College Tribune - Volume 33 - Issue 7

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COLLEGE TRIBUNE Independent Student Media






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Dramsoc’s 24-Hour Musical: “The Chokey”

Conor Capplis Editor


CD’s on-campus accommodation will increase by 4% year on year for the next three years. A premium of €1,000 on average will also be charged to the 1,000 newly built student bedrooms. This news was announced on February 5th by UCD Students’ Union.

Big Reads

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Love Island: A Modern Tragedy

On-campus accommodation will increase by 4% year on year for the next three years. A UCD spokesperson has said the decision was made “in order to secure adequate funding for the maintenance of existing on-campus student accommodation and the provision of 3,000 new beds; 924 to come on stream in September 2020.” In an “infuriated” press release, UCDSU President Joanna Siewierska hit back at UCD, saying: “It is shock-

Pictured Above: Construction continues on UCD’s latest student accommodation development, located at the south end of Belfield. ing to see Ireland’s largest, public university use student accommodation to make a profit, and do nothing to help students manage the crippling rents in Dublin.” The Students’ Union is also calling for an “immediate reversal” of this decision. According to the Stu-

dents’ Union, the decision was made “behind closed doors by the University Management Team, with zero consultation with any student representatives.” The University Management Team is made up of 12 UCD Staff members, including: Professor Andrew

University Club

Runs Under Budget Conor Capplis Editor


he University Club has run €1.3 million under budget. UCD’s University Club, the construction of which was marred by vocal staff and student opposition, was originally budgeted at €13.7m. The College Tribune can now confirm that the total cost landed at just under €12.4m. Figures released under the Freedom of Information

act to the College Tribune have detailed the original budget and the total expenditure to date. UCD’s GovernThe expenditure ing Authority (GA) approved of the University the construction in DecemClub to date, ber 2017, with doors even€1.3m under tually opening in May 2019. budget. According to GA minutes obtained by the Tribune, the projected cost of the UCD building was estimated at €13.7m, with funding exUCD spent pected to be sourced “from €1.1m on fees future cash flows from the and consultancy consolidated operation of alone. Continued on page 4...



12% The total rent increase on-campus over the next three years.

Deeks (President of UCD), Professor Mark Rogers (Registrar and Deputy President of UCD), the heads of the six colleges of UCD and other notable UCD staff members. The decision to increase rents for on-campus accom-

Record Labels Are Profiting Off The Deaths of Rappers

Continued on page 4...


CORONAVIRUS SCARE Richard Cunningham Reporter


hospitalised UCD student suspected of contracting the Coronavirus has been confirmed to not have the virus. UCD has confirmed that a student suspected of having contracted the coronavirus ‘was collected and taken to hospital by ambulance, was seen and discharged as not a Coronavirus case’. According to a UCD spokesperson: “a student who had returned from China within the previous 14 days was feeling unwell and following the guidance and advice issued to students,

the on-campus medical services were called.” Video footage was widely seen of medical personnel dressed in white protective overalls attending to the Ashfield Residences on the UCD campus. As UCD authorities continue to closely monitor the situation, students and staff have been encouraged to follow the precautions published within an email that has been sent by the Dean of Students. Standard recommendations to avoid the spread of such an infection include: Regular hand-washing with soap and water or Continued on page 5...

American Football Kickoff Best Year Yet





his Issue of the College Tribune headlines with another massive blow to the student body from UCD leadership. In a meeting of UCD’s Governing Authority last week, a decision was made to increase on-campus accommodation by 4% each year for the next three years. Increasing some rents to almost €10,000 per academic year. The current housing crisis seems a distant nuisance to the decision-makers within UCD, with this move seeming to completely disregard the continued outcry of students today. With Ireland’s most expensive on-campus student accommodation, the university intends to firmly keep their title. I’m not sure if there is anything that UCD could have done, that’s worse than a decision to increase rents during a housing crisis that’s crippling the finances of Irish students. A generation is suffering, and the university doesn’t seem to care. UCD have dug themselves in, basically saying: “We hear you, but we’re gonna do it anyway.” The Students’ Union have hit back in an open letter to UCD President Andrew Deeks and the University Management Team (UMT), asking them to: retract their decision, reduce rents on-campus and establish a rental-assistance fund for students living on and off-campus. Can it really be that the Students’ Union are the only one’s on our side here? Surely the UMT aren’t completely disjointed from the everyday struggles of their students? This rent increase all but confirms that fact. The Tribune also reports that

Contact Us +353 1 716 8501 PO Box 74, Student Centre, UCD, Belfield Dublin 4 Letters to the Editor should be sent via email and no longer than 300 words.



Volume 33 - Issue 07

The Team College Tribune 07.33

the controversial University Club has run under budget. The measly savings of €1.3M barely make a dent in the financial budget for UCD, but I guess it’s good it didn’t run over budget. UCD have a patchy track record at doing that - *gestures towards the Confucius Institute.* The writing of this editorial comes while Ireland’s General Election results are still trailing in. It seems the country is split more than ever before, with Sinn Féin winning the popular vote. National polls suggest that voters aged 1824 supported SF 27%, IND/OTH 26%, FF 20%, FG 17%, GP 7% and LAB 3%. This election has seen affordable housing as a key issue for students. Fine Gael’s election defeat amongst the students of Ireland could be attributed to their alleged mismanagement of the ongoing crisis. The ‘Civil War’ parties have seen their biggest collective defeat in Irish living memory. Sinn Féin failed to run enough candidates to capitalise on their election victory, leaving Fianna Fáil as the largest party in government. If there is one clear message from students in this election, it’s that the days of FF/FG dominance are swiftly coming to a close. Soon Ireland could see a new era where Sinn Féin make the calls. Enjoy the Read Conor


Alex Lohier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Deputy Editor

‘Scootah Tunes’ talk DJing, Ambitions, and Belfield FM


Start-Up Spotlight: KeepAppy

Dugh Hooley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Turbine


Cecily Nic Cionnaith . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gaeilge

Big Reads


Brigid Molloy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Film & TV


Original Design Newspaper Produced By Samuel Mc Sherry By Conor Capplis


Film Review: Marriage Story


By Aisling MacAree


News Tips Sometimes the best news story is right under your nose. For any news tips, on and off campus, please contact the editor via social media, telephone, email, or traditional mail.

Mallika Venkatramani. . . . . . Arts & Lifestyle

By Aaron Collier

By Savannah Murray


Aaron Collier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Philosophy Matthew Derwin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Music

By Ruairí Power

Love Island: A Modern Tragedy

Conor Paterson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Politics Adam Boland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Science

By Alex Lohier

Opinion: It’s Time to Fix Our Education

Patrick Doherty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Business Rob Ó Beacháin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Law

By Luke Murphy

A Single Person’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Connect With Us

Conor Capplis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Editor

Alternatively, you’re welcome to stop by our Newman Building Office.

Contributors Adam O’Sullivan Reporter Ian Walsh Reporter Luke Murphy Reporter Richard Cunningham Reporter Alessia Mennitto Reporter Hugh Dooley Reporter Marcus Dupuy Vox Popper Doireann O’Sullivan Law Deirbhile O’Neill Law Ruairí Power Fix Our Education UCD Rory Clarke Opinion Amy Doolan Features Celia Rhodes Features Blathnaid Corless Politics Jack O’Grady Politics Soundharya Kumaresan Science Vanessa Gomes Science Niall O’Shaughnessy Music Euan Lindsay Music Gemma Farrell Film & TV Aisling MacAree Film & TV Danielle DerGarabedian Film & TV Savannah Murray Arts & Lifestyle Thomas UCD American Football Neil Stokes Sport Emily Ann Byrne Sport Tlamelo Malima Sport Emre Oktay Sport

Volume 33 - Issue 07





Write For Us. Go to or email

UCD to Increase Cost of On-Campus Accommodation

1 Opinion:It’s Time to Fix Our Education

By Conor Capplis

University Club Runs €1.3M Under Budget

By Ruairí Power

1 Student Stories: Going It Alone


BREXITMANIA: Sure it’s only half time! By Conor Paterson

By Richard Cunningham

Aramark Expelled from Trinity over Direct Provision Controversy

14 Record Labels 25 American Are Profiting Football Off The Deaths Kickoff Best of Rappers Year Yet 16

By Alessia Mennitto

By Thomas, Club Secretary

By Euan Lindsay


GE2020: Ireland’s Election of …Change? By Jack O’Grady

Film Review: 26 UCD Club 18 Marriage Story Updates & By Aisling MacAree Fixtures 29 An Insider Look at 19 UCD’s Global Lounge By Mallika Venkatramani

By Adam O’Sullivan

PhD Students Petition for Better Working Conditions


By Celia Rhodes

By Conor Capplis

UCD Student Caught in Coronavirus Scare

Culture Sport

Big Reads



Love Island: A Modern Tragedy By Aaron Collier


Restaurant Review PÁNG

By Alex Lohier



News UCD Student Caught in Coronavirus Scare

UCD to Increase Accommodation Rents

Dramsoc’s 24-Hour Musical: “The Chokey: Danny DeVito’s Witch Child”


ON-CAMPUS ACCOMMODATION ...Continued from cover modation was made in a meeting held on the morning of Tuesday February 4th. According to a UCD spokesperson, the university’s rent increase is planned for the next 3 years “after which it will review the rents, and reduce the increases or even freeze them, if financially possible.” “This 4% increase translates to a rent per week for on-campus residences for the academic year 20202021 of between €162pw and €229pw, depending on

the residence. “The University is currently constructing new residences and a student village. This development is costing in the region of €500m and is funded largely through bank loans. These new residences will command a higher rent averaging €257 per week for 38 weeks. “UCD points out that the University funds specific services to support students living on campus, including duty managers who are on call 24/7, pastoral care, and social and amenity services.” UCDSU President Siewi-

UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks is Chair of the University Management Team, who made the decision to increase rents.

erska went on to say: “UCD is using rents on campus to raise funds to build further extortionately priced accommodation. It is a clear sign that UCD is only interested in recruiting students who can afford to pay incredibly high rents to attend it or become crippled by debt. This does not meet the needs of the vast majority of young people and families in Ireland. This does not reflect the ethos or goals of a public education.” She added: “Their action is a symbol of their utter disconnect from the student experience and profit-driven decision-making mindset. The welfare of students and ensuring access to education for all is a secondary concern, at best.”

University Club Runs €1.3M Under Budget ...Continued from cover the University Club and O’Reilly Hall, and is expected to achieve payback within 22 years.” The building’s breakdown of costs to date settles at €9,681,902 for constructions costs, €1,153,618 for fees and consultancy and €1,549,061 on VAT. An Ordinary Meeting of the UCD Governing Authority was held on Wednesday, 13 December 2017, in which the controversial capital development was approved. In a 2018 Irish Times article, former Tribune Editor Jack Power reported on the Club’s narrow approval: “In a rare occurrence, the board took a vote on the issue, which approved the development by 21 votes to 10.” The University Club has become the target of the recently formed student group “Fix our Education UCD.” The organisation, formed through an alliance of political groups in UCD, questions the spending de-

cisions of the university. Ruairí Power, Co-Chair of Fix Our Education UCD, wrote in an Opinion article for the Tribune, saying “…the university has clearly demonstrated through irresponsible spending practises that student welfare will not be prioritised over elitist infrastructure.” The group has also expressed frustration at UCD President Andrew Deeks’ decision to spend €7.5m on his offices at Ardmore House. In January, the University Observer revealed President Deeks’ travel expenses. It was reported that he claimed €92,753.88 in travel related expenses between 2016-18. In July 2018, during the ongoing construction of the University Club, staff were informed they must vacate the existing staff ‘Common Room’ months before the expected opening of its replacement. Despite overwhelming opposition, UCD staff were asked by the Director of Estate Services to vacate the existing Com-

mon Room by the December 21st 2018 “due to pressure of space requirements for teaching and working facilities…” The former Common Room, located in the Newman Building, eventually closed after decades of staff

enjoyment. President Deeks stated in his President’s Bulletin on 16 April 2019: “The UCD University Club is a much-requested and long-awaited addition to our facilities, and presents many opportu-

nities for building our community and engaging externally.” The members only University Club, which is not open for use by the general student body, has been publicly tainted by UCD Staff boycotts and vocal stu-

dent opposition. Amongst consistent opposition and controversy within staff and student ranks, it comes into question just how “much-requested” Deeks’ University Club actually is.

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UCD STUDENT CAUGHT IN CORONAVIRUS SCARE ...Continued from cover the use of alcohol gels, covering of the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. The Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a deadly new strain of the coronavirus family deriving its name from its distinct appearance under a microscope, similar to that of a bundle of crowns. Experts believe that the recent outbreak of the virus did originally come from the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the Chinese

city of Wuhan. The Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can be spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Its main symptoms include difficulty in breathing, fever, coughing which may even lead to more serious illness such as pneumonia, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. The virus targets those most vulnerable such as the very young and old as well as people who are weaker due to other illnesses. The on-going work of scientists

Aramark Leaves Trinity over Direct Provision Controversy

has not yet been successful in developing a medicine or vaccine for this new strain of the coronavirus. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), 28,284 laboratory-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection have been reported, including 565 deaths, as of the 7th February. The majority of cases have occurred in China (28,057), with Europe (29) and North America (17) also reporting diagnoses.

Adam O’Sullivan - Reporter

UCD Accommodation Among Properties Sold in €400m Acquisition Ian Walsh - Reporter


ive purpose-built student accommodation properties (PBSA) located in Dublin have been sold by Chicago based property investment firm Harrison Street in a deal worth €400 million. Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA), joint venture partner of Harrison Street, are the new owners of the five properties having finalised a transaction of the portfolio earlier this month. In total, the five properties comprise 1,971 beds and consist of Ardcairn House, Kavanagh Court, New Mill, The Tannery and Broadstone Hall. These locations primarily serve students from UCD, Trinity Col-


Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA), joint venture partner of Harrison Street, bought the five properties for €400million

lege, RCSI and TUD, having an average occupancy rate of 97%. GSA is a UK-headquartered property management firm, who provide student housing in eight countries globally. Their group chairman, Nicholas Porter, has said that this deal “underpins GSA’s global growth strategy…helping to generate increased opportunity for our investors and partners.” Paul McDonnell, head of property finance at Bank of Ireland, has also publicly announced their support of GSA’s acquisition, speaking on behalf of Bank of Ireland when he stated: “We are committed to supporting student accommodation projects, and we believe they have a crucial role to play in

helping to solve current issues in the rental market.” However, some experts have been critical of the broader implications this deal may have on the Irish property and housing environment. Investment yield on specialist properties such as the ones in this deal directly benefit from the particularly high rent prices in Dublin and as such are particularly attractive to developers. Students are required to sign a 40-week contract to secure a single occupancy en-suite room found in these types of premises, with average rental prices ranging from €200 to €260 per week. For the nine months of academic term, developers’ gross income has reached the €10,000 range. These

Higher Education is Being Sold to the Highest Bidder Alessia Mennitto Reporter


igher Education (HE) is at the core of Irish economy and an excellent promoter of growth, but the reduction of state funding and the increased reliance on non-Exchequer funds is deeply undermining the sector. Over the past years, HE has encountered extreme budgetary pressures due to the financial crisis of 2008 and has yet to recover from it, although UCD is doing financially well. The university’s wealth is to be attributed to the increment in private funding which primarily comes from non-EU and Mature student fees as well as from private investors. According to the most recent disaggregated data on Higher Education Institu-

tions funding (HEI) from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) report for the year 2015/2016 the largest segment of funds, 35%, comes from non-Exchequer fees, while only 12% from Exchequer fees and 25% deriving from the State through grants provision. As highlighted by Students’ Union President Joanna Siewierska in a recent statement: “this depletion in public funds results in a depletion in accountability and it is having a detrimental effect on the progression of the core goals of higher education”. The sector is undergoing a process of commercialisation by making access to university a commodity rather than a public good available to all income brackets. Such extensive reliance on private funding is deeply affecting the credibility of universities as education

and students’ welfare are no longer the top priorities. As a result, non-state funding is becoming a “massive barrier to social justice and equality” remarked SU President. A clear example of this trend is to be found in the delivery of luxurious students’ accommodations throughout Irish cities. External partners are funding universities through the distribution of high-end housing that are “completely unfit for the purpose of accommodating the average student in Ireland” stated Siewierska. Universities are now being seen as a business to attract private investors and students as their clients. The ongoing crisis and unsustainable funding system have been acknowledged by the Irish Government who has set out a plan to tackle the issue. It has been declared that an addi-


According to a 2015/16 HEA report, just 12% of Higher Education funding comes from the Irish government.

€5.5B “The Cassells Report, issued in 2016, clearly stated that in order to tackle this critical situation an extra capital of €5.5 billion is needed by 2030.”

properties are then targeted at tourists for the summer months, when up to double the prices paid by students can be earned. UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Course Director and assistant Professor Orla Hegarty has warned against the repercussions of this strategy, saying that it was done without consideration for the impact it would have on the rest of the Irish property and housing market. When speaking on the topic, she stated “If you are looking more broadly at the housing crisis, it has diverted a lot of development investment and construction capacity to prioritise international students over people here in a housing crisis.” tional €1 billion in annual funding is needed by 2030 in order to meet the current challenges the sector is facing and €600 million by 2021 to stabilise the offer and demand request. Despite an intense growth of students enrolling in higher education, funding has remained low. Statistics show that it has stayed 6% below 2008 standards before the crisis. The Cassells Report, issued in 2016, clearly stated that in order to tackle this critical situation an extra capital of €5.5 billion by 2030 is necessary for HE to “sufficiently cater for the increased student numbers, capital upgrades, health and safety issues, equipment renewal and ongoing maintenance”. Considering that more than 50% of university funding comes from private sources, universities are now classified as market producers outside the ‘General Government’ as declared by the Overview of Tertiary Education Funding in Ireland issued on 25th November 2019, confirming the fears of the Students’ Union President.

Trinity College have finally cut ties with the controversial catering services provider Aramark after years of protests over the company’s controversial involvement in direct provision centres. At the end of January, the university announced that the Aramark cafes will now be run by Trinity College catering staff despite Aramark being contracted until the end of 2021. The news comes after students ran weekly protests over the company’s position in the college since the five-year lease was signed in 2016 with TCDSU President Laura Betson saying that the union is “delighted to see that Aramark will be leaving Trinity campus”. The “Aramark Off Our Campus” campaign began in 2016 when Aramark, who also own Avoca, first arrived on campus. The campaign began due to apparent strong opposition across the student body against the direct provision system and Aramark’s involvement in it. In 2014 TCDSU voted for a mandate to oppose the direct provision system and this is said to be the main stem of

The university announced that the Aramark cafes will now be run by Trinity College catering staff the campaign. Aramark caters for three direct provision centres in Ireland and accommodates 850 asylum seekers in Cork, Athlone and Clare. Numerous accounts suggest that the residents of these centres endure terrible conditions. The student body opposed such conditions and so engaged in a tenacious campaign which ended this month in success. The protest in Trinity has inspired similar demonstrations in UL and UCD. UL Student Life run monthly boycotts against the company but so far to no avail; Aramark even handed out leaflets to UL students in late 2018 titled “The Facts” which labelled Aramark as an “ethical and responsible company”. UCD first launched a campaign against Aramark on February 7th 2018, entitled “Aramark Off Campus” the group hoped to emulate the work of the Trinity campaign. The campaign has, thus far, not achieved the same results of Trinity. However, there has been recent renewed interest in the campaign within UCD Students’ Union.



The Newsstand Conor Capplis ELECTION: Minister Loses Seat Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has lost her seat in the Dáil. The Fine Gael TD has been in the position since 2017. Running in the Dún Laoghaire constituency, Mitchell O’Connor missed out on the last seat by just under 500 votes on the 8th count.

ELECTION: Sinn Féin Win Popular Vote In an unprecedented result, according to exit polls suggest Sinn Féin has received the most amount of first preference votes. A UCD seat projection predicts: FF 45, SF 37, FG 36, GP 10, LAB 6, SOL-PBP 5, SD 5, IND/OTH 16. (Published during ongoing election count)

UCD To Expand Belfield The university has spent €5.5 million buying five properties between January 2017 and last September. The properties are likely bought with an unofficial intention to expand the Belfield campus around the Clonskeagh Road in future years.

Students Awarded €3k Scholarships 15 UCD Science and Engineering students have been awarded with a €3,000 bursary to support their academic studies. The ‘UCD-Intel Masters Student Scholarships’ are part of an ongoing collaboration between UCD and the tech giant.


Small Socs! ‘Scootah Tunes’ talk DJing, Ambitions, and Belfield FM Luke Murphy - Reporter


n a mild January Afternoon, the College Tribune sat down with ¾ of the ‘Scootah Tunes’ collective. The group are music podcasters, bloggers, DJ’s and event curators, who have been on the scene since February 2019. They have hosted live sessions and podcasts at ‘Belfield FM’ and have hosted events in NCAD. I spoke to them on how ‘Scootah’ came to be, their ambitions, and where they fit in at UCD. ‘So, what made you start

‘Scootah Tunes’ and what inspired you to bring the collective to where it is today?’ “We had to create a blog for a college assignment in 2nd year and promote it. It was the perfect excuse to start up ‘Scootah’ as I’ve always had a rough idea that of talking about and promoting Irish music” David said. “We ended up with a fair few followers on Instagram and decided we’d run with it.” ‘Going forward this year, what have you guys got planned, what would you like to achieve?’ “We’d like more recog-


nition, we’d like to keep on holding more events at a frequent rate, maybe once a month. Although we formed in February 2019, we only started giving it full thought around 3 months ago” They collectively answered. “1 event a month until everyone goes away for the summer.” “What do you think UCD have done and could do going forward to helping you guys out?” “Unfortunately, UCD haven’t given us any big opportunities. That’s the reality!” Eoin and Rioghan explained. “If you look at other colleges such as Trinity and NCAD, they’ve got DJ nights out and they support any groups that come out. Even if we had a full DJ society, I don’t think we’d get the support. There are no spaces that they’re willing to give

to us, I feel like if we started playing a set outside like they used to do back in the 90’s, someone would come tell us off.” When I asked about their association with Belfield FM, the group had to clear up a few issues: “We had a bit of a disagreement with them. On our last podcast we brought up a few bottles of beer while we were DJing. I understand why they were upset; it could have damaged equipment. But the point is that it shouldn’t be an issue if we want to have a drink” The group told me. “Afterwards we reached out to them and apologised, we know we shouldn’t have done it, but they refused to give us the recorded file, that pissed us off, it was a good set! However, we do have to say we’re grateful for the space Belfield FM gave us.”

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Where would you like to go with ‘Scootah Tunes’ long term. “I’ve a really big picture, it might be an unrealistic dream, but I want all of us to create ‘Scootah’ into a label.” David said with a smile on his face. “For now, I want to keep doing events and making a bit of money, linking up with new artists and people. We’ve had a lot of fun, especially our last night out with NCAD. It was fantastic. The DJ industry is really tough to crack unless you have a certain image, but we want to break that standard.” The lads went on their way and it was overall a fantastic window into the rollercoaster of a world that is music curation in its purest sense. Expect big things from ‘Scootah Tunes’ at their next event in March at ‘The Bernard Shaw’.

UCD Formula Student have Silverstone in their Sights Hugh Dooley Reporter


CD Formula Student is a student driven team building an electric Formula-1 style car to compete in the Formula Student Electric Competition, at the iconic Silverstone Circuit in the UK. Ahead of their second year competing in the Formula Sae Electric series, The College Tribune spoke to the UCDFS Head of Business Operations Marcus Ryan, and Head of Steering, Suspension and Braking, Robert Burke. As the team prepares for a new season of the Formula SAE Electric, they will need to compete against a new group of new teams from across the globe at the UK’s Silverstone Circuit this July. The competition has expanded massively since its inception in 1979 with more than 600 teams taking part with new teams joining every year from universities across the world. In recent years, a new electric formula series was launched which

prompted UCD’s return to the competition. Explaining the choice of the electric series, Marcus Ryan detailed how exciting it was to be at the forefront of a rapidly growing industry, stressing the importance of giving students the opportunity to get hands on experience of electric engineering. The benefits do not end there however, Robert Burke explained that in terms of marketing, the electric series “screams much louder” than their combustion engine based counterparts, making it much easier to get sponsorships and thus funding. Despite working on a budget roughly that is roughly 90 percent smaller than that of the big teams, the UCD group managed to finish 8th overall in 2019, the team’s first ever year in the series, and are looking to improve upon that record in July. “We want to build on [last year]. It was a very solid foundation that we built, so naturally we want to continue that progress while also maintaining the efficiency we showed last year”.

Burke explained that the 58 person team “is at a slight disadvantage because UCD has no courses with an automotive focus” and that the lack of an aeronautical engineering course in the university created barriers for the team. The nature of the competition however, is such that teams often help each other out with different elements of the production process and that new-

er teams often reached for advice to those well established in the series. The manufacturing of their 273kg car is done entirely in the workshop of Reactive Welding, a local welding company that sponsors the team to house an electric motor capable of putting 130 brake-horsepower through the wheels. The team explained that the lightweight nature of the car,

combined with the instant torque provided by electric power means that they “really come into their own under acceleration”. The team explained that they would need to be “all hands on deck” in order to get the car ready for Silverstone in July and urged anyone interested in joining the effort to get in touch via social media at UCD Formula Student.

Last year’s team with their car at Silverstone Circuit during summer 2019

IUA Attempt to Squash Post-Brexit Erasmus Qualms Adam O’Sullivan Reporter


he Irish University Association (IUA) has joined forces with 36 EU and UK higher education and research organisations in a joint-declaration of cooperation post Brexit. The 37 organisations have signed a statement calling on European governments to continue their commitment to the Erasmus and Horizon

Europe programmes post Brexit. The UK’s participation in the Erasmus + and Horizon Europe programmes will be negotiated by the EU and the British government during the Brexit transition period. Negotiations on this issue must be completed by 1 January 2021, after which the UK will be excluded from said programmes if negotiations are unsuccessful. In the meantime, the UK will remain full members of

both programmes. The main aim of the signatories is for continued cooperation on research and student exchange programmes; the associations involved believe that Brexit should not halt the shared learning and research experience that currently exists between British universities and their European counterparts. Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said: “There are currently in excess of 500

active partnerships between Irish universities and those in the UK. It is critically important that these relationships are maintained into the future. Irish universities need to maintain the strongest possible links with their counterparts on the neighboring island, which is vital to the advancement of Irish research and innovation and to continuing an active exchange of third level students.” The signatories of this

declaration stem from all corners of the continent showing a united approach to an issue derived from division. The British Irish Chamber of Commerce, European University Association and The German Rector’s Conference join the Irish University Association in signing this critical declaration. However, the results of these efforts will not be known until official negotiations on this issue come to a close.

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Vox Pop: What’s the craic with UCD? Marcus Dupuy Vox Popper We wanted to know what everyday students thought about various aspects of UCD life. From societies to seating, here is what you had to say: When asked about his opinion on UCD’s many societies, Drummond McGinn, a first year Politics Student had his say: “The Freshers nights run by the societies at the start of the year really helped me to come out of my shell and make the adjustment from secondary school life. The societies really make you feel welcome and encourage you at every step, it helps you find your feet.” Martyna Szmagara, a second year Financial Maths student spoke to us about sports in UCD: “You really can’t beat the facilities here. I’m in the gym and the pool constantly, the only issue I’ve ever had is the size. Basically, what we have is great, we just need more of it”. We asked Conor Barry, a Sociology student, about food and seating areas on campus: “There’s a coffee shop every six feet so that works out very handy when you’re in a rush. Plenty of places for food but never enough seats anywhere. Usually I end up on the floor outside theatre L.”

I love the Clubhouse, but seriously wish it was bigger. The pints are alright, the chicken curry can’t be beaten.

We asked Ben Heapes, a food science student about his experiences with UCD Clubhouse: “I love the Clubhouse, but seriously wish it was bigger. The pints are alright, the chicken curry can’t be beaten. Sometimes, the place is just far too packed, I think they could do a lot more business if they expanded or opened another one, like.” Declan Lee, a third-year economics student echoed this sentiment. “I don’t drink a lot but go for the food and to meet friends. It’s packed all the time and I can never get a seat.” Finally, we asked about where students feel UCD could really improve to make student life that little bit more manageable. Aimee Winn, who studies City Planning and Environmental Policy had suggested that “UCD work on their SISWEB access during results. It’s a pain having to wait hours trying to find out my results.”



Netsoc Promise “Biggest

Event in Last 10 Years” Luke Murphy Reporter


CD Netsoc have been given the honour of organising SISTEM 2020, a tech conference that is student run with the aim of allowing students and tech professionals to link up in a casual environment. The SISTEM conference, which is in its’ third year of running, is a tech event run

by computing societies from prolific colleges such as Trinity, DCU, UCC and UCD among others. It’s an opportunity for students who are interested and ambitious in the computing and technical field to mingle with professionals and create links. Oisín Quinn from the Netsoc organising committee told us: “The event features speakers from the tech industry, thought provoking panels, and practical work-

shops. It all adds up to be the student tech event of the year” It is a huge opportunity for UCD to showcase their expansive ability in the field of computing and tech. It also opens up a fantastic window for professionals and tech companies to create links with UCD students and the college itself. Netsoc are pulling out all the stops for SISTEM, promising us it will be their “biggest event

Volume 33 - Issue 07

FEB 29th

Save the date: SISTEM 2020 will take place in UCD’s Obrien Centre


The cost of a ticket to SISTEM 2020. All proceeds from the conference are going to this year’s charity‘ Jigsaw.’

in the last 10 years”. The event will take place in the O’Brien Centre on UCD campus on the 29th February. Tickets are at the student friendly rate of 10 euro, which includes a breakfast and lunch. With all proceeds from SISTEM going to ‘Jigsaw’, this year’s chosen charity for the conference. Tickets went on sale Friday the 7th of February and are continuing to sell at a fast pace, with an expected sell out attendance of 200 people. SISTEM 2020 is an absolutely unmissable event for those who are interested in big tech and the computing industry.



Alessia Mennitto Reporter

n April 2019 UCD has seen the emergence of a new independent organisation called Anti-Casualisation (AC). Although primarily led by PhD students, the movement has received much success within the university environment, appealing to all precarious and casual workers such as tutors and researchers. At the moment, the working conditions these casual workers share and have to work with appear not at the top of the university agenda. This may be why the movement has found a great resonance within UCD. Representatives of the

The main concern for Anti-Casualisation members have been paid rates, as they have remained stagnant since the financial crisis. group have shared that the pressing issue of AC is that PhD people are primarily considered students by the executive instead of being acknowledged a hybrid status of being both students and workers. According to a spokesperson of the organization, this is the main reason why “it’s pretty hard for PhD students to ask for any better conditions because you can’t technically unionise.” So far, the members of AC have launched a petition which has been receiving a large support from all bodies of the university from students to professors who

sympathise with their cause and agree with their demands. Figures are expected to be over 1000 in number of people who have signed in support of the improvement of casual workers’ conditions. The main concern for Anti-Casualisation members have been paid rates, as they have remained stagnant since the financial crisis. The following cuts in funding and salaries by the Irish government deteriorated the working conditions of PhD students whose hourly rates witnessed a decrease after the recession period in 2010/2011 and have since then not seen any upgrading. For example, grading essays is going to be evaluated and paid according to the 2011 rate of €1.04 as shown on the UCD website in the hourly paid rate section. In the meantime, inflation and living costs have gone up making it difficult for PhD

students to financially cope with the situation. Indeed, it is not unusual for many of them to have second jobs due to the weak structure of university contracts. Such precarious conditions have a detrimental impact on the quality of their research work but also on teaching as they are affecting PhD students’ mental health. This results in reduced preparation for tutorials or limited engagement with the marking of assignments. Since UCD is not adequately paying the activities of PhD students as well as additional tasks, the work is quickly finished so that “reliability becomes an issue” admit representatives of AC. The overall situation experienced by casual workers is “demoralising” because although they feel a strong sense of commitment towards the education of their students, “you are not fulfilling your role as a tutor or as

2019 After years of government cuts to higher education, PhD students have had enough of low pay. UCDAC was formed in April 2019 to fight for better working conditions.

a teacher” they explain. In fact, the scholarships provided for PhD students do not cover the whole teaching hours and are not complying with the norms laid out by the Irish Research Council (IRC), the institutional body providing funds for researchers. In addition to demanding proportionate compensation for the work done, the anti-casualisation movement is also asking for pay parity across the departments since scholarships fluctuate between €14.000 and €18.000 the highest. Above all what the AC group is calling for is fair pay through a pay rise in order to perform a job accurately. These are the primary goals of the movement supported by the petition which has been crucial in establishing a solid ground “before we approach the central administration” remarked representatives of the group.

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A Charming Disaster of a Musical Dramsoc’s 24-Hour Musical: “The Chokey: Danny DeVito’s Witch Child”


s darkness fell on Astra Hall, the soothing words of Danny DeVito calmed the audience with his theatre safety announcement. What would follow was a night of song, dance, chaos, disaster and an allround glorious mess of a musical. If you’ve ever been involved in a musical, you know how much work goes into each well-choreographed moment on stage. UCD’s Dramsoc has pulled a surprisingly cohesive musical out of their asses in just 24hours. Yes, that’s right, 24 hours. On Wednesday January 29th, the cast of Dramsoc’s “The Chokey: Danny DeVito’s Witch Child,” began rehearsals for what would be their most sleep-deprived and dramatic production yet (sponsored by lots of coffee). They began rehearsals at 7pm and managed to cram together an entire musical by 7pm the next day. Madness. The Chokey, which was suspiciously similar to the

popular musical and 1996 film ‘Matilda’, began to a stumbling start. The orchestra, who also had very little time to prepare, disjointedly started into their first number, soon finding their feet. Members of the ensemble hid under a table on stage, only to pop up and begin singing along with infectious enthusiasm. What strikes you first is how coordinated the cast actually are. My expectations were fairly low going in, anticipating a right flop that would be hilarious to watch. Even though the mess-ups were by far the best part of the Chokey, I was pleasantly surprised by the talent presented on stage, considering their 24-hour window. The casting was on point. Highlights include Donagh Ruane as Miss Trunchbull, Orlagh McDonald as Mrs. Wormwood, Ryan Haran as Rudolpho and Mr. Wormwood credited as Ultan James Fabio H Stanley. Honourable mention to Sadhbh Geoghegan’s Matilda who brought a convincing innocence and child-like glow to the character. Dramsoc’s Auditor

Donagh Ruane stole every scene he was in. His portrayal of the mean Miss Trunchbull with his over-the-top posh accent brought a level of hilariousness to the Chokey that the audience lapped up. Props to the costume folks for Trunchbull’s outfit

some of the jokes. With members of the cast and crew in the front row and side stage sometimes being the only ones to laugh at the jokes. But inside jokes aside, Dramsoc’s the Chokey can be commended for its ability to both impress and crack

The audience were no doubt shocked when Mr. Wormood tore up one of Matilda’s ‘books’ (actually a copy of the latest College Tribune!). Scandalous indeed.

Conor Capplis - Editor

too (the fake boobs were on point). The audience were no doubt shocked when Mr. Wormood tore up one of Matilda’s ‘books’ (actually a copy of the latest College Tribune!). Scandalous indeed. The Chokey is a near perfect mess of a musical, although it loses out a little with its gags. There was definitely a cliquey feel to

up audience members. In spite of its ludicrously small budget, its tiny production window and its many, many missed stage cues, Dramsoc has managed to present us with a show both laughable and impressive. The Chokey is a charming disaster of a musical, and an annual Dramsoc tradition that should be continued for years to come.

Worsening University Funding Crisis Sparks Call for Government Action


epresentative bodies for the Irish public higher education system have been forced to unite under a single cause for the first time in history, as a seemingly endless state funding crisis in the Irish educational system threatens the future development of young Irish students. State funding per student in the third level sector in Ireland currently stands at just over €5,000. This fig-

ure is 43% lower than what it was in 2007/08, when it stood at almost €9,000 per student. This significant drop in state funding has come as a result of dramatic cuts to the core grant received by third level institutions from the Higher Education Authority. However, these figures become increasingly worrying when analysed comparatively with other European nations. Total public funding per student is in excess of €15,000 in Norway, Sweden and Finland, while

Netherlands comes in just shy of the €15,000 mark. These are countries with whom Ireland are in direct competition for investment on an international level. Representative bodies, such as the Irish University Association (IUA), Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and Union of Students in Ireland (USI), have proposed a two-part solution that they hope can aid the situation for the next three years, while a more definitive and long-term funding model is decided

State funding per student in the third level sector in Ireland currently stands at just over €5000. This figure is 43% lower than what it was in 2007/08

Ian Walsh - Reporter

upon by the Irish political system in that time. Part one encompasses at least a €100 million increase in core exchequer funding to the third level sector, which will require a commitment from the next government to take power in order to achieve. Part two involves the utilisation of at least an additional €200 million from the National Training Fund, which is funded by a levy on employer revenues and has a surplus valued at €1 billion by the end of 2020. THEA Chief Executive Dr Joseph

Ryan has stated “It is unimaginable that such a Fund surplus would be allowed to sit in a government bank account while the crisis in third level funding continues.” According to Jim Riley, the IUA Director General, the coming decade is set to see a 40,000 increase in student numbers. In the face of a funding crisis, the representative bodies are hoping that the upcoming election will bring a new approach towards the funding of this substantial growth.




The Life and Work Ethic of tribulations which she has endured as well as her advice for the next generation of UCD graduates and aspiring financiers. Breheny remarks that she has always been hard working and has never struggled with the demanding nature of the industry; ‘‘I thrived on stress. As a CEO , it is always difficult to pay the wages in a downturn, everybody who works in this environment understands this, we are all in it together, not easy but not overwhelming’’. This tenacious work ethic has led the investment manager to the very top of

the Irish investment scene, spending more than a decade as the director general of the Irish Venture Capital Association and now in her role at the helm of the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM). When asked for the investor she most admires, Breheny pointed to Warren Buffet. Buffet’s methods of value investing and the inspiration he took from Benjain Graham have led to a plethora of impressive investing stories. Breheny’s advice for the next generation of aspiring investors focuses on devel-

oping skills and gaining qualifications. ‘‘Get your qualifications. It is a career for high achievers, very stimulating. At the end of the day, your speciality just proves how smart you are! Accountancy stood me in good stead’’. In terms of investing, Breheny recommends investing in the alternative energy and electric car sectors. These comments are timely, coming in the wake of a surge in Tesla’s share price rising 20% in just one day in the past week. Breheny is a prime example of the opportunities that a UCD degree can provide. She recounts the positive memories which she has from her time in UCD and the focus which the course instilled. ‘‘The BComm was stimulating, the atmosphere was competitive, the career

background, future aspirations and a whole range of other topics. Along with her co-founder Will Ben Sims, the duo have brought the KeepAppy app to beta-phase. Users can download the app and use many of its features, on both free and paid plans, and begin mood-tracking, journaling, setting mindfulness goals and writing a gratitude diary, amongst other things. Whilst not fully-developed just yet, what you get in the beta version is hugely impressive. Many of the tools and practices which we wish we had time for are now available at the touch of a button; there really is no ex-

cuse anymore not to actively work on our mindfulness and mental health. Another great aspect of the app is how diverse the options are; there is something for everyone to benefit from. Lastly, it is evident that the team have a keen eye for design. KeepAppy is a joy to use, is very ergonomic and has a pleasant flow to using it. All of this, paired with the passion and real-life experiences which have shaped the foundation of the app, culminate in an experience which is as fun as it is rewarding. I personally wouldn’t typically use an app of this nature. But, when testing it out for this

article, I found myself enjoying and grasping exactly why so many people find strength and resolve in using the features offered by KeepAppy. If you ask Aimée-Louise about what the future is for KeepAppy, she’s likely to take out her phone and open the app. No, she’s not being rude. She’s demonstrating the ‘Keepies’, the app’s newest addition. Keepies are Artificial Reality-based gamifications, which aim to encourage users to document their emotions more regularly by adding some fun to the process. When you open this feature, your phone’s camera displays your sur-

UCD’s Regina Breheny Patrick Doherty Business Editor


egina Breheny, the CEO of the Irish Association of Investment Managers, acts as a glowing ambassador for women in finance, rising to the very top of her field. The UCD alumna studied Commerce before working several stints in high profile banks and financial institutions, including Solomon Stockbrokers and Zurich Bank. Speaking to the College Tribune, Breheny detailed the many trials and


Volume 33 - Issue 07

path was clear (Accountancy or Accountancy)’’. Moreover, she recalls what it was like being a female in what was, at the time, a degree dominated by males; ‘‘Being one of a small number of

females doing the BComm, it was kind of special’’. For anyone looking for some inspiration as to what can be achieved with a Commerce degree, look no further than Regina Breheny.

roundings on your screen, whilst some clever AR adds a virtual pet to the mix. The goal is to look after the Keepie, which in turn means looking after yourself, as you find yourself logging on more frequently to check the Keepie’s status. Think Tamagochis for the 21st century, with the added benefit of taking care of yourself I was curious to ascertain how she had managed to get this far so rapidly. The answer? Time management. “Being able to prioritise tasks, identifying time required and managing all that needs to be done are highly valuable skills.” This has been a common tip in

the Start-Up Series column, one which I hope is being taken on-board by aspiring entrepreneurs. When reading this piece, try bear in mind that the co-founders are merely in their mid 20s. The company is developing at a rapid pace and is certainly on route to putting the tools for an improved mindfulness in peoples’ pockets. What’s more, they match every paid subscription with an anonymous donation to someone who is struggling. KeepAppy is a wonderful example that young people can build their own businesses and act in a socially-conscious manner simultaneously.

Start-Up Spotlight:

Alex Lohier Deputy Editor


his week on Start-Up Spotlight, I spoke with Aimée-Louise Carton, the co-founder of social enterprise KeepAppy, an app which puts wellness in peoples’ pockets. Aimée-Louise is also an award-winning entrepreneur, international mental health activist, advocate for tech-based social enterprise and outspoken feminist. She studied Sociology for her undergrad and followed this up with an MSc in Entrepreneurship in Trinity Business School. She told me about the business, her

Volume 33 - Issue 07





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Volume 33 - Issue 07

Artificial Intelligence: Too Smart for the Law?


one are the days when artificial intelligence was simply viewed as self-driving cars and talking robots. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, where personal data was improperly collected for political advertising, alerted the world to the fact that AI is deeply embedded into our day-to-day lives. AI is the imitation of human intelligence by machines. It has the potential to have a revolutionary effect on society and, notably, how our justice system operates. Despite its benefits, AI has long been shrouded by legal issues. Legislators have struggled to find the balance between promoting innovation and safeguarding moral and ethical considerations. The EU has been at the forefront of the discussion on ethical AI usage. In 2019, the High-Level Expert Group on AI produced the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. This contains a list of principles

to be complied with when developing AI structures. One of the main legal issues surrounding AI is the protection of privacy. AI is based on data collection and is therefore subject to the General Data Protection

[Artificial Intelligence] has the potential to have a revolutionary effect on society and, notably, how our justice system operates.

v Loomis, an automated risk-assessment tool used to sentence the accused was found not to be in violation of his fundamental rights. The algorithm’s decision-making process was not made available for assessment by the court or the defendant, potentially undermining due process and transparency. This judgement has raised concerns over the morality of using machines to deliver justice.

An AI based application called Fagougou draws from precedent and case prediction to provide legal assistance in China. Internet courts, where virtual judges oversee digital hearings, were introduced in 2017. AI development in China has led to the use of facial recognition technology as a means of law enforcement. Recently, the Chinese government was condemned for using facial recognition

technology to persecute the Uighurs, a Muslim minority group. This demonstrates how unrestrained AI can threaten democracy and the rule of law. There is currently no Irish law pertaining to the regulation of AI and any legislation will likely derive its basis from EU guidelines. The workload of Irish lawyers decreased significantly when the Court of Appeal approved the use of Technolo-

gy Assisted Review (TAR), an AI based system that identifies which documents are relevant to particular cases. However, Ireland appears to be lagging behind its international counterparts when it comes to AI development. It remains to be seen how AI will impact the Irish judicial landscape and how regulators will find an equilibrium between cutting edge technology and human rights.

Deirbhile O’Neill Law Writer

Regulation (GDPR), the EU law which protects citizens’ personal data. Significantly, Article 22 GDPR ensures that automated decision-making cannot be used alone in decisions affecting individuals’ legal rights. The US is the dominant force in the development of AI internationally. In State

Illegal Adoption Brought Before High Court


n the 31st of January this year, Mr Patrick FitzSymons became the first person to initiate legal proceedings against the state for its ambivalence to the practice of illegal adoptions that were being carried

out by St Patrick’s Guild, an agent organisation of the Catholic Church, during the 1960s. Mr FitzSymons, a well-known actor from Belfast, learned of the nature through which he was adopted over 20 years ago, however it is now estimated that 147 other adoptees were subjected to a similar process during this time.

Dublin law firm Coleman Legal partners are currently preparing as many as 25 other cases that mirror the circumstances of his own and it seems likely that with increased exposure, a greater number of examples of institutional malpractice will come to light. It is estimated that Mr FitzSymons’ action may take

up to three years to be heard in its entirety. Aside from a 2013 recommendation from the EU Commission encouraging Ireland to enable the uses of “collective redress” in matters of commercial, environmental and competition law, the tradition in Irish law is for each case to be heard individually and a bespoke judgement given

accordingly. When questioned about the possibility of an exception being made for this particular collection of cases, a representative for Coleman Legal Partners admitted that they would not be applying for such an exception due to this system of individual hearings. Remedy to be awarded in such instances of constitutional right infringements will hope to be clarified by the ruling of the case. Mr Fitzsymons’ claims range from personal and psycho-

pecially those against children (State (Quinn) v Ryan, 1964), have previously been awarded monetary damages by the courts. Remedies of monetary value may only be handed down from the court where the constitutional rights of the individual were not found to be protected by common or statutory law. With this in mind, the specific phrasing of Mr FitzSymons’ plea may have significant impact on the courts’ decision. The judicial reasoning

...Legal proceedings [are being taken] against the state for its ambivalence to the practice of illegal adoptions that were being carried out by [...] the Catholic Church, during the 1960s.

Doireann O’Sullivan Law Writer

Pictured Above: Belfast Actor Patrick FitzSymons, is initiating legal proceedings against the state.

logical injury to acts disallowed following the assesion to the European Charter of Human Rights, however there may be uncertainties as to what relief may be given considering the diverse nature of his claims. No set reparation currently exists in statute for constitutional breaches, however breaches of profound severity, es-

in this action may be one of interest for many years to come considering the volume of similar litigation that will soon be emerging in the courts. The ruling of this case, and potential subsequent appeals will most likely act as a guide to the judiciary in deciding these actions.

Volume 33 - Issue 07




THE TURBINE “Nobody Censors The College Tribune”


It’s satire, please don’t sue us.


APPROVES Enigmatic University Observer Editor Gavin Tracey gives us the thumbs up, finally admitting that the College Tribune is the better paper.

Leprechaun Sues Pride Movement for Stealing Rainbow


Dugh Hooley Turbine Reporter

magine being a poor leprechaun struggling to deal with the difficulty of trying to hide your gold in a country experiencing a massive population boom, but then the symbol you use for marking your treasure gets stolen by a political movement. This harrowing tale is what happened to Sheamus Murphy, an Irish Leprechaun, when his gold marker was stolen by the Pride movement.

“Worse still,” Murphy continued, “the proliferation of my marker has led to people posting every rainbow they see on social media! This allows my competitors to locate and steal my gold.” What Murphy describes is a horrific pattern which he explains has been getting worse over the past few years. “It used to be a smaller movement which was only popular with niche groups, at that level I was only losing a small amount of gold each week. Now however I’ve completely run out

of ideas and gold to hide! The world of gold hiding is a leprechaun-eat-leprechaun world! When I lost my advantage, my competitors ruthlessly gutted my stashes.” On the verge of bankruptcy and after being disowned by his family for losing the family fortune, Murphy is currently in the process of filing Intellectual Property (I.P.) theft charges against the political movement for “stealing” the marker he used to mark the location of hidden val-

uables. The Leprechaun alleges that the rainbow idea was “stolen” in 1978 when Gilbert Baker, a gay rights activist, was charged with coming up with a symbol of pride for the Gay community. Now often called the “pride symbol”, Murphy is requesting an undisclosed sum of money in damages from the organisation for co-opting his symbol. When asked why he has refused to deposit his stockpile of gold in a financial institution, Murphy alleged that the “Wall Street bankers” were conspiring against him with the unicorns. Murphy also argues that it was this apparent alliance that forced his family to rely on pots of gold. Now however this practice has been found out by Murphy’s competitors resulting in the aforementioned legal suit.

GONE VIRAL: CoronaVirus Shocked at Newfound Popularity


fter his recent explosion in popularity, The Turbine spoke to the newfound chinese superstar, CoronaVirus. In recent weeks, Mr. Corona has been spreading like an epidemic and gained recognition from the World Health Organisation. “It’s been deadly bro,” Corona began, “People all across the world are beginning to pay attention to me, finally! I always knew that I could live up to my idols such as Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Flu. For a lot of my life I

worried that I would never make it. While success isn’t guaranteed, I knew that fate would guide me towards the popularity of my role mod-

In recent weeks, Mr. Corona has been spreading like an epidemic

Dugh Hooley Turbine Reporter

els.” Speaking about the infamy of his contemporaries Corona said, “some have even called their personalities infectious, that’s what I

want for my future.” Much like his idol, Bubonic Plague, Mr. Corona started his rise to infamy in Asia before spreading across the world. In the last few days, however, a number of governments have declared national emergencies to combat his spread, a move which he finds “rather disturbing”. The persecution by the media against international celebrities, such as Mr. Corona, has become more frequent in recent years prompting a backlash from the virus’ fans on social media. Corona has also stated that he receives no royalties from any alcohol manufacturers.

Big Reads Why are we prosecuting this innocent recipient of child pornography?

BREXITMANIA: Sure it’s only half time!

It’s Time to Fix Our Education

Ruairí Power Co-Chair - Fix Our Education UCD


et’s make UCD a place for knowledge, not for business” was the key message at the “Fix Our Education” Campaign launch last week. UCD markets itself as a global university that is accessible for students of all backgrounds. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. UCD has in recent years completely disregarded the wellbeing of students. By continually under resourcing mental health and disability services on campus, the university administration has sent a clear message that student welfare is not on their agenda. The number of students attending UCD has increased, yet funding for oncampus mental health services have been cut again this year. Counselling services and the Access Centre are chronically under resourced, placing an unfair burden on staff who are working within a broken system. Similarly, the Students’ Union often have to advocate on behalf of vulnerable students who should be assisted by trained professionals. Long waiting lists, outsourcing vulnerable students to private counsellors reinforce the idea that students with additional needs or mental health

difficulties don’t matter. With reports finding that 1/3 of Irish students have been diagnosed with a mental health difficulty, this indifference towards providing a functioning mental health service is particularly shocking. The University has repeatedly refused calls by the Student’s Union to allocate a proportion of accommodation for lowincome students at an affordable price. Instead, they have decided to dramatically increase campus rents in the middle of a national housing crisis to maximise revenue. Additional builds are increasingly unaffordable, making the possibility of finding suitable campus accommodation unattainable to the majority of students. The austerity era funding cuts to the childcare assistance fund have never been reversed, acting as an additional barrier to mature students particularly. Student workers are not guaranteed a living wage, and tutors are being exploited to do correctional work/preparation on zero-hour contracts for inadequate pay. It is fundamentally wrong that student welfare is being completely disregarded by the university as they enforce a neoliberal spending policy that prioritises profit at any cost to student wellbeing. The argument that UCD cannot afford to properly fund these services just doesn’t hold up. The fact that the University

Letter to the Editor: Dear Sir, It struck me reading this piece that the editorial staff seems to have misplaced its priorities, its common sense and its responsibilities as a student paper. Irish law promises to protect “the right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions”. This right is not without restriction however. Expression which undermines the stated “morality” of the State is afforded no such protection. You say the disinvitation undermined the “protection of free and truthful discourse on campus”. Yet where does

spends more on luxury flights than it does on the health and counselling budget is a clear example of what the university prioritises. UCD spends twice as much on these luxury flights than every other university in the state combined, with the College President spending €90,000 on personal travel expenses in the last two years alone. Refurbishing the President’s office will cost upwards of €7.5million; a huge increase from the initial estimate of €900,000 without a detailed costed plan being published. Between this, multi-million euro overspends on the Confucius Institute and €14 million for the University Club, the university has clearly demonstrated through irresponsible spending practises that student welfare will not be prioritised over elitist infrastructure. Reckless overspends and funding allocations of this nature raise serious concerns about the level of oversight being applied on an executive level. The UCD Mission Statement clearly states that the

Stádas Acht na Gaeilge i dTuaisceart Éireann University is supposedly committed to “The holistic development of each student to her or his fullest potential”. How is this possible when the basic needs of students haven’t been met? Asylum Seekers, students in precarious living conditions and students with disabilities are among the most vulnerable students who have been left behind by callous spending practises and cuts to essential services. It doesn’t have to be this way. With a cost-rental model, students can be provided with affordable accommodation on a large scale. Functioning mental health, disability and childcare services are not a pipe dream. Guaranteeing workers a living wage will not bankrupt the University finances, but a continuation of the current failed policies and reckless spending may well do just that. “Fix our Education” is committed to tackling these issues head on and holding the University to account. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

In response to: “The Disinvitation of Jason Evert was a Grave Mistake”

freedom to speak reconcile with Evert’s determination to prey on those confused over their sexuality, refuse to allow them to realise their attractions - to whoever and whatever they are directed - and prevent them from “making up their own rules” by following their inherent desires? “Nothing is more valuable than the pursuit of truth” you say. Quite right. But Evert cannot fit in with this noble journey. We know the truth. Ireland, by 62%, determined the truth 5 years ago. The debate has been had. UCD was merely protecting the truth that we ourselves have proclaimed.

By your logic, Holocaust-deniers, blatant racists and advocates of slavery should be allowed to come to UCD and speak. This is a UCD I would be ashamed to attend and represent. Where on earth can we call Evert’s views “truthful”? Where on earth can we call his contributions part of an “enlightening debate”? Nowhere I want to live. Kind regards, Rory Clarke

Editor’s Comment:

In the spirit of the article in question, we would like to encourage writing to the College Tribune. Freedom of Speech is important to our mission as an Independent Student Publication. We welcome criticism of our articles and will openly publish letters sent to this newspaper from members of the UCD community. We encourage discourse in all forms and openly accept judgement, critique and examination of the content this newspaper publishes. Letters to the Editor should be sent via email and no longer than 300 words.

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COMMENT: Why are we Prosecuting this Innocent Recipient of Child Pornography?


hile scrolling through my emails the other day, an Irish Times headline caught my eye - “Woman prosecuted for child porn she innocently received on WhatsApp.” Innocent is not usually a word used in conviction headlines so with my interest piqued, I clicked in to find what I assumed would be a reasonable explanation for such a conviction. That was not what I found; the article reported that 28 year old Omo Delpin Omorouyi had been convicted of possession of child pornography because she had been sent a 2 minute video on WhatsApp, by a man she knew only by his first name, and had failed to fully delete it. In January 2018, unaware of the video’s contents, she began watching it but stopped when the nature of the video became apparent. She told the sender not to text her again. Omorouyi then

deleted the video from WhatsApp but owing to the app’s automatic download feature, the video remained saved to her phone’s camera roll. Her phone was seized a month later as part of an unrelated search, of which she was not the target, from her Swords home. Following her arrest, Omorouyi told the Gardaí that she thought she had deleted the video and that she did not know what it was until she opened it. She pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Judge Codd recognised that it was not an offence not to report such footage to the Gardaí and acknowledged that Omorouyi was an innocent recipient. Omorouyi received a 4-month suspended sentence and more importantly a criminal conviction. Her defence barrister Mr. Orange told the court that her ambitions to work in childcare were now destroyed as she would not be able to receive Garda vetting. She has dropped out of her social care course and now works in a fastfood restaurant.

I was incredulous upon finishing the article at the injustice that Omorouyi had endured at the hands of the Irish “justice” system. What more could she, as an innocent recipient, have done to avoid conviction? She

responsibility on Omorouyi’s part. This is an example of the DPP exercising its discretion to prosecute poorly - the purpose of such laws is to prosecute paedophiles, of which this woman is not. She now has a conviction

This woman was not at fault - her only crimes were receiving the message and having an app that automatically saves received videos. I fail to see any fault or responsibility on Omorouyi’s part.

Amy Doolan Features Writer

played no role in the circulation of this material and thought she had deleted it from her phone. This woman was not at fault her only crimes were receiving the message and having an app that automatically saves received videos. I fail to see any fault or

that will impact upon her for the rest of her life - not only can she not get a job in her chosen field, but it is very difficult to find any employment with this type of criminal record. This conviction is worrying in today’s world where three quarters

of Irish adults use WhatsApp. Anyone of us could be the recipient of illegal material through no fault of our own and be liable for this kind of prosecution. It is worrying that the law is being used to prosecute this type of case. The video in question shows the rape of a young child. The individual in the footage has since been identified as a man in Michigan, US, and has been convicted. Irish justice has failed Omorouyi and it has failed the Irish public because this prosecution is not the type towards which we should be directing our limited resources. There are much more worthy prosecutions than this innocent recipient. We cannot stand by and let this be the standard of case that is prosecuted. We should be protesting this injustice as if it had happened to ourselves because the reality is that it just as easily could have.





Volume 33 - Issue 07

Student Stories: Going It Alone


Celia Rhodes - Features Writer

andalf will always claim he didn’t do anything that sent Bilbo on his adventures, other than give him a little nudge out of the door. Which is true, in a way. I’d like to think I gave myself more than just a nudge out of the door. I’d never travelled on my own or flown long haul, and with an absolutely crippling fear of flying it led to a lot of questions about why I’d decided to fly to the other end of the world for 19 days. The rush I got when I booked my flights soon turned into a pit in the bottom of my stomach when I realised that if I changed my mind now, it was a lot of money that had I definitely wouldn’t be able to get refunded. The worst part of travelling on your own is definitely the airports. When you’re on your own, it’s harder to try and occupy time when you don’t have someone to talk too. They don’t tell you how awful it is when you’re sat in that dead time, waiting for your flight to be called for boarding or trying to work out connecting flights when you land in a foreign airport and have no idea where you’re going, especially on about an hour’s sleep. Running through LAX, trying to find the Air New Zealand desk and being told it’s just ‘down there’ by many different airport staff who point vaguely into this vast airport terminal filled with bright lights and shops and no sign of an airline desk is nothing short of absolutely panic inducing. I think I would take flying around category 3 cyclone Tino over having to try and navigate LAX ever again. I flew four times when I was in New Zealand, and have never been more terrified and more surprised in my life, firstly from the lack of any security for all domestic flights, and secondly for the fact that Taupo airport seemed to only have one member of staff who went from checking in bags to guiding the tiny planes in. I know had it not been for the wise words of the

“I feel like when you’re with friends, it’s easy just to stick with who you know. [...] I learnt so much from the people I met, hearing about their different lives and experiences.” German girl with the bad sunburn in Taupo, I probably would have spent the whole flight gripping my seat and counting my breathing very slowly. I learnt so much from the people I met, hearing about their different lives and experiences. It’s something that’s given me a change in my perspective, not just on how I view other people but certainly how I view myself. I feel like when you’re with friends, it’s easy just to stick with who you know. I found not only did I have to speak to people, but that it was easier to speak to people. Every single hostel I went into, I was able to find this incredibly comfortable medium of being able to do my own thing and yet still have

friends I could laugh, joke and do things with. When I was stuck in a rainstorm in a leaky room in Napier one evening with three German girls, a Swiss girl and an American girl, we spent the evening talking as if we weren’t all strangers, and who introduced me to the world of German club songs, specifically one called Johnny Däpp. In Rotorua, I met a lovely Australian guy named Alex, who talked about how he was worried about going home due to the bushfires. One of my biggest worries about going on my own was that I wouldn’t have anyone to talk too and I would get incredibly lonely, but I found the opposite. That said, not having to rely on other people for anything was incredibly freeing. I loved that I could get up at 7.30am to get the shuttle bus to Wai-O-Tapu without having to worry about if the people I were travelling with were up and ready to go. I could eat where I wanted to eat and do the things I wanted to do without having to make any compromises. I could spend as much or as little time as I wanted in Te Papa in Wellington, and could enjoy walking through the Hamilton Gardens over and over and over again, at my own time and pace, and there was no debate over spending the whole day on the beach at Mount Mangauni, rather than hiking the mountain. It was, at times, annoying to have to ask other people to take photos of me, but that’s possibly more a measure of my own vanity, than an actual grievance. I’ve had people tell me they could never have travelled so far on their own, but I disagree. Sometimes all it really does take is just a little nudge out of the door.

Volume 33 - Issue 07



GET €50 AND UN-CANCEL YOUR PLANS Get €50 when you open a KBC Student Current Account, so you won’t need to live like a student. Terms & Conditions and eligibility criteria apply. Other fees and charges, including non-euro fees and charges, will apply. For full Terms & Conditions, eligibility criteria and fees & charges see KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.



Poli-Ticker Conor Paterson Politics Editor

Trump Impeachment Trial Ends in Acquittal: The impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump concluded with the US senate voting largely along party lines that Trump’s conduct did not amount to an impeachable offence.”

Sinn Féin’s NI Finance Minister Under Fire: Northern Irelands finance minister Conor Murphy has been criticised for comments made about IRA murder victim Paul Quinn. Both Conor Murphy and Mary Lou McDonald apologised to the family after the MLA suggested the victim was involved in criminality.

Tipperary General Election Candidate Laid to Rest: Independent candidate Marese Skehan passed away during the general election campaign last week. Constituents described her as a lady who was determined to stand up for the values she believed in.

UK Labour Leadership Race Hots Up: Just four candidates remain in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the UK Labour party. Keir Starmer is currently favourite to win the race with results due on the 4th of April.



Volume 33 - Issue 07

BREXITMANIA: Sure it’s only half time!


Conor Paterson Politics Editor

n the final party leaders debate of the 2020 general election, Leo Varadkar exclaimed ‘Brexit isn’t finished, it is only half time!’ This is a point made repeatedly by Fine Gael throughout the campaign. The statement is made again and again for political gain; however, it is absolutely true. If you were sick of Brexit dominating the news agenda for the past few years you will be disappointed to hear it won’t be resolved any time soon. The UK may have officially left the European Union on the 31st of January, but long and difficult trade negotiations now are due to commence. Despite the lengthy negotiations which have already taken place, the future trade relationship between the EU and the UK still needs to be agreed upon. Since the UK triggered Article 50, beginning the process of leaving the EU, both sides have only managed to sign off on the withdrawal agreement. This main aspects of the agreement are the financial settlement the UK owes the EU, a special protocol for Northern Ireland to avoid a hard border, a section on citizens ‘rights for EU nationals in the UK and vice versa and it also includes a political declaration in which both parties stated their hopes for “an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership.” While these are important issues that needed to be resolved, it does not address how the EU and the UK will trade

after the transition period. This is a period up until the end of 2020 in which the UK remains in the EU customs union and single market and obeys EU rules and regulations while negotiations take place. Boris Johnson has ruled out the transition period being extended which means the entire trade agreement must be completed in less than a year.

it is to enjoy access to the single market.” If the UK wants to trade freely with EU countries it cannot differ in any great extent from EU regulations nor use state aid to give UK companies a large comparative advantage over EU companies that are competing within the European

differences in objectives for these trade talks, both sides will be facing huge pressure to find an agreement. Since the UK has taken a legislative step to end the transition period before 2021, the likelihood of a comprehensive trade deal actually being finalised

market. On the other hand, Dr. Storey told us the UK would want ‘access to the single market but also the freedom to set their own standards and cut separate deals with other countries.’ Clearly, there is a tension here. The UK cannot have both free trade and no ties to EU regulation. Over the course of negotiations, both sides will need to compromise in some areas and strike a balance with these two tensions. Given the complexity of international trade and the large

looks difficult. The UK wants a completely new relationship with the EU, unlike any other countries’ trade relationship. According to Dr. Storey, the possibility of the two sides agreeing a “comprehensive, bespoke deal within a year is probably otherwise unrealistic.” There is also a very important political dimension to the negotiations. It would be in Boris Johnson’s political interests to take a hard line with the EU and not allow too much alignment with EU regulations. Also, the EU will not want to give the UK a favourable enough trade deal that makes it look like leaving the EU could be in any other country’s interests. These external political pressures can put great strain on trade negotiations, particularly in the fraught political atmosphere of Brexit Britain. Making predictions about outcomes in relation to Brexit has always been a difficult task for political analysts. The only certainty about these upcoming talks is that they will be complicated, tense and perhaps sometimes ugly. Given the time pressures, it is not too unlikely that we may see a very basic trade agreement concluded in a year with a more comprehensive agreement to follow in the years after. There will certainly need to be a balance between complete free trade between the two sides and the UK having to adopt some EU rules and regulations. Like everything with Brexit, the details will prove to be complicated and the political dimension will be fascinating.

The UK may have officially left the European Union on the 31st of January, but long and difficult trade negotiations now are due to commence.


For the UK, these trade negotiations will be uncharted territory, trade deals until now were done at EU level and national governments of EU members could not negotiate bilaterally with other countries. Now the UK must face an EU that has a huge amount of experience in dealing with trade talks. Like all trade talks, this one will be a case of compromise as both sides come to the table with different objectives. According to Dr Andy Storey from the School of Politics and International Relations here at UCD, the EU will look to “ensure that the UK maintains regulatory alignment with them if

Volume 33 - Issue 07





Iowa Caucus Chaos Blathnaid Corless Politics Writer


n Monday, February 3rd, Iowa was the first state to vote for a Democratic candidate for the upcoming US presidential election. It is one of a handful

of states which uses the archaic caucus system. This involves voters gathering in schools, town halls, libraries and other locations to campaign for and support a particular candidate. It can be as simple as a show of hands. There is nothing technical nor secret about it – what could possibly go

wrong? Iowa answered this question precisely for us on Monday. To make the caucus more efficient (or not), a mobile app was introduced for representatives to record results. Due to technical difficulties, or what the state Democratic party termed a ‘coding error’, the results it transmitted were incorrect. Much of the spotlight is shone on this midwestern state at election time. 90% of its population is white, which is not representative

2000 every Democrat who has won Iowa has succeeded in winning the nomination. It is an age-old belief that winning the first state gives candidates the necessary momentum and attention to ultimately succeed. Iowa is also a notorious ‘swing-state’, meaning it could easily be won by either a Republican or Democratic candidate once the election rolls around. So, who are the candidates seeking this nomination to compete against Trump in

Both Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have claimed victory from the results which have emerged. Sanders looks to have won the popular vote; however, Buttigieg appears to have narrowly won the vote share from state convention delegates.

of the nation as a whole at 77%. Nonetheless, the state holds much power when it comes to electing a Democratic nominee, and since

November? The spotlight in Iowa was on 78-year-old Bernie Sanders, who declares himself a democratic socialist and has proven popular

with student voters. Former vice president, Joe Biden, was also hailed a front-runner in the state. However, as voting got underway, internal vote counts showed that Biden’s popularity had sunken far below that of his fellow candidates. Much of this was due to the increase in support for another centrist democrat Pete Buttigieg. Other Democratic nominee hopefuls include Elizabeth Warren, Anthony Yang Amy Klobuchar who now move onto New Hampshire in the hope of securing a win there. Following the voting chaos, at the time of writing an official winner has yet to be officially declared in Iowa. Both Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have claimed victory from the results which have emerged. Bernie Sanders looks to have won the popular vote; however, Pete Buttigieg appears to have narrowly won the vote share from state convention delegates. What the results in Iowa do tell us is that the race for the 2020 democratic nomination will be a nail-biting affair.

GE2020: Ireland’s Election of …Change? rish politics is entering a new phase after a dynamic election battle. Election 2020 was a divisive campaign which highlighted further destruction of the civil war parties’ duopoly and foreshadowed a fascinating decade in Irish politics. This was a change election. After nine years in power, complaints about beef prices, crime, hospital beds and accommodation were accrued to Fine Gael’s legislative decision making. This governing penalty was intensified by the electorate’s emphasis on quality of life issues such as housing and health. Fine Gael would have anticipated more electoral appreciation following breakthroughs in Stormont and prudent management of Brexit and the economy. They hoped to assure the electorate with displayed fiscal competence, tax cuts and targeted spending policies. Unlike Fianna Fail in 2007, the ruling party were unable to control the narrative. The proximity of the Brexit deadline

and the polling date provided little political currency. Fine Gael’s decline in popularity was certainly the catalyst for Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein’s rise. However, their respective capabilities to be the party of change was the key determinant of their electoral success. Sinn Fein will be most satisfied having effectively positioned themselves as the party of radical change. Yet, their political ascendancy was hindered by doubts surrounding their governmental suitability. Older voters remained apprehensive about their stance on paramilitary organisations and internal governance structures. Sinn Fein’s decision to only field forty-two candidates after a poor showing in last year’s local elections now appears misguided. Fianna Fail’s attempt to balance commitments on public spending with sustainable economic policies resonated with conservative voters and those in rural areas. Their involvement in the confidence and supply agreement combined with Sinn Fein’s emergence as viable leadership contenders eroded

their ability to capture a larger proportion of the anti-Fine Gael sentiment. Election 2020 confronted intergenerational equity. The divergence between the quality of life expected and that which is currently available in Ireland was a topical issue. Senior citizens believed that government

expenditure should be directed towards pensions provisions whilst young people stressed the difficulties in purchasing a home, a challenge their ancestors did not face. Smaller parties benefitted from increased exposure in this election. Despite their growth, the Green Party may feel underwhelmed with

their return as climate change did not prevail as expected. Election 2020 delivered a fragmented parliament. Smaller parties such as Labour, the Social Democrats and Independents will act as kingmakers in the coming weeks as the larger parties’ bargain to form a government.

ch pl an z? ge xx


Jack O’Grady Politics Writer



The Lab Report Adam Boland Science Editor A study has found that eating 2 servings of red or processed meat (for example, beef or salami) per week raises the risk of death from all causes by around 3%.

Wild grey seals have been found to communicate by clapping their flippers underwater during mating season. It is thought to be a show of strength to scare off the competition and entice mates.

Researchers have created a ring, called AuraRing, which tracks the movement of the wearer’s index finger and can be used to control electronic devices using hand gestures.

UCD science Professors William Gallagher and Kevin O’Connor were named winners at the 2019 Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) awards for their pioneering work in biomolecular/ biomedical science, and bioeconomy (respectively).

An experiment has reduced the maximum possible mass of neutrinos. This new research suggests that neutrinos are at least 460,000 times smaller than electrons. Electrons themselves are quite small.

A wobbling pulsar has given further evidence that Einstein was on the money. The pulsar’s orbit around a spinning white dwarf shows evidence of ‘frame-dragging’, as predicted by the preeminent physicist.



KangaRobot: Soundharya Kumaresan Science Writer


hrough long-term evolutionary processes, animals have developed innate advantages in locomotion, cognition, information processing and control. Inspired by their evolution, biomimetic robots are integrated with biological characteristics which give them more powerful motor and cognitive abilities and more delicate control processes than other robots. The behavioural characteristics of these robots can be accurately controlled and are easier to handle than real animals. These robots also have an important influence on the cognitive behaviours and the nervous systems of animals. Modern scientists and engineers increasingly take their inspiration from animals to create new robots. One of the latest inventions is bionic animal robots, which are being manufactured by a German automation giant Festo. Its bionic menagerie ranges from a transforming spider that

rolls or creeps, robotic fish, a hopping bionic kangaroo and a semi-autonomous bat-like robot. The Bionic Flying Fox is an ultralightweight flying object with intelligent kinematics. The robot simulates the movement of a flying fox almost identically. This mimic’s flying membrane is wafer-thin and ultralight with a honeycomb structure. They have endowed the fox with an infra-red sensor system that transmits data around the surrounding space wirelessly, so it can fly in semi-automatic mode. Similarly, specialists from the University of Twente in Netherlands with Clear Flight Solutions has created a ‘Robird’ to

Volume 33 - Issue 07

How Animals Inspire Machines

provide a higher level of security at Edmonton airport in Canada. It is a drone with the appearance of a falcon. The robot imitates a raptor in the sky and real birds don’t dare approach for fear of the predator. Therefore, the self-preservation instinct prevents them from flying near the airports. Another interesting biomimic is a snakelike robot called Eelume, a flexible underwater robot developed by Norwegian specialists. This snake robot does maintenance work on the seabed, making it a game changer within subsea engineering. Surgeons plan to use snake robots to enter the body for more accurate surgery by crawling

through your nose or urethra. Robot-inspired biology led NASA researchers to rethink the design of the Mars rover for an exploratory mission to Europa. The rover looks like a squid with electrodynamic power scavenging process. i.e., their tentacles will let it move through the water or along the surface of the moon in search of important video content and possibly even alien life. It harnesses energy from magnetic fields, as light is very scarce underneath the icy crust of Europa. Learning concepts from nature and applying them to the design of real-world engineered systems is continuously providing numerous advantages to answer strategically problematic questions about social interactions. By combining principles across biomechanics, human decision-making, and mechanical design, biomimetic robots could easily manoeuvre themselves through debris, cross minefields, enter buildings on fire, or punch through walls. The biological world provides nearly limitless inspiration for robots.

Night in Shining Armour: The Benefits of a Good Sleep


Vanessa Gomes Science Writer

leep. The one thing we can’t seem to get enough of. And if we do happen to get enough, is the quality up to par? In Ireland, about 55% of adults report getting an average of 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Of that cohort, nearly 70% report having low quality sleep.

Quality, frequency, and length of sleep have all conclusively been linked to an increased quality of life. Not only are there positive effects found after consistently achieving quality sleep, there are actually a plethora of negative effects consistent with habitual inadequate sleep. When we sleep, our bodies go through something akin to a full-service car-wash. The

immune cells take advantage of the lower bodily energy demands to defend the body with more vigour. The brain takes this opportunity to consolidate and strengthen memories. Beauty sleep, as well, is nothing to scoff at - insufficient sleep is also linked to quicker ageing. With the added commitments of modern-day life, sleep is slowly being edged out of our priorities. Energy drinks, numerous coffees, and sheer will are facilitating this trend. En masse, adults report an increasing level of sleep deprivation - a trend that is being linked to physiological disorders such as obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Disrupted, or deficient sleep patterns have also been implicated in the progression of depression. Our sleep can be interrupted by any number of things, including our activities before we have fallen asleep. Having caffeine before going to bed leads to a disruption in deep sleep segments of our sleep cycles. The same is true of using a screen without a blue light filter, too close to going to sleep. Interestingly, even lying in bed too frequently throughout the day, without sleeping, can lead to your

body redefining its relationship with lying down. Where lying down might have been a signal to go to sleep before, this new association of feeling awake and lying down might prevent quality sleep at night. When we do get enough sleep though, the health benefits are immeasurable. Your brain is sharper, your mood is heightened (on average), and your heart is healthier. A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry demonstrated that consistent sleep patterns in children, like adults, are linked to increased concentration and cognitive ability. Adults require approximately 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, but new research suggests that this number can actually range from 6 to 10 hours, depending on the individual. With that in mind, there are routines that we can establish for ourselves to ensure we are getting the best quality sleep, as often as possible. Getting to bed earlier, avoiding sleeping in irregularly, and reading before bed, as opposed to falling asleep scrolling on Instagram, are all tried, tested, and true methods of creating a better environment to ensure quality levels of sleep.

Volume 33 - Issue 07





Stádas Acht na Gaeilge i dTuaisceart Éireann Cecily Nic Cionnaith Eagarthóir Gaeilge


inneadh gealltanais i gcomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta breis is fiche bliain ó shin go mbeadh áit cheart an ag nGaeilge i dTuaisceart Éireann. Síníodh i gcomhaontú Cill Rímhinn i 2006 go mbeadh Acht na Gaeilge ann i dTuaisceart Éireann ach ceithre bliana déag níos déanaí, níl Acht na Gaeilge ann ó thuaidh agus mar a sheasann sé níl rialtas fiú ag suí i Stormont. Cé nárbh é Acht na Gaeilge a chúisigh lánscor an rialtais i Stormont is é ceann de na cúiseanna nach bhfuil comhréiteach tarlaithe le go mbeadh rialtas feidhmiúil ann anois. Faoi láthair, tá Tuaisceart Éireann trí bliana gan rialtas. Tá an tAcht mar bhac ar réiteach agus bhí réiteach ann beagnach ach ní ghlacfadh an DUP atá mar pháirtí Protastúnach le héileamh d’Acht na Gaeilge agus níl réiteach ann go fóill. Is éard a bheadh i gceist le Acht na Gaeilge ná go mbeadh an stádas céanna ag an nGaeilge sa Tuaisceart agus an Bhreatnais sa Bhreatain Bheag, rud a bhí ann ó 1993. Bheadh an Ghaeilge le feiceáil chomh maith leis an mBéarla ar chomharthaí bóithre agus logainmneacha. Bheadh coimisinéir teanga ann le cosaint a thabhairt don Ghaeilge. D’fhéadfaí cás cúirte a dhéanamh as Gaeilge, rud nach féidir a dhéanamh faoi láthair cé go bhfuil thart ar 10% de dhaonra Thuaisceart Éireann le Gaeilge. Bheadh an gaeloideachas

ar comhchéim le hoideachas trí Bhéarla agus ní bhainfeadh míbhuntáiste le hoideachas trí Ghaeilge. Go príomha, an aidhm a bhaineann le hAcht na Gaeilge ná stádas agus cosaint a thabhairt don Ghaeilge agus go mbeadh roghanna ann maidir le Gaeilge a húsáid san oideachas agus tú ag plé leis an Stát. Is ceist chasta í an fhéiniúlacht i dTuaisceart Éireann go cinnte ach tuigtear má breathnaítear ar na moltaí an Achta thuas,nach léireofar dímheas orthu siúd gur cuma leo faoin nGaeilge agus ní bheadh an Ghaeilge brúite ar aon ghrúpaí. Bíonn eagla ar an DUP agus daoine a aithníonn iad féin mar Briotánaigh faoin Acht agus baineann ráflaí agus bréagnuacht leis. Tá drochéifeacht na mbréag seo chomh láidir nach bhfuil réiteach ann go bhféadfadh rialtas a bheith ag suí i Stormont. Baineann go leor ráflaí nach bhfuil bun nó barr leo leis an Acht agus tá siad dochrach agus iad ag cur as den fhíorchaint agus plé. Tá eagla ar dhaoine roimh chostas ard a bheith ag baint leis an Acht ach tá plean docht ann a chosnódh níos lú ná £4 milliún sa bhliain. Ceaptar go mbeadh an Ghaeilge brúite ar dhaoine nach bhfuil suim acu sa Ghaeilge sa státseirbhíseach ach níl sé sin fíor. Tá an bréagnuacht seo chomh láidir nach bhfuil an DUP sásta a bheith i Stormont agus tá easaontú mór ann go fóill. Tá spriocdháta an Bhreatimeachta istigh anois agus mar sin is gá go mbeidh plé agus rialtas ann i dTuaisceart Éireann níos mó ná riamh. Tá dóchas ann go sroichfear réiteach agus

tosaíodh plé idir an DUP atá i gcoinne Acht na Gaeilge agus Sinn Féin atá ar a shon i mí Eanáir. Bhí ionadaithe ó Chonradh na Gaeilge le buaileadh le Julian Smith atá mar Rúnaí Stáit ó Thuaidh ach cuireadh an cruinniú ar athlá gan mhíniú. Bhí cruinniú acu seachtain níos déanaí agus tuairiscíodh go ndearnadh dul chun cinn ann. Tá iarrachtaí ar siúl le réiteach a aimsiú agus is maith an rud é an chaint don dá thaobh agus práinn ag baint le hionadaíocht a bheith ag Tuaisceart Éireann i gceart sa Bhreatimeacht. D’fhéadfadh go bhfuil gá le hidirghabhálaí neodrach agus ba mhodh é seo a bhí an-éifeachtach le linn

na gcainteanna as a d’eascair comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta. Is féidir talamh slán a dhéanamh de go bhfuil cearta teanga ann i bPoblacht na hÉireann don Ghaeilge ach is cóir smaoineamh orthu siúd sa Tuaisceart nach bhfuil an stádas céanna ag an nGaeilge dóibh. Tá éileamh agus spéis don Ghaeilge ag dul ó neart go neart. Tá tóir níos láidre ar an nGaelscolaíocht agus tá éileamh d’Acht na Gaeilge ag méadú. Feictear pobail láidre ar son na Gaeilge ina mbíonn ciorcail chomhrá acu, Pop Up Gaeltachtaí, ranganna agus imeachtaí eile as Gaeilge in áiteanna ar nós Béal Feirste, an Ómaigh agus an Iúr.


Interested in reporting for us? Contact the Editor for more details. No experience required. Bring lots of enthusiasm! Email

Tháinig grúpa chun cinn darbh ainm an Dream Dearg leis an mana ‘Táimid dearg, dearg le fearg’ agus iad go láidir ar son an Achta. Feictear a haischlib #AchtAnois go minic ar líne agus mar sin níl na héilimh don Acht chun imeacht go luath. Gealladh cearta teanga don Ghaeilge na cianta ó shin agus feictear domsa nach mbeidh rialtas feidhmiúil ann go dtí go socrófar é sin. Tá cainteanna ar siúl agus tá dóchas ann go mbeidh réiteach ann mar fágadh Tuaisceart Éireann gan rialtas rófhada agus ní dhéanann an easpa ionadaíochta agus plé ceart maitheas do ghrúpa ar bith.





Volume 33 - Issue 06

Love Island: A Modern Tragedy

Love Island can actually find its roots deep within the cultural and historical lineage of theatre and has a lot of meaty philosophical implications... [it] structurally functions like that of a Greek Drama


nless you’ve been living under a rock since Christmas, the little world of Love Island has probably gained your attention to some degree. Whether it be the adverts of toned men and bikini clad women, it’s hard to escape its tendrils wherever you are. You may be asking yourself, how the hell does this trashy show have any philosophical worth whatsoever? Well, I claim that Love Island can actually find its roots deep within the cultural and historical lineage of theatre and has a lot of meaty philosophical implications. From my perspective, Love Island structurally functions like that of a Greek Drama, whereby we sit night after night within the confines of our own classical koilon horse-shoe stadium to watch the contestants battle with the pleasures and pains of the heart, or at least attempt to contain their sexual impulses. The show for the most part follows what Aristotle terms as the three unities of drama; time, place and action. An episode of the show will take place over three days at the most, the islanders remain continuously within the luxury

dormitories, pools and lounges of the mansion, and finally the action centers around the contestants attempting to couple up with one another. Love Island features a number dramatic/literary conventions established within notable ancient

works like a stasima or an episodic divide and the interjection of the chorus which serves to comment on the narrative and functions as a representation of the public within the play, which could be personified through the show’s narrator Iain Stirling. The tragedy eventually ends with the exodus which can be seen as the moment

when a contestant finally leaves or wins the competition at the end of the series. We can even view the remote way in which the public vote to keep an islander couple in the competition or send them into oblivion, never to be seen in the confines of the island mansion again as the Greek term nemesis. In Greek tragedy this occurs when divine retribution is sought against the people guilty of hubris in the world of men. Love Island elevates the function of the audience to the role of Zeus, Dionysus or Apollo, whereby we smite down the hubristic land-heir Ollie for his disloyalties or because an islander simply bores us. In Ancient Greek drama the audience sees love, death, anxieties, triumphs and defeats reflected in the spectacle. As viewers, we experience the love triangles, the flirtation, rejections, arguments and jealousies play out through the divide of the screen. While many of us experience these issues throughout our lives, Love Island provides the viewer with a certain amount of theatrical exaggeration on the show, thereby allowing us to outpour our emotions when Islander X “mugs off” Islander Y within the performative space. The show artificially creates conflict between

the contestants in order to exhibit these exaggerated interpersonal dynamics and like ‘Oedipus Rex’ to show the internal conflicts or insecurities of its characters. A French literary theorist and philosopher named Roland Barthes analysed the mechanics

As the average viewer realises that the show creates a facade of reality, it’s “fakeness” doesn’t dissuade the viewer for the most part because truth is not its purpose.

Aaron Collier Philosophy Columnist

of mass-culture and its media spectacles, through discussing the underlying structures and systems of signs that form what he views as mythologies. In discussing the televised world of professional wrestling for example, Barthes states that; “The public is completely uninterested in knowing whether the contest

is rigged or not, and rightly so; it abandons itself to the primary virtue of the spectacle, which is to abolish all motives and all consequences: what matters is not what it thinks but what it sees.” In my view this also rings true for Love Island, as the average viewer realises that the show creates a facade of reality, it’s “fakeness” doesn’t dissuade the viewer for the most part because truth is not its purpose. As Barthes states; “There is no more a problem of truth in wrestling [Love Island] than in the theatre. In both, what is expected is the intelligible representation of moral situations which are usually private.” The private sphere is broken by the mediating effect of the camera, we gain a glimpse into the private lives of hyper-sexualised people and how they conduct their love lives through their representation on the screen. Just like the actors of Greek Drama and Renaissance courtly dramas; the islanders wear their own masks. It seems at times as if the islanders are contractually obliged to keep a certain amount of their clothes off to show their naked bodies, as a means of constantly reaffirming their function on the show and their objecthood as something to be excessively desired. Barthes states that; “As in the theatre, each physical type expresses to excess the part which has been assigned to the contestant.” In an article about the show to the Daily Mail, the philosopher Nigel Warburton aptly compared the antics of the islanders to the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s play ‘No Exit, Hell,’ in which the characters find out that Hell is actually a perpetual lovetriangle which leads to the very quotable and oftentimes relatable line; ‘Hell is other people.’ Rather than being infinitely tortured that way, the islanders are eventually allowed to leave with the £50,000 prize or get the divine public boot from the show. However, importantly the show allows us to watch these contestants (or narcissism and body ideals in solid form) taste this Sartrean Hellscape on the international stage, while we remotely engage with it from the safety of our seats. We consume each episode, criticise the narcissism and shallow nature of each contestant but something will always continue to draw us towards it. We bracket our disbelief and let our emotions take hold of us for the ride.

Volume 33 - Issue 07




Part of a UCD Student Society? Contact us and we’ll send a reporter to your high profile events! Go to or email


Culture Record Labels Are Unethically Profiting Off The Deaths of Rappers

Old Man, Old Voice? Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’

A Single Person’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Sound Waves

Have We Met Destroyer


Uncut Gems

Good Luck Everybody



Daniel Lopatin

Matthew Derwin - Music Editor

Niall O’Shaughnessy - Former Music Editor

Destroyer was formed in 1995 as a side project of Dan Bejar, known for his work in The New Pornographers, and 25 years on he continues to deliver with a strong new entry in his discography, Have We Met, after his 2017 effort Ken. His warbling, tremulous vocals evoke strong comparisons to the late David Bowie, but they can feel slightly jarring to an uninitiated listener. Once past this slight obstacle, there’s plenty of value to be found here.

When Daniel Lopatin (better known as Oneohtrix Point Never) first linked up with the Safdie Brothers, directors of Uncut Gems, on 2017’s Good Time, the plot, characters and setting were malleable enough to withstand Lopatin’s abrasive production. The focal point of Uncut Gems is a self-contained universe that exposes the strange crosssection of New York’s Diamond District and 21st century America’s cultural touchstones - basketball and hip-hop. For Lopatin’s production to be able to manoeuvre in such a narrow framework, without weighing down the film, is a mammoth task.

The opening track, ‘Crimson Tide’ is a profoundly groovy track that sets the tone for the rest of the album – its staunchly synthpop stylings are established almost immediately. Bejar’s chaotically organised and often cryptic lyrics are part of what makes his work as Destroyer so compelling, and Have We Met is no exception. The ethereal ‘The New Television Supervisor’ is a breath of quirkiness amidst the more serious tracks – the line “Clickety click click, the music makes a musical sound” is crooned by Bejar with complete and utter sincerity. ‘The Raven’ essentially acts as an antithesis to this, with its significantly darker tones. Have We Met is an extremely solid album from start to finish, and a testament to Bejar’s songwriting strength.

My favourite musical moment of the film is when Adam Sandler’s character meanders around the apartment his girlfriend has vacated, and Madonna’s ‘Rain’ plays as he realises the depth of their relationship. That song is more fragile than any of Lopatin’s compositions but the fact that it remains pronounced is a testament to Lopatin’s approach. Yes, the score is bristling with intensity - the percussive synths and relentless drone on ‘School Play’ is all tension and no release - but the maximalism moulds perfectly with the film’s overarching anxiety. The playful keys and big choral samples on ‘Fuck You Howard’ that are interrupted with a high-pitched piercing are a perfect representation of the dread that still filters through the film’s tender moments.


Matthew Derwin - Music Editor AJJ, formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad, have never exactly been strangers to mixing politics into their music, as their previous name would imply. Albums like 2011’s Knife Man were captivating with their raw honesty and clever lyricism, but with their latest effort, Good Luck Everybody, they unfortunately lose the infectious charm of past releases with ham-fisted, defeatist messaging. ‘Mega Guillotine 2020’ is an almost lullabyesque aside, a humorous contrast to the accompanying video where caricatures of billionaires are positioned under a comically large guillotine. This light-hearted yet sincere flirting with revolutionary imagery is betrayed by the more trite politics that begin to peek through in later songs. ‘Psychic Warfare’ sounds like Coldplay if they had decided to make a career out of obsessively replying to Trump tweets – “for all the pussies you grab, and children you lock up in prison”. There is no fresh criticism offered in these songs, but rather stale repetitions of points reiterated time and again. It even finds time to pander to the anti-technology crowd on ‘Normalization Blues’ – “they make us fight each other with our faces buried deep inside our phones”. In the rich history of left-leaning punk, Good Luck Everybody barely registers as a footnote.

Volume 33 - Issue 06





COMMENT: Record Labels Are Unethically Upcoming Profiting Off The Deaths of Rappers n the midst of an opioid crisis, coupled with ongoing violence in poorer communities that continues to prove fatal, the hip-hop community is losing more of its members than ever before. Major record labels are making no effort to hide their intentions to cash in on it, as hip-hop retains its title as the most lucrative musical genre of the moment. In the last 18 months, the hip-hop community has seen numerous major releases from artists subsequent to their passing. A popular example of this is Columbia Records’ decision to release two albums from Lil Peep since his tragic passing in November 2017 after an accidental Fentanyl overdose. ‘Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt.2’ was the first of the two releases, which was accompanied by a collaborative lead single with XXXTentacion titled ‘Falling Down’. It is well-known that the two artists were never acquainted, and Lil Peep reportedly distanced himself from XXXTentacion and his ‘Bad Vibes Forever’ crew after allegations of domestic abuse were brought against the Florida rapper in late 2017. Whilst XXXTentacion had written and recorded his verse intentionally for this song with Lil Peep, the project only came to light in the almost-immediate wake of his death, with neither artist ever approving, or even knowing of, an official release. Close friends and collaborators of Peep were quick to

Juice WRLD deserves more than to become another artist who, even in death, has their material and image used by industry players to cut their losses. How Interscope deals with this could be a turning point for the music industry.


Euan Lindsay Music Writer

this have happened if they were both alive? Columbia Records’ decision is more than enough to make people raise eyebrows at a business which threw together two artists on a single, when neither of them truly consented to it in life, and would have likely opposed it, were they given an option. In June 2018, XXXTentacion was shot dead in Florida at the age of 20. Immediately after, Empire Records stated their intent to release the remainder of his catalogue,

and in November of the same year, his first posthumous album titled ‘Skins’ was released. Standing at 10 tracks with a combined runtime of 19 minutes, critics and fans alike were quick to believe that Empire Records had simply thrown together what were essentially minute-long instrumental and vocal loops that XXXTentacion had not yet finished and repeated them for

his Spotify page to generate more streams. A 1-year anniversary deluxe edition of ‘?’ that included voice memos, instrumentals, and of course, lots of merchandise quickly followed. XXXTentacion’s camp later teased a documentary before unveiling a ‘museum’ in his honour, which included framed outfits of his, baby photos and, for some reason, the BMW i8 in which he was murdered. In the face of what can only be described as well-deserved backlash, XXXTentacion’s label and estate announced the final album to ever be released under his name; ‘Bad Vibes Forever’. The final album was an unabated failure, registering as his lowestselling project of all time, selling nearly 20% fewer units in its first week of sales than his debut album which he released over two years prior. It was also his worst-received album critically, with critics bashing his label for filling in the blanks all over the album with 21 guest features littered across 25 tracks. Even the most diehard of fans felt alienated by Empire’s avaricious tactics, and whatever legacy XXXTentacion left behind was somewhat tarnished by label executives who tried to recoup their losses on a multimillion-dollar record deal cut short by tragic circumstances. With the recent passing of Juice WRLD (pictured below) in December 2019, eyes from across the music community are focused on Interscope Records. Fans are begging friends of the late rapper to ensure his catalogue is treated respectfully, and it is safe to say Juice WRLD deserves more than


Matthew Derwin - Music Editor

Black Midi

February 14th - €16.50 Button Factory Black Midi bring their chaotic, profoundly energetic blend of genres to the Button Factory on the 14th of February. Formed in 2017, they garnered massive critical acclaim with their debut Schlagenheim and have been showing up on festival bills worldwide and even winning the coveted Mercury Prize -they captivated and confused the gathered audience with their muddled hit Bmbmbm. With an extremely experimental slant to their tunes, this is bound to be an exciting show. Tickets from €16.50.

Pictured Above: The Murder Capital

The Murder Capital February 27th - €20.00 Vicar Street Post-punk outfit The Murder Capital take Vicar Street on the 27th of February. Based in Dublin, they released their first album, When I Have Fears, last year. Their music has drawn strong comparison to IDLES and fellow Dublin compatriots Fontaines D.C., and are known for delivering an extremely strong live show even more impactful than their studio material – described by the Guardian as “thrilling on the edge of terrifying”. Tickets are available from €20.00.

The Growlers

February 25th - €24.00 Button Factory

speak out against Columbia’s decision to release the song at all, let alone make it the lead single for his next album, but the money train rolled on and the song was released, along with a somewhat awkward remix by Travis Barker, because there’s always money to be made. The release and rollout of ‘Falling Down’, as well as ‘Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt.2’ begs the question; would

1-2 minutes. Nevertheless, fans were left satisfied as it was the first true glimpse into XXXTentacion’s catalogue since he released ‘?’ in March earlier that year. However, the label saw the money they made off the posthumous release and were tempted into releasing more. ‘Skins’ was followed up by a collaborative tape with his ‘Members Only’ group named after XXXTentacion and put on

to become another artist who, even in death, has their material and image used by industry players to cut their losses. How Interscope deals with this could be a turning point for the music industry. Artists shouldn’t have to plan for their own death, but they may feel encouraged to do so, and you can see why.

American rockers The Growlers will be playing at the Button Factory on the 25th of February. Releasing their latest album, Natural Affair, last year, they have a lengthy discography that’s consistently good enough that they’ll be sure to have an engaging and appealing setlist. Their unique melding of surf rock with loud and gritty garage stylings is sure to make for an interesting show for any discerning rock fan. Tickets from €24.00.

Film & TV


Film & TV News



Volume 33 - Issue 07

Film Review: Marriage Story

Gemma Farrell Film & TV Writer Awards Season Rolls On: The celebrities of the moment graced the BAFTAs red carpet last Sunday. As predicted, Sir Sam Mendes’ 1917 triumphed across the board, picking up seven awards including Best Direction, Cinematography, and Best Overall Film. This season’s success continued for Brad Pitt, Renée Zellweger, Joaquin Phoenix and Laura Dern as they all won in their respective categories. Michael Ward won the coveted ‘Rising Star’ award for this year, following in the footsteps of Tom Holland and James McAvoy, among others. Meanwhile, the new cinematic releases keep on coming, with February bringing a host of new films. The latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, starring Johnny Flynn and Anya Taylor-Joy, is set for release on Valentine’s Day. Another adaptation, this time of H.G Wells’ 1933 novel The Invisible Man will also be released at the end of the month. Its spin-off Invisible Woman, directed by and starring Elizabeth Banks, is also reportedly in production. The latest instalment of the Harley Quinn saga, Birds of Prey sees Margot Robbie reprise her Suicide Squad role, this time as the lead. Closer to home, Liam Neeson’s latest film Ordinary Love is set for release on 11th February. Starring alongside Lesley Manville, the film has already received many 5-star reviews and a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. On Netflix, February sees the release of the highly anticipated

Pictured Above: George MacKay stars in the Award-Winning film ‘1917’ second season of Narcos: Mexico. Season four of Better Call Saul and season two of Altered Carbon are also set for release this month. The end of January brought the longawaited adaptation of Harlan Coben’s Thriller The Stranger, starring Richard Armitage (of The Hobbit fame) and Irish actors Dervla Kirwan and Stephen Rea. Finally, the end of the month sees the release of the sequel of the popular Netflix rom-com To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before- PS. I Still Love You.


Aisling MacAree Former Features Editor


oah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is somehow tragic, comedic and uplifting all at once. Its relentless depiction of a fractured relationship takes its power from its story being so simply, and uniquely, human. Excellent casting and a razor sharp script, coupled with subtle direction and complex characters, makes for Baumbach’s most compelling film yet. The feature begins with the levelheaded Nicole, played beautifully by Scarlett Johansson, and the magnetic and egotistical Charlie (Adam Driver) listing the qualities that each admire in the other. As such, we begin the dissolution of a relationship by first being shown why it once worked. We then follow the jumping timeline through an increasingly malignant and destructive court case, framing the evolution and dissolution of Charlie and Nicole’s relationship. However, despite the unfolding of the case into an increasingly hostile separation, it is not a film that encourages the choosing of sides. There is no sense of Nicole versus Charlie, but rather of two vulnerable people being swept up in a malicious system. Nicole’s lawyer Nora Fanshaw, played by the incomparable Laura Dern, heightens tensions with her relentless degradation of Charlie’s character, as Nicole’s exhaustion

Pictured Above: Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in Marriage Story with the whole process, exacerbated by hurt over Charlie’s infidelity, allows her lawyer to take over the case. The lawyers follow their carefully competitive process which is, as noted by Charlie’s lawyer, a careful deconstruction of a relationship; of a life. Marriage Story reveals the absolute hopelessness and lose-lose affair of divorce in its current system. It is a story that highlights the impossible process of a split; one in which hostility and resentment is encouraged by wickedly intelligent lawyers. One of the most unique aspects of Baumbach’s film is its complex depiction of separation. Despite the love that lurks perceptibly beneath the surface of their relationship, you are never encouraged to root for a reconciliation of their marriage. Therein lies the humanity of the film, there’s a blatant acceptance from the beginning that the two protagonists have outgrown each other, or rather grown into each other and are in resolute need of disentanglement. There is a resignation from the opening scene, despite its beautiful sentiments, that their separation is inevitable and neither Nicole nor Charlie cling to their marriage. Rather, they grasp at those elusive and fractious pieces of the life they had built together: their son, their home, the remnants of their life. There is something magnetic in Adam Driver’s performance. The culmination and emotional climax of his performance peak in his rendition of “Being Alive” which is inexplicably captivating, despite using only

intonation and hardly perceptible shifts in expression to offer such a resigned sadness. While Adam Driver is charismatic, charming and consuming, Scarlett Johansson offers one of the most arguably impressive performances of her career. She is foundational. She anchors Adam’s passion, she heightens the emotional impact of the film by suppressing it. Similarly to Johansson’s performance, the film is subtle yet strikingly emotionally charged. A resentment and poignancy lingers, but only spills into anger or a passionate sort of sadness on rare, powerful occasions. But the true power of this film comes in the form of resignation; of resentment and in a poignancy that undercuts and flows through the performances of the quietly desperate Charlie and the solidly stern Nicole. Thanks to the script and stellar performances, the film contains scenes so naturally fluid that I had imagined they were improvised. The emotions were so real and human I forgot I was watching a film. As such there is something captivating about this subtlety and humanity. I almost felt intrusive, as though I should not be privy to the tragic intimacies of their separation. As such, it is unsurprising that Marriage Story is up for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Actor and Supporting Actress (Laura Dern). Netflix’s Marriage Story is a uniquely human, complex and endearing amalgamation of tragedy, humour and love which deserves all the accolades it receives.

Volume 33 - Issue 07


Film & TV


y! Valentine’s Da

Netflix Recommendations

Call Me by Your Name Film


Although the film was released in 2017 Call Me by Your Name will continue to deserve endless re-watches, especially now that it is available on Netflix. Based on the novel by André Aciman, the film tells a story of the relationship between precocious 17 year-old Elio and 24 yearold graduate student Oliver in Northern Italy during the summer of 1983. The film’s cinematography captivates you in all of the beauty held within the Italian countryside, along with a score that becomes a character itself in the film. The chemistry between the two leads teleports you through the screen into their lives in an intimacy that will make you almost uncomfortable. For me, what defines the film is Michael Stuhlbarg’s monologue. The words are so powerfully poetic and fully summarise the film’s message about acceptance, love and how pain through heartbreak, while hard, helps us grow.

I Lost my Body

The Long Shot




The limited documentary series released by Vox and narrated by Janelle Monáe delves into questions and topics about sexuality, love and human reproduction that we as human beings have always thought about asking, but never do. It is a raw and hard hitting (no pun intended) series attempting to eliminate the taboos of human sexuality and fill in the gaps of what we were not taught in school (and at times, rightfully so!). From beginning to end the series is a thoroughly enjoyable watch with a playful narration given by Monáe. You will come away from the series with a slightly more comprehensive perception of the nature of fetishes, the reproductive system and the nature of attraction. If you are looking for something only educational but nevertheless engaging and risqué to watch, I highly suggest this series.

A truly unique animated film that deserves to be watched by all. It is starkly macabre yet a beautifully animated piece of cinema. The film will make you feel fear and anguish for a severed hand as it navigates the streets of Paris in an attempt to find the body that will seemingly make it whole again. Themes of disillusionment and fate heavily influence the film as it narrates the story of a daunting new love between protagonists Naoufel


Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ Little Women

Monday, 10th February @ 15:00 Wednesday, 12th February @ 20:00


Friday, 14th February @ 15:00 Friday, 14th February @ 20:30 Monday, 17th February @ 20:30


Friday, 14th February @ 18:00 Monday, 17th February @ 15:00 Wednesday, 19th February @ 20:15

Brigid Molloy - Film & TV Editor


Danielle DerGarabedian Film & TV Writer

Sex, Explained


and Gigi while simultaneously telling the story of the physical and emotional loss of the former. Whilst watching you feel the emotion being portrayed with or without words, whether its being felt by a person or just a body part. This current Oscar nominee should be added to everyone’s Netflix list because although it seems quite obscure the story that is told is universal.

Old Man, Old Voice? UCD Cinema Times


ichard Jewell is the name of the latest Clint Eastwood film and also its titular character. Jewell was a real person who detected a bomb threat at a concert hosted in celebration of the 1996 Olympics which took place in Atlanta, Georgia. The police could not prevent the bomb from exploding but because of Jewell, thousands of more deaths were prevented. He was declared a hero at first but in a cruel twist of fate, soon the FBI and the media began to frame him as the bomber. The film makes the case for the innocence of Jewell; he was of course flawed but it is apparent that he was a good, innocent person overall. The seasoned director Clint Eastwood creates a riveting film of already compelling material. What is most interesting about this film for me is how distinctive Eastwood’s voice is in it. Admittedly, the only other film directed by Eastwood I have seen is Gran Torino but I still do feel like I have a clear idea of his style from only those two films. For one thing, as



In a combination of romantic movie beats, Seth Rogen’s irreverent humor and Charlize Theron’s undeniable charm The Long Shot will have you laughing until the

credits roll. An unlikely romance sparks between the two protagonists: one is the Secretary of State and the other is a recently unemployed journalist who becomes Theron’s character’s speech writer while she begins her campaign for presidency. The satirical humor present does well to navigate the controversial political climate in America with a storyline that is a bit eccentric at times but nonetheless feels fast paced and well crafted. In modern romantic comedies it is hard to find likable protagonists with solid chemistry and genuine humor, but trust that you will find that in abundance in this movie. While this film won’t challenge you to understand a complicated theme, it is a heartwarming and enjoyable watch that could potentially be a Valentine’s Day classic. usual, American patriotism is very blatant. For example, the door to Jewell’s and his mother’s apartment is decorated with two small American flags. It could be argued that this film is critical of the American government as an institution but for me, the film only ever challenged the FBI and never went as far as the White House. The film is very masculine, which is typical of Eastwood too. But in regards to its treatment of Olivia Wilde’s character, Richard Jewell leans into toxic masculinity. The portrayal of Wilde’s character, Kathy Scruggs, has come under scrutiny from critics and with good reason. The film implies that Scruggs sleeps with an FBI agent in exchange for information when in truth, the real Scruggs found out that the FBI were investigating Richard Jewell through her boyfriend who worked for the organisation. This distinction is very important to make because as it stands now, the film misrepresents a real person and it further perpetuates a stereotype that female journalists sleep with clients in order to get information. I find that I am in a tricky position with regards to Richard Jewell because while it did engage me throughout, it often didn’t sit well with me. I do believe this unease on my part can be attributed to Eastwood’s directorial voice. For me, Richard Jewell is a very clear example of how influential the director’s point of view can be on a film.

Arts & Lifestyle




Volume 33 - Issue 07

A Single Person’s Guide to Valentine’s Day


Savannah Murray Arts & Lifestyle Writer

he smell of a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar follows you home like a cigarette you haven’t smoked. Anatomically incorrect hearts dance about the streets. You try to ignore them, but they know what avoidance smells like, and you stink. It’s Valentine’s Day again. You are single again. Not to be ignored, it can be a difficult time for many of us and while these suggestions may not alleviate all agony, we can only hope they help a little. Spend Time with Pals Grab hold of a few of your single buds and make your way up to the Maths Support Centre on Level One of James Joyce Library. Haggle (gently) with one of the tutors and

Valentine’s Day-adorned aisle. Ensure your grumbling is audible. Make a point of how Valentine’s Day is just an excuse to consume even more products. Forget about the fact that every single holiday is commercialised, as you propose that love itself has been manufactured by the bourgeoisie. While you’re there, you may as well mount the stuffed animals into inappropriate positions, just to act as a reminder to couples that what they understand to be love, is merely chemicals bouncing their respective genitalia off each other. Go for a Scroll Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to hit up

your old Tinder account again. Tinder is full of people looking for all things love and lust, and maybe, just maybe, you too will find the love of your life in the endless sea of selfies. Most importantly, when swiping right for a lover it is integral to remember that there is only one true reason to find a partner, and that is to have some sort of hope at renting your own gaff. Even with the two of you, you’d be struggling, or moving back in with your Ma. Consider polyamory, even if it isn’t something you would be into. With four or five of you chipping in, you might be able to afford a one bed apartment. Luckily, you can all share.

Let It All Out Thankfully, here in UCD, there are many completely accessible and definitely wellfunded resources in order for one to express their deepest, darkest emotions, such as the Newman bathrooms. Thankfully, many before you have felt the same gut-wrenching fear of loneliness and expressed such in elegant ways along the walls. Read the inspirational quotes. Touch them. Give them a lick, and hope you begin to feel a little better.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to hit up your old Tinder account again.

get their number-crunching brain to help you out. Together, compile a list of your coupled-up mates, and work out the odds of them breaking up in the next six months. Place your bets. Extra marks for figuring out who will break up with who. This is a great bonding exercise that will bring you closer to people, no doubt. Seize the Means of Procreation Pop by your local supermarket and make sure to walk extra slowly down the

New Year, New Vibes: Making the most out of 2020 Mallika Venkatramani Arts & Lifestyle Editor

finish half your day’s tasks by lunch time. It’s very simple: wake up early and hustle away. Don’t want to work right away? UCD Gym and Pool open at 6am on weekdays. Be honest. Whether it is telling someone you are sorry for something you did or confessing your feelings to your crush – just do it and don’t overthink it. Human interactions are lasting.





ew Years may have come and gone, and it might have even tried eating you up, but hey, there are still 11 more months to this year. Here’s 6 quick tips that won’t make you go, “Ugh, I wasted another year!” again. Clean your room. No, not just once, but regularly. A cleaner space does equal a cleaner mind.


Read some stuff. It’s sad that our assignments have taken the place of a quiet evening with a book. Important as college work might be, leave aside time to read. UCD Library has a wealth of good reads, from classics to travelogues. Just go on OneSearch and try finding the title you’ve been looking for all this time.


Get up early. There is a famous saying that you aren’t being productive unless you

Find a hobby and stick to it. Don’t try to be a Jack of all trades; we find contentment in spheres we delve into, not across. Like to garden? Check out UCD Horticulture Society. Want to learn to knit? Join UCD Purl Jam. Our campus has loads of skills you can latch onto in between hectic college days.


Be grateful. It’s fascinating how your life can turn 180 degrees when you start and end each day with feeling thankful for what you have. Too many people have experienced an awakening by cultivating this habit and we can’t ignore it!

Volume 33 - Issue 07



Arts & Lifestyle


An Insider Look at UCD’s Global Lounge PÁNG ★★★★

Kevin Street Lower, Dublin

€€ Alex Lohier - Deputy Editor Pang is a Vietnamese-inspired casual eatery which specialises in rice-paper rolls. They also offer traditional and modern interpretations of Vietnamese dishes, with options suitable for all tastes and diets (yes, even the vegans of the world). Tucked away on Kevin Street Lower, it’s not somewhere you would venture to unless you intentionally wanted to go there. This is unfortunate, as the food is superb. In my experience, Vietnamese places in Dublin are limited to begin with, and decently-


ost people associate the Gerald Manley Hopkins Building primarily with the Main Restaurant and Subway, but the real heart of the building is in its basement – where the Global Lounge is. Being an international student myself, the Global Lounge is a place I have been acquainted with since the day I stepped into Ireland, but for many UCD-students, I realise with a pang, this place is almost unheard of. I decided to have a conversation with Sneha Vijayakumar, one of the Global Guides. If you haven’t heard about the Global Guides, they are the friendly, purple hoodie-donning folk that keep the Global Lounge in one piece. Tell us about yourself and what made you want to become a Global Guide. “I’m from New Jersey in the United States. When I decided to come to UCD, it was important to me that the people were kind and approachable. What I liked about the campus was that it was so studentdominated. I wanted to carry on this student image and felt that being a Global Guide put me in a position to do so.” Describe an ordinary day at the Global Lounge. “We have a calendar of events for the week usually as so many societies use the Global Lounge as a venue. Our duties revolve around making sure that the venue is tidy for these events. A big part of our job revolves around social media promotion of their upcoming events.” UCD Global’s regularly posts Instagram stories on interesting series of topics like “Best Eateries in Town” and “Where to go?” (half-day trips). Tell us more about the events and programmes the Global Lounge does. “Most of our events are very casual in nature like coffee mornings, almost reflective of the student life here. Sometimes we do

have formal events like Mahatma Gandhi’s 100th Birthday Anniversary where we had external guests. By and large our events are internationalised in nature, such as festivals of different cultures.” At this point Sneha added an honest comment, “In UCD, people tend to socialise among people of their own ethnic groups and almost feel “uninvited” to the Global Lounge’s multicultural events.” Tell us about a memorable incident that occurred during your time as a Global Guide. “My best memory was during our Airport Welcome and Q&A Sessions. It was a wholesome experience seeing so many fresh faces arriving in a brand-new country as a student, and even as an immigrant. It made me relate to my own experience of arriving in Ireland and gave me an idea of what my parents might have experienced when they

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to hit up your old Tinder account again.

Mallika Venkatramani Arts & Lifestyle Editor

emigrated to America.” “Though these new students would have had a world of figuring out to do by themselves, it also felt very good to be there for these new students!” She added. How do you think you could get both Irish and non-Irish students to attend events at the Global Lounge, even if those events are culturally different from their own? “We have recently allowed people to eat at the Global Lounge and we hope that would attract many as the Global Lounge is a great place to be. Considering Subway is just upstairs, we want people to feel welcome to come down here.” With regard to reaching out to students to attend events, Sneha says that “At the end

of the day, we don’t want to people to feel pressurised about our events. We are a very welcoming space and encourage meaningful interactions with our many casual events, so we hope people will be more comfortable coming here.” The Global Guides share the view that the Global Lounge is for all students, not just international students, and hope that more will be receptive to attending their events. I thanked Sneha for her time and decided to check out an event that was taking place at the Global Lounge then – Erasmus Students’ Network’s (ESN) coffee afternoon. Federico Mambelli, the Auditor of ESN, told me that ESN enjoys a close relationship with the Global Lounge and they even promote each other’s events like their own. The Global Lounge has played an instrumental role in the student experience of international students; however, their vibrancy seems limited to this very group. Given UCD’s colourful mix of nationalities, cultures and ethnicities, a lot could be done in bridging students of different ethnic groups – whether it is between Irish and non-Irish students, or within international students from different countries – together in attending each other’s festivals and truly bringing out the essence of cultural exchange. As I reflected on this, I thought that I would have loved to attend GermanSoc’s Kaffeeklatsch (gathering over coffee) that happened at the Global Lounge that morning, but I would feel conscious of the fact that I might be the only non-German at the event. This is an issue students may face, as much as the excitement to learn more about another culture is deep-rooted in many of us. While the Global Lounge has been a stalwart in bringing all the international students under one roof, the collative efforts of all students in furthering UCD’s name as “Ireland’s Global University” is needed in order to establish deeper intercultural and interethnic ties. If there is something to be done to improve cohesion, UCD Global could be a forerunner in leading such a movement.

priced good ones even more so. Pang manages to meet all these criteria and then some. The owner is usually the one who greets and serves you, immediately setting a jovial mood. It’s small, bright and modern, in a colour scheme you’ll seldom find in Dublin. They pride themselves in using the freshest Irish produce, which shines through in their menu. My first outing there consisted of sampling the rice-paper rolls. These were an interesting find, giving an initial burst of freshness and leaving the palate desiring more. It’s a nice, healthy alternative to a chicken fillet roll and leaves you feeling good about your choice. For lunch, two or three will fill you up. On my second trek there, I went for a bowl of pho. For those not familiar with the dish, think warm, wholesome broth with meat and veg thrown in. The pho will set you back €9, and is a great option for a cold day. However, I found it to be lacking the depth and heartiness of flavours which the broth in pho is renowned for. I later learned that they use a vegan broth, as opposed to using chicken and beef bones, which explains it. That said, I’d have no hesitation going back and ordering one, especially given the low price-tag. I can’t say I’ve had many phos in Dublin, or anywhere else for that matter, but this is certainly better than the average one you would find in Ireland. Cheap, tasty, healthy and served quickly and with passion; this Vietnamese spot certainly gives you Pang for your buck….




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Volume 33 - Issue 06


American Football Kickoff Best Year Yet


CD American Football, founded in 2009, are entering their eleventh competitive kitted season this year and their ninth year competing in the Shamrock Bowl Conference, which is the top division in the American Football Ireland league. In November of 2019, UCD won the College Championships for the third consecutive year, which they have won four times overall vs the other American Foot-

ball college teams, University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin. UCD are having one of their best years for recruiting this year since they have been founded. The team currently has around 60 players coming from a range of different countries, with the most popular being the United States aside from Ireland. There are a number of stand-out rookie players on both Offense and Defense who we can’t wait to see playing in the regular season. Last Sunday, UCD hosted a sold out Super Bowl party in DTwo which was a great

UCD are having one of their best years for recruiting this year since they have been founded. The team currently has around 60 players coming from a range of different countries

Thomas - Club Secretary Defensive Back

fundraiser for the club and helped the teammates bond with each other before the SBC season begins.

Before the students begin their SBC season, they will play a friendly game vs the Cill Dara Crusaders, who

are a division below in AFI1, on Sunday the 16th of February at 2pm on the Rugby Astro pitch, beside the soccer five-a-side cages. UCD’s home games for the season are: Sunday 8th March vs UL, Sunday 31st May vs West Dublin Rhinos, Sunday 21st June vs Cork Admirals and Saturday 11th July vs Belfast Trojans. All games will either be played on the Rugby Astro pitch or the Thornfield pitch. UCD are also proud to have eleven players and coaches on the Irish National Team: The Irish Wolfhounds, who defeated the

Belgian Barbarians for the second time in September of 2019. UCD have not won a Shamrock Bowl yet and are hoping this is the year where they obtain their first one, as they have narrowly lost in the playoffs the last two years. UCD are always recruiting and welcome any student who wishes to give American Football a try so get in touch if you would like to join or find out more information.



Tennis Neil Stokes UCD Tennis Both UCD Men’s tennis teams stand in good stead after two matches in their Dublin Winter League pools. The Firsts recovered from a narrow defeat in week one

to beat Fitzwilliam 3-0 while the Seconds maintained their perfect record thus far. The Ladies recorded their first win of the campaign with a 2-1 victory against Donnybrook to lie mid-table in what is a very difficult Class 1 group.

Lacrosse Emily Ann Byrne UCD Lacrosse The UCD Lacrosse team have had a great week two, with lots of new faces at training! The club recently ran a Reffing and Coaching course for the Women’s team on Saturday, February 1st, to upskill people in the area in order to keep up with the growing popularity of the sport seen throughout the country. Week three was another busy one for the club, who had their Freshers event on the night of Monday, February 3rd, and their first Game Day on Saturday, February 8th. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams will be traveling to Galway to play teams from Belfast, Dublin, Galway and Cork. With the Men’s team winning the Cup last semester UCD Lacrosse had their

first game day of the season in Galway last Saturday. Battling high winds and tough competition the men’s team came away with a solid win against NUIG with Barry Carmody and Emmet Campbell putting in strong defensive performances. Their second game against UCC, again, saw UCD’s defence come to the fore. Brendan Byrne played well throughout the day, tallying 2 goals and a handful of assists. The women’s team’s first match was against Dublin City. It was a tough match with strong defence from Joy Boucher and Niamh Mahon and goals scored by Meghan Donahue, Emily Ann Byrne and Amy Hagen. Unfortunately their second match against Galway was cancelled due to Storm Ciara’s appearance blowing the goals across the field.




Neil Stokes UCD Hockey

Tlamelo Malima UCD Fencing

The UCD Men’s Hockey team remain in 3rd place and inside the coveted top 4 play-off places thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Glenanne. Despite playing the final quarter with a man less, Jazze Henry and Ewan Ramsay’s goals were enough to ensure the win. The Ladies leapfrogged rivals Pembroke into the top 4 also, with a 2-1 win over Catholic Institute. Aided by the return of their Irish internationals from South Africa, a kind run of fixtures will hopefully see UCD assert their playoff credentials in the weeks ahead. The UCD Men’s Hockey 1st team played Corinthians this weekend, suffering a narrow loss of 4-3 after a heated effort. Meanwhile, the 2nds were pitted against Railway Union, where they succeeded in nabbing a 1-1 draw. Elsewhere, the Ladies’ 3rd team played against their counterparts at Railway Union, breezing through to a well-deserved 3-0 win

A large number of the UCD Fencing members participated in the Professor Duffy Memorial Team Èpèe on the 25th - 26th of January in Trinity. Two of their mem-

Both teams will look to build off their performances on February 22nd for the league’s second game day.

Olympic Handball Emre Oktay UCD Olympic Handball It’s been a challenging time for the UCD Olympic Handball Club over the last two weeks. Both Men’s and Wom-

en’s teams have undergone a bout of losses. On Saturday, February 1st, the Men’s team had a match against Dublin City Handball, losing lost 24-30, whilst the Women’s lost 27-18 against their

Photos: UCD Olympic Handball

female counterparts. On Monday, February 3rd, the Women’s had another rough time, losing 3624 to Dublin International HC.


bers (Sean Ryan and Sun Haocheng) were part of the Team that got 2nd place in Men’s Èpèe. Team UCD A- 2nd Place: Sean Ryan(UCD) Sun Haocheng(UCD) Timothy O’Brien Duncan Salter

Volume 33 - Issue 07

Elsewhere, the club are proud to announce that UCD Fencing will be hosting the Annual East of Ireland Competition.

Photo: UCD Fencing

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