NUACHTÁN SAOR IN AISCE VOL.19 Issue 11. 21 MAR 2018
Student Independent News
Students elect first female SU president in almost a decade By Martha Brennan After months of thoughtful planning and a tireless week of campaigning, NUI Galway’s next Students’ Union officers have been elected for the upcoming academic year. As the t-shirts are being put away and leaflets recycled, the three new full-time officers are beginning to prepare themselves for their new roles and shared their excitement about the election results with SIN. Current Welfare Officer and former Equality Officer in the SU Megan Reilly was elected on 9 March as NUI Galway’s first female SU President in nearly nine years. While there has been female interest in the role in recent years, they did not run winning campaigns. Megan topped the polls with 1606 votes out of 3049 cast on the day. Other contenders Fiachra Mac Suibhne and John Molony appeared to split the vote, securing 596 votes and 618 votes respectively. Ashwin Ravichandran rounded off the poll with 214 votes. Megan told SIN that it was “incredible” to be deemed elected. “I was confident in our ability as a campaign team, but I was never sure of anything. It’s so incredible to be elected, especially to come out by such a margin,” she said. “It really makes you feel like people believe in you - but I couldn’t have done any of it without my team. I’m so proud of all of us and the campaign that we did, it was something so much bigger than just me.” Even though Megan has plenty of experience with the SU, she said that she was a little nervous at first but is “beyond excited” to take on the new role, which she called the biggest honor of her life. “The presidency is a really serious position, there is so much going on in the background that students don’t know about and the ultimate responsibility lies with you,” she explained. “It’s a lot to take on but as much as I
love my current position, I always felt like I could do more. It’s exciting to be the one steering the ship and ever since the election I know I can do it and I feel prepared.” Megan’s plans for next year include introducing better food options on campus, advertising part-time jobs for students, improving access for part-time students and focusing on the university’s accommodation crisis. She also wants to strengthen the SU’s social media presence, push for better representation on university committees and fight against the possible student loan scheme. Her main focus right now is to finish out her work as Welfare Officer and to get to know the newly elected SU officers. “I’m really excited about this new team and to see what we all bring to our positions,” she said. “I want to make everyone in a new position feel empowered and to teach them all I can from my own experience.” As excited as the incoming President is about next year, she says that she will miss her role as Welfare Officer. “I love being in this position, I’m really going to miss interacting with students like I do now, but I’m thrilled for this next stage and looking forward to helping Clare take over. Lorcán has been phenomenal as President and he’s already helping me crossover,” she said. “But I still have a job here in welfare and I have a few more things to do in the next few months. We’re hitting the ground running, but I’d rather sprint anyways.” Clare Austick, who is currently in a part-time position with the SU as Welfare and Equality Officer, will take over Megan’s position as Welfare Officer in July. Clare told SIN that it was “absolutely incredible” to be elected. “I’ve wanted to do this all year and have been planning since September when I took on my part-time position.
I really wanted to step up to full time and feel like I can do a lot to help students so it’s amazing to be able to do that,” she said. Even though the campaigning was tiring, Clare said that it was completely worth it. “Nothing can prepare you for how intense campaigning is but it was so much fun and it was great to get to talk to so many different students and learn about what they want from our union,” she said. Clare’s focus as Welfare and Equality Officer will be on making the SU more accessible for students and implementing more support services around the college along with working on gender equality and equal representation. She plans to start organising awareness workshops, create weekly cultural nights and wants to regularly visit campus buildings that aren’t close to the SU office so students have a chance to approach her. “My main priority is to let students know who I am and to make them feel comfortable in coming to me about anything next year,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with the new team and to experiencing being a full-time part of the union.” The SU’s incoming Education Officer is Louis Courtney, who told SIN he is “absolutely delighted to be elected to this position”. “I’m really looking forward to being a voice for students who are in any way concerned about issues within education and I hope we can make a few needed changes for students in this university,” he said. Policies that Louis plans to implement include reducing repeat exam fees, limiting exams to one per day and allowing students to carry over a failed module rather than repeating the year and he hopes to get working on these as soon as possible. “Our exam fees have increased by €100 in two years which is incomprehensible, it’s an unfair financial
L to R - Education Officer Louis Courtney, President Megan Reilly, Welfare and Equality Officer Clare Austick pressure on students especially when we aren’t being told where this money is going,” he explained. “It’s important that we get clarity on why our education is costing so much and that we get this cost lowered as soon as we can.” Eyebrows were raised during the election campaign as a plan to reduce exam timetables to just one per day could prove problematic and considerably lengthen the examination period. However, Louis is still hopeful he can make strides in this area. “I’m really hoping to get more exam centres sorted early on next year. It’s unfair to expect us to be capable of doing multiple exams in a small timeframe, especially when the centres are out there, we just need to put them to
use,” he said. “The ball is already rolling on trying to allow students to carry on a failed module, so I’ll be focusing on that straight away.” Louis told SIN that he is very excited to get to know his new team and to start their work in the summer. “I’m really passionate about this job and I’m looking forward to continuing the great work that Andrew has done in this position so far,” he said. “Our current officers have done an amazing job and I hope that we can carry that on and introduce some great changes of our own.” For a full list of results from the polls, head to NUI Galway Students’ Union’s website.
2 NEWS & F E ATU R ES
Welcome to Issue Eleven! It’s hard to believe that this is the second last issue of SIN for this semester – time has certainly flown by this term. We were particularly busy over the past fortnight with the Students’ Union elections, hosting the hustings for the positions of President, Education Officer, and Welfare and Equality Officer. It was certainly a lot of fun for us to be a part of and proved to be a great way for students to learn a bit more about the candidates. Read all about the winning candidates on page one this week, as Martha Brennan caught up with the new SU team as the dust settled post-election.
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
This issue Martha also covered the Hear Me campaign run by NUI Galway students. The initiative was introduced across the city last year and hopes to break down barriers for customers in food or retail outlets who may have a speech impairment. Find out more on pg4. Aine Kenny was lucky enough to meet Irish YouTube sensation Melanie Murphy this fortnight. She attended a talk given by the video star in Dundalk IT. She spoke with Melanie on a broad range of topics ranging from mental health to time-management. Roving reporter Aine did not stop there however, getting the scoop on a fantastic on-going project right here on campus. Four biomedical students are aiming to create a plastic-free Galway, and Aine spoke with Patrick Hurley, a member of the team to hear all about their plans to reduce single-use waste in the city. Opinion editor Teodora Bandut expresses her views on how International Women’s Day transpired across the country, and contends that despite being a feminist, there were a few events on the day that didn’t quite sit well with her when the sun set on 8 March.
INSIDE COPE Domestic Violence Services wants to change the conversation around domestic violence3 In conversation with Irish YouTube sensation Melanie Murphy4 ‘King of Ireland’ Pat McDonagh visits NUI Galway5 The heroes and saviours of Storm Emma6 Why International Women’s Day left a bitter taste in my mouth
A NEW STYLE OF TEACHING – PE a welcome addition to Leaving Cert cycle
Positive discrimination is still discrimination – but what can we do to prevent it?
LOST LOOKS: 80’s New Wave Craze
Should we stop scrolling and start phoning?
Easter gifting inspiration
OSCARS 2018: fan service or social movement?
DramSoc play Carthaginians picked to perform at Irish Student Drama Awards
Could the end be near for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?
NUI Galway Men reign supreme in All-Ireland Basketball final 23.
EDITOR: Sorcha O’Connor firstname.lastname@example.org LAYOUT: Shannon Reeves
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Find us online: www.sin.ie
Elsewhere in the opinion section, Grace Kiernan casts an eye over quotas in the workplace, and Gary Elbert has his say on the newest addition to the Leaving Cert syllabus: PE. There’s plenty said on the Oscars in Fashion and Lifestyle, and again in our Entertainment section, as SIN picks our best dressed, as well as analysing the political aspects of one of Hollywood’s biggest nights out. We have more from our columnists Claire VanValkenburg and Brigid Fox, as well as plenty of sporting coverage. Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger are under the microscope, as well as Anthony Joshua’s upcoming bout with Joseph Parker. NUI Galway Men’s Basketball team were also crowned All-Ireland champs in the last two weeks, so we ‘d like to extend warm congratulations to your team from ours! Graham Gillespie covers their semi-final and final victories on pg24. That’s it from me for another fortnight. Hopefully you all enjoyed the Bank Holiday and are ready for one final week of lectures before the Easter holidays. Until next time,
FEATURES EDITORIAL: CONNELL MCHUGH While the weather may make it feel like we are in the middle of winter, Easter is just around the corner which means that the semester is coming to an end. The weather may have kept most of us locked up, Owen Kennedy takes a look at some of the more uplifting stories that came out of Storm Emma. I attended a talk hosted by BizSoc with Pat McDonagh, the man behind the Chicken Breast Sandwich, and with Mothers’ Day just passed us, Clarifications this week tackles the expectations on women to have children, which raises some very interesting issues. If you’re interested in contributing to the features section email features.sined@ gmail.com, and be sure to pick up Issue 12 in a few weeks’ time.
OPINION EDITORIAL: TEODORA BANDUT Welcome to Issue 11! As always, the opinion section is packed with debate and viewpoints to sink your teeth in. Women’s rights and equality feature heavily in the section, as I take a look at why the day left a sour taste in its wake, particularly here in Galway, and Olivia Hannon addresses how role models like Michelle Obama are so important for diversity. Aoife O’Donoghue also sets the record straight for anyone who misinterpreted Jennifer Lawrence’s own wardrobe choices as male oppression. Meanwhile, Grace Kiernan looks at whether quotas imposed by companies when hiring their staff is doing them more harm than good, and Gary Elbert takes a positive view to the addition of PE to the Leaving Cert syllabus. Enjoy!
FASHION & LIFESTYLE EDITORIAL: AMY McMAHON Hello everybody! Thankfully a well-deserved Easter holiday is around the corner and we can finally take a little break from this demanding college time. That being said, why not start to relax and unwind with this issue of SIN. Made even better with a cup of tea. Brigid Fox is back with another foxy take, this time on the LBD,
as well as her usual column on Lost Looks - not to be missed! Kate Farrell gives her two cents on the three best dressed from the Oscars, including our favourite cailín Saoirse Ronan. Styled by the Stars is back again for another fashion forecast for Aries. Think bold, daring and trailblazing for this ensemble. Sit back, relax and enjoy.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITORIAL: MICHAEL GLYNN Hey there party people, it’s your Arts and Entertainment editor Michael Glynn here and I am very proud to introduce this issue’s section, a great effort has been put in by SIN’s writers this issue to bring you the quality content you crave. First up we have an interview with Jess Harkin and Sarah Dervin, director and lead actress in Dram Soc’s latest production of Carthaginians which they will be taking down to the Irish Student Drama Awards in UCC. Following this we have a thought piece on this year’s Oscars, a review of the proceedings and some criticisms of the change and diversity this year was supposed to bring. And to cap it all off we have a great submission to our creative corner, the poem Hummingbird.
SPORT EDITORIAL: GRAHAM GILLESPIE Hello and welcome to Issue 11. We’re nearly at Easter but before we get there, this issue of SIN has another sport section packed with great articles for you to read. First, Luke Gannon assesses the benefits of Video Assisted Refereeing. Another article related to the beautiful game in this issue with Pep Guardiola’s political protest and the FA’s response being the focus of an excellent Mark Lynch opinion piece. Gary Elbert also returns as he casts a cynical eye over the much hyped Anthony Joshua – Joseph Parker fight on March 31. Last but not least, I report on NUI Galway’s All Ireland semi-final victory over Griffith College and their ultimate triumph in the final against Jordanstown. Once again if anybody reading this would like to contribute to SIN’s sport section, please don’t be afraid to get in touch and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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March 21 2018
COPE Domestic Violence Services wants to change the conversation around domestic violence By Claire VanValkenburg New manager of COPE Galway Domestic Violence Refuge & Outreach Service Carol Baumann told SIN how the service wants to raise awareness about how asking women why they don’t leave abusive relationships is harmful for survivors. “Let’s stop blaming the woman and expecting her to find solutions when she is living under stress and tyranny,” Baumann said in a recent statement released by COPE Galway. A 2014 study by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) found 14 percent
of women in Ireland have experienced physical violence by a partner, and 31 percent have experienced psychological abuse. According to Baumann, it is important to be sensitive to what such a large percentage of women are going through. “When this woman… can finally see through the control, the intimidation, and says the words out loud – he’s abusing me, he hit me – how will we react? Will we say, ‘why don’t you just leave’?” Baumann wrote in a statement for The Journal Voices. “Well, where should she go? She knows there is a housing crisis. Very possibly, she has no financial independence.”
Four NUI Galway students on a mission to make Galway plastic free - with plans for bring-your-own lunchbox campaign By Aine Kenny Kayleigh Flynn, Claire Coleman, Caolan Kelly and Patrick Hurley are four second-year biomedical science students and they are on a mission to make Galway plastic free. The four students have undertaken an environmental project as part of their Community Knowledge Initiative Programme module. Their project ‘Make Galway Plastic Free’ ultimately aims to raise awareness of the wastefulness of single-use plastics. “Initially we just wanted to pass the module, but this project has grown into something much more than that,” Patrick told SIN. Single-use plastics can be take-away coffee cups, plastic wrapping and boxes for food, and bottles of water. “We want to raise awareness of single-use plastics, one shocking statistic that I found out was that half a million takeaway coffee cups are thrown away every day in Ireland. We are actually the worst in Europe,” he revealed. Patrick wants to get people thinking about how much plastic they bin every day. “We buy plastic water bottles, and we throw them away without thinking about it… most of these can be recycled but it isn’t always guaranteed,” he said. He explained how it is also much cheaper for students to bring their own water bottles and to fill them up at the free water coolers. “It also takes more energy to recycle the bottles, compared to just reusing the same one,” he pointed out. “There is already an initiative in Galway called Recupán, where customers who bring their own reusable mug get a discount on their coffee. There is a minimum 10c discount, and Starbucks offer 35c.” Patrick also says he was astounded to learn how much plastic is in the world’s oceans, which is roughly estimated to be 46,000 pieces of plastic per squared kilometre. This figure includes micro particles of plastic. “All of the plastic and rubbish gathers in these gyers,” Patrick explained. The world’s most famous gyer containing marine debris particles is the Great Pacific garbage patch. The gyers are described as a ‘diffuse soup of plastic floating in our oceans’ by Angelicque White, an Associate
Professor at Oregon State University, an expert in the field. “There will be more plastics per weight in the sea than fish by 2050,” Patrick said worriedly. “This is why we need to reduce the amount of single-use plastics. Our Students’ Union President Lorcán recently went a week without single-use plastics, and he said it really woke him up about how much plastic we really use.” Patrick, Kayleigh, Claire and Caolan’s next step is to target the food companies and students to start up a bring your own lunchbox campaign similar to the Recupán concept. “We have an idea to start a ‘bring your own lunchbox’ campaign, hopefully from next year. You go to Boojum and you get a big plastic bowl, and you go to Chopped and you get a similar bowl - and you throw it away without thinking much of it. “What we want people to start doing is bring their own reusable plastic containers, and you can still get the same amount of food, but with less waste. According to the team, this would not just save students money, it would also benefit food companies as they would not have to pay for as much waste disposal. Patrick told SIN that he always had an interest in the environment, particularly the sea. “This is probably due to the fact I am a scuba diver,” he said. “Other members in our group are passionate about preserving our earth for future generations.” The Biomedical Science students are due to present their project on 16 April. “We have to present our findings and evaluate our work to see if we made a difference,” said Patrick. “We are planning on handing out surveys to students in Smokeys, and we also plan on targeting the Chamber of Commerce in Galway to raise awareness of our work with the business community.” If you’re interested in protecting the environment, reducing the amount of single-use plastics you use can really help. A bit of meal prepping with a lunchbox and buying a reusable travel mug and water bottle could be the little changes we make to our everyday lives that make all the difference.
Asking a woman in an abusive or violent relationship why she ‘puts up with it’ can be harmful because the issue is often much more complex than just leaving an abusive partner, Baumann said. Sometimes leaving a violent situation isn’t a question of choice for a survivor, rather, one of ability and safety. “When we ask this question… we are failing to understand the foundation of an abusive relationship: control, intimidation, erosion of self-esteem,” Baumann told SIN. But the issue is more intricate than just harmful questions, it’s also important to remember that survivors are often asked to recite their experiences to friends, family and help centers. Telling their stories repeatedly can be difficult and taxing, so Baumann suggests giving a survivor support and a space to discuss what happened. “Next time you hear about a woman being abused or if someone you love discloses abuse, rather than ask ‘why don’t you leave?’, ask her ‘what do you need right now and what can I do to support you?’” Baumann said. Additionally, Baumann suggests that conversations about domestic violence should change
from blaming the woman to questioning the construction of a society that allows abusers to harm survivors and not be held accountable “…Let’s begin to ask, ‘Why does he do it?’ or ‘How does he keep getting away with it?’” Baumann said. Based at Waterside House, COPE Galway is the only 24-hour accessible refuge in Western Ireland. Last year, the organization worked with 338 women who sought help, but were unable to accommodate 258 women and 441 children due to a lack of space. In her new role as manager, Baumann aims to continue to provide a respectful and loving space for survivors of domestic violence and said COPE Galway is committed to being the best. “My goal is to continue this excellent work, to continue to support and grow these essential services and to maintain our relationships with organisations and neighbours in our Galway community,” Baumann said. “My goal is to ensure we remain faithful to this mission.” If you are concerned about your own situation or that of someone you love, COPE Galway Domestic Violence Refuge & Outreach Service can be reached confidentially at 091-565-985.
4 NEWS & F E ATU R ES
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
In conversation with Irish YouTube sensation Melanie Murphy By Aine Kenny Last week my Dad told me that a “famous YouTuber” was coming to the local college back home, Dundalk Institute of Technology, where he lectures. I asked who the YouTuber in question was and he handed me a printed email, revealing that it was none other than Melanie Murphy. She was giving a talk on resilience as part of DkIT’s Fit4Life campaign. For those of you who don’t know, Melanie Murphy is an Irish YouTuber from Skerries, Co. Dublin. Melanie has over half a million subscribers to her YouTube channel, where she vlogs about lifestyle, mental health, relationships, and beauty. She is also the author of non-fiction book “Fully Functioning Human (Almost)”. Melanie began the talk by introducing herself. “I live in North Co. Dublin with my Dad, I wrote a nonfiction book last year and I make YouTube videos for a living,” she said with a smile, while sitting down at the edge of the stage, swinging her legs. A shiny silver Mac laptop rested beside her. There were many fans in the crowd who already knew everything about her life, because Melanie’s YouTube channel is characterised by her openness and honesty. “It’s weird being back here because I actually used to be a student here,” revealed Melanie. “Straight after secondary school, I started a computer programming course in DkIT but I hated it, it wasn’t for me I was one of the only girls in the class, and I dropped out after two or three months,” she admitted. “It is nice to be back here now when I am in better mental space.” Melanie explained that resilience was extremely important when it comes to mental health. “Resilience is the capacity to adapt to negative change. We can get through anything, no matter how awful or impossible it seems.” “Resiliance is not a trait,” she added The YouTuber believed that if she could become resilient, anyone can. “Alcoholism ran in one side of my family, when I was six my parents broke up, I was always moving house, when I was 16 my Gran died, who I was very
teaching degree.” During her time in DCU, Melanie studied positive psychology, which she said really helped her change her thinking and perceptions of negative events: “Our lives are made up of imperfect moments in an imperfect world… and we all need to learn how to bounce back, and to not wallow.” The 28-year-old went on to advise the crowd not to focus on their mistakes, and to choose to make the positive change in their life. “Your beliefs affect your feelings, which affects your responses. You have to believe you can get through tragic events, which other people survive every day, therefore so can you -we just need the tools to cope with negative change.” Melanie also warned against the negative impacts of social media. “Everything you see online is a construction… people have been filtered beyond belief and no one is going to take a picture of themselves on a bad day,” she claimed. “Sure, I am hardly going to vlog on when I am in my PJs lying on the floor drooling,” she laughed. “Everything looks nicer on the internet… it is all a construction.” Melanie herself has broken down this construction by baring her make-up free face for all to see way back in 2014. Exposing her acne showed other people that skin is rarely perfect, and people were drawn to this honesty. Melanie concluded her talk with detailing some simple things you can do to build up your resilience. She told the assembled crowd to stop overanalysing everything, get enough sleep and exercise, and to build up a support network of friends and family. She also advised managing your stress by planning things in advance, putting things into perspective - “No one will die if you don’t get that essay done,” she quipped - and to take time to relax. She also added that becoming aware of your thought processes can be very helpful. “Be mindful of your self-talk. If you’re looking in the mirror and are speaking negatively about yourself, cut that out!” she exclaimed. It is no wonder the 28-year-old Dub has such a large
It is no wonder the 28-year-old Dub has such a large online following, she is like a big sister to her viewers, always ready to advise from a place of compassion and experience. At the very end of the talk, Melanie gladly took a picture with every fan who wanted one and chatted to them. close to… then the worst four years of my life began,” she said. “Even when I talk about it now I feel a sort of panic, but I know it is okay and that I have moved past it,” she explained, clasping her hands together. “I was in a toxic relationship, I put on 4 stone weight, I had a miscarriage, I didn’t have a large support network… and everything just seemed negative. “However, by building up my resilience, I got out of that bad place. I built up my confidence in public speaking through YouTube, and I know it isn’t really public speaking, but it definitely helped me,” the online sensation revealed. “I also went to Dublin City University and got a
online following, she is like a big sister to her viewers, always ready to advise from a place of compassion and experience. At the very end of the talk, Melanie gladly took a picture with every fan who wanted one and chatted to them. I also had the pleasure of speaking to her one-on-one. “When I started my YouTube channel, I wasn’t really thinking it would go in the direction it did,” she admitted to SIN. “It just felt that I became a lot more comfortable talking about those types of things, for instance when I talked about my acne… it blew my mind that so many other people experienced the same things as me,” she
said, eyes widening. “So, I realised that by me talking about it, it was helping them, but by them giving me feedback on my video, it was helping me, so it was a really positive loop in my life, and in other people’s lives,” she explained. I also mentioned her videos which cover topics like sexuality. “I obviously don’t think its internet personalities’ responsibility to talk about those things, but I still think it would be amazing if more people would talk about them - because when you’ve experienced things and learned from it, you have a lot of wisdom to share,” she said. “You can share it in such an interesting way for young people. If you package it up in an interesting and entertaining way young people don’t feel like they’re learning… it is being absorbed subconsciously,” she laughed. I added maybe being awkward about sex is an Irish thing. She agreed but said that it depended on the person too. “It’s funny because even a lot of the British YouTubers have actually commented on how prudish they are… I remember my sex videos in particular got a shout out from Zoella and Alfie Deyes, and they recommended my channel for open sex discussion, and they were joking about how they don’t feel comfortable with talking about that,” she revealed. “A lot of adults don’t!” Melanie has done other public talks before but had to take a break from doing them while writing her first book, a non-fiction, life advice/memoir hybrid. “At the moment I am in between book contracts,” she said. However, she said she wants to get back in the habit of doing talks to schools and colleges.
“I have two talks this month in schools, about homophobic and transphobic language,” she said. “With that, even I find myself being careless with language, recently in a video I said the word ‘spa’, without even thinking. I suggested that using slightly offensive language is an Irish colloquialism, and again she agreed: “It was definitely unintentional, but I was really happy to be called out on it because I can’t be aware and change things, unless I realise that I am doing it.” I also brought up how open Melanie has been about her eating disorder. “I think what sparked the change for me into going down that road to recovery was another YouTuber, and Irish one as well, Anna Saccone, who had bulimia,” Melanie said. YouTube savvy readers will recognise Anna’s name from her family vlogging channel Sacconejoly, which she runs with her husband Jonathan Joly. “If she had never mentioned that, it was in a really old video on her webcam… and she knows now but back then, she had no idea of the impact that had on me,” Melanie revealed. “I also felt the more layers I peeled back off myself the more comfortable I was, and the more impact I was having, and that I was making use of my life. And for me, I think sharing is important and the more people that I can share with, the better because it encourages them to open up as well. “Opening up for Irish people as well is so difficult!” You can watch Melanie’s YouTube videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MelaNiieVideos Read more from Aine on her blog ainekenny.wordpress.com.
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March 21 2018
‘King of Ireland’ Pat McDonagh visits NUI Galway By Connell McHugh On 6 March NUI Galway’s BizSoc and the Career Development Centre held an event entitled ‘An evening with Pat McDonagh’ with an interview section followed by a Q&A with the man himself and the 200 students in attendance. Organisers took the time at the beginning of the evening to explain that it was the founder of Supermacs who offered to make an appearance in NUI Galway. Immediately setting a light-hearted tone for the evening, McDonagh looked around the hall, stating that some of the students “look familiar alright.” Founded in Ballinasloe in 1978, Supermacs was intended to be a pool hall, but this venture was turned down on the grounds of planning permission.
“You always have to use your imagination,” McDonagh explained to the audience. There were three options available to him when he bought the site in Ballinasloe; a furniture shop, a nightclub or a fast food restaurant. In fact, he bought the premises before he had secured a loan from the bank. Supermacs now has 108 restaurants across the country and employs 2,500 people of 21 nationalities. Starting out as a businessman turning away from the teaching profession, McDonagh admitted that he “didn’t know how to boil a kettle.” He says he worked 364 of 365 days a year, because there “simply is no shortcut to success.” In the Q&A session, more subjects were touched upon which truly showed the scope of Supermacs’ future. When asked about
HearMe! NUI Galway students helping tackle communication barriers in Galway cafés By Martha Brennan NUI Galway’s Enactus society are seeking to create better communications between catering staff and people with communication impairments in Galway. The society, which aims to bring together people in the community, launched their ‘HearMe!’ initiative last year with the hope that their training programmes could better equip Galway establishments with the tools to communicate with customers with speech difficulties. Aonaid Carr, a final year civil law student, is the auditor of the society and says that the training can aid café and restaurant workers immensely and can help servers feel more com-
someone that you don’t understand instead of being embarrassed really helps”. “You just need to give some people time, let them write the order if they need to. It can be hard as a waitress in a rush but you would want someone to do it for you,” Aonaid said. So far six Galway cafés have been HearMe certified in the 35 training programmes the society has ran, including 37 West, 56 Central and Ard Rí House as well as the university cafés. The course is also offered to students, with over 120 people in total being trained to date, including 50 students so far this semester. The programme has also been included in the manual HR training in both UHG and Roscommon University Hospital. Enactus NUIG has also trained 12 professional speech and language therapists to set up their own training programmes in Sligo and Cork. Founded in 2011, Enactus is an intern at i o n a l c h a r i t a b l e o r g a n i s at i o n w h i c h enables third level students to create, and implement, social entrepreneurial projects which positively impact the community. Every year a national competition is held by Enactus Ireland in May and NUIG’s society were awarded a bursary for their work last year and are aiming to bring the prize home with the HearMe! scheme this year. HearMe! is only one of three of the student’s current projects around Galway, the other two include drama classes with Ability West and an autism awareness programme with Galway secondary schools. The society, who are sponsored by KPMG, Arthur Cox and Bank of Ireland have a lot more planned for HearMe! and Aonaid said that the goal is to eventually “make anyone in Galway with speech impairments feel independent and more confident in every day activities”. The training programme is available to students for just €20. See more on becoming HearMe! certified by contacting Enactus NUIG.
“Just learning simple things like not looking to a person’s carer for their order or just telling someone that you don’t understand instead of being embarrassed really helps”. fortable with their communication skills. “Being trained to tackle these barriers shows that Galway cafés and restaurants care about their customers and the people in their community,” Aonaid said. “So many people have speech impairments, be it from a simple stutter, a stroke or an intellectual disability, it’s vital that we don’t make anyone feel excluded in everyday activities, such as ordering food,” she added. The idea behind HearMe! came from the thesis of a final year NUI Galway speech and language therapist. The training programmes are taught by speech and language therapy students along with a co-trainer who has a speech impairment. Anna Vaughan, an NUI Galway student and waitress who took the course said that hearing from the co-trainer really helped in the training. “It put everything into perspective,” she said. “Just learning simple things like not looking to a person’s carer for their order or just telling
taking the brand to an international stage, McDonagh raised the issues that the business is facing in relation to other international brands blocking their progress. While he did not mention the company by name, he mentioned the use of the prefix ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’ as causing issues for international markets. McDonagh made a submission to the European Unions Intellectual Property Office in the spring of 2017. McDonald’s has registered several trademarks such as ‘McKids’, ‘McHome’, ‘McWallet’, ‘McNoodle’, and more applicable to Ireland, ‘McMór.’ McDonagh believes the US giant has done this to thwart smaller family businesses. The United Kingdom is where he is looking to next to expand Supermacs’, and yet Brexit is not something that is affecting his judgement. “I’m one of the few people who does not think that Brexit will happen,” he said, “or if it does, it will be a watered-down version of what people are expecting.” Closer to home, Supermacs has had to deal with false compensation claims before the courts. At one point in time, McDonagh was faced with 125 live cases claiming injury on Supermacs premises, several of which were fabricated. When asked by a member of the audience if he finds it hard to trust people as a result, he gave a definitive response; “No I
still trust people. There’s always going to be that four or five percent that chance their arm, but the majority of people are goodnatured.” McDonald’s currently have kiosks which eliminate the need for staff, and when asked about this McDonagh simply said “that’s the way it’s going to be” in years to come. He explained how he goes abroad on a regular basis just to observe the changes in the hospitality industry on a worldwide scale. Obesity is another topic that was brought up, but he defended the company saying that there are options available to customers for healthier eating, the grilled chicken sandwich being cited as an example; “it’s the sauces that add calories to the burgers, and customers can request not to have sauce.” Supersubs which was established in 2014 and is now located in 16 stores nationwide including Eyre Square and Newcastle Road, give customers the option of salads, wraps and soups, which McDonagh believes counteracts the idea of fast food being unhealthy. The evening finished with a round of applause for the man who has provided a place for countless Galway students to gather after a night out. McDonagh provided pizza for the audience, proving that he is one of Ireland’s well-deserved success stories.
6 N E WS & F E AT U R ES
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
Clarifications: The heroes and The morality saviours of Storm Emma of deliberate By Owen Kennedy
It seems somewhat surreal that we were hit with such a monstrous volume of snow during the end of February and beginning of March when Storm Emma made landfall and covered the entire country in snow. As expected, we were barely able to cope, and the entire country was essentially put into a state of panic. Airports were closed, shops were open for limited hours, and the less said about that incident with the Lidl supermarket in Tallaght the better. However, throughout the fierce conditions, hundreds from across the nation banded together to help one another in this time of need. In Dublin, an anonymous hero spent more than €1,000 on hotel rooms across the capital to be used by the homeless so they didn’t have to risk their lives out in the bitter cold. Multiple community centres across the nation also set up beds and sleeping areas to take in the homeless off the streets and protect them from the bitter cold. Multiple people acted like superheroes and saved countless lives. In Wexford, Advanced Paramedic Declan Cunningham and Corporal Steve Holloway rescued Logan Shepherd and carried him for six kilometres to the nearest hospital so he could
receive medical attention. Hundreds of farmers sacrificed their tractors and fuel to plough the roads, so they could be used by emergency services. In Limerick, a group of friends risked their lives to pull a drowning dog from the River Shannon and handed him into Limerick Animal Welfare. The Dublin Airport Authority managed to rescue a baby hare who was stuck inside the snow. They nursed the baby animal, who they named Emma, until the worst of the storm had passed and released it back into the
wild. However, not all animals were distraught by the unprecedented amount of snow; the Humboldt penguins in Dublin Zoo seemed very content with being in the snow. Our hospitals around the country were threatened with being under-staffed by nurses and doctors being unable to make it into work. However, the nurses and doctors of Ireland were not going to be off-put by the snow. Some nurses had to walk as far as 8km into work. In Our Lady’s Crumlin ICU, Holly, who was waiting for a
heart transplant, was given a special surprise by her nurses who brought in snow for her to build her own snowman since she couldn’t go outside and experience the snow for herself. It goes without saying that these heroic stories are truly heart-warming and melt away the bitter cold that Storm Emma left behind in her wake. Even though the country was on lockdown with the weather being a risk to lives across the nation, it wasn’t enough to stop people from coming together to help each other in their times of need.
Heavy snowfall forced NUI Galway to close for four days as the country ground to a halt.
Muay Thai club to hold kickathon fundraiser in aid of orphanage By Aine Kenny NUI Galway’s Muay Thai martial arts club is hosting their annual charity event on Thursday 22 March at 7pm in the Kingfisher. The club organise a Kickathon in aid of the Golden Horse Monastery every year. The Golden Horse Monastery is a de-facto orphanage in the Golden Triangle, which is where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia meet. The Kickathon involves Muay Thai fighters performing 1,000 kicks each. They also raise money through sponsorship cards, as well as organising a bake sale on campus. All money raised goes directly to the mon-
astery, with no middle men involved. “Two years ago, we raised €1000 and last year it was about €1250,” Muay Thai’s Public Relations Officer Shane McQuillan told SIN. But how do these martial artists train for this mean feat? “We start to put an emphasis on training for the 1000 kicks weeks in advance, slowly building up the number week by week to about 600 kicks,” explained Shane. “The final 400 represent the true mental test for those taking part, and to ensure that the 1000 kicks is still a tough challenge.” “While kickers have to be training in order to condition themselves for the 1000 kicks,
anyone is welcome to pop down and watch on the day,” added the PRO. The Golden Horse Monastery was set up by Pra Kru Ba. Pra Kru Ba was a champion Muay Thai fighter who also used to be in the army. One day he had an epiphany in a dream and decided to become a Buddhist monk. He saw the destruction that drug trafficking caused in his local community and he built his own monastery to take in village children. Pra Kru Ba now teaches these children about Buddhism and trains them in the art of Muay Thai. Each child even gets their own horse. “Muay Thai is a martial art that is the national sport
of Thailand,” said Shane. “It bears many similarities to boxing, combatants wear gloves and fight in a ring, but kicks, knees, elbows and clinch are also allowed, giving it the nickname ‘the art of the eight limbs’.” “We are currently the largest martial arts club in NUI Galway with many of our members fighting competitively … Most of our members train to stay fit and to strengthen their mind and discipline - but many have no interest in fighting,” he said. “All are more than welcome to come down and try it out on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:30pm, or on Thursdays from 7 to 9pm in the Kingfisher.”
childlessness By Claire VanValkenburg Clarifications is a column featuring raw, unapologetic commentary on all things gender. From women’s rights, to dating culture, enjoy as Claire VanValkenburg discusses the topics everyone is afraid to talk about.
According to a Pew Research Center study, one in five American women won’t have a child before menopause, a statistic that has doubled since 1970. People with uteruses cite lots of reasons for not wanting children: financial anxiety, overpopulation, the overmedicalization of childbirth, and concerns about passing on genetic conditions are only a few. But I don’t think I owe the world these reasons. It’s my choice whether I bring a human into this world, and asking me to explain myself is saying that people with uteruses are a means to an end. My ability to have children does not mean I should feel obligated to have one. Thus, I think the conversation around choice in childbirth needs to shift from one of “Sweetie, why?” to “whatever is best for you”. My mother had children (obviously), but from a young age I’ve known it wasn’t for me. She has always been supportive of my childbearing feelings, so I was excited to tell her I was writing a piece about changing the conversation around having children. Her response shifted my focus from running around shouting “Come at me world! I’m never having kids!” to a much subtler issue. An issue of maturity, recognition, and selfawareness. “There are children in the world, and there will continue to be,” she told me. “Every adult should work to better the world for children, whether you have your own or not. That’s being human.” Struck, I sat back and took in her motherly wisdom. Memories of working with children of all ages at my summer camp job rushed through my mind, and finally I figured out why I loved kids but never wanted them.
We will always have the next generation, and it will always be the previous generation’s responsibility to run the world in a coherent way so that we pass it on in one piece. And it matters not whether you have an heir or a family, it’s simply human nature to yearn for life, in any and every form, to keep living. I don’t feel it is my duty to create human life, but I do feel it is my duty to care for our Earth and the beings within it, children included, so we can collectively work together to progress societies worldwide. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the world to raise the next generation. And the thing is, whether you feel you want to participate in raising the next generation or not, you are. Every action you make, every word you speak, is a blueprint for the little ones who come after you. Mothers and fathers are aware that their every decision, from the politicians they choose at the polls to the garbage they throw in the bin, has an impact on their children, and their children’s children. So regardless of your family choices, I would beg you to consider how you are affecting the life around you, whether or not you create it. Now, it’s up to you whether you care about the perpetual advancement of our world. But next time someone says I’m selfish, suspicious, or wasteful for choosing not to have children I will ask them this: “Did you have role models when you were a child? Were all of them your mother?”
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8 OPI NI O N
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
Feminism should not limit your wardrobe choices By Aoife O’Donoghue Words can be fickle things. At first glance, they may seem innocuous and uncontroversial, a tool of language with a simple meaning. However, it soon becomes clear that these tools can be taken hold of, modified and put to a different use. Whole other meanings can be conveyed and inferred through this manipulation of language. Right now, the word I am thinking of is ‘choice’. The word ‘choice’ has become politically fuelled and strongly associated with feminism. It has evolved from simply meaning the possibility of picking from two or more options, to contain an inference of a right or obligation. Effectively, ‘choice’ now appears to mean ‘a right to choose’. The association with feminism stems from the fact that from time immemorial, women were largely denied the same opportunities and choices as men. Instead, conditions of life were imposed upon them. Taking examples from pre1970’s Ireland, a woman could not keep a public
sector job once she got married, nor could she buy or use contraceptives or even chose to drink a pint in a pub. As such, a fight for the right of women to choose the trajectories of their own lives has been and still is a core aspect of the feminist struggle for gender equality. In the context of the present day, ‘choice’ is most strongly associated with a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and control over her reproductive health. The argument is frequently made that women are in the best position to make decisions about issues that directly and specifically affect them. Women are seeking a right to choose, rather than be dictated to, and to have that choice respected. The idea of ‘choice’, however, is central to all aspects of a liberal feminist ideology, from high-level political agendas, to a woman’s choice on what she wears. Unfortunately, though, it seems that this broad idea of a woman’s right to choose has begun to be narrowed into a woman’s right to choose as long as it fits in with a specific conception of what it means to be a feminist.
Why International Women’s Day left a bitter taste in my mouth By Teodora Bandut International Women’s Day came and went, and I must say that it left me with a bitter taste. Where I grew up in Romania, the day is conflated with Mother’s Day and the day would never go by without the offering of at least one flower to every woman and girl of the household by the men in the family or a male friend. The beginnings of the celebration have roots in the achievement of women’s suffrage in Russia, with the inevitable overspill into the neighbouring territory of Eastern Europe. In the last 10-15 years, the adoption of Western holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Hallowe’en has been slow but very determined in my parts, with little sign of reversal. The Americanisation of culture, as many like to call it, is palpable and very much unstoppable. You can imagine my delight to see that, for once, in the case of 8 March, it was the converse. In light of numerous drives for the recognition of women’s struggle in their gender roles in the past year, ‘International Women’s Day’ was more prominent than I’d ever seen it in Ireland. Unfortunately, I fear that the message of appreciation of the women in our lives was heavily distorted here. An overview of the media that day from Newstalk contributions all the way to Facebook statuses would yield tired condemnations of the patriarchy and numerous other familiar refrains. To say that these lack in validity would be a gross miscalculation. Instead the issue is with the execution. The 8 March is a celebration of womanhood, and to use it to amplify a dissatisfied and - dare I say - antagonistic sentiment simply did not sit right with me. Yes, I am a feminist. I strongly believe in the enduring necessity of the movement and I stand for all of its tenets. However, using this day to promulgate already well-known grievances missed the mark in my view. To better illustrate my intention, I will offer the example of the latest activity by Galway radical feminist group, Díobháil, a
group who in the past dropped a banner with abortion facilities information from the Cathedral. In the early hours of 8 March, Díobháil pasted posters onto several businesses they alleged were “implicated in” the #MeToo movement. “#MeToo comes to Galway,” a Facebook post publicising the event read, encouraging us to boycott three local businesses as they alleged a co-owner had committed sexual assault. However, the posters and the post on the group’s page about it all were largely unenlightening and without any evidence of the assaults. If you ask me, the vigilantes stayed true to their slogan “We make mischief” by causing more harm than good. The victims of the alleged assaults had not come forward and the group had taken it upon itself to act on International Women’s Day. Aside from social turbulence and dubious legal ripples, the radical group achieved little else. Without any kind of context, Galwegians are left in the dark, confused, suspicious and annoyed. This is not how justice is brought about. We should encourage victims to speak up and tell their stories with level-headed balance. We should try to make understood the fine lines of sexual aggression and listen, calmly, to stories of their violation. Social change will not come about via mischief in the early hours of the morning. I would go a step further and state that the occurrence has also had potential to create a deepening of animosity between a laudable feminist movement and its public. Its opponents now have free reign to claim that this epitomises the likes of “femi-nazis”, who incite hostility and self-righteously point fingers without a thought about engagement of the nay-sayers. Women deserve this day of praise and affection. And this is what it should be. A day where the struggles are recognised indeed, but also an appreciation of how far we have come, to celebrate womanhood and its conquests, big and small. Let’s leave out the anger at least for a day.
This attempted limitation of choice was evident in the recent controversy surrounding Jennifer Lawrence and a Versace dress. At a photo call in London for her film Red Sparrow, Lawrence chose to wear a Versace dress that was both low-cut and split to the thigh, while her male co-stars chose to wear coats and boots. Apparently, however, this was not a choice at all, but instead a submission to the patriarchal ideals of what women should look like and a clear illustration of gender inequality. The tweets that generated the debate came from Helen Lewis who stated that the photo call picture was “such a quietly depressing (and revealing) image” and that “true equality means either Jennifer Lawrence getting a coat, or Jeremy Irons having to pose for a photocall in assless chaps.” Clearly the sentiment was that Lawrence had let the female side down for wearing revealing clothes on a cold day, thus conforming to the ‘male expectation of female nakedness’. In reality, the female side had let down Jennifer Lawrence by ridiculing her choice and comparing her to a group of men: a distinctly anti-feminist, patriarchy-perpetuating sentiment. The core of the problem at hand here is something that I have encountered time and time again and that continues to baffle me. For some reason, many men and women seem to operate under the assumption that the choices women
make, or the actions they take, are always done with the opinions of men in mind. I have had several men and women make statements along the lines of ‘I don’t know why you put such effort into your makeup, most men don’t even like it anyway’ or ‘What does it matter what shoes you wear out tonight, boys won’t be looking at your feet’. In the case of Jennifer Lawrence, the statement seems to be ‘she only wore that because she felt that’s what men would expect her to wear’. Allow me to burst a bubble here: women’s choices are not made with the sole purpose of pleasing men. Nor are they made for the sole purpose of pleasing other women. We are perfectly capable of making choices purely for our own sakes, and if we choose to wear make-up, or high heels, or a low-cut dress, it’s because we like how it makes us look and feel, for ourselves, not for anyone else. Jennifer Lawrence herself responded sharply to the criticism, labelling it offensive and sexist, and undermining of her own individual choice. She loved the dress, felt good in it, wanted to show it off, and so she chose to. True equality is not Jennifer Lawrence wearing a coat, or Jeremy Irons posing in “assless chaps”. True equality is men and women being afforded the same level of respect for the personal choices they make about their own individual lives.
March 21 2018
How Michelle Obama showed us the importance of diversity
A new style of teaching – PE a welcome addition to Leaving Cert cycle
By Olivia Hanna
By Gary Elbert
Two-year old Parker Curry has gone viral after her mother posted a photo of her admiring Michelle Obama’ portrait. The portrait, which was unveiled last month, is located at The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., USA. Following the media explosion surrounding the photo, young Parker got to meet her idol in person. A video was released showing Curry and Obama dancing and singing along to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’. But Parker didn’t just go viral because she’s cute, she went viral because the photo her mother took perfectly encapsulates the need for diversity and inclusion in every aspect of life. Without the portrait Parker’s trip would have been boring and hardly educational, she’s only two after all. Having seen the portrait Parker went home knowing that someday she could be featured on those walls as well. In her speech during the reveal of the portrait Obama said, “I am also thinking about the young people, particularly girls, and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place, and they will look up, and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American institution.” It didn’t take long for this to ring true. But why is this important? Haven’t we made so much progress in the way of diversity and inclusion? Yes, in
the past 100 years the western world has come so far, but the work isn’t done yet. Following this example, only one out of 45 US Presidents have been black, same with First Ladies. This doesn’t provide the best example for young children who are beginning to develop dreams and aspirations and who are figuring out their place in the world. Without diversity and without proudly showcasing diversity, children like Parker may not realize their potential and may not believe that there is space for them to be strong, powerful, and influential. So many young and talented voices may be afraid to be speak out because they worry that it may not be heard, simply because no one who looked like them has done the same. Some people have scrutinized diversity efforts because they believe they only pander to people who deserve it. But there are plenty of people from minority groups who possess incredible talent or potential for greatness if only given the opportunity. What diversity is is progress, and progress is what we strive for every single day we go to school or work. Michelle Obama’s portrait planted a small seed of progress that is growing in Parker and countless other young black women. Someday these young women will bloom and share their gifts with the world, propel us into the future, and continue to plant more seeds.
A polarisation seems to exist in society. Not the haves and the have nots but rather the ones who go to the gym merely to tell people they go to the gym and those who go and don’t care whether anyone knows they are there. The latter group now feel pressure to be more vocal because of this dynamic. Meanwhile, far beyond this world of selfies and idealised nonsense, removed from the image on Instagram that you spent a half an hour editing, reports are consistently coming in of a rising obesity crisis among children and adults. How is this even possible when there are now nearly more gyms per capita than public houses, one might ask. The fitness industry has exploded replacing the Catholic Church as a source of regular worship. There must be more personal trainers in Galway than Jack Russell dogs now. Physical Education is to become an official Leaving Cert subject, the Department of Education has recently announced. Oh, the dreaded PE class, where undoubtedly some got to feel an extra layer of inadequacy. However, PE as a proper subject is in fact fantastic news. The question is how it will be taught, examined, assessed and monitored. The plan seems promising. A diverse range of activities and subjects such as rock climbing, jazz dance will be available. Coaching, performance, and choreography elements are also included in the cur-
riculum. A digital aspect will facilitate a new type of learning in Irish secondary schools encompassing self-assessment through digital presentation. What is striking about the plan is its diversity. This, in theory, goes far beyond the traditional stereotype of Physical Education in Irish schools. The days of a middle-aged man sucking on a Marlboro barking orders at sullen faced farmers’ sons seem to be over. For some that may be a pity, but this programme is aiming to include as many aspects of the burgeoning fitness and more importantly wellness industry. “I never had the opportunity” was a familiar refrain from previous generations. The rigidity of our education system in times past churned out many inflexible and damaged young people. If you were no good at hurling, soccer or rugby, well, you had no business getting involved in the PE class. In fact, the teacher could often deliberately alienate those who did not fit into standard archetypes of athletic proficiency. Thus, the 6ft full back was treated like a king but the skinny awkward-moving student who later went on to be a yoga master received short shrift. That’s the nature of bad systems. Founded on inflexible models and alienating those who exist beyond it. With this announcement the Department has seemed to grasp the need for more inclusive and diverse methods of encouraging young people to fully appreciate the gift of their bodies. The potential for optimal personal development has greatly improved.
10 O PI NIO N
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
Positive discrimination is still discrimination – BUT WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREVENT IT? By Grace Kieran Early in 2018, tech giant Google faced a number of lawsuits regarding discrimination against, wait for it, white male former employees. Such attempts to diversify their workforce have in fact, led to many lawsuits, including one from Arne Wilberg, who claims that YouTube illegally used quotas to hire more female, as well as more black and Latino engineers. Wilberg claims he was fired because he discovered and criticised this practice, which was allegedly covered up by recruiting managers. A white male claiming discrimination may sound like an SNL sketch, but quotabased hiring is a serious issue,
especially with large companies like Google. Quotas treat candidates for jobs as though they are stock in a supermarket. Depending on which minority they’re told they are “running low” on, they will prioritise potential employees according to their need to boost the “variety” of their “produce”. Not only do quotas define everyone by their race, they diminish their merits too. Yes, diversity is incredibly important but it is also in a business’s vested interest to hire the most skilled workers regardless of their heritage. Hiring someone based solely on their race to improve statistics on an annual diversity report is dehumanising. Tech giants
like Google are successful because they are skilled with numbers, and quotas allow them to treat their workers like statistics – something they can manipulate and alter to achieve a good-looking, politically-correct average. Positive discrimination is an attempt to create a workplace in which no voice is unheard, and each corner of society are represented. However, this utopia fails to assess circumstances - maybe there is only one job on offer but there’s three minority boxes to tick. Yet still, the candidate with the most convincing portfolio is a cis-gendered white man who has experience using your company’s coding when no one else
has. While teams definitely benefit from a multitude of perspectives, those perspectives are useless if they are not armed with the qualifications required for the job. The problem does not start, or end for that matter, in the interviewing process. It’s a much larger issue that confronts intersectionality and internalised racism. Wilberg claimed that Black and Hispanic engineers were being favoured at YouTube, whilst those minorities make up a measly 4 percent of Google’s tech employees. Why then, when they are allegedly using positive discrimination, is the percentage still so low? Arguably, the opportunities minorities are given are
far fewer than their richer, whiter counterparts – for instance college scholarships or tutoring which could open doors into big companies like Google. If from the pool of candidates with the same skillset there’s fewer minorities, mathematically it is less likely that a minority will be hired. If we establish that quotas are out of the question and hire based on merit, then how do we keep a diverse workforce? Ultimately it is the early lives of these candidates that shape their opportunities in later life. That is where the change needs to take place. The schools, the councils, the colleges need to take the responsibility of giv-
ing opportunities to poorer neighbourhoods and marginalised groups. To ensure that upon entry to that quota-free interview many years later, it is a level playing field. When you think of successful international companies, Google is almost definitely in your top five. Nevertheless, these suits reveal a discomfort amongst its workforce and call into question what responsibilities employers have regarding representation. Plainly, quotas solve the problem on paper but in practice they dehumanise candidates and unskilled workers will end up slowing down business. This is not a numbers problem, it’s a social and psychological one.
Little Mix star sparks cultural appropriation row with dreadlocks – and the anger is justifiable By Mark Laherty
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Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson stirred controversy with a February 19 Instagram post showing off her new dreadlocks. Some called her out for perceived cultural appropriation while many fans defended her, saying that anyone should wear their hair how they like. ‘Cultural appropriation’ is a term that’s thrown around a lot on social media nowadays. What exactly does it mean? Is it oversensitivity or a valid claim? Cultural appropriation is the use of elements of one culture by people from another culture. Most commonly, it’s considered objectionable when white people, as the privileged group, take elements of another culture. The well-known example of this is dressing up as a gypsy, geisha, or Pocahontas for Hallowe’en. While it may seem trivial to some, these issues affect people in real ways. In America, black people have been fired for wearing such braids. One common counterargument is that there are more important things to worry about. Are people just looking for reasons to be offended? Well, it’s not as if we can care about only one issue at a time. By that reasoning, there would only be one issue in the world, the One Worst Issue, and that would be the only thing we’re allowed to care about.
Another counterargument is that the things we call cultural appropriation are just showing appreciation for another culture. Where does the line fall between appreciation and appropriation? Does it matter? Franchesca Ramsey of MTV’s Debunked said that to truly appreciate another culture, you need to have respect and understanding for it. Take the example of tribal tattoos, where we can see a different kind of cultural appropriation at work. The Maori of New Zealand have facial tattoos which they have assigned cultural significance to for
generations. Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier used the tattoos in advertisements to sell sunglasses. “Now, that’s a perfect example of cultural appropriation,” said Ramsey. What we’re seeing here is a wealthy white person taking another culture’s serious symbol, stripping it of any significance or meaning, and using it to sell a product instead. The controversy started by a Little Mix pop star has its roots in the systemic, material exploitation of black people by white people. Just because it’s not deliberate or conscious exploitation doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
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March 21 2018
NÓS MAIRE ACHTÁLA
LOST LOOKS: 80’s New Wave Craze By Brigid Fox This week’s Lost Looks musical genre is difficult to sum up in a single word. Composed using an array of genres and instruments from electro to punk with guitars and keyboards, “new wave” was a genre like no other.
New wave’s musical origins date back to the late seventies but its real popularity began in the early eighties following bands like Duran Duran, Talking Heads and The Police. As it moved away from the rhythm and blues of the 50’s to the disco pop-punk generation it was not an easy genre to tie down, much to listen-
David Byrnes, the lead singer and guitarist of Taking Heads made serious waves (pardon the pun) with his iconic Big Suit. This humorously oversized suit jacket with grand shoulder pads gave many curious fans something to talk about.
er’s liking. Since then and in recent years many alternative bands attempted their style of music like the Killers and other 00’s bands. The new wave inspired look in this piece gives an unconventional depiction of the vibrant pop 80’s style that we more frequently relate this decade to. Sporting some similar traits of 70’s glam rock and being the inspiration for further goth and punk musicians, new wave music has earned its rightful place in this Lost Looks segment. As the beginning of dance and postdisco music took hold with pop legends like Micheal Jackson, Prince and Madonna at the helm, it is no surprise another genre grew from their inspirations. Far beyond the mainstream pop and bright coloured bangles of the 80’s formed new wave music. Both in fashion and music, new wave’s style was cool and electrifying but often pretty blurry when it came to specific musical characteristics. It was a genre of new sound and alternative ways of expression, making it still so relevant today. Geoggrey Himes in his article What new wave brought to Rock ‘n’ Roll claims that this genre took “elements of rock and roll along with seventies rhythms and blues” and turned it into something unique. As far as the fashion goes, there can be definite links between these inspirations and the styles of famous new wave musicians like our first band, Talking Heads. This American band are well known advocates for new wave music, with hits like “Burning down the house” and “Psycho Killer” that infiltrated an obscure take on pop, funk, rock and punk. David
Byrnes, the lead singer and guitarist of this four-person band made serious waves (pardon the pun) with “ignoring the so-called stylistic and fashion rules” with his iconic Big Suit. Seen on their 1983 tour and documentary Stop Making Sense this humorously oversized suit jacket with grand shoulder pads gave many curious fans something to talk about. This fashion statement was not so much a comical endeavour but also took a parting stance with stereotypical fashion at the time. It can also be seen to be a nod in the direction of 50’s rock and roll that made the oversized suit jackets so iconic. Duran Duran had similar styles of fashion, including their coiffed hair and leather jackets although nothing seemed quite as visually controversial as Byrne’s Big Suit. Speaking of Duran Duran, their hit “Hungry Like the Wolf” is often considered the most impressionable piece of new wave music that could sum up this genre. Agreeably, their music had its own generational impacts and with their fashion sense, Duran Duran offered a slightly more punk feel that many alternatives. With punk and goth becoming popular in the late 80’s and further into the new wave sound, the infamous performers The Cure had their own experiences with influencing fashion and music. This British band offered more that what was expected from the vibrant 80’s, giving listeners and viewers dark colours, big static-shocked hair and exceptional tunes. In regards to fashion, the Cure wore dark, patterned shirts accompanied with dark make up and red lips - a quick glimpse into the many later looks of alternative bands like Bright Eyes.
The modernised look in this issue gives focus to a darker and alternative side of 80’s music and fashion influence. This checkered, oversized jacket is a favourite of mine since its purchase of just €8 in COPE Galway, a charity shop located just off Eyre Square. Its inspiration is taken most predominantly from Talking Heads but can also has elements taken from Duran Duran. Another person of interest in the fashion of this genre is Cyndi Lauper, a musician known for her chart-topping hits like “Girls just Wanna have Fun” and “Time after Time”. Although her sound doesn’t entirely correlate with new wave, her style of big multi-coloured hair and eccentricity definitely reflect this look. With that in mind, big bold hair is an essential part in this recreation, not forgetting bright eyes and red lipstick to add some colour to this look. The checkered dress gives a more feminine touch, as checkered styles were frequently seen on The Cure and Elvis Costello. This is a mellow look for this genre, and it could be made more dramatic with heavier eye make up, the strong presence of leather and a whole mountain more of shoulder pads. The musicians and bands of this new wave phenomenon gave music an alternative sound that produced some amazing hits and styles that didn’t just end in the eighties. Decades on, there are still elements of this genre that are taken and made better, fashion included. Once again, the connection between a musical genre and its influence socially show that there can be wonderful inspiration from our creative past.
HOW TO STYLE: THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS By Brigid Fox Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel once said “one is never over-dressed or under-dressed in a little black dress”. The little black dress has forever been a popular phenomenon in the fashion world for its adaptivity and versatile look. Regardless of individual style or preference, this piece can be transform into any fashion look with the right accessories and shoes. The dress in question is from New Look at the amazing price of €19.99 and is shown being styled in two distinct colours. “Pretty in Pink” is our first look contrasting with the dark colours of the dress with bright, playful pink shades. This is followed by a more intense colour collaboration called “Midnight blues” with a lot darker tones and grunge elements.
LOOK ONE: PRETTY IN PINK
Dusty pink oversized coat, Prettylittlething, €28 Pink velvet heeled sandals, Missguided, €41 Morphe liquid lipstick, Beauty bay, €11.80 Candy pink clutch bag, Prettylittlething, €35
LOOK TWO: MIDNIGHT BLUES
Black biker jacket, Missguided, €61 Black barely there sandals, Missguided, €30 Navy faux fur cross body bag, New look, €19.99 NYX liquid suede cream lipstick shade: Stone fox, Boots, €9
14 FA SH I O N & L I F EST Y L E BEST DRESSED AT THE OSCARS: 3 standout looks By Kate Farrell
Saoirse Ronan may not have won an award (sigh), but she wowed on the Red Carpet. Known for her gorgeous, understated style, she did not disappoint at the Academy Awards. Saoirse chose pared back makeup, chic hair and an elegant pale pink Calvin Klein ensemble. The result was an angelic look, which suits this down to earth, outspoken and all round lovely Irish cailín. Could we possibly love her more? JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Jen
took a different tone, choosing a mysterious, sultry look. Her sexy, tousled hair was paired with a smoky makeup look and a red lip. The main event was the shimmering golden Dior pre-fall gown. She looked every inch the bold, confident and mischievous woman that we know and love. J-Law can do no wrong! GRETA GERWIG:
Lastly, we have to talk about Greta Gerwig. As well as being one of the most talented female creatives on the circuit right now, she is also stunning – a fact highlighted by her sunny, beaded Rodarte gown. The powerhouse director glowed in this bright look, keeping her makeup and hair simple to let the statement dress do all the talking. What a ray of sunshine, in every way.
Should we stop scrolling and start phoning? By Áine Kenny
The 90th Academy Awards was all about the girl power, both on and off the Red Carpet. Gone are the all black looks of Time’s Up, replaced by a celebratory rainbow spectrum of gorgeous dresses. Here are some of our favourite looks from the night.
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
Social media has undoubtedly changed the way in which we communicate. Gone are the days of hour-long phone calls after 6 o’clock and screaming at people to get off the internet while manually pressing buttons on a non-portable phone. Even pieces of furniture have become obsolete, with telephone chairs now gathering dust, and a shiny white broadband modem sitting proudly in the place of a telephone. But is our rapid back and forth on Facebook messenger the same as sitting down and taking the time to speak to someone? Most of us are on our phone while doing something else, like watching tv, eating, attending a lecture - admit it, we have all done it. We are not devoting our entire attention to the person we are speaking to, unlike when we chat to them over the phone. Tone and facial expressions, both vital parts of communication, are lost when we text. We often misconstrue what other people mean- a jokey text can turn into a hurt very quickly. Not
to mention the effect technology is having on our face-to-face interactions. According to a study conducted by UCLA, children who are deprived of screens are better able to read facial expressions compared to their peers who continue to spend time on their phones. Clear communication can never be achieved via a jumble of words and emojis on a screen. Social media is also a space where negativity is not shared, everyone projects their “best self” online. Pictures of people attending the gym smiling, snaps of them with their significant other captioned #blessed, the glamorisation of messy nights out by filtering faces with sliding make-up; this is all accepted practice online. Because of this, we might not see what is really going on in our friends lives, they could be struggling, and we are duped by the happy photos they share. We need to remember to meet up in real life to see how people are really doing. No one is going to broadcast their problems online. However, social media has brought about some positives. The invention of
video calling has brought joy to many families separated by emigration. Years ago, letters were the only form of communication. Now, doting grandparents can see their grandchildren grow up by scheduling regular Skype calls. Skype and video calls online are free, no matter the distance, which means families can afford to talk as they are not burdened by a hefty phone bill. Many people have also found love on Tinder, as unbelievable as that sounds. It is easier to meet people through an app than it is to pluck up the courage to chat them up in a bar. There are pros and cons to the controversial dating app… does it commodify love? Is it very superficial, considering that our judgement whether to swipe or not is based on a short bio and a few pictures? No one’s true personality can be gleaned from their online persona. I believe that while social media has changed communication, it has not necessarily advanced it. Nothing beats a good phone call, or even better, an old-fashioned chat over a cup of coffee.
Styled by the Stars: ARIES By Amy McMahon
Hello Aries, it’s your month! Focus on your personal development and aiming for the stars. Be daring, be you. Your fellow Aries sisters Emma Watson, Lady Gaga and Reese Witherspoon ignite passion among many women worldwide, and you should follow in their footsteps. Enjoy this month and do it in this stylish number, ideal for whatever challenge this month throws at you. As a fire sign your sense of style should be no different, forever fiery and bold. Try this red denim skirt fresh from Topshop (€40), paired with black and white Vans (€74.32) available from ASOS, and throw on a Pretty Little Thing black bomber jacket (€15) for a finishing touch. Casual and cute. Best of all, this on trend and oh-so-Aries Sassy slogan tee from Missguided (€18) really pulls the ensemble together.
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16 FA SH IO N & L I F EST Y L E
By Tarryn McGuire
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Tiger, whose main threats are poaching and deforestation. Other species include the Burmese turtle, the northern weasel maki, the Java rhino, the eastern black crested gibbon, the kakapo, the California condor, the saola, and the Anegada iguana. The French brand made only 1,775 polo shirts in total, retailed at $185 each. Though the shirts have new animals, the exact same embroidery approach as the historic Crocodile was used to create each one, in the same green colour too. While the Save Our Species polos are sold out, if you’d still like to contribute to the worthy cause, you can still donate via the Save Our Species website.
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In an effort to raise awareness for endangered species, sports fashion brand Lacoste has swapped its distinctive crocodile logo for one of 10 threatened animal species on a series of limited-edition polo shirts. The purpose of this new design is to bring attention to the global state of biodiversity. The species represented on their polo-shirts are sadly facing extinction. “For the endangered species of this world, the crocodile abandons its ancestral place,” said Lacoste, who had previously never changed their green croc since its debut 85 years ago. The limited-edition collection titled Save Our Species marks a three-year partnership between Lacoste and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The limited-edition polo shirts, feature endangered animals such as the Sumatran Tiger and the Anegada Rock Iguana. The limited-edition shirts were launched during the brand’s runway show at Paris Fashion Week on 1 March and as you can guess, they sold out immediately. One of the most amazing ideas involved in this new design is that, for each species, the number of polo shirts produced corresponds to the number known to remain in the wild. The most limited run features The Gulf of California porpoise, of which there are only 30 left in the wild. 350 polos were made featuring the Sumatran
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Easter in Ireland used to be a grim affair. Sure, there was way more chocolate in the Easter Eggs back then but getting them meant sitting through 40 days of Lent. Fortunately, the Easter Bunny has appeared in stores quite promptly this year compared to days gone by so why not treat yourself or your mates to the best pastel knick-knacks the shops have to offer? Unfortunately, chocolate does your skin no favours. If you’ve trying to avoid a break-out, get your sweet fix through make-up instead. Draw attention to your best features with the I Heart Revolution Surprise egg-shaped eyeshadow palette in ‘Dragon’ (€7.18, tambeauty.com). Still hungry? A new range of chocolate-inspired cosmetics is coming soon to Penneys. Word on the street is that they’re a great dupe for Too Faced.
Flying Tiger is one of Denmark’s greatest contributions to the world, alongside 25% of Metallica and Cocio chocolate milk. As you’d expect, they have a raft of adorably useless Easter tat in-store, including a rabbit touch-activated lamp (€8), tea-infusers and wine-stoppers (€2), fuzzy chick and bunny notebooks (€3) and, er, slime-filled chicks (€3). Although that last one probably only appeals to Youtubers. Who says you can’t have party crackers at Easter? Certainly not Tesco, who are flogging special Easter-themed ones for €4. They also have a range of knick-knacks for the home, including grassy rabbit statues (from €4) and a rabbit plush and mug gift set (€6.50). Be the most stylish guest at the egg hunt by stashing your finds in this colourful handbag from ASOS (€21.62). Add a faux-fur pompom bunny keyring from Penneys (€4) and you’ll be hopping with delight.
By Marie Coady
Lacoste replaces iconic crocodile logo with 10 endangered species
Easter gifting inspiration
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
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Bacardi, Mint, Lime, Brown Sugar and Soda
Bacardi, Lime, Sugar and pick your ﬂavour from Stawberry, Passion Fruit or Blueberry
French Martini CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: I Heart Revolution Surprise egg-shaped eyeshadow palette; Penny's chocolateinspired cosmetics; a selection of Flying Tiger's "adorably useless Easter tat"; Tesco's Easter-themed party crackers; some Moser Roth Single Origin Easter Eggs; colourful ASOS handbag; and Penny's pompom bunny keyrings.
Smirnoff Vodka, Raspberry pureé topped with Pineapple Juice
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March 21 2018
OSCARS 2018: fan service or social movement? By Anna Doyle While 2018’s Academy Awards ratings hit an alltime low, there was much to say, and much to be said, at and about the awards show. This year’s Oscars marked the 90th occurrence of the ceremony, with Jimmy Kimmel returning to host on Monday 5 March. While Saoirse Ronan and Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner were nominated for Best Actress and Best Animated Feature Film respectively, the Irish viewers were left dismayed when both contenders didn’t win, both for their third time. The Shape of Water took home this year’s Best Picture award, a story which follows a mute, warm-hearted cleaner played poignantly by Sally Hawkins in her heroic appeal to save her aquatic lover. The Academy’s choice has faced a fair amount of backlash as it feels like they’re almost playing up their audience. We want more equality and representation, we say - so here’s a film with a female lead, one black person and one gay sidekick. We want less of a glorification of unworthy straight white male characters - here’s an archetypal antagonist who’s all those things. While Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird and Get Out had elements of topical and important politics (forbidden homosexuality, feminism
and racism respectively), these movies didn’t incorporate them all at once. While not denying that the representation of all these minorities is a wonderful thing and much-needed in Hollywood, the fact that they were all merged in The Shape of Water gave the movie less time to focus on the importance of each issue, or struggle, as well as losing out on time to develop much-needed characterisation. All a bit shapeless, one might say. Due to this, it made what the characters were representing feel less important, less easy to empathise with, and made the objective less clear. Alternatively, in the three nominees mentioned above, the themes of a forbidden gay love, feminism and racism, were outlined and focused and fantastically engaging in each of these films. The direction was clear in each movie, making them, in many opinion’s, superior to The Shape of Water. While the #MeToo and ‘Time’s Up’ movements were to the forefront of our minds this Oscars season, and while the Academy insist they’re widening their horizons to be more gender and race inclusive, the promise seems to be slow to flourish, and the general worry is that all the proactivity is all for appearances.
While the absence of James Franco at this year’s ceremony, along with his nomination ‘snub’ for The Disaster Artist, was a massive relief after countless allegations of sexual misconduct, we must remember that only last year Casey Affleck, star of Manchester by the Sea, won the Best Actor award. Affleck, who has settled two 2010 sexual harassment lawsuits against him, is for many a figure who very much encapsulates an anti-hero of the ‘Time’s Up’ movement. Yet he was being celebrated and rewarded little under a year before the movement became a worldwide statement. Affleck did not attend this year’s ceremony, and the media are assuming he was attempting to avoid any backlash from the movement. While, like Franco, there is definite satisfaction in his absence, and that the Time’s Up movement is sparking implications for those who have committed wrongs that have been overlooked for so long, the Academy still invited him to present the Best Actress award, something tradition dictates. The element of irony is almost sickening. A spokesperson for Affleck said that “[he] did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category and that is why he made the proactive move.”
Meanwhile, the celebration of a new generation of actors which preceded the Oscars seemed to ferment upon the arrival of the ceremony. Timothée Chalamet, breakout star of fervid drama Call Me By Your Name, was overlooked as winner in the Best Actor category in favour of Gary Oldman, the veteran Hollywood actor. The argument that has been gaining attention is that of the fact that Oldman has ‘been around for longer’, and that Chalamet aged just 22 has plenty of time in his career to win the Oscar. It is impossible to know the true reason behind the choice of the Academy’s board, but the possibility of ageism is difficult to neglect. However, the general consensus of audiences is that Chalamet deserved the award above Oldman, even if it was his first nomination, due to his outstanding performance. The apparent drop in interest of viewers this year was, in many respects, disappointing. There was so much to offer: the ‘Time’s Up’ campaign flourished under the bright lights of the Academy’s show, and the faults of the Academy itself continue to be recognised and amended by public upheaval. But ultimately if the public neglect to care, where do we go from here?
Peanut Butter Oreo
Banana Cream Pie
18 A RT S & E NT E RTAIN M EN T
SIN Vol. 19 Issue 11
By Olivia Hanna
By Javier Ruiz
The Drama Society’s production of Carthaginians has been selected to represent NUI Galway at the Irish Student Drama Awards (ISDA) in April. The event which is being held at UCC this year features plays from across Irish college campuses that are then judged based on categories such as Best Play, Best Director, Best Actress and so on. The plays are selected by three adjudicators who view each university’s plays for the year. They then select what they believe to be the best plays to present at the 10-day long awards festival. Carthaginians originally ran at NUI Galway in October of 2017. The play was written in 1988 by Irish playwright Frank McGuinness. It is set in a Derry graveyard following Bloody Sunday, with seven characters wandering about the headstones as they “talk through their lives and troubles, through the troubles in the North”. “It’s funny, but there are heart-
felt moments,” Director and Third Year Performing Arts student Jess Harkin summarized. While most of the original cast will reprise their roles during the ISDAs, Harkin was tasked with holding auditions for their one vacant role. Sarah Dervin who originally played the character of the same name, Sarah, is in Philadelphia as part of her college course. Fortunately, Harkin managed to re-cast Sarah who will now be played by Julie Quinn. Quinn is very aware of the historical context of the play, as she hails just a half hour away from where the play is set. “I decided to audition for Sarah because I think she represents what a lot of people were feeling during the troubles,” she told SIN. “She is bitter and resentful, but you can tell she’s quite fragile underneath. “I live 30 minutes away from Derry myself, so I’m very aware of northern history and have heard
loads of old stories from them times. Therefore, I think Carthaginians really represents Derry as a whole. It displays an array of emotions which is accurate to what people were experiencing and feeling at the time of the troubles. I think the rawness of this production is what separates it from other plays. It’s also light-hearted and funny. You can’t beat the Derry wit.” Director Harkin has been involved in Dramsoc for the past year and a half, and she is optimistic about their success. When asked if they have a strong chance at victory, she replied with an assured “definitely”. NUI Galway still face stiff competition at the ISDAs against challengers UCD and Trinity’s DU Players. Last year UCD took home the most awards including Best Director, Best Ensemble, Best Overall Production, and Best Supporting Actor. DramSoc won’t know what awards they are nominated for until after they have performed at the festival.
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To prepare themselves, the cast will be getting straight to work rehearsing two to three hours a day, three times a week, for the next two weeks. Closer to the competition they will likely rehearse every day. Not only will the cast and crew be rehearsing non-stop, but they will also have to juggle college work. While Carthaginians explores Bloody Sunday’s impact on the people of Derry, it was also one of the first Irish plays to present the topic of homosexuality, which McGuinness manifested through the character of Dido. “I hope that the play does well at the ISDA’s because there are so many talented people involved in this production. Hopefully their hard work and talent will be commended. I just want to have fun and hopefully make some new friends,” remarked Quinn. “Actors have put their heart and soul into the play,” Harkin reflected. “I’m proud, happy, and blessed to have worked with such a great cast.”
DramSoc play Carthaginians picked to perform at Irish Student Drama Awards
There is a hummingbird that has just learnt to sing, Such a pretty little thing hopping and flying free. Sharp moves going up and down, left and right, For it flaps its wings eighty times per second at least. It shouldn’t be here looking for nectar, It is not the season, though they might say otherwise, For all plants and flowers of the garden are dead. It must be here for something else. I will open the window fully, so it can speak to my robin. Peer Gynt is starting to ease and the small creature approaches slowly, Let them talk, let them speak, let them share all their memories, One is caged but properly fed with no risk of being hunted to death. One is free, a nomad looking for someone to whistle with. Thus, I wonder, if caged birds truly sing, Or if they lament their imprisonment with screams. So I will open the gate, and set it free. Now two birds sing to each other, for they have one another To fly with.
March 21 2018
Could the end be near for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal? By Luke Gannon Arsene Wenger has been on the receiving end of four consecutive defeats for the first time since 2002. Having once been recognised as the best manager in World Football, the Frenchman is now expected to finally be relieved of his duties. Having served the Gunners for 21 years, Wenger has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He has won three Premier Leagues and seven FA Cups during this time. His greatest moment came in 2004 when the club went the whole Premier League season without being defeated. The “Invincibles” will always be imprinted in the memory of every Premier League aficionado. For many Arsenal fans, Wenger’s rule will be remembered as being both the best and worst of times. Recent years has seen the former Monaco manager receive a lot of justified criticism. The side currently lie in sixth in the table and trail local rivals, Spurs by 13 points. However, could the impressive showing by the side in the Champions League save Wenger’s bacon? In terms of what is next for this season, Wenger may still have a chance to stay. In the unlikely event that the FA Cup holders win the Europa League, Wenger may be allowed to honour his contract which expires in May 2019. Defeat however could mark the end of his time at the North London club.
Having lost the Carabao Cup final to champions elect City and being dismantled by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, domestically speaking Arsenal’s season has evaporated. Sixth place will be enough to grant the side another year of fixture packed Europa League football. On analysing the side’s current form, the team still has ability going forward. Despite the loss of Chilean International, Alexis Sanchez, the prolific Pierre Emerick – Aubameyang is a suitable replacement. The major issues undoubtedly lie with the side’s defence. Mustafi’s reaction to a push in the back against Sergio Aguero, show just how soft the Arsenal back line has become since Tony Adams and Sol Campbell moved on. One could also make the argument that Arsenal’s defensive players simply are not good enough. Petr Cech is clearly past his best while Mustafi, Chambers, Monreal and Koscielny haven’t been up to par. One could also argue that Hector Bellerin and Maitland-Niles are overly offensive and fail to focus more on their conservative duties. Potential additions to the Arsenal backline could be Stoke City’s Jack Butland. Despite experiencing every goalkeeper’s worst nightmare by letting the ball slip through his hands and into the goal in the side’s recent defeat to Leicester, Butland still looks like a potential England no.1. In terms of defenders, Harry Maguire at Leicester continues to impress as does
Michael Keane at Burnley. The aging Vincent Kompany could be brought in to add some much needed leadership and solidity to the Arsenal penalty area. A new holding midfielder may also be crucial in returning to the top of the English game. The likes of Steven N’Zonzi of Seville or the unlikely steal of Victor Wanyama from nemesis Spurs could make all the difference in finally bringing the glory days back to the Emirates. Jack Wilshere has played well this year but was recently labelled as “the most overrated player in history” by Republic of Ireland assistant coach Roy Keane. Santi Cazorla continues to recuperate from injury while Granit Xhaka has ignorantly persisted in getting sent off on a regular basis Up front is the only positive of the current squad. Aubameyang is a world class striker who may actually be regretting his move having been offered to Chelsea by previous club Dortmund. Playing in a similar style to that of Thierry Henry, one would love to see the former front-man manage the Gabon international and oversee his development into a Premier League star. Lacazette has shown a poacher’s instinct while Ozil’s passing coupled with Mikitarayan’s powerful running, has left hints of what could be an exhilarating Arsenal front four. Many names have been circulating regarding who may step in to steady the ship if Wenger leaves. Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Maximiliano
Allegri, Luis Enrique, Brendan Rodgers, Joachim Low, Leonardo Jardim, Steve Bould, Eddie Howe, Ralph Hasenhüttl, Diego Simeone and Thierry Henry have all done the rounds. In terms of who should take reigns, many may argue that Bould, Henry, Howe and Hasenhüttl don’t have the credentials or experience of managing a top club. Rodgers performed poorly at Liverpool following the departure of Luis Suarez and both Leonardo Jardim and Antonio Conte have had underwhelming seasons following their respective league wins with Monaco and Chelsea. If the board take the view that the Wenger football philosophy must be followed, Luis Enrique would undoubtedly be the man to appoint. Having won nine out of a possible 13 trophies in Catalonia he has the credentials. Unfortunately for Arsenal, Enrique has been reported to have agreed to take over at Chelsea at the end of the season should Conte be fired. Alternatively, Eddie Howe’s creative style of play at Bournemouth could be a nice fit. He has also got the crucial experience of managing in the Premier League. One may feel the side need a more pragmatic boss. The kind of guy who doesn’t allow Manchester City to put three past you in consecutive fixtures. Both Allegri and Simeone have displayed their tactical astuteness by reaching two Champions League finals each with Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
Conte may also fit the bill here but he has been continuously linked with a return to international management with his beloved Italy, where he may feel he has unfinished business to attend to. All in all, former AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti looks the best fit. His counter attacking style of play saw the Blues win the Premier League and FA Cup double back in 2010. In doing so, they recorded a record breaking 103 Premier League goals with a further 45 goals manifesting in other tournaments. Ancelotti has also revealed that he fancies a return to the Premier League but has also been linked with a return to his former club. Ancelotti was recently sacked by Bayern Munich after some poor domestic displays and a dire 3-0 hammering at the mercy of PSG. What better way to bounce back than to rebuild Arsenal football club? Realistically speaking, Ancelotti, Allegri and Simeone look like the three most suited to the role. Other managers simply lack the experience and credentials required while others are linked with alternative jobs. The question is, if Wenger is to be axed and that is still a big if, who will have the courage to step up and attempt to end Arsenal fan’s nostalgia of the Highbury heydays? I’m sure this is a topic the British media will be keeping us well informed about throughout the coming weeks and months.
Poppies and ribbons showing sport still plagued by politics and religion By Mark Lynch It’s often the go-to rhetoric of the governing bodies of the most popular sport on earth that sport and politics don’t mix nor do sport and religion. However, technically that’s a slight misdiagnosis. The truth is that they’ve been intertwined since the inception of the game. Whether we like it or not, many clubs and international teams have been concocted simply because of political and religious views. On the island of Ireland, we know all too well how much politics and religion can impact games we love. One need only look to some of the broadcasting pillars of Irish soccer in Liam Brady and formerly John Giles to hear how they were shunned by the Christian Brothers
schools because of their choice to play the sport they wanted. To those Christian Brothers, the young boys’ choice was them opting out of the Irish sports to participate in sports that came from the land of the Black and Tans, the tyrannical oppressors of Irish society for hundreds of years. Whether you want to find some irony in that is up to you but regardless, in reality it was just a couple of young lads who found they were particularly good at a sport they loved and could make great lives for themselves. Sport has mixed and still does mix with politics and religion but not in a pleasant way. Another pillar of Irish soccer at the moment, albeit on the field rather than off it, is James McClean. He’s found himself in trouble with the FA in the past with regards to his refusal to wear the poppy
on Remembrance Day. The poppy for the UK is a memorial symbol, acknowledging the deaths of millions of soldiers in the name of Her Majesty abroad. Therefore, the English Premier League still place a significant amount of importance on it along with the other marks of respect for their fallen compatriots down through the years. That’s understandable and perfectly reasonable. This brings me on to the main point of this piece because for Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, the yellow ribbon he’s been sporting on his jumper has the same importance. He views himself as Catalan first, Spanish second. The ribbon is a symbol of his support for pro-independence politicians in Catalonia, that’s all. He’s not using his post-match interviews to chant anti-Spanish rhetoric
nor is he wearing t-shirts with derogatory slogans on it. However, the FA have a problem with it. Their reason? According to FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn in an interview with The Guardian; “it’s a symbol of Catalan independence and I can tell you there are many more Spaniards, non-Catalans, who are pissed off by it”. Meanwhile he dismissed comparisons with the poppy because “we have rewritten Law Four of the game so that things like a poppy are OK but things that are going to be highly divisive are not”. Would it be fair to reason that some people are “pissed off” by the poppy? Would it be fair to say it’s “highly divisive”? There are certainly parts of Derry from which James McClean hails that would have words slightly more vulgar than that for it.
Glenn posed the question himself; “where do you draw the line?”, and it appears he may be still a tad confused by his own policy on the matter. The poppy may not be divisive in England, where 19 out of the 20 teams reside, but is that the difference? The Catalan ribbon isn’t divisive in England either. Surely, if there are going to be Spaniards that are any way annoyed by Guardiola’s actions, they would be annoyed at him and not at the Premier League, at the FA or at England in general. He has pointed out the ribbon could be interpreted as a political symbol, whereas the poppy isn’t. James McClean has made it clear that it is a political symbol for him though so the question remains Mr. Glenn, where do you draw the line?
President's Cup Highlights
Pictured are the senior ladies Soccer & Gaelic Football teams during the President's Cup.
The Tag Rugby event was a big hit with all the different faculties present at the President's Cup event.
Members of different colleges participated at the Glow in the Dark Dodgeball event.
The Cricket Club enjoyed a successful opening round to the President's Cup with lots of action, fun and games.
The Frisbee Club added to the spectacle and showed up in big numbers for this event.
Lots of NUI Galway students were on the run battling it out to win the President's Cup.
President's Cup Fun Walk/Run 5K in association with the rowing club.
Prof Donal Leech Dean of Science
The President’s Cup Final Results 1st place – College of Science with 54 points 2nd place – College of Arts with 49 points 3rd place – College of Engineering with 40 points 4th place – College of Medicine with 35 points 5th place – College of Business with 30 points Over 200 people participated in the first ever edition of the President’s Cup. The College of Science won this sporting event and will receive the prestigious trophy and a €2,500 match-funded cash prize from sponsors the Bank of Ireland and the Sports Unit.
The NUI Galway Sailing Club hosts intervarsities in Kilrush NUI Galway winners of the event of the year awarded by the Irish Universities Sailing Association.
The NUI Galway sailing club had a fantastic event in Kilrush Marina for the IUSA Intervarsities. Well done to all participants.
Pictured are members of the NUI Galway Sailing Club who enjoyed a successful weekend competing for NUI Galway.
This event which was initiated in 1983 is the highpoint of the University Sporting Year, and celebrates the splendid achievements of our sporting heroes during the past year. APRIL 19, 2018 6.30 PM REFRESMENTS 7:00 PM PRESENTATION BAILEY ALLEN HALL
Enjoying the sailing event at Kilrush are members of the NUI Galway Sports Unit.
The NUI Galway Sports Unit congratulates our clubs on their successes!
The NUI Galway Junior Football team had a super win last week at Dangan sport grounds. The college men defeated AIT in the Connacht final. Congratulations to all involved.
NUI Galway Basketball Club defeated Ulster University Jordanstown to win the NBCC Menâ€™s Division One League with a score of 79-62.
The NUI Galway Archery Club took silverware at the Irish National Indoor Championships held in the National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown March 11.
RoisĂn Mooney was crowned Senior National Archery Champion in the Senior Women's Recurve division.
After two months of qualifiers, the singles and mixed Galway Badminton Championships came to a head during finals March 11. NUI Galway had a large showing with finalists in grades H,E,D, and C. Robert Kenny and Eva De Jong clinched the title Grade H mixed final convincingly in two straight games. The next event for the NUI Galway Badminton Club is intervarsities.
The NUI Galway Junior Rugby team won the final J1B home game of the seasonin Dangan 52-20 Vs Dunmore.
March 21 2018
NUI GALWAY MEN REIGN SUPREME IN ALL-IRELAND BASKETBALL FINAL By Graham Gillespie It was jubilation for the NUI Galway Men’s Basketball team on 14 March as they emerged victorious in their All-Ireland final clash with Ulster University Jordanstown to win the NBCC Men’s Division One League. The Corribside team clinched the title by 79 points to 62. Captain Patrick Lyons was named MVP on the day. NUI Galway had run out 14-point winners over Griffith College Dublin in what was a high scoring All-Ireland semi-final in the Kingfisher on March 8. These two sides were involved in a thrilling league final last year which NUI Galway edged
79 – 77. This time around however it was a much more one-sided affair as the defending champions, led by Eoin Rockall who scored a game high 36 points, convincingly prevailed. Unlike the rest of the game the first quarter was surprisingly low scoring. Griffith College got off to the better start with Conroy Baltimore proving to be a forceful presence in the paint, although the visitors were still struggling with their shooting. The home side were also having difficulties but after lights out shooter Eoin Rockall hit back to back threes, they grew into the game. After a first period which left the match tied at 10 – 10, the game erupted from an offensive point of view. The perimeter shooting from both
sides was especially impressive as they combined to score nine threes in the second quarter alone. Rockall, who would have nine threes on his own by the end match, added three of NUI Galway’s five in the period with captain Patrick Lyons and Thomas Mikkus adding the others. On the other side of the court, shooting guard Charlie Coombes hit three threes himself as he notched up 11 second quarter points after going scoreless in the first. Griffith College were also still a threat inside as Baltimore was able to consistently find his way to the basket at the low post. NUI Galway held a slim four point lead at the midway point with the score 38 – 34, but in the third quarter the Charlie Crowley and Tiernan Dempsey coached outfit pulled away.
Rockall again was at the heart of the Corribsiders surge as Kenny Hansberry and Keegan Ryan also got pivotal baskets from within the paint. Griffith College had seven players in their squad and offered little resistance. Only Oisin Kerlin and the consistently dangerous Baltimore were a threat offensively in the third quarter. It was clear there was no way back for the visitors and with 6:40 left to play the men in maroon had a comfortable 20 point cushion. Another sign that the white flag was raised was when Griffith College coach Dave Baker withdrew arguably his two best players (Coombes and Baltimore) midway through the fourth quarter, looking ahead to the final round of Super League fixtures that took place the following weekend.
Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker preview By Gary Elbert The heavyweight division has caught fire again we are told. Wilder, Fury, and Joshua, a triumvirate of superstars injecting a shot of pure ephedrine straight into the dead heart of a division that lost its soul somewhere along an autobahn circa 2008 eventually ending up as a roadie for a reunited hair metal band playing a garden centre in Stuttgart. Joshua leads the cellular rejuvenation, the catalyst for a rapid conglomeration of sparkling neurogenesis, attracting the wild, the addicted and the terminally insane around his pugilistic palace like bees to a broken jar of Manuka honey. It’s safe to say Joseph Parker won’t have to worry about neurogenesis while he is in the ring with Joshua. Parkers wits need to be in optimal condition to avoid the avalanche of destruction coming for his poor brain. Think about it. A six foot six 18 stone man wants to repeatedly smash his fists into your face, and not only are you aware of this frightening fact but you feel the same. That’s a form of true love if ever there was one.
Luckily for Parker a good pair of running shoes and a solid guard should be enough to see him exit the ropes without the need of an oxygen mask or a stretcher and possible neurogenetic advances in his future. The question is can he maintain the pace required to throw the odd punch out of range while running away from Joshua? Can he throw in a few desperate haymakers as the big man’s muscles frantically gasp for oxygenation? And will it be enough to provide a competent semblance of an equal contest? Parker looked terrible against Hughie Fury in quite possibly the worst heavyweight title fight ever. It was so bad it was broadcast live on YouTube, striving to capture a share of the 9/11 conspiracy market. Promoter Mick Hennessy stated You Tube was the future of boxing broadcasting, but ultimately the fight failed to go viral on You Tube. Parker looked horribly pedestrian and flat footed against the limited Fury. Yet in a game of boxing bingo we can adjudge Parker may possibly extend Joshua, simply because he has a win over Carlos Takam who provided some stiff resistance to AJ on short notice. Luckily for Joshua he has the size and appeal to crossover into the land of the mainstream, where
potbellied men with delusions of Carlton Leach after a drink or two are more than happy to provide analysis for Joshua’s performances. Joshua could arrange a fight with a hamster and you can be guaranteed some surging UK grime artist will be leading him out hawking up phlegm into a gold plated microphone, emerging into a heaving stadium as a grey bearded Dizzee Rascal looks on approvingly. 50,000 fans will still somehow enjoy their Saturday night watching Joshua lumber and stalk a thoroughly bemused Parker around the ring. Each time Joshua pauses to take a breath will give the punters time to get to the bar and back ,as Parker isn’t bringing anything of interest into this contest beyond a World title belt that he has no right to be within 100km of. In times past if sub standard journey men even looked at a world title belt a restraining order would be immediately ordered. But that’s modern heavyweight boxing. Theatre over substance. A soap opera with bad singing, not a ten-episode box set that etches its place in entertainment history and spawns an army of geeks. On the other hand, Parker may just replicate the Takam approach and make it appear competi-
tive. If Parker can show some intelligent feints and movement and a willingness to counter hard with twos, threes and fours while the big man is gasping for breath, the crowd will get their money’s worth. In other words Parker needs to show what Mick Hennessy hallucinated last year live on You Tube. Parker needs to show “shades of Ali”. Joshua is beatable. He is a muscle drone, functional but rigid. A concoction fresh off the Ivan Drago conveyor belt. He is an evil Bond villain’s idea of how a champion should be constructed. In short, he is a marketing dream – the PR perfectionism-superior race comments notwithstanding –but he is struggling to mask the technical defeciencies and cardio vascular fragility of late. Why not strive to shave some of that muscle off? Either way it’s a Joshua win unless his cardiovascular system surrenders under the strain of all that protein and the big man drops in the centre of the ring like a heroic bullet riddled soldier crawling back to base after a shootout. However there’s no denying these are interesting days in the landscape of heavyweight boxing. PREDICTION: Anthony Joshua to win on points.
VAR should be a force for good at the World Cup By Luke Gannon Apart from slating managers and out of form players, video assistant referee (VAR) is the next most heated debate in 21st century football. In the Premier League a team seems to be robbed of points every weekend due to bad refereeing decisions. The majority of referees seem to lack the fitness levels required in order to keep up with the play and can’t always view game incidents with 100 percent accuracy. Living in the technological revolution, it seems logical to take full advantage of the miraculous services available to us. For years Rugby, Baseball and Tennis to name a few have used the system to wonderful effect. There is never a wrong decision in the latter and rarely a poor call in the former two. The Badminton World Federation have also followed suit and have implemented the challenge system we see in Tennis with delightful results.
In 2016 the international football associations board (IFAB), approved the trial of VAR. The A-League in Australia was the first nation to implement the system in a professional match. A correct yellow and red card were issued thanks to VAR intervention. The Major Soccer League in the USA applied VAR during the 2017 season. The Bundesliga is the highest profile league to avail of this service. It has been subject to much criticism of late due to its lack of rapidity and for often unveiling grey areas within the sport. Not all decisions become clear through the use of VAR. Perhaps a revision of the footballing rule book is what is really required. The FA Cup also implemented the new technology this year. Much uproar was caused by Juan Mata’s goal being overruled in the side’s recent 2 – 0 win over Huddersfield. Some pundits believe there is an unofficial margin for being offside. The rule book however clearly states otherwise.
Through the years, there have been several cases poor refereeing. The two examples that always spring to my mind are the Champions League semi – final second leg matches between Roma and Dundee United back in April 1984 and the second leg clash between European heavyweights, Chelsea and Barcelona in 2009. Numerous clear-cut penalty claims were denied to the Blues while it was later revealed that Roma had bribed the referee prior to the penultimate clash in Rome. Both issues would have been resolved by VAR and in the case of the Blaugrana, would have denied the so called greatest team of all time their Champions League title. In terms of the World Cup, so many teams have felt hard done by whilst competing to lift the Jules Rimet Cup. The English experts who are putting VAR down should really be rejoicing at the news. Have they forgot Maradona’s “Hand of God” or Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal against Germany?
In the last World Cup final, Manuel Neuer somehow stayed on the pitch as Lionel Messi was denied a deserved World Cup title. Columbia will also be relieved at the necessary changes after they were beaten by the referee rather than Brazil in the 2012 World Cup quarter final. David Luiz’s consistent fouling of tournament star James Rodriguez was clear for all to see. The referee was later labelled the “worst ref I have seen in the last ten years” by Diego Maradona whilst speaking on his TV show “De Zurda”. He went on to say that both Julio Cesar and Hulk should have been shown red. For all its apparent failings, VAR will ensure that Russia 2018 is not decided by a bad refereeing decision as it was many times in the past. No rule breaking will decide the fate of teams who have worked so hard over the past four years to try and fulfil the hopes of their nations. The least they each deserve is a fair decision-making process.