Volume 21 / Issue 10
1st April 2008
Tribune Myers loses Global the rag International student's speak: Inside
Interview with the Irish Independent Journalist - Page 11
Going down But living to tell the tale: Page 12
Student stabbed in Roebuck ■ Drunken fight results in stabbing ■ Witnesses threatened by perpetrator
A UCD student was stabbed outside the Roebuck Residences while trying to intervene in a fight that is alleged to have broken out in the early hours of March 5th. It is understood that both attacker and victim are students in UCD and that both currently live in the Roebuck Residences on campus. According to an eyewitness, the dispute broke out between a group of male students, with the victim attempting to stop the fight. “During the row, the attacker left the group and went inside his apartment where he got a knife and came back out to the group. He stabbed one of the guys twice, in the back. The victim was lucky in that the knife, which was actually fairly blunt, barely missed his spine, and his lung. “The fight was broken up, and blood was spotted on this lad’s back. When the ambulance arrived, he was lying on a bench and had to be helped into the ambulance. He told everyone as he went into the ambulance not to mention the name of the guy who stabbed him to anyone.” The injuries sustained by the victim
■ Jennifer Bray
were not critical; however he underwent surgery two days after the incident. The student involved in the incident was called in for questioning, but has now returned to college. The witness has claimed that the alleged perpetrator attempted to disguise what had occurred at the scene. “The guy who stabbed the victim smeared some of the blood on some broken glass afterwards to try and make it all look like an accident. He has also mildly threatened some of the witnesses since the attack, warning them not to mention his name to anyone.” The eyewitness went on to explain that there had been no history between the two students prior to the event. The victim is said to be recovering from the attack, but remains shocked at the events. A Garda spokesperson has refused to comment on the incident, but has stated that a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Continued on page four
1st April 2008
Virtual reality for UCD Library Editor Caitrina Cody Deputy & Features Editor Colin Gleeson Design Editor Simon Ward News Editors Jennifer Bray, Philip Connolly Sports Editor Jordan Daly Health & Fashion Editor Cathy Buckmaster Arts Editor Cian Taaffe Music Editor Lorcan Archer Contributors: Aoife Ryan, Owen O'Loughlin, Niall Fox, James Geogheghan, Barra O'Fianail, Eoin Brophy, Eoin Glynn, Brian Byrne, Bryan Devlin, Ben Blake, Eoin Boyle, Lisa Towell, Fiona Redmond, Sebastian Clare, Sophie O'Higgins, Sophie O'Hegarty, Adam Watts, Suzanne O'Reilly, Hannah Kousbroek, Max Harding, Dermot Looney, Karen O'Connell, Eoin Mac Aodha, Brendan Purcell, Pete Mahon Special Thanks To: Stephen & Billy @ Spectator Newspapers, Eilis O'Brien, Dominic Martella, A&B, Michael & Denise Cody.
Contact Us: E: email@example.com T: 01-7168501, LG 18, Newman Building
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■ Owen O’Loughlin Messaging, Chatting services and blogs to allow students to interact with the Library in diﬀerent ways. McCauley noted, “Where this service really works well is the bringing together of students, academics and the library.” McCauley added that this technology holds great advantages for long-distance learning and that people can now attend lectures and talks from as far away as Australia and the US. “While we could have achieved that with video conferencing and Instant Messaging, the Second Life 3D environment is closer to a real environment, in that you’re interacting in a virtual surrounding with other participants.” In order to avail of this UCD service, students need to register and create an account with Second Life
online. Once registered, students can search a wide range of web resources using a virtual PC, consult several e-books, view library presentations, complete a visitor survey and leave comments and suggestions. McCauley stated that while this virtual service was a novelty last year, in the UK however the majority of universities now have some Second Life presence. “For universities
the idea of having some kind of Virtual World presence is now coming to the fore,” McCauley said. “I think you will probably see this service ultimately move to the mainstream. There is certainly a greater level of interest in it this year than there has been in previous years. At the moment it remains quite a niche service which is what it was designed to be.”
Know your rights ■ New student employment legislation A new scheme introduced by the Government will make it obligatory for all students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to have work permits if they wish to work here. Minister for Enterprise and Employment Micheál Martin said yesterday that certain trade unions, particularly in the retail sector, have expressed concern that such students were being exploited and employed as cheap labour, leading to the displacement of Irish staﬀ. Currently, students from outside the EEA are allowed to work up to twenty hours per week. Martin emphasised that it was an objective of the Government to increase wealth generated through the education sector, and that steps had been taken to facilitate students from abroad coming to study in Ireland. “We do not want a situation where that phenomenon is exploited by unscrupulous people, trying, in essence, to bring cheap labour in
■ Philip Connolly
through the back door,” he stated. Martin made the announcement at the launch of new Government legislation aimed at improving compliance with employment law. The new employment law compliance legislation will give greater powers to labour inspectors and signiﬁcantly increase penalties for employment law offences. Under the Bill, all employees will have to display clearly-worded notices advising employees of their rights under employment legislation, how to seek redress and how to contact the new National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) for information about their rights. The legislation will establish NERA on a statu-
tory footing and give it greater powers for inspection. Inspectors will have greater powers to access premises and remove and retain records on staﬀ. They will also be able to prosecute summary oﬀences. The new legislation provides for greater penalties for oﬀences arising under employment law - in most cases up to €5,000 in ﬁnes and/or twelve months imprisonment for oﬀences and €250,000 and/or three years in jail for indictable oﬀences. Martin added that the vast majority of employers were complying with labour law and had nothing to fear from the Bill. “This is the most signiﬁcant single piece of legislation introduced in the employment rights area in recent years. It is a reminder that, in the drive for greater competitiveness, there is a need to ensure that responsible employers who meet their obligations to employees will have a level playing ﬁeld.”
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UCD’s James Joyce Library has become the ﬁrst Irish University to be established on the online 3D social net-working site Second Life. Second Life enables its users (called ‘Residents’) to interact with one another, socialise, play and even create and exchange items through the virtual world’s own currency – the Linden Dollar. The website currently has over thirteen million accounts registered with members from around the world. Cathal McCauley, a sub-librarian at the James Joyce library said that the UCD Library membership of Second Life came about as a result of a positive survey in which over thirty percent of students indicated an interest in the Second Life option. The UCD James Joyce Library has already expanded from the more traditional services to provide Instant
How do you feel about the fact that a student was stabbed in Roebuck? Willy Corrigan, 4th Agricultural Science:
Thomas Kelly, 4th Actuary and Financial
“It’s completely unexpected, I even know some people who live in Roebuck. The incident should have been publicised more because nobody has heard about it.”
“It’s a disgrace. It’s terrible for that sort of thing to happen on campus. It’s very brutal and it shouldn’t happen.”
Margaret Galvin, 1st Geography:
“It’s messed up, but it’s getting more common. If violence is getting more common in general society, than it will happen more oen here. If people have a fear factor about it, people will start carrying knives to
“I was really shocked when I heard it, it’s terrible. It’s crazy to think that a ﬁght like that can escalate, can get so out of hand.”
Declan st Cooper, 1 Philosophy
Aine Ni Mhealoid, 3rd Social Science: “It’s crazy; I can’t believe they were students. I hope the guy is ok. Is the other guy mentally stable?”
Jim Manganello, Erasmus student, English and History: “I’m not sure what the college can do about it. I think it’s a problem, I’m from the States and there was a big shooting in another college there, so an incident like this is a problem.”
1st April 2008
Future of thirdlevel education
UCD President Hugh Brady and Provost of Trinity College John Hegarty have called for an increase in government investment in education in an article submitted by the pair to the Irish Times. The article examines the current state of funding to the Irish third-level sector and explores the ﬂaws inherent in the system. “On a per student basis, core funding has been reduced by one-third since 1995 in real terms. In addition, the maintenance and upgrading of the physical infrastructure for third-level teaching has virtually ground to a halt through lack of funding.” The article goes on to explain that the future of Irish universities is inextricably bound to its research goals. “The generation of new ideas and knowledge through research, and the enrichment of the learning experience by this knowledge, are at the very heart of a world-class university experience. Any vision of our universities which did not encompass excellence in research and teaching - and the fusion of the two - would be threadbare indeed.” There has been widespread criticism of the increasing focus placed on research in UCD, to the detriment, many believe, of the quality of education on oﬀer to undergraduate students. According to Gerard Casey, a Senior Lecturer in UCD and member of the Governing Authority, UCD’s attempts
■ Caitrina Cody
to climb the international rankings are misguided. “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.” However, according to Brady, the twin peaks of research and international recognition go hand in hand. Professor Ben Tonra of the UCD College of Human Sciences has supported Brady’s call for understanding from the Irish Government and emphasises that research is a positive addition to the development goals of a university. “The pencil sketch of contemporary academics as ﬂeeing decrepit lecture theatres for newly funded laboratories is unfair, untrue and unworthy. If academics do not conduct research of international quality, we have no place being in the lecture theatre. “Similarly, if we are not sharing the fruits of our own research with students (from ﬁrst-years through to postdocs), we are failing in our basic social and scientiﬁc obligations. Both are critical and interdependent.” The article co-written by Brady ended with a plea to the government to recognise the importance of third-level funding. “Investment in education is not a tap which can be turned on or oﬀ as circumstances require without deep and long-term impact. Failure to invest
■ Give us some money: Trinity provost John Hegarty (above) and education ministerMary Hanifin now will place an entire generation of students and the future of this country at a serious disadvantage. To gamble with our future in this way is, simply, wrong.”
1st April 2008 H
NEWS IN BRIEF RESEARCHED BY
No water for Richview The Students’ Union (SU) have been forced to install Ballygowan water dispensers in the Richview building aer it was discovered there was a lack of availability of water in the Fih Year studio. The building, which is an old Masonic school, is one of the oldest buildings on campus. President of the SU Barry Colfer has stated that the SU will continue to lobby the college to rectify the situation in Richview. “We’ve put in a water cooler in Richview as a stop-gap measure, until the University provides water to the students as they have promised.”
■ Down: Richview’s water
Changes to Residences Committee ■ Eight on-campus reps from next year ■ SU calls for committee to improve recycling scheme The structure of the UCD Residences Committee has been changed to include two academics who will be asked to participate in the Residences Appeals Procedures. The academics have been introduced in an eﬀort to balance out the appeals procedures. According to the President of the Students’ Union (SU) Barry Colfer, “If someone has an overnight guest or a party they are either ﬁned or their contract to reside is rebuked. These academics are being introduced into the committee to ensure a fair and even assessment of what punishment is merited. It is hoped they will bring a new angle to the committee which hasn’t really been there before”. Also from next year there will be eight on-campus residence representatives, two in each residence, who will be responsible for organising community development activities and initiatives on campus. These
■ Jennifer Bray representatives will also have access to a small budget to carry out these initiatives. Colfer has furthermore stated that this has been a very positive move for the students. However, according to the SU, the residences are unwilling to work on the recycling scheme they currently operate. According to Colfer, “There was a request at the last residences committee to put signs and information around the bins so that students would know what to put where, but the management were unwilling to agree to do so.”
Bord na Gaeilge UCD
First choice figures for UCD up 5.2 %
■ Up: UCD’s CAO Applications Omnibus Engineering and Civil Engineering. Law also showed a dramatic 7% decrease.
USI Congress The national Union of Students in Ireland Congress took place last week in Bettystown, Co. Meath. All motions proposed by the UCD Students’ Union (SU) were passed into USI policy. During the course of the week, the Congress voted to reform links with the Trade Union Movement. Congress also made passed Union policy on the issue of grants, mental health, binge-drinking, the Immigration Bill, and the Beijing Olympics among other things. President of the UCD SU emphasized that “The Congress overall in my opinion was a lot more progressive and good for students than in recent years. It was a great success for UCD.”
■ Continued from front page
Student stabbed in Roebuck A student is recovering from stab-wounds aer being allegedly stabbed twice in the back with “a fairly blunt knife” outside the Roebuck Residences, when he tried to intervene in a ﬁght that to broke out in the early hours of March 5. A spokesperson for the college has confirmed that the incident took place. “There was an incident outside the residence on that occasion, and it is currently subject to a Garda investigation. In such circumstances the university is careful not to prejudice the Garda investigation and consequently waits for the outcome of their inquiries before deciding on a course of action.” Students’ Union (SU) President Barry Colfer has conveyed his distress at the news of the attack. “I’m shocked to hear this has happened on campus. Obviously my thoughts are with the victim. I am relieved to hear that he is OK now.” The incident comes in the wake of calls from student outlets for a greater degree of security presence on campus, with this newspaper reporting a month ago that there are an average four bicycles reported stolen in UCD every day, and a significant proportion of students claiming that they don’t feel safe on campus.
Scéim Chónaithe Bhord na Gaeilge UCD
2008/2009 1. An bhfuil Gaeilge líofa agat? 2. An bhfuil sé ar do chumas daoine eile a spreagadh? 3. Ar mhaith leat aithne a chur ar mhic léinn ó réimse leathan scoileanna agus spraoi a bhaint as saol an champais? Más amhlaidh agat é, cuir isteach ar scoláireacht de chuid Scéim Chónaithe Bhord na Gaeilge, An Coláiste Ollscoile Baile Átha Cliath.
Figures for CAO applications show that ﬁrst preferences for UCD degree courses have increased by 5.2% since 2007. Omnibus Science performed particularly strong while ﬁrst preferences were up almost 30%. A growth of 58.8% was also shown in Agriculture and Food Science courses. Social science has shown the larhgest increase in preferences, rising by 115% since 2007. Despite the positive ﬁndings, some courses have displayed a decrease in popularity. These courses include
Cuirfear scoláireachtaí (ar fiú leath an chíosa iad) ar fáil do 16 mac léinn. Ní mór d’iarrthóirí a bheith líofa sa Ghaeilge agus ríspéis a bheith acu i gcur chun cinn gníomhach na teanga . Fáilteofar roimh iarratas ó mhic léinn as gach cúrsa de chuid na hOllscoile. Beidh foirm iarratais ar fáil ón 31 Márta 2008 ar: www.ucd.ie/bnag Tuilleadh eolais:
Clár Ní Bhuachalla, Oifigeach Gaeilge, Bord na Gaeilge UCD, D213, Áras Newman, An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath, Belfield, Dublin 4 Guthán: 01-716-8208 Ríomhphost: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st April 2008h
A fresh start for USI
A new president has been elected as head of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) graduate Shane Kelly was chosen to lead the Union during the USI’s 49th Annual Congress in Bettystown, Co. Meath last week. Donegal native Kelly, 26, will take over from Hamidreza Khodabakhshi on July 1st, 2008. The student holds a BA in Business Studies and Recreation Management and is currently president of the WIT Students’ Union. Kelly will take over from incumbent USI president Hamidreza Khodabakhshi on July 1st this year. The cur-
rent president is conﬁdent that he is up to the task. “Shane has dem-
onstrated ﬁrst-class leadership as president of WIT Students’ Union. “When he takes over from me in July,
■ Caitrina Cody I know that Mr Kelly will further advance the critical campaigns that we - the students of Ireland - are bringing to our Lobby of the Oireachtas next month and throughout the spring.” Kelly emphasised that his attentions will be focused on ensuring wider and improved access to education. “USI will continue to ﬁght for all students in third level, as well as those considering a return to education who, aer leaving school, may have embarked on family life or entered full-time employment. “People with moderate or lower incomes require far more assistance to pursue further studies. Let’s see from this Government the commitment to fairness and building the economy that
Judging a book by its cover ■ UCD study: Men judge women's ■ chances of having an STI ■ on the way they dress
Dr Abbey Hyde, a senior lecturer in UCD, has published a report in the Journal of Sexual Health stating that young Irish men judge whether a woman is likely to have a sexual disease by the way in which she dresses and also by local rumours about her past. The UCD study reports on the ﬁrst major piece of research into young people’s perspectives on sexuality in Ireland. The report found that teenage males decided if a woman had a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) on such social indications as “knowing” a partner, hearsay and a woman’s sexual reputation. The report also found that the way a woman looks has signiﬁ-
cant bearing on her sexual reputation among her male counterparts. It also revealed that a local rumor about a woman could sometimes result in her being labeled a “slut” and that such women were generally considered more likely to be carrying sexual diseases. However, “knowing” a woman was said to be suﬃcient evidence that she was unlikely to have an STI. “The term ‘slut’ was not just applied to young women who were deemed to have had sex with multiple partners,” said Dr Abbey Hyde, one of the authors of the report. “The term could also arise out of the style of dress of a woman, her perceived behavior or simply rumor or gossip.”
we were promised at the last election. “I want to see educational inequality replaced by proper funding for all people to pursue further studies. The more people in our society that can pursue opportunities in education, the greater the social-economic beneﬁts to everyone.” UCD will have a continuing presence in the Union with former UCD Students’ Union Deputy President Dave Curran elected as USI Deputy President. The USI is drawing towards the end of a year that saw the organisation plagued with internal tension. Former USI President Richard Morrisroe began his term in oﬃce in September 2007 but was forced to resign aer a vote of no conﬁdence in his abilities was taken by the council. Then Education Oﬃcer Hamidreza Khodabakhshi was subsequently chosen as his replacement.
■ New Boss: WIT’s Shane Kelly
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1st April 2008
Spotlight on clerical abuse ■ UCD academic interviews nine sex offenders ■ Examines attitudes of church leaders to abuse A UCD lecturer and researcher has conducted a series of interviews with nine clerical sex oﬀenders, in a revealing exploration of the manner in which sex abuse is dealt with within the Catholic Church. Marie Keenan, a lecturer in the School of Applied Social Science, has raised questions about the way in which clerical child sex abusers are supervised by their church leaders aer disclosing the nature of their oﬀences. In their interviews, the men describe sudden changes in their superiors’ approach to the restrictions placed on them. They claim that this usually happened when revelations of new abuses brought the full media spotlight down upon the church and not as a result of any changes in their own situation. Six of the men were convicted for their crimes and completed custodial sentences. Another was convicted but received a non-custodial sentence on grounds of severe ill-health. However, two were never convicted. Like the others, they were receiving treatment at the Granada Institute, having admitted to abusing minors. All except one are still alive and most are living in the Ireland. The series of revealing interviews has raised fears that oﬀenders may be at risk of re-oﬀending if they are not dealt with correctly. “Every Order is watching its back and at the same time it’s trying to be sympa-
■ Philip Connolly thetic and supportive and charitable to the victims and to you and me. How do you ﬁnd that balance? “I understand people in leadership positions within the Catholic Church’s fears, but if there was a bit more communication in our charitable organisation and we could talk more and communicate together then maybe we could move on.” The quotes, taken from s series of indepth interviews with nine clerical sex abusers, reveal much about the scale of the challenges faced by leaders within the church when it comes to tackling arguably its most diﬃcult and emotive issue; how to handle the aermath of abuse by members of the clergy. The publication of the research comes at a time when the church has been the focus of signiﬁcant recent controversy, in relation to the exposing of certain church ﬁles to the Commission of Investigation in the Dublin Archdiocese. Also in the Dublin area, the appointment of a retired Garda Detective as a “priest support coordinator” has been highlighted as a signiﬁcant development. Overall, Keenan recorded 30 hours of group interviews with the nine men, as well as other follow-up interviews. Keenan is a founding member of the Granada Institute and also runs a private psychotherapy practice.
An eco-friendly UCD? ■ USI Officer for Environment: Audits should be in place in UCD by next term ■ Aoife Ryan The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is pushing for audits to be drawn up in universities which will examine their eﬀorts to become eco-friendly. The decision was reached after a national environmental conference that was held this month by the USI. The proposed audits will examine areas such as recycling, CO2 emissions, and the amount of green space and trees in relation to the size and population of the college and electricity usage. “We have been pushing for this issue for years,” explains USI Officer for the Environment Dave Curran. “It is the only reasonable way of getting a full picture of our levels of waste and the need for improvement. “Otherwise how can we even know where we stand? It really is the simple things like turning off the unused lights at night on campus. Right now the waste is just ridiculous.” Curran adds that Ireland is lagging behind in terms of awareness of environmental issues. “In Harvard they have eight full time environmental officers. We are, in that respect, quite behind.” Curran is confident that the audits will be carried out in UCD next term and emphasises that they will be the responsibil-
Race to join SU ranks ■ Deputy: Dave Curran
ity of UCD’s environmental officer Luke Hayden. “It should be said also that as cheesy as it sounds each individual student will carry responsibility too. Though students are totally unfazed by this, it is the government we need to get through to”. In order to mitigate human impact in the environment, the USI believes that a series
of laws and regulations need to be brought in. “We have been speaking to the Minister for Energy and Communications about the idea. We need them on our side so I do hope we can get through to them. “Presently we are building the rough framework of what we want to reach next term. For UCD and all of our universities a hell of a lot needs to be done.”
The Students’ Union (SU) Executive & Programme Oﬃcer Elections will take place on Wednesday the 2nd and Thursday the 3rd of April. The only Executive race that is tightly contested is for the role of SU Irish Language Oﬃcer, with Dónal Hanratty and Treasa Ni Cholmain in opposition. The other candidates are running uncontested, with RON the only other option for voters. Kimberly Foy is in the running for Environmental Oﬃcer, with Stephanie Cremen running for Postgraduate Oﬃcer and Isobel O’Connor running for Women’s Oﬃcer. The Programme Oﬃce positions are more tightly contested with four students, Matthew Gleeson, Michael Pat O’Donoghue, Aisling Richards and Daragh Treacey all battling each other for the Business seat.
■ Philip Connolly
In Law and Business and Legal Studies, there are two contestants for the single seat, Aine Gilhooley and Lisa Henry, while Jonathan Cosgrave and Adrian Grogan compete for the two Arts positions. The remaining positions are either unopposed or vacant, with Patrick Ryan running for Engineering and Architecture, Catriona Quinn for Health Sciences, Donnacha O’ Suillebhain for Science and Andrew Brown for Veterinary Medicine. The Agricultural Science and Nursing seats remain vacant. For information about the polling locations and times, visit www.ucdsu.ie/elections.
1st April 2008
Superstar salaries ■ Vice-President of Research on €230,000 salary ■ Terms of contract outside of usual HEA guidelines The Vice-President for Research in UCD is currently the recipient of a salary of €230,000, in addition to a generous bonus and pension package. Professor Desmond Fitzgerald receives a salary that rivals that of UCD President Hugh Brady, whose basic wages has been €226,000 up to this point, in advance of a mooted pay increase. The College Tribune has received the details of Fitzgerald’s unusual contract that were revealed to the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) under a Freedom of Information Act (FOI). The FOI was sought in light of the recent discovery that the contracts of ten UCD staﬀ members depart signiﬁcantly from payment regulations recommended by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). In addition to his basic salary, Fitzgerald is entitled to an annual increase, “at least in line with salary increases applying to the academic medical consultant contract or the increase in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater.” There is also a potential for a 30% annual bonus based on the achievement of performance targets and a 40% annual contribution to a pension scheme included in the contract. UCD is also in agreement that they will “meet reasonable professional expenses, estimated to be €15,000 exclusive of VAT.”
Exceptional contracts Documents released under the FOI Act have pinpointed nine other staﬀ members in UCD who are also currently in receipt of salaries that are considerably above the rate recommended by the HEA. The Vice-President for research is only one of ten individuals, four academics and six administrators, who share a combined salary and pension package that is worth almost €2.5 million. The HEA has a Public Remuneration Package that sets out the guidelines for public service employees and the terms of Fitzgerald’s contract marks signiﬁcant departure from this package. The salary scale set down by the HEA for Senior Lecturers in UCD ranges from €68,541 to €96,795. The HEA allows for exceptions in certain cases where a university wishes to attract the services of certain high-proﬁle individuals who because of particular expertise would command a higher wage than normal. It is unclear what the extenuating circumstances are in the case of Fitzgerald, and the nine other individuals employed by UCD, who have received the unique contract terms. The FOI document describes the reason for Fitzgerald’s appointment as Vice-President for Research as a “key post in the achievement of UCD’s core mission which is to become a world-class research institution and market remuneration forces in relation to such appointments.”
■ Caitrina Cody According to Gerald Mills, a UCD lecturer and Chair of the Academic Staﬀ Association, research has increasingly taken a pivotal role in the priorities of the college. “There are many who feel that the ability and opportunity to acquire funding for research is seen more positively than the ability and opportunity to teach.” He points out that although research is an important source of income for UCD, the work that teachers undertake in the college should not be underestimated. Professor Fitzgerald obtained a medical degree from UCD and subsequently trained in cardiology and clinical pharmacology at Vanderbilt University in the US. In 2004, he was appointed as UCD Vice-President for Research and Professor of Molecular Medicine.
Future contracts in the pipeline The College Tribune has also learned that yet another oﬀ-scale contract may be in the pipeline that will circumvent the usual HEA regulations which state that such exceptional contracts should only be oﬀered for durations of less than ﬁve years. The contract will provide for ten year’s employment and will be offered to an international academic in the Electrical and Computer Engineering ﬁeld of expertise.
Unauthorised payments ■ High ﬂyer: Desmond Fitzgerald
Discussions are ongoing between the HEA and UCD regarding the unauthorised payments received by UCD President Hugh Brady on top of his approved salary levels. The disclosure led to a pay-freeze
for the president, ahead of a planned salary increase which will see his annual wages rise to €270,000. A spokesperson for the HEA con-
Ten staff members = 2.4 million Vice-President for Staff: Mr Eamon Drea
Vice-President for Development: Ms Aine Gibbons
Vice-President for Research: Professor Desmond Fitzgerald
Principal, College of Engineering, Mathematical & Physical Sciences: Professor Nicholas Quirke
Conference and Commercial Manager: Gary Moss
Dean of UCD Business Schools: Professor Tom Begley:
Director of Executive Education, UCD Michael Smurfit: Dr Philip Matthews
Director for Research Strategy and Planning: Dr Aoibheann Gibbons
Director for Strategic Planning: Mr Tony Carey
Professor for Early Childhood and Human Resources Development, School of Public Health and Population Science: Both the School of Public Health and Population Science and the UCD website were unable to ﬁnd any record of this position.
The HEA response “Our role is to fund the institutions and to decide how monies are spent in the diﬀerent institutions. “In 2000 there were provisions brought in, where in exceptional circumstances the institutions can apply for staﬀ to be paid more than the normal levels. It would tend to be where you’re looking for a lecturer of international standing and you have to be able to compete and oﬀer a competitive salary. Alternatively, it could be for someone with a particular expertise, so that you’d need to oﬀer them more. “There have only been 33 cases across the university sector where this exemption has been sought. If a college wants to go beyond the guidelines in place, there are procedures that the institution can follow. In the case of a very small number of employees across the university sector, these procedures were satisfactorily followed. “If, however, an institution departs from the agreed procedure, then that would have to be explored, but from the point of view of the HEA, there is no evidence that there has been any such departure. “The one case in which there is discussion between UCD and the HEA is over the allowances paid to the Presi-
dent of UCD. These allowances were not permitted and are not permissible so the HEA has to take action, and the allowances may be required to be paid back.”
The UCD response “HEA regulations allow for exceptions to the normal payment guidelines in particular circumstances. Under Section 25 (5) of the Universities Act 1997, an agreed Framework has been drawn up between the Higher Education Authority and the universities which provides for the employment of individuals on a contract basis on remuneration terms which are departures from the standard terms of remuneration scales. “The purpose of Section 25(5)(a) is to provide a discretion to a university where necessary to meet the objects of the university, in particular by enabling it to attract a person to its staﬀ, who would, because of exceptional or scarce expertise and/or qualiﬁcations, command remuneration higher than the norm and who would not be prepared to work for the university unless so rewarded.”
1st April 2008
OPINION Forget me, forget me not Residents of South Africa’s squatter camps are neglected, oppressed and treated as if they don’t exist. Eoin Mac Aodha describes their lives and programmes that can make a real difference Tonight when you ﬁnish college you’ll probably go home. You might cook dinner if you haven’t already eaten, then turn on the TV for a while before you head to bed. That probably sounds like a pretty boring night in, nothing really out of the ordinary but for over 20% of the people in the world today that would be a pretty extraordinary night. There are over 1.2 billion people living in slums in the world today and the United Nation predicts that that number will rise to 3 billion by 2050. If you live in a slum chances are you don’t have gas or electricity to turn on your cooker, a tap to wash your hands or to prepare food or central heating to keep you warm. Last summer this writer spent some time working in squatter camps in Rustenburg, South Africa with SERVE, an Irish Non-Governmental Organisation. Rustenburg is an area rich with platinum mines, one of the worlds’ most sought aer commodity. People ﬂock from all over southern Africa to South Africa in search of jobs. Many come from poor rural backgrounds and seek to make enough money to survive themselves and remit the remainder back to their family. They emigrate, as generations of Irish people have done, in search of the dignity of work and decent payment.
The reality is so very diﬀerent. Forced to work long hours in the mines for the equivalent of €200 a month, a decent house is an unattainable dream. Instead they construct makeshi homes out of corrugated iron on disused wasteland. These homes have no source of water or electricity. Cobbled together from scrap metal they are like a sauna underneath the beating African sun and provide no comfort from the monsoon rains and cold winter nights. The ground in Freedom Park, where SERVE works, is a stodgy turf. When the rains come, dead bodies, and there are many, must be carried out by hand as vehicles are unable to pass. In the summer it soaks up the throbbing heat and burns the children’s bare feet. As there are no rubbish collections, refuse dots the camp, a kaleidoscope of plastic colours. Slums are violent places; murders can take place over the ownership of a goat. In South Africa they are also rampant with HIV/AIDS. Nurses and care workers in Freedom Park estimated that the prevalence rate there is as high as 80%. During our time in Nkaneng, another camp, we facilitated the clearing of an entry road and the arrival of an old airport container to act as a new clinic and adult education centre. The South African government won’t allow any permanent structures to be built in the squatter camps as the people living there
don’t have any documentation and many are illegal immigrants. Essentially they don’t exist. Despite the obstacles, residents of the camps are immensely house-proud and proud to have visitors. Some will insist on giving you gis as you leave, others will make you tea and some will be too sick to even notice you. The South African government have initiated a massive low-cost housebuilding project to eliminate the scourge of the shantytowns. Named RDP hous-
ing, those without documentation cannot qualify for a house. Therefore, South Africans who do not have their documents and cannot access them are not eligible for housing. Illegal immigrants, in the majority in many camps, cannot qualify either and live in constant fear of deportation. The houses unfortunately are no panacea, with a high prevalence of HIV and opportunistic infections. It’s not too late however; our own experiences in Ireland of social housing in disadvantaged
areas and our expertise in regeneration projects would be particularly instructive. In one house we visited, a young girl, no older than eighteen and with three children, was too sick from the eﬀects of full-blown AIDS to stand. She had defaulted on her anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs and her bones were jutting out from underneath her skin. Her youngest son lay on the ﬂoor whooping from the eﬀects of tuberculosis while another son smiled at the visitors, painfully oblivious. In South Africa, SERVE works in partnership with the Topalogo programme that provides outreach and care to the squatter camps. The next day that young girl was brought to the Tapologo hospice and given intensive treatment. A week later she was sitting up in her bed ready to return to her family. Programmes like these do not stop the fact that people are living in intolerable situations, only international consensus can do that. But they recognise the essential dignity of the human person in a place where dignity can be a rare commodity. Eoin Mac Aodha is a former editor of the College Tribune and is Campaigns and Development Education Oﬃcer for SERVE. More details of SERVE’s projects and campaigns can be found at www. serve.ie
Chiara Lubich: Witness to unity Brendan Purcell reflects on the life of Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement and the lasting impression that teachings were to have on religious movements worldwide In 1943, some young people in Trent, northern Italy made a discovery in the rather ramshackle bomb-shelters they were forced to retreat to during the regular air-raids their city went through. It was that although many of the ideals they had in life - tudy, medicine, art, marriage - had had to be put on hold or seemed to be destroyed by the war, there was one ideal that could outlast the crumbling of all their hopes. For them, in the Gospel, they found that ideal was God as Love. The woman who began that experience with them, Chiara Lubich, died aged 88 a few weeks ago. There were about 40,000 at her funeral in Rome on the 18th of March in St Paul’s Basilica. I was able to get there myself because luckily it was during our Easter break here at UCD. Cardinal Bertone, as Secretary of State, second in command in the Catholic Church, said at the funeral, “The life of Chiara Lubich is a song to the love of God, to God who is love.” But it wasn’t only Catholic or
Christian leaders who expressed their appreciation of what Chiara did. Tributes came from people representing every religion under the sun. Here’s just a few of them. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote that “Chiara Lubich was one of the great ﬁgures of the modern Church and she set a new tone and a new agenda for the community life of many Christians. She was someone I had the privilege of meeting and I’ve had very fruitful contact over many years with the Focolare Movement who have been inspirational to me in my own ministry.” Rabbi David Rosen, formerly Chief Rabbi of Ireland and now President of the International Council of Christians and Jews, gave thanks “for the great blessing of her life in this world and for the Movement she founded and the millions more from all faiths. Chiara’s legacy is one of the greatest spiritual blessings of our time.” Afghanistan-based theologian, Imam Hossein Fatimi, said a prayer. “O God, I entrust our sister Chiara
into Your hands, You who are allmerciful and all-goodness.” And Dr. Aziz Shehu, from Skopje, Macedonia said, “I am grateful to God for being one of the tens of millions of people throughout the world who follow her ideal of unity and love. In this way I have become the richest person in the world.” The Reverend Yoshinobu Miyake, General Secretary of Shintoist leaders in Japan told us that “Chiara Lubich is the model for religious leaders of the whole world. She has been a pioneer who facilitated dialogue and cooperation between the various religions.” And Nichiko Niwano, President of a Japanese Buddhist movement, in his presentation said: “All her life Chiara has been another Mary, a model for people of every religion. I think that it was the plan of God-Buddha for our two movements to meet at this epoch, to learn from each other and to cooperate with each other.” Ajahn Thong, the abbot of the Buddhist temple of Chiang Mai, Thailand: “Chiara has lit a light for all in this
dark world.” Didi Talwalkar, the President of the Hindu Swaydaya Movement in India said that “We feel the same sorrow as you do in our heart; we are truly one family with you.” During my academic life at UCD I’ve been exploring the things that all human beings have in common. We can start with the ﬁrst undeniably human burial whose 40,000 year old site at Lake Mungo in New South Wales, Australia, I visited a few years ago, or the Cro Magnons who painted the incredibly beautiful paintings in Chauvet cave, discovered only a few years ago in France and dated to 34,000 years ago. Then we can go on through the ancient near Eastern civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia from 3000 BC to the amazing ‘opening of the soul’ as Bergson called it, from Moses in 1300 BC to the Chinese spiritual outbursts of Confucius and Lao Tzu. Then from the Indian writings of the Hindu Upanishads and the Buddhist Dhammapada, to the Zoroastri-
an experience in Persia, and onwards to the Greek mystic philosophers of 500 BC, where almost all of a sudden, in an 800 year-long window, there occurred a series of breakthroughs from the Paciﬁc to the Mediterranean, when what it is to be human was clearly discovered for the ﬁrst time. Underlying this immense Odyssey of the human spirit lies a common thirst for transcendence, and oen accompanying that awareness is the sense that it’s not only the human in search for the divine, but that the divine is seeking out the human. That thirst Chiara Lubich and her friends identiﬁed in Jesus’ prayer ‘that all may be one’ and made what she considered to be his last will and testament her own. And it was through her reaching out to people of every belief and none - since many with their own deep but non-religiously based commitment to basic human values have been attracted to her vision of the underlying fraternity of the whole human family - that she evoked such a response to her ideal of unity.
13th November 4th March 2007 2008
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An open letter to the President of UCD and the Dean of Medicine Dear Sirs, In April of 2007, a student, classmate, and friend passed away suddenly. His name was Ahmed Kandil, a Fih Year medical student from Waterford. We were shocked and devastated. Ahmed was so vibrant and friendly, it was impossible to imagine that his huge grin was no longer a part of our lives. It was a time in which we most needed the support that UCD promised us in our time of need. I’m sorry to say we never got it. When he died, our class was split into three groups in three diﬀerent hospitals where we were working. I understand it was diﬃcult to call us all together to inform us of the tragedy. However, only one group was told, the group that Ahmed had been part of. The rest of us found out by word of mouth as the news ﬁltered through the hospitals. The days that followed passed in a haze of confusion and grief. We learned he would have an Islamic funeral as his family is Muslim. Most of us did not understand what was happening throughout the service, and prayers recited in a
language foreign to most of us did not soothe our pain. UCD staﬀ assured us that there would be a university service for him which we could use as an outlet to express our grief. They decided to delay the service until aer the Final Year students completed their exams so to allow them to attend. This service never materialized. It was forgotten about. It was as though UCD had forgotten Ahmed ever existed. We had been told there were student advisors, student coordinators in hospitals, a Chaplain and a grief counselor available to us. Despite this no one reached out. We were le to deal with the loss on our own. We were still in pain. We needed closure. It was now we realised, truly, that UCD was not going to be there for us. We ended up organizing a small service ourselves at a time when we should’ve been preparing for exams. When word of our service made its way around campus, several UCD staﬀ members conﬁrmed that was still a UCD service planned. It was being planned for September or October of 2007. It is now March of 2008. A service has not
been mentioned since. He was awarded a posthumous degree at the Final Year graduation, acknowledging his loss to the year above us, and with that they felt they had done their duty. Nobody from the University has been able or willing to tell us what happened to Ahmed, why he died. I was encouraged on one occasion to help dispel any rumors of suicide that were ﬂoating about, as that was not the cause of death. Certainly, if members of the staﬀ could conﬁrm this, they must know what killed Ahmed. We still don’t know. I did not write this to criticise or to point ﬁngers. I’m writing this because I believe it’s a situation that could have been handled better. I want people in positions designed to support students to know how we felt so it doesn’t happen again. I want you to know how lost we were, so that if it happens to another class another time you can help them ﬁnd their way. Yours sincerely, UCD Medicine Student
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Stabbing in Roebuck The recent stabbing of a student by another student on the UCD premises is of serious concern to this newspaper. Drunken ﬁghts are commonplace in society but when a knife is used on a fellow student it is a disturbing event for all on campus. According to a source, the act was not a spontaneous one, but was in fact premeditated. The student in question is said to have le the scene to get a knife, attacking a student with it upon his return. If this is true, then the deliberate nature of the attack is all the more shocking. Mistakes happen when people are drunk, but this incident does not appear to bear the hallmarks of an unfortunate accident. Let us hope that justice will be done and that we will not continue to share the UCD campus with the alleged perpetrator for too much longer. There should be swi penalties imposed upon anyone who would hold the life and safety of another student in such little regard.
Off-scale contracts There are ten UCD staﬀ members, academic and administrative, who are currently employed under the terms of contracts that have departed from recommended HEA guidelines. UCD’s response is that there are exceptional circumstances allowed for within these guidelines that specify when an employee may be paid a higher wage than the standard salary scale proscribes. What are these exceptional circumstances? In the case of many of these staﬀ-members, there is no international proﬁle to be considered, that would make them a desirable addition to any university around the world, and that would warrant an enormous salary and additional beneﬁts. In a recent article, President Hugh Brady called on the government to step up their investment in third-level education in order to avoid a looming crisis in funding. He points to recent reviews that have found that there is a major funding deﬁcit in the Irish university sector, by comparison with relevant international competitors. The obvious question to ask in light of this question would be why ten individuals employed by this college altogether merit a combined pay package of almost €2.5 million. The highest salary that a Senior Lecturer in UCD can command under HEA rates is approximately €96,000 with a standard pension scheme that is seen as adding 11.5% to the pay package. Vice-President for Research Professor Desmond Fitzgerald’s annual income of €230,000 can be seen therefore as a serious departure from the realm of normality. Coupled with his generous expense account and bonus scheme, Fitzgerald would certainly seem to occupy a comfortable position in UCD. Why is this man paid so much? This newspaper acknowledges that there may indeed be reasons for his hey salary, but emphasises that an explanation should be available to those curious enough to ask, ‘What makes this man so special?’ If these contracts were part of a distant, wealthier past for the college and if attempts were being made to avoid departing from standard pay rates in an eﬀort to save money before the looming funding crisis arrives, one might be satisﬁed. However, if reports that a new contract has been drawn up recently in order to entice yet another ‘superstar academic’ to join our ranks on a ten-year contract are true, then perhaps some questions need to be answered. If a funding crisis is around the corner, perhaps UCD Management should make a special attempt to keep to within HEA guidelines and resolve to stop awarding exceptional pay deals to its valued staﬀ members. Above all, transparency in these dealings should be made a priority. If all is above board with these contracts, then the reasons for their existence should be made clear to other staﬀ members, and indeed to students. The situation should certainly not require a Freedom of Information Act to disclose the presence of these oﬀ-scale pay deals. Ultimately, staﬀ and students deserve to know where third level government spending is being invested in UCD
1st April 2008
Crumbs from your table Rashid is an asylum seeker in this country who speaks to Philip Connolly about his struggles in Ireland
In 2006, Ireland had 4,314 people apply for asylum in Ireland. While waiting to hear the verdict on asylum, most stay in camps around the country, living on nineteen euros and ten cents a week, sleeping in rooms with two or three strangers, prohibited from earning any money legally. “Sometimes it’s not enough to cover my personal hygiene,” explains Rashid, who is currently seeking asylum here, “It’s really challenging. Many people work in illegal black market jobs to earn a little money. “I am not ashamed of receiving the money; this condition has been forced upon me, by the regime in my own country, and by the asylum process here. I can’t live on nineteen euros a week. “It is disgraceful, but at the same time, I ﬁrmly believe that people in the asylum process are not supposed to be involved in the black market. I am pretty much paying double by not being involved in it. “I have been oﬀered many jobs here in Ireland, and in Europe. I don’t want handouts. I wish to be a migrant worker. Of course, when I get asylum, I wish to work. I am a hard worker, and I take part in volunteer work.” “We get paid every Thursday, and when I queue up, it’s a huge shame and embarrassment. You can’t explain the situation. For me, it’s a huge issue. Last week, I was pissed oﬀ because I was being looked at by some Irish people who were thinking, ‘You’re tall and healthy. What is that payment card in your hand? You should be ashamed of yourself. Are you on drugs or something? What the hell is wrong with you? Why aren’t you in work?’ but they don’t understand the situation. “Rumours abound that some are getting free cars and paid a hundred euros a week, but when I tell people nineteen, people think I say ninety, and are shocked to learn how little it is and don’t believe it.
“At the same time, when you try to highlight this issue, and explain how degrading it is to live on so little, you see cars parked outside the hostel, but that’s from people working illegally. When you respect the law, you are at the back of the queue. “In my experience, the jobs they get are the ones that no one else will do. It doesn’t deserve to be called exploitation; it’s slavery. You can’t imagine how people come in to this hostel to pick up the lads for a job that an Irish person would be getting ninety euros for. They get paid 40 euros for nine
hours, but still it’s better than nothing. “In the long term, they might be able to save, buy a car and open up opportunities. During the last three or four months, there seems to be more lads around the hostel, which shows even these kind of jobs are declining.” The governments plans to establish a separate detention centre in the new Thornton Hall prison complex for foreign nationals, such as asylum seekers or illegal immigrants, has again raised the issue about accommodation for asylum seekers.
“Disgusting” is how Rashid described his living conditions, “It doesn’t matter who you are – your race or background. You have a small room, with three or four people sharing, in two beds. “But you don’t know who is going to be in your room; new people arrive and come into your room. Imagine, someone just knocks on your door and comes into your room. Who the hell are you? I don’t know who you are, but you have to shut up and accept it. “Accommodation is oen privately owned, so each immigrant is given a
certain allocation of money to go towards food. So, they say, ‘Here is your contract, and here is the money for food’, but it doesn’t mean all of that money is spent. These are businesses, and of course they are going to want a proﬁt. “It’s like they just squeeze more and more money out of it. Of course there are inspections on paper, but we all know what is really happening. If you want to say something, you will be labelled as a troublemaker – so everyone just shuts up and accepts it,” he concludes on wistfully.
When walls start closing in on you Niall Fox visits one of the centres that houses asylum seekers in this country, and finds a boxed-in family trying to survive At the end of a long corridor of the old student residence, Tanya and her husband Daniel greet me warmly at the door, and welcome me into the small one room apartment. They introduce me to their twoyear-old son Lucas, who is sitting in the corner, sucking his thumb and staring at me intently. Forced to ﬂee their homeland in Croatia due to ethnic hostilities, Tanya does not divulge much detail of her life back home, as the emotional wounds of the traumatic experience are visibly too difﬁcult to re-open now. The room is cramped and sparsely furnished with a double bed, a cot, chest of drawers, two chairs and a television. The décor is old fashioned and outdated, the wallpaper gaudy and garish, presumably unchanged since the eighties. There are no cook-
ing facilities and the communal showers and toilets are down the corridor. The only real semblance of normal family life is a few of Lucas’ teddies lying forlornly on the shelf – a poignant reminder that even children must sometimes grow up in inhospitable circumstances. Our conversation is abruptly interrupted by the blaring of a smoke alarm. Lucas, who had been sitting placidly up until now, bursts into tears, terriﬁed by the shrill and piercing noise. His father hugs him fondly and strokes his long blonde hair lovingly. Tanya explains that someone must have attempted to cook food in his or her room, with an air of normality that suggests that such a commotion
“The only real semblance of normal family life is a few of Lucas’ teddies lying forlornly on the shelf” is commonplace. She explains that if she had any cooking apparatus, she would probably attempt the same, as the food provided in the hostel is low budget. I ask Tanya how they manage to live on the allowance of €19.10 per week and €9.60 per child that the State allocates to them, and she responds by
telling me that they don’t live, but simply survive. She puts the child’s allowance in perspective when she remarks that it barely covers the cost of nappies alone. She explains that the allowance is spent on toiletries, transport costs and phone credit. The family is bound to their one room apartment. She describes how this small room can close in on you, and that sometimes you can feel like a prisoner. Living in each other’s pockets exacerbates minor irritants, and relationships can oen become fractious. When you have too much time and nothing to occupy it with, you can become insular and dwell on your own problems, she explains. I cannot help but be struck by the juxtaposition of the noise of the traﬃc outside and
the vibrancy of city life against the slow dormant nature of life inside the small room. As Tanya relates how she is a qualiﬁed pharmacist, I begin to feel a strong sense of disillusionment at the injustice of a system that discerns one’s eligibility to work and earn a living on the basis of strict country borders before considering real human factors. As I say my goodbyes and walk out onto the busy city streets, there is evidence of prosperity everywhere. In this “thriving” Ireland, we seem to have forgotten our own history of migration. When segregation rather than integration appears to be the byword with regards to the least fortunate in our society, modern Ireland has some serious questions to answers to do.
1st April 2008
‘Europe won't survive collapse of Africa' An irate Kevin Myers hangs up the phone on Colin Gleeson, who speaks to him about asylum seekers in this country, and challenges him on his anti-immigration opinions He answers the phone promptly and seems eager to get straight down to business. His views are controversial at the best of times, being a vocal opponent of immigrants in this country. We begin by discussing the case of Pamela Izevbekhai, a woman in search of asylum in Ireland, as she seeks to protect her two remaining daughters from the risks of female genital mutilation in her native Nigeria, after her eldest daughter was killed undergoing the practice. “Looking at the issue of circumcision of women, everyone in Europe deplores this. It is an utter abomination. There are 130 million people in Nigeria who could say this. The fear is genuine and authentic. It is a real possibility that a woman can be circumcised, but she can’t be circumcised by people outside her family – it’s not as if the State circumcises women, it’s the family. “Are we to admit every single family from across North Africa where circumcision is widespread? It aﬀects tens, even hundreds of millions. Are we to admit every woman who says she wants to avoid circumcision or wants to avoid circumcision for her daughters? “That’s a question I would leave in the minds of your readers. I don’t have to oﬀer an answer because the answer is fairly self-evident. We cannot solve the problems of Africa. It’s not suﬃcient to say therefore that we should admit every African family, because within a generation, we won’t have Europe anymore, we’ll have Africa.” So, there is no line then, that when passed, people should definitely be granted asylum? “I didn’t say that. What I’m presenting to you is the practical problem of what happens if you say, ‘Yes, this woman’s daughter could be subject to circumcision if they are to return to Nigeria. Therefore we will grant them asylum.’ “Frankly, in the circumstances, I would give that family asylum (That of Pamela Izevbekhai) because they seem to be integrated, and I prefer to take the humane solution than to go down a hard ideological road.” Do you think that how integrated someone is in Irish society should influence their case for asylum? “No I don’t, because asylum has nothing to do with whether they’re integrated or not – it has to do with the conditions from which they’re ﬂeeing, not whether they’re nice people.” Many would argue that it’s unlikely we would ever have tens of millions trying to come here.
Hundreds of millions of Arabs. Hundreds of millions of Africans.” As far as religious tolerance goes, why do you believe that people who choose to wear veils over the faces should be prevented from doing so?
“Why would they argue that? Why on earth would they not take the view that tens of millions of people would come here? Just about every African country is collapsing into a state of lawlessness – and intelligent, wise people will try to avoid the collapse and head north to Europe. “You can say that we should give homes to everyone. But there are consequences – and the consequences aren’t measured in the immigrants as they arrive, but by the immigrants’ descendents. Now, if you think that immigration doesn’t make a diﬀerence, then go to Leicester where I was born, and it’s now 51 percent Asian. “Birmingham is now a predominantly Muslim city. The same is true in Bradford and other towns in the north of England. They are drastically transformed by immigration. That’s what happens.”
“This is not to do with asylum seeking, but immigration. I think we should simply outlaw veils in public places. I don’t think we should be going down the road that the British are gone down where you have cultural diversiﬁcation in the schools, and so you have chaos in the schools. “You have Muslim girls insisting on wearing their veils in class, which is just crazy – just crazy. There was a teacher last year that insisted on wearing a veil in class. You do have to draw a line somewhere about the kind of society we have and the kind of future that we want.” I have to say that of all the points you’ve made, that’s one that I can’t get my head around. I don’t understand how a girl wearing a veil on the street can cause problems.
Do you not think that we should be taking the view as a people, and all of us as people, that we should do what we can for Africa, rather than simply accepting that it’s finished and getting as far away as possible.
“A veil is a statement that we may not see the face. The face is the primary organ of communication. It tells us what we think about one another, and what she is saying to us is that we are so impure that we may not see her face. “You cannot have a society where people go around in veils. It’s a fundamental taboo in our society. Masked people necessarily cause fear in our society. When you see a man in a balaclava in our society – you know what it means.”
“Nobody has proposed that.” Well it’s treading the line. “No it’s not. You haven’t heard what I’m saying. I’ve never said that and I don’t believe it. You cannot say that we’ve been doing nothing about Africa. The world has been pouring billions and billions into Africa – billions and billions and billions. “It all comes down to self-interest. Is it in Europe’s interest to have a collapsing Africa? No it’s not. What do we do about it? I haven’t got a fucking clue. I haven’t got a fucking clue. And nobody has. “But we cannot have a collapsing Africa simply because of the demographic consequences for Europe. If we have a collapsing Africa, tens of millions of Africans will make their way to Europe – because that’s the logical, intelligent thing to do. And Europe will not survive as a culture, if demographically it becomes African. That’s a certain truth. “It might be a better place being composed of Africans, but the Europe that we know – that produced Leonardo, Shakespeare, Bach and Beethoven – will not survive. “The consequences of Africa collapsing will be global. It won’t be just a question of people dying in Africa, because people generally are too intelligent to do that. They would rather die as refugees than die from hunger in their homes.” If you could decide what the rules and guidelines should be regarding who we should admit into this country, what would they entail? “I don’t know. I’m a journalist and I’m
not expected to come up with solutions. That’s up to politicians. All I can do is try to analyse problems. I cannot come up with solutions. “I will say though, that no country that has admitted millions of Muslims is now saying that they’re the happier for it. I see no reason why we are admitting tens of thousands of Muslims from North Africa. I see no reason why this should happen.” So, you don’t feel that we as a people have any responsibility to help our fellow man? “That doesn’t mean anything. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s a pious, stupid question, if you’ll forgive me for saying. If you go down the road of saying that we must help our fellow man, then you will have a lifeboat that will sink itself from bringing in survivors from the sea.” Of course, this country can’t possibly hold every single African if they all come here because they think Ireland is letting everybody in. But do you not think that we should take in the people that we can take in? “Well how many is that?” I can’t possibly know that. As you say, it’s up to the politicians to answer that.
“Well then, how do you expect me to answer it? You’ve set up the question and then you start arguing with me. You’ve then said that we should allow however many we can, but you then say that you don’t know how many that is. “If you are going to make a point as you just have, then know the reason for making a point. You said we should admit as many as we can, but you don’t know how many that is.” I’m not sure if it should necessarily be a specific number, but perhaps be decided on the basis of people’s cases. “I’m asking a question now.” I don’t know how many people we should admit. “Would you accept 1,000?”
I think it would be silly and purely speculative to start spouting numbers. “It always comes down to numbers. We do have to draw a line. We are the lifeboat. The lifeboat that takes on every survivor is not a lifeboat – it’s dead bodies ﬂoating in the water. You cannot give refuge to everybody who wants refuge, not in this world. 80 million Pakistanis would probably want to come here. 60 million Bangladeshis.
Yes, but there’s a difference between a man in a balaclava and a Muslim woman wearing a veil. “I don’t have to convince you. You have your opinions and I have mine. We’re not having this conversation for you to be convinced.” Yes but I’m entitled to challenge your views at the same time. “You’re not entitled to take up my time.” Well I’m not going to give you a platform. “Sorry, let’s get the relationship right here. I’m doing you a favour. I’ve got better things to do with my time than have an argument with you when I am giving you my time. You wanted to know my opinions. Now, you cease to ask my opinions and you’re having an argument with me. Now, that’s very fucking ill-mannered.” I’m not having an argument; I’m trying to have a discussion with you. “The conversation is now over.”
Myers suddenly hangs up the phone. And with that, he’s gone.
1st April 2008
Sacrifice, tragedy an in the Andes Roberto Canessa was on board a plane that crashed in the Andes mountain range, and he speaks to Colin Gleeson about surviving avalanches and eating the flesh of his friends so that he could live to rescue the rest of the survivors
It’s early morning and he is standing bleary-eyed at Carrasco Airport in Uruguay. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, nineteen year old Roberto Canessa is waiting to board a plane that will take him and his teammates to Curico, Chile. Some of the Old Christians rugby team are chatting quietly, but for the most part they are quiet as they wait for the sun to climb in the sky, and boarding to begin. Shortly aer eight o’clock, the Fairchild took oﬀ with 40 passengers and ﬁve crewmen onboard. The ﬁrst three hours of the ﬂight went by without trouble. At around eleven o’clock, the Andes came into view, shrouded in clouds. The Fairchild could only ﬂy as high as 22,500 feet, so the plane could not ﬂy above the Andes, but through them, using designated gaps, or “passes”, between the peaks. The pilots knew that the clouds meant the possibility of bad weather conditions. They conﬁrmed their suspicions with a call to Mendoza, Argentina, a town that lay ahead of them at the foothills of the mountains. They decided to land in Mendoza, as the weather in the Andes was too rough to risk ﬂying through. Upon landing, they were informed that the weather would not be letting up, and the announcement was made that they’d be staying in Mendoza for the night. The next day, the Fairchild took oﬀ from Mendoza around two o’clock, aer waiting most of the morning for weather to clear up. It was decided that the plane would take a route through the mountains known as Planchon Pass. Flying south from Mendoza, along the edge of the mountains, the Fairchild arrived over Marlargue at three o’clock, at which time the plane turned west into the Andes en route to Curico. Between them lay the Planchon pass. In the passenger compartment, Canessa and the rest of the passengers enjoyed a routine ﬂight. Some read, played cards, or chatted among their friends. Some were tossing a rugby ball back and forth along the cabin. “It was a regular ﬂight,” recalls Canessa now, “There were some airbumps, and nobody likes those, but everything was under control.” At half three, the pilot radioed to Santiago that he was over Curico. Santiago Control acknowledged and ordered Lagurara to turn north and descend to 10,000 feet. This would have been ﬁne if the Fairchild had been over Curico as the pilot reported, but a headwind had slowed the plane, and it was in reality just over Planchon – still within the mountains. The Fairchild dipped into the clouds and encountered turbulence. The ‘Fasten Seat Belts’ sign ﬂashed on and the steward paced the aisle making sure the passen-
gers did as instructed before taking his seat at the back of the cabin. The plane hit at least two air pockets and swily sank below the clouds revealing mountains on all sides. The pilot threw the engine throttles to full and tried to pull the Fairchild out of the mountains, but in the thin air the propellers had little to grab onto. At an altitude of about 14,000 feet, the right wing clipped a jagged mountain peak. The wing splintered oﬀ and ﬂung back and over the plane, smashing down on the fuselage and breaking the Fairchild’s tail section oﬀ at the galley. The severed tail tore away. A split second later, the le wing struck the rocks and broke loose, the propeller chewing into the cabin as the wing fragmented and fell to the ground. In these ﬁrst moments of the crash, ﬁve of the people in the rear of the passenger cabin fell to their deaths from the gaping hole where the tail had been. The plane continued forward through the air, dropping down onto the mountain, the fuselage careened down an 80 degree slope like a toboggan. The sudden deceleration caused the passenger seats to break loose from their mountings and fall forward in a mass. As the slope began to level oﬀ and the snow got deeper, the nose of the Fairchild crumpled back, sandwiching the cockpit and the pilots before the fuselage slammed to a halt in a deep bank of snow. The bulkhead, separating the passenger cabin from the forward luggage compartment, had given way. Passengers, seats, luggage and other debris ended up in a pile at the forward end of the fuselage. Those few, who were able to, emerged from the heap and went out the hole where the tail had been. “I couldn’t believe I was alive,” conﬁdes Canessa, “I was sitting in my seat, there was a huge bump, and then I was against the front seat. When the plane ﬁnally stopped, I thought that my body was crushed and then my head would go rolling someplace, and that my arms would surely fall oﬀ, but when I saw that everything was there and I was alive, I said, ‘God, I cannot believe it’. “I thought I was going to see God, and now I am alive. I looked to my side and one of my friends had one of his legs chopped but he was also alive, but a lot of the people all around us were really dying.” Inside the plane, Canessa was doing his best to extricate the passengers from their seats. Gustavo Zerbino, another medicine student, was doing the same. “All of a sudden, we were thrust into
this struggle,” he explains. “There were broken legs and people dead and people bleeding. I wasn’t sure
“I thought it was incredible, a miracle – I am alive now. I was expecting to see ambulances and firefighters. There was snow everywhere and we were stranded” what was happening. When I got out of the plane, I saw we were surrounded by mountains and I couldn’t believe it. “I thought it was incredible, a miracle – I
am alive now. I was expecting to see ambulances and ﬁreﬁghters. There was snow everywhere and we were stranded. When the night came, we were exhausted and freezing. We couldn’t handle the circumstances, people were dying and there was nothing we could do. “It was such a surreal environment. Everything had changed so much in a moment. I mean I couldn’t believe how things were happening, and so fast as well. I kept thinking, there’s a trick, there’s a button to push, this is not happening. I must rewind. This is not real. “Of course, in the ﬁrst minute, we went to the pilot’s cabin and tried to push on the buttons, the cables, and the wires to try and get contact, but we had lost the tailend of the plane. It was broken into pieces. It had lost everything. When I looked to where the tail-end of the plane should have been, there was a hole there.
“The environment was so sublimely noiseless. It was so silent – you can imagine all the mess on the plane, the people shouting and screaming, but the snow was falling so peacefully. Instead of having all the ambulances, people helping you and trying to rescue you, you have this. When I close my eyes and remember that, I cannot believe I was there. “At the beginning, you have the adrenaline and you feel nothing. You just feel that you are dying. People around you are vanishing, injured people are missing parts of their heads, and these are your friends. You are desperate so you don’t think about anything. “And then the cold begins to push you as it drops below zero. We began making blankets with people’s clothes to try and protect ourselves from the cold. You begin to freeze. You have a pain in your bones, and then slowly the thirst comes on, and
1st April 2008
you begin swallowing snow, and waiting for the search.” The white fuselage against the white background of the snow-drenched mountains meant that ﬁnding the wreckage of the place was always going to be diﬃcult. So, when one of the survivors heard on the still-working radio that the search for their plane had been called oﬀ, they were faced with the daunting task of ﬁnding their own way home. “At that moment, the guy who gave the news was very brave and very smart because he came to us and he said, ‘I have good news for you. That terrible doubt as to whether we are going to get out of this ourselves or wait to be rescued and be in this agony is over. We must get out by ourselves, because the search has been called oﬀ.’ “It was very impressive. If we were dead, we were ﬁnished and that was it, but life goes on. I couldn’t imagine my parents accepting I was dead; I wanted to send them messages saying, ‘I’m alive, I’m alive, look for me, look for me. We need to get help, we need to get out of here, we are freezing, we are dying and we’re starving.’ “We had these dreams of getting out of the mountains, but there was an avalanche that came and we were under zero again. When I came out of the avalanche, I looked at the dead people and I felt envy for them. It’s incredible how many things can happen to human beings that we don’t understand. It was everyday life – feeling envy of someone who was dead because he was not suﬀering anymore. There were so many things going on in that society of the mountains. I still, feel how diﬀerent it was. “We had nothing to eat, it was snowing all the time, and it was freezing. So, when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, and that avalanche came, it was unbelievable.” During the ﬁrst few days, Canessa recalls that there was food on the plane that could sustain the survivors, “We found chocolate, we found wine, and we made rations of little pieces. We lost the feel of the normal world where money is money
and not paper, where people are valuable by what they have, not what they do. I mean we were developing a new society there.” As the rations began to dwindle, the survivors were faced with the growing realisation that they would all perish if they could not ﬁnd food. Reluctantly, Canessa was among one of the ﬁrst to suggest that the survivors should eat the ﬂesh of their dead friends in order to stay alive. “We tried to eat rubber. We scoured the area for food. We tore open the seats to try and ﬁnd straw that we could eat, but there was nothing but Styrofoam. This was a society where a friend could be the nourishment for your life. “It was a society in which I knew that should I die, I would still be part of the living project because somebody else could eat my body. This was about ﬁghting to survive. There was nothing else to eat there on the mountain. “It was diﬃcult on every level. Firstly, you are cutting the piece, but then your mouth doesn’t want to open, because this is not human – it is wild. I am not a savage, but I am doing this. But then I used to pray to God, and I used to say to him, ‘I am not that good a Catholic if I want to die here. I want to live.’ I felt that I had to go home to my friends and that I had to keep my life going – that was my duty.” With that, Canessa swore to himself that he would survive, “I was waiting there for someone to get us out, and then a friend who was dying, told me, ‘Roberto, you are going to save us. You are strong enough to get us out of here’. “When that plane crashed, I chose to risk a horrible death by crawling towards the sunlight instead of dying there in the fuselage. You can be a survivor or you can have heroic attitudes – and that’s the good thing about being heroic – you feel the group is more important than yourself. I felt I had the conﬁdence of the people and the trust of the people, when he said that to me.” With that, Canessa set out to the west
with two other survivors, where they suspected they would ﬁnd Chile. “It was eleven days but it was a long process. There were previous expeditions, and people were saying, ‘That’s not the right way to go. You must go to the west’. There was lots of knowledge getting around.” They brought with them a sleeping bag made from the plane’s insulation and a ration of food. For this expedition, they would have to climb the high mountains, something they were ill-prepared to do. When the sun would start to disappear
their food was dwindling and they still had farther to climb. They decided that one of them should go back to the Fairchild and take his remaining ration of food. Aer day four, the climb was more or less a descent, and aer four more days of climbing down the mountain, they found green ﬁelds at the edge of the snow, a river split through the ﬁelds, and beyond that, a shepherd tending his sheep. The shepherd saw the disheveled men running around on the other side of the roaring river. At ﬁrst, he thought they were tourists. They screamed for help, but the noise of the river covered their cries. The Catalan called to them “Tomorrow!” and rode oﬀ. They knew that they’d been found so they set up camp for the night, and in the morning, they found the shepherd standing on the other side of the river. Canessa and his fellow survivor scribbled a note that they tied to a rock and threw to the shepherd. It read: “I come from a plane that fell in the mountains. I am Uruguayan. We have been walking for ten days. I have a friend up there who is injured. In the plane, there are still fourteen injured people. We have to get out of here quickly and we don’t know how. We don’t have any food. We are weak. When are you going to come and fetch us? Please. We can’t even walk. Where are we? SOS.” With that, Canessa and the survivors were saved. He recalls now how thoughts of his mother and girlfriend (his nowwife) kept him ﬁghting for survival, “It wasn’t so much the desire of seeing them again, and it was the desire not to cause them that huge harm. I didn’t want to be part of their suﬀering. “I didn’t want them to suﬀer so much. I wanted to tell them, ‘Don’t cry anymore’, because it was very easy to die in the
“We had these dreams of getting out of the mountains, but there was an avalanche that came and we were under zero again. When I came out of the avalanche, I looked at the dead people and I felt envy for them” behind the mountains around dusk, they would stop and setup camp. “When you realise what’s happening, and that it’s reality – you realise that reality can be stronger than ﬁction. We were able to navigate by the sun. We were so high up that we could barely breathe. When you wake up every morning and you are there – you realise that you are much stronger than you think. “You must do as much as you can with what you have. Human nature is much stronger than what we thought. With the help of God, we survived – shoulder to shoulder. We were very lucky at the same time.” They slept in the giant sleeping bag that kept them warm through the night. After three days of climbing, they saw that
mountains. You just let yourself go. Death can be very sweet when you are suﬀering and struggling and to die was a release in the mountains.” Returning home, the survivors were criticised in some corners for resorting to eating the ﬂesh of their dead friends, but Canessa maintains a clean conscience, “It was incredible happiness. From being nearly dead, and waiting for death, to being home – it was a relief. I wanted to go to the families of my friends who had died, and say, ‘Thanks to your son and his brave actions, and even his body, I am alive’. “I am very thankful to those families because when I came back, they said, ‘Roberto, it was very tough. You nearly died. We are happy that you are back and you tell us what happened. So, it was treated with a very natural and tribal attitude. Our souls were at peace. I slept well every night. “It was tough when people called me a hero, because to go from being in the mountains eating a dead body, living in a graveyard, to being a hero, being on television, glamour and ﬂashing lights – this is not true. Look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and say you are the same as you have always been.” Canessa speaks eloquently, and with great charm and insight, as he tells his story. He concludes with a message of hope – with his message from the mountains. “Embracing people and not being impressed with money and all these stupid things that rule the world, but the real feeling in your heart – and this is what I learned in the mountain – is respecting people. That is what keeps the world going.”
1st April 2008
The Tibetan question from behind enemy lines The Tibetan question from behind enemy lines
Professor Ryan Thompson, currently lecturing in China, speaks to James Geoghegan about his impressions of the turmoil in Tibet Tibet proclaimed its independence in 1911, but no Western power has recognised its political sovereignty, and it was not until 1959 that the Tibetan people rose up against the Chinese forces. It is the anniversary of this event, coupled with the summer Olympic Games that Professor Ryan Thompson sees as being the catalyst to the current turmoil, but by no means the determining factor. Thompson is a British academic who has spent his life lecturing in China. “That was the spark, but the actual fuel is the situation now, whereby the Tibetan people are under Chinese governance. It’s what the New York Times calls ‘simmering unrest’. “When I was there a year and half ago, one felt immediately that you were in a place very much like Northern Ireland. In fact, I think we’re very well placed to understand Tibet, because what you have suddenly in Tibet is not merely a Chinese colony, but a Chinese settlement.” The Qingzang railway opened in July of 2006 and connected Tibet with mainland China, paving the way for a surge of Chinese migrants into the region. “For the ﬁrst time, large numbers of Chinese people were being sent to Tibet to settle. In a country that’s rich in minerals and has a thriving tourist industry, Tibet was seen as somewhere for new economic opportunities to be exploited. “The Tibetans see a kind of economic apartheid, where Chinese people are coming in and getting the jobs and the beneﬁts of a rapid modernisation.
Instead of training Tibetan engineers, they bring in Chinese engineers. Instead of even hiring Tibetan labourers, they use Chinese labourers, where they bring whole trainloads from mainland China to settle.” The spiritualist core of Buddhism that is rooted in Tibetan culture is simply not understood by Chinese society, where other-worldly religion plays no signiﬁcant role. Thompson says that the Tibetans therefore view the Chinese as profoundly unspiritual, and as raptors that are there to simply take all its economic bounty away from Tibet, and leave the people without even their culture – in particular their language and religion. “So, the Tibetans are afraid, and only that kind of desperation would drive them to riot, because Tibetan Buddhism is heavily paciﬁst; the Dalai Lama best represents it when he says that non-violence is our way. But you know when monks are rising that things are not good. You also know that the Chinese are very fearful because they don’t really understand the whole category of ethnicity.” In China, the majority ethnic group is known as the Han people, and they constitute 92 percent of the country’s population. Thompson explains that these people see little cause for solidarity with the Tibetans, because they see them as a minority that has beneﬁted disproportionately from Chinese generosity. “Moreover, Chinese media is heavily controlled by the central government. So all that Chinese audiences saw over the past two weeks, were Ti-
betans trashing Chinese shopkeepers in Tibet. The ordinary Chinese know nothing of what is really going on in Tibet, so they’re simply not able to show solidarity. “I oen think of China as a huge stomach, which digests everything within it. Chinese people immediately seek to cultivate relationships with others, and they can be very loyal and aﬀectionate friends, but the immediate Asian impulse is to say that you are like us, and to kind of bind you in. When you’re not like them, and you continue to insist on those diﬀerences, that is when you may become seen as a threat.” The clamp-down on this perceived
threat has brought widespread condemnation throughout the West. Even with threats of boycott to the Olympics, and damage to its international reputation at stake, Thompson is doubtful that this or the continued violence in Tibet will have any impact on Chinese government policy. “I don’t think the Chinese government is listening. Barring violence, I’m in favour of any means that will get them to listen. Because of the power asymmetries, because you have two people who have two diﬀerent sets of rules, violence is not going to work in Tibet. The violence is only going to cause the Chinese to bear down harder on the Tibetan people; they are
only going to be more repressed. “The Tibetan moral authority is totally alien to the Chinese; it is the authority of Tibetan Buddhism that preaches paciﬁsm to such an extreme extent that some monks will not go out of their monasteries during the month of June because they are afraid they will tread on earthworms.” In using violence, Tibetans are losing this moral authority, and providing an excuse for the Chinese to clamp down even further. Thompson also believes that the ‘Free Tibet’ movements in the West are not doing the people in Tibet any favours, and are only making the Chinese more fearful. It is the Dalai Lama’s non-violent message, even though it may come at the heavy cost of life that is possibly the only way to force change. “This is much more subtle, this is a problem of diplomacy. China has thousands of years of treatises on governance. It has at least 1,500 years of very sophisticated reﬂections on how to govern what has been a turbulent people, not just Tibet, but China as a whole. They have the resources there to do some innovative thinking – but instead all we are getting is knee-jerk reactions.” For Thompson, there are two overriding agendas of the Chinese government; prosperity and uniﬁcation. In the absence of an overriding Communist ideology, unity has come from national pride in their rising prominence as an economic power, returning glory to its forlorn status of previous centuries. Insofar as the unrest goes, either in Tibet or among
As recently as last Thursday, China suﬀered a propaganda embarrassment when protesting monks who accused the government of lying to the outside world interrupted a state-organised media trip to Lhasa. More than 30 monks at Jokhang temple, the most sacred in Tibetan Buddhism, burst in on a brieﬁng during the ﬁrst foreign journalists’ tour since riots erupted in the Tibetan capital. “If China understood its own selfinterest, it would try and ﬁnd a solution, but that would involve dialogue with a man utterly committed to nonviolence – the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government is eﬀectively making it impossible for the Dalai Lama to enter dialogue. “Calling the Dalai Lama a wolf in monk’s robes just shows how naïve
and ridiculous the Chinese government’s attitude has become. It’s good to see international leaders recognising this. “The Tibetans are protesting about their inability to practice their religion, but also the huge migration of Han Chinese, as the Chinese try to replace Tibetans as a majority in the Tibet Autonomous region. There is racism towards Tibetans who are trying to get jobs and education. “There is deﬁnitely the possibility of political change in Tibet, as political change in China itself is inevitable.” As far as the question on many people’s lips today, that as to whether or not the current Dalai Lama will ever be able to set foot in Tibet again, Whitticase concludes on a sombre note, explaining, “That’s the million pound question really isn’t it.”
Dousing the torch Matt Whitticase of the Free Tibet campaign speaks to Philip Connolly about the future of Tibet, and the impact of protests against the Chinese Olympics “It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of the Olympics, its timing, and the protests in Tibet,” remarks Matt Whitticase, of the Free Tibet campaign. “The grievances that Tibetans hold against the Chinese are so deeplyrooted that they have been waiting some time to make the greatest impact with their protests – they know the focus of the world is on China and the Olympics. “For Tibetans to protest in the way that they are is extremely dangerous. They are risking their lives and their futures. Tibetans understand full well that in the last protests back in the late eighties, many were killed, ended up as political prisoners, and were tortured. It’s not something that happens every year, but it has been coming for a very long time.”
Since 1950, the Chinese has killed an estimated 1.2 million Tibetans. China has ratiﬁed a number of UN conventions, including those related to torture and racial discrimination, and yet has repeatedly violated these in China and Tibet. Matt Whitticase and the free Tibet campaign, based in London, are all too aware of how grave the situation has become. In 1950, the Radio Beijing announced, “The task of the People’s Liberation Army for 1950 is to liberate Tibet.” 40,000 Chinese troops invaded Tibet in that October, unprovoked and with no accepted legal basis for claims of sovereignty. Aer nine years of occupation, the Tibetans revolted, and the violent brutal response that followed from the Chinese resulted in the deaths of over 400,000 Tibetans and a further one
hundred thousand ﬂeeing into India. Amongst those ﬂeeing was a young Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ spiritual and political leader. He has yet to return. “The French president stated yesterday that some form of boycott couldn’t be ruled out,” explains Whitticase, “Other countries are changing their positions and becoming more critical of China. Despite their best eﬀorts to keep the media out of Tibet, China are losing the media battle, and hopefully pressure from the international community will increase due to these protests.” Over the past few weeks, Tibetans have risen up in protest, in anticipation of the Beijing Olympic Games that are due to take place later this year. In doing so, they have put Tibet back on the international agenda, receiving great support from many countries.
1st April 2008
Suffering the consequences of non-violence The Religious Assistant and Translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist monk, who speaks to Barra Ò Fianail, from the home of the Tibetan government in exile, about his compatriots’ fight for freedom Dharamashala, in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India is an idyllic and peaceful setting. The mountain views are stunning and the tranquility of the rolling green hills seems to be mirrored in the spirits of the Tibetan community that occupies the area. It is here where their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, lives in exile, and with him his assistant the Venerable Geshe Lhakdor, but it is not here that either belongs. That place rests on the other side of the world’s greatest mountain range. In Tibet – the land of their birth – where they long to return, but may never see again. Lhakdor explains, “Life in Tibet before the Chinese invasion was very simple. We lived on the roof of the world, totally isolated; with our country primarily surrounded by snow, and mountains. More than 95% of the Tibetan population was Buddhist. “We did not have much material or technological development, but still we were very content and satisﬁed with our simple life. There was not much poverty, no shortage of food, so we were a very happy contented people.” Then, in 1949, “Everything changed,” confesses Lhakdor; “The Chinese came in to Tibet by forceful invasion. The Dalai Lama has said that they came to Tibet ‘uninvited’. More than one and a half million Tibetans died as a result of the invasion, and more than six thousand monasteries were destroyed. Since their invasion, they have continued this operation and discrimination. “For example, last year in September, the Chinese government made a declaration that all the leading Tibetan religious leaders will be appointed by them. So, you can see the joke; a communist government, who holds religion as opium and poison, are now saying that they are going to elect Tibetan religious leaders. This is just one example of how they are systematically trying to destroy the very identity of the Tibetan people. “If you compare what the Chinese government is saying about His Holiness, to the recognitions given to him by the international community, then you can see the attitude China has towards Tibetan culture and religion. “The Chinese government is saying that he is a liar and a terrorist, and the rest of the free world is giving him a Nobel Peace Prize, giving him a congressional gold medal, and hundreds of universities have recognised him
for his peace eﬀorts. This is the man the Chinese government are calling a terrorist.” Lhakdor followed his spiritual leader into exile in India in 1962, and since then has been at the forefront of his people’s eﬀorts to keep their culture and values alive, and achieve their goals through non-violence. “I ﬂed my country – not out of choice – we were forced out. “And now in exile, what we are really trying to do is preserve our very precious and unique culture and religion. It is not appreciated only by the Tibetans, but now highly appreciated by people all over the world, and unfortunately it is these values which the Chinese are trying to destroy.” However, Lhakdor is acutely aware of the apathy that can greet calls for help against a country with the economic prosperity of the People’s Republic of China, even from an international community that claims to aspire towards the values of the Tibetan culture. “Everybody is rushing to make economic connections with China. If it were a small country, then all of the big countries would impose economic sanctions, but with China, who is doing that? Nobody.” Lhakdor believes that if the world really wants to follow a path of peace and non-violence, then the sacriﬁces that the Tibetans have made to promote such a way of life must be appreciated. “The problem is that if the peaceful struggle of the Tibetans is not supported by the international community through action, it is not only a loss to the Tibetans, but a loss to the whole world. People could say ‘Let’s resort to guns.’ What has the Dalai Lama got? What have the Tibetan people got aer ﬁy years of non violent struggle?
“Today, the Tibetans are suﬀering, and tomorrow the other neighbouring countries will start suﬀering, in terms of the environmental destruction, and in terms of the economic expansionism. We know the cases of the Chinese mistreatment, not only in Tibet, but also in Sudan and Burma. They are supporting all those dictatorial regimes.” Lhakdor insists, “International leaders must not just do things such as talk with the Dalai Lama, like people have done a hundred thousand times,
really important, then they must, in unequivocal terms, make it very clear how critical these values are, how they can change your life, and how they can be put to work within communities.” Despite diﬃculties faced by the Tibetans, both in terms of the dogmatic eﬀorts of the Chinese to destroy their culture, and in the world’s refusal to engage in what surely must be considered their moral obligation to stand up for a peaceful community whose ideals could serve the international community so well, they have been unwavering in their commitment to their nation’s eﬀorts to re-establish itself for the past 50 years – and have remained ever hopeful. Lhakdor goes on to say, “Whether it is the question of Tibet, or any other questions, human beings have to be optimistic all the time, because it is on hope and optimism that human life survives, so whatever the situation, we have to be optimistic. This is the fundamental thing.” It is an indictment of us all that it took an eventual and uncharacteristic outburst of violence in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to draw our attention to the plight of this nation. Although a nation that has been peaceful for half a century, the spotlight that these events have placed on the actions of the Chinese does have the power to aﬀect their behaviour. So, it must continue to shine on them, in particular with the Olympic Games just around the corner.
“People could say ‘Let’s resort to guns.’What has the Dalai Lama got? What have the Tibetan people got after fifty years of non violent struggle?” but they should at least highlight the wrongdoings of the Chinese – even if they are unable to impose economic sanctions, or boycott the Olympics. They should say that today is not the time for the dictator, and highlight all the things that the Chinese have been doing behind the screen in Tibet. “The friends and supporters of the Tibetan cause should not just talk and say that Tibetan values and religion is good, and everybody come to Dharamashala (where the Dalai Lama lives among a Tibetan community in exile) and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and then leave and forget about our values. “If they feel that these values are
The decline in Western religion only serves to highlight one of the things that best shows the value of the Tibetan culture for many people. As Lhakdor explains, “The Buddhist religion is based on common sense. It is a religion that is related to how you live a good life, which is why more and more people have gravitated towards this religion. My personal belief is that, whether it is Christianity or Buddhism, it should make sense today in this world.” But perhaps it is these people’s spiritual leader that best embodies the incredible spirit of the Tibetan people, and Lhakdor’s ﬁnal words refer to the man whom he has worked closely with for the past twenty years. “His Holiness never pretends that he is a God, even though people pray to him like a God. “He never accepts that he is a Buddha, but says he is just an ordinary human being. He is here not only for the beneﬁt of human beings, but all sentient beings. And he not only talks about these values, but also practices them. That is why for the last ﬁy years, he has never said even one negative word.” We must do more to ensure that such a man, and such a people, are not punished for their goodness or it will be our fate to share in the guilt of their oppressors.
1st April 2008
Winning at and the ga Legendary Irish athlete Ronnie Delany speaks to Jennifer Bray about how cruel sport can be, and what it felt like to be at the centre of one of the greatest days in Irish sporting history
Reaching for gold Irish team manager for the Beijing Olympics Dermot Henihan speaks to Aoife Ryan about why China should be allowed to host the Olympics, and the chances of a medal for Ireland The outcome of the Olympics ultimately presents a reﬂection of each nation. The great struggle lies in achieving a good reﬂection, according to Irish team manager Dermot Henihan. With the 2008 Olympics set to take place in Beijing, China, Henihan prepares to tackle the problems and pressures of the Irish participants, in order to ensure that we have a ﬁghting chance of coming home with a medal. The passion Henihan has for bringing Ireland to the Olympics is clear once he begins to talk about the host city Beijing. “The only way I can describe the stadium is by saying you can see pictures of the pyramids of Egypt and not grasp the full impact. It’s the same with this stadium. “The people of China have great pride. That really struck me. I’m no politician but I do think the ordinary people and organisers shouldn’t be punished because of what is happening in Tibet. The door of China is open now, and it’ll be damn near impossible to close.” The question that’s on everyone’s lips is that of our chances of getting a medal. For Henihan, it’s all based on the results to date. “Nothing is guaranteed, it’s better to play our expectations down and then surprise people. That’s my hope.” Still considering our options, Henihan goes on to say that Ireland is not only competing well in team sports at the moment, but is showing aptitude for individual competitions as well. “If you look at our athletics team, boxing and equestrian, we are really hit-
ting the mark there. It’s important to remember that an athlete always performs his best at a competition like this,” he stresses. The phrase “doing your personal best” is ﬂung around on a regular basis in sport. However, it is this sentiment Henihan wishes to pass on to the Irish team and its followers. “My belief is that it doesn’t matter who’s ahead of you in the race, it’s the person behind you that you’ve beaten.” As overall team manager, Henihan has his hands full in the run-up to Beijing 2008. “My job is to act as head of the mission. It covers all sports. I’m in charge of organising everything from securing ﬂights, accommodation and clothing to pulling the whole team together and providing advice. “It begins with the managers of each individual Irish team. It’s essential that they are assisted, and are in agreement with each other. Otherwise, it leaves reason for argument later. “Once they are dealt with, the medical team needs attention, which involves a huge amount of research and logistics in order to be safe. It’s not like going to the world championships in Budapest or anything; everything needs to be perfectly sorted. Essentially, it takes up all your time.” Having spoken to the man who essentially runs the team, it is his sense of gratitude and understated determination that stands out. “If we can come back proud – that’s success,” he remarks. “Nobody puts on the green jersey without trying his or her absolute best,” he concludes resolutely.
Sitting in The Stillorgan Park Hotel on a surprisingly sunny day, a 73-yearold man in a smart suit approaches. He has been called the world’s greatest athlete by many professionals in the ﬁeld. “That’s very cool isn’t it?” says Ronnie Delany in response as he sits down, ﬂashing a good natured, charming smile. Ronnie wants ‘A Normal Coﬀee – you know, with milk’, and the waitress scurries away. Easy going and down to earth, Delany begins at once to tell of the honor of being voted Athlete of the Millennium by the public. “It means that not only was I the greatest Olympian or the greatest track athlete, but I was also the greatest athlete of any sport. That was voted by the public. It was a national competition, really. I was very touched by all this. “This was especially because of all the great athletes who came before me, and who came aer me. I was also surprised because I thought that with the contemporary coverage of sport on television that a contemporary athlete would win, and also I was taking into account ageism. “Many people in my own age group, and older, know me, and saw me run, but I’m just a name to everyone else. I do love how my son, when he was nine years of age, turned to me and said ‘Daddy I never knew you were you were famous’. “He only saw me as his dad, and I’ve no diﬃculty with people knowing nothing about me. Younger people might have heard of me in their educational courses, or if they’re reasonably interested in reading newspapers. But a lot of people don’t really relate to an event 50 years ago.” If you wanted to catch a glimpse of the excitement of The Melbourne 1956 Olympics, all you’d have to do was type Ronnie Delany into popular video hosting site, YouTube. Such was the excitement on the day that the race attendant actually forgot to ring the bell for the ﬁnal lap. This is something that Ronnie ﬁnds hilarious, and insists could never have had a detrimental eﬀect on the race, “We all knew what lap it was. It had no effect on the race. I was so caught up that I couldn’t actually hear a thing anyway. “I never heard one word from the others, or the roar of the crowd, even when I came into the arena, I heard nothing. I watched the people around me but nothing else. Though what I did listen to attentively was the instructions of the starter. “You could be in a hundred-metre race, and if you don’t start as quickly as the other people, or if you don’t hear the starter, you lose a yard and that’s detrimental. So, I very quickly learnt the race instructions, in all languages. One certain thing was the bang of the gun. I also learnt to bring the strengths of other athletes into analysis when running.” At the time of the 1956 Olympics, controversy surrounded the question of
whether or not Delany would be able to attend the Olympics. “There was an issue as to whether or not I should go to the Olympics. I went with the casting vote of the chairman. There was no athletic representative on the Olympic Council of Ireland, whereas there is today. “There were other issues such as whether or not I was ﬁt enough to go, I had been the victim of an injury that summer. There were political issues as well, which I would rather not go into.” On that enigmatic note, Delany tells of surpassing the initial setbacks to represent Ireland, and in his own words, fulﬁll his destiny. “The ultimate achievement in sport is
to represent your country in the Olympics, and there is this very strong sense of nationalism. It’s a great honor. It is said, once an Olympian, always an Olympian. It was my destiny to win that day. I did all the correct things in terms of application, ambition, training, using my IQ not only to be athletic, but also to be competitive. “That day was extraordinary. I was very young, only 21. I was able to share my achievement with my parents and my mentor, trainer, coach. Everyone was supportive. I had my fans, for want of a better word. It was my exploring of my future, and discovering that I could be the best in the world, that got me where
1st April 2008
the Olympics me of life I needed to go, and then a sort of sense of gratitude to God for giving me this gi. “I can only do so much. It was down to God that I was gied and destined in this way. So many other Olympians and great Irish runners were gied, but not destined for gold. They dreamt of being as much as I did, they probably applied themselves equally as much as I did, I would say for some even better, but it wasn’t in their destiny – and that is the cruelty of sport.” Friends, family and trainers were not the only people Delany shared his delight with. “At the time, when I won, Ireland was in a state of depression, massive emigration and unemployment aer the Second World War. There was very little opportunity, or hope. “Suddenly, this young Irishman takes on the world, and beats the world. In a funny way, it set a new target for Irish people. It set an ambition, a thought that ‘Yeah, we can beat the world’, and of course we have beaten the world since. It is also singled out by other people, in a political way, that this event is one that gave Ireland a kick-start during a low time. So, I’m very proud of that.” Such was the lack of opportunity at the time, Delany had no choice other than to go to America, where the prosperity and ambition both shocked and pleased him. It wasn’t
long before he had earned a name for himself there as a top athlete. “I needed to go to America to further myself. There was a lack of facilities, of competition and of trainers in Ireland. I went in the autumn and ran crosscountry in the beginning. I was always busy, from New York to Boston – I never stopped. I won forty consecutive indoor wins.” The glamour of America in comparison to Ireland was evident to Delany, even down to the indoor races. “When you’re running indoor races, there are this young Irishman takes on the world, and beats the world. In a funny way, it set a new target for Irish people. It set an
“This young Irishman takes on the world, and beats the world. In a funny way, it set a new target for Irish people. It set an ambition, a thought that ‘Yeah, we can beat the world’”
ambition, a thought that ‘Yeah, we can beat the world’, and of course we have beaten the world since. oen orchestras playing. The presentation of sport indoors was great, and the oﬃcials wore tuxedos. When I was introduced, a green spotlight for Ireland would come on, a bit of theatrics really. When the race was being run, and I was in it, they oen played When Irish Eyes are Smiling.” Delany retired at 26, and this is one of the many diﬀerences he sees between Olympians now and then. “I retired at what seemed like the right age for the time. Nowadays,
athletes keep going until past their forties. And so, if Sonia O Sullivan sees this, then good for you Sonia. It’s always an honor to represent Ireland abroad and that’s what needs to be remembered.” Aside from the age diﬀerences, Delany tells of how competitiveness has increased since the Olympics he once knew, and that this has led to a decrease in comradeship. “When I competed, my peers were my friends. “We went places together, and of those still alive, we still do things together, we are all in contact consistently. However, today it seems that money is the motivator, and athletes’ peers are almost their enemies. We were all friends, competing
at times, but always friends.” As he speaks, various people pass by and greet Delany with a courteous ‘How are you Ronnie?’ and it becomes clear just how much this man is respected and admired. He was awarded the Freedom of Dublin City in 2006, something that he holds in great esteem. “Yes, I can graze my sheep in Stephen’s Green if I want. I like that.” He also talks about the Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree he was awarded by UCD. Yes, Dr. Delany is many things, Greatest Athlete of the Millennium, Doctor of Laws, Freeman of Dublin, but as he continues to reiterate, he is, and has always been, “Just Ronnie”.
Diary of a marathonrunner James Geogeghan pulls on his spikes and dusts down his spandex to run the Rome Marathon My non-Irish friends oen deride me for the ability Irish people have for conducting passionate, biblical-length conversations about the weather. I discovered quite quickly towards the end of my training, that marathon advice suﬀers from the same universal treatment. The Vaseline endorsers replace the weather optimists, and the exploding nipple wardens replace the pessimists. The Vaseline endorsers stem mainly from the fat-uncle-world where schoolboy humour is used in advising you of all the oriﬁces and pits where Vaseline is to be rubbed on the day of the race. It’s not oen that you hear of a person’s nipple exploding, but I guarantee
you that if you ever run a marathon, you will hear countless horror stories from people describing their next door neighbour’s brother’s friend’s dad’s marathon spontaneous nipple combustion. It seems that running 26 miles is paltry in comparison to protecting those projectile nipples. One piece of advice that I was never told was that inviting your friends to come over and support you (i.e. drink themselves into a stupor for St Patrick’s weekend) may not be the best preparation. Trying to sleep through those day-before jitters when four of your friends are surrounding your bed singing Corona’s anthems is marathon endurance in itself. The day ﬁnally arrived, Vaseline and
nipple guards in tow, I made my way towards the Colosseum to the starting line. As this was my ﬁrst marathon I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the start but sporadic weeing into plastic bottles was not on my list of expectations. Once I overcame that displeasure, I turned on my mp3 player, set Snow Patrol on a continuous loop and I was on my way. I spent the ﬁrst mile trying to squeeze through the large-bum brigade, ﬁnally getting up to a group running at my optimistic target of a 3:45 ﬁnish. By the time I reached the half way point, I was still in pretty good mental and physical shape (nipples still intact) and luckily I had avoided any of the much maligned ‘walls’, preferring to stay on the track.
It was aer the halfway point when I really started to make use of the refreshment stops; imagine getting a pint at a music festival, only instead of beer and sweat, everyone’s covered in green Gatorade and Vaseline. Charged with your Gatorade, the casual toss of the cup is essential – no tree-hugging green recycling bins in Rome – just the straightforward rubbish on the road route giving it that ancient authentic feel. The twenty-mile mark, and the rest of the six miles aer that, can only be described as one big blur of hell. That was in spite of the momentary respite that came when my hung-over friends managed to get their asses out of bed to cheer me on at the 22-mile mark.
This was deﬁnitely the high point of the route, but unfortunately, while my friends did try and run beside me to encourage me for as long as their Marlboro lungs could handle, the daunting reality that I had to run another four miles descended on me like a swarm of killer bees. But I made it to the ﬁnish line with two legs intact, and even managed a respectful last sprint to compensate for my 4:05 ﬁnish. Relief, satisfaction and intoxication in that order, are the most eloquent way I can describe my subsequent modes of feelings. But when it’s all said and done, the marathon experience is like no other, it’s just such a shame you have to run 26 miles to get it.
1st April 2008
B.A. An embittered Eimear Fabulous goes on the rant of her life after losing the Students’ Union Elections, and being sold down the river by her best friend Marikka Let’s cut to the C-for-chase here. Those elections turned out to be a serious disaster. We’re talking worse than Dunnes ‘haute couture’ here. The equivalent of wearing Aldi’s new autumn range to your Debs. Marikka, my skanky friend, decided to completely screw me over and start canvassing behind my back for some nobody. Who the hell does she think she is? More importantly, does she not know who I am? My campaign was completely screwed over and it was all her fault. Bitch. She must have been reading too much about Hillary and Barack. She was like Oprah Winfrey. And there I was, without even a Bill to rely on. Not that I’d want him – cheating pig. But that was it really. I lost a vital component to my dream campaign team, and no one felt sorry for me. I felt so A for abandoned. I felt so infuriated by her. I was never going to stand a chance against that Gaeilgeoir who got president. Go raibh míle, Marrika Síle. As if matters weren’t bad enough, the wagons that were organising the Miss UCD pageant told me that they thought that I wouldn’t be able to commit myself if I was to win the election. I told them that I would gladly step down as president if I became Miss UCD, but they thought that I was being ‘non-committal’ or some crap like that. Those girls will be so sorry. I’m going to be a success and I can rub their noses in it when I am taking over the Irish entertainment and political scene in a few years. I can’t wait until I’m ﬁnished in this hellhole. With all of that nonsense going on, I had to
go canvassing on my toblerone for ﬁve whole days during the week leading up to the election. Had I not suﬀered enough grief for one semester? I seriously have to check myself into a spa now that all that is all over. The L&H Hustings could not have gone worse. They were asking me questions about political stances and other irrelevant things about grants, whatever they are. I told them that I just want to campaign for issues that I as a student feel strongly about, such as a ﬁnally getting a River Island outlet on campus and a Health Spa in the new Student Centre, you know, the burning issues. Well enough is enough anyway. I’ve decided to sever ties with that backstabbing Marikka. I can’t wait to see her face when she sees me strutting into the Arts Café with my new bestie, Kelly-Anne-Sarah-Jane Naughten-O’Dwyer, on my arm. It was like she just dropped out of heaven to save my toned ass from these election nasties. Pity about the name though, she has more double barrels than Guy Ritchie. She totally took over my campaign team for the last week of the elections, not that she did me a tap of good. She was harping on the whole time that she had a zillion friends in Quinn and Smurﬁt and that I had nothing to worry about. A fat lot of good that did me. With her on my side though, I have a feeling that I’m going to go far. Forget about the SU President. First Miss UCD here I come, and after that, total world domination. I’m juggling more balls than half the convent schoolgirls in Dublin. I have a feeling it’s going to pay oﬀ though.
Five things I hate about…
THE LIBRARY 5. The absence of books
Call it idealism, but when one goes to the library, one expects to be able to find books. There is nothing more frustrating than stalking an elusive copy of Bertolt Brecht’s The Life of Galileo through the vast plains of the library, joyfully spotting it on the computer records, and finally tracking it down in its nest, only to find that the one existing copy happens to be in German. The hours of frustration spent on fruitless wild goose chases make the library an unpleasant place for all.
4. The Short Loan Section
With all the late fees that the library cashes in on, you’d think they could afford more books. There is no comparison to the feeling of abject despair that one experiences when the sudden realisation sinks in that while one is arriving in Galway for a drunken camping trip, one has been mysteriously accompanied by a dreaded Short Loan book that was due
two days and exactly eight hours and thirteen minutes ago. Two days later, your bank account is approximately €365.38 lighter and you have resolved never to enter the cursed Short Loan section ever again, despite the irresistible lure of its bountiful shelves, with their promise of a plethora of precious tomes.
3. Keeping one’s eyes open
The library is a wonderful place to catch some shut eye but it’s a hell on Earth if you actually need to get some work done. To avoid drifting into a blissful doze and waking up half an hour later to find yourself drooling on your desk to the obvious amusement of your neighbour, position yourself in the most uncomfortable spot you can find. Sit bolt upright and do not stare at the view from the window because that leads to daydreaming which inevitability results in
eyelids that seem to be made of lead and just want to close. They don’t care that you’ve an essay due in forty minutes and that your bibliography is about an inch long - they will try to convince you that everything will be fine if you just give in and “meditate” for five minutes. Do not be fooled.
4. Idiots who won’t stop talking
There seems to be increasing numbers of people who appear to come to the library for one purpose only – to disrupt the peaceful sleep/study of those around them. It’s hard enough to make yourself stay in the library at the best of times without clowns at the next table over deciding to embark upon successive giggling fits at someone’s Bebo page. We all know that some of those photos from the latest night out in Krystle can be pretty damn hilarious – especially the ones in which Liz decided to lick Lia’s face, classic – but tone it down people, those of us without
fascinating social lives are trying to study.
5. Libro cop
This man’s mission in life is to bring the strong arm of the law down against those people mentioned above and as such he should be applauded, but the Terminator really does go to far sometimes. Is he man or is he machine? What are his likes/dislikes? His favourite colour? What about his horoscope? Is he the sort of guy who watches Lost? Does he wait with bated breath for the next instalment and then curse the heavens when he ends up more confused than ever? Is he a Chinese takeaway or pizza delivery kind of guy? Libro cop is an object of a mixture of fear, fascination and magnetism for nigh on every library regular. He is not an object of hatred so shouldn’t really be in this list at all, but his smouldering regime of harshness cannot go unmentioned.
Global Tribune Global is a collection of interviews with university students from continents around the world – Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, North America and Oceania. Its purpose is to give them a voice; to explore their thoughts and opinions on politics, religion and the world around them. As Irish college students, we are oen unaware of what life is like for students in other countries. For instance, what an African student thinks about the developed world, what a Muslim student thinks about the status of women, and what an American student feels about her country’s role in international politics. The purpose of these interviews is to put ourselves in the shoes of students around the world, to reveal their hopes for their future, and their fears. Oen, we receive only a limited perspective of far-oﬀ countries that is inﬂuenced by political and economic factors. But how oen do we hear our peers from diﬀerent countries speak for themselves about the state of their economies and political systems? What do these students want to accomplish in life? What these interviews ultimately show is that students around the world, whatever their cultural diﬀerences, all feel an intense pride in their country of birth and a vivid desire to make a diﬀerence.
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
Alejandro Peru Describe your average day as a college student My university is one of the biggest ones in Peru. It is a Catholic university but there are a lot of diﬀerent cultures mixed in together, with a lot of multicultural exchange. It is more developed than other universities around. It’s good because you don’t only learn from academic classes, you can learn a lot outside of class doing extracurricular activities. I like to socialise as there are many exchange students from other countries that I like to meet and talk to. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to hang out in with my friends in between lectures and in the evenings. Do you have any religious beliefs? I’m not very religious, I think the main reason for that are the subjects that I have studied since coming to university - they have made me more of a realist about life, death and religion.
Arthur Uzbekistan Describe your average day as a college student. My average day starts at 5:30 am. I read the news on the Internet for about an hour, then I do my physical training for ﬁeen minutes. Lectures start at 9 am. I arrive home in the evening to do all the tasks that were given to me and to read books on geopolitics, history or philosophy. On Sundays I go to the market and buy what we need for the next week. I do not crave designer labels, I just wear suitable clothes. In university, it is obligatory to wear a shirt, tie and trousers. The rest of the time I prefer jeans and t-shirts. Do you have any religious beliefs? I believe in God, but I’m not an adherent of any religion. Sometimes, like anyone else, I have problems and also my happy moments. In these instances I just ask God for help or thank him. I am tolerant of all other religions. Do you have any political affiliations? I don’t have any aﬃliations. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in politics. I want to do my best to make a contribution to the future of my country and my children. So I’m going to make my political choices when I’m ready to do it. What is the burning issue of our time? The biggest problem is the recession of the American economy and the fact that many banks and ﬁnancial companies have become bankrupt. The weak dollar negatively aﬀects not only the stock exchanges, but also the currencies of other countries, for example, the Euro. This in turn brings an increase in the prices of export products on the world market. What is the
Name: Arthur Khakimov Bakirovich Date of birth: September 11th, 1987 Place of birth
of fruits, cereals, watermelons and cotton. In my country, the family unit is highly-regarded and considered the core of society. In a traditional Uzbek family there are usually three to ﬁve children.
Uzbekistan College: The University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent Favourite book: The Gadﬂy, by Ethel Lilian Voynich Favourite meal: Plov, a Uzbek national dish made with rice, lamb and carrots Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? No Hobbies: Swimming, playing roles, learning languages
greatest ethical problem facing the world? The unequal dividing of the world’s wealth. According to the United Nations charter, every human has equal rights but where is the reality of this law? I feel that developed countries do not help enough and adequately to solve problems in the world. Many poor countries are in huge debt to First World countries and I think this is unethical on the part of the First World. For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? Uzbekistan is in Central Asia and is considered a bridge between European and Asian countries. Our country is fertile, that’s why we have huge harvest
What is your perception of the countries of the developed/developing world in contrast to your own country? President Karimov has declared that our country will construct a market economy. I think that in the globalised world of today that it is important to co-operate with all other countries. The European Union should not be an exception to this principle. We have a lot to learn from developed countries, but developed countries also have a lot to learn from us. For instance, in the E.U there are clashes between diﬀerent nationalities, but in our country more than 100 nationalities live in peace and harmony. What is your family life like? In my country it is diﬃcult to get a good education, that’s why my mother has done her best to provide me with facilities to live and study in the capital. It is difﬁcult to live far away from my native home but it does help me to become more self-suﬃcient. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I hope that I will work somewhere abroad as a diplomat defending the national interests of my country. That’s why I’m really interested in the EU, where I would like to work as an ambassador. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? I don’t mind visiting anywhere in the world, but to live, I would prefer to stay somewhere in my country. Not necessarily in the big cities, but possibly my native town, Bukhara. I feel that the best way to live and bring up children is to do so in my motherland, the motherland of my ancestors.
Do you have any political affiliations? I don’t have any right now. I am studying political science but my major is related to non-proﬁt organisations and development. What is the burning issue of our time? I think that inequality
Liz United States
is a big problem for the world. Mainly, it’s about how to relate the meaning of inequality with political systems. In a way, you could say that you need inequality to make things function but how you can reject someone because of race or religion? Nobody should ever be judged as inferior because of where they come from or what they believe in and I think it is so important that everyone has an equal chance of making
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
something with their lives. Name: Alejandro Delmar Injoque Date of birth: 28th August 1986 Place of birth Peru College: Pontiﬁcia Universidad Católica del Perú Favourite book: Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen Favourite meal: A Peruvian ﬁsh salad called ceviche. Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? I drink moderately. I don’t smoke or Hobbies: Rugby
What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? Both the lack of honesty from political leaders around the world and the lack of respect between diﬀering religions for each other pose an ethical problem that the whole world should be concerned with. The leaders of nations should be role models for their people and should not be corrupted by power or greed. Too many politicians succumb to the lure of wealth and authority. For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? You learn something every day here; there are always things that will sur-
prise you. The people here are really friendly - we are a really welcoming country. We love to have fun and to enjoy life. What is your perception of the countries of the developed world/developing world in contrast to your own country? Peru is pretty much a developing country. But the term ‘developing’ doesn’t just refer to the Gross National Product of a country. There are a lot of diﬀerent reasons why diﬀerent countries are underdeveloped. What is your family life like? I have a big family and a lot of extended family members. We are all on holidays at the moment, so I’m spending some time here with everyone. In my family we have a lot of American traditions, such as celebrating Thanksgiving and Halloween. It’s nice to have occasions when the whole extended family can get together and catch up on things. Family is very important to everyone here in Peru. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? In a professional way, I see myself continuing with what I’m doing now in my involvement with non-proﬁt organisations. I really like politics and I would like to make a lot of comparative investigations between Peru and other countries and perhaps be responsible for establishing a Peruvian non-proﬁt organisation myself. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? I would like to live in Europe and in some parts of the United States. I like to travel but in the end, I will always return home to Peru.
Describe your average day in College. My day is a little busier than your average De Paul student because of my involvement with organisations. I get up at eight and try and get to the gym. It doesn’t always happen but I try. I’ll go to classes and then to the Student Government oﬃce and do some work there. Then back to class, then an aernoon meeting, back to class, and in the evening I usually have one or two meetings for the Student Government, our equivalent to the UCD Students’ Union. Sometimes I have volunteer for the De Paul Society, where we look aer the elderly. It’s all go up until around eleven to be honest. It’s a long day. The one thing I’d say about the college is it lacks a sense of community, or school spirit. We don’t have a football team and for an American college that’s just not right. It would give us so much school spirit. We couldn’t have a football ﬁeld here in the middle of Chicago though. We wear mainly designer labels; it’s a fashionable college. However, a lot of people wear De Paul logo sweaters that the athletic department hand out. De Paul is a Catholic University but there are students of all religions attending. There are many diﬀerent bars and restaurants and places to go here, and things to do. As the weather gets warmer, there’s almost too much to do. Regardless of how busy things get I always make time for a social life. Every bar and restaurant have their own little personalities, like ‘the freshman bar’, ‘ the bar you don’t go to until you’re 21’. We have all these cute sandwich shops that stay open till four in the morning and that’s cool. Do you have any religious beliefs?
Name: Elizabeth Tracy Date of birth: April 5th, 1986 Place of birth United States of America College:
De Paul University, Chicago Favourite book: A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemmingway Favourite meal: Thai food Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? I drink, but don’t smoke or take any Hobbies: Reading, running, laughing, snow skiing, water skiing, being with friends Course: Political Science
I’m Catholic. On campus there are services that cater to Catholic students, such as services on Sunday night, instead of 10:30 in the morning. 9:30 at night is a lot more convenient for students. The priests speak to the students and associate with them. Do you have any political affiliations? I would call myself a passionate moderate that leans to the le, but I’m a huge supporter of Barack Obama. I think he’s going to change the world.
What would you say is the burning issue of our time? In this post 9/11 world we live in with so many multi-national corporations and the Internet, so globalisation is prominent. The whole issue of the US and its invasion of the Middle East came from irresponsible trading. Globalisation is the biggest issue of our time, but you have to be so careful with how you go about it dealing with it. What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? I suppose it would all be related, maybe how much countries should get involved in the problems of other countries in the world. For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? I think George Bush has ruined America’s reputation abroad. Luckily through my own travel and talking to people outside the country I think they see this too, and it doesn’t taint their view of America. I don’t think Hilary Clinton can repair that, I think she’ll make it worse and the same for John McCain. My perception of America when it comes to foreign policy is that we have good intentions. What is your perception of the countries of the developed/developing world in contrast to your own country? Many people outside of the US have a very negative view of the country, but there are also countries where people adore the States as representing a land of opportunity.
What is your family life like? It’s great, my dad is a lawyer, my little sisters are in high school, my brother is a wild child, he likes to just take oﬀ and do his own thing. My mam is a big Barack Obama supporter like me. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I hope to have my PhD and be teaching in a University, and hopefully have a few kids. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? I like the United States.
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
United States does not respect international law, and while many people of the world do not recognise this, I believe that it will become an even bigger problem in the future. What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? The problem of free speech is an ethical dilemma at the moment. People should be allowed to express themselves and their beliefs but what if these beliefs provoke hatred and violence?
Aleksandar Serbia Describe your average day in College. We don’t have a uniform in college; we can wear what we want. There are some people who like brands but most people, like myself, it’s not important. For me, I think it’s more important that I look good to myself than to other people. I mostly socialise with others in my apartment in the evenings. I am not from Belgrade, but we do go out sometimes at night. Belgrade is a city famous for its rich night-life. I like to go and hear the famous DJs that play in Belgrade; my favourite is Paul Van Dyk.
Name: Aleksandar Maksimovi Date of birth: July 16th, 1982 Place of birth Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina College: University of Belgrade The Damned Yard by Ivo Andric and Sidhartha by Hermann Hesse. Favourite meal: Sarma (cabbage with meat) Do you drink/smoke/take drugs?
Do you have any religious beliefs? I am not a member of any particular religion, but I’m not an atheist either. I am a believer, but it is in something
No Hobbies: Football, and collecting postcards from around the world
personal, something special inside of me. I don’t go to Church and pray to God oen but I do want to ﬁnd a spiritual belief system for myself and for my home someday. However ninety percent of Serbia is Orthodox Christian. Do you have any political affiliations? I am studying Political Science but I haven’t really decided about my personal views. In Serbia, people are disappointed with our political leaders and the way they are running the country. I am a member of a political party but I am not a big fan of many Serbian politicians. What is the burning issue of our time? Possibly terrorism, and also the lack of respect for international law. The
For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? We are a very religious country, full of good people. I say that not because I am Serbian but because of the many people from the EU that I meet here who tell me that the Serbian people know how to treat people very well. We may not have a lot of money but we know how to enjoy what we have. The best way to ﬁnd out is to come to Serbia and talk to Serbian people and experience their relaxed way of life. What is your perception of the countries of the developed world/ developing world in contrast to your own country? I don’t respect the political system of the United States. I believe that they
Name: Date of birth:
13th of August, 1983 Place of birth
Describe your average day as a college student. We start at about nine every morning, with diﬀerent courses each day and we ﬁnish at two. In the aernoons, we’re meant to be studying obviously. We can wear whatever we like to college. Icelandic students particularly like the brands 66North and Cintamani, which do outdoor clothing. Just about everyone wears something from those brands, also TopShop, Zara and Warehouse are quite popular. Our college is very small, with only about 200 students, but we have a little place that we can meet up in, that sells food and beer. Holar University is in the middle
of the countryside, so there is nothing around it, but about half an hour away there is a village where we go sometimes at night.
Do you have any religious beliefs? Ninety percent of the population in Iceland is Protestant, but my family and I are not very religious. We go to mass at Christmas and that’s about it.
College: Holar University College Favourite book: Silent Kill by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason Favourite meal: My mother’s boiled meatballs with boiled cabbage and swede Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? No, I am an angel
Do you have any political affiliations? I vote but I am not a member of any political party. There’s a Students’ Union in our university but that’s really the only connection I have to politics at the moment.
Hobbies: Travelling around Iceland and the rest of the world, rock-climbing and other adventure activities Course: Rural Tourism
are trying to put the world under their hand, as we say here. But the rest of the world and the European Union are very interesting to me politically speaking. I would like Serbia to become part of the EU one day. What is your family life like? I live away from my family but Belgrade is only about 100km from Tuzla, where my family live so I oen visit. We try to eat together but we are oen too busy to do that regularly. But on the weekends, we sometimes go on picnics in the countryside together. I ﬁnd spending time with my family very relaxing and it’s nice to get out of Belgrade every now and then. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I would like to live and work in a Serbia that would hopefully have full membership in the European Union. I would like to devote my life to politics and to helping to represent my country abroad. I could see myself working in Brussels on behalf of the Serbian people to help to make the important changes that we really need. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? Serbia, or Brussels, depending on my career as a politician.
What is the burning issue of our time, the biggest problem facing the world? In Iceland, a lot of factories are being built at the moment, so a burning issue for us would be the problem of pollution. Our country has a reputation for being untouched, unspoilt and pure and we feel like industrial developers are trying to ruin that reputation. Obviously they have a point, because we need energy and electricity but I still feel like our natural resources are being exploited. What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? It would be the same issue for me, I think. We have many factories already in Iceland and I think we have enough. The new factories are not being built for the beneﬁt of the Icelandic people, but are owned by foreign companies who export all the natural resources out of Iceland. I would like to see Iceland remain pure and unspoiled and I think that’s the biggest ethical dilemma facing Iceland at the moment. Do we allow the
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
Aditi India Describe your average day as a college student. Morning usually begin with fresh faces, enthusiastic responses. As the aernoon classes begin, one tends to feel a little worn out. Aer I am done with my classes, I work for various college societies. I reach home completely pooped, but since I like being busy, it suits me perfectly.
Do you have any religious beliefs? Broadly speaking I am a Hindu, but I respect all religions with equal fervor. I have a lot of friends who are Christians, Islamic, Sikh, and in a country like India, where there are people of so many religions, cults, beliefs living together, one learns to live harmoniously.
Aditi Sharma Date of birth: November 22nd, 1988 Place of birth India College: Gargi College, Delhi University
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand Favourite meal: Chinese food Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? No Hobbies: Music (vocals), reading
Do you have any political affiliations? I am a centrist. My decisions depend on the circumstances, the problem, and the public interest. Ideologues repeat their slogans to the speciﬁc policy problem at hand. Conservatives shout “private good, public bad!” Liberals shout “public good, private bad!” However, centrists like me try to creatively solve problems and look at the good or bad of both.
greatest ethical problem facing the world? Terrorism. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the govern-
What is the burning issue of our time, the biggest problem facing the world? Global warming and environmental degradation. If people are not sensitized to this problem now, then there won’t be any people le at all. The repercussions of this problem will be ten-fold in the future. The panic button has been pressed. One needs to work towards saving the environment for one’s own good. What is the
exploitation of our unspoilt landscape in order to create proﬁt? I hope not.
For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? We are a very proud people in Iceland, being an island and all and having fought for our freedom. We are halfway between Europe and America so I think we have the best of both cultures. We have technology, a good health system, one of the best educational systems in the world, so we are an advanced nation. We welcome guests and pride ourselves on our hospitality to strangers. What is your perception of the countries of the developed world/ developing world in contrast to your own country? America has lost a sense of self, I think, nobody trusts anyone else and everybody sues each other. But I
think Europe has become a bit more like that recently. We don’t have an army in Iceland, and while I feel that the rest of the world is always focusing on war, we are kind of outside of that. I think it would be good if more countries would focus on living peacefully together rather than starting wars. What is your family life like? I live at the University now but when I go home to my family at weekends, we generally eat and talk together in the evenings, not every night but most. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I would like to be in charge of a new national park that is being built in Iceland, which will be the biggest one in Europe. That would be my ideal job. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? Iceland, of course!
ment, and the world to their cause. ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom ﬁghter’ is a view terrorists themselves accept. One act of terrorism sends ripples all over the world. For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? India is a multilingual and secular country and incidentally, has the biggest ﬁlm industry in the world. The Taj Mahal attracts huge amount of tourism round the year. In spite of all the cultural diversities, India stands united and strong. What is your perception of the countries of the western world/ developing world in contrast to your own country? Counties in the developed world are extremely independent in their expression of thought and deed. The media in the developed world almost works like an autonomous body and reveals the actual truth. Investigative journalism is encouraged. The quality of media staﬀ is of a very high and respected in ranking, especially in countries like Japan, the UK, and the
United States. What is your family life like? We are a family of four. My father works in the public sector, in the National Oil Company of India and my mother teaches primary classes. We usually are a busy lot but come together in the evening, have an early dinner, sit together and talk about the day. We’re a very close knit family. Every weekend we watch movies together or spruce up the house, on my mother’s orders! Even though we lead very busy lives, we always take time out for each other. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I’m interested in advertising and I feel I could do it justice to it because
writing is my strong point. I would also like to be a columnist for a newspaper and maybe later I’ll write a book. I feel strongly about a lot of social issues (women’s liberation, animal protection) and I would want to work for those as well. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? I would like to stay in India, even if I had the choice to be somewhere else. There are a lot of countries that I ﬁnd very interesting and life abroad attracts everyone. There’s no doubt about that. However, home is home, and leaving my motherland would be a heart-breaking decision for me. I am too used to this place and I cannot imagine not being here.
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
Describe your average day as a college student? Lectures happen in the morning and early aernoon for all students and then in the evening we would have special classes in music and dancing. We take music classes in order to make us open to the African culture. We play xylophones, drums, tympani and the ﬂute. If we have spare time, I go to the library or for a meal, or even for a sleep- it all depends on my mood that day. We don’t have a uniform; we just have to look decent. There are no restrictions really. There are some people in the college from rich backgrounds who have had exposure to designer clothes, but for most brand-names are not a priority.
here in Africa. Floods aﬀect African people’s livelihoods; famines aﬀect people in developing countries. What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? Indiﬀerence and greed are the biggest problems in all societies. For Africa and the rest of the world, north and south, it is a very big problem. If you go to the core of the policies that have been introduced in the developing countries, you ﬁnd an underlying sense of greed. People who represent the developing countries fail to live up to expectations of their people. They use money that is meant to develop a sense of equality in society for their own personal beneﬁt.
Do you have any religious beliefs? I am a Muslim by birth, and I practise it. Do you have any political affiliations? My orientation is pinned on liberalism. I believe ﬁrmly in social democracy. What is the burning issue of our time? I would go for global warming. The consequences of global warming have direct links with the poverty that we face
Nurideen Ghana Describe your average day as a college student. Usually I wake up in the morning at 5am then do my ﬁrst prayer of the day. I have three to four days a week study at college. At 1pm I take a break for a while to do my second prayer and lunch. I talk to my friends in the evening about global matters Everyday I wear a cotton shirt and jeans to college. My favourite jeans are from Levis but my casual trousers are produced by a local factory. I wear local shoes but I have several collections from Buccheri. For formal events like presentations or examinations, I wear a national costume which is decorated by the art of Batik, a royal Javanese tradition. Do you have any religious beliefs? I am a Moslem, from a traditionalist group. Historically, Islam in Indonesia was an open religion and promoted tolerance and assimilation with a variety of cultural traditions. I was born a traditional Moslem and I believe that religion can be managed as a social instrument to empower society. The role of Islam in politics and society must be understood as social capital that contains universal values for good interaction within an Islamic environment. Do you have any political affiliations? I don’t have any aﬃliations to a political party as a member. During my as a BA student, I was a member of the Indonesian Islamic Student Movement (PMII). What is the
burning issue of our time? In my opinion, the biggest problems are global warming, as well as terrorism and poverty. I live in a country which has those three problems above. The world oen identiﬁes the idea of terrorism with the Islamic religion, and sometime doesn’t recognise the peaceful nature of the religion.
Name: Muhammed Faishal Aminuddin Date of birth: November 22nd, 1981 Place of birth Indonesia College: Gadjah Mada University
Q.5) What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? The greatest ethical problem is the ideological campaign of US foreign policy politics. The war they have embarked upon has caused an economical depression. They believe that war is urgently needed to create world peace. In my opinion, their ideology has a strong relation to the growth of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism produces cruelty, intolerance and psychopathic and social distrust. For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? Indonesia is a Unitarian nation state and declared independence in 1945 from Dutch and Japanese colonialists. I come from the Java tribe. A cultural heritage passed
Favourite book: Bumi Manusia and Anak Semua Bangsa by Pramoedya Ananta Toer Favourite meal: Tuna steak Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? I smoke sometimes
For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? I would describe Ghana as being a very peaceful country. Most of the people are very hospitable, and notoriously religious. The Christians and Muslims of Ghana believe strongly in
contrast to your own country? The developing world and countries such as Indonesia need to learn from the Western world in many aspects, especially education and economy. Welfare and social justice systems can be managed by intercultural dialogue. I disagree with any economic system that leaves countries at the mercy of international agendas. What is your family life like? I come from a big family. My father is a District Functionary and my mother is a teacher. I meet my family only two days in a month because I live in another city about 350 km away. But when I come home, we usually have dinner or breakfast together. At night, I have a nice chat especially with my parents, about our family and how they’ve been when I was not around.
Hobbies: Swimming, gardening Course: Political Science
on through generations oﬀers a wealth of traditional arts and cras. Batik, wooden carvings, weavings, silverworks and many other traditional skills produce exquisitely beautiful items. Indonesia’s multi-racial and multi-religious culture mean that festivals steeped in traditions are celebrated throughout the year. Frequently featured in these events are dances, wayang theatre and other performing arts.
What is your perception of the countries of the developed world / developing world in
Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I can see myself sitting equally with other people from diﬀerent countries in the general assembly of the United Nations. I want to promote peace and ﬁnd a ﬁnal solution. I am just an ordinary person but I have a huge imagination and am always thinking about how our nation can become a great nation. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? There are wonderful international cities like Paris, London and Dublin. The Pyramids in Egypt, the Grand Canyon in the US and Fuji Mountain in Japan are wonderful places but I love my country. Although my country has problems with politics and economics, it’s a challenge to Indonesian youth to build a better country.
United St Indonesia
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
Name: Mohammed Nurideen Date of birth: 15th of September, 1984 Place of birth Ghana College: University of Ghana Favourite book: Education Denied: Costs and Remedies by Katarina Tomasevski Favourite meal: Fufu, an African dish made from pounded yams Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? Not at all Hobbies: I like reading about politics, and I like football. Almost ninety percent of Ghanians like football Course: Political Science
fate, and that inﬂuences the way they live their lives. If you watched the last African Cup of Nations on BBC, you would realise that everywhere there are signposts and billboards about religion and Jesus. What is your perception of the countries of the developed world/ developing world in contrast to your own country? I view Europe as an institution that is ethical in the way that it practises politics. It is diﬀerent from Ghana, because the rule of law that exists in Europe is still only developing here and in the rest of Africa. The culture of Europe is completely
diﬀerent from what we have in Africa. The way we bring people up and life in general is so diﬀerent that it completely inﬂuences an African person’s conception of human rights. Africans believe that a child is supposed to support the family, to contribute towards the income of a family. Whereas from the perspective of European countries, where the law is ﬁrm and state support is strong, that would be considered to be child labour.
What is your family situation like? I live at the university because it is over 200 miles away from my hometown. When I am at home with my family, we meet in the evening to prepare the meal, but we don’t really eat together. In Europe, you have dining tables, but that is not the way here in Ghana. It is said that when you see the shadows, you come home and eat your food and go away again. I don’t ever remember having a television in my house, so that wouldn’t be part of my family life. Most of the time, when I wanted to watch TV, I had to go three houses away from my own, to the neighbours. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I would like to give myself over entirely to politics in Africa. I believe that a lot of things have to be corrected in the way that development is practised in Africa. The entire spectrum of politics and development need to be changed. I would like to see myself at the centre of African development politics, in order to try to aﬀect the way things are done in the future. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? Deﬁnitely Ghana.
Aharon Israel Describe your average day as a college student. The Open University is a very unique university in the way that people can do what they want to do, to work and study when they want. I started college when I was serving in the Israeli army so was able to work my studies in around that. Then later on, when I started working as an auctioneer I had time to pursue my studies then too, so that’s the advantage of going to Open University. The dress code in our university is very informal and laid back. There aren’t many designer labels. We study in our spare time so our day does not revolve around college, and we also work mainly at home, so it’s not like a normal university in that way. My social life would be mainly with people I know outside of college. I would meet up with people from my High School normally. Societies and clubs aren’t that prevalent here at all. In the college it is mainly charities that operate in terms of extra-curricular activities. Do you have any religious beliefs? I am Jewish, because that’s what I grew up with, that’s my background. Do you have any political affiliations? No, I’m not listed with any party. I have my views though. If I were to lean towards something I would lean towards the peace camp, le political and right economy. I’m capitalist but for peace, two things that don’t always go together.
What is the burning issue of our time? I would say tackling poverty. There are people living in dire circumstances but in the Western world,
Name: Aharon David Copperman Date of birth: April 22nd, 1977 Place of birth Actually Dublin (my parents returned to Israel when I was one year old) College: Open University of Israel Favourite book: Life and Death in Shanghai, by Nien Cheng. Favourite meal: Pizza Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? No Hobbies: Swimming, basketball, music Course History and Philosophy
most people have plentiful amounts of everything. The problems range from a lack of health and sanitary facilities, money of course, and problematic family situations. Trying to eradicate these problems should be a burning issue. Much more of the world should share the quality of life that those in the developed world have. What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? In my eyes there are two big ethical problems facing the world and they are interconnected. The lack of understanding and sometimes even hatred between people and nations is the ﬁrst. Our world is so amazing and unfortunately we spend so much energy defending ourselves against one another instead of pursuing things to our mutual beneﬁt.
The lack of human rights in the wider sense is also a huge problem. Eleven million children die each year from malnutrition and diseases. So many people in the world live in dire circumstances lacking adequate sanitation, nutrition and education. The world’s wealth is not divided fairly. This should be rectiﬁed; the sooner, the better for us all.
For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? It’s amazing but it could be better. There’s much to improve but we have come a long way in the last 60 years, without a doubt. What is your perception of the countries of the developed world/ developing world in contrast to your own country? Very advanced in many ways, technologically and with human rights and things like that. However, I would say that sometimes I see the Western world as a bit lost. Not so much religiously, I’d say more in terms of spiritually. What is your family situation like? We are close, I have a little brother. I don’t live with my parents but we are all very close. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? My goal is to work in international relations through teaching, publishing, writing and lecturing. I would see myself working in a political organisation one day. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? I’d like to live where I grew up, in Israel, but I don’t want to spend all my life here. I wouldn’t want to die having lived in only one country; I want to see the world, especially seeing as I’m interested in international relations. I want to expand my horizons.
International Student Supplement 1st April 2008
Describe your average day as a college student? We have three or four sessions of lessons and then I usually stay in the Students’ Union oﬃce because as the Vice-President of the Students’ Union here, I always have work to do. Usually I have classes in the morning and then I will stay at the Students’ Union until 8pm and then I return to my dormitory. We all just wear normal clothes in college; I don’t think people care what you wear here. As for socialising, I meet a lot of people in the Students’ Union and people usually come in to book facilities in college. Lots of people like to book the cultural square which is a courtyard outside the Students’ Union used for functions. I seldom go to the college bar but I am a part of the Drama Society. Do you have any religious beliefs? No, but for no particular reason, I just haven’t found one yet. Do you have any political affiliations? I am in general quite liberal. I am not a member of a particular political party. What is the burning issue of our time? I think people should be more tolerant of other people. I think we should appreciate the world’s diversity more. What is the greatest ethical problem facing the world? I am very concerned with the issue of fair trade. T h e
Bahadir Turkey Describe Describe your average averday age as daya at college college. student. IThe get day to the starts school withcafé my at alarm 8amclock and have ringing breakfast at 7am and and then chat a splash with and my friends. dash to my During collegelunch for lectures I go to which the gym commence and aater8am. school I have I try lunch to organthen I ize rush tomorrow’s back to college lectures, at 2 pm andfor assignaerments. noon classes and get free around ﬁve. The evenings are mates mostlynormally utilizedunfor I hang out with co-curricular activities and sports. til 10pm. I wear casual clothes to uniSome -students here are into sports versity Nike, Puma, Adidas, Aberlike soccer cricket and others crombie andand Fitch and Tommy Hilﬁinto ger co-curricular activities are my favourite brands. like debating and literary Doother you have anysocieties. religious Around beliefs? 9 pmI’m I am free and we have dinner Muslim. I grew up inour a Muslim and gossip our day. family and about I also had a chance to learn I return to my hostellike around 9.40pm about other religions Christianity then assignments. If (Iand have readI do the some King James version of we Bible). have no assignments exams the I believe that the and interpretaare not roundinthe corner we go difout tion of Islam Turkey is totally for a stroll watch a movie or that just ferent from or other interpretations discuss diﬀerent I don’t remost people know issues. and women in our ally wear except for society havebrand a more labels equal place. Reebok, Nike, and Levi’s. I just try to wear what looksany good on me. Do you have political affiliations? have any reIDo callyou myself a liberal. Liberal thinkligious ing givesbeliefs? you a chance to develop I believe Iin Hinduism. The Hindu yourself. think it’s important that Philosophy focusespoint on theoftheory of one has a political view as Karma of it makesand youtheanTransmigration intellectual indiSoul. The religion teaches us that we vidual. If we do not have any politiare thought always a material anda cal weerare no diﬀgains erent to
Name: Bahadir Akbulut Date of birth: 31st of May, 1983 Place of birth Turkey College: Bilkent University Favourite book: The Bureau by Roland Kessler Favourite meal: Manti (Turkish traditional food) Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? Social smoker and drinker Hobbies: Chess, go-karting, swimming, ﬁtness, travelling
that keep running aer mateﬂ ockifofwe sheep. rial gain, we lose our true sense of ourselves. What is the burning issue our time? Weofshould look for eternal happionly viais thethe divine connection of Iness think war biggest problems in the world. The war in be Iraq trigworship. We should try to content gered kind ofour warego. around the and to every do away with The Hin-
world. Racism a ﬁerce type of war, du religion alsoisencourages tolerance terrorism a war with no sides but and ahimsais(non-violence). makes innocent people suﬀer, and oil is the main thing that causes war. Do you have any political affiliations? What is the greatest ethical afAt the moment I have no political ﬁproblem liations. facing the world? I think that democracy is an ethical problem the world. Every What is of the burning is- country has its own interpretation of desue of our time? mocracy andissues acts according that. The burning facing thetoworld Is democracy the kind thing that today are terrorism andofwar which brings blood andinwars? Or does are germinating the heads of theit guaranteeoffreedom of speech and hucitizens the world like hydras, manspreading rights? their tentacles everyand where. For students DubThey are eatingin away at the foundalin that don’tand know a lot tions of nations we see red bloodabout your country shed everywhere - we areand killing each its people, how other for our selﬁ sh would greed. you describe it to them? Turkeyishas geo-political What thehuge greatest ethical importance infacing the world well as mulproblem theasworld? richness. You never see Iticultural am perturbed by environmental synagogues, and churches mosques degradation issuesand like global so close toand each pollution. other in warming other countries. It is not fair that we use up the world’s What is your resources for monperception etary gain. of the countries of the develFor students oped world/ in Dublin that developing don’t know world in cona lot about trast country to your your ownits country? and people, Geographically, how would we describe have land in you Europe and we hold it to them? many trade India is a routes. great However, with Eurocountry a
culture in Hong Kong, like Chinese and Buddhist shops, you’ll also ﬁnd theatres showing American movies, Catholic churches and English-style cafes.
Name: 劉明蕙 (Maggie Lau) Date of birth: 30th August 1987 Place of birth Hong Kong College:
香港中文大學學生會 Chinese University of Hong Kong) Favourite book: Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus Favourite meal: Fruit Do you drink/smoke/take drugs? I drink, but I don’t smoke or take drugs Hobbies: Theatre, ﬁlm and books
Students’ Union here has been trying to promote fair trade on the campus this year. We had a fair trade festival just two weeks ago. We brought fair trade groups to our campus and we produced some material and sold fair trade goods in order to introduce them to fair trade. I think it turned out really well and a lot of students said they are more aware of the positive beneﬁts about fair trade now as a result. For students in Dublin that don’t know a lot about your country and its people, how would you describe it to them? Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it became part of China again, so it has retained many links with the West. I think in general Hong Kong people are happy with the diversity of the city. It’s funny because while you still have many elements of Chinese
peancultural countries ignore and us and don’t rich diversity heritage. seem toare care aboutfriendly that. The Western People warm, and pride world blames Turkey and punthemselves on their sense of hosishes it all theneed time. to Their treatpitality. You come to ment and Turkish India istoinsane, experience its vipeople and carry this burden brancy charisma. throughout our lives. What is your perception of the What is your famcountries of the ily life like?world/ developed Family life is world extremely developing important in contrastinto Turkey. your Family members are own country? bound together No matter where tightly. in the Unlikeyou European world are, oneteenaglongs ers, peace, we do happiness not leave home for and a er the age of sixteen. Even basic amenities. Although thenare weprivileged keep on to taking we get moneymodern from our parents. most amenities
What is your perception of the countries of the developd world/ developing world in contrast to your own country? Every country has diﬀerent cultures and I try to appreciate every part of the world for their uniqueness. Every country has something to add, a diﬀerent perspective on life and I would like to learn from them all. What is your family life like? My family is a small core family, there are only four people including me, my dad, my mom and my brother, and we usually we go shopping together. We eat together every night when I’m at home but I live in a dormitory so seldom make it home for dinner. Where do you see yourself in twenty years? I would like to try out diﬀerent occupations but ultimately to work as a teacher. I think to be a teacher would be brilliant because it enables one to teach students about one’s knowledge and experience. I would like to teach teenagers mainly, probably Middle School or Junior High School. Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world? I actually love Hong Kong but another place I would like to live in would be England. It’s a diﬀerent kind of lifestyle and atmosphere. The pace of life in general is slower and the buildings are shorter. Sometime I think there are too many high-rise buildings in Hong Kong.
and lead our lives comfortably, it is Where do you see yournot the same scenario throughout self in twenty years? the world I People want toarededicate to world dying ofmyself starvation; the peace. I see the world on a cordeveloped nations shouldasfurther asruptthe and extremely dangerous track sist underdeveloped countries so because I wanteverywhere. to leave the that thereofiswars. prosperity inlittle peace Iworld feel that hasfor beenother done generain this tions - it’s the only thing we can give regard. them. What is your famWhere would you live ily situation like? if you could My parents livelive andanywork in Delhi, wherecapital in the world? India’s city. I love to stay with I would livebut inmy Scotland, Ireland or my parents university is lothe Isle Man. Natural and cated in of Manipal which beauty is around historicalaway vividness a great 2200km from play Delhi. I getrole a in deciding where live. chance to stay withI’ll my family for a couple of months during the summer
THE TURBINE THE TURBINE
ISSUE XXI ■ VOLUME X
IT’S SATIRE, STUPID!
INSIDE BIN LADEN FOUND TO BE HIDING IN UCD TUNNELS INTERNET ADDICTION COURSE OFFERED ONLINE BERTIE ASKS STUDENTS FOR LOAN OF A TENNER BRADY BUNCH LOOKING FOR COMBINED PACKAGE OF 2.5 MILLION CASTRO TO BE REPLACE BY IDIOT SON - FIDEL W CASTRO IRA PLEDGE TO PUT SAFETY-CATCH ON MOST WEAPONS BY 2020 – “A MAJOR STEP FORWARD”
STILL JUST 31P!
BATMAN SAVES THE DAY A UCD student fascinated by the ﬁctional character, Batman, has begun ﬁghting crime on campus dressed in a Batsuit. His presence on campus has been noticed by students between the hours of 8 and 11pm. “Sometimes he conﬁscates cans from people drinking on campus and sometimes he can be seen helping mature students cross the roads. Personally I just see him as a nuisance.” However, College Authorities remain indiﬀerent about his presence, as extra security is oen needed during these times
on campus: “We don’t see it as a problem. He helped retrieve some stolen furniture and dignity from the Commissions Ofﬁcer three months ago. As far as we’re concerned, as long as we don’t have to pay him, he can help all he wants.” The Turbine contacted a friend of the hero to ﬁnd out the man’s motives, “It all began during Halloween last year. He’d ﬁnally received enough money to buy the original Batsuit from Batman Returns and since then I don’t think he’s taken it oﬀ. I sometimes worry about his mental health, but all in all he’s
a good oul’ chap.” While Batman is a ﬁctional character, his existence in real life is very plausible. He retains no superpowers or impossible weaponry and as there isn t enough Gardaí out their I believe we should welcome the onset of Batman enthusiasts out there.
GOD SAYS HEAVEN IS FULL God, the creator of the Universe and mankind has announced that Heaven is now full and that there is simply not enough room for anyone else. He is advising that people hold of from dying until the situation is rectiﬁed. “It was going to happen sooner or later,” said God, stroking his beard. “There’s about ten billion people here at the moment, and every bed is taken. It’s virtually impossible to get a decent tee-oﬀ time on the golf course and there is even a waiting list for the swimming pool.” God though has plans for extending the facility. “I am seeking planning permission for an extra wing which would house an extra billion souls. It will be top of the range and I am thinking about adding a water park.” Some of Heaven’s older residents are unhappy about the overcrowding situation, “I was one of the ﬁrst here,” said Noah, a former boat builder, “There used to be plenty of space but now the place is overcrowded. There has been a steady increase in numbers each year.” Meanwhile Heaven’s leading competitor, Hell, has announced that it too is nearly full. “I am cramming them in as best I can,” said Satan “But something’s got to give. I have been taking on some of heaven’s overﬂow, which did cause some annoyance to the guests, but there was simply ■ God is notoriously hard to photograph nothing we could do.”
1st April 2008
SPORT FOR PETE'S SAKE We are four games into the new campaign at this moment and time, and with a win, a draw and two defeats to our name, I am quite disappointed. In my honest opinion, UCD should be still unbeaten this season. Peter Hutton was without a doubt in an oﬀside position when he scored the winner for Derry City, and how we weren’t awarded a penalty when Clive Delaney handled the ball in the same game, I will never know. People say that referees don’t score goals, but they make decisions that can mean the diﬀerence between sharing the points and losing a game. So while we were beaten by Derry and Finn Harps, two draws would have been fair results in both matches. In general however, the commitment and attitude shown by our lads has been tremendous. The players have responded every time we have asked questions of them, and the desire on show in training and matches has been second to none. In previous years, we have been found wanting a little when it comes to our centre forwards scoring enough goals. Going by the early evidence, this problem could be a thing of the past. I have been very happy with how well our strikers have played so far this season. Timmy Purcell played only a handful of games last year and has been excellent aer being thrown in the deep end due to the departure of Conor Sammon. Paul Byrne has been at the club awhile now, and as I have always said, if we can keep him ﬁt the lad will score goals. That is what he does. With Darren Forsyth ready to be introduced into the action when needed and Fran Moran hopefully returning from injury in the near future, I see four strikers with a lot of potential. This term has also marked the beginning of our tenure at the Belﬁeld Bowl, and in general I have been satisﬁed with it. Infrastructure-wise, it is ﬁrst class. The dressing rooms and all the other facilities are top quality. I have been known to criticise the poor quality of the TV3 programme eircom League weekly in the past. Thankfully this season has seen it come to an end and in its place is now Monday Night Soccer on RTE. The new show is undoubtedly an improvement on its predecessor, and while it is shown at a more appropriate time of the evening, highlights of the action on the pitch are far too brief in my opinion. There is no need for four analysts, as the ﬂagship programme Match of the Day proves, as it leads to an excessive amount of talking. People that are tuning in want to see football, and so they should. The programme is in its early stages, and if they are getting in as many emails as they say, then hopefully the problems will be ironed out in time.
DOWN THE LINE
Is a broken leg the end of a career? With the recent horrific injury of Eduardo, Jordan Daly explores the chances of a return to top flight “I get knocked down, but I get up again, because you’re never going to keep me down” – the words of a one-oﬀ hit song from a crap band called Chumbawumba. It has dried into the past, but its words of determination are never to be forgotten. To forget the challenge of Martin Taylor on Eduardo Da Silva is the only thing to do now. Because it was a horriﬁc challenge, especially when replayed on television, a slow lunge of un-timed aggression that connected with bone crunching venom, and le players and coaches alike in a state of disbelief. All players pick up knocks, a rudimentary tear of the muscle ﬁbre makes a muscle strain, while ligament tissue can become damaged through over-exertion and cause a ligament sprain. The abbreviations of, RICER, (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Referral) and TOTAPS, (Talk, Observe, Touch, Active movement, Passive movement, Skills test) will be known to many, but a broken leg is one that can put a full stop to the progress of seasons of training and shake the foundations of someone’s will to train. But really a broken leg, which takes only twelve to eighteen weeks of recuperation, is nothing compared to head and neck injuries. Broken legs are not a common sight in the premiership, but are none the less common enough to mention a few examples that have gone through the worst. David Busst way back in 1996 endured a tackle that put a very quick end to his career. He had a drop foot where the ankle was unable to be fully
reconstructed from Denis Irwin’s challenge. He immediately started to think of ways to support his family and is now the community coach with Coventry City. Having been asked to comment on the Alan Smith broken leg, he aﬃrmed that the reason his could not heal was an infection caused by the bone exiting the skin. Breaks that stay under the skin have more of a chance of recovery. Henrik Larsson, Djibril Cisse and Alan Smith have suﬀered some of the worst breaks over the last few years, and have all come back to play at the top ﬂight. Alan smith was described at the time by David O Leary as a man with an exceptionally determined character, who was a pleasure to be around, and in his determination to return to top ﬂight, he was an inspiration to others, and was in ﬁne form enough so to impress Alex Ferguson to play him aer a long absence. Eduardo is a 25-year-old with a huge future ahead of him. The team of physios around him in Arsenal can spend months helping him through the process of building a support around the leg. His particular broken ﬁbia and open dislocation is one that demands the most attention and patience. The idea of him sitting in an oxygen tent is one that strikes anyone who remembers Beckham’s road to recovery and the resultant invention of the word “metatarsal”. But the reality of the issue is that a bone in the foot is quickly healed, and it takes months to overcome a joint reconstruction. It is always good to
see signs of recovery however, and Arsenal have estimated he will run again in six months. The question that spectators have been asking about the danger of such a “game” is one that comes as an invasion by the media into the world of sport. To ﬁne or punish an accidental occurrence in the run of a game is to crush the spirit of the very game that obsesses us. The likes of Ronaldo have called for more protection of the best attacking and spectacular players. This is another element of the way in which the game has become commercialised, and now when defenders push the bar out and challenge like Roy Keane has always done, they ﬁnd themselves a ﬁgure of criticism. But at the moment, Martin Taylor is being punished enough by the likes of media and fans. As the old saying went, sticks and stones. And so the question is ﬁrst of all whether the media can forget the incident and accept it as a freak accident, a strike of lightning in the clear blue sky of football. Evidently, remnants of the collision are in the mind of Diaby, aer his challenge on Bolton’s Steinson on Saturday. But that is to be expected as the other players go on because even if he doesn’t come back to the level of his previous skill, speed and stamina, he can take something else up in the industry, because he is young, talented and has the support of a whole club and all its fans. As the song goes, “I get knocked down but I get up again, because you’re never going to keep me down.”
1st April 2008
La-Crossing rival boundaries In a less serious part of sport in UCD from March 31 to April 4, Belﬁeld will be hosting matches as part of a week of sporting tourism.The veritable bonanza is hitting UCD this week with the ever-growing Dublinfest sports tournament taking place all across the city. University teams from all over Europe, particularly Britain, will take part in some of the nineteen sporting events, ranging from ultimate frisbee to korall. For UCD lacrosse captain Paddy O’Leary, it is deﬁnitely the highlight of the UCD lacrosse year. “All of the minority sports get their chance in Dublinfest, so it’s a great tournament. There was lacrosse being played at it before UCD lacrosse was even set up, so UCD lacrosse was basically revolved around the event. During the year, the men’s team only has games against Dublin or we’ve to travel abroad to play teams. This is the only real time when we have people coming over to play us here.” With the UCD lacrosse teams being the only Irish representation in this tournament, there is surely an extra pressure on them for success. However, conﬁdence is one thing these teams don’t seem to be lacking. “We’re hoping to win it,” stated O’Leary, “and I’d expect both teams to get to
the quarter ﬁnals at least anyway. We were sickened when we lost to Munich in the semi-ﬁnal last year, so hopefully this year we’ll have a chance.” To strengthen their chances, the UCD lacrosse team have taken in players from their sole Irish rivals, the Dublin Lacrosse team. “The second team has a lot of players who only started lacrosse this year, so there’s a couple of Dublin lacrosse players coming in which should give a bit of backbone to the team.” However, one of the key elements that make Dublinfest so popular is the social element of it, with exclusive club nights set up speciﬁcally for all the participants. “The social side of it would deﬁnitely be as important to Dublinfest as the tournaments themselves. For me, Dublinfest is nearly always the best week in the college year.” The lacrosse tournament takes place in the AUL complex in Clonshaugh. However, sports such as hockey, ﬁve-a-side football and six others will be taking place around the different sporting ﬁelds of Belfield during the week.
■ Photo: Alba Vallejo
Shannon leave College lost at sea Aer the game, coach Bobby Byrne conceded that they were unlucky to be playing a Shannon side that was at the top of their game. Byrne agreed that it was not all doom and gloom, and preferred to talk about the season as a whole rather than this individual game. Indeed, one only need look at the victory over St. Mary’s before Christmas to see the potential of this side. He is very hopeful for this side, which is quite young, and that despite the defeat with such a wide margin, the team showed great determination and were still able to score a second try in the shape of Conor Geogeghan crashing through the unsuspecting Limerick defence. With the scores not too tightly deadlocked at 7-24 in favour of the visitors, College were awarded a rare penalty in the Shannon half. With twenty minutes remaining on the clock, the chance of drawing level was, however, purely mathematical. The match was summed up when Hasting decided to put the ball down the line and attempt a drive over. Penalties do not always ﬁnd touch, but for one’s kick to end up behind the mark is
■ Bryan Devlin ■ UCD
just unfortunate. The trajectory of that kick beautifully summed up College’s aernoon in the Bowl; did not go the required distance. It started out so brightly with College nosing in front with an early try from le winger Conor Quinn, which was promptly converted by Killian Lett, leaving it 17-7 to the visitors. Quinn is the replacement winger for Vasily Artemiev who was injured earlier in the season; the new man gave a good account of himself in a game that simply did not give him much more than scraps to work with. UCD’s lead was proven to be little more than a ﬂash in the pan with two quick tries from the Limerick branch of the red army. Indeed, aer Shannon scored their ﬁrst try, they then encamped themselves in College’s twenty-two, and it took desperate defence from College to delay the inevitable. One of the bright sparks of the Col-
lege side was Cian Aherne, who does not show glimpses of brilliance, but rather long periods of consistent quality. Unlike Quinn who seemed stranded on the le wing, Aherne was determined to get his hands on the ball and make an impact. He was impressive in the moves when he stepped oﬀ the wing and seemed to glide past tacklers with his blistering pace. Although, Aherne did not get on the score sheet, he did come remarkably close with a clever chip and chase that he appeared to have grounded. The oﬃcials disagreed however. The scoreline suggests that UCD were poor, but the sad fact of it, is that when they got motoring, they were quite impressive, particularly the three quarters, but like in the past, their handling error count let them down. Shannon simply capitalised on this, tries in the ﬁrst half by John Cloggan, Mossie Taylor and Killian O’Neill converted by Andrew Thompson, putting the home side to the sword. Aer the interval, things just got worse with tries coming in quick succession; winger Stephen Kelly was the thorn in the College defence with three tries in the second half.
1st April 2008
It's flinn the back of the net After an action packed weekend of International hockey in UCD, Bryan Devlin catches up with UCD and Irish international Roisin Flinn Aer a dismal performance on Friday aernoon, which saw the Irish team concede ﬁve goals and fail to convert any of their own chances, the team managed to boost their morale by forcing a one all draw against the Great Britain side on Saturday. But perhaps it was the absent players that were taking part in the Leinster Senior Cup that may have cost Ireland a win on the ﬁnal day of the test series that saw the team lose 3-1. Roisin Flinn however painted a rather rosy picture of the weekend’s proceedings; “We pulled out a great result on Saturday. We played really well, and also despite loosing on Sunday, we still put on a much improved performance.” The ﬁnal test saw Ireland trailing 2-1 and pushing for an equaliser, but it was not to be and the visitors got an away goal to essentially kill oﬀ the Irish challenge. This ﬂurry of games comes just ahead of Ireland’s Olympic qualiﬁer in Canada, the team for which is announced on Tuesday. Flinn is crossing her ﬁngers for another selection, and the goal that she scored in the opening minutes of the second test should hold her in good stead for the trip. Her original selection in the team came as a complete shock for the UCD regular that has not looked back since her call up. “I certainly wouldn’t regret starting into the international set up, in spite of the amount of things that I had to sacriﬁce for the training and the
physical demand of playing a sport at the highest level.” Flinn’s crowning moment of the weekend came in the opening ﬁeen minutes of the Saturday test, “We were attacking down the right, and we were awarded a penalty on the edge of the circle. The keeper essentially kicked it to me and I just put the head down.” The goal would only be cancelled out six minutes from time. In regards to the three test against
Great Britain, Flinn is very pleased with the improved performance after the ﬁrst test, and that the step up in standard bodes well for the side in terms of competitions. “We were able to pick ourselves up aer a poor performance to put in two good solid displays in such a short space of time. We had three games in what was essentially two and a half days. Mentally, it is good to know that we have the ability to turn things
around on the go, particularly if when we are to be in a tournament.” Flinn, who has been a proliﬁc scorer for UCD in recent months, also featured in the Irish side that played France in a similar three test series, scoring a crucial equaliser in the second match on March 10. Surely her place is all but guaranteed for the trip to Canada, the modest Flinn remains tight lipped on the subject, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Clean sweep for rowers After an unprecedented colours victory for UCD Boat Club, Brian Byrne speaks to coach Colm Daly Listening to Daly speak about UCD rowing gives the impression of a club that is completely at ease with itself, and conﬁdent in its future direction. “It is certainly the purpose of the club to put green shirts on the backs of our people”, he stated, following the rowers’ record victory in the annual UCD Trinity colours boat race, referring to the fact that many of the clubs members have their eyes ﬁrmly set on the international stage, something that the club endorses. For the ﬁrst time in the history of the competition, UCD inﬂicted a colours whitewash over their varsity rivals. The Belﬁeld crew rowed to victory in all four races and crucially triumphed
in the showpiece spectacle – with the men’s senior eights race claiming the prestigious Gannon Cup. However, coach Colm Daly will be keeping his charges’ feet ﬁrmly on deck, as last week’s endeavours were only the ﬁrst steps in a long season. “We are thrilled with this really important victory. We have three goals for the year: to win the Cannon Cup, the intervarsities, and the intermediate competitions outright.” One of these objectives has now been achieved and with no shortage of style. “In saying that, one swallow doesn’t make a summer,” he confessed, as his thoughts now move ﬁrmly towards this weekend’s Dublin Head of the River challenge against Commer-
cial. Nevertheless, last week’s victory will give the club great conﬁdence for the coming season. Rowing against a
Trinity outﬁt that has had commendable performances at both Ghent and Henley, Daly found it hard to disguise his joy with his oarsmen performance. “In previous years, when we went behind, the heads went down. But this year, we dug deep to win.” Of particular delight to Daly was the women’s senior eights performance as they charged home to take the Corcoran Cup. “It was a big surprise they won by such a margin. It was a real club eﬀort from the alumni, to the sports department to the people in the boats.” In the meantime, Daly and his crew now look beyond Saturday’s race with Commercial as they continue their pursuit of the perfect season.
SUPER LEAGUE Superleague is finally solved It looks like The Final Solution have proved what their name suggests with one game remaining against Rapid Viagra in the Premier Sunday of the Superleague. They are still a point behind Fr. Romeo Sensini XI, but Sensini have ﬁnished their games, and it might take some divine intervention for them to win the league. That, or they need Rapid Viagra to man up and stop The Final Solution from getting the win. Sensini ended their season with a 4-2 win over Chip Shop Boys, but it was the greasy tactics of Chip Shop Boys that angered Fr. Romeo’s captain Conor Griﬀen. “We played awfully today but got the result we wanted. But the whole match was overshadowed by the ﬁght and the two footed lunge near the end of the game.” With Sensini leading 4-2, they were on the edge of the box when double goalscorer Neil O’Dea got pulled to the ground. Handbags started and resulted in a sending oﬀ aer a Chip Shop Boy seemed to leap nearly two feet in the air and come in with both feet. He was rightly sent oﬀ with a straight red. There have been plenty of scraps in the Superleague. Don’t think these teams take it lightly. But Griﬀen and his team were kicking themselves a couple of weeks ago when they “threw their season away.” He said, “We were 3-1 up against Final Solution and conceded two penalties. It was stupid. Hopefully we can make up for it when the cup comes around. We’ve never had a great cup run and it’s about our time.” So, it looks like The Final Solution have won the Sunday Premier. They have the best defence in all four divisions and aer a 4-0 thumping of Supervets; captain Alan Fagan wasn’t going to start popping the champagne corks just yet. “The league is ours to lose. We should beat Viagra. Today we were a bit sluggish in the ﬁrst half and should have put them away but I’m glad we got the win in the end.” The other statistics that people won’t want to hear from the other side of the table. Callary Rovers have conceded 84 goals so far this season and are the only team in the four divisions who haven’t picked up a victory at all this season. Tottenham Notspurs won’t be too happy to be the only team to give Rovers a point this season. Bean FC, Shadwell Town and Patrick Thistle all join Callary Rovers at the foot of their tables aer a long hard year. The goalkeepers can now take some time to rest their backs aer picking the ball out of the nets so oen, and see if they can’t surprise anyone in the cup. Sporting Lesbians and AFC Silchester have conﬁrmed their league wins and Superfriends have it in their own hands with one game le but the cups are still to play for. The Star Cup will be starting in the next couple of weeks and the League Cup Semi-ﬁnals will be played this week with the Dalhousie the favourites, in the draw which remains Just Jeﬀ versus Dalhousie and Bayern Hasselhof versus Emmet Hatﬁeld.
1st April 2008
SPORT Purcell wants English move UCD forward Timmy Purcell hopes one good season in the eircom League can propel him to a full-time career in the English league. Purcell has been given the chance to shine at the UCD Bowl following the departure of Ireland under-21 star Conor Sammon to Derry City. And the Kilkenny-born ace hopes to emulate players such as Kevin Doyle and Dave Mooney by landing a big move on the back of good form in the eircom League. Doyle moved to Reading in 2005 after impressing Steve Coppell with his form for Cork City, while Mooney attracted interest from across the water before eventually transferring to Cork on the back of a 19-goal season for Longford Town last term. Purcell, who has had trials at Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers,
■ Colin Gleeson Leicester City, Manchester City, Southampton and Tranmere Rovers, hopes he can grab the headlines this year and secure a long-term future in the game. The 20-year-old told explained, “England is my dream and I’ve always wanted to be there. You look at players like Kevin Doyle and Shane Long and remember they started out here. That offers hope. “Even Dave Mooney last year showed what one good season in the league can do for you. He didn’t go to England despite interest, but people suddenly took notice of him. “England is definitely what I want to do. I’ll give it maybe two years and if it doesn’t happen I’ll be eyeing a good full-time club in Ireland.”
Scoreless standoff in dreary conditions
■ Photo: Neil Dorgan
UCD and Sligo Rovers played out a scoreless draw in miserable conditions last Friday night in only the second competitive match in Belfield Bowl. On a bitterly cold night few chances were created with the wind and rugby surface not helping the pace of the game. While they have yet to win at the Bowl, UCD captain Conor Kenna was still taking some positives from the night. “It was a poor game, I wouldn’t say it was the prettiest game to watch but it was good result for us in the end. We got a clean sheet so we can build on that.” Both defences looked strong and settled into the game in the ﬁrst ﬁve minutes which set the tone for the rest of the match. UCD created the only chance of note in the ﬁrst half on ﬁeen minutes when Darren Forsyth pulled oﬀ
■ Eoghan Brophy ■ UCD
■ SLIGO ROVERS
a smart turn on the right wing, before taking the ball down the line and pulling the ball back. Pat McWalter smashed the ball towards the goal from twelve yards out but Sligo Keeper Richard Brush was equal to it and parried it away. The second half saw UCD playing against the wind which probably suited their style of play better but still neither team was able to ﬁnd a way through. Both teams tried to
change things around on 60 minutes. UCD brought on Shane Fitzgerald for Darren Forsyth and switched to a 45-1 formation, moving Brian King into the middle. Sligo took tricky winger Rafael Cretaro oﬀ for Sean Doherty but neither team managed to create many chances. Sligo came closest in the second half to ﬁnding a goal. First on 73 minutes a slip from Brian Shortall allowed Romauld Boco in, but Matt Gregg gathered the ball eﬃciently as Boco tried to round the UCD keeper. It was Sligo’s last substitute, Alan Moore who provided a touch of class six minutes later when he attempted a chip from just outside the box, forcing Gregg to a ﬁngertip save. Neither side could create further chances in the last ten minutes and ultimately it ﬁnished scoreless. UCD boss Pete Mahon looked on
the bright side of what he described as a very poor game. “We kept a clean sheet. We have kept two clean sheets and only conceded one goal last week so there’s nothing wrong with us defensively, but we could do a little bit better from midﬁeld up.” UCD were without the services of in-form striker Paul Byrne, among others, which could have changed things according to Mahon. “We’re missing Ian Bermingham, Paul Byrne and Derek Doyle. Those three players will deﬁnitely strengthen us and we’ll have them back soon enough. The rugby ends tomorrow and the pitch will improve. We need to improve along with it.” UCD have just drawn early pace setters St Patricks Athletic in the League cup second round. They will need to improve on that performance and start winning at home if they want to progress this season.
■ Eferklang ■ Dustin ■ The Flaws ■ Tourche
F L S O E WN O T & J T H IA ER SS XP ME E E TH
The biggest ball of all The Wolfe Tones meets ...East 17
n e r i S the
t | Issue 10 01.04.08 en m le pp Su t en nm ai rt te En e un College Trib
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1st April 2008
Light the torche Florida rockers Torche speak to Lorcan Archer about their unique combination of heavy rock thunder and catchiness, their new album and the joys of nordic medicine
Music “It felt like there was someone else in on a gag that only me and him were in on it”
Messiah J & the Expert: P6
Music “I don’t know what Britney’s thinking. I reckon she is on that bloody crystal meth”
East 17: P6
Arts “I love them all, especially the ones that can get their mates at home to vote for us”
Even when not on tour with the band, Torche bass-player Jonation Nuñez surrounds himself with music, picking up the phone in the recording studio where he spends his days oﬀ the road. “We’re actually just back from a short trip that ended in the South By Southwest Festival in Texas,” he explains, name-checking a huge industry event that captivates the world’s music media annually. “It went really well man, the highlights were Texas, and doing ﬁve dates with the amazing Harvey Milk. It was indescribable play with them, so we had a great time.” Tour aer tour has crisscrossed the States in the past year, with the next round of dates along the East Coast already arranged for Torche, to support the imminent release of their sophomore eﬀort, Meanderthal. “It’s out on April 8th in the States” conﬁrms Nuñez. “We’re really happy with it. We’ve been working with Robotic Empire records for years now, but they thought it would be cool if we went with HydraHead Records for the next album, which will give it a bigger push. We know that they’re cool guys so we’re looking forward to working with them.” The vibe of a Torche concert is hard to describe - sonic violence mixed with unadulterated pop hooks abound in order to create the group’s unique sound. This has been ﬁrmly expressed in the new record according to the bassist. “I think with the new stuﬀ, we still have the same vibe as we always have
had, but there’s more of an upbeat, energetic style to the newer material. As a live group, we’re very animated, and I think we captured that on our last EP, but the full-length has really caught what Torche is all about in a live setting. The material is so much fun to play, it gives you an adrenaline rush, and people seem to be really enjoying it, so we’re happy.” A common connection that is made by rock music fans is between forceful hard rock music and negative, downbeat lyrical concepts. This is certainly not the case for Torche, with upliing salvos of vocals peppering their songs. “We’re totally enjoying
it,” stresses Nunez. “We’re certainly not gloomy people. In fact, we’re pretty goofy. We’re just glad people are reacting so well to what we do.” As maybe expected, the band is planning more shows outside their home nation, with previous treks across the Atlantic, and to Japan already in the bag. “We’ll be back in Europe hopefully this September or November,” states Nuñez. “We had a great tour over there with Baroness last time. Sometimes on tour you can get worn down, I got pretty sick on that last trip over there, but the Norwegians had some pretty brutal medicine and that sort-
ed me out pretty fast,” he adds with a wry laugh. It’s a healthy time for the group, who seem to be ﬁnding more and more people attending their shows and really getting into what it is that Torche does. “It gets better and better every tour. It’s nice when people ﬁnd out about you, and just want to have fun on their night out and see something that they enjoy that surpasses their expectations.” With a return trip to Ireland on the cards, Nuñez reﬂects on their last trip. “We enjoyed our time in Belfast, Dublin and Cork. I seriously hope we can make it back over on our next trip.”
Flawless Lorcan Archer catches up with Shane Malone of The Flaws in advance of their Murphy’s Live appearance and UCD Ball slot to discuss persistence in touring and the band’s rabid Italian fans
Dustin speaks P10
Health “It is just really stressful. All you want to do is sleep and you can’t. It’s awful”
The Life of an Insomniac: P8
It’s been over six months since Monaghan’s ﬁnest The Flaws released their acclaimed debut album, Achieving Vagueness, to resounding critical applause. Since then they’ve picked up both a Meteor and Choice Music Prize nomination. But things on the ground have been slowly changing for the group too. “We’ve actually been noticing a bit of change in the gigs,” reports guitarist Shane Malone. “Because we released the album last September, we’re now really seeing people latching onto the songs and really coming out to see us. Every time we go somewhere it’s an improvement on the last time we played there.” Touring slots aren’t too easy to come by for an indie rock group on an island like Ireland, but with the ra of nominations that the band
has received over the last couple of months, taking to the road seemed like the natural thing to do. “With the nominations coming in, we decided to go around the country and take advantage of the press it would give us, and we found very good reactions,” says Malone. “We played Navan for the ﬁrst time ever last week, and it was jammed out, which was amazing, totally mad stuﬀ. It does go to show that there’s a hunger for this sort of live music out there on a really grassroots level.” Delving into population centres that are oﬀ the beaten track, The Flaws have been ﬁnding many fans waiting for them outside of the usual four big cities in the Republic. “It’s deﬁnitely a good time to be playing in a band in Ireland, even when we went down to Killarney we got a great crowd. It’s all moving back to-
wards live music I think. “We’re not just playing live though, we hope to either release one of our singles soon enough, because with the progress we’ve made, we think it’ll achieve the attention we think it deserves,” reveals a visibly motivated Malone. “Then hopefully there’ll be a new album before the end of the year.” Releasing new material and touring Ireland is one thing, but the band are determined to step abroad and cultivate their music’s reputation on foreign soil. “We’re just back from doing a mini-tour in Italy as well. It was very good, the shows, the food
over there, everything was great. We had a healthy turnout in Milan, and lots of people knew the words and were having fun singing along, which was fucking fantastic to be honest.” Achieving Vagueness has accomplished what the group was hoping to do – to establish themselves as a name that was recognizable, and form a base they could build on. “I don’t think I’ve actually read a bad review of the album yet. There’s still plenty of really bad music in the charts though, so we’ll see if we manage to have any eﬀect in the future,” remarks Malone modestly.
1st April 2008
let battle commence With pretenders and hopefuls whittled away and the finalists decided, the UCD Battle of Bands competition rolls ever closer to the penultimate final event in Dublin’s Tripod on the 2nd April. Lorcan Archer investigates the range of acts on show
Take the Money and Run “We’re all from Dundalk and going to different college around Dublin,” explains Take the Money and Run member Neil Dooley. “I play guitar and do some backing vocals when I can’t avoid it.” The band have been biding their time, starting to get serious last summer and honing their sound before playing live. “Our first gig was actually this one in UCD, so we’re just starting out, but
we’re happy with how we’re sounding.” In terms of the group’s sound, Dooley is not inclined to pigeon-hole it anytime soon. “It’s a hard one to call, I suppose a sort of alternative Pop sound. Our bigger influences would be stuff like Radiohead, and even Ryan Adams. We just want to get out and play the songs themselves now.” The group are happy with their progress so far, but have their sights firmly set on the prize on the horizon. “We’d love to win, of course, but we know the competition is of a very high standard. We’re happy to be playing a great venue like Tripod, but we’ll be aiming to win, just like everyone else will be. We’re looking forward to it.”
The Depths “We started out in school in separate bands”, reports The Depths member James Conlon McKenna. In a typically UCD fashion however, the group solidified on one of the more notorious social events of the year. “It was through college that we met, actually in the jacks on the Mystery Tour drinking cans, when we decided to hook up and get something going.” The group has been busy as of late, racking up critical responses to their work through the media outlets that are available to them in Ireland. “Since Christmas we’ve been playing gigs, we’ve performed at the Commerce Ball, but also doing things like getting reviews in HotPress and some songs played on Phantom FM, so things have certainly been happening over the past few months. We’re in a good position now.” There is no confusion as to what the group
The Eskies “We formed back in 2005, purely playing covers back then,” explains Niall Molloy, frontman with acoustic-rockers The Eskies. “It took us a while to get things sorted, shiing around members, but we got more serious in 2007.” No stranger to the stage, the band has performed with numerous big names on the Dublin circuit and further afield. “We’ve supported Aslan on their tour around the country; we’ve played with Director, and the Furies. I guess you could say we’ve lots of live experience at this point.” The band are a slightly strange proposition on stage, with a vast array of acoustic guitars and electrical instruments combing to make their own particular brand of ‘Kung-Folk’, folk styled songs with a kick. “We heard the term and borrowed it,” admits Molloy. “It describes us pretty well, as we have a bit more punch than the usual sound in that style. Our main influences would be stuff like Bob Dylan, but with more emphasis on singing.” With such a collection of acoustic guitars, people can jump to conclusions regarding the Eskies’ sound, but this is more than improved once the
Unfortunately, we were unable to make contact with a member of Gran Casino before going to press, but the group’s music speaks for itself. Having won the final round of the pre-heats in the Student Club, the band perform a style of music that incorporates hugely varied instrumentation, from a brass and wind section to the more traditional rock band guitar and vocals. band jumps into acWith a live incarnation tion. “People can look consisting of well over up and go, Jesus, that’s the usual four to five band a lot going on up there, members, the band have a but we play as a unit, and style falling somewhere between the verdant sounds of the songs are stronger when Arcade Fire and the Polyphonic Spree, and have been we all click in together. They gigging regularly in Dublin for the past couple of end up liking us a lot more than years. they may have thought.”
consider their own style. “We’re a rock band. We try to get away from that sort indie sound that’s everywhere nowadays. We try to create our own sounds, but do take inspiration from the likes of the Foo Fighters and Brand New, even Irish acts like Turn that we like.” The group are determined to do their best in the competition, being more than aware of the opportunities that it can provide and the talent that they are up against. “All the bands are so different in the competition, we’ve got folk rock, indie stuff, and other styles that are totally different. I think the competition final will be very interesting in terms of what’ll be on display.”
animal Channel “We view ourselves as the kind of upbeat, indie music that people can dance to,” asserts Animal Channel’s Thomas O’Driscoll firmly. Like many groups, the foundations for the band were laid in their pre-college days. “We all met in secondary school and have been working together since. We actually entered the Battle of the Bands last year and didn’t make it through to the final, which was disappointing, but we’ve applied ourselves and really tightened up, so we feel a lot more prepared now.” Performing on stages across Dublin is a regular activity for Animal Channel, with a long string of shows already under their collective belts. “We’re out there a lot at the moment, and we’re even involved in another Battle of the Bands in a different college right now.”
For inspiration, the group are content to look at the wealth of talent that is emerging in their own country. “In terms of inspiration, we’re listening to lots of Irish stuff at the moment, bands like Delorentos and Ham Sandwich who we love, so we can take a lot from that. We’re looking forward to the final show.”
The UCD Battle of the Bands takes place in Tripod, Harcourt St, on 2nd April
Aural Examinations too out of place on an early Green Day album. Never complicating things too much to risk endangering the underlying groove that runs through this album like a seam of pure musical gold, the fat, warm tone of the songs barrels along at a breakneck pace, only to meld into some very satisfying chugging moment like on the playful title track. Elsewhere, tracks like Pirana deliver short, energetic shocks that break up the more blissedout warmth of the longer songs, nnnnp bringing to mind the diversity of fellow countrymen The Melvins Florida’s Torche have had a bizarre va- in the delivery. riety of labels thrown at them over the Truthful to the album’s title, the group past year in a vain attempt to describe sounds like they’re having a lot of fun. their refreshing blast of thick guitar The result is the perfect remedy to a wet sound and upliing melodics, from March, and is guaranteed to both hit the thunder-rock, to joy-rock to doom-pop. spot in terms of sheer powerful rock as What certainly sets the group apart well as injecting some Sunshine State from the crowd is that they’re not afraid brightness into your immediate atmosof using a hey guitar tone in the slight- phere. est; as swamp-like sections of soaring ampliﬁer worship combine with poundLorcan Archer ing, tribal sounding drums, only to jump into the catchiest of storming pop rock passages that bizarrely wouldn’t sound
all hour cymbals nnnnp
If ever there was a desire for a band to bring out the warmth of summer in their music it would be now, and Yeasayer could easily assume all responsibility for the task. Album opener Sunrise begins with a steady build-up of methodical drum beats, soon met with an almost discofeel chorus, akin to that of MGMT’s hit Electric Feel. The verses are awash with echoed, contrasting vocals draped beneath the more buoyant keys, alongside an abundance of instruments. Wait for the Summer dabbles in the luminous eﬀervescence of the Californian 70s, with the chorus welcomed by sprightly clapping as an undertone to the frenzied vocals of all four band members. The song slowly changes into the ethereal, only to misguide the listener into its expected close, at which point Yeasayer’s vigour multiplies tenfold into an explosively raucous yet undeniably feel-good ending. The sunny ambience of the album is brought to a halt with the sombre pessimism of Wait for the Wintertime, a more morose ballad that delves into the seasonal blues of melancholy, eventually bursting into the livid heat of aggression. Cynical critics of the wave of mediocre indie bands might be inclined to consign Yeasayer to the same gutter as the rest of their ilk. Granted, All Hour Cymbals is certainly not to everyone’s taste, but if your appetite is for the unconventional and experimental, then Yeasayer may just prove to be a delectable feast.
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1st April 2008
midnight boom nnnnp
Who remembers the days of dirty, grungy garage rock and roll? And who remembers those days with fondness? The Kills’ third album, Midnight Boom, harks back to that time, as they present an amazing rawness and darkness in the sound of this record which has been sorely missing from much recent music. The Kills are a two-piece, one Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart, and through this mixed gender line-up comes a tremendous sexuality and sensual undertone in each of the songs. The roughness of the arrangements and the almost spat lyrics makes this record an enthralling listen right from the start. Midnight Boom is the most accessible release by The Kills to date, but that might be too strong a word for this sound. Their debut was an album of equal rawness but obviously from a band still trying to ﬁnd their own sound, and while their second was a far more conﬁdent eﬀort, it was still lacking a certain something. Midnight Boom has taken that conﬁdence, that earlier rawness and added the production skills of Spank Rock’s Armani XXXchange, who has helped to make the rhythms that bit grittier and more violent. The album proceeds with a surprising ﬂuidity and nothing seems out of place on it. Even the ﬁnal song on the album, Goodnight Bad Morning, the now compulsory mellow closer to a Kills album, leaves you on the right note with the piano keys tinkling through it. Listen to this record, for old time’s sake at least.
An eni ensem Battling through some awful touring luck in order to bring their enchanting style to legions of fans across Europe, Danish glitch-pop pioneers Efterklang speak to Lorcan Archer after a triumphant Dublin appearance about just what it is that they represent as a free musical group Casper Clausen is a man with a lot on his mind. As a founding member of perhaps Denmark’s most remarkable musical export, the strange project known as Eerklang, it can be hard to easily bypass the stress of being on a tour that seems to have encountered so many problems from the get-go. Yet he is more than happy to be exactly where he is right now, backstage in The Button Factory drinking a well deserved can of beer before packing up his group’s equipment for the next date in support of their latest release, Parades. “I think that the sea seems to have cursed us,” he explains with a laugh. “We came over to the UK yesterday with such high seas, only to have our guitarist turned away and sent back to Denmark because he didn’t have the right work permit. “So then he had to hop back on the boat to Denmark during the storm to get back and sort it out, and very regrettably we had to cancel the Southampton date. Then the weather delayed our ferry and we were late tonight too. But when you get going again and play like we did tonight to such a mass of smiling faces, it makes it all worthwhile.” Such are the tribulations of DIY touring, yet Eerklang are about as enigmatic an ensemble as their odd name seems to suggest. Spanning the boundaries between ambient beats and lush indie rock sensibilities, the group have been fostering a cult following across Europe since their foundations in 2001. With plenty of soaring post-rock inﬂuences and a unique visual element in both their release artwork and live incarnation, they can truly claim to be pushing the boundaries of what a band is comprised of in the 21st century. “It is strange when you think about it,” says Clausen. “When we go on tour, it becomes so much more than just the group as it stands going out there and playing songs. We thrive oﬀ pf the reactions of the crowd, and with our touring members contributing as well, we can move in directions that are so much more diﬀerent and diverse than what you might think.”
What the band is all about can perhaps be best be expressed in one of their most popular tracks, Step Aside, a gentle ballad comprising of lilting vocals of all the band mem-
bers’ vocals, combining with the most gentle array of ﬂowing beats, melodic piano and subtle melody that exudes a quality quite apart from the norm. “It’s one of the songs people react to especially well, the same goes with Cutting Ice to Snow,” Clausen notes. “What we do is termed as glitch-pop, which is good to hear, because it means we’re turning fragments of beats into something people can re-
gmatic ble ally appreciate.” The band also have a vast array of video productions to their name, the sparse yet beautiful slides that comprise their Prey And Predator track deserving special mention, while the accompanying music comes across as both fresh and satisfying in its enigmatic composure. As immersive as the sound that the group make may be, the intriguing name that they have chosen is worthy of attention as well. “The name itself comes from the Danish word for echo, or reverberation,” explains Clausen. “We like it because it suggests a reoccurrence of feeling,
and it’s something that we always express in our music.” Clausen is sure that touring has an impact that stretches far beyond simply achieving promotion for the group. “When we go on stage on a tour like this, it’s like we’re a lot more than just a band. We’re almost a project, and we’re able to move in so many directions because of what both we and the people watching experience. It’s something very special for us.” The unique and collective composition of the group means that the live show is a more diﬃcult event to organise than most bands, but
Clausen is adamant that the magic that occurs once they’re all together makes it worth it. “It was really great being out there. We’d love to hit Ireland again on our next tour, but with the booking and everything we’ll have to see. We felt something very special tonight.” he adds with a distant look and tired grin. Parades is out now.
1st April 2008
be your own pet
the popular front nnnpp
This sophomore eﬀort from Be Your Own Pet ﬁnds the four brash youths from Nashville on as aggressive, brazen and unpretentious form as on their eponymous debut. The record bristles with forthright energy - vocalist Jemima Pearl ranting and raving with verve and impudent self-conﬁdence. The production is sharper and the band’s general sound is cleaner, without sacriﬁcing the exuberant raw quality that is such a massive part of Be Your Own Pet’s appeal. Lyrically, Get Awkward is quirky and mischievous but also unapologetically in-your-face, to the extent that the US release of this album was shorn of three tracks by Universal, on the grounds that the content of these songs (Blow Yr Mind, Black Hole and Becky) was deemed too ‘violent’. Becky in particular is one of the highlights of this album, the savage storytelling lyrics allied with slapdash-yetcatchy instrumentation providing a break from the otherwise breakneck pace of what is a raucous collection of songs. There are some great guitar sections too, especially on Creepy Crawl, and the instrumentation throughout is rambunctiously brilliant. There are low points, Bummer Time hitting a, well, bum note. Teenage heartbreak number You’re A Waste doesn’t really seem to go anywhere either, with Pearl merely sounding inhibited and whiny. By and large though, Get Awkward is an eﬀervescent romp, almost draining in its relentless enthusiasm, and there’s an expressive swagger to it that demands attention.
sons and ones nnnpp
The Popular Front would certainly not be the most original band by anyone’s standards. By extension then, neither would they necessarily have the most original tracks. However, with Sons and Ones, what’s proven beyond doubt is that the group’s lead vocals are ﬁrmly tuneful and the songs are undeniably very catchy, two extremely vital boxes that this band tick. The Popular Front won last years UCD Battle of The Bands, and what they show in these tracks showcase exactly why they achieved that particular accolade. What Do I Know is by far the catchiest track on the release, being both fast paced and perfectly harmonized, with several guitar riﬀs that show clever and addictive mixing with a stomping chorus in order to present a very attractive sound for the listener. Pretty Dresser may be a song for those who place lyrics over music and melody in importance, and could be accused of being overly repetitive by a very critical listener. Sheep, however, is perfectly paced, and perfectly executed, with particular solos from the guitar player making this track stand out from the others that make up Sons & Ones. Finally, 300 Days is the slowest track, at ﬁrst presenting a very quiet lull that draws the listener into it, but eventually switching to a faster tempo that ends the release on an absolute high. Not a bad showing by anyone’s standard, the EP shows promise for the bands future and a strong talent for song writing that can only bode well.
Gig Guide Wednesday 2nd April: Billy Joe Shaver, Whelans, €25, doors at 8pm Emergenza International Battle of the Bands, The Button Factory, doors at 7.30pm
02.04.2008 Monday 7th April: Aslan / The Delorentos / The Blizzards / The Coronas / Television Room, Olympia Theatre, €36, doors at 7pm Christy Moore / Declan Sinnott, €40, Whelans, doors at 8pm
Thursday 3rd April: Tuesday 8th April: Nightwish / Pain, We Are Scientists, AmbasVicar Street, €36, sador, €25, doors at 8pm Christy plays Whelans on The Breeders, Vicar Street, doors at 8.30pm Monday, 7th March Murphy’s Live €28, doors at 8.30pm Final with Cathy Davey, Free Tickets, Whelans, doors at 8.30pm Wednesday 9th April: The Random Nouns, Jennifer Evans & The Hard-Fi / Channel One, OlymRipe Intent, Crawdaddy, €14, doors at 8pm pia Theatre, €33, doors at 8pm Ocean Colour Scene, The AcadFriday 4th April: emy, €34.60, doors at 7.30pm Republic of Loose / Jape / Millionaire The Enemy, Ambassador, €28, doors at 8pm Boys, The Academy, €20, doors at 8pm Amoric / Robert O’Connor, CrawThursday 10th April: daddy, €10, doors at 8pm Exodus / Evile / Gamma Bomb, Voodoo Lounge, €24.50, doors at 7pm Saturday 5th April: Holy F*ck, Whelans, €13.50, doors at 8pm M.D.C. / Only Fumes and Corpses , Kids Dervish, Tripod, €26, doors at 8pm with Guns, Whelans, €12, doors at 8pm Condemned / Reth / DeNovissimis, Lupe Fiasco, Tripod, €42.50, Boom Boom Room. €10, doors at 10pm doors at 7.30pm The Gutter Twins, AmbasFriday 11th April: sador, €30, doors at 8pm This Will Destroy You, TwinKranes, Le Galaxie, Whelans, €15, doors at 8pm
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1st April 2008
The real messiah Messiah J converses with Eoin Boyle about the challenge of producing high quality Hip Hop in modern Ireland, and their plans for corrupting the minds of as many intoxicated students as possible Messiah J and the Expert are the stand-out pioneers of the Dublin Hip-Hop scene. The release of their second album Now This I Have to Hear at the end of 2006, marked a great leap forward in their already inventive approach to rap music with the beats, samples, rhythms and lyrics all becoming sharper as well as smarter. The Messiah, J, explains how this all came about. “Basically when we were in our teens everyone else was picking up guitars and drums and trying to sing like Counting Crows, and we were just into Hip Hop, that was kind of our bread and butter, what we were raised on. It was foreign, it was attractive, it was glamorous, and we were suckers for it. Basically that is what we went for. “I always kind of wrote words and I just started writing music and then that was it. Myself and the Expert met each other and it felt like there was someone else in on a gag that only me and him were in on.” While they came from pretty much nowhere in the Irish music scene, there were relatively few Hip Hop acts around Ireland, not just around the time that they began making music, but even in the heyday of rap music in the early nineties. “I think that people will actually listen to
style descriptions with an attitude, like if I heard American and Emo, I would back away. It’s strange though, if things are bastardised like French Bluegrass or Irish Hip Hop or whatever, if it’s any good, then the one thing it stands is a chance of being original.” Bloodrush was the ﬁrst song that
“Myself and the Expert met each other and it felt like there was someone else in on a gag that only me and him were in on” grabbed attention, with the angry beats and lyrics featuring on a compilation with David Kitt and The Frames (Kicking Against) where the duo were exposed to a wider audience. With their ﬁrst album, What’s Confusing You?, there was a noticeable maturing in their approach. “I just think you get better as songwriters and realise that things like subject matter become more involving. I think we’ve progressively become better; when we were young
we were a bit starry-eyed and we just wanted to be heard by any means necessary. You still have to retain that ﬁre in the belly but you just become a better writer and I think that’s what happened with us. But I don’t like to talk up what we’ve done too much, people can judge for themselves.” Messiah J and the Expert are a hard working twosome and keep making progress with their songs, already close to the completion of a third album. J relates an anecdote that neatly explains this. “I remember actually hearing an interview with Johnny Marr from The Smiths, who were always considered a very proliﬁc band and someone said to him ‘Oh you’ve brought out this and all that, isn’t that very proliﬁc?’ and he said ‘No, we’re not proliﬁc, we’re songwriters, it’s our job and it’s what we’re meant to do.’ If it was anybody else in any other profession you’d do a certain amount every year so you can’t be that precious so that something comes out only every three years.” Messiah J and the Expert are undeniably a unique combination. “I don’t know a huge amount about the UCD Ball’, laughs J. “But I do know there will be a lot of drunken students there, so it should be great. Get them while they’re young!”
Wolfe Tones front man Derek Warfield talks the band, one of the most recognized “We’re absolutely looking forward to coming back to UCD,” declares Wolfe Tones founder Derek Warfield. Aer more than 40 years in the music business, Warﬁeld is conﬁdent that their audience has never dissipated. “The audience has always been intergenerational”, he explains. “At one of our shows you will can ﬁnd anyone from the age of six to sixty, and maybe even older.” For any group’s music to cross generation barriers like this is surely a rare feat and Warﬁeld credits their success to the traditional aspect of their music. “I think it’s born out of a home tradition, because when we were young, all ages enjoyed traditional Irish music. As you
can see from our shows, this is still true today, and I am glad that it has stayed this way over the years.” Keeping the Irish tradition alive is clearly a high priority with the Wolfe Tones, whose love for ballads was instilled in them at a young age. “I was always surrounded by these songs in my own home because all my folks sung songs and ballads. This tradition was everywhere in Dublin, not just in my family. My home was definitely a source of inspiration for me. I always loved the songs; it was just part of the upbringing.”
1st April 2008
ng another day East 17 founding member Terry Coldwell speaks to Lisa Towell about Britney Spears, drugs and the newfound focus that the group have found upon regaining their position as one of the heroes of pop East 17 - a band synonymous with dodgy hair cuts, dodgy fur coats and dodgy dance routines - were beloved by teenage girls worldwide. Responding to the news that they’d be playing the UCD Ball alongside denim-clad female pop group, Bewitched, East 17’s Terry Coldwell exclaimed with genuine delight, “Oh are we? Jesus, I haven’t seen those girls in years.” Unlike other pop groups who were trained in performance schools, East 17 were always diﬀerent. “Most people went to drama school but we were nothing like that,” Coldwell remembers. “We were just four people on the street, getting up to all sorts of naughtiness.” And naughty boys they were. Remembered by many as the bad boy version of Take That, East 17 fell from grace in 1997, following lead man Brian Harvey’s divulgence of drug taking on a national radio program. It was one of the pop world’s biggest scandals and caused a mass media frenzy, earning the band a crippling amount of bad press. Taking drugs, especially boasting about it, was a strict no-no for any boy band. Chief song-writer Tony Mortimer departed, and the trio of Brian Harvey, Terry Coldwell and John Hendy soldiered on, reincarnated as E-17, but called it a day in 1999 aer eight years in the business. Like many other pop groups, eve-
rything began for the boys in school. “Tony and John were somewhat older than me and Brian was about three or four years older as well, but we went to the same school and we used to hang out at this block of ﬂats”, Terry remembers fondly. “Tony was setting up a band, and he approached me one day saying he knew I could dance, and he asked me if I wanted to be in a band.” The group from Walthamstow combined their love for R’n’B, Hip Hop and Pop to reach dizzy heights of fame. Scoring numerous hit singles with House of Love and Stay Another Day, their duet If You Ever with Gabrielle is still voted
“I don’t know what Britney’s thinking. I reckon she is on that bloody crystal meth and all that. Fame does sort of mess you up a bit” as one of the world’s favourite duets in music polls to this day. Despite their success, Terry is quick to point out that fame can come with a price. He points to the recent fall of one of the pop world’s greatest success stories. “The industry is bad enough
anyway with the like of drugs and stuﬀ. Look at Britney Spears,” he emphasises, with the authority of one who has been through tough times. “I don’t know what she is thinking. I reckon she is on that bloody crystal meth and all that. Fame does sort of mess you up a bit. People say you should be appreciative of it, but when you’re in the limelight for a period as a pop star, you get aggressive and you don’t get time for yourself. It can aﬀect you. “For the ﬁrst three years aer we came out, we didn’t get a break for three years. Jamming seven days a week, and if you ain’t doing stuﬀ in England you’re touring in Europe or America, or you’re in
Australia. People say ‘Oh, but it’s easy.’ It’s not physically hard work, sure, like if you were on a building site, but it’s mentally taxing.” Following the split in 1999, the band members followed diﬀerent career paths until Coldwell made a chance discovery. “I picked up The Sun one day and there was an interview with Tony in it. So I read it and Tony was quoted as saying that if the guys asked him to get back together, he’d probably say yes. “And I thought, well, bloody hell. I didn’t know where he lived or have any of his numbers”, he laughs. “So my
girlfriend did a bit of research on the Internet and it turned out that Tony had been in contact with an Australian fan that had set up a website. So I le her a message. I didn’t hear anything for months then Tony rang me out of the blue and we had a good chat.” This ill-fated reunion was to be short-lived however. The band got together for a one-oﬀ gig in May 2006 but musical inﬂuences had changed and as Coldwell candidly explains, “Tony punched Brian and that was the end of it.” East 17: The Reunion, a Channel Four documentary charting the band’s reunion in the lead-up to their comeback gig was helpful in getting their music back out there. “I think about four million people watched it when it initially went out. It did help us. To be honest we needed it because we were not getting any help from anyone. It’s not like we were Take That and people were throwing money at us.” However, the trio continue to tour the clubs and university circuit, which Coldwell prefers to the bigger stadium gigs they were used to back in the ﬂedgling days of their boy band youth. “I really like them, you’re up close and personal with the people who are going to be buying your records,” he explains. UCD students will have their chance to get up close and personal with Coldwell, Harvey et al at the UCD Ball in April.
th a cause to Fiona Redmond about continuing appeal of and appreciated Irish music groups in history Singing ballads was a regular part of Irish life, but Warﬁeld decided to make a career out of it. “In the late 50s and early 60s, I was quite interested in the Irish music scene because we oen travelled to the Fleadh Ceoil. But the main attraction for me was through hearing the Clancy Brothers who were very popular in America at that time. They brought Irish songs into a new dimension, onto a new
platform.” While the Wolfe Tones cover many Irish rebel songs and ballads, they also have a huge back catalogue of songs that they wrote themselves. According to Warﬁeld, writing a ballad is more diﬃcult than a normal song, as the ballad must be inspirational both to the song writer and the audience. “While writing these ballads there has to be a passion, you have to want to write the song, the idea has to be inspirational. When you’re writing about your own country, your country’s history and your heritage, it’s diﬀerent to normal music.” The notion that the Wolfe Tones have a certain responsibility to uphold and preserve the Irish culture is not only apparent in their song writing skills, but also in their lengthy live shows. The group clearly have retained their
enjoyment and love of the live performance. “I’ve a number of places that I like to play”, Warﬁeld admits. “I like playing in America and we perform there quite oen. I particularly like Chicago because there is a great audience for us there.” The list of places they’ve played is extensive but Warﬁeld emphasizes the special importance of playing smaller venues. “I like playing to small communities that have had a strong Irish back-
ground for many years. I’ve played a lot of small communities in England and in the South of America. In Texas, for example, there wouldn’t be a large Irish community yet there still are people of Irish descent, who very actively value their heritage. I still get a great sense of satisfaction out of playing there because through us these people are staying in touch with Ireland. I think that’s the most satisfying aspect of my career, it’s so enjoyable.” The traditional music scene is still
going from strength to strength, with acts like Kíla and Damien Dempsey selling out shows across the country. “I do think that traditional Irish music is in a very strong position now”, acknowledges Warﬁeld. “It’s deﬁnitely not as weak as it was back in the 1950s when we ﬁrst started.” With a successful career spanning nearly half a decade and plenty of concerts in the pipeline, it’s likely that the Wolfe Tones are only going to continue to ﬂourish.
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1st April 2008
Counting sheep Cathy Buckmaster talks to James, an insomniac, about the serious affects of the disorder and examines the difficulties experienced by those who suffer from narcolepsy, in a sleep disorder special James feels absolutely exhausted but is lying painfully awake yet again, staring at the ceiling, and trying to clear his head of numerous thoughts or worries when all he wants to do is to nod oﬀ. If this story sounds familiar, you could be suﬀering from the surprisingly common sleep ailment, insomnia. James, a UCD student explains the diﬃculties of living with this underestimated illness. “I only really have been suﬀering from insomnia for the last two or three years. It’s pretty horrible. It has been getting worse over the last while. When it started out, it was just before the Leaving Cert when the exams were coming up. Now, a lot of the time, I’m awake all night, just over little things. “I remember when I mentioned it to a friend, they thought it must be a great help for late night essays but it’s actually not, it’s the opposite. You might be up, but you’re so tired, far too tired to do anything. It is just really stressful. All you want to do is sleep and you can’t. It’s awful.” Sleep problems are quite common among young people and while this form of insomnia is not life-threatening, it can be hugely distressing, frustrating and depressing, making the problem worse. There are two broad types of insomnia; chronic insomnia is the most serious and may last several months. Transient insomnia generally only lasts for a few days or weeks and is linked to stress or sometimes bereavement. “For me, it comes and goes. I could go for three months and be grand and then I would have a week or two that was really bad where I’d get maybe one or two hours of sleep
a night. “I would say stress is the main factor and just having too many thoughts in my head when I’m trying to get to sleep. If I get stressed about an essay deadline or exam, I might not be able to sleep for a few days beforehand. “Recently over Christmas, I just couldn’t sleep. I’d be awake for ten hours and couldn’t get to sleep until ten in the morning and then I’d be up again two hours later. I
sleeping tablets or some sort of pills and I don’t want to be dependant on drugs to get to sleep.” Experts suggest that insomniacs should exercise regularly, go to bed only when they feel very tired, leave their beds at the same time each day and try to relax mentally and physically before going to bed. This can be done by bathing or going for a short walk. They warn against taking stimulants such as alcohol before bed, going to bed when one is wound up, eating, drinking or smoking during the night. James explains that alcohol will deﬁnitely put him to sleep but explains why he avoids this as oen as possible. “When I go out and have a few pints, I’d fall asleep straight away but at the same time I don’t want to rely on that either as it could lead to alcoholism and more problems.” As for counteracting it, James explains how he tries to get on with things. “I don’t let it get to me. I try to be calm about it because if I stress out, it’s just going to lead to longer periods of time without sleep. I just try to stay calm about it and try to realise it will sort itself out.”
“It is just really stressful. All you want to do is sleep and you can’t. It’s awful” couldn’t do anything for those two weeks. I was too exhausted to go anywhere.” As for coping with sleep depravation while attending lectures and doing essays and exams, James explains that it negatively aﬀects his work but that illnesses like insomnia are not generally taken into account by lecturers. “I do ﬁnd myself not being able to pay attention and therefore don’t take notes which can be a nightmare when assessments are due. The worst thing about it is that I don’t think lecturers are aware that a lot of people are aﬀected by insomnia and that it does aﬀect college work. “People tend to brush it away saying things like ‘you can’t sleep, big deal.’ I’m reluctant to see a doctor as all they’d probably do is prescribe
For prolonged cases of insomnia, it is recommended that a doctor is consulted, who can advise the patient about lifestyle changes he or she can make to help overcome the condition. Alternative medicines such as hypnotherapy have also had degrees of success with some suﬀerers.
For further information about insomnia and its aﬀects, visit the Insomnia Health File at www. vhi.ie.
Sleep attack Imagine walking around college with your friends on your way to get coﬀee when all of a sudden a paralysis takes over your body, your neck slackens, you can’t move your legs, you get disturbingly drowsy and without warning, you’re fast asleep. An incident like this is only too common for someone suﬀering from narcolepsy. A disorder marked by unwarranted daytime tiredness, the individual falls asleep suddenly and uncontrollably, experiencing a sudden loss of muscle tone (or cataplexy), usually lasting up to thirty minutes. Cataplexy aﬀects 75 percent of people with narcolepsy and is the most dramatic symptom, generally caused by strong feelings of emotion. It causes the knees to buckle and the neck muscles to slacken during a sleep attack. In extreme cases, the suﬀerer can become paralyzed and fall to the ﬂoor. However, even as it is frightening, the loss of muscle tone is temporary, lasting from a few seconds to half an hour. Other symptoms of this illness include temporary sleep paralysis which is a worrying incapacity to move just aer awakening. Hallucinations can accompany narcolepsy and whether audio or visual can be frightening experiences that occur while asleep. People used to dealing with narcolepsy explain that the sleepiness a narcoleptic experiences can be compared to the feeling of trying to stay awake aer not sleeping for two days. Some may even appear to continue to
function outwardly during an episode, even appearing to continue with simple tasks occupying them at the time. However, when they awake, they will almost certainly have no memory of the event. The condition can be dangerous if the symptoms happen while the suﬀerer is engaged in a task such as driving. Narcolepsy can also impair performance in school or at work. Narcolepsy is linked to the deepest part of sleep known as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, when dreaming takes place. When a non-suﬀerer falls asleep, they will probably experience 90 minutes of light sleep which is then followed by REM. People with narcolepsy enter REM sleep immediately. Symptoms of narcolepsy usually appear during person’s teenage years or their twenties. In general, the ﬁrst symptom is an overwhelming feeling of fatigue. Aer several months or years, cataplexy and other symptoms may appear. While there is no cure for narcolepsy, medication is available to counter its affects and anyone experiencing symptoms should contact their doctor immediately. Changing one’s lifestyle can help to alleviate the condition, and a balanced diet and plenty of exercise are also helpful. To learn more about the condition and the available treatments, visit the Narcolepsy Information Page of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/.
Leanne Cummins, Veterinar y Medicine What are you wearing? My jeans are from BT2, my Olga de Polga Cardigan is from BT2, my patent bag is from Urban Outfitters, and my necklace is from Chanel and my blazer from Topshop. Who or what inspires your style? Twiggy and Gemma Ward, an Australian model.
James D. Murphy, 2nd year Arts What are you wearing? rs, My jeans are from Urban Outfitte irt T-sh my nys, my socks from Pen t from American Apparel, my coa h watc my and r Bea and Pull from from Casio.
Siren iren THE
1st April 2008
Patrick Murphy, Psychology
Shane Leahy, Ar ts
Emma Crowley, Ar ts
What are you wearing?
What are you wearing? My T-shirt is from Topman, my my jeans are from Urban Outfitters, my ce, Offi from e vers Con shoes are leather jacket is from The Harlequin, a second-hand shop.
What are you wearing? s My mack is from Topshop, my jean Top from also are ers and my runn shop, my shirt is from Zara and my my earrings are from Topshop and rs. fitte Out bag is from Urban
e? Who or what inspires your styl Johnny Borrell (Razorlight), Jared iFollowill (Kings of Leon) and mus . cians in general
Who or what inspires our style? People on the street, bands, Kate Moss, the Olsen twins and Alexa Cheung (a British TV presenter)
My tracksuit top is from Adidas, my trousers are from Tailors and my shoes are from Converse. Who or what inspires our style? Convenience
e? Who or what inspires your styl nin. Dur an Ciar Sir
e r u t u o c s u p Cam the UCD campus to find und aro s tter dse tren le nab hio fas the es gat rro Sarah Oâ€™Hegarty inte inspirations out where they shop and where they get their
Victor Ekanem, Sports Management
Robbie Moore, Ar ts
What are you wearing?
What are you wearing?
My jeans are from River Island, my jacket is from River Island, my jumper is from Jack and Jones and my runners are from K-Swiss. Who or what inspires your style? People on the street and footballers.
My jacket is from Genius, my hoodie is from Topman, my jeans and shoes are from Topman. Who or what inspires your style? No one person, different bands and music in general.
Eleanor Hutch Arts
Nicola Quigley, Arts
What are you wearing?
What are you wearing?
My boots are from Pennys, my cardigan is from H&M, top is from Urban Outfitters, my skirt is from Topshop, my belt is from Urban Outfitters and my bag is from H&M. Who or what inspires your style? Magazines
Sarah McKendry, Architecture What are you wearing?
My dress is from Urban Outfitters and my jeans and my run p. ners are from Topsho
My dress is from Chica, my coat ts is from Debenhams and my boo are from Topshop.
Who or what inspires your style?
Who or what inspires your style?
My flatmates, Marion and Aoife, and the high-street shops.
1st April 2008
Magic of the movies Cian Taaffe tallies up the votes to reveal what the students of UCD have chosen as their top ten favourite films of all time The students have been polled, the votes are in, the scores have been counted. Get your Xtra Vision cards at the ready, stock up on popcorn and if there’s any films on this list of ten that you’ve somehow neglected to see up until now, you’ve probably been living under a rock, so dust off the DVD player and get watching. Let the countdown commence.
corrupt prince, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Maximus is a general, who becomes a slave, who then becomes a Gladiator and takes down the Roman empire. Gladiator is a motivational film, that proves that when you put your mind to something, even the destruction of an empire. “What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” - Maximus
10. Finding Nemo Ever since Toy Story, Disney and Pixar animations have been the most popular children’s movies, but the older audience tend to enjoy them just as much. In 2003, came Finding Nemo, the story of a clown fish, Marlin, and his forgetful companion, Dory, in their attempt to find his son, Nemo. With vegetarian sharks and surfer sea turtles, this family feature is a laugh a minute. “I suffer from short term memory loss. It runs in my family. At least I think it does. Where are they?” - Dory
7. Die Hard Bruce Willis took on the role as John McClane for the first time in 1988, in the Godfather of all blockbuster movies, Die Hard. With Alan Rickman in tow as criminal mastermind Hans Gruber, Die Hard is one action-packed, explosionfilled, laughter-stuffed, two-hour-long rollercoaster ride. The dialogue between McClane and Hans is hilarious, but the action will have you on the edge of your seat, no matter how many times you’ve already seen the film. “Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister.” – John McClane
9. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Possibly the most quoted comedy flick of the last decade, Anchorman, tells the story of Ron Burgundy and his temptestuous relationship with his rival Veronica Corningstone, a new co-anchor on the Channel 4 News Team. Will Ferrell is at his best, Paul Rudd is brilliant as always and Steve Carell’s career blossomed aer his part in this film. Anchorman can be watched over and over again and manages to remain painfully funny each time. “I’m in a glass case of emotion.” – Ron Burgundy 8. Gladiator Russell Crowe seeks vengeance, as Maximus Decimus Meridius in this epic drama, for the murder of his family by a
6. Braveheart Mel Gibson stars in this epic adventure that follows the fortunes of William Wallace, a Scot who returns to his own country in the 13th century to help unite his fellowmen in the quest to overthrow the domineering English, who have ruled over Scotland for 100 years. Braveheart also stars veteran Irish actors Brendan Gleeson and Sean McGinley and is a stirring and exciting masterpiece, with some brilliant battle scenes “Would you be willing, for one chance - just one chance - to tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom?” – William Wallace
John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken and Uma Thurman, amongst others, Pulp Fiction was bound to be a hit from the word ‘go’. Four tales, from four different perspectives, are intertwined in the telling of this twisted tale. Throw in an amazing soundtrack for good measure and Pulp Fiction is a modern day masterpiece. “Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happened to pull this shit while I’m in a transitional period so I don’t wanna kill you, I wanna help you.” – Jules Winnfield
5. Donnie Darko Richard Kell’s 2001 indie film, Donnie Darko (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) has confused and intrigued film-goers since its release. It takes two or three viewings of the film to comprehend what exactly is going on, but the fact that you are forced to piece together what is happening is what viewers seem to love most about it. “Do you want your sister to lose weight? Tell her to get off the couch, stop eating twinkies and maybe go out for field hockey.” – Donnie Darko 4. Fight Club Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena
Bonham Carter star in this 1999 psychadelic thriller, which revolves around Tyler Durden (Pitt) and the rise and fall of the Fight Club, a global organisation dedicated to the venting of male aggression. However, as both the first and second rules of Fight Club are not to talk about Fight Club, you’ll have to watch the film to find out what it’s all about. “It’s only aer we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” – Tyler Durden
3. Pulp Fiction Directed by Quentin Tarantino and featuring a stellar cast of Bruce Willis,
2. Forrest Gump Until you’ve seen the world through the eyes of Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, you haven’t really seen what the world is truly like. Forrest isn’t the sharpest tool in the box and isn’t exactly your average movie hero, but he is a film character who has warmed the hearts of many. Have a box of tissues at the ready, as this film is a tear-jerker. “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” – Forrest Gump 1. The Shawshank Redemption Surprise, surprise, The Shawshank Redemption rolls into the number one spot. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins steal the show in this 1994 classic. The Shawshank Redemption, is unlike other prison dramas, as the film itself is not only about breaking out of prison, it’s about breaking free from all of life’s worries, and starting afresh. Truly inspirational. “Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes really, pressure and time - that and a big goddamn poster.” - Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding
Fowl play at the Eurovision Q: How are you feeling now that you know you’re going to compete in the Eurovision as Ireland’s representative? Dustin: I’m feeling good Aoife. Are you one of those Ugg Boot wearing little cuties from UCD? Q: You have received a lot of criticism as a result of your win. What do you make of this? Has your opposition a point or do you have anything to say on the matter? Dustin: I think it’s fair enough, great art always divides people – Mozart, Picasso, Donna and Joe and meself – we’ve all had our critics and that’s ok. Obviously, in my case, none of it is valid and they are just a bunch of washed up has-beens jumping on my bandwagon looking for some attention. Q: In your song you list Wogan’s wig, Bono’s pants, Johnny Logan, Guinness, Dana, Westlife, Riverdance and the Corrs. Is this Ireland to you? Dustin: Well obviously you haven’t listened to the song, but don’t worry as a student nobody would expect you
Dustin the Turkey speaks to Aoife Ryan about Bob Geldof, Terry Wogan’s wig, and representing Ireland at this year’s Eurovision to have done any research – no mention at all of Guinness, Dana, Westlife, The Corrs (who?) or Bono’s pants. To me Ireland is many things, but most of all it’s my home and in many ways it’s the Eurovision’s home so all I want to do is bring it home. Q: You also mention briefly all the immigration of modern Ireland, like newcomers from Lithuania, Bosnia, Poland, Georgians, Czechs etc. What do you make of modern Ireland and all of our cultural changes? Dustin: I love them all, especially the ones that can get their mates at home to vote for us. Q: Bob Geldof gave you great support about your song. Have you thanked him or have you been talking to him since he called you a national treasure? Are you a fan of Live Aid and his work?
Dustin: The lad won’t leave me alone, smell off him is brutal. He wants to come to Serbia but they’ve a “no crust” rule at the Eurovision so he hasn’t a hope of getting in. Q: Do you think you have a good chance? Have you been talking to other acts from Europe? What are they like do you know?
to sort a rocket for the final bit. Dustin: I met Chiki Chiki last week in Barcelona; he’s the Spanish entry. Looks like something from a 70’s Showband from Crumlin.
Q: What are you going to be doing after this? Dustin: Running for Mayor of London.
Q: Do you know if any other animals are going to be taking part?
Q: Would you consider America?
Dustin: Yes. Would you? Maybe we could get two J1’s and go live in a Dustin: One two bed apt with 34 other Paddies of the birds in Boston for the summer, eh? is a bit of a woof woof, Q: Do you think your image does that count? and attitude will change if you win and shoot to the top? Q: How are rehearsals going? Is there Dustin: I’m already at the top. much involved? Q: What has been the Dustin: Great, loads best moment so far? – just trying Dustin: The look on Dana’s face when I won. Priceless.
1st April 2008
Naughty nature Strange Wilderness is Fred Wolf’s take on the world of a wildlife documentarymaker. This rollercoaster ride features some mostly new faces in comedy such as Steve Zahn, Jonah Hill and Justin Long but also throws in veterans Allen Covert and Robert Patrick. This movie is not for those lacking an expansive and liberal sense of humour, as it is highly oﬀensive at times and a certain F word is used excessively. Hilarity reigns throughout the ﬁlm as we follow Peter Gaulke’s (Steve Zahn) journey to track down Bigfoot and save his failing wildlife show. He assembles a unique team of horny, alcoholic, drug-addicted young men and of
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course the token innocent, attractive damsel whose mind has yet to be corrupted. The movie uses mostly slapstick comedy but what is most impressive is the dialogue between the two leading characters. Their arguments between each other are priceless and will leave you in a hysterical ﬁt of laughter. However, there are some pitfalls when certain scenes go a bit too far. The ending is too prolonged, and many of the jokes become
repetitive and overused. One shouldn’t expect anything new and unique in this ﬁlm; it’s basically the same old stuﬀ we’re used to seeing in the likes of Superbad and American Pie. S t r a n g e Wilderness is shocking, obscene and oﬀensive, and the one thing guaranteed in this ﬁlm is a laugh or two.
Not so funny games ■
Funny Games nnnnp
In 1997, Austrian director and writer Michael Haneke wrote and produced a fantastic psychological horror ﬁlm in German, called Funny Games, about two sadistic brothers, Peter and Paul, who terrorise a family in their countryside home. Over a decade later, seeing that there was money to be made from this concept, a Hollywood producer with dollar signs in his eyes decided to remake this ﬁlm in English, for those too lazy to read the German subtitles.
Usually a remake of a ﬁlm of this genre would end badly, but luckily the original writer and director, Haneke, stayed on board and directed the US version, ultimately saving the ﬁlm from disastrous results. The ﬁlm is a scene by scene re-make. All that has changed is the actors and the fact that the ﬁlm is now in English rather than German, otherwise the sets, costumes and story is almost identical and at times you’d think the exact same sets and props were used. Naomi Watts and Tim Roth take on the roles of Anne and George in this re-make, while Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet play Paul and Peter. The acting is up to scratch and the actors stay true to the characters, which should keep fans of the original satisﬁed. Funny Games has quite a disturbing plot, so don’t let the title fool you - there is absolutely nothing funny about the games that Peter and Paul play. If you saw and liked the original, you’ll enjoy the re-make, but don’t expect any new twists or turns. If you haven’t seen the original and don’t mind subtitles, check it out, otherwise this re-make is just as good.
Prehistoric pyramids When we sit down to watch a ﬁlm, we are expected to be open-minded and to ignore our disbelief of the unrealistic, but Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC really takes the biscuit and leaves the viewer wondering if the writers ever attended a single history lesson back in their school days. Historically, the ﬁrst pyramid was built in approximately 2,750 BC, but this ﬁlm, clearly set in 10,000 BC (hence the title) shows pyramids being constructed at that time. If this was a science ﬁction feature, about the space time continuum, pyramids in 10,000 BC would be understandable, but as it’s not and as the pyramids were unneccesary to the plot,
we must wonder what the writers were thinking. Even if one can get over the pyramid ﬁasco, 10,000 BC remains a dire ﬁlm. The ‘hero’ of the piece, D’Leh (Steven Strait), if you could go as far as to refer to him as a hero, has the acting abilities of a sock puppet, and the viewer ﬁnds themself not caring in the slightest about the fate of the supporting characters. The computer-generated graphics used for the extinct animals such as the Woolly Mammoths, the Saber-Tooth Tiger and the
Phorusrhachids are awful, and a slightly talented four-year old could have done a much better job. 10,000 BC’s only redeeming feature is the breathtaking good looks of the leading actress, Camille Belle, who unfortunately could not act her way out of a paper bag. Ultimately the problem with 10,000 BC is that the producers weren’t sure whether to aim it at children or at an older audience, which leaves us with a middleof-the-road potential epic, which was ruined because some muppet in Hollywood attempted to aim it at the entire family to ensure maximum proﬁt.
A brief romance Before Sunrise is an accomplishment for director Richard Linklater - it is a great idea and a superb experiment in human interaction, as well as being an extremely well-executed piece. It concentrates on one fateful meeting of two people on a train going through Vienna, Jesse (Ethan Hawke), an American coming to the end of his travels in that Austrian city, and Celine (Julie Delpy), a French girl on her way
Before Sunrise (1995)
back home to Paris aer visiting her Grandmother in Budapest. The two get talking on the train, they go to the dining car and we gradually see their relationship blossom. They reach Vienna where Jesse has to get oﬀ, as he has a plane to catch ﬁrst thing in the morning, and he convinces Celine to get oﬀ and keep him company until
then. The rest of the ﬁlm follows the pair around Vienna until their goodbye the next day. It is one of the most beautiful ﬁlms one will ever see; we learn about their lives and see their personalities become fuller. We learn about them as they learn about each other. Their conversations tend to revolve around relationships and the idea of love, and we can see that these two should stay together
but they are resigned to the fact that they may never meet again, yet this is not shown in a depressing way. This ﬁlm is stunning and it really does emphasize the great things that can come out of taking that chance –
that one should never be afraid to make that leap because you never know how it’s going to turn out.
Racial tensions Susanne O’Reilly reviews Sue Monk Kidd’s bestselling novel, The Secret Life of Bees, a novel dealing with the sensitive issues of race and domestic violence. ■ ■
The secret life of bees Sue Monk Kidd nnnnp
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd tells the story of Lily Owens, a fourteen year old white girl, living on a peach farm in South Carolina in the 1960s. Inevitably, the issue of race is a predominant theme in the book, but is dealt with diﬀerently here than in other books such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Religion and love are also pretty important themes in this story, yet despite the heavy topics clearly weighing on Monk Kidd’s mind, she still manages to write a thoroughly enjoyable, suspenseful novel. The protagonist lives with her violent father, T. Ray, and their black housekeeper Rosaleen, who has a rather disgusting habit of chewing tobacco and spitting the juice into a small jug every few minutes. When Lily was four years old, her mother died when Lily accidentally shot her, while trying to stop T. Ray doing the same thing. She le Lily with nothing but a pair of gloves, a photograph of herself, and a picture of a Black Madonna with ‘Tiburon, S.C.’ inscribed on the back. Lily is something of a social outcast at school, and classes Rosaleen as her only friend. So when Rosaleen decides to go and register to vote, Lily tags along with her. In an incident involving tobacco-spit and three white men, Rosaleen ends up beaten and handcuﬀed to a bed in hospital, facing quite a stretch in jail. Naturally, Lily does what any good friend would do – packs her bags and breaks her housekeeper out of hospital. The odd couple then hitchhikes their way to Tiburon on Lily’s
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whim, where they discover that the picture of the Black Madonna is used to label pots of honey in all the local stores. And so Lily and Rosaleen end up knocking on honey-maker August Boatwright’s door, where Lily spins a story about being an orphan on her way to visit an aunt in Virginia. Bob’s your uncle, August takes them both into her home. August has two sisters: May, whose twin sister killed herself when they were teenagers, leaving her severely emotionally damaged; and June, who doesn’t fall for Lily’s story and makes life as diﬃcult for her as possible, for a while at least. They are beekeepers, and make a decent living from the honey produced by their many hives. Lily and Rosaleen work for their bed and board, and Lily quickly comes to love August and her way of life. She also meets Zach, a young black man who aspires to be a lawyer, and she falls in love with him. In the living room is a statue of a black Virgin Mary, which August and her friends pray to and use as a symbol of their equality and freedom. Lily becomes fascinated with the statue, and asks constantly for the courage to tell August the truth. One day, her wish is granted, but her story is wasted on August, who already knew the truth; Lily’s mother had lived with her for some time before she met T. Ray. What Lily did not want to know was the full story of the day her mother died, and the events leading up to it, which are far worse than she ever imagined. With the help of her new friends, Lily must come to terms with the truth, and face up to T. Ray one last time. Although the ending could have been more satisfying, the story as a whole is thoroughly enjoyable, with a host of likeable, believable characters. The Secret Life of Bees is a poignant, bittersweet coming-of-age story with more than a few twists and turns.
■ Sue Monk Kidd: Best-selling author of The Secret Life of Bees
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It’s easy to dislike chick lit – the characters can be one-dimensional, the plot can be either predictable or simply non-existent – but surprisingly, not all chick lit is that bad. For those whose reading list doesn’t have to synchronise with the Booker Prize short-list, there is a range of funny, light-hearted and romantic options to choose from. The Bridget Jones’ Diary books, by Helen Fielding, have more to them than meets the eye. They parody the entire genre of chick lit in a hilarious take on modern womanhood. Fielding brilliantly captures the tension between the quest to be a successful, independent woman, and the need to have love in your life. For all the silly things that befall Bridget, she is a realistic role model and an intelligent woman who tries not to depend on men – but who secretly sees herself running along a beach with love-rat Daniel Cleaver as though they’re in a Calvin Klein ad. Even though Bridget Jones is extremely exaggerated there are sentiments in both books that ring true for many women. Like getting drunk and sending everyone in your address book (including your plumber) really embarrassing text messages, or bitching about your friend’s horrible ex-boyfriend to cheer her up, only to have her get back together with him and tell him everything you said. Bridget Jones is laugh-out-loud funny, and provides a vivid insight into the doubts and insecurities of that are part of the lives of women
and men everywhere. The queen of chick lit is currently Meg Cabot. Best known for writing The Princess Diary series, (vaguely entertaining if you’re fourteen, but highly irritating aer that), Cabot has written a number of books for adults, but these are not nearly as enjoyable as the Bridget Jones series. She is presently engaged in writing a series of detective stories, about a former pop star called Heather Wells, who is infatuated with her landlord. As Anthony Lane once wrote about Charlie’s Angels, “If a is the number of obviously good people, and b is the number of darkly suspicious people, then the number of interesting characters in the movie should, whenever possible, be greater than (a + b).” Meg Cabot should have taken Lane’s advice; even the dimmest of readers would be able to point out the baddie aer reading the ﬁrst few pages of A Size 12 is Not Fat. Although Meg Cabot has a good sense of humour, and the books are entertaining to read, they are best kept for long ﬂights, or for when you have the ﬂu. Most of Meg Cabot’s heroines are a bit dense – they blunder about, feeling sorry for themselves while the guy of their dreams is obviously already in love with them. The problem with writing a series is that you can’t let the girl get the guy in the ﬁrst few books, meaning that the reader starts to think that the heroine is blind, eventually realising that the writer is probably only prolonging the story to make more money.
Then there’s Janet Evanovich, whose detective stories are a lot more believable than those of Meg Cabot. The Stephanie Plum series is hilarious, with a large cast of quirky supporting characters and amusing situations. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter with a pet hamster called Rex. In each book, one of her charges leads her into a crime investigation. She is torn between two men; Joe Morelli, a cop with Italian heritage and a voracious sexual appetite, and Ranger, who is dark and mysterious, and seems to have an inexhaustible supply of hot black cars. Again, the formula gets old quickly, and even though Evanovich is still churning out a book every two years or so, only the ﬁrst six or seven are really good and original. The ﬁrst one of the series is called One for the Money. Looking at these two writers, one can only conclude that it is a good thing that Helen Fielding stopped while she was ahead, and only wrote two Bridget Jones books. When a writer tries to prolong a series it helps if there is a plausible plot; otherwise the subsequent books are even more frustrating to read than the ﬁrst. Still, Evanovich and Cabot are good fun, especially when there are no tall, dark, intelligent men to be found in your own life, and the workload is piling up. Bridget Jones, on the other hand is a modern classic, and is well worth reading, proof that the genre of chick lit has its stars.