The difference is we’re independent
Printed in Ireland
UCD’s Left Alliance Election Candidate talks Politics
The Horse is Outside __________________________________________________
Siren pages 6-7
Danger to Academic Freedom? __________________________________________________
Students Gear Up For General Election
Matthew Costello Election 2011
• UCDSU criticised for lack of action. • USI hope to hold “X-Factor style auditions” of party leaders says Redmond.
UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) has issued a call for students to get out and make their vote count on Friday, February 25th 2011. In a general election widely believed to be one of the most crucial in the history of the State, student issues may not be at the forefront of politicians’ minds, and Paul Lynam, UCDSU President said, “Only when students get out and vote in large numbers will our views and voice be heard by political parties.” The SU has attempted to combat voter apathy, a nationwide phenomenon, but particularly pronounced amongst students, with various surveys estimating between 20% and 40% consider themselves “involved in politics”, far below the national average. UCDSU launched what Lynam calls a “short, intense voter awareness campaign” once the election was called. The SU set up a stall in the Newman building last Wednesday to hand out forms and help advise students on how to register, how-
ever the event has been criticised for insufficient publicity and a short operating time. Details of the event were not published on the SU website and an announcement was only posted on the UCD Students Union Facebook group an hour before the stall opened. In addition, members of An Garda Síochána were only available for two hours to stamp and sign forms, and the campus Garda station did not re-open until after the close of voter registration last Friday. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) also launched a campaign with the target of registering 50,000 students to vote, but with the election timetable accelerated by events in the Dáil, there was little time to put plans like the ‘Election Express’ campaign bus tour into action. The campaign was launched on the 28th of January, exactly a week before registration closed and suffered again from a lack of publicity. The USI’s ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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USI launch their “Your Future: Your Vote” campaign outside the Dáil. Photo: USI
Over 400 Students Audition for UCD Fashion Show
Donie O’ Sullivan • Event will be held in O’ Reilly Hall on 22nd & 23rd of February. • “It’s not all about looks,” says Ents Officer.
The return of the UCD Fashion Show, after a three year hiatus, has received unprecedented interest from students. In total, over 400 students attended auditions last week for modelling, dancing and committee positions according to Jonny Cosgrove, UCD Students’ Union Entertainment Officer. 2011 will mark 25 years since the first UCD Fashion Show, which has experienced several brief hiatuses. Money raised from this year’s event will go towards the Make A Wish Foundation. The show, which is being dubbed
as one of the biggest events of the year, will take place in O’Reilly Hall on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd of February. “We will be having four shows in total,” Cosgrove explained, “a preview show, two matinée shows and a gala show. Tickets for the preview and matinée shows should be priced around €15.” UCD Alumni Eoin Mac Diarmada, of Spin1038 will MC the show, which will include live entertainment and an abundance of dance acts. “The theme of the whole show
is based around some of the high profile TV shows around at the minute, there is going to be a Mad Men section, a Glee section, a Twilight section and a few others,” said Cosgrove. Speaking about the hundreds of students who expressed an interest in getting involved in the production, Cosgrove said, “It was great so many people showed up, I’d like to thank them all.” “Fashion isn’t taught here in UCD, so it was great to have such an interest. The UCD Fashion Show is not just about fashion, and it is
definitely not all about looks, it’s a show, it’s a full on entertainment thing.” Cosgrove also expressed his hope that, like previous years, the gala show will attract a number of celebrity guests. “The show is on the same week as the Jameson Film Festival so hopefully a few celebs might come along and we can show them what
UCD is all about.”
Money raised will go towards the Make a Wish Foundation
Photo: Robert Manning
February 8th 2011 | Vol. 24 No 7
UCD Propose Student Contribution to End Payments Scandal
Amy Walsh | • UCD Student Services may benefit from expenses scandal. • UCD Students’ Union in talks with UCD and Higher Education Authority over unsanctioned payments. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
UCD have proposed a solution to their ongoing negotiations with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) whereby they contribute funding to student services in UCD as an alternative to repayment to the HEA. The negotiations between the HEA and UCD concern the €1.2m in unsanctioned payments which were paid out to UCD staff. “UCD and the UCD Students Union jointly proposed a resolution whereby UCD would make an agreed proportion of the disputed amount available from the university’s commercial income over the next five years to support student services,” said a spokesperson from UCD. Since September, as a result of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) report, the HEA maintain that bonuses and payments made to senior staff in UCD were unlawful. It was estimated that up to €1.2m in unsanctioned payments had been made to UCD
staff. Under the new proposal UCD would make a contribution, generated from non - exchequer funds to student services. Negotiations are ongoing between the HEA, UCD and UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) in an effort to resolve the dispute. UCDSU President, Paul Lynam said, “We are currently in negotiations and cannot comment further but we should have an announcement following the March meeting of the HEA.” Following a meeting last Tuesday, the HEA confirmed that they had received a joint proposal from UCD and UCDSU. “On a proposal from the CEO, the Authority decided that, in the context of core grant allocations for 2011, universities that made such payments will be informed that in their budgeting for the year ahead they should have regard to monies that are referable to those payments, which will be the sub-
ject of further discussion with the HEA,” said a HEA spokesperson. There has been considerable debate between the HEA and UCD about the amount of money which can be labelled as unsanctioned payments. “The Authority also decided that, in order to bring certainty to the amounts concerned, the Comptroller and Auditor General be requested to carry out an audit and to advise the Authority. The C&AG has agreed to this request,” said a spokesperson from the HEA. Previously the HEA had suggested that an amount may be withheld from UCD’s annual recurrent grant allocation for the year 2011 while UCD maintained that they did not act illegally. UCD president, Dr Hugh Brady, has said that a financial sanction on the university would be “illegal, inappropriate and discriminatory”. The Comptroller and Auditor General report highlighted that that remuneration policies adopted
by UCD were unlawful under the Universities Act 1997. Under the Act, universities must refer to a review body when establishing remuneration for all positions above that of professor. The CA&G report highlighted numerous instances in UCD where remuneration levels had been set above that of the review bodies’ recommendation making such payments unlawful. The total amount of the unsanctioned payments is estimated at €1.2m over ten years with a further €266,000 paid in performance bonuses between 2005 and 2008. The payment of allowances for positions of responsibility at UCD was discontinued in 2009 When the CA&G report was published in September 2010 and such findings were made public, debate was sparked between UCD and the HEA. According to the report, UCD’s President, Hugh Brady received a remuneration package that exceed-
Smurt School Moves Up 20 Places in MBA Rankings
Ciarán Leinster • Ranked 78th in Financial Times MBA rankings • 100% of graduates in work within three months of graduation
The UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School has moved up twenty places in the latest Financial Times MBA rakings. The school is now ranked 78th in the world, having been placed at 98th last year. Once again, this means that the school is the only Irish school in the top 100, and also that the school has maintained its place in the top 100 for the twelfth year in a row. This distinction is held by less than 50 other schools the world over. As well as this, the school was ranked among the top 25 of the European list. Of the twenty categories on which the Financial Times has ranked the world’s MBA programmes, the Smurfit Business School improved in ten of them, including growth in graduate salaries, value for money, and the aims achieved by students during their MBA. The full-time MBA at the Smurfit Business School, meanwhile, was ranked 31st out of the top 100 world MBA’s by the Economist. The news comes at a time when
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the university is embroiled in a debacle with the HEA over unsanctioned staff payments and only months after UCD fell in international university rankings. Dean of UCD Business Schools, Professor Tom Begley, expressed his pleasure at the sizeable improvement made by the school in the last year; “We are delighted to once again stand as Ireland’s only entry among the top business schools in the world.” He went on to say, “In our continuous focus on excellence in business education, the School will continue to benchmark itself against the world’s premier business schools, strive to recruit world-class academics and attract business leaders of the future.” The school performed well in the Diversity rankings, with improvements of 6% and 12% in the number of female and international students respectively. This means that the level of female students is currently at 29%, while the rate of international students is 47%. Also, the Smurfit School
Hugh Brady, UCD President; ed the figures recommended by the review body once benefit-inkind was taken into consideration. While the HEA said that such payments were made ultra vires, UCD highlighted their continued correspondence to the HEA concerning the payments. UCD said that the payments were necessary to attract highly qualified staff which resulted in millions of
euro in non – exchequer income for the University. Furthermore, UCD stated that the unsanctioned payments themselves were funded from non – exchequer income. “The HEA is committed to seeing a speedy resolution of this matter and further consideration will be given to it at the next (22 March) meeting of the Authority,” said a spokesperson for the HEA.
Student Support Bill Signed into Law ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Donie O’ Sullivan • Grant Money will be paid directly into students’ bank accounts • Set to be fully in place for Sept. 2012
outperformed the top-placed school, London Business School, in numbers of female faculty, students and board members. There was a salary increase for alumni of $5,898, meaning average salary three years after graduation currently stands at $105,354. Nearly 100% of all UCD Smurfit Business School MBA graduates are in work within three months of graduation, an increase of 4%, and a figure which ranks higher than the corresponding figure for London Business School. The
percentage of faculty with doctorates also increased in the last year, by 1% up to 97%. These latest accolades cement the school as Ireland’s finest business school, as it is the only one in the state, and one of few in the world, to boast accreditations from the three main centre of academic and business excellence, namely the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); the Association of MBA’s (AMBA); and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).
The Student Support Bill has been signed into law by the President Mary McAleese. The Bill, which will result in the 66 different agencies who currently distribute student grants amalgamating into one body, is an an attempt to simplify the process of students applying and receiving grants. “From September 2012, there will be one agency that deals with all the grants for the entire country. It will ensure students get their grant money on time and will also make it a lot easier for students to apply for a grant,” Gary Redmond, President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) told The College
Tribune last Sunday night. Currently students are expected to collect their grant cheques three times a year at the student desk, however it is expected that when the new agency is in place, students will receive their grant payments on a monthly basis directly into their bank account. The four different grant schemes that are currently exist will be replaced by one single scheme, this is expected to occur as early as September of this year. According to Redmond the new system will “also save a lot of money for the exchequer. Centralising the grant system into one agency could save up to €5 million.” The development is a significant achievement for USI. “USI have been campaigning for this for ten years, many students' unions across the country were involved in the intense lobbying of politicians and it is a credit to all of them that this act has been passed,” added Redmond.
Ahearn to Run for National Welfare Position
Timothy Potenz | • UCDSU Welfare Officer aiming to remain a paid representative of students for third year running. • Ahearn hopes to focus on mental health & student finance issues.
Scott Ahearn, UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Welfare Officer, has decided to run for the position of Welfare Officer for the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Mr. Ahearn, who has been Welfare Officer for UCDSU for the past two years, made the decision based on his belief that he is ready to work on a national level. “Having held this position for two years, I think I have the experience and the ability to go forward. I want to be able to operate on the national level so as to affect things in a broader way,” commented Ahearn. Ahearn’s current work involves working with students at different levels, while working in more administrative duties. The Welfare Officer offers one-to-one discussions with students who need advice with personal problems. Ahearn also manages awareness campaigns, finance committees and sits on the health board. “I am
particularly interested in mental health issues and strategies to effectively deal with this topic.” If elected to USI, Ahearn would be working with national administration and advising other Students’ Union Welfare Officers, organising resources for 22 colleges nationwide and traveling to these colleges throughout the year. “I feel I am ready to make this move,” stated Ahearn. However some students have criticised Ahearn’s decision to run for USI, claiming that having been a sabbatical officer for two years in the UCDSU, he is no longer truly in touch with the student body. Ahearn has pointed out that he has no interest in a career in politics, and any position in USI would have no political motivation. After his time in the student movement, Ahearn claimed he would like to be back in college studying another degree on top of his current degree in History.
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“I’d like to be able to move into social work or teaching in the long run. Working with students is the main thing. Politics just isn’t for me. I really want to push student finances. We need to set up a national scheme to tackle this. We could set up a national finance week in which we would inform students and welfare officers about better ways of raising and distributing funds for health issues. These are plans that just have not been put down before now.” Ahearn also expressed his wishes to set up a substance abuse policy and organise mental health strategies to make them more accessible and tangible for students. UCD has produced some long running members of the USI, most notably the current USI President Gary Redmond, and former UCDSU President Aodhán Ó Deá, the Irish Language Officer of USI for a second successive year. “I believe my experience as
Welfare Officer has given me the ability to represent students well. I am in constant contact with students who come to me to discuss any issue they might have. These last two years have been especially difficult for students at the heart of the recession. Having worked with them through this time I feel I am in the best place to represent them at a national level,” added Ahearn. With the General Election fast approaching on the 25th of February, Ahearn believes that this is the most important time to get involved in student union elections. “Ireland is going through a massive political change. We have the opportunity to elect a students’ union prepared to handle this change and work with what may be a very different government. This is a valuable moment.”
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Mixed Reactions Following Release of Exam Results
News in Brief
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Texts to Remind Women to take the Pill
Woman Centre and the Irish Family Planning Association. Consultations with clients at the Dublin Well Women Centre found complete approval among them for the new service. The medical director at the centre pointed out how “many studies show that women regularly miss pills”. A lack of routine among students can make it difficult for them to remember to take the pill, with many using phone alarms as reminders. However both Ryan and Rooney believe the text service will be more discreet. The duo’s survey found that 79% of students were confident the service would be an effective reminder. Forgetting to take the pill is the most common source of oral contraception failure among clients at the Dublin IFPA clinic. The IFPA chief executive believes the text service will “help reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies”. Safetext.ie daily reminders are free to begin with and later cost €10 a year, roughly 3c a text. More information can be found at the website, www.safetext.ie.
A new text service is being launched to remind women to take their daily contraceptive pill. The service, from safetext. ie, will be initiated on Valentine’s Day, coinciding with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Sexual Health and Guidance Week. The service was set up by two third-level students, Chris Rooney of UCD and Liam Ryan of Trinity College, following research into oral contraception use among students. Prompted by the suggestions of a GP that many women regularly forget to take their daily pill, Ryan and Rooney surveyed 511 students about the matter. Their results found that nearly 65% of students on oral contraceptives forget to take the pill once a month or more and that 15% forget at least three times a month. The service has already been registered to by hundreds of students and has received the endorsement of the Well
Queen Set to Visit in May
Queen Elizabeth II is expected to pay a visit to Ireland this May. The trip is likely to see the Queen spend the majority of her time in Dublin, and last approximately three days. It is now over 100 years since a British reigning monarch visited the capital. The Queen has yet to be officially invited but discussions have been ongoing for months about the details and timing of her visit. An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, initiated the invitation during his meeting with David Cameron in June. A spokesman for Cowen recently stated that “planning is continuing” but no official invitations have been sent. The times and details of the Queen’s visit have been left purposefully unspecified by the Taoiseach and Micheál Martin. The locations are as of yet unconfirmed but sources have said the Queen will make a speech at Dublin Castle and a trip to Killarney has also been speculated. President Mary MacAleese has keenly supported the intended visit, as she will also be hosting a visit by Prince Albert of Monaco in April. Buckingham Palace recently stated that there was no visit to Ireland marked in the Queen’s diary, but that such trips are usually not finalised until two months beforehand. The chief executive of International Airlines Group, Willie Walsh, has said that the visit “would put Ireland in the spotlight to millions of potential tourists in the UK”.
Politics Set to Be Added to Leaving Cert
A new subject called ‘Politics and Society’ has recently been created for the Leaving Cert course. It has been designed with the intention of turning students into more engaged and informed citizens. The subject will be optional and part of a group of subjects from which students will choose. It has yet to be decided when ‘Politics and Society’ will be introduced and this will be one of the first decisions of the next Minister for Education. During consultation, there was an enthusiastic response for the new subject from students and teachers alike.
There were mixed reactions among students following the release of provisional exam results last Friday, February 4th. All results were posted online by early afternoon, however some students stayed up late the night before expecting results to be available shortly after midnight. The release of last terms exam results was postponed due to the cancellation of December exams, owing to impassable weather conditions. Exams originally set for the 21st and 22nd of December were rescheduled for the first week of this semester. Some students were unhappy with UCD’s decision to postpone the exams, with one aggrieved 2nd year Arts student claiming; “I had an exam cancelled because of the weather. It ruined my Christmas and meant that I couldn’t go to Lanzarote with my family because I had an exam on the first Monday of term.” However UCD Students’ Union acknowledged that the university had no choice but to cancel examinations due to the dangers presented by weather conditions, which resulted in mounting pressure from a large portion of the student body calling for the
cancellation. Students who failed modules in Semester One will be given the chance to repeat in Semester Two. The cost of doing so is €230 per resit and must be paid by the 25th of February. The price UCD students are forced to pay for failure has long been a contentious issue. In Trinity College Dublin, repeating exams is free of charge, whilst at NUI Galway, students pay €200 regardless of how many exams they are repeating. Students have the right to appeal against the result of any assessment, so long as they hold sufficient ground for doing so. However the appeals process must be initiated within 30 days of the result in question being made available. ‘Acceptable grounds’ include irregularity, extenuating circumstances, incorrect grading (i.e. bad counting up of marks) but such a list may not be comprehensive. There is a €60 fee for this process. More information can be found at www.ucd.ie/appeals/exam or students seeking to appeal can contact UCD’s Assessment Appeals Officer Dr Clíona McGovern, email@example.com.
Election 2011 Students Gear Up For General Election
Continued from cover website does not list a timetable for the bus and there has been no oncampus advertisement at UCD. Now that registration has closed, both the USI and UCDSU will turn their attention to the student issues at stake in the election, with Lynam commenting, “We have been working hard all year on the key problems of fighting third level fees, protecting the grant, and attempting to tackle graduate unemployment and emigration.” “In advance of the general election, we have been meeting politicians to see where exactly they stand on the issues facing students today. Next week, we will be distributing a ‘Questions to ask your candidates card’ with all the key issues for students outlined.” There will be considerable focus on both the increase in the registration fee outlined in the most recent budget and the recent cut to 4th year nurse’s wages during their mandatory work placement,
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a development the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association views as “slave labour”. There will be considerable pressure on the USI and UCDSU to lobby prospective TDs with regards to both of these issues, as well as engage with the major political parties on a national level in order to push the wider student agenda. The USI plans to host “X-Factor style auditions” of the party leaders outside Leinster House, with students acting as judges in an attempt to get students interested and informed about a potentially generation-defining election. Gary Redmond, President of USI, believes that the anti-fees march last November shows it is time politicians “sat up and listened” to the student population. “On November 3rd last, students took to the streets in protest and the words ‘I am a vote’, some 40,000 voices strong, reverberated around Dáil Éireann. As we near polling day, politicians in every corner of the country are quickly
realising that students are no longer a dormant force as thousands of young people descend on polling stations to decide the future direction of this country.” The extent of this descent on polling booths will depend largely on the effectiveness of the USI and SU’s campaigns to mobilise student voters on election day. The USI’s “Your Future, Your Vote” drive is at the forefront of this attempt to increase student voter turnout and is supported by UCDSU, although the exact details of the campaign are not yet available. One crucial issue for many students living away from their constituency, and who have not had a chance to re-register, is that of getting back home to vote. With the election falling on a Friday, many students would be heading home anyway but for academic reasons, such as having to hand in assignments or attend graded labs or tutorials, could prevent some from having their say in the future
The USI Election Express Tour Bus that will be visitng campuses across the country. Photo: USI
of the State. Lynam appreciates these concerns. “We are sending a request to the registrar to ensure that any assignments due on polling day would be deferred. In addition, we are
asking that any students who have labs or tutorials on that day would not be academically penalised if they were not in attendance.” The election takes place on Friday the 25th of February and students,
one of the groups with the largest stake in the future of the State, could play a big part in deciding its outcome. USI’s slogan for the November 3rd march, “I am a vote”, will now be put to the test.
You Decide 2011
Campus Societies Create Election Buzz in Beleld
Sinead Williams | Law Soc to hold University Education Debate this Thursday. Political Party Youth Movements set to canvass on campus. Election 2011
With the date for the general election set for Friday 25th February 2011, there are only two weeks left until what is being touted as the most important election in our country’s history. In the run up to polling day, events will be taking place on campus to give UCD students a chance to inform themselves of the main issues and to note the stance of various parties on these. On Thursday, the Law Society (LawSoc) will host a debate on university education. The event will take place in Theatre L at 7.30pm and the billed line-up features some impressive names from the world of Irish politics. Education and Skills spokespeople Fergus O’Dowd T.D. (Fine Gael), Paul Gogarty T.D. (Green Party)
and Ruairí QuinnT.D. (Labour) are set to make an appearance. Fianna Fáil’s Mary Coughlan T.D. is listed as their speaker on posters for the event; however she has had to withdraw due to canvassing commitments in her home constituency of Donegal South West. Mary Hanafin T.D. will now represent Fianna Fáil, with LawSoc claiming on their Facebook page that she is “the most appropriate speaker on the topic”. LawSoc auditor Kieran McCarthy told The College Tribune that a “full Theatre L” is expected for what promises to be an “enjoyable event”. McCarthy went on to add that the organisation of events such as this by societies like LawSoc is “absolutely vital and if we weren’t doing it we wouldn’t be doing our
job properly”. The Literary and Historical Society (L&H) will also be holding a debate on the general election with a preliminary date of 23rd February, a mere two days before the election itself, being given by auditor Niall Fahy. Fahy stated that as the election was being held earlier than was previously anticipated, it was necessary to “shuffle events” in order to find a free slot for the debate, but that talks were underway with candidates from the local constituency of Dublin South, as well as other “high profile” figures, in relation to their participation in the event. He said that he was looking forward to the debate as it represents what the L&H is all about “in its purest form”. As senior party members and prospective T.D’s
begin campaigning in earnest, the youth divisions of the major political parties on campus had yet to finalise any events at the time of going to press. Neither Labour Youth nor Ógra Fianna Fáil have announced any on campus events, deciding instead to focus their efforts on canvassing. Young Fine Gael have said that they will not be holding any events due to canvassing commitments, while The Young Greens were unavailable for comment. Ógra Fianna Fáil chairperson, Ciarán Murphy, hinted at the possibility of a three-way debate between his party, Labour Youth and Young Fine Gael in the coming weeks. Murphy also noted that “regardless of party, it is important for people to vote, especially
students” and further added that a “Rock the Vote” style campaign will be taking place on campus with other UCD political parties to encourage students to vote in the election. The Socialist Workers’ Student Society will hold an open meeting of the United Left Alliance on Thursday 10th February. The United Left Alliance is a newly formed group which comprises members of the Socialist Party, People Before Profit and Workers and Unemployed Action Group. Councillor Richard BoydBarrett and other local candidates will attend what society chairperson, Lorcan Gray, claims will be a good meeting. Further details will be available later on in the week. Sinn Féin’s UCD Cumann are not officially active as a society this
year, but the party will be canvassing on campus to “make students aware of Sinn Féin’s support on critical issues that affect them” according to the Chairman of the Dublin Sinn Féin College Cumainn, Simon MacGiolla Easpaig. Sinn Féin leaders are expected to make an appearance in UCD as part of this campaign. The unexpected change in the timeframe of the election has not left the campus political parties with much time to plan events and as a result, emphasis has been placed on canvassing. The debates which LawSoc and L&H are set to host will be the main chance for the parties to communicate and interact with the student body before the polls open nationwide on the 25th of February.
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Election Vox Pop ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Olivia Reidy took to the concourse and asked students their thoughts on the upcoming General Election
Mary Cullen, 3rd year Arts “I don’t have much interest in politics, never really have, if I do decide to vote I have no idea who I will vote for but perhaps Labour as my dad is a supporter. The way I look at it is that it won’t matter if I vote or not as nothing will change. I will probably end up emigrating to somewhere like New Zealand when I finish anyway. I am really struggling to pay for college as it is and next year with the fees to rise by a few hundred I might have to take the year off to work and then come back as my dad lost his job and there are two of us in college currently. It’s dreadful at the moment trying to pay for all the house bills and college at the same time for the both of us. I honestly have enough to think about and not worry about politics.”
Gary Walsh, 3rd year Engineering “I’ll probably vote in the upcoming election. I am just really busy with college at the moment and not even sure if I can vote, I don’t know if I’m registered, so it could be too late for me to even vote once the election happens. I feel there’s not enough information going around at the moment and I am just going to wait and see who appeals to me.”
Diana Brennan, 2nd year Music “I have never voted before so I think I’ll vote this time round. Whoever comes into power will have to regain the trust of the Irish people, I feel that a lot of people have lost faith in politics, it’s a sham at the moment. I will be voting for a Fine Gael candidate and hopefully they will come into power and bring change, a change that is much needed, in order to take the country out of this mess.”
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Debate on Seanad Continues in UCD
Brendan Lannoye • L&H debate marks the beginning of open discussion on General Election issues in UCD. • Event attracts only 30 spectators. Election 2011
The abolition of the Seanad was the topic of last Wednesday night’s L&H debate. The event, which attracted only 30 people into Theatre N in the Arts Block, included distinguished speakers such as Senator Ann Ormond, Fianna Fáil, Senator Ronan Mullen, Independent, and David Farrell, Head of the UCD School of Politics and one of the founders of politicalreform.ie. The issue of abolition of the state’s upper house has become one of the most discussed issues in the General Election campaign. The house consists of 60 members, eleven of whom are appointed by the Taoiseach, and costs €25 million to run per annum. At the L&H debate, those who argued for the abolition cited the high costs associated of the house and the fact that it is widely seen as a “consolation prize” for politicians who are not successful in Dáil elections. The lack of power that the house holds was also an issue. Barry Singleton, an active L&H debater, made the argument that, “currently the Seanad has only the power to delay bills up to three months and has no power of delay in regards to fiscal legislation.” The anti-abolitionists argued that
the Seanad offered representation to minorities in the Oireachtas and also provided a crucial ‘second check’ to Dáil approved legislation. However, all agreed that reform of some degree had to happen, “our political culture has to change” commented Senator Ronan Mullen. When asked by The College Tribune after the debate what he thought should happen to the Seanad, David Farrell, the Head of the UCD School of Politics responded, “I don’t really give a damn what happens to the Seanad, the real change is needed elsewhere.” The Twitter enthusiast and politicalrefom.ie founder also warned of the dangers of “political tokenism” in this election campaign. Farrell said that voters should not be swayed by politician’s impressive rhetoric, on issues such as abolishing the Seanad; instead the real reform debate should focus on producing a “Dáil that can be far more accountable”. One student also speaking after the debate offered his views on the Seanad and student voting, “Students need to get more involved in discussions like these, this election will shape the future of the Seanad, but more importantly the
economic future of our country, we need to make sure we have all the facts before we decide” The debate was the first public discussion of election issues in UCD, with both the L&H and
LawSoc in the process of organizing high profile debates for the coming weeks. Members of the two societies are quietly hopeful that the RTÉ leaders debate may take place on the campus.
Trinity Student Asks Politicians to “Tell Us Why”
Ciara Murphy Election 2011
• Trinity Politics student launches online election initiative. • Public given the option to comment on, and petition each politician.
Trinity College Politics student, Daniel Philbin Bowman, has created a new website that offers the electorate a unique way to learn about each political candidate before the February 25th General Election. The website www.telluswhy.ie is urging election candidates to provide the public with information regarding what they think qualifies them to lead the country in the next government. The questions put to the candidates and their responses are available for the public to view online with a function enabling the public to comment on the responses. When asked how he got the idea to create a website like this Bowman, son of veteran RTÉ broadcaster John Bowman, informed The College Tribune that he got the idea when reflecting on the lack of knowledge available to the
public about the candidates that could potentially be running the country next month. Bowman sees the website as effectively a job interview for political candidates. He stated that as students “looking for jobs, we were having to answer really detailed questions and provide specifics of what exactly we have achieved and then why that made us qualified. Politicians who are supposed to be going for the most important job in our society didn’t have to answer questions in any such detail and I thought that that was a huge misalignment between what we were expected to do and what we expected them to do.” The young student hopes his website will help the people of Ireland to get involved and take part in choosing a new government. The website allows the public to become more informed on the
policies and aims of election candidates and the parties that they are representing. He urges the public to “take control of the electoral process.” He went on to tell The College Tribune that the election process only happens every five years and the public needs to ensure that they are informed to make the difficult, yet necessary, decisions. When asked what he hoped the website would achieve, Bowman answered, “What we want to achieve is for people to get involved and pressure the politicians
by emailing them which we have made easy on the site.” He went on to state that “the end goal is, we have, all of us, the voters, a really valuable information resource that we can look at and compare real and actual facts about the politicians and direct answers to questions that we want to know.” The main idea behind the website is “if politicians are looking for our votes then we should know more about them.” When questioned about his opinion on student participation in politics, Bowman commented, “We have the potential to participate,” however he maintained that the student populace could be doing more. “A lot of people go on marches for fees but they
are not really thinking about the issues or looking at the facts. It is very easy to say no to something you don’t like, it’s much more difficult and more challenging to look at the situation and look at those choices. I mean, if you don’t pay fees, what do you give up elsewhere?” When this issue was put to the students of UCD, the reaction was mainly positive. Marie O’ Connor, a 3rd year student, stated that, “Telluswhy.ie allows those less informed to make more educated decisions about their future. I think it is a great idea.” The website itself is a “non-profit, non-partisan initiative” run by volunteers, and encourages the public to say ‘no-more’ to all the “gimmicks and promises, the blame and the buzzwords.” You can get information on the candidates in your own constituency at www.telluswhy.ie
You Decide 2011
De Brún Defends Role in Ross Campaign ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Donie O’ Sullivan Election 2011
Pat de Brún, UCD Students’ Union Campaigns and Communications Officer, has defended his decision to take part in the election campaign of South Dublin Independent Shane Ross. Some have criticised de Brún’s move saying he should be concentrating on the UCDSU’s campaign to inform and encourage students to vote. De Brún, who openly declared his support for former senator Shane Ross during the week, told The College Tribune, “I am playing a reasonably active role in getting Senator Ross into the Dáil. I’m doing a lot with his social media and I’m canvassing door to door a few evenings a week.” “I don’t think it is at all inappropriate of me to support Shane openly. I could have kept it quiet, but I chose not to. I wholeheartedly believe in Shane’s message and his beliefs. I am someone, like a lot of young people, who is completely disillusioned with traditional politics and politicians. I feel let down and I want to do something about it. Shane is an honest man who has been exposing corruption and calling for reform all his life. He’s a Trinity Senator with a special interest in education and he is pro-free third level education.” Last month, Cónán Ó Broin, stepped down from his position as Vice-President of the Union for Students in Ireland (USI) in order to work on the Labour Party’s General Election campaign to avoid “a conflict of interest.” However it is understood that de Brún is playing a far less active role in Shane Ross’ campaign than Ó Broin is in Labour. De Brún stressed that any involvement in the Independent’s campaign would be “outside of working hours” and added, “as always my first responsibility is to the students, and I wouldn’t dream of compromising that.” The current Campaigns and Communications Officer further added, “I genuinely think that if Shane gets elected, it will be a great advantage to next year’s SU sabbatical team as they will have an ally in the Dáil, something which I feel is invaluable.”
UCD Student Running in General Election
Michael Phoenix | Annette Mooney, a UCD Post-Graduate Student, talks to Michael Phoenix about standing for the United Left Alliance under the “People before Profit” banner in the upcoming General Election. Election 2011
Running in her home constituency of Dublin South-East, Annette Mooney (44) is a trained nurse and has worked in health care for over 20 years, mainly in Dublin’s St James’ Hospital. On return to Ireland in 2009 following a year in South America, she found her country in “dire straits” and “with women unrepresented,” felt “compelled to enter politics to seek change.” Mrs Mooney’s aims grew from her youth under the influence of her activist father; “I’ve always felt there was room for a socialist party in Ireland - that’s my aim – to develop socialism in this country.” Pointing to the Irish peoples disillusionment with the conservative politicians that have dominated Irish politics in recent years; she professed her confidence in the ULA’s ability to affect such a change through success in the coming election. “At the moment, people on the door are telling me that they are totally disillusioned with Fianna Fáil… Fianna Fáil are knocking on doors and running away, and Fine Gael are not doing much more than that… People are swinging as you can see by the polls.” The most up to date polls appear to agree with Mrs Mooney’s statement. Whilst indicating that the Irish people currently favour a Fine Gael-Labour coalition (34%), they also show 12% support for a left-wing coalition of Labour, Sinn Fein, United Left Alliance and Independents. Seeming to see the United Left Alliance’s bid in the general election as realistically an attempt to form a credible opposition as a stepping stone to further change, the current UCD student warned against the most probable result predicted by the polls. Mrs. Mooney pointed to the potential inability of an “annihilated Fianna Fail adequately opposing a FFLabour coalition.” This would, according to Mrs. Mooney’s opinion, leave Ireland effectively exactly where she stood before the general election – trapped in circles of conservative corruption. On the topic of education, in which she is currently specialising, Mrs. Mooney pointed to “a terrible disparity of wealth in the education system” which she wants to change. “The education system has been dismantled… The money has never been invested properly. We
should have an excellent education system… but we don’t.” In response to what she views as the greed driven system of privatization of areas like education, Mrs Mooney, if elected, will seek investment in the person as opposed to investment for financial profit, aiming to make university education more attractive to those less able to afford it. In doing so she would hope to create an additional 10,000 places in third-level education. The finances to support such a development could, potentially, be reaped from higher levels of taxation for the wealthiest and a slash in bureaucratic expenditure. However the key to such a proposal, and similar schemes envisaged by Mrs Mooney in areas such as health, would be money being freed up once the bailout of our banking system is stopped. In pursuit of a post crisis “Ireland that is a society and not purely an economy;” Mrs Mooney advocates ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
It is with such an emphasis on the individual that the United Left Alliance has found the majority of their success in post Celtic Tiger Ireland
a strong investment programme reliant on the expertise and imagination of the Irish people, in particular Ireland’s students, to create jobs within the country. In criticising the recent IMF bailout as only serving to prop up a fatally flawed system she argued, “We are 200 billion in debt. That means five billion a year in cuts and by 2014, ten billion a year in cuts – that is absolutely unsustainable and we will say no to that, absolutely no. We are not going to offer any magic wand – but people should know that the financial market will not dictate our intentions or our actions, these will be dictated by the people.” Although unable
to offer a conclusive outline of what the ULA would replace Ireland’s current economic philosophy if given the opportunity, she put forth her preference for an increase in corporation tax by 1%; a 70% tax for all those earning over €100,000 per annum; and debt forgiveness for all those who have been made unemployed and cannot pay outstanding mortgages; whilst she, and her fellow alliance members have each undertaken a pledge to, if elected, take only the minimum industrial wage from their official salary, with the remainder to be invested in campaigns targeted at championing the people. Whether these measures would be
sufficient to lift Ireland from the economical hole it finds itself in – a move that surely must materialise before any radical lasting change can come to fruition – remains to be seen. It is with such an emphasis on the individual that the ULA has found the majority of their success in post Celtic Tiger Ireland. Along with Mrs Mooney, who claims to be receiving substantial support within her constituency, Richard Boyd Barrett - a council-
lor for the ULA, appears on course for at least a substantial share of the vote of the Dún-Laoghaire-Rathdown constituency, where he won 22.8% of the vote two years ago in local government elections. The success at ground level of ULA members and socialist MEP, Joe Higgins, has also been well documented. This grass roots dedication will most likely prove just as crucial to the success of the ULA’s bid in the general election and their ideology.
_______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________
More information on Mrs. Mooney and the United Left Alliance can be found at: www.unitedleftalliance.org or www.annettemooney.com
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What Price for Freedom?
Colman Hanley| Storm clouds are gathering over academia, as UCD management are poised to implement a system that could have grave implications for staff, and the academic integrity of the university itself. Dr Enda Murphy of the School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy tells Colman Hanley why UCD academics are prepared to resist its implementation _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Readers of the last issue of The College Tribune may be aware that a review of UCD’s Performance Management and Incremental Progression System is set to take place. “Under the Croke Park Agreement, the university is proposing that re-deployment, re-organisation and rationalisation be applied in accordance with 6.2.3 of the Public Service Agreement or within the context of staffing changes arising on foot of budgetary decisions or academic restructuring within the university. Mandatory re-deployment within UCD will apply with implementation no later than the expiry of 6 weeks of formal notice,” a UCD spokesperson recently commented. The motivation behind this plan can be viewed in two ways. Ostensibly this mandatory redeployment can be seen both as an attempt to cut the wage bill of UCD, and to ensure that all lecturers work a regular working week, a move that would be welcomed by many in the current economic climate. However, according to Dr Enda Murphy, the plan threatens the futures of many UCD lecturers, as it amounts to an attack on academic and technical staff that threatens the very academic freedom seen as necessary to the profession. “There is a general consensus that the plan is wrong and not workable. There is also the implication in the plan that the current system is inflexible and that staff effectively do not work hard enough. But this is contrary to all evidence. The European Commission released a report in November 2009 looking specifically at the efficiency and productivity of Irish higher education in Europe. They more or less explicitly said that Irish education was one of the most efficient systems not only in Europe, but internationally. On the other hand, UCD senior management, who won’t suffer any cuts, put UCD in the highest deficit in Ireland over the last few years, so they are quite inefficient.” Dr Murphy’s opinion certainly appears to show a degree of frustration amongst staff, which has only increased since the recent revelation of overpayments in the university to the sum of €1.2
8 | www.collegetribune.ie
million. Tom Coughlan of the Higher Educational Authority (HEA) has claimed this could eventually total €6 million. However, since the Dáil Public Accounts Committee heard from university presidents that some lecturers work only fifteen hours a week, a general opinion has emerged that lecturers’ pay is not fully deserved for the hours that they work. Dr Murphy points out that this scenario applies to very few UCD lecturers. “I normally come in for eight thirty in the morning and I normally don’t leave until about seven, and I do that five days a week... Normally I would have to work at the weekends. [That’s] the honest truth, and many academics would do that quite a lot. Of course few work less, but you are going to get that in every work place, private or public... The vast majority of people are extremely productive and work very hard.” Dr Murphy observes that UCD has seen many structural changes over the past decade, and with those changes, academics have seen a lot of systems introduced, which they have generally been supportive of. However, should the Hunt Report and the Croke Park Agreement be implemented, it will have negative effects for academics, and crucially, students too. “We’ve seen restructuring of the university significantly over the past six or seven years, we’ve seen lots of things being implemented at staff level, such as performance management systems and so
on. We’ve also seen the staffstudent ratio increase dramatically, which I think students should be very worried about. It’s up to about 20:1, and on the rise, from something like 14:1. So it’s this idea that academics are not being productive or not being flexible, which the plan implies indirectly is completely beyond all evidence. In fact, it is the contrary; staff have been more flexible and have become more productive, as is evidenced by the European Commission report.” So what is it about the plan that threatens the status and work of lecturers? “For me as an academic, it’s the attack on academic freedom. One of the things in the implementation plan is that they are effectively trying to re-write academic contracts and there is a huge threat to tenure there. This effectively means you could be dismissed at the whim of the university management with three months notice. This is extremely worrying from the point of view of what you think academic freedom is all about; free inquiry, the ability to pursue knowledge in whatever way you see fit, teach and publish your results, without fear of repercussion. That is one of the key things – without the fear of repercussion.” Dr Murphy’s opinion is only reinforced by Michael Lewis’s article in the current issue of Vanity Fair, which discusses the current economic crisis in Ireland. Lewis credits foresight to Professor Morgan Kelly of the School of
Economics in UCD, who wrote a 2006 article in The Irish Times warning of a severe downturn in the economy. However, Lewis also reports that the head of the School was subsequently put under pressure by “the public relations guy at University College Dublin” to encourage another member of staff to write “a learned attack” countering Professor Kelly’s argument. This suggestion was duly shot down by the head of School in question. Lewis also outlines that Professor Kelly had an article suppressed by one Irish newspaper, and was refused publication by another on the basis that it was “offensive.” This revelation, then, is a signal of the already present threat to lecturers’ academic freedom, which can only increase if the current plans are fully activated. As UCD have stated in their instructions to lecturers, ‘There is a requirement to co-operate with management of the university in pursuit of the university’s plans, goals and objectives.’ The use of the word ‘requirement’ here takes a sinister tone, which differs greatly from the system which lecturers have been used to working under. As Dr Murphy points out, “It stifles free inquiry, so it would mean you’d only pursue modes of inquiry which fits in with [their] economic objectives... they say strategic objectives, but even the strategic objectives effectively would stifle free inquiry and the idea of academic freedom.” To combat this threat, a group of lecturers dubbing themselves the
UCD Academic Forum are trying to resist the plan. “We think it is an attack on the institution, and particularly think that it is an attack on the principles [of ] what an academic job is supposed to be all about, particularly academic freedom, but also things like tenure,” Dr Murphy commented. “Tenure provides a huge degree of permanency, much stronger than the employment law. If you don’t have tenure, you’re in danger. If you say something that is not desired by university management, you are in fear of coercive influences [at] the top, and that is contrary to what academic freedom is all about.” As staff throughout the country find working hours curtailed, and old practices prohibited, UCD lecturing staff are certainly not alone in their concerns. Dr Murphy is tight lipped on how colleagues plan to voice their dissent, but reiterates: “Lecturers are really engaged with this and are not happy about it. Heads of schools are not happy with it, as evidenced by a recent college committee meeting, where there was strong opposing arguments made against the plan to senior management and the college principals. There is definitely going to be serious resistance to it. It is a serious attack on our integrity as academics, and an attack more importantly on the institution of academia.” In fact much of the great frustration and anger among lecturers appears to generate from the manner of the plan’s creation. “Don’t forget that this is an
implementation plan, it’s not a proposed plan,” Dr Murphy points out. “There was no engagement with staff at any level, there was no engagement with governing authorities or academic council, and this was implemented above their heads. They have already submitted this implementation plan to the HEA, without any due consultation, which is an [incredibly] authoritarian approach and very worrying.” This issue is not likely to go away in the near future, and clashes between management and staff seems inevitable. Dr Murphy outlines what he believes should be done. “I think that there will be resistance and that the plan will effectively have to be rewritten, and academics’ views will have to be taken into account...There needs to be strict guarantees... as despite what the university says, there is an attempt to re-define academic freedom outside of legislation, outside of the Universities Act, and to re-define tenure almost within the corpus of employment law.” “[P]revious court cases that have occurred in relation to this have suggested that, in academia, tenure has different implications than in normal employment law. It implies a much greater degree of permanency, and so there is an attempt there, I think, to re-define these notions within this plan. So unless these terms are retracted, I think we could be due for some strong resistance by academics.” What price freedom? As those in the corridors of UCD prepare for battle, we may yet find out.
Suicide: A Growing Problem
Jack Carter | In his latest article on mental health, Jack Carter addresses an issue that is prevalent particularly in Irish society and that people struggle to talk about and deal with. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In 2009, 527 people died by suicide, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). This was an increase of 24% on the previous year. That is a staggering statistic. Worst still is that the figures for the first half of last year show a slight increase on the same period in 2009. It must also be noted that these figures are considered conservative. They only include deaths officially recorded as deaths by suicide. Geoff Day, the director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), believes that the real figure for deaths by suicide in Ireland is much higher than the CSO statistics represent. The reason for this is a general reluctance to record suicides. It is often felt that families should be protected by the death being attributed to other reasons. Coroners often record deaths by suicide under another cause, such as death by misadventure. The NOSP believes that many deaths recorded as single car collisions are in fact suicides. So it seems that the amount of people in Ireland taking there own lives is increasing and may be increasing at an even faster rate than the statistics portray. A death by suicide is obviously a sad thing. There is a particularly heartbreaking element to deaths by suicide, they are preventable. There are many ways in which people can die. There are unavoidable ways, such as terminal illnesses. Also in this category are freak accidents, such as the recent tragic death of a woman who was hit by a falling tree during bad weather, only a few miles from the campus of UCD. But there are also preventable ways in which people die, such as road accidents and suicide. Preventable deaths are particularly tragic because they are seen as needless. The correlation between deaths by suicide and those by road accidents is an interesting one. They share other characteristics, as well as being preventable. They both disproportionately affect the same demographic of young males. The difference between the two is in how the state and society try to deal with them. In Ireland, suicide now outnumbers road accidents as a cause of death. However the State’s response to the issue is heavily waited towards road accidents. The recourses available to the NOSP are only a fraction of what the government gives to the Road Safety Authority, the NOSP’s equivalent body in the area of road deaths. Not that throwing money at the problem will make it go away, but it is representative of
how much focus is given to suicide prevention. Society also appears to have given more attention to road deaths than deaths by suicide. Part of the reason that road deaths have been reduced so well over the past few years is that society had reacted in certain ways. People have slowed down. Drink driving is now not considered acceptable. There needs to be a similar effort in the area of suicide. Since the enlightenment of the eighteenth century, society has judged itself on how it treats those most vulnerable in society. This is the common cause behind much charitable work. It is also the belief that underpins the welfare systems of the western world. It is why we try to look after the sick, the young and the old. So if we are to look after the vulnerable people in society, we need to look after those who have mental health problems and are at risk of suicide. In a modern developed society like our own, we cannot justify the high amounts of people taking there own lives. We, as members of this society, need to make a difference. As discussed at the beginning of this article, there is a general unwillingness to record deaths by suicide. This is a knock on effect of the view that suicide and mental health is a taboo subject. This has to change. Society cannot deal with this problem without an openness to talk about it. Like road deaths, society needs to resolve the root causes of deaths by suicide. We need to deal with the issue of mental ill health before it reaches the crisis point that is suicide. An open society where discussion of these issues can take place is what is needed. The government backed initiative ‘See Change’ is trying to bring about this change through a coordinated effort involving many mental health organisations. Society should embrace this change. On a more personal level there are things we can do for people we are concerned about. The NOSP outlines various things people can do in this situation on their website, www.nosp.ie. These include being vigilant and looking out for the signs that someone may be suicidal, such as is someone self harming, talking about suicide, making final arrangements or becoming isolated. If someone is showing signs of contemplating suicide the most important thing you can do is make yourself available to them to talk. The NOSP advise to not be afraid to confront the situation, they say
that asking directly is the best way to deal with the issue. Also you should show that you will help the person get help. We cannot all be psychotherapists, that is important to remember, we cannot solve everyone’s problems, but we can help them somewhat towards that. Talking is key. As part of its overall aim to reduce the number of deaths by suicide among students, the Please Talk campaign promotes the message that ‘talking is a sign of strength, not weakness’. There are many avenues for students at UCD to pursue in getting
help for a friend or for themselves in the area of mental health. The website www.pleasetalk.ie lists the support services available. One type of service in UCD that is very important for people experiencing mental health difficulties is the free counselling available in the student health centre. In times of crisis the NOSP recommends that people present themselves to a GP. There are also phone help lines available for those in crisis, the Samaritans on 1850 609090 and specifically for students, Niteline on 1850 609090. The Student’s Union Welfare
Officer is also there to help, they act as a good first point of call in times of difficulty and will direct you to the relevant services. Suicide prevention is something that we all need to tackle. One death by suicide is too many. We need to reverse the upward trend of suicide statistics, and we need to do this ourselves. So I ask you to think about the issues raised here and to do something about them.
Jack Carter is Committee Chair with UCD Please Talk
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University College Dublin
President’s Awards for Excellence in Student Activities You are invited to make a nomination for the President’s Awards for Excellence in Student Activities. The award scheme aims to provide recognition for those students who excel in extracurricular activities of a kind which make UCD a more exciting, interesting and humane place to live and to work. Nomination Forms: available from Forum Office (Ext. 3100), Students' Union and Services Desks. Any member of the College - either student or staff - can make a nomination. They should write, giving the nominee’s name and a short explanation of why they believe the nominee is worthy of an award. It is not necessary that the person nominated is aware of the nomination. Nominations, preferably typed, should be sent to:
The Director The Student Consultative Forum Student Centre They should be in an envelope marked ‘STUDENTS AWARDS’ and should reach the Forum office before: Friday 18th February, 2011 10 | www.collegetribune.ie
The Struggle Continues
Marguerite Murphy| As news filters through of the murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato, Marguerite Murphy examines the situation _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Most have seen the comical viral circulating YouTube entitled, ‘Eat da poo poo’, which captures a Ugandan minister proudly condemning homosexual relationships. His bid to prove the supposed immorality of homosexuality involves what most Westerners would classify as a hate speech. Many viewers have questioned its authenticity. Surely, in the 21st century, no one can uphold these ridiculous views, let alone lecture their community on them? Sadly, it’s a reality in Ugandan life. What many see as just another hilarious YouTube video is merely a sample of the hateful violence that reared its head in the international media as the murder of David Kato, a Ugandan gay rights activist, came to light last week. The funeral of David Kato took place on January 28th. Kato’s village, Mukono Town, refused to acknowledge the murder of the former teacher or uphold the usual funeral rites, so Kato’s friends were forced to do so singlehandedly. Sadly, after the struggle he endured fighting for the rights of his colleagues and friends, even his memorial could not be left in peace, as a homophobic Ugandan pastor crashed the funeral, stormed the stand and stole the microphone to protest: “The world has gone crazy. People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back, they should abandon what they are doing. You cannot start admiring a fellow man. It is ungodly.” Thankfully, the support of co-activists, Kato’s friends, and his family - each adorned with t-shirts featuring his face and the Portuguese caption ‘La Luta Continua’ (‘The Struggle Continues’) outweighed this negativity, with one woman refuting the pastor’s damning comments with the clear message: “Who are you to judge others? We have not come to fight. You are not the judge of us. As long as he’s gone to God, his creator, who are we to judge Kato?” Much of the blame for the brutal killing of the 46-year-old founding member of Uganda’s LGBT rights group, SMUG, can be laid at the feet of the Ugandan media, who displayed a serious disregard for his human rights. David grew up and taught in Mukono Town, leaving for Johannesburg, where he was involved in the progress
from apartheid to a more progressive and multiracial society, living there for a number of years. His stay in South Africa influenced his views on freedom for LGBT couples. Having seen changes made in South Africa, Kato returned to Uganda in the hope that his country, too, could change, and earned a central role among Uganda’s gay rights activists. Kato’s life became endangered through the acts of Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone, whose aim and founding name stem from the idea that their publication functions as “a stone that is rolling to smoke out the homos,” as voiced by its editor Giles Muhame. The publication printed the photo of Kato, amongst a hundred other gay rights activists, with their addresses and the condemning page heading ‘Hang them’ in October 2010. Thankfully, Ugandan courts intervened to defend the right to privacy of personal information, and on January 3rd 2011, High Court Justice V. F. Kibuuka Musoke found that the Rolling Stone was guilty of abusing the ‘fundamental rights and freedoms’ of Kato amongst others. The sum of 1.5 million Ugandan shillings was payable to the plaintiffs and the judge also ruled the Rolling Stone would cease publication. Alas, the media exposure had made its impact, as on January 26th, while speaking to another SMUG member, Julian Pepe Onziemaon, on his home phone, two intruders mercilessly beat Kato to death with a hammer. The police maintain that Kato was involved in a burglary gone wrong, yet the lack of stolen goods from his home and the midday timing of the attack suggest otherwise. It has been frequently speculated that the Ugandan government will smooth over this investigation in order to maintain an appearance of morality, so as not to jeopardise the Western aid it relies upon. Ugandan law states that the engagement of same sex acts are punishable by imprisonment for up to fourteen years. Despite an outcry from the rest of the world, Ugandan MP’s aim to introduce the death penalty, which would extend to the extradition of persons of Ugandan birth who are openly gay in other countries, gay rights activists and HIV-positive patients, as outlined by the Ugan-
dan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The brutal murder of Kato has sparked a storm of media exposure, which at least, in some respects may exact change, as it has shed light on the everyday battle Ugandan LGBT activists fight, and may spark a much-needed worldwide intervention. Amnesty International has appealed for a “credible and impartial investigation into his murder.” The American
President, Barack Obama, was also appalled by the atrocious crimes, noting: “In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable. LGBT rights are not special
rights; they are human rights. My administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.” However, a persistent view remains that the US should share
in some of the blame for Kato’s murder, as it is primarily US Pentecostal churches that have so heavily influenced the religious rulings of a pious Uganda. Sadly, the death of Kato did not force repentance upon the editor of Rolling Stone, who claimed, “I have no regrets about the story. We were just exposing people who were doing wrong.”
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Doubts Surround Irish Language Policy of Prospective New Government
Amy Walsh | Adverse weather conditions saw many people struggle to get home for Christmas. Amy Walsh reflects on her own battle to get through the airport.
In December 2010, the Irish Government published An Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge (The 20 year strategy for the Irish language). The primary aims outlined are “to increase the number of families throughout the country who use Irish as the daily language of communication and ensure that Irish becomes more visible in our society, both as a spoken language by our citizens and also in areas such as signage and literature.” In 2004, at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Enda Kenny announced that if his party were in power, Irish would no longer be a compulsory subject for the Leaving Certificate. Speaking to The College Tribune, former Education Spokesperson for Fine Gael, Brian Hayes explained why his party have taken this decision. “Once a student finishes their Junior Certificate, Irish can become an optional subject for
the Leaving Cert. It will remain compulsory up until Junior Cert Level”. He continued, “Students are finding it difficult or may want to spend their time studying other subjects”. Deputy Hayes said that there are many subjects optional for students after the junior cycle and people make choices all the time about what they want to study and choose subjects to suit those preferences. “Irish is the only compulsory subject and if you look at the regulations surrounding the education system in Ireland English and maths are not mandatory subjects. These subjects are, however, effectively compulsory as if a students wants to go to college all three subjects are required for matriculation purposes”. Fine Gael’s view is that sixteen year olds should decide for themselves what they want to do. “One of the reasons the language is in the position it is in today is because
former governments were force feeding it to people and it is the whole compulsory nature of the subject that makes it so difficult for people,” Deputy Hayes added. Fine Gael also argue that telling sixteen year olds to do something when they don’t want to do it, is a sure sign of failure and a sure sign that the Department of Education are not going to succeed in what they are trying to achieve. Fine Gael has been very radical in what they have been proposing. They think that one of the options that students could take for the Leaving Cert which would promote the language would be a language based module based purely on communications and moving away from the written subject (like the Project Maths initiative examined for the first time in 2010). There would be two options students could take for the Leaving Cert. – the traditional subject and
the subject on communicating the language which would be a much more multimedia based assessment (based wholly on communication, understanding and speaking the language). According to Deputy Hayes, the failure rate for Irish is a problem (5% of students failed last year’s ordinary level Irish exam compared to 3% of who failed ordinary level English and 2.5 % who failed higher level French). However the biggest problem is up to 18% of students, who are meant to sit the exam, don’t actually sit it. They hand back the paper and don’t do the exam. Fine Gael are asking the question - Why put people through all of the time, effort and stress over the two years when they don’t actually sit the exam? The no-shows are a bigger factor than the failure rate in Irish and what is needed is a much more honest assessment of the subject
according to Deputy Hayes. The former education spokesperson also made the point that he believes whereas Irish should not be compulsory in English medium schools, English should not be compulsory in Gaelcholáistí. “If a person’s native language is the Irish language, why should we be forcing English on them?” Currently a policy is in place in the State Examinations Commission to reward students with extra marks for answering through Irish. Deputy Hayes added the policy of the extra marks will remain if Fine Gael came to power as it encourages people to use the language. Speaking last week to a conference in Dublin, Gaeltacht spokesperson for Fine Gael, Frank Feighan reiterated that these policies will be central to the 2011 election campaign and that Fine Gael are serious about reforming our education system but stressed that
only after consultation with the interested parties will the changes to the status of Irish in our education system be implemented. With Fine Gael supporting the Twenty year Strategy mentioned at the beginning of this report, it remains to be seen if they will follow through with their promises. With national Irish language organisations such as Conradh na Gaeilge against the policy and possible coalition partners Labour supporting the retention of the language as a compulsory element to the Leaving Certificate, it certainly will create a talking point amongst parents, teachers, students and Gaeltacht residents throughout the course of this general election campaign.
Newman Fund The Newman Fund is a sum of money arising from that part of the Student Registration Charge which the university allocates to support organised student activities. It is designed to fund activities which are organised by individuals or groups, other than the recognised clubs and societies in the University, whose aim is to improve student life on campus. Any individual or group of students may apply for financial support for their project. The Newman Fund is administered by a committee of the Student Consultative Forum. Successful applications so far this year will provide support for: • • • • •
Seachtain na Gaeilge The UCD Musical SigFest – a celebration of the Sigerson Cup centenary Rás UCD The Health Science Sports Blitz
As there is still a substantial sum available to distribute, further applications are now invited for grants from the Fund for the current session. There is no standard format for applications but they should include full details of the applicants, the use to which any funds granted will be put and detailed costings. Applications for support in this session must be submitted by February 25th at 5.30pm.
12 | www.collegetribune.ie
Deiseanna, Dúshláin & Dualgais
Ciarán Ó Braonáin
Teannaimis ár gCriosanna
Eoghan O’ Murchadha
Uaireanta deirtear go bhfuil sé de nós ag lucht na Gaeilge a bheith de shíor ag tuar blianta baolacha agus constaicí contúirteacha ag teacht ina dtreo, ach anois le Fine Gael ar tí cumhacht a bhaint amach ní bheifeá ag súil lena mhalairt de scéal! Sin ráite, tá ábhar dóchais agus údair mhisnigh tar éis iad féin a nochtadh le déanaí agus más féidir le pobal na Gaeilge an fód a sheasamh sna míonna beaga romhainn tá an-seans go mbeidh rath agus borradh ar an teanga amach anseo, ar chéim nach bhfacamar le fada an lá. Mór-ábhar dóchais amháin ag lucht na teanga faoi láthair ná Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge, a d’eisigh Fianna Fáil i mí na Nollag. Tá an doiciméad dubh le dea-spriocanna agus aidhmeanna arda. Is é buntéama na cáipéise spreagadh agus tacaíocht a thabhairt don teanga i ngach aon earnáil den tsochaí, le béim faoi leith ar chumas Gaeilge na múinteoirí a feabhsú agus ‘normalú’ a dhéanamh ar an teanga lasmuigh den seomra ranga. Ó líon na gcainteoirí laethúla a ardú chuig 250,000, go dtí ionaid Ghaeilge a lonnú i gcroílár Bhaile Átha Cliath, le hamharclanna, siopaí caifé, bialanna agus seomraí comhdhála iontu, ní féidir a shéanadh gur aidhmeanna dearfacha agus spreagúla iad. In ainneoin na spriocanna idéalaíocha áfach, tá roinnt in easnamh sa Straitéis agus d’f héadfá a áiteamh nach bhfuil ann i ndáiríre ach imlíne nó treoir gharbh. Is beag an rud nithiúil atá ann ó thaobh struchtúr feidhmiúcháin, tá sé gann ar spriocdhátaí nó eolas ar dháileadh airgid, tá cúrsaí measúnachta rí-dhoiléir agus níl ach miontagairt déanta do Thuais-
ceart Éireann nó don churaclam scoile. Fós féin, is céim dhearfach í i dtreo f horbairt na teanga a chur chun cinn agus is comhartha spreagúil é tacaíocht ghinearálta na bpáirtithe polaitíochta uile. Gan amhras, is é polasaí Gaeilge Fhine Gael an chloch is mó ar phaidrín na nGaeilgeoirí agus an tUasal Kenny ar tí cumhacht a bhaint amach faoi dheireadh thiar thall. Cé go bhfuil guth na nGael tar éis ardú go tréan ar cheist na ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Tá an doiciméad dubh le dea-spriocanna agus aidhmeanna arda.
Gaeilge éigeantaí san Ardteist, is léir go bhfuil an Connachtach agus a chomrádaithe fós tiomnaithe an stádas a bhaint di. Mar is eol do chách faoin am seo, de réir na fianaise uilig ní dhéanfaidh stádas roghnach ach an Ghaeilge a chur ar bhealach a basctha. Má amharctar thall ar scéal na dteangacha iasachta in GCSEs na Breataine is féidir todhchaí na Gaeilge faoi pholasaí Enda Kenny a mheas. Tharla titim thubaisteach i líon na ndaltaí a bhí ag dul i ngleic le teangacha tar éis athrú ar stádas an ábhair, agus faoin mbliain 2009 ní raibh ach 44% de dhaltaí á roghnú don scrúdú, mar a deir príomhoide Southend High, David Mansfield: ‘The government isn’t trying to destroy languages, they are very apologetic about it. But [making languages optional] was one of the most irresponsible and unforeseen acts. Languages are withering on the vine. Until it goes back in as a compulsory part of the curriculum, we still face this problem.’
Níl orainn na tonnta a thrasnú fiú, le polasaí Enda Kenny a lochtú. Mar a chuir an Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuireáin, in iúl le déanaí, ba iad Fine Gael a chuir deireadh le héigeantas na Gaeilge sa Státseirbhís sa bhliain 1974, agus iad i mbun na n-argóintí céanna faoi dhea-mhéin a chruthú i dtaobh na Gaeilge in áit í a bhrú ar dhaoine, agus de thoradh na dea-mhéine sin níl ach 1.5% de mhaorlathaigh na Roinne Oideachais in ann gnó a láimhseáil trí mheán na Gaeilge sa lá atá inniu ann. Tá sé iontach doiligh puinn loighce, cruthúnais nó seasaimh a aimsiú in argóintí Fhine Gael ar an gceist seo. Ar an dea-uair níl Páirtí an Lucht Oibre, nó páirtí ar bith eile, ar aon intinn leo ar an ábhar seo nó ar cheist Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla a athcheistiú ach an oiread. Beidh coimhlint ann idir pobal na Gaeilge agus Fine Gael má éiríonn leis an bpáirtí srianta cumhachta na tíre a bhaint dóibh féin, níl aon dul as, ach níor chóir go mbeadh sé seo mar údar imní don phobal. Ó bunaíodh an stáit bhí ar lucht na teanga dian-troid agus tréaniarracht a dhéanamh i gcónaí i gcoinne cibé rialtas a bhí ann. De thoradh a streachailte bunaíodh eagraíochtaí ar nós Údarás na Gaeltachta, Raidió na Gaeltachta agus Teilifís na Gaeilge fosta. Is carn gealltanas leathan agus fadtéarmach é Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge ach is gealltanais iad agus thug na príomhpháirtithe ar fad tacaíocht dóibh, beag nó mór. Is do phobal na Gaeilge a cruthaíodh an Straitéis, tá an dualgas ar an bpobal céanna greim daingean a f háil uirthi agus cinntiú go gcomhlíonfar í, go huile is go hiomlán.
Tír bheag oileánda ia ea Nárú atá lonnaithe i ndeisceart an Aigéin Chiúin. Tá daonra an oileáin faoi cheann deich míle duine ach pobal ar leith é. An béile is ansa leo seo ná sicín friochta agus cóla. Ní hé an béile úd a dhéanann eisceachtúil iad ach an meán-BMI atá acu, 34-35(Is ionann BMI de 25 nó níos mó agus bheith róthrom agus is ionann BMI de 30 nó níos mó agus bheith murtallach.) Ar Nárú tá thart ar ceithre chúigiú den phobal róramhar agus diaibéitis ar thrian acu. Aisteach go leor is dul chun cinn atá anseo mar sa bhliain 2010 bhí na rátaí murtaill chomh hard le 97% de na fir agus 93% de na mná. Is faoi bhun 5% atá líon na Nárúach a itheann torthaí agus glasraí go rialta, is ina n-áit siúd is bia gasta beir leat fíorphróiseáilte a itear. Daoine a mbíodh sé de nós acu maireachtáil ar éisc, cnónna cócó agus glasraí fréimhe, tá siad anois ag ithe beatha a iompórtáladh is atá lán le saill agus siúcra. Tá baint ag na géinte leis chomh maith, ar bhealach is iad deaghéinte na Nárúach a shlánaigh iad in am na hanachaine atá anois ag buaileadh buille fill orthu. Nuair nach mbíodh beatha rialta ag muintir Nárú agus mórán oileán beag ar nós é sa cheantar céanna, ba chabhair mhór do dhuine a bheith in ann feidhmiú gan mórán calraí. Bhíodh an cholainn ábalta an bia a athrú ina shaill go hansaoráideach. D’f hág seo go mbíodh na Nárúaigh in ann beatha a shábháil, is maireachtáil trí ghorta. Bhí an próiseas seo ag dul ar aghaidh
ar feadh na gcéadta bliain ar a laghad, rud a d’f hág gurb f hearr do dhuine a bhí in ann bia a stóráil go fadtéarmach. Anois agus an bia flúirseach níl colainneacha na Nárúach in ann éirí as an nós seo. Thángthas tráth ar f hosuithe fosfáite ar an oileán, rud a d’f hág maoin mhór ag mórán chuile dhuine, agus goile amplach ag an mórchuid. Cé go bhfuil an f hosfáit ídithe le tamall, is ann fós d’aiste bia mhíshláintiúil an tsicín is an cóla. Cén éifeacht atá aige seo ar shláinte na ndaoine agus ar chúrsaí leighis? Mór-éifeacht. Is i ngeall ar ailse agus ar ghalair chroí a f haigheann trí cheathrú den phobal timpeall na n-oileán seo bás, galair is féidir a chosc. Tá Nárú míshásta, áfach, gur uirthi a thugtar an ‘Tír is Raimhre ar Domhan’ agus cé gur deacair cur i gcoinne na staitisticí ó thaobh an leighis de braitheann roinnt tír as an Aigéan Ciúin nach bhfuil an córas BMI in oiriúint dóibh toisc go bhfuil meán-airde s’acu íseal go maith. Pé scéal é tá fadhb ábhalmhór sláinte agus cultúir acu. Cuid den f hadhb anois ná go samhlaítear an raimhre le bheith saibhir nó rachmasach. Sin gad is deacair a scaoileadh. Le súil a chaitheamh ar an saol mór tá Meiriceá féin go dona, murar chúla tú cheana é, tá beagnach 80% acu róramhar. Sa Bhreatain is thart faoi 60% atá, is beagnach bonn ar aon abhus i measc dhaoine fásta. Bhí alt spéisiúil ar an Irish Times le déanaí, a lean scéal bhean a d’f hulaing maslaithe móra ó dhaoine fánacha ar an tsráid toisc go raibh sé ramhar. Is uafásach an
rud maslú a thabhairt do dhuine ar bith. Dúirt sí go gcaithfear cuimhneach nach bhfuil smacht ag roinnt daoine ar an meáchan atá acu, cineál á chur i gcomparáid le cine dhuine. Ná déantar dearmad áfach, gur ó bhia míshláintiúil agus ó easpa aclaíochta a éiríonn an chuid is mó den róraimhre. Cuireann costas na gcóireálacha leighis a bhaineann le galair an-bhrú ar mhaoiniú an chórais sláinte, ní foláir don stát aghaidh a thabhairt air. Luaitear feachtais f hógraíochta agus mar sin de ach ar an drochuair is cosúil nach n-oibríonn siad seo i bpobal atá i dtaithí an ndroch-chleachtas. Is gá nós an spóirt is na sláinte a f hí isteach sa tsochaí, sa saol, ón tús ar aghaidh. Agus is rómhinic a dhéantar dearmad ar mhuintir na hollscoile, an tráth is coitianta do dhaoine éirí as an spórt ina dtáinte. Tá ceist seo na sláinte ag éirí níos leochailí i rith an ama. Is ann cheana do ghrúpaí stocaireachta a thugann le fios nach bhfuil an róraimhre míshláintiúil. Ní fíor seo. Ná bíodh iontas orainn tuilleadh den chineál loighce sin a f heiceáil amach anseo. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gluais: BMI - innéacs corpmhaise Róraimhre - murtall otracht Róramhar - níos mó saille a bheith ar cholainn dhuine ná mar atá sláintiúil. Beatha - bia Abhus - anseo
www.collegetribune.ie | 13
Editorial Contributors List:
Olivia Reidy, Matthew Costello, Chris Bond, Greg Acton, Ciarán Leinster, Timothy
Datascope Printing (Kevin Mitchell, David Walsh, Trina Kirwan and everyone else),
Potenz, Conall Devlin, Graham Luby, Conor McKenna, Róisín Sweeney, Laura
Emmet Farrell, Niamh Hanley (Mo Laoch), Donie O’Sullivan, Amy Walsh, Philip
McNally, Kellie Nwaokorie, Kate Brady, Daniel Nolan, David Murphy, Ciara Murphy,
Connolly, James Grannell, Sam ‘Yiddo’ Eager, Jim Scully, Lorraine Foy, Dáire Brennan,
Simon Mulcahy, Ashling O’Loughlin, David McManus, Dan Binchy, Declan Hegarty,
Danny Lambert, Dan Daly, Aoifa Smith, Mark Hobbs, Ryan Cullen, Amanda Barton,
Michael Phoenix, Aonghus McGarry, Eoin Ó Cróinín, Aisling O’Grady, Ciarán Ó
Ciara Murphy, Conor McKenna, Ryan Cullen, Eoin Ó Murchú, Dáire Brennan,
Braonáin, Sinead Williams, Brendan Lannoye.
MCD (Rory Murphy and Colm Hanley).
Colman Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org
Emmet Farrell email@example.com
Donie O'Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy News Editor:
Letter to the Editor
Tension amongst staff
To Whom It May Concern:
conflict between lecturers and the heads of the university, and the point of view
I am deeply disappointed at Boots’ decision to make the “morning after” pill available
of a UCD lecturer on the matter was revealed. The issue, which could have major
over the counter. Why taint your reputable network of pharmacies with the notoriety
consequences for UCD students, appears to have been glossed over and given little at-
of being the first pharmacy in Ireland to sell such a product?
tention. The College Tribune hopes that the issue can be rectified as soon as possible,
So-called emergency contraception has potentially abortifacient effects.
and that any potential threat or disruption for academics in UCD which could arise
In some cases its administration impedes ovulation, but in others it also prevents
from this, will not occur.
implantation in the womb of a possible human embryo. It offends against human unborn, which is no less human for its being located in the womb.
New Tribune website
I fail to see how the provision of emergency contraception squares with your
www.collegetribune.ie, which over the next few weeks will be and running and
dignity. It threatens to violate the right to life of a defenceless creature, namely, the
distinguished organisation’s claim to “offer innovative products... our customers love.” With respect to other products ‘only at Boots’ may be worn as a badge of pride. In the case of the “morning after” pill, however, it is a most unflattering epitaph, and just the kind of exclusivity no reputable healthcare products provider would wish. Yours sincerely, Santiago Pampillón (1st Year Arts Student UCD)
In a recent interview with Dr. Enda Murphy (see page nine of the main paper), the
In a selfless bit of promotion, I have to make reference to our new website, fully functioning, a huge step forward and development for The College Tribune.
Mark Hobbs email@example.com
Conor McKenna firstname.lastname@example.org
Aoifa Smyth email@example.com
Due in particular to the fine work of the site’s designer, Eoghan Ó Braonáin, and
the commitment and help of News Editor, Donie O’Sullivan, the site will provide
students and the general UCD community with up-to-date coverage of events occurring on campus, plus provide the facility of creating further debate on issues which will be brought up in our print format of the paper. Log on and see for yourselves!
Editorial Independence, & Independence
Eoghan O’ Murchadha
Cartoonist: Dan Daly
It was disappointing to read the recent editorial in issue eight,Volume XVII, by our near neighbours on campus, The University Observer, as claims that the College Tribune attempted to sceptically question the editorial independence of the newspaper were wide of the mark. The decision of the new Acting Editor, Mr. Paul Fennessy, to write an editorial attacking a ‘rival’ publication was bizarre when the article in question was highlighting the fact that while the University Observer has funding from UCD Students’ Union, it crucially also has editorial independence. The College Tribune would however like to wish Mr. Fennessy well for the rest of the semester.
Students at the lake on campus, celebrating Seachtain na Gaeilge. PHOTO: Dáire Brennan.
14 | www.collegetribune.ie
It’s Satire Stupid! Inside Stephen Hawkins can’t stand being paraplegic Sinn Féin set to gerrymander Down election The Kings Speech a tribute to Bertie Ahern Irish families average 2.2 children; 2 children and a head
What’s in store for you this Valentine’s Day? Aries Your zodiac sign is a sheep. Need we say more? Taurus You are the adventurous type, auto erotic asphyxiation in Q-bar. Gemini The twins. This Valentine’s you’ll bag yourself a twin. Your own. Cancer You shall die an ironic death this Valentine’s day. Death by crabs. Leo Joan Burton will be going into labour…. in nine months. Virgo You’re virgin on the insane, literally. Stay away from ‘John of god’s hospital’ this year. Libra All Libra’s are fucking immature assholes. And that’s exactly what they’ll be doing.
Gerry makes huge (or rather small) revelation
Scorpio Your girlfriend suffers from diabetes and hay fever. And look what you’ve bought her. Sagittarius No love for you this year. Try not to cry when wanking in the dark covered in Vaseline. Capricorn Life is like a see-saw. It has its ups and downs but stay away from the playground. Aquarius You’re a wart on the worlds arse. Pisces Fish rape. The worst kind of rape. Ophiuchus This isn’t a fucking star sign, so don’t expect to get laid.
Politics: A Love Story
Lenihan pledges to put the ‘can’ back in cancer Man in Tallaght murdered over a custard cream Garda trying to get to the root of Killer tree Gerry Adams – Delivering justice one shell at a time With people bracing themselves for a Fine Gael-Labour government, it appears that love is in the air between both parties as Enda Kenny and Eamonn Gilmore are reportedly in a loving relationship. The details of the relationship came to light after a series of affectionate speeches made by Enda Kenny during Fine Gaels party conference last week. Sinn Féin’s
Pierce Doherty recently spoke of the couple’s affection and obsessive flirting in the cabinet claiming that he was always a conservative man and finds it all very unnatural. Apart from the odd raging homophobe, the relationship has been welcomed with open arms amongst both parties claiming that it shows the strong bonds formed from their coalition. Labour
party’s Joan Burton spoke of her love of the romance; “Can I just say that a healthy relationship between members of a coalition government that we hope to form, shows that we are here for the people, on the ground, at grass roots level, on the ground, fighting against oppression and against this failed government.”
After being asked to comment on the relationship from our resident reporter Sukie Bapswent, Enda quickly joked, “He’s always tricking me to go into Labour …. I always say that it’s too early for kids.” Michael Noonan has expressed his well wishes even after he dismissed the claims only a few days ago. During last week’s cabinet meet-
ing he stated, “Eamonn came out of the closet yesterday? He’s not gay. He probably has Alzheimer’s and thought it was the company car.” With Valentine’s Day and a new election coming up in the next few weeks, what could be sweeter than the two leaders striding into power? Hand in Hand.
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The College Tribune February 8th 2011 www.collegetribune.ie
And Suddenly... Nothing Happened
Greg Acton | It’s the league that makes even El Hadij Diouf look classy, Greg Acton reports on the latest jaw-dropping events in UCD’s version of La Liga.
Well, that was interesting. The weekend produced more superlatives and hyperbole than anything even the executives at Sky Sports could have dreamed of. Shock results, nail-biters, epic comebacks... the weekend’s football had it all. The one thing it lacked, however, was consequence. Manchester United’s much talked about unbeaten run came to a crashing halt at relegation threatened Wolves, but really in terms of the title race, very little has changed despite the drama. Ferguson and his charges had their lead reduced by a solitary point, and now stand four points clear of Arsenal, five from City and ten from Chelsea and Tottenham. Old Trafford’s supremo will have slept soundly last Sunday night, despite a result that should have blown the league wide open. January always brings with it fresh hope and optimism, and this is especially true in football given the transfer window activity that can promise fans so much. But just as New Year’s resolutions quickly fall by the wayside, this weekend showed that the optimism may well be misplaced. Nothing has
Rumour has it that Premier League managers offered contracts to fourteen Superleague players in the final minutes of transfer deadline day. No one signed. This is even further proof of the status of UCD’s Superleague as one of Europe’s elite competitions. First up, Division 1 Saturday and the highly anticipated top of the table clash between The Absolute Gents and Bean FC. Bean went into the game two points ahead, but having played a game more. A win for the Gents would have put them top, and with a game in hand they would have been looking good in the race for the title. Unfortunately for the Gents, the only thing they won was the coin toss, as Bean absolutely annihilated their opposition, 10-2. Before the game, many questioned whether Bean could cope without playmaker Colin Huson and 9” ft 2’ centre back Mark Lavelle, but those questions were emphatically answered by a superb team performance. Brian ‘BC’ Clarke dominated in midfield, ensuring Bean had the vast majority of possession. Bean took full advantage of this
really changed. Arsenal still have a soft underbelly. If forfeiting a four goal lead doesn’t point to a lack of mental strength and leadership then nothing does. Arsenal should be sitting two points behind United and planning their assault on the summit. Instead they are scratching their heads and wondering why this heralded passing side didn’t make Newcastle chase shadows in the second half. Chelsea have bought titles before, but the trick may not work this year. Obviously it is early days, and there is no point passing judgement on their signings, but the assumption that adding an out of form Fernando Torres to an out of form attack would suddenly lead to a genuine shot at the title is now looking as naive as most resolutions. For Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham side, one is starting to see their struggle to win games as the goals from their star studded midfield
has dried up in recent weeks. If their forward options of Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe continue to struggle, the push for a place in the top four is likely to fall well short. Their hopes rest on the quick recovery and good form of both Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. It is hard to determine how the league will pan out, but after a January where inflated transfer fees were paid on whims, how refreshing would it be to see that a blank cheque book doesn’t buy character or determination. Sadly this may only be scant consolation to a team like Blackpool, who held onto their star player Charlie Adam, despite the fact that only eighteen months remain on his contract and that he will be significantly devalued in the summer. By that stage they may be a Championship team again given their lack of fortune in recent weeks. Sometimes the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.
and raced into an insurmountable lead with Conor Foley and Gary Monaghan grabbing a hat-trick each. Only after going 7-0 down did the Gents even look like getting on the score sheet. The usually reliable Shane Mc Nicholas stepped up to take a penalty but a woeful effort went so far over the bar that it probably ruined someone’s Happy Meal in McDonalds in Stillorgan. Mc Nicholas somehow recovered from his horrendous miss and managed to add to his impressive scoring tally this season with a good finish later on. However, any dignity he regained was instantly lost again when he celebrated by removing his jersey, doing a Robbie Keane-esque roll and climbing over the fence onto the adjacent GAA pitch. The biggest cheer of the game had to be when Mc Nicholas returned to the pitch only to be shown a yellow card. After this, Bean resumed their dominance with goals from Ciarán Drohan and a brace from Craig Cullen finishing off the rout and ensuring there was no chance of a ‘Newcastle United esque’ comeback occurring. Following the game, The Gents
manager (easily recognisable by his flash suit) sat his team down in the centre circle for a Phil Brown style dressing down. The result means that Bean FC are now five points clear at the top of Division 1 Saturday, no thanks to Paul Geraghty of course, who once again had a shocker. Over in Premier Sunday, Dukes of Biohazard drew 2-2 with ObeOne Kanobi-Nil. The Dukes’ players looked sickened when the Obe-Ones scored an equaliser with the last kick of the game. Special Olympiakos ran out 4-1 winners against The Old Sleaze. Two terrific goals from “Cameron Folens’ put Olympiakos ahead. Mossy Mitchell then clawed one back for the Sleaze before Man of the Match, Ryan Burkley, set up Mark Byrne for a screamer and then finished off the scoring with a goal of his own. Just Jeff beat out of form Sheffield Thursbray 4-2. Just Jeff probably should have had five but referee Sean O’Connor turned down a stone wall penalty because he, “didn’t want to send someone off with ten second to go.” Until next time…
Last weekend’s crucial goals Below left: Ireland’s Kevin Doyle scores Wolves winner against Manchester United. Below right: Cheik Tioté scores a dramatic equaliser against Arsenal.
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McGrath in Tipp-Top Shape as UCD eye Fitzgibbon Victory
Declan Hegarty | With the hurling season really beginning to heat up with the Fitzgibbon Cup underway and the National League on the horizon, Young Hurler of the Year and 2010 All-Ireland medal winner, Noel McGrath, talks to Declan Hegarty about the challenges ahead with UCD and Tipperary _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
UCD’s Noel McGrath in action versus Kilkenny in last year’s All-Ireland Hurling Final. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Noel McGrath’s career as an inter-county hurler has so far been synonymous with success. With All-Ireland medals at minor, under-21 and senior level, as well as two prestigious All Star awards; it would be safe to say his mantlepiece is already getting crowded. His rise to prominence is even more remarkable when you take into account he has achieved all this by the tender age of twenty. At the moment, McGrath is busy juggling the responsibilities of his academic life and preparing for UCD’s upcoming Fitzgibbon Cup games, a competition which has eluded the students since 2001. The UCD camp seem to be coping well after their impressive draw away from home against WIT two weeks ago, as McGrath explained. “We’re
going well enough at this stage; hopefully we’ll get the right result on Tuesday and make it into the quarter-finals.” Against the Waterford side he was employed in midfield, a far cry from the corner forward berth he has made his own for Tipperary. “I’ve played midfield before at underage, so I don’t mind, wherever the lads want me to play, I’ll play there. It’s about the team.” With games coming in quick succession, and playing alongside younger and more inexperienced players, the format is obviously markedly different to that of inter-county level; but the All-Star asserts that, “We need to be prepared for whatever challenges come, the preparation still remains the same”. A win today (Tuesday 8th Febru-
ary) against LIT will ensure home advantage for the next stage. “Home advantage could help, but at the end of the day its fifteen players against fifteen. Having a bit of a crowd there could work out for us, but it all comes down to what happens between the white lines so it probably won’t make that much of a difference”. The unique environment of any Fitzgibbon Cup team will mean any inter-county rivalries must take a back seat, and at UCD it’s no different. “We have the craic on and off the field, with lads from Kilkenny, Tipp, Wexford and Dublin, there is a bit of abuse but when we play together we play as a team.” Ironically enough, it is McGrath’s old college that he will be lining up against on Tuesday, but
there is bound to be no love lost between himself and his old team mates. “I would have hurled in the fresher’s team with a few of them down there, but I’m not there anymore and I’ll be putting all I can into winning for UCD on Tuesday.” The prospect of extra attention from his old team mates doesn’t seem to faze the man from the Premier County either. “It’s just like any other game and you have to try and deal with whatever comes your way, there are a lot of other players on our team who I’m sure will come in for some stick so you just have to take it as it comes”. With the first round of the National League getting the hurling season off to a start on Saturday, as well as a busy Fitzgibbon cup campaign, you get an idea of the
hectic season which awaits the Loughmore-Castleiney man. “It can be tough at times but the management on both sides have been fair so far and there hasn’t been any conflict on my side of things between UCD and Tipperary, everything is going well at the moment and we are preparing the best we can for both competitions”. Away from the pitch, the winter training ban that GAA HQ imposed on Counties has become one of the most contentious and talked about issues facing the sport. “I was still going with my club into December so in terms of fitness, its fine, you’ll always have things to do. For players, it’s nice to get a break, but it’s up to Croke Park to do whatever they think is right and come January it’s up to everyone to knuckle down and
work hard again.” Although used to delivering on big match occasions, Noel is quick to point out that it will be the team effort that will ultimately decide UCD’s fate. “Nobody really gave us a chance in Waterford and we went down there as the underdogs, and managed to get a draw. As a team, we are gelling together and progressing and every game and training session is bringing us together a bit more so hopefully on Tuesday, things will fall right for us”. With the college having arguably its best team in recent memory, and confidence high after their opening game, it wouldn’t be premature to say that Noel and the rest of his teammates ought to make more room on their mantelpiece.
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It’s a Crowder House as UCD Enjoy Cup Triumph
Conall Devlin | Fresh from their first ever triumph in the National Cup, Conall Devlin catches up with UCD Marian’s American signing James Crowder.
Debut seasons can be a tricky thing. So much effort can be put into familiarising yourself with new team mates, tactics and surroundings. This has not been the case for James Crowder. Only months after joining UCD Marian, he finds himself on the club’s winning National Cup team. “It feels great, truly a blessing!” he admits. “Me and captain Niall Meany used to talk all the time while heading to practice about winning the cup and to do it was a great accomplishment. The UCD Marian club has been waiting a long time for this to happen and I’m just thankful to be a part of it.” Victories in such competitions aren’t necessarily part of the culture of the club; this is their debut success in Ireland’s most prestigious event. When asked if this made the victory all the more sweeter, the 6”7’ addition to the team chirped, ”Of course, it’s all always good to make history and we did that on Sunday! I tell you what made it even sweeter, was hearing all of the doubters talk and write us off before the game had even started.” “I remember hearing Killester fans chant “this one’s over” during the national anthem, I don’t think so! One last thing that made this victory sweet was (that) afterwards watching the recording of the game just hearing what the commentators had to say about the team
and I as the game went on, we really made them bite their tongues after they witness history in the making!” Although he may play as if he’s like a professional or having been with UCD Marian all his life, Crowder is new to the league, and it’s clear that there must be differences between the game here, which is far from a traditional choice for our best athletes, and the serious and highly competitive college scene in the States. ”I can’t pick just one big transition from college to Superleague ball, but I have two. The first being the fact that we don’t practice every day like in college (I do a lot on my own, like lift weights and shoot around at UCD). The second would be the physicality that goes on here, a lot of fouls that aren’t called here would most definitely be called as fouls in college. That’s not a problem though; it comes with the sport as you move up in levels.” While he is as confident and selfsure as all good athletes, Crowder is quick to acknowledge the team ethic and effort put in at the club, and its effect on their success. And it seems that his ambition, both personally and
James Crowder of UCD Marian celebrates his side’s Superleague National Cup Final victory over Killaster. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile 18 | www.collegetribune.ie
for his team mates, is showing no signs of appeasement with their recent silverware. “Coach Ryan and my teammates are very important to what we’re trying to do here... There’s no “I” in team and I sure couldn’t do anything close to what we accomplished without the help of coach Ryan and my teammates. “Well I’ve accomplished two of my individual goals already by winning the cup and also winning MVP. Another goal would be to win the league title next; I’m greedy when it comes to winning... I want it all! To win MVP of the league would be a nice
accomplishment as well but I’d much rather just win the league.” His ambition is fuelled by the success his idols have enjoyed, and Crowder recommends following one of the game’s greats to all
players looking to improve; “First, in my opinion I study Kobe Bryant a lot and try to have his demeanour and the way he approaches and plays in the game! I’ve been told by my college coach though that I play like Grant Hill when he first came to the NBA from Duke University, and I take that as a compliment because he could do it all and I like to think the same about myself and my game.” Winning finals is obviously one good way to enamour yourself to a country,
but Crowder is enjoying his life here in Ireland and UCD – “I’ve found my experience here to be a pretty good one, I get the chance to venture and see Ireland and what it has to offer. Of course the experience of playing professional basketball here is nothing but God allowing me the opportunity to do so (sic), I thank him every day for blessing me with the ability to play ‘ball cause it all can be gone in a matter of seconds - I’ve seen it happen too many times. So really I just count my blessing and enjoy this time while it lasts.”
“Salmon of College” Makes the Leap into the Premier League
Liam Lacey | Liam Lacey reports on an unlikely move to Premier League side Wigan for a former UCD striker. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
One of the last transfers to go through on an absurd transfer deadline day last Monday week was the move of former UCD striker Conor Sammon from Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock to Barclays Premier League relegation candidates Wigan Athletic. The 24 yearold Dubliner has
achieved what every footballer strives for by becoming a Premier League footballer - but it’s a move that seemed far from likely for the striker when he began his UCD career as a 19 year-old semi professional . His first season with the Belfield based club saw him struggle to set the league on fire,
not finding the net in his first season of league football. During his second term with UCD however, Sammon began to show good form in front of goal as he became a more instrumental figure in the Students dressing room. He finished that season with a respectable tally of eight goals in 35 appearances, and began to attract interest from reputable clubs. It was in his time while playing on the old Belfield pitch that he earned the moniker; “the Sammon of College.” Sammon began to show top quality form during the 2006/2007 season. His healthy goal haul of eleven goals in 38 appearances and performances throughout the season saw him gain a PFAI Young player of the year nomination. The success led to a move to high flying Derry City. In his short spell at the Brandywell, Sammon struggled to hold down a regular first team place due to the increased competition for places. He
may not have been first choice on a consistent basis during the season, but when he did appear in the first team, he made the most of his opportunities and finished the 2007/2008 season with seven goals in just sixteen appearances in all competitions. Although he struggled to become a fixture in Derry City’s first team,
Sammon’s performances throughout the season did enough to see him offered a trial with SPL side Kilmarnock, managed then by Jim Jefferies. He sufficiently impressed during his trial with the Scottish side to earn a move to the SPL and in the summer of 2008, he joined the side on a permanent basis for an undisclosed fee. Sammon’s first couple of seasons in a Kilmarnock shirt saw the striker struggle to score goals on a consistent basis, notching just seven goals in his first 50 appearances for the club. This season however, new manager Mixu Paatelainen brought about a huge upturn in Sammon`s form as he started scoring goals regularly. At the time of print, Sammon still tops the SPL goalscoring charts on fifteen league goals (his nearest rival being Irish international and Celtic striker Anthony Stokes on twelve), and boasts an overall record of eighteen goals from 27 appearances in all competitions. This year’s improved spell saw him linked with a host of clubs during the transfer window. Days
before the window closed, he rejected a move to Championship club Scunthorpe United. Glasgow Celtic apparently declared an interest in Sammon, but in the end he decided to join Premier League strugglers Wigan Athletic, whose manager Roberto Martinez has previously shown faith in players from the SPL. Former Hamilton duo James MacCarthur and Irish international James McCarthy, are proof that the Spaniard has no fear of throwing players directly into Premier League action. In moving making the move to the Premier League, Sammon will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Seamus Coleman, Keith Fahey, Shane Long, Stephen Ward, and Kevin Doyle of becoming another League of Ireland player to succeed at the top level of the game in England. In the midst of record breaking moves involving Torres and Carroll, ‘Sammo’ will try to prove that bargains are out there for clubs in the Premier League if they are willing to take a chance on players from unfashionable clubs and leagues.
From Grand Slam to Giant Slump
Mark Hobbs | After an unconvincing performance in their Six Nations opener against the Azzurri, Mark Hobbs tries to find where it’s going wrong for Declan Kidney’s 2009 Grand Slam Winners
Before Saturday’s encounter with Italy we heard the usual pre-match sound-bites from the Irish players and management. We were all sure it would be “tough”, we knew it would be a “physical battle,” and it was forced down our throats that Italy would be “organised and motivated”. We’ve heard it all before. They tell us every year, and then we go and beat them; usually courtesy of three or four tries in the last twenty minutes. But this time around it seems they convinced themselves a little too hard that it was true. Ireland, who started the game as 1/8 favourites, hardly played with the swagger and confidence that such heavy favourites would be expected to exhibit. The addition to the team of form Heineken Cup players such as Leinster’s Fergus McFadden and Sean O’ Brien should have added some much needed impetus into the team. Instead, we were treated to more of the same stuttering and false starts that marred the Autumn Series and last year’s Championship. They say that form is temporary,
and class is permanent; but even the most optimistic of supporters would find it difficult to see a turnaround in the near future. Ireland played with a lack of confidence and bravery. Players that are in the form of their lives with their provinces could not throw simple passes under pressure while wearing the green jersey. Skipper Brian O’Driscoll, and in particular Gordon D’Arcy, will feel a little squirmish in their seats when the team sits down to analyse the Italian game. Ireland’s number thriteen should have provided debutant McFadden with a dream try after a rare flowing team movement, but instead he horribly over threw his attempted pass into touch. D’Arcy will struggle to knock on as many balls in the remaining games combined. Luke Fitzgerald provided glimpses of his promise as an international full-back, but was horribly out of position for the Italian try. Italy, famous for having nothing much to write home about behind the scrum, showed Ireland how to attack from deep lines and
provided quick hands and thinking in their try. It is baffling to think that Ireland, whose back-line has been lauded for years, must learn how to play attacking rugby from their Roman counterparts. But one would be over simplifying things to point out individual mistakes by players as causes for the near defeat. The mistakes came about as a result of faults in the system, not in the individual. Ireland are not a balanced outfit. While the back-row combination of Leamy, Wallace and O’Brien had promise on paper, in reality, it left Ireland devoid of destructive firepower. With each of them looking to get on the ball and make the big carries, no one was left to hit the rucks and protect possession. Irish scrum-half Tomás O’Leary struggled to get quick ball, and when he did he was left without his most attacking players, as O’Driscoll or D’Arcy were forced to play the Richie McCaw role. The captain is consistently praised for his work in the breakdown, and so his enthusiasm and work ethic should be; but we don’t want to see him
Ireland’s Ronan O’ Gara with the winning drop goal against Italy last Saturday. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
there. O’Driscoll should be seen attacking defences from deep at pace; not rucking or taking flat, slow ball. The Munster scrum half was arguably not the man to get the best out of this particular side. O’Leary might suit the territorial game often played by Munster, but
he is not the man to create for a fast, mobile back-line. Ireland have the players. The Heineken Cup shows, especially through the flying form of Leinster, that the potential is there to compete against the best. But the only way we can do this is if the right men are in the right posi-
tions. The current side is unbalanced and short of confidence; and change is necessary. One thing is certain; should Declan Kidney’s side put in a similar performance against France on Sunday in their first ever Six Nations game at the Aviva Stadium, his side will be feeling ‘les Bleus.’
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The College Tribune February 8th 2011 www.collegetribune.ie
Class Act: Tipperary & UCD’s Noel McGrath
UCD’s MVP, American James Crowder
Interview page 17
Interview page 18
Louth Leaves it Late to Defeat Students Shrewd College ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Patrick Fleming _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bective Rangers 09 UCD 16
UCD’s Andrew Boyle goes past Piermaria Leso in Ireland U20’s 28-9 win over Italy last Friday. Photo: Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile Italy U20 Ireland U20
U20 Six Nations Stadio XXV Aprile UCD further cemented its reputation as an excellent centre for the development of young rugby players last Friday night as Alex Kelly, Andrew Boyle, James Tracy, David Doyle and Peter du Toit all represented their university nobly in featuring in the National team’s U20 victory over Italy in Parma. The prospect of further success and representation for UCD rugby is likely to increase as another college performer will join the squad at a later date in the shape of Sam Coghlan-Murray, who is currently shaking off an illness.
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Doyle, Tracy and CoghlanMurray are members of the UCD Elite Athlete Academy which was launched last year, and both Doyle and Tracy started the game Prop James Tracy, who studies Health and Performance Science, scored the only try of the opening half. In a scrappy period, Irish captain Niall Annett gained ground going forward before offloading to UCD left wing Boyle, who cut inside and beat the first defender before laying off to Tracy to score the opening try. The score from the prop brought Ireland to eleven points, and Ireland soon went in at the break with a 11-9 lead. Handling errors and a noted ill-discipline could have cost the visitors, but to their credit they kept at the job in hand. Dungan-
non outhalf Paddy Packson gave extended Ireland’s lead in the latter stage of the second half, his penalty attempt giving the away side a five point cushion. But it was Craig Gilroy who secured the victory with tries in the 71st and 74th minute, club mate Jackson adding the two conversions. Du Toit, a BSC Computer Science student, made a late cameo appearance, adding to David Doyle who had earlier come off the bench. The game marked the first competitive fixture under the care of new coach Mike Ruddock. The Welshman previously coached his homeland’s senior team between 2004 and 2006, gaining a Grandslam success in 2005, while he also worked on these shores as director of coaching with Leinster from
1997 to 2000. “It’s always great to see our players competing at the highest international level,” said John McClean, UCD Director of Rugby. “We wish them and the Irish squad every success in the Under-20s Six Nations Championship.” The team will face a serious test of their ability and progress in their next Championship game on Friday, when they play host to the French at Dubarry Park, Athlone. The visitors underlined their ability last Friday with an emphatic 45-9 win over Scotland. Ireland U20’s vs Italy: Gilroy; Conway, Kelly, Marshall, Boyle; Jackson, McIlroy; TRACY, Annett (C), Moore, Kearney , Qualter, Murphy, Conneely, McKeon (Henderson 14).
In a game where the incessant downpour falling over Donnybrook became the prevailing factor, it was UCD who proved most capable of dealing with the conditions as they delivered a seven point win over their Dublin Four neighbours. Owing to the conditions, the match turned into a game of territory early on with both sides reluctant to play the ball in their own half. Bective came off the early victors of this play as they managed to find themselves on the UCD 22 and an offside advantage meant that Gearóid O’Grady was given an easy three pointer to open the scoring. UCD responded shortly thereafter however as they won a penalty near the half-way line. With the Bective defence not retreating back ten metres from the quick tap and go, the ball was brought forward to an easier distance for the shot at goal and James Thornton duly squared up proceedings. With the game beginning to get bogged down in midfield, UCD’s John Conroy took it upon himself to force Bective’s hand with an awkward grubber through midfield. He chased it down and after a soccer style dribble, regained possession before distributing it out wide. Winger Tom Fletcher then took it up on the overlap and, after a foot race with the last Bective defender, dived over in the corner for the try. The scrum played a large part in the first half with the amount of knock-ons and with each scrum, the tension in the respective packs was building. This finally boiled over as fisticuffs broke out just before half time. The incident became very contentious, not least
because the referee had called for half-time before realising the linesman’s flag was outstretched. After a conference, the referee called out the Bective hooker Alex O’Sullivan as the principal aggressor, sin-binning him, and awarding a penalty to UCD to finish out the half. The penalty fell short however and the half ended 8-6 to UCD. The second half started with Bective retaking the lead after UCD tried unwisely to play out of their 22, ultimately conceding a penalty for holding on in the tackle. The drama of the first half then came back to bite Bective even harder as, with Alex O’Sullivan back on the field only five minutes, he was once again in the referee’s firing line for cynically collapsing a UCD maul. The referee was in no doubt and immediately produced his second yellow, followed by the red card. Thornton converted the three points. From this moment onwards, Bective seemed to lose the plot as the players engaged in referee nagging the referee and committing petty fouls. But UCD stayed cool and capitalised in the 62nd minute with a try. Shane Grannell broke down the blindside, and palming off a would-be tackler, he offloaded to Michael Twomey (pictured above) who went over in the corner. Bective never seemed particularly capable of breaking down a very solid College defence and UCD managed to see out the rest of the game comfortably in the end. This win keeps College unbeaten in the league but still in second due to Ballynahinch’s win against Trinity. UCD Scorers: T Fletcher, M Toomey try each, J Thornton 2 pens.
Issue 8, Volume 24, of UCD's Independent newspaper, The College Tribune