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Volume 21 / Issue 4

Siren Ode to

30th October 2007



Richard Crowley Exclusive interview: The Siren - Page 6

Mountjoy Prisoners, Guards and the Governor: Interviews - P9

Pay-freeze for President Brady ■ President overpaid by 12,000 ■ Extra allowance unauthorised It has emerged that UCD President Hugh Brady has been receiving an unauthorised annual allowance of €12,000, on top of his approved salary. Damning evidence from a highly critical government review report has exposed the illegal salary top-up, which violates the national pay policy. A pay freeze was ordered by the report for the former Harvard professor until the allowances are withdrawn. Although Brady was not specifically named by the report, it has been has established that at least two university presidents have been overpaid, with a spokesperson for UCD confirming that Brady has received the allowance. “Our understanding is that this allowance is to be included within

■ Caitrina Cody

the pay increase recommended by the review body.” However this directly conflicts with the government review body which has warned that the unauthorised allowance must be ‘withdrawn’ before any such pay increase can be improved. President of the University of Galway Iognaid O Muircheartaigh was also implicated in the critical report. The same report went on to raise general concerns about bonus schemes and contributions to personal assistance plans received by senior university staff around the country. The findings were published in last week’s Sunday Tribune. Continued on page four



College Tribune

30th October 2007

Students' activities disrupted ■ Karen Doyle UCD Society auditors have complained that extracurricular activities in the university have become increasingly difficult to organise. Students have stated that venues, particularly in the Arts Block are hard to book without the referral of a staff member, and that even when a booking is successfully made, there are no guarantees that it won’t be switched at the last minute. Many societies have spent time hanging posters around campus advertising an event in a specific venue, only to have the booking switched on the day, rendering their efforts a waste. L&H auditor Michael McGrath deplored the absence of a clear policy on booking venues. “It isn’t easy for us to get things organised. The staff have been helpful but it can be quite difficult to book a room. There isn’t any clarity about how to go about booking rooms because even when you book them you don’t get confirmation and when the booking is cancelled you don’t get confirmation of that either. “On one occasion one of our bookings for an event was cancelled and we received very little

Editor Caitrina Cody Features Editor Colin Gleeson Designer Simon Ward Sports Editor Jordan Daly Health & Fashion Editor Cathy Buckmaster Arts Editor Cian Taaffe Music Editor Lorcan Archer Contributors: James Geoghegan, Jennifer Bray, Karen Doyle, Bryan Devlin, Eoghan Glynn, Barra O'Fianail, Jason Timmons, Pete Mahon, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, Susanne O'Reilly, Emer Brady, Stephen, Eoin Boyle, Karen O'Connell, Eoin Brophy, Ben Blake, Lisa Towel, Adam Watts, Fiona Redmond, Helen O'Sullivan, Philip Connolly, Stephen West, Amanda Farley, Maximilian Harding, Ruth O'Neill, Gareth Byrne, Fergal O'Reilly, Sophie O'Higgins, Orla Kenny, Eoin MacAodha, Dan Hayden Special Thanks To: Gary Stephen & Billy @ Spectator Newspapers, Eilis O'Brien, Dominic Martella, A&B, Michael & Denise Cody. Contact Us: E: T: 01-7168501, LG 18, Newman Building Box 74, Student Centre, Belfield, D4.

Triboku .


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Name: Claire Morrison Course: 3rd Year Science




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■ Caitrina Cody 2006, a fourfold increase since 2003, with several contracts awarded outside normal tendering rules. The largest contract was awarded to IBM whose services have cost the university nearly two and a half million euro to date. Concerns have been raised about the private nature of the tendering process undertaken by UCD in regard to these firms. The Quigley report states that contracts involving sums over the €60,000 limit specified by the Department of Require a national tender competition. UCD has failed to observe this regulation

in regard to two contracts involving PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Blueview Ltd. and have stated that there were exceptional reasons for these deviations from standard procedure. Mills has called for an explanation of the matter. “With the results of the recent attitudinal survey showing a lack of morale among staff and students, one would wonder exactly what all this spending has been in aid of. Who has it benefited?” An internal investigation has been ordered into the tendering process for consultancy contracts at the college. A UCD spokesperson said the university’s procurement office had brought the matter to the attention of UCD President Hugh Brady last May. The issue has also been referred to the state’s financial watchdog.

Should we pay for health care in UCD?




A Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy Dr Gerald Mills, has told the College Tribune about his efforts over the last two years to gain access to college records on consultancy spending. “When I saw that spending had increased so dramatically over the last few years I wondered why. I requested copies of the records from the college but was not facilitated.” Mills then pursued the matter through the Freedom of Information Act and was granted access to the records that detail the consultancy firms hired by UCD and the amounts paid by the college. The records show that spending on consultants was almost four and a half million euro in



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■ Senior UCD Lecturer criticises lack of transparency ■ Questions raised over consultancy contracts



notice about it, meaning our posters were useless. There should be notification when they’re switching the venues.” UCD Students’ Union President Barry Colfer has echoed the sentiments expressed by McGrath

Investigation launched

Discussions are underway to decide whether fees will be introduced at the UCD Health Centre. The service is currently free but the university has sub-


■ SU President Barry Colfer

and is emphatic that the rights of students must be protected. “This recent trend is infringing seriously upon students’ lives and is denying students the right to give up their spare time to organise things for other students, something that should be nurtured and facilitated in the University, especially in light of the recent restructuring within UCD.” Colfer called for immediate action to address recent developments around campus, where students find it very difficult to organise student events. UCD Vice-President for Students Martin Butler addressed concerns raised by students and insists that clubs and societies hold a fundamental role in his vision of UCD. “Steeped in the history of UCD is the role played by clubs and societies. I will work to ensure that this great tradition thrives. “I intend to establish a forum consisting of representatives from The Students Union, Society Auditors, Club Captains, and the UCD Buildings Offices to ensure that a clear and transparent set of policies are established and implemented to allow clubs and societies access to resources and rooms in all building on the Belfield Campus.

mitted a proposal to the Students’ Union (SU) that would see a charge introduced per visit. The College Tribune asked students for their views.

Name: Jane Maguire Course: 3rd Psychology

“If people have accidents on campus and they need to see a doctor, there’s no incentive for them to go to the UCD health centre if they know they have to pay. They’d just head into the hospital instead. I think charges should definitely not be introduced.” Name: Deirdre Wyley Course: 3rd Year Science “I’ve used the service quite oen in the past and had to go back for repeated appointments to get prescriptions so if I had to pay each time it would be really expensive for me. The health centre isn’t perfect but it means that students in financial difficulties have access to a doctor.”

“I personally prefer it to be free. Being a student means you’re fairly broke all the time. One time I was really sick and they let me skip the queue and be seen right away. People would just go to their own doctors if they had to pay in UCD.” Name: Damien Coffey Course: 3rd Year Economics “Once you introduce fees, there’s no way of guaranteeing that they won’t keep going up. It might discourage people from going to the doctor at all when they have health problems. When money’s involved people might just stay away.”

Name: Mary-Kate Lynch Course: 3rd Year Psychology “If you make an appointment there you have to wait a couple of weeks which is a long time but even having to pay €10 or €20 is a lot of money for the average student. It’s not the greatest service but it’s free which counts for a lot.” Martin Butler UCD Vice-President for Students “One option under consideration is that all students would be charged a fee to avail of the services offered by UCD Health Service, with any revenues generated by the student fee will be used to provide additional services and resources. In addition, a guarantee will be incorporated within this option that ensures that students with financial difficulties will also be able to avail of the full range of services. The provision of services to medical card holders is also part of the option. It is hoped to have discussions completed by the end of November 2007.”


College Tribune

30th October 2007


Down the tubes

■ Senior Lecturer ‘depressed' at current state of UCD ■ Calls for end of ‘centralist domination'

A Senior UCD Lecturer has slated UCD senior management for their lack of clarity and communication regarding the implementation of changes in the structure of the college. Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy and Governing Authority member Dr Gerard Casey has spoken to the College Tribune about his intense disappointment with the handling of the changes, a disappointment that seems to be shared by many staff members according to the results of a recent Governing Authority survey. Casey feels that the negative results of the attitudinal survey that was completed by 21 percent of staff is indicative of the failure of management to consult and communicate with staff. Speaking out about the findings of the survey, Casey explained his disappointment, “UCD is not a happy place right now. I’m really sad about this whole thing because I think we had an opportunity. There was a consensus for change but the attitude of management was wrong. Instead of getting people behind the process, it’s caused widespread alienation and I think that’s tragic.” The damning results of the Mercator survey dealt with several key areas of the university and the restructuring process

■ Caitrina Cody that it has undergone since 2005.

International rankings According to the results, a number of people ‘expressed scepticism as to the value of an international university ranking, believing that the criteria for judgement were not always relevant to UCD.’ Casey agrees with the findings, “Rankings simply don’t mean a lot. We cannot

compete directly with the top-ranking universities. Not because we are inferior but because we’d need an income of about ten times what we have now and we’d need to have it for the next fiy years. “We can’t compete with the top-level but that doesn’t mean we are wasting our time. We do the best we can with the resources that are available.”

Undergraduates The survey stated that a significant number of respondents ‘spoke of the

UCD according to Casey “The disengagement of academic staff is massive. I’ve been in UCD for twenty-one years and I’ve never known it this bad. It’s depressing.” “Staff don’t go to college councils because nothing happens, all we get are PowerPoint presentations from somebody telling us how wonderful everything is.” On UCD’s efforts to climb the international rankings: “It’s like Scunthorpe United wanting to play for the Premier League. Sure they

can, but only if they get a rich Russian billionaire on board.” “Thinking that we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps when we don’t have the resources is crazy, it’s a failure to deal with reality.” “Management carried out by walking around campus and talking to people would go a long way in this college.”

■ Dr. Gerard Casey: “UCD is not a happy place right now” intense focus on developing UCD as a centre for research and were concerned that this compromised the quality of the university’s teaching offer. They believed that undergraduates could ultimately suffer if the imbalance was not redressed.’ According to Casey, the recent changes have seen a change in approach towards undergraduate education, “A friend of mine in another school told me a year ago that all over his school, he could hear the sound of doors slamming, as the message filtered through, particularly to younger members of staff, that they shouldn’t waste their time with undergraduates. “The really positive thing we do here is the undergraduate side. That’s our bread and butter. If we can do research that’s great, it should be facilitated as much as possible but not if it means neglecting our undergraduates.”


When asked in the survey whether there was a clear forum for discussing issues arising from restructuring, the reply from staff members was negative. This is due, in Casey’s view to the introduction of a centralist administration in UCD. “It means that everything is dominated from the President’s Office, down through the Vice-presidents, then to the principals. “It means we are not consulted about changes, we are simply told what to do and that is a system that simply doesn’t work in a university where there are so many distinct elements. Ultimately, Casey is hopeful that the situation can be salvaged, “If management continue on in the same way then I’m afraid we’re in for more of the same. But if they listen and take seriously what has been said, then we have a chance to salvage things.”



College Tribune

30th October 2007


Grants demonstration UCD students turned out in force to support a Union of Students in Ireland (USI) demonstration held last week, to highlight the failures of the existing grants system. The demonstration, attended by college students from across the country, was held at Leinster House. USI Education Officer Hamid Khodabakhshi was present at the rally and called on the government to listen to the needs of students. “Our message to Ministers is loud, clear and insistent. The Student Support Bill that you promised to enact before the summer must be passed before Christmas. End the delay and name the date. The grants saga and failure to deliver on a promise is damaging the reputation of this Government.”

USI council meeting A Union of Students in Ireland (USI) National Council meeting will take place on November 3rd to elect a new President. Former USI President Richard Morrisroe resigned on the 15th of October aer a vote of no confidence in his abilities was passed by the National Council. Education Officer Hamid Khodabakhshi has declared his intention to run in the presidential election and has the support of UCD Students’ Union (SU) President Barry Colfer. Morrisroe resigned in the wake of a USI scandal, which saw a letter calling for his resignation leaked to the internet and the subsequent resignation of USI Equality Officer Stephen Conlon, who was responsible for the leak.

Pay-freeze for President Brady ■ From front page

UCD President Hugh Brady has been receiving an unauthorised annual allowance of €12,000 in addition to his regular salary of €205,168. A government report has presented evidence that has resulted in a salary freeze for the university head. The report also recommended a nineteen percent increase on Brady’s current wage but warned that the unauthorised salary top-up must be withdrawn before this could happen. According to the review body, certain university presidents “are being paid more than we believed to be justified,” with President of University College Galway Iognaid Ó Muircheartaigh also being implicated in the damning report. An overall pay increase of nineteen percent was recommended for Brady in the report which would bring his official salary up to €270,000. There have been questions asked by Department of Education officials about other issues concerning senior university staff which do not comply with the national pay rules. Company cars, bonus schemes and contributions to personal assistance plans for university presidents have raised concern, the report stating that the recommended presidential salaries “represent the total remuneration for the posts concerned and no additional payments should be made.” There will be an investigation into the payments made, with several universities, and the Higher Education Authority now under scrutiny as to who authorised the payments. The report stated that, “We fail to understand how this situation can occur since payments of this sort require the approval of the minister for education and the minister for finance.” In another issue, the report has found that several

■ In search of a raise: The other university presidents academics in one third-level institution are receiving pay packages which include salaries above €240,000, pension contributions up to 40 percent of their income and annual bonus payments. Universities are legally required to adhere to the national pay rules, according to the Education Act, and in order to make exceptions, oen in the case of international academics who earn a higher salary outside or Ireland, government approval must be sought. Earlier this year, Brady requested a 55 percent pay increase as part of a proposal submitted by the seven university presidents. The proposal stated that the changing atmosphere in third level education today demanded that the presidents be paid according to their increasing burden of responsibility. Leading Irish economist Jim Power told the College Tribune that the increase was deserved, explaining

that universities are becoming increasingly similar to large companies and that the head of a college should be paid accordingly, to reflect an increasing workload and responsibility. The recent government report would see Brady’s salary increased from €205,168 to a grand total of €270,000, surpassing An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s wages which are currently €252,000. However, the €12,000 allowance cannot be accounted for under the UCD President’s current salary and an inquiry into the circumstances of the payment will be carried out. A spokesperson for the college refused to deny that the €12,000 allowance was unauthorised and there was no response from the UCD President at the time of going to print.

Student Capital Fund All students in UCD are now invited to apply for a grant from the Student Capital Fund for capital purposes for the provision of student facilities. The Student Capital Fund is funded by surplus funds generated in the operation of the Student Club. Previous successful applications include:

● Equipment for Sports Clubs ● Replacement of computers for student media ● Lighting for playing areas ● Disability access facilities All applications or queries can be emailed to: or sent by post to the Forum office, Student Centre, UCD by Friday, 9 November 2007, 5pm. Note: Subject to funding still being available there will be another advertisement for funding proposals later in the academic year.


College Tribune

30th October 2007


UCD back down over pay ■ Caitrina Cody UCD Grounds and General Operative staff have received a financial offer from the university that could put an end to the long-running pay dispute. An inside source has told the College Tribune that the offer is in the region of €12,000 and that there will be a meeting this week between SIPTU representatives and the UCD members to decide their next step. Sector Organiser of SIPTU Representative (Education branch) of the Grounds and General Operatives staff Chris Rowland has stated: “There was conciliation with the Labour Relations Committee (LRC) last Thursday and aer quite a few discussions and toing and froing, proposals came as a result, with the assistance of the LRC.” Rowland will be presenting the offer to the grounds and general operative staff this week and is hopeful that the package will be accepted. “We are hopeful that this will mean a resolution to the dispute but you can never be sure. We will be putting it forward with a recommendation for acceptance obviously but at the end of the day it’s a decision for the members themselves to make.” The grounds and general maintenance staff had balloted to take industrial action over the dispute, which centred on a discrepancy in their salary amounting to €13 a

Clamp down ■ End of provisional licence loophole ■ Offenders will be prosecuted

■ Protest: Staff protest in February week. In total the shortfall reportedly amounts to €10,000. The staff are entitled to 80 percent of the cra workers wage but have been receiving less than this for some time now, despite the best efforts of SIPTU representatives to bring the situation to the attention of the college in order to rectify it. Rowland adds: “It’s a question of the best we could get, we would have preferred a far better offer but given the circumstances of the situation I do know that it was the best we could expect. SIPTU shop stewards stated their reluctance to strike but emphasised that their patience was at an end with the situation. “We’ve

given the college over forty years of service and we have been dedicated to students the whole time. Nobody really notices us but we work away behind the scenes to make life easier for everyone. All we want is recognition that we deserve the correct salary.” The grounds staff are responsible for the upkeep of the extensive grounds of UCD while the general operatives work to ensure that the buildings of the college are well maintained. UCD Union members will hold a meeting this week to decide whether plans for industrial action will be cancelled in light of the offer made by the college.

More than 420,000 learner drivers have been banned from driving alone in drastic measures that have been introduced this week. The measures make it illegal for drivers with a second provisional license to drive without a licensed driver in the car at all times. Learner permits will replace provisional licences, with restrictions also applying to those who already have provisional licences, effectively removing a loophole whereby those on a second provisional licence can drive unaccompanied. There will be nationwide clamp-down carried out by Gardai on those not observing the new regulations with Assistant Garda Commissioner in charge of the Garda Traffic Corps, Eddie Rock, saying that they would be enforced “in a very effective manner”, adding that “prosecutions will be taken.” This will leave thousands of UCD students who depend on their cars to get to college in difficulty. 2nd Year Arts student Cathy Brennan has just received her second provisional licence aer completing her driving lessons.

■ Fiona McArthur “This effectively means that I won’t be able to use my car at all - my mother won’t be able to accompany me to and from college every day and now I won’t be allowed to do it on my own.” If students disregard the new law they face fines of €1,000 or jail terms of up to three years on a second offence. Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) Welfare Officer Peadar Hayes said: “Younger drivers are oen quite dependent on their cars, and that is oen by necessity due to a lack of alternative public transport options.” “The Government must match its emphasis on road safety with two other priorities: safeguarding the mobility of young people in suburban and rural areas, and protecting the environment. These aims require wholesale investment in public transport, training new driving instructors and properly accrediting them, and funding driving tests on demand”.

Bus stopped Dublin Bus has suspended its service into Belfield aer 10pm due to “unacceptable behaviour” from UCD students. The incident has taken place on a Dublin bus and involved an unidentified individual, which has resulted in the withdrawal of the service from UCD until the issue is resolved. College authorities are now making efforts to identify the person concerned who will be charged under the UCD Student Code, so that regular services can be resumed as soon as possible. UCD Vice-President for Students Martin Butler stated, “I have been in contact with Dublin Bus and we hope to have the full service restored this week.” A UCD spokesperson told the College Tribune that he had seen a CCTV video of the incident. “It involved a male who lied a cushion up off the backseat and threw it around the bus. There were no injuries. We haven’t identified whether it was a UCD student yet but the intention is to try and identify the person involved because Dublin Bus won’t give the service back until we resolve the situation.” This suspension will affect the student body of UCD, many of whom rely

■ Caitrina Cody on public transport to return home from college. Students will be forced to walk aer dark to the gates of UCD in order to get the bus. Butler has responded by sending an email to all students, encouraging them to work with the college in future to ensure that there will be no more ‘unacceptable behaviour’ taking place on Dublin buses. “I do regret the decision by Dublin Bus to limit the bus service to the campus aer 10pm. I appreciate the importance of the bus service to UCD students. However, having seen from the recording of the incident that prompted the action by Dublin Bus, I do understand their decision. No reasonable person could condone the actions that the video shows. “I will attempt to identify from the video the persons involved, and to see were they UCD students. Any UCD student involved in this type of behavior will be disciplined under the UCD Student Code.” Butler added, “I would like to encourage students to report any incidents of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ that they wit-

ness on the Dublin Bus service to Belfield in the future. By fully respecting the services provided by the university and other agencies, our community will continue to prosper and grow.” The college spokesperson confirmed that there had been a good response from students so far. “As a community, we will try and sort it out and make

sure it doesn’t happen again. I don’t think it’s a regular occurrence; the idea is to try and contain it. We don’t expect it to be long-term. They won’t run it in the campus but it will come right up to the gate. We’re hopeful that we can resolve the issue as soon as possible.” Concerns have been raised about the

safety of students walking to the UCD gate in the evenings. Butler emphasises that the welfare of students if one of his top priorities. “I have asked UCD Services to increase the patrols in the link between the bus terminal and the Stillorgan entrance to ensure the safety of students who are now forced to walk to the temporary bus terminus.”



College Tribune

30th October 2007



Serving the world's poorest SERVE Campaigns Officer Eoin Mac Aodha recalls his initial experiences working with the world’s poorest people in Africa for the Irish NGO that provides aid in Asia, Africa and South America We arrived in Johannesburg at around nine o’clock on a Thursday morning, having le Ireland at four o’clock the previous day. Our group of fieen boarded a mini-bus for the two-hour journey to our destination, Rustenburg. We were staying on a campus, but during our time there, we visited an AIDS hospice. It was a surreal and moving experience. This was our first taste of Africa and we were immediately confronted by the reality of the HIV virus. The patients we met contrasted between the very sick and those sitting up smiling; delighted to see some visitors. The sight of a small toddler in discomfort on a bed really hit home for the group though. We were all touched by the ingenuity of those working there, their positive attitude and the complex techniques they use to conserve energy and attain a level of self-sufficiency. We also visited a place called Freedom Park squatter camp. There were people from all over South Africa and the rest of Africa living here in small, tin shacks. Mines surrounded the area and people came here in search of work. We brought some balloons with us and made swords, hats and poodles for some of the children. Word quickly spread and

we were soon inundated with requests. Despite living in desperate conditions, the children were so happy and unbelievably full of life. It’s amazing to think that such a small thing like a balloon could bring such joy. We all le feeling very humbled and privileged by the experience. In the aernoon, we got our first glimpse of the dichotomy of South African society when we visited the Waterfall Mall. The shoppers were predominantly white and appeared well-off, while the shops stocked all of the consumer items we take for granted at home, but that the people of Freedom Park could only dream of. When you see how difficult their lives are, outrage and an overwhelming desire to help are the only rational feelings. The real challenge however, will be to continue that when we return to Ireland and all our luxuries. When we returned to the campus we learned that three patients had died since we had been there last. We were up the next day at the ungodly hour of 7am to visit a new squatter camp call Nkaneng about 40km from where we are staying. Unlike our visit to Freedom Park where we stayed around the clinic area, this time we went out into the camp. It’s impossible to describe the condi-

tions in the camp. These are essentially South Africa’s forgotten people. As you leave the main road, you pass onto an access road. This was a basic dirt track, complete with large gullies the size of your knee. It was a struggle for even our jeep. The clinic, run by the Topalogo project there, is in a small corrugated iron shed. It’s right beside a small children’s graveyard, which we all found very

moving, especially contrasted with the poverty of the camp. The work that we would be doing here involved filling in the access road and levelling the ground for the containers. We went for a walk to look at some of the crèches we were going to renovate. As we walked through the camp, there was a subtle but overwhelming stench from all the rubbish. The work involved over the summer

was toiling and laborious, but one of the most rewarding, worthwhile experiences of my life. The people that are gripped in the jaws of this world’s poverty must not be forgotten, and SERVE is working to ensure that this reality is realised. If interested in volunteering opportunities with SERVE, there will be an information evening in Dublin this November. For details, see or email:

Panicking on The Panel Back in October 2005, I was invited as a guest onto The Panel, to be interviewed as the Rose of Tralee. I remember being a bit wary of going onto the show; obviously I was nervous of what they might say, of the proverbial piss that would inevitably be taken and I wasn’t looking forward to the comedians having a field day with the festival and title. Getting ready for the show, my bedroom looked as if an explosion had gone off in my wardrobe. Clothes were thrown over every available surface as I frantically tried to decide what to wear and with all this in mind, I arrived at the Helix (where The Panel is occasionally filmed) a little panicked and uneasy. After meeting the backstage crew and the wonderful make-up artist, the tension began to dissolve as quickly as the bubbles in the bottle of beer I was handed. The atmosphere behind the scenes was very fun and casual and it was enjoyable to watch the show and wait to be introduced to the stage. On set with the comedians was hilarious. They were easy to chat to; the banter on random subjects was hilarious and I was awed to be in the presence of these brilliant comedians. We hit the town after the show, all rocked up to a late bar, were immediately led to the V.I.P area and I proceeded to thoroughly enjoy the night.


Ni Shúilleabháin

It was one of the more memorable evenings of my year as Rose of Tralee and I was delighted to have had such an opportunity. Imagine my surprise when, almost a full year afterwards, the executive producer of the show invited me to lunch and asked if I would like to join the show as a panellist. Naturally, I was delighted to be

offered such an amazing opportunity and worked really hard on researching our guests and new stories for my first show. I was extremely nervous arriving to the venue that afternoon. Sitting at the desk with Colin Murphy, Neil Delamare, Andrew Maxwell and Dara O’Brian, I didn’t know whether I should be laughing at their casual chat (because I really was finding it funny) or be seriously commenting on the events of the week. I think I must have been really quiet because Dara started throwing maths questions at me and we argued over the answers for a while (he also has a degree in Theoretical Physics from U.C.D), an unsuccessful ploy to put me at ease. Once the cameras started rolling, the atmosphere was electric with the live audience adding to the energy and the conversation began to flow. I thought I was doing okay until the interview with the legendary John Simpson (foreign correspondent with the BBC) began and I froze. Completely. I couldn’t get one word out

of my mouth and it was a scary moment. Scarier even than Jonathon Bowman of Questions and Answers turning to me and asking ‘Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, what do you think?’ I really did see my whole life flashing before your eyes. Thankfully, Dara turned to me, brought me back to life with a droll remark and I continued with my question. It’s that kind of show; casual, unscripted, unexpected and undeniably funny. The rapport backstage is very familiar and familial. The pre-show meeting, where we discuss new stories of the week, should take half an hour but instead lasts for three because the chat is endless, the craic is brilliant and the gossip is very interesting. All these comedians have all been working with each other for such a long time that they could nearly finish each other’s sentences. As we munch away at endless supplies of sweets and crisps, we natter abut what might come up on the show, exchange stories from when we’ve last seen each other

and by the time I go to make-up my laughing muscles have been well exercised. Three series in and I’m beginning to feel more comfortable in the role of a panellist. You may have seen the last show where Sebastian Horsley was a guest, an unforgettable man who crucified himself and arrived in a sparkly red suit with matching nail varnish. He commented that it was very easy for us to be critiquing his life since we were all comedians but I replied that I was certainly not a comedian, have never claimed to be and that I still viewed him as a strange creature… It got me thinking about exactly what my role on the show is and maybe that it’s time to get a proper career. At the moment though, I’m working in a fantastic job with great people, I get to meet and interview lively characters and I am so thankful to the producers for taking a chance by inviting me to the show. As Billie Holiday sang ‘it’s nice work if you can get it’ and with that in mind I’m hoping to stick with it for as long as it lasts.

“Jonathon Bowman of turned to me and asked ‘Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, what do you think?’ I really did see my whole life flashing before my eyes”


College Tribune

30th October 2007


Brady’s Salary

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The news that our President has been receiving a mysterious top-up to his already bounteous salary may come as no surprise to certain students and staff members, who are already disillusioned by the manner in which affairs are conducted in this institution. Arriving in the aermath of the release of a Governing Authority survey which speaks volumes about the so-called ‘big-bang’ approach adopted by management, it seems that yet another crack has appeared on the surface of the polished veneer that has been carefully constructed in order to market ‘UCD Today.’ Disillusionment, discouragement and frustration were key words that came forth from academic staff and these are feelings that can only be deepened by the news that their president has violated the national pay rules by accepting an additional allowance. The importance of review is a fundamental principle of any university. Students are subjected to examinations and continuous assessment in order to gauge their progress and performance throughout their term in UCD. Likewise, staff members are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are meeting certain standards and performing to the best of their ability. Transparency in these issues is paramount; it’s important to know what and how people are doing in all areas of such a large establishment in order for progress to be made and this should also apply to the senior management team. The president’s performance should be subject to review in the same way that a First Year French student is subject to a mid-term exam. Both are elements in a larger structure and are there to fulfil their potential in their individual capacities. But certain sectors of UCD are simply not subject to review. Instead these sectors are surrounded by spin and jargon, and Power Point presentations, designed to ensure that UCD’s dynamic new image is preserved, whatever the cost. The emphasis seems, as the attitudinal survey says, to be firmly on ‘improving external perceptions of excellence rather than concentrating on improving the basic university offering.’ Confusion and smokescreens are everywhere in UCD today; confusion surrounding the unexplainably large increase in expenditure towards consultancy firms, confusion surrounding the lack of communication between management and staff and confusion surrounding the exact details of the UCD President’s wages. This newspaper calls for an end to the smokescreens. Let us have clarity in every field and let each cog in the wheel, regardless of their wage bracket, be accountable for their actions.

Consultancy Expenditure The fourfold increase in spending on consultants since 2003 in UCD is an interesting development. With almost four and a half million euro spent on hiring consultancy firms in UCD, the obvious question would be why? A senior lecturer in the college wondered the same thing and saw fit to request copies of the records of expenditure, curious as to exactly which firms had been hired, at what cost, for what purpose and by whom. The request was denied. Two years and several Freedom of Information requests later, the records were finally in his hands. Why this refusal to let academic staff have access to college spending records? These are the actions of those with something to hide and recent discoveries concerning questionable contract, drawn up with mysterious consultancy firms, would seem to reinforce that impression. As with the national pay rules in the case of Brady’s pay check, the normal tendering rules seem to have been ignored by UCD when it comes to signing contracts with consultancy firms. All of these developments highlight the desperate need for more transparency across the board in UCD. As Shakespeare said, the truth will out, so let’s hope that we can see the commencement of real communication in this college, real answers given to the many questions that are floating in the air.



College Tribune

30th October 2007

Fighting the blaze Fire-fighter Tom O’Rourke speaks about being first on the scene after road accidents, meeting abusive civilians and the changing face of the job, with Philip Connolly It’s half ten on a Thursday evening and Phibsborogh fire station is quiet. “It’s been a quiet enough night for the most part so far,” remarks fire-fighter Tom O’Rourke. It’s the last shi of three, each of which lasts fieen hours; one day and two nights. O’Rourke hasn’t slept in 48 hours. “I can never sleep during the day, it’s just something you get used to. I could never go back to working nine to five. I do it when I’m instructing sometime and it does my head in,” he explains. While many of the risks involved with an emergency rescue service are obvious, there is another risk that does not necessarily spring to mind. Namely, the public. He is quick to stress that, “90 percent of people recognise that you’re there to help them and are grateful for it.” “But then there is the other ten percent. There are those who are so out of it on drugs, they don’t even know what they’re doing. Then, there is the one percent that is simply looking for trouble and you might be the unfortunate individual they find. “A few weeks ago, one of the lads in another station was injured in a truck. Some lad tossed a full bottle of beer through an open window and it struck him in the head. The bottle exploded onto his face.” It’s a problem that you wouldn’t necessarily think firemen would have, but O’Rourke seems to think that it’s becoming ever more prevalent, “The level of respect that we get has dropped a lot since I joined the job, but that’s happened in a lot of areas. We don’t get anywhere near the same problems as the Gardai thank god, most people still recognise that we’re here to help. “The only thing you can really do with someone like that is take a step back. If they really need help, they won’t resist for long, and if they’re losing blood, they’ll pass out eventually. It’s just a case of waiting until then, but I’d never refuse to treat anyone. At the end of the day it’s just a job and it’s not worth risking yourself over someone who’s being abusive.” The job also carries with it a certain amount of psychological baggage, not least at the scenes of accidents. “You never really take it home, it’s just a job. Sometimes we see things you

can’t help but let get to you. “A few weeks ago there was a ten year old lad killed in an accident up the road, hit by a vehicle. I was first on the scene in the ambulance; the lad had a fractured skull. Stuff like that can stay with you for a while.” He goes on to talk about the changes the job has seen over the years, and the adapting that he and his colleagues have been forced to cope with. “With the level of fire safety now, our job is very different. Large industrial fires are a thing of the past, and most house fires are caused by people leaving the oven on and falling asleep.” The life of a fireman, it seems, has changed a lot over the years. The level of training, or more specifically the diversity, has drastically changed over the past few years, “We all train in ambulance support. The only thing paramedics can do that we can’t is I.Vs. It takes a year to learn and continuous training thereaer.” A fireman’s work is increasingly becoming less about fires and more about ambulance support. Road accidents are always going to take up their fair-share of calls, simply given the sheer quantity of them. The night before the interview, O’Rourke spent the majority of the night in an ambulance. It’s busy work with around four million people in the greater Dublin area. Phibsborogh is among the busiest stations, along with Dolphins’ Barn and Tallaght. Tonight however, the station is like a ghost-town. There are a handful of firemen dwarfed by the sizeable yard, which contains a plethora of expensive looking machinery. A few more sit inside chatting, the rest of the station is dormant for the night. During the day-shis, there is much work to be done. Drills, training and a host of other jobs can fill up the time between calls, not least keeping the house in order; “We don’t employ cleaners,” he proclaims with a wry smile. Nights however can be a different story altogether. It seems to range from the ridiculously busy to the height of boredom. “Some nights, you’d almost wish for a fire to start, or for something to happen at least, but you never want to wish misfortune on anyone.” Trying to catch a few hours sleep seems to be a popular choice as far as passing the time goes, “But it’s rare that I’d manage to get

an entire night undisturbed,” he adds. The duties of a fireman have vastly changed without doubt, and ambulance work is fast becoming one of the more dominant aspects of the job. While the fire station itself barely stirs, the work on the station’s ambulance is anything but quiet. “The lads popped back in at about six to swap over and get a bite to eat, it hasn’t been back since,” declares O’Rourke. Call aer call seems to be almost routine, especially at weekend nights; dealing with a large chunk of the city, life on the ambulance is never dull. New departures in duties also create a host of new problems. Dealing with the general public is one thing; dealing with the drunk

“Some nights, you’d almost wish for a fire to start, or for something to happen at least, but you never want to wish misfortune on anyone.” and disorderly at two o’clock in the morning is an entirely different animal. Not that you would find any of the firemen complaining about it- O’Rourke seems very much at home with the changing job description. The level of training these fire fighters now receive is a far cry from what he originally went through when taking the job. Along with an ever-diverse role; new and ever more complex, hi-tech equipment creates a need for much training. O’Rourke speaks about a new piece of equipment for rescues at height that sounds not unlike mountaineering equipment, and all of the crew will be trained to use the equipment over the course of the coming weeks. Halloween is commonly known as the busiest night of the year for firemen, but the reasons for it have changed. “We don’t tend to go around putting out bonfires anymore, the district officer takes an unmarked car and drives

around monitoring what is happening,” explains O’Rourke, “It’s about the only real work he does all year,” he adds chuckling. “Unless they’re burning near buildings or causing a danger, we don’t really bother. Most are well-supervised and out in the open. We’re not in the business of spoiling people’s fun.” The men in the fire station are of varying ages, yet the recruitment process is extremely difficult, not to mention popular. “Around 5,000 people applied earlier this year, the majority fail on the aptitude tests. While I’d be lying if I said there aren’t phone calls made and a certain degree of favouritism, it doesn’t matter if you’re Bertie’s son if you fail the aptitude test.” “It’s good to get the young lads in; they bring a good level of fitness and enthusiasm to the job. The older lads have to use their experience and rein them in a bit. They might want to run straight into the building, but unless there is someone stuck inside, there is no point. It’s only concrete aer all.” Popular as the job is, speaking to O’Rourke, it’s easy to see why. “I love the job, most of us do.” The bond between the firemen is very different from most other professions. “There aren’t many other jobs where you spend fieen hours together at night. I never get nervous, but you do get a certain amount of anxious energy and adrenalin. You need that. It keeps you alert. “Half of it is the job and the other half is the other lads. I’ve never woken up in the morning and dreaded going to work. I don’t know anyone who has ever le to go to another job. Plenty go abroad or leave for medical reasons, but what other job could you go to aer this?” he concludes philosophically.


College Tribune

30th October 2007






Philip Connolly ventures inside Mountjoy Prison and speaks to an anonymous guard about conditions, drugs and weapons inside the jail “It’s a university for crime,” explains one of the guards as we stride through Mountjoy Prison. “It’s like doing an apprenticeship really. You come in, do your time, and learn your trade,” adds another. Welcome to Mountjoy prison. The large blue gates tower over you as you arrive. Passing through them, the old stone structure looms ever large, and the architecture is surprisingly impressive. The huge razor-sharp wire fences atop of the tall oppressive stone walls are a timely reminder of where you are. Guards pace around, most of them dressed in blue uniforms. While the exterior of the prison seems impressive, the inside is an entirely different matter. Mountjoy looks its age. And more so, it smells it. Once you pass the warden offices, you enter a different world. The four blocks spread out around the centre, each with three landings. A large steel spiral staircase dominates the centre, each block covered with bars and steel mesh. The blocks themselves are shorter than you might expect. The cells can be identified by a small red light that shines above the steel doors that line the corridors. There is more steel mesh overhead that separates the landings, “You’ll notice most of the guards don’t stand out in the open, you never know what’s going to come down on top of you,” remarks the guard. The stale stench that lingers in the area is explained by the fact that there are open toilets with only small doors at either end of the landing. “There are no toilets in the cells, only pisspots. The prisoners get one shower

a week, that’s one wash, one change of clothes, underwear and socks,” he continues. It’s quiet in the prison at first. Most men are locked down, that’s other than the trustees who clean the floors and the guards that pace them. Later on though, it’s a very different story. The guard presence has become much larger, as the inmates walk around the landings in plain clothes. The calm, quiet atmosphere that existed earlier has completely changed. The cells are tiny, and most house two men. “There are around 550 prisoners here, it should hold about 450. Having said that I’ve seen this place hold near 850”. Inside one of the cells, there are bunk beds against the back wall, with the top bunk littered with Liverpool posters and photographs. The right wall contains a few pictures from men’s magazines and a few more photos. The only luxury that’s visible is a small television on the le. The walls and floors are falling apart and very much showing their age. It’s dimly lit and very cramped. Outside, the yards are fenced with high green nets to try and stop objects being thrown in from outside. “All they do is give people something to aim for,” says the guard. We continue around to the old hang-house, which is used only for guided tours nowadays. It was last used in the 1950s and there is a plaque outside that marks the spot where Kevin Barry and other Irish rebels were originally buried before being moved to Glasnevin cemetery.

“There are plenty of other bodies under the ground beneath us,” remarks the guard. On the way out, the guard points to a bell, “That was rung to let the families outside know that the execution was over,” he explains. The spectre of drugs is one that haunts Mountjoy. “They’re everywhere,” according to the guard, “90 percent of people in here are here because of drugs; plenty of young lads come in clean and leave addicts.” It’s very difficult to see how

there’s a lot of money to be made in them. A lad looks at his twentysomething unemployed neighbour driving a new Lexus and says to himself, ‘I’ll have a bit of that’. “Would you or I act differently coming from the same background? Who knows. Last New Year’s Eve, I was walking in front of the wall around the yard and I picked up two grand worth of drugs that didn’t reach the yard.” He goes on in search of solutions to the drugs problem in Mountjoy, “A unilateral legalising of drugs would get rid of 60 or 70 percent of the prisoners in here. It would take a brave government to suggest it, but maybe one or two generations down the line we might see a difference. Did prohibition work in America?” Violence has also become a much bigger part of prison life. “There was the lad murdered earlier this year, but we all saw that coming. Oen there’s not much you can do except try and protect them as best you can. When I started here, there had never been a man murdered in Irish prisons, now it’s becoming all too frequent.” A lot of what’s happening seems to be gang-related; “There are so many rival gangs in here, continuing on from the outside.” Weapons have also become a bigger issue. “It’s a relatively new departure, last week I was walking in the yard and I found drugs in a football thrown in from outside, but with it was a knife with a six-inch blade.” And guns? “There’s been a rumour that there’s one in here for a while,

“The prisoners get one shower a week, that’s one wash, one change of clothes, underwear and socks” Mountjoy can escape from the vicious cycle it’s caught in. 85 percent of people who have a prolonged stay in Mountjoy will be back. “Most of these guys come in here and leave here with an education; they build up contacts and knowledge. “A guy comes in here as an inept criminal and leaves with the knowledge of the others around him. Back in the eighties, the only place with a drug problem in this country was Dublin. Lots of prisoners came up from the country and, aer talking with the Dublin lads, saw an opportunity to make money. They had the opportunity to build up contacts and deals were made. “Drugs are very expensive, and

but we haven seen a victim yet so it’s unlikely.” Mobile phones have also been a fixture, but guards are clamping down. New x-ray machines have been installed and most phones seem to have been located. There are also proposals to introduce a jamming device to the prison. The women’s prison across the road evokes a lot more hope. “Women suffer more in prison then men, they are more abandoned and oen have children to worry about; all the men care about is drugs.” It looks the farthest thing from a prison, more like an apartment block, and prisoners spend much less time locked in cells, and “The problem is that it looks too nice.” Behind the pleasant façade though, a different world exists. “Half the people in here are already dead, they’re just not on the ground yet,” remarks one younger female prisoner. Drugs are as big a part here as in the men’s prison. There is an awful lot more emphasis placed on rehabilitation and counselling. All the guards and officers in the women’s prison have been trained in counselling and uniforms aren’t compulsory. They even have a dog. It’s a world apart from the harshness of the men’s regime. Up early, meals at eight, twelve and four, a shower a week and eighteen hours a day locked up. And contrary to popular believe, there have been boys as young as fieen locked up inside Mountjoy. It seems clear walking through the prison that the absence of any real effort to rehabilitate these people will result only in the return of the vast majority to the jail.




College Tribune

30th October 2007

Trying to survive in “I’m serving a ten-year sentence,” explains prisoner Mick Byrne, “But I’ll probably serve seven years. I was involved in an armed robbery. This is my second ten-year sentence, the other one was for armed robbery too, and I did two years in England before ending up back in here.” The sounds of the prison itself can be heard in the background as the conversation continues. He talks about how the prison has changed in recent years. “It’s completely different, you used to be able to have a bit of banter but that’s almost gone now,” he remarks. Violence has become an increasingly prominent part of life in Mountjoy. “There’s a lot that goes on between gangs, you know about the CrumlinDrimnagh feud that’s going on at the moment. The guards have them split up; the A and B wings aren’t allowed mix with C and D because of it. “The guards do what they can but it takes them 30 seconds to get to something, and most of the time there’s nothing they can do about it. Only last week, there was a lad who had his leg slashed. You see, it doesn’t matter who you are in here if you piss off the wrong people.” Earlier this year, a man was killed on one of the wings. “It was just outside the door there at the gate. It was because of bullying, we all saw it coming. One of the lads had just had enough. It was his own knife he was stabbed with, he had given it to the chap to hold for him.” He continues and speaks about the lads inside who are under protection, “They wouldn’t last half an hour on a landing. They owe money or have done something on another prisoner in the past. Without protection they’d be long dead. There’s a lot of cliques in here, lots of gangs. If you piss the wrong people off you’ll get done for it.”

Serving his second ten-year prison sentence, Mick Byrne is a prisoner whose name has been changed for this interview, but he spoke to Philip Connolly about killings, drugs, and his life within Mountjoy Prison Byrne is a trustee. Aer years of keeping his head down and refraining from troublemaking, the guards trust him. He washes the floor when others are locked up and performs jobs for the guards. While this seems a good way to use your time, it can also present its own problems. “Some of the other prisoners would call me a rat or whatever but most don’t have issues with it. I even got some slagging when I was coming to talk to you, it’s all banter but you don’t know what they’re really thinking deep down. “Sometimes I’d be washing the floors by a cell, and one of the lads would ask me to pass something into another cell, heroin or hash. The guards tell you to just stay away from the doors, but you don’t want to get known for being too in with the guards. “Most of the lads get on grand with the guards; if you treat them with an amount of respect, you’ll get the same back. Some of the lads will give them all that and cause trouble. You hear them giving threats about getting them on the outside but it never happens. They know that it’ll only land them back in here. I get on great with

the guards, that’s why I’m in here talking to you.” Racism could be seen as a growing problem in the prison, given how Ireland has changed over the past few years. Surprisingly, and contrary to the guards’ opinions, the prisoner doesn’t see it as an issue. “There isn’t much of that in here, you might hear the odd shout or whatever, but never any violence. The foreign

“One of the lads had just had enough. It was his own knife he was stabbed with, he had given it to the chap to hold for him”

lads are probably better treated by the rest of us because of it. You never hear anything said to a female officer either, and they’re especially never

“If you interview all the prisoners in here, 90 percent of them are in here because of drugs”

touched.” Aer seven years, a place becomes very familiar and it’s easy to become institutionalised. “When I got out first, I was completely institutionalised. I was eating at twelve and four like we do in here. I’d get nervous in small spaces, and miss being around a lot of people like I am in this place.” It’s easy to see how a prisoner might turn to drugs inside Mountjoy. Locked in a cell for eighteen hours a day raises a lot of boredom

‘Give information to Governor John Lonergan of Mountjoy Prison has just come from a stabbing, but he takes time out to speak about gang-warfare, murder, suicide and drugs inside his prison, with Jennifer Bray Sitting comfortably in the office of John Lonergan, the Mountjoy Prison Governor, there is an atmosphere of calm that offsets the chaotic scenes that are occurring just outside. The atmosphere is shattered though when the door swings open and the bedlam from the scenes outside spill into the office, and the governor strides in. He’s late for the interview but explains that he was held up because of a stabbing inside the jail. When asked to elaborate on what’s happened, Lonergan replies, “It was just a cutting of the face with a blade, not an attempted murder. He probably owes money or maybe he’s associated with a particular gang. “It’s amazing that if you’re associated with a group or someone, that that could be the reason you are attacked. It can make you a target. Men align themselves to gangs for protection, and it ends up resulting in the opposite.” He speaks openly about the many problems in the prison, the most preva-

lent and obvious of which is violence and gang-related incidents within the jail. “In the last couple of years, we have had three murders here. They were three violent murders in the sense they were all violent stabbings,” he explains. “It’s related to the activities outside and their feuds outside. Sometimes it’s about owing money but oen about giving information to the guards. If someone gives information to the guards, they’re in real trouble. They might as well sign their death warrant, and that’s their punishment. “So, if you’re in a gang and you’re seen to give evidence or the guards raid someone and it’s pinned back to you, you can write your life off because they’ll get you and that’s the way it is.” Mountjoy has featured in numerous news articles in recent times, which have described a state of chaos and a complete descent into anarchy within the prison. It seems obvious that morale has become extremely low among some prisoners, with the prison being no stranger to at-

tempted suicides. “Over the years, we have had numerous attempted suicides and indeed a number of successful ones. There hasn’t been as many recently, because we have put extra measures in place to try and prevent suicides. “In all modern prisons, physical changes have been significant in terms of eliminating opportunities, such as the fact that there are no bars on the windows anymore, so there’s nothing to tie things on to. If we come across an attempted suicide, we are then aware of the risk-level posed to that particular person. They are put in a high-risk category, where they are monitored every ten to fieen minutes by staff. Oen, we would also put them sharing with someone else for company, in the hope that this will deny them the opportunity to commit suicide.” Despite all of this, Lonergan believes that once a person is low enough to be completely set on committing suicide,


College Tribune

30th October 2007


hell on earth and loneliness issues. “Nights can be long, the TV helps but it’s difficult not to think about your family or friends. “You spend so much time locked up, you have to get into TV programmes or read or something. The waiting lists for the workshops are long, a lot of lads don’t care and refuse to do it but even those who do can have a while to wait. If you interview all the prisoners in here, 90 percent of them are in here because of drugs.” It’s difficult to see how a place like Mountjoy can produce any form of rehabilitation. “Look at the amount of people who leave but end up back inside. And sometimes the lads in here leave more dangerous than they came in, they’ve gotten an education in crime and built up contacts. “I’ve seen plenty of lads who came in here straight and ended up on drugs. They end up in a clique, and doing the drugs with the rest of them just to fit in. Sometimes there just isn’t anything else. “When you’re on drugs you’ll do anything to get more, whatever it takes. That’s how a lot of lads end up in here. I still dabble myself. I’m trying to get clean but in here it’s hard; drugs are everywhere.” Despite the guards’ best efforts, drugs still permeate the walls of Mountjoy. “Of course they know what’s going on but there’s not a lot they can do about it. They come in via footballs through the yard, or even on visits sometimes. “I need to get clean, I’ve been on a drug to wean me off heroin for a while now and the dosage I need has

been reduced. Hopefully I’ll get into the medical centre; I have to give two urine samples a week there to prove I’m clean. “Then when I get out, I need to get into Coolmine (Drug Rehab Clinic) or something. I’ll be in my forties when I get out so I need to get clean. In the past seventeen years I haven’t been outside prison walls for more than an entire year.” With drugs being such a problem is there any solution? “There needs to be a drug-free wing, or at least a landing. Give two samples a week to show you’re clean and give prisoners certain privileges too as a result. That way, anyone who wants to get clean, can. As it is, even the medical centre is full of drugs.” The prison looks its age, a far cry from the women’s prison across the road. “It’s stuck in the past, stuck in a vicious cycle.” He talks about the differences between the English and Irish systems, having spent time in both. “The English system is much better, there’s much more emphasis on rehabilitation. Each prisoner has their own welfare officer and there are loads of courses and things to do to help you when you get outside. Here it’s not anything like that; you just do your time.” Byrne was genuinely approachable and seemed a nice man. He was honest in his discussion and happy to help in whatever way he could. Responding to the question as to whether the guards ever feel sorry for men like Byrne, one responded, “No, none of us do. That’s just the way of life in here.”

a guard and you're a dead man' there is not a lot anyone can do can stop them, “If someone is absolutely determined to commit suicide, it’s very hard to stop them; you can’t watch them 24 hours a day. “We have had the most amazing strategies to distract officers and to put them off the scent while these things happen. For instance, a man may be in the exercise yard, and he’d ask to come in to clean his cell. Then he’d hang himself inside or go into the toilet and hang himself on the door. You’d be amazed by their strategies to distract attention and divert notice. Oen, they pick the most suitable of times. It’s one of the more depressing, sad facets of life in prison.” The question of physical and mental health for these people must also come into play, and Lonergan admits to it being a major issue. “It has always been a serious issue overlapping with criminality. One in four here have history with being an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital, and 40 percent would have had contact with psychiatric services. Mental illness is obviously a major issue. Physically, a lot of them would not look aer themselves; there are a

lot of health issues. The majority of the prisoners here are young though, so that counteracts that. Youth compensates to some degree for the neglect.” The governor is charged with taking care of the daily life and encounters of the prisoners, and as Lonergan explains, “A lot of people forget that a prison is a live activity, 24 hour. It’s not something you can leave until tomorrow, these are people and they have to be looked aer. ‘The governor’ is just a legal name for a person in charge of the prison. “In terms of the job itself, it’s the same as managing any other organisation. The governor must manage the resources that are made available, and must house and facilitate the occupation and the safe custody of persons committed to their care. So, I’m managing in the very same way as someone in a factory or a local authority or hospital. If there are problems, I must also deal with them.” The prison it-

self has a reputation for being in terrible condition and it is said to suffer from a serious lack of facilities. Some have described the living conditions for the prisoners inside as ‘animallike’. “The building itself was never designed or structurally suitable for any sort of activity; so we don’t have any workshops, education facilities or the likes,” explains Lonergan, “Over the years, through innovation, some facilities have been made available but no purpose built facilities around recreation, work or education. “The prison is totally inadequate for any kind of modern living, it has gone well past its sell by date, n a t u r a l l y. Its one of the

few buildings or facilities that is still operating 157 years on without any major restructuring or refurbishing.” The prison currently has a holding capacity of between 520 and 550 males. For the females in the Dochas Prison across from Mountjoy, life is

“If someone gives information to the guards, they’re in real trouble. They might as well sign their death warrant, and that’s their punishment”

a bit easier. “The women’s prison was purposely built and is modern with all the required facilities. It’s a completely different setup to the male’s prison, as it was built in 1999,” continues Lonergan. ■ Mountjoy Governor Moving away from the topic of John Lonergan

the problems within the prison, Lonergan speaks about the reasons why most people end up serving terms in Mountjoy, and about the kind of lifestyle that is attached to those reasons. “The predominant reason, if you go back far enough, which is seldom done when discussing crime, is poverty. “It would be the common denominator; it’s the biggest single contributing factor. It is generally poorer people who end up in prison. They are associated with disadvantaged areas, so you have all the consequences of poverty in terms of poor physical conditions of people, terrible accommodation and environments that exist around drugs and crime. “Drugs were very directly related to poverty, but they no longer are, which is a new challenge to society. Now it’s right across the social classes, though the smuggling of drugs is really quite a huge problem in the prison.” It is clear aer speaking to him that the role of the governor is not an easy one. The diversity of the problems associated with running a prison can by no means be solved overnight.



College Tribune

30th October 2007

Living with the nightma James Mackie speaks about the hardships entailed with life in the company of his half-sister Louise who is a heroin addict, to Jason Timmons “The year that I was born was the same year that my half-sister, Louise, began her life as a heroin addict,” explains James Mackie. “It was 1977 and she was seventeen. Just a few days ago, she told me that she last took the drug in July, she injects you see.” He speaks frankly about her addiction and the progress that she has been making, “Since then, she said, she has kept to her methadone prescriptions. Of course I’m pleased for her, and I told her so. But I’m afraid that I’m pessimistic about the likelihood of her staying off heroin for long.” The effects of her addiction are hugely difficult on the family, he confesses, “For three decades, I’ve been a witness to Louise’s addiction and our mother’s anguished attempts to free her of it, until her death five years ago. Mum was almost as consumed by her unconditional imperative to revive Louise, as Louise herself is by heroin. “Mum tried everything she could. That’s just what you do. You don’t

waste time debating whether it’s tough love or loving tolerance that’s the best way to help your addicted child – the only debate is which method to try aer the one you’re trying now fails.” He goes on to talk about the trials and tribulations of Louise’s attempts to get off the drug, “Theodore Dalrymple states that withdrawal is medically trivial – and in the grand scheme of physical misfortune, I suppose it is – but it appeared serious enough to me. “Once, aer pleading from Mum, Louise agreed to try going cold turkey again. Mum insisted that this time she try it at home where Mum could keep an eye on her. Louise turned up first thing in the morning. “Mum made her strip and have a bath, ostensibly to make her comfortable, buut in reality it was to ensure that she wasn’t concealing heroin. Then Louise went into the spare bedroom and Mum locked the door.

“I believe that love for your parents has a psychological primacy. So the physical effects of heroin addiction and withdrawal must be pretty powerful if they can trump that love so consistently”

■ Amy Winehouse: Has famously visited rehab for heroin addiction “All day she was fine – if a little jittery, she said, a little cramped – and she ate the soup Mum gave her. I’m

sure that she had sneaked in some drugs.” The trauma of abstinence from

heroin while addicted was something that was set to grip the family in the fiercest of grips, as Mackie explains, “It was in the middle of the next night that the agonies began. “Louise’s banshee screaming and desperate pleas for liberty woke me. She was using a chair to try to beat down the door and outside that door, in the hall, Mum was standing guard, weeping again.” He continues and explains how the power of heroin addiction was most obvious to see when it consumed his sister to the extent that she could no longer display any regard for her family. “I know Louise fiercely loved Mum, and I believe that love for your parents has a psychological primacy. So the physical effects of heroin addiction and withdrawal must be pretty powerful if they can trump that love so consistently. “That cold turkey attempt ended soon aer when Louise threw the chair through a window and screamed out into the street for help. Mum opened the door and she rushed out into the night.” He talks about his mother and the hardship she endured with his sister with anguish in his voice. He goes on to explain the lenghts to which his mother went in order to try and save his sister from the drug, “She spent her father’s inheritance on rehabilitation centres in various countries.

Ecstasy kills: Fact or fiction? Anti-drugs activist Grainne Kenny and a former ecstasy user speak to James Geoghegan about the use of the drug The most prevalent anti-ecstasy argument that arises is that it could be years before the long-term effects of the drug are known, and that some users may be at risk of developing mental health problems later in life. President of the Europe Against Drugs Organisation Grainne Ken-

ny explains, “The reason that it’s illegal is because it’s dangerous, that’s why it’s a banned drug. It causes severe depression by causing severe serotonin in the brain and it leads to suicide.” Kenny states that not only is the depression a frightening element of ecstasy, but “ecstasy is even more frightening in the way in which it can kill you”. When it was put to her that deaths from ecstasy are extremely

rare according to the Irish government’s own figures, she said that, “The death isn’t always accorded to a drug, it’s accorded to liver failure; it’s accorded to different things, not necessarily to a drug when somebody dies. It can be from other things like the suicide around it; they are not accorded as drug-use.” Charles Venus, a former Arts student in UCD has taken ecstasy since he was nineteen and he believes that there is a lot of hypocrisy and mistruths surrounding ecstasy use. But according to Kenny, in her experience as an anti-drugs activist and counsellor, there are a variety of reasons for why young people take ecstasy, but primarily, “It’s because it’s available and they’re susceptible. “Their peers are doing it and they want to be part of the set. Alternatively, they are already smoking hash or drinking and they are used to altering their mood with substances. It’s just another way to alter the mood.” Venus says that he took ecstasy for “the positive and surreal experiences I could have on it” and that he never felt pressurised to take the drug. “I felt more pressurised

by friends to drink when I was a teenager.” Grainne Kenny acknowledges that young people seem to see it as a fun thing to do, but that the risk factor is even higher with ecstasy because of the uncertainty of what has gone into the drug. “It’s a most adulterated drug. It’s manufactured in dirty garages, not even laboratories and yet people are falsely reassured because the person they are buying it off is maybe at college with them and they know him and he’s a nice guy.” According to Venus, this risk could be alleviated through the legalisation of ecstasy. “Education and a medical examination should be made compulsory

to anybody wishing to take them. If people had to have a license to buy and consume drugs, just like people have to have a license to drive a car, then people could know the pros and cons properly instead of getting so anxious from ridiculous media reports and fear of police reaction.” The debate surrounding how to deal with the rising consumption of ecstasy is as divisive as the science about its dangers. ‘Europe against Drugs’ promotes prevention as the solution. Kenny argues that prevention has been a very successful tool in the US, but critics would say that in a liberal society, people should be allowed to make their own decisions based on balanced information.


College Tribune

30th October 2007


are of addiction “She tried to bribe Louise to stop. She cut Louise off and didn’t speak to her for two years. We all went on long holiday retreats in one-donkey Mediterranean islands and desolate Cumbrian villages. Louise always found a dealer somehow. “In London, she became indebted to dealers, was arrested a few times, had terrible addict boyfriends – one of whom was a very successful car thief. She overdosed more than once, was detoxed, always survived.” The implications of his sister’s addiction make his relationship with her a complicated one, and he remarks, “It would be easy to hate my sister for what she did to my mother. Most painful to watch were the bouts of selfinterrogation to which Mum subjected herself: how had she failed Louise? What had she deprived Louise of to make her so dead-set on wiping herself out?” He talks about the ups and the downs with the sound of weariness in the voice, “Terrible in a crueller way were the tantalising periods of hope. The longest was when Louise stayed clean for eighteen months – I’ve still got her Narcotics Anonymous key-rings – went to college, was worshipped by a dashing, intelligent, drug-free man. Mum was so happy. Louise seemed so proud. “She relapsed though, of course. My sister was a beauti-

ful young woman, a glamorous punk when heroin was particularly stylish. It’s disturbing to see this revival. It would have infuriated Mum. Louise was high at her funeral. She spent her small inheritance in months.” Mackie continues to speak about his sister and attempts to diagnose the reasons as to why his sister fell victim to heroin. “Well, she certainly had her problems; Mum had her when she was very young, perhaps too young to cope as well as she might have. Her father le aer only a few months and died violently when Louise was four. “She idolised her lost dad and

He declares that Louise is strong emotionally in spite of her issues, “She had ample emotional grist to mill a lifetime’s self-pity – enough for a platform upon which to build that life as a drug addict. But I never wondered too much – for me it was always about getting through the latest crisis with the minimum damage.” He is not in as much contact with Louise nowadays, and he has decided that she can play no further part in his life that has already been tainted by her addiction to heroin. “Well I saw her last week. That was for the first time in four years – but I can’t satisfy her demands for money and I’m scared to let her into my life, close to my children. She has stolen from me so oen before. “She has taken heroin since I was born, so I’ve never known Louise untainted. I’ve seen photographs of course: she was apparently a lovely, intelligent young girl,” confesses Mackie, “I wish I’d met her then,” he adds with a sigh.

“She had ample emotional grist to mill a lifetime’s self-pity – enough for a platform upon which to build that life as a drug addict” intensely resented my father when he entered her life. I suspect that Louise resented me too: Mum was much better equipped to raise me than Louise, and I benefited. I suppose it’s no coincidence that her drug use started around the time I was born.”

Overcoming addiction World-renowned drugs counsellor Stephen Rowan from the Rutland Centre speaks to Cathy Buckmaster about overcoming drug addiction and struggling against relapse Overcoming drug-addiction is among the most difficult things that a person can be faced with in life, and it’s a mountain that can oen take a lifetime to scale. Stephen Rowan of the Rutland Centre speaks about the processes that are involved in helping an addict. “Our programme involves five weeks of intense residential treatment, aer a period of detoxification in the hospital is completed.” “The process of detoxification in the hospital is very brief for someone with a cocaine problem but much longer for someone with an addiction like heroin. When you talk about the process of recovery, we have a twelvestep model where we adopt some of the concepts and views of Alcoholics Anonymous. But recovery is a lifetime process.” Rowan comments about the susceptibility of those trying to give up, “If the process goes on for life, the initial three months is the time when peo-

ple are most vulnerable. The greatest number of relapses happens within the first three months. “If you are clean aer three months, you will probably be clean aer a year and if you’re clean aer a year, you are very, very likely to be still clean in five years.” Rowan clarifies that relapses are not that uncommon and an addict has to be vigilant in their attempt. “Relapses happen all the time because people aren’t careful. The reason why Alcoholics Anonymous and narcotic meetings are so important is that they keep the individual in track so that they don’t become complacent and start to think that it’s ok to smoke some weed or have a few lines of coke like a so-called ‘normal person’. “An addict or alcoholic is always an addict or alcoholic so if they go back and think it is ok to try a small amount of a substance, they soon become a full blown addict once again, within a very short space of time. But

treatment does really work, if people work at treatment and if they follow through.” The Rutland centre is based in Dublin and hosts experienced counsellors that have years of expertise in dealing with addiction issues. They get people with various addictions such as gambling, alcohol, food and drugs. Rowan comments about the drugs making the biggest impact on universities in Ireland, “I think cannabis is the most frequently used drug but there is a huge, huge problem in Ireland with regard to cocaine. “One woman I know, who mentioned to me that whenever she goes to a party, drugs are always there. Cocaine is one of those drugs that no one should ever try. Don’t get me wrong,

I’m not saying everyone who tries it is a drug addict but it supposedly gives such a buzz that many get hooked.” When asked about if his line of work is difficult, Rowan passionately explains, “It is and it isn’t. People are involved in crazy, life threatening, risk taking behaviour so it can be scary, but it’s amazing. What’s very

special about this work is that people come in, do their work and follow through. They deal with their issues of loneliness and isolation, of their dishonesty and hurt, and of their fears. “I love the work, it is very special but it is demanding and there are set backs. People relapse and some might commit suicide and it can be very tragic sometimes but there is a great deal of success and most of our past clients are doing very well today.”



College Tribune

30th October 2007

Modern-day slavery Geraldine Rowley of Ruhama speaks about supporting prostitutes and the women who fall victim to sex-trafficking with Jennifer Bray “The phrase, ‘A modern form of slavery’ is a very suitable one, when it comes to prostitution and the trafficking of women for sex,” remarks Geraldine Rowley of Ruhama, “Simply because the conditions are slavelike. “We need to be working toward the abolition of prostitution,” she declares, “The organisation was set up to work primarily with women involved in prostitution. At the beginning, it was only the visible forms of prostitution that we dealt with, such as women working in street prostitution. “We purchased a van, converted the back of it, and went into the Red Light Districts of Dublin. We wanted to get to know the women, because if you’re going to help women in prostitution, you need to go out to them. You need an outreach strategy and you need to let them know the help exists,” states Rowley. “Later on, we dealt with women involved in drugs and prostitution but from 2000 on we have been meeting an increasing number of women who are trafficked cross border into prostitution in Ireland.” Trafficking, or the transportation or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, is a growing phenomena in Ireland. “Prostitution in the two decades that Ruhama has been around has changed, gone more offstreet. Seeing as sex

trafficking usually involves bringing women from one country to another, it is a common conception that the traffickers themselves are foreign. “We believe the traffickers are foreign, but also they can be Irish. “As much as one can generalise, women seem to be recruited in their countries of origin by people they know and trust, and they have been sold a story that they are going to make a lot of money or that they are going to have a better lifestyle and for that they go willingly. “Some women had no idea that prostitution was what was in store for them. They ended up in the house with men being brought to them and being told that they were to have sex with them. Oen, they are raped and beaten beforehand, so they do what they are told out of terror. “It is much more organised and more women are non-Irish nationals. Certainly, we believe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg as far as trafficking goes. Since 2000, we have come in contact with over 132 cases, but we have extra ones now in 2007, and these women were in groups. “Really, the figure indicates over 200 women involved in trafficking, that’s just what we know of. Because it is so hidden, we don’t see the full scale of the problem, or the control that goes with it and how difficult it is to get out.” Rowley talks about the impact

that being involved in prostitution and trafficking has on the life of a woman. They can oen end up with severe mental and even physical issues, “We

“Often, they are raped and beaten beforehand, so they do what they are told out of terror” are still dealing with people years on, and they are still suffering. “They are depressed and have low self-esteem. They also become victims of a stigma, whether they wanted to be

involved or not. They carry the shame of that with them everywhere they go. The physical harm does stay, and oen most GPs suggest that they are not tested for HIV/ AIDS until such a time as they have recovered from the trauma. “We fear a good few women have contracted it through prostitution and trafficking. There is also the social isolation that comes with this. Oen families may not know what happened, and the individual must carry this secret. Sometimes the traffickers are from their home town, or related to family members, so they may have to cut off contacts with their families.” Rowley points out that if a woman does not perform in the manner in which she is supposed to, or has not

earned the money expected of her, her life might be in danger. This is a far cry from the easy solution that prostitution is sometimes portrayed to be. “It can be glamourised and promoted as an easy way of making money but the reality is that you’re getting yourself into something so abusive, something you can get trapped in, with no visible means of getting out. Some of the traffickers are very good at almost brainwashing the women.” She goes on to speak about Dublin’s ‘Red-Light Districts’, “On-street, there are particular areas. Off-street, it is everywhere – it’s nationwide. Certainly, in the more plush areas like Dublin 4, there are brothels, which does reflect the demand and who is purchasing these services. It will be wherever there is demand.”

Sleeping her way to the top The glamorisation of prostitution with television shows such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper, is a dangerous road, writes Orla Kenny Violence, emotional abuse, drug and alcohol addiction – these are just some of the hazards normally associated with prostitution. Being closely linked to the trafficking of women and children, to the sexual assault of women and men, and to numerous other social problems – it’s unsurprising that prostitution has traditionally been viewed as an undesirable occupation. Instead, it has always been recognised as a last resort for women who feel desperate, isolated and helpless. Certainly, the idea of prostitution as a sexy, agreeable form of employment is largely unfamiliar. Yet, in a new ITV2 drama series, in which Billie Piper plays the part of Belle, a highclass London call girl, this is exactly how ‘the world’s oldest profession’ is depicted. Based on the real-life exploits of a high-class London prostitute, the eight-part series follows Belle as she sleeps with rich businessmen for huge wads of cash. Gone are the seedy street corner hook-ups, and instead, Belle is shown rendezvousing with her clients in London’s top end hotels. Money earned isn’t used to feed a drug addiction but rather to pay for an increasingly glamorous lifestyle of designer clothes and expensive restaurants. In place of abusiveness and

rough treatment, Belle is shown respect. Light humorous entertainment it is. A true reflection of the problems associated with prostitution it is not. Although the producers have defended their portrayal of Belle’s appealing lifestyle, saying that while they realise a lot of prostitutes lead lives of hardship, “It’s just not what our ‘Belle’ is about. The women at this end of the market have chosen to be hookers, they weren’t on drugs or forced into it.” Many believe that this simply does not jus-

“We’re absolutely delighted that Billie is starring as Belle in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Both Billie and Secret Diary are perfectly matched to ITV2’s young audience” Zai Bennett - Controller, ITV tify what seems to be a blatant glamorisation of a sordid business, and that this glamorisation is creating a number of major problems. Firstly, the casting of Billie Piper in the lead role, and the advertisements for the programme that show Billie surrounded by hot, young guys,

hint at ITV’s desire to attract a young audience. To quote Zai Bennett, controller of ITV, “ITV2 is all about brand new, exclusive, young programming so we’re absolutely delighted that Billie is starring as Belle in our first ever unique drama; Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Both Billie and Secret Diary are perfectly matched to ITV2’s young audience.” The danger of presenting prostitution in this way to impressionable teenagers is that it sends out the message that having sex for money is not only a great way to pay your bills but also an alluring, thrilling way to get a glimpse into a world of elite hotels and dashing entrepreneurs. However, the real risk associated with programming such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl is not that flocks of young girls will rush out to become high-class call girls, but that it will lead to an acceptance of prostitution in society. Even though this program shows only one form of prostitution, to develop an acceptance of prostitution on any level is to develop a greater complacency towards prostitution as a whole. Not only that, but the humorous angle adopted in this programme in many ways demeans the real problems experienced by real-life prostitutes on a daily basis. Though defenders of this programme argue that it should be taken with a pinch of salt and that its critics should lighten up, in reality we should be making every effort to ensure that we are not belittling what is a very real problem.


College Tribune

30th October 2007


Working on Dublin's seedy streets A working prostitute speaks about her life and the trade that is destroying the lives of so many women to Colin Gleeson “I don’t want to keep doing this, obviously,” explains Sarah. “I don’t like it. But it’s not like I’m a junkie or something like that, so it’s bearable. But I couldn’t do it full-time. That would fuck with your mind. At the moment, I don’t really let it get to me too much. I try to block it out.” Sarah is 22 years old and explains that she got involved in prostitution through a friend of hers from Pakistan. “It was obviously for money reasons,” she explains. But it was her own initial mistakes that led her down this path. “I remember I was out of work at the time and I was texting this guy I knew but didn’t really like. “I think I needed something that week so I just decided I’ll text him and see what he says. And then he ended up saying he’d pay a load of money for doing something really small. Then I didn’t do anything for ages, but then I did it again, and it kind of spiraled from there.” She tells some harrowing stories of friends and people she knows that do the same as what she does. “Some people I know who do this are really really sad. It’s like ten euro and twenty euro,

no condoms, stuff like that. They’re really sad people. I have a friend across the road that does it as well, and she’s like, oh God, really sad. “She doesn’t look at it like a business; she sees it as a means to get the rent money for tomorrow. And I think that’s a pretty common thing in this way of life. “You’ll always get people who want to do things to you, or rape you or something, but I’m quite good at defusing situations like that. But there’s always the chance that something bad could happen. “The girl across the road has had some disgusting experiences. She was raped before, and had to have her anus sown back together by a doctor. It was really horrific what she went through. Stories of people getting beaten up and not getting paid and stuff are pretty common. “It’s terrible. Really horrible. She just lives hand to mouth. Sex with anyone. No condoms. It’s just a horrible way of life. It’s a lost battle with her. I wouldn’t say anything to her because it wouldn’t make any sense. That’s her way of life. It’s all she knows what to do.

“She talks about being out of her head and doing fellas and things like that. She

“You’ll always get people who want to do things to you, or rape you or something” gets very emotional when she’s drunk you see. She has broken down in front of me before. She’s an emotional wreck.

“I feel like a coward for doing what I do, it almost seems like the easy way out, even though it’s not easy. But it would be so much harder to try and live a normal life during the daytime. But it’s really hard waking up in the morning. “The worst part of this, for everyone who does it I think, is that this is what their life has come to. I’d rather be dead than live her life, do you know that way? If that’s how your life gets, I’d rather be dead. It’s like playing with fire. Especially with no condoms. “I can’t make friends; I can only give so much of myself. I’m attached to this dirty seedy world that I don’t want to be

attached to. Even though I want to give my full self to certain people, I can’t because I don’t want to scare them.” She says that she wants to get away from this, out of this world. She wants a proper job and soon. “I want to get out of it at some stage. But I think once you do it, it’s always with you. In the long run, I think the quicker you get out of it, the better. “Maybe the end of next year,” she says. But she seems to have no idea what’s going to be different in her life then from now, that will allow her to do this. It’s simply a case of, “I don’t think I’ll have too much to worry about by the end of next year financially. Hopefully.”



College Tribune

30th October 2007

the diary of eimear...


After an unrequited love affair, Eimear finds herself a fashionable gay friend and sets her ambitious sights on President Brady

Eimear for president? Oh my God, women are total bitches. Marikka, my new ex-bestie,has been dumped. That skanky cow totally fucked me over. She is off my Bebo Top 16 and I’m onto Meteor already to kick her out as my friend for life. Now it’s not as if I would do it over something Tom Petty. This is serious, not delirious. I walked into Club 92 last week and lo and behold, who was there but Bitch face Marikka and the object of my affections, Dr Will. That absolute cow was all over him like a rash. I knew I couldn’t trust her. So that’s it. From now on, it’s gay all the way. Move over Madonna, Cher and Grace. I’m the official hag of the gays. My new new bestie, Sebastian (putting the type in stereotype) got me tickets to the Pet Shop Boys last week and we rocked it up – to begin with. Then disaster of all disasters struck. I was walking out of the portaloos and didn’t realise that I had some paper hanging out of my trousers. No one fucking told me until I got back to the tent and this really hot group of guys were laughing at me. Sebastian was like, “Omg Eimear, you have a total bog roll tail.” In the middle of Go West I nearly fucking died. So when the boyboys and I went home at the end of the night I was pretty hammered. I wandered off on my own to try and get a cab when some pervert decided to flash me with his mangina. Like, as if anyone would find that

funny. I was traumatised but the department wasn’t very understanding when I told them the next day that that was why I needed an extension on my essay. Aer all that, I need a week in the sun. Going to call in a favour with Uncle Ben and see if I can go to his house in Monaco. He said he’s not going to be using it for a while, something or other to do with a tribunal. Anyhow I was playing lacrosse with my M.A. class for a bonding session and aer about a half an hour of my total body workout, I saw the ball flying towards my face. My career as a supermodel flashed before my eyes. Smack straight in the face, there was blood everywhere. There went my plans for the UCD fashion show. How the hell am I going to audition for the event of the year now? They carted me off to the Blackrock Clinic and I met my plastic surgeon there. He said it was only a fracture and wouldn’t ruin the new shape. Phew, close call. Still, I’ll never be a top supermodel now, well not for the foreseeable future anyway. I was at my bro’s Grad last week and saw that UCD President type character, Loo Brady there. For an older man, he’s a bit of a fox, and he has that whole power thing going for him. The age gap may be a bit of an issue but we’ll see. If I want him to notice me though, I have to


firmly assert myself as a power woman in college this year. To leave my mark in some way. I wonder if I could run for president in them student union election thingies? How hard could it be? I mean I’d be a shoe in. All of them hacks are ley-type greasy individuals so I’d

totally fox up. Then once I’m SU President, the man at the top is sure to notice me. We’ll be thrown into each other’s company to discuss the future of UCD and the welfare of students and all that crap and I just know sparks will fly.

Five things I hate about… HALLOWEEN 5. Carving pumpkins Slicing them open and scooping out their gooey innards is not a job for the faint-hearted. It’s also very difficult to carve a menacing expression into a rock hard vegetable. Its grimace looks inevitably lopsided and instead of the terrifying spectacle that you intended it to be, it looks more like a goofy and loveable pet. The eyes never look right and what are you meant to do with all the pumpkin seeds? When small children ring your doorbell for sweets on Halloween night and giggle at the sight of your ‘horrifying’ pumpkin, you know you shouldn’t have bothered. 4. Treats People who buy apples, oranges and monkey nuts in expectation of the hoards of children knocking on their door for trick or treat. The

last time an orange was considered a treat it was the year 1830 and scurvy was rampant. Only fathers like monkey nuts, no self-respecting six-year old will touch one and understandably so. It’s the one night of the year when children are encouraged to gorge themselves on enough chocolate, sweets and popcorn to make themselves sick. The least we can do is not patronise them with fruit. Just pretend you’re not home if that’s the best you can do. 3. Overgrown trick or treaters Fifteen-year olds dressed as punks or skateboarders, demanding sweets on your doorstep with menacing scowls. The cut-off age should really be twelve at the most. It’s just not cute after that, just vaguely threatening. You want to refuse to give them any chocolate on the grounds of their age, but they’re bigger than

you so you don’t want to anger them. You know if you send them away without putting any sweets in their giant bin-bags they’ll do something awful to your garden later that night. You’re best off complying with their demands while scowling disapprovingly at them and refusing to admire their costumes. They hate that. 2. Bad costumes Gangs of girls who think that dressing up as French maids or slutty schoolgirls is amusing/cute/attractive. Halloween should not be used as an excuse to embrace your inner tramp. Donning fishnet tights and a naughty maid outfit is just lazy; put some effort into it and make yourself a unique costume, one that two thirds of Temple Bar will not be wearing. The point of a costume is that it is meant to be frightening and while a mob of over-

grown women wearing tartan skirts, knee socks and pigtails may be a terrifying sight, you can certainly do better. 1. Christmas On no account should the word Christmas be mentioned before the month of November on pain of death. There is no excuse for this unforgivable crime. Halloween is a wonderful holiday in its own right, especially admirable for its lack of consumerism. There are only so many sweets and scary masks that can be bought at Halloween, unlike at Christmas, when people seem to need endless supplies of food, presents, clothes and alcohol to get in the festive mood. We will be saturated with Christmas advertising and music in a matter of weeks so the least we can do is buy some fireworks, light a bonfire in your garden and put it off for as long as possible.


I’m going to run for President of the United States and today I decided to come out of the closet. I admit I had wanted to come out sooner but could not find the time. I have always admired the Democratic Party, but they seemed to pick losers to run for president, so I decided to start a third party. It is not easy being a closet Democrat and having latent Democrat tendencies. But I have found that I could actually have a chance of being president if I ran as a Democrat. Hillary Clinton, watch out. I’m going to kick your curvaceous little be-hind and chin back to where it belongs. Ooh did I say that. Only Kidding. I’ve been busy trying to get my name on as many state ballots as possible. It has been tough going so far. I don’t know why people would not want me on the ballot, as being on the ballot would give people a real choice come election day, even if I could never get elected anyway. What gives? Sometimes though, I just feel like giving up. I mean, how long can you really stay mad at a corporate giant? (I must confess – Today I almost bought a sweater at Macy’s. It was so stylish. And only $20.00!) And it seems like no one likes me anymore. Today the liberals called and le death threats on my answering machine. I hate my life. But I think I’m going to sue the United States. I’ll drop the suit if they let me be President. If not, then they’ll pay! I am sooooo wicked. This on top of the fact that I threw four Big Mac wrappers and a large soda cup out of my Ford Excursion window as I was driving one hundred miles an hour in

College Tribune

30th October 2007

■ Hillary? I’ll show her a school zone yesterday. I also bought some rain forest land in South America and I’m selling it off to lumber companies. I finished the day then by painting the orphans’ home with lead paint and dumping mercury in the Hudson River. What a great day! I think, instead of supporting the Green Party platform, I’m going to start pushing the ‘Kill the Seals’ platform. Earlier today though, I made several whistle-stop appearances on the cam-

paign trail. A reporter asked me what I planned to do about the economy. Gosh, I hadn’t actually gotten that far! I’ll be happy just to get a couple of votes! The economy? What’s up with that? Let me go buy a dictionary. Aer that, I “designed an avatar” which is new age liberalspeak for “stole a copyrighted image, modified it for my own use and then had the unmitigated gall to get miffed when other people used it too.” Gee! I wish Paramount would sue me!



This week Hugh becomes Mr. Jack Skellington A vivacious and charismatic gentleman, found of theatrics. The best at what he does. Only resorts to violence when attacked, but rarely uses his monsterous powers for his personal game. Plus he steals Christmas.








The remains of the popular mass religious figure, Jesus Christ, have been found in a cave behind the mount where history records He was put to death. The embalmed skeleton comes to light some 2000 years aer Christ’s supposed resurrection, which it now appears never took place, except perhaps in a vague, metaphorical sense. Skeleticians say they are satisfied the crumpled heap is the earthly form of the Son of God, pointing to the huge sign above it reading “Here lies Jesus of Nazareth” in the five local languages of the time. A smaller sign indicated that admission was five shekels. “Well, it’s curtains for Christianity, alright,” admitted top US skeletician Hope Sawyer. “We can finally say for certain that on the Third Day, Jesus was going nowhere”.

Referring to a rolled up 20 shekkel note and a pouch containing tobacco traces found near the corpse, she remarked, “It’s unlikely Jesus rose before 2pm any given day of the week”. Despite the dramatic contents of the find, there is no trace of the longed-for Fih Gospel - Jesus’ autobiography - rumoured to contain all the bitchy bits and his recipes for shepherd’s pie. The Vatican responded coolly to the news, with a spokesman saying, “Naturally, God still exists. It just appears that, in common with many other fathers, he had a layabout bum of a Son who could not do the one simple thing he was asked.” The skeleton was taken for examination to the nearby Jerusalem University Department of Archaeology, where it’s condition was described as ‘stable’.

VIGILANTE SHEEP GANGS EXACT BLOODY REVENGE FOR ‘CULL’ There was more panic than usual on the streets of Dundalk last night as violent gangs of sheep went on a surprise bloody rampage. The wooly, wild-eyed marauders were armed with an array of basic combat instruments and took no prisoners as they marched through the town, bleating and killing. The town hall was occupied, with over 200 people killed, and the vicious sheep have threatened that they may take more lives. In a statement from the leader of the sheep, General Ba Ba, the shock capture of Dundalk was in response to the Sheep Cull (or “Night of the Burning Wool”). General Ba Ba also stated, “This is in revenge for the death of our brethren. We will continue the fight in memory of those slain”. They also demanded an apology from the Irish government, autonomy for areas inhabited by indigenous sheep tribes, and the return of ancestral lands in and around the Curragh. The sheep are presently holding a group of farmers hostage in the Town Hall, and an armed guard has been set up around Drogheda as it is feared that the sheep may move south. The leader of the Irish humans, Mr. Bertie Ahern, has said that he will not apologise for the cull, although he did state a level of “regret” at the death of those sheep killed. He confirmed that he would take affirmative action if necessary, adding that the government take a “dim and serious” view of the situation.

As sheep farmers across Ireland have began to stock up on weaponry in fear of an all-out breakout of war between sheep and humans, Mr. Ahern has sent an envoy, dressed in sheep’s clothing, to Dundalk in an effort to broker a diplomatic settlement. However, the Irish Prime Minister has also ordered that a so-called “sheep-shield” be placed

around the Irish Houses of Parliament. This has fuelled rumours that the Irish government is preparing for a war with the sheep. At the time of the going to the press, the leader of the cows, General Moo Moo has not confirmed if he will be supporting the sheep, although he is expected to make a statement some time tomorrow, if someone hasn’t culled him by then.

College Tribune

30th October 2007


Men’s Basketball DCU Saints’ first home game of the 07/08 campaign was against old friend and rival UCD Marian from the Southside. The Saints needed guidance from a higher source to stem the power plays from the visitors as UCD players Ryan and Clement led at the break, Keenan adding a brace of threes for DCU to narrow the deficit to 8 points to end the first quarter. Beilein (UCD) made a top scoring eight points in the second quarter. Keenan and Ryan (UCD) were joint top scorers on fifteen points each. At half time it was 42-49 at the interval in favour of UCD. Keenan (UCD) was benched at the start of the third quarter, while Dave Donnelly who came through in the clutch last season did it again today, hustling inside with the other Irish lads as they managed to draw a level score at 53. Keenan led the scoring in this quarter, adding nine points to his first half total of fifteen. Madsen found his range with three outside baskets and Gamble’s offensive tip-ins helped turn in a team effort for DCU Saints as they lead for the first time, 72-65 at the end of the third. Keenan continued to play well, bringing his game total to 13 points. Gamble continued to work the inside and threepointers from Madsen, Emmet and James stretched DCU’s lead to 21 points, for a final score of 106-92 in favour of DCU.

Women’s Hockey Aer starting strongest and having the bulk of possession, it was a break away from UCD that opened the scoring against Balymena. A UCD ball hit through the circle and was adjudged to have struck an opposing foot. UCD scored through a clinically executed penalty corner. As the half progressed, play opened up with McKeown, Glass, Morrison and Hogg moving the play effectively around the back and able to find the space created in midfield. With the point of attack changing in a fluid manner, the home side looked in control but failed to be rewarded with any further score despite rebound efforts from McCrickard. In a game of possession, focus soon turned to defence as the UCD girls formed a counterattack. . The second half brought again some good demonstrations of skilled play with a strong midfield finding room to pivot through Lloyd and reach the forwards. Well worked attack from the forwards Corbett, Smyth and Law rewarded Ballymena several penalty corners that could have levelled the score. Unfortunately, these opportunities failed to follow through and on counter attacks and UCD overloaded the home defence and extended their lead to a more comfortable 3-1.


D O W N T H E L I N E At the

end of the day... Ben Blake assesses the chances of Irish hero David O’Leary becoming the next manager of the boys in green, as I say, at the end of the day “I think Dave would be a good choice. I just think he would do a good job. He’s dealt with the media, can handle them and he’s got a good reputation in Ireland.” Roy Keane last week backed David O’Leary for the job of new Republic of Ireland manager in his usual short and sweet manner. As the Sunderland boss went on to say to himself, they were never bosom buddies or even friends, and this is not one ex-Ireland international blowing another’s trumpet. The Corkman, who has always been tagged with only wanting the best for his country, genuinely endorsed the ex-Arsenal defender for the post le vacant aer the shambolic Staunton era was finally put a stop to. With bookmakers offering odds of just 13/8 on a man who has in the past made it clear that he would be interested in taking the reigns of the country he was capped 68 times for, his case looks to be a strong one. Washing his hands of any future Stanesque appointments, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney will some time this week hand over the task to a committee of two or three ‘people of the right professional expertise.’ The fact that the head of such an organisation needs to bring in independent individuals to choose a new manager speaks volumes about the ineptitude of our national footballing body, but that is an matter for another day. O’Leary’s chances of obtaining the post may have been dealt a blow by the news that the newly-available Martin Jol may be interested in applying, but he remains the frontrunner in the race to Merrion Square. By comparing him to the man he could well replace, O’Leary would resemble Shane Ward following a woeful Dundalk applicant of You’re A Star onto the stage. A top three finish in the Premier League, a semi-final appearance in the Champions League (during which they were knocked out by La Liga giants Valencia), and seven years managerial experience in the English top flight speaks for itself. The beginning of the season 1998-1999 saw O’Leary handed the job at Leeds United aer the proposed move for Martin O’Neill fell through. Enjoying an illustrious playing career that saw him make his debut for Arsenal at the age of seventeen before going on to clock up 722 first-team appearances (something that he still holds the record for), the London-

■ David O’Leary: Would he be able to achieve where Stan failed? born player had one injury-plagued season at Elland Road before hanging up his boots. While George Graham was in charge of Leeds between 1996 and 1998, O’Leary also acted as assistant manager. His tenure in Yorkshire was overall a successful one, with Leeds finishing the Premier League no lower than sixth during the period O’Leary was boss. However, with Peter Risdale sending the club into an £80 million debt by allowing the manager to purchase some of Europe’s finest players, failure to secure a Champions League spot in 2002 signalled O’Leary’s dismissal. As well as bringing Leeds United through their best run since they won the old First Division in 1993, O’Leary was also accred-

ited with blooding a number of bright, young players. His ‘babies’ as he referred to them occasionally included Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Bowyer, Alan Smith, Harry Kewell and Erik Bakke. Giving them all their chance at senior level, he showed a sharp eye for talent and the bravery to throw inexperienced players into the deep end. John Delaney spoke of Steve Staunton as leaving behind a legacy of blooding a new generation of Irish stars, but if the likes of Joey O’Brien, Andy Keogh, Darren Potter and Anthony Stokes are to prove that they are more than simply promising potential, an international mentor who can get the balance between knowing when to discipline a player and when to put an arm around them, is vital. Although he would seem a more than capable candidate for the job, O’Leary’s manmanagement skills have been called into question in the past. The fiasco involving the trial of Woodgate and Bowyer for the alleged assault of an Asian student was a sensitive situation for any manager to handle, but to publish a book on the subject and entitle it Leeds United On Trial is just foolish. O’Leary claimed he was unaware of the title. He also protested that the publication date and the extracts printed in a tabloid newspaper - in which he attacked Woodgate and the newly-acquitted Bowyer for ‘failing to exercise control’ - were beyond his own control. However many Leeds fans felt he was selling the club out and attempting to make a quick buck from its misfortunes. During his three year stay at Aston Villa, controversy was not far behind once again. In a statement issued to the media, the Villa players vented their anger at Chairman Doug Ellis’ lack of investment and tendency to penny-pinch. Although it was never made public, it is reported that O’Leary had been involved in putting together the statement in an attempt to get Ellis to dig deep into his pockets to buy much-needed players for a wafer-thin squad in Premier League terms. A history of criticising his employers may go against O’Leary when his curriculum vitae is being given the once over, but if he is successful in getting appointed, a degree of denunciation of the FAI will be tolerated if not approved of by the Irish public.

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College Tribune

30th October 2007


The gun, the sword and the stick “I reckon it’s a cross between ice hockey and hurling,” states UCD Lacrosse captain Paddy O’Leary in what is surely one of the most intriguing explanations of a sport you’ll ever hear. “It’s a very skilful sport as you need great hand and eye co-ordination. Because of the likes of hurling, it’s something that Irish people are naturally good at.” The teething problems for lacrosse are visible in the lack of competition in Ireland for the team however. As their club captain points out, this is why UCD’s role as a ‘feeder club’ is so important to the development of lacrosse in this country.

Eoghan Glynn takes a look at the minor sports clubs of UCD and explores the weird and wonderful worlds of lacrosse, fencing and rifling “People can get the experience of playing lacrosse in UCD, then graduate, and move to other places in Ireland to set up their own club. We just want UCD to be able to set up other clubs around the country and make it possible to have an All-Ireland Championship in the future.” Such problems are less urgent for both the rifle club and the fencing club as they are both individual as well as team sports, with the latter hosting an abundance of events through the year.

“On average, there would be about twenty competitions a year,” boasts the UCD fencing captain Aidan Clarke. “We also go on a lot of away trips together, for example we go away to the Scottish Open in Edinburgh, the Welsh Open in Cardiff and we’ve even had members go away to Reykjavik and Cuba.” Clarke is also a firm believer that the physical benefits of fencing are underestimated. “Fencing allows you to build up your leg muscles and it’s great for cardio-vascular exercise when you

don’t really realise that you’re doing it. The matches are short but very intensive so you don’t feel like you’re working out but you are.” However, in the case of the rifle club, Public Relations Officer Brian McEllistrem believes that it is the mental benefits which are most rewarding. “A lot of people seem to enjoy it because they think it’s quite a relaxing sport. I’ve definitely noticed that when you’re shooting, there’s this great concentration that seems to come over you.”

Although the three sports may remain quite undeveloped in this country, each of the representatives were keen to emphasise their growth in popularity. To get involved simply attend any of their training sessions throughout the year.

FOR PETE’S SAKE PETE MAHON WRITES EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE COLLEGE TRIBUNE The big news last week in football was Steve Staunton losing his job. The decision had to be made as I think the fans had started to vote with their feet. For 70,000 thousand tickets or so to be sold for the Cyprus game in Croke Park and then for nearly 15,000 people not to turn up, is in itself making a statement. In regards to Robbie Keane’s interview on the Late Late Show on the Friday before last, I think that he should concentrate first and foremost on playing well for Ireland, and maybe trying to score a goal against a team that count. Robbie might be feeling sorry for himself after missing the chances he missed in recent games. It is easy to blame different people and make excuses but the fact of the matter is Robbie hasn’t scored a goal for Ireland in a competitive game in a long time. It is not down to the fact that he hasn’t had the opportunity to score, because he has. People say he plays well for Tottenham because they are a better team and he has players of superior ability around him, but everything is relative. Spurs are an average team in the Premier League, and Ireland are an average side at international level. In spite of what the likes of Eamon Dunphy might say, we don’t have any great players. We have some decent players, some average players and some very average players. The sooner we get realistic about our expectations, the better for us all. If you take a look at the current

situation in the eastern European countries, you’ll see that many of them have progressed in recent years. It is not too long ago we were beating the likes of Cyprus four and five nil. That doesn’t happen anymore. I’m disappointed at the way it ended for Steven Staunton. I know him on a personal level, and happened to manage him at one time. He is a good lad and a genuine football person. The media weren’t pulling the wool over the supporters’ eyes as Robbie Keane was suggesting, but they had a part to play. Sometimes they are over the top. I read in one rag that they sent a taxi down to Merrion Square to get rid of Staunton. That is horrendous stuff. I mean, that is despicable. But then you wouldn’t expect anything other than that from the paper in question. I see fellas writing articles now whose names I have never heard of, and they all have an opinion. An opinion on football is like your arse, everybody has one. Like I said, part of what is in the papers is over

the top, but some of the Irish players should take a good look at themselves. First of all, I was never good enough to play for my country, and these players have got to realise how lucky they are. I get the feeling that there was too much of a familiarity between Staunton and the players. Some of them had played alongside him, which is not always helpful. Unfortunately the younger lads are influenced by the older players; even I have found that this year in relation to players going away on international duty. They come back and they have changed a little bit. There is no question that many of the newer lads in the Ireland squads look up to and pay attention to what the more experienced ones have to say. The situation wasn’t ideal. John Delaney made the decision to appoint Staunton and as regards the players, I don’t think there was much respect there at all. I can only imagine that some of the high profile players were paying lip service to the manager and behind closed doors looking down their noses at him. I just don’t think the whole set up was right for having the best-prepared team for the standard of football they were going out to play. I watched the warm-up in two of the Irish games, and it was exactly the same. It was all stuff we did back years ago. I know some of the old stuff still holds through today, but times change. Analysing games, preparing for opponents and new approaches are essential these days. I heard Richard Dunne say that he wasn’t interested in watching DVDs of the opposition. Even if that is his opinion, he should have kept his mouth shut. Whatever help you can get to be better prepared is a help. You have got to be thinking this way, because everyone else is.



College Tribune

30th October 2007

The spectacle that is the Superleague This week we feature three games in the Superleague. There was great banter on the sidelines, with the The Hots (HTS) definitely deserving a mention. The Hilltown Supporters Club were there in full numbers and went delirious when Hilltown scored their second goal against Bean FC, to secure a 2-1 victory. Talking to Hilltown manager Dave Earley aer the match he said, “We were lucky to get by but we got three points none the less and I’m happy that ‘keeper Sean Power kept them in the game with a

fine save.” Meanwhile Rectum Rangers lost 4-2 to Emmet Hadfield’s First Touch. Rectum Rangers weren’t feeling great for the first half, where they went four goals down. After a quick scan at half time however, they came out in the second half determined to let loose and get back into the game. In the end Ayo Ajani and David Gibbons scored to leave them happy with their second half performance. “If we’d had the players we could have won it. We upped the tempo in the second half and gave them a good game,” Niall O’ Cuilleanain said after the game. Colm O’Dwyer got two for Hadfields and centre-back Adam Casey summed up their performance perfectly when he said, “We started well, finished poorly but we have our first points of the season now.” Talking of his teams expectations, Casey wasn’t optimistic, saying “Really, we’re fighting for tenth. We are waiting for the cut and we’ll give it a go.” In our third featured match T-Logue Titans took on Clonskeagh. Titans Captain O’Shea and McCartney scored one each

to make sure that the Titans at least got a point out of the game, but it should have been more. Due to the Birthday Parties, Titans were missing five first team players including two strikers, according to goalkeeper Hannify. The strikers were sorely missed and Micheal Rooney, Director of Football, was heard to say a number of times that his team “couldn’t score if they had a bunch of

■ Photos: Dan Hayden - Photosoc

fivers in a brothel.” Clonskeagh were happy with the result for their part. Captain and goalkeeper Patrick Donaghue said that had Connell not been injured, “we definitely would have won. We kept our shape well even with ten men but they were the better team. It is a fantastic result against the cup champions considering we are a new team and we have only played together a few times.”

Eoghan Brophy


College Tribune

30th October 2007


‘Unlucky' College fall before final hurdle Longford Town defeated UCD 1-0 at Belfield Park on Sunday due to a goal for Longford aer 39 minutes from former-UCD man Robbie Martin. They now face Cork City in the final on December 2nd. Cork manager Damien Richardson was on hand to watch the game and declared aerwards, “The two determining factors were Longford’s cup experience and adding to that, the fact that Longford got the first goal aer UCD had missed a few chances. It is imperative that you take your chances as they present themselves, otherwise, as UCD found out, they can be costly errors.” UCD looked dangerous. Conor Sammon came deep and played the ball out to the wings a number of times and Conan Byrne and Pat McWalter put in great crosses to create a few chances for UCD. Shay Kelly made a great save from Conor Sammon on 37 minutes. Sammon was winning balls in the air and flicking them on to Fran Moran but they couldn’t find a way past Longford’s defence. The front two of Longford Town were the danger men, chasing aer everything and putting enormous pressure on a hesitant UCD defence. Damien Richardson also noted that they were the danger men for Cork to look at in the final saying “Dave Mooney had a few chances, even if he didn’t score and Dessie Baker’s experience helped. He held the ball up and played it around. The two will be difficult to mark.”

■ Bryan Devlin UCD found that out and Longford’s goal was scored due a well-worked passing move aer a throw from Baker. Jamie Duffy found himself in the box and jinked around with the UCD defence wary of putting a tackle in, not wanting to concede a penalty. The ball came to Martin who turned well and slotted the ball home in style. UCD didn’t give up and put on a brave performance, creating many chances. UCD’s top scorer this season Conor Sammon spoke aerwards and insisted UCD were unlucky to lose it. “The players are devastated. We started the game very well and passed the ball around. We just didn’t get that goal that we needed. We feel we deserved to win the game today.” He acknowledged Shay Kelly’s fine save but said, “The ball just wouldn’t go in for us. We had one cleared off the line as well.” Longford goalkeeper Shay Kelly will feature in his first cup final of his career, which he admits has “only two or three years le.” He feels Longford are lucky to be heading to the final. “We were blessed to be going in 1-0 at half time. We got out alive but we”ll take a bit of luck”. He pulled out a number of top saves to see Longford through but he knew UCD were unlucky, remarking, “You have to give credit to

UCD today. I thought they were brilliant and their style of play created a few chances for them.” Longford have had “the strangest season in his career” according to Kelly. With many problems off the field a bit of luck in the semi-final was what they needed. Longford made a couple of last ditch tackles and also had a legitimate penalty appeal turned down. But it was not to be for the Students. Aer the troubles this season, Longford Town manager Alan Matthews said “It’s really something for them. We didn’t come to play pretty, we came to win and that’s what we did.” Longford have had a difficult season but will now feature on the last day of the season in the domestic showpiece in the RDS. “If you’re good to the game, it’s good back to you.” Though UCD probably created more chances, maybe aer the season they had and all the work they put in, Longford probably deserve something at the end. And they will get that on December 2nd in against Cork in the RDS.

Ten years at the top After the cup tie on Sunday, Jordan Daly caught up with Alan Mahon, the trusty right back with a lot to say about the club Alan Mahon came to UCD as a freshfaced eighteen year old hoping to some day break into the first team. With the likes of Clive Delaney playing in the back for UCD in the late nineties, Mahon had a lot to live up to as he broke into the first squad in 1998. Mahon himself admits that UCD have moderate but realistic expectations as a College and part time club in a mostly professional league. UCD however did expect to do better at the weekend. “We have very ambitious young players; we honestly believed we would win today. We said once we played well we could get to the final but obviously that wasn’t enough today.” Mahon has been around for a decade now and has witnessed great changes at UCD. “The club is a lot more professional now, but that had to happen in order for us to compete in the league. The club has definitely evolved. I suppose the principles of the club are still pretty much the same; it’s about trying to bring in young talent and mix it with one or two more experienced individuals.”

Mahon has been through it all with the Students, and experienced a career all time low in 2003 during the opening game of the season; he suffered a serious Achilles tear which ruled him out of the season completely. “That was a very serious injury and coming back from it was extremely difficult.” The right-back hoped that winning the cup this year would end the season on a high and admits the lads are devas-

tated. The club has been le waiting for their big occasion aer a hard and unfortunate run of form. Mahon’s glory days however were a great occasion for the club. “One of the high points was qualifying for Europe. Those games we played in Europe were a very exciting time for UCD.” Mahon hasn’t always been rightback for College. He received a scholarship as a centre-half and was up against

■ Photos: Dan Hayden - Photosoc

tough competition, playing sweeper as he broke into the first team and subsequently as le back for a spell. “Finally I got switched to my preferred position at right-back, and have held the place for six or so years now.” Playing at the top level for so many years, it’s a wonder he didn’t get brought over to England. As he says himself, “It wasn’t really something on the horizon. I never really had trials or anything. I obviously would have loved for it to happen but was never in the position to leave.” With his father managing his team, football is a part of his personal life too. It was somewhat convenient that Mahon Senior took over in the year his son was out as it gave the manager time to get to know the team and do his own thing. “It can be very difficult. I’m sure he would say the same thing about having a son playing.” The filial relationship does not compromise the selection though, as Mahon confirms. “You get a certain amount of stick from the players but they realise there’s no favouritism. Both Pete and myself give everything we have for the club.” When asked to evaluate his father’s performance over the last few years, the right-back is quick to point out his impressive record. “When he came in he nearly pulled off the great escape, in 2004 we had a fantastic season in Division One and got promoted, a great achievement. Pete has become a familiar and popu-

lar face in Belfield and along with Eddy Wallace has made a turnabout in form over the recent seasons. “I think Pete and Eddy and all the staff has done a fantastic job considering we’re in a full time league and it’s very difficult to compete.” Mahon admits to under-performing during the middle of the season but has managed to steer clear of injury and has raised his game towards the end of the year. “For the last nine or ten games I’ve been playing well and I was happy with my performance today.” The atmosphere is a very healthy one around UCD for the team and they try to get out for a pint a few times a year together, though it is a more professional era than back in the day. “There’s a great buzz about the camp, you really couldn’t wish for a better bunch of lads. There’s no prima donnas or superstars, we just knuckle down and get the job done.” The likes of the more experienced Mahon and Tony McDonnell are a rarity in UCD now but Mahon points out the experience of some of the younger guys. “Conor McNally is just twenty-five and has played over 200 games. Conor Kenna too has over a hundred. I think the ethos of the club will always be to build up a young side.” So what does the future hold for Mahon? “I can see myself still playing for UCD if they still want me. I love UCD. I’ve had a great time. I haven’t been as successful as I hoped but I still believe the chance is out there.”


College Tribune

30th October 2007

SPORT ■ Photos: Dan Hayden - Photosoc





Former student sinks College Cup specialists Longford Town scraped by a valiant UCD performance in Belfield Park, to win a place in the FAI Ford Cup Final. Despite numerous chances, it was a case of same old same old for the Students, who have failed to win a match in a month. As if to add insult to injury, ex-Student Robbie Martin was the Longford man to net the winner, with the enigmatic Dessie Baker was involved as always. UCD could certainly feel hard done by with the scoreline because they were easily the better side for the opening half hour. Chances coming from all over the field, with full backs Alan Mahon and Ian Bermingham getting involves in the attacking moves. In the middle of the park we saw the partnership of veteran Tony McDonnell and Ronan Finn outperform their opposite numbers

■ Bryan Devlin for the first quarter of play with Finn setting up and finishing possibly the most fluid piece of attacking play from UCD. But it was not to be and the scores remained tied up. Fair dues must be given to Longford Town goalkeeper, Seamus Kelly, who put on a sterling performance, keeping out a near post strike from Ronan Finn aer twenty minutes. Again, the Longford goalkeeper was callled into action as UCD peppered the away sides’ goalmouth, tipping a Conor Sammon header over the bar in the 36th minute. This near chance came from UCD’s fourth corner of the enncounter, this statistic shows the ferocity with which College chased the opener. Sadly, it was not to be in that re-

gard. The Semi-Final got the kick in the rear it needed five minutes from half time. The relatively quiet Jamie Duffey nipped in off the right wing, laid off to Baker, who threaded a beautiful pass through to Martin who sent the ball screaming past the outstretched Darren Quigley in the UCD goal. One-nil and game on. UCD were unable to answer before the half and Longford returned to the dressing room, somewhat elated, but mostly relieved. UCD possibly slightly peeved as they should have gone ahead if not from open play, but certainly from a clear penalty which was not awarded in Connor Sammon’s favour. The sides returned to pitch aer the break for what was hotting up to be a fantastic half. Indeed, UCD made

their intentions known straight from the off as Seamus Kelly was, again,

kept busy in his goal, most notably making a fantastic stop, to deny Alan McNally’s long range strike. As the half wore on, however, UCD began to fade into mediocrity as Longford Town’s breaks became more frequent and Darren Quigley was needed on hand to deny any possibilities of Longford Town doubling their lead. Longford’s two best chances coming from Mooney who tried a cheeky back-heel in the 65th minute, and again in the final minute of added time. A disappointing result for the Belfield boys as this is their second loss to Longford Town in eight days. The previous encounter ending in a one nil deficite for the Students. Despite the tag of ‘Cup Specialists’, Longford are riding very low in the league table and the students will have every right to feel aggrieved aer this result.

College Tribune: Issue 4  
College Tribune: Issue 4  

Published 30th October 2007