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FREE STUDENT NEWSPAPER

VOL 14, ISSUE 7

21 JAN 2013

Students struggle as grants are further delayed By Sean Dunne and Jessica Thompson

A three million euro once-off allocation payment for the student assistance fund has been welcomed by third level students, although the delays in the controversial new grant system are being strongly criticised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). “This announcement, while welcome, comes after a Budget that increased fees by €250 and cut the income threshold by 3%. Both measures will affect thousands more students than

[this] announcement will help,” said John Logue, President of the USI. It has emerged that over 5,500 first time applicants are yet to receive their first grant payment. This has led to a higher dropout rate this year as students across Ireland struggle to survive the high cost of education. NUI Galway Students’ Union Education Officer Conor Stitt stated that there has been an increase in his case work because “more and more students are finding themselves not only on the breadline, but considering dropping out of college”.

Students’ Unions across the country are providing boxes of food for students who are still waiting on grant assistance. The USI has encouraged all Students’ Unions to provide whatever assistance they can to those who are now looking to them for their basic needs. “As students return for the second term of the year, over 5,500 are still desperate for financial assistance. In order to alleviate some of the hardship caused by delayed grant payments, a significant number of Students’ Unions across

the country have provided food boxes for students who are coming to college hungry,” said John Logue. The Students’ Union in Athlone Institute of Technology has set up a soup kitchen to support students who are unable to afford food. This is kindly funded by the college canteen in response to the demand for assistance in the college. However helpful this assistance may be to students, USI President John Logue said that it is not enough.

Proposed scheme will 2 destroy graduate nurses World News

8

Losing Faith: Being Gay 10 and Catholic in Ireland Mary Robinson

11

Film reviews

25

Snooker finale heads back to Galway

30

Continued on page 2…

Former President of Ireland visits NUI Galway By Órla Ryan and Seán Dunne

Former President Mary Robinson gave a public lecture in NUI Galway on Monday 14 January. During this lecture, Ms Robinson described the recent Oireachtas Committee hearings on abortion as “a massive step forward”. Although unable to comment directly on the issue, she stated that the “guilt, loneliness and shame” felt by women who are forced to travel abroad for terminations was not being properly addressed. In an exclusive interview with Sin earlier that day, she spoke of her hope for a better future for the country. "I think Ireland has benefited from a very tough lesson. We recognise that this is the toughest time we've been through in modern Ireland. It's hurting people terribly, but we will come through stronger

and I hope we will come through fairer, with a real sense of what Ireland itself can achieve," Ms Robinson said. She acknowledged that Ireland is going through "another wave" of emigration, something she feels the country can use to renew itself. “ I t h i n k i t ’s v e r y tough for young people and possibly even tougher for their parents that they have to leave,” she said. She noted that modern emigration is different in that young people "know that they want to come back and be more equipped for the modern Ireland". " We n e e d t o b e a country that these young people want to come back to and that's the challenge for the rest of us," she added. The former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also revealed her upset regarding the recent

surge in youth suicides. "I find it very, very distressing that so many young people in Ireland don't feel that sense of

hope in themselves, that sense of potential," she said. Ms Robinson alluded to her work with

the Elders, a human rights advocacy group founded by Nelson Mandela, where members are encouraged to

tell young people they are the future, "not in a glib way, but in a really affirming way". Continued on page 2…

Sin features editor, Óra Ryan, and co-features and deputy news editor Sean Dunne with former Irish President Mary Robinson before she gave a public lecture in NUI Galway on Monday 14 January.


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Proposed scheme will destroy graduate nurses By James Falconer Some NUIG students, with the backing of their Student Union, supported the boycott of the Graduate Employment Scheme, which took place in Croke Park on Saturday 5 January. Graduates, current nurses, agency nurses and undergraduate students all took part in the demonstration. They joined forces with the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) who have guaranteed additional agitation to foil the grossly unfair new scheme. Under the terms of the proposed scheme, those entering nursing will begin on a salary of €22,000. Moreover, nursing graduates who are fully qualified and registered, face a cut of €11,470 from 2009 salaries.

At Saturday’s event, the unions allowed overseas recruitment agencies to set up stalls, offering attractive alternatives to hanging around Ireland for a meagre wage. In Australia, for example, a nurse earns double what he/she would in Ireland. On allowing overseas recruitment firms to attend the event, PNA deputy general secretary Seamus Murphy said; “If we are asking people to boycott this, unfortunately we have to give them an alternative.” Murphy is optimistic about the boycott’s success and he believes that about two thirds of 2012 graduates attended the demonstration in Croke Park. He hopes that they will “get the word out” and envisages triumph over the proposed cuts, the unfairness of which he describes as “quite unbelievable”.

He described how many graduates in recent years had had legitimate expectations on a good standard of professional employment, but these failures in salaries and limited job opportunities meant that many graduates had already emigrated. “I feel very bad for these people,” Mr Murphy said, adding that some graduates had left well-paid jobs to enter nursing, and were now expected to work for even less. The HSE’s national director of human resources Barry O’Brien, found it difficult to understand the INMO’s position given their previous criticism of a lack of opportunities for nursing graduates in Ireland. He said; “In the current economic environment, and with very limited recruitment opportunities in the public sec-

tor, this is an opportunity for 2012 Nursing and Midwifery graduates to gain substantial clinical experience to further their career and professional development, with the security of a 2 year contract and salary.” This statement wouldn’t wash with final year NUI Galway Nursing Student, Liam Loughnane, who said that

“After studying for four years to get a degree in nursing, I hoped to be in a position to begin a career here and start clearing my debts. However, after four years of study and working in hospitals, my gross salary will be €22,000. I didn’t expect to be wealthy by becoming a nurse, but I thought that four years of

study, together with the work we do would stand for something.” If only there was the political will to tackle the massively bloated layers of administration and middle management that exist in the HSE as opposed to hitting those who devote themselves to working tirelessly on the frontline.

NUI Galway SU and some of the NUI Galway students at the Nursing and Midwifery Rally to boycott the Graduate Employment Scheme which would see newly qualified nurses offered employment only on the basis they take a 20% cut in the current graduate pay.

Gardaí stop USI protest in its tracks Students struggle as grants By Conor Lane without any explanation for it ended with their arrest and are further delayed The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) was forced to cancel its protest outside Dáil Éireann on December 19 after An Garda Síochána refused permission for it to go ahead at the last minute, amidst much student outrage towards the government’s education cuts. The protest was arranged to object against the 3% cut to the income threshold for the maintenance grant and the continuing SUSI grant application crisis. Originally, the USI had been granted permission by the Gardaí – as had been the case many times before in the past – to stage a peaceful protest, but they received an email in the final hours before it was due to take place that stated “under no circumstances was [it] to go ahead”

the change in decision. President of USI, John Logue, said; “We set out preparing for it; we had tents and print outs. [The organisation for the protest came] at a significant cost to us.” However, Gardaí later released a statement, indicating that it had not been possible to facilitate the protest “due to the nature of it” and that “public safety [had] to be kept in mind”. Over the last couple of months, student leaders have become increasingly vocal with their displeasure over the grant cuts, which coincided with six students from NUI Galway and Galway-Mayo I.T. occupying Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s office in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, just before Christmas. Their original plan was to stay in his office for days, but

SU Officers Paul, Dami and Conor along with members of GMIT SU took part in a sit-in protest in Enda Kenny’s constituency office in Castlebar, calling on him to reverse the recent budget decisions.

detainment after an hourand-a-half. They were released without charge from Castlebar Garda Station. The key point that the S.U. members involved in this protest were trying to make was that the cuts to the maintenance grant would only offer small savings overall to the government and the money could be found from other sources. Paul Curley, NUI Galway Students’ Union (SU) President, declared; “[The government] told us that they wouldn’t make any cuts to the maintenance grant, but they’ve increased the threshold level. It’s basically a slap in the face for students because a lot of people will be affected by this. We [occupied] the Taoiseach’s office to stand up for students.” Dami Adebari, the SU Welfare Officer, affirmed; “Although many marches and different forms of protest took place before the budget, the government once again did not heed its children’s voice and chose to neglect them once again by increasing fees. NUI Galway and GMIT students refuse to give up and will continue to fight [for] a worthy cause: an Ireland with a truly free and fair education system.”

Continued from page 1… He said; “While some Students’ Unions can provide basic assistance as regards food and modest welfare loans, they cannot pay rent or fees for students who rely on grants to cover these costs. The chronic delay with grant payments is stretching the patience of landlords to breaking point. They are putting students under immense pressure to come up with payments that are now months overdue.” Education Officer Conor

Stitt stated that the difficult situation students are now struggling to cope with is “absolutely appalling”. He said; “I never foresaw, coming into this job, that there would be a mess-up that would see students unable to get the financial aid that they are entitled to.” Mr Stitt also expressed his disbelief that SUSI are putting the fault on the students. Earlier this month, SUSI stated that many students have not supplied the relevant details to receive their first grant pay-

ment and that once these details have been provided, payments will be issued immediately. Speaking on the student assistance fund, John Logue said; “USI is calling on the Minister to commit to providing adequate resources for the [fund] at a time when it faces unprecedented demand. This fund is an emergency option for students on the brink of dropping out. If it runs out of money, so do they.” Students in difficulty are urged to seek help from their Students’ Union.

Former President of Ireland visits NUI Galway Continued from page 1… She urged all parents and grandparents to be honest with young people about life’s difficulties, but tell them; “we believe in you, we have faith in you, we actually want to support you." Ms Robinson also spoke of her disappointment regarding the relative lack of progress made by women in politics since she left office over fifteen years ago.

"In some ways, things have gone well and in other ways, it's surprising that they have not gone better," she said “I thought that we were on a clearer path to women taking their full place [in politics]… actually it hasn’t happened. There are struggles now that younger women have to fight.” She feels that a lack of confidence may have restricted women from progressing further in politics.

"Be confident in your ability, know that your country will be better served by all of you reaching your full potential," she advised. The champion of women’s rights admitted she was reluctant to describe herself as a feminist during her presidency, for fear of being pigeon-holed. She said being “bracketed” as a feminist may have led to a loss of credibility in certain circles.


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Editorial

By Jessica Thompson Here we are in semester two already. Oh how the time flies. You’ve all been through that stressful exam time, followed by a few weeks of parties, presents, food, and sleep. Now the turkey and pudding and Christmas trees seem like a distant memory. Now is the time we get enthusiastic. We’ve had our few lazy weeks and have slept ourselves into

boredom and for many of us, getting back to college is a pleasant break from the monotony. In many ways, we’re starting again. Last semester’s modules, for many, are over, and the New Year brings new classes, new lecturers, possibly new friends and classmates. New Year’s resolutions are upon us and Sin’s resolution is to get sin. ie up and running at last. Plans are well underway to move online, and we hope to have a beautiful, new, interactive website running by February. So what’s your new year’s resolution? Will you quit smoking? Cut back on alcohol intake? Join more societies and get involved? Join the

gym? Órla and Sean didn’t waste any time getting back out there and asking you what your resolutions were. Turn to page 19 for this issue’s Student Speak and see what the students of NUI Galway are resolving to do for the new year. We’ve probably all put on a bit of weight over the Christmas, let’s face it. No, I’m not calling you fat, I’m just saying maybe you could do with trying out a healthier lifestyle, and our number one fitness man, John Mulry, has provided us with five tips to lose the jingle bellies many of us have accumulated over the past month. January is the month we all try to get fit and healthy, and on page 26, John Mulry and Kiri Renssen tell you how you can jump on the wagon. It’s around this time that

people are out walking, running, or jogging the roads, trying to get fit. The Prom in Salthill is packed with groups of runners, families walking their dogs and kids, and friends jogging. It’s time for people to grab what Kiri calls a ‘resolution buddy’ and get out there and join them. This is also the time people try to quit smoking, or cut back on alcohol or attempt a healthier diet. Our content on page 26 will give you some great advice on becoming a healthier, happier you in no time. If shedding a few pounds isn’t your goal, then perhaps you’re more into fashion and changing your wardrobe. January is a time for sales. Many people empty out their wardrobes and fill them with shiny new gar-

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ments, ready for Spring. Out with the old and in with the new, and that’s exactly what Ciara Treacy talks about in her fashion article on page 18. But enough about the new year, what else have we covered this issue? The biggest event of the semester so far is probably the visit from our former Irish President, Mary Robinson, who gave a public lecture in NUI Galway last Monday 14 January. Two of our journalists managed to interview the lady herself, and even had an article published in The Irish Independent – a proud achievement. On page 11, Sean recounts what it was

like to conduct what was probably the biggest interview of his career to date. As always, our Arts and Entertainment section is packed with previews and reviews of the latest plays, TV shows and movies, so if you’re looking for some entertainment this January, be sure to check them out. On behalf of all here at Sin I’d like to wish our readers a very successful new year. Perhaps you’ll make a resolution to contribute to NUI Galway’s only student newspaper? I always welcome new writers or photographers. Until next issue, Jess

Galway may have inspired Middle Earth By Marése O’Sullivan Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien may have been influenced by Galway’s beauty to pen his famous fantasy novels, it has been revealed. The NUI Galway Archives recently released copies of examination papers set by Tolkien, who was an English Literature external examiner for NUI Galway first-years in the 1940s and 1950s. At this time, he was Professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College, Oxford. The NUI Galway summer examinations of 1949, 1950, 1954 and 1959 took place shortly after Tolkien had completed his trilogy of bestsellers, but according to Barry Houlihan – a James

Hardiman Library archivist – Tolkien’s time in Galway may have still contributed to his portrayal of MiddleEarth. “He would have been in the college quite a bit around that time, as he also spent a lot of time travelling around Connemara and The Burren,” he declared. “1949, the first year [that he was an NUI Galway external examiner], corresponds with the year he finished the books and then they weren’t published for several years.” He also spoke of the excitement that students had upon realising the renowned writer’s connection to Galway. “What’s really noticeable is that the papers really are difficult. Some students have said the first-year

exam paper he corrected is harder than the final-year paper today. The students are just glad they were not facing [those exams] themselves,” he smiled. Peter Curtin, of the Burren Tolkien Society, states that Rose MacNamara, the daughter of former NUI Galway Professor Diarmuid Murphy, remembered Tolkien as a “lifelong friend” of the Murphy family. He said; “[Tolkien’s] relationship with the Murphys extended throughout the lifetime of Diarmuid Murphy. […] Rose confirmed that her parents took Tolkien to the Burren and also to Connemara.” Indeed, he pointed out the unusual coincidence that may have inspired a little Irishness in the

character of Gollum; “The Burren is home to the largest cave system in Ireland, the entrance of which lies about four miles from Gregan's Castle [where Tolkien regularly visited his friend, Frank Martyn]. It comprises of fifteen miles of underground passages. The entrance is called Pol na Gollum (translated from the Irish as ‘the Hole of Gollum’).” A symposium will be held by Mr. Curtin in May as part of The Gathering, celebrating Galway’s link to Professor Tolkien, but until then fans can check out The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which is in cinemas now, and wait for its sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, scheduled for release later this year.

Editor: Jessica Thompson | editor@sin.ie Layout: Shannon Reeves | Contact via Ed. News Editor: Marése O’Sullivan | localnews.sined@gmail.com Deputy News Editor: Sean Dunne | nationalnews.sined@gmail.com Features Editors: Órla Ryan. Sean Dunne | features.sined@gmail.com Fashion, Arts & Entertainment Editor: James Falconer | artsentertainment.sined@gmail.com Sports Editor: Mark Higgins | sport.sined@gmail.com Sinners: Eileen Cameron | Kevin Cassidy | Paul Cassidy | Kirsty An Chnoic | Paul Curley | Claire Devaney | Frank Doherty | Sean Dunne | James ­Falconer | Aisling Finn | Kenneth Glennon | Tom Hayes | Sinéad L. Healy | Luke Henderson | Mark Higgins | Lyndsay Hughes | Khai El Baba Jones | Jane Kearns | Leigh Michael Keeney | Mark Kelly | Roisin Kelly | Conor Lane | Ebhan Loughlin | Isabella De Luca | Ian Mac Carlúis | Austin Maloney | Luke McGrath | Connor McDonough-Flynn | Alison McNamara | Shannon McNamee | Merryman | Ryan Muldoon | Aisling Mullen | John Mulry | Martin O’ Donoghue | Aisling O’Herlihy | Marése O’Sullivan | Robin Pötke | Kiri Renssen | Christopher Ryan | Órla Ryan | Conor Stitt | Jessica Thompson | Ciara Treacy


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NUI Galway sailing away with it By James Falconer The NUI Galway sailing team was recently named Irish Cruiser Racing Association's (ICRA) ‘Boat of the Year’. The award was presented to the NUI Galway team in Kilkenny at the ICRA’s annual conference in December. The event was attended by some of Ireland’s leading sailors, race organisers and yacht racing experts such as Olympic race officer Jack Roy and Volvo Ocean Race champion, Damian Foxall.

Competition was high with nine boats from around Ireland being shortlisted for the ‘Boat of the Year’ award. ICRA is the organising expert of Irish yacht racing, recognising racing excellence at both national and international levels, respectively. NUI Galway’s sailing yacht took part in the 2012 Round Ireland Yacht Race finishing 6th overall, but were 1st place in their class. One of the youngest teams in the race, NUIG was the second Irish boat to finish the race.

While preparing for the Round Ireland race they took part in the Wales to Wicklow race, where they finished Class 1 winners. The NUI Galway crew is made up of students and graduates from various disciplines including engineering, science and commerce and includes Ben Scallan, Eoghan McGregor, Eoin Breen, Joan Mulloy, Mark Armstrong, Ruaidhri De Faoite, Conor Kinsella, David Fitzgerald, Louis Mulloy and Cathal Clarke. The future is very bright for sport at NUI Galway.

Six motions passed by SU Council By Mark Kelly On Monday 14 November, the Students Union Executive, Class Reps and other interested students met in IT250 to discuss several topics. The first motion on the table was to remove political affiliations being brought up during debates, proposed by Mark Kelly, SU Council Chairperson. After a few speeches from the floor, it passed with a unanimous decision. Next, Paul Curley, SU President, brought up motions to create taskforces, combining both Executive Officers and Class Reps, to draw up policies for cyber-bullying and drug-use prevention. Both passed with not a single person opposing. Then came the debate many were waiting for.

Frank Doherty proposed that the SU should campaign for legislation of the X case and also campaigning for legalisation of abortion in Ireland. He claimed it was a disgrace that Ireland, a liberal country, had no way for a woman to get an abortion. Paul Curley then argued it would change the SU’s stance from pro-information to pro-choice. However, Saoirse Nic A Bhrid pointed out that no matter what was decided in the chamber, students would be angry that they had no say in the decision. The question was then not put as class reps chose to 9B the motion, meaning it would not be put to a vote. After this, Claire McCallion, SU Equality Officer, proposed an Equality policy. Some students asked a few questions, before the

motion was carried with no opposition. Conor Stitt, SU Education Officer, then proposed that lecturers should be made put their notes on Blackboard. Rosemary Gallagher opposed, saying students had been “taking notes for 1,000 years before Blackboard”. The motion was carried by a heavy majority. The final motion of the night was also Conor’s, about Postgrad Officer duties, and the fact the officer would have to work more closely with the Education Officer to elect Class Reps and take a big role in Postgrad societies. This was passed without opposition. Finally, three reps (Ava, Amy and Patrick) were elected to the Academic Council as Undergraduate Reps.

Dyke Road shortcut to receive overhaul By Paul Cassidy The popular student shortcut connecting the Dyke Road to the Quincentenary Bridge is due to be converted into a new pedestrian and cycle ramp. Officials put forward plans for the connection between the N6 and the Dyke Road at City Hall on Monday the 7th. One official said that the overhaul will “enhance the access by creating a safe pedestrian

access and open the access point to new users on bikes and other persons who may be mobility impaired.” This motion seeks permission for a new pedestrian/cyclist ramp and steps on the grassy bank connecting the N6 and the Dyke Road. It also sought the fitting of new bike rails to the existing steps on the south side of the road. This will come as welcome news to many students of NUIG, ­particularly

those living in the Terryland area. The shortcut at present can occasionally become muddy and difficult to pass through – especially in bad weather. Much littering also occurs around the shortcut, which the new works will hopefully help to improve. The motion received a warm response from local politicans who voted to pass the plans. Local authorities will now move forward with the works.

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NUI Galway lecturer launches new book on influential intellectual movement By Martin O’Donoghue

This Wednesday (January 23) sees the launch of “Tuairim, intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954-75” (Manchester University Press) by Dr. Tomás Finn, lecturer in Modern Irish History at NUI Galway. Based on Dr. Finn’s PhD thesis, the book examines the work of Tuairim (Irish for opinion), a political ‘think-tank’ boasting members like Garret Fitz­ Gerald, future Supreme Court Judge Donal Barrington, Miriam Hederman O’Brien and David Thornley, which sought to consider ways of reimagining the Irish state amidst the economic and social upheavals of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The society’s hopes for moves towards equality of opportunity and increased co-operation provoked a strong reaction from vested interests,

particularly the Catholic Church, but also facilitated increased activity by the state. Drawing on original research and interviews with members, the book now assesses the relative successes and failures of the organisation at a time of current public debate on national policy, administration and Ireland’s intellectual and cultural development in the post-Celtic Tiger era. Dr. Finn feels that Tu a i r i m “ p r o v i d e d a unique space for civic engagement for public intellectuals and made a significant contribution to debates on contemporary Ireland and its future”. The book argues that Tuairim influenced ‘key public policy decisions’ such as investment in education, reforms to censorship and the childcare system, the central importance of economic planning to Ireland’s

future and moves towards a more conciliatory policy regarding Northern Ireland where Barrington in particular was an early advocate of the principal of consent later exemplified in the Good Friday Agreement. The book also considers Tuairim’s contributions to debates on administrative and Oireachtas reform and public policy. According to Dr. Finn; “this book is concerned with Tuairim’s role in the modernisation of Ireland. In so doing it also addresses topics of continued relevance for the Ireland of today, including the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the institutional care of children.” The book will be launched by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Dr Mary Harris and Professor Jim Doolan (a member of Tuairim) on Wednesday at 6pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway.

Survey on violence launched by USI By James Falconer

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have launched a national survey on students’ experiences of violence. The purpose of this survey is to better understand the extent and nature of violence experienced by students. The survey also seeks to establish how safe or unsafe students feel in different environments. Regardless of whether or not a student has experienced any kind of violence or harassment, the 10-15 minute survey will give a far greater understanding and ability to those who deal with issues of violence experienced by students. Moreover, the survey will give all of us a much better awareness of the levels of violence which we (third level students) can be subjected to. The survey has sec-

tions which ask about a student’s experience(s) of the following: unwanted obsessive behaviour and stalking; harassment; educational support; physical mistreatment and violence; and unwanted sexual experiences. The USI is conducting this survey with the support of Cosc – the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence. Gary Heylin, Director of Cosc said; “By increasing our understanding of the extent and nature of violence experienced by third level students we can improve our actions to counter such violence and support those who have experienced it.” The survey can be completed confidentially and will seek information from students of all genders and sexualities. The USI encourages all students to complete the

online questionnaire as soon as they can so that the findings can be made available at the end of next month. The USI, in conjunction with their member organisations throughout the country, will be promoting this survey over the coming weeks. Laura Harmon, USI Vice President for Equality and Citizenship said; “This is the first time that we have undertaken a study of this scale for this age group. We hope that the information we receive will be useful in ensuring that the future campaigns USI and local Students’ Unions run in this area will be well informed and targeted. The survey includes contact details for relevant support organisations so that students know where to go if they need support.” Turn to page 16 for a link to the survey.


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Inquest into Savita’s death begins

Bus Eireann strike averted

By Jane Kearns

By Frank Doherty

LM_Ire_Student_Union_(w)250x(h)161mm.indd 7

The preliminary inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar began on Friday (January 18) in the Galway courthouse. More than 40 witnesses were expected to provide written statements to the Gardaí in connection with her death, which would then be used in the full

inquest which is to go ahead in March. Mrs Halappanavar (31) died in University College Hospital Galway on 28 October 2012 of septicaemia, seven days after being admitted with back pain to its maternity unit. She was 17 weeks pregnant and found to be miscarrying. Her husband Praveen claimed she asked on several occasions

Savita in Galway for St. Patrick’s Day 2011. Photo by Christopher Tierney.

for a termination but was refused after a foetal heartbeat was detected and on the grounds that Ireland is a Catholic country where terminating a pregnancy is illegal. Two separate inquiries are also under way into the case. A clinical review is being carried out by the Health Service Executive and a statutory investigation is being conducted by the Health Information and Quality Authority. Mr Halappanavar is not co-operating with the HSE review led by Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, an expert on maternal care from the University of London, or the inquiry by patient safety watchdog HIQA, but will take part in the inquest. Galway West coroner Dr Ciran McLoughlin said he was asking for the use of a courtroom for a week in March to allow for all the time needed.

Unions representing membership working in Bus Eireann were to strike on Sunday 13 January, over the company’s threats of pay and job cuts as well as degrading working conditions. However the action has since been postponed as union reps and bosses attend the Labour Court after talks at the Labour Relations Commission. The NBRU, National Bus and Rail Union, who represent over 1,100 workers of Bus Eireann’s 2,500, were the first to vote with 90% of the membership choosing to take action, in the form of an immediate strike on Sunday, the day the cuts were to be imposed. SIPTU, the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union and the TSSA or Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association joined

calls for action, proposing to picket stations from the following Thursday. Bus Eireann justifies the measures it wishes to take with projected losses for 2013 of €16 million and seeks to make savings of €20 million with €9 million in cuts to payroll. This current proposal is the product of an earlier rejection of even more severe cuts brought forth during last summer. Changes include cuts to shift payment, rota allowances and expenses are to be cut by a third. The company also wishes to increase the working week to 39 hours from 36 and to cut sick and holiday pay. NBRU General Secretary argue that the revised plans were not negotiated, contain measures which were never discussed either in previous negotiations or when both sides were before the LRC. It has

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also been pointed out that changes should be negotiated grade by grade, where changes would be specific to a worker’s pay packet, which has not happened to date. The Labour Court decision will have to be accepted by vote by each union for it to be binding and while Bus Eireann’s spokesperson, Andrew McLindon, said there was positive engagement and some common ground, union leaders said that serious concerns remain around cuts to shift allowances which would result in a €30 cut per shift. This is against the backdrop of public service unions calling the governments proposed renegotiation of the Croke Park agreement as “Draconian” and warnings from SIPTU Vice President Patricia King of industrial action against compulsory redundancies.


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Galway public libraries take a cut By James Falconer Galway’s public libraries have not escaped the wrath of public funding cuts. After the County Council’s decision to cut the 2013 budget for purchasing new books, a Galway County librarian maintains that funding to the library service will be restored to full levels in 2014. The County Council’s draft budget for 2013 had originally predicted outgoings of close to €5 million for the operation of the library and archival service. However, this is already a drop of €219,000 on the council’s 2012 expenditure on the service. €300,000 of this figure had been earmarked for the “Purchase of Books, CDs, etc.,” according to the budget document, and would also have been used to supply newspapers and CD ROMs in the county’s libraries.

A proposal to increase the charge on commercial water by 18% to €1.37 per cubic metre and waste water by 19% to €1.45 per cubic metre was met with strong opposition from council members, who feared such measures would harm small businesses and farmers. An amendment by Cllr McClearn proposed to maintain the 2012 levels of commercial water charges by making cuts to areas such as street cleaning and the library budget. County Manager Martina Moloney was vocal in her concerns, but the amendment was passed unanimously by council members and the library service’s budget for book purchases has now been halved from €300,000 to €150,000. This sees the overall budget dropping from €4,989,245 to €4,839,245 for 2013. Cllr Nuala Nolan hit out

at the cuts in the funding of new books for Galway’s libraries, despite an increase in the number of people now availing of library services. She said; “Latest figures for the uptake of library services show that the funding for 2013 should have been ring fenced.” The funding for Galway City and County Libraries has been cut from a proposed €200,000 to just €50,000. She described the cut, which was implemented to divert funds to Galway Airport and water services, as “totally short sighted; this money should have been taken from another source rather than the libraries.” She added that as a lifetime user of the library service, she finds it “unbelievable that such a move could have been backed by county councillors who are there to represent services for the public”.

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Local sporting event to increase awareness of positive mental health By Conor Lane Youth Work Ireland is coordinating with the Galway Rape Crisis Centre to launch a sporting event called ‘S.P.A.C.E’ for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15. The competition will take place in the Kingfisher, Newcastle, on January 26, from 9am to 5pm, for a €5 online registration fee and non-participants can sponsor contestants. The pentathlon-styled nature of this event, which will include tests of speed (swimming), power (obstacle course), agility (wall-climbing), concentration (archery) and endurance (gym bikes), is hoping to raise awareness and funds for both organisations and further its primary goal

of continuing to empower young people in Ireland by combining the nation’s love of competition with a widereaching social agenda. Since 1962, Youth Work Ireland has been working towards giving young people a voice, so that they may be afforded the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations. The Rape Crisis Centre has dedicated itself to counselling and providing support for those who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence. These organisations employ trained staff and volunteers through community-based services to improve the quality of life of young and traumatized people in Ireland. With mental health issues, such as depression and anxi-

GMIT students cash in with scholarships By James Falconer 21 students at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) have been awarded scholarships worth almost €70,000. The scholarships were awarded at a formal reception in the college this month, presided over by GMIT president Michael

Carmody and GMIT registrar Michael Hannon. Ten of the students received academic scholarships for having the highest points in the Leaving Certificate in their respective areas of study in GMIT. The academic scholarships given out annually are based on academic merit. The recipients are those

ety, coming onto the media’s radar in Irish life in a wider sense, these associations believe they must continue to push the envelope to give young people an outlet for their needs. World-record breaking marathoner, Richard Donovan, commented; “I’m delighted to be involved in endorsing the promotion of physical activities, especially among young people. I look forward to giving a presentation on what it’s like to travel to places such as the North and South Poles, outlining how camps are set up, and how difficult it is to undertake physical activities in different extreme locations such as deserts, mountains and cold weather environments.” who have achieved the highest Leaving Certificate points in their particular school or campus. One first year mature student also receives a scholarship. There is one scholarship in each of the Schools of Business, Engineering, Hotel, Humanities (excluding Art & Design), and Science on the Galway Campus, one in the Department of Art & Design at Cluain Mhuire, and one each at the Castlebar and Letterfrack Campuses.

Improved access for ‘ladies’ in Salthill By James Falconer The improved access to ladies beach in Salthill will invite more sun, sand, and sea worshippers to use the facilities at Galway Bay. The sun, which is known to make the odd appearance, the sand and sea are guaranteed, so improved access to this amenity is welcomed. It is likely that after the improved access and safety features the number of users will increase at the popular seaside location. Councillor Donal Lyons says the upgrades will encourage more people to use the facility. Lyons is glad to see the extra railings erected which add accessibility and he said that further ramps are set to be installed during the year.

The shower is being replaced and the area is getting a nice tidy up. The beach is traditionally known as Ladies beach because in the 1950s and 60s Bishop Browne only allowed

ladies and families to swim there. In 2013, men and dogs are allowed too! However, dog owners are encouraged to clean up after their pets that are ultimately their responsibility.

On November 21, NUI Galway Energy Society hosted a talk on electric cars by ESB E-car Ambassador Sean Clancy. Sean spoke about the benefits of electric cars and their every day usage. He also spoke in detail about how he and a neighbout customized a regular petrol car into an electric vehicle in 1980. Photo by Aisling Mullen.


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Smartphone leads to successful Galway mountain rescue By Sinead L Healy New rescue technology was successfully used for the first time by the Galway Mountain Rescue a few weeks ago, through an idea created by Russ Hore of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team in Wales: pinpointing the exact location of lost walkers by using a smartphone. The Galway Mountain Rescue team were first contacted by Gardaí in Clifden at 5pm on Saturday 29 December and informed that a group of hill-walkers were trapped on Tully Moun-

tain, near Letterfrack, due to harsh weather conditions. The team responded immediately using Hore’s SARLOC system, which allowed them to track the walkers’ position immediately. Rescuers were dispatched to the location, near the peak of the mountain, and the three stranded tourists were treated for hypothermia before being evacuated by foot. This new technological advancement allows rescue teams to connect with smartphones of lost hill-walkers. The system works on phones

with a built-in GPS and an active 3G connection. The rescue team will send a link via text message which, in turn, interrogates the hill-walker’s phone and transmits its position directly back to the team’s live-asset tracking software. However, by relying on the need for 3G phone coverage, the system can be limited in its use. A delighted Alan Carr, the Galway Mountain Rescue Team Leader, declared; “This was the first time that we have used this system in a real incident in Connemara and it worked perfectly.”

Wave Change: encouraging innovation for Ireland’s future By Leigh Michael Keeney

This year’s batch of 25 Irish innovators are about to kick off on a 10 month project from February to September run by Wave Change, a social change and innovation programme that connects, supports and invests in 18-25 year olds who desire change in Ireland and are making that change happen. The programme consists of five weekend expert-led, hands-on workshops in locations around Ireland and aims to jumpstart or accelerate ideas, test your progress and keep you on track. This opportunity offers each successful applicant one-to-one support sessions to ensure they get the best advice and confidence-boost needed to make their ideas a reality. Through an intense team experience, participants are challenged to develop their own vision for Ireland’s future. Wave change calls together all social entrepreneurs and change-makers who are bringing about change in their local and national community in areas as diverse as educational reform to jobs training, mental health, the arts

or the juvenile justice system. It strives to equip them with leadership skills as well as knowhow to progress their ideas. It helps them build a network of supporters, influencers & stakeholders to make a powerful contribution to Ireland’s future and at the end of the programme, applicants will have the chance to pitch for the Wave Change Seed Fund. In 2012, Wave Changers founded community service projects in Dublin’s inner city, set up mental health services in the West of Ireland, and established a three day European Hip Hop festival in Cork. Past participants are now emerging as the new generation of social entrepreneurs winning the Arthur Guinness Fund award, contributing to national media on a range of issues and setting up local social enterprises. Dublin-based Gar y Gannon says; "I want to make a contribution to society. We hear so much about where our country went wrong but I want to be among those who make things better. Wave Change helped me create a movement called LOCAL who highlight

the many positives of the North Inner City." Participation in Wave Change is completely free. 40 people are selected for Boot Camp on the 19 and 20 January on the basis of their passion and after an interview on the second day, 25 participants will be selected for the 10 month programme. Application for 2014 will open later this year so if you’d like to apply, nominate someone or find out more you can do so on the website: www. wavechange.ie.

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Galway virtually litter free By Austin Maloney There was good news for Galway City and NUI Galway when the Irish Business against Litter organisation produced its annual assessment on the litter-status of Ireland’s towns and cities. Galway and NUIG were classified as ‘Cleaner than European Norms’ and ‘Clean to European Norms’ respectively, which means that they are regarded as virtually litter-free. In the survey, which includes all Irish towns with a population of more than 6000 residents, Galway was ranked fifteenth out of forty-two urban areas.

It was also, after Kilkenny, the second cleanest city in the survey. The results are a significant improvement on last year, when Galway came thirty-first out of fifty-three contenders. The survey received special praise for the Salthill Prom, describing it as an “excellent site” and “a credit to the users and those responsible for its maintenance”. It took a more negative view of Galwegians RFC however, labelling it “by far the most heavily littered site surveyed in Galway”. Galway City Council said that it “commends

local communities across the city as well as acknowledging the great work being achieved by volunteers and businesses. City Council also recognises the work being undertaken in partnership between Glan Suas Gaillimh, the City Centre Tidy Towns Group and City Council Litter Crews in achieving this great result.” The survey also included a review of Ireland’s third level campuses, in which NUI Galway performed well and received an ‘A’ rating. However, it still finished behind Trinity, UCC and DCU which all received ‘A+’ ratings.

Galway Ironman Triathlon cancelled By Jane Kearns

Since 2011, the Galway Iron Man Triathlon has been attracting thousands of athletes from across Ireland, Europe and North America; but the popular race which consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile cycle, and a 13.1 mile run has been cancelled due to funding issues. Organisers, E&R Events, recently announced the cancellation through their website and expressed disappointment that the triathlon will not go ahead. E&R Events company is run by Galway city natives Eoin McCormack and

Ronan Gilligan, who had a five year contract with Ironman to run triathlons in Ireland and almost 1,600 athletes had pre-registered to take part in the 2013 race, which was due to be scheduled for September. Mr McCormack said the organisers were expected to put up €250,000 to stage an Ironman event, but were forced to call it off when it became evident that Failte Ireland – who granted €65,000 for the race during the last two years would not be able to provide funding, even though the Western Development Commission found that the inaugural

event was worth over €10 million to the Galway economy. Mr McCormack said; “We put in an application to Fáilte Ireland for somewhere close to half what it normally costs a city to host an Ironman event. Fáilte Ireland at a local level were very supportive of this event, but we had to call it off when the funding was not forthcoming this year at a national level. I think it’s ironic that we have to turn people away when ‘The Gathering’ is on.” Despite this year’s set back, E&R Events plan to go ahead with Iron Man for 2014.

Rotaract Society and College Bar would like to thank everyone who attended and donated to Christmas Day. We raised a total of E1250, which we donated to Bernie McHugh from LARCC Cancer Support. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all updates on our events this semester.


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world N ews

Early Disney drawings go on show By Shannon McNamee Tatton Park Antiques and Fine Art Fair in Chesire, England has recently become host to a new collection of rare, original pencil drawings from Walt Disney's first animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The drawings (that are publicly on display for the

first time) were originally created in pencil, and were the foundation for the on-screen animation of the film. The artwork, which is both in colour and monochrome, was created in 1937, and was donated to Tatton Park Antiques and Fine Art Fair by former Disney storyboard artist, who worked on the production of Snow White.

The collection also includes a rare pencil drawing of Disney's most famous character, Mickey Mouse dating from 1993. The park in Chesire hosts a vast number of events during the year and will be exhibiting original Beatrix Potter artwork in late March, maintaining its support of fine art.

Unpublished colour photos of Beatles first US tour to be auctioned By Claire Devaney Rare colour photos of The Beatles 1965 US tour have been discovered. These photos include close up shots of the band at a press conference in the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel, George Harrison with his red Rickenbacker guitar, a gig at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, and a private party at the Beverly Hills Mansion of Alan Livingston, president of

Capitol Records at the time. The collection will go on sale on 22 March. Auctioneer, Paul Fairweather of Omega Auctions in Stockport Chesire said; "This is a fabulous collection, particularly given that all the slides are in colour. We are expecting worldwide interest and estimate that they will achieve in the region of £10-15,000." The intriguing thing about the collection is in fact the

colour element of the photos the majority of the photos and footage taken of the band at the time was in black and white. They were taken by renowned physicist and inventor Bob Beck, and were discovered in his Hollywood home after he died in 2002. Colour photography began to be used more widely after 1965 with the 1965 show in Shea Stadium filmed in colour by the BBC.

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Hacked off publishers draft bill of media regulations By Marése O’Sullivan The campaign group ‘Hacked Off’ have published a draft bill in response to the Leveson Inquiry, which they claim would implement the recommendations of the Leveson Report in full. Lord Justice Leveson is in charge of a two-part investigation into the role of the press and police in the United Kingdom, particularly in relation to phone-hacking, which resulted in a report on press standards in November 2012 after eight months of hearings. ‘Hacked Off’ – an organisation supporting the victims of phone hacking and press abuse, including the parents of the abducted Madeline McCann and

murder victim Milly Dowler, as well as celebrities like J.K. Rowling and Hugh Grant – believes that newspaper publishers are reluctant to see the instigation of a press regulator for media standards. Their draft bill incorporates the enshrinement of the freedom of the press in statute for the first time. “This is not a bill for press regulation as Hacked Off or anyone else would wish it; it is a bill to underpin voluntary press self-regulation in the way Lord Justice Leveson wanted it,” said Professor Brian Cathcart of ‘Hacked Off’. Gerry McCann, father of Madeline, stated: “Full implementation of Lord Justice Leveson’s Report is the minimum acceptable com-

promise for me and I think for many other victims who have suffered at the hands of the press.” However, the Prime Minister David Cameron does not believe a bill will be necessary and it is unlikely to progress into law without the support of parliament. “Cross-party talks [on press regulation] are ongoing,” he revealed. “Over the past two months, we have had many discussions with the industry, victims’ representatives and others,” declared a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in the UK. “Maria Miller [Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport] has been clear that she does not favour legislation to regulate the press.”

Scientists find genetic link between epilepsy and migraines By Marése O’Sullivan Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York have confirmed a genetic link between epilepsy and migraines. In a study published by the journal Epilepsia, five hundred families with two or more close relatives with epilepsy were analysed, with a result that proved the gene Elongator Protein Complex 4 is linked to Rolandic epilepsy. The findings indicate that having a strong fam-

ily history of seizures could increase the chances of suffering severe migraines, as well as the fact that genes exist that cause both epilepsy and migraine symptoms. With an estimated two and a half million epileptics in the United States alone, this discovery could mean that researchers could be on the road to figuring out the cause of Rolandic epilepsy. “By finding out what this gene does in a specific kind of epilepsy, that will be helpful in trying to figure out different ways of cur-

ing it,” stated Dr. Carl Bazil, Director of the Columbia Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Simon Wigglesworth, Deputy Chief Executive of Epilepsy Action, was equally optimistic; “By understanding how genes work, more targeted treatments could be developed in the future. [This] can only be a good thing. It means that steps can be taken to improve diagnosis and treatment for people living [with] epilepsy and co-existing conditions,” he said.

Helen Mirren Receives Hollywood Walk of Fame Star By Aishling O Herlihy British actress Dame Helen Mirren has further cemented her status as a leading lady by receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 3. Mirren (67) has portrayed many criticallyacclaimed roles, including Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the crimedrama series Prime Suspect; HM The Queen, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Actress in

2007; and, more recently, Alma Reville, the wife of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. During her illustrious career, the actress has received several awards for her performances: three Golden Globes, four Emmy Awards, four BAFTAs and two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Awards. In 2003, she was made a Dame for Services to the Performing Arts. Her star is located in front of the Pig ‘n’ Whistle, one of the best-

known pubs on Hollywood Boulevard. “I’m so very, very proud to be henceforth walked upon, have fries dropped upon, maybe even be peed upon, by future generations of tourists, Angelinos and their dogs. But please, please, no chewing gum,” joked Mirren. “I couldn’t be […] more happy that I’m actually going to finally lie next to Colin Firth, something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time.”


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The need for a change of attitude within Israeli policy towards Palestine By Khai El Baba Jones On Friday 11 January approximately 200 proPalestinian protestors, in what appears to have been a wholly and intentionally peaceful act, erected a tent encampment on one of the controversial proposed building sites within area E1 of the occupied territory of the West Bank, located just east of Jerusalem. They named their encampment Bab al-Shams, and declared it as direct response to the decision taken by the Israeli government to plough ahead with the building of 4,000 new units within this key area of the occupied territories. Many say that the development of Israeli settlements here destroys the possibility of a Palestinian state by cutting off access to East Jerusalem, which would stand as capital of the projected sovereign

Palestine. An Israeli High Court ruling stated that eviction of the encampment should be halted for six days to allow for discussion, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu ordered an immediate eviction on Sunday 13 January in seeming contradiction of that ruling. The legalistic weaselling employed by the evictors held that the High Court ruling applied only to the encampment as a physical presence of tents, and not to the protestors themselves. For many of us eager to see meaningful diplomatic progress made towards a two-state solution, this action to defy the High Court seems emblematic of the wrong-headedness of the current Israeli government when it comes to practical political solutions to the situation, never mind the loftier but

ultimately noble aim of a movement towards an ideology of peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. It is a clear and unsurprising continuation of the mentality which saw Bibi announce the building of the formerly-frozen E1 settlements as a seeming punishment for Palestine achieving ‘non-member observer state’ status in the UN last November, which marked progress towards full recognition of Palestine outside of the direct negotiations favoured by Israel and the US. Though a largely symbolic move, that upgraded status means that Palestinians may be able to access the resources of the International Criminal Court in litigation against Israeli expansionism. Even the loathe-to-criticise US government characterised the recent building proposals

as counterproductive and unhelpful. The Israeli right is on the defensive against an increasingly hostile international environment, which in Israel’s case seems to predict a backlash of aggressive posturing so as not to appear weak. This speaks to the seemingly-prevalent mindset among Israel’s voting majority, who are expected to reinstate Bibi’s rightwing coalition on January 22, which is that increasingly more right-wing and militaristic leadership is needed to preserve Israel’s security from real or would-be aggressors. The more optimistic, or rather less pessimistic, counter-narrative is that Israel’s security could be much more definitively established by extending an offer of compromise in the implementation of a two state solution, in this way de-legitimising

the perceived need among Palestinians for moves outside of direct negotiations, whether peaceful or violent. The first step towards a negotiation in the spirit of peaceful coexistence that Israel should take is clearly a complete cessation of the creation of new settlements in the occupied territories. The majority of Israelis want peace, and no doubt so do the majority of Palestinians. The spiritual progressive Rabbi Michael Lerner attributes the consistent breakdown of peace negotiations over the years to the inability of the actors on either side to recognise the relative rationality of the actions of the other, leading to the continued fostering of harmful resentment on both sides. The rise of the Israeli right is a result of fears among the Israeli populace

for the safety of their Jewish state in a world which, within the last hundred years, attempted to exterminate them as a people. The rise of the militant Hamas in Gaza is the result of frustration at an unsatisfying and stilted process to end the occupation. What is needed is confidence upon both sides in the desire for peace on the part of the other. Now, however, Israel is in a position of far greater power, and, as international support for its policies wanes in tandem with waning US dominance, it ought and could use that position of power to build towards a sympathetic and compromised solution, but it must will it. Rabbi Lerner's recent book on a compassionate solution to the crisis, Embracing Israel/Palestine, is available now from Tikkun Books.


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OPINION: Losing Faith The taboo of being a practicing gay Catholic in Ireland By Ian Mac Carlúis

Unlike Ireland in the 1980’s and 1990’s, to stand up and be counted as a practising Catholic in 2013 takes courage. As college students, we like to rebel and challenge authority. Why should we conform to going to mass and practising our faith as we are told by a hierarchical clergy? Haven’t we heard enough from this institution that has abused its power in Ireland and throughout the world for decades? For the most part, we most certainly have. But does this mean we abandon our faith? Is it best to forget all those years as children, donning our Sunday best and being dragged by the sleeve of our knitted jumpers in through the church door? In light of recent scandals and diminishing respect for the Church and its clergy, is it time we said goodbye to Catholic Ireland or at least to the esteem in which it was once held?

thoughts you’re having. They are sinful. Don’t act upon them. Keep praying and God will guide you to the light.” So I prayed for several weeks hoping for this ‘light’ but I never found it. Once I realised that there was nothing wrong with me and I was no more a sinner than someone who is ‘living in sin’ or ‘taking the name of God in vain’, I thought “to hell with this.” So like many other gay men and women who have been shunned by Catholic Ireland, I abandoned the Church and as a result abandoned God. This is where the problem lies. We must be able to separate the two; God and the Catholic Church are two completely different entities and should be seen as such. It wasn’t until tragedy struck that I went searching for God, as most of us do. As Catholics, we are told that the church is the house

So I go to mass for myself. I go for my own spiritual and mental health. I go to maintain my relationship with God. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go every day or week, but on my time. So many of my friends have turned their back on the Catholic Church for their condemnation of Gay Rights and I respect them for it. We should never apologise for who we are. I wonder myself sometimes, how I can enter the doors of a building where the priest and many of the parishioners don’t accept me? Am I a hypocrite? But you have to laugh it off and think “who in this place isn’t?” I remember seeing a very interesting debate a few years back on the relationship between religion and homosexuality. Senator David Norris was one of the speakers. He insisted that it was his faith that helped him through his

We must be able to separate the two; God and

the Catholic Church are two completely different entities and should be seen as such.

My own spiritual journey was turbulent at the best of times and is still ongoing. It’s fair to say that it was more difficult than most. I realised I was gay in my late teens. I had many questions. Was I no longer a Catholic? Would I be shunned by my local church? Was I a sinner? As a typical Catholic Irishman, I went to confession. It took a lot of courage to finally tell the priest, only to be knocked down straight away. I was told; “These

of God and so I put my morals and principles aside and went to pray, in search of comfort. It was then I realised that the chapel is not just a place run by the clergy but a place of tranquillity and holiness where one can gather ones thoughts and grieve in peace or celebrate with splendour. From that day forth, I returned to the Church but on my terms. We should never apologise for who we are, I never have and I don’t intend to start.

struggles, sexual or otherwise throughout his life and career. Senator Norris made a very interesting observation in the debate; just because we don’t agree with a certain part of the Bible or the Church’s teachings, should we abandon it altogether? The next time you question your faith or your belief in God, don’t think about the priest or the Catholic Church, take some time for yourself and reflect, for therein lies the true meaning of your faith.

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Re:

New Public

I’m a feminist: you can be too By Robin Pötke

I’m a feminist. This might strike you as odd, seeing as I also have a penis. Well, you’re right to be suspicious. I confess that the anticipation of boosting my views was not entirely

(15% in Ireland). Every y e a r, a p p r o x i m a t e l y 70,000 women die from abortions because they cannot access safe and legal termination services. Between 20 and 50% of women will experience some form of domestic violence.

culture in society. When can woman enjoy a night out on the dance floor without having to fend off groping creeps? Hormonally supercharged students threaten their fellow library dwellers with sexual assault on Facebook and everybody

Allegedly, we lads are instinct-driven

barbarians, obsessed with power and possessions, devoid of empathy and sensitivity

absent from my mind when I decided to openly identify as a feminist. On the contrary, nine out of ten women feel the capital F-word can't assert their views as not being “one of those women". This never fails to baffle me: women against feminism... Is this not like African American citizens against Civil Rights? Many people would argue that feminism is no longer needed, as gender equality is the law in this enlightened utopia in which we live. So why keep fighting for women’s rights? A right on paper is only worth the printing costs. You have the right to life, sure, but if I come at you with a broken bottle, your right won’t magically protect you. There is no omniscient sexism squad that will kick down the door the instant a woman is groped in a nightclub by a stranger or, raped by a man she knew and trusted. Rights can’t breathe in a vacuum. Rights need a cultural atmosphere to support them. The reality is that full gender equality is a victory yet to be won. According to UN figures, a staggering 70 per cent of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people are women. 11.7% of the world’s parliamentarians are female

In the game of life, being male is the lower difficulty setting. However, this doesn’t mean that men never suffer from discrimination in an unequal society. The soldiers who risk and lose their lives in pointless wars are overwhelmingly men. But think again: who is sending men into war? Not women, but other men. Patriarchy is still the predominant cultural regime across the globe. Our sexist culture will have us believe that we lads are the master race, but in fact the normative image of the male is not very flattering. Allegedly we are instinct-driven barbarians, obsessed with power and possessions, devoid of empathy and sensitivity, operating only on the following principle: if you can’t eat it, screw it. If you can’t screw it, clobber it over the head. Lads will be lads, right? It’s not our fault that, occasionally, we become so enthralled by our own testosterone that we lose control of our sexual urges and just have to rape someone. I don’t know about you, but I’m not like that. Most men aren’t like that, and feminists know it. Feminists aren’t against men. Feminists are against patriarchy and all other forms of sexism. So we turn to the rape

laughs it off as “just a bitta craic”. Rape apologists still feel called upon to blame the victim (“she asked for it, drinking herself into a delirium, in that short skirt and all...”). We have a problem. In recent months, an Indian woman died after being gang-raped in a moving bus and a British man was viciously murdered in retaliation for a rape he never committed. Both were brutalised in ways I do not wish to recount here. Both were victims of rape culture: the normalisation of sexual assault; the assumption that it’s normal for a man to rape and for a woman to be raped. Here’s the feminist response to rape culture: Women are not objects to be desired and conquered. Men are not drooling cavemen who think with their penises. So, female readers: why would you distance yourself from a movement that seeks to right some of the most entrenched wrongs in society? Why would you hesitate to identify with constructive and egalitarian empowerment? Why would you tolerate gender-based violence and harassment rather than speak out against it? And to my fellow carriers of Y-chromosomes, I have just one question: are you man enough to be a feminist?


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Mary Robinson – “The visible face on the shoulders of so many”

Opinion: “Intellectual disability” does not mean “incapable”

By Sean Dunne

By Marése O’Sullivan

“Be Confident. Be confident in your ability. Know that your country will be better served by all of you.” Words of wisdom from one of Ireland’s most influential women. Having served as the seventh President of Ireland, Mary Robinson made history by being the first ever elected female President. I had the honour of conducting an exclusive interview with one of Ireland’s most iconic women. Ms Robinson walked into the room with the composure that one would expect for such a respected Irish figure, and a striking smile. Shaking hands in a warm and affectionate manner put any pre-interview nerves at ease for this young journalist. Sharing a joke and an affirmative handshake with her husband Nicholas Robinson gave me a great insight into the support Ms Robinson has always felt in her career. She would tell me about this support later. As a student journalist, one really must exhaust all means necessary to get ahead of the game. With so many competing media organisations, I was confident in my ability to get this far and to land my biggest interview to date. Accompanied by friend and fellow student journalist Órla Ryan, we were about to land our first ‘scoop’. Sitting down next to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights truly was an honour. An engaging interview of almost ten minutes would follow. It was not the usual rigid interview that student journalists are oftentimes subjected too. The poise, the character, everything down to the matching pearl earrings and necklace made my time with the former President an enthralling experience. I asked Ms Robinson about her view of how society has engaged with women

in politics since the end of her term as president. She spoke in her soft accent of how some things have gone well and others have not. “I thought we were on a clearer path to women really taking their full place and their full responsibility, and actually it hasn’t happened and there are struggles now [that] younger women have to fight,” said Ms Robinson. Speaking of the tough lesson Ireland has been through in relation to the economic crisis, the former President realised it was hurting people like never before but showed hope and said she believes that we will emerge stronger and fairer. The engagement throughout my interview with Ms Robinson was a very warm experience. There was a smile on the Mayo woman’s face as I asked certain questions. It does not surprise me that she is still held so affectionately in Irish hearts. Speaking on emigration and her lighting of the lamp famously in Áras an Uachtaráin, Ms Robinson spoke, perhaps as a parent, of the harsh reality for parents who have to saygoodbye to children, who are being forced into emigration. Ms Robinson alluded to the culture of “thinking about it” in reference to questions raised on recent suicides in Ireland. Ms Rob-

inson said that now more than ever, we had to affirm especially to young people that “we believe in you”. The former President called herself the ‘visible face on the shoulders of so many’. At every stage in her life she has had support and this is something that she is greatly appreciative of. She spoke of her delight that Ireland ‘actively sought’ to be a member of the human rights council and this is something she sees as a modern value in Irish society. Her position now as a former President is to regenerate a sense of pride and real commitment to equality and to human rights. She acknowledges, in her book, the help she has received throughout her career and life. Adding to this Ms Robinson said; “I have done what I have done because it has been part of a wider sense of achievement and I will always acknowledge that.” Following the interview the warm and affectionate Mayo woman happily posed for a picture or two and signed her autobiography. Concluding the interview it struck me why this woman is still held in such affection by the Irish public. She is a remarkable Irish figure and one that set the tide on Irish politics but yet has the human empathy that fails so many iconic Irish leaders.

Last week, I was told by a final year undergraduate student that he was “sorry” that my sister has special needs. Only he didn’t bother to inquire about her intellectual disability, her age, or anything about her personally; he didn’t even ask what her name is (Sharon). He reduced her to what he saw as her defining characteristic – branding her as incompetent and incapable with a simple, dismissive tone.

mobility problems to actually questioning what went “wrong” with her. None of them, by the way, have even met her. They do not see the truth: that she is a human being like every single other person on this planet. Not for one second would she judge them the way they have judged her. Is it a lack of education that is making people come out with these ridiculous and misinformed statements? I think it is only a partial contributor; mentalities are shaped through

The CEO of the Equality

Authority, Renee Dempsey, says:

“Discrimination remains an

enormous challenge to Irish society.

He decided, however unintentionally, that he could discriminate against her due to his lack of knowledge about, and respect for, people with disabilities. Not caring that what he said was bigoted, prejudiced and ignorant, he showcased what I consider to be the all-too-present condescending attitudes towards people with disabilities in our society. It is disgusting that this disdainful and unequal treatment still exists today. I have encountered several others who range from mildly curious about whether my sister has

Sin’s features and deputy news editor, Sean Dunne, shares a moment with former Irish President, Mary Robinson.

many external influences. Though it should indeed be obvious to the world that people with disabilities – be they intellectual or physical – have incredible capabilities; in fact, they have superior abilities in many fields, particularly to be noted from the success of the Irish athletes at the 2012 Paralympic Games, such as Jason Smyth, Michael McKillop, Darragh McDonald and Bethany Firth, all of whom brought home gold medals. I am incredibly proud of my sister. Her triumphs are my family’s, my village’s and my county’s triumphs. She is passionate about reading, The Simpsons and dancing, but more importantly for her, she has realised a huge number of her sporting dreams at the age of 24: winning silver medals in Ladies’ Soccer at regional level, silver in swimming at Munster Level and gold in the shot put at National Level in the Special Olympics among her top accomplishments, as well as putting in constant hours of vigorous training behind the scenes. In her eyes, hard work is the only way to achieve success, and I’d like to see her critics

attempt half of what she’s done. In 2003, I was part of the crowd of tens of thousands in Croke Park cheering on her and the other 7,000 athletes from 150 countries in the Special Olympics World Summer Games. That opening ceremony was declared by the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, as “a time when Ireland was at its superb best,” and I think those fine athletes represent exactly what an achievement those Games were in our country’s sporting history. “I don’t understand inequality in society,” says NUI Galway’s Equality Officer, Claire McCallion. Yet it is, unfortunately, all too evident. A report by Frances McGinnity, Dorothy Watson and Gillian Kingston (of the Economic and Social Research Institute) – published on the equality. ie website – on ‘Analysing the Experience of Discrimination in Ireland: Evidence from the Equality Module 2010’ states that people with disabilities are “more likely to report discrimination in services, particularly in health and transport” and also “more likely to report serious discrimination.” Several disability acts recently created to promote inclusion as a result of the National Disability Strategy are the Disability Act 2005, the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004 and the Citizens’ Information Act 2007. These policies are crucial in terms of supporting people with disabilities, but what about those who discriminate themselves? What can possibly be done to educate their narrow minds and change their mentalities? The CEO of the Equality Authority, Renee Dempsey, says: “Discrimination remains an enormous challenge to Irish society. We need to strengthen our commitment to equality in Ireland as a key element of our strategy for economic recovery.”


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Adopting technology in the mathematics classroom: Do it but only if there are benefits! By Alison McNamara

Recent studies carried out by the European Council have found a strong correlation between employment and digital skills. Success of future students gaining employment links to their digital skills ability. Key technology is making its way into education in Ireland; this includes eBooks, interactive whiteboards and broadband in schools. In-service teacher training sessions show teachers ways to use the technology. Research has shown that there is a lack of focus on integrating the technology into their lessons. Teachers have needed both pedagogical content knowledge and subject knowledge in the past; however, today the classroom is demanding pedagogical technological knowledge. Some might argue that eBooks and interactive whiteboards in schools are electronic forms of what was there already. When it comes to integrating technology into education, schools in parts of Finland seem to be setting a prime example. A study carried out in Finland showing that seamless integration of technology in schools is not necessarily about the schools adopting the technology but the approach that they take when adopting the technology into their classrooms. Technology has become a seamless part of everyday life in the classroom in Finland for both students and teachers.

Why is Finland different?

There are many studies that state why Finland score higher in international studies such as TIMMS or PISA reports. In studies carried out in Finland, technology has a definite role to play from early pre-school to higher education. Finland is constantly improving its educational system by employing and welcoming research carried out by trainee teachers. They employ innovative new techniques in the classroom with technology that helps students take responsibility for their own learning. By the time they reach compulsory education at age seven, Finnish students conduct research on the internet and work in pairs to write stories on computers. Students also use personal e-portforlios and blogs to write about their schooling in a collaborative space that is open to the teacher. Ireland, let’s see the facts:

• Students of today could be facing electronic exams in the near future. Some subjects in further education are examined in a computer-based examination. • As technology moves faster each year, the cost of technology is driven down in price and therefore becomes more available.

• eBooks are electronic books but unless they are used to their potential, they will be nothing more than an expensive alternative. • Digital resources replaced acetates in the classroom and are seen as powerpoints, pdfs and electronic posters. If used solely for presentation this transfers teaching in the mathematics classroom to presenting and could restrict student interaction. A great importance has been placed on teachers to up-skill their technological skills, spending the first ten minutes of the class setting up a laptop and interactive whiteboard. A forty minute class in Ireland is under more strain now with technology than without it. What Irish classrooms could do next…

Geogebra and electronic tools that are used as demonstration tools are great to show mathematical objects and equations even to show students how to plot points; however, not many see that it is a free tool that students can download themselves. Students have the ability to use the tool and if they have access to a computer at home why not get them to start looking at their equations on the tool? Essays and project work can be handed up directly via an on-line

tool. Essays handed up on-line can ensure that students use computers as part of seamless integration not just within the confines of the classroom but within the context of homework: essays about where things come from; why we use Trigonometry; who used it in the past for example, George Everest; how it was used to measure our roads and that of India’s roads and mountains are some of the examples of essays that students could write as part of their homework. In conclusion, a solution when removing a barrier for teachers integrating technology is to look at ways in which they could adopt the technology for their students. Getting students to download Geogebra at home or write essays or blogs will reap rewards. Students may develop an investigative eye for the subject and find ways of doing things that would surprise teachers. Students themselves could likely come up with ways of making the classroom more interesting. Open the classroom to a wider range of technology. There are plenty of resources available for free on-line. It’s a case of integrating technology, but only if there are benefits! This on-going debate demands further research to determine both whether or not there are benefits and how to effectively integrate technology into education.

Interview with an SU Officer: Patrick Clancy By Marése O’Sullivan

Sin spoke to 20-year-old Mathematics and Economics student, Patrick Clancy, about his role as the Convenor of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, why he considers himself ‘Daddy Class Rep’ and the challenges of reaching all the students in the Arts Faculty. What does your role involve as Convenor of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies? I remember, before I ran [for the position], I was talking to the Equality Officer, Claire McCallion, and she said that when she was a Convenor, she was ‘Mammy Class Rep’, so I’ve been ‘Daddy Class Rep’ – making sure all the Class Representatives are okay. What issues do you feel need to be tackled by you this year? I think, at this point in time, the biggest issue for me is to get the Class Reps to contact their classes. It’s prov-

ing difficult so far because Blackboard has changed and they used to be able to contact their classes through that; now I have to try to find a new solution with the Education Officer. An awful lot of what I do is ensuring that any casework that I get is referred or dealt with properly through the relevant Officers. Why did you want to be a Convenor? Well, I love helping people, pure and simple, [particularly with my] work in the Societies’ Office. I am also interested in politics and I thought to combine the two through student politics would be great, so it’s basically a way for me to try and help as many people [as I can] in the largest faculty of the college. What do you like and ­dislike about the job? I love the fact that somebody comes to me and I have it in my power to actually help them, whereas if I wasn’t elected to the position and someone came to me with the problem, I

mightn’t have the resources or the contacts available to me. In a way, I dislike the politics of the job – I lobbied all the TDs in Galway, Mayo and Clare and, rather than trying to help people, they gave me back politics. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of the year? I set out in my manifesto that I would aim to make the [role of] Convenor more known. I wanted people in the Arts Faculty to be aware that they had a structure in place, linking them to the Students’ Union – they could go to their Class Rep, who could go to the Convenor, who could go to the Exec. if that needed to be the case. I’m working on trying to reach as many people as possible, by electing even more Class Reps. This is my first year in the Students’ Union, so to speak, and Convenorship is still a new role [in the S.U.], but I think the S.U. President, Paul Curley, has been instrumental – along with the other two full time Officers [Conor Stitt, Education, and Dami Adebari, Welfare] – in terms of

pushing the Convenors to do as much work as they possibly can, within the confines of their own studies. What do you hope to do after you finish college? I’ve got a sister in Australia and a brother in England, and I know people in America, so I’d love to travel.


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Cleaning culture breeds culture By Ebhan Loughlin

A clean and healthy home environment is critical for productivity and self-progression to thrive. To modify the cliché: cleanliness is next to godliness is next to academic successfulness. Students face many pressures during the college year. A constant workload and neverending deadlines lurking around every corner lead to the ‘boss’ at the end of the game: exam season. As with many things in life, it's a lack of motivation and not ability that can hinder any chance of victory over these individual battles. There's always an excuse or a more comfortable option available rather than getting stuck into the work. The same can be said when it comes to cleanliness in

the house, apartment or bombed-out student shack. There is nothing worse after a long day of lectures and assignments than to arrive back to a house decorated like a pigsty. The filthy and unclean abode has unfortunately become a common part of the chaotic student lifestyle. The television screen starts to grow an outer skin of dust. The sink and draining board gradually disappear under a teetering tower of dirty plates, stained stainless steel pots and pans, and cups still filled with week-old coffee. The counter tops are littered with old food packaging and toast crumbs, while the oven hobs are encrusted with last Friday’s spaghetti Bolognese. The recycling bin is having an identity crisis and there may even

be a strange smell wafting from either within or behind the fridge (it’s never certain). These scenarios sound extremely familiar to many students, either from experiencing it first-hand or watching on in horror and amusement as others deal with it. In many, if not all cases, it can fester and get out of control until exam time – when cleaning seems preferable to any kind of study – or when the mess finally spills over into your academic life. It's simply impossible to keep on top of things when the wreckage at home is unbearable. You start to stress out more about the clutter and the disorder rather than being able to focus on more important things. Suddenly the couch and a few episodes of your favourite television show welcome you into

a warm embrace. When did bringing the rubbish bags down a flight of stairs become such a daunting prospect? How do simple tasks like washing up the dishes cause such scathing rows and irrational rages between housemates? Where is the need for cleaning rotas or passive aggressive notes pinned to fridge doors when a simple team effort once a week can be the solution to everyone’s worries? The ancient ritual of ‘cleaning as you go’ has long been extinct in some student accommodations; however, it can cure untidiness at its source. The post-Christmaspre-semester clean happened in my apartment recently. It is true to say that my standards were poor in the past. However, experiences living with obsessively

clean people in the interim period have forced me to finally see the error of my ways and the benefits of the weekly chores your unruly parents used to bother you with. The sense of achievement and comfort one gets from tidying up the jumbled debris will have a knock-on effect when it comes to study and general everyday productivity. When laziness breeds further laziness, a clean living environment must encourage a positive overall outlook on life and work. The point is: you don’t have to be a parent or an obsessive to achieve this. There is truly nothing more satisfying than a clean house. A dollop of elbow grease mixed with a dash of Hoovering and a sprinkling of scrubbing and your home is now a temple; an establish-

ment worthy of guests. You will find a vast array of washed and polished cutlery and plates to use at your leisure. You gasp at the remarkable improvement in your TV picture quality. You are spoiled for choice with all that counter space in the kitchen. You feel the freedom of cooking in your newly cleaned oven, without that niggling doubt you might survive the meal. Even the ‘ten second’ rule might once again apply to fallen M&M’s. The New Year is upon us and ‘tis the season for short-lived resolutions, with regular cleaning rituals top of the list for many. However, when the gym becomes as appealing as a 9am Monday lecture and your will power is tested by dreams of dancing Dime bars, put down the remote and pick up a sponge instead.

you in a particular mind frame. This is something which Stephen strives for when he listens to the blues. He says “you have to put yourself in the musician’s shoes” something which we do with other forms of entertainment such as film but not necessarily when we pick up a CD or listen to our ipods. Blues has not only influenced rock and roll, but has influenced much of the more popular music we listen to. The turmoil of failed love and not knowing what lies ahead and the dread of day to day life are all explored in music today. It has had “a major impact mainly towards song writing” Stephen adds. This has caused some elements of cross over or fusions of different genres using the blue print of blues.

In the case of Queens of the Stone Age, there is a movement to fuse heavy rock with blues elements such as guitar tone. Also in the breakbeat genre, DJs such as C2C have adopted samples of old blues songs to go along with their beats and add a human aspect to their songs. Blues has so far remained throughout the last century and had a rebirth in many ways coming into the new century. The future of blues through successful bands such as the Black Keys and artists like Jack White show that blues is very much alive and well. Musicians like Stephen Claffey ensure that the genre will continue to be loved by the next generation of talent, and used as a reference point for the future.

I guess that’s why they call it the Blues Luke Henderson

Howlin’ Wolf, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters. Each name tells its own tale. The story of these men is a story which began in 1920’s Mississippi but has transcended to the modern era and has become a quiet riot, or background phenomenon. Their story is of course blues music. Blues is often dismissed among musical circles as simplistic, repetitive and sometimes too down beat. The name “blues” even suggests a melancholy to those not familiar with the genre even from the offset. However, the reason for blues making it throughout the 20th century and why

it is now being given an element of renaissance in the 21st is simple: the problems of the everyday man or woman, then as now, have remained unchanged. Songs such as Etta James’ “At Last”, which powerfully tells us the longing for love and therein to be loved, or The Black Keys “Keep me” tell of how we seek comfort in our partners, and long for their embrace “to keep us warm”. Blues is often simple. A harmonica, guitar, drum beat and a slide, make the raw sounds needed for the blues. Son House, a famous blues musician and father figure to the genre, often simply used timed clapping and a stomp box to perform songs like “John the Revelator”. Blues is

like an onion with the outer layers peeled back, the taste and the flavour remains the same, even in its rawest form. As Jack White (member of the White Stripes and currently touring as a solo artist) put it “I want to be a part of the resurgence of things that are tangible, beautiful and soulful, rather than just give into the digital age”. If this is being simple, then blues unashamedly is so. Each generation of blues musicians have influenced the subsequent generation. In the 20s, Robert Johnson and Son House would have had a hand in what was to come in the 50s with the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Screaming Jay Hawkings and Little Walter. Equally these men would have influenced bands like

the Rolling Stones. Howlin’ Wolf has been cited as an influence for Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and many of the old blues songs of Howlin’ Wolf provided Zeppelin with a basis for their lyrics. Blues is an awareness of life around you; its turmoil and its reward. Stephen Claffey, a musician from Westmeath sums up blues as “life experience….. Blues artists have seen a lot of things in their life”. Whether it is in the slums of Detroit or the green of Ireland’s midlands Stephen maintains that “different aspects of your life lead to what you write”. Blues can be defined also as a very personal type of music through its theme. It’s raw, unkempt and in your face. However, it puts


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EU: Engaging with our Union By Órla Ryan Are European politicians listening to the citizens they represent? We live in an age where unprecedented levels of political connection are possible, and not just in terms of technology. Despite this, many people feel disconnected from their public representatives at local, national and international level. In modern democracies, the encouragement of citizen engagement with politicians has become an increasingly common feature. In 2012, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, called for a broad debate between officials and citizens of the European Union. There are over 500 million citizens in the EU. Successfully bringing together a pool of people diverse enough to truly represent this community is quite an undertaking, before one even begins to factor in the element of productive discussion with a view to policy formation.

Since September of last year, five 'Citizens' Dialogues' have taken place throughout Europe, the most recent of these being held in Dublin City Hall on 10 January. This series of public-politician forums, entitled 'A Debate on the Future of Europe', will continue until the end of 2013. These dialogues coincide with the EU's Year of Citizens, the 40th anniversary of Ireland's accession to the European Economic Community and our six-month presidency of the Council of the EU. The formula is seemingly straightforward: a moderator oversees a ‘Questions and Answers’ session between members of the public and Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission. The audience size varies from 200-500 people. An indigenous politician is also present for questioning – in the Irish instance, State Minister for European Affairs, Fine Gael's Lucinda Creighton, TD.

At the Citizens' Dialogue in Dublin, the debate was split into three sections: the current economic crisis, the rights of European citizens and the future of the EU – in particular, where we hope to be in 2020. Topics covered included the possibility of an EU banking union and Minister for Finance, austerity budgets that target the most vulnerable, restructuring of the promissory note deal, unlinking bank debt and sovereign debt, youth unemployment, retirement age,

Bringing together a pool of people

Apparently, being the absolute pigs we are, we consumed on average 6,000 calories on Christmas Day. For those of you that don’t get the whole calorie thing, that’s about three times the recommended daily amount. 3,500 calories will make you gain one pound of fat, and it would take a 60 mile walk to burn off the calories you shovelled into your gob over the festive period. You see it every January; troops of women pounding the by-pass in their new Asics, men trying to out-lift each other in the gym (in spite of the hernias) and an un-quantifiable upsurge in the sale of vegetables. Or diet pills. One question – why now? We seem to be content with being fat slobs from

March to December but there’s something about the utterance of the term ‘new year’ that sees us all consumed with guilt. The old brain chemistry changes in an instant during the haze of a New Year’s Day hangover and we ‘resolve’ to be healthy, fit and gorgeous for a bit. The media is jampacked full of dieting tips and advice on how to be a ‘new you’ for the ‘new year.’ Eh, what exactly was wrong with the ‘old’ us?! Sure, we could probably all do with being a little thinner, and let’s face it, the Irish are not exactly known for their dedication to exercise and abstinence from alcohol. That said, New Year guilt is still a very confusing phenomenon. Is it peer pressure? Many of us are shamed into getting on the ‘my body is a temple’

diverse enough to truly represent this community is quite an undertaking

climate change, gender inequality and the pay gap, discrimination against individuals and smaller EU countries, active citizenship and the idea of a 'human rights scoreboard' for member states. A multifarious list, but one that merely scratches the surface of our Union.

New year – new you By Lyndsay Hughes

Minister Creighton stressed the inclusive nature of the EU at the forum, saying; "Every Irish citizen, every one of the citizens of all member states and candidate countries have a right to influence the direction of our union – to improve it, to make it better for the future." Only a small fraction of those present got to ask their question. This is far from ideal but, logistically, was somewhat unavoidable. Such events cannot provide a portrait of the EU, rather a snap-

band-wagon by ultraenthusiastic friends or family members but I wonder if this sudden dedication to a pristine lifestyle is an actual choice or just the ‘done thing.’ And that’s before we mention the fags. Rapidly approaching €10 a box, cigarettes are killing smokers in more ways than one. Possibly one of the most common New Year resolutions going, thousands of Irish folk say they are ‘giving up the fags’. Many of these adamant statements are met with incredulous gasps, or more commonly, sceptical giggles. There are all sorts of sprays, tablets and possibly even nicotine suppositories to help the addicts among us. But what’s the point? We’re all going to be chain-smoking fatties again by June, just in time for the ‘get your body bikini ready’ onslaught…

shot – but, the process of citizen engagement has to start somewhere. One issue to consider in terms of choosing the audience is that those who apply to attend are often people who are already interested in politics. This leads to a continuous cycle of the same faces, the same voices and the same sense of disconnect felt by those on the political periphery. One can easily become disillusioned with politics and the seemingly impenetrable mound of bureaucracy that surrounds it. Vice President Reding stated that 69 per cent of EU citizens believe their voices don't count. What so for this silent majority? Are such debates simple posturing, no more than lip service? This disengagement could well be one of the contributing factors to the steady decrease in voter turnout since the first direct European elections took place in 1979. General turnout in the last elections in 2009 stood at 43 per cent. The findings of a Europe-wide survey from 2010 show over eight in ten citizens believe this figure would increase if voters received more information on the programmes and objectives of European Parliament candidates and how political parties' programmes impact on people's daily lives.

In 2012 the European Commission undertook its largest ever public consultation, surveying almost 12,000 European citizens about their experiences with EU rights. Ms Reding admitted that almost seven in ten European citizens don't know what their rights are. The Commission website includes information on rights, but citizens have expressed their desire to receive information from other platforms, most notably television (52 per cent); social networking websites (49 per cent) and 'Europedia' – an online discussion forum (34 per cent). One in ten citizens felt there was no need for extra information to be shared. 'Politicians are listening.' As a politician from Luxembourg, the EU's smallest state, Ms Reding regularly speaks directly to citizens and would like to see this process replicated across the continent and Union at large; "...something which has bothered me at European level is that we are making too many big speeches, instead of going out and looking the citizens in the eye and asking them their opinion." She added that the EU should involve citizens in the entire decision making process, not just present them with a policy in its final form. "[The Citizens' Dialogue series] is the beginning of a new adventure together . . . where politicians are listening," she assured.

At the close of the public discussion, Minister Creighton acknowledged that many changes and reforms are needed within the EU as it "certainly isn't perfect". She maintained that the Union must acknowledge its deficiencies and strengths alike in order to better itself. As a follow-up to the Citizens' Dialogue in the capital, her office will organise a number of regional debates across Ireland where individuals, civil society organisations and NGOs can voice their opinions in a similar fashion. Minister Creighton also spoke of the need to improve accountability, democracy and engagement at European level. She said that genuinely involving citizens in the political process would be a challenge, but one that would be met. "The evolution of Europe and Ireland's place in Europe is an on-going process," she added. Unprecedented change has occurred in both Ireland and the EU since our marriage 40 years ago. Whatever the next four decades will entail, one thing is for certain: citizen engagement is vital. Citizens' Dialogues are a step in the right direction on a very long journey. Whether or not they will lead to tangible results: time will tell. For more information on the European Year of Citizens, or the statistics mentioned above, visit www.europa.eu.


S E G A P THE SU É Gaillimh O n in é L c a M a n s a lt a h Com ion n U ' ts n e d tu S y a lw a G I U N

www.su.nuigalway.ie

"The mission of the Union shall be to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society." — Constitution of the Students’ Union 371 SU David McSavage Poster.pdf

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Hi guys, NUI Galway Students’ Union

I hope you’re all well settled into semester two here in NUI Galway and that you had a great Christmas and New Year’s

presents

I hope you all have taken the opportunity to get involved in positive extracurricular activities during first semester and if not, can I encourage you to take the opportunity to get involved?

David McSavage

It is very important in this current economic environment that you make the best of your time in NUI Galway to increase your job prospects with such a high rate of youth unemployment in Ireland. Make sure to focus enough energy towards your studies all through the semester to save yourself the extra stress and late night/early morning cramming for exams. Try to attend as many lectures as possible and if you’re finding the learning environment difficult you should approach your lecturer and try work together to resolve it. Remember at the end of the day you’re paying for the service and you should demand the best service possible from this university to assist you in achieving a strong degree. Try to fill your spare time by taking up a new sport, joining a society that represents interests you are passionate about, or donating your time and skills to a charity that may need help and would be delighted to have a student from this university assisting them.

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Monday 11th February

The O’Flaherty Theatre

Doors 8pm

Tickets €8

Finally you all pay €25.14 towards the Students’ Union as part of the €224 levy you pay. Make sure to get involved with us and use our services if the opportunity arises. We’re not only here to represent you, we’re here to help you, encourage you and to try make all NUI Galway students time here as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. Wishing you all the best this semester, Paul Curley

W W W. S U . N U I G A L W A Y. I E


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378 SU By Election Poster Advert.pdf

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STUDENTS' UNION

BY-ELECTIONS

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Nominations for the following part-time positions on the Students' Union Executive are now open Students' Union Postgraduate Officer Societies' Chairperson Convenor for the College of Engineering & Informatics The term for each position runs until 30th June 2013. Completed nomination forms must be submitted in the Students' Union Office by 5:00pm on Thursday 24th January. Withdrawal of nominations closes at 5:00pm on Friday 25th January. Canvassing may begin at 6:00pm on Sunday 27th January.

Elections take place on Thursday 31st January. M ore i n fo : w w w. s u . n u i g a lwa y. i e

Over Christmas, Santa turned the Hub Café into a mini SU shop – just what we always wanted. Make sure to call down and enjoy!

Welfare Officer Dami Adebari, SU President Paul Curley and Education Conor Stitt occasionally enjoy wearing matching outfits

SAY SOMETHING USI would like you to complete a survey on students’ experiences of violence (sexual assault, harassment, stalking, obsessive behaviour, etc.). You don’t have to have directly experienced any of these to fill it out and the survey is completely ­confidential.

You can fill in the survey by going to:

http://survey.usi.ie


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The highs & lows of TV murder “I think people should vote for me because my mother’s friend’s uncle’s pet budgie was recently crushed by a ukulele, and if I could perform in front of the overpaid, over-exposed, beautiful people that would help dull the pain,” said the girl. “Oh God, that’s just so cliché. Haven’t you any novel sob stories we could attempt to market you with? I mean, give us something to work with,” replied the producer. “I was raised by puppies… amputee puppies… that were abandoned… abandoned by orphans… orphans with diseases,” she cried. “That whole puppy/ orphan thing has been so overdone. We need a fresh angle. Think harder!” “I once scaled Machu Picchu – backwards, in

the lotus position, using only my hands, to raise funds to buy iPads for Bill Gates’ kids.” “Who hasn’t? What else?” “I’m from a distinctly average background, work hard and am genuinely talented.” “Hmmm, that’s new. I don’t like it, no one would relate to it. Tell me the thing about the budgie again – small birds rate highly among the 16-25 age demographic.” It’s a tried and tested formula: a ‘talent’ show contestant shares their tale of misery and woe to the backdrop of a Snow Patrol song. The audience promptly becomes a group of blubbering, emotional messes – I believe the collective noun is ‘gullibi’. As of yet, studies have failed to discern whether

those affected are more upset by the content of the story or its musical accompaniment. One thing is certain, however – the only known cure

before they’ve had time to utter the phrase “don’t you know who I am? No? Not even a vague idea? Right so, I’ll get my coat.”

The audience promptly

becomes a group of blubbering,

emotional messes – I believe the collective noun is ‘gullibi’.

for such an infliction: call a premium rate number to ensure Simon Cowell doesn’t have to downsize one of his yachts. Lather up the emotional blackmail, rinse it all over the viewers and repeat ad nauseam. The majority of those who win these types of TV competitions often end up being exploited to within an inch of their life (and sanity). They are chewed up and spat out

The tough-skinned contestants fare better than the rest. Viewing figures are the be all and end all of these vehicles, but at what cost? A psychological evaluation is now part of the behindthe-scenes action of many such shows, but does this really make a difference? Oftentimes, vulnerable people are placed on a pedestal for the single purpose of bullies getting a kick out of knocking

them right off it. Making fun of sub-par contestants on talent shows is like shooting fish in a barrel. In this instance, however, the fish swam intentionally up to the hook and jumped on it. It then proceeded to get bloody darn excited at all the attention it attracted when thrashing from one side of the bucket to the other. “Like me! Accept me! Validate me! And when you cook and eat me, serve me with a drizzle of lemon,” thought the fish – before its imminent gutting. Traditional television watching habits may be dwindling somewhat due to increased online broadcasts, but it all amounts to the same result. The TV we consume can itself consume us. Don’t get me wrong, television is a wonderful tool when used to educate and entertain in a positive fashion. Its power is equal parts colossal and subtle. Our minds are sponges and it’s a power hose. Many people fare better in their daily lives when a TV provides background noise – it’s comforting and familiar. It’s a huge part of our culture and society. To this day, who here among

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us can hear the ‘Glenroe’ theme tune without temporarily becoming a scared ten-year-old who hasn’t opened their schoolbag all weekend? Luckily, such stress no longer applies to us. Nowadays Love/Hate gifts us with the opportunity of spending our Sunday nights watching drug dealers have sex and kill people. All I’m saying is; Nidge wouldn’t stand a chance against Blackie Connors. If I’m honest, I’d much prefer to watch someone murder a fictional character rather than a real song. You can’t beat a good old-fashioned crime show – and I’m not talking about any of that CSI: CGI rubbish, either. The only thing CSI: Miami has thought the world is that white trouser suits and stilettos are the only appropriate attire to wear when investigating a murder scene. I yearn for the golden days of television – when crimes were solved based largely on the hunches of old people, rather than these new-fangled concepts of "DNA" and "evidence". Yes, I’m looking at you Jessica Fletcher and Mark Sloan. Major props if you get the references. If not, search those names right now. You’re welcome.

Healthy mind and healthy body for 2013 By Sean Dunne

Looking after our mental health should be top of the New Year's resolutions' list. As we recover from the festive season of eating too much turkey, overindulgence in all things bad for us and (for many) hitting the bottle too hard, it's time to take stock of what is important. Many people get the post-Christmas blues after being surrounded by friends and family during the festive period. The anticlimax to the festive season can leave many people feeling alone and vul-

nerable. This is why we have to look for warning signs in people who may be feeling fragile in the New Year. While many of us make plans to "give up smoking" and "get into shape" with the infamous list of New Year's Resolutions, we should perhaps spare a thought for those struggling with a much bigger issue: mental health. The start of a New Year can leave certain members of our society with feelings of hopelessness and poverty. Some may face the New Year with concerns over money following the big Christmas spend, while

others will simply see no point in facing another year. Yet what people need to know is that there is hope and that there are people there to talk to.

natural and healthy part of life and one that Irish people need to learn to accept. Educating young people on these aspects of a healthy mind and

The anticlimax to the festive

season can leave many people feeling alone and vulnerable.

Samaritans Ireland provides 24 hour support for anyone who needs to talk, and one thing that we need to generate in 2013 is the need for society to realise that there is no shame in seeking help. Everyone needs to talk at some stage; it is a

healthy body should be a top priority for the Irish Government in 2013. The failure of society to recognise the anguish that Irish teenagers were facing in 2012 tragically saw death by suicide rapidly increase in Irish society. Educating Irish

people about a healthy mind is as important as learning one's reading and writing. We have long needed proper education on the topic of mental health and hopefully in 2013 we can turn the tide on the alarming suicide rate in Irish society. As an aside, exercise is a great form of therapy for physical and mental health. It may help anyone reading this who is feeling vulnerable and anxious. So think about taking a short walk when times are bleak. Surprisingly, going for a run while listening to some good music on your iPod can put things into a differ-

ent perspective and they may not seem as bad. There are also support services that you can talk to. You can call Samaritans on: 1850 60 90 90 or Childline on 1800 66 66 66 The start of the New Year is always an exciting prospect. So let's hope 2013 is the year when we begin to educate society more on mental health. Make sure to look out for those who you feel may be losing faith in society and life. Life is precious and for living. We only get one chance, so be sure to be happy. Do not be afraid to speak up. There is always another option.


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Face of Ireland calls for increased mental health awareness by Órla Ryan

The Face of Ireland Ambassador for 2013 has called for greater communication on the issue of mental health. Annita Brady, a former NUI Galway student, feels education and awareness play key roles in de-stigmatising depression and suicide. As part of her ambassadorial role, Annita (22) will promote and raise funds for GRASP Greater Responsibility and Awareness in Suicide Prevention. The newly formed charity aims to provide a full time suicide prevention, intervention and postvention service through training and counselling. It also facilitates support groups for those who have been bereaved through suicide. “Especially in these times in Ireland it’s important that we’re able to talk and that we’re able to be expressive and look out for one another,” said Annita. She has just completed a Mental Health Awareness Training Course with GRASP. Her main goal for the year is to play a part in creating an environment where stigma is no longer attached to suicide. Prior to completing a Professional Diploma on Education in Galway, Annita did a Masters in Military History and Strategic Studies in NUI Maynooth. Her thesis examined the role of women during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. She spoke of her sadness regarding the escalating levels of violence in the north in recent weeks, following the Union flag controversy. “There’s still a huge amount of work to be done there,” she stated, “I think we all have a role to play in doing that.” Annita, a Co. Cavan native, hopes to promote Ireland on an interna-

tional level and will be supporting The Gathering’s efforts to increase tourist numbers this year. “It’s important that we promote what we have and be positive about what we have,” she said. “ I t h i n k i t ’s m o r e important than ever for us to be proud of Ireland,” she added. Annita, who was crowned in October 2012, will feature in a fly-onthe-wall documentary throughout her reign. The programme will follow her as she comes to terms with the transition from being a face in the crowd to the Face of Ireland. As part of her prize, she will launch New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade – something she describes as an “honour”. The Face of Ireland has been running for seven years and is Ireland’s leading ambassadorial and prize competition. “Automatically you may think ‘Oh, another beauty pageant’ …but I’d urge people to look deeper at what the Face

of Ireland is all about,” said Annita. In an effort to promote local businesses, the organisation will hold the Face of Business Awards in April. Prizes up for grabs include Hotel of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Employer of the Year. The inaugural Face of Kindness Awards are also due to take place later

this year and will include categories such as Carer of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Community Group of the Year. Submissions are currently open for both competitions. More information is available on www. faceofireland.com. For further details on GRASP, visit www.grasplife.ie.

2013 Face of Ireland winner Annita Brady. Photo by Órla Ryan.

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2013: The year of the fashionista By Ciara Treacy With another new year comes new style resolutions – to try a new look, to shop better for one’s shape or the overly ambitious attempt to dress impeccably everyday (even Kate Middleton has a tracksuit and uggs day from time to time, surely!). The next twelve months will involve creativity in the style stakes with balls, holidays and countless nights out to be had. Regardless of your individual fashion aspirations for 2013, there are a few basic rules that will help your transformations take up off the ground: Don’t become a victim of the sales: with advertisements on TV and every shop window boasting about their reduced stock, it’s easy to succumb to buying half-priced clothes to beat the postChristmas blues. While of course there can be great bargains found that you’ll tell the grandkids about in years to come, we all fall into habits of buying items we don’t really want that don’t quite fit right all because they’re reduced by €20. Think before you buy!

Fashion Photography by Kirsty An Chnoic

De-clutter your wardrobe: before this semester gets too hectic, why not take advantage of the free time and give your own room a stock take? From luminous hot pants to hoodies from 6th class, there are probably a few skeletons in your closet (literally) you’ll be happy to donate to charity, or burn depending on the embarrassing memories they invoke. Start off by sorting clothes into ‘Keep’, ‘Maybe’ and ‘Discard’ piles and hold on to the ‘Maybe’ items for a bit longer – if you don’t wear them by the end of the semester, then they can go. Try new things: trends that are promised to dominate the spring/summer collection include bold lipsticks, monochrome print and Bermuda shorts but don’t put yourself under pressure to keep up with everything ‘in style’ – it’s almost impossible! That being said, don’t be afraid to try new looks, be it a new hair colour or a swap from tracksuit pants to skinny jeans. Everything you go for might not suit you but if you never try, you never know. Remember it’s not summer just yet: now for a bit of Irish mammy wisdom – ‘never cast a cloud till May is out’. Basically, although winter is over it’s not time to put the coats and jackets away for another while unfortunately. Keep the knitted jumpers and woolly tights at the forefront of your wardrobe for another few weeks before you take out the summer gear for our one week of sun later this semester. Along with these tips it’s important to bear in mind the words of Yves Saint Laurent; “over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” Although looking good can make one feel good, style should only make up part of the improvements we aim to make for a healthier and happier lifestyle this year. New heels are always a good start though.


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Aoife Cunningham Medicine “I don’t stick to them, so I never bother.”

Student Speak By Sean Dunne & Orla Ryan

This week we asked NUIG Students what New Year ­resolutions they made and have they stuck to them.

key Arianna Farrell Hic Arts 3rd Year way “To start attending I more lectures than s have done in previou be year, and generally r.” fitter and healthie

{19} 21–01

Darren Kennel ly 3rd Ye ar Art “Less d s rinking , an only dr ink onc d e a week an d when come h I ome fr om a night out to drink m ore water.”

Joy Watso n 1st Year Science “To get fit, Join a gym and eat better.”

Charles O’ Donnell 2nd year Arts “No resolutions, they just don’t work, no one keeps them so it’s a waste of time.”

Eoin Hempers Law “Quit Smoking and I haven’t had one since starting my resolution.”

Jessica Cast Erasmus Student “I want to learn a lot about Ireland as it is also my first time here.”

James gast Prender Weight, “To Lose gym and join the hier.” eat healt

Rory Hogan “I didn’t make any, don’t iev bel e in them.”

Seamu s ughton Scienc e “Just g oing to the gym and colleg e a l ot more, a nd I ha ve stuck t o the g but not ym so muc h colleg e.” Conna

Sam Lee Erasmus Student “It is our first time here in Ireland, so we want to make the most of our time here and travel a lot.”


{20} Arts & Entertainment {sin} 14–07

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'Brand spanking new' comedy By Roisin Kelly 'Brand Spanking New' is a regular event in the Roisin Dubh. It returns on January 30 showcasing an array of new and upcoming Irish comic talent. The show is hosted by Danny Dowling of TV3's 'Come Dine With Me', and several of the featured comedians have played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Bulmers Comedy Festival, in Galway. One such comedian is Paul Currie from Northern Ireland, whose show 'Sticky Bivouac' has been described by John Higgins of www.culturenorthernireland.net as “beautifully crafted, committed and exciting silliness.” Also based in Belfast is Ruaidhri Ward, whose Twitter profile describes him as 'Part-Time Comedian, Part-Time Voluntary Sector Worker, Will inevitably shout.’

• • • • •

Failure. The meat and potatoes of comedy. By Connor McDonough-Flynn

Winner of the Toilet Duck Comedy Award at TedFest 2011, Edwin Sammon, will perform on the night and has supported Ardal O'Halon in the past. A clip of a previous performance of his titled 'Nice Guys Don't Punch Kittens in the Face' is available on YouTube. Finally, Shane Browne is quoted on bulmerscomedy. ie as remarking; “What can I say about Shane Browne? Well, quite a lot actually.” Why not go and find out what he has to say on the night? 'Brand Spanking New' has proven to be a great night of comedy in the past and promises a colourful and varied line-up this month. Tickets are €8 (€5 for members) and the show starts at 9:00pm. More information is available at www.­roisindubh.net

Walking into a good comedy club you can feel the dirt on the wall, the hardships of comedians past and the laughs and silences that have graced the jokesters on stage. I do my best to not speak of comedy as an uphill battle, but the reality of the situation is just that. Being a stand up brings spirited swings and vicious waves of reception. One night I am on top of the world, every word that comes out of my mouth is getting laughs. The following night it’s an agonizing affair, and I leave the stage feeling as if I was just performing to the pensioner’s meeting at the public library. I once had a gig in my hometown of Clifden, I was booked to do a 15-minute spot after the intermission of the Clifden

Fashion Show. A hometown crowd always brings about bigger butterflies, for the pressure to be funny is heightened to a sardonic degree. I had a good opening, the audience of over 250 were laughing away. Then I went into a bit about Michael Jackson and how I was shocked to learn that he was a drug addict! To which the response was grim, from the side of the stage, “Oh no, not Michael” was whispered out by an elderly member of the audience. I didn’t anticipate such a befuddled response, but the audience’s age ranged from 5-100 years, and was filled with MJ sympathizers, apparently that joke was too soon. The rest of the set went down to mixed reviews, I think the audience was a bit confused as to why I was on stage, but there were gracious compliments afterwards, and a flurry of “fairplays”, because getting up and talking in front of people is the biggest fear of most. “I could never do that!” Being able to roll with the punches is crucial if you’re a stand up comedian. Fail-

ure becomes your annoying friend that is grand when’s he’s in form, but more often than not he has one to many and ends up vomiting at an inopportune moment, regurgitating the exasperated feelings from times before. It’s hard to glorify falling flat on your face, it’s just one of the parts of the trade, like bankruptcy in the banking world. You have to deal with it, only in comedy you slap yourself on the wrist and there are no austerity measures afterwards. I wrote my last article about what is funny. There’s no holy grail of funniness, it’s an acquired, in-themoment taste that’s unique to each audience. Bill Cosby said: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” Wise words from one of the world’s best stand up comedians. Falling down on the job can be hilarious, it’s all what you make of it. I have mates who show up to comedy gigs with the sole hope of seeing me die a horrible death on stage, and applaud when I do, joyously. Audiences love

failure… to a point. Why do you think Simon Cowell has amassed millions? I have been performing for over two years and died more than I have lived, but with time the ratio slowly begins to even out. The comedy road is laced with rocks, boulders, drunks, hecklers, laughs, delights, and fortitude. It’s a nerveracking, pleasure-filled road less traveled with an unorthodox means of transportation. The most important nugget of information to remember is to enjoy the journey. I’d love to hear some of your failure fables, send your misfortunate tales to unhingedcomedyclub@hotmial.com, be great to hear from you, if in fact “you” are out there. The Show Me the Funny Comedy Competition is back in town at The King’s Head. I’ll be performing on the 21st. Call in and support Ireland’s up and coming comedians. Support live comedy and rejoice in laughter and the possibility that someone might die on their hole. I’m Connor McDonoughFlynn, love life and laugh ladies and gentleman, g’luck.

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Many students headed down to Áras na Mac Léinn on 9 Jan to sign up for the many clubs and societies that NUI Galway has to offer.


{sin} Arts & Entertainment {21} 14–07

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OPINION: ‘4 Angry Men’, who were not that angry! By James Falconer On the 2 December ‘4 Angry Men’ came to debate the state of the nation in the Radisson Hotel, Galway. Fintan O’Toole, David McWilliams, Shane Ross and Nick Webb have all recently published books on Ireland’s recent enslavement to banks. Their analysis examines and exposes the current crisis and the “debate” focused on where we should go from here. Mediated by journalist Olivia O’Leary, the debate began with each commentator presenting an overview of his analysis to the audience. First up was McWilliams, who rightly pointed out that a lot of people went mad spending money they didn’t have. Often his description of people’s lavish spending was met with huge laughter from the audience and I repeatedly felt like I was at a comedy gig. Where was the anger? I looked around at the audience who were mostly in the 50-65 age-brackets,

middle class and at €25 a ticket, there weren’t many revolutionaries in the house. It was a social event; a night out with friends. I found the atmosphere often surreal and I wondered what was actually taking place. McWilliams went on to question the then upcoming budget. It is important to note that it wasn’t those people who went mad spending, who have been punished most in the grossly unfair budget. He said; “When the government cut public spending, people stop spending. When people stop spending, the economy shrinks.” He described the political mentality akin to that of having a “good room”. The aspiration to put on a brave face and not accept the catastrophic situation we’re in is a denial of our reality. He believes that the new good room is in Brussels and we are just happy to be there. The common belief appears to be that if we want to stay in the good room, we’ve got to pay bil-

lions to unsecured bond holders. Webb and Ross cowrote a book entitled The Untouchables which exposes the whole edifice of corruption that extends well beyond politicians. Moreover, despite disastrous failures, most of the architects of the crisis remain in their posts or businesses, and the same old mentality predominates. The people who helped drive Ireland into its current economic devastation are still running the show. They are skulking in the shadows of the immensely bureaucratic civil service, on the boards of big companies, in banks and law firms. They have escaped the wrath of the law because there is no system in place to punish the golden circle. Webb and Ross named and projected photos of the biggest culprits of the disgrace; men such as Arthur Cox, David Doyle, Kevin Cardiff, Tiernan O’Mahony, Sean Fitzpatrick, Eughene Sheehy, Brian Goggin, Gary Kennedy to name a few. It

There’s a new show coming to town! By Christopher Ryan Martin McDonagh, a screen writer, filmmaker and playwright is taking A Skull in Connemara to his father’s native, Galway. The acclaimed play is running in the Town Hall Theatre from 31 January to 9 February. This show is part of a trilogy including The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Lonesome West. Although part of a trilogy these shows are made individually so you will not

be lost if going to see one without knowledge of the other two. Based around the west of Ireland, this story follows the life of Mick Dowd, a gravedigger who is given the task to relocate the graves of his local town as the graveyard has reached its capacity. Mick’s late wife is buried there which will no doubt case some problems. As rumours go through the town about the circumstances of his

late wife’s death and of the strange job that Mick does for a living, questions begin to arise from both friends and Gardaí alike. The play was first staged in 1996 and is renowned as a timeless piece of theatre. It received the Evening Standard Award and also the George Devine Award for most promising play in 1996. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Martin McDonagh, his latest work has been a film called Seven Psychopaths and before that he wrote and directed his debut film called, In Bruges (2008). Tickets for this superb play are discounted (€7) for students on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 respectively. The opening night is €15 and all other nights are €25. You should try and secure your tickets soon – get them online or drop into the Town Hall Theatre. Enjoy the show!

Nick Webb, Shane Ross, Fintan O’Toole and David McWilliams with journalist, Olivia O’Leary. is evident that all these men are responsible, yet they remained untouched. Not only have they remained untouched, but they have been awarded massive pensions and some top positions in European bureaucracy. Take for example Kevin Cardiff, who miscalculated €3 billion in the Irish Department of Finance before taking a €600,000 payoff and exile to a top job in the European Parliament. It was political will that elevated him to this position and it’s yet another illustration of “jobs for the lads”. The likes of Cardiff should be in prison. Fintan O’Toole’s main focus is on the idea of a Republic. Have we ever had a Republic? Would we like one? O’Toole lists three key things that make a Republic. 1) Equality: We should be citizens amongst citizens and be able to maintain a degree of self-respect. 2) Power: No one person or corporate entity should get too much power and as citizens we should be always ready to contest what government does. 3) People power: In whose interests should our country serve? We have rights and duties as citizens to look after our Republic. However, we have been made feel almost ashamed of

ourselves. We’ve been told that we partied too much; we went out of control and now it’s time to pay the bill. However, we did not all party. There is an elitist group who benefitted from the property bubble and they’ve succeeded in convincing the Irish public that they should all feel guilty and don’t have a right to do anything about it. O’Toole made the most amount of sense and has set up an online petition to refuse to pay the next scheduled sum to unsecured bondholders. He said; “We need to make a declaration as citizens that we are not going to pay it. We only hear about the payment the week it is due to be paid, and then it is too late, we need to move on this now. I think if we concentrate on that and we get enough people to say that they are instructing the government not to pay it, then I think it would have a huge effect and force the government to respond.” In fairness, these 4 Angry Men are doing a good job in highlighting the litany of malaises that exist in our system. Sadly, their views and revelations fall on deaf political ears. This is because there is little or no political will to punish those who have committed grave crimes against Ireland. The revelations are now old news and anticipated by a political class

who are almost completely imbedded in the rotten governance of Ireland. Considering tickets cost €25 and the ‘4’ were signing books afterwards, the event smacked of celebrity and stank of them cashing in on peoples frustrations. Are they concerned commentators or crisis capitalists? If these 4 Angry Men got together and set up a new political party offering transparency and vowing to adhere to their respective platforms then the whole affair would be more credible. Could anybody imagine James Connolly charging the equivalent of €25 to attend one of his talks? Connolly was a man who lived on the breadline and often spent time in extreme deprivation. He worked tirelessly and believed in not only national freedom for Ireland, but more importantly to him, economic freedom; "The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland, and the cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour", he wrote. "They cannot be dissevered. Ireland seeks freedom. Labour seeks that an Ireland free should be the sole mistress of her own destiny, supreme owner of all material things within and upon her soil". The 4 Angry Men make some good points, yet they do not advocate any strong alternative. Their main focus seems to be cashing in on the situation.


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Review: Irish Pictorial Weekly is frightfully accurate By James Falconer Irish Pictorial Weekly is a satirical four-part sketch show which began on RTE1 in late November and ran till the New Year. Many public servants have been abusing Ireland and this show looks at the often disastrous political and media culture using a range of sketch arrangements and media manipulation. The

cast largely comes from shows such as Après Match, The Savage Eye and Ross O’Carroll-Kelly. The writing and performing team include: Barry Murphy, Gary Cooke, Paul Howard, and John Colleary, to name a few. Barry Murphy does an excellent German accent and plays a character who reports the state of Irish affairs back to his seniors in Berlin, referring to the

Irish as “pixie heads”. He describes how the Irish [government] sold all the country’s natural resources, for beads. In relation to Ireland’s oil and gas, Pat Rabbitte argues that “low revenue is better than no revenue: if giving it away with minimal returns is the only way to get at it, and then give it away we must.” This is thoughtless babble – an attitude instinctive of the same pro-corporate, light-regulation approach that caused our economic c r i s i s . M o r e o v e r, o u r resources will be sold to us at the current market rate. Ultimately, having oil and gas under our waters will not protect us against international price rises. Our oil fields might as well be off the coast of Chile! Attacking grave flaws in Irish legislation, the German commentator says;

Working and Travelling Abroad Fair

T u e s d a y 2 9 t h January 2013 - 11am-4pm

“If a woman asks a doctor to help her die, she’s breaking the law, but if she asks the doctor to keep her alive, she’s also breaking the law.” He also does a great impression of German chancellor Angela Merkel, portraying her as a sinister character out of a James Bond film, stroking a white cat. Now let’s pause for the “Angelus” and at the sound of every ring a shot of a politician/banker/ regulator comes on screen with their name and the size of their pension displayed the bottom. It is very cutting and poignant. It might even make your stomach turn a bit. There’s another great sketch, it’s an advertisement for a brand of tea called “Austeri tea”. In the ad, a smiling woman is making a pot of tea while reading a letter from her

More information is available at: www.su.nuigalway.ie

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www.nuigalway.ie/alive

Live music fans are in for a treat at the end of the month when Belfast band ‘And So I Watch You From Afar’ (also known as ASIWYFA) come to Galway. ASIWYFA are a threepiece rock band with Rory Friers on guitar, Johnny Adger on bass and Chris Wee on drums. They will also be joined on tour by Niall Kennedy who is soon expected to become a new full-time member of the band. They were recently described by music magazine NME as “the sound of someone crashing an oil tanker through Sigur Ros' ice floe”. To judge by their loyal fans, this is to be considered a good thing,

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www.nuigalway.ie/careers

racket and a signed photo of Irish rugby star Keith Wood, clearly indicating a reversal of fortune. Of course, Séanie’s only crime was that he broke the law! The Quinn dynasty has squirrelled away €500+ million from the Irish state. Yes, that’s money we need for our hospitals, schools etc., but they somehow believe that that money is theirs. They’ve been prosecuted for contempt of court and the case continues. Irish Pictorial Weekly succeeds in exposing what we know to be true, while our politicians continue to peddle us with their lies and spin. The satire is cutting and the show really highlights the culture of political crime that we live in. While watching it one might not know whether to laugh or cry. Stay tuned.

‘And So I Watch You From Afar’ come close By Eileen Cameron

Áras na Mac Léinn

daughter who is living in Amsterdam. The daughter is talking about having a nice job standing in a window and being friendly to passing men. She is reminiscing about her time at home, “Dad complaining about being an unpaid taxi service, people singing along to Fairytale of New York - a song about alcoholism and death, and how the taxpayer paid money that the Church owed to victims of child sex abuse, and they got away with it, they’re still getting away with it”. Her ferocious rant is ended by a knock on the window! Disgraced businessman Séan Quinn is character­ ised by a man called Wally Breslin. Wally talks nonsense about business and tries to get a room in a hotel without having any money. He also attempts to sell a tennis

with a recent show in the 1,000 capacity Ulster Hall completely sold out. The band has released two albums, with a third, entitled ‘All Hail Bright Futures’ promised in March this year. The band has toured extensively, from Europe to Russia, China and the US. They have played at festivals such as Pukkelpop in Belgium, Oxegen and the Electric Picnic and in 2009 played a massive 170 gigs. Their debut album, released in 2009, was eloquently reviewed by rock magazine, Kerrang! with the words; “it is rare for a body of work to be so dreamy and elegiac yet conversely monstrously heavy.” The follow up ‘Gangs’ was released to critical acclaim in 2011. Brad Barratt from BBC Music referred to it as “an album strewn with the debris of a war march, albeit one laced with smirks and triumphant songs" and All Hail Bright Futures will be released on March 19

elaborated "starts to feel textural as opposed to bludgeoning." The album was awarded three out of five stars in Kerrang! and was described as “not without its charms”. This album was also nominated for Choice Music Prize in 2012, but lost out on the award. The upcoming third album has been described by their record company as having a different style from the first two with “a sunnier disposition, a positive uplift that more closely matches the euphoria the Northern Ireland trio has been instilling in audiences through their music in a live setting for the last five years”. The band’s region of fans includes some well-known faces including ex-Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl who invited the band to support super group ‘Them Crooked Vultures’, in 2010. ‘And So I watch You From Afar’ will play the Roisin Dubh on Thursday the 31st of January. Doors open at 9pm.


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Maria Doyle Kennedy to perfrom in Galway By Marése O’Sullivan With a voice described as “one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets”, acclaimed actress, Maria Doyle Kennedy, is to grace the stage at Monroe’s, Dominick Street, as part of the Irish tour for her album, Sing. Though she is famous for her leading lady performances such as Queen Katherine of Aragon in The Tudors, the evil wife of Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey and Sonya the nanny in Dexter, Dublin-born Maria has been a singer longer than she has been an actress, and claims she would rather be known for her musical talents. Her latest album is not only making waves across the Irish music scene, but around the world. “Sing is unquestionably her finest musical achievement to date,” says Tony Clayton-Lea of The Irish Times, while the BBC’s Andy Fyfe notes the “rare and touching intimacy” of her songs. Her soulful blend of folk and alternative rock is captured almost effortlessly on the record, thanks to the collaboration of her husband, producer/musician Kieran Kennedy.

“I’m very proud of [the album],” says Maria. “I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. […] When you’re making an album, you’re climbing this massive mountain and you’re trying to find the truthful way to each song. When you’re in the middle of it, it could go many different ways. So you just need to nail the right one [and make sure] that each gets the right end. We got the most beautiful artwork done [too]; really thrilled with that, it just felt right to me.” Maria is inspired by her surroundings, books and daily life, and is set to finish her tour of America and Canada before she arrives

back home on Irish shores. “I’ve listened to a lot of very different kinds of music and sometimes that comes out in my work. I make [music] that’s quite eclectic. This album seems to be bound together really clearly. It is very much one body of work. I think, at the moment, The Most Beautiful People Are Broken – which was inspired by one of my children – I’m quite drawn to that one, in particular, but they all mean something quite special to me.” Maria will appear in Galway for one night only on Saturday, February 2, at 9pm in Monroe’s. Tickets are €15, or €12.50 online at www.monroes.ie.

Galway: the new Wisteria Lane? By Isabella De Luca There’s a new drama on TV3 called Deception. It is based in a small, exclusive housing estate outside Galway City and hit our screens for the first time on Monday, January 7. Filmed on location in Spiddal last summer, the show revolves around six families living in the fictional housing estate of Benton Wood. Their lives have experienced many changes since their prosperity during the “good years”. Throughout the series, Deception uncovers the characters’ secrets of murder, jealousy, betrayal and revenge. Situated just minutes away from the set of Ros

na Rún, Tyrone Productions and EO Teilifis crews filmed in the area for four weeks, with episodes recorded in people’s houses as opposed to studio sets. The show features an Irish cast led by Jim Nortan, better known as Bishop Brennan in Father Ted, Leigh Arnold (The Clinic), Nora-Jane Noone (Jack Taylor), Conor Mullen (Rough Diamond), Vincent Walsh (A Kiss For Jed) and Helen Roche (Roy). Nora-Jane Noone, also famous for starring in The Magdalene Sisters, is a native of Galway and graduated with a degree in Science from NUIG in 2004. Deception will comprise six hour-long episodes, each told from a different

character’s perspective, with six writers including Christian O’Reilly and Ailbhe Nic Giolla Bhríghde set to write an episode apiece. Elizabeth Gill (Hardy Bucks) and Anne McCabe (Ros na Rún) are directing the series, with Hugh Farley, Patricia Carroll and Maire Ni Thuathail producing. The show cost €1.2 million to make and was partly funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s (BAI) Sound and Vision Fund. TV3’s director of programming Ben Frow said he prefers spending the station’s money on homegrown talent rather than on big US deals. The drama continues on Monday nights at 10pm, on TV3.

Our very own man in a tent, Frank Cronin, is still living in a tent. He will be performing his production Tent Boy on Thursday 7 February in the Bank of Ireland Theatre at 1pm as part of the Múscailt Arts Festival.

Francis the Holy Jester in NUI Galway As part of the Múscailt Arts Festival this year, Mario Pirovano will come to NUI Galway to perform Francis the Holy Jester, a play by Dario Fo. Francis the Holy jester is a one-man show – a play, which relies solely on the considerable skill of a highly experienced performer and the imagination of the audience. This is a show without props, without scenery and with the simplest of costume where the bond between the audience and the performer, and thus the material and subject is tangible, visceral. A whole range of characters from 13th Century Italy are brought to life before us: Popes and Cardinals, Dukes and Duchesses, soldiers on the battlefield, traders in the marketplace and St Francis himself. The play traces some events from the life of this most colorful and

renowned of holy men, his desire to follow the word of God and to communicate this to the people for the good of mankind. It illustrates his commitment to his beliefs, his willingness to sacrifice his wellbeing and material comfort for the sake of his faith and his readiness to challenge hypocrisy wherever he sees it to expose the truth. This is a play that truly addresses some fundamental questions about how we express our faith and commitment to Christian principles. It has the timelessness of a great story masterfully told and is full of relevance for our lives today. Fo offers four episodes from St Francis life. One of these reflects and references an actual event when St Francis spoke to over 5,000 people in the main square in Bologna in August 1222. In this address, he used his whole being to express himself and communicate

his message. The address was so powerful it caused warring factions to embrace lasting peace for the first time in many years. The play is funny, uplifting and thought provoking. This is an entirely unique and living piece of theatre that interrogates and celebrates our humanity, has the power to reach all of us, theatre-lover or no, educated or non-educated, Christian or non-Christian. It will be of interest to historians, theologians, students and teachers of drama, those with a particular interest in the work of Dario Fo or with a general interest in Italian culture and literature, and to anyone who enjoys a good story lovingly crafted and expertly told with insight, vivacity and humor. Mario Pirovano will perform Francis the Holy Jester at 8pm in the Cube, Áras na Mac Léinn on Tuesday 5 February. Why not pop down? Admission is free.


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A Portrait of the Artist By James Falconer Flirt FM – Tuesday 11.30am Speaking to Galway based novelist and poet, Rachel Coventry. What’s inspires you as an artist? Well, I write both poetry and fiction. I think the inspiration for both genres is different. Fiction comes from an idea and then characters develop around this idea and that’s my inspiration. Whereas poetry arrives almost fully formed, anything can inspire me to write poetry however, it mostly comes from an emotion. The novel comes out of something that I’m trying to convey. The two novels I’m working on are both answering something. The first one is about addiction and a certain way of thinking that I saw around me. The second novel is about philosophical ideas and how they are interpreted. Is there anything in particular that your work represents? Are you trying to get at anything? I’d like my work to be honest on an emotional level. I want it to be familiar to people, to hit some sort of emotional realism. I want my work to bring out the full embarrassment of being alive in the world. I want people to recognise themselves in my characters; I’m striving towards an emotional authenticity.

Is the any writer you think succeeds in this? I think Coetzee succeeds in this and I enjoy his work a great deal. I think there are many writers who succeed in this and I’m naturally drawn towards them. I love a whole plethora of writers who manage to say something real about the human condition and in poetry as well. I’m drawn to poets who manage to give an authentic, undressed up view of life. So do you have a strong goal or purpose as an artist? What get you up in the morning to produce art? It’s funny, I feel better when I write. Before I wrote, I felt there was something missing and when I began writing, it went away. I have goals. I would like to produce a collection of poetry; I would like to have a novel published. I would like to have my work read by other people, but I don’t think that’s what motivates me because none of those things may happen yet I feel the need to sit down and write. But, it always come back to, I could be walking my dog in the morning and I get an idea for a poem and I have to write that poem, and I will feel better having done it. I’d love to earn a living from it, I’d love to be read, I’d love to be critically acclaimed, who wouldn’t? But, I don’t think that these are the things that really drive me; I am driven by the ability to say

something truly honest that people can identify with. So do you work constantly or take breaks? I write 500 words a day with fiction. Sometimes I don’t write poetry at all and then sometimes I might write it a lot. So I don’t write poetry constantly because sometimes there’s nothing for me to say poetically. Then, on other occasions, I seem to have a lot of poems on the go. That sounds like your consistent; do you think consistency is important for artists? Well, I can only speak for myself, but if I write 500 words a day it doesn’t take me very long to have 90,000 words. Whereas, if I’m writing a 100 words here and 1000 words there, it could take me forever to even get a short story together. So, for me, in terms of a big project like a novel, I think it’s very important to write consistently. Moreover, if I write consistently I don’t get blocked, I don’t get to a point where I feel I can’t go on. There are days when I wake up and I don’t want to write, but I force myself to do my 500 words, even if they’re rubbish, I’ll just write them. It’s very rare that I’ll feel like that often and sometimes what I write on a bad day is just as good as any other, in fact sometimes it’s even better!

Do you think you have a God-given or natural talent to write? Where did you harvest your skills? That’s an interesting question. I don’t know if it’s an inherent talent. I think you learn to write by reading. I think I have an ability to write, but I wouldn’t say it’s an ability that other people can’t have. I think the ability I have comes from my love of writing. It feels very good for me to write regardless of the quality at the end of it; I enjoy the process and I feel a lot better in myself after it. Hard work is a part of it as well? Hard work is a part of everything. I mean if you want to do anything well, it’s hard work - it doesn’t matter who you are. What about rejection? How do you deal with it? You have to develop a thick skin. I have had an awful lot of poems published in a short period of time, but I’ve also had a lot of rejection. If you want to be a published writer you have to accept that you will be rejected. There is not one writer who has had everything published; very famous writers have been rejected. When I send the same poem off to different journals and it’s rejected, I learn from this and I spot the weakness in it. Ultimately I learn a lot from rejection and criticism and have become a better writer as a result of it.

A group of students who were lucky enough to be part of Youth Media and the Irish Presidency with Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding. Among the crowd is Sin’s features editor, Órla Ryan. Photo by Paul Sherwood.

‘Chatroom’ highlights need for positive mental health By Marése O’Sullivan

Written in 2005, Chatroom is one of Dubliner Enda Walsh’s (Disco Pigs) most notable plays, not least because its first performance at the National Theatre in London was in the company of Andrew Garfield and Matt Smith. Director Nelson Barre is a PhD student in the English Department at NUI Galway. His main focus is on theatre and he said that he was first drawn to the play because of its “contemporary relevance” as well as the “power” of the dialogue. In the course of the play the audience handle sombre and difficult themes, such as suicide and online bullying, but Barre doesn’t seem worried. Instead, he is eager for some honest conversation to finally be had on the subjects. He states that; “The play is about six kids who go into internet chatrooms and discuss everything from Harry Potter to belly-button piercings. But some of them want to talk about more serious issues, and that's where it gets a bit dark. “Kids can be so cruel. Humans can be terrifying. There have been so many sad stories in the news recently about teen suicide. It's a global issue, but it also speaks really

powerfully to an Irish audience. “Who's at fault? Why are people like this? Where were the parents? Well, there are no parents in this play; just kids with varying levels of cynicism and hope. And I think that's important. It needs to get people thinking about both sides of an issue.” Barre, both a Professor of Psychology and Law, will host a post-show discussion after the performance on Wednesday January 23. He will initiate a discussion of the play with the audience and the actors. “Everyone is invited,” he smiles. “I hope to get as many people in there talking about cyberbullying, young adult problems, and just about exciting theatre, [like] the opportunity to do this play. Every night I'm in the rehearsal room, hearing the words and working with the actors, I get that rush and I know this is an important play for our time.” This is ultimately a positive play and has been described as an "exciting, relevant and contemporary professional piece of theatre for young people, by young people." Chatroom will be running in the Bank of Ireland Theatre in NUI Galway from 22 to 25 January (8.30pm).

Chatroom focuses on difficult themes such as suicide and online bullying amongst young people in an environment unsupervised by adults.


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Review: Silver Linings Playbook

Review: Life of Pi By Jane Kearns Director Ang Lee has an eclectic back catalogue of films that include Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility, and now box office hit Life of Pi, which is an adaptation of the bestselling book by Yann Martel. The story follows the enthralling life of Piscine “Pi” Patel who, as a teenager, was the sole human survivor of a ship wreck following his family’s decision to move from India to Canada, along with all the exotic animals from their zoo. Pi, along with a tiger called Richard Parker spends months stranded in the Pacific on a small life boat. During this time he endures a number of harrowing experiences that change his life forever. The first third of the film focuses on Pi’s life before the ship wreck as a child growing up in India. This

sets up the rest of the film as it gives Pi’s character more depth and allows the audience to understand some of his actions later on in the film. His childhood is relatively normal, but we do learn that Pi has an unusual moral outlook and a very unique relationship with God and religion that stays with him well into his adult life when he recounts his experiences on the life boat to a Canadian writer. The story can be slow at times, but glorious images and impeccable cinematography keep the viewer

engaged throughout. Shot in 3D, the film is bright and colourful and makes excellent use of CGI to create incredibly realistic animals. In terms of actors no major Hollywood names are used, but Suraj Sharma who plays Pi does an excellent job in his first role. Overall Life of Pi is a great film that is aesthetically pleasing but sometimes boring in terms of plot. Whether you read the book or not you will enjoy the film on at least one level, and if slow burners, religion or fantastical stories aren’t your thing, it’s worth seeing for the imagery alone.

By Jane Kearns Among the new releases over this holiday season was quirky comedy/drama Silver Linings Playbook. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DiNero, the offbeat comedy has swept this year’s awards with major nominations for Oscars and Golden Globes; it even managed to snag a best lead actress globe for Jennifer Lawrence at last week’s ceremony.

and is trying to get his life back on track by getting fit and reconciling with his wife, but like any good comedy, this does not go to plan. Pat’s football-obsessed family want to help him get his life together, but once he meets young widow Tiffany (Lawrence), things start to go awry. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but in return she asks him to be her partner in a local dancing competition.

A mix of tense and hilariously

awkward scenes make the film incredibly enjoyable

The story centres on Pat (Cooper), a teacher who has to move back in with his parents after a stint in a mental institution, Pat suffers from bipolar disorder

Silver Linings Playbook had the potential to be your regular rom-com, but thanks to its somewhat controversial theme and excellent casting, it effortlessly avoids this. Instead,

Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Review: Seven Psychopaths By Ken Glennon As an acclaimed playwright, Oscar-winning filmmaker, and working on the back of a superb feature film debut (In Bruges) any work from Martin McDonagh comes with a high level of expectation. This doesn’t always bode well for Seven Psychopaths, an occasionally inspired, self-referential black comedy about an Irish screenwriter named Martin (played by Colin Farrell) suffering from writer’s block in Hollywood. Martin wants his new script (also called Seven Psychopaths) to stand out from the usual violent Hollywood action picture and to produce something lifeaffirming. Gamely aiding his cause, Marty’s best friend, Billy (a functioning lunatic tailor made for the brilliant Sam Rockwell), puts an ad out for any psychopaths with an interesting story to contact Martin (cue Tom Waits with a bunny rabbit and a tale of love and serial killing). To further complicate matters, Billy runs a dogkidnapping scheme with

viewers are treated to character driven plot that is filled out with a mix of tense and hilariously awkward scenes that make the film incredibly enjoyable. The ending is the only predictable aspect of the film, but it’s a satisfying one as the characters you were rooting for get what they deserve. From the get go, Silver Linings Playbook is clever, engaging and heart-warming, both Cooper and Lawrence give outstanding performances that make their characters not just likeable, but believable too, and an all-star supporting cast including Robert DiNero, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker give the story more layers. A film about mental illness, dancing and American football might sound slightly strange, but it’s the strangeness of this film that makes it so good, and a shoe in for at least one Oscar this year.

his friend Hans (Christopher Walken) and has stolen a prised shitzu from a vengeful gangster (Woody Harrelson). Plenty of plot, quotable dialogue bolstered by a superlative cast (Rockwell and Walken are particularly fun to watch here) flies by in Seven Psychopaths without any great resonance.

watching boasts a trio of accomplished actresses who enjoy maybe four minutes of screen time between them. As the story begins to meander into the second half (where the characters in McDonough’s story do what the Farrell writer character wants the fig-

To further complicate matters,

Billy has stolen a prised shitzu from a vengeful gangster

Wi t h t h e e x p e c t a tions surrounding Martin McDonough’s new film, the end result is fun but feels oddly empty with little of the sharp characterisation or pathos that made In Bruges such a tremendous experience. Psychopaths is undeniably a lighter film, but the self-reflective nature of the script doesn’t excuse problems within the story. For example, a reading of Martin’s script has Hans note that female characters are atrociously written. Likewise the film we’re

ures in his script to do) it starts to feel like the film’s commentary of Hollywood movies ends up extending onto itself beyond being deliberately ironic. There’s a strong case to be made that when distanced from the expectation surrounding it Seven Psychopaths functions exactly as it was designed to and it provides enough laughs to warrant a look particularly with Rockwell, Walken and Tom Waits on strong form but given the pedigree involved it feels strangely disappointing.

By Ken Glennon Peter Jackson returns to the scene of arguably his greatest triumph in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first in a trilogy of fantasy adventure films predating The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ad apt i n g Tol k ie n’s earlier, far more child oriented, text which clocked in well under 400 pages and converting it into a blockbuster tr ilog y, Jackson and his writing team have dug into Tolkien’s miscellaneous Rings mythology and various appendices to expand upon the original text andtie it into the ostensibly darker Rings trilogy. As such, this prequel of

sorts follows the travels of title hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and a company of Dwarves who, led by charismatic wizard Gandalf the Grey (once again played with supre me wa r mt h a nd authority by the magnificent Sir Ian McKellan), recruit the reluctant Bilbo into a quest to reclaim their conquered homeland from the dragon Smaug. All comfortable material for fans of Jackson’s previous films, but for t hose who a re not, a diverting fantasy adventure yarn lies in wait (after the admittedly prolonged preamble in the hobbits home where we meet the respective key characters and the story really kicks into gear).

The film holds an ace in Martin Freeman who brings Bilbo’s unlikely journey from the loser of the group to feats of great heroism and confidence. Far from mimicking Ian Holm (who assayed the role in the Rings trilogy), Freeman brings a grace and wit to the part that is entirely his own. As head of the band of Dwarves and something of a king in exile, Richard Armitage provides a strong presence as Thorin Oakenshield, whilst a host of British and Irish character actors populate the secondary dwarf characters (not all of whom make a lasting impression). As fantasy filmmaking goes, the first instalment of The Hobbit represents a winning return to the JRR Tolkien’s work for Peter Jackson. Whilst inevitably not in the same league as the opening film in the Lord of the Rings, An Unexpected Journey is a hugely enjoyable piece of holiday entertainment which beautif ully blends the darker aspects of Tolkien’s mythos with the considerably lighter tone of The Hobbit.


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H ealth & F itness

5 ways to lose your holiday belly

By John Mulry of Expect Success Fitness “How do I get rid of all this holiday weight?” Pretty standard question and one I often get asked, so I’m going to get you started on a plan that will help you lose that jingle jelly feeling you might have in your belly. Here are my 5 ways to lose your holiday belly. Enjoy. 1. Forget about it: First of all, forget about all the damage you did over the holidays, if you keep dwelling on all the chocolates, biscuits, puddings and cakes you had over the Christmas and holiday period you’ll only depress yourself even further. Any mishaps or times of overindulgence you had, forget them, move on and focus on the present. From a personal point of view, I went a bit too mad myself (yes I’m human after all) and had well over my fair share of junk. I’m not going to dwell on them though because I know that when you forget it and move on, you’ll soon find your groove again. 2. Slow and steady: How much damage did you do over the Christmas? The answer doesn’t matter. In actual fact, what matters is how you deal with reversing the damage. The best way to deal with it is in nice manageable chunks. The phrase ‘slow and steady wins the race’ has stood the test of time for a reason – it works. Focus on getting the present right. Just as

you don’t want to worry about yesterday, you also want to avoid worrying about tomorrow. Focus on today, and getting that right. Will Smith says (in terms of achievement) you should lay a brick each day and soon you’ll have a wall (your goal). Mr. Smith knows his success from his failure so we can all learn from his philosophy, whatever damage you’ve done over the holidays can be reversed when you focus on the ‘daily bricks’ of your goal rather than the goal itself.

Build your meals from them 6 days a week then on the 7th day indulge a little. 5. Get moving: Exercise certainly plays its part in helping you lose that holiday belly, just make sure you’re exercising in a way you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you’ll want to do more of it and you’ll stick to it longer. If it’s swimming for you – go swimming, if you’re like me and prefer resistance and weight training, do that. Simples – do what you love doing. If you hate exercise – ­consider enlisting the help

in helping you lose that holiday

By Kiri Renssen New Year’s Resolutions. Have you made any? “New beginnings for a new year” and other cheesy marketing phrases ring through as many of us do make an effort to change for the better.

”“

belly; just make sure you’re

exercising in a way you enjoy

4. Stock up on good stuff: Now that you’ve thrown all the junk out, you’ll have loads of room for some good stuff. Stock up on plenty of lean proteins (eggs, fish, meat, poultry etc.), veggies, fruit, nuts, and some complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa (get a big pile of that), sweet potatoes and wholegrain breads.

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How to keep your New Year’s Resolutions

Exercise certainly plays its part

3. Throw that crap out: Whatever leftovers you have from the holidays, be it Christmas cake, biscuits, those horrible sweets that are always left in the boxes until last (why don’t they just scrap them altogether) or whatever other junk you might have since the holidays – throw it out. If it’s not in your house you can’t eat it. Don’t worry about those kids starving in Africa, whether or not you have junk food in your house is not going to help them in the slightest, if you are worried about them, throw out the junk food then make a donation. Either way, if the crap isn’t in your house then you can’t eat it. When you are having your ‘cheat days’ only buy your cheaty foods on that day and then whatever is left over the next day, throw that crap out too.

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of someone who’ll guide you and ‘kick’ you when you need it. It’s a lot more than just eat less, move more. Start by forgetting about any mishaps you made, focus on getting today right, adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, stock up on the right foods, and do what you love. Do these and you’ll start to see the jingle jelly in your belly disappear quicker than it takes me to eat a box of Ferrero Roche (ok, maybe not that quick).

Public Health Institute in Helsinki found that twice as many Fins endeavour to stop smoking in January than any other time of year. Similar behaviour is found around the world and the roots of this tradition have been traced as far back as the Romans and ancient Babylonians. Self-help books flood bookshops every January. However Oliver Burkeman of Newsweek magazine made a good point about the industry when he said “unlike most other industries, it doesn’t have much to gain from selling a product that actually works”. So here are the facts about willpower and how to achieve your goals, be it New Year’s Resolutions or something else.

We are neurologically

engineered to have a hard time summoning willpower

The real question is how many of us really follow through with our New Year’s resolutions and, more importantly, what causes us to fall short of our goals? There’s potential in the crisp January air and the folk of the Emerald Isle are not alone in perceiving it. A study conducted by the Finnish National

A study of 3,000 people conducted by the psychologist Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol in 2007 found that 88% of those involved who made a New Year’s Resolution failed to keep it. In fact, it appears that we are neurologically engineered to have a hard time summoning will power.

Oscar Wilde was describing many of us, as well as himself, when he said; ”I can resist everything except temptation.” Todd Hare, a neuroscientist at Caltech scanned the brains of several volunteers under conditions requiring willpower and found 2 nuclei of activity. One in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex which is found behind the former in the frontal lobe of the brain. Willpower is not an abstract concept. According to a study by Professor Baumeister of Florida State u n i v e r s i t y, w i l l p o w e r requires chemical energy which is something to bear in mind for anybody thinking about making many drastic changes at once. So how do you keep your resolutions? Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Vague resolutions spell disaster. Make yours very specific. For example instead of “exercise more” say “join the gym and work out 5 days a week for an hour from 7-8 in the evening after work/ college etc”. If you have a friend with a similar resolution, pair up. It’s harder to keep promises to yourself, so make a promise to do it for someone else or for charity. For example, go jogging twice a week with a friend. If you don’t show, you’re letting your friend down. You’ll feel guilty if you cave in and leave your resolution buddy to struggle on alone. Don’t make several big changes all at once, phase out your targeted habits one by one. And most importantly don’t be discouraged if you slip up. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. So you fell off the horse. Pick yourself up, brush yourself down and get back up again. I’m sure Henry VIII spent several Januarys endeavouring to find a wife with a good head on her shoulders!


Clubs Bookings in Kingfisher CLUB

Monday

PArk AND rIDE Tuesday to Dangan Sports Pavillion: now operating!

Commences to Dangan at 5.45pm Last bus from the Pavilion at 9.15pm

Wednesday

Bus will start at the Orbsen Building and complete its usual pickups. You can hop on and off as usual but this bus goes all the way to Dangan Pavillion!

Thursday

Friday Saturday Sunday Mon – Wed Thursday

Service Operates:

5.45pm – 9.15pm 5.45pm – 8.15pm

Monday – Wednesday Departing from Orbsen Building:

5.45 | 6.15 | 6.45 | 7.15 | 7.45 | 8.15 | 8.45 | 9.15 (final bus from Dangan Pavillion)

Thursday

Departing from Orbsen Building:

5.45 | 6.15 | 6.45 | 7.15 | 7.45 | 8.15 (final bus from Dangan Pavillion)

Aikido Karate Badminton Archery Club Futsal Soccer Taekwondo & Judo Swim Club Karate Club  Archery  Fencing Club Ladies Basketball - Varsities Karate Club  Aikido Club Maui Thai  Cricket Club Kayak Club Volleyball Volleyball Aikido Archery Mens Varsity Basketball Cricket Club Badminton Taekwondo Karate & Judo sharing General Varsity Training Sub Aqua Swim Club Frizbee Muai Thai Cricket Ladies Basketball - Varsities Ladies Basketball - Recreational Table Tennis & Fencing Taekwondo & Aikido Fencing Advanced Swim & Lifesaving Club Mens Basketball - Varsity Archery Club Fencing   Inline Hockey Volleyball Club Blank Judo Club Waterpolo Taekwondo

TIME 1.00pm – 2.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 8.00pm – 10.00pm 8.00pm – 10.00pm 8.30pm – 11.00pm 7.30am –  9.00am 7.00pm – 9.00pm 6.00pm – 7.30pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm  7.00pm – 9.00pm 7.30pm – 9.30pm 9.00pm – 10.30pm 9.00pm – 11.00pm 8.00pm – 10.30pm 1.00pm – 2.00pm 1.00pm – 2.00pm 4.00pm – 6.00pm 6.00pm – 7.00pm 7.00pm – 9.00pm 9.00pm – 11.00pm 7.00pm – 9.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 8.00pm – 9.00pm 9.30pm – 11pm 7.00pm – 8.30am 5.00pm – 7.00pm 7.00pm – 9.00pm 9.00pm – 10.30pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 8.00pm – 10.00pm 6.00pm – 8.00pm 8.00pm – 10.00pm 6.00pm – 10.00pm 9.00pm – 11.00pm 11.00am  11.00am – 1.30pm 3.00pm – 4.00pm 7.00pm – 9.00pm 6.00pm – 10.00pm 6.00pm – 7.00pm 7.00pm – 9.00pm 9.30pm – 11.00pm 12.00pm – 2.00pm

VENUE Hall 3  Raquetball Court Hall 1 & 2 Hall  3 Hall 1 & 2  Hall 3  Full Pool Dance Studio Hall 1 Hall 1 Hall 2 Hall 3 Hall 3 Hall 1 Hall 3  Full Pool Hall 2 Hall 2 to Oct 17th Hall 3 Hall 3 Hall 2  Hall 1 3 halls Hall 2  Hall 3 Hall 3 Full Pool 2 Lanes Hall 1 Hall 1 Hall 1 Hall 2  Hall 2  Hall 3 Hall 3 Raquetball Court Full Pool Hall 2 Hall 3 Hall 3 Hall 1 Hall 2 Hall 3 & 1 Hall 3 Full Pool Raquetball Court

Swim Club

4.00pm – 5.30pm

2 Lanes

Fencing Club

2.00pm – 4.00pm

Raquetball court

5-ASIDE SYNTHETIC PITCHES Cages for hire – Students & Staff

€20 PEr Hour

Located at Corrib Village For further info: contact Kevin Cassidy Email: nuigcages@kingfisherclub.com Text Kevin: 0861772589 Or visit www.otc.nuigalway.ie Kevin Cassidy is the facilitator for all your recreational soccer. Most capped player for Galway United, Manager/Coach with Galway District League.


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NUIG Darts Club: No bull By Luke McGrath NUIG Darts Club was the first recognised Darts Club to gain full sports status in Ireland in 2005, founded by Stiophan “Danger” De Lundres O’Dalaigh. This year we have made a serious effort to become Club of the year. For the first time we have acquired permission for boards on campus with two boards upstairs in the college bar. Membership has quadrupled to over 200 with two training nights a week due to excess demand (one in campus and one off campus). From the get go the club decided it needed reform and guidance and Captain Luke “The Wizard” McGrath drew up a constitution and Vice-Captain Mark “The Penetrator” Pierce wrote a code of ethics. Due to the Club’s expansion we are currently in the process of having a dedicated women’s night and a beginner’s night in addition to the two training nights. The enthusiasm ebbed

through the committee this year as Secretary Dominick “Taz” Goggins came up with the idea of holding an exhibition with a professional thrower. The Club kept its momentum going with three-time World Champion John “Dart Maple” Part coming over from Canada to play in an exhibition in which the club raised €1800 and who has since become an honorary member with regular email correspondence and video conferencing. Bowled over with the success of its first ever exhibition the club decided to continue with its trend of firsts and help out the community by having its first ever charity fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland raising over €200. Back to the competition, and after a bittersweet year last time around, winning the annual Corrib Cup, which pits NUIG against GMIT, over two legs, Shane “Bob” Keane and Neil “The Horse” Morrissey took the UDC World Pairs runners

up spot. Luke “The Wizard” McGrath took home the UDAI All Ireland Singles Championship as well as runners up in the Pairs with Stiophan “Danger” De Lundres O’Dalaigh, and NUIG runners up in the UDAI All Ireland. The club have nothing but success in its mind this year and they surely have delivered so far with the biggest away win in Corrib Cup history for the NUIG team, 10-2 in GMIT’s IQ bar. NUIG then took home the UDC World Singles (Neil Morrissey), Masters (Neil Morrissey) and Pairs Championships in London (Neil Morrissey and Stiophan De Lundres O’Dalaigh). Following those achievements NUIG weren’t finished yet and were delighted to play in UL Darts Club’s first ever intervarsity leading to another victory for NUIG 7-5 in a cracking match-up. Training for everyone is on Tuesday from 6pm upstairs in the college bar.

NUI Galway successful in Waterpolo Novice Intervarsities 2012 By Tom Hayes On 4 November 2012, both Men’s and Women’s novice waterpolo teams travelled to Queens University Belfast to compete in the second annual intervarsities novice waterpolo championship. The event kicked off Sunday morning with both teams competing in the group stages. The NUI Galway women’s team proved to be very strong all the way up to the finals, beating DCU, DIT, UCC and Queens by big margins. The men’s team proved to have a more difficult route to the final, having to play DCU and Queens twice. Both finals were incredible matches, full of drama and excitement. Re-taken penalties, sin bins and even a few rough hits were all part of the spectacle that crowned both NUI Galway teams. The final score in the men’s final was NUI Galway 8-1 Queens University Belfast, and in the women’s final NUI Galway 9-3 Queens University Belfast.

Top scores included James Caulfield and Tom Hayes for the men and Rebecca Moore and Orlaith Kilgannon for the woman. Not only did both teams snatch up both titles but also received MVP for men and woman. Tom Hayes received the title for the men’s team and Rebecca Moore received it for the women. Both teams proved to live up to the name that the advanced NUI Galway waterpolo teams have. All novice waterpolo players hope to compete in the Waterpolo Intervarsity’s in the New Year. The NUIG Swimming, Lifesaving and Water polo club would like to congratulate Dylan Barrett and Tahlia Britton for their excellent performance in the Lifesaving World Championship recently held in Adelaide, Australia. The competition took place from the 7 to the 18 November with three days of races held in the pool, followed by two days of open water races at Glenelg Beach. Dylan had excellent results throughout the competition.

He began strong by knocking a huge three seconds off his personal best times for both the 200m Super Lifesaver and 200m Obstacle race. Dylan finished the pool events by winning Gold in the Rope Throw rescue along with his team mate Dave Butler. Things only got better for Dylan on the beach as he placed in several B-Finals. Along with Oisin McGrath, he won the board rescue race B-Final, putting them in 9th place overall and finished 6th in the Taplin relay. In his individual events, Dylan also placed 15th in the Surf Swim race and 16th in the Ocean man. An impressive debut from Tahlia Britton for the Irish team, Tahlia achieved a personal best in the Medley rescue in the pool. Tahlia went on to get as far as the semi-final in the paddle board race on the beach and 14th in the paddle board rescue relay. Tahlia was also part of the women’s relay that received 14th in the Taplin and she got an impressive 12th in the can buoy rescue.

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Look good, feel great with the Kingfisher Club Did you know that it takes four weeks for you to notice your body changing, eight weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world? Success is not instant but it is sure worth the wait! We all know that January is without doubt a month of Health and Fitness where resolutions are made, promises are spoken and fad fitness trends are undertaken with military precision. But how many of you have already broken your promise to yourself? Let us examine some of the most common resolutions and how you can make them really work for you to get over the mid-January slump. Dreaded Dieting Typically diets only work for a while – usually for as long as you stick to the carefully regulated plan. And studies show, after a while, most people get tired of following such a strict regimen and go back to eating pretty much what they ate before. So what does actually work? Well the answer is quite simple really. By making small changes to your eating habits. Here are a few small changes that pack a big calorie punch. Giving up that daily soda habit: 150 calories saved a day. Switching from sugar loaded cereal (400-600 calories) to a bowl of porridge (150 calories). Swap your latte (180 calories) for a cup with skimmed milk and save extra calories per cup. All of these small changes allow you to still treat yourself occasionally Stop Smoking Well, it’s not that you can’t stop smoking. You can, and you should. Sooner, rather than later. But if you’re waiting for that

perfect day when you’ll just be able to stop because you promised yourself you would, it’s not going to happen. So what does work? Staying positive, avoiding temptation and smoking triggers and rewarding yourself along the way. If you do fall off the wagon, don’t say you failed but start again tomorrow, after all it’s a marathon not a sprint. Get More Exercise The problem with this one is that come the first of January everyone is ready to get into health and fitness and works so hard for a week or two, until they let themselves slide because it’s cold outside, or it’s too dark when you get home, or your muscles hurt. In other words, it’s too easy to convince yourself not to exercise. To make a significant lifestyle change and make it stick, you need to replace an old habit of being a couch potato or workaholic with a new one. You also need to make it pleasant, or at least not too unpleasant. Make a plan; set a goal. After all if you have nothing to aim for you have nothing to motivate you. Membership with the Kingfisher Fitness Club guarantees an environment where all of your fitness, health and well being requirements are met in the one facility at a price affordable for all. The Kingfisher Clubs makes all of the health benefits of exercise not only possible but extremely enjoyable too! So what are you waiting for? January is not over yet, there is still time to start 2013 off on the right foot. Call us now to book your free one day trail 091 570800 or sign up on our website www.kingfisherclub.com today! After all this time next year you will wish you had started today!

Back row left to right: Tom Hayes, Declan Bredin, David Sharkey, Niall O Keefe, Niall Mc Cara, Dylan Ryan, James Caulfield. Front row left to right: Deirdre Harnett, Shelby Rider, Brittany Haun, Orlaith Kilgannon, Kate Brooks, Grainne Kennedy, Rebecca Moore.


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NUIG Men’s varsity Basketball rolls into New Year with renewed confidence and enthusiasm

NUI Galway Archery Club competes in Intervarsities

By Ryan Muldoon

NUI Galway Archery Club competed in their first two Intervarsities of the season in DCU and DKIT last semester. The Archery club started the season blazing in DCU, beating 17 other colleges and universities to win both the Recurve Team Category with a new national record (Darren Wallace, Aisling Finn, Xingliang Fan, Aidan Farren), and Mixed Team

As the seconds ticked away and the final buzzer sounded in the All Ireland semi final in the University of Limerick Sports Arena, the NUIG men’s basketball team stood alongside the court where they had just been beaten and simply tried to understand what had just happened. The Galway side had been overturned in a tight game by bitter rivals UCD. A poor showing in the league and the bad habits picked up during the early season followed the team to the varsities in Limerick. This summer away from competition and from the opinions of various coaches and players has worked wonders for the team. The insertion of a new coach and American star as well an injection of a host of new players has revitalised the team. The main reason for this new life in the Galway team is American star Andre Tongo who comes from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. Tongo has been quick to

establish himself as one of the best players in the country this season through his performances with both the college and also with his club team, Galway Titans. His ability to play both ends of the floor is a testament of any great player but at the end of the season, he along with the team he is now coaching will be judged on what trophies they can win. Tongo is assisted by local’s Con Crowley and Dave Hansberry, both of whom were members of the last NUIG team to win the varsities. Both players have played with and coached many of the players on the team. Past experience will be needed as NUIG find themselves in the “Group of Death” along with Dublin Business School, Cork Institute of Technology and University of Ulster Jordanstown. This Galway team is well aware of the task ahead but this group has been revitalised by an influx of new players and also the added responsibility on younger players like Ian Burke and Padraig Burke (no relation). The team has returned to

campus following a rest during the Christmas period. There is a bounce in the step of these players and many of them speak enthusiastically about the upcoming league games. The westerners stormed through the opening three league games with no defeats. UCC were beaten soundly in early November in the Kingfisher while Galway also celebrated emphatic wins both home and away against the University of Limerick. The team believes that this is only the beginning and that there is a lot of room for improvement. The Galway side spearheaded by the offensive duo of Ken Hansberry and Andre Tongo and assisted by veterans like O’Hagan, Harte and McNairney are sure to be one of the teams to keep an eye on for the duration of the season. The Galway side’s success is showing the strength of Galway basketball as the NUIG women’s team is also off to an incredible start this season. One would be foolish to rule out both teams bringing trophies back to the university this season.

Futsal League Results Semester 1 By Kevin Cassidy: Soccer facilitator Are you ready for Semester 2 Futsal League? The very popular Monday Night Futsal League came to a conclusion on Monday November 26. The league, which has over 300 members, ran all the way through the first semester.

The league came to its climax with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all played out in the well-appointed Kingfisher sports hall. The standard was high as the finalists proved their worth over a tough night. Eventual winners, “The Wasabis”, prevailed in a thriller with “Cool As D...” on a 4-3 scoreline. “The Eagles”

Futsal League winners, The Wasabis Top (l–r): Anthony Patrick Saoud, Johannes Schatz, Max Martinius, Philip Grab Bottom (l–r): Mattias Wey,José Luis CastroGirona, Daniel Weber, Christian Schmitz. Not pictured: Jan Priesmeier Girona

finished third after overcoming a skilful “Dream Team”. Each year sees more variety in teams and adds to the enjoyment of all players. The league is run by the Sports Unit of the University and has increased in popularity year after year to the point of having to limit team entries. The league also saw the highest-ever number of international students participating. We had six complete squads of international students, and a sprinkling more playing with other teams. A total of 54 participated, with the winners, along with the third and fourth placed teams being comprised of international students. Congratulations to all. The top four placed teams all received prizes, and the new league kicks off in the second semester. Look for details and sign up. The league can be found on Off The Couch website at www.

By Aisling Finn

Category also with a new national record (Darren Wallace, Patrick Molloy, Carl Byrne). Individually NUIG brought home 4 individual medals; 1st Place Male Advanced Recurve (Darren Wallace), 2nd Place Female Advanced Recurve (Aisling Finn), 2nd Place Female Intermediate Recurve (Laura Adams), and 3rd Place Male Compound (Carl Byrne). In DKIT, the club main-

tained their streak with gold in the Mixed Team Category (Carl Byrne, Fan Xiangliang, Paddy Molloy), 3rd place Barebow Team (Paddy Molly, Lara Kish and Dara MacEoin) and 1st Place Male Compound (Carl Byrne), 1st place Advanced Barebow (Paddy Molloy) and 2nd Place Female Barebow (Lara Kish). Here’s hoping the club’s success will continue in semester two.

The NUI Galway archery team competed in their first intervarsities of the season last semester. otc.nuigalway.ie, or follow us on Twitter at NUIG, Futsal & Cages, or on Facebook at NUIG Corrib Cages. We would especially like to thank our main sponsor, Atak Sports for their very generous sponsorship of first prize. All the winners received a complete set of Compression Suits. Atak Sports are suppliers of Bodytech, the very latest technology in sportswear. Designed to keep the body at its maximum potential during training or competitive sport it aids recovery time while moving moisture away from the skin. This is an ideal tool for any sports minded person. Our second prize was sponsored by Team Sports, a complete soccer kit with each player’s name on the back. Team Sports are suppliers of sports equipment and clothing and are a local Galway-run and based company. Third and fourth were sponsored by Crowes family restaurant in Bohermore and the Sports Unit.

Wasabis celebrate their victory.

Runners up, Cool as D... Top Row: Conor King, Brian Murtagh, Darrah Jones, Robert Bracken Bottom Row: Frank Quinn, Ciarán Murtagh


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Snooker Finale heads back to Galway By Mark Kelly NUI Galway will once again host one of the most prestigious snooker events of the year when the Player Tour Championships (PTC) World Finals comes back to the Bailey Allen Hall. After the success of last year, World Snooker has decided to bring back the PTC end-of-the-year event back to the city. It will be held from 12-17 March, and will be shown live on Eurosport. Last year, 80 million people viewed the weeklong event.

Some of Snooker’s biggest names will come to attempt to win the €123,000 top prize. However, only the top 25 players on the PTC Order of Merit and the top 7 on the Asian Order of merit will be eligible to play, meaning the likes of Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Ding Junghui will be in Galway to compete. Joining them will be two home-favourites, Mark Allen and former World Champion Ken Doherty. A World Snooker spokesperson commented on the announcement;

GAA: The Diehard Zone By Mark Higgins The 2013 GAA season is underway with the provincial leagues easing us gently back into intercounty football and hurling. It’s a time for renewed optimism, new faces and fresh ideas. January GAA is diehard territory, as supporters flock in their dozens to the nation’s GAA grounds to cast their eyes over another year’s batch. In this part of the world, January means the return of the FBD Football League, played out between the five counties of Connacht, as well as Sligo IT, GMIT and NUI Galway. Here, we profile the five county teams competing, and evaluate their chances for success in 2013.

Galway

Manager: Alan Mulholland (2nd year) 2012 Form: Retained their Division 2 status in the National League. Lost out to Sligo in the Connacht championship, before suffering a shock defeat to Antrim in the qualifiers. In his sophomore year in charge, Alan Mulholland will be hoping for a substantially improved showing from his charges after last year’s underwhelming campaign. Padraig Joyce’s decision to call time on his stellar inter-county career deprives the side of one of its finest players, but the return to fitness of the supremely talented Michael Meehan should

“We are thrilled to be heading back to Galway for this prestigious tournament. The Bailey Allen Hall proved an excellent venue last year and there was a superb atmosphere in the arena,”. The event is coming back to Galway due to the efforts of promoter Shea McNelis and Councillor Niall McNelis, who is the promoter’s brother. Cllr McNelis noted that it was “absolutely brilliant news” that the event was coming back to the NUIG and the city, comparing it to Sheffield, where the World Cham-

pionships are held annually. “[Galway] has the look and feel of Sheffield,” he said, adding that the players particularly enjoyed the city last year. “When the players were here, they were able to walk from the university back to the hotels and they were being stopped on the street for autographs,” he said. The brothers are hopeful of breaking even this year and bringing the event back to Galway in 2014 if the event is successful. However, there has been no backing from Failte Ire-

boost their scoring potential. Promotion from Division 2 of the league should be a realistic goal for Galway, but the draw for the Connacht Championship has not been kind to the tribesmen, with first Mayo and then Roscommon standing in their way to a Connacht final.

Maguire in 2013. With an average squad age of just 24, Mayo come into the new year as justified fourth-favourites for the All-Ireland title. Andy Moran’s imminent return to full fitness is a massive boost for the side, and performances such as the one delivered against Dublin in last year’s semi-final show just how good the team can be, but the opening 10-minute implosion in the final highlighted the frailties that still exist in the Mayo team. Horan must find away to eradicate these once and for all. If he can, the wait might finally be over.

Mayo

Manager: James Horan (3rd year) 2012 Form: Lost out to Cork in the National League Division 1 final. Retained their Connacht championship and beat Down and Dublin en route to the AllIreland, before coming undone against Donegal. After September’s heartbreak, James Horan should have little problem motivating his players for another crack at Sam

Roscommon

Manager: John Evans (1st year) 2012 form: Retained their Division 3 status in the league. Heavily beaten by Galway in

Mark Selby takes a shot at last year’s PTC Finals. land this year, and the brothers are in talk with a “big sponsor” for the event. Tickets will go on sale shortly and are expected to be around the same price as last year. For more information and updates visit www.worldsnooker.com. the first round of the Connacht Championship. Had an excellent win over Armagh in the qualifiers before falling to Mickey Harte’s Tyrone. After a wildly inconsistent 2012 campaign, which included a capitulation at the hands of Galway and an excellent showing against Armagh, Roscommon come into the new year with a new face at the helm and decent prospects of success. Promotion from Division 3 of the league should be the goal for John Evans, before he turns his attention to a Connacht semifinal date with one of the big boys in June.

Sligo

Manager: Kevin Walsh (5th year) 2012 Form: Retained their Division 3 League status. Narrowly lost out to Mayo in the Connacht final, in controversial circumstances, before losing to Kildare in the qualifiers. Sligo were left thinking about what could have been in 2012, after a dubious Mayo point late on the Connacht final took the game away from Kevin Walsh’s side. The championship draw has smiled on the team this year, however, and another provincial final looks an attainable target. In his fifth year in charge, Walsh must be looking for tangible signs of improvement.

Leitrim

Managers: Barney Breen and George Dugdale 2012 Form: Beaten by Mayo in Connacht, secured their first-ever qualifier victory over Wicklow before losing to Laois. Promotion from the doldrums of Division 4 must be Leitrim’s aim this term. A strong league campaign could lay the foundations for a good Connacht championship, with the traditional heavy-hitters all on the opposite side of the draw.


{sin} 14–07

F inal W ord Book 2

Easy Sudoku Puzzles by KrazyDad

Sudoku #5

7 5 3 6 NUI Galway 5 6 1 3 2 Memes by Conor Stitt 1 4 7 8 3 7 9 2 5 8 9 7 6 8 9 3 1 Book32 1 9 8 1 6

Sudoku #5

3 8 6 7 3 9 4 1 4 9 8 7 2 Book 7 4 2 8 2 Sudoku7#5 9 5 4 Sudoku #7 7 4 9 1 4 3 7 6 2 6 7 3 9 5 4 Sudoku #7

8 3 9 1 4 3 7 3 2 1 4 Jonathan8Ryan 1 3 Kieran Durcan Three lads in Smokey’s: Girl when walking out of college: 1 1: 3What 4 was 5 it that6 ate7your 8 2“It’s so cold, could have sworn I Lad rabbit7again? had more clothes coming in this 8 5 Lad 2: A...er...A ferret I think. morning.” 4 3: 2With 7 a magnetic tail 8 and 3 Lad four arses. Claffey Challenging Sudoku 5 Puzzles 3 9by KrazyDad 7Stephen Girl 1: “I told him not to put Al Claire McCallion Pachino’s on my roll.” 5 4

Overheard in NUI Galway

#6 FrSudoku Diarmuid mentioned two girls Girl 2: “They’re called Hal Pachi© 2011 KrazyDad.com during mass. One whispers to os you idiot!” 9 6 1 5 3 2 other behind Girl 1: “Oh...” Restrain thy mind, and let mildness ever attend thy tongue.me: “Jaysus it’s like 8 3-- Theognisgetting8 retweeted!” 9 Sudoku #8 9 1 Jessica Thompson Erika Feerick A scantily clad girl on a night 1 9 6 5 2 In 6 concourse, girl 7walking into out in Galway: “It’s freezing!” 7 1 6 then saying,“Jeese 3 4 that’s 5 Passing cyclist: “Well wear wall 6 7 2 8 3 not then!” (Continues 6 2 5 a 7soft wall!” 1 3 clothes 2 5 4 6­cycling) © 2011 KrazyDad.com

Sudoku #7

Welfare Officer finds Library without assistance of Education Officer. SU President Paul Curley proposes foundation of Drugs Taskforce to create anti-drug policy similar to campus anti-alcohol policy. Class Reps pass motion unanimously, celebrate by getting locked. Sin to launch new website with all the latest News, Reviews, Sports and Features in same week as MINDNET is released and internet is declared obsolete. Campus Crusty-Meter hits dangerously high levels ahead of Muscailt. Libocop spends Wednesday chasing bongo-banging theatre types out of Reading Room. NUI Galway’s beloved Dr. Teddy Browne rushed to Teddy-Bear Hospital suffering from “exhaustion” and “extreme-dehydration” after savage night in Electric Garden. First year Engineering student is shot down with epic burn, following attempt to crack on to Mary Robinson with cheesy chat up line. University management suffers from extreme case of the trots after ‘Burger Friday’ in the Staff Lounge. Potter Soc call off Quidditch World Cup due to waterlogged pitch. Bystander remarks; “I thought Quidditch was played in the sky – ya know flying and shit. They’re not even trying.” Battle of the balls commences with BizSoc claiming to have the biggest ball. That’s why their trousers hang a bit funny. Akumakon convention sees Anime and Manga fans descend on campus dressed as their favourite characters. Boots runs out of black eyeliner and the cloakroom has to increase capacity for all the actual cloaks.

21–01

Sudoku #6

1 9

CloakRumours

{31}

9

1 5 9 3 5

6 9 3 2 4 3 2 7 2

7 3 1 2 5

6 1

3 6 1 7 4 2 6 9 7 3 Intermediate Sudoku 4 Puzzles by KrazyDad 2 8 4 1 9 1 2 5 9 9 8 2 5 Sudoku 6 5 9 #6 8 2 5 3 7 3 3 7 1 4 6 3 8 He's the kind of man for the times that need the kind of man he is... 4 8 9 6 4 3 9 89 3 1 Sudoku #8 5 9 7 4 3 1 7 9 2 8 4 5 9 2 3 6 6 1 4 5 3 7 5 4 2 9 1 4 6 7 3 2 6 1 5 8 1 3 2 2 1 3 5 2 1 2 6 7 4 5 2 8 9 6 4 3 gets6a reputation 1 8 for 9 Once a man as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, people do not listen to the wind. -- Pop Baslim 7 6 2

3

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

1 3 5 4 3 2 8 3 9 2 9 3 9 6 7 4 1 5 9 7 8 4 5 2

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

Sudoku #8

5 8 7 4 4 9 1 4 5 7 1 3 6 7 8 6

© 2011 KrazyDad.com

5 6 1 8 3 8 6 4 © 2011 KrazyDad.com


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Sin Newspaper Volume 14 Issue 7  

Volume 14 Issue 7

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