SIN Volume 25 Issue 6

Page 1

Hubble rent increase deemed unaffordable

Hubble Student Living has announced plans for a minimum 30% rent increase in the coming academic year, a move that has sparked backlash from residents.

Galway Student Union President Dean Kenny has described Hubble Living’s decision to increase rent as “An absolute slap in the face to students”.

Students living in the accommodation, located on the Headford road, will be hit with a bill of €11,045 for 39 weeks stay, a minimum yearly increase of €2,500.

Galway is currently ranked second highest in Ireland for rent, with an average of €1,999 per month, according to figures published by

This new increase by Hubble has left many students no choice but to look elsewhere, forcing them into Galway’s already overcrowded rental market.

University of Galway Student’s Union (SU) President Dean Kenny condemned the increase, calling it disgraceful in a press release posted by the SU.

In an interview with SIN , Kenny described how the increase is making it impossible for some students to remain in Hubble, and putting others under immense pressure to produce the extra amount.

“One student planned on completing an unpaid internship over the summer, but that plan is now scuppered as they will have to work and earn a considerable chunk of money to pay the increase,” said Kenny.

“As anyone that has had to undergo the trauma of house hunting in Galway will tell you, there is a serious lack of supply and higher demand than ever.”

Hubble’s latest renovations have caused difficulty for students, closing the parking area which led to many students getting clamped when they were forced to park in neighbouring estates.

Another story saw a group of students who were forced to move rooms halfway through the week of their winter exams.

Hubble has presented the rent increase as being a result of the recent renovations, but closer examination has revealed that

· Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 1 Nuachtán saor in aisce · Vol. 25 Issue 06 · 25 Mar. 2024 Winner:
2019 Student Independent News Continued on Page 2
Best Newspaper at the National Student Media Awards
Photo by the University of Galway’s Students’ Union


Hello everyone, welcome back to the final edition of SIN for this academic year. I cannot believe how quickly the year has flown by. A huge thank you to all of the sub-editors who have done an amazing job this year in every section! An extra special thank you to my wonderful Deputy Editor Chloe, and to our incredible graphic designer Shannon Reeves for putting together all these issues. Also a thank you to the contributors who have submitted work this year and came along to our Monday pizza meetings.

We have a jam packed issue for you all, and a print issue at that. Our front page by Finnian Cox looks at the increase in student accomodation fees from Hubble Living. In News, we have stories both national and international, including the official legal name change of the University.

Over in Features, there is an insight into Active Consent’s art exhibition! Meanwhile Opinion has some takes on the legendary myth of the Gluas.

Arts and Fashion is full of movie reviews to give you inspiration on new films to watch, along with a review of the Oscars! Over in Health and Lifestyle there’s an article on the ban of vaping in the UK, and in Cainte we have a plenty of articles for you to choose from.

In Sports we have a number of pieces on the University of Galway’s sports successes from some of our clubs.

Finally in Photography Hannah has continued with a flourishing student showcase section and a flashback to some of the Student Showcase highlights of the year and a photogrpahy Society Spotlight.

If you would like to get involved with SIN, follow the Instagram page for all the latest information and updates. You can also get in contact with any questions or ideas by emailing me at You can also find us over on X/ Twitter and Facebook to see what we’re up to!

SIN will be on a break now for the summer, but we will be back in the next academic year. For now, enjoy the final issue!

Hubble rent increase deemed unaffordable

Continued from Page 1

they are the only way they can legally raise it so much.

Galway City Central is a Rent Pressure Zone, meaning the maximum that rent can be increased in a 12-months is 2%, unless a property is granted an exemption by the RTB.

According to guidelines on the RTB- Residential Tendencies Board-website, a property can bypass this increase if it has undergone ‘a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation’.

This is just the latest in a series of accommodation issues for students, as University of Galway also announced an increase in rents in their newer developments.

Dunlin Village, the newest of these developments attracted controversy over its high rent, and the building of ‘Luxury’ student accommodation during a rent crisis.

Kenny criticised the government regarding the lack of action on the student accommodation crisis, saying they too are to blame for this situation.

The Student’s Union has been in contact with the Department of Higher Education, but according to Kenny, they have “received little to no response on this, and Simon Harris, despite all his promises, has yet to publish his department’s long awaited Student Accommodation Policy”.

Kenny said he has yet to receive a response from Hubble regarding these issues. A petition has been posted and is steadily gaining signatures.

SIN reached out to both Hubble Living and their parent company Kenny developments, but received no response.

Matthew Coggins News Co-editor

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 2 News · Nuacht
Caoimhe Looney Editor Chloe Richardson Deputy Editor Emma van Oosterhout News Co-editor
Eimear Eastwood News Co-editor
Rachel Garvey Features Editor
Holly Leech Opinion Co-editor
Eliash Eze Opinion Co-editor
Rebekah O’Reilly Arts & Fashion Co-editor
Scott Stephens Arts & Fashion Co-editor
Hannah Martin Photography Editor
Megan Connolly Health & Lifestyle Editor
Sadhbh Clancy Cáinte Editor
Find us online: An bhfuil rud éigin le rá agat? Cur litir chuig an Eagarthóir. Editor: Caoimhe Looney – @sin_newsug @sin_newsug
Dylan McLoughlin Sports Editor A huge thanks to our team!

Arts & Fashion

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 3 News · Nuacht University of Galway’s legal name confirmed by minister   5 Active Consent’s art exhibition on campus  11 G’luck with yer Gluas!  15 Club Spotlight: Kayak Club  29 The new generation skin obsession   32 Gaeilge sa triú bhliain  35 When will Hollywood start to take animation seriously?  18 Don’t tell my parents, I did an MA so I could keep swimming  38 INSIDE this issue... News Councilor Donagh Killilea expresses concern over anti-social behavior in Tuam    4 Nikki Haley makes history, securing a victory in the republican primaries    6 Features Two migrants’ journeys to Ireland in hopes of a better future   8 The Alan Kerins Africa project   10 The Irish language and seactain na gaeilge   12 Opinion Second semester blues   14 Changes on Campus   15 Not Kitten Around - Ireland Needs Cat Cafes!   16 Feathered Fiends   17
Student enthusiasm greets announcement of Sally Rooney’s new book   19 Rapid Fire Reviews: The Academy Awards   20 One Day – A new take on the bestselling novel   21 Album review: Where’s My Utopia? – Yard Act   22 MGMT’S Loss of Life is strange — Who would have guessed?   23 Photography Student Showcase   25 Through the Eye of Aodhán Morris    26 Health & Lifestyle Remedies for Exam Anxiety   30 Matt & Pedro’s Prescriptions   31 The UK vape ban and its potential impacts for Ireland   33
An Ghaeilge i nGaillimh i rith an tSamhraidh   34 An Scéim Cónaithe   35 Deontais €365,000 ceadaithe ag an Aire Stáit O’Donovan d’eagraíochtaí i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall   37 Sport Univeristy of Galway Judo in Galway Open   39 Enniskillen Royal Grammar School Boat House   40 Browne and Flynn shine as University of Galway regain title   41 Four goal salvo retains Fresher Division 1 football title for DCU   42 Galway United vs Shelbourne review   44 Women in sports   46 Jose Mourinho (An Ceann a Roghnaíodh “the chosen one”)   47 News
Lifestyle Cainte
Arts & Fashion Features Opinion Health &
Photography Sport

Councilor Donagh Killilea expresses concern over anti-social behavior in Tuam

Local Councilor Donagh Killilea has announced that he intends to bring Justice Minister’s attention to the increasing amount of anti-social behavior in Tuam, Co. Galway after a number of violent and reckless incidents have been reported.

According to Galway Bay FM, “videos have been been circulating online of cars being damaged and other violent incidents, which worries it may be linked to drugs activity.”

These incidents have become increasingly common in Tuam much to the community’s frustration over the past several years.

In an interview with Galway Bay FM, Councilor Killilea stated how it is unfair that “innocent people [are] caught up in the crossfire because when you have this brazen activity, put on in broad daylight, there has to be fear” and this isn’t the first time Councilor Killilea has spoken out on the spike of anti-social behavior in Tuam.

Going back to 2022 in an interview with the Tuam Herald, he has been a vocal advocate on reform speaking for locals

and their concerns, especially at Tuam’s Railway station.

Since its closing in 2018, the station used to be a restaurant but was unable to secure a new lease on the building resulting in its closure.

The building has since become an epicenter of vandalism, drinking and drug activity after a lack of investment from Irish Rail until they had heard back from the All-Ireland rail review.

Now, a popular spot for young people to engage in anti-social behavior, many have voiced their concerns over how it is only a matter of time before someone becomes seriously injured.

Councilor Killilea went onto explain how ”there are very few places in the town available for those wanting to engage in anti-social behavior and the railway station is the perfect spot now that the building is no longer in use.”

In addition, further statistics show the crime rate within Galway has risen significantly since 2016, especially the amount of reported burglaries and knife crime.

As of 2022, there has been a 20% increase of attempted/threats to murder, assault, harassments and related offenses according to the Galway Advertiser.

The Aontú representative for Tuam, Luke Silke worries about the statistics and uptake in crime. He explained, “Galway is becoming more like Dublin in that there are certain streets, in the city, but also locally in Tuam, which I wouldn’t walk down late at night” and “old people in their homes are terrified with the spate of burglars we saw last year.”

Silke believes that these issues of anti-social behavior could be solved with more investment into the Garda in rural areas.

These investments include more Garda resources, an increase in officers and a reopening and running of stations in rural communities, he explained to the Advertiser.

However, the Gardaí have stated that they believe they have enough resources to combat the rising violence at a Galway City Council Joint Policing Committee in April 2023.

Chief Supt Gerry Roche said that while he has witnessed a large increase in drug-related activity, many systems have been put in place such as drug units to combat the rise in drug-related activity in Tuam including surrounding towns such as Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Oughterard.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 4 News · Nuacht
Photo by Stephen Duffy on Ireland’s Content Pool

University of Galway’s legal name confirmed by minister

On February 21, Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, confirmed the official name change of the university in Galway from NUI Galway to University of Galway.

The change was announced in Iris Oifigiúil, the Government’s official gazette, on February 27.

In a message addressed to students, the Deputy President and Registrar of the University, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said:

“I am delighted to inform you that, following rebranding as ‘Ollscoil na Gaillimhe - University of Galway’ in autumn 2022, the University’s legal name has now also been changed by order of the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris.

“The Ministerial Order is effective from

February 21, and was published in the Iris Oifigiúil today. The University’s legal name is now “Ollscoil na Gaillimhe” in Irish and “University of Galway” in English. As a University we remain committed to the principle of bilingualism illustrated by this new name.”

“On behalf of the University I want to thank everyone who played a part in the journey to the new name that commenced with initial consultations in spring 2021.”

The legal name change follows the announcement of the University’s plans to rebrand in April 2022, and the official rebrand by the University in September 2022. The move cost €480,000, according to University Bursar Shannon Bailey.

This is the third time that the University has officially changed its name. It was established in 1845 under the name Queen’s College Galway, before rebranding

to University College Galway (UCG) in 1908. It remained as University College Galway until 1997, when the name was again changed to National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway). It retained this name until the 2022 rebrand.

When the rebrand was approved by Údaras na hOllscoile in April 2022, the President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, explained the reason for the name change.

“This university has been in Galway and of Galway since the mid-nineteenth century. Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, University of Galway, gives a clearer sense of who we are as an institution and of being of our place.”

“The university is proud of the role it has played in Galway’s journey to become a global city. City and university have grown together and our new name encapsulates that history and is a promise for the future.”

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 5 News · Nuacht
Photo by Léa Heuillet

Nikki Haley makes history, securing a victory in the republican primaries

Republican Presidential Candidate, Nikki Haley has become the first woman to win the 2024 Republican Primaries in the District of Columbia with a vote of 62.9 % compared to former President Donald Trump who secured 33.2% of the vote, according to The Guardian.

The Associated Press officially declared Haley the winner after the results were released by the DC Republican Party.

Haley’s spokesperson, Olivia Perez-Cubas put out a statement saying, “it’s not surprising that Republicans closest to Washington dysfunction are rejecting Donald Trump and all his chaos.”

According to AP News, Washington is one of the heaviest democratic jurisdictions in the country which could be seen with current president, Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 general election after securing 92% of the vote.

However, there are 23,000 registered Republicans in the city which have worked in Haley’s favour this time around.

Donald Trump’s team reacted to her victory by stating that Haley is “Queen of the Swamp by lobbyists and DC insiders that want to protect the failed status quo.”

The win is of significant importance because it comes after many unsteady months of campaigning and a devastating loss in her home state of South Carolina, steadily trailing behind Trump.

Holding a rally with over 100 supporters, Haley said “we’re trying to make sure that we touch every hand that we can and speak to every person.”

There have been strong criticisms from Haley’s team targeted at Trump, agreeing when a person exclaimed “he [Trump] cannot win a general election. It’s madness.”

While being a registered Republican and conservative, her voters are predominantly moderate and independent leaning, not a part of any particular political party.

In South Carolina, four in ten of Haley’s supporters in the GOP primary election are self-described moderates versus Trump with a number of 15% reported NPR.

However, it is important to acknowledge that this is not the first time Nikki Haley had made political history.

Before entering her name for the 2024 presidential race, she was not only the first female governor of South Carolina but the first Indian American to be ambassador to the United Nations, chosen under Donald Trump’s presidency.

Born into an Indian-Sikh family in Bamberg, South Carolina as Nimarata “Nikki” Randhawa, she has made it a point to touch on her ethnic background and experiences as a brown person throughout her campaign.

She has talked about growing up, being the only Indian-family in a small rural

town and her presence in the predominantly white Republican Party shaping who she is today and what type of presidency she would wish to run.

Haley fondly exclaimed, “I am the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every single day how blessed we are to live in this country.”

Notably, one of her said greatest accomplishments during her time as governor was the passing of a bill to take down the Confederate flag in South Carolina.

This move came after the 2015 racially-motivated shooting in Charleston, South Carolina in a historic black church by a 21-year old white gunman where nine African-Americans were murdered.

In response, Haley brought together members and leaders of the community to remove the flag, a symbol of hatred and racism.

However, in a stunning turn of events, Haley announced on 6th March that she would be dropping out of the 2024 presidential race. This comes after she had lost every state in the Super Tuesday’s Primary contests except Vermont according to NBC News.

Haley released in a statement, “I said I wanted Americans to have their voices heard – I have done that. I have no regrets. And although I will no longer be a candidate, I will not stop using my voice for the things I believe in.”

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 6 News · Nuacht

A Space for — Everyone

Check out the Race Equality Framework and Action Plan 2023 - 2027

“ For kids, especially teenagers at that stage, to them, you have failed them. You took them from their comfort. They don’t understand why they are here, why they have to leave home because they are just your kids. They don’t understand the problems that made you run away with them to ensure that you and your family are safe.”

Two migrants’ journeys to Ireland in hopes of a better future

The country of Ireland is one that contains people from all walks of life. Due to the turmoil many countries face, people from a multitude of nationalities are finding themselves calling Ireland home.

Sherín Al Sabbagh is from Gaza but has been living in Ireland for the past 15 years. Sherín arrived in Ireland in 2008 to pursue a master’s degree in chemist development studies. Since she’s been here, Sherín has made Ireland her home.

“I was so privileged and lucky to be able

to come here and to study. It was really a changing point in my life,” Sherín says. “When I look back, when I first came to Ireland, I feel like I’m a completely different person to who I was when I came here to Ireland, in a good way.”

However, Sherín finds herself in a particular moment of desperation right now. She’s 2,500 miles away from her family, who are stuck in Gaza. Sherín’s mother,

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 8 Features · Gné-altanna
Photo by MarioGuti on iStock

brother and sister-in-law along with their four children are in Palestine, experiencing firsthand the devastation, fear, and uncertainty that each day has brought to them since October 7. Since the war broke out, Sherín has been desperately trying to find a way to bring her family here to Ireland.

“This situation is…I have never seen something like this before,” says Sherín, trying to give an idea of what life is like for her family in Gaza at the moment.

“They have been evacuated several times. They went to the South of Gaza. They went to the East of Gaza. They left their homes, that’s really the main point. Regardless of where they went with the South or West or any other direction, they left their homes. My mother left her house in fear. She is afraid.”

Gaza’s Health Ministry recently reported that the death toll has surpassed 30,000 people. The UN has reported that more and more children are dying, their lives

claimed by starvation. In such a critical moment, Sherín is doing all she can to protect her family, attempting to bring them to Ireland and away from the devastation of war.

“I’m trying to get them out as soon as possible because I don’t think that the situation can last. I mean it’s so important to do something and I’m begging the Irish Government to help me with that,” says Sherín. “I’ve spoken to many TDs. I spoke to the Department of Foreign Affairs. I’ve been trying to do this since December 2023 and it’s not getting any better.”

A sense of displacement is not unfamiliar to Sherín. “I haven’t been home since 2008. And I’ve always wanted to go home because it’s my home. The situation is really difficult in Gaza. So I decided to live here and work here.”

At a time when Ireland is experiencing incredibly high volumes of refugees and asylum seekers, a sense of home and belonging is a longing that does not discriminate. An estimated 140,000 immigrants have entered Ireland, seeking a better life.

Sherín’s desire to be reunited with her family burns bright, as she continues to campaign for their freedom and safety. “What I want is to provide safety and food. To those people, to my family, to my mother, my brother, his wife and his wonderful four kids. I have been living in this country for 15 years and my family never said ‘please help us, save us.’”

Sherín continues to describe the situation her family, along with millions of Palestinians, are bearing witness to in Gaza. “What they have been going through since October 7 is horrendous. Is beyond description. There is no word that can describe the fear of horror and starvation.”

Sherín told SIN her family do not want to migrate from Gaza but they want to live in peace. “They are in immediate danger from bombs and bullets, as well as disease and starvation. They are desperate to get to safety.”

Sherín left her home in Palestine, and now in Ireland she says she has lived a life in peace. With this ‘leaving’ there must also be a sense of grief – a longing for a place that is no longer there, and will never be again. But now she’s in a place where she says, “I really, truly feel home.” Sherín is fervently working to save her family, and bring them here to her new home.

Diana Lakelo Siwela is originally from Zimbabwe and came to Ireland in 2019 as an asylum seeker, seeking a better life for herself and her family.

The decision to flee Zimbabwe didn’t come easy to Diana, “it wasn’t easy, if you come to choose to leave home, leaving everything that you have known all your life, leaving your comfort zone, leaving your family, leaving your job.

“Leaving everything with just a bag that you have on you with the few items that you know there is no time to waste if you’re running. You have to go. You’re running for safety.”

As an asylum seeker, Diana and her family spent their first nine months in the direct provision system in Carrickmacross.

Speaking about their experience in direct provision, Diana described those centres as “isolated, they take you away from everyone, away from the community, away from the people like you’re on your own.”

Diana gave an account of their living conditions, she spoke of how her husband, her two teenage children, her toddler and herself were stuck sharing one room.

“Imagine staying in a room with two teenagers. The frustration that they have everything comes on you because they are depressed. Here they are. They were used to being comfortable at home. They could watch TV, they could play on the Xbox, they could play on the PlayStation, but here they are now. They don’t have all that. They have left everything that they have known, everything in their comfort zone. They are comfortable at home and now they find themselves in that one room.

“It’s not an easy thing. And for kids to understand, especially teenagers at that stage, to them, you have failed them. You took them from their comfort. They don’t understand why they are here. They don’t understand why they have to leave home because they are just your kids. But they don’t understand the problems like you as a parent were going through that made you run away with them so that they are to ensure that you and your family are safe.”

Diana feels as though the talents of asylum seekers in direct provision are being wasted by their inability to seek employment.

“There’s lots of talent and expertise that is wasted in the direct provision centres because we have doctors there, we’ve got lawyers, we’ve got health and safety officers, we’ve got all the expertise that you can think of that Ireland’s in need of, but because you are labelled as an asylum speaker, all those things are taken away from you. You cannot do anything.”

The widespread issues of direct provision are also reflected in the wait times of some asylum seekers for the granting of their residency application. With claims of wait times reaching as long as nine or ten years, there are glaring issues in the system that need to be tackled.

With the number of asylum seekers and refugees entering Ireland increasing, and accommodation available consistently being filled up, it is yet to be seen how the government will strike a balance in providing a home for all.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 9 Features · Gné-altanna

The Alan Kerins Africa project

A small dose of heartache and a plane ticket to Zambia was all it took to change Alan Kerins’ life forever.

1985 permeated television screens internationally with incredibly heartbreaking images from the famine in Ethiopia.

“The reality was so upsetting, I literally hid behind the couch”, said Alan Kerins.

Alan was only seven years old at the time watching children that were his own age struggling through poverty, malnourished and fighting to stay alive.

Fast forward twenty years, in 2005, it was a full circle moment when Alan flew to Zambia for the first time.

As a skilled physiotherapist Alan volunteered in a home for disabled children. Living and breathing their hardships, Alan saw first hand the effects of AIDS, HIV as well as hundreds of people going hungry.

“It’s when people come up to you tapping their tummies going ‘hungry, hungry, hungry’ and children getting left in the sand to die”, Alan added.

The Ethiopian Famine clips that terrified Alan as a child, hiding behind his couch, suddenly came before his eyes: “When you have the telly on you can turn it off but when you live amongst it for 24 hours a day you can’t turn it off”.

“The unfairness that there is across the world is very much a feeling that I couldn’t rid of and I had to do something about it”.

When the three months came to an end Alan had to say an emotional goodbye. After witnessing 800 families pleading hungry, lacking in education and facilities Alan couldn’t help but stay involved.

Alan set himself a goal to raise five thousand euro to provide the people of Zambia with clean drinking water thus giving them the opportunity to grow their own food.

Alan’s ambitious nature paired with his fantastic commitment epitomised how within a decade Alan went from raising five grand to a phenomenal five million euro: “Five grand became 50 grand then it became 100 grand”.

Watching poverty on the television or reading about Africa is one thing. But being there and seeing the horrifying reality up close and personal is frighteningly different.

It is safe to say that Alan’s earliest achievements begin during his sporting days!

Alan is not your usual sports star. Alan played both hurling and football for Galway at the same time.

Alan had secured a total of three AllIreland medals. Yet among the victories came a huge amount of pressure balancing the two styles.

“Galway weren’t used to having dual players so it was difficult at the time. I was a people pleaser by nature. I wanted to please everybody and I got caught between the two. It was challenging at the time.”

“Trying to juggle the two when it wasn’t really done in Galway was breaking new

grounds but I learnt a lot from that”, Alan continued.

In September 2001, Alan had both a Hurling and a Football All-Ireland final within two weeks of each other.

Unfortunately Galway did not win the Hurling All-Ireland. Alan’s dream of winning two All-Irelands in both Hurling and Football was smashed.

Alan had to face into a Football All-Ireland but after losing the All-Ireland senior hurling final Alan didn’t make the starting panel for the football team.

This was heartbreaking for Alan. He devoted ten years of his life to sport and representing his county. Getting dropped hurt massively. Alan grieved alone in Zambia.

Alan said it wasn’t easy “surrounded by a challenging environment and trying to process [that] you’re not coming back”.

Alan would encourage anyone who is passionate about volunteering to get involved: “one thing I would say to people is to reach out and ask to see what opportunities are available.”

“There are so many different causes out there, it is to go after one that you’re truly passionate about that way you’re far more likely to do something about it and follow through on it.”

Alan Kerins has become an unwavering advocate for change. His experience in Zambia ignited a fire within him- a fire fueled by empathy and a deep-seated desire to make a difference.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 10 Features · Gné-altanna
Helping launch the Plant the Planet Games in Dublin are, from left, former Dublin footballer Lyndsey Davey, Limerick hurler Dan Morrissey, Warriors for Humanity chief executive and Founder Alan Kerins, Gaelic Players Association chief executive Tom Parsons, Cork camogie player Libby Coppinger and Roscommon footballer Ciaran Murtagh. They are part of the Warriors for Humanity group who will travel to the east African country on November 17th, as they aim to plant trees to tackle the devastating effects of climate change and raise awareness of the work of Self Help Africa. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Active Consent’s art exhibition on campus

This month in the Síbin, students had the pleasure to take a selection of the winners from Active Consents consent week competition ‘What Are Your Consent Green Flags’.

The art pieces, which ranged in creative modes and content from piece to piece really displayed the talent and passion that runs rife on our college campus.

Included below are some of the competition winners, but there were many more stunning artworks on display all month on the walls of the campuses most casual study spot – and I would definitely recommend going to check them out for yourself if you haven’t already.

If you haven’t had the chance to take in the exhibition for yourself, fear not, because we have the artists descriptions of their own work for you to interpret:

“Artwork” by Colleen Kyan

When talking about consent, it’s so important that everyone is comfortable; comfortable with themselves, with their partner, the situation, and sometimes even comfortable with rejection. The second thing that’s needed is respect.

For me, I’m lucky to find myself in

the ‘greenest’ situation – my partner and I respect each other deeply and therefore have a profound comfort with one another, which translates into all circumstances. I hope this artwork conveys the effortlessness of asking for and communicating consent when everyone involved feels respected and at ease.

“Girl Cow” by Mia Shanley Brookes

The piece is a funny way of remembering to check in with your partner when you’re going to have or having sex. The cow is a pun for reverse cowgirl because all the ones I found online for references faced left.

“Empowerment Aloft: Flying the Flag for Consent” by Mustafa Sultan

In Empowerment Aloft: Flying the Flag for Consent the imagery of a bra soaring on a flagpole symbolizes the elevation of positive consent practices.

As part of the ‘Consent Green Flags’ initiative, this image serves as a beacon of empowerment and respect within relationships. Green flags signify affirmative, enthusiastic consent, and this visual representation urges individuals to raise their standards for healthy interactions.

Just as the bra takes flight, so too does the notion of consent, flying high as a vital aspect of interpersonal dynamics. It’s a call to action, reminding us that promoting consent isn’t just about avoiding red flags but celebrating the green ones that signify mutual respect, communication, and empowerment.

“Honey” by Vaidehi Santan

In this evocative piece, honey drips onto the closed eyes and lips of a serene face, symbolizing the sweetness and richness that flow from the presence of ‘Consent Green Flags’ in our interactions.

The honey’s slow, deliberate pour represents the ongoing, thoughtful conversations about boundaries and desires that are integral to the consent process. The figures tranquil expression speaks to the safety and respect that accompany clear and enthusiastic consent, underscoring the idea that when consent is present, relationships can thrive in trust and mutual satisfaction.

The artwork stands as a beautiful reminder that consent is a necessary ingredient for healthy and joyful human connections, much like honey is to nourishment.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 11 Features · Gné-altanna

Editor diaries

I’m writing this diary entry, and I feel completely broken. Physically. I am sure this feeling is familiar to the vast majority, the feeling of your body being rested for two straight weeks while you scour the internet looking for a new job, and suddenly, you’re successful and you jump straight in to the deep end only to arrive home after your first day and think, “I feel physically broken after doing a tonne of work in one day after two weeks of lazing on the couch.”

The jokes on me, I didn’t arrive home feeling like this, I practically limped to the bus. I shouldn’t be having back problems at the age of twenty-five, but the joke’s on me again because I’ve had back problems since I was twenty. That’s not entirely a great thing, but no matter how many times my boyfriend suggests back exercises and stretching, I never ever bother with it. It’s just acceptance. I’m a twenty-five-year-old stuck in a ninety-five-year-olds body.

A new job with new policies to learn, a new uniform to wear and new responsibilities to juggle; it’s going to be one hell of a ride, but I’m enjoying it so far. The first day jitters are officially over. It’s easier to adapt to a new place when the new co-workers are nice and have a laugh with you.

Funny enough, it’s the same shop where my Mam and Dad met working together, the shop was under a different name though all those years back. Also, you wouldn’t believe how many vapes get sold and how many school children come in buying bags of sweets for their lunch. My Mam would always prepare us fruit and sandwiches and other snacky bits and bobs when I went to school, I can’t imagine being satisfied for the remainder of the day on a bag of jellies, my stomach growls would be disrupting the entire class.

Oh, welcome March. I cannot believe that it is March already, three months into 2024. Honestly, time is flying, next week it will be summer with the speed of time. St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and it’ll be the busiest time of year for pubs and restaurants with everyone flocking to the city centre to not only satisfy their alcohol cravings, but to see the annual parade for Paddy’s Day festivities. There’s already a grand number of people who are purchasing their parade accessories; headbands, socks, stickers, flags. It’s heartening to see the Galway locals honouring St Patrick’s Day and the Irish heritage and history, everyone else knows how big a deal it is to us. There is one thing we could pray for though; good weather for March 17, we should all light a candle.

The Irish language and seactain na gaeilge

A lilting voice catching in the breeze on Salthill prom, a distorted phone call on the bus, soft laughter intermingling with smokey air, all familiar sounds across Galway city. But there’s something distinctly different about these sounds: they’re speaking Irish.

In the past year, Irish seems to be undergoing a cultural revival. An Cailín Ciúin was greeted with international acclaim, everyone swooned for Paul Mescal’s “tá brón orm as mo chuid Gaeilge” on the BAFTA’s red carpet, and Kneecap pulled up to the Sundance premiere of their biopic in a spray-painted PSNI van.

With Seachtain na Gaeilge taking place over the next two weeks, people all around the country, and the world, are celebrating the Irish language. Faye Ní Dhomhnaill, the Leas-Uachtarán na Gaeilge for the University of Galway, reflects on its importance: “It’s about showing Gaeilge can be used every day. It is that accessible, it doesn’t always have to be traditional.”

For a long time, Irish was spoken of with a morbid pessimism, often described as a

In the music world, the deaths of people like Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan, who unflinchingly depicted a sense of Irishness through their music, sparked reflections on what it means to have an Irish legacy. Kneecap’s music is largely in Irish, and focuses on social issues.

In today’s Ireland, national identity is bound up with the cultural just as much as it is with the political. In a recent interview with Patrick Kielty on the Late Late Show, Kneecap pointed out that what’s controversial in the North doesn’t always translate to controversy anywhere else. To speak Irish in Dublin means something different to speaking Irish in Belfast.

For this generation, the reclamation of Irish culture, and learning the language that was nearly killed under cultural oppression, has become a political, postcolonial act.

“I definitely think that learning Irish is kind of political in itself,” Faye Ní Dhomhnaill observes. “There are people in Belfast that are making great strides towards learning Irish and setting up branches of Conradh na Gaeilge, like that is political activism in itself.

“ The 2022 Census statistics show that the language is thriving. Almost 1.9 million people stated they could speak Irish, which is an increase of more than 112,500 people since 2016.”

‘dying language’. But according to Faye, a language revival is making waves across generations; “I think our parents’ generation are now getting to an age where they’re like, ‘oh, I wish I’d learned it. I wish I had the opportunity’” she reflects. “So I do think it is just going to keep growing and growing; more people are teaching their children Irish.”

The 2022 Census statistics show that the language is thriving. Almost 1.9 million people stated they could speak Irish, which is an increase of more than 112,500 people since 2016. One in ten people who spoke Irish could speak it very well, while a further 32% spoke it well.

“I think when people are describing Irish as a dying language, they’re just completely wrong,” Faye reflects. “If you look to social media for two seconds, it’s getting so trendy now to have your cúpla focail and make your few tiktoks about Gaeilge. It’s really refreshing.”

It’s true; a few minutes of scrolling can produce a ‘grwm [get ready with me] as Gaeilge’, or a plog [photo diary] with Irish captions.

“It is something as easy as learning a poem or having a few friends that you meet up and speak a little bit of Irish with each week. It’s definitely non-violent and political and it’s kind of beautiful to see.”

As the Leas-Uachtarán na Gaeilge, Faye is determined to strengthen the language in an inclusive way on campus.

“I think sometimes people get a bit nervous when it comes to Irish because they think that they have to be experts in the culture,” she explains. “But you don’t! Irish is so accessible and when you have these fun events, it can show how easy it is to enjoy the language and celebrate the language without having to be completely fluent.”

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2024 brings a reminder of the importance of the Irish language, and offers a warm welcome to anyone willing to learn.

“Although it is sometimes a bit alienating to hear a different language,” Faye reflects, “it’s also very comforting to know that this culture exists and it’s there in front of us and it’s waiting for you.”

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 12 Features · Gné-altanna
UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU UNIVERSITY OF GALWAY STUDENTS’ UNION ANNIVERSARY Alumni Reunion Cuimhneachán 60 Bliain Bhunú Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe 18:30 Saturday 18th May 2024 | Dé Sathairn an 18 Bealtaine 2024 Sult, University of Galway Tickets €15 each on Eventbrite Includes BBQ, refreshment, entertainment and lots of surprises! BOOK HERE

Second semester blues

As the second half of the academic year draws close, has the second semester always felt this slow compared to the first semester?

The first semester has always been hectic. New timetables, Halloween, Christmas, your exams and the New Year. If you’re a new student, you’re getting to grips with your new place of learning and potentially with Galway. You’re making new friends, getting sloshed near the Spanish Arch and ignoring half your lectures because you couldn’t be bothered.

Each year, you tell yourself you’ll join a society or club to give yourself a routine.

Some students find themselves participating in one, others join the going- home club. All of this happening in the first three months of the new academic year gives us the illusion that we’re living in some kind of chaotic movie – think ‘The Hangover’.

If you’re a student in your final year, it’s time you lock in so you can end the college with a solid grade – or a pass. Whether or not you reflect on your last few years, the realisation that it’s ending constantly looms over you, for better or for worse. You get the gist of what’s happening and when – parties, freebies on campus, RAG week. The idea of maturing by the time you finish college seems nice, but the reality is that one more night out couldn’t hurt you and that you can always become an academic weapon when it’s really nearing the end of the semester.

Now with the second semester reaching its climax, all there really is to think about are the exams or assessments and Easter. Rather calming compared to the first half. Sure, you have that part where you swear to yourself some New Year’s resolutions and perhaps go out for Valentine’s Day, but other than that it’s less intense than what the former half had to offer. Newer students are slowly getting used to the pace that college sets out, while those final year students are absolutely locked in, mind and spirit to get through this section one last time. The last few years might’ve been a rollercoaster of fanfare, or a void of regret – that’s up to the student to decide.

You might be of the more optimistic mindset. With the end of the academic year, you just have to cram in these next few weeks, and off to the Tenerife you go! Summer is something to look forward to, just as long as it isn’t raining. Or you can finally spend the entire summer making bank and then going on vacation somewhere that isn’t Spain for once. Listen, there are other countries that serve booze just as good and as cheap as Spain, you don’t have to go there every year with your mates!

Deadlines, similar to the unstoppable onslaught of time, always approaches and reflection is something you can always decide to do at a later point, whether it’s your life choices or your questionable exam results. You’re better off stressing over the next few weeks now rather than worry about messing up your introduction for a module at the start of the college year. The choice of being tucked in or locked in is up to you, and there’s plenty of time before that next assignment is due anyway, so treat yourself before it’s due.

You get the gist of what’s happening and when – parties, freebies on campus, RAG week. The idea of maturing by the time you finish college seems nice, but the reality is that one more night out couldn’t hurt. You can always become an academic weapon when it’s really nearing the end of the semester.
Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 14 Opinion · Tuairim
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

Changes on Campus

With the University making the incredibly drastic decision to go from NUI Galway to University of Galway, you would think that this meant we would have an entirely new campus too. Admittedly, I was worried that they only braved it to make our student emails much longer to type out, but there were a couple of minor changes that I think we all appreciate.

Letting go of Blackboard was for the better, though I do miss not having worry about assignments (due to not being able to see them on the app). Also, the new basketball court has truly been put to use, as a result of Ireland’s innate love for basketball.

While acknowledging these improvements, there are still many more that could be made to benefit student life on campus. One thing that affects me personally, every day, is the parking situation.

Students who wish to park on campus must pay €55 for a permit. This price stays the same regardless of when you purchase it during the year. The permit allows students to park in the car park across from the Kingfisher, the shared staff and student car park beside the Orbsen building, the Park-and-Ride service in Dangan, and also

G’luck with yer Gluas!

Many people think the ‘Gluas’ or Galway Luas, is just an urban legend. Something to inspire dreams of light rail in children’s minds. But to many people, the Gluas is the Vicks VapoRub that will fix Galway’s congestion.

The likeable underdog of the public transport world, the Gluas was initially proposed in 2008, but has met opposition and has suffered in the shadow of bypass demands.

But why do we have to pick one over the other? So much time has passed since the first calls for a bypass that it makes that if it does eventually get built, it won’t solve the problem. A light rail would be a cleaner, more efficient way to bring people into the city, while the bypass would present a way to get around it.

Despite the benefits, people still scoff at the idea of a tram. We’ve been gaslit by Dubs to believe the idea of trams in Galway is unfathomable, and that we’re lucky to have a train.

The initial proposal had only a few routes: three, connecting the outskirts to the city to each other, and then a fourth one from Eyre Square to Salthill, if we behave, which seems a bit mad.

the few spaces scattered around the student accommodations – if you are lucky enough to find one and feeling up for a walk.

These spaces are incredibly limited, and the car park beside the Orbsen building, though modern and properly laid out, is usually at capacity due to the large number of staff who require parking.

So, if you want to park close to campus then this leaves the car park beside the Kingfisher, which is a small gravel and stone lot with no parking lines or proper layout. The spaces are incredibly tight and limited and unless you are there before 8:30am, the car park will be full.

The park-and-ride service is useful, as buses come every 10-20 minutes. Though, often at peak hours the buses are delayed or do not come. Having to leave the campus to get to the car park causes further delays due to the traffic on the main road. There have often been times that this car park is full too, forcing even those who have paid for permits to either pay and display or miss their lectures.

I would love to see some more parking become available to students on campus. Speaking from personal experience, it would make my life so much easier. I don’t think I have the energy to fight with someone from my car window over a parking spot that was 100% mine, again.

I would also love to see some more seating on campus. Unfortunately, I can only speak from the perspective of an arts student, and I spend most of my time in the buildings around the Big Yellow Thing. I would love to see some more spaces to sit and work that aren’t as intense as the library. Smokey’s is usually full. Of course, you can uncomfortably pretend to look in your bag when you see someone reach for their jacket in the hope that they’re moving, but it really is too humbling when they catch you.

Maybe the issue here is that there are too many students in the University. But reducing the number of students isn’t an easy fix and is definitely not something that I am proposing. Although, if there were less students then I would run into that one person that I don’t want to see, even more than I already do. So perhaps the number of students should stay the same.

But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense, and the 424-bus route is the proof. Anyone who gets the 424 knows that by the time it reaches Barna at peak times, it’s completely full. People are left stranded, having to wait up to an hour for their next option.

Though Transport For Ireland have put on more buses, it’s still overcrowded. Even today, If I hadn’t gotten on at the station, I’d be submitting this article late and be in trouble.

The Gluas is the glaring answer to this issue and could do the same for the many other strained bus routes in Galway. Though Dublin is much bigger, the likes of Limerick, Cork, and Galway are all growing

and need their investment sooner rather than later.

It really highlights the issue with fairness in Ireland. Dublin gets everything. Their population may be higher, but we get rained on a lot so really, we deserve it as a treat.

This can be seen in the Dublin Metro – I think it’s a great idea, and the people arguing against it also argued against the Luas. But why are we investing so much in Dublin exclusively?

It’s almost like we won’t experiment –we are too conservative. We need to just do and not debate, so we can get to the stage where we look back and wonder how we ever managed without it.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 15 Opinion · Tuairim
Photo by Jonathon Hessian on Ireland’s Content Pool Photo by Sharaj Jagadeesan

Not Kitten Around - Ireland Needs Cat Cafes!

Cat cafes are a simple enough concept to wrap your head around. You visit a cafe to meet your friends or to complete an assignment that’s due the next day, you order your coffee and treat yourself to a slice of cake, and the entire time you’re there you get to interact with some of the cutest cats you’ll ever meet. It’s a win-win!

So why don’t we have any cat cafes in Ireland? The first thing that comes to mind is the expense. Running a cat cafe involves multiple veterinarian visits, especially if the cat is elderly or was a rescue cat. Food and litter box also need to be supplied for all of the cats, as well as electricity and heating that would need to be on 24/7. Don’t forget the expenses for general upkeep of a cat cafe that sells food and beverage. Stress is another factor because if you love cats as much as cat cafe owners usually do, you’re bound to worry about the well-being of the cats from time to time and you may miss the ones that get adopted.

Let’s focus on the positives of having more cat cafes in Ireland for a hot minute. Spending the day in a cat cafe would be a fun new activity with friends and family on the weekend. The addition of cat cafes

in the country would boost tourism as no cat lover could pass up the opportunity of hanging out with cute and cuddly cats while on holiday. We need to put a stop to purchasing pets in pet shops or online and the existence of cat cafes would help combat this issue.

Cat cafes act as rescue centres where stray cats can acclimatise to humans and meet potential adopters. There would be fewer stray cats living in fear on the streets and more cats in the loving homes that they deserve.

The companionship that cats provide has been scientifically proven to improve mood by alleviating feelings of loneliness and decreasing isolation in students. Loneliness and isolation are often associated with stress and anxiety so by visiting a cat cafe, you’re actively improving your mental health!

Cat cafes thrive everywhere in the world in countries such as Japan, Malaysia, Germany, Hungary, and Canada. In Japan, 150 cat cafes are busy every day of the week and visitors have to book their visit weeks in advance to avoid disappointment. How insane is that! In the heart of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, there’s a famous cat cafe that is probably the size of the Bailey Allen Hall at the University of Galway and this cat cafe

houses up to 35 of the most beautiful cats of all ages. The cats range from all ages and every cat is up for adoption.

There used to be a fabulous rescue cat cafe up in Dublin called ‘The Purr’ that Phibsboro Cat Rescue ran. The cats in the cafe were strays or cats that owners dropped off because they were no longer able to mind them. The cafe charged customers a basic 15 euro for 40 minutes of unlimited play time with the cats and you could add on a drink or a treat for an additional cost. You were allowed to approach the cats if you’d like but visitors were always encouraged to let the cats come to them first. If cafe visitors fell in love with a cat, they were allowed to submit a request to adopt the cat as all the cats at the cafe were up for adoption. Home visits would then be carried out by Phibsboro Cat Rescue officials to ensure that the cats were going to a suitable and happy home with ample space and a healthy environment. Unfortunately, The Purr permanently closed a few years ago leaving Ireland with no official cat cafes.  While waiting for a cat cafe to open here in Galway, you can always visit The Secret Garden on William Street as they have the cutest resident cats that adore customers.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 16 Opinion · Tuairim
Photo by Şahin Sezer Dinçer on Pexels

Feathered Fiends

Seagulls. The mere mention of this one word sends the sanest person into a vortex of insanity. Field studies show that there is yet to be a positive reaction when the topic of these birds enters conversations.

A vast number of people have an anecdote that includes the so-called “winged fiends.” There are either funny or infuriating. There is no such thing as a moment of awe with seagulls, no offence to them.

“ These miniature beasts walk Galway’s pavements in confidence because they know they’re untouchable.

Personal anecdotes are beginning to surface. I didn’t just fall victim to these creatures, but there were other individuals that I witnessed also. I tried not to laugh, but it’s difficult when the gulls themselves are ruthless. There’s no invitation needed for them; they just invade with no thought of consequence.

One of my first encounters was back in my fifth year in school. The mock exams had commenced and after a long lunch break my friends and I were walking back to school and out of nowhere I hear this splat sound. I didn’t just hear it, but I felt it on my head and a caw caw aw aw aw from above.

A seagull. A bloody seagull was laughing at me. My friends erupted into laughter while I dabbed at my fringe with a wipe hoping no white bits were showing. Is it a wonder I have constant anxiety when any type of bird flies overhead?

The second encounter was more vicious. In my Leaving Cert year, a group of friends and I sat in Eyre Square with food, and we decided to feed a few spare crumbs to the pigeons; they’re harmless. It was all chill until this gigantic group of seagulls crashed the picnic, their wings fluttering close to our face, and they pecked at the food we were trying to protect. An actual attack. In the end we had to surrender our food. It was a sad day.   Thankfully, that was my last time falling victim to them, for a while at least.

Recently, I witnessed a man walking towards me with a sandwich in his hand, chewing contently. Out of nowhere a gull flew into his personal space and nabbed at the sandwich, causing over a quarter of it to fall to the ground. A lot of people stood there trying not to laugh or offering a sympathetic smile to him, but he just laughed it off. As soon as his sandwich remains hit the ground, there was a frenzy of wings and bird screams as they fought for the scraps.

They are scheming, they know exactly what they’re up to. If you don’t believe me, you should watch the viral video of a seagull walking into a small shop and grabbing a bag of crisps straight off the shelf and walking out. The little thief is a viral champion in the bird category.

Students, who have recently moved to Galway, will either know of or will get to know the feeling of dozens of eyes preying on them while they enjoy a small bite to eat in Eyre Square as loads of seagulls pace around you while eating, waiting and daring for you to drop some food, and if they’re waiting too long then they might just take matters into their own hands.

Beware. You’ve been warned.

Real talk though, these feathered miniature beasts walk Galway’s pavements in confidence because they know they’re untouchable. They know their place and they have shown the entire city that they’re not afraid of anyone. We fear them and they do not fear us; strange, isn’t it?

We cannot do anything about them. However, our food must be protected at all costs. If we can come together and present a united front for the protection of our food then it is only then we will win against the seagulls of Galway.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 17
UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU Your New Social Space! O PENING H OURS : Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm The SU Síbín is located in the Library Basement Síbín UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU Your New Social Space! O PENING H OURS : Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm The SU Síbín is located in the Library Basement Síbín
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When will Hollywood start to take animation seriously?

Back in 2023, when Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio won Best Animated Feature, the filmmaker made a short but impassioned speech which be began by stating that “animation is cinema” and that it is “ready to be taken to the next step”. Del Toro is keenly aware that animation is not taken seriously enough as an art form and is often regarded as simply a genre for children.

At this years Oscars the award was taken home by The Boy and the Heron from Studio Ghibli, its first win since Spirited Away. In the Best Directing category Christopher Nolan took home the golden statue, and in his speech said, “movies are just a little bit over 100 years old, imagine being there 100 years into painting or theatre, we don’t know where this incredible journey is going from here.” Nolan’s words could be said to apply even more to the medium of animation.

It cannot be overstated just how much of an effect the Oscars have on the film industry. The lack of recognition towards

animation from the Academy is a major reason for why it has not become more accepted.

Sure, the Oscars have an award for Best Animated Feature, but is that enough? It actually ends up relegating these films to their own separate area of the film sphere and gives the Academy an excuse to not include them in other categories.

No animated movie has been nominated for Best Picture since Toy Story 3 in 2010. Before then only Up and Beauty and the Beast had been nominated for it.

But it is not only in Best Picture that animation has been repeatedly snubbed. An animated movie has not received a writing nomination since 2015, and there is no recognition of voice acting by the Academy, or any other major award association.

It seems that no matter the calibre of the film itself, animation frequently gets dismissed for reason of being “childish”. Of course, a lot of the time these films are geared towards children, but pretty much all films are geared towards a certain audience but are still respected, why should it be any different for kid’s films?

It’s difficult to know how to fix this issue in Hollywood, though. If the Oscars were to bring in an award for voice acting

and began nominating animated films in other categories more frequently, such as Best Picture and Screenplay, this would not fix the problem overnight.

All you need to do is look at some of the anonymous interviews with Academy voters that get revealed every year. It is pretty apparent through these that voters do not care about animation. In 2015, when talking about animation, one voter said, “I only watch the ones that my kid wants to see.” It is clear there needs to be a major shift in the way of thinking about animation among the Hollywood elite.

However, it is not all doom and gloom in the animation world. It is possible that we are at a turning point for the medium. With the wins of The Boy and the Heron, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, and even Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018, it seems the Academy has begun looking at animation more critically, instead of just deciding which Disney or Pixar film should get the award.

Hopefully the future holds a more welcoming world for animation, one that gives it the recognition it deserves. It is about time that these films are judged for what they are, and not the medium with which they are presented in.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 18 Arts & Fashion · Cultúr 7 Faisean

Student enthusiasm greets announcement of Sally Rooney’s new book

Excitement is in the air for campus’ Sally Rooney fans with the announcement that her fourth novel, Intermezzo, will be released this autumn.

Publisher Faber announced the news at the end of February, with the book jacket describing Intermezzo as a story about “desire, despair and possibility”.

The novel follows two brothers grappling with complicated love interests in the wake of their father’s death. The older brother, Peter, is a successful lawyer with two romantic interests, one of whom is a college student. Ivan, the much younger brother, is a professional chess player who has fallen in love with an older woman.

While some students at the University of Galway remain unaware of the Rooney phenomenon, others are open admirers of the author’s previous works.

“I love how she writes from a specifically female perspective with such confidence,” says Fern Kealy, a master’s writing student. She credits Rooney with being “ahead of the curve” with her representation of situationships.

“For this novel, I’m hoping she’ll break away from some of her usual tricks and keep the same depth and intelligence which she always has. [I hope she will] just try some new things; Normal People can’t be done again, nor should it be.”

And it’s not just arts students who are looking forward to Intermezzo’s release.

Edoardo Zamuner, a first-year biotechnology student, describes Normal People as “a perfect book” with an interesting plot. He says he would be keen to read Rooney’s latest work.

Alexandria McGrath, a final-year LLB student, praises Rooney’s engaging writing style and approach to friendships and relation ships. “Rooney is an acclaimed author for a reason,” she says.

“Most of Irish literature’s reputation is tied to Seamus Heaney, Yeats and so on. So, it’s quite cool to see someone holding the torch for Ireland in the [contemporary] literary realm.”

In a statement to the Associated Press, Rooney said that she had been working on the novel for some years. She described the characters as “an important part of [her] life” and expressed hope that readers would feel the same way.

“I love how she writes from a specifically female perspective with such confidence,” says Fern Kealy, a master’s writing student. She credits Rooney with being “ahead of the curve” with her representation of situationships.

Sally Rooney became an international literary icon with her books Conversations with Friends and Normal People, both of which have also become hit TV series. Normal People was longlisted for the Booker Prize and won Irish Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Her last novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You? was published in 2021, selling over half a million copies.

Rooney is also well-known for her self-proclaimed Marxism and involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In 2021, she refused to sell book rights to an Israeli publisher which had not distanced itself from the Israeli occupa tion of Palestine. Last year, she gave a reading at an Irish Artists for Palestine fundraiser for aid to Palestine.

In 2022, Rooney was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in global culture. She lives in her native Castlebar, Country Mayo. Intermezzo will be on sale on 24 September.

poetry corner

the stars of salthill

we sat at the sea at a quarter past nine amie, geoff, sinead & me

i held up a small stone, “ray, that star, it’s you” waves swirling as one.

“it’s not blue, it’s black” but we’re not big at all. i’m happy? i think.

i love this sea, “i care about you”.

“this is peace (and contentment)

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 19 Arts & Fashion · Cultúr 7 Faisean University of Galway Merchandise Everything You Need! CLOTHING, GIFTS & COLLEGE ESSENTIALS!

Rapid Fire Reviews: The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards have come and gone, and Oppenheimer has been crowned this year’s best picture. But what about the other nine nominees? Let’s take a look at all the films in the bracket to see what’s worth your time. In no particular order:

Past Lives: Celine Song

Well-acted interpersonal drama with some good ideas. A little underdeveloped and surface level at times. Past Lives has genuine heart, but I would have liked to have seen aspects of characters explored deeper. The film does provide an interesting spin on the traditional love triangle by inciting a deeper connection with a character that would traditionally be written as an antagonist. Sadly, though its concept is strong it comes out as one of the weaker films

of this Gerwig isn’t afraid of throwing in a good speech or two. I think the film has some pacing issue in its middle third but aside from that I had a great time. Barbie strikes a healthy balance between comedic and emotionally complex ideas and imagery.

Poor Things: Yorgos Lanthimos

Poor Things is obtuse and won’t be for everyone. Lanthimos’s weirdly wonderful film was one of my standouts this season. It remains without a doubt the most visually creative film in the best picture bracket, boasting spectacular set and costume design. Emma Stone deservedly received an Oscar for bringing the brilliantly bizarre Bella Baxter to life. This film can be nuanced and sincere in its tackling of mature themes, but also isn’t afraid to be crude and blunt in the name

this season. Still, a very sweet film that doesn’t overstay its welcome and decent directorial debut for Celine Song.

American Fiction: Cord Jefferson

Cord Jefferson’s comedy drama started off very promisingly. There is definitely at least one major side-plot that does not need to be here. While I do think the film loses its footing towards the second half, it still manages to tell a compelling story of the commodification and trivialising of Black art and artists. It encourages the audience to question their perspective on the connection between people and stories. Sterling K. Brown deserved his best supporting actor nomination for his performance as Cliff.

Barbie: Greta Gerwig

You’ve already seen this movie; it’s the highest grossing film of last year for a reason. Gerwig has made a wonderfully funny, sweet, sincere film with a killer soundtrack. The film wants to ensure the audience receives its message. In pursuit

of a laugh (This is one of the funniest films of the year). Lanthimos and crew deserve all the accolades they received and continue to receive.

Killers Of the Flower Moon: Martin Scorsese

The true story behind this film highlights yet another stain in America’s history. The level of political and personal negligence concerning the mass murder of the Osage will leave you sick to your stomach. Lily Gladstones performance is heartbreaking, I was shocked she didn’t take home the award. Killers is a long film there’s no getting around that fact. Thankfully, its length is not superfluous and there is method behind Scorsese’s three and a half hour madness. Just make sure you’re in the mood to fully engage for that length before deciding to give this one a watch.

The Zone of Interest: Jonathan Glazer Poor things used a multitude of effects to achieve its unique look, but Zone achieves its haunting visage using only

techniques available during the second world war. This is the most important film released this season. Timely, poignant and absolutely terrifying the film shows just how easy it can be to remain complicit and ignorant in times of great atrocity. I was delighted to see the films amazing sound design team take home the award. Jonathan Glazer has caught my attention.

The Holdovers: Alexander Payne

This is my personal favourite film from this season. It’s also the film I think the most people will enjoy and continue to rewatch. A modern Christmas classic, stacked to the brim with incredible performances and a script packed with so much sincerity a lesser filmmaker would have created a sickly mess. I was delighted to see Da’ Vine Joy Randolph awarded for her outstanding performance. Giamatti once again falls just short of Oscars greatness through no fault of his own. I hope himself and Payne continue to collaborate in future.

Anatomy of a Fall: Justine Triet

This is how you do a court room drama. Relentless is the word I come back to when describing this film. Its atmosphere can be so oppressive in the best way. Hüller gives her second outstanding performance in the bracket as widow turned murder suspect Sandra Voyter. The film is ambiguous, and a large portion is left to the audience to piece together. If nothing else Antoine Reinartz performance as the public prosecutor was worth the price of admission alone.

Maestro: Bradley Cooper

I have no idea who this film is for. If you’re looking for a traditional biopic you won’t find that here. If you’re looking for a deeper examination of Bernstein’s catalogue of work, you won’t find that here. If you are looking for a two hour plus vanity project with little substance under its style, then I’m sure you will be delighted. Cooper’s second outing as a director fails to leave much of an impression beyond a sour note.

Oppenheimer: Christopher Nolan

Again, you’ve already seen this one. What’s even left to say about this behemoth of a movie. Nolan has created his best film to date with a stellar cast and jaw dropping visuals. Murphy is astounding as the father of the atomic bomb, spurred on by an allstar cast. Downey steals the show in every scene and rightly took home the award for best supporting actor. Not my favourite film this season, I was worried entering the show that it would unfairly dominate, but I was delighted to see Murphy and Nolan’s talents finally recognised.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 20 Arts & Fashion · Cultúr 7 Faisean
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels

One Day – A new take on the bestselling novel

“It’s one of the great cosmic mysteries, how it is that someone can go from being a total stranger to being the most important person in your life.”

One Day is the limited Netflix series that was released this February based on the 2009 bestselling David Nicholls’ novel of the same name. The 14-part series adaptation goes into more of the finer details of the original book compared to the 2011 movie starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. The series has received critical acclaim and has launched the careers of the two main leads to new heights.

Having a new adaptation released 17 years after the publication of the novel is a testament to the writing of David Nicholls and its ability to withstand the test of time. Taking the title of the most watched series globally during the week of February 12, with 9.9 million views, it has garnered huge popularity amongst Netflix users.

The 14-part series, starting in 1988 and ending in the year 2007, follows the intertwined lives of Emma Morley played by Ambika Mod, and Dexter Mayhew played by Leo Woodall as they go through the ups and downs of life together, even when they are separated geographically. The importance is emphasised on July 15, St Swithin’s Day, where Emma and Dexter are linked every year for over 20 years on that day.

Meeting on their graduation night from the University of Edinburgh, Emma and Dexter

start their journey together after they spend a platonic night talking about their futures and where they want their lives to go. They leave an impression on each other that extends past physical attraction as they open up to each other. The next day they loiter around and end up taking a hike to Arthur’s Seat.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, Ambika Mod talked about her reasons for taking the role of Emma and how it was a full circle moment being back in Edinburgh when she was first shooting the series; “We started filming and the last time I was here, three years ago, I was not where I wanted to be. Exactly three years later I was the lead of a Netflix series of one of my favourite books, and in a location that means so much to me. It was just very special, like a full circle moment.”

As a female protagonist, Emma is a brilliant one. She is a strong character who doesn’t let Dexter undermine her, even when he is at the top of his game and living a seemingly lavish life. Emma was able to see through the façade of fame and see how much her friend had changed for the worse. There is an underlying connection between the two and their strong bond withstands the years spent apart, and their years lived together.

The chemistry between Ambika and Leo on screen creates a believable story and relationship that is heart-wrenching and true. They are each other’s emotional crutches and show just how much we rely on other people to keep us going and get us through

our struggles. They needed each other, whether it be through writing letters, over telephone calls, or when they were in the same room to keep going when everything became too much. They have managed to capture an on-screen love that is one any viewer would emotionally connect to.

It is a touching, funny, and at times devastating, romcom that is sure to stay as relevant as the original book. If there’s anything to take away from the series it is to not wait for the distant hope of one day, but to tell those you love how you feel in the present. Don’t waste time when you never know what could happen and as the opening dialogue states; “Where can we live but days?”

Sam Mendes to make four feature films on The Beatles

Sam Mendes, best known for his debut film American Beauty (1999), which won him an Academy Award, is to direct the biopics of The Beatles. Mendes, famous for his thought-provoking films, will be taking a new challenging approach towards the rise of The Beatles to their stardom.

He will be making four feature length films, each from the perspective of one band member. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Mendes, and Neal Street Productions have announced a global theatrical release of the films in 2027, and fans all over the world are left thrilled with anticipation.

The English rock band was founded in 1960, and in 1962, Parlophone released their first hit, ‘Love Me Do’. The first appearance of the Fab Four (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) on British television in 1963 then led to a collective frenzy and a huge fanbase for them in Britain. When in 1964, The

Beatles appeared on American television, this ‘Beatlemania’ also spread to the United States.

In 1968, as part of their experimentation with music and culture, The Beatles launched their own record label, Apple. The year that followed saw the release of Abbey Road, one of the band’s most celebrated albums. However, many of Apple’s productions, except The Beatles’ own works, did not succeed commercially.

In no time, differences amongst the members led to the band’s break up in 1970. After a decade of cultural, ideological, and musical revolution, The Beatles receded into the history of pop culture, and each of them went to create their own hits.

Several films were made about The Beatles in the 1960s, several of them starring the singers themselves. Some very recent films include Peter Jackson’s four-part documentary, The Beatles: Get Back (2021), and Danny Boyle’s Yesterday (2019) that takes place in a world where everyone forgets

The Beatles. A Hard Day’s Night (1964) , Yellow Submarine (1968), Let It Be (1970), and Backbeat (1994) are some of the best films made about the band. Alan Clayson, a journalist, turned Backbeat into a novel, and later published a four-volume box set, telling their story from the perspective of each member.

Sam Mendes’ biopic project, despite adapting a similar method of narration, promises a different experience as it delves into each member’s story. The films would “bring them together in a suitably captivating and innovative way”, Apple Corps said. It is the first time the Apple Corps and The Beatles are granting full life story and music rights for a scripted film.

From what Sony have said, the four films would have an “innovative” sequence of release. Nevertheless, the producer Dame Pippa Harris’ promise of “an epic cinematic experience” for all the film enthusiasts out there, provides reassurance. The 2027 project will reintroduce the band to the Gen Zs on a global level; and with Sam Mendes as the director, we expect no lack of innovations.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 21 Arts & Fashion · Cultúr 7 Faisean

Album review: Where’s My Utopia? – Yard Act

When I agreed to write a review on Yard Act’s sophomore album Where’s My Utopia?, I had never heard of the band, much less listened to them. With a fresh mind, and no expectations, the first thing I noticed was that it didn’t really read like an album, but like a collaged scrapbook of British working-class life. Was this perception borne purely from the constant mixing, chopping and random sampling, especially in the opening track An Illusion, with interjections such as “it’s the end of the world” and Down by the Stream, in which the sound never stays consistent for more than 30 seconds, or was it borne from the diversity in voice and perspective?

Regardless, the album is colourful. It’s pop and it’s hip-hop, as well as being rock and Alex Turner. It’s Gorillaz, I thought to myself, thinking that maybe they were just an influence. I searched it up on Google. No, it was not just an influence. The co-producer Remi Kabaka Jr., drummed for Gorillaz.

It’s Alex Turner. It’s Alex Turner. Why does this stick with me, when truthfully the album didn’t sound too Arctic Monkeys, with the exception of my favourite track, Petroleum, despite lead singer James Smith’s allusions to them as influences? Is it the accent? Could it possibly be just the accent? It’s likely the accent and, in Smith’s own words, “the way Alex Turner wrote lyrics around social observation”. It’s a very northern accent. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, and I do believe this is Smith’s real accent, but it’s become fashionable to put on or exaggerate Northern British accents

to be seen as more relatable, or more so to be seen as “counter-cultural” when the music isn’t able to speak to that itself.

Where’s My Utopia? is so refreshing. You can tell it’s authentic. Whether it’s discussing how the group try to maintain the same views on social class and economy now that they’re more successful, along with perhaps some undertones of discussions on homosexuality, on We Make Hits, or tongue-in-cheek ruminations on fear and childhood on Blackpool Illuminations; “Would you say [change is] your biggest fear?/Um, no, I’d probably say being drowned and buried at the bottom of a lake.” It all feels very real, something I only allowed myself to admit after a little Google search on the members’ backgrounds.

Musically, what stood out to me about the album was the bass, which I would describe as “stompy,” in the same way that my friend Sadbh described my Fiona Apple-but-more-rock bassline; fast,

sometimes repetitive, a little Phrygian, and very cool. Yard Act’s bass doesn’t exactly sound like this, but I’ll draw the comparison. Is it bad journalism to describe Yard Act’s combination of bass and vocals as “evil”? I’ll do it anyway. It thunders. It thumps, it raises your heart rate, and it’s gritty, á la “The Grind”, speaking to the album’s themes of the working class.

What else did I find Incredibly Interesting?

The rendition of Macbeth’s lines in ‘When the Laughter Ends.’ It’s so evil. Truth be told, I wasn’t a huge fan of collaborator Katy J Pearson’s vocals. I found them too poppy, and as taking away from the pure evil that the song otherwise would allow us to indulge in.

Would others see quoting Macbeth as pretentious? Perhaps, but I defend Yard Act and their authenticity. While being able to finish secondary education is a huge privilege, it is still relatively common to do so, even for the lower classes. And Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is often on secondary school curriculums. It’s probably one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays, due to it being on curricula, and due to the wealth of information surrounding it. And it has inspired all sorts of art, including Yard Act’s.

Despite the play’s proximity to culture that is not quite as accessible, and subconsciously seen as for “the elite”, it has inspired people of all backgrounds. And it feels like a testament to Yard Act’s authenticity. They’re not trying to fit into any boxes. They’re not going to try to fake their accents. They’re going to take what they can, and they’re not going to pretend that they don’t have it. Yard Act’s Where’s My Utopia? is very, very real.

Brit Awards recap

It was a historic night at this year’s Brit Awards. The record for the most awards won in a single night was broken by British singer-songwriter Raye, who took home six awards out of the seven she was nominated for.

This year was the 44th Brit Awards ceremony and it was hosted by Maya Jama, Clara Amfo and Roman Kemp. The ceremony was held in the O2 Arena in London on March 2. The awards were attended by British and global stars and included performances by some of the artists who made waves in music last year.

Raye’s success

Raye took home the awards for R&B Act, Songwriter of the Year, Song of the

Year for Escapism featuring 070 Shake, Breakthrough Artist, Artist of the Year and Album of the Year for her debut My 21st Century Blues.

Raye’s wins come after years of being overlooked by her former label Polydor Records led her to become an independent artist. She has written songs for big names such as Beyoncé, but 2023 was the year that Raye made her mark as a solo artist.

Raye was also one of the most stylish guests on the night, first wearing a sparkly black ball gown with her hair in a classy 1960’s style bob.

Raye’s reaction to each win showed just how much this long overdue recognition meant to her. The star even brought her grandma on stage to accept her Album of the Year award - a truly heartwarming moment.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 22 Arts & Fashion · Cultúr 7 Faisean
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

MGMT’S Loss of Life is strange — Who would have guessed?

Sixteen years into their musical career, MGMT are still exploring different styles without losing their iconic sound, something that Loss of Life could prove in a court of law. Their sixth album is a series of surprises, with each song remarkably different from the last. Filled with cryptic lyrics, they haven’t lost any of their surrealness, and therefore this album makes for a great listening experience.

The opening track is titled Loss Of Life (part 2), an atmospheric intro that really sets up the carefully crafted randomness that appears throughout the album. If you’re wondering what the voice you’re hearing is, it’s a reading of a 13th century anonymous Welsh poem titled ‘I am Taliesin. I sing perfect metre.’ Accompanied by a slowly building mix of instruments, it is delightfully atmospheric and I felt real suspense before it abruptly ended.

The following track, Mother Nature, was for me, the first surprise. Though it has its electronic elements, the “bandy” sound is quite a change from the previous track, and MGMT’s usual sound. The instruments are much rawer, and operate independently, something that is a change from their almost orchestra like use of distortion.

Christine and the Queens join us for Dancing in The Babylon, a song that is so unapologetically an 80s love ballad I had to do a double take to see if my queue had been cleared. A collab that I didn’t expect


Indie rock girl group The Last Dinner Party were named the Rising Star of the year before the ceremony. Soul and funk band Jungle won the award for British Group and band Bring Me The Horizon won for Alternative/Rock Act.

Scottish DJ Calvin Harris won the award for Best Dance Act, surprisingly only his third BRIT award win. Casisdead won the Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act award.

Dua Lipa won the award for Pop Act after her successful year starring in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and her song Dance The Night featuring in the movie’s track list.

Electronic dance duo Chase & Status, who are known for their drum and bass sound, won Producer of the Year. There were two Irish artists nominated in the international award categories. Dublin singer Jazzy was nominated for

at all, but it still makes sense. The vocals supplied by Christine and the Queens are akin to that of Belinda Carlisle and other great 80s female singers. I have to say this was my least favourite track as I’m a firm believer love ballads belong in the past.

Though there was much experimentation on this album, Bubblegum Dog is a return to classic MGMT. Surreal lyrics are bolstered by a wall of sound, consisting of layers of instruments. Deep synths, coupled with a harpsichord brought me back to the beautiful chaos of their earlier music, but still manages to sound new and alien.

The lyrics are weird, but I say that endearingly. Each line seems unrelated to the previous one, but as a result, they can all be read individually and still have weight to them. My personal favourite was, “I felt hate towards the earthly world, but hate is a very strong word.” Don’t ask why it appealed to me, or what it means, we aren’t meant to know.

Nothing to Declare, Phradie’s Song, and I Wish I Was Joking, all fall under the same mixture of new MGMT noises and old ones. All in all, I think it works well. As MGMT are so unique in their sound, trying something new might not have scratched the itch some of us, including myself, had for some psychedelic synth confusion, but the littering of entirely different vibes throughout kept me on my toes. Though I felt there were some hiccups, Loss Of Life is a fascinating listening experience.


MGMT’s sixth album is a series of surprises, with each song remarkably different from the last. Filled with cryptic lyrics, they haven’t lost any of their surrealness, and therefore this album makes for a great listening experience.”

International Song of the Year for her dance track Giving Me, which shot to the top of the Irish singles charts last year. This category was won by Miley Cyrus’ Flowers, which was the most streamed song on Spotify in 2023.

Singer-songwriter CMAT was also nominated for International Artist of the Year but lost out to SZA. However, CMAT made sure her presence was known at the awards with a dress that was quite daring, to say the least.

American supergroup boygenius followed their Grammys success by winning the award for International Group. This comes as the band recently announced their hiatus.


The BRIT Awards are known for their extravagant performances this year was no different. Pop superstar Dua Lipa

opened the show with her single Training Season, which showcased her strong vocal ability while keeping up with the choreography (and being momentarily hoisted up in the air by her troupe of male dancers).

Performances from international stars like Nigerian singer Rema’s performance of his smash hit Calm Down and Canadian singer Tate McRae’s Greedy performance stunned fans. Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris took to the stage to perform their hit Miracle, and Becky Hill was joined by Chase & Status to perform Disconnect.

However, it was the pop princess Kylie Minogue who stole the show, as she closed the ceremony with a mashup of her greatest hits. The popstar won the Global Icon award earlier in the night and her spectacular performance was a reminder of why she deserved this award.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 23 Arts & Fashion · Cultúr 7 Faisean
Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 24 Photography · Grianghrafadóireacht
Shivam Suvankar Roy Suvankar Roy Sharaj Jagadeesan Hrishikesh Hannah Martin Dev Sharma

Student Showcase

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 25 Photography · Grianghrafadóireacht
Shivam Shivam Suvankar Roy Sharaj Jagadeesan Sharaj Jagadeesan Hrishikesh Hannah Martin Dev Sharma

Through the Eye of Aodhán Morris

I’m Aodhán, and I’m a 1st year PhD student in Political Studies and Sociology. I study memory and post memory of political violence in 20th century Ireland as portrayed in comics and photography. For me, photography is a seamless

method of working with light, colour and composition to uncover stories hidden in plain sight, all kinds of them: from social narratives, local memory, and history to the smallest stories of flowers growing through old stones.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 26 Photography · Grianghrafadóireacht

Unused lab coats and goggles taking up space in your house?

Donate them today!

Cótaí saotharlainne agus gloiní cosanta ag glacadh spáis i do theach? Athchúrsáil inniu iad!

Recycle lab coats and goggles by donating them at the SU Office before Friday 3rd of May

UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU
Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 28 Photography · Grianghrafadóireacht

Club Spotlight: Kayak Club

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 29 Photography · Grianghrafadóireacht
Photos by Aleksei Mzhachev

Remedies for Exam Anxiety

As we approach the end of the semester, it can sometimes feel a little bit overwhelming when deadlines and exams start to loom. This, understandably, leads to the stress and anxiety levels of students rising. This is normal for the high pressure environment of a University, but there’s no need to let it control you. If you’d like to try them, here are five natural remedies and practices that will hopefully lessen your anxiety levels and help you through the next few weeks!

Herbal remedies and essential oils

There can be huge benefits from herbal remedies and essential oils to help you relax, and if you’re struggling, to help you fall asleep. According to Holland and Barrett some of the effective herbal remedies for anxiety can include chamomile and lemon balm; “Chamomile is a well-known herbal remedy for anxiety and has been shown to be effective in aiding relaxation, and also helping with anxiety. Lemon balm is particularly useful for reducing nervousness and excitability. It works by balancing your stress response system”.

Essential oils can be used to help ease anxiety through inhalation, application or ingesting in small doses. “Lavender is renowned for its soothing properties and is often associated with helping people relax and rewind. It’s a scent that’s said to be a real mood-booster and can be especially beneficial to use before bed to promote restful sleep.

Bergamot oil can help people feel refreshed and energised. It is believed to help stabilise fearful thinking, lower anxious feelings, and promote deep relaxation”. Using the resources of the natural world can help you ease your anxiety and focus during exams.

Meditation and journaling

Reflective journaling and meditation can be a relaxing way to deal with stress. Having a space that is private and personal to let our inner monologue spill out is cathartic for those who may find it difficult to express how they are feeling through outward communication. Taking some time to reflect, meditate and write out how you feel can make your worries feel much smaller, especially when you see them spread out on a piece of paper!


It might sound redundant to suggest exercise as a remedy for anxiety, but there is no getting around the importance of it. Exercise eases symptoms of anxiety and according to Harvard Health research shows that exercise is very effective and a powerful tool for people suffering; “Engaging in exercise diverts you from the very thing you are anxious about and moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious”. If you are going to try it make sure you choose something that you will find enjoyable, such as yoga, dance, or swimming. If you also

find your stress outlet to be fun, there’s a higher chance of repeating the practice when you’re feeling anxious again.


Another one that may seem obvious, but cannot be ignored, is the power that sleep has on the body and mind. It might be difficult to fall asleep when there are high stress levels keeping your mind from turning off, but if you can manage it, a deep sleep can lower your heart rate and cause your blood pressure to drop. A good night’s sleep can bring you the most natural form of relaxation there is.


There will always be someone you can turn to if your anxiety feels too overwhelming. In the university, there are a number of student services available to help you through the year, especially during exam time. The Student Health Unit provides an array of services from consultations to wellness recovery. The university also run Togetherall which is a “free, safe, anonymous, online community for mental health support available to all students.” If you need external help there is a Support Wheel available whenever you need it on campus, don’t be afraid to reach out and use it!

It is not just you that is suffering, there are other students in the same position. Remember to breathe, look out for each other and everything will turn out okay.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 30 Health & Lifestyle · Folláine 7 Nós Maireachtála
Photo by Mareefe on Pixabay

Matt & Pedro’s Prescriptions

Matthew Coggins and Pedro Zavarello

Unhealthy, microwavable, and over-processed meals have plagued the collegiate population for decades. Prepared foods, bound by plastics and preservatives, have historically been the tried-and-true staples of the university food budget.

The infamous instant noodle packages seen in vending machines and gas stations seem to have always had a place on the shelves of student accommodation kitchenettes. Frozen pizzas, which line the shelves of every grocery store and off-licence, offer nearly effortless access to a quick yet unbalanced refection.

Luckily, cooking delicious and nutritious food has never been more simple. Join us in helping you unlock your kitchen.

For the first edition of Matt & Pedro’s Prescriptions, we will be showcasing the fan-favourite recipe for ‘Sexy Pasta’.

Guaranteed to satisfy even the most refined taste buds, this humble arrangement gathers the simplicity of earth’s most natural ingredients into one elegant concoction.

Sexy Pasta

Our take on Arrabbiata

€4.48 | Serves 2 | Total time – 15 minutes


• 180g Bacon – €1.39

• 200g Penne Pasta - €.28

• 500g Tomato Sauce - €.85

• One Onion - €.61

• One Clove of Garlic - €.25 50g Pecorino Cheese – €1.10


• Olive Oil

• Salt

• Black Pepper

• Chili Flakes

• Basil


1. Boil your water with salt

2. Add pasta and cook for 11 minutes

3. Put olive oil on a frying pan on high heat. Add bacon once oil starts sizzling.

4. Dice onions

5. Put your onions in with that bacon

6. Once bacon is fully cooked, stir in the tomato sauce and lower the heat

7. Add garlic

8. 1 minute later add some pasta water to the frying pan and let that simmer for a bit

9. Strain the pasta when cooked and add it to the other ingredients

10. Plate that/sprinkle with chili flakes and basil

I measc théamaí na dtionscadal tá:

• Na hEalaíona & Cultúr

• Sláinte & Folláine

• Oideachas

• Ceartas Sóisialta

• Gníomhaíochas Pobail

• An Timpeallacht

• Taithí Idirnáisiúnta

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 31 Health & Lifestyle · Folláine 7 Nós Maireachtála
A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience Join ALIVE Community Volunteering!
Arts &
Health & Wellbeing
Social Justice
Community Activism
agus Taithí ar an Obair Dheonach
Dheonach sa Phobal le ALIVE
Tionscnamh Foghlama
Bí páirteach in Obair
Photo by Matthew Coggins

The new generation skin obsession

Moisturizers, anti – wrinkle, retinol and spf are all buzz words kids these days are more than used to seeing.

This generation of children are being targeted particularly through social media by skincare companies.

Their colourful packaging as well some products that disperse creams in the shape of flowers and hearts are directly targeted at kids and we are beginning to see the effects.

While scrolling through TikTok I see countless videos of kids as young as eight applying serums such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, all on their young skin.

As a 21-year-old I get overwhelmed with the sheer number of products being thrown at me for “younger skin”, “anti-wrinkle” or “glass skin” trends, all marketing products that are out of my price range, I cannot imagine what it is like for younger people.

Sinead Walsh, who is also a frequent viewer of these videos explained the impact it is having on her and her friends.

“When I was younger, I never thought of buying skincare, I wanted to spend my money on makeup or books. But now it seems like everyone has new skincare every day.”

“I don’t even know how to use half of it, it’s all very confusing with big names on the bottles telling me why I need it. I don’t think I have any problems with my skin, but all my friends are applying these products every morning, they say they can see a difference with their skin but I’m not too sure.”

“Especially on TikTok, there is so many videos that are showing all these different lotions and creams. I’m not sure what any of them are. Girls my age have them.”

The impact of such heavy products on young skin is yet to be seen.

Dermatologists recommend a lightweight face cleanser as well as moisturizer suitable for all skin types at all ages.

The use of spf for young kids is also recommended, however kids these days are beginning to use heavyweight products designed for anti- ageing such as retinol.

Retinol is a heavy-duty serum designed for mature skin to combat ageing and wrinkles, when used correctly on the correct skin type and age, retinol is proven to reduce fine lines.

However, the negative effect of retinol causes acne, eczema, swelling and blistering.

Drunk Elephant is a brand most popular with kids due to its colourful packaging and animal logo, however many of its products includes exfoliators such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids and a vitamin – A retinol.

These products sell at average at €55 each, costly for parents with children interested in skincare.

These products find its best market on sites like TikTok and Instagram reels where videos titled “get ready with me”, amass thousands of views.

With many of the influencers in these videos using heavily edited filters to appear with glass like skin promoting these products to easy influenced kids and tweens.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 32 Health & Lifestyle · Folláine 7 Nós Maireachtála
Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels

The UK vape ban and its potential impacts for Ireland

The UK Department of Health and Social Care are planning to ‘phase out’ the usage of vapes. The intent is to ban disposable vapes and make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born on, or after January 1 2009. This ban is also set to be extended to Northern Ireland subject to an approval by Stormont Assembly. The legislation will provide powers to allow for further regulatory measures to address youth vaping.

Northern Ireland health minister states that, “If there are measures available that will reduce preventable deaths, help people live longer healthier lives, then as Health Minister I must advocate for them”.

Is Ireland in accordance with the UK government plans? Many Irish health experts are warning of the alarming rate in which the vaping ‘trend’ is growing among young people. In an interview on

RTE’s Six One News, Professor Louise Kyne claims that since the rise in vaping is so new, medical experts do not have the research to know the long term affects, and they are concerned with the toxins in the colourings and flavourings of vapes. Professor Kyne calls for a complete ban on disposable vapes, and more education on the risks involved in using these products.

The main attraction toward disposable vapes is thought to be the fruit-based flavourings matched with the brightly coloured packaging which attracts children, creating a toy-like product. Children and young people are not being made aware of the health risks associated with long-term vaping. There are currently no health warnings on the outer packaging, forging an impression that vaping is moderately harmless, and always ‘less detrimental’ than smoking.

There are also concerns of a vaping crisis in Irish secondary schools, with 13-15 being the average age of a young person beginning to vape. A number of Irish schools have been forced to take preventative measures in order to gain control of the secondary school vaping problem. Many schools have removed the outer doors of bathrooms to stop students vaping in bathroom stalls during school hours. There are also calls for education on vaping risks to be introduced to secondary schools. In accordance, the Taoiseach confirmed that the government would examine banning the devices in schools.

In regards to university vaping habits, SIN conducted a survey including 25 students of University of Galway, in which 44% said they have purchased a vape for their own personal use. Though this number in itself is considerably high, this study shows that the vaping crisis may not be as widespread among young adults on university campuses, thus the main concern is with children and those under the age of 18.

So, what is Ireland’s current agenda on vaping? The legislation to ban vaping products to those under 18 was recently passed in December 2023, as Minister of Health, Stephen Donnelly fully welcomed the new law. With this new law, shopkeepers can face fines of up to €4,000 if they supply someone under the age of 18 with a disposable vape/e-cigarette device. Changes to the legislation also included a ban on vaping advertisements near schools and on public transport. This is an attempt to gain control of the widespread usage of vapes by children and teenagers.

There is arguably more that should be done to face this vaping ‘epidemic’ among young people. Vaping in Ireland has become a public concern, with many health professionals urging the government to take further action. Consultations have since been set up to discuss additional measures that could be introduced. As talks progress, the country awaits government advancement.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 33 Health & Lifestyle · Folláine 7 Nós Maireachtála
UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU Free Period Products Táirgí Míostraithe Saor in Aisce Available from: • Áras na Mac Léinn (SU Office + Ladies toilet ground floor) • Áras Moyola (Ladies toilet ground floor) • Library Basement (SU Cloakroom + Ladies toilet ground floor) • Engineering Building (Foyer) • Arts/Science Concourse (Beside Student Enquiry Centre) • Arts Millennium Building (Ladies toilet ground floor) #EndPeriodPoverty Please take only what you need UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU Free Period Products Táirgí Míostraithe Saor in Aisce Available from: • Áras na Mac Léinn (SU Office + Ladies toilet ground floor) • Áras Moyola (Ladies toilet ground floor) • Library Basement (SU Cloakroom + Ladies toilet ground floor) • Engineering Building (Foyer) • Arts/Science Concourse (Beside Student Enquiry Centre) • Arts Millennium Building (Ladies toilet ground floor) #EndPeriodPoverty Please take only what you need
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An Ghaeilge i nGaillimh i rith an tSamhraidh

Le Róisín Gallagher

Is iomaí an dalta ollscoile a thug cúirt ar Chontae na Gaillimhe le linn a hóige ar chúrsa Ghaeltachta le linn an tsamhraidh. Cé go bhfuil na blianta sin caite, ní hé sin le rá gurb é sin deireadh leis na heispéiris Gaelach ar féidir leas a bhaint as i nGaillimh sa samhradh. Tá réimse leathan ócáidí sa chathair, sa samhradh ach go háirithe, ar féidir do chuid Ghaeilge a úsáid i measc daoine eile, gan a bheith buartha faoin gcruinneas mar a bheifeá i suíomhanna fhoirmiúil ar nós leachtanna.

Tá roinnt mhaith féilte ar siúil i nGaillimh sna míonna amach romhainn, agus is beag an féile nach mbíonn imeachtaí dhátheangach nó Gaelach ar an gclár. Tosaíonn an tsraith féilte samhraidh le ‘Cúirt’, Féile Idirnáisiúnta an Litríocht, ón 23ú-28ú lá de mí Aibreáin. Beidh 2024 an 39ú bliain den fhéile agus déanann sé ceiliúradh ar stíleanna litríochta éagsúla le béim ar an bpobal litríocht áitiúil. Faoi láthair, tá trí imeacht i nGaeilge ar an gclár agus beidh siad ar fad ar siúil sa Taibhdhearc ar an tSráid Láir. Ar an dara lá den fhéile, beidh an údar Róise Ní Bhaoill, ag léamh óna gcnuasán nua de ghearrscéalta, Imran agus scéalta eile, ar bhain amach Gradam An Post Leabhar Ficsean Gaeilge na Bliana 2023. Beidh imeacht an lá dar gcionn le plé faoi cosúlachtaí sa mhiotas agus sa chultúr idir Éire agus an Nua

Shéalainn agus ag deireadh na seachtaine beidh taispeantais den scéal bríomhar An Drúchtín agus an Seilide atá bunaithe ar thraidisiún scéalaíochta phobal an Lucht Siúil in Éirinn.

Ní bheidh ach sos gairid agat i ndiaidh Cúirt ach go mbeidh Féile Ceol Ársa na Gaillimhe faoi lánsheol i mí Bealtaine. Níl clár imeachtaí den fhéile i mbliana foilsithe go fóill ach is cinnte go mbeidh imeachtaí le blas den cultúr agus den teanga Gaelach mar chuid de na ceiliúrthaí. Seans gur deis maith é chun do scíth a ligean i dTigh Neachtain nó Tigh Cóilí agus roinnt Gaeilge a shúigh isteach ó na comhrá thart timpeall ort i measc an cheoil. Leanfar leis an gcraic seo i mí an Mheitheamh chomh maith le Seisiúin na Gaillimhe. Beidh ceol traidisiúnta á cur i láthair ar fud na cathrach, ach beidh The Crane mar chroílár an fhéile.

Ní mór sos fhéile a ghlacadh ag deireadh na míosa áfach, mar measaim gurb é mí Iúil an mí is fearr agus an mí is gnóthaí i nGaillimh. Tosóidh an mí leis an bhFleadh Scannánaíochta ón 9ú-14ú lá de mí Iúil. Foilseofar an clár i mí an Mheitheamh ach sochar le rá gur an-ócáid a bheas ann. Bhí sár-léiriúchán an bhliain seo chaite de ghearrscannáin agus cáipéisí in nGaeilge idir Pálás agus Téatar Halla an Bhaile. Ina dhiaidh sin beidh an cathair ag réitiú le haghaidh Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe (15ú- 28ú Iúil), buaicphointe an fhéilire féilte in iarthar

na tíre. Bhí imeachtaí iontacha ann an bliain seo chaite idir amharc-ealaíon, drámaíocht, ceoil, filíocht agus neart eile. D’fhreastal mé ar phíosa drámaíochta sa Taibhdhearc an samhradh seo chaite dar teideal Grindr, Saghdar agus Cher. Trí scéal fite fuaite san oíche chéanna a bhí ann faoi thriúr strainséir ag an mbeáir ‘The George’ i mBaile Átha Cliath. Scéal cliste, greannmhar agus corraitheach a bhí ann agus bím ag smaoineamh air fós ó ham go chéile. Bhí iarracht áirithe curtha isteach sa léiriúchán chun cinntiú go mbeadh daoine le gach leibhéal Gaeilge in ann é a thuiscint. Cuireadh fotheideal in airde ar an scáileáin taobh thiar de na haisteoirí agus bhraith mé go rinneadh jab maith den iarracht inrochtana seo mar níor bhain sé den taispeántas in aon chor. Ceapaim go mbeadh imeacht mar seo an-oiriúnach le haghaidh daoine nach bhfuil muiníneach lena chuid Gaeilge mar níl brú ar éinne labhairt ós aird agus is féidir an scéal iomlán a thuiscint le cabhair ó na fotheideal.

Ceapaim gur léir ón méid seo gur áis iontach iad féilte na Gaillimhe chun do chuid Ghaeilge a úsáid taobh amuigh den seomra ranga, gan brú nó breithiúnas. Is cinnte nár tháinig mé ar chuile deis cheiliúradh in nGaillimh an samhradh seo agus molaim níos mó taighde a dhéanamh- is cosúil go mbeidh deis an Ghaeilge a labhairt (i measc an cheiliúradh ar fad!) ar nach mór cibé fáth ar mian leat.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 34 Cainte
Photo by Aodhán Morris

An Scéim Cónaithe

Le hEimear Nic Conurchoille.

Tá deireadh na bliana acadúil ag teannadh linn go gasta agus beidh cuid de na mic léinn ag bogadh amach as an lóistín campais roimh i bhfad. Tá an Scéim Cónaithe Gaeilge san áireamh sa seo.

Is bloc amháin é an Scéim atá suite i mBaile na Coirbe agus is áit é a bhfuil Gaeilge an teanga amháin atá ceadaithe . Cuireadh sé in aithne den chéad uair anuraidh agus ba rath mór é anuraidh agus i mbliana. Is í Caroline Ní Fhlatharta an duine atá freagrach as an Scéim san ollscoil. Is aidhm é an Scéim an Ghaeilge a spreagadh i measc scoláirí ollscoile agus mar sin is deis iontach é do na mic léinn atá líofa sa Ghaeilge. Is grá leis na cónaitheoirí é mar is pobal é. seachas a bheith áit bheith ina chonaí ann, déantar imeachtaí- mar shampla Ciorcal Comhrá sa sheomra caidrimh- an deis a thabhairt do na cónaitheoirí teacht le chéile lenár dteanga a úsáid.

Tá lóistín Gaeilge ar fáil i gColáiste Maigh Nuad agus i gColáiste na Tríonóide i mBaile Átha Cliath chomh maith.

Bhuail mé le beirt chailín gur ghlac páirt leis an Scéim i mbliana agus chuir mé cúpla ceisteanna chucu faoi na táithí a bhí acu as ag glacadh páirt i mbliana:

Cén fáth a chuir tú isteach don scéim?

Eva Ní Dhoibhilin: Chuir mé isteach ar an scéim tar éis dul chuig an lá oscailte. Chonaic mé faoi ar suíomh na hollscoile ach ní raibh mé iontach cinnte cad é a bhí i gceist ann ach bhí an deis agam ar an lá oscailte ceisteanna a chur faoi.

Shauna Ní Laoi: Chuir mé isteach ar an scéim mar gheall gur as an Ghaeltacht mé agus mheas mé go mbeinn i bhfad níos compordaí i dteach a bhí Gaeilge a labhairt ann, cineál ar nós a bheidh sa bhaile.

An raibh imeachtaí/laethanta/ cuimhní ón mbliain leis an Scéim go seasanna amach duit?

Eva Ní Dhoibhilin: Sílim an lá is fearr domsa sa scéim ná an lá go ndearna muid Coldvember. Bhí sé comh greannmhar cé comh tuirseach is a bhí gach duine, ach nuair a chuaigh muid amach chuig Bóthar na Trá bhí vibeanna den scoth ann agus chuaigh muid uilig faoi choinne bricfeasta tar éis.

Shauna Ní Laoi: Tá neart cuimhní agam leis an scéim ní cheapaim go bhféadfainn ceann amháin a phiocadh amach as, is dócha an rud is mó a

sheasann amach dom go hiomlán ná cé chomh cairdiúil is atá muid ar fad, chuile thráthnóna gan dabht tar éis na ranganna tagann muid ar fad le chéile i gceann de na hárasáin, bím ag súil leis an bpáirt seo den lá uile lá.

Cén a bheidh an rud go gcronóidh tú is mó faoin Scéim?

Eva Ní Dhoibhilin: Is cinnte go gcronóidh mé a bheith ina chónaí comh cóngarach le gach duine agus chuig an ollscoil ar ndóigh.

Shuana Ní Laoi: Aireoidh mé uaim a bheidh ina chónaí lena cairde a rinne mé agus iad ar fad a fheiceáil chuile lá.

An bhfuil comhairle agat do dhuine a bhfuil ag smaoineamh faoi ag cur isteach don Scéim a fhágáil?

Eva Ní Dhoibhilin: Mholfainn do dhuine ar bith atá ag dul isteach sa chéad bhliain iarratas a dhéanamh don scéim. Ní bheidh aiféala ort! Bí cinnte go léiríonn tú leis an phainéal agallaimh go bhfuil do chroí istigh sa Ghaeilge.

Shuana Ní Laoi: An comhairle a thabharfainn ná cuir isteach air! Gan dabht déan é, agus má fhaigheann tú é ná bíodh drogall ort thú fhéin a chur chun cinn chun bualadh le daoine eile sa bhloc agus freastal ar ocaidí.

An measann tú gur cheart bheith Scéim Cónaithe in ollscoileanna ar fad in Éirinn?

Eva Ní Dhoibhilin: Silím gur cheart go mbeadh Scéim Cónaitheacht sna hollscoile uilig in Éirinn. Chuidigh an Scéim liom agus mé ag bogadh isteach chuig Baile na Coiribe mar go raibh fhios agam go mbeadh ar a laghad rud amháin i bpáirt agam le mo chomrádaí tí, is é sin an Ghaeilge. Is deis ar dóigh í an Scéim chun cuidiú le mo chuid Gaeilge agus í a labhairt. Fosta, is cinnte go bhfuil cairde don saol déanta agam tríd an Scéim!

Shauna Ní Laoi: Creidim go láidir gur cheart Scéim Cónaitheacht a bheidh in uile ollscoil in Éirinn, ní amháin mar gheall gur bhealach maith é bualadh le daoine nua, ach mar gheall go gcuireann sé níos mó béim ar an teanga agus ardaíonn sé an méid daoine a bhíonn ag labhairt Gaeilge san ollscoil!

Is léir gur thionscnamh den scoth é an Scéim agus is rud speisialta é den ollscoile seo.

Gaeilge sa triú bhliain

Le Elizabeth Scanlan

Tá Gaeilge sa tríú bhliain scoite i dhá leath. Chaitheamar an chéad leath den bhliain faoi aer úr Chonamara, ar imeall na hÉireann, Erasmus na Gaeltachta. Thug an 12 seachtain sin deis dúinn ár gcuid Gaelainne a fheabhsú le daoine áitiúla agus le léachtóirí an acadaimh, ach bhí orainn an deis sin a thapú sinn féin. Bhíomar cosúil le páistí agus muid inár gcónaí le bean an tí.

Gnáththráthnóna ná a bheith i’d luí ar an top bunk ag déanamh obair bhaile le do chomráide seomra, agus cnag ar an doras á rá go bhfuil dinnéar réidh. Ar aghaidh leat isteach sa chistin chun an lá a phlé le do mhamaí nua, agus tú ag ól MiWadi, roimh a tháinig an bus chun sibh a thabhairt go dtí pé imeacht a bhí ar siúil an oíche sin, nó an pub, dar ndoigh.

Tá an dara leath den bhliain chaite ar shocrúcháin oibre. Is deis iontach maith é seo chun saothar a bhlaiseadh, agus faoi láthair táimse ag baint sár-taitneamh as. Dá mbeifeá ag iarraidh a bheith i’d mhúinteoir, tá seans agat fiosrú an oireann an saol sin leat. Tá roinnt scéal cloiste agam ó dhaoine atá braon de na leanaí óga, fiú tar éis coicíse.

Tá gnónna eile, dar ndóigh, ina bhfuil deiseanna le Gaeilge lasmuigh den roinn oideachais. Mar shampla; tá mic léinn i mbliana ag obair sa chomhairle chontae, ag aistriú, ag obair le TG4, chomh maith le Conradh na Gaeilge. Mholfainn taighde a dhéanamh faoin gcomhlacht ina bhfuil tú ag dul roimh a théann tú. Níl gach comhlacht eagraithe chun mic léinn a choimeád gnóthach don tseachtain ar fad, agus nuair atá leadrán ort agus tú i’d shuí ag an desk don lá uilig (gan pá!) beidh tú frustasach, geallaim duit. Is iontach an bhliain í. Cé go mbíonn Fomo orainn agus muid ag féachaint ar mhic léinn eile agus iad ag déanamh staidéir thar lear, faoin ngrian. Táimse tar éis aithne níos fearr a chur ar na daoine i mo chúrsa, agus casadh le níos mó daoine proifisiúnta sa réimse ina bhfuilim ag iarraidh dul. Mar sin, téigh go dtí an Ghaeltacht, cur tú féin in aithne le daoine nua, is aoibhinn an áit í Conamara, agus is blasta iad béilí na mban tí, go háirithe nuair nach bhfuil tusa i gceannas ar an gcócaireacht. ;)

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 35 Cainte
Photo Courtesy Joyce Country and Western Lakes Geopark on Ireland’s Content Pool

What is academic integrity?

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity has been defined as: “the commitment to, and demonstration of, honest and moral behaviour in an academic setting.“

What is academic misconduct?

Academic misconduct is any attempt by someone to seek or facilitate and unfair advantage in relation to academic activity.

Scan for more information about Academic Integrity

UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU
Deontais €365,000 ceadaithe ag an Aire Stáit
O’Donovan d’eagraíochtaí i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall

I mí Feabhra, fógraíodh go raibh deontas, don méid €365,000 ceadaithe d’eagraíochtaí i nDún na nGall thar trí bliana. Sa ráiteas dúirt an tAire Stáit O’Donovan:

“Mar Aire Stáit Gaeltachta, táim tiomanta tacú le pobail na Gaeltachta an teanga a fhorbairt agus a chur chun cinn agus tá na deontais seo dírithe ar an sprioc sin. Tacóidh Clár na gCluichí Gaelacha an nasc idir na cluichí Gaelacha agus an teanga a neartú agus tá áthas orm go bhfuil an clár seo á chur i bhfeidhm i nDún na nGall anois i gcomhpháirtíocht le Comhairle Uladh an CLG mar atá sna ceantair Ghaeltachta eile.

“Aithnítear go forleathan an obair fhónta atá ar bun ag an eagraíocht Oideas Gael le blianta fada chun deiseanna a chur ar fáil do dhaoine fásta as Éirinn agus níos faide i gcéin an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim i dtimpeallacht álainn Dhún na nGall. De thoradh ar a gcuid oibre mealltar na céadta duine chuig an dúiche go bliantúil, rud a chuireann go mór le turasóireacht chultúrtha and le geilleagar an cheantair dá réir. Agus sa Bhun Beag tá sár obair ar bun ag Coiste Tuismitheoirí Scoil Chonaill chun tacú leis an scoil lán-Ghaeilge sin chun leas an phobail ar fad. Tréaslaím leis na heagraíochtaí agus leis an gcoiste seo as a ndúthracht i gcur chun cinn na teanga.”

Beidh an deontais a thabhairt d’eagraíochtaí; Oideas Gael, Comhairle Uladh agus Scoil Chonaill. Tá €255,000 ceadaithe don Oideas Gael thar na trí bliana. Cuireann Oideas Gael go mór leis an turasóireacht in nDún na nGall agus is eagraíocht foghlamtha é sin. Cuireann sé cursaí Gaeilge ar fáil do dhaoine fásta i nGleann Cholmcille, Toraigh agus Gleann Fhinne.

Chomh maith leis sin, tabharfar €100,316 do Chomhairle Uladh. Is clár píolótach atá cómhaoinithe ag Comhairle Uladh de chuid an Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (CLG) gus ag an Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán. Is aidhm ag Comhairle Uladh chun post lánaimseartha a chruthú chun an clár a riar agus a sheachadadh i líon scoileanna i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall atá sa Scéim Aitheantais Scoileanna Gaeltachta. Beidh an scéim phíolótach ar fáil i 42 scoileanna agus beifear ag súil an scéim a leathnú amach chuig na scoileanna ar fad má éiríonn an scéim.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 37 Cainte
Garron Noone 28th of March from 8pm at Sult Tickets on Eventbrite With special guests
Photo by Gareth Wray Photography on Ireland’s Content Pool
Don’t tell my parents, I did an MA so I could keep swimming

A college community filled with people from different courses, with different plans in mind for how their life will go, all with one interest in common: A love for swimming. Perhaps it’s sometimes a like, a tolerance, a barely concealed hatred, but, realistically, once you’re in college it’s a whole lot more difficult for your parents to force participation.

In swimming, it’s common for sessions to begin at 5:30am…five days a week. The sixth day usually starts at a more reasonable hour. To say that some people are slightly traumatised by the Dance Moms-esque discipline and obsession required for competitive swimming would be an understatement. Yet somehow once college begins a steady stream of people show up. Maybe not at 5am, but 7am is practically the same for college students. The same occurs across all the college sports. People of every discipline show up to train and compete because they love the sport, because this is where their friends are, because they choose to. All of this requires discipline.

Parents, teachers, everyone, says the Leaving Cert is the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life. This isn’t true. When you’re in secondary school most people have a support system backing up their every move. Teachers assign homework and check it obsessively, doling out consequences if

you don’t deliver. Parents provide lunches, full fridges and, hopefully, a plate of dinner when you arrive home. Your friends are with you for every class, your lunchtimes are a familiar meeting ground for big chats and general teenage buffoonery. Once you enter college, all this support is plucked away. Out of nowhere you must do your own laundry, show up for lectures, and wake up without a frantic knock on the door. Pair this with a new feeling of freedom, a sense that no one at home really knows how you fill your days, and any attempt at routine is thrown out the window. But sports, particularly volunteering with sports clubs, force you to hold yourself accountable.

All of the sports clubs in the University of Galway are run by students. Do you show up for a climbing session on a Monday evening? Is the surf trip the highlight of your college experience? Did a series of rugby victories help land you a coaching job? All of this is only made possible because of the students who volunteer on club committees. Many of those involved juggle college, their sport, working on the committee, and a parttime job. Maybe you’d be able to keep afloat for a while based purely on luck, but beneath the surface (unless you’re a water polo player), your feet are kicking, fighting a mile a minute to prevent disaster. Working on a committee requires an astounding level of organisation,

the likes of which will serve you once you transition into a life of full-time employment.

With a time slot in your day carved out for organizing club events, ensuring accounts are balanced and sending emails galore, the club, your club, is finally running smoothly. Participating in club committees means your connection to your sport is deepened. You’re not only participating, showing up for social nights and training, you’re within the machine, turning the cogs, driving your team forward, creating a community that will last long after you graduate. You learn to speak out if your athletes aren’t being treated fairly, you become the type of leader people confide in. You create a legacy for a team that, even if it’s just for a year of your life, is memorialised with a spot on your CV, proving your discipline, showing your organisational skills, and exhibiting your willingness to apply yourself. Your time volunteering on a club committee means you can apply for the ALIVE award. A certificate proving your character, presented to the beat of drums, with tables of fancily tiny sandwiches and vol au vents cementing the occasion.

So maybe I did an MA to remain with the community of swimmers I helped to build, but perhaps I also stayed to gain the skills needed to boost me towards my future. I suppose you could tell my parents about that.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 38 Sport · Spóirt

All Ireland University Judo Championships 2024

The 2024 All Ireland University Judo Championships took place from March 1 to 3 at the Foyle Arena in Derry, hosted by the University of Ulster. The University of Galway Judo Club continued their impressive legacy at the event, securing a significant number of medals.

In the men’s A team category, University of Galway reached the final for the 11th consecutive year, having claimed victory in five out of the previous ten championships. However, this year saw a strong performance from the University of Ulster team, who emerged as champions. University College Cork secured the bronze medal in this fiercely contested event.

University of Galway Judo Club excelled in the individual events, amassing a total of 14 medals – including six Gold, three Silver, and five Bronze. Notable performances were delivered by athletes such as Amy Spain Butler and Sanduin Nanayakkara. Sanduin showcased her prowess by clinching gold in the lower belts category, replicating her success from the previous year with dominant victories in all her matches.

Emanual Awoponle stood out in the men’s events, showcasing his talent by securing gold medals in multiple categories – including lower belts, Lower Open, and the competitive under 100kg event. His victories were marked by impressive throws that earned him full points in each contest. University of Galway emerged victorious across 11 different categories, highlighting their depth and skill.

The Atlantic Technological University (ATU) claimed bronze in the ladies team event, while University College Cork secured silver and University of Ulster clinched gold to complete a double triumph in the team events. ATU also shone in individual events with one gold and two silver medals.

Looking ahead, the clubs are gearing up for the Galway Open scheduled for Saturday, March 9th, 2024 at the Kingfisher Sports Centre. This event promises to be another exciting opportunity for these talented judo athletes to showcase their skills and compete at a high level.

University of Galway Judo Club medal winners:

Men’s A team: Silver – J.P.Neville, Thomas Butler, Rory Ward, Chamindu Goonewardena, Conor McCarron, Conor Byrne.

Men’s B team: 5th – Tom Bretaudeau, Lennard Puzio, Eoin Kelly, Lorcan O’Brien,Emanual Awoponle, Vivien Punch.

Ladies Lower kyu: Sanduin Nanayakkara – Gold

Men’s Lower Kyu U73Kg: Tom Bretaudeau – Gold, Alejo Hubble – Silver

Lower Kyu + 73Kg: Emanual Awoponle –Gold, Conor Byrne – Bronze.

Middle Kyu: Lennard Puzio – Gold.

Upper Kyu: Chamindu Goonewardena – Bronze.

U81Kg: Finlay Budge – Bronze, U90Kg: Rory Ward – Silver, Conor Byrne – Bronze.

U100kg: Emanual Awoponle – Gold, +100Kg: Connor McCarron – Silver.

Lower Open: Emanual Awoponle – Gold, Basit Adeniji – Bronze.

Atlantic Technological University Judo Club medal winners:

Ladies team: Bronze – Max Croke, Leah Deegan, Jessica Hickey.

Middle Kyu: Jessica Hickey – Gold.

Upper Kyu: Max Croke – Silver.

Leah Deegan: U57Kg – Silver.

Univeristy of Galway Judo in Galway Open

The University of Galway Judo Club showcased their prowess at the Galway Open following their recent success at the Intervarsity Event in Derry. The event saw remarkable performances from the club’s members across various categories.

In the junior events, Findlay Budge secured gold in the U81 Kg category, while Conor Byrne impressed by reaching the final and taking home silver in the lower kyu event. Conor’s skills were further highlighted in the U90Kg category, where he triumphed over a black belt competitor with full points in one of his matches. Tom Bretaudeau continued his winning streak by claiming silver in the U66Kg competition.

The University of Galway Judo Club also clinched two bronze medals in the men’s Upper Belts category through Chamindu Goonewardena and J.P. Neville. Notable performances by Rory Ward, J.P. Neville, and Pearse Henaghan earned them wins and valuable points towards their Black Belts. Additionally, Stephen Bradshaw secured a Bronze medal in the fiercely competitive U100Kg category.

Results Recap:

Junior U81Kg: Findley Budge – Gold

U66Kg: Tom Bretaudeau – Silver

U100Kg: Stephen Bradshaw – Bronze

Lower Kyu: Conor Byrne – Silver

Upper Kyu: J.P. Neville – Bronze, Chamindu Goonewardena – Bronze

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 39 Sport · Spóirt

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School Boat House

The waters of the Erne River played host to the annual Erne Head of the River event, drawing clubs from all over the country to the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School Boat House. Amidst the clubs in attendance, the University of Galway fielded two crews: a men’s senior 8+ and a women’s Club one 8+, each aiming to make their mark in the challenging waters.

The Women’s Club one 8+ kicked off the day’s proceedings at 11 a.m. The crew comprising of: Ethel-Rose Murray, Eve McMahon, Emma Fagan, Jame Hillery, Roisin Nicaodha, Annick Frohberg, Maeve

Ford, and Jennifer Hogan who navigated the 6km course to clinch victory with a time of 23:27.5.

Later in the day, the men’s senior 8+ crew, comprising Jamie Haddock, Micheal Farrell, Thomas Hume, Martin O’Grady, James Murphy, Shane McLoughlin, Thaddeus Kaiser, Cathal Monaghan, and Ciaran O’Sullivan, took to the water. Despite their best efforts, they secured a respectable second place in their category, completing the course with a time of 19:23.2, trailing the Commercial Boat Club of Islandbridge, Dublin, by a narrow margin of 12 seconds.

While the University of Galway crews fell short of claiming the top spot, their

performance reflected resilience and dedication. Despite finishing as runners-up, the men’s crew notably emerged as the fastest university team, surpassing rivals UCD and UL.

With the conclusion of the Erne Head of the River, the University of Galway crews return to their training grounds with valuable insights and lessons learned. Looking ahead, they set their sights on upcoming challenges, including the Tribesmen Head of the River on March 16th and a club race against the University of Limerick on the 17.


Womens Club 1 8+ – 1st

Mens Senior 8+ – 2nd

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 40 Sport · Spóirt

Browne and Flynn shine as University of Galway regain title

Connacht GAA third level Junior football final

University of Galway: 3-17

ATUSligo: 2-16

Speed and movement off the ball not usually associated with Junior football was in plentiful supply at the Connacht University Of Galway dome on Thursday evening as University of Galway took on ATUSligo in a repeat of the 2023 final won on penalties by the North Eastern college. As the driving wind and rain enveloped the Mayo venue all inside were relaxing and enthralled as to what was emerged to be one of the better games of football played at third level in 2023-24 season. The winners had three players who tallied (3-13) as ATUS had two who contributed (2-8) so forward power was evident on the day.

Cormac Browne who ended up with seven points including four from angles senior players would struggle to achieve opened the scoring for Galway before raiding corner forward Eamonn Flyn struck for the games first score before University of Galway full forward added a point all by the fifth minute.

ATUSligo following this early setback settled to their task and points from Barry Thompson and Galway native Darragh King either side of another Cormac Browne score left University of Galway (1-3) to (0-2) ahead after 12 minutes but with their opponents beginning to assert authority after a slow start.

Padraig Meaghair for Galway and a stunning score from Sligo’s Cian Molloy quickly following by ATUSligo best forward Jamie Barry Guing and another from Darragh King left just two between the sides at the end of the opening quarter in the University of Galway Connacht GAA dome.

In the second quarter both defences got to grips with their immediate opponents the sides sharing eight scores. Lorcan McEntee, Shane Loughrey, and Cormac Browne (2) were the University of Galway sharpshooters as Jamie Barry Guing (2), Darragh Breslin and Emmet Regan responded for Sligo to leave the Galway college nervous (1-8) to (0-9) ahead at half time.

Eamonn Flynn struck for the first score of the new half before disaster struck for his side and ATUS struck with ease for two goals in less than a minute. First off, Darragh King won a penalty blasted to the net by Jamie Barry Guing to level the game before a high ball in from the next Sligo attack was not held by Sean Og Hynes and it fell into the hands of Darragh King and he goaled from close range and now ATUS were (2-9) to (0-9) ahead five minutes into the second half.

The winning of the tie materialised in the intervening four minutes as Cormac Browne with three of the better scores of this year from narrow angles dragged Galway level once more. ATUS went ahead soon after before Shane Loughrey and Kevin Lambert restored a short lived University of Galway lead. Both sides started to bring on replacements as the Galway half back line was beginning to dominate. Jamie Barry Guing drew the sides together once more before Eamonn Flynn and Cormac Browne with a score each and a second Galway goal from Shane Loughrey following a sublime ball from Peter Grant left the

eventual winners (2-16) to (2-11) ahead.

Darragh Breslin dragged back one score for ATUSligo but a superb goal from Eamonn Flynn that he set up in his own back line and received back to finish from 20metres stretched his sides lead out to seven points.

Liam McKinney, a dual star alongwith Peter Grant, both Donegalmen for college had the final score for the winners as Jamie Barry Guing and Barry Thompson tried for late goals but managed just minors as the title was secured for the University of Galway who now move on to play University of Limerick in the All Ireland semi final.

Best for the winners included Jack O’ Brien, Liam McKinney, Eanna O Curraoin, Peter Grant, Cormac Browne, Eamonn Flynn, Shane Loughrey, Tadgh Daly and Padraig Meaghair. ATUSligo just did build on the two goals they scored after half time and allowed Galway to reimpose themselves. ATUSligo had good showings from Jamie Barry Guing, Barry Thompson, Cian Molloy, Darragh Breslin, Emmet Regan, Brian Donoghue, Darragh King and Liam Faulkner.

Following the game Padraig McGourty of Third Level GAA presented the Connacht Junior football cup to University of Galway captain Eanna O Curraoin

University of Galway scorers

Eamonn Flynn (2-3), Cormac Browne (0-7), Shane Loughrey (1-3), Padraig Meaghair, Lorcan McEntee, Kevin Lambert, Liam McKinney (0-1) each

University of Galway

Sean Og Hyne, Martin O Cualain, Jack O’ Brien, Donal Kearney, Liam McKinney, Eanna O Curraoin, Peter Grant, Tadgh Daly, Kevin Lambert, Cormac Browne, Padraig Meaghair, Hugh McDonagh, Eamonn Flynn, Shane Loughrey, Lorcan MceEntee.

Subs: Thomas Gallagher, Oisin O’ Coisdealbhas, Sean Gavigan, Rian Brady, Daniel Martin, Conall McGowan.

ATUSligo scorers

James Barry Guing (1-6), Darragh King (1-2), Barry Thompson, Darragh Breslin (0-2), Emmet Regan, Michael Langan (0-1)


Ryan Smith, Ross O’ Keely, Brian Donoghue, Keelan Devanney, Liam Faulkner, Kyle McCrann, Dara Williams, Dara Breslin, Cian Molloy, Emmet Regan, Darragh King, Gavin Murray, Barry Thompson, Jamie Barry Guing, Michael Langan.

Subs: David Keely, Con Doyle, Oisin Murray, Gill Jennings, Niall Martyn, Oisin Kerins, Sean Moran, Luke Rooney, Eoin Gibney, Rhys Henry, Eoin Langan, Cian Gillespie.


Brendan Healy (Roscommon)

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 41 Sport · Spóirt

Four goal salvo retains Fresher Division 1 football title for DCU

All Ireland fresher Division 1 football final

DCU: 4-8

University of Galway: 0-8

A three goal salvo in the final five minutes of this end to end Fresher Division 1 football final in DCU on Wednesday night decided the destination of the title for 2024 as DCU scored a rather flattering win over University of Galway and retained their title. There was little between the sides throughout and it was the ability of DCU to hit with more accuracy when on the counter attack. Ryan Sinkey had the opening brace of scores for the home side before Owen Morgan opened the visitors account before Shaun Ward hit the net after Dylan Clarke’s initial goal effort came off the post. Owen Morgan added a second Galway point before the raiding

Evan Crowe and Shaun Ward added further DCU points. University of Galway dominated the second quarter but only one score from Matthew Thompson as Liam Flynn responded for DCU to lead (1-5) to (0-3) at half time.

The second half saw University Of Galway dominate once more but it was DCU who scored the crucial scores with goals from Cormac Prioux immediately after University Of Galway were denied a penalty despite strong claims from their supporters. This sequence of play appeared to hit UoG hard as DCU pushed despite two excellent scores from substitute John Finnerty and goalkeeper Kyle Long. Jack Kinlough added a well taken point before Ryan Sinkey hit an empty net after a counter attack by University of Galway went wrong. Liam Flynn had DCU celebrating their win with the fourth and final big score of the game as now they stand on the verge of a Fresher A hurling/Football double with their hurlers now facing UL in the hurling decider next week.

DCU scorers: Shaun Ward (1-3), Ryan Sinkey (1-2) Liam Flynn (1-1,) Eoin Drysdale (1-0), Evan Crowe, Jack Kinlough (0-1) each

DCU: William Foley, Conor Smith, Rona Geoghan, Liam Corbett, Dylan Cooke Leonard, Evan Crowe , Cian Lynch, Dylan Clarke, Jack Kinlough, Eoin Warde, Conor Reid, Matthew Flynn, Shaun Ward, Liam Flynn, Ryan Sinkey. Subs: Stephen Rogan, Paddy Mahony, James Maguire, Fionan Carolan, Matthew Gardiner Corbett.

University of Galway scorers: Matthew Thompson (0-3), John Finnerty, Owen Morgan (0-2) each Kyle Long (0-1)

University of Galway: Kyle Long , Conor Harley, Jack Foley, Jack O’Reilly, Jack Ramsay, Cormac Greaney, Dylan Brody, Josh Vaughan, Sean Hansberry, David Morgan, Tom O’ Flaherty, Sean O’Connor, Ryan O’ Connell, Matthew Thompson, Luke Davin. Subs: Darragh Lowry, Cian Marks, John Finnerty.

Referee: Andrew Smith (Meath)

University Hockey Teams Navigate a Season

of Challenges and Triumphs

University of Galway’s journey in the EYHL2 and various hockey competitions has been a mix of challenges and victories. In their first EYHL2 game against Muckross HC, the team faced a tough battle in Dublin, resulting in a 3-0 loss. Despite the setback, they showed determination and a hunger to face Muckross again on their home turf.

The University of Galway 1s displayed dominance with an impressive 8-0 win against Galway HC 2s, while the University of Galway 2s experienced a narrow 2-1 loss to Athlone HC in the Irish Hockey Challenge. The team’s journey in the Irish Hockey Trophy Round two saw them fall short with a 2-1 loss to Dungannon HC.

In subsequent matches, the University of Galway teams faced tough opponents like

UCC and Lurgan HC, resulting in losses and a draw. However, they bounced back with victories such as the University of Galway 1s’ 6-1 win against Greenfields HC 2s and the University of Galway 3s’ triumphant 2-1 victory over Galway HC 3s.

Despite a challenging match against Kinvara HC 1s ending in a 4-0 loss for the University of Galway 3s, the team showed improvement and resilience on the field.

While the 3s prepare for their season finale against Renmore, the 1s are set for two more EYHL2 games. Hosting Lurgan presents an opportunity to secure additional points. The University of Galway teams maintain their focus on delivering top performances and concluding the season with success.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 42 Sport · Spóirt
University of Galway Students’ Union Seomra Cótaí Saor in Aisce Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn SU CLOAKROOM Life Skills SUFREE Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00 Ar Oscailt: 09:00-17:00 Dé Luain - Dé hAoine OPEN UniversityOfGalwayStudentsUnion @UniOfGalwaySU

Galway United vs Shelbourne review

The wind was howling. The rain was pelting. The Gardaí were patrolling. It was the perfect conditions for Galway United.

Walking into the grounds of Tolka Park, Galway United fans were met with the pleasant surprise of a queue to get in the away end. Attendance was likely bolstered by the recent addition of a bus not just for the ‘auld lads’ but also one for the group lovingly referred to as ‘the junior scum’. Despite early rumours that the latter group had “projectile vomited themselves into space”, they made it to the match, providing their usual thunderous barrage of chants.

“ After a wildly successful season last year, the club has brought in a new generation of fans, leaving Eamonn Deacy Park often in excess of maximum capacity.

The match began with Galway United putting significant pressure on Shels, leaving many to believe that the match could have ended up even tighter than David Hurley’s hair tied up.

Despite the ball spending the first 15 minutes largely towards the side that made Shelbourne fans sweat, this failed to amount to a goal. Then at the 15 minutes mark, Shels turned the trajectory of the match on its head, scoring a goal.

Despite then retaining this one goal lead until the end of the match, the home fans were what GUFC fans would describe as ‘quiet’, although I have no doubt that Shels fans would contest that they were simply respectable. Clearly appreciating that the League of Ireland is not the proper place for respectability, the away stand serenaded their opponents with the lyrics “we forgot that you were here”.

Down on the pitch there was no forgetting the presence of Shels, who maintained their early lead over United for the remainder of the match.

After storming ahead in the first division last season, Galway United fans now have to get used to their old tradition of losing matches (albeit to a lesser extent). One reason identified by fans is United desperately

needing another striker. Whilst the array of much loved players on the team have been very impressive, the feeling amongst fans is that matches like these could yield different results with a stronger offence.

Last season the women’s team had similar success to the men’s, winning the All-Ireland Cup. This season saw them continue this success, beating Athlone in the first match of the season.

Despite the men’s team now being in a more challenging division the club and its supporters remain optimistic. After a wildly successful season last year, the club has brought in a new generation of fans, leaving Eamonn Deacy Park attendance numbers often in excess of its supposed maximum capacity. The recent uptick in interest in the League of Ireland is something that GUFC manager, John Caulfield, recently used to highlight the need for greater investment in football, to create a functioning football industry.

Investment issues for the League of Ireland however, won’t deter the ambitions Galway United fans have. After a brief period in which there simply was no Galway United in the LoI, United fans are determined to keep the good times going into the future.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 44 Sport · Spóirt
4 March 2024; Regan Donelon of Galway United is tackled by Dean Williams of Shelbourne during the SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division match between Shelbourne and Galway United at Tolka Park in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Are Galway’s chances of winning this year’s AllIreland Senior Hurling Championship becoming a lot more promising?

As we approach the middle of April, it’s truly surprising to observe the relative silence surrounding this year’s All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Could it be that Limerick’s dominance has created a gap too wide for others to bridge, or is there potential for an underdog to emerge and challenge their supremacy?

Perhaps it might be just Galway`s year to change the landscape for this gaelic sport. Following the success of St. Thomas’ victory in the All-Ireland Club Hurling Final in January, there are potential signs that things could look optimistic for Galway`s chances of reclaiming the Liam McCarthy this year. Added to that, the reported hype of former Galway hurler Jonathan Glynn, having returned to the Galway panel, has excited the whole county for this year and maybe a sense of concern for the rest of its challengers standing in their way.

Their recent performances in the National League have been rather predictable, characterised by convincing victories over Westmeath and Antrim. Some might argue that Galway hasn’t been truly challenged to their fullest potential, especially when compared to facing teams like Tipperary and Limerick.

In anticipation of the upcoming Leinster Senior Hurling Championship in 2024, beginning the weekend of April 20 and 21, Galway is poised to exhibit a heightened hunger to clinch the O’Duffy Cup. This drive stems from their heartbreaking loss to Kilkenny in last year’s final at Croke Park. Galway aims to secure an advantage over their competitors by reaching the All-Ireland semi-finals once more.

Galway is now in its sixth consecutive season without claiming any silverware yet, both in the Leinster province and the All-Ireland series. However, history has shown that once Galway secures victory in Leinster, they tend to perform well in the All-Ireland series.

Their initial triumph in the Leinster title occurred in 2012, a mere three years after their inclusion in the provisional championship. They convincingly defeated Kilkenny in the Leinster Final, once meeting again in the All-Ireland Final, only to take each other to a replay, where Galway suffered a heavy defeat a few weeks later.

In 2017, Galway’s victory over Wexford in the Leinster final was only just the start of their quest that managed to end a 29-year drought without the Liam McCarthy Cup. This remarkable year also saw them achieve a treble by winning the National League, the Leinster Championship, and the All-Ireland Hurling Championship, without losing a single match in their championship campaign.

In 2018, they narrowly secured the Leinster title after facing Kilkenny twice, but the toll of playing Clare twice in the All Ireland semi-final resulted in fatigue, possibly contributing to their loss against a vibrant and youthful Limerick side in the final.

Looking ahead to this year’s Leinster Hurling Championship, the competition seems to revolve around Galway and Kilkenny, with other teams trailing far behind. Henry Shefflin, the former Kilkenny star and current Galway manager, is determined not to let Kilkenny defeat his team three times in a row in a final, if they meet again in Croke Park, and also to prevent Kilkenny from claiming a fifth consecutive Leinster title.

Turning to Munster, Cork and Tipperary emerge as formidable contenders, based on their league performance, to challenge Limerick for both the Munster title and the Liam McCarthy Cup. Records suggest that once Galway clinches the Leinster title, they stand a strong chance of pursuing All-Ireland glory, drawing inspiration from their similarly past successes when they secured Leinster, potentially aiming for their sixth Liam McCarthy title.


Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 45 Sport · Spóirt MADE FRESH TO ORDER
€5.50 Only Chicken Fillet Roll MADE FRESH TO ORDER
25 February 2024; Conor Whelan of Galway during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B match between Antrim and Galway at Corrigan Park in Belfast. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Women in sports

The life of a teenage girl is frantic. And I know, I used to be one. Study, sport, socialising – sometimes one has to give, right? Too often, unfortunately, teenage girls ditch sports compared to their male peers.

Now, as a second-year journalism student determined to apply her trade, I’m asking why women have less opportunity to achieve their full potential while enjoying a lifelong involvement in sports.

Many young women say they would like to do more exercise but that there is a huge emotional barrier – fear of judgement -- as well as the usual suspects of expense and lack of time.

When half the girls on my local GAA team dropped out at 14, we began questioning if there was a point in having a team. What if no one was interested? Looking back, I now know that the problem was more common than I had thought.

A recent study completed by Sports Ireland revealed that 30 per cent fewer girls are involved in sports in secondary school than in primary school.

By the age of 13-15, many girls described themselves as “not sporty”, with the percentage of girls meeting the activity guidelines dropping from 12 per cent at ages 12-13 to 5 per cent between the ages of 16 and 20.

The study also found that in post–primary school age groups, 69 per cent of girls participated in sports compared to 80 per cent of boys, despite it being common knowledge that teenagers who engage in sports are more likely to develop a love of sports in their adult years.

In my experience, the benefits of playing sports at a young age cannot be denied. Sports gave me a sense of achievement, promoted a heathy lifestyle and encouraged teamwork.

Playing as part of a team from a young age can encourage confidence, build friendships and supply a support structure to those who may need it most, giving many teens an escape from the stress of life.

On foot of the research, on this year’s International Women’s Day, Sports Ireland’s Her Moves campaign, in collaboration with the national governing bodies and local sports partnerships, was launched to actively encourage inactive teenage girls to embrace sports and physical activity.

This campaign aims to encourage girls to embrace sports and physical activity, while also tackling topics such as self-confidence and empowerment.

The campaign will see the creation of the Her Moves Online Hub, with resources such as videos, demos and success stories for girls, parents and teachers to use.

Ireland’s Her Moves initiative follows the similar and highly successful This Girl Can campaign launched across Britain in 2015.

The campaign’s media messages featured ordinary women of all shapes and sizes exercising and having fun, getting sweaty and looking knackered. Why? Because it was so rare to see it in the media, let alone in such a positive and joyful way.

Since its launch, This Girl Can has partnered with British Cycling, Disney,

and Strava to create media that inspires women of all ages to participate in sports through different initiatives.

There has been a positive change in attitudes towards sports amongst women in the UK, with 53 per cent saying that “people like me are doing sport and exercise” – up from 43 per cent in 2014.

I believe sports and physical activity can be a powerful force in a person’s life.

If the Irish Government follows through more actively with the research, knowledge and recommendations of Sports Ireland to reframe sport for teenage girls, it could make a positive and powerful difference in the lives of young women.

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 46 Sport · Spóirt
Photo by Laura Rincón on Pexels

Jose Mourinho (An Ceann a Roghnaíodh “the chosen one”)

On Tuesday January 16, AS Roma and Jose Mourinho parted ways and brought the curtain down on an eventful and dramatic adventure, which included both European glory and heartbreak.

During his time in Rome Jose captured the hearts of the Giallorossi (Romas passionate fanbase) and brought them their first trophy in 14 years by winning the Europa Conference League in 2022. Jose then went on to inspire them to the final of last year’s Europa league where they came agonisingly close to victory, in a dramatic penalty shootout loss. The lasting image of that final was that of a bittersweet moment, as Jose handed his runners up medal to a young Roma fan in the crowd. This image perfectly encapsulated everything good about Jose’s tenure in Rome.

During his time in Rome, he has seemingly become a changed man, one much more comfortable and at one with himself. I believe his time in Rome has been the perfect way for him to bow out of the European club game. He has achieved everything he could at club level in Europe. Whether it be achieving the impossible dream with FC Porto (where he won the Europa league and Champions league back-to-back), stopping Barcelona and Messi at their seemingly unstoppable best in 2009/10, to bowing out by raising AS Roma from their ruins to a historic European trophy. Jose has done it all at club level, and it is now time for him to hang up his waistcoat and swap it for a rather large raincoat and come to Ireland for a well-deserved rest and a little bit of coaching on the side.

First, I accept that there are a million and one reasons why Jose Mourinho would never want to manage Ireland. There is of course, the matter of wages and although Jose might not be expecting the astronomical figures he once earned at the peak of his powers, it’s unlikely he would come cheap.

However, there is hope, he stated this summer that he turned down a move to Saudi Arabia for big money, due to “moral reasons”. If this is the case, then Jose will want to show he’s a man of his word by standing by his morals. Therefore, he should choose his next job based on his love for the game, rather than the potential pay check. Surely then an opportunity to coach an underachieving team, whose fans are seen globally as the most passionate in the world, would at least pique his interest. It might provide him with one last shot at redeeming his career, which in recent years has been fading into obscurity.

With a World cup on the Horizon taking the Ireland job could be ideal for Jose. I mean these 38 game league seasons simply bore him to insanity these days. He’s too old for that now he needs more of a part time kind of gig, which makes an international job all the more sensible for him. Besides he has always been box office hit, and what a box office hit it would be if he brought a team like Ireland on a World cup run. The stage would be set on the grandest stage of them all for Jose to have one last hurrah as he fights against the odds one last time.

Would it even work? Possibly. When you think of it in sporting terms it makes sense from an Irish point of view, I mean Stephen Kenny has spent the last couple of years proving to the world that we’re just very bad at playing attacking football. Meanwhile, Jose has spent the last two decades trying to prove to the world that you don’t have to play attacking football to win tournaments.

Ireland needs a manager who is willing to focus solely on not conceding any goals and Jose is arguably the greatest defensive mind the game has ever seen, the only manager to successfully stop Lionel Messi in his prime. He is the perfect candidate for the job, full of charisma and charm, he might just be the necessary spark to ignite the fire within this Irish team and bring the best out of them.

It’s not as if there would be absolutely nothing for him to work with either. I mean when you really look at this Irish squad there

are some very good youngsters, who with the correct guidance could grow into a very good team. Evan Ferguson is by far the standout name, however Troy Parrot, Adam Idah and Dara O Shea show that there are some good young players in this Irish squad. A move to Ireland could also allow Jose to link up with Kevin Zefi. The young AS Roma star has long been admired by Jose, only for him to part ways with the club only days after signing the exciting young prodigy from Inter Milan. Theres even something for the football purists, you just can’t help but smile at the thought of big Shane Duffy being coached by The

Vol. 25 #06 25 Mar. 2024 47 Sport · Spóirt
Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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