SIN Issue 10

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NUACHTÁN SAOR IN AISCE VOL. 22 Issue 10. 23 MAR 2021

Student Independent News



Quarter of a million euro in fines issued by University for non-payment of fees By Ellen O’Donoghue Co-News Editor

NUI Galway have issued €256,000 in fines to students in the 2019/20 academic year for failing to pay fees. The figure was released to the Students’ Union under freedom of information (FOI). Of the €256,000 in fines applied by the University in 2019/20, €62,000 of these fines were waived, leaving €185,000 in fines for students. However, the University have only collected €136,000 from these fines, with €49,000 still to be paid. The Students’ Union have been inherently against the concept of fining students and have vocalised this during the pandemic as the University began fining students for breaching Covid-19 regulations. President of NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, Pádraic Toomey, said that he and his colleagues sent in the FOI because they are interested in students being fined, but implied that there is more

to come, saying; “we were interested in the fact of fines being placed onto students, what came back so far was the fines that they put on students for late paying of fees.” In the last five years, between €144,000 and €185,000 in fines were issued to those who were late paying fines, with between €35,000 and €46,000 outstanding per year. In the 2015/16 academic year, €144,000 in fines were billed to students, with €100,000 being paid. In the 2016/17 academic year, €161,000 in fines were billed to students with €115,000 of these having been paid. €156,000 in fines were issued by NUI Galway in the 2017/18 academic year, with €48,000 of these fines still outstanding, after €108,000 in fines were paid. The University were left with €35,000 outstanding fines after the 2018/19 academic year when €135,000 of the €170,000 issued fines were paid. All in all, NUI Galway have been left €222,000 out of pocket in the past five years as a result of students not paying their fines for having not paid fees.

If students fail to pay their fees, a number of University facilities are blocked, namely exam results are held, progression to the next year of study is not permitted and access to transcripts are blocked and made unavailable. Furthermore, conferring will not take place for any student who has not paid their fees in full. Two fines are issued to those who do not pay their fees. If fees are unpaid by the 30th of November, then a €200 late payment penalty will be issued, regardless of whether they pay after that, or not. If the student has still not paid their fees by the 20th of February, then a second late payment penalty of €200 will be applied to all unpaid student records. Toomey described the situation that students who do not pay their fees find themselves in as “worrying”; “This is really worrying because the people who generally can’t pay or didn’t pay their fees are the people struggling, who can’t afford fees and then to put on more fees seems like not the

League of Ireland two-page special

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most effective or caring way that you could manage this.” He condemned the University’s use of fines as a way of punishing students and mentioned that NUI Galway is one of the few institutions who still fine students for late, or unpaid fees. “Other institutions and most Universities don’t charge this at all, they just can stop you from going into the next year or they stop you graduating until you pay, which makes a lot more sense. So, we’d look for this measure to be put in place, we believe that this measure should be put in place and that fines aren’t the way forward.” NUI Galway have come under fire in recent months with the hashtag, #RipOffNUIG trending as a result of the University refusing to scrap their repeat fees of €295, Last year it was revealed that the total cost per student that the University incurs for a repeat exam is €9 Other Universities have criticised NUI Galway for not following suit after University College Cork scrapped their fees this year, owing to the Covid19 pandemic.

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INSIDE Students’ Union back USI Student Accommodation Bill for student renters 4 Surplus of 50 sanctions issued by University for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in December 6 National campaign launched to guide students and staff on how to support sexual violence victims 7 Former NUI Galway Students’ Union President running for USI President 8 NUI Galway second year Nursing Students raise over €2,000 for Galway Simon Community 9 One Year On and students are still feeling the financial impact of Covid-19 10 Sustainability Student Summit 11 Homelessness in Galway During the Covid-19 Crisis 12 Student Diaries 13 Fascinating or Morbid? A talk with Juliette Cazes, also known as Le Bizarreum 14 Know better, do better, a lesson from Dr Seuss 15 My Shakesyear 16 Three films to sit back and relax to 17 Product Review: The Products I Swear By – Olaplex 18 The Chopping Block: Soup – There’s aytin’ and drinkin’ in it! 19 Diet culture is toxic 20 Budgeting advice 21 Will the anti-lockdown protests just extend the lockdown? 22 Does OnlyFans glamourize sex work? 24 Anti-Traveller Racism: It’s Time to Take a Stand 25 SIN’s SSE Airticity League Predictions 26 – 27 Peamount pip Galway in Patrick’s Day pre-season clash 28 Galway men abroad: Pressure cranks up as internationals loom 29 SIN speaks to Donegal hurler Joe Boyle on playing your county’s second code 31

SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10


Hello everybody and welcome back to issue 10 of SIN. As we move into double digits, and that grand stretch in the evening has finally broken through, and the Paddy’s Day hangover from last week has finally been shaken off, it would seem that there are reasons aplenty to be positive during these dreary days. One year on from the hurried closure of our University in response to the Covid unknown, a sense of normality has evolved from the widespread panic and confusion that we all felt as we cleared out from the concourse just over 12 months ago. Some of us never got to return as the best years of our lives were whisked away from us in the blink of an eye. As the class of 2019/2020 quickly adapted to signing off their final weeks in University from the confines of their bedrooms, equally the current crop of final years have had to adjust for better or worse to the unsociable awkwardness of Blackboard collaborate. Adapting to the strangeness of it all has taken time. Measures that once seemed temporary now have an air of permanence about them, as a second Paddy’s Day has come and gone, without getting to see the hilarious looks of befuddlement on tourists faces when they realise that celebrating Ireland’s national day in Ireland isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Add the closure of the pubs for these poor tourists to seek refuge in and you get all the hallmarks of many a person’s worst nightmare. While it is easy to get bogged down by the misery and mundanity of it all, especially when you throw mid-term assignments try not to, take a step back from the doom and gloom of your social media news feed and the endless stream

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of Blackboard notifications. Without trying to sound like one of those irritating life advice people we should not solely be living to work, an element of working to live has to be thrown into the equation somewhere. With that I can segue into another important topic. This week’s issue of SIN, the only reason you’ve found yourself on the second page of this paper looking at my big culchie head beside the byline, is an interest in what’s inside the latest issue, so I may as well provide some context. It’s an absolutely packed thirty-two pages inside, with everything from series reviews to sports previews to be found. I find it truly fantastic that people continue to give up their time to contribute to the paper every fortnight, The commitment shown by all of our writers to give up their time to produce top quality content is truly brilliant, and as always I want to thank you all for your efforts. Reading your pieces as part of the editing process is one of the highlights of my week. While there are only two issues of the paper left this year, it still isn’t too late to get involved, if you have even the most remote interest in taking part feel free to get in touch at or over any of our social media channels, we would only be delighted to hear from you. Anyways, best of luck with the mid-terms, the end of the most unusual college year on record is almost upon us.

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March 23 2021

NEWS EDITORIAL By Caoimhe Killeen Hi guys, we have already reached the double digits for issues this year which is mad! We are slowly nearing the halfway point of the semester with yet another Paddy’s Day in lockdown behind us. It is starting to become unclear if we will get to see a proper summer due to the groundhog-like lockdown that never seems to end, but one thing that is clear is the packed section that Ellen and myself have put together for this issue. So, grab a cup of tea and catch up on all of the latest news that’s been happening on our(virtual) campus. I have written about the Students’ Union backed nationwide bill proposed by the Union of Students in Ireland entitled the Student Accommodation Bill to improve student renter rights, NUI Galway’s second four-year sustainability strategy and the Access Centre’s documentary on Travellers in Higher Education released as part of Traveller Ethnicity Day. Ellen O’Donoghue tells us about how a surplus of over fifty sanctions were issued by the University for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in December, and an interview with former Students’ Union President and current Vice President of the USI Clare Austick in her run to become President. Tara Hoskin writes about an All-Ireland MS research network that has been launched by NUI Galway researchers alongside Queen’s University Belfast and the RSCI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. Saoirse Higgins tells us about how a research project based in NUI Galway has shown the changes in behaviours in children between 1998 and 2018. Finally, Ewelina Szybinska tells us about how second year general nursing students have raised over €2,000 in aid of Galway Simon Community through their virtual 5k exercise initiative. As always, if you want to pitch an idea or write for the news section, drop Ellen and I an email at deputy.sined@gmail. com and we’ll be sure to include it in a future issue! Keep working through that slump guys, we’re almost at Easter break!

FEATURES EDITORIAL By Saoirse Higgins Hi everyone and, as always, welcome back to SIN. We’re well and truly into semester two and I have to say I’m feeling it. The tiredness is hitting me as I write this, as I’m sure it is for many of you. But don’t worry, features this week will perk you right up with its interesting and well-written stories. So, as I say every issue, grab your cup of tea, get settled and prepare yourself for another great issue of SIN.

Returning to the columnist section this week, are our very reliable trio Aine Fogarty, Tom Molloy and Cormac Culkeen. They tell us their lives from their own unique perspective which will make you giggle or release a heart-warming sigh. Our very own Opinion Editor, Darren Casserly, takes a step into the features section this week and takes over the Covid-19 column with some witty takes. For articles this week, myself and Caoimhe Killeen spoke to UL students for their take on what went on in College Court. Andrew Florio examines homelessness in Galway during a pandemic in a very interesting piece. Éanna Johnston talks to students on how they’re coping financially during a pandemic that has taken most of their jobs. Rachel Garvey tells us what things you can do to enjoy St Patrick’s Day from the comfort of your own home. Our columnist Tom Molloy talks to NUI Galway students on how they stay motivated and they share their tips with SIN readers. That’s it with features this week, be good and I’ll see you for the next issue.

ARTS AND ENTS EDITORIAL By Alice O’Donnell Hi guys! Hope you are all keeping well and safe right now. I’m not sure what it is, but over the last few weeks I found I’ve barely had any free time. There always seems to be ten things to do before I can head to bed, so I appreciate how busy we all must be. Therefore, I really do want to thank all the wonderful contributors that helped make this issue so wonderful. Firstly, we have some really great reviews, in case you manage to carve out some free time but have no idea what to read or watch. Caroline Spencer recommends the show, The Terror, while Stephen Holland reviews the Irish novel Acts of Desperation. The latter is a novel about a nameless protagonist, a young Irish woman. It details her relationship, and if you liked Normal People, then this is the book for you. The Terror is a TV show about the crew of ships set sail to find the Northwest Passage. Horror, history and speculative fiction all blur together to create a fascinating watch. Sophia Hadef has interviewed Juliette Cazes, also known as Le Bizarreum, a woman with a fascination with death. On her website, and YouTube channel ‘Le Bizarreum’, she talks about death and historical traditions relating to death. In the interview, she delves into why she is so fascinated with death, how she began her career, and her wishes for the future. A truly fascinating interview on a unique perspective. This issue is absolutely jammed packed with some fab articles. A big thank you to everyone who contributed and helped make this section one I’m so proud to present. If you have any interest in writing for SIN, the arts and entertainment

section accepts creative writing, reviews and basically anything to do with entertainment. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in getting involved with, for sure shoot me an email at ­

FASHION & LIFESTYLE EDITORIAL By Anastasia Burton Hello my lovelies! Issue 10 already, can you believe it? Only two more issues to go and SIN will be over until next year. It’s so frightening to think about not writing and coming up with article ideas but at the same time I can’t help but feel blessed with all the pieces I’ve had the chance to edit throughout this year! It has been so rewarding and I am so thankful to everyone who submitted pieces this issue. Within our Fashion and Lifestyle section you will see some great pieces! Diet culture is on the rise and we have just the article for you to debunk and erase the pressure you may be feeling in relation to your weight and food habits. We also have pieces relating to where you should travel once lockdown restrictions are finally lifted! Don’t forget about our regular cheap and easy recipes, beauty bag review and budgeting advice from yours truly. We also have some great skincare tips from Aine McGee, and some self-care tips from Katie Barragry, all very important especially now with the changing weather, and our skin now more than ever needing a bit of loving. Let us know what you thought of the pieces by sharing them on your stories and tagging SIN so we can share some of your favourites! I hope you find something that speaks to you within our pages and don’t be shy to submit some pieces of your own for the next issue. Who wouldn’t want to be a published journalist? Looks great on the CV I tell you that! Lots of love, Anastasia

OPINION EDITORIAL By Darren Casserly Hello once again everyone and welcome to the newest Issue of SIN. As always there is plenty of excellent articles for you enjoy. It’s now officially over a year since Ireland went into the first lockdown for what we all thought was going to be two weeks. It’s hard to believe that it has been a year, it seems like only yesterday that I got email saying the university was shutting down. If you want to hear more of what I have to say about that I wrote the latest Covid-19 column and you can read that in the features section. In the Opinion section, Darragh Nolan writes about how this pandemic has changed people’s relationships and


friendships. I know personally there are a good few people who I consider friends that I haven’t spoken to in a year because we’re not on campus. Niamh Casey questions if all these recent anti-lockdown protests will just serve to extend the current lockdown measures and, in my opinion, I don’t know what anyone thinks it will achieve anyway. Stephen Holland asks if it is time to discuss Traveller discrimination in Ireland more seriously following the story recently that British campsite Pontins had a blacklist of Irish surnames to target Travellers. Caroline Spencer has a look at why there is such a lack of creativity coming from RTÉ following the revelation that the interview with Prince Harry and Megan Merkle was one of the most watched programs in the broadcaster’s history. We have this and a lot more inside to keep you entertained. As always, I would like to finish up by thanking all of our contributors for making the paper what it is, and if you would like to write for the SIN or just have any questions you can email me at opinion.

SPORTS EDITORIAL By Oisín Bradley Hello one and all, and welcome back to the sports section Issue 10 of SIN! Once again, mid-term assignment fever has well and truly come home to roost, and sometimes trying to make deadlines feels like a sport in itself. That said, we have a stacked sports section this issue, so dive right in! Last week we were talking about the runners and riders at Cheltenham, but this week we’re talking about the riders and runners in the League of Ireland, as Aaron Deering gives us his place-by-place predictions for both the Premier Division and First Decision. The commencement of the League of Ireland First Division and Womens’ National League also means that both Galway United and Galway WFC will be kick-starting their campaigns for 2021, with ambitions of finishing high in their respective tables. Galway United host Shelbourne FC, and it’s also a home clash for Galway WFC as they go head-to-head with Cork City. We’ll give you our two cents on each clash in the back pages. Stephen Kenny’s World Cup Qualifier campaign begins in earnest tomorrow evening, as the Boys in Green touch down in Belgrade for the opener of Group A. We’ll give you the inside scoop on which (if any!) Galwegians will be lining out for Ireland during the international break, as well as their fortunes for their club sides in England. Finally, we have an interview with Donegal hurler Joe Boyle, who talks about his experiences playing for a ‘second’ code in gaelic games over the years, and the role the media can play in promoting Donegal hurling to a wider audience. Happy reading!

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SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Students’ Union back USI Student Accommodation Bill for student renters By Caoimhe Killeen The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have launched a campaign to pass a student accommodation Bill into law which has been backed by the Student’s Union. The bill, which is formally named the Residential Tenancies (Student Rents and Other Protections) (Covid-19) Bill, aims to address issues that student tenants have faced throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Such issues include allowing a waiver on rent for students who cannot access accommodation due to lockdown or due to a change in semester start and finish dates. It also is aiming to allow students to end rental contracts early in case of another wave of the virus

or of nationwide restrictions, for landlords to stop withholding deposits and to return prepaid rents if such a situation arises, and for no student evictions to occur during the pandemic. Students’ Union President Pádraic Toomey has stated that while the Residential Tenancies Bill proposed by the USI will not fix the student accommodation crisis, it will be an important step in the right direction. “NUI Galway students have been hugely impacted this year in so many ways but the stress of paying for accommodation that they sometimes aren’t even using has left many at breaking point,” added Toomey. “Our students were advised to get accommodation by the University and now find themselves paying for rooms that they can ill afford,” said Students’ Union Vice-President and Education Officer, Emma Sweeney. Sweeney also hopes that the bill would go some way in ensuring that students would not be left in this position again. The USI have stated that they would be “engaging with politicians to get their support for the bill as well as mobilising the student movement in Ireland to also engage and speak with their representatives, emphasis their need for the bill to be passed.” Sinn Féin TD for the Galway-West constituency, Máiread Farrell, has stressed the importance of passing the Residential Tenancies Bill into law and the greater

protection that it will provide for student renters. “This Bill incorporates key demands from the USI and if it becomes law, a student will be able to end a tenancy in student specific accommodation by serving the landlord with a notice of termination of 28 days,” stated Farrell. “It also allows for the prompt refunding of accommodation fees if the accommodation is not taken up or vacated due to Covid 19 related public health restrictions.” Farrell also stated that many students and their families had faced financial difficulty during the lockdowns this past year, due to struggling to get refunds on rental costs from student accommodation providers, and many being forced to pay for accommodation that they were prohibited from using. The Residential Tenancies Bill which was launched outside Leinster House last week has already garnered support from various political parties such as Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Labour Party, – People Before Profit, and Independents for Change. Farrell confirmed this strong support for the bill, stating that there was “strong cross-party support in the Dáil for this bill with 56 other opposition TDs signing up. It is our hope that the government parties can also support the sensible proposals in this bill and work with us to make it law.”

USI Vice President and former NUI Galway Student Union President, Clare Austick, has stated the Bill came about because of an emergency accommodations campaign focusing on more protection and more flexibility for student renters and from lobbying with TDs. “We spoke with the Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Housing Eoin Ó Broin who then agreed to bring forward this Bill” explained Austick. “It became known as the USI Accommodation Bill which basically focuses on student-built accommodation and students during Covid but also extends beyond Covid. So, it is really really important that this bill passes to ensure that student renters have the flexibility and the protection that they deserve. This has been going since last March, so hopefully it will be passed because of debates and discussion in the Dáil and the Seánad in the next couple of weeks.”





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SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Surplus of 50 sanctions issued by University for breaching Covid-19 restrictions in December No staff members were reprimanded in the final month of 2020 By Ellen O’Donoghue In the month of December alone, 59 sanctions were issued by NUI Galway for students found to be breaching Covid-19 guidelines. SIN learned through a request made under the Freedom of Information Act ,that during the final month of 2020, a total of 59 students were sanctioned by the University. In December, the Government allowed restaurants and gastropubs to reopen briefly for the Christmas period, which may have encouraged students to have gatherings, with a strict 11.30pm closing time in such outlets imposed. Students disregarding restrictions ultimately led to 56 formal cautions being issued.

55 letters of apology were also written to Campus Living staff and Security staff of Campus Living residences, and 56 fines to the Student Hardship Fund were issued by the University. Only three sanctions were ultimately dismissed with no further action. This figure is more than double the number of students reprimanded by NUI Galway from the beginning of the semester on September 28th to the end of November, when only twenty-two sanctions were imposed, and four fines were issued. It also came just a month before Dean of Students Michelle Millar emailed all registered students reminding them of their responsibilities, having revealed that several students had already faced sanctions. Furthermore, these sanctions come almost directly before an outbreak of the virus among students was declared in NUI Galway at the beginning of February. However, no sanctions were issued by the University in the month of January, most likely because of the delayed exam season and delayed start of

the second semester, which did not begin until February 8th. Students’ Union President Pádraic Toomey encouraged students to contact the Union if brought forward for disciplinary action, saying, “We recommend any student who finds themselves getting into disciplinary to always contact the Students’ Union for help with the procedure and how a disciplinary works. “You can bring an SU rep, so we always recommend to do that. The disciplinary process is there for when it is needed, and we hope that as little students as possible are being brought through it. We want to make sure that the message of how important the Covid restrictions are in saving lives can’t also go unwarranted.” Student accommodation complexes have also come down hard on residences in breach of Covid-

Documentary about Travellers in Higher Education released as part of Traveller Ethnicity Day By Caoimhe Killeen

Photo: The Sun

Geoghegan-Quinn elected to Údarás Role Paddy Henry Former government minister Dr Maire GeogheganQuinn has been as appointed chairperson of Údarás na hOllscoile. Dr Geoghegan-Quinn was selected unanimously at the first formal sitting of the new Údarás in late February and began her four-year term in the role on the 1st of March, The Údarás is the University’s governing authority and guides the strategic direction of the University over the course of its sitting. Elections to the body took place earlier this year. Dr Geoghegan-Quinn brings a wealth of experience to the role having served as Minster for Justice from 1993 to 1994 in Albert Reynold’s Fianna Fáil government and has held other senior cabinet positions in her career, notably Minister for the Gaeltacht and Minister for Youth Affairs and Sport. The Carna woman also served as Irish European Commissioner between 2010 and 2014. The 70-year-old was awarded an honorary doctorate of Laws (LLD) from NUI Galway in 2014, and is a graduate of Carysfort College Blackrock where she qualified as a teacher, Speaking about her appointment GeogheganQuinn said it was an “honour,” and spoke of the need to create a diverse and creative scholarly community within the University; “The honour in this appointment is obvious. So is the scale of the task. The pandemic has acceler-

ated the urgency to create a new kind of University that accommodates distance while creating a community of scholarship, creativity and ambition, that combines respect with openness to new and different thinking, that sees diversity as a strength and as a never-ending project.” President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, spoke of his delight with the appointment of Dr Geoghegan-Quinn and that she possesses all the attributes to make an excellent chairperson: “It is a privilege for NUI Galway to have someone of Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn’s calibre as chairperson of Údarás na hOllscoile. She has all the attributes for excellence as chairperson of Údarás and I am delighted that she has agreed to accept this role for our University, our students and our staff. Professor Ó hÓgartaigh also praised Dr Geoghegan-Quinn on her vast experience in the area of public policy, stating it will serve as a “huge asset” to the University in implementing strategic plans such as the Shared Vision, Shaped by values initiative; “Dr Geoghegan-Quinn’s wealth of experience and knowledge nationally and internationally, in public policy and reform, in research and in diversity, will be a huge asset as we set out to implement our strategic plan Shared Vision, Shaped by Values, which she helped develop, and as we ensure good governance of our University and strive to deepen existing connections and build new relationships.” he finished.

19 measures. Cúirt na Coiribe came under fire late last year for threatening to report students to University authorities if they were judged to be in breach of regulations. Toomey has previously expressed disagreement with the introduction of fines by the University, stating, “We don’t support the idea of financial fines, we just don’t think it’s fair. “We’re just against the idea of fines, they affect students in different ways, not every student can afford a fine in the same way. They are generally discriminatory, so we have been looking at the process of the disciplinary process and the different fines and sanctions that they do have. Earlier in the year it was added that Covid can be part of the rules, but the actual process wasn’t changed so we are not looking at that.” he said.

Traveller students at NUI Galway have taken part in a Access Centre documentary entitled Travellers in Higher Education – Building a Sense of Belonging to share their experiences in Third-Level education and to encourage other members of the Travelling community to enrol in Third-Level. The documentary was filmed and edited by Dawid Piotr Szlaga of Wild Island Pictures and was partly funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in support of Traveller Pride Week. It was released on the NUI Galway Access Centre official Youtube Channel during a series of events to mark Traveller Ethnicity Day, and featured interviews with students as they reflected on their experiences and achieving their goals. Currently, only 1% of Travellers have a ThirdLevel education with a Government report from 2019 stating that there are only 61 Travellers in higher education. Jason Sherlock, a final year BA Arts and Economics student stated that he felt that he had to hide his identity in secondary school. “I was kind of hiding my identity through secondary school,” he said. “I felt it was the only way for me to get through it. I wasn’t sure would people be comfortable with me if I said who I was, my identity.” Anna Keane, an early school leaver, always felt like education was for another people and felt daunted as she started her studies at NUI Galway. “It was kind of that imposter syndrome. Do I belong here? Am I able to do this? I don’t feel I am a role model, but if I am that’s a nice thing to feel. I just hope our stories inspire anybody out there watching” stated Keane. Anne Marie Ward, who is currently in her second year of her BA in Youth, Community and Family Studies, stated some of the education the Travellers have was something you could not buy at University. “We got other education that you could not buy at University. Our parents instilled in us the ability to see other people for being themselves and to not be judgemental.”

Anne Marie who also volunteers with Gliondar Community Group in Athenry also praised the Access Centre for all the support that they offer to the Travelling Community. “I still avail of the supports that they offer in the Access Centre, like their weekly online mentorship where they check to see how you’re getting on and it’s not just about the education side of things, it’s all about your mental wellbeing which is very important especially in these times that we’re living in. The peer mentoring services and the support is just so important to the Travelling community,” she added. Last year, Owen Ward became the first Traveller to sit on a University governing authority in Ireland when he won a seat on Údarás na hOllscoile, NUI Galway’s governing authority. “Traveller students in Third-Level are pioneers. We don’t have to give up our cultural identity for academic achievement. It is an asset. Younger students need to see the value in that and use it,” Mr Ward stated. “Understanding and providing for the particular needs of Travellers as they seek to access and progress in Higher Education is critical to ensuring that the Traveller community can fulfil their potential through education especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. “However, I believe that within a national context, a whole education approach is important for enabling participation by Travellers in higher education. That is why we need a National Traveller Education Plan.” “NUI Galway has a proven track record of widening participation of Travellers in higher education,” stated Councillor Imelda Byrne, head of the Access Centre at NUI Galway. “In 2018, there were 61 Travellers in higher education with approximately 20 of them studying at NUI Galway. “In the same year, the Mincéirs Whiden society, the first Traveller student society was established, and NUI Galway is the only University to include Travellers for the University of Sanctuary scholarships.”


March 23 2021


National campaign launched to guide students and staff on how to support sexual violence victims By Fiona Lee NUI Galway’s Active* Consent, Union of Students Ireland and Galway Rape Crisis Centre have partnered to launch an eight-week social media campaign to empower University students and staff with guidance on how to respond to disclosures of sexual violence and harassment. Over the eight weeks, the online campaign will offer basic ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ of receiving a disclosure. Key information on support services and how to access them nationally, current research statistics on college students’ experiences of sexual violence and harassment and open access to Active* Consent’s self-guided 45-minute eLearning module on consent, sexual violence and harassment will also be provided. Participants get the opportunity to access online student-tailored disclosure training by Galway Rape Crisis Centre, and ongoing interactive content dividing deeper into all aforementioned information in detail through quizzes, stories and other forms of direct engagement. NUI Galway’s Active* Consent programme supports young people from 16-24 to have positive and confident sexual health and wellbeing. The programme works with groups that are important to young people, from teachers to parents, college staff, and policy makers.

The information provided is based on a 2020 national Sexual Experiences Survey of 6,000 University students in Ireland and was carried out by Active* Consent and the Union of Students in Ireland. The study found that among University students who had experienced sexual misconduct, 35% of female students, 49% of male students, and 25% of non-binary students had not disclosed this to another person. In the case of sexual harassment, only 7% of men, 17% of women, and 24% of non-binary students had asked someone for advice and/or support. Some of the common reasons for not speaking out highlighted concerns about how a disclosure would be received – the victims worried they would not be believed, the incident would be viewed as their fault, or the feeling of shame or embarrassment. The study also found that 79% of college students who disclose sexual misconduct told a close friend, which shows the need for peers to feel prepared and able to respond. Far fewer students had opened up to staff members in college, which demonstrates the importance of raising awareness that this is an option for students. The campaign was launched online on the 1st of March by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD.

Minister Harris stated, “I would like to pay tribute to NUI Galway’s Active* Consent, USI and the Galway Rape Crisis Centre for developing the “Start Here” campaign. My Department is determined to tackle sexual harassment and sexual violence in our Higher Education Institutions and this eightweek social media campaign will help empower students and staff with information and advice on how to respond practically and compassionately to disclosures of sexual violence and harassment.” Union of Students in Ireland President, Lorna Fitzpatrick said: “The results from the Sexual Experiences Survey emphasised the crucial role friends and other peers play when it comes to supporting survivors of sexual violence and assault. The main objective of this campaign is to provide students with practical knowledge and understanding of how to support someone who discloses to them. This campaign has the potential to make a significant impact on creating a supporting environment for survivors of sexual violence, assault and harassment.” As part of this launch, Active* Consent also announced the full details of their staff training programme, which is now accessible, including a 15-minute animation to introduce all college staff to basic information about consent, sexual violence and harassment and a First Point of Contact training programme created in partnership with Galway Rape Crisis Centre.

Cathy Connolly, Executive Director of Galway Rape Crisis Centre said: “Galway Rape Crisis Centre has been supporting survivors of sexual violence for almost 40 years. One of the key things we have learned is that the response a survivor receives when disclosing their experiences can have an impactful and long-lasting effect. “The campaign aims to give students and young people access to information on how to best support their friends and themselves when a disclosure of sexual violence or harassment happens, and offers the opportunity to build further skills in this area. Part of GRCC’s mission is to work towards ending cultural and societal tolerance of sexual violence and this campaign is a positive step in this direction.” To track the campaign on social media, follow Active* Consent on Facebook (Active Consent at NUI Galway), Instagram (@activeconsent), Twitter (@activeconsent), and use the hashtags #StartHere and #IBelieveSurvivors. To get involved and learn more about the “Start Here” campaign, visit start-here/, and to explore the Sexual Experience Survey mentioned, visit student-support/active-consent/our-research/.

All-Ireland MS Research Network Research project based in NUI Galway shows behavioural differences of launched by researchers in NUI Galway, children in 1998 and 2018 Queen’s University Belfast, and RCSI By Saoirse Higgins University of Medicine and Health Sciences By Tara Hoskin An All-Ireland MS Research Network has been launched by researchers in NUI Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. The founding members of the network are now putting out a call for researchers at undergraduate or early postgraduate level to apply for their All-Ireland MS Research Network Research Summer Scholarships. The network, which is the first of its kind for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) in Ireland, hopes that this opportunity will lead to improving the lives of those currently living with MS and for future generations. Scientists, clinicians, healthcare professionals, and people with MS will work together across the island of Ireland to create further research into MS. By using collaborative methods this research will be able to bring first-hand accounts of people living with MS to the forefront of their research. Approximately 13,500 people in Ireland are living with Multiple Sclerosis, with 4,500 of them being in Northern Ireland and 9,000 in the Republic. MS is one of the most common causes of neurological disability among young people, and it is becoming more prevalent globally. The chronic condition affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve). It can result in a range of symptoms that affect individuals differently, these include impairment of mobility and vision as well as cognitive difficulties and severe fatigue. The Research Network has set out four main goals that will drive their research. They hope to deliver cutting-edge research in multiple sclerosis that focuses on limiting disease progression. There is a focus on training the next generation of lead-

ers in multiple sclerosis research. Along with this, they will communicate their research activities and discoveries around MS to the public, the research community, and key stakeholders. The network will also collaborate on MS research programmes nationally and internationally to achieve its mission. Dr Una Fitzgerald of Biomedical Engineering department in the College of Science and Engineering at NUI Galway is one of the founding members of the All-Ireland MS Research Network. She believes the network could lead the way in new discoveries. “We firmly believe that closer collaborations and sharing of ideas and expertise across the network will lead to exciting discoveries that better explain multiple sclerosis pathology and symptoms, and that could be the basis of new approaches to MS disease management. The network will facilitate excellence in new multiple sclerosis research discoveries that might otherwise not happen.” The cooperative ethos of the Research Network is welcomed by Alexis Donnelly who has been living with progressive MS for nearly 30 years. “This network will facilitate multiple sclerosis researchers throughout the island to cooperate across institutional and disciplinary boundaries, linking them not only with each other but with international colleagues and allowing fresh results and insights to flow back and forth.” The MS Research Summer Scholarships follows a generous donation from Eamon Haughton and Declan Smith, of Chemical Systems Control Ireland. The first scholarship will be awarded in 2021 to a candidate who is hoping to pursue an MS-focused research career. For more details about the scholarship see www. and to find out more about The All-Ireland MS Research Network you can follow them on Twitter @aims_rn.

A research project based in NUI Galway has found that school-aged children in 2018 are less likely to partake in substance abuse but more likely to be feeling low. The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Trends Report (HBSC) is a research project launched by the Minister of State Frank Feighan with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy in association with the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe. The report was led by senior researcher Aoife Gavin in collaboration with the research team here in NUI Galway at the Health Promotion Centre. It took place from the years 1998 to 2018. The research found that there has been an overall decrease in substance use in Ireland in children aged 10 to 17 since 1998. In 2018, only 5.3% of Irish school-aged children said they were smoking compared to the 22.6% of children in 1998. When it comes to alcohol consumption, 19% of children reported ever being drunk in 2018 compared to 33% in 1998. This trend is similar when it comes to cannabis intake with a 5% decrease since 1998. However, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of children who report feeling pressured by schoolwork and feeling low in general. In 2018, 44.3% of children report feeling pressured by schoolwork. A sharp increase from the 32.9% in 1998. Similarly, 34.3% of Irish children in 2018 reported feeling low about every week or more frequently in contrast with the 23% of children who said they felt that way in 1998.

“This new Trends report gives us a wonderful opportunity to take stock, both of the many very significant improvements to our children’s health, and of those areas where we have not, perhaps, made as much progress as we would have liked,” said Minister of State Frank Feighan, “the information contained in this study will be of great importance in terms of future planning and policy direction regarding children’s health.” The Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman says the report shows that Ireland has made steps in the right direction when it comes to the health of young people, but needs to make better choices for their mental wellbeing, “The research also suggests that an increased emphasis is needed around supporting the positive mental health of young people, and following the impact of Covid-19, this is an issue that may become more prevalent.” To aid in the betterment of children’s wellbeing, Minster O’Gorman and his department launched the Supporting Children Campaign which “aims to outline the supports available for children and families during the pandemic.” Minister O’Gorman has also increased funding for youth services in 2021 as he believes they deserve recognition for “the positive impact they have on young people’s lives.” HBSC also uncovered in their findings that children in recent times have more positive health behaviours with an increase in acts like brushing their teeth more than once a day and always wearing their seatbelt in car journeys. “Thanks to the HBSC research team in NUI Galway and the contributions from young people, we now have a valuable piece of research that will help to inform future healthy living initiatives aimed at improving the lives of children and young people in Ireland” concluded Minister O’Gorman.


SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Former NUI Galway Students’ Union President running for USI President Clare Austick served as VP Welfare & Equality Officer and as President of the Students’ Union before being elected as Welfare officer of the USI By Ellen O’Donoghue Former Vice President/Welfare and Equality Officer and President of NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, Clare Austick, has put her name forward for the Presidential position of the Union of Students in Ireland. She is the only person on the ballot. The Women’s Lead event which Austick was lead organiser of, was the final factor in her decision to run, saying that afterwards she realised, “this is what I want. I heard so many incredible women speak from my previous experience of those who led USI. “I could just see myself in it, and even thinking about the challenges that students are going to face next year with like, are there going to be potential funding costs to services? What is it going to look like in terms of online blended learning?” Explaining why she wants to run for the Presidential position, she said “I love the work that I do, I love being able to run campaigns that improve the lives of students, even just in the welfare remit around consent and ending sexual violence, I wanted to be able to do that across the whole student experience.” Clare Austick has been a member of NUI Galway’s Students’ Union Executive since she was in Second-Year, having been elected as a class rep after initially being too afraid to put herself forward for the position during her first year at University. “When I was a First-Year I didn’t know like what a Students’ Union was, I didn’t know what a union was, I didn’t know what our Students’ Union did. I didn’t even realize that Class Reps were actually part of the union, I thought it was like an academic thing that it was part of the classes, rather than the Students’ Union when they were electing Class Reps. “And I remember sitting there and I really really wanted to put myself forward, but because one of the requirements to do that was to like, you know, give a 10-20 second pitch as why people should let you because there’s 10 people who put themselves forward, I was too shy and too scared,” she said. Explaining how vividly she remembers the experience, Austick continued, “And I said, no, I’m not doing it, and I remember sitting in the Kirwan Theatre. And I remember just thinking I want to do it, but I can’t, because I’m not going to get elected and people aren’t going to vote for me, I’m not going to get to be the Class Rep, and then I made a promise to myself that day that if I still wanted to be a Class Rep the following year that I would put myself forward which then happened. “I attended SU Council. I saw all the motions that were brought forward I saw the campaign’s that the Welfare Officer was running, and I just thought it was really cool and I couldn’t get over that. Like I said, I had no idea that this student activism existed. Opening up to SIN, she said she had lost her first election in student politics. “I had ran for Science Convener and didn’t get elected. And then I realized that when I ran for part time equality that that’s kind of like where my passion really lies.” “You know, it was right for me to be elected the Part-Time Equality Officer the following year rather than Science Convener, because my heart wasn’t

If elected, Austick would like to focus on mending the flaws in the Third-Level system that have been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, while also not forgetting the additional challenges students are facing. really in it. And then when I ran for equality and I saw all the great things I could have done and all the great things that I did do and had the kind of potential to influence. It made me want to run for Welfare and Equality, and then when I became Welfare and Equality officer I think it really opened my eyes because I was meeting students every day, and you know like different backgrounds – they shared their stories with me. “Having them come forward and show their bravery, that just really inspired me and wanting me to do better and be better as a person, but also for the Union to support them as best as we could. So, then I ran for President, then Welfare of USI. And then, I guess that passion and initial dedication and commitment and just a love for helping people stayed with me. And yeah, here I am!” If elected, Austick would like to focus on mending the flaws in the Third-Level system that have been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, while also not forgetting the additional challenges students are facing. “We’ve always been calling for core funding, Sustainable core funding that’s allocated annually, but which just hasn’t happened, or reduction in the student contribution change, but there’s been additional pressures and stresses now, with like the losses of part time jobs, or paying for accommodation, and then not needing it. There are so many different challenges that students have faced this year. She has also called for student wellbeing and mental health to remain at the centre of every-

thing the USI does, “that it’s considered and that it’s given the attention and time that it deserves. By implementing this to mental health and suicide prevention framework recommendations or ensuring that wellbeing campaigns are run out locally and nationally, but that also staff are trained in the relevant areas so that they are best equipped to deal with different challenges that students are bringing to their attention. “There’s like 15 different things that I can talk about all including like accommodation or Postgraduate students or Gaeilge or cross border engagement with our trilateral agreement with the North and NUS USI or any NUS UK, but the main thing that it boils down to at the end of the day is supporting students during our post Covid-19, ensuring that their education is protected that they still have accessibility to their education, and that their wellbeing is as best as it can be in these times.” Talking about Marie Lyons, who had initially put her name forward for election, before taking her name off the ticket, Clare said that she would have loved if she ran too, as “it would have been great to have two women run against each other,” however Clare is uncertain as to why she withdrew the nomination. “I think she was thinking about it, and then someone nominated her so she had her name on the ballot and then she decided to withdraw, but I’m not 100% sure. Marie and I are really good friends, and we would have supported each other the whole time!”

Discussing her campaign ideas, and the way this campaign will differentiate from other years owing to the pandemic Austick hinted that she is “definitely going to try and engage in creative ways online to try and get those different points across.” Although appreciating how challenging the campaign will be, she also mentioned the positive aspects of having an entirely online campaign; “also I think it might be able to increase the kind of engagement in a certain way as well, in a different way so I suppose the availability of manifestos, for example with NUIGSU now being able, all students being able to have a fair say.” Running for USI President was never on the horizon for Clare Austick, and is still a shock to her in some ways; “even thinking about it, I’m like, what am I doing? It just does not seem real because it was never on my like horizon!” Speaking on the recent controversy surrounding NUI Galway student’s usage of social media, she added that she wishes people would spread kindness instead of hate. “The message that people are promoting on social media platforms, you know I’m always for, promotion of being kind to one another, supporting each other and trying to understand a person rather than trying to spread hatred or attacking another person, and I think basic human compassion and kindness is what’s needed, particularly during Covid and everything that’s happened this year.” However, Austick did also mention that “the college need to really look at their disciplinary policy and the structure that’s in place. “I think it’s really unfortunate that this is happening, and I hope that those people have been affected or those who are struggling receive the support and care that they need, that hopefully in the next coming weeks that it can be resolved.” A jack of all trades, Austick did however reveal that she too struggles with it all from time to time. “I feel like the last while I’ve definitely always prioritized work which I suppose is good in a way. It’s allowed me to do so many great things, but also sometimes it’s resulted in me almost reaching burnout or that, so I think how I do it all, I think just because I care so much, I’m so passionate and I just love the work that I do.” She also mentioned that it is her passion for helping people and making a difference that makes what she does on a day-to-day basis, seem so easy. “There’s definitely been times where I’ve been under pressure or stress. And sometimes, you know different things impact on me as well. There’s definitely been times this year as well with Covid where you know I’ve missed my friends, or I’ve missed my family. Know that like, hopefully things that are maybe bringing me down will pass. Or I’ll focus on things that bring me joy and happiness, and so you know, trying to balance everything is a lot, but I think , if your heart is in the right place and you care you’re doing it for the right reason. It just comes across, because if you’re doing it for the right reason and not for personal gain or anything.” Central to the former Chemistry student’s message is the idea of spreading “kindness and compassion, “Bring light to a dark room. That’s what I try to do, and just try and treat everyone with kindness and basic compassion.”


March 23 2021


NUI Galway second year Nursing Students raise over €2,000 for Galway Simon Community By Ewelina Szybinska Second-Year nursing students have held an annual fundraising drive that has raised more than €2,000 for Galway Simon community. General Nursing students attended a guest lecture given by Amy Lavelle and Brian Hickey of the Galway Simon Community, which informed the students about the reality of homelessness in Ireland and how it impacts individuals. It inspired the students to give the proceeds to Galway Simon Community. Catherine Meagher, lecturer at the NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Our student nurses got to hear first-hand about the impact the pandemic had on fundraising opportunities and the growing number of people in need of support services offered by the Galway Simon Community. They wanted to do something to help.” All student nurses continue to study online. Despite that, they have successfully managed to organize a fundraiser during the pandemic. “Usually the fundraising is done by shaking buckets on Shop Street during the Christmas shopping period, but with Covid restrictions, this year we decided to organise it as a virtual event” said second year General Nursing class representative, Ciarán Mac an tSaoir.

“As future nurses we’ll be caring for patients who are homeless through our degrees and future careers. We not only gained knowledge, but an understanding that we can always do something to help alleviate hardships for others” added Mac an tSaoir. The 500k walking, running and cycling challenge took place remotely due to level five restrictions. All students were involved in walking, running and jogging within their five kilometres. The fundraiser was also an opportunity for students to reconnect with their fellow classmates and exercise for a good cause. Hannah O’Donnell, Second Year general nursing class representative said, “It was so much fun, and it felt so good to do something as a class for the people in the Galway community. It was also nice to be able to connect with each other.” “Doing the fundraiser was so nice during lockdown as it gave us all a great excuse to get out and get some exercise. It was also so nice to be able to help other people at a time when we were all struggling” said Second-Year nursing student, Eilís Cahill who also participated in the fundraiser. The charity expressed their gratitude for the wonderful initiative from NUI Galway General Nursing students.

Amy Lavelle from the Galway Simon Community, said “Their motivation to raise funds in support of those facing homelessness in these difficult times was truly inspiring and their compassion will go a long way in their future careers.

We are deeply grateful to have been the chosen charity for this wonderful initiative and we can’t thank the students and lecturer Catherine Meagher enough for all that they did to make it possible.”

The ENLIGHT Network and NUIG NUI Galway release second four-year Sustainability Strategy – ENLIGHT EU Kick-off Week By Lucy Kelly ENLIGHT is a European network of 3rd level institutes that are working towards a more equitable quality of life through the development and transformation of higher education across Europe. Currently there is nine universities involved in the network, including NUI Galway. At the core of ENLIGHT’s aims is the transformation of higher education to empower learners to develop as engaged global citizens. Universities in the ENLIGHT network don’t want students to just graduate with your degree, rather they want students to graduate with the tools to be ‘lifelong learners and agents-of-change to tackle the challenges of tomorrow’. As part of the network, a week-long programme of lectures and webinars among other events was held, that anyone in the University’s community could attend, to help spread information and increase the engagement in the programme. As a student I was intrigued and inspired by the events I got a chance to attend, as it really brought to the fore how much students can be empowered and involved in research and development of a more equitable future for our communities. Not, only this, it was fascinating to hear from other institutions and their approaches to transforming higher education in their context and communities.

ENLIGHT From A Students Perspective As a student, I found it interesting that so much is being done on an international level to make higher level education more accessible and holistic in its approach. I found it interesting that the University community is engaging, developing, and collaborating with its surrounding community and further afield. The flagship lectures throughout the week explored how the network is working with their local communities to create a more equitable, sustainable, and open community for future generations. One of the many events held focused on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal

(SDG) #3, Global Engagement and Equity. From a student perspective, I found it resonated with me that both our college and the surrounding network of universities are making a conscious effort to create a more equitable future, in terms of further education and its contributions to the community. Hearing from several different perspectives on how to move forward with the SDG Goal three in mind, it brought focus on a local level on how each in our own way, we can bring equity and global engagement it many different aspects of our lives. As, students, we have a prime opportunity to fully develop as globally engaged graduates. There is serious potential for both personal and professional development in understanding that all aspects of university life has a role to play in transforming communities, not just in their specific aspects but also in making education more accessible, and the local community more equitable. Another lecture focused on the future shaping impacts the Universities can have on the development of the surrounding communities. What stood out in the general theme of the lecture was the Universities’ dedication to sharing the journey of creating a brighter future. Four speakers brought different perspectives on how exactly communities and universities are working together to better and shape the future. While this work goes on in the backgrounds of our university lives, it is important to understand that Universities, as institutions do not exist in a vacuum, they have a symbiotic relationship with the communities surrounding. In terms of students, it is important to highlight the limitless possibilities of projects that can be developed from a student level upwards, in a research manner, that could lead to big changes across the different communities involved with ENLIGHT. Overall, with the development of different programmes and networks that reach-out beyond the inner community of the campus, student engagement with the programmes are essential for the best outcomes. Because, of course, without students in higher education, there is no higher education!

By Caoimhe Killeen NUI Galway have officially unveiled a second sustainability strategy entitled the ‘Sustainability Strategy 2021-2025.’ The strategy which was launched by former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson was developed by a Community University Sustainability Partnership (CUSP) team chaired by Professor Jamie Goggins and focuses around 25 key measures of success through a “live, learn and lead” approach. These measures are based around the themes of research and learning, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, nature, and ecosystems, built environment, health and wellbeing and governance and leadership to lead a transition to a sustainable future by adapting policies that are more sustainable for the university. Some of the key sustainability measures include integrating sustainability across all education programmes offered in NUI Galway by 2023, improving energy efficiency by 45%, reducing food wastage by 50% and achieving a tobacco free campus within the year.

“It is heartening to see NUI Galway stepping up and shaping a future that has sustainability at the core” stated Dr Robinson at the launch. “It is incumbent on Universities to act on the single greatest challenge our society faces…you can play a leading role in the transition to a more sustainable future. By unleashing sustainability potential in the leaders of tomorrow, you can extend sustainability beyond the campus wall and into our communities.” Under the first sustainability strategy, NUI Galway managed to become a Green Campus Ireland awarded site and reached a targeted 40%, exceeding the Public Sector 2020 Energy Efficiency Target of 33%. NUI Galway has also tried to extend its sustainability efforts beyond its campus walls. It won the Sustainability Category of last year’s Galway Chamber Awards on a local level. On an international level, it has signed the Sustainable Development Goals Accord. “We are living in a time of great threat to the sustainability of our planet” stated Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Deputy President and Registrar and Chair of the CUSP Advisory Board. “Today we are putting in place a strategy that sets out our vision and commitment to lead the transition to a sustainable future on our campus, in our city and around the world. The strategy has been a collaboration involving academics, students, and professional staff right across the University and in the wider community. It is only by coming together that we can achieve the future we want.” “When it comes to sustainability, the students’ voice was loudest,” stated NUI Galway’s Students’ Union President Pádraic Toomey. “We will inherit this planet and want to make sure that it’s one that we can live in. Too long as a society we left things just go by without change and we hope with pushing for sustainability within the college we can make waves for the future.”

10  F EATU R E S One Year On and students are still feeling the financial impact of Covid-19 By Éanna Johnston “I have no idea when this is going to end,” says first-year psychology student, Chloe Níc Éinrí, “but unless I can get another job, I won’t have enough money for the next six months I’d say.” She finds herself in an unfortunate financial situation, but she’s not the only one. It’s been nearly a year since the government announced the first of Ireland’s Covid-19 lockdowns, and students across the country are still feeling the incredible financial strain. Many of us right now check our bank balances every day to see how far the SUSI grant will take us for the month. With the hospitality sector closed, many students who relied on part-time jobs to make their way through college are now scrambling to find any morsel of money to get them through the months ahead. Speaking to several NUI Galway students about how their jobs have been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, their stories are an eye opener into the severity of the grip the virus has on students financially. “I was a sales assistant in a store, and I found out I lost my job the Saturday before Christmas” says Chloe. “I’ve found it difficult and have had to use my savings – it’s been hard to adjust” she added. Second-year science student, Ashling Laffey, lost her job at the start of the pandemic, “When I went on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, I was given the lowest payment – I give myself about €50 a week for expenses – I’m left with €23 for my savings each week.” Third-year arts student Ryan Kearney, who works in essential retail, found himself in a trying situation at the beginning. “ I was getting 80% of my wages, putting me well below the poverty line. That was tough” he says. “Although my pay has thankfully improved, there is a lot of stress trying to balance work and college” he added. These are three of many students whose future may be influenced by the pandemic. With postgraduate positions already being an incredibly straining investment for students financially, it’s common to hear stories of students having to make use of their savings or, in some cases, having no savings at all. With the only governmental support directly to students being a one-off payment of €250 in December 2020, now asks the question, are the government doing enough for students? “It was a sad effort to reverse the effects of the crisis that they had caused,” Ashling added. Students clearly do not have the trust they may have once had before the pandemic started. Currently, the government has no plans to give another one-off payment. Needless to say, students are left with too many unanswered questions. With troubling stories of students being distraught about whether they’ll have money for food for the month, and the shocking statistic that one third of students suffer from depression, it’s painfully clear that the financial pressure put onto students is becoming all too much. In the words of Chloe, “my anxiety became so severe, all I was thinking about was money and finding a new job.” Is this the college life that many young people expected?

SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

“I can support both views, but at the end of the day, we need to be safe” —UL students share their thoughts on the College Court incident By Caoimhe Killeen and Saoirse Higgins While NUI Galway has seen its fair share of controversies over the past academic year, public attention shifted to Castletroy in Limerick in recent weeks, as the latest student-related incident took social media by storm. Several videos started to circulate on Twitter both from students and on the ‘UL Confessions’ page on the eve of March 2nd, of a street party outside the College Court accommodation situated near the UL campus. Gardaí were quickly called to the scene to disperse the gathering shortly before 11 pm. Many people rushed to social media to condemn the actions of the students, including Limerick Fine Gael Councillors Daniel Butler and Olivia O’Sullivan. The President of UL, Kerstin Mey, also condemned the actions of the students. On the night of the incident, she stated on Twitter, “UL will take action with strong disciplinary measures against any student who has been found to have breached public health guidelines,” and concluded that all UL students are subject to a Code of Conduct.” UL Student Life also released a statement saying, “the events which took place in College Court on Tuesday, March 2nd are completely unacceptable and show a disregard of public health guidelines by the students involved.” They continued, “UL Student Life acknowledges that the vast majority of our students have followed public health advice and we encourage these students to continue to do so.” They also added that the actions of the students involved were “indefensible” and that they would support the University in any disciplinary action. “I actually first found out it was happening early that day” explained one University of Limerick student, “My friend is living in College Court, and I was self-isolating due to being a close contact. I was on the phone to him, and he said there was a house party going on next door and he could hear the music. I didn’t really think much of it this stage… he then rang me around seven or eight that night to say a firework went off right outside his window, and he later sent me videos of them all out on the street and the guards arriving.” The reaction on social media, particularly on that of the UL Confessions page was mixed. “Many people were upset and giving out about the party, but others were happy about the party and encouraged it” stated another UL student. “I was surprised at the amount of people encouraging it considering the rising numbers in Limerick...I do see where both sides are coming from and I can support both views in what they represent, but at the end of the

day we need to be safe and the views for partying and breaking restrictions is not a good one at this time.” There are several investigations ongoing with Gardaí still looking to identify people who were at the party. Currently, 50 fines have been issued and three arrests were made. The University of Limerick have stated there is a possibility of suspension or expulsion for students who severely breached Covid-19 guidelines. However, that has not seemed to ease UL students’ minds over the incident. “I heard that they are suspending everyone involved…But I don’t see how everyone who was there can be accounted for. Also, if some were to be suspended while others got away with it, I don’t think that would be fair” was one such viewpoint. “I also heard that following the incident a small number of students at the gathering had to delete all of their social media accounts because they were receiving death threats from members of the public for their involvement in the College Court incident,” another UL student said to SIN. “I know what they did was unacceptable, but it is also unacceptable for any human being to send death threats or abusive messages to people they don’t know. The University and Gardaí were working together on the issue, so there was no need for anyone else to get involved.” During a meeting of the Limerick Joint Policing Committee, Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche claimed that there have been several drug seizures in College Court over the past few months. Due to that and recent events, he said that they will be putting pressure on individual landlords in the student estate to take some responsibility for what has been happening on the premises. “We

will be making contact with every one of those owners with a view to putting pressure on them to regulate their own houses” he remarked. Even to the student journalists in UL, the event drew shock and disbelief. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the snap map videos” stated Chloe O’Keefe, Editor of UL’s student newspaper, An Focal. “It’s upsetting to see that carry-on when we’re all looking for the same end goal.” Such stories have also reflected events that have occurred here in NUI Galway with the university enforcing its own fines on those who break Covid-19 restrictions, going as far as to confirm a 2,000-word reflective essay as an alternative to paying fines. Students’ Union Welfare and Equality officer Roísín Nic Lochlainn has stated that NUI Galway needs to reflect on how they carry out disciplinary processes. “We’ve seen, from the likes of Limerick and around the country, that it is the colleges that aren’t in the news about outbreaks are the ones that don’t actually have a code of conduct” stated Nic Lochlainn. “So, this begs the question, how effective is our Code of Conduct as it currently is?” “Management of NUI Galway cannot say that they are concerned for students’ wellbeing and that they understand the pressures that students are under with work right now while enforcing a 2,000-word essay – it’s as simple as that. Enforcing such an archaic sanction such as this essay would only add to the pressures that students are finding themselves under when they are already at breaking point…perhaps senior management of NUI Galway could write 2,000-word essays on their description of the €295 repeat fee as ‘modest’”


March 23 2021


Sustainability Don’t cough on my parade Student Summit By Rachel Garvey

Rachel Hume On March 4th, the Students’ Union, ALIVE, the NUI Galway Societies and CUSP held a collaborative workshop with sustainability opportunities and as a way for students to engage in conversations on sustainability and what events they can engage with this semester for sustainability. The summit was a great way to bring like-minded people together to discuss their views, address what they felt were campus challenges surrounding sustainability and to collaborate on the recently updated Sustainability Strategy on campus. The event had many brilliant speakers ranging from the Sustainability Officer on campus to the Energy Society to ALIVE.

Michelle discussed were health and wellbeing and governance and leadership. The goals for the health and wellbeing section aimed to implement included: Achieving the keep well mark and healthy campus status, the implementation of a smoke free campus, and a reduction to the level of harmful drinking among students year on year. In the governance and leadership section, Michelle discussed the aims they hope to implement on campus. These aims comprise of: Showing year-on-year progress on the achievement of the SDGs,

they have also recently held an up-cycled Christmas Tree competition in December. The society are currently working on pedal-powered charging stations that will be put on campus. This project will look at a greener way for students and staff to charge their phones/computers/etc. and aims to make people more aware of their energy consumption, while being physically active! As well as the pedal-powered charging stations, the Energy Society are included in a wide range of projects this semester such as; the Climathon, the

establishing impactful partnerships with community groups to achieve SDGs, making all laboratories green lab certified, achieving a STARS Ranking and to improve upon their award ranking, and aiming to find a pathway towards achieving carbon neutrality.

National Park City initiative, CUSP and the Green Energy Festival. This Society gets involved with so many sustainable projects and would be a great way for any student interested in sustainability to get involved.

CUSP: The first speaker at the event was NUI Galway’s Sustainability Officer, Michelle O’Dowd. Michelle discussed the Universities Sustainability Strategy 2021-2025, she identified the five areas that will be worked on in the University’s Sustainability Strategy. The five work areas included: Research and Learning, Energy, Nature and Ecosystems, Health and wellbeing, Built Environment, and Governance and Leadership. Within each of these areas, Michelle listed a couple, of many, ideas that the University’s Sustainability Strategy aims to achieve. Within the research and learning area, the strategy hopes to implement: integration of sustainability across all education programmes, co-curricular sustainability experiences for all students, to establish an understanding of funded research projects that are aligned with the SDG’s, and leadership in sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. The energy, nature and ecosystems area in the sustainability strategy aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 15% based on the 2021 baseline, improve energy efficiency by 45% from 2005 baseline year, and 20% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025. Michelle next discussed the nature and ecosystems part of the strategy, the ideas that were aimed to be implemented in this section included: a biodiversity plan implemented and monitored for future updates, demonstrated linkages between sustainable management of campus and campus biodiversity, and co-developed community projects in city and county with key partners. In the built environment section of the strategy, the goals that were aimed to be met included: Reducing the total water consumption by 10% from 2019 baseline (metering, water efficient fixtures and fittings, use of alternatives sources of water), the banning of single-use plastic convenience items. A reduction of food wastage by 50% and the establishment of baseline transport carbon footprint by 2021 and reduce year on year. The last two areas in the strategy that

Students Union: The Students Union on campus encouraged the students who showed up at the summit to get involved in the SUstainability Working Group. This is a group of like-minded students who meet every second Monday from 6-7pm and discuss different sustainability campaigns to run on the campus. Some of the campaigns that were mentioned that the SUstainability Working Group run consists of: Sustainable Mondays, promoting how to be more sustainable, and submissions to Government on sustainability e.g., Fairtrade. To get involved with the SUstainability Working Group, email Róisín at ‘’.

The NUIG Energy Society: Next, the NUIG Energy Society were on to talk about their previous and upcoming events and their ongoing projects. This society have had a range of projects and fundraisers they have held in the past couple of years, for example last week on March 5th they held a Quiz Night with many spectacular prizes and the proceeds of this fundraiser went towards helping local biodiversification & environmental protection projects. Along with event they have hosted many other fundraisers and social nights including: Wind Farm 5k, a Halloween movie night and a Table Quiz back in 2019! The Society then gave everyone an insight into their most recent projects and events. The society ran an Instagram series before Christmas, on Monday’s called ‘Meatless Monday’s’ and

ALIVE: Then Lorraine Tansey in the ALIVE team came on to discuss all the different opportunities for students to get involved with sustainability on campus. Lorraine mentioned the Eco-Café on Wednesday’s at 10am on Microsoft Teams. The Eco-Café is a great way for any student on campus to meet in a safe and non-judgemental environment to discuss their fears/anxieties about the environment/ecological crises. Fiona in the Student Counselling Services is there to help students take positive action to better help themselves and the planet. Another project on campus that is looking at sustainability is the National Park City initiative in Galway. This looks at creating an ecological corridor between all the different parks in Galway for species to move more freely and looks at making Galway a more sustainable city that is more connected to nature. As well as the National Park City initiative, is An Taisce and Eco-UNESCO, these are brilliant opportunities for students to become more involved with sustainability. They investigate environmental conservation and Ireland’s sustainable development and run successful programmes on the environment and sustainability. Thank so much to all the amazing speakers at the Sustainability Student Summit. There are so many amazing opportunities here on campus for students to get involved with sustainability. Overall, the Sustainability Student Summit was a massive success and allowed many students to come together to express their thoughts on sustainability and the challenges facing a more sustainable campus for everyone.

It has been a full year since the Covid-19 pandemic descended upon Ireland. To those who have been doing their part and staying home, it feels like a lifetime has passed. Their usual routines were halted while time ticked by in a completely different way for essential workers. Frontline workers are somewhere in between feeling “time went by fast, but slow at the same time,” becoming exasperated with extended lockdowns, hours on end of wearing masks, and not being able to see friends and family due to their constant contact with the public on a daily basis. It has been a year of hardship, depression, and uncertainty, but there is still hope. Talks of the vaccine and getting everyone vaccinated holds hope for the future and how our normal lives will be returned to us soon. St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching. The public holiday is a time where people come together to celebrate and watch the traditional parade that winds through the streets in all counties of Ireland. On St Patrick’s Day last year, we were robbed of our annual parade and everything that comes with the day as the public were told to stay indoors. The streets of Galway that were once full of life in years previous became deserted and quiet. The sound of drums from marching bands and children’s laughter didn’t echo through the streets last year and won’t this year either. Galway is still in level five lockdown, as is the rest of Ireland, and gatherings are still not permitted. Pubs and shops remain closed until further notice. However, another year of the parade being cancelled doesn’t necessarily mean that our small plans to celebrate have to be put on hold too! Here are some ways in which we can celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2021:

Virtual parade: Watching the parade with friends and family or having a few friendly drinks in the pubs isn’t possible in times such as these so it’ll teach us to think outside the box for ways in which we can still celebrate the day. Why not sit down with your friends or family and watch clips

of the parade that took place in years previous? Talk about the memories of that day and what you liked or disliked about the parade. If we can’t physically attend it then the virtual world lends us a helping hand in capturing such events even if it took place years ago.

Be Green: Nothing is stopping us from dressing up at home and wearing green or the colours of our tricolour. Even though we can’t show off our outfits and multicoloured hats and hairbands, we can still spread joy through sharing our outfits on social media. You would be surprised at how it can bring a smile to someone else’s face and maybe even bring some motivation or inspiration to them to do the same thing. On that note, with the concept of dressing up there is no law against having a few friendly drinks at home with your family or housemates. Also, videos surfaced on social media last year of children driving in their little toy cars in an attempt to make their own parade. Playing some traditional Irish songs can also be a great mood booster to raise one’s damp spirits.

Make it a fat-night: Cook a lovely roast dinner for everyone or make it a bacon and cabbage sort of day for all who live with you. Also, if you don’t want to go to the effort of making a dinner, you can always order a takeaway from wherever your heart desires. Where would we be without delivery apps nowadays? Don’t forget your desserts, perhaps some mint ice-cream to add more green to your day. St Patrick’s Day has been called off not once, but twice now and even though there’s not a thing we can do about it, we keep our fingers crossed that for St Patrick’s Day 2022 we will be back to normal with no restrictions and no cancelled parades. For now, we all have to try and celebrate at home with each other with our green coloured friends like an innocent Irish edition of Fifty Shades of Green, but with no foreplay involved. St Patrick was able to drive out the snakes from Ireland so perhaps we should say a prayer to him to drive out the coronavirus too!

12  F E ATU R E S

Covid-19 Column By Darren Casserly They say variety is the spice of life, well life has been very bland lately. That is the worst thing about lockdown, there is no variety in what I am doing every day. Like most people, I wake up in the morning, I go to my desk and spend eight hours in front of my laptop. The only variety I have in my life these days is my evening walk and I’ve already covered every blade of grass within my five-kilometre radius. The worst part about it all is being stuck at home all the time. At the start of this pandemic it was fine, I didn’t have to get up as early for lectures I saved money on bus fares and I was home before eight. Now I’d give anything to go to a nine o’clock lecture on a Friday morning. I’ve walked around the empty campus a few times in the past year and it really got me thinking what it will be like if we are allowed back on campus next year. Even the worst parts of college are appealing to me at this stage, give me six lectures in a row if it meant I never have to think about Zoom again. I have been lucky enough that I have been on work placement for the year and not to have been subjected to any Zoom breakout rooms which I’m told are the worst part of college this year. The isolation I’m sure has been the hardest aspect of this for most people, especially if you’re living at home. People are not supposed to only talk to four people for an entire year, surely that cannot be good. The one-year anniversary tweets that I have been seeing on Twitter have annoyed me more than I thought they would, just thinking that an entire year has been lost to this. It has been both the longest and shortest year of my life. Maybe that’s because it has been a year where nothing happened and also it’s been that long since I’ve truly been happy. It’s a depressing thought but I’m sure other people have felt that to some extent. No one at this time last year thought that we’d be in this position in a years’ time with our best hope of getting out of it is asking Joe Biden for vaccines on a Paddy’s Day Zoom call. It really just goes to show in times like these that all you can do is laugh.

SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Homelessness in Galway During the Covid-19 Crisis By Andrew Florio Over the past year we have become acutely aware of the vulnerability that many in our society are faced with. The elderly and sick have been at the top of the list to protect, prompting global lockdowns. However, also sitting in that category are the homeless. An already marginalised faction, they have long been on the edge of our collective psyche. For all its gloom, 2020 was a year where the homeless and the necessity for action on their part finally became a priority, spurring changes and immediate action from Leo Varadkar’s government. In 2019 the homelessness situation in Galway was described by the Simon Community as the worst since its foundation over 40 years ago. This is reflective of the rental hikes in the private housing sector. Measures were put in place last year to

protect those at risk of eviction. These include a rent freeze and a moratorium on evictions in March. This meant there was a temporary block to homelessness and, for the first time in a while, there were more people exiting emergency accommodation than entering. Spurred on by increased awareness of the disastrous outcomes if Covid-19 was to spread to the homeless shelters, a drive was ignited to provide independent housing and additional supports to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. The pandemic facilitated a momentum swing in the fight against the crisis and the falling numbers of those in emergency accommodation in 2020 suggested a new wave of optimism. Meaghan Hynes, a communication and advocacy officer for the Galway Simon Community, explains that it was thanks to inter-agency work that many of

these positive outcomes were achieved, a lot of which are still seen today. Meaghan says, “last year there was a lot of collaborative work between ourselves, the local authorities, and other agencies as well. It was an inter-agency collaboration, and everything happened very quickly. So, when the pandemic began, all our resources were pooled together to ensure people weren’t sleeping rough on the streets or that the addiction and homeless services were able to adhere to social distancing guidelines.” The Simon Community have eleven full-time rooms and some crash beds in their emergency service in which Covid19 would spread like wildfire were it to enter. Much of the work done to try and minimise the risk of infection was done by moving those in emergency accommodation into houses that posed less of a risk to their health.

This was a short-term strategy that successfully moved many out of emergency accommodation. However, as Meaghan adds, the reduction doesn’t reflect the number of people accessing Simon’s services in Galway, which remained at a sustained level, “While there was a decrease in emergency accommodation, we didn’t experience a decrease in our services.” In addition to that, the January report on the number of people accessing such services saw a rise in the number of adults seeking shelter. Although relatively small, the jump from 209 in December to 220 in January shows an upward trend that could suggest an unwinding of the progress made last year. There is still hope, however, as much of the work done between charities and agencies has continued into 2021. Meaghan says, “There still is a lot of collaborative work going on, maybe not at the same pace but we still work interagency. We work quite closely with other services in Galway and the west to make sure we can provide a holistic support to our clients. So, while it’s not at the same pace as it was at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s still there and we definitely have built on that and brought it forward into this year as well.” With the eviction ban and rent freeze set to end in tandem with the lockdown next month, it’s a worrying time for those on the verge of homelessness. Last year’s combined effort is a glimpse at what can be done when teamwork is used to chase a single goal. The effect has been positive but how long can that be sustained? There is still much to do to and, with the looming economic fallout of successive lockdowns coming up, the fight against homelessness in Galway is far from over.

NUIG Students Offer Their Study Motivation Tips By Tom Molloy It’s hard to find the motivation to do anything sometimes. Studying is the one thing students are supposed to do yet it’s the last thing a lot of students want to do. Throw in a global pandemic, everyone being forced to work from home, and all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer now streaming on Disney+ and you’d wonder how anyone gets anything done at all. According to an article in last December’s Frontiers in Psychology, researchers explained that “despite the efforts of teachers and parents to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 restrictive measures on students, our results showed a decrease in students’ academic motivation.” This will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody. SIN found some very helpful students who told us what motivates them to study during lockdown.

Most of the students SIN spoke to admitted finding it difficult. Final year arts student Esther Greenfield finds motivating herself to study particularly tough, “Every essay is a battle and fight to the death. I need an hour of comfort TV to recover after every paragraph.” Gráinne Thornton had a slightly more positive outlook and stressed the importance of sticking to a routine, “I find having a set time to get up and set time for studying really helpful. The routine helps me find a balance of work and free time so I can actually do things I enjoy in the evenings without feeling bad that I’m not doing enough study.” Of course, there are plenty of our students doing work placement this semester across a variety of different fields. SIN asked one such student, Darren Casserly, where he finds motivation at this time. Darren pointed out the difference between working on

placement and academic study, “I suppose the motivation for me is that I’ve got deadlines that I’ve got to meet and other people are relying on me to do the work as opposed to doing everything for myself like in college.” Fellow intern Valerie McHugh feels that it’s important to be constantly aware of your attention span, “If I’m struggling to find motivation, or if my attention span is slipping, I do 20 minutes work and then have a 10-minute break and repeat it. It keeps me moving.” Darragh Nolan offered some particularly helpful tips to SIN based on his own experience, “the main thing I found helpful was just staying organised, making a to-do list every day and dividing things up into small tasks to make it more manageable.” Darragh was keen to point out the importance of staying on top of the workload, “it’s so easy to get lost in the

shuffle of things and then suddenly you’re staring at a mountain of assignments.” One of the best pieces of advice Darragh has received in terms of procrastination is that you should be honest with yourself about what work you’re going to do that day, “Doing something you enjoy while you’re thinking about studying just makes us feel guilty and isn’t really relaxing, so you might as well either decide to study or decide to relax. As long as you get the work done at some stage!” Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re finding it tough to be motivated some days. We can all afford to be a little easier on ourselves. As we are constantly reminded by the University, we are in perpetual “unprecedented times.” First and foremost, look after yourself and try to incorporate some of these tips into your routine.


March 23 2021

First Year Diary By Aine Fogarty Hello everyone. I hope you’re all doing fantastic and welcome back to another of my firstyear diary entries. I’ve been wracking my brain with topics to talk about this week but if I’m being honest I haven’t been doing a whole pile. It’s been a rough few days for me because I am lacking a lot of motivation to do anything or to go to any lectures. I’m starting to become more and more behind in classes and I’m leaving assignments until the very last minute which I used to never do. The lack of care I have about college at the moment is a bit concerning so I’m hoping to try and knock myself out of this slump soon. Maybe talking about it here will help unload some of my thoughts.

Like I said at the beginning, I haven’t been up to much and to put it simply, I’ve been very lazy. I’ve kept up with my healthy eating which I’m quite surprised about if I’m honest. I didn’t expect it to last but I’m enjoying all these new recipes and going to the shop at the weekend to pick out new foods for the week. My daily walks have slacked though due to the unpredictable weather. This country loves its rain and I would rather not get soaked every day. Other than my attempt at a lifestyle change, the only other news I have for you all is I’ve gotten back into reading regularly again. I’m the type of person to go through phases of only being interested in one thing. The last while it has been Twitch streamers and Youtubers

but one day I got the urge to read again. Since then I’ve been flying through books at a rapid pace. I have a habit of buying books all the time and adding them to my shelf to be left unread for months. Now I’m finally making a dent in that constantly growing pile. I’ve become obsessed with The Shadowhunters series by Cassandra Clare and I will embarrassingly admit that I made a pricey Amazon purchase last week so I could own the whole series. My Goodreads ‘to be read’ section is quickly decreasing as books are marked as read. During this slump, books have been a great escape and I am happy to be reading again. This is the end of my tenth diary entry and I hope you’re enjoying so far. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Final Year Diary By Tom Molloy Hey everyone and welcome to the tenth edition of my Final Year Diary. It’s hard to believe I’m ten SIN issues into final year. I hope you’re all keeping well. I know mid-terms are on the horizon but if you’re looking for something to binge in between studying, I highly recommend Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All seven seasons are now available on Disney+ so get on it. God be with the days when TV3 would show Buffy on a Thursday night. Highlight of the week for 10-year-old Tom if Liverpool weren’t playing. We are two seasons into our re-watch now and I completely forgot how much I hate Xander. Possibly the worst TV character ever created, with the exception of Janice Soprano obviously. It’s also a bonus if your girlfriend is Buffy-obsessed and is almost too invested in Buffy and Angel’s relationship.

Speaking of Liverpool, let’s not go there. The only chance they have of saving the season now is by somehow winning the Champions League. I love saying I’m done watching their league matches but, let’s face it, I’ll be sitting there watching them draw 0-0 at the Emirates while the immovable object that is Mikel Arteta’s facial expression mocks me from inside the TV screen. I’d kill for some Allianz Hurling League action or some Galway Senior Hurling Championship. It only occurred to me today that, for one reason or another, it’s been nearly two years since I’ve seen a hurling match in person. I won’t take the sight of Tadhg Haran or Joe Canning slotting over easy frees in Athenry for granted again. In-keeping with the theme of home, I hope you all looked after your mammies this Mother’s Day. We called ‘round to Saoirse’s mam and she gave us this really nice blanket she crocheted herself, so it certainly pays to be nice.

While we’re on the topic of appreciating the women in our lives, I think it’s important to take heed of the countless stories of victimisation by men that women have been sharing online this past couple of weeks. My main takeaway from these stories is that we, as men, need to do so much better. Women are feeling unsafe out there. How does it help anyone by getting defensive? They’re not making this stuff up. If your immediate reaction to someone sharing their story of being victimised is replying “#notallmen,” you need to grow up. Do some research, be a human being and have some empathy. The HSE have been telling us that the best way to deal with Covid-19 is for everyone to act as if they have it. You might say “#notallmen” but how about you act as if it is indeed all men. The safety of others is far more important than your fragile ego. On that serious note, I’ll talk to you later. Keep well and best of luck in your mid-terms.

Mature Student Diary By Cormac Culkeen Howdo good folks, a very hearty hello, good morning, good afternoon, or evening, at whatever stage in the day these words find you. I hope this second semester, no matter what year you’re in, is a good one. I won’t lie, this whole lockdown thang is quite the pendulum, feeling relatively stable and serene one week, then consumed with creeping despair the next. Silly as it may sound, this year will be the fifth anniversary of Prince’s death, and this played on my mind. It was the tinder, the lit fuse. It was playing his music that did it, after a period of enforced distance from it. ‘Pop Life’, ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘I Wish U Heaven’ are still no-go areas. Still bring on the waterworks. It still hurt, and the mind flowed like mercury from the world being robbed of a man whose music and attitude was nothing but a force for good. This brought a spiral of

thoughts to this being the world as it is, this current stifling reality of soldiering on in a vastly reduced sphere of movement, meetings and activities. A sudden blurt of writer’s block didn’t help. Or the neighbours upstairs. Or the bloody unrelenting weather. The walls began to loom and close in. Shadows detached themselves from the evening and darkened the room. It’s been a struggle, and I can only wonder and worry for the wellbeing of friends and fellow students. If any of this resonates, all I can say is I hope that what you’re reading helps in saying you’re not alone. It’s the only advice worth a damn. Positive actions, positive activities, means, hopefully, a positive mind. Because this is a test for all of us, young and old, make no mistake. And, in a world where our daily routines and life that we took for granted has been boiled down to its essentials, my line is stick to your essentials. It can be anything. It can be romantic comedy marathons. It can be

morning swims. It can be long walks, somewhere off the beaten path. It can be a phone call, a text message. It can be a day spent bouncing around on YouTube. It can be a good book. It can be the work on your respective course. It can be old football matches. What the hell, it can even be the televised implosion of the British royal family for all I care. Judgement isn’t worth a hill of beans at this stage. What I’m labouring at here is, keep your mind and body occupied. Keep to the road you’re on. Keep in touch with your nearest and dearest. Keep in touch with your heart and be kind when the opportunity presents itself. Keep an eye out for the strange and weird of the everyday, the world even now can give us funny or inspiring moments. There is always something worth seeing. And what the hell, listen to music. The happy and the sad. The serious stuff and the fluff. Even Prince, even if it brings tears. Keep the heads up, and stay contrary.


Mol na Meáin Le hEímear Nig Oireachtaigh Mura bhfuil ‘Seal le Seán’ cloiste agat ar Raidió Rí-Rá, tá go leor á chailleadh agat. Ach ní hé sin tús agus deireadh scéal Seán Ó Dubhchon. Is múinteoir agus file é freisin, bhí sé foilsithe i ‘Comhar’ agus ‘An tUltach’, agus mar a deir sé féin, ba “buaicphointí móra” ina shaol é sin. Is múinteoir é le deich mbliana anuas, agus ceapaim gurbh é an rud is fearr faoi mhúinteoireacht ná go bhfuil an t-am agat chun na rudaí eile a dhéanamh, cosúil leis an raidió i gcás Seáin. Is scil faoi leith é a bheith in ann oibriú le rang nua gach uile bhliain, agus dar leis, is é sin cuid den rud is fearr faoi: “le gach rang, tagann dinimic nua agus ardaíonn an mhúinteoireacht mo chroí. Bíonn gach lá difriúil.” Tar éis deich mbliana, bíonn sé fós ag tnúth go mór leis an obair gach lá. Nach bhfuil an t-ádh air! Thosaigh sé ag obair le Raidió Rí-Rá i Samhain 2018, agus tá go leor á dhéanamh aige ó shin. Chonaic sé fógra go raibh láithreoirí de dhíth, agus mar a dhéanann go leor duine atá sa cholún seo, in áit a cheistiú “cén fáth go mbeinn oiriúnach?” smaoinigh sé “cén fáth nach mbeadh?” Ag an tús, bhí clár ceoil á dhéanamh aige, ach thosaigh sé ‘Seal le Seán’ i Samhain 2019 agus tá ag éirí thar barr leis ó shin. Luaigh sé go raibh an bainisteoir Raidió Rí-Rá, Niamh Ní Chróinín, an-spreagúil le linn an ama seo go léir. Tar éis dom bualadh le Niamh i rith m’ama féin ag obair le Conradh na Gaeilge, níl aon ionadh orm go bhfuil sí go hiontach mar bhainisteoir. Cé go bhfuil ag éirí go maith leis, níor tharla sé seo thar oíche. Uaireanta, feiceann muid cé chomh mór is atá píosaí cosúil leis an bpodchraoladh atá ag Séan agus ceapann muid go raibh sé éasca. Mar a luaigh sé féin, thosaigh sé i Samhain 2019, agus tá rath ag teacht air ar líne le déanaí, mar gheall ar an gcinneadh a rinne sé iad a chur suas ar líne ar Spotify agus araile. Bhí sprioc shoiléir aige ón tús: “bhí mé ag iarraidh, thar aon rud eile, díriú ar dea-scéalta daoine atá ag déanamh rudaí iontacha ar fud na tíre agus i gcéin.” Ach thóg sé tamaill air teacht ar an gcur amach foirfe chun é sin a chur in iúl. Ní féidir leat agallamh a chur ar éinne faoi láthair gan labhairt faoi éifeacht na paindéime orthu, ach ar a laghad le Seán is scéalta dearfacha atá aige, den chuid is mó. Tús crua a bhí sa chraoltóireacht sa bhaile dó, ach ar an taobh eile den scéal, bhí níos mó ama aige chun feabhas a chur ar a scileanna craoltóireachta. Seachas sin, bhí deis aige tosú mar phainéalaí ar ‘Bothán na bhFear’ ar Raidió na Life, rud a bhí in ann tarlú mar gheall go bhfuil gach rud ar líne anois. Chomh maith leis sin, thug sé am dó díriú ar a chuid scríbhneoireachta, agus ceapann sé go bhfuil feabhas tar éis teacht ar a chuid múinteoireachta freisin. Is obair go hiomláin difriúil é an chianfhoghlaim, ach thug sé seans dó smaoinigh “taobh amuigh den bhosca,” mar a deir sé féin. Má tá suim agat éisteacht le Seán, bíonn sé ar Raidió Rí-Rá gach Aoine ag a 8rn, ar Bíonn aíonna iontacha aige, agus is breá liomsa an ceann a rinne sé le Múinteoir Meg! Is féidir leat éist siar orthu go léir ar Spotify, Apple Podcasts, agus na hardáin eile a bhíonn podchraoltaí ar fáil. Molaim iad go mór!


SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Fascinating or Morbid? A talk with Juliette Cazes, also known as Le Bizarreum By Sophia Hadef Why are we obsessed with death? The public just can’t get enough of this interesting fate that concerns us all. Death is a fascinating subject for some and morbid for others. Juliette Cazes is a French woman who specialises in thanatology, the study of death. In 2009 she began studies in archaeology and anthropology (classical and biological), focusing her interest and fieldwork and research on funeral practices. On her website, and YouTube channel ‘Le Bizarreum’, she talks about death, thanatology, and excellent pedagogy traditions. With a personality mixing Goth and Baroque, she bewitches everyone interested in death and the funeral. In 2020, Juliette published a book, Funèbre! about death and its rites worldwide. We spoke with Juliette about her fascinations.

learned in anthropology class. I have been independent in my work for a year, I am learning to be my own boss.

How was your 2020? You’re a busy and inspiring woman. Tell me about how things evolved for you over the past two years? The last two years have been pretty crazy. Two years ago, I was working full time in the travel agency where I was and in my spare time I worked around thanatology. It had been two years since I created The Bizarreum, but for the first few years it was difficult because a lot of people made fun of my work around death. But I kept going and believed in my project from the start. Over the past two years, I have been able to give lectures, participate in collaborations with museums. In 2020, I quit my job to become independent and I also graduated in the

were much more receptive to my work than the French at the start. But this can be explained by many factors. My goal is above all to have fun and especially to share what I discover and my vision of death. A subject which is not taboo for me and besides, people loosen up quite quickly when they meet me: everyone has something to say on this subject. Everyone has their own experience and especially the study of death brings together many people from different professional backgrounds. It’s a very rich subject and the fact of sharing also allows me to meet lots of people which enriches my daily work. The Bizarreum also helped me to be myself. Before, I tried to be more classic and I hid my work around death in society. I clearly felt weird. And The Bizarreum is the mix of the word Bizarre and the word Museum. Now I have confidence and above all I agree with myself. I am 31-years old, but you have to imagine that at 23 or 24 it was much more difficult for me to assume this interest even if I have always listened to myself. But The Bizarreum showed me that I was not alone in taking an interest in and working on these questions!

Funèbre, your latest publication was a great success in France. Tell me more about the process of writing it and the responses you got from it?

Thank you, Juliette, for accepting this interview. You are dedicated to making death a normal subject and break the taboo around it. Tell me more about how your passion for it started and your background? Thank you for having me for this interview, I am really happy to cross the borders! I had an early interest in everything related to the funeral world. As a child I was obsessed with archaeology and in particular mummies in museums. I am fortunate to have parents who are very open minded about this subject and they always took me to the museum where at the time they bought me VHS tapes of Egyptology. I showed this interest at a very young age and over time have maintained it. As a teenager I was also in a universe that looked like what I liked, and soon enough I made sure to go to archaeological digs before entering University. I was not necessarily comfortable in the French University system, but I stayed a few years to study archaeology and anthropology. In France, research is quite difficult, there are few resources and, above all, few stable jobs. So I did two years of study in tourism and for five years I was a logistician of scientific expeditions. This allowed me to travel and specifically to continue in parallel to see how it was at the level of funerals abroad and to visit a dozen countries. An experience which upset what I thought I knew and above all which allowed me to use what I had

funeral industry. This is to have more knowledge in professional terms, but also to feed my research and reflections. The number of subscribers has exploded both on YouTube and on my other social networks with the media coverage that goes with it. It’s quite unsettling when we have an interest that has been mocked for a long time and suddenly our work interests. Fortunately, I have always said that even if it doesn’t work, I will do it for myself. In the end, the French-speaking public is there.

You have a brilliant YouTube channel called ‘LeBizarreum’ with more than 48,000 subscribers, your videos are subtitled in English, and you bridge the gap between the academic and professional world of death for the general public via videos, podcasts, articles and conferences. What is your motto and your goal through this hard work? Initially I wanted to make Le Bizarreum something that looks like me. In France nothing comparable existed so I started very simply. I didn’t have the budget to have video equipment and I didn’t even have a computer. I was doing my videos on my phone and also editing. Little by little I saved to have better working tools, but I am self-taught in terms of video editing. I wanted to meet people like me too, the first echoes I had came from foreign countries and in particular from England. They

It has been my dream to write a book since I was little girl. I have always said that I will stop The Bizarreum the day I publish a book. But in the end, it happened very early and it makes me want to write more. I wrote my book at the same time as I was working, I took advantage of lunch and evening breaks in my small studio to advance my text. I had defined the chapters around subjects that I knew either thanks to the trips or because I had studied them a lot. It is an introduction to the funeral rites of the world to show people all the diversity of practices. The funny anecdote is that I wrote the majority of my book on the floor on a plaid with piles of books around me. I ended up buying a desk the day the book came out. But it was a challenge, with my publishing house we were not sure that the subject would interest. In the end, it’s a huge surprise. I made the choice to write as I speak, which may displease people formatted in academia. But even though I do independent research, my goal is to talk to people first and foremost. To all the people.

The lockdown has been brutal and difficult for most of us in the world. How did you cope with it, and what kept you inspired? For me, it was an opportunity to quit my job and concentrate on my research. Being very homey when I’m not traveling and especially very lonely in everyday life, I concentrated on work. The work around death was very much in demand of me by various media and above all I took advantage of the health emergency to go and train myself in the profession of funeral directors and help in the field with the dead. It was very special to train during this period because we did not know much about the disease and especially as I had to learn to manage families who could not see their

deceased. All of this was instructive for me but I also tried to highlight the funeral directors and certain problems within the industry such as the lack of security or the shortage of material in terms of sanitation. I also took advantage of this moment to continue reading a lot, interacting virtually with people around the subject. But it was difficult. What inspired me is above all the books, films, subjects that I came across and the idea that creating content allows me to express my creativity too.

What are your inspirations? People you admire and look after? My parents first. Then I have many inspirations from both real people and fictional characters. One of the people who really motivated me to talk about funerals in France is Carla Valentine. I find this person full of life and I admire his work and his personality very much. I still have the inspirations of my childhood, when I was younger I thought that you could really be a film character like Evelyn O’Connell in La Momie or Adèle Blanc Sec (a French comic book adventurer). But I was showered with stories from real little adventurers like Alexandra David Neel. And then another of my passions is everything related to expeditions, all these lives sometimes lost in the conquest of things that sometimes were impossible to achieve. I still have on my desk a photo of the 1924 Everest Expedition with the tragic story of Mallory and Irvine. Then I also have a fondness for all that is macabre, having been raised with The Addams Family, it makes me laugh as an adult that people compare me to Morticia because of my look although at home I have no skeleton or monster lying around!

What are your projects for 2021? I will continue to work in my corner, my only interactions are on the internet or in the professional context. I use trains a lot to move for work, I live with a small suitcase that is never stored. I hope to be able to lecture again, but I mainly focus on various projects with museums. I’m also considering a new book!

What books and movies or series do you recommend to get into the subject and break the taboo? In French we have a lot of things, but I will especially recommend people accessible to English speakers as I said the work of Carla Valentine, but also the work of Claudia Crobatia with A Course in Dying. I also like the work on the curiosities of Ivan Cenzi from Bizzaro Bazar. I also love the work of Klaus Bo about death in his Dead and Alive Project! The first step in breaking the taboo is to try to go for a walk in a cemetery, for example, or simply to think about your own end of life. It is already a big step to then complete your interests according to the books published in your language! Thank you Juliette, you’re the gothest woman in France, and maybe, when the situation will be better, you’ll visit Ireland and discover its dark and deadly tales. Follow Juliette at LeBizarreum on the social media and visit


March 23 2021




Meghan Markle finally tells it how it is to Oprah in her ‘Tell All’ interview By Daniel Falvey Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘Tell All’ interview that aired in Ireland and the UK on Monday March 8th and had been aired in America the previous day has really captivated the English-speaking world, and it has created more damage for the royal family. It is now the interview that everyone is talking about, and it has made social media explode. The Royal Family really are a fascinating soap opera that the whole world follows, and a family that the media has stalked for decades. When I saw that Oprah was going to be interviewing Meghan Markle and Prince Harry about why they left the royal family, I instantly made sure I knew when and where to watch it, as I knew it would be captivating and would be all over social media the following day at the latest. When people heard of this interview, many would have just instantly thought ‘Here’s Meghan crying for attention and trying to cause more drama’, as this is what the British media want us to believe, however many of us were taken aback after watching it, and finally saw the pain Meghan

suffered in her own words. The pain she suffered was almost solely because of how the British media portrayed her and how many media figures in Britain were determined to destroy her character, as they have done with many others who have been in the public eye in Britain. The double standard the British media have shown towards Meghan and Kate is ghastly. When Kate eats avocado toast, she is praised for her good taste in breakfast, while when Meghan eats avocado toast, they link it to deforestation, drought and human rights abuse. This double standard is so obvious it’s laughable, although it was one of the many negative headlines on Meghan that made people automatically think of her in a negative light. The British media is full of cowards. When we see Piers Morgan, who has constantly bashed Meghan and complained that she ghosted him, we then see Alex Beresford challenge him on his comments on Meghan Markle and “how he continues to trash her.” This then caused him to storm off set when live on air, and the next day when asked to apologise by ITV, he stood down from his own show. This shows how cowardly one of the most famous journalists in

Know better, do better, a lesson from Dr Seuss By Caroline Spencer This week the “victim” of cancel culture is Dr Seuss. People are outraged, people are crying. Now millions of children will be denied his stories, it’s the fall of Western Civilisation, think of the children, etc. This is our home now. The dimension of this outrage is the same old storm in a cracked teapot. Some Dr Seuss books are being held back from publication due to overtly racist imagery. Looking at the images depicted, you may be hard pushed to disagree. Seuss’s books are not aimed at adults with critical capacities. His books are beloved by children, and children should not be exposed to racism masquerading as entertainment. Children are sponges. (Not literal sponges of course, that would be terrifying.) They absorb the messaging out there in the world. Images, colours, shapes and sounds are a child’s first mental link of the world. The colourful vibrancy of Dr Seuss is a huge part of his popularity. The content children absorb can linger for an entire lifetime. I have an older relative; someone I love very much. In respect of her privacy let’s call her Mindy. (Simply because the odds of meeting an Irish person called Mindy seems unlikely, though I’m open to be surprised.) Mindy grew up in the early 1960s, with access to BBC channels. One popular children’s TV show was The Black and White Minstrel Show. With a title like that, one can guess what the show’s content was. In the name of journalistic research, I went further into finding out more about the show and, oh Christ, my eyes. Yes, it was a show depicting white ‘comic’ actors wearing blackface while dancing in a variety act. This was child orientated entertainment. Watching this show, then a ratings blockbuster,

Mindy, a child, did not see the racism in this. In her little pocket of the world, she had no basis on which to know that this was racism. This is not to say she grew up into a racist adult. But she has been surprised to learn that a show from her childhood was full of racist imagery. The doll she still has from that time is a racist caricature. There is a lot of critical unpacking to do to understand fully the issue of racist imagery in children’s entertainment. I have tried many times, mostly calm, sometimes in very clipped tones, to tell her this. What I’ve learned is that people are very defensive of their childhoods. Not childhood toys or shows, but the time itself. To tell a person that an aspect of their childhood is, to use that beloved term, “problematic” is to risk hurting them. To their ears, it is telling them that their childhood is a lie, that the things they enjoyed has tainted them, debased their character. I can see why people, especially of Mindy’s generation, would feel similarly sensitive about the current Dr Seuss situation. It is most definitely a bad faith argument made by the usual blowhards who scream “cancel culture” at any attempt to reckon with uncomfortable history. This is nothing new. There is nothing new under the sun. At the very least, we should be able to say that racist imagery is, well racist, and that children should not be uncritically exposed to it. That in and of itself should not be controversial. It is not to denigrate a person’s childhood, or to jump on some sort of “cancelling” bandwagon. The goal should be to help learn better, then do better. It’s a lesson that could very well come from a children’s book.

Britain is, and when he is proven wrong, he storms off and stands down from his show. When Harry said in the interview that both his brother and father are “trapped within the system,” and how they all fear the press attacking them if they say anything, it really shows us how this very rich and famous family are simply voiceless. They have absolutely no privacy and the media have complete control over how they are perceived by the general public, and this makes doing the simplest and most normal things like going for a walk or meeting up with someone next to impossible for them. Despite how the media has attacked Meghan, it’s fair to wonder if a family fallout should be done so publicly and if she was wrong to do the interview. I would say she was right to do the interview. She was right to tell the world the effect the media had

on her mental health and how they made her feel like her life was not worth living. Harry saw what the media did to his mother and he realised that Meghan deserved better. So, when we wonder if it’s right for a family fallout to be done in such a public manner, we must remember that if one of the royal family members is seen doing almost anything, it is on the front page of many newspapers. This makes it impossible for a royal family fallout to not be very public. Even though I believe that this interview has done a lot of damage for the royal family, I don’t think it will stop people being captivated by their lives and by the newspaper headlines about them. They will always be a captivating family, because the idea and concept of royalty, really is something that fascinates so many of us.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to You - our customers and supporters, both loyal and occasional. Thanks for dropping in to see us; for picking up a cup of lovely Fairtrade coffee or a salad; thanks for being there. It means a lot. We’re all battling through unprecedented times, we’re fighting to stay alive and to keep some staff at work. Thank you also to our hard-working staff, for keeping us all safe. It’s taking longer than we’d all hoped, but we are getting there. And we’re getting there together. #StayHome, where possible. Chins Up #SupoportLocal & #StaySafe.

By endurance we conquer.


SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

My Shakesyear By Stephen Holland We all have those books, novels, and plays that we wish we could read if only we had the time. While the idea of finally reading Don Quixote, War and Peace, or the Iliad sounds so enticing, life inevitably gets in the way and as the years go on it gets less and less likely that you are ever going to tackle these behemoths of literature. This is how I was for a long time and a couple of years ago I decided to do something about it. Each year I would challenge myself to read one difficult book. At the beginning of January, I would decide what it would be and from then I had until December 31st to complete it. This method saw me finally tick books off my reading list that without it would have remained unread for the rest of my life. Books that you know will be great, and informative, and you will remember forever, but somehow the motivation to start them is never there. In 2017, it was Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, a novel that has so much to teach us about what it means to be alive. In 2018, it was Ulysses by James Joyce, a book so daunting and strange but also incredibly funny and playful. Then in 2019, I decided to tackle

David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest, which runs at over 1000 pages and requires at least three bookmarks at any given time to keep track of the story. But knowing I had the full year to complete them meant it was not so unnerving and I was able to fully take in and enjoy what these books had to offer. Then comes 2020, the year of the pandemic. Suddenly, “I wish I could read more but I just don’t have the time” was no longer a viable excuse and I decided to up the ante. It was time to attempt something I knew I always wanted to do, and that was to finally get to grips with the man himself, the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare. I was going to read everything.

Reading Titus Andronicus, a particularly graphic Shakespearian revenge tragedy, I realised that the plot was identical to an episode of South Park. Reading the Taming of the Shrew and seeing how it stacks up against its teen romance adaptation 10 Things I Hate About You was a blast.

That is 39 plays over 52 weeks. Less than one a week and when it is framed like that, it actually feels achievable, and I already had a head start as I’d read Romeo and Juliet as well as Hamlet in secondary school. I decided to read in chronological order because I knew if I read the most famous ones first then I’d quickly run out of steam for the less well-known plays. I read them on my kindle while listening to an audiobook of the plays being performed. This made keeping track of the characters easier, and this method meant it was usually possible to read an entire play in an afternoon. Let me tell you, what a journey it was. I learned so much that I never knew before, and by the end I was picking up on Shakespearian references in music, films, and TV shows that had previously gone right over my head. Reading Titus Andronicus, a particularly graphic Shakespearian revenge tragedy, I realised that the plot was identical to an episode of South Park. Reading the Taming of the Shrew and seeing how it stacks up against its teen romance adaptation 10 Things I Hate About You was a blast.

When looking at Shakespeare’s entire body of work as one you start to realise why he was so popular at the time. With his romance plays he set the scene for what would eventually become romcom. The appeal of his histories can be seen more prominently in the success of shows like The Crown or even Games of Thrones. His tragedies are of course the most famous and with good reason, the expert portrayal of the deepest issues of humanity will always be timeless. I know for some people the idea of Shakespeare may seem a little old and stuffy, something which only serves to give you horrific flashbacks to the Leaving Cert. But without the fear of being tested, without being required to memorise long passages or soliloquies, without anyone forcing me to read these plays, and instead doing it of my own volition, I was able to enjoy them on my own terms. I was able to take in and appreciate the beauty and guidance these old plays have to offer. It took all year to finish the challenge, and I must admit I squeezed the final play The Two Noble Kinsmen into the last week of December. It had its ups and downs, and some plays were much better than others, but it felt worthwhile.

The Terror – a show not to shy away from By Caroline Spencer I have a Terror problem. For the past month I have been spending almost every evening watching a show about men on the precipice of an icy death. So far this year I have seen this show more times than I have seen family or friends. Maybe not the most striking statement in early 2021, but it still gives me pause. Why on earth would someone subject themselves to this bleak doom night after night? Simply put it is a fantastic show on almost every level.

The show is based on the 2007 book by Dan Simmons. The speculative fiction novel follows the lost Franklin Expedition of the 1840s. Two British Royal Navy Ships, Terror and Erebus, set sail to find the Northwest Passage. The exalted goal was to find a new route to Indian and Asian markets. The ships disappeared in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, along with its crew of 134 men. At first, I was resistant. The green screen is sometimes distracting. There are a lot of characters introduced then ignored for vast swathes of episodes. But then the character development

set in. The hubris of Captain Franklin, played by Ciarán Hinds, was gradually introduced. He is a beloved captain but his overconfidence in the mission masks his own desperation about his legacy. He is determined to make this mission a success and refuses to hear any facts that could upset that. With this delusion set, the crew stumbles across land that does not belong to them yet act as if the Indigenous people who do live there are the problem. In other words, the British Empire’s default setting. The Netsilik tribe warns the crew to leave them alone, to turn their ships away, warning them of danger to come. The men, suffice to say, do not heed the warning. A foreboding motif is the oft-used phrase “Don’t tell the men.” This gets said a lot. Don’t tell the men the rescue party died. Don’t tell the men the whiskey stock is low; don’t tell the men the tins are full of lead; don’t tell the men there’s a terrifying bear/wolf monstrosity trying to kill everyone; don’t tell the men that Captain has a drinking problem etc. It becomes clear quickly that the push for secrecy for the good of “the men” is what ultimately dooms them all. While many of the reasons for this is understandable for the audience it is striking how situations improve when the men are honest with one another. It does what too few shows do; shows men asking for help from one another in facing their own demons. This is a world where kindness, decency and honour are not only championed, but essential for survival. In the most hellish conditions imaginable, many characters still expect and show decency, humanity, and accountability.

A standout moment is when Captain Crozier lays his cards on the table in front of his inner circle. Crozier, played beautifully by Jared Harris, is bitter but not bowed. He is from the North of Ireland, which has held him back from rising within the ranks of the Royal Navy. Despite his status he feels that his crew look on him with condescension because of his heritage and drinking problem. Yet when the moment calls for it, he does the boldest thing possible; he asks the men to help him. His alcoholism, exacerbated by the many disasters of the voyage, is now endangering the crew’s survival. Rather than stumble blindly onwards with his crutch, he goes cold turkey, telling his team stoically “You must take care of me!” And they do. When his detoxing ends Crozier is a better leader, friend, and person for it. I rarely notice the score in shows. Often to notice the score of a show is not a good sign. But here there are moments that sing from the screen. It reminded me of the haunting score in Chernobyl, another fantastic Jarred Harris fronted show set in the bleakest imaginable environment (that man has some niche.) A scene of extreme violence in a tundra is supplemented with an off kilter whirling dervish tune further heightening the horror and confusion. A dying man’s last visions of nature are scored next to heart swirling overtures that create a moment that is truly transcendental. All this scene setting, character development culminates in the last episode where resident surgeon Dr Goodsir (never a more aptly named character) tells Crozier “This place is beautiful to me, even now.” There is beauty even in the horror.


March 23 2021

Three films to sit back and relax to By Alice O’Donnell

Groundhog Day

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Groundhog Day opens with Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, as a grumpy reporter sent to cover the Groundhog Day festival. He is rude, contemptuous and snobby, and does the report bluntly and with little effort. There is nothing remarkable about the day. Except the fact, when he wakes up, he has to live it all again. The film beautifully illustrates both the flaws and strengths of people, and documents Phil’s reaction and desperate attempts to escape the time loop. I really loved this film when I was younger, and now that I’m older I simply adore it. I think we’ve all experienced living the same day over and over again, no time loop needed. The film really opened my eyes to what I really wanted to get out of everyday life, and the fact it is a feel-good movie only adds to its appeal.

I don’t know about you guys, but suddenly there seems to be 101 things to get done every day (it probably doesn’t help that I sleep in until eleven and then have to stay awake until midnight trying to catch up, but hey let’s not delve too much into that bag of snakes). Yesterday my flatmate suggested we watch a movie together and order takeout. My first reaction was that of the overworked, underappreciated dad character that every children’s movie seems to have (“Dad, why can’t you play ball with me? It’s the weekend?!”). And then I remembered that I am a college student in the middle of a lockdown, and if I can’t take a few hours off to relax and chat, then what was I really doing? We chose Mamma Mia, and immediately I was transported away into an always sunny world of instant music and Greek weddings. When the credits rolled, I was so much more relaxed and at ease than how I’d been when I sat down. I believe that films are such a wonderful form of escapism, and below are my top three film recommendations to relax to.

Mamma Mia! So, I can hardly do this article without mentioning the film that inspired it! There’s something so wonderful about this musical film, and there’s a real joy in being able to just sit and sing-along to all the songs in the comfort of your own home. Sophie, arguably the film’s protagonist, discovers her mother’s diary, and finds out that three men currently scattered across the world are potentially her father. She invited all three to her wedding, believing that she’ll instantly know which one is her father (spoiler alert, she doesn’t). There’s a real joy in the fact there’s no cruel and malicious characters in this film; each person is portrayed as a loving and kind individual, and you can’t help but become invested in their lives. ABBA provide a wonderful soundtrack full of happiness and young love. Honestly, I can’t recommend this film enough.

The Long Way Home Jade Tierney The past few weeks the internet has been a space of anger, pain, and education. Sarah Everard has sparked a chord with so many women. I’ve seen people share their own stories, traumas, and fears at the societal construct that they have no choice but to live in. So, is this how it is forever going to be? eternally connected by fear. It doesn’t make sense, not being able to walk home alone. Go from A to B without an overwhelming feeling of dread flood your body. From a young age – women are thought of ways in which they can keep themselves safe, little things to help you get back to your safe place. Going to the shop past nine becomes a daily battle. Is my phone fully charged? What am I wearing? who will I meet? These are questions that spin around our heads, like a survival instinct. I’ve worked in pubs and restaurants since I was 16 years old. Different setting, but always the same type of character.

13 Going on 30 Of course, would this list really be complete without a chick flick on?! In many ways 13 Going on 30 is increasingly similar to Groundhog Day. There’s no time loop in this film, but it does deal with a protagonist experiencing time not quite acting right, and the film follows their reaction to it. Jenna Rink, a young teenager in the 1980s, longs to be popular. When her birthday party is arguably an embarrassment and failure, she accidently makes a magic wish to be 30 years old, and jumps forward, waking up as herself in 2004. Her childlike view of an adult world highlights how far away we’ve moved from the idealistic life we dreamed of as children, and her confusion over the friendships and relationships adult her has makes the viewer question their own relationships – would their child self be proud of who they are now? I really love this film, and I’m a big romantic at heart, so nearly always end up crying by the end. I find these three films effortlessly lift me out of my everyday life, freeing me (if only for two hours) of my worries and stresses. I love watching these films, because without fail every time I finish them, I have to sit on the sofa for another few minutes, thinking about my own life. Is my everyday life so similar day-by-day that I may as well be living in a time loop? Would child Alice be happy with the life I was leading? And most importantly, why wasn’t I on a Greek island, singing ABBA to my heart’s content and hopelessly in love with my Dominic Cooper-look alike fiancé?

‘’That’s just how he is!”, “there’s no threat there”, “that’s just his demeanour”. “Don’t make a scene, we’ll talk about it later”. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had unsolicited hands down my back, gawking eyes on my chest, or had inappropriate comments whispered in my neck. These are just surface-level experiences. A drop in the ocean of a whirlpool of intrusion. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t have this self-preservation. I look back at youth discos and I remember that feeling of dread, that luring feeling crawling up and nesting inside my head. An enclosed space full of hormonal teens. Unsolicited hands, gawking eyes, championed yells instead of whispers. You wouldn’t dare question someone grabbing your bum or pulling in your neck. This means they like you! this is what you wanted, that’s why you dressed like that? This is carried out into normal schoolyard behaviour. These teens grow into men, these men into a female’s number one fear trigger. Women make themselves smaller in order to blend in. Smaller and smaller, inadvertently learning. This is just the society we are in? Sexual assault is the norm, that uneasy feeling becomes easier to conceal. Smile, laugh it off, don’t make him uncomfortable for his crud behaviour.

And no not every man, but every woman has a story like mine. Taking longer routes home, memorizing car plates, remain calm, don’t be too persevering. Make yourself smaller in order to make it home safe. These are just basic female survival instincts. I can imagine so many scanning through this and thinking, “There are bigger things going on!”, “It’s not that bad!”, “It’s not every man!?” Instead of being triggered by women telling the world they are scared, why not pause and just ask…? Were there signs in my mate’s behaviour? Would I call out my group’s casual misogynistic behaviour? What can I do to make the experience of my mum, sister, or friend’s life a little bit easier? I am not saying we are going to change the world overnight. These problems are so deeply rooted in what we perceive to be a normal life. Maybe start with leaving out the catcalling or beeping your horn at a girl at night. I can confidently say on behalf of all women, this is not a flattering exchange nor a charming tryst. It drives us to make fake phone calls, clench our fists till they are white, it has our hearts pounding against our chests thinking this could be the night. Why is the narrative always ‘’what was she doing alone at night?” and not “why did he prevent her getting home safely tonight?”




Acts of Desperation review – A new voice in Irish literature By Stephen Holland In Megan Nolan’s debut novel, Acts of Desperation, we get a glimpse into the interior romantic life of an unnamed narrator, her co-dependent relationship with a boy named Ciaran, and the consequences of obsessive love. Romantic attachments can be so frustratingly complicated. Sometimes from the outside it is easy to look at a relationship and see everything that is wrong with it. But just like the narrator’s friends in this book there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can see from the outset that the road she is walking down is paved with heartache and pain. That this is going to end in disaster. But unless you are the person in the relationship, you will never truly understand it. But that is what Nolan does with this novel, she makes us understand. Told through first person we get to experience the anxieties, self-destructive tendencies, and hedonistic indulgences of a young girl in Dublin who craves validation from all the wrong places. From reading other reviews it seems that this book has tapped into particular about the female experience, that through Nolan’s prose she has brought to life something about the nature of being a woman. But as a young man reading this novel, I still related far more to the protagonist than I did the cold ambivalent Ciaran, who I arguably have much more in common with. The desire to be loved, the wholehearted willingness to throw yourself into a relationship, and the slow and tortious tedium with which it all begins to fall apart is something many people can relate to. While I am sure Nolan was not picturing me when she imagined her ideal reader, I still feel like I was able to relate to her protagonist in a real and meaningful way. Looking at the world through this character’s eyes, I was able to learn more about what it feels like to be a woman and gain insight into what it must be like to have a woman’s body in this world. A body which is simultaneously revered and vilified, a body that can be used to empower, or a body which can be exploited. Megan Nolan is getting compared to Sally Rooney a lot and I can see why. They are both young Irish women writing about unhealthy romantic dynamics. But Nolan’s book feels much more honest to me, like the raw emotions are coming straight from her heart onto the page. The book is immensely readable, but also poetic and nuanced, with such universally relatable passages on the meaning of love and heartache. I hope this is the dawning of a new voice in Irish literature because I look forward to continuing to read her work.

An almost unnoticeable masterpiece


By Aidan Moloney My eyes are drawn like magnets To the cotton acini of the cherry blossom In another reality I would lie on that lemonade pink pillow And find the time to sift through what is unfolding before me The static canal, a wrinkled mirror Peacefully disrupted by a defibrillating breeze Tilting trees lapping at its surface To offset the stream of the frosty sun Daffodils salute me from the opposite, appetising bank An abrupt drop into a controlled ravine A glistening, unstoppable curtain Flooding the scene with a foamy roar Reverberating off of tide-painted walls Cacophonously intertwined with traffic’s thunder The ivory blocks asymmetrically windowed Infuse the scene with an Iberian twist An overgrown carpet of reeds blurred by March sunlight.

18  FA SH IO N & L I F EST Y L E Product Review: The Products I Swear By – Olaplex By Aine McGee At the risk of sounding dramatic, Olaplex may save your hair. I have had dry, frizzy, wavy hair my whole life that I had no idea how to care for. The only thing I knew how to do was straighten it, which I did religiously for six years. The constant straightening, added with a lot of bleaching over the years, left it fried and in turn made it frizzier. This created a vicious cycle of adding heat to style my hair and the heat damage making it impossible to style. Scrolling through the video-sharing platform TikTok I noticed an increasing number of videos swearing by Olaplex. As with most products I had seen reviewed online, I was not expecting much but in short, it has changed my hair. My hair is recovering with my natural, frizz-free waves returning and finally, the vicious cycle is broken. But what is Olaplex? Originally launching as a salon-only product, Olaplex soon moved into selling at-home products. Olaplex works in four ways: it firstly repairs the broken hair bonds, increases the strength, restores elasticity, and protects the hair from further breakage. Olaplex’s formula works to individually penetrate each strand to repair bonds rather than only adding a gloss coat on top, as many products on the market do. Olaplex’s website states their products are suitable for use on any hair type and bring hair back from being damaged to near its unprocessed, virgin state. In addition to this, all Olaplex products are cruelty-free and vegan. So, what should you buy? Olapex has a range of products that can be daunting when first purchasing them. Their No. 0 product is an intensive bond-building hair treatment designed to be used with No. 3 and left in damp hair. The difference you will see in your hair by just using these two products together will be extremely impressive. For further damaged hair the No. 4 and No. 5 shampoo and conditioner can be used, while the No. 6 left in bond smoother used with the No.7 bonding oil reduces frizz and adds heat protection. While their products are suitable for daily use, I personally find that the products are slightly too strong for my hair daily. I instead use them once a week using my normal shampoo, conditioner, and heat protection for every other wash, of course though it’s trial and error for what may work for you. While these products are on the more expensive side of the hair care market, their effectiveness makes them worth every penny. These products have been my holy grail and are products I absolutely swear by. Whether your hair only needs the smallest amount of help or if it’s deeply damaged, I recommend everyone to try it for themselves.

SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Beauty bag review – March By Anastasia Burton Fashion and Lifestyle Editor Hello, my fellow make-up lovers, how are we doing with our decluttering and project panning? Beauty bag reviews are my way of staying motivated and motivating you guys to cut your make-up waste as much as possible and save money while doing so. Project panning has helped me realise I do not need fifty mascaras and concealers to have a functioning make-up collection. Nowadays make-up is quite expensive and repetitive. We often fall into the trap of believing that just because our favourite influencer promoted a product or came out with a product, we must instantly buy it. My project pan story started in 2019 when I realized I had a lot of make-up I did not use or didn’t have time to use because I was too busy constantly switching from palette to palette and product to product. Now almost two years later I feel like a new woman, I get the most out of my make-up products and I really get a chance to play around and to get a feel for it too. Today’s beauty bag review is going to be a long one because I decided to declutter products just as Spring is blooming and I have had a chance to play with my current products since January. I would suggest you guys have a bag filled with make-up products you want to use up in your project pan that way you can give one last goodbye to products you have loved in the past and come to love.

Let’s start off with what products I purged this month and why: Catrice liquid camouflage high coverage concealer – Used up. I really loved and enjoyed this concealer; my only complaint would be that there is not a huge amount of product. I used this up within less than two months so if you’re a concealer lover like me, beware that this won’t last you long. Otherwise, great product and I would r­ ecommend.

Maybelline New York the colossal go extreme mascara + Maybelline Lash sensational – Used up. This mascara was just as disappointing as the Maybelline lash sensation. Very large and uncomfortable wand. Very little volumizing going on. I hated these two mascaras and I am happy to purge them from my collection. I must admit Lash sensation still had some life left in it, but I just could not go on looking like a 2012 version of myself.

Flormar color palette nude dudes – Purged. This eyeshadow was not the worst but definitely not the best. Very low on pigment and the shades are not amazing. Would I recommend this? No. It isn’t expensive but it’s not worth the money, it may look like a great nude palette but there are other cheap nude palettes that would work a lot better. The darkest shade in the palette barely shows and the rest are just icky.

TheBalm sexy mama anti-shine translucent powder – Purged. I’ve had this for a long time. Not only is it difficult to use and unflattering on the skin it’s just not the best product out there. With the rise of

loose powders, I don’t reach for this and never really have. I have barely tipped the surface and just couldn’t bring myself to use it any more than I already have. Not the worst product out there but not worth the price tag.

Topshop Chameleon highlighter sea witch – Purged. This highlighter is just not as pretty as mother of pearl and not as pigmented. I reached for it a maximum of four times in the last four months, and I don’t see that changing. I have disinfected the product (even though it was barely used) and handed it down to my family member as the shade is right up their alley.

TheBalm balm beach long wearing blush – Purged. This blush is very old. I once had a big fascination with TheBalm cosmetics as they were very pretty and had great packaging. But I did end up hitting pan on this blush and decided it was time to get rid of it as it was also starting to smell which means the product is way past its prime.

Eyeliner: Victoria’s Secret beauty rush black eyeliner I am excited to begin using this as I have not used a black eyeliner in months! I have been sticking to blue and yellow eyeliners from Essence for a couple of months now and they still have some life left in them, but a black mascara is a must-have.

Catrice inside eye highlighter pen I have used one of these in the past and loved it, it really makes your eyes look a lot bigger which is what I usually go for. I enjoy how creamy it is and how it causes no irritation to my eyes.

Concealer: Soap & glory kickass Again, this is a product I used in the past religiously and am trying to get back into now. I bought this concealer last year and never unwrapped or opened it as I had already started my project panning at that point and didn’t have a chance to get to it. I’m excited to try it out and give you some feedback!

PS... Hey Honey eyeshadow palette – Purged.

Eyeshadow: Huda Beauty Ruby obsessions

This palette has been laying in my project pan make-up bag since god knows when. It’s not super old but it’s definitely not my cup of tea. I used it a maximum of maybe five times on two shades and that’s it. I have disinfected it and passed it on to a family member. The shades are ashy and just not as pigmented as I would like so it’s time to say goodbye.

I got this palette as a gift from my best friend during her last trip to Ireland last year. At first, I loved it and now that I’m going back to it, I see the same flaws that I found in Coral obsessions. The matte shades are not pigmented, and the shimmers are the only ones carrying the entire palette. There are five shimmer shades in this palette and only four mattes so I can work with that since the shimmers are divine and out of this world.

Huda beauty coral obsessions – Purged.

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 2 basics

I never thought I would ever say anything negative about Huda beauty as her products seem to be everywhere and are very popular with most beauty influencers. I have to say this was the worst palette I have ever used in my life. The matte shades blend horribly, they are not pigmented, and I was left with more fallout under my eye than with product on my actual eyelid. The shimmer shades were great but honestly, I will not be keeping a horrible palette of nine-shades of which only two are semi-decent. Stay away from this palette and save your money!

I love this mini palette. I have been feeling rather basic lately and am returning to my love for nude shades. I used this palette regularly in the past but stopped for some reason before I could hit pan. At the time I barely had any money, and this was my first high-end palette, so I was afraid of wasting it. But now that I have adult money I know I need to use this up and make room for the next palette!

Products that I have added into my project pan bag to replace the purged items: Mascara: Maybelline le colossal volume express and essence volume hero I added these two in as one I have used in the past and need to use up as soon as I can, and the other is quite new. I am excited to use these up I think the essence mascara has about a month and a half to go until it’s completely gone (maybe less) and the Maybelline may last a little longer. But as I have been disappointed with Maybelline before I don’t have high hopes.

Blush: #Proartist blush I got this a long time ago as a gift and unfortunately remember very little about the product. I used to use it as an eyeshadow, but I remember it being very dusty. I will be using this as a replacement for my TheBalm blush and see how it goes!

Last but not least... Lipstick: Jeffree Star Leo liquid lipstick I know I have spoken very little about what lipsticks I currently use but that is because I simply have too many! I got the Christmas mystery box as a gift from my fiancé and now am very tempted to begin using JSC products as I heard great things about their performance. That is all for this issue! Hope you enjoyed. Happy panning!


March 23 2021




The Chopping Block: Soup – There’s aytin’ and drinkin’ in it! Paul Lewis That the words soup and soul are so close would seem no mere coincidence. Soup is true soul food – pure nourishment, sustenance and comfort, reviving liquid, and solid replenishment. Soup, so healthful, frugal, and austere, at once so rich and luxurious. It has no recipe, yet there are as many soups, potages, veloutés, broths and consommés as there are kitchens, cooks, and proverbs about this heady elixir. On this island, soup tends to be thick and blended; a hearty lunch to steel one against the cold days. Love and simplicity and is the key to these soups. Limit the main ingredient to one or two vegetables – think cream of mushroom, potato and leek or tomato and roast pepper. Start with gently cooking onion and celery. Perhaps some garlic. Be sparing with oil or butter – if this soup-base is browning, a splash of water or a lid helps. Season early for flavour later. At this early stage, maybe a spice or hard herb is appropriate (think curry for parsnip and apple, thyme for potato and leek). Now for main ingredients –root vegetables for instance (with a lid again), or mushrooms or tomatoes (uncovered). Continue to cook over a medium to low heat, stirring occasionally. Once satisfied this looks and smells well, liquid follows. Water is perfect, homemade stock is exquisite. Stock powder is a handy seasoning, not an ingredient – add lightly. Not too much liquid – soup can always be thinned out later. Bring to the boil, and gently simmer until your root vegetables of choice are good and soft.

In the case of mushroom or tomato, cook long as you can, intensifying flavour. Little liquid is added. Cream, if required at all, is added at a late stage and simmered at a gentle bubble. A little goes far. Likewise, a cube of butter as you blend will lend silkiness and richness. Blend well. Try to think of something that matches the soup, that you can add at serving to augment excitement, dimension, texture, and flavour. Herbs, cooked barley, toasted seeds or oats, crispy kale, or root vegetable crisps, Bombay mixture even. Be imaginative. As days and evenings warm up, we must remind ourselves that soup need not only be a winter dish and need not only be lunch. Miso soup from a sachet can be made with a kettle and pleasantly consumed as tea, anytime. To make a meal of it, pick up a packet of miso paste, dried shitake (or any other) mushrooms, sesame oil (not blended) and some seaweed. These ingredients will last, and lift flavour and healthfulness in hosts of other dishes. Yellow (or white) miso is my stock favourite. I’ve been getting a taste for a dark brown (or red) one lately. A large pot of water is set to boil, inside two shitake and a sheet of kombu (kelp). Seaweeds like dilisk or wakame are great too, with the bonus of being edible (kombu is only for flavour). Separately, in plenty of boiling water, cook a grain (maybe brown rice, barley, or buckwheat). Sushi rice or udon noodles work marvellously. Drain once edible and toss in a little sesame oil. Slice finely as you can some scallion and spinach leaves. Soak in ice cold water. Dice a packet of silken tofu. Turn the soup right down to less than a simmer; a shimmer

if you will and whisk in plenty of miso paste and a few glugs of soya sauce. Remove shitake, chop, and return. Taste. Sprinkles of bonito (dried tuna) can be added, or a splash of mirin rice-wine, but nobody will suffer too much without them. Pour the hot soup over the grain, tofu, scallions and spinach you have arranged in bowls. Enjoy with sesame seeds or togarashi, pickled ginger or daikon. Nothing but stale bread, canned beans, tired vegetables and pasta-packet-ends in house? Fear not. Minestrone soup! Big pot. Cook crushed garlic, diced onion and celery. Add bay leaf and season. Add tomato puree/canned tomato/grated fresh tomato. Cook well. Add diced root vegetables – turnip, celeriac, carrot, parsnip... Cook further. Add plenty water and a pinch of stock cube. Bring to boil. Cheese stubs, soaked lentils, cured meat ends, bacon lardons, ham, mussels – any of these things can go in too. Simmer slowly until vegetables begin to soften. Add diced potato and peppers, cooking slowly. Add tiny florets of cauliflower/broccoli/sliced cabbage/ kale/frozen broad beans or peas and a tin of rinsed out beans of choice (cannellini, borlotti, whatever...). Simmer gently. Add any herbs you can find (thyme/ oregano/basil, parsley...). Meanwhile, macaroni/ broken-up spaghetti/alphabet pasta/a mix of lonely

cupboard pastas are in boiling another pot, drained and added. Make stale bread croutons. That’s it. To each bowl, more herbs and grated cheese. And off to feast. Be apprised: minestrone is brothy and the sum of its parts – plenty of liquid and flavour and only a small amount of each ingredient is required to achieve this magical synergy. Dinnertime already! – perhaps we’ll get to talk about French onion, gazpacho, fish soups, oxtails and beef teas, phos, ramens and chicken noodles another day. Soup’s up, get slurping, and remember... too many cooks...

Cheap and easy recipes you should try! By Anastasia Burton

METHOD: 1. Let your water boil then add salt depending on

It’s time to put a little bit of salt in our rice to get rid of the taste of poverty. Today I will be sharing with you some of my favourite homemade delights I often make to please my never-ending hunger. Beware, these foods are delicious and may be addicting if you are easily addicted to food then please make double!

Chicken burgers INGREDIENTS: • Burger buns (with or • One or two red onions without seeds, white • Other veggies or brown bread) like tomatoes • Frozen chicken goujons or cucumbers or nuggets (whichever are optional. you prefer, you can • Sauces: Ketchup, get the southern mayonnaise, or fried or original) anything you prefer.

METHOD: 1. Place the chicken nuggets in the oven on about 200 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until nice and crispy.

2. Cut up the vegetables you want to put inside your homemade burger.

3. Toast the bread if you wish. 4. Once the nuggets/ goujons are finished place as many as you can to fit the burger, add the veggies and top with sauces you prefer. 5. You can have this with a side of homemade fries or salad whatever you prefer.

Easy and quick vegetable soup! INGREDIENTS: • Two large carrots • Three large potatoes (more depending on the serving you wish to make)

• Pasta/rice • One Chicken or beef stock cube • Onion (optional) • Egg (optional)

your taste.

2. Peel the potatoes and carrots before cutting them into small pieces.

3. Place the vegetables you have chosen in and add more salt and a stock cube. 4. After about 10 minutes add pasta or rice (not too much) 5. Let it boil for an extra 15 minutes add spices and salt if you feel the taste is not as you like it. 6. Once the vegetables in the soup are fully boiled you can add a raw egg after beating it nicely. 7. The egg will create a white stringy consistency which is delicious.

! d e e N u o Y g n i Everyth

Seafood stick salad (Traditional Slavic salad) INGREDIENTS: • Five Seafood sticks • Three boiled eggs • One large cucumber • One small can of sweetcorn • Apple slices (optional) • Mayonnaise and salt

METHOD: 1. Boil three eggs until hard boiled and let them cool. 2. Chop up the vegetables you can add onion too if you’re a fan. 3. Once the vegetables are chopped and the sweetcorn is added you can cut the egg into smaller pieces and mix all together. 4. Add salt as you like it and mayonnaise. 5. P.S. if you add the apple slices the salad has a sweet/sour taste and it’s devine!


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20  FA SH IO N & L I F EST Y L E

SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Discover Reykjavik when Covid-19 is gone By Sophia Hadef Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland. Visiting Reykjavik can become a part of a trip, whether at the start or the end of your epic Icelandic journey. Iceland primarily attracts travellers in search of breathtaking landscapes. And whether it’s summer or winter,

there is always something for everyone. Volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, mountains, glaciers, beaches of all colours; everything you need for a pleasant stay. Your time in Iceland may come down to just one step on your way to places further west. Icelandair, in particular, offers stopovers on the way to America. Do not hesitate to stop for two or three




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days, as it can be an opportunity to discover the capital and its region. First of all, the Reykjavik church is a must-see. This church is often seen as the central part that represents the city of Reykjavik. Its name is the Hallgrímskirkja, and what makes it unique is its rocket-shaped architecture, with its steeple of relatively impressive height for a church, standing at 70 meters tall. Its columns on the sides, the size of which decrease the closer you get to the ground. And which therefore gives it this singular aspect. The architect has used the basalt columns behind the Svartifoss waterfall in southern Iceland as a model for these columns. Reykjavik is located by the seaside, and fishing activity obliges its northern part to shelter a port. But beyond the boats that can be seen there, this area has some notable points of interest: The sculpture of the “traveller of the sun.” This sculpture, called “sólfar” in Icelandic, is a steel representation of a Viking ship. On your trip you can alo marvel at the mound of the Þúfa (or thufa), this mound measures ten meters in height, and you can reach its summit by taking a spiral-shaped path. There is a small hut on this summit that is used to dry fish—another work of art, but one that also offers a different perspective on Reykjavik. Reykjavik city centre is rather pretty with its colourful facades, small shops and restaurants. But also the “small town” atmosphere persists despite the increase in tourism. The main street

to discover when visiting Reykjavik is Laugavegur Street. It generally crosses the city from west to east, parallel to the old port. The smallest European capital, Reykjavík seems almost provincial to the inhabitants of the continent’s big cities. However, this small agglomeration is very active and has today become one of the flagship cities to visit in Europe! There is a lot of attention for the “bay of smoke” (the literal translation of Reykjavík in English!). This is undoubtedly thanks to its heritage, its intense cultural life, its many museums, its rather extraordinary natural setting, but also and above all its unique Nordic atmosphere and the opportunity to meet Icelanders in their everyday life. I cannot wait to visit this sublime city, and the fascinating country that is Iceland.

Diet culture is toxic By Laura Quinn Every young girl has felt the pressure to look a certain way, or to be a certain weight. The media has brainwashed generations of women into believing that their self-worth is intrinsically linked to their physical appearance; and that if they do not meet the standards of whatever is considered to be the ‘ideal’ body image of a given era, they are lesser than those who do. Pardon my French, but that’s BS... Diet culture is not, and never has been, there to ‘help you become a better you!’ or ‘shed that last 10lbs!’. Diet culture – more generally, the hegemonic beauty ideal upheld by the media – exists solely to breed insecurity within people in order to sell products that the consumer doesn’t need. Waist trainers; diet pills; skinny teas – the list goes on. Considering that the US weight loss industry was worth $72 billion in 2020, it is clear to see that corporations are heavily invested in our own selfloathing. In the era of social media, the pressure for women to conform to a standard of beauty is more prevalent than ever. Although the online body positivity movement has helped women across the globe to learn to love themselves, and forced many big

fashion labels to showcase a more diverse range of body types; some influencers still portray unrealistic beauty standards to impressionable young girls. Many have been held accountable for doctoring photos to smoothen skin and cinch waists or refusing allegations about cosmetic surgeries. However, these women are just as much victims to the system as the rest of us, and are often casualties of harsh criticism about their appearances from online trolls. The fad diets and extreme workout routines that influencers often endorse – be it via a paid sponsorship or from innocently keeping their followers informed about their daily routines – have an extremely detrimental effect on young girls’ self-image. A 2012 study of Irish adolescents (1,841 girls, 1,190 boys) found that disordered eating was more prevalent among girls than boys. This is not to say that men and boys are exempt from the pressures of diet culture. In fact, particularly in recent years, it is quite the opposite. Many young men have taken to ‘bulking up’ in order to attempt to replicate the muscular physiques they see on social media and the silver screen. According to WebMD, boys who exercised specifically to gain weight in their teens were 142% more likely to engage in disordered eating. There is also a newfound onus on mens’ skincare, facial hair maintenance, and the likes. While emboldening men to take pride in their appearance, and find confidence in the process, is of course something that we as a society should encourage; this fledgling market bears the same seal of capitalist greed that has invisibly marred the womens’ beauty industry for years. For men and women alike, finding joy and creativity in self-expression should be paramount to societal standards of beauty. If losing weight helps a person to become a happier, healthier version of themselves; that is an incredible thing that should be celebrated. However, the narrative that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ is offensive, outdated and completely untrue and we as a society should abhor any person or institution that tries to perpetuate it.


March 23 2021

Self-Care Tips





It’s hard to beat a relaxing bath or hot shower at the end of a long day. Play some music during your shower or read a book in the bath. Take time to relax and de-stress.

Cleaning may not be your desired pastime but clearing out a messy room or decluttering a drawer can really help your mood. A clear space means a clear mind, after all. Lighting a scented candle, changing your bed sheets and putting your books away after a long day will help you destress and unwind.


Katie Barragry Self-care is a phrase that has been floating around a lot recently but sticking to a consistent routine can be difficult. Taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally is very important, especially during lockdown. We all know that we should be sleeping for at least eight hours every night and getting our steps in but what else can we do to care for ourselves? Here are a few habits that you can easily incorporate into your weekly routine.

watch an episode of your favourite series or read a few pages of your book.

Take a break

Edit your social media

Whether you are studying from your bedroom or working remotely, ensure that you are taking sufficient breaks. It’s very easy to work through lunch, but taking a break will allow you to clear your head, refocus your attention and boost productivity when you return to your desk. Go for a quick walk, chat with a friend,

Social media showcases the highlights of people’s lives. Constantly filtered updates of other people’s “productive” days in lockdown can be damaging so edit your following list to bring what you want to see to your feed. Remember that everyone isn’t getting up at 6 a.m. for a run, followed by a quick yoga session and an elaborate breakfast.

Switch off Many of us can find it challenging to switch off from study when working from home. Give your working day a start time and an end time. It can be easy to watch your online lectures in bed at 10 p.m. after an unproductive day but having a routine will improve your productivity in the long run.


Taking time to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise your skin can make the world of difference when you’re not feeling your best. Root out your favourite skincare products and have a little pampering at home. The little things can make a world of difference.

Hobbies The possibilities are endless when it comes to picking up a new hobby – try yoga, knitting, skipping, reading, baking, DIY, retail therapy, cycling, gaming… whatever interests you and encourages you to unwind after a day of online college.

Journaling It may not be for everyone, but journaling is on the rise as a popular self-care practice. Writing down how you are feeling, what you are grateful for or planning for the future is a good way to practice self-care and gives you the chance to gather your thoughts.

Get outside You’re probably sick of being told to get outside, but getting out in the fresh air can do wonders for both your mind and body. Throw on your runners, pop in your headphones and get your daily steps in at the same time.

Reach out Lockdown has been pressing for everyone and has undoubtedly taken a significant mental toll on many people. If you are struggling, feeling down or isolated, please reach out to a friend or family member. A-Zoom call might be the last thing you want to do at the moment but taking time out to ring a loved one can be really valuable. Caring for ourselves is so important at the moment so choose a few things to do every day or a few times a week, develop a plan and try and stick to it.

Budgeting advice By Anastasia Burton

Hello, my darlings, are we ready to save some money? So last issue I did not deliver to you a budgeting advice article, but never fear that is because your girl has been working on some new and fresh ways, I can help you save money. We already spoke about effective budgeting and how one should budget; which stores are cheaper and how you can save on groceries; it would seem we covered it all wouldn’t it? There are still a few tips and tricks this old budgeting hag can teach you. Today we will be focusing on how you can save money on University needs. One of the most expensive things about University is accommodation, and most first-years and even other years think that the best way to get accommodation for the academic year is to sign up for on-campus or university owned accommodation. This is incorrect. During my first year of University, I was living in a tiny box room in digs, living in a home of one of the lecturers at our university. I was paying about €550 per month unless it was a longer month in which I would need to pay 620. My only form of income at the time was SUSI. Not only was I spending a huge amount of money on accommodation which was not worth it I also had to deal with the racism, harassment and passive aggressiveness of this woman. I tried to receive help from the University accommodation services and they did nothing. I figured that it was time to search for a room that was not owned or advertised by the University. My absolute life saver was the Facebook groups like “Galway House Hunting for Sound People” and “Galway rent.” Everyday dozens of rooms are advertised from single to double to whole house rents and studio apartments. This is of course risky as you will be living with strangers who may not be students, however you will be looking at rent rates

that are affordable and you will be away from the toxic partying culture as well as the super strict security of on-campus accommodation. If you are looking for a room, you can also go on where you can arrange viewings to see potential places for yourself and meet your future housemates. This will help you gain the independence you need and freedom to make friends with people from other universities or even sound working professionals. Not only that but you will also gain references and experience of living in a rental which is what most students go on to live in upon finishing their degree. Moving to a less student filled on-campus accommodation also relieves the pressure for those who do not want to go back home and want to live independently even outside of the study year, as contracts are often long term, and you are free to stay for as long as you wish if you give a one month or two weeks’ notice before you leave. Next money saving tip is for all of us really... Stop buying takeaway food! Not only is the food expensive but it is also very disappointing at times. When you pay thirty euro for a meal that would realistically only cost you fifteen if you were to do it yourself, it really brings on the self-hatred, we all want to avoid. Takeaway can be great every now and then, but if you were to get it a couple of times a week you are looking at losses of hundreds of euros by the end of the month that you could have saved in your bank account! I challenge you to review your recent JustEat or Deliveroo orders and count the total amount you have spent on takeaway over the last few months. Do that for maybe three months and compare your expenditure. Trust me it is a huge eye opener, and it will encourage you to become more responsible with your eating habits but also you will be more aware as to where your money is going and where it could have gone.

Dear Students La Roche Posay and CeraVe Dermatology are delighted to invite you to Skin Chat. Our free, two-part Dermatology series on Good Skin Health with Dr Laura Lenihan (@drlauragp on Instagram) on Thursday April 1st 2021 at 1-2pm. During this virtual session, Dr Laura will explore The Red Face: Acne & Rosacea. Its causes, tips to manage and when to go and see your GP will be covered. Dr Laura will welcome the opportunity for participants to submit skin queries and we will have lots of La Roche Posay and CeraVe goody bags to give away on the day. Spaces are limited so register today. Feel free to circulate this invite to your fellow students too. We look forward to welcoming you in what will be an exciting event. Kindest regards, Niki Earls Dermatology Key Account Manager La Roche Posay & CeraVe


THE RED FACE: ACNE & ROSACEA APRIL 1ST 2021 | 1-2PM | DR LAURA LENIHAN EXPLORING IRELANDS TWO MOST COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS, TIPS ON HOW TO MANAGE AND WHEN TO GO SEE YOUR GP Dr Laura is a Galway based GP with a special interest in skincare and women’s health. She provides GP services as well as specialized skin treatments, peels and microneedling at her clinic in Knocknacarra. With an Instagram following of 48,000 it is evident that Dr Laura has a love for good skin health and providing informed advice when treating medical skin issues such as acne, rosacea or pigmentation.


22  O PI N IO N

Friendships big and small on hold through lockdown By Darragh Nolan In the midst of the latest in a never-ending line of Zoom calls, a passing comment from a friend put me in a bit of a spiral. “It’s going to be interesting seeing how people have new friends after lockdown.” “Friends? New?” I was at a total loss as my mind scrambled for any explanation as to how my peers were making new friends while I found myself firmly in the middle of yet another weekend of binging everything from Netflix and Disney+ to Jack Daniels and Deliveroo. As it turns out, he was more so speculating as to how the dynamics between all of us have changed over the past year. And he’s right. The pandemic experience has shaped the course of life in the last 12 months and friendships have been right in the firing line. How your friendships have developed during lockdown may have been affected by the type of friend you are. There’s the “never text first” friend, who even if they’ve been attached to someone at the hip since playschool, will never under any circumstances text them without receiving the first message. Two of my “never text first” friends had two separate conversations with me, independent of one another, admitting that they regretted losing touch with one another since lockdown started. Hopefully they’ll speak again soon. There’s the “just checking in” friend who’s been nothing but a godsend as they make sure those around them are doing alright. There’s the friend who takes the initiative and tries to corral everyone into doing something, anything, to reconnect on a Saturday evening. Regardless of what type of friend you are or the type of friends you have, there’s just no replacing the day-to-day aspects of maintaining your circle. Nights out can be replaced by Zoom and days out traded for watch parties but the gaps where the little things fit in have been filled with isolation. There’s no substitute for those impromptu meetings. Sliding into a booth at Smokey’s, slipping off to Sult in the middle of the day, saying hello and stopping for a chat between lectures. Spontaneity is at the heart of the relationships we forge in college and that can’t be replicated through computer screens. College is a period in life when, even at the very best of times, finding friends can be difficult. I can’t begin to imagine what the first-year experience has been like during a pandemic. In this state of constant flux, maintaining those relationships can be just as hard. More than ever, it’s important that we give our friendships the attention they deserve. It can be difficult when feeling down to reach out and the prospect of making contact while living an isolated day-to-day life is daunting. But we are very much in this together, perhaps more than we even realise. Figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have shown in recent weeks that a majority of people are wrongly assuming that others have been socialising more than them. There is a growing misconception for many that they are being left out of an imagined active social life. 97% of respondents to the CSO survey believed they were more careful than the average person, despite the majority saying they hadn’t met anyone outside their own household. We are developing a fear of missing out on something that isn’t even happening. Most are living in isolation, as we should be given circumstances. But the mental, emotional grind of lockdown appears to making many more insular than we ought to be. No matter what type of friend you are, it might do us all a bit of good to become the one who checks in, even if it’s just for a day. Even if you’ve never been one to take the plunge and send that first message. We all need our friends at the moment, and no matter how long it’s been, they might just need you right now.

SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Will the anti-lockdown protests just extend the lockdown? By Niamh Casey I think it is fair to say that the majority of the population is being extremely cautious and adhering to restrictions. Everyone with common sense knows what the situation is and why we have to isolate ourselves from each other, and if you don’t want to listen to what the politicians have to say, just listen to the medical professionals, people whose entire job and purpose is to keep people safe and healthy. How many times do they have to reiterate that this is a global pandemic? The guidelines that they have set out have so far proven extremely effective, we are down from thousands of cases a day to about 500 on average. Combining the daily number of cases and the, albeit slow, rollout rate of the vaccines is a great indication as to what stage we are at and how much longer we all will have to remain in lockdown. Everyone in the country is watching and waiting for good news on that front. National scale quarantining has been going on and off for just over a year now, and we are all looking forward to the day where we will exit our last one. It is that steadily growing anticipation that makes it extremely frustrating when something happens that may push that date back, especially if it’s something foolish like large gatherings of people for protests over the current unavoidable circumstances. There is no sense in trying to justify the actions of anti-lockdown protesters. Their actions are some of the most selfish and ignorant that this country has seen in a long time. They are taking

Photo: The Irish Times

action by calling for an end to a highly contagious man-spread virus, by doing the exact thing that makes cases skyrocket by gathering in large groups. Immediately any point they are trying to make is invalid, not that there was much rational thought made in the first place, as their frustrations are nothing unique to them. They are shared by everyone all over the country! Everybody has been in lockdown for a year now, many of whom are out of work or have businesses that are suffering, and all of us are feeling the effects of having not seen friends and family for such an extended period of time, and yet we can all manage to do the sensible thing and stay home. We have all been in lockdown for the same amount of time, all going through the same mental challenges that have come with managing and coping with the ‘new normal’. The communal effort is something that gives us all hope, as even though we’re all doing it individually there is a sense of unity in the fact that we were all doing it for one cause, and that is so that we may keep at-risk people safe and so that we can all exit lockdown as soon as possible, hopefully for good this time. That spirit, however, is severely

dampened when large groups of people decide to air their frustrations by doing the exact thing that will only make the process last longer. The protests, which first took place in Dublin, and later in Cork city, are examples of adults throwing temper tantrums over things they think the government is forcing them to do, and that they can do nothing about. When in fact you can do something about the current circumstances, you can stay home. Any measures put in place by government officials, now or in the future, are made with public safety and health in mind. Despite what the protestors may think, any extensions made to the current lockdown will be based purely on what the daily case figures are, which will only remain at the current number if people continue to gather for protests. Their actions are just as inconsiderate as any students who decide to gather for parties, and the same thing will happen after the protests that happened after any other illegal mass gatherings, case numbers will rise. The higher the cases the longer the lockdown is extended for, and in the end nobody is happy. So do everybody a favour; stay safe and stay home.

c e tio l E U




WILL YOU RUN? Running an Online Election Campaign Workshop Ceardlann ar Fheachtas Toghcháin a Reáchtáil ar Líne

19:00 Monday 29th March / Dé Luain 29 Márta Learn how to run your #NUIGSU21 Election Campaign online with Labour Social Media Officer Katie Deegan @nuigsu



SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Sometimes being unbiased is unfair By Darren Casserly

The reporting of the recent anti-lockdown protests around Ireland was undoubtedly questionable, especially from the likes of RTÉ, who when reporting on these protests claimed that it was both far-right and far-left groups involved. If you look deeper into the story you could easily see that it was very much only far-right groups involved with it, even going so far that there were reports that the far-right nationalist party were handing out leaflets during the protest. Even looking past whether or not the story was true, the idea that the protest was somehow organized by two groups on the complete opposite sides of the political spectrum is laughable. This has

been a problem for RTÉ over the last number of years with an erosion of unbiased news sources as many networks and newspapers have chosen sides. It is valiant from RTÉ to try and appear unbiased, but that is just impossible in the modern world and has led to the worst reaction they could hope for, hatred from all over the political spectrum. The way that news reporting by the majority of stations is done is from one angle or another. This displays the way that they want the story to be seen. It really is the only way they can survive especially when reporting is done from a more centrist point of view you lose a lot of people because when you don’t match up with someone’s political belief they feel that you’re against them, even if you aren’t on anyone’s side.

Oftentimes, there is no completely right way to cover a story, everything from what details you chose to include or exclude to even how to present what you do want to include. Over the last number of years it’s harder to know what the truth is with every story. The best example of this is whenever a tweet goes viral that is found out to be untrue, later it always seems to be the correction to that tweet is completely unnoticed and you end up with hundreds of thousands of people believing a lie and it is just accepted. News is something that is getting harder and harder to do right when it is so easy to do it poorly and still be successful. It does just go to show that sometimes you have to take a side to tell a story right even if it isn’t completely unbiased.

The following article deals with topics of an adult nature

The Good

Here is where OnlyFans comes into place. Performers get to work independently. They are not pressured into doing anything they don’t want to do because they are in charge and 80% of the fees collected for each post would go to the provider. This gave power, stability, and control to a large cohort of sex workers. OnlyFans has been seen as a dirty way to make an income, and has started a conversation on social media: Twitter will praise and defend capitalism until a woman capitalises on men’s demand for sex work and becomes rich through OnlyFans” tweeted one user , defending what many considered a “scam,” since they could find the same content on Tube sites for free. The content is only accessible once the viewer has paid for it, which ensures more anonymity. Its content is private, and the audiences are a lot smaller than in traditional porn. Perhaps this is the reason why so many people, especially students feel confident joining a site like this. “It’s a little bit of fun. It makes me feel sexy and I get a few extra quid each month” says an anonymous student that uses the site to post adult content.

Opinion Editor

Does OnlyFans glamourize sex work? By Ethne Tierney With many arguments in favour and against OnlyFans, the BBC and Sky News among others have talked about some scandals the site has been involved in, and social media backlashing against celebrities such as Bella Thorne (actress) and Gabi DeMartino (Youtuber) taking advantage of their position to appropriate sex work. OnlyFans has certainly had its fair share of controversy. OnlyFans is a content subscription service based in London, where subscribers – called “fans” – pay a subscription fee for exclusive content. It can be used to upload educative material such as music or art lessons, for influencers to post more personal content that makes the fans feel closer to them, and many other things. But when one thinks of OnlyFans, pornography is often the first thing to come to mind. OnlyFans provides creators with a freedom and privacy that has unbeatably led the site to stand in a grey moral area that has made many reflect about topics like female empowerment, class clash, sex-work, child pornography and the relationship between privacy and freedom of content. Whether you are all for it or completely against it; there is a good; a bad and an ugly side of OnlyFans that you should contemplate to form a fair opinion.

Many members of the porn industry have been vocal about the satisfactory working conditions and the safety it provides to them since they don’t have to work for anyone but themselves. In recent years, a conversation about the working conditions of females in the porn industry has emerged. STDs during filming, pressure to film scenes that actresses feel uncomfortable doing, body shaming and sexual harassment have been a problem in the world of porn since its creation. The monopoly that the porn industry has experienced since the advent of the internet has been a game changer that has damaged the working conditions of porn actors and actresses severely. What was once a glamorous and well-paid occupation that gave access to a life of parties and luxury, was now lacking resources and funds due to the so-called Tube sites: YouTube-like platforms, such as Pornhub, provide free pornographic content, that was, in fact, stolen from the studios. Porn studios did not have the capital or political connections to sue their most threatening adversaries out of business, and in consequence, rates for scene work dropped and fewer scenes were shot. The studios had no option but to sell themselves to the tube sites for close to nothing. The technocrats who built these tube sites got rich, leaving the actual sex workers working for peanuts, as there was no competition. Many of the performers had to turn into prostitutes to afford a living.

Actress Bella Thorne claimed to have made 2 million dollars off OnlyFans subscriptions, which led to backlash

The Bad Although it has given performers control over their earnings and content, OnlyFans is, at the end of the day a business. And businesses have their way to favour the privileged and make the inequality of their demographics more evident. There is no better example to explain this than the controversial incident involving the former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne, who earned a million dollars on her first day with an active OnlyFans account. Sex workers and the general public backlashed immediately. “she’s never going to actually know what it’s like for real sex workers, the stigma, the risk of not having certain job opportunities, the actual work you have to put into it etc. it’s so insulting, meanwhile there’s people who are trying to survive, I don’t get it!!” is one of the many tweets expressing the discontent with Thorne taking advantage of her fame for profit. Sex workers have to work hard to have a solid income and enough subscribers to make a living, not to mention the judgement they are going to receive from a substantial portion of society. The money that Bella Thorne earned in that one day, could have gone to other workers that are more talented and experienced on creating this type of content. However, she is not the only public figure with scandals in relation to the site. Gabi de Martino, a Youtuber popular with young audiences experienced a flow of disapproval after asking to pay 3 dollars to unlock a picture titled “won’t put my panties on” on her OnlyFans. The most problem-

atic part of all of this is that her OnlyFans was not used to post any type of sexual content of nudity. It was rather a place where her young fans could get exclusive content to feel closer to their idol. The image turned out to be picture of her as a child messing around. This was only known once the viewer had already paid for the picture. When everyone on Twitter could see the link attached to her account, many adults clicked into her profile and paid for the picture, looking for erotic content. Once they saw it was nothing but an distasteful prank, they felt scammed. To make things worse, it inevitably made her demographics a grey area that young girls looking for innocent content and adult men looking for pornography were sharing. This irresponsible and problematic decision created a dangerous dynamic in everything surrounding her social media presence. Once again, an influential and already wealthy individual profited from a rather unethical action that didn’t provide the content neither of their clashing demographics were happy about, bringing attention to the fact that the privileged will not have to suffer the stigma of what having an OnlyFans account involves and they will, on top of that, profit more than anyone else with little to no effort.

The Ugly OnlyFans may have advantages and disadvantages, but it is no secret that it’s becoming a popular source of income among young women. Although it can be a more lucrative and safer option to traditional porn, many sign up for an account thinking its easy money. This could not be further from the truth. OnlyFans is an over-saturated market, where to stand out you need to have frequent, curated content that is meticulously elaborated. It takes dedication to satisfy each one of one’s subscribers, to keep them paying, good camera quality, and much more to have a successful OnlyFans. For people to discover new accounts, they need to be promoted on other social media. This requires people wishing to have a successful account having to put themselves out there, which is difficult to do in itself. There are infinite options for someone looking to subscribe to an OnlyFans account, and if the content creator is not willing to exceed the expectations, they will go somewhere else. It’s important to know this about OnlyFans: it is not a quick and easy way to get rich. There are so many stories out there that make it seem like it’s an easy solution to become wealthy, but the ugly truth is that it can only be a stable source of income with determination and hard work.


March 23 2021


Anti-Traveller Racism: It’s Time to Take a Stand By Stephen Holland The news that the Pontins campsite chain in the UK had a blacklist of Irish surnames which they labelled “undesirable guests” came as a shock to many, who saw it as discriminatory, racist, and unjust. This was the initial reaction as all the headlines said was, “Irish surnames.” But upon further investigation you learn that this policy was designed to exclude Gypsies and members of the Travelling Community and was not aimed at everyday settled Irish people. This is when a lot of the shock, horror, and outrage began to dissipate and suddenly this was no longer the broad issue of social injustice that it first seemed. Why is that? Why is it that in an age rampant activism and accountability Travellers are so often left out of the conversation surrounding racism? As If it does not count when it is just Travellers? It is often claimed that Ireland is not a racist country, and we can point to the Pontins scandal and say, “isn’t it just awful what they’ve done in the UK.” But when it comes to discussions surrounding Travellers, it seems all that good will, all that inclusion and friendly openness that we are known for goes right out the window. In Ireland, Travellers are often denied access to hotels, pubs, restaurants, and shops simply based on their ethnicity. Discrimination against Irish Travellers appears to the last form of acceptable open racism in this country, where derogatory terms can often be used without anyone calling it out. Statistics from NCAD state that “36% of Irish people would avoid Travellers; 97% would not accept Travellers as members of their family; 80% would not accept a Traveller as a friend; and 44% would not want Travellers to be members of their community.” If this were any other group there would be outrage, it is absolutely not acceptable. But it is so deeply rooted in this country that even when you confront people about it, some still feel justified in their intolerance. They claim that they are not racist, that Travellers are criminals and troublemakers. But this kind of thinking ignores the source of these social issues. Travellers are a distinct ethnic minority and were recognised as such by the Irish state in 2017. They are a nomadic group with their own traditions, language, culture, and customs. These

differences have been ignored by the government for a long time and attempts to integrate Travellers into Irish society without accounting for them was always going to fail. This failure has led to improper access for Travellers in education, work, housing, and health. When you are systematically ignored by the state, and when the cards are so consistently stacked against you, it is no surprise that anti-social behaviour develops. But I would say the responsibility for these issues is on the state and to blame Travellers wilfully ignores the real source of these problems. In school, Traveller children are ostracised and excluded from day one, finishing school is incredibly difficult. As a Traveller you are forced every day to put yourself into a situation where you are viewed as other or less than, and as such less than nine percent of Travellers finish secondary school. There have been some strides in this respect like the Power in Participation Project in NUI Galway, which saw 24 Travellers all studying together and gaining diplomas in Community Development Practice. This demonstrated what can be achieved when systems are put in place and Traveller needs are being properly accounted for. Rose Marie Maughan, a Traveller and human rights activist said: “Anti-traveller racism is accepted in our society. It’s pointless saying that it’s not, because it is. Not by all people, but we live in a country where councillors and TDs can use us as election bait.” “They can have anti-Traveller sentiments and are not called out; they are not held accountable. Instead, they are elected, and some of them even become ministers. To me that is a shame. I cannot unpick it in my mind that our country allows that to happen. It sends a clear strong message to Travellers that we don’t matter.” This discrimination does not need to happen. It is a vicious cycle; we push the issue of Traveller discrimination under the rug in the hope that it disappears. Well, it will never disappear unless we deal with it. I would love nothing more than to hear someone say Ireland is not a racist country, and to really believe them. So next time you hear someone going on a tirade against Travellers, call them out, tell them it is racist and unacceptable. It is a silent majority of settled people that has allowed this issue to go on for so long, and I will no longer keep my mouth shut. I stand with Travellers. We all should.

RTÉ Has A Self-Belief Problem By Caroline Spencer The national broadcaster constantly demonstrates its own lack of support for creative talent. The lowest common denominator tends to win out when it comes to the programming schedule. Little glimmers of ingenuity shine through. One exception may be The Tommy Tiernan Show, which manages to be innovative with a familiar format. It also builds on its own style and creates moments of unbridled honesty from guests. Many guests featured are familiar to an Irish audience but in this show, they will reveal more of themselves in a way that appears genuine, devoid of pretence. It is an all too rare appearance of a show that is trying to communicate honest human stories on a national platform. So why did nearly a million Irish viewers watch a near two-hour interview about former royals? As Patrick Freyne surmised, we take a bemused interest in the strange goings on of our British neighbours. We didn’t just decide collectively to take a critical view of the British monarchy. There is an awareness of how the British Empire affected Ireland and many other countries for its own imperial ends

Denise Chalia’s Album of the Year win at the RTÉ Choice Music awards was given little attention, with the national broadcasters focusing more on the affairs of the British Royal Family.

throughout history. Such history affects how we engage with the more nefarious stories about British institutions. The most common way is to make jokes about the absurdity of it all, the pomposity of the British monarchy and its irrelevance today. Viewers in Ireland, as well as the national broadcaster, need to start asking the tough questions. Why, in 2021, do we turn our attention to a crumbling empire next door, rather than support the thriving and imaginative artists currently in the house? The over reliance of Brit bashing, fun as it is, comes at a price. With all the hoopla of the interview, RTÉ broadcast the Choice Music Prize at a most unfavourable slot. The annual prize champions and celebrates Irish music. This year saw fantastic albums by Pillow Queens, Denise Chaila, Fontaines D.C. and Róisín Murphy released. With the current state of the world so many acts were unable to tour their music. Touring and merchandise, in the age of streaming, is the most vital way musicians can financially survive. The mishandling of these time slots points to a larger issue of Ireland being no country for young artists. Ask anyone who is trying to carve out a career in the arts and they would agree; Ireland does little to support its own creative industry. €50 voiceover tips from the government are not going to help an artist survive. The government has shown to see little value in young creatives. Thus, why would the state broadcaster be different? 725,000 people watched the Harry and Meghan interview on RTÉ. Perhaps the cold reasoning behind why this interview happened are the numbers on the board. Whether due a passing curiosity, lack of other titillating options or the fact that most of us are inside and oh, so very bored. There is wonderful talent in Ireland, but the opportunities to showcase them are often squandered. The Choice Award is the only major Irish music award that has a live broadcast. With all the time and resources to plan it, RTÉ fumbles it repeatedly. The mismanagement of time slots is impacting artists, as is the lack of promotion. I have seen more ads for the RTÉ 2 re-airing of Fleabag, a great show from 2019, than for the 2021 award ceremony. This imbalance should worry viewers, and what they’re missing out on as a result.


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SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREDICTIONS Place-by-place: SIN’s SSE Airticity League Premier Division Predictions By Aaron Deering The hustle and bustle of domestic season returned to our pitches last Friday as fans crowded around television screens to see their sides seeking a return to winning ways as the campaign roared into action. Our own Aaron Deering sat down before matchday one to pen his thoughts on the season, and how he predicted each side would cope with this exceptional and unique season in Ireland’s top flight.

Bohemian F.C. Position finished last season: 2nd Predicted Finish; 5th Key Player: Bastien Hery Keith Long and Bohemians had an exceptionally strong season last season, finishing runners up. The signing of Bastien Hery from Linfield was a shrewd piece of business by Keith Long and Bohemians as the midfielder was one of the standout players in the league when he previously lined out for Limerick and Waterford. Hery will add a lot of creativity for the Bohs midfield and give manager Keith Long more options to choose from especially after the loss of Daniel Mandroiu to arch-rivals Shamrock Rovers. The main concern for Bohs this season will be the loss of striker Andre Wright. Wright who was Bohs top scorer with eight goals and named in the PFA Team of the Year last season will be badly missed. The loss of goals may prove pivotal to Keith Long and his side and I can only see them finishing outside the European places as a result.

6th – Derry City FC Position finished last season: 7th Key Player: David Parkhouse Declan Devine was understandably disappointed with his side’s performances last season as Derry City finished a lowly seventh. The main disappointment lay in attack, as the Candystripes only managed to score eighteen goals in as many games. The loss of the club’s joint top scorer from last season Walter Figueira to Sligo Rovers will be a devasting blow to Derry City’s attack this season just to add to the myriad of problems facing Devine. New signing David Parkhouse will be the key player this season for Derry City as the former Sheffield United striker will be under a lot of pressure to add goals to the lacklustre Candystripes attack. One other player to watch is Irish midfielder Joe Hodge on loan from Manchester City and is a being tipped as having a big future in the game.

The Candystripes will find it tough this season and I can only see Declan Devine’s charges finishing outside the European places once again.

Drogheda United F.C. Position finished last season: Promoted from First Division Predicted Finish 8th Key Player: Dinny Corcoran Drogheda United won last season’s SSE Airtricity League First Division title and will be a strong addition to this season’s Premier Division. Tim Clancy has added lots of Premier Division experience to his squad for a crack at the top flight, with Dinny Corcoran from Bohemians and Dane Massey from Dundalk just to name a few. If the Drogs are going to stay up this season they are going to need goals and Dinny Corcoran’s signing from Bohemians will be hoping to add them for the Louth outfit. Corcoran had an injuryravaged 2020 but has good pedigree as a striker in the Premier Division. Drogheda United’s aim along with manager Tim Clancy’s main goal will be to stay in the division come the end of the season, and judging by the signings and the squad Clancy has at his disposal they should have more than enough to avoid the drop.

Dundalk FC Position finished last season: 3rd Predicted Finish; 1st Key Player: Chris Shields Dundalk’s recent win against Shamrock Rovers in the President’s Cup shows that regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the manager’s post and all the new signings that they will still be a force to be reckoned with. Officially Shane Keegan is Dundalk’s manager, and with several new faces, Keegan will need to get the squad to gel quickly if he wants to his team to reclaim their Premier Division crown. Chris Shields is still Dundalk’s most important player as he offers protection to the back four along with precision passing to start attacks with. Central defender Sonni Nattestad looks to be an impressive signing with his totemic 6’6 height adding a physical presence to Dundalk’s back four. Strikers Patrick Hoban and David McMillian ensure that Dundalk will remain strong in attack with wingers Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney being well able to supply them from the wings. Overall, I think Dundalk’s squad will be strong enough to reclaim the Premier Division title from a weakened Shamrock Rovers.

Finn Harps F.C. Position finished last season: 8th Predicted Finish; 7th Key Player: Barry McNamee Ollie Horgan and his Finn Harps team had a strong finish to last season’s Premier Division pipping Shelbourne by one point to finish eighth and above the relegation/play-off spot. Horgan has signed extremely well during the off season, with the addition of midfielder Will Seymore from Sligo Rovers and the return of central defender Ethan Boyle from Linfield being two standout signings. Barry McNamee will remain a key player for Horgan and Finn Harps as he adds creativity once again this season to the Harps midfield. Midfielder Ryan Connolly is also an attacking option in midfield for Ollie Horgan. Horgan now has a very strong well-balanced team at his disposal, and I expect them to stay in the Premier Division comfortably this season.

Longford Town F.C. Position finished last season: Promoted from the First Division Predicted Finish; 10th Key Player: Aaron Dobbs Longford Town came up the hard way and beat Shelbourne in the Promotion/ Relegation play-off to ensure passage to the top table. Manager Daire Doyle has kept the majority of the squad that got them promoted with very few fresh faces. One signing is Aaron Dobbs who has re-signed for Longford Town having spent last season with Shelbourne. Doyle will hope striker Dobbs will score enough goals to keep his side in the Premier Division. Longford Town will also need to be strong at the back to stay up and signing Aaron O’Driscoll on loan from Mansfield Town should help. Unfortunately, Doyle and De Town will be up against it this season and I cannot see them beating the drop since most of the teams around them will be better equipped to deal with a relegation dogfight, thus seeing them prop up the table in 2021.

Sligo Rovers Position finished last season: 4th Predicted Finish; 3rd Key Player: Greg Bolger Sligo Rovers finished last season in dramatic fashion, clinching European football on the last day of the season after beating Dundalk in Oriel Park. During the off-season Liam Buckley has quietly gone about his business and has

added extra quality to his squad with the additions of Walter Figueira from Derry City and Jordan Gibson from St Patrick’s Athletic bolstering his attacking options New signing Greg Bolger from Shamrock Rovers will be the key player though, and having won the league previously at Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic he adds a vast amount of experience to the Bit O’Red midfield. The return of striker Romeo Parkes will boost the attack while young striker Johnny Kenny is one to watch with five goals from preseason. I forecast European football on the cards for Liam Buckley and the Bit O’Red again this season.

Shamrock Rovers Position finished last season: 1st Predicted Finish; 2nd Key Player: Roberto Lopes Last season’s champions strolled home, winning the Premier Division by 11 points and finishing the season undefeated. The champions have been weakened though, losing the heart of their title winning midfield with Jack Byrne moving to APOEL Nicosia and Aaron McEneff heading to Hearts. Stephen Bradley has added Sean Gannon and Sean Hoare from title rivals Dundalk, but this wasn’t an area the Hoops needed reenforcing, as they had the best defence in the league last year, conceding only seven goals. Other than Jack Byrne, Roberto Lopes was the standout player last year for the Hoops and was the crucial reason why they kept so many clean sheets with such a water-tight defence. Striker Rory Gaffney will have to provide an eagle eye in front of goals if the Hoops have any chance of winning the title again. Overall though the loss of key players from last year especially Jack Byrne will mean that Stephen Bradley and his Shamrock Rovers team will find it difficult to defend their title.

St Patrick’s Athletic Position finished last season: 6th Predicted Finish; 4th Key Player: Robbie Benson St. Patrick’s Athletic had a poor season last year as Stephen O’Donnell’s side failed to secure European football even though many had tipped them as outside title contenders. O’Donnell will hope that the signings of midfielder John Mountney and striker Ronan Coughlan from Sligo Rovers will be enough to secure European football this season. Robbie Benson will still be the central player this season as his creative play should only benefit the recent signings made by St. Pats. Chris Forrester will also be a key cog in the midfield for St. Pats, who on paper have arguably the best midfield in the league. Time will tell if what is on paper plays out on the pitch at Richmond Park. O’Donnell and St. Patrick’s Athletic should have more than enough this season thanks to impressive signings to secure European football.

Waterford FC Position finished last season: 5th Predicted Finish; 9th Key Player: Daryl Murphy Kevin Sheedy’s first job in management will be a daunting one as he tries to keep Waterford in the Premier Division. It is a mammoth task especially with many of the players who secured the impressive fifth place finish last season departing in the off season. Many of the signings Waterford have made are young players on loan so players like veteran striker Daryl Murphy will be crucial if Waterford and Sheedy are to avoid the drop. Former Irish international Murphy will need to use his experience to get the goals Waterford will need to stay in the division. The job may prove to be a bridge too far for Sheedy as I can only see Waterford finishing near the bottom of the table.


March 23 2021


With the League of Ireland back with a bang SIN columnist Aaron Deering predicts who the big winners and losers will be over Ireland’s top two tiers this year...

League of Ireland SSE Airtricity League First Division Predictions by Aaron Deering

Athlone Town A.F.C Position finished last season: 9th Predicted finish this season: 5th Crucial Player: Killian Cantwell Last season’s SSE Airtricity League First Division was one to forget for Athlone Town with a ninth-place finish and only a better goal difference saving them from the bottom of the table. The Town instead focused on the FAI Cup and were rewarded with a semi-final berth, but were knocked out by Dundalk, following an 11-0 thumping at Lissywollen. Looking at last season the Town’s biggest area to improve on is defence. The signing of Killian Cantwell from Bray Wanders, who made last season’s PFAI First Division Team of the Year is one potential solution to this issue. The Kilkenny native will add much needed experience to the Athlone back line. Kurtis Byrne, the former Waterford and Bohemians player will also be one to watch as he adds much needed Premier Division experience to Adrian Carberry’s squad. I think Athlone Town will have to settle for a place in the play-offs but the main goal for Athlone this season will get back to being competitive again.

Bray Wanderers FC Position finished last season: 2nd Predicted finish this season: 3rd Crucial Player: Conor Clifford The Seagulls missed out on the SSE Airtricity League First Division title by one-point last season to winners Drogheda United. Bray would then miss out on any chance of promotion by losing the play-off semi-final to Galway United over two legs. The Seagulls had the best defence in the First Division last season

conceding only 13 goals, four fewer than winners Drogheda United. I expect their defence to be just as strong this season with the signing of Sean Callan from Shamrock Rovers replacing Killian Cantwell. One big boost for Bray fans is the signing of Conor Clifford from Derry City. The former Chelsea FA Youth Cup winner will add much needed Premier Division experience to the Seagulls midfield. Gary Shaw’s goals will prove crucial if Bray are to mount any title challenge or promotion push. I think the SSE Airtricity League First Division will be more competitive this season so I can see the Seagulls challenging, but they will have to settle for a place in the play-offs.

Cabinteely FC Position finished last season: 7th Predicted finish this season: 8th Crucial Player: Kieran Marty Waters Cabinteely finished just three points outside the promotion play-off spots last season, and will hope to improve this season. Under the guidance of Pat Devlin, Cabinteely have been slowly progressing and are always competitive. The re-signing of Kieran Marty Waters was crucial for Cabinteely as the club’s record goal scorer he adds both goals and experience to the side. The 30-year-old will hope to improve on his four goals in 20 appearances from last season when he gets the chance this time around. One area of concern for Cabo last season was their defence, having conceded thirty-three goals in just 18 games last season. The signing of goalkeeper Adam Hayden from Bray Wanderers will hopefully improve the leaky Cabo defence. As mentioned before this season’s SSE Airtricity League First Division will be very competitive and I don’t see Cabinteely threatening any of the play-off spots this season.

Cobh Ramblers FC Position finished last season: 6th Predicted finish this season: 7th Crucial Player: Ian Turner The Rams finished last season just outside the play-off spots finishing level on points with Galway United on 27 points only missing out on a place in the play-off semi-final due to goal difference. The re-signing of Ian Turner is vital piece of business by Cobh as the former Cork City player adds huge experience to a very young Ramblers outfit. The midfielder also scored in crucial games against Galway, Athlone and Longford Town, so has an eye for goal in the big games. The Rams only scored 22 goals last season and Cobh fans will hope the signing of former Waterford FC striker Regix Madika will help add more firepower to the Cobh attack. The 20-year-old will bring plenty of energy to the Cobh attack but will need to hit the ground running if they are to have any chance of finishing in the play-off spots this year. I see Cobh Ramblers FC just missing out once again.

Cork City FC Position finished last season: 10th in the Premier Division (Relegated) Predicted finish this season: 4th Crucial Player: Gearoid Morrisey Last season was one to forget for Cork City as they finished bottom of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and were consigned to the First Division. Since then, Colin Healy has gone for a mixture of youth and experience to try and guide his team back to the promised land. Players like veteran goalkeeper Mark McNulty and Gearoid Morrisey will be crucial to bringing experience and guidance to this youthful rebel side. It wasn’t too long ago Morrisey made his debut for Cambridge United against Manchester United back in 2016, and Morrisey will need to re find this type of form that saw him secure a move across the Irish sea if Cork City are going to challenge this season. The return of former fan favourite Steven Beattie was a shrewd piece of business by The Rebels and will add much needed experience to the side. I expect Cork City to be too strong for most of the First Division sides and a place in the play-offs should be on the cards.

Galway United Position finished last season: 5th Predicted finish this season: 2nd Crucial Player: Conor McCormack The Tribesmen had a late surge of form under new manger John Caulfield to finish

in the play-off spots last season. Unfortunately for Galway United they lost out to Longford Town in the play-off final. Caulfield has recruited well in the off season and new signing Conor McCormack from Derry City is the exact type of signing that he needs if he is to guide the Tribesmen back to the top tier of Irish football. McCormack won two Premier Division titles and two FAI cups during his time with Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City. Now that he has joined up with his former manager John Caulfield who managed him at Cork City, I expect McCormack to add much needed experience and steel to the Tribesmen’s midfield. Ruari Keating and Padraic Cunningham will need to have a good season up front if Galway United want to challenge for the First Division title. New signing Ronan Manning is another player to watch after an impressive season with Athlone last season. A runner up spot could await Galway but they could go all the way in the play-offs.

Shelbourne FC Position finished last season: Relegated from Premier Division by Promotion/Relegation Final Predicted finish this season: 1st Crucial Player: Yoyo Mahdy Shelbourne looked comfortable for most of the Premier Division last season until a late run of poor form saw them drop into the relegation play-off spot which ultimately ended in defeat against Longford Town in the Promotion/Relegation Final. You could argue that Ian Morris has a better squad at his disposal this season than he did last year despite the club’s relegation to the First Division. New signings such as Brendan Clarke from St Patrick’s Athletic, Michael Barker from Bohemians, Kevin O’Connor from Cork City and Yoyo Mahdy from UCD have added real quality to the Shelbourne team. Mahdy will be the one to watch this season as he has added real firepower to the Shelbourne attack, having scored 16 goals in 18 games last season for UCD. Arguably Shels have the best squad in the division this season, so if they hit the ground running, they should claim the SSE Airtricity League First Division title.

Treaty United FC Position finished last season: N/A New Team Predicted finish this season: 9th Crucial Player: Marc Ludden The late confirmation of Treaty United as the First Division’s tenth team has meant that manager Tommy Barrett has had little time to prepare his side for the upcoming season. Not much is known about the team from Limerick as they are only a new team

and have signed many players from junior football. Signings such as former Galway United player Marc Ludden will be very important for Treaty United if they want to be competitive in this division. Ludden will add First Division experience to the Treaty United squad and the defender will be needed at the back to try help the new side to the division. The goal for Treaty United this season will be to try and be competitive as they make their first appearance in this division. Not finishing bottom of the division will be a good season for the newbies in the league.

U.C.D AFC Position finished last season: 3rd Predicted finish this season: 6th Crucial Player: Paul Doyle The students had a very strong season last season finishing 3rd eventually losing to Longford Town in the play-off semi-final. Andrew Myler has continued the tradition at UCD of The Students playing expansive and exciting football. Paul Doyle will be the key player for the boys from Belfield again this season. The 22-year-old was their Player of the Year last season. A lot will be surprised by my prediction for The Students this season, but the loss of top scorer from last season, Yoyo Mahdy to First Division rivals Shelbourne will be too much for the side to overcome. The Students will still be highly competitive this season, and it will not surprise me if they still end up making it to the play-offs even if it’s against the odds.

Wexford FC Position finished last season: 10th Predicted finish this season: 10th Crucial Player: Alex O’Hanlon Wexford finished bottom of the SSE Airtricity League First Division last season conceding 39 goals and only scoring 13, the lowest in the division. Manager Brian O’Sullivan has added experience to his side through loan deals with Kyle Robinson from St Patrick’s Athletic, Alex O’Hanlon from Shelbourne and Luke Turner from Aberdeen all joining on a short-term basis. O’Hanlon was a surprise signing as he was one of the more consistent players at Shelbourne last season. The 24 – year-old defender will hope to try shore up the Wexford defence this season by adding a wealth of Premier Division experience to the back line. The main goal though for both O’Sullivan and Wexford this season will be trying not to finish bottom again and to be more competitive, but I can’t see that happening with the limited squad O’Sullivan is working with.


SIN Vol. 22 Issue 10

Peamount pip Galway in Patrick’s Day pre-season clash By Oisín Bradley Whilst the youthful Kate Slevin converted a penalty late in the day to add a bit of drama to proceedings, it was a case of too little, too late for Galway WFC as their pre-season clash against Peamount United ended in defeat. It was a game in which Billy Clery and co would’ve learned a lot about themselves as they went up against the best in the country, and their defending was exceptional in the first half despite conceding a late goal against Republic of Ireland international Aine O’Gorman. Eleanor Ryan-Doyle’s side-footed finish in the 82nd minute looked to have the game wrapped up, however there was work to be done after Slevin put the minimum between the sides from the spot.

Galway kept knocking on the door in the dying echelons, however Peamount held firm for victory on the road in Terryland. It was actually the hosts who had the first chance of the game as NUI Galway student Chloe Singleton snuck in behind the Peamount defence. Unfortunately, the resulting header was tame and Naoisha McAloon didn’t have to break sweat to collect the ball. That was about as good as it got for Billy Clery’s women in Act One, who struggled to get any sort of rhythm as Peamount dominated the possession charts. That said, the hosts defending was astute, and they made sure that chances were at a premium for their visitors. 25 minutes in, there was some panic after Eleanor Ryan-Boyle fizzed the ball along the turf to Aine

O’Gorman on the right wing. O’Gorman’s ball in was excellent, however a Claire Walsh mis-kick saw the ball turned behind. A few minutes later, there were calls for a penalty for the Greenougue outfit after they believed the ball struck the hand of a Galway WFC’s Therese Kinnevy. However, these calls were waved away by the man in the middle, much to the chagrin of the Peamount bench. Eleanor Ryan-Boyce found herself one-on-one with Galway goalkeeper Maja Zajc only moments later, and possibly could have taken an extra touch before firing goalwards. Her shot from just outside the box was easy for Zajc to see all the way, and she collected with consummate ease. In games where chances are at a premium they need to be taken, and Stephanie Roche was likely cursing her luck as she just couldn’t get her right boot to a pinpoint cross from the left flank. However, it was just before the changeover when disaster struck for the Westerners. A scramble from a corner saw the ball fall to the feet of Peamount captain O’Gorman. O’Gorman’s shot contained a touch of class, as she dinked the ball over both herself and the onrushing Zajc into the back of the net to break the deadlock. The opening exchanges of the second half were the best of the game for the home side, who pushed Peamount back for the opening ten minutes. The hosts came out with a point to prove, immediately going about making the game more competitive, and there wasn’t much to split the sides in the second period. Rachel Kearns tried her luck with a speculative attempt from 25 yards out which wasn’t too far off challenging McAloon. Another Kearns attempt mere seconds later was charged down by Claire Walsh at the back. 68 minutes in, the ball found the feet of Roche again, and whilst she got the shot off in this instance, the ball blazed over. A few minutes after, the ball fell to Savannah McCarthy from a corner. McCarthy’s shot was low and caused Peamount keeper McAloon some issues as she was forced to get low and tip the ball around the left post. McAloon showed courage to come out and claim the ball from the resulting corner. In the 82nd minute, the deficit was doubled via

the right boot of Eleanor Ryan-Doyle. A preciselyplaced through ball from Rebecca Watkins found Ryan-Doyle, and whilst the chance was an easy one, the striker made no mistake, slamming home to push the lead out to two. The reigning Women’ National League champions would’ve been forgiven for thinking the game was done and dusted then, but their fans would’ve been on the edge of their seats following a costly error with five minutes to go. Kate Slevin’s free-kick was the cause of some consternation in the box for the Peas’ rear-guard, and once the ball struck a trailing arm in the area, the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Up stepped Slevin, last year’s Under-17 captain, who elected to go high with the penalty which rattled the net at some speed. Galway WFC pushed hard to try and apply pressure to the Peamount defence, however their professionalism shone, and come the full-time whistle, it was a familiar feeling of victory for James O’Callaghan and his charges. Galway WFC: Maja Zajc, Kate Slevin, Savannah McCarthy, Chloe Moloney, Therese Kinnevey, Chloe Singleton, Sinead Donovan, Tessa Mullins, Aoife Thompson, Rachel Kearns, Elle O’Flaherty. Subs: Aoife Walsh and Elena Van Nieherk for Donovan and O’Flaherty(62’), Anna Fahy for Mullins(74’), Abbie Callanane for Thompson(81’).

All eyes turn to Cork City as WNL kick-starts again By Oisín Bradley

SSE Airticity Womens’ National League Galway WFC vs Cork City It’s often been said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that has certainly been the case for all affiliated with Galway WFC as they await the curtain raising on the 2021 Womens’ National League campaign. It’s no easy opener for Billy Clery and his charges either, as the visit of one of the traditional big sides of the division awaits. Cork City have been one of the sides in and around the top half of the table in recent seasons, and three points on the board after Matchday one will be seen as top priority by both sides as they lock horns in an intriguing fixture for all involved. It’s likely that the squad coming from the banks of the Lee will be a largely changed one, and somewhat of an unknown quantity given the wholesale

changes that have occurred within Rónán Collins dressing room in recent months. Many of last season’s players have departed for pastures new, with the likes of Lauren Egbuloniu and last season’s captain Maria O’Sullivan all heading Stateside for 2021. Irish international Éabha O’Mahony is another who will be heading across the Atlantic in the Summer. However, their biggest loss is without a doubt star striker Saoirse Noonan. Noonan was a phenomenal player in the green of Cork City, reaching the status of club top scorer by the age of 21. Her switch to Shelbourne will be a hammer blow to the system. The management team have expressed their intentions to give much of their talented under-age crop to the first team and give them their chance to shine at Senior level. One team who has certainly not been shy of giving their youth players a chance to shine in recent years is Galway WFC. The majority of the Westerners side is built on youth, and in that respect nothing has changed. The latest in the conveyor

belt of under-age talent is Kate Slevin. Slevin has shown her pedigree at underage level, captaining last season’s Under-17s to success, and has already displayed her ability in pre-season, slotting home a penalty against the reigning WNL champions Peamount United. The new faces in the backroom team for the season are surely going to be a boost for Saturday’s hosts, in particular the addition of Dave Bell. Bell’s experience at the top table is immense, having guided Shelbourne’s ladies’ team to second in the league. The new assistant manager will be a huge help to Clery as he attempts to guide his new side to the summit of the league. Whilst I believe that there may be enormous potential within this Cork City side, it may take them a few game-weeks to get their feet on the ground and for their squad to settle. Their pre-season form has shown glimpses of potential. However, there is no way of dressing up 6-0 and 4-0 defeats to Peamount Utd and DLR Waves respectively.

Despite this, I believe that Saturday’s clash will be a tight affair, and should Galway WFC have their house in order they’ll have just enough to win this one. Verdict: Galway WFC

Last Clash:

FAI WNL, December 5th 2020 Cork City 2-1 Galway WFC Recently departed sharpshooter Saoirse Noonan opened the scoring after 19 minutes in the last game of the Womens’ National League last season, making it a brace for herself before the changeover. Aoife Thompson scored late, late in the day to breathe a bit of life back into the game and give the Rebels a scare, but ultimately when the final whistle was blown, Galway were leaving Bishopstown empty-handed.

Key player: • Galway WFC – Chloe Singleton, • Cork City – Éabha O’Mahony


March 23 2021


SSE Airtricity League First Division By Oisín Bradley Sports Editor

Galway United vs Shelbourne FC It’s been a long time coming, but it’s a case of Friday Night Lights in Eamonn Deacy Park this Friday, as Shelbourne FC make the trip west to take on Galway United in the curtain-raiser for the 2021 League of Ireland First Division season. It will have been 150 days since a ball was kicked in competitive action for John Caulfield’s men on home turf, and his side will have serious ambitions of being in and around the top of the pile come the final game of the season this time around. The club have recruited well in the off-season, and the squad has been bolstered by the addition of some talented players, including the likes of League of Ireland veteran Conor McCormack and striker Padraic Cunningham returning to the fold. Such improvements have borne out on the pitch as well, with United holding their own against some highquality opposition in much of the pre-season fare in the build-up to matchday one. In truth however, the proof will always be in the pudding when it comes to high-octane, competitive action, for United it will be no different, and the first game of the League campaign represents somewhat of a baptism of fire as perhaps the top sides in the division will provide a more than strong challenge. The men from Tolka Park were a side capable of causing any side problems in the Premier Division, however life in the top flight can often be cruel and unforgiving, and a drop-off in quality from Shels saw them slip through the trap-door into the First Division once again. Thus, Ian Morris’ charges will likely be coming from the capital with a point to

prove, and as a big player in the league, Galway United will represent a chance to make the statement that their stay in Ireland’s second tier will be a brief one. Caulfield and his back-room team will be well aware of the fact that Morris and co. have had this game in their sights from the outset. However, Galway themselves have the tools at their disposal to make this game an intriguing and close affair. Up front, both Carlton Ubaezounu and Wilson Waweru are bright young talents who in 2020 matured into players capable of causing any defence in the League a few headaches. The return of Stephen Walsh will see a dearth of experience added to the backline. However, everyone will need to be at the top of their game to stop Shelbourne’s wily dangerman Yoyo Mahdy. United were one of the few sides that Mahdy failed to find the net against last season when he was at UCD. Mahdy’s scoring exploits saw him scoop a place in last season’s PFAI First Division Team of the Year, netting 18 times in as many fixtures. One suspects that it will take a mammoth outing to keep this prolific striker quiet for the full 90. Whilst Shelbourne may have lost some good players at the end of last season, including the likes of Gary Deegan, their recruitment has been admirable, and a trip to play a team who have made steady progress in Galway United will be a good litmus test for them. Fans watching from their homes can expect a tight and entertaining fare on Friday evening when the sun goes down and the floodlights flicker on, however I suspect that neither side will be able to get the upper hand in this one. Verdict: Draw.

Last clash:

FAI Cup, August 28th 2020 Galway United 2-5 Shelbourne FC Dayle Rooney opened the scoring for Shels from a free-kick in the 35th minute after Mikey Place spurned a golden chance from the spot for the hosts to go ahead. Enda Curran capitalised on a deflection into his path to level matters before Ryan Brennan edged the visitors ahead once again in a goal-fest. That would be as good as it got for the hosts, with both Brennan and Rooney making it a brace for themselves before Aaron Dobbs put the icing on the cake to spell defeat for John Caulfield in his first game in the Galway United dugout, as well as his heaviest defeat as United manager.

Last Five Games: GALWAY UNITED: L Galway United 1-2 Bohemians FC, W Longford Town 1-2 vs Galway United, D Galway United 1-1 Sligo Rovers, W Galway United 1-0 Finn Harps, L Galway United 1-2 Longford Town SHELBOURNE FC: L Shelbourne FC 0-2 Sligo Rovers, W Shelbourne FC 4-1 Wexford FC, W Shelbourne FC 2-1 Shamrock Rovers, L Drogheda United 3-0 Shaelbourne FC, L Shelbourne FC 0-2 Bohemians

Key Player: • Galway United: Conor McCormack • Shelbourne FC: Yoyo Mahdy

Galway men abroad: Pressure cranks up as internationals loom By Oisín Bradley As the top flights of English football are on hiatus and Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers get underway in Belgrade this Wednesday evening, the Boys in Green and their vociferous supporters will be awaiting kick-off vs Serbia with trepidation. Stephen Kenny is currently facing something of a selection dilemma, with a myriad of players carrying injuries and forcing him to welcome some fringe players into the squad for this international break. Here, we’ll be casting our eyes over the role that we expect Galway’s Irish representatives to have across the two qualifiers this window, as well as how the Tribesmen have been faring for their club sides across the water.

Ryan Manning – Swansea City Manning’s form in the last few weeks in the Championship has been exceptional, and Stephen Kenny’s decision to draft the once-capped full back into the squad needs no justification. The Swans have enjoyed a resurgent spell in recent weeks, and Galwegian Manning has played an intrinsic role in their uptake in form in England’s second tier. Manning has played most of the minutes on offer, and was involved as his side got back to winning ways vs Stoke City. His pinpoint cross found Connor Roberts in the box, who supplied an excellent first-time strike to level proceedings in a 2-1 win over the Potters.

A 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on their home turf followed, and once again Manning started the fixture before being replaced in the 73rd minute. The exGalway United man was relegated to the bench for a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers , but returned for a 1-0 win away to Luton Town as well as a 3-0 loss to Bournemouth, playing every minute of each match. Swansea are currently involved in the joust for automatic promotion into the Premier League alongside the likes of Norwich City, Watford and Brentford.

Daryl Horgan – Wycombe Wanderers W h i l s t H o r g a n ’s form at the minute may leave a lot to be desired, he remains a core part of the Ireland panel, and will likely be utilised as an impact sub for the Boys in Green. Wycombe have been in absolutely torrid form this season, and Horgan is struggling to find any sort of routine goal contributions as his side have struggled to make an impact in their first ever Championship campaign. Horgan played 80 minutes of Wanderers’ 2-0 defeat to Watford, and came off the bench in a defeat to Stoke City, replacing Gareth McCleary. A full 90 minutes followed, where Horgan and Wycombe suffered a 1-0 defeat to QPR on the road, before playing the full game in a shock 1-0 win for The Chairboys at home to Preston North End. Wycombe currently sit nine points adrift of safety in the Championship.

Aaron Connolly – Brighton and Hove Albion Aaron Connolly has struggled in recent weeks at the AmEx Stadium, and has missed out on both a 2-1 home loss to Leeds United and a 2-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s through injury. The striker has been out of contention due to a cracked rib believed to have been sustained in training, and has been unable to help his side escape their current rut of form which sees them teetering on the edge of the relegation zone. Whilst there are doubts over Connolly’s availability for the first game of the break, there is every chance of him playing a part in the other two games before the resumption of club football.

Greg Cunningham – Preston North End The form of Preston has dipped somewhat in recent weeks, and Greg Cunningham will feel particularly aggrieved given his recent of run of good form not reflecting on the scoreboard. Cunningham donned the captain’s armband for Preston North End as they travelled to the Den to take on Millwall, in a game that ended in a 2-1 defeat for Cunningham and his side. Another full match followed for the Galwayman, and this time both Preston and Bournemouth

had to settle for a share of the spoils. In the next two fixtures, Cunningham was forced out with an injury. Preston North End slumped to a 1-0 loss to Daryl Horgan’s Wycombe Wanderers, as well as a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Middlesbrough. These losses are a massive blow to Preston North End, and while their poor run will likely not see them in any danger of relegation, it’s a stark reminder that if this team is to have any plans of improving, there’s still a long way to go.

Conor Shaughnessy – Rochdale: It takes an exceptional run of form or injuries for a League One player to be taken into consideration for an international squad. Unfortunately for Conor Shaughnessy, neither of those things are the case at present. The former Leeds United man was shown a straight red card for a scything challenge in the 77th minute a 2-0 loss to Hull City. While the red card was rescinded it made little difference to the fortunes of Rochdale, as they lost 2-0 once again, this time to Sunderland before repeating the trick against Shrewsbury. Every point is crucial for a side in a relegation dogfight, and Shaughnessy and his side will have gotten quite the boost from a 2-1 win against the high-flying Lincoln City away at the LNER City. However, if they are to survive and propel themselves out of the relegation zone, then they need results to turn, and fast.

c e tio l E U




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March 23 2021


“We were going around a few towns ringing men up to play.” – SIN speaks to Donegal hurler Joe Boyle on playing your county’s second code. By Oisín Bradley Sports Editor 2020 was the most successful year in the recent history of Donegal hurling, as the Seniors captured a League and Championship double for the first time in their history. Mickey McCann’s men were in red-hot form on both sides of the 230-day gap between fixtures, with a strong Allianz League campaign culminating with the men from the Hills securing the honours against Armagh on March 8th. Some ring-rust was on show in the Nicky Rackard Cup clash with Longford on November 24th, but Donegal shook those shackles off convincingly as the competition progressed. When the full-time whistle blew, cheers filled the Croke Park air as they toasted a swashbuckling 3-18 to 0-21 final win over Mayo, with many in the panel hailing it as one of the crowning moments of their playing career. However, you wouldn’t know it by looking around you. On the same day, about 90 minutes up the road from Headquarters, Donegal’s footballers suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Cavan to relinquish their grip on the Anglo Celt. The upset dominated the bylines and back pages of media outlets within the county. In examining local media, you would find triple the coverage of that result than the one which yielded silverware hours earlier. Joe Boyle scored 1-1 from wing half-back for the hurlers that Saturday in Croke Park. The Burt clubman has seen it all as Donegal hurling has made steady progress in slowly climbing the rungs. That said, for him there’s a lot more to be done. “When I came into the county senior hurling team, I was still playing with the minor footballers, and at the time it was better to be playing for the Donegal minor footballers than the Donegal senior hurlers. “Those days are long gone, but we’re still a predominantly football county who are trying to challenge for Sam Maguires and Ulster titles. There are more clubs coming in and it’s on the way up, but there’s a long way to go.” The recent hurling past in the North-West is one which will likely strike a chord with many in other counties, where the ‘second’ code plays second fiddle to the dominant one. With stories of threadbare sides and ringing around for players on the morn-

ing of a game, you would find tales that read right out of the Junior B playbook. “You would’ve heard stories from a while back of teams going to play an inter-county hurling game with 13 men on the bus. I’m not going back seriously long ago either; I had a lad texting me after the Nicky Rackard final talking about how things have changed since then. We were going around a few towns ringing men up to play.” Boyle is a player who performs in both codes at club level, and also has won an Intermediate football title with Burt in 2016. For him, the atmosphere and the support surrounding their victory was notably different from the crowds for hurling clashes. “I obviously value all the success in hurling, but the year we won the Intermediate it was very strange. There was a different feeling around it within the club because no-one expected it. The crowd in the O’Donnell Park stand was huge for the games. “I could probably name 99% of the people that are going to a Donegal or Burt hurling game, whereas you would’ve got neutrals at the football final, you would’ve got families heading off to it.” While the current state of play is streets ahead of the bygone days, parity in many counties isn’t quite there. The footballers’ dramatic upturn in status from making up the numbers in Ulster to one of the nation’s top sides has garnered much of the front and back pages. However, the hurlers haven’t stood still and have proven themselves in their own right, earning their stripes in the battle for recognition. However, if the ‘second’ code is to kick on, a mixture of increased media coverage and underage coaching is vital per seasoned veteran Boyle. “If you went into primary schools, they could name you 15 county footballers off the top of their head and they couldn’t name two hurlers. “If you were to look around the county, as far as I know there’s one coach in the county dedicated to hurling. With the size of Donegal, that’s not good enough. “You also look at media coverage. Someone looks at a cover of a ‘paper and sees Michael Murphy and Hugh McFadden. They obviously want to be like them and rightfully so, but a bit more promotion would be amazing. “We’ve played in Croke Park. We’ve won an AllIreland medal, albeit at a lower grade, and at the end of the day, we’re playing to the best of our ability.”

Hot Cross Buns For the Rolls

240 ml whole milk, warm 2 (0.25-oz.) packages active dry yeast 50 g caster sugar 75 g butter, melted 1 large egg yolk 1 tsp. vanilla extract 375 g plain flour, plus more for kneading

1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 75 g dried currants, plumped in hot water then drained 1 tsp. lemon zest Egg wash, for brushing

For the Glaze 250g icing sugar 2 tbsp. whole milk 1/2 tsp. lemon zest


Step1. Combine milk, yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let sit about 20 minutes. Whisk butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a thick, shaggy dough. Stir in currants. Step 2. Turn the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a large ball. Step 3. Grease the inside of a large bowl with butter and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with cling film and let rise at room temperature about 1½ hours. Step 4. Butter a 23 x 33cm baking pan. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 portions with a sharp knife or pizza wheel. Step 5. Shape each piece into a roll, tucking the edges under, and place each roll seam side-down into the butter pan. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes. Step 6. After the second rise, preheat oven to 190°C (170ºC fan). Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake until golden and puffy, 22 to 25 minutes. Step 7. Make glaze: Whisk together icing sugar, milk, and lemon zest until smooth. Transfer to a medium resealable plastic bag and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Pipe a thick cross shape over each bun. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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