Page 1

INSIDE Students come together to support Marriage Equality in SU referendum

News

Free Student Newspaper | VOL 15, ISSUE 12 | 24 MAR 2014

Body of missing NUI Galway student Mark Casey found in Limerick

2

700 students gather for #welovenurses demonstration

2

Unexpected turn-out for part-time SU officer elections

2

festival of Colours: ‘HOLI’ hits NUI Galway

4

This Week’s Debate: Irish is a dying language – so let it die already!

8

Disability Awareness Week

the “hate and prejudice” they said the Christian Union Society was spreading. Their shouts were met with cheers from the crowd. Those who supported Christian Society, which has approximately 100 members, stood their ground and some members spoke up, saying people can love whoever they want, but the redefinition of marriage should be avoided. The society also defended their right to express their opinion and pin their posters to the notice boards around campus. Many of these posters were ripped down by other students over the past week. “This is a student society. There’s a diverse group of people on the committee of the student society and there’s a diverse group of people at all of our meetings. All of those people have a right and the Christian Society has a right to express their view on marriage equality,” said Enoch Burke, who ran for the position of Equality Officer in the SU Elections this week. Continued on page 2...

Arts & Entertainment

boy relationships. Marriage status is also being sought for polygamy and polyandry,” was some of the text on the poster. Furthermore, the posters claimed; “Marriage is not about equal rights. For example, there is no right to marry a sibling or a young child. It is all about establishing norms for sexual relationships within society. A marriage is the foundation of a family, and families are the foundation of a civilisation.” Students, who were outraged by the text on the posters, banded together to stand up for the rights of LGBT students in the college. A mock same-sex marriage was held in front of the crowd, pronouncing the couple as “unlawfully married”. After several hours of peaceful demonstration, there were confrontations between the opposing sides and the Gardaí returned to monitor the situation. No arrests were made. The confrontation saw both gay and straight students stand up and express their views and opinions of

sport

for several hours, with two society members holding on to the poster board that sported one of their ‘Vote No’ posters. According to NUI Galway’s Students’ Union President Sean Kearns, there was a series of complaints about the posters placed around the campus by the Christian Union Society. “The opposition side has come under a lot of negative light due to some of the material that they’ve been giving out, making implications that legalising gay marriage could lead to paedophilic men-boy marriages, to polygamy, to polyandry, and there have been complaints to the Students’ Union about that,” said Mr Kearns on the day of the protest. The posters in question outline the current legal definition of marriage and state that a “slide into an ‘abyss of redefinition’ must be prevented at all costs”. “Once altered in part, the entire definition is subject to change. For example, the NAMBLE group (USA) are now lobbying for marriage status for paedophilic men-

Lifestyle

Thinking of doing an Erasmus?

Final Word

A whopping 95% of voters voted in support of Marriage Equality at the recent referendum which took place on Thursday 13 March. A total of 2214 students voted yes to the referendum; 114 voted no and 5 votes were spoiled. The referendum was therefore passed. Gardaí were called to NUI Galway on Wednesday 12 March following a clash of student groups on the issue. The stand-off began after members of NUI Galway’s Christian Union society began a campaign for a ‘No’ vote in the referendum. According to Enoch Burke, auditor of the Christian Union Society, a table had been set up presenting the Christian viewpoint of marriage. The table featured a number of posters and some literature on the issue. “Someone came along and just pulled the cloth off the table so the literature went flying,” Mr Burke explained. The guards were called to the scene but, according to Mr Burke, the perpetrator had already left. The society was then ordered to remove their table by the head of security in NUI Galway. “Some students refused because they had done nothing wrong and they felt that the table should be allowed to continue and basically staged a sit-in, but the head of security went down around them and ripped their posters and stole their literature,” said Mr Burke. Around 250 students showed up to the demonstration which took place on the concourse of NUI Galway. Many of these brought with them signs that read ‘Love Not Hate’. Those campaigning for a ‘No’ vote stood their ground

Features

By Jessica Thompson

11 14

Yellow Brick Road

15

Wise Words: Colourful Carrots

19

Beauty Myths Busted

20

Tips for ebay shopping

21

#nomakeupselfies

22

Film Reviews

23

Album Reviews

24

Walter Macken: Home is the Hero?

25

Reading into it too much

26

Cheltenham to be Remembered

28

BOD hangs up the boots

29

Interview with a Jockey

30

Diary of the Smoky's Pigeon

31

What college taught us

31


2  News

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

Body of missing NUI Galway student Mark Casey found in Limerick By Jenna Hodgins The body of missing NUI Galway student Mark Casey (19) was found on Saturday 15 March at 11.30am. Authorities recovered his remains from the canal bank in Rhebogue eight days after the student’s disappearance. A native of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Casey was last seen leaving Angel Lane nightclub in Limerick city centre around 1.30am on Friday 7 March. He had been out for the night for his friend’s birthday who is currently studying in UL. Mark was last spotted at 2.20am heading towards the Dublin Road according to CCTV footage. Searches for the young man had been taking place in the city since Casey’s disappearance. Mark’s cousin Damien Casey spoke to the Journal.ie about the “hoards of volunteers” that travelled from Galway and Offaly each day to help out with the search. Mark is survived by his parents John and Catherine, his two brothers James and Derek, and sister Shirley who stated they were “so appreciative” of the efforts

of the Limerick locals and groups who have given their time to search for her missing brother. Sin would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of NUI Galway student Mark Casey. One student remained missing at the time of publication. Steven Kavanagh (21) was last seen at leaving Thomond Student Village in Limerick at 1.50am on Thursday 6 March. Mr Kavanagh from Clonlara, is the vice president of LIT’s Students’ Union. He is described as being five foot ten inches tall with tight brown hair and a slight build. He was last seen wearing a blue Limerick FC jacket, blue jeans and black runners. A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said that several search and rescue groups, including the Killaloe Coast Guard and Limerick Search and Rescue, are involved in the search for the missing Stephen Kavanagh. Sergeant John Flanagan of Henry Street Garda Station told the Limerick Leader that; “we won’t stop until we get answers for the family”.

Rest In Peace: Mark Casey

700 students gather for #welovenurses demonstration By Jenna Hodgins Over 700 student nurses and midwives alongside supporters attended the demonstration for the USI #welovenurses campaign on 6 March. Protesters gathered outside Dr Steeven’s Hospital in Dublin at 2pm to demonstrate against the poor work situations facing student nurses and midwives when they graduate. A number of students and graduates spoke about their own personal experiences and the challenges they faced with low-wage packets, long hours and the working conditions of student interns. The #welovenurses campaign aims to highlight the poor pay and working conditions faced by student/ intern nurses and midwives. The initial training wage rate is €6.49 for intern student nurses/midwives which is €2.16 under the minimum wage. Anybody with information regarding Stephen Kavanagh’s disappearance is encouraged to contact Henry Street Garda Station at (061) 212400.

Still Missing: Steven Kavanagh

Graduate nurses and midwives starting salary is currently €23,129 (85% of the staff starting pay for the first year and 90% in the second year). The USI issued a statement saying; “We believe that this salary is too low for nurses and midwives after four years of training. Coupled with long hours and an understaffing crisis, many graduates are opting to leave. “When benchmarked against other countries, we see that graduate nurses and midwives start on much higher salaries and have much better supports and further training opportunities available.” Students say the rate-of-pay is extremely unfair as interning nurses and midwives can work long shifts and often are as hard-working as full-time employees. The USI believe that student nurses and midwives are “filling the gaps that exist due to what USI believes are staff shortages and overworked busy wards. Students call for

SU President Sean Kearns said that in accordance with the Students’ Union constitution, 500 signatures were required in order for the SU to hold a referendum. These 500 signatures were collected and a referendum was held to decide whether the SU should actively support a referendum to amend

Bunreacht na hÉireann to “expressedly permit couples of the same gender to avail of civil marriage”. “Our role in the Students’ Union is to stay impartial and let the student body decide how we will be mandated. “On a personal level, I’m a gay SU president – and I’m not the first one either – and I felt that it was important that I got my opinion; that

everybody actually gets out and votes,” said Mr Kearns. “So this is a really important issue and this is an opportunity for students to make a change in this university and equally towards making a change in this country in 2015. “I think it’s really positive to see students engaging in politics and engaging in these issues because it shows

Kearns said; “I always wanted to work in a caring profession and nursing seemed like the best option. When you are immersed in it, you learn that it is a tough job and not always rewarding, sometimes you find yourself in difficult situations. “Less than minimum wage to start off as an intern in this tough role is not good enough. Even worse is the fact the government are expecting graduates to start off significantly below the national minimum wage. It could be 6 years before nurses reach the previous starting salary of €25,000. “The incentive to stay has disappeared, only three general nurses out of 65 that graduated from my class have accepted contracts in Ireland. The rest have left to work leaving behind their families and often relationships. Some have decided to get a different job altogether after four years of studying. The message to the government is: talk to us and fix this problem before it gets even worse.”

Unexpected turn-out for part-time SU officer elections By Jenna Hodgins The elections for part-time Students’ Union officers took place on Thursday, 13 March and the results were announced the following morning Friday 14 March. There was a larger number of voters than expected for this election and allegedly more ballot papers needed to be printed on the day. Students voted for the positions of their college convenor, Equality Officer, Mature Students Officer, Societies Chairperson and Postgraduate Officer

Students come together to support Marriage Equality in SU referendum Continued from page 1...

the state to pay a fair wage for the work that is carried out during this ‘Training’ phase”. Support for the campaign has been felt online and an overwhelming response sends a message about how strongly the public feel about the unfair treatment of student nurses and midwives. The USI request that Minister James Reilly increases the pay for the graduate nurse scheme and to begin talks about increasing the student intern pay. USI President Joe O’Connor said; “Anyone living and working in Ireland is entitled to a living wage; in particular the ones that care for the public. The majority of 2013 graduate nurses and midwives have left Ireland to work abroad. “This unfair treatment cannot continue. If it does, we will be left with a problem of epidemic proportions: no nurses or midwives left to work in our hospital wards.” NUI Galway President (and Graduate Nurse) Sean

that interest in politics isn’t dead in this country,” he concluded. The demonstration ended shortly after 7pm when members of the Christian Union ended their sit-in and left the building. Students voted in the referendum on Marriage Equality on Thursday 13 March and the referendum was passed.

as well as voting in favour or against the referendum for same-sex marriage equality. Controversy broke out in relation to the referendum earlier that week which resulted in protests on the University campus. With an overall total of 2,328 votes cast, 95% ticked the ‘YES’ to Marriage Equality box on their ballot paper and the referendum was passed. Newly elected Equality Officer, Rebecca Melvin, received the largest amount of votes for a single candidate in this year’s elections totalling 2,090 which was 95% of the vote. Melvin was running against Christian Union auditor, Enoch Burke. Joanne Duffy was elected the Convenor of the College of Science with 500 votes. Second year student, Megan Reilly, received 281 votes and was deemed the Convenor of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law. Sarah Kelly was elected the Convenor of the College of Arts with 458 votes. With 141 votes, Oisín Maloney met the quota and was announced as the new Convenor of the

College of Engineering and Informatics. Cian Moran, also known infamously as ‘El Presidente’, ran as a mock candidate for the president elections and received 110 votes. This time running a serious candidacy, Moran was elected the Postgraduate Officer for the academic year 2014/15. Michelle Mitchel received a massive 2,002 votes and thus was deemed the Mature Students Officer for next semester. Patrick O’Flaherty was elected Societies Chairperson and as well as votes, he received a big Galaxy bar and apology on behalf of Sin after tweeting his name incorrectly during the vote count. Patrick ‘Pofla’ O’Flaherty has since forgiven Sin with the hashtag “#allisforgiven” to prove it. As no nominations were received for the positions of Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Convenor of the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences and Clubs' Captain for 2014/15 a further election will be held on Thursday, March 27 from 11am – 4pm to fill these positions.


News   3

March 24 2014

Editorial: For now it’s time to go…

By Jessica Thompson I’m not one for selfies. I’ve recently started taking one or two, but I feel weird doing it. But the recent #nomakeupselfie trend has really caught my attention – and the attention of the rest of Ireland. As I write this on a Saturday afternoon, the charity has received overwhelming support, with #nomakeupselfies raising €550,000 in just a few days! While you’re reading this, chances are that number has increased even more – or even doubled. I’d like to think this trend will keep going because since Friday, it’s really started to kick off. I think it was Wednesday when I first heard of it – people were posting bare-faced photos of themselves just to raise awareness. I didn’t partake; instead, I texted PINK to 50300 and donated €4 to the Irish Cancer Society. But then people started posting bare-faced selfies along with screenshots of the confirmation that their donations were received. And best

of all, they nominated their friends to do the same. Suddenly the selfie craze gathered speed and took over the internet in much the same way as that ridiculous #neknominations craze. But this time, it’s for good. This time, nobody will be hurt. In fact, lives could be saved. You’re doing great, girls. But I can’t leave the guys out. As I’m writing this, the craze has expanded, encouraging guys to get out the makeup brushes and put on some makeup while also donating to the charity. I hope that by the time you’ve read this, there will be selfies of men wearing makeup all over the internet, boosting the support for the Irish Cancer Society and spreading the word across Ireland. Here at Sin, we’ve been using the facewipes and taking some snaps and on this page you will see a mere handful of the beauties who have supported the cause. Let’s keep this trend going; let’s double or even triple that €550,000 that’s already been raised. It’s only €4 of your credit and it could – nay, it will – really help the charity out. Everyone is touched by cancer, and everybody wants a cure. In other news, this is our very last issue of the semester

– and of the year. I know; it’s devastating. We’ve had a great year and I’d really like to thank my team who put in so much work. Without them, none of this would have been possible. Everything you see in these pages is a result of the hard work and dedication of the Sin team (fondly nicknamed Sinions). I’m extremely proud of everyone, and at the risk of sounding like an Oscar winner, I’d like to thank one or two or three or all of them personally. Jenna Hodgins has been an absolute star these past few months; when I was crumbling under the pressure of the Elections Special, up she stepped, taking over everything that I thought I’d never be able to do. I’ve said it to her already, but she is the most legendary editor to ever walk the pages of Sin and I hope she keeps up the good work. Ciara Treacy has really put her all into the Lifestyle section, bringing out impressive content each issue, with top advice that I’ve started to follow. All of the rest of my editorial team have also done a fantastic job, with Karen and Tracey keeping the Arts and Ents section going, Leigh and Michael providing fantastic ideas for features, Daragh and

Céimin taking over the Sports section because I haven’t a notion about Sport. Conor has been a great asset to the news section and Helen, Shannon McNamee and Val have done a great job on sin.ie. We’ve had some regular contributors, once-off contributors, columnists such like Móna, Áine, Shelly, Rebecca, John and others. We’ve had Daniel O’Loughlin providing fantastic photos and we’ve had Kieran Kilkelly as the Smokey’s Pigeon correspondent (he can’t write his own diary you know!). Last but not least, Shannon Reeves has been the person to make Sin look as great as it does. Without him, we’d only have a series of Word documents and pictures and not a notion what to do with them. And then there’s me. I’m the editor, but I can in no way take the credit for the 12 amazing issues we’ve had this year. We work as a team. Students of NUI Galway; we have been your humble Sinners and we hope you enjoyed our work. As that bear in the big blue house would say, “Goodbye, goodbye, good friends, goodbye…” Goodbye for now,

Jess @Jess__Thompson

Sin’s #nomakeupselfies Jessica Thompson

Chelsea Tabert

We’ve donated money to the Irish Cancer Society. You can to. Simply upload your #nomakeupselfie to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or whatever the cool kids are using these days), and text PINK to 50300. Once you’ve uploaded, nominate two or more of your friends to do the same! And if you’re too shy to upload a selfie, no worries; you can still donate. Here are some of Sin’s brave selfie-posters:

Rachel Masterson

Clare O’Malley

Rebecca McKittrick

Editor in Chief: Jessica Thompson editor@sin.ie Layout: Shannon Reeves | contact via Ed.

News Jenna Hodgins | localnews.sined@gmail.com Conor Lane | nationalnews.sined@gmail.com

Features Leigh Ashmore | opinion.sined@gmail.com Michael Finn | features.sined@gmail.com

Lifestyle Ciara Treacy | fashion.sined@gmail.com

Arts and Entertainment Tracey Halloran | artsentertainment.sined@gmail.com Karen McDonnell | arts.sined@gmail.com Shannon McNamee | entsonline.sined@gmail.com

Sports Daragh Small | sport.sined@gmail.com Céimin Burke | sport.sined@gmail.com

Creative Writing Helen Hughes | creativity.sined@gmail.com Webmaster Valeri Tarassov | web.sined@gmail.com Photography Daniel O'Loughlin | photography.sined@gmail.com

sinners Leigh Ashmore | Dominick Barrett | Andrew Brennan | Maurice Brosnan | RuthAnn Browne | Dean Buckley | Niamh Clarke | Brenna Dolan | Hazel Doyle | Hazel Elliffe | Michael Finn | Ken Glennon | Tracey Halloran | Jenna Hodgins | Helena Kilbane | Kieran Kilkelly | Áine Leech | Marcus Mac Dhonnnagáin | Hannah Macken | Gerard Madden | Shelly Madden | Merry Man | Karen McDonnell | Ciarán McGreal | John Mulry | David Nevin | Áine O'Donnell | Meenraj Panthee | Sinead Reape | David Smith | Emmett Smith | Claire Stone | Rebecca Sweeney | Chelsea Tabert | Jessica Thompson | Pádraic Ward | Áine White | Siobhan Whitehead | Móna Wise

Jenna Hodgins


4  News

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

The festival of Colours: ‘HOLI’ hits NUI Galway The newly formed IndiaSoc at NUI Galway organised the spring festival ‘Holi’ for the first time on the NUI Galway campus, with a celebration on the green just beside the Orbsen Building on 13 March. The event saw students throwing a variety of coloured powders at each other, resulting in a riot of colours. The celebrations saw over 150 students participate and have a fun-filled afternoon which incidentally also featured music and dancing. Holi, is referred to as the ‘festival of colours’ and is an Indian spring festival that marks the start the arrival of the Spring season after a long and cold winter. According to mythology, Holi is also a festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil and is a festival which breaks all class ­barriers. This event also supported the volunteers of SUAS who will be travelling to India during the summer to teach in schools serving the underprivileged students. “Holi as a festival in India is huge and given the huge contingent of Indian students in NUIG, it was a great idea to organise the fest which will allow us to showcase and share the immense cultural heritage of India with the NUIG students. Also the event goes on to show how cosmopolitan the NUIG campus has become,” said Arindam Halder of IndiaSoc. With over 150 students participating the event turned out to be a success in its first year.

Flirt FM 101.3 celebrates one hundredth broadcast of Trivia Matters

Galway ‘Stands up!’ against homophobia By Chelsea Tabert Mixed efforts from Galway secondary schools and youth organisations joined thousands of young people from across the country to take a stand against homophobic bullying. The awareness week against Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying, ran from Monday March 10 to Friday March 14. Workshops were held by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth in secondary schools across

both Galway City and county. The aim was to raise awareness regarding homophobia, trans*phobia, and the communities that they identify themselves in. Some of these workshops included speakers from specified trans* (transsexual, transvestite, gender fluid, etc) communities, support groups, informational packets, and open speaking times for those to express concerns, stories, or anything else they feel the need to speak about. “It is important for the youth to know that they play

an important role in being allies for those who identify themselves with the LGBT community,” stated a member of the LGBT community who wished to remain anonymous. “It doesn’t matter what the past looks like, it is the future that is important to us, and it is the youth that have been given the opportunity to make the difference. It is just as important for the LGBT community to be able to feel comfortable with their sexual identity as anyone else. We are no different.”

Stand Up! was funded by the Department of Education and endorsed by the education partners to tackle LGBT pupils and other young people. There are also additional services provided through the Stand Up! website for those who are seeking asylum, as well with support groups for those who are having difficulties understanding the community, feel fear towards, or just require additional help. For more information on Stand Up! visit www.belongto. org or call 07 670 6223.

Flirt FM 101.3 Galway’s student and alternative radio station has just celebrated the one hundredth broadcast of Trivia Matters. Trivia Matters is an entertaining live radio show which takes a light-hearted look at the amusing or unusual stories that did not quite make the news headlines. Every Tuesday afternoon at 2:00pm producer/presenter Brian Currie and his studio guests take an irreverent look at topics which vary from the perils of riding the Tokyo subway to the excitement of the World’s first mobile phone call. Listeners can let off a little steam during the Pet Peeves segment at 2:45pm, which features those little things that annoy people the most. “Often it is the smallest things that really get on our nerves. My own Pet Peeves include people who prop their glasses up into their hair instead of wearing them normally. People should either look though their glasses or take them off. That is all I ask,” said Brian. Trivia Matters includes

a selection of classic tracks from the Flirt FM music library. Regular guests include world traveller Jim Berry, writer Kevin Whelan, student Micheal O’Brien and Flirt FM’s Siobhan Collins. Trivia Matters airs live every Tuesday at 2pm on Flirt FM Radio 101.3. You can also listen live on line at www. flirtfm.ie. Listeners can replay recent shows anytime on demand at www.flirtfm.ie. Just click on “Schedule” and then click on “Trivia Matters”. Alternatively use the following link www. mixcloud.com/briancurrie. You can text the studio with your Pet Peeve or any other comment on 085-1801013 or send a message for free via the message box on the Flirt FM website, www. flirtfm.ie. You can follow Trivia Matters on Twitter at #TriviaMatters. If a story sounds trivial to you then it matters to the Trivia Matters team. Flirt FM Radio 101.3 is Galway’s student and alternative station with studios at NUI Galway.


News   5

March 24 2014

Cupcakes, tarantulas and Breaking Bad: undergraduate science fair goes down a treat By Jenna Hodgins

NUI Galway’s first ever Undergraduate Science Fair took place on Wednesday, 19 March in the The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. From exploring the science behind Breaking Bad, the zoology of creepy crawlies, and of course, plenty of cupcakes, the fair was a success, showcasing exhibits from various science denominations and disciplines which observers could interact and engage with. The fair was organised by second-year science student and newly elected convenor for the College of Science, Joanne Duffy.

Prior to the event, Duffy stated; “This is going to be a really exciting event. As a student in the undenominated Science programme at NUI Galway, I am constantly inspired and excited by the things I learn about every day, and I realise how lucky I am to be in this environment. I wanted to put on an event on that would give non-science students and members of the public an opportunity to be inspired by science too!” Alongside undergraduate science student displays and presentations, exhibits from vari-

ous outreach initiatives within the University were present at the event such as Kitchen Chemistry and Dr Michel Dugon aka the Bug Hunter and his venomous insect pets, and the Cell Explorer’s programme demonstrated DNA extraction from a banana. Dr Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer for NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute and one of the staff members behind the fair, said; “This is a great opportunity for Science students to try their hand at educating and enthusing others. “Science Outreach is one of

NUI Galway’s strengths, but as of yet the vast potential of our undergraduate students in this area remains largely untapped. One of the ideas behind the undergraduate science fair is to foster a culture of public engagement with Science within the undergraduate community.” Amidst the tarantulas and ‘Blue Sky’ sugar treats, Joanne told Sin how well the fair had been going; “It’s been fantastic. From everybody who has submitted a project and all of the Outreach organisations that got involved, I’m really, really

happy with the turn-out. We’ve had huge groups of kids from the local schools, and we’ve had groups come from the university itself” “Everyone has been excited; Michel Dugon with his Bug Hunters display; the Breaking Bad display [sic] is also doing really well. People are really engaging with all of the displays. It’s cool. I’m really delighted with it.” Joanne added; “Thank you to everybody at EXPLORE, and thanks to Louise Allcock and Sarah Knight from the Ryan Insti-

tute. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this by myself. They put it in all the work behind the scenes and the EXPLORE is such a great initiative to get involved with. “I never thought I’d get the funding when I applied for it and I’m so delighted I did because it’s been fantastic. It’s been such a fantastic year planning this and I’m so happy it went the way it did. It has worked out so well.”

Leisureland to remain closed for the summer after winter flood damages By Chelsea Tabert Ireland’s winter brought some of the worst flooding in the 41 year history of Leisureland, which has left the company with a final bill of over €1 million. The pool at the complex is not set to open until mid-September at the earliest, adding more costs onto the bill as no revenue will be made in the meanwhile. Some of the board members have disclosed that the pool will need to be completely re-tiled, which is causing a significant

delay in the re-opening of the facility. The adjoining gym however, is expected to be open again to the public by mid-July. “The gym equipment was completely destroyed by the floods in early January,” said a statement from Leisureland. Experts have decided that the sea water damage will force a re-tiling of the entire pool, which will not be completed until September due to unforeseen circumstances that were not disclosed. On Friday 7 March, the Board of Management was informed

that a programme of work is underway at the Salthill facility, and that workers are doing everything in their will to complete and reopen the facility at the soonest possible date. The Chairman, Councillor Donal Lyons, said that an “agreement had been reached with an insurance company over a timescale for revamping of the venue. “It is vital that all repairs identified following the floods are completed within the time-frame laid out and that the whole complex is fully operational as soon as

Fashion Fiesta Launch held at Born By Siobhán Whitehead The Fashion Fiesta 2014 was launched last Wednesday evening at Born in Galway. There was a busy crowd enjoying the show of photo-shoots and designs. Outside visitors were invited in by a stunning window display. Inside there was food food and works done by the students in collaboration with the Born outlet. Some enjoyed a manicure by Poise Beauty and others had their hair styled up by Concept hair salon students. All will be present at the Fashion Fiesta 2014 which will be

held on 3rd of April in the House Hotel. The theme this year is ‘A Beautiful Nightmare’. This will be the fifth year of the event and it is gaining notoriety. The event will be noted by those on Shop Street by 'Live Windows', where there will be live models in the shop windows wearing the creations of the students and the window designs of the stylists, kicking off Fashion Fiesta 2014 on 1 April. Expect the top talent to be working on their look. The event will be hosted by graduate Laura Jayne Halton. Laura Jane is best known for her success as an Irish

Fashion Retail Students Aoife Moylan, Tamsin Nolan with creation from Alex Konstantinowicz, with models Tara Doyle and Sonita Stuart

Designer who has just launched a successful career and has showcased her first line at Kerry fashion week. The Fashion Designs, Modelling and Styling as well as the Hair and make-up are all done by students and the public to be enjoyed here in Galway. Not many will miss it as the 100 models will use Shop Street as a catwalk and show all the best of their designs. Please look into the GTI website at instyle.ie for more information and tickets for the event. All proceeds will go to Cancer Care West so put it in your calendar and support the new generation of talent by attending the Galway event. This is your chance to see innovative designs from the top designers in Ireland and enjoy a catwalk which will be a showcase for young fashionistas in Galway. You will see the best designs with amazing hairstyling, makeup and all will be in the House Hotel on 3 April.

possible. It is a vital recreational facility for the community.” A secondary technical examination will be required in order to determine the exact overall costs of the repairs. The second week in July has

been set as the target date for completion of the revamp of the gym, with work commencing last week. As far as NUI Galway is concerned, examinations will not be taking place at the facility due to the construction and closure.

Some of the ‘Crystal Meth’ that was made at the Undergraduate Science Fair last week.


6  News

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

NUIG wins 3rd Level 'Safety in Construction Competition' 2013/2014 A team of students from NUI the runners-up prize of €600 and where undergraduate stuGalway has won the Health and all finalists received certificates of dents can collaborate and work Safety Authority’s Safety in Con- commendation. together to enhance, develop struction competition, aimed The aim of the competition and embed their knowledge at undergraduate teams from was to provide an environment and understanding of health and construction-related safety in construction. degree programmes in The competition brief asked students third level institutions. from different disciThe winning team was captained by Joe plines to work together Brogan and other as a team within a members were Alison Construction ManageConnolly and Matthew ment Company. They Burke. At the final had to consider key Rear, l-r: Mike Keyes (Judge), Tony Sheridan (Judge), held in the RDS (on aspects of repair works Dr Anne Drummond, Chairperson TLEG, Paraig Earley, Wednesday 5 March) to a construction HSA Inspector and Chairperson Judging Panel, Matthew six short-listed teams project – the fictitious Burke, NUIG, Joanne Harmon, Education Manager, HSA. battled it out to win St. Michael’s House, Front, l-r: Rachel Nugent, Lecturer, NUIG, Alison Connolly, the first prize of Apple an institution that NUIG, Joe Brogan, NUIG, Martin O'Halloran, CEO, HSA. iPads. IT Carlow won provides high support/

assisted-living accommodation for persons with physical and/ or sensory disabilities. Various challenges had to be addressed including: designing a poster informing residents and members of the public of the hazards associated with the repair works, the submission of written work and drawings to illustrate how the various works were to be carried out safely and, coming up with an initiative to develop a safety and health culture amongst construction workers and contractors. Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, Martin O’Halloran said; “We can never allow complacency

to enter the equation in the construction workplace. This competition gets construction undergraduates thinking and collaborating on safety before they reach the workplace. “Working together to find solutions to the kind of safety challenges that construction professionals will come across every day in the workplace will help to keep the construction sites of the future safer places to work in.” Chairperson of the Authority’s Third Level Education Group, Dr. Anne Drummond said; “We were delighted to see such a strong interest again this year from undergraduates and their lecturers.

“Encouraging teams from different disciplines in construction-related third level programmes to collaborate on real-life scenarios like this, reaps real benefits for the students. It helps them to learn about risk management in a very handson way where they can apply theoretical knowledge and principles.” The judging panel was made up of Paraig Earley (Construction Policy Inspector, HSA), Mike Keyes (Aegis Safety, Safety in Design Consultant and Third Level Education Group, HSA) and Tony Sheridan (Health and Safety Manager, John Sisk and Son Ltd).

Going Wild on Wildlife Day 2014

and timber species while redoubling efforts to protect them. While Just Forests welcomes recent achievements to safeguard the world’s wildlife - like the old Irish lament Cill Caish, that decried the loss of Ireland’s forests during the sixteenth century, we lament the huge losses of fascinating wildlife that have occurred and look toward to a future in which people can truly live in harmony with nature. Just Forests marked the first World Wildlife Day with a presentation and discussion to first year students at GMIT Letterfrack – the National Furniture College. “Timber is an intrinsic part of the world’s wildlife and must be appreciated just as much as our beloved orangutans, tigers, monkeys, hedgehogs and foxes,” according to Tom Roche of Just Forests. What was scheduled to be a one-hour intervention turned into a two-hour interactive exchange between students, lecturers and the invited presenter Tom Roche. “Wildlife is a crucial component of the ecosystems that form the basis of livelihoods for many hundreds of millions of rural poor. At a time when wildlife the

world over is under threat from habitat conversion, fragmentation and poaching, we must work with policy-makers in the public and private sectors to safeguard wildlife populations to align healthy ecosystems with human well-being in pursuit of poverty alleviation and inclusive growth,” said Mr Roche. From Ireland to Kenya, from Peru to China, numerous countries marked the day with talks, walks and school activities in an effort to raise the profile of the importance of wildlife. The world’s wildlife brings fascination and wonder to our lives. During the past 12 months we have seen a number of countries make inroads in their attempts to stem the lucrative wildlife trade – where a rhino horn fetches more per kilo than gold. This international trade is decimating wildlife, fuelling armed conflict and threatening national security in many countries. Planning toward World Wildlife Day 2015 has already begun at Just Forests. Anyone who wants to engage in this internationally important celebration of the world’s wildlife is most welcome to do so.

MA Literature and Publishing journal to be launched by award-winning novelist

First year furniture ­students at GMIT ­Letterfrack embrace the NEXUS! By Just Forests

On Monday 3 March, people all over the world marked the inaugural World Wildlife Day. It was the day designated by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and

Flora (CITES) to discuss and celebrate the significance of wildlife in their lives. World Wildlife Day is an opportunity for the international community to celebrate the globe's wild plant, animal life

Students at GMIT Letterfrack, the National Furniture College, play the first FSC-certified Martin acoustic guitar in Ireland at the Wood of Life exhibition on World Wildlife Day 2014

The highly-anticipated ROPES 2014 will be launched by awardwinning novelist Niamh Boyce, as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature. The book launch will take place on the 10th of April at 4pm in the COPE charity shop, on St. Augustine’s Street (off Shop Street). Contributors to this literary journal include Alvy Carragher, Kate Ennals, Kevin Higgins and Ruth Quinlan. ROPES 2014 is published by the students of the MA in Literature and Publishing course at NUI Galway. The journal is priced at €10. All proceeds are going towards COPE Galway which is a support service for those dealing with homelessness and domestic abuse, living in Galway city and county. This is the 22nd year of the journal’s publication and the work explores the theme of ‘home’ with a collection of poetry, prose and artwork from an international gathering of writers and artists. Admission to this Cúirt Festival event is free, all are welcome and there will be refreshments served, alongside readings from ROPES 2014. Copies of the journal will be available at the launch, online and in Galway bookshops. For further information on the launch or to order an advance copy of the journal please contact the ROPES marketing team at: ropesmarketing@gmail.com


News   7

March 24 2014

The Year in Photos By Daniel O’Loughlin

ROCK THE PROM COMMERCE BALL

Stephen Quinn (Final Year Commerce w/ Accounting) and James McGowan (Final Year Science) pictured at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway, for the Commerce Ball.

Maria Leahy, Grace Garvin (Final Year Arts) and Lorna McGinley (Final Year Commerce) pictured at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway, for the Commerce Ball.

Mark Foley (Final Year Commerce) and Tara Feeney (Final Year Science) pictured at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway, for the Commerce Ball.

James Donoghue (First Year Arts), Andy Curley (Final Year Engineering) and Joey Cunniffe (Masters in Accounting) pictured at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway for the Commerce Ball.

Labrinth performing at Leisureland, Galway for “Rock the Prom” organised by NUI Galway’s Student’s Union.

WHITE COLLAR BOXING

TEDDY BEAR HOSPITAL

Claire Heneghan delivering a blow to Ellie Duffy during the White Collar Boxing night recently held in the Bailey Allen Hall in aid of Childline and the Galway Rape Crisis Centre.

Kevin King and Ian Corcoran battling it out during the White Collar Boxing night recently held in the Bailey Allen Hall in aid of Childline and the Galway Rape Crisis Centre.

Eoin Collins (1st Class) from Kilcroan N.S., Galway, with Evan Mannion (3rd year Medicine) listening to his teddy bear’s heartbeat with a stethoscope.

Rebecca Mahon (Junior Infants) from the Glebe N.S., Aughrim, enjoying the activities at the Teddy Bear Hospital.

Students of Attymun N.S., Athenry, and NUI Galway Medicine students, pictured at the Teddy Bear Hospital organised by the Sláinte Society at the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway.

Paulina Michalska and Darren Biegaj (Senior Infants) from the Glebe N.S., Aughrim, looking through the ‘MRI scanner’ at the Teddy Bear Hospital organised by Sláine Society.


8  Opinion

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

This week’s debate: Irish is a dying language – so let it die already! YES: Accept its death; we will be better off NO: Letting the Irish language die is selfish By Andrew Brennan Sometimes the greatest mercy is the hardest to face. The Samurai of old renowned in Japan, with acceptance and desire, would frequently commit ritual suicide in feudal Japan when they became ‘Ronin’ or masterless Samurai. In contemporary Ireland, we drag the mauled and hardened language of old Ireland like a badger, ruffled and battle-weary, who is the personification of stoicism. Stoicism is an indifference to both pleasure and pain and seems fitting as while some are still fluent or ‘Gaelgoiri’, many have no knowledge, desire or use of Gaelic. Now the arguments would be made that ‘we should have a national language’ or from the non-speakers ‘Irish is beautiful’ but how embarrassing is it as a nation we can’t speak our supposed national language? That is an image other cultures, people and nations would laugh about ; a nation that prides its culture on distinctions including an Irish language, Gaelic, a language an overwhelming majority of Ireland’s citizens neither speak with competency, fluency or in their daily lives. In Ireland, the beautiful Gaelic language is seemingly now master-less, meandering through the pillars of Irish education and still prevalent in the Gaeltacht regions, staunchly rich in heritage and memory. Yet even there, in the heart of Gaelic identity it is Irish receding. Now, I am not advocating any sort of attack or initiative to accelerate this process. I am saying that the wasting of resources funnelled into the education system is a fruitless endeavour should cease. This process of mandatory implementation of Irish in education has not reversed the process of oral inefficiency regarding the use of Gaelic. I advocate to stop forcing Irish on people as the proven track record is an utter failure. A passion for the language is what strengthens its retention, use and reach and not the forcing of Irish upon people at the age of four which only hardens their aversion to the language as school progresses leading to the realisation that the language is unused in their post-schooling lives. Modern Ireland is no longer old Ireland and Irish people can be proud of their identity without having to have Irish language pressed upon them. Ireland is now secure in its identity, no longer insecure as it was under the peerage of Eamon De Valera and other Irish nationalists in the first decades of the free Irish nation. We are now secure in our shared cul-

ture, heritage and history, no longer basing our history on the fallacy of Celtic descent. We’ve a rich history of various different cultures building this country; we must understand that the Vikings gave us city foundations, the Normans gave use towercastles and French names, the Spanish gave us the sallow tans of the people of Connemara and the Anglo identity within the Irish people anglicised our language. To accept our identity we must accept this fact and not try to revert this occurrence as there is no will in the daily lives of people to do this nor any economical benefit. Irish was an oral language, always passed orally and this is how it still survives in western hills of Kerry, Donegal, Mayo and Galway. Irish is not a written language and the mistake to transcribe and force a written language which was not historically spread through inscription but orally is the continued failing of the Irish education department. Through this failing and the inept and rigid process of which Irish is forced unto the citizenry, a loss of association has occurred and solidified our use of Irish English which is a unique colloquial version of English – one to be proud of. So this pretence is embarrassing that Irish is our first language when clearly our open market economy is predicated on an educated workforce versed in English as a primary language. This language is an international language for science, business and commerce and politics and this is why it is learned as a language through Europe, Latin America, Africa, and throughout Asia. Irish should be voluntary and through this course of action may gain resurgence in prominence throughout its bastion regions but it wouldn’t help Ireland in anyway internationally or economically save cease our embarrassment as a nation with a first language it can’t speak. In closing, Minister Bruton was the leading politician in the Dáil for ‘Seachtain na Gaeilge’ as most of the Irish government was abroad as Irish ambassadors for St. Patrick’s Day. Mr Bruton announced however that he couldn’t lead a government session in Irish for ‘Seachtain na Gaeilge’ in the Dáil as he announced after 13,000 hours of indoctrinated Irish he was lacking proficiency to speak Irish. 13,000 hours and he is unable to speak Irish just as the majority of Irish citizens because it is no longer their mother tongue, so stop pretending it is and accept its death; we will be better off!

By Jenna Ní Shearcaigh I’ll be the first person to admit that I absolutely detested Irish in school. My relationship with the language has been rocky for years. In primary school, I adored learning Irish but it wasn’t until I entered second-level education that I began seeing the cracks in our relationship and it was time to break-up. I noticed the annoying little things that I used to love: its tendency to get greedy and need extra letters -urús, sémhiú, d’; how complicated it had to be and your inability to remain stable in spelling, syntax and grammar, and above all, its past. It looked and acted completely different and I could not recognise it in any shape or form. So, as you do with broken relationships, I severed all ties with the language after I left secondary school and decided to move on. It wasn’t until I moved to Galway that I realised what I had done. Irish is not dead, and it certainly isn’t dying either. Declaring the Irish language ‘dead’ is simply a tactic used by anti-Irish language sentimentalists and for some strange reason it’s working on a select few. Firstly, rejecting Irish is to discriminate against the Gaeltachtaí areas where Irish is clearly alive and well, that’s like sticking your Nan in a body bag even though she’s not dead. I think we can all agree that’d be a very mean thing to do to your granny, so why is it okay to do that to Irish? When we define a national identity we usually begin with language: the French speak French and they are French; The Irish speak… English… and they are Irish. We’re lucky to have a connection to our native tongue. Take the United States for example, a new country without a native language. We have both an internationally practical language (English) which is our connection to the future, new lands and new adventures but on the other hand, and we have our native language: our connection to the past, our land and past adventures but the Irish language has a future as well – it’s just up to us to make it. Outside of the Gaeltacht areas, we shouldn’t let Irish die for two simple reasons: it’s our language and we love it. “Yeah, whatever, I hated Irish in school” – think outside the classroom; remember the times you’ve spat out words of broken Irish you didn’t think you knew to use as a code whilst on holidays: “Eh… ceapaim go bhfuil an cáilín

over there is a ride”, “táim ag iarraidh an leithreas a úsáid ANOIS. Tá runs agam.” How about chatting up foreign Gods and Godesses: “Ar mhaith leat shiftáil liomsa?”, “An bhfuil tú go maith? Mar tá tú ag breathnú go maith!” It’s great for the old internet memes, mar shampla (e.g.): ‘Mila ag caint, Mila Kunis’ and ‘Leonardo D’ith-ceapairí-o’. And how could we forget those fond childhood memories of Rua and Rírá, those nice-smelling Christmas annuals Spraoi, Sugradh and Siamsa. Also, unless the Leaving Cert still haunts you, who on earth is cruel enough to wipe out coming-of-age classics such as “Is mise Seaaaaamaaaaass” from Dun na nGall, or “Leigh anois go cúramach ar do scrúdphápeir, na treoiracha agus na ceisteanna a ghabhann le cuid A”. The issue with the Irish is in the classroom. The only reason I fell out with Irish is because I realised I was really, really crap at it. When learning it became more fun and my proficiency of the language wasn’t just assumed to be all A1s, I began to love it again. I’m still in the process of improving my fluency, but I’ve learnt more from the 7 months I’ve been in the diploma course than 13 years of compulsory education. A change is needed, and this change is something we’re aware of nationally. The placement list for Gaelscoileanna are a mile-long, does this not send a message if anything? The younger we’re submersed in a language, the easier the learning process becomes. Bilingualism is proven to contribute to higher grade marks and consequently, learning a third language is a lot easier for a bilingual speaker than the average monoglot. Research also shows that bilingual students often progress to become trilingual speakers. Why deprive future generations of the opportunity of bilingualism, or perhaps tri-lingualism? For this reason, if we let the language die, we’re selfish. The competition between the English and Irish language is the only thing that’s dead. There’s no need to eliminate one or the other; it’s no longer a case of ‘Them or Us’. We may all speak English but despite only 2% of the country speaking Irish on a daily basis, we are still officially bilingual, and maybe it’s time we embrace this on a national level and further cultivate the language instead of killing it. I’ll end with an old friend who sums up this argument better than I ever could: “Tír gan teanga is tír gan anam” – A country without language is a country without a soul.


Opinion   9

March 24 2014

The EU: “It’s democracy Jim, but not as we know it” By Marcus Mac Dhonnnagáin Recently I had a chance to sit down with a good friend of mine. My friend, who I think wouldn’t describe himself as someone who’s an enthusiast of following daily political events, was impressively knowledgeable about the current developments for the 2016 United States presidential elections. He knew of the current forerunners for the Democrat and Republican parties (Hilary Clinton and Rand Paul) and even the recent self-implosion of New Jersey governor Chris Christie – who had been tipped as a favourite for the Republican Party. An idea suddenly struck me: I asked him what

he thought about the recent European People’s Party conference in Dublin. “What’s that?” he asked, slightly puzzled. It proved my point. Here was someone who could talk to me about US politics, a country of which he is not a citizen – thus an ineligible voter – and their elections (which are two years away from occurring), but wouldn’t be able to do the same for the elections for the European Parliament which are planned for this May! It’s a true fact that for the longest of times, the European Union has struggled to have any sort of meaningful political engagement with its citizens. Which is odd in Ireland, considering we’re a part of its monetary union, we’re able to travel to our

With Venezuela’s riots, the memory of Hugo Chavez is more important than ever By Gerard Madden The death of two prominent British socialists in the last fortnight, transport union leader Bob Crow and key Labour Party figure for much of the last century, Tony Benn, have prompted many to appraise the relevance of socialist ideas today. While international capitalism’s biggest crisis since the 1930s has undoubtedly prompted a renewed interest in Marx’s ideas among countless numbers worldwide, the patronising tone with which their deaths were greeted by the media underlined the narrow nature of contemporary Western society’s political horizons, and how unchallenged the right’s economic policies still are in the post-Thatcher era. This makes the socialist ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ initiated in Venezuela under the late President Chavez, and continued by his successor, former bus driver Nicolás Maduro, so fascinating, all the more so because they took place in a continent with a long history of American-backed coups against elected leftist governments, such as that in Allende’s Chile in 1973. This is a fact that the people of Venezuela need no introduction to. The Caracazo – a week-long uprising in February 1989 where Venezuela’s economically and racially oppressed took control of many public spaces to protest their exclusion from power – cumulated ten years later in the election of President Hugo Chavez. Chavez’s election alarmed the United States and elements of Venezuela’s traditional ruling class still haunted by memories of the Caracazo. Chavez was confronted by a US-backed coup in 2002 which he succeeded in facing down. An RTÉ crew coincidentally in Venezuela to interview Chavez managed to film much of the coup; the resulting film, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, is a remarkable documentary which exposes the duplicitous nature in which the opposition sought to wrest Chavez from power. If anything, the coup prompted Chavez to move to the left and become a firmer opponent of American hegemony internationally, and he succeeded in consistently retaining the support of the Venezuelan electorate until his untimely death from cancer in March of last year. Now, the Venezuelan right are again resorting to anti-democratic measures after their standard-bearer, Capriles, narrowly failed to dislodge Chavez’s successor, Maduro, in last year’s presi-

dential election. Around 20 deaths, claiming the lives of both security forces and supporters and opponents of Maduro, have taken place of the past month in Venezuela’s worst violence since the 2002 coup, as opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, currently under arrest for inciting violence, called for popular resistance to the Maduro government. While most of the country has been unscarred by the violence, clashes have taken place in middle-class opposition strongholds as barricades, manned by hard-line elements of the Venezuelan opposition, have sprung up. Innocents and Maduro supporters are increasingly facing the bulk of the violence; a motorcyclist and a National Guard officer were shot dead at an opposition barricade in Caracas on 6 March, while a Chilean student was killed in Mérida on 9 March after Maduro supporters were fired on by a similar barricade. The Venezuelan opposition has long attempted to portray Venezuela’s leftist leaders as repressive, with social media being a key tool for doing so. By 2007, the US State Department was spending $15 million per annum on opposition student groups, much of which focused on social media training. Many recent online claims by the opposition have, under examination, emerged as false – one photo purporting to show Venezuelan police advancing on a peaceful protestor was actually from a protest in Brazil. The western media’s demonstration of Venezuela’s democracy as a ‘dictatorship’ wilts upon scrutiny, a point noted even by those whose politics are hardly congenial towards Chavez and Maduro’s leftism. Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Centre is a leading observer of international elections, has noted that; "As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." It certainly compares favorably to the United States – remember the Bush v Gore court case after Florida’s voting debacle in 2000? And when Chavez lost an important referendum in 2008 on changing Venezuela’s constitution by less than 1%, he accepted the result and did not ask the people to vote again, unlike our experience over the last decade of being browbeaten by the political establishment into accepting various European treaties. The endurance of the Bolivarian Revolution is important, not just to Venezuela, but as an example to people worldwide seeking to build societies where the masses of ordinary people have an input.

European neighbours with ease, much of our road infrastructure was paid for with EU funds and we have implemented all its laws. The EU is a rather bizarrely structured political union. When one asks who is in charge of the United States the immediate answer is Barack Obama. If one asks who is in charge of the Russian Federation, the answer will be Vladimir Putin. But the EU? Will the answer be President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso? Will it be President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz? Or will it be Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel? The real answer is likely to be all three, and probably a few more names too. But this raises the question if the EU is undemocratic? It hasn’t helped that the 2000-2014 have been dominated by a number scandals. Anyone who remembers the Lisbon Treaty will likely think the government’s choice to hold a second referendum (much like it did for the Treaty of Amsterdam) was undemocratic. Then the entire recession occurred, with Irish politicians bailing out the banks and enacting austerity measures which were seemingly pushed upon them by the spectre of the European Central Bank. Many Irish people are angry, and yet have no idea where they could thrust that anger, settling upon the idea that the existential, faceless EU was to blame. As ever, the reality is far more complicated. The unfortunate truth is the world isn’t really all that democratic to begin with. Conglomerates and private markets hold massive sway, while to the West and East of us are groupings of nations who all want their own interests met. National parliaments – directly elected by

their respective people – remain the most influential players in deciding how the EU works – to the point that many of them would be against a federalized structure that would supersede their authority. Thus, national issues for the most part remain with their respective governments, but there’s an added lair to keep it all in check. Thus, most issues are worked through with constant intergovernmental negotiations. Diplomacy is hardly undemocratic. And within a system like this, requirements are made of members. Propping up our banks to halt the European financial system from collapsing has been painful. But yet again, in a world so integrated and globalized, it’s better to be within a polity where our voice is heard and respected. There is no easy answer to the financial problems, and Ireland would have engaged in austerity whether it had been in the EU or outside it. People often like to forget about this fact; domestic parliaments in the EU still have massive influence. And whether you like austerity or not, opinion polls constantly put pro-austerity parties (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour) at 55-65 percent of support. Once you sort out the percentage of Independent TDs in that group that percentage would likely be higher. The European Union still has a ways to go in order to have more direct engagement with citizens across Europe as a whole, but isn’t an undemocratic institution. Voters care most about national issues, and as such most powers still remain with member states’ domestic governments. And it’s those domestic governments – all of which can be changed from the inside – that will influence whether the EU will becomes more democratic or not.

Letters to the Editor Actions Speak Louder than Words Dear Editor, Firstly I feel the need to say that I am a ‘young’, white female – the man in question was also white. Please read on… On Thursday 6th at the prestigious 167th session of the Literary and Debating Society, in the hallowed hall a man stood to talk. For 45 minutes he spoke on social entrepreneurship, the topic of the night and as far as social entrepreneurism goes – he is quite the entrepreneur. He, who having spent years helping the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, raising awareness of the famine in Africa and basically alerting people to the fact that the ‘developing third world’ is in one damn stagnant state when it comes to poverty; the following day, in conversation, this man was reduced to a ‘racist’. Why? For saying the following: ‘working like a nigg--- oh, wait shit, I shouldn’t say that’. Absolutely, no way should that word be accepted or tolerated today but that does not stop the word from existing, nor from deterring the hatred and history associated with it. Words, the smallest units of language which allow us to read, write, think, speak and give meaning to ourselves and to others, are essential – yet there are certain words that we can go without hearing. Phraseology on the other hand, sayings we pick up, these are simply links – strings of words we use to get by – and this article is littered with them. Just because a man uses a degrading racial term, a term which is part of a phrase, does not make him a racist – simply foolish. There are times when you have to take into consideration a man’s actions – not only his words. Rebecca Smyth

Plasma screens or scholarships? Dear Editor and Sin Team, Last week coming out of the library I admired the on-screen lady training in the gym and couldn't help wonder how much would that screen have cost. It's really big and flat. See, I'm a third year science student and I'm trying to get some funding for my summer internship in the microbiology department, but the College of Science has informed me that this year there won't be any summer scholarship awarded to undergraduate students. Of course I'm aware that the University doesn't have a huge piggy bank from which it takes money for fancy screens and cool bio-science buildings, but nuh-uh, nothing for the undergrads. It's just that when I leave the library, and I see the lady training hard in the gym on the expensive screen, I can't help feeling disappointed and let down. So, as revenge, I'm writing to you to give out about it, hoping that you'll publish my letter and restore a little balance in the world. Thanks for reading, Francesca


10  Opinion

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

We’re Not Leaving… After Third Level By Emmett Smith With St. Patrick’s Day done and dusted, the sobriety pacts are being put into force by students up and down the country. Heads are going down and the libraries and reading rooms are set to become epicentres of stress and pressure; where the mountains of work are going to get packed in before the impending summer exams. For final year students the pressure is all that more intense, what with having to meet requirements for possible further studies. Then before we know it, those same dreaded exams will have come and gone and those sobriety pacts that were so zealously entered into just a few short weeks beforehand will be out the window as the summer kicks off. But for those of you finishing your final term in

NUI Galway, there’s one last thing to do before you leave campus and head off back to your respective home towns; one final, all-important bit of housekeeping for each and every final year student. Whatever about anything else; do not leave Galway without first taking one last trip into Áras Ui Chathail, to have SID stamp you a form acknowledging that you are no longer a student. This form will initially be more important to many of you than your degree. This will become evident from your inevitable first visit to your local social welfare office or that of your local community welfare officer. With the obvious shortage of work out there, many of us leaving college or university will find it tough to scrape by, without either a job of some sort or a social welfare payment. Many of us will try to save up our measly payments

as we may have already decided on moving abroad as soon as possible, off in search of work or even to just emulate our own versions of the countless photos from afar that have bombarded us as we were supposed to be cramming. For the longest time now we have seen snapshots into the life of Reilly abroad. The desire is strong now, to get out there and live up to the standard of what we have seen go before us. Sure, a life without photos of us personally living it up in Oz wouldn’t be worth living at this stage! Or would it? What are the alternatives? While the thoughts of going on the dole and lounging around the small villages and towns from hence we came, surely pale in comparison to the idyllic lifestyle beamed through countless screens; some of us have other ideas…

cura cares

Crisis Pregnancy Support Services Services Crisis or Unplanned Pregnancy Support and Counselling Pregnancy Testing Counselling and Support after an Abortion Support to Mothers and Fathers of a New Baby Cura Schools Awareness Programme

Galway Árus de Brún, Newtownsmith, Galway

All services are available to men and other family members.

phone

Carraroe Health Centre, Carraroe, Co. Galway

Services are Free,Confidential and Non-judgemental.

locall

091 562558 1850 622626

www.cura.ie Funded by

crisispregnancyprogramme

We’re Not Leaving, to quote our webpage; is an organisation of “students, precarious workers, the young unemployed and combinations of all three. We’re angry and we’re not leaving”. This anger is commonplace the length and breadth of the country. However, it is diluted and diffused by the distractions and spectacles that we come up against; day in, day out. WNL is geared towards harnessing and focusing this mighty force and putting it to use, here on our soil. What we believe, is that nobody, for no reason, should feel that they have so few options available to them, as to warrant exile to distant lands in search of a better life. We believe that our Ireland in 2014 should be more than capable of helping us with meeting our needs and furthering our lives for the better. The reality is that hopelessness has been allowed set in and we have as many people fleeing this island of ours now, as we had during the famine. This is insane. Back then our ancestors were escaping in an attempt to save themselves and their families from certain death, arising from starvation and disease. What is it that has us tripping over each other in our escape this time? This time we are being starved of hope and contentment, the sickness being spread this time around is psychological, but nevertheless every bit as fatal. What we ask of you, as you gear up to get on the social welfare rollercoaster, is to be mindful. Think of the bigger picture. Is it your only option; to become another emigration statistic? A statistic that is destined to be played down by a heartless government and the biased media? We think not. Look out for us as we are recruiting in your town or city, join with us and realise, that you have choices; not all of which involve spilling tears at the airport. Go n-eiri an t-adh libh; le do scrúdaithe go leir agus ba mhaith leat eolas orainn, amhairc ar http://werenotleaving.com.

The side of austerity that is less talked about By Dominick Barrett It has been the word that has been on everyone’s lips for the past five years. That dreaded word that reignites our collective fear around budget time, and weighs on us heavily the rest of the year. Visible deteriorations in the quality of public services, and horror stories about the exploitative wages of new graduates have become commonplace. The reduction in supports for third level students has had a devastating impact on our own quality of life. An uncertain future about the prospect of employment after college only adds further to the pain. We are only one of the many groups in Irish society that have experienced adversity relating back to that most horrid of words: austerity. So what exactly is austerity? Austerity is the act of cutting public expenditure and raising taxes concurrently in order to decrease the yearly overspend of the Government, the budget deficit. A measure to which the budget deficit is commonly compared is Gross Domestic Product, the final value of all goods and services produced in Ireland in a given year, our economic output. In 2010 Ireland’s budget deficit reached a staggering 31% of GDP due mostly to the cost of bailing out parts of the banking sector, but persistently high deficits have existed since 2008 due to the slump in tax revenues following the crash of the property and construction sectors. Today the austerity measures, painful as they have been, have resulted in the projected budget deficit for this year being reduced to 4.8%, with further decreases forecast. This may raise more questions than it answers. Why do deficits even matter? A country that is seen to be raising its level of debt substantially without any means of curtailing it has a huge problem, as the fear of default arises. And investors who lend money to governments with the expectation they’ll be repaid don’t like default, which is why a risk premium is priced into the cost of issuing these bonds for countries.

This increase in the risk premium demanded on Irish bonds forced us into the Bailout in 2010 when it got too high. Astonishingly, a 1% increase in the average yield of Irish bonds would now cost us almost €2bn extra per year to service. We only have to look at the problems of Argentina over the past two decades to see that default is devastating to an economy. Why don’t we just let the banks fail, aren’t they essentially bankrupt anyway? In 2008 the problems began as a liquidity crisis, meaning that banks could not meet short term liabilities as the markets for these dried up due to developments in the US. The following recession brought on by the lack of credit turned this into a solvency crisis, whereby

In short, the bank guarantee was the best out of a horrendously bad bunch. the value of bank loans was decreasing as arrears and non-payment rose due to the economic climate. The Anglotapes saga and allegations of fraud also emerged, proving that in some cases the banking crisis was of a criminal nature, and not simply an error of judgement. A collapse of the banking system in Ireland would simply have wiped out the economy. Nobody who owned a bank account would have been able to receive payments, withdraw cash, or pay with a card. In short, the bank guarantee was the best out of a horrendously bad bunch. Sovereign default would, too, have caused serious damage to our ability to attract investment. It’s a sombre note to finish on, but the constraints of austerity are real. The experts tell us the alternatives are worse, and this in this author’s opinion the debate should centre more around how we allocate existing levels of spending, rather than attempting to increase it.


Opinion   11

March 24 2014

Student Experience: Disability on Campus By Meenraj Panthee There were a few things attracting me to NUI Galway, a long way from my home country, Nepal. Firstly I had an inner desire to study in an international university where persons with a disability can enjoy a fully accessible environment allowing persons with visual impairment like me to function on an equal footing with non-disabled classmates. Secondly my enrollment was in the particular subject of my interest – an LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, revolving around the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. Thirdly, Ireland was a totally new country

For instance, there is an Induction Program to orient students in and around the university; study and examination support; support in access to required assistive technology and training; one-to-one meetings with support staff; mentoring; organized social gatherings; and the list goes on. The university library is quite user-friendly for all students and users. The dedicated library staff prepares the books and other reading materials through scanning, downloading and uploading, supporting in assistive technology and using the library electronically for those who cannot read the printed books. The booths along with computers with screen-reading software further facilitate

The convention is considered a paradigm shift, generating new thinking towards the rights of persons with disabilities alongside the inclusive development. Although, the CRPD has not created any new right, it has redefined the existing human rights from disability prospective in a revolutionary way. The CRPD is considered the first ever comprehensive human rights treaty in the international human rights treaty history which can benefit other marginalized group. The CRPD has protected the fundamental rights of the persons with disabilities, such as the rights to inclusive education, health, work and employment and adequate standard of living, social security and protection on an equal basis with general population.

dom on equal basis with others without discrimination. The involvement by CDLP in drafting, negotiating, interpreting, lobbying with concerned parties, ratifying the convention seems an unforgettable contribution in the history of the disability rights movement. However, there are areas of possible improvement and enhancement to services and facilities from a disability perspective at NUI Galway. The present role of CDLP seems to have expanded, bringing the perspective to adequately represent the underserved countries and community issues, challenges and solution respectively in its teaching and learning curricula to realize the CRPD on an equal

NUI Galway hosts ‘Disability Awareness Week — Access All Areas’ This week will see NUI Galway’s first Disability Awareness Week, which is organised as part of the EXPLORE ­Initiative. The project aims to increase staff, student and public awareness about people with disabilities, with a view to combating stereotypes and promoting the to me, where I could learn better English and about Irish/European culture, traditions and history. When I arrived here and got to know the University, I found it very accessible. The teachers and staff were friendly. It looked to me like the university was unique and extraordinary, meeting the requirements of all students. Moving around the university, finding classrooms, going back to residence, buying things, cooking, cleaning and so on, are naturally a tough and difficult task for a visually impaired person like me in a new place and new environment. However, gaining confidence and familiarity with the surroundings, the work and environment did not take much time for me here. Interestingly, different areas including the city centre quickly became very accessible. The helping hands from different students and other people were tremendous in helping me to overcome the difficulty. In my case, I have a double benefit from the general facility of the university, and also from the Center for Disability Law and Policy. A large number of students with disabilities are admitted to various faculties and classes each year, and their satisfaction level reinforces the attraction. The university does not just encourage applications from prospective students with disability at different levels for admission, but also provides adequate reasonable accommodation and facilities. An important component of the university is the Disability Support Service Office which provides a variety of services and accommodation, in addition to coordinating the catering to students with disabilities.

contributions of people with disabilities through a campus-wide awareness week. The project also aims to celebrate diversity as a part of humanity and promote participation and inclusion and increase the accessibility of higher education for everyone. Events on the day will include sign students with different type of the disabilities in the library. The road, buildings, and footpaths are all equally accessible for all users in and around the university, which allows equal freedom in mobility of the users with disabilities. Furthermore, the university has been playing a vital role in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities at international level particularly through its Center for Disability Law and Policy (CDLP). The Center equips the lawyers, disability right activists and experts with contemporary, international and comparative disability laws and policies and admits students from different countries, encouraging them to utilize their learned skills and knowledge back home. The major endeavors of the CDLP include conducting related research, making publications, holding various seminars, conducting discourse at different levels, promoting legal capacity-building, rendering legal aid service, in addition to providing advice at both national and international levels. At least 15% of the world’s population experiences disability in one way or another. The evidence suggests this population often encounter barriers, discrimination, exclusion, stigma and participation in society which pushes them further into acute poverty, hunger, inequality and deprivation. In other words, the persons with disabilities are found the most backward and forgotten minority in any society. To address this foothold of the development, the United Nations has generalized the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which came into force in May 2008. 150 countries, including the European Union, have ratified the convention so far.

language lessons, a movie night, a showcase of the innovative ‘Going to College’ project, an employability seminar, a disability equality training course, a tandem bicycle ride and much more. For more information or to register for individual events, email info.cdlp@ nuigalway.ie.

Disability Awareness Week will take place from Monday 24 to Thursday 27 March and will make students aware of the various services available to students with disabilities on campus.

The CRPD further provisioned that the persons with disabilities have equal right before and under the law, to live independently being included in the community, free from any kind of torture and cruelty; to be married and have a family; participation in public and political life; involvement in sports and cultural life among others. State parties are obliged to ensure the accessibility and reasonable accommodation allowing full participation in all aspects of life by the persons with disabilities, and enjoy human rights and fundamental free-

basis everywhere. This action demands more academic research and partnership in developing countries. The university outsources services for printing reading materials in Braille, which is a praiseworthy service but not often appropriate to fulfill the immediate reasonable accommodation of the students. The usage of the screen-reading software along with audio facilities have given dramatic benefit to achieve the personal, educational and professional goal of people with visual impairment these days but still are not sufficient. Braille makes the readers more independent and effective in participation everywhere. It provides an opportunity to understand the content better and learn good vocabulary and spelling in reliable manner. The university could establish Braille-printing facilities of its own, which is not that costly. Students with disabilities may need volunteers to help them in orientation and mobility-training around the university and vicinity, in reading books, writing documents, typing documents and so forth. There has been no formal way to find such volunteers, and it would be good if there were. Students would be interested to volunteer, gaining working experience, and doing volunteer work can impact massively in addressing this issue. Furthermore, the university has blue dots printed on footpaths and junctions to guide wheelchair users around. These dots are useful for the students with low vision as well as others. But unfortunately, it seems as though very few people know why these dots are there. Finally, if there was Braille on bathroom and classroom doors, it would be very useful.


12  Features

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

How to get everything you want, from college or otherwise By John Mulry Over the last four issues of Sin we’ve discussed some of the roadblocks that hold you back when it comes to achieving your goals, whether it is in college or outside of it. We can now talk about the system that I’ve learned that can enable you to change. Not in a short-term capacity, but in a capacity that is a long-term solution. The system for long-term and consistent results starts with three short words; define, refine, and align. It never fails. It simply can’t. It’s based on the idea of identifying and overcoming your ‘threat.’ If you’re currently unhappy with your college results, the way you look, feel, or the direction you’re heading, I’m going to hypothesise that you’re a losing and you’re feeling confused, unfocused, distracted, directionless, uninspired, tired, stressed, alone, slow, un-motivated, isolated, sad, angry, bored and lost. Essentially, you’re feeling threatened. When you follow the system, all of the roadblocks, negative influences, and shiny objects become irrelevant and largely invisible. When you understand this process and put it to use, you’ll succeed every single time. It’s impossible not to.

Why? Because you’re playing by your rules and your parameters in a way that fits you and no one else. You’ll have everything stacked in your favour. That’s when the magic happens. You know this. When you follow something that you control, you decided upon, you are comfortable with, feed and nurture what works (on an ongoing basis), and refine and test what doesn’t, you’ll start seeing continuous results quickly and over the long-term. The whole concept of the define, refine, and align system is to help you overcome the number one reason holding you back and preventing you from changing – your threats. Every successful change (life, physical, or otherwise) comes from identifying and overcoming your threats. There are essentially three core elements we are working on when we go through this process. These three elements ensure that you will be successful. Core Pathways: • The ability to define exactly what it is you want. (Define) • The ability to refine that goal and find out what it’s not. (Refine) • The ability to correctly align yourself to that goal. (Align) This is essentially the Define, Refine and Align

model we discussed. Now we’re going to break that down and go through each part. Define: We need to define exactly what it is that you want. This is the end goal or endgame. We also need to define what the obstacles preventing you from achieving it are. Finally, we need to be clear as to where you are currently in respect to your desired goal. Some questions that you can ask yourself to start defining these three things are: • What do you want help with? • Why do you want it? • What are you currently struggling with? • Why do you think this struggle exists? • What obstacles are preventing you from achieving it? • What have you tried? What has worked and what hasn’t? • Where are you now in relation to your goal? • What progress have you made? • On a scale of 1-10, where are you in regards to achieving it? Refine: The refine process is where we dig in a little deeper and go through the process of ‘untying the nots.’

This is where we go through the process of defining exactly what it is we do not want. Here we’re looking to figure out what’s not the goal. A good exercise for you to do is to write down everything you don’t want. From looking at everything that you don’t want, we will then have a better picture of everything that you do want. Align: Once we define what it is we do want and then combine it with what it is we don’t want, the final stage is to align ourselves with what or who can take us there. Two initial questions to ask yourself in the alignment phase are: • What do you need to start doing? • What do you need to stop doing? This process of alignment is the most important for me personally. It sets the stage, and answering the right questions as well as aligning with the right tools, resources, and people will help make your goals much easier to achieve. The above process is a much watered down version of the complete define, refine and align model John outlines in his book Your Elephant’s Under Threat available from Charlie Byrne’s bookshop, online at www.JohnMulry.com or www.Amazon.co.uk.

The Unsocial Social Networking First Year in Galway By Niamh Clarke Social networking is celebrated in terms of its bridging distances that otherwise would be impossible. Robbins and Webster (1999) state that ‘[v]irtual relations are closely associated with ideals of intimacy, social communication and bonding – this is said to be the age of immediate communication, connectivity, and “being in touch”. Spaces like Facebook and Twitter facilitate these virtual relations and offer idealised, and often polarised, accounts of people. Such social networking pages are shaped according to an individual’s or a company’s desired image of themselves. Information is posted in the conscious spirit of putting your best foot forward. People reveal what they perceive as the best pictures of themselves, the most imperative articles, news, and preferences, the most dramatic and humorous ideas. Disclosure of the banal, as in updates about the nuanced type of porridge consumed at breakfast, creates an illusory sense that this medium provides an everyday experience of the other. Social networking importantly remains a medium, and not a social experience. It is an addictive and absorbing creative space, a rhetorical space, and has acquired a realism that often obscures healthy conceptions of what it means to socialise. This is not to outright condemn the medium itself, but to ask, after the celebration of bridging ‘distance’ loses novelty - is social networking not just networking? What is social about it when it demands that people spend more time engaging with interface as opposed to actual people and situations? Social networking as it stands contradicts its very title. Why baptise it social networking? If we acknowledge that human beings are social the insidious negativity of ‘social’ networking becomes obvious. Getting to know someone's avatar is not getting to know the person because we lose other media of communication that we have evolved to use as social animals: body language, chemistry,

or, plain, old vibes. The so called social networking does not properly facilitate these essential phenomena. The schism between social experience and social networking is highlighted in ‘Catfish: The TV Show’. ‘Catfish’ films people engaging in online relationships without ever meeting. The show highlights the ‘psychological vulnerability of the person with whom they’ve been interacting, who may not be as advertised’ (Lowry, 2012, p.15). Frequently these people get hurt because they forget it is advertisement, not that they are unintelligent, but because, as Lowry points out, they are vulnerable. ‘Catfish’, although a production itself, emphasises differences between the tools we use to be social, and the reality of meeting face-to-face versus online fantasy. (Social) networking is useful, but for many it confuses the meaning of being in touch. When people participate in networking sites, this communication does not provide them a social experience. This type of networking, conducive to information and organisation, has not yet earned the title ‘social’ in the full sense of that word. Instantaneously exposing people to a multitude of concepts, text, advertisements, personal updates, images, and sounds is engaging but not social. Typing is not talking. There is a natural truth in interacting with people in the flesh, which is lost online Our own personal experience with other real people where we can actually face communication, or not? Citations: Lowry, B. (2012). ‘Catfish: The TV Show’, Daily Variety, 317(1). Robbins, K. and Webster, F. (1999) Times of the Techno Culture: From the Information Society to the Virtual Life. London: Routledge. Niamh Clarke was the winner of this year’s Academic Writing Centre Competition.

By Michael Finn When I did my Leaving Cert in 2010, I wanted nothing more than to get out of Sligo. Not because Sligo isn’t class, but because I wanted to experience living in a big city. I completely overlooked Galway, because I wanted either Dublin or beyond. Just the novelty of living in a big city, running into people from all around Ireland was amazing. The first year in college and you want to be friends with everyone. By my third year in DCU, I wasn’t bothered. I already had a base of friends in Dublin, and only went to college whenever I had to. In Sligo, people either stay or go to Dublin and Galway for college. I noticed everyone I knew who went to Galway seemed to be having so much more fun.

I’m not denying that Dublin is serious craic, but when you have to get buses and taxis everywhere, you become more jaded and hesitant to go anywhere. Galway to me seems to be the right size; a town which takes the form of a city. Moving to Galway after three years in Dublin was a refreshing change. Having a population made up of 25% students may cause trouble, but it really has made Galway so appealing. Since this will be my last year of college, but hopefully not my last year in Galway, I seriously suggest committing your time to some sort of club or society. My last years in Dublin gave me a sense of alienation, just because I didn’t really show any enthusiasm for college life. It also didn’t help that DCU charge €4 per club or society.

Busy Year for An Cumann Staire By Michael Finn An Cumann Staire, otherwise known as ‘History Soc’, are a consistently active society on campus. This has been particularly true for History Month, which took place from mid-February until St. Patrick’s Day. With a number of guest speakers, film screenings and a walking tour of Galway, An Cumann Staire have collaborated with a number of other societies to make this month a hive of activity. Possibly the biggest event for history month was a collaboration with Disney Soc for a screening of Brave in the Kirwin theatre. Last year, History Month featured a debate recreating the Dáil arguing over whether Ireland should accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which was a defining moment in the country’s history.

This year, with the collaboration of Lit & Deb, Ogra Sinn Fein, Cumann De Barra, and Young Fine Gael, the debate was over whether we should regret the Catholic Church’s privileged position in our constitution. The debate fell on the same day as the Burke’s demonstration at Smokey’s Café over the Gay Marriage Referendum for the SU. As massive crowds gathered to have a debate of their own, Cumann Staire were getting ready to host our own debate. Luckily, the demonstration ended half an hour before the History Month debate, resulting in the great turn out and a lively discussion. An Cumann Staire’s main event of the year is the Arts Ball, which took place in the Salthill Hotel. Money raised from the proceeds went to COPE, a local charity dealing with homelessness and domestic abuse.


Features   13

March 24 2014

Alumni Interview: Paul Killoran What was the college newspaper like when you were in NUI Galway? Did you write for it?

Year of graduation: 2005. Course at NUI Galway: Electronic and Computer Engineering. Current Occupation: Well I’m an engineer by trade but I have my own company, so I’m the CEO of Ex Ordo which is a software company that automates the publication of research at academic conferences.

What is your fondest memory of NUI Galway? The fondest memory that I would have is probably being involved in the Musical Society. I was involved in a lot of clubs and societies throughout my college days; I had a life that was extra-curricular. One that comes to mind is trying to put together a stage in the Black Box Theatre, where I was working as a set designer, choreographer and builder, and needing to get this set done under a time limit. I remember sleeping on the stage in the Black Box covered in a big old black curtain because the technician had let us stay overnight, and in the middle of the night, after spending three days solid in the Black Box with no sleep and little food, the night crazies kind of crept in and I remember me and rest of the crew having a drink of beer and chatting about the women in the cast and just bonding with those people. I suppose that’s what it was about; getting away from the structures about what life around us was like and giving us this little area we could go and play in, figure out who we were and build up skills and be creative.

I didn’t write for it, no. It was nice, it had a few stories in it; it was nice to have a reference to what was going on on campus. With societies, what we were doing was largely covered there so it was nice to have a bit of reflection. At the time, the Sin website was far bigger than the newspaper that was run by a guy called John Nolan, or Hetch as he was more commonly known. So the Sin website, if I’m honest, over-shadowed the newspaper completely. It was where all the stories were, it’s where breaking news happened. They had a particularly good photography section for the university balls in the preFacebook days. I was a Sin photographer at one ball which was great because I got a free ticket. In my day, Sin newspaper was grand but the Sin website was a force to be reckoned with.

Do you ever miss NUI Galway? Well I’m here more often than I’m not. I’ve never really left it and it’s still a home to me. I do think back on my student days and I’d love to go back, which is why I did a second degree after college to try and emulate what I had here which you can’t, because you’re

Any other juicy stories of your time here? Well, getting involved in musicals was a great way of finding women because I realized that being able to dance and perform and being in those circles, you tended to have 10 or 20 guys in every musical with 40 or 50 women, so it was great way to find girlfriends. There was something that took place called the Jonathan Hatton award and that was basically a count of how many people you could score throughout the days of the musical, and it probably still exists today. You used to try and wrack up as many notches as you could before the final performance. I think I managed to get to five for the Jonathan Hatton award, I was really impressed but I was overtaken by a gay guy who scored both men and women so I couldn’t compete anymore.

What advice would you give to current NUI Galway students? The societies were a huge part of what I did, and now I see people not getting hugely involved in them. I think the academic sense of life is great, but for me the rounding in my education came from the mish-mash of both. There was a whole third year where I hardly went to college and my results didn’t

do so well, but having gone through that was amazing. As the years go on, you have to get more and more serious, and then once you finish college you can’t experience it again first-hand for a second time. I guess just enjoy what you have now, the big-bad comes along where you’ll have bills and banks ringing you and mortgages and wives and kids. You’ll never really have the opportunity to sit in a little bubble and be protected by the four walls around the college.

If you could go back and do it all again, what would you do differently? I would have done a J1, that’s the only thing. I decided that I wanted to chase a girl I had broken up with, and instead of doing the J1 with her I decided I would go on a two week holiday to Cyprus and come home and tell her that I loved her. She told me she didn’t want anything to do with me, so I should have done the J1 with her. Another reason I didn’t do the J1 was because I was too polite and I was waiting for my friends to ask me. When they came back they asked me ‘Why didn’t you do the J1’ and I just said ‘No one ever asked me’ so I should have just said ‘I’m going!’ and been more forthright than polite.

I founded my first ever company, the Dance Society, back in 2002 which gave me my first opportunity to found an organization in a different place in your life and you’ve different sets of friends. I love remembering old times, but NUIG remains a home, I’m in and out all the times. There’s hardly a week that goes by where I’m not here in some capacity, and I really like the way that my student days have developed to where I am now, mentoring students in the ICE program in the Cairnes Building and still involved in helping and nurturing students.

How did attending NUI Galway develop you as a person?

Did you ever get in trouble while you were here?

I think it developed me in two ways; with the academic stuff as it’s given me the technical ability to execute what I do as an engineer, and also I think as an engineer, how I manage and how I lead, I’m very methodical with what I do. That’s helped me in terms of my leadership skills. With regard to the society side of things, I founded my first ever company, the Dance Society, back in 2002 which gave me my first opportunity to found an organization, to go about the branding and the name and pulling a team together and running events. The extra-curricular stuff went about developing my social skills and my founding of my first company and my second company.

I do remember breaching the alcohol policy and getting a slap on the wrist for that. I’ve always been one to try and do something and then ask for permission later. What I did a lot of times, with something like the societies service Yourspace, we didn’t necessarily get permission to do that from the top level, but we made it anyway and that created a service for students that wouldn’t exist otherwise. We used data in ways that wasn’t necessarily imagined, which means that today’s societies and clubs can message and email their members and if we hadn’t gone and done some of those things, we wouldn’t have those services and I probably wouldn’t have a company today.

welc om

e

To a n e of the wly enhan ced c art bu am excitin il g new dings, wor pus with ne ld resea rch p class facil w state rogra mme ities and s for 20132014

u o y k n tha

ir e for the g orldwid in w d i n n fu m lu lway in a G To our a campus I U n n for N jects o io ro it p b r m jo a ma f these many o

stay

connected With the Alumni Association and support NUI Galway’s vision for the future For more information on priority projects, events & activities contact Galway University Foundation. Visit us @ www.guf.ie l www.nuigalway.ie/alumni l T: 091 493536 Find us on Facebook and join National University of Ireland Galway on LinkedIn


14  Features

Erasmus Diary of an Student By Áine O Donnell While my diary is coming to a close, my Erasmus will not be over until the end of May. On reflection, I may not have learnt much French on my Erasmus but I have learned some very important life lessons. I think the most important teaching of my Erasmus was to learn how to cope with stress. Living in a foreign place where nobody can speak your language certainly brought up challenges and I spent much of first semester lost in translation. The French administration would put anyone in an early grave and it proved to be one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome. In fact, I have still not registered my classes in either university but now I have begun to embrace my Irish “be grand” attitude. If it doesn’t all work out then we can have a nice cup of tea or head for some therapy of the public house variety. I have learned how amazing Ireland actually is. Erasmus is like that first time you moved away from your parents; you actually began to appreciate them once you had some time apart. Once I had left the Emerald Isle, I couldn’t wait to get back. I missed everything about Ireland but most especially the craic and definitely the milk. If I hadn’t lived with six other Irish people I don’t know how I would have coped. The continental Europeans didn’t only struggle

to understand my French; they also didn’t grasp the concept of banter. My favourite part was learning about another culture. I had to get used to not being able to shop on Sundays and take it easy all day. I discovered new customs like eating la galette du rois for all of January to celebrate the New Year.

I missed everything about Ireland but most especially the craic and definitely the milk. I was taught new idiomatic French phrases and all the stories behind them. I also learned the hard way that French people do love a strike and the stereotype was not at all misconstrued. The country that provoked me to eat a snail and enjoy it can’t be anything less than remarkable. I am looking forward to being a student of NUI Galway next year and I most definitely will be running to Smokey’s the minute I cross the Salmon Weir but I will take home some parts of my Erasmus adventure with me. I can look forward to having the craic with my Erasmus lads back at home and being able to finally hold a conversation en français. I will always have fond memories of my time in Poitiers from our weekly pilgrimage to Est Ouest to skiing to all my travels.

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

3 reasons to go on Erasmus By David Smith The prospect of leaving Ireland to study abroad can be a daunting one for any Irish student. There are pros and cons to weigh up. Many courses and programmes offer students the chance to go on foreign placement. It can be a once in a lifetime opportunity for many students, and is not an option that should be easily dismissed. Maybe you have the chance to go on Erasmus or exchange next year. Maybe you are in two minds about whether to go or not. If you know anyone who has taken the risk and studied abroad, they will regale you with the wonders of the whole experience. Of course you will hear horror stories from people who have never even ventured abroad themselves, or maybe you’ve seen Taken and just don’t fancy taking the risk. My advice? Go for it. There are countless advantages and reasons you won’t regret taking the plunge. Here are just three:

1

The effect of the Irish Accent: This is a factor not to be underestimated. No matter what country you decide to study in, chances are the locals will fall in love with your accent (don’t forget that the Irish accent was recently voted the sexiest in the world). In my personal experience while on exchange in Canada, the Irish accent can be a great conversation starter (note-to-self for all the single guys/girls debating Erasmus). Whether you use your accent to make new friends, to woo members of the opposite sex, to get out of late assignment submissions, or to charm your way into nightclubs for free, it is a valuable commodity.

2

The Opportunities: It may sound clichéd, but the experience of Erasmus is an invaluable one. Being separated from friends and family might sound difficult, but it will encourage you to put yourself out there and to make new friends, and learn to truly fend for yourself. You will get to explore a new culture, new surroundings and a new language – depending on where you choose to study. It is also an opportunity to make life-long friends. Erasmus encourages both adventure and independence. You will learn about a new way of life, and Erasmus also looks impressive on a CV.

3

The J1 Experience: You have heard about the magic of the J1 experience, or maybe you have gone on a J1 yourself, and loved it! An exchange or Erasmus can be likened to a J1, particularly if you have the opportunity to go to the States or Canada. The major advantage of Erasmus is that you more than likely won’t have to work. You will have the opportunity so see and do amazing things which might not be so readily available at home. Your parents will be eager to finance ‘cultural’ days out or visits to ‘mustsee’ tourist attractions. Of course, you could be half the world away, and they would be none the wiser if you opt instead to use your ‘textbook’ money for a night out with the lads or girls instead. These are just three of the many pros to keep in mind if you are an Irish student weighing up Erasmus or exchange. From someone who is currently spending four months on an exchange in Toronto from NUI Galway, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Considering doing an Erasmus year as part of your degree? By Áine White Hemming and hawing whether to do an Erasmus year as part of your degree in NUI Galway? Truth be told I wasn’t. The moment I realised in first year, that going abroad for a year was a compulsory component of my degree, I was ecstatic. That said I wasn’t all that excited as I scrolled my finger down the long list of names to find out where I had been placed for my year abroad. I almost felt a little like Harry Potter, wondering whether I would be placed in Gryffindor or Slytherin. Unlike Harry I drew the short straw and was placed in Extremadura in Spain in the small city of Cáceres. Like 90% of you reading this, I had no idea where this place was and was equally unexcited to spend a year of my precious time studying a foreign language in a place I had never heard of. So off I went and my first few days were spent searching for accommodation in the scorching heat, a balcony was my only request, something you would expect in stereotypical ‘holiday Spain’. Only that was my first mistake. It wasn’t ‘holiday Spain’ where I was going to live for the next year it was ‘real

Spain’. My room ended up being poky and had a first class view into my Italian roommate’s bedroom. Oh that was another thing, I moved in with three lovely Italian girls who spoke fantastic English. Only they never spoke English in the flat, just their mother tongue which I had no clue of. Switching from one language to another was the hardest part. Supermarkets became a place where I was constantly learning new vocabulary, and also holding my nose because of the smell of the dry cured meat that Spaniards love. Tip 1: You’re a student and probably the cheapest way of getting fed is to go drinking. I know, amazing right? Every time you buy a drink it’s served with tapas. Normally some nuts or a little slice of Spanish tortilla or even something so disgusting that you can’t even look at it but hey as your Mammy would say “If you were hungry enough you would eat it”! Another thing guys, be prepared for errors in translation. I ended up in A&E with a bad chest infection. After a rough examination the nurse said to me “Hmm you have baby, I’m going to send you for a scan”.

I sat there nearly in tears wondering how I came to the hospital with a chest infection and was now in line for a baby scan. After a while another doctor came and explained it was a chest scan they were going to do. I let out a giggle. I suppose you could call it a major error in translation. Tip 2: Spend your time wisely. I was lucky enough to be placed in a relatively cheap city where my rent only cost €125 a month, so I used my extra cash to travel. You have to do it. I cannot emphasize this enough. Also make lots of Spanish friends because they’re the ones that have holiday homes in the South or at least a comfy sofa in their quirky little hometown. Let’s face it who wouldn’t want to invite their lovely Irish friend to come and stay? I never thought at the end of my Erasmus stay in Cáceres I would actually be sad to leave. I was. I was sad to depart with the community from the shopkeepers to the bus drivers that had made me feel so at home. One thing I loved when I was travelling was getting parcels or letters in the post from home. Stay in touch with your loved ones because I’m sure they feel exactly the same when they receive a phone call or a letter from you.

Although Cáceres was completely inland and nearly four hours away from a main airport, I feel I was blessed to experience a slice of real Spain. I experienced Bull Fighting for the first and last time in my life. Ongoing events like the medieval markets and the famous Womad festival that took place in the main square were exceptional to see. But it was the simple things I enjoyed most like having the best Oreo and brownie cheesecake in a tiny chocolate cafe with my friends or having Churros for my breakfast after a night out or just sitting in the main square watching the world go by. But best of all, was the fact that nobody spoke English. Living in Spain has been a real learning curve for me, I have been fortunate to make friends that I know I will have for life. Language is only a barrier if you are willing to let it be. My advice to anybody reading this article is to grab your chance to do an Erasmus year and run at it with both arms open. Don’t get too caught up on your destination; go with it. Embrace your new challenge, because I can assure you it is not the destination that makes your year worthwhile, it’s the friends and experiences you encounter along the way.


Features   15

March 24 2014

Summer Sunshine By Hazel Doyle It’s sunny outside as I type this and I saw someone in sunglasses earlier. Soon I will venture out and get a 99. Maybe they’ll have raspberry sauce and sprinkles if I’m lucky. I do hate it when they scrimp on the sprinkles and the sauce; have they no concept of bringing joy to others? There can be no denying it; it is March so therefore summer is on its merry way. Around this time of year Éire-Dwellers can begin to get a bit optimistic about the prospect of a ‘good summer’, especially after the ‘bad winter’ we’ve had. Even the cheerful yellow daffodils are egging on this optimism with their little bobbing heads; ‘go on lads, think shorts in pale legs and sitting outside the library sipping a smoothie’. The clothes you can wear in summer are so much better than autumn or spring clothes. I hate that ‘is it too warm for a jacket?’, ‘is it going to rain?’ craic. You’ll inevitably make the wrong decision and be too hot all day, or come home with a cold. In winter you know you need your hat, your gloves, your coat, your ear-muffs, your thermal jocks and your hot-water-bottle strapped to your belly, and in summer you know you need… just the clothes on your

back. It’s a problem wondering where you’ll put your bottle of water because it’s the only fashion accessory you need. And with less clothes to weigh us down, we’ll be living a lighter life. And then just think of the Vitamin D we’ll be getting, so we’ll be a nation of Positive Paddies come June. Ah, and you can bet your bottom J1 dollar that you’ll be sitting in the sunshine during the June Bank Holiday. Sure, that’s the weekend before the Leaving Cert. If you ever had to plan an out-door event in Ireland, that is the weekend to do it. If you look back on the meteorology of Ireland, I’d say that since the instigation of the oul’ LC, that weekend hasn’t seen a drop of rain. Salthill beckons. I love that Galway is small enough so that you can walk to the beach if you finish your lectures early enough. I’m from Kilkenny (that’s a county practically perfect in every way, except for its lack of a coastline) so if I want to go to the beach, I’d have to scab a lift off someone, and plan a day when everyone would be free to go. It’d be pretty cute because we could bring a picnic and all, but it requires a bit of planning. With Salthill, it’s just there; so convenient, so near-by, so alluring. And doesn’t the beach really have something to please everyone? There’s ice-cream

Diary of a Cynical Graduate Week 5: Great Expectations By Shelly Madden Do you know what the problem with your early twenties is? Your expectations are far too high. You are not quite ready to relinquish the world as your oyster yet because you have only just savoured the sweet taste of life outside captivity. The bell barely tolls the end of your final college exam, and you are already out the door screaming “FREEDOM!” in the style of Mel Gibson. It is a natural reaction to 18 years of imprisonment, much like the ritualistic burning of the books and the feeling of almost smug invincibility. While you ought to aim for the top, beware of the disparity between your dreams and disillusionment. This blissful period exists only until the terrible truth dawns on you; that you are still a slave, only this time to the working world. And he is a cruel master. So you expected your budding career to be the culmination of all your hard work, the validation of yourself as an individual? That may be true of the lucky few who gain a job in their chosen field immediately, but for the vast majority, we will have to endure some painful community service in the form of customer care. Be it the Radisson or Supermacs, there is very little joy to be derived from the inbetweeny jobs that are annoying at best, soulless at worst. As if it wasn’t bad enough that you suffer intense feelings of failure and inadequacy on a daily basis, you also have to

endure such clientele gems as “Can I have a BLT without any lettuce or tomato?” The other day, I got a legitimate complaint because I had made a cup of coffee that was too hot. Too hot. That framed BA degree is being ousted from the mantelpiece sharpish lest it mock me any further. Your attempts to find solace in your days off are rarely successful; you envisaged your weekends spent on crazy madcap adventures, not searching for a replacement toilet handle in B&Q. Which is why I am currently elbow deep in an Irish Times supplement on how doing a Masters at a university will ensure you are the master of the universe. I am encircling the list of 2,573 postgraduate courses with a black circle in the hope that one day I will be trawling through the jobs section with a red circle. It’s a vicious circle! And so we come to the closing sentiments of this one person’s cautionary tale of early adulthood. I do apologise if I have dampened the spirits of any optimistic college students. Do be advised that these are merely the ramblings of an embittered graduate exploring the ridiculous but true phenomenon of the quarter-life crisis. I have not travelled far enough down this road to determine whether this sort of behaviour leads to Eleanor Roosevelt or Eleanor Abernathy. In the meantime, one can only pray for the safety and wellbeing of the next rude customer that crosses my path. Stay tuned.

nearby for foodies like me. There’s Blackrock to jump off, if you’re a bit of a dare-devil (or just less of a chicken than me). There’s the sea to paddle in and splash your friends while attempting to throw a ball at them, and the – albeit rocky – sand to lounge on, attempting to soak up some sunshine and get a bit of tan. I need to wear suncream as soon as the weather reaches about plus ten. I’m as pale as a ghost. I’ve burnt in March before. Come Easter, factor 15 will be too low for me. Slapping on the sun-cream adds about a five minutes on to my daily morning routine but it’s worth it. One time on holidays I got so badly burnt on my back – I was still young and naive and thought I’d get a tan, but old enough to be in charge of my own skin – that I couldn’t lean back in the car for days. And I don’t tan either. I just go back to being anaemic-looking. So I’ll be pale and interesting for the rest of my life, rather than look like I’ve recently had a bad scald. For those of you hitting Dublin airport straight after exams, you’re guaranteed summers never to forget… though maybe all the forms or the vaccinations you’re going through at the minute is making you think otherwise. You’re the ones going to instil

envy in your facebook friends as you upload photos of you on a camel, or with the Statue of Liberty between your fingers, or taking a break beside the Berlin Wall, sitting on your smelly inter-railing backpack. But yeah, I’m not gonna lie; you will miss €2 hot-chicken rolls and 99s.

SMOKEY’S CAFE USE YOUR SU CARD FOR GREAT FOOD & BEVERAGE DEALS!!!

GREAT DEALS!!!

= ©2013 The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola, Coke, Diet-Coke and the Dynamic Ribbon Device are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Red Disk is a registered Community Trade Mark.


EXPLORE Projects The Journal of Medical Students, Galway With rapid advancement in Medicine, scientific research has become an imperative constituent of medical students’ academic curriculum throughout pre-clinical and clinical years. Comprising eleven medical students and three clinical staff, the Journal of Medical Students, Galway (JMSG) is the first peer-reviewed, open-access student medical journal of its kind in Galway community. Serving as an extension of the School of Medicine, JMSG paves the path for budding undergraduate students to publish meaningful abstracts, review articles, clinical case reports, medical illustrations and more. JMSG functions as a platform for the exchange of innovative research and opinions among medical students, clinicians, surgeons and academic lecturers at the local, national, and international level. Following reception of an overwhelming number of submissions, we look forward to publishing the first issue in April of this year, while continuing to perpetuate our professional aspiration in supporting undergraduate medical research for the prosperous years to come. Visit us at www.jmsgalway.com.

The Big Yellow Thing

I LIKE BEACHES

The gargantuan yellow structure outside the NUI, Galway library, otherwise known as “Archimedes’ Balls” or “The Big Yellow Thing” was the inspiration of a new clothing line about to hit the NUIG campus.

I LIKE BEACHES is a student-staff collaboration developed through the Explore initiative. The project is working in conjunction with Galway City Council to add value to the Salthill area with a range of environmental education boards outlining scientific processes of the beach environment as well as the history of the area. The project has been gathering pace since its conception and the team are currently in the process of coding the results and preparing a report for a public meeting which was held in the Galway Business School on the 18th. The meeting included residents, business owners and local councillors and was a huge success overall.

Funded by the EXPLORE innovation initiative, The Big Yellow Thing creates comedic, modern and unique designs for each of the 5 colleges of NUIG. Each custom design is printed on hoodies and t-shirts and embodies NUIG campus study and student life. Michelle Campion, creator of The Big Yellow Thing is studying MSc. Neuropharmacology at NUI, Galway. She’s had a long history in art, attending the National College of Art and Design in 2007 and over the years, commissioning illustrative murals around Galway City (i.e. Club K, Carbon). The Big Yellow Thing is currently a finalist in the 2014 Student Enterprise awards, which aims to bring the business national i.e. spreading the designs to all National Universities of Ireland. The winner will be announced on 29th March. A website is underway and apparel is printed, join www.facebook.com/thebigyellowthing for BIG offers! YELLOW news! And update THINGS!

I LIKE BEACHES has also developed a media presence both on Galway Bay FM and in local and provincial newspapers. This has increased the popularity of the project with Dr. Eugene Farrell also giving two presentations at Trinity College and UCD. The forthcoming weeks will see the team enter talks with Galway County Council concerning the adaptation of the project for the county’s beaches and also further discussions with Galway City Council and residents concerning the progress of the Salthill education boards. As well as seeking to expand the project the team hope to branch out into the creation of biodiversity trails and the development of an educational workbook and fieldtrip for primary and secondary schools.

EXPLORE is a joint initiative of NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students' Union, and is funded by the Office of the VP for Innovation and Performance and the Student Projects Fund.

www.su.nuigalway.ie/explore 091 49 4290

su.explore@nuigalway.ie

www.facebook.com/exploreinnovation

www.twitter.com/EXPLOREnuigsu


AÍ LEASA FEACHTAS

LS KIL ES LIF SU

ICE V AD

VIC ER

&S

A CÁRT

WELFARE

MENT

AND

CH

AFE

COLLEG E BAR

LGE

SU L OCK

N

R

ERS

NA SAO IL

NT AT IO

AEI

AG

EAN

ESE

E IST EG

FE N

CAI

AWARDS

ALL C THE W

ENTERPRISE

SU CLOAKROOM

CLÁ RS CIL

PR

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

SU Life

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

www.su.nuigalway.ie

KSTO RE ’S C AFE

KEY

SU

Register

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

RE

BOO

Lockers

Grinds

Secondhand

RE

SR IND

GR

OM

HA

LTA S

NA

SMO

EXPLO

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

Bookstore

S

CAMPAIGN

ENTERTAIN

ND H

Cloakroom

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

S

ALTA

I AC LÉ M A N

CEIM

SU

Caifé na

Gaeilge

NN

H CHOM

SECO

MA CL

N LÉIN HAIS C C MA EA ARD NA D I S SU C O TA ÍSÍ HAL H M B HO EIR AC S P O S U SI AG E L AIR H M CO

P

HO

S SU

DO CHOMHALTAS, DO SHEIRBHÍSÍ N

CEIM

ED

ÉIN

CHT

ES

U

HAR

SIAMSAÍO

TAIS CEAD ÁIN

STE

BEÁR A N

CHOLÁI

AN SEOMRA CÓTAÍ

HTA FIONTRAÍOC

LEAB

RE

N

TIO CA

NA

AFÉ

N TA CH EA CH

’S C

LGE

AEI

EXPLO

T

IAN

KEY

IOPA

AG RD

CH

SMO AN S

CLÁ

AD AÍO

NA GRADAIM

AFÉ ALL C THE W

FE N

CAI AN

ION

facebook.com/NUIGalwayStudentsUnion

Skills

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

...Do Chomhaltas, Do Sheirbhísí

twitter.com/NUIGSU


18  lifestyle Watermelon is one of the best foods you could eat to protect your skin from the sun.

Sun Damage vs. Food By Jessica Thompson

Sun damage is one of the banes of our lives. Much as we love the sun, it can be very hard on our skin. All our lives, we’ve been advised to wear sunscreen and to protect ourselves from potential sun damage. Sometimes we even end up with damaged skin anyway. There's nothing more annoying than covering yourself in greasy sun lotion every few hours only to find that the rays have discovered that one spot you missed and destroyed it. Red, raw skin is the least of your worries though, as we all know how the sun can cause skin cancer and other serious forms of sun damage. But did you know that there are some foods that can keep your skin healthy and, along with your sunscreen, protect you from sun damage? It’s always, always important to wear sunscreen (like in that speech by Baz Luhrmann). “If I could offer you only one tip for the future… sunscreen… would be… it.” But it’d be great to get a little help from your diet right? Watermelon: This is a fruit that I praise regularly on my blog (www.beautifulhealth.ie). It’s great for everything – beautiful skin, water intake, and now protection against the sun too. Watermelon is a great source of lycopene, an anti-oxidant which has been shown to reduce UV-induced free radicals by up to 50%. Bell Peppers: One of my favourite vegetables to include in a salad, or a curry, or a chilli, or pretty much anything is a delicious, ripe, red bell pepper. Just one bell pepper can protect you from sun damage. Bell peppers contain an anti-oxidant called capsiate, which fights UVB-induced skin damage. Pomegranate: Not only is this fruit delicious, but its seeds protect the skin from UVA and UVB free radicals. The seeds inhibit hyper-pigmentation and can also enhance the protection of sunscreen by up to 25%. The juice of a pomegranate is full of anti-oxidants, but without the seeds, there’s no fibre, and it converts to sugar quickly. Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon – wild salmon in particular – inhibits inflammation from UVB rays by over 50%. This fish also blocks the release of UV-induced enzymes that cause lines and sagging by eating at collagen. It’s almost summer-time and here in Ireland, we’ll soon start to feel a bit of heat. It’s always important to wear sunscreen, but a little extra protection goes a long way. By eating the right foods, your skin can protect itself even more, while also staying healthy and fresh. Salmon and bell peppers for dinner, methinks, followed by a watermelon and pomegranate seed salad.

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

9 Steps to a Beach Body By Jessica Thompson Summer is coming and the pressure is on to get the perfect bikini body so we can throw the clothes off and the bikinis and speedos (or whatever the lads are wearing) on! But believe it or not, sit-ups and crunches are not the way to go (yes, I was relieved too!). Here are 9 simple steps to get that bikini body beach-ready for summer.

1

Keep hydrated: Unless you’ve been drinking plenty of water throughout the day, chances are you’re dehydrated right now. In fact, the majority of us are dehydrated. Believe it or not, those hunger pangs we get throughout the day may actually be thirst. So next time you feel hungry, reach for a glass of water. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t be able to perform to the best of your ability – and I don’t just mean in the gym; I mean at work or during other daily tasks too!

2

Cut the salt: Did you know that if you weigh yourself the day after you eat salty foods, you’ll weigh more than if you hadn’t taken in so much salt? Too much salt in your diet will cause you to retain water, which gives you that bloated feeling and makes you look puffy. Physically, this is a short-term thing, but it can knock your confidence by making you feel like you'll never have that bikini body, so you’re more likely to give up. So don’t worry, that bloated belly after that salty pizza is only short-term; tomorrow you can lower the sodium intake and feel great!

3

Catch some Zzzzz: What? You can get the perfect beach body by sleeping? It’s true; sleep is one of the most under-rated ways of reducing stress. If you’re fully rested, your mind is able to focus more, and your body will be able to perform better. Sleeping is essential for muscle recovery; believe it or not, the magic happens when you’re resting, not when you’re in the gym. So make sure you get your eight hours!

that means lifting weights! But make sure it’s a challenge; our bags for college may be heavy, but we’re used to that weight. Training two or three times a week is perfect; too much will burn you out, but this is something you could keep up long-term. Beach body all year round? Yes please!

5

Eat lean protein with every meal: After that resistance training three times a week, your body will need this essential nutrient to aid repair and recovery. Protein has a high satiety, which means you’ll be fuller for longer, and less tempted to hinder the progress to your beach body by reaching for the snacks. Good examples of lean protein include steak, mince (try to get mince that’s 95% lean), turkey, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, legumes or beans.

6

Don’t be afraid of fats: The right fats won’t make you fat. In fact, we need the good fats to help us lose fat! In other words, we need fat to get that beach body. The body needs essential fatty acids such as Omega 3, 6 and 9 for a healthy metabolism. These can be found in Flaxeed, oily fish, eggs, fish oil supplements or oils such as olive oil. So to lose that fat, make sure you eat the good fats and cut down on the bad fats like butter or fast food.

7

Attach a ‘why’: Why do you want to achieve this goal? If you attach a strong internal reason why you want that killer beach body, you’re more likely to achieve it. A strong ‘why’ will give you an internal motivation to keep strong and keep going.

4

C h all e ng e y o urs e lf when lifting w e ig h ts : Progressive resistance training three times a week is the perfect way to tone and increase muscle for that beach body – and yes,

Don’t give up on your goal and you’ll be fit for the beach in no time!

8

Buy the bikini/mankini/ trunks: “She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini that she wore for the first time today”. Whoever ‘she’ is must have looked good in that bikini if peo-

Did you know that if you weigh yourself the day after you eat salty foods, you’ll weigh more than if you hadn’t taken in so much salt? Too much salt in your diet will cause you to retain water. ple felt inclined to sing about her. That will be you. Buy the swimming togs. Hang them up in whatever room you use to work out. Look at them every day and imagine yourself with that beach body. Tweet it to the world, or blog about it. Then you’ll have something physical to give you the drive and motivation to succeed.

9

Strive towards success: Do something every day to bring you closer to your goal, no matter how small; action breeds momentum; momentum breeds success; success breeds a killer beach body!

B

ONUS: Don’t give up; if your goal is worthy enough, it’ll get tough, it’ll get hard. If you do slip up, recognise the slip-up for what it is – a mere slip-up – and keep going. You can do this; you will look good and you will feel great. Listen to Rocky Balboa, he knows what he’s talking about; “…it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! “Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!” I'm off to lift some weights. See you on the beach!


Lifest yle   19

March 24 2014

Wise Words: Colourful Carrots By Móna Wise It’s hard to believe that the end is n i g h . Fo r m e, this is the end of a very long fiveyear stint at NUI Galway and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve grown weary of the studying lifestyle and am now longing to get back to work. Keeping motivated, especially during the last few weeks of class, is sometimes impossible as I find myself wondering, and even worrying about what the future holds for new graduates like myself. One of the things I find most therapeutic at this time of the year is a bit of weeding in the polytunnel. The lettuce leaves are thick and inviting, the green tailed onions and garlic are pert and proud and the carrots are already being picked daily and stashed into the kids’ lunch boxes. A more versatile vegetable has not been found. The humble carrot, gracing us with an almost unnatural shade of orange, can be sliced and diced into a frenzy of fabulous dinners or desserts at the drop of a hat. Pickled, puréed, roasted, glazed or braised, there are endless options for us to choose from when it comes to how we might integrate this nutritious vegetable into our diets. Although the tops are edible too, it is the tubular orange root we eat and leave the greens for the rabbits. Velvet soups and crunchy slaws are top of my list for hurried meals but once in a while I spend a little longer in the kitchen and work a little harder at making everything glow. Boiling carrots is not the most exciting way to prepare this vegetable so I recommend blanching them in boiling water for three or four minutes before sautéing them. Keep the carrot water you blanched them in and use it as veggie stock for soup or a pasta dish. Additionally, and especially if you have grazing toddlers, raw carrots are an excellent snack to introduce to a young child’s diet but they can be dangerous and many children choke easily if not watched like a hawk. Plenty of parents avoid giving their children (raw) carrots because of this, but I have a simple solution. A small plate of grated carrot is a much welcome – and colourful – treat for any toddler and helps greatly in improving their fine motor skills as they learn how to pick up something small in their fingertips and guide it to their mouths, thereby aiding in their hand-eye coordination. However, only 3% of carotene (which is metabolized into essential Vitamin A in the body) in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to almost 40% through cooking and adding oil which releases carotene into the digestive system. As versatility is the name of the game with carrots I am sharing two very different recipes for carrots. The first recipe is for glazed carrots. If you are, like many of us, strapped for time and resort to boiled carrots as a side dish every

few days (because you know the kids will eat them) then give this recipe a try. It livens up an otherwise ordinary dish and the lime leaves and honey make them finger-licking good. Cake. Be it carrot or not, we Irish love our cake. Finding a bakery close to home that makes and bakes delicious cakes is a true treasure. However, the perfect cake can also be made at home. Patience is one of the essential ingredients required when learning how to bake, and although Ron is an artisan baker, I struggle with learning how to ‘love’ baking. This recipe is one of my favourites because it seems like every time I bake it, it comes out perfect. That makes it one of the best in my book.

For the icing 85g unsalted butter, at room temperature 300g icing sugar 65ml maple syrup Optional garnish 100g toasted coconut 8 royal icing carrots How to prepare it

For the cake Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Line a rectangular baking tin (8” x 12”) with parchment paper and grease it well. Grate the carrots and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Using your electric mixer beat the eggs until well mixed. Add vanilla, sugars and oil and continue to mix until well incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients a few spoonfuls at a time, folding it in carefully as you go. Add the carrots and coconut and make sure they are mixed throughout the cake batter. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched lightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Leave to cool for 1 hour.

Glazed Carrots Side dish for 4 pp What you will need

6 carrots, peeled 3tbsp honey 3 lime leaves (available at good Asian stores) 60g fresh coriander chopped 1tsp salt 1tsp pepper to taste 2tbsp olive oil How to prepare

Slice the carrots on a bias 1/4” thick. Once cut, blanche the carrots for 4 minutes in boiling water. Drain and transfer to a sauté pan with the olive oil, honey, lime leaves, salt and pepper. Sauté for two or three minutes and serve immediately garnishing with fresh coriander.

Carrot cake with coconut What you will need

For the cake 450g carrots, peeled 170g plain flour 2tsp baking powder 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda 1tsp salt 2tsp cinnamon 4 eggs 2tsp vanilla extract 115g dark brown sugar 55g caster sugar 300ml sunflower oil 200g desiccated coconut

For the icing Mix the butter, icing sugar and maple syrup with an electric mixer for 10 minutes. You can thin it down with a little water if you find it too thick to work with. To assemble the cake Cut the cake in half and spread half the icing on one layer and place the other piece of cake right on top. Finish the decorating of the cake by spreading the rest of the icing on the top and sides of the cake and sticking the toasted coconut to the icing. Garnish with royal icing carrots.

The Health Hub

Brain Power Salads By Rebecca Sweeney The weather is getting warmer (finally!), and summer is fast approaching, which means… exams are just around the ­corner! I know; it feels like we just did them right? So, ditch the hot soups for lunch, it’s time to munch on fresh salads that will give us all that brain power for studying. Here are a few of my favourites: Spinach Salad with Salmon, Avocado and Blueberries 1 cup smoked salmon, roughly chopped 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced 4 cups baby spinach (or mixed greens) 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/4 cup light feta 1/4 cup chopped walnuts Half a red onion, thinly sliced Balsamic vinegar dressing Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Avocado and Goat Cheese 1 cup cooked quinoa (add a stock cube when cooking to give extra flavour) 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes 1/4 cucumber (diced) 1 stalk of celery (diced) 4 cups chopped spinach 1 chopped cooked chicken breast (I put mixed herbs on mine when cooking) 1 large avocado, sliced 1/3 cup crumbled goat’s cheese 1/4 cup chopped walnuts Spinach: A diet rich in spinach can help keep your brain alert in old age. Researchers discovered that rats fed a diet containing a good helping of spinach performed far better on a memory and learning test. The vegetable is also packed with antioxidants which experts say can block the effects of free radicals - toxins produced by the body that damage cells and can lead to heart disease, cancer and strokes. Avocados: These increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants. Avocados also come with many antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E. Blueberries: The flavonoids in blueberries improve the communication between neurons, improving memory, learning, and all cognitive function, including reasoning, decision making, verbal comprehension, and numerical anility. Quinoa: Is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fibre to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose the brain craves. Happy studying!


20  lifest yle Con

vers ion ram me

Pro g Ope

of A

n to

LL d

grad

uat es plin es

isci

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

Beauty myths busted By Dean Buckley Proper hair and skin care aren't just a matter of looking good, they're a part of your overall health and welfare that shouldn't be ignored or discounted. That's why I sat down with hairdressing graduate Faith Boudjema to clear up a few popular myths (and convenient lies) about how to take care of your most visible parts: • Lather, rinse, repeat? No, but shampoo companies obviously have a vested interest in convincing you to use twice as much shampoo. In reality, one thorough washing will do the trick. Just leave the shampoo to sit in your wet hair for a couple of minutes before rinsing.

Time for a change? Post-graduate Diploma in Accounting

Enhance your existing qualification, or set out on a new career path with GMIT’s Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting 1 Year Conversion Programme (Level 9)

» Graduates are exempt, in full, from the CAP1 examinations of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Exemptions are also available from ACCA and the Irish Tax Institute.

» Graduates typically progress to careers in professional accountancy firms, manufacturing and service industries, in Ireland and worldwide as professional accountants and/or taxation specialists

• There is no such thing as a product that can repair split ends. The only way to get rid of split ends is to have your hair trimmed. If you want to prevent split ends in the future, ask your hairdresser for your hair type and buy the appropriate shampoo – as far as brands go, Faith recommends Alberto Balsam. • On the other hand, there are some myths liable to cause split ends if put into practice. One age-old example is the idea that you should brush your hair for 100 strokes. Don't. Brush your hair until it looks how you want it to look, then stop, otherwise you're liable to cause damage. • Here's one that applies to both hair and skin: the idea that you should shower every day. Absolutely not! Washing either your hair or skin every day like that is going to deprive both of impor-

tant oils and nutrients that can lead to split ends, rashes and other unpleasantness. Most people should shower twice a week. If you have greasy hair or skin, body odour or sweat a lot, up it to once every two days, but even then be careful not to scrub too much. • Now and again, we get some sun on this side of the country, so it's important to debunk sunscreen myths. Here's one: higher SPF = more protection. Wrong! SPF only measures protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburns. A high SPF won't protect you against UVA rays, which are far more dangerous and can cause skin cancer. Find a "broad spectrum" sunscreen to protect yourself against both. • Acne myths: toothpaste doesn't help! Avoiding dairy does! Scrubbing a lot makes everything worse. There's no evidence that makeup affects acne. And, no, acne is not something you ‘just grow out of’; it's a hormonal phenomenon and can continue to affect women throughout their lives, due to fluctuating hormone levels (as opposed to men's fairly static ones). • Perhaps the most dangerous myth of all is that it just doesn't matter what products you use. Sure, things like collagen and essential oils may be a load of baloney, but you should still match your hair and skin type, and, more importantly, your hair and skin problems, to products specifically designed for them. Sometimes this means using products you don't like the look or smell of, but surely we'd all rather avoid rashes and hair damage than smell like tea, right?

Hair extensions 101 “As a law graduate with no accounting experience, the Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting was one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life. The lecturers, from various professional backgrounds, were all passionate about their subjects and the course as a whole. Doing this course I have learned more in one year than I would have ever imagined I could. I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in accountancy” Lucia Knizkova, Accounting Trainee , PWC For further details contact: Carmel Brennan, Head of Department of Accounting & IS Tel: 091 742266 / Email: carmel.brennan@gmit.ie

www.gmit.ie

GMIT (Official)

@GMITOfficial

By Ruth-Ann Browne

Best methods for applying hair extensions: There are various ways that

Ever noticed that it is not just celebrities who are wearing hair extensions these days? Hair extensions have become so affordable that practically anyone can have them if they really want (even students on a budget!). But what makes hair extensions so attractive? Well it is simple really. Hair extensions are extremely flattering and can transform your whole look in an instant. Long, luscious, flowing hair… who doesn’t want that? But before you rush off to purchase some new locks, here are a few tips on which extensions are the best to buy and how to maintain them so they will last you in the long run. Pay attention! Best hair extensions: One of the best types of natural hair extensions would be Remy hair. You can find Remy hair at many hair salons. This is the best and most beautiful hair from India. It has durability, is stronger than normal hair and is very soft. Although it can be expensive, it is well worth purchasing and will last you a long time if you treat it with proper care.

extensions could be attached in your hair and it is important that you familiarize yourself with the process. One of the best ways to apply hair extensions would be to use a micro ring system. This is safe for the hair and easy to remove. A section of hair is pulled through a bead with the extension attached and then using specialised appliers, the bead is clamped shut. No glue or chemicals are used making this system extremely safe for the hair. Tender loving care: When extensions are properly applied, they can be dyed, washed, straightened and curled – just like your normal hair. If you take good care of them, then they can last for a couple of months, so mind them! Potential damage: Whoever tells you that extensions are not going to damage your hair even a small bit are only lying to you. Extensions can (unfortunately) damage your hair. It is important that you go to those follow up appointments and take proper care of the extensions. If they are left in for too long of a time, it is going to become one big old knot.


Lifestyle   21

March 24 2014

Free and easy: why summer style is the best By Sinead Reape It may not be quite time to don the bikini and jump off the pier at Salthill, but summer (or at least the Irish version of it) is on its way. Aside from festivals and callipos, summer also brings a welcome change in our wardrobe. We no longer need to spend ten minutes layering clothes on before it is safe to leave the house. Let’s face it; during the winter no matter what you are wearing all anybody can see is your coat. When it comes to summer style, you can wear your favourite dress without having to cover it up with a multitude of cardigans.

Our summer ensembles give us much more freedom than any other time of year. It is perfectly acceptable; in fact it is desired to mix clashing colours and prints. There are virtually no supposed ‘rules’ for sunny-wear. Summer staples such as light cami tops, shorts, roll-up demins and light knits are virtually all interchangeable. Bright colours, floral prints, and pastels; summer is the time that we really get the chance to go a bit off the wall with our personal style. Festivals like Electric Picnic give us the chance to embrace our inner hippy and really go for it. When else in Ireland can you pull of a

pair of psychedelic wellies and a headband of plastic flowers from Penneys, without as much as the blink of an eye? Another plus side of the sun is the lovely benefits it has on our skin. Vitamin D, in the right amounts, is renowned for its magical power of clearing skin breakouts. Clearer more tanned skin in the summer means we have much less need for putting on make-up every day. We can replace our heavy full coverage foundations for a lighter tinted moisturiser. No foundation can quite compare to the natural glow of a tan. Not only does bronzed skin make us feel great, it really opens up our outfit options. The

50 shades of pink and purple the harsh Irish winter affords our skin does not really match well with a pair of white denim shorts, or a pink sundress. Summer also makes it justifiable for us to wear the largest, most obnoxious sunglasses without feeling pretentious. The high-street always has a range of cheap and cheerful sunnies in any amount of colours and shapes. Sunglasses are a great way of adding a bit of originality to an otherwise generic outfit. So when that one week of Irish summer comes, get creative with your clobber and make the most of it.

Vintage fashion for a unique twist on style By Hazel Elliffe The great thing about vintage fashion is that it’s unique, most stores have one-of-a-kind pieces and you won’t find 20 other people on the street rocking your look. The key to shopping for vintage clothes is to check out the quality and make of a garment. Good quality vintage pieces should be timeless and well-made; little things like metal zips and good quality labels denote a piece that was made pre 1960s and manufactured with care. If you really want to swot up on your vintage fashion a great site called shopruche.com has a vintage clothing guide to educate you about fashion from the 1920s to the 1960s. This site is well worth a look just for the cute images alone. If it’s vintage fashion you are after, Galway hosts a treasure trove of stores to recreate your

favourite look. A great store called Enchanted Vintage located on St Francis Street specialise in vintage occasion wear from the 1920s to the 1980s. They also carry more casual vintage clothes for everyday wear as well as hats, bags, shoes and jewellery. You can also shop online with them so check out their fabulous website www. vintageclothing.ie. Another great vintage store, Public Romance, is located on Abbeygate Street. They stock a range of vintage pieces at very affordable prices and it is a beautiful shop to visit and browse. You can like their Facebook page ‘Public Romance’ to see all their latest stock and get inspiration for vintage looks. Charity shops also stock great vintage pieces at very wallet-friendly prices. So not only are you supporting a good cause but also bagging the

Beauty buying on eBay By Helena Kilbane It can seem pretty daunting if you’re an eBay virgin. With thousands of pages listing everything you could ever possibly want questions may go through your mind like; where do I start? How do I place a bid? Well here are a few tips and tricks to make you the savviest of eBay shoppers: • Start by having an idea of what exactly you wish to purchase and have a budget in mind. It’s very easy to get caught up in a bidding war and end up paying more than you intended. Limit your search so that it is as precise as you can possibly make it. This will save you time and money in case you get a wandering eye! • Placing a bid on an auction item seems like a whole load of hassle and it’s easy to reserve yourself only to the Buy It Now option. However bidding has just been made easier with the eBay smart phone app. It notifies you when an item on your watch list is coming to an end so you can jump in at the end of the auction and place the winning bid. There’s a great eBay sniper tool called Goofbid that allows you to enter the item number of your desired product and your maximum bid. This tool ‘snipes’ eBay just before the auction ends and will purchase the item if the other bids are below your maximum limit and works even when you’re offline.

• EBay is fantastic for purchasing big make up brands at a cheaper rate with deals on endless brands like MAC, Urban Decay and Nars. However, buyers must beware of the fraudulent sellers advertising counterfeit products. So how do we spot a counterfeit beauty product? Firstly, if it sounds too good to be true; like the Naked 3 palette for €5 then it probably is. The font of the brand name is usually slightly different to the real deal and the packaging on close inspection looks cheap. Make sure you look out for these tell tale signs in order to avoid disappointment upon arrival. Now that you have the tools to be an eBay expert I will share a couple of my best bargain beauty buys secrets. If you’re lusting after a whiter smile forget about splashing the cash on visits to the dentist. Crest teeth whitening strips is the secret behind many a beauty blogger’s pearly whites. With prices ranging from €11 to €45 depending on the type of treatment, this highly credited stateside product is one to be snapped up. Whether it’s an eye shadow, concealer or blush palette you’re after, eBay will have it and all for the cost of two cappuccinos. Forget spending over €30 on brands such as Crown UK or Coastal Scents. A lot of the time these companies use the same Chinese manufacturers who also sell the same products on eBay for about €6 – minus the fancy packaging. Happy online shopping!

odd bargain. There are so many charity shops in Galway to choose from that I wouldn’t be able to mention them all but have picked my top three favourites that are definitely worth a browse. The Oxfam store on Lower Abbeygate Street is definitely worth a look – they stock clothes, shoes and accessories and one-of-a-kind pieces from the best eras in fashion thanks to the Oxfam vintage range in store. A newly opened Charity shop operated by Cope Galway is a wonderfully decorated store that has some great vintage pieces. Finally the

St Vincent de Paul shop on Merchants Road is probably the largest and longest running charity store in Galway and you could spend hours there rummaging through the rails. Now the key to finding vintage pieces in Charity stores is patience and persistence! There are a lot of high street cast-offs to look through before you find a real gem of a vintage piece from the 1960s or 50s but when you find it, it is well worth the effort. So get busy shopping and get rocking the vintage look to put your own unique stamp on style.

Sight Test &

Contact Lens

Examination Only €40

Buy 3 months and get a 4th free Student Discount also available

1 Buttermilk Walk, Middle St. Galway. T: 091 565778 | Earl Street, Longford. T: 043 334 6167

fb.com/ColetteKellyOptometryGalway

@CKOpt


22  lifest yle

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

'Bare-faced selfie' trend results in surge in donations to Irish Cancer Society By Ciara Treacy The 'bare-faced selfie' has replaced neknominations as the new online trend, with €550,000 being raised for the Irish Cancer Society at time of print. The craze involves posting a photo of oneself without make-up online and tagging friends to do the same, along with details of how to donate to the Irish Cancer Society. It has now extended to the male population, who are encouraged to don make-up in order to raise funds for the very worthy cause. Like Charity, the company who process payments through text donations, have said the trend which began last Wednesday night resulted in €200,000 being raised in the first 24 hours. The number is constantly growing, which John Kyne of Like Charity has said represents a "completely organic people-led initiative". One in three people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime and cancer is the second most common cause of death in Ireland. In data sourced by the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, it was found in Ireland

an average of 30,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. The number is expected to rise to over 40,000 per year by 2020. The Irish Cancer Society has issued a statement thanking all involved, saying "we are overwhelmed by the phenomenal response from the Irish Public as a result of the #NoMakeUpSelfie movement." Just remember that the charity hold yearround events and are constantly looking for volunteers in events including the following; The Flora Women's Mini Marathon takes place on the streets of Dublin on 2 June, during the Bank Holiday Weekend. First register at www.florawomensminimarathon.ie and if you wish to raise funds for cancer through sponsorship, log on to www.cancer.ie to join Team Irish Cancer Society. Daffodil Day, the largest annual fundraiser for cancer in Ireland, takes place on Friday 28 March. You can get involved by volunteering to sell silk daffodils to the public on the day or by registering to have a box sent to you to sell in your workplace. Daffodil Day accounts for 12% of the Irish Cancer Society's revenue and the money goes

towards a free national cancer helpline, free home-based nursing care and cancer nurse training among many other vital resources. Today FM's Shave or Dye has raised over €6 million for the Irish Cancer Society since it began in 2010 and this year again people are encouraged to get their friends and family's sponsorhip to shave and dye their hair all for a good cause. Those who partake in this event are showing their support for those who have undergone, or are currently undergoing, treatment for cancer. You can shave or dye your hair whenever suits you best, just remember to register online at www.cancer.ie

and send your sponsorship card to the charity before the end of September. To explain where the money received through these fundraisers goes, the Irish Cancer Society website states: "The bigger our team, the more services and support we can provide to people affected by cancer, the more we can educate people about reducing their risk of cancer, the more research we can fund and the more we can influence public policy to make sure cancer stays at the top of the Government's agenda." Anyone wishing to donate, text PINK or DAFF to 50300 to donate €4 to Irish Cancer Society.

Style Spotter By Claire Stone and Chelsea Tabert Stephan Burke, 1st Year Arts

What celebrity influences your style? Bruno Mars. I love his fedora collection. What is your favourite shop? NordStrum, it’s in America. What do you think about the style on campus? Desolate. That’s all I’m going to say. That is all-encompassing. Holly Hughes, 2nd Year Arts

What celebrity influences your style? Zooey Deschanel. She’s cute. What is your favourite shop? My granny’s basement. What do you think about the style on campus? Pretty good, really varied. You see a little bit of everything. It’s pretty laid back.

Niamh O’Gorman, 2nd year Arts

What celebrity influences your style? Nina Nesbitt. She wears really funky clothes at concerts. What is your favourite shop? Stradivarius in Dublin. What do you think about the style on campus? Pretty good. Casual. It’s pretty diverse.


Film   23

March 24 2014

Review: The Zero Theorem By Ken Glennon "Another day. Another day". This is the weary opening refrain of Qohen Leth, played by double Oscar Winner Christoph Waltz in the latest dystopian offering from Terry Gilliam. Following a four year gap from the under-appreciated The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Gilliam's latest presents Waltz as a worker bee furiously attempting to solve the title theorem which if successful will prove that everything is meaningless. In an environment beset by management, an Orwellian overlord personified by Matt Damon's enigmatic corporate shill, Theorem is a tricky film, at once reminiscent of other Gilliam works (of those I've seen Twelve Monkeys springs to mind) which dabble in all powerful and oppressive corporate regimes, isolated heroes and the director's own brand of wonderfully detailed futuristic backdrops. This time out, the setting is London of the future, the protagonist an unspecified numbers cruncher who is at once desperately cut off from human interaction (at least meaningful ones) yet constantly wired into the online world. Qohen's overriding goal is simple; secure sick leave from work, stay at home and wait for his call. Without revealing too much, his call is a somewhat murky plot point, but suffice to say he believes someone will ring him and provide him with the answer to the meaning of his existence. He is presented with this opportunity by

management via a supervisor played by David Thewlis-in the form of the seemingly impossible to solve Zero Theorem. Along the way a cyber call girl (played by French actress Melanie Thierry) and management's son (a nicely anti-social teenage computer genius played by Lucas Hedges) make up the main figures who drift in and out of Qohen's progressively less reclusive life. Like the most intensely off-kilter person you knew in secondary school Qohen resides within his own skin to within an inch of his life. An early scene that places him at a co-worker's party is both awkward, and if you're not a party person vaguely familiar. Whether worn down by the world around him, management and the insidious technological world (Gilliam himself has spoken out in several interviews about people diluting the present by living through social media), Qohen isn't an easy figure to get access to. Thierry's sympathetic call-girl understands as much but in a pleasant series of online interactions manages to see into his subconscious, a terrifying, literal void that recurs throughout the film. A sad, lonely figure, Qohen is nonetheless the centre of Gilliam's world here and regrettably doesn't provide the kind of intrigue or sympathy to sustain interest over a 107 minutes. Waltz is excellent, shrinking into Qohen's shell in a world polar opposite to his charismatic Tarantino figures, but he's playing a neurotic so extreme that his story becomes distant after

a point. Beyond sympathy there's not much I felt towards Qohen save for mild frustration. After Waltz, Melanie Thierry cuts a beautiful and melancholic figure but her role and relationship to Qohen feels just that bit shortchanged. They share a handful of scenes and there is one genuine stand out in the aforementioned void scene but their relationship is too compressed, partially fulfilled and in its resolution not particularly satisfying. As his co-workers and closest friends Lucas Hedges, and especially David Thewlis, are very watch-able but their impact is limited by their respective screen time. A raft of cameos from high profile performers occasionally punctuates the action but by and large the story lives and dies on Qohen's shoulders. Visually there's a bit more analogue in Gilliam's future than I would expect. It's both oddly dated with Qohen's home an abandoned monastery occupied with hardware, a textured mix of old and old looking new. Made on a budget in Bucharest doubling for London what has been achieved is impressive, particularly next to blanket CGI-environments found in many tent-pole productions of which Theorem boasts a fraction of the cost. Still, without a protagonist to adequately pin our hopes on and a story that moves happily at its own languid pace I found this a bit of a slog. There's no faulting the production design or Christoph Waltz who is faultless in a relentlessly constricted role, but once broken down Gilliam's Theorem feels a bit empty.

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel By Ken Glennon There won't be two better hours on offer in the cinema this week or looking back at the recent award releases. Here Wes Anderson has made a beautifully crafted, impeccably acted, surprisingly profane crime caper. Narrated by F. Murray Abraham in the eponymous hotel in the sixties to Jude Law's visiting author (a role also shared by Tom Wilkinson in a brief but fine cameo) the story primarily takes place in the 1930s. Ralph Fiennes, in a superbly measured comic performance, plays the hotel concierge Gustave who holds centre stage in the glory days of The Grand Budapest. Rich guests and class grace the halls of Anderson's Overlook inflected hotel. It's a glorious setting, brought to life externally by automated miniatures, model work and matte paintings. The hotel itself is a luxurious, colourful place so much so the director found himself scrapping his initial plans to shoot in black and white after seeing the chance to fill every frame with something vibrant. Such is the texture and detail Anderson brings to his latest world, one which goes above and beyond previous efforts in the Royal Tennenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Life Aquatic among others. Then there's the cast of characters, familiar and new faces to Anderson's world from Anderson débutante Ralph Fiennes to

mainstays Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schartzman and returning players like Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe and Tilda Swinton. These are the tip of an extensive and uniformly excellent ensemble. The story itself is rich with comedy, intrigue and a sense of fun as Anderson sets up a young refugee by the name of Zero Moustafa (played in his film début by Tony Revolori and shared with Abraham as the older Zero) who takes on the coveted lobby boy role at the height of the hotels prominence under the strict guidance of Fiennes' Gustave. A charming man, who ends his staff meetings with extended poetry quotes, runs the ship with the sincerity of a zealot and goes to bed with all his friends. One such guest and friend is the dying Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) who has left Gustave a painting of tremendous worth to the chagrin of her brat son (a very good Adrein Brody). This leads to Gustave being framed for murder and a long, rather wonderful, cross-Europe chase proceeds involving Zero and Gustave and the heir to Madame D's estate who is assisted by a Nosferateu-like henchman played by Willem Dafoe. Along the way there is without doubt the greatest sled chase I've seen on film and the surprisingly warm though understated bond that develops between Gustave and Zero. There's a perfect balance here between the scalpel-sharp humour and the emotional undercurrent that subtly takes shape and

emerges fully by the time Old Zero ends his tale. By the film's end we understand what the Grand Budapest comes to represent for the old man and what it was to Fiennes' owner before him. It's a moving turn that sneaks up amidst the heightened comedy elements, the sincerity of the characters motivations and expressions clearly realised. All built around Fiennes' concierge in a remarkably nimble comic performance from a man who has played Heathcliff, Hamlet and a plethora of intense, tortured men over the course of a varied career. He delivers a physically mannered, relentlessly witty and refined characterization. A choice extended scene of Fiennes casually running away from someone is so simply and ridiculously amusing. Such is the consistent mix of physical humour and verbiage as well as some unexpected graphic moments (a foot chase through a museum is unexpectedly tense and shocking) that every scene feels laced with spontaneity, the potential for some other great line or montage or character moment ever present. Even the end credits have a minor treat in wait. I don't usually sit through credits but the desire to linger in what had just played on-screen was palpable. I was sitting with two friends, at least one of whom expressed a similar sense of delight in the presence of their first Wes Anderson feature. I don't think it will be his last.

The Picture Palace Awaits By Tracey Halloran A nippy Spring wind brought with it the Godmother of Independent film and swept her into the Journalism Suite of NUI Galway. There she stood, with 80 years behind the eyes, brazen and snappy as expected. Described by Bishop McQuaid as "mad, bad and dangerous", the students were under no illusions this filmmaker from Cork would be a hunched, teacozy topped biddy. Although best known for her captivating documentary following the life of radical youth Bernadette Devlin entitled Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, Lelia Doolan’s personal life has been almost as inspiring as those she documents. Never one to cower in the face of adversity, she has avidly protested and debated her way through life, in an effort to change policies and attitudes on a range of cultural issues in Ireland from Women’s Refuge to the Corrib Gas Pipeline. Now, on this dew-drenched morning in March, she faced the room with on full alert, scanning diverted eyes and absorbing raw energy from the fresh meat before her, ready to herald the news- she’s not lying back just yet. Her current project is a new three-screen cinema majestically called The Picture Palace, stemming from a vision, dripping with warm nostalgia, of a little refuge for people who love good films. Lelia, as Chairwoman, hopes doors of the palace will open this Christmas on Merchant’s Road in the epicenter of Galway City. The very notion of its potential makes her heart visibly brim with enchantment. International independent films, documentaries, community films and a host of the great classics are set to flash before our eyes. Between flicks a café, bar and book/ DVD shop awaits those wandering film buffs. Noting the strong “sense of volunteerism and community that still exists in Ireland” Lelia is hopeful that the spirit of Galway will be behind this new endeavor. In the name of film and all that the craft represents, she has shoved retirement to one side and put her eggs in one palace. Lest film fanatics forget, when the crisp winter breeze starts rolling in it’ll be time for a trip to the pictures.


24  Music

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

We are scientists: TV en Français Lea Michele: Louder By Sinead Reape TV en Français is the fifth studio album from the New-York based indie rock three piece. The new album comes four years after Barbara was released and sees former Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows wielding the sticks. The new album is a classicist infectious pop creation. ‘Make it easy’ has all the ingredients to be the song that starts blasting in the background when boy realises he loves girl in any recent rom-com. It is charmingly catchy and deliciously understatedly romantic. This is not easily achieved amidst the sea of Bruno Mars lyrics that we are all drowning in. The whole album is a work of ‘listen once, hum all day long’ hook-laden creations. Every song is infectious. This ability to make every song utterly listenable is what makes We are Scientists who they are. The album centers on mid-tempo tracks, perfect road trip music. The opening song, ‘What You Do Best’ epitomises this. Open road, wind in your hair, and The Manic Street Preacher’s is what is evoked by the melodic guitar sounds of this track. ‘Don’t blow it’ showcases the group’s knack for tight harmonic vocals. Indie meets Beach Boys for another feat of pop catchiness by the band culminating in arguably one of

the strongest chorus’s on the album. ‘Slow Down’ emerges as a sure-fire live favourite. Misleading in its name, ‘Slow down’ sees the tempo kick up gear. It is plain and simple ‘make you wanna dance’ music. Energy-crazed guitar and hammering drums is the name of the game on this one. There is however, a certain feeling of ‘predictable’ to the album. The somewhat too strictly structured pop songs lack in experimentation. Though all the songs are solid, one is left feeling somewhat lackluster at times. Effectively, the album is missing its standout moment. Instead, it becomes defined by a sound that is overdone. The album is a well-rounded sound of listless summer evenings. It does not attempt to reinvent the wheel but yet there is a hook, a harmony and a guitar rift to suit every mood. While TV en Français may be less explorative than previous albums, to dismiss it immediately is an injustice to the albums quiet confidence. On the band’s website, they allude that the release of their new album is worthy of celebrating by masturbation. Now, TV en Francais is unlikely to leave you riveted enough to want to engage in such behaviour, but it is however, an album well worth exploring.

By Claire Stone Louder is the debut album of Glee’s most famous star, Lea Michele. If you have ever heard Lea’s classically trained voice you may be surprised to hear that this is her debut album. With a rich history of Broadway performances in productions of Les Misérables, Ragtime, and Fiddler on the Roof, it’s no secret that Lea can sing. And after listening to Louder it seems no secret that this is exactly what the producers aimed to show off. The problem is they overdid it. Unfortunately for Lea it appears that is all her producers had in mind for this album. Lea’s voice becomes annoying as it neverendingly trumpets in your eardrum. The album is overpowered with dance-oriented tracks and misses the golden opportunity to show off the musical styles that Lea is fully capable off. We catch a glimpse of this potential in the track ‘Battlefield’ where Lea shows off incredible vocal restraint that allows the song to flourish where it would otherwise be butchered. ‘You’re Mine’ is a mid-temp song with a soul beat to it and it pairs well with Lea’s subtle, careful and delicate performance of the musically complex song.

Too many dance tracks as there may be, ‘Louder’ would be perfect to get you motivated. It’s ideal on a workout playlist. It’s by far the most fun and enjoyable song off the album. However, even though ‘Louder’ is the title track of the album it does not set the tone for the rest of it. Sorrow, love and exhaustion are what this entire album is really about. Yet there’s nothing sung that you haven’t heard before. The exception to the pain theme is the lead single ‘Cannonball’, a club orientated track that sounds inspiring and motivating. That is, if you can stop yourself from questioning what good being able to fly like a cannonball, of all things, would actually be. Interestingly the best song from ‘Louder’ is the one which Lea co-wrote. ‘If you say so’ is a song that lea wrote about her fiancé Monteith’s death. It’s devastating and beautiful. It is the one song that feels genuinely personal and because of that it shines. A solid attempt at an album overall but it makes more for a classic example of over-producing an album for the sake of selling copies. Less vague metaphors and more soul searching will make a far better album from Lea next time round.

Elbow: The Take Off and Landing of Everything By Tracey Halloran By the time any critically acclaimed band churn out their sixth album the pessimist in us expects to hear the shell of something that once was, running on the last bit of steam that once skyrocketed them to success. The optimist awaits the exact opposite: an album that stands on the shoulders of the last, a band that has grown up and stepped onto the musical force field that holds all the greats. Elbow’s The Take Off and Landing of Everything falls between the two; an album so mediocre that it makes it difficult to muster the energy to comment on it. It comprises song after song of watery brush stroke melodies coupled with guitar riffs that limp lightly behind them. After two years since Dead in the Boot Guy Garvey’s voice has reared its refreshing head once more to break up the monotony of chart music. Even with his comforting,

every-day-man persona that radiates through profoundly pensive lyrics, no track manages to capture the raw attitude and boldness that accompanied albums gone by. The Take Off and Landing of Everything opens with a pleasantly dull track ‘This Blue World’, crammed with thoughtful lyrics conducted in a monotonous fashion. Sweet bits include the invigorating ‘New York Morning’ and whimsically profound ‘My Second Captains’ that capture the unique facets of Elbow we’ve learned to appreciate. Unfortunately there is no high that leaves you craving more, yet no low you’ll regret listening to. A perfect album to leave rolling while you drift into a hazy slumber, playing at an uneventful pace with trickles of tasteful honey rippling throughout. If you listen intently it won’t be long before your eyelids become heavy and draw to a comfortable close. Much to the dismay of hopeful optimists, The Take Off and Landing of Everything never really takes off.

Hall of Shame By Dean Buckley The final instalment of Sin’s Hall of Shame once again features Justin Bieber, who has now been crowned Sin’s King of Shame. Justin Bieber compared the media persecution stemming from his DUI to the media persecution that Michael Jackson received for allegedly sexually assaulting children. Not sure what he was going for...


Literature   25

March 24 2014

Walter Macken: Home is the Hero? By Karen McDonnell The centenary of the Galway writer Walter Macken occurs on 3 May 2015. So? Exactly. I admit to having a soft spot for Macken. As a child, I was introduced to his historical trilogy by my grandmother. I was captivated; the books fuelled my interest in Macken. Many years later, I acted in his play Home is the Hero with Island Theatre Company in Limerick. My grandmother was still around to catch to show. When I returned to Galway as a student, I was surprised at a lack of interest in Macken. Eventually I learned that there was a plaque on the wall of his childhood home on St Joseph’s Avenue. Last week, I paid it a visit. The plaque could do with a face lift. Walter Macken’s early work was with the Taibhdhearc theatre in Galway. There he met the actress and journalist Peggy Kenny, whom he married. He worked as the Taibhdhearc’s producer from 1939 to 1947, before leaving to join the Abbey Theatre. (Later, he was a nominee to that theatre’s board of directors, also its Artistic Advisor.) He left the Abbey when offered an acting role on Broadway. While in America he was offered a sevenyear acting contract by a Hollywood studio. The producers were baffled by his response: he wanted to return to Ireland to finish a novel. The success of his third book Rain on the Wind allowed Macken to concentrate on writing full-time. His published work includes books of short stories, many novels, seven plays and two children’s books. Last summer my eye was caught by an Irishman’s Diary in The Irish Times. Written by Dr Eamon Maher of the Centre for FrancoIrish Studies at the Institute of Technology Tallaght, ‘Revisiting Walter Macken’s Connemara’ considered Macken’s deep connection with the West. Dr Maher also lamented the dearth of critical discussion of Macken’s work. And here we come to the crux of the matter. Is this perceived lack of interest in Macken a case of out of sight, out of mind? Or: outside our time, unworthy of our interest? Or: plain snobbery? I have been attempting to get some answers to these questions. Quietly, one academic (no snob himself) suggested that there was snobbery about Macken’s work. Speaking to me a week ago Ultan, Walter Macken’s youngest son, said: “My father was a popular writer. But there was depth to the characters in my father’s work. They reckon his books sold a million copies in the course of his life.” A million copies between the first publication in 1946 and his death in 1967. At a time when media and publicity machines were aeons away Macken had a dedicated readership. Dickens was popular. Popular is no sin. Ultan Macken added: “Because he’s easy to read, academics never took account of him. […] It always hurts me, and it hurt my mother as well, that whenever they’re talking about famous Irish writers he’s never mentioned.” It hurt Walter Macken that his novel Quench the Moon was banned in 1948. His

American publisher wrote at the time: “Don’t they do that to the best books?” In all, three of his books were banned in Ireland. Macken’s son commented that the fates of characters in the books were a shaped by his father’s faith: “My father had a very strong belief in God and what was morally right.” His moral outrage found a voice in Brown Lord of the Mountain which deals with the rape of a young woman with special needs. The novel was based on a true story that Macken knew of, when a young Oughterard girl in similar circumstances had been made pregnant. Twice. His work didn’t always appeal to the commentariat’s view of the Motherland. Ultan’s biography of his father Walter Macken – Dreams on Paper (Mercier Press, 2009) recounts a scene where Walter commented on a review of Quench the Moon in the Connacht Tribune. The event described by Macken, the reviewer opined, could not occur in Ireland. Yet, as Walter wryly observed, there was a report of a similar incident in that same issue of the newspaper. Macken’s research, particularly for the trilogy, was intensive. In his book, Ultan Macken describes the months his father spent on all aspects of historical minutiae, and the journeys he made with his father as he plotted the routes taken by characters in Seek the Fair Land and The Silent People. Macken wrote about what he knew: the land, the people and their ways. He wrote in his time, of his time, and with his own and his time’s view of Ireland. Re-reading his work as an adult, one is struck by an individualistic, lyrical structure, often underscored by repetition of phrasing. His is not a Syngelike re-transmission from the Irish. His style is his own; giving voice to his own. How might Walter Macken be commemorated in his centenary year? Anne McCabe, artistic director of the Taibhdhearc said: “As Artistic Director, [Macken] was responsible for 97 productions including 76 plays. He was extraordinarily industrious, he wrote, translated, directed, acted, designed costumes and sets. The Taibhdhearc intends to celebrate 100 years of Walter Macken's birth in its programme next year, 2015, through a series of plays, readings and lectures for the summer season.” Eamon Maher suggests that a one-day seminar might be held at NUI Galway “which would bring together invited speak-

Plaque marking Walter Macken’s birthplace, St Joseph’s Avenue. Photo: Karen McDonnell

ers to discuss various aspects of Macken’s work.” Dr Maher is particularly interested in “the traces of Catholicism in his novels and […] how his own strong personal beliefs found an outlet in his writing.” The varied facets of Macken’s work and life would easily form the basis of a seminar at the University. The approach of the centenary year is an opportune time for the University to consider naming a lecture hall or humanities research room after one of Galway’s most prolific writers and actors. Wuppertal University holds 6000 Macken papers, for which Peggy Macken received approximately £8500. Ultan Macken retains copies of letters written by his father, and family documents, which he says will be for his children to dispose of. He would like to see the Wuppertal archive repatriated, if possible. Asked how his father’s centenary should be marked, Ultan Macken’s response was immediate: “There should be a statue of him in Galway. That’s what I would like to see. And the papers returned. I don’t think he is forgotten.” He let Walter’s words voice his legacy: “When people pick up my books in a hundred years time, they will read them and say, so that’s how people lived then”. Next year the people and institutions of Galway have a chance to celebrate the work and centenary of Walter Macken. At the very least, the plaque on the wall should be refurbished. A statue would be better. The campaign starts here.

Snippets Irish-American writer Mikal O’Boyle recently launched her first book. For young adults, Snake the Gypsy is narrated by the elderly Snake, who looks back on her youth. What is fiction and what is true memory? O’Boyle came to NUI Galway on her study year abroad. In true romantic fashion she met a local at her history lectures. Now married and the mother of a little girl, O’Boyle lives in Galway and is still involved with the University as a member of the volleyball team. Snake the Gypsy was launched by the Minister for Arts, Culture, & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan. It can be purchased on Amazon and Book Depository as a hard copy or on Kindle. See www.facebook.com/ snakethegypsy ·  ·  · After an omnibus performance of all six shortlisted plays on Friday 14 March, this year’s Jerome Hynes One Act Play award went to Russell Browne’s Café. The play revolves around a couple’s efforts to understand their complex relationship and how such attempt ‘transforms into the demise of their twisted reality’. The play featured Ryan Hehir and Dee Ní Closcaí, and was directed by Julie Breen.

Book Review: Killing is Harmless by Brendan Keogh By Dean Buckley One day, as the now-fledgling field of video game criticism looks back on its history, it will count Brendan Keogh’s Killing is Harmless among its foundational texts, just as Old English criticism looks to J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics”. As with the latter text, Killing is Harmless focuses on a single text, namely Yager Development’s “Spec Ops: The Line” – a modern-day adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness set in the ruins of Dubai in the aftermath of a series of devastating natural disasters – that has been hailed as one of modern gaming’s most monumental achievements to date. Keogh has been a pioneering voice in the field of video game criticism for some time, but Killing is Harmless is his first book on the subject. Even apart from its subject, the style of Killing is Harmless differs from the academic consensus – it’s impressionistic and experiential, discussing the game not as a text distanced from its reader, but as an undertaking of the player, an ordeal, in fact. As he carries the reader along on his journey through the psychologically tortured and increasingly deranged world of Captain Martin Walker, Keogh’s writing is lively, engrossing

and, more importantly, accessible. It eschews dense academic terms in favour of intimate and visceral reactions to a game that surely demands them. Familiarity with the game itself is not a requirement for reading the book, though it certainly helps to have a frame of reference against which to compare Keogh’s musings. And, to be a bit critical for a moment, what Keogh gives us really is mostly musings rather than concrete observations. Yet, Keogh, in showing us his process of experiencing the game – how he catches symbolism, reacts to the narrative and wanders off on tangents inspired by the many pertinent questions the game raises about the nature of violence, game design and choice – lets readers know that it’s okay to have these thoughts. In a world that still tells you you’re “reading too much into” games for daring to think they might be thematically rich or socially conscious, that’s a big deal. Killing is Harmless should be lauded for giving validation and assurance to people who are having their thoughts, opinions, feelings and experience devalued by an ever-sneering critical establishment. That’s why I must recommend Killing is Harmless (just €5 on Kindle) to any discerning reader.


26  Literature

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

Reading into it too much By Dean Buckley Have you ever watched a TV show or played a video game and noticed some seriously deep themes or social commentary? And has anyone ever responded to your opinion or observation by telling you that you're "reading into it too much"? Next time that happens, I suggest reading into their face too much with your fist (not really, peace and love). There's this weird and arbitrary distinction, in both the popular consciousness and the ivory tower of academic criticism, where only certain texts are designated as "literature" worthy of criticism. The first distinction is between an in-group and out-group – only the classic forms, such as plays, novels, poetry, are deemed to have any meaning worth teasing out. This distinction is perhaps dying out faster than the other, as TV shows like Breaking Bad and films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind get the recognition they deserve. (Comic books, video games and cartoons can pretty much just go sit in a corner with dunce caps though, for the moment at least.) The second distinction is internal to the forms. Whether the subject is fantasy nov-

els, comedy films or soap operas certain genres within a given medium are "trash" – unworthy of thought and consideration. This distinction is a tad more entrenched, not least of all because the "worthy" genres and their creators actively rail against breaking down such barriers, out of some strange fear that their own work would be devalued by the inclusion of the "lesser" genres. Both distinctions are bad however: bad for criticism, bad for dialogue, bad for people and bad for art. Time to lay some truth on all y'all. The greatest album written about life during the Cold War isn't anywhere on Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums. It's not a Pink Floyd masterpiece. It's not a punk explosion. The band who wrote it is popular, yes, but popular because people find them fun, and kitsch, and cheesy, and sometimes a little touching. That band is ABBA, and the album is The Visitors, the last album they released before breaking up. The most famous songs from that album are "One of Us" and "Slipping Through My Fingers", but the most brutal and visceral song (though not the only one to paint a harrowing portrait of the Cold War) is the title track,

written from the perspective of a woman slowly losing her mind as she cowers in her home waiting for the inevitable arrival of the KGB, who are on their way to drag her kicking and screaming to the gulags. Yeah, that ABBA. See, here's the thing. When you play Dishonored, or watch Adventure Time, or read Watchmen (you should do all those things, by the way), you don't experience the text as an objective reality. You can't, anymore than you can look at a painting through stained glass and see it as it was painted. Your experiences, your personality, your politics, all these things combine to give you an individual perspective, and you and the text meet halfway between the objective text and your subjective reality to create a unique experience of the text. My Breaking Bad is not your Breaking Bad. Your Moby Dick is not my Moby Dick. Now, obviously, that's not to say your experience of a work of art is unassailably and unalterably correct. Your perspective can be changed by hearing the perspectives of others, and that changes your reading. But that process of dialogue and debate, of shifting and fluid perspectives, can

only begin when we accept people's ability to experience art and develop sincere opinions and observations. It's one thing when someone comes up with one of those madcap theories about "what's really going on" (hint: Angelica from Rugrats is not schizophrenic, Super Mario Bros. 3 is not a play, Alfred is not secretly Batman's father). That's just speculation, which is fun, but uninteresting. I mean things like the theme of redemption in Breaking Bad, and how it directly posits at various times that there are certain points of no return beyond which it's impossible to become the man you once were. Those themes are important because they give us accessible language with which to articulate important questions about the nature of human existence and ethics. That's why we can't continue letting people shut down our experiences and interpretations. Because if we do, that means just sitting back while Twilight teaches young girls that abuse is love. We need to have real conversations about the media we consume, because regardless of whether we're allegedly "reading into it too much", our art reads into us, and that can be a beautiful thing, but it can be a dangerous one too.

Forthcoming By Karen McDonnell “Concert for Mike” takes place at the Town Hall Theatre at 7.30pm on 31 March, marking the second anniversary of death of arts director Michael Diskin. The organisers hope to raise ¤5000 which will be used to fund a bursary, in Diskin’s name, for West of Ireland artists or musicians. Performers include We Banjo 3, Mephisto Theatre Company, Macnas, and The Birthday Band. Tickets from the Town Hall Box Office 091 569777 or www.tht.ie CoisCéim Dance Theatre Company presents Duets on 1 April at 8pm. The show comprises two performances: Missing, and the wonderful Swimming which is performed by CoisCéim founder David Bolger and his mother. The Dubliners Dilemma is performed by Declan Gorman, who also adapted the show from Dubliners by James Joyce. Wednesday, 2 April at 8pm. Bare Bodkin Theatre Company presents Patrick Kavanagh’s The Great Hunger at 8pm on Tuesday 8 April. The production has been touring the country, and features another Monaghan man, Peter Duffy.

Stones in his Pockets by Belfast playwright Marie Jones, directed by Ian McElhinney and featuring Stephen Jones and Damian Kearney is at the Black Box Theatre from 7-12 April at 8pm. This comedy has won many awards including a Laurence Olivier award for Best New Comedy. The two actors play 15 characters; from the two extras on a film being made in Ireland to the crew, director and movie stars. Tickets may be bought at the Town Hall Box Office. The programme for Cúirt International Festival of Literature 2014 has been announced. Running from 8-13 April, highlights include evenings with Sebastian Barry & Adam Foulds, Craig Davidson & Colin Barrett, Anakana Schofield & Dónal Ryan. Poetry is well served by writers such as Billy Ramsell, Theo Dorgan, Liz Lochhead, Fleur Adcock, Nikky Finney and Eleanor Hooker. Perennial favourites, the Cúirt Workshops, Cúirt Poetry Slam and the visit from RTE Radio’s Arena are also on the literary menu. Tickets from the Town Hall Box Office or www.tht.ie See www.cúirt.ie for full programme details.

Book Review: The Free by Willy Vlautin By David Nevin Willy Vlautin’s The Free is a journey into the hollow existence of those who have fallen through the cracks of The American Dream. Leroy Kervin is a soldier wounded so catastrophically in Iraq that he lives only as a dysfunctional shadow of himself. Freddie McCall is a man who stands to lose everything after dedicating years to establishing a perfect family life. Pauline is a nurse who finds the life she never led beginning to swallow her up. On the surface, the three have little in common yet ultimately have everything in common. None are happy with the lives they currently lead, and circumstances cause their paths to intersect. Leroy resides in a care home at which Freddie is double- jobbing in the struggle to make ends meet, and a suicide attempt brings him to the hospital in which Pauline works night shifts. L e roy s u r v i v e s h i s su i c i d e att e mp t, a n d owing to a state of medically-induced delusion desperately wishes to escape the bodily limitations that prompted his suicide attempt. In his dreams, Leroy has the full control over the life that war has deprived him of. Meanwhile, Pauline struggles with a life that revolves almost entirely around work, drinking, and caring for her difficult father. Their strained and often poisonous relationship dominates her life and in turn drastically affects her ability to form meaningful relationships. Freddie works two jobs, making his way from one directly to another and snatching sleep wherever he can, all in the aim of chipping away at bills he will never be able to afford. It’s a miserable existence compounded by the fact that he feels alienated from the daughters his wife took with her when she left him. He resorts to risky measures so that he

may experience a single ray of hope in his otherwise bleak life. The Free is a glimpse through the looking glass at the lives of ordinary people burdened by impossible responsibility who are anything but ‘free’. It is a gritty, dirty and depressing cross- section of life for innumerable people in America. Vlautin has stated that he likes writing about ‘normal’ people - working class people and the struggles they face in everyday life. This is certainly no exception. Leroy's fantasy dream world, in which warriors and pacifists are divided and the latter eventually hunted in an almost religious fer vour, is a sharp criticism of modern America. The Free unambiguously presents religion as a means of erecting rather than breaking down barriers. Its true message, however, is the resilience of the human spirit and of hearts that keep on giving long after they have any right to. Each character finds their own sense of freedom by the end of the book, some happier than others. But all find a glimmer of something beyond the quiet desperation that has defined their lives thus far. A limitation of reading books in the electronic format is that the physical gauging of a book’s journey is lost. Thus I found The Free came to an unexpected end just when I was enjoying it most. It’s a testament to any book that one’s first reaction to its end would be immediate disappointment. Books often have a beginning, middle, and an end, but The Free is simply a window through which the reader is offered a brief glimpse of the reality of the difficult lives of others, and of the hope within us all. It’s a book about the unspoken American reality, the American Nightmare, and it is highly recommended reading.


University Sports Clubs Schedule – Kingfisher Get off the couch this semester!

sUN

saT

FrIday

ThUrsday

WEdNEsday

TUEsday

MoNday

Check www.clubs.nuigalway.ie for updates. CLUB

TIME

VENUE

Swim Club

7am - 8.30am

Aikido

1-2pm

Hall 3

Karate

6-8pm

Raquetball Court

Badminton

6-8pm

Hall 1 & 2

Archery Club

6-8pm

Hall 3

Futsal Soccer

8-10pm

Hall 1 & 2

Taekwondo & Judo

8-10pm

Hall 3

Swim Club

8.30pm - 11pm

Mountainbike - Spinning

6-7pm

Fencing Club

6-7.30pm

Hall 1

Ladies Basketball - Varsities

6-8pm

Hall 2

Karate Club

6-8pm

Hall 3

Aikido Club

7-9pm

Hall 3

Maui Thai

7.30-9.30pm

Hall 1

Cricket Club

9-10.30pm

Hall 3

Volleyball

8-10.30pm

Hall 2

Kayak Club

9-11pm

Full Pool

Swim Club

7-8.30am

2 Lanes

Archery

8-10am

Hall 3

Volleyball

1-2pm

Hall 2

Aikido

1-2pm

Hall 3

Archery

4-6pm

Hall 3

Mens Varsity Basketball

5-7pm

Hall 2

Cricket Club

7-9pm

Hall 1

Badminton

9-11pm

3 halls

Taekwondo

7-9pm

Hall 2

Karate & Judo sharing

6-8pm

Sub Aqua

9.30 -11pm

Full Pool

Swim Club

7 – 8.30am

2 Lanes

Frizbee

5 – 7pm

Hall 1

Muai Thai

7 – 9pm

Hall 1

Cricket

9. – 10.30pm

Hall 1

Ladies Basketball – Varsities

6 – 8pm

Hall 2

Ladies Basketball – Recreational

8 – 10pm

Hall 2

Table Tennis & Fencing

6 – 8pm

Hall 3

Taekwondo & Aikido

8 – 10pm

Hall 3

Fencing Advanced

5 – 6 & 8 – 10pm

Swim & Lifesaving Club

9 – 11pm

Mens Basketball - Varsity

11am - 12.30pm

Hall 2

Archery Club

11am - 1pm

Hall 3

Inline Hockey

7-9pm

Hall 1

Volleyball Club

6-10pm

Hall 2

Judo Club & Table Tennis Club

7-9pm

Hall 3

Swim Club - Varsities Team

9.30-11pm

Taekwondo

12 – 2PM

Swim Club

4 – 5.30pm

Fencing Club

2 – 4pm

2 Lanes

Full Pool Studio

Hall 3

Raquetball Court Full Pool

Full Pool Raquetball Court 2 Lanes Raquetball Court


28  Sports

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

The big race of the day was the Champion Hurdle and the big question was could legendary performer Hurricane Fly defy the odds and at the age of ten reclaim the Champion Hurdle adding to his 19 grade 1 wins. The race was marred with the tragic death of the promising Our Conor who fell at the third and hampered fancied The New One in the process. It all seemed to be going well for The Fly as they approached the hill but age took hold and he weakened, Jezki ridden by Barry Geraghty finding more to land the race at 9/1. The New One fought back for third and looks the one to watch for next year’s race although questions still remain on his tendency to miss the odd hurdle and on the jockey Twiston-Davies ability.

Wednesday came and Walsh and Ireland landed another winner with Faugheen, only the third favourite to win so far at the festival. The Queen Mother Champion Chase was the supposed best race of the day but looked short on quality with the absence of legendary Sprinter Sacre. However contender for the feel-good story of the week came with favourite Sire De Grugy’s victory. The horse, a 50th birthday present for Owner Steve Preston proved you don’t have to be big to have a Cheltenham winner and admired jockey Gary Moore received a guard of honour after his impressive victory. A triumph for all involved but more importantly, the sport. For many Irish punters Thursday was a difficult day. The much fancied Irish trained Benefficent was pulled up in the Ryanair chase with Dynaste claiming another winner for Tom Scudamore.

Then came the World Hurdle and the big question was would highly-rated mare Annie Power stay for the 3 miles? The 11/8 favourite ridden by Walsh proved many doubters wrong producing a big effort towards the end after beginning held up earlier, but it was another Irish Horse, More Of That, who stayed on well and beat the Walsh by a length and a half. The final day came and all eyes were on the Gold Cup. Favourite Bobs Worth was aiming to win for the fourth time at the Festival and not many were looking outside the top three in the market, Bobs Worth, Irish Hennessy winner Last Instalment and Silviniaco Conti. Already on the day Ruby Walsh had fallen and broken his arm, Daryl Jacob was stretchered from the course after his mount in an earlier Port Melon crashed through a rail and he fell onto the nearby tarmac. Paul Townend had fallen in the opener meaning hopes for him to replace Walsh had to be can-

celled and David Casey took his remaining rides. Punters were left shattered after Lord Windermere at 20/1 won by a short head to 16/1 On His Own. The race epitomised all that Cheltenham has to offer. Favourite Bobs Worth had no extra over down the back and the eventual winner would have to survive a steward’s enquiry after drifting across the course pushing On His Own along. Joy for jockey Davy Russell, who was let go off his position as head rider for the Gigginstown Stud earlier this year and this time last year was in hospital with a punctured lung but devastation for Casey, who woke up that morning little racing prospects on the cards and went to bed wondering whether he was cheated from a Gold Cup. The next big racing comes in three weeks with the Grand National but for now, we can only look in anticipation to next year’s festival.

As it happened they never needed to, managing to keep Mount Leinster Rangers at arm’s length all afternoon. Joe Canning once again ran the show for the Galway men scoring 10 points in total. Canning resonates at frequency that we seldom encounter and it is always a joy to see this artist at work. His was ably assisted on the day by his brother Ollie and the classy Damien Hayes who contributed three points each to the scoreline. Canning embroidered the hem of an exquisite day for him by scoring the final three points of the game. As it was in the hurling decider, one man came away with all the plaudits in the football final with Diarmuid Connolly in imperious form for the north Dublin outfit. The son’s of Heffo; aristocrats of Dublin football added their third All-

Ireland club title with a 4-12 to 2-11 win over Connacht champions Castlebar Mitchells. Once again, it was the county stars class that shone through on this occasion. Connolly looked as menacing as crocodile eyes peering atop muddied waters all afternoon and was central to everything good that St. Vincents had to offer. He came away with a personal tally of 2-5 from play and provided numerous assists throughout the hour. The game began at a ferocious pace with Vincent’s looking the more threatening early on. An already dicey situation became more perilous for the Mayo men when halfforward Richie Feeney caromed into Kevin Bonnie in the sixth minute and was justly blackcarded. Castlebar Mitchells recovered well however and despite

the minor setback of a Vincent’s goal in the ninth minute, clawed their way back into contention. With Mitchell’s goalkeeper Ciaran Naughton in majestic form and neat and intricate forward play signposting a route towards goal, the Westerners went into the break level with the men from Marino. Act II saw Connolly eventually take centre stage. Again Vincents began brightly with points from Tomas Quinn and Connolly opening up a three point lead. To their credit Castlebar responded with their first goal of the game through Danny Kirby to draw the team’s level again. The defining moment of the game came in the 44th minute. A free by Cameron Diamond escaped the clutches of Alan Feeney in the Mitchell’s defence only for Connolly to leap

salmon-like in front of goal and palm the ball to the net. It set the ball rolling for an avalanche of Vincent’s scores – a devastating 1-3 without reply. The second goal came again from the boot of Connolly with a piece of individual skill fit to grace any final. Hurtling towards goal on the 21 yard line he scooped the ball up with his right foot before rifling the ball to the net with a stinging left – a fitting goal that put the icing on the cake of his man of the match display. Castlebar should be given credit for their resilience as once again they replied with a goal of their own but it was too little too late. With time against them they had too much ground to make up. At the final whistle Vincent’s claimed a seven point victory and the third All-Ireland title in their history.

two league games, they lie joint last in the First Division table. Looking through their squad, it's unlikely they'll finish there. Tommy Dunne will be hoping that if his side get a bit of consistency of performance, they could push for promotion to the top flight. Against Longford, Dunne was forced to plan without Derek O'Brien, Stephen Walsh and Ryan Manning but Galway gave a good account of themselves and were unlucky to lose. Former Derby County and Sligo Rovers midfielder showed his class in the centre of midfield

while winger Jake Keegan looked dangerous and should have scored in the first half but his shot went narrowly wide. Dunne made nine changes for the visit of the Mayo League with O'Brien, Walsh and Manning all coming in. Ireland Schools' captain Manning came close in the second half of the game with a 35 yard free kick which was well saved by Mayo goalkeeper Gary Cunningham. Jake Keegan came off the bench in the second-half and set Marty Owens up for the first goal before rifling in the second himself. Donegal native Shane

McGinty impressed alongside Noel Varley in the centre of the Galway midfield while Cian Fadden looked solid in the heart of the defence. Manning, Walsh, Fadden and Owens all earned starts in the Waterford game. Both teams had chances to win that game but Dunne will be content with his side's performance in the scoreless draw. Up next for Galway is the visit of the Shamrock Rovers B team to Eamonn Deacy Park. Rovers are managed by Galway native Colin Hawkins and they are bottom of the table, level on

points with Galway. Dunne will see this game as an opportunity for his players to get a win under their belts and move away from the bottom of the table. That game is scheduled for Friday March 21st and this paper will have gone to print before that game takes place. Their next home game after that will see Cobh Ramblers visit Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday April 4th at 7.45pm. If students find themselves free that night, Deacy Park is within walking distance of the college and Galway FC could use your support!

Cheltenham to be Remembered By Maurice Brosnan And so ends The Cheltenham festival 2014. A week of diverse emotions and heart-warming stories was brought to an end last Friday with an Irish winner, Savello, taking the last race. In total there were twelve Irish trained winners; Irishman Ruby Walsh took top jockey while fellow Irishman Willie Mullins took top trainer. Not a bad week for the Irish. The countdown to next year begins now, only 357 days to go. The week began in glorious sunshine. Thousands packed the stands and even more crowded around their television to watch the racing kick-off with the Supreme Novice Hurdle on Tuesday. A commanding performance saw Ruby Walsh claim his first winner aboard Vautour. Leading from the off, the

horse showed too much class down the home straight and as his rivals faltered trying to run up the hill, Vatour powered home flying over the last while favourite Irving was in deep trouble towards the back of the field. Then came what many thought was a relatively straight-forward race for Walsh. The Arkle Trophy Chase was next and while many questioned Champagne Fever’s ability over fences he went into the race with vital course form and questionable opponents. Indeed it looked like he was a worthy favourite cruising ahead down the back and displaying wonderful jumping throughout. However, the David Pipe trained Western Warhorse who had lead early on produced a late burst clinching the race on the line at a massive 33/1.

Club All Ireland Finals By Padraic Ward All good things must come to an end and so it was for Mount Leinster Rangers as they saw their magical route to this year’s All Ireland club title brought to a heartbreakingly abrupt end by Portumna at Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day. History and sport can be cold, unemotional and unsentimental types and in years to come all that will be remembered is that the Tribesmen won on a scoreline of 0-19 to 0-11 and in so doing picked up their fourth All-Ireland club title in nine years. The gallant and romantic voyage of the Carlow champions will be but a footnote in time.

That is not to say that they rolled over sheepishly once they hit the hallowed turf at GAA headquarters. To suggest so would be a grave disservice. After all, they were only four points behind with 15 minutes to go with Paul Coady and freetaker Denis Murphy much to the fore. At that point Portumna wrestled back control of the game and the Mount Leinster challenge petered out rather disappointingly thereafter. Despite the spirited efforts of the Carlow men, one always had the feeling however that Portumna were coasting along in a lower gear and that if the need arose they could shift up a few notches and speed away.

Galway FC up and running By Ciarán McGreal Football is back in Eamonn Deacy Park as Galway FC are up and running after two and half years since Galway United's extinction. President Michael D. Higgins was one of 2418 people in attendance for their first competitive fixture against Longford Town on March 7th. Tommy Dunne's side were narrowly beaten 1-0 in a close contest. David O'Sullivan grabbed the goal for the visitors

as Galway's first game ended in defeat. The following Tuesday night, they secured their first competitive victory in the EA Sports Cup against the Mayo League. Marty Owens had the honour of scoring Galway's first competitive goal while American Jake Keegan scored the home side's second to earn a 2-0 win. That Friday, Dunne's side visited Waterford United in the RSC and earned a scoreless draw. That means that after


Sports   29

March 24 2014

Six Nations Review

BOD hangs up his boots

By Ciaran McGreal

By Ciarán McGreal

After overcoming that nail-biting finale in Paris, Ireland crowned their 2014 Six Nations Championship campaign with the trophy. Before the tournament, head coach Joe Schmidt targeted three home wins from three and one away win. And that's what they did. The tournament went right down to the wire and in the end, Ireland edged out England on points difference. Just like in 2009, Ireland did it the hard way, winning in France by just two points on a day where Jonathon Sexton struggled from the tee and France played their finest game of the tournament. Brian O'Driscoll went out on the highest of highs with another Man of the Match award and Joe Schmidt started his tenure with a bang. While Ireland were brilliant throughout the tournament, they did wobble against England, who will rue not getting another try or two against Italy. Ireland had so many heroes in Paris; Rob Kearney was sublime, Andrew Trimble was in the form of his career all tournament, Sexton scored two crucial tries and the whole pack were immense. That said, Italian winger Leonardo Sarto deserves a mention. The Zebre man scored Italy's only try in their 52-11 loss to England a few hours before Ireland kicked off in Paris. Before his touchdown, England had just scored their sixth try of the game and looked on course to ramp up a cricket score and make Ireland's task in France even harder. Sarto's intervention rattled England who managed just one more try in the last minute through Chris Robshaw. This meant that they were eight points behind Ireland

points difference. Ireland only needed to win in France, the score wouldn't matter. And they duly did. England beat Ireland 13-10 in Twickenham and Harlequins trio Mike Brown, Danny Care and Chris Robshaw were all on top form that day and throughout the campaign. Mike Brown was deservedly crowned Six Nations' Player of the Tournament beating Brian O'Driscoll and Andrew Trimble to the accolade. Luther Burrell had a great tournament for England also. The Northampton centre made his debut in Paris on the opening day and marked his debut with a try. He went on to score further tries against Scotland and Wales to bring his tally to three tries in five games. Both Joe Schmidt and England counterpart Stuart Lancaster have a good base looking ahead to the World Cup in 18 months' time. One of the most disappointing elements of the tournament was the poor showing from Wales and France. Wales contributed greatly to the British and Irish Lions' success in Australia last summer. With players like Leigh Halfpenny, George North and Mike Phillips in their side, they were expected to challenge for the title. Instead they were comprehensively beaten by Ireland and outclassed by England. The argument could be made that these games were away and that they did win their three home games. That said, Warren Gatland would surely have been expecting more from what is an extremely talented bunch of players. France were abysmal for the duration of the tournament but typically, they raised their game for the finale just as they did in the 2011 World Cup where they played poorly up until the final, which they were unlucky to lose.

They were extremely fortunate to beat England with a last gasp try from Gael Fickou. They weren't convincing against Italy but Wesley Fofana conjured up a bit of individual magic to see them through. They were comprehensively beaten by Wales in Cardiff and a week later, a Jean-Marc Doussain penalty two minutes from time saved their blushes and secured them a victory over Scotland which they didn't deserve. Going on that form alone, and the fact that they were missing Wesley Fofana coupled with rumours of unrest in the camp, many felt that Ireland would be a safe bet for victory on the 15th of March in the Stade de France. But France produced their best performance and were unlucky not to steal victory and break Irish hearts. Overall, it was an absorbing tournament. The fact that it went down to the wire kept the neutral entertained and the fact that Ireland came out on top, beating England in the process, made it all the sweeter!

NUI Galway students Micheal Geoghegan, James Sweeney, Ciarán Ferry, Kevin McCoy, Ciaran Sheridan with Keith Wood before the match.

After 15 years wearing the number 13 jersey, Irish rugby simply will not be the same without Brian O'Driscoll. He was our greatest ever player and, in many peoples' opinion, the greatest rugby player ever to grace the game. This short article doesn't even begin to do his career justice but, let's face it, no article could. O'Driscoll made his debut on the 12th of June 1999 against Australia in Brisbane. He was just 20 years old. He announced himself in the 2000 Six Nations Championship as his hat-trick of tries against France secured Ireland their first win in Paris since 1972. Fittingly, he made his final appearance for Ireland this year, fourteen years on, against France in Paris where Ireland secured their second Six Nations Championship triumph in the O'Driscoll era. Eddie O'Sullivan appointed O'Driscoll captain of Ireland in 2003 following the retirement of Keith Wood. During his time as captain, O'Driscoll led Ireland to Triple Crowns n 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 as well as the Six Nations Championship and first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009. He was captain in the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and in 2011 and was also in the squads in 1999 and 2003. He represented the British and Irish Lions in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013. The 2001 tour saw him score one of the Lions; greatest tries in the first test victory against Australia. He had the honour of being named as captain in 2005 only to see his tour cut short when he dislocated his shoulder after being tackled by Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu. This happened in the

first minute of the game and set the tone for a disappointing tour for the Lions. 2009 saw O'Driscoll form a formidable centre pairing with Jamie Roberts as the Lion's lost out narrowly to the Springboks. He earned a winner's medal in 2013 having started both the first two tests but he was dropped by Warren Gatland for the third test as Gatland preferred Welsh duo Jonathon Davies and Jamie Roberts in the centre. On the club scene, he won two Heineken Cups with Leinster in 2009, 2011 and 2012. His loss will be felt by Leinster as well as Ireland. His leadership both on and off the field will be missed by both teams. Joe Schmidt has the unenviable task of looking for a replacement for him at international level. Truth be told, no-one will ever truly replace him. That said, there are a number of players well-equipped to excel in that position. O'Driscoll has given his approval of Connacht's Robbie Henshaw to be his successor. The young Athlone native worked as O'Driscoll's understudy for the Autumn International as well as the Six Nations so Schmidt will be well aware of his talents. Ulster's Darren Cave deserves a crack at it as well while his club teammate Jared Payne becomes eligible for Ireland around Autumn time. Getting back to the legend that is O'Driscoll. He went from being the best attacking player to the best defensive player when his pace began to fade. That is testament to his ability. I'm sure many Irish fans' best memories involve O'Driscoll's tries. In all he made 133 appearances for Ireland and scored 46 tries as well as 5 drop goals. Quite simply, he was the greatest ever.

NUI GALWAY Exercise your body as well as your mind! mind

* Terms & Conditions Apply

091 570 800 www.kingfisherclub.com


30  Sports

Sin Vol. 15 Issue 12

Interview with a Jockey: Graham Lee It was, in fact, one of those injuries that led you to becoming a flat jockey. But was difficult to make the switch?

By Kieran Kilkelly In the final instalment of his threepart series, Kieran Kilkelly interviews Graham Lee.

Yeah. There was a lot of sleepless night thinking about it and that was primarily down to fear of failure. It was a big decision. The sleepless nights that I had prior to going flat racing were not because I was going to do something new but it was fear of failure.

You’re now something of a household name- especially here in Galway- where did it all begin for you? Just from going to the races from a very, very young age. Although, we weren’t born into horses or anything, I just knew what I wanted to do and that was where it started. I just always knew what I wanted to do.

You’ve been good friends with A P McCoy ever since 2001 when you lodged with him. What effect did he have on your career? My career changed for the better, it took an upward curve after the foot and mouth scenario. Because of the lack of racing in the north of England, I lodged with AP and went to John Gosden to ride work. It took an upward curve because I saw how he [AP] managed his life, I asked him things and obviously he’s the best so his answers did me a lot of good.

Three years on and your riding ‘Amberleigh House’ to Grand National victory. Was that the best moment of your career or is there another one that springs to mind? No that was the best moment of my career by a mile. Second would be finishing top rider at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival. I went there this year on the Tuesday and it was only really then that it hit home that me being there as a spectator for the first time ever and I though “I was top rider at this place once”. So that would be second to winning the National on ‘Amberleigh [House’].

Yeah being top jockey at Cheltenham was some achievement. Did you realise then, at that stage, that you had become one of the top National Hunt jockeys in the country? Never thought about it. It was just my job and I bashed on, just tried to do the best I could.

It’s no secret all the injuries you’ve received down throughout the years – it probably comes with the job – but how do you motivate yourself to keep going despite all the injuries? I don’t know how to answer that because jump jockeys, we’re bad, as in, the second you get broke up, all you’re thinking about straight away – even on the way to the hospital in the ambulance – is how long you’re going to be out and how soon you can get back. So, I don’t know what motivated me. But look at Ruby [Walsh] at Cheltenham he had a compound fracture of his upper arm and all he’s looking at is when he’ll get back. And yes I’ve been unlucky enough with injuries throughout my career but look at the injuries he [Ruby] has had. So, I don’t know what motivates us; we’re just a mad bunch!

What were the major lifestyle changes you had to undergo to make the switch? Diet, hugely. My life is now run and dictated by the scales and it usen’t have been. Because I’m small, height wise, I was on protein shakes, working out in the gym etc. to try and keep weight on me at 9st 11lbs/9st 12lbs and now I’m average about 8st 10lbs every day. The scales, that’s the major thing and what I can eat and I can’t eat whereas that was never an issue all my career.

A testament to your success on the flat would be your win in the ‘Steward’s Cup’ in 2012 aboard ‘Hawkeyethenoo’. Now that’s a big difference than the 4m National and requires a different set of skills. So was it then that you thought you’d be an accomplished jockey on the flat as well as over jumps? I don’t think about it. I go to work the best I can. Winning on ‘Hawkeyethenoo’ in the ‘Steward’s Cup’ was a good day but you never for one second think I’ve arrived now and I’ve capped it. And that’s one instance why being a jump jockey for twenty years is the best apprenticeship for what I’m doing now because, for example, again Ruby at Cheltenham, three winners,

THE SHOWDOWN AT THE

SPORTSGROUND

CONNACHT V MUNSTER SAT 19TH APRIL 2014 | K.O. 6.15PM

I don’t know how many seconds, riding the best horses at the Festival and bang, he’s out. So, I’ll never have thought I’ve made it. You just take each day as it comes, keep it simple and try and do the right thing.

A Group One victory does escape you on the flat. These are the races that the top jockeys win and are judged on. Is it something that you’d like to add to your list of achievements soon? Yeah I’d love to. It’d be lovely to get a Group One. They’re very hard to win though. They’re all farmed by the big yards; O’Brien’s; Stoute’s and the likes.

With regard to trainers, you’ve been associated with many throughout the years. Rumours floated around last year that William Haggas was after you for retainership. Firstly was there any truth in those rumours? And secondly is being retained again something you’d consider? No they were just rumours. It suits me just freelancing away: it suits me best. But obviously if I was offered a retainer by the right person, course I’d be interested. But yeah, freelancing suits me best.

With the flat season just around the corner, what are your expectations and goals for it? I don’t set targets at all because when you set targets you get disappointments. So I’m just going to try and ride as many winners as I can; that’s what I’m aiming for this year.

Finally, which do you preferflat or National Hunt? The National Hunt. It was a huge part of my life, twenty years I rode over jumps and that’s where my hearts is.

BUY TICKETS AT

CONNACHTRUGBY.IE CENTRA & SUPERVALU PROVINCE WIDE TICKETS.IE


Final Word   31

March 24 2014

What has college taught us this year? By Chelsea Tabert • There’s a huge difference between knowing something, and truly understanding something. • Sometimes staying up till 3am to finish the latest episode of Breaking Bad really isn’t a good idea, especially when you have an 8am tutorial. • If you want to pass your exams, you’re going to require at least four months’ worth of studying. • Attendance really is crucial if you plan on doing more than just ‘pass’. • Whether you pass with a 2.5 GPA or a 4.0, you all end up getting the same degree • Networking is a necessity. • There is no one else to blame other than yourself if you are doing badly in your course. You are fully responsible for your own success.

• “I was sick…” is no longer a valid excuse for anything! • Your entire module will depend on the professor (sorry not sorry). • Absolutely nobody actually knows what they’re doing. • There is more to life than academics, and you must be able to transcribe your knowledge into the real world. • Certain goals are nearly impossible; it’s okay to be “average”. • Philosophy: “When in doubt, read

Nietzsche”. • Take advantage of a professor’s office hours, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. • College teaches you the art of passing classes whilst simultaneously sleeping through most of them. • Procrastination is inevitable. You could have 64 years to complete a task and it still wouldn’t get done until the night before. • When all else fails, head for Spark­notes.

diary of the Smokey’s Pigeon Madness! That’s what it was. I just awoke from my midafternoon nap to see crowds of people gathering. I thought it might have been an extra special cake sale that was going on. I was getting excited by the prospect of icing which is rare around ‘Smokey’s. Then all of a sudden I got caught in the crossfire. People were shouting and arguing and everything; I was afraid for my life at that stage. My home had been turned into a battlefield! I try to promote peace all year round and then this happens. Pigeons are passive you know? I had to stumble towards the vending machines to see if my new female pigeon friend and her nest were alright. When it died down and I knew she was safe I had to get out of there, my nerves were shook. I went in search for food, I would have taken anything really to help deal with the trauma my stomach had to ordeal: not eating in two and a half hours. I found a place I’d never been before, it was beside a river and there was weird triangular-shaped food and big glasses of something that looked like coloured water. I perched down on an empty table to inspect it all. While I wasn’t gone on the idea of eating something that looked that weird it was warm and I never have warm food. It was delicious whatever it was! I never wanted it to end. I washed it down with some of the yellow-coloured water and that’s when things got surreal. My head went fuzzy and my beak felt wobbly. I fell off the table and people started pointing and calling me ‘drunk’. Drunk? With the way students talked about it I thought it would have been a good thing! I can’t remember much but I did fly into a window and hurt my beak. I woke up on top of a table the next morning when people started poking me with pens as if I was diseased. I’m not a rat I’ll have you know. My head was sore and I wasn’t hungry, in fact the opposite I didn’t want to see food never mind eat it. It was awful.

I’m never doing that again.


BLACK BOX THEATRE

y

yC Cit

oun cil

ch ra

Ga na

ill imhe | G alw a

NEW RESERVED SEATING!

Comhair le

Ca th

Volume 15 Issue 12  

Volume 15 Issue 12 - the final issue of volume 15.