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NUACHTÁIN SAOR IN AISCE VOL.18 Issue 08. 24 JAN 2017

Student Independent News

Protest held against abolishing Irish requirement for NUI Galway President By Sorcha O’Connor A protest organised by Misneach na Gaillimhe took place at the Quadrangle on Wednesday 11 January against the decision to no longer have fluency in the Irish language as a requirement for the Presidential post at the university. This decision came late last semester when, according to The Irish Times, members of Údarás na hOllscoile voted to remove the

Student Independent News spoke with NUI Galway Students’ Union Irish Officer Clíodhna Nic Giolla Chomháill after the protest. Nic Giolla Chomháill believed the protest was paramount to conveying the message that the decision was one that not all students and staff were satisfied with. “The reason we came out, was, as a bilingual university, we felt it was a terrible decision. It was a shock to us all, and while there

Photo: Seán Ó Mainnín/Tuairisc.ie requirement as it was felt it limited the pool of candidates for the role. This however was not a unanimous decision and some members of Údarás na hOllscoile were also strongly against the move at the time of the decision.

was a process, and it wasn’t a decision taken lightly, it took students and some of the lecturers by surprise,” she said. “We were making sure to show we weren’t going to take it sitting down,” she said.

“There was people from all sorts there, lecturers and students from different faculties, so it was good to see the wide variety of people.” According to The Irish Times, some members of Údaras na hOllscoile said that there should be a commitment on the behalf of a new president to understanding the importance of the Irish language. This was a point reiterated by Nic Giolla Chomháill. “The reason we were out today was because we all think the President should have Irish – but, you do then have to ask yourself the question what is it to have Irish? Is it enough to have respect for the Irish language and to open official University events in Irish?” The University’s current policy on the role of Irish is to deal with in “an effective and realistic way, with the support of the relevant State agencies, to the totality of the needs – education, economic, developmental and cultural – of the Irish-speaking community as a living community, in the Gaeltacht and in the country at large”. Nic Giolla Chomháill, as a member of the Students’ Union who stand to protect the needs of all students on campus, said that the Students’ Union was against the decision.

“In the Constitution of the Students’ Union, our mission statement is “to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society”,” explained Nic Giolla Chomháill. “As a Union we represent all of our members, among which are Irish speakers who are strongly opposed to this decision. As a Union we will stand by them and support them.” Nic Giolla Chomháill said she had been attracted to attend the University for its long-standing relationship with the Irish language; NUI Galway is a bilingual university in a bilingual city. “I’m from Tyrone and I came to Galway because it was a bilingual campus and had such a good reputation for the Irish language.” Students’ Union President Jimmy McGovern also pledged to continue the support of the Irish language on campus. “The promotion of the Irish language is very important to NUI Galway Students’ Union … Despite the decision taken by Údarás na hOllscoile, NUI Galway Students’ Union will continue to promote the Irish language on campus and will continue to vindicate the rights of our Irish speaking members,” he said.

Minister Varadkar speaks to NUI Galway By Cathy Lee Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar addressed an audience in the ILAS building on Thursday 12 January, in NUI Galway. This lecture was the second of its kind, the first being delivered by President Michael D. Higgins in 2015 when the Institute of Lifecourse and Society building opened. The Minister spoke about the role of social welfare and protection in this country, providing a history of his department. That history is one stretching 70 years, which he explained has undergone significant change. Mr Varadkar is only the second Fine Gael TD to ever hold the office

of Social Protection. In September 2016, paternity leave was introduced and Mr Varadkar said that this progress “in many ways reflects the change in society and the changing role of men in parenting”. Pat Dolan is the director of the Institute and has highlighted the need to see the easing of austerity. President of the University, Dr Jim Browne, described Mr Varadkar as the most “fitting” person to give the talk, welcoming the Minister and guests. The President expressed his pride and gratitude of the work being undertaken within the Institute for Lifecourse and Society. Following Mr Varadkar’s speech, Dr Michelle Millar of the Institute

for Lifecourse and Society gave a response describing the role of academia and the relationship with policy making. She said that the ultimate goal of social inclusion is every citizen having full and active participation in society. Mr Varakar’s lecture detailed strategies for anti-poverty, aging, the unemployed, those with long term disabilities as well as protection for the self-employed who find themselves unemployed. Important challenges present themselves as Mr Varadkar said “we need to build up some headroom to prepare for aging”. “We also have overall responsibility for the employment activation

service, getting people from welfare into work”. “Welfare should be a safety net, not a way of life” was the message of Veradkar’s speech, excluding those with long term disabilities. He detailed how there is a low rate of employed disabled people in Ireland with change in focus needed to how people can contribute and not what they cannot do. The highest proportion of the budget goes on social welfare, “57% of our budget goes on pensions and payments to children, child benefit,” said Mr Varadkar. He explained that his “Really is a department that impacts on households and on the life course in perhaps a way that no other does”.

Sláinte Society welcomes children to 12th annual Teddy Bear Hospital By Aisling Bonner On 19 and 20 January children from twenty-five local primary schools flocked to NUI Galway’s 12th annual Teddy Bear Hospital with over a thousand sick teddies in tow. The event is organised each year by NUI Galway’s Sláinte Society, the university’s branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations. The society recruited a team of over 200 medical and science students armed with ‘pawscriptions’ to volunteer to diagnose and cure the sick teddies on the day. Each year, the aim of the Teddy Bear Hospital is to help young children feel more comfortable around doctors and familiarise them with hospitallike settings. According to the society’s co-audior Sally Cahill, the demand to attend the event has risen significantly over the years with over 1,300 children attending this year. Speaking to SIN before the event, Cahill explained the organisation process behind the society’s biggest event of the year. She said, “Since September, the committee have worked tirelessly to arrange sponsorship for the event, organise a timetable for schools and liaise with the Societies Office to ensure every fine detail is covered. “We are so grateful to the

200 volunteers who will assist us in treating the sick teddies of Galway this week and hope that they enjoy the event as much as we have in the past”. Children and their sick teddies were greeted at the ‘waiting room’ where they were entertained by jugglers and face painters before meeting their medical team. Special teddy x-rays and MRI machines were available to teddies in need along with a host of medical supplies sponsored by Matt O’Flaherty Chemist. A fully-equipped on-site Teddy Bear Pharmacy stocked with fruit from Burke’s Fruit and Veg and Fyffes also provided aid to the teddies and their owners. The two-day event also invited the staff of NUI Galway to bring their children ranging from 3 to 8 years old to the Bailey Allen Hall to take part. NUI Galway Societies Officer Ríona Hughes offered her congratulations to Sláinte Society on their 12th successful year. She said, “The Teddy Bear Hospital is a magical opportunity for the society to invite the children and their teddies to campus and provide a valuable learning experience for all. “It is one of the NUI Galway societies’ most colourful and endearing community outreach programmes and we are thrilled with its success”.


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SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

Jailbreak 2017

Students’ Union election regulations updated

By Georgia Feeney

By Georgia Feeney

The annual student-run fundraiser is set to take place in March with hundreds of students having applied to face the challenge. The fundraiser which runs over the course of two days - 36 hours to be exact - requires teams of two to break free from the starting point in Dublin and travel outside of the country to the finish line. The destination of the finish line has yet to be revealed adding an increased suspense surrounding the event. The money raised from the teams is split between two well-known charities: Saint Vincent De Paul and Amnesty International. Two of the Students’ Union officers of NUI Galway have teamed up to take on the Jailbreak race; SU Education Officer Cathal Sherlock and SU Welfare Officer Daniel Khan. The two have decided to take a break out of their officer roles and do their own philanthropic work. SIN spoke to the two officers to hear how they were feeling about the event, any game plan that they have prepared and how their fundraising is going. Having seen the success of past participants from NUI Galway, the two friends felt that they had a good chance of success at the race. Team #SherKhan are very excited to participate in such a challenge and are very eager to learn where the chosen destination will be. When asked if they had any predictions, Khan said he was “thinking maybe somewhere in the European Midlands”, while Sherlock hoped for a colder climate with “Iceland” being his prediction.

When it comes to raising funds and sponsorship Khan and Sherlock are hoping to go to their previous employers to seek a form of sponsorship as well as reaching out to the hearts of their family and friends to support their efforts. As well as this they plan on a more unconventional method of fundraising. “We’re going to raise money by doing a bit of modelling,” said Khan. This idea, Khan explains, will be promoted as “ironing in the nip”, as the team offer to iron clothes for money as well. There still remains a lot of uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the Jailbreak race. One thing students can be sure of is that team #SherKhan plan to put their best foot forward – literally! To follow the journey of Khan and Sherlock, you can send them an email. They also hope to set up a Facebook page soon to promote their fundraising efforts. The race, now in its fifth year, has welcomed the attention of many applicants eager to take part. Since its start in 2013, Jailbreak has raised over €165,000 for its chosen charities. The race originated in Trinity College Dublin where participants would race as far as possible within the 36 hour mark to the furthest point in the world. Now, however, there is an assigned destination in which teams must make their way to as quickly as possible. With more bodies aiding the organisation and its continued great success the fundraiser has opened up to more colleges across Ireland. These include NUI Galway, University College Cork and University College Dublin.

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Last week the regular meeting of the NUI Galway Students’ Union council met to discuss multiple proposals. One of the main points of the agenda on the night was to put forward the motion of updating and reforming the document of election regulations in relation to publicity in connection with elections and by-elections. The reason for such review was that it was felt by a significant amount of Union members that the current regulations were very restrictive. NUI Galway Students’ Union General Manager, Chris Newell explained that it was the hope that by updating these regulations the level of creativity and fun would be restored to a candidate’s campaign. The General Manager stressed the importance that the essence of the election campaigning process would remain the same in that the success of a candidate would result from merit. The second update to the regulations, and the one that cause the most controversy, referred to the use of “distributing gifts, promotional products, vouchers, food items, passes or tickets to promote their candidature”. It had been the case that candidates running for election would be prohibited from taking any of the sort of action above. However, this year’s council sought to remove this regulation from the election laws. Using the example of confectionary, members of the council proposing and in support of this motion stressed the great use of candidates and their campaign committee being able to hand out items to the college students. The idea being that by giving out an object it would aid the candidate and his/her campaigners in breaking the ice and engaging with students. A simple yet effective notion was the shared view amongst many council members in support of this change. Convenor for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Ciarán MacChoncarraige spoke about his experiences of campaigning for a candidate last year and coping with a sometimes hostile environment.

In support of the removal of this regulation, the council member expressed his feeling that this change would have a very positive effect on the upcoming election campaigning. The result of the debate was a majority in support of removing the ban on candidates and their campaign team handing out free goods. The change in the regulations was also brought forward by a feeling that some of the points were no longer realistic. In the past candidates were required to meet with the election committee for the duration of the election campaign. This was amended last week to only requiring candidates to meet with the committee the week of the week of election. Another area of the Constitution amended to “facilitate the times” as Caitlin Jansen Clubs Officer explained, was the time in which a candidate could begin their campaign. It was originally of the case that candidates nor a representative of their campaign could distribute promotional material until 6pm on the Sunday before election. Following the council meeting a reference to online promotion has since been removed. This is to go alongside the modern day strong influence of social media. A candidate is no longer in breach of regulations if he/she discusses their running for election on their personal social media and online accounts. Most of the other amendments made were because of a lack of necessity to be included in the SU council constitution. The Council hope that these amendments will in some way further improve the student engagement with the Students’ Union members. It is also thought that some of the alterations will aid the confidence of a candidate in running for election by breaking down barriers. For more information on the Students’ Union election and/or the changes made to the Constitution get in touch with the SU: studentsunion@ nuigalway.ie

Editorial

Happy End of January to you all! What a long, busy month it has been – and a long, busy fortnight! Plenty has been happening and of course, the team at Student Independent News have got it covered. There’s been plenty of talk of Presidents the last few days; we had Trump’s inauguration (somehow didn’t wrangle a press pass to that one), we had the Women’s March against Trump and then we also had our own protest in NUI Galway over the decision to revoke the Irish language as a requirement for the role of President of the University. However, aside from Presidents, whether they be Stateside or Corribside, we should probably make sure that we aren’t too distracted from all the other goings on in the world. Here at SIN, we’ve done our best to keep it varied and alternative for our readers and hopefully this will be another issue that encourages you to challenge your own beliefs and opinions – as any good publication should. We take a look at our celebrity worshipping society, we talk social media pressure, we discuss whether being a woman in politics takes anything more than simply deciding to be a woman in politics, and question whether the use of catchy slogans is doing anything other than damaging debate

and discourse in society. Our Head to Head also looks at a hypothetical ban of religious symbols on campus. The SIN Style Spot makes its return this issue – be sure to check if you or your friends have made the Fashion Hall of Fame! We also have our hilarious fortnightly update from Confessions of a Provisional Driver and Diary of a Final Year, and our latest addition to the features section, a new column on university life with a disability; ‘Ill-informed’. I was also very excited this issue to have SIN contributor Darragh Berry nab an interview with RTE legend Teresa Mannion, who is taking part in Dancing with the Stars Ireland. We have the usual sporting round up from Trevor and his sports team, and the Arts and Entertainment section is in its usual state, brimming with star-studded news and reviews. Check out our Creative Corner too, where you will find beautiful winter shots from Galway and Sligo – and if you’re a budding photographer, why not send your own snaps our way at editor@sin.ie to see them featured in the future? So without further ado, enjoy the latest edition of SIN - and keep up to date with us online on our Facebook page Student Independent News, NUI Galway too! Till next time,

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January 24 2017

INSIDE

NEWS EDITORIAL: CATHY LEE & CATHAL KELLY News was all go this fortnight and we have it all covered at Student Independent News! Students protested the end of the Irish language requirement for the NUI Galway President post, Darragh Berry caught up with RTE reporter Teresa Mannion before her debut on Dancing With the Stars, the Students’

Union amended its regulations on elections, and Georgia Feeney spoke with Cathal Sherlock and Daniel Khan who will be participating in Jailbreak 2017. There’s all these stories and more inside, so put the kettle on and get your dose of fortnightly news to stay #SINformed.

FEATURES EDITORIAL: DEIRDRE LEONARD We’ve got a jam packed Features section this issue to help you get over the rest of that dull January hump. We’re covering everything stateside from the cult worship of celebs during awards seasons and giving you a guide of what to expect from a Trump presidency. We

have all the usual hilarity from Confessions of a Provisional Driver and Caoimhe Tully takes on adulthood in her Diary of a Final Year. We also take a look back at the awkward years we endured and compared them to the Instagram ready teens of today! Enjoy!

FASHION EDITORIAL: GEORGIA FEENEY We at SIN Fashion have been very busy dissecting who wore what at the prestigious golden globes event. I’ll bet you were too! Who was your favourite? Let us know if you agree or disagree with our picks by finding us on twitter @ sin_news and using #SINFashion. Style Spot makes its return this issue with two looks spotted at Socs Day. We’ll

have our eyes peeled around campus to spot some more great looks in the next fortnight so don your best threads and you never know if you’ll be gracing the pages of SIN soon too! It was also announced recently that Style icon Victoria Beckham’s fashion label is not doing so well at the moment – Amanda Leeson has the scoop for you.

LIFESTYLE EDITORIAL: KAYLEIGH MCCOY Well, it’s official… Semester two is in full swing and all the relaxation we enjoyed during the holidays seems like a distant memory. I definitely believe this is the time when stress starts to creep back into our lives, as assignment after assignment starts to pile up, all while we’re left wondering

EDITOR: Sorcha O’Connor editor@sin.ie LAYOUT: Shannon Reeves

“Burnout” among nurses, NUI Galway study

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California here I come

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An Insta worthy childhood

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What we might expect from Trump’s presidency 8 My experience as a Céim Law leader HEAD TO HEAD: Should religious symbols be banned on campus?

Email:editor@sin.ie Facebook: SIN Newspaper  NUI Galway Twitter@SIN_News

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: Spot the signs 15

Find us online:

Which NUI Galway Icon are you? 

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Ways to spend money now that Christmas is over

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New Albums 1 – 14 January

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Oscars 2017 Predictions

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What’s going on in Galway 24 Jan – 6 Feb

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Top movies to catch this season

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Corribsiders beaten by Roscommon in FBD League28

www.sin.ie

WORLD CUP EXPANSION: enriching the game or FIFA’s bureaucrats?

2017 TRAVEL

LEARN

CHANGE

Funded overseas learning adventures Summer 2017

SPORTS EDITORIAL: TREVOR MURRAY Flick on to the back pages where you can read our team’s take on the hottest sports news and opinion. We have a preview of the Fitzgibbon Cup, an

analysis of FIFA’s decision to expand the World Cup and lots, lots more. Plus, plenty of campus-related action and views. Enjoy!

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GOLDEN GLOBES 2017: Best/Worst Dressed 14

An bhfuil rud éigin le rá agat? Cur litir chuig an Eagarthóir chuig editor@sin.ie.

what happened to all those hopeful New Year’s Resolutions. That’s why this week’s lifestyle section is specifically geared on lifting your mood, even if it is in a slightly unconventional way! From a tabby cat’s Instagram to mental health, this week’s issue has it all!

We’ve also got the lowdown on what’s hot about Galway this fortnight (hint: it’s not the weather) and some delish snaps of Galway this winter courtesy of Ita Reddington. With all that telly, cinema and events to catch up on good luck getting anywhere with that thing we like to call Semester 2.

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Free speech vs hate speech: Where’s the line? 10

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITORIAL: AISLING BONNER Hey guys! I hope you like films because it’s all about the big screen this fortnight. We’ve got our own Oscars Predictions courtesy of Stephen James, the ones to watch in the cinema this awards season by Deirdre Leonard and TV reviews to beat the band! Your eyes will turn square, as mammy would say.

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SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

In the mood for dancing: A chat with Teresa Mannion By Darragh Berry Answering her phone for our preplanned interview, Teresa finishes up a conversation with one of her co-stars on the show Dancing with the Stars; “Sorry I was just chatting to someone about my very funky dancing attire.” Apparently her funky dancing attire had been a reason for concern earlier on in the day for the RTÉ reporter. “As it turns out, I had a little fall this morning, my dress was too long but I suppose it was good for it to happen now, hopefully it won’t happen on the live thing!” Aside from this little slip, Teresa seemed to be enjoying the preparations very much. “Rehearsals are going great, I’ve been here since 8am in Bray just nailing routines for camera shots and trying on different costumes,” she said excitedly. “There are ten cameras and each are looking at what shots to use for the all the different routines. Each routine has a theme.” Her excitement was evident - you could almost envisage her beaming smile on the other side of the phone line - and she claimed that being on the show was “like being in a fairyland”.

However, behind the excitement, there were some nerves. “Some days you have acute anxiety but once you know the routine, it’s just a matter of keeping the nerves under control so you can execute your dance.” She didn’t want to eliminate those nervous feelings altogether though; “Nerves are good, preadrenaline is expected on the nights, it’s just very challenging having to perform a routine, considering I’ve never danced properly before. It’s scary going out live to the nation every Sunday but the confidence will build and build after every performance.” Her day job as a reporter brings with it huge pressure but Teresa has found this type of pressure to be a little different. “Breaking stories and news reporting is stimulating and complex at times but this is different because I am really out of my comfort zone.” Breaking out of her comfort zone was not something that appealed to Teresa at first. “When the production company approached me, I thought no way! But I just couldn’t close the email. I used to sit and watch Strictly Come Dancing and think how cool it would be to learn how to dance and to be

taught by a professional. I just knew I had to grasp it, that the chance might not come around again.” Mid-way through our call, music breaks out in the background from another couple practising their dance routine, demonstrating the fairyland that Teresa had mentioned earlier. “It’s like being in a bubble, fabulous lightning, amazing set, I get my nails, hair and make-up done for me - it’s so far removed from my day job! It’s great to be a part of something quite professional and high end and, best of all, you’ll always have a few moves for the auld weddings,” she laughed. She is partnered with ballroom champion, John Nolan, and her praise for him knows no end. “We get on really well and have such a laugh and just hit it off from day one,” she said. “He never loses his patience with me, he doesn’t mind going over and over the steps and fine tuning. Extra details like head and body movements are vital in making the dance better and impressing the judges.” Teresa’s commitment seems to be immense as she finds herself analysing herself after every practice. “You look back at the camera and think, I look rigid but it’s all in

your head trying to remember the steps,” she said. “It’s about leaving the head behind you and finding a natural flow which is hard and takes time.” As for the self-analysis, Teresa has come to a logical decision about her progress so far; “Some days you feel like you nailed it and other days you feel like you’re going backwards. But sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. Sometimes you have to pull it all apart, bit by bit, just to perfect it and piece it all back together.” It sounds like competing on its own is tough going, but trying to fit it in with your working life? “I’ve been given flexible hours but John does come to Galway as well and we practice in a studio and that way I can work and still get a good practice in. It’s a nice distrac-

tion to have after switching off from work,” explained Teresa. As a mother of two means that Teresa also has to throw her family life into the juggling act. “Family stuff is a priority but I’m lucky that my kids are teenagers and are very self-sufficient,” she said. She was also happy to know that her husband Dave O’ Connell, group editor of the Connacht Tribune and NUI Galway lecturer would be by her side at every performance. “It’s great to have the support of your family, hopefully now I can get the support of the nation.” The reporter has become renowned for her report in Salthill during Storm Desmond where she urged people not to make “unnecessary journeys”. Now, she is making a very unique journey of her own.

“It’s a journey, you don’t want to see someone who is outstanding from day one; you want to see their progress and their journey along the way.” This journey is one that Teresa doesn’t want to end too soon and is hoping to have the support of the public on her side. “It’ll be very strange when it does end, I’ll probably be out soon anyway,” she jokes, before truthfully admitting that she didn’t want to be the first one out. “I really hope I stay in for a couple of weeks and entertain the people at home and that they get to see a different side to me.” Her ten minute break may have been spent talking on the phone but Teresa Mannion was more than happy to return to her hard graft for Dancing with the Stars.

Galway native launches third book By Deirdre Leonard Former NUI Galway student and Galway native Catherine Doyle (26) launched her third novel Mafiosa, in Easons on O’Connell Street on 13 January. Mafiosa is the third, and concluding work, in Doyle’s Blood for Blood trilogy. Vendetta, the first in the series, was published in 2015 and met huge success when it came out first. It was followed shortly after by the second book, Inferno. The story follows teen Sophie Gracewell as she finds herself being drawn into a criminal underworld of powerful and feuding families. Speaking at the event, Doyle thanked her family, friends and publishers for their support throughout the trilogy. Ms Doyle completed a BA in Psychology and an MA in Literature and Publishing in NUI Galway.

Following this she went on to finish her first book in 2012. The trilogy was then picked up for publication a year later by Chicken House, which specialises in the publishing of children’s fiction. YA Authors Katherine Webber and Melinda Salisbury introduced Catherine Doyle at the event. The launch itself drew a large crowd and those in attendance included Louise O’Neill, author of the acclaimed Irish novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It. O’Neill previously praised the work of Catherine Doyle. Speaking of the second book in the trilogy Inferno she said; “It’s exciting and violent and sexy and heart breaking. Loved it.” The trilogy has been highly praised and Mafiosa is expected to do similarly well. As well as success in sales of the books, the young writer also has a large following of fans online. Doyle has a signature blend of

humour, grit and romance that has allowed her work to stand out, particularly in the YA genre where books based on the criminal underworld are few and far between. In a recent interview with Easons bookstores, Doyle described herself and the books as “one part Disney and one part the Godfather”. In the same interview, she advised that writing the ending was “bittersweet” but she felt “happy that the characters got the ending they deserved”. “I’ve been living with these characters in my head for three years, but there is a freedom in knowing that you can go on to write something else,” Doyle said. She’s expected to publish another novel in the near future, which will be her first published piece outside of the YA trilogy. Mafiosa and the Blood for Blood trilogy are available to purchase now in Easons and Dubrays nationwide.

“Burnout” among nurses, NUI Galway study By Aoife O’Donoghue NUI Galway are undertaking a national study to look at psychosocial risk factors and the occurrence of burnout among nursing staff in Ireland. The School of Psychology and the School of Nursing and Midwifery are undertaking the study online. The national study is seeking 1,000 nurses to take part, to examine how burnout is having an impact on their ability to provide treatment and care to the elderly population. The lead researcher on the project is Natasha Fitzgerald-Yau, a Psychologist in Clinical Training at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway. Speaking to SIN, she gave the psychological definition of burnout as a “multidimensional work-related syndrome… that arises out of a combination of personal, psychological, professional, and environmental factors.” She further explains that it is characterised by “emotional

exhaustion, depersonalization (psychological withdrawal from relationships) and reduced sense of personal accomplishment.” Ms Fitzgerald-Yau is particularly interested in the effect of burnout and stress on people’s capacity to mentalise. She describes mentalising as “being aware of what is going on in our own minds, that is our thoughts, feelings, intentions, etc., and in other people’s minds. It is the attachment processes between staff and patients that helps to foster and maintain the capacity to mentalise. When staff are feeling over-pressurised, this attachment relationship can become disrupted or fail to develop. “If the ability to mentalise gets compromised then this may explain why both patients and staff alike report feeling objectified within the healthcare system,” Ms FitzgeraldYau explained. The occurrence of burnout is becoming more frequent and stud-

ies across the world have shown that nurses have the highest levels of burnout compared to other health care professionals. A recent study which surveyed nurses in twelve European countries, including Ireland, found that one in four nurses reported high emotional exhaustion. Nurses who work shifts lasting more than 12 hours are at an increased risk of experiencing burnout. It also found that shifts lasting more than 12 hours are increasingly common in Ireland. The study being carried out by NUI Galway seeks to focus more closely on the extent to which burnout is a problem for nurses working in Ireland in terms of its prevalence and its association with a range of psychological outcomes for staff. All registered general nurses are invited to participate in the online study, and the findings will be used to inform and improve future policies and interventions for trainee and qualified nursing staff in Ireland.


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Osclófar Ainmniúcháin:10 r.n., Déardaoin, an 16 Feabhra 2017 Dúnfar Ainmniúcháin: 5 i.n., Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Feabhra 2017

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SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

Diary of a Final Year The Three Steps to becoming an adult (and what happened when I took them) By Caoimhe Tully Here’s the thing: I’ve never really accepted the transition to adulthood. If you ask me what the most important book I’ve ever read is, I will probably describe the Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson collection that is stacked in order of size on the lilac shelf in my bedroom. If you happen to know that particular lilac shelf, you will know that it matches everything in my room, including the lilac Groovy Chick cushion on my bed. If you know me well enough to have seen my cushion collection, you will know that it excites me almost as much as a pair of fluffy socks. But, in the spirit of it being my final semester of college, I decided to give this adult craic a week’s trial. Here’s what happened…

Yoga The first great thing about going to yoga class was that I hadn’t been to my gym for so long that nobody recognised me, so I got a “free trial” and saved myself a tenner. The second great thing came in the form of an important adult style lesson about being riddled with notions.

You see, being so full of preconceptions, I had expected the class to be full of outré characters. But, to my surprise, there were very few people who seemed to come from long haired green organic goat chakra farms. In fact, the majority of the class were very healthy, toned and trendy looking individuals. Well, if that isn’t an advertisement for hot yoga, I don’t know what is, I thought, as I watched Mister Muscle in front of me stretch his calves. Then, our instructor walked in, and I swear I’ve never seen somebody so comfortable in their body. She lit some incense and started to float around the room, rhyming off mystical language about energies … and before I knew it, we were all united as sweaty elastic bands, bowing to each other and half whispering “Namaste”. I left the class enlightened and slightly floating (although, I’m not sure if that had as much to do with the yoga, as it did the fact that Mister Muscle definitely winked at me when he said “Namaste”). Anyway, the greatest lesson was learned in the dressing room afterwards: It is obligatory to take a full

length mirror gym selfie to post to social media (there are filters to edit out your sweat patches and red face). Because, as Buddha himself said: “If nobody on Instagram knows you have done yoga, hast thou really even done yoga?”

Regrets Entering the adult realm, for me, was kind of a big deal. So, it was only fair that I decided to leave all my regrets at the door as I walked through. The fact that I spent the tenner I saved at free yoga trial on McDonalds? Left at the door. That mullet style haircut in 2014? No entry. Your man I shifted on the fifth floor of the nightclub in Prague? Sorry, not tonight pal… Je ne regret Rien, and all that. For a couple of days, I even considered getting a tattoo of “Je ne regret Rien”, and decided I wouldn’t regret that either. Namaste, to that – I thought, as I sat back imagining all the things I’d done that weren’t on my list of regrets anymore. But, then it struck me. What about the things I hadn’t done? The unfinished novel. That rejected tinder date. (What if he was the one? Or one of the ones?) That unpurchased

green embroidered shirt in Penny’s. (What if she was one of the ones?). So actually, je regret a few things. And that doesn’t have the same ring to it for a tattoo, but it’s still okay.

Conversation Back in my prime (Prime….ary school, that is), I was known as a master of conversation. “Good at spelling, very chatty – needs to be moved often” was the standard comment on my end of year report. And now, I decided, was time to let my gift shine through - in an adult way. “We seem to be … getting a lot of weather,” I found myself saying to Mister Muscle at yoga class attempt number two.

Part two of reclaiming the title of master of conversation was to replace sarcastic jokes with polite comments. The idea was that in order to be a true adult, I would use the phrase “Okay, great, no problem”, with a huge smile, whenever I felt the urge to be sarcastic or rude. At my part time job in a café at the weekend, I found myself reflecting on what a brilliant adjustment I had made into adulthood - I felt free, liberated … Namaste, regret free – when who walks in, only my yoga instructor. “A tall, non-foam, goats milk, halfcaff, organic latte in a recycled cup,” she requested. “Okay, great, no problem….” I smiled.

California here I come

Confessions of a provisional driver

By Saoirse Rafferty

By Aisling Bonner

It’s been a week since I jetted off to L.A. It’s been a week, and I now know that I wasn’t as prepared for the big change as much as I thought. I spent months talking about my trip away to a place called ‘Irvine’. I took time making my amazing playlist including songs ranging from ‘California Girls’ to ‘Party in the USA’. Despite this, I only realised on landing that the main thing I knew about this place is that it’s close to Hollywood. I realised I had no clue how to survive on my own in a foreign land. But, I’ve managed and if I can manage, anyone can. To anyone considering studying abroad, just do it. So much has happened in the past week, I can’t imagine what the upcoming months hold. Beginnings can be a bit tough, especially if you’re like me. I tend to panic sometimes when unfamiliar situations arise. On my first day, I got lost several times. Getting lost in an unfamiliar city is scary enough, without the trouble of your phone dying. I got lost in search of a shop that sold duvet. If you are like me, you are probably thinking “How hard could it be to find a duvet?” All I’m saying is when I left my house it was bright and on returning it was pitch black. I asked several people for help and one even searched ‘find duvets’ into Google. Despite their great efforts, I had to take matters into my own hands. I walked, and didn’t stop walking for hours. I hopped on a bus and ended up near the beach, nowhere near any shop with a duvet - or any shop at all, for that

matter. I ran many red lights, unaware that the green light was for the cars and not me. I finally gave up and decided to search for a taxi. Do you know what’s harder than finding a duvet in Irvine? Finding a taxi. I had to ask Pizza Hut to phone me a taxi, and this taxi driver later became my personal chauffer. After finding a duvet, I experienced the one moment nobody ever wants to experience (especially in another country). My card said declined, and I nearly gave up on life then and there. But, I survived. I managed to get my duvet and back to our new home where I reconsidered whether I made the right decision coming here or not. Seven days later, I’ve travelled to Newport Beach and watched the sun set with new people. I’ve gone to one of those sorority parties where everyone has red cups and are trying to prove how badly they want new friends. I’ve been rejected to pubs and learned that my new Turkish friend loves doing ‘cheers’ a lot. And I noticed because I’m only 20 my hand is usually drink-less. I’ve come to realise how much American students love expressing their opinions in classes and how lectures revolve around our opinions - something that terrified me when I was asked to speak out in a big lecture hall. I’ve laughed at Starbucks’ attempts to pronounce my name and heard the reaction, “Oh my god you’re Irish, that’s so cool!” too many times. Even though this is all scary and new, it’s also exciting and fun. Irvine is different to Galway. It’s a lot bigger, but I’m determined to find my way around it.

When I was younger I used to have fierce arguments with my brother about whether or not petrol smelled nice. I was its fiercest critic. I think petrol is now getting its revenge. Something you don’t learn in your lessons is the art of filling a tank. And it is an art. You learn how to identify the coolant and use hand signals but not how to feed the engine its bitta dinner? Unwilling to find out that I am in fact the only new driver who has ever struggled in this area, I will seek solace in the art of full disclosure. So the first time was not entirely my fault. Having just been practising with my mam and collected my brother from a friend’s house on our way home, after a history of petroleum-infused conflict, it was only fair that I designate him to do the honours as I sit in the car and watch. This, of course, sparks the latest edition of Unleaded Sibling Wars leading to an eventual compromise that he will fill the tank and I will go into the shop and pay. With Mam busy on the phone, out like the hot shot he thought he was, my poor naïve brother grabs the unleaded with a vengeance. “Are ye sure it’s unleaded yeah? Like 100%?” I roar out the window, for added morto-effect. I sit back and hear a clunk. Clunk, clunk, clunk. I turn around and my brother’s shaking his head, pointing the pump at me like a dripping pistol. “Can ye not get it? Turn it. Did ye turn it? Are ye SURE it’s unleaded?” My brother’s rebuttal is littered with expletives, aimed both at me and the

petrol cap. After several minutes and a queue forming behind, I’m no longer laughing. He gets back in the car and I order him out again for further clunking. Just as he’s about to give up I holler, “Did you try turning it the other way?” I await a smart response and sure enough, the cap turns with ease. We exchange a glance that says, “Let’s never speak of this to anyone”. So naturally, here I am. The second time was entirely my fault. Following my brother’s flop, I was relishing the chance to excel. Sadly and miraculously I fell even before the twisty cap hurdle. You know that mini-door at the side of the car that holds the twisty cap that covers the hole to put the petrol in, in the bog down in the valley-o? Yeah, that. Usually the door opens like a normal door, but following a verbal lesson from my mam, I was told that you have to push in our mini door and the mini door will pop open. I understand that this piece is unusually heavy in technical terminology, but please bear with me. I hop out of the car and push in the door waiting for a pop. And again, push in the door and wait for the pop. Push. Wait. Push. Wait. Punch in the door. Wait. Elbow in the door. Wait. Knee in the door. Wait. I try to pry the sides of the door open with my fingernails. I try to turn the door in a wheel motion. Like a game of Bop It, I flick it, spin it, pull and twist it and nada.

I’m starting to sweat and looking around nervously for the guys off Impractical Jokers, hoping silently that I’m being filmed and I haven’t just screwed up again. “Are ye alright love?” I hear. What looks like an Einstein impersonator from the pump in front strolls towards me as I break out in a heat rash of pure mortification. I explain the problem and he repeats my previous procedures with a force so fierce I’m amazed he doesn’t dent the car. His wife is roaring out the window from the car in front probably wondering what her husband is up to judging by his absence and the rocking car behind. It’s nothing short of an absolute commotion in the station, drawing offers of help and stares from all angles – except from Mam, who is once again busy on the phone. After several minutes it’s apparent that the little Skoda’s bodywork is no match for my Einstein in shining armour and I awkwardly thank him for potentially denting my mother’s car. I wouldn’t mind, but I only wanted a fiver in the first place.


GNÉ -ALTANNA 

January 24 2017

7

GENDER GAP IN POLITICS: Inherent structural bias or a gender divergence in life choices? By Eoin Molloy According to data published by the World Bank, Ireland has fewer women represented in government than Sudan, Mozambique and Rwanda. Female representation in the Dail stands at a paltry 27%, despite women making up half of the population. On the face of it, there seems to be some insidious patriarchal conspiracy afoot, depriving roughly half of female politicians their right to participate in government. This simplistic reading of statistics is often presented in the media without context, thereby leading those who simply read headlines to believe our society is characterised by systemic, gender-based oppression. According to a 2011 peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of Adolescence entitled ‘Gender Differences in Youths’ Political Participation’ compiled by a team of five sociologists, ‘a gender gap in political engagement’ does still exist. No-one will ever refute this fact. That being said, the article goes some way towards assessing the differences in how young men and women become politically active, thereby offering an alternative theory as to why there is such a gender based discrepancy when it comes to political representation.

For example, a 2008 Briggs study concluded that young men were more likely to vote in a general election than their female peers. Young men were also more likely to research politics online. This does not mean to say that men are better-adapted, or more naturally inclined towards being political, perhaps it is decades of structural reinforcement that has led men and women to this particular juncture. Indeed, the aforementioned article does intimate that there is a possibility men and women are merely conforming to pre-decided social roles when it comes to politics. Either way, social roles are constantly adapting. We have completely eradicated the male-over-female dichotomy – it will however take time for these social changes to manifest as political change. Anyone who tells you men are still in the habit of mercilessly oppressing women simply has not consulted the data objectively. In the US, for example, there are no male-specific scholarships for college despite the fact that women make up over 57% of college attendees. If men are still attempting to structurally subjugate women, we are doing an awful job of it. Quotas are often thrown around as a means of redressing the lack of female political participation in Ireland. Indeed, the Electoral (Political

Celebrities - are they worth the worship? By Aisling Bonner As the January fanfare sounds, the world’s media braces itself for a celebrity takeover. In a world that seems to be already well and truly dominated by celebrities, it’s hard to envisage how we have the capacity for even more worship. But each ‘Awards Season’ we find it, and we reinforce the strength of influence we lend to celebrities with a vengeance. This year it took a Meryl. A little streak of Meryl revealed that the Age of the Celebrity is showing no signs of decline. When Meryl Streep, universally regarded as one of the greatest actors of our time uses her three minutes of airtime to voice her almost universal grievances about a changing America the world stops, Angelus-style. True: when you are as eloquent, engaging, respected and passionate as Meryl it’s no great secret why we stand to attention. Also true: a well-sculpted bare bottom can have the same effect. Kim K, I’m looking at you. So if there are no clues in the content, the only certainty is surely the celebrity. It is the reason why a climate change documentary featuring Leonardo Di Caprio gains more attention in a day than the world’s top environmental scientists get in a lifetime. Logically, it’s all wrong. Why does the perspective of someone who’s made a living from acting merit greater trust on environmental issues than experts who’ve lived and breathed the subject their entire working lives? Why do we owe our ability to read, write, and count, calculate, understand, and research to teachers and educators only to completely sellout the experts for A-listers’ opinions in other learning opportunities? Is it simply to avenge that teacher that gave us canteen clean-up in first year, or have we not even realised that we’re

doing it? As plausible as the first option may be, I’m going to roll with the second. There’s also this thing called social media. A plague on the world, responsible for tsunamis, famine, the 1916 Rising, World War II and Harambe dying… But seriously, social media does play a part in the formation of the cult of celebrity. Gone be the days of mystery and speculation – today, many celebrities open a window to their lives for the world to see (some even throw us the keys and say “hop in”). The more we know, the more we think we know. The media helps to generate romantic notions of musicians and actors we know and love and build them up until the weight of the world could rest on their shoulders and we believe they could carry it with ease. Or maybe it’s the glamour. Since time began it’s in our nature to marvel at things that are bigger, better, shinier and glitterier (yes, it’s a word) than what we’re used to. Celebrities are more visually appealing than research. They’re too cool for school. They are shinier than science and more fabulous than facts. Maybe we actually evolved from magpies and are still sidetracked by shiny things. It’s a theory that doesn’t say much for human intelligence, but who is to say it is wrong? It’s easy to be cynical about celebrity culture, but that’s often less fun. Celebrities are allowed to preach in the same way that we are allowed to gloat when they mess up – events which are often not mutually exclusive. At the end of the day, the rise of the killer celebrity is not wholly threatening. We largely leave matters of science, technology, health, economics and politics to the experts. Except for Trump that is, and with any luck he’ll ruin it for the rest of them.

Funding) Act of 2012 allows for the government to withdraw funding for political parties who do not field at least 30% female candidates. Is this just? NUI Galway introduced a similar measure in response to the controversy surrounding Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington v NUI Galway. In this case, Dr Sheehy Skeffington applied for a promotion to senior lectureship at NUI Galway and successfully proved that she was denied promotion on the basis of gender (and on other factors). While Dr Sheehy Skeffington clearly had an arguable case, it could be said the college’s panicked reaction was less than adequate. In response to this, the college introduced quotas. From this point on, all committees will be made up of at least 40% women. This is fundamentally illogical. Say if 75% of the best qualified candidates for a particular committee were female, this development has the effect of capping their participation and introducing less qualified male members simply because we need the perspective of someone who uses a different bathroom. The idea that not hiring on merit will somehow assuage the problem of not hiring on merit is completely skewed – a knee-jerk response to negative public relations. Quotas are generally only mentioned when it is for some advantageous position. We never hear

calls for 50% of all coal-miners and bin-collectors to be female, yet these positions are characterised by male domination in the same way that politics traditionally was. Mandatory gender quotas should be viewed as an insult to all. The best person should be hired for the best job. Here at SIN, for example, female editors out-number male editors 2:1. However, I have never and will never call for a quota. This discrepancy in representation is down to the fact that women are traditionally more interested in journalism than men, and we are all fine with that – maybe we should start viewing political representation in a similar manner and stop looking at every single issue through the duallycloudy lenses of sex and race. Any problems that exist when it comes to women and politics should be addressed from the ground up, and never mandated from the top down. The key lies in education. Give our young girls and boys the confidence to pursue whichever chosen vocation they show an aptitude for, and let the discrepancies lie where they fall. It may so happen that in 50 years men make up only 27% of political representatives – as stated above political change takes time. To conclude, the overly simple take home advice here is: If you want more women in politics, become a woman in politics.

An Insta worthy childhood By Shauna Mc Hugh When I was twelve I asked Santa for new games for my Nintendo, a few CDs and whatever else was cool in 2010. My younger sister, who turns twelve in two months, recently asked Santa for Flawless foundation brushes, a dupe Kylie Jenner lip kit, a new case for her iPhone and vouchers for Boots so that she could buy even more makeup. I told her it was crazy that she wanted all this stuff and that our parents would never agree. In the end, Santa granted her wish because every girl in her class had been given much the same things and my sister feared being the odd one out. On Christmas Day, I watched on in shock as my sister took pictures of her presents and posted them on her Snapchat story and then her Instagram page. She only looked up from the phone to remind me that it was ‘uncool’ for me to still not have an Instagram account. My sister is a prime example of the trendy kids of her generation. While the majority of us college students spent our preteens wearing questionable shades of eyeshadow or roll on lipgloss, it’s an entirely different story in 2016. The awkward transition phase we once experienced has been wiped out by this generation. By fourteen or fifteen, kids now have perfectly shaped eyebrows and an expert makeup look to match. Whenever I glance at my sister’s Instagram feed, there are always dozens of her classmates who have posted enviable selfies that make them look years older than I know they are. While the early teens are a difficult period for everyone, it seems that it is only becoming tougher for Ireland’s youngsters. Their desire to be ‘Insta ready’ at all times creates huge pressure on today’s young people, both boys and girls. In 2016, Business Insider UK carried out a survey on 60 teenagers and found that on average kids received their first smartphone

at eleven years old. As a result, children are being exposed to the dangers of social media at a younger age than ever before. The typical feelings of confusion and insecurity during puberty are heightened by the superficiality of social media. Many young people feel that they are a lesser person if they don’t receive a socially acceptable number of likes on their latest Instagram post. Teenagers now possess the ability to alter their appearance with makeup and filters simply to rake in more likes on their social media. While we are all guilty of using this trick, discovering it this young means that teenagers have delusional ideas of how perfect they should look. Cyber bullying is also a much more serious threat for young people today than it was for previous generations. In 2015, a survey conducted by YouGov found that one in four teenagers in Ireland had been cyberbullied. Two thirds of the teenagers surveyed also revealed that it was more painful than face to face bullying. The saddest part of this trend in today’s generation of youngsters is perhaps their loss of childhood innocence. Our childhoods are ideally a peaceful and happy time. Childhood should be void of all the stress and drama that adulthood brings. However, this obsession with being perfect has corrupted the stress free model of childhood that we once knew. I personally am thankful that my early teens were spent playing outside with my friends, rather than scrolling through my phone to keep up with the latest trends. All the makeup, filters and Insta likes in the world can’t match up to that feeling of being a kid and free to have fun, with none of the tedious responsibilities that lie ahead. While my sister and the rest of her generation admittedly look amazing in their selfies, I hope that they put away the smartphones for a second to realise that the world around them is even more beautiful than their filters.


8 FE AT UR E S

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

What we might expect from Trump’s presidency Screw being a ‘maybe’ By Georgia Ryan On 8 November, many of us on this side of the Atlantic watched in shock as Donald J. Trump took state after state, claiming victory to the presidency of the most influential country on the planet. For months, we watched this campaign in bewilderment, but never truly believing that a reality TV star/businessman would sit in the Oval Office. Now, two months on, with inauguration day done and dusted we are left wondering – what could the Trump presidency bring? And what affect could this have on us and the rest of the world? HE’S GOING TO BUILD THAT WALL: Everything that has been said, and all actions taken during Mr Trump’s transition period all hints that he is actually going to that build that giant, mystical wall on the U.S. and Mexican border. In fact, the completion of this wall has proven to be one of the most important promises that Trump voters want upheld. This, along with the deportation of any undocumented migrants living in the U.S. and the refusal of Muslims into the country have been the most widely publicised and debated promises of the Trump campaign.

WESTERN ALLIANCES AND RUSSIA: Throughout his campaign, Trump raised doubts about how committed the U.S. should be to jump in when one of its Western alliance’s comes into international trouble. Trump stated that “The U.S. must be prepared to let these counties defend themselves. We have no choice.” At a time when tensions with Russia are mounting in the West, Trump is being reported as cosying up to Putin. It seems that once this presidency comes into play, America’s NATO allies may well be left out in the cold. ISOLATIONISM: Trump’s campaign and presidency boils down to just one thing: the desire to “Make America Great Again.” And he means just that. He wants to make America great through various policies of isolation and the ripping up of trade deals. Trump blames these deals for the mass unemployment seen in parts of the nation, and wants to bring back American companies to American soil to give jobs to American people. However, protectionism is more likely to hurt people in America’s Rust Belt and beyond rather than help. With trade deals ripped up, it’s likely that America’s rivals will be waiting in the side-lines to fill the gaping hole left

by the US in international trade and business. It seems Trump wants to see a return of the post WWII industrial glory days of employment and a majority comfortable middle class. However, is this even possible? Or is it just going to be another ill-informed campaign promise gone to waste? CHANGE: For better or for worse, the biggest and most absolute thing that we can expect from Trump’s presidency is change. Indeed, the man in himself represents a change from the political elite that have dominated the White House and international politics to a new world order. Even if the new world order does seem to be one where TV stars can run a country, it is still change. Trump is one big middle finger to the entire western establishment. Only time will tell if Trump will, or can, do everything he has claimed and really, it wouldn’t be the first time that campaign promises didn’t live up to expectations. Although I wouldn’t be preparing for witch hunts of minorities in America just yet, this is most definitely a time of uncertainty and change. In fact, the only thing that may be certain in this time of uncertainty is that change is coming, and we need to brace ourselves. It might be best not to have any expectations at all.

By Micaela Depinna Have you ever been in a position where you’ve been with someone, just starting a potential relationship, only to find yourself becoming a ‘maybe’? By that I mean there’s obviously some interest on their part, but not enough to make you a priority. Not enough to make them remember the little details about you. Not enough to make them want to put in the extra effort needed to meet up. Just, simply, not enough. While you, on the other hand, are willing to prioritise them, to learn as much about them as they’re willing to share (perhaps even more than that – we’ve all had a Facebook stalk, let’s not pretend we’re above that), and are more than willing to put in the effort. So, even when you know they’re not giving you 100%, you’re willing to compensate and to settle for what you can get. After all, at this point you like this person and are somewhat (i.e. quite a bit really) invested in them and in the idea of you at least trying to be together. So you settle for being a ‘maybe’ - until it inevitably falls apart, because you’re so blinded by infatuation that you’ll take what you can get. I’ve been in that situation on more than one occasion so believe me when I tell you this: Screw being

a ‘maybe’. You are not someone’s option. They do not get to make you doubt your own worth. Have you met you? You are amazing, completely unique, and you are a goddamn ‘hell yes, please and thank you!’ no matter what any experiences past, present or future lead you to believe. Anyone who doesn’t react that way at the prospect of being with you just isn’t the right one for you. And you want the right one. You want to find your person. Right? Of course, changing your thinking in this regard is not going to be as easy as clicking your fingers and I don’t intend to make it sound that way. I’ve sobbed my heart out over guys who didn’t deserve my tears, I’ve questioned everything I did to figure out what I did wrong while at the same time making excuses for their actions, and I’ve blamed myself for not being good enough. Quite frankly, I treated myself like a ‘maybe’. But no more. To get to this point not only have I had to endure learning a lot of lessons the hard way, I also had to endure the cursed year of 2016. Making it to the other side of 2016, a year that was terrible and horrific for me in ways beyond Trump winning the election and numerous legends dying, taught me a new way of looking at things that

perhaps can only be achieved by actually experiencing such trauma first-hand, but I will still endeavour to impart it unto you. It was a year which involved my brother having a major accident and spending over a month in a coma in a state of limbo as to whether he would live or die, my childhood dog dying in the midst of this, and my mother being involved in a serious car accident. Once you see how quickly life can go wrong, you start to realise that there is no point in being someone’s ‘maybe’ and living what is essentially a half-life. You deserve more. You deserve a life of full vibrant colour, not just shades of pastel. Yes, you may really like this person who is treating you like a ‘maybe’ and yes, it’s still going to hurt like hell when you walk away and yes, you’re still going to cry your eyes out, but it’s not life and death. You will survive this even if it feels like your heart has shut down for a while. The tears will stop quicker and you will no longer feel the need to lay all the blame at your own door. Your mind will be resolved to not accept anything less than a ‘hell yes, please and thank you!’ though your heart may take some time to catch up. In fact, I’m still working on that last part, but that’s ok, I’ll get there eventually. And so will you. Promise.

A decade of centenaries: 1917 By Eoin Molloy

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Tipp Yellow. C:0 M:10 Y:100 K:0

Since 2014, we have been living in a ‘decade of centenaries’, whereby the achievements of the past are to be commemorated. In this article, which is surely the darkest throwback of all time, I will round up some of the most important events from the year of 1917. Following the calamity and heart-break of 1916, a sea-change in public opinion accompanied the slew of merciless executions carried out by the British government against the leaders of the Easter Rising. Sinn Fein were no longer viewed as obstructionist contras, the events of 1917 highlight their development into the dominant force in Irish politics, capitalising eagerly on the fact that the Irish Parliamentary Party had coaxed Irish men into partaking in a bloody world war that seemed increasingly likely to be without end. FEBRUARY: Count George Noble Plunkett, the father of Joseph Mary Plunkett, wins a seat in the Roscommon North byelection. He accrues nearly twice as many votes as his competitor, who was running on behalf of the Home Rule Party. MARCH: Tsar Nicholas abdicates as a consequence of the Bolshevik Revolution. Russian

citizens rejoice, as they have done away with an oppressive system of monarchy upheld by an aristocratic elite in order to pave the way for really nice down-to-earth guys like Joey Stalin. I mean, he literally would put you down in the earth for breathing like a capitalist. APRIL: US President Woodrow Wilson makes the onerous decision to do what America does best – he declares war on Germany, becoming embroiled in a conflict in which the US had no legitimate interest, wholly backed-up by faulty Intel. The ‘Zimmerman telegram’ was a political manifesto conveniently decoded by British intelligence which stated Germany wanted to ally themselves with Mexico in order to facilitate an invasion of the US. Seriously, how did anyone believe this? The Germans couldn’t push past a few miles of two-metre deep trenches, let alone scale a full-scale invasion of a continent that was literally oceans away. MAY: British Prime Minister Lloyd George advocates introducing immediate home rule in 26 Irish counties. By now, however, the situation has already deteriorated too far and plans are in motion for a full-scale emancipatory revolution. JULY: De Valera wins a seat for Sinn Fein at a by-election in County

Clare. As one of the survivors of the 1916 Rising, he soon becomes the leader of the party. More importantly, De Valera went on to be played by true hero Alan Rickman in a biopic about his political rival, Michael Collins. I’m sure he would have been happy with nothing less. JULY: The Irish Convention begins in Dublin – a forum intended to bring all sides of the debate together to discuss how best to proceed when it comes to mediating ‘the Irish question’, as it was known. Sinn Fein are tactically absent as they are busy organising how best to seize power with all of the other parties occupied. Really puts the oh-so-horrible year of 2016 into perspective, doesn’t it? Sure, a reality TV star was elected president, but how many thousands of young soldiers were indiscriminately slaughtered by mechanised weaponry in pointless trench warfare? That’s right: zero. 1917 wasn’t all doom-andgloom however. Glentoran became the first team to do a league and cup double in Irish soccer, beating Belfast Celtic 2-0 in the final. Wexford beat Clare 0-9 to 0-5 in the All-Ireland football final in what was surely a scintillating match. Dublin were also runaway winners in the hurling, beating Tipperary by 7 points.


GNÉ -ALTANNA 

January 24 2017

9

ILL-INFORMED: The Great College Game I think that it is safe to say that so many of us have played the game Monopoly as children, and perhaps more competitively as adults. My first memory of playing the game is losing spectacularly to my father at the age of nine. At this age, the words ‘mortgage’ and ‘tax’ were a blissful mystery to me that only existed within the game. When my father explained the word monopoly to me, I resolved that my new technique was to refuse to spend my initial money on any property, to save for a rainy day when my sister would inevitably catch me out for landing on Nassau Street. This technique lasted until I was seventeen, when I decided that the game just wasn’t for me. Recently, the game sparked a thought my mind I haven’t been able to shake. Recently, I sat around a room with five other girls who are also mentors for the Disability Support Services. We were asked to give a brief introduction to ourselves, which seemed to hold the unspoken agreement to explain our disabilities. I stumbled, stuttered and all but tripped over the words explaining my chronic illnesses. I tried to turn my insides to absolute steel as my turn was approaching. I bit my lip until it bled. Yet when I spoke, I joked about my low blood pressure meaning I basically spend a lot of time of the floor, after fainting - which is sometimes the safest place to be. Everyone laughed and so did I. And the spotlight passed over me. The small, fragile animal inside of me

that unfurls herself from her fearful hibernation could relax once more, content that that part of us, the most painful part, was no longer on display. Yet, I listened to the other girls speak. Together, we are a constellation that was never meant to collide. Living with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, chronic illnesses, and partial deafness, we have surpassed the Land of the Varied and sped right though Eclectic Country. We are a fraction of the seven hundred students registered with the DSS. And of that registered number, there are undoubtedly more that fear registering. Whether they do this because of an innate false truth of not meeting some imagined barrier of disability or from a fear of judgement, I cannot say. I can’t speak for everyone, no matter how much I may try with this column. However, what you need to know, regardless of who you are, is something I learned only recently. Life with a disability or impairment or specific challenge, is like playing monopoly on a grand scale. You begin, bank full of energy and no worries. So far, everything is uncharted territory, with as much potential to be good as to be bad. Yet whilst everyone else steps out to play - your first round sends you straight to jail with no get-out-of-jail-free card. But that is not just your first round, but also your second - and

My experience as a Céim Law leader Give it a go. It might seem By Georgia Feeney I have currently finished a semester as a Céim leader and I have to say I’ve learned a lot. You’d probably think that being a leader you’re heading these sessions and that it is you that’s helping the students to learn something or gain a greater understanding. But taking the academic side out of it, it’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself from being a leader. I’m typically a person who is quite social and chatty. Yet when it came to sessions I found myself nervous with the role reversal. The dynamic of the group was an interesting factor to figure out for myself with some of the students being the same age and even older than I was. It does take some getting used to I’ll admit. I think though in the long run it’s helped me a lot; my confidence in leading groups has grown. When chairing meetings or leading groups it’s a given that there are going to be a variety of personalities and perspectives different to your own. This is where I really learned a lot about myself. The balance needed to keep the sessions a friendly welcoming place while still dealing with any situations where conflict arises. I will tell you this; conflict is inevitable and can’t be ignored. In saying this when I was dealing with an awkward situation I was welcomed with a lot of support from the School of Law, my fellow leaders, as well as the Céim co-ordinators. There is always going to be support for the leaders and no problem will go unsolved, to this I can testify. As well as this, each person will have their own preferred way of learning. In my experience as a Céim leader I learned a lot about finding different approaches to studying topics from written activities to competitive games. I would

incredibly scary being a leader of a group of subjects or for a subject you had difficulty in but after a while you get to know your group and you’ll find yourself having chats while covering material from classes. I’ve gained so much knowledge as well as confidence from being a leader. definitely say that from experience the better your ice-breaker at the beginning your session, the more likely to be successful your activity will be. I always noticed a change in my group, even amongst us leaders, when we started the session with a simple ‘Would you rather’ or even a quick chat about what went on over the weekend. If anyone is even the slightest bit interested in becoming a leader I would say apply! Give it a go. It might seem incredibly scary being a leader of a group of subjects or for a subject even you had difficulty in but it’s really not as bad as you may imagine. After a while you get to know your group and you’ll find yourself having chats while covering material from classes. I’ve gained so much knowledge as well as confidence from being a leader.

Yet there is an upside... you’re in good company. Turn around after facing the bars of your cell for too long and you will see that no one truly has a monopoly on pain. Instead, you form a constellation once more with those who truly understand you, because they too experience marginalisation, pain and suffering as you do. every round after. You smell freedom, but a minuscule wrong move sends your body physically or mentally broken, back to jail. This

happens so many times until you can lock the door on yourself. Why leave momentarily only to come back? Yet, there is an upside of this. The most glorious upside that anyone could ever want - you’re in good company. Turn around after facing the bars of your cell for too long and you will see that no one truly has a monopoly on pain. Instead, you form a constellation once more with those who truly understand you, because they too experience marginalisation, pain and suffering as you do. The jail walls melt away and together, you form a haven where judgement does not exist - and if it does, it is only in the positive sense. To be disabled in university truly feels like this. You lose nights out, sports and all things social, until you become a coin with a weight on one side, all work, no play. You are in jail when everyone is experiencing the joys of The Game around you. However, when you realise that you are both inmate and prison warden at the same time, things get better. Your perception can be changed by the beauty of friendship with those around you, and you recognise that there is no one else you would rather be with, in this pain and suffering. The DSS handed me the key to my own cell, and reminded me beautifully that whilst no one has a monopoly upon pain, equally, no one has a monopoly upon the College Experience. And everyone’s definition is different, and never lacking.


10 OPI NI O N

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

EOIN DRONES: Time to ‘repeal’ the use of catchy slogans By Eoin Molloy ‘War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength’ – these are the inherently contradictory political slogans employed by the ruling party in Orwell’s 1984 to keep the proletariat in check. But what do they mean? ‘War is Peace’ implies that constant warfare needs to be waged on far-flung parts of the world in order to keep the internal population of a state loyal and patriotic. America and the Middle-East sure do spring to mind, think of the mindless flag-waving that accompanied the Iraq War. ‘Freedom is Slavery’ means that humans need to have a strict structure governing their daily lives to help them make sense of everything. Anyone who has done a gap year without working knows what Orwell is talking about. ‘Ignorance is Strength’ is an interesting idea. It implies that the less the masses know about how their government actually conducts business, the happier they will be. We are all guilty of this. How many of us spend our mornings flicking through Instagram or perusing celebrity news outlets when we should really be reading up on the Apollo House situation? If we were fully aware of every injustice that happens in our state on a daily basis, we’d surely go mad. Therefore,

ignorance can be a strength insofar as the maintenance of law and order in a society is concerned. While I am all-too-aware that this column is descending rapidly into some sort of George Orwell fan-fiction blog, the man made a lot of valid points about the society we now live in. Hell, there is an argument to be made for 1984 replacing the bible at all religious services – now that’s a mass we would all go to. As Orwell outlines, slogans are an efficient way of maintaining control over a population – even if the society is one of blinding hypocrisy. It is for this reason that we should pursue a constitutional amendment to ‘repeal’ the use of all political slogans in Ireland. Why? Boiling entire campaigns down to simple one-sentence slogans is extremely dangerous as it inhibits discourse, thereby depriving the electorate of a fully-rounded understanding of a given topic. Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ is a classic example. Rhythmically-speaking, the slogan was so balanced and catchy that nobody stopped to consider what it meant. Not one commentator or debate moderator asked him what exactly it is that once made America great. The MAGA slogan is doubly-powerful because the last word, ‘again’, implies a sense of nostalgia that things were once better than they are now. People always look back on the past with rose-tinted glasses and

the Trump campaign capitalised on this. As he was never forced to detail during which era America was actually ‘great’, Trump supporters were free to read into this slogan and apply any meaning they wanted to it. For example, one supporter could believe Trump’s slogan is harkening back to the Reagan era, or to that of Reconstruction; no one is actually sure. Obama’s 2008 campaign team was guilty of tacit mind control as well in the usage of the equally-catchy and uplifting ‘Change We Can Believe In’ slogan. Obama has never actually been questioned as to what sort of policy change he has achieved during his tenure. Perhaps the ‘change’ he advocated bringing in was simply tied to the fact that he was the first US president of African descent. What other change has he actually brought about? Guantanamo Bay is still operational, the Middle-East is more war-torn than ever thanks to a morally-reprehensible campaign of indiscriminate drone-bombing, and race relations are at their lowest ebb since the 1960s. Should all of Obama’s short-comings be over-looked simply because he had a catchy slogan in 2008? We all know how important slogans were to the maintenance of power in the Nazi regime. Goebbels, as the state’s chief propagandist, helped to form catchy sayings that aided and solidified Hitler’s rise to power. For example: Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer (one nation, one people, one leader)

was surely chanted by all and sundry following Hitler’s ascent to the Reichstag in 1932. The rhythmic balance and catchy nature of this slogan somewhat obscured the fact that it was openly genocidal. Similarly, the Nazis used music to indoctrinate the Hitler Youth. Music and slogans are wholly inter-linked in terms of their efficacy as a method of population control. German composer, Wagner, was commissioned to create patriotic works that emphasised the Reich’s noble and glorious past, thereby drawing on the same sense of nostalgia that the ever-resourceful Trump also tapped into. For those who are sceptical as to the powers of indoctrination music possesses, consider this example. How easy is it to rhyme off the lyrics of your favourite pop song? Is it easier or harder than learning an essay for a Christmas exam in molecular biology? This is quite sinister if you actually consider the values espoused by modern pop artists: hedonism, carefree living and spending, casual sex, and so on. While I agree that all of these pursuits are good fun, they should hardly be seen as cornerstones for the kind of society we want to cultivate. We are not exempt from the power of brainwashing slogans here in Ireland. Take the REPEAL campaign, for example. Leaving aside the merits of abortion, whether you’re for or against it makes no mind. The simple fact that this is a one-word campaign should offend the sensibilities of any demo-

cratically-minded citizen. Are we just repealing the Eighth Amendment? Will anything be put in its place? Are we going to define when life starts? All of these valid concerns are left unconsidered because of the sheer simplicity of the slogan. While it may well be en vogue to wear a REPEAL jumper in an Instagram selfie - I mean, think of the likes - emblazoning such a simplistic and reductionist political slogan across your chest marks you out as an opponent of serious discourse. How many of these fashionable political activists have consulted the literature of the other side of the debate before making the decision to purchase a jumper? Take George Soros for example, how many jumper-wearers have heard of him? He is a Hungarian-American billionaire who has invested hundreds of thousands of euros in the REPEAL campaign, according to The Irish Independent. Shouldn’t you think twice as to what motivation he has for investing in a campaign like this, so far removed from his own country, before literally becoming an advertising billboard for his personal political inclinations? I must stress that I myself will never fully form an opinion on abortion until such time as I have a child of my own. That being said, there are darker elements to this REPEAL campaign that have not been subjected to the fullest light of public scrutiny. True discourse is being blighted because a simplistic and catchy slogan has been catapulted to the forefront of the debate.

FREE SPEECH VS HATE SPEECH: Where’s the line? By Deirdre Leonard Free speech is important. It’s a cornerstone of democracy and should be a right that all are entitled to. While the topic of free speech is more contentious in the U.S, where it’s built into their constitutional rights, it is a universal issue and one that has come to light here in Ireland recently. In a recent poll on Claire Byrne Live, 65% of those questioned did not believe that limits should be placed on free speech to protect people from being offended. This stems from a recent spate of articles in The Irish Times in which Nicholas Pell penned a controversial article about the alt-right movement that included a glossary of terms – some were arguably racist and sexist, depending on your viewpoint, many were hateful - frequently used by the online movement. The Times defended publishing the article, stating that they feel readers can be challenged to form their own opinions on the matter. Writer

Una Mullally argued against the publishing of the article, claiming that it normalises the racism or hate rhetoric that is often espoused by members of this movement. It’s incredibly easy to argue that we live in an overly ‘PC’ world. Broadcasters, celebrities, politicians and the like have to be more careful than ever with their wording and public actions. To many, the ‘PC’ nature of the last few years has become a joke, but to others it represents a long fought battle for just representation. Words that were thrown around with abandon by the average person were causing harm and offense to groups like the LGBTQ+ community. It’s incredibly easy to deem the world ‘too PC’ or ‘overly censored’ when we are not the community or group who are predominantly affected by these slurs. For example, many in Ireland have argued that Katie Hopkins shouldn’t be given the time of day, that the hateful rhetoric and discourse of superiority she presents should not

be written about or given exposure on TV shows like The Late Late Show. The Journal reported recently that RTÉ received over 1600 complaints prior to her appearance on the talk show. News stories on social media about her actions often have comment sections filled with people saying she shouldn’t be written about at all. This has led to media outlets like Joe.ie announcing publically that they won’t be publishing any further stories about Katie Hopkins. So why is public opinion against free speech when it comes to her and not things like the alt-right movement? I think when it comes down to it, we, as a country, are more invested in things that immediately concern us. Katie Hopkins lives in the UK, her words appear in our newspapers and on our Facebook feeds, on our talk shows and radio programmes. She is in an immediate and unpleasant problem. The alt right-movement however, is not. To Ireland, it is an American problem. We hear stories of fake news

and Twitter trolls, of Nazi salutes at marches or racial violence. We scroll past the article, shake our heads and think ‘America has gone crazy’. The alt-right movement is external, it hasn’t hit our government, and, at the end of the day, it’s not the concern of a lot of Irish people. So naturally, the majority of us don’t care what people say about it. In his article Nicholas Pell, pitched the movement as joke-like while Una Mullally described it as a dangerous supremacist movement. So where should media representation fit into on this spectrum? Do we offer a full spectrum of views, entitling everyone to free speech, or does a sort of media ‘censorship’ apply? Not in terms of the traditional government censorship of the past, but one that favours decency. Do we refuse to acknowledge and publish racial slurs and homophobic language at the risk of taking away people’s right to free speech? Does this risk making a movement seem less dangerous than it has the potential to be?

In this case, a middle ground seems to be a logical answer. Fintan O’Toole wrote an article recently for The Irish Times in which he outlined the connections between the ‘alt right’ and the more traditional fascist ideas we’re familiar with from history books. It was an informative look at the rise of this neo fascist movement that challenged readers without introducing them to a glossary of vocabulary used by the movement. Insightful without providing a means to spread hateful language. Perhaps this is the role of media in a ‘post truth’ world. Report the truth and provide the information without encouraging. Don’t lessen how dangerous something like the alt right movement is but don’t provide them with the means to spread an aggressive and dated ideology. Whatever the answer is to the media’s position, it’s clear that Irish people favour free speech, without limits. But only time will tell if this will come at a cost.


TUAIRIM 

January 24 2017

HEAD to head

11

Should religious symbols be banned on campus?

Freedom of religion and In favour of banning religious symbols on campus freedom of expression are inter-changeable rights By Connell McHugh

On January 9 Morocco World News reported that tailors and retailers across the country have been receiving notices from the Interior Ministry. These notices have but one aim – “to completely ban the importation, manufacturing and marketing of the garment known as the burqa in all cities and towns in the kingdom.” Business owners were given just 48 hours to get rid of their stock or to convert it to other forms of clothing, or run the risk of confiscation. The immediate reaction was one of shock and disgrace at the actions of the Moroccan government, which aims to crack down on homegrown terrorism. With the fear of terrorism becoming more widespread in all European countries, the question has been raised; would it ever be justifiable to ban religious symbols and garments on a college campus like our one here at NUI Galway? I argue that it would. At the beginning of December in the northern Connacht county of Sligo, a letter was discovered by a staff member of the Institute of Technology which contained some horrific details. Handwritten by someone who claims to be a native of another country, the letter set forth the way in which this individual was planning to ‘smoke’ six classmates with a pistol purchased on the deep web in an exam hall on 15 January. The student’s reasoning was because they were picked on due to their poor level of English. Gardaí and forensics investigated the claims and fortunately, no harm was done to any students on that day. The writer of the letter was never identified. This letter could easily have been a sadistic prank that was being played, but what if it was not? If this attack went ahead, the resulting injuries and deaths would have been had a devastating impact on the security of Ireland’s universities. This individual was bullied because of how they speak, but in other circumstances, it could just as easily have been for a multitude of reasons. For example, bullying due to religious differences. What if this person was a follower of Sikhism who is required, by their own faith, to carry a kirpan? A kirpan is a type of religious dagger and is but one of five religious articles of faith that Sikhs must carry at all times. What if this person was a Catholic who was shunned for their Bible belief that homosexuality is sinful? Or a Muslim woman whose burqa hides her face, therefore masking her identity? Bullying is never justified, but it does happen across all sub-sections of society daily. If the banning of religious items could be implemented to prevent any possible attacks like this taking place, it is wholly justifiable. The wearing of religious symbols is a personal choice, but it could be argued that religious symbols worn and possessed by people create divisions in society, and this is easily extended to university campuses.

In an ideal world, everybody would be able to wear whatever articles of clothing they chose and would not receive any backlash for it and would receive the same human interactions and opportunities at creating different relationships. However, we do not live in an ideal world. Unfortunately, people judge others based on their appearance and this inevitably leads to conflict. The wearing of a kippah by Jewish men can put pressure on other Jewish men to do the same, leading to internalised oppression of those who choose not to. The same goes for Muslim women and whether they choose wear the hijab. Western society has understandably become nervous about terrorist attacks and this has become associated with Islam. Veils and other

By Grace Kieran Morocco has recently banned the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of the burqa in what seems like an attempt to combat Islamic extremism. The debate over religious expression is centuries old and ultimately comes down to security versus personal privacy. One state might try to justify banning items of religious expression here on campus according to the safety of people on campus. If we allow students and professors to wear crucifix necklaces it will brainwash us all into extremist Christianity possibly dominating our politics, media and everyday life without us realising (I mean, God forbid that might happen).

The wearing of religious symbols is a personal choice, but it could be argued that religious symbols worn and possessed by people create divisions in society, and this is easily extended to university campuses. Unfortunately, people judge others based on their appearance and this inevitably leads to conflict.

By outlawing religious expression, you invite extremists to oppose this ban and advertise their dangerous views. When extremist groups take action what they want is a reaction – this censorship would be taking the bait and would only serve to anger more people.

items used to mask identities can pose a risk to the safety of others, and there is no use in denying it. If a disguised person on campus used the name of religion to harm others, would people defend that religion then? No. All members of that religion would be branded as violent and this would only lead to the creation of further tension. If banning religious symbols on campus could lead to integration and positive discussion and understanding, I believe it would be justifiable. When I first thought of this topic, I was against the banning of religious symbols, but that is not the question that was posed. Instead we are looking at whether it could be justifiable to do so on campus. With violence and ignorance towards all religions increasing around the world, wouldn’t it be nice to be part of a campus that looks at people for who they are, rather than what they wear or what they carry? In 2017, perhaps the principles and values you believe in should be given more prominence, regardless of who you worship.

Sincerely though, the censorship of religious expression as a reaction to violence is counterproductive. By outlawing religious expression, you invite the extremists to oppose this ban and advertise their dangerous views. When extremist groups take action what they want is a reaction – this censorship would be taking the bait and would only serve to anger more people. Furthermore, extremists of any religion are a minority therefore punishing the whole of campus assumes everyone belonging to that religion is a threat. You are making a blanket judgement. Moreover, those who originally felt part of NUI Galway and were comfortable expressing a key part of their life, their faith, feel marginalised and are encouraged to act out. You might attempt to argue that banning religious expression makes for an unbiased campus. Well, what’s wrong with the status quo? You can express impartiality by not imposing this ban too. If you want to create the impression of a liberal establishment who accepts everybody for who they are, limiting their religious freedom is not going to help you. Policing any kind of ban would not only be trou-

blesome but expensive. Universities are notoriously difficult to fund and manage. Don’t forget the couple hundred lawsuits and wages for staff appointed to regulate the punishments and coordination regarding this proposal. Not only financially but practically, this ban would be a nightmare. And where is the funding coming from? Certainly, it is not justified to spend somebody’s money on legislation that they might not agree with. Another issue with enforcing this ban would be that in the commercial world there are no rules about what is put out on the high street. Many cases of fashion incorporate religious affiliations- anything from a stylish rosary to a sweater sporting “OH MY GOD” as a slogan. Where is the line? The cross, for instance is commonly used as print for clothing, seen everywhere from Penneys to Brown Thomas. People would unknowingly breach the ban just by staying on trend. This is the tip of the ice berg – imagine if every Yin Yang earring and Om tattoo was banned on campus. It is not necessarily an expression of Taoism or Buddhism respectively, but an expression of self. Here lies the crux of the matter: people would feel personally targeted when confronted with this ban. When you give yourself to a faith you are, in a sense, giving yourself an identity. It relates to not only your own morals but is often deeply rooted with your own community and family. Wearing a cross necklace is not necessarily for those around you, but for yourself. It is a reminder of home. What’s more, wearing the burqa in particular is an act of virtue to please Allah. Therefore, prohibiting religious expression is a personal attack on a person’s past, their core beliefs and is an insult in itself. Finally, this ban could be introduced for the university to align itself with Ireland as a “secular state”, something we are moving towards. This is despite Éamon de Valera’s 1937 Constitution which recognised a “special position of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church” within the state. Receding influence of the Catholic Church has led to an increasingly secularised society. So, it could be argued that we need to enforce the notion of secularism into our institution by removing references to any religion, including ones worn by those on campus. However if the state was so anxious to associate with religion, they might think about tweaking the constitution, and remove The Angelus from primetime television, which is essentially a Christian call to prayer in our diverse nation. Even if this has little to do with NUI Galway, the rule would be practically unenforceable on these grounds, since every hospital ward and cul-de-sac is named after a Christian saint. Overall, this ban would be impractical, expensive, and frankly counterproductive. I would wager that it would be impossible to accomplish, with religion so engrained into our society. It would not only incite violence but also make people feel isolated and targeted in a place which is supposed to be for making memories and finding yourself.


12 OPI NI O N

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

University Hospital Galway opens new wards to ease crisis but are we acting quickly enough? By Grainne Hamill For years we have noted that staff within our hospitals, and throughout the country, are extremely overworked. With long hours and low pay, how can we expect our tired public service workers to be mentally and physically capable of taking care of the needs of patients within their wards? Complaints have been made time and time again to the Irish government to make changes within our hospitals and demands have been made for a pay rise and more flexible hours. However, as reported in The Connacht Tribune, University Hospital Galway (UHG) recently opened a new ward and with it comes much controversy. This ward has opened 25 new beds, and the HSE hopes to open another 50 in the foreseeable future. It is with this information that some light can be shone on the tragedy which is our health system. Though this all sounds well and good, it is also said that three wards within the hospital will also close as part of this development, ultimately creating no extra beds within UHG. This is

according to Galway West TD Hildegard Naughton as reported in The Connacht Tribune. Meanwhile the government are spending 17.6 million euro on this so-called development. The new ward which was opened on 30 December in UHG has been described as a “state of the art” facility. Yet, how will this “state of the art” facility ease the suffering of patients and help the overworked staff within the wards? Over the years, UHG has received criticism from many political figures throughout Ireland including our very own Taoiseach. Late in 2015, Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department within the hospital had “served its time”. Since this revelation, very little has been done to combat the number of trolleys along the corridors within A&E. It is said however, that this new development is a “solution” to UHG’s problems. This is sadly not the case. The A&E system in the hospital is less than desirable in the hospital. The number of staff is low within the hospital, within the A&E department as well as on the many wards within UHG.

The actions of the state, as well as the head of our hospitals are not actions which are performed quickly enough to tackle the growing problems within our health service. These actions are failing the most vulnerable of our society, and leaving many patients suffering over night or even longer. This is not the fault of our hard working public service workers though, and the blame must be placed upon our government which have yet to make effective changes to our health service. It is in the state’s best interest to lower the hours of work that hospital staff must put in and increase their income in the hope that we will attract more young people towards health service work. The mayor of Galway recently released a statement after experiencing first-hand the horror within UHG. He explained that the system itself was at fault “not the nursing staff and doctors”. He told the press that staff are “trying to do their jobs under impossible conditions. Hospital management are placing obstacles in their way because of their refusal to implement changes to the operational systems”.

This statement by Galway’s mayor is only one of many, and shows the true conditions within UHG.

to invest in Merlin Park, creating either a new A&E service or new wards for specific fields within the health sector there

Many others have come to the conclusion that a new hospital within Merlin Park should be considered as an effective remedy for the overcrowding of UHG. It is predicted that if the government was

would be less problems within UHG. Yet, it must be questioned if this would be a long term or short term solution. Would patients not still be suffering due to staff still having long and unrealistic hours?

NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Tuesday, 7 February, from 1pm-5pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase NUI Galway’s fulltime and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. There will be over 100 information stands on the day where you will get details on postgraduate opportunities, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. The Open Day will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme, the practicalities of making an application, scholarships and funding, and on the options available to you if you wish to change direction from your undergraduate degree, or change your career path. Josephine Walsh, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study boosts employability. The number of postgraduates in employment has grown consistently in recent years and NUI Galway’s well-established links with industry allows them to take the first step in building their career.”

Funding your potsgraduate study

SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), the national Awarding Authority for all higher and further education student grants, will give an information talk and will be on hand in the hall answering your questions and providing you with information on the funding opportunities and application process for postgraduate grants. Information will also be available on the range of scholarship opportunities open to you.

Changing Direction – talk at 2.30pm.

Tuesday 7th February 1-5pm Bailey Allen Hall

www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day/

You’ve spent the last few years attending lectures, writing essays, taking exams, living and breathing your degree, and maybe you realise that your chosen career path is no longer one you deem the perfect fit for you. Have you considered changing direction and seeking an alternative for your postgraduate study? It is more than possible and there are more doors open to you at NUI Galway than you imagine. Come along to Postgraduate Open Day and you’ll see that with a large number of conversion courses- courses which are interdisciplinary or are open to graduates from multiple undergraduate courses- making that transition is easier than you might think. Equally should you love what you do, chances are we have the perfect Postgraduate course to bring you further towards your career goals. To view NUI Galway’s new and unique postgraduate programmes and to book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or simply call in on the day.


A O N A C H O I B R E & TA I S T I L T H A R L E A R C H O M H A LTA S N A M A C L É I N N , O É G A I L L I M H

Working &Traveling Fair 2017

Start Planning Your Best Summer Ever! Food

Stalls

Abroad

T O S A I G H A G P L E A N Á I L A N T S A M H R A I D H I S F E A R R A B H E I D H A G AT G O D E O !

Exhibitors include J1 Visa Companies, Travel Companies, Volunteering/Adventure Companies and Internship/Training Companies 12PM-3PM WEDNESDAY 25TH OF JANUARY 2017 IN ÁRAS NA MAC LÉINN

12 i.n.-3 i.n. Dé Céadaion an 25 Eanair in Áras na Mac Léinn

NUI GALWAY DOES NOT ENDORSE OR AFFILIATE WITH ANY EXTERNAL COMPANIES EXHIBITING AT THE FAIR

www.su.nuigalway.ie

More information: www.su.nuigalway.ie facebook.com/NUIGalwayStudentsUnion twitter.com/NUIGSU

www.su.nuigalway.ie

facebook.com/NUIGalwayStudentsUnion

or email studentsunion@nuigalway.ie Tuilleadh eolais: www.su.nuigalway.ie nó cuir riomhphost chuig studentsunion@nuigalway.ie

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14 FA SHI O N

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

GOLDEN GLOBES 2017 SIN Fashion’s choice of the best and worst dressed 

By Aileen O’Leary

Style Spot NAME: Aisling Ly COURSE: Final year arts student FASHION ICON: Audrey Hepburn as she is stylish and had such grace in styling her clothes

FAVOURITE ITEM IN MY WARDROBE: My jeans,

WORST DRESSED

BEST DRESSED

The Golden Globes; a celebration of the best and brightest in television and film throughout the world. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association draws out Hollywood Royalty to begin the award show season with a bang. The 74th Golden Globes proved to be a night to remember, with memorable moments such

as ‘That Kiss’, off camera between Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield after Reynolds lost the bid for best actor, Meryl’s speech calling out Trump, Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig’s monologue proving they could host together next year, and of course who could forget Sarah Paulson dedicating her globe to Marcia

Clarke, the role that brought her career to a whole new level of stardom. But like every year there were stars who rocked the red carpet and those who made a few fashion faux pas. Here are the five best and worst dressed at the 2017 golden globes;

Viola Davis

Gina Rodriguez

Lily Collins

Kristen Bell

Drew Barrymore

The ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ star went bold and bright on the red carpet in a yellow Michael Kors dress.

The ‘Jane the Virgin’, actress looked stunning in a glimmering halter gown by Naeem Khan. She was the essence of Old Hollywood glamour.

The actress set to star in the 2017 flick ‘To the Bone’, looked magical on the red carpet at the globes. Her gown was designed by Zuhair Murad.

Proof that sexy can be subtle, the former ‘Veronica Mars’ star looked smouldering on the carpet but didn’t show off too much in a simple black Jenny Packham dress.

Can this ‘Charlie’s angel’ do no wrong? She looked effortlessly chic in this boho style Monique Lhuillier dress.

Heidi Klum

Gwendoline Christie

Naomi Campbell

Carrie Underwood

Felicity Jones

because they’re so comfy

FAVOURITE GOLDEN GLOBES LOOK: Maisie Williams with her simple gown and styled bun. She worked that dress!

NAME: Caoimhe Curran COURSE: Medicine FASHION ICON: Alexa Chung FAVOURITE ITEM IN MY WARDROBE: My long white puffy parka from Monki that I got a couple of months ago. I’ve worn it every day since. FAVOURITE GOLDEN GLOBES LOOK: Mandy Moore - I’m loving the top/dress with cap combination that’s everywhere these days. For a model of her calibre it’s sad to see the Klum flop on the red carpet, her dress was a graphic pattern gone wrong, and she couldn’t pull it off.

The ‘Game of Thrones’ star was totally washed out in her gown, her fair skin blended in with the dress and thus another tragedy of the red carpet.

Fashion faux pas By Amanda Leeson She may be one of the best known women; what with her own fashion label and an ex footballer for a husband but even this style icon has problems when it comes to money. Victoria Beckham the face behind the brand of her own name has come into financial difficulties with her business. The label has reported that without the financial support of her husband, the former models’ company would be at a loss of £3.8 million pounds. The first flag-ship store home to the label,

2017 might mark a decade since Campbell completed her community service in a Dolce and Gabana gown, but is she having a throwback Thursday moment with this Versace gown, someone report Campbell to the fashion police because this dress is committing a crime against fashion.

Normally one to grace the carpet in style and poise, Underwood made a rare fashion faux pas. The ruffles in her Iris Serban dress completely took over and detracted attention away from Underwood.

costing a whopping £2.8 million, was opened in Mayfair Central London. In 2014 the brand grew rapidly and the Beckham’s increased their staff from 68 to 97 in the space of twelve short months. However, in recent months the business has taken a turn and David Beckham was needed to step in and save his damsel in distress. It is thought the former Manchester United player invested a massive £5.2 million pounds to save Victoria from losing her brand. Recent figures show that the highest paid director of the company – which will come as no surprise is Victoria herself – was receiving £455,000 in wages. The brand which launched in 2008 contains chic styles that have that designer quality as well as the price tag.

The starlet looked more dollhouse than dazzling, the dress felt dated and the Gucci gowns two toned pink and ornate bodice just didn’t work for Jones.

Victoria has won a string of awards for her fashion skill including Designer Brand of The Year at the British Fashion Awards. Last year the world’s most stylish lady also collaborated with well-known makeup brand Estee Lauder to release her own makeup range containing lipsticks and eye-shadows among the line. Behind closed doors it would seem that the Beckhams’ are the perfect family. Her sons are making their way in the industry at a very young age and David is the face of many companies. However, all may not be as great as it seems with her brand not quite living up to expectation is one of the world’s most iconic faces starting to show her imperfections? We have to wonder where it all went wrong for the fashion maven.


NÓS MAIRE ACHTÁLA 

January 24 2017

15

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: Spot the signs

How to recognise if someone might be dealing with mental health issues – and how to help By Megan Reilly

L

UCKILY, we live in a society where mental health is talked about a lot more than it used to be, and people are finally recognising the importance of looking after and fostering good mental health, as much as it is in our power to do so. We still have a long way to go; getting comfortable talking about medication for example, and recognising the spectrum of mental health issues outside of depression and anxiety. Oftentimes people still struggle on in silence, maybe friends or family members, and it’s always good to know how to spot the signs of someone dealing with these issues and know how to help them.

How to spot the signs: Signs of mental health difficulties include listlessness, withdrawal, loss of interest in

that which the person once found interesting, sudden bursts of irrational anger, prolonged silence, changes in weight and diet, and insomnia, to name some of the most common. Some people hide their issues, whereas others will be upfront about them. It may seem overwhelming, but usually we are attuned to the people in our lives enough to notice small changes in behaviour and attitude, and there are many things we can do to help.

What to do: The first step is not to feel helpless. Just remember; it’s not up to you to fix all the problems of the person, or of the world. You being in their life is a good start; you can point them in the right direction to get help if they need it, and you can support them and be there for them when they need you. There are many places out there that provide help.

The four main services on campus to remember are: • The counselling service at number 5 Distillery Road, which provides a free service for students: 091 492484 • The Welfare officer in the Students’ union, another free confidential listening and referral service: su.welfare@ nuigalway.ie or call 086 3853659 • The Health Unit; which may seem a little daunting, but is the best place to take someone if they urgently need to be seen. They operate on a walk-in, first come first served basis, and the hours are Monday to Friday, Mornings: 9.15am - 12.30pm Afternoons: 2.30pm - 4.30pm • The Chaplaincy is another place on campus that provides support and advice to students, and you can contact them at: chaplains@­nuigalway.ie

There are always places outside of campus too. Jigsaw are a fantastic resource for those age 15-25 and are located right by the coach station in town. The Galway Samaritans are always available to offer support and advice on 091 561 222. It usually goes without saying but it doesn’t do any harm to say it anyway; if someone confides mental health issues to you, never minimise their problems or simplify it down to ‘getting out of a mood’ or ‘calming down.’ Human beings are endlessly complex, and what you can do to help them is listen and show empathy, be with them if they need you to be. Also, don’t feel pressure to regurgitate something from the generic book of advice and platitudes. We Irish often feel the need to offer something to someone in need, even if it’s only words we’ve heard in a movie or a book. Just

know that you don’t always have to patch it up with words, you are enough as it is. Sometimes though, you will have to give your friend a push in the right direction. It’s always a good idea to ask them what they need. Don’t hesitate to refer them to one of the places mentioned above. Sometimes people have negative reactions to this, but you just need to reassure them against the stigma and be there to support them. Finally, finding out someone close to you has mental health problems can have an impact on you too, and self-care is always important. There are so many ways to look after your mental health, and though a challenge at times, it’s all about finding what works for you. Make sure you look after yourself and those around you this semester.

Top 10 cheap and cheerful meals

Are video games bad for our health?

By Rosie Boyle

By Eoghan Murphy

It’s January, it’s cold and you are experiencing a chronic case of post-Christmas blues. New Year’s Resolutions? Great idea but ending with an often-poor execution. Returning to the bleak college lifestyle with grubby houses, damp walls and whatever mouldy contents which remain in your near empty kitchen press, the Holidays’ are well and truly over. It seems that you are only back and pressure of socialising verses study is already looming! What better way to survive these dark Galway days and keep colds and flus at bay than a healthy yet delicious diet. With a student budget, the healthy option may seem unaffordable and too time-consuming - and the taunting temptation of take-away lingers, with flyers being shoved through the letterbox daily. But ignore them - stay focused. If you’re happily fed, you’ve a happy head. Here are a few ideas:

BEANS ON TOAST Old but gold. It’s quick, easy and it tastes so good. What you might not know is that Heinz Baked Beans are indulged with protein and iron - necessities for keeping those colds and flus away. A portion of baked beans with a slice of wholemeal bread equates a happy healthy breakfast, all under 100 calories - only a small percentage of your daily intake.

POACHED EGG Did you know that you can make a poached egg in the microwave? Step 1: Fill a mug/small bowl with ½ a cup of water. Step 2: Crack one egg into the mug. Step 3: Poke several holes in the yoke of the egg using a fork to avoid mini egg explosion. Step 4: Place mug in microwave for 1 minute. After the minute is complete, check to ensure egg white is firm. If not place in the microwave for a further 15 seconds.

Step 5: Scoop egg from cup with spoon or fork. Step 6: Enjoy. No mess, no fuss. *Microwaving time may vary depending on appliance.

TUNA & SWEETCORN Whether it be in a wholemeal wrap, between two slices of brown bread or tossed with pasta, this fish meal is high in protein and low in saturated fat.

BOOJHOME Boojum is one of the best-known food places amongst students in Galway. It is often considered the ‘healthy takeaway’, and it tastes amazing. So why not mix up your own? You need: Tortilla wrap (wholemeal), rice (flavoured or plain), veg (lettuce, peppers, onion etc.), choice of meat and whatever sauce/salsa you desire! You can always ditch the carbs and make your own burrito bowl too! Simples.

HUMUS & CO. Humus is a spread made from cooked and then crushed chickpeas and other beans. It is the perfect snack, coming in different flavours at affordable prices available in almost any supermarket. Try humus and Oatcakes, this combination results in a high fibre snack which will keep you going between meals. Humus matched with freshly chopped carrot and celery sticks is also an on-the-go bite which will leave you satisfied without that sluggish feeling.

OMELETTE Eggs, eggs, and more eggs. A 3-egg omelette will get you on your way to an energised day. Scramble your eggs, adding onion, peppers, chorizo or whatever your heart desires.

Top Tip: Instead of flipping your omelette, once the bottom is cooked place under the grill for several minutes (while keeping a close eye), when the top looks bronzed remove and enjoy!

TURKEY STIR FRY Stir Fries are quick, easy and taste great. Using a deep-set pan or wok, throw in whatever veggies you like and instead of chicken, why not try turkey? Leaner and cheaper! Fry the ingredients using coconut oil instead of olive/ vegetable oil. You can barely taste the difference but your body can. Don’t forget the noodles!

SWEET POTATO FRIES Often known as a super food, sweet potatoes are fat free as well as cholesterol-free! They’re full of iron and vitamins. And not to mention extremely affordable and accessible. Peel & chop your sweet potato into large chips. Grease your tray and lay out your chips, apply salt, pepper and other flavours or seasonings you prefer (mixed herbs, soy sauce, nutmeg). Heat your oven to 200C, cook your fries for 30/40mins – check and toss regularly until crisp.

CHOCOLATE Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner? Check! You’ve done well, now for a treat. Cocoa is rich in minerals which are also found in red wine and green tea, but are most prominent in dark chocolate. It helps with high blood pressure, and a healthy heart. So, go on, treat yo’self!

H2O Drink lots and lots of Water! Often, your body is thirsty not hungry!

The old videogame stereotype is still somewhat fresh in the minds of most people. When the concept of “gamer” comes up, it’s usually split into two images formed long ago by the mass media. The first of these tropes is the clichéd skinny white schoolboy with freckles and glasses. Armed with his trusty inhaler, he’s the butt of the sports team’s practical jokes. This character is generally seen as both unfit and socially awkward. The second is the obese man in his 30s who whiles away the hours playing PC games in a dark basement, strewn with empty pizza boxes and soft drink cartons. With these outdated images being regularly projected as the typical video game fans, it’s easy to consider gaming to be a wholly unhealthy experience. However, that’s not exactly the case. There are many games and genres that advocate great health, both in body and mind. Firstly, let’s look back to the last generation of consoles and take a peek at the Nintendo’s juggernaut, the Wii. This machine single-handedly changed the face of gaming. Using a unique motion control system, the tiny console called for players to become more active while playing their favourite video games. This spanned from manoeuvring the cleverly named “Wiimote” slightly in order to control their your on-screen counterparts to games which required the gamer to swing the Wiimote wildly, imitating swordsmen and warriors. To further the idea of physical interaction, Nintendo released a disc based fitness programme simply titled Wii Fit. This training regime required players to log in on a daily basis and stand upon a “Balance Board” which would calculate their current weight. The result would then be compared to that of the previous day, and thus discovering whether the user had lost or gained weight. By requesting the player’s height, the game would then calculate their optimal body mass and make suggestions about how to achieve this. From here, Wii Fit gave way to a wealth of mini games which made use of both the Balance Board’s weight receptors and the Wiimote’s motion controls, calling for the player to move their body in time with the on-screen instructions. Through

movement and breathing exercises the game supplied a fun, yet thorough, daily workout. To date, Wii Fit has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide. However, the idea of physically engaging videogames doesn’t end there. French studio Ubisoft, best known for such franchises as Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs, are no strangers to stepping away from the couch and getting active. Ubisoft’s Just Dance series has been a colossal success since first launching back in 2009. Taking the concept of arcade smash Dance Dance Revolution and riding on the popularity of the Guitar Hero series, this rhythm based series play hip-hop, dance and pop songs while scoring its players on their ability to dance along to the music. Making use of motion controls, cameras and even the players’ smartphones, Just Dance’s yearly releases are an enjoyable and healthy way to play video games. Although physical health is hugely important, and gamers need to exercise just as much as anyone else, a side of gaming that’s often overlooked is how good it can be for a player’s mental health. Firstly the way video games are played has changed vastly over the last decade. The single player experience has been somewhat placed on the backburner in favour of a much more social aspect. Since the introduction of online services, game consoles have become a place for players to go and hang out with their friends and meet new people, be they down the street or on the other side of the world. It’s a place in which people can gather, interact and socialise with one another, widening their circle of friends while keeping in touch with those they already know. If the old stereotype of the socially awkward gamer even has an iota of relevance to it in 2017, then a mechanism in which this character can engage with others from the safety of his or her own home could do wonders for their mental health. However if this person is nothing more than a trope, then there is still a place for everyone to go, relax and play together. Regardless of if they are exercising their minds through lightning fast discussion making and hand-to-eye coordination or exercising their bodies to the beat of Just Dance’s greatest hits, players can benefit from the gaming’s unspoken health options.


16 LI F E ST Y L E

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

Learning to budget By Aileen O Leary Trying to be practical with money in college is something that seems impossible for most of us. Between buying books for classes, food, clothes, going on nights out and of course being able to treat yourself every now and again, it’s hard to save in college. It’s even harder to budget every week, but yours truly has taken the hassle out of budgeting and found easy ways to save money this semester, while still managing to go out and treat yourself. Here’s a few tips on how to budget:

can set up savings accounts and withdraw cash at home and abroad without any charges. They can also top up mobile phones online and receive discounts for apps like JUSTEAT.IE. The app also lets you track your spending monthly, so you can see where you’re spending the most and where you can cut back. Transfers can be made every week or month from your current account to your savings from as little as ten euro, so if you can part with a tenner every week, by the end of the semester you’ll have close to one hundred and fifty euro to splash out at the end of your exams.

Set up an online banking account:

Prioritise your bills:

Now I know it sounds like something you’ve probably already done, but actually most banking institutions like AIB have online banking and student accounts for members, and a lot of people don’t use it enough. With AIB for instance, students

If you’ve got monthly subscriptions for Spotify or Netflix or if you’re paying back a loan for your first car, you need to ensure there’s enough in your account to cover it, set aside enough to cover your bills each month and make sure you don’t spend it,

whether you’re keeping it on your card or in cash limit for your bills only and if the funds are tight that week maybe take a week off the sesh and stay in. One week is not going to ruin your semester, you can go out again the week after as long as you make sure you’ve paid what you owe. The same rule applies for anyone living in rented accommodation off campus, if you’ve got electricity bills or heating especially in these colds months, make it a priority that you pay it either at the start or end of the month whenever you have the most funds available. It’ll save you from having to call the bank of mom and dad for a bailout and it is great practice for when you’re out in the real working world.

Make use of those student discounts: One of the major perks of going to college, aside from an education and wild social life, is getting a student discount. Use

apps like UNIDAYS, in store and online if you forget your student card. Signing up is free, and only takes two minutes. Once you’re registered you’ll be ready to go, with major fashion outlets like New Look, Topshop, Missguided and Schuh all accepting UNIDAYS. Save some cash this semester by shopping around. If you’ve found the denim jacket of your dreams in TOPSHOP, but it costs a fortune, check other brands like New Look for dupes of the look or even good ole penneys. Try to avoid buying duplicates of clothes you already have. Try to minimalise your wardrobe, if you haven’t worn something in a year either donate it or throw it away, it’s unnecessary clutter, plus it will free up more space for new pieces to add. Try to buy quality over quantity. Sometimes it’s better to shell out the extra few quid to buy a decent coat that will last you through a few seasons, or investing in a solid pair of boots that

you’ll have for years rather than buying new every year from cheaper outlets.

Save on your night out: Most nightclubs have Facebook pages or apps these days to help you get free in, so for most of us it’s a toss-up between Carbon, 44, Electric or dare I say it, Karma. If you’re looking to get free into Carbon look out for reps - they usually do the rounds of student accommodation on a Monday night giving away free bands to get in. Or if you’re a fan of Electric or 44 download the UniPhi Nights app to get either free in or cheap list - just show your pass at the door, but make sure to screenshot the code in case your 3G cuts out folks - no one likes paying a fiver in so avoid it if you can. Also most nightclubs run competitions on their Facebook pages, from Guestlist to VIP treatment. Stay in the loop by following online so you never miss anything.

Is Minimalistic living the way forward?

Which NUI Galway Icon are you? Take the quiz and find out

By Roisin McManus

By Heather Robinson

Q3: Where do you sit in the lecture hall?

Could you be Smokey’s Pigeon, the Big Yellow Thing or the Graduate statue (the headless one) outside Áras na Mac Léinn? All of these are staples in college life here in NUI Galway. Choose the answer that’s most like you for all seven questions and count up your score at the end.

a. You sneak into the back, late as usual.

After hearing about ‘minimalistic living’ for quite some time now, I began to be interested in what it meant and how you can achieve it. After reading many articles on the topic, I have come to understand that the term refers to people removing non–necessities from their lives in the hope of a simpler existence and a more fulfilling life based on experiences, such as relationships, travel, and love. In terms of us students, I feel like this type of living would be very beneficial as we all know how money just disappears from one week to the next, and the regret that comes with not being able to partake in everything NUI Galway, and the city itself, offers. I found an article online that discussed removing one thing you own every day for a month as a way of easing yourself into the minimalistic life. Perhaps to start this process, you could begin by tidying and organising the space you live in to get your head around what stuff you can get rid of and what stuff needs to be kept. Then, when you have completed, you can begin chucking away your unwanted items that were previously lying in a cupboard you may not have looked in for years. The reason we keep all these items we don’t need is because we think that we will need them in a future that doesn’t yet exist. Also, we feel like things hold memories that are important to us while forgetting that it is our own memory that reminds us of these special memories, not material things. When we continuously hoard all these items that hold memories, we end up constantly building up an unnerving number of things we don’t need. This means we end up with too many material things which crowd out the emotional needs we originally

kept them for and can end up just leaving us stressed with the number of things left lying in our space. In favour of a life full of experiences rather than a material life, we need to be more mindful of how we spend our time. As students, this can mean saving up money with a group of friends to go on a short holiday, rather than spending a lot of money going out at night. Of course, going out is still fun, but rather than falling into the trap of going out and spending too much, we could instead put away the amount of money we would spend on a night out towards a holiday, every now and again. We, as people, are the sum of our experiences, rather than the things we own. Despite your personality, consumerism tends to be negative for us all, makes us feel negative and down and can lead to people becoming socially disengaged. Instead of constantly giving into trends that businesses advertise to influence people on what to buy, we could invest in, for example, high quality clothes that will last, and instead of buying too many books or DVDs, we could become a member of a library or subscribe to Netflix to watch films. A lot of the steps you can take for this lifestyle are simple but overlooked as we have become used to a certain way of living. What really matters in life is our relationships with people, the places we have travelled to, the hobbies we do that interest us, and the life experiences and lessons we learn along the way. The next time you head into Shop Street to the River Island sale, or Penneys for ‘just a look’, think of the other ways you can spend your money. Think of the trips you could take with the money you can buy a new wardrobe in Penney’s with, or the friends you can meet by going bag–packing, instead of spending your money without thinking.

Q1: On a night out, you are:

a. Bouncing around a party, chatting up a storm with everyone and being the loudest. b. Doing something sensible like studying in the reading room and then going home to look over lecture notes before bed. c. Either dancing on a table top somewhere or enjoying an easy night in a pub with good friends. There’s no in-between.

Q2: You are getting fast food, you choose:

But you only came because there was no-one to hang out with on the concourse. b. You sit close to the lecturer so that you can ask questions and see the notes c. The middle section, you don’t like being too close to the line of fire but if you have something to say, you can be heard.

Q4: Where do you go for lunch on campus?

a. The Bialinn b. The College Bar c. Smokey’s Q5: It’s study week, what does your timetable look like?

a. You plan on reading the notes on

c. You convince yourself you’ll be a study machine and rise at 7am each morning but in reality you sleep in ‘til 11am and blindly stare at notes for an hour before binging on Netflix.

Q6: It’s the weekend! You:

a. You go out to the club on Thursday with your college friends, nurse a hangover on Friday and go to a house party on Saturday with your oldest friends. b. Stay in Galway for the weekend? Out of the question! You’re on the first bus home, as soon as lectures finish. c. You only go home every few weeks so you mostly enjoy your weekends in Galway by having some friends over for last-minute nights out and movie nights.

Q7: You have an overdue book from the library:

way if you’re not too hungry. b. You always eat out because you don’t know how to cook, so it’s a casserole your mam gave you or Boojum for you tonight! c. Dough Bro’s pizza if you have some extra cash. A Chinese takeaway if it’s a night in.

Blackboard for all the lectures you missed. Probably the day before the exam. b. You mark a desk in the reading room as ‘yours’ and to your delight can spend every day tackling the bigger chapters in your textbooks. You even have some extra reading pencilled in.

a. Big Yellow Thing

b. Graduate Statue

c. Smokey’s Pigeon

You’re fun and out-going and a total showstopper! Everyone can’t help but notice you as you dominate the social scene on campus. You practically live on the concourse and can always be seen with a big group of friends. People love stopping you for a chat because of your warm personality. They know they can take a break from their hectic schedules when you’re around. Take care that you’re not too social, your friends might be using you as procrastination from their own study.

You’re a total study buddy and you prefer to keep your head down on campus. University is for learning and you’re completely focused on graduating with top honours. While this work ethic is commendable, you don’t have many life skills. You might want to get your head out of the books every once in a while and take a look around our beautiful Galway city and all it has to offer.

Did someone say food? You love nothing better than Netflix and chill with bae, a good takeaway and coffee dates in Smokey’s with your friends in-between lectures. You’re stylish but you’re all about comfort and people most likely know you for your crazy shenanigans on nights out. You’ve recently been seen hobbling with one foot on the concourse because you tried to do a cartwheel in heels.

a. Supermac’s of course. Maybe a Sub-

a. It’s not yours, you’ve never been in the library.

b. The librarians smile when they see you coming, this has happened before.

c. You return the book and refuse to borrow another one for the rest of your course. It’s now final year and you still haven’t paid the fee.

ANSWERS:


NÓS MAIRE ACHTÁLA 

January 24 2017

17

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Ways to spend money now that Christmas is over By Heather Robinson You’re back at college and your parttime job, the old routine kicks in again and you’ve been given your first payslip since the Christmas break. It dawns on you as the money enters your account; you don’t have to buy any more gifts for anyone. You recall all those dollah bills you forked out in December for your family and now finally, this one’s for you! So you head into town with your wages burning a hole in your pocket and you look around the shops hoping to spy something nice but the one time you have cash, there is nothing you want! It needn’t be so frustrating, lucky for you SIN has thought up ways you can spend money, now that you don’t have to buy Christmas gifts!

Obviously you can’t paint the walls without your landlord’s permission and you probably wouldn’t bother anyway but a couple new furnishings might be nice. It could be something different like

a new desk chair for your room. The Curiosity shop on Merchant’s road have plenty of good quality second-hand furniture for a great bargain. TKMaxx and Penneys are also prime for their home-

Holiday Plan a trip, or two, away for the year. Pick your destination, book your flights and start saving your spending money. I don’t need to go into much detail here – we all love a bit of travel. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could plan a more substantial trip away for a longer period of time. Maybe it’s time to tackle the European continent? Is Asia calling you? A lot of people are saying this could be one of the last years to take a decent J1 to the United States. Consider it.

Spoil a friend

Bedroom makeover If your college bedroom (or your home bedroom) is looking a little sparse and cold and you never really feel at home there, maybe you could give it a quick makeover. Buy a couple of posters if that’s your thing, a new bedspread, a cosy blanket and cushions… go wild!

ware selection. If you’re a lad, don’t be shy, there may be one or two items you fancy on offer.

A lot of people are saying this could be one of the last years to take a decent J1 to the United States. This could be the perfect time to start saving for your dream trip!

Sometimes the best nights out can be a dinner-for-two in a nice restaurant with a bottle of wine. Have a mooch around the many wonderful restaurants Galway has to offer and make your choice. Check the menus and make a booking. Then surprise a close friend, girlfriend or boyfriend with a fancy date! Tell

them to dress up, take them to dinner and a movie and enjoy spending quality time with the ones you love. It’s incredible the amount of fun you can have with someone as you bond over food and share sides and giggle over all the wine you’ve drank. You can always move onto a pub afterwards if you want some live music and a dance or you can order a second bottle and stay ‘til closing. Whichever fits the mood.

January Sales Perhaps none of the options above appeal to you, but you still want to spend all that moolah! Well, you, sir, are only fit for the January sales. Take yourself to the nearest clothes store and pile your arms high with new jeans, woollies and shoes and give your wardrobe a breath of fresh air. Get rid of any old clothes you don’t wear and fill it with your new treasures. Buy the expensive pair of trainers or the designer handbag. Get the phone you want or the other tech gadget you bookmarked on Amazon. Look on Groupon for discounts to dance classes in the city or any number of activities from go-karting to paintballing. Go big or go home!


A E T

M N E O D C U E T R B MS E I É C

E L B

D A

E H C

N N A

O D Í I Closing date: MONDAY 13TH FEBRUARY

An dáta deiridh: DÉ LUAIN, AN 13 FEABHRA

What’s in it for you? Cén fáth a nglacfainn páirt? • • • • • • •

Build your leadership, teamwork and communication skills Looks great on your CV Meet new people and work closely with lecturers Support 1st year students Hoodie and parties for leaders CÉIM leadership certificate and digital badge Full training provided

CÉIM is based on the proven Peer Assisted Learning model, and is a partnership between the Students’ Union; and the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; the Discipline of Geography; and the School of Law. CÉIM is funded by NUI Galway Student Projects Fund and the Students’ Union.

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M I É C

CÉIM Student Leaders will help 2017/18 1st year students transition to university, gain a greater understanding of coursework, develop new skills and meet new people.

Open to: 1. 1st year Engineering students 2. 1st year BA Law students planning to study BA Law in 2nd year 3. 2nd year BA Law students 4. 1st year Geography students planning to study Geography in 2nd year 5. 2nd year Geography students

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2017?

Sign Language ➥ Learn SU Sign Language 10 Week course starts 24th January the Best Summer Ever ➥ Have SU Working & Travelling Abroad Fair Wednesday 25th January Money For Charity ➥ Raise SU Charity Collection Day Saturday 4th February for the RNLI & Threshold For Election ➥ Run SU Election Nominations open Thursday 16th February To Save Lives ➥ Learn SU Life Skills Occupational First Aid Course/CFR Course/ASIST A Mountain ➥ Climb SU Charity Croagh Patrick Climb Saturday 18th February Contact studentsunion@nuigalway.ie for more information

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20  A RT S & E NT E RTAIN M EN T

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

New Albums 1 – 14 January

5 best surprise music drops of our time

By Cian O’Brien

By Aoife O Donoghue

The xx - “I See You” (Indietronica, Dream Pop) ★★★★

The most notable release of the last two weeks is definitely “I See You” by The xx. After the massive critical acclaim of their debut album, xx, and the success of Jamie xx’s solo work, there was a lot of hype surrounding this new release. “I See You” is a departure from the slow and melancholic vibes of their previous two albums. You can hear the influence that Jamie’s solo work has had on the band, with the inclusion of more electronic instrumentation and samples. Despite the addition of synths, samples, strings, and horns, they’ve managed to maintain their signature stripped back sound. The airy, reverb-drenched gui-

Blues beating tunes: Your January playlist By Aileen O’Leary Want to beat those pesky winter blues? Well, check out these feel good tunes that will help you stop hitting snooze and help get you to those 9am lectures over the next few weeks. I’ve got a playlist that will make the morning commute that bit more manageable. Add to your own playlist for the gym or chill out and listen to these in your own time. I’ve got tracks for you guys, some old and some new, a few familiar faces and some fresh ones. So pop in those earphones and open your playlist because these are tunes that will have you feeling less blue and more like you in no time. • Tongue Tied - Grouplove: I did say there would be some oldies on this playlist. • Good Together - Honne: Relatively new to the music scene but worth a listen. • Mixtape 2003 - The Academic: If you haven’t heard of the Academic yet, you will now. • Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys: Don’t lie, we all know the words to this classic. • Something Good Can Work - Two Door Cinema Club: Talk about a throwback! tars and the simple-but-catchy bass lines still reign supreme here. The songs on this record are more upbeat too, which makes for a nice change of pace, while still keeping their emotional and intimate lyricism. There are great vocal performances from both lead singers, Oliver and Romy, leading to some nice variety throughout the record. Although I don’t think that this album surpasses their debut, I think that it is a worthy successor.

The Flaming Lips - “Oczy Mlody” (Neo-Psychedelia, Ambient Pop) ★★★

People weren’t sure what to expect from a new Flaming Lips album, and now that it’s been released, they’re still not sure what to think. Of course, any record they put out was always going to be strange. The band’s back catalogue is wildly varied, both in genre and in quality. They’ve released some highly acclaimed works in the past, as well as a slew of other releases, with varying degrees of success. The opening tracks of “Oczy Mlody” seem very promising, with some deep, bass heavy synth tones and distant, ambient vocals echoing intermittently. The

production on this record is great throughout, with all the synths sounding truly fantastic. However, the album seems a little directionless and wandering, without doing all that much to keep the listener’s attention. Overall, I enjoyed the record, but I don’t think it matches up to the high points of their career.

Bonobo - “Migration” (Downtempo, Future Garage) ★★★

Bonobo’s music features an eclectic blend of musical styles, using an extensive number of electronic and acoustic instruments. What is particularly impressive is that he plays most of the instruments himself, and self produces his work. Generally instrumental, his music is very immersive and atmospheric, often featuring catchy and upbeat drums and beautiful piano melodies, intertwined around complimenting synth and bass lines. This album also features some guest singers, as well as strings, harps, guitars, and horns, all contributing to a continually engaging and varying experience. He has released six LPs to date, and has managed to keep up a consistent level of quality throughout his work. This record is no different, and is definitely worth a listen.

Tangible Rays - “Seance” (Shoegaze, Psychedelic) ★★★★

“Seance” is the second release from Tangible Rays, a Shoegaze band from Youngstown, Ohio. They’re relatively unknown, but you can stream their albums on Bandcamp - the free streaming service for independent artists. Shoegaze is a subgenre of rock that was actually pioneered by an Irish band, My Bloody Valentine, in the 90’s. The guitar sounds are often obscured by a multitude of effects. The name Shoegaze comes from the fact that the musicians spend a lot of time looking down at their foot pedals. Tangible Rays is just one man, playing the instruments of an entire band. He creates a wonderfully full and textured sound, with multiple guitars in each track. The mix of light, jangly and distorted, fuzzy guitars set the tone of this record. The singing is quite low in the mix, as it is not the focus of the record. It is merely another instrument adding to the overall sound of the music. This is my favourite album of the year so far.

SOHN - “Rennen” (Alternative R&B) ★★★

“Rennen” is the second release from English Alternative R&B musician SOHN. It is an album centred around catchy vocal hooks, personal and intimate lyrics, and bass heavy synths. The production on “Rennen” is tight, with each synth tone chosen to perfectly capture the mood of the particular song. While producing a few upbeat songs on this record, such as the wonderfully catchy “Conrad”, he also has some very soulful tracks. The album flows very well and this atmosphere is maintained throughout, without becoming stale. His lyricism is very personal at times, and you can really feel the emotions in his vocal performances, particularly in the title track, “Rennen”, which is a stand out track for me. SOHN mixes R&B with the instrumentation of EDM and the sombre lyricism of Blues, and it really works.

Julie Byrne - “Not Even Happiness” (Indie Folk) ★★★

“Not Even Happiness” is the sophomore LP of Folk artist Julie Byrne. It is an intimate listening experience, featuring little instrumentation besides acoustic guitar. She plays the guitar masterfully, creating a very full sound all on its own. When she does include another instrument, it’s used sparingly and to great effect. She has a lovely, gentle voice, and she delivers a very dreamy vocal performance on this record. This feels like an album for quiet winter afternoons. It’s bare, atmospheric, and incredibly beautiful.

Ed Sheeran took us all by pleasant surprise earlier this month when after a year-long hiatus from the music scene, he returned to Twitter to announce his upcoming release of new music. The tweet, posted on New Year’s Day, simply showed a video of Ed waving with a sign saying ‘New music coming Friday!’ For the next few days, he teased us with short videos of possible song lyrics and album titles, before finally fulfilling his promise and gracing us with not one, but two new singles. ‘Castle On The Hill’ and ‘Shape of You’ are the two leading singles of his third studio album ÷, which is due for release on 3 March. Ed isn’t the first to spring surprise music on us, with the occurrence becoming quite a popular trend in the music business. So, here are a few other great surprise music drops of the past few years.

Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007) Radiohead were among the first to champion the surprise music release. They had just left their previous label EMI after the release of Hail To The Thief in 2003 and spent two years quietly working on In Rainbows without a record contract. In October 2007, Johnny Greenwood casually announced the completion of the album on the Radiohead blog, saying, “Well, the new album is finished, and it’s coming out in 10 days”. Ten days later, In Rainbows came out as a self-release on a ground-breaking pay-what-you-want model, where customers could pay what they felt like, including nothing at all. This sparked much debate in the music industry and was the source of certain controversy. The album itself received widespread critical acclaim and is included in the Rolling Stones’ ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.

Beyoncé – Beyoncé (2013) The release of Beyoncé’s self-titled visual album really and truly was a total surprise. Fans had been thrown off the scent by her PR team who had stated no new material was expected from

her until mid-2014. However, twelve days before Christmas 2013, we all got an early Christmas present when Beyoncé suddenly appeared on iTunes with absolutely no prior promotion. Understandably, the music press and the ‘Beyhive’ went nuts, with apparently around 1.2 million tweets generated about the release in 12 hours. The album, comprised of 14 songs and 17 videos featuring collaborations with Jay-Z, Drake and Frank Ocean and gave us the absolute crackers ‘Drunk in Love’, ‘Pretty Hurts’ and ‘XO’.

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015) If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was Drake’s fourth mixtape, which was released through the iTunes Store without prior announcement on February 13th, 2015. The mixtape, released before his studio album Views from the 6 was a 17-track project which received generally good reviews from music critics. It was commercial success, breaking Spotify’s first-week streaming record with over 17.3 million streams in the first three days.

David Bowie – Where Are We Now (2013) Now sadly gone from this world, David Bowie was the provider of some magical music in his time. He hadn’t released new music in ten years when the single ‘Where Are We Now’ came out on 8 January 2013, his 66th birthday. Not having performed since 2006, the music industry and his fans believed he had retired, so there was genuine shock when the single was dropped on iTunes for fans to discover for themselves with no promotion or warning. The single precluded the release of his 24th album The Next Day. As an honorary mention, Bowie’s final album Blackstar was also a surprise of its own kind. Bowie passed away from cancer two days after the release of his final album, shocking fans around the world who knew nothing of his illness. Having listened to Blackstar, it became clear the album was Bowie’s swansong, his final farewell to his fans and the music he had loved all his life.

Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body unveiled By Amanda Leeson Khloé Kardashian has debuted her highly anticipated new show Revenge Body this year. The star started to create hype for the new show on her Instagram page, counting down the days until the first episode was aired on Thursday 12 January. The blonde bombshell has expanded her TV empire by adding a new show to her list of achievements. Being no stranger to the camera, Khloé has starred in a host of other shows. Starring alongside her famous sisters, she is best known for the reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians, and spin-off shows Cocktails with Khloé and Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. Khloé, who has overcome massive challenges in recent years, turned to exercising and keeping fit as a way of coping. In 2015 the reality star released her book entited Strong Looks Better Naked, that details the issues she dealt with and how she got through them. Khloé believes that looking great is always the best form of revenge and Revenge Body shows Khloé motivate and help others to feel better through looking good from the inside out. The show itself follows people as they embark on a journey to change their life. Khloé mentors men and women that have been dumped, are trying to mend their relationships or that are facing

other life challenges. Through the show she gives them the opportunity to reinvent themselves while getting the ultimate revenge body. Khloé has a team of trainers, stylists and nutritionists behind her and is a support source for each candidate. The first episode entitled ‘Muscle Cub and The DUFF’, followed two people as they started the transformation. Stephanie described to Khloé that she was the DUFF of her group of friends (DUFF meaning designated ugly fat friend) and Will told of how he wanted to get revenge on his ex-boyfriend Kyle. The hour long episode details the journey they took. Contrary to speculation the show has received very positive feedback. Taking to Twitter to see how people reacted to the first episode, it was clear that people sympathised with the real life stories of the candidates. Twitter is full of people expressing how motivating Khloé is and how she is inspiring them to get fit. The inspiration has been branded as “Khlo-speration”. Revenge Body premiers a new episode every Thursday on E! and it is produced by Khloé Kardashian and Ryan Seacrest. Admittedly the show does take a drastic look at getting revenge postbreakup, but maybe after months of crying, the star found something that can help heal that pain.


C U LT Ú R

January 24 2017

Oscars 2017 Predictions By Stephen James It’s that time of year again. For us here at NUI Galway, it means the warm and fuzzy Christmas holiday vibes have well and truly dissolved by now. Semester 2 is in full swing, bringing with it a whole host of new lectures, assignments, deadlines and the occasional breakdown over trying to find the time to fit it all in while holding down a part time job and keeping up with those tricky new years’ resolutions. Even with the dawn of a new year, some things inevitably stay the same. This is true also for Hollywood’s biggest stars this time of year. Once again they find themselves in the midst of all the vote casting, red carpets, designer gowns, acceptance speeches and glamourous parties that are synonymous with honouring the biggest achievements in filmmaking and acting over the past twelve months. As usual, the Oscars are on everyone’s lips. The fervent speculation regarding who will receive these most coveted nominations ahead of the awards ceremony taking place next month has reached fever pitch. Many of the precursor awards shows are believed to give a good indication as to how the nominations will fall (the recent winners at the Golden Globes and the just released BAFTA nominations have drawn the most attention), and who the overall winners will be on 26 February. Here are a few of SIN’s predictions for who will receive nominations in the biggest categories and who to look out for in the race to the coveted statuettes.

Best Actor • Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea (Winner) • Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge • Ryan Gosling – La La Land • Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic • Denzel Washington – Fences All of the above actors have been hovering around the top awards this season, but there is a clear favourite going forward. Affleck has won huge praise for his portrayal of Lee Chandler, who takes over guardianship of his nephew following his brother’s death, in the emotionally charged Manchester by the Sea. Previously nominated in 2008 for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2017 is likely to see him claim his first win. Don’t rule out Ryan Gosling for a surprise win however. La La Land swept the board at the Golden Globes, and is expected to feature prominently in these nominations too.

Best Actress • Emma Stone – La La Land (Winner) • Natalie Portman – Jackie

• Isabelle Huppert – Elle • Ruth Negga – Loving • Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins Could we really have an Oscars without Meryl Streep featuring? She is likely to receive a staggering twentieth nomination for her role as the title character in Florence Foster Jenkins. Ireland’s very own Ruth Negga is likely to feature here also, for her incredible performance as Mildred Loving in Loving, famed for her fight against interracial marriage laws in 1950s Virginia. Isabelle Huppert could be a dark horse after her win at the Golden Globes for her turn in Elle, telling the story of a business woman who is raped and plots revenge. But ultimately this is Emma Stone’s award to lose. La La Land has been a runaway success, not least thanks to her performance as Mia Dolan, an as aspiring actress who has faced much rejection.

Best Supporting Actor • Mahershala Ali – Moonlight (Winner) • Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals • Dev Patel – Lion • Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water • Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea Aaron Taylor-Johnson was the surprise winner of the Golden Globe in this category for his portrayal of gang leader Ray Marcus in the brilliant Nocturnal Animals. It was expected that the award would go to Mahershala Ali for his turn in Moonlight, which chronicles the life of a young black man in a tough neighbourhood in Miami. Once again he appears to be the front runner here, but he will have stiff competition from Jeff Bridges, expected to receive an impressive seventh nomination for his role in wild-west bank heist feature Hell or High Water, and a breakout performance from Lucas Hedges as a teenager dealing with his father’s death in Manchester by the Sea, which received rave reviews.

Best Supporting Actress • Viola Davis – Fences (Winner) • Naomie Harris – Moonlight • Nicole Kidman – Lion • Greta Gerwig – 20th Century Woman • Janelle Monae – Hidden Figures As Variety writer Kristopher Tapley wrote regarding Davis’ performance in Fences, “the Academy can probably go ahead and engrave the statue”. After losing out on the award in 2008 (for Doubt) and 2011 (for The Help) Davis is almost certain to scoop it, following her win at the Golden Globes. Naomie Harris will give strong competition on the back of her performance as a controlling and abusive mother in Moonlight. Janelle Monae could be a dark horse in this category, after the singer turned actress was praised for her role in Hidden Figures, about an

Hollywood versus Trump By Deirdre Leonard It’s award season in Hollywood, which means enviable dresses, gold statues galore and well-meaning celebrity acceptance speeches. This year was no different, with Meryl Streep giving an impassioned speech at the Golden Globes criticising the actions and values of then President-elect Donald Trump and asking for a more inclusive, tolerant way of living. She was not the first to speak out about politics at the show that night but her speech captured the audience and left social media in a mixed frenzy of incredibly positive and very negative reactions. One of the more negative Twitter reactions came from none other than President Trump himself, who criticised the actress for her speech, calling her a ‘Hillary flunky’ and ‘overrated’. To anyone lucky enough not to have social media, this is a very typical online reaction from Trump. He’s often quick to jump to Twitter with his response to people or institutions who oppose or mock him publically. Shows like Saturday Night Live have been frequent recipients of Trump’s online hate for their depictions of him, while news broadcasters, magazines and papers are regularly attacked by him for running negative news stories. This kind of behaviour is the very thing Streep spoke about at the Golden Globes. In a recent interview on Late

African- American woman involved with NASA in the 60’s, but it’s hard to see Davis being pipped to the post again.

Best Director • Damien Chazelle – La La Land (­Winner) • Barry Jenkins – Moonlight • Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea • Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals • Denis Villeneuve – Arrival As mentioned already, La La Land has received huge praise and after it swept the board at the Golden Globes, including winning Best Director, it is likely to have a huge showing at the Oscars as well. Jenkins, Lonergan and Ford are all likely to feature for their respective offerings, all of which have been talking points at all awards shows thus far. A surprise nomination for Denis Villeneuve for Arrival in place of more Academy friendly offerings in Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge and Martin Scorsese’s Silence could be observed, but the award is Chazelle’s for the taking. Only time will tell who comes away with the spoils on awards night. Nominations are revealed 24 January ahead of the main event on 26 February.

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Night with Seth Meyers, KellyAnne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, expressed disbelief that people had been so disrespectful of the office of the President since Trump’s nomination. “I’m just so astonished to hear people outwardly ridicule the office of the President,” she said to a surprised audience. And yet, as Meryl Streep said in her speech, “disrespect invites disrespect”. Trump was one of the chief proponents of the birther movement in the U.S. during Obama’s Presidency and regularly criticised him publically on the campaign trail, online and in the media. Not only this, but he openly attacked former President Bill Clinton on the campaign trail over numerous personal issues and public policies he had while in office. It’s hard for a public to respect Trump as president when he has never set a precedent for respecting anyone. Streep said in her speech “when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose”, referring to Trump’s mocking of a disabled New York Times reporter on the campaign trail. She raises the important point of actions and reactions. If Trump can use his platform to slander and mock, to take power away from those in desperate need of representation, to show a blatant disrespect for people in general, why shouldn’t others follow his lead? Many of Hollywood’s elite are liberal Democrats and this was never clearer than in the run up to the most recent election. A-listers on both coasts endorsed and campaigned for Clinton, or at the very least expressed a strong disdain for Trump. Since Streep’s speech, many have argued that celebrities have no right to weigh in on political issues, or to attempt

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to sway public opinion. In recent months, many celebrities including Mark Ruffalo and Robert De Niro have spoken out in interviews and on social media about Trump or taken part in organised protests against his policies and Meryl Streep’s speech felt like a culmination of weeks of online criticism against him. To some it was just a speech: five minutes of an overpaid liberal in a thousand dollar dress talking about politics, but to many it was a sign. It was Hollywood giving their opinion of Trump. He will not be the friend to celebrities that Obama was, he won’t get to be the ‘cool president’ or the favourite of millennials. To many, these aren’t things that matter but they are a sign of a well-liked president and someone who’s respected within the entertainment industry - something Donald Trump is not. Trump often seems as though he desperately wants the approval of those who won’t give it - New York as a city or its institutions like Saturday Night Live or The New York Times, and the entertainment industry in general. For years Trump was one of their peers, a billionaire who ran a successful TV show with spin offs all over the world. He sat at award ceremonies, rubbed shoulders with A-listers and lived the New York City high life. And now his past life is rejecting him, ready to scorn him at every turn. Donald Trump is a Republican President and Hollywood will always have liberal tendencies, but for both to be attacking each other regularly is a sign of the wider segregation in America right now. Culture is already reacting to this divisive presidency and it seems as though the separation will only continue to grow in future.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events review By Mícheál Ó Fearraigh CAST: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, K. Todd Freeman, and Presley Smith. After an unsuccessful movie adaptation in 2003, with Jim Carrey, Netflix has given A Series of Unfortunate Events a new lease of life with this series. The series consists of eight episodes or four two-part movies per book with each episode between forty minutes to an hour in length. Neil Patrick Harris is incredible as Count Olaf, he gets under your skin but is hilarious at the same time. Whenever he is in a scene with the children, you really are afraid for them. The children are quite odd but are compelling, they do not grate the way most child actors do. The CGI they use for the baby is sometimes conspicuous but she gets some of the best lines to make up for this. The kids are like characters in a Wes Anderson mystery series. The whole aesthetic is like a Wes Anderson-Tim Burton co-production and plaudits should be given to Barry Son-

nenfield and his team for bringing the books to life. The real MVP of the series is Patrick Warburton as the narrator Lemony Snicket. Warburton’s deep voice and warped sense of humour do a great job to give levity to the grim proceedings. The series is pretty faithful to the books because they have so much time to tell the story and Lemony Snicket (real name Daniel Handler) actually adapts them for the series. As well as this, though, the series more obviously has an arc than the first few books did. I didn’t really think the books had an endgame in mind until the fifth book. That being said, the series does suffer a little bit due to the formulaic nature of the first three books and I would say that the series is a bit funnier than the books, but I enjoyed that aspect of it. The guest stars for the different episodes are incredible with Flight of the Concords’ Rhys Darby and two surprise guests being the best contributors. Having binge watched the series in two days, I cannot recommend the series enough: it is hilarious while being grim and has two stellar turns by Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Warburton. 9/10


22  A RT S & E N T E RTAIN M EN T

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The Last Day By Cathy Lee You know it’s coming, it’s last But what do you do knowing in advance? Foreshadowing the hurt to come, The crumbling sense of loss On something that was barely even stable I wish I could tell this story better, like a fable that everyone ­remembers A warning, for the last day As it slowly but surely comes Don’t expect it to crash and burn around you, a bit too Hollywood and far from our reality.

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The change is subtle, but something noticeable all the same Like slowly stepping over something, knowing it won’t have the power to trip you anymore And make you fall down. You will know, on the last day Whether it was all worth this, Or if leaving it behind was the best thing. To gently close on the door, Complete. On the last day.

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08


C U LT Ú R

January 24 2017

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THE GALWAY GAMER: Switching it Up By Eoghan Murphy In the last quarter of 2016 gaming giants Nintendo announced their upcoming console via a three minute YouTube video. During the video viewers saw a single device being used for both home use and gaming on the go. Named the Switch, it seemed to take the best of both worlds and allow for a machine that would be optimal for the player, regardless of whether they were travelling or relaxing in the comfort of their own homes. Outside of this trailer nothing more was said about the Switch for the remainder of the year. However, on 13 January 2017, during the early hours of the Irish morning, Nintendo’s developers and producers took to the stage in Japan to finally reveal what this intriguing little piece of technology was capable of. Opening by displaying the finer points of their latest creation, Nintendo went into depth about the features that players could expect from the Switch. Borrowing from all of the century old company’s previous consoles, the Switch is something of a Frankenstein’s Monster with an abundance of different parts that appear to operate seamlessly together. Nintendo fans may recognise the SNES inspired six button layout or the DS’ touch screen feature which has become a staple of their marketing campaigns for more than a decade now. On top of that, it’s easy to see the role that the original Nintendo Entertainment System had to play in the shape of the detachable

controllers (referred to throughout the conference as “Joycons”). All of these elements come together to create an entirely new machine that will essentially allow for the best of what Nintendo have had to offer over the last three decades. Along with the machine’s general functions viewers were treated to a glance at the style of videogames that would be available in the future, and some of these carried with them some very interesting ideas. 1-2 Switch is a game that borrows heavily from Wii Sports; which subsequently popularized its respective console. Taking the focus off the game’s screen and concentrating it on the players instead, 1-2 Switch takes full advantage of the motion sensors built into the Joycons. The title features a number of mini-games designed for local multiplayer gaming on a casual level. These include dancing games,

western themed quick draw based games and others built around the concept of balance and speed. The object of 1-2 Switch is that using the Joycons players can enjoy the game without having to look at the screen. Instead, gamers can watch each other’s play style, making it a more social experience. Of course no Nintendo lineup would be complete without mentioning some of its time honoured family favourites. This time, these came in the form of Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Odyssey’s trailer begins by showing the world’s most famous videogame icon leaping from a sewer into what looks like a sun drenched modern day Manhattan, far from the usual setting of the Mushroom Kingdom. We see the tiny plumber sprinting through the city streets, bounding off yellow taxies and swinging from lampposts. To help Mario on his mission to once again rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of the evil Bowser, his hat can be thrown out and used as an extra platform. From here Mario makes off in an airborne tugboat to visit other, increasingly bizarre, lands. Being the first open world Super Mario game since the 00s, Odyssey seems to place the focal point on exploration.

While Mario brings with him a carefree and fun-loving feeling, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes a much more serious approach. Long, sweeping, shots of Hylrule’s landscapes show off the gorgeous graphics this game has to offer as it surveys lush greenery and snow covered hills. However, all is not at peace in Hyrule. The beautifully designed kingdom falls under attack from what appears to be a dark force sporting an array of biomechanical foes for young Link to do battle with on his latest adventure. To accompany the stunning art style and action, Breath of the Wild also looks to be steeped in drama, creating a darker tone resembling that seen in the series’ critically acclaimed Majora’s Mask. Nintendo Switch is due to hit the shelves worldwide on 3 March of this year for the recommended price of €300. The machine ships with the Switch console, a grip comprising of two Joycons, a docking bay with a HDMI cable allowing gamers to hook the device to their TVs and an AC adapter to charge it for portability. The package will be available in standard grey or with neon blue and red Joycons included.

Eoghan Murphy is a Galway City based music and gaming journalist. Born and raised on 1980s thrash metal, this ex-vocalist also enjoys a touch of hard rock and hip hop. When not banging his head to extreme music, he can usually be found knee deep in piles of video games, competing at tournaments and writing for www.Hit-Start-Now.com or spinning chiptunes on Flirt FM at 2pm each Thursday as the Galway Gamer.

What’s going on in Galway 24 January – 6 February Subtitle European Film Festival takes Galway By Kate Robinson Winter is still here, and many of us are starting to feel like shut-ins at this point. If you think that one more night in could drive you to the brink, perhaps it’s time to put away the hot water bottle and hit the town. Here’s a list of upcoming events that are exciting enough to get us out of the house.

Comedy Showcase Tuesdays at the Róisín Dubh Featuring local up-and-coming talent and often a headline act that will leave your cheeks and ribcages sore, the Comedy Showcase is a great way to share a barrel of laughs (and maybe a cringe) with your friends. €5 tickets get you a free pint of Tuborg and include entry to the Silent Disco downstairs after the show, so there’s really no reason not to check it out.

The Maids – 24 - 27 January, Bank of Ireland Theatre In a luxurious bedroom, two maids fantasize about killing their employer, playing out dangerous and sadistic scenarios as they plan her violent death. Dramsoc’s first play of the semester, The Maids is an intense psychological thriller seething with theatricality and intrigue, a vicious critique of the class system, and a provocative exploration of sexuality. Tickets are only €5 for students and available at the Socsbox.

Ghost in the Shell – 25 January, Eye Cinema This classic and beloved anime film is being screened for one night only at the Eye Cinema in partnership with the Japanese Film Festival Ireland. Take a look at the Japanese Film Festival Ireland’s Facebook page for more info.

The Musical Life of Mike Arrigan – 26 January, Town Hall Theatre This musical show was put together by the family and friends of the late Mike Arrigan, a Galway-based musician, to highlight his contribution to the local music scene. The show includes appearances by the Galway Contemporary School of Music, the Macnas

Drummers, The Elastic Band, The Buzz, The Fuze, Wherestheone, Freebird, and Oddity, among others. Proceeds from the €20 tickets go to the Galway branch of Irish Guide Dogs. Tickets are available at the Town Hall Theatre or online at www.tht.ie.

Subtitle European Film Festival – 27th - 29th January, Town Hall Theatre Ten of the most popular recent films from all across the continent are showing at the Town Hall Theatre on the last weekend in January. The festival has everything: comedy, drama, romance, and even a Czech mockumentary! Czech out the offerings on tht.ie (sorry). Student tickets cost €8.

Otherkin – 28 January, Róisín Dubh This grunge-pop-punk foursome from Dublin are known for their fierce energy, playing ‘riotous’ gigs all over Ireland, the UK, and Europe since their musical debut in 2014. Critically acclaimed for their ‘infectious’ tunes with blistering garage rock riffs and ‘killer’ vocals, this seems like a Saturday night you don’t want to miss.

Wild Fermentation Workshop – 30 January For those of us with some extra cash and a passion for food, drink, and yeast, The Kitchen is hosting a workshop on fermentation with April Danann. The workshop teaches you how to make sourdough bread, kombucha, ginger bugs, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and more, and provides tastings along the way. At the end you’ll get your own sourdough mother starter to take home! Tickets are €75, available at www.aprildanann.com or from The Kitchen at Galway City Museum. Limited spaces available.

By Kate Robinson As 2017 starts to lose its brand-new lustre and Oscar season approaches, get your much-needed culture fix at the Town Hall Theatre, which is showing some of the most popular and critically-acclaimed films from the Subtitle European Film Festival. These ten films from all across the continent are sure to provide inspiration during an otherwise dreary January weekend. Tickets are €8 per film for students (€9 regular price), or €50 to see all ten (€55 for non-students).

Jack – 28 January, 16:00 Edward Berger’s beautifully shot and nicely-acted drama from Germany follows a child from a singleparent family as he evolves from a boy with adult responsibilities into a young adult. (2014)

About Love – 28 January, 18:00 This multi-plot comedic drama from director Anna Melikyan draws together a handful of modern romantic stories via a Moscow university lecture on love. Watch out for a funny cameo by famous Russian actor Yuri Kolokolnikov. (2015)

Layla M – 27 January, 18:45 In this relevant drama from the Netherlands, a young Dutch Muslim woman searches for her place in the world through the teachings of Islam. The audience follows her as she attempts to find a belief system that fits her values, and the film provides an intimate and humanizing glimpse at the motives behind radicalization. (2016)

The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Maki – 28 January, 20:30 Based on the true story of a Finnish boxer from the 1960s, this excellent debut picture from Finland’s Juho Kuosmanen won one of the top awards at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The biopic is lyrical, tender, and unmissable. (2016)

The Last Family – 27 January, 21:00 This Polish biopic portrays the life of Zdzisław Beksin´ski, one of Poland’s most famous 20th century painters, and his family. The script is based on his obsessive video and tape recordings of himself and his family over the course of decades. Exceptionally shot and brilliantly acted. (2016)

Lost In Munich – 28 January, 12:00 Czech director Petr Zelenka’s hilarious mockumentary provides a new theory on the 1938 Munich Agreement—which forced Czechoslovakia to cede its border regions to Germany—while also offering a commentary on the dangers of filmmaking through its film-within-a-film structure. (2015)

Jason Byrne Is Propped Up – 4 February, Town Hall Theatre

Illegitimate – 28 January, 14:00

The massive comedic star is back in Galway with his new show, which has been called ‘unmissable’ and ‘like witnessing lightning in a bottle’. There is no support act, so arrive on time at 8pm to make sure you don’t miss a joke! Tickets are €22 and available from www.tht.ie.

A well-constructed Romanian drama about a dysfunctional and immoral family from filmmaker Adrian Sitaru, Illegitimate was awarded Best Film at the Odessa International Film Festival. The film was made over three years with a budget of only $7,000 and confronts societal taboos and how they are formed. (2016)

Corn Island – 29 January, 13:00 A slow-moving story of life and death among the haunting war-torn landscapes of Georgia, Corn Island was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2014. With little dialogue and exquisite camera shots, the film follows an old man and his granddaughter as they struggle to build a life on an island in no-man’s land. (2014)

Land of Mine – 29 January, 15:15 Young German POWs—mostly teenagers—captured by Danish troops near the end of WWII are forced after the war is over to remove their own mines from the coast of Denmark with their bare hands. A gripping and mostly unknown tale about the aftermath of the war. (2015)

The Closet – 29 Jan 17:15 This classic French comedy chronicles the adventures of an accountant who spreads a rumour that he’s gay so that his employers can’t fire him for fear of a sexual discrimination lawsuit. A popular film that ticks all the boxes. (2001)


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REVIEW: Travelers

Top movies to catch this season

– a good argument for why time-travel stories aren’t dead

By Deirdre Leonard

By Briain Kelly

Damien Chazelle’s colourful and hopeful musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone swept up every award it was nominated for at the Golden Globes and earned a rake of nominations at the upcoming BAFTAs. It’s expected to win big at the Oscars as well, particularly in the musical and technical categories. It follows an aspiring actress (Stone) and a struggling jazz musician (Gosling) as they navigate falling in love and following your dreams in modern day Los Angeles. For those of you who love musical theatre, miss old school movies like Singin’ in the Rain or just enjoy movies with a lot of heart, this is the ideal film to see this January. Chazelle previously directed critical favourite Whiplash, so you can rest assured that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to portraying the desperation, hope and talent behind those dreaming of a career in the spotlight.

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ETFLIX HAS BEEN knocking it out of the park lately with high quality sci-fi that has been notably absent from cinemas in the last few years other than a few blockbuster green screen productions. Shows like Stranger Things and The OA have been massive successes with fans and critics alike. One of the newer shows to come out is a time-travel based drama called Travelers. Co-produced by Netflix and Showcase, Travelers originally aired in October and came to Netflix on 23 December, just in time to ignore your family over Christmas. The premise is pretty familiar as far as time-travel goes. In the future the world has been ruined and now what’s left of humanity is working to change the past. However in an interesting twist, Travelers avoids any naked Austrians appearing in a flash of light. Instead, consciousness is sent back through time into a host body just before it otherwise would have died, neatly sidestepping the ethical questions. There’s some fantastic drama here as the main cast are thrust into the lives of other people, and have to find a way to make it work. Eric McCormack, Nesta Cooper, and Reilly Dolman all give stand out performances dealing with their inherited issues. A marriage, a child, and a heroin addiction in that order. Eric McCormack leads the team as FBI agent Grant McLaren. He has the dual role of leading the group on missions and keeping the FBI off their backs where the two overlap. However, the best material comes from MacKenzie Porter, who takes over the life of Marcy Warton, who up until that point had an intellectual disability. Marcy’s relationship with David Mailer, a social worker that looks after her, is sweet without ever getting sickly. Patrick Gilmore, playing Mailer, is charming and funny throughout. Watching him deal with Marcy’s sudden increase in mental capacity and her secretive new life is a lot of fun as he comes up with new theories on who Marcy really is (“Are you Batgirl?”) This isn’t Gilmore’s first stab at sci-fi as he had previously appeared

La La Land – OUT NOW on Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Universe, though his role here is more household drama than anything else. The last main cast member is Jared Abrahamson, playing high school student Trevor Holden. While it is only ever obliquely mentioned that Holden is far, far older than he appears to be, Abrahamson does a great job playing an old soul in a young body as he struggles with being under parental control and relating to other teenagers. As for how each episode plays out, much of it is in the form of a procedural that’s become common since police shows began outnumbering actual police. However, the wrinkle here is they’re trying to prevent events from occurring rather than solving them after the fact. Not all of it takes the form of pulling kids out of the way of buses, however. Things can take a turn for the darker as it becomes clear that these people are willing to do whatever it takes to change the future. No matter how ugly it has to get. Their orders come from the future, from a shadowy figure named The Director that assigns missions to them and thousands of other Travelers around the world. It does get a bit hammy how often it’s repeated that they have to trust The Director or that he must have a reason for an action. After a while you just know the show is going question whether or not the ones in charge can be relied on. Time travel stories always end leaving gaping logical holes whenever they try to explain timetravel/alteration. It usually comes in the form of a long winded monologue to a confused side character with a weird analogy involved. Considering Travelers is about making numerous changes to a future that they are in constant contact with, the show decides to avoid that route. Aside from saying that they are changing the future, the mechanics of it all are rarely addressed. While this might prove frustrating to some, I would say it’s the right decision. Certainly better than a confused mess that could have come of trying to write an explanation that makes sense. For a weird hybrid of Terminator and The Wire, Travelers has a lot to offer and hopefully a second season will continue to build on the developing questions raised in the first.

Manchester by the Sea – OUT NOW Kenneth Lonergan’s tragic unravelling of the past of a Boston loner, who is unexpectedly forced to become the guardian of his sixteen year old nephew, was one of the breakout indie hits of the year in the U.S. Produced by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, it stars Casey Affleck who’s haunting performance has earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor - Drama and will inevitably lead to an Oscar nomination. If you’re looking for a solid, gritty and moving dramatic piece, this is a definite one to see.

T2 Trainspotting – 27 JANUARY Fans of the original Trainspotting will undoubtedly be excited to see the highly anticipated sequel to the much loved cult classic. Taking place 20 years after the first movie and starring the original cast, it follows Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) as he goes back to Scotland to make amends with his old friends. Danny Boyle is back to direct the sequel and fans will be excited to see if it lives up to the dark humour and raw irreverence of the first film.

Loving – 3 FEBRUARY Starring Ireland’s own Ruth Negga, this films tackles the issue of inter-racial love and marriage in a deeply divided 1950s America. In Virginia in 1958, marriage between inter-racial couples was illegal and this film explores the emotional and very real consequences of these laws on two normal people. In a present day world where racism is still a deeply entrenched

problem in many Western societies, it serves as a sobering reminder that we have not advanced as far as we think we have in creating an equal society.

Fences – 10 FEBRUARY Directed by Denzel Washington and starring both him and Viola Davis, who recently won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role, this drama follows a working class father in 1950s Pittsburgh who tries to raise his family while dealing with the reality of never living his dreams. The bitterness and harshness of jealousy, infidelity and the pressures of masculinity are explored through gripping performances in this widely acclaimed drama.

The Lego Batman Movie – 10 FEBRUARY If you’re looking for something light - hearted, fun and genuinely comedic, this is a movie that can’t be missed. The hotly anticipated spin off to 2014’s breakout hit The Lego Movie is bound to appeal to young and old audiences alike. Voiced by comedy greats like Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) and Michael Cera (Superbad), it promises a brilliant soundtrack, unique animation and a new take on the trope of the superhero movie that’s bound to leave you delighted.

Hidden Figures – 17 FEBRUARY This biographical film starring Taraji P. Henson (Empire) tells the story of Katherine Johnson, an African American NASA mathematician who played a critical role in determining flight trajectories for the Apollo 11 moon landing among other projects. Katherine Gardner herself is still alive and the movie is an interesting look into a relatively unknown figure who played such a pivotal role the space race.

Moonlight – 17 FEBRUARY In what’s being called the most beautiful movie of the last year, Moonlight follows a young African American man across three chapters of his life as he deals with growing up and the exploration of his sexuality through moments of joy, pain and love. It has been released to universal acclaim and currently has a score of 99% on Metacritic, becoming the fourth highest rated movie on the site. It picked up Best Picture - Drama at the Golden Globes and is expected to win big at the Oscars next month. If you’re looking for excellent cinematography, beautiful storytelling or to fall in love with the capabilities of movies again, this is a must see picture.

REVIEW: The Tempest – broadcast from Stratford-Upon-Avon By Cathy Lee On Wednesday 11 January, I had the pleasure of seeing a Shakespeare play alongside one of my very good friends. We both share an interest in things literary and I was delighted to be invited to see this showing of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. What was different about this experience of Shakespeare was although I was watching one of his fantastic plays, it wasn’t on stage. In fact it was playing out on a large screen at the Eye Cinema, Galway. I was delighted to discover that despite the sounds of people crunching popcorn around me, it would be a great night of theatre – while not being at the theatre. The Royal Shakespeare Society of London broadcast their performances to cinemas every couple of months. This really is a modern way to do Shakespeare. Don’t get me wrong, I love the theatre and seeing a play like any regular enthusiast, but honestly I really wouldn’t knock

the cinema experience. It was something entirely different and the quality of acting and producing was really outstanding. We were in awe of the story itself as it varied from scenes of disaster and hopelessness combined with comedy, love and relationships as well as final friendship in unlikely circumstances. The story of The Tempest is well known and often told, given the amount of years it has been around for. But whole-heartedly, this version of the play was something utterly different and fell perfectly into the 21st century with the audience responding well also. When the director Gregory Doran, producer Pete Griffin and actor Mark Quartley, who plays the spirit Ariel, were interviewed during the intervals, you could truly see how much work was put into this production. This was something you wouldn’t get with regular theatre. The play looks at the exile of a well-respected man, Prospero, played by Simon Russell Beale

and his beloved daughter, Miranda (Jenny Rainsford) to an island with some magical qualities. There is a ship wreckage, how we are introduced to the tale, and a lot more people end up on this island than just the man and his daughter. We discover more about the slave to the family Caliban and the friend to Prospero, the magical spirit Ariel throughout the play. While the play looks at the interaction between the royal sailors and the family, it also thoroughly explores the emotional relationship between father and daughter. The idea of moving on within the life-course and giving over to somebody else’s happiness being put before your own is looked at in detail. The principle character has to come to terms with his past as well as accepting the future that he wishes his daughter to have. Quality of life is tested throughout the play, as the characters individually wish for more for themselves. This exploration of this puts into

question who is good and who is evil in this tale. Described as Shakespeare’s most magical play, the technical enhancement to portray these magical elements played a huge role in the success of the play. It really was the highlight and could be particularly seen with the character Ariel, to bring his magical qualities well and truly to life. This was done through special lighting, voicechanging, colour and a high-tech costume that allowed a completely new portrayal. I now know that the dusty copy I own of The Tempest will soon be coming off the book shelf as the play is very relevant to modern times. Sometimes the satellite buffered, but overall it didn’t take a lot away from the play. The experience was quite interactive and you could also tweet your reactions as the play was being broadcast. This was certainly a very modern take on a classic and I had to agree with actor Mark Quartley, that it was something bold and daring that Shakespeare himself would have been proud of.


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Executive Committee

2016 - 2017

Vice President/Education Officer Leas Uachtarán/Oifigeach Oideachais

Cathal Sherlock

Clíodhna Nic Giolla Chomháill

Vice President/Welfare Officer Leas Uachtarán/Oifigeach Leasa

Jimmy McGovern

Daniel Khan

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President Uachtarán

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Mature Students’ Officer Oifigeach Mic Léinn Lánfhásta

Megan Reilly

Damian Duddy

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Clubs Captain Captaen na gClubanna

SU Council Chairperson | Cathaoirleach na Comhairle do Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn

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Convenor of the College of Science Tionólaí Choláiste na hEolaíochta

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Caitlin Jansen

Aaron Reeves

Postgraduate Officer An tOifigeach Iarchéime

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Convenor of the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies | Tionólaí Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta & an Léinn Cheiltigh

Ciarán MacChoncarraige

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Convenor of the College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences | Tionólaí Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte

Convenor of the College of Business, Public Policy & Law | Tionólaí Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bhearais Phoiblí agus an Dlí

Convenor of the College of Engineering & Informatics | Tionólaí Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na Faisnéisíochta

Diarmuid Ó Curraoin

Tim Murphy

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28 SP O RT

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

NUI Galway win over Mayo Corribsiders beaten by bodes well for Sigerson Roscommon in FBD League Cup adventure By Darragh Berry

By Graham Gillespie It was obvious for anyone who was in MacHale Park on January 8 for the beginning of the FBD League campaign that they were watching a pair of teams at two very different stages in their seasons. In a game where the visitors were far more comfortable than the 1-21 to 2-16 score line suggests, NUI Galway dispatched an unfamiliar Mayo, who were making the first steps in the long road towards rectifying last year’s tragic All-Ireland final replay defeat to Dublin. However, the Stephen Rochford side that lined out against the Sigerson Cup hopefuls bared absolutely no relation to the team that fell short last October. Of the 21 players that featured in the match for Mayo only Shane Nally, who captained the side, played Championship football last summer and 11 of the starting XV were making their county debuts. With nearly the entirety of last year’s squad unavailable due to the team holiday in South Africa, it is unsurprising that Rochford would seize this opportunity to blood new talent, mostly sourced from the All-Ireland winning 2016 U-21 panel and there was also a sizeable contingent from Castlebar Mitchells with seven club members from the county champions playing from the start. Neil Douglas was the most noteworthy of the seven as he racked up 1-3 with the goal coming from the penalty spot. Douglas has been tipped in the county by some as that elusive final forward that Mayo have so often have needed in the past.

Unfortunately for the Mayo News Club Stars ‘Senior Player of the Year’, he suffered a broken finger and will miss the rest of the FBD League. It is still likely, though, that Douglas will get opportunities even when the full squad is back for the National League. Wing forward Fergal Boland from Aghamore also impressed, chipping in with four points, and it was Douglas’ club-mate Danny Kirby who netted the other Mayo goal. Although it’s unlikely that this game would have swung Rochford’s thinking too much on any of the players, it provided a valuable lesson of what’s required to flourish at senior county level for the debutants with many of them receiving a baptism of fire from an extremely capable NUI Galway outfit. From the away side’s perspective, this game offered much reason for optimism ahead of the beginning of their Sigerson Cup campaign. The highest scoring Mayo man on the pitch was not bedecked in the green and red but was in fact lining out in the maroon of his university. Mayo Gaels half forward Adam Gallagher kicked nine points against his home county, five of which were from frees which could go a long way to forcing himself into consideration for an inter-county call up. Gallagher could prove crucial for the Corribsiders but undoubtedly the main go-to man for Maurice Sheridan’s side in this year’s Sigerson will be Damien Comer who scored 1-4 all from play. Last season’s Sigerson Cup first round clash against UCD saw NUI Galway leading at half time in Dangan,

however John Heslin inspired a second half UCD surge which eventually saw them come out on top by two points. Back then, NUI Galway didn’t have a player of Heslin’s quality to look to in the pivotal moments of games, this year they do in Damien Comer who shone on Galway’s way to their first Connacht Championship since 2008. Sheridan and his coaching staff should have confidence in their side as they welcome Trinity College Dublin (who they easily overcame at the same stage in 2016) to Dangan for their Sigerson Cup preliminary round tie on the 26th/27th January. The Galway university will be entering this game off the back of league success with them clinching the division two title by beating Garda College 2-13 to 1-8 in the final. The team’s other Gallagher, Owen scored 1-2 in that match and if the Antrim corner forward can link up with Comer they could cause problems for any colleges’ defence. Michael Daly will probably start at centre half forward against TCD and will be looking to feed these two players, whilst fellow Galwegian Enda Tierney will be aiming to dictate proceedings from deep in midfield. NUI Galway will be expected to make light work of Trinity College but if they do progress a daunting trip to Belfast to face St. Mary’s awaits on 31st January. Getting to mid-February and the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan for the Finals weekend will no doubt be a challenge, but if they can build upon their momentum it is within reach.

FBD League – Round 2 Roscommon1-17 NUI Galway 0-14 Roscommon faced a tough task as they overcame NUI Galway by a six-point margin. The county that overcame IT Sligo convincingly at the beginning of January were put to the test by an attacking outfit at St. Aidan’s, Ballyforan. It was the visitors who started the brighter. Adam Gallagher, who had a fantastic game against Mayo, kicked off proceedings with a free before Owen Gallagher shot over a super score from range. Roscommon weren’t long levelling matters through Donie Smyth and Kieran Kilcline in a half that was tit-for-tat for the majority. Owen Gallagher had a marvellous game for the students and went on to fire over two monster scores for the away side in the first half. His efforts were matched by Cian Connolly, and when Matt Barrett picked out Michael Daly with a pin-point pass for a point, the teams were five points apiece. Barrett received a yellow card soon after for a high challenge on Fintan Cregg, the hit seemed to light a fire under Roscommon which they used to power through the first half with. Adam Gallagher and Kevin Higgins exchanged points for their respective sides but the Rossies then pointed five without reply which really hit the university side hard before half time. Kevin Higgins was the master in this phase, adding two more points while setting up Sean McDermott and Niall Kilroy for scores of their own. It was this blitz that would separate the two sides at full time but credit to NUI Galway, they gave

the Rossies a massive push in the second half. With eight points separating them, Kilroy was bearing down on the away goal but Tadgh O’ Malley pulled off a massive save to keep the game somewhat alive for the college. O’ Malley was called into action again soon after, making himself big and putting Ciaran Murtagh off his stride as he came in one-on-one to hit the post. It wouldn’t prove to be third time lucky for Roscommon either as Kilroy looked certain to score after rounding the ‘keeper but his effort was magnificently kept out of the net by Stephen Brennan. NUI Galway then clicked into gear and finished the half strongly. Michael Daly and Owen Gallagher fired over two long range points while substitute Kevin Finn pointed a close range free. Roscommon then found their full forward Cian Connolly heading for the bench after he was black-carded. Rossie manager Kevin McStay stated firmly to his players that the game was still in the balance but as Seamus Moriarty stuck over another score, the college had four points on the bounce. Donal Keane replied with a fine score for Roscommon but what happened next must certainly be a first timer. As Rossie custodian Mark Miley collected the ball on his line under pressure by Adam Gallagher, he went to fist the ball away but instead managed to pop it over his own bar. With four points the gap and five minutes remaining, NUI Galway had time on their side. Sensing an opportunity, Michael Daly hit for the goal but his shot was brilliantly blocked on the line by a Roscommon defender. As the curtain finally came down on the game, the home side saw it out as a one-two

between Shane Killoran and Cregg led to the game’s only goal and gave Roscommon the win.

SCORES: ROSCOMMON: Shane Killoran 1-0, Donie Smyth (0-1f), Niall Kilroy and Kevin Higgins 0-3 each, Cian Connolly and Kieran Kilcline 0-2 each, Sean McDermott, Conor Devaney, Ciaran Murtagh (f) and Donal Keane 0-1 each NUI GALWAY: Owen Gallagher 0-4, Adam Gallagher and Michael Daly 0-3 each, Matt McClean, Kevin Finn, Seamus Moriarty and Mark Miley (Own Point) 0-1 each

ROSCOMMON: Mark Miley, David Murray (Brian Murtagh 47’), Tom Featherston, Sean McDermott, John McManus (Ronan Stack 47’), Niall Daly, Conor Devaney (Paddy Brogan 58’), Kevin Higgins, Cathal Shine (Tadhg O’ Rourke H/T), Shane Killoran, Niall Kilroy, Fintan Cregg, Donie Smyth (Ciaran Murtagh H/T), Kieran Kilcline, Cian Connolly (Donal Keane (BC) 61’) NUI GALWAY: Tadgh O’ Malley (Galway), Stephen Brennan (Mayo), Eoin O’ Donoghue (Mayo), Aaron O’ Connor (Kerry), Kieran Molloy (Galway), Colm Kelly (Donegal), John Donoghue (Roscommon), Matt Barrett (Galway), Enda Tierney (Galway), Stephen Conroy (Mayo), Michael Daly (Galway), Adam Gallagher (Mayo), Ruairi Greene (Galway), Owen Gallagher (Antrim), Matt McClean (Donegal) SUBSTITUTES: David McCormack (Barrett 17’) Christian Bonner (Conroy 30’) Kevin Finn (Kelly 40’) Seamus Moriarty (McClean 50’) Andrew McCormack (Greene 55’) REF: John Glavey (Mayo)

Galway WFC have made a sensible appointment in new boss Clery By Trevor Murray With the 2017 Continental Tyres WNL season kicking off in midMarch, Galway WFC have moved to strengthen their set-up by appointing a familiar face in Billy Clery as the club’s new manager. The appointment follows the resignation of former boss Don O’ Riordan late last year. Something of a Galway soccer legend, Clery made his League of Ireland debut at 16 before going on to amass over 400 League of Ireland appearances for both Galway United and Derry City, captaining

the Tribesmen for eight years as well as spending a period as the club’s caretaker manager – experience that should prove useful in navigating the tricky eight-month series of matches to come. Other glowing stints on his resume show that the former Tribesmen centre half spent time coaching and learning his trade from the dugout at NUI Galway and Barna-Furbo as well as being involved behind-the-scenes with some of the underage Galway & District League sides. Commenting on the role Clery said, “I’m quietly confident that

we can be very successful. The nucleolus of the team is here, we’ve numerous under 17, under 19 and senior internationals, I think we’ve a bright future and a great chance of doing well this season.” Indeed, there is a real sense that with the current crop of talented players the affectionately dubbed Galway Girls have on their roster, they can go on and mount a serious challenge to reigning champions Shelbourne LFC this season, or at the very least improve on their fifth-place finish from last term. So, all eyes

are already starting to turn to their opening fixture of the season against UCD Waves which they will play at Eamonn Deacy Park on March 19. The enthusiasm is particularly appropriate considering that Galway WFC’s defender Chloe Maloney won a place on the Women’s National League 2016 ‘Team of the Season’ while 16-year-old promising midfielder Sadhbh Doyle from Barna is one of three players nominated for the league’s coveted 2016 ‘Young Player of the Year’ award. Maz Sweeney is also set to be

assistant manager for the forthcoming campaign which will be music to many fans’ ears. Donegal native Sweeney is currently assistant coach of the Irish Under 19 women’s team and as a player she represented Ireland underage and at the World University Games along with winning the FAI Cup with UCD. Sweeney has spoken of her delight in coming to Galway WFC to help aid their improvement. “It’s an excellent club. I’ve seen the excellent structures they’ve put in place, they’ve a great committee behind them with a lot of

good sponsors and this is the level I want to be at.” Commenting on the squad for the forthcoming season she said, “there are some key players out there on my list that I’d like to bring in to add to the good pool of players that were there last year. We want to bring it to another level.” Elsewhere, Susie Cunningham continues as the club’s strength and conditioning coach as does John Devlin as kit manager, so they have kept much of the backroom team and that should help them gel better from the get-go.


NUI GALWAY STUDENTS’ UNION PRESENT

CHARITY CLIMB OF CROAGH PATRICK WITH NUI GALWAY MOUNTAINEERING CLUB

Dreapadh Chruach Phádraig Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn, OÉ Gaillimh Ar Mhaithe le Carthanachtaí i gcomhar le Club Sléibhteoireachta OÉ Gaillimh

Saturday 18th February 2017 Dé Sathairn an 18 Feabhra 2017 Sign up now in the Students’ Union Office and the Engineering Building Raise €40 (minimum) to take part Entry includes free t-shirt and return bus! All proceeds go to the SU Charities: The RNLI and Threshold THE CROAGH PATRICK CLIMB IS A FUN EVENT OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS AND STAFF OF ALL CAPABILITIES www.su.nuigalway.ie facebook.com/NUIGalwayStudentsUnion twitter.com/NUIGSU www.su.nuigalway.ie

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30 SP O RT

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 08

Upcoming Sports Clubs Intervarsities Club | Event | Date | Location Cricket | Intervarsities | 27-29 Jan | Kingfisher, NUIG Sailing | IUSA Westerns | 11/12 Feb | Antrim/QUB GAA

| Fitzgibbon Cup | 24/25 Feb | Dangan, NUIG

W. Rugby | Connacht league | 29 Jan | Dangan, NUIG Swimming| Waterpolo IV | 20/21 Jan | Kingfisher, NUIG

Are you part of NUIG’s Ultimate Team? Join up at otc.nuigalway.ie In association with Bank Of Ireland

Badminton | League matches | 25 Jan | Kingfisher, NUIG Pool & Snooker | Beginner matches | 30 Jan | The Hub Archery | IV League Leg 3 | 4 Feb | IT Carlow Archery | IV League Leg 4 | 18 Feb | UCD Frisbee | Mixed Outdoors | 26 Feb | Dangan, NUIG Archery | Student Nationals | 25/26 Feb | UCC

NUI Galway to host 2017 Fitzgibbon Cup

The 2017 Independent.ie HE GAA Fitzgibbon Championship Weekend will be hosted by NUIG on February 24th & 25th, 2017. NUIG have won 10 Fitzgibbon Cups in their history, leaving them 3rd on the Roll of Honour for this competition. Indeed their last two victories came when the competition was hosted in Galway, in 1980 and 2010. The weekend will consist of semi-finals and finals in the following Hurling Championships: The Fitzgibbon Cup, the Ryan Cup and the Fergal Maher Cup. In December, attention will turn to the Independent.ie Higher Education Championship Draws for all grades. Last year’s Fitzgibbon Cup winners, Mary Immaculate College Limerick will be hoping to retain the title, but will face stiff competition from many others including UL, who they defeated in an epic game of Hurling which took 90 minutes to separate the teams in last year’s final in Cork IT. Last years Ryan Cup winners Trinity College Dublin, will be making the step up to play in the 2017 Fitzgibbon competition so we will see a new champion crowned at that grade. IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT captured the Fergal Maher and Corn Padraig Mac Diarmada respectively.

Best of luck to all our teams travelling to competitions around Ireland and hosting at home


SPÓIRT 

January 24 2017

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WORLD CUP EXPANSION:

enriching the game or FIFA’s bureaucrats? By Mark Lynch A disgruntled groan was the public reaction to the news that FIFA have followed UEFA by extending the number of teams in the finals – from 32 to 48. The public had largely the same reaction to the most recent European Championships, which saw the expansion from 16 to 24, the main critique pointing to the quality of the games throughout the finals. For neutrals, many fixtures were lacking entertainment. So, can we expect the same from FIFA’s proposal? Let’s take a more in-depth look at how Gianni Infantino proposes this will go down. First off: how does the format change? To include 16 extra teams, FIFA propose that instead of having eight groups of four, as the next two tournaments will have, there would be 16 groups of three. The top two would qualify for a round of 32 and from then on it would be straight knockout. This increases the number of games from 64 to 80, but FIFA are adamant it would be easy to get it played in the same time-frame as the current tournament’s. But which of the 211 members of the worldwide association would profit most from this?

What’s currently on the table is that the 48 teams would comprise of 16 European teams, nine from Africa, eight from Asia, 12 from North America and South America, one from Oceania, the host nation and the last spot goes to the winner of a play-off between a North American team and an Asian team. Numerically, Asian and African nations stand to gain the most from this, because their federations receive four extra spots. However, the Oceania Football Confederation will be quite pleased that they now have a guaranteed spot in every World Cup, rather than the current situation whereby their top team has to play a North American team in a play-off to qualify. Criticism is widespread, which is reasonable considering the numerous issues that arise with such a big event. On a practical level, off the field and on the field, the increase from 32 to 48 teams makes it extremely difficult to find a suitable host country. Consider the fact that this change comes in for the 2026 World Cup. If the change was brought in for the 2022 World Cup, set to be held in Qatar, it would be nigh impossible to implement. This is a country that’s already struggling to build enough stadia and improve (or create) enough infrastructure to cater

The increase from 32 to 48 teams makes it extremely difficult to find a suitable host country. If the change was brought in for the 2022 World Cup, set to be held in Qatar, it would be nigh impossible to implement. for 32 teams, the players’ families, the fans, the media and the millions of visitors that pop up at every international sporting event. Add another 16 teams, you also add the associated accompaniment. A country, or partnership of countries, as small as Qatar can surely never hold a

World Cup again. The original reason for moving the tournament to Qatar was to spread the finals throughout the globe, especially to smaller nations. Suddenly, that’s been seemingly abandoned, because any country with no traditional history of hosting major events wouldn’t have the sheer amount of stadia or infrastructure to cope with the following for such an event. Given the difficulty and controversy surrounding Brazil preparing for the 2014 World Cup and Qatar preparing for the 2022 World Cup, it’s hard to see any developing nation getting behind a hosting bid because of the attached necessary construction and disruption. However, on the field this will change much too. The flaw that most jump to is that the quality would be dulled, with many pointing to Euro 2016 as evidence. The fact that all teams had a realistic chance going through to the knockout rounds because of the extra places meant that the most adopted attitude was “try not to lose” rather than “try to win”. Proof of this was eventual winners Portugal going through to the knockout stage by drawing all their games in the group stage. A similar situation would be very easy to envisage in the 2026 World Cup and the subsequent tournaments, while an

earlier round of knockout games would increase the stakes. For non-neutrals that’ll undoubtedly heighten intensity at an earlier stage, but for neutrals it could well mean that they’ll be watching games wherein teams are trying to prevent their exit from the competition. Television companies will have a tough time selling a round of 32 games between Hungary and Paraguay (with all due respect to these national teams). While the domineering feeling towards this change is that it’s down to the extra income FIFA will make from expansion, it will indeed cause a surge in interest in soccer in countries that will now have a better chance of qualifying for a finals. It decreases the elite value that the tournament holds, it makes it extremely difficult to find a country capable of hosting it and it might lead to a lot of holding on to 0-0 draws and 1-0 wins, but if it helps Ireland qualify then it can surely be allowed a skeptical trial.

In conversation with The Tipster: Fitzgibbon Cup predictions By Michael Burke I’ve enlisted the help of a parish tipster to call each Fitzgibbon Cup tie which takes place from January 24. An outright NUI Galway hurling man, seen often in deep thought by the Clubhouse wall or by the stand in his home parish jotting down notes about training. Mysterious to most, yet knows all about you if you hurl for a third-level college.

NUI GALWAY VS D.C.U/ST PATS: “If I see another sliotar rebound off that bloody electricity line that goes across the pitch I’ll cut the f***ing thing down myself,” reacts the Tipster, to the word ‘Dangan’. “I don’t care if electricity is out in Newcastle for a month; it might harden ‘em up a bit”. He’s been waiting for an explosive rant for some time. “This crop of hurlers features some of the best that ever graced the college, boy, and I’ve been around a while,” he says. He also revealed that the first touch of “our boys” is being sharpened and mentions a couple more things he’s observed from watching training but “I could be wrong, that mucky surface in Dangan can be deceiving, it’s only fit for

grazing,” he says. “But seriously now, this combo isn’t journeying down for the liquor afterword, although if they do win I’ll buy a round for the team that night”. But, opening up, even he admits he doesn’t see an away win: “I can’t see the Dubs finding a gap through Cleary or Mannion, but expect a dog fight.” VERDICT: NUI Galway by 5+

L.I.T VS TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN: “No doubt a lack of respect for LIT will benefit Trinity, they probably think the town hasn’t changed much since Angela’s Ashes.” I’m about to try and change the subject. “Listen,” he says, “I threatened this polo player once up in Foxrock, long story short he insulted me saying hurling was a game for wild boys from the west, he wasn’t laughing when I rode back into Galway on top of his finest horse,” laughing heartily at his own joke. I get a split second to reply “So you proved him correct?”. “Look, my point is those posh boys are soft, LIT have the names and about time won something for the likes of you and me and stuck it to ‘em,” he admits. “I’m sick of repeating it”, he repeats. And whispering, “rumour has it, Davy Fitz is riding into

the sunset at the end of the year so I’d nearly back ‘em outright if I were you, but you didn’t hear it from me”. VERDICT: LIT by 15+

MARY I VS GMIT: “I can see only one winner here and thanks be to God it’s not that shower inhabiting the far side of the Corrib,” the Tipster argues. It’s clear that time has done little to cool the rivalry, he could probably rant all day but I ask him about the Limerick side. “Holders Mary I may be down a few bodies from last year but with Cian Lynch back in form it’s hard to imagine anything other than him flicking it over and back, and over and back across GMIT heads, they’ll resemble headless chickens, it’ll be carnage.” VERDICT: Mary I by 10+

UL VS CIT: “The IT faces an uphill battle in beating the traffic to Limerick, forget the game.” The question’s been ruled out before it’s asked. He heard UL were devastated about the possibility of missing Tony Kelly because of club commitments. “It’s almost like a death

in the family. Maybe worse because you don’t know if he’ll play or not, I’ve a few relations down that way and they’re genuinely considering counselling over it.” Momentarily forgetting Kelly’s absence, he reckons the 2014 champions will win either way and, rubbing his hands in delight, he says “expect Tipperary’s John McGrath to provide a royal welcome for the visitors.” VERDICT: UL by 5+

IT CARLOW VS D.I.T: “Sure, what hurlers ever came out of Carlow?” he asks. Forgiving his ignorance, I tell him he must’ve misread the paper when IT Carlow won the Fresher’s in 2014. “They’ve been building ever since,” I explain. “Colin Dunford’s become a Waterford regular and you can be sure a few Kilkenny kittens will be waiting to pounce.” “They might be alright so,” he admits. “Is that Lee Chin still in DIT?” he wonders. “I’m not sure,” I reply. “Does he know himself if he’s a hurler or soccer player, I tell you if I was over him he’d have no distraction.” I have no doubt. He ponders the idea of Carlow IT being able to hurl. “I might go to that,” he says. VERDICT: IT Carlow by 3+

U.C.C VS U.U: “Those arrogant Corkonians would nearly request a walkover if the game didn’t suit ‘em,” says the Tipster, followed by a phlegmy spit. “I’ve had my fair share of run-ins over the years.” I can imagine. He fancies another one-sided affair with the Northerners wishing they “stuck to the big ball” but with a crooked smile he says “I hope they take a few mementos for the long journey home, if you catch my drift.” VERDICT: UCC by 15+

U.C.D VS N.U.I MAYNOOTH: The Tipster reckons there’s something fishy about all these easy games handed out to the top teams, “might be something worth looking into,” he considers. “UCD have a host of starlets,” he goes on to list James Maher, Dj Foran, Tadgh de Burca and a host of other potential county stars. “No doubt they’re willing to kill for the win but I reckon they’ll be walking off without a spot of dried blood on their shirts. You young lads know nothing about the battles of the past” is his concluding remark. VERDICT: UCD by 10+


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