The difference is we’re independent
Printed in Ireland
Election 2011 Special Doherty, Quinn, Gogarty
The Blackouts Interview
Siren pages 6-7
Fine Gael Gets Students Vote
National Student Poll
FG 34% FF 10% Labour 30% Greens 4%
UCD Student Poll
Sinn Féin 6% Indo 13% Other 3%
~ 1,248 Students Surveyed Nationwide. ~ 73% of students intend on voting. ~ Fine Gael top National Student Poll at 34%. News 1-5
FG 27.48% FF 9.5% Labour 33.6% Greens 4%
Sinn Féin 8.46% Indo 13.96% Other 3%
~ Labour most popular party in UCD. ~ 0% of TCD students say they will give Sinn Féin candidates their first preference. February 22nd 2011 | Vol. 24 No 9
UCD Fashion Show Reaches 25 Years
Students will get a chance to mingle with top Irish fashion stars as the UCD Fashion Show returns to celebrate its 25th anniversary this week in the O’Reilly Hall. Organisers of the show are going all out to mark the event, with the production team set to include one of Ireland’s premier stylists, Roxanne Parker, and choreographer Kathy McGuinness. The event will run for two days during the 22nd and 23rd of Feb-
ruary, with four shows including a gala night on Wednesday the 23rd of February. Organised by UCD Ents in association with Spin 1038, Stellar Magazine and Assets Model Agency, organisers are promising students a night of high class and style. “The UCD Fashion Show is one of the highly anticipated events of the current semester. Students can look forward to a high class and
finely produced show,” said SU Ents Officer, Jonny Cosgrove. Executive producer, Christina Hughes, commented: “We are all really excited that the show has finally been re-launched, and it’s great to be able to bring it back to campus. We have received really good feedback from everyone on campus and there are just so many people wanting to get involved.” And for those who are more cynical, it will not be all typical
catwalk models, as this year will see organisers mix it up with all shapes and sizes. “We were really determined to make sure we had a great mix of people in the final show - we weren’t interested in casting your typical runway clone. We were looking for people who were up for a bit of craic and had the confidence to hit the catwalk in front of a full house,” said Hughes. The theme of the fashion show is
‘TV Gets Real.’ The show will include sections inspired by hit television series. This show will feature “an eclectic blend of boho and high collar style of the Gossip Girl cast, the alluring Sixties glamour of Mad Men and the much loved geek chic looks from Glee,” said Hughes. “All the makeup is by LA MakeUp Academy, and we have some hairpieces on show by Kazumi Salon,” she added.
The team is made up of 60 models, 20 dancers, a core committee of 40 and a big style crew. Derek Daniels of Assets will present the “Model of the Year” award on the gala night. The winning model will accept a year-long contract with Assets and feature in a spread for Stellar Magazine. “Previous winners of the award have gone on to very successful professional careers. Eoin Macken was spotted at the show a number of years ago, and within weeks was modelling for Abercrombie and Fitch,” said Hughes. Rosanna Davidson and Zac Jordan are others to have made their catwalk debut at UCD. The Young Designer of the Year will be announced at the gala show by fashion photographer Agata Stoinska. Entrants include designers from the Grafton Academy and the National College of Art and Design. Cosgrove informed the College Tribune that acts on the night would be runway DJs Daft Funk, and new Irish bands Lost in Flight and Madisun.. Meanwhile, he wrap party takes place in Krystle after the gala night. Shows are at 3pm and 7pm daily, with tickets priced between €12 and €20. All proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
More information is available online at ucdfashionshow.com
De Brún Declares Intentions to run for SU President
Ciara Murphy • Nominations close on March 6th. • Polling Day - March 30th.
Nominations for this year’s Students’ Union elections are currently underway. Over the coming weeks, students will be provided with manifestos and statements from the sabbatical candidates, which will outline their aims for the year ahead in an attempt to gain student confidence and votes. The positions for election are Union President, Welfare Vice-President, Campaigns and Communications Vice-President, Education Vice-President and Entertainments (Ents) Vice-President.
2 | www.collegetribune.ie
Thus far, candidates include Edel Ní Churraoin for Ents, Brendan Lacey for Campaigns and Communications and Rachel Breslin for Welfare. Current Campaigns and Communications Officer Pat de Brún has confirmed that he will be running for Students’ Union President this year, and has spoken to The College Tribune about what he hopes to achieve with his campaign. “I’m running for president because I am passionate about student representation and I feel that I
am up to the job. I feel that I am ready to take the next step and lead UCD SU in 2011/12. It was a difficult decision to commit to the possibility of a second sabbatical year but I love everything about SU work and I hope to continue it next year,” said De Brún. “I hope to build on the achievements of the current sabbatical team. I would like to see the SU play a leading role in the renewed battles that students are going to face with the incoming government. Some of my other priorities
will also be student welfare during the recession, along with expansion of the loyalty card system and top quality Ents,” he added. “I think students should vote for me because over the past year I have proven myself to be a capable, hard working and honest officer who always puts the students of UCD first. I will provide an experienced hand while also approaching all challenges with a fresh approach.” “I am passionate about the issues facing students today. I also feel
however that I am still very much connected and in tune with the student body.” When asked about possible opponents De Brún stated that “as of now I haven’t heard of anyone running against me, but there’s every chance that someone will of course.” Neill Flaherty, a third year student, told The College Tribune he hopes “the election is more diverse and exciting than last year. In a university this size a position not contested looks very bad. The inner clique of
the Students’ Union needs to be broken this year and I hope to see some new faces.” Saoirse Doherty, a first year student, said that “this is the first time that I’ll have a chance to vote in these elections. I think the Students’ Union did well this year but I would like to see more women holding down positions within it, and more contact with the students.” The nominations for the sabbatical elections close on the 6th of March, with the election itself taking place on March 30th and 31st.
UCD’s Nurses Take to the Streets in Protest
Nursing students marched through the streets of Dublin city centre last Wednesday in opposition to proposed cuts to the pay of preregistered nurses and midwives. Members of all the national nursing unions, as well as student unions throughout the country, were represented. Up to 3,000 took part in the rally, which followed UCD SU’s protest at St Vincent’s Hospital the previous week. The action comes on the back of a proposal by Tánaiste Mary Coughlan to end salaries for fourth year student nurses, some of whom work in the region of 39 hours a week. UCD SU President Paul Lynam, who has been active in the protests, claimed: “This crazy plan is the dying sting from a disastrous government, and it will leave a legacy of misery and failure.” He went on to call for the Tánaiste to work for a year for free, in order to create savings for the healthcare system. “From 2015, pre-registered nurses will be expected
to work on the frontline of the healthcare system and receive no wages. It’s nothing less than slave labour. If Mary Coughlan believes this is the best way to save money, then I propose she forfeit her [own] salary for one year.” The march was largely coordinated by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). Liam Doran of the INMO argued that the proposals were fundamentally unfair. “Pre-registration nurses and midwives are the lowest paid grade in the health service. They work full rosters, replacing qualified staff, and are filling gaps in the service that otherwise would have to be paid at staff nurse or midwife level. This government decision was wrong, is fundamentally flawed and should be reversed, without equivocation immediately.” In response to initial pressure from the INMO and student unions across Ireland, Minister Coughlan announced a review of the wage
cuts two weeks ago. Fianna Fáil claim this “will consider how the nursing budget can be reduced, while maintaining the principle of payment to student nurses.” The party claim that the wage scheme introduced in 2002, under which student nurses receive 80% of the minimum nurses’ wage, was implemented under different economic circumstances and was no longer sustainable. However, for many of the aggrieved, such a stance is unacceptable. Organisers have called on opposition parties to make their views on the matter clear, whilst advocating a complete reverse from Fianna Fáil to “reclaim some semblance of decency and credibility before they leave office.” With the general election fast approaching, Lynam warned of a backlash amongst voters as a result of the cuts. “The election is looming… and with that in mind, politicians should know that we will use our vote and not support
parties who intend to support this scheme.” “Politicians need to know that we will not be voting for any party that supports cutting nursing intern wages. The Government cannot introduce draconian cuts and not expect a reaction. We are here today to give a voice to nurses all over Ireland and ensure these cuts never take place,” he added. Ciara Cosgrove, a 2nd year nursing student at UCD, outlined how the cuts could affect her. “By the time I am in fourth year we will get about three or four euro an hour...which is way below the minimum wage. We will be working the same hours as the staff nurses and doing the same jobs as them...the cuts are really unfair.” “We will have to see what happens next, if there is no talk about stopping the cuts further action will have to be made. The SU were great this week, so their help would be very much appreciated again,” she added.
USI Elections to be Held in Mid-March
• USI will pay for 200 delegates to stay in Dunboyne Castle for weekend. • UCD Students’ pay 100,000 a year to be part of USI.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) national congress, scheduled from 13-16 March in Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath, will once again incorporate the annual USI elections. Each constituent college of the USI will send delegates, who will stay in the former convent at the USI’s expense and vote on the officer board of the organisation for 2011-12. Nominations for the officer board must be submitted by at least one students union, and can be for any member of a college affiliated with the USI. Candidates must issue a manifesto and can then engage in a few weeks of campaigning before the election. As the largest college in the USI, UCD will have the highest number of delegates at 25, but Pat de Brún, UCD SU Campaigns Officer, does not believe that will give candidates from the institution an unfair advantage. “We’ve got 25 votes...the next highest is 24, so it’s not a monopoly,” he said. “We’ve got three great candidates, Scott Ahern [current UCD Welfare Officer, running for the national Welfare position], Ger Gallagher [current Disability Rights Officer in the UCD SU, running for Equality Officer at
the USI] and Siobhan Maguire [current USI LGBT Rights Officer, running for re-election] who would do well regardless of the size of their college.” De Brún also considered running for national office but withdrew to pursue the UCDSU presidential position. The UCD delegates will have a chance to examine each candidate’s manifesto in the coming weeks, and an extraordinary session of Student Council will be held on March 1st in order to hold a hustings-style opportunity for candidates to debate issues. The council will then vote on which candidates its delegates should support at election. Several candidates are up for reelection, including Colm Murphy, current USI Education Officer and candidate for the position of Deputy President; McGuire; and Gary Redmond, USI President. Colm Murphy told The College Tribune, “There needs to be new blood, but some continuity is good. In previous years there has been a very high turnover rate... I think the recent protest outside the Fine Gael headquarters against removing Irish as a compulsory Leaving Certificate subject showed
the value of experience, and that will be especially crucial in the next few years. We need to retain organisational memory of things like the fees march in November, and build on the connections and contacts we made.” Murphy himself has had two years as a sabbatical officer, on top of his current year in the USI. The election itself, and the national congress, will be held at Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath, over a four day period in midMarch. At a time when finances are tight for students, some have questioned if there could not be a more cost-effective way of conducting USI affairs. “It’s a valid question,” agreed Murphy. “The USI congress is very large, it’s our main unifying event. We’re expecting to put up over 200 delegates from across the country, and not many hotels will take the booking. Gary Redmond put it out to tender and, as far as I know, got a very good deal – better even than last year.” On his own credentials for Deputy President, which includes the role of Campaigns Officer, Murphy sets out the challenges facing students in the next year and how the USI is equipped to deal with them.
Dunboyne castle where USI delegates will stay for a weekend in March.
“We’re in a time of enormous change and there are plenty of campaigns to run. In the last year the biggest success, I think, has been the passing of the Student Support Bill, which had a lot to do with the political capital gained by getting 40,000 students out to
march against fees and then the subsequent meetings we had...with the Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan. We have to demonstrate that students care, and then negotiate with the politicians.” Murphy sees funding as the single biggest issue facing third level edu-
cation in Ireland. “It’s something the USI has never really got to grips with. We need a costed plan outlining where money can be saved and used to further support students, especially in the current climate.”
www.collegetribune.ie | 3
UCD Student Arrested in Protest Aftermath __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Donie O’ Sullivan • FEE Activist arrested in connection with November breakaway student protest. More arrests expected.
Photo: Gary Fox A UCD student was arrested by Gardaí at his home last Thursday morning in relation to an incident during last November’s “education not emigration” student protest. The male student was brought to Pearse Street Garda station and was questioned for twelve hours. He was released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The “education not emigration” march was organised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) last November but descended into violence after a minority of
students broke-away from the official protest and staged a separate demonstration at the Department of Finance on Merrion Row in Dublin. The student, who was arrested at 8:30am on Thursday, is believed to have taken part in the breakaway protest on Merrion Row. A spokesman for activist group Free Education for Everyone (FEE) who were involved in the protest, has expressed his disappointment at the arrest. “These scare tactics will not discourage any FEE activist, as they are clearly intended to do so. The
arrest of a student activist more than three months after the event is unprecedented and is a clear shift in tactics by the Gardaí to a more aggressive and intimidating style of ‘policing’. The heightened politicisation and radicalization of students is sending worrying signals to the Gardaí and any prospective government who plan to continue the savage cuts in education already inflicted by Fianna Fail and the Greens,” said spokesman Lorcan Gray. Gray has also indicated that further arrests will follow in the coming months.
Student Sets Up Write My Assignment Website __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ciarán Leinster • Former UCD Student establishes Website for writing assignments. • Estimated cost: €350 for 5,000 words.
A UCD post-graduate student has recently opened a new internet business entitled www.writemyassignments.com, which provides authentic, original academic papers written by post-graduate students for the use of any undergraduate student willing to pay. When contacted by The College Tribune, founder Michael Noble called his website an “educational company centred around student progression.” When asked whether his website was in the business of helping students commit plagiarism, he replied, “No no no, plagiarism, no. That’s certainly something we wouldn’t associate with our service. Our service is essentially grinds for assignments. Noble maintains that “it is someone taking your brief and writing according to your brief.” Noble, a UCD post-graduate student, has been working for over four months assembling a team of “mentors” who actually do the writing. The website opened for business on Monday 7th of February, and, when contacted on Thursday 17th, 8 assignments had been completed, and there were another 14 pending.
However, these assignments do not come cheap. Noble estimated that a 5,000 word essay could cost about €350 currently. Prices do vary, depending on the assignment itself, the length of the assignment, and the time-frame in which the brief must be completed. He was sure to stress, however, that his company do not negotiate the price; this is an issue instead for the mentor and his client, with the website taking 10% as profit. Noble, far from seeing his website as one that does much of the legwork for students concerned about upcoming essays, maintained it was the same thing as getting a grind for an exam. “Many people use grinds for exams, but there is no service for assignments, to optimise results,” he said. When asked whether he foresaw a problem with the Students Union, he replied, “No, I wouldn’t be worried about any reaction. We’re all about enhancing education. We’re an educational company. I don’t see why there’d be any sort of difficulty or issues from the SU.” However, when asked for to comment on thefledgling start-up, James Williamson,
UCDSU Education Officer, commented: “The Students’ Union believe in a fair education system and fair means of assessment for all students equally, in order to provide the best standards of education possible. Anything that jeopardizes this is not supported by UCDSU.” The accusation that his company was promoting laziness among students was also refuted by Noble, stating that his website “can be used for original idea sourcing. This is giving extra bits of information.” He was also eager to contrast his service with that of grind schools, which he believed to be over-priced, compared to writemyassignments.com. Noble also pointed out that he is always on the lookout for new mentors. All one needs is a degree from any university and college in Ireland in the past 5 years, with a score of either 2:1 or 1:1. Each brief is sent only to a mentor who has completed the course of which said assignment is a part of. Those interested in using the site’s services, or becoming a mentor, can log on to www.writemyassignments.com for details.
UCD Students Hope to Come Back for the Craic
Amy Walsh • UCD students studying abroad have been shortlisted for 7up’s “Bring them back for the Craic” competition.
The competition allows groups of friends who are dispersed all over the world to compete to be flown home to Ireland and reunited on St. Patrick’s Day. The winners will arrive to a party held in their honour at the Tivoli in Dublin city centre on Saturday 19th of March. The UCD team which is named “The Hum-Nuts” have been shortlisted along with six other teams. Each team is now rounding up support and asking people to vote for them on the 7up website. The team who generates the most votes will win the much sought after prize. The Hum-Nuts, all from Dublin, cite the UCD student bar as their most missed bar. Team leader and former UCD student Conall Walsh wants to bring his friends and his girlfriend back home. The team is comprised of Ellen Ní Cléirigh, Ruairi Robertson, Matthew Halpin, Neasa Forde, Susan Cardiff, Maude Grant and Denise
4 | www.collegetribune.ie
Brennan who are are spread all over the world. Ellen and Ruairi are in Boston, USA, at Tufts University. Neasa and Susan are at the Technical University in Munich, Germany, while Maude and Denise are studying at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. “Out of the seven people we want to bring home, six study Nutri______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The team name ‘Hum-Nuts’ originates from the UCD course, Human Nutrition... The students, all from Dublin, cite the UCD Student Bar as their most missed bar.
tion at UCD. This year we are currently all on a ten month placement,” said the team. “The team name ‘Hum-Nuts’ originates from the UCD course, Human Nutrition. It’s a bit of a mouthful to say at times, hence the
team name,” they added. Team member Ellen Ní Cléirigh told The College Tribune why the team should win. “We are spread across the globe and this is the only chance we’re going to get to be together this year. We miss all our mates, family and the UCD student bar”. As interns, most of the students don’t get paid and cannot afford the airfares home. “We’re working full time in labs doing research relating to nutrition, human health and disease,” said Ní Cléirigh “The majority of us have a boyfriend or girlfriend back home who we are missing a huge amount. We are all so far apart, even trying to find the time to talk on Facebook or Skype is difficult because of the time zones,” she added. The team are looking for votes everywhere they can think of. “Facebook groups, emailing every club or team we’ve ever been on, basically contacting everyone
we’ve ever known. We are getting in touch with local news agencies in the places we are in now, and there’s some talk of a radio interview next week too,” she said. “Throughout the second stage of the competition, a series of challenges will be set for the finalists where they can win bonus votes,” according to the 7up website. “This week we have to take a photo of us at a landmark holding a poster. We will hopefully take the lead with that,” said the team. “I have this image of being in Ireland with my best friends having a drink on a Monday in the student bar, that’s the goal,” said Ní Cléirigh. “It would mean a huge amount to us if we could get home for Patrick’s Day and we need as many people as possible to support us.” ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
People can vote daily, see www.7up.ie for details.
Multi-Storey Car Park to be Built on Campus
UCD has received planning permission to build a multi-storey car park and bus terminal between the Sports Centre and the water tower. “With planning permission granted, the university will now tender for the works. The commuting facility is part of a wider commuting strategy for the campus,” said a spokesperson for UCD. Planned to be over 40 metres high, the transport facility will incorporate 583 new parking spaces, 617 bicycle spaces and 81 motorbike spaces. “The new facility is long overdue for UCD, but I welcome the plans and hope construction can begin as soon as possible. Addressing the current lack of parking in UCD was a key priority of the Students’ Union this year and the team is delighted with the news,” said UCD’s SU President Paul Lynam.
“The new facility will act as a transport hub for UCD and should go some way towards easing the problems many students face in commuting to Belfield,” he added. Objections to the planning permission were removed by the National Transport Authority after UCD made commitments to provide sustainable transport and reduce parking spaces elsewhere. The construction project is part of UCD’s Campus Development Plan, which makes a commitment to a sustainable UCD campus in an effort to reduce petrol usage and traffic congestion. The Plan aims to improve the transportation facilities for UCD’s 25,000 bus users and other commuters. The new proposal will generate 500 more parking spaces and was met with opposition from the National Transport Authority. These
objections were only removed after an agreement by UCD to reduce parking spaces elsewhere. “We will be seeking a commitment from the university that the new facility will not lead to a reduction in car parking spaces elsewhere in the campus,” said Lynam. The site is to be partially located over current tennis courts, parking spaces and a landscaped area. To compensate for the landscaping that will be demolished by this site, new landscaping is to be built in the surrounding area, including 300m of covered walkway and cycle paths. The proposal also includes plans for a retail unit, storage space and shower, changing and locker room facilities within the four hectare site. The price of the new transport facility includes payment of more than €2 million in development levies
Location of the proposed Multi-Storey Car Park to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The council has stated that it is “reasonable” that over €500,000 should be levied for drainage services, €500,000 more for parks and landscaping, and a further €1 million for contributions to the roads network. “I don’t see why UCD would spend that kind of money on a car
park if they have the cash,” commented a student of Psychology. “There are...other more important things that need doing. [The] library...might seem big but there are only like 6 copies of each book, which means that a class of 200 never gets access to the important stuff. That’s where the money should go.”
“I spend at least 15 minutes every morning searching for a parking space on campus. It can be impossible sometimes. Unless you live along a bus route its very difficult to get in and out of here quickly,” commented another student. Details of the Campus Development Plan can be found on the UCD website.
Salsa Wrap 259mm x 170mm Feb CO.pdf 18/02/2011 17:43:23
www.collegetribune.ie | 5
Fine Gael Gets Students’ Vote
Donie O’ Sullivan
A nationwide student pre-election poll conducted in six of Ireland’s universities has found that 73% of students intend on voting in Friday’s General Election. The poll, which was co-ordinated by The College Tribune, in conjunction with student media outlets in Trinity College Dublin (TCD), DCU, UCC, NUI Galway and the University of Limerick, surveyed a total of 1,248 students across the country last Thursday, February 17th. All 1,248 students were surveyed in person on their respective campuses.
Nationally, Fine Gael are the most popular political party amongst students on 34%, followed by the Labour Party at 30%. Independents follow with 13%, whilst one in ten students say they will give their first preference to Fianna Fáil. Sinn Féin proved to be more popular among students, than the Green Party with 6%, compared to the Green’s 4%. 3% of students said they would give their first preference to “Other” candidates, such as those who form part of the United Left Alliance. Fine Gael are the most popular party in all universities, apart from
DCU and in UCD where Labour ranked as the most popular political party, gaining 33.6% compared to Fine Gael’s 27.48% Fine Gael performed particularly well in TCD with 45% in comparison to Labour’s 28.16% there. No DCU or UL students surveyed said the Green Party would be receiving their first preference, and in TCD Sinn Féin also received 0%. Independents averaged 13%, but were notably more popular in the University of Limerick where 22% of students surveyed said they would give their first preference to
Students First Preference
an independent candidate. The “Other” category were comparatively strong in DCU on 5.2%, ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
UCD students proved to be most indecisive nationally, with 32.7% of students expressing an intention to vote on Friday still undecided about who they will give their first preference.
as are Fianna Fáil with 11.68% and Sinn Féin with 10.39% in the North Dublin university. A significant amount of students
(23.72%) who are intending to vote in the election are still undecided as to whom they will vote for. UCD students proved to be most indecisive nationally with 32.7% of students expressing an intention to vote on Friday still undecided about who they will give their first preference. Despite Fine Gael being the most popular political party amongst students, 23% of students nationally believe that Eamon Gilmore would make the best Taoiseach, with Enda Kenny in second at 20%.
Kenny was followed by Micheál Martin at 13%, Gerry Adams at 4% and John Gormley at 3%. 14% of the 1,248 students surveyed nationwide said they would choose none of the five main party leaders a Taoiseach. Enda Kenny performed overwhelmingly well in UCC, with 45% of students saying he would make the best Taoiseach compared to UCD where only 12% of students believed so. Gilmore is the most popular choice for Taoiseach in UCD with 26%, whilst support for Martin (15%) in Belfield is slightly higher than the
Students Voting in General Election Weighted Average
Fine Gael Fianna Fáil Labour Greens Sinn Féin Indo Other
Students Preference for Taoiseach Weighted Average Kenny Martin Gilmore Gormley Adams None Above Don’t Know
6 | www.collegetribune.ie
Yes 73% No 25% Don’t Know 3% Visit www.collegetribune.ie for more stats
You Decide 2011
Poll Fallout UCD v TCD
national weighted average. In UCC, only 6% of students backed Cork based Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin as the best Taoiseach compared to 17% in NUI Galway, where he performed best. Commenting on the results of the nationwide poll, Gary Redmond, President of the Union of Students’ in Ireland said,”One thing that this and the RedC poll for The Examiner show is that voting intention for students is much higher for the Labour Party than in older generations. I would imagine that this is because the
Labour Party have come out very strongly in favour of free fees, and indeed have said that they would reduce the Student Services Charge. This is obviously incredibly important to students and that’s factoring in strongly in their voting intentions.” “With Fianna Fáil at around 8% lower than in national polls, it’s clear that students feel very strongly about what Fianna Fáil have done in government. They cut student grants, raised the registration fee hugely and did nothing to tackle graduate unemployment.” “Every opinion poll shows that
students are more politicised than ever and that their voices will be heard in this election,” added Redmond. Students from six of Ireland’s seven universities were surveyed in the poll. The poll was organised as a collaboration amongst a portion of Ireland’s student media, and was conducted in UCD by The College Tribune, in Trinity College Dublin, by The University Times ,in DCU by DCU FM and The College View newspaper , in the University of Limerick by An Focal newspaper, in Galway by Sin newspaper and in UCC by corkstudentnews.ie.
75% of TCD students who took part in last weeks College Tribune co-ordinated cross campus poll are definitely voting in Friday’s General Election. This figure compared to 69% of UCD students who took part. Such figures stand above national averages from elections of the last 20 years, however 29% of UCD students and 20% of TCD students are definitely not voting at all, according to the survey. 5% of Trinity students are undecided on whether they will turn out come Friday, whilst 2% of UCD students are unsure. When asked to state their party preference, Labour proved the most popular amongst UCD students, with 33.6% indicating they would vote for the left of centre party. By contrast, Trinity students showed a strong preference of 45% for Fine Gael (FG) – a figure that is above the national polling average, in which FG have not yet breached the 40% mark. FG’s high percentage of the Trinity
vote came at the expense of Sinn Féin, and surprisingly the Labour Party as well. The poll revealed relative support for FG among UCD students – 27.48% - whilst showing moderate support for SF at 8.46%, which falls short of national predictions but soars above the non-existent support received from Trinity students. Independents faired well within both colleges, however support levels of nearly 10% for Fianna Fáil in both colleges seems slightly surprising due to the outgoing governing party’s stance on education which attracted large opposition from the Union of Students in Ireland last November. When asked to choose their Taoiseach out of the candidates available in the General Electon, the popular choice amongst UCD students was Labours Eamon Gilmore (26%). The Labour Party leader came out on top ahead of Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny at the top of the Trinity poll with
19% - however 27% of TCD students were unsure who they would choose to lead Ireland’s next government. A standout statistic amongst UCD students was the poor showing of FG’s Kenny who received only 12% support in the poll – less than Fianna Fáil’s Micheal Martin who received 15%. 5% and 3% of polled students from UCD and Trinity respectively gave their support to Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams – a strange statistic from a TCD perspective as no one said they were planning on giving their vote to Sinn Féin anyway. In both areas of the poll the Greens faired equally poorly in both UCD and Trinity. Whilst ‘other’ groups such as the United Left Alliance, did not receive the support amongst students that their enthusiastic campaign may have led one to expect.
Survey Shows Students are Politically Engaged
Brendan Lannoye __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
UCD tops polls for politically engaged students. The College Tribune can reveal that the majority of third level students in this country would describe themselves as ‘Average’ or below averagely politically engaged. When asked: ‘How politically engage would you see yourself, on a scale from ‘Not at all’ to ‘Very’?’ the most common response by the 430 UCD students surveyed was ‘average’, at 32.5%. The question seemed to split the national student reaction. ‘Average’ was the most common answer in UCD and NUIG. However, the answer ‘Not at all’ was by far the most common in DCU, UCC and UL, with 39% of students in both DCU and UCC responding with the lowest level of engagement. Of those surveyed in UCD, 123 people, 30.86%, classed themselves as ‘Very Politically Engaged’ or ‘Politically Engaged’, the highest in the country. On the opposite side of the scale, only 13% of those questioned
in UCC responded as above ‘Averagely politically engaged’. Similarly, the smallest demographic result in any University to any level of engagement was in UCC, with only 3% of the 127 students surveyed, classifying themselves as ‘Very Politically Engaged’. It is also likely that the figures of political engagement will rise in the days preceding February 25th, as political salience trends in tandem with political discussion, and therefore engagement. However, it must be taken into account, that the survey was carried out eight days previous to what many analysts are calling one of the most pivotal elections in modern Irish history. Current Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, remarked in his resignation speech that this ‘election would shape our economic future’. In regards to how this affects the outcome on February 26th, a significantly high overlap of 6.5% of voters in UCD intend to vote in the next general election despite classifying themselves as less than
averagely politically engaged. In UL and in Cork this overlap is more pronounced. 71% of those surveyed in UCC called themselves less than averagely politically engaged. However, only 21% of students will not be voting, leaving a slight majority of voters classifying themselves as less than averagely politically engaged. A lack of political engagement and information has shown in the past to hugely effect voting outcomes. Voting trends varied largely between Lisbon 1 and Nice 1, and Lisbon 2 and Nice 2; an anomaly which many political scientists attribute to greater information being available to the public. Websites such as www.votomatic.ie, www.politicalreform.ie, and www.reformcard.ie have sprung up over the course of the campaign to offer voters a greater accessibility to the political debate.
www.collegetribune.ie | 7
SUs Engage in Final Push to Mobilise Student Vote
• USI to issue booklet advising students how to vote. • UCC Students’ Union call for annual voter registration drive.
Photo: Danny Lambert
The Union of Students in Ireland and UCD Students Union have encouraged as many students to get out and vote in Friday’s general election as possible. With issues such as registration fees, cuts to the grant, and decreasing graduate employment prospects at stake, representative bodies such as the USI and UCD SU are at the forefront of the campaign to push the student agenda in an election dominated by national economic issues. “Students have already taken a hit,” Colm Murphy, USI’s Education Officer, told The College Tribune in November, in response to critics of the campaign to halt rises in the registration fee. Since then, the 2011 Budget and subsequent Finance Bill has made higher fees a reality, with an increase of a third to
€2000 a year. The primary concern of the USI and student unions around the country is the mobilisation of students to vote in a generation-defining election. This has taken the form of a nationwide registration campaign orchestrated by the USI, as well as information drives run by individual student unions. “The election tour was a great success” said Murphy. “For example, in Dún LaoghaireRathdown, there are usually about 200 applicants [to register to vote] per year, [but] this year it has been over 2000, many of whom are students.” Pat de Brún, UCDSU Campaigns Officer, was also positive about the prospects of students voting in numbers. “There was definitely more interest than expected. [Even] before we were advertising, people were asking us where and how to register. People... definitely [want] to vote, [they’re] not being pushed into it.” One of the major problems faced by the USI was that of timing. “The campaign was perhaps not as successful as we’d have liked,
purely because the election was moved forward,” explained Murphy, “We were in discussions with bands such as the Rubberbandits to come out and support us, but when the timetable changed, those plans fell through. Nevertheless we’re very pleased. All the colleges were very enthusiastic in supporting the campaign, and we had a Garda on every campus to help with registration. Pearse Street Garda Station had a queue out the door right until the last minute with students trying to register. We’re delighted.” “They [the USI] have done the best they can, given the short window available,” Keith O’Brien, President of the Students Union at University College Cork, told The College Tribune. “They’ve done very well, given that it’s a snap election, [with] not a huge amount of money available and [considering] that they’re down a few people.” One of those not involved with the USI’s election drive is former Deputy President, Cónán Ó Broin, who stepped down from his post in January to join the campaign team of the Labour
candidate for Dublin Mid-West, Robert Dowds. Peter Mannion, president of the NUI Galway Students Union, and a former President of USI, echoed O’Brien’s sentiments, and added that his union was striving to inform its members as much as possible on the different candidates and parties. “The registration drive was positive, roughly 300 people signed up in a day. We’ve also been trying our best to make students aware of the major issues by producing documents on the most pressing student concerns, and a synopsis on our website.” Mannion stated that while the Union had not put up posters around campus specifically about the election, it had done so for the voter registration drive. O’Brien said that UCC was also stepping up its efforts to provide the student body with as much information as possible. “We’re waiting for the parties to finalise their education policies, but we’re still using emails and Facebook to keep people informed.” He also praised the USI voter registration drive. “I think we’re going
to repeat it every year, like SHAG Week or Mental Health Week,” said Murphy. With registration closed, the USI’s attention is turned to informing students of the major issues facing them at the polling booth. “We’re sending a booklet out early in the week to every student union detailing each party’s policy on the three main issues: fees, grants and graduate unemployment. It will be distributed online, and in printed form, by each individual SU, and will be in as clear a language as possible – quoting word for word from manifestos wherever we can,” continued Murphy. “We don’t want to tell people that x is the part to vote for or that x is the party not to vote for. We want students to be able to inform themselves, and make their own personal and subjective choice, based on the parties’ policies and record in each area.” In addition, the UCD SU will be issuing “canvassing cards”, with a list of questions pertaining to higher education for students to ask when politicians call at their door to canvass.
Labour Pledge to Keep Fees at €1,500
Donie O’ Sullivan
• Student Fees due to increase to 2,000 in autumn as part of Budget 2011. • Labour promises to back-track on former Government’s decision.
The Labour Party has pledged to freeze current college fees at €1,500 in its election manifesto. The “student services charge”, now known as the “student contribution”, is due to increase to €2,000 for the next academic year as part of Budget 2011. Ruairí Quinn, the party’s education spokesperson, said the €500 increase in student charges planned for the autumn was “a step too far at a time for students and families when we should be encouraging people into education rather than erecting barriers.” He criticised Fine Gael’s plans for a tax on graduates by branding it an “emigrant tax” which would leave students with an average debt of €12,000. The party also committed itself to abolishing the €200 registration fee for post Leaving Cert courses.
8 | www.collegetribune.ie
Not implementing the €500 increase in the student fees would cost the exchequer €27m, however Mr. Quinn was unable to give specific details of how the party would fund the promise if elected. Gary Redmond, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, welcomed the Labour Party’s proposal. “It is vital that the future Government makes Higher Education, and the up-skilling of the people of Ireland, a priority. The increase to student registration fees made in last year’s Budget was a nonsensical decision, which put third level education beyond the reach of thousands of vulnerable and struggling families across Ireland.” Paul Lynam, President of UCD Students’ Union, also welcomed the news, but warned of the
dangers of the Labour Party backtracking on their promise to students, if they form the smaller part of a coalition government with Fine Gael. “Labour and Fine Gael are poles apart when it comes to third level policies and we must get a firm agreement from Labour not to backtrack on pledges made to students if the promise of a seat at the Government table is on offer.” “Students demand a strong Government that will fight for their right to third level education, and we now need a firm commitment from Labour that this is not just political posturing before polling day.” “While we welcome a €500 drop in registration fees, we must now fight to make third level education available to all, and abolish fees in any guise,” said Lynam.
You Decide 2011
Fine Gael Proposals to Make Irish Optional Met with Anger
Timothy Potenz • Fine Gael proposal met with disapproval from students. • 150 students attend silent protest outside Dáil.
Proposals by Fine Gael to make the Irish language an optional Leaving Certificate subject have been met with disapproval in UCD. Edel Ni Bhraonáin, auditor of the Irish society in UCD said the policy would be damaging to the future of the language. “This is a radical policy that would be very detrimental to the Irish language.” Cathal Billings of the School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Irish Folklore has also said he believes students will be too young to make the decision not to study Irish. “Most people just don’t have a love of the language at that age. Not only that but they can’t make educated choices about Irish at the age of 15.” Meanwhile students who opposed the proposal held a
silent protest outside the Dáil on Monday 14th February and proceeded to Fine Gael headquarters where the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Irish Language Officer handed in a petition containing 15,000 signatures. Plans to overhaul the current curriculum and examine better teaching methods for the subject are also included in the party’s manifesto. A short voxpop of UCD students has also highlighted that some blame the compulsory nature of the subject for the negativity surrounding it. Being forced to learn the language has been criticised by some students as giving them an immediate bad attitude towards the subject. “I chose French as a subject voluntarily and I enjoyed it. But if I was
told I had to do French I honestly don’t think I would have liked it at all,” commented a 3rd Year student. Some students have also expressed opinions that the Irish language is no longer relevant “I am Irish, I’ve lived here my whole life, I support the Irish team in all sports, I could never emigrate, and this is my home. But I don’t speak Irish. Why does the language have anything to do with who I am? It doesn’t. Why should I be forced to have this culture that is ‘mine’ if I don’t want it and it has nothing to do with me,” commented one female UCD student. Those who oppose making the language optional have acknowledged that the Irish syllabus is no longer appealing for students, calling for an overhaul of how the
subject is taught. “It’s a terrible course,” said Ni Bhraonáin. “Nobody would choose to do a course with a seven hour exam. And you’d always hear your parents saying things like “isn’t it awful depressing” when you’re studying old Irish stories and stuff. It really needs to be taught differently. Fine Gael has also included plans to reorganise the Irish curriculum before examining the possibility of making the subject optional. Worries have also been expressed regarding the effect the proposal will have on the economy. “The Gaelteacht depends on visitors coming in every summer to improve their Irish. Without that they would just fall apart,” said Ni Bhraonáin.
Photo: Dáire Brennan
There are further concerns regarding jobs in the education sector that depend on Irish students. “As someone who works in Irish, I would be very worried about this
move,” says Cathal Billings. Both Billings and Ni Bhraonáin have stated that they will not be voting for Fine Gael due to this proposal.
www.collegetribune.ie | 9
Election 2011 Labour Spark Abortion Debate
Cailean Heaslip __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
IT was a string of events set into motion by the infamous X case which has now planted abortion firmly on the political cards once again. Now Labour Party proposals to introduce new legislation, should they form part of the next government, have led to a political and media backlash. A ruling made last December by the European Court of Human Rights, which stated that Ireland must implement clear abortion legislation, has helped to give the issue greater significance in the general election campaign. While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been more circumspect in their statements on the issue, Labour has attracted a barrage of criticism for their plans. In an article published in the Irish Independent last week, prominent Catholic anti-abortion campaigner David Quinn branded Labour as “pro-abortion, pure and simple” and stated that “a vote for the Labour Party is a vote for abortion”. Abortion re-emerged as a significant topic of debate last December with the notorious X case. The European Court ruled that Ireland had violated an individual woman’s rights by not ensuring access to abortion facilities. The woman’s life was
shown to be in danger if she followed through with the birth and it was ruled that this warranted an exception to Irish anti-abortion laws. What prevented the woman from getting the procedure done was the fact that no government has created legislation for the X case ruling. The European Court stated that Ireland must create clear laws, so that medical professionals know when they are safe to operate. The Labour Party welcomed the European Court’s recent judgement saying it was “consistent with the policy that the Labour Party has held since 2003”. Eamon Gilmore, Labour Party leader, said that legislation should be implemented “in the lifetime of the next Dáil”, but that the issue would not be a deal-breaker if they were to go into coalition with Fine Gael. Fine Gael has not announced its intentions on abortion legislation, but Enda Kenny gave guarantees in 1997 not to legislate for the X case. The party has suggested an all-party Oireachtas committee or a referendum to decide the issue, both of which Labour have rejected. A Labour spokesperson said no discussions have been held between the parties on the issue. The Labour Party believe that some limited abortion legislation can be introduced without
holding a referendum. Among the pro-life lobby, there have been calls for a referendum to reverse the decision of the X case ruling. Former Independent MEPs Dana Rosemary Scallon, Kathy Sinnott and an alliance of thirty community groups called on party leaders last Friday to give an election pledge not to legislate. Some points in Labour’s policy on abortion have attracted significant criticism from pro-life lobby groups. Labour believes access to abortions should be extended to cases where the mother’s physical health is in danger. Previous rulings have only permitted it when the mother’s life is threatened or when the baby will be born dead. Some from the pro-life lobby fear Labour’s policy would effectively lead to abortion on demand. Pro-choice groups, however, have stressed that legislating for access to abortions is not just a Labour political position; it is the wish of the people. Independent Senator Fiona O’Malley, previously of the Progressive Democrats, referring to referendums which rejected more restrictive legislation, commented: “On more than one occasion, when this matter was put to the people, they made their position clear.” Whichever way the dice falls, the issue looks set to remain firmly on the table over the coming weeks and months.
FEE Students Protest Against Graduate Tax
Michael Phoenix __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Students gathered last week in Dublin city centre to protest against current proposals by Fine Gael to implement a graduate tax. The protest was organised by activists from the group Free Education for Everyone (FEE) who called on all political parties to provide guarantees against the introduction of any form of tuition fees and an end to education cuts across the board. The protest was attended by up to 40 students who chanted slogans such as “Enda Kenny hear us clear, we don’t want your cutbacks here”. A number of speakers addressed
the crowd outside the Fine Gael headquarters including NUI Maynooth student Dónal Fallon who said “FEE has in the past organised marches, occupations and blockades against Fianna Fáil and Green party TDs - if these Blueshirts plan on implementing further cuts in education then they can expect the same treatment from us.” While weekend polls in the run up to Friday’s general election were increasingly pointing to a Fine Gael led government, FEE say a graduate tax could see students paying more than €25,000 after they leave college.
FEE campaigner Lorcan Myles told The College Tribune, “A vote for Fine Gael will amount to a vote for more savage IMF cuts to public services, and a graduate tax will only result in more young people being forced to emigrate. Fine Gael is just more of the same.” FEE was heavily involved in a student protest against the introduction of third level fees last November, in particular with the breakaway group that formed outside the Department of Finance.
Former UCD Students' Union President and current USI Oifigeach na Gaeilge (Irish Language Officer), Aodhán Ó Deá, speaks to protesters during the silent protest against the Fine Gael policy to reduce the Irish Language's status on the Leaving Certificate course outside Buswell's hotel/Dáil Éireann. Photo: Dáire Brennan
10 | www.collegetribune.ie
You Decide 2011
• Fianna Fáil’s Charlie O’Connor TD talks about his re-elect
General Election 2011 has been billed up as the biggest election ever in the short history of the State. On calling the election, Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Brian Cowen stated that it will “define our economic future” and decide whether Ireland moves “forward from this recession, or whether we prolong it or indeed succumb to it.” However during all of this talk, the outgoing government has looked more like endangered specie than a political party. For respected Dublin South West candidate, Charlie O’Connor, a current TD and local representative for over 20 years, he even admits that his party face a struggle nationally, but that they still have a role to play in government. “I don’t think that there is any doubt that there is now going to be a change of government, but I think that it is very important that we understand that Fianna Fáil does have a role in the Oireachtas
into the future and it is important that we do that. We’ve come through a difficult period, the polls are reflecting that people are reacting in a negative way to some of the difficult decisions which have been taken over the last two years, and none of us were happy about that. “But it is important to stress that we must get the economy right, because if we don’t get it on a sound basis, further jobs will be lost and the country will effectively run out of money and there will be no money for social welfare and for all the services that people want and expect.” 65 year old O’Connor, the current TD for the Tallaght area, the third largest population centre in the country, argued his case for a return to work on Kildare Street. “My pitch is based on the fact that I have been a member of the Dáil since 2002; I was a councillor before that from 1991. I live locally, and I think this is recognised
and respected, that I try very hard to represent the views of my community, the views of my constituents. There’s a lot of issues coming up on the doors but if you ask me what the real issue is, it’ll always be as Bill Clinton said, ‘the econonmy, stupid.’ But certainly jobs are coming up, and the need for employment. In terms of education, O’Connor cited his understanding of students’ worries about job prospects in Ireland after graduation from third level, and his determination to make sure this would be acted on. “In relation to students, we are getting a lot of questions about graduate employment and the future of education to ensure that people will be properly educated and have an opportunity to get jobs.” “Thank God there has been a huge progression in recent times, in Dublin South West particularly and in Tallaght, in the number of young people going to college, and
it’s important that we encourage that and an environment to do that. But it’s also important that when they come out of college, properly educated and well educated, that they see some future for themselves. I know there will always be those who for one reason or another want to go abroad and I’ve always taken the view that Ireland becomes emmigration employ, that is the challenge where young people and graduates have to emmigrate and that’s a challenge and huge problem.” “I would have a lot of contact with the various schools, and met the USI recently lobbying for student issues and obviously I would have a lot of contact with the ITT [Institute Technology Tallaght]. But there is this myth that young people, particularly students, don’t get on to politicans, but of course they do.” For more on Fianna Fáil, go to www.fiannafail.ie
The Party tipped to top the polls by the end of the voting on Friday, Fine Gael have not been in government for 14 long years, since the leadership of John Bruton. Current party leader Enda Kenny, who could potentially be voted through to Dáil Éireann with as many as three other Fine Gael candidates in his five seat constituency of Mayo, meaning four FG out of five seats. Even if that doesn’t come off for the Fine Gael leader though, it seems certain that he will become the next Taoiseach of the country according to opinion polls in the run-up to election 2011. Sadly for this election analysis piece in the College Tribune, three Fine Gael officials were contacted and none were in a position to comment before our printing deadline on either the results of the College Tribune General Election poll conducted with students nationally, nor the election itself.
So for the party which interested 27.48% of students in UCD, what are their proposals? The five point recovery plan of Fine Gael, viewable on www.finegael.ie outlines their aims for the creation of jobs, improving health, dealing with the budget, plans for the public sector, and future ideas on politics. In dealing with the problem with jobs, Fine Gael claim they will invest in new energy, water and telecoms infrastructure and generate thousands of new jobs, with 20,000 jobs being created every year from the Growth and Jobs Strategy. Cuts to employers’ PRSI and changes to the welfare system to encourage job creation are also aims of Fine Gael. The strong statement of “We will abolish the airport departure tax, and we will invest an extra €7bn over the next four years to build essential new infrastructure in broadband, green energy and water networks” is made on their own website.
The Labour Party
Matthew Costello • Pointing out that his party will place a stronger emphasis on improving education, Ruairí Quinn talks to Colman Hanley about his parties ideas for the future.
Friday’s vote will decide whether the Labour Party’s campaign and efforts to urge people to see their Party leader, Eamon Gilmore, as Ireland’s next Taoiseach will have worked. All National polls in the run-up to the election have hinted that this is not the case, though last week’s College Tribune poll showed that Mr. Gilmore was the favoured choice of students on campus. The task ahead for Mr. Gilmore or anyone else, according to Dublin South candidate and current TD, Ruairí Quinn, will be tough. “The country is in a place where it has never been since its formation in 1922. There are no soft options out there, the Government has to seem to be fair in its decisions, and there will be no easy decisions. We have to get more for less.” 64 year old candidate Quinn has worked in Dáil Éireann for over 30 years and is widely respected amongst all the political parties. He believes that a vote for Labour is a vote for the “radical transformation of Irish society.” With Education being a key issue for students, Quinn, a former leader of the Labour Party, cites the policies of party as one of
their greatest strengths. In relation to the topic, he specifically questioned the validity of certain reports, particularly one aspect of the McCarthy Report, without knowing all the facts of the case in question. “The McCarthy Report claimed that we should abandon the move of DIT to their proposed new campus in Grangegorman, without realising that DIT is currently 33 different site locations. It didn’t take into account that many of the buildings are 50 to 60 years old and in need of construction. Therefore McCarthy is looking in from the outside.” The former Minister for Finance from 1994-1997 also cited a failure in the education system which has been present for a long era which while viewed as a problem of the past, is still rampant in Irish society and is leading to less people going into further education. “Literacy is a major problem in Irish society and it is a reason as to why we have a massive drop out of people not getting the points to go to university in the first instance because the system is failing them somewhere between the ages of thirteen to sixteen.” “Now this has been evident in
the last three decades. Literacy rates, despite a massive increase in money in education, have not improved in the past three decades and anecdotal evidence coming from university lecturers and oth-
ers have completely overwritten the written word, which is still the medium for communication in academic work, has seriously detioriated.” So with this being the case, what
action is needed? “I think we need a wake-up call, we’ve patting ourselves on the back, thinking our system is great, when the system has actually been creaking. We have half a million people in
the system at the minute and in ten to fifteen years, that figure is to rise 620,000 people.” For more on the Labour Party and their policies, visit www.labour.ie
www.collegetribune.ie | 11
Brendan Lannoye speaks to Green Party TD Paul Gogarty on his policies, his time in office, and his now famous outburst against Deputy Stagg in the previous Dáil.
The Green Party’s Education Spokesman, and candidate for Dublin Mid-West, Paul Gogarty, comfortably won his seat in the 2002 and 2007 elections, but he will need the youth vote, which the Green Party traditionally relies on, to retain his seat on February 25th. So why should students vote for the Green Party? “Well, we did what we said we’d do, we said we wouldn’t introduce tuition fees and we didn’t, and we fought to keep registration fees down as low as we could. We kept our word.” However, the policy to not introduce tuition fees was only narrowly passed last year by a Green Party convention. The issue of graduate emigration has been central in this election campaign. The latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office have alluded that 2010 has shown the highest levels of emigration since 1989. When asked what Gogarty would do in 2011 to reduce the ‘brain drain’, he answered: “The first
energy power plants. “There is an oil crisis coming and we have the potential to do well out of it, if we put the investment in now.” In terms of the election, several commentators have predicted that there would be no Green Party members in the next Dáil. Gogarty reflected his concern at the figures, but commented that “we didn’t make the patient sick, but we’re certainly getting kicked for sticking a very sore needle into them.” However, he was quick to add that there would be no PD-like implosion of his party. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The issue of graduate emigration has been central in this campaign.
thing we have to do is to cut the deficit, we’re currently spending more than 19 billion more than we have this year, but if we keep doing what we’re doing and keep cutting our costs, jobs will come back. We can’t forget that we’re in a recession.”
Gogarty was quite interested in Ireland’s potential to export rather than import energy through our natural resources. He focused on the need to further our involvement in research and development, and construction and maintenance of renewable
While Gogarty stated that the Greens were open to coalition with any party, he did appear to be frustrated by the minimal amount of green policies incorporated by the other major parties. “I don’t see much of a difference
between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour. In this election people seem to be so angry with Fianna Fáil that they are swapping one outdated Civil War party with another.” In regards to Gogarty’s now infamous outburst against Emmet Stagg, he reiterated his regret for the use of “unparliamentary language”, but said he didn’t regret his public profile rocketing, neither did he regret the sentiment behind the statement. The reaction on the doorsteps has been mixed in regards to the Deputy Stagg incident. Some, according to Gogarty, have “reacted badly to it, while others have said “fair play to you, it takes some balls.” In terms of Gogarty’s involvement in the last government, he attested that he “was proud that he did what he thought was best at the time.” He was most happy with the Green Party work from 2009 onwards when “we got reversals in
education cut backs, commitments to introduce legislation on climate change, corporate donations, and planning”. When pressed on where the onus of responsibility of the current economic climate, Gogarty estimated that 70% of the responsibility lies with Fianna Fáil, and then 30% with Fine Gael and Labour; as their councillors rezoned agricultural land into residential land creating “paper profits.” In regards to policy and legislation priorities, he saw enacting the Climate Change Bill as his number one priority. “If we don’t do this, we’re going to have to pay fines anyway, so the money would go outside the country.” When asked about student-related issues, his answer to whether he supports the proposed pay cuts of student nurses was flatly “No”. He went on to say that it would have a “detrimental effect” and that nurses should be encouraged to stay in the country more than anything else.
The Alternative Left
Ourselves Alone: Sinn Féin
Opinion polls indicate that around
from Fine Gael. Prominent Dublin
Declan Bree and Ray Fitzpatrick,
As polling day fast approaches,
the vote in recent polls, on target
other parties? Pearse Doherty is
15% of votes in Friday’s general
independent candidate, Dylan
who will run in Sligo-North
Sinn Féin’s Donegal South West
with voters who are looking for a
firm in his response. “The impact
election will be cast for Independ-
Haskins, for example, includes the
Leitrim and Laois-Offaly re-
TD, Pearse Doherty, is a sure
radical alternative from “greedy,
of the government’s decision to
ent candidates, including candi-
introduction of a partially state-
spectively. Joe Higgins MEP and
bet to take one of the three seats
self-serving politics that has led
increase student fees is now hitting
dates from outside Ireland’s four
funded special investment fund for
Richard-Boyd Barrett, prominent
on offer in the constituency, ac-
our country to the brink of ruin”,
thousands of young people across
main parties – Fianna Fáil, Fine
those between 20 and 30 as a deal
Dublin members of the Alliance,
cording to current figures. The
according to Doherty himself.
Ireland with many being forced to
Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin. Such
breaker for any support to be lent
seem in a strong position for suc-
34-year-old father of three bagged
“Sinn Féin argues that the billions
emigrate. That is an absolute dis-
support reflects a record number of
for a coalition.
cess in Friday’s election.
a massive 40% of the vote in No-
which the other parties would
grace and I give my commitment
independent candidates standing
Some traditionally considered
They hope to provide “the pres-
vember’s by-election to secure the
pour into the banks should be
that Sinn Féin in government
in this year’s election – 233 small
outsider groups could also play
ence… of genuine left TDs in the
first Sinn Féin seat in the constitu-
spent on public services such as
would reverse the increase in fees
party and independent candidates
an important role in deciding
Dáil offering a visible political
ency in over 80 years. Since then,
health and education,” he claims
and the cuts to student grants.”
Ireland’s fate following the general
Doherty has become a household
– a popular attitude in the current
With a newly re-established and
A poor showing from Labour, as
A successful election for the ULA
name, thanks to frequent televi-
climate which may sway undecid-
strong presence in UCD and other
polls are increasingly indicating
With candidates from the Social-
would undoubtedly prove danger-
sion and radio appearances and his
ed voters. With candidates in all
colleges across the capital, Sinn
may be the case, coupled with a
ist Party, People Before Profit
ous for a Fine Gael majority coali-
new role as the party spokesperson
constituencies, the party are hop-
Féin are without doubt a popular
strong performance from Fine
Alliance and the Workers Party,
on Finance. A sharp-talking, no
ing for public anger to turn into
choice among a student population
Gael come election night, could
flying under the one banner as the
A left block demanding radical
nonsense approach to his Budget
support for their agenda. “I would
which is tired of conservative poli-
create a new major player in the
United Left Alliance, standing in
change will not be easily won over
Day speech racked up 32,000 hits
say to anyone who has become
tics. “It’s about change,” Doherty
creation of Ireland’s next govern-
20 constituencies; any signifi-
by a party they consider poison-
on YouTube, as well as gaining
fed up with politics that staying
stressed. “We are the only party
ment – independents.
cant pull by voters towards the
ously ‘right wing’.
the praise of top economists such
at home and not voting is letting
who offer a real alternative for our
If the support currently being
more extreme end of the political
However, as the incredibly varied
as David McWilliams. Economist
Fianna Fáil get away with it.”
students and all the people of Ire-
shown for non-affiliated candidates
spectrum could see an important
demands which would be put forth
Anthony Foley of DCU said that
Yet with an ever-growing sense
land.” As voters take to the poll-
is affirmed come Friday, we could
strengthening of the influence of
from a diverse selection of inde-
out of all the parties, he would
of frustration and betrayal among
ing booths on Friday, it will soon
see a Fine Gael-led government
Ireland’s political left.
pendent TDs may prove difficult
give his support to Pearse Doherty
Ireland’s student population,
be apparent whether this election
reliant upon the support of inde-
The Alliance contains defected
for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach to
and Sinn Féin if the EU/IMF deal
what are Sinn Féin’s objectives
is the turning point for Sinn Féin
pendents – a potentially volatile
members of the Labour Party
manage, perhaps he and his party
were to be re-negotiated.
for education, and their response
in the Republic, or if they remain
partnership – for such a structure
disenchanted by its lack of progress
should keep one eye on the move-
On a national scale, the party has
to the current scare-mongering
a party on the fringes of decision
would mean concessions, primarily
and ideological steel, including
ments of the left.
gained a respectable percentage of
and confusion being proposed by
making in this country.
12 | www.collegetribune.ie
Cion ar an Ionadaíocht
Ardchostas san Ísiltír
Jack Ó Leocháin
An tseachtain seo caite, agus muid gafa leis na díospóireachtaí ar RTÉ agus TG4, le polasaithe na bpáirtithe agus le stair Gerry Adams, thit eachtra shuntasach amach i bParlaimint na Breataine, shocraigh na baill pharlaiminte agus na tiarnaí reifreann a ghairm faoin gcóras vótála i mí na Bealtaine. Beidh an rogha ag muintir na Breataine idir an seanchóras, vóta díreach ina phioctar duine amháin as gach toghcheantar, agus córas nua, ‘vóta eile,’ córas a bheadh an-chosúil leis an tslí a ndéanaimid vótáil ar son ár nuachtaráin. Chuir an nuacht sin mé ag smaoineamh faoinár gcóras féin agus muid ar tí é a úsáid chun ár dteachtaí féin a thoghadh. Tá an córas dlí céanna againn le Sasana, an teanga againn, agus an córas parlaiminte céanna leo. Ach níl an córas vótála céanna againn, agus ag machnamh ar ionstraimí Stáit a fágadh dúinn, tá sé seo neamhghnách. Dé réir an Bhunreachta, is gá dúinn toghcháin a reáchtáil le hionadaíocht chionmhar ar mhodh an aonghutha inaistrithe (IC-MAI). Tá an córas seo i bhfad níos féaráilte ná córas na Breataine ina dtugtar neamhaird do chuid mhór den daonra agus a thugann torthaí iomlán éagsúla óna vótaí a chaitear. Úsáidtear an córas céanna in iarchoilíneachtaí na Breataine: na Stáit Aontaithe, Ceanada agus an India. Sa Bhreatain, léiríonn toradh an toghcháin sa bhliain 2001 lochtanna an chórais, bhuaigh Páirtí an Lucht Oibre faoi Tony Blair 41% de na vótaí ach fuaireadar 63% de na suíocháin. I gcomparáid leis sin, ní bhfuair
Eoghan O’ Murchadha
an Páirtí Daonlathach Liobrálach ach 8% de na suíocháin le 18% de na vótaí. Ar an gcéad dul síos, déanann an córas Éireannach iarracht a bheith níos córa ach is beag tír a bhaineann úsáid as an gcóras céanna; is í Malta an t-aon tír a úsáideann é chomh forleathan linn. Tá córas ionadaíochta cionmhaire éigin in úsáid i mbeagnach gach aon tír san Eoraip ach coimeádann ár gcóras béim ar an iarrthóir le Dáilcheantracha in ionad liosta. Níl an modh Éireannach foirfe, is minic a dhéantar cáineadh air de bharr an chliantachais áitiúil, ach in ainneoin go bhfuil roinnt páirtithe in Éirinn ag caint faoin gcóras vótála a athrú, bheadh seo beagnach dodhéanta a bhaint amach – níor tharla a leithéid d’athrú san Iarthar le 50 bliain anuas, seachas an Iodáil agus an Nua-Shéalainn sna 1990dí agus an Fhrainc sna 1980dí. Rinne Fianna Fáil dhá iarracht le linn stair an Stáit, 1959 agus 1968, agus theip orthu. Baineadh úsáid as ár gcóras den chéad uair sa bhliain 1918 do thoghchán áitiúil i Sligeach agus tá sé linn ó shin. Tugann IC-MAI deis dúinn níos mó ná vóta amháin a chaitheamh ionas nach ndéantar neamhaird ar thromlach na vótaí. Bristear an tír ina 44 Dháilcheantar. Tá idir 3, 4 nó 5 shuíochán ar fáil i ngach aon cheann agus chun a bheith tofa, is gá d’iarrthóir a chuóta a chomhlíonadh. Áirítear an cuóta trí f hoirmle simplí: (Líon iomlán na vótaí bailí) ÷ (Líon na suíochán + 1)) + 1 = cuóta Déanann toghthóirí vótáil trí thosaíocht a thabhairt do gach iar-
rthóir. Mar shampla, 1 go Tinky Winky, 2 go Dipsy, 3 go Laa-Laa, 4 go Po agus ar aghaidh síos an liosta. Liostáiltear na hainmneacha de réir aibítre agus tá cead stopadh ag aon phointe nó ‘x’ a chur le díreach ainm amháin. Agus an comhaireamh ar siúl, toghtar iarrthóirí nuair a bhaineann siad an cuóta amach. Muna bhfuil a dhóthain ag éinne, faightear réidh leis an iarrthóir leis an méid is lú vótaí agus roinntear a chuid/cuid vótaí de réir na tosaíochta. Déantar é seo go dtí go bhfuil gach suíochán sa Dáilcheantar lán. Má tharlaíonn sé go bhfuil iarrthóir thar an gcuóta, roinntear an barrachas de réir na dtosaíochtaí. Is sampla fánach é an roinnt seo, is gá le ríomhairí agus vótáil leictreonach chun é a dhéanamh i gcomhréir cheart. Seo locht mór eile leis an gcóras ach ar an iomlán, ní chuireann sé isteach ar an toradh go ró-mhinic. Agus muid ag vótáil ar an Aoine, seans go mbeidh na círéibeacha ag dul ar aghaidh sa Mheán-Oirthear i bhfabhar an daonlathais. Bíodh sin ar bharr ár n-intinn agus deán cinnte go gcuireann tú féin luach ar do vóta, is cuma cén córas vótála.
Gluais: Cuóta - Quota Ionadaíocht Chionmhar ar Mhodh an Aonghutha Inaistrithe - Proportional Representation by the Single Transferable Vote Vóta Eile Alternative Vote
Tá polasaí ar Chúram Sláinte Uilíoch á chur chun cinn ag Fine Gael (FG), Páirtí an Lucht Oibre (PLO) agus ag Sinn Féin. Tá FG ag moladh ‘chóras cáiliúil na hÍsiltíre’. Céard go díreach atá i gceist leis? Aithnítear an córas sláinte atá san Ollainn go hidirnáisiúnta mar cheann de na córais is fearr a chuireann cúram ar fáil i mbealach cothrom, do gach éinne, is ar chostas meánach, dar le roinnt. Tosaíodh ar an gcóras seo sa bhliain 2006. Roimhe sin bhíodh árachas poiblí ag dhá dtrian den phobal agus árachas príobháideach ag an gcuid eile. Ina dhiaidh bhí ar gach duine árachas príobháideach a bheith acu. Tá ceangal dleathach ar árachóirí bunphacáiste árachais a chur ar fáil do chách. Tuairim is €105 in aghaidh na míosa atá air agus díolann seo as cógais, otharlanna, fiaclóirí, cúram máithreachais, otharcharranna, chomh maith le roinnt fisiteiripe, is teiripe urlabhra. Tá ar gach duine fásta íoc as an gcéad €155 de chostas cúraim sa bhliain ach tá cuairteanna ar an Dochtúir Teaghlaigh (DT) saor in aisce. Tá thart ar seacht mórchomhlacht árachais a íocann as cúram na n-othar in ospidéil sheachbhrabúsacha. Dar leis an OECD seo an costas ‘díreach’ is ísle ar chúram (íoctar breis don árachas). Ní fios áfach, cén caighdeán cúraim go baileach a chuirtear ar fáil. Tá buairt faoi chaighdeán níos isle le teacht an phríobháidithe, is go ndéanfadh dochtúirí tástálacha, mar shampla, nach bhfuil gá leo le tuilleadh airgid a f háil ó na hárachóirí is go nardófaí na fréamhacha. Ní fios fós an bhfeidhmeoidh córas na nDúitseach go fadtéarmach nó fiú an bhféadfadh córas comórtasaíoch mar é feidhmiú i dtír chomh beag le hÉirinn. Tá cónaí ar breis is 16 milliún san Ísiltír, ceadaíonn seo breis comórtasaíochta thar mar a bheadh abhus. Tá i gceist ag PLO pá na ndochtúirí comhairleacha is costais a chiorrú go mór sna hospidéil le híoc as. Tá sé níos dírithe ar chiste árachais poiblí a chruthú dóibh siúd atá ar an ngannchuid, ach tá FG ag díriú ar árachas príobháideach agus cothromú fiontar. Tá i gceist ag PLO bunchúram saor in aisce do chách a chur ar bun anseo, mar atá sa Ríocht Aontaithe.
Córas na hOllainne Buntáistí
Comórtasíocht idir 14 comhlacht árachais.
Is féidir árachas do chúram breise a f háil má theastaíonn (déanann 90% seo- dhá chóras)
Caithfidh árachóirí glacadh le gach duine fiú le tinneas (Diúltaíonn comhlachtaí i Meiriceá árachas a thabhairt). Saorchúram DT.
Íoctar Cothromú Fiontar le comhlachtaí a f haigheann othair thinne.(Íocann an pobal 7.2 % cánach ar an gcéad €31,000 pá)
Fáil níos cothroime ar an leigheas.
€1,100 in aghaidh na bliana don árachas. (níos airde ar an iomlán)
Cógais shaor in aisce.
Obair idir lámha - Níl aon chinnteacht ann
Gan an oiread liostaí feithimh.
Caithfear árachas a cheannach Ní fios an oibreoidh in Éirinn
Géilleann an páirtí go bhfágfadh an bunchúram saor go dtabharfaí dhá mhilliún cuairt bhreise ar na DT. Deir said go bhfostóidís líon beag dochtúirí is banaltraí breise le déileáil leis an méadú mór seo. Ar ndóigh laghdódh DT saor in aisce an méid daoine a f hágann tinnis le dul in olcas is a mbeadh cúram níos mó de dhíth orthu amach ansin. Tá drochéifeacht aige chomh maith, ardú ar chostais (brabús níos mó do chomhlachtaí príobháideacha árachais) (agus dochtúirí b’f héidir), is brú ar an gcóras. Faoi 2016 tá i gceist ag PLO an cúram uilíoch a chur ar fáil sna hospidéil. D’íocfadh an stát astu siúd ar bheagán pá, chuirfeadh sé fordheontais ar fáil do dhaoine a thuilleann níos mó ná sin. Tá i gceist ag FG an rud céanna a dhéanamh taobh istigh de 10 mbliana. Tá polasaí PLO bunaithe ar chóras na Gearmáine, áit ar laghdaigh an chomórtasaíocht an costas ar chúram sláinte.(le fréamhacha árachais ~14 % de phá bliantúil daoine). Cháin Conor Mac Liam, fear céile Susie Long (a bhásaigh le hailse putóige) agus iarrthóir de chuid Chomhghuaillíocht na hEite Clé Aontaithe (ULA) polasaí FG. Dar leis, go dtugadh seift FG mórbhrabús do na comhlachtaí príobháideacha agus nach bhfuil córas na hÍsiltíre féin cothrom. Bheadh i gceist ag Sinn Féin córas chúram sláinte uilíoch a bheith acu chomh
maith ach thiocfadh an t-airgead seo as cáin. Níl i gceist ag Fianna Fáil ná ag an gComhaontas Glas an córas a athrú. Tá polasaithe FG sa phlean FairCare áit a bhfuil an coincheap ‘an t-airgead ag leanúint an othair.’ Dar leo, chuirfeadh seo fonn níos mo ar otharlanna seirbhís a chur ar fáil do bhreis daoine toisc nach bhfaighidís airgead ach tar éis dóibh cúram a chur ar fáil d’othar. Tá an plean sonrach agus is léir obair agus tuiscint ann. Ach tá sé an-chasta agus ag brath ar chóras nua go maith nach bhfuil aon chinnteacht ann go bhfeidhmeodh sé san f hadtéarma. Tá cosúlachtaí idir córais PLO agus FG ach tá mórdhifríochtaí eatarthu chomh maith. Le dearcadh an phríobháidithe atá acu, tá FG ag iarraidh na foraoisí agus Bus Átha Cliath a phríobháidiú fosta. Má tharlaíonn gur FG agus PLO a bheidh sa rialtas lena chéile is iomaí achrann a tharraingeoidh an cur chuige seo. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gluais: Bunchúram - dul chuig dochtúir teaghlaigh Fréamh árachais praghas an árachais Cothromú fiontar airgead rialtais do chomhlachtaí le hothair thinne Seachbhrabúsach - gan díriú ar bhrabús
www.collegetribune.ie | 13
Making Headway on Irish Roads, but we’re not there yet
Olivia Reidy • Just another statistic – and it could be your mother, girlfriend or boyfriend who is next to become yet another pointless victim of carnage on Ireland’s roads.
While the impact and devastation caused by road accidents have long been highlighted in countless tragic cases documented across the media until yet another crash takes the headlines, the true effect of dangerous and reckless driving stays with the families forever. And yet, at last, the signs are that Ireland is finally making some headway in bringing down what were previously astronomical numbers of deaths on the roads. While the statistics may not be of any comfort to those families, they are encouraging in the least. Since 2001, Ireland has seen a 41 per cent decrease in road carnage. According to a spokesman for the Road Safety Authority (RSA), “In 2001, 411 people died on the roads. At the end of 2010, the figure stood at 212. Road deaths have been almost cut in half.” While this is a remarkable achievement on the part of both organisations like the RSA and those motorists who listened to their message, the figure of 212 is still not as low as the ideal - zero. This, however, is a long way off and in the meantime, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) recognised Ireland’s achievement in June of last year. They presented Ireland with the ‘2010 Road Safety Performance Award’ for the sustained efforts in reducing road deaths. The government has also been attempting to make in-roads with forward planning and by attempting to set the bar a bit higher in terms of expectations. The Government Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012 set a target that no more than 21 lives would be lost on our roads each month by 2012. According to the RSA, “Ireland achieved this three years ahead of schedule in 2009 with an average of 20 deaths per month. This year we did even better with an average of 17 per month.” While Ireland may now be the 7th best performing country out of 27 EU Member States in terms of road deaths, more measures are needed to ensure the numbers continue to fall. By the end of 2009 Ireland had recorded the lowest number of road fatalities since records began in 1959 and the RSA have indicated
14 | www.collegetribune.ie
they want this trend to continue with proposals and new ideas. One of these is that the drink driving limits for drivers with learner permits and those in their first two years on a full driving licence will be reduced to 20mg/100ml. The Road Traffic Act 2010 also made legislative provision to implement this measure for all learner permit holders and novice drivers in the first two years after obtaining their full driving licence.
cates, and of course the main cause for alot of the tragedies, “Don’t drink and drive.” All drivers are affected by drinking even small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol affects judgement, vision, co-ordination, and reaction time. It leads to serious driving mistakes such as driving in the wrong lane, driving too fast or too slow or ploughing through the lights. Of the eleven functions required to drive, ten are impaired at a
lack of driving experience which can only be gained through practice. New drivers can sometimes over-estimate their ability on the road which can lead to driving mistakes, resulting in collisions. There has also been a tendency to look on driver training as a means of passing the driving test sometimes to the detriment of getting broader driving experience. This is the reason the Road Safety Authority has introduced the
Given the obvious fact that it is the unsure driver who needs to be more careful, these measures have been broadly welcomed. This road traffic act has already been signed by the President in July 2010 and once testing equipment has been procured and Gardai trained, the new reduced drink driving levels for learner and novice drivers will be implemented with the date set for September 2011. The simple message being hammered home by road safety advo-
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.04. These functions include: divided attention, tracking, psychomotor skills, cognitive tasks, choice reaction time, visual function, vigilance, perception and simple reaction time and information Simply put, even a minimal amount of alcohol will lead a mistake which could kill that someone’s brother, mother, boyfriend or girlfriend. The biggest problem with newly qualified drivers seems to be the
graduated driving licensing system one element of which will mean that from the 4th of April 2011 all persons who obtain a first learner permit must undertake a 12 hours Essential Driver Training (EDT) programme with an approved driving instructor. These are all small measures being put in place bit by bit, but with any luck, they might contribute to finally bringing an end to the legacy of suffering which has to date haunted Irish roads.
Advice from the Road Safety Authority for students The RSA (Road Safety Authority) would like to stress the importance of the following to Students. ∙ Ensure that you complete you driving lessons with an RSA approved driving instructor (ADI). You may find and ADI on the RSA website www.rsa.ie ∙ Only apply for your driving test when your instructor feels you are ready to take the test ∙ If you hold a learner permit you must be accompanied by a driver who has held their full licence for a minimum of two years. ∙ Always be mindful of pedestrians and cyclists, as the days begin to get brighter there will be more people out on the roads. You can never know what is around the next corner, expect the unexpected. ∙ Slow down and always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. ∙ Never drive after consuming alcohol or taking drugs, this affects your ability behind the wheel. You should never get into the car with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs; they have your life in their hands. ∙ Switch of your mobile phone before you drive, keep your eyes on the road” More information can be obtained from the RSA (Road Safety Authority) website www.rsa.ie and www.drinkdriving.ie.
Editorial Míle Buíochas:
Jennifer Bray – thanks for stepping in when I was sick. Niamh Hanley – got through a mountain of work, don’t know how you put up with me! Datascope Printing (Kevin Mitchell, David Walsh, Trina Kirwan) – thanks for being patien! Emmet Farrell – top work as usual! Donie O’Sullivan – congratulations on the survey, it’s all down to you, brilliant! Amy Walsh, Lorraine Foy, Dáire Brennan, Danny Lambert, Aoifa Smith, Mark Hobbs, Conor McKenna, Ryan Cullen, Eoghan Ó Murchú, Dáire Brennan, MCD, everyone else!
Olivia Reidy, Timothy Potenz, Cailean Mallon, Patrick Fleming, Conall Devlin, Greg Acton, Róisín Sweeney, Laura McNally, Kellie Nwaokorie, Laura Hogan, Eoin Ó Cróinín, Kate Brady, Dan Nolan, Graham Luby, Joseph Conroy, Dan Binchy, Peadar Ó Lamhna, Alex Fingleton, Brendan Lannoye, Conor Manning, Sinéad Williams, Tracey O’Connor, Ashling O’Loughlin, Margeurite Murphy, Aisling Flynn, Jack Ó Leocháin, Ciarán Leinster, Michael Phoenix, Simon Mac Giolla Easpaig (POD Abú), Danny Lambert.
Colman Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org
Emmet Farrell email@example.com
Donie O'Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy News Editor: Amy Walsh
Mark Hobbs email@example.com
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor, I have recently observed the Irish Leaving Cert debate between Irish Language activists and Fine Gael. I can understand the Irish Language activists opinions regarding the status of Irish, but I think a genuine look into how Irish is taught in our educational system is not only essential, but crucial to the survival of the language. Having gone through the Irish education system, I have studied Irish for 13 years. After completing my leaving certificate, I was unable to engage in a conversation, even on a basic level, despite learning the 13 period. It would be unfair to blame the teachers, as in hindsight, all my teachers were committed and genuinely tried to foster a love for the language within the parameters of the curriculum which they had to teach, yet, student apathy towards this resulted in the majority of our year, like the years before us, dropping to Ordinary level Irish. It was only on leaving St. Josephs College in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, that my love for Irish grew. At UCD, I was amazed by the enthusiasm shown by many students who wished to share their love for the language and traditional cultural events. Naturally, I was drawn in. The first Oifigeach na Gaeilge (Irish Language Officer/ILO) in UCD Students’ Union I remember, was Aodhán O’Deá. This man put his heart and soul into the job, and students’ recognized this. I became slightly more involved, still reluctant to engage in conversation due to my poor spoken Irish, but gradually, I practiced and became better. The next two ILO’s picked up where Aodhán left off. Dónal Hanratty, a Medicine student started the “NO BÉARLA” campaign, encouraging students to only speak Irish for a week for charity. Aoife Nic Shamhráin, also a Medicine student, built on her predecessors great work and increased participation at events. I believe, its people like these who should be involved in any revision of the curriculum. They clearly love the language and only have its best interest at heart. I don’t believe that it should be left to committed diehards like Aodhán to instill a love of our national language in normally apathetic students. We have all studied a foreign language in secondary school, most of us for 5 years, with the majority of us feeling our level of French or German is far beyond that of Irish. This in itself shows that the status quo cannot continue should people wish for the language to survive. We need to look at how we can make the youth of the country take our mother tongue to their hearts.The anger of enthusiasts has been directed at Fine Gael, and understandably so, Fine Gael are looking into reform and potentially removing the mandatory status of Irish. I agree with the activists, the language must be protected at all costs, yet I think Fine Gael’s policy might actually be doing this. Fine Gael state that the status quo has not worked. They have stated that they wish to change the current teaching methods, so that when a student finishes school, their love for Irish should be the same as that which has clearly grown within Aodhán, Dónal and Aoife. Fine Gael have also stated that they will look into the viability of other avenues by which to generate interest in Irish at second level. The proposition of extra leaving cert points is one which is progressive, and would certainly generate interest in students who would pursue Honours Irish. Fine Gael have also stated that they wish to double the numbers of students taking Higher Level Irish at Leaving Cert by 2018, surely this would not be the policy of a party who wish to kill the language? I fully understand the concerns of the activists who want Irish to remain as a core mandatory Leaving Cert subject, and I agree with them, however, teaching methods need to be changed. The policy which Fine Gael published merely stated the viability of keeping Irish mandatory would have to be investigated.
Sir, Many UCD students will have read about the Students’ Union Council motion calling for the cutting off of all SU financial support to the University Observer and Belfield FM. The first question UCD students – all of whom are, upon registration, automatically members of the Students’ Union – should ask is; what benefit does this bring to me? A close examination of the substance of the motion for the SU Council meeting of February 22nd reveals that the answer is “None”. The reasons for this can be revealed by taking a close look at what is being proposed in the broader context of how the Union officers communicate with the Union Membership – all 22,000 members. It is worth noting that Article 16 of the Union constitution; ‘Media’, has its faults. It empowers both the newspaper editor and radio station manager with editorial independence, and the right to retain any profits, but it fails to give them responsibility of raising any revenue. One example of a missed opportunity to raise revenue could be found on page 11 of the last Observer issue. Nearly half the page was taken up by a full-colour photo of a crinkly, balding, UK soccer pundit. Could the editor have made more of an effort to sell this space for advertising and increase the paper’s revenues? So what is being proposed? Strictly speaking, no one knows! Or at least no one outside the 100 or so members of Union Council can possibly know. The full text of the motion was not published by the University Observer in its last issue. The archive on www.belfieldfm.ie only covers 2010. The Union’s own website, www.ucdsu.ie contains just as little information; the homepage mentions nothing about Union Council meetings, even though these formally set Union policy. Scrolling over the ‘Your SU’ tab, we find a link to ‘Minutes and Reports 2010-11’, which contains only the reports of the Union officers; anything said or written by anyone else appears not to have been recorded, let alone reported . The link “The Union” leads to a page of random text. Looking up ‘Council’ in the search window reveals that the last Union Council meeting to be advertised on the Union’s website was in November, and there is no indication of what business has been conducted at any Council meeting before or since. There is no information on who the elected class representatives are, or how an ordinary student might contact them. The names of the Science students proposing the motion can be found only on www.collegetribune.ie. The Union website does contain the Union budgets for 2009-10 and 2010-11, which forecast “IT & Website” expenditures of €12,000 and €11,000 respectively. €23,000 well spent? Go on-line and find out if YOUR Union’s website is worth almost a grand a month. However, the question about how so much students’ money being spent on a website that provides so little information is a digression. What is of immediate importance is the proposed wholesale deletion from the Union’s constitution of an article entitled ‘Media’. So, with approximately a year to go before the opening of a new Student Centre with dedicated media production facilities, the 100 or so members of Union Council might be throwing away a multi-award winning publication that’s almost as old as most first years. To paraphrase Barack Obama, this is using a hatchet instead of a scalpel. If this motion is a hatchet, then what is the scalpel? The scalpel is the 2001 Deloitte & Touche Development Plan, drawn up at a cost of €25,400. This plan noted the absence of a proper form of financial reporting within the Union and recommended that such measures be introduced. Does this motion propose something as simple as the Observer Editor and/or Belfield FM Manager making a mid-year financial report to Union Council at its last meeting of Semester 1, or introducing a requirement that all applicants for the position of Observer Editor and Belfield FM Manager have a rudimentary business plan before they take the job? This motion proposes to hand over two potentially money making mechanisms to one of the most notoriously low-profile parts of the University Administration, the Student Consultative Forum, and leaving it at that. The benefit to the 22,000 ordinary members of UCDSU? None.
Aoifa Smyth firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierce Farrell Former Class Rep 2002-03 Former Vice-Chairperson of Council 2003-04 Former Chairperson of SU Constituional Review Group 2004-05 Former Students’ Union Communications & IT Officer 2005-06
UCD Students’ Union Campaigns & Communications Officer 2009/2010
Conor McKenna email@example.com
Photography Editor: Dáire Brennan
Turbine Editor: Ryan Cullen
Eagarthóir Gaeilge: Eoghan O’ Murchadha
Copy Editor: Niamh Hanley
Cartoonist: Dan Daly
In this short editorial, the results of the College Tribune national student survey suggest that most students are very active in this General Election. However for some on our Belfield campus, 29% to be exact, have said they won’t vote at all in the election. If you are in a similar situation, remember the value of your vote and don’t throw it away – get the information on the candidates in your area and pick who you think will represent YOU and this country the best. It is everyone’s responsibilities to get the country back up and running so don’t shy away from your responsibility. When we see the conflict and trouble recently in Libya and Egypt, we must remember how lucky we are to live in a peaceful, democratic country that allows us the right to speak our minds and express ourselves. We should all remember that. The value to speak our minds and express ourselves has come under threat in UCD recently, for both staff and students so let’s fight to maintain it. **The survey, was solely down to the tremendous work of Donie O’Sullivan so he deserves tremendous credit. Credit must also be given to Tom Lowe at the University Times (TCD), Richard Manton at Sin (NUIG), Ceile Varley at The College View in DCU, Darragh Roche of An Focal in (UL) and Daniel O’Carroll of corkstudentnews.com (now studentnews.ie).
www.collegetribune.ie | 15
It’s Satire Stupid! Inside
University Observer 1996-2011
Thousands marvel at whore shaped cloud PMS? more like mad cow disease! claims Andy Gray "I’m so sorry" yells exploding cleaner Mary Hanafin steps down after found romping with children M8, Ireland’s new driver friendly motorway Gap found between Horizon & Earth Bouncing elephantitis priest destroys cathedral Some rain, but no more severe than soft porn
16 | www.collegetribune.ie
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
They were the media, the news, the eyes and ears, My weekly reading and my paper peers,
Silence Dramsoc and with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
Let security circle moaning overhead, Scribbling on the concourse the message It is Dead.
The editor is not wanted now; put out by everyone, Pack up their desk and dismantle the income,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the program office staff wear black cotton gloves.
Pour away the press, so misunderstood; For the Observer now can come to no good.
Fine Gael - ‘Tiocfaidh ár Lá’ Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has sensationally promised to make the Irish language extinct, if he and his party come into power after the next general election. Enda Kenny who was in the spotlight recently over the inseminated oysters’ scandal, spoke out about the Irish Language and how it is a burden to the Irish people. “ I fully intend on removing the scourge of the Gaeilge language. Yesterday I was walking past two people talking our so called native tongue, a woman walked past shouting ’go back to your own fucking country’….you see!! It’s dead!! Dead I say!” .He went on to thank the English for laying the foundations of the destruction of the Irish language also claiming that it was a language born from people who were shit at scrabble. After the first of July, anyone caught speaking Gaeilge shall be brought to the newly built ‘Gaeltacht Gulags’ where unspeakable treatments shall be performed, including nettle frolicking and Kiddystaring. Although the issue has caused vast controversy, Margaret Thatcher has come out in strong support of the initiative. The geriatric queen of misery, came out to praise Fine Gael’s stance, claiming that the Irish Language was merely English and Alcohol mixed. To help minorities integrate into the
community, Fine Gael is considering opening up training camps, in order to put Gaelgoirs back into civilisation and making them more approachable species. Sinn Féin
(soon to be martyr) Gerry Adams came out in strong opposition to the idea claiming that it would destroy Ireland as bad as the famine and Bono did. He stated “
I will refuse to speak such a jaffa language, this wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the Good Friday Agreement, I would help out but I’m short in arms”.
With the recent polls showing that a Fine Gael government is inevitable, people are asking the question, Is the jaffa language dying or already dead?
The College Tribune February 22nd 2011 www.collegetribune.ie
Down The Line
Mark Hobbs | Laura Hogan voices her opinion on a big week for London in the Champions League – the home of Europe’s two new Superpowers?
Last week saw some fantastic results for English clubs in the Champions League with both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur winning in their first leg games of the last-sixteen ties. Arsenal overcame Spanish Champions Barcelona at the Emirates while Spurs won their first leg at the San Siro against AC Milan. Wednesday’s win for Arsene Wenger’s side was the first occasion they have beaten Barcelona in six previous encounters. Last year Arsenal were defeated 6-3 on aggregate in the quarter finals but going on their performance last week at the Emirates it appears that the result will be different this time around on their visit to the Camp Nou for the second leg. Arsenal demonstrated last week how much has changed in twelve months as they fought back to win the game 2-1 after David Villa’s early goal. Arsenal are still competing on all fronts currently. While they drew against lowly local rivals Leyton Orient in the FA Cup fifth-round tie last Sunday, they are second in the Premier League and will soon face Birmingham City in the League Cup Final. The win against the 2009 Champions will no doubt give The Gunners a vital boost in each of these challenges, and could prove to be the catalyst for the team to finally realise their potential. With players such as Jack Wilshere stepping up to the plate, Arsenal should be confident ahead of their second leg clash against Barcelona. Club captain Cesc Fabregas is no doubt looking forward to the trip to the Camp Nou and the chance to show Pep Guardiola what he missed out on when his reported 42 million euro bid for the midfielder was rejected by the Londoners. For local neighbours and fiercest rivals Tottenham Hotspur, they too faced a difficult task after being paired against AC Milan. However this did not faze the Lilywhites as they secured a 1-0 win in San Siro. However, the game itself was overshadowed by the unsporting conduct displayed by the Milan captain Gennaro Gattuso. The former Italy international, nicknamed
Ringhio (Growl) locally, managed to narrowly escape an assault charge from the UEFA for his headbutt on Spurs assistant coach Joe Jordan and was instead charged with gross unsporting conduct, carrying a minimum ban of one European match. The midfielder is likely to face heavy sanction, similar to those previously dished out to Didier Drogba. The Ivorian received a six game ban (later cut down to three, with two games suspended) for his robust approach to arguing with referee Tom Henning Ovrebo in Chelsea’s Champions League
semi-final second leg defeat to Barcelona. Since taking over as Tottenham manager from Juande Ramos more than two years ago, Harry Redknapp has undoubtedly put his own stamp on the team. Eleven of the eighteen Spurs players used or on the bench last Tuesday night were bought by Redknapp. Whatever his detractors may argue, it must be said that he shows an acute understanding of football management and this is evident from looking at Tottenham’s current standing in the Premier League and their success to date in their maiden Champions League.
Greg Acton | Acton reports on the league that even AC Milan are afraid to play in... ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
As the Superleague season progresses, struggling teams may start to lose faith in their league campaign. The result of this is usually a huge rise in the number of Mathieu Flamini style challenges across all three leagues. Fortunately though, the Superleague offers these teams two chances to save their season: the League Cup and the Star Cup. For example, Georgina United, who are currently second from bottom in the Premier Saturday, have had a good League Cup run so far, hammering Red Star Belfield 10-1 in Round Three last weekend. Whilst some teams can save their season with a good cup run, others can still dream of a glorious league and cup double. Going into this weekend, Virgin Orient were one of those lucky few teams, but the magic of the cup was clearly in the air as they went down 3-1 to We Like Young Boys, who lie fifth from bottom in the Premier Sunday. There was no fairytale cup
upset for Toke City, however, who got absolutely demolished 11-3 by the high-flying Absolute Gents. Although the League Cup dominated the fixture list this weekend, some previously postponed League games took place. In Saturday Division 1, Sauce Pan Celtic played The Hilltown Boys. The Saucepans were clear favourites for this one, going into the game ten points ahead of their opponents. Despite this, it was the Hilltown Boys who started brightest and went 1-0 up in the seventh minute. But Sauce Pan Celtic quickly shook off their hangovers and responded impressively with a brace from Paddy Griffith giving them a 2-1 lead at the break. In the second half, Celtic’s Neil Cowzer killed the game off when the Hilltown ‘keeper palmed a seemingly harmless ball straight into his feet, gifting him an open net. Sauce Pan Celtic could have easily made it 4-1 late on if it hadn’t been for a bobble on the pitch. The Hilltown
Boys brought everyone up for a last-minute corner, including the ‘keeper. From the defensive clearance the ball fell to a Sauce Pan player and the break was on. With no-one in goal for Hilltown, Lorcan McArdle tried a shot from 35 yards which looked for all the world like it was hitting the back of the net. However, it somehow managed to find the one bobble on the Old Merville pitch and bounced on to the bar and out of play! Over in the Premier Saturday, the Back Door Bouncers have finally got back to losing ways. After being beaten last weekend by Murder on Zidane’s floor, they were hammered 7-1 this weekend by the brilliantly named AC Alittlesiluettoofmilan, who in this humble reporter’s opinion may be top of the Premier Saturday come the end of the season. That’s all for now from the league once described by Gennaro Gattuso as “far too aggressive”.
UCD Go Top in AIL Division Two
The Student’s outstanding 100% winnin league season continued with a 24-17 victory over Clonakilty last weekend. While the scoreline suggests a close game, in reality it flattered the hosts – UCD were dominant for most parts of the game and the margin could have been much greater. The bonus point win was almost assured at half time with the boys in blue leading 17-0. The opening three tries from Fletcher, Twomey and Jones respectively
each came from quick burst of play originating in UCD’S own 22. While the sodden pitch suited Clonakilty’s “up the jumper” style of play, UCD were extremely dangerous whenever they spread the ball wide as illustrated by their breakaway tries. While playing into the strong wind in the second half made life more difficult for the travelling team, they stood tall and fought hard to seal their victory. The home side plugged away too to
their credit, but could only manage to bring themselves within seven of UCD with a converted try with the final piece of play in the game. The Students are now in an excellent position to gain promotion, having only five games to play with the top four assured of promotion. UCD next face Ballymena in the UCD Bowl on Saturday, the action is due to begin at 2:30pm.
Boxing Club Continues Good Form ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Continuing on from the recent achievement of regaining The Morrow Cup for the IUABA Junior Intervarsity before Christmas , the boxing club turned their focus to the Senior Intervarsities held at the Trinity Sports Centre. In a competition that witnessed an impressive standard of novice boxers and under the watchful eye of former Head Coach Tom
Butler, the UCD team triumphed in a closely contested event. UCD featured in six finals, claiming no less than four titles outright (Feather Weight, Light Welter, Light Middle Weight, Middle Weight). Natalie Sheridan won her title uncontested while Shona Maguire was narrowly edged out her final. Jack Matterson also represented the college the same
weekend, comfortably winning an extra bout that was arranged to coincide with the Seniors. Brian Kelly was honoured with the title of the 2011 IUABA Seniors Best Boxer, and deserves special mention as UCD boxing goes from strength to strength.
www.collegetribune.ie | 17
Is the Scrum Becoming an Endangered Species?
One of the core aspects of Rugby Union has become a source of contention and debate in recent years. Patrick Fleming takes a look at one of game’s most mysterious and magical occurrences – the scrum.
The scrum is possibly the most iconic image in all of rugby, epitomising the brutish, physical nature of the sport. But in recent years, fans and players alike have become disillusioned with the scrum. Where once it was a quick yet exciting way to restart the game, it has now turned into a somewhat farcical waste of time, as the scrum will sometimes need to be reset four or five times before the referees inevitably end up giving a penalty or free kick anyway. There is a clear problem in the scrums, and all you need to do is consult the statistics from the first round of matches in this year’s Six Nations. There were 42 scrums, five resets, 26 collapses, thirteen penalties, seven free kicks and one penalty try. That is a 50% infringement rate. One must then raise the question, why even have the scrums if it is going to end in a penalty or a free kick half of the time anyway? Surely it defeats the purpose of the scrum as a fair way to penalise smaller and less cynical infringements if half of the
time it is going to end in a penalty regardless. The low number of resets might be seen as an improvement, but it is actually the result of an initiative to cut down on resets in favour of direct punishment for collapsed scrums. But this is merely a trade-off, not a solution. I don’t think anybody will argue that less time wasted in resets makes for better entertainment, but if it comes at the expense of the scrum, these measures are surely doing more detriment to the game as a whole. And what’s worse is that many of these penalties were ambiguous. In quite a few instances, it seems that penalties were given for the sake of giving penalties, rather than for outright cynical play. Knowing this, players have been taking advantage of the referees. One complaint amongst forwards such as Alan Quinlan has been the tendency of players to attempt to induce the other team into conceding penalties. The “pause” phase of the modern
scrum has no doubt contributed to this development. Before 1999 the scrum was a relatively informal mashing together of the two packs who would then compete for the ball, yet it is now the engagement which is the competition. The object now is to get the upper hand at the engagement by timing the referee’s “pause” and manipulating the hit. In doing this, the team that gets the upper hand can force the opposition into collapsing the scrum, or at least making it look to the referee like they did. This is never what the scrum was intended to be. This is just one of many rule changes over the years which have moved the focus of the scrum away from the competition for the ball after the engagement, and towards the competition for superiority at the engagement. If officials wish to reduce the burden the scrum is placing on the game, then they need to de-emphasize the engagement. Some proposals have even gone so far as removing the engagement altogether. Instead, the
scrum should start with the two packs already brought together, and stationary, until the ball is put in. This would immediately eliminate several possible offences
at scrum time and also reemphasise the competition for the ball. For now though, the IRB has ruled out any possible rule changes until after the Rugby World Cup.
But once the issue is up for discussion again, a complete overhaul is needed. Otherwise, the scrum could be going the way of the dodo.
UCD Washed Out in Fitzgibbon Quarters
Conall Devlin & Mark Hobbs report
UL 0-15 UCD 0-12 While a treat of flowing hurling was expected at Plassey, the inclement conditions led to a war of attrition rather than a visual feast. The torrential rain dampened proceedings, but at least the tightness of the game gave the rain-sodden crowd something to keep their interest in the encounter. Another impressive personal tally for Tipperary senior star Noel McGrath was unfortunately not enough to keep UCD’s hopes alive in this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup. UL proved too strong, but the favourites were forced to fight to the very end by a determined and industrious UCD team performance. Solid defensive displays from Michael Walsh and Seamus Hickey gave them the necessary platform they needed to push on and attack the visitors. Unsurprisingly, given the distance travelled by the away team, Limerick had the brighter start of the two sides, and only the goalkeeping prowess of Jamie Ryan
18 | www.collegetribune.ie
prevented a first minute goal for the Shannonsiders. Offaly star Shane Dooley soon put the home side ahead, while Paul Kelly and Pat Cronin widened the lead, until Conor Allis opened the scoring for UCD. Tipperary’s Noel McGrath put over a perfectly struck sideline to leave the minimum distance between the sides. Dooley and Beckett then stretched the lead again, but UL could never quite fight off the tenacious travelling side,
and the game was wide open at 0-8 each with 28 minutes gone, as both sides exchanged frees in the final moments of the half.
Some early points from McGrath sent UCD into the lead for the first time in the second half, but UL refused to lose touch with the game. Once Tipp’s Paul Kelly levelled the scores, the home side would never look back, maintaining a narrow ad-
vantage until the finish. Dooley again came up with the goods after a scoreless period of fourteen minutes, edging UL clear with a superb point, and ensuring that the Limerick side led 0-14 to 0-11 with fifteen minutes remaining. McGrath converted a free for the visitors,
but then missed what seemed a relatively easy free, and fittingly it was Dooley who had the last point. Tipperary’s Noel McGrath may have hit ten points for UCD, but it wasn’t enough as UL held out with a sixth Shane Dooley point confirming a three-point win. The victory for UL booked a semi-final place against CIT following a hard-earned win. Fellow Limerick side LIT will play UCC in the other semi-final, which points to the proud hurling traditions of Cork and Limerick and their stranglehold on the competition this term. In the end UCD could point to some erratic play in front of goal as a factor for their loss. But while it will obviously come as a disap-
pointment for the Dublin side to lose out, they can be proud after a gritty display against a talented side in treacherous conditions. UCD: J Ryan; J Doyle, S Cummins, O Gough; S Norton, N Prendergast, E O’Shea; J O’Loughlin, D Fox; C Allis (0-1), L Rushe (0-1), D O’Connor; N McGrath (0-10, seven frees), K Hogan, W Walsh. Subs: C McBride for O’Connor (30 mins), J Foley for Allis (49 mins). Referee: Alan Kelly.
Pictured: Players Craig Dias & John O’ Loughlin. Photo: David Maher/ Sportsfile.
Belfield Side Primed for Sigerson Siege
Ahead of the 100th year of the Sigerson Cup, Declan Hegarty spoke to team manager Malachy O’Rourke.
Inaugural winners of the competi-
charges in rude health since going
ing for a bit of luck on Thursday.”
tion in 1911, UCD fittingly play
down to a last minute point by a
With so many inter-county players
host to this year’s Sigerson Cup;
Louth team who were lucky to
playing in the competition, the
the premier Gaelic competition for
scrape past the visiting students in
standard is constantly improving
third level institutions in Ireland.
the end. The result was perhaps
and O’Rourke is all too aware of
Given UCD’s rich and central role
a blessing in disguise for the side,
the benefits this has for the game
in the competition, it is apt that
who can now concentrate fully on
as a whole.
Belfield welcome the centenary
this year’s Sigerson championship.
“I know many senior managers
“The preparation has been pretty
are grateful when they have lads
Although victorious in the com-
good, most inter-county teams
coming fit from college football in
petition a record 32 times, UCD
begin to find their feet at this time
to their panels later on in the year,
have yet to add to that figure since
of the year, and at the end of the
you only have to look at the num-
1996 and in recent seasons they
day there wasn’t much in it, we
bers of lads who are eager to play
have failed to emulate the suc-
showed up well for a long way,”
to know how important it is.”
cesses of the past.
The roll call of players that have
However, with a bye through to
While going into Thursday’s game
played Sigerson football and have
the quarter finals and home advan-
with Galway short of match prac-
subsequently went on to win
tage assured, manager Malachy
tice, O’Rourke himself, a former
All-Ireland medals tells its own
quarters than playing somebody
to their participation.
and things fall right.”
O’Rourke (pictured) and his team
winner of the prestigious title,
story, with legends of the game
away in a previous round.”
O’Rourke believes it is testament
The Belfield side get their cam-
have much cause for optimism
doesn’t expect to be caught cold;
such as Peter Canavan and Seamus
The unique format of the cup,
to the players that preparation has
paign underway next Thursday,
ahead of their encounter with
“Most of the real work has been
Moynihan all nurturing their
where the quarter-finals, semis
so far gone smoothly. “They have
and with O’Rourke and his expe-
NUIG, who ironically enough
done in training, the lads have
talents on this stage before going
and final are all played in the space
been kept going throughout most
rienced management team, UCD
lifted the trophy ahead of UCD
been going well and they know
on to greater success.
of three days means the remaining
of the winter and with coursework
have everything in place to lift the
the last time both sides met in the
what’s expected from them, there
The bye into the quarters is an
teams cannot afford to get com-
and other commitments I know it
Sigerson once more, one hundred
were a few silly mistakes made in
obvious bonus admits the man-
placent, as injuries or suspensions
couldn’t be easy, we just hope that
years after its inception.
The Fermanagh native has his
the Louth game, and we’ll be hop-
ager. “I’d rather be at home in the
would mean an all but certain end
on the day we get a bit of fortune
The Contrasting Fortunes of Two Greats
Reflecting on the retirement of Ronado, one of the greatest footballers of modern times, Mark Hobbs wonders which of these two heroes of the modern game will have the greatest regrets
Two of the most iconic footballers of the past two decades both made the news this week, but both for very different reasons. Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, familiar to us as simply Ronaldo, announced his retirement at the age of 34, years of injury having taken their toll on his body. Meanwhile in Manchester, the evergreen Ryan Giggs signed a contract extension to commit himself to United until 2012; some 21 years since making his senior debut for the side. These two instantly recognisable names will be remembered for their attacking flair and natural skill, both have adored the back of many replica jerseys or have been the inspiration for footballing ambitions in countless children watching them play. But you sense that one of these men will have less regrets than the other when he looks back on his career. “I want to stay but I can’t. I think of a move, but I can’t perform it as I want to. It’s time...my body aches. The head wants to continue, but the body can’t take much more.” After this statement announcing
his reirement, you sense it could be the Brazilian. Ronaldo scored an incredible 247 goals in 343 club appearances, and 62 in 97 caps for his native Brazil. He holds the record for the most goals scored in the World Cup Finals with fifteen. He has won two World Cups, a La Liga and a UEFA Cup among many other honours. These ratios and records are outstanding, and surely beyond the wildest dreams of even the most self sure and ambitious sportsman. Yet with Ronaldo, with so much achieved, there is an overwhelming sense that there should have been more. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1976, it did not take scouts long to recognise the prodigious talent that the young man possessed. His record in these early days is scarcely believable, ten goals in twelve for Cruzeiro, 42 in 46 for PSV, 34 in 37 for Barcelona. It is often forgtten by many, but Ronaldo was a World Cup winner at just seventeen years of age. But such ability and success comes with pitfalls, and bad advice and greed
is never far away – especially for those that come from nothing like Brazilian footballers often do. Unhappy with Barcelona’s failure to offer him the renewed terms he wanted, Ronaldo forced a move to Inter Milan after just one extremely successful season in Catalunia. That may have been his biggest mistake. It would be foolish to argue that his career nosedived after this point; a quick look at the honours he subsequently won will dispel that, but it marks the point where the smiling but deadly striker became more of a brand than a player. For all that he went on to do, he may have done twice as well had he stayed at the Camp Nou and looked for some much needed stability at an important point in his career. Injuries laid siege on his career at various points after he arrived in Milan, and not all can be attributed to poor fortune. A player that changes hands for such vast sums of money, that earns what he did each week, that attracts such massive sponsorship deals – well, they have people that
are very eager for them to play; fit or not. Despite suffering a convulsive fit the night before the 1998 World Cup Final, Ronaldo took his place in the starting line-up and performed as a mere shadow of himself as his team were picked apart by France. Wild stories circulated about sponsors forcing his participation. One can assume that
this was not the first time he had been taken of advantage of. When Giggs looks back at a stable career at a club he loves, surrounded by people that he respects and who care for his welfare – he will not have the regrets of his contemporary. Ronaldo is too good a player to not have won a Champions League medal. His talent is too great to
not possess the individual and club records that Giggs can boast. His genius will hopefully be what comes to mind most easily when we think of him in the future, but it could easily be the overweight footballer that was ravaged by injuries for the last five years that some remember.
www.collegetribune.ie | 19
The College Tribune February 22nd 2011 www.collegetribune.ie
Down the Line ››
Are North London teams Kings of Europe?
A career of a great talent comes to a premature end.
Interview page 19
UCD Start Season Strongly with Lively Lisburn Performance
After securing a nil-all draw in the first leg of the Setanta Sports Cup, Patrick Fleming finds lot to praise in the Students’ ethos
UCD’s Seán Harding skips by Lisburn Distillery’s Mark Patton in their 0-0 draw at Dalymount Park last week. Photo: Barry Cregg/Sportsfile.
Lisburn 0 UCD 0 If the prospect of being thrust, last minute, into competitive football nearly a month earlier than expected might be considered a daunting one, UCD certainly didn’t show it last Monday night in Dalymount Park. Add in the fact that their opponents had been playing regularly since last autumn, and couple that again with the decimation of UCD’s squad in the off-season, and you’d have no choice but to commend UCD’s valiant 0-0 draw against Distillery in the Setanta Sports Cup. Everything about this game
20 | www.collegetribune.ie
should have suggested a Distillery blitzkrieg against an inexperienced and ill-prepared side, merely in it to make up the numbers. But UCD proved remarkably ready and motivated for the game. In fact only for the former UCD netminder, Billy Brennan, in goal for the County Down men, the game could have become heavily onesided in favour of the Students, who may even feel disappointed at not securing a win. It would be premature to get excited about a nil-all draw against
true when the circumstances of UCD’s participation in the competition is taken into account. This, of course, draws attention to the mayfly-like existence of Sporting Fingal. Their decision last week to cease the contracts of players and withdraw their Premier Division licence application left UCD to take their place in the Setanta Cup competition. But Fingal’s sudden demise is one which brings the issues facing Irish domestic football into sharp focus. Like many teams, Fingal took on
were able to bring in, on the back of private investment from Gerry Gannon. Gannon provided almost €1.5 million to the club during 2008 and 2009, before being placed into NAMA. As early as this time last year, concerns were expressed about the state of the club’s finances, and when its chief advertising prospects for the 2011 season fell through, the proverbial jig was up on the North Dublin experiment. What Sporting Fingal’s tragic failure highlights, more than
themselves in financial and legal trouble over the last few years. Bohemians found themselves in hot water recently over not honouring contracts. Derry saw their league licence revoked after contract irregularities, and Cork City met a similar fate after they had financial trouble in 2009. With these, and other situations like them, it’s not hard to see the staggering lack of financial responsibility or foresight which seems to permeate the league. In short, it seems to be a case of
that is money in the modern game. Teams build up their payrolls, yet neglect to build any sustainable framework for growth of the league, or its fan base, to support such expenditures. It is this, more than anything else, that should make us excited about UCD’s draw to Distillery on Valentine’s night. It was a vindication of the ethos of UCD football, an ethos which fosters and develops the game at its most fundamental levels, and rejects ideas of a European powerhouse League of
a mid-table Irish League team, but the result certainly has ramifications beyond the confines of the football pitch. This is especially
a larger financial burden than they could handle. It is no secret that the key to their meteoric rise was due to the standard of players they
anything, is the hubris existing within the hierarchies of the domestic game. After all, they are not the only ones to have landed
bloated ambitions and fanciful pipe dreams of what a grandiose league we could have. These are dreams fuelled by the unfortunate menace
Ireland. That is why UCD lives on and Sporting Fingal is history. We need football from the ground up, and not the cheque book down.
THe College Tribune, Issue 9, Volume 25