests to learn how to control our online habits. Of course, this doesn’t only apply to adolescents – we’re dealing with an issue facing all ages.


he splendour of life lies, not in its length, but in its depth. Think about it, heavy work, boring life, it is time to make a change. Linger in the night markets of Pattaya, enjoy the sunshine and

massage on the beaches of Phuket, and experience the mysterious Buddhist (one of the world’s three major religions, originating in India) culture in Bangkok. The sun, the beach, the wine, the vacation, the nightlife, the comfortable hotel, the lively night market, the various performances, all this can find the satisfactory answer here, here iN Thailand.




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hailand is located in the middle of the indo-china peninsula in Asia. The vast majority of areas have a tropical monsoon climate, daytime temperatures can reach around 42 degree celsius. Thailand is a Buddhist country and Buddhism has a profound influence on Thai social life. Ninety percent of the Thai people believe in upper-class Buddhism (belonging to the theravada Buddhism sect), and 300,000 of them are monks. So, there are more than 3,000 buddhist temples in the country. Thailand's current king is the ninth king, and he is the eighth k i n g ’ s b r o t h e r. T h e f a m o u s tourist attractions in Thailand include the Jade Buddha Temple, the Grand Palace, the aquatic market on the Chao Phraya river, and the golden

Visa application: 1. Original passport valid

p r e p a r a t i o n

for more than 6 months. 2. 1 passport photograph. 3. Entry card (provide on flight). 4. Return ticket order within 15 days. NECESSARY ITEMS: 1. Passport (must be kept safely) 2. 10000 baht at least. 3. Portable power source. 4. Copies of all orders (e.g. air tickets, hotels etc.). 5. Sunscreen (must keep it). 6. Emergency medicine. 7. One jacket

beach in Pattaya. Chiangmai, in the north of Thailand, is known as the "Rose of Thailand" and was built by three friendly Kings. Surrounded by ancient city walls and it is a small city. There are many temples in this ancient city: Wat Chiang Mun, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Chedi Luang. Some of them are plated with gold and set with colored gems, when the sun shines, it is resplendent and glittering. Some of them are made of wood, with bells hanging under the eaves. When the wind blows, they make a small tinkling sound, which gives an air of tranquillity and peacefulness. Ti a n , w h o h a s t r a v e l l e d to Thailand and although the cultural and religious traditions are not for her, the beautiful climate, is certainly an attraction:” Thailand was not my preferred destination at first. I am not a big fan of their religion but the weather there is amazing, and I always want to escape the cold weather here.” Both the monks and the people have friendly smiles on their faces. This is a hospitable city.

Bangkok is the most prosperous and modern city in Thailand and by far the most popular for tourists. It is the epitome of the essence of Thai history. On one side of the city are magnificent tall buildings, the other side represents the simple appearance of believers. Of course, Bangkok is notoriously congested. Pattaya is a city without night, the city of feasting and revelry and it is 154 kilometres southeast of Bangkok. During the day, the city is like any other metropolitan city, bustling and busy. At night time it is a hive of entertainment and is one that never sleeps! Pattaya is famous for its lady boys show and is rather tongue in cheek called the “capital of romance”. Go Go bars are another feature of Pattaya but authorities have begun clamping down on this industry because of reports of underage sex workers, drug abuse and mafia operations. You are only one ticket away from a wonderful vacation. Now bring your family and take your passport, enjoy a relaxing and comfortable trip that you and your family will never forget.





EAN, curvy and toned. That is the ideal body type of the 21st century. Many women strive to maintain that perfect Victoria Secret model figure by spending hours in the gym or following various diet plans. We all want to look our best and many of us are willing to put in the work to develop our bodies so that we can feel confident in own skins.

But, the question is, are you educated enough about your body to make a difference? Simply going to a fitness class every week or following a low-carb diet may not be what your body needs. Have you put in the time and care to really understand your body and figure out what it needs from you? The first step to understanding your body is knowing what body type you are. There are three main body types:

1 ECTOMORPH 2 EndOMORPH 3 mesoMORPH Ectomorphs are lean, long and have difficulty building muscle. You are naturally skinny and have a high metabolism. Unfortunately, a downfall of this is that it is hard for you to gain muscle. In order to bulk up, you must eat a lot of protein and carbs and start lifting heavy weights. Avoid aerobic exercises as they will simply burn fat. Take your diet and fitness seriously, just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re fit!

If you are someone who gains weight easily and struggles to lose it then chances are that you are an endomorph. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy but it may be harder for you to get lean. To achieve a lean figure you will have to monitor your food intake a bit. Cardio training will be beneficial alongside moderate weights on regular intervals.

Mesomorph are typically muscular and well-built. You may not be the healthiest but you would also find getting back into shape relatively easy. Cardio and moderate weight lifting at a regular basis should be enough to keep your body fit.


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What is it? Women with pear shaped bodies usually have heavier bottom halves. You carry excess weight on your hips, thighs and bum and may find it difficult to tone your arms and shoulders.


Exercise: You may wish to trim off fat in the lower regions of your body via aerobic exercises such as running and cycling. Squats and lunges will help strengthen and tone your gluts, hips and thighs. Workouts that incorporate variations on planks and crunches will build abs. To strengthen your shoulders and triceps, exercises which use weights will be beneficial such as side lateral raises. Celebrities: Beyonce and Kim Kardashian.


What is it? You have natural curves with the waist being the smallest part of your body. The upper and lower halves of your body are roughly proportionate. However, when you gain weight you tend to gain all over. Exercise Full body toning is essential through a diverse workout plan which incorporates cardio, strength training and perhaps even dancing. The three trouble zones for you may be: thighs, upper arms and belly. It is possible to tone your thighs, belly and bum together by moves such as reverse lunges. For upper arms, I would always recommend the use of weights e.g. overhead presses. Celebrities: Marliyn Monroe and Sofia Vergara



What is it? If you’ve ever had trouble buying a swimsuit because what fits the top doesn’t fit the bottom and vice versa, you’re apple shaped. Apples tend to be rounder in the middle accompanied by broad shoulders and narrow hips. Exercise: One again, cardio is brilliant to lose overall body fat and core-focused exercises will help you get rid of that stubborn belly fat. Be sure to tone up your gluts and thighs with lower body exercises for example squats, lunges and deadlifts. Any variation of these exercises will be beneficial. Yoga and Pilates are also fantastic exercises for you. Celebrities: Oprah Winfrey and Lindsay Lohan



What is it?: Such form of ruler straight bodies tend are long and lack curves. Although you are skinny there is a risk of being ‘skinny fat’ which means having a high body fat percentage despite average or low weight. The dangers associated with this include high levels of inflammation and digestive issues.


Exercise: Building body muscle is necessary. Strength training is the obvious option. If your aim is to add curves, focus on core building exercises. Furthermore, squats with dumbbells will work your gluts and add muscle mass. Cardio will further tone your body and cut down fat. Spinning and kickboxing are also recommended. Celebrities: Cameron Diaz and Natalie Portman


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rish street art is on the rise, and it has never been as controversial and influential as it is today.

One of the main contributors to the movement are Subset, a collective of artists based in Dublin, who use their street art and murals to provoke, to inspire, and to change. The group describe themselves as ‘a protest project to demonstrate the colour and life art could bring to Dublin streets’. The group have come to attention in the last few years for their controversial and topical art which can be seen around Dublin City and its surrounding areas. Artwork has appeared about the Repeal the 8th campaign, Take Back the City protest, and pieces about the Catholic Church’s dark history leading up to the Pope’s visit to Ireland, to name a few. The collective are now using their influence to create change with a project called the ‘Grey Area Project’, which they are using to raise money for homelessness through charities such as Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH). They are carrying out exhibitions of artwork surrounding homelessness and are selling merchandise to raise money and awareness. Subset’s latest venture is an act on Climate Change, which they have teamed up with Climate Case Ireland to bring attention to the essential need for action against climate change in Ireland. The collective are now using their influence to create change with a project called the ‘Grey Area Project’, which they are using to raise money for homelessness through charities such as Inner

City Helping Homeless (ICHH). They are carrying out exhibitions of artwork surrounding homelessness and are selling merchandise to raise money and awareness. Subset’s latest venture is an act on Climate Change, which they have teamed up with Climate Case Ireland to bring attention to the essential need for action against climate change in Ireland. Street art can be highly influential, especially when it appears in very visible and well known places. Subset and other artists are using this to their advantage to inspire and encourage change. Ireland’s street art laws can be strict, and require an application which will often be denied and can take a long time to be processed, at which time the artwork would no longer be topical and relevant. As a result of this, Subset and other artists must work without permission, which often leads to the artwork being removed by the council and painted over. Subset have created a documentary called the Grey Area Project, in which they discuss the need for art and expression in the city. According to the group; at present, the system which governs the production of large format artwork outdoors is unnecessarily complex, and, we believe, prohibitive to the cultivation, evolution and progression of public art culture. “We believe the reform of, or amendment to the aforementioned system is required in order to enable the progression and elevation of this outlet of self-expression.” However, their artwork is never put up without permission from the shop or owner of the building which it will be painted on, and therefore the art is not vandalism. Because of this the group believe it should be allowed by the council to remain. When many people think of street art they tend to think of un-


sightly graffiti, and in contrast the striking murals and pieces of art being done by Subset and other artists alike are moving the concept of street art into something much bigger and more influential than ever before. According to the group, “Change is needed to create an urban art culture in Dublin in a bid to stop talent from leaving these shores because the law won’t allow art to grow”

Street Art The Rise of Ireland’s


enice is a city re-known for its rich history, otherworldly cityscapes and romance. However modern infrastructure, tourism and rising sea levels threaten this beautiful city. In reality, Venice should be called the Sinking City rather than the Floating City as it has been sinking under the weight of the infrastructure since it was built. enice is somewhat of an architectural wonder as the city stands upon 1000 year old piles of wood driven into a marshy wasteland consisting of 118 small islands. ‘Global warming is not the only reason that the city is being damaged. Everyday massive passenger cruise ships pull into the lagoon. The large propellers are damaging the seabed and disturbing the sensitive foundations of the city. Mass tourism is also causing problems with over 20 million the city is slowly being destroyed. Locals have began protesting the mass tourism that Venice faces every year’, explains Venetian resident Valerie O Hanlon. Scientists has recently revealed

that the city has sank by 9 inches in the last 100 years, and they believe that global warming and rising sea waters will cover the Adratic coast and Venice by the year 2100. Venice has been battling rising sea waters for hundreds of years. Today, the water seems to be winning. The reasons for this are both natural and man-made and cause the city to flood about 100 times a year. Occurring usually from October through the winter, the phenomenon is ‘Acqua Alta’, Italian for High Water. ‘Acqua Alta’ Valerie says, ‘is becoming a much bigger issue as it is happening a lot more than it used to and is becoming more and more extreme with water level sometimes reaching the ceiling of ground level flats.’ In 1966 there was what is now called The Great Flood. Acqua Alta was so high that year 5000 people were displaced from their homes and $6 billion worth of art was destroyed. Ever since, authorities have been looking for ways to reduce the amount of water entering the Venetian Lagoon.

ING CITY The MOSE project has planned to insert a number of floodgates along the entrance to the lagoon. They will lie flat on the sea bed, when the sea levels rise, they will be pumped with air and rise azbove the surface to block the sea water. The project has been dubbed a ‘short term solution to a long term problem’ 50 years ago UNESCO named Venice a World Heritage site, however it is now considering delisting it, as tourism is threatening the sustainability of the site. The large number of tourists is putting severe pressure on the city’s sewage facilities, local transport and accommodation. With tourism becoming an unsolvable problem Venetian people are moving away from the city. Depopulation is threatening the city’s ability to be a living, thriving city with a Venetian population. ‘It is becoming increasingly difficult to live in Venice full time. As tourism is increasing so are prices, soon it will be too expensive to live here. It is a pity because I love the city, it is one of the most beautiful city’s in the world

and I hate to see it being destroyed bit by bit’, says a tearful Valerie. She moved to Venice around eight years ago as her partner owns a business there and has lived there ever since. She has since opened her own AirBnB business in the famous city. Venice is attempting to fight back at rising tourist numbers. Recently the city introduced a city tax on all Hotel and BnB stays. In Summer of 2019 there will be a tax placed on tourists coming into the city from cruise ships. The fee will initially set at €2.50 however this could be raised to €10. There are questions being raised as to whether this initiative will work. If tourists are willing to pay €50 plus to go to Disneyland, then they will pay €10 to see Venice.


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Finding your Irish summer music festi 4



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he little Emerald Isle that we are so blessed to call our home, despite its size, is absolutely jam packed with amazing music festivals – you just have to know where to look for them. Whether its indie, pop or techno, this country has something for everyone this summer and this is your ultimate guide to where, what and when of Ireland’s top summer music festivals of 2019.



6 10

















all together now


cowboys and heroes


...in detail ELECTRIC PICNIC


When: 30th August – 1st September What: One of Ireland’s most renowned annual Music and Arts Festivals, Electric Picnic, 2019 tickets sold out in record time as the festival continues to grow. It has hosted both Irish and International musicians from all over the world and is so much more than a music festival, with amusement rides, a rave in the woods and even a lake to swim – you’ll never be bored. Where: Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois. Age: Strictly 18 and over - Children aged 12 years and under must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult throughout the weekend, limited to a maximum of two children per adult. Children aged 12 years and under do not require a ticket but they must be registered before arriving at the festival - 13-17 year olds are not permitted to attend the event even when accompanied by an adult.



When: 24th May – 26th May What: Life Festival is Ireland’s most established & revered festival for electronic music. The right setting is a key part of the Life ethos and the grounds and lake at Belvedere House have become synonymous with the event. This offers the ideal natural escape. Where: Belvedere House and Gardens, Westmeath. Age: Strictly 18 and over



When: 2nd August – 5th August What: The festival features a wide variety of artists as well as comedy, spoken word, a small cinema and other attractions. INDIE, as it is known, has been shortlisted as one of the best small festivals in Europe several times as well as winning awards within Ireland. Where: Mitchelstown, Cork Age: Strictly 18 and over



When: 15th July – 18th July What: The multidisciplinary Festival covers a range of art forms, including theatre, dance, music, opera, street spectacle, visual arts, discussion and comedy. The Guardian named the festival one of the Top 5 Summer Festivals in Europe. n 2018, over 200 events took place in 32 venues over the course of 14 days with an attendance in excess of 250,000. Where: Galway Age: Age dependent on each event but there are events and shows for people of all ages



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When: 21st June – 23rd June What: A celebration of art, music, food, drink and culture – Body & Soul is one of Ireland’s most unique festivals. An over 20s event that allows expression through music and dance in one of the most enchanting settings in Westmeath. Where: Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath Age: Strictly aged 20 and over - Children aged 12 years and under must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult throughout the weekend, limited to a maximum of two children per adult. Children aged 12 years and under do not require a ticket but they must be registered before arriving at the festival.



When: 21st June – 23rd June What: Is the biggest surf and music festival in Ireland. It has SOLD OUT 4 years in a row. Chill vibes, sea, fun and music are all main components in enjoying the fantastic weekend. Where: Bundoran, Donegal



Age: Strictly 18 and over When: 5th July – 7th July What: Longitude has developed a reputation of being a festival for the younger generation (age 18-25ish) on Friday and Saturday nights, while Sunday is geared more towards the older festival goers. Where: Marley Park, Kildare Age: No unaccompanied under 16’s are allowed. All under 16’s require a ticket to the event and must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult, parent or guardian over 18.



When: 11th August – 18th August What: The Fleadh Cheoil (meaning "festival of music") is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ). There are various stages to the competition. In Ireland there are county and provincial competitions leading to the All-Ireland Fleadh. Where: Drogheda, Louth Age: All ages welcome!





When: 2nd August – 4th August What: A weekend of freedom, inspiration and escapism through music, spoken word, comedy, theatre, debate, art, workshops, feasts of food and bespoke cocktails. All Together Now will be set across 16 stages, featuring natural amphitheatres, secret woodland stages, the Belonging Bandstand and more. Where: Curraghmore Estate, Co Waterford Age: 21 or over. (exception of children aged 12 or below who must be accompanied by a paying adult.)

When: 31st May – 3rd June What: Ireland's Premier Americana & Country Music Festival. Where: DruXmcoura City, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim Age: 18 and over - Children under 12's go free during the day, but this event is over 18's after 9pm due to licensing laws.


How does procrastination ruin your life by: LUYAO LIU photo: streeter


lmost everyone has experience in life. Always thinking the deadline is next week but is still reluctant to start work, “I still have a week, it is still early.” Or I haven’t remembered what I’m learning today and I’m obviously having nothing to do, but I’d rather play with my mobile phone than to review. Always put things off until the last day to start regretting not doing it earlier. Then you decide when you are studying that you must prepare in advance next time, but the next time you are still procrastinating, again and again. It makes you doubt believe in yourself, depression may form because you are unable to realize your dreams. The reason for procrastination is that most people will force themselves to complete what they should do under high pressure before the deadline, which stimulates their personal morale and makes them feel that they can only do things when they are under pressure. When they finally get the result, if it is still

acceptable, they will deepen their idea that I was best suited to work under the pressure before the deadline. To avoid procrastination, I spoke to a CBT counselor and got some advice: 1. Prioritize your to-do list. Give priority to matters of limited time and importance; 2. Mutual supervision. Encourage each other with friends or classmates and urge each other to overcome bad habits; 3. Refine your plan. If your plan is to “finish a 1,000-word paper today,” that plan will most likely to fall through. If you change it to “finish a 150-word paper a day for the week before the deadline,” you’ll be more likely to stick with it and exceed it; Last, don’t take chances. Don’t give yourself too much time.

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In modern society, a very common defect is called procrastination. It refers to a behavior in which selfregulation fails. Plans are postponed if the consequences can be expected to be harmful. The harm caused is not small, it can destroy your life in silence. Procrastination can make a productive person mediocre and a mediocre person inefficient.

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green, beer and music?


f you ask Spaniards what they know about Ireland, they will probably answer these three words: green, beer and music. Precisely, it was the latter that made me choose the emerald island as the destination for doing my Erasmus abroad. Actually, during my first minute in this country, even without being out of the plane yet, I started to listen to the sounds of harps, guitars, fiddles, accordions and banjos playing in unison inside my mind. That was the moment when I realized that I had not made a mistake with the election. It is obvious that music runs through Irish people´s veins. The national Euro coins, the Guinness beer, the Irish coat of arms and even the logo of Ryanair are some of the examples that have the harp as a common symbol. In Irish Mythology the harp is considered as an instrument of power. Talking about Irish music means talking about culture, tradition, inheritance, union and community among others. Songs, dances, and musical instruments are part of Irish identity. Folk and traditional music are very well valued and respected by everyone in this country. People sing in their houses, in the pubs, in the streets.

Maybe that´s one of the reasons why this island is the birthplace of iconic successful singers such as Sinéad O´ Connor, Hozier, Enya, Niall Horan, Kodaline, Bono (U2) or The Cranberries, who were from Limerick, the city in where I am living now. In addition, as a curious and funny fact, Ireland still has the record of being the country that has won the Eurovision Song Contest the most times. Irish has brought back home the trophy seven times in total: In 1970, twice in the 80s (1980, 1987) and both with the same representative - Johnny Logan - and four more times during the 90s (1992,1993,1994 and 1996). It was hosted in Dublin six times and the seventh one in Millstreet, a little town of about 1,500 inhabitants located in north Cork. In Spain, we also have music as part of our culture, and our folk music is well known all around the world thanks to sevillanas and flamenco. However, Spain is much more than that, and the rest of our diverse and interesting regional songs and dances, such as Galician "Muñeiras", "Sardanas" from Catalonia, "Jotas" from La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón and Extremadura or "Chotis" from Madrid. Although, all of these are outshined by the Andalusian folklore. It is a pity because with the passage of time

all these traditions are slowly vanishing and, with them a part of our national history. That´s why I truly value the fact that pubs have live music almost every single night, that they make open mic events for people who want to sing or that buskers fill out all corners of the city streets and contribute to the lively atmosphere ..but especially, that universities like Limerick devote a whole academy to music and dance on its campus. In Spain this would not be the case. There are not public universities offering degrees related to music, dance or performing arts. Arts degrees are usually very poorly valued within the Spanish educational system. If you want to pursue one of these careers you must go to the conservatory or to a private institution specialized in it. That´s why it really amazed me how they welcomed me with open arms and how fast they tried to integrate me into the group, as if I had been there forever. Honestly, I cannot find the words to explain what I feel when I see how Irish people live music here. From youngsters to older people, during day and night, and putting their throat, their lungs and their soul on every chord and note. That´s Ireland. Much more than just “green, beer and music”.

RACING THROUGH LIFE Limerick athlete Ciara Neville hopes to raise her flag at the Olympics


PhotoS: @ciara.nev

INETEEN and ambitious, University of Limerick’s very own Ciara Neville has already made a name for herself in the world of Irish athletics. Ciara has represented her country in eight international championships. Competing at home for the first time when she was only 15, this young girl has a bright future ahead of her. “It’s absolutely mad. When I won the Europeans in 2015 they played the national anthem when I was on top of the podium with the flag and it just felt amazing. It is so hard to describe. But it’s great. It’s great to represent a whole country.” she commented. Neville is coached by Noelle Morrisey, a former Irish athlete who also coaches the Emerald Athletic Club in Limerick. Morrisey writes up Ciara’s training programmes. These programmes consist of eight sessions a week. Two of these are held in the gym and the rest are on the track. The gym workout consists of strength training. These intense workouts are tailored to ensure that athletes are able to run fast with as much power as possible. The track sessions vary from 200 metre to 10 metre sprints depending on the day. At home she likes to do stretches and core exercises to keep her body flexible. In terms of nutrition, like most sprinters, Ciara is required to eat a high amount of calories every day because of the high amount of fat she burns during her training bouts. Although she does not follow a strict diet she generally tries to eat as healthy as possible. Defying college norms, Ciara doesn’t go out that much. She only goes out when her season is over from the middle of August to second week of September. In terms of cheat days, she is a believer of them as long as they are earned. So what advice would she give to young athletes who wish to fol-

low in her footsteps: “Just keep going. It doesn’t matter what your body image is like because sprinters and every sort of athlete comes in every shapes and size. Some of them are small and powerful and some of them are tall and not as powerful but just keep going and kind of enjoy it all because that’s the best thing that you can do.” Don’t be surprised if in the future you switch on the 2020 or 2024 Olympics and see our talented Munster native on the big screen. She is certainly on the right track. ONE has to be insanely naturally talented to only have been playing a sport for a year and getting selected for the world cup squad. Such is the story of Irish tag rugby player Ellen O’Sullivan. The Bantry native has earned 11 caps for Ireland and an integral part of her country winning a bronze in the tag rugby world cup. Ellen says the experience has been life changing. “It has been B=brilliant. Really, really good … it’s not every day that you get to represent your country…I’m so proud” said the twenty year old. Ellen wanted to take up another sport for fun when she joined UL as she wanted something that would complement her first love, the GAA. The University of Limerick (UL) recruitment drive introduced her to tag rugby. When chatting to the people at the tag rugby station they said that tag would only be as competitive as she made it for herself.


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University of Limerick’s Ellen O’Sullivan brings home a bronze from the Tag Rugby world cup

Photo Credit: @ellen_o_sulliivan


he main difference between tag rugby and rugby is that in tag there is no contact. Players are not allowed to shove, tackle etc. You simply pull the tag off a player’s shorts and they have to put the ball down. In tag rugby there are only 8 players as opposed to 15. It is also played on half a rugby pitch, making it much faster than contact rugby. It is also the fastest growing mixed sport in Ireland. More im-


portantly, it is a sport where men and women can play each other as equals. Having graduated to the national team, her preparation for the World Cup began in earnest., Ellen followed an intense workout routine. It involved three days a week of high intensity training which essentially involved 20-30 minutes of hard exercise. The remaining two days consisted of recovery such as swimming, cycling at a steady pace or jogging in a constant state for 2030 minutes. In terms of nutrition, she followed a high protein, high fat and low carbs diet in order to reduce body fat as they need to acclimatise to be able to play in the Australian heat.


As an avid GAA player, the Cork-native is an active participant of the gym as well as Gaelic Football training sessions. This workout routine mirrors that of her tag rug outs so it is mostly of high intensity short bouts of exercise. She does a lot of sprinting as well as high reps with low weights e.g. 15-20 reps of squats with a 10-15 kg bar. As general advice to keep her body fit, O’Sullivan advises to eat three meals a day with maybe a snack in between. Also, anyone who knows Ellen knows that she always takes the stairs. Now she hopes to be selected to play for the next Tag Rugby World Cup which will be hosted in her very own UL in 2021.


t’s no lie that the University of Limerick has a very large and diverse number of athletes. They have everything ranging from swimmers, to track athletes to rowers. The university is a leader of sport in Ireland. They take pride in having some of the top facilities in Europe and some of the best coaches and sports programmes. The university are also always building new facilities such as the new track and the new all-weather pitches. A new 21m indoor climbing wall and bouldering arena are also planned. The university offers sports scholarships at three levels Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each level provides a different amount of money, with gold yielding the highest amount of grant funding. Those funds are used to pay money goes towards accommodation, travel expenses, training programmes and gym memberships. Many of UL’s student athletes have said they have found the scholarship programme “really beneficial” for their training. Whilst UL is a beacon for many in terms of its sports programmes and funding opportunities, there are issues.

Many of the scholarship athletes in UL have been complaining about the small gym facilities in UL. Many find it hard to train as the gym is very small and usually very busy and cramped. Georgia O’Brien, a rower, has competed on the Irish team on many occasions such as at

“UL should think about expanding the gym somehow, instead of starting a new project”. Coupe de la Jeunesse in Belgium, where she won a gold medal. The UL scholarship athlete has said that she often “struggles to get training done”, as the gym is more often than not, too busy and all the “equipment is being used”. Georgia is calling for access to the Munster Rugby gym when it is not in use by the team. The lack of access to the gym is hindering her ability to keep as fit as her

sports regime requires. Another UL athlete Christine McCarthy, an athletic star who concentrates on sprints but mainly the high jump, is also concerned about how difficult it is to access the gym as she knows it is always “too busy”and the machines are constantly in use. She thinks that “UL should think about expanding the gym somehow, instead of starting a new project”. Both athletes agree that the sports programmes in UL are second to none and Georgia has cited that the University has “nurtured her love of rowing” and supported her progress in her sport. Although the university prides itself in its sports facilities, perhaps they need to focus on improving the ones they have first before starting any more.

Size Matters

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By Aileen O’Shea

UL sport stars are concerned about small facilities hindering their training.


grapevine 55 By Andrea Sheehan




n a world of fast fashion, there is immense pressure and competition between designers to always be on trend, and to come up with the most original ideas.

These ideas, however, are not always original, as there has been a rise in established and well known fashion labels stealing designs from indie designers without crediting or asking for permission from them. For many indie designers, they can spend their life’s savings, time and resources on their designs, and to have these stolen by larger brands and not credited to them is a huge problem in the fashion industry. Many of these indie designers and smaller brands do not have the money or resources to sue these corporate brands and designers, and therefore it can be very difficult for them to gain any compensation for their work. In the USA many large brands get away with stealing designs and ideas from smaller designers, as fashion is not fully protected under American copyright law. Fashion is not seen not as a creative industry but a manufacturing one, which does not give enough legal protection to designers. The rise in fast fashion brands over the last few years has dramatically increased the occurrence of stolen designs. Consumers want what celebrities and

influencers are promoting for as cheap as they can get it. Popular retailer Zara came to the limelight recently for replicating the artwork of independent designer Tuesday Bassen, since early 2016. Zara hit back at the designer; claiming she was unkown and lacked ‘distinctiveness.’

Kim Kardashian has recently sued UK online store Missguided for $10 million. Her law firm claim the brand: “repeatedly used Kardashian’s name and image without authorization to generate interest in their brand and website, and to elicit sales of their products.” Kim ironically posted an Instagram of herself in a gold Yeezy dress, with the caption: “fast fashion brands, can you please wait until I wear this in real life before you knock it off.” Missguided then shared a photo of a model in a similar gold dress,captioning the image:

It is argued that the fashion industry continues to succeed because of the lack of copyright protection, and that if every design or item of clothing was to fall under protection, larger established brands with legal budgets could copyright as many designs and file as many lawsuits as possible, which could force smaller designers out of the industry completely. In the social media and Instagram world, it is more difficult now than ever for designers and influencers to keep their ideas private and prevent them from being stolen by other brands. On the other hand, however, social media can also make it easier for smaller designers to create a stir and bring attention to themselves and the fact that their ideas have been stolen. Indie designers can’t count on bigger brands to not steal their work, but they can count on the speed and reach of the online world, which works just as fast as the ‘fast fashion’ industry.

“The devil works hard but Missguided works harder. @kimkardashian, you’ve only got a few days before this drops online.”

(designs by Vexels)



is not a city you hear about very often, but that does not mean that it is not worth visiting. Christmas is probably one of the most beautiful times to visit Frankfurt. Its Christmas markets are world renown and are definitely worth seeing. What is better than grabbing a hot chocolate and strolling through the snow-covered stalls? If Holidaying in the Winter is not your thing Frankfurt offers a lot during the summer as well. Take a visit to the famous Cider taverns or take a stroll through Romenberg, situated in the heart of the city they reflect the old design of German buildings from centuries ago.

boasts the worlds center of old age renaissance art and culture. The city is dripping with historical and cultural significance. If you like the idea of strolling through the cobblestoned streets, in the summer heat, visiting art museums and world famous buildings like the Piazza Duomo and the Palazzo Pitti, then Florence is the place for you. The food is stunning and situated in the heart of Tuscany, gives you the opportunity to taste the famous Tuscan wine.

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is one of the worlds most famous cities for its architectural wonders. Prague castle is in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest castle complex in the world. Our Lady Before Tyn is one of the world’s greatest examples of gothic architecture, situated in Prague’s Old Town is definitely a must see when you visit Prague. It is one of the cheapest capitals in Europe which is perfect for us students. In a pub, a beer will set you back around €1.20, ideal in the beer capital of the world.

is such a beautifully historic city which plays host to 12 annual festivals, most of which take place in August. So if you are a festival goer and enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy festival then Edinburgh is most definitely the place for you. Edinburgh is stunningly picturesque, and the architecture within the city is a reason to visit alone, with Edinburgh Castle and St Gilles Cathedral right on your doorstep.

is slowly becoming a hotspot for youth in Europe due to the amazing nightlife that it brags, however that cannot overshadow the historical significance of the city. Home to the Berlin Wall and the chilling Holocaust Memorial, Berlin really cannot be ignored. If you are a lover of art, Berlin is famous for its impressive street art. The world’ms most famous Graffiti artists have mad their mark on the streets and alleys of Berlin. A colourful and proudly alternative city, Berlin is not to be overlooked on your bucket list.


home away from home

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hether you’re a travel addict or a “stay at home bird”, The Erasmus programme and doing Cooperative education abroad for students has much to offer and can also be a life changing experience. Laura Hogan a student of the University of Limerick studying European studies did her Coop in a small town called Santa Susana an hour from the vibrant city of Barcelona. Laura a girl who had never lived out of home a “home bird” decided to make the plunge and defer a year in college to continue living in Spain. Making a decision like this can be life changing, it can lead to a new path of life one that you wouldn’t have ever thought you would take. Laura picked Spain because of her love for the Spanish language. Trying to learn a language the older we get can be difficult and sometimes learning in a class room environment just isn’t enough Laura said ‘ I struggled learning Spanish through classes, if I lived in Spain I’d have no choice but to learn it”. Moving away can seem scary for most people but moving away alone can be even scarier. Laura was the type of girl who wouldn’t dare walk to the shop alone as for moving out of the country that was out of the question.

Luckily Laura’s two close friends decided to make the big move to Barcelona with her. Another reason Laura choose Spain was due to the type of job that was on offer. Grupos an organization that teaches English in a completely different way to Ireland. Laura loved the idea of teaching kids through outdoor activities rather than in an indoor classroom environment, who wouldn’t? Moving away can effect a person in a good or a bad way but in Laura’s case it was a good way. Laura went from living with her parents to living with her two best friends which gave her a lot of freedom. It gave her time and space to grow, growing up we don’t see how much we depend on our parents it’s only when we spread our wings and leave the nest that we understand what responsibilities are “I had to think for myself, think about money for the first time and for the first time ever I had to make budgets”. Looking back over the year Laura said she matured as a person. Within that year Laura experience so many different situation, “I gained so much independence and confidence here, being able to say I travelled and explored so many different cities is a real achievement”. When we stay in one place for two long we tend to be a little close mind-

ed, moving away taught Laura to be more open minded “ It showed me that there’s life beyond my home town and that change can be good sometimes”. Why rush into finishing your degree? Laura started the college life at only seventeen which is quite young. She didn’t see the point in rushing to finish a course when there’s always the option of deferral and Laura saw her opportunity to travel. Of course maybe a little love changed her mind also. Laura met her current love in the Grupos organization in which they both worked. They plan to move to the Canary Islands together so Laura can finish her degree and do her Erasmus. I asked Laura what were her plans after her degree and not surprisingly she wants to continue traveling around the world. Her next big move hopes to be to Thailand “I want to experience new cultures and a different way of life after that who knows where I’ll be”. I think every one at some stage of their lives should experience the joys of travel. It opens our eyes and in Laura’s case even her heart. Deferring a college year might seem scary but Laura is living proof that a big change like this can sometimes be for the good. As Laura said “Life is given so it can be lived, and in my eyes that’s exactly what I’m doing”.


Why girls shouldn't be afraid to use the 'lad's side' of the gym By Daimhlinn Darling

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“Girls should be able to do whatever they want in the gym and feel comfortable and confident”


verybody needs to exercise. It’s something to keep you healthy, make you happy and improve your fitness. Some people exercise by playing team sports, others take up running, but for most people exercise usually means heading to the gym for an hour or two. Whether it’s a new years resolution or you’ve just decided it’s time to get in shape, starting your first membership at the gym can feel very daunting. Then, slowly over time, that feeling goes away. You feel more confident and comfortable with yourself and what you’re doing. However, for some people that feeling sticks around a little bit and gets associated, not with a part of their body, but with a part of the gym. If you’re not familiar with the “lad’s section of the gym” I’ll try to break it down for you. The “lad’s section” is the side with the heavy weights, the big machines, the lifting bars and unfortunately, the section of the gym where few girls ever venture. Why you may ask? Isobel Harkin, a frequent gym member, says it’s because “girls are too intimidated because they are made feel like they don’t know what they’re doing.” 19 year old Aoife Bowman regularly goes to the gym but says that she only recently started experimenting with strength training in the “lad’s section” because of playing rugby. “Our coach brought us down to the guys side during a training session and I’ve felt more comfortable with it since,” she says, “otherwise I’d only go if I was with two or three of my friends because

all the lads just judge you.” Isobel says that she has just had to get used to the “bad gym etiquette” when it comes to women lifting weights. “Girls just don’t go down there,” she says, “there’s a literal divide”. The avid gym goer says she often sees girls “get unwanted attention by going down there” but that she encourages her friends to go with her because she “would love if more girls were there.” Strength and fitness coach Eric Finn believes that it’s these misunderstandings and fears that are stopping women from getting the benefits that are associated with strength training. “There is a misconception that women have about strength training, they think they’re just going to gain muscle rather than tone up and actually lose body fat,” he says, “they seem to think that they can go and run on the treadmill and get the body they want but it’s the weight training that gets you in shape.” A study compared the benefits of weight versus cardio training and found that women lifting heavy weights twice a week lost about 14 and a half pounds of fat and gained 1 and a half pounds of muscle whilst women that were just on a diet and doing cardio only lost 8.2 pounds of fat whilst gaining no muscle. “If you want to hit your goals you need to be doing some sort of strength training,” Eric explains, “to get toned it’s not about the amount of exercises you do, it’s about reducing body fat percentage and that’s what strength training targets”. How can we do this then? Eric says the key areas you need to target to get the best

results are the anterior and posterior parts of the body. The posterior chain is what he calls “the powerhouse of the body” which includes calves, hamstrings, glutes and external obliques. Exercises that work these muscles include deadlifts, back squats, RDLs and bent over rows. The anterior chain includes the muscles on the front side of your body such as your quads, core, and pectoral muscles. Exercises to work these are push ups, barbell bench, or side planks. He encourages to alternate between each chain every time you go to the gym with a recovery day in between. “Women’s training is different to men’s training because of the lack of testosterone, so when a woman goes into the gym and thinks she’s just going to turn out real bulky and look like a man, it’s not going to happen” the coach says.

when a woman goes into the gym and thinks she's just going to turn out real bulky and look like a man, it's not going to happen “If you’re making the effort of going to the gym then do something that makes a difference and lasts a long time,” says the strength and conditioning coach, “strength training will have a serious effect and it gives you the confidence to go into the gym and know

what you’re doing and not care who’s around or that you’re in the ‘lads side of the gym’”. 20 year old Isobel thinks all girls should give weight training a go. “I feel like we just need to fight the stigma,” she says, “girls should be able to do whatever they want in the gym and feel comfortable and confident”. Aoife also believes that girls should take up this type of training now so they don’t look back and wish they had started earlier. Se says “I’ve actually seen such better results from using proper weights, it’s so much more noticeable and I feel like if I wasn’t so scared I would’ve gotten the results sooner.” Girls shouldn’t feel discouraged to try new forms or training if they want to see real results. There are hundreds of studies done on the reason why weight training above anything else can help you achieve the goals that so many girls desire. So if you are feeling nervous, grab a friend and claim the “lad’s section” for your own. It doesn’t matter what body shape you are or what muscles you want to target, go down and give it a try even for one session and you’ll be surprised at what you can do. We promise it will be worth it.

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Grapevine magazine  

Grapevine magazine is a second year journalism at UL arts and culture magazine.

Grapevine magazine  

Grapevine magazine is a second year journalism at UL arts and culture magazine.

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