SIN Vol. 21 Issue 3

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NUACHTÁN SAOR IN AISCE VOL. 21 Issue 03. 08 OCT 2019

Student Independent News


NUI Galway becomes University of Sanctuary By Mark Lynch NUI Galway has become a designated University of Sanctuary, a movement aimed at promoting the inclusion of International Protection Applicants, refugees and Irish Travellers within the community. The movement is a product of the Places of Sanctuary Ireland (PoSI), which is a network of groups in local communities, which share the objectives of promoting a culture of welcome and inclusiveness across Irish society for those seeking international protection in Ireland. The University of Sanctuary initiative encourages and celebrates universities, colleges and institutes, which welcome refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants into their university communities in meaningful ways. The University of Sanctuary steering committee at NUI Galway also includes the Irish Traveller community in its remit, with a focus on the promotion of Irish Traveller culture as an innate and positive element of Irish society, and to address the low levels of participation at second-level and third-level education amongst Irish Travellers. President of NUI Galway, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, welcomed the designation, announcing the value he places on the initiative. “The University of Sanctuary responds to many issues that affect and

animate Irish society today, including the promotion of meaningful integration for Ireland’s newest communities, breaking down barriers to education, and eliminating discrimination in all its forms. It is also an exemplar of our values as they have emerged in our university strategy, in particular our values of respect and inclusiveness. As such, our designation as a University of Sanctuary is a distinctive signal of the character of NUI Galway, seeing ourselves as part of and not apart from our wider society”. Leo Snygans is a student here at NUI Galway and has directly benefitted from the University of Sanctuary initiative, which he describes as “a programme of hope”. He added, “As an asylum seeker, or, in more fancy language, an International Protection Applicant, I personally benefit from this beautiful initiative. I won’t go into details, but tell you just a little bit from my journey of life. Coming from circumstances and places that we do not choose, we have to make a lot of hard decisions, the most important of which is fighting for our lives. I was very alone and I felt not worthy, like a second-class human, due to the struggles the world put on my journey”. Leo is also aware of the trouble people can have on the way to getting to where he is, “Believe me; it is very hard going through the process and feel-

Students’ Union President, Clare Austick, and Officer for Welfare and Equality, Brandon Walsh, letting their voices be heard at the recent climate protest in Eyre Square. See page 6

ing excluded, due to a lot of red tape. Coming to a new country is very challenging and being treated almost like you committed a crime. The only crime committed is trying to be safe. I will embrace this moment and be part of a country that is not perfect, but embraces all to be free and equal, as it supposed to be for all citizens of the world. Every day is a new day and I take it step by step, and I try to use my voice for all the other fellow refugees stuck in difficult circumstances. I am one of the lucky ones, as many other refugees struggle to overcome the barrier of language and are stuck in the middle of nowhere, which makes it impossible to integrate with society”. The movement’s placement within the University’s Access Centre gives effect to the commitment to broaden access to university education from under-represented groups, while the involvement of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), and its approach to civic engagement, ensures that this initiative is sustained well in to the future, through the promotion of continued student and staff engagement with the initiative. Leo Snygans expressed his deep appreciation for the Access programme itself to SIN, saying, “A few months ago, while staying in the direct provision centre here in Galway, I met a lovely gentleman from the University of Sanctuary, who helped me apply for the Access course here at NUI Galway”. He continued, “I will not call out any specific names, but just want to say what a wonderful group of souls those who fight and live for the heart of humanity in the Access office. Thank you from my heart. I joined the programme two weeks ago, coming from a minority and fighting for my survival, and I got embraced into a wonderful new family with such care and love”. Leo wants to see others treated with the same acceptance and tolerance that he has been shown in this programme. “People from all spectrums put humans in boxes. The face of the refugee has no specific colour, or look. A refugee is the person, maybe, sitting next to you. As a species, we should embrace our diversity, which is our strength, and not our enemy, as preached by confused souls. I could write a book about all of my life experiences, but I will quote the words from Professor Anne Scott, Vice-President of Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway: “Education is an enormous force for the good, it transforms people’s lives and opportunities”. President Ó hÓgartaigh finished by adding, “On behalf of our University community, I look forward to working with all of our communities, to make Galway (city and county) a ‘Community of Sanctuary’ over the coming year”. To celebrate the official designation, NUI Galway will host a designation ceremony on Thursday, 21 November.

NUI Galway research reveals how social media overload affects third-level students By Caoimhe Killeen. The J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway has published a study showing a link between “social media overload” and overall academic performance at third level. “Social media overload” refers to the feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted by the amount of consumption on social media channels. The year-long study was conducted on business students in NUI Galway, as well as business students from Finland and the US. The research implied that “FOMO” (fear of missing out) is a key factor in triggering social media overload. Students who suffered more from an overload had an overall weaker academic performance. Findings also concluded that this constant overload significantly reduced students’ self-control when it came to tasks such as completing assignments, studying or taking part in extra-curricular activities. A high level of social media engagement, such as switching between different apps constantly, or taking part in multiple WhatsApp group conversations, was shown to require an amount of energy and cognitive thinking that would sufficiently impact a student’s ability to concentrate on their work. According to Statista, half of the Irish population currently rely on social media as their sole source for news stories, with the most popular social network being Facebook, which was also shown to be the most popular social media network worldwide, with approximately 2.4 billion monthly active users, followed by Instagram, who hold host to one billion monthly active accounts. Statista also projected that, by 2022, the share of monthly active Facebook users would reach around 2.92 million, roughly fifty-seven per-cent of the overall population, with the overall share of users across all social networks set to reach seventy per cent of the population. The amount of smartphone users in Ireland was also estimated to reach 4.06 million, with a growth rate of nearly 79 per cent. “Social media overload is becoming an ever-increasing problem in modern society, so it is important to understand its causes and consequences” said Dr Eoin Whelan, lead author of the study and Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems in the J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. “Our study finds that people who have a high fear of missing out, or “FOMO” in modern parlance, are more likely to suffer social media overload. They will also perform less well academically, as being constantly bombarded by social media depletes the self-control needed to study diligently and develop one’s career. The insights from our study can be used to develop targeted cognitive and technological interventions to mitigate social media overload, for example through self-control training, and the development of emotion sensing technology which adapts automatically when a user is becoming overloaded.”

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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03


‘Break the Barriers’ campaign won’t be hampered by weather setback 4 Galway Guide leader awarded prestigious Explorer Belt accolade 5 Global Climate Protest 2019 6 Are napping pods coming to campus? 7 Homelessness epidemic in Galway City 8 Karl and Max: the underrated heroes of Wellbeing Week 9 Mature Student Diary 10 Student startup company offers rewards for job-hunting students 11 Diving through the Worm Hole of the Aran Islands 12 Rave for the Rainforest 13 Innocent intentions 14 September and Christmas décor? Scandalous! 15 How can we save the Amazon rainforest? 16 The character assassination of Greta Thunberg 17 Decorate your college bedroom in style: how to make your student house into a home away from home 18 Beauty Brand Reviews: Maybelline & Clinique 19 Travel Junkie: Budapest 20 A Weekend in her Style: Vanessa Hudgens 22 What’s on in Galway 24 What do you meme there are no aliens? 25 Wholesome Viewing 26 Live Review: Inhaler, Róisín Dubh 26 September 2019 27 Is there any way for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring back the heydays of Manchester United or has the experiment failed? 28 Is 16 too young to be playing top level football? 29 Galway United 2019 season review: The kids are alright 30 WIN €25 SU CARD CREDIT*: Crossword Competition 31

EDITOR: Mark Lynch LAYOUT: Shannon Reeves An bhfuil rud éigin le rá agat? Cur litir chuig an Eagarthóir chuig

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Welcome to the brand-new issue of SIN! It’s our third of the year already, which means you’re almost halfway through the first semester of the academic year 2019/2020. We’ll park those kinds of scary thoughts until Halloween, which, ironically, is also coming up eerily quickly. For the moment, the weather is getting colder, the evenings are getting shorter, and there’s a sense that a dastardly influenza is waiting for you around every corner. October is here and it’s back with a vengeance. However, this issue is your shining light, an avenue of escapism that you don’t have to feel one bit guilty about taking, because you’re also informing yourself of all of the happenings on and around campus. Whether you’re eager to learn about the latest news that’s affecting the students of NUI Galway, looking to immerse yourself in stories of human interest, seeking challenge your own views and open your mind to new ones, searching for tips on how to look and feel your best, keep yourself in the know about the biggest upcoming events around Galway, or keep up with the

latest in sport, this is the paper for you. That’s without even mentioning that our Crossword Competition this week gives you the opportunity to win a whopping €25 in credit for your SU card, to be used around campus at any of the SU outlets, but not on any alcohol or tobacco products. I know you weren’t going to be using the money on that anyway, you’re above that, but just a little reminder. The SIN team is growing and it’s a pleasure to read through all of the excellent material sent my way for every issue. New writers bring fresh ways of writing, vibrancy and energy into each section. I can safely promise you that this is an enjoyable read the whole way through, no matter where your interests lie. Despite not knowing the foggiest about fashion, Catherine Taylor’s lifestyle and fashion section has educated me to no end on a whole world that I barely knew existed. Check out Megan Frei’s piece on the Green Carpet Awards for a fascinating look at how fashion is encouraging creativity and sustainability. In matters much closer to home, Aoife Burke brings us a

humbling look at the homelessness crisis in Galway City. While most of us can look forward to a roof over our heads and a cup of tea in the evenings when the weather worsens at this time of year, it’s important to remember that many do not have such luxuries and, tragically, it’s the kind of misfortune that can happen to almost anyone. Our sport section is also brimming with new, talented writing, as Shane Lynch brings us some insightful analysis into the fiasco that Manchester United have turned into. Having supported them for over 15 years, many of Shane’s words strike a particular chord with me. A sincere thank you to all of our writers for this issue, the paper would be quite boring, and approximately one-page long, without you. Go raibh míle maith agaibh!

Local Galway student is first in Ireland to take part in global neuroscience competition By Paddy Henry Galway student, Michael Flaherty, has become the first Irish student to participate in the Brain Bee World Competition. The Brain Bee is a neuroscience competition aimed at students in the later stages of their second-level education and draws 30,000 students annually from over 30 countries. Michael, who is currently a 6th Year student in Coláiste Éinde in the city, qualified for the tournament in South Korea after triumphing at the first Irish Brain Bee Competition, which took place in NUI Galway and was conducted by Galway Neuroscience, a community of academic staff and researchers. The Irish leg of the competition attracted students from schools across Galway City. Event organiser, Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, John Kelly, stated last

week, “We are delighted to have got this competition started, and Michael will be a wonderful representative for the international competition”. Michael’s biology teacher, Emma Dalton, expressed her delight with Michael’s achievements, telling SIN, “When I found out about the first Irish Brain Bee, I asked him to participate, as I knew he was a hard worker with an interest in Neuroscience. I was so impressed with Michael and his classmates that took on this challenge, as we had not even covered the nervous system in class yet and they signed up to learn a whole book on neuroscience! I just wanted the students to have an opportunity to take part in this unique competition, but I was beyond proud of them when they took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the quiz. I am grateful to NUI Galway for hosting the competition during brain awareness week. The college always put on some great activities during that week and

the Brain Bee was no exception. Hopefully the competition will continue in Ireland for many years.” The man of the moment, Michael, spoke of his delight at being able to compete internationally in such a prestigious event, stating, “The road to competing internationally at the International Brain Bee World Championship in South Korea has been challenging, but I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to compete. Biology, especially neurobiology, has always piqued my interest. Learning more and contributing to further development in these fields is an aspiration of mine which this competition has definitely supported. This experience has been absolutely amazing and I am grateful to the people who have helped me along the way, mainly my biology and chemistry teachers, John Kelly and my family and friends, especially my fantastic sister Elizabeth who will travel with me.”


October 08 2019

NEWS EDITORIAL by Paddy Henry Welcome back, readers! Issue 3 of SIN is packed full of news stories from around campus for you to feast your eyes upon, or skim through at your leisure. First and foremost, I would like to give a sincere thank you to everybody that contributed to the news section for this issue. Without you, SIN wouldn’t be what it is today. This issue of SIN includes the news that Places of Sanctuary Ireland have appointed NUI Galway as a designated University of Sanctuary, as reported on by Mark Lynch. Mark also gives us the story on how the NUI Galway Students Union-backed Break the Barriers campaign won’t be hampered by the cancellation of last week’s protest march, on account of Storm Lorenzo. Students Union Welfare Officer Brandon Walsh talks to SIN this issue about their upcoming Wellbeing week. Fergus Efe O’ Donoghue brings us a report from an Irish Research Council-funded European Cultural Identity workshop, which took place in the University last week. The renowned J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics has made four major professorial appointments; Harry King has all you need to know about that great news inside. Kuntal Sammader brings us a report from the landmark Climate Protests, which saw students across the world flock to the streets in their droves for the good of the environment. Elsewhere, Alice O’Donnell investigates the potential for nap pods to be rolled out on campus, while Caoimhe Killeen reports on a study conducted by the University on the impact of ‘social media overload’ on students. If all that isn’t enough, we have plenty more inside! As always, if you have a story that you feel needs to be told, or are interested in writing for the best Student Newspaper in the country, just send me an email at We would be delighted to have you!

FEATURES EDITORIAL by Shauna McHugh Hello everyone! Welcome to issue 3 of SIN, and what a fantastic issue it is. Third time’s the charm, as they say. Although, I must say that everyone in team SIN gave us plenty of charming content in our previous two issues as well, so I’m not surprised they’ve pulled it off yet again. We have plenty of new voices in our features section this week. I’m very lucky to have such talented writers on board, and you readers are lucky to get to read their work for free! I have no doubt that some of the writ-

ers featured on these very pages will soon be writing for national papers, or that we’ll be blocked by pesky online pay walls the next time we want to read their latest musings. They really are that good! In this issue, Matthew Geraghty fills us in on the biggest controversy in television at the moment, and provides a thought provoking insight on the escalation of cancel culture. Meanwhile, Aoife Burke’s excellent piece highlights the severity of homelessness in Galway, ahead of World Homeless Day on Thursday. Saoirse Higgins also introduces us to an inspirational second year student who is saving the rainforest by raving in the Roisin Dubh, while Shane Lynch examines the possible effects of a proposed crackdown on cheap alcohol deals. History students won’t want to miss Jody Moylan’s latest Mature Diary, where he beautifully recounts a visit to Bosnia. Meanwhile, Fiona Lee shares her Canadian adventures with us in her Erasmus Diary, while readers of all ages can relate to the struggles of college life that Sadhbh and Aoife share with us in the Final Year and First Year Diaries. Speaking of college struggles, our editor Mark Lynch has found the perfect cure! Don’t miss his piece about the library’s adorable therapy dogs, who are all paws on deck for Wellbeing Week. Those are just some of the highlights of Issue 3, so read on for much more!

OPINION EDITORIAL By Anastasia Burton Hi, I’m Anastasia, the opinion editor for SIN! I invite you to visit our opinion section and plunge yourself into the various topics which we have in store for you this week. We have topics you can enjoy and feel more aware of what is going on around us. Are you concerned about climate change and fast food waste? Read on to find out more. Are you worried about students going out too often and getting too drunk? We also have an opinion article for you! Maybe you were inspired by Greta Thunberg? We happen to have a piece about her too! We also have an opinion piece on the shocking use of victim’s underwear as evidence in sexual assault trials, which may cause distress for some readers. Christmas stock plaguing your vision, even though its only October? We got that too! If you’re interested in saving the rainforest, we have more for you inside as well. At SIN, we enjoy hearing about what the students of NUI Galway think and feel, and the opinion section just happens to accept any interesting opinions



you might have. Don’t feel shy about sharing your opinions with others, because, chances are, there will be somebody who was thinking the same thing but was just as shy as you were! Each issue I get fantastic submissions from students in different faculties all over the University, so, with each release of the SIN paper, you get a sea of various opinions on various topics! We look forward to seeing you in our section!

LIFESTYLE & FASHION EDITORIAL by Catherine Taylor Hello again, everyone! It’s hard to believe that it’s October already, where has the first month of the semester gone?! By now, I hope you’ve all settled back in to college life and that the first few weeks of the new term have treated you well. As always, if you’re looking to get involved with SIN, please drop me an email at lifestyle.sined@gmail. com. The fashion and lifestyle section is always looking for more budding fashionistas and beauty buffs, so don’t hesitate to get in contact. This week, our issue is full to the brim with a good balance of fashion, lifestyle and beauty content. For starters, Megan Frei covers the Milan Fashion Week ‘Green Carpet Awards,’ an event that celebrates sustainable, ethical practices in an industry focused on fast fashion. In a similar vein, Amy Blaney discusses another key moment from Milan Fashion Week: Jennifer Lopez’s reincarnation of her iconic 2000s Versace green dress. 19 years later, why does the look remain one of the most infamous moments in fashion history? Read on to find out. Elsewhere, we have a new feature called Beauty Brand Reviews, where SIN’s resident makeup mavens take you through the best (and worst) of an individual brand’s products. This week, we’ve treated you to reviews of makeup brand Maybelline and skincare brand Clinique, ensuring that you spend your hard-earned cash wisely next time you’re looking to stock up on beauty products. A Weekend in her Style is back once again, and this week our sartorial subject is the cool, collected streetstyle of ‘High School Musical’ actress Vanessa Hudgens. We also have a new addition to our Travel Junkie section, as Fergus Efe O’Donoghue provides a comprehensive guide to holidaying in Budapest. Finally, Anastasia Burton gives you all the tips and tricks you need to decorate your college bedroom in style. After all, your college room is your home away from home, so why live out of a suitcase? Enjoy the issue!


ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITORIAL by Sarah Gill Time really flies when you’re having fun. Fun, in this case, refers to panicking over upcoming presentations and the general perils of final year life. If you’re also experiencing this kind of craic, I feel you. Perusing the many pages of SIN is always a great way to unwind, or at least to further your procrastination efforts in the library. In this issue, the arts and entertainment section is absolutely crammed with personality. Within each review be that film, gig or television series - all opinions are expertly expressed, and I’ve got a whole lot of television and music to catch up on! Sadhbh Hendrick penned a fabulous ode to all of RTÉ’s wholesome television offerings; programmes which could best be described as a warm glass of milk, a cosy blanket and a kiss on the head. There must have been something in the air, because our Creative Corner is almost fit to burst. With exquisite poetry and a superb short story, your curiosity is sure to be peaked and you may even be inspired to get some of your own pieces published. I think I speak for each person who contributes to SIN when I say that seeing your name in a byline is always a great thrill, so if you’ve never experienced that - you know where to send your masterpieces!

SPORTS EDITORIAL By Darren Casserly Hello again, everyone and welcome to the third issue of SIN. It has also been quite the fortnight for sport, with the Irish rugby team showing us that there are plenty of sports in which to disappoint the Irish public. As always, there is plenty to look forward to in this issue’s sports section. Darragh Nolan previews what looks to be an unpredictably exciting new season in the NBA. Harry King looks at Ireland’s chances in the World Athletic Championships in Doha. Daniel Brennan looks at the problem of racism in the modern age, while Shane Lynch takes an in depth look at Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer experiment. Shane Lynch also writes about how old you have to be in order to play top level professional football. I review what was a very up and down season for Alan Murphy and his Galway United side, while Lisa O’Dowd puts the club spotlight on the mountaineering club. Finally, I would just like to thank everyone, especially the new writers, for their contribution and if you have any ideas for any sports articles, or just want to write for SIN, you can email me at

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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

CLIMATE JUSTICE: whose responsibility is it? By Sadhbh Hendrick A public lecture series on climate justice, co-hosted by the Ryan Institute and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, has commenced in NUI Galway, with the first of the free public lectures on the theme of Climate Justice having taken place on Monday, 23 September. This series features prominent activists and marked a week of global action on climate change.

Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, was involved in the co-ordination of the lecture series and spoke of the importance of climate justice in today’s world, stating, “Climate justice is an urgent equality and human rights concern. Human rights lawyers and advocates need to hold states to account for the continuing failure to meet our legal obligations on climate change, and our obligations

to future generations to address this issue now. We need to use the tools of human rights law, and the skills of human rights movements, to mobilise and to demand change, urgently and without further delay. Environmental destruction is a human rights issue of our age”. Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, Charles Spillane, who was also involved in the landmark event, said: “The 500 researchers

in NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute are all deeply engaged in research and innovation activities to transition to a more sustainable future. Climate change and climate justice transitions are central to such sustainability pathways in Ireland and globally. Sustainability transitions will require transformative changes at scale across our societies and economies”. “It has been estimated that the richest 10% of the world’s population are responsible for almost half of total lifestyle consumption emissions. At the other end of the income scale, the poorest 50% of people on the planet are responsible for only 10% of total lifestyle consumption emissions. While contributing the least to causing the climate change problem, it is the poorest & marginalised in our societies that are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts and shocks”. Professor Spillane added: “As the world’s leaders assemble for the Climate Action Summit in New York, there are

major action challenges to be addressed relating to distributive justice to strengthen the resilience of the poorest and marginalised in society. While ‘leaving no one behind’ and ‘reaching the furthest behind first’ has been a clarion call of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, it remains to be seen what scale of climate justice actions will be deployed by our governments and institutions towards such ambitions”. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, opened the event. Speakers at the first event included Niamh Garvey from Trócaire, Sadhbh O’Neill from Climate Case Ireland and Stop Climate Chaos, Green Party European Election Candidate Saoirse McHugh, Movement of Asylum seekers in Ireland Representative Bulelani Mfaco, Eddie Mitchell, campaigner for ‘Save Leitrim’ and ‘Love Leitrim’, and Kaluba Banda, Irish Aid Fellow and candidate on NUI Galway’s award-winning MSc Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. The event coincides with several key events in Ireland and abroad, including the United Nations Climate Action Summit, the Global Climate Strike and the High Court judgment in Friends of the Irish Environment CLG v The Government of Ireland, Ireland and the Attorney General (‘Climate Case Ireland’).

‘Break the Barriers’ campaign won’t New appointments for the increasingly successful J.E Cairnes School of Business be hampered by weather setback By Harry King NUI Galway has recently announced four professional appointments in the J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics. Professor Esther Tippmann was appointed professor of Strategy, Leadership and Change, Professor Jonathan Levie was appointed professor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Professor Alma McCarthy who was appointed professor of Public Sector Management and Professor Kate Kenny was appointed Professor of Business and Society. Professor Esther Tippmann, who previously taught at UCD and was a Research Fellow at Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, has researched the area that resolves around strategic challenges of global organizations, which include multinational companies and scaling or high-growth ventures. She is currently a Senior Editor for “The Journal of World Business” and is also involved in editing “The Journal of International Business Studies and LongRange Planning”. Professor Jonathan Levie, who was previously a professor in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, is an expert in entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurial growth and he hopes to provide leadership across NUI Galway’s eco-system of

By Mark Lynch

entrepreneurship and innovation. He has held research and teaching jobs in London Business School, Babson College, INSTEAD (Graduate Business School) and University College Cork. He is also the current head of a research and innovation committee for the Global Research and Innovation Committee. Professor Kate Kenny has held a research fellowship at both Cambridge and Harvard University. Kate’s work and research focuses on identity, affect, power and whistleblowing. She has co-authored the books “Understanding Identity and Organizations” and “Whistleblowing: Toward a New Theory.” She currently serves on the editorial board of two FT50 journals. Her work has been in published in a range of journals that include “Organization Studies” and “Gender work and Organizations”. On the other hand, Professor Alma McCarthy’s area of expertise involves public sector leadership and human resource development. Similar to Professor Kenny, Professor McCarthy has co-authored books and also a series of articles in highly renowned business journals. She is a member of the America Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, among other organizations. She is also currently leading a senior civil service leadership development evaluation project

and report. Complementing this, she is the Principal Investigator for the science foundation research project, which is gathering data in a large range of countries. Whilst all four of the new appointees are extremely busy, SIN managed to briefly grab hold of Jonathan Levie and asked him about his style of teaching when it comes to a creative field like entrepreneurship. “I’ve been teaching entrepreneurship for 35 years and my approach is ‘useful learning’. Entrepreneurs are keen to learn, but only if it is useful to them, and I think students feel the same. In the classroom, I use what works with entrepreneurs, and run my classes so that students get to feel what being entrepreneurial feels like, either by working with entrepreneurs, for example on live consultancy projects, or actively working on new ways of creating economic, social or environmental value. In the future, I’d like to enable much more interdisciplinary learning, where students doing very different subjects get to work together on real research projects that could create useful outputs for society.” The school has said that these appointments reflect a multi-year action plan that the School has developed to cement its position among the top business schools in the country, and also as a global Business School.

The Union of Students in Ireland were forced to cancel the ‘Break the Barriers’ protest in Dublin on October 3rd, due to the weather warning for Hurricane Lorenzo. ‘Break the Barriers’, however, was not a one-day event, but, in fact, a yearlong campaign by the USI, launched in September and, despite the cancellation of the protest event in Dublin, the campaign lives on. NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Clare Austick, explains how it came about, “There is always a main campaign chosen (by the USI) every year, with the main focus being on co-ordinating a national day of action (protest in Dublin). This campaign highlights all the barriers students face when accessing higher-level education. It includes the student contribution charge, which are the fees of €3000, the extortionate rent prices that students are expected to pay for accommodation, and the lack of investment in the sector, meaning essential student support services on campus”. Ms. Austick also stresses the severity of the situation that students are facing, which, in turn, amplifies the importance of this campaign, “I cannot emphasise how important this campaign is and why students should engage with it. This is about their future and the future of their siblings, cousins and people they know. We currently have the second highest fees in Europe and will have the highest

after Brexit. 12 years ago, it cost €800 to attend University. Now, it’s €3000. How is that justified? The SUSI grant hasn’t been increased, yet the cost of living has. Support services on campus, such as the Counselling Service, are completely underfunded across Ireland and the housing crisis is worsening. There has not been any focus or investment into third level education in years, which is why I think this campaign is very appropriate and fitting. The Government needs to focus on education and make it a priority”. The Students’ Union President also believes it’s time students took their power, and campaigns like this one, seriously. “My fear is that if students don’t speak up and call on the Government to do more, they won’t see it as an issue and will possibly increase the fees 10 years from now. Students should never underestimate the power of their voice. Collectively, we absolutely can make a difference”. She adds, “Students pay huge amounts of money each year to be in University but they definitely are not getting the value for their money (seats not functioning in lecture theatres, no seating on campus, lack of funding into support services, student staff ratio etc)”. Ms. Austick outlines how to get involved in the fight to ‘Break the Barriers’ to education, “Students can use social media to make their peers aware by using the #BreakTheBarriers, they can write to their local TD’s and be part of the alternative event USI organises”.


October 08 2019




Galway Guide leader awarded prestigious Explorer Belt accolade By Paddy Henry NUI Galway student and local leader with the Galway City Senior Branch of the Irish Girl Guides, Sarah Canavan, has reached the summit of the Guides’ world, completing the Explorer Belt, a gruelling 10-day survival challenge, involving a 180km hike along Belgium’s Westhoek region, while living on €3.25 a day and carrying all her camping equipment on her back. Sarah, a commerce student, has been involved in the Irish Girl Guides since the age of six. She undertook the herculean task alongside her teammate and long-time friend Sarah Kenny, who were 2 of the 12 members of the Irish Girl Guides to take on the challenge. The 23-year-old was tasked with completing a series of projects during her 10-day long survival adventure, which involved finding out about the local history, geography and culture, without the help of a smartphone. The Guides also helped local communities along the way and met local people, which Sarah hailed as the highlight of the excursion. The commerce student described her time touring the Westhoek region as weird, but memorable

nonetheless, “Weird is the only word I can use to describe it. There was pain but I cannot remember the pain now. It was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience”. “The whole thing was weird. We arrived in Dublin Airport on the 29th of July, we didn’t know where we were going until we were handed a golden envelope saying Belgium!” Sarah encountered no shortage of difficulties along the way to achieving the most prestigious accolade in Guiding. Having no access to mobile devices made keeping track of the distance covered challenging, with the group having to resort to measuring completed kilometres on a map, coupled with having €75 to spend between them for the entire trip. The strenuous nature of the task tested the resolve of the team, with Sarah recalling feeling like giving up after the second day. “We had beans for lunch and we had nowhere to wash the pot, so we used baby wipes to clean it. I was also very sunburnt and extremely tired.” The adventurers were also tasked with finding their own places to stay along the way, “Knocking on people’s doors asking to find a place to stay was scary”, Sarah remarked.

Yet, despite the ferocity of the challenge that faced the remarkable group of young women, they successfully completed the monumental task at hand and were awarded the Irish Girl Guides Explorer Belt, acknowledging their achievement in overcoming the toughest challenge the organisation has to offer. When asked how she balances her life as a scout leader with her busy schedule as a student in university, Sarah noted that balancing her education with Galway Guide Leader and NUI Galway student, her life as a scout leader is someSarah Canavan, and her team-mate, Sarah Kenny, thing she is used to doing. “It’s pictured during Irish Girl Guides’ Explorer Belt something that I’ve always done. challenge in the Westhoek region of Belgium I also do a lot of volunteering, as a member of the National Action Panel at, I just find that I get more out all the exam results I’ve ever received mixed into of it than I put in!” one! Once our names were called out, there were Describing how she felt prior to receiving the a few tears! Myself and Sarah Kenny had been coveted award, Sarah stated, “The few minutes gearing up for this for years. It really was a big before our names were called were worse than eye opener!”

Creative Connections Seminar at NUI Galway poses identity question By Fergus Efe O’Donoghue NUI Galway was host to an Irish Research Council Funded Creative Connections Initiative workshop on Friday, 27 September, examining questions of European identity, through a focus on the themes of sport and digital media. Sarah Kerr, Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Arts and Humanities Research Institute at Trinity College Dublin and the initiative’s Principle Investigator, told SIN, “The overall aim is to explore European cultural identities… This very topical question about: what is the crisis in European cultural identity, what even is European cultural identity? Can cultural heritage be a way to tackle the crisis of European identity? That’s why we have that international and interdisciplinary approach- because it is such a big question that we knew we’d have to tackle with perspectives of lots of disciplines”. The workshop drew on a range of disciplines in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and STEM areas from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and Queen’s University Belfast, to examine the topic of European cultural identity. This was done, said Ms Kerr, because the matter is “such a big question that we knew we’d have to tackle it with perspectives of lots of disciplines”. “We have geographers involved, historians, scholars from film studies, sociology, my own background is archaeology, and also colleagues from linguistics. We wanted to have interdisciplinarity to approach the big question, but we also wanted it to be international”. Participants in the first workshop discussed

landscapes and townscapes, in relation to the roles they play in a European cultural identity. While sports may initially seem distant to this thinking, SIN was told that it is an important part of the cultural process. Dr Seán Crosson, of the University’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media and leader of the Sport and Exercise Research Group, spoke of the importance of sport, in relation to the question of identity. “Sport annually engages millions of diverse people across Europe, both as participants and spectators… In its various forms, sport offers a unique opportunity to encourage an appreciation among citizens of their shared cultural heritage and common values at the heart of European identity.” The project encourages engagement from Masters and PhD students from all branches of academia, including STEM fields, as well as practitioners and artists in various fields. “I think what’s really important is that, sometimes, students who are in different disciplines like Film Studies or Sports studies, well, they might see this topic like: ‘my research doesn’t relate to that’’’, said Ms Kerr. “My research is in archaeology. I think all research can be twisted ever-so-slightly to approach a big, grand societal challenge such as this - coming to a workshop like this and thinking outside of your own PhD project, outside of your own Master’s project and thinking outside of your own discipline, to see in what ways your research interests can be tweaked to approach a big question like that… These are the big issues that are going to impact us now and are going to impact us for years to come, particularly anyone who’s living in Ireland or identifies as European.”

CLICK. FIND. VOLUNTEER. is a new easy-to-use, one-stop-shop portal connecting higher education students with civil society organisation volunteering opportunities.

r Registye! toda


SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Global Climate Protest 2019

By Kuntal Sammadar “Climate change is real, and it is happening right now” - we have been known this for years but failed to realise the consequences. The effects of

climate change cannot be seen from one year to the next. However, as years stack up, the horrifying picture gets clearer. The earth is now 1ºC warmer than when NUI Galway was founded in 1845 as the “Queens College Galway”.

Students’ Union Council


Then become a Class Rep! Contact the SU Education Officer for more information on or call to the SU Office

On Friday the 20th of September, the world experienced the biggest strike in world history concerning the climate crisis. According to a prominent climate advocacy group,, four million people across the globe took part in the protest rally, instigated by 16-year old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, in August last year. Following in Greta’s footsteps, children from 2,233 cities in 128 nations joined the protest this year. The aim was to prioritize environmental awareness based on scientific facts, keeping political prepossessions and monetary interests at bay. In Ireland, the biggest protest was held in Dublin, while another nine were organized across the other cities. Protesters across Galway gathered at Eyre Square, followed by a protest march to the Spanish Arch. The sound of the slogans resonated in Eyre Square, those in attendance declaring their most profound concern for the climate disruption. In conjunction with the protests, NUI Galway held the free lecture on climate justice, as seen on Page 4. A global protest in such a large scale was unprecedented and is expected to have an impact on the world’s decision makers at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York. One crucial point made by the protesters was that, despite more than 30 years of international attempts to withstand greenhouse gases causing global warming, emissions have accelerated over the years. Protesters highlighted the scale

of the challenge that climate change brings and hence demanded it be put at the centre of policymaking. The gap between the slow pace action and the extremity of the problem was emphasized by the activists. “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. If you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you”, environmental activist Greta Thunberg exploded, in a paroxysm of rage at the UN Climate Summit. Teenagers, open to new ideas and rebellious in nature, have been part of the significant social movements before as well. What made so many young school-goers raise their voices together against such a powerful force this time? The triggering factor could be the fact that young people are more concerned than their elders about the ill effects of climate change that are predicted to become severe in the next 40 years. The simplicity in the message and the determination in the young protesters made their point irrefutable to the world. This fight is for the survival of the generation who are living on the brink of mass extinction. The severity of climate change and the damage it will bring in depends on the human response in the next few decades. The key message from protesters in Eyre Square and around the world was simple, as long as we depend on fossil fuels and cut down trees, every other solution will fail. Their hope will be that such negligence and irresponsibility will be the genesis of many youth mobilisations to come.


October 08 2019




Fiona Mitchell gives a talk to budding journalists By Eimer McAuley

Are napping pods coming to campus? By Alice O’Donnell Nap pods, also known as energy pods, have taken the world by storm. Every year, they are becoming a more common sight in public areas, from offices to airports. Specially designed chairs aimed to provide power naps in non-private areas, nap pods utilise science in their design, using a visor to block out external stimuli and a reclining tilt to effectively move blood around the body. People using nap-pods are advised to take a 20-minute power nap, with music and vibrations used to wake the user up after the allocated time has passed. It’s aimed at providing mental and physical rejuvenation in the midst of a busy working day. While you certainly feel refreshed after an afternoon nap, is there really any proof of its beneficial effect? According to NASA, concentration levels after a 20-minute nap increase by 34%. This has incited many workplaces to invest in a napping pod, including NASA themselves, Google Head Office in California, and Facebook Headquarters. Universities across the world have also started installing them, with Irish universities, University College Cork and NUI Maynooth, also included in this bracket. Both universities invested in nap pods in 2018 and situated them in their libraries. While Maynooth invested in three energy pods, University College Cork provides only one nap pod for its students Both universities

have stated that the nap pods have been a big success with staff and students alike and are frequently used. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommending that the average person should get around 8 hours of sleep per night, nap pods are helping students’ overall health as well as their study. With the recent news that NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library is set to receive €30 million in funding, is there a chance that NUI Galway could be the next Irish university to invest in a nap pod? Most likely not. While the Students’ Union are strong supporters of having “more seating/ relaxing areas on campus”, they point to two main reasons why it is unlikely that they will be funding energy pods for the library, cost and purpose. As Brandon Walsh, Vice-President of the Students’ Union says, the Union feels that the €12,000 price of a nap pod could be “far more beneficial” in under-resourced sectors of NUI Galway, such as counselling services. He also points out that the Union provides two relaxation areas on campus, both situated on the ground floor of Áras na Mac Léinn, which he believes “provide everything a napping pod would, but at a fraction of the cost and are far more accessible to a wider number of students.”. Although a 20-minute energy pod nap provides the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee, it seems that, at least for now, tired NUI Galway students will have to manage with a Smokey’s beverage for the time being.

Renowned journalist and former RTÉ London correspondent, Fiona Mitchell, gave a talk to NUI Galway students on her career, her take on current political affairs and the state of the media in the James Hardiman Library last week. With no journalism course available to her at the time, Mitchell graduated from NUI Galway with a degree in Sociology, Politics and History in 1993 and continued on to complete a Masters in History in NUI Maynooth, as she was told that there were no jobs in journalism. Though journalism was not necessarily a part of Mitchell’s background, coming from a small village outside of Tullamore in County Offaly, the former London correspondent said that she grew up in a household where the daily newspaper was read from “cover to cover”, and “No one spoke once the 6 o’clock news came on”. Doing unpaid work experience at a local radio station,

Mitchell admitted that she “got the journalism bug”. Despite working as a fundraiser for the Labour Party in the heyday of Blair’s New Labour, when she got a phone call offering her a full-time place in radio at home in Ireland, she jumped at the chance, though, “Friends and family thought I was mad to go home to Ireland”. Mitchell made the transition from local radio to television in 1998 with new station TV3, and from there to the RTÉ newsroom, where she says she is still sometimes referred to as “that girl from TV3”. Mitchell worked primarily as News Editor at the national broadcaster, but, when she happened to be in Rome on sabbatical during the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, she got caught in, what she recalls as, “the biggest eight week news rollercoaster of my life”. Mitchell had been bitten by that same bug that motivated her to join the industry nineteen years before. She

applied to be RTÉ’s London correspondent in the seemingly chaotic time of the David Cameron/Nick Clegg-led coalition, and with some nostalgia and amusement, she reflected on the fact that, now, those seemed like “rosy days”. Little did she know that the next four and a half years would prove to be an even bigger storm than the one she found herself caught up in in Rome all those years ago, as she took on the task of reporting the twists and turns of Brexit to Irish viewers at home. When one student asked Fiona if the field outside of Westminster had any grass left on it, a peal of laughter went around the room and she said that, having become friends with one of the gardeners, the amount of press outside the Houses of Parliament had meant that it had become “really mucky”, and Mitchell has to wear a pair of wellies just to make sure she didn’t “slide away”. Mitchell said that Brexit had meant that she had to learn

more about the logistics and obscurities of Westminster Parliamentary procedure than would have been required of her before taking up the role as London correspondent. Some of the librarians in Westminster even became her “very good friends”, in her search for understanding the weird world of Westminster. She also commented on the role Northern Ireland played in the Brexit campaign and the on-going Stormont negotiations, opining that it was a much under-considered factor and the consequences of this were being seen now. When asked if she ever switches off from the news, Mitchell confessed that it is hard to do so, but that she thinks the ability to do so is part of what being a good journalist is about. In terms of predictions for the future of British politics, Mitchell said that anyone who knows what is going to happen is lying, “It’s time to throw out the history book”, was her final comment of the talk.

The people of Galway marched from Eyre Square to Salthill in a demonstration, organised by the Galway Anti-Racism Network, in conjunction with Fáilte Refugees Soc of NUI Galway, to make their views on direct provision and the plight of refugees known.


SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Homelessness epidemic in Galway City With World Homeless Day taking place this Thursday (10th October), SIN’s Aoife Burke looks at the epidemic of homelessness in Galway city By Aoife Burke According to RTE news, in 2019 the number of households experiencing homelessness in Galway has risen by 20%, as revealed in figures from homeless charity Cope. On August 4th 2018, the Connacht Tribune published an article on homelessness, stating that the statistics were just the tip of the iceberg. Cope Galway had blasted official government figures

“In recent years, we have seen more and more families and young people becoming homeless. So far this year (from January to August), 138 families have been supported by Galway Simon Community, which includes 342 children. This is a 50% increase on the same period in 2018.” as inaccurate, citing that they did not include the “hidden homeless”, such as people couch surfing, travellers living on unauthorised sites and people in transitional homes owned by local charities. This was reaffirmed when Meaghan Hynes of the Simon Community spoke to SIN; “Homelessness has no boundaries, anyone could end up homeless. In recent years, we have seen more and more families and young people

becoming homeless. So far this year (from January to August), 138 families have been supported by Galway Simon Community, which includes 342 children. This is a 50% increase on the same period in 2018. Unfortunately, the homelessness and housing crisis can cause people of all ages and all walks of life to become homeless, through no fault of their own”. People become homeless for a variety of different reasons. For many, homelessness is the result of a brief crisis in their lives. With the right supports, they can be assisted out of homelessness quickly, rapidly accessing alternative housing. Generally, the experiences that lead to homelessness are underpinned by poverty and structural inequality. Meaghan explains that causes of homelessness tend to be defined into four categories: • Structural causes: These can include poverty, unemployment, and lack of good quality, affordable housing. More people are now at risk of becoming homeless as a result of the financial crisis, which has impacted on the most vulnerable in society and has made more people vulnerable. • Institutional causes: People who have lived in foster care and young people leaving care are at high risk of becoming homeless. Also, people leaving prison or mental health institutions, with nowhere to go to on their release/discharge, can end up homeless. • Relationship causes: This can include an abusive relationship or family breakdown. Either way, one or more people may need to leave the home and may have nowhere to go. Death in a family can also be a cause of homelessness, as the person may not be able to afford accommodation on one income.

• Personal causes: This can include mental illness, learning difficulties, problematic alcohol or/and drug use. If a person has one or more of these problems, they may find it difficult to manage the home they are in or it may lead to other problems such as losing a job and inability to pay mortgage/rent. “Generally it is a combination of these factors that result in a person becoming homeless. However, the lack of affordable housing is the biggest factor causing people to become homeless at the moment”, Meaghan told SIN. “With such low rates of new housing coming on stream in Galway, demand is outstripping supply, and the cost of renting is rising steeply. Many people are being forced out of the market due to these rising rents, as well as evictions due to landlords selling, and they are being left with no other affordable options”. The head office of Galway’s Simon Community is based on the Tuam Road in Galway City. However, there are other locations around Galway City and County consisting of homelessness prevention services and various housing services. Meaghan offered the following advice for students of NUI Galway; “There are many different ways to make a difference to those facing homelessness in your local community: by speaking out about the issue of homelessness, whether it’s to your local politicians, through debates or online, awareness and advocacy can have a big impact. Other more direct ways to make a difference include fundraising and volunteering. Whether it’s hosting a simple bake sale, or volunteering a couple of hours a week, your support can make a difference”.

Attitudes to alcohol By Shane Lynch It’s no secret that a significant amount of the average student’s budget goes toward alcohol. With Health Minister Simon Harris’ new proposals to ban cheap deals on booze across Irish supermarkets, will this do anything to reduce the binge-drinking culture present in university life? Or will it just lead to students cashing out more for the sake of a much-needed night out? Health Minister, Simon Harris, has stated that he plans to implement these new measures, which are a sub-section of the Public Health Alcohol Bill, and will be subject to confirmation from the EU. They intend to be in practice from September next year and onwards. Millions of shoppers avail of a loyalty card system and reward schemes, which offer deals on all varieties of products and, until recently, alcohol purchases have been rewarded in this system and, thus, have been a part of the promotions which are on offer, which is quite unusual, as it has been stated by Minister for Health Simon Harris previously that it is not a common grocery product, i.e. not everyone can buy alcohol (you must be over the age of eighteen to do so). Due to this reasoning, the Minister furthers his explanation by saying that alcohol itself is a drug and, so, shouldn’t be promoted into offers to encourage consumption of such a product, and, in doing so, would help to change customers’ thinking when considering their purchase of alcohol. This similar mentality was considered when the government implemented taxes and charges for cigarettes. The national consensus was that, with these added charges, it would force people into reducing their purchase rate of cigarettes and, thus, people would eventually stop smoking, but of course that didn’t work, because that is not how an addiction works. When people want something bad enough, they totally disregard the cost of the product and buy it anyway. Due to this, many of the public feel that people are being facilitated into binge drinking, as the combination of reward schemes entices the customer into buying an excess amount of alcohol, due to the fact that it is at a reduced retail price and, thus, are tricked into thinking that they are saving money. The idea that a drinking culture is so prominent throughout colleges is both

obvious and curious at the same time. It’s obvious, as the automatic assumption when people think of college students is the stench of the alcoholic stigma surrounding it. A usual gift for someone who gets their hardearned place in college is usually alcohol related. The major events which are viewed as college landmarks, such as ‘Freshers’ Week’, are polluted with drink deals and seas of students flooding the streets of the city in order to achieve social acceptance. The stigma of drinking is usually intertwined with the idea of having to make friends and/ or socialize and not having the social skills to do so, and thus, students turn to drink to gain the courage to speak to their peers. The curious aspect of this drinking culture in college can be questioned, due to the increased exposure of health amongst students, in regard to both physical and mental health. Many colleges try their best to promote health and implement it by endorsing “get active” weeks, as well as having many major resources which help with mental health, with counselling services, as well as workshops. Yet, with all these services available, college culture is still, and for the foreseeable future will be, notorious for the culture of drinking. Through this drinking culture being so prominent in college life, it also has repercussions, as, due to the over saturation of nights out, alcohol intake and the physical impacts of alcohol abuse can lead to disastrous results. ‘Rag Week’ was once a college event created in order to help fundraise for the college and the charities associated with the institution, but now, it’s a major drinking event which takes over the city of Galway and, due to the excess of alcohol intake and anti-social behaviour, the event puts local authorities at risk, as well as incriminating the name of the college. Regardless of the implementation of drink tax, drinking is a major factor of how college is perceived, and it is not the college that has initiated such a culture it is society itself, with a rapid increase in people’s personal expenditure being spent on alcohol, while nights are often spent in nightclubs, as well as pubs. Through this new initiative, we can hopefully question why it was needed in the first place and begin to question ourselves about why we need to build our lives around alcohol to begin with.

Practical approach to mental health the focus of this year’s Wellbeing Week By Mark Lynch It’s Wellbeing Week this week, the 7th to the 11th of October, here in NUI Galway, with events around the campus to celebrate, advise and inform students about positive mental health. The focus for this year, according to Students’ Union Welfare and Equality Officer, Brandon Walsh, is a practical approach to mental health. “We have different things coming up this week that we hope will equip people with the skills that they need. We feel that’s very important, because, in the past, there would have been a lot of

information given out without necessarily highlighting services that are available and things that people can do to help themselves, learn how to help others and learn where to go”. He added, “So, a big focus for us this year is just trying to direct people to relevant services and also equip them with the relevant skills they’ll need to help themselves”. In terms of what events to expect for the week, Brandon gave SIN a full run-down of the programme. “Lots of societies are getting involved and doing their own thing, I know Style Soc have a self-care evening, things like that. We have the therapy dogs in the library

from 12-1, we have the mindfulness sessions that are going to be on at lunchtimes. We have a recovery college coming in and doing a workshop on resilience on Tuesday from 1-2, there’s a procrastination workshop from 5-7”. “We have JIGSAW coming in to do ‘5 Steps for Positive Mental Health’ and ‘Useful Strategies to Help You Do Well’, and I’m going to be running a Connect Café, which is a Mental Health Ireland initiative. This year’s topic is suicide prevention and it’s on Thursday, which coincides with World Mental Health Day, so there’ll be lots going on at that”. Societies also play a huge part in the

week’s events, as Brandon Walsh outlines, “Psychology Soc are facilitating a workshop with Fiona Roche from counselling and she’s going to talk about beginning conversations about mental health and that’s based a lot around relatives and friends that could be struggling with mental health. A lot of that has come from the USI report on mental health, where, I think, 77% of people said they wanted more support in supporting others, so that’s really topical and will be really good. We also have the Vintage Sale that’s going to be on in Áras na Mac Léinn on Thursday from 11-4, so that’ll be cool as well”.


October 08 2019



Karl and Max: the underrated heroes of Wellbeing Week By Mark Lynch Dr. Gerard Fleming is the Head of Microbiology here at NUI Galway. An esteemed lecturer and a revered researcher, he’s also a dog owner, trainer, but, most importantly, a dog lover. He currently owns a German shepherd, named Kai, who you might be lucky enough to meet this week. As part of Wellbeing Week, Kai will be making an appearance in the James Hardiman Library this Wednesday, October 9th, from 12-1, because he’s a therapy dog. Max the Labrador, as seen on RTÉ News last May, is also a therapy dog here at NUI Galway, and he makes appearances with his owner, Dr. Grace McCormack. Dr. Fleming explains how it started, “I had known Grace for years and she heard I had a German shepherd and German shepherds are fairly

stable dogs, really lovely. So, from last year, I started bringing him into the library on, maybe, 1 or 2 days a week, she (Grace) would do a Wednesday and I’d do a Thursday, and it just absolutely blossomed”. While not necessarily the most traditional therapy method, Dr. Fleming stresses that therapy dogs become very natural stress relievers for multiple reasons. One part of that is the bond that many have with their own family dog, who, for those living away from home, might be something they particularly miss. “For me, it’s a two-component thing: it’s a link with home, a bond between university and home, and it’s that connection. Think about it; students, especially new kiddos coming on the block, they’ve left home, first time away. First few weeks are absolutely fantastic, out on the tear and the rest, but then, homesickness kicks in. Sometimes the dog is the link between home and here (NUI Galway)”. NUI Galway is the first university to use therapy dogs and the results are overwhelmingly positive, according to Dr. Fleming, because of that natural element that it brings. “I’ve seen students very, very stressed out. I’ve seen them in a bad way, and they come in and put their hand, or arm, on an animal and get this unconditional time back from the animal. That act of touching, that act of being able to bond with an animal, I can see the stress dissipating in seconds and they even do it in groups. It’s so relaxing”. With increasing calls across universities and further afield to increase mental health budgets, this is something that Dr. Fleming is keen to emphasise costs absolutely nothing, but has a profound effect for students. “They take this little break from their study, then they go back refreshed and they go back having touched an animal. You’ve no idea how meaningful that can be for them. I see a student come in

that’s agitated and stressed when they come down to us and I see a very different student leaving”. It also increases interaction with other students, which can’t be underestimated in these days of faces glued to screens. “You see, this beautiful thing happens as well, because they go in groups and, as soon as they come, all inhibition goes in the group. I’ve often seen they’ll sit here and actually start talking to each other. There’s no inhibition of actually touching him (Kai) because they’ve got a common centric animal”. “It removes all inhibitions because you’re touching something that’s animate, but is going to react with you in a very neutral manner. It’s this tangible presence of an animal that’s never going to judge them, it’s never going to tell them they should be doing more work in the library”. For Kai himself, it’s also an enjoyable hour. “Kai absolutely loves the attention. He’s a big old softie. They come in and he just lies down. Now, Max (the Labrador) is a much more active dog, he’s a younger dog, but this guy is a 10/11 year-old and all he wants to do is lie down and get a belly rub”. However, it might never have happened for Kai that he’d get to come to the University at all. “In August last year, 2018, he had a disc removed in his back. He wasn’t expected to walk again and I promised him, once he’d recovered from that, I’d do something special with him and this was it. He was on borrowed time and this was a way of giving back”. For Dr. Fleming, there are also tons of benefits to bringing Kai in. “For me, it’s an honour and a privilege to do it. You have no idea what’s going through these kids’ minds, what state they’re in, what pressures are on them, financial or whatever else. I just take an hour out from a lunchtime, just be there for them and I get a chance to talk to them too, outside of a lecture hall and you have no idea how meaningful that is. Over the year, I get to know most of them and I follow them through and sometimes they even open up to you. It actually gives me the chance to get to know the kids and they’re not seeing Gerard Fleming, Head of the Department, they see Gerard Fleming with the dog and I think that’s just as important”. How long more can we expect to see Kai coming in to get his dose of belly rubs and attention? “As long as he’s enjoying it. The day he stops enjoying it, I’m not coming in. I don’t want to stress the dog out”. Kai and Max provide a valuable service to the students of NUI Galway, which can be availed of this week, in the James Hardiman Library from 12-1, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Mature Student Diary

By Jody Moylan One of the unfortunate, unavoidable truths of being a history student is knowing that we’ll never be able to go back and experience those events that we study. Sometimes, however, the big events that define a place happened not so long ago. One such place is Bosnia, where I went to this summer, and where I’d wanted to travel to for some time. At the centre of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, Bosnia and its surrounds formed the distinctive background noise to my teenage years; always there on the radio, or on the television news. Sarajevo, Mostar, Srebrenica, Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic. For my generation, these are famous places, and infamous names. Dark tourism maybe, but revisiting this landscape of the past was really about trying to understand a conflict I hadn’t fully tuned into at the time. Bosnia

isn’t easy to get to, and after a flight to Croatia and a coach trip across, it doesn’t take long to see that this is the place that Europe forgot. Bombed out buildings, not touched in years, are scattered across the countryside. Bad cars ramble up equally bad roads. New houses are still old building sites; functioning but unfinished. If you learn one thing from going places, it’s that you can quickly work out how a country is run by staring out the window of a bus. The trouble for Bosnia is that when the war ended, that’s all that happened. It is, in a very real sense, frozen in time, back to when the ‘peace’ began with the Dayton Accords of 1995. Undead victims live alongside the perpetrators of atrocity. The man walking down the street might have killed your family. Tensions are still high, and reconciliation between people who were once friends may never be reached. It is a brittle, beautiful and fragmented place. The country has three presidents, representing Bosniak, Serb and Croatian ethnicities, as well as fourteen levels of government. Youth unemployment has peaked at almost sixty percent in the last five years, and nearly a quarter of the population are living either on, or below, the absolute poverty line. There’s no money to do anything, and nothing, really, ever gets done. The bus stop in Mostar is a short trek from the bridge I wanted to see. The ‘Stari Most’ is one of Bosnia’s great sights, but the bus station is closer to the reality on the ground; a once ambitious project that’s a reminder of better times, but is now just about

intact. The Stari Most itself — obliterated by Bosnian Croat forces in 1993 and rebuilt in 2004 — bridges the Neretva river from the Croat side of Mostar to the Muslim quarter. Its reconstruction is testament to the will of so many to overcome historic division, in a country where that division is still sought by some. After a day in the second city, I made my way north to Sarajevo; one of Europe’s great capitals. On leaving the train station when I arrived, I walked down to a junction I later recognised to be ‘sniper alley’; notorious once for all the people who were killed while crossing it. I was staying close by, with a woman called Vesna Bartholovic. In her small apartment kitchen — in a building that had once been shot to bits — she made me tea and told me about her life. She had worked at the nearby bank during the war; when Sarajevo was under siege

from Serbian forces that had surrounded the city. Hers was an important job, as she was in charge of the money coming back from all the people who’d left. She couldn’t miss work. And every day, she had to cross ‘sniper alley’. For three years, she had to stop in the shade, before moving out into the open and running for her life. Looking back, she told me, “It seems crazy I did it, but in the war, that’s just what you do”. It was moving to meet this normal woman, who had seen all that. The next day, I walked to the Jewish cemetery, up on a hill, to where the snipers stood. Nothing marked the location. It was the same as the day they left. And it was a perfect view. An intersection, where all the city’s people still cross each other’s paths, and where history, that day, seemed not so far away.


Cén Chaoi do Chárta Leap Mic Léinn a Fháil

Erasmus Diary By Fiona Lee


Apply online at

note of your order number 2. Take (NB this only lasts 7 days) to the SU Office with your order number, 3. Call your student ID card and €10.


Collect your card.


twitte it itte

Hello again, everyone! Galway has seemed to be buzzing lately, with clubs and societies starting up, 2020 cultural activities taking over the town and nights in the Róisín that make me momentarily homesick. Saying that, I’m really enjoying my time in Ottawa so far and I’m definitely keeping myself busy. I’ve joined the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team in the University since I last wrote here and it has added more stability to my life in Canada. I tend to get quite tense and restless if I go a few days without fresh air or exercise, so I’m glad to finally have a set routine in place in that regard. Frisbee has also been quite a staple in my routine over the last year, so it has been missed! Joining teams here isn’t as easy as it is in NUI Galway, in a financial sense, so I’m now quite grateful that I can just show up to a training session in the Kingfisher without a penny to my name (which I recommend you all do, frisbee is pretty great; Thursdays at 5pm). The girls on the team seem to be good fun and amazing frisbee players, so, hopefully, I’ll absorb some of that while I’m here. Getting involved in university clubs is always a great way to feel more at home in a new place. Even if the people there aren’t your absolute best mates in the world, a friendly face every week is

nice to have, and then maybe you’ll become best mates with them too! Events are a must too, the homecoming football game (Panda Game) is on next weekend here, and while I’m not particularly patriotic towards our mascot, it should still be good fun to see what it’s like! I’m starting to plan more trips outside of Ottawa now; Quebec City this weekend and hopefully Montreal and Toronto in the next month or two. I have always been really impressed with ‘Study Abroad’ students visiting Ireland, when I see them going on trip after trip, exploring parts of Ireland even I haven’t been to. I didn’t really understand where their energy came from until I came here, and part of me can’t wait to get back to Ireland just so I can start taking advantage on my weekends off there too. I fully intend to remember and adopt the adventurous mindset when I’m back on Irish soil, but as it’s easy to fall back into old habits. I intend to take many photos while I’m here to remind myself of what I can do in a weekend if I bother to make an effort. The weather is pretty nice here for the moment, too. Any day I’m free, I make sure to get outside! It’s meant to get cold pretty soon, though I won’t understand how cold until I experience it, so, wish me luck. Saying all that, Netflix nights are just as important. We all need a breather from the excitement of travel and the stress of assignments. That’s all for now, enjoy your week!


October 08 2019




Student startup company offers rewards for job-hunting students By Mark Lynch A new website allows students to earn money, just by applying for jobs. Placemate was a student startup company, born out of frustration with the job market, and is now Ireland’s first rewards-based job platform, which gives students €5 every time they apply for a job. Co-founder of Placemate, Ferdia Kenny, spoke to SIN about how it all came about and how it benefits students. Originally from Castlebar in Co. Mayo, Ferdia is no stranger to Galway, despite having been an undergraduate student in UCD. He studied architecture, which eventually spurred the foundation of Placemate. “The way my course was structured is that you do a 3-year degree and then take 1-5 years out on a leave of absence to gain work experience, before going back to do a 2-year Masters. While I was in my final undergraduate year, I started looking for companies to hire me for the year out”. He continued, “I realised all of

my friends were applying to the same 3 or 4 wellknown places, even though there are hundreds of other architecture firms in Ireland. On top of that, we (Ferdia and his co-founder, Dónal) were getting fed up of completing loads of online applications on individual company websites when the information they were seeking was almost identical to each other”. In a struggle that anyone who has sought a work placement for their course, or applied for jobs after their undergraduate degree, would understand, Ferdia and Dónal saw an issue with the time and effort that applying for jobs was taking, and it was taking directly from assignments and studying for exams. They even saw a solution to this issue, from which they created their own website. “We thought it would be a lot easier to have one profile with all of your key details in it that you could then use to apply to any job at the click of a button. We found the process of applying for jobs to be timeconsuming, so we felt that students deserved to be

Final Year Diary By Sadhbh Hendrick Hello hello! Hope everyone is well settled and back in to the swing of things. Week 3 has come and gone in a flash. No surprises there, I guess, but a significant week nonetheless. Cue beginning of tutorials and assignments. The fact I have already earned two free coffees on my SU card kind of pains me, but hey, 25% of the semester already completed (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I have found my libo seat of choice for the foreseeable future. A difficult task, as I am sure you are all aware. Requirements include: A plug, the comfortable chairs, ability to view enough students to satisfy nosiness, but not a good enough view where you will suffer potential whiplash from all the looking up and down. (I’m envious of anyone who has the self-control to sit at the window). Preferred but not compulsory features: Close proximity to printers, water fountain and relevant books. A fine balancing indeed. This week’s hottest trend appeared to have been the colds and flus everyone was smothered with. Shoutout to the on-campus chemist for never failing to provide Lemsip/cough bottles/a sympathetic ear.

Final year student = final year project. My project is based on Green Energy, specifically carbon tax and, as I got the ball rolling on that this week, it got me thinking. Not to go all metal straws and bamboo toothbrush on ye, but off the foot of the UN Climate Summit and even the strike that took place across the nation last week, we really do need to cop on a bit. Pakistan said it would plant more than 10 billion trees over the next five years and China said it would cut emissions by over 12 billion tonnes annually, and would pursue a path of high quality growth and low carbon development. What can we do? Like I said, I’m no Greta Thunberg (mini ledge), but there is definitely an element of guilt and realization creeping in that we really have to act. For some reason, I feel like paper straws with McDonald’s milkshakes just isn’t going to cut it. This week, the Career Development Centre organized a career workshop for my course and other related ones. Credit where it’s due, it was fantastically informative, but - oh my days - did it put the frighteners on. You think everything is fine when all you have to manage is assignments, projects, some socializing, the odd club or society and then you remember that you have to plan the rest of your life at the exact same time. It’s only mildly petrifying to be applying for ‘grown-up jobs’. It’s not at all overwhelming to think that career/further education is all just a stone’s throw away at this stage. Honestly. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’m not crying, you’re crying. You think applying for the CAO is bamboozling until you try and refine your search for a grad program/Masters/a beach where I can bury my head in the sand 5ever. Sure look, it could be worse, we’ll figure it out in the end, everyone does. And most importantly, what’s for you won’t pass you. (Disclaimer: I am actually only 22, but, apparently, I turn into a 45 year old tea and ham sandwich-making mother with cropped hair in a Toyota corolla at times like these). Until next time kids. GRMA, Sadhbh x

rewarded for their efforts. When a student applies for a job through Placemate platform, we reward them with €5 as a thanks for taking the time”. Earning €5 to apply for a job sounds too good to be true, but Ferdia explains further, “The core idea that we started with remains; once a student registers for the site (which takes around 10 minutes), they can apply for any job they are eligible for with a single click. The companies we work with really value the effort that students take to apply and are all on board with the idea (of giving students €5). We also then built in some personality assessments, which help companies and students find a match that’s a good fit for both parties”. Naturally, Ferdia came across difficulties turning his idea into a reality. “It was pretty tricky. I’m very lucky to have a great team around me, with some brilliant advisers too; that is a major help”. At the beginning of the project, though, it became clear that he would have to put everything into it. “I left my job in the architecture practice after one year to work on Placemate full-time, while I was also working in a call centre in the evenings to keep some income coming in. Everything takes longer than you expect when you’re trying to set up a company, so those early months were pretty frustrating, with a lot of bursts of activity and then some lulls”.

However, then came the big break and Placemate’s own reward for the efforts and time they put into it. “We caught a massive break when we got onto the Enterprise Ireland’s ‘New Frontiers’ programme. It was a game-changer, as it provided me with a salary to work on the company full-time. They also provided excellent mentorship and the learning we took from it was phenomenal. We also got a lot of help and financial support through the Mayo Local Enterprise Office, with advice and funding through their IBYE competition, among other schemes”. Ferdia knows that now is not the time to rest on his laurels, as there are students all over Ireland and further afield that could benefit from his website. “Placemate has big plans over the next 18 months. We are currently expanding beyond the Dublin universities to Galway, Cork, Limerick and beyond, with the help of our student societies affiliate programme. As a company, the main goal, currently, is to gain traction with students and employers. We are looking to prove our model until Christmas, before we begin to raise a seed-funding round in 2020. We aim to expand to the UK in September 2020. So, hopefully lots of big things are on the horizon for us and for our student users!” More details can be found on

First Year Diary By Aoife Burke Hello, everybody! It’s week 3 at the time of writing this article and I am settling in well. I am studying journalism, English and law in first year. It is a tough curriculum, as either I am dashing from one lecture to another, or in the library catching up on reading and/or assignments. I’m finding the English lectures to be rather packed and same with law. Also, I had a bad flu last week, but I dragged myself in, conscious about attendance. I am also finding the reading is a lot, however I am proud to say I read two books in ten days for one of my English assignments. Not having a clue what I just read, I watched YouTube videos about the books, so at least I can talk about them. Also, cunningly, I have discovered all the little shortcuts to getting through to the library or the IT building etc. The first two weeks were so stressful, however I planned well in advance with coffee breaks, bringing in my own meals etc. Studying is going fine now that assignments have just started to roll in. For my very first assignment, I took a photo of myself outside the courthouse for 4% of the grade! So, the lecturers are great and making it fun. I sometimes forget I’m in my late 30s, but the other students are amazing and can be so funny in lectures. The weather is starting to get colder and fair play to anyone taking extra-curricular activities. I just couldn’t find the time this semester. I’m also presenting Trivia Matters in Flirt FM on Friday 2-3 with Brian and Jo and helping out with the news on Tuesdays at 5pm. Hopefully someday, I will be reading the news! I am absolutely obsessed with coffee. During the summer, I would drink cold coffee latte

and now winter is coming, I need a hot latte in the morning or I get wobbly legs. I’m not too impressed with my locker location, as it’s a ground floor locker, so I’m stooped over like I’m old, but it’s all that I could get. I’ve also spent a good deal on books, but I actually have read a lot of them and I’m using them, so it’s money well spent. I actually forgot to mention my weekend in England just before lectures started. My sisters and I spent an amazing two days in Worthing West Sussex and it was surreal. We drank far too much prosecco, though I don’t drink that often, and ate at a MasterChef restaurant! I’m glad though I’m a non-smoker. I kicked a 20 year habit a few years ago, and saved a fortune in college because of it. Finally, I want to say how lovely everyone has been, especially my classmates. I’m really glad I chose NUI Galway. I’m taking it one day at a time (and hoping for snow this winter!) Until next week guys! Take care, Aoife.

12  NEWS & F E AT U R ES

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Diving through the Worm Hole of the Aran Islands by Hannah Douglas


After enjoying the tranquillity of the underwater cathedral, we continued out through the cave and The forecast was perfect, the divers were ready, were met by some very inquisitive seals. They were and everything was in place for a beautiful trip to chubby after a summer of fishy feasting, but were the Aran Islands. The day was organised by Eoin incredibly agile and graceful in the water, darting Moorhouse and Storm McDonald, who were out and in among the kelp as if beckoning us to follow. about early to put the boat in the water and create a And so we did, in single file, through twists and perfect dive plan. Then, at 4pm, after ducking out of turns of what was a labyrinth of sea stacks and rocky work and lectures, we set off for ‘An Poll na bPeist’. outcrops, follow the friendly sea-pups, on the way findThe sea was mirror-like and, for once, the Irish ing a dead fish, possibly a seal’s forgotten snack, which sun was gloriously hot. As we skimmed across Gal- became the cause of some hilarity, as Lukasz sneaked way Bay, we were greeted by a harbour porpoise, up and used it to make almost everyone, including the first lucky encounter of the trip. Lukasz gave myself, jump out of their skin. One diver even tried the dive briefing, as we circled closer to the looming to revive it with a kiss but, alas, it didn’t turn into a cliffs of Inishmore. beautiful mermaid, it just sank back to the sea floor. After minimal fuss, everyone was geared up Continuing through the swaying kelp forest and and ready to go. We surface swam closer to the narrow passages between sea stacks, we saw beautirocky cliff face and used the wall as a reference ful blooming soft corals and colourful anemones. for descent. With at least 15 metres visibility, we The seals led us along one channel that seemed to found the cavern entrance immediately and the come to a dead end, but then, they showed us the sunlight coming from our backs shone through the way through a beautiful swim through that opened On the way home, snacks and stories were shared TAISCEADÁIN cave, illuminating a carpet of starfish, of all shapes out into a cavern. as the stars started to appear overhead. At one point, AN CHOMHALTAIS TAISCEADÁIN and sizes, scattered across the rocks, as we swam We all wished we could stay for longer, but our we slowed to a stop to take in ourAN surroundings and, CHOMHALTAIS through. Coming up through the gently swaying supply of air limited us, and we surfaced safely, as the sound of the engine was turned off, the silence kelp, we arrived into the famous “Worm Hole” - a with huge grins and shouts of happiness. of the sea surrounded us. Looking up, without any SU LOCKERS cathedral-like, perfectly rectangular natuEveryone was ecstatic after their dives and the lights close by, the entire dome of the night’s sky was SUpool, LOCKERS rally cut into the rock. In the cracks and crevices sun was setting in a brilliant display of red and pink, clear. Even the bright dusting of the Milky Way was around the SUedges, we found all manner of crabs as we began the journey back towards Galway Bay, visible, stretched in a band from one horizon to the SU SEOMRA CÓTAÍsea shimmer like liquid metal. and spinous squat lobsters. making the calm other. Then, as we got closer toward Galway, the SEOMRA CÓTAÍ AN CHOMHALTAIS SU CLOAKROOM AN CHOMHALTAIS




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wake from the boat started to glow. On either side of the boat, people started running their hands through the water and exclaiming, as bioluminescent plankton sparkled and bounced up into their fingers. No one wanted the day to end, but, eventually, it had to, as Eoin radioed in to inform of our safe arrival back to the docks. It was all around a beautiful trip and one that everyone aboard will remember for a long time.

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Tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag nó seol ríomhphost chuig

By Anastasia Burton

Siamsaíocht SIOPA LEABHAR Ariana Grande and many other celebrities are

SIOPA an Chomhaltais ATHLÁIMH E themselves under finding fireLEABHAR due to cultural an Chomhaltais ATHLÁIMH E appropriation, but what is it exactly? Cultural an Chomhaltais

appropriation means adopting a certain element of another culture. The reason it is so controversial is due to people being disrespectful in the way they go about this process. In order to get a wider perspective on the issue, I decided to speak with my African-Irish friend, Bongani. He had recently encountered a certain scene in Galway which could be a case of cultural misappropriation. “I was walking down Shop Street one night, and I saw these women who were obviously having a hen party. They were wearing these Kimono’s, which looked legit. They probably got them online, but still they looked good. But... it seemed out of place. The Kimono is a traditional dress which Japanese people wear for special occasions, such as festivals related to religion or celebrations of some sort. But we know what goes on a hen parties and it just didn’t seem right to wear such a traditional piece to a night out, especially since that is not the purpose of the piece”. “Most people who carry out cultural misappropriation don’t understand what cultural appropriation is”, he explains, which could also be related to certain celebrities, who get themselves in trouble for cultural appropriation. For example, Ariana Grande is being accused of this trend, as she often makes herself look darker than her natural skin tone, as well as her manner of speech and dress. This does not mean that she is doing this on purpose to offend people, but she is not being honest with her audience. Many clothing brands sell traditional colourful shirts as festival clothes, which also sparks this trend. “Online and in shops, they sell anything that is

ethnic and different automatically as festival clothes. Anything alternative just means ‘That’s my fit for the night’. It can be quite disrespectful to some people, just recognizing your tradition as a festival thing without knowing what it is and what it stands for. That can be quite frustrating”, Bongani shares. Many people seem to glamourise themselves by coming out as somewhat related to an ethnic group, only when it has become trendy to be a part of that ethnic group. This is also a prime example of cultural misappropriation, which could become quite serious if one is not careful. It is not appropriate to wear a hijab in certain situations, as was infamously proven by porn star Mia Khalifa, who outraged the Muslim community when she filmed sex scenes whilst wearing her hijab. Most cultural misappropriation happens in the entertainment industry, which is unacceptable. Entertainment businesses should be aware that they are also forms of education and information and if they use their power to influence others in a negative light, without acknowledging that their actions could cause a domino effect, it becomes a problem. “When you are a celebrity, you have to be selfaware. You must try your best to be self-aware, especially when it comes to your identity. You can get a lot of backlash for things like that. Especially when rappers start using the “N word” and that because they grew up in the “hood” or what not. Society functions differently, so you always have to be careful with what you say. Because at the end of the day, if you offend someone just a little bit, your career could go down the drain, that’s how many careers end.” This writer hopes that, after reading this article, you feel like you understand what cultural appropriation is and how to avoid cultural misappropriation. We have to be respectful of each other’s backgrounds and be supportive! Being self-aware and informed goes a long way.


October 08 2019




Has ‘cancel culture’ gone too far? By Matthew Geraghty Gogglebox is a show that viewers may refer to as ‘comfort tv’. It’s ranked alongside ‘The Great British Bake-Off’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ as one of those programmes you can easily curl up on the couch and enjoy, without having to think about too much or worry about it inciting controversy.

While Warner’s ‘game’ definitely did show a lot of tone-deafness and insensitivity towards the ‘MeToo’ movement, her case is just the latest in a series of celebrity ‘cancellations’ and it makes one wonder - is calling for a celebrity to be ‘#cancelled’ as soon as they do something controversial, instead of taking an in-depth look at the situation at hand, lazy of us?

However, after a controversial moment in a recent episode of the UK version of Gogglebox, the show has found itself caught up in the latest scandal of the ‘MeToo’ movement. Sisters Ellie and Izzie Warner have been fan favourites since joining the cast back in 2015. However, Ellie is now facing calls to be axed from the show, after she revealed that she and her friends came up with a game that many viewers felt belittled the ‘MeToo’ movement. The game in question involved one of the friends chasing the others and them calling out “Me Too”, whenever she grabbed their breast or behind. “We had to chase each other and either grab somebody’s boob or bum and then say (Me Too)’”. Warner is the latest star to be caught up in a ‘MeToo’ controversy. Two years on from the beginning of the movement, it seems like we are still struggling to engage in an effective discourse surrounding ‘MeToo’. While Warner’s ‘game’ definitely did show a lot of tone-deafness and insensitivity towards the ‘MeToo’ movement, her case is just the latest in a series of celebrity ‘cancellations’ and it makes one wonder is calling for a celebrity to be ‘#cancelled’ as soon as they do something controversial, instead of taking an in-depth look at the situation at hand, lazy of us? It seems to be the effect of unacceptable behaviour being let happen behind closed doors for far too long and, now, there is a feeling that we must make up for it by not allowing celebrities to mess up at all. I’m not talking about the Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein figures, who deserve to be boycotted, but about public figures who are deemed ‘#cancelled’ in situations, for example, when a

Rave for the Rainforest By Saoirse Higgins


n October 9th 2019, the Róisín Dubh, a staple of Galway nightlife, is expected to be packed with nearly 600 people. The event in question will be a silent disco called “Rave for the Rainforest”. This event carries more weight than normal, as all money made from tickets goes towards saving land from deforestation in the Amazon. Many became aware of the problem of deforestation in the Amazon over the summer, when rampant fires were destroying large parts of the forest. However, the problem of deforestation in the Amazon has been a dilemma for much longer than a couple of months. 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil and, since the 1970’s, deforestation there has been accelerating. Cattle ranching is the biggest perpetrator for this excessive deforestation. Although, in the mid-2000s, deforestation began to decline, due to government intervention and other factors, since 2012, this decline has become steadfast and deforestation has begun to rise again. Gary Moscarelli, a 2nd year zoology student in NUI Galway, became fully aware of the problem in the Amazon when he started first year. When talking to SIN, Gary said he has been fundraising for World Land Trust over the past year. World Land Trust are a rainforest conservation charity and protect the world’s most threatened habitats. Sir David Attenborough is one of their biggest patrons. Gary chose to work with World Land Trust as they are a large charity, with well-known eco-system projects. Their projects have shown how they have helped so many endangered habitats across the world, so the charity is one of the most reliable to work with for this cause. While Gary’s ongoing fundraiser for World Land Trust garnered quite a bit of money, he felt that he was limited and that there must be a better way to raise more money.

So, in thinking about the best way to fundraise for the charity and with Galway’s infamous student life in mind, Gary came up with a charity silent disco. The organisation of this event has been in action for months. Gary went through several sources for the process, including even calling the Mayor of Galway. Although the Mayor could not do much himself, he gave Gary the number for the owner of the Róisín Dubh. Meanwhile, in the summer, down in Kinsale, Co.Cork, Galway-based band Rodney had their first gig. Gary, who is close friends with the band’s lead singer, Josh, went to support them and was blown away by the band’s talents. From there, a pact was made that Rodney would headline Gary’s fundraiser event. From an idea to a 600 people event, the band had no idea that this would become as big as it is but look forward to diving head-first into the Galway music scene. With half the tickets already sold by the time Gary had talked to SIN, it is almost certain the event will be a success, with hopefully €1500 raised for World Land Trust.

Gogglebox’s Ellie (left) and Izzi (right). Image: Channel 4. slightly controversial tweet from years ago comes to light. Perhaps it would be better if we created a discussion-based culture instead of a cancel culture, if we allowed for a space where we discussed the issue at hand and tried to educate each other and evolve from mistakes, instead of immediately jumping to ‘cancelling’ people. It’s definitely a good thing that public figures and those who hold power are now being held more accountable for what they say and do, but is this cancel culture, that has been triggered by the ‘MeToo’ movement, on the verge of going too far? While it’s great that people are being called out for using hateful words that could potentially

cause harm, perhaps we need to start viewing our celebrities as real human beings, and not as gods on a pedestal as modern day ‘stan culture’ encourages us to. Maybe we need to realise that celebrities, like us, may have done or said something in their younger years that they now regret. Isn’t it only fair that we allow them the opportunity to move on, to grow as people and develop their ideologies? Right now, it feels likes a lot of people are sitting hunched over their computer screens, just waiting for a celebrity to mess up and declare them ‘#cancelled’, without knowing all the facts behind a story and this isn’t healthy either. Maybe it’s time to rethink cancel culture.


on the block


t is important for all of us to pay attention to the deforestation of our beloved rainforests. They are the ‘lungs’ of our planet and, with the threat of climate change forever looming over us, it is important we try and contribute in any way we can. So, I recommend to those of you who can, to attend ‘Rave in the Rainforest’ or, if by the time you’re reading this, you already have, then you should know every €90 raised saved 1 acre of land from deforestation. I would recommend Galway students to keep an eye out for Gary Moscarelli and Rodney, as I am certain we will be seeing plenty more from them in the future.



Please enjoy responsibly sultnuigalway

14  O PI N IO N

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Innocent intentions

Warning: This piece deals with sensitive issues in a way that might distress some readers by Rachel Garvey Imagine standing in a crowded courtroom, your defendant and defendant’s lawyer cast you stares that make you shiver, you begin to break into a cold sweat. Your body still aches and shakes with fear over the previous events that had unfolded the week

to the courtroom, your defendant’s lawyer leans forward and asks, “On the night of this sexual assault you claim that happened, what were you wearing?”. Your breath catches in your throat and you feel everyone’s eyes burn into you. That is the definition of unfair. The sad truth is, we live in a society today

“You have to look at the way she was dressed, she was wearing a black thong with a lace front”. Humiliating is one of the many words to describe how that young girl felt, having her own evidence like that used against her. As a result, protests took place in Cork and Dublin, as well as people taking to social media in the teenage

In a previous rape trial in Ireland, a teenager’s underwear was passed around the courtroom, the lawyer of the man who allegedly raped the young girl arguing, “You have to look at the way she was dressed, she was wearing a black thong with a lace front”. Humiliating is one of the many words to describe how that young girl felt, having her own evidence like that used against her. before. You fold your arms around yourself self-consciously, as you try to block out the reason why you are here. You look over at the reason why you are here, and he smiles smugly. You are scarred for life because of what he has done to you, how he has made you feel. All it took was a tiny smile and a “Hello” and he was persistent that you were looking for something more, but you weren’t. You brushed off his hand when it settled on your leg, you told him “No” when he offered you a ride home, but sometimes saying “No” isn’t enough to stop someone. That’s the scary part, we can say no and repeat it over and over, but sometimes people choose not to hear it. Your thoughts are dragged back

where people of both genders, but, mostly females, are judged critically on what they wear. Women today should be confident in their decision making when it comes to what outfit they wear on a night out or on a normal day. Her decision on what she wears should never be compared to what kind of person she may or may not be. We should be allowed to wear what we want and what makes us feel comfortable, without people thinking that we wear specific outfits for particular reasons, which isn’t the case. In a previous rape trial in Ireland, a teenager’s underwear was passed around the courtroom, the lawyer of the man who allegedly raped the young girl arguing,

girl’s defence, expressing their anger and opinions on how women should not be judged by the underwear they choose to wear and how, “Clothes are not consent”. Unfortunately, that is the sad truth, there are people out there who will take one look at a young woman and take into account that she’s dressed in a short dress, her choice of lingerie is lace and perhaps she’s had a bit too much alcohol consumed, and they will think to themselves, “Yes, she’s dressed like that for a reason, she obviously must be consenting to something more, by how she has chosen to look”. That is wrong. If a woman wants to wear a black lace thong, then that is her own decision, but don’t use

that decision against her. Don’t imply that she’s looking for something more, when, in reality, she prefers wearing underwear like that. There needs to be an end put to this victim-blaming. If there isn’t, then how will that encourage future victims of sexual harassment and assault to come forward and place what little trust they have left in the justice system? We should be able to look at ourselves in the mirror before a night out and smile at how we look and how

we are dressed. We should be able to think about the memories we will make with those we choose to go out with. We should be able to walk into pubs, or clubs, or through streets, and not have people stare at us like we are prey and they are the predator. When we look at ourselves and how we are dressed, we have innocent intentions. Don’t turn someone’s innocent intentions into a courtroom experience where they are judged by what they wore on that night out.

Do you think students go out too much, or is it a crucial part of the University’s social experience? by Katie Barragry A typical student is lying lifeless in their bed after a night out, in the city of chaos that many refer to as Galway. Like many of her fellow classmates, she is feeling a bit worse for wear. Concussed with a monster headache after one drink too many, she desperately fights off that dreadful nauseous feeling that many of us know all too well. The blinding light seeping in through the curtains is aggravating her poor eyes, crusty with last night’s mascara and €3.50 Penney’s fake eyelashes. Today’s plan of action includes sleeping until the dreaded resurrection begins at about 3pm, just in time for her microbiology tutorial. On the way, she will grab a chicken fillet roll and a chilled 7UP, which she will thankfully inhale within minutes. After hours of agony, she has finally regained a somewhat humane feeling; a feeling enough to do it all again tonight. Last night was “such a bop”, after all.

I don’t know about you, but the minute I bravely announce that I am not making the trek out tonight, my friends transform into a group of over-enthusiastic motivational speakers. “What do you mean you’re not going out? What wild college stories are you going to tell your kids?” You’ve prepared yourself for this. It doesn’t work. “I have assignments to do and it’s not worth the hangover,” plays over and over in my head. They proceed with confidence boosters. “But why not? That black, sparkly dress looks unreal on you! It won’t be a good night without you!” You won’t break that easily. You’ve kept your guard up for all of five minutes and you are starting to believe that you’ve talked them out of it. “You can’t let that Sally Hansen go to waste”. That’s it, they have you. The fake tan. Think of the effort you put in to ensure a sleek, even appearance. Think of the scrubbing and moisturizing just to ensure the next layer of orange grease didn’t come out patchy. Well, I couldn’t go out, could I? It would be a waste after all.

Long story short, two hours later, you’re queuing in the lashing rain for Electric, despite your previous protests of “I hate techno!” We have a reputation for alcoholism in Ireland and you cannot deny that Irish students are proudly living up to the stereotype. Whether you’re a heavy drinker or enjoy quiet pints, going out is a crucial element of your college social life. The pub, club or casual pre-drinks is the place you meet your friends for life. “Freshers’ Week” is a source of anxiety and panic for incoming first-year students, many of whom have been separated from their lifelong friends from home. After a drink or two, the nerves associated with meeting new people are alleviated and one tends to calm down in an unfamiliar social situation. A few hours on, in the bathroom of a club, you’re exchanging Snapchat names with a girl from Longford, who went to the Gaeltacht with your cousin. She fixes the smudged lipstick from

your teeth after you compliment her “fab” neon pink dress. You’re going for coffee tomorrow. Instant best friends. You don’t form those bonds around campus on a rainy Monday morning. College days are supposedly the best days of our lives, so it seems only right that we live it up and make the most of this glorified expectation. Going out and having a drink or two won’t kill you. Galway is renowned for its dynamic nightlife, so go make use of it while you can. You might be absolutely broken heading into your 9am the following morning, but I believe it is a sacrifice worth making. Going out might just be the stress reliever you need when you feel you need a break from the constant assignments, group projects, and extra reading. Where is the harm in winding down and having fun in the town once or twice a week? Where is the harm in having a few and getting dolled up with your friends? You won’t be recalling your college days as prolonged days spent in lecture theatres and labs. You won’t be

telling your children about excruciating days and nights spent cramming in a dark corner of the library. On the contrary, you will be telling them about the laughs you had over casual pints in Buskers on a Wednesday night, cans at the Spanish Arch when the sun decided to shine, and the antics on Shop Street at 3 am. You will recollect that comical pre-drinks in Corrib during “RAG Week” or that night you introduced your home friends to the Róisín Dubh’s beloved Silent Disco and changed their lives forever. Let’s be honest, your future self isn’t going to recall how interesting you found that module on advanced accounting to be. Live a little, so your future self has something to talk about. We will be in a 9 to 5 job soon enough; we may as well take advantage of the late starts and short days in college. Go out, have a bop and enjoy yourself. Just remember to leave a bottle of water and paracetamol beside your bed for the next morning.


October 08 2019


September and Christmas décor? Scandalous! by Rachel Garvey Santa Claus, in his gigantic red coat and black boots, with a jolly smile plastered on his chubby face, Christmas baubles encased in their plastic dwelling, just waiting to break free and roll all over the place when they are finally opened, tinsel hanging in different coloured strands of gold, green and red and gingerbread men waving at you from their little gingerbread houses. You continue to stare at them all for a full fifteen minutes, before a store employee comes up behind you, gently taps you on the shoulder and asks, “Excuse me Miss, is everything okay?”. No, everything is most certainly not okay! Your inner conscience is begging you to speak the silent thoughts that spin uncontrollably through your head, but you know that your outburst in front of the employee would not only turn a lot of heads, but could result in your dignity being lost. Your inner conscience is screaming, “Why? What is this? Why are these ghastly decorations here? Where are the pumpkins and the skeletons and the black cats with their evil eyes?! This is scandalous! Christmas decorations in September?”. Are you one of those people who feel conflicted as to how to feel about this or are you the type of person to become excited over seeing Christmas decorations in September? As an October baby, I love celebrating Halloween. Of course, I adore Christmas too, I become equally excited over both holidays, but one comes before the other. It’s not fair to mingle them together, it’s a date that is sure to end up going down a two-way street. One simply cannot have Christmas décor next to Halloween décor, it’s not right. The calendar clearly indicates that Halloween is due to arrive on October 31st, before the Christmas holidays in December. October and December are two completely different months, with two completely different reasons to celebrate.

How would we all feel if Halloween ended and Christmas décor hit the stores all over Ireland, but, ironically, some of the Halloween stock that didn’t sell from September to October is being sold at a reduced cost, would we feel annoyed? Of course we would, because Halloween is over and Christmas season would be slowly creeping in. We don’t appreciate seeing Halloween stock next to Christmas stock. However, why do we make an exception for Christmas stock coming in early, even as early as September? It’s completely understandable that there are a lot of people out there who prefer to purchase Christmas stock early, because it’s at a reasonable price, before prices go up in the months of November and December. Evil pumpkins and ghosts clearly don’t belong next to jolly-looking snowmen and elves holding their tiny little hammers while they make the toys for children all around the world. It’s a combination that will never mix well. To repeat, it’s a date that would go down a two-way street. Even in my own workplace, our back wall already is stocked with advent calendars and Christmas sweets, and part of me is thinking how scandalous it all is. However, we do need to take into account that many businesses make a profit from selling Christmas stock early, by selling them at a good price, or the promotional deals of “Buy 1 Get 1 Free”. I may not agree with Christmas décor being displayed in the month of September, but I do understand that stocking up on sweets and biscuits and small decorations while they aren’t at top price is very worthwhile and can create a sense of good organization. Stocking up now means you don’t have to worry about it later, while you’re in the middle of your Christmas shopping and both of your hands are red raw from carrying so many paper bags that are on the verge of breaking. However, the power isn’t in our hands to determine when Christmas stock is allowed to hit the shelves, the power is only in our hands to determine whether we give in to our guilty pleasures and purchase the stock. The power is also in our hands to move all that Christmas stock to the back of the shelf and replace it with Halloween stock from the shelves nearby, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that - the end result is not a good one. Trust me.

Social media overload by Dua Varun P.M Forni, in the introduction of his self-help book, “The Thinking Life”, narrates an imaginary story of an alien, here among us, taking down notes on life on Earth. The intelligent being from another universe notices that, for human beings, the most important aspect in their lives are the decisions that they make. These decisions drive our lives, make us who we are, and are the primary factors in determining success or failure. What makes us equipped to handle these decisions? Well, time spent thinking, of course. It does not take an alien to figure out that this is not such an obvious answer, because most of us don’t spend time doing any kind of thinking at all. The alien, however, notes, that people spend a lot of time looking into their phones. He found people sitting oblivious to the world around, in restaurants, bus stops, airports, etc. Have you ever noticed such people around you? Or are you, yourself, buried in Facebook too often to even take notice of this? A typical millennial sitting in a café would spend more time looking into their phone than they would spend looking at their meal. It is not difficult to find a group of people smiling at their phones, rather than at each other. You would also not need to exert any effort to find people who would listen to music on Spotify rather than to what their friend has to say. Social media is not only eroding our abilities to spend time thinking, but also affects our interaction and social life in the real world. Social media has made the world a more connected, yet a much more isolated, place to live in. We all have twenty-four hours in a day, and the time we spend on social media mostly eats into the time we might utilise for thinking, introspection, and reflection. A recent study carried out by the J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics here in NUI Galway found that social media overload affects academic performance in students. Ironically, fear of missing out (FoMO) on social media causes students’

grades to suffer. The study finds that the overuse of social media is causing fatigue and loss of self-control among students. This diminished self-control causes them to put less effort into assignments and work. The study focuses on academic deliverables that could be measured, to arrive at conclusions. But, what about the deliverables that cannot be measured? Life is more than just academics, and social media affects all aspects of it. Low self-control can trigger other problems, such as lack of goals, low motivation, difficulty in controlling emotions, passive lifestyle, difficulty maintaining a friendship, etc. Do we all not flip out when our Wi-Fi runs slow, or when a video on YouTube takes longer to load? Patience is a part of self-control, and we, as a generation, have become impatient, all thanks to social media. In another book, titled ‘Sapiens’, Yuval Noah Harari talks about how globalization and social media have helped us create a negative self-image of ourselves. Today, it is not enough to be the most beautiful or the most intelligent in our house, family, neighbourhood or university. Our competition is with the entire world. We might be the fittest individual in our neighbourhood, but that counts for nothing when compared to the international model on Instagram. It has made our barriers to achievement higher, but at the same time increased our stress and lowered our self-esteem. Every coin has two sides to it. Social media has had some positive effects on social capital and employee engagement, but an overload of any technology diminishes its positive effects. The study talks about cognitive load. The human brain is only capable of remembering 150 people at a point in time. Irrespective of how many friends we might have on Facebook, we are not built to process information on that large scale, and, thus, an overload of social media causes exhaustion and cognitive stress. It is, therefore, important to set limits to the use of networking sites and employ the rest of our time and cognitive skills in pursuit of a better life.

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Where should the library invest their grant? By Amy Blaney Remember when you went on a sun holiday and there were people up at 7am reserving sun loungers with towels? This has become the scenario here at NUI Galway during exam season. Students queue outside waiting for the library to open, find a spot (with a plug), and leave their belongings for the day. This has become the culture here at NUI Galway. We need more space, more electrical plugs, and more bathrooms. The deteriorating conditions of the NUI Galway library have come under scrutiny in recent years, and students have been voicing their dissatisfaction with the library facilities. Students frequently complain about the cramped and outdated conditions of the James Hardiman Library, and I’ll admit I am one of them. In a survey carried out last year, 85% of the comments made about the library’s physical environment were negative. I have been a student here in NUI Galway for the past three years, and the library building is one I frequently visit. Not because I love the building, but because I need a place to do my work. The library is a core part of our university, but, unfortunately, our library has seen no investment in twenty years. Six other Irish universities across the country have made investments of at least €20 million over the past ten years to modernize their library buildings. Thankfully, in August, Joe McHugh, Minister for Education in Ireland, recently allocated €15 million towards funding the development of the James Hardiman Library. Here are my two cents on the James Hardiman Library and where the funding needs to go. Space in the library has been an issue since I first started at NUI Galway. During exam season, I have spent more times than I can count circling the library floor in pursuit of a seat. If I don’t bring my laptop to college and I need to get work done, I am left roaming the library for an available PC, which could take up to half an hour or more. This is simply because there are not enough PCs here in the library. What is worse, however, is the lack of electrical plugs to charge my laptop or other electrical devices. During busy periods, students battle to get to the library early to secure a table with a plug. Upstairs on the second floor is a prime example of this. ‘Short stay zones’ need electrical sockets. Other things I would like to see are more group study rooms, chill-out spaces, more heating in the winter months and longer opening hours. One of the biggest problems with the current library is the bathrooms, or the lack thereof. Out of the current three study floors in the main library, there are only two women’s bathrooms, and two men’s bathrooms, both inadequately small (two/ three cubicles in each). When the library is at full capacity during exam season, there are often queues outside for the women’s toilets. In the Nursing and Midwifery Library, there is only one toilet. Otherwise, students must go back to the main library to find the nearest bathroom. In my opinion, the library’s best asset is the staff, who always go above and beyond to help students out. With some technological advancements and a few decent bathrooms, we could breathe some life back into our library, and turn this negative environment into space we can learn, thrive and enjoy.

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03 An open letter to SIN from Renata Kempf, Lennita Oliveira Ruggi and Aisling Walsh:

How can we save the Amazon rainforest? Fighting for the forest means fighting alongside, not against, indigenous populations. The destruction of the Amazon rainforest represents a problem for the whole of humanity. The forest is one of the earths most important lungs, with an unparalleled biodiversity of flora and fauna. The current destruction is not created by the whole of humanity, but by resource exploitation and extraction that is fuelled by Western patterns of capitalist consumption, principally the agro-industrial production of cattle and soy. We are writing this piece in response to a student organised activity, ‘Rave for the Rainforest’, on October 9th, which intends to save the Amazon by buying up tracts of rainforest through the World Land Trust. While we commend this effort to raise awareness about the situation in the Amazon, we have some serious concerns about the destination of the funds raised. The model of conservation through privatisation, that is promoted by the World Land Trust, is deeply problematic. Indigenous peoples and peasants, who have traditionally occupied lands, are often forcibly evicted, or otherwise negatively impacted, during conservation processes. Furthermore, the buying and selling of land in South America is beset with problems, such as false or fraudulent land registries and the use of coercion to pressure individuals or communities into selling. We have to ask at this point - who exactly do they think they are buying the land from? The World Land Trust and other similar initiatives work based off of the colonialist assumption that animal life and human life are

separate and incompatible, as if they assume that local communities are irresponsible and incapable of developing a wise sustainable management of the natural resources. “Only to the white man was nature ever wilderness.” Standing Bear. Conservation through the creation of uninhabited reserves, based on the myth of nature untouched by human presence, is highly contested, even in the USA, where the model was first implemented. It cannot be in the Latin American context, where there are people living on every inch of land. In this model, those people are treated as invisible or unwanted, expelled of their lands in benefit of Western desires. Human people have been living in the amazon forever, as an integral part of the ecosystem and biodiversity. Indeed, research has shown that the forest would not exist without the presence of human guardianship. In fact, the only real option we have of saving the forest is ensuring that the rights of the traditional occupants of the land are protected from forced eviction and persecution in the name of conservation. According to Survival International, “Tribal peoples developed highly effective measures for maintaining the richness of their environment. They have sophisticated codes of conservation to stop overhunting and preserve biodiversity (...) The huge sums spent on conservation must be given to the cheapest solution – upholding tribal peoples’ land rights.” To ignore the importance of traditional communities is to ignore the knowledge built by them though centuries and to ignore all

of the scientific evidence, which proves the importance of those peoples, in favour of the idea that white, Western individuals, members of “a civilized” industrial society (the same industrial society responsible for the system that is destroying the Amazon), know better about conservation, and should be the ones to decide what and how to carry out this conservation. Using money, power and privilege in this way is extremely unethical. We suggest the funds from this event be redirected to support local community-led organisations that provide holistic and sustainable solutions to the issue of deforestation in the Amazon, and who work with, and not against, the peoples of the Amazon. The destruction we are creating in the Amazon is symptomatic of a wider problem of control over land and resources, which indigenous land rights movements have been working to change for years. It will not be solved by one individual, nor organisation, creating further inequality by buying up land. Indeed, this model does little other than create further inequality, where access to land and resources is already scarce. It requires sustained activism, rather than one-off actions. We welcome the interest of other student and societies to engage with these issues collectively and over a long-term basis, and invite students for a night of discussion and debate, where we will show the screening of Martirio, about the Guaraní people of the Amazon basin, the date and time for which will be announced shortly.

Fast food waste

or else don’t fully follow through in their efforts. I once worked in a fast-food restaurant that dispensed compostable forks and knives with meals…Only there were no compost bins provided for customers, so these single-use utensils ended up in the general waste. However, it’s a bit of a straw-man argument (sorry) to claim that anyone wanting to ban plastic straws thinks that it is the key to solving the climate crisis. It matters that businesses are finally starting to wean themselves off their plastic addiction. Are we forgetting how omnipresent plastic has been in modern times? Somewhere along the way, plastic rooted itself into our daily lives. The start of this century saw it replace the glass milk bottle and, in 2009, it usurped Cadbury’s iconic paper and gold foil wrapping (the reason for which still eludes me – who in their right minds ‘reseals’ a Dairy Milk bar instead of scoffing it all in one sitting?). Supermarkets are teeming with the stuff. There’s no chance of exiting the store without your groceries accompanied by unwanted reams of single-use plastic wrapping that is now your responsibility to dispose of. Therein lies the problem. We are told time and time again that we must be ‘conscious consumers’ if we want to help the environment. This would be perfectly reasonable if convenient and affordable sustainable alterna-

tives were incentivized and freely available. For those of us who do care, navigating the minefield of sourcing hard-to-come-by and often more expensive eco-friendly options, and deciphering what truly is recyclable/compostable (plastic infused teabags, anyone?) can easily feel like a burden. However, seeing these plastic-free alternatives reach the mainstream in fast food giants like Supermacs is cause for celebration. Lest we forget, it was the college students of Ireland who led the charge against single-use plastics in this country, with initiatives taking off in universities last year. Businesses followed suit. Supermacs’ gesture is a symbol of that small victory of correcting harmful industry wrongdoings. We now have a wider range of outlets to avail of groceries and personal items, without the curse of plastic trailing us behind – the newly opened The Filling Station springs to mind. Shops of its ilk seem such a practical and obvious solution that one wonders why it wasn’t thought of before, but these zero-waste havens speak of our shifting attitudes to waste. Yes, plastic is only part of the problem, and straws only part of that. But in this shift, spurred by young people, lies the blueprint for our generation, to quote a great lady, “to redeem the work of fools” who left us this legacy.

by Ellen Kissane Supermacs is going green and has hopped aboard the eco-train. The Irish fast food joint is ditching single-use plastics for paper straws, recyclable cups, and biodegradable burger wraps. One is reminded of the time the lesser ‘Mac’ of the fastfood world, McDonald’s, sparked an almighty wave of derision and slagging off across the internet last month, when its new paper straws were deemed unrecyclable. I would hazard a guess that this gleeful mockery was due to: a) the act being seen as a failed green-washing effort by big business to capitalize on the growing climate justice movement, or b) ‘Straws? You plan to save the planet with paper straws?!’ Make no mistake, green-washing by companies is alive and well, especially now that eco-lifestyles have gained a foothold in the mainstream, as the reality of climate breakdown becomes more apparent. Products and services often claim vague notions of ‘greenness’, which are either intentionally misleading,


October 08 2019


After Greta Thunberg’s rousing speech to UN delegates, both sides of the climate change debate have held firm to their beliefs. Is one side scaremongering, or is there even a debate to be had at all? Cian Mortimer and Aaron Deering have slightly differing views on the matter.

The character assassination of Greta Thunberg by Cian Mortimer In the current social and political climate, I’m sure that, unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of the inspirational young figure that is Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist, who sparked the widespread student protests. Following on from this, Greta recently gave a stirring speech at a United Nations Conference. Greta used this world stage to call out the figures of authority who have let the planet deteriorate into the state of free-fall which it currently finds itself in. Not everyone, however, has reacted quite as positively as most of the population to Greta’s inspiring show of leadership. Since Greta’s speech from the United Nations’ Conference made its way to viewers around the world, the usual cohort of Z-Class political commentators have come out with their familiar drivel - this time, directed at Greta Thunberg. These thinly veiled attacks on the character of Greta Thunberg seem to originate mainly, although perhaps not solely, from the more conservative of political commentators, born during the ‘Baby Boom’. These character assaults, poorly disguised as ignorant political commentary, have ranged greatly. Commentators have targeted everything from Greta’s physical appearance and her mental state, to her credibility and the agenda of those who support it. One particular quote which drew a shocked, outraged reaction came from a guest on Fox News, Michael Knowles. Knowles made the claim that “The climate hysteria is not about science. If it were about science, it would be led by scientists, rather than by politicians and a mentally ill Swedish child, who is being exploited by her parents”. Blatant social and scientific ignorance aside, the decision of a fully grown adult, and so-called ‘political commentator’, to target the mental state of a young girl fighting against

the demise of the planet is equally baffling, frightening, and disheartening. Aside from an array of outlandish accusations (such as Dinesh D’Souza’s attempt to draw a connection between Thunberg’s physical appearance and Nazi propaganda from the 1930’s), one particular article which stuck in my mind was that of the ever-ignorant and obtuse Piers Morgan. This

to discredit the legitimacy of Thunberg’s endeavors. In the main body of the article’s text, one quote grabbed my attention more so than any other. Morgan says that “If you’re a conservative, she’s a whining, crying, annoyingly self-righteous weirdo who is massively exaggerating the imminent threat posed by climate change and just ‘doesn’t get it’”. Although Morgan follows it

article, written by Piers Morgan, is headlined “Grating Greta’s a vulnerable to young drama queen who should go back to school, but President Trump must stop mocking her and start listening- because she’s right about climate change”. Despite, at least, acknowledging the existence of climate change, Morgan’s headline is immediately demeaning and a clear attempt

up by saying he himself is somewhat split on her character, the quote itself still struck me as concerning. Even if expressing the view he imagines someone else having, Morgan paints Thunberg in quite a demeaning light, symptomatic of the smear campaign against Thunberg which certain sections of the conservative community have committed themselves to.

Having acknowledged the existence of this smear campaign, another question begs itself - why are a section of the world population, who ought to have the wisdom and social responsibility to know better, personally targeting the character of a 16-year-old girl? The simple answer is that they are scared. Certain classes of society, particularly within certain generations, have become very accustomed to the cushy lifestyle in their own upper-class bubble. These same people also happen to be the ones who won’t have to live to see the worst consequences that their actions are having on the planet. To them, Greta Thunberg represents an annoying little pest, who is intent on seeing them held accountable for their actions. To make matters even more frustrating for these people, Greta has no troubled past or dark secret which they can draw upon for ammunition. Greta Thunberg is, essentially, a symbol of innocence and bravely fighting to save the planet. As a result, those who see her as a threat to their way of life, and are intent on discrediting her, are having to stoop to very low levels to do so. This represents another dangerous development in the right-wing campaign of misinformation and propaganda. What can we as citizens do individually? First of all, think carefully about whose word you do or don’t trust, particularly online. Second of all, don’t buy into, or take to heart, anything that may be said about Greta Thunberg during, or as a result of, this disgusting and targeted campaign. Acknowledge its existence, call out the perpetrators, and give it no further oxygen. Most important of all, continue to fight against climate change. We don’t have time left to delay anymore, action has to be taken as soon as possible and it has to be drastic. As the movement progresses, the dissenters will mount, as Greta Thunberg has found out recently, but that just means we have to shout louder. The clock is continually ticking, and now more than ever we need ‘system change, not climate change’.

We’re all hypocrites when it comes to climate change By Aaron Deering There’s been a lot of attention on climate change in recent weeks, due to Greta Thunberg and the school strikes for the climate movement. A lot of this has been positive, but there have also been negatives. The positives have been that it has highlighted the important issue of climate change, which is a very much real problem that I recognize. It has also made society and governments more conscious of climate change. The negatives are that, sadly, it’s taken a sixteen-year-old girl to finally make people aware of the harm we’re doing to our planet. She’s right when she says she shouldn’t have been put in this position, and the online abuse she has taken has been disgusting and a negative around what was supposed to be a positive movement. Anyone watching her speech at the UN will agree with what she was advocating, but they will also agree that, at one stage, it was disturbing, as it’s clear the girl is under immense pressure and that it is starting to take its toll on her. It’s not healthy for a girl her age to be under this intense scrutiny and pressure, so I do ask the question; why have her parents allowed this to happen?

The other negative is the scaremongering Greta herself has caused, because there are kids genuinely frightened about climate change and, yes, this isn’t exactly a bad thing, as it shows that they do care about the planet, but kids shouldn’t be worrying about this, they should be out enjoying their childhood. The scaremongering is caused by Greta and the climate change movement, because they’re creating the

that I have with the climate change movement: they’re not realistic and, by this, I mean we can’t just switch from running everything from oil and electricity to renewable energy overnight. Greta and the climate change movement are great for advocating for climate change and demanding change, but they never offer real solutions. By real solutions, I mean, like, how are we going to replace all the jobs lost when

This is the problem that I have with the climate change movement: they’re not realistic and, by this, I mean we can’t just switch from running everything from oil and electricity to renewable energy overnight. Greta and the climate change movement are great for advocating for climate change and demanding change, but they never offer real solutions. impression that, unless something is done by tomorrow, the whole world will end and that’s not true. Yes, we don’t have a lot of time, but we do have a small window of time to change things. This is the problem

we shut down the oil industry or how are we going to make green ideas, such as electric cars, affordable to the average person? These are people’s livelihoods and it’s not as simple as advocating for change and

simply destroying people’s lives in the process. Yes, I accept that the planet is being destroyed as well, but we need to come up with a proper plan first, before just launching into something that may turn out to be completely wrong in 10 years. An example of this is how many of us, not too long ago, were told diesel cars were better for the environment than petrol, and then to find out they’re worse. The thing is that a lot of people my age are hypocrites when it comes to climate change. How many people claim they care about the environment but still left thousands of tents at Stradbally after Electric Picnic, or how many of us left cans behind along the Spanish Arch during the recent good spell of weather? This is the problem with most of us, as we are hypocrites when it comes to climate change, because we say one thing and do the opposite. For me, actions speak louder than words and it’s time we put our talk into action and into proper workable solutions. It’s not as easy as just putting a new tax on everybody, such as the carbon tax, because you’ll quickly find that once people’s pockets are hit, they will turn hypocritical and will look after themselves rather than the planet. That’s why we’re all hypocrites when it comes to climate change.

18  FA SH IO N & L I F EST Y L E Decorate your college bedroom in style: how to make your student house into a home away from home By Anastasia Burton It can be quite terrifying, moving away from home and having to leave the bedroom you more than likely grew up in. It’s hard when you step inside your new “home” and find fresh walls, while at home you probably had posters, pictures, fairy lights, and other such decorations, hiding that freshness. The first night in a room which has yet to become familiar can cause the worst kind of sleep and increase your levels of anxiety... But don’t you worry! Aunty Ana has you covered! I will give you a few helpful tips as to how you can make your new room resemble your old, in a brand-new way. STEP 1: Do not overpack your things while moving from one place to another! Take only things which add the most character to the room. STEP 2: If your walls are terrifyingly white, take some photographs of family and friends from home and stick them around the room in whatever fashion you prefer. STEP 3: Bring your favorite set of bedsheets and put them on as soon as you start unpacking to add that bit of familiarity to the room. STEP 4: Go to Penneys and browse the reduction section of the home décor section. You can find all sorts of things there! From cheap pillows you can place on your bed, to adorable fairy lights you can hang up somewhere in the room. Always check reduction sections for the best deals; we are all students and we’re all struggling financially. STEP 5: Something I started doing in my own bedroom away from home is sticking up seashells around the room in random areas. I would get these seashells either from the beach or buy fake ones and clean them out. Then I would blu tack them to my wall. My bedroom now has an ocean theme, and I’m digging it, so you might too! STEP 6: As corny as it sounds, bring your favorite teddy. This might be a silly suggestion to most, but it is a nice touch to bring something from your childhood along to the journey of your adulthood. It will make you feel more at ease at your new place since you will have a familiar face waiting for you back home (even if that face is made up of faux fur and fluff)! STEP 7: Bring your own cup, plate, bowl, and possibly even cutlery (one of each should do you fine, 1 spoon, 1 knife, and such). This might also seem like a quirky and odd thing to add to the list, but it is useful. Having your own cutlery from home will make you feel like you’re having your meal with family, which could make you feel more at ease with the new setting. STEP 8: Buy a plant from the weekend market on Shop Street! At the market, there is a gentleman selling home-grown cacti and other funky little plants, and at €3 for small plants and €5 for bigger ones, they won’t break the bank! The reason I’m suggesting this is because plants can really brighten up a room and add a sense of hospitality to the premises, which would be a beautiful little touch to your new environment. There are many things you could do to make your transition to your new home a smooth one. However, you will have to see what your options are before you start decorating. I hope my advice has helped you a little bit! Good luck!

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Green Carpet Awards 2019:

Sustainable Fashion takes Centre Stage in Milan

By Megan Frei Last week, the third annual Green Carpet Awards took place in Milan to celebrate an ever-growing awareness for sustainable, ethical fashion. The green carpet used for the event was created using 2,000 metres of ECONYL nylon, constructed from fishing nets and nylon waste. After the award show, the carpet was repurposed and the flowers used for the event were both donated and planted locally in Milan. Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco-Age, attended the star-studded gala with her husband by her side. Big names like Anna Wintour, Adut Akech, Letitia Wright, Candace Swanepoel, Alessanda Ambrosio, and Shailene Woodley came out to support slow fashion. Taking the Green Carpet Challenge, the guests in attendance worked with different designers to dress in vintage or recycled garments. EcoAge describes the Green Carpet Challenge as a way to combat today’s disposable fashion industry, stating, “Fashion designs should not have an expiry date. Over-production and premature garment disposal are key challenges faced by the industry today and they have a significant environmental impact.” In recycling previously-worn gowns, stars walking the Green Carpet helped dispel the myth that a beautiful garment should only be worn once. Several designers were awarded for their outstanding achievements towards fashion and conservation. Deservingly so, Stella McCartney was honoured with a GFCA Groundbreaker Award for her work in sustainable fashion. Among the many steps Stella has taken to be kinder to the planet,

such as her refusal to use leather and committing to using recycled fabrics in her products, McCartney has also partnered with TheRealReal, which promotes a circular fashion life cycle, to help ensure her products will never become waste. Serving as an important reminder of the changes the fashion industry needs to make to reduce its environmental footprint, the Green Carpet Awards night celebrated designers who are committed to making change and inspiring other big brands to do the same. While most brands in the fashion industry are recognizing the importance of moving towards a cleaner, greener future, very few brands are actually taking the necessary steps to lessen their waste and improve workers’ rights. Designers like Stella McCartney are setting an important precedent for both luxury and high street brands, urging other designers to prioritise repurposed and biodegradable fabric, in addition to zero-waste business practices. Sustainable practices in fashion, such as using recycled plastic water bottles and repurposing old textiles, are at the forefront of the fashion discussion. As consumers, it’s our job to consume consciously. Although the burden of sustainably producing products should be placed on companies, consumers have to take it on themselves to shop responsibly and forego the tempting high street prices for a less wasteful alternative. Many of us are aware of the horrific effects of fast-fashion’s pollution and waste, and, luckily, slow and ethical fashion is more accessible than ever. Although a student budget probably doesn’t leave room for Stella McCartney, there is a plethora of other chic, sustainable options to suit all tastes.

SUSTAINABLE BRANDS WORTH CHECKING OUT: • The OG sustainable fashion brand Reformation now offers free shipping to many countries, including Ireland. • People Tree, Amour Vert, Birdsong, and Organic Basics offer a nice foray into organic clothing. • Vejas, Allbirds, Rothys for your sustainable footwear needs. • Depop is a great way to get trendy secondhand clothing while helping save the planet. • If you prefer the in-store shopping experience to an online one, gently pre-loved clothes are easy (and fun) to find in Siopaella Designer Exchange in Dublin and No. 8 in Galway. As the next decade looms, and ecological changes are becoming an ever-present reality, everyone has a part to play in the collective mission towards a healthier planet. Take a page out of the Green Carpet playbook and try thinking about the “why” before you buy. Whether our vice is vintage clothes or high-end brands, we all have the power to be more conscious consumers and to push the future of fashion in a positive direction.

October 08 2019




Beauty Brand Review: The best and worst of Maybelline By Ewelina Szybinska We need to address the fact that all beauty brands have their bestsellers, and those which don’t make it far. I’m here to give you the inside scoop on the brand Maybelline. It’s good to be aware of the recommended products made by affordable brands. When we manage to discover the brand’s strengths and weaknesses, we also develop the skill of investing our money wisely. Most of us are university students, so the trial and error concept can become quite expensive. Let me save you the trouble and go right into the best and worst of Maybelline.

The FITme! Matte + Poreless Foundation/ FITme! Dewy + Smooth Foundation This has been a hit from the start! To begin, it is very affordable, compared to many other foundations. The price and the quality of the product have proven to be a number one choice for many people. The foundation can be bought for €10.99 (30ml) from Boots. It is also available in many pharmacies and even some clothing stores. We all have specific expectations from our foundation- even skin tone, medium coverage and preferably a smooth texture with our pores hidden. It’s great to find something that does not crease or makes the skin look cakey. If you’re not a fan of a matte foundation and usually look for something with a bit of a glow, I, like many others, will recommend the FITme! Dewy + Smooth Foundation. It’s very much like the previous one I’ve spoken about, but instead of a matte finish it leaves a luminous glow, which some people might prefer. Plus, it hydrates, leaving your skin feeling light and moisturised.

When it comes to foundation, I do prefer to invest in something pricier, hoping it will work magic! I was surprised to find a great dupe for a foundation that I usually buy from the more high-end brands. It is our skin we are dealing with, after all, and I can admit that I always worried about quality if a foundation was cheaper. I’ve been using FITMe! for months now without any fault, and it has saved me a lot a money. The shade range deserves some recognition. For a drugstore brand, Maybelline has a good range of tones. It’s price even allows you to buy two and maybe mix shades for the perfect colour. For optimum results, I recommend using a damp beauty blender, although I can safely say that a good makeup brush will leave you with a similar outcome.

Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer Hands down, the best concealer I have ever used! Not only that, but the tone blends so well with your skin colour that it leaves a natural effect. Many can’t tell whether I have applied it or not, but this is not to contradict that this concealer great coverage! I noticed a gradual change in my day-to-day makeup routine, where I started switching from wearing a daily foundation to only needing concealer. This one is ideal to cover up any dark circles and any types of scarring or blemishes. I can assure you that this product gives that little boost of confidence, but if you don’t mind your blemishes, then rock the bare face! You can get this concealer in Boots for €11.99(6.8ml) but I would recommend looking online, as you can catch these on sale for €7.45! Visit, as they have been holding a sale for some time now and the delivery is FREE.

Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick Firstly, the word “matte” may be a bit misleading in this situation. The colours are truly beautiful, but the let-down is how it shows once applied. They can appear patchy and need around 2-3 layers for a good colour and application, despite the wand being reasonably good. There is a good shine to these lipsticks, but if you’re looking for complete matte coverage, I feel that there are better lipsticks out there. It costs €6.45(8ml) and can be found on Despite this, the lipstick does have a few fans! Whether we love or hate a product really depends on how much we expect of it. Of course, it’s supposed to fit its purpose, but this can vary to some degree for different people.


Beauty Brand Review: Clinique By Amy Blaney

Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour AutoReplenishing Hydrator I originally bought this product in duty-free at the airport a few years ago and I have fallen in love with it and rebought it ever since. This amazing oil-free and lightweight moisturiser is suitable for all skin types. I tried the Estée Lauder Day Wear matte moisturiser a few months back, and I must say, although they feel quite similar in consistency (a light cream-gel), this product was far better. The product claims 72 hours of hydration, which I won’t lie, I’m slightly sceptical about and contains hyaluronic acid, caffeine and activated aloe water to plump the skin with moisture. I originally started using this product to hydrate my weakened sensitive skin from acne medications. I wanted something lightweight, that didn’t feel like it was sitting on my oily skin. I highly recommend this moisturiser to those with sensitive skin. It leaves the face soft, smooth and ready for make-up application.

Clinique beyond perfecting foundation and concealer The Clinique beyond perfecting foundation and concealer is a 2 in 1 foundation. This foundation suits all skin types and leaves a glowing complexion on the skin. What I liked about this foundation was its oil-free formula, which suits those who suffer from acne/oily skin. However, it still retains the moisture and doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry, which a lot of oil-free foundations do. I would suggest this foundation to those who prefer a full-coverage look, as it is very full coverage. It covered all my spots and acne marks. However, it’s very buildable when applying light layers, if you’re not a full-coverage girl. Pros: I loved the finish, coverage and longevity of this foundation. Cons: My only drawback with this foundation is the applicator. It comes with a concealer wand applicator and I would love if it had a pump instead.

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm This is a great, easy-to-use cleansing balm that removes all make-up. Just rub it in all over the face with clean wet hands and make-up melts away. I recommend removing with a damp face cloth and follow up with a second cleanser to thoroughly remove all dirt from the face. The consistency of this cleaning balm is similar to coconut oil, without the scent. A point to note here is that this product takes a bit of work to remove waterproof eye make-up. I recommend massaging it gently on the eye area to remove stubborn make-up. Alternatively, if you’re in the market for a good cleansing balm and willing to pay extra, Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is great at removing all kinds of make-up.

20  FA SH IO N & L I F EST Y L E

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03


SU LOCKERS By Fergus Efe O’Donoghue

NUI Galway Students’ Union


udapest is a city that captures the imagination of many. From student partygoers to adult couples, the city has a reputation for just being a great place to be. As you read this, it’s likely that you stopped for a moment and thought: ‘oh yeah, Budapest, I should really go sometime’, maybe thinking back to that time you and a few friends said

Seomra Cótaí SAOR IN AISCE Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn

went under. A group of students eventually emerged and started this new festival on the entirety of 266-acre Obuda Island, located in the Danube river which runs straight through Budapest. They made a massive loss, only making the money back in 1997, by which time they were sponsored by Pepsi, but continued with an annual festival until then. Today the festival is 7 days long and hugely popular- last year it drew in 565,000 people over its course! The festival tends to be a mashup of everything from rap, to rock, to soul, to techno but with a bit of a focus on rock. It was a wild seven days. At the start, I was proudly strutting about in my bucket hat, floral shirt, boots and shorts; by the end of it, I looked like a Mad Max drifter, shuffling around in the kicked-up dust storm, with welding goggles and a bandana over my mouth. There were flags of every country (and some that don’t exist), fun and games of every kind, and people in all states of self-destruction. I would highly, highly recommend Sziget Festival.


CITY PASS Another reason to consider going in time for Sziget is the City Pass, which you can get at the airport once you’ve landed for a separate fee. It gives you free access to the buses in the city, as well as discounts for all kinds of museums and venues, and a day pass in a spa (which became an invaluable mid-Sziget break). Go see some Hungarian traditional dancing near the Jewish Quarter, and definitely go to Buda Castle. A complex on a hilltop, overlooking the entire city, there are fantastic views to be had here and some very, very thorough museums too (with great gift shops). There, I heard a commotion in the distance behind me, and walked over to catch the changing of the guard for the President’s office. Tall soldiers in chic 20th-century military apparel marched and put on a quick show with their rifles, as the crowd watched on. Their uniforms had a stunning resemblance to those worn by the Brownshirts.

PAPRIKA And finally, the food is incredible… It helps that paprika makes everything taste better. Even chain-store pizzas tasted


The bars you’ll probably hear mention of the most are the Ruin Bars, of which Szimpla is the most popular. They’re quite different, quirkylooking bars in the centre of the city, which simultaneously manage to feel hipster and ghetto.



you should definitely go next year. Or, maybe you’ve never given the city a second thought. Either way, Budapest has got a lot to offer.


First thing’s first, there’s Sziget Festival. I started my journey to Budapest three months before I arrived, when I booked a prefab tent on Obuda Island. Sziget Festival, meaning Island Festival, started in 1993 after the Communists in Hungary fell. Budapest had been host to a lively summer festival until then, but when the government and its Soviet supports collapsed, funding was cut and the tradition

FREELife Skills Thursday & Fridays




The nightlife back in the city isn’t half bad either. By our standards, alcohol is cheap and of generally good quality - if you want to be brave, try Unicum, an old Hungarian Jaegermeister-type drink, or

enjoy the nightlife in the city, it seems like you need to be with a group of people or friends to begin with.

09:00-18:00 Only

Ar Oscailt Déardaoin agus Aoine 09:00-18:00 Amháin

help yourself to the distinct Hungarian Tokaj wines (I liked the Yellow Muscat). The bars you’ll probably hear mention of the most are the Ruin Bars, of which Szimpla is the most popular. They’re quite different, quirky-looking bars in the centre of the city, which simultaneously manage to feel hipster and ghetto. Some places I didn’t notice many tourists at, though, were the riverside bars near the parliament building. A local friend took me there, and, sure enough, the citizens of Budapest were laughing, shouting, drinking, and doubling over in underpasses - great craic altogether. What I will say, is that if you want to

so much better! I would guarantee you that there are great places to dine anywhere you happen to be, and for affordable prices at that. In my four days in the city after Sziget, I stayed in a hotel right across the street from a place called Matula Bistro, which my friend and I haunted every evening. It’s a small bistro that serves traditional food, from the basics of goulash (stew) and fried cheese, to exotic and delicious foods like mushroom soup with chopped almonds and a hardboiled quail egg. In the mornings after our bistro meal, still sedated, we would sometimes go to the nearby ‘bubo’ for a similarly nirvanic brunch.

It’s been my biggest challenge.

And my greatest achievement. Graduate Area Manager Programme • €61,000 starting salary (rising to €101,600 after four years) • Pension • Healthcare • Audi A4/BMW 3 series • Closing date for applications is November 30 2019 The Area Manager role gives graduates real responsibility and opportunities to progress. You’ll need to combine intelligence and fresh ideas with a determined ‘roll your sleeves up’ attitude. But from day one I had a plan for the whole year. I was given world-class training from a global retailer and a dedicated mentor who helped me throughout. By the end of the year I knew I was making a real contribution to the success of one of Ireland’s fastest-growing supermarkets. Amazing when you think about it.

Find out more at

22  FA SH I O N & L I F EST Y L E

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

A Weekend in her Style: Vanessa Hudgens By Amanda Leeson Vanessa Hudgens is a name we all remember from her iconic role as Gabriella in the Disney hit movie “High School Musical”. The star’s personal style differs quite a bit from that of the romantic, girly style of her character, yet Vanessa has made a name for herself as a bohe-

It’s finally Friday outfit We can all appreciate that by Friday’s 9am lecture, you really just want to be cosy and comfortable (especially when those winter weather conditions hit). Oversized baggy jogger bottoms will make you feel like you’re wearing pyjamas, but you’ll look put together (and its actually acceptable to wear them outside). Vanessa paired the joggers with a distressed denim jacket and some loafers to dress up the outfit slightly, without compromising on comfort. She added oversized shades and a baseball hat to the look to give it that cool girl vibe. She sports a faux leather backpack which you can grab, throw all your bits and pieces into and run out the door.

Seriously stylish Saturday outfit

The “It’s finally Friday” outfit

Super cosy Sunday outfit

mian princess, who absolutely nails it in the style stakes. We have taken some of Vanessa’s best Autumn/Winter styles and broken them to into pieces that will suit your wardrobe and your student budget.

On Saturday, it’s time for a night out. We have taken inspiration from Vanessa’s simple, yet effective, dressy look. She pairs a simple tailored trouser with a slightly cropped balloon sleeve top. This look is sophisticated and classic,

The “Seriously stylish Saturday” outfit while still being age-appropriate and, because this outfit is so simple, you can really add some personality to it, by pairing it with some detailed jewellery. The look is finished with classic nude tone heels and a sleek high bun. This outfit is super easy to recreate, while breaking the stereotypical jeans-anda-nice-top go-to look.

Sunday’s outfit is a mix of casual and puttogether. Vanessa rocks the classic Autumn trend of dungarees with some heeled ankle boots; this look is super stylish, but also has very little items that you need to purchase in order to get the style yourself. A pair of dungarees are a staple in your wardrobe because you can make them suitable for all seasons, depending what you mix-and-match with them. In Autumn, pairing this denim number with a long sleeve body suit and your favourite coat will keep you warm but also stylish. Vanessa has also been spotted rocking dungarees in the summer months, paired with a t-shirt and some sandals. Investing in this one-piece hero item might just solve your fashion woes for years to come. If you really want to go all out and emulate Vanessa’s style head to toe, you could take some inspiration from her signature mermaid-style hair. Loose, slightly messy, bohemian waves are what Vanessa is known for and if you have the skills to get that look, go for it. Vanessa Hudgens’ fashion choices are simple and accessible, while also being perfect for student life. The actress’ personal style is a long way from many of the characters she plays, but her fashion in itself has carved out a separate iconic personality for the star.

The “Super cosy Sunday” outfit

J-Lo’s Versace Revival at Milan Fashion Week By Amy Blaney Move over Kim K, J-LO is breaking the internet, again. It’s been nineteen years since Jennifer Lopez broke the internet

with that plunging animal print chiffon Versace dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards. It has also been nineteen years since the creation of the Google Image function, which we also have J-Lo to thank for. Back in 2000, Google had so many searches for the green dress, it created the Google Image search engine to cope with the problem. Fashion really is the way forward. However, last week at Milan Fashion Week, Versace opened its vault and reminded us once more of the iconic moment when Lopez stepped out onto the red carpet with then-boyfriend Sean Combs in the sheer ensemble. At Versace’s spring/summer showcase in Milan Fashion Week, a re-vamped version of the Versace dress was debuted by Lopez to mark nearly two decades since the iconic fashion moment. The ageless beauty closed out the show and displayed the final piece from the animal print collection by strutting down the runway in an updated version of the 2000 green, silk dress. Lopez was joined onstage by Donatella herself, as the pair proudly displayed their twenty-year friendship. The dress remained similar to the original, although it lost its sleeves and the green colour was more notably vivid and intense, with added embroidery. Lopez recently revealed she was almost talked out of wearing the green dress back in 2000 by her long-time stylist, Andrea Lieberman, who didn’t want Lopez to wear the dress to the awards show because it had been worn previously by one of the Spice Girls and Sandra Bullock. Back in 2000, the dress sparked curiosity for its daring low plunging neckline and sheer material, leaving

décolletage, abs and legs on full display. As Jennifer walked on stage to present the first award of the night, it was the dress that caught the eye of the media, not the awards.“The dress was just provocative enough to make people interested,” said Lopez in a recent interview with Vogue magazine. Since meeting at the Met Gala in 1999, Lopez has worn an array of Versace dresses to mark her biggest moments, both on the red carpet and onstage for her Las Vegas residency. “She was always sending me dresses for whatever I needed. It was a natural, organic relationship that wasn’t forced. It is a friendship that goes back many years,” said Lopez in an interview with Vogue. In 2015, she attended the Met Gala with Versace in a sheer ruby red off-theshoulder dress, and again in 2019, in a jaw-dropping sparkling Versace dress. For her fiftieth birthday party in Miami this year, Lopez donned a gold custom made buckle strap bodice Versace dress. In a recent interview Lopez said, “One dress can change the directory of how people dress for the next ten years,” and how right she was. Fashion statements like this can solidify a celebrity’s career and a fashion house’s reputation for decades to come. The green dress certainly propelled Jennifer Lopez into a fashion icon overnight. Almost twenty years later, her signature super high slits, ultra-low necklines, combined with figure hugging silhouettes continue to influence the fashion world today. Just imagine what Lopez is going to wear to the Oscars this year when she collects her trophy for Hustlers. Yes, we’re calling it now!

Coiste Gnó



Vice President / Education Officer Leas Uachtarán / Oifigeach Oideachais

Vice-President / Welfare and Equality Officer Leas-Uachtarán / Oifigeach Leasa agus Comhionannais

President / Uachtarán

Cameron Keighron

Clare Austick 086 385 3658 086 385 5502

Brandon Walsh 086 385 3659

Oifigeach na Gaeilge Irish Language Officer

Mature Students’ Officer Oifigeach Mic Léinn Lánfhásta

Postgraduate Research Officer Oifigeach na nIarchéimithe i mbun Taighde

Postgraduate Taught Officer Oifigeach na nIarchéimithe Teagasctha 091 493 570 089 966 4053 089 442 6068 083 380 2180

Societies Chairperson Cathaoirleach na gCumann

Clubs Captain Captaen na gClubanna

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

Convenor of the College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies / Tionólaí Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta & an Léinn Cheiltigh 083 141 9712 087 094 5959 085 204 8786 091 493 570

Convenor of the College of Science Tionólaí Choláiste na hEolaíochta

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

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

Convenor of the College of Engineering & Informatics / Tionólaí Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na Faisnéisíochta 085 208 6945 091 493 570 085 205 5717 091 493 570

International Students Officer Oifigeach na Mac Léinn Idirnáisiúnta

Gender and LGBT+ Rights Officer Oifigeach um Chearta Inscne agus LADT+

Disability Rights Officer Oifigeach um Chearta Míchumais

Ethnic Minorities Officer Oifigeach na Mionlach Eitneach

Avery Fenton

Morgan Queeney

Alex Coughlan

Victoria Chihumura 091 493 570 087 670 8339 085 816 3837 085 231 3107

Erin Mac An tSaoir

Chuka Paul Oguekwe

Pádraic Toomey

Oissíne Moore

Kenny Cooke

Teil/Tel: Ríomhphost/Email:

Scott Green

Aisling Fitzgerald

+353 (0)91 493 570

Emily Tock

Clodagh McGivern

Dheeraj Gudluru

Martin Smyth

Sachi Sinha

Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland. Áras na Mac Léinn, OÉ Gaillimh, Bóthar na hOllscoile, Gaillimh, Éire.



By Sarah Gill


9 October - DNA Nightclub and Venue If you haven’t been playing ‘Sorry’ at every pre-drinks of the year so far, you really need to re-evaluate your Prinks Playlist. Joel Corry really made Summer ‘19 his with the smash hit, so I can say with certainty that bopping around DNA to this DJ set will be the highlight of the month.


10 October - Electric Galway With performances at Life and Yurt City under their belt, Boots & Kats are back and better than ever. The Dubliners are well known at this stage for embodying the Hoolie spirit and curate one of the most distinct part vibe going. As well as that, the Gash Collective girls will be occupying Factory while the Rooftop’s left in the hands of their trusty resident DJs.


10 October - Black Box Theatre Having sprung to fame from Youtube success, Harry and Alfie are always springing up here and there to delight their fans with some feel good tunes. The folk-singing brothers are best known for ‘Chasing Rubies’, and if you say you don’t know it, you’re lying! Good craic is guaranteed.


16 & 17 October - Róisín Dubh Surely we all saw Sinéad O’Connor’s superb comeback on the Late Late Show last month, the songstress will be touring the heartlands of Ireland for a succession of exciting and legendary gigs. We’re all fully familiar with the enchanting tone of Sinéad’s voice, but nothing compares 2 seeing her perform in the flesh. Get it? No? I’ll see myself out.

ALBUM REVIEW: Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding By Luke Power Post Malone has released another album, once again showing he has a remarkable capacity for intriguing, melodic songwriting, and, once again, showing that he’s not sure he wants to pursue it. Whether you like him or believe he’s a hack, his impact on our culture (music and fashion in particular) is undeniable. If Stoney (his debut) was a glimpse into what Post Malone was capable of, albeit not fully realised, then Beerbongs & Bentleys (his second album) was an anaemic, seemingly endless collection of monothematic radio tunes, almost none of which have anything to say. This, of course, is one of Post’s big problems - he himself is not actually sure that he has anything to say. His obscenely swift rise to fame propelled him onto a platform that he was not ready for, and maybe still isn’t. Beerbongs & Bentleys came in at a painful 64 minutes, and the listener feels every single one of them. In spite of commercial success, the reviews were mixed to say the least: both the Guardian and Rolling Stone gave the album 2 stars out of 5. Thankfully, Hollywood’s Bleeding is a much more thoughtful effort, something apparent from the offset. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, either, coming in at just under 51 minutes. This is definitely a good thing. The titular opening track starts the album on a high note, giving us a brief glimpse into the best ideas offered here.


October 18 - Róisín Dubh Uniting indie, electro, house and pop in one bright and shiny package, you’re going to want to head along to Le Boom. If you’re up for sweating it out and jumping around to some serious tunes, this is one gig you definitely shouldn’t miss. Christy Leech and Aimie Mallon perform together beautifully and their live shows are nothing if not energetic. Listen to ‘Dancing Bug’ to get you in the mood.


October 13 – Róisín Dubh If folk/bluesy music is more your thing, this is a must-see. While the name Brother Dege might not ring any bells, look up his song, “Too Old to Die Young”, which featured in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”, and the bells in your mind will be ringing like crazy. From the Deep South, Brother Dege’s music brings that dark, opiated element of small-town, rural USA to life. Supported by West of Ireland Dobro player, guitarist and songwriter, Tom Portman, this will be that something different that your weekend is crying out for.

SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

Brother Dege, who plays in the Róisín Dubh on Sunday, October 13th, supported by Kinvara-based musician, Tom Portman

The sparse guitar in the accompaniment works to his favour, a technique which crops up to good effect throughout. The verses are melodically and rhythmically diverse, and he croons nearly the whole thing, with a voice that is much improved from previous efforts. From there on in, it’s more rocky. The short “St Tropez” sounds like one of the weaker songs off of Stoney. “Enemies” is, thematically, like a worse “Congratulations”. “Die For Me” is shockingly bland despite an interesting verse from Halsey, and “Goodbyes” offers little other than a decent feature from Young Thug, and a short run time. “On The Road” is a feature bonanza. What’s the song about? Who cares? They certainly don’t. The only constant, even with the weaker songs, is the quality of the choruses. They’re just superb. He can’t help himself; every one of them is made for radio. They consistently save weaker tracks such as “I Know” (Post expects very little of the women he falls for and seems to resent almost all of them. Oh, well, at least the chorus is good). This distracts from how bloated the middle of the album is, with unnecessary, gratuitous features, many of which count amongst the worst songs of the album. Even the one with Ozzy Osbourne, but it’s still worth a listen, because, come on; it’s Ozzy Osbourne. When he’s at his weirdest, Post is at his best. In “Allergic”, he lives up to his rockstar aspersions, with a punky, aggressive, bass-guitar driven number, which turns beautifully melodic as it approaches the chorus, sounding more like a cross between Meghan Trainor and early Avenged Sevenfold. Post even attempts some vocal tricks outside his trademark violent vibrato, something which strengthens the album as a whole. This is clear in “A Thousand Bad Times”, which contains one of the best hooks he’s ever written - we’ll be hearing this on the radio a lot. “Circles” is another guitar-driven number, with a wonderful bouncing bassline that sounds like something off a Future Islands record. The Kanyeproduced “Internet” is a commentary on its namesake, while not really being a commentary at all, just a series of observations over a hilariously dramatic accompaniment. A high point toward the close is “Myself”, a song co-written by Joshua Tillman (A.K.A. the superb Father John Misty), which has a truly inspired mel-

Beerbongs & Bentleys came in at a painful 64 minutes, and the listener feels every single one of them. In spite of commercial success, the reviews were mixed to say the least: both the Guardian and Rolling Stone gave the album 2 stars out of 5. Thankfully, Hollywood’s Bleeding is a much more thoughtful effort, something apparent from the offset. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, either, coming in at just under 51 minutes. This is definitely a good thing. ody. While the lyrics are shallow and uninspired, the song shines because it just sounds so damn good. Post doesn’t lay it on too thick with the voice, and it stands to him. Again, though: if you’re looking for lyrical depth on this album, for the most part, you’ll be disappointed. But there’s something here for everyone, and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is at the listener’s discretion. Post Malone is an artist who is at his best when he’s most aware of his roots and influences, and who is also, for better or worse, the face of the modernday rock star. He doesn’t say anything necessarily new to either rock or rap music, but he’s realised that he’s capable of saying these tired things in his own way - and that’s what we’re seeing here. “We’re running out of reasons, but we can’t let go” - he tells us, and I agree - but with Hollywood’s Bleeding, he might just have given us a reason to stick around.


October 08 2019




What do you meme there are no aliens?

Review on the Netflix series “You”

By Stevie Buckley

By Anastasia Burton

You may have heard of the viral Facebook event that encouraged people to “storm” Area 51, but did you know that people actually turned up at the gates of Area 51, and the closest towns to it? In case you don’t know what Area 51 is, it’s a United States military base, deep in the southern Nevada desert. It has long been the object of popular conspiracy theories, with many conspiracy theorists believing that it is actually a base to study extra-terrestrial life and that there are aliens in there. The Facebook event in question, called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us”, was created by an event planning page, a meme page and a gaming video creator. It appeared on Facebook on 27th June this year, with the premise that as many people as possible should try to get into Area 51 and get to the aliens. Within a month of the event popping up on Facebook, 1.9 million people clicked “attend” and another 1.4 million clicked “interested”. This led to an onslaught of memes, many of which involved hypothetical situations involving aliens that peo-

ple took from Area 51. An interesting meme on a news site involved a search history that included such things as “how to potty train an alien” and “cute clothes for aliens”. This onslaught of memes prompted a response from the US Air Force, who said that trying to “illegally access” militarised areas is “dangerous”, but that didn’t stop 150 or so people making their way to the gates of Area 51 on 20th September, the date on the Facebook event. As well as the people who actually stood at the gates of Area 51 for the event, there was also a festival in Las Vegas, which was creatively named “Alienstock”. This was, you guessed it, an alien-themed festival, where music acts played and there was a lot of alcohol. The creator of the whole idea, a college student, attended, signing items to cement Alienstock in people’s memories. This leads us into the world of “meme culture”, which is, strangely, a real thing. Teenagers and young adults can have an entire online conversation in these viral pictures and snippets of speech. Memes seem to be made by teenagers and young adults mainly, almost

all of whom are “Millennials” or “Generation Z”, terms which have become memes in themselves. They are based around a theme such as Area 51 (as mentioned above), “Grumpy Cat”, or something similar. Memes have become such an integral part of our internet experiences. It’s nigh on impossible to check your Facebook or Twitter accounts without seeing some form of a meme, even if you aren’t specifically searching for memes. You can find the base images for memes if you do a simple image search for the meme you want the image for. This means you can make your own, which is a way to release your creativity if you have nothing else to do. Memes are getting more creative and diverse, as more young people are using their imaginations and releasing their comedic sides. They’ve always been catchy, because who can’t remember at least one of those viral vines? The storming of Area 51 is a result of meme culture, a culture which we cannot escape, even if we try. However, this meme may have been taken a bit too far.

Recently, I have discovered a new-ish television series on Netflix called “You”. I thought it would just be some basic love story, but, oh boy, was I wrong! This series first aired on 9th September 2018 and has 10 episodes each around 40+ minutes long. The main characters are Joe and Bec. I’m not going to spoil the whole show, but I will tell you why this show is worth watching. The show is basically about Joe obsessing over Bec, who wanders into his bookstore one day. He stalks her and everyone around her to “help” her get rid of people in her life who he sees as obstacles. The show is narrated by Joe most of the time, with him basically thinking out loud throughout the series. I found that the entire vibe of the show made it hard for me to say no to one more episode. Each episode is intriguing and carried different messages in a way that made me feel quite torn about the main character. Throughout the series, I found myself rooting for Joe rather than Bec, even though he was the “vil-

lain”. Maybe it’s because Bec was an extremely annoying and unrelatable character. However, each episode followed a different adventure and problem between the relationships of the two, so I found it quite fun how they introduced other social problems within the main storyline. The series shows how easy it is for someone to hack into our personal accounts and, basically, extract any information they want about us. I found the use of social media the most unsettling part of the series, due to it feeling so real. The quality of production was top notch, so it’s not surprising that it got a 93% review on Rotten Tomatoes. If you enjoy psychologically thrilling series, this one is sure to reach your expectations. The soundtrack fits the scenes and the characters are well casted. One of the supporting characters was actually an actress in Pretty Little Liars, who played the role of Emily Fields. There are rumors of a second season to air sometime this fall, so keep an eye out if you’ve already watched the first season!


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Flu Season There are sneezes in the library; I must surely up and leave To stop this chain of sickness Being handed down to me. Passed on just like an Olympic torch, A baton between the eyes. It’s flu season in the Reading Room; I doubt that I’ll get out alive.

By Katie O’Sullivan, third year

Snowfall By Cody Campbell There is a girl, plain of face, covered in a ragged coat that’s a black hole against snow. Hair tucked haphazardly under her hood. She stands looking at the house on a hill, merely silhouetted, towering over her like a god. If she had a companion, they wouldn’t find her so plain. Lights, from the city nestled below, sculpt her bones, making her skin glow a caramel gold, but there’s no one to see her shimmer. Snowfall crunches under her boot, like paper being crumpled up in a distressed writer’s hand. There’s no guide of light, with a city dulled, and stars lost. The moon peeks through every so often, seemingly pitying the girl, gifting light when darkness endures. The journey is long and dangerous; climbs up steep slopes. Fatigue hits without warning and her knees are in the snow. Ice seeps into her stockings. Her upper body too is pulled down, as if the snow had her chest on a string, and finally, jerked. She’s uninterested in getting up, though the house is not far. Her eyelashes clump together, weighted with snowdrops. Eyelids flutter closed. The stag nudges her cheek in with its nose. Her skin is blue, and her black coat swallowed in white, but her eyes open with a pull and a sting, and the stag doesn’t trample away. He bends down, curling sturdy brown legs under his body, and bows his head, until the tips of his antlers dig under snow. She knows what he intends. Weakly, she lifts her hand, despite the fear that her fingers might break, and wraps them around one antler. Gripping hard, white knuckles against blue skin. The stag gently lifts his head, and her body pulls up with him. She manoeuvres herself to her knees. The stag looks at her through a glassy eye and swiftly stands. Her small frame lifts off the ground. Aching for earth’s solidity, she straightens her legs and stands again. She lets go, but, quickly, before she falls, her palm rests on his side. She turns to look at the indent her body made on the snow. Why did she decide to come to this house on the hill? She could’ve sheltered under a parked car like she usually does. The house won’t drive off and kill her. It has four walls and a roof. She should’ve travelled in daylight, when the earth was just dusted. Her thoughts are interrupted when the stag turns his head toward her and she sees him. His eyes shine. He turns, facing the pathway that leads to the house; rocky and enclosed in mountainous spruce trees. She steps towards it, and her companion walks slowly with her, keeping herself up with the strength of his side. She looks at his antlers. They are like tree branches, but sharper, deadlier. Somehow, she knows they are not dangerous to her. His deep brown pelt smells wild, warm and soft. She wishes she could curl under him. A part of her does not want to go to this awful house anymore. It’s cold and dark. She will have to find the perfect corner, with the least wind, and no snow fallen in. Her only hope is that the stag will stay and keep her warm. The snow has deepened since she woke, curling around her boots like a menacing hand trying to pull her under, to drown her in frosty blankets. The path twists like a ribbon. When the pair turn their last corner, the house is not what it was, but is a place in its prime. A soft glow pours out of the glass windows, smoke floating from a brick chimney not toppled. The girl is so elated that she doesn’t question it, using her weak legs to totter over to the door, as quickly as she can. The stag follows. He nudges her again, encouraging her to knock on the door. When it opens, the light inside is too bright for him to see in, but the girl is suddenly different, turning to him with vibrant pink cheeks, twinkling eyes replace the stars. She smiles softly up at him, her hand petting his side one last time, before she disappears inside forever.

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Wholesome Viewing By Sadhbh Hendrick Wholesome viewing, switch-off shows, procrastination station, living in denial, call it what you will, television has swooped in as an almighty saviour for all of us at some point throughout college. Maybe it’s ‘just one more’ episode before you get cracking on that assignment, or you need to bond with some new housemates. It might even just be the perfect ingredient for your duvet day. Whatever the reason, the welcoming arms of TV have reached out and hugged us all once or twice. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I am not a Netflix subscriber. I know loads of you will get your television fix from Friends or Grey’s Anatomy, to name but a few. However, that is not the main discussion of this article. I am focusing on the feel-good factor associated with certain programmes. Shows that leave you feeling a little calmer, a little more optimistic and a whole lot more ready to take on the world. So, I know Game of Thrones is great, but, for the purposes of this article, I am just not about that life. The article would be pointless without mentioning the Great British Bake Off. It is impossible to deny the impressive ability GBBO has to lure us all in, make us cry over collapsed cake and entitle us all to act as couch connoisseurs. Wholesome in every sense of the word, it cannot be ignored as one of Channel 4’s greatest shows. A show that

makes us reconsider the ability of our home economics teachers, but a great show all the same. The Chase. Admittedly not the type of show that will leave you feeling fuzzy (sorry Bradley Walsh), nonetheless, a staple of every student house ever. A super way to bond with new housemates, expose niche expertise or attempt to hide a borderline shameful lack of general knowledge. The Chase has certainly provided myself and my housemates with plenty of conversation starters. RTÉ are the unsung heroes of feelgood television in Ireland. What other national broadcaster airs Francis Brennan, Dermot Bannon and Daniel O’Donnell? This Holy Trinity grace our screens through the mediums of At Your Service, Room to Improve and Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip. Perhaps it is the real Irish humour and the no nonsense attitude of each of these characters, or the very idea of watching an argument about creased pillowcases, kitchen installations, or facecloths. Whatever it is, each of these shows are guaranteed to draw a smile at the very least. I have yet to watch an episode of any of the above without cracking a laugh, regardless of my prior mood. Wholesome viewing does it again. First Dates. Need I say any more? The definition of feel-good television, inspiring romantics all across the nation, First Dates is one of the cutest programmes

going. From the more mature daters, to the very youthful ones, (like, very youthful - honestly, chill out guys), this show reminds us all that fairy-tales do exist! Finding love in a restaurant riddled with cameras and microphones may not be the dream, but it does provide some excellent television. Funny, shocking and awe-inducing, who doesn’t love the toe-curling awkwardness waiting to see if he/she/they say yes to that second date? My absolute favourite show of all time and deserving the most special of mentions: Gogglebox. I personally (strongly) believe the Irish version of this show is superior, but that doesn’t prevent me from tuning in to the Channel 4 version every week either. The show that allows you to watch a little bit of everything alongside the most lovable of characters. Whilst the whole concept of the show does sound ridiculous - watching people watch television - it somehow just works. These familiar living room scenes filled with cups of tea, wit and an accurate depiction of 2019 Ireland, just provide limitless entertainment and personify wholesome television. To wrap this up, what can we conclude? Well firstly, I apparently watch far too much television. Secondly, RTÉ need to sort out their funding issues, less Late Late firework displays, more Francis, Dermot and Daniel, thanks. And lastly: Gogglebox Ireland in a student house, discuss.


October 08 2019




LIVE REVIEW: Inhaler, Róisín Dubh 26 September 2019 By Emma O’Reilly The lineage of sons and daughters following their star-studded fathers and mothers into the world of music is a path treaded by many offspring, who often attain less than desirable results. I mean, a lot of us look up to our parents for inspiration and approval, so it is no wonder why the young

Elijah Hewson, bottle of Bud in hand, toasts the crowd as he takes centre stage. In case you haven’t guessed yet, this floppy haired, twenty-something year old is the son of Paul Hewson, or more commonly known to you and me as Bono. Eli fastens an Elvis Presley guitar strap over his shoulder (I’m still conflicted whether this detail is too flashy or makes me envy of how cool he is), as the opening


chords to “It Won’t Always Be Like This” reverberate through the bodies of the youth and the middle-aged rockers. Four city boys who can play their instruments with precision and attitude is not exactly an original narrative. Yet, there is a certain beauty witnessing Inhaler’s budding potential reveal itself, as their limbs warm up and the nerves drift away. Bassist Robert Keating sways around the stage, unbothered and composed, whereas fellow bandmate Josh Jenkinson pursues the occasional eye of reassurance from his bandmates. Hewson’s showmanship is something to marvel; the small interactions and openmouthed gazes mystifies the beholder. At one point, Hewson reads out a fan letter passed from the front row and announces one girl’s love for the band and the hope of an Instagram follow back from himself. Eli simply sticks the A3 sized declaration side stage. Their latest single “Ice Cream Sundae”, the first song ever written by the lads, offers a glimpse into the

future and what kind of band they could be. This ‘80s-esque, indie anthem revs up the crowd and paves way for a more assertive second half. The highlight of the gig is a bluesy, unreleased track called “My King Will be Kind”. Josh’s rhythmic country strums complement Eli’s damnation of a former lover - ‘She says I’ve got no love/ I f **king hate that b***h’. The back room of the Róis’ gets hot and sticky, as hands clap to the beat in support of this mantra. Hewson is the only one of the band to establish a rapport with the audience and the other guys seem pretty content to sit back. Talking is limited to short phrases, as the frontman urges the Galway people to ‘come on’ when in truth no invitation is necessary. Over the past year, Inhaler have collected a core following and, to date, have 400,000 followers on Spotify. It was actually via Anais Gallagher’s Instagram page (another daughter of famous parents) that I discovered the Dublin quartet, as she regular photographs the band. The cynics will say that Inhaler’s connections have got them this far. I’m sure the lads have asked for advice from time to time, but words and phone numbers will only get you so far. The musicianship is there. The lyrics are getting there. Shows are selling out across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Hewson’s stage presence is captivating and isolating all at once and leaves you wanting more than 9 songs. Inhaler are raw, loud and cooler than you’ll ever be.

YOUTUBE RECOMMENDED: What you should be binge-watching right now By Daniel Brennan One of the best things about YouTube today is the sheer amount of content and channels out there now. There are plenty of channels with hundreds of thousands, millions or even tens of millions of subscribers and viewers out there that even someone who is ‘very online’ won’t know about – so here are some recommendations for some binge-watchable material, as the nights start to get a bit longer!

JON BOIS In my opinion, Jon Bois makes the best videos on YouTube. His Pretty Good series does what it says on the tin – as he says himself, it’s a show about stories that are... well, pretty good, like the story of Larry Walters, who went flying in a lawn chair - to 16000 feet - without bothering to tell anyone. If you’re a sports stats nerd, his Chart Party series may be perfect for you – his video digging into, what he calls, NFL Scorigami , the art of building NFL final scores, is excellent – the same can be said with his video simulating Barry Bonds’ entire 2004 MLB season... without a baseball bat. It works, I promise. If you’re looking for something a bit longer to dig your teeth into, he recently produced and co-wrote a 5-part documentary on the history of MMA called Fighting in the Age of Loneliness, where he mixes the fascinating stories of those who have felt the need to dedicate themselves to fighting for a living over hundreds of years, with an incredibly deep level of relevant social commentary all along the way. I cannot recommend it enough. Or, if you’d prefer something a little more out there, The Bob Emergency, a two-part look at the history and recent decline of the name “Bob” in sports – something that on the outside seems absurd – is another one of my absolute favourite things on the internet.

INTERNET TODAY Keeping up with all the crazy stuff that’s happening online can be pretty hard, and I’ve found Internet Today to be one of my absolute favourite channels to tune into every single day to keep up to date with stuff. Hosts Ricky and Eliot are hilarious, and their presenting style and alternative take on the week’s news is excellent. Setting aside half an hour or so to watch the latest episode of Weekly Weird News, TechNewsDay or News Dump is always worth it, especially if you’re looking for something a bit out there that you can talk with friends about!

HBOMBERGUY Best known for his A Measured Response series, as well as raising over $300,000 for the charity Mermaids, in a 70-hour Donkey Kong 64 stream, just to dunk on Graham Linehan last year, hbomberguy makes some of the best video essays on YouTube. You probably don’t need to be told things like, the fact that climate change is happening, or indeed that the world is round, but watching hbomberguy comedically deconstruct each and every point that some of the more infamous climate change deniers or flat earthers make, over the span of roughly half an hour, is more than worth your time.

FRANCIS HIGGINS You may know him as Viper from the show Hardy Bucks, but what you may not know is that he’s now fashioned a career for himself out of being a YouTuber. Some of his more infamous skits like Mercedes, Zurich and Shlug have gone semi-viral within certain Irish internet circles and are filled to the brim with memorable moments and memes. He also does near-daily streams featuring some of his more infamous characters in, what I’m going to call, the Francis Cinematic Universe, and his content is perfect you’re looking for a good laugh.



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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03

FOOTBALL’S RACISM problem on social media

By Daniel Brennan For all the great things social media has achieved, like keeping you in constant contact with friends and loved ones, or allowing you to get the latest news as it happens, with live updates and 24 hour news streams keeping you right up to date, a glaring consequence has been that the worst in society can also use it for their own nasty intentions, often without any real-world repercussions. There has been a rise in general racist sentiment globally in recent years, as right-wing politicians have continually targeted the most vulnerable in society to try and hold onto power, by using white nationalist tactics – and the results of those tactics are most often seen on social media, and indeed within the kind of socio-economic groups that normally make up football fans. Racism in football has always been an issue – one only has to look at the abuse John Barnes received while playing for Liverpool and England in the late 1980’s to see proof of that – the problem now is that the perpetrators of this abuse are often nameless and faceless, like something out of a dystopian novel. When Raheem Sterling was racially abused at Stamford Bridge by Chelsea supporters last season, millions could see the fans who

perpetrated that abuse on live television, and, therefore, that made it much easier to identify and ban said fans from the stadium, along with whatever other actions may be required legally. There were at least some consequences for their actions. When Cagliari fans shamefully abused Romelu Lukaku in a game against Inter Milan just a few months ago, the footballing world could condemn their actions because it was caught by tv cameras again, even if the Italian FA and Cagliari didn’t punish them nearly enough in the first place. If these issues keep popping up so often in real life, where there are real-world consequences for fans and clubs – for instance, FIFA and UEFA have ordered several teams in major club and interna-

tional tournaments to play behind closed doors after racist incidents – then it’s no wonder that the problem is magnified so much, when you can tweet as an anonymous nobody with no consequences. Young Chelsea star Tammy Abraham suffered a deluge of racial abuse on Twitter after he missed a penalty that cost Chelsea the UEFA Super Cup, so much so, that, according to Abraham, seeing it left his mother in tears. Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford got a similar storm of racist messages and tweets after missing a penalty against Wolves in the Premier League, just days after what happened to Abraham. Both players received hundreds, if not thousands, of tweets and messages filled with racial hatred, and these are just two examples of many where this type of abuse keeps happening, with little or no action taken by the social media companies themselves.

Twitter made a promise to anti-racism organisation Kick It Out that they would be monitoring activity on the accounts of 50 black players a few months back – but that’s an empty promise. Anyone who has been on Twitter for any length of time will know that reporting accounts that tweet racist or other abuse to people rarely ever get banned, or even have said posts deleted. The reason behind that is because having those users makes Twitter a vast amount of money, because brands will pay money to advertise to them. And while they’re not alone in this at all, Twitter has been, and is still, scared to tackle the issue of racists utilising its platform to spread abuse because of the revenue they make by keeping those users’ accounts active. If it doesn’t matter to them that a Premier League footballer receives this awful abuse, then, obviously, that attitude is carried towards all minority groups on the platform. Racism in football has always been an issue, and, if anything, it’s become more of an issue recently, but the problem may have grown to this point in the first place due to the inaction of social media companies allowing this type of abuse to flourish - not just when aimed at your favourite footballer, but at minorities as a whole – all in the name of profit.

Is there any way for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring back the heydays of Manchester United or has the experiment failed? By Shane Lynch The honeymoon period is now officially over. The amazing run of results leading up from the end of December to the conclusion of the month of March, in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United won more points in his first ten Premier League games than any other manager in the league’s history, is done. This completely unexpected run of results, now, may just as well be a fond memory, as, since his permanent hiring, post the Paris miracle, form, morale and confidence have dropped at an equally rapid rate. With a whole transfer window to build his Manchester United team in his own vision, Solskjaer has assembled his team with the necessary resources, such as English national team staple Harry Maguire and exciting young British talents Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, whilst, at the same time, temporarily removing the dead wood from the club, such as the likes of Chris Smalling and Alexis Sanchez, giving them a chance of a career renaissance in Italy. Yet, now, we are at the end of the month, sitting in eight, with eight points out of a possible eighteen, with certain groups of supporters wanting him to be sacked, but is it all Solskjaer’s fault?

Manchester United in their current state are by no means unrepairable. They are a club who are finding their feet in a time when the Ferguson hangover is at its most severe. Through this uncertainty, there is another burden on the club, and that is the total mismanagement of the club from an executive level. The one major problem which needs solving is the idea of appointing a Director of Football for the club. This role involves the person being, not only an ambassador for the club, but also responsible for the scouting and recruitment of new players. This job would also have to be taken on by a man who has experience in the football world, rather than the business world. A great candidate for this job is former number one Edwin Van Der Sar. Van Der Sar, post-retirement, was hired by Ajax as their Marketing Director in 2012 and eventually worked his way up and became CEO of the club at which he got his first professional start. Ajax’s rise and investment in the club’s philosophy of youth, and famous Dutch phenomenon “total football”, made Europe take note, which resulted in Ajax reaching a Champions League semi-final, their best Champions League finish since Edwin himself played for the club. This renaissance of the club was instrumental in the

rise of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, both of whom are major players for their new sides, Barcelona and Juventus respectively. When comparing both clubs, it almost always leads back to the Europa League Final of 2017, where a Manchester United team, led by the always controversial Jose Mourinho, beat a youthful Ajax team, who were yet to establish the reputation which they possess today. When seeing where both sides sit now, it shows clearly the effect that a properly structured hierarchy has, when implemented properly at a club. The club itself, from an on-field perspective, are not a million miles away from reaching the top of the English game, in terms of competing with teams who have grown at a steady but rapid rate. The squad itself is a mixture of exciting youth with big personalities. Players such as Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Scott McTominay are putting in composed performances which are not characteristic of players their age, and are only relishing the chance to prove their worth to the club that gave them a chance and signed them as schoolboys. Added to that are the big personalities, such as Paul Pogba, who has had many critics throughout the years, but has shown his undeniable quality for

the French national team. It is widely accepted that United are not the team they once were, and, when fans begin to realise this, they can understand that this rebuilding and renovation of the club will take multiple years, as well as the same figurehead at the front of the rebuilding. Clubs who have had transitions have kept faith in the manager at the front of change, due to the fact that they believed in their vision of the club and, should they be sacked, it would set the club back multiple years. They, however, are three or four transfers away from competing at the highest level, with an alarming lack of creativity in the middle of the pitch, as well as from the defensive aspect of the middle of the pitch. Manchester United will prosper, due to the fact that they are Manchester United. Their ability to attract the world’s best players, due to their reputation and name alone, will stand to them in the future. This year could be influential in the transition of one of the greatest clubs on earth. By the time May comes around, we will find out the difference between the players who want to play for the club and the men who are in the club only to pad up their football Curriculum Vitae, as well as finding out if history will repeat itself.


October 08 2019

Is 16 too young to be playing top level football? Or is the saying “If you are old enough, you are good enough” still relevant? By Shane Lynch They say that the one thing that you cannot teach is talent. The idea behind this is that you can only direct them in the right direct and facilitate them towards achieving their preordained potential. The greatest example of trusting in youth is putting them in the proverbial deep end and seeing how long they last when competing amongst more experienced and established opposition. Nurturing talent is a lot like performing surgery on a vital organ. One slip, and it may ruin the chances of success for both parties in the arrangement. Many sports have established academies in order to produce talent for their respective teams, and, in doing so, have created a legacy of producing youth who carry their franchise for decades to come. One of the most recognisable examples of this is “La Masia”, the academy system for Barcelona FC, one of Spain’s footballing powerhouses.

However, “La Masia” has not always nurtured talent to the best of its ability. One man who was on the lips of every coach within the system was Bojan Krkic. His rise through the Barcelona academy was almost identical to Messi, except for one major difference, and that was that every record that Messi obtained through the academy, Bojan broke. The legend goes that the Barcelona executives were counting down the days to his seventeenth birthday, so that they could sign him to a professional contract and reap the rewards of another star, destined for similar stardom as Lionel Messi. This constant comparison of himself to, at the time, the greatest young footballing talent to come out of Argentina since Diego Maradona, ended up being too his detriment, as Bojan himself couldn’t become his own player whilst in the shadow of Messi. Bojan also admits to having experienced severe cases of anxiety from becoming an unknown prodigy to the next in line to the Barcelona throne. Due to this, unfortunately, he

The idea of putting such a massive tag on a boy who was fourteen years of age is absolutely incredible to look back on in hindsight, but, at the time, American soccer was looking for its poster boy and found it in young Freddy Adu. Adu was originally from Ghana, but moved over to America after his mother won a green card lottery and almost immediately began to turn heads. He soon received a Nike sponsorship deal worth almost seven hundred thousand dollars and featured in television ads with Pele. His story is something that wouldn’t be out of place in cinemas worldwide, the ultimate rags to riches story. The fame slowly caught up to young Freddy Adu, who got sucked into his new celebrity life, in which he dated a young singer named JoJo and proceeded to question and criticize his manager, leading to him hopping from club to club. Thirteen clubs, three continents and no future in football, all for a man

Messi became the poster boy for a club who went on to dominate at both domestic and European level, leading to Messi and his golden generation of Barcelona players to an unprecedented four Champions Leagues and ten La Liga titles. He is not only a poster boy for the sport of football itself, but is the greatest example of having faith in, not only your youth system, but the player himself. Arguably the crown jewel of Barcelona’s academy system is Lionel Messi. Messi emerged from the Barcelona academy as one of South America’s hottest prospects and was subsequently signed to “La Masia” at the ripe age of thirteen. He proceeded to make his senior debut at the age of sixteen against Jose Mourinho’s Porto. Messi became the poster boy for a club who went on to dominate at both domestic and European level, leading to Messi and his golden generation of Barcelona players to an unprecedented four Champions Leagues and ten La Liga titles. He is not only a poster boy for the sport of football itself, but is the greatest example of having faith in, not only your youth system, but the player himself.

could never live up to the hype surrounding him and his amazing ability. He has recently moved to Major League Soccer and plays for Montreal Impact. Football is a rapidly growing sport in North America, with leagues garnering respect due to the investment of millions of dollars into acquiring some of the most recognisable faces in world football, such as Zlatan Ibrahimović and David Beckham, in order to bring footballing respect into a region which has, arguably, under achieved, from both a regional and international perspective. At one time, however, America possessed a young player who was tipped to be the next major player, with comparisons to Pele weighing on his shoulders. His name was Freddy Adu and he was fourteen years of age.

who only turned thirty in June. The universal concept of talent itself is that you need all the ingredients in order for it to work. You need the talent itself, the right support and the correct management setup, who have faith and believe you can become a great asset for the club. Alex Ferguson nurtured a young boy from Liverpool and turned him into a United legend, and that man was Wayne Rooney. Ferguson said it best when describing young promising talent. “Youngsters can inject a fantastic spirit into an organisation and a youngster will never forget the person or organisation that gave them their first big chance. They will repay it with a loyalty that lasts a lifetime.”


CLUB SPOTLIGHT: NUI Galway Mountaineering Club By Lisa O’Dowd January will mark the 50th Anniversary of the NUI Galway Mountaineering club. As one of the oldest and largest clubs at NUI Galway, SIN takes a further look into the club. The first club captain, the late Tony Whilde, led the club for their inaugural year of 1970 and continued to do so until 1973. Tony Whilde was a conservationist, ornithologist and a man with a love for the Western landscape of Ireland. He set the pace for what the club would become. Minutes from meetings during these early and pioneering days are available at the James Hardiman Library. The club takes pride in their history and, so, much time has been spent by current and past members compiling data from these initial days. With almost 4,000 current members, the club proudly boasts one of the largest memberships of any sports club on campus. The club is very popular amongst Erasmus and international students, as it offers an excellent way to make like-minded friends, as well as discover the beautiful landscapes of Ireland when they take a step outside of our towns and cities. Speaking to current Captain, Gerard Mangan, he emphasises that the Mountaineering Club is an “open club”. A place for anyone and everyone, whether you are there purely for the social aspect, or have ambitions of climbing some of the toughest mountains on the planet. This sense of openness and inclusivity is something that stems down from Mountaineering Ireland, the governing organisation of hillwalking and rock climbing in Ireland. As part of their mission statement, they value “fun and personal challenge in the hills, mountains, crags and climbing walls at every level”. NUI Galway MC co-operates with other mountaineering, hillwalking and climbing clubs within Galway and often run co-operative events and talks. NUI Galway MC offers weekly hikes within the surrounding area of Connemara. This affords lucky hikers an opportunity to see the famous Connemara snapping turtle that resides deep within Joyce County. The Burren and Nephin range are also occasionally visted. There are hikes for all abilities, from the novice walker to the experienced mountain climber, making Sunday hiking an attractive activity for all members. There is daily rock climbing

at the Kingfisher gym during the week, where members can enjoy bouldering, top roping and lead climbing. The club undertakes several trips a year to somewhere within Ireland or abroad, where much craic is had. It facilitates an environment where important skills are learned and developed and encourages members to take these skills outside of the club environment, to the hills, mountains and crags within Ireland and abroad, where they can delight in and challenge themselves at a new level. Captain Gerard Mangan is enthusiastic about the benefits to both mental and physical wellbeing, stating that they’re some of the key aspects that attracted him to the sport. Outside of the climbing gym, all mountaineering activities lead to a connection with nature. Being outside in the hills is an excellent way to clear your head, boost creativity and problem solving, as well as improve your outlook on life. It is no wonder that doctors in Scotland are now prescribing time outdoors to treat such things as anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. One of the highlights of the calendar year for the NUI Galway Mountaineering Club is the Maamturks Challenge. This event, organised by the club, requires participants to transverse the Maamturks mountain range, navigating through barren and rocky terrain in often harsh weather conditions. The challenge is 25km long, with 2300m of assent tackled. It attracts some of the most experienced hillwalkers in Ireland, with participants coming from the local community, as well as further afield. It originally was held in 1973 by Coiste Pobail an Mháma, however NUI Galway MC became involved in 1975 and have since become the primary organisers, with help from Galway Mountain Rescue and Galway Radio Club. The event has been running every year since, with the exception of 2001 and 2003, due to the foot and mouth outbreak and treacherous weather conditions respectively. The race gained national recognition, with the club winning an Outsider Award in 2016 for the best Outdoor Event of the year. NUI Galway Mountaineering Club is always open to new members. Interested students can contact the club through their website or Facebook page, or just drop down any evening and chat with a member of the committee.


SIN Vol. 21 Issue 03


The kids are alright By Darren Casserly It has been a season of two halves for the Tribesmen this year. An impressive finish to the season undoubtedly overshadowed the under-performance and narrow defeats that blighted large parts of this season. For many years, Galway United have always had a huge turnover of players from season to season and this could be put down to the recruitment strategy. The recruitment of talented, but, ultimately mercenary, players that don’t care much for the club, had left Galway in this situation, languishing in the lower half of the First Division with little hope of progression. This was something that newly appointed permanent manager Alan Murphy has tried to change. Alan knew all too well of the type of players that were playing for this team, having been a squad member last season. He launched ‘Project DNA’, in an effort to recruit local and youth team players who have an affinity to the club and want to play for the team.


The recruitment for this season was different from many of the previous ones, with Murphy having to work on a smaller budget than his predecessors and signing mostly unknown and unexperienced footballers, such as Ivan Gamarra, Shane Doherty and Cian Murphy. The majority of this season was a struggle for this young Galway side, losing seven of their first team games 1-0, which, while not great, showed a team who were a couple of players away from turning things around. However, the mid-season form for United made it seem as though this team was a long way away from turning their fortunes around, after going 12 games without a win. It looked as though Murphy’s experiment had failed. This, however, changed with the signing of Killian Brouder, Stephen Christopher and Jack Lynch, whose arrival seemed to lift the entire team and produced a finish to the season that allows United fans to hope for the future, as long as this squad is



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This change in form could also be attributed to the clearing up of many injuries that this squad had to deal with - most notably Conor Barry, who was had his first consistent run of matches of the season and showed the form that got him the Player of the Year award last season. The change that this squad has gone through has been astonishing and has shown the great potential which this side possesses - so much so, that it wouldn’t be out of the question to think towards promotion for next season. The only question for Alan Murphy will be: how much of this team will he be able to keep hold of?

Upcoming NBA season to usher in new era of parity By Darragh Nolan

Health Week Z

held together. The Tribesmen end-of-season form produced only one loss in their last seven games, which included a very impressive win over Cork City in the FAI Cup, as well as a defeat at the death to 2nd place League of Ireland side, Shamrock Rovers. The game that showed the potential of this side was undoubtedly the 7-1 thrashing of Cobh Ramblers, where it was clear to see the ability of this young group of players - most notably Maurice Nugent and Donal Higgins, who look like they will be key players for Galway for years to come.

The Toronto Raptors shocked the world by beating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last season. Two-way phenom, Kawhi Leonard, took the post-season by storm, leading the league’s sole Canadian franchise to its first ever championship. Heading into the 2019-2020 campaign, neither team figures into the race for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Yet another free agency frenzy has turned the sport of basketball inside out, with old contenders fading away (no pun intended) and new challengers looking to stake a claim. Despite bringing Toronto a ring, Leonard decided to take his talents to Los Angeles with the Clippers. The L.A. front office turned a good off-season into a great one, by also adding All-NBA forward Paul George, via a trade with Oklahoma City. They’ve gone from a possible playoff team to early title favourites. The Clippers established a theme for the upcoming season with their Leonard-George tandem. The NBA has been a league of trios since the days of LeBron, Wade and Bosh in Miami. It’s now becoming a league of duos. Look no further than the Clippers home patch, which they share with the hometown rival Lakers. It was a year of firsts for LeBron James in SoCal. He missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005, suffered his first major injury and failed to make All-NBA First Team for the first time since 2007. He now has a running mate, in the form of All-Star forward Anthony Davis. The battle for Los Angeles supremacy could end up being the Western Conference Finals. Elsewhere out West, Russell Westbrook and James Harden are back together in Houston. They’ll have something to say, as will Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Portland, and Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray for the Nuggets. But what of the once unbeatable Golden State Warriors? Stephen Curry remains one of the hardest men to guard in all of basketball. Draymond Green is a defensive stalwart. Could they defend their throne with Klay Thompson out due to a torn ACL? Can D’Angelo Russell fill that void?

It will depend on how sorely missed Kevin Durant is. KD was expected to leave in the summer, although his destination was a surprise. He chose New York, electing to join the up-and-coming Brooklyn Nets, rather than the more historically relevant Knicks. His new partner in crime, Kyrie Irving, will have to carry the team while Durant nurses a torn Achilles. Durant’s injury puts the Nets’ title chances on ice until 2020. The East is an open race until then. Defeated conference finalists Milwaukee will look to build on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP year. With Kawhi out of Toronto, they’re most likely to represent the East in the Finals. The primary challenge will come from Philadelphia, as the 76ers prepare a new look roster. Jimmy Butler left for Miami and his ability to close out games in the fourth quarter will be missed. However, Al Horford comes in from Boston and Ben Simmons has had another off-season to develop his game and continue to gel with dominant big man Joel Embiid. With Kyrie and Horford leaving Boston for Brooklyn and Philly, the Celtics are the Eastern Conference’s odd men out. Young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown disappointed last season. All-Star guard Kemba Walker comes in from Charlotte but it’s a tall task for him to fill Irving’s shoes. Perhaps head coach Brad Stevens can get the most out of a depleted roster. Away from the playoff race, there are still points of intrigue. Number one overall draft pick Zion Williamson is the most highly-touted prospect since LeBron James. His explosive offensive talent and infectious love for the game are a welcome addition to the NBA. The NBA is more unpredictable than ever, now that Golden State’s dynasty appears to be over. With so many new partnerships forming all over the association, who knows who’ll come out on top? A year ago, I called my shot, picking the Warriors over Boston in six games in the Finals. That didn’t work out. This time I’ll go for the new-look Clippers over Milwaukee in a 4-3 thriller.


October 08 2019


WIN €25 SU CARD CREDIT* Crossword Clues ACROSS 1 – Surname of current Mayor of Galway (7) 5 – _____ Mile, film that earned Eminem the MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance (5) 8 – “_____ Charles”, a Rizzle Kicks ode to a musical great (3) 9 – Not living (9) 10 – Vladmir _____, had a city named after him in the USSR. (5) 11 – An isle close to home (7) 12 – “What’s in the box?”, Brad Pitt, 1995 (5) 14 – Main reason to ever enter the library (5) 19 – 2020 will see Galway showcase this to Europe (7) 21 – At the end of the day, this is all those poor lecturers are trying to do. (5) 22 – You should probably know this off by heart by now, considering it’s Week 5 (9) 23 – Drink in small measures (3) 24 – Opposite of fan (5) 25 – Relating to the words of songs (7)

DOWN 1 – Michelangelo was falsely credited for having drawn the perfect _____ (6) 2 – Most successful member of Destiny’s Child (7) 3 – Many believe you might find one in Area 51 (5) 4 – The company behind both Guinness and Smirnoff (6) 5 – Clear for all to see (7)

6 – African country which gained its independence from Great Britain in 1957 (5) 7 – Fashionable (6) 13 – Imaginary line which divides the earth into hemispheres (7) 15 – If you fancy yourself on the stage, this may be the society for you (7) 16 – Can precede egg or whisky (6) 17 – Not a written agreement, but still valid (6) 18 – University building that offers free breakfast during exam times (6) 20 – Gentle reminder never to drive after drinking over the legal _____ (5) 21 – Not they’re, not there, but _____ (5)





1ST PRIZE: €25 SU Card Credit 2nd PRIZE: €10 SU Card Credit 3rd PRIZE: €5 SU Card Credit

All you have to do is complete the crossword, then take a photo of the completed crossword page. Send your photo in an email to, with the subject “Crossword Competition Entry”, before Saturday the 12th of October at 5pm to be in with a chance of winning. Winners to be selected at random and will be announced from our Facebook page, “Student Independent News, NUI Galway, on Monday October 14th. Please keep an eye on the page in case this is your lucky week!

*SU Card credit can be used at any of the SU outlets, including Sult, Smokey’s and the SU Shop, but not on alcohol or tobacco products.


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