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Student Independent News

SUGAR, SPICE AND ALL THINGS NICE SHAG week to raise awareness in how to look after your sexual health By Sorcha O’Connor

THE STUDENTS’ UNION launched their ‘Sweet and Spicy’ SHAG week this Monday 6 February and all week on campus there will be a range of activities to raise sexual health awareness. The spice can be found in SULT on Wednesday 8 February when the bar plays host to the Dirty Circus, for a free night of burlesque, cabaret, comedy and sauciness followed by a Traffic Light party in 44 night club. If it’s something sweet you’re after, stick around on Friday morning to nab

yourself an early-Valentine’s Day rose and a pack of rolos. Aside from the fun and games, SHAG week provides students with important information surrounding sexual health. Student Union President Jimmy McGovern hopes that the week can give sexually active students a positive arena for discussing their sexual health, without feeling embarrassed or pressurised. “We hope that our SHAG Week will encourage NUI Galway students to take a responsible attitude to their sexual health and to be comfortable talking about it,” he said. “It is vital that such issues are not

viewed as embarrassing and that all sexually active students are able to get tested regularly. Last year we secured funding for the free STI Clinic on campus and we encourage all NUI Galway students to use this great facility.” The STI clinic will have extended hours throughout the week to encourage attendance and condom packs will be offered free around campus too. The innovative exhibition of Tinderstyle online dating profiles for STIs makes its return after its success last semester. The “STInder” exhibit uses humour and some shock tactics to highlight the symptoms associated with

these STI’s. The Students’ Union hopes the exhibit will encourage students to protect their sexual health and familiarise themselves with the symptoms associated with common and lesser known STI’s. The rates of STI’s in Ireland is still greatest among the under 25 age bracket. There has been a steep increase in the number of Irish cases of reported sexually transmitted infections in 2016 compared with 2015. In 2016 reported Chlamydia cases rose to 6,901 (up 1.7%), Gonorrhoea cases showed a 51.8% increase to 1,964 cases and reported HIV cases were up by 5.8% to 513. Two

Over 1,300 attend smash-hit Akumakon convention on campus By Joseph McBrien Akumakon is the only anime and manga convention held in the West of Ireland, and took place in a across the NUI Galway campus from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 January. Once before almost completely unknown to the world outside Japan, manga (Japanese comics) and anime (Japanese animation) have become a global phenomenon. Akumakon 2017 kicked off at 7pm at the Bailey Allen Hall, where the audience were given a taste for what they in for over the weekend. Events ran on Friday night and from 10am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday, including screenings, signings, workshops, gaming tournaments, cosplay masquerade, and author panels covering a wide range of subjects. These included the language and literature of Japan. “The aim of the event is to promote Japanese culture and animation in Ireland,” explains James Broderick, Convention Director of the Anime and Manga Society. It also aims to help attendees meet like-minded individuals.

Akumakon has donated over €15,000 to Irish and Japanese charities to date, and each annual event aims to be bigger and better than its predecessor. “The idea is people make costumes of characters they really like from video games or anime or from anything,” explains James. He continued saying “We then have a masquerade for people who make their own costumes, they come along and we have prizes for the best costume.” The festival has grown from selling 300 tickets in its opening year in 2011 to selling well over 1,000 in 2016, its biggest achievement to date. Guest speakers flew in from Poland, Japan and the US and these included Eric Stuart, the voice of Brock on the Pokémon anime TV series. Mr Stuart in his speech at the opening ceremony, announced that it was his “first trip to Ireland” and invited the audience to “Rock with Brock” at his concert that took place on Saturday evening. As well as being a voice actor, Stuart is also a singer-songwriter and has supported Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ringo Starr. Continued on page 2

lesser known STI’s Lymphogranuloma venereum and Trichomoniasis also saw a sharp rise of 47 reported cases (up 135% on 2015) and 83 reported cases (up 43%) respectively. During the week Galway Rape Crisis Centre will be hosting free disclosure training for students to increase awareness of the causes and effects of sexual violence and give participants an opportunity to practice scenarios involving a disclosure of sexual violence. There will also be free Smart Consent workshops where students can explore what sexual consent means in a fun and safe environment.

NUI Galway welcome new Dementia centre By Cathy Lee

Photo: Donald Manning

A new research centre focused on the respect of personhood for those with dementia has opened at NUI Galway. A lecture took place to open the centre on Tuesday 31 January at the Institute of Lifecourse and Society in NUI Galway. Professor Eamon O’Shea, Director of the new centre, gave an inaugural lecture entitled ‘Bringing it all back home - Re-imagining Dementia Care in Ireland’. Funding in the form of a €1.6 million award was given for the new centre from the Health Research Board. The Centre’s mission is to support economic and social research on dementia in Ireland and develop and facilitate new thinking. The Centre’s research programme will investigate optimal, person-centred pathways to care, and placement for people on the margins of home care and residential care. There is hope to facilitate collaboration and networking opportunities in relation to social research on dementia. The centre aims to implement strategies set out the National Dementia Strategy in Ireland and continue that work. Continued on page 2


SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Maamturks Challenge Wins Outdoor Event of the Year

NUI Galway Mountaineering Club take home prize from Outsider Awards

The Maamturks Challenge, an annual event run by the NUI Galway Mountaineering Club, has taken home the title of best Outdoor/Adventure Event for 2016 from the Outsider Magazine Awards. The award was presented last night (Thursday 2 February) at the Outsider Awards in the Sugar Club on Dublin’s Leeson Street. The Maamturks Challenge is organised on a nonprofit basis by volunteer students from NUI Galway, who take time out of their studies to organise and staff this event for the benefit of the hillwalking community in Ireland, as well as for the local community. The aim of the Challenge is to complete a traverse of the mountain range of the same name. Two hundred members of the public line up to complete the

25km walk with an ascent gain of 2500m. The terrain is notoriously rocky and barren, and navigating the ridge in anything less than ideal conditions can be a gruelling experience. Despite the challenge of the event, it is rare to only ever participate once. Many participants are drawn back each year as an annual pilgrimage to meet with friends from around the country. The Challenge has been running since the 1970’s and celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2015 with a special commemorative documentary being produced. The event is run with help from the Galway Radio Club and the Galway Mountain Rescue Team and brings much business to the local community in Maam and Leenane.

Many other events competed for the title of Best Event and the club is delighted to be the recipient of this award. It is a recognition of all the hard work that has gone into the event over the years. With the growing participation in outdoor events in recent years, popularity for the Maamturks Challenge has also grown. The demand for places is higher than ever and this year’s event sold out in about three minutes, faster than either U2 or Ed Sheeran. New improvements are always being made and the club is determined to continue the hard work for years to come to hold strong the tradition of this unique event. This year’s challenge takes place on Saturday 8 April, find put more information on maamturks.

NUI Galway researcher develops robotic heart device

NUI Galway welcome new Dementia centre

By Kate Robinson NUI Galway researcher Dr Ellen Roche has developed a soft robotic sleeve to help weak hearts keep beating. The innovative device was created by a team at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital in the US; their research was published with Dr Roche as lead author in the journal Science Translational Medicine in mid-January. The sleeve wraps itself around a failing heart, mimicking heart muscle tissue by compressing in synch with the heartbeat and aiding the organ without the high risk of complications associated with the use of other ventricular assist devices. Dr Roche is a former PhD student at Harvard University, and is now a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Peter McHugh in biomedical engineering at NUI Galway—where she also previously studied for her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. The hope is the device may one day be able to aid in cardiac rehabilitation and recovery. “This research demonstrates that the growing field of soft robotics can be applied to clinical needs and potentially reduce the burden of heart disease and improve the quality of life for patients,” explains Dr Roche. She says that her research is especially important now “because more and more people are ending up with heart failure. Soft robotic devices are ideally suited to interact with soft tissue and give assistance that can help with augmentation of function, and potentially even healing and recovery.” The researchers took inspiration from the heart itself when creating the device. The thin silicone sleeve uses soft pneumatic actuators placed around the heart to mimic its outer muscle layers, which twist and compress the sleeve in a similar motion to a heartbeat. All of this is tethered to an external air pump to power the actuators. “The sleeve can be customized for each patient,” says Dr Roche. If a patient has more weakness on the left side of the heart, for example, the actuators can be tuned to give more assistance on that side. The pressure of the actuators can also increase or decrease over time, as the patient’s condition evolves. More research needs to be done before the sleeve can be implanted in humans, but the work is an important first step towards an implantable soft robot that can increase organ function. Heart failure currently affects 41 million people worldwide.

Continued from front page There are intentions also to include people with dementia and their informal carers in the research process. “We want to examine the economic, social and emotional costs of caring for people with dementia, with a particular emphasis on non-pharmacological approaches,” explains Professor O’Shea, the Principal Investigator on the project. O’Shea has many years of research experience and directly influenced public policy for dementia in Ireland providing the foundation research for the Action Plan on Dementia and the National Dementia Strategy. “Unfortunately, people with dementia have long experienced instances and behaviours which have denied their personhood, for example being ignored,

disrespected or not treated with dignity,” he added. With aging set to be a growing issue for generations to come, dementia is certainly a predominant factor of consideration. Dementia has been increasing in recent years with more people appearing to have the disease than years previous. It is predicted that by 2021, nearly 70,000 people in Ireland will have dementia. These forecasts include people ranging in age from 30 years old to over 85 years old. It can be seen that this funding for research is badly needed when you look to the future forecasts. In 2015, a national survey was done on dementia in Ireland. It found that only 11% of 602 nursing homes surveyed had dementia-specific case units in place. This resulted in people with dementia living in places that did not suit or meet their needs.

Over 1,300 attend smash-hit Akumakon convention on campus Continued from front page Other guests included cosplay stars Lux Cosplay and Shappi Cosplay as well as Japanese singer Aya Ikeda, who was warmly welcomed by the audience They clapped along to her Japanese pop song at the opening ceremony. The Bailey Allen, The Hub and the College bar hosted some of the weekend’s highlights, including Pokémon Bingo, a fire show and origami and yukata (kimono) fittings.

Secretary for the Convention, Kitty Ryan concluded, “The convention went as great as it has in the past. 1,300 people attended, a higher attendance than last year. The Aya Ikeda concert was packed, as was Eric Stuart’s voice acting panel. We always donate profits to charity, this year we are donating to Cancer Care West. We also said goodbye to some members of our committee this year as they’re graduating and we’ll miss them terribly, but if any student wants to get involved then contact the Anime and Manga society”.

Editorial Spring has sprung, love is in the air and Trump is still the President of the USA. Yep, that’s right it’s February 2017 and here at SIN we are on Issue Nine of Volume 18 of Student Independent News. So what’s in store for our avid readers? In news we cover everything from Anime to SHAG week. There’s plenty to delve into to keep you up to date with all goings on in Galway. In Features, we have the usual hilarity from columnists Aisling Bonner and Caoimhe Tully – Ais is still struggling to get to grips with the steering wheel and the Tull-meister is still struggling to get to grips with the dating world. Jennifer O’Connor also continues her popular bi-weekly piece Ill-informed, which takes a look at college with a disability. We take a look at ‘hype’ culture and the detrimental effects of fake news on journalism, as well as giving you the best ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day whether you’re single, ready to mingle or happily in a relationship. The Opinion section covers Brexit, Obamxit (that’s coverage of Obama’s last days in the White House) and challenges our views on rape culture. Plenty of food for thought to say the least. The Fashion section gets political this fortnight – keep an eye out for the best picks of tees and accessories on the day of the Women’s March by Aisling Bonner. Cathy Lee also analyses Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe choices on Trump’s inauguration day. Lifestyle gives us the lowdown on how to become our happiest selves by learning to stop comparing ourselves to others and giving yourself some TLC every now and again. Entertainment is also jam-packed as always! Reviews are a-plenty, as well as poetry and Prodigies: our photographer Timothée Cognard visited the Town Hall theatre last week to capture some of the finest musical moments from the Midwinter Festival, which celebrate some of the youngest stars on the music circuit today. Sports has all the latest match reports from NUI Galway and also has a look at Connacht’s disappointment this season. Being honest, there has to be something for everyone. It’s been a dreary start to February (will it ever stop raining?) but hopefully there’ll be something for you to enjoy in these pages. Have a fabulous fortnight, hope Cupid is good (if you’re into that) and be sure to stay #SINformed… Until next time,

Sorcha. Photo: Donald Manning


February 07 2017

NEWS EDITORIAL: CATHY LEE & CATHAL KELLY This week get #Sinformed about medicinal cannabis, Akumakon, the fight on heart disease and the Galway International rally (to name but a few). NUI Galway and the city itself is always in the media and we here at SIN, want to get right on that ever beating pulse! So whether it’s a heart-

pumping robot or the new centre specialising in dementia, we’ll make sure we’re there to give you the news you need to know about this college and more. Feel free to pitch us a news idea if you’re on the ball too, email Hope you enjoy this weeks’ reads!

FEATURES EDITORIAL: DEIRDRE LEONARD Valentine’s Day is almost here and we’ve got your love life covered this issue. Whether you’re looking for a day out with your gals or scrambling to find date ideas that won’t break the bank, look no further. All your favourite columns are back including Caoimhe Tully’s Diary of a Final Year, Jennifer

O’Connor’s Ill-Informed and Aisling Bonner’s Confessions of a Provisional Driver, as well as some new ones that you should definitely check out. Wishing everyone a happy and chocolate filled Valentine’s Day, and if that’s not your thing, Pancake Tuesday is on the horizon, just you wait!

OPINION EDITORIAL: EOIN MOLLOY Following the passage of Executive Order 439(a), as decreed by his Excellency, President Trump, the Opinion sections of all newspapers are to be disbanded henceforth under pain of death. In light of this, our opinion minions writers have decided to stay away from sensitive issues that may

offend the delicate sensibilities of US Presidents and students alike and have instead focused on alternative opinion. This issue’s section contains absolutely no in-depth news analysis and has instead been given over to a melange of listicles and fashion pieces. Eoin xoxo


Galway International Rally makes tracks VALENTINE’S GUIDE: what to do when you’ve got no boo ILL-INFORMED: The inert fear of forever Guide to a gal pals’ Valentine’s Day in Galway Dr T.K Whitaker – a tribute Ignoring the hype in a hype-filled world NIMBYISM: Are westerners ignoring rape culture elsewhere in the world? I like big Brexits and I cannot lie Clothing hacks Vogue editor leaves after 25 years Comparing Yourself to Others Me time done right Midwinter Festival: Prodigy SHAG WEEK: What’s going on? REVIEW: Westworld Rocksocapalooza turns up the heat  THE GALWAY GAMER: Enter the Madhouse NUI Galway deserve football league inclusion Champions Cup exit for Connacht


5 6 7 8 9 10 13 14 18 19 20 21 22 25 26 27 28 30 31

LIFESTYLE EDITORIAL: KAYLEIGH MCCOY I don’t know about you, but I for one am in desperate need of a bit of me time, as the weather only seems to get colder and assignments harder. That’s why this week’s lifestyle section is all about self-care and learning to put yourself first every once in a while. From learning what me time really means

to accepting yourself as you are, this week’s issue of SIN will (hopefully) set you on the path to becoming a happier, more confident you! We also have the lowdown on the best Instagram accounts to follow – including everything from snaps of Galway’s Latin Quarter to some cute furry friends!

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITORIAL: AISLING BONNER Happy February! Hope you all have that spring in your step (sorry). From Urinetown to SHAG week – it’s going to be an interesting fortnight and the Arts and Ents section has the low down. We’ve got our second Anglo-Irish face-off by Aileen O’Leary in the Battle of First Dates

and Michael Glynn charts James Blunt’s more glorious Twitter moments. Books, plays and telly all go under the reviewers’ knives this issue and Ita Reddington has yet again taken the Creative Corner by a storm. Have a great fortnight, roses are red and all that…

SPORTS EDITORIAL: TREVOR MURRAY It’s February already? I don’t know about you lot but my New Year’s resolutions haven’t exactly gone according to plan…because, well, I never had any. What I do have, however, is a feast of sports news, opinion

and summary in the back pages from my stellar team including an analysis of Connacht’s exit from the Champions Cup, a look at why NUI Galway deserve football league action and lots more. Enjoy.

Photo: Donald Manning

EDITOR: Sorcha O’Connor LAYOUT: Shannon Reeves

Find us online:

An bhfuil rud éigin le rá agat? Cur litir chuig an Eagarthóir chuig

Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance Week 2017 6th-10th An tSeachtain um Fheasacht agus Threoir ar an tSláinte Ghnéis, 2017 FEBRUARY Monday 6th of February / Dé Luain, an 6 Feabhra


5pm-7pm 7pm-9pm

Disclosure Training with Galway Rape Crisis Centre. Raising awareness of the causes and effects of sexual violence and examining scenarios involving a disclosure of sexual violence. Sign up in the SU Office. FREE STI Clinic by appointment only. Make your appointment in the Student Health Unit or phone 091 492604. FREE Movie: Dallas Buyers Club with popcorn and discussion afterwards in Dillon Theatre.

10am-3pm 3pm-6pm 5pm-7pm

Cope Galway Information stand at Smokey’s Pop Up Multi Coloured Hair Braiding Stand at Smokey’s. All donations to the SU Charities. FREE STI Clinic by appointment only. Make your appointment in the Student Health Unit or phone 091 492604.

10am-6pm 5pm-7pm 8pm

SHAG Week Information Stand at Smokey’s FREE STI Clinic by appointment only. Make your appointment in the Student Health Unit or phone 091 492604. The Dirty Circus - Comedy, Burlesque, Cabaret and Sauciness in Sult. FREE event. Prizes for best dressed and free passes for Traffic Light Party. NUI Galway student ID required. Traffic Light Party in 44. Get your sticker: Red = unavailable, Orange = could be convinced and Green = single Pringle looking to mingle! Over 18’s ID required. €5 or FREE if you go to the Dirty Circus!


Tuesday 7th of February / Dé Máirt, an 7 Feabhra

Wednesday 8th of February / Dé Céadaoin, an 8 Feabhra

11pm till late

Thursday 9th of February / Déardaoin, an 9 Feabhra 12pm-2pm 5pm-7pm

Smart Consent Workshop in the SU Boardroom. FREE STI Clinic by appointment only. Make your appointment in the Student Health Unit or phone 091 492604.

Friday 10th of February / Déardaoin, an 10 Feabhra Early Valentine’s Day Rolos and Roses – FREE while stocks last!


All Week: Guess correctly how many condoms are in the jar and you could win them all! Entry €1 which goes to the SU Charities The RNLI and Threshold. STInder Poster exhibit in the foyer of Áras na Mac Léinn, Arts Millennium and Engineering Buildings.

It’s a Match! Free SHAG Packs available from SU Office, SU Engineering Desk and the Welfare Crew.

You and Crabs have liked each other!

Ron AKA The Clap (Gonorrhoea), 19

Crabs (Pubic Lice), 23

Phil (Syphilis), 21

2 km away, Active 12 hours ago

1 km away, Active 3 hours ago

Lydia (Chlamydia), 19

Genny (Genital Warts (HPV)), 21

About Gonorrhea (The Clap) I’m always up for the bants, spread easily and can lead to infertility in both men and women, if untreated. Antibiotics stop the infection but not the banterbus! For our first date I can give you burning during urination and discharge, but often there are no early symptoms. Later, for our second or third date, I may cause skin rashes or spread to the joints and blood. BANTARAMA!

About Crabs (Pubic Lice) You’ll either find me working hard in the gym or else hardly working in your pubic hair. I’m a tiny parasite, but size isn’t everything! I crawl from one person to another during close contact. Don’t let me muscly exterior fool you - I can be killed with over-the-counter lotions (or by people trampling on my heart).

About Syphilis Most people don’t notice me at first but trust me I can make a big impact on your life if you give me a chance/swipe! Without treatment, I can lead to paralysis, blindness, and death. If you’re not down with that then its cool cos I can be cured with antibiotics.

About Genital Warts (HPV) I’m not into hook-ups. You don’t have to have sex to get me. Skin-to-skin contact is enough to spread me and my HPV crew, the virus family that causes genital warts. Some of our crew cause warts and are usually harmless, but others may lead to cervical or anal cancer. Vaccines can protect against some of the most dangerous types.

Swipe Right if you’re a guy who likes: Discharge from the penis, swollen testicles.

Swipe Right if you’re into: Intense itching, tiny eggs attached to your pubic hair, or crawling lice.

About Chlamydia I’m a fun-loving common STI that can lead to infertility if left untreated. I clear up quickly with antibiotics but I often go unnoticed because my symptoms are vague or absent. If you give me half a chance I can also infect your rectum and throat. Lol. Swipe Right if you’re a guy who likes: Burning and itching at the tip of the penis, discharge, painful urination. Swipe Right if you’re a girl who likes: Vaginal itching, discharge that may have an odour, pain during sex, painful urination. Xoxo Swipe Left: Protect your sexual health - always use a new condom correctly and put it on before you have sex

3 km away, Active 1 hour ago

Swipe Right if you’re a girl who likes: Vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, spotting. Symptoms may be mild and are easily confused with a urinary tract or vaginal infection. #BishopofBanterbury

10 km away, Active 2 hours ago

Swipe Right if you’re into: For our first date I’d probably give you a firm, round, painless sore on your genitals or anus. I’d then really start to grow on you, spreading through direct contact with this sore. Later I may be a rash on the soles, palms, or other parts of your sexy body, as well as swollen glands, fever, hair loss, or fatigue. If we really hit it off then later on I can damage your organs such as the heart, brain, liver, nerves, and eyes.

More information from • Tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ó

6 km away, Active 4 hours ago

Swipe Right if you’re into: Pink or flesh-coloured warts that are raised, flat, or shaped like cauliflower. Often there are no symptoms. OMG I LOVE Cauliflower! #fitfam


February 07 2017


Meditation Practice



Room AC201 each week

Tuesdays: 08:10 – 08:50 Wednesdays: 01:10 – 01:50 Thursdays: 17:10 – 17:50

This Mindful Meditation Practice is a shared practice, organised by a group of people on campus who have been practicing meditation for years. The group represents NUI Galway administrators, students, lecturers, researchers and the community.

This practice is suitable for everyone interested in practicing meditation from beginners to experienced practitioners. All are welcome including staff, students, alumni, members of the local community and guests to campus. There is no charge to participate.

Promote Well-being Improve Performance Transform Culture

Galway call to legalise medicinal cannabis

Final call for Galway fight night

By Cathy Lee

By Heather Robinson

On Thursday 26 January, a public meeting was held on the legalisation of medicinal cannabis by People Before Profit Galway. The well-attended meeting, of about fifty people, was chaired by Joe Loughnane of the Galway Anti-Racism Network and included a panel calling for this legalisation of the whole cannabis plant. Gino Kenny, TD, was the special guest on the night who gave a speech to those attending about the Bill be put forward that is currently in its second stage of discussion in Dail Eireann. On his panel were Tom Curran, partner of the late Marie Fleming went public with her MS in an attempt at tackling the ‘Right to die’ in her own case. Alongside Mr Curran was Mark Gaynor, a father to four year old Ronan

Gaynor, who is currently taking legal amounts of medicinal cannabis to tackle the daily symptoms of his terminal brain tumour. Both individuals described in detail the trials and tribulations they faced in terms of trying to get this vital soothing medicine for their loved ones. Tom Curran said of the effects of the cannabis for his late partner, “if I was religious, I’d call it miraculous”. Following both of these men, Gino Kenny spoke about his move to the political spotlight in Ireland and how his journey into public life developed. He met Vera Twomey in her home who recently pleaded to Dail members to legalise the drug for her young daughter who experiences traumatic seizures. Kenny said that in order to get this legislation passed that it’s needed to “fight like tigers” while a member of the public commented that there

needs to be people power behind this campaign. Kenny argued that the cannabis plant had been “completely demonised” in recent times and described it as the “peoples’ plant” that needs to be returned to its rightful owners. From the crowd, concerns came about the relationship between legalising the drug and the pharmaceutical industry as well as medical professionals as well as political party support. There is hope that with further efforts, the current Bill could be passed in the Dail by summer 2017. But there were concerns again from the public that if the Bill was passed too quickly without caution, that it would soon become overly regulated and not meet the needs of individuals. The message that Gino Kenny had for the public was that they “should not be criminalised” for relieving their individual suffering.

The Irish Heart Foundation are returning this year with their Big Heart Fight Night Challenge fundraiser event. The annual event will be held on the 11 March this year in the Black Box Theatre at 7pm and there is a final call for participants in the Galway area who would like to take part. The challenge is open to everyone – male or female and all participants are given a full six weeks training free of charge with Pete Foley from the Black Dragon Gym. Experience is not essential for entry so amateurs are very welcome. The charity advertise this event for “big hearted fighters” who are interested in getting fit for a good cause and the event follows the ethos of the Irish Heart Foundation for promoting exercise as part of a healthier lifestyle. The entrants for the challenge

raise money through sponsorships that cover the cost of your training, the event and a contribution to the charity. All fighters will be evenly matched by age, height, weight and ability for the fight night by “expert matchmakers” according to the official Facebook event page @BigHeartFight. All participants will also undergo a medical screening during training and prior to the fight to ensure a fun, safe night for everyone. The challenge is in its sixth year running and last year there were 30 fighters taking part in the Fight Night with the venue sold out to the audience. The Irish Heart Foundation are hoping to draw similar interest this year. On the night each fighter will partake in three matches, each a minute long. Each fighter is also fully combatted with 16-ounce gloves, a mouth guard and headgear. Sarah Mackey, the regional man-

ager with the Irish Heart Foundation explains that this event and others like it are “vital” in raising funds for supporting the work the charity does to prevent heart disease and strokes. The foundation works nationally and locally to raise awareness on some of the biggest causes of death in Ireland which claim almost 10,000 lives a year, this is according to the foundation itself. The foundation promote understanding the symptoms for strokes and encourage people to give up unhealthy habits which may affect their heart health. All those interested in participating in the Big Heart Fight Night Challenge can submit an application form via the website and the challenge will be held in Sligo, Cork and in the Dublin area as well. Tickets for the night can be purchased through the Town Hall Theatre from the ticket desk or on

Beauty brand Viviscal owned by Galway man sold for €150 million By Heather Robinson A deal between local Galway man James Murphy and the major American manufacturers Church & Dwight will be announced today on the 7 February. The founder of Lifes2good and the owner of hair care product Viviscal has sold the celebrity-endorsed brand for €150 million to a US company.

James Murphy, a local entrepreneur in his fifties developed the brand Viviscal, a hair restoration product that promises thicker and fuller-looking hair. Murphy owned over 80% of his company’s subsidiary Viviscal Ltd which he bought in 2007, according to the Irish Times. The remainder of the brand belonged to stakeholders such as BDO Development Capital Fund who invested €5 million into the product.

Murphy built up the brand and began selling Viviscal in over 25,000 retailers across the US. He wanted sales to reach €50 million before looking for big-time buyers. Last year he succeeded and started searching for a potential company to buy Viviscal Ltd. Church & Dwight, the manufacturers of Batiste, Nair hair removal and Trojan condoms ended his search. Viviscal has been transformed

from a simple hair loss solution to an “award winning hair care and growth range” making it a beauty product that anyone can use and easing the negativity surrounding those with a genuine problem. The range includes shampoos, conditioners and oral supplements and celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow have endorsed the brand. It is wildly used in hair clinics and salons, retailers

and can be purchased directly through the website Church & Dwight struck a deal with James Murphy for €150 million and they will be announcing it today. Galway’s new multimillionaire will be receiving the largest portion of the money as the majority holder of the subsidiary but Lifes2good’s stakeholders will also see a nice return on their investment.

As for the future, Lifes2good will continue to manufacture their other products Micro Pedi and Pettura. While James Murphy plans to do it all over again with a new product. According to an interview he did with the Irish Times, Murphy will build up another brand and hopefully sell it off to a larger manufacturer – apply, rinse, repeat, as they say. He has no intentions of retiring just yet.


SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Diary of a Final Year

VALENTINE’S GUIDE: what to do when you’ve got no boo By Caoimhe Tully Ever since the great philosopher Rihanna claimed she “found love in a hopeless place”, I’ve been wondering where that was. And after four years here, I think I am qualified to say that no – it was not NUI Galway. Of course, we’ve all gained a plethora of knowledge since our first days here at NUI Galway, from how to reference in APA format, to how to buy three weeks’ worth of groceries with 20 euro. Some of us might even say we’ve “found ourselves” here - but very few of us have found love... Until today! So fasten your seat belts, put your pants on, drink five espressos… Just pay attention, okay? Tull-Meister is here to tell you how to find love, just on time for V-day.

GET SWIPING Mammies are always right. Some of you may recall that mine encouraged me to “get on the Tinder” way back in October, and I haven’t looked back since. Apart from that accidental date I ended up having with my second cousin (Galway is a small place), Tinder has been a pretty good time for me. Some of you may have even matched me yourselves, and you will agree with me when I say that I am at least 45% better looking, 56% more interesting, and 80% more pleasant on my profile. In the world of Tinder, you can be the best fake version of yourself – and swipe through other fake versions of people to your hearts content. A sure way to happiness, and perhaps even to find the one… So get swiping.

START STRIVING If you’re reading this, you are more than likely a millennial, like myself. You were probably born sometime between the 80s and late 90s, not giving a feck what you looked like. For the first few years of your life you were a screaming snotty mess, wearing bright coloured puffy clothes and eating a stable diet of delicious Liga biscuits. Bliss! You weren’t born caring about your diet, what size you were, what clothes you owned, how big your lips were, how shiny your hair was... but the thing is, you were born into a world that told you that you should care about these things. That’s right kids, drop those Liga biscuits – it’s time to learn how to measure your self-worth. In order to be better, to be happier, to find love, you need to take a good long look at yourself. Then look at a Kardashian. Then look back at yourself. Then sit down. Reflect... Think: how could I look more like this? Slimmer, bigger boobs, bigger lips, shinier hair, a nicer ass, defined cheeks… the list goes on. So get striving.

PAY ATTENTION It’s Thursday night in Galway. I’m sitting in a bar, flicking my perfectly long and shiny blonde hair. There’s a man opposite me. A nice one. This is the closest I’ve gotten to a real life date - the fourteen year old girl within me is skipping around with her stupid mullet hair-cut. How did I get here? Simple. I paid attention. In November, I picked my suitor. November was

perfect for me, because the pubs of Galway were a little quieter and my suitor happened to be a happy-go-lucky bar tender. He also happened to have a penchant for Hunky Dory crisps and the Foo Fighters. (Information such as this was gathered on those quiet November evenings, when I saw him eating the Buffalo flavour ones, and heard him tell a customer he was going to a Foo Fighters concert with his girlfriend). I then proceeded to buy a Foo Fighters t-shirt on ebay, and a year’s supply of Hunky Dorys to always have in my handbag. Next step: stalking his girlfriend on Facebook. She was blonde with genuine eyes. My conclusion: he likes blonde girls with genuine eyes. Naturally, I dyed my hair blonde. I’m a redhead, so there was a transition period where I wore a lot of hats, but I’m almost perfect now – I just need to look into those lip fillers, and be a little slimmer... It’s Thursday night in Galway, if the barman was single and on the opposite side of this bar, this might be considered a date. If I was given a chance to actually love myself, maybe it’d be easier to find love. Is it time we stop swiping and striving?

California, here I come! By Saoirse Rafferty Here is the second instalment to SIN’s Saoirse Rafferty’s Californian column. “Stay safe in the storm”, were the five words I awakened to last weekend in the sunny state of California. I effortlessly opened my curtain and glanced through the window to see a few drops of rain; it’s safe to say, it finally felt like home. I laughed at how the few drops of rain was being called a storm. ‘Californians and their sun,’ I thought to myself… So, in the midst of this “storm” I decided to walk to the ‘supermarket’ to get my ‘groceries’ (the American slang is subconsciously growing on me). My housemate offered me her umbrella but I shrugged it off and thought ‘I’m Irish, I could swim through floods if I had to.’ Well, after my adventure to the supermarket, I was no longer laughing and it now looked like I went swimming in my clothes. I now apologise to all Americans for my stereotypical attitude and after seeing trees knocked over and roads flooded I will never laugh at rain in California again. Alongside the weather not being as expected, life in the kitchen hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows either. I recently learnt that the typical 180 degrees temperature for the oven at home is the equivalent to 400 degrees in America. Basically what I’m trying to tell all of you is that I put

potatoes in the oven for an hour hoping to make potato wedges and when I took them out they were still potatoes. Alongside this misfortune, I attempted to use the microwave yesterday and I haven’t seen chicken fly since the movie Chicken Run - but, man was my chicken flying. The microwave somehow managed to make my food fly and stick to the roof, and cleaning up the crime scene was not as much fun as it sounds… Despite the bad weather and my unfamiliarity with American ovens, life has been very good in California. I finally got to see a Ted Talk live, which was something I always wanted to do after streaming many videos online over the years. If you ever get the opportunity to hear a Ted Talk live, make sure to go. They are even more inspiring in person and I learnt a really important fact: Ireland is the “goodest” country in the world! The ‘goodest’ was defined as being the most giving to other countries throughout the world, a quality that makes a ‘good’ country. I never felt more proud to be Irish. If you can’t go to a Ted talk in America, at least go to the cinema. Oversized theatres and popcorn can never be a disappointment. FYI: Ordering a small popcorn in America is the equivalent size to a large popcorn in Ireland except somehow more expensive. I’ll fill you guys in on bigger and better things in California in the next issue. Because just when you think you can’t get a bigger food portion, there’s always more…

Confessions of a Provisional Driver By Aisling Bonner I recently returned to Galway last week for a night just before starting a work placement in Dublin. Getting off the Park and Ride bus, I inhaled the smell of NUIG like the scent of a long lost lover. As I bid farewell to the driver, whose cheerful greeting to every passenger has never failed to brighten my day in the past year and a half, he asked me a question which cracked a metaphorical whip in my head. “Have ye still not passed the drivin’ test yet?” “Ha, ha, no, no. I still have four more columns to write, ha, HA.” My own words hit me like the Park and Ride bus. At the rate I’m progressing, I’ve time to write about forty more columns and not have passed the test.

In the following days the bus driver’s words swirled around my head like a hypnotic 80’s music video. My final two lessons looming, I decided the time is nigh to start practicing the dreaded manoeuvres. Like the golden child I am, I made arrangements for my Mam to visit her friend in a village nearby - her friend, who happens to live in an estate and opposite a conveniently positioned corner, with optimum reversing potential. In she goes, and in the car I stay. I spend the time it takes my mother to finish a cup of tea reversing and re-reversing and re-re-reversing around the same bloody corner. So, all in all about three years. After a particularly dramatic thump as I descend yet again from the kerb, I spot a figure strolling towards me in

my rear view mirror. I’m thinking, here we go. Some narky neighbour just relishing the chance to kick me out of his estate that he funded and built with his own two hands, presumably. I reposition for another reversal and calmly consider the ways in which I could tell him that he has no right to kick me out of his estate as I pay road tax and am therefore entitled to reverse and re-reverse and re-re-reverse around any damn corner I like. The possibilities are three-fold: Nod quickly, park and scurry into my Mam for a consolatory biccie. Apologize profusely, play dumb, grab Mam and go. Cry, confess, beg for forgiveness, leg it and leave my Mam. By the time the knock came on the window I’m on the verge of going full C. “Howaya?” “Hi yeah, I’m really sorry I must be wrecking you’re head going around this kerb. I’m finished now, I swear. I’m never gonna’ pass this bloody test anyway. Look take the car, I’m so sorry I –“ “Hold on now missus. Would’ye calm down. As a man who’s spent d last twenty years drivin’ vans an’ lorries I just wanted’t give ye some advice.” Dumbfounded, I sit listening and nodding and replying with awkward laughs, which flood from relief. Good advice it is, too, and I have to almost beg him not to bring me out a cup of tea and a few biscuits to keep me going. “You’re doin’ absolutely savage missus, yer flyin’ it ye just need sum confidence. And tea, jays are ye sure ye don’t want a cuppa tea? Yer always welcome t practice in dis estaayshe missus.” The exchange was brief considering the time I’d spent in that 4 metre radius, but it was sweet. I felt positively fuzzy after my new life coach’s kindness and, who am I kidding – blatant lies. I was nowhere near ‘savage’ before, but I’m a definitely a little more savage now.


February 07 2017


ILL-INFORMED: The inert fear of forever By Jennifer O’Connor I was merely five years old when I first remember developing a fear of cows, though my mother will argue that it began long before that. Living on a dairy farm in Kerry was challenging when I made the very essence of my surroundings into a force for fear. There is VHS evidence of me howling at a hedge at the age of five because I could hear the cows at the other side. Hear, not see. And so, my senses became heightened to the snuffles of their hooves and the sounds of their chewing, and even their unavoidable smell. Every movement within my home and the outskirts of rural Kerry, which was my slurry filled playground, became entrenched in fear. My cousins would laugh and my sister would remain ever logical in her explanation that their large size did not mean they were vicious. Yet it was not their size that evolved my fear from a toddler’s anxiety, but rather my own imagination that secretly cows must surely hate us for imprisoning them twice or three times a day in metal bars for our own food. Surely, that would cause hate. And so, it was my imagination that demonised an entire species of animal. How foolish it may sound, yet

that fear did not dissipate somewhat until I was twenty years old. At the age of twenty, I learned that my fear of cows was an active fear and that for it to be active, that means that some fears must surely be inactive or rather - inert. My emotions upon the sight of a black and white demon animal who was causally eating grass, as I got off my school bus to walk to my house, were active. My heartbeat fluttered until I felt queasy and a cold sweat broke out across my forehead. Emotions tazed by an anxiety gun, it was down to my physical body to release the signs of such stress. Yet, there is a far worse kind of fear. The inert kind that is built upon truth. I was entering the second year of both college and my illness when this fear did not just taze me, but debilitated me until I was numb. The word ‘chronic’ means forever. To have chronic illness is to be ill for as long as you may live. This is the indescribably sick and twisted fate that awaits not just me, but so many other people with a variety of disabilities. For some, this fear finds you as a child, for others it is later: but it does not spare anyone. So, I stood, at my home in Kerry with the wind whipping my hair around my face and eclipsing my

ability to hear the animals in the field before me. I gathered my hideous pink dressing gown around me more tightly. I had gone outside to get some fresh air, which I did for only five minutes a day, every day, before collapsing back to bed. On that seemingly ordinary day, the cows were in the nearest field to my house. They were all heifers, young and vibrant - and somewhat moody. These adolescent cows were running, hopping and never sitting still. I inched closer to the electric fence and stared at their interactions. It was then that I met the gaze of the closest cow. Her eyes were glassy and huge, and she stood by the tree I had climbed only once to discover that the branches were rotten. Cocking her head to the side, her look was almost comically quizzical. I cannot explain what it was in that moment that triggered my realisation that this was me, forever. Yet, it moved as slowly as cement hardening from blood, to muscles, to bone until it was inescapable. I was forever, going to be lacking. Forever playing catch up with my peers. Never whole again. I looked away from the glassy eyes and my mind considered whether it may be better to simply die, after all.

Yet, here I am. I have not risen like a phoenix from the ashes, so I will not lie to you. Yes, I am still chronically bound to my health forever more. That is a concrete fact. However, what is much less concrete is how exactly I have changed. That day, when a simple cow, inspired not fear in me,

Both are irrelevant to my, to our, chances to lead a life in a state of contentment. Fear loses all meaning without when there is no one there to accept it, just as a rainbow is not truly seen if no one is around to experience the breakdown of such light. Thus, when we - the eternally

The word ‘chronic’ means forever. To have chronic illness is to be ill for as long as you may live. This is the indescribably sick and twisted fate that awaits not just me, but so many other people with a variety of disabilities. For some, this fear finds you as a child, for others it is later: but it does not spare anyone. but despair, fate became my mistress and weapon. I could not change that which I did not accept, as truly, what we resist persists. After all, it is hard to yield a weapon when you are pointing the blade towards your own chest. I acknowledge my future as tainted by this fear, as I do my past which was irrational as screaming at hedges.

struggling - think like this we need much less steely determination to do what is asked of us by our bodies. Instead, second by second, minute by minute, we gain a life that is truly ours. Fate and our inevitabilities are but the shadow behind a candle, intangible and inconsequential to the glow we all harbour endlessly.

A mature perspective on college life By Fiona Hyland The second semester is upon us already – where did the time go? Four months ago I set foot, for the first time, on the campus of NUI Galway as an incoming mature student – twenty eight years after I sat my Leaving Certificate. To say that I was simultaneously excited, terrified, hopeful, doubtful, energised and exhausted is an understatement – in short I was a maelstrom of emotions. From the moment the idea twinkled into life, through filling out the CAO form, choosing the subjects I hoped to study, sitting the MSAP exam and getting the notification that I had been offered a place, I had never truly allowed myself to believe that this was really possible. Not for me. I had my excuses ready for when my application would be denied – ‘it wasn’t meant to be, the time wasn’t right, maybe next year.’ When the offer came through the post that day in July, I was in a state of shock. The slip of paper was examined multiple times for a mistake, but it was a fruitless exercise. There was no denying the content, I had been accepted GY119 Arts with Journalism. The summer flew by in a haze of disbelief and in the second last week of August I found myself on campus with many other mature students for an introductory week. As we made tentative introductions, the sedate

I learned to recognise the hollowed out, panicked look worn by my fellow matures, that mirrored my own, as Anselm’s Ontological Argument vied for space with Sources of Law and Durkheim’s Theories on Religion in a mind that was stretched almost to the limit. My intellectual muscle popped, with a snap that was almost audible, one day in late October.

hum soon became a babbling hubbub as like-minds recognised each other and relaxed into the comfort of a common bond. Stories and histories were exchanged over coffee, anecdotes and laughter shared across tables. We discovered we were not alone. Our decision to return to education was validated and echoed in every conversation. We were in our own little bubble and we felt like we owned the campus. This feeling did not last long. The steady influx of students over the next two weeks was overwhelming, and the realisation hit home that we were the minority within the majority. A slew of introductory lectures ensued and decisions had to be made. Psychology or Law? English or History? Classics or Philosophy? Debates on such topics took up every second of spare time not spent purchasing pens, folders and notepads or wandering around campus looking for a lecture that started twenty minutes ago. Or even worse, sitting in a lecture hall and realising ten minutes later that you are in the wrong room. I endured an advanced German lecture despite not speaking a word, simply because I was seated in the middle of a row near the front of the hall, hemmed in by enthusiastic linguists. Getting to grips with using new technology was the one thing I was dreading the most, but surprisingly,

I managed it quite well. Checking college email and blackboard for notifications regarding each subject soon became second nature – so much so that during the Christmas break I felt absolutely bereft at the lack of messages in my inbox. As September unfurled into October, a routine had been established. Gaps between lectures were spent in the library trying to get to grips with the enormous amount of recommended reading. I learned to recognise the hollowed out, panicked look worn by my fellow matures, that mirrored my own, as Anselm’s Ontological Argument vied for space with Sources of Law and Durkheim’s Theories on Religion in a mind that was stretched almost to the limit. My intellectual muscle popped, with a snap that was almost audible, one day in late October. It was the moment when I stopped resisting and I relaxed, trusting in the process that had worked for the hundreds and thousands before me who had gotten through this challenging time. What had been daunting had become conceivable. It was a seminal moment which ultimately led to my first Thursday night out in the college bar with a group of new friends who had come to a similar conclusion. Pints of Guinness and conversation flowed freely, as we chattered excitedly, voices tumbling over each other, sharing

newly acquired knowledge and revelling in our collective realisation that we were actually thriving. The next morning, sporting sludgy hangovers, we remembered exactly why we don’t do this sort of thing very often and why Fridays are so eerily quiet on campus. Still, it was absolutely worth it. I had not realised what an enormous step returning to education would be for me. I had certainly underestimated the strength of my emotions and how the experience would overwhelm every aspect of my being. At the end of the first week of term, my astonished and bemused husband held me as I dissolved into a weeping, incomprehensible heap. It was some minutes before I could get the words out – “I can finally be who I should have had the chance to be.” Life can throw up many obstacles to hinder us in our journey through life, tragedies can impede our progress, circumstance can often limit our options. The chance to evolve and grow in later life is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. For me, college is not just about finishing my education, but more about the realisation of something once thought impossible. Last week, as I waited for the results of the Christmas exams, I found myself once more on the apex of the rollercoaster that is college life. But I wouldn’t change it for a second.


SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Cheap and cheerful ideas for Valentine’s Day By Roisin McManus

sweet treats! If you don’t have Netflix, you can always just buy a DVD and watch it instead, it’s the same idea.

As Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, those of us who have a significant other to consider will of course be thinking now of where to go for the day and what to do. As we students haven’t the luxury of all the money in the world, so we here at SIN thought it would be a good idea to help you all out by giving you some inexpensive ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one, without breaking your budget.

Netflix and… chocolate?

If you and your partner are interested in baking, or are just interested in the finished product, a great idea can be to find your favourite treat recipes and spend the day baking up a storm in the kitchen. By evening time, you can both turn on Netflix, hit the sofa, and unwind while catching up on your favourite series, or watching a soppy rom com while chomping on your delicious

A lesson in regret By Micaela Depinna

Cinema trip

A trip to the cinema on Valentine’s Day is probably one of the first date ideas that people, students especially, think of. It is practical here in Galway, as it is just a short walk from Eyre Square, and an outing to the cinema will never cost you too much money. You both could walk in together, which will mean even less money to spend on public transport, and you can catch up on each other’s lives in that time before kicking up your feet in the theatre. I would recommend booking your tickets in advance as I’m sure there will be plenty of people with the same idea and going to the cinema on this day.


Instead of spending money on an expensive dinner in a restaurant, you and your S.O. can cook up a feast at

Think for one second about the scenario that pops into your mind when you read the word ‘regret’ (or the multiple scenarios as the case may be). Fact is, regret is something that’s as universal as it is useless. I mean what function does it serve other than making you feel like crap? I could sit here and pretend that I’ve never regretted a thing I’ve done in my life, but we all know that that would be an absolute lie. However, when I find myself saying “ugh, I regret that decision”, I try to quickly follow

home for the pair of you to enjoy, at a fraction of the price. You can either enjoy this meal in the luxury of your student accommodation or you can go out into the world and find a place to sit and eat together, maybe in Eyre Square or Salthill, both pretty destinations - if it’s not too unbearably cold on the day. If you choose to stay indoors, you can decorate your dining area with some fairy lights and nicely scented candles to make your home dining experience feel more like a restaurant.

Spa Day

A Spa Day is a great idea for a Valentine’s Day date to relax and unwind amidst all the trials and tribulations of college life. There are many spas in Galway’s various hotels which anyone can avail of without having to become a guest of the hotel, much less costly than a night in the hotel. The G Hotel here has an ESPA treatment, which has been awarded gold for Best Hotel Spa by Irish Tatler magazine, and consists of a 55 minute

it up with an “actually, no. I don’t.” Because let’s face it, our mistakes, not so stellar decisions, and general life disasters are what make us who we are. How else would we learn and grow as people? Now this of course doesn’t mean you should go around living life recklessly all the while exclaiming “No regrets!” but it means that you should always bear in mind that these things that make you cringe are also what led you to this point in your life. These are necessary plot points in your life story and you will eventually look back on them and know exactly why they had to happen. I’m all about looking back on past relationships, good or bad, and appreciating what I learned from them. Because it’s all a learning curve really when you think about it. We’re all thrown in at the deep end when it comes to our first relationship (and perhaps even the next few after that…) and expected to just figure it out as we go along. For the majority of us that first relationship ends in failure, and we find ourselves once again dipping our toes back into the dating pond, keeping an eye out for our person. It gets harder as the years go by and again and again we fail to reel in the right person while more and more friends seem to succeed. It can get to a point where you feel like you’re just not cut out for this and you just want to give up, especially after a particularly disastrous experience (cue Jaws theme song). But I choose to believe that we cross paths with people for a reason. After all, in order to appreciate someone who’s good for you, you first have to figure out who’s not so good for you. So, To the boy who loved himself far more than he could ever love me – To the boy who didn’t know what he wanted, and probably still doesn’t – To the boy with the kind eyes and cruel mind – To all the boys I’ve encountered in the past who hurt me and to those I will no doubt encounter in the future – Thank you. You created memories with me that I look back on now not only with anger and sadness, but also with some fondness (as well as some cringing). You taught me lessons that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else or in any other way. You allowed me to discover parts of myself that I would not have found otherwise. You brought me one step closer to becoming the best version of myself. It is for these reasons that I choose not to regret any of my past decisions and neither should you. They may be questionable and they may not work out in the way that we hope, but they will result in something ultimately good – memories made and lessons learned. And when the time is right we will put both to good use. Promise.

treatment of either a personalised facial or massage. A trip to the spa could be just what you both need to loosen up and forget all your worries. So, there you have it, SIN’s best ideas when it comes to Valentine’s Day on a budget. I hope you all can avail of these ideas if you so wish and if you don’t want to use the exact same ideas, you can always take inspiration from any of them. I hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s Day, regardless of whether you have a someone special to enjoy it with, and remember, you can always spend this day in the company of your friends if the latter is the case.

Guide to a gal pals’ Valentine’s Day in Galway By Amy McMahon Single pringles everywhere listen to me right now, you do not need a special someone to enjoy Valentine’s Day when you can enjoy it with your friends! Admittedly it may sound somewhat pathetic but honestly you will more than likely enjoy the day with your best friends rather than moping around feeling sorry for yourself. Stay in with your friends and have the ultimate sleepover. Watch old-school, classic chick flicks, like Mean Girls, John Tucker Must Die and She’s The Man. Order so much food from Deliveroo that it will look like the Tour de France with all of the delivery bikes coming towards your house, and eat every single bite of it. Stay up all night chit-chatting about everything and anything. So, basically Netflix and chill, without the innuendo. No matter how old you are, everyone needs a good girly night in every now and then. If you don’t want to stay in, then go out! Galway is full of top quality restaurants, and with the right company, you will be in for a great night. Dinner dates don’t have to be strictly for couples, group dates with your gal pals can be just as fun, if not more. Better again you don’t have to worry about eating like a slob or embarrassingly flinging spaghetti left, right and centre in front of a date! Dinner doesn’t have to be the only group date idea on the table, Galway has a host of other options perfect for mate dates. Bowling is always a brilliant option, and cheaper on a Tuesday which is always better on a student budget. Add pizza into the mix, along with some friendly competition, and you’re in for a fun night. You could all go to the cinema, La La Land is supposed to be excellent and Fifty Shades Darker is coming out (just saying). Or, you could try something completely different and go to the trampoline centre in Galway, for a bit of banter. Above all, I’d recommend hitting the town. Get ready early enough to take enough photos that will last a lifetime. Invite friends over before the night kicks off, to chill and listen to music and then walk into town as a pack on the prowl…or get a taxi, because it always rains in Galway. Trust me, the best way to get over V-day blues is to just have fun. By the end of the night who knows, maybe you might meet a potential beau for next year!


February 07 2017


Dr T.K Whitaker – a tribute By Ita Reddington Dr TK Whitaker, died on 9 January, a month after he celebrated his 100th birthday. Whitaker’s contribution to Irish life was acknowledged in 2002 when he was voted ‘Irishman of the 20th Century’ by RTÉ viewers and the following year, he won the ESB/Rehab ‘Greatest Living Irish Person’ award. Whitaker is regarded as the most influential public servant in the history of the State, both during his professional career and in retirement when he continued to advise governments on the economy and peace relations in Northern Ireland. TK, better known as Ken, was born on 8 December, 1916, in Rostrevor, Co Down but in 1922, the family moved to Drogheda where they lived in a house called “Paradise Cottage”. Ken attended the local Christian Brother schools where he excelled in his Leaving Certificate. He joined the Civil Service where he was quickly promoted up the ranks to junior administrative officer in the Department of Finance. During that time, he studied for a Degree in Maths, Celtic Studies and Latin by correspondence course with London University and he was awarded an Honours BA in Economics in 1941 and an MSc in 1952.

In 1957 he helped establish the Institute of Public Administration, which improved public service training and introduced a university scholarship system for officials. Whitaker was a man of great vision and integrity and is most remembered for his inspirational blueprint for the economic regeneration of Ireland entitled “Economic Development” written in 1958 when he served as the youngest-ever secretary of the Department of Finance. His ideas gave new hope to the state following years of stagnation within the economy and mass unemployment to a more modern era of growth and prosperity. This radical new approach resulted in the First Programme for Economic Expansion. Furthermore, Whitaker also played a pivotal role in setting up the historic cross-border meetings in 1965 between the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, and the Northern Ireland prime minister, Terence O’Neill, which laid the foundations for future peace agreements in the North. Despite the troubles that followed, Whitaker never gave up on the search for peace by constitutional means. In the 1960s he established the Economic and Social Research Institute in 1960. During his reign as governor of the Central Bank in the 1970s, he tightened controls over the banking sector and

urged governments to restrain foreign borrowing as they struggled with the fall-out from the oil crisis and devaluation. In 1977, Taoiseach Jack Lynch, appointed Whitaker to the Seanad where he advised on economic and Northern Ireland affairs. While he achieved so much in his proffessional career, he remained engaged and active in public life long after his retirement. As chancellor of the National University of Ireland, for 20 years, a role that he greatly enjoyed for his passion was education and saw it as lifelong. He continued to write numerous articles, give lectures and chair bodies, working for reform in many facets of Irish life. He received honorary doctorates from National University of Ireland, Trinity College, Queen’s University, New University of Ulster, Dublin City University and London University for his dedication and commitment to growth and prosperity. However, despite Whitaker’s professional and public achievement, Ken always made time for his family. He was passionate about the Irish language, speaking fluently and elegantly as Gaeilge to likeminded friends and colleagues. One of his great joys

was to escape to the west of Ireland for fishing, an activity which he enjoyed right up to his 90s. Ken Whitaker married Nora Fogarty in 1941. They had six children, Brian, David, Ken Jr, Gerry, Catherine and Raymond. Sadly, TK was predeceased by Gerry and Catherine, and his beloved Nora died in 1994 after 53 years of married life. In 2005 he married a family friend, Mary Moore, with whom he shared three happy and companionable years together before she passed away in 2008. He spent his 100th birthday last month at home surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His long life parallels the history of the modern Irish state, in whose economic, financial, social, educational, political and cultural evolution he played a pivotal role. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Health insurance hikes for international students By Heather Robinson The Health Insurance Authority (HIA) have recently decreed that insurance companies can no longer offer international students, from outside the EU, the affordable and basic health coverage of years gone by. From 3 March, all international students residing in the country for longer than a year must pay for full health coverage, like everyone else. The difference in cost is staggering. Whvile international students could have had a basic health insurance package for under €200 a year, the cost of full health insurance could reach up to a €1000 a year – a massive hike in expenses and a possible deterrent for students who want to study abroad. This decision comes at the same time as the government’s initiative to increase the influx of foreign students by 25% within the next four years, according to The Irish Times. This price hike is being hailed as the end to the population of international students presiding in Ireland. But 20,000 foreign students and another 100,000 people in private colleges didn’t choose to study in Ireland because of our cheap health insurance. Those are the figures for the number of people studying and living here who come from outside the European Economic Area. So is the problem really all that bad? For internationval students that travel here from countries outside of the European Union, hospital bills are not free and they are certainly not cheap. A single accident and a trip to the A&E could mean big bucks and who wants to think about hospital bills when you have exams to worry about? Paying for a full health coverage package, which at most would cost up to a €1000, could save you thousands of euro more if you get badly hurt. That’s even if you decide to get health insurance. informs us that a single trip to the casualty unit is a straight-up €100 for non-medical card holders. If you have an accident that involves getting stitches, multiple hospital visits, anaesthesia, x-rays, or an overnight stay… you must pay for all of that too. You must pay for your individual consultants and then when you can finally leave, you’ll have to pay for your sub-

scription in the pharmacy. All of these things add up. That’s why people invest in health insurance, so that they don’t have to worry about the bill. Another factor to take into consideration is the financial background of our international students. People who plan to travel here and study for four years are going to be spending quite a lot more money than our member state neighbours anyway. Here in our very own NUI Galway, all non-EU undergraduate students pay €12,750 €13,750 per academic year for an education. Yet no one has raised this expense as a major deterrent

to government plans. It has not been mentioned anywhere that our growing housing crisis will keep international students from studying full-time courses in Ireland. But many first year students live in hostels or decline the offer of their choice because they cannot find a place to live near the chosen college. Monthly rent for a single room in the Galway city centre averages at four hundred euro and depending on the landlord, that price can exclude bills. Many students in Ireland could never afford to go to university without the services of SUSI

who make up the other half of our student fees and even help us out with accommodation costs. Don’t believe me? 76,000 students were awarded SUSI grants for the 2016/17 academic year. That is 14,000 more people than the year before! It’s nearly the equivalent of the amount of people who created a CAO application by March of last year. The point being that anyone outside the EEC, who decides they are going to attend one of our universities, must be fully capable of paying the necessary fees. Is it too cavalier to say; ‘What’s an extra thousand euros on top of all that?’

10 F EAT U R E S

Final year reflections By Grace O’Doherty The gloom-inducing thought of final year sparks a flurry of ‘last chance to-’ activities. It inspires both impromptu pints and late nights in the reading room, is both an excuse and a curse. It involves walking a thin line, savouring the last dregs of student life while also holding tight to your degree for those final few months, till you’re standing in a square cap in the quadrangle on a windy morning in October with it safely signed and rolled up in your fist, ready for the mantelpiece at home. I find myself pondering the many, if trivial, things I’ve never done during my time here. I never joined enough societies or clubs, I never went rollerblading along the promenade, I never availed of discounts on my SU card, I never played Frisbee on the banks of the Corrib on a sunny day. One hand is furiously writing notes and the other is lifting a bottle of Conde Noble. One foot is on a mountainside in Connemara and the other is running late for a lecture. One eye is squinting into the future at a beach somewhere along the equator and the other is scanning the library for seats. In the back of my mind is the suspicion that things might soon begin to happen very fast. How do you gather up your student days and put them somewhere safe, where you’ll always have them? Between the dates and deadlines of the academic calendar are many markers, from the banal and boring to the very best. The number of times you crossed the Quincentennial bridge in the cruel winter rains and the sum total of words used to complain about the Galway weather. The amount of nights that went quickly from being ‘just one’ to a late-night/early-morning taco fries feast in Charcoal Grill. Forgotten addresses of after-parties and surplus taxis ordered for pre-drinks. The millions of hurried footsteps taken on the never-ending concourse corridor, from Smokies to Bank of Ireland shimmering in the distance like a mirage in the desert. The collective number of rollies smoked outside the library during study weeks and the amount, in milligrams, of coffee consumed. Even though many of us are probably ready to leave, once we do we’re adrift, for better or for worse. We’ve been given the tools to think critically, but to live independently seems infinitely harder. Stretching a tenner over three or four days and including one night out is a fantastic, if depressing, exercise in economy, but it’s more making-do than doing-well. And all the while smug relatives remark, gleefully, of bills and taxes and the other inconvenient trappings of the adult world- “it’s all ahead of you”. Now seems to be the time to appreciate being within walking distance of so many of our friends and being able to make plans without hassle. To appreciate being late without consequences, often without even being noticed. It won’t be so acceptable to sidle into the back of a business meeting and nudge your colleagues over a few seats before you whip out your pen and wipe toothpaste off the corner of your mouth. In all likelihood, it won’t be the end of many things we’ve become accustomed to in the past few years: exorbitant rent-rates and cranky landlords, increasingly violent hangovers, numerous cups of tea per day, binge watching TV series. And for now, at least, the question of what to do ‘after’ is distant by a few more months. There’s time to break a leg on the promenade, time to play Jenga in Caribou, time to increase employability by attending all of the jobs fairs in the Bailey Allen. From now until exams are so many “last chance to-” opportunities that need to be enjoyed, and hopefully more than a few sunny days.

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

“The function of the press in society is to inform” By Heather Robinson The internet is a remarkable thing and with the dawn of new media, our consumption of news and current affairs grows slowly more narrow. The invention of clickbait headlines and ‘news’ that isn’t really news have become so omnipresent it’s hard to discern what’s really worth knowing these days. Most people will admit that they get their news from their Facebook feed and rightly so! Used properly, social media sites can be excellent platforms for discovering objective information in real time. Twitter is updated constantly and you only need to follow a hashtag to get info as soon as it happens – which makes Dáil proceedings exciting on occasion. But a lot of the posts clogging up our feeds are sensational pieces designed to make you click so that they get more money. Let’s be clear, this is not journalism. This is not the role of the media in our society. According to journalist David Randall the role of the journalist is to find “fresh information on matters of public interest and to relay it as quickly and as accurately as possible to readers in an honest and balanced way”. The internet has altered the very existence of journalism. The press is no longer a puppet for those in power. We don’t have to hide behind legislation on unreasonable censorship or flatter royalty or love the Kardashians. As

figures working in the media we have to be honest and decide whether what we’re reporting is in the public’s interest. But what’s in the public’s interest? It is extremely disconcerting that a story on an international event is usually buried beneath ten posts all based on a celebrity’s latest Instagram photo. Why is that considered news? Are people really that distracted and busy they need to be anaesthetised by this sort of thing. There is a time and place for everything. Always expecting the headline to grab your attention will lead you down a dark road of fake news and conspiracy theories. People should consider looking for the news themselves. It’s not in the public’s interest that Gary Barlow washed his hair for the first in fourteen years just last week. It should, however, interest Ireland that the EU are onto us for having contaminates in our water supply. There is new content uploaded hourly, daily, weekly – the demand is considerably high and journalists have an expanding internet to draw from. Stories and events are far easier to capture with new media in comparison to the older ways like the paper and radio. The invention of smartphones has surpassed all previous newsassembling methods. When the BBC reported from Zimbabwe during the 2008 elections, even though

they were banned from doing so, it dawned on them how accessible the news is now. They were not weighed down by cumbersome equipment, nor were they suspected of being reporters. They broadcasted live feed using a mobile phone and a satellite phone from someone’s back garden. It notably cut their budget costs and world affairs seemed closer to home than ever before. Video quality, poor or otherwise, has no great effect on the value of such a broadcast because it is the content that matters. Journalists do have it a lot harder these days if they want an audience to engage with their pieces. They have to use pictures of socialites and namedrop a Jenner or Kardashian just to get a look-in from a decent crowd. For instance, I could title this piece ‘It’s not about Kylie Jenner’ and it would most likely grab more attention from the passing eye. In this age, everything has to be snappy and given at quick-fire pace. Forget the Long Read specials in The Guardian, news is being reduced to a collection of memes these days. It is the duty of journalists to be factual and their headlines should reflect the topic they’re writing about. The same goes for calling out phony news and misleading headlines. No matter what the issue is, it is always in the public’s interest to be informed of lies they’ve been fed and to be given the truth where possible. That is journalism.

Ignoring the hype in a hype-filled world By Connell McHugh

Before seeing La La Land As I am typing this, I am waiting to be picked up by a friend to go to the cinema to see La La Land. This is arguably the most praised film of the year and of several years for many. Critics love it for the throwback vibes they get from Singin’ in the Rain. Hollywood loves it because Hollywood loves itself. Any film that centres around the film industry, has a few well known faces involved and is made to an above average level of acceptability has somewhat of a chance of picking up some bling every awards season. My mother said it was ‘okay’ and that she wouldn’t rush out to see it again. I was shocked. The first negative opinion I had heard about the cinematic event of year came from the lips of the woman who gave birth to me. ‘Can children disown their parents?,’ I began to wonder, taking out my phone to consult Google. Her friend said that it could have been shortened by about twenty minutes. ‘Oh really, Helen? Are you a film critic now or something?’ Their words were soon followed by an SNL sketch starring Aziz Ansari in which he is being interrogated by police officers after saying that La La Land was just ‘alright’ and that Moonlight should win the best picture at the Oscars. Maybe my mother is the spirit animal of Aziz Ansari. Internally, I was bashing their opinions. The police officers were totally right and any others were totally wrong. It won seven Golden Globes. It has tied with All About Eve and Titanic for the most Oscar nominations of all time (all three have fourteen). It clearly deserves them. Time to leave, my friend is at the door.

After seeing La La Land Meh. My mother, Helen and Aziz Ansari were right. It’s just alright. Above average, but perhaps not deserving of all the hype it is receiving. There is a line in the film by Ryan Gosling’s character which goes something as follows: “Hollywood worships everything and values nothing.” That is how everyone is treating this film. We are saying it’s one of the best of all time and we have placed it at number 31 on the IMDB top 250 list. Yet very few of us truly appreciate the value that the history of movie musicals has provided for us. Ask anybody who has seen this to name five other movie musicals and they will mumble beyond the second. I’m surprised that Hollywood and the film industry are endorsing this movie beyond all others this year, as that one line is so self-reflective that it brings the industry to its knees. So now I find myself in the minority who does not praise this movie as the best of all time. Where do I go from here? Do I lie so as not to be shunned by society as jokingly reported by News Thump, or do I tell my opinion to people who ask without shame? The culture surrounding preferences for films, television shows and other form of media has gone beyond just critics thanks to Twitter. You put your voice out there in 140 characters and are then subjected to an

almost limitless amount of feedback. People tend to try explain the meaning of a film or video game because you “just don’t get it.” There have been times where people have said that they don’t like Breaking Bad and I’ve taken it as a personal offence. “Watch it again. Wait until season three,” I tell them. Maybe I and many other people need to realise that nobody is the same and that we are all capable of forming individual opinions. Mainstream media is to blame for this phenomenon. There have been countless endorsements by tabloid and broadsheet newspapers alike giving five stars to movies or calling books “The next Gone Girl” (looking at you, The Girl on the Train). I cannot remember the last time I sat down to watch a film without first seeking out a review of it to read. Why should we waste time watching a movie that has only received 70% on Rotten Tomatoes when we can watch one that has gotten 99%? Grading systems and comparisons of praise often set our expectations too high and are used as a marketing ploy. We need to learn to come to our own judgments and to accept the opinions of others. We must consume the average to appreciate the excellent. Maybe by the time the next big film hits cinemas, we will all have learned this and feel safe in knowing we can voice our opinions without fear.

So, was it worth all the hype?

"... Meh."










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Nominations Open: 10am Thursday 23rd February 2017 Nominations Close: 5pm Wednesday 1st March 2017


February 07 2017


EOIN DRONES: Singing for help, millennials and the music of depression By Eoin Molloy

‘It’s our party we can do what we want. It’s our party we can say what we want. It’s our party we can love who we want, we can kiss who we want, we can see who we want.’ These lyrics come from Miley Cryus’ renowned classic, We Can’t Stop. Aside from being a catchy summer anthem, this song belied a sense of consequence-less narcissism that accurately sums up the general mood amongst the members of my disenchanted demographic – the dreaded millennials. This column will attempt to reconcile my love of twerking with a strong desire to make the case that songs like this typify the rampant hedonism that predominates youth culture nowadays. When one delves a little deeper into the lyrics of modern pop songs, they seem to be masquerading as disguised pleas for help. John Lennon famously said ‘music and artists reflect the state that society is in’. This could not be truer when applied to contemporary pop music. In the modern age, we have become more and more narcissistic, our vapidity increasing with each passing selfie. In recent years, the speech patterns of psychopaths has been the subject of much research. In a study published by the online journal of

Legal and Criminal Psychology it was found that the speech patterns of psychopaths tend to revert back to their own personal needs more often than not – everything revolves around them. See: ‘We can do what we want’. Everything in Cyrus’ song is about self-enjoyment and personal pleasure at any cost. The prevailing sentiment in the above-mentioned song is that of unbridled free choice. Sure, that sounds like a good thing on the face of it. Free choice, free love, free coffee when you get your card stamped eight times. The problem comes, if you forgive me for descending guiltlessly into outright cliché, when you have too much of a good thing. Modern society is predicated on the possession of civil liberties. These personal freedoms form the basis of our civil rights: the right to bodily integrity, the right to vote, freedom of expression, freedom to associate – the list goes on! All of these wonderful freedoms, and the only one we want to exercise is our freedom to ‘pop molly’ and ‘do whatever we want’. This level of freedom can be overwhelming. We have become lost in our rights. For example, how many of us truly appreciate our system of subsidised education? It’s not perfect, but it’s a definite help. I for one certainly wouldn’t be skipping the odd early morning tutorial if I had shelled out tens of thousands of euros to cross the threshold into NUI Galway like many students in the US are forced to. This is the problem. We have so many rights that we lose sight of which ones are important, which in turn forces us into this endless cycle of hedonistic self-debasement, all in the name of ‘finding ourselves’. This is especially worrying when considered

in light of rates of youth depression. Roughly 12-15% of youths in America are undergoing a depressive episode at any one time, according to US-based think-tank the National Institute of Mental Health. In Miley’s inadvertent parable, she utters an incredibly-philosophical catch-phrase that functions as a modus operandi for the modern hedonist: We Can’t Stop. We literally cannot stop engaging in destructive behaviour. For many of us, multiple nights out per week are the norm. All of this is well and good to a point. However if you find yourself being ‘on the sesh’ for about five years straight now (like myself) it’s time to start reconsidering your life choices. Perhaps there is a source issue at play here, some unsolved disquiet chipping away at our moral innards that forces us into a boom-and-bust cycle of self-enjoyment. The central idea here is that having too much freedom and choice causes constant confusion and obscures our own personal beliefs and goals. It’s like VitHit. How can you possibly pick

of disenchanted American citizens, particularly as mobilisation against the Vietnam War grew. The most prescient illustration of disenchanted and depressed youth music was delivered in Snakehips’ song, All My Friends. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this peach, it goes as follows:

‘All my friends are wasted and I hate this club man I drink too much. Another Friday night I’ve wasted, my eyes are black and red, I’m crawling back to your bed.’ Like Cyrus’ song, this club banger has a dancy tempo and is quite popular on the very nightclub scene it openly derides. Many of us have sat in the smoking area of Electric humming along to this song while also feeling that it too accurately sums up your own current predicament.

Scrutinising the lyrics of modern pop music is in a lot of ways similar to gazing at your own hazy reflection in a stained bathroom mirror at the third successive house party of the week – a lot of uncomfortable realities come to the surface. There is no denying that purposelessness is a common complaint amongst the youth of today. Why bother saving for a house when you will never be approved a mortgage? Why bother studying hard in school when you know deep down you will have to emigrate to find satisfying work? Why bother saying no to yet another pointless night out? You have to drown your disaffected sorrows somehow. We have become dissatisfied and lost. Many of us openly reject the political system that governs us while simultaneously feeling powerless to change anything. This explains the ongoing need for many of us to go abroad to ‘find ourselves’ by spending a gap year volunteering in Ghana or drinking the bag of it in San Francisco for the summer.

We have so many rights that we lose sight of which ones are important, which in turn forces us into this endless cycle of hedonistic selfdebasement, all in the name of ‘finding ourselves’. This is especially worrying when considered in light of rates of youth depression. just one when there is an infinite variety of delicious flavours from which to choose? It is true that music does indeed reflect society. Take as an example the anti-establishment sentiment of rock and roll. The inflammatory and rebellious lyrics of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones spoke to millions

All My Friends openly criticises the hedonistic, club-centred way of existence we have carved out for ourselves. I am aware that this article speaks in extreme generalisations and there are millions of youths who do not engage in the same behaviour as degenerates like myself – but this is a common problem that deserves to be scrutinised.

We have countless more freedoms than our ancestors and even more compared with folks in less privileged areas of the world. It still isn’t enough for us as we have not yet found our cause. I for one hope we sort that out sooner rather than later, because I only have enough provision for 40 pints left in my bank account…

NIMBYISM: Are westerners ignoring rape culture elsewhere in the world? By Shauna McHugh As part of the ‘snowflake generation’, we millennials are often accused of finding problems where they don’t exist, as we are so overly-sensitive. If you don’t want to be ‘grabbed’ you know where, you’re viewed as being a ‘feminazi’, rather than someone with a valid concern. With the Women’s March against Trump that took place last month not just in America, but in Dublin and many other European capitals, it is clear that the Western World still take ‘locker room talk’ about sexual assault very seriously. Yet are we westerners guilty of only taking rape culture seriously when it’s at our own front door? Louise O’Neill’s book ‘Asking For It’, which highlighted the presence

of rape culture in Ireland, quickly became a bestseller. Her documentary of the same name was premiered on RTE and roped in many viewers and significant media attention. It was fantastic to see people tackling the serious issue of rape culture in Ireland. It was equally important for the world to take a stance against Trump’s jokes about sexual assault. However, in our necessary efforts to boost awareness about rape culture in the Western World, have we unwittingly neglected countries where rape affects much greater numbers of people? In 2015, Indian Express reported that an average of 6 rapes and 15 molestations occurred each day in India. No Means No Worldwide report that in Nairobi, Kenya, one in four

girls will be raped by the time they reach adolescence. In China, one of the world’s leading power nations, marital rape is not even illegal. A WHO study found that 50% of Chinese men had raped their partner. In 2007, a 19 year old woman was abducted and gang raped by seven men in Saudi Arabia. When she reported the crime, she was sentenced to 90 lashes by the Saudi Arabian justice courts. This sentence was increased to 200 lashes and six months in prison when she spoke out to the media about her case. In Ethiopia, a ‘marriage by abduction’ technique has become alarmingly common. This involves a man kidnapping his intended ‘wife’ and raping her until she becomes pregnant. Then, as father of the woman’s child,

the man can legally claim the woman as his wife regardless of her will. These are just a few of the statistics that you probably won’t find documentaries about on RTE. It is unlikely that women across the world will march unted in outrage against the treatment of these women. That is wrong. It is wrong that we hear so little about these statistics in mainstream Western media. While it is wrong, however, is it unavoidable? News that takes place closer to home will be consumed more than an international story, as the effects are more immediate for news followers. Media organisations are aware of this, and cover the news with this in mind. Rape culture is sadly real all over the world. While rape statistics are higher in countries in India than in

Ireland, it does not mean that Ireland’s rape culture is an exaggeration or a fictitious problem. Even if only one person was raped in Ireland per year (which is far from true) it would still be one too many, and it should still be treated as a serious problem. It just means that India’s rape culture should also be taken seriously. So instead of claiming that rape culture at home is not a problem simply because there are fewer rape cases in the Western World, we should accept that rape is rape regardless of the number of times it occurs. We should also accept, however, that rape is rape regardless of the country it occurs in, and that it does not deserve less documentaries or less protest simply because it is not on our own backyard.


SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Thanks, Obama

I like big Brexits and I cannot lie

By Deirdre Leonard

By Briain Kelly

In Obama’s last few weeks of office, he pushed through several acts in what seemed to be a last ditch attempt to secure his legacy before Trump got into office. He protected funding for Planned Parenthood clinics, promised to allocate 500m in funding the UN Climate Change initiative and commuted the sentences of over 500 people. It seemed like a natural, if rushed, move, one that would ensure his legacy is stronger than ever,allow him to leave office in the good graces of the public and would put roadblocks in place for Trump’s policies when he took the White House. However, for some, it was too little too late. They were seen as the type of actions that should have been done by Obama throughout his 8 years in office, not as last minute attempts to boost his exit approval ratings. Polls conducted by CNN, NBC and Gallup put Obama at a 53 60% approval rating leaving office, the highest it’s been since he first entered in 2009 and significantly higher than his predecessor George Bush’s 34% exit rate that same year. There’s no doubt that Obama was a popular president, but how well did he fare on completing his campaign promises? Were these last few weeks an attempt to disguise a Presidency of inaction or were they the cherry on top of a successful 8 years for Obama and the nation as a whole? There’s no doubt that there were elements of his campaign platform that Obama did fail on. The Washington Post recently published an analysis of what promises were kept by the Obama administration and found that 17 promises were broken and 23 were kept or introduced at a compromise. The major areas Obama failed on were his attempts to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, closing Guantanamo Bay, closing special interest loopholes and ending the war in Afghanistan in 2014. On paper these can be written down as failures of the Obama administration but as White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest put it to The New York Times, it was not ‘for a lack trying’ on the part of Obama and the Democrats. In a recent piece for The New Yorker, editor David Remnick described Obama as a man who insists on ‘a faith in institutions’. This is a faith that was challenged heavily throughout his presidency when he was rebuffed again and again by a Republican majority congress, particularly in 2013, when the United States federal government shutdown for 16 days over failures to reach a decision regarding the funding of the Affordable Care Act. From the Obamacare to his attempts at reforming the path to citizenship and nominating a Supreme Court Justice, Obama

faced incredible opposition, particularly over his last four years. It’s important to note that Obama did achieve a lot for the U.S. Economically, he helped stabilise, and eventually improve, the economy after one of the worst global recessions in history, cut the GDP deficit down to 3.2% and passed Wall Street Reform in 2010 to ensure tighter regulations on the financial industry. During his tenure in office, Obama pardoned or commuted 1715 people, more than the last three Presidents did combined. He eventually passed Obamacare and introduced affordable health care to millions of Americans. In terms of climate change, he entered a global Climate Agreement to reduce carbon emissions. He also repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military and supported the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation. His military achievements are more complex in nature. He stuck to America’s policy of prioritising oil and resources in the Middle East and did not reduce the budget or overall influence of Central Command around the Persian Gulf. Although it’s doubtful that any President will attempt to do this in the near future when America has stuck to this bipartisan policy since the 80s. He did end the Iraq war and while he failed to end the war in Afghanistan, he did drastically reduce the number of troops there. He also oversaw the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which more than anything else, was a morale boost for the American people. While he did not close Guantanamo Bay, the number of detainees were reduced from 242 when he entered office to 41. America is still far too much of a military powerhouse, but at least under Obama, it became one that was less physically imposing on the global landscape. It’s normal that Obama would want to leave a legacy. A man who was the first black President leaves an inherent legacy behind regardless of how successful he was, but a truly memorable leader will have accomplished innovative things that benefited the people. Obama will be remembered as an eloquent, scandal free, family first leader who knew what to say when America needed him most. He did achieve a lot throughout his tenure, definitely not as much as was hoped, but enough to ensure a positive legacy. With Trump in office, Obama’s legacy is at risk of being unravelled over the next four years, but for now, he can be confident that he did a good enough job to secure some landmark achievements and be remembered fondly. And in the grand scheme of Republicans versus Democrats, when incoming Presidents will always work to undo what the opposing party has done, that’s all he can really hope for.

Theresa May finally clarified on 17 January that the British government would be pursuing a “hard Brexit” strategy. This means that Britain will give up a lot of the benefits of being in the EU, such as access to the single market, in exchange for regaining control of its own borders. For Britons it’s been a growing realisation over the last seven months that there will be a price for leaving the Union, that they can’t have all the benefits of membership without shouldering any of the responsibilities. As the Leave campaign was being argued, and in those few weeks of unreality after the vote, many British pundits were completely disconnected from reality in what post-Brexit deal they could squeeze from the EU. Boris Johnson was quick to reassure everyone via his spot in The Telegraph that of course Britain would still have full access to the single market. There was always a threat backing up those claims. A message to Brussels that a punitive deal would be more damaging for Europe than Britain. But would it really? Britain isn’t a major centre of manufacturing any more, not like Germany. And one small island certainly can’t compete with France for agriculture. London has always been the centre of Britain’s economy. So many different companies headquarter in London. Banks that trade billions across the continent. Multinationals that make use of the city’s age old legal sector. That’s Britain’s leverage. Cut us out and “The Markets”, whatever the hell they even are, well they’ll just

collapse won’t they. Poof! They’re gone. Right there, that’s where the markets used to be, blame Europe. And all those banks and businesses made all the right noises. Of course they want to see the best possible deal. No-one wants a bad break up. All the while these are waving furiously behind their backs for people to hurry up with the packing, across the water Rotterdam and Dublin are making come hither gestures and waving tax incentives. Now Britain isn’t wrong that a good trade deal would be better for everyone. In the age of globalisation massive economies are increasingly dependent on one another. Probably something to do with the propagation of multinationals that increasingly see countries as something they can use rather than be a part of. But decision makers in Brussels were and are concerned that if Britain retains too many of the benefits of EU membership without paying its dues, then why should anyone? Except some would say, for the sake of argument, that the EU Commission is exerting way too much power over democratically elected governments. In that case shunning Britain so Italy doesn’t get any bright ideas isn’t exactly going to prove them wrong. Theresa May clearly believes as much. Declaring that the EU is holding its member states in a “vice grip”, she isn’t the only one throwing hot words around. Brussels’ choice of negotiator for Brexit Guy Verhofstadt has publicly belittled Britain’s choice to leave the block, and stated that negotiating a comprehensive trade deal within two years is impossible. There’s some evidence to back that up. When Greenland voted to leave the EU

in 1982 it took two full years for them to negotiate a deal that would become the Greenland Treaty. For reference, Greenland has a population of less than 60,000 people. The dispute that led to them leaving was over fishing rights. Brexit will be a liiittle more complex. Still it would be a lot easier to come to an agreement if both sides would stop sniping at each from across the playground. According to the Lisbon Treaty if no deal is made within two years of Theresa May activating Article 50 then all ties between Britain and the EU are cut with a machete. No access to the single market, no free trade at all. On an unrelated note I always feel like a Bond villain when I write “Activate Article 50.” Realistically though, the British people should have expected this. One of the fundamental underpinnings of the EU is the free movement of people, goods, money, and services. Free travel and free trade. As far as the philosophy behind the EU is concerned, the two are inseparable. This was communicated very clearly, and often. The only way it could have been conveyed more clearly would be if Jean-Claude Juncker had wrapped a note around a brick and thrown it at Nigel Farage. I’d have to check but I’m pretty sure controlling the flow of people was brought up a time or two during the Leave campaign. It would be career suicide for a politician involved in Brexit to support a deal that doesn’t include immigration control. And since Brussels said that there will be no cherry picking the parts of the Union that Britain wants to keep, well.... there you have it.

Marching in solidarity? By Sorcha O’Connor In a lot of ways, the Women’s March held on Saturday 21 January was positive; seeing thousands of people stand up in solidarity for something they believe in can’t be described as much other than strength. A march primarily in protest of the man holding one of the most powerful positions in the world shows impressive confidence. This confidence, I thought, could trickle down to any girl or woman, making them understand that speaking up for yourself doesn’t automatically make you mouthy, that being sure of yourself doesn’t automatically make you cocky. More importantly, it reminded everyone that unwanted sexual comments or contact should not be tolerated, and reminded us that women are still the victims of a majority of sexual assaults. In Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, a message that has stayed with me is to sit at the table. This comes from an anecdote in the book, when Sandberg organised a board meeting with a large table in the middle with chairs and then chairs that were along the sides of the room. She noted that women walked in and took the side chairs and men walked in and sat at the table. It

was interesting to me that the women chose to sit there – no one told them to. The estimated 2 million women at the march worldwide sat at that table. Their protest against Trump was undoubtedly an assertive act, they didn’t see themselves unworthy of being shoulder to shoulder with men. Finished with inequality; they marched in solidarity with each other. However there was one jarring flaw that made this message of ‘solidarity’ on the day questionable. My understanding of the march was that it was for anyone to join who was against misogyny, men and women. However there was a disturbing undercurrent of demonising men and belittling their issues and their problems all the while women were trying to validate their own – hardly encouraging men to be on our side. Signs such as ones bearing the punny slogan ‘Electile Dysfunction’ come to mind. If women do not appreciate men’s disgust at women’s time of the month, do not appreciate words such as ‘frigid’, or don’t appreciate being seen as formidable rather than ambitious when they choose career over family, how can we justify mocking Trump’s election by making a pun out of a condition that

affects 10 per cent of men per decade of their life: that’s 50% of men in their 50s, according to the University of Wisconsin. A theme of tarring all men as potential rapists, all white males as potential white supremacists is also not something we should push to the forefront. Solidarity does not equate to simply removing misogyny and installing misandry in its place. Educating young people what is right and wrong is most important, never mind their sex or gender. There is also the issue that the fact that more men than women take their own lives every year fails to be mentioned when we talk about women being oppressed. Looking at Irish figures for 2015, 375 males and 75 females committed suicide that year. This is not suggesting that women have anything easier – but if talking about their problems was as easy for men as it is for women perhaps that number would be down. If we want men to speak out about their problems maybe we shouldn’t be-little things that may be causing said mental anguish. Perhaps when we march in solidarity again, it’ll be as one people rather than a showdown between the sexes - because I’m not too sure anyone is particularly satisfied with Trump.






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SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Clothing hacks By Heather Robinson We all find ourselves in situations that call for some craftiness. Be it sweaty patches or ill-fitting clothes, having a few clothing hacks in the wardrobe toolkit can be pretty useful. Maybe you know a couple of these already, hopefully you’ll discover something new! Here are SIN’s clothing hacks for students on-the-go:


STEAL HER STYLE By Amy McMahon This issue’s outfit has be chosen for the simple reason that Shay Mitchell should be known Slay Mitchell for killing it in this sultry, easy breezy and casual look. It is perfect for a Valentine’s night out in Galway, either with the girls or that special someone. You can get your hands on this outfit from Missguided, H&M and ASOS all for under €150. Better yet, you can get everything online so you wouldn’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed! Get your very own satin slip dress from Missguided for just €16.50. Pair it with a cheap and cheerful black velvet choker from H&M costing €2.99 and a pair of thigh highs also from Missguided, for €75. Finish the PLL star look off with this gorgeous oversized denim jacket which is available from ASOS for €53.33. I am absolutely obsessed with this styling and I think denim jackets will be a huge trend in 2017, just you wait and see!

Don’t sacrifice the outfit just because it’s cold. You can still walk around with your coat open to show it off if you wear enough layers underneath. Yes, people do this. Invest in basics such as string tops, long sleeve t-shirts and thermal undershirts. Wear cute socks with your ballet flats or wear a pair of tights under your trousers. It looks effortlessly chic, you stay warm and you don’t look 10 pounds heavier.

BOOTS TOO BIG? Is it just me or are the wide fit boots always way nicer than the regular fit boots? If your boots are just a little too roomy for your liking, try wearing fluffy socks. Fold them down over the heel of your foot and your boots will fit snugly. No more slipping as you walk!

WRINKLY SHIRT: You don’t have time to iron, don’t own one, can’t iron for the life of you… spray your item of clothing with cold water using a spray bottle or rub it down gently with a damp clean sponge. Throw it in the dryer for 5-10 minutes and it’s good to go. Don’t worry if it still looks rumpled when you stick it on, it’ll naturally smoothen out over your body. This hack is tried and tested and in my opinion, fool-proof for wrinkled clothing.

SWEAT PATCHES: SOLUTION 1: It’s 6pm and you’re walking out of your last lecture of the day. It was pretty clammy in the lecture hall and you have big sweat patches showing on your t-shirt. At least you can hide them under your coat. You get a text from your friend to meet them in a pub in town, but you don’t have time to run home and change. What do you do? Naturally people assume they should run to the toilets and hold their armpits under the hand dryer. But you should not do this! Blowing hot air onto your t-shirt will create a bad smell and the heat will only cause you to sweat more – thus exasperating the problem. Instead you should leave your coat open and walk briskly outside on your way to the pub. Let the cool air rush in and dry your clothes. If you have some

deodorant, spray/roll it onto the clothing itself from the inside to help abate a smell. After the 20 minutes it takes to walk into town, you might be shivering a little but you will have stopped sweating and your clothes will be dryer. SOLUTION 2: To prevent sweat patches from occurring, invest in a good antiperspirant. Seems obvious but there’s a difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. One covers up the smell, the other prevents sweating. You can also try wearing a t-shirt under shirts, this will help keep your shirts fresher for longer. This is especially handy for guys who own only one dress shirt.

NO LINT ROLLER? Who actually owns a lint roller anyway? Some clothes attract fluff and fibres more than others and after a couple days, your black jeans could be looking a bit scruffy. The same goes for blazers, shirts, trousers and tops. While some people suggest rubbing yourself with sticky tape, this can be time consuming and requires a lot of tape. You mightn’t even have any tape. Try spraying the item of clothing with some water, either with a spray bottle or gently with a damp sponge. Then with a clean, dry brush – can be hairbrush, nail brush or a dish brush – brush down the item and watch as the lint disappears and your clothes look brand new.

Hillary Clinton and her clothing choice By Cathy Lee I’ve often wondered when it is that fashion becomes your statement of who you are and what you believe in. Probably in later childhood and certainly in the teenage years it can become a real thing. But when we progress into adulthood, there can be more of a focus on fitting in rather than standing out. Over the last number of years, we’ve seen clothing trends take on huge force when it comes to the role of social media and the internet. Of course, fashion companies can use this to their advantage, giving us instantly that “must have” trend we think we can’t go on without. Again I wonder, when did the term fashion statement come into our everyday language? And was it always something more feminine than masculine? I paid attention to the inauguration of President Trump. He was certainly recognisable on the day but that was true of Hillary as well, Trump’s main rival of 2016. Throughout the campaign and live debates, we often saw Mrs Clinton appear publically rocking the pants-suit attire. At the time I felt this was her own attempt to be up there with the suits and ties, fitting in in her own way. So when I first saw her pure, clean and white pants suit on the day of the inauguration I felt like she was wearing her uniform, what she had been accustomed to wearing throughout the long, and sometimes painful, presidential campaign. Although she always remained strong, it couldn’t have been easy being highly insulted by her opponent throughout the various stages. Not only that, but following defeat to show her face, head high and watch the reality of 45th President Donald J. Trump. Reports fled in within the hours that followed after the inauguration, that Clinton had purposefully worn that outfit in support of the suffragette movement – white being their predominant colour. To contrast the pair: Trump was flaunting messages of “America First”, a slogan of the Klu Klux

Klan, while Clinton was supporting the suffragette movement dressing in their colours. Both groups used the colour white as a symbol, but point in severe different directions in terms of digression versus progression. This really hit home for me how truly different characters both the presidential candidates were. But they are in the same class grouping. The Klu Klux Klan were pro-white and extremist, but although the suffragette’s did great things – they weren’t overly concerned about black women or ethnic minorities. It does all come back to fashion statements, and who you want to appear to be. I’ll admit, I own a Repeal jumper and I enjoy wearing it as I know it has meaning. I hope Hillary Clinton felt the same way on the day of the inauguration. Because like her, we’re all currently losing against the higher powers when it comes to political movements – whether it be the 8th Amendment or a bigot in the White House.

The glass ceiling is real, but the second sex is still a fighting force against the glass. With the Womens’ March taking place all around the world, I think we all stood together whether we were Hillary or Emma or whoever. Many wore their views at the March and that was admirable, as was Clinton’s choice of clothing the previous day. This is our time for revolution and resistance and showing your face, the power of numbers and the power of images and fashion are essential in these uncertain times. Your personality is your power and self-expression is such an important part of that. Start with your fashion statement, then train your voice to back it up. I really think what we’ve learned something valuable from this whole thing that has blown up in the US. It’s that we should all be a little bit more like Hillary – saving grace and being political, having your own voice while not throwing others under the bus. That’s a real fashion fauxpas in my book.


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Vogue editor leaves after 25 years Marching in style By Christina O’Reilly Alexandra Shulman, 59, has confirmed this month that she is leaving the fashion bible following the magazines centenary in June 2016, during which Kate Middleton was featured and an elaborate exhibition was staged at the National Portrait Gallery. Rumours emerged just hours after her announcement that it was in fact the consistent vicious competition with US Vogue’s Anna Wintour that was the root cause of her resignation. The BBC documentary Absolutely Fashion featured the magazine ‘Inside British Vogue’, in which it highlighted the stringent opposition faced between British and US Vogue. Alexandra deliberately forwarded an interview with British Vogue which featured Rihanna so that a scheduled cover story with the RNB singer wouldn’t be exhibiting exclusive content in America. Many believe, however, she wasn’t been conniving, but rather doing her job to the best of her ability. Shulman caused frenzy among the fashion community in 1993 when she featured a photo by the talented Corinne Day in Vogue of a skinny 19-year-old Kate Moss which critics labelled as ‘inappropriate and malnourished looking’. The shoot features the model in her

underwear in a rugged flat that had a warehouse vibe to it. These striking photos rapidly became a defining motif for fashion in the 1990s. In the 2000s Alexandra was the core person responsible for elevating the careers of celebs such as Coleen Rooney, spouse of the Manchester United footballer Wayne, Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham by showcasing them in her magazine. Alexandra has featured a diverse range of cover-girls in her publications from Princess Dianna and Naomi Campbell to plus-size model Ashley Graham. Graham’s January 2017 Vogue cover made fashion history as Shulman was responsible for putting the first plus-size model on the cover of Vogue. Shulman was also noted for been passionate about dismissing the influx of stick-thin models away from her magazine. The Fashion mogul made history in 2009 when she wrote to both national and international designers requesting the creation of larger sample sizes in order to promote an ideal female body shape that was healthier for young girls to obtain. Shulman started out in her journalism career as a writer for Tatler Magazine. However she notably admitted that journalism was never an aspirational career for her when she was younger. She stated

By Aisling Bonner

Alexandra Shulman that she always thought that she would become a hairdresser but fell into journalism by ‘accident’ despite coming from a family of writers. After her time at Tatler magazine she became a talented and sought after writer for publications such as the Sunday Telegraph and GQ in which she obtained the role of editor in 1990. Even though she worked in fashion journalism at both Tatler and The Sunday Telegraph, she was regarded as not ‘fashion’ enough for Vogue as she had just come from editing the Men’s fashion magazine GQ. She later made history as the longest serving editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Following Vogue, we can’t wait to see what she does next.

In a month or so, we will surely have developed an aversion to awards shows and red carpets to last, well, ten months or so. Contrary to what we might think, the greatest red carpet this season was a grey one, walked by hundreds of thousands of women across America and beyond on 21 January. The Women’s March was not only the ultimate stand against misogyny and inequality – it was also a hub of clever slogan tees, genius signs and some very appropriate hats. For the weather, I mean. Just the weather. Reminiscent of one of Trump’s antiHilary gems in which he branded her a “nasty woman”, the phrase came back to bite him and was emblazoned across countless shirts in the wake of his inauguration. This nicely complimented actress Ashley Judd’s speech in which she roared “I am a nasty woman” to a host of cheers, fist pumps and battle cries from me. I mean, eh, the protesters. Other popular slogans including “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people”, “A woman’s place is in the house and the senate” and “Don’t boo, march”, joined a sea of diagrams of the woman’s reproductive system straight from the biology books. Unlikely that they’ll get much wear out of those shirts again, but then again nothing’s certain these days. Adding to the sea of colour were plac-

ards of every shape and size. An army of Princess Leias paid tribute to the late Carrie Fisher with their space buns and cardboard shields wielding phrases such as “The woman’s place is in the resistance” and “Don’t Leia hand on my healthcare”. Puns were rampant, along with comparisons of Mr President with various orange food stuffs – my personal favourites being “Not my cheeto”, and images of a wig wearing peach with the caption “Impeach”. One sign trumped the rest, and was a subtle nod to every child’s favourite woman, the great Mary Poppins – it read: “Super callous fragile racist sexist Nazi POTUS”. Oh word play, how underrated you are. To top off this season’s activist look, men and women alike kept heads dry with vibrant pink woolly hats with two peculiar points like antenna at the top. But antennas they were not, in fact what many did not realise was that the hats resembled a womb, making the antennas none other than ovaries. If that’s not high fashion I don’t know what is. The creatively named ‘pussyhat’, referring to that Trump recording, was an initiative created by the Pussyhat Project, organisers of which sought to knit one million hats ahead of the march. “Hold on to your hats, wear them loudly and proudly”, the site now states. Hold on to it all, ladies. The show’s not over.

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SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Comparing Yourself to Others By Orla Carty




Lá na Toghcháin: Déardaoin, an 9 Márta 2017





Osclófar Ainmniúcháin: 10 r.n., Déardaoin, an 23 Feabhra 2017 Dúnfar Ainmniúcháin: 5 i.n., Dé Céadaoin, an 1 Márta 2017






HE KEY TO not letting these comparisons take over it to accept yourself. Get to know and be comfortable with who you are. Things like your intelligence, physical ability, and looks can’t really be changed. What can is your attitude towards them. Learning to like what you’re about is the only way to truly reach your full potential. And when you’re there, comparisons start to become productive. You can look at your friends and admire them without thinking less of yourself. If they achieve a goal you’d love to reach as well, you congratulate them, and then continue on in your own efforts to reach it. When a love interest prefers your friend, let it go. That’s one human being, and they happened to have a different preference. You’ll be down someone else’s street, because you’re not any less, just a different person with different skills and strengths. As cheesy as it sounds, you are who you are and you need to love that. The only person making comparisons a negative thing is you. They don’t have to be counter-productive. It’s a long road, but it can definitely be achieved. Forgive yourself and your flaws and acknowledge your good qualities. It becomes a whole different ball-game.


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survival. Not only does this apply to each of us as individuals; it creates a kind of competitive streak overall, making us note who’s superior, that is, more advanced. So, basically, if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, don’t feel bad. Blame it on evolution. On a serious note though, comparisons can be extremely unhealthy. There’s a point where it stops being productive and just makes us feel bad about ourselves. So how do we strike that balance between promoting improvement and creating negative self-perspectives? We all have people in our lives that are better than us in some way. Whether they’re better looking, smarter, funnier, more outgoing, more popular, they’re more. It’s fine when it’s someone slightly distant, like a rival player on a different team. But when it’s one of your closest friends, as it so often is, it’s a lot more complicated. An example that jumps out of me is getting ready for a night out. It’s definitely a known feeling to so many of us – that excitement when you feel like you look your best – until you walk into the room for pre-drinks with your friends. Suddenly your stomach drops. Despite being full to the brim of confidence back in your bedroom, where you even gave your reflection a twirl, you now look at your gorgeous friends, effortlessly better than you, and sidle into the group like an apology, hoping no one peers at you too closely. So, you may not be the stand-out stunner, but you’ve been known to crack the best jokes. You open your mouth, about to make a witty comment, when you remember that your other friend – the ‘hilarious’ one – is there. You swallow back your words, laughing at her commentary along with the others, heat rising in your cheeks of the less-funny responses you had been cooking up. At least the next day in lectures you can get yourself together. You listen closely, taking notes and feeling really proud when you’re one of the only people in the class who understands the work, actually gets it. You walk home with a spring in your step, opening the door to your housemates, who are having a full blown political debate. Suddenly your voice fades, your chest deflating. All you can think of is how little you know, about how anything you chime in with would sound ridiculous to them. There’s countless more scenarios we can all relate to. And that’s the secret. We. Can. All. Relate. It’s not that just one of us is this inferior being. Unless you’re extremely blessed with your confidence, you’ll be familiar with at least one of those situations. Because we all have our insecurities. Half the people in that room are probably looking at you and thinking the exact same thing back.



S A SPECIES we’re instinctively on the lookout for constant improvement. It’s part of our most basic workings to want to be better because it maintains our




February 07 2017


Me time done right By Aileen O’Leary College is one of the most stressful times in any young adult’s life. We have lectures to attend, tutorials, exams, essays, an active social life. All while juggling part time jobs, cooking for ourselves, studying and trying to participate in college life as well as maintaining a solid eight hours of sleep. Trying to make ‘me time’ in college is harder than you think. So yours truly has narrowed done five ways to ensure you get ‘me time’ done right.

1. Give yourself space: One of the biggest struggles associated with student accommodation is the lack of privacy, if you share a house it can get noisy and busy sometimes and if you’re not feeling it you might not want to hang out. So make space for yourself, if its feeling a bit crowded in the house get out for a bit, take a walk, grab a coffee, head to the gym, or even sometimes just a bit of fresh air can do wonders. We could all do with a break, if the weather isn’t great maybe just take yourself away from the chaos for a bit by popping in headphones and watching a film on your laptop or tablet and chilling in bed for an hour or two, the important thing is giving yourself that bit of space.

2. Meditation: Something I would swear by, especially when you’re feeling stressed is meditating. Just by taking a few simple breaths and sitting still you can slow things down. There are some great meditation apps and classes available, whether it’s on campus or around Galway, keep an eye out in those weekly student emails, the college sometimes runs these workshops or classes, particularly around exam time to help keep everyone chilled out. Apps like Calm are available for free on the app store and play store and they really work. Whether you decide to take five minutes in the morning or before you go to bed at night, you

can pick up a cheap yoga mat anywhere, sit down breath in and meditate. You’ll be surprised how much good it can do to just sit still for five minutes.

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3. Facemasks: Whenever I’m feeling lousy or I’m tired and want to pamper myself, nothing is better than chilling with comfy PJs on, hair thrown up in a messy bun and a facemask on. Lately I’ve been using the Garnier clear active 3 in 1 facemask, wash and scrub but if you really want to treat your skin, shops like the body shop do amazing masks and they also make great exfoliators and scrubs as well. They are that bit pricier but well worth it. Also lush do some amazing organic masks and they deliver so if you’ve got some spare cash in the budget splurge a little, they also have bath bombs galore, they are magical.


4. Cooking/Baking: Okay so for the foodies out there, myself included, cooking or baking can be one of the most relaxing things on the planet. Whether it’s trying out new recipes or perfecting your own creations or just making Betty Crocker brownies. If you want some me time maybe take up a cooking class or if you’re into baking NUI Galway has its very own Baking society, for fellow bakers. In the end all that hard work pays off and you get that sense of accomplishment, even if it’s just making cupcakes.

5. Read, paint, create: So I know not everyone is a book worm out there, but taking time out to pick up a book and sit back and read for a couple of hours is peaceful. Likewise, not all of us are artists but even painting or colouring can be therapeutic, you can get adult colouring books which are just a bunch of cool designs you can colour in, most arts and crafts stores supply them, and even Easons. You can get small books for on the go or larger ones for at home. It’s a break from staring at a computer screen all day, and who doesn’t like colouring?

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NEW YEAR, NEW FEED — Top 10 Instagram Accounts to Follow This Year By Kitty Ryan

1. @latinquartergalway It’s always handy to know what’s going on in Galway! This local Instagram promotes events around the city, including resident pubs, restaurants, businesses and museums. Not to mention some truly eye-catching shots of events are posted, such as shots of the Macnas parade and the Christmas market. If you have your own photos that you would like to be featured, share them with the tag #latinquartergalway.

2. @guy_tang Guy Tang is a professional hair stylist in California and gained notoriety after many celebrities and Youtubers endorsed his work. There’s something magical about the way Tang uses dyes and bleach to create unique looks on his clients, from natural colours to neons and pastel tones to deep tones, Tang has worked on an array of hair types and textures with his flawless technique. If you’re lacking in inspiration for shave or dye 2017 or you simply want to watch amazing hair transformations on your feed, Guy Tang may be your answer.

3. @muji_global In a world of consumerism and excess, Muji is a Japanese lifestyle brand that embraces mini-

malist packaging and design. Famous for their stationery supplies and storage solutions, Muji has become somewhat of a cult brand with its affordable prices and clean and tidy aesthetic known as #mujilife. Don’t worry about international shipping fees if you’re tempted by their Instagram posts, as there is a sizeable Muji shop on Chatham Street in Dublin city centre.

4. @maple.the.pup If your following list lacks this musical golden retriever/border collie mix, then you need to fix that immediately. Maple is a dog who lives with her owner who runs the account, and she loves it when he plays the guitar, - sometimes helping out with the beat. The Instagram account posts pictures of Maple’s daily life and is sure to satisfy your cute cravings.

5. @iamlilbub Maybe musical pups aren’t your taste, but unique looking cats are. Lil Bub is a tabby cat with rare cases of dwarfism and osteoporosis which causes dense bones and unusual formations of her face and body, but she still lives life like it doesn’t bother her anyway. She has previously raised thousands for charities that help disabled animals and animals in need through her Instagram account. Did I mention that she is also heart achingly adorable?

Lil Bub is exactly the kind of positivity you should see on your feed in 2017.

6. @awoltattoos If you’re looking for some new ink or a new piercing, check out AWOL’s Instagram account. Located on Upper Abbeygate Street in Galway, this Instagram shows off the resident artists’ finished work as well as designs they draft for their portfolios. Even if you are not into tattoos, the art is truly inspring to see on your feed. The staff are dead friendly and approachable as well!

7. @drawingthesoul If tattoos and piercings aren’t your cup of tea, then take a look at Drawing the Soul. This Instagram showcases the work of talented artists from around the world. It shows the process of creation sometimes which can be truly astounding – you may learn some new techniques! Photorealism and abstract styles are all welcome and serve as great inspiration to follow if you suffer from creative blocks.

8. @jackieaina Makeup and fashion is Jackie’s life, and she brings some much needed inspiration to the stagnant world that is the makeup industry. Jackie Aina is a beauty Youtuber who recently hit one million subscribers, and her Instagram posts are something to strive for. Not only is she

the first black beauty blogger to hit one million subscribers, but she is actually a licenced makeup artist, an ambassador for multiple makeup brands and an army veteran – needless to say, she leads an interesting life that your feed would surely benefit from following.

9. @paintvideos This is one of those accounts that falls into the ‘oddly satisfying’ realms of Instagram. Paintvideos reposts (and credits) satisfying videos of paint mixing, which has been said to help with anxiety and meditation. It really is relaxing to see individual blobs of pigment swirl into one other to create one unifying harmonic shade. If you find yourself overthinking a lot or you need to clear your head once in a while, check out their account!

10. @nectarandstone If you are one of those people who don’t want to eat desserts because they look so pretty, then take a look at Caroline Khoo’s page for her dessert designs. It is mostly fruits and sweet treats but it’s just so damn aesthetically pleasing, I can’t stop my mouth from watering. Currently she is working on her own book and she also sells small boxes of artisan chocolates in pastel shades, but they are constantly sold out. Follow if you don’t mind the sound of your stomach rumbling!


SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

Midwinter Festival: Prodigy By Timothée Cognard The Midwinter Festival took place in the Town Hall Theatre between 20 and 22 January. It brought to the public 4 concerts, a movie and a public rehearsal all focused on the theme of young compositors. The festival was launched on the Friday evening, in the presence of Noel Larkin and the programme manager, Anna Lardi Fogarty.

violin some pieces of the Opera she composed as an 8-year-old. “I discovered Alma at a party where one of her relatives told me about her,” said Collins. Alma is considered a prodigy like Mendelssohn or Mozart. On stage, Alma Deutscher comments on some of her own pieces; “I got the idea of this music in a dream, and I did not want to forget it so I wrote everything down in the middle of the night,” she said.

She also comments on others work like when she explains to the audience that Schumann did a “beginner’s mistake with the transition”, and shows how she would have arranged it! Alma and her sister Helen are the only young performers of the festival, the rest of the musicians being more established. The ConTempo quartet, for instance, is Galway based and the Esposito quartet is Dublin based.

Backstage of the midwinter festival

“The idea of prodigy came last year. Initially I wanted to make a festival focused on young composers music but did not have in mind to find a modern one,” explained Finghin Collins, Artistic Director of the festival and talented musician who won the RTE Musician of the Future competition at the age of 17. Star of the festival 11 year-old Alma Deutscher played on the piano and

Star of the festival 11 year-old Alma Deutscher played on the piano and violin some pieces of the Opera she composed as an 8-year-old. She also comments on others work - like when she explains to the audience that Schumann did a “beginner’s mistake with the transition”, and shows how she would have arranged it!

However, as some of the artists come from abroad, the preparation has been intense to fit a short schedule. “Most artists arrived on Wednesday and have been training for the last 2-3 days. It’s a lot of work but musicians are used to put everything together quickly,” explained Collins. The organization of the festival, expecting 250 visitors required 5-10 people, most of them volunteering under the supervision of Anna Lardi Fogarty, Programme Manager for the festival. Some of these volunteers are from NUI Galway and help providing information to the visitors. Last but not least, sponsors have helped to finance the festival: “Nothing could have been possible without our 4 sponsors: The Art Council, Galway city council, Insight and MJ Conroy,” said Collins.

The Contempo quartet

Finghin Collins, introducing Alma Deutscher

SIN Photographer Timothée Cognard went backstage at the Midwinter Festival to find out more of the goings on in organising a successful performance. No one really gets the chance to see the organisation behind a festival such as the Midwinter Festival and yet it is fascinating. Each concert needs a lot of preparation; lighting of course, cleaning of the room, organization of the stage - but also ensuring the instruments to have the best sound possible. For the piano, this is a half an hour long process. As the sound was also recorded for a video of the concerts, a sound engineer was present permanently on the side of the stage to adjust the balance between the instruments and manage the microphone for the speech interventions, if needed. To change quickly the positions of the chairs or the partitions, two people actually stay backstage, either looking at the show between the curtains or checking the small monitor showing the live show filmed from a small camera in front of the stage. Other than backstage, the Town Hall theatre is like a labyrinth with countless stairs, corridors and rooms dedicated to the artists. One of them is the “Green Room”, the room where artists can chill before going on stage, or after their performance. The atmosphere was relaxed and some of the artists talked about their way of working. Anna Devin, opera singer, explained to Christian Chamorel, pianist, how she memorizes the lyrics in foreign languages using a drawing method. In the meantime, Alma Deutscher packed her things before getting back to the hotel and going to bed early before her next concert. A speaker allowed the people in the “Green Room” to hear what was going on in the theatre and a bell rang a few minutes before going on stage - everything was well-organised! Overall, it was an enriching experience for me to be able to understand more about the organisation of the festival.

NUI Galway Students’ Union Presents/ Cuireann Comhaltas na Mac Léinn


8pm Monday 13th February 2017 in the O’Flaherty Theatre 8 i.n., Dé Luain, An 13 Feabhra 2017 i dtéatar Uí Fhlaithearta

Tickets €5 from the SU Office and the SU Engineering Desk €5 An ticéad, le fail ó Oifig an Chomhaltais agus ó dheasc Innealtóireachta an Chomhaltas





17 TOG H 20

✓ An tUachtarán TOGHCHÁN NA nOIFIGEACH ✓Leas-Uachtarán/An tOifigeach Oideachais LÁNAIMSEARTHA ✓Leas-Uachtarán/An tOifigeach Leasa


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


Lá an Toghcháin: Déardaoin, an 2 Márta 2017

Election Poster.indd 2


07/12/2016 13:00


February 07 2017




SHAG WEEK: What’s going on?

A GUIDE TO SEXUAL HEALTH AND GUIDANCE WEEK By Georgia Feeney The second semester Sexual Health and Guidance week runs 6 – 10 February. This week will see a variety of events hosted by the NUI Galway Students’ Union aimed at continuing to promote the discussion of consent among students and maintaining an awareness of safe sex. The first SHAG week of the academic year took place last semester and saw SHAG packs supplied to students throughout the week, a competition to guess the number of condoms in the jar, and workshops to inform students and promote a discourse on sexual health. This upcoming week will see the return of the usual activities such as those mentioned above. SIN met with head organiser of SHAG week, NUI Galway Students’ Union VP/Welfare Officer Daniel Khan to hear about what’s to come: “Sexual health is such a broad topic it’s hard to cover everything. So far this semester we [Students’ Union] decided to focus on the topics of consent, STI’s in the form of our STInder exhibition, STI prevention, contraception, disclosure and promoting our on campus STI clinic which we have secured funding to remain open from Monday to Thursday of SHAG week.” The Students’ Union Welfare crew will be on hand throughout the week meeting students and

giving out SHAG packs on campus, which will also be available from the SU office and SU Engineering desk. There will be a STInder poster exhibit set up all week and the return of the to guess the number of condoms in the jar. Here is the day-byday lowdown for the week:

Monday 6 February From 10am - 1:30pm disclosure training with the Galway Rape Crisis centre will run. Booking for this is not necessary but it is recommended to get there early to get a seat. In addition to this, a sexual health stand will also be set up in the Engineering desk between 11 and 3pm. To conclude the first day of SHAG week Dallas Buyers Club will be screened on campus in the Dillon Theatre from 7-9pm. Popcorn will be provided with a discussion to follow after the film on sexual health in modern day Ireland.

Tuesday 7 February Local charity COPE Galway will be on campus to talk to students. From 10am - 3pm the charity will have a stand set up in Smokey’s Café. Following the visit from COPE Galway, the SU have organised a hair-braiding stand in Smokies. All proceeds raised will be donated to the two chosen Students’ Union charities; The RNLI and Threshold.

Wednesday 8 February In keeping with the goal of educating students and raising their awareness with regards sexual activity, a sexual health stand will be placed in Smokey’s between 11am - 3pm. Representatives of the Students’ Union will be available to answer questions students may have and will be handing out lots of freebies. At 8pm, Sult Bar will host a dirty circus Burlesque show, which according to Khan will “bring a little comedic raunchiness to the week”. The entertainment for the night will continue with a traffic light party in Four/Four from 11pm. Free passes will be handed out during the show.

Thursday 9 February A workshop discussing smart consent will be held in the SU boardroom between 12pm and 2pm. This event is open to all and does not require any booking or payment, however early arrival is recommended as places will fill up fast.

Friday 10 February To conclude SHAG week the SU will begin the early Valentines celebrations by giving out chocolate Roses and Rolos to students across campus. To book an appointment for the on-campus STI Clinic which will be open Monday 6 – Thursday 9 February, call 091 492604.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it only seems right for yours truly to weigh up the pros and cons of first dates. The dating show has taken the nation by storm, with the flagship show having started in the UK, RTE picked it up for an Irish reboot. Since then the show has become one of the most talked about series around, filled with the awkward, the laughable and the tear jerker moments we can all relate to when it comes to first dates. So which show is better? Well I’ve taken the liberty of weighing up the good and the bad of each show and determined who does it better.

The Good: UK Obviously, First Dates started in the UK, the show is based in London and there’s far more potential for the producers to find celebrities such as Brad Simpson from The Vamps to participate in the show. When his first date aired, viewers had the opportunity to see another side to the frontman of the band. The constraints of touring meant that he didn’t go on many dates and of course in First Dates fashion his date was star struck and went to call her bestie from the bathroom. Turns out it really is a small world, she had seen him in concert with friends and was then sitting across from him on First Dates. It was the, oh so relatable reaction any fan would have if they went on a date with their star crush. It’s provided us with some laugh out loud moments, and a chance to see how the other half live.

The Good: Ireland The matches on the show have got to be the best part. There are so many characters, and the show does play on a few Irish stereotypes every now and then, but recently they’ve started bringing in a few

viral stars, like Paddy. His first date went viral the next day and half the country was talking about his date with Lauren as if they were on about their own friends. It’s relatable. We all know a Paddy or a Lauren out there, and we’ve all been there on that awkward first date encounter. It’s familiar with a few new faces, and filled with hilarious one-liners. The show has had dates stood up, old flames reunited, matches made, and all the while entertaining the nation.

The Bad: UK There are funny and awkward moments on the show but the one thing the UK show is missing is probably the best part of the Irish show, which is a bit of craic. The UK version is funny don’t get me wrong here, but it’s missing that bit of banter, the cheekiness that the Irish show has. The couples are interesting and there are a few cheeky chaps and lasses, but it’s a tad dry sometimes. There’s nothing worse than seeing a couple get matched and it’s a dead awkward conversation or the guy likes the girl and she’s not that interested or vice versa. At the end of the day it is a dating show and there are going to be some fails, not every couple is compatible, but honestly I think it’s more entertaining to see the reactions on the Irish show, it’s more unpredictable.

The Bad: Ireland The show is guilty when it comes to leading the audience on. For instance, an episode aired ear-

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First Dates Ireland v UK By Aileen O’Leary


(other than the opportunity to TRAVEL and MEET AWESOME PEOPLE?) lier in January saw Richard McNeil and Timmy Murphy go on what was arguably a great first date. There were no awkward pauses or moments when the conversation seemed to go flat, however when it came to the post-date interview and when asked if there would be a second date, Timmie encouraged Richard to answer first and if you watch the show regularly it usually means a second date is on the cards. However, after Richard expressed his interest in Timmie and admitted he would go on a second date, he was rejected by him in what fans have tweeted out as heart-breaking. Timmie has been called many things online such as ‘cruel’, ‘cowardly’ and even a ‘gowl’. The show has a tendency to set up situations like this to stir up drama online and create a bit publicity for the show. Likewise, the UK show is as guilty.

Overall Verdict: The best version of First Dates, has to be a home win. First Dates Ireland has that edge over the UK version. It has more craic, banter, and you can relate to how the stars of the show are feeling. Both are brilliant dating shows but this time it’s a win for the Irish side. Personally, I think it’s more to do with the humour and mannerisms in the show - it’s a bit of a laugh and you do become invested. It’s clear that viewers do want to see the dates go well, and they voice their opinions online which is probably even more entertaining.

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SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

PREVIEW – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child By Aoife O Donoghue So, I have a confession to make: I am an enormous nerd. Show me a fictional literary world and I am putty in your hands. Give me Middle Earth, take me to Westeros, let me lose myself in Narnia. These are the places of my daydreams. However, if I have to pick one that has the most special place in my heart, it’s Hogwarts. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were like

Mo ghrá thú By Ita Reddington

actual friends to my nerdy child-self. I experienced their adventures vicariously through the books and then relived them all on-screen, spanning my childhood and well into my teenage years. It became a part of my life, and when the time came for it all to end I was genuinely heart-broken. I still remember sitting in the cinema watching Deathly Hallows Pt.2 with my friends, us three girls holding hands and bawling our eyes out for the conclusion to the Battle of Hogwarts (our other friend Conor

I love you like the mist caresses the lost Barun valley. I miss you like the Sahara dessert misses the rain. I love you like the spider that spins its web all-encompassing and connected. I miss you like blood misses the vein. I love you like the elephant loves her calf loyal and never-ending. I miss you like light misses darkness. I love you like the trees rooted in the ground unquestioning and expansive. I miss you like lovers miss their pleasure. I love you like the salmon that swims upstream, never ending and persistent. I miss you like a butterfly misses its wings. I love you like the waves in Cape Town, rough and exciting. I miss you like the flower misses the sun on a rainy day. I love you like Mount Kailash, weathered and wild. I miss you like the boat misses its anchor and I love you like the stars of the Southern hemisphere as they move slowly in the sky, transient and free.

Don’t just sit there, do something

ALIVE is NUI Galway’s community volunteering programme. Each year, hundreds of NUI Galway students sign up to volunteer with over 300 organisations offering hundreds of community opportunities.

Volunteering is about contributing time, skills and energy towards something bigger than you. Don’t expect any sort of reimbursement or payment in return for your efforts, but be ready to welcome appreciation in abundance.

Here are 10 reasons to join ALIVE and become a community volunteer… By Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Coordinator Make new friends

Kicking off the list of reasons to join ALIVE is the fun factor. Did you know volunteers skydive, attend concerts, organise parties and climb mountains? Every volunteer experience is different and by finding an opportunity that matches your interests, you’ll be sure to receive while giving.


Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from varied backgrounds who are often a source of inspiration. You never know who you might meet, what new information you will acquire and how this could impact your life.


Healthy Body, Healthy Mind 2

Life experience


When you’re out and about in the community, your health soars. Fact. Research shows that people who volunteer live longer, have a heightened sense of well being, a stronger immune system and experience a speedier recovery from surgery!

Volunteering is a great way to get life experience. Are you looking to do something different from your job or study? Would you like to do something with your family? Maybe you have always loved animals, reading books or knew someone affected by a rare health condition. Find a cause, find many causes and learn something new along the way.


The 'Feel Good' Factor


It’s that warm fuzzy feeling, the feel good factor you get from helping someone without expecting anything in return. Knowing that you've made a real difference and seeing it first hand is incredible.

Increase job prospects


Ok, so you have a degree, but what makes you different? Voluntary work looks good on a CV and is a great opportunity to have something to write about in personal statements, applications for work or postgraduate study. Volunteering can bring you into contact with all kinds of professionals and people from every walk of life.

New challenges


You can get involved in something that you've never done before or something that requires hard work. Facing that challenge will give you a brilliant sense of achievement!

Gain new skills


The best way to discover what you’re really good at is to get out there and do it. You will learn about your community, trends and concerns, people and resources, all of which can help you develop your leadership potential. Volunteer settings allow you to think strategically and teach you how to handle conflict.



Make a difference


Volunteers are thanked – often! You can gain formal recognition of your work and the skills you have gained through the NUI Galway Presidential Award for volunteering, the ALIVE Certificate.

Be an agent of change. Advocate for a social justice issue, campaign for an equality measure or develop local community initiatives. Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.

For more information visit

sitting in the middle and slightly uncomfortable with the whole situation). That was it. It was over. No more Harry Potter… Years were spent getting over the loss, spending Christmases watching reruns of the movies and crying at all the same parts (Sirius, Dobby, Hedwig… JK Rowling, you are a cruel mistress). Pottermore gave us wands and sorted us into houses and every single scrap of new material from Rowling was lapped up to try and fill the dark, endless void. But then… a glimmer of hope… wait… could it be? It is, oh my god - it’s a new Harry Potter story! And so was born Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, which I got my hands on for Christmas.

The new story takes the form of a West End play and the book that was subsequently published contains the play’s script, a diversion from the novel form of the original series. The story will follow the new generation of Hogwarts, the children of Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione and Draco Malfoy. Harry’s youngest son is the protagonist of the tale and I’m assuming he’s the ‘Cursed Child’ in question, though what’s in store for him, I do not know! I can’t wait to get stuck into a new Hogwarts adventure, especially with the mix of the new and the familiar that this story is likely to bring. It will also be interesting to see how it goes reading Harry Potter in play form. In any case, I have high hopes for this book. Check back in the next issue to read my review!

REVIEW: Westworld By Mícheál Óg Ó Fearraigh CAST: Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jimi Simpson, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Ben Barnes and others I was mildly apprehensive about watching Westworld; the posters of a naked robot Vesuvian man made me think that the show was going to be just about android cowboys having sex and being violent, it was being produced by J. J. Abrams so it probably wouldn’t last very long, and, it was based on a movie that came out in 1973, which I have not seen. Then the reviews and the ratings starting coming in and it was supposed to be the best show on HBO since True Detective, and it did not disappoint. The show follows the goings-on of a futuristic western theme park run by the mysterious Delos corporation. The main characters are visitors to the park (Simpson, Barnes and Harris), people who work for Delos (Wright and Hopkins) and the androids, called “hosts”, who are operating in the park (Wood, Newton and Marsden). From the get-go it is made clear that things are a little off at Westworld but no good show was ever made about everything going according to plan. The first thing about the show that I found to be interesting was the amount of genres they put into it: in the first fifteen minutes of the show the western element is introduced, then the sci-fi before it quickly becomes horror which sets up one of the plots for the whole series which is a kind of mystery-thriller idea. It all happens organically and it doesn’t cause a total whiplash, it just gets you interested in the main characters of the story. One of the criticisms I have heard levelled at the series is that the characters are not fascinating which in turn means that the mysteries surrounding them are not engaging. I did not find this to be the case. I thought that the characters were

captivating due in no small part to the amazing casting in the series Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, and Anthony Hopkins. Wood is a complete chameleon in the series and is capable of changing her performance on a dime, while Wright has a quiet performance and is the emotional core for the series, and, Hopkins is just unbelievable, dominating every scene that he is in, it is a masterclass of acting that I cannot believe that the Golden Globes ignored. As I suspected going into the show, it features a lot of sex and violence, less so as it goes on, but this is not a show for the faint of heart. The reliance on it in the first few episodes is a bit of a flaw but there is less of it as the season goes on. Another problem I had with it was the mystery elements of the show, when they are revealing a twist, which they do a lot of, they make it painfully obvious before that which means that the actual reveal takes quite a while and does not pack as much of an impact as it should. Also I did not enjoy the arc following Thandie Newton’s character but I find that actress annoying so maybe other people won’t find that to be the case! The locations they visit are unbelievable, as is the soundtrack by the great Ramin Djawadi and the sci-fi visuals which they sometimes bring in are outstanding. The show is mostly restrained where you discover things about the characters and what it means to be human in a society with A.I. but then every now and then it cuts loose and goes off-the-wall crazy but this isn’t Spartacus: Blood and Sand, it’s more like Game of Thrones or Deadwood.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Another wonderful show produced by HBO with stellar performances with an intriguing plot 9/10 for the most part, roll on season 2.


February 07 2017

What’s going on in Galway 7 – 20 February By Kate Robinson

Frightened Rabbit

For the shortest month of the year, February manages to pack quite a punch—there are gigs and plays to see nearly every day. Let’s get our culture on.

The Scottish band will come to Galway on a tour following the release of their fifth and most critically acclaimed studio album, Painting of a Panic Attack. 9 & 10 February 9pm, Tickets €22.50

Urinetown: The Musical 7 – 11 February, Black Box Theatre

Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) chose a Tony award-winning musical for their 17th annual show, and it’s definitely taking the piss. A satire of everything from corporations to bureaucracy, society, and musical theatre itself, Urinetown will leave you laughing so hard you’ll wish you went before the show. 7 – 11 February 8pm. Tickets €15 (€12 concession) from

9-10 February, Róisín Dubh

Róisín Dubh Comedy Clubh Presents Best of Tuesday Showcase 10 February, Róisín Dubh

With Tuesday Showcase favourites Danny Ryan, Ryan Cullen, Bernard Casey, Emma Doran, and MC Bob Hennigan, this show promises to be hilarious. The first 30 advance tickets are only €8; after that, advance tickets are €10, and if you leave it too late, you pay €12.50 on the door. Kicks off at 9pm.

Citóg Presents: Dead Horse Catherine Leonard and Jive, The Kegs, Crazed Hugh Tinney 8 February, Róisín Dubh

The price is right for this blues, punk, and rock’n’roll line up—it’s completely free! There’s no excuse not to go. The night kicks off at 9pm on 8 February.

An Evening of Mediumship with TV Psychic Tony Stockwell 8 February, Town Hall Theatre

Tony Stockwell is a well-known Spiritualist Medium. He has worked as a psychic for over 25 years, helping people communicate with loved ones who have passed. Sounds interesting, although results are ‘not guaranteed’. 8 February 8pm. Tickets €25 available at

12 February, The Aula Maxima, NUI Galway

Acclaimed Irish musicians Leonard and Tinney perform Bach, Schubert, Raymond Deane, and Brahms on violin and piano at their first-ever concert in Galway. It couldn’t be closer in our beloved Quad’s Aula Maxima right on campus. What better setting to listen to these greats? T12 February 3pm. Tickets €18 but only €6 for students available at

The Weir

13 & 15-17 February, Town Hall Theatre Conor McPherson’s award-winning new play has been praised by critics as ‘first-

rate’ and ‘haunting’. The arrival of a stranger on a stormy night in a Leitrim pub prompts a series of spooky tales with a chilling end. 13, 15 – 17 February 8pm. Tickets €15 on Monday, then €20 (€18 for students) available at

David O’Doherty

13 February, O’Flaherty Theatre Well-known Irish comedian David O’Doherty will be at NUI Galway for their €5 comedy night! Tickets available at the SU office and SU Engineering desk. 13 February 8pm.

The Childhood of a Leader

19 February, Town Hall Theatre An award-winning film about a US diplomat involved in negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles, based on a short story by Jean-Paul Sartre. 19 February 8pm. Tickets €9 or €7 concession available at

Tedfest Table Quiz Hosted by Eoin McLove 20 February, Massimo Bar/Róisín Dubh

A table quiz of all things Father Tedrelated, hosted by Eoin McLove (Pat McDonnell) and Father Malachy. First prize is a VIP day trip for 4 to Tedfest on ‘Craggy Island’ (Inis Mór). The quiz takes place at Massimo Bar, but tickets are available at 20 February, registration at 8pm, quiz at 9pm. Tickets €40 for table of 4.

Rocksocapalooza turns up the heat By Mícheál Óg Ó Fearraigh On Monday 23 January, NUI Galway’s biggest band competition kicked off. The bands playing in the first heat were: The Flayers, a three-piece Latvian-Irish punk band who call The Sex Pistols to mind; Flux: a three-piece Mayo-Galway rock band with a kind of Arctic Monkeys-style of music; Pete Moss and the Briquettes, a four-piece cover band formed four hours before the competition got underway, and, Ignition, a six-piece band from Galway City, with a style not dissimilar to the early work of Snow Patrol. The judges for the night were: D-Day’s lead guitarist and vocalist, Darragh Whyte; Rock Soc secretary, Julie Bordes and yours truly. The competition was tight but in the end the judges decided on naming Flux, runners-up and Ignition the winners of the heat, meaning that Ignition will go straight through to the final while Flux will compete in the Second Chance Saloon on the 14 February. Lead singer of Ignition, Cian O’Connell said, “we’ve recently been pushing on and

are hoping to be very active in the next few months. We had an amazing night launching our debut EP to a crowd of over 200 on January 25th in The Loft Venue, and that EP - If It Hurts - is available on Spotify and iTunes. The plan now is to be gigging all the time and writing more and more - hopefully Rocksocapolooza will give us a chance to record some more material in the near future!” Heat Two took place on Monday 30 January and featured: The Kegs, an indie band from Tuam who sound like a cross between Blur and Vampire Weekend; Nine Thousand Hours, a rock and roll band from Galway who have a Royal Blood-influenced air; French Ketamine, a Donegal-Galway indie punk band who are reminiscent of the early music of Green Day while also playing rebel songs; and, Conman, an alternative rock band from Galway whose sound has echoes of the music of Catfish and the Bottlemen. Darragh Whyte was unavailable to judge because of commitments with D-Day so Flux drummer Karl Killeen stepped in to take his place. After much deliberation Conman came in first and Nine Thousand Hours second.

Dylan Chambers of Conman said “The free shows put on by Rocksoc have provided a great stage for up and coming artists to showcase their talents and get their music out to the public, while also giving audiences great access to the music of countless local acts.” Heat Three takes place on 6 February and The Perception, Prospect Avenue, Foxy Boxxing, Venus Offset, and, sHlime will be performing while the Second Chance Saloon will take place the week after with Flux, Nine Thousand Hours, and the runner-up of Heat Three, competing for a chance at the final, the date of which is to be determined. Spokesperson for Rock Soc, Shane Walsh stated “It’s been a great experience hosting Rocksocapolooza which is our annual battle of the bands, now in its seventh incarnation. I find the best part about it is it gives performers of all standards and genres a chance to perform at the same level. We always get an eclectic mix of both performers and audience members at our shows. We’d like to think it our hallmark as a society and hopefully it’ll still be in the works ten years down the line”.




New Albums 15 – 31 January By Cian O'Brien

Ty Segall - “Ty Segall” (Garage Rock) ★★★ ☆

Ty Segall has an impressively large discography, releasing 17 albums in the last ten years. What’s more impressive is how consistently good his back catalogue is. In his relatively short professional career, he has garnered much critical acclaim and respect for his signature blend of garage rock and psychedelia. Give his latest release, “Ty Segall”, a listen, and it’s easy to see why. His songs are centred around big guitar riffs and grungy vocals. A lot of his tracks play out like jams, but with enough focus so as to not seem selfindulgent. The album has a fantastic energy that’s impossible to ignore, and the ‘70s psychedelic vibes are fantastic.

Cherry Glazerr - “Apocalipstick” (Psychedelic Rock) ★★★ ☆

Hailing from Los Angeles, Cherry Glazerr are a Indie Rock/Pop group with a lot of energy. This release is very immediate, opening with a loud guitar riff and a nice angry vocal performance from lead singer Clementine Creevy. This energy is maintained for the entire album, with strong vocals throughout. Despite remaining at approximately the same tempo for much of the album, this record is interesting from start to finish. There is great variation between the guitars and synth. At times, the guitar is distorted and riffing hard, and at other times, it is jangly and textured. Similarly, the synth occasionally becomes the focus, creating catchy melodies, while adding layers to the tracks at other times. The rhythm section on this record is solid too, adding more layers and setting the vibes of each song. Ultimately, the real strength of this album is in its catchy hooks, of which there are plenty.

Foxygen - “Hang” (Baroque Pop) ★★★☆☆

Foxygen are a two piece baroque pop outfit from Los Angeles. Their unique blend of pop and rock sounds very much like the soundtrack to a musical. Each song is a big production, with horns and strings really rounding out their sound. There are some fantastic vocal performances from lead vocalist Sam France, who croons in a charming baritone throughout. You can tell he’s having a lot of fun with this record, and he sings with plenty of bravado and grandeur. The production on this album is really great too, with no one instrument stealing the spotlight. Instead, all the instruments work together to create some truly epic moments. The entire album has a very vintage feel, without sounding like a stale recycling of the past. Instead, it feels like a new direction for an older style, and it works rather well.

Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche - “Pas Pire Pop, I Love You So Much” (Krautrock) ★★★★☆

This Montreal based post rock group have packed quite a punch with their second

LP. The album consists of just three tracks, which sprawl and meander through their various sections in quite a free-form way. Despite this, the tracks manage to seem very focused, never remaining static. There is always something new and interesting happening. At times, the songs can be light and upbeat, with choppy guitar that’s reminiscent of math rock, but then suddenly, the song can change into a much heavier jam. This variety is welcome, considering the length of the tracks. There are long instrumental sections, with vocal sections peppered in irregularly. While I enjoy the vocals, they are not the centre of attention. As with a lot of Krautrock, the drums are a big focus. The drummer does a fantastic job of creating jazzy grooves, and the guitars, bass, and synth all add to the vibrant cacophony.

Norwegian Arms “Girard Freeloader” (Freak Folk) ★★★ ☆

After hearing their first release, “Wolf Like a Stray Dog”, I was eager to hear Norwegian Arms’ second project. They did not disappoint. While not completely abandoning their freak folk roots, they have deviated from their early sound quite a lot on this record. While the focus is still very much centred on catchy beats with folk instruments, they have added a lot more electronic instrumentation to this project. The whole album feels a lot more poppy and immediate. The vocals are very upbeat, and even feature some autotune at times to add texture and harmony. This album is catchy, upbeat, and extremely fun.

Bedwetter - “Flick Your Tongue Against Your Teeth and Describe the Present” (Experimental Hip Hop) ★★★ ☆

Bedwetter is the latest moniker of experimental hip hop artist Travis Miller. His latest release is an extremely personal and honest description of depression and issues of personal identity. He confronts these topics with passionate and confrontational vocal performances. Musically, there is some fantastic variation on this record. With ethereal synths, ambient soundscapes, cascading piano, and oriental-twinged guitar, there is plenty of experimentation to enjoy on here. There are also a number of instrumental tracks, adding to the variety. This record also features some solid beats, and the album has a really nice flow to it.

Austra - “Future Politics” (Synthpop) ★★★☆☆

Austra are a synthpop trio from Toronto. On their third LP, they have delivered a series of very catchy but stripped back tracks. Their sound focuses on textured synths and airy vocal performances. At times, the singing is almost choir like, with multiple reverb-splashed falsettos interweaving around one another. The drums are very simple but effective, and the bass helps to add some structure to the beats. The vocal delivery is emotional and intimate, and the music is enjoyable throughout.


SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

The Best of Blunters THE GALWAY GAMER:

Enter the Madhouse

By Michael Glynn I’m sure you’ve heard the good news - you must have surely? Well, if you didn’t, at least you’re holding a newspaper so that’s a good start; let’s keep this going. Before I deliver this piece of news I would like you to remember how truly awful 2016 was. Not for you, obviously, you’re in Galway with a newspaper; you’re relatively fine. No, for celebrities and people in third world countries etc. - they had a rough year. But there was one silver lining that came in the middle of December, a ray of hope for us to look forward to, a glorious tweet from James Blunt.

Despite topping the UK charts and selling over 11 million copies of his first album, it’s nice to know that James is still quite ambitious.

He’s just better than you, try to put him down and he’ll still prove you wrong.

By Eoghan Murphy The concept of horror in the medium of gaming is something that’s often tried, but rarely executed correctly. However, when a title manages to pull it off, it can simultaneously thrill and terrify the player. Unlike sitting back and enjoying your favourite horror movies, this genre of video games is an entirely different beast. You can’t simply wait around for a jump scare or yell at the screen in protest of the teenager wandering into the darkness

Speaking of ambition, James is the gift that keeps on giving! And finally, believe me on this one, nobody hates ‘You’re Beautiful’ more than James Blunt.

Okay I may be alone in thinking that this is good news but I know I’m with company when I say that James Blunt may be one of the funniest people on Twitter. Known for being a master of the put-down, whether it be someone else or himself, Blunty-Boy doesn’t care if you support him either, if you mention him on Twitter, he will burn you. to investigate a strange noise. Instead, you’re in complete control of your character. Without your influence they won’t make the dumb decisions that often see a film’s character slashed, they won’t scream and flee in terror as the killer approaches. They won’t move as much a muscle unless you command it. This makes for a hugely interesting scenario, as you creep forward inch by inch, unaware of what fate lays before you but knowing full well that you don’t want to discover what lurks at the end of the corridor. But, in order to advance, you must continue to move. This feeling of duality is what separates gaming from any other forms of horror, and it has been quite some time since a game has been bold enough to attempt to recreate these feelings. That is, until now. When speaking about atmospheric horror gaming, we could trace its origins back as the original 1993 Alone in the Dark title for PC, Super Nintendo’s little gem Clock Tower, or even as far back as the bizarre 80’s NES title Sweet Home. However, for most people the first true horror game arrived on Playstation in the form of Resident Evil. This was the first time that a horror title became a chart topping household name. Resident Evil took place inside a large mansion hidden just beyond the limits of a fictional American town called Raccoon City. The player could select between two members of a special ops squad sent into the woods on a rescue mission. From here most of the game time was spent wandering the hollow corridors of the house, examining parts of the scenery for clues and solving puzzles. Of course you weren’t alone in this dark old building. It was infested with mutants, zombies and all types of dangerous creatures formed from inhuman experiments that were being carried out on the premises. Most people who played through this classic would remember the moment when dogs, infected with the lethal T-Virus, would come crashing through the windows of a dark echoed hallway, breaking the silence and relentlessly attacking the player. This is often viewed as the birth of big budget horror gaming.

Although the original Resident Evil has become something of a punchline in gaming circles 20 years after the game’s initial release and was all but entirely eclipsed by its vastly superior sequel, Resident Evil 2; Capcom’s original Res E is still a benchmark, genre defining game. However as the series went on it found itself drifting further and further away from its horror based roots, falling deeper and deeper into absurdity. What started as a tense, creepy experience dissolved over time into a generic action shooter. By the time Resident Evil 6 hit the shelves in 2012 even die-hard fans of the franchise had all but given up. The slippery slope into a laughable shadow of its former self lasted quite some time, but it seems that now, in 2017, the acclaimed horror series is finally back on track. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard hit the shelves recently, displaying both new and old sides of Res E. Here we see the welcomed return of the horror, as the player surveys a dirty, unnerving old beat-up house, creating a genuine uncomfortable feeling. The feeling of suspense is thick enough to choke you as you breathe in the game’s slow paced, frightening atmosphere. This harks back to the originals, but somewhat separates itself from the idea of scientifically modified beasts in exchange for something far more realistic- deranged Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque rednecks. To make things even more terrifying the game seems to have taken a tip from Silent Hills’ ill-fated P.T, ensuring that the player views the game world through a first person perspective. The latest game to bare the Resident Evil name is the return to form that Res E fans have been crying out for since the Playstation 2 was the

must-have console. Not only does it harbour the potential to reinvigorate the franchise, but it could also possibly be the game to finally push survival horror games back to the forefront of the industry. Resident Evil VII is now available for Playstation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. 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 or spinning chiptunes on Flirt FM at 2pm each Thursday as the Galway Gamer

February 07 2017



30 SP O RT

SIN Vol. 18 Issue 09

NUI Galway deserve football league inclusion By Darragh Berry Connacht Provincial Council Secretary, John Prenty, believes the time has come to give colleges the boot from the Connacht senior football league and will bring forward a motion in their annual convention to dismiss NUI Galway, IT Sligo and GMIT from the competition. This is a motion that I am sure will infuriate NUI Galway players and fans alike. The FBD was the perfect opener to the year for our college Men’s team as they now focus their attention on the Sigerson Cup post-mortem, following their exit at the hands of St Mary’s. The club simply can’t win. Before the FBD began, Galway GAA CEO, John Hynes hit out at NUI Gaway for what he described as their ‘lack of focus on GAA activities’. He went on to add that the college’s attitude towards Gaelic games at present as ‘worrying’. This came just days after our senior team had won the Second Division League, meaning a promotion to the First Division for the following year.

Now, after a very successful two wins out of three in the FBD, the rug wants to be pulled from under our feet? How does one GAA body expect us to have a ‘focus on GAA activities’ when the other wants to withdraw our college from a tournament where you get the chance to play against some of the best players in Connacht? If anything, their attitude towards Gaelic Games seems a lot more ‘worrying’ than ours. If the Corribsiders were to be banished from the League Competition in future, would it mean missing out on a win against an All-Ireland runner up and top four county team? It doesn’t matter what sort of Mayo side were on show that day, the records will forever show that we beat Mayo in 2017 and that is something that will live on in the history books. I remember writing a preview article for the Mayo GAA Blog before the FBD started where I stated that, “supporters will leave MacHale Park with a player’s name on their lips who they may never have heard of before”. I was right, but

NUI Galway hosts Fitzgibbon Cup 2017 By Trevor Murray The finals of the Independent. ie Higher Education Fitzgibbon Cup senior hurling championship will be hosted by NUI Galway on 24-25 February, and were officially launched at the university in late January. It was announced that the final of the competition will be held in the illustrious Pearse Stadium, Salthill. The semi-finals, meanwhile, will be held in Dangan, NUI Galway’s home arena, along with the semi-finals of the Ryan Cup and the Fergal Maher Cup. The final of the Cup will also be broadcast live on TG4 to spectators unable to attend and will take place on Saturday 25 February, 2017.  The annual cup dinner, at the Westwood Hotel, is pencilled in for the Friday of the finals weekend, where the late, great Joe McDonagh’s association with Gaelic Games at the University will be celebrated on a night I gCuimhne ar Joe. While in college, dual-code star McDonagh played for the UCG football and hurling teams, deservedly cliaiming a Fresher’s hurling medal in 1972 and featuring in several Sigerson and Fitzgibbon campaigns throughout the course of his stay there. As a postgraduate student in 1977 he finally collected his Fitzgibbon Cup medal, having played a role in overcoming Maynooth in the

final on a score-line of 1-14 to 1-12. In the history of the Cup, NUI Galway has won the title 10 times, the most recent occurring in 2010 when hosted by the University, something that bodes well for their chances in the upcoming incarnation. Previous to that that was nearly 40 years ago in 1980 when also hosted in the west. In the 2016 championship, Mary Immaculate College hurlers were crowned title holders for the first time after defeating their local rivals University of Limerick in extra time. Trinity College Dublin took home the Ryan Cup, while IT Sligo claimed the Fergal Maher Cup. Commenting on the upcoming championship, Mike Heskin, NUI Galway Director of Sport, said, ‘NUI Galway is delighted to host the Fitzgibbon Cup sponsored by at the NUI Galway Sport Complex in Dangan. ‘It will be a great festival of hurling with inter county players from all over the country. We are very grateful for the assistance provided by Galway GAA, Croke Park and our sponsors Bank of Ireland in hosting this event.  NUI Galway have won the competition on ten occasions and we hope 2017 will see the University back in the top flight of third level hurling. I would especially encourage all hurling lovers in the West of Ireland to come and support the teams over the weekend.’

I didn’t think he would be wearing the maroon colours. Mayo man Adam Gallagher was extraordinary that day. To score nine points against your own county, on your own soil, it’s a fantastic feat and one which will hopefully serve his confidence well in the coming weeks. Damien Comer, Michael Daly and Enda Tierney to name but a few also played out of their skin that day. A quick spin down the road to Roscommon was not as enjoyable as the trip to Mayo, as the Rossies broke our hearts with a late goal, deep into added time. What was worse than the late goal, was the fact that we could have easily won that game. Roscommon let us off the hook with numerous wides and when Michael Daly’s shot was blocked on the goal line with just four points separating the teams, it could have been a much different closing 10 minutes. One Gallagher was on everyone’s lips the week before, this week it was another one. Owen Gallagher struck over some monster scores in that game. To say that he and Kieran Molloy covered every blade of grass would be an understatement. The win against IT Sligo was another all-round team performance. Just like

Mayo, it wasn’t plain sailing. Enda Tierney rattled home an early goal but it was cancelled out by two Sligo

goal. The finisher? Comer, a man who if we had in Roscommon, we may have come away with something.

How does one GAA body expect us to have a ‘focus on GAA activities’ when the other wants to withdraw our college from a tournament where you get the chance to play against some of the best players in Connacht? If anything, their attitude towards Gaelic Games seems a lot more ‘worrying’ than ours. ones. The Galway outfit’s work rate was astonishing, working seven unanswered scores at one stage, just to get the game back on a level playing field. Tierney was outstanding in the centre of the field, matched with the efforts in the forward line by Ryan Forde, Owen Gallagher and Damian Comer. When the game seemed to be out of our reach, the lads pushed up the field together and worked their way into the IT Sligo

So far, 2017 has been a fantastic stepping stone for the panel to build and grow. Why someone would want to take that away from them is beyond me. It’s strange that the men at the top, unbeknown to themselves, are demoting the game while the small lads like me at the bottom try their best to promote it as much as possible. I don’t know, it’s all GAA GAA if you ask me.

Gallant NUI Galway bow out in Belfast SIGERSON CUP – ROUND 2 St Mary’s 1-9 NUIG1-7 By Darragh Berry Heartbreak for NUI Galway up north at St. Joseph’s, Glenavy as two last gasp St Mary’s points put them out of the Sigerson Cup competition. Wearing the Connacht colours of Blue and white, the students from the west went a goal behind early on. Joe Colton sent a high ball into Cathal McShane who tried twice to beat Tadgh O’ Malley in the NUI Galway goal. The keeper made a fantastic double save before eventually, Matthew Fitzpatrick kicked home at the third time of asking. Before the goal, Damien Comer had looked to have been fouled but despite this, the score stood. Galway responded in good fashion, knocking over two points courtesy of Comer and Owen Gallagher. They put St Mary’s on the back foot soon after and two massive scores from long range from Michael Daly and Ruairi Greene put the sides level in the 20th minute. It was a special day for Owen Gallagher who was playing his college football on his home club pitch. The day became even more special for the Antrim man. Michael Daly pumped in a high ball which was collected by Comer who made a bursting run through the defence before playing the ball to Gallagher who fired home in his home yard. Sean Kelly fisted the vis-

itors four points in front but it was to be the last involvement he had in the game as he hobbled off with an injured hamstring. Steven Conroy followed suit and NUI Galway were forced into two early first-half substitutions before they headed in for the break, 1-6 to 1-3 to the good. Three successive St. Mary’s scores and they were right back in the match. It could have been much more only for the heroics of Tadgh O’ Malley. He palmed away Cathal McShane’s long range shot but only as far as Ciaran Corrigan who had the goal at his mercy. Somehow, O’ Malley managed to get a hand to the ball from the ground to prevent a second St Mary’s goal. The away team’s only second-half point stemmed from O’ Malley. St Mary’s Jack Hannigan seemed to have rocketed over a point from range but O’ Malley reached into the skies and stopped the ball from going over and subsequently played the ball up the field for Michael Daly who popped over. St. Mary’s responded immediately through Oisin O’ Neill, setting up for an intense final few minutes. St Mary’s made two switches and they turned to be vital as the two newcomers grabbed the win for the northern college. NUI Galway had a chance at the very end. Daly floated in a ball to the danger area and from the crowd near the goal, a Galway fist flew into the air and sent the ball towards goal but the effort was saved by the St Mary’s keeper. A tough ending to the university’s journey.

NUI GALWAY SCORERS: Owen Gallagher 1-1, Michael Daly 0-2, Adam Gallagher, Ruairi Greene, Damien Comer and Sean Kelly 0-1 each ST. MARY’S: Matthew Fitzpatrick 1-0, Cathal McShane and Ciaran Corrigan 0-2 each, Conor Meyler, Oisin O’ Neill, Joe Colton, Brian Og McGilligan and Darragh Kavanagh 0-1 each NUIG GALWAY: Tadgh O’ Malley (Galway), Stephen Brennan (Mayo), Eoin O’ Donoghue (Mayo), Aaron O’ Connor (Kerry), Sean Kelly (Galway), Kevin McDonnell (c) (Sligo), Luke Byrne (Galway), Enda Tierney (Galway), Peter Cooke (Galway), Stephen Conroy (Mayo), Michael Daly (Galway), Adam Gallagher (Mayo), Ruairi Greene (Galway), Damien Comer (Galway), Owen Gallagher (Antrim) SUBS: Kieran Molloy ((Galway) Conroy 23’) Matt McClean ((Donegal) S. Kelly 30’) Ryan Forde ((Galway) McClean 53’) Kevin Quinn ((Mayo) O. Gallagher 53’) Colm Kelly ((Donegal) McDonnell 53’) ST. MARY’S: Mark Reid, Jack Hannigan, Aaron McKay, Kyle Mallon, Colm Byrne, Michael O’ Hare, Conor Meyler, Diarmuid McConville, Oisin O’ Neill, Ciaran Corrigan, Joe Colton, Conall McCann, Kevin McKernan, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Cathal McShane SUBS: Brian Og McGilligan (Fitzpatrick 45’) Darragh Kavanagh (Hannigan 52’)


February 07 2017


Champions Cup exit for Connacht By Danny Keown Connacht’s dreams of reaching their first ever European Champions Cup quarter final slipped agonisingly by, as an experienced Toulouse side wrestled a last eight spot away from them with a tense 19-10 victory at Stade Ernest Wallon. A losing bonus point would have been enough for the Westerners to reach the quarter finals of the European Champions Cup for the first time in their history, but they couldn’t work a scoring opportunity in a frantic finish. The result was enough for Toulouse to beat Connacht to the runners-up spot in Pool Two, with both sides finishing with 18 points, while Wasps’ 41-27 bonus point success away to Zebre saw them advance at the top of the table. The south of France side were the better team for much of this fascinating round six fixture, scoring three tries with their free-flowing start creating scores for Gael Fickou and Arthur Bonneval on the way to a 14-3 half-time lead. Craig Ronaldson had kicked Connacht’s opening points from a penalty, but Quinn Roux’s

36th-minute sin-binning left them shorthanded and influential flanker Joe Tekori’s try from close range.

While it is important that they keep playing the rugby which brought them success, there is nothing wrong with winning ugly. Defensively, Connacht were frail and they were plagued by many errors. However, Toulouse came under serious pressure as the second half wore on with John Muldoon going over for a try which left Connacht well in contention with the score at 19-10. Tou-

louse, however, were not to be denied and held on.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR CONNACHT? It was the Irish side’s belief in their game-plan which was ultimately their downfall. Connacht stuck rigidly to their expansive style of play, however there were moments in the game where expansive rugby was not called for. There were moments in this game where it needed to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck. When you’re in cup rugby, there will be times when you have to change your style of play in order to find a way to win. The best teams are able to do so seamlessly. The step up from Pro12 rugby to Champions Cup rugby is huge. Last season, Connacht never had to change their style of play. This proved a weakness against Toulouse as they could have sealed their progression through to the next round had they changed their philosophy. The Western province’s effort can’t be questioned as they tirelessly beat at the Toulouse rear-guard as they tried to reclaim their hope of booking a runners up position in the pool. However, it was their game management which was

left wanting at vital times throughout the match. Opportunities to clinch their spot came around the last ten minutes of the game. Connacht had possession in Toulouse’s 22, but instead of working the ball into a position where they could work a drop goal, they opted to play the ball out wide to Matt Healy. However, Healy failed to collect the pass with the try line at his mercy. While it is important that they keep playing the rugby which brought them success, there is nothing wrong with winning ugly. Defensively, Connacht were frail and they were plagued by many errors. This could be seen when Toulouse exposed the holes defensively for the Bonneval try. It was naïve in some respects. Had Connacht went for the three points they would now be sitting pretty in the knockout stages. However, it is all about having experience to pick the right option in pressurised situations. This was a learning experience for Connacht. It took both Munster and Leinster a couple of failures before they eventually won the tournament. Connacht shouldn’t move away from the attacking style fully, but they must find more of a balance if they are to win these games.

Why Diego Costa needs to commit to Chelsea in the long run By Ryan Mc Guinness The allure of massive amounts of money to go to the Chinese Super league has been the narrative throughout this year’s transfer window. In the past month, Shanghai SIPG’s £52m acquisition of Oscar from Chelsea and Carlos Tevez’s £71m move to Shanghai Shenhua have been the big talking points. Players today have unprecedented chances to make more money than they could possibly ever dream of, and ever since the Bosman rule in 1995, which gave players greater power in terms of where they played, prices have soared. Alongside immense riches, however, comes a decline in competitive levels of football. The Chinese national team haven’t been to the world cup since 2002, where they finished bottom of their group, scoring no goals and conceding nine. With this level of quality still present within the CSL, is the enticement of wealth worth more than the inevitable decline in development? Cue Diego Costa. The 28-year-old Chelsea striker has positioned himself as one of the best players in the world due to his goal-scoring abilities and sheer physicality on a weekly basis in the Premier League. He’s played in numerous

big games and has won multiple titles in both the Premier League and La Liga. In terms of careers, he has already accomplished more than most. So, hypothetically, why should Costa stay in England when he can amass a fortune abroad? His early life provides the answer. Diego Costa grew up in the poverty-stricken city of Lagarto in north-east Brazil. He grew up playing street football amongst friends before moving to Sao Paulo at 15 years of age to work with his uncle. Due to his uncle’s connections with the footballing world he got a try-out with a developmental team and became a professional player, earning £100 a month at the time. Costa was quoted as saying in an interview with The Telegraph that ‘when you are just 15 years old you don’t care that much about money you just want to play for the love of the game. I am where I am today for the love of the game.’ A teammate from his time on loan at Celta Vigo in 2007 said, ‘I remember how passionate he was about football. Training wasn’t enough for him and he used to play with his mates on the university pitches at 11pm.’ During his hard-fought and arduous path to the top, going to seven clubs in just eight years, and as he worked to establish himself, overcoming injury

“We have to put defeat behind us for next week,” says NUI Galway manager Tony Ward on loss to UL UL: 2-21

NUIG: 2-12

By Michael Burke NUI Galway missed out on securing qualification to the quarter finals yesterday afternoon as they went down to UL by 9 points despite a second half effort. John McGrath and Stephen Bennett goaled either side of half time which looked like securing U.L’s passage to the last 8 as NUI Galway, without the Mannion brothers, faced a stiff breeze for the remainder of the game. The visitors, however, weren’t prepared to let UL qualify with such ease as their attempt to find

a passage back in the game was soon rewarded by Niall Mitchell, who struck a 21 yard free crashing into the back of the net while a Ger Hennelly point 3 minutes later reduced the deficit to 7 with 15 minutes remaining. John McGrath settled the home-side with a placed ball and a point from David Fitzgerald looked like securing UL’s fate but Sam Conlon goaled with 6 minutes left on the clock and set the game up for a nervous finish. But Stephen Bennett showed his steel by grabbing the final two points as U.L ran out deserving winners on a score line of 2-21 to 2-12. Speaking after the game, NUIG manager Tony Ward said; “We have to put yesterday behind us

and learn from it in order to move on against CIT next week, and qualify for the quarter final.” NUIG host CIT in the final game of group B this week which is a must-win in order to reach the quarter finals.

NUIG: C. Tuohy, C. Cosgrave, B. Fitzpatrick, C. Ryan.,M. Conneelly, C.Cleary, G. Forde, I.Fox, O. Donnellan, N. Mitchell, K. McHugo, G. Hennelly, G. Loughnane, S. Conlon, C. Whelan. UL: D. McCarthy, M. Casey, D. Fitzgerald, G. Ryan, B. Heffernan, B. Troy, A. McGuane, K. Hehir, L. Lyons, T. Morrissey, G. Fogarty, J. Forde, S. Bennett, M. Mullins, J. McGrath.

and adversity, he eventually arrived at Chelsea as a £32 million signing from Atletico Madrid. It is for this reason, because of this journey, that Diego Costa needs to stay at Chelsea. From humble beginnings to greatness personified Costa has proven that dedication leads to success. Having worked so hard to get to his current elite level it would be foolish and an outright waste to spend his peak years in a sub-par league. The competitive nature of the Premier League can only elevate the game of someone who works tirelessly to improve their craft, like Costa. Diego needs to sign with Chelsea long term because of his drive to be the best. To leave you with his own words and to reaffirm the point, Costa was quoted in 2015 as saying, ‘People might say about the money being involved, but the pleasure you get from playing at this level, playing in the Champions League, is the best thing ever. Winning the Spanish league, achieving glory with a club and with your team-mates and seeing all the fans and how passionate they are about it and everything then you just want to play at this level and remain at this level as long as you can and among the best and to push yourself really, really hard.’ Diego Costa is exactly where he wants, and needs, to play.


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✓President FULL TIME ✓Vice President/Education Officer OFFICERS ✓Vice President/Welfare Officer


Nominations Open: 10am Thursday 16th February 2017 Nominations Close: 5pm Wednesday 22nd February 2017


Election Day: Thursday 2nd March 2017

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Student Independent News Issue 9 #Vol18  

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