D U B L I N
U N I V E R S I T Y
S T U D E N T
N E W S P A P E R
Championship win for DU Boat Club p19
Tuesday, October 10th, 2006
News Trinity mourns as Buttery bar closes p2
Features Schol system to be reviewed p4
Opinion John McGuirk on the PDs p10
Opinion Edward Gaffney on violent Islam p11
Science Wind as the future of energy p15
Travel Wild expanses of Patagonia p16
Sport Zidane movie is a work of art p17
Sport DU Football Club hosted by Penn State Uni p19
Phil confusion sees 760 students disappointed Anna Stein An interview with Tommy Tiernan at a meeting of the University Philosophical Society last Thursday night was marred by a mix up with tickets which left an estimated 760 society members high and dry when the dining hall reached its capacity and they were turned away. However, those who had made it in also saved seats for others in the hope that they'd get in later which resulted in roughly 15 unoccupied seats which would gladly have been filled by some of those outside. In what some have suggested was a ploy to increase membership this year, The Phil sold tickets to their annual Club Philth night but told people that possession of a ticket would ensure priority seating for Tommy Tiernan’s talk. By Tuesday the interest had become so great that the society had to point out that that possession of a Club Philth ticket would not guarantee entry to Tiernan's performance, and they advised people to arrive early to avoid disappointment. In anticipation of the large numbers attending the event was transferred to the Dining Hall from its traditional home in the GMB . Phil President Daire Hickey later said that he regretted the necessity to break with tradition, but a guest such as Tommy Tiernan attracted such large crowds that the move was necessary. As there were 900 tickets sold and the Dining Hall has a capacity of 400 there were bound to be many disappointed people. However no one could have anticipated the size of the queues that began to gather throughout the evening. The first people in the queue arrived at 2.30, five hours early, so intent were they on getting in. As the size of the crowds grew College security insisted that crash barriers were
Tommy Tiernan hits the deck for 60 press-ups after a challenge from the Phil audience. President Daire Hickey looks on bemused. Photo: Alex Gray put in place and the queue began to snake around the outsides of Front Square. When the doors finally closed on the lucky 400 inside, security estimated that 760 people had been left out side and were not particularly happy about it. Most milled around outside for about half an hour, however a few of the more disgrun-
tled wrote disparaging remarks about the Phil on the ground outside the GMB and banged repeatedly on the dining hall doors. However, eventually good will prevailed, with many people going instead to the Céilí that was being held in the Buttery at the same time. Some enterprising people tried to sneak in through the
back entrance from the Buttery downstairs, only to be met with an unflinching security presence. Even for those lucky enough to get inside the evening was not one of unalloyed joy as in order to keep the chaos to a minimum there was no access to the toilets in the Dining Hall whilst security
clarified how many people were in the hall. Due to the number of people outside and the possible threat that they presented to Mr Tiernan's safety he was forced to enter and exit via the kitchen
Leading society heads Quinn loses denied student cards one horse race Anna Stein
David Hasslehof Oliver Stone Goo Goo Dolls Lush Giveaway
In a break with precedent James O'Brien, the Auditor of The Hist and Daire Hickey, President of The Phil, have been denied student cards during their year “off books”. This action could leave them in a vulnerable position both within the university and within their societies. Without possession of a student card either could be asked to leave campus at any time, and are prevented from being on campus after twelve, as well as not being able to frequent The Pav. The issue is further complicated by the fact that both O’Brien and Hickey are residents in College. Thus both could be ejected from their rooms after midnight, despite the fact that College has granted them the rooms in full knowledge of their pending year “off books”. The rooms were granted before the expiration of their student cards. A student card from the previous year is valid until October 31st of the following year, and
both have taken up residence before the expiration of their student cards. They have since been informed by the Registrar of Chambers that the terms of their occupancy may come under review, and the possibility exits that they may be evicted. However Hickey has stated that he believes his rooms are “not in jeopardy”. O’Brien, on the other hand, has not made a similar statement, despite being asked the same question. While the denial of a student card presents problems associated with accommodation, the possibility also exists that both may of lose their elected positions, as the constitutions of both The Hist and The Phil state that the Auditor and President respectively must be students of the College. Without a student card both Hickey and O’Brien run the risk of being impeached. Colm Kearney, the Senior Lecturer is responsible for the decision to deny them student cards. It is not known if he is aware of the ramifications of his decision. Conspiracy theorists have suggested that the refusal to grant student cards this year to O’Brien and Hickey was a
O’Brien: denied card response to a letter signed by them both that was sent to the Junior Dean protesting the change of the rules governing alcohol restrictions on campus. Hickey has said he believes “ there is no connection between the letter to the Junior Dean which I signed and the position College has taken on the issue of student cards. These are two separate issue being delt with by separate College offices.”
Trinity’s Students’ Union President David Quinn recently lost an uncontested election for Environmental Officer of the Union of Students in Ireland. The election was held at USI National Congress in UCC on the weekend of September 23rd. Each student union president voted on behalf of their college, with approximately 80% voting for “RON”, or re-open nominations. Quinn did not attend the Council himself, nor did he arrive at any time to canvas for himself. The president of UCC’s student union, Richard Morrisroe, felt that it was not a good idea for a union president to hold the position. Morrisroe has held dual sabbatical positions himself, and stated that “it affected my personal life and it affected both jobs.” He also noted that Quinn’s “primary responsibility is to his 15 and a half thousand students.” As an example, he pointed to University of Ulster’s deputy president of last year, who lasted only three months as USI Irish Officer before the pressure of dual positions
became too much. Another source told Trinity News that Quinn is also perceived by some to be incredibly ambitious, and is believed to have run for the position despite having no genuine interest in its duties. Quinn’s non-appearance at National Council is unlikely to impress these critics. It was also mentioned that some resentment existed over the redundancies in the Student Travel Agency in which SIPTU was involved. USI and SIPTU have been involved in a co-operation agreement since 2001, which was revamped in 2004 to maintain a strong connection. At the time, then-USI President Will Priestly said “I would like to thank SIPTU for the support they have given to a number of student related campaigns” and emphasised the many advantages cooperation with SIPTU provides. It remains to be seen if recent events have damaged the Trinity Union’s relationships with USI members. • Resolution of Students’ Union redundancy scandal leaves serious questions over use of loan funds. See page 3.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Greens’ leader rules against Bertie at Hist David Molloy
Green Party leader Trevor Sargent took the throne at the Hist’s debate last Wednesday. Photo: Mark Kearney
External defibrillators acquired In an act of collaboration the Health Centre, Department of Sport, and Students Union have acquired several external defibrillators to put around college. External defibrillators apply an electric shock to the entire heart muscle, clearing all activity from the heart and allowing it to resynchronise. The defibrillators will be placed in strategic locations around college and there will be certain members of staff in each location trained to use them. Defibrillators cost on average $2300 and make a dramatic impact upon survival chances. If treatment is administered within 2 minutes the survival rate is 80%. With every minute that passes the rate of survival decreases by 10%.
Honorary degrees conferred Five people were conferred with degrees honoris causa from the University of Dublin on 7th July. Dr Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Colombia University and the UN Millennium Project as well as being a special advisor to Kofi Annan was awarded a Doctor in Laws in recognition of his work to combat world poverty. Another recipient of an honorary degree was Charles Handy who is known for his work on management issues and organsiational behavior, as well as formerly holding the position of Professor of Business Management at the London Business School. Maureen Harding Clark, an Irish jurist who sits on the International Criminal Court received a Doctor in Laws degree, as did Paul Haran a former Secretary General of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Finally Gunnar Fant of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, was awarded a Doctor in Science. He is best known for his pioneering work in the field of speech generation.
Henry not to seek Seanad re-election Dublin University Senator Mary Henry will not stand for re-election to Seanad Eireann next year. Henry has held one of the three seats uninterrupted since 1993. Ivana Bacik, Reid Professor of Law, is touted for Henry’s seat.
TD Trevor Sargent last week ruled against the Taoiseach’s staying in office during a debate at the College Historical Society. The debate was chaired by Sargent, Leader of the Green Party, who chose to use his closing summary as an opportunity to present his own anti-Fianna Fáil views. The speakers had some interesting points to make. Those in favour of the motion made much of Bertie’s dishonesty, drawing comparisons with Charlie Haughey, while Eoin Casey argued that the Taoiseach’s apology was “like the apology a child makes to avoid a slap.” The opposition relied heavily on Bertie’s compliance with the tribunal of inquiry, and the fact that his lie was one of omission – that he did not, as speaker Morgan Shelley put it, “just come up at election time and say publicly” that he had received the money. Mr Sargent had already decided. The motion was ruled in favour of Bertie leaving office by Sargent, who claimed he could not hear the equally loud roar of “nays” which followed the “ayes”. In his closing statement, Sargent brought up the event in February of 1993 in which he was assaulted by several of his fellow councillors in the Dáil after producing a £100 cheque he claimed had been sent to him by a property developer. The cheque, according to Sargent, was signed by Frank
Dunlop, a key witness in the Mahon tribunal, and was reportedly sent so that the developer’s letter would be read. During this skirmish, Sargent was famously held in a headlock by Cllr Don Lydon, who had strong connections to the rezoning fiasco of the Mahon tribunal. None of this was directly relevant to the debate. Mr Sargent has previously made his feelings towards Bertie Ahern clear. Earlier this year, he retold the story of his assault to the Dáil, asking Ahern: “is this acceptable behaviour in your party?” He also asked “what does a person have to do to get thrown out of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party?” The assault occurred during Ahern’s time as Minister for Finance, when Ahern would not have been in a position to remove anyone from Fianna Fáil as he only became party leader in November 1994. Nor were any of the suspect payments that are currently being discussed known about at the time. Sargent also interrupted a speaker at one point to excuse a Green Party colleague from possession of chemical shares. Green deputy Ciarán Cuffe was bequeathed the shares, and sold them on. Last week, an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon the Taoiseach by the National University of Ireland at Dublin Castle. Former Taoiseach Dr Garrett Fitzgerald was present as Chancellor of the NUI.
Student viewpoint Buttery Bar Photos: Martin McKenna “I've never been to The Buttery, but I feel like I've missed out. I was looking forward to going.” Eibhlish Fleming JF Drama Studies and French
“It's one of the parts of Trinity that you hear about and I'm disappointed that I won't have a chance to go there.” Lucy Wolahan JF Economic and Social Studies
“It's a good thing it's closing, I think it's a horrible place. There's no atmosphere.” Des McMullan JF Philosophy
Trinity mourns as Buttery bar closes Niall Hughes Returning students will have noticed by now that the Buttery bar is no more. A decision by the College’s Finance Committee sealed the fate of the watering hole on the 10th of May when it approved “the closure of the Buttery Bar other than for pre-booked events”. The decision of the committee was based on an external catering review which recommended the closure of the Buttery bar on the grounds of it’s unsustainable losses which had escalated above €100,000 per annum. By closing the Buttery bar, the director of Accommodation and Catering, Graham Daniels is also making both barmen in the Buttery redundant. Sean Keegan and Noel Roberts who have worked in the Buttery for 10 years and 17 years respectively will be greatly missed by those who have frequented the Buttery over the years. A dispute has arisen between the barmen and College over the amount of redundancy which will be paid out. The case is set to go to the Labour Relations Commission on 17th of October. Both Sean and Noel are still currently
working in the temporary bar set up in the Buttery cafeteria to cater for Ents events. The Buttery bar operated under a club licence which prevented it from trading at weekends or attracting members of the public into the bar. The club licence is actually owned by the students of the college and not College Catering although without a venue the licence is effectively useless. Three years ago the Students’ Union considered purchasing Lincoln’s Inn at the east end of College, near the Pav, and moving the licence there but the project was deemed to be economically unviable. Once a meeting point for all Trinity students, the Buttery has seen its status eroded over the past number of years with students choosing to either congregate in the Pav or drink at home rather than spend time in a bar similar to a cave. The closure leaves many student societies and clubs as well as Ents in limbo as the Pav is unable to accommodate events such as gigs, large table quizzes, comedy, etc. There had been an implicit agreement between College and students that The Buttery bar would remain open as a sole student venue of campus until a new student centre was made available.
Plans for the development of a Students’ Centre in Luce Hall are still in their infancy and don’t look to be coming into fruition anytime soon. When asked about the closure of the Buttery bar, Ents Officer Barry Murphy said “it’s a disgrace that Ireland’s leading university not only doesn’t have a student centre but now but now with the closure of the Buttery has lost its ability to put on events within College. I can understand that the buttery needs to close for financial reasons but college is providing students with no alternative venue for hosting events. At the moment there are only vague promises of a student centre in Luce Hall and how large it will be is yet to be determined. UCD, DIT and DCU all have student centres and this allows them to attract bigger acts and hold bigger events. Trinity is suffering because of our lack of resources.” A temporary bar will operate from now on in the Buttery cafeteria for events that are pre-booked for large crowds only. This means smaller clubs and societies will suffer and may lose out on vital fundraising opportunities such as table quizzes, which have been a stable feature of the Buttery in the past.
“I think it sucks that The Buttery is closing. It is essential in winter. You can't sit outside at The Pav when it's windy and raining.” Chris O’Lorcan SF European Studies
“It wasn't making any money so it was inevitable but is is a shame as now the dance soc will will have to go somewhere else.” Claire Brady SS English
Students’ Union unveils new common room plan David Molloy The Students’ Union is planning to open a common room in House 6 within the next three weeks. The room is planned for room 02B on the ground floor of the building, beside the student travel agency. The small room was formerly a union storage room. The completed room will feature a fully-networked computer room and casual seating. “The main function of this room will be to provide a space for volunteers and class reps where they can hang out” , said Students’ Union President David Quinn. Quinn added that “there will also be access to basic office equipment such as computers and printers in much the same
way as the Phil would operate”. “We think that the introduction of these facilities will be of great benefit to the Union and to the people that give up their time to get involved.” The most significant purpose of this new room is that it will finally give the Students’ Union a location to meet with wheelchair users. This has long been a much needed facility as the Students’ Union offices on the first floor of House 6 are non-wheelchair accessible. Its proximity to Front Arch is also a bonus as it eliminates the problem of nonwheelchair friendly cobblestones. Commenting on the possibility of using the room for this purpose, Officer for Students with Disabilities Ross Wynne stated that “a wheelchair accessible room would be a great facility and one I
whole-heartedly welcome. It is a positive step which sets an example to the rest of College to provide more facilities and common rooms to wheel-chair bound students, as well as to those with access needs more generally”. The Union has already procured most of the needed computer equipment, and is in the final stages of obtaining sponsorship for the remainder. Due to the small size of the room, it remains to be seen if it will be open to the general student population. Debate over who should have access to the room emerged when the Union initially indicated that it may be restricted to class reps. The Students’ Union has since indicated that the common room is likely to operate an open-door policy during the day.
“I can see why others may be upset but I haven't been here long enough to get attached to it.” Lorcan O’Carroll JF Pharmacy
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Redundancies resolved but more questions raised Niall Hughes
Lucky students at the top of the queue for Tommy Tiernan. Many waited for over two hours. Photo: Alex Gray
Comedy of errors Continued from p1 The event itself threw up a few surprise admissions. Tiernan told the assembled crowd that he "really loved" them, and invited them all to stop him on the street for a chat whenever they saw him around Dublin. He was expansive when telling the audience just how much he “emphasised" with them, and said that he was "honoured and delighted that [his] work means something to [them].” The questions covered a wide range of topics, from religion to politics, where he said that in his opinion George Bush was “deranged ... there is a very thin line between saying that God talks to you and saying “the voices in my head made me do it!”” When asked his views on Celtic Tiger Ireland he turned to Biblical references to describe how he viewed modern Ireland. He said that the Celtic Tiger was “the golden calf” and that he believed it was important for people to have more “noneconomic experiences” such as going to see a football match, or a gig. He also defended his sometimes controversial material by saying that “anyone you don't joke about you are refusing to deal with.” When asked which course he would take if he was a student at Trinity, Tiernan said he “would love to have the brains to have philosophy”. It was also revealed that
there is now a Tommy Tiernan Appreciation Society in College, with 150 members. Tiernan was informed of this, and asked if he would consider coming back to Trinity during Rag Week to do a gig, which he agreed to. A source from the Phil said that security were warned in advance that the crowds were expected to be large and were prepared although the number that arrived exceeded previous expectations. Daire Hickey robustly defended The Phil’s actions saying that the system that they had operated “was the best one that [we] could come up with ... it allowed the dedicated a chance to see Tiernan” and left the responsibility on the individual to arrive early. He pointed out that people had been informed that possession of a Club Philth ticket would not guarantee entry to see Tiernan when they bought the ticket. He did admit that the Phil had gained more members this year than in previous freshers' weeks, but he attributed this to the hard work of the committee over the months leading up to the week and the calibre of the guests that had been lined up, not to the mention the 1000 bottles of free beer that were given out over the course of the week. In a fit of pique Hickey did say “when you're successful people will always try to take a swipe at you.”
Poaching Dispute David Molloy Professor Michael Gibney, described by the Irish Times as “the State’s foremost nutritionist”, was enticed away from Trinity in favour of UCD this summer, taking his 19-strong research team with him. The move came at a controversial time when accusations of UCD poaching academic staff from other universities had been made. The poaching dispute began last year, when four or five research staff from DCU were approached by UCD and offered better facilities and conditions. The problem arises as the posts UCD were recruiting for were never advertised, and specific high-level members of staff were being targeted. None of these staff joined UCD. Professor Gibney claims that his move has nothing to do with the current controversy, and that he applied for an advertised post. “I recognised more than a decade ago that Trinity could never rival
University College Cork or the University of Ulster in nutrition research because nutrition, or indeed the broader subject of food and health, is not a priority subject for TCD”, Gibney said. “I was offered the post at a salary equal to existing UCD professorial levels and I accepted the post. That is not poaching.” The entire problem has been brought to a provisional end after the intervention of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Minister for Education Mary Hanafin said that “the relatively small size of individual Irish higher education institutions in international terms means that a collaborative approach is imperative if we are to achieve the full potential of the Government's investment in higher education.” Under government pressure, a new agreement endorsed by the presidents of the seven Irish universities has been created. UCD president Dr Hugh Brady had been reluctant to sign a first draft but endorsed the completed document in September, closing the lid on this dispute.
In a debacle that involved an industrial dispute, the threat of strike action and improper procedure, the Students’ Union has finally brought to a close their dispute with five full-time staff members recently made redundant. However it has can be revealed by Trinity News that while the Students’ Union received a €240,000 loan from College in May to pay for the redundancies, only €155,000 of this loan was actually used for this purpose The remainder of the loan will be used by the Students’ Union in its refitting of the House 6 shop in an attempt to look more like franchised newsagents such as Spar and Centra and also in redeveloping the office in House 6. This office was last redeveloped as recently as 2003. When contacted by Trinity News, current Students’ Union President David Quinn stressed that “The Students’ Union is now in a very comfortable financial position”. The redundancy scandal was sparked when a decision was taken in April by the Students’ Union that the positions of Accommodation and Employment Officer as well as Assistant Shop Manager in House 6 were no longer needed. A plan was then set out to make those two staff members redundant. Both employees had served over 16 years with the Students’ Union and, after what the the Union describes as an “extensive consultation process”, they were told that their jobs were untenable and they were being made redundant. Further redundancies were also on the cards as DU Student Travel operations were transferred from the Students’ Union to Club Travel. The Union staff employed in “DUST” opted for redundancy instead of accepting transfers to Club Travel. The Students’ Union however came
under fire from various bodies and individuals in College due to the timing of the five redundancies. The Union was accused of waiting until the quiet of the summer months in the hopes that their actions would go unnoticed. It is also believed that the Students’ Union attempted to make the staff members redundant as soon as possible so as to avoid paying redundancy to one member of the staff in DUST who was shortly due to be eligible for redundancy payments. The Union also came under fire as another of the travel staff was due to go on maternity leave when the redundancies were announced. The Students’ Union’s attempts to have the whole affair wrapped up within a month were unsuccessful, however, as it emerged that the Union President had failed to issue the five staff with written notices of redundancy. This blunder meant that the staff remained on the payroll for a number of weeks and relations between staff and the President deteriorated further. Negotiations over redundancy payments proved a major stumbling block as the five staff (represented by SIPTU) and Trinity’s Students’ Union (represented by IBEC) failed to come to agreement on the number of weeks payable to the disgruntled workers. The issue was referred to the Labour Relations Commission, which failed to provide a solution to the dispute. SIPTU subsequently threatened to picket the Students’ Union if their demands for eight weeks’ pay per year of service were not met. This was avoided, however, when after a Labour Court recommendation SIPTU grudgingly accepted four and a half weeks’ pay per year of service. The Union’s stance on why it would not pay more to its displaced workers was that it could simply not afford it and it even issued a press release stating that SIPTU was attempting to bankrupt them.
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8 NEWS FEATURES AND OPINION
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Impending review of Schols could see an overhaul of some of its major traditions Eimear Crowe Scholars, an elite few selected on the basis of their exceptional intellectual merit, are given the privilege of living, studying and eating in Trinity free of charge and have been a presence in this institution for as long as its foundation stones have been in place. Later this month, the findings of a review of the Scholarship – or “Schol” – examination will be published. It will be one of the few major reviews of the examination in its history and some of its considerations, such as the suggestion that the scholarship might be rewarded on the basis of the annual examination, could see an overhaul of some of its major traditions. Throughout the years, the Schol exam has always consisted of what the scholars’ website terms a “searching examination” which aims to diagnose students of the most exceptional ability. It is an optional exam taken during the three week break between Hilary and Trinity terms in either the Senior Freshman or Junior Sophister year. To attain the Scholarship students must receive an overall First in the exam by displaying a deep understanding and broad knowledge of that which is being examined, as well as demonstrating much originality and flair. The benefits of Scholarship to elected scholars are plenteous. Scholarships can be taken for up to five years and entitle scholars to free rooms in College, the waiving of any registration or postgraduate fees, and free Commons every night, consisting of a three course meal and glass of Guinness with which to wash it down. Some unlikely rumours surround the scholars, such as a right to graze their sheep, should they own any, on the grassy areas within campus, as well as a right to have a glass of port to accompany any exams they sit, so long as they wear swords at their sides. Such entitlements are not stipulated in the College Calendar. Whether they do exist somewhere in the College statutes in Latin so that they go unnoticed, or whether they are simply the fabrication of a certain senator is unknown. But what does Trinity get in return for this investment in scholars, which amounts to approximately €10,000 per scholar per year? There are currently about 350 scholars in College. According to the secretary of the Scholars’ Committee, David Rickard, the
Laura Cowley won the Scholarship on Trinity Monday this year. Photo: Communications Office primary benefit is that by rewarding and recognising such talent, the Scholarship “bonds these exceptional individuals to Trinity for life, where they better its reputation through postgraduate research”. In Michaelmas term of last year a working group was appointed by the Senior Lecturer, Professor Colm Kearney, in order to review the current method of Scholarship examination. The review will not affect the Scholarship itself, but will be concerned with the process of examining and electing scholars. Professor Ray Fuller, a member of the working group, told Trinity News that the review is “very timely”. According to Fuller the review arises because much evidence has emerged that many new staff seem to be unaware of the nature of Scholarship and also because some faculties have expressed a need to find divergent ways of assessing Scholarship, in that in some disciplines it appears to be more difficult to achieve the standard required for Scholarship than in others. While the review will consider briefly the implications that the proposed modularisation and semesterisation of Trinity would have for the Schol exam, it will not be the major consideration of the report. The major issues the review is dealing with is how to evolve a more egalitarian method of Schol examination across disciplines as well as what steps should be
Tá Bertie i ngátar a bhinse fhéin Pól Mulville Tá fadhb againn sa tír seo maidir le polaiteoirí ag tógáil airgid ó dhaoine saibhre, ar son a maitheas féin. Tá an fhadhb sin againn le fada anois. Mar gheall ar sin, bunaíodh an Taoiseach, Bertie Aherne, na binsí fiosrúcháin, “Na Binsí Fiosrúcháin maidir le Cúrsaí Áirithe Pleanála agus Íocaíochtaí”, chun ceisteanna a chur ar ár bpolaiteoirí agus chun an dlí a chur orthu dá mbeadh fianaise ann go bhfuair said íocaíochtaí éillitheacha. Caidé an toradh is mó a tháinig go fóill as na mbinsí fiosrúcháin sin, agus an gluais a chuaigh leis ag an am céanna fáil réidh le polaiteoirí éillitheacha eile nach raibh ós comhair an bhinse áirithe sin? Tá fhios ag muintir na tíre seo go raibh Fianna Fáil agus Fine Gael, an dá phairtí polaitíochta is mó in Éirinn, dá phartí atá go díreach mar an gcéanna, dá phairtí coiméadach atá fágtha thiar in am an chogadh cathartha, lán de dhaoine a thóg airgead ar son a maitheas fhéin, nuair a bhí siad in ann a bheith ag obair ar son saoradh an stáit seo. (Nílim chun gach rud a lua anois, tá sé ar fad le fáil ar www.planningtribunal.ie agus ar www.rte.ie) Seo rud nó dhó a bhain leis an Taoiseach fhéin. Bhí Ray Burke ann. Bhí sé ceann de na polaiteoirí is sinsearach i bhFianna Fáil. Bhí sé an-chairdiúil leis an Taoiseach, agus sheas sé go hiomlán le Burke nuair a ionsaigh an freasúra é. Ach i 1997, bhí ar Burke éirigh as, i ndiaidh Bertie post a thabhairt dó mar Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha, mar tháinig sé amach go bhfuair Burke £80,000 ó tógálaí nuair a bhí Burke ina chomhairleoir contae. Ach fós, mhol an Taoiseach go hard na spéire é. Seo a dúírt Bertie faoi nuair a d’éirigh Burke as:
“I always found him to be a proud honourable man, loyal and true, persevering and principled, caring and committed but tough and a person who often lost friends very easily. On behalf of the Government and particularly on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party, I thank him for his distinguished years in the service of his constituents and his country.” Bhí Charlie Haughey ann freisin. Arís i 1997, tháinig sé amach go bhfuair an Iar-thaoiseach £1.3 milliún ó Ben Dunne, fear gnó mór le rá. Ba é Haughey “boss” is “mentor” Bertie uair amháin. Caithfear an cheist a chur, ar fhoghlaim Bertie aon drochnósanna uaidh? Sna seachtóidí is sna hochtódaí, nuair a bhí formhór mhuintir na tíre seo beo bocht, nuair a bhí na céadta a fágáil na tíre gach mí, bhí Haughey amuigh ag ithe i mbialainn chostasacha agus ag caitheamh léinte síoda ón bhFrainc. Ach fós, mhol Bertie go hard na spéire é. Seo a dúirt an Taoiseach ag sochraid Haughey: “I saw him at first-hand. He was a consummate politician. He exhibited grace under pressure. He had an incisive mind, superb parliamentary skills, proud identity with Ireland – all of Ireland – and a profound respect, in victory and defeat, for our democratic institutions.” Agus anois, tá ceisteanna ann faoi Bhertie fhéin. Tháinig sé amach go bhfuair sé €39,000 ó bhfir gnó in Éirinn, cairde leis, i 1993 agus 1994, agus go bhfuair sé £8,000 i Manchain ó fhir gnó i Sasana. Ba cheart dó éirigh as! Mar a dúírt Joe Higgins TD, an tseachtain seo caite: “The Taoiseach should go today not just for his grubby taking of funds from business interests, but also because his being beholden to business generally has created a society that rewards the powerful at enormous cost to ordinary people.”
taken to ensure that both undergraduates and staff are fully aware of the purpose and nature of the Schol exams. Another issue being reviewed is whether more economical and efficient ways of organising the exam should be implemented. Currently, the estimated cost of the administration of the examination, in staff time, is estimated at €500,000 per year – though this is a rough outside estimate only, based on the approximate amount of staff hours it takes to set, administer and mark the exams. Holding the examination in conjunction with the annual examinations would appear to be the solution to this problem. It would also solve the problem of what Fuller terms as the “exploitation of the exemption system”, whereby students take the Schol exams simply to receive a II.I and so be exempt from the annual exams, meaning that such students do not attend lectures during Trinity term. Such a change in the timing of the exam would also be a necessity if two-term semesterisation is implemented. However, the suggestion of holding the Schol exams along with the summer exam is a contentious issue for a number of reasons. According to Rickard, such a change would remove the “vital selfmotivational element” which is required of students if they are to undertake the optional post-Hilary term exam. Another objection Rickard mentions is that the questions asked in the Schol exams are of a more difficult standard to those asked in the annual exams. If Scholarship was based solely on performance in the annual exams it would obliterate this difference. It would also mean that the tradition of announcing those elected to Scholarship from the Exam Hall steps on Trinity Monday, a tradition which stretches back to 1637, would no longer be possible. Amongst the Scholars themselves there appears to be a fear that something
The Provost, Dr John Hegarty, starts the traditional Fellows versus Scholars game of marbles on the steps of the Chapel in 2003. Photo: Communications Office extremely valuable relating to the Scholarship may be lost as a result of such changes. Fuller, however, believes that if it is decided that certain changes do need to be implemented, the importance and value associated with Scholarship would not be lost – “the question that needs to be asked is how long a tradition is. New traditions can be established … the key issue here is that we celebrate scholarship: in a formal way and on a designated day.” However, some are of the opinion that the review, as it is only concerned with the assessment of scholars, will not tackle some major issues. A surprising finding of the review board is that only 20% of elected Scholars remain in Trinity to conduct postgraduate research, despite the fact that the costly fees of such research are waived for scholars, which raises questions regarding the value of Scholarship to Trinity. One postgraduate scholar that Trinity News talked to referred to the current review as a “sideshow” and called for more radical changes to be implemented: “instead of wasting their [the review board’s] time on such relatively minor issues, perhaps
more time should be spent on how we should retain these exceptional students within Trinity’s walls and on making Trinity a more attractive prospect for postgraduate research”. One suggestion this scholar made was to scrap the current five year scholarship program and instead implement separate undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, the latter to be offered during the final undergraduate year. David, a JS Natural Sciences student, stated that while he felt that the Scholarship was beneficial to Trinity and was “a nice tradition”, he also felt that many, somewhat archaic, traditional aspects that are not being considered by the working group should be reviewed. One such tradition he mentioned was the saying of grace by ten Scholars before and after commons. He finds such Christian prayers, in which praise is given to “Queen Elizabeth the founder of this College, James, its most generous builder, [and] Charles its preserver”, “utterly unsuitable in an Irish, and supposedly secular, university”. Another tradition which some students have issue with is
the fact that the Schol examinations are the only examinations in college which are not anonymous, with candidates being required to write their names on the front of the exam papers. When asked about this issue Fuller referred to the lack of anonymity as being an “anomaly” and admitted that it was a factor that “needs to be changed”. Regarding the timeline relating to the review of Scholarship, Rickard told Trinity News that the interim report of the working group should be completed and submitted to the Senior Lecturer and heads of schools within a month. Following this, the report shall be available for all staff and students to view and comment on. The report will then be reviewed and any changes that have been proposed shall go to Council. According to Rickard if any changes are to be implemented, they shall not be done so until 2008 "at the very earliest". In the meantime, Rickard wishes to promote awareness of the Scholarship exams by holding an information night for all students who are considering taking these exams early next term.
Young male suicides reveal something rotten beneath society’s surface Damian Bruce Being young and male in 21st century Ireland is, it would seem, an increasingly dangerous business. We are the most likely to be the victims of violence on the streets, the most likely to be killed or injured in a road accident, and the most likely to commit suicide. We are, in short, number one in preventable deaths. And that is what is so particularly galling about all of this, that these deaths are preventable. We are not dealing with bodily disorders for which we have no cure, such as cancer, which claims enough lives itself. Instead, we are dealing with a kind of self-destruction among young males which defies reason. We may be the most likely to be the victims of violence on the streets but we’re also the most likely to be causing it. Likewise with road accidents and inherently so with suicide. Suicide is the biggest of these killers, having overtaken road deaths a number of years ago. That young males are disproportionately affected is clear from the figures. Allowing for population size, Ireland is ranked 18th of the 25 EU countries in terms of the number of suicides committed per year. However, among the 15-24 age group we jump to fifth place. And within that age group men outnumber women seven to one. These are truly
frightening figures and a testimony to Ireland’s international reputation vis-à-vis this problem. An American commentator, Wendy McElroy, wrote about male suicide in her own country in 2002 and concluded by stating that “male suicide must be confronted honestly before America follows the way of Ireland; before suicide becomes the leading cause of death in young men.” Apparently, we are the benchmark against which other countries evaluate their young male suicide rates. We might wonder why Lithuania, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia – the four countries that actually managed to outshame us in this category – are not regarded with the same notoriety. Well, why should they be? Ireland is the market leader, the home of the Celtic Tiger which has impressed the international community and brought thousands of immigrants flocking to our shores in search of a better way of life. By being the bee’s-knees of recent economic history, Ireland has attracted a great deal of attention upon itself. In short, we stand out. And we stand out all the more when, despite our remarkable success story over the last decade, so many of our young men continue to kill themselves. So why are young men so adversely affected by modern Irish society that a significant number of them are choosing to abandon it entirely? Does alcohol play
a part? Probably. During the 1990s there was a 41% increase in alcohol consumption with a corresponding increase in suicide of 44%. One particular study, examining suicide trends in Louth, Meath, and Cavan in 2001-2002, found that of those men aged under 30 who had taken their lives, 93% had alcohol in their systems. Yet surely there are other factors at play here beyond the many effects of alcohol. Perhaps the demise of the traditional family unit is having an effect. Along with the rise in alcohol consumption and suicide there has been a marked increase in single parent families. Overwhelmingly, that single parent is the mother. This can have an especially negative effect on male children since the greatest influence on a child’s life tends to be the same-sex parent, in this case the absent father. Indeed, the research supports this view, showing how young men raised without paternal involvement have an increased likelihood of committing suicide during their lifetime. On a wider scale, social involvement is also suffering, reflected in ever decreasing election turnouts and church attendance. Another recent survey highlighted the increasing number of people who did not know the names of their next door neighbours. The potential effect of this on suicide rates is best put by the famous French socialist, Emile Durkheim, when
he said “man is the more vulnerable to self-destruction the more he is detached from any collectivity, that is to say, the more he lives as an egoist”. I might also mention one of the consequences of our runaway economy, which is that young people have to work even harder to keep up with it. Increased competitiveness in the jobs market begins early with the Leaving Cert points race, a fact reflected in the increased popularity of “money for grades” institutions, which, despite their success, impart only the narrowest form of education. Even after college, with some twenty-odd years of education completed, it can still be difficult to get a job in one’s area of interest. And what lies beyond? The property ladder, crippling mortgage repayments, and exorbitant childcare costs. All of which paints a relatively bleak picture of what is, in actuality, a country offering more prosperity and opportunity that at any point in its history. Yet, clearly, for young males, if not so much others, life in Ireland is becoming increasingly intolerable. Is there something rotten festering beneath the surface of our society, hidden under all the opulence and success? Should we view the tragic loss of so many young men in the same way that miners used to view the death of the canary? Do we need to raise the alarm?
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TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
How to be the “Daddy Cool” of College Trinity College Card Society buried the old granny that was the DU Bridge Club last year and has become the single largest student cards society in Europe. For the past two years the Society has sent a team over to St Andrews University to compete in the annual UK Student Poker Championships, heading ever upwards hoping to get to the Rio in Vegas. Tournaments are traditionally held in the Buttery on Monday nights, kicking off at about 6pm. Buy-ins and structures will vary a lot this year to accommodate for all playing standards and more importantly – the student budget. So if you think you can be the “Daddy Cool” of campus and are willing to stake your grant on your abilities then maybe you’ll make it to the final of the intervarsities – held in the Gresham Hotel last year.
Preparations for Trinity Arts Festival underway
A view of Front Square from Regent House last Wednesday. Freshers’ Week brought the usual mix of sun and rain, but the College’s clubs and societies made the most of every day. Photo: Martin McKenna
TCD Japanese Society
DU Food and Drink Society
Three common questions to the Food and Drink Society Sinead O’Sullivan
The provisionally recognised TCD Japanese Society wasted no time recruiting new members last week. Photo: Margaret Byrne
There are three questions that we always get asked in the Food and Drink society. “Am I going to get free food and drink?” being is the first. The second most frequently asked question is “Can you teach me how to cook?” The answer to the first question is yes, to an extent. But much like the three-minute egg, or fat-free chocolate, “free” food and drink is a popular myth propounded by many societies in order to convince you to part with your much coveted three euro. But like many urban legends it has some basis in truth, and as the Food and Drink Society we do strive to provide the “free” food that you starving, malnourished freshers so desperately need. The answer to the second question is also yes. We can give basic culinary skills to even those of you who think that the oven is good a place to warm your pyjamas in.
The third question is “So what do you actually do?” This deceptively simple question is in fact the one with the most elusive answer and it got me thinking, not only about what we “do”, but also what we’re about. Contrary to all logic, when this committee was first voted in, the majority started off not having much idea what the actual function of the Society was. We came to the table with that same familiar look we saw slapped across the faces of every fresher that approached our table last week, a look somewhere between bewildered and bemused. We quickly realised that “What do you do?” was only appropriately answered with “What don’t we do!” seeing as how food and drink is a passion that connects us all, however tenuously. The first event that really highlighted that for me, was the open-mic jazz dinner that we held in Romanza at the end of last term. Having myself been unsuccessful in trying to find an outlet for repressed jazz singers, we
decided that a few bottles of nice Italian Chianti might “grease the wheels”. The evening turned out to be one of my most memorable nights in College. The night started off with members mainly just interested in the delicious and inexpensive three course meal, however a few hours and several drinks later we were shocked and delighted to see that the most seemingly inconspicuous individuals were able to unleash the sultry jazz singer within. That for me was what the Society is all about: good times, cheap food, drink, friends and the ability to live down even the most woeful rendition of “Fever”. So to answer the question that everyone asks, what does the Food and Drink Society do? Well what can’t we do? We like to eat. We like to drink. We have events every week which involve food and drink. Enough said. If you too share our passions and have a GSOH and WLTM similar minded people, come play with us.
DU Film-Makers’ Society
Film-making in College is in its infancy Max Pru Filmmaking is still in it’s infancy in Trinity and didn’t get its first foothold in College until the late nineties when a group of students founded the Video Society and started shooting and editing video using hi-8 cameras and VHS editing suites. VidSoc ultimately evolved into the Film-Makers’ Society, which has become the primary outlet for student film-makers in Trinity. Progress has not always been rapid – the first film I worked on as a fresher they were still using a plastic broom handle for a boom pole – but the number of students dedicated to making films has grown dramatically in recent years and the technical standard of the productions has been steadily rising. Although the film-makers organise events and nights out like any other society, the focus is on making films. This year the Society is launching a program called “Cinema Boot Camp” with the goal of not only producing several short films but also training students in the use of the digital film-making equipment available and the fundamentals of film production. “Boot Camp” will be kicking off soon so keep your eyes on the notice-board.
Trinity Arts Festival provides a unique, unifying platform for the College’s arts-based societies. Last year’s festival brought the hidden talent of Trinity’s student body to the fore. A series of off-beat, student-run events took place for one week last February. For the first time ever, Trinity students were given the opportunity to fully organise their own arts festival. With higher levels of participation in mind and larger, more inclusive events 2007 is set to be better than ever. Already work is underway to organise the festival, including interesting workshops and music events with large-scale plans from the committees of the Film-Makers’ Society, the Visual Arts Society and the Orchestral Society. As Ireland’s only students’ arts festival we provide something different and new for us, the students. The festival will bring established professionals from a wide variety of the arts on campus to work with the students to create and have fun. Talented people willing to participate, not only as the artists but as event organisers and volunteers during the week are always wanted and information will be posted on the boards about College in the coming weeks.
Pink training to take place in November Pink training is the only USI event that is organised for ordinary students, not just Students’ Union officers, and it is attended mostly by members of the LGB Society. There usually exists a strict separation of powers between societies and the Union, but when it comes to Pink Training, everyone gets along. Delegations are sent off mostly from the LGB Society membership, including the entire committee, and they come back transformed. Pink training has, for ten years, helped LGBT societies and representatives from colleges around the country do their jobs better. Pink Training will be held in DIT on 17th, 18th and 19th November. If you are interested in being part of the delegation, get in contact with the DU LGB Society, LGBT Rights Officer or the Welfare Officer, all in House 6.
AIESEC helps students reach their potential
Students are encouraged to submit scripts to the society at any time and with films almost constantly in production there is always a need for crew members of all experience levels. Photo: DU Film-Makers’ Society
DU AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) is a student organisation which is an international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential. Members come from all disciplines and are from first year to postgraduate level and have the opportunity to attend more than 350 conferences annually or go on more than 5,000 internships annually. This year, DU AIESEC needs students who are interested in challenging their worldview, while developing themselves into socially responsible leaders. An upcoming projects is focused on Corporate Social Responsibility, but any new member can initiate a project around other issues.
8 WORLD REVIEW
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Coke and Columbia
Run-off in Brazil Popular president, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva failed to win back office in Brazil’s first round of elections held recently. He will compete in a run-off against the centre right candidate, former mayor of Sao Paolo Geraldo Alckmin on October 29th. Da Silva has presided over a cautious but successful four years in Brazil, implementing measures to reduce rural poverty and increasing employment levels without bankrupting the state. However, a series of corruption scandals implicating close colleagues and sluggish economic growth have marred the incumbent’s reputation in recent times.
Bart Storan Just outside the town of Carpera in the Uraba region of Columbia stands a Coke bottling plant, surrounded by a 10-foot high iron fence. Access to the plant is controlled by means of a guarded gate, through which all visitors must pass. Despite this, without any visible signs of forced entry, a Union leader, Isidro Gil, was shot dead inside the plant itself, supposedly without the knowledge of company officials. Two days later the paramilitaries responsible for the murder returned to the plant. They rounded up all of the employees, presented them with prepared letters resigning their union membership and told them that any who didn’t sign would follow Gil on the martyr’s road. Needless to say there was a rush for a pen. Columbia has become the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist, with more unionists killed in Columbia every year than in the rest of the world combined. In all some 4,000 people have been murdered in the country since 1986, for no other reason than trying to organize workers to fight for better conditions and pay; a right that most of us take for granted. Thus the allegations against Coca-Cola about its role in the oppression of workers can be seen as typical rather than exceptional. This in no way excuses the company however, or offers an excuse for its deplorable behaviour in Columbia. The New York City Council, disturbed by reports from Columbia, and representing a large immigrant Columbian community in New York, sent a fact finding mission to Columbia in 2004. Their findings were extremely disturbing. In meeting with Coke officials the members of the delegation were told, with a sickening candour, that the company have never, and had no intention of, undertaking any investigation, either internal or external, into reported incidents of human rights abuse, even those like the aforementioned Gil murder that occurred on company property. Even more surprisingly, these Coca-Cola representatives admitted that it was possible that Coca-Cola employees, acting on their own initiative could have worked with paramilitaries responsible for the co-ordinated campaign of terror directed against union members. This admission – like so many others it seems will lead to no investigation. In a country where terrorising trade unions is the rule rather than the exception, it is easy to sweep such findings under the carpet. If large multinationals are not going to take the first step of protecting their workers, the question looms; who is?
A new PM for Japan At 52, Shinzo Abe is Japan’s youngest ever Prime Minister and considered a hardliner. Some fear this will lead to further deteriorating foreign relations with the Koreas and China. In late September he named his cabinet which included several moderates in key positions such as the current Foreign Minister, Taro Aso. In spite of four consecutive years of economic growth Japan faces some major challenges in the near future. Mr Abe’s flamboyant predecessor Junichiro Koizumi has done much to tackle regulation and improve the investment climate. Problems remain however in the form of an aging population and the need for a foreign policy which asserts Japan in proportion with its economic size.
The Millenium Development Goals may be causing new problems in India and elsewherePhoto: Robbie Semple
Millennium Development scores own goal Robbie Semple What are the bare necessities of a school? Certainly a class to teach and a teacher. A fully trained teacher? Books? Desks? Where is the line drawn between a child being in education and them wasting their day sitting in an overcrowded, underresourced room? The Millenium Development goals have been hailed as a revolutionary framework; a set of targets quantifying poverty reduction that will aid its eradication in the near future. Whilst the benefits are obvious, there is a hidden, dark side to the system which, if the raw statistics are not scrutinised closely may cause the MDGs to lead developing nations down the wrong path. According to most figures, India is
bursting free of the shackles of poverty at a rate of knots. Since independence, literacy has climbed from 13% to 65%, the economy is growing at roughly 8% annually and it is estimated all children under 14 will be in school by 2010 – five years ahead of the MDG schedule. Superficially it seems the country is doing extremely well and yet the old adage of lies, damned lies and statistics rings as true as ever. The recent Annual Status of Education Report found that 60% of 7-14 year old children enrolled in school in India could not read a standard grade 2 story. The question must be asked: What is the point of a child being in school if they don’t learn anything? India is by no means the worst off on this front. In Niger, enrolement rates are under 30% with the system already stretched to capacity; Uganda now aver-
ages 94 students a class and 3 per book. A relentless push to get more and more children into school – in line with the MDGs – without ensuring the quality of service provided is certainly not the best way forward. Looking at the bigger picture in India, critics of the government suggest the pattern in education is part of a broader and worrying trend of marketing India as a prime example of equitable, just government policy, while actually focusing resources on the perceived engine of growth (and votes); the upper and middle classes. A closer look at the situation on the ground reveals a bleak picture. Despite one of the fastest growing economies in the world and health care facilities to match any developed nation, India still has higher under-nutrition rates than Sub-
Saharan Africa. This, aligned with the poor quality of education provided in government schools (compared with the well established private schools where upper class India’s future stalwarts are groomed) is suggestive that such critics may have a point. Such is the extent of the problem that a communist rebel front has taken up arms against the government and has gathered huge support in a number of India’s poorer, more rural states. All of this while the rest of the world sits back and congratulates India on its stellar performance economically and having over 90% of children in primary education. Whilst a framework such as the Millenium Development Goals is indeed essential in ensuring progress, without the necessary scrutiny it may end up doing more harm than good.
The geopolitics of achieving peace Robert Quinn International priorities change quickly. As the world’s most powerful leaders met to discuss energy and climate over the summer in St Petersburg, talks became dominated almost immediately by a little scrap in the Middle East. Hezbullah slung Katyushas and Israel retaliated with the support of fantastical American weaponry and delaying tactics. The international community scrambled to seek an end to the fighting, using every tool in its diplomatic arsenal. Media worldwide broadcast images and figures of unimaginable carnage whilst analysts of every stripe were dragged into studios for their take on the conflict, its causes and solutions. Undoubtedly the scoop of the summer, the Israel Lebanon war evoked passions and opinions worldwide among ordinary people hitherto barely informed on the issue. There is no doubt that the nearly 1500 Lebanese and Israeli civilian deaths during those 33 days, in addition to the huge numbers of displaced amounted to an inexcusable tragedy. But away from front pages and television cameras, in forgotten corners of Africa, darker deeds were being committed. Two long running wars were subject to pivotal moments over the summer, moments that balanced peace and increased violence on a knife edge. And in the same 33 days, they stole 40,000 souls as the world looked elsewhere. In Darfur, Sudan’s ravaged west, a new rebel faction formed and clashes with the
government and its disgusting proxy militias escalated. UN peacekeepers were told they were unwelcome and the humanitarian crisis worsened. Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo held its first democratic elections in forty years against a backdrop of ethnic tension. Outright violence in the east resulted as powerful warlords, fearful of losing dominance in government, stirred hatred and resentment.
Achieving peace involves the international community recognising the longterm benefits of stability Within a month of the Israel/Lebanon conflict beginning it had been extinguished. 20,000 peacekeepers from militarily capable nations were dispatched to make sure things stayed that way. Though peace is fragile at present, it is unlikely any guns will be fired in the foreseeable future. The reasons for such swift action are many: the region is of enormous geooil-itical significance, global opinion demanded peace and strong historical links no doubt played their part. That said, both Sudan and the Congo’s wars have not been completely ignored. In Darfur, 7,000 African Union peacekeepers have been deployed for the last two years and Washington is pushing for tough sanctions against the regime in the Security Council. Congo’s elections cost $500 million and were bankrolled by the
EU. A UN force only just smaller than the one being sent to Lebanon keeps some semblance of peace. But these measures have been little more than grudging, their scale incomparably small next to the resources and energy poured into Lebanon. Darfur’s AU force is insufficiently mandated or equipped to be of any real use. Congo’s elections, though the first in forty years, have not tackled the country’s underlying issues, namely ethnic division, citizenship issues and grinding poverty. If the will can be mustered, and donors’ wallets prised open, a lot more can be done. Achieving peace involves the international community recognising the long term economic and security benefits of stability. Sourcing valuable minerals in war zones can be tricky, threats of terrorism fester where anarchy reigns. Also worth a mention is the fact that innocent life is of equal value: in cushy Dublin suburbs, in bomb scarred Beirut, in the machete infested Congolese jungle. The future could and should be brighter. Recently implemented reforms in Sudan, alongside a new oil windfall have made it one of the region’s fastest growing economies. A reconciled Darfur could both contribute to and equalise the country’s progress. Congo bursts with natural resources and borders eleven other countries. A viable peace, where profits fund public services and don’t line pockets would contribute to the entire continent’s stability and prosperity. Such dreams are distant. A shift in international priority would no doubt bring them closer.
Tensions escalate in Somalia The Union of Islamic Courts, a loosely allied movement of militias has taken over much of Somalia in past months, the recent conquest of the seaport of Kismayo further asserting its position. The provisional government, recognised by the international community, retains only a tiny strip of land around the western town of Baidoa. It has appealed to Ethiopia to support its cause resulting in a stand off which could escalate as Ethiopian troops cross the border. The African Union has passed a resolution to send 9,000 peacekeepers to the region in recognition of the situation’s volatility.
Baltic States join the club The EU Commission recently gave the go ahead to Bulgaria and Romania to become members in January. The decision was announced against a backdrop of warnings about the Union’s capacity to expand further without any structural reform. With average income levels of less than a third of the Union’s average, high levels of institutional corruption and rampant organised crime, questions were raised about both Romania and Bulgaria’s suitability. As a result, a number of safety clauses have been included in the accession contracts that would punish poor governance.
North Korean nuclear test receives icy reception When Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s pot bellied president, announced his regime that his regime would begin testing nuclear weapons, warning bells were heard from Washington to Beijing as tensions escalated. The Americans and Japanese took their traditional stance of declaring the tests unacceptable. More surprising however, was the language coming from China and South Korea. Traditional Pyonyang appeasers and those with the most leverage over Mr Kim both condemned the tests, threatening aid cuts and sanctions. It is widely thought that with his economy in tatters and pressure over leadership, these were not exactly the kind of concessions Mr Kim was attempting to extract.
When oil lies close to a war zone, the world takes a little more note. Cartoon:Alex Franciosi
Georgia has threatened to block Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation. The threat follows a Georgia-Russia espionage dispute which began with the arrest of four Russian Officers in Georgia.
Launch this Friday, October 16th @ 7 pm in the Atrium. All those interested in contributing are welcome to attend.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
The PDs are a party that have yet to find a new set of clothes Radical or redundant? John McGuirk examines the Progressive Democrats’ fight against the odds as they attempt to find a niche for themselves. Michael McDowell, for years a man burning with ambition and resentment at his failure to ascend to the leadership of the Progressive Democrats, suddenly finds himself at the helm in a time where the party faces the biggest electoral challenge in its history. With at least seven of the eight PD seats in danger at the coming contest, Mr McDowell faces the daunting prospect of reinvigorating a party that he himself once said would either be “radical, or redundant”. The PDs have remoulded Irish politics; of that there can be little doubt. Moving the centre ground to such an extent that even the most committed parties of the left – the Greens and Labour – now find it absolutely necessary to rule out any increases in personal taxation in advance of the election, and instead resort to promises to tinker around the fringes of a tax policy that will be the Progressive Democrats’ greatest legacy – redundant or not. Yet it is this great success that has led to their current peril. It is a challenge that faces any small party in coalition with a larger party – the large party gets the credit for success and the small party pays the price for failures. Fianna Fáil has instinctively tried to blame the PDs for everything that the public views as being wrong with Irish society: the perceived rise in
selfishness, greed, and personal nestfeathering was implicitly placed on the shoulders of the PDs last year when Bertie Ahern labelled himself, with a straight face, as the last political descendant of Marx himself. At the same time, the section of the electorate looking to maintain PD policies and keep Labour and the Greens away from Government have little choice but to vote Fianna Fáil. In all but the nine constituencies where the PD candidate has a realistic chance of victory next year (and nine is generous), voters looking to maintain current economic polices will reward Fianna Fáil for ideas that were not their own. One could forgive the PDs for suffering depression. Fianna Fáil’s exploitation of their relationship condemns them to suffer the wrath of what is, broadly speaking, a centre-left electorate, and denies them the support of those who want to keep Enda Kenny out of Government – because the only way to do that is to vote Fianna Fáil. The PDs’ solution to this has been to target Fine Gael voters. Why, they ask, would a centre-right, tough-on-crime, tough-on-Sinn Féin, immigration-disliking Fine Gael voter vote to hand the keys to the Departments of Finance and Justice to Pat Rabbitte, a man who never quite knew what side he wanted to win the Cold
War? This strategy worked brilliantly in their favour the last time out. Fine Gael voters, sensing defeat, wanted a watchdog for the Fianna Fail government, and voted for one. However, Fine Gael has just been handed a new weapon. The PDs, the public’s watchdogs on Fianna Fail, have just been turned into Bertie’s poodles. By remaining in Government, despite recent revelations about the Taoiseach’s past, the PDs have denied themselves an opportunity to replay their best card from 2002. Fine Gael will now paint them as a party tied to the hip to Fianna Fáil, and this will hurt them with swing voters who like PD values but want Fianna Fáil out of Government. In one fell swoop, Michael McDowell has tied his party to Fianna Fáil’s fortunes. The party founded in opposition to Fianna Fáil’s “cutehoorism” has just made clear that it views accepting money in dubious circumstances as OK. This leaves the PDs one card left to play, but it’s a dangerous one. The public’s two biggest concerns, according to pollsters, are the health service and crime and immigration. Those two areas are controlled in the current government by the PDs. If McDowell can spend the months between now and the election trumpeting new policies in each of these areas, he may be able to limit the damage. The flip side of this is that Fianna Fáil can escape damage in these areas, because, well, “dem PDs did dat, day did”. My gut feeling is that the PDs face an electoral massacre. They’ve just thrown away their niche as moral guardians of Irish politics – a space neatly being filled by the Greens, by the way. Those who want a repeat of successful polices they’ve introduced will in many case wrongly credit Fianna Fáil. Those who despise the government’s perceived
For years Michael McDowell burned with ambition and resentment at his failure to ascend to the leadership of the PDs; now he’s at the helm. Photo: John McGuirk harshness will be told by Fianna Fáil that the PDs are to blame. They lack the advantages they had last time – not this time are they faced with an electorate
eager to throw out the opposition. And lastly, and most damningly, they are a party that has yet to find a new set of clothes, having had their old ones stolen.
They’d better find new ones, and quickly. • John McGuirk is Eastern Area Officer of the Union of Students in Ireland.
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EDITORIAL AND COMMENT 11
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
To the Editor Tuesday, October 10, 2006 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 www.trinitynews.ie
College is not extension of school Coming to university after spending 14 years in Ireland’s education system leaves one with an attitude of submission to a system of classes, studying, and exams. But university is different to other third-level institutions in that it offers more than extra time engaged in secondary school-style learning. Secondary school involves accurately answering questions posed by those of superior learning. University, on the other hand, should allow the learner to do at least some of the questioning. The student does not simply absorb information and reproduce it on a page. New students have every right to treat Trinity in this manner – the simple acquisition of knowledge is far from worthless. However, to take this route is to reject the opportunity for self-directed and broad learning, not narrowly focused on a “course” of study. It is this, and not its antiquity or size, which makes a university, and particularly our own, different from other third-level institutes of learning. Unfortunately it often seems to suit our university masters that a majority of students live and study at home and only come into College to attend lectures, never really engaging with their subject material or with their peers. After all, it costs money to provide students with the facilities required for social, sporting and cultural activities.
University ranking systems are ruining student life This university rightly sells itself to the outside world using its academic excellence and the much trumpeted “Trinity experience”. Trinity’s reputation is based upon both of these. Unfortunately, an emphasis on the former has led to a neglect of student life. The Academic Ranking of World Universities is published annually by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. This year we ranked in the top 201-300 universities in the world. While this ranking system does not claim to measure the quality of the student experience, a focus on performing well according to its standards seems to be working to the detriment of that experience. The Shanghai system quantitatively measures the success of a university. It looks at the output of a university, with a particular emphasis on citations in learned journals. It is obvious that most students, particularly undergraduates, are never cited in learned journals; hence such students’ value is set at very little from the perspective of this system. Our university is right to remind Ireland and the academic world of its respectable place on the Shanghai rankings. Unfortunately the ranking is far from representative of the true value of this university. Leaving aside the ranking system’s complete failure to measure the quality of university for students, its academic checklist is open to question. The emphasis on research reveals a biased view of the ideal university. Trinity’s direction should not be set by the subjective views of Chinese academics. Money, of course, is the reason Trinity happily sets its direction with a good placing on the Jiao Tong ranking in mind. The areas the Shanghai ranking focuses on are those where money is spent and is made: science and all of its sub-disciplines. Why waste money on undergraduates reading arts when multinational companies will invest millions in post-doctoral research fellows developing new technologies for eventual sale on the mass-market. Trinity can choose to serve money or its students. Mammon appears to have gained the upper hand.
Statutory inanity Updated rules related to discipline were inserted into the Consolidated Statutes early this year. Unfortunately they insult readers by assuming that they could not possibly know what some words mean and so presume to act as a dictionary. Rustication, we are informed in parentheses, means “suspension from the University and College”. Sending down, similarly, is “expulsion from the University and College”. Inane (irritatingly silly or time-wasting). • email@example.com
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Electoral register survey is an insult to the Fianna Fáil society Sir, – Arising from a survey on the electoral register attributed to members of the Trinity College Fianna Fáil Cumann (Theobald Wolfe Tone Society), I would like to place on record the following facts. A “quid pro quo” ensured that this survey was much publicised in the mass media (Irish Independent, May 2nd, etc) with likewise discussion on TV’s Questions and Answers programme. This reported survey was dismissed as “a heap of rubbish and lies” by a lecturer in the College’s Department of Political Science, himself a former secretary of the Theobald Wolfe Tone Society, and one of the contributors to “How Ireland voted in
2002”. The person in charge of this reported survey was interviewed (alone) by three senior officials, headed by the Senior Scientific Research Officer of Dublin City Council. These experienced professionals have stated their agreement with the comments of the aforementioned political science lecturer. They have also stated their shock at the poor quality of this putatively researched project and its analysis, compilation and presentation, given that it was performed and overseen by an undergraduate student of the College. They state it is worthless and of no useful value to them in their
quest to compile an accurate electoral register, now being performed by salaried surveyors. Having been, and continuing to be involved myself with other persons in like surveying the electoral register in the same constituency (Dublin South-East) I confirm my like findings to the herein stated professional provenances. The Vice-President of the College’s Theobald Wolfe Tone Society, Councillor Maurice Ahern, PC of Dublin City Council, has spent many hours over the past year knocking on doors, similarly checking the electoral register. This he has done very meticulously, calling back up to five times on homes where he got no reply and his findings likewise concur with all the sources here mentioned. Accordingly, it is considered that this highly publicised reported survey is an
insult to the Theobald Wolfe Tone Society, the majority of its highly intelligent and talented members, persons of integrity, and indeed all undergraduate students of Trinity College. I refute any suggestion that I had any association with this reported survey. The general consensus is that this reported survey was an artifice calculated through the use of a “quid pro quo” (Thursday, April 27, 2006) to obtain the maximum publicity for purely cynical reasons for self-glorification and aggrandisement. Suppressio veri, suggestio falsi. Yours, etc – Valentine Keaveney Honorary President, Trinity College Fianna Fáil Cumann
What should be done about the violent Islamist tendency Protest is well and good, argues Edward Gaffney, but what should be done when Muslims add violence to the list of acceptable means of protest? The recent Muslim protests against Pope Benedict XVI’s speech in Regensburg, and before that the marches against the Mohammed cartoons, give us an insight into a major division in the Islamic world – the struggle between peace and violence. In both protests, some Muslims took the opportunity to express their offence in a reasonable manner, while others used the event as a pretext for violent action. But the violence we saw in places as close to us as London is a symptom of the power of Islamic fundamentalist political movements, and not caused by any violence inherent in Islam itself. The demonstrations we saw across the world posed no threat to freedom of speech. In a way, they were a celebration of one of the key freedoms that western liberal democracies allow their citizens – the freedom to voice opinions which run contrary to the opinion of the majority or of the government. If Muslims are offended by comparisons between Mohammed and a terrorist, or quotes from a Byzantine
emperor who fought against Islamic Turkey, they should be allowed to say so. The “chilling effect” which impinges upon our liberty comes when other Muslims add violence to the list of acceptable means of protest. The fatwa, or death sentence, against Salman Rushdie in 1989 has been described as “the canary in the coalmine” – the first sign of the threat posed by fundamentalism to free speech. Surely this threat of violence is the reason that so many newspaper editors refused to publish the Mohammed cartoons, since the press publishes other “offensive” material as a matter of course. What’s more, we know that Islamist movements that were responsible for the violence in London and elsewhere. The British Islamist group Al Ghurabaa published articles on its website, with titles like “Kill those who insult the Prophet Muhammad” before publishing arrangements for a protest march in London specifically for Islamist groups like Al Ghurabaa and the Saviour Sect. Six
The Agent Hello, and welcome, one and all. The Agent is happy to be back in the hallowed halls of Trinity for another year – and what a year it’s shaping up to be. Walking around Front Square last week, the Agent was struggling to remain conscious, so overpowering was the smell of desperate ambition coming from the hacks, combined with the stale after-stench of a many sessions of ego-masturbation – particularly strong near the Hist stand, as usual. So, what’s been happening in the summer when you’ve all been away? Who’s been scheming, plotting, and conniving to use you to advance their own position? Who’s been having a bad time? Who’s doing well? The Agent is your man throughout the year if you want to be in the know on such matters. It’s been a busy summer already. In Students’ Union land, President David “empty shell of a man” Quinn has spent his summer sacking people left right and centre. David has never done a day’s work in his life (this hasn’t changed since we started paying him €15,000 a year and gave him a free room) and as such was perfectly placed, in his own mind, to decide that seven members of the Students’ Union’s staff were no longer required, leading to his spending the months he was supposed to be using to lobby the College on your behalf trying desperately to avoid paying his own staff a decent redundancy package to feed their children with after he booted them out on the street. What a guy. Four more years, I say. In the meantime, “Dave” (he’s cool) was so enamoured with his successes on the industrial relations front, and his own amazement at the fact that you people voted him into office, that he thought he’d try his hand at saving the environment – running for the position of Environmental Officer of the Union of Students in
Ireland. His fellow student union officers from around the country thought that he was doing such a good job in Trinity that he got 20 whole votes! Unfortunately, the other 80 voters thought that we just couldn’t do without him here at home. Ouch. With John Tracey, the chair of Students’ Union Council, and soon to be presidential candidate (again), and about half of the executive out to get Quinn, The Agent predicts a really good year for anybody who enjoys taking pleasure in Dave’s misery. In the even worse place that is society-land (seriously, at least SU officers get paid – society people crave fame in the vain hope it will get them laid), it looks like Daire “oops, did I just drop a name?” Hickey is stealing the show for the Phil. The Agent is particularly looking forward to the visit of a major Hollywood star – watch this space. Meanwhile, up in the Hist (if you rearrange the letters, you get a better picture of this crowd), James “compromise candidate who everybody wishes didn’t get elected” O’Brien has failed to deliver for the year, and all any first year members have to look forward to is the vicious battle to succeed him, which, knowing the Hist, will begin next week. The Agent is backing it to be a contest between Josephine “sexy and funny” Curry and Kathy Troy, about whom Meredith Brooks once wrote a song. Then again, the Agent would never, ever, count out young Timothy Smyth, whose most powerful ally “hasn’t completely gone away, you know”. The Agent suspects that there are a growing number upstairs in the Gossip Mongering Building who wish that they hadn’t kicked the young aristocrat out of office the last time around. It being an election year, all of the political societies are acting in an even more
marchers have seen charges brought against them, all of whom were linked to groups such as these. The conclusion is clear: Muslims don’t hate our freedoms – since our rights are their rights – fundamentalist political groups do. If we want to defend these freedoms, our enemy is not Islam, but those fundamentalist groups. And as for Muslims who also hate the actions of fundamentalists, we have a common enemy. But the scale of our task is immense. Western fundamentalists only survive with the support of an alliance of much larger Islamist movements and governments in the Middle East, and this alliance is a formidable enemy with a long experience of fighting against freedom. What to do, then, about the violent Islamist tendency? Changing western foreign policy won’t help, because it simply isn’t the cause of terrorism. Westerners hear about the biggest Islamist outrages, but the groups responsible for these are committing smaller attacks on a daily basis in countries like Thailand, India and Algeria – not exactly nations at the forefront of a Christian crusade against Islam. Certainly, it would help if more people in the Islamic world could choose their own government, and enjoyed greater human rights, so that political change and liberation doesn’t have to come through violence. But Islamist groups preach the opposite outcome: at best, they support a global Caliphate and forced Islamic law for people of all faiths and none. The ten-
dency of democracies to embrace more liberal policies won’t please Islamist groups at all, as we see in countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia, which embrace both democracy and Islam. There’s simply too big a gap to bridge between the West and fundamentalists on human rights of all sorts – free religion and women’s rights, to name the two most critical issues – and it would be immoral to even try bridge the gap if it means compromising on these matters. The real solution is to end support for Islamist movements in as many ways as we can. That’s why it’s fair for liberal democracies to ban Islamic fundamentalist political parties which incite hatred. And that’s why it’s fair to change undemocratic regimes in the Middle East, which spend money on their pet terrorist organisations while their citizens starve and suffer oppression. The means we use to do this is another matter which deserves debate, since Muslims in these unfortunate countries have already suffered a lot. But in our commitment to defeat fundamentalism, there can be no question or doubt. Why shouldn’t we try to break this ideology of hatred, which oppresses millions of our fellow human beings, in a region which was once the most advanced and enlightened in the world?
self-important manner than usual. If anybody wants a laugh, go read The Honourable Sir Trevor Breen-Browne’s chairman’s address on the Trinity Young Fine Gael website – certain passages of which were deemed so incredibly uncool and right wing by Fine Gael headquarters that they had them removed from YFG’s freshers’ magazine: “Let’s dream a new generation of conservative dreams, everybody”. No thanks, the Agent would sooner sit around thinking about eating whipped cream off our Ents Officer’s chest – something his U C D D
young girls coming in for tea on Thursdays. Dynamic chairman Stephen Dixon has big plans for the year, most of which involve him getting an even more important job than Chairman of Fianna Fáil in Trinity. Ah well, the Agent actually quite likes Stephen. At least he has normal dreams. Until next time. One more thing! Which floppy haired Players boy is being cheated on by his girlfriend, and has been for months? Wake up and smell the coffee, boyo.
counterpart has been doing, of late, by the way. Ugh. In Fianna Fáil, an election year always means membership is up, which has FF’s resident dirty old man salivating at the thought of more
• Edward Gaffney is Honorary Secretary of the University Philosophical Society.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Thou shalt not worship the Hoff: is celebrity our new golden calf? Chloe Sanderson Idolatry – not as exciting as adultery but less likely to cause you getting a cat flung at your head from the window of your apartment which was “never even big enough to fling a cat in, you lousy cheating scum bag!” Why do human beings feel the constant necessity to worship other human beings on an almost god-like scale? Once perhaps back in the deep dark ages of evolution it was due to scales of power and admiration for another's mighty fine club witling skills and ability to drag the finest blonde hairy cave girl back to his humble abode. The question is this – does our creation of celebrity idols that do nothing more inspiring than spend vast amounts of time working out how to spend their overflow of cash, actually benefit ourselves and society, or merely serve as a vehicle to make us feel unsatisfied with our own life situation? This question was created in my mind by the arrival last Saturday to the Phil, of the one, the only, David Hasslehoff, aka the Hoffmeister. He was greeted by an array of eager faces aglow with anticipation. Mine, it has to be admitted, was amongst them, and as I stared my mind began to wonder as to where society’s thirst for idols has sprung from and to how much we should thank these somewhat nonsensical parts of our lives: the celebrities. What after all did I expect to get out of Mr Hoff? Was it a lengthy interesting debate on the trials and tribulations of acting in a long running lifeguard series, or perhaps the varying life of a German super star? The strange thing was it was neither these nor any other serious reason I could think of that explained why I loved the Hoff. The only thing I could come up with was that well he is terribly famous don't you know, and I had a sneaky suspicion that David took himself just a little too seriously, which meant that he was the only one of us not in the joke. Perhaps the lure of these nonsensical celebrity idols is the feeling of control. For the likes of Chantelle, Jade, and the Hoff, Mr and Mrs Joe Public own their careers. Jade Goody is a particularly interesting example as she apparently bounces from near poverty to exuberant wealth, her paycheck comes inevitable from advertising and television companies that spend millions on gauging the public's latest fad, faze, and fascination. The celebrity life is, it appears, the latest gladiator's ring. Articles such as hotor-not pit celebrities against one another to their professional death. Furthermore, the celebrities are also more than happy to attack each other themselves, as has been seen in the cases of Eminem versus Britney and Christina or Pink versus Nicole Ritchie. Why does society seem much less willing to flaunt their excitable, and fickle, admiration at modern day heroes of disciplines such as science, or astrophysics? Science, it appears, is not sexy. Only a few weeks ago Claudia Mitchell was the first woman to receive a "bionic" arm, which allows her to control parts of the device by her thoughts alone. Surely Todd
A Kuiken, 46, a physician and biomedical engineer, who has spent his last 20 years striving to make a better artificial arm, deserves a ticker tape parade of admiration; yet it comes as no surprise that his shopping habits do not grace the pages of Heat or Closer. The ancient Egyptians worshipped their pharaohs as incarnations of their gods on earth, many of the Roman emperors were believed to be the children of gods, and Alexander was both worshipped by many of his captured subjects as divine and grew to believe himself a god despite his greatness being a debate that still rages today. Interestingly, our modern-day Alexander, Colin Farell, is treated by some as if divine, one assumes for his beauty, as it is unlikely to be his acting skill. The 21st Century appears to be one of Celebrity worship as we all bow to the godlike status of figures such as Elton or the Beckham family.
as I stared my mind began to wonder where society’s thirst for idols has sprung from and to how much we should thank these somewhat nonsensical parts of our lives: the celebrities.
While traditional religion continues to show falling numbers in attendance the cult of celebrity grows ever stronger. Modern society has a new Madonna to venerate because, let’s face it, spending around 40,000 on diamond dust eye shadow now turns more heads than the Virgin Birth. The rise of popular television shows such as Big Brother fuels society’s continuing belief that in order to be universally adored all that is required is to get into the public eye. No longer does fame necessarily suggest skill in sports, literary genius, or outstanding beauty. Celebrity-don has become a profession in its own right no longer attached necessarily to any skill whatsoever. Celebrity is, as Encarta defines it, a “name given to individuals, male or female, who capture public attention, largely through the media, and who have a broad general significance in contemporary society and culture.” It is no longer who you know but who knows you that seems important. The difficulty is that our mindless interest, and in this scathing attack I entirely include myself, in the shopping habits of Mr and Mrs Pitt, or the current weight of Miss Ritchie, has almost removed society's earlier desires to achieve fame through personal achievement. The type of achievements that would continue after an individual's death, and thus make an everlasting idol of themselves through the immortalization of their name. Celebrity is by comparison a matter of fashion. It hits the headlines. Anyone can become a celebrity, if only for a day. Fame of the past was carved in stone on gravestones and on monuments. How many of our modern celebrities do we think will be
David Hasselhoff preens his quiff before his recent celebrity appearance at the University Philosophical Society. The three hundred seater Chamber in the GMB was full to capacity for his visit. Photo: Matt Pitt remembered in 200 years’ time? Magazines such as Closer and Heat do not serve as a fanzine for those eager to learn of others success but track the precarious position of various celebrities on the rickety ladder of fame, whilst simultaneously helping to make or break their career. Before this discussion becomes overly polemic it is important to plant my argument in the soil that worries me. For while celebrity creations such as Chantelle offend my sense of style and decency, I have the educated choice to turn over, change the channel ignore the whole celebrity shenanigans; as, after all, they will most likely be out of the spotlight as quickly as my channel change. The point that society should be aware of however, is that these creatures stand as role models to hundreds of people every day. Is it
responsible to continue promoting figures of ludicrous arrogance, or girls who seem determined to not eat themselves to death as modern day idols? An older word than celebrity in that and other contexts is "hero". This word, too, like fame, goes back to the ancient world, when it was related to exceptional skill, bravery, and extraordinary human qualities, especially endurance. Heroes were proven through war, as they still are, as well as through sport. Nineteenth-century writers extolled them. There was even a cult of hero worship. The term passed into literature and cinema. Novels and films had heroes, sometimes anti-heroes. Whilst with the emergence of film and television emphasis became increasingly placed upon heroes being good looking rather than talented, the essential idea was
these were people to be admired, and copied, to make us and society better. If modern society really cannot find adequate role models to worship, perhaps its time we spent a little more time idolizing one another. At each trawl around an art gallery, be it here or abroad, it strikes me as incredibly sad that so many of our greatest artists should have died in poverty and oblivion only later to be heralded as cultural geniuses. If we are not watchful we may miss those amidst us that deserve a little admiration. In turn wouldn't it be great if now and then we were admired for our very small addition to the general workings of society. For example, I idolise you dear reader for being quite genius enough to read this article through, I idolise the person who created Irn Bru as the greatest hangover
cure of all time, whoever thought it wise to build a lift that goes all the way up to the sixth floor archaeology department deserves a healthy dose of idolisation, and as the Hoffermations scrawled next to my mirror demand I idolize myself because I have a lot of Hoff to give. You should try it, it really does add a touch of zest into an otherwise gray life. Next time you find yourself gawping at the pages of Heat eager to discover what colour panties Keira Knightly wears, think to yourself, “the colour of my panties is important too”, and while you’re at it, get off that sofa and do something worthwhile that people might still be awed by after your death. Fame: mine, yours, and everyone else’s, is in our hands. Use it wisely.
Student volunteers come together in new joint venture Chloe Sanderson
Members of the Volunteers’ Opportunities Forum last week. Photo: Chloe Sanderson
If you were lucky, naive or hungover enough to venture around the society stalls of Freshers’ Week this year you may have noticed a new stall vying for attention amongst the rest. The newly established Trinity Volunteers’ Opportunities Forum marks the coming together of the four main voluntary groups in college – Voluntary Tuition Programme, Peer Support Network, St Vincent de Paul and Suas. It was formed after a talk by Mary Davis, who was responsible for the historic Special Olympics recently hosted by Ireland, and is now head of the Active Citizenship Taskforce. The meeting was attended by the chairs of VTP and PSN, who contacted the other primary voluntary organisations in College, and set in motion a chain of events that promises to bring about a number of very positive changes. Traditionally, Trinity's voluntary organisations have faced many problems, with perhaps the most prominent of these
being a lack of recognition from the greater College community. Fundraising and social events for the organisations individualy had proven difficult, due in part to the prohibitively high cost of advertising. Combining the societies proved a simple but effective solution to all of these problems, allowing the newlyformed TVOF to work together on publicity, social events, and campaigning. The TVOF as it now stands has a number of ambitious but important goals: to promote the spirit of volunteerism across campus; to support current volunteering activities within Trinity; to develop the bond between volunteers and create a common cause and feeling of community among them; to raise support amongst the local college and business communities; and to provide a forum for the discussion of volunteer issues, facilitating the sharing of resources and ideas. S i m o n Masterson, Chairman of the Voluntary Tuition Programme and founding member of TVOF said, "This is all about raising awareness of the fantastic work that the college's voluntary organisations do, and of how easy it is to get involved. For
example, all we at VTP ask for is one hour a week, at a time to suit you, and you can really, genuinely, have a positive affect on people's lives. The other organisations that make up TVOF are the same - it takes up such a small portion of people's time, but it's so worth it. It really is a great way to make a small difference." However, the TVOF isn't just about administrative ease and better awareness. Already they are taking full advantage of their new size and weight, and are planning what promises to be a very full social calendar to raise funds, awareness, and to increase amongst volunteers the sense of community that College life should be all about. The Launch Lunch at the end of the month, followed by a night at Sin on the 25th is already drawing a high level of interest with major players in the college community throwing their weight behind the fledgling society. Furthermore the TVOF is going even further and organising what insiders have tipped to be a ball to remember, to be held in Hilary term. • For more information on how you can get involved, contact email@example.com.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Ireland’s poverty time-bomb is primed to explode Chloe Sanderson As you walk through the bustling streets of Dublin, surrounded by a vast array of cultural hotspots, tall Georgian buildings crammed with affluence nestled between a plethora of shops offering opulence at a suitably high price, it is easy to feel proud of our city. Indeed the government's wise decision to not extract taxes from the artists of the land has helped to continue Dublin's long tradition of musical craftsmanship that has in turn fuelled the ever growing tourist industry which is now Ireland's largest business sector. The British, who make up the greatest percentage of the tourists visiting Ireland every year, appear to be appropriately proud of what Ireland has managed to make of itself since its independence. Dublin deserves to be proud of its state of affairs, now listed in the top five most expensive cities in the world, you could be forgiven for believing that the Irish people were all blessed with wealth, health, and happiness. You would be wrong. Whilst Dublin sits with the big boys of city expense, it also has one of the highest rates of poverty in 17 developed countries, second only to the United States. This is according to the 2004 United Nations Human Development Report, in measuring the extent of 'human poverty' in 17 industrialised countries it took into account the probability of not surviving to age 60, long-term unemployment, lack of functional literacy skills and numbers falling below the income poverty line As much as we would all like to believe that Dublin's streets are paved with gold the façade of wealth, put in place by the corporate wheels of industry that run us all, merely papers over the appalling poverty encountered by so many of Dublin's citizens. The latest available figures show that 272,000 people in Ireland live in consistant poverty, whilst another 776,000 are at extreme risk of poverty. More shockingly still there are 100,000 Irish children poverty stricken and a further 22.7% children in our country are teetering on the edge of poverty. Dublin has flourished in recent years, due in large part to generous grants from
the EU, into a thriving modern cosmopolitan city. From the outside the world could be forgiven for believing that the emerald isle had successfully dragged itself out of its past of famine and bare footed children into a land where the money flows as freely as the Guinness. It's fantastic to see Ireland continuously applauded for its fast rate of development in a variety of business sectors, as has been visually confirmed by building projects such as the IFC. However, this article hopes to highlight the plight of those who cannot write this themselves. We should not be tempted to disregard the less fortunate of our community for their inability to keep up with Ireland's developing economy. As we step over the sleeping bodies on our streets on our way to college, or home from the pub, or attempt to avoid the poverty clustered behind main streets such as O'Connell St or the Jervis Arcade. We must force ourselves to imagine what their life must be like, rather than merely assume that each case is a self induced drug inflicted hell hole of their own bidding and therefore of not deserving of our pity. The national center for poverty in Ireland defines Poverty as people whose income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living, which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of this inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society. Students can be forgiven for often feeling just a little poverty stricken as we are forced to forgo another night of alchoholic shenanigans in Down Under or find ourselves living off porridge for the next few weeks until our next paycheck or allowance comes through. It is true enough that the task of juggling finances is something we all understand but our responsibilities in general are only to ourselves allowing for possible goldfish. Now try to imagine how such money plights might hit home if you had 3 hungry mouths to feed. Whilst I applaud the efforts of campaigners such as Bob Geldoff who in his incessant appeals backed by celebrity
moguls such as Mr - almost Christ Martin, has highlighted the plight of the poverty stricken globally. But one cannot help to wonder why the Dublin raised artists has thus far publicly avoided the question of poverty on the streets of his home town. Admittedly saving the children of Dublin's streets, has none of the glamour of the African plight. This good publicity issue is intensified by the attitude adopted by many that Ireland's poor should be treated with suspicion, the difficulty of their daily lives having led many to a life of crime and antisocial behavior. There has been a noted lack of Mr Pitt and Ms Jolie's presence amid the high rise council flats just off Pierce St. Of course the cause and prevention of worldwide poverty is a highly important issue that need addressing, none the less my argument is that despite its less glamorous status it is up to us to increase awareness of and start addressing the plight of our own citizens who struggle every day to support themselves and their family whilst we sit unthinking in the corporate coffee houses of the new moneyed republic. The End Child Poverty Coalition suggests talking with local agencies, schools, religious bodies, unions and community and voluntary organisations. Urging them to speak on child poverty and to support actions to end it. In addition if you are a member of a society, or other organization, use this opportunity to write about child poverty in your organisation's communications, e.g. newsletter, journals, or e-zine. Encourage your organisation to highlight child poverty issues in their communications, or should you find yourself a lone wolf upon the poverty press prairie then don't be afraid to raise child poverty issues with your local European, National and Local representatives Of course it is not up to the individual alone to deal with the poverty problems in Ireland, the Government must start facing up seriously to the problems on its doorstep. If we are to see a noticeable downturn in Irish poverty figures the government must - Implement the target Child Benefit increases - Increase Child Dependent Allowances to lift the poorest children out of poverty
Homeless on the streets of Dubin this summer. Many of those who sleep rough resort to the comfort of alcohol. Photos: Chloe Sanderson - Implement the Health Strategy commitment to extend medical card coverage for families with children. Ultimately, we need to ensure that children have access to healthcare based on need, not the ability to pay, by giving all children a medical card • Fund the employment of the required number of Education Welfare Officers • End the practice of housing homeless families with children in Bed and Breakfasts • Build sufficient local authority homes to meet the housing needs of children and families • Provide the required amount of appropriate accommodation for Traveller families • Ensure that the rights and needs of children are taken into account in public policy development The problems faced by charitable institutions such as St Vincent de Paul are intensified by the trapping nature of poverty. Some communities within South Dublin County experience multidimensional poverty. Not only are higher proportions of these communities in low-paid work, their children are less likely to attend university thereby limiting the next
generations labour market opportunities. In fact up to 1000 children every year do not transfer from primary to secondary school, and out of those that do 15% of young people leave school without a Leaving Certificate, and 3% with no qualification at all. In addition, some residents in these communities may have no access to affordable childcare when working and are thus less likely to take full time employment. Again this reduces their capacity to solve long-term debt. Added to the difficulties caused by poor educational levels, many encounter racial discrimination both from their neighbours and employers. This problem is caused by increasing inward migration meaning that some areas of Dublin possess ever increasing concentrations of minority communities. Racism and discrimination faced by certain groups of migrants has detrimental psychological effects on school progress among younger children, possibly compounded by a lack of promotional opportunities in the workplace for their parents. According to research that informs the National Anti-Poverty Strategy, the following groups of people are at greatest risk of poverty: Asylum Seekers,
Children, Disabled People, People with Literacy Difficulties, Ex-Prisoners, Members of the Travelling Community, Lone Parent Families, Migrants, Older People, Long Term Unemployed, Women, Homeless People, drug misusers. Having said all this, the important point still remains that we can all make a difference no matter how small. To quote Sir Bob Geldoff in a recent interview 'charity is critical. The impulse to reach out beyond the impenetrable roar of politics, to help others - without that our spirits curdle'. For those of us lucky enough to be afforded a fine education and happy upbringing I urge you to take a minute to visit one of the following sites: Barnardos: www.barnardos.ie, Children's Rights Alliance: www.childrensrights.ie, Society of St. Vincent de Paul: www.svp.ie, One Family www.onefamily.ie, www.combatpoverty.ie, Equality Authority: www.equality.ie, www.homelessagency.ie, www.eurochild.org, or converesely speak to the St Vincent de Paul Society in College to see how you can make a difference and fullfill your own wellbeing at the same time.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Volcanic work with explosive results Jago Tennant Malcolm Lowry is best known as the author of the novel Under the Volcano (1947) - one of the 20th century´s most underrated classics. Born in Chesire in 1909 into a wealthy family, Lowry was later loosely involved in the 1930s Londonl literary scene with writers such as Dylan Thomas. Much the same as Thomas, Lowry was an incurable sot - to the extent that he would drink hair tonic and after-shave when he was without other types of alcohol. There is even a lethal cocktail named in his honour, the ´Under the Volcano Martini´ (2oz mezcal, _oz martini & rossi vermouth, 1 jalpeno stuffed olive). The notoriety of his tortured/drunken and nomadic lifestyle (Germany-France-Spain-New YorkHollywood-Italy-Mexico-Canada) has often obscured the quality of his writing however. Before going up to Cambridge to study English Lowry sailed to the Far East working as a deckhand on the S.S.Pyrrhus. He kept extensive journals on his voyage to Yokohama which, under the influence of the Norwegian writer Nordahl Grieg, were to provide the subject matter for his first novel Ultramarine (1933). Although he wrote Ultramarine while still an undergraduate publication was delayed when the editor had his briefcase stolen- containing the only copy of the manuscript, which Lowry had to rewrite from scratch. Later in life Lowry was to lose many of his manuscripts and ´works-in-progress´ (mainly in bars) with the result that he only published two novels during his lifetime. He nearly lost the manuscript of Under the Volcano in 1944 when his squatters´ shack in British Columbia burnt to the ground, but luckily his wife managed to save it from the flames. Much of his work has been published posthumously, notably Dark as the Grave Wherein my Friend is Laid (1968).
Although it has its faults (later in life Lowry denied its existence) Ultramarine is an impressive debut to say the least. It is essentially a coming-of-age novel dealing with a young man´s attempt to reconcile his naive bookish idealism with the hard facts of the real world. The character of Dana Hilliot shares much biographical detail with Lowry himself, and is not a very likeable character. From a writer so given to self-mythologising it is suprising to find so much realism and so little ripping-yarn romanticism. We see little of the usual crap this genre can fall into: upper-middle-class-boy-renounces-background-to-go-to-sea-and-enter-the-worldof-men; upper-middle-class-boy-soonback-slapped-for-his-bawdy-masculinityby-proletariat; upper-middle-class-boyobserves-said-proles-with-such-acuityhe-later-makes-literature-of-them. The crew´s dislike of Hilliot for almost the entirety of the voyage is led by Andy, the tattooed Norwegian cook, who dubs him ´a bloody senseless twat´ for being one of the ´toffs who come to sea´. The dialogue especially is excellent, although there are many confusing shifts between 1st and 3rd person narrative voice. The minutiae of the routine and duties on board are detailed with fascinating precision. Hilliot spends much of the voyage keening over his one-true-love Janet, who is waiting for him in Salford, while the rest of the crew booze and whoremonger in every port. Many of his soliloquies on Janet are pretty irksome: ´Had he not sought her in the town and meadow and in the sky? Had he not prayed to Jesus and found none until the hour he met her?´. Eventually though he has taken enough taunting from the crew for being an effete public schoolboy and decides to go ashore ´to have a night´s drift´: ´To hell with Janet. She could take care of herself, and let whoever wanted shed tears of blood about it´. Perhaps what is most interesting is that even at this early stage themes are touched upon that later become
important motifs in Under the Volcano. The hallucinogenic agave-spirit, mezcal, is mentioned; misplaced and unread love letters play a significant role in the later novel, just as the letter from Janet does which he loses while on shore leave. Under the Volcano is set during the festival of The Day of the Dead in Quauhnahuac, Mexico. Geoffrey Firmin, the former British consul, stuggles with delirium tremens and vivid hallucinations caused by a gargantuan consumption of various alcohols, including mezcal. He holds conversations with imaginary people and is pursued through the festival revelry by a ´hideous pariah dog´. As he tries to hold his sanity together, under the symbolic shadows cast by the two volcanos looming over the town, every type of calamity befalls him on what turns out to be the last day of his life. At one point he is nearly arrested for collapsing face-down in the gutter (Lowry himself was once imprisoned in Mexico while soused, on suspicion of being a Spanish spy). It is often hard to know what exactly is going on with all the temporal slips and scene-splicing; between the fact and the fiction. But the writing is almost always exquisite. Like the story of Don Birnam in Charles
Jackson´s masterful The Lost Weekend, the downfall of Geoffrey Firmin is a powerful story of dissolution. Its complex and allsuive layers of symbolism don´t make for an easy read though. Lowry himself termed it ´a symphony, an opera, a horseopera ..hot music, a poem, a song, a tragedy, a comedy, a farce´. It went through 9 years of rewrites and revisions, and shows heavy shades of Joyce amongst a host of other writers; the result being that it can seem massively overwritten in parts. If you can stomach it, the chances are that you will love it. Or you might simply hate it. Malcolm Lowry died in England at the age of 48 in a boarding house with large traces of barbiturates and alcohol in his blood. The coroner´s verdict was ´death by misadventure´. What should really matter though is what he wrote; his work, rather than a search for paralels between his own life and those of his characters – however many points of reference there may be. In Lowry´s own words: ´I have wept; wept for my lost opportunities and my found opportunities ..for my tenderness, for my super-sensual cruelty ..my extra-mundane intelligence; and then, as the roar of a million cities has closed over my mind, I have wept for them all together because I w a s always v e r y drunk´.
A political tale with a human heart Joey Facer Saturday is a novel which seems to signal the arrival of McEwan to his literary comfy chair. After making his mark in such epic books as Atonement and gaining the necessary critical acclaim from Amsterdam it seems that McEwan aims to broaden his technical horizons. What he has produced is far from uncertain in its composition, but a remarkably complex reception should be anticipated before beginning. It is unclear, for example, until at least half of the way through Saturday whether this is a Jocyean close-analysis of a single day, so effortlessly can the reader pick through the pages. There is a thankful lack of drawn-out tedious self-analysis, and likewise any attempt at a stream-ofconsciousness narrative is quelled before inertia sets in with the reader. McEwan’s style, whilst compelling, is current; hardly Woolf, hardly Joyce, but that moment is now past, and McEwan’s book is more suited by its immediacy of language. Nevertheless, Ian McEwan is one of few modern novelists whose prose style is, deceptively in fact, remarkable for its beauty and literariness. He spins such a good story you could almost miss all the nuance, and the rich vocabulary can become hidden beneath a profound emotional study. The ideas in McEwan, you might say, almost outstrip its technical excellence. That is not to say that Saturday is without flaws. In my own humble opinion, Atonement is near enough to perfection (although many lament the perhaps add-
on ending). Saturday, a shorter and more tightly conceived book, yet inculcates an uneasy awareness of something missing that just does not strike the reader of Atonement. The most evident example of this is the incident which forms the backbone of the story, which seems contrived: our central character, a neurosurgeon, comes to blows completely randomly, with a man who happens to be suffering from a neurological condition. Whilst McEwan’s research on the central profession is admirable, his attempt to push it before the reader in this way might seem taxed. Except that, for he is too good a writer to not have an ulterior point, he is probably attempting to portray how close human beings are in spirit, how in any exchange there will be a point of connection, whether hidden or evident. Saturday does not compel the reader from the very start in the same way as Atonement, or even The Child in Time, manage to. That is, in all probability, because McEwan no longer has to do this, he has convinced enough people he is a superlative writer for our generation and will prove this, if not from the first page, certainly long before the close. Midway through Saturday he really kicks in, and it’s difficult to stop reading as the plot unfolds. The most touching scenes involve the central character’s children, as seen through his own eyes, and while couched in modernity they manage to escape the materialism that can bind characters of many modern novels. (Physical description, for example, as well as speech hampered by current phraseology, is sparse if perceptible at all.) The reason I think Saturday is important
Indecision is a unique show-and-tell which ends with a political epiphany. Photo: Rosalind Drineen
Time to make a tough decision Rosalind Drineen
Renowned fiction writer Ian McEwan’s Saturday is a modern masterpiece as a novel, for it is certainly not due to its analysis of post-September-11th mindsets whatever the blurb might assert, is the positive portrayal of a married couple. Indeed, after reading this novel I began to consider the media’s presentation of married life: in books, as well as television and film, marriage seems to be a moment of bliss followed by hardship, growing apart, betrayal, heartache. It is a long time since I have come across anything vastly dissimilar to this Certainly, the plot towards the end of the novel overtakes all and becomes the central point of interest;
however it is this close and endearing relationship which lingers in the mind of the reader. A flawed novel, it must be conceded; the careful plotting of a single day does not leave much scope for an author determined to compel, and not merely chronicle; and the near classical unity of time leaves much to be desired on the believability stakes. Nevertheless, another intricately engineered novel with a completely honest portrayal of character secures McEwan as one of the foremost writers of our time.
Choosing a book to read for pleasure is easy. All the book candy is there, waiting for you, on tables and shelves. It is patient in its neon-covered, just-born state, or its tea mug-stained and pencilled-in, or fished from a backpack, well-travelled, smelling. Take a bit of this and a few pages of that and your pick-a-mix bag of book candy is contently sagging. (Personally I don’t throw too many cola bottles in there.) Regard the breeze and ease with which we select and digest our way through an over-saturated world! If choosing a book to read for pleasure is easy for you, do not continue reading this article. Turn back to that book: it wants you back. It’s lying there yearning for you and your decisive fingers. Decisive people do not need book reviews, they know what to read, what to take from it, and whether it was worth it or not. Decisives, I am no longer talking to you; thanks all the same. Now then: the rest of us. Can’t even decide whether to have cheese or tuna, let alone what to read, can you? Or even, at that, if you should be reading at all, what with all these global problems to tend with? (Personally, I know I don’t like Coca-Cola and some days that’s about all I do know for sure.) I can offer help to you wanderers and wonderers; I can tell you to read this: Indecision is Benjamin Kunkel’s first novel and it is based on the idea that indecision is not an irritation, but a curable disease. The disease is called abulia and the drug to cure it is Abulinix. The diagnosis and magic pills come at the same time for Dwight Wilmerdig, the 28 yearold New-Yorker hero. A paper aeroplane glides over the semi-wall of his room one night sent by his medical student flatmate with the question “You up?” written on it. (“You up?” What a great question. Just to be asked it is to know the answer.) He goes next door, chasing the rare no-brainer question, and is met with abulia, Abulinix and Combos. apparently Combos are little hollows of pretzel squirted with cheesy filling.) The scene moves through New York to
Ecuador, after a girl, the wrong girl, a dream, hairlessness or maybe that bit was the cactus juice. During Dwight’s voyage on Abulinix we can never tell if the drug is working or not, but his life is certainly changing. And it is the force with which Dwight moves the plot forwards, spurned by his fear of not making decisions, or intoxicated by abulia, who knows, that will hook you. Dwight is uncertain: useless but happy. Kunkel gives us someone who is likable, who is neither one thing nor the other, who is very real. Dwight watches 9/11 from his apartment rooftop whilst coming-down from ecstasy. He worries about why he does the things he does and so asks his sister to be his therapist, but confusion over incest intercedes. He debates politics in Ecuador and settles on becoming a democratic socialist. He becomes hairless. Indecision is certainly not a book of answers for a suddenly identified group of Dwight-like readers. (Unless you want to take his dad’s drunken advice and never trust a Muslim because they don’t drink and are therefore missing “an education in human frailty” and a “tolerance for weakness”) Surprisingly, neither is it running after Catcher in the Rye, On The Road, or Dave Eggers. Indecision is a unique show-andtell which ends with a political epiphany, a call-to-arms message, a rare thing in contemporary literature. Indecision is not diagnosing a generation but displaying them; flipping them over for a good look and their own amusement. Whilst being amused you are quietly thrown some hefty ideas. It will make you laugh; not out loud on the bus, but in that terribly knowing “oh it’s funny because it’s so true” way. Unfortunately Abulinix is a fictional drug, but not entirely. I think that everyone can and does create their own source of it. For example, I chose to read this book because it had (wait, I’ll count them for you) 20 recommendations on the inside cover from highly reputable sources. This counting of good reviews is my own little Abulinix to help me out in bookshops, when knowing that I definitely don’t like Coca-Cola isn’
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 15
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Trinity researchers hope to change the world with offshore wind power Shane Colwell In these uncertain times of oil supply, arbitrary wars in the Middle East and global warming, the world is increasingly turning to renewable energy to feed its’ overwhelming appetite for power. Ireland is ranked 3rd in the EU-25 in terms of oil consumption per capita and as our natural oil deposits are practically zero, we are one of the most imported-oil reliant nations on Earth, leaving us at the mercy of fluctuating oil prices. As the economies of China and India expand, the magnitude of Irelands’ unsustainable dependence on imported oil is increased. Thus, Ireland needs to find alternative methods of energy production in order to feed her habits. Various methods of energy production exist, from nuclear power to solar power. However, the case for offshore wind energy, above onshore wind energy and also other types of energy production, appears to be the strongest. Many people stereotype wind turbines as being destroyers of an areas scenic beauty and generators of noise pollution. Wind farms placed in the ocean can quickly overcome these factors as vast farms placed in the sea are only eyesores to lonely fishermen and oil tanker captains. The main environmental issues, such as visual impact on coastal landscapes, conflicts with the shipping industry and adverse changes in the local marine life, are quite minute compared with the ecological footprints left by such industries as nuclear power and coal burning power plants. It has been found that fish stocks have actually increased since the construction of Danish offshore farms. In the sea, due to the relative flatness of the topography, wind speeds are greater than on dry land. With each metre per second increase in a winds speed, the energy content of the wind is cubed. The higher one goes in the atmosphere, the higher the wind speeds. Thus, by constructing extremely tall wind turbines in the ocean,
of the order of >100m above sea level, vast amounts of wind energy can be harnessed. With immense tracts of sea available for wind turbine installation, vast wind farms can be constructed, creating greater economies of scale and more efficient use of invested money. Also, economically optimised turbines yield some 50% more energy at sea than at nearby land locations. Hence, with our vast coastline, Ireland is potentially sitting on a treasure trove of renewable energy. The total European consumption today is 2,678 TWh/year. The projected potential of wind energy available in Europe, with turbine farms located within 30km of the coast, is 3,028 TWh/year. The projected potential for offshore wind energy in Ireland is 54.8 TWh/year. With projected energy consumption in Ireland in 2010 to be 44TW/h/year, it is clear that utilisation of our vast coastal wind energy can have a great impact on our continued development as a nation. With nearly every European country setting minimum wind energy targets, it is logical to assume that the market for wind turbine production is immense. As wind turbines become taller and more slender, the traditional way in which engineers dealt with vibrations incurred within their structures: by using a combination of mass and stiffness, are eliminated. Consequently, the structural vibrations caused by wind, waves and even earthquakes are more likely to lead to fatigue in the structure, structural failure or structural excitations which make it impossible for wind energy to be harnessed. This leaves the engineer with the option of damping to suppress vibrations that are induced within the structural system. In the Civil, Structural & Environmental department, novel ways of reducing the loads on offshore wind turbines by implementing ‘Tuned liquid column dampers (TLCDs)’ are being investigated. TLCDs are dampers whose damping effects depend on the liquid residing in the
Ireland needs to find alternative methods of energy production in order to feed her habits. Offshore wind power may be the solution. Photo: Shane Colwell damper and which are specifically tuned to the natural frequency of a structure. As wind or waves induce a vibration within a structure, the vibrational energy is transmitted from the structure into the rigid TLCD container, which in turn transfers the excitation into the TLCD liquid. Since the motion of the TLCD is essentially out of phase with the motion of the structure, a gravitational restoring force acting on the displaced TLCD liquid suppresses the vibrations of the structure. By simulating
the effect of wind and wave loadings on an 80m offshore wind turbine, it has been shown that the acceleration and displacement responses at the top of a wind turbine with TLCD are reduced by up to 65% from a turbine without TLCD. Thus, with the installation of a TLCD that comprises only 1% of the total mass of the turbine, foundation costs, tower costs and the chances of fatigue failure are greatly reduced. Also, smaller structural vibrations within the turbine mean that the
mechanism in the turbine that converts wind energy to electrical energy runs far more efficiently and is subject to a smaller number of excitations that it cannot handle. The savings of implementing such dampers in offshore wind farms could be as much as 20% per wind turbine. When one realizes the overall market in Europe and America, the implementation of TLCDs in offshore wind turbine could potentially run into billions over the next couple of decades, while helping to
increase the attractiveness of green, renewable energy. The aforementioned work shall be presented at the upcoming World Wind Engineering Conference in New Delhi where perhaps the work will be transferred from the drawing board to the Atlantic Ocean. Shane Colwell is researching for a PhD in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering.
Walton was uneasy with his association with the atomic age Valentine Keaveney
Pluto: Moon: Earth: 2200km 3400km 12900km Diameter of Pluto in comparison with Earth and the Moon.
Pluto is no longer a planet Gerard Bree Joseph Roche “Pluto is dead.” This was the disgruntled response of Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology immediately after the decision to downgrade it was made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) at a conference in Prague on August 24. During the IAU conference, arguments were made for and against Pluto’s planetary status. The scientists agreed that the official definition will state that a planet is “a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.” Pluto was automatically disqualified because its highly elliptical orbit overlaps with that of Neptune. It will now join a new category of dwarf planets. Pluto was discovered in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh and up until now had been considered the ninth planet in our solar system. It was originally thought to be larger than the Earth and so was given planetary status. However, we now know that it is in fact smaller than the Earth’s Moon. Since the 1930s many more Pluto sized objects
have been identified orbiting the Sun so controversy arose over whether these too were planets. Chief among these were Sedna (2004) and Eris (2003), the latter being larger than Pluto. These discoveries, as well as the prospect of future ones, stimulated the IAU to concisely define the term “planet”. Shortly after the decision was reached, the wider astronomical community voiced their dissatisfaction with the process used by the International Astronomical Union. They are unhappy with the fact that out of some 10,000 professional astronomers worldwide, only 424 astronomers were allowed to vote. A petition was circulated and signed by more than 300 professional researchers among the astronomical community, attacking the decision that expelled Pluto from the Solar System’s Alist and declared it a “dwarf planet”. “We as planetary scientists and astronomers do not agree with the IAU’s definition of a planet, nor will we use it. A better definition is needed,” says the petition, placed on the web at www.ipetitions.com/petition/planetprotest. Despite the IAU’s decision, the situation is far from resolved. While it is unlikely that Pluto will regain its planetary status, it seems increasingly likely that the definition which demoted it will be amended.
While entering College from the Westland Row end very recently, I was approached by a group of people who enquired how to get to the Library to see the Book of Kells. Speaking to them, I discovered that they were university students from Canada returning home for the new academic year after a summer vacation spent backpacking around Europe. I offered to bring them to the Library, and give them an abridged history of Trinity College while en route. As we came through the new science buildings, I discovered that one of the students was studying Physics, with a special interest in nuclear physics thus reminding me of Professor Ernest Walton (1903-1995). Walton was my neighbour and a familiar figure to me while I worked at medical research in the physiology building across from the physics building. He was Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy in the physics department from 1946 to 1974. He won the Nobel Laureate Award in Physics in 1951 in recognition for his work in nuclear physics. He is the only Irish person ever to win a Nobel Prize in a science discipline. Together with a colleague in Cambridge University they split the atom – the principle of atomic fission – thus paving the way for the development of atomic power, a momentous landmark in the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology, particularly in the field of energy, with atomic energy being increasingly used as the earth’s stores of fossil fuels becomes reduced, a controversial and much debated contentious issue at the moment. It is not widely known that Walton abhorred any mention of his name in connection with, or any publicity related to the splitting of the atom. A deeply devout spiritual person, Walton saw the splitting of the atom and thus the means of developing atomic power as a means of enhancing the quality of life, particularly in the impoverished and underdeveloped third-world countries. He could not ever conceive that the product of his years of painstaking research would be used to destroy life – human, animal, marine and
botanical – as it did when atomic bombs were dropped by the US air force on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively Apolitical, Walton found the dropping of the bombs and the consequent ensuing death and destruction unacceptable. The debate on the ethics and morality of this calculated strategic destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima will continue, and future tourists and visitors to College, on seeing the commemorative plaque to this very illustrious graduate may reflect upon the many ethical issues arising from this momentous and cataclysmic holocaust. Man’s decision to use Walton’s discovery of the principle of atomic fission, and its further development for destructive purposes, was pivotal to Walton’s distancing himself from association and publicity with the atomic bomb. The use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes is reflected in its use in producing electrical power. It is utilised in a number of developed countries today, but the debate to extend its usage is offset by apprehension of the danger factor existing in its radioactive component – as seen in the Chernobyl disaster – when a Russian atomic-driven power generator exploded with much loss of life, destruction, and continuing deaths, and congenital defects from radiation. Fears that a similar disaster and meltdown might happen in Sellafield in the UK with similar grave problems arising from fallout for Ireland has generated much robust debate with many calls for its closure. Medical doctors in the Dundalk/Drogheda region close across the sea from Sellafield state their observations of the high level of clusters of cancer, leukemia, and miscarriages in their work practice area. Radiation has been found in sheep grazing on upland pastures in Leitrim and Wicklow after Chernobyl, the sheep having grazed on grass watered by fallen rain containing airborne radiation. It seems reasonable to believe that physicists will in time find a solution to contain, store, remove or destroy the health hazard present in radioactive material, as also the waste products of usage, recycling and salvage. Diminishing fossil
Nobel Laureate Ernest Walton was one of a two-man team who split the atom. Photo: School of Physics fuel supplies dictate that political decisions must be made for future sources of energy. Walton’s role in this ongoing controversial debate is an example of man’s choice to use a resource for good or evil. With ongoing research by physicists it seems quite likely that Walton’s heritage will be manifested in increased safe usage of atomic/nuclear fueled generators for the generation of electricity. With the
health hazards removed, the benefits of nuclear driven generators would transform many countries, particularly those blighted so-called impoverished “third world” countries presently lacking effective and efficient infrastructures. Valentine Keaveney is a former medical research worker.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
We agree on the “Leiden 15 minutes” Sheila Lynch
The wild, enormous, semideserted expanses of Patagonia
Alyson McEvoy I wish I could put a soundtrack to this piece. I think the wild, enormous, semideserted expanses of Patagonia are best described accompanied only by some wistful, slightly melancholic, music – no words! Perhaps like that of the wooden flutes you sometimes hear being played by indigenous-looking people on Grafton Street. Most travellers through Argentina experience the Patagonian plains by bus. The country is so enormous that bus rides can last up to about 20 hours. Before you start to imagine 20 hours on a Bus Éireann bus, let me set you straight. These are no ordinary buses. Imagine a first class plane service on wheels and you’re getting close. Think beds rather than seats and, in fact, when buying a ticket you are customarily asked if you would prefer cama or semi cama, literally meaning “bed” or “semi bed”. And that is what you get. The seats are large and comfortable and can
lean as far back as to be almost horizontal. You are served meals and drinks accompanied by a film, and some companies also serve a small whiskey after dinner. It was from one of these buses that I first began to realise the vast expanse that is Patagonia. I made the 19-hour bus journey from a place called Bariloche, in the lake district of Patagonia, to Mendoza, a famous wine region. The journey skirted the Pre-Andean cordillera, and while I did sit glued to the window for the first hour or so, amazement is such that it is almost impossible to retain for long periods of time. Patagonia covers a large area of Argentina and, as such, the various parts of it are quite diverse. The journey from Bariloche, a mountainous, snowy, lake strewn region covered with firs and pine trees, up towards Mendoza, a semi desert region, dry, dusty and windy (and which would be an actual desert were it not for the snow melt that comes from the highest snow capped peaks of the nearby
Falling in love with the land down under
Andean range) and dotted with cacti and scrub, is but one example of how the landscape morphs and changes throughout the region. Further south, heading towards Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) and Argentina’s Antarctic region, I encountered glaciers for the first time in my life. Southern Patagonia is crawling with them. To be honest, although I did study geography for years in school and learnt all about “glacial formations” (as one does), I had always doubted their actual existence. It just seemed too easy to use them to explain all the valleys of Ireland and their various formations, by these fantastical rivers of ice which scraped their way across the country, literally carving out the landscape. And there you go. But no, they are real, they do exist, and I feel it an enormous task to try to explain just how magnificent they are. The most famous glacier in Argentina is known as the Perito Moreno glacier, named after an Argentinean of the same name, the founding father of its national
parks, and also the man who fought neighbouring Chile and won for Argentina some of the most fascinating lands in the world. The day I visited this glacier was an overcast, wet day, but the effect of this was merely that the beautiful sky blue hues of the ice appeared to gleam all the more. The glacier itself fills a whole valley, at the end of which it is met on either side by massive lakes. On either side, huge snow-covered mountains border it. Try to imagine a wall of ice, jagged peaked, retreating into the distance, as far as the eye can see: ice, ice, ice. The scene was such that I could hardly believe it was all real, all really there. Have you ever looked at an amazing photo, a National Geographic cover for example, and failed to be impressed only because you couldn’t get your head around the fact that it actually exists out there somewhere? There were the white and blue hues of the ice, the blackened mountains tipped with snow, the dull limey green moss hanging off bare trees and then the grey clouds of the sky, which
were actually so low that particular day that they hung on the mountain tops and below. Just to add to the drama, we could hear thunderous crashes in the distance, where ice was cracking and plunging into the lakes. As a few of us began to walk away from the glacier we heard someone gasp and all heads turned towards the ice as a huge block began to crack and slip before crashing into the water. It was spectacular, and all the more so as the sound took a few more seconds to reach us. The sound delay made it seem all the more surreal; unreal even. At the shore where we were standing, the water started to suck away from the edge as it gathered force with the wave created by the falling ice. As the waves of the lake began to regulate once more, people began to let go of their breath and look at one another, wide eyed. There are many such moments to be had, when breath is hard to come by, throughout Argentina, and Patagonia in particular. It’s not just a land of dusty ranches and gauchos.
Mexico’s capital makes its mark as an exciting destination Mark Thompson
Aoife O’Leary Australia is Awesome. There are some drawbacks to going, with the number one being the sheer distance and cost involved and the other owes to the fact that you’ll never want to leave. Since Australia is so big, there is just more to do there than you’ll ever get around to accomplishing. With a plan in mind, it is possible to see a vast array of sights that this country has to offer. The sheer size of this vast continent makes it easy to fall into the well travelled tourist trap that is the east coast. More likely than not if you fly over your first stop will be Sydney or Melbourne – they are fantastic cities but don’t get bogged down there – keep travelling! There are too many people who arrive and just stay in Sydney for the duration of their stay in the Land of Oz. I would advise anyone planning a trip to not be one of them. The east coast is beautiful and you will have an amazing time but more likely then not, you’ll just end up with the entourage of other Irish/British/European travellers out on the drink every night. Sure you could do that in Dublin, right? If you want to see the real Down Under then you’ve got to go to the heart of Australia – Ayers Rock, or more correctly, Uluru, its Aboriginal name. The best way to see Uluru is by travelling straight up the centre of Australia from Adelaide on the south coast up to Darwin on the tropi-
cal north coast. It’s a distance of 1493 km and so it is likely to take you some time. It took me 14 days including various national parks and other stop offs along the way but it was well worth it. I spent four months in Australia and those 14 days were by far the best. I had the opportunity to camp right in the centre, where I slept under the stars every night in a swag – a type of bedroll designed to keep the cold and wet out. Each evening, my group cooked and sat by the campfire having a few drinks and it really was just the most amazing experience. Along the way you get to meet the original Australians, the Aboriginals. This is their land and they are incredibly happy to show you around and teach you a little of their traditions. I honestly believe that Uluru itself is one of the most amazing places in the world. I really thought I wouldn’t be as impressed by it as I was because everywhere you go in Australia you see the Red Rock on postcards, window displays and paintings. I had imagined by the time I had got there that I would have been desensitised to it but no, it was absolutely incredible. It is the kind of place you could imagine yourself staying forever. My advice to anyone even mildly contemplating a trip down under would be to go to Australia now. It really is an incredible land. Oh, and read Down Under by Bill Bryson. It is better then any guide book on Australia that you’ll find.
This year I’m a Law student at Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands. People always do a serious double take at that one. So I start to explain – an international student like the ones you’ve noticed wandering around Trinity – on “study abroad” or Erasmus programmes (not the ones who are here full time and have long ago learnt where the Book of Kells is and more importantly The Pav), but the ones who get lost, ask silly questions, and stick out a mile. Well, I’m one of those this year – in Holland. So, as of the 11 September I am now a law student at the oldest university in the Netherlands. I’ve even learnt how to pronounce my address properly (Hugo de Grootstraat). That took three weeks. I still get lost regularly and ask silly questions. I even squeal and take photographs when I see windmills. I now know about ten words of Dutch as compared to none when I arrived Living here is completely different to what the average backpacker or inter-railer experiences. Many only make it as far as Amsterdam and then only the really sleazy parts of the city. Leiden is a beautiful historic town full of canals, winding streets, cobble stones, museums, pretty boutiques, bicycles, barges and bars. The city itself has a population of about 100,000, but a fifth of these are students – so we run the place. The University campus is spread out all over the city so there are student halls and bars everywhere. The University runs lots of courses through English (including my own) so there is a large international student community. The city has a very cosmopolitan feel for its size but this is definitely influenced by its location – The Hague is only ten minutes away by train and Amsterdam is 45 minutes in the opposite direction. As for the Dutch – well they tend to be at least six foot tall and phenomenally good looking. I walk around feeling especially squat and peasant-like. They also speak perfect English and are able to correct my grammar. It’s an odd experience. Many Dutch look down on the “coffee” shops – though they are so proud of their liberalism that they would never admit this – as something akin to the tourist traps lining Temple Bar and the quays in Dublin. In Leiden the “Coffeeshops” and “Smartshops” look a bit like grimy truckers’ cafés and are beside the station where all the junkies hang out at night. A few resemble Parisienne cafés, while others are definite tourist traps complete with the massive psychedelic paintings on the walls and occupants that are giggling incessantly. We all agree over one thing here: the “Leiden 15 minutes”. 9 am lectures don’t exist; everything starts at quarter past the hour. Genius.
Mexico City: The clichés of crime, dirt and chaos are heavily exaggerated and the people are friendly. Photo: Mark Thompson
It is hailed as the biggest city in the world: an urban sprawl of proportions beyond imagination. 18 million people. A quarter of a million registered taxis. There would be enough smog lingering above Mexico’s capital to suffocate the entire island of Ireland. Welcome to Mexico City. I flew in late at night and was left in awe of the sheer expanse of lights below me as we made our descent. The urban glow stretched as far as the eye could see and more. The views could not have made for a more exciting welcome. So with fears of being mugged, shot and bundled off into the back of some Volkswagen Beetle, I set about exploring with first stop being the zoo. It was no surprise, that they claim it is the biggest in the world. Mexico City Zoo is set amongst a huge public park with a similar feel to Central Park; NYC only more weeds and overgrown grass. It felt almost surreal however at points, as you had images of giraffes and rhinoceros roaming about their sandy pit with views of tall towering buildings and Latin America’s tallest building, the Torre Latinoamericana, in the background. The Latin Quarter is truly how you imagine the region to be. Large colonial brightly coloured buildings, bustling cafes and bars and, of course, numerous amounts of Beetles roaming the streets. I ate some of the most amazing tortillas in these cafes served up with liberal glasses
of tequila. The pace of life here seemed so chilled in contrast to the crazy chaos of this metropolis. Nightlife, however, was not as chilled, with clubs that could easily rival those on the Ibiza isle. Many a good night out was had during my time here. Whilst not wanting to fall into the tourist trap from hell, the Aztec pyramids a few hours drive from the city are really worth a visit. It was an amazing day spent walking between each pyramid and then climbing up the multitude of steps just to get to the top in the heat of the Mexican sun. Of course, what goes up must come down, and on arrival back to ground level you are met by a gaggle of Mexicans all eager to sell you their finest handicraft which of course they have personally laboured over strenuously. I got suckered in and fell for the sob story of ‘I need money for an education’. I came home with a carpet. Mexico City really did surprise me. The clichés of crime, dirt and chaos are heavily exaggerated and the people are very friendly. I felt very safe during my time and saw some incredible sights throughout my trip. Tourism is on the up with over 21.9 million people visiting last year. So if you’re looking for a trip to this hot hot Mexican land but don’t fancy the tourist traps of Cancun or Cabos then take a chance and head to the capital city and get lost amongst the 18 million other people. British Airways has daily flights to Mexico City with connections available from Dublin
SPORT FEATURES 17
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Like the man himself, new Zidane movie is a work of art Andrew Payne
In the aftermath of the World Cup many were tempted to suggest that his headbutt had been an exceptional moment the fact is that Zidane’s disciplinary record is poor. Photo: Andrew Payne
Zidane. Barely had his much talked about “moment of madness” in July disappeared from people’s minds when the film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait opened at the Irish Film Institute last week. In fitting with the man himself the film is a brilliant work of art, yet a piece that leaves you knowing even less about the man than you did before entering the cinema. The film is one of those times when you enter deeply afraid that it’s going to be terrible. The basic premise is that a set of cameras were set up around Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium for a Spanish la Liga match between Real and Villareal in April of 2005. For the duration of the match the cameras would just centre on Zinedine Zidane with little to no coverage of any other players, or even the major events taking place. Having experimented with the player cam option on Sky Sports before, I was not sure that this boded well. A knowledge that I would constantly wonder what it would have been like made sure I went to see the film despite my concerns. The film turns out to be something of a masterpiece. The size and sounds of the picture are simply incredible. The way the film was edited and the choice of cameras and noises makes you feel like you’re on the pitch as you watch Zidane’s game in front of you. The film in fact helps expose the very flaw that the player cam suffers from on Sky. When watching a football match you normally follow the action – you want to know where the ball is, what action is taking place, and what result the game is heading towards. If this didn’t interest you, you wouldn’t be watching the game to begin with. The flaw of player cam is that it removes your ability to follow these very things as the view of one player distracts you from the bigger picture. In this film the bigger picture doesn’t matter. Who else plays well, the final score, the balance of play, these things are all immaterial. Through the importance of knowing a result being removed, we instead focus just on Zidane, and get a rare chance to watch how a top class footballer performs over the 90 minutes. What the film highlights is that Zidane is no ordinary player. Anonymous throughout most of the first half, he comes to life with some fantastic moments in the second. But moments is all that there is. For much of the game he does very little. This is reflected in some of Zidane’s comments which are placed in subtitles under the action during the film. Most striking is his comment that he
doesn’t remember games as a whole, instead his memories are of an assortment of moments. This rings true in the film. While you watch Zidane for 90 minutes of a match, most of it rolls into one, while the few times his magic sets the game alight, these moments live on in your memory in perfect detail. Most magic of all is a superb assist the player makes when creating Real’s equaliser in the match. Watching the game in real time and from Zidane’s point of view we see him take the ball on, beat two men with quick feet, then cross the ball back across the goal from the touchline. While this may look simple watching from overhead, watching it as it is created on the field shows the man’s true genius. The assist is one of the few true moments of genius that the player creates in the match however. For me this seems to sum up Zidane as a player. A phenomenal footballer, a player whose move to Real Madrid remains the world record transfer, a player who was named the Best European Footballer of the past 50 years by UEFA and who has scored in two World Cup finals and a Champions’ League final has gone down as one of the best of his generation. The lingering feeling remains however that he could have been more. He sometimes had a tendency to disappear from games except for his few moments of genius. He was never the all action player of a Roy Keane, working with purpose all over the pitch for the entire match. The moments of genius then were sometimes almost too good. His match winning volley in the 2002 Champions’ League final was arguably the greatest strike of all time, certainly one of the most technically perfect volleys ever struck. But there again lies the problem: it was almost too clinical to be properly loved. His two headed goals against Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final had more passion perhaps, but there have been other players that have stirred the emotions to a greater extent. The lack of work for the rest of games was his great flaw. In watching this film one thing repeatedly came to mind. During the summer’s World Cup finals a photograph appeared in the press depicting Zidane smoking a cigarette. Whether or not Zidane is a regular smoker is anyone’s guess but watching the film made you wonder if this was an example of the effect smoking can have on a professional footballer’s game. His performance is characterised by sudden moments of genius followed by long breaks, highlighted in the film by him being clearly short of breath and sweating profusely. It looked the performance of a genius who was limited by the effects of smoking.
I have more affection for the Ryder Cup than for golf itself Jonny Drennan My relationship to golf has always been slightly strained, I have always been at a slight loss to understand a sport that revels in bad clothes and attracts the worst of the bourgeois. Growing up in Belfast, I played most sports and as a naïve ten year old I felt the time was nigh to take up golf. I endured a torrid ten weeks of getting yelled at in a stuffy country club and vowed to never to feign interest in the game again. Somehow, I have always had a strange affection for the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup has humble origins, a seed merchant called Samuel Ryder donated the first trophy for an annual golf competition between Britain and America. The Ryder Cup has always been a great uniting force in such a single-minded game. Unusually for golf, the Ryder Cup appears to transcend the classes. Bars become filled with people from all walks of life urging on their countrymen in their quest to restore glory to their respective continent. First and foremost, I am a fan of sporting occasions. I attended the Olympics with friends after school and felt that sporting events don't get much larger than the Ryder Cup. Buoyed by the excitement generated by attending one of the largest sporting events to grace the shores of
Ireland, I applied and successfully obtained a Saturday match ticket for K Club. My ignorance unsullied but my curiosity very much intact, I arrived in Kildare dressed in my best khaki trousers and v-neck. Watching golf is a strange experience; it is vastly different to most sports frequented in Ireland such as rugby or football. The action isn't limited to one small square area; it's spread over 18 holes. This leads the spectator to make an educated guess, stay at the putting green and wait for a long time or follow a favourite player and enjoy a severely restricted view. I intially chose the former option and found myself standing on the ninth hole with a group of English businessmen on a corporate jolly. If I have any skills in life, I can normally pass myself on subjects on which I have absolutely no acumen. Thus, I spent half an hour talking about Jim Furyk's swing amongst other things, for fear that I would be found out as a relative impostor at one of golf's most exclusive events. Eventually the players arrived on the green, the atmosphere was electric. The Ryder Cup is justified in its reputation as one of the most vocal sporting events in the world. Players who make a living in one the world's most singleminded games are forced to constantly consider colleagues and countrymen in their quest for the trophy. Darren Clarke's
Ryder Cup has been well documented in the press and elsewhere. The reception he received from both sets of fans helped to augment the Ryder Cup's reputation as a great sporting contest. After watching Europe stretch their lead to 3.5 points after inspired putting, I began to lose my initial sceptism. The volume of people on the course is hard to describe; unintentionally I met a dozen people from grammar school in Belfast and university in Dublin. Most people have seen the garish 'tour' t-shirts worn in Ayia Napa by hoards of Irish teens. Many Americans seemed to take the 'tour' t-shirt to another level in an attempt to mark their visit back to the motherland. I watched Colin Montgomery teeing off from the 10th in the company of 'Cadillac' and his wife 'Lady Pamela'. For someone as ignorant on golf etiquette as myself, it becomes rather hard to criticise the vast corporate entertainment laid on at the K Club. In my defence, I was there to watch the golf. The huge number of hospitality tents teemed with clientele seemingly content to pay excessive prices for sub-standard food while the golf was taking place outside. Merchandise was sold with Americans in mind; it was plentiful and had been marked up considerably. Weather had become an issue; my ill-
advised khaki trousers had become a dark hue of brown as the soft ground was transformed into a quagmire in the rain. Despite this minor setback, I was being to really enjoy being part of the experience. European fans of all conceivable nations were mingling happily with American fans who on the whole were affable. My plan of action in following the day's play was to walk with the crowd. By sheer chance I ended up the picturesque 16th hole, the scene for many emotional moments for the European team. I stood in the pouring rain at the front on the crowd. My patience was rewarded when I ended up standing beside Michael Jordan for five minutes waiting for play to start. Darren Clarke's direct chip in the hole will continue to live in the memory as a moment of sporting brilliance. Tiger Woods, normally a player of the most extreme blinkered mindset embraced the Tyrone man acknowledging his greatness on the day. It was hard not to get swept up with it all, arriving relatively ambivalent about the day's play, I found myself chanting 'Ole, Ole' after the Spanish duo of Garcia and Olzabal had won another hole over their hapless American counterparts. Golf can be an exhausting sport to watch, it is impossible to be there for every shot, but you still try. After arriving
at the course at 8.00 am by 5.30 pm I was exhausted. I wearily made my way onto the train bound for Connolly Station in the company of disconsolate Americans who had travelled around the world to watch their nation succumb to a successive Ryder Cup defeat. Personally, I found the idea of the Ryder Cup as an event far more fasci-
nating than the actual golf itself. Clarke playing brilliantly after recently losing his wife, Garcia continually confounding his critics and most importantly the camaraderie between the supporters. Golf may never win my complete affection as a sport; the Ryder Cup will continue to have a special place in my sporting lexicon.
Whether or not this is the case is unclear. However, if it is the cause of his style of play, with his lack of movement a result of trying to accommodate smoking’s effects into his game, it makes you wonder what a player he might have been had things been different. The film also exposed his other flaw, a flaw so strikingly underlined in Berlin when he headbutted Marco Materazzi. In the film’s closing minutes he receives a late red card after getting involved in a scuffle on the touchline. While it is hard to make out exactly what’s going on, and it could be argued that he appeared a little hard done by in this case, the red card was not something Zidane was unaccustomed to seeing. While in the aftermath of the World Cup many were tempted to suggest that his headbutt had been an exceptional moment provoked by a verbal attack from the Italian centreback, the fact is that Zidane’s disciplinary record is poor. While he had already been suspended earlier in the tournament for amassing two yellow cards in France’s first two games, a more interesting statistic is that he was sent off 14 times in his career. To put that in context, it is one more than Roy Keane and two more than renowned “bad boy” Vinnie Jones. No examination of Zidane’s career should omit it and that he gets sent off in this appearance captured on film is fitting. Noteworthy in the film too is how little the great man speaks. Barring a few shouts of “hey” when looking for possession, the only player he speaks to is Roberto Carlos – first to discuss the play then later to share a joke. Nothing more is offered to help us gain more of an insight into the man himself. Along with not talking, he rarely even smiles. The subtitles where he lends some comments make no reference to, or explanation of events on the pitch. This makes the film all the more hypnotic as you are left to try and work it out yourself. The film is also helped by an excellent selection of camera shots (one that starts down below the stadium before rising up the steps into the ground as the noise level rises will be particularly familiar to those who have attended football’s great venues like the Bernabeu or Camp Nou), sound editing, and an excellent soundtrack provided by Mogwai. It is a sensory experience perfectly suited to the cinema where its size and sounds can be properly experienced and followed. Whether it will transfer so well to DVD remains to be seen. In the meanwhile all football fans should try to see it to gain a rare insight into the playing style of one of the generation’s greats.
18 SPORT FEATURES
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Eagles exact revenge in classic clash Neil Franklin Anybody who hauled themselves out of bed at 6am last Saturday week to see the Grand Final of Gaelic Football’s far-flung cousin, Aussie Rules, will agree that it was well worth missing a few hours’ shuteye for. The Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles have, over the last two seasons, built up an era-defining rivalry that reached its zenith on September 30th. It was a repeat of the 2005 final pairing, which produced a titanic if low scoring battle with only a kick of the ball between the teams all the way to the siren. 2006 was even better, with the Eagles reversing last year’s loss to triumph by the narrowest margin possible. It was heartbreak for Listowel’s Tadhg Kennelly, who donned the red and white of the Swans. Since his debut in 2001, he has become a key defender in the Paul Roos coached team. Kennelly reportedly broke down in his mother’ s arms in the dressing room afterwards, fuelled by the memory of last year when his late father Tim, a Kerry legend in the 70’s and 80’s, was there to see him kick a goal in Sydney’s victory. The first two quarters belonged to the Eagles who led 55-30 at the half. The Swans, preferring to slow the game down and drag their opponents into a dour struggle, were, if not blown away, made to look ordinary by their opponents pacy running game, with Daniel Kerr and eventual Man of the Match Andrew Embley to the fore. West Coast were helped by a gift from Kennelly who fumbled the ball right in front of his own goal, giving away an easy six points. “Big Bad”
Barry Hall had a shocker of a game. Expected to be Sydney’s talisman up front, the infamous International Rules star kicked several easy goal chances wide. Sydney gradually worked their way back into it in the third, or “premiership” quarter as it’s called in “footy” parlance (as so many grand finals have effectively been decided in the third quarter), but poor finishing meant they were still eleven behind at three-quarter time. The final term was as good as this game gets. When Brownlow medallist (player of the year) Adam Goodes goaled after 15 seconds, the smart money was on the Swans, notoriously difficult to beat in a tight finish. Three separate times they got to within one point: in the end they never got level and time ran out. It ended 85-84 to West Coast, an exact reversal of the score in the first round game of this year’s finals series. Incredibly, these teams have now played four finals games over the past twelve months. The aggregate score is exactly level. Sydney and West Coast’s pre-eminence sums up the current state of the game: almost complete dominance by nonVictorian teams. The last twenty years have seen a revolution. Aussie Rules’ traditional heartland is Melbourne and its hinterland. While the game was also strong in South and Western Australia, those states’ regional leagues were not as strong as the Victorian Football League (VFL). The most talented players in South and Western Australia would inevitably drift towards Melbourne. New South Wales and Queensland have traditionally been Rugby League territory. In the 80’s the VFL took the first steps to move to a
national competition. The result was six new “expansion” teams in New South Wales, Queensland, Western and South Australia, and in 1990, the competition was renamed the Australian Football League (AFL). Ten of the sixteen teams are still Victoria based, but none of the ten has won a premiership since 2000. Footy in Melbourne has been “rationalised”, as the clubs have each left their traditional ramshackle home grounds in the suburbs to play at the massive Melbourne Cricket Ground or Telstra Dome in the city centre. But the move to these sumptuous surroundings has led to a loss of identity, especially for smaller clubs, who often play in front of crowds of about 20,000 in a 100,000 capacity stadium. In contrast to, say, the Eagles, who only have one other team in Perth to compete against for resources and support, the Melbourne clubs are in a cut-throat market. Traditional powerhouses of the game like Carlton and Essendon are on their knees at the moment, and the threat of a merger or relocation to another state hangs over several of the smaller cash-strapped Melbourne clubs. The Swans themselves were the result of the relocation of the South Melbourne club to Sydney in 1982. Initially they were considered a joke, and took far longer to find success on the pitch than the Eagles, who prospered quickly after their formation in 1987, winning premierships in 1992 and 1994. There is resentment in Victoria at what are seen as unfair advantages handed to interstate clubs, such as Sydney’s higher salary cap limit, enabling them to pay higher wages. This is ostensibly because of Sydney’s higher living costs, but is
seen by Melbourne clubs as a handout to keep a team from the country’s biggest “market”, traditionally a Rules backwater, successful. Brisbane’s three in a row premiership team of 2001-2003 also benefited from the higher salary cap. Whereas a few years ago, the AFL were giving advantages to Sydney and Brisbane to make them competitive, the wheel has now turned full circle, and there is even talk of giving these “handouts” to the Melbourne clubs instead. In theory at least though, the draft system should ensure that traditionalists return to the top before too long. Kennelly is only one of several Irish who have played Aussie Rules, to varying degrees of success. Dublin’s Jim Stynes was the winner of the game’s highest individual honour, the Brownlow Medal, in 1991, and holds the record for most consecutive AFL games by one player at 244. Colm Begley from Laois stunned his coaches at the Brisbane Lions by playing an AFL game only 9 months after leaving Ireland. That’s a full year quicker than Kennelly did it. Setanta O’Hailpin, three years after swapping his hurley and an All-Ireland two in a row with Cork for Australia, finds himself on the fringes of a Carlton side considered to be the worst in the club’s history. Gifted young Down forward Martin Clarke has recently been poached by Collingwood. Kennelly has always vowed to return home to play for Kerry, and says he will do so at the end of his contract in 2009. However, he will be a brave man to leave the sun, sea, surf and life of a professional footy player behind.
The Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles have built up an era-defining rivalry over the last two seasons. Photo: Neil Franklin
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We will be holding workshops on Thursday 2 November and Friday 3 November in Dublin. They will give you some experience of the way we help clients solve complex business problems by helping you to apply your intellectual skills to fun, absorbing and realistic business scenarios. It is an opportunity for you to meet our people, learn more about us and the opportunities available in the Dublin, London DQGZRUOGZLGHRIÀFHV<RXZLOODOVRJHWDFKDQFH to practise a business case in preparation for interviews. If you are interested in attending, please register online at www.mckinsey.com/ mckinseyoncampus to secure a place by Monday 30 October. Students from all disciplines are welcome. For further information on McKinsey & Company please visit our websites www.mckinsey.com or www.mckinsey.co.uk
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
DU Tae Kwon Do Club Freshers’ Week
DU Football Club
Trinity hosted by Penn State Kay Bowen The DUFC rugby squad returned to Dublin on the 2nd of October after a tough nine day training camp at Pennsylvania State University. The camp ended with Trinity participating in the prestigious 9/11 Remembrance Tournament in Travers Island, New York. The 33 man squad trained three times a day including intense conditioning sessions in the gym at nine every morning. The facilities in Penn State were top class and the students were treated very well by their hosts Penn State University RFC. On the Wednesday night Trinity took time out from their heavy training schedule to play the local University team. Trinity, not surprisingly, outplayed their inexperienced rivals in a lively contest. All the touring players got considerable minutes. The hosts did manage a try which they richly deserved. On Thursday evening the two teams trained together and compared notes, which was very worthwhile for every-
body involved. On Friday Trinity travelled to Manhattan, New York. Trinity were invited to take part in a four team tournament with three of the top club “super league” sides in the USA. They played the hosts New York Athletic Club in the first game on Saturday morning. NYAC really took the game to the tourists in the 50 minute game. They played some great running rugby as the students looked extremely weary from the weeks training. Only scrambling defence saved the day for the students in the first half. To their credit in the second half the students dug deep, upped the pace, dominated the game and took a 24-15 lead before NYAC had the last say with a try on full time. Trinity old boy Richard White was playing for NYAC. The training camp had simply everything and was enjoyed by everyone. The team thanks President David Duffy and Chairman of Rugby Gerry Kelly who flew over for the weekend to support The Trin.
Player Profile Brian Hastings
Rugby captain endorses female coaching Brian Hasting’s is the incoming captain of DU Football Club. Hastings is 23 and plays in the centre. He has represented Ireland under-19s in the 2002 World Cup, and Munster under-21s in the under-21s inter-provincials in 2003.
What are your goals for the coming season? Win the league and have some craic along the way,
What’s your nickname? Twig
Will Ireland qualify for Euro 2008? I’m optimistic but won’t be placing any bets just yet. If you could have any job you wanted what would it be? I would swap jobs with Brian O’Driscoll and throw in the model girlfriend with it.
If drinking was banned, would you still participate in your sport? Don’t talk crazy. How would we celebrate all our heroic wins? Where do you go on a night? The Pav is definitely the best place to start. Describe your perfect girl. The funloving sporty kind. What’s your opinion on Bebo? It’s so last year. Who on your team is most likely to be arrested? McFeely – for drunk and disorderly or any other crime for that matter. Could you handle a female coach? Why not? Girls bring out the best side of me. What’s your proudest sporting moment to date? Captaining Trinity tops them all.
What’s your most embarrassing sporting moment? Does Colours initiation count?
What’s your favourite quote? “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered” – classic George Best. Who’s your sporting hero? Paul O’Connell, or any of the Munster European Cup winners for that matter Your dying words? “We’re here for a good time, not a long time”. Brian Hastings was in conversation with Kirstin Smith.
The DU Rifle club will host its orientation meeting this week followed by a social reception in the range. This year they hope to build on the success of last year, with more postal competitions in both Air Rifle and 0.22 Rifle against teams from America, England, Scotland, Wales and German. They will also hold a new range of internal competitions such as the John Keeney Cup, the Ladder Competitions, Trinity Postal League and the Standards Awards Scheme. There are also planned trips to Aberdeen and England, and we have introduced the DURC Team of Three competition to help select teams. Naturally, Colours and Intervarsity squad training will run as well. More details on all competitions are published at www.tcd.ie/clubs/rifle.
The College’s Tae Kwon Do Club staging a demo on Front Square’s cobbles last week to attract new members. Photo: Martin McKenna
DU Ultimate Frisbee Club 2006 Season
2006 will be hard to beat for frisbee club Olivia Kelada It has been a fine year for the DU Ultimate Frisbee Club, with the team competing in a total of 15 tournaments in Ireland and abroad. Considering the sport is not particularly well known within the university or nationwide, these statistics are definitely interesting, if not impressive. Both indoor and outdoor seasons were a success, even though the players had their work cut out for them both on and off the pitch. The Club started its year with a string of tournaments aimed at beginners. The sport caters for every level of ultimate, from beginner (those who believe that if a dog can do it it’s not sport) to advanced (the revered few that can make cuts and catch the discs with their eyes closed). These levels are extended to both men and women. The divisions include mixed (at least three women on a team), open (men and women but can be all men) and women. The first of these beginner tournaments was a two-day mixed tournament in Edinburgh. The Club sent twelve beginners who competed against university teams from across the UK and Ireland. The team earned 22nd place, which was quite admirable considering so many of the UK teams had been training through
the month of September. The event acted as a superb introduction to ultimate, and gave beginners a real taste for the sport. The Beginner competitions to follow included the UCD beginners’ tournament and “Whacking Day” (a beginners’ tournament held in DCU). Unfortunately, the Club had to forfeit the former, due to lack of numbers, but took the latter by storm and came first in the open division and won the plate in the women’s. After a few months of beginner tournaments, the Club competed in various other indoor events. At Cork Open the team won the plate and made good use of several newcomers. The team then took their newfound talent to a competition in Sligo, where they earned eighth place. The subsequent events and training sessions saw the Club prepare for Mixed Indoor Nationals in Sheffield. The team managed to earn tenth place in a battle with twenty-three teams from across the UK and were the only Irish team in the tournament. With all of this practice, the DU club proceeded to enter a team in Women’s Indoor Regionals. Even though the team placed last, it was the first time the Club had ever entered a team into the event. With the indoor season drawing to a close, it was time for the Club to put all the outdoor training sessions in Santry to good use. The outdoor season began with
Winter League, an outdoor tournament held in Shankhill. The boots came out and the rugby pitches saw eight teams battle it out in harsh weather conditions. The team took fourth place and gave beginners their first taste of outdoor ultimate. After many months of training and arduous fitness sessions, DU Ultimate Frisbee Club entered two teams in the intervarsity, hosted by DIT here in Dublin. The “A” team earned first place and the prestigious right to play at Nationals, where they won the plate and ninth place. The Club’s winning streak did not end there as they proceeded to win Colours and beat UCD in both the women’s and open divisions. The Club then continued to end the academic year with a tournament in Leicester called Jestival. With teams from the UK and Ireland the team earned third place and completed a decent year in style. DU Ultimate Frisbee Club looks forward to matching the past year’s successes with the help of its new beginners. It remains that most of the top Irish players started their ultimate careers in college, including the Club’s captains last year, who have played at international level. With the rapid growth of the sport and the increasing interest and awareness, it won’t be long until ultimate is a household name.
DU Boat Club Irish Championships
Trinity capped off a magnificent season over the summer by entering ten events at the Irish Championships in Inniscarra, Co Cork, an increase of eight on the previous season. This marked the huge efforts and sacrifices of both the coaching staff and the rowers themselves. Dublin University Boat Club enjoyed its first eights title success since 1995 on July 14th, the first of the two-day event. The title in question was the men’s intermediate eights pot in which Trinity were declared winners after an extremely tight race from start to finish. Belfast Rowing Club were the fancied crew in this event but Trinity managed to just hold them off for the 2000 metres. In a nerve-racking finish in which neither crew knew who had won upon crossing the line, the announcer declared Trinity the winners, much to the delight of the exhausted crew. This was a huge result for the Club as half the crew were only in their second year in the sport. On the novice front, it was encouraging to see so many of the Club’s first year rowers competing at the Championships as it will hopefully drive them onwards to achieve greater things this coming season.
In the novice eights, the fast improving Trinity crew were drawn in a tough heat and unfortunately didn’t qualify, finishing third. There was greater success though in the coxed four event where one of the three fours performed admirably and advanced to the final where they finished fifth. There was another gutsy performance from the intermediate pair which consisted of John McCabe and Gavin Doherty. John, having just competed in the victorious intermediate eights race, managed to steer the pair to victory to win the heat in a competitive field. The pair then finished a good fifth in the final which was a great result considering they had competed in seven races between them over the space of the weekend. DU Boat Club had two rowers competing in sculling events at the champs this year. Gabriel Magee, captain-elect, competed in the novice sculls category. Unfortunately, with this being a popular and fiercely contested event, he didn’t qualify. This being Gabriel’s first season at sculling, it was always going to be a difficult task to get out of the heats. The other sculler of the weekend was David Cummins who entered both intermediate sculls and senior lightweight sculls. The lightweight event was first up on Friday
and David powered through in his heat to finish first. He later finished fifth in the final which is a fantastic result considering the tough competition that currently exists in Irish lightweight rowing. The next day was the intermediate sculls which saw David progressing through to the semi-final, a good result bearing in mind it was an open field including heavyweights. One of the last events of the weekend was the men’s senior eights in which Trinity entered an almost identical eight to the winning intermediate eight crew. It may have proved to be a bridge to far for the inexperienced crew as they were drawn in the middle of an all-star field made of three composites and two pure club crews. In the end the mixed composites made hay of the field and Trinity finished fifth. All in all, it was a very successful season for DU Boat Club and has left the oarsmen hungry for more success this season. DU Boat Club intermediate eight at the Irish Championships: John McCabe (bow), Robert Swift, Rory Horner, Rory Browne, David Keane, Edward RoffeSilvester, Joseph Calnan, Sean Osborne (stroke), Jonathan Maitland (cox)
Poor show by Hockey girls DU Ladies’ Hockey Club’s first XI lost 8-1 to Loreto at Beaufort on Saturday. Heather Irvine scored Trinity's only goal. Rebecca Coll’s play was excellent. The third XI, playing in seventh division, also lost their game, playing against Pembroke’s sixth team. The final score was 1-0, Pembroke scoring from a controversially awarded short corner.
Fresh powder at Les Arcs for ski club The DU Snow Sports Club spent New Year's Eve and the week following it in Les Arcs, France. The conditions were excellent and they were blessed with fresh powder and glorious sunshine. The most exciting event planned this year is a trip to Tignes in the Espace Killy in France, one of the biggest and best skiing terrains in Europe from the 16th to the 23rd December. The price of the trip will be €560 and includes insurance, accommodation, return flights to Lyon, six evening meals, a six-day lift pass, a full social calendar with discounted drinks and a different fancy dress theme every night. The trip is available to all abilities of skier and snowboarder, from complete beginner to the advanced expert. The Club can arrange equipment hire. Sign-up will take place in about two weeks' time. The Club will also be organising lessons for people at Kilternan in Wicklow at a subsidised rate. For those who have a more competitive edge, a race team is to be set up with a view to competing within Ireland at the intervarsities, colours, and abroad.
Aikido Club to hold lessons DU Aikido Club is running classes on Tuesdays and Fridays at 6pm in the Luce Sports Hall. Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. It focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on blending with the energy of an attacker and using it to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. Aikido is not a static art; it places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement. It also offers spritual development and is great exercise. For information email Keith Begley at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tcd.ie/clubs/aikido.
First Championship eights win in 11 years David Keane
Rifle Club planning trips abroad
Surf trip set for Halloween Do you want to meet fellow surfers, or just broaden your horizons and try a fun, new sport? DU Surf and Bodyboarding Club will be holdng its first trip on the Halloween bank holiday weekend departing Friday 27th of October and returning Monday the 30th. The venue is to be decided but will most likely be Lahinch or Bundoran. More information is available at www.tcd.ie/clubs/surf.
Training for rugby sevens
Captain Roffe-Silvester is interviewed by interested media after the Club’s intermediate eight were awarded their pots. Photo: Rob Swift
DU Football Club's Junior "A" team will be playing in an international rugby sevens tournament, and are currently recruiting new players. Training is on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm at College Park; turn up if you want to get involved.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
DU Boat Club Henley Royal Regatta
Beaten by Cornell’s lightweights but closer to the elusive Henley medal Robert Swift In the run-up to the summer’s two biggest events, Dublin University Boat Club had suffered mixed fortunes across the board. The first-year novices were in search of that ever-elusive first win of the season, and the senior squad, whilst holding an unbeaten record as an intermediate crew, had yet to topple any of the more experienced “big guns” of Irish rowing in the senior events. The opportunity, then, to travel overseas and compete against the best university crews the world has to offer was one to be relished, and preparation began early for what some perceive to be the biggest prize of all, Henley Royal Regatta. The small town of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire is a relatively quiet place for much of the year, but each June the very best oarsmen from all over the world gather to compete at all levels, from schoolboy crews to international-standard eights. As such, the Temple Challenge Cup for university eights is regarded as the most sought-after university level trophy in the world of rowing, and the level of competition in the 2006 event was a testament to this. Two of the fastest crews from the US (where, according to unwritten rule, crews must earn the right to even compete at Henley) and two from Holland were the pick of the international competition. The Trinity party of eight oarsmen, a coxswain, spare man and two coaches based themselves on the outskirts of this historic town for the week leading up to the regatta. Racing at Henley is unique for an event of its size, as all races are conducted over a course of one mile and 550 yards (2112 metres) and the racing is in a one-on-one knockout format. Four long days are needed to weed out the two finalists in each category, from a maximum starting pool of 32 crews. The Temple Challenge Cup is oversubscribed year after year, so a series of qualifying races take place sev-
eral days before the start of the competition proper to separate the mice from the men. The Trinity crew’s status as men was confirmed when they were thankfully not asked to go through the rigour of qualifying – a testament to a crew that had worked hard all season to retain its unbeaten run. Three days before the start of racing tension began to mount as representatives from all crews gathered in the Town Hall to witness the draw. Here, athletes and coaches learn not only who they are to race on the first day (and might go on to race in subsequent days), but also which crews in their event have been selected, an honour not dissimilar to seeding. The confidence of the Trinity crew was boosted when it learned that it had been selected, and would not have to race any other selected crew until at least the third day of racing. Training that day took place with the renewed vigour of a crew which, since being touted as “inexperienced” in the run-up to the Colours race, had now received confirmation that it was not out of its depth. The draw had been kind to the Trinity men and the crew were able to approach the first race, against York University, with some confidence. Having rehearsed the race mentally several times, and with some final words of wisdom from the coaches, the boat took to the water smoothly, and the opposition were dispatched with relative ease. A verdict of two lengths was recorded, and the crew members retired for the day in the knowledge that although things would get tougher, they had yet to perform to their potential. Thursday’s race followed a similar pattern, and thanks to excellent race plan execution, the University of Birmingham proved no match for the ever-improving Trinity boat. With Friday came a real challenge: a lightweight eight from Cornell University of the United States. National Champions in their own category, this was an outfit
DU Boat Club’s senior eight at Henley this year. The crew were knocked out by Cornell. Photo: Timothy Coote who had been together for two years and who were no strangers to crossing the line first. Neither crew had been really challenged up to this point, but similarly neither crew was going to lie down in this encounter. By the time the word “go” had issued from the umpires lips, both crews had suffered enough nerves and, more importantly, built up enough adrenalin to ensure that the race would get off to a flying start. So it proved, and as each crew settled into its rhythm, the Trinity boat began to carve out an early advantage. With
approximately one third of the race completed, Trinity’s new yellow racing eight had a lead of a canvas, and it was not one they would relinquish easily. As the pain really started to settle in, Cornell found something extra and their experience started to tell as they started to move on the Trinity boat. With two thirds of the race completed, Cornell had increased their lead to almost one full boat length. As the boats approached the crowded grandstands that herald the last section of the race, Trinity began to attack. The noise started to ascend in vol-
ume as did the effort of the two crews, and when Trinity started to pull back on the American boat the support increased further. It is always excellent to see an Irish crew so heavily supported overseas, and DUBC boats draw a huge amount of support from the British crowds year after year. The cacophony generated in Trinity’s favour served to propel the boat towards a shuddering culmination. Sadly 2006 was not to be Trinity’s year at Henley, and they were beaten by the eventual losing finalists, a crew that exuded
experience and exemplified good rhythm and controlled aggression. The verdict, recorded at half a boat length, was testament to the calibre of the race. The greatest respect is paid between crews locked in such a battle, and this was no exception. Good row, Cornell. DU Boat Club’s senior eight at Henley Royal Regatta: David Cummins (bow), Robert Swift, Rory Horner, Rory Browne, David Keane, Edward Roffe-Silvester, Joseph Calnan, Sean Osborne (stroke), Jonathan Maitland (cox)
DU Lawn Tennis Club
DU Harriers and Athletic Club
Decent representation by Trinity girls at Eindhoven Lorna Jennings
Michael McCarthy (far left) starts his attempt at the 60 metres hurdles intervarsity indoor championships in Nenagh. Photo: DU Harriers and Athletic Club
Hoping for an even better year after a notable summer Denis Tkachenko DU Harriers and Athletic Club is once again getting ready to welcome new and old members alike after a successful Freshers’ Week. Before the new year of sporting passion and drama begins, let us recap on the latest events that set the stage for the coming intervarsity season. While there was no action going on in the intervarsity arena during the summer holidays, some exceptional performances were delivered by Trinity athletes in national and international competitions. Mark Kirwan, current men’s harriers’ captain, was selected for the Irish team in the Europa Cup, and finished third in his race. He then went on to secure an impressive second place in the Steeple Chase in the National Senior Championships, drastically reducing his personal best time for this event. Karl Fahy, the reigning 800 metres indoor intervarsity champion, had a series of successful races over the summer months, improving his personal best to prepare for the defense of his title dur-
ing the coming intervarsity season. Another strong 800 metres display came from Fódhla Treacy, current ladies’ harriers’ captain, who finished fourth in the National Seniors to set a new Trinity record. The track and field team members also put on a good show at the National Senior Championships. Men’s athletics captain Stuart Greene set a new Trinity record coming third in his specialist event – the pole vault. Ladies’ athletics captain, Claire McGlynn, was also third in the 400 metres sprint. Simon Taggart, who reduced his 400 metres personal best to a respectable 49.58 seconds last season, was unlucky to finish just outside the final. Finally, in the contest of skill and strength that is throwing, Hugh Fitzpatrick bagged silver in the Weightfor-Height, and bronze in the Weight-forDistance. He also participated in the European Junior Clubs’ Cup held in Moscow, where he demonstrated his versatility as a thrower by coming fourth in discus, and fifth in the hammer throw. Apart from its strong competitive edge,
DUHAC has a long history of successful organization of athletic events. The latest event organized by the club was the Intervarsity Cross Country Intervarsity Championships 2006, held on College grounds in Santry, which has been nominated for CUSAI’s “Inter-Collegiate Event of the Year” award. The decision on the award shall be delivered on October 26th. Finally, this academic year marks an important landmark in Irish athletics – the 150th anniversary of the College Races (yes, it’s not just rugby that’s been around College for that long). First held in 1857 on College Park, this was the first organised athletic meet in Irish history. The club will organize a special event to commemmorate this important date, so watch for details. All in all, it looks like the Harriers and Athletic Club will be a worthy challenger in the three Colours matches and four intervarsities coming up in the next nine months, and will hopefully soar through the intervarsity standings to the championship titles it aspires to.
The sun was scorching, the World Cup atmosphere was at a fever pitch, and the pooled hormones of over 1,200 athletes contributed to a hard-fought week of sport of the highest standard at the European University Tennis Championships this past July. DU Lawn Tennis Club’s ladies’ first team were given the honour of flying the flag for Ireland at the Championships in Eindhoven in the Netherlands as a result of winning the Irish Tennis Intervarsities last February. The tournament was held at same venue as the European University Championships for volleyball, water polo, and football and, as such, featured a veritable bounty of athletic prowess. The team who made the journey consisted of Niamh Allen and Elena Moore on the “A” team, and Sarah Newman and captain Lorna Jennings on the “B” team. The competition styled itself on a World Cup model, with group stages kicking off the tournament. With both teams in initial bouts against the finest Poland’s universities had to offer the Irish teams were up against it from the start. Whilst the matches were hard-fought, unfortunately the Eastern Bloc prevailed in the end. The second match of the group stages brought victory to the Irish “B” team. Sarah Newman and Lorna Jennings cruised to victory against the home grown squad from the Netherlands, winning the singles and doubles. The win put them in strong position to advance out of their group into the knockout stages. The Irish “A” team drew the unlucky “group of death”, having to meet eventual finalists Switzerland in their second group match. Whilst battling valiantly, Niamh Allen and Elena Moore came heartbreakingly close, but were unable to overcome the Swiss in the end. The losses against two of Europe’s powerhouses spelled an unfortunate end to the Irish “A” team’s quest to advance beyond their group. Thus the hopes for advancement fell to Newman and Jennings in a decision left to the final moment, the Irish “B” team managed to make it through on games differ-
Niamh Allen, Lorna Jennings, Sarah Newman and Elena Moore relax at the European University Championships. Photo: Patrick Cosgrave ence ahead of Turkey. However, lightening struck twice for the Irish, with the second team drawing in the quarterfinals the same Swiss team which had vanquished their compatriots during the group stages. Sarah Newman played an unbelievable match, pushing her opponent to the limit, but the team fell just short of the mark and finished up in eighth place overall out of 15 teams in the competition. The athletic standard was world class, with players from both the Russian and the Swiss teams holding WTA points and having played on the professional circuit. The Championships proved to be amazing opportunity to meet players from all over
Europe, and also to play matches at an extremely high standard. The majority of the athletes were in full time training, and Trinity acquitted themselves extremely well considering the disparity in funding and training they faced in the run-up to the event compared with fellow competitors. With an influx of strong new freshers this year, and the nucleus of the first team still intact, the Trinity ladies have extremely high hopes to defend their intervarsity title again this year for the third time, and qualify for next year’s European Championships, to take place in Russia.