D U B L I N
U N I V E R S I T Y
The Provost on Trinity’s future
S T U D E N T
N E W S P A P E R
Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
“Totalitarian management style” lost College €15m
News Dublin Pastor condems gay marriage p2
News Over 700 Trinity graduates lose vote in Seanad elections p2
Trinity College has lost €15m in one year, turning a €5m surplus into a €9.4m deficit, despite major cost-cutting measures implemented by Provost John Hegarty. The budget deficit is a blow to TCD, which three weeks ago became the only Irish university to take a spot in the Times Higher Education Supplement’s Top 100 universities in the world. One of most vocal critics of the current Provost, Dr Seán Barrett of the
Economics Department, lashed out at the “totalitarian management style” that has overseen the massive deficit. The Treasurer’s Office, which has overall responsibility for the college’s financial situation, has blamed the deficit on a change in accounting practice brought in by the college this year. The College’s most recent financial statements show that although income rose by 7.5%, most notably from research grants, expenditure rose by 14%. Further, the amount of money in the ‘cash at bank’ account fell from €19.3m to €7.3m.
In a statement to Trinity News, the Treasurer’s Office remarked that “No additional public funding has been received to meet this deficit.” They also said that "the College’s ability to plan financially for increased levels of activity in both teaching and research is being undermined by the lack of financial flexibility that arises when the majority of costs are driven largely by state-approved pay awards, which are then not always fully matched by increases in the Department of Education and Science tuition fee and grant.”
The College received €84.9m from the state this year, up 3% from the previous year but still less than the current rate of inflation. The Treasurer’s Office is also concerned about a shortfall in funding for capital investment projects. Although many major projects have been successfully completed, the statement notes that the College could face further difficulties: “College is concerned that the level of funding available is insufficient to address back-log and ongoing maintenance along with health and safety
College forced to restructure, again
Opinion John McGuirk on Sinn Féin p8
Chloe Sanderson on religion in schools p11
Books Kerrie Forde on Paris Hilton’s new autobiography p13
Science Nasa satellite to benefit Trinity researchers p14 The Phil’s annual Islamic Fundamentalism Debate saw the media descend on the GMB. The event sparked controversy around main guest Anjem Choudary. Full story on page three. Photo: Martin McKenna
Sport Rugby firsts loose to Barnhall p20
• David Kitt • Simple Kid
requirements.” The lack of major increases in government funding has meant that Trinity, along with other Irish universities, has been forced to turn to the private sector for funding in order to compete at an international level. Ethical concerns were raised over this trend however, when it emerged that Diageo was funding an alcohol study in UCD earlier in the year. Similar questions were raised over CocaCola funding a Chair in Globalisation in the TCD Economics Department. • Continued p2
Lincoln’s Inn to re-open under new management
Societies spark feminist fury and moves to tougher rules
The Lincoln’s Inn pub is set to re-open in February 2007 after planning permission for renovations was granted by Dublin City Council. Work has already begun on the pub, situated at 18/19 Lincoln Place, which is hoping to compete with the Pav for the student market. The property is being leased from the College by the Thomas Read group trading as Sharmane Ltd. Other pubs operated by Thomas Read group include The Harbourmaster, Pravda, The Bailey and Ron Blacks, however the new Lincoln Inn is not set to become an über-trendy bar, but instead is staying true to tradition as a “pint drinker’s pub” as Eamon Fleming, Purchasing Manager for the Thomas Read group put it. According to Mr. Fleming the pub will be very similar to the way it was before its closure. “The closest example to its style within the group would be The Oak. • Continued p2
A complaint has been lodged with the CSC regarding society posters which allegedly “objectified women for the illegitimate advertising of society activities.” The complaint was made about two posters, one for the annual Club Philth night, and the other for the Law Society’s Welcome Back Party, which were put up around campus. A request was also made to the Junior Dean for the formulation of an overall policy regarding the contents of posters. When asked to comment on the complaint made about the Club Philth poster, Phil President Daire Hickey pointed out that the poster had actually been made by the Student’s Union, not the Phil. He did however describe it as “a pathetic complaint”. “There was”, he said, “no intention to depict women negatively, nor do I believe there was any such depiction.” Ents Officer Barry Murphy defended the Club Philth poster, saying that “it wasn’t that bad, just three attractive women in a
club.” He also pointed out that in his opinion “the Law Society poster was much more provocative.” When asked if he sympathised with the nature of the complaints he said that he “took their complaints on board, but they weren’t that justified.” Mary Clarke, Auditor of the Law Society admitted that whilst the poster could be “open to scrutiny on grounds of relevance, or perhaps criticised for a lack of imagination”, neither she nor the rest of the committee of eight females and five males had intended to cause upset. These complaints follow one of a similar nature made two years ago. In response to this previous objection the CSC issued broad guidelines regarding poster content. These state that “posters which contain offensive or inappropriate photographs…are not acceptable.” However there is no clear definition of what is considered “offensive or inappropriate” Despite the existence of thesebroad guidlines, Barry Murphy claimed that “didn’t know about any [rules] to do with this [postering].”
When discussing the regulations governing society postering one prominant society head commented that “no one takes any notice of the society rules anyway.” Murphy also admitted that pressure had been put on him by Joe O’Gorman, Honorary Treasurer of the CSC to “err on the side of caution” in regards to postering and change a planned poster for the DUBES school disco party. It is believed this poster would have featured semi naked women dressed as school girls Although in Hickey’s opinion this complaint shows that “the watchdogs clearly have nothing better to do” Mr O’Gorman stated “the request made…for an overall policy coincided with the expression of a similar opinion within the CSC itself.” He told Trinity News that the CSC would be consulting the Advertising Standards Authority and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission in order to generate “an overarching policy which will apply to Student Societies.” It also intends to sponsor a workshop to “better equip society officers to carry out their duties.”
College authorities look set to be forced into an embarrassing u-turn in the coming weeks on the structure of Trinity’s faculties. For the second time in three years, a College Working Group is in intense discussions about reorganising Trinity’s academic units due to growing discontent over widespread “administrative inefficiency”. These discussions come just over a year after a controversial “restructuring” process brought major changes to Trinity. Introduced in mid 2005, the new system created 22 powerful new schools and vice-deaneries. The six existing faculties were reorganised and lost most of their authority over financial matters. However the new system has been widely critcised by academics for its “administrative inefficiency” and for contributing to a growing gulf “between the academic community and the College management”. The most likely outcome of this u-turn would see the College organised into a number of “clusters” with the Schools of Business, Engineering and Science grouped together to create a single controversial “cluster” by the beginning of next year. Each newly created cluster will be headed by a Vice-Provost and will be given extra power over staffing, finances and information systems. According to documents viewed by Trinity News, College authorities have yet to reach agreement on what the newly created groupings will be definitivaley called. Certain influential interested parties have objected to the term “faculty” because it would imply that the College was reversing previous reforms by giving faculties back powers that had been removed in 2005. The terms ‘divisions’ and ‘clusters’ have been put forward with clusters the current favourte. In an interview with Trinity News Provost John Hegarty stated that this second round of restructuring aims to “provide a stronger connection between the schools and the centre” in order to “then think about devolving services from the centre .” Last year the the initial reforms caused chaos in the administration of joint entry courses such as Bess, Science and TSM. The Bess faculty office was forced to shut its doors to students for much of last year due to related funding cuts. Students’ Union President, David Quinn, who is a member of the current working group, said he considered the reforms “a positive move”. He hoped the new changes would have “a limited effect on students” and • Continued p2
Have your say at www.trinitynews.ie
IRCSET pushes deadline forward IRCSET (Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology) will this year have a deadline up to three months earlier than usual. The funding body, which awards funding to research postgraduates, will now issue their call for postgraduate scholarship applications in December, with a deadline sometime in February. This will force many SS students in the science and engineering sectors to contemplate their future much earlier than in previous years.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2006
Electoral Office disenfranchises over 700 Trinity graduate voters Dave Molloy
Irish Universities join European medical group On 12 October 2006 at a meeting in London, Ireland became the newest member of a medical research collaboration between eight EU countries. The European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) includes; France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Hungary and aims to support clinical research in any medical field. It will also create a means for EU-wide trials and studies to be carried out meaning that patients across Europe will have more access to up-to-date medical services and knowledge. The Irish counterpart of the ECRIN is the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ICRIN). The Molecular, Medicine Centre (DMMC) includes Trinity, RCSI and UCD. (Deirdre Roberts)
Trinity Student up for internet award A Trinity student is up for an internet award against professional business men and a UCD lecturer. Dónal McCormack, last years SU Education Officer is being nominated for an Irish Internet Association (IIA) and Net Visionary award for his site mygrant.ie which simplifies all of the government information on student grants and puts it into an easy format. His adversaries include a previous head of IIA regional development, a business advisor for the South County Tipperary Enterprise Board, an author of four internet published books and a lecturer in UCD. Mygrant.ie was launched on 15th July 2006 and has received over 4000 hits since then. McCormack is doubtful of winning the award and whether he does or not doesn’t matter to him. “The other nominees have years of experience and expertise, and I do sincerely wish them the best of luck. At the same time I’m happy to see a large number of educational-based websites propping up in Ireland and hopefully this will continue in the future.” (Deirdre Roberts)
Library systems failure A failure of the library computer system meant that students did not receive the usual email sent out two days before a book is due to be returned. Those with books due back on Monday 23rd October were liable for fines on overdue books despite the failure to send the “gentle reminder from the library” email. Trevor Peare of Library Readers Services explained that the glitch was caused by “a processing error in the system at the weekend, and as it was the weekend it was more difficult to amend.” He claimed that the fault had been a one off and was “not a problem [that they] could see happening again.” The library insisted that ultimately it was the students’ responsibility to ensure that their books were returned on time. Library staff were eager to emphasise that vast sums are being spent to improve the library.
New horror journal launch This Halloween will see the launch of the Irish Gothic and Horror Journal, involving Trinity staff including Stephen Matterson, Head of English, Dr Darryl Jones and others. Also on the editorial team is Sir Christopher Frayling, head of the English Arts Council.
Trinity Senator David Norris
A recent mix-up in the college electoral office has meant that 742 people may not be eligible to vote in the next Seanad election. The college alumni and Seanad electoral offices responsible for the University constituency mislaid a folder containing vital information, thus failing to return it to the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government last spring. This resulted in the exclusion of 742 votes out of 2000 for the University electorate register- 37% of the constituency. The oversight occurred when one important member of the office staff was involved in an accident. During their absence, someone tidied a folder away, which was not discovered until a later date. This means that an election before June 1st would deny these people their votes. It is possible that, if the election is won by a narrow margin, the disenfranchised
votes could affect the outcome. This is only likely to be the case in a tight situation, such as the competition for the third seat. In the 2002 election the third seat was wond by just over 500 votes. The 742 people affected by this event make up 1.6% of the entire Seanad electoral register. This next election will also be an important one for the constituency, as planned Seanad reforms may mean that other universities have more representation in future. Trinity Senators David Norris and Shane Ross have been working towards a resolution ever since the discovery of this oversight in late September. Senator Norris brought the matter before the Senate on Wednesday 18th October, in which he requested either the creation of an emergency bill or the utilisation of special authority by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Roche. This special authority had been previously used in 1997, when a postal error
caused the non-delivery of a large number of ballots. A representative for the Minister stated that he does not believe any problem would arise, and “therefore he is not in a position to make an order along the lines suggested.” He furthermore added “the current register is unlikely to be used for the Seanad general election next year” because the current government is aiming to complete their entire term. If this were the case, the disenfranchised voters would be included on the new register from June 1st next. The government position was described by Senator Norris as “a type of wing and a prayer response.” Senator Shane Norris has also criticised the governemnt’s response, saying this “disgraceful error may not be rectified in time.” He also encourages voters to contact him to check their eligibility to vote. Subsequent to the Seanad debate, Senator Norris met with Minister Roche, and was once again assured that it was unlikely an election would be held before the new register came into effect.
However, the Minister did agree, in the eventuality of a sudden election, to consider both options available to him in order to grant the required votes. “I think I can say with a fair degree of certainty that thanks to these actions no duly registered voter will be cheated of their opportunity to cast a ballot at the next election,” Sentor Norris concluded. The University of Dublin constituency is one of only two Universities (with NUI) which have representation at government level. It is a remainder of legislation from the British Empire, which allowed Trinity to have representation in the House of Commons. It has since had representatives in the Dáil (1922-1937) and now holds 3 seats in the Seanad. Senator Norris has held a seat since 1987. The college is currently reviewing its electoral policies to prevent such an occurrence happening again.
Baptist Pastor predicts gay marriage will end life as we know it Anna Stein At a recent Phil event a Baptist Pastor, self-confessed “fanatic” and “non-practising adulterer” prophesied the demise of marriage, friendship and the eventual destruction of heterosexuality. All of this, he argued, would be the direct result of allowing gay marriage. Pastor John Samuel of the Grosvenor Road Baptist Church said that if gay marriage was legalised, “over time it will become dominant.” In his opinion this would “deepen the population crisis” and “lead us … to the eventual demise of friendship, as all friendship will become sexualised.” The motion was that “this house believes that gay marriage will do Ireland no harm,” and those opposing it were adamant that they were not homophobic. Despite this assertion Richard Waghorn, a speaker for the opposition, said that marriage was about preserving the “normal,
natural family.” A spectator speaking to Trinity News afterwards said that he thought that the comment was symptomatic of “an insidious form of homophobia that often goes unnoticed and unremarked upon.” The debate was lively and informed, aided by an impressive list of speakers, including David Norris, Dublin University Senator and high profile gay rights activist. Whilst the speakers were disproportionately weighted in favour of the motion, the best speeches undoubtedly came from the proposing side of the house where wit, humour and candour were used to great effect whilst discussing this emotive subject. Senator Norris regaled the crowd with a rollicking speech that cut to the heart of the issue. He began by praising Drs Gilligan and Zappone, the two women currently fighting to have their marriage recognised by the State whose case has made this debate so relevant. He recalled
Thomas Read Group take over management of Lincoln’s Inn • Continued from p1 The Lincoln Inn will be a traditional style pub which will serve food such as soup and sandwiches as well as pints of porter.” Eager to break into the student market, Mr Fleming has promised much lower drinks prices than in most other Thomas Read bars. Demonstrating its commitment to Trinity the Thomas Read Group has already sponsored the Trinity GAA Club for the year. Once the Lincoln Inn is reopened in February the team’s jerseys will carry the logo of one of Dublin’s oldest pubs. When asked what the new competition will mean for the Pav, Chairman of the Pavilion Bar Committee, Tom Murphy, stated that “The Pavilion is constrained by the College Alcohol Policy and so cannot compete by offering cheap drinks deals and various other offers”. However he stated that he was not too worried about competition from the Lincoln Inn and hoped to form a good relationship similar to that the Pav has with Kennedy’s. He added “with the closure of the Buttery, the Pav is the only licensed premises on campus and so this should serve us well into the future.” The Lincoln Inn became the subject of interest to students in 2004 when it became known that the College was put-
ting the building up for lease. For a number of months it was speculated that the Students’ Union might take over the Lincoln Inn and operate it as a student centre. At a board meeting in November 2004, Francis Kieran, SU President at the time, noted “the importance of the Lincoln Inn to students.” He also stated that “the views of students [should] be taken into consideration by any new tenant of the property” As the Lincoln Inn is a listed building, Dublin City Council has set a number of restrictions on what the new proprietors can and cannot change. The front of the building must remain largely the same, although there will be new glazed doors, and the Carlsberg sign will be removed. Above all DCC were adamant that any work should include “the conservation and repair of existing historical features.” An objection to Dublin City Council from the Dublin Dental School & Hospital delayed movement on renovations, but with work due to start in coming weeks Trinity will soon have a new bar hoping to host society and club events open in time for RAG Week. Not many people know that the Lincoln Inn was the last pub in Dublin to offer credit to regulars. Let’s hope they bring the slate back for us impoverished students!
the days before the legalisation of homosexuality when the “Old Guard” condemned the gay community for “having more fun than [them].” He went on to point out that now the same people were refusing to let gay people commit to each other and accused them of trying to “keep their options open.” He cited statistics that showed that 80% of schools had seen homophobic bullying, and in his opinion “the principal reason that nothing is done about it is the church.” He called this “shameful and unChristian.” In his opinion the refusal to allow gay marriage was another attempt by the establishment to “humiliate gay people and make them feel like second class citizens.” However, whilst he poured scorn on the institutional framework, he had nothing but praise for the Irish people who he described as “decent, tolerant and compassionate.” In the end his faith was justified as the motion was carried by a decent margin.
Pastor’s speech causes controversy at the Phil
Restructuring back into academic “clusters” • Continued from p1 would “sort out some of the administrative delays students experienced last year”. The latest review, which has been dubbed “re-restructuring”, was initiated by the Senior Lecturer Colm Kearney in June and since then it has been made a priority by College management. Other academic reforms such as modularisation and semesterisation have effectively been
put on hold until the issue is resolved. A Working Group, headed by the Senior Lecturer, is considering a number of alternative new cluster groupings. A three cluster model – the first consisting of Business, Engineering and Science, the second composed of Health Sciences and a third faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – is believed to enjoy the support of Prof Kearney. However, science-based Schools have voiced strong objections to being grouped
with Business and Engineering. Most other major schools are understood to support the changes. Information about the re-restructuring discussions, which have been underway for five months, has not been made available to students. The College Communications Office declined to provide any details on the subject in response to requests from Trinity News.
College loses €15m despite cost cutting • Continued from p1
Dr Sean Barrett
Barrett blames the budget deficit on the current trend of business practices being used to run Irish universities. "The new managerialism in Irish universities is an expensive fad seriously undermining universities which served this country well", said Barrett. Five of Ireland’s seven universities have commenced extensive restructuring programmes in the past two years, aimed at increasing private sector funding, postgraduate numbers and research grant income. Barrett has criticised the effects that this restructuring is having: “TCD, UCC and
UCD have begun downgrading some subjects and departments despite high records of attainment in order to massively subsidise departments with few undergraduates but claiming to “cause” economic growth.” Academic staff in Trinity have objected to some of the changes that have occurred, with complaints over the lack of consultation on major changes in how the College is run. Barrett is pessimistic about the future. "The College did not deserve the treatment meted out to it by the officers of the College in recent years. I have never seen morale in the college so low."
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Student view: “Was the Phil responsibile in bringing Islamic fundamentalists to Trinity?” Anna Stein
Hand on head: The audience gets involved during the debate at the Phil. Photo: Martin McKenna
Controversy at the Phil Anna Stein The University Philosophical Society’s debate on Islamic extremism, which each year provokes controversy, was held in the GMB on Thursday 19th October. As well as drawing large crowds of spectators, it also attracted much media interest, national and international. Many were outraged at the offer of invitations to members of radical Muslim groups who came to speak against the motion that “Islamic violence could never be justified.” Amongst the speakers was Anjem Choudary, who declared during last year’s debate that in his view Ireland was a “legitimate terrorist target.” In anticipation of more remarks of this nature there was a heavy Gardí presence. The opposition speakers refused to accept questions from women either in the audience or afterwards. Mr Choudary, a British citizen, was a leading member of the radical Islamist group al-Muhajiroun until its disbandment in October 2004. Omar Bakri Muhammad, its erstwhile leader, was expelled from the UK in 2005, as it was felt that his presence in Britain was “not
conducive to the public good.” Speaking alongside Mr Choudary were Sulayman Keeler and Mohammed Shamsuddin, both members of alGhurabaa, and Omar Brookes, a leader of the Saviour Sect, both of which were banned in the UK in 2006. These groups are widely believed to be reformed versions of al-Muhajiroun, and Mr Choudhary is said to have maintained close ties with both. During the debate tempers ran high, most notably amongst the invited speakers, and Phil President Daire Hickey threatened more than once to expel guests from the chamber unless they adhered to the rules of the debate. Accusations were levelled by the opposition at two of the proposing speakers Ali al-Salah and Shaheed Satardien. They were accused of not being true Muslims, as “there was no such thing as a middle ground.” The onlookers were also subjected to chilling pronouncements on the reality of jihad, being told that during jihad true Muslims were called upon to drink the blood of their enemies. A debate on Islamic fundamentalism has become a traditional start to the new
academic year at the Phil, and Mr Choudary has been invited to address the society three times. This has led some to accuse the Phil of courting publicity by holding deliberately provocative debates. In response to this accusation, Daire Hickey replied that whilst he could not comment on the possibility of the Phil continuing its present tradition of a debate on Islamic Fundamentalism, the Phil would “never shy away from a topic just because some may consider it controversial. Free-speech is a tradition quite dear to the society.” Al-Muhajiroun was widely condemned for praising those responsible for the attacks of 11th September 2001, calling them the “Magnificent 19”. Present in the group’s list of stated aims is to “create a high profile… to enable them to penetrate into society and to let the whole world talk about them and their ideas in order to establish contact and links with the masses and the people of power.” When presented with this statement, and asked if in light of it he felt it had been irresponsible of the Phil to provide al-Muhajiroun the platform that they sought, Hickey said that in his view “the speakers on the opposite side ensured
that Choudhary and the others were held accountable for their comments and held to ridicule.” He cited the fact that the motion was upheld as proof of their lack of impact. Despite Hickey feeling comfortable enough to rely on the strength of the proposing argument to undermine the case of the opposition, many Muslim students of the College took it upon themselves to present their views to the extremists, with one telling them that their willingness to kill innocent people was “not an ideology, but a mental illness”. When asked for his views on the subject, John May, Associate Professor of Inter-faith Dialogue allowed that the views of Mr Choudary were “incendiary in a European context”, but added the caveat that in the West we often “appeal to freedom of speech to justify… the Danish cartoons of the Prophet.” He added that whilst inter-faith dialogue was important, it was not possible with this type of Muslim. He also warned against a new type of “neo-fundamentalist Islam taking shape now, not least on the internet, which bears little resemblance to the tradition.”
Pearse Street revival planned David Molloy Trinity recently received planning permission for the demolition and redevelopment of key areas on the Pearse Street side of campus. Permission has been received to demolish numbers 183-187 Pearse Street, which were designated protected structures, for the proposed construction of a new entrance area, currently known as North Gate Square. The demolition of these protected structures may be considered controversial, though the Buildings Office website points out that there will be “refurbishment of retained nineteenth century terraced houses along the Pearse Street frontage of the College.” The refurbishment of these buildings is planned for the area from the Moss Street railway bridge to number 201 Pearse Street, which spans the area in which the new entrance square will be located. Some of this work will involve the refurbishment of unused upper floors in the terraced buildings, which will be used for student accommodation. The plans will also potentially involve the demolition of a number of buildings in the area north of the playing fields, including the civil engineering building and others nearby. Trinity has often been criticised for what members of the online architectural resource archiseek.com have called “the death of Pearse Street.” The street, of which Trinity college is the largest landowner, was also referred to as “one of the most depressing Dublin walks.” Pearse Street suffers from much lower footfall than many adjoining areas, particularly outside of Trinity’s Pearse Street gate opening hours. The buildings office is itslef located at the rear of 183-186 Pearse Street, which will place it directly in the path of the proposed demolition. This area is little used by students and houses many low-rise buildings, and is obstructed by both the Luce sports Hall and the Civil Engineering building. The development involves 18,400 square metres of space.
Gaeilgeoirí ag an bhfeachtas san Atrium. Photo: An Cumann Gaelach
Pléascasdh na Geailgeoirí Fiona Hedderman Níl ach cúpla seachtain den bhliain nua seo i gcoláiste imithe agus tá feachtas láidir eagraithe ag Aontas na Mac Léinn. Is feachtas chun seomra caidreamh a fháil do na líonmhar Gaeilgeoirí anseo i gcoláiste é. Tá níos mó daoine in ár gcoláiste ná riamh a bhfuil suim acu sa Ghaeilge agus iad ag iarraidh í a labhairt go laethúil. An méid seo ráite níl móran áiseanna le freastáil ar na ndaoine seo, seachas imeachtaí an Chumainn Gaelach. Tá seomra caidreamh ar fáil do mhic léinn i gColáiste Ollscoile,Baile Átha Cliath, i gColáiste Phadraig, in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath, in Ollscoil na Éireann, Gaillimh agus roinnt coláistí eile ach níl ceann bunaithe anseo go fóill. Is mar dhualgas ar Oifigeach na Gaeilge, (do Aontas na Mac Léinn) Cónán Ó Broin, an Ghaeilge a spreagadh 'is a chur chun cinn ar champas. Caithfidh sé páirt a glacadh i bhforbairt na dteanga sa choláiste freisin. Aithin Ó Broin agus coiste Aontas na Mac Léinn go bhfuil éileamh mór ann ar an áis seo agus chuir siad tús don fheactas an seachtain seo cáite. Tharla sé ar oíche Máirt, (7ú la de Dheireadh Fómhair) i seomra 8 san Atrium. Bhí Cónán Ó Broin, David Quinn agus Simon Hall ó Aontas na Mac Léinn ann le tacaíocht ón
Cumann Gaelach. Bhain siad úsáid as an seomra beag chun an gá le haghaidh seomra caidreamh a léiriú. Bhí ollchruinniú an Chumainn ar siúl an oíche sin. Bhí thart ar 100 Gaeilgeoirí agus iad a phlodú an seomra chun an easpa spáis dóibh a thaispeáint. Caithtear a lua nár leis an gCumann é seomra 8 ach is leis an CSC é. Ag labhairt le Eimear Nic Anraí, Uachtarán na Chumainn dúirt sí, "Bhí an feachtas eagraithe i seomra an Chumainn toisc gurb í sin an gnátháit ina mbualann Gaelgóirí an choláiste seo." De réir an Chumainn bhí pointe le déanamh ag an Aontas agus bhí orthu an seomra a úsáid "le léiriú an t-éileamh atá ann seomra chaidreamh a fháil. Bhí an SU ag iarraidh láidreacht na Ghaeilge san ollscoil seo a léiriú agus bhí orthu an Cumann a úsáid chun an pointe sin a chruthú. Bhí muidne sásta cabhair a thabhairt dóibh", dar le Nic Anraí. Chuir sí béim ar an bpointe nach raibh fadhb acu le na háiseanna a cur an CSC ar fáil don Chumann Gaelach. Dúirt Nic Anraí “Oibríonn an Cumann Gaelach leis an CSC agus tá an CSC an flaithiúil ó thaobh tacaíocta de. Tugann siad deontas maith don chumann gach bliain.” Lean sí ag rá “Gan an CSC ní bheadh an Ghaeilge leath chomh láidir is atá sé san ollscoil sa lá atá inniu ann. Anois, áfach, tá sí an-láidir agus tá níos mó áiseanna ag teastáil ná áiseanna an CSC.”
Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Joseph O'Gorman, i dtaobh an suímh, “The CSC does not object to the Cumann Gaelach using Room 8 for the purposes of calling upon College to provide space within College to facilitate Irish language speakers. It would be nonsensical for the CSC to suggest that neither Cumann Gaelach members nor the Cumann Gaelach itself should support the SU Irish Language Officer in his campaign to obtain space to facilitate Irish Language speaking students.” Léirigh O'Gorman gur thug an CSC seomra 8 don Chumann le úsáid ach go raibh an seomra páirt den CSC. Chríoch sé a ráiteas le "The CSC communicated with the Cumann Gaelach to emphasise the fact that the Room 8 cannot and should not be seen as a bargaining chip in the context of any negotiation which may develop out of the SU Irish Language Officers’s campaign." Maidir letodhchaí na Gaeilge ar champas dúirt Ó Broin, “Tá súil againn go gcloífidh said (an Coláiste) le a ngealltanas sa Plean Straitéiseach 2003-2008 (lth. 48) chun úsáid na gaeilge a chur chun cinn sa Cholaiste, tríd Seomra Caidreamh a chur ar fáil.” Níl seomra caidreamh ar fáil do Ghaeilgeoirí go fóill ach tuigeann Nuacht na Tríonóide go bhfuil Cónán Ó Broin agus Aontas na Mac Léinn dóchasach faoin suíomh.
“I suppose they were, but at the same time everybody has the right to an opinion. As long as they are under Gardaí surveillance it’s ok. The government should have brought in legislation to stop these people entering the country. If there is not legislation it’s not up to a college society to provide a conscience.” James Pelow SF Early and Modern Irish “I haven’t really thought about it. I suppose that you have to allow for all sides to be given their chance to talk. Balance is important. You can’t show the extremist side too much just for sensational value.” Ruth Franklin JS Philosophy and Economics
“I think the Phil are a bunch of gobshites and the only way they can get any feeling of relevance is to invite controversial guests. I don’t think it is irresponsible, as it was an open debate. I do think that they were trying to stir things up.” Conor McGee SF Philosophy and Russian
“I don’t see the problem. In a debate, having two sides of the story is crucial. There should be legislation and Gardaí in place to keep and eye on the situation. I have no problem with it at all. In terms of security there may be a problem but in terms of a debate it can only be a productive thing.” Rob McDonagh JF Film Studies and Italian “Everyone is entitled to an opinion and the Phil are entitled to let people show it. If they’re wrong it’s not the Phil’s fault. Whether it’s right to make speeches such as this illegal is nothing to do with the College or the Phil.” John Casey JF Ancient History and Archaeology, Biblical and Theological Studies
“I don’t think they were irresponsible, but I think that it is bad because it could give a negative depiction of Muslims. I think we need to know how these people think and how extreme they are so we know what we’re dealing with, because I think that they’re a genuine problem.” Hana Chelache JS English Studies Photos: Martin McKenna
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
College Historical Society
Hist believes traditional ideologies have a role to play in the North Shane Farragher On Wednesday the 18th of October, just days after talks in St Andrews which may prove decisive for a peaceful future in Northern Ireland, Trinity paid host to a number of leading Northern Irish political figures at the College Historical Society’s annual Northern Ireland debate. The size of the crowd in the GMB on Wednesday evening was due in no small part to the presence of Dr John Hume. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther King Award, and founder of the SDLP, Dr Hume was in the chair for the evening. He was joined by Ulster Unionist politicians Ken Maginnis and David Burnside, as well as DUP member Jeffrey Donaldson. Usually having a representative from all the major political parties in attendance at this yearly debate, the fact that Martin McGuiness had to pull out at the last minute was disappointing, but student speakers ensured that all points of view were represented in the debate nonetheless. The motion before the house for the evening was “That this house believes that traditional ideologies have no role in Northern Irish politics”, based on the argument that the North cannot progress economically and socially when the political debate is still focussed on the divide between the nationalist and unionist communities. The central contention of the proposition, expressed by student speakers Christopher Kissane and Andrea Mulligan, was that Northern Ireland is in a state of political stagnation, there being no discussion of everyday issues like health, education, and welfare but instead
an excessive focus on the national question. Ken Maginnis, speaking in opposition to the motion, emphasised the importance of traditional values and asked why traditional ideology should be removed from Northern politics, when it still plays a central role in politics south of the border. He also demonstrated his own staunch loyalty to traditional ideologies, slyly referring to the defection of his former party colleague Jeffrey Donaldson. Mr Donaldson opined that politics without power is the problem in Northern Ireland, and spoke about the many cultural traditions of the North, and the diverse society to which they have led. He recommended a resumption of devolved government as the only way to have meaningful progress. He also defended the DUP’s position of leadership and said he hoped that Sinn Fein and the DUP would be able to govern with mutual respect. David Burnside, however, derided the result of the recent talks in St Andrews, labelling the outcome as the “Friday the thirteenth” agreement. He opposed the continued necessity for cross-community coalition government, remarking that Northern Irish politics needed a proper opposition in place of all-party talks. He attacked republicans for their opposition to new policing structures and expressed unease at the development of all-Ireland bodies. Dr John Hume, speaking from the chair, made an inspiring speech about the possibilities open to the new generation. In an understated speech which belied the power of his words, he challenged the youth of today to work to eliminate conflict, saying that working together is the way towards a peaceful society, and that
TCD Students’ Union
Policy: Sonya Murphy; SS Sociology and Social Policy: Lorraine Ní Aogáin; JF Social Studies: Laura Callaghan; JF Psychology: Carl Connor Health Sciences:1st Medicine: Rishi Watson, James Nolan, Sydnee Lim; 3rd (New 2nd) Medicine: Ruth McDonagh, Harpreet Brar, Sarah Sanders; 4th (New 3rd) Medicine: Christine Santisteban, David Foley, Ciara Mahon; 5th (New 4th) Medicine: Sulaiman Khadadah, Tomoaki Hayakawa, Ishvar Naranji; 6th (New 5th) Medicine: Mary Anne Trimber, Niamh Foley, Grainne O’Kane; JF Radiation Therapy: Gavin Kennedy; SF Radiation Therapy: Aoife Gallagher; JS Radiation Therapy: Ciarán Doyle; SS Radiation Therapy: Lorraine Cooney; JF Occupational Therapy: Siobhán Cullen; JS Occupational Therapy: Election Still Ongoing; JF Physiotherapy: Selina Fay; SF Physiotherapy: Darragh Whelan; JS Physiotherapy: Ciara Tighe; JF Dental Science: Barry O’Callaghan; JF Nursing (St. James’): Katherine Kennedy (Other position filled but yet to be announced); JF Nursing (AMNCH): Avril Murphy, Cathal O’Connor; SF Nursing: Simon O’Grady , Paula Morrin, Clare Anne Smith; JS Nursing (St. James’): Raymond Healy (One Position Vacant); JS Nursing (AMNCH): Jack Collins, Maeve Prendergast; SS Nursing: Jacinta BarnesColeman, Jennifer Quinn (Two Positions Vacant); JF Psychiatric Nursing: Aine Sweeney Mccabe; SF Psychiatric Nursing: Emmet Gleeson; JF Intellectual Disability Nursing: Mark Flood; JF Midwifery: Sarah McConnon /Claire Leahy; JF Pharmacy: Margaret Donnelly, Dylan Walsh; SF Pharmacy: Maria Cawley, David Kavanagh; SS Pharmacy: Terence Simpson, Seamus Reynolds Science: JF Natural Sciences: Eoin Blaney, David Cooney, Orla Marnell, Celia-May Toner; SF Natural Sciences: Eoghan O’Donoghue, Fearghal Hughes, Cathy Maguire, Stephen O’Connell; JS Natural Sciences:;Neuroscience: Ciara Lee; Genetics: Lorelle Brownlee; Biochemistry: Gary Foley;Zoology: Orlagh Collison; JS Physics: Anna Linehan; SS Natural Sciences; Neuroscience: Jennifer Day;Genetics: Adrian Bonner; Botany: Emer Walsh;Zoology: Roisin Judge;Physics: Joe Roche (Lina Persechini); JF Medicinal Chemistry: Lynn Anderson; SF Medicinal Chemistry: Cathal McDermott; JF Geography: Sam Chappatte; SF Geography: Barry Conlon; JS Geography: Deirdre Kelly; SF Mathematics: Joe McCaffrey; JF Theoretical Physics: Cathal Horan; SF Theoretical Physics: Eadaoin McClean; JS Theoretical Physics: Sinéad Griffin; SS Theoretical Physics: Stephen Hardiman; SF PCAM: Christopher Wright Multi-faculty: JF History and Political Science: Caitríona Ní Dhubhda; SF History and Political Science: Peter Hession; JS History and Political Science: Christina McSorley; SF Music Education: Alan Duff; JS Music Education: Stephen Hennessey; JF Business and a Language: Emma Burns; SF Business and a Language: Gráinne Wylde; JF Law and French: Eoin O’Murchú; SF Law and French: Ailbhe O’Loughlin; SS Law and French: Aisling Malone; JF Law and German: Ah-Young Koo; SF Law and German: Avril Rushe; SF CSLL: Brian Storrs Other: TAP Foundation (Young Adults): Charlene Flynn
The Chess Club meets every Tuesday during term time in the Maths Seminar Room, Room 2.6, in the School of Maths in the Hamilton building at 7 pm. They accept all skill levels from those that just want to pick up the basics for their next trip to Mexico to those who plan to take on the Russian grand masters. With boards available and expert players on hand they can turn any novice into a proficient player relatively quickly. They also send teams to compete around the world. Not only do they have an Armstrong team but they are also sending tournament virgins to the Bodley Cup.
Strauss Ball coming up “Puttin’ on the Ritz” took on a new meaning on Friday evening as members of the Dance Society turned out in a cavalcade of Halloween finery. The start of the long weekend was the occasion of Dance's welcome reception in the Eliz Rooms (a venue which could best be described as cosy) where gangsters and witches rubbed shoulders with those less... elaborately... attired. The Society has seen a busy start to the year, with packed classes on a Friday evening, and has begun to branch out with movie nights and workshops to be organised in the upcoming weeks, as well as the traditional Friday classes and everpopular Strauss Ball, which this year will be held in the Davenport Hotel on Wednesday November 22nd.
Andrea Mulligan takes a point from David Burnside at the Hist’s Northern Ireland debate last week. Photo: Mark Kearney together we should “shed our sweat, not our blood”. He pointed to the success of the European Union as an example of the co-existence of different cultures and peoples, overcoming past conflicts to unite
politically and raise the standards of living for all of the people within it. Dr Hume’s speech was greeted by a standing ovation, at which point he put the motion to the house for the public vote. It was
overwhelmingly defeated; suggesting, perhaps, that although progress is on the horizon, the roots of Northern Ireland’s conflict will remain at the centre of the political debate for a time to come.
DU History Society
Class representatives elected for this year Arts and Humanities: JF Drama and Theatre Studies: Emma Gleeson with Karen Sheridan; SF Drama and Theatre Studies: Brianne Fitzpatrick; JS Drama and Theatre Studies: Mark Hughes; SS Drama and Theatre Studies: Deirdre McClean; JF Acting Studies: Elliot Moriarty; SF Film Studies: Simone Cameron-Coen; SS Film Studies: Daire McNab; JF Music: Carolyn Walsh; SF Music: Lucie O’Flynn; JS Music: Julie Shanley; JF English: Katherine Dobey, Alexandra Finnigan; SF English: Orna McDonald, Cristín Kehoe; JS English: Paula Togher, Eimear Crowe; SS English: Meaghan Hathhorn; JF Modern Irish: Norah Nic an Bhaird; SF Modern Irish: Cara Nig Fhearraigh; JS Modern Irish: Róisín Mulford; SF Early Irish: James Pelow; JS Early Irish: Gearóid Ó Conchubhair; SS Irish: Ursula Ní Shionnain; JF Classics: Robert Mawn; SF Classical Civilisation: Lisa McNamee; SF Ancient History and Archaeology: Christopher Hallworth; JS Ancient History and Achaeology: Dara Fleming-Farrell; JS History of Art and Architecture: Kasia Murphy with Mieke Van Embden; SF History: Jason Robinson; JS History: Laura Buttigieg; SS History: Una Faulkner; JF French: Ciara Bergin; SF French: Jessie Gurr; JS French: Damien Mooney; SS French: Eleanor Barwise; JF Spanish: Ciara Bergin; SF Spanish: Ruth Bennett; JF German: Gill Gillespie; JS German: Liz Power; JS Italian: Katy Worden; JF European Studies: Aoife O’Gorman; SF European Studies: Ekaterina Tihomirova; JF Clinical Speech and Language Studies: Meave Delargy; SF Clinical Speeah and Language Studies: Nicola Duffy; SF Biblical and Theological Studies: Elaine Leonard; JS Biblical and Theological Studies: Aideen Stapleton Engineering and Systems Sciences: JF Engineering: Sinead Coyle, Kelly Fraher, Conor Noble; SF Engineering: Shane Roche, Neil Reynolds, John James Mills; JS Mechanical Engineering: Dylan Patrick McMorrow; JS Civil Engineering: David Hatch, Kevin O’Connell; JS C/CD/D: Andrew Wall; SS C/CD/D: Joseph O’Carroll; JF MEMS: Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem; SF MEMS: Bronwyn Coffey; JS MEMS: Padraic Dunne; SS MEMS: Niall Gallagher; JF Computer Science: Dara Price; SF Computer Science: Jeff Warren; JS Computer Science: Neil McGough; JF MSISS: Shane King; SF MSISS: Aoife Nic Aonghusa; JS MSISS: Scott Gray; SS MSISS: Stephen Kerr Social and Human Sciences: JF Law: Claire Cregan, Katie Geraghty; SF Law: Virginia Walker, Rachael Evans; JS Law: Catherine Gallagher, Kate O’Donohue; SS Law: Stuart Anderson, Emma Hutchinson; JF TSM Economics: Sam Chappatte; SF TSM Economics: Graham O’Maonaigh; JF TSM Sociology: Vacant; SF TSM Sociology: Meghan Brown; JF BESS: Cearbhall Maguire, Róisín Maguire, Anna O’Leary, Vicky Whelton; SF BESS: Brian Crowley, Bobby Talbot, Alice Delahunt, Shane Murphy; JS Sociology (BESS and TSM): Aisling Fox; JS Economics (BESS and TSM): Michael Bracken; JS Politics: Eva Shaughnessy; JS Business: Julia Schroer; SS Sociology: Aoife Boyle; SS Economics (BESS and TSM): Deirdre Murphy; SS Political Science: Darren Ryan with Shane Noone; SS Business: Clare Keaveny with Lesley-Ann Dunne; SF Philosophy and Political Science: Eoin Dornan; JF Philosophy: Aifric Casey; JF Sociology and Social Policy: Marion Keegan; SF Sociology and Social
Chess Club takes all skill levels
History Society visitor Philip Townsend took iconic photos such as this one of Paul McCartney Photo: Philip Townsend
Society photographer Townsend visits College Ayumi Sakurai DU History Society kicked off this year with a swing as 1960s society photographer Philip Townsend dropped by to show us some of his most famous pictures and tell us the stories behind them. Photographs and other artistic mediums are increasingly looked at as important historical sources, and Townsend’s striking images showed just how invaluable they can be in painting a vivid picture of the past. Capturing some of the most iconic images of the era, Townsend’s photos provide a unique insight into life in 1960s London and the key events of the era. Right in the thick of the cultural explosion, Townsend toured with the Rolling Stones, visited the Maharishi with the Beatles, pictured early mods on trendy Carnaby Street, and recorded images of some of the most famous stars of the era, including Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Through his work for publications as varied as Tatler magazine, The Daily Express, and The New York Times, Townsend also captured unique images of Churchill, Yuri Gagarin, and Princess Grace of Monaco. As well as the rich and the famous, Townsend caught many of the ordinary people of the day on film. Pictures of shops, pubs, hairdressers, and nuns in a boat offer an insight into every-
day life, and in comparison to what we see now, how much has changed. For example, his pictures of the Rolling Stones sitting down in the middle of a main London street would be impossible to film nowadays with modern traffic congestion. Many of Townsend’s photographs captured the fashion trends of the day, including early images of Twiggy (who’s first manager apparently nearly ruined her career), Mary Quant, Carnaby Street and the first Biba store. His photos also captured major events of the time including the Aberfan Disaster, where slag from a coal mine buried a small Welsh town killing many people, including a large number of children. Forty years on, his images of the event poignantly capture the scale of the tragedy. Throughout the talk, Townsend gave us his opinions on the people he worked with. Whilst he had nothing but glowing words for Beatle George Harrison, he had a much less favourable view of Sir Paul McCartney. Having described the breakup of the musician’s relationship with actress Jane Asher, and McCartney’s attitude to copyright Townsend added, “There’s always one in every band.” Currently writing a book with Bill Wyman, Townsend also revealed the tensions within the Rolling Stones, where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards allegedly “bullied” original front man Brian
Jones. On a lighter front, Townsend’s photos also included a picture of a young Mick Jagger carefully hiding the label on his drink. (Too young to be allowed to drink alcohol, Mick was wary not to spoil his rock and roll image by letting his fans see that he was drinking lemonade) Philip Townsend also described the day he was sent to photograph Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to prove that they were still very happy together, only to discover that that didn’t seem to be the case at all. Other highlights of the talk included photographs of Churchill with Aristotle Onassis in Monaco, Frankie Howard on a skateboard, and Velvet Underground singer Nico, who’s tragic death Townsend went on to describe. Portraying the final days of the elitist society pages, where debutante’s balls and lords graced the magazine pages, to the rise of the celebrity and working class heroes like the Beatles, Townsend’s photographs capture the essence of the enormous cultural changes the 1960’s brought. History Society will be continuing the theme of cultural history later in the year, when award-wining director Ken Loach offers us an insight into the way he re-created the past in The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
Arts Worshop classes started Trinity Arts Workshop is located in the standard ghetto-like College office surroundings of Pearse Street at No 191 just opposite O’Neills pub and on most nights of the week it’s a hive of bustling activity. Life drawing takes place on Tuesdays with a model and Fridays in a taught class from 7 till 9 pm. The cost of attending is the same as a pint: €4 for members and €7 for non-members. This is far more productive than guzzling in the taproom and we will definitely make you feel value for your euro as you have something to take home at the end other than costly effluent you’ll just end up flushing away as soon as you get in the door. Pottery classes are held around the same time on the same days but in the swankier location of the studio at the back of Goldsmith Hall on Pearse Street, next to the Dart station. Fullytrained teachers are there to assist you to make anything you like and they have four wheels in operation, firing kilns and other materials to help you dash off that much needed vase for your mammy’s birthday after you realise you have drunk away her pressie money. It costs the same as the life drawing classes but it should be noted that you can join for €2 at any class to get the discounts for the entire year. After the huge appeal of the “clothes customizing” class in last years Trinity Arts Festival this class will be held on Wednesdays, 7:30 till 9 pm in 191 Pearse Street. You can customise your own clothes or you can use the materials and trimmings provided, when you pay the €7 admission cost, to create a new piece which is completely unique.
Society rooms shuffled about There are currently 97 societies in Trinity vying for your love and attention. Due to the increasing number, Cathleen McCarrick, Amenities Officer of the Central Societies Committee has reorganised some room partners in recent weeks. The den of iniquity at the top of House 6, the Science Fiction Society room has recently welcomed in Cards Society, allowing yet more undergraduates to while away their degrees amidst a plethora of time consuming toys. AIESEC and One World have left House Six for the Atrium where there is wheelchair access for their members, and Metafizz have taken up residency in room 32 with the Greens and Literary Societies. An end of an era has dawned with the move of Comedy and DU Rock Nostalgia Society to room 37, allowing their old room to be aired and perhaps de-loused before the Biological Association and AfroCaribbean Society take up occupancy. All these societies have weekly activities. Go to csc.tcd.ie for more info.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Trinity College Fianna Fail Cumann
College’s Fianna Fail society encouraging students to register to vote Shane Conneely Ógra Fianna Fáil in Trinity has joined in a national campaign to encourage potential voters to register. They feel it’s time to start taking responsibility for our democracy: our electoral system ensures that every vote cast in our elections counts. In the last general election the preferences of as few as three people decided fates of government and opposition TDs. This week the Minister Dick Roche, launched Fianna Fáil’s “No Vote, No Voice” campaign aimed at encouraging young people and students to get on the electoral register, and central to this campaign is the registertovote.ie website where you can find out how to get on the electoral register. The leas-chathaoirleach of Ógra Fianna Fáil, Anthony Kelly, said it is crucial that we get out and have our say on Election Day: “Voting is extremely important because we are given the power to help decide the direction of our country.” Mr Roche said: “it is the responsibility of every citizen to make sure they are registered to vote. If people don’t vote, democracy doesn’t work. It’s as simple as that.” An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern echoed Minister Roche’s position that “Voting is a responsibility of citizenship”. There are three purposes to which the Electoral Register can be put: the first is for elections and referendums. Secondly, it is used for the selection of juries. Finally, it can be used for commercial reasons. You can, however, request that your name not be included on the commercially accessible Register and furthermore, as
students, you have an automatic right to be excluded from serving on a jury (if you wish). Even the application form is freepost so you have nothing to lose by registering. In order to vote you must be at least 18 years of age on the day the register comes into force (15 February). Irish citizens can vote in every election and referendum. British citizens may vote at General, European and Local Elections. Other EU citizens may vote at European and Local Elections. Non-EU citizens can vote at Local Elections only. You may also be eligible for a postal vote if you cannot get to a polling station because of a physical illness or disability or because you are studying full time away from your home address where you are registered. If you are registered as a postal voter, you may vote by post only. You may not vote at a polling station. Students who are in residence away from their home constituency are entitled to be registered both at home and at their term address. We are of course only entitled to vote once. On the 1st of November every year, a draft register is published and is displayed for public inspection in post offices, public libraries and other public buildings. By the 25th of November, those wishing to do so can make a claim to change information in the draft register. On the 15th February each year the Register of Electors comes into force. Up until 15 days prior to polling day, anyone may make a “late” application for inclusion in a supplement to the register. With elections looming on our horizons it’s time to get your name down to have a say.
Members of Trinity’s Fianna Fail Cumann meeting TD Dick Roche for the launch of the “no vote, no voice” campaign. Photo: Trinity College Fianna Fail Cumann
DU Radio Society
TCD Japanese Society
Trinity FM on the air all this week on 97.3 FM Gareth Stack
Kendo classes started in the Luce Hall this term. Photo: TCD Japanese Society
Japanese Society events kick off in College Ayumi Sakurai What’s the first thing that comes in mind when you hear the words “Japanese culture”? I’ll can bet it’s either sushi or Manga. Well, you’re on the right track... but there’s so much more. The TCD Japanese Society is brand new – it only started off last December. Yet we attracted approximately 300 members during Freshers’ Week. We’re here to share real Japanese culture with you. Japan’s not just about sushi. The activities we’ve organised are Japanese language classes, Kendo classes, film nights and cooking classes to name a few. The Japanese language both looks and sounds beautiful. The beauty of Japanese characters is in every swoosh of the pen – special brushes are used to get the most of it. A single stroke could alter the grace of a character. Those with beautiful handwriting are praised in Japan, and many think that good handwriting displays good personalities. We even have special qualifications in calligraphy. This fact shows, I’d like to think, how artistic we are as a nation. We believe art is in everyday handwriting. Kanji developed from the sight of everyday objects into a symbol
and is therefore very different from trying to learn a European language, but that often makes it easier as you won’t get confused between similar words. As for the sound of Japanese, it is widely known that the intonations are pretty flat, and this is exactly what makes the language so gentle. Wondering already how your name might look and sound in Japanese? Well, beginners’ classes are on Thursdays. And those of you who already have a good grasp of the language – intermediate classes are on Wednesdays. Kendo – “the way of the swords” – is a kind of Japanese martial art. Ever heard of Bushido? Well, Kendo is involved in it. It only became a sport in the late 19th century when the samurais lost power. Until then, the samurais practiced kendo as their main skill. You can probably remember the scene from the film The Last Samurai. Originally, the aim of this martial art was to practice skills to protect oneself while attacking the opponent. As a sport, you aim to hit the opponent in specific areas, such as their “do” (torso) using wooden swords. Interested? Lessons take place in the Luce Hall every Friday evening. Film nights will be organised at least once a month. You’ll be surprised at the vast variety of Japanese films! We will be
showing not only animes but horror films and Kitano films as well. Of course there will be English subtitles so don’t worry. A lot of the time, Japanese films have hidden messages in them, especially in animes. So look out for them! It’s the beauty of subtlety and discreetness that we value a lot. Did you get the message in the last film we showed – Kiki’s Delivery Service? Finally, if you want to learn how to cook Japanese food, please email us. Once we have enough people for a class, it will be organised. Japanese food is easy to cook, tasty on the eyes as well and healthy – far better than Buttery fare. You might be able to work out what some things are on the menu in Yamamori or AYA, such as “chizukeki” (which is cheesecake), but if you are trying to select sashimi or yakitori it might be handy to learn what goes into these dishes that make them so tasty. Above all, the best bit is that you’ll get to meet Japanese people. Ask them questions, ask them to show you pictures, ask them stuff you’ll never find out unless you ask one. For any kind of enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Yoroshiku! (Find out what that means in one of your classes)
Trinity FM, as all must by now be aware, is the one of the most popular, longestrunning and most professionally managed student radio stations in all of Ireland. Perched, like a mellifluous golden eagle of radio, mere feet below the attics of House 6, the radio studio is a wonder of modern design and engineering. Decorated in a contemporary graffiti aesthetic, reminiscent of such enfant terribles as London’s “Banksy”, or New York’s Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Trinity FM studio has presented talents as well known as Damien Dempsey, and we once asked Glen Hansard, that bloke from The Frames, to come on. Content not merely to stream jets of glorious radio across Dublin city, we have
come into possession of a modern “internet page” (located, I am reliably informed, at trinityfm.com) which includes within its myriad of features the ability to listen on the line. Which, darling students, with mere clicks of your mice, you may do right now, as we are granting all of Trinity a chance to listen, and a lucky few the chance to play a tiny, almost insignificant, part in making the magic happen. More than a living museum, Trinity FM is a station which plays host – 15 hours a day, five days a week, six weeks a year – to some of the finest student bodies possessed of musical predilections. Shows, such shows have we for you, that this very quill quivers in my hand as I seek to effuse, quivers like the giblets of a fresher graced with the heartening favors of an older boy’s patronage by a roaring log-
fire on a chill evening in December. But I digress. This week alone, you may experience the very great pleasure of radio theatre in the shape of a new production of Peter Nichol’s bleakly humorous and poignant play, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (10–12 pm tonight), as well as a variety of eclectic music (9–12 pm every night this week), sport (6:30–7:00pm daily), amusing experiments with the Celtic tongue (Irish hour, 4–5 pm daily), contributions from a variety of Trinity’s most distinguished societies (12–1 pm daily) and as always, music and eloquent banter to suit all but the most crass and deviant of tastes. Join us for the sweet meats and caviar of radio listening. Trinity FM, on 97.3FM, and at trinityfm.com. Adieu.
DU Metaphysical Society
Determinism and Trinity’s real philosophical society Ayumi Sakurai DU Metaphysical Society (or “Metafizz”) is a student society that allows students to discuss philosophical issues in an informal setting; it’s the real philosophical society in College! Knocking about campus for almost eighty years, they play host to a variety of philosophers each year, who introduce a topic which is then elaborated upon by those who think they know more than you do. Usually they are deluded by their own ideas of self-importance. This pontification and poncing is held during term time, usually in room 5012 of the Arts block at 7:30pm on Tuesdays. When not enamoured by a visiting philosopher god, the members have been known to drag themselves into the 21st century by screening films such as Dodgeball, and discussing the philosophical questions that come out of an analysis of the relationship between Peter La Fleur and White Goodman.
On Tuesday the 24th of October, Donnacha Mac Cóill presented a paper entitled “Determinism: Why I didn’t choose a title for this paper”. Those that followed exactly what he was saying are now able to hold a conversation on Determinism in Mahaffy’s and therefore wow all the girls in the pub. Determinism is the logical conclusion of scientific thought. If A causes B, and B causes C, and everything we see causes or is caused by something else, then we are just about ready to become full blown determinists. All it takes is to claim that all events are caused by others, and that nothing is outside this massive chain of cause and effect. Given this it seems impossible that we can ever freely choose our own actions. Determinism. It seems to be fairly obvious, even irrefutable. Every action we see has a cause. That’s obvious. Whatever happens, we can explain it. We can give reasons for its happening: “The ball rolled because it was pushed”.
Why did I drop the ball? I was testing to see if it would fall. And the reason why I was testing it is because I am a curious person. And the reason I am curious and so on unto the point infinite, i.e. that there is no stage at which I say “that cannot be explained”. Take for instance this thought experiment: imagine a man has just entered a room, and in front of him are two doors. Door A leads him down a passageway and back into the room again. Door B leads him outside, to freedom. If he chooses door A, he passes through a machine that returns him to the room and reverts his mind to the mental state it was in before entering the room. It appears to him that he is entering it for the first time. The question is, will this man ever choose door B? In our opinion obviously not, if you disagree why not come and discuss this and similar topics, Tuesday nights, room 5012, 7.30pm.
6 WORLD REVIEW
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
The Ban and Kim show Robbie Semple Robert Quinn Two men, born three years apart and raised either side of the Korean peninsula, have hit the headlines in recent weeks. One becomes the United Nations’ top man; the other may provoke a nuclear arms race, threatening world stability. Their legacies to date, and no doubt those which they will shape, speak volumes about the respective environments in which these men have come to prominence. Environments that emerged during Korea’s bloody partition along the 38th parallel. A natural dictator, the mandatory personality cult that enrobes Kim Jong-Il makes reliable information on the man very hard to find. Though Soviet records suggest he was born in Siberia in 1941, official biographers claim North Korea’s “dear leader” first drew breath at the sacred Mount Paektu a year later. It is also said that his birth was marked by the appearance of a double rainbow and a new star in the heavens. Regular perms, indoor basketball courts, personal accounts with Cartier and Louis Vuitton as well as a $700,000 annual cognac budget scratch the surface of his excesses. Excesses as important to keeping key supporters sweet as they are to maintaining his considerable potbelly. Meanwhile, North Korea’s people struggle to survive, scraping enough together through subsistence farming and external aid. Famines during Kim’s rule have already claimed millions of lives. On October 13th, South Korean Foreign
Minister Ban Ki Moon accepted his nomination to become Secretary General of the United Nations proclaiming “I stand before you deeply touched and inspired”. He is set to become the world’s top diplomat, heading a sprawling organisation cursed by corruption with an inadequate $5 billion budget. It is a position one former Secretary General described as “the most impossible job on earth.” Ban is a child of the Korean War, where rival regimes were set up in the North (by Russia) and the South (by the US) in the 1945’s aftermath. When in high school he met President Kennedy as the winner of a competition sponsored by the Red Cross. As a result, Ban decided diplomacy was his calling. The encounter also initiated an affectionate relationship with the US, one that involved study at Harvard and work in diplomatic missions to both Washington and the UN in New York. Raised so close to Ban in space and time, it is hard to believe how different a path Kim has taken. In spite of inheriting a centrally planned government in 1998, he has turned into something of a control freak, directing even minor details such as the size his ministers’ houses. The country’s policy of economic self-sufficiency and political isolation has also seen Kim remain remote from and hostile to the outside world Ironically, the UN is said to require a leader (though not quite a Jong-Ilian one) of authority at present. The Secretary General should challenge its members’ actions and champion the causes of the most needy. Ban has been dismissed by many as nothing more than a quiet administrator, capable but uncharismatic. This is
North Korea’s “dear leader” applauds one of his beloved armed forces’ many military parades (left); Ban Ki Moon prior to his election to the post of Secretary General (right) to ignore a prominent role in South Korea’s remarkable transition to democracy and prosperity. In the UN’s own affairs, Ban presided over the General Assembly in September 11’s aftermath, mediating members’ grievances and producing one of the Assembly’s most productive sessions. It may be that a less authoritarian style
makes for smoother running of an under funded organisation all too often paralysed by it’s own infighting. Donors cannot shy away from their financial obligations if the organisation is seen to be transparent and well run. The nuclear test in Korea last month and the UN’s testing role as a result have propelled these two men into the media spot-
light. Kim Jong-Il argues the weapons are merely an insurance policy to ensure his regime’s own survival in the face of US hostility. But worldwide condemnation and sanctions have followed, and whilst the Security Council will ultimately decide on the punishment, Ban Ki-Moon will have much to say on the issue. It is thus that these two men will shape
the next major chapter of international relations. As the children of democracy and dictatorship, in the same place at the same time, the obvious question to ask is how much societies themselves influence their own leaders? With a diligent, peace building diplomat and a Hennessy swigging, paranoid dictator the two outcomes of this episode, the answer seems appar-
Anna Politkovskaya’s politically personal murder Kevin Leahy The brutal execution-style murder of Russia’s most celebrated investigative reporter, Anna Politkovskaya, has received considerable attention from the Western media in the past month. The “who-done-it” controversy that ensued has led foreign observers to take closer account of the contemporary situation in Chechnya. More particularly, attention has focused on the gruesome activities of the Kremlin’s client regime – a decidedly shady cabal that many believe to be responsible for her murder. A tiny republic in southern Russia, Chechnya has experienced near-constant strife over the past fifteen years. Since the winter of 1995, two brutal wars with Russia, intersected by a three year period of civil conflict, have left Chechnya a broken country. Today, the once-united Chechen independence movement has split, with some advocating compromise with Moscow. Others continue to insist on objective independence for Chechnya. As a result, during the course of the latest conflict, Moscow has succeeded in woo-
ing a number of former rebels, most notably Chechnya’s current Prime Minister, Ramzan Kadyrov. Last week, Politkovskaya’s colleagues at Novaya Gazeta identified Mr. Kadyrov as a prime suspect in her murder. Although he insisted that he has never “settled a score” with a woman, Kadyrov’s contempt for outspoken journalists is well known. Indeed, settling scores has become the habit of a lifetime for him. For example, when the death of his old nemesis, Shamil Basaev, was announced in July, Ramzan declared that his only regret was that he personally had not killed the infamous warlord. Add to this the myriad allegations of torture, kidnapping and general arbitrariness against him, and a picture emerges of a particularly violent and vengeful man. Politkovskaya had often written scathingly about these excesses. But her work was more an irritation than an impediment to Kadyrov who, at only thirty years of age, is already his country’s premier. This meteoric political ascent owes in large part to his strong personal relationship with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Putin appears quite unperturbed by his protégé’s penchant for
meting out extra-judicial “punishment” through his paramilitary outfit, known as the Kadyrovsty. Indeed, the president’s ambivalence is broadly representative of Russian popular opinion regarding the Chechnya issue. During her latter-day career, Politkovskaya came to regard the cataclysmic scenario in Chechnya as a touchstone for Russia’s overall human rights situation. She regarded Putin as an authoritarian figure, steeped in the dubious traditions of the old KGB. Specifically, she viewed the arbitrary behaviour of the Russian state in its prosecution of the second Russo-Chechen war as a prelude to a much wider attack on Russian constitutionality and freedom of speech. Chechnya, she argued, was merely the opening battlefront in a struggle to uphold human rights standards in Russia generally. If there is some good to be found in this, it is that Anna Politkovskaya’s death will undoubtedly serve to acquaint more Russians and westerners with the situation in Chechnya. It may occur to them that the potential fall-out from the Chechen malaise stretches far beyond the borders of that beleaguered republic.
Capitol Hill: Where the Democrats may dominate for the first time since 1994.
The Burmese lady who US midterms: chances of won’t give up on her people
a lame duck presidency? Justin Hall As the midterm elections loom, the White House prepares itself for the loss of the House of Representatives, the Senate or both. The consequence? President Bush’s ability to shape national policy for the remainder of his term. With the midterms only days away, the president, in a press conference last week, denied the possibility that Democrats could win a key number of contested seats in both the House and Senate. He insisted instead that the Grand Old Party will maintain the majority they have kept since 1994. Nevertheless, Republican and Democratic strategists agree that the tentative hold the GOP has on Congress is slipping. The result may be a Democratic victory on Election Day, November 7th. The Democrats need to pick up an extra fifteen seats to claim the House and six seats to take the Senate. The former is widely considered to be heavily in the Democrats’ favour, while predictions for the Senate vary considerably. In a recent Zogby/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in mid October, Republicans were maintaining a slight lead in the Senate that would result in only one or two seats lost. But this relies
on victory in several tight races that leave election night’s outcome uncertain. In contrast, a study conducted by the Washington Post on October 26th found ten Republican-held seats leaning Democratic among thirty-five contested elections that are considered too close to call. Particularly hard fought races include Virginia and Tennessee. Harold Ford, a black, bible wielding congressman from the former, looks set to take to take his opponent, the rich but stiff Bob Corker, right to the line in the race to the senate. What initially looked like a certain senate seat for the GOP presidential hopeful, Jim Allen, in Virginia has melted in the face of allegations of racism. As Democrats adjust their images in traditionally Republican strongholds throughout the Midwest, there is every chance of gains in both Montana and Colorado. These midterm elections coincide with poor reviews of both Congress and the President. According to a study by CNN in September 2006, only 31 per cent of those interviewed approve of the way Congressional Republicans are handling their job; the Democrats fare only slightly better with 35 per cent. Approval for the President has held steady at 41 per cent. These numbers are representative of the
scandals that racked Congress through much of 2006. Accusations of Republican Mark Foley’s sexual harassment involving a 16 year old page and Democrat William Jefferson’s involvement in a major bribery scandal have implicated both sides. Additionally, ties between several prominent politicians to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff have lead to a clear renunciation of Congress by the American public. In this light the mid terms have become something of a referendum on Congressional performance. The loss of either house could result in a lame-duck presidency. Bush’s ability to shape the national agenda had been augmented by a Republican majority in Congress. But with the possible loss of either house to Democrats, Congress would likely be split on several key issues, such as immigration reform, stem cell research and foreign policy. President Bush could still propose new legislation, but the lack of a Republican majority would make its passage uncertain at best. In the words of David Gergen, veteran former White House adviser, “[Bush] will have the capacity to say no to Democratic legislation, but he won’t have the capacity to say yes to his own legislation.”
Louise O’Connor Most people’s knowledge about Burma extends little further than the unlawful imprisonment of the country’s democratically-elected leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Hers has become something of a cause celebre in the Western media in recent years, with the lady being granted the freedom of Dublin and praised by artists such as U2 and Damien Rice. Sadly, the plight of this ancient nation can fade from the Western psyche as quickly as it appears. The truth of the matter is that the authority’s treatment of Daw Suu Kyi has been positively lenient when compared to the treatment of ordinary political prisoners within Burma’s “justice” system. Burma’s rich and fascinating history has been overshadowed by the tumultuous events of the twentieth century. The South East Asian nation gained independence from Britain in 1948 and became a democratic republic, led by Daw Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San. Stability did not last long, as several members of the cabinet including Aung San were assassinated by political rivals. In 1962, after a violent coup, the military junta now known as the State Peace and Development Council (a chilling misnomer) seized power. In the intervening four decades, human rights abuses purported to be among the worst in the world have been committed
The Junta parade against the citizens of Burma. The violent oppression of the population was demonstrated on a massive scale on the 8th of August, 1988, when police opened fire on thousands of unarmed demonstrators calling for democratic reform. The following year martial law was declared, granting officers the freedom to treat dissenters with what they deemed appropriate force. Currently it is believed that close to 2,000 prisoners of conscience are being held, many without trial or formal sentencing. The authorities persistently invoke rules of their own making to imprison political activists (most notably Daw Suu Kyi) indefinitely. The prison conditions in Burma are reported to be among the worst in the world, with interrogation under torture, starvation, physical, psychological and
sexual abuse the norm. According to reports, the prison authorities are violating every known treaty with regards to treatment of prisoners. Yet civilians feel powerless to do anything, afraid that this kind of activism will result in their own imprisonment. In a significant development, in September of this year, the Burmese issue was voted onto the formal agenda of the United Nations Security Council with 10 of 15 in support. The issue was discussed in a private meeting last month and it is hoped that change will be forthcoming. Many commentators have expressed the opinion that support for or apathy towards the junta is beginning to wane. Positive signs include an unprecedented move by the Association of South East Asian Nations to finally drop its ‘non-interference’ policy towards Burma. As for Daw Suu, Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, life frustratingly goes on. She is currently serving her 11th year of house arrest, having been detained and re detained several times by the junta over the past 17 years. Her party’s astounding victory, winning 82% of the vote in the free elections of 1990, was invalidated by the junta. She has repeatedly been offered the option of freedom in exile from Burma, but refuses to abandon her people. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi remains an inspiring face in the struggle for human rights in Burma, and all over the world.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
The Provost, Dr John Hegarty, talks candidly about his plans for Trinity The Provost of Trinity College has always been a man of vision and determination. Gearoid O’ Rourke interviews Dr John Hegarty to learn his vision. Since his election as Provost five years ago Dr John Hegarty has had a profound affect on this College, its traditions and institutions. It would not be an exaggeration to say that when his tenure ends the structure of Trinity will be unrecognisable to what he was presented with upon his election. Five years ago he promised to completely reform the management of College. He saw it as “un-transparent” and still feels that it “followed historical baselines that didn’t make sense”. This attitude won him the election. However change is not always easy to implement, especially in an institution like Trinity with its engrained traditions and fixed mindsets. The road to restructuring has not been a smooth one and with the most recent about turn on clustering one wonders whether Hegarty’s vision can survive. Recently Dr Hegarty gave Trinity News one of his most in depth interviews to date. Bearing in mind his election pledges we began by asking him why, in retrospect, was such drastic change to the College needed? He responded that “There are huge demands of us now that weren’t there before – sometimes conflicting demands. We must deliver world class education and research, provide access to all young people in the country who can benefit from it, engage directly with society while ensuring the research produced is used for the good of society. So Trinity has to adapt, to change and be flexible. In that sense we looked at the way we allocated resources and looked at the way we organised our academic structures.” These goals, while admirable, do not always seem to have been lived up to. Since the restructuring process began serious questions have been raised about declining teaching standards, particularly in Arts subjects while the social relevancy of research was recently called into question in the most high profile fashion when this newspaper revealed that the American military was funding a research grant in the School of Physics. While receiving criticism for these failings, Hegarty remains adamant about restructuring. “University is about connections across disciplines as much as disciplines themselves. And the new structures are about that and will help that I think. That will follow over time. That will be the outcome.” Hegarty is committed to his vision of the modern Trinity ready to meet what he calls the “challenges of modern Irish society” The latest departure in restructuring seen by many as a thinly disguised u-turn is the touted introduction of clusters.
Oxford and Cambridge departed from us some time ago. They developed the whole research side of things so that’s why they’re up in the top slots in the world Derided by some as the back door reintroduction of the faculty system, it may come as a blow to the Provost’s plans. It shows that no matter what the drive at the top, without the support of all the faculty heads change cannot be achieved. However the Provost remains strongly committed even with the compromise of clusters. “I think that the idea of clusters is to provide a stronger connection between the schools and the centre” he said. “We’ll have about 24 schools when all of this is finished. To have a direct connection between 24 schools and the centre is difficult. The idea of clustering schools into a small number of clusters is that the heads of those clusters can sit around my table.” There is some question as to who will be sitting at that table, with debate raging behind the closed doors of the College bureaurcracy as to whether these cluster heads should be elected or appointed. This could decide just how friendly the other faces around his table will be. Another initiative of Dr Hegarty’s happening down the science end of College is
Career Dr John Hegarty was born in 1948 in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Dr Hegarty is the 43rd Provost of Trinity College.
the establishment of Ireland’s first Academica centre for Medicine. This project the Provost hopes will revolutionise the way in which medicine is studied in the country. With Trinity’s medical school the oldest in Ireland this centre will endeavour to keep it at the top of the field. According to Hegarty “It was clear many years ago that we needed to review the whole relationship between the medical school and the teaching hospitals and it was clear that the old model was not going to work. This was about education more, because the old model of education is provided by mainly consultants in the hospital. It’s not in their contracts to teach and the stress that they’re coming under to deliver service at the moment means that whole model is coming under stress. So it’s clear that we have to completely review that. So the whole idea of this academic medical centre is that we bring our medical school and the hospital close together in a completely new relationship so that the education, research and health care delivery can actually be planned as a whole, so that they’re not separate activities”. The position of this academic centre within the College has yet to be expanded upon however. Some sources have suggested that its very make-up would mean it fell outside the College completely and could in time become an independent institution.
He was elected to the position in 2001 and is serving the fifth year of a ten year term. He received his BSc from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Philosophy. He completed his PhD in Physics in University College Galway and studied as a post doctorate fellow at the University of WisconsinMadison. In 1986 he was appointed Professor of Laser Physics at Trinity. He served as Dean of Research from 1995-2000 and was elected a fellow of the college.
We must deliver education and research and engage directly with society while ensuring the research produced is used for the good of society While talk of structural changes and management frameworks may whet the appetites of administrative obsessives, the question still remains what the real impact is for students. Is the student experience really dramatically altered by the high level horse trading on College make-up? This would seem particularly pertinant as student interest in the process wains. I put this to the Provost. He assured me that while the current changes are structural the benefits would trickle down to students over time in the form of broader academic choice and greater opportunities for interdisciplinary work. He explained that “the changes that we’ve put in are mainly structural. The outcomes of all that will come over time. When we have bedded down our structures and those structures the will be better geared for looking at curriculum development that will benefit students.” In Trinity the idea of the student experience is much talked about but often neglected. While under this Provost we have seen a new Dean of Students appointed and the emphasis on a broader student life increased, at least on paper. On the matter of the student experience the Provost has much to say. “Being a student in an environment like this in Ireland’s premier university, one of the world’s great universities, is a real privilege” says Hegarty. “Being able to spend four years here is an opportunity that very few people in the world have, and I would urge students to get absolutely the most out of it. Not just from lectures but from the whole life of the college, because you’ll never have that experience again. But it’s about giving to the college as well as taking from it. It’s a unique experience; I’d love to be a student here.” One wonders if he was a student would he feel the same way. There have been concerns that the drive for rapid change in the college had helped erode many of its most treasured traditions. I asked the Provost how he viewed the traditions of Trinity. He feels “many people see tradition as holding you back I think in the case of trinity the great tradition we have is inspiration for the future”. However, despite this, one of Trinity’s foremost traditions, Schols, is under threat, as was reported in this paper last year. The unique structure of the exams that has survived through the centuries is due to be changed as part of Hegarty’s modernising drive. I asked the Provost if he thought that this sacred tradition was
The Provost was a research scientist at Bell Labs New Jersey. He also advised Sony Corporation in Japan in 1995. Dr Hegarty is the Senior Patron of the University Philosophical Society. He is a past President of Dublin University Football Club.
Trinity Provost, Dr John Hegarty has been a force for chnage in the College. The jury is still out on how positive some of this change has been. really under threat. “I think Schol is a great tradition of this college” he replied. “If you take scholarship, fellowship they’re saying that Trinity values excellence. Scholarship in student achievement, fellowship in staff achievement I think that is absolutely what a university should be aiming for and Schol is something that we should never loose. I think that the issue of change has been purely mechanical. When the exams occur, it’s purely that. It’s not something that we would want to lose the values of scholarship. Its one thing that I can genuinely say is unique and different about Trinity. No other university has this; I think they’d all die for it.” Other universities which Trinity has always been particulary concerned with are its sisters in Oxford and Cambridge. These three were once known as ‘the three sisters’, or ‘the Trinity’. However in more recent times it seems that Trinity College, Dublin has slipped in comparison. This can most clearly be seen in the various education league tables where Trinity falls well below its sisters. I put it to the Provost that Trinity was no longer one of the three sisters in any real sense. His concession that this was true was quite suprising. “I would say that undergraduate level the quality of our education is good and our student to staff ratio is high. Oxford and Cambridge have half of ours, we’ve 18 to one and so that affects the extent to which we can have small group teaching, the personalised attention
to students. That effects the impact of that, but I think that the commitment of staff to teaching is as high as it is in Oxford and Cambridge. Oxford and Cambridge departed from us some time
When we have bedded down our structures and those structures the will be better geared for looking at curriculum development that will benefit students ago, and though we’re going back to the 1800s Trinity would have been ahead of Cambridge in terms of research. But we didn’t develop that through the last century, whereas they developed the whole research side of things so that’s why they’re up in the top slots in the world.” On a personal note, the Provost spoke about the experience of holding such a privileged office. He waxed nostalgic when asked of the most interesting person he’s met while in the position: “Looking back over the last five years there have been many people for sure around here. Gorbachev is probably the figure that it gave me the most pleasure to meet here because of the impact that he had on the
modern world and so on, and to hear what he had to say many years later about that whole development. For me that’s the best.” He also pointed out that the Provost’s house, as well as being a Dublin landmark and one of the most luxurious residences in the capital is also a family home. The experience for his family growing up in a house located where it is did place restrictions on the some normal childhood activities for his sons “I have two sons, one was ten when he moved in here so although there are 15,000 young people around the college there is no 10 year old within walking distance of this place. Not easy for young kids”. On the whole, the Provost is quite philosophical about his time in office. With the possibility of leaving a truly lasting mark definitely on the cards there is one question that remains to be asked. Will Dr Hegarty be running for a second term of office? “No. No I wouldn’t. I think ten years is enough. You can bring a certain amount to the job and every new provost has new ideas and a new approach, and that is what keeps the place ticking over but there is only a certain amount of that that can happen. You can’t do it for ever so I think having a finite time is good and so I would have no interest. I would like to do something different after ten years. Let new blood come in and bring in new ideas.”
Family The Provost is married to Neasa Ni Chinneide who is involved in documentary film making. He has two sons, Ciaran and Cillian. The Provost resides in Number 1 Grafton Street which is said to be the most opulent house in the city. The house was built using exclusively Irish craftsmen. The house holds the largest single collection of Yeats Paintings. The Provost’s hobbies include outdoor pursuits such as sailing and walking.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Sinn Féin has stagnated and has a lot of growing-up to do Sinn Fein has had a rough year. John McGuirk discusses the party’s prospect and how it can develop into a mature political party. At the conclusion of the last General Election campaign, many commentators, both inside and outside the party, predicted that Sinn Féin would consolidate their gains and expand to upwards of 15 seats in the next Dáil. Reading the polls today, the party appears to have stagnated, with even their great white hope, Mary-Lou McDonald, looking to be in serious difficulty in her quest for a seat in Dublin Central, if a recent IMS poll for the Daily Mail is to be believed. To be fair to them, Sinn Féin has had a rough year or so. The McCartney killing, the Northern Bank robbery, and a sustained and effective assault on them from the Government and other opposition parties would have mortally wounded nearly any other major party, and yet Sinn Féin support holds firm at around the 8% mark. Why is this? Well, to look at it one way, Sinn Féin’s greatest strength electorally is also their very great weakness. The party has succeeded spectacularly in connecting with a section of the electorate that is alienated and disillusioned by more mainstream political movements. They have managed to persuade a slew of young men, mostly aged from about 18-30, that voting Sinn Féin gives them a voice. These young men (and polls do show that Sinn Féin are supported hugely disproportionally by young males) are, largely, immune to negative messages about
Sinn Féin. Attacks on the party from people like Michael McDowell and others actually reinforce Sinn Féin’s underlying message that mainstream politics sees their movement as a threat and is out to stop them at all costs. The party has, then, very little to do to keep these voters on side, and can instead concentrate on making sure they turn out to vote on Election Day. The problem for the party arises when they try to expand away from their core support base. When you position yourself as the outsider party, and become very good at attracting protest votes – consider Sinn Féin’s focus on issues like hospital closures – how do you appeal to those who consider themselves very happy to vote for a party of the establishment? The campaign of vilification against Sinn Féin has succeeded for that very reason. Where once it seemed like the party was on an unstoppable upward trajectory, now it seems that they have reached a ceiling, where about 8% of the electorate will definitely vote for them, another 2-3% will vote for them on local issues, and the rest of the electorate won’t go near them with a barge poll. There is no simple solution to this problem for Adams and Co. They could try to mitigate this problem by moderating their stance on the economy and foreign policy, and by completing the castration of the
IRA – a move which would broaden their appeal to the ground currently occupied by the Greens and Labour. The problem is that in doing so they would likely alienate their core supporters, who quite enjoy the whiff of sulphur the party gives off, and value their positions on the issues just mentioned. The Socialist Party and other fringe left movements are perfectly placed to gobble up Sinn Féin’s support if there is the slightest hint of the party moving away from its rebellious position vis a vis their opponents. So, what would be a good election for Sinn Féin? To be honest, having spoken to many activists in the party, one gets the feeling that three or four gains will feel to them like they’ve lost, rather than gained, seats. Failures to pick up in Dublin Central, Donegal, and elsewhere, would be a disaster. This week I saw an internal poll from another party showing sitting TD Arthur Morgan losing his seat in Louth. I suspect that that poll was slightly off, but if it was correct, disaster looms for Sinn Fein, and they could come back with exactly the number of TDs they left with, or fewer. The alternative coalition looks in bad shape in the polls at the moment, but its very presence is terrible news for Sinn Féin. At the last election, poor transfers between Labour, Fine Gael, and the Greens let Sinn Féin candidates sneak the last seat in some constituencies. Even if the opposition don’t increase their overall share of first preferences this time out, an improved transfer rate between the three parties will mean gains for them in places that Sinn Féin would hope to benefit from Fianna Fáil’s weakness – Waterford, for instance. What is Sinn Féin’s best hope? They must hope that young men in rural Ireland turn out in droves for them, which is a possibility. They should also spend the
For Sinn Fein, three or four gains in the General Election would seem like a loss. Photo: John McGuirk campaign attacking Fianna Fáil from a republican perspective, which could help them in places like Dublin Central and Donegal. And finally, they should encourage their supporters to transfer to Labour
and the Greens, and talk of building an alliance on the left, in the hope that voters for those parties will reciprocate. Then, bigger gains are possible, and the party can spend the next five years finding
ways to expand its base. • John McGuirk is Eastern Area Officer of the Union of Students in Ireland
Irish politicians Closure of the show true colours Buttery bar reflects in run-up to election Trinity’s changing culture Edward Gaffney believes that Irish politicians are showing their true colours in the runup to next summer’s election
Irish politicians showed their true colours last week. On three looming domestic issues – European Union expansion, industrial salmon fishing and waste in government spending – elements in both the government and opposition dodged the tough questions and chose the easy option rather than the right one. This is a sign of things to come: the major parties need to offend as few people as possible in the run-up to next summer’s election, and if that means sacrificing principle for popularity, so be it. The most obvious case of populism in Irish politics last week was the imposition of restrictions on immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria working in Ireland until 2014. To be precise, they’ll have the same freedom of travel as any other EU citizen, but to work here, they’ll need to pass non-EU work permit tests. It seems ridiculous that we suddenly say “no” to working-people from the new member states, as if conditions are radically different to those of 2004. The Irish government shouldn’t create two-tier citizenship of the EU on a whim. Didn’t we suffer that enough in the past? Shouldn’t we set an example for the rest of the EU, rather than following their lead? But in Ireland the reaction from the opposition was acclaim, not criticism. After whipping up fears about “displacement” of Irish workers from low-paid jobs here, which were disproven by a report of the Economic and Social Research Institute in May, there’s been pressure from the Labour Party in particular to tighten the condi-
tions on migrant workers from the new EU states. The government’s concession on this issue is typical of the “consensus politics” that hasn’t worked for the country in the past. A more positive step was the proposed ban on salmon drift-net fishing, which was reported on Wednesday morning. This is an issue where the economy, the environment and old-fashioned localism come into conflict. Salmon stocks in Irish waters have been in serious decline for 30 years. Trawlers catch the vast majority of the fish as they return from spawning in the Atlantic, with no consideration for the need to regenerate the population. EU quotas haven’t solved this problem in the past, so it was right for the Government to step in. A total of €25 million will be given to the trawler operators in compensation for lost income, even though they should have little difficulty in finding new jobs in fishing or other sectors. But Fianna Fáil deputies from the western seaboard are orchestrating a campaign against the salmon reforms, which is politically understandable, but surely disloyal and opportunistic. And Fine Gael have now joined in, calling for a voluntary retirement scheme – which misses the point of ensuring salmon are protected from all trawlers. Why is there even any opposition to this proposal? A native species is conserved, it supports a major aspect of our tourism industry, and fishers who lose out are compensated. As I’m writing this, it’s still not clear whether Noel Dempsey’s policy will survive
against his own party. The ESRI’s criticism of the government’s National Development Plan was the unnoticed element on the Irish political scene last week. The authors of the analysis document took issue with many aspects of the NDP. Projects have been evaluated by their proposing departments, rather than independent and transparent bodies. Many projects are located in areas that didn’t need more investment, when other areas remain deprived. What’s more, all this capital spending distorts the Irish economy by promoting construction over other sectors, setting us up for a fall if the construction industry ever slows down. The economists proposed that over €1.5 billion of waste should be cut from the NDP. The government’s response? They insisted that the current investment plan should be put into place as soon as possible. Their appeal to our infrastructure deficit makes less sense when we focus on quality of investment, not just quantity. And the opposition stays quiet because it's unpopular to be connected to any kind of spending cut, no matter how sensible, and because they want to get away with the same kind of shoddy policy when they eventually get into power. It's now clear that the big parties are up for a bidding war at the next election, where principle comes in second place to populism. Last time, they argued about who would keep taxes lowest and government spending highest - even though everybody knew that the imminent downturn could only be avoided with firm budgetary policy. This time, other aspects of social and economic policy are getting the same treatment. Why do we always get the politicians we deserve? Expect Election 2007 to be marked by the same political expedience as any other contest in modern times. • Edward Gaffney is Honorary Secretary of the University Philosophical Society
The Buttery has closed, signalling the end of an era for Trinity. Robert Delahunty at the bar’s closure and sees if it really needed to happen. The Buttery bar is closing and we shall mourn her death. We all know the old anecdote of the bar that went down with the liver of the owner. If you can’t make money running a bar in Ireland, where can you make money? However, in Trinity things are not always as they seem. The Buttery bar has had a sharp decline in sales over the years I’ve spent in and out of Trinity since 2000 and with good reason. Circles in Trinity are already toasting the end of an era in campus life but really we were all part of her end. Yes, she was going down, but a lot of us jumped ship after we had assassinated the captain. The truth of the matter is that students have more disposable income these days and are more selective and savvy consumers of alcohol. In 2000 the Buttery was still a place where the more alternative types in the student body could lock themselves into a den of iniquity away from the prying eyes of lecturers and other students. The aesthetic quality of the Buttery then was entirely different to the Buttery of today. In the days before the smoking ban of 2004 there was always a smoky haze hanging in the air, complemented by a dark colour scheme, and with the shadows and echos of the arches, you could almost picture yourself by an oil lamp speaking with Beckett or Wilde. We never did; instead we talked politics and existentialism, metaphysics and anthropology. Of course then we complained about bad ventilation and stinging eyes, but we secretly loved it. The rebellious nature of the Irish poet lived in us all. When Ireland turned its back on the smokers of Europe by emulating the
somewhat ‘progressive’ style of New York’s long bars something was lost. Something you can’t quite put your finger on. Can you? The problem here was this. We wanted it all, but we were hasty. Obviously the smoking ban affected the atmosphere, but what we really lost was ourselves. Before, the Buttery satisfied a certain part of the student body; but then we became no longer available to her. If you know anything of bars in Dublin it’s that they are constantly reinvesting in themselves, sometimes quite cynically to the point of no return. A newer breed of Trinity student was emerging and long gone were the days of Irish pounds, and sadly with it a style of intoxication that seems only to exist in the minds of a generation past. We were not satisfied to have Guinness with our meals with a whisky and water on the side. We wanted Heineken, pub branding, drinks promotions, live music and a happy hour. Legislation eroded our happy hour so we wanted comedy to make us happy. Then our conversations were interrupted by knee jerk reactions from a sales point of view. Hasty tasteless refurbishments and a simple lack of tangible investment for the Buttery has led to its closure. The Guinness turned bad (really?) or did we just not like drinking it there? We went exodus on mass to Doyle’s, The Ginger Man, and The Pavilion, all of which have drawn huge crowds from the arts block. We began to attend the music sessions and get better quality, upmarket-type drinks. We found an atmosphere elsewhere in 30 pubs close to campus. The Pav also reinvented itself
with some controversy. However, heavy investment from DUCAC and Guinness and a bartender named Darrin kept us coming back. The Pav has made its recent achievements by knowing its market. Hilariously we now have UCDD students attending our somewhat legendary bar summer bar, due to it’s new chic look, which is all the rage in our new fashion conscious society. Now before you financiers are all up in arms, screaming “it couldn’t be done”: it could have. If we take a target market for a centrally located bar, in a small city centre with a student body of some 15000 you would imagine that there is room and scope for more than one well-run student bar, with correct investment and imagination. Unfortunately the Buttery is linked with a heavily inefficient catering outlet that couldn’t make the grade even with a guaranteed market of students, staff and tourists. All these factors have speeded the closure of our landmark bar, where lack of investment and imagination have ended in cost cutting and inevitably spelled the end of our dear Buttery. What we have seen in the closure of the Buttery is not just a landmark event in Trinity life, but a symbol of the era we now live in, where business often takes precedence over culture and a lack of creative thinking leads to the erosion of something we once had. We’re different people now and the closure of the Buttery has reflected not just competitive times we live in and the competitiveness of our drinks industry, but a fundamental change in ourselves, as thinking, drinking, Irish people. The Buttery bar, RIP 2006.
EDITORIAL AND COMMENT 9
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
To the Editor 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Re-introduction of fees will give College a needed cash injection Free fees may have seemed like a good political move at the time but what has the effect been for our College? Essentially, as inflation increases, the real rate of government spending on education is lowered and many of the universities are being left behind. Our university, once considered the equal of Oxford and Cambridge, now cannot compete with these on any level. Losing 15 million euro a year, Trinity simply cannot continue the way it is. The point is, Trinity simply doesn't have the resources of the Oxbridge universities or the Ivy League. It is time to bring back fees. When Noel Dempsey, the Minister of Education in 2003, first tested the waters on this issue, students were up in arms. One Trinity lecturer pointed out that both students and the University would suffer if we were to continue with free fees. The current financial crisis is a direct result of the free fees initiative. Budget cuts and belt-tightening in Trinity have meant the closure of student services such as the Buttery bar. And the College’s ARAM project could mean the end of language courses. Some of the University’s most prestigious academics have moved on to higher paid jobs in other institutions. Trinity cannot afford to reward its academics and they're forced to move on. The low fees the government allows Trinity to claim make it difficult for the University to offer its most costly courses to Irish students. Medicine and dentistry are becoming the preserve of foreign students simply because the University can charge them the full cost of the course, whereas with Irish students the University is forced to make do with the government's pitiful offerings. The reintroduction of tuition fees could be handled with the greatest of care, ensuring that the maximum number of students have the opportunity to study at College. A carefully constructed loan system, similar to that of Australia, would allow a great injection of cash into our struggling university. Unfortunately, it is organisations like the Union of Students in Ireland who are ironically working against the best interests of students. Immediately they'll insist on dismissing the arguments for the reintroduction of fees. After all, it's never clever to be “brave” in politics.
One-year students living in College can’t contribute fully John Henry Newman would probably have a hard time reconciling his idea of bringing “a number of young men together for three or four years” (as oft-quoted on the College’s Web site) with the fact that a number of one-year students have rooms in College. The “vibrant academic community in line with the vision of College outlined in the Strategic Plan” can hardly come about if students who’ve yet to join a society and have never heard of the College Park are installed in rooms. At best, it would be pure luck if these students turned out to be great contributors to the “Trinity experience”. How can these naïve foreigners possibly contribute to College life in any way approaching the idealistic, romantic, Newman-quoting ideal? Better, surely, to dump them in Dartry and allow them to hide in their rooms there. The campus community spirit, by all accounts, could do with a bit of a boost – keeping Erasmus-types out of the equation would be a start.
Corrections and Apologies Trinity News would like to apologise to David Quinn (Students’ Union President) for the inaccuracies in the articles “Quinn loses one horse race”, “Redundancies resolved but more questions raised” and “The Agent” in our last issue. To clarify these inaccuracies: The decision to make redundancies in the Students’ Union was made by the Students’ Union Council during the academic year 05/06 and was not a personal decision taken by Quinn. The Union of Students in Ireland was fully supportive of the actions taken by the Students’ Union. There was no attempt made by the Students’ Union to avoid paying redundancies to any staff members. Trinity News apologies unreservedly to Quinn for any offence or damage caused.
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“The Agent” is a remedial English version of Phoenix Sir, – I read with some mild interest and considerable bemusement the latest pseudo-satirical outpourings from “The Agent”, whom I am led to understand is Trinity’s own bargain-basement version of a journalistic satirist – a sort of remedial English version of Phoenix Magazine. Naturally, I was shocked, horrified, aghast, rendered speechless, and deeply upset. Well, not at all really, but I feel that The Agent was hoping that I was, so it would be churlish of me to disoblige our resident scribbler, bless his little goggles. However, I must confess that I am intrigued – as no doubt the other assorted victims of The Agent’s barbed tongue and acidic wit are – as to his identity and motivations. But then, having given the matter an entire minute of my consideration, I realised that The Agent’s anonymity is somewhat threadbare. Once I had waded through the sludge of nods and winks, knowing looks, “oo-er missus” innuendo, political infantilism, genealogical contradictions, and overall air of hack-envy which would seem to be the hallmark of this third-rate collegial pundit, I could not shake the image of a Gollum-like creature hidden away somewhere, licking his podgy lips and laboriously tapping out his journalistic offerings with sausage-like fingers as he sweats pure beads of self-righteous perspiration and thinks himself a hell of a
clever fellow – rather indicative of the “ego-masturbation” The Agent feels to be so all-pervasive in College. Then again, perhaps this accounts for his goggles, hat, and face bandages? That sort of carry-on can affect a chap’s eyesight and complexion I’ve heard. However, I digress. It is ironic that The Agent so disdains hacks in light of the fact that he would himself seem to be indicative of the very worst sort of hack, with the proverbial (podgy) finger in every pie – no doubt well connected in his own world, yet ultimately disconnected in the real one. I am quite sure that I have encountered – or at least had my ears and sensibilities assaulted by – The Agent in the environs of the GMB, on the numerous occasions that he has seen fit to punch yet another hole in the Ozone Layer with the hot air so characteristic of his political commentaries (God protect us all). I and others wait with bated breath – whilst remaining agog with apathy – the next series of earth-shattering observations and revelations from that well-connected Jack-of-all-trades and master of none, The Agent: truly, “the only hack in the village”. Yours etc – Trevor Breen-Browne SF Mental and Moral Science Chairman, Trinity Young Fine Gael
Graduate headed for Iraq requests prayers Sir, – All right, I’ll admit it: everyone aside from my most hawkish friends think I’m crazy for my most recent major decision. I have decided to leave law school in Michigan after completing my first year and take my commission as an officer in the United States Army. I will almost certainly be sent to Iraq, and with all of this in mind, have still chosen to serve in the infantry. Before the casual reader takes the same opinion as my friends, I must explain the reasons for my notably drastic decision. I will begin with the reasons for which I am not going. I do not go to fight for freedom, justice, democracy or the “American way”. For the most part, I go to fight for me. When I say “me”, I am referring to my beliefs and personal strug-
gles. Regarding the former of these, I do support my nation’s occupation of Iraq. I would go further though. I like American imperialism and hegemony, especially in the Middle East. It protects our interests including our ally, Israel. I must voice my anger with some of our President’s policy though. While I like him very much, and there is very little I disagree with him on, I think all of this talk of democracy is nonsense. I could not care less for it, and if it were my decision, I would certainly bring back the Hashemite Kings who, like the Shah, were very loyal allies and arguably stable leaders. What I really want though, is their oil. We have secured that windfall of black gold, but I have yet to see world oil prices well below $50 a barrel, where they
The Agent The Agent is amused. Normally, when people get referred to by him in a negative way, they shut up and hope nobody notices. Some people in recent weeks though have been shouting at the top of their voices about what an evil scumbag The Agent is (The Agent is flattered), and how his very subtle language was in reference to them. Seriously, you might as well have run around College with a big sign over your head saying “The Agent was talking about me!” You know who you are. To change the subject completely, any single blokes who read this page should head on down to the Stepford Wives’ Society for some Food and Drink. These birds are all very tasty and were he not so physically scarred that he is reduced to dressing like a leprosy patient in order to hide his ugliness, The Agent would be down there quicker than you can say “that last paragraph was mean”. Lest it be said that this column is always negative, The Agent would like to say that under Chairwoman Sinead “Sexy” O’Sullivan, Food and Drink are having a hell of a good start to the year. Membership is up, The Agent has been to some of their events and enjoyed them, and, amazingly, the committee seem to be in complete harmony. It won’t last. Our glorious leader has had a lot of success in increasing the number of class reps this year. The Agent is impressed, although he strongly suspects that Rob “Ming the Merciless” Kearns should really take most of the credit. In other Students’ Union news, it’s never too early to start planning those election campaigns – isn’t that right, Bartley Rock? Trinity’s favourite little gremlin (don’t ever pour water on him) is planning a run to succeed young Kearns as Education Officer and is actively seeking somebody mentioned below to run his campaign. The Agent wouldn’t be all that optimistic about Bartley’s chances. In the meantime, good old Joey “live long and
prosper” Delaney has taken himself out of the running for Welfare Officer – a wise move – and it now looks like this year’s car crash campaign for Welfare will be Blaithnaid “I tried to RON Denise Keogh” Deeney. Don’t do it, Blaithnaid! Dee “My boyfriend used to be somebody” McClean is another early hitter on the campaign trail – with Denise Keogh’s campaign machine behind her she’ll go far. The Agent had hoped to be able to write a column without having to bore his readers with the latest goings-on in the bitchy Hist, but then things went from bad to worse for poor old James O’Brien. It seems his now-former Treasurer, Kathy Troy, felt that the atmosphere on his committee was so bad that she had no choice but to slam the Auditor in her email of resignation: “I am resigning due to an unbearable working environment and a complete lack of confidence in the Auditor and an intolerable working relationship with him … the uncooperative attitude of certain officers has at times been tantamount to schoolyard bullying.” The resulting election between O’Brien’s handpicked candidate, David “Supporting Manchester United is a substitute for a personality” Walker, and outsider candidate Tim “St John” Smyth, was as vicious a battle as the Agent has seen, with rampant canvassing on both sides. The close victory for Smyth is another crushing blow to the Auditor, who now looks more isolated, unpopular, and vul-
Trinity’s charm, excellence and quality “Salute thyself; and see what thy soul doth wear.” An examination of conscience is a salutary exercise if practiced with moderation. The season being propitious, it does not seem altogether idle to attempt to assess for our own benefit and that of incoming Freshmen certain fundamental values of Trinity. A high tradition on scholarship, a love of learning for its own sake and a pious reverence for the past – these are qualities which are not peculiar to this University. They are found in all the older seats of learning in Europe, though it could be maintained that Dublin possesses them in a high – possibly too high – degree. But Trinity, in our opinion, stands or falls by other and more important considerations. First and foremost, it is an asylum for the individual. In a world grown furious from co-operation and organization, Trinity offers to Senior Fellow and Junior Freshman a bland indifference in which each may enjoy the large freedom of his own soul. The silence and spacious ease which greet one on passing through the Front Gate from the hurly-burly of College Green
are no doubt the result of a happy combination of buildings and avocations. But they might also be justly described as symbols of the peace of mind and heart which Trinity offers to a man harassed by coloured shirts, peripatetic religions, and organised disharmony. More than this, Trinity offers to him who is so minded the right to relieve his charged bosom of the perilous load of opinions which the shirts, religions and disharmony have produced in him. It is the simple truth that here a man may, within the broad limits of decent custom and good feeling, say and do what he likes. Most important of all he may say and do nothing if he pleases, not will anyone force bread on him if he desires a stone. It would be difficult to assess at too high a value Trinity’s essential realisation of the sanctity of the individual, a realisation which presents a quiet, permanent obstacle to those who would fetter us with representative councils, interfering kindliness, busy-body impertinence, corporate action and the other features of Totalitarianism. This quality conditions the other qualities which together give to Trinity its especial charm and excellence. The cloistered life, the supper-parties, the immense conversations about “The World and I”, the bright passions of College Societies, these are all so much enriched by the spirit of which we have spoken that it is small wonder that Trinity calls forth in its sons a deep personal affection quite different from ready-made loyalty. from TCD: A College Miscellany, 25 October 1934
should be. To be honest, for once, I hoped the liberals were right, and that we really were invading for oil. I am greatly saddened now, four years later, that this has not been the case. As for personal reasons, the need for discipline and order pull strongly on me. College was fun, but I had to go on to greater things. I made it through the first year of law school, which was the most demanding academically I had ever faced. During that year though, I had too much fun. Something someone preparing for a profession should not have in abundance. I began term quite well, studying up to five hours a night and never missing lectures. Several months (and girlfriends) later, I found school had become secondary to my social life, which was honestly spiraling out of control. I was no longer the studious young man I began as (or at least was arguably for the first term), but a man of leisure. Somehow, I buckled down for finals and the summer began. As would be expected, it was a wild one.
While I will not go into great detail, it rather seemed like one continuous bachelor party. As the summer drew to a close, I had begun to realize that I was not ready to continue as a student, let alone become a lawyer, until I had made some major changes in my life. I lacked the discipline, focus and self denial that is necessary. Instead of saying “no” I all too often said “hell yea”. As I began to come to understand this better, I turned to someone many generations of young men had turned to for personal growth (among other things); my Uncle Sam. I am excited about my future, and with I could be dropped in the desert tomorrow. I should be pretty safe; I’m rather good at soldiering I think, but I ask everyone at Trinity to pray for my safety, that of my brothers in arms and for the final victory of Western Civilization. Yours, etc – Christopher Gambino BA 2004 (Biblical and Theological Studies)
nerable than ever, and sets up Smyth as the leader of the opposition in the Society. Smyth’s first action was to forbid Fine Gaeler Sean Conway from resigning from the committee, as was his intention. The new treasurer knows that if he doesn’t get his way he can trigger a “drip drip” series of resignations from the committee to force the lame duck Auditor from Office. The Agent now looks forward to a series of huge cutbacks in spending on competitive debating as Smyth plies first year voters with parties and free alcohol in the run up to the elections at the end of year.
Incidentally, if anybody wants the full, gloriously bitchy text of the email quoted above, drop The Agent a line at the address below. In other news, ex-Phil president, Paddy “why is he still around?” Cosgrave has abandoned his latest get rich quick scheme, a campaign for one of the DU seats in the Seanad elections in June. The Agent suspects Cosgrave realised he didn’t have the looks or money to stand a chance against the favourite in the race, Prof Ivana “abortion is good” Bacik. Finally, it seems that the Agent didn’t quite have a monopoly on controversy on his page last time out. Fianna Fáil’s Val Keaveney took a serious swipe across the bows of his own society, in a move that – The Agent is told by well placed sources – will result in this being his last year bearing the “Honorary President” moniker that nobody can seem to remember giving him. Somewhere, a very evil power is smiling. The Agent is always on the lookout for gossip, so if you have any, send him or her an email. However, self-promotion will not be tolerated – got that, hacks? •
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
College character Matt’s meeting with Crown Prince Harald of Norway Matteo Matubara On the occasion of the state visit to Ireland by the royal couple of Norway, King Harald V and Queen Sonja, on the 19th September, I would like to write about my meeting with the then-Crown Prince Harald of Norway (now King Harald V) in Oslo long ago. When I studied Classics and Nordic Studies at the University of Stockholm with a Swedish state grant, I got a special summer grant from the Norwegian state. I went to Norway for three months. When I was in Oslo, I asked Crown Prince Harald for an audience with him forwarding a letter of recommendation from the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad. He graciously agreed with my wish and granted me an audience in the Slottet (palace). His adjutant wrote to me that the Crown Prince would like to meet me. I was guided by him to the royal room and entertained by him while a royal meeting with someone else took place. And then I was received by the Crown Prince. He expressed his pleasure to meet me, but he was shy and polite toward me. In accordance with my wish he sent an autographed photograph to me in Stockholm. The Crown Prince fell in love with a pretty commoner at school. He had to wait for a permit from his father, King Olav, for his wedding with her. At last his marriage to her was granted after his insistence for ten years. After the death of
Above and right: Matteo (second from left in both) during his time at university in Stockholm. Photos: Matteo Matubara King Olav they became King Harald V and Queen Sonja. When I learned from the Irish Times about the Norwegian royal couple’s state visit to Ireland, I expressed my wish to greet King Harald with mention of my meeting with him as Crown Prince in Oslo to the Norwegian Ambassador. While Queen Sonja would visit the Old Library at Trinity College to view the Book of Kells, the King would come to the National Museum for installation. The Ambassador, His Excellence Mr Truls Hanevold, replied to me that he and the embassy staff were so busy shortly
before the royal coming that it was impossible for them to comply with requests from me and others. The state visit was planned in detail for a long time. A small number of Norwegians were invited to the National Museum for installation several weeks in advance. He could not ask the King to stop to greet others than Dr Wallace, the museum director. I was disappointed to lose the opportunity to greet the King. The Ambassador said to me that the royal couple enjoyed their state visit to Ireland.
An Ghaeltacht – a cruthú i gColáiste na Tríonóide Seamas O’Ceallaigh
Áit chónaithe do mhic léinn sa Scéim Chónaithe i mbliana. Photo: Seamas O’Ceallaigh
Chuala mé duine éigean ag rá le gairid go bhfuil an Ghaeilge ag fáil bháis sa tír seo agus cé gur leasc liom é a rá, aontaím leis, cuid mhaith. Ach ar chuala tú morán daoine timpeall an Choláiste ag caint as Gaeilge le déanaí? Nó b’fhéidir go bhfuil daoine ag gabháil timpeall do theachsa ag caint as Gaeilge agus níl leid dá laghad agat cén fáth? Bhuel, tá fíor seans go bhfuil na daoine seo ag glacadh páirt sa Scéim Chónaithe i mbliana. Bunaíodh an Scéim Chónaithe anseo sa choláiste ceirthre bhliain ó shin ach bhí an chéad scéim den sórt seo bunaithe i
gColáiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Claith. Is príomh aidhm na Scéime ná an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn i saol an choláiste. Faigheann an coláiste deontais ón Rialtas chun mic léinn a mhealladh isteach agus iad a chur i dtreo an Ghaeilge. Agus nuair a bhíonn tú i do mhac léinn níl aon bhealach níos fearr chun é a dhéanamh ná laiscainí a thabhairt dúinn ar ár lósitín! Tá thart ar 16 faoi láthair ar an scéim i Front Square ach i mbliana rugadh an scéim i Halla na Tríonóide. Tá arasán thall i Dartraigh faoi láthair á usáid sa chaoi céanna – ag spreagadh an Ghaeilge i measc muintir an chéad bhliain. Is é an rud is fearr faoin scéim ná is féidir le aon duine a bhfuil Gaeilge líofa
acu iarratas a chur isteach. Ní gá Gaeilge a bheith ar siúl agat don chéim ach caithtear a bheith gníomhach in imeachtaí Gaeilge ar Champas. De gnáth bíonn ort dul le haghaidh agallaimh agus ansin roghnaítear na daoine atá lán ábalta Gaeilge a labhairt go líofa. Chomh minic agus is féidir cuirtear daoine nach bhfuil aithne ar a chéile san arasán céanna. Mar sin, is deis iontach í aithne a chur ar níos mó gaeilgóirí agus ár dteanga dúchais a usáid chomh maith. Mar a deireann an tamhrán “Sí teanga binn ár sinsear í, an caint is miles glór!” agus nach iontach an rud é go bhfuil sé le feicéail ar Champas!
Madonna: please adopt a new attitude Sarah Montague The recent intense media attention surrounding Madonna’s adoption of a baby boy from Malawi has brought the topic of adoption into public debate. Although regarding Madonna it is focused on the discussion over whether it is right that stars should be able to bend the rules in regards to such fundamental issues as the custody of a child just because they have the ability to give large financial donations, the view of adoption in modern society is an underlying and interesting question thrown up by Madonna’s actions. Adoption has long been an accepted aspect of society as it allows children without suitable care to become part of another family and home. Despite the fact that there are quite substantial numbers of adopted or fostered children in Ireland the topic still remains oddly taboo, and until recently not a focal point of public attention. Being adopted instead is not frowned upon but often kept quiet and not discussed openly. Whether this is because of an unspoken and old-fashioned disapproval of parents who give their child up for adoption, or a desire to spare the child’s feelings by not openly acknowledging their adoption as a part of their past, it must have a deep and lasting impact upon any child or young person. I am not suggesting that being adopted should be viewed as an integral part of a person’s identity but repressive behaviour and a resistance to open acceptance of the matter must lead to feelings of insecurity and long-term stress and doubt.
Obviously it is not healthy to have underlying and perhaps even subconscious feelings such as these that are sometimes created by society’s view on the matter. Family has always been an important unit in Irish society, which is perhaps where this fear of recognising the breakup of family stems from. Perhaps it is an embarrassment that this structure can be destroyed very easily and a realisation that this age-old basis of Irish society is often weak and corrupt. Even when a young person has been adopted into a loving family and feels accepted into this unit, it can take a long time to overcome feelings of distress at the fact that their biological family or parent was unable or unsuitable to care for them. These feelings can lead to destructive and antisocial behaviour, perhaps in a reaction against the pressure that is felt to conform to this new environment and the repression of vocalising feelings about the situation. These feelings may manifest themselves in different ways and although antisocial behaviour is definitely not the norm it can be a result. Pity is not a reaction that is desired and this may be the reason that sometimes people can feel hesitant about sharing the fact that they are adopted. It is not shame, it is not embarrassment; it is more of a reaction against the fact that adoption is not openly discussed. People often don’t know how to react so the topic is avoided and can lead to unwanted secrecy. This is especially evident in teenagers and young people, who, being at an age where most strive for social acceptance, can find it difficult to admit to having an unconventional background. Imagine the
pain and feelings of guilt that a teenager who is adopted feels when a biological sibling comes to visit and they are secretly and desperately wishing and hoping that their friends won’t call over or bump into them at the shops, lest the awkwardness of an explanation as to why they have a sibling who has never been mentioned before has to be encountered or the upset possibly caused by someone innocently comments on how little you look like the rest of your family. Such distress can be heightened in young people who have been adopted from overseas. Large numbers of adoptions from countries such as Romania have taken place by Irish couples in recent years and even up to around twenty years ago. Personally I have been surprised by the number of teenagers in Dublin that I have encountered who I later have discovered were adopted from Romania when they were younger. The taking of Irish names is common. Although this is probably an innocent attempt at integration into Irish society it is slightly disturbing for personal and national identity to be so blatantly removed. On the other hand, it would also be quite bizarre to be told that you are from a country that you have no recollection of or feelings of association with. I don’t wish to criticise adoption as it is predominantly a very important and wonderful thing for a child who needs care to be accepted into and cared for by a nonbiological family. Most of the time there is a feeling that this family is the “real” family, despite lack of biological claims. However, I think that the general social attitude towards adoption is worrying and
The new addition to Madonna’s family has brought the topic of adoption into public debate. can have severely, but not necessarily clearly evident, damaging effects on people who have been adopted. The closed attitude towards it can lead to destabilising feelings of insecurity that people can be carrying around with them for their whole life. A more accepting and open
attitude would almost definitely lead to healthier emotions regarding the subject. The next time you read or hear about the case of Madonna’s adoption of baby David, try to look beyond the trivial nature of the coverage because of her celebrity status and consider the wider
effects of social attitude to adoption. For every time Madonna’s case is mentioned there will be people listening who can identify with that child on an essential level and know the mixed feelings and emotions that they feel every day of their lives.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Religious extremism begins at school Chloe Sanderson As the terrorism question continues to rage and be raised across the globe, a spotlight sits above the religious hot houses of the world. Can religious extremism be justified in this day and age? If, as Pope suggested in his Essay on Man, the secret to the good life of man is choosing reason over our passions, then surely it is reasonable not to expect individuals to be attacked for their religious beliefs or affronted by others’ overt religious symbolism. If I were to take Nazi extremism as my religious cause and cite the destruction of all Jewish, black, handicapped, and homosexual people as my religious duty, although I note that the Nazis actually attempted to remove themselves from established religion, I would expect and deserve to be admonished and reprimanded for inciting racial hatred. Furthermore, should I cover my body in swastikas and sing the Hitler Youth tunes as I ambled around trinity I wonder perhaps that the Junior Dean might ask me in for some routine questions. The reason would be that my actions would be deemed offensive to those around me. I would put it another way, be sacrificing the happiness of others in order to further fulfill my own. Considering all this it seems shocking and alarming that it is a still acceptable for religion to be peddled in our schools. The argument leads thus, if religious separatism is allowed in schools there is little hope of creating a new generations that no longer believe in setting one religion against another. Indeed, it is clear that these would be small measures with large and difficult consequences; however is it not important to strive for some level of equality in our school system? Just as the uniform is greatly used in education to break down differences in social status, so an enforced reduction in religious iconography should be encouraged. What I preach, if such a word can be used without an enormity of irony on such a subject, is not an attack or disbanding of any religion but integration. It is important that essential religious doctrine not be jeopardized, however school in my opinion should be a chance to step away from these confining boundaries. As after all we would like to imagine that children may be able to overcome the religious hatred of their families, let us help them by giving the distinction a more subtle edge. Before general furor erupts in my face, this is a not an attack aimed at any particular religion, nor am I suggesting that the basic tenets of each religion be sacrificed. As scull caps, head scarves, turbans etc are all essential elements of their respective religions it would be absurd to remove them from the heads of the believer. Instead what I am referring to is aggressive religious symbolism. For example, if you will excuse one that is a little trite a small crucifix is a fine way to express or reaffirm your religion in a subtle respectable way, whereas a massive Madonna style crucifix tattooed across your face whilst attending a Jewish school might seem a little inappropriate. Philosophical ideals for man are however a difficult model place upon society, as Lock, Hume and Descartes might want to shout from their clouds, or click as ants
Chloe Sanderson argues that religious extremism begins in schools. Photo: Chloe Sanderson depending on which religious version you believe. Sometimes notions which may sound great on paper, such as creating an ideal race of healthy strong fit individuals, when put into practice lead to appalling consequences, as Hitler’s final solution proved. Indoctrination of any type should be kept separate from the education system. If young people should learn to separate themselves from other religious or social groups it should not be at school. This polemic includes I might add the pledge of allegiance to the president said every morning at most American schools. As one young girl who was recently apprehended and questioned by the CIA for looking at a comical anti-Bush cartoon whilst in school, will agree, the Bush administration is watching you, is forcing you to revere its Christian head, and antiMuslim furor. However as if we begin to place restrictions on the religious expression of some individuals, this may, as France has proved, cause many parents to remove their children to religious schools that cater solely for their religions needs. Thus heightening religious divisions and increasing the chance of early indoctrination. The problem is intensified however, due to the saturation of religion in education worldwide. For example, the majority of you reading this will have been educated in a religious school, for example run by monks or nuns. Weep thee not oh Ampleforthians, it is not my aim to damn the heads and teachers of such establishments just because they make educating children their habit, indeed in the past many children have been educated purely
due to the benevolence of the church. However is such segregation necessary? As you raise your angry heads oh sisters of Mercy cadets consider were you taught to recite passages of the bible, or psalms? Isn’t this no different to the images of children repeating the Koran that are displayed proudly by American anti-Islam propagandists? I do believe religious education should still be taught in Schools, instruction in schools in or about religious faiths, their history, and their followers, teaches children to be accepting of other faiths, an essential in our modern society. It is merely that it should be moderate in nature. Practices across the world vary, but in Britain religious education (RE) must be taught in all state-run schools by law. Pupils must receive grounding in the basics of Christianity. They must also gain some understanding of the other major faiths practiced by members of the British population. Thus an attempt has been made by the government to widen religious understanding. These religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, and Judaism. Since the Education Act 1944, in Britain, RE has been compulsory in law, but it remains outside the National Curriculum. This means that the specific content of lessons is not laid down by central government. Instead, it is agreed upon by locally run bodies called Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs). Religious Schools although maintained at the government’s expense, retain control over their RE syllabus. Private schools are also free to determine their own syllabus. It appears
that have you the money, be it individual or the church, you can choose the level of religious indoctrination of your choice. As the old gambit says money is power, as is knowledge, therefore, if lucky, your children could become the most powerful tunnel visioned individuals in your community, set poised to start the next holy war, or social man hunt. All inclusive religious education in schools does however face a number of problems. It is seen by many pupils and teachers as a low-priority subject, even though it is compulsory. Evidence from official government inspectors in Britain suggests that many schools have failed to teach RE thoroughly, if at all, and there is an acknowledged shortage of RE teachers. For it appears that unless there is a personal religious fervor behind it few appear interested in religions finer points as a subject. Many religious adherents continue to see RE as a “confessional” matter of faith, rather than as a topic of analytical study. Some argue that their children will become confused about their own faith. Parents who object to the current framework can withdraw their children from RE lessons. Sadly it appears that with increased multiculturalism in our communities and ever increasing understanding of comparative religions, there is also the burgeoning of further religious separatism. For as it is human nature is to form like minded communities there grows more and more areas in the cities we frequent across the globe, full of one racial, religious or social class exclusive of all others. The first British state-funded Islamic schools being established in 1998
were an example of this. The difficulty of enforcing such educational ideals is highlighted by teachers such as the Rev. Norman Milbank director of Canterbury Christian School (seen pictured). Although he is 84 years old, the Reverend is happy continue working as he views the job of teaching the children a “Christian world view,” as a job given to him by god. Milbank said “The Bible is the real, basic truth. When you hold the Bible as the unchanging standard and learn politics or economics or anything, by that standard, you learn a Christian world view.” Milbank has no plans to retire. “The Bible doesn’t talk about retirement” he pointed out. “As long as the Lord gives me the strength to do this, why would I?” With such belief systems intertwined with the education system how is the government to go about separating the two? Finally I would like to support my argument for the separation of religion and education by reminding us of the consequences of mixing religious fanaticism with isolationism. I am not interested in discussing the current conflict in Iraq, Bush and Blair have done quite enough with their terrorist witch hunt to make the subject fully dissected. Instead I’d like to remind many of you that Christian extremist terrorism also exists. In the current atmosphere of fear and confused Muslim Christian relations many people have forgotten that the Christians also have their very own brand of fanaticisms. For example, James Charles Kopp’s shooting of abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian. Most mainstream Christians consider these acts to be egregious violations
of the religion’s ethics, and regularly condemn all acts of terrorism including those perpetrated by self-professed Christian terrorists. The violent Christian Identity movement, for instance, is regarded as a highly un-Christian organization by most non-members. Examples of attacks and aggression can be seen below: • October 2, 2004 – Christian terrorist group kills 44 Hindus, wounds 118 in Northeast India. • January 16, 1997 – Christian Identity terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph bombs a gay nightclub. • July 27, 1996 – Christian Identity terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph bombs Centennial Olympic Park. Kills 1, wounds 111. • 1983 – Posse Comitatus militia member Gordon Kahl kills two Federal marshals in North Dakota. Three others are wounded. • 1940s – Terrorist organization Christian Identity is formed on the West Coast of the United States. Followers believe Armageddon will take place as a race war between Aryans, the “pure” people, against Jews, Muslims, and non-whites. The rise of religious fundamentalism is simply the return of the world that existed two or three centuries ago. Lester Thurow in his book Fortune Favours the Bold. What We Must Do to Build a New and Lasting Global Prosperity describes this increase in religious terrorism as an issue inherently about Religion vs. globalization. There are Christians who blow up government buildings in Oklahoma, the Muslims who attack the World Trade Centre in New York – and Jewish fanatics who machine gun down praying Muslims in Israel. They all know exactly what they want – and why they are against globalization. They want the creation of a religious utopia, their religious utopia – not some other religious utopia – in their area. As we have seen in Iran and are now seeing in Iraq, Shiite clerics want to set up inward-looking theocracies that shun the rest of the world. They want to withdraw from globalization into a spiritual ghetto. Religious extremists do not like globalization because they see it as carrying ideas that threaten their view of the world. This explains why single religion schools prove so popular to such communities. But surely it must be clear that if we continue to allow it religious separatism will continue to be created in the young. My argument concludes thus, there will always be religious terrorism, there always has been, as long as man’s nature remains filled with Passion over reason the situation must maintain. However our role as adults is to attempt to lessen this terorism through programms of education. Education within a single denomination school in which religious instruction regarding that one religion is taught over all others succesfully furthers the cause of the terrorists. Fo all it takes for good men to do evil is blind belief in their cause, and whilst this faith might be admirable separatism very often leads to misunderstanding and hatred. With widening muliculturalism in our bcountry now is the time to act and push for greater non religious education and integration, and minimise the pupils displays of religious symbolism. For when the bell rings it should mark a fresh day a new start and new ideas for the young, not one more death at the hand of religious fanatical terrorism.
Women confuse liberation and degradation Harriet Johnson This week, wandering through college, you might be forgiven for basking a little in just how far women have come. Trinity was the first university on the British Isles to confer degrees on women, and celebrated its women’s centenary in 2004. The student population is 61% female; an impressive feat for a country whose constitution still seeks to secure the place of women in the home, and Trinity boasts many illustrious female alumni, such as Thekla Beere and Mary Robinson. The academic staff includes one of Ireland’s leading writers on modern feminism, and the first year sociology course features an entire module on the subject. Yet glance over the college notice boards, and think about your social calendar. There’s a “sexy party”, featuring, in a Family-Guy manner, lots of naked ladies; the ‘pimps and whores’ night for the hockey club; the Law Society’s “playboy party” … these nights have a few things in common. The boys are clothed to a level similar to that of a normal night out; the girls, to the smallest degree manageable without getting arrested. These women, if in character appropriate to their dress, are smiling, shiny, suggestive and obliging, whilst the men take full advantage of the joys of being Hefner for a night, without having to fork out millions to keep up the powerfully intriguing
image of a not-very-attractive man inexplicably surrounded by a gaggle of scantily-clad girls, who are seemingly prepared to oblige his every whim. And how does this happen? How is it that a group of people with the strength of nearly two thirds of the college community have agreed to be openly degraded in such a blatant fashion; let alone, as is the case for the “pimps and whores” night, actually came up with the idea? We owe it, dear friends, to that gleaming treasure so prized by this side of the Atlantic – irony. You see, it seems that we have achieved equality of such momentous proportions as to render feminism a redundant concept; a dirty word. There is no need to protect or espouse a woman’s right to be valued on the basis of something other than her body, or how obliging she is to the opposite sex. It turns out that we women are now so liberated that we volunteer to waggle our naked bodies for male enjoyment: it is not degrading, it is empowering. Far from being excluded from the boys’ club, we can now be its central attraction. Better still, we can go further than that; we can be men: we can go to strip clubs and tuck notes into the gstrings of other girls; we can laugh off emotion as a sign of weakness; indeed, even I have on occasion found myself talking about my commitment-phobia with something resembling pride. I am not like other girls. I don’t have a wed-
ding file under my bed; I don’t need a man to make me happy. As I write this, it is curious to me that I might have chosen the same phrase as the Pussycat Dolls sing whilst grinding and gyrating in a way so obvious it can only be designed to appeal to the lowest male instinct. If this isn’t a mixed message I don’t know what is. Little do we realise that what we are actually shunning is our womanhood – in the literal and best sense of the word. The reason we don’t need a man is because we already have one – ourselves. It seems that we have reached the conclusion that the best way to demonstrate how liberated and free-thinking we are is to subvert gender stereotypes to such a degree that we become men ourselves – and yet how far have women actually come towards equality if the only way we can achieve success and acceptance is by behaving like men? It is, without doubt, true to say that there are women who, when genuinely themselves, embody certain characteristics that resemble those more commonly associated with men; or indeed, who achieve a fundamental happiness by spinning around a pole in a strip club. I’m not saying that these women should stop behaving like this, but rather that this kind of behaviour should be limited to those women alone. But it’s not. We have the right to degrade ourselves, the right to present ourselves as objects, it is true. But we should not call it liberation: this is
Women are subverting gender stereotypes so much that they become almost men themselves. This is no way to achieve acceptance. not equality. I’m not saying stop having fun. I’m not saying wear a bin bag and no make-up. I am not saying stop being who you are. I am simply asking, for the sake of women
everywhere, that you think very carefully before deciding that you are a playboy bunny or an integral member of the Boys’ Club. For if all we can do in the name of equality is play to the stereotypical female
image, or protest against it by simply pretending to be men, what have we really achieved? There can be no doubt that we’ve come a long way. But we still have a long, long way to go.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Off the road? Why it might be time to drop the dead Beats Kerouac and his contemporaries formed the so-called Beat generation. Sam Solnick analyses the cultural ramifications of the cult of the Beats. The Provost’s antipathy toward any sort of expenditure that doesn’t revitalize this university’s Shanghai standing suggests that he, unlike Alan Ginsberg, “saw the best minds of [his] generation” wrapped up in their dissertations, rather than partaking in any of the delightful alternatives offered in the Ginberg’s seminal poem Howl. Personally I find some of these divergences, such as “sweeten[ing] the snatches of a million girls” more attractive than others which would involve plunging myself “under meat trucks looking for an egg.” Nevertheless, despite his clear deficiencies in the hunter/gatherer sphere I have always admired Ginsberg who, along with Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs, managed to mount the great primitivist attack on establishment morality, repression and lack of beards. This unholy-Trinity formed the backbone of the first real modern counterculture movement, and their influence of the books they wrote has been gargantuan. So why, as the high water mark of the Beat Generation approaches its fiftieth anniversary, does it all suddenly seem like a horrendous has-been; a tired genre for quasi-pretentious teenagers and the over fifty-five ex-left wingers? Some of the Beats’ more ardent proponents would argue that without their carefully crafted injection of madness, civilisation would have imploded with a damp grey pop amidst the miserable realities of a post-WWII hangover. While it is essential to nip this sort of crass hyperbole in the bud we cannot underestimate these writers importance. Messrs Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs (not to mention a huge miscellany of other contemporaries, devotees and dope-heads from William Carlos Williams to Ken Kesey) constitute the required reading list for rock-stars from the fifties onwards. They helped propel Rock and Roll into a cultural bastion that ruled youth consciousness for decades, Dylan, The Doors, almost everyone from Aerosmith to Zappa cites them as a major influence. Ever wondered why the biggest band in history was called The Beatles? (No? You, like the me of three weeks ago, have probably never consciously acknowledged the spelling [or any] disparity between tripartite insects with exoskeletons and Liverpool’s finest.) The Beats helped engender a paradigmatic shift in global consciousness (especially regarding hippies and their derivatives who, while not strictly Beat, would have been fairly lost without them), their work challenged conventional notions of sexuality, society and the benefits of a large narcotic consumption. Furthermore, over and above all their shameless self promotion, inopportune deaths and Benzedrine comedowns they still managed to create some outstanding literary works and have even wormed themselves into the academic canon and are now taught at universities as adverse to free love as Trinity. The Beats still enjoy considerable popularity in some parts, but at a significant cost. Just as the mass marketing of rock music has led to the airwaves being swamped by a horrific combination of punk-rock power cords and fantastically expensive mullets so too has the influence of the Beats dissolved on a tidal wave of mediocrity. When the Beats emerged like a drunk and bellicose white whale to challenge the fleet of status-quo writers the
contemporary critic R Jacoby accused them of being anti-intellectual, of worshipping hedonism and energy above all else. But while the authors do indeed find an eternal delight in the energies of experience there remains a fiercely intellectual backdrop to all their writing that is frequently ignored. Without his left-wing political consciousness Ginsberg would be a far poorer writer, and the same applies to Kerouac’s application of Buddhism, or Burroughs’s biting satire. A lot of readers never make it to through the Beat’s more difficult work, a problem perhaps most obvious with regard to Naked Lunch. This monstrous work, borne out of a period after Burroughs had shot his wife and increased his heroin consumption, still stands as one of the first great postmodern novels. Given that the blurb on the back of the book Naked Lunch calls it “Ulysses on acid” it is understandable why few make it through a non-linear garble of imperialistic sphincters, Coleridge references and a surprisingly accurate recipe for the perfect Cocaine-speedball. Naked Lunch did in fact make it into FHM the other day, but only as the origin of the band name Steely Dan (Burroughs’ vicious Dildo from Japan.) Due to the tenuous position they inhabit between high and low culture the Beats are constantly appropriated in the most nauseating pseudo-bohemian manner. In all honesty I think almost all cases of inebriated discussion regarding the Beats should be punished by instant electric shock therapy. Like so many teenagers I was a weekender Beat fan, after flirting briefly with the wicky-whacky world of Hunter S Thompson I was enticed back into his more weighty progenitors. Never will I be able to forget the sight of Casey from Oregan plying his trade with the Swedish Girls around the camp fire (try as I might): “Hey you ever here of Jack Kerouac. No? Well he and his friends were all about being out on the road, being free…experimenting with life and love and stuff, yeah like rolling stones…like we’re all on the road together now. You know what the door of perception is, well you gotta see through it…No Heidi its not that door, it’s a door in your mind. Crazy Huh?” Horrendous stuff indeed. Unfortunately it remains nigh on impossible to divorce the pretentious dross that surrounds these writers without killing off what makes the Beats’ so attractive in the first place. One of the primary reasons that they continually re-surface is the spirit of an exploration and rebellion in both consciousness and society that permeates the work. Furthermore, despite their undertones of anxiety, the most popular Beats frequently radiate a sort of optimism in what the future can hold, if only their revolution can take place. At times it can seem wonderfully awe inspiring, though unfortunately sustained engagement frequently leaves you overly enlightened and disappointed. Listening to Beat initiates is an awful lot like those unwelcome music-centre moments when an amiable but sweaty someone urges you to enjoy their “best night ever” with them, despite your aching legs and severe doubts about the benefits of seeing sunrise again. Recently a well-meaning aunt presented me with a book entitled How to Become a
Has the Beats’ legacy aged as much as their generation? Photo: Sam Solnick Beat Author which included such sublimely idiotic suggestions as taking a notebook and soaking it in tea so it look older and more “Beat”. It even contained a timetable and series of steps to hone my skills in automatic writing, a far cry from the free flowing spirit of jazz which was supposed to underlie the Beats’ composition. The fact is that the Beats are now severely outdated, their revolution was over a decade old before Woodstock, and even their younger followers are well past their sell by date. Burroughs (surprisingly given his epic heroin habit) died in the mid-nineties, the last of the major Beats. Perhaps it is fitting that he survived the longest, his dystopian visions of the
future which eerily predicted the Aids and Crack pandemics proved to be far more telling than the adventures of Kerouac in California. It is Kerouac, author of the most famous Beat work, who has suffered most over time. The more political and difficult work of Ginsberg and Burroughs’ has held its own, but On the Road seems an outmoded enterprise. A friend of mine recently told me she had hated On the Road, she’d expected an epic, the original Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (a book which, because it tries to do less, does much more, and still maintains its humour and vivacity). Instead she said that Kerouac’s book was tame and badly written. Well yes. Kerouac claimed to write On the Road in
the throws of a three week speed bender, technically it’s not exactly a masterpiece and it now lacks its former impact. The adventures of Sal Paradise take place in the late fourties, a lifetime(ish) ago, and in our post-Trainspotting society the idea of getting drunk in pick-ups while sneering at the establishment only seems radical to the under tens. The fact that Burroughs suffered the ignominy of Bono’s praise shows just how much their star had faded. Frankly it seems that the Beats as a cultural force will be all but extinct, reduced to a bad teenage phase, like Goth or the GAA, and boxed as just another poetic period to be debated in English Class. No longer one of the primary popular cultur-
al influences of our time. However I am loath to truly dismiss the Beat Generation as passé, firstly because they contain some of the best (experiment, inspiration) and worst (laziness, oversimplification) of twentieth century writing. Secondly because ultimately the ideals that they stand for (however flawed) will forever be more interesting than nearly all of what else is on offer-and I do indeed have a feeling that the best minds of our generation are the ones ‘waving testicles and manuscripts’ or eating the ‘lamb stew of imagination’ rather than desperately spurning any form of depravity in an attempt to make it to that elusive game of marbles with the Provost.
A reading tour of College and Dublin Rozalind Dineen This will be a column about reading in and around the place and the subject of Dublin. It will be. It is not on its way to existence yet, or anywhere near that. I am in the Berkeley Library, surrounded by readers. Some of you reading this in the future may be around me now, studiously. It seems that this glassed-corner of Dublin is full of readers, all pouring attention into the absorption of books that I’ve mostly never heard of. Some of you were hung-over today and came to the library still smelling of drink. Some of you text more than you read. I’m stuck, you see, this week, in Dublin, I’ve read one story in the Sunday Independent, a set of washing machine instructions, a glossy-gossiper called
Grazia, emails and books from my course. I have continued to not read that book I was meant to read for my first first-week lecture, the warning on the cigarette packet and some carefully spurned emails. So when it comes to Reading Dublin, well… I could tell you about why the one news story I read put me off reading any more, how to disable a child-lock on a washing machine and the most recently contested instalment of the Brad, Jen, Angelina serialisation (like Dickens?). Or I could write about the books I’m reading in Dublin for my degree, but it seems, from where I sit, that you’ve quite enough with your own. I’ve sat here too long. Enough of this reading, thinking, pondering. Actions speak louder, let’s act. We are going to Hodges Figgis. So who’s reading what in Dublin’s oldest bookshop (mentioned by Joyce and
currently offering students 10% off)? The most sold book in HF is currently Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion (reduced by the good sellers from €19.10 to €16.95). They are buying, in rained-upon droves, this book that argues the irrationality of believing in God and the social harm such belief causes. (So goes the inscription: “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”) For what I can only imagine is the hope of comfort, I see a lady-shopper select the Dawkins best-seller and then turn to the Sceal Romansach section for Cecelia Ahern’s latest A Place Called Here (reduced from €17.55 to €14.99) I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve read it. I still have my dignity. Leonard Cohen has a new book of poems out: Songs of Longing (€24.95).
It’s all doodled upon with coloured birds and Japanese style faces. Another book I haven’t read is in the new releases section and is Jonathen Frazen’s autobiography The Discomfort Zone (reduced as well! €16.15 to €13.99). Just as I don’t have to read the warnings on the Marlboro to tell you that they ain’t no good for your inner workings, nor do I have to read Frazen’s new book to tell you that it must be read. His 2001 novel The Corrections is the best contemporary fiction that I’ve ever read, it’s about America and the fa….oh wait a minute. This column will be. It “will be about Reading Dublin”... so, not America then? The green leaves of HF contain nothing different to those black ones of the UK chain that stares it out nose to nose across Dawson Street, strutting for a fight and spitting carrier bags, Waterstones. There
is nothing particularly Irish or to that matter Dublin about the reading matter of these two stores, they run on the forces of international economics, action not words and they are both owned by the same company, HMV. Whilst there is a hefty Irish and local interest section on the ground floor of HF it is tourist minded and peppered with Dublin pubs calendars (from €5.99). Actions not words will get this column that-will-be-written, written. I have acted and I have insider information. For reading in and about Dublin whilst still avoiding the obvious Irish Freedom, The History of Nationalism in Ireland Richard English (€36.75 to €29.99), for reading in and about Dublin with a flourish, you could not score closer to the mark than Hellfire by Mia Gallagher (rrp £10.99). It is set in, and is about, a place called
Dublin: But not the tourist-Dublin or the commercial-Dublin, the party-Dublin or the history of Dublin, just a very real and painful city. Lucy is a junkie just out of prison recollecting her life, the violent violence of it, the fate of it, the sort of life that she can’t see as being any better than death. But the story is redeeming, language is twisted to make it more truthful and symbolism pulls the long book together. Actions speak louder and clearer than words with all their shadows. But the words you read, just like the city you inhabit, will infiltrate you and influence those rain-drenched actions. Ok, try it this way: talking about “doing the washing” is all very well, actually acting and doing it is a lot better, but you can’t do it until you disable the child-lock.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Paris Hilton book re-establishes what we already learned from her home video I wanted to read/look at this book because of a conscious interest in the possibilities of branding. With Paris Hilton this seems endless: she is genius in her attempts to infiltrate the media through every possible medium. Yet I was sceptical as to how she could relate her experiences to that of the common reader when the book actually pitches itself as a guide to living the life of an heiress. Paris overcomes this problem by attempting a psychological approach similar to what one might find in a self-help manual: “people act differently towards you when you’ve got jewellery on your head … Always act like you’re wearing an invisible crown. I do!” Paris writes that women should put themselves on a pedestal because then everyone else will too. This is effectively what she has done to distinguish herself from all the other heiresses parading themselves around an international celebrity circuit. It is easy to forget that she had to earn a claim to uniqueness, defined now by the level of her success. There are plenty of spoilt rich girls in America with famous parents and attitude problems. So what is it about Paris Hilton that keeps us wanting more and how is she playing the “supply and demand” game so successfully? The answer is in the book, explicit in the format and in the words of the heiress herself. She tells little but gives enough away to keep the general public engaged: “The way I keep people wondering about me is to smile all the time and say as little as possible. And that keeps them wanting more.” So that explains the strategy behind the lack of confessions within a book entitled Confessions of an Heiress, the emphasis on pictures and the reason for that alluring smile.
Kerrie Forde You can’t miss this book in the shops. It’s quite large, it’s pink and Paris Hilton is smiling right at you. She is smiling, but really they should have her on the cover laughing, at anyone who would consider paying for an insight into the lifestyle of the heiress when you can download it for nothing on the internet. Anything published by Paris Hilton will be approached with pre-conceptions; television has indulged us with what can best be described as a coy, hollow, teasing personality with marketable force. Confessions of an Heiress re-establishes what the exposure of her home video One night in Paris already did, and the fact that this demeanour, which she generally allows the public to experience, is exercised in her public life probably means it’s quite close to her real person. So how does Paris fill 178 pages of a book? Confessions of an Heiress is more of a scrapbook than a book; pictures outnumber the paragraphs. A clever idea, when Paris herself is bold enough to describe her appeal in the book as a fantasy figure for a lot of people, it is an “ideal” that she is selling. The only time Paris veers away from a fairytale narrative is when she randomly confesses to having the odd physical imperfection, be it the large size of her feet or the fact that her hair is not naturally blonde. Yet she manages to endear herself to the reader because the arrogance fuelling the concept of this book and the writing is so ridiculous in its nature. And that is the novelty of the book. An example: Paris believes in always “telling everyone what they want to hear. Then, do what you want …That way no-one gets mad at you. They get very confused, then blame it on themselves.”
There are plenty of spoilt rich girls in America with famous parents and attitude problems. So what is it about Paris Hilton that keeps us wanting more? Photo: Kerrie Forde
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14 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Trinity researchers to benefit from launch of solar flare satellite David Long October 25th saw the launch of Nasa’s latest satellite system – “Stereo” (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory). It consists of two individual satellites, both of which will circle around the moon before one takes up position in front of the Earth on its orbit around the Sun, with the other behind the Earth. Together, they will act as a pair of eyes, allowing astronomers to see solar events such as solar flares in three dimensions. To date all observations of the Sun have been hampered by the fact that we can only see it from one point. The Stereo Mission, however, hopes to better this by allowing the sun to be viewed from two different points at the one time, allowing depth perception of the sun to be realised for the first time. Solar Flares are an as yet still unexplained phenomenon. Current theory suggests that they are caused by the breaking and subsequent reconnection of solar magnetic field lines, due to the rotation of the Sun. They play a major part in influencing many meteorological events on earth, for example, the Aurora Borealis. These lights, which are sometimes visible even from Ireland, are caused by solar particles interacting with the earth’s atmosphere.
Of more importance, however are Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). CMEs are powerful eruptions on the surface of the Sun, releasing up to 10 billion tonnes of solar material in a very short time. This matter can travel at speeds of up to 1.6 million kph. When this meets the Earth’s magnetosphere, it can cause major geomagnetic storms on the Earth. They can also destroy orbiting satellites – resulting in broken TV or telephone connections. With the prospect of humans returning to the Moon in the near future, and subsequent voyages to Mars in the pipeline, a better understanding of Solar Flares is necessary in order to protect astronauts on these long voyages. On Earth, we are protected by the Earth’s magnetosphere, but once a spaceship has left earth orbit, it is no longer protected. Therefore, if a Solar Flare were to occur while an astronaut was outside the spaceship, they could be subject to a lethal radiation dose. The Data received is due to be analysed by Researchers all around the world, however members of the Astrophysics research team in the School of Physics, in conjunction with the Trinity High Performance Computing Centre will play a major role in analysing and interpreting the very first 3-D images of the Sun ever obtained.
Nobel Laureate visits College Dr John Sulston, a Nobel Laureate in medicine, has been awarded the College’s Dawson Prize by the Smurfit Institute of Genetics on a recent visit to Dublin. The ceremony was followed by a public lecture given by Dr Sulston on “Genetics and Society” in the Burke Theatre. Dr Sulston, of Cambridge University and the Sanger Centre, was awarded the Noble prize for medicine in 2002 for his work into how animals develop from a fertilised egg to adulthood. In his study he traced the cellular development of the nematode worm which lead him to identify different lines of stem cells and how some cells in the developing animal are genetically programmed to die. He is also one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project and a strong campaigner against the patenting of human genetic information. The Dawson Prize was established by a gift from George Dawson, founder of the Trinity Department of Genetics. This is the first year the prize has been awarded.
Woodpecker scoops IgNoble award
Image of the sun from Nasa’s Lasco Satalite. The Stereo satalites will be able to take 3-D images of the sun’s solar flares. The bright parts around it are solar flares with a coronal mass ejection at the top of the image.
What would extra-terrestrials think if they watched our television? Joseph Roche If you were asked to speak for Earth, what would you say? If the rest of the universe was your captive audience, how would you portray your experience of life on this planet? This is the noble, if somewhat flawed objective of a campaign being run by internet leader Yahoo!. The popular online search engine is behind a bid to bring about their self-proclaimed “first digital time capsule”. People from around the world are invited to contribute their stories, sounds and images at http://timecapsule.yahoo.com/capsule.php The material will be digitalised before it is beamed into space by means of a laser atop the Pyramid of the Sun in the ancient Mexican capital of Teotihuacan. The idea is that if there are intelligent beings on the planets of nearby stars with a sufficient grasp of technology, they will be able to receive the transmission which aims to have captured the voices, images and stories of the online global community. The closing date for submissions is the 8th of November. The total number of contributions had reached in excess of 70,000 before the end of October. Of these, more than 20,000 were from the US and 50 were from Ireland. A brief look at the website shows how much effort people are willing to go to for the chance to send a message to the stars. The harsh reality behind this is that we have been sending all kinds of messages for more than five decades. If the planets were to be observed for radio transmissions, as any technologically advanced race would no doubt sooner or later do, the most pervasive and noticeable source of radio transmissions from the Earth, since the 1940s, would be our television programming. This was a point made by American astronomer and science populariser Carl Sagan more than twenty years ago when he questioned the standards of our unintentional, intergalactic space messages. Even though the transmissions would be intercepted as a confused rabble of programs, an advanced civilization would, in theory, be able to decipher the jumbled mess and piece the programs back together. If they were to do so, what would they think of us? If they happened to take an interest in the news of current affairs being broadcast from Earth, what might they see? The
Yahoo! intends to send their self-proclaimed “first digital time capsule” into space and is receiving submissions until the 8th of November. 70,000 submissions have already been received. most obvious news story from the past month was unquestionably North Korea’s (claimed) nuclear test on October 9th. The explosion, barely a fifteenth the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima, was nonetheless powerful enough to send shockwaves through the political world. The idea that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il may now have nuclear weapons to use or sell has resulted in a frenzied wave of fearful news reports the world over. Surely, to outside observers we must appear to be a race on the verge of succumbing to a global attempt at selfdestruction. The frequency with which news reports will put “bad news” stories ahead of “good news” stories is startling
and would no doubt convince our hypothetical audience that this planet is an unstable and unwelcoming place. In truth though, we need not worry about such things. The odds of the deciphered programs being news broadcasts, or anything remotely informative for that matter, are depressingly small. No, instead of giving our viewers something intelligible to watch, the vast majority of our programming would paint the human race as a dim-witted, materialistic people. Reality TV dominates modern day television. How interested would our extraterrestrial audience be in the goings-on of “Wife Swap” or “American Idol”? How keen would they be to see the enduring
“Big Brother” carry out another fruitless trawl through the dregs of society in a misguided attempt to unearth someone remotely worthy of our attention? Even more likely to be deciphered by an intelligent race are the messages that are broadcast most often such as commercial advertising. How would our onlookers respond to the constant barrage of orders to buy the freshest designer products, test drive the newest range of automobiles or try the latest fast foods? An informal and completely unscientific poll of students in Trinity found the student body to be in unanimous agreement that no one would be happy with the image of life on Earth as portrayed by
modern day television. The mind-numbing plethora of advertising, the inexplicable rise of Reality TV and the saddening persistence with “bad news” ahead of “good news” that governs news reports, all contribute to why we, as a people, would be embarrassed by the standards of television programming if it was being viewed by an extraterrestrial race. Whether or not there is an intelligent civilization out there receiving our transmissions is a question that will not be answered in the near future. Whether or not they have the technical capabilities to decipher those transmissions would be even harder to determine. We are, however, sure of one thing. Across the world, we know which group of people give the biggest audience to this television programming that so embarrasses us. It’s the children. It’s always the children. And if we believe that our television programming is not good enough to be seen by races of beings that may or may not exist, that may or may not be watching and that may or may not even care; how then, can we justify its suitability for those who are most important to us? More than twenty years have passed since Carl Sagan first urged the scientific community to question the quality of our television. This year marks the tenth anniversary of his death. If he were alive today he would still be arguing for an improved standard of television programming. It would be interesting to hear his opinion on Yahoo’s “First Digital Time Capsule”. During his lifetime Sagan was a key figure in the establishment of SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. While recent technological advancements have not helped improve the standard of content being shown on television, Sagan would be impressed by how the internet has helped the cause of SETI. SETI@home is a website, found at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/, that allows people to get involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data. If Sagan was still alive, we could hope that this remarkable achievement would distract him from the state of modern television programming.
The 2006 Ig Noble ceremony recently took place in Havard University. The prizes, which are awarded by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, are given to researchers whose work “first makes you laugh and then makes you think”. The awards this year included an explanation to why woodpeckers don’t get headaches; proof that dung beetles are finicky eaters and a series of experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.
College brain institute in Alzheimer’s study College’s Institute of Neuroscience is to enter a partnership with the Roskamp Institute of Sarasota, Florida to conduct an 18-month study on a revolutionary new drug Nilvadipine. Researchers believe that Nilvadipine may offset Alzheimer’s disease. In preclinical trials on mice the drug was seen to decrease levels in the brain of a protein called amyloid in the brain. Amyloid is thought to be a cause of Alzheimer’s. The drug was also found to increase blood levels to the brain, which is thought to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s as well. The pilot study will be a first step in trying to develop a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and if successful, could change the direction of other studies of dementia.
Red China goes green The world's most populated country is to build the world's first eco-city. The idea is to create a city capable of sustainable living. China’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades has put huge pressure on the country’s energy infrastructure. Their solution so far has been to build coal power plants at an unprecedented rate. Although currently Chinese emissions per capita are much less then those of Europe or the US, the International Energy Agency in Paris predicts that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 to 2030 in China alone will nearly equal the increase from the entire industrialized world. The prototype city, being designed by British company Arub, will be called Dongtan. The aim is for it to have a population of 50,000 by 2010 80% of solid waste will be recycled. Each building will have solar cells and small windmills on each building and turf and vegetation cover the roofs, a natural form of insulation that also recycles waste-water. Traditional motorbikes are forbidden, replaced by electric scooters or bicycles. Four more eco-cities are currently planned by the Chinese government. There is talk of similar projects in England and other countries. If this works, Dongtan could be the blueprint for all future city building. (Gerard Bree and Alan Stone)
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
A love affair with Paris... Photo: Claire Loughrey Eva Nagle Attempting to introduce the tale of a year in Paris, I feel like Woody Allen at the beginning of Manhattan as he struts and frets over an appropriate introduction for New York. I know how he feels. A year’s turn in Paris, the city and Paris, the experience (or NY in Allen’s case) are incapable of one neat synopsis. The City Of Light cannot be summed-up in one fluid phrase. I could write the lazy starry-eyed “la vie en rose” account that describes everything as “enchanting!” but the cutsie opening credits of Team America got it wrong. Paris can be a cold, brash, impersonal place and when I and three others first set foot on the Gallic sod in September 2006 and were smacked with a paltry “welcome pack” to an intimidating university, we could have been forgiven for wondering whether our year might echo the title of Stephen Clarke’s bestseller. Could this be our very own “Year in the Merde”? Four Law and French girls armed with a fistful of know-how and a wavering sense of “can-do-it” attitude faced with individualistic and hauty Parisian society – notions of pirouetting down cobbles, cradling pains au chocolats began to wane. However after a smatter of emotional and logistical trauma an epic year in belle Paris unfolded. Paris has always enjoyed steadfast admiration and alternates between London and NewYork for top position in the trio of “premier” cities. It is a sprawl-
ing metropolis spanning fourteen arrondissements (districts) divided up by Hausmann's elegant boulevards and littered with some of the world's most famous tourist haunts. I was lucky enough to spend September to June living and studying on the Rive Gauche, living in the Fifth (Latin Quarter) and from June until September living and working on the Rive Droite in the Tenth – Republique. At the risk of sounding a little Lonely Planet, each of these arrondissements is like its own micro-world, boasting its own vibe, its own smells its own characters. Living in the Latin Quarter, the traditional hub of bohemians and scholars, we felt like we were bona fide Parisians. This is where Orwell and Hemmingway used to knock about. Beckett was a schoolteacher here. Rue Mouffetard, the epicurean hot-spot of Paris with its cheese and wine merchants, was at our doorstep. You would want to be culturally circumcised to not buy into the whole “thing” of popping into a bijoux gallery while on the way to the boulanger or perusing the shelves of narrow second-hand bookstores, looking and smelling like moth ball-ed wardrobes. Wealthy Parisian life plays tennis or takes a breather in the lush Jardins de Luxembourg which we saw morph through all four seasons and Rue Sufflot leads from these, up to The Pantheon, final resting place of Victor Hugo et al and definitely worth a visit. We stayed in the Irish College on the appropriately named Rue des Irlandais and Irish visitors can avail of this accomodation as long as their stay will be for a minimum
of three nights. As the year progressed we discovered the Marais district, the flamboyant Jewish/gay quarter with winding streets, one-off boutiques, tea rooms and the amazing Picasso museum. Montmatre, the artist’s enclave, looks like a collection of stills from French village life. Grands Boulevards is home to North Africans grilling sweetcorn on half-barrels, Senegalese festooned with fake Vuittons and Ray Bans and mouthy kebab-shop owners. Pigalle in the North buzzes under the stare of Sacre Coeur and is mecca to garish neon tackiness, “Sexodromes” and the Moulin Rouge. Here you feel like the overdressed fool if not clad in full-on dominatrix garb… or nothing at all! The Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde stand as book-ends to Champs Elysee – all wide avenues, opulent mansions and super-chic evening strollers. Working in the city gave us a far greater insight into the French people – in comparison to our fellow university students, the majority of whom are too monied and too beautiful to get to know anyone outside of their gilt edged cliques. Come summer, we switched pens and paper for Perrier and Pastis and worked in various pubs dotted on either side of the Seine. In the months of June and July these were populated by women with a constant stream of Marlboros and Espressos passing through Chanel-ed lips and of course the soccer-crazy. We worked many sweaty World Cup nights where the bars heaved with crowds bedecked in bleu/blanc/rouge and pulsat-
ed to the chants of “Zi-Zou! Zi-Zou!” – head butt faux-pas or no head-butt fauxpas! Some French quip that Paris would be great without the Parisians and sometimes I had to agree. The “hauty” stereotype can be so true! Arrogant Monsieur complained that his steak was not quite “bleu” (raw) enough or reed-thin Madame would sniff that her Schweppes did not taste like it came from a bottle. Your requests that money be lodged to your account now was met with a typical French shoulder-shrug because the clerk had to go on his two-hour lunch. But who could trade these when you could stroll through Porte des Lions and sit in the warm stillness of the Louvre courtyard on a July evening or sit and carouse with friends, flushed by red-wine on Pont des Arts? Visit the Centre de George Pompidou? Opera? Musee d'Orsay? Notre Dame? Cycle around Bois de Boulogne? Stroll around the Musee Rodin? Paris never did cease to entertain. Obviously there is a never-ending list of things to discover in Paris but having spent a full year there I think our tourist must-do list would include taking in the 360 view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and then seeing this from the opposite end at L'Arche at La Defence and witnessing the Eiffel tower sparkle on a late late hour in the evening. A great way of seeing the city is by taking the Paris Bike Tour (available during the day and at night) which takes in all the major tourist sites from the Jardins des Tuileries to Les Invalides, this is accompanied by a very good guide. Remember the Louvre is
free for under 26s every Friday evening from 6 pm and all the major galleries/museums (Musee d’Orsay etc) are free the first Sunday of every month. Night spots to check out include clubs such as Le Mix, La Loco, Queen and Six/Sept (on the Champs-Elysee) and the Rio carnival themed, Favela Chic. Clubs can be expensive so for late-night revelries many students depend on the infamous Violin Dingue in the Fifth (a stone’s throw from the Pantheon) or one of the many dark cavernous cellar-pubs of the Latin Quarter or Bastille. It is so difficult not to sound cliché about Paris but Ernest Hemmingway fared better than Woody Allen in describing his love-affair with “his” city when he said “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man then where ever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”. Having lived, breathed, studied and worked Paris we came away endowed with a self-possession that only comes from living away from home for a period. This sensation is not wholly unique to Paris – it goes for anywhere. However what enhances it and what makes Paris, well, Paris is that this is the left-over from having been plunged into a city of stark social contrasts, (living through the student riots about the CPE in February testify to this), throbbing culture, an arrogant sense of history and an unrelenting charm. It is only Paris, as the sum total of all its fabulous parts, that will always and only have that “je ne sais quoi”.
An alternative Big Apple Beth Honig I don’t like big cities: I don’t like shopping, designer clothes and heels, and I'm not overly fascinated by Western culture. So the last thing I thought I'd do this summer was find myself consciously taking a plane to George Bush’s America. Yet, this September I found myself on my way to New York City; the Big Apple: the city of size and excess. Amongst the billboards and flashing lights of Times Square, the skyscrapers, the yellow taxis and the fast-food chains, I discovered a New York rich in diversity and culture. Of course I'm probably not telling you anything that you don't know, but how does a country-loving hippy come to realise that the city so famously traumatised by the events of September 11 is a city of sensual indulgence for all the right reasons? Home to more than 80 museums and endless galleries, NYC indulges the intellect and the eyes. There's the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, an impressive spiral museum currently exhibiting the twentieth century painter Kandinsky and the architectural star of the moment, Zaha Hadid, with her spaceship-like designs. The enormous Metropolitan Museum of Art houses so many genres that in my three hours there I only managed Robert Polidori’s photgraphs of “New Orleans: After the Flood” and the “Cézanne to Picasso, Ambroise Vollard: Patron of the Avant-Garde” exhibit in which Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Matisse all star. Another huge part of the New York experience is the food. 24-hour pizza, bagels (H&H offering the best cinnamonraisin, blueberry, pumpernickel, and wholemeal ones around), pretzels and
coffee are the things New Yorkers take for granted. But travel from area to area and the culinary choice offered by the city provides it's own heaven for the taste buds. With over twenty ethnic neighbourhoods, food and cultural exports are defining characters in New York’s identity. With more Jews in New York than in Jerusalem (there were line-ups outside synagogues on Yom Kippur), Manhattan and Williamsburgh provide a second home for the Jewish population. There is the photo-shop run by Hasidic Jews, the household shop selling every kind of Kosher kitchen-wear ever needed, and the meat cafes that make the kind of food served in Fiddler on the Roof. Matzoball chicken soup, salt beef, potato knish, blintz and kugel all brought to the table by a bearded and kippah-wearing grandpa. Uptown in Harlem, extra-large sized soul food, including fried chicken, corn bread, candied yams and collard greens served by the friendliest bros of the hood, warm the heart and stretch the stomach. Despite the city's neatly-planned gridlike road system that makes orientation easy for even those with a non-existent sense of direction, the enormous size of the city demands that people take the Subway. But rather than simply a means of transport for commuters, the New York 24-hour subway is the best representation of the economic, racial and religious diversity on which the city's identity is based. With a population of 8 million, 62% are white, 16% black, 15% Latino, 5.5% Asian, 32% foreign-born, and 12% Jewish. Standing in an underground car, I was surrounded by an Orthodox Jew covered head to toe and absorbed by the day's Torah passage, an immigrant construction
A sparkling trapeze artist dazzles at the Kiah Keya Launch party in Manhattan worker, a Chinese man reading his local Cantonese newspaper, a stock exchange businessman fashioning loafers and a laptop, a grey, afro-haired AfricanAmerican, a black Rasta in a NY cap, a Russian grandma with large earrings and lots of hairspray, and a Latino child hiding behind her mother's arm. In this microcosm of NY society, the average white Western is an ethic minority in a way that is strangely not intimidating. Finally, a mention is needed for the music that provides New York’s audio indulgence. Home of jazz, these days
there are less and less free bars open for jamming sessions, although on every street you can hear the tones of a saxophone singing out from a café. I attended a free NY-Tokyo Music Festival featuring Japanese groups Hifana, Mighty Crown and Pe’z along with American rapper Talib Kweli and DJ A-Trak. I rocked out at a launch party for Kiah Keya and looked on in awe at a dance production company featuring traditional musicians and dances from Mali, a sparkling trapeze artist and the lead-singer of reggae group Antibalas jamming in a new afro-funk
band. I found myself listening to a soulvibe DJ set in an outdoor garden bar in Williamsburgh and this basically indulged my ears in impressive musical variety throughout my stay in the city that never sleeps. So, with my discriminating perceptions regarding the Big Apple significantly undermined and happily banished, I have to admit I liked New York. I’d even go back, provided, that is, that there is a cream cheese and locks smoked salmon bagel awaiting me!
From Bologna to Bilbao: A SMART squeeze Emily Hogan It might be described as a rushed departure. It might even be described as a highly disorganised departure, but a departure it was none the less, and really that's always the best way to get the ball rolling; just leave. The Sicilian didn't do planning. It just wasn't his thing. He did a lot of other things: he talked a lot, and he rolled his Rs in the most delectable way. He said we'd go to all the cool places, and spend infinite amounts of time in the sun. He promised that we'd see wonderful cities and eat even more wonderful food and that we didn't have to visit any churches. He was just a little vague on the logistics. And so was I. So when we got into the SMART, all gung ho to travel the entire Iberian coast, we really didn't know where we were going. We were still in Bologna. It was August 4th. No unnecessary expenditure (so no AUTOGRILL snacks), no playing 20 questions (our different nationalities made it impossible to agree what constituted a famous person or not) and no map buying. These were the rules. The Sicilian seemed very keen to prove that we could make it across France based solely on his gut instinct. On the back of his gut we circled Cannes for five hours and after 20 hours non-stop driving had only arrived in Toulouse, a pit stop only memorable and mentionable for being home to the most bizarrely organised McDonald's in the world. The next morning it was tout droit until we hit Biarritz. Biarritz is a worthy first stop along the Cote Basque. Just north of theSpanish border, it is a vibrant city, with wonderful beaches and packed to the gills with surfers a gogo. Transformed by Napoléon III in the mid-nineteenth century into a playground for monarchs, aristos and glitterati, it is now a hot spot for Parisian yuppies who fuel a respectable if not costly night life. After Biarritz, a lot of the small towns of the Pays Basque fade in comparison. We rushed through places such as Mundaka and Bakio, both of which lay claim to having the “longest left break in the world”f, which is all very fine if the length of waves is what gets your heart racing, but this still does not make up for the fact that both towns were, for the most part, grey and non-descript with a very distinct feeling of zero development. In contrast Bilbao is as an exciting, colourful and modern European city as they come. In recent years it has benefited from a big cleanitself-up act, culminating in the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in 1997, an extraordinary building consisting of a combination of curved and bent forms and covered in "fish scale" panels. The art itself takes second place to the initial impact of the building. A temporary collection of Russian conformists and non-conformists failed to inspire both the Sicilian and the Irish. Other than its principal cultural attraction, Bilbao is extremely enjoyable just to stroll around and is renowned for its endless number of wine and tapas bars. Despite this, the Sicilian went out of his way to select a trail of bars offering an exclusively and extremely greasy fare. Suffering from hallucinations induced by dodgy tapas we chose a beach outside of Bilbao as our camping ground. We both later agreed that in future a bit of a background check would always be necessary as we nervously tried to sleep in what was quite clearly an ETA headquarters. The Sicilian emerged from this near death experience nonplussed. He just wanted to find out where the Galician cigarette smugglers could be found. We were, quite clearly, still very unsure as to where we were going... • Emily’s journey continues in the next issue
16 BUSINESS AND CAREERS
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Media businesses will need to adapt to the rise of “Web 2.0” Aaron Heffernan There is a revolution occurring all around us. You may not be aware of it but you are more than likely one of its instigators, particularly if you are between 12 and 24. The cause concerns the very way we live our lives and in the future all will be different. This revolution will not be televised, it will be online. The changes underway are a result of web based peer to peer communication or the interaction of people through the internet. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook are forums for an altering of how people communicate with one another and build relationships. They enable users to express their personalities, voice their opinions, put creative works on display, contact their friends, and form new web friendships. Anthony Lilley, chief executive of interactive media company Magic Lantern Productions, has claimed that social networking homepages share DNA with the stereotypical dusty scrapbook found under the bed in so far as the contents are of most personal value to the owner. However the key element in the online scrapbook is that it is designed by its owner for viewing by others. Friends and strangers alike are permitted, and indeed encouraged, to browse the personal information, photos, creative works, etc of the profile owner. In this sense, according to Lilley, social networking sites are huge public galleries of private lives. Thus, a new form of social interaction has been born in cyberspace. Given the ever growing popularity of social networking sites, such a new form of social interaction has the potential to reinvent how society operates. The latest figures from internet traffic monitor Hitwise report that visits to MySpace, the market leader, have grown six-fold year on year, while those to rival MSN Spaces are up eleven-fold and to Bebo an astounding 61 times more. Reflecting this
boom, in March 2006, journalist Sean Dodson wrote “In the past 12 months, “social networking” has gone from being the next big thing to the thing itself.” It should be noted, though, that the thing itself is almost exclusively the domain of the young. According to research published in August by UK media regulator Ofcom, 70% of 16 to 24 year old internet users regularly visit social networking sites. The figure for the general population stands at only 41%. This suggests that a divide is appearing between the types of media consumed by young people and those consumed overall. Therefore, the cultural phenomenon of peer to peer communication represents the empowerment of the open-media generation that was born at the same time as the World Wide Web, and has grown up with it. The significance of this shift, on the part of the youth demographic, is the likelihood that as the generations of the next decades mature, the proportion of the general population partaking in peer to peer communication will grow to the point where the intellectual pursuits of society will occur within the virtual reality of online communities and so virtual reality will become the true arena for the experiencing of “reality” itself. The ramifications of such a situation are far-reaching for society, directly impacting upon its economic functioning in particular. Indeed, journalist Simon Garfield has written, “This trend, which has become known as Web 2.0, has dismantled the old artistic and business order”. Google’s $1.65bn acquisition of YouTube last month marks the latest chapter in the tale of how the internet is rapidly becoming the organizing force of western society. An earlier chapter was last year’s $580m sale of MySpace to media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Google and News Corporation’s acquisitions demonstrate how corporate power is attempting to cash in on the potential profitability of the
YouTube: Media businesses worldwide will have to adapt to this new order, as Google and News Corporation are doing, in order to compete for the attentions of an increasingly powerful audience. Image: Trinity News peer to peer communication trend. What differentiates the current climate from the dot-com bubble era is the fundamental shift in the balance of power between producers and consumers. Heretofore, it will no longer be corporate power that dictates media content. On the contrary, capturing the libertarian democratic value system that reigns online, it is
consumers who will not only receive, but also create cultural content. Web 2.0 represents a major re-conceptualisation of artistic and cultural production, a blurring of the boundaries between producer and consumer that is only in its infancy. Media businesses worldwide will have to adapt to this new order, as Google and News Corporation are doing, in order
to compete for the attentions of an increasingly powerful audience that can no longer be regarded as a mass but rather as a multitude of fragmented individuals all actively participating in the business of cultural dissemination. A few centuries ago, religion was the indisputable anchor of community in western society. In the last century, it
became the colour of money and consumerism. However, now is the time for the internet to seize centre ground. Where previously people looked to their bank statements, and before that to their prayer books, in search of the defining characteristics of their identity, today an increasing number of people are looking online. Right now, the revolution is underway.
The job applicant’s recurring dilemmas Ann Stillman
Peter Cahill speaking at the recent Careers Week talks in the Graduates’ Memorial Building, organised by the Careers Advisory Service. Photo: Martin McKenna
From what I understand, landing a good job in this day and age is near impossible. On the one hand, we are competing against armies of over-qualified and increasingly qualified geniuses. Thanks to globalisation, this army is comprised not only of other Irish graduates, but of a veritable plethora of nationalities – the United Colours of Benetton dream come true. Great. But leaving that aside and assuming that employers in Ireland are still slightly racist and biased towards us Irish nationals (I use “us” loosely here – since I personally have an odd mixture of American, Spanish and French citizenship), there still exists that school of thought that incessantly reminds us that no, in fact, the strings of qualifications that we are all so eager to amass in the global struggle, do NOT actually matter. No, it’s actually personal initiative, selfmotivation, leadership skills, teamwork, entrepreneurial spirit, lateral thinking, ambition, perseverance… etc that matter. Did you really think just because you are a Trinner who speak eight languages, have a calculator instead of a brain, and read encyclopaedias in your spare time that someone would hire you? Please, don’t be so naïve. But no, I’m not bitter. I’m not trying to improve the “extracurricular hobbies and interests” section on my CV as we speak. In fact, I can’t help admiring that ideal employee candidate who has is all—academic achievements, an impressive list of extracurricular activities in which he has taken on leadership roles, and still makes time to be a real “people person”: charismatic, confident, kind… I can’t help wondering though, as the list of absolutely essential prerequisite character traits grows, do companies actually expect people to have it all, or are they just testing our abilities to somewhat fraudulently make ourselves look good on paper, as an initial HR filtering mechanism. I mean, can one really be a natural born leader and a natural born team player? And, perhaps more importantly – if all employees are such native leaders, how is the world such a relatively placid environment (save the odd war or two, of course)? Obviously, this is not the case. Rather, a more scary scenario must exist:
a world where the handful of “real” natural born leaders are surrounded by infinite masses of natural-born-leader-posers, all asserting their imaginary leadership skills in the public eye while secretly craving a few good orders to follow. And so, people like me – not power-hungry, perhaps somewhat shy, sensitive, observer intellectual types – have become a discriminated-against underclass, apparently unemployable, frantically trying to conceal our shameful secret: we do not want to lead. If in addition to that you’re a bit of a loner, not really a “team player” – who by definition love working in groups and doing gratuitous trust falls – God help you. What has perhaps been mis-communicated in this fearsome age of the HR revolution, though, is that in fact, the dauntingly endless list of ideal employee traits should be seen more as rough guidelines than necessary conditions. There, the secret is out. The answer is to create a tailored mix-and-match that actually lends itself to one’s inherent personality. As I interrogated the recent Careers Week speakers, what became clear (granted, after some deciphering effort) is that what really matters is raising one’s game to be the absolute best that we can be, that whole “putting one’s best face forward” jargon. The ideal should be taken as an admittedly unrealistic example, a theoretical model if you will, not a paralysing standard far beyond your lowly reach. CV-building activities should not be chores to the end of adding an impressive line to a piece of paper; rather, they should be a natural reflection of who we are. And forcing it is just counterproductive because, at the end of the day, the goal is to find a job we truly enjoy, not one in which we are going through the motions only because it “looks good”. Martin Fitzpatrick, chair of the Dublin branch of the National Union of Journalists, emphasised that, really, no qualifications are necessarily required to become a journalist – except to enjoy writing articles, to have a passion for that which is newsworthy. And if this is the case, you will naturally be drawn to the appropriate CV-boosting activities without any need for Machiavellian premeditation: you will get involved in Trinity News or another university publication; you will write open letters to the editors
of national newspapers; you will persistently harass the local paper for a summer internship – because it is what you enjoy. As it turns out, we are not working against that elusive enemy: employers. Frantic yet misguided efforts to “trick” companies into hiring us can be put to rest. On the contrary, what makes a good employee is exactly that which makes a fulfilling job: a genuine interest in the field and a natural aptitude for the position – if you have these, then the “drive” that everyone is always talking about will follow (unless you are a lazy bum, the one unforgivable sin that you must strive to overcome at all costs). So if you are really interested in marketing, you will have picked up on anecdotes of innovative practices in the field. You might have heard Peter Cahill, managing director of Tequila Ireland and board director of marketing group TBWA, tell his story of how TBWA recruited employees by sending an ice cream truck to rival agencies and giving out free ice cream cones along with the web address to their recruitment site, at much lower cost and with better results than placing an ad in national newspapers. And if you have the natural ability to think laterally and be innovative and creative which would make you suited to the job, it might occur to you to send his company a flip flop instead of your CV, printed with your contact details and a pun on “doing the leg work” to grab his attention and demonstrate, not on paper but in “real life”, what you could bring to the firm. So the hard part is actually much more straightforward than everyone seems to think. It’s not about running around forcing ourselves to take part in activities we don’t necessarily enjoy just so we can put them on our CVs. It’s more about being honestly introspective, pinpointing exactly what our unique talents are, what it is we really enjoy, without letting the bias of what we think “looks good” interfere. To put it in economic terms, if we each focus on that area in which we have the comparative advantage of natural aptitude and interest, then everyone stands to gain. Employer and employee are, believe it or not, united on the same side: that of the efficient allocation of skills or, in other words, of finding the best place for ourselves in the world.
SPORT FEATURES 17
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
The Black Pearl opens up Andrew Payne When I was growing up I used to play football in my front garden with my friends. Positioned just outside the goal was a big tree. While the tree wasn’t in the best of shape and rarely flowered the more the years went on, it proved a great defender. You would hit a shot you were sure was heading for goal when true as ever it would hit the tree and get deflected away from your target. We used to call the tree Paul McGrath and “Paul” became a key player in all our games. McGrath you see was the greatest hero of all in our minds. His performances for Ireland throughout his career, and most memorably in Ireland’s glorious one nil victory over Italy in USA ’94, cemented his place in Ireland’s pantheon of sporting greats. At the same time his performances for Aston Villa (along with Steve Staunton, Ray Houghton, and Andy Townsend) have left a lasting legacy of Villa supporters among Irish people of a certain age. We all knew that Paul had problems though. We all knew of his dodgy knees, and even more seriously we all knew of his drink problems. What the big man’s newly released autobiography Back from the Brink shows however, is that no matter how bad we thought he had it, we never really knew just quite how bad things really were. In contrast to most footballers’ autobiographies, McGrath’s tale is not a tell all where he lambastes former team-mates. While media reaction to the publication has centred on comments about new England manager Steve McClaren (McGrath was surprised he got the job having played for Derby while McClaren was Jim Smith’s assistant, in case you missed it), that is but a minor footnote of the story. The book instead is a deeply personal story of a highly troubled man’s life. Paul was born to an Irish woman, Betty McGrath, and a Nigerian medical student who closed the door on Betty upon hearing of her pregnancy and never played a part in Paul’s life. Feeling unable to deal with bringing her young son up, Betty first placed Paul into foster care before later sending him to the Smiley’s orphanage in Dún Laoghaire. Former school mates recount how they always found it a little odd that Paul was an orphan yet would visit his mother some weekends, remembering how they’d ask “But I thought you were an orphan!” Before football eventually provided McGrath with an escape from this world he under-
went a breakdown in his teens, ending up in St John of God’s for a spell. In an unusual move, stories of friends and former managers along the path of Paul’s life contribute their views of incidents Paul refers to throughout the text. His mother Betty even contributes an entire chapter explaining her relationship with Paul and the reasons why she had to give him up when he was young (this includes a horrific tale of how nuns at the home in England, where Betty had travelled to have Paul, physically tried to take Paul from her and forced her to put him into adoption). The technique is so successful that it makes you wonder why it isn’t present in all autobiographies; the telling of a story from another point of view can often add a completely different insight from the biased views of the individual themselves. From telling tales of his life in the orphanage it becomes ever clearer that the football field was Paul’s escape from the troubles of his life. This was to become a constant theme throughout his career and as we later discover, a lot of his problems with alcohol and painkillers came through times when he had to be away from the field through his injuries. Alcohol unsurprisingly plays a central part in McGrath’s story. What may surprise many however is how late in life he began to drink. He had his first taste of alcohol on a football trip to Germany with Dalkey United at the age of 19. The next experience with the drink did not come until two years later at his leaving party with St Patrick’s Athletic before heading over to Manchester United. From there on however it was to play a central part in Paul’s life. A central part of Ron Atkinson’s United team of the late 80s, a two time FA cup winning side who would regularly beat the then dominant Liverpool team in the league only to finish behind the leaders as a result of their inconsistency, McGrath gained some notoriety as a member of the much talked about drinking culture at the club along with Bryan Robson and Norman Whiteside. When he and Whiteside were both injured, not an uncommon occurrence, they would end up drinking to pass the time and so the problem developed. As Paul descended into alcoholism, management at club and country would attempt to prevent him from going out with other members of the team, instead locking him in his hotel room. The player’s reaction would be to climb down the hotel’s drain pipes to escape to a pub. His problems, and those of the people he hurt, are honestly dealt with in the book, whilst
a rather horrific incident where he resorted to drinking Domestos when there was no alcohol in his house is soberly retold. Neither does McGrath shy away from detailing suicide attempts over time as his personal life disintegrated. Throughout all this time, and all the problems with his injuries as well as alcohol, McGrath remained a world class player. While at Villa he won the supporters’ player of the year award four years in a row and also picked up the PFA Player of the Year Award in 1993. This is despite the fact that United had years earlier released him under the belief that his injuries were almost beyond repair. All this too despite the personal chaos dominating his life. Even more remarkable than most of his performances, which occasionally at Villa would see him winning the man of the match award when drunk, was that already mentioned win against Italy in the Giant’s Stadium. McGrath reveals that he was only 60% fit and could not lift his left arm for the entire match due to a shoulder injury. Despite this he put in one of the greatest individual displays ever seen in a green shirt and what no less a judge than Roberto Baggio has described as the best defensive performance he ever saw in his career. Perhaps his very ability to play on through anything was one of McGrath’s biggest problems. People couldn’t believe things were that bad, he maybe didn’t have to control himself as much as he might otherwise have done. You finish the book wondering, as many people down the line who knew him closely did, just how good a player he may have been without his many problems. Already considered with Keane and Brady as one of Ireland’s greatest ever footballers, perhaps he could have been one of the greatest the world has ever seen. More than anything however you come away hoping that Paul can keep himself together and overcome his problems. He comes across as a very genuine and nice man who you wish only the best for. This has been re-enforced for me by the tales of everyone I have ever known to have met him. A friend of mine once met him at a Waterford United match during his brief spell as Director of Football there and spoke of his genuine friendliness, and his appreciation of people wanting to talk to him. Let’s just hope that a time will come when the comparisons with George Best end with their ability. Undoubtedly, this book represents essential reading for anyone who has ever admired the man.
Ooh ah, Paul McGrath: The big man’s newly released autobiography Back from the Brink shows that we never really knew just quite how bad things really were. Photo: Andrew Payne
Snooker mourns the passing of “Beckham of the Baize” Connel McKenna
Paul Hunter died on Monday the 9th of October.
For all passionate lovers of sport, there are times when our favourite pursuits are put into sobering context. The death of snooker player Paul Hunter on Monday the 9th of October was one such occasion. Hunter was 27 and had suffered for over a year with cancer of the colon. Snooker is still in mourning for what was no ordinary man or player. Hunter’s sparkling talent, happy-go-lucky personality and good looks had already earned him many fans and admirers before he began a remarkably brave battle against the illness which would eventually claim his life in April of 2005. His qualities as a person though really came to the public’s attention from this point on. A month following his diagnosis he courageously competed in the World Championships at Sheffield, understandably bowing out to Michael Holt in the first round. The occasion was clearly a difficult one for Holt – a player who came through the ranks alongside Hunter – and he could take no joy whatsoever from his victory. Holt described his friend as “one of the lads” and a person “who had every reason to be cocky or arrogant but never was.” His death came as a shock, despite the fact that the game’s governing body, the WPBSA, had in June granted him a year out of competition during which time his world ranking of 34 would be frozen. This ranking had fallen from five at the beginning of his treatment, an indication of the difficulties against which he was so
valiantly fighting. In any case the very sight of him continuing to compete had served as a good sign that his progress was encouraging. Willie Thorne articulated the sense of shock after Hunter’s funeral, at which his close friend and fellow pro Matthew Stevens was a pallbearer, saying “deep down I think we all thought he was going to beat the disease.” John Parrott, 1992 World Champion, lauded Hunter as a man who “played with a smile on his face” adding that snooker had lost one of its best loved players, its “Beckham of the baize.” These qualities made Hunter a favourite for both teenage girls and housewives, no mean feat indeed. The quality and character of his snooker though meant that the Leeds born player brought much more than just glamour to the table. He will forever be remembered for his three incredible Masters victories, a tournament ranking only below the World Championships in terms of prestige. In all three finals he overturned huge deficits and held his nerve sufficiently well to snatch the final frame and with it victory. On the wrong end of a 7-3 scoreline against Fergal O’Brien in 2001, Hunter found ‘inspiration’ with then-girlfriend Lyndsey during a session break, emerging to win 10-9. Quite a night. Incredibly, he repeated the trick (on the table at least) the following year, in defeating Mark Williams by the same score having trailed the ‘Welsh Potting Machine’ 5-0. Again in 2004 he proved to have an irresistible force in the face of adversary on this par-
ticular stage, edging Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-9 despite at one stage going 7-2 down. And that in the year that O’Sullivan would go on to claim his second World Championship with an ease and finesse rarely seen at the Crucible Theatre. These victories demonstrate everything that was great about Hunter. To go with fantastic technical ability he always seemed to retain an innate calm, and he had incredible heart for a fight. This heart for a fight will in time deservedly come to define him as a man. It is a common belief within snooker that Paul Hunter would have eventually become World Champion. “I’m sure… without a doubt,” was how Thorne expressed his certainty on the matter. This was a great player cut down at the height of his power. All of the qualities of a champion were present, and it is a great shame that he will never now have the chance to reach the pinnacle of the sport to which he gave so much. Hunter’s funeral attracted around one thousand mourners, and of course many of snooker’s most famous names including Dennis Taylor, Peter Ebdon, Stephen Hendry, Joe Johnson, Steve Davis, Holt, O’Sullivan, Thorne, Stevens, Parrott and an emotional Jimmy White. His father was the first of four speakers to honour him, and his wife Lyndsey had two days earlier opened a book of condolence at the church. She, along with their ten-monthold daughter Evie, survive Paul Hunter, and will doubtlessly suffer the loss of such a man immeasurably.
18 SPORT FEATURES
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
Alonso denies flawed genius Schumacher his last hurrah Connel McKenna Depending on your viewpoint, Michael Schumacher’s failure to capture an eighth Formula One World Championship at his final race before retirement was either a relief or a great shame. In the Brazilian sunshine last Sunday, Fernando Alonso gained the points finish he needed to guarantee a second successive title. Schumacher, to as many a villain as he was to his fans a hero, will have to settle for the record seven he had already gained. Sport of course, has long been a stage of heroes and villains. In this arena, a man can be a hero one week and a villain the next. Some men and women are fortunate enough to be held in the highest possible esteem by their peers and fans across the world, celebrated as heroes long after their careers have drawn to a close. The names of Owens, Ali, Agassi, Nicklaus, Matthews, Ruth, and lest we forget, Houghton, conjure in sports fans only the most glowing admiration, and rose-tinted memories. Then of course we have those on the opposite side of the spectrum (to call them the unfortunates would be in most cases charitable) who represent the worst kind of sportsperson – the downright nasty; the cheat. Each of us has our own candidates for this category, but I’ll take this opportunity to put forward the name of Sinisa Mijailovic. Often though it is not so clear cut, and we can be grateful for this, as sport would not be half as interesting if it was. Even a man so reviled as Mike Tyson is admired for his fearsome ability in the ring; in some quarters he is even still remembered primarily as the youngest ever World Heavyweight Champion, not the man who famously treated Evander Holyfield’s ear as most of us would a chicken wing. Tyson’s genius was flawed, as genius so often is. Has ever a flawed genius though, divided opinion to the extent as has Schumacher, the great motor racing champion of the modern era? There is more than one way to evaluate the true worth of a champion. One may place emphasis on statistics, or alternatively take a less clinical approach, and look a man’s legacy in terms of his wider effect on the sport, or the moments from his career which stick in the memory - the moments that defined him. Depending on your own personal method, Schumacher
can emerge either as a great sporting hero, or an almighty villain. At Interlagos, Schumacher pulled off one of his greatest recovery drives to finish fourth having emerged from an unscheduled pit stop – after a puncture in last position. Despite the fairytale championship win failing to materialize, it was for many a fitting way for the man to bow out – a drive which confirmed the greatness of his talents. One of many overtaking moves, on Kimi Raikkonen, was particularly superb. It was a drive which mirrored Schumacher’s season, a Lazarus-like return from the dead. After Canada, the mid-way point of the season, Schumacher and Ferrari must have been in despair. Alonso had just clinched his sixth win from nine races; with Schmacher off the pace until the late introduction of a safety car allowed him to tail the Spaniard’s Renault home two seconds behind. Schumacher was ‘only’ twenty-five points behind in the championship race at that point, but the relentless consistency of Alonso (he had complimented his six victories with three second places) meant that it seemed as though there could be but more wins on the horizon for him. The championship was in danger of becoming a procession, Schumacher a mere onlooker. From then though the story dramatically changed; Alonso failed to win any of the seven races following Montreal, while in that time the seven-time champion gobbled up five victories, and with them Alonso’s previously commanding lead. And all this in his final season in the sport, the end of an era for that reason alone. It was plot of Hollywood proportions, but then perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised. In Schumacher we are dealing with a man whose winning habit has evolved to incorporate almost robotic tendencies. The stats tell us that. More championships than anybody else. More race wins (an astonishing 91). More championship points. More podiums. More poles. But then the stats don’t tell the whole story. While many will have despaired at their beloved Schumi’s failure to take an emotional and befitting eighth and final championship, there are those who will have had their hearts gladdened. For those of this disposition, an eighth championship, and in such glorious circumstances, would have been too much. The reality you see, is that for many fans of the sport; for many within the sport, Schumi’s triumphant farewell, the last
Schumacher’s failure to capture an eighth Formula One World Championship at his final race before retirement was either a relief or a great shame. reminder of his greatness, would have been a slap on the face. Call it bitterness or moral disapproval, but Michael the eight-time champion would have represented to many the man who got away with it, the criminal who walked free, the villain who just didn’t receive his comeuppance. They weigh the German’s intimidating stats and achievements against his sometimes questionable track etiquette, his bending of the rules, and even a perceived Ferrari-FIA ‘partnership.’ One man’s gamesmanship is another man’s cheating. Schumacher’s name first became irrevocably tainted at Adelaide in 1994, during
the final and decisive race of the season. It was on lap 35 when he famously collided with his title rival Damon Hill, taking both himself and the Williams driver out of the race and thus denying Hill the chance to gain the points over Schumacher he needed in order to pip him to the championship. Schumacher’s strange racing line while going into a corner with Hill caused outrage in the paddock and sparked a conspiracy theory which was vigorously rebuffed by the German, now champion for the first time. Hill had won four of the previous five races, and the cause for panic within Schumacher was there for all
to see, as was the motive behind his overly-aggressive driving. No points penalty though, was imposed. At 1997’s European Grand Prix Schumacher did not get away with such a stunt so lightly. He cost himself any chance of the championship by attempting to take out Jaques Villeneuve, and succeeding only in ending his own race. With Schumacher left to curse his recklessness in the paddock, Villeneuve went on to claim double the two points he required to overhaul the Ferrari man and claim the title. Schumacher was stripped of his second-placing in the championship and left with a sizable portion of egg on
his face. Egg that his critics argue has been much too easily washed off. Not that Villeneuve has forgotten. He refutes the idea that Schumacher can ever be considered a great champion because “he’s played too many dirty tricks and he isn’t a great human being.” Maybe Jaques should learn to sit on the fence a little less often… Such a view continues to hold some sway given that the litany of controversies has extended into this season. Schumacher again showed that he will put victory above fair play when he parked his car on the track in the last minute of qualifying at Monaco, in a poorly-veiled attempt to deny Alonso the chance to take pole position on the grid. That move didn’t help his cause as he was penalised and put to the back of the grid, but more cries of foul play emanated from the paddock when the FIA handed down an over-zealous qualifying penalty to Alonso at Monza, home of Ferrari, for slightly impeding Felipe Massa’s flying lap. The fact that Massa is Ferrari’s second driver merely added to Renault’s grievances. Such conspiracies though are nigh-on impossible to prove. Certainly it is even more tenuous to hold Schumacher in any way responsible for a harsh ruling, he’s just unfortunate that such issues are pinned on him. Well, either unfortunate or deserving, depending on your stance. Schumacher’s critics though, have to be careful not to get to lose perspective of what makes a great champion. Seven championships make a great champion, as do all the other wonderful achievements in this most remarkable of careers. Alonso, genial and sporting to the last, reflected that the German “has been a great champion,” and professed that he was “happy to race with Michael in the last couple of years,” adding that they “were more valuable” because of his presence on the track. Just as the incredible achievements should not veil the misdemeanors, so the questionable morals should not disguise the special talent. Schumacher is a genius, but his flaws unfortunately come equally to the fore. Time will tell whether this record breaking champion will be remembered by most as a hero or a villain, but if it is to be the latter, what a pity that such a legacy of achievement could be so sullied. Something though in the Schumacher make-up tells me he won’t mind very much. Therein lies the flaw.
Staunton must reinstate faith of old Connel McKenna It is often said by football folk that after a poor performance, the next game can’t come around quickly enough. This adage held true as an injury-ravaged Republic of Ireland held the Czech Republic to a draw at Lansdowne Road just four days after the already infamous Nightmare in Nicosia. While the players, and indeed the manager, were lucky to be afforded an opportunity to somewhat redeem themselves following what was surely the most embarrassing defeat in Irish football history, they must be given credit for seizing upon it. A semblance of pride has been restored to Irish football; it is now time for those responsible within the senior international set-up to restore some faith amongst the supporters. When we, the fans, arrived in our droves at the charming old stadium on the 11th of October, we did so more in hope and defiance than in expectation. This is not usual when the Irish play host, even to Europe’s elite. Yes, there was logic in the theory that the players would respond to their wholly-merited savaging at the hands of the press and produce a display that could yield three points, but then not many trusted in logic after it had been hurled out of the window in Cyprus. In any case defiance will always benefit an atmosphere in a way that expectation never will. The players emerged to a cacophony of sound; a whole-hearted statement of support. They responded with a performance that those on the terraces deserved to see – one of passion, effort, controlled aggression and yes, sporadic quality.
That is all that any Ireland fan expects at the present moment. The realisation that a depth of class is currently non-present is widespread. No longer have we Roy Keane to compensate for lesser teammates, but that does not make the events of Nicosia in any way acceptable. Such a humbling can only occur when lack of quality is met by a lack of professionalism. Of course, hope will be replaced by expectation of the most certain kind when the crowds return to Lansdowne Road one last time for the meeting with San Marino in a fortnight’s time. Probably the worst team in European football at present, San Marino should provide Ireland with six easy points over the two upcoming matches (the return fixture takes place in February) and a healthy goal return also. With twenty goals conceded in their opening two group games, San Marino’s form harks back to the days when many qualification games could be treated as exhibitions. Considering the present standing of the Irish team though, the players must avoid falling into that mindset. Bluntly, they have no right take any opposition lightly at this time, and as long as they don’t, they should enter into the massive home double-header with Wales and Slovakia in March healthier both in terms of their confidence and their standing within the group. It is this double-header which will shape the nature of Ireland’s participation in this group beyond the closing of the European club season. It was clear when the draw was made that Ireland would have to vie with these two nations for the position of group upstarts – that nation which might be able to effectively challenge the Czechs and the Germans for a place in the finals.
Wales are probably the weakest of the three - as Slovakia demonstrated in dismissing them by five goals to one at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff – but the sides are reasonably well matched. A fully fit Irish side playing to their optimum level should expect to win both games, but of course we have seen little recently to suggest that either of these conditions will apply to the games at Croke Park in the spring. Six points from the two games is a tall order but realistically, a necessary one. With a home draw to qualification rivals and a defeat to supposed also-rans already suffered, optimising the points return from every fixture is the Irish agenda after only three games. In black and white terms, this probably means three points from every game except those against the big two, but this assessment could be reviewed if twelve points are gained from the next four games. For Stephen Staunton of course, a man who is not afraid to spout the odd footballing cliché, it’s “one game at a time.” “Stan” may not be “the man” for many disgruntled Irish fans, but he is the man who is charged with seeing the team through this crucial period. The flak he has taken in the most recent months of a fledgling managerial career has been over-the top, but it is undeniable that he has not often helped his cause. This has to change, for the sake of the team as much as Staunton himself. It is no coincidence that Ireland enjoyed the most successful period of its football history when the entire nation was unwaveringly united behind the manager, Jack Charlton. Charlton was greatly assisted by a strength of quality which is not available to Staunton, but with media and fans soon in support of him following the ini-
tial consternation and contempt at his appointment (‘what, an Englishman?’), he was able to get on with the job without the distraction of a disruptive media. It cannot be helpful for the players to have to defend their own manager in the build-up to a big match, as the Irish players did before the Czech game. Staunton is in many ways though, there to be shot at; a sitting duck. His lack of experience as a manger makes him an easy target when things go wrong, as they have done, quickly. Then there is the appointment of Bobby Robson as “International Football Consultant,” one which many sections of the media have used to undermine Staunton’s authority and self-belief. With Robson so-far absent from all but the era-opening game against Sweden, this supposed strengthening of the manger’s hand has so far only served to weaken it. Of less significance, but of significance all the same, is the fact that the current Republic of Ireland manager sat on that infamous panel alongside Niall Quinn, Alan Kelly and Mick McCarthy in Saipan. For Eamonn Dunphy and some of his less caustic sympathizers, Staunton had ground to make up before he’d even begun. The problem is that the manager hasn’t made a particularly good job of gaining ground since his first game in charge ended in what’s looked increasingly like a false dawn ever since. On field tribulations have been compounded by other issues which have done little to suggest that Stuanton is sufficiently equipped for the job he occupies. Not only has he not endeared himself to those members of the media which cover the Irish team, but he is fast making enemies of them. The most telling thing
about this situation is that Staunton has not allowed any time for bad blood to fester between himself and these scribes; it was there before a ball was kicked . Defensive from the outset, his press conferences have been defined by steely looks, a lack of engagement or any trust, and crucially, a very palpable tension and unease. The problem is only likely to be underlined when the affable, media-savvy Robson returns to the fold in the coming weeks. Staunton must learn quickly that these are men who can keep him in or shift him out of a job, and they are better as allies than enemies. A liking is not necessary, but it is vital that Staunton the manager wins the respect of the media, something he has yet to accomplish. The fans though will be more concerned with certain selection issues on the part of the Carlow man which, frankly, haven’t made a great degree of sense. Robbie Keane, although excellent in his industry against the Czechs, has looked like a captain in name only. His performances question his manger’s wisdom when you consider that Richard Dunne was a viable alternative. Then of course there was the omission of Lee Carsley from the squad that travelled to Nicosia. It has been well documented that this was a monumental mistake on Staunton’s part. Carsley is no world-beater – and Staunton was certainly correct in his assertion that he was a much derided squad member prior to his now reversed international retirement – but what he is, is a holding midfielder playing regularly and to a fine standard in the Premiership. This surely was a better option in the middle than Kevin Kilbane, a workhorse winger who was found lacking in the composure and tactical nous
which was necessary to nurture the promising Stephen Ireland through his full competitive debut. Kilbane does have his assets, but they were misused during that game. Staunton’s reasoning for his squad selection was equally strange. Carsley’s selection would have been “a kick in the teeth” for any player he was preferred to, apparently. Well, tough. Carsley is 32 and if these players are not yet good enough to merit a position in the squad ahead of him, they shouldn’t be there merely because they are more representative of the future. Players like Kevin Foley and Jay Tabb, both attackers drafted in ahead of the Everton man, should be given places in the squad only when they are the best options. Picking his strongest available squad is essential for any manager, and there is a tournament to qualify for here, something which Staunton and John Delaney would do well to prioritise, given their apparent preoccupation with the 2010 World Cup. With a point against the Czechs though, the manager and his players have something to build on. It is vital that they are give time to do this. Staunton has not yet had the time to prove his detractors sufficiently right or wrong, and he will have learned from every game so far, particularly the two most recent. In the meantime, Ireland’s record caps holder deserves our support. That he got it in such resounding fashion at Lansdowne Road a few weeks ago must have been a huge fillip. The result was too, but Staunton must know that the fans will lose patience unless a decent challenge for qualification is built upon it. That is the only way faith can be restored.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
DU Ladies’ Hockey Club
There is no hockey pitch in Dublin as bad as Trinity’s at Santry The state of the hockey pitches in Santry means serious injury is imminent. Adrienne Da Costa outlines the problem and explains what needs to be done. The teams of Dublin University Ladies’ Hockey Club were last weekend enjoying what may well be the last of the autumn sunshine, with the teams notching up two wins and three draws in glorious weather. However, the Club need not anxiously await the onset of winter and its most obvious disadvantage, as it appears to have already reared its ugly head. If the state of Trinity’s home pitch at Santry Avenue at this early stage is anything to go by, it’s going to be a long season. The north Dublin facility has long been a thorn in the side of a club trying to appeal to Leinster’s talented players. Its location is often cited as the main drawback for those deciding whether or not to make the move to Trinity from their respective clubs. The ladies’ third, fourth and fifth XI squads spend at least an hour in traffic on a private bus en route to training every Monday night, invariably shortening their session, which ends at 8 pm to allow for the first and second XI training. In 2004, when the search for a first XI coach who was willing to come to Santry yielded no results, the team was forced to move one of its two weekly sessions to Alexandra College in Milltown. The move has eased the burden of travelling on both coach and players, but continues to eat into scarce resources. A more pressing matter, however, is the state of the pitch itself. There have been months worse than October 2006, yet already the signs of a good winter battering are clear. The pitch no longer drains effectively, with the result that after a heavy rainfall, large reservoirs of water sit on the surface for many hours. During last year’s intervarsity competition, hosted in
November by RCSI using both their home pitch near the airport and Santry, the pitch was so waterlogged on the first day that games had to be moved to nearby ALSAA. Particularly in the far corners and at the goal mouth, the water evaporates quicker than it is drained, leaving behind a slimy residue, ultimately defeating the purpose of an Astroturf pitch, which is to provide a high-speed playing surface. The majority of school and league hockey is now played on this type of surface, be it water or sand-based, and appropriate gripping footwear is worn. Santry is fast becoming more suited to soccer or rugby type studs, with many of the players helplessly losing their footing. Serious injury is imminent. Any successive legal case against the College would clearly be the only thing capable of standing on stable ground. The other clubs in Leinster’s top division, against whom Trinity’s ladies’ first XI plays regularly, care for and replace their pitches. There is no pitch in Dublin considered to be as bad as Santry. It presents a long-term medical risk in that it exaggerates and accelerates the knee complaints often associated with this type of surface. In 2005, Trinity’s men’s first XI lost a valuable player who cited this very reason in his reluctant decision to leave the club. The clubs cannot disregard such losses when both first teams have for many years narrowly escaped relegation. It is common practice before a match that both umpires examine the goals. Trinity’s home games are often delayed as umpires find the goals unsatisfactory and they themselves are left to tape the nets to the posts. Both goals display an array of
different coloured stick tape, electrical tape, duct tape and masking tape to add to the chipped paint and rust. The goals are covered in graffiti, and it is hardly surprising that the pitch has no sponsor boards. No sane company would wish to be associated with such a mess, or indeed have their own logos defaced. The fence behind the near goal has been heavily battered and repeatedly yet inadequately repaired. Its several holes are large enough for a ball to come through and smash a window of one of the cars parked behind the pitch. There are no signs informing drivers that they should park at their own risk. Again a legal matter beckons. During such times as when it is not used or hired out by the College, the pitch is a haven for children from nearby housing estates. The majority of these children are harmlessly looking for somewhere to have a kick-around, and for them Santry’s walls are easily scaled. There has on several occasions, however, been glass on the pitch. During a first XI league match against Clontarf a fortnight ago, the visitors’ goalkeeper was battered with stones, stones which then threatened to injure any falling player. In the past, balls, cones and players’ personal gear have been stolen. Should this endured? The state of Santry Avenue has continuously been ignored despite the efforts of many. The ladies’ club’s most senior player addressed the problem in writing earlier this year, a move which was deemed out of order by the relevant bodies. It is hoped that the College may pay more attention to the situation once Leinster branch officials address the issue. There are many options to weigh up in terms of relocating the College’s hockey clubs. It is assumed that given the scarce nature of DUCAC’s funding where facilities are concerned, this isn’t a viable option. Nevertheless, what is indisputable is that the clubs cannot continue in forgotten Santry. DUCAC might want to look at implementing a few preventative measures before it discovers it can ill-afford the cure.
Player Profile Eoghan Kerlin
Above: The far side of the pitch at Santry, showing the dire state of the goal and the slimy residue left as a result of inadequate drainage. Right: The pitch at Pembroke Wanderers, a club against whom both men’s and ladies’ clubs in all divisions play. This pitch is more reflective of the norm in Dublin. Photos: Adrienne Da Costa
DU Bicycle Club
The Dungannon Dynamo Eoghan Kerlin is DU Boat Club’s new recruit from Queen’s Belfast. Eoghan is 22 and is currently reading for the Diploma in Exercise Physiology. He was intermediate champion of Ireland in 2005. Nickname? For the first Lomac Tiles University Boat Race (Queen’s University’s annual race against Trinity), my local newspaper called me the “Dungannon Dynamo” so I got a bit of stick from the lads about that for a while. Why rowing? I love wearing lycra. Oh, and some of the girls look pretty good too! Where would you be most likely to go on a night out? We’d probably head to the Dame Tavern, before going to Rí Rá. The last time I was at the Dame I got in a bit of trouble. I sorted it out though.
Eoghan Kerlin is a Bebo fan.
Who in your crew is most likely to be arrested? Excluding me, I would have to
DUHAC wins Rifle Club to one-day event hold charity category shoot in DU Harriers and Athletics Club has College won the prestigious CUSAI Award for hosting the inter-collegiate Cross Country Event on 4th March 2006. The Event was held on a gloriously sunny and fresh day at Santry Sports Grounds. The preparation of the course by grounds staff began weeks in advance and the eight strong student committee led by Karl Fahy and Nicola Fallon did excellent work to ensure the events ran smoothly. Some of the highlights of their organising skills were the superb communications about the event, via a dedicated event website, emails and text messaging. Also they secured financial and product sponsorship which were passed on directly to the participants: goody bags, T-shirts, sandwiches and meal vouchers. The evening dinner presentation dance had a theme of 1920-1950s fancy dress.
On the 15th of November Dublin University Rifle Club and the TCD St. Vincent de Paul Society will be holding an Air Rifle Charity Shoot in the Rifle Range on Campus. Entry is €5 and the top novice shooter on the night will win an iPod. No experience is necessary and there will be free instruction provided on the night for all beginners. All money raised will go to charity. Full details will be on the Rifle Club website www.tcd.ie/Clubs/Rifle.
say David Cummins. Probably for borrowing road signs or sleeping on pub floors through the night in foreign countries. How would you handle a female coach? I’d might take a fancy to her and if I was successful I’d be guaranteed a place in the boat! If drinking was banned, would you still choose to be involved in rowing? That’s a good one. The two sometimes seem to go hand in hand so it would be hard to give up either. I’ve had some notable experiences to say the least. What’s your opinion on Bebo? It’s awesome! Any plans for Halloween? Heading to the DUBC Massacre for what will no doubt be another wild night out. Eoghan Kerlin was in conversation with David Cummins.
Water-polo teams expect a good year Meatloaf once sang, “Two out of three ain’t bad”. Well similarly, three out of four wins by the men's water-polo team already this year suggests a promising season. The rest of DU Swimming Club can only hope to take from this lead and start producing results of their own. The ladies’ water-polo team has yet to win a match, but is at the disadvantage of rebuilding their team, but with the commitment shown already it could well turn into a productive year. The Club is eager to build on last year's triumphs - plaudits included being intervarsity winners in swimming, ladies’ water-polo and lifesaving. The men's water-polo team reached the semi-finals of the league, losing to the championship’s eventual winners. The Club's most notable accomplishment to date was the appointment of Anthony Mulloy to the Irish Waterpolo team, where he competed in Spain last month.
Trinity’s competitive cyclists last year: Peter McKenna, Nick Cosgrave, Barry Mullins, Joanna Hickey and Michael Barry Photo: DU Bicycle Club
Cyclists expecting College recognition Peter McKenna About twelve months ago, an attempt was made to revive Dublin University Bicycle Club, the College cycling team, which had lapsed into oblivion. The Club is proud to say that it has since emerged from darkness and has become a regular fixture on the Leinster racing circuit. The Club attracted over twenty members last year and over fifty new enthusiasts joined in Freshers’ Week this October. The Club has not just grown in terms of numbers however. As well as electing representatives, the Club obtained sponsorship from a number of bodies and has used part of this funding to
organise racing kit. The Club’s activity has been so energetic that members are confident that DUCAC will grant recognition of the Club in the next twelve months. As of yet, the Club is not supported or subsidised by DUCAC, who seem reluctant to increase the number of affiliated clubs from the current 49, and reliance is on the generosity of sponsors AFA O’Meara Advertising, Park Developments, Murphy and Gunn Motors and Allied Irish Bank, whose donations made the Club possible. The cycling racing season reaches its climax in June, when many students are away on summer vacation. Despite this however, the Club participated in over a dozen events, starting with the intervarsi-
ty in Galway at the end of February. Although the first few races proved difficult, a great deal of experience was gained and the second half of the season was more successful. The Portlaoise GP was a good barometer of the Club’s progression and it as here that Barry Mullins powered over the line to take the Club’s first race victory. Another Club member, Joanna Hickey, spent two weeks training in Belgium with the Irish women’s squad. Potential members are encouraged to come along on weekend spins which leave Front Gate at 11 am on Sunday mornings and are of a leisurely nature. Alternatively, contact Nick on 0851678718.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2006
DU Hockey Club and DU Ladies’ Hockey Club
Shaky start for Trinity’s hockey clubs but high hopes for the season Cian Denham Kirstin Smith It’s that time of year again, where the men’s and ladies’ first XI hockey teams of Ireland’s universities (and in some cases colleges and institutes of technology) convene to play some hockey and fight for the right to bring home the Mauritius and Chilean Cups. While the men are reigning Mauritius Cup holders, it’s been some time since the ladies have brought the Chilean Cup home. With the annual tournament taking place this year in Limerick this week, we can only wait with bated breath to see if DU hockey can do the double and produce some silverware. In the meantime, the teams have had several weeks of matches to help them prepare. Results so far have been a mixed bag, with wins, draws and losses reported across the board. The men’s club experienced somewhat of an exodus over the summer as long time members Steven Findlater, Philip Balbirnie, John Blakeney and the club’s Irish internationals Phelie Maguire and Peter Blakeney all moving to pastures new. The task of keeping the team together has fallen to the younger members of last years team – Barry Glavey, Aengus Stanley, Daire Coady and new captain Jason Bryan, who are now seen as the experienced players, while the freshers should add a breath of fresh air plus some youthful legs! Results to date have been disappointing, with two losses which could have gone the other way. A 3-1 away loss to Railway Union and a close 5-4 loss to last year’s runners-up, Fingal, show the problem that has plagued the team over the past few years. While we can score goals, we have an equal talent for letting them in. The team will surely look to improve its defence tactics this year, but while they are still looking for a coach, this may have to wait. The other men’s teams have been per-
forming somewhat similarly. The second XI started their season with a 2-2 draw with Fingal’s seconds, Dan Needham scoring both goals, with Johnny Royds outstanding in goals. The first game back is invariably the toughest, as other teams have the advantage of several weeks of preseason, while the students usually have one training session before their first match. Nicholas Odlum’s men can look forward to improving on this as the weeks go on. The third XI have been so far unlucky with their results, losing both matches by a single goal. Firstly a 4-5 loss at home to Avoca, with goals from Dave Nolan, Colm D’Olier, Ollie Heaton and Andrea Gilmore, while the next match was a 3-2 away loss to YMCA, goals coming from Cian Denham and Cian O’Reilly. Finally, the fourths kicked off their first season in division 9 with a 4-3 win away to YMCA. It may be early days but Captain Bela Hanratty may be looking for promotion for a second year in a row. The ladies’ club is adjusting to life back on the pitch. The first XI, once again competing in division one, had to deal with losing some of its most valuable players this year, but the abundance of talented freshers has helped lessen the blow. While Captain Rachel Griffin will be looking to senior members of the panel for experiences, the likes of Leinster under-21 player Lindsey Watson and goalkeepers Emma Gray and Ciara Rowe should strengthen the squad considerably. Early matches recorded some heavy losses but last week’s 0-0 draw against league heavyweights Railway was a fantastic achievement for the team, and coach David Bane will be looking for more results like this throughout the year. Trinity’s third XI have two matches under their belt so far, and last weekend were playing Our Lady’s away. Although there were lots of changes of positions and subbings on and off due to a large panel, and new players trying out new positions, everyone adapted well. Coach
Rachel Foley of the third XI outpaces Our Lady’s in the second match of this season for DU Ladies’ Hockey Club. The final score in the match was 1-1. Photo: John Binions Mike Maguire made the most of the large squad by rotating positions and using the rolling substitute system to its full potential, and everyone adapted well even when playing out of position, most notably Audrey Murphy, who was moved from her usual spot in defence to play wing for a while. The score remained 0-0 until five minutes into the second half when Our Lady’s scored from a short cor-
ner despite the initial save by the goalie. Trinity fought hard in the second half and in the last 30 seconds were awarded a short corner. The final whistle blew and so the team had a last chance to equalise. A ball out from Laura Binions, strong pass from Rachel Foley and a decisive sweep from Sinead Sheerin resulted in a dramatic goal to end the match 1-1. The fifths played Newbridge last week-
end on their infamous “all-weather” pitch (which could possibly rival Santry for worst pitch). The waterlogged pitch caused problems for both teams, but Trinity eventually took advantage and won 3-2 with Eimear MacNamara scoring all three goals. Sunday saw the team at home against UC double D. Once again pitch issues caused the opposition to score as a defender slipped on the mud in front
of the goal, but Eimear scored late in the second half to spare the blushes of losing to the Oiks. The end result was 1-1. All teams in Trinity are settling back into Leinster League life, and hopefully, once fitness levels are regained, and teams are finalised, results will be consistently favourable.
DU Boat Club
DU Football Club
Rowers begin time-trial season David Cummins
The second XV did no better than the firsts last Friday, losing their game to Old Wesley. Photo: Kirstin Smith
Barnhall bring students down to earth Kay Bowen Dublin University 24 Barnhall 33 After the euphoria of a great win in Old Belvedere, the students of Trinity came down to earth with a large crash on Saturday, October 21st, when they were well beaten by well prepared but limited Barnhall team. The home team seemed to lack the edge of the week before, and suffered for this lack of intensity. They never got any rhythm going to their game plan, which was credit to Barnhall who worked hard to keep it that way for the whole game. Barnhall scored a penalty in the opening minutes. Trinity then took the lead with a length of the field break out, which fea-
tured full back Gareth “Gaz” Murphy who set up wing Killian Stafford who in turn set up a quick ruck that put out-half Johnny Watt in for a try under the posts after he chipped over the scrambling defence to win the chase for the touch down. Johnny converted himself. Barnhall came back and scored themselves after Trinity had gift wrapped them good field position. They followed this up with another penalty as they continued to dominate field position. Trinity struggled to keep hold of the ball and countless times through the game they dropped passes unforced after the initial break was made. It was indeed a disappointing performance by Trinity playing their first home match of the season. 13-7 down at half time Trinity came out with renewed effort in the second half they attacked hard but struggled to keep
hold of the ball which repeatedly put them on the back foot. Johnny Watt did kick a penalty for the home side. Barnhall scored a try and kicked another penalty, and Trinity came back with a try of their own when full-back Gaz Murphy rounded the Barnhall defence to score in the corner after some good handling by himself and Brian Hastings on a counter attack after Barnhall failed to make touch, Watt converted. Barnhall kept forcing errors and were physical at the breakdown, slowing up ball for the students. The team traded penalties as the home team continued to struggle to gain any form at all. Barnhall then took the lead with five minutes to go which proved the crucial score. This try came after another handling error by the students. 34 to 19 down, Trinity made a last gasp effort to put some respectability
on the scoreboard, this they did when after several phases scrum half Joey Burns fed linked up to put Johnny Watt in for his second try. This was a muddled performance for the students and a huge wake up call for some of the players. This was a game they could have easily won if they had the correct focus and execution. No doubt Trinity can and will come back from this early league set back. DU Football Club’s first XV against Barnhall: 15 Gareth Murphy, 14 Colm Coyle, 13 Brian Hastings, 12 Conor Donohue, 11 Killian Stafford (George Byron 70) 10 Johnny Watt, 9 Joey Burns, 1 Graham Murphy (Tristan Goodbody 45) 2 Matt Crockett, 3 Andy King, 4 Roger Young (Steve Curtin 60), 5 Max Cantrell, 6 Ross Condron, 7 Shane Young, 8 Peter McFeely
The opening time-trial of the Dublin Sculling Ladder took place at Islandbridge on Saturday, 11 October, with no fewer than 19 scullers from DU Boat Club taking part. Sculling is a form of rowing that involves the oarsman propelling a craft using two oars, one in each hand. Single sculling is usually performed in isolation, with oarsmen finding themselves locked in train of thought, fully concentrated on the various technical aspects of the stroke. It has experienced somewhat of a re-birth among Trinity’s rowers in the past year, the sizeable number of participants in the annual Sculling Ladder being testimony to this. The course is approximately 1800 metres in length, and incorporates many bends and obstacles which can ultimately have a negative bearing on the athlete’s final time. With over 120 entries, times ranged from six minutes to 20 minutes. Some capsized, others found themselves lodged in reeds or clambering up trees. No one drowned. DU Boat Club produced a handful of scullers finishing in the top 40, among them the the newly-elected Captain, Gabriel Magee. In an impressive start to what will hopefully be a very successful sculling career, Rory Horner finished 28th, having only graced the scull for the first time two months previously. Rory was from DU Boat Club, with Joe Calnan and David Cummins making up the top two spots. Some humbled scullers have made reference to the humiliation suffered at being defeated by women. As sculling is an art that rewards technique as much as it rewards power, it was unsurprising that more than a handful of Trinity’s participants in the ladder found themselves finishing behind juniors of the weaker sex. The experience will no doubt incite a competitive streak in the aforementioned few which can only have positive effects for the Club. For novice scullers, venturing alone onto the unforgiving waters of the Liffey
can have interesting consequences. Indeed, a handful of athletes found themselves battling the conditions on the day. Gavin Doherty, one of the Club’s newcomers to the sculling experience, found himself entangled in a rather large tree at the conclusion of the time trial. Such was the ferocity of the flow that he was almost pulled under, though fortunately managed to escape limbs intact and boat upright. Fate was not as kind to Eoghan Kerlin, Trinity’s new recruit from Queen’s University in Belfast. Eoghan’s enthusiasm backfired as he was introduced to the weeds on two occasions before eventually capsizing, an experience all oarsmen undergo at some stage in their careers. The season continued last weekend for the Club as it entered its first sweep-oared time-trial in Galway. A dreary Saturday afternoon was approcahed with optimism by Trinity’s senior eight who took to the waters of the Corrib as invited guests of the National University of Ireland, Galway. The crew began the five kilometre event in third position behind St Michael’s and started lively, gradually gaining ground on the Limerick boat. As the minutes wore on, however, the eight found itself being hounded by the hosts, NUI Galway. Trinity continued at its own rhythm, rating 34 strokes per minute, though were no match for the elite oarsmen from Galway who boasted a handful of international rowers fresh from their exploits at the World Championships in August. NUI Galway soon overtook Trinity who continued to pursue the St Michael’s eight. The final times showed that Trinity finished in fourth place, 53 seconds off the Galway boat – a substantial verdict over 13 minutes. For the Trinity crew it was an interesting test at this early stage of the season. Training continues with Neptune Head taking place in Blessington on November 11. DU Boat Club’s senior eight at NUI Galway Head of the River: David Cummins (bow), Gavin Doherty, Rory Horner, Robert Swift, David Keane, Eoghan Kerlin, Joseph Calnan, Edward Roffe-Silvester (stroke), Jonathan Maitland (cox)