NUACHTÁN SAOR IN AISCE VOL. 21 Issue 11. 17 MAR 2020
Student Independent News
WINNER: BEST NEWSPAPER AT THE NATIONAL STUDENT MEDIA AWARDS 2019
NUI Galway closes as part of historic move to combat COVID-19 By Mark Lynch
Photo: NUI Galway Students’ Union
NUI Galway is under lockdown as measures to tackle the spread of COVID-19 come into effect all over Ireland. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made a statement from his state visit to Washington, in which he addressed the necessity of taking drastic action immediately to reduce the impact that the virus will have on the country’s population, as well as the health services. At around 11am Irish time on Thursday March 12th, the Taoiseach announced that all schools, colleges, and childcare facilities would close from Friday March 13th until March 29th. As well as this, cultural institutions are closed and the Irish government recommended cancelling all events involving over 100 people indoors, and over 500 people outdoors. Public transport is to remain functioning, but private companies are permitted to open or close at their own discretion. GoBus.ie, a Galway-based bus company, decided to suspend all services from Monday March 16th, while many pubs and nightclubs in Galway City have cancelled all events, and will monitor capacity. Speculation about the closure of NUI Galway had begun to fester as the week went on, which intensified after one student was tested for COVID-19 and Áras na Mac Léinn had been deep cleaned to HSE standards. Despite that test coming back negative, some students had becoming increasingly anxious and stressed about attending classes and coming to campus. The day before the closure was announced, on the Wednesday afternoon, the School of Law in NUI Galway sent an email to all its students declaring teaching would move online from as soon as practicable, or by Monday March 16th. The email, seen by SIN, also announced that all tutorials would be cancelled for the rest of the semester. Following this, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway also announced teaching would go online from Monday March 16th. NUI Galway societies and clubs have cancelled all activities and events, while the Students’ Union have been forced to cancel the Marchathon Wednesday Walks, and postpone Clubs’ Ball, as well as the
election of the SU Council Chairperson, and yoga, sign language, and LIFT training. All units, services and facilities are also closed on campus. This includes the Student Health Unit, Student Counselling Services, and all shops and cafes, while the library and the reading room were emptied of all students by 6pm on Thursday March 12th. President of NUI Galway, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, urged all Irish students to go home, for the benefit of their families and to prevent large
gatherings of people in one area. He also advised anyone that must be on campus for research, or for teaching purposes, where online resources aren’t available, to contact the University Management Team, to allow them to co-ordinate with campus security. At the time of writing, there is no revised protocol for examinations, although it is expected that as many forms of assessment as possible will be carried out using online resources.
NUI Galway elects full-time and part-time Students’ Union officers for 2020/2021. Full exclusive coverage Pages 4-6.
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STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION COVERAGE: Full-time Officers4–5 STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION COVERAGE: Part-time Officers6 A warm welcome for the royal visit in Galway7 NUI Galway Researcher Wins Prestigious Irish Cancer Society Award8 Pakistani Cultural Night 20209 National gambling addiction counselling service launched in Galway10 CAMPUS CAIRDE: Riona Hughes, Societies Officer11 I gave blood and lived to tell the tale12 GRETA THUNBERG: should more be done to protect her? 13 Nationwide mental health support program comes to NUI Galway 14 A city of snakes – Is the ring road really the answer?16 Reasons to Stress and How to Process17 Could you handle a woman like me?18 Cooking up some therapy 19 STYLED BY THE SHOW: Gossip Girl20 TRAVEL JUNKIE: Seoul21 SIN’S GUIDE TO SELLING CLOTHES ONLINE: The Top Ten Dos and Don’ts of Depop22 BTS Album Review — Map of the Soul: 7 24 Top 7 James Bond Theme Songs25 Netflix’s Drive to Survive season two review26 NUI GALWAY PUSHES BOUNDARIES: Staging modern-day Diarmuid and Gráinne27 NUI Galway’s Handball Club take Texas by storm29 How will the coronavirus affect sport?30 Man City’s ban signals a change in football finances31
Hello readers and welcome to quite a strange issue of SIN. With the University closing, we’ve moved our presence entirely online for the moment, but the content remains as brilliant as always! It’s quite weird that we won’t see a paper copy of this issue, but I think everyone will agree that it’s the least of our priorities right now. For the moment, it’s not about going crazy, or panicking, or stocking up on toilet paper, it’s about doing small bits to limit risk and just doing what we can to help. As (mostly young) students, we aren’t the group who are at most risk from the virus, but we all have relatives, or friends, or acquaintances who are elderly or have other illnesses that increase danger for them. Even small changes and inconveniences to our daily lives could have an immeasurable impact on someone else’s life and the lives of their family. That’s
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the health of their employees and their families. The unintended and second-hand effects of this may end up being worse and more long-standing than the first-hand health impacts. For the next couple of hours, take this opportunity to relax, get away from it all in your isolation chamber, and read some outstanding articles. It’s not like there’s much else to be doing!
History made as Owen Ward becomes first Traveller elected to Údarás By Andrew Florio
EDITOR: Mark Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org LAYOUT: Shannon Reeves
what’s important at the moment. The country has an odd feel to it as well. Even if you had been living under a literal rock, and were just re-emerging into modern society, you would realise that something is up. It’s a palpable anxiety that’s rooted in uncertainty. There are those who are overreacting, those who are in probable denial about the seriousness of it, and everyone else in between. This next period acts as some kind of holiday period for students and academic staff, because of the time off, but for many private sector workers, this is an extremely stressful time. The impact of this on local, national and global economies is dramatic. Businesses now need to strike a balance between staying open in order to pay for overheads, so that they can come back to a business and a job after this all calms down, while wanting to prioritise
NUI Galway student Owen Ward has been elected to NUI Galway’s governing body, Údarás na hOllscoile, becoming the first Irish Traveller to do so, and on a larger scale, the first member of the Travelling community to sit on a managing body of a university in Ireland. In his new role, Ward told SIN that he is hoping to confront important issues such as equality and the recent accommodation rent hike. Owen will sit on a board comprised of the most influential figures within the University, including the President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and representatives of the Students’ Union. Aiming to use his background and knowledge to make changes in the sphere of equality and diversity he said; “I want to bring disadvantaged voices to the fore”. The appointment was well received by the University, commenting how his election “demonstrates how open and respectful NUI Galway has become”. A sentiment that he could vouch for when asked if he had ever experienced any prejudice on campus,
he said; “I was never discriminated against here.” he said “This reflects the values of the current strategic plan at NUI Galway. I plan to bring a proactive postgraduate voice to this forum and to represent the diversity of issues that affect postgraduates on campus.” he added. Owen is a Soni Traveller and grew up on the Circular Road in Galway City. The fifth in a family of eight, Owen followed in the footsteps of his siblings and left school at sixteen without a Junior Certificate. “I’m one of eight kids, I just followed the normal route of my family”, he said. Dropping out of school wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, he explained, but since he was a child, he always had the urge to further his education and go to university. While working with his father, and eight years after leaving school, he happened to have a casual conversation with a friend of his who told him about the access programmes in NUI Galway and he immediately said to himself; “This is what I’ve been waiting for”. The “lack of support” that he suffered from in his secondary school days was replaced by an organised system specifically tailored to help
students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He said; “Imelda Byrne played a big part in helping me”, referring to the former Fianna Fáil local election candidate, who helped him through the access course and is still Head of the Centre. Speaking highly of Owen’s achievements, Ms Byrne said; “He’s a role model for his own community and the community in general in terms of what Owen can do to break down barriers and help access to education. It’s a great day for NUI Galway that he’s on the governing body”. She remembers Owen from his days in the programme and comments how “Owen really gave 100%”. That casual conversation with a friend sparked by fate has since led to many successes. His election aside, Owen is currently completing a Postgraduate Degree in a Professional Masters of Education (PME). Having found his passion in teaching, he sees “giving back” to the community that helped him as very important. A wealth of knowledge from his own formal education and his unorthodox path to those teachings is sure to benefit his future work and students.
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March 17 2020
NEWS EDITORIAL By Paddy Henry With SIN 11 here and the end of the year (and possibly human civilisation) fast approaching, thoughts of the Spanish Arch are popping into the backs of the minds of many. The time of year where exams aren’t too close to be really worrying about, but the draw of warm weather and your tipple of choice on the green is certainly high up on the to-do list. And unconfirmed reports suggest that Bulmers tastes great when consumed through a face mask! This issue of SIN is, as usual, packed with an array of stories ranging from the recent elections to the ongoing rent increase saga. Comprehensive analysis from both the Full-time and part-time elections can be found inside. Our Royal afficionado Conor Brummell talks about the recent royal visit to the town of the tribes, detailing what the Duke and Duchess got up to on their travels. Sadhbh Hendrick brings us the story of an NUI Galway PhD student who was awarded for his work on cancer research. Andrew Florio talks to Owen Ward on his historic election to Údarás na hOllscoile. Kuntal Samadder reports on the visit of Hitachi CIO Bill Schmarzo to NUIG and Ellen O’Donoghue writes on recent research by NUIG which examines the impact that social media overload has on our energy levels. All this and more inside, and, as always, if you hear any whisperings around college that you think would be worth reporting, do let us know, we’re always happy to hear from you. My email is email@example.com if you’d like to contact me. Finally, as it’s dominating the public consciousness at the moment, it is important to highlight the importance of using reliable news sources on the back of the COVID-19 outbreak. The fear and hysteria a case of this nature causes is a breeding ground for the spreading of misinformation, particularly online. I would appeal to anybody reading this, to take caution, when reading and sharing reports relating to the illness online and in relation to the condition itself only to follow the advice of medical experts and not the lad with a few hundred followers on twitter!
FEATURES EDITORIAL By Shauna McHugh Hello wonderful readers, Welcome to this year’s penultimate issue of SIN! It’s a sad thought that we’ll soon be left without this newspaper, but until then we have plenty of great reads to cheer everyone up. Rachel Garvey shares her love of librar-
ies with us in her excellent piece, and reflects on their importance in the wake of National Library Open Day. Meanwhile, our Opinions Editor Anastasia Burton has a tell-all chat with the lovely Riona from SocsBox in this week’s Campus Cairde column. Daryanna Lancet also has details on a fantastic support service for any students who may be struggling. Don’t miss her scoop on Niteline Galway, and their great work to aid students’ mental health. We have all the insider information on not just that, but another promising student resource in this issue too! I chatted to the founder of The Campus Advisor about his new website, which allows students to rate and review various aspects of university life. Our regular columnists are also gracing the pages of SIN once again. Jody Moylan has a hot take in this week’s Mature Student Diary, as he explains why good fiction can be an invaluable asset for budding historians. Fresh off the news that she will soon be a published author, Aoife Burke is not yet too famous to write for us, as she has another instalment of her First Year Diary. Sadhbh Hendrick, meanwhile, shares some hilarious insight on all the hysteria surrounding the Coronavirus. Finally, while I can safely say that the SIN team put our blood, sweat and tears into every issue, this week, I mean it quite literally! I recently donated blood for the first time in my life (and I may have had a bit of a cowardly sniffle about it). Head to page X to read about my experience at NUI Galway’s recent Blood Donation Drive. Until next time, happy reading!
OPINION EDITORIAL By Anastasia Burton Hey there! Lovely to see you reading our paper again! I’m the opinion editor, Anastasia Burton. Most of the time, you will see some of my articles floating around the different sections of the paper, but most of you know me as the proud editor of opinions. We are slowly creeping up to the end of the university year and already are in our second last issue of SIN. I feel a bit sad saying that because it’s so fun making up articles for people to take up and write about and watch you guys read them! In each issue, I like to thank not only our readers, but also the writers that take on articles from my section! You’re all doing a great job and I’m always happy to see people share their ideas! Anyway, what can you expect in this issue? Coronavirus panic – is there too much panic about the virus? Should we just all chill and wash our hands? Make-up community drama – every week, tea spill channels grace our timelines with new drama videos. Is the make-up community the most drama filled community on the internet?
Cooking therapy – is it really a thing? Stress – what do we stress about and how can we stop stressing about it? Reading is good for our imagination and development. Do you agree? Lots of fun topics to discuss as usual and if you have an idea you would like to share in the opinion section, don’t be shy to send me an email at opinion.sined@ gmail.com. Lots of love Opinion Editor x
LIFESTYLE AND FASHION EDITORIAL By Catherine Taylor Hi everyone and welcome to issue 11! It’s hard to believe that this is the penultimate issue of SIN, where did all those months go? With exams coming down the line, we’ll be finishing up for the year with the next issue. They do say that all good things come to an end. In the meantime, here’s your fashion, beauty and lifestyle fix for this fortnight… First up, Ewelina Szybinska takes us through the March beauty releases we’re lusting after this month. Beauty buffs better start saving now, because some of these fab new products are on the pricier side… Fashionistas and Upper East Side enthusiasts will be delighted to know that our resident Gossip Girl impressionist, Valerie McHugh, is back with another edition of Styled by the Show, this time on resident style queen Serena Van Der Woodsen. We’re a little excited about the Gossip Girl reboot, can you tell? Elsewhere, Harry King talks us through the re-emergence of the astrology trend, and why millennials are looking for meaning in the stars, while our resident amateur chef Isabel Dwyer is back with another episode of The Foodie Diaries. This week, we’ve been gifted with an amazing recipe dubbed “Soup for Sick People.” There may or may not also be a tasteful Coronavirus joke in the mix too. Finally, Maeve Winters provides us with a comprehensive guide to selling on Depop, while I take you through my eye-opening trip to Seoul, South Korea in this issue’s edition of Travel Junkie. I can be contacted on lifestyle.sined@ gmail.com, and as always, enjoy the fabulous issue!
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITORIAL By Sarah Gill We are back once again with another brilliant issue of SIN, so grab a cuppa tea and a comfortable chair and settle in for
an evening of reading. Where would we be without social commentary? I like to think that the arts and entertainment section doesn’t merely dissect the shiny lives of celebrities, it gives you the tools to form your own opinion. There is a lot to be said for looking at an occurrence from another angle. From a look at Netflix’s latest dystopian reality show Love is Blind to analysing Claire Rothstein’s fashion film Be A Lady, They Said, there are some seriously thought-provoking pieces just waiting for your perusal. If you’re wondering what you should be watching and listening to, we’ve got reviews galore in our section. Add in some beautiful poetry and you’ve got yourself a damn good issue. As always, if you feel like you could add a new flavour to the paper, throw me over an email with your ideas at artsentertainment.sined@ gmail.com
SPORTS EDITORIAL By Darren Casserly Hello once again everyone and welcome back to the penultimate issue of SIN for this year. It only feels like yesterday that I was writing my first editorial, and like the first issue, there are plenty of great articles to look forward to, with everything from handball to rugby to enjoy. Starting with rugby, Johnny Browne talks to us about what seems to be an inconsistent Irish side, even under new management in the form of Andy Farrell and how they can begin to look like the Grand Slam-winning side they were under Joe Schmidt. Johnny Browne also writes about Man City’s ban from European football and how Financial Fair Play looks like it is going to change the future of how football business is conducted at the top level of European football. Sticking with football, I take a look back at the second reign of Mick McCarthy over the Irish national team and consider was this unconventional managerial situation a success or a waste of time. In the Gaelic world, following Galway’s blistering start to their National Football League campaign under the new management of Padraic Joyce, I write about what Galway’s chances are of bringing the Sam Maguire west of the Shannon, as well as what the future holds for the Tribesmen. In the Club Spotlight section, Conor Brummell introduces us to the NUI Galway handball team which had recent success at intervarsities stateside. Finally, following Deontay Wilder’s claim that his walk out costume was to blame for his loss to Tyson Fury, Oisin Bradley writes about some of the other great sporting excuses, including a kit mishap and Iker Casillas’ girlfriend. If you would like to write for SIN, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION COVERAGE NUI Galway Students’ Union Elections 2020: Toomey, Nic Lochlainn and Sweeney elected into full-time roles By Paddy Henry Padraic Toomey, Róisín Nic Lochlainn and Emma Sweeney have been elected into the full-time roles of SU President, Vice President, Welfare and Equality Officer and Vice President Education Officer respectively. The elections saw a turnout of 2,700, almost 14% of the college electorate, an increase of 1,000 votes on the previous year and proved that student politics in the University has been well and truly reinvigorated, with intense debates and controversy relighting a flame that had been long snuffed out in NUI Galway. The Presidential election saw a tussle for the electoral centre ground. Clubs’ Captain Padraic Toomey slotted into the space left gaping by rivals Alex Coughlan and Denis Mortell, who were preaching to two entirely different galleries when it came to attracting their core voters. An historic visit to the Shannon College of Hotel Management proved a master stroke by the Tipperary man Toomey, who swept the boards in the college that NUI Galway forgot. The traditional stick of bringing a dog to campus also worked a treat for the engineering student as his canine canvassing wooed voters. SIN’s exit polling predicted a land-
slide for the current Clubs’ Captain and with the result a seemingly foregone conclusion before a vote was tallied, Friday morning in the Bailey Allen Hall became more of a coronation than an election for team Toomey, who romped home on the first count, taking 1,595 votes, 59% of the valid poll. Speaking after his election, the new President elect thanked his team for the trojan work they had put in over the course of a long week, “It’s been a long but an amazing week and something I’ll never forget in my whole life. We’ve had long, sleepless nights where I’ve slept in a tent and went canvassing and I’d really like to thank my campaign team, they were amazing. They were just so funny and always checking up on me”, he said. “The whole week has felt like one long day that’s never ended, I loved every bit of it, and it was a real fun week. We had so much fun with the other campaigners and their teams and I’d really like to thank them. It was a really good week”, he continued. For Toomey, his focus now returns to protesting against the contentious NUI Galway student accommodation rent hikes, which the President elect described as “ludicrous”. Toomey also
pledged to stay true to his manifesto when he assumes office in the summer and committed to creating a transparent and environmentally friendly SU. “We can do so much. I’m going to constantly refer back to my manifesto and I think I’ll plan for the year. I want the Meet your SU events. I want people to know exactly where they’re going to be on and what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it. Environmentally, with the keep-cups, I think we’ll restart that and do that again and look for an increased budget for the likes of microwaves water fountains and seating, because I want to make it feel like a student campus for students”, he said. The race for the Vice-Presidential role of Welfare and Equality Officer proved to be one of the most robust the Union has seen in many years. The three-way batttle between Róisín Nic Lochlainn, Ellen O’Donoghue and Simeon Burke saw intense debates, especially between Nic Lochlainn, a second year arts student and Burke, a second year civil law student and Irish Times Debate 2020 Finalist. However, in a race which saw two candidates diametrically opposed to one another go to the trenches, Nic Lochlainn managed to mobilise a support base, comprised of loyal supporters enamoured by her passion for activism and an anti-Burke contingent. She picked up 1,192 votes on the first count, 307 clear of Ellen O’Donoghue with Burke eliminated on 18% of the vote. His transfers proved decisive and saw Nic Lochlainn elected on her archrivals transfers, A jubilant Róisín spoke to SIN following her election. “I’m delighted!”, she said. “You know the turnout was great and it was a lot better than last year. I’m delighted. Thank you to everybody who voted for me.” For Nic Lochlainn, her priorities now turn to her role as Welfare and Equality Officer Elect and pledged to lobby the University on costs of use of the Kingfisher and providing unconscious bias training to SU staff. “From day one, I’m going to be working as hard as I can. The first thing I’m going to do is lobby the University about the fees that we pay for Kingfisher – that’s one of my immediate plans. I also want to get right into getting all the staff and SU Clubs and Societies into, everyone trained in mental health
and unconscious bias training. I want to look straight into getting more funding for the Student Health Unit, just everything that I have in my manifesto and giving free tampons because that is easy to do, the University has the money for it”, she said. Amid the furore and high jinks of the Welfare and Equality race, the contest for Education Officer could be seen as a somewhat tame affair. Emma Sweeney won out against her competitors, SU Council Chair, Scott Green and Science Convenor Kenny Cooke. Sweeney, who is heavily involved with CÉIM, campaigned on issues such as increasing social seating, better timetabling to accommodate part-time workers and infrastructural improvements on campus. Despite her lateness in putting her
name forward and her competitors both being established members of the SU Executive, Sweeney sailed home on the second count with 42% of the vote. Speaking to SIN after her election Emma spoke of her delight at taking the role. “I am so tired and so exhausted, but I am absolutely delighted. Now my focus turns to just keeping doing what I’m doing at the moment, which is working with CÉIM and hopefully getting more support for that and bringing that forward, which will be a big focus for the next year”. Sweeney also thanked her team for their hard work they put in in getting her elected, “They all worked so hard this week and I cannot thank them enough, without them this could not have happened”, she commented.
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March 17 2020
SU politics re-energised in election that will live long in the memory
By Paddy Henry
Welfare and Equality Election
1595 QUOTA: 1336
Non-transferrable votes: 199
Non-transferrable votes: 175
1042 783 634
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Defeated candidates down but not out after gruelling election By Paddy Henry You can’t win them all, and the cutthroat nature of politics, even in the student guise, was evident over the course of election week in NUI Galway. From tent sleepouts to graffitied whiteboards and canine canvasses, the campaign threw up its own unique charm only to be seen on an NUI Galway campus. And with nine candidates in the race, excluding the beloved RON (who has attracted his own loyal cohort of supporters over the years), and only 3 positions up for grabs, disappointment was an inevitability for the defeated six. Padraic Toomey’s barnstorming victory in the Presidential election saw the end of the road for Denis Mortell’s grassroots campaign. Having started entirely from scratch, and no prior experience of the inner-workings of the SU Executive, Mortell’s message, pledging to be the voice at the front for the people at the back, appealed to those disengaged by the Union over recent years. The final year Arts student got a respectable vote out, taking 20% of first preferences, and spoke of his pride in managing to increase engagement among the electorate, “I helped in rising the total votes up by 1,000 since last year and for two days of the campaign I didn’t sell myself, I just wanted to get people interested in voting. Community connection was something I wanted as a President and it’s something I wanted in my campaign”, he said. Head held high, Denis referred back to his key campaign message and thanking his supporters and congratulating the newly elected officers on their electoral success, “My slogan was to be the voice at the front for the people at the back and want to say the biggest and more heartfelt thank you to
everyone who trusted me to be their president. I still think I would have been the best person for that. I wish everybody who got elected the best of luck in their next year”. Another candidate who can take nothing but positives from her election campaign is Ellen O’Donoghue. The contest for Welfare and Equality enthralled spectators, university politicos gripped by the feisty rivalry between Róisín Nic Lochlainn and Simeon Burke. Ellen was stuck in a nightmare scenario where her two election rivals left her without even a glimpse of the limelight, but outside of the spotlight, the Donegal woman flourished with a strong team of canvassers and the presence of Lady the kitten towards the end of the campaign week – meaning the third year Journalism with English and Gaeilge student pushed her main election rival Nic Lochlainn all the way. Speaking to SIN after her elimination, O’Donoghue hinted that her electoral shortcomings this time around may not signal the end of her involvement in student politics, and remained hopeful that some of her policies may still be implemented by the incumbent; “Unfortunately it just wasn’t my day but if Clare Austick can lose her first election and end up as president of the SU then I can too! This definitely isn’t the end of my involvement in SU politics”, she said. “I’m really happy with the turnout of votes, hopefully this is the beginning of a new era of student engagement. Hopefully some of the important policies I highlighted throughout my campaign will still be implemented by Róisín, who I’d also like to congratulate on her election”. O’Donoghue also praised her team for the hard work they put in over the course of the campaign and spoke of her pride in how she conducted her-
self throughout the campaign, “I would just like to thank my campaign team and friends for being amazing. I’d also like to congratulate Padraic and Emma for being elected. Thank you also to all of the people who voted for me on the day, your support was amazing and I am forever grateful. All candidates had great campaigns and I’m so proud of myself for the clean, honest campaign I ran. I’m also glad that I got people talking about important everyday issues in the University that face students and hopefully that conversation continues”. Scott Green was Emma Sweeney’s closest competitor in the race for the role of Education Officer, taking home 30% of the vote. They ran on a platform of greater student staff collaboration and making the college more accessible through developments in the library such as a 24-hour study space and a sensory room. The outgoing SU Council Chairperson congratulated both of their competitors on their campaigns, “I’ll start by taking a second to congratulate Emma, of course, she ran a wonderful campaign and she’s a more than deserving winner. I’d also like to congratulate Kenny as well; we can sometimes forget those who don’t win but it would be remiss of me to not mention him”, they said. They continued, “I have to thank my campaign team, from people who canvassed, to those who joined me on residence runs, my social media people, my photographer, translator and even the odd one or two that made me memes without even being asked. It wouldn’t have been half the campaign it was without them and I mean that very sincerely. To anyone who trusted me enough to give me their first preference, thank you so much. It fills me with immense confidence, and to every preference I got after that thank you too”, they added.
“Another election” might have been the collective groan of the bulk of the student population when the candidates for the three full-time positions of President, Vice President Welfare and Equality Officer and Vice President Education Officer were announced. Over the years, students have become increasingly disengaged in political discourse. A stagnation of the student vote had well and truly manifested itself as the norm. Gone were the days of a valid poll of anywhere near 3,000, as the university had once seen in bygone years. Yet, this year, a spark was ignited somewhere, almost out of the blue, a spontaneous flame amid the embers of what once was student politics. Voters became reinvigorated. The paltry turnout of 52 votes for the election of Kaushik Narasimhan as Gender and LGBT Rights Officer in November perhaps led to a unanimous feeling among political societies and activists alike that the democratic process on campus was verging on the shambolic. That being said, perhaps it paved the way for change. A small tremor was felt last January when an impressive turnout of 887 students voted against the planned restructuring of the Students’ Union Executive. Only one polling station was opened on campus, such was the expected volume of turnout. Seemingly re-energised, the elections for the Students’ Union Executive’s three highest offices would prove the true litmus test to whether the body politic had truly become engaged in student politics once more. Early indications were good, with three more candidates running than the year prior, as murmurings on the concourse of continuity candidates and protest votes got louder and louder. There was a feeling that a groundswell of interest in the Union was about to manifest itself at the ballot box. The almost pantomime-like hustings for Welfare and Equality Officer was the talk of the college. A battle of vitriolic barbs between two rival candidates was NUI Galway’s flavour of the month. While the world’s eyes were set on the spread of the coronavirus, NUI Galway students were fixated on the battle of Burke v Nic Lochlainn. Two astute debaters going head to head added a genuine interest to all the races. It fostered a sense of fascination among even the most disaffected of the electorate and added spice to a consistently cuddly affair. Early projections of turnout looked promising, and breaking the 3,000 mark looked like a real possibility at one point. Students queuing to vote at the library basement was as surprising as it was heart-warming. A recorded turnout of 2,700, over 1,000 more than the year prior, and a feeling of genuine anticipation ahead of the announcement of who would assume office for the next academic year, left the cynics and critics bereft of side remarks about student apathy towards the democratic process. Student politics has been brought back to life. It is alive and kicking and the recent election gives the impression it won’t be going away any time soon.
6 NEWS & F E ATU R ES
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION COVERAGE: PART-TIME OFFICERS 10 part-time Students’ Union Executive Committee roles filled By Mark Lynch The students of NUI Galway have elected their parttime Students’ Union officers for the academic year 2020/2021. The vote, which took place on campus on Thursday, March 12th, was overshadowed by news of the shutdown, which seemingly affected turnout. Across the 10 positions up for grabs, the total valid poll ranged from just 11 votes (for Clubs’ Captain) to 587 for Oifigeach na Gaeilge. The position of Oifigeach na Gaeilge was the best contested across both the part-time and full-time positions, going all the way to the 4th count. After the first count, sitting Officer Erin Mac an Tsaoir led the way with 32%, with 3 candidates between 17-19%. Rebecca Nic Sheamuis ended up being Mac an Tsaoir’s closest rival, ending up with 197 votes after 3 rounds of transfers, but it was the Dublin man who was deemed elected with 243.
Oifigeach na Gaeilge was not the closest end result, however. The position of Convenor of the College of Science and Engineering, with a valid poll of 201, was incredibly tight after the first count. Aoife Buckley led the way with 71, while Oisín Ganley sat on 64, and third candidate Sai Gujulla was right on their tails with 60. With just one transfer from the 1st preference votes for re-open nominations (which went to Sai Gujulla), the last-placed candidate was eliminated, and his votes distributed. With just 19 votes to spare after the third count, Aoife Buckley was deemed elected. The current Gender and LGBT Rights Officer, Kaushik Narasimhan, only began his tenure 4 months ago, after a by-election in November. However, he did not seek re-election, and Maeve Arnup romped home with almost two-thirds of the vote. Their only rival, Jude Little, ended on around 26%, with 7% seeking to re-open nominations. Speaking to SIN after their election, Maeve Arnup said, “I’m thankful and delighted
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to have been elected. I’m looking forward to working on all of my initiatives and ideas and hope to be a stable support for LGBT+ students in NUI Galway”. The election for Disability Rights Officer saw Stevie Buckley go up against Patricia O’Mahony. O’Mahony, the auditor of the IMPACTE (Inclusion & Motivation for Promoting Access to Community Transformation and Engagement) Society in NUI Galway, won out with just over 58% of the votes on the first and only count. Patricia spoke of her delight at being able to fulfil this role. “It means a lot. I’ve been an activist in NUI Galway for so long, and I can now do even more for students. There are 2 main things I want to do next year, and they are a Facebook page, where students can interact with me with issues they’re having, and to have a weekly clinic where students can come and meet me face to face”. She continued, “I can now continue the work I started last summer, when I was in everyday Monday to Friday, fighting for students. I want to continue on now, and do even more”. Also on the ballot paper was the position of Convenor of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. With 3 candidates, and a total poll of 238 students, it was Claire McHale who was deemed elected after the first and only count, with 56%. Her closest rival, Cian Mortimer, managed just under a third of the vote. Half of the positions voted on that day (5) had just one candidate running. With an electorate of over 3,000 students, the position of Convenor of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, ended up with a valid poll of just 86. The only candidate, Evan O’Flaherty, had no trouble defeating re-open
nominations, and spoke to SIN following his election. “I’m delighted to have been elected for Convenor. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I first came to the University and I’m really grateful I’ve been given the opportunity”. He continued, “A massive thank you to everyone who got out and voted for me. My main plan for the year is to integrate the students of the three schools together – we’re all going to work together in the future so I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen now”. Mature Students’ Officer also only had one candidate running. The voting for this position was open to all students, and had a valid poll of 550. The only candidate, Michelle Mitchell, was deemed elected with 87% of the vote. 70 votes were cast to re-open nominations, the highest across any position. With the lowest electorate, valid poll and quota of any position, current NUI Galway Boxing Club Captain Kirsty Moran was elected Clubs’ Captain. Only 45 students were eligible to vote in this, and Kirsty was deemed elected with 10 votes. 1 vote was cast to re-open nominations. There were two post-graduate representative roles on the ballot paper, Postgraduate Taught Officer and Postgraduate Research Officer. Each position only had one candidate running, making them both foregone conclusions. Martin Smyth, the outgoing Convenor of Arts, was elected the Postgraduate Taught Officer, with 38 votes. Sebastiaan Bierema was elected Postgraduate Research Officer with 46 votes. The vote for SU Council Chairperson has been postponed indefinitely, while these officers will officially begin their terms on July 1st.
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March 17 2020
A warm welcome for the royal visit in Galway By Conor Brummell The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently completed their royal visit to Ireland with a trip to Galway City on Thursday, the 5th of March. Prince William and Kate Middleton visited Dublin in the first two days of their trip, before getting a helicopter ride over to Galway. Despite a delay in the morning due to heavy fog, the royal couple arrived in Galway at around 11am and began their day by attending an exhibition organised by the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 in the Tribeton. Here, the Duke and Duchess were greeted by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, while CEO of Galway 2020 Patricia Philbin guided the pair through the exhibition. The emphasis of Prince William and Princess Kate’s visit to Ireland was to promote youth work, and at the exhibition in the Tribeton, they were provided with music from NØÖV- a five-piece youth collective which was discovered by the Galway 2020’s live feed initiative. Hoops also put on a basket display whilst the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge discussed a linguistic art project celebrating endangered maritime words and place names in coastal regions, i.e. Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Donegal and Scotland, with Manchán Magan as part of Sea Tamagotchi - an initiative where people are invited to keep these words alive, much like the toy, Tamagotchi.
Prince William then showed off his juggling skills, with a cue from Galway Community circus. Before they departed the Tribeton, their royal highnesses were also shown a performance from the Galway Community Cast – a group of drummers that were formed ahead of Galway 2020’s official opening at the start of February. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then headed into the city centre, where they visited the famous traditional Irish music pub, Tíġ Ċóilí. They were greeted by Cóilí Ó Flaithearta and his wife Monica, along with their son Aonghus who currently manages the pub. Will and Kate were presented with a set of Waterford Crystal glasses with Tíġ Ċóilí engraved on them, along with a bottle of rare Midleton Whiskey from Galway County Council. The couple were then entertained by a traditional Irish music session led by Ronan Ó Flaithearta on the fiddle, Conor Connolly on the box and Pádraig Ó Dubhghaill on guitar. Aonghus Ó Flaithearta was delighted at having the royal couple visit the pub, which this year celebrates its 20-year anniversary, and said “If they didn’t have royal titles, they’d be ordinary people. I was very honoured to have them here – nice people, really engaging and completely interested in what was going on around them. They were lovely. William asked me who I supported in the football, and I said ‘Liverpool’- he laughed and said I have nothing to worry about this season anyway”.
An NUI Galway student, Erin Shimizu from Roscam, was also on the guest list for her volunteer work with children who have intellectual disabilities. She met with the Duke and Duchess before they headed outside to speak to some local school children from St. Pat’s Primary school, along with members of the public who had been queueing since 7am to catch a glimpse of the famous duo. William and Kate then concluded their visit to Galway when they headed out to Salthill Knocknacarra GAA club, to learn more about Gaelic games and get lessons from the children involved in the club. At the club, the Prince and Princess were met by former Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan and Galway footballer Emma Madden. They received a tour of inside the club house before coming out onto the main pitch where kids were playing football matches. The club owners explained how the sport worked, and then William and Kate took part in football drills with the children who were there. They then competed in a hurling shoot out with the children – a boys versus girls’ team – before Kate’s team was crowned the winner. They were then gifted with club jerseys for their own kids, along with a sliotar, a hurl and a football. The Duke and Duchess then received a guard of honour as they left the club, along with cheers from the general public who had gathered outside to witness the couple’s departure.
8 NEWS & F E ATU R ES Nationwide survey aims to review drug use among students By Mark Lynch A new survey aims to capture a comprehensive picture of drug use trends and behaviours among third level students. The Drug Use in Higher Education in Ireland survey is the first national, sector-specific survey of its kind and will look to inform a nationwide sectoral action plan to tackle harm caused by drug use by students in higher education, which is currently in the pipeline. Irish research in this area is sparse, with reports of lifetime use varying from 53% (My World Survey 2) to 82% (National Student Drug Survey). Drug use carries with it many risks and harms, both short and long term, personal and societal. The DUHEI Survey will be sent to a random sample of Irish Higher Education students between the 24th of March and the 9th of April. The information gathered will provide important national baseline information on the landscape of drug use among students. It will contribute to the development of harm-reduction interventions and policies, positively impacting the lives of students in the future. The survey, which will be entirely anonymous, wants to hear from students who have never used drugs, who may have used drugs in the past, and who are current or recent drug users as to gather a complete picture of trends and attitudes within higher education across the board. Lorna Fitzpatrick, President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), outlined the necessity of the survey. “There is a huge gap in knowledge, in the area of illicit drug use among third level students in Ireland. The DUHEI survey and the data received, will assist the USI, Students’ Unions and Higher Education Institutions across Ireland, in developing services, policies and information campaigns for students who choose to take drugs”. She continued, “According to the National Student Drugs Survey, 82% of students have tried illegal drugs, so this is a reality for third level students at the moment. With that in mind, it is crucial that we get as many students as possible taking part in this survey on drugs use, so we can attempt to understand how many students are taking drugs, see what kind of drugs students are taking, when they’re taking them, where and why are they’re choosing to take drugs”.
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
NUI Galway researcher wins prestigious Irish Cancer Society award By Sadhbh Hendrick NUI Galway researcher John Daly was named PhD Researcher of the Year at the recent Irish Cancer Society Research Awards. John, who is currently doing a PhD at the University, was presented with the award for his studies into combating Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer for which there is currently no cure. A past winner of a biomedical research scholarship from the Irish Cancer Society, John’s team has focused on a type of immune cell called natural killer cells that normally destroy cancer cells but are unable to detect those of Multiple Myeloma. John was awarded his research grants from the Irish Cancer Society in 2017 after a competitive and thorough application process, with proposals strenuously vetted and reviewed by an international, external panel of research professionals to ensure the very best research gets funded. The Irish Cancer Society monitors John’s progress throughout the four-year research project, ensuring their research is carried out to world-class standards. Commenting on the scholarships, Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, said: “Fostering the development of strong Irish cancer research careers in key to ensuring that Ireland continues to play an ever more important part in efforts to overcome cancer. We want the donations we receive from the public to go towards world-class cancer research, and so have developed a stringent three-tier review process that research applicants must get through before receiving funding for their work”. To apply, you must be a cancer expert and to be awarded, you must stand out in this very competitive field. John and his colleagues are attempting to find ways of boosting these Natural Killer cells so that they can successfully detect and destroy Mul-
tiple Myeloma cells, in a development that would revolutionise treatment for the disease. Commenting on his award, Daly said: “I’m absolutely delighted, a lot of hard work has gone into this so far, not just from me but everyone in my group, and particularly my supervisor and co-supervisor, Professor Michael O’Dwyer of NUI Galway and Dr Mattias Carlsten, Karolinska Institute. Things like this are really encouraging and motivating for the next couple of years as we try to move our research on”.
Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, spoke of his pride in John’s achievements: “I am very proud of John’s recent achievements. This is a reflection on his own hard work, the supportive ecosystem in my laboratory, our collaboration with the Karolinska Institute, and of course the generous support of the Irish Cancer Society. John’s work is helping to usher in a new era of immunotherapy for cancer, employing the use of genetically modified immune cells called natural killer cells, which we believe have great potential”.
NUI Galway researcher shortlisted for prestigious research award By Ellen O’Donoghue NUI Galway researcher Dr Elaine Toomey has been shortlisted for the Euroscience European Young Researcher Award in the Postdoc category. EuroScience, a pan-European grassroots organisation for the support and promotion of science and technology in Europe, have been awarding the European Young Researchers Award to the most talented young European researchers engaged in PhD projects and Postdoc projects for the last decade. The aim of the award is to recognise not only the young people who have already made important contributions to their disciplines, but who have also succeeded in developing the societal context of their achievements in promoting their field of research by notable outreach activities. Dr Toomey is the Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland, based in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in NUI Galway. Her research is in Open Science and Health Research Transparency, and it aims to improve the scientific methods and processes used in health research to maximise the overall impact of health research for society. Research dissemination and out-
reach is central to Dr Toomey’s work, and she has consistently engaged in public outreach and communication beyond academia. Speaking on the shortlisting announcement, Dr Toomey said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be shortlisted for this award, and particularly want to thank my colleagues in NUI Galway and mentors Professor Declan Devane and Professor Molly Byrne for their wonderful support and encouragement”. Professor Declan Devane, Director of Cochrane Ireland and Evidence Synthesis Ireland, spoke of how Dr Toomey’s nomination reflects the international significance of her work, stating that her shortlisting is “testament to the quality and relevance of her work on an international platform”. He added, “It reflects well on NUI Galway, but I am particularly pleased for Elaine herself who has worked hard for many years on her research. I wish her well for the award”. The overall winners will be announced at the award ceremony, which is due to take place at the EuroScience Open Forum in Trieste, Italy, from 5-9 July. It is unclear whether this will go ahead or not due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in Europe, with Italy being the European epicentre. However, if all goes to plan, then finalists will also have a chance to compete for the Popular Prize, which will be decided by an audience vote at the event.
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March 17 2020
NUI Galway study examines the impact of social media overload on energy levels By Ellen O’Donoghue
Pakistani Cultural Night 2020 By the Pakistani Society NUI Galway The 14th of February was greeted with buzzing excitement for Pakistani Cultural Night 2020 in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. With dazzling music, performances and Pakistani cuisine, this was one of the biggest annual events organized by NUIG Pakistani Society. As soon as you entered, you could see the Bailey Allen Hall decorated with the national colours of Pakistan. White tablecloths, with green and white balloons, strewn with rose petals and adorned with
green ribbons. The stage was bordered by Pakistani flags completing the theme of the night. The conversations, coupled with Pakistani music playing in the background, created an energized ambiance. The event kick-started with a rendition of the Pakistani National Anthem by the committee and volunteers, reminding us of the spirit of Pakistan. Kids from the Pakistani community in Galway then performed an enthusiastic dance on the patriotic song, ‘Joshe-e-Junoon’. This was followed by a spectacular singing performance of ‘Tera Woh Pyar’ and ‘Ishq Kinara’, by
a talented duo, involving a Turkish student who attempted the song in Urdu language for the first time. Another sensational singing performance was given by a trio, leading to a solo performance on the melodious ‘Wohi Khuda Hai.’ Their talent was evident by the surreal harmonies of Urdu language and beats of an acoustic guitar. As the night continued, the first dance performance on ‘Haye Dil Bechara’ bought energy on the stage. Next up was the Fashion Show. The crowd hushed in anticipation as the lights were dimmed with the stage and the ramp lit up. As the first beat of the song played out, participants walked the stage in various choreographed formations and rounds to the rhythm of the songs. The clothes were a mixture of conventional and present Pakistani attire to allow for a blend of modernity and traditionalism. Enthusiastic energy was bought on by the boys as they danced to the upbeat moves of ‘Desi Thumka’. The girls captured the essence of the music through their dance on ‘Chalawa’. The dancing styles were choreographed to convey the story of the music, staying close to the cultural roots of Pakistan. A comedy skit was performed, and all participants acted in their character’s roles, showing the dedication put in the skit. It was met by laughter and cheers from the audiences, adding to the already vibrant atmosphere within the hall. The curtains finally dropped on the main events as it was time for the much-awaited food, including everyone’s favourite biryani, curries, rice, chicken roasts. The snacks included Gol Gappay. For dessert, there was Zarda, Ras Malai and Gulab Jaman. The huge participation from the people contributed to the success of the event. Students from other colleges such as GMIT and GTI were also involved. A token of gratitude was given to our sponsors; Bank of Ireland and NUI Galway International Office, with Louise Kelly and Prof. Becky Whay honouring the event in attendance. This event marked the dedication and commitment of Pakistani Society Committee of 2019/20 and the Volunteers. Pakistani Cultural Night was a success as it entertained the audiences and gathered the community while celebrating the colourful culture of Pakistan which was the main aim from the start.
A study carried out by the J.E. School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway has examined the problem of social media overload, on the energy levels of those affected by it. Social media overload is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of communication and information a person is exposed to through social media channels. The research specifically focused on identifying the causes of social media overload amongst users, and how this subsequently affects their energy levels. NUI Galway researchers found that the more prone to feeling bored a social media user is, the more likely it is they will feel overloaded by social media content. In terms of consequences, it found that users who report higher levels of social media overload are more fatigued on a day-to-day basis. However, this level of fatigue depends on what the person uses social media for. Using social media as an information source, for example accessing news stories through Facebook and Twitter, amplifies the effects of overload on fatigue levels. In contrast, using platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family actually diminishes fatigue levels, even when a person is feeling overloaded. Lead author of the study, Dr Eoin Whelan, Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems, J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway, said: “The use of social media is pervasive across the globe, with Facebook alone having 2.7 billion monthly users. While social media undoubtedly provides many advantages to users, researchers are now more closely scrutinising the problematic effects of platforms such as Facebook”. Dr Whelan also revealed that while the impact of social media overload are generally adverse, the use of social media as a communication tool can at times enable users to maintain energy levels. “Our study finds that social media users who are more prone to boredom are more likely to become overloaded by that content, which ultimately has the adverse effect of depleting their energy levels. While being overloaded by social media has many negative psychological consequences, our findings suggest overload only leads to fatigue when social media is used to source information. Using social media for communication purposes acts as a coping mechanism, enabling users to maintain energy levels even when experiencing overload. Therefore, users need to consider not just the amount of social media they expose themselves to, but also how they use these technologies, if they wish to avoid exhaustion”, he commented.
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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
“AI will make humans more human, not less” – Hitachi CIO Bill Schmarzo talks business analytics and data science at NUI Galway By Kuntal Samadder On Tuesday the 25th February, the Masters students in NUI Galway’s Business Analytics were given the incredible opportunity to understand Economics in terms of Data, under the profound mentorship of the “Dean of Big Data” Bill Schmarzo, CIO (Chief Innovation Officer) of Japanese conglomerate Hitachi programme and Director of MSc Business Analytics, Denis Dennehy. Bill Schmarzo is regarded as one of the top digital transformation influencers on big data and data science.
Bill formerly served as CTO of Big Data at Dell EMC & as the VP of Analytics at Yahoo! He is also an Honorary Professor at the School of Business and Economics in NUI Galway. According to Bill, “Digital transformation is not a technology discussion; it’s an economics conversation”. The whole idea of digital transformation revolves around leveraging digital assets to uncover pristine or existing customer segments and thus creates market value. Bill cited an instance of the “economics of raw oil” to illustrate the value of data, which never depletes and can be reused
for endless use cases. However, oil is no longer the world’s most valuable resource, but data is. By 2020, there will be 5,200 gigabytes of data on every person on the planet. In this modern era of the data-driven economy, what drives monetisation for organisations? Is it the 3, 4, or 7 V’s of Big Data? Not really, rather it’s the “granularity” that facilitates unprecedented comprehensive analysis. Bill jokingly mentioned that it’s not the V’s of Big Data that interest customers, precisely at the business side. Rather, they care about the 4 M’s, a tongue-in-
cheek abbreviation of “Make me more money!”. Cyber-Physical Systems, Internet of Things, Human-Machine Interactions & Artificial Intelligence, are among those technological combinations that can potentially transform the future workplace, while Data Science, Design Thinking, and Economics act as the “missing glue” to bind those. Design thinking humanizes data science. Bill believes that design thinking enables us to examine and create each business case individually, without being biased by prior experience to jump into a generic conclusion. While addressing the concern of whether Artificial Intelligence will ever replace human intelligence, Bill suggested that AI will force humans to become more human. People who will thrive in the future must learn the ability to empathize with human condition & and the interpretation, articulation, and formulation of the human “ethics equation” will become more significant. The insightful session was concluded with a workshop letting the students exploit the economic aspect of the digital commodity to power business and operational models. Students in the Masters course got their chance to give their opinions on the changing nature of analytics and the keys to success in the field of data science. While describing the impact of the session, Ogonna Emesiofor, from MSc of
Business Analytics, pointed out that the “Majority among IT employees tend not to understand the idea behind various projects that they are involved in. But taking a design thinking approach to all projects makes you see the bigger picture, and as such, you can better relate and address what the customer wants”. “Design thinking is a new way of breaking down the business to help them improve”, Mosopefoluwa Ogunkanmi, studying in the same course, told SIN. According to Balaji Patro, a student in MSc of Information System Management program at the University, “Value engineering process is the secret sauce for successful data science. Business initiative and stakeholders come before architecture and technology in the value engineering framework”. It was Denis Dennehy’s vision that motivated him to invite Bill as the Honorary Professor at the Business School, MSc of Business Analytics programme. “My motivation to invite Bill was to internationalise the Master’s programme and to bridge the gap between industry and academia for students to realize the importance of developing their creative self just as much as their technical and business self”, Denis stated during an interview. Finally, such collaboration of industry-academia not only allows the master students to receive a first-hand experience on industry operation, but also bolster their employability.
National gambling addiction counselling service launched in Galway By Mark Lynch A new free gambling addiction counselling service has come to Galway thanks to Helplink Mental Health and the Gambling Awareness Trust. Helplink Mental Health – a registered charity, providing accessible services locally in the West of Ireland, nationally and internationally, has now joined forces with the Gambling Awareness Trust to provide a national gambling addiction/gambling dependency counselling service; that is available for free; 7 days a week and out-of-hours. The service was officially launched in Galway at the Portershed with Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on Tuesday 25 February, with the Students’ Union Welfare Officers from both NUI Galway and GMIT present. It will provide the counselling service to anyone aged over 16 years old with a gambling problem/ issue/addiction and their family mem-
bers who may be affected by their loved ones’ gambling. However, Helplink must have written permission (by email) for 16-18-year olds parent or guardian before the appointments can begin. Helplink‘s vision is to be Ireland’s leading provider of accessible, free or low-cost mental health services locally in the West of Ireland, nationally and internationally. The three types of services that Helplink provides are: Counselling, Information Provision and Education. CEO of Helplink, Lochlainn Scott, explains how important it is for them to expand their service to people in need. “In addition to our national general, youth and couples counselling services, available online at low costs, we also provide an addiction counselling service nationally. However, it wasn’t until we partnered with the Gambling Awareness Trust that we were able to start providing gambling addiction counselling for
free! This is huge for us and our clients because of our main aims is take down barriers for engaging with counselling - finance is one of those barriers”. He continued, “by providing our services 7 days a week and out-of-hours and also providing these services online so people can get their support at home or in other private settings”. A 2015 study of the UK gambling industry reported that approximately 30-35% of the gambling industry’s revenues come from those who have gambling issues. Helplink says that the move to online gambling also makes it more difficult to monitor the behavioural activities of a loved one. According to the Rutland Centre in 2008, there were 1,365 betting shops in Ireland, which reduced to 948 in 2015. Paddy Power reports that 77% of its profits comes from the online side of the industry. People can make appointments by
Vice-President Welfare Officers from GMIT and NUI Galway Students’ Unions, Jayne Cooley (L) and Brandon Walsh (R), at the launch of Helplink Ireland’s new gambling addiction counselling service. emailing email@example.com or by phoning 0818998880 between the hours of 9am and 9pm Monday to Friday and 12 to 6 on the weekends. More information on this and Helplink’s other services are also available on their web-
site www.helplink.ie. Helplink do not provide a crisis service and recommend that people who are seriously contemplating suicide or in need of immediate help should go to their local A&E or dial 999.
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March 17 2020
Riona Hughes, Societies Officer By Anastasia Burton Riona Hughes is the Societies officer based in Áras Na Mac Léinn’s Societies Office, also known as The SocsBox. The SocsBox consists of many staff who not only support societies and their events, but also two social facilities; the Hub and Hub Central. What many might not be aware of is that the Societies Office works to promote student social life and wellness, with events such as the Fáilte Fest, which is part of Orientation, the five welcome-themed weeks and the new March Wellness Wednesday. Apart from this administrative work, Riona also tackles the development of Áras na Mac Léinn and making sure that the building facilitates students’ interests. This involves the development of the two original acoustic rooms into two new piano rooms, two acoustic rooms, a band room, recording studio, a parent and baby room and a relaxation room. The addition of Mike O’Halloran, who manages the health and safety and audiovisual equipment, has helped all the societies run their big events safely. The SocsBox also sells tickets both in the box office and on their webstore to make sure that societies can sell their tickets easily, with added promotion on social media and numerous on-campus promotion methods, including the weekly What’s Happening Guide. The SocsBox also provides a huge range of equipment, all of which is important for the smooth running of any event!
Riona is also a part of ‘Student Services’ who work together to tackle issues and support students. NUI Galway recently received REACT accreditation to reduce alcohol-related harm. The REACT model encourages incoming students to take an alcohol audit. This prompted Riona to develop the Success Quiz, which not only asks the students about their alcohol intake, but includes questions to find out how prepared they are for university, and get advice on how to navigate university life from their health, to course choice and engagement. It is a holistic way for students to look at their wellness at the start of their journey. The SocsBox and Hub teams alongside Aisling Harrington, who joined in September as the health and wellness coordinator, have partnered with an array of campus services to promote student health during March with some great events. Riona is passionate about helping the students of NUI Galway to feel safe and welcome. She is always thinking about student engagement with different events and activities
to promote skill development as well as personal development for students. Some of Riona’s work that does not directly involve societies was the creating of the Hub kitchen. The University has the population of a large village, therefore it was important to create a sense of community. “You can’t really have a village without a home, and you can’t have a home without a heart and part of that heart is the ability to cook”, she explains. At one stage in her life, Riona owned a restaurant and was familiar with the safety regulations and procedures to make sure it ran smoothly. The establishment of the Hub kitchen makes NUI Galway one of the only universities with a student kitchen. Riona recalls a time when she first started working at the University when societies could only offer wine and cheese. Now societies are inviting people for tea and biscuits; “It’s the way we talk in Ireland over a cup of tea and the simple thing of having boiling water and flasks. It’s adorable, it’s cheap, and it’s cheerful and totally delightful.”
Riona’s job involves constantly thinking about how to do something amazing so that students coming to NUI Galway can find something they will enjoy. When she started as the Societies officer, there were only 60 societies and instead of the SocsBox, she was in a corner of the SU office. It started with societies asking to sell tickets, which led to the first SocsBox, which was a physical wooden box in the Hub. After acquiring sponsorship to hire an assistant and a till, the SocsBox box office was born. From a simple wooden box to the SocsBox we see now, it is obvious that a lot of work was done on the development of society events and their popularity grew accordingly. The establishment of the societies website also led to the development of www.yourspace.nuigalway.ie, which other staff and units in the university have embraced. The website supports a wide variety of student extra-curricular opportunities. Riona’s ideology is to make something that works for everybody, to get to a stage where everything is integrated. A student who wants to develop their skills and experience can come to
“You can have a dream and you can have achieved it, or failed spectacularly, but what’s really important is going for it, because it’s about learning and about the journey. We put out all these soft mats on the hard concrete of life while you’re here, so when you fall, you can get up and start all over again. So by the time you leave, you actually are truly educated.”
just one place to make that happen and get all the information they need. “Our biggest challenge is getting the information out to people”, Riona says. Riona’s background in education helped her understand that although NUI Galway is an educational institution, and although we learn in classrooms and from books, we also learn a lot from doing. “You can have a dream and you can have achieved it, or failed spectacularly, but what’s really important is going for it, because it’s about learning and about the journey. We put out all these soft mats on the hard concrete of life while you’re here, so when you fall, you can get up and start all over again. So by the time you leave, you actually are truly educated”. Riona is passionate about making sure that people are learning in everything that they do and that someone will always be there to cushion you when you fall, so it is important to be brave, kind and respectful to each other. Her motto is that you can talk about things forever, but what truly matters is the doing and delivering, “It’s very easy to talk, it’s amazing to do. We all work very hard to deliver to the students”. Riona has published the end of year review, where, on the first page, you will find her manifesto about what societies achieved (with stats!) throughout the year. She would also encourage all of you to get your ALIVE certificates, so that you can have acknowledgement of your hard work, and don’t forget about the societies ball on the 26th of March!
The Campus Advisor: Access to the true lived experience of an NUI Galway student By Shauna Mc Hugh The Campus Advisor is a rapidly growing new website which allows university students to rate and review their college experience. Since it was launched in January 2019, the website has been steadily growing in popularity, and now boasts over 5,000 reviews on universities from all corners of the world. In addition, there are 1,086 third level institutions currently listed on the site. The innovative platform was created by NUI Galway alumnus Brian, who now runs the website single-handedly. The idea was provoked by Brian’s own regrets about his college experience, and the website now provides users with the kind of information he wishes he had access to when he was starting college; “What’s outlined in any college prospectus can be very different to what college life is really like. I know that was certainly the case for me. Once I realised that there was a lack of impartial infor-
mation available online to help future students with their third-level choices, I set about coming up with a way to change that. From this, the idea of building a college review website was born!” Brian explains, “I definitely think a website like this would’ve heightened [my own college] experience. If I had more information at the time, I would’ve chosen to study a different course at NUIG, one more suitable to me. Something I always regretted about my first year in college was my choice of accommodation. If I’d known about the best places to live, I believe I would’ve had a better experience from the start rather than learning the hard way in first year.” Accommodation is just one aspect of university life that is tackled in The Campus Advisor reviews. The website’s nine question model that all reviewers answer covers a wide range of issues pertaining to the college experience, to provide a comprehensive insight as to what life at that university is really like; “Whilst
developing the website, I surveyed over 2,000 college and secondary school students. They were given a list of questions and asked to select those which they thought were most relevant for someone researching colleges to attend. From that I came up with the specific questions you see on the review form today”. Brian has plans to elevate the questionnaire even further; “I’m always open to adding new questions to the website in order to provide more precise and beneficial statistics. For example, one thing I’ve noticed a lot of students have discussed in the Overall Comments section of the review form is mental health services. So, this is something that I plan to add a specific question for in the future.” At the time of print, there are eighteen reviews of NUI Galway published on The Campus Advisor website. Of the twenty-five colleges in Ireland listed on the site, NUI Galway is faring quite well. “NUIG currently has a 4.2 rating and an approval score of 94.4%”, Brian breaks
down the figures for SIN; “In comparison, the highest rated Irish college on The Campus Advisor is currently University College Cork which has a rating of 4.5, so NUIG isn’t too far off the top!” While the university is doing well in the reviews, Brian stresses that a lot can be learned from his findings to improve NUI Galway further still; “I want third-level institutions to see The Campus Advisor as a credible resource, a tool that they too can use to improve student experiences, compare themselves to other institutes and ultimately to reduce the number of people dropping out of college. It can also become a platform for colleges to showcase themselves to students across the globe.” One recurring complaint from these reviews is that living expenses for NUI Galway students are unmanageable. While the website has only been in operation for just over a year, Brian has already witnessed huge demand for the information it provides; “Month on
month I’m seeing a steady increase in the amount of people using the website. School students want a different perspective when researching colleges. I’m constantly adding institutions to the site, so it’s growing every day!”, he declares. Filling out a review on the website may be a cathartic activity for many students, or a constructive way to vent any frustrations about NUI Galway. As Brian points out, it can also be a great way to help and inform others; “This is a unique opportunity for you to rate and review the college, your course, campus facilities, academic staff as well as much more relating to your experiences of student life in Galway. It’s also an opportunity to help future students make a more informed choice when it comes to their college selection. The more submissions we get, the more accurate the statistics for each college becomes. So I’d ask everyone reading this to consider taking just 5 minutes to submit an honest review of NUIG on www.thecampusadvisor.com!”
12 NEWS & F E AT U R ES
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
I gave blood and lived to tell the tale By Shauna Mc Hugh Walking into the Bailey Allen, my stomach was in knots and I wished to be literally anywhere else. This will be a fairly familiar scenario for any NUI Galway veteran, with many of us associating the venue with dreaded exam halls. Last Wednesday, however, I was walking in for a different kind of test altogether. I had decided to face my fear of needles (and blood, and medical questionnaires/ any paperwork deemed adult-ish) to give blood for the first time in my life. It was a wonderful thing to see the Bailey Allen so crowded for the Blood Donation Drive. The huge turn-out meant that the waiting time was significant, but I welcomed the knowledge that this held off the impending injection for a little longer, and it was all because so many students were giving up their time, and precious blood, to help strangers in need. As we all gathered in our chairs and waited to be registered, we could see people further back in the hall hooked up to their rapidly-filling blood bags. With each newly registered donor, we inched one seat closer to being quizzed by the medical staff and, if successful, being hooked up ourselves. I thought of it as a game of musical chairs, only much more morbid, as the only prize was a massive syringe to the arm. Getting that syringe into you, however, is more difficult than you might think. First, an extensive interrogation is carried out to ensure that the blood you donate is safe to be used by its intended recipient. Fair warning should be given here – nothing is off limits in their questioning. Sexual history, drug
use and former medical procedures are areas of particular concern, and have to be answered thoroughly and honestly on the registration form, and answered again in a private interview with the medical team. Once the questions have been answered satisfactorily, and your blood is deemed safe to be donated, it’s time for said blood to be tested. A prick of the finger produces a drop of blood to determine haemoglobin levels. This small incision is sharp enough, and combined with the sting of the rubbing alcohol, it was more painful than the actual blood donation later on. It was over in seconds though, and I felt strangely proud when the nurse told me I had “excellent” haemoglobin levels. Overall, all of the staff were a huge help on the day. Without their friendly reassurance, I likely would have chickened out. With everything questioned and answered and approved of, it was time to hop on the bed and do what I had actually come to the hall for; hand over my blood. A friendly nurse made pleasant conversation to distract from what she was doing as she inserted the syringe into my arm. After all that nervous build-up, I experienced no more than a slight pinch before everything began running smoothly. Literally, the blood was smoothly running from my arm into the bag beside me. I had to squeeze a little orange stress ball throughout this part of the procedure as I waited for the bag to fill up. I don’t know why this was necessary, but it was oddly comforting. The nurses promised me that the longest it ever takes to extract the blood is fifteen minutes, and it took less than ten minutes before my own machine started
beeping urgently, signalling that enough had been taken. A beaming male nurse removed the needle from my arm and thanked me for my donation. “You’ll get a text in a few weeks’ time to say your blood has been used to help save a life, and that will really drive home the importance of what you’ve done today”, he smiled at me, and I couldn’t help but grin back. Lying on that chair, it was a great feeling to know that just a small pinch and some tedious queuing on my part had possibly helped someone on a hospital bed of their own; someone there under much more tragic circumstances and not by choice, like I was. Feeling very proud and accomplished, and clutching my new donor card, I was escorted to a make-shift canteen (a few chairs and a table with some snacks on it) while my fellow donors and I refuelled and were monitored to ensure we weren’t too faint to leave the building. I was given a glass of Sprite and lots of praise about how brave I’d been, and it was honestly one of the nicest atmospheres I’ve experienced in a while. I half expected them to whip out some gold star stickers á la primary school. Catch me donating blood at a superhuman rate in future for this constant income of validation. I’m only half-joking, especially because of the added bonus that I can fast-track the queue next time now that I’m no longer a first-time donor. After going home, the adrenaline rush of the whole ‘overcoming my fear’ thing quickly wore off, and I was hit with a wave of exhaustion. I don’t know if it was the loss of blood or the needless earlier fear on the day that wore me out, but I needed an extensive hibernation period before I regained human function. When
I woke up though, my arm felt surprisingly fine and there was no bruising of the injection site. I also had a load of free snacks in my bag that I’d been encouraged to take from the Bailey Allen, so I was on a sugar high and good as new within a few hours. Overall, it was a small sacrifice to make in order to give
a stranger a shot at recovery because of my blood. If you’ve ever thought about donating, please consider that you and your loved ones are only ever one sudden tragic accident away from needing that donated blood yourselves. To see if you may be eligible to donate, head to www.giveblood.ie.
Chatting about libraries is way overdue By Rachel Garvey Do people still visit libraries nowadays; is it still a thing? The answer is yes, however, the majority of people only visit libraries to find peace while studying and complete assignments and to acquire the books they need for researching their topics of study. Libraries nowadays remain empty due to the influence of technology, and that is becoming a big issue; the majority of books nowadays can be accessed online, which leads to the fact that people don’t need to purchase books. As a fellow library visitor, it is very clear to see that there are some people who still believe that going to the library is a thing in this generation. Whether it’s to browse the collections of books, magazines and newspapers, use the computers or to just visit out of curiosity, they still go to the actual physical building as opposed to a person clicking a few buttons at home in the comfort of their living space and accessing what they need through there. It may be efficient, but it’s not the right way to be efficient.
On Saturday 29th February 2020, Ireland had its first ever National Library Open Day, where libraries across the country invited the public in so they could take a closer look at what services are offered. There is a total estimate of 330 libraries in Ireland; all of which are more than eager for people to utilise their services whether it’s borrowing books, attending an art class or just a visit in general. An article published in the Irish Times about Dublin’s Central Library stated: “Irish people love their libraries. They use them to access books, DVDs, music, free courses, book and film clubs and performances. According to figures from 2017, the Central Library gets an average of 1,563 visitors a day and has 24,682 active borrowers”. A small interview was conducted with a library member, a homeless man by the name of John. “John is an engineer but he has been homeless since his career collapsed over 12 years ago. “I couldn’t recover myself to be honest with you,” he says. Now, the library is “a lifeline”. Libraries are a lot more crucial to people than we have knowledge of, evidenced
by the fact that it is a safe place for one of Dublin’s many victims to homelessness. College students live in the library for the majority of their course, arriving early in the morning and crawling out the door late at night, their brains like jelly from the day’s tedious study and numerous coffee breaks in between. However, visiting the same library can be a bit of a bore over time, so here are some recommendations of other libraries to check out: 1. Local libraries: Even if it’s your local library from down the road, then pay it a visit, you may keep finding a reason to go back! 2. Dun Laoghaire Library: With a view of the pier and water fountains, the library offers a great place to get away to read and study and maybe procrastinate while looking out on to such a nice view. 3. Trinity College Library: Home to the Books of Kells and many other historical artefacts. For those who belittle the thought of libraries, take a second look at how important they are to others and maybe them at some stage in their lives. A visit to the library is due soon for you.
N UAC HT
March 17 2020
Mature Student Diary
By Jody Moylan In my own little village of Tulsk, there once lived a lady named Anna Sophia Drought. I call her a lady because that’s what she was. At least that’s what she was titled, as one of the Protestant Ascendancy, living as she did in one of the estate houses of the parish. By the 1911 census, she was a widow of 81. Her house was hidden behind trees, as it is today, at the bottom of an avenue that still exists. That’s her story, and it existed for me in words on a computer screen, the page I’d printed out, until I read a piece of fiction that suddenly brought her to life. It was William Trevor’s novella Matilda’s England, where the first line reads: ‘Old Mrs Ashburton used to drive about the lanes in a governess cart drawn by a donkey she called Trot.’ Like Lady Drought, ‘old Mrs Ashburton’ was the lady of a fading estate who was similarly, and oddly, ‘eighty-one’. I suddenly saw Lady Drought as Mrs Ashburton, ‘excessively thin, rather tall and frail looking’ and just maybe driving her own cart — her ‘coachman’ of the 1901 census had gone by 1911. These details, that my imagination added, are not important. What is, is the fact that William Trevor was allowing me — as the reader of historical fiction — to flesh out the reality of life in that time, and to see that world afresh and with new eyes. Maybe, dare I say it, every history student should add good historical fiction to their reading list. Without it, just maybe, I might never have returned to study history at all. This idea probably began when I read Joseph O’Connor’s brilliant Irish Famine novel Star of the Sea. The Great Famine, and specifically the statistics, can be overwhelming, with straight up history books having the capacity to reduce the whole event to a study of numbers and bare facts, leaving the reader to sift elsewhere for the real human stories at the heart of it. Even when anecdotes and incidents are added, the chronicler remains a historian, unable to describe the finer poetic detail for the obvious threat to academic integrity. Star of the Sea stands out because it is a story about people, rather than people who are dying. The hunger is happening in the background, but the story we’re following is about fully rounded charac-
ters carrying around all the emotion and weight that traumatic times have forced upon them. There’s hatred and vengeance and jealousy and love, with no sentiment, which made the whole tale as real to me as a story of fact that I knew had happened. There are the simple details too, like night on an emigrant ship at sea. ‘Wind pounded down in an outrage of screams ... and the breakers thrashed and battered our shelter’, while below them lay ‘the gorges and canyons of that unfathomed continent’. We all know, of course, that this was the meteorological and geographic reality of every emigrant ship at sea over a lengthy period but, personally, reading O’Connor’s masterpiece was the first time I’d seen that detail in my own mind. And it was the first time I’d truly began to understand that this was a ‘way in’ to the whole and fully formed reality of history. It’s worth noting that while Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, it is not just an Irish novel, but a Galway one too. I did begin to wonder, such was their convincing portrayal, if ‘the Ghost’ of Pius Mulvey and the heroine of Mary Duane had not in fact
once roamed those westerly recesses of Rinvyle, Ardnagreevagh, and Recess itself. O’Connor wasn’t the only one who wrote brilliantly about Connemara. In the summer of 1912, while visiting Galway, James Joyce cycled out to the cemetery at Oughterard to visit the grave of Michael Bodkin; the onetime lover of his wife Nora Barnacle. Bodkin would later become Michael Furey in Joyce’s short story The Dead. He’s mentioned in the final paragraph of that great work of the imagination: ‘snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further westwards, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling too upon every part of the lonely churchyard where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns.’ No statistics, or numbers, or the words of a census, can ever truly bring your mind back like the words of fiction can. Lady Drought was still alive when Joyce wrote those words. And I imagine her struggling along, on a cart in the snow, being pulled by a donkey called Trot.
GRETA THUNBERG: should more be done to protect her? by Aoife Burke Who is Greta Thunberg? According to Wikipedia, she is 17 years old and from Stockholm, Sweden. She is famous all over the world as an environmentalist. Her parents are Malena Ernman and Svante Thunberg, and she is still legally a minor. Recently, a Canadian
Oil company apologized to Miss Thunberg for a sexualized image of a naked woman with her back turned, both hands pulling on her braids. Her name appeared below the image along with the company logo. The Canadian company has promised to “do better.” She has been criticized and abused for her uncompromising attitude towards the government’s failure to protect the environment. According to ABC news in the US, Greta said the EU is “pretending” to help climate change crisis. More recently, she met Malala in Oxford University in the UK. She travels all over the world in as eco-friendly a manner as possible, spreading the word through the media. However, at the end of the day, she is a public figure. More than ever, we need to protect vulnerable young women from abuse and predatory people on the internet. She has been featured in Time magazine and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Has anyone else achieved such recognition and success? No. Greta’s father Svante has said he worries for his daughter. He is glad she is happy as an activist, but he worries about the hate she receives. She skipped school to become an environmentalist, and spearheaded a global environmental campaign that led to school strikes across the globe. She demanded world leaders take action. It was also reported in the media that Greta suffered from depression. She went through a phase of refusing to eat and when doctors were called, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s. She refuses to travel by air due to its carbon footprint and goes on sailing expeditions. She even called her parents “hypocrites” for not taking her generation’s issues seriously. She has faced a backlash from people who don’t want to change their lifestyles. She has been abused for being different and the clothes she wears and how she looks. Also, now that she has turned 17, she no longer needs a chaperone. I think laws should be enforced to protect her not only as a public figure and activist, but also as a teenage girl. I think the media should be better regulated, especially social media, to protect her from receiving nasty tweets and getting hate mail and negative press. She isn’t doing anything wrong; she is just highly visible and keyboard warriors may think they are entitled to say and do what they like. Her parents said they made changes in their lives to “save” their daughter rather than the environment and Greta’s campaigning makes her happy. At the end of the day, we need to be mindful of those who choose to be in the media and live their lives publicly. Some day, they will be the same age as we are now, and they want and deserve a healthy environment to live in and pass on to generations to come.
14 NEWS & F E AT U R ES
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
Nationwide mental health support programme comes to NUI Galway By Daryanna Lancet Responding to the reported rise in mental health issues in Galway, a collective of NUI Galway students succeeded in founding Niteline in 2019—placing NUI Galway in solidarity with universities across the nation. Niteline is a free, confidential and anonymous listening service, active Wednesday and Thursday nights from 9:30pm-12:30am. Students can log on to the service through a link on Niteline Galway’s Facebook page, and speak as a ‘visitor’ with an anonymous Niteline representative via message or phone call. “There are no problems too big or small”, says Niteline auditor Clara Scanlon. “If you’re struggling with your mental health, if you’re having a problem in college, or if you’re having a lonely evening and just
need someone to talk to—we’re just there to listen”. Run by students for students, volunteers for Niteline go through a rigorous four-week training process based off the “Good Samaritan Model” of active listening. Niteline volunteers do not give advice, but provide information on student support services upon request. “There’s just a lot of stuff happening in the world, and people need people to talk about it”, says Ms Scanlon. “I don’t really feel that comfortable sharing my concerns with my friends all the time… but if you can talk to someone… and you’re never going to see them, it’s just easier to open up”. Niteline listening services for students have been active nationwide for several decades now. Dublin Niteline service, which trained the NUI Galway Niteline team in 2019, was established thirty-five years ago
and opens every night to receive student calls and messages. “There were Nitelines in Trinity, Cork, and Belfast, and we were basically like, well, why don’t we have this in Galway?” says Scanlon. “In the last few years, stats on mental health have really changed… a lot of people have more mental health issues. Social media plays a part that it didn’t twenty years ago”. In 2019, the Union of Students in Ireland surveyed 3,340 students, publishing the first National Report on Student Mental Health in third level education. A significant percentage of students reported dealing with anxiety (38.4%), depression (29.9%), and stress (17.3%). In 2018, NUI Galway Student Counselling Services reported “the demand (for counselling) outstripped the capacity of service to deliver”, (NUI Galway Annual 2017-2018 Student Report). “We just really
would encourage all students to please use Niteline, even if it’s just about exam stress”, says Ms Scanlon, “Because sometimes you just need to vent. We’re there just to actively listen to you, we’re not judgmental, and we’re non-directive”. The student-run organization has been working on gaining visibility. “Last year was about getting set up and this year is about getting the word out on campus that we’re here”, concludes Ms Scanlon. “We don’t know your gender, we don’t know your age, we don’t know what course you do, it’s completely anonymous, and we’re here…we’re ready to listen”. Niteline is currently accepting volunteer applications. For more information on volunteering for Niteline, please contact Niteline NUI Galway via Facebook message, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Year Diary
Final Year Diary
By Aoife Burke
By Sadhbh Hendrick
Hi everybody! This is the second last time I will post my first year diary, as there is only a few weeks left of college. I’m sitting here, drinking a coffee, trying to wake up properly. I have gotten good news from the publisher in London. I sent them a sample chapter of my book and they loved it and asked for the rest of the book! So you can all guess what I will be doing this summer! Yes, as usual, writing to finish it, as they are looking forward to reading it. I am aiming for 300 pages. I don’t want to post more about it as it’s top secret! You guys will be glad to hear my arm has fully healed now and I no longer need to wear a sling. Apparently, there was a pinhole fracture in my elbow and that’s why it swelled up. However, I am fine now. They sent me to a physio
who gave me exercises to do at home. At the time of writing this, there are only 4 weeks left of college. I am both happy and sad about finishing first year. I will no longer be the newbie. This course has gotten work out of me I never dreamed I would produce, thanks to the top quality lecturers and the course work that made me think! This weekend I will be doing my final essay for English. I am comparing totalitarianism between George Orwell’s 1984 and The Handmaids Tale. Easy peasy! There is a lot of talk about the coronavirus at the moment, but I know a GP (girl I went to school with) and on her Instagram, she said the chances of actually catching it are small. She also said most people recover from it. Try not to panic! How are ye set for Paddy’s Day? I have no real plans except to drink pear cider at home. It’s impossible to get it in pubs and I don’t know why. It’s lovely! I know I’m a poor student, however, I made an exception for once. My brother sold me an oversized purple crushed velvet bean bag and off the internet, I bought some blinging black crushed crystal containers for tea/coffee/sugar. There’s even a crystal lid! Speaking of shopping, I am saving up for an NUIG hoodie for when I graduate. I am going to use my SU points to buy a hoodie then. I’m still addicted to lattes so I’m hoping my coffee habit will pay off. I’m still helping out on Trivia Matters, the show on Flirt FM 101.3 every Friday from 2-3. Some weeks I’m there, some weeks not. Can I also give a shout out to anyone nominated for the Smedia awards this year? I’m not going but I’m rooting for someone from NUIG to win. No other news, except to say I am definitely doing a degree in English and I’m hoping to do some more magazine journalism and maybe do TV journalism as a module in my final year. I’m also saving for my Masters as I know the time will fly. Until next week guys! Aoife X
Dear Diary, This entire entry will comprise a variety of survival methods necessary thanks to good ole’ Covid-19. I’ll walk you through a number of homemade hand-sanitizer recipes (yes, that is a thing), a guide to avoiding human contact (actually very easy, puzzled as to why anyone struggles with this one) and finally, 101 ways to entertain yourself in quarantine (think I-spy but crazier). I do not wish to mock the severity or seriousness of the current situation and totally sympathise with the fear of high risks groups, but what’s a Final Year Diary without a little humour? Also, to all those out there scoffing at the ‘hysteria’ and panic, on my stroll home from college today, I decided to pop into Tesco. Nothing unusual there, you may say. Au contraire. Something very unusual there. Something very unusual in the form of absenteeism. The stark and unnerving absence of pasta. I kid you not, the entire pasta supply had depleted. Like it or not, actions speak louder than words and in the form of a good ole reliable nonperishable, this action is overwhelmingly loud. Gluten free anyone? All going well, this is the penultimate issue of SIN (second last issue, I’ll save you the google search). Fingers and toes crossed we get to the end of the academic semester without any disruptions in the form of college closures etc. As much as I enjoy writing this article, I had a 24-issue contract, I’m not sure how I feel about an extension. (I kid, I am but a humble volunteer. Still though, I’m not sure where I would find the material to fill the column if I was stuck in isolation.) Enough Covid-19 talk, let’s look at another important event the week witnessed. The visit of William & Kate. If you are looking to read a masterfully satirical review of their trip, please do your dopamine levels a favour and read Miriam Lord’s article in the Irish Times (Sorry Mark). Can you believe we are nearing the semester
end so rapidly? The mass accumulation of CA assignments has commenced. It is somewhat strange to be slowly ticking off my last few assignments ever. Being honest, it momentarily made me a little sad or nostalgic. I can confirm this lasted for all of two seconds when I went on to the next question and felt sad for a whole other reason. Nevertheless (fancy word innit), the end is nigh. Exam timetables will be released soon and that is one large serving of reality pie. Am I ready to furiously search for my seat number outside the exam hall for the very last time? I sure hope so. As a briefly serious note, I do hope you all make the most of your last few weeks. I certainly intend to. Even if it is only your first year coming to an end, it’s still your last few weeks of first year. (People get a whole lot less accepting of your shenanigans once you hit second year, so milk it for all it’s worth while you can!!) Fellow final years, let’s enjoy our remaining days as much as possible. It’s the Final Countdown… GRMA, Sadhbh x
Coronavirus COVID-19 Most at Risk
Anyone who has been to an affected region in the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms Anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms
Coronavirus COVID-19 Public Health Advice
• A Cough • Shortness of Breath Breathing Difficulties • Fever (High Temperature)
If you have travelled to an affected area in the past 14 days and feel unwell, stay in your accommodation and phone the Student Health Unit on 091 494 337
Most at Risk
It-isAnyone important tohas staybeen way to from people and in call 091 494 without delay. who another affected region the last 14337 days Alternatively call your own GP, or 112 AND is experiencing symptoms
Anyone who has been in close contact with confirmed or symptoms, you can contact If-you have travelled to an affected region and doanot display any theprobable HSE advice line 1850 241(Coronavirus) 850, or 041 685 case ofon COVID-19 in0300 the last 14 days AND is experiencing symptoms
Check the list of affected regions on www.hse.ie
your handswell welland your hands and often to avoid contamination
yourmouth mouth and nose your and nose with a tissue or sleeve whencoughing coughing when or or sneezing and discard sneezing and discard used tissue
touching eyes,nose, nose, touching eyes, or mouth with with or mouth unwashed hands unwashed hands
anddisinfect disinfect and frequentlytouched touched frequently objectsand andsurfaces surfaces objects
For daily updates visit: Symptoms www.su.nuigalway.ie facebook.com/NUIGalwayStudentsUnion www.gov.ie/health-covid-19 > A Cough > Shortness of Breath > > Fever (High Temperature) www.hse.ie
Check the list of affected regions on www.hse.ie
16 OPI NIO N
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
A city of snakes – Is the ring road really the answer? By Maeve Winters Zero hour, 9am. By this time, I’ve usually staggered out of bed, pulled on yesterday’s clothes from the pile on the floor, and trudged into college while scoffing a banana and with The Smiths blaring from my headphones. I reach the University as the cathedral bell begins to toll, and usually arrive in my scheduled lecture, puffing and panting, on the dot of nine. One intensive hour later, I’m on my way to Smokey’s for a bite to eat, accompanied by the occasional hot chocolate and the even more occasional burst of study. When 11 a.m. rolls around, I make my way to my second and final lecture of the day. As I am someone who has always had trouble concentrating, I’m usually exhausted with the effort by the time the meridian changes and we are free to leave for the evening. I say a quick hello to my more fortuitous friends who will escape the notorious Snake for another week, and then head to the library for the couple of hours of study (or so), which are usually all I can manage of a Friday. By 2:30pm, it’s ripe time for me to have left the library and be ambling towards my cosy, two-bedroom apartment. I’m not really one for being
Extinction Rebellion have pointed out that it will increase carbon emissions by at least 37%, while it will only reroute 3% of car journeys to outside of the city. The idea is that the ring road and improved public transport would take vehicles off the road, but many believe that in reality, more road simply means more cars. organised with my work uniform, but I usually manage to throw something together after wolfing down my pasta and before I leave at around half past three. If I’m lucky, I will have time to throw on my work clothes before racing out the door, but usually I don’t. If you’re asking yourself ‘why the massive hurry?’, then don’t worry, I’m in complete accordance. I mean after all, I don’t start work until five, and as I work in the suburbs of Galway city and live in the centre, it shouldn’t take more than a twenty-minute journey, should it? Right? Wrong. A Galwegian for most of my life, I’ve struggled with what I like to refer to as the Snake (no innuendo intended) a.k.a ‘Carmaggeddon’ or as part of it has become known, ‘Gridlock Atalia’, for years. A true sight for sore eyes, my heart drops down to the soles of my black Plimsouls every Friday evening as I watch an unmoving line of cars, buses, lorries,
and whatever else, stretching from Eyre Square as far as the eye can see. I work five kilometres away in Ballybrit, and if this situation has developed before 3.30 pm (as is usually the case), it’s unlikely I’ll make it there for 5pm. My only hope is to walk, which (laughably enough) is far quicker. Even in the pouring rain, this alternative (which takes around an hour) is preferable to standing at the back of the corridor of a crowded bus, on which every other free square centimetre is occupied by someone either sitting or standing, while listening to at least three very bored children screaming at the top of their lungs, and wondering if the appalling smell plaguing the entire vehicle is indeed because someone’s been waiting so long to reach their destination that they’ve had an accident in the trouser department. After a long day of struggling to stay awake in lectures, the last thing I want to see is a Snake stretching all the way along College Road which could alone take forty minutes to escape. I’d rather walk through a hurricane. Galway’s solution to this chronic traffic conundrum? The ring road. Proposed by the Galway City Council to An Bord Pleanála in October 2018, this ring road would stretch from near Barna to Coolagh (about eighteen kilometres in total) and cost an estimated €600 million. Its benefits include freeing up congestion in the city centre, allowing for more accurate journey estimations, and a more reliable and sustainable public transport system to flourish in the absence of the Snake. It sounds like the answer to my (and many others’, I’m sure) prayers, but all good things come with drawbacks. Not only will it lead to the demolition of forty-four homes and part of NUIG’s sports campus, Extinction Rebellion have pointed out that it will increase carbon emissions by at least 37%, while it will only reroute 3% of car journeys to outside of the city. The idea is that the ring road and improved public transport would take vehicles off the road, but many believe that in reality, more road simply means more cars. Furthermore, pending approval (which is as of yet not set in stone), the ring road would take at least three years to build (by which time I intend to have fled far from Galway with all its traffic woes), with no serious solutions posed for the meantime. Due to the aforementioned disruptions to households and businesses, an oral hearing is being held, having recently begun and being predicted to last several weeks, in which both objections and pleas for change have been or will be made. Originally, NUIG was to be among these objectors, but with alterations made to the original plan which would reduce impact on the sports campus significantly, it has revoked its rejection. I’m grateful for NUIG’s acceptance of change in this regard. With Galway’s traffic congestion issue going back decades at this point, something needs to be done... but is the ring road a real and viable solution to ‘Carmaggedon’? Will Galway’s roads truly become traversable at rush hour? Will it someday be quicker to take the bus than to walk? Or will its only real consequences be the loss of €600 million and one heck of a carbon emission? As with all things, only time will tell, but with the Snake seemingly growing longer from week to week, I hope that some sort of solution, ring road or not, presents itself before this crippled city becomes completely and utterly broken.
“Why don’t I look like that?” By Katie Barragry Scrolling on Instagram can be lethal. A single photo can completely change your mood. Be it a mirror selfie of an influencer with “the perfect body” or even a picture of someone’s makeup for a night out, these photos can cause us to question our own looks, our own bodies and how we perceive ourselves; both online and in real life. Thoughts begin to race through our minds; Why isn’t my body as toned as hers? Why isn’t my hair as sleek as hers is? Why aren’t my lips as full? Why don’t I look like that? This unrealistic perception of beauty persists as a serious issue on social media platforms every single day. But what is the root of the problem? I genuinely believe that the bottom line is that the online beauty community is fake. False, unrealistic and detrimental. Platforms such as Instagram and VSCO lack authenticity and only showcase the seemingly perfect aspects of people’s lives. Believe it or not, very few people are blessed with naturally brilliant white teeth. Likewise, there are only a lucky few that escape the odd spot or blemish. The online beauty realm is becoming a breeding ground for Botox, lip fillers and eyelash extensions. We live in a world of fake tan, fake eyelashes and caked-on makeup. Unfortunately, these aspects of “beauty” have become the norm. Of course, we want to be the best versions of ourselves online. We are only showing people what we want to share. We filter our lives on social media. It makes sense not to broadcast our “unflattering” angles. However, what’s wrong with having
With thousands of influencers and beauty gurus online, we begin to make comparisons. Many of us begin to feel ashamed if we aren’t a perfect size 8 or smaller. We feel guilty for having that bar of chocolate after seeing a slim model with perfect abs. We lament our own makeup skills and abilities. The online beauty world can be toxic, and it is only growing more with teeth whitening kits, eyelash extensions and fake nails. Not only does seeing these posts every day affect your mood, but it can also damage your feelings of body confidence and self-esteem. Believe it or not, everyone cannot have elite bone structure, a tiny waist or long, voluminous eyelashes. Naturally, that is. With new products being developed every day, we can change virtually anything about our appearance. I think it’s time we started accepting our imperfections. These imperfections make us human, and not ugly or undesirable. Why are we allowing influencers online to define beauty and why is this definition based on falseness? Who has the energy to constantly maintain a decent fake tan? Likewise, who has the time to curl their hair and put on a full face of makeup before work at 9 a.m. every single day of the week? From a financial point of view, who can afford lip fillers, eyelash extensions and acrylic nails every few months? There are few members of the public that can do so with other bills to pay. If you have an issue with your body and are willing to change it, of course, go ahead. However, online influencers who do so should be honest and not perceive their nose and boob jobs as natural.
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stretch marks? Or acne scarring? Or frizzy hair? These aspects are natural. Social media users have subconsciously convinced us only to post faultless content. We want to look attractive and appealing. We want an aesthetic social feed. Have you ever seen a group of women (or men) at pre-drinks? You cannot count the number of photos taken before they are somewhat satisfied. It goes without saying that we are not going to post a picture where our arm might look a bit chubby or our lipstick has smudged, are we? Photo editing apps have allowed the public, as well as beauty gurus, to edit their photos to perfection. We can remove a blemish or whiten our teeth instantly. We obviously don’t look like this in real life, so why are we lying to ourselves? We want to look flawless because this is what we see online day in, day out.
They should also disclose that it took the guts of two hours for them to prepare for their Instagram photoshoot. A ban on photoshopping is an unrealistic expectation, but the public should be informed that edits have been made to prevent the unveiling of any imperfections. We need to become more aware that what you see online isn’t reality. Social media influencers are normal people with extraordinary lives. With sponsorships and gifted products, they have the ability to change their appearance entirely. With editing software, they can create an online presence that is far from how they appear rolling out of bed in the morning. This false representation of beauty online is doing more harm that favours for girls especially, who begin to lack confidence and self-esteem because they “don’t look like her.”
March 17 2020
Reasons to Stress and How to Process By Daryanna Lancet The hope for this article is to name reasons for stress and offer suggestions on processing or channelling stress that feels positive and kind towards yourself.
REASON 1: THERE’S TOO MUCH DO — I FEEL “AHHHG”/AND OR TIRED AND NUMB. PROCESSING SUGGESTION: Write it all down—in whatever medium you prefer! When it’s down on paper, it’s no longer a mesh of pressures twining together like so much grey mental spaghetti in your head. The activities are named—they are pinned down as little black letters on a page. Splitting obligations into ‘Logistics’ (ie: emailing professors, searching up a job opportunity, texting that friend back) and ‘Academics’ (ie: each class gets its own mini sub-section) helps sort through the mesh even more. You can make this in the evening, looking towards the next day, or in the morning at the start of the day — whatever feels better! What you didn’t finish Monday, move to Tuesday. Keep track of things that didn’t or did get done and be understanding and gentle with yourself.
Remember, all of this keeping track is not another restriction or pressure, but just a place for your ‘to-do’s’ to be, other than in your head. Therefore, your head can focus on being in wonderful moments throughout the day! Leaving little love notes to yourself on these daily agendas never hurts… “Dear (your name), you are so adaptable, brave and kind…I love you! Treat yourself to some really good sleep tonight!”, or a just a solid, “Hell yeah let’s do this”.
REASON 2: THE FUTURE LOOMS AHEAD AND I’M NOT SURE WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE/ WHAT IT WILL BRING PROCESSING SUGGESTION: Ah, you know… life is long. What would you like life to bring? What would you like to bring to the world in the next couple of years? You don’t have to decide until you’re 80 years old — and you don’t owe a mini-existential crisis to each casual acquaintance’s offhand attempts at small-talk. Try thinking of any question other than “What are you going do with your life?” that asks one to project so far into the future without the use of rigorous scientific testing and calculation. Saying, “I’m figuring
it out, we’ll see” is perfectly acceptable, honest, and logical! Speaking of testing and calculation, though… It is your last day on Earth, and you wake up, get out of bed, and are allowed to do one ‘thing’ — what do you do? Here’s another one: if you had absolutely no restrictions on your person whatsoever, you’re free-floating in space, and someone told you had to pick an environment in which to entertain yourself for 8 hours, what would it be? Would it be individual or collaborative, inside or outside, a mix of both? What colors are you surrounded by? Are you on your feet moving around or sitting comfortably? Now, in this simulation, what do you have in your hands? You can choose four objects to fill this environment with to keep you sustained and engaged for 8 hours. What did you think of, did you surprise yourself in any way?
REASON 3: I JUST FEEL…WEIRD. PROCESSING SUGGESTION: A big part of working through ‘feeling weird’ or ‘off’ seems to be figuring out ‘why’. Check in with yourself, however you do this. Open a Word document on your computer (or grab and pen and paper) and free-write/word vomit the first words that come to your mind for even
just five minutes. What has happened today, what happened yesterday, what is happening in the world around you now, and how does it make you feel? If you’ve spent a lot of time around people lately, try going for a walk alone without anything on you (including your phone), and see what it feels like to walk with your head up. Make it a goal to notice three different and new things about the people, streets, scenery around you. If you’ve spent a lot of time with yourself, try reaching for a coffee or chat with someone. Try a few power poses – make yourself as big as possible and stay that way for a while. Break into a run on impulse. Play a feel-good 80’s song and DANCE. Make a really tasty meal, just for yourself. Keep changing up your routine and enjoy the process of seeking new activities to gently shake yourself — you can do it. Also, a solid night’s sleep is powerful stuff…
BIG PICTURE CONCLUSION: Cheers to living and caring about things! It would definitely be a dull world without stress, and in the right quantity and manner, stress can be extremely helpful and motivating. Ultimately, finding balance is a life-long, and eternally worthwhile adventure—cheers to that as well!
Is it important to read? By Marcus Lagercrantz Reading books is great and all, but there’s more to it. It makes you more empathic, cures depression and, overall, a better person. My first experiences of books I got from my parents reading to me. Every night, they were telling me amazing stories with only a book in their hand. Turning page after page. That inspired me to try to take part in these stories myself. When I started school, I discovered the library – a place of wonder. And that’s how everything began. From the beginning, I was pretty bad at expressing myself in writing. Today I write more or less every day and would say I’m pretty good at it. At least in Swedish, my first language. I’m sure it’s my book reading that has improved things. My reading has not diminished over the years, rather the opposite and I always have a number of books going on. The fact that I ended up in the publishing world only increased my reading interest. Now, I have had and have the pleasure of working for a newspaper. It is an important job – being a journalist, but enough about me. Reading books is a way to live many lives, there´s no better way to explain it. By reading, one expands one’s views and increases one’s understanding of the world, and other worlds for that matter. In addition, it´s actually only if one can read and write that one can become an active citizen of a democratic society and make his voice heard. Although reading is great it’s not just pure pleasure. There are several scientifically proven benefits to it as well. Here come some examples.
ways to reduce stress were listening to music, drinking tea or walking, but nothing proved to be as effective as reading.
2. It keeps the brain sharp. Research published in the scientific journal Neurology showed that people who devoted a lot of time to mentally demanding exercises, such as reading, had better memory later in life than those who had not read. The study was conducted on 294 participants who lived to the average age of 89. Participants who did not read or did other mental activities lost brain capacity of about 48 per cent faster than those who were active.
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3. It can help you sleep better. Many sleep experts recommend that we establish a routine before going to bed. Reading is an activity that is usually mentioned as appropriate. But keep in mind that strong light from screens and other lights signals to your body that it´s appropriate to stay awake, so preferably read a regular book and not from a bright screen.
4. It can make you more empathetic. A Dutch study found that people who read a fiction book and were emotionally included by it experienced an onset of empathy. In other words: let yourself be swallowed by the book, it’s good for you!
5. It can reduce depression. When you are feeling
1. It reduces stress, at least according to studies
down or even depressed, it can be difficult to see any joy in life. But studies have shown that selfhelp books, along with guidance, lowered levels of depression after a year, compared to those who underwent traditional treatment methods.
from the University of Sussex. It took just six minutes of silent reading to lower the stress levels by 68 per cent. In addition, the muscles were relaxed, and the heart rate lowered. Other
In other words, there are many great benefits to reading but most important of all, it´s a wonderful activity to have.
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Do music and politics go hand in hand? By Niamh Casey It seems everything today in our modern society has a political message to share, particularly in the past few years. Nowadays, the political climate is hard to escape, but possibly for good reason. In reality, people have always been political. Today, however, with social media platforms, people have a much farther reach with their voice. There is no doubt that in the last number of years politics has either willingly or unwillingly become a huge part of everyone’s lives. With the likes of Trump as the American president, and his active twitter account and climate and environmental issues becoming increasingly urgent, there’s going to be no slowing down of all the political talk online. However, it’s not just social media that feeds into the widespread political talks, though it certainly helps as the outlet for it. Artists have been using their mediums for years to display their political opinions, and for musicians, the outlet has been their music, long before social media. You could, without fail, go back to the classical or romantic era of music and find countless examples of political music, and they don’t even have lyrics! However, their pieces often had a political backstory or were even written to be performed for political figureheads. The Beatles were notoriously political, especially when it came to being inclusive with their fan base. There have always been political musicians, and their opinions often had large effects on their careers, for better or for worse. Look at Kanye West, his fans were certainly shaken by his support of Trump. Hozier is notorious for being extremely political on and off stage. His music is very politi-
cal, which personally I love, and he just recently took part in a podcast with Colm O’Gorman and the Global Citizen organisation. He also heavily encouraged everyone on Twitter to go vote in Ireland during the recent election. Politics and musicians have always gone hand in hand as both have such a strong voice and are both people-driven forces and voices. There’s no shortage of examples of political music because at the end of the day, everybody has an opinion, and what better way to express one than in a song, right?
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
Could you handle a woman like me? by Rachel Garvey
Women’s Day, which took place on Sunday 8th March 2020. Ah yes, the day where women celebrate on a global scale for the elimination of female discrimination and access to their full rights; it is indeed a day of remembrance. It’s hard to imagine that back in the old days, women were treated so differently; being expected to work only certain household jobs in the home or in clothes factories with giant machines that would end up damaging their limbs. I’m proud to be alive in this generation, a generation where women have rights, a voice, an actual place in society among the men. On a brief side note, I just want to appreciate the women that I have in my life who have been an inspiration to me; my Mum, my Nan who passed away in May 2019, my younger sister, my best friend Mary
revisiting her phrase of “Be Kind”, two small words that have a big meaning. Previous to International Women’s Day, we had Valentine’s Day, a day that is supposed to be filled with love and couples going on romantic dinner dates, but for some, myself included, it was the exact opposite. I remember buying myself a bouquet of roses and I placed them in a crystal vase on my kitchen table, a kind gesture to remind myself that I didn’t need someone to love me, I was the one who needed to love me. Fast forward to the next day of February 14th, my Mum and younger sister were visiting me and asked “Oh, who got you the roses? Your boyfriend?”. My reply was simple and real: “I bought them for myself” with a content smile on my face. However, the day before International
Women’s Day, my boss had come up to me in work, offered me a flower from a bouquet and wished me a Happy International Women’s Day. It was a gesture I will never forget, a gesture that women don’t forget, as it makes them feel appreciated and supported for the day that’s in it. We live in a generation where women still expect flowers on those special occasions from their partners, but there’s no need for that. Don’t rely on the men to give you what you want; no offence gentlemen, you’re great and all that, but women need to keep up the standards of equality because we worked so hard for those rights and we should never sweep that under the rug. We live in a world where women work on construction sites, drives buses, run for President and many more so we shouldn’t underestimate what we are capable of. We don’t need people to tell us that we are beautiful because we can do that ourselves. We don’t need men giving off to us for being bad drivers; that’s just us being careful of the road and other drivers. We control what we do, no-one else has a say, no-one else has a right to invade our rights. Being a woman is hard, it is the hardest job we do every day, but that’s what makes us stronger. I remember my Nan used to make the best cup of tea; 2 sugars with 90% hot water and 10% milk, the combination was unbeatable. When she passed away, I took over that task, I simply learned from the best and as much as it’s appreciated when someone makes tea for me, I’d rather make it myself, not just because I’m good at making it, but because I am well capable of making it myself.
by Rachel Garvey
in mind, I’m one of the rare people in my generation that hasn’t yet seen Star Wars and I get a ton of weird looks because of it. Maybe, someday, I’ll find the time to watch every single movie, but for now, my attention is on Star Wars’ newest creation. I had already known what the original Yoda looked like and how he spoke in a different manner, so I didn’t pay attention to The Mandalorian’s version of him. One simply doesn’t pay attention to such things (1) if they don’t watch it and (2) if they have a full-time job, but I can thank my Snapchat followers for that! I had opened the blue chat on Snapchat one day when I was texting an online friend and he had said “I need a Baby Yoda in my life!”, and upon questioning his message, he sent me a picture of The Child and my reaction was priceless. I don’t ever recall my jaw-dropping in awe, but it dropped in awe at that very moment and I think I said “Awh” a little too loudly. I remember staring at the picture for ages, I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. He was indeed the cutest thing I had ever seen and when I started watching YouTube’s cute Baby Yoda clips, I fell in love even more; his little giggle and his little movements were just attentiongrabbing, especially when people were
adding in their own subtitles in an attempt to guess what he was thinking when doing these actions. I have a running total of 32 Baby Yoda memes saved on my phone with relation to him eating ‘chicky nuggies’, going to work and sipping tea. That scene where he walks in on the Mandalorian and Cara fighting with his little soup cup in his hand is me on a daily basis when I’m watching reality tv show clips online. It is just so relatable. It’s an ongoing thing amongst my friends and I for sending each other these adorable memes and I had even taken it upon myself to send one into my WhatsApp group for work that has my boss in it, with the meme showing a sad Baby Yoda and the caption reading, “When I gotta go to work again even though I went yesterday”. I’m proud to say that any future meme that went into the group was always nearly with Baby Yoda on it. He is indeed the cutest thing to ever grace our phone screens, hands down! A life-sized Baby Yoda is also going to become available to buy online for quite a hefty price and the temptation to buy it is real; I know it would just be a little statue-like model, but if it came alive and started giggling at me, I wouldn’t be phased one little bit. I’d simply bend down and extend my arms to him, declaring, “Be mine you must!”.
The inspiration for the title did indeed come from Little Mix’s ‘Woman Like Me’, a song that hit the charts in October 2018 and a song I have been listening to repeatedly because of the recent worldwide celebration of International
and of course the women I work with. Each and every one of them inspires me in different ways; ways which work hand in hand with one another, those different sparks of inspiration are all happily engaged with a big fat diamond ring. I’d even like to pay a small tribute to Caroline Flack, as I’m constantly
We live in a world where women work on construction sites, drives buses, run for President and many more so we shouldn’t underestimate what we are capable of. We don’t need people to tell us that we are beautiful because we can do that ourselves.
Read me you must If my future boyfriend ever asked me to choose between who I loved more, Baby Yoda or himself, I would without a doubt choose Baby Yoda. No offence to my future partner, I’m sure he will be great in every single thing he does, but when it comes to that little green face, my heart turns to liquid, all the arteries and valves just disintegrate and it feels like love. Okay, maybe that’s a little too sappy, but this character can melt even the coldest of hearts. I thought it was only fair to give the world’s newest and cutest being a few minutes in the spotlight of SIN; Baby Yoda, or aka The Child. I guarantee that the majority of readers out there have a Baby Yoda picture on their phone or a related meme to him, who doesn’t? He can gladly take up as much of my gallery space as he wants, he can have it all. On November 12th 2019, the new series of The Mandalorian appeared on social media platforms, a series which I still have to sit down and watch. Bear
March 17 2020
Don’t make unnecessary assumptions By Rachel Garvey The Irish Republic seemed okay, but still remained sympathetic with the coronavirus being in China, Italy and Spain. When it reached the United Kingdom, panic started to arise. Yes, everyone is well aware that the United Kingdom is neighbour to our country of green and Irish craic, but there were a lot of people in denial that the coronavirus would be contained there and that Ireland wouldn’t be affected, but they were in denial for the wrong reasons. The Coronavirus can’t be controlled by us, the people on this earth. No matter how many safety guidelines we are recommended to follow, it still doesn’t mean that it will all work to keep us safe in the end. I really don’t mean to scare anyone because people are already panicking, but we need to talk about what everyone is thinking and not saying out loud.
I have seen first-hand how people are panicking, now that the coronavirus has started to spread its fingers throughout the country, with confirmed cases of people having the virus and a school in Dublin being shut down for two weeks. I’ve seen it in work, with numerous customers asking the same question over and over; the question of “Excuse me, Miss, where’s the hand sanitiser?”. I know too well what my answer will be, because I know for a fact that the shelves in that section of health and beauty for that product are empty and that a delivery is on the way, that the shelves will be restocked in the next few days. However, is hand sanitiser really going to protect us? The second that people heard that Ireland had been invaded by the coronavirus, the public didn’t take too well to the news and they started to panic. I’ve heard reports of hand sanitisers, as previously mentioned in the shop I work in,
being grabbed from the shelves as well as masks being sold out in pharmacies all across Ireland. I think people like to think that they’ll find comfort in buying antibacterial things, that it will be their saviour from the virus. Fair enough, the coronavirus is here, but we shouldn’t panic to the stage where we are cautious of every little thing we do or every person we bump into.
Take, for example, I was in work the last day and as I was cutting open the plastic encasing the bags of flour, I accidentally burst a bag open and the dust caught in my throat and I coughed on impulse. I have never ever had a customer step away from me so quickly and I felt ashamed then. It’s as if I was contaminated with the virus, when in truth, it was all because of a busted bag of
Cooking has long been renowned for its therapeutic properties. What can be more relaxing than preparing food? To choose the food, wash, cut, peel, then cook. It’s very good for the soul. Cooking allows the mind to drift and you can play music while cooking, which I have seen many people do. When you are focused on the task at hand, it gives you a break from any other thoughts you may have on your mind. It’s a way of nurturing yourself and it can be a bonding experience for you to cook a meal with other people. It allows you to express yourself through the dishes you produce while promoting selfesteem and you get to have a delicious meal at the end of it. It can be used to battle mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Cooking can also teach people the basics of budgeting for ingredients, as well as responsibility, like how long to leave something in the oven. What is more appealing than the smell of cooking food? It can be fun for people of all ages. Children can learn how to bake cookies or cook pasta dishes. They can put together a pizza and it teaches them responsibility. The reward is having cooked a meal together and the satisfaction of sitting down to eat it. Cooking doesn’t have to be dull or boring either. You can use “rainbow” ingredients, such as a variety of coloured vegetables, or, even if you are baking, using
food colouring. You can cook with different types of pasta and make potato different ways. The reasons for cooking are multi-faceted and you are creating something which is completely achievable, simply made from raw ingredients. You can sit down with a glass of wine with your meal afterwards. You are in control while you are cooking, and it allows you to self-express, not just with what you cook but how you cook. You cannot procrastinate while cooking, and you need to follow the steps, as they are in the book to produce a healthy meal. Cooking can be a way to release anger also. Think kneading dough or whipping eggs. You will feel so much better having an outlet after a stressful day. Cooking can be a way of treating eating disorders or ADHD. It can encourage a healthy relationship with food by showing how it is prepared. The great thing about cooking is that there is always something to learn. No matter who you are, you can learn how to cook. The ingredients can be made into something such as buns, which you can then share with your next-door neighbour. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The result can be a greater sense of community and less isolation. You can even cook and raise money for charity. Another reason to feel good about cooking! The most important thing is that you enjoy the process and get therapeutic benefits out of it.
day, eating more healthy foods or drenching everything in antibacterial spray, then so be it, but don’t exceed the limit where paranoia sets in and gets to a stage that is unhealthy. To share one of our most used Irish phrases “It’ll be grand”, and it will be okay as long as people keep themselves in line, the last thing we want is letting the coronavirus dictate what we can and can’t do.
PRESIDENTIAL AWARD FOR VOLUNTEERING
Cooking up some therapy By Aoife Burke
flour. People need to stop making unnecessary assumptions and jumping to conclusions because it’s those unnecessary assumptions that cause more panic and chaos, and more panic is something Ireland doesn’t need. We must take it upon ourselves to protect our health by staying healthy and our immune systems strong and if that means covering up even more on a cold
CERTIFICATE CEREMONY Tuesday 7th April 2020 at noon in the
Bailey Allen Hall, Aras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway
All welcome to celebrate and recognise campus and community student volunteering. Deadline for applications: Friday 27th March 2020. email@example.com SAVE THE DATE
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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
STYLED BY THE SHOW: Gossip Girl Spotted: Serena van der Woodsen looking like a total goddess… like, all of the time By Valerie McHugh Hey there, Upper East SIN-ners, Gossip Girl here. News of a GG reboot may be rife, but this week, I’ve got some real tea to spill. Is Blair Waldorf the real ‘queen B’ of style, or has princess S stolen her crown? Arguably, both characters are the best dressed girls on the Upper East Side, donning themselves in clothing and jewels fit for a royal. The tension is unbearable, so I guess I’ll call it an even tie. With that in mind, here are 5 of Serena’s most fashionable moments, where she gave her bestie Blair a run for her Gucci’s.
DO YOU WANT TO STAND UNDER MY UMBRELLA-ELLA-ELLA?
With the rain pouring down, this pink, dainty skirt adds a pop of colour to another miserable day in Brooklyn. Accompanied by a strappy white blouse and some criss-crossed heels, this look couldn’t be any more early-00’s. One thing’s for sure, Serena must have been regretting her choice of jacket on this particular misty day. A little piece of advice S… sleeves might have been handy.
While summering in Paris, Serena donned fashion trends that us mere Brooklyners can only dream of. This unique dress design isn’t something you’d see just anywhere, and suitably we have seen it first on our princess S. With pastel colours and a glowing tan, Serena looks like she’s stepped straight off her private jet and onto the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week.
“FLORALS FOR SPRING? GROUND-BREAKING.” Okay, so that Meryl Streep quote is actually from Gossip Girl’s favourite fashion movie The Devil Wears Prada, but it has never been more applicable to a situation than it is right now. Serena is rocking this flower-full ensemble, and from her floral dress to the bunch of flowers in her bridesmaid hands, S could have stepped straight out of meadow, because she is a vision in yellow. As well as this, Serena has enough flare in this skirt to give every passer-by a small snippet of her energetic and fun-loving personality.
WHY SO BLUE, S?
SERENA WEARS RED, BLAIR WEARS BLUE, SORRY TAXIMAN …. CAN WE POSE IN FRONT OF YOU? The only thing better than the look on this taximan’s face is the stunning outfit Serena wears in this photoshoot. Only our pearl Serena van der Woodsen could pull off a simplistic look as amazing as this. Clutched at the waist with a narrow, black belt, Serena finishes the look with a polka-dot headband that just screams 2007. The only thing more important to
Serena than her fashion has to be her best friend Blair, who also fabulously features in this photo. These ‘sisters from other misters’ suitably wear matching shoes, showing us how close they really are despite their sporadic melodrama.
This smashing boldness is something Ms Serena became renowned for during her reign on the Upper East Side. Although this gold shoulder-padded jacket wouldn’t be very useful in the Irish rain, it’s impeccable for a day on the catwalked streets of Manhattan. Accompanied by a pair of stellar blue trousers, this ensemble is the perfect mix of sophisticated, suave and swank.
I’ll be back next issue to dish some more dirt on the fashionistas of Manhattan. You know you love me, XOXO Gossip Girl
The Foodie Diaries: Soup for Sick People By Isabel Dwyer Spring is a time of stretching evenings, of approaching deadlines and of succumbing to colds and flus. This Spring too has seen a certain, famous virus doing the rounds, if you hadn’t already heard. Should you come into contact with one of these bugs, this easy garlic and tomato broth will fix you up. Unless it’s that famous one. Call an ambulance if it’s that famous one. For this super quick soup, you’ll need two big tomatoes, a knob of ginger, a couple cloves of garlic, stock of your choice, soy sauce and an egg. When it comes to the stock, you can opt for a ready-made stock in liquid form or simply stock cubes. I’ve been using vegetable, but chicken would be equally nourishing.
Start by chopping your tomatoes into rough chunks. Then, peel your garlic. The least wasteful way to do so is by using a teaspoon to scrape off the skin. Use a thumb sized piece. Unless you have very large thumbs, in which case you should probably use a little less. Chop the ginger into matchstick shapes and set aside. Crush or chop your garlic cloves. The limit does not exist when it comes to the quantity of garlic you can use, especially when you’re sick. Have your vegetable stock at the ready. If you’re using stock cubes, one cube to about 450ml of boiling water should do the trick. Get your egg and crack it into a mug. Beat well. Add some oil to a hot saucepan and slide in your tomato chunks. Give them a nice stir and add a pinch of salt. This
will help bring out the juices. Add your ginger and garlic. Stir regularly. Once the tomatoes look nice and mushy, add your vegetable stock. You might not need all of the stock, depending on how thick or thin you like your soups to be. As this is definitely more of a broth, however, it should be on the thinner side. Allow the contents of the saucepan to boil for two minutes or so, then turn down the heat. Once the bubbles have disappeared, it’s time to add your egg. Do so by using a wooden spoon to stir your broth at a steady pace, consistently stirring in the same direction without stopping. With the hand that’s not stirring, gently pour your beaten egg into the mini vortex that’s being created in the centre of the pan. The aim is to have a thin, slow stream of egg pouring in as
you stir, but honestly there’s no perfect way to do this and it works out pretty well every time regardless. Pour and stir until all of the egg has been added. This is the perfect point to taste the broth and see what it’s missing. It might be fine as it is, or require a dash of salt, but a tablespoon of soy sauce adds a gentle flavour boost that you won’t get from anything else. Ladle the broth into a bowl and enjoy. If you want to be fancy, throw in some spinach. I usually leave all of the ingredients in the soup, but if the floating ginger bothers you, feel free to pick it out. If you really dislike chunky broths, another option would be to use garlic and ginger pastes instead of the real deal. You can find these in the vegetable aisle in Tesco. And there you have it! A strengthen-
ing, easy, tasty soup that will take you back to better times, times when you could breathe out of your nose and swallow without feeling pain. A time before the world was suffering from a health epidemic. You know, those times.
March 17 2020
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TRAVEL JUNKIE: Seoul By Catherine Taylor
Seoul, South Korea is a sprawling metropolis showcasing the perfect blend of old and new Korean culture. Now one of the most popular cities to visit in Asia, Seoul is a cosmopolitan individual’s personal dreamland. From the exemplary food (both Korean and Western), to the fashion and beauty destinations on every corner, and the obvious but enjoyable K-pop attractions, visit Seoul for a taste of all the finer things in life, on a budget. The most expensive part of any trip to Seoul is the flight. When I travelled to South Korea last October after a year of saving, the flight was about €700. Pricey, but the cost of tourism, accommodation, food and taxis in Seoul is so low that the rest of your trip turns out relatively cheap. Unless, of course, you’re tempted to buy a whole new wardrobe once you see the range of fashionable items this style capital has to offer! Seeing as Seoul is made up of 25 individual districts, I spent my time exclusively in the capital city, but trains to other cities like Busan and Daegu range from €30 to €50 if you’re interested in seeing seaside or rural Korea. The Korean subway is very cheap and easy to navigate, but you’ll need a T-Money card (similar to Ireland’s leap card) to take all forms of transportation, including taxis, buses and trains. Grab yours at the nearest convenience store when you land in Seoul, top it up at the till and get travelling to these amazing Seoul tourist destinations!
Given its obvious connections to a certain viral K-pop phenomenon, Gangnam has much to offer Korean pop fans looking for fun in South Korea. Visit the old Bighit building (home of K-pop sensation BTS) in Nonhyeondong, or head to the SM Entertainment headquarters in Seolleung-ro. I know that you’ll want some pictures for the ‘gram, so check out the Psy Gangnam Style statue on your way home from shopping at Seoul’s famous Starfield COEX mall, and grab some street-food while you relax outside. The atmosphere in Gangnam at night is electric, so make sure to grab some Korean chicken and beer in the evening, then make your way to a karaoke bar (Noraebang) for the full K-pop fan experience! Gangnam is also home to the “K-Star Road” in the business district of Apgujeong-ro, another essential for the K-pop curious.
Changgyeonggung Palace For an amazing experience of old Korea, add this breath-taking palace to your bucket-list! Located in the Jongno-gu district, this 15th-century ancient palace was originally built by the 4th ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejong (1418-1450). Featuring stunning architecture and sprawling gardens, entry to this must-see palace is free if you arrive in traditional Korean dress (called Hanbok). Rent a Hanbok for under €10 at one of the specialised outlets nearby, and enjoy your trek around this vast slice of old Korea.
Trick Eye Museum Located in Seoul’s Mapo-gu district, the Trick Eye Museum is a wondrous and mind-boggling experi-
ence. As per visitkorea.kr, the museum is a “one of a kind painting gallery which combines art with high-end technology featuring AR (Augmented Reality) effect and 2D/3D illusions”. Swim with sharks, dance on stage with prima ballerinas, jump across volcanic caverns and so much more in this interactive Seoul experience. Most importantly: don’t forget to download the app before you enter the museum. This will save you time (and your sanity) so you can enjoy this immersive attraction.
Myeong-dong Shopping Street Fashionistas and beauty buffs, this is our heaven! Myeongdong’s shopping street is famous for its many, many clothing stores, beauty counters and cafes (I’d recommend an iced latte from The Coffee Bean for refreshments). When visiting Myeong-dong for a shopping trip, pack light and wear breathable clothing; you’re going to need it if you’re trying on fabulous clothes in multiple stores. My personal favourite destination is the Stylenanda Pink Hotel; a Korean clothing store with multiple floors laid out in the design of a Literal. Pink. Hotel. Do not miss this fashionista’s dreamhouse when you visit Myeong-dong!
Hongdae And finally, an essential of Seoul nightlife is the hip town of Hongdae. Known as a young person’s hangout, Hongdae is located near various Korean universities, so this is where students come to party! Enjoy some street-food, watch up-and-coming K-pop stars and dance in the street and check out the coolest bars in town. A must-see for college students looking for a crazy night-out in Asia’s coolest capital!
THE RISE OF ASTROLOGY: PLANNER EVENTS Why are millennials looking for meaning in the stars? TUESDAY MONDAY 16-20 MAR //2020
By Harry King With traffic on horoscope sites rising, Instagram pages about astrology gaining popularity and increased downloads of astrology-based apps like “Co Star” and “Sanctuary”, it seems like this field of study is a very popular trend at the moment. As it turns out, the reading of horoscopes is making its way into the daily routines of many millennials. Astrology never went out of fashion, so to speak, but its recent upturn poses many questions and theories as to why we have fallen back in love with it. Was it helped by social media? Is it because of differing views on religion? Or is it just something cool to take comfort in during periods of uncertainty? It might be a combination of these or none of them. One thing is for certain; astrology is shining once again. Whilst most definitions of astrology define it as a study of how exterior forces like the stars and the planets can influence human affairs, this is not how it is commonly understood. It is often confused with the term astronomy, which unlike astrology, is a science. There is no substantial evidence yet to suggest that your zodiac sign corresponds in any way with your personality. Astrology does, however, have the ability to provide an interesting narrative about who we are and about the way we behave. It is an ancient practice and one of its most appealing aspects corresponds to its lineage. Astrology has the ability to derive meaning from complex and challenging situations.
Many astrologists talk about finding meaning as the forefront of their mission. Some suggest that we have returned to astrology because of the prominence of social media. Horoscopes, like our experience of social media, are personalized, easy to access and not entirely based on fact. Young people are growing up in a fast-paced and constantly changing social landscape. Perhaps we take comfort in the stars, not because we believe everything in our horoscopes, but because it explains parts of our human experience that are otherwise hard to categorize. It is accepted that people turn to spirituality in times of crisis, when they are confused and looking for answers. This is where astrology comes in for many people – more as a social tool rather than a blueprint of the future. For young people, issues like climate change, lack of job security and the current discourse in politics are legitimate worries of the times we live in. Astrology attempts to clarify our fears with a narrative that either makes sense, or a narrative that we would like to make sense. Religion is not as popular as it used to be for a variety of reasons, many of which correspond to the dealings of its institutions, but astrology may fill a gap for many people about their existence and their place in the world. Astrology is a great concept for people to take comfort in, however, it is important to ask ourselves why we are looking up at the stars to better understand what’s happening on earth. Regardless, astrology’s growing popularity won’t be dwindling any time soon.
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SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
SIN’s Guide to Selling Clothes Online: The Top Ten Dos and Don’ts of Depop By Maeve Winters Depop, founded in 2011 by Simon Beckerman, is the internet’s shining beacon of hope in the face of rising global consumerism. The new and revamped eBay and Tinder for clothes, Depop offers users the opportunity to buy new clothes, sell old ones, and in some cases even swap one pre-loved item for another. Being a member of the site for a couple of years now and having had varying levels of success as both a buyer and a seller, I’d still by no means call myself a Depop connoisseur, but nonetheless, here are my top ten do’s and don’ts of Depop for those with no clue where to start:
1. DO create an account and add yourself to
Depop’s global network! Even if you don’t use it much at first, creating an account means you can get used to seeing what sells and what doesn’t, figure out what kind of style you’d like for your own page and what prices your outgrown favourite clothes could sell for. 2. DON’T click “buy” without messaging the seller first! If the seller is nearby, you could arrange to meet in person and save yourself the shipping cost and Depop’s 10% processing fee (although
they won’t refund your item if you choose this course of action). If nothing else, it’s a great way to bond with other users over your mutual love of clothes! 3. DO try to buy locally! It’s a mistake that I have made in the past. Avoid monstrous shipping costs by purchasing items either from Ireland (or whatever your home country is) or the nearest country possible if that’s not an option. Keep in mind that multiple users may be trying to sell the same item, so it’s a wise idea to shop around before making a final decision. 4. DON’T buy from any shop reselling items in bulk from AliExpress or other similar sites! While not strictly breaking the rules, these pages go completely against the ethos of Depop and, in many cases, the item that you purchase from them may look very different to the one that arrives in the post. Beware Depop bios that warn of three plus week’s delivery time, the same item being listed in multiple sizes, plus pages that list only brand-new items are all red flags – be warned! 5. DO check the sellers’ reviews before purchasing! As Depop is a loving community, users
Step Challenge 10.
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Lea eekly and W ion Prizes etit Comp
generally give each other 5-star reviews – if not, something is usually seriously amiss with the item or transaction. Depop reviews also work both ways, with both buyer and seller being able to leave feedback, and getting a couple of 5-star reviews as a buyer is a great way to demonstrate the trustworthiness that could help you make that first sale. DON’T add a bunch of tags to your items which are not applicable – searching for a pair of black Converse and seeing results for neongreen bodycon dresses is always aggravating, and cheapens the look of your page in general. While a few relevant descriptive words are essential to getting your stuff out there, any more than eight to ten tags will result in annoying buyers and won’t make your clothes any more likely to sell. DO promote your own page on your other social media sites – it’s the best way to gain followers who live nearby and may actually buy your items, unlike the hordes of sale-hungry opportunists who follow anyone in their search query merely to gain followers back, with no intention of buying or even looking at their items. DON’T sell yourself short – if you have a really great item which you think deserves a particular price, don’t accept offensively low offers, as you’re sure to get more if you wait! Also, make sure to apply the correct shipping fees in order to avoid making a loss rather than a desired profit. DO sell, sell, sell any reworked or vintage clothes – unique or one-of-a-kind items sell like hot cakes if marketed correctly (clean and in good condition, photographed in flattering but realistic lighting and with a plain or clutterfree background). Also make sure to post any sustainable gems, as they’re sure to get you some attention! And finally, DO check out these fabulous sellers - @kee_mon, @seasonsofella, @dalliance3, @turnbacktimevintage and @celestialyouth. All are hugely popular Depop sellers with their own individual styles, as well as being sustainability advocates. Their pages are worth a look for inspiration on how to create your own stamp and get selling on Depop, or even just to treat yourself – if their fabulous haven’t sold out yet!
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March 17 2020
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March 2020 Beauty Releases: The best new products we’re lusting after this month By Ewelina Szybinska
applicator, which should follow the daily application of moisturizer. Best to use in the evening after your cleansing routine.
March has finally arrived and with the coming of the new month, a host of brand-new beauty products are launching. We are calling upon all the beauty lovers! Purchasing new products that have just come on the market can be a costly experiment. The article will provide you with valuable information regarding the prices, details of the products and their exact launch dates. Which beauty release have you been waiting patiently for? Check out the some of the most exciting beauty items of March 2020 below…
NARS Powerchrome Loose Eye Pigment At approximately €25, you’ll find a powerful pigment which launched on the 1st of March. Prepare for a multi-dimensional, light-reflecting look from every angle. The six dazzling shades range from cobalt blue to a blackened red and a shimmering
Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Volume II Eyeshadow Palette All beauty gurus watch out for a new bundle of fun colours, available right now! This palette retails
for €43. The price is not the most attractive part of the product if you’re on a student budget, but what exactly do you get for the price? A good eye-shadow palette has to blend nicely, and most importantly, work easily with other shadows. Our obvious hope that the colours will pop needs no further explanation. Following on from the success of the original Jaclyn Hill palette, the YouTuber has launched new and exciting colours ready to satisfy your upcoming eye-makeup looks! Jaclyn Hill collaborates with Morphe once again to create a 35-shade matte, satin and shimmer eyeshadow palette. The shades range from coppers and rose golds, to canary yellows and vivid violets, as described by the website. The possibilities for makeup looks are endless with this little beauty; you can keep to your natural day-to-day look, or swap over to a dramatic, red carpet look if you’re feeling daring.
Urban Decay Semi Permanent Brow Gel It’s something that we have all been waiting for! A longwear, vegan formula in a smudge-resistant brow gel has now launched at Urban Decay, retailing at approximately €25. This brow gel lasts up to 60 hours, so it seems like an ideal product for a weekend away, with festivals creeping up around the corner to consider. Dance all you want, with this sweat-proof formula, you’ll have no worries with the product disappearing. Your eyebrows will be kept intact throughout the festivities. The product allows for quick and easy application, and you’ll have no further worries of flaking, fading or trans-
ferring. The cruelty free brush applies the product onto the brow hairs, as well as directly to the skin, to create your desired shape. Plus, the shade range is quite satisfactory, so you’re guaranteed to find your perfect match.
rose. These pigments are beautiful and buildable, best applied when pressed onto the lids directly. Be seen with the NARS Powerchrome loose pigments! A little glittery something to add to your makeup collection.
La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum
Palette Chanel Le Liner De Chanel
This is the first retinol serum from La Roche Posay, offering a unique formulation for sensitive skin. Its main aim is to fight signs of aging, along with clinically proven results to firm, fill and smooth the skin. It is currently available at €45.60. The retinol serum is accompanied by vitamin B3. Let’s look at the ingredient evidence on the skin; the retinol improves the appearance of uneven skin texture and tone, hence targeting fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin B3 acts as a soothing agent which helps keep the skin soft, plump and supple, as it aids moisture retention. Present Glycerin helps hydrate and restore the moisture barrier. If that wasn’t enough, this product has an easy dropper
As you may know, Chanel launched the world’s first 3D printed mascara wand last year. The brand became an “eye makeup authority” according to the Glamour Magazine, so it’s no surprise that we were all excited for this new release! Chanel’s new eye collection includes 7 shades from pure black to cobalt and many colours in between. This extra-fine liner launched on the 6th of March, and is currently available for €33.53. All eye-liner experts know the importance of the liner brush, so this is one makeup tool worth investing in. Ultimately, it makes it so much easier to apply eyeliner, without an excessive amount of error trials!
24 A RT S & E N T E RTAIN M EN T
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
BTS Album Review — On Map of the Soul: 7, the septet opens up, transcends genre and cements their status as the biggest band in the world By Catherine Taylor Following the success of their 2019 album, Map of the Soul: Persona, K-pop phenomenon BTS returned to the world stage this February to much fanfare. Their latest offering, Map of the Soul: 7, is so named for reasons personal to the band themselves. It’s been seven years since BTS made their music debut in 2013; BTS famously consists of seven members, a number relatively unheard of prior to K-pop coming into the Western consciousness. However, despite all cultural differences, critics and K-pop naysayers, with Map of the Soul: 7, BTS cements their status as both South Korea’s brightest stars, and the biggest band in the world. MOTS: 7 is a reflective and introspective look at the band’s story so far. Having spent seven years working together, BTS have reached unparalleled levels of success in a seemingly short period of
time. It would be incorrect to call them an overnight sensation; the septet slowly found success in their native country, but ultimately hit the big time in 2017, when they became the first K-pop act to win a Billboard Music Award. From there, BTS have gone from strength to strength, selling out stadiums across the world and smashing music records at every turn. As of going to print, BTS have the best-selling album of 2020, outselling musical heavyweights Eminem and Justin Bieber, both of whom released comeback albums this year. An impressive feat for a band that sings primarily in their native Korean. So, what does MOTS: 7 tell us about the band’s perspective on their first seven years? The album opens with ‘Interlude: Shadow’, a hip-hop track by rapper Suga that deals with the pitfalls of fame. It’s a moody opener with a hint of what’s to come; an honest, sometimes subtly brutal commentary on the difficulties of living in the public eye. This sentiment is echoed in the album’s first single ‘Black Swan’, in which the group express fear of losing passion for what they do. The single examines what becomes of artists when their creativity is drained and when music no longer “sets their hearts racing”. It’s a sad thought, given the level of creative involvement BTS have in their music. Rappers and lyricists RM and Suga take the majority of the writing and producing credits, while the other members all have solo writing credits spread across BTS’s discography. As with their 2016 album Wings, Map of the Soul: 7 allows all seven members of BTS their own moment, with seven individual solo tracks. The first of these is dancer Jimin’s song ‘Filter’, a Latin-inflected dance
number with all the qualities of an instant radio hit. On the surface, ‘Filter’ reads only as a fun, hypnotically catchy track that could rival Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s chart-topper ‘Senorita’. However, the song provides deeper commentary on fame and how artists have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant to the public and interesting to their fans. In an interview with Spotify, Jimin explained, “Filters can be the things within a camera application, or social media, but it can also mean people’s perspective or prejudice”. This is an entirely accurate perspective, as K-pop artists in particular are required to consistently come up with shiny new concepts, sounds and looks to keep fans on their toes. ‘Filter’ is followed by one of the best tracks on the album, ‘My Time’, a solo song by youngest member Jungkook in which he questions his decision to live a life of superstardom. It’s an excellent, R&Binfused track with melancholy lyrics, showcasing the 22-year-old singer’s exceptional vocals. Elsewhere, the moody and gothic ‘Louder Than Bombs’, co-written by Troye Sivan, further showcases the vocal ability of BTS’s four singers. Each has a distinct vocal tone, from Jimin’s light and airy lilt to V’s deep timbre, and all are exceptional on this heavy track. Conversely, the group’s three rappers take centre stage in what is perhaps BTS’s best hip-hop track to date, the energetic and angry ‘UGH!’.
With the album’s lead single, ‘ON’, BTS continue to prove that they have radio appeal with a dramatic and impossible catchy title track. The song boasts a stunning and cinematic music video unlike any the band have executed before, pulling inspiration from everything from post-apocalyptic films like Lord of the Flies to symbols of Christianity like Noah’s Ark. Because the track itself is a triumph, the alternative version of ‘ON’ featuring pop hitmaker Sia, placed at the album’s close, feels wildly unnecessary. Sia’s vocals fail to blend as seamlessly with the rest of the band’s as popstar Halsey’s did on the 2019 collaboration track ‘Boy With Luv’, and her brief appearance in the chorus feels like an afterthought. This track should have faced the chopping block. Overall, with Map of the Soul: 7, BTS usher in a new era whilst recognising how far they’ve come. The band are no stranger to taking big ideas from psychology, religion and philosophy and translating them into relatable, catchy and masterful multigenre spanning albums. In their review, Rolling Stone described Map of the Soul: 7 as a “blockbuster […] full of stylistic experiments that all flow together”. Facing critical acclaim and receiving an average score of 82/100 based on top critic’s reviews, it appears that the rest of the world has finally wised up to the enduring success, and lasting legacy, of BTS.
In Praise of Engineering
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: An impressive example of an actor with variety
By Alice O’Donnell
By Harry King
It is indeed an atrocity that some Arts classes are held in the Engineering Block, For why have some, if not all? Arts is the nursery of future cell walls, For those whose sole contribution to society will be to call in the Dole. For the ones who sit and dream and dance into oblivion quietly Oblivious to the calls of society. No, an arts degree is the deity of wasters A simple waste of paper.
Acting is a delicate art. It’s a song and a dance, a cry and a jump all at once. At the top level, its gods are very much appreciated in movie and theatre circles. The nature of it allows the people who do it to reach a wide audience and have an impact on their lives. Legends like Brando, Dean, Newman, Garland and Hepburn have impacted culture and are still talked about today, many years after their deaths. Today, we have many legends of our own who have displayed their repertoire in a wide variety of roles. With so many different styles and methods to acting, it gives actors a chance to tap into many different characters. I’d like to talk about one in particular to illustrate this. Scarlett Johansson has played an impressive number of diverse roles for the best part of the last two decades. She is most appreciated for playing Black Widow in the Avengers saga, the next installment of which is coming out in May. However, I want to draw attention to what else she has done. When she was eighteen, she co-starred in Lost in Translation alongside Bill Murray, in a beautiful film about growing up and finding meaning, directed by Sofia Coppola. Johansson captures the innocence and confusion of a young college graduate who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Complementing this, she has starred in unconventional romantic comedies like Don Jon, science
Engineering – now there’s a degree. For those that create keys to the future Suturing seas to land and planets to earth Worth every cent of government subsidies Seizing possibilities as they cure technological diseases, Keeping at bay the day humanity ceases, And crumbles into a million separate pieces. So tell me, What can an Arts Degree do like that? Who needs stories and dreams Histories and geographies What’s the point in remembering the past When a robot can do it just as fast. No, just do the best thing, And move all Arts students to engineering.
Innocently asleep By Anastasia Burton I look upon his little head, Blonde curls spread across the bed, Sweet little mumbles travelling ahead. I look upon you in wonder, How could I, a blunder, Bring something so innocent and sweet, Into a world so bitterly beat. I never knew I could discover a love so true, In a small body like you.
fiction masterpieces like Her and Lucy, and more recently, she played a mother and a wife in two movies that earned her Oscar nominations in two different categories this year. Marriage Story is a love story told through the lens of a divorce. Johansson stars opposite an equally brilliant Adam Driver in a movie where there is no villain and the two protagonists constantly tear you apart and stitch you back together again. There’s an honesty and grit to their performances that illuminate Noah Baumbach’s tale into a modern great. In Taika Waititi’s war film Jojo Rabbit, Johansson is part of an ensemble cast where she plays a loving mother whose outlook on war differs greatly from that of her son. She attempts to teach him about love and kindness against the backdrop of World War 2. She has also dipped her toes in the world of animation with Sing and Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. The fact that she was nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in two films shows how she draws the audience in through many different characters. Not to mention Avengers Endgame, which broke numerous box office records many times over. The exciting thing is she is only thirtyfive, so we will be sure to see a lot of her in the near future. I think she will be remembered long after she’s finished as one of the great actors of our time. From massive blockbusters with the Avengers to low budget films that were shot within a month like Lost in Translation, Scarlett Johansson can do it all.
C U LT ÚR
March 17 2020
Top 7 James Bond Theme Songs What’s on in Galway By Utku Muratoglu 007; these numbers have been identified with the MI6 agent, James Bond. For 58 years, one of the most iconic figures of the movie industry has been known by these numbers, but also by his name, his preferred drink, his cars and finally by the iconic Bond songs. Since the first movie, Dr. No, each James Bond movie has had a particular Bond song from an established artist. In honor of Billie Eilish’s new contribution, ‘No Time to Die’, here is my top 7 James Bond theme songs of all time:
do a James Bond song. “I would never do it again because it went so well and I would never want to jinx it”, she said.
‘Goldfinger’ by Shirley Bassey - Goldfinger (1964) Goldfinger was the third movie of Sean Connery playing James Bond. The single release of the song gave Bassey her only Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hit, peaking in the top 10 at number eight and number two for four weeks on the Adult Contemporary Chart, and in the United Kingdom the single reached number 21.
‘James Bond Theme’ by John Barry, Monty Norman - Dr. No (1962)
‘No Time to Die’ by Billie Eilish - No Time To Die (2020)
Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, Dr. No, the first James Bond movie in the series, and the original theme song of the iconic character was the theme song of this movie. James Bond’s character was played by the legendary actor Sean Connery.
Billie Eilish, recent Grammy sweeper, the first artist to rack up wins in the Big Four categories since Christopher Cross in 1981. Her James Bond theme song for the newest installment, No Time To Die, which hits theaters on April 10 and marks Daniel Craig’s final appearance as the iconic British spy.
‘Skyfall’ by Adele - Skyfall (2012)
‘The World Is Not Enough’ by Garbage - The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Skyfall was the third movie of Daniel Craig playing James Bond. Adele won an Oscar and a Grammy for this song and while it was a huge success, the artist mentioned that it was the one and only time she will
The World Is Not Enough is the third time the actor Pierce Brosnan played James Bond. The lyrics were written by Don Black, who
also co-wrote ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. David Arnold, who wrote the music, has also composed for British sketch show Little Britain and other Bond films, including Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
‘Die Another Day’ by Madonna - Die Another Day (2002) Madonna’s high profile and heavy promotion for the movie made the song a hit, but it was criticised for being noisy and repetitive. Elton John called it the worst James Bond theme song ever. Interestingly, this song earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song, and a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Song in the same year. Similarly, this is one of the most criticised James Bond movies and it nearly ended the series before Daniel Craig took the role. James Bond, in this movie, was played by Pierce Brosnan.
‘Writing’s on The Wall’ by Sam Smith - Spectre (2015) Sam Smith was the first British male solo artist to record a Bond theme since Tom Jones recorded ‘Thunderball’ for the 1965 film of the same name. During the production, Spectre director Sam Mendes stepped in because an early demo of the track made Bond appear too soft.
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MARCH 18 - 30 In dire need of a bit of de-stressing? Whether you’re after a good night out or a quality gig, there’s always something occuring around Galway city to keep you well away from your pew in the reading room. Take a look and start planning your next night out…
Mother’s Day Paint by the Pints - 22 March Why not bring mammy along for some quality fun in G-Town? To show her some well-deserved love this Mother’s Day, head along to Gourmet Food Parlour in Salthill for an evening of booze, chats and creating art. All the materials will be provided and the ticket includes a free drink!
Little Cinema - 25 March For the movie buffs amongst us, the Róisín Dubh’s Little Cinema is back with another month of fantastic short films, music videos, sketches and documentaries to screen. Always guaranteed craic, head along with a few of your mates for a top-notch night of viewing.
Bingo Loco Galway - 27 March The Galmont Hotel & Spa are hosting one of the very best nights out on offer - Bingo Loco. Famous for their nights of madness,
Bingo Loco consists of Bingo, lip sync battles, silly dance offs, crazy props, confetti cannons and bad decisions. You can certainly expect some serious shenanigans.
Comedy KARLnival: Seann Walsh - 27 March The hilarious Karl Spain hosts the Friday Night Comedy KARLnival and this time Seann Walsh is front and centre. Known for his appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Apollo, Walsh will chat about everything from growing up in Brighton to becoming a tabloid villain. Some of his best loved routines will be mixed with new candid stories from the last ten years. Laughs guaranteed.
RNLI Fundraiser – 28 March NUIG Marine Soc, NUIG/GMIT Subaqua Club and Galway Altlantaquaria are teaming up to raise funds for the RNLI of the 28th March in the aquarium in Salthill! There will be a sponsored 12hr Tank Dive all day and a beach clean-up at noon. The RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour rescue service in the UK and Ireland, and their seasonal lifeguards look after people on busy beaches, and their Flood Rescue Team helps those affected by flooding, so this is a really great cause.
26 A RT S & E N T E RTAIN M EN T
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
Netflix’s Drive to Survive season two review By Utku Muratoglu Season 2 of Drive to Survive certainly has shadowed the testing for the 2020 Formula 1 season. The first season was liked by many, as the programme showed us behind the scenes of the world’s most expensive sport, but season two outlived the first season, with lots of raw drama and lots of ups and downs across the 2019 season. So much so, that many things that had happened last year are not even shown in season two, but no worries, we still have lots of Günther Steiner and lots of Daniel Ricciardo. The fun and the drama aside, Drive to Survive has handled the losses very well in this season and maybe showed that it is more than a motorsport documentary. In May of last
year, we lost the motorsports legend Niki Lauda and in August, we lost Anthoine Hubert after his crash on SPA. Before starting to watch season two, I had never expected to cry for three episodes straight. I had expected this season to be more like the first, with lots of drama behind closed doors and lots of drama between the drivers and the teams. However, the show brings the human angle and the emotional aspects of the drivers who we think as living their best lives with yachts and lots of luxury. One thing missing is that the 2019 season was so full that ten episodes were not enough to cover everything and everyone and this was also something criticized in the first season. Moreover, once again the episodes are not chronologically ranked – they’re more topic related. For instance, there were two full episodes on Racing Point F1 story in the first season, while they were never mentioned in season two, not the team and not the two drivers. Season two consists of ten episodes featuring the following events:
Episode 1 “Lights Out” This episode mainly focuses on Haas, Renault, and Red Bull, from their performance last season, preseason and the season start. Lots of Günther Steiner.
Episode 2 “Boiling Point” This episode mainly focuses on Haas, the lack of performance, the future and the controversy around their title sponsors, Rich Energy Drinks.
Episode 3 “Dogfight” This episode is full of McLaren and Carlos Sainz. It focuses on how he became the key player who pushes the team ahead.
Episode 4 “Dark Days” This episode is the first heavy one. It revolves around the loss of Niki Lauda and how he was a key aspect during the creation of this successful Mercedes team. The episode also shows the catastrophic performance of the Mercedes team during the German GP.
Episode 5 “Great Expectations” This episode can be depressing in terms of failure and self-doubt. The story is about Pierre Gasly and his relationship with Christian Horner and the Red Bull team, as well as his struggle and behind the scenes discussions about his replacement during the middle of the season.
Episode 6 “Raging Bulls” This episode is one of the hardest to watch along with episode 4. Although the episode mainly
focuses on Alex Albon and his promotion to Red Bull, it also includes the crash at SPA.
Episode 7 “Seeing Red” This episode is all red. If you are a Tifosi, this episode is all for you as it features the rivalry between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. They explain what it means to drive for Ferrari.
Ep 8 “Musical Chairs” This episode is mainly on Hülkenberg and the Renault seat for 2020. It reveals that there was a deal between the team and Nico Hülkenberg, which makes the crash at German GP sadder and more dramatic.
Episode 9 “Blood, Sweat, Tears” This episode is all Williams and it justifies the horrible season they had in 2019. Williams is in a mess even before the testing. It emerges that they don’t even have wheel nuts. It is hard to watch as you wonder how this happened in the first place.
Ep 10 “Checkered Flag” This episode is like a summary of the whole season and the story mainly revolves around Sainz and Gasly’s podium finishes and the rivalry between McLaren and Renault for the 4th place in the championship.
Love is Blind Review By Sadhbh Hendrick Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We’ve all said it about a friend’s significant other at some stage. Is it true though? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or is love truly blind? If you wish to hear the last four words repeated over and over again for an entire season, hit up Netflix’s Love is Blind. Trending as number one in Ireland and ever a sucker for the Netflix algorithm, I decided to test the waters and tune in to this ‘hit show’. My decision to click play was also aided by my meek attempt to fill the void left by
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Once the ‘Meet the Family’ episode was aired, I instantly regretted committing to writing this article. Honestly, the things I do for you people.
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actually properly met yet, nice, right? (Not nice, not nice at all, incredibly awkward, immensely toe-curling). Given the fact that it’s a reality TV show, this, of course, also presents the ignition of drama - couples fighting each other, couples fighting with other couples, blah blah blah. Nothing you wouldn’t see if you just tuned in to Fair City, to be honest. After this wonderful holiday, all engaged couples are then forced to live with each other. You know, very necessary, moving in with a virtual stranger to see how they cope in the outside world?! Unfortunately, once the ‘Meet the Family’ epi-
Love Island, if I’m honest. If I can offer you some words of wisdom, I do not advise watching the first few episodes on Netflix. Watch them through Gogglebox. That way, you won’t question if your toes curling and spine-tingling sensations indicate you are a dark cynic, sceptical of love. No, instead you will watch every couch-loving family on Gogglebox have that very reaction themselves and you won’t feel so alone in this romantic reality TV world. A brief description of the show in case some of you are living under rocks: Boys and girls go on blind dates in pods, i.e., they cannot see each other. Harmless, you might say? Incorrect, you might be. In a matter of days, these love-crazy folks ranging from ages 24-34 (ish), have to pick who they wish to spend the rest of their lives with. Yes, you read correctly. They are picking who they wish to marry after a few days of talking through a wall. Bizarre. Only after an accepted proposal are the couples allowed to see each other. Once more for those in the back, bizarre! After said meeting, all engaged couples are whisked away on holidays to Mexico. The idea of going on holiday with your fiancé who you haven’t
sode was aired, I instantly regretted committing to writing this article. I’m all for investigative journalism, but watching another 5 episodes of this? Honestly, the things I do for you people. As a brief synopsis, it involved one bug-eyed male ‘spontaneously’ rapping for his fiancé’s music producer father. The pain I experienced during that – oh, words cannot describe it. Those are four minutes my ears may not ever forgive me for. Like I said, my loyalty to the show was absolutely tested by this episode but also by the many articles suggesting that the show was meticulously staged. That it was in fact not a properly executed experiment – gasp! One Google search will present enough articles for you to make up your own minds about whether or not the show is a genuine, authentic and organic a test to see if love really is blind. Not one to ever refuse a good dating show, this one sadly left quite a lot to be desired. Since I adhere to a strict no spoilers rule, I shan’t divulge the results of the experiments, you can manage that yourselves. What I will say is, Spring Love Island - a step too far or…?
C U LT ÚR
March 17 2020
NUI GALWAY PUSHES BOUNDARIES: Staging modern-day Diarmuid and Gráinne By Daryanna Lancet Fenian cycle Irish myth takes on new cast, setting and stakes in NUI Galway’s Drama and Theatre Studies Department’s production of Diarmuid and Grainne – staged this coming weekend in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance March 18-22. Shaped by family power plays, drug addiction, magic and music, award-winning playwright Paul Mercier’s script offers the ensemble of Diarmuid and Gráinne plenty to work with. The cast and production team - under direction of renowned theatre-maker Marianne Ní Chinnéide – have also taken up a radically collaborative approach. In addition to acting, each cast member of Diarmuid and Gráinne fulfills an aspect of production—assistant directing, lighting, sound, props, costumes, media production and advertising, or stage management. ‘Devising’ or collaborating in groups to create short theatre pieces that physicalize individual’s insights, feelings, and associations with a broad topic such as ‘how do people search for hope’, has been a vital part of the production’s success. Like improvisation, devised theatre has no script, requiring actors to be open and playful with themselves and each other!
In a promotional video made by cast member John Murphy (Diarmuid), Assistant Director Aoife Delany Reade links the ‘sense of play’ needed for devised theatre to being physically present and available in one’s own body. “I run games and workshops at the start… (because) a lot of this production is based around the ensemble creating worlds through play”, says Delany Reade. “If you spend too much time overthinking a character or situation, your process becomes very clogged in your head and removed from your body, where I think a lot of your sense of truth comes from”. Grotowski – an international leader in experimental theatre and founder of physically demanding acting method designed to integrate actor’s mental and physical senses – greatly inspired this ensemble. Typical rehearsals begin with rigorous physical warm-ups lead by Movement Directors Tara Spelmen (Caolite/ Larry), Ana Campbell (Oisin), and Una Valaine (Guarda). Nothing like a 10:30 am group wall-sit to build cast moral! Reframing Diarmuid and Gráinne in modern day Dublin has allowed actors to recognise their own struggles and stories of the legendary characters. The character Gráinne, a former-child star in her twenties and daughter of Ms. King (a wealthy and powerful businesswoman active in Fianna’s
‘Be A Lady, They Said’ and the #MeToo Generation By Alanna Phelan “Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative! You’re asking for it. Wear black. Wear heels. You look like you’ve let yourself go!” The cycle of contradiction and criticism that rings so familiar to many female ears continues as Cynthia Nixon stares challengingly at her viewer, eyes hard with either disgust for them, or the words she addresses them with. Claire Rothstein’s fashion film ‘Be A Lady, They Said’ is less than three minutes long, yet it packs a powerful punch, with Nixon’s recital of Camille Rainville’s 2017 poem being spliced with rapid images of models and actresses posing for paparazzi and fashion shoots. Their smooth visages, plumped lips and contorted bodies, innocuous at any fashion shoot or red-carpet event, take on a tone of menace as the upbeat, 1980’s style montage rapidly begins to include gruesome footage of the extraordinary lengths these women go in achieving what it supposedly means to be a ‘lady’. Body hair removal, bleaching, cosmetic surgery, dieting - anything to be smaller, smoother, more appealing. As Rothstein herself explained to The Guardian, the intention of the piece was to ‘flip the male gaze’, but really the piece is more of a parody of it, showing what was once conventional thought for one generation - ‘Fold his clothes, cook his dinner, that’s a woman’s job’ - as farcical to the next. Compelling as the work might be, it is undeniable that it has ruffled some feathers online with its cold-hearted approach, with some male viewers commenting that blaming one gender entirely for the plights of the other is simply not rational. In one response video titled ‘Be A Man, They Said’, a monologue similar in style to the poem lists the ways in which men too are pressured by societal
norms regarding their appearance - “How tall are you? Say it on your Tinder. Oh, too short. Get muscles. Eat more. Girls like a real man”. The long-term emotional damage of low selfesteem in men is undoubtedly a topic that is more prominent than ever, with advertisements and products and Instagram influencers promoting this mythical ‘real man’ everywhere we look. The feelings of inadequacy they inspire have more in common with the diet shakes and lip fillers aimed at young women than we tend to acknowledge. However, ‘Be A Lady, They Said’ is not so much about appearances, but impressions. One factor that critics have tended to gloss over so far is its emphasis on sexual assault/harassment. The words “Don’t drink too much, don’t walk alone, don’t dress like that, don’t get drunk’”, highlight our tendency as a society - even in this post-#MeToo era - to victim-blame and shift responsibility away from ourselves by rationalising that if women behave these ways, what do they expect? Despite the enormous strides made in recent years in the discussion of sexual harassment, these age-old warnings that are still passed down from mother to daughter need to be questioned more. For this generation, the idea of a ‘lady’ is not the docile, wide-eyed sex-kitten described in Rothstein’s work. It would be an insult to the innovative women of the past, also, if I suggested this was ever the gender’s own ideal either! Coco Chanel designed women’s clothes to be comfortable and practical, not as titillation for ‘the male gaze’. The idea of waiting at home each night with a hot meal ready for a husband would have made Katharine Hepburn cackle. Many great women of the past like them, I believe, would have agreed with Rainville’s poem, and its message for this era of young girls and women searching for an identity - don’t be a lady. Be an individual.
‘Devising’ or collaborating in groups to create short theatre pieces that physicalize individual’s insights, feelings, and associations with a broad topic such as ‘how do people search for hope’, has been a vital part of the production’s success. Like improvisation, devised theatre has no script, requiring actors to be open and playful with themselves and each other!
underground drug trade, as well as the De Daan, an elite political organization based off the mythical Irish fae who lived in world of eternal youth) actually contends with a very relatable problem. “Everyone has an opinion of Gráinne, even if they haven’t met her before. She’s that singer, she’s Ms. Kings daughter… (today) social media makes it easy to build up an idea about someone in our heads and project that onto them”, says Megan O’Neill (Gráinne/ Costume Designer). “If you’re constantly hearing things from other people, opinions or comments about yourself, how do you know what’s true?” John Murphy, (Diarmuid/Video Production) also drew insight from his characters story. “My character, Diarmuid O’Diubne, he’s had a messy past, taken from his father, raised by his foster father, trained to be a member of the Fianna”, says Murphy. “But I think a message is, you can be lost and confused but still change your destiny, or the way you want to live. Just because you’re a f *** up now, doesn’t mean you’re a f *** up in the future, do you know?” Ultimately, fostered by a dedicated team of passionate student artists and diverse theatre methodologies, NUI Galway Drama and Theater Studies’ Diarmuid and Gráinne is not to be missed. Tickets are selling fast already — reserve yours now online at Eventbrite.
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March 17 2020
NUI Galway’s Handball Club takes Texas by storm By Conor Brummell NUI Galway’s Handball club recently took part in the 68th USHA Collegiate from the 19th - 23rd of February in the University of Texas, Austin. Eight members from the club travelled across the Atlantic to take part in the collegiate competition, which saw almost 52 students from Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology such as UL, DCU, CIT and LIT take part. The students who went from NUI Galway were Ashling Mullin, Sean Hession, Eleanor Percy, Laura Finn, Kelly Curran, Fiachra Mulkerrins and Paul Conneely. The trip was mostly self-funded, but NUI Galway’s Sports Department and Delight, the café located in the Kingfisher gym, helped sponsor those who were representing the college. SIN spoke to co-captain of the club Ashling Mullin, who took part in the last year’s competition in Minnesota with Eleanor Percy, about how this year’s group got on. “The tournament format is very similar to the Intervarsities we have here in Ireland”, Ashling explains over the phone. “Everyone is guaranteed three games - you’re seeded at first and put into your group for the first and second round, and by the time your third game comes around, you’re distinguished into your proper grade. From the third game onwards, it’s knock-out!” The co-captain says she likes this competition format. “It helps determine your grade and you find yourself playing challenging games throughout the tournament. It’s also great going on these trips with your University because the handball community
is small. Everyone knows everyone! It’s like living in a small town- so when we go on trips like these, we all get along”. Ashling also thinks these types of tournaments are great for networking and making friends. She recalls the 40x20 Intervarsity in Ireland at the start of February, when people from Texas travelled to Ireland. “We get to know a lot of Americans who study in different Universities in the (United) States. Handball gives us so many opportunities and makes the world seem small. For example, we had seven Americans taking part in our annual 40x20 Intervarsity two weeks before we flew out to their collegiate in Texas! We love going over to the States and they really enjoyed their trip to Ireland to see our facilities and where we train!” She also thinks the facilities in Texas were unbelievable. “You have ten courts side-by-side in one venue. The next venue ten minutes away would have the same and a show court with three glass walls. It’s like a handball heaven!” The NUI Galway handball club had a very good tournament, however, a lot were unfortunate enough to lose out in the semi-final stages. “Fiachra Mulkerrins & Paul Conneely had an outstanding tournament in the A grade Doubles, they lost out in a 11-10 tiebreaker of the Semi Final,” Ashling says, proud of the club. “I myself lost out in the 9-16 Open Play Off Final, but overall, I was happy with my performance.” Ashling continued to say that Kelly Curran won out the Ladies A tournament, the only of the eight to win a competition. “She’s
Great sporting excuses By Oisin Bradley After Tyson Fury dismantled Deontay Wilder to claim the title of WBC World Heavyweight Champion, Wilder’s comments drew ire from all quarters of the boxing world and beyond on social media. In a frankly bizarre statement, American puncher Wilder stated that in the bout “He (Fury) didn’t hurt me at all, but the simple fact is, Kevin, that my uniform was way too heavy for me”. This is despite the fact that, in an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience, Wilder stated that he was training in a weighted vest to improve his stamina, and that’s without acknowledging that the comment made no sense regardless. In light of this, we decided to look at three of the other most bizarre excuses in sporting history. Manchester United’s ‘grey’ curse. In the 1995/1996 Premier League season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side were trailing 3-0 at half time in an away game versus Southampton. In a remarkable turn of events, the legendary Scotsman decided to change to the blue and white strip that the kitman brought for the second 45 minutes. In truth, it made little difference, as Southampton still won by two goals at the Dell, however, Fergie will doubtless point to the fact that they won the match from the changeover on. In an interview on the Quickly Kevin podcast in August of last year, ex-United right back Gary Neville claimed it was down to the psyche of vision specialist Gail Stephenson, who was at training
twice a week. Per Neville, it was changed because the United number one reckoned it was too difficult to pick out players in a grey kit. To be honest, we’re not sure on this one…. Richard Gasquet’s cocaine blunder. Back in 2009, French tennis player Richard Gasquet tested positive for cocaine consumption whilst attending Florida’s Sony Ericsson Open. The now 33-year old was provisionally handed a 12-month ban from tennis. However, the ITF overturned the ban. The reason? Gasquet claimed that the drug was only in his system due to the fact that he had been kissing a woman who had consumed the substance prior to the drugs test. The overturning of the ban had little affect, however, as Gasquet would go on to crash out in the first round of the US Open that year. Iker Casillas’ Girlfriend. In the middle of the 2010 World Cup, relative minnows Switzerland caused a shock to the eventual winners Spain in the opening game of the competition when they edged out the Spaniards 1-0. Gelson Fernandes netted in the 52nd minute to cause an upset in South Africa, however La Roja bounced back to win the famous gold trophy for the first time. However, Iker Casillas’ attempt to clear his name of any wrongdoing for the opener didn’t exactly cover his name in glory. He claims that the reason he didn’t stop Fernandes’ cool strike is because his girlfriend was distracting him at the time. Frankly, how he could pick his girlfriend out in a crowd of around 63 thousand is beyond me.
been playing extremely well this year and it was one hundred percent deserved!” The team travelled home on the 26th of February, and despite working hard for the competition, got to see a bit of Austin while they were over there.
“Wherever you go, it’s good to go sightseeing! We landed over a few days before the tournament and we had the afternoon to go and explore after our training in the mornings. It was a brilliant trip,” she concluded.
SIN Vol. 21 Issue 11
How will the coronavirus affect sport? By Ian Casserly Bill Shankly once said “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.” However funny that was, it seems some people in the sporting world have took that to heart in regard to the coronavirus. Professor Sam McConkey of the RCSI speaking on RTE Radio equated this crisis to “the Spanish Flu, the Irish Civil War and the 1929 stock market crash all at once”.
Currently, at the time of writing, Ireland now has a similar number of infected persons as Italy had 3 weeks ago (around 20). 3 weeks on, Italy is in lockdown with 16 million in quarantine, over 6,000 infected and 100+ people dying daily from this virus. Taking inspiration from Italy’s lack of action at a crucial time, the Irish government have seemingly outdone the Italians by taking the aforementioned annoyingly Irish “sure it’ll be grand” approach to this global pandemic and do the square root of nothing to change it.
Photo by Marvin Ronsdorf on Unsplash
Their plans seem so little thought out and overwhelmingly relying on “saying a few hail Marys”. This mentality is commonplace around the world, with other governments seemingly waiting for catastrophe before doing anything. Seeing how they have reacted to this outbreak, world sporting bodies have seemingly managed to care even less about this virus and its effects (apart from some exceptions). Take, for example, our neighbours in England and the powers that be in the English Premier League doing something that’s so “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Ireland”, that you’d wonder if they took notes from Leo Varadkar when planning it. You might ask what novel approach to have they taken to combat this deadly virus is. Cancel the games? Play in empty stadiums? Postpone the season? No, none of the above and how silly of you to think of something so rational. Instead, the powers that be have decided to stop the pre-game handshake. Yes, you read that right, the pre-game handshake is the only thing they have stopped. This inspiring and brave move might have made sense was it not for the 90-minute match of hard physical human contact in close quarters surrounded by tens of thousands of people in a confined seat shouting and screaming that followed it. Hats off to them and their brave decisions. More so, the International Olympic Committee in charge of organising and running the Olympic Games have seemingly engaged in a game of oneupmanship with other world sporting bodies in
seeing how badly they can deal with the virus. In the last few days, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, said the organisation had not mentioned the words “cancellation” or “postponement” during two days of executive board meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland regarding the 2020 Olympics. Keep in mind over 500,000 tourists alone descended onto Rio in 2016 for the Olympics. This figure doesn’t include anyone else taking part from athletes to reporters to staff who were in direct contact with everyone. And without trying to sound like a failed politician, that’s the reason this outbreak is so prominent in this modern world, is that it’s profit over people. Cash is King. While some places have cared about people and taken strong action, such as France banning gatherings of 5000+ people and Italy cancelling and playing soccer games behind closed doors, small actions are not enough in the wider scheme of things. The relevant governing bodies must come together and make the decision that is the best for the containment of this virus. Whether that be screening of athletes, cancellations of games or ratifying seasons as void they must think of the bigger picture. Money means nothing when you’re dead. While it’s understandable that the Tokyo Olympics, a 7+ year logistical nightmare with a sunk cost estimated at $12.6 billion would ideally not be cancelled under any circumstances, the people in power have a big and brave decision to make. People or profit.
The Mick McCarthy era has Galway look in contention been an undoubted failure for Sam after impressive league campaign By Darren Casserly
This latest Mick McCarthy era, for the FAI, will go down in history, not just for being one of the oddest managerial situations in modern football, but for being one of the most pointless managerial appointments any team has ever made. Going into this arrangement, the thinking behind it was that it would give Stephen Kenny ample time to become accustomed to being part of the FAI and the international football scene as a whole, coming from nearly 25 years of managing at club level. However, there were several unforeseen circumstances that, if we had known beforehand, would have made appointment of Mick McCarthy rightly seemed fiscally irresponsible and detrimental to the long-term success of the FAI. I am, of course, talking about the revelation of the FAI’s financial situation, which resulted in a bailout from the government and give fans a completely different view of John Delaney’s reign as CEO. The announcement following this, that Mick McCarthy will be due over 1 million euro after his exit later this year, was rightly met with much anger from the Irish fans, especially as McCarthy has done virtually nothing to further the Irish squad in any way, with his tactics, results and selections leaving much to be desired. This wouldn’t be so bad compared to the last few years for the Irish team, however, what Stephen Kenny is doing with the under 21 side has really made Irish fans reconsider what this team could truly be. Years of negative, low-scoring Irish sides have shaped what we have come to expect from the boys in green and Stephen Kenny can change that.
Even qualification for the Euros cannot change the fact that it has been a wasted opportunity, especially given the fact that it is nearly harder to not qualify after the expansion with 24 teams playing in Euro 2020. With teams like Finland and Romania looking like they have chances of qualification, Euro qualification is made more of a minimum requirement than an achievement. Even if Ireland do qualify, there are not a lot of people that are holding out much hope for our chances in the tournament, based on the evidence from the qualifiers, including barely eking out a victory against the minnows of Gibraltar. Compare this to what Stephen Kenny has done with the under 21’s, which has been leaps and bounds ahead of the senior team. This difference could be summarised with the performance against Italy, which, while it finished 0-0, showed that an Irish team could go toe to toe with the best teams in Europe. Looking back at it now, having Stephen Kenny as the senior team manager from the get go would have been the best decision, with the way that he dealt with the media and the under 21 team showing us that there was never any real need to get him accustomed to the international set up and at the very least, he would have done as well as this current side under mick has done. Also, the fact that this choice would have saved the FAI millions in a time where they are scrounging together whatever they are getting their hands on. This Mick McCarthy era was not been a success, it has been unnecessary and at the very least very forgettable.
By Darren Casserly For a long time, Galway looked to be a talented side that that could just never break into that tier of genuine contenders on the national stage. Breaking Mayo’s dominance of Connacht looked to be a statement of intent for the Championship, however, this was all Galway could muster for a few seasons, with Mayo looking more like contenders even with their relative lack of success in Connacht. Although there was little progress in Galway’s search for Sam over the past few years, there has been a clear and obvious problem, which is the style of play. Galway become notorious for their style of play under the reign of Kevin Walsh, defensive football which was a poor replica of Jim McGuinness’ Donegal side, which produced horrible football and no real success. However, there has been a change in the form of Padraic Joyce this season which has unlocked their potential and produced an exciting team with a real chance of going all the way in the Championship. Joyce has also let Shane Walsh off the leash, which, unsurprisingly, has worked wonders, has shown us what kind of a player he could be in the right system and has put him on the list of best forwards, if not footballers, in the game. This change in tactics could not be more clearly seen than in Galway’s demolition of Tyrone. Under Kevin Walsh, this game would have been an extremely defensive affair, with everyone averting their eyes and just hoping to see a positive result at
the end. Under Joyce, it was a very different story. Tyrone were their usual cynical selves with two red cards, but Galway were a force to be reckoned with, scoring 2-25 on their way to a 19-point victory. This victory looked more impressive following a Tyrone victory against Dublin the following week. Galway’s only defeat of the League campaign came against last year’s All-Ireland finalists Kerry in Tralee, and even that was a one-point defeat which could have gone the other way on another day. This change in fortune has not just come from the change in manager, but some exciting new players. For a long time, Galway have struggled to find a suitable partnership in midfield, but they seem to have found it this season with the partnership of Ronan Steed and Cein D’Arcy looking like the partnership of the future in the opening rounds of the League. The future looks bright with this Galway side, not just with the current side but also with the underage sides, with the last two minor teams making the All-Ireland final and the current Under-20 side winning the Connacht title in convincing style against Roscommon. The big question that this Galway side will have to answer is: unlike previous years, can they keep this up? It will be interesting to see if Joyce will stick to his tactical guns when the pressure is on, and if so, they can bring Sam back to Galway for the first time in nearly 20 years and go down in Galway GAA history as not just a legend but a near saintly figure in the eyes of the Galway faithful.
Man City’s ban signals a Farrell needs change in football finances time at the helm to change a broken system By Johnny Browne
By Johnny Browne
These are professional players being paid tens to hundreds of thousands of euros a year and Schmidt had them so programmed that they began to malfunction like robots. As effective as his system worked in 2018, I always felt there needed to be a bit of leeway for spontaneity and just going with the flow, which the team didn’t have. This, however, has changed a bit under Farrell with a more positive, quick-paced attack that always tried to target space on the wings. You could see this, especially in the impressive performance against Wales in the Aviva, with Jordan Larmour and Andrew
It may be easy to say that the ‘new year, new me’ slogan hasn’t been taken up by this Irish team, as they suffered yet another humbling defeat to England after being bullied in Dublin last February and absolutely obliterated in Twickenham before the World Cup. Although you may not think a 24-12 score line was flattering for Ireland, it really was, with England dominating the match while Ireland were left flustered yet again. The English used pretty much the same game plan as they did in Dublin the year prior, aiming to hit Ireland with a try early on and just build on that lead. Some have said that Ireland have been inconsistent, from beating New Zealand to losing to Japan within 12 months, but I believe Ireland have remained consistent when you watch them. The game plan hasn’t changed, they still play a slow, lethargic game based around the tactical box kicking of Conor Murray to almost the same quality before, with the only fault being the dip in Murray’s form in 2019. Everything else other than Murray has remained the same but other teams have now caught on to what to do to stop Ireland. What is this method of stopping Ireland? Easy, line speed, very hard and intense line speed, making sure you get off the ground after making a tackle and running into the face of the attacking team. What does this do? It prevents giving the time and space an attack needs to move the ball into the channels out wide, bar a miraculous pass or quick cross-field kick. This works particularly well against Ireland, as the half-back pairing of Sexton and Murray aren’t renowned for their pace and their slow, methodical style works into their favour. You look at Ireland’s big defeats in 2019: England and Wales in the 6 nations and Japan and New Zealand in the World Cup. It’s almost like watching a rewind of the same stuff, as Ireland don’t look to have changed or learnt from previous defeats and t l e C á r t awith the speed and intensity each t le Cárta can’t s c i n compete scin C ri iteam C had against them. iri The best way to combat speed and intensity is Conway being very impressive in their back 3 play with speed itself, if you keep up pace on attack along with Jacob Stockdale recognising his opposing with each phase, you will suck in defenders and winger George North’s defensive frailties early on. make them narrow in their defensive line. This I was very surprised watching that game, as, at one will leave space out wide in which you can exploit stage, I felt comfortable that we would win, a feeling I and make yards. Ireland can easily do this, but thought I wouldn’t get this year until Farrell had seti r they don’t. The plan is heavily relianti on new role. But, with this, fans still need to r i s Conor tled into his isc C as aC t a Murray everything runs through him, to the be cautious we all saw what England did to us. The i n t l eand c r int Cá Cárt point that when he’s not there the plan is put to l e big test now is to see how the team performs against a halt. I distinctly remember several occasions a young, exciting and motivated French team looking during the World Cup, when there was a pause for their first Championship since 2010. It will be a for almost 10 seconds during a game after Ireland big challenge for the boys in green in Paris but I feel made a break because Conor Murray would be they can stop them from playing, like what Leinster occupied in a ruck or just not there to get the ball did to Toulouse in the Champions’ Cup semi-final out. The Irish forwards were left looking lost, like last April, preventing offloads and targeting fly-half le Cár int le Cárta c s t a and keeping Antoine Dupont out they had no clue c i n t Ntamack C what to do when the scrum-half r i sRomain r i isn’t there. Eventually, C someone would have the of the game as much as possible. It will be a very amazing idea of picking the ball up and passing interesting game to watch and hopefully it will be it! WOW! What a concept! an early St Patrick’s day treat for us.
What is this method of stopping Ireland? Easy, line speed, very hard and intense line speed, making sure you get off the ground after making a tackle and running into the face of the attacking team. What does this do? It prevents giving the time and space an attack needs to move the ball into the channels out wide, bar a miraculous pass or quick cross-field kick.
were fined €60 million in 2014 and have been constantly monitored by UEFA since. Some City fans may be asking why are PSG not being punished like they are if they too have spent a lot of money without earning it first, but the difference is PSG have cooperated with UEFA over this decade when it came to FFP. They even missed out on lucrative signings to try stay in line with FFP, including Angel Di Maria in 2014, who went to Manchester United for a season before joining the Parisian outfit in 2015 and having to sell club stalwart Blaise Matuidi to Juventus to fund the Neymar transfer. So, with this recent ban for Man City, it looks like clubs will have to take FFP more seriously from now on, which is a good thing for football as a whole, as more teams will be able to compete with the super clubs like Real Madrid, who won’t be able to just pluck any star player from across the world like they used to. You also won’t see as much manufactured success like City, Chelsea and PSG, which will keep more tradition in football, as teams will have to rely on their academies more and will produce local talent. This will give the fans of these teams a closer relationship to the players, as academy products won’t be seen as mercenaries as much as a €50 million signing who is payed €200,000 a week. And finally, as a United fan, it is brilliant to see City be punished only for United to potentially get Champions League while finishing 5th this season, while they’ll finish 2nd and get nothing!
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Manchester City have been banned from European competitions for two years and have been fined €30 million for breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. They have spent over £1.5 billion since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour in 2008 and have a net spend of over £1.2 billion. In comparison, the next highest net spend in Europe is PSG at over £900 million, while local rivals Manchester United have a net spend of only £200 million since 2000. Manchester City have a net spend in 12 years that is nearly 8 times higher than what Man United have managed in 20 years. Financial Fair Play was introduced in 2009 to prevent clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success. It came in to also help prevent clubs from going out of business or suffering administration if they are unsuccessful after spending huge amounts of money, like Leeds, Rangers, Portsmouth and Parma in the last 20 years. These were teams that previously had huge aspirations and had businessmen give them hope, but were left in financial ruin after the economic crisis in Europe in the late 2000’s. Some may have said that we haven’t really seen FFP be implemented since its inception, but there has been some punishments dished out by UEFA for FFP breaches, with AC Milan having the biggest punishment before the recent City ban, being served a one year European competition ban in 2019. This isn’t even City’s first FFP breach, they
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Issue 11 of SIN for the academic year 2019/2020