D U B L I N
U N I V E R S I T Y
S T U D E N T
DU Sailing Club clinches Student World Cup p9
Students’ Union owed €185,000 by College p2
Societies Second place for Hist at Oxford p4
Opinion Edward Gaffney on US politics p8
Books RB McDowell, icon of Trinity’s “golden era” p13
Travel Jonathan Drennan, man about Cape Town p14
Sport Hockey Club retains Mauritius Cup p18
Sport First rugby Colours win in ten years p20 Oscar
rait of a legend SPECIAL FEATURE: Anna brings us an intimate port
Casino e Royal k, He’s bac he’s blonde, but he’s not bland
It seems a fatal blow has been dealt to the Buttery as a venue for student events. Changes made in the last week including a change in the closing time, and a ban on bringing in alcohol bought externally, effectively mean that Ents, student societies and clubs can now longer use the Buttery to host events such as table quizzes or gigs. Until last week, there was a security attendant present in the Buttery and Atrium until 11pm every night. However, a change in working hours brought about by Campus Superintendant Norman Richardson means that from now on functions taking place in the Buttery must finish before 10pm so that the building can be closed when the attendants clock off. This change has come about because College Catering no longer require an attendant to be present beyond 10pm following the closure of the Buttery bar. Furthermore, an incident last week involving the St Vincent de Paul Society means that it will no longer be possible for students to bring their own alcohol to certain Buttery events. It had previously been agreed that Catering would allow students to bring their own alcohol to events in the Buttery which weren’t large enough to warrant the opening of a temporary bar. However that arrangement has come to an end after the SVP’s “Children of the 90s” quiz saw hundreds of students ransack the Buttery. Students brought their own bottles, cans, naggins, and more to the Buttery in a night where the MC encouraged those partaking to get as drunk as possible. College Catering was incensed by the lack of regard shown by both students and the SVP over the course of an evening where one team taking part in the quiz was called “team fire hazard” because
“God wants you to have life and he wants you to have sex”
Plans to divide Trinity College into three “academies” were given the thumbs-up by the College Conor O’ Kelly p16 Board last week. The current fivefaculty system will be phased out over the coming months, as the statutes currently governing Trinity College are “rewritten from scratch”. Under the proposals, Trinity’s 24 schools will now be grouped into: The Academy of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Academy of Health Sciences tell The former Trinity boys are just E SSU I and the Academy of Science and they why e Rouk O’ Gearoid Trinity Ball waiting to be asked to play Engineering , p3 an Madig l Ferga ter Two repor trash with Trinity News Dance DJ Erol Alken talks Initial plans, backed by College management, to group the school of Business with Science and Engineering have been scrapped after encountering considerable opposition, particularly from the Science faculty. The details of Trinity’s latest restructuring initiative – the second in three years – were set out in a report by the Working Group on Restructuring, released last week. The Group was set up last June Fern McCauley p22
• Al Pacino • Bellx1 • Humanzi • Erol Alkan • James Bond
their table blocked a fire exit. This anger was compounded by the fact that College Catering operated a temporary bar on the night, which remarkably made a loss despite the fact that were over two hundred students in the building. According to David Byrne of the SVP Society a lack of communication between the SVP and Catering Manager, Eugene McGovern, led to students being told to bring their own drinks despite the fact that there was a temporary bar. He said it was a regrettable situation, but once people had been informed by e-mail and posters that it was a “bring your own beer” or BYOB affair it was inevitable that crowds were going to show up with their own alcohol. Last Wednesday 22nd, a Suas Bollywood night was evicted from The Buttery for disobeying these new rules laid down by the Facilities Officer. After the security attendant clearly stated that no form of alcohol was permitted, the organisers allowed those present to drink bottles of wine, tequila and beer. The attendant duly called a halt to the proceeding and forced the crowd to leave the Buttery. Since the Buttery bar closed at the end of last year it has become increasingly difficult for Ents, societies and clubs to put on events in the Buttery cafeteria. With this earlier closing time as well as a ban on BYOB events, many feel that the final blow has been dealt to the Buttery as a venue. Ents officer Barry Murphy told Trinity News “From the start of the year it was in people’s heads that the bar was closed and gone and the Buttery was finished. We have tried and had some really good nights in there but it’s proved impossible to sustain with so many obstacles put in the way. I think every effort has been made to cease student activity in the Buttery in the evenings and it is now virtually impossible.”
Can I see your student card please?
Senior attendant Maureen Coote takes her chance to ask Al Pacino for an autograph. Pacino was at Trinity to receive the honorary patronage of the University Philosophical Society. Full report inside. Photo: Martin McKenna
USI encourages College statutes to be “rewritten from scratch” students to break
Stein spends two days with
Ross flirts with motherhood p13
Final blow dealt to Buttery as “bring your own beer” events banned
winner Al Pacino and
N E W S P A P E R
when it emerged that initial attempts to reorganise schools and faculties had caused major administrative inefficiency and confusion. Each of the three new academies will be headed by an elected vice-provost with “full financial and strategic authority” over their academies. Previous attempts to devolve full control of finances to school level have effectively been abandoned. The Provost will be given the power to veto any candidate that he considers unsuitable for the new position of viceprovost. A “consultation process” with staff and students is now underway but the rerestructuring proposals are expected to be adopted largely in their current form and put in place gradually over the next academic year. Trinity News has also learned that the statutes governing Trinity College will effectively be “rewritten from scratch” as part of the re-restructuring process. The current set of College rules and regulations are believed by College management to be inconsistent with Trinity’s new academic structure. The statutes were last significantly revised in 1966.
The latest overhaul is thought to have the support of a large majority of schools in the College. But some are unhappy with the details of the Working Groups proposals. In an interview with Trinity News three weeks ago, the Dean of Science, Professor Peter Coxon said that grouping the science schools with engineering or business would have “no academic basis”. According to an internal poll carried out by Professor Coxon, 83% of science academics said they wanted science schools to remain independent. Only 8% said they supported an Academy of Science and Engineering. The poll is understood to have angered several senior academics in other faculties. “I don’t see the problem with the existing five faculty structure. Engineering and science are very different areas and there is no compelling reason to group them together”, Professor Coxon said. “Most staff are becoming fed up with the constant talk of restructuring – a kind of restructuring fatigue has set in,” he added. “Academics just want to get on with their work.”
the law Anna Stein Trinity College Students’ Union acting on the advice of the Union of Students in Ireland last week encouraged students to commit electoral fraud. In his weekly email to the student body, sent out on the 19th November, SU President Dave Quinn said that the SU would “encourage [students] to register both in your home constituency and the College constituency.” This advice is clearly in contravention of the 1992 Electoral Act, which states “a person shall not be registered as an elector more than once in any registration area nor in more than one such area.” To register as an elector you must complete a form on which you are asked to provide a name, address and other details. You must also sign a form declaring that the information provided is correct. If two such forms are signed with different information on them, this is viewed as giving false information and anyone charged with this can be fined up to 2000 or imprisoned for a maximum of two
years. When asked to comment on his unlawful recommendations Mr Quinn said that he had been following official USI policy. He stated that since the SU was unsure of the legislation governing the registration of voters, despite reassurances from the USI, they decided to “take the safe route” and after a few hours stopped telling students that they should register to vote in more than one constituency. Those students Continued on page 2.
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USI blames government for electoral mess-up Continued from page one. who have registered twice will be contacted and correctly advised. Quinn defended the USI’s policy, saying that “half our students live away from home and there is a deadline for registering to vote, but no one knows when the election will be.” In his opinion this makes it more difficult for students to know where they will be when an election is called. John McGuirk, the Eastern Area Officer of the USI described the existing electoral legislation as a “very grey area” and claimed that the USI “had given the best possible advice” to the students it represents. He told Trinity News that the USI “regretted the immense lack of guidance from the government, sending out mixed messages left, right and centre.” The USI has also cited hearsay evidence of council officials telling students that they can register in both their home and their College constituencies. They say that this demonstrates the confusion even within government surrounding this subject. When asked by Trinity News to explain the error made by the USI, President Colm Hamrogue said that he had tried to meet with an official from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government to clarify the legal position, but “the official meant to meet [him] never showed up.” However he claims that an official within the Department approved the USI’s policy, but he didn’t get the clearance in writing. He stated that if he had done so “there would be a head on the block.” When asked if he could have done more to ensure that the advice he passed on to students was correct he defended himself by asking “if you can’t take the advice of the Department who runs the electoral register, whose advice can you take?” In his opinion it is “time for the Department to sort out its own mess.” He criticised the government’s commitment to student enfranchisement saying that “if the government really were involved in this campaign they would have on-campus voting and also Saturday voting.” A letter uncovered by Trinity News sent to Dave Quinn by Colm Hamrogue dated 21st November, shows that the USI were at this point still unaware of the errors in their advice. In this letter Hamrogue categorically states, “it is not illegal for students…to be registered in more than one constituency.” This is prefaced by a sentence making it clear that the USI knew of the concerns over the legality of the advice. When asked about his letter, Hamrogue said that he was unaware that his advice was incorrect at the time of writing the letter. This raises questions as to why, when the issue had been brought to the attention of the USI, he did not think to re-examine the information before categorically re-stating it.
Trinity College visited by Al Pacino On Wednesday 22nd November the University Philosophical Society played host to one of the biggest names to grace Trinity College in decades. The advent of Al Pacino was eargerly anticipated, and to avoid a situation similar to the infamous Tommy Tiernan outrage limited tickets were issued via an online ballot, to be collected on the day of the event, and non-transferable. The uptake on this ballot system was surprisingly low, with many students expressing apathy towards their chances of winning a ticket, which led to a high rate of those applying gaining entry tickets. The event ran smoothly, with punters let in around 7pm and the event kicking off at just after 8pm. President Daire Hickey gave a short introduction before Pacino entered (twice, in fact), to be interviewed by Brian Tubridy of RTE fame. Although short, the interview managed to elicit several energized performances from Pacino, both of poetry and film script. The audience was enthused but not threateningly so, except perhaps at the very end when some made a dash at Mr Pacino, who exited before Mr Hickey’s speech of thanks had barely begun. The Phil held a small reception followed by a club night, whilst Pacino retired to more genteel company. (Joey Facer)
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Autumnal frolicking in College Park
Fairtrade everywhere in College Deirdre Robertson
Andrea Shaw and Heather Barry (centre) of the DU Ultimate Frisbee Club, take time out to enjoy an autumn leaf-fight in College Park. Photo: Martin McKenna
The quarter of a million cups of coffee and tea that are consumed each year by Trinity staff and students will from now on be fairly-traded. All of the cafes on campus will sell Fairtrade products. Fairtrade is a charity set up in 1992 to encourage fair pay for third world tea and coffee farmers. The farmers have to commit to Fairtrade standards and once they have, they know the price they get for their coffee beans won’t drop below a certain level. According to the Java City franchise the coffee is more expensive, but Patrick Curtin of the Buttery says that the prices for consumers in Trinity were agreed with the student union in advance and have not risen above the rate of inflation. The Deputy Catering manager, Perceval Jauregui, confirms that there will be no price increase for the consumer. The manager of one Java City café in Trinity, Shane Hollywood, confirms this, saying that the coffee that Java City sells in Trinity is the same price as it is in Java City’s outlets outside campus; although they admit that their prices are higher than other cafes in College. They say that the company pays for the extra cost of Fairtrade coffee, not the consumer, and apart from standard increases in price this will not change. While the management say prices are not going to increase within Trinity an article in the Irish Times in May 2006 points out that Fairtrade coffee sold in shops costs around 10% more than other coffee on the shelves.
€10 million provided to fund landmark aging study in College Aaron Mulvihill Ireland’s first ever landmark longitudinal study of ageing was launched earlier this month by the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD. The study, which is being led by Trinity College, will last for 10 years and its projected cost of €10 million euro will be funded by “one of the largest corporate gifts ever made in Ireland”, according the organisers. The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda) is envisaged as an attempt to better understand the needs and difficulties facing an ageing population. Ireland has never carried out such a study. Surprisingly, for such a wealthy country, Ireland is consistently found to have the lowest life expectancy in Europe. In a World Health Organisation (WHO) life expectancy survey, Ireland was ranked 22nd for males and 23rd for females out of a total of 23 countries surveyed. The factors which contribute to such a strikingly higher mortality rate are unknown. Irish Life, the largest provider of pensions in the State, has so far contributed €4 million to Tilda. Atlantic Philanthropies has also made a financial commitment to the endeavour. Speaking to Trinity News, Ray Gordon of Irish Life stressed the need to understand the issues affecting people as they get older and to keep policy-makers informed of the plan-
ning challenges facing them in the next ten years. The proportion of the population aged 65 and older in Ireland is expected to rise to 15% by 2011 and 19% by 2031 according to the Department of Health and Children. Demographers fear we may be unprepared for the financial strain in supporting this elderly population if such studies are not undertaken. Irish Life, as the study’s main financial contributor, maintains that as well as helping to better understand the needs of the elderly, it will give them a voice at the policy-making table and will help to “take speculation out of the picture”. The ten years during which the study will be carried out look likely to bring the concerns of the elderly near to the top of the Irish policy-making agenda. On Friday the Competition Authority recommended that the government break up the VHI, which, six years after opening up the sector to competition, still claims 80% of the Irish health insurance market. Demands for tighter laws governing nursing homes are being made this week, following the publication of a report into the abuses at Leas Cross nursing home, first brought to light last year by an RTE documentary. Fine Gael, in the run-up to the forthcoming general election, is criticizing the current government’s policies on the elderly. Fine Gael Health Spokesperson, Dr Liam Twomey TD, last week attacked “the level of Government
disarray on funding care for the elderly”. This recently renewed public interest in the elderly promises to put Tilda in a position to contribute to public debate in the next ten years. No accident, then, that the project allows for a part-time PR consultant. Among the themes investigated by Tilda are “health, mental status, quality of life, technology and genetics”. A minimum of 10,000 participants drawn randomly from southern Ireland will undergo physical examination, blood and genetics testing, as well as telephone interviews where they will be asked questions such as “How do you feel about being, and getting, older?" Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Trinity College, Rose Ann Kenny, is heading the project. She is already credited with considerable success in the field, notably leading the research project that established Ireland's first dedicated Falls and Blackout facility at St James's Hospital last December. The facility provides prompt treatment of injuries from which the elderly are particularly at risk, such as hip fractures and strokes. Professor Kenny will be assisted in Tilda by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), as well as partners from UCC, UCD, NUI Galway, Dundalk Institute of Technology and the Royal College of Surgeons.
The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, recently launched the new aging study.
Cash-strapped Students’ Matteo Matubara to become movie star Union owed €185,000 Niall Hughes
David Molloy Recent Students’ Union accounts show massive debts owed to the cash-strapped SU by college authorities. The annual accounts, viewed by Trinity News, showed debts of over €245,000 to DUST, the Student’s Union travel agency. Of this, “trade debtors” amount to over €185,000. This term refers to debts that are largely a result of numerous college departments failing to pay for trips booked through DUST in the past, some dating back a number of years. This kind of pre-existing debt is more serious in light of the Union’s financial trouble last year, where the DUST travel agency had to be turned over to a private franchise. This resulted in a drawn-out disagreement with staff over severance packages. SU Deputy President Simon Hall has previously stated that “it was
necessary to make a number of financial changes within the Union, in order to ensure that we can continue to provide the services needed by our students.” DUST owes the main SU body €120,000 in respect of a loan taken out by the travel agency some time ago. The cash being withheld from the agency by College departments could be used to repay this substantial debt and be put toward providing services for students. Last year the Union had to borrow €240,000 from College to help pay for the redundancies and other expenses. This will have to be repaid with interest. Why these outstanding debts to DUST were not recovered at the time of the financial crisis is unclear. Although a good proportion of these debts have been paid, there remains a substantial amount of money outstanding. Student's Union President David Quinn said, “It is unacceptable for certain
College departments to owe the Students’ Union money, especially given the recent financial troubles within the Union. However, we will be pushing strongly to collect the money outstanding in the coming months. I'm hopeful that we will be able to recover this money and this will address the last of the Students’ Union’s outstanding financial issues.” The SU accounts for the year ended 30th June 2006 showed a current account deficit of €36,000; €15,000 more than the previous year. The current SU executive has made rectifying last year's budget problems a priority. Turnover in the SU shops in October was up €27,000 on the same month last year, which represents an approximate 20% profit. This follows a refitting of the House 6 shop and a publicity campaign to draw attention to the lower prices available there.
Much loved character around campus, Matteo Matubara, aka “Matt the Jap”, is the subject of a documentary film which has just been made by a group of ameteur film-makers in Trinity. The film focuses solely on Matteo in an attempt to uncover the truth behind one of Trinity’s most unusual characters. Speaking to Trinity News, JS Economic and Social Studies student, John Michell, one of the film-makers said that “Matt is somewhat of an enigma and there are various rumours surrounding him and his history in Trinity. Through this project we hope to shed some new light on Matt and dispel some of the rumours as well as answer some important questions: Where is he from? Where does he live? Who provides for him?” The group, consisting of eight students, does not wish to draw any conclusions about Matt but rather wants to present Matt’s life as it is and let viewers draw their own conclusions.
When first approached about the documentary, Matteo was visibly excited to be a part of the production and gave his full consent to being filmed over the course of three weeks. It is likely that Matt saw this as an opportunity for him to rally support from students to get him back into the Arts Building. Matt was barred from the Arts Building in 2004 after a member of staff in the coffee dock made an official complaint about his behaviour. Matt maintains that there was no wrongdoing on his part. This story and other controversies are explored in the documentary which features an in-depth, subtitled interview with Matt. It is hoped that the documentary will be completed and ready for screening before the end of Michaelmas term to tie in with the DU Film-makers’ screening night. Otherwise the film may be shown in a large lecture theatre such as the Edmund Burke in the Arts Building. The only problem then would be that Matteo himself would not be able to attend!
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Constant entertainment for those involved in Players’ Co-op Ayumi Sakurai What does co-op mean? Some would say it’s home to senseless and screwy students, the cradle of the crazed and kooky in this college, an incubator for illogiical and insane ideas, and others would say it’s rollicking-good entertainment. It is of course the annual Dublin University Players’ freshers’ theatrical production. First of all it started off with the most unexpected audition anybody could imagine – we weren’t asked to “act”, we were told to be “as crazy and as insane as possible”. That sorted the wheat from the chaff, and those that will go on to form the greater part of the rational student body returned to the library. The rest of us in a fit of madness signed up for a three week game and improvisation period where the directors dragged us out of our shells. We had no choice but to lose our inhibitions and most of our dignity in the process. After that trial, we were given the script at last, and got thrown into an intensive rehearsal period. Two consecutive weekends were spent literally living in players’ theatre. Amidst training and rehearsals, the society ensured we, the cast and crew, were living in each others pockets, organizing evening activities every single night. It certainly improved our stamina by essentially forcing us to survive on nothing but
adrenaline tinged with exhaustion. It was a hard-core, intensive time together for six weeks doing everything that is fun; making a total fool out of ourselves, chilling out, going out and most of all, working together on something we all love. The concept of the show was for us, and the audience, to have fun and laugh our heads off. Every line in the script was a joke. The show included a joke about anything you could think of… even your crudest, most twisted thoughts. Everything was a laugh for us. Didn’t get the jokes? Not a single laugh? Don’t worry, you spent some precious 3 hours in the theatre, and you didn’t think it was funny. Now that’s hilarious. We’ll laugh for you. This is the co-op spirit. (However we did get tons of laughs!) For me, going to rehearsals was the most exciting event of the day – I couldn’t wait to burst out the creative energy and to express aspects of myself that I would never let go in daily life. Also, getting to know each of the co-opers’ characters and talents was the most inspiring, stimulating thing I experienced. I was constantly entertained. For those of you that caught the show that was sold out within 45 minutes most nights, we hope you our passionate and proposterous production of pranks, puns and pleasantry.
DU Orchestral Society and Trinity College Singers
Trinity societies to play in St Patrick’s Cathedral Michelle Picardo Ian Lahiffe
Speaking at the Hist-organised All-Ireland Schools’ Debating Competition last year. Photo: Mark Kearney
Second place at Oxford for Hist Christopher Kissane The Hist has continued its long tradition of debating success with a great start to this year’s season of debating competitions. In November and December, competitions are held across the British Isles to prepare teams for the World Debating Championships which take place over the New Year. These inter-varsity competitions bring students from universities all across the world together in one venue for a weekend debating issues from international affairs to social policy to moral issues. The Hist enjoyed tremendous success at the UCD Inter-Varsity competition at the beginning of the month, with two former officers of the society, David Boughton (SS Law) and Ciaran Denny (SS Biblical and Theological Studies) winning the competition, while fellow Hist debater David Kenny (JS Law) was judged the best speaker in the competition, and also reached the final with his partner Rachael Walsh (SS Law). Hist speakers Shane Farragher (JS History and Economics) and Kieran Curtis (SF Economics) made it to the semifinals, and seven of the top ten speakers were from The Hist. Issues debated in the competition included affirmative action in university admissions, youth crime, the Chinese one-child policy, and the Taliban’s role in Afghanistan. Boughton and Denny were victorious in the final, opposing the motion “That This House Would Legalise Ecstasy,” defeating their Hist colleagues as well as teams from Oxford and NUI Galway. The very next weekend, The Hist enjoyed more success at the prestigious
Oxford Inter-Varsity, hosted by the Oxford Union Society. The competition had involved discussions of divorce, child labour, Taiwan, immunity for public officials, and euthanasia for disabled infants. With over 140 teams from all over the world competing, the top 16 teams made it into the quarter-finals. Boughton and Denny knocked out teams from the King’s Inns, St Andrews, UCC and Yale on their way through to the grand final in the Oxford Union’s Chamber where they competed against teams from Yale, Stanford, and Cambridge. Despite a great performance from the Hist speakers, and stirring support from those from other Irish universities in the crowd, the Yale team were eventually victorious in the final, having opposed the motion that “This House would ban schemes which seek to cure homosexuality”. The Hist will be sending teams to the next intervarsity competition in UCC on the weekend of 1-2 December. This competition is a great opportunity for new speakers to take part, and is also a weekend of great fun in Cork. The Hist continues to run workshops for those interested in getting involved in debating or publicspeaking every Tuesday evening at 6.15 in the GMB. Trinity’s own intervarsity competition takes place from 25-27 January, and is co-hosted by the Hist and the Phil. The World Debating Championships take place in Vancouver in Canada over the New Year period, where The Hist’s teams of David Boughton and Ciarán Denny and Christopher Kissane (JS History) & Josephine Curry (JS Law) will be competing against the best teams in the world.
The Joly Geological Society will embark on their first major hike of this academic year on Saturday 16th December, when all course work has been wrapped up and a trip to Glendalough a fitting end to Michelmas term. The sign up sheet is up on the Geology board in the Museum Building. The Dart expedition was won on Thursady 16th November when two teams embarked from either end of the Dart line, stopping at every station on the way back into the city, to seek out a public building and name the building rock used. Competitive yet interesting enjoable and accesible, the society won the best society of the year award in 2005 and has been balancing the academic aspects with more sociable stimuli such as their movie evening where they screened Dante's Peak, awarding prizes for the members who spotted the most geological inaccuracies. A practical alternative to cramming in the library!
Historians publishing journal
“The concept of the show was for us, and the audience, to have fun and laugh our heads off”. Photo: Paul Carton
College Historical Society
The Joly Geological Society rocks
Have you ever walked through Front Square on a Tuesday evening, stopped and thought, who’s playing that music, soft, sometimes loud? No, it’s not the Berlin Philharmonic (although I can see why you’d think that), it’s your very own Trinity Orchestra rehearsing. They are preparing for their end of term concert to be held this year on Wednesday 29th November in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 8pm. The orchestra is huge this year, with a great cross section of people from different countries and various faculties. As this term’s conductor, Ian Lahiffe, has chosen the music which brings DU Orchestral Society and Trinity College Singers together. He is the conductor/chair of Singers and the choir is in fine voice this year, not to mention
the Boydell Singers, the all-female choir sister choir of the society. Not even a year since his conducting debut with the orchestra, Lahiffe has already proven his ability to tackle some of the more challenging works in the orchestral repertoire with a mature understanding and subtle confidence. One has only to observe a rehearsal to witness his pensive and sensitive approach to the music, and players alike. This approach, though slightly unusual, does not in any way hinder his sense of communication and musical control as a conductor. In fact, his manner is quite apt for the group of his peers with whom Lahiffe is working. Having risen to the challenge of conducting Gorecki’s symphony earlier this year,it will be interesting to see Lahiffe’s interpretation of the more romantic works (Beethoven, Elgar) as well as his handling of the choir and soloists in this concert. Lahiffe is a definite one-to-watch as an upcoming talent on the conducting scene,
in Ireland and perhaps even further afield. The Michaelmas Term concert will consist of two great works. Firstly, the orchestra will play Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. The soloists in this work are Cathy Stokes (piano), Kylie L’Estrange (violin) and Niall Trainor (cello). These wonderful musicians, who all study in Trinity are part of the only wholly student run orchestra in Ireland. The concerto is full of many delights, including a peachy second movement. The Music Makers by Elgar is the second piece, scored for choir and orchestra. The piece is somewhere between a freshers’ guide to Elgar and an Elgar goodiebag for those who like a good old tune. It is a fantastic programme in a wonderful venue and the orchestra and Singers will be all dressed up for your pleasure! Tickets for students are half price at €6 whilst regular entry is set at €12, there's no reason not to be in St Patrick's Cathedral 29th November at 8pm.
DU Visual Arts Society
Visual artists broadening awareness in College Eilise McGuane Trinity’s Visual Arts Society aims to broaden awareness of and participation in Ireland’s vibrant and dynamic visual arts scene. The Society organises gallery visits and other visual arts related excursions; lectures and workshops with artists, curators and writers associated with visual arts; film screenings as well as collaborating with Trinity Arts Workshop in organising practical life drawing and art classes. The Society is aimed at anyone who has an interest in visual arts or would like to develop such an interest. Already this year they have organised a talk about curatorial practices with the assistant curator of Trinity’s own Douglas Hyde Gallery. They are encouraging a more interactive programme this year with such activities as a walking tour of the city, with special access to some of the more private, less-frequented and independent galleries. Their screening of the three-part documentary, entitled “Picasso: Magic, Sex, Death” continues, so look out for the posters with details of the screening of part three on Wednesday 6 December and for further screenings throughout the year. They will be paying
On Friday 1 December Dublin University History Society will be visiting the Dracula Experience out in Clontarf as part of their interactive historical tour of Dublin. Continuing on with the theme of ghouls and ghastliness the following Thursday, 7 December, Dr Malcolm Gaskill from Cambridge University will be addressing the society on early modern witchhunts. In anticipation of the Christmas break, Derek Owens is finalising the latest society journal publication but is still accepting entries at email@example.com. It's a rare opportunity to have your academic work published in a non-critical environment, so seize the possibility afforded by your peers and submit your efforts.
Athbheochain Tradsoc Is deacair smaoineamh é nach raibh an Tradsoc ann an t-am seo dhá bhliain ó shin. Tar éis an chumainn ag dul i bhfiachas leis an CSC roinnt blianta ó shin, ní raibh siad ag feidhmniú ar chor ar bith, ach tháinig grúpa le chéile, le grá mór acu don cheol traidisiúnta, agus theastaigh uathu an cumann a athbhunú. Ach de réir rialacha an CSC, ní féidir le cumann a bheith gníomhach le haghaidh cúig bhliain má tá airgead mhór caillte acu. Ach tar éis dóibh airgead a thuilleamh chun na fiacha seo (nár bhain leo go pearsanta) a aisíoc, tugadh aitheantas dóibh ón CSC. Anois, níos lú ná dhá bliain ar aghaidh, tá clú agus cáil ar an gcumann ar fud an choláiste. Fiú nach bhfuil ach cúpla seachtain imigh an téarma seo, tá said tar éis imeachtaí a dhéanamh le go leor cumainn eile sa choláiste ar nós an Hist, an Cumann Gaelach, agus cumann Naomh Uinseann de Phól. Sheinneadar ag an Céilí Mór sa Bhutrach, ceann de na himeachtaí ab fhearr a bhí ann i rith seachtain na bhFreashers’. Amach anseo, tá go leor imeachtaí eile á eagrú acu, agus is léir go mbeidh said ag dul i bhfeabhas le roinnt blianta eile, tar éis tús láidir an ré nua seo. Bíonn seisiúin oscailte acu gach oíche Céadaoin in O'Donoghue's ar Merrion Row, agus tá fáilte roimh chách teacht chuige.Tá níos mó eolas faoin Tradsoc ar fáil ar an suíomh idirlíon csc.tcd.ie/~tradmus, agus coinnigh súil (nó cluas) amach don cheol timpeall ar an gcampas.
Photographers holding exhibition
The College’s Visual Arts Society performing at the Trinity Arts Festival this year. Photo: Eilise McGuane a visit to the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday December 1 and to Francis Bacon’s studio in the Hugh Lane Gallery in the New Year. The Visual Arts Society plays an active role in the annual Trinity Arts Festival, running this year from 1216 February 2007 and there are a number of really exciting projects in the pipeline! On Wednesday 29 November they will be hosting their annual fund-raising table quiz downstairs in Doyle’s Pub on College Green, starting at 8pm. The quiz
is great fun every year and not just for art heads. Tables are only 12 Euro for a group of four and even if you can’t get a full team together, come along and join up with strangers. The Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening will be the beautiful CSC chair, Kat Sheane, as energetic as ever, behind the mic she’ll keep you all entertained whist the amazing prizes on offer, such as a yummy dinner for two in Mongolian Barbeque, are won. If you are not in, you can’t win!
Next Tuesday night sees the Michealmas term exhibition/Christmas party at DUPA, Trinity's Photographic Association. In a break from tradition the exhibition will be hosted not in the Atrium but off-campus in FilmBase in Temple Bar, opening at 8pm. The upcoming exhibition is aimed at getting members involved; with no set theme governing content, no hard restrictions on print sizes and no rules regarding digital and film-based photographs, it is hoped that as many members as possible will submit their work. The association has several beginner-level SLR cameras for members to borrow and experiment with what they have learnt in classes, and this exhibition offers a perfect chance to show what they have been up to.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
DU Muslim Students’ Association
DU Christian Union
Muslim students organising events in College
St Francis’s words are relevant now
Raya Kalaldeh TCD Muslim society has started its events for this year. Monday, 20 November, the society had a cultural event, featuring seven college students from different countries (Ireland, Iraq, Mauritius Island, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt) who gave short presentations on how they celebrate ‘eid’ the holiday which immediately follows after a month of fasting, Ramadan, in their homelands. The presenters displayed pictures of their countries and peoples. At the end, there was a generous reception of different mixtures of cuisines, particularly, authentic Arabic coffee and pastries, and delicious Malaysian appetisers. Around 60 people attended the event which was held at the GMB. The audience of different faiths expressed their excitement and astonishment at how interesting and little they knew about each others cultures. In Jordan, for example you have to wiggle your cup of coffee to show your host that you have had enough, and the announcement of eid in Nigeria starts with gun shots! The society (MSA) was started in 1998; it aims at introducing the college community to different cultures of the international Muslim students and at the same time introducing the Irish culture to new Muslim students who have started their study in TCD by organising city tours and discussion groups. It also provides assistance to whoever wants to learn about the Muslim tradition, art, and culture, partic-
Roman Catholic chaplain Father Patrick Gleeson with members of the DU Muslim Students’ Association at a recent event in the Graduates’ Memorial Building ularly students and staff members doing research areas in history, theology, language, or any field relevant to Muslims and their culture. The society’s members are both Muslim and non-Muslim with a membership of around 150. A discussion group runs on different
days, whenever there is an interesting topic raised by any college member. All suggested topics or events from college members are welcomed. Feel free to contact the society at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a guest book on the society website csc.tcd.ie/~muslim where you
DU Paintball and Speedball Society
can post your comments. If you want to know about Chilly Malaysian food, African traditions, or Arabic language MSA is the place, just drop a line to the MSA email. Salaam!
Fern McCauley The Christian Union weekend away this year took place in Avoca Manor in Avoca, Co Wicklow and this year the emphasis was on prayer and evangelism and how they can be relevant in our lives today. Greg Fromholz from the Church of Ireland was the charismatic guiding speaker for the few days. One may think prayer would be a boring topic and evangelism, well, a scary one. Not so. This weekend proved that “one” would be wrong in thinking that and that in today’s consumer culture there is little that is more relevant and more necessary in living life to the full. It was a more interactive talk this year which allowed us intelligent university students to feel special and to think a bit. Greg spoke on how “prayer is a recognition of reality”. What he meant by this is that God meets you where you realise that you need something beyond yourself. When you pray to God with belief that only he can answer your prayer, and not to believe in the back of your mind that, really, you can fix whatever you are praying for yourself. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus teaches us to pray using “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”; it is not just in some afterlife that the reality of God is to be witnessed, but right here and now. This is what we realised reality is, having a relationship with God, so that we can make the world into the kind of place God can come to and make ourselves into the kind of people who can do God’s work. Fromholz talked about the consumer culture and challenged us asking, “are we
defined by our consumerism?” We have grown up in a spoon fed culture where everything is at our fingertips: information, food, entertainment. Everything is orientated to the self and making things easier for the self, resulting in a wasting away and denigration of our culture. The Christian Union feels the answer is prayer, and through prayer, evangelism. Evangelism is a word with a muddied reputation but this weekend acknowledged that the roots of evangelism lie not in street preaching but in the simple commandment to love one another. Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel at all times and only when necessary use words”. What evangelism should do in today’s culture is simply love people and serve people. How we actually do this was summed up in, “if we fail to pray then we fail to love and if we fail to love then we fail”. Of course there was banter to be had on the weekend as well: a giant game of hide and seek in a old, dark house is always a bit of laugh no matter who or how old you are, to be quite honest, but the teaching on the weekend resulted in us leaving the weekend with more to think about than ourselves. The Christian Union has been in Trinity since 1922 and is a non-denominational group which acts as a platform for worship and discussion, holding weekly meetings on Thursdays at 7:15 in Regent House, but there are also smaller gatherings to focus on certain relevant issues. Their second twelve-hour prayer day on the 30th November will be held in room 36, house 6 and all are welcome. The Carols by Candlelight service will be held in Regent House December 7th at 7:15pm.
University Biological Association
Paintballers having a good time, despite their theft of the DU Football Club’s arms.
Good year for paintballers Kevin Byrne It’s been a good year so far in DUPSS, the Trinity Paintball society. So far this year we’ve managed to haul ourselves out to the Wicklow mountains on two separate occasions for an afternoon of fun in the forests. Paintball this year has continued to bring together people from across the spectrum of Trinity society – BESS girl and computer student, fresher and confused exchange student, conscientious pacifist and American gun nut (it’s in the constitution, son) alike. All in the spirit of good, clean (metaphorically speaking) fun in a tightly controlled atmosphere of mid-level violence.
We organise trips to a number of different sites every few weeks or so. One can reliably expect to see the hard-core members on every trip – the kind who sleep with their own paintball guns and like to dress in camouflage at completely inappropriate times. But the bulk is made of people on their first or second trip who just fancy a nice day out. While it may not be to everybody’s taste, it’s guaranteed you’ll have some pretty interesting tales to tell after each trip. Maybe you shot your boyfriend in the face. Maybe you got a bruise that looks like Pat Kenny. Maybe you found yours truly hiding up a tree reading a newspaper. It’s sure to be a memorable experience, anyways. Unfortunately, the firing range that we
were helping to organise with the St. Vincent De Paul Society for VdeP Day had to be cancelled due to the horrible weather on Wednesday 15 November – but we can expect to see its triumphant return to Front Square during Rag Week. It’s just too good an opportunity to live the dream and gun down someone right in front of the campanile. There’s plenty more to come. The next trip will be happening later this term, as well as the Christmas DUB Crawl (when we all eat lots of Marks & Spencer’s pudding and wear ill-fitting Santa hats in the traditional manner of the Christmas pub crawl). For more information on how to take part in the societies technicolour fun visit us at dupss.com.
Trinity’s medicine students’ “Med Day” was a success again this year with over €90,000 raised for neonatal care units in Dublin hospitals. Photos: Tighe Crombie
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
“I see dead people” as bog bodies attack Trinity Christopher Hallworth It was like a scene from one of those classic horror films a few weeks ago when members of the college Archaeology Society and general unsuspecting members of the College community were given a fascinating, if slightly frightening presentation on bog bodies. These sinister forms, found in bogs around the midlands of Ireland have been causing quite a stir amongst those interested in the topic and even with those of you who just visit the museum during one of your increasingly rare intellectual moments. These bodies were discovered during the past number of years largely by the actions of peat cutting machines harvesting bogs and just by pure chance throwing out a few ancient remains. Being over two thousand years old with fingernails intact you can understand how scary this actually was. So, there we were in eager anticipation of the presentation when suddenly the lights dimmed, a cold shiver ran down ours spines and the overhead projector kicked into action. Then to our horror, before our very eyes a hand appeared on the screen. Seized by terror all we could do was look at its leathery texture and fist clasped tight as though about to reach out and grab hold of us. Thankfully just as I started to sweat the slides moved on and we were treated to another body, this time in the form of a head. Equally as amazing this one had long locks of its golden hair intact that had been shaped into a rather peculiar style with a very trendy fringe. Looking on in admiration at such great taste in the ancient period at least one person in the room was heard to say that they may take the picture with them the next time they visit their hairdresser and ask for a similar style. However, this enormous sense of respect for the bog man was lost by something equally as enormous… his nose! Indeed the speaker went on to explain to us the reason for this was the fact that before the man’s death he had been hit across the face with what appeared to be an axe. Unfortunately for him it gave him a face that looked rather
Viewing the bog bodies: we must ask ourselves, how or why were these people killed? Did they just accidentally fall into a bog for us to find them two millennia later? Photos:Christopher Hallworth more suited to Michael Jackson. However, this light relief did not last long as once again the projector kicked into action and the slide reveiled another bog man. This was a truly terrifying experience. A body without a head or lower torso but arms that were outstretched as if wrought with pain, it seemed as if this particular piece would have been better suited in the workshop of Dr Frankenstein. Next we heard of how, upon the discovery of the body, a team of experts from the Garda had successfully carried out finger printing on the body which revealed many of the same patterns that would be normal today.
Unfortunately due to the age of the remains the international database did not turn up any matches but none the less we can assume that whoever this man was, he was not a common criminal. Therefore, we must ask ourselves, how or why were these people killed? Did they just accidentally fall into a bog for us to find them two millennia later? Well the answer is more sinister than you might think. It seems that in the weird and wonderful history of Ireland these people were part of a tradition of ritual human sacrifice. In fact, it seems likely that they were men of high society who had been sacrificed to various deities to ensure their
good will. So detailed are these bodies that experts were able to carry out investigations on their internal organs to reveal some startling facts. One of the bog men had eaten a large meat diet previous to death and the other a large plant diet. It therefore seems likely that they may have been sacrificed as part of seasonal festivals to encourage fertility of the land and a good harvest in the year to come. What is even worse is the fact that there is evidence to suggest that at least one of the men may have been a king who had been deposed from power and killed to ensure he never tried to return to his throne. To that end he had been stabbed at least once,
disembowelled, beheaded and buried in a bog. If that is the sort of privilege one can expect by being a king I think it is an honour I would rather not have. Moving away from the more disturbing finds the speaker went on to tell us about the other artefacts associated with the bogs. These include bowls, swords and utensils al of which are equally as fascinating. One in particular displays images of the gods of Ireland before the advent of Christianity and one person wearing a very unfashionable set of deer antler as accessories to his religious practice. Also on display were reconstructions of some of the clothing that would have been
available to these people. Consisting of Cattle skin in a rather uncomfortable looking position it is unlikely you will see anything similar in Versace’s next collection. It seems that the hair styles mentioned earlier really were the only thing these people had going for them in the fashion stakes. So as the evening drew to a close that dreaded projector once again returned to the image of the hand to give us all one last fright. Having been through such a harrowing experience by this stage I had to turn to the person next to me and confess “I see dead people”.
Rules of attraction: five ways to attract that man Emily Monk Winter with its finger numbing temperatures and icy blasts seems to have frighteningly crept up on us, and with the slide into Christmas coming perilously near we all could do with a little winter warming. Suddenly going out has lost its sparkle because it’s raining and the need for a snuggling partner is ever-more apparent, and yet the time to nab them, before they escape to wherever the hell all us student come from, is getting smaller by the day. Incidentally, the couple of new faces that look like they may fit the picture may soon realise the error of their nymphomaniacal freshers’ week ways and discover that sadly Trinity isn’t just sex drugs and rock and roll. So you’d best get in there fast. What I offer below is a little advice on some of the classic tried-and-tested luring methods: First up is the “play hard to get”. Basically, this technique involves the simple tactics of “playing it cool”. Should you have caught someone’s attention with your amorous advances suddenly confuse the hell out of them by pretending you couldn’t care less if they were a microbiology text book. Hold out at least 24 hours before replying, casually, to a message. Smile and nod (or wave calmly and subtly) from across the Arts Building or wherever, and look incredibly busy and “on your way”. Aloofness is key if you want to take this approach. Be extra friendly to surrounding persons when he/she is in sight, and always look like you are having a fantastic time. (Laughing hysterically with the whole tossed back head and tear wiping is always a good way to portray aforementioned cheerfulness). Hopefully the thrill of the chase may encourage your prey to make the first move, however much more
likely to happen is that the victim of your tactics finding your inconsistent and aloof will probably just assume you are disinterested and move on. Alternatively, if subtlety is not your thing, there is always the method of flattery/interest. If on a night out and the object of your desire just “happens” to be in the same bar/club (this coincidence will obviously be pre-arranged through your research), then you can pay him/her so much attention that they feel guilty enough to kiss you. This is an indirect form of lunging. On the plus side this tactic has a pretty good success rate. No beating around the bush here – a more “take me or leave me” approach. Unfortunately, as you may have noted, this approach is not too subtle and thus could prove to be highly embarrassing. Please note that as alcohol intake increases the fervour of your advances tends to correspond and thus it is quite easy to go that bit too far thus resulting in him/her running miles. If your target is in a different group of friends, it is sometimes much easier to get with them. Simply make best mates with all of their friends. Flirt outrageously with all of their associates, get invited to the same house parties, and pay slightly less attention to the one you are preying on. You will become the “new legend” of the group simply by being a novel acquaintance, and, with any luck, he/she will be miffed that you seem less interested in them and thus make an extra effort with you … piece of cake. This is a great excuse to expand your social circle and make some new mates, but I suppose there is always the chance that their friends won’t like you and instead of being the “novel legend” you will be that annoying person who lurks and follows the group around. Hmmm. No one likes a lurker. Perhaps in this situation increase
your level of activity until you are no longer a lurker but a stalker, this way you may not have friends but will at least have ingratiated yourself into a hobby practiced by hundreds of people for hundreds of years. Next up, if you are looking for a longtermer then the best friend option could be the technique for you. All you have to do is make him/her your best friend, simple. Tactics for this include asking interesting questions, finding out what they are “into” and boffing-up on equestrianism/opera/Lego puzzles. It will help if you are doing the same course, as pre-lecture waiting minutes are perfect for above-type questions. Also, you can then manipulate seating arrangements to allow neighbourship, and pass funny but unflirty messages. It is perhaps a good idea, when the amity is forming, to casually mention a girl/boy you really like, just to put it out there that you are only looking for friendship… obviously. The nice part is you will get to know person well before subjecting yourself to a relationship, and know that in return they like you and are not just after free-love. However, as plans go this one’s pretty time consuming, and doesn’t always work. Added to this they may of course merely think you are a bit weird and the whole “I’m only looking for a friend” may seem desperate or alternatively, rather obviously insincere. Maybe it’s best to aim for one with contacts. If one of your friends knows him/her. There are several ways to take advantage of this association. 1. Have a dinner party and get all your guests to bring a +1. Demand in no uncertain terms that your friend brings along your target. You then inform all the other guests of a cancellation and quickly dispose of your friend when they arrive with lust victim in tow. Methods of disposure include locking in loo; insisting he/she
makes a very long phone call; sending him or her out for more milk / bread / potatoes; amongst others. You then do the whole ‘well you’re here now, we might as well eat the shepherds pie that happens to be in the fridge. 2. Get the mutual friend to talk about you. A lot. Some good, and not quite so obvious references could be, “Fred told the funniest joke the other day – he doesn’t seem that funny at first, but he really is.” Or, “I’m going to have to go the gym, Fred goes the whole time.” Perhaps a more direct and positive line could be, “Emma is just so fit. Everyone is obsessed with her. It’s not often someone that beautiful is nice as well.” 3. Get your friend to invite you both to places and then make sure he never turns up. Examples include, the cinema, a college rugby match, a debate… etc. You then spot the hunk a hunk of burning love you are attempting to entrap and say, ‘Oh hey there, I’m just waiting for Fred.’ When they reply, ‘Me too’, you can laugh together at how forgetful Fred is for not remembering the occasion, and if it seems obvious, you can giggle at the fact he is trying to set you up, and offer that you ‘might as well go and have a drink whilst we’re here’ Unfortunately, as you can see this route is also less than subtle. Also, you have to rope in your friends to help, at which they may be less than keen, at such an ‘uncool’ procedure of luring. Sadly as you can see act of attracting a mate is not so easy when you’re a penniless Trinity student. The course between boy meets girl to the birds and the bees is less simple when wining and dining is out of the question and so give a try to some of these handy tips, but remember, if its just warmth and a bit of company your after you may be easier just snuggling up with the dog!
Penguins and birds seem to find courting rather straightforward; attracting a mate is not so easy when you’re a penniless Trinity student. Photos: Emily Monk
Bank of Ireland, Trinity Branch Bank of Ireland has been operating on campus in Trinity College since August 1993 and enjoys a great relationship with both students and faculty of the college. The location of the branch just by the buttery restaurant allows ease of access for students to take care of their day-to-day banking requirements and Bank of Ireland are delighted to be launching their recently refurbished premises. Caroline Cashin campus branch manager: “We in the Trinity campus branch of Bank of Ireland are committed to providing a high quality banking service for all our customers and value highly the business of both the students and faculty of the college. Our business has grown substantially over the last 13 years and I am delighted to say that orientation week this year was our most successful ever. Our focus is to continue to be the number one provider of financial services on the Trinity College campus and our experienced team of myself, Phonsie O’Shea, Helen Carberry and Linda Kelly are always delighted to be of assistance” Bank of Ireland offers an excellent range of products and services designed especially for students. Services range from free online and telephone banking for when you can’t make it to the branch, to student loans, with their range of interest free loans being of particular interest! The Trinity College affinity credit card has also proven to be a huge success with an attractive picture of the college on the card. Students who avail of this service are also making a valuable financial contribution to the Trinity Foundation. A big advantage of being a Bank of Ireland customer is the dedicated graduate unit across the road in College Green where branch manager Pat Mullen and his team will take care of all your banking needs when you graduate and will continue to do so throughout a lifelong banking relationship. Trinity branch opening hours are 10:30am to 4pm daily and a full service is available throughout lunchtime
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Don’t abandon the idea of a “Republican congress” yet Have Americans moved towards the centre? Are the Republicans doomed to irrelevance? Edward Gaffney shows Republicans are far from doomed. There’s no doubt that November’s congressional elections in the United States roused a lot of interest around the world. The swing to the Democrats earned widespread coverage in every branch of the media and encouraged debate on the new possibilities for America’s future. The question is, has anything really changed? Do the Democrats have a clear mandate for their policies? Have Americans moved towards the centre? Are the Republicans doomed to irrelevance? The answer to all these questions is no. The new majority party still has a lot of work to do to guarantee re-election in Congress in 2008, never mind winning the presidency that year. The last major change in Congress came about in 1994, when the Republicans took the House for the first time in forty years. President Clinton was embroiled in Whitewater and the failure of Hillary’s healthcare plan to win any support on Capitol Hill, but this wasn’t enough for his opponents to make significant gains. What won out in the end was two positive promises from the Republicans to America. Firstly, they committed themselves to “cleaning up politics” by ending the corruption and poor practice that built up over a generation of Democratic incumbency. More importantly, they provided Americans with a succinct plan for reforming legislation, the Contract for America, which had small, responsible government at its heart. This gave the Republicans a mandate to carry out reform, without risking accusations that the electorate didn’t choose a conservative agenda just because they voted to oppose Clinton. Contrast this with 2006 – a clear mandate for positive action is something that the Democrats don’t have. The new majority party campaigned on only one policy innovation of their own – increasing the minimum wage. Everything else that they’ve promised so far is a reaction to Republican policies, like an investigation into the Iraq war. This hurts politics in two ways. Firstly,
Americans seem to be facing an ideas drought from the congressional majority party, whose job it is in all democracies to innovate rather than react to the opposition. Secondly, when they do introduce new policy ideas, they face the charge from conservatives that the people didn’t vote for a Democratic agenda, but rather, that they wanted to punish the Republicans for failing to deliver good government. It’s this central position of the agenda of their opponents that carries within it one of the biggest threats to the Democrats. The strength of the conservative agenda in American politics isn’t as much a result of Republican dominance in government as the cause of that dominance. This rightwing agenda is so strong because a large swathe of America believes in it – from moderate and evangelical Christians, to foreign policy hawks, to libertarians. Surprisingly enough, Americans’ swing to the Democrats doesn’t necessarily mean that they believe in conservatism any less. Many Democratic gains in the House of Representatives were made by candidates from the conservative wing of the party – the so-called “Blue Dogs” – in regions like the Rockies. This introduces people with non-liberal views on issues such as abortion and gay marriage into the Democratic caucus. On the Senate side, we have the defeat of moderate Republicans like Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, though the loss of some ultra-conservatives balances this out. The common theme is that voters rejected the conservative party’s candidates, but not conservative values. That should worry the Democrats. The idea of a “Republican realignment” – that the Republicans have transformed into America’s natural party of government, who set the agenda and win such broad-based support as to guarantee their long-term dominance – is popular among political researchers. Combine this position with the continued presidency of George W. Bush and the result is a continuation of the pre-election
“The strength of the conservative agenda in American politics isn’t as much a result of Republican dominance in government as the cause of that dominance. This right-wing agenda is so strong because a large swathe of America believes in it.” Photo: Edward Gaffney situation, where the Republicans propose ideas and the Democrats react to them. This means the Democrats can be outflanked and portrayed as negative and reactive, not positive and proactive. But that’s a natural result of American values remaining basically the same. Clearly, this election wasn’t really a move to the left, or even towards the centre, rather than merely a pounding for the Republicans under George Bush. Why did Americans reject the rightwing Republican Party this time, if they are still basically conservative? A large part of the reason is that Republicans themselves have been discredited. Republicans in Congress have engaged in the kind of bad behaviour that they swore
they wouldn’t allow back when they were in opposition – from the corruption associated with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, to the sex scandal of Mark Foley’s teenage staffers. Most voters who switched sides cited corruption as the number one reason for their change. On top of that, the party of “small government” continued to oversee an increase in government spending and waste, discrediting its integrity in the eyes of its core activists, and alienating many conservative-leaning voters. One of the largest factors in Republican defeats, though, was the huge unpopularity of President Bush. Six years in office have led to a snowballing track record of executive disasters, but the last two years have seen the most egregious examples, from
Hurricane Katrina to the conduct of the war in Iraq. To their credit, the administration recognised that the Democrats’ victory was largely their fault. The unpopular Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was replaced by Robert Gates, a trusted confidant of George W Bush’s father’s administration. This kind of move seems designed to prepare the Republicans for a change of focus. If it also helps them appear more competent, one big reason for the Republican defeat will have vanished in time for the presidential and congressional elections in 2008. This election was not a landslide by any measure. American politics is still on a tipping point, and the difference between
the two parties in polling for the 2008 elections is negligible. The Democrats need to improve their policy weaknesses if they want to keep their majority position. The Republicans must prove that they can govern better if they want to retain the one branch of government they now control. But the fundamentals haven’t changed, and neither have the underlying factors that have put conservative values in the ascendancy. Don’t consign the idea of a “Republican Congress” to the history books just yet. • Edward Gaffney is Honorary Secretary of the University Philosophical Society.
The Greens’ path to government John McGuirk “The left”, Ronald Reagan once famously declared, “has ceased to be the breeding ground of ideas. The left of politics is now its conservative wing, and the radicalism is on the right”. Margaret Thatcher, countering Reagan’s thesis that the left had been deprived of all intellectual vigour, responded with an argument, as outlined in her most recent work Statecraft, that the left did indeed have a new intellectual movement that could “threaten all that we have worked to achieve”. That threat, she said, came from the environmental movement. As always, Mrs Thatcher was, politically at least, a decade ahead of her time, because today, in the form of green parties across Europe, and the adoption of the environmental agenda by parties of the left and right alike, the environmental movement is at the spearhead of the left’s new intellectual revival. The Irish Green Party is now the second largest party of the left in this country, and is rapidly closing in on Labour in terms of raw vote numbers. Indeed, this forthcoming election provides the Greens with the opportunity to achieve a historic breakthrough. So how can it be done? Politically, the Green Party was always going to be a self-limiting venture, or at least that was the danger. By defining itself for over a decade by a single issue, it limited its appeal to wealthy liberal suburbians and college students for whom the
environment was an affordable concern. This problem was compounded by the ability of other parties to co-opt some of the Greens’ more cost-friendly initiatives, and as such to peel voters for whom the environment was a concern away from them. In 2002, the Greens achieved something of a breakthrough with the surprising election of six deputies to the Dáil, something which they hailed as an environmental awakening on the behalf of the population – but the truth was slightly different. The Greens’ success in 2002 was based primarily on the weakness of the two main opposition parties, and the lack of an effective transfer pact between them. Four Green TDs alone were elected with out even coming close to garnering a quota, and were that performance repeated next time out, in a more polarised political environment with a real choice between two alternative governments, there is little doubt that the Greens’ successes in 2002 would swiftly be reversed. As such, the Greens have a difficult job. They are naturally, in the public consciousness, associated with the alternative coalition of Enda Kenny and Pat Rabbitte, though they do not form a formal part of that arrangement, and as such will not reap any benefits from it. However, it would be foolish for the Greens to seek to tie themselves to the alternative in the run-in to next year’s poll, for a very simple reason: voters voting for the alternative will vote for the candidate from that alliance best positioned to take a seat
from Fianna Fáil or the PDs – and there will be no constituency where that candidate is a Green. Thus the Greens would lose votes that might ordinarily go their way to Labour, or worse still from their perspective, to Fine Gael. Also, the Greens cannot with any credibility attach themselves to a coalition government that they’ve spent five years attacking, for fear of losing their natural voters to Labour. So, what do they do? Simply put, they go after Labour. The Labour Party, as I will outline in the next edition, is in its weakest electoral position since the mid 80s, and will be lucky to hold all of their current seats – never mind securing any gains. The Greens have done a fantastic job in recent years of realising that they can talk about issues other than the environment, and that their name alone ensures credibility on that issue. As such, they should look to attack Labour from the socially liberal left, which has been exposed by Labour’s attachment to a once-again conservative Fine Gael. By attacking Fine Gael’s more illiberal positions – the proposal to conscript young offenders, for example – the Greens can do two things: firstly, they appeal to Labour voters uncomfortable with the Rabbitte strategy, but who know that the Greens can be trusted to uphold Labour principles in an independent way; and secondly, they reassure the Fine Gael base that their party is worth voting for – because if the Greens oppose something it must be worth supporting! This strategy, then, maximises the
Trevor Sargent’s party’s strategy “weakens Labour, and it also increases Fine Gael’s credibility with the conservative right”. Photo: Union of Students in Ireland Greens’ chances of government. It weakens Labour, and should deliver seats to the Greens in places like Galway West and Carlow-Kilkenny, while strengthening their vulnerable base in Dublin, and it also increases Fine Gael’s credibility with the conservative right. Even in the event that FG and Labour fail to come close to having the numbers for a coalition with Green support, the Greens retain the alter-
native of coalition with Fianna Fáil, amid promises to drag that party in a new direction. Attacking Fianna Fáil, alas, is futile for the Greens, since their criticisms will be drowned out by those of Labour and FG. As such, their only way to make an impact is to go after the alternative coalition; their criticisms will garner attention, and votes. And crucially, it leaves them in
a win-win situation. FF will be more amenable to coalition with a party that attacked FG, and FG and Labour will need their support to make up the numbers. Let the games begin. • John McGuirk is Eastern Area Officer of the Union of Students in Ireland.
EDITORIAL AND LETTERS 9
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
To the Editor 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Lincoln’s Inn will not be much of a student pub This newspaper did not raise a glass to the news that Lincoln’s Inn, the Trinity College pub just outside the Lincoln Place gate, is due to be reopened in 2007. The flaws with this plan are so great, and the benefits to students so negligible, that this proposed replacement for the Buttery is anything but. There are a lot of reasons why the Buttery closed, but they all come down to money. Let’s look at it from the perspective of dismal economists. Margins were fairly poor, due to the relatively low prices of drinks, unionised staffing, and intense competition in terms of evening events. Compounding this is the sheer number of suppliers in this market – there are simply so many city centre pubs which have raised their game in recent years when the Buttery stood still. That’s why the Pavilion Bar had to be redesigned – students simply demand better these days. Where’s the proof that Lincoln’s Inn will avoid these problems and actually survive as the viable commercial entity it’s being advertised as? If the demand for a student bar is only enough to keep one place in College going, opening another won’t increase the demand. At worst, it could divide the market, leaving both outlets in the lurch and destroying not only the convivial atmosphere of the Pav, but also harming its financial position. Even if students wanted or needed another place to drink with each other, the practical elements of this proposal mean they won’t get one. For one thing, the location of Lincoln’s Inn doesn’t suit the concept of a Trinity pub at all – a place for the thirsty student to refresh oneself within our secluded island of academic tranquillity, as the Buttery was or as the Pav is. The idea of going out to the Westland Row area to do this, among the noise and hurry of the city and the poorly maintained buildings on Lincoln Place, won’t appeal to the discerning student. The distance from the northwest end of College, where the most vibrant extra-curricular student activity takes place, is also undesirable. The other advantage of student bars which local pubs currently lack – reasonable prices – probably won’t come about either. In its wisdom, College has allowed a private concern to run this pub, and it’s reasonable to expect them to charge the same prices as other local bars, since the profit motive will reign supreme. Contrast this with the ethos of student centre and union bars around Ireland and Britain, where prices are often half those of even the Pav, let alone the privately-owned pubs near Trinity. The only conclusion is that Lincoln’s Inn won’t fill a need in the lives of Trinity’s student population. Most students don’t want another Buttery – there’s no gap in the market. Even for those who do, the practical aspects like location and price weigh against this desire. With the closure of the Buttery, Trinity College has been reduced from having two student pubs to having only one. Unless this newspaper is mistaken, re-opening Lincoln’s Inn won’t change that fact one bit.
A generic logo will eventually be imposed on us Last year, Dublin’s second university abandoned its legitimately granted arms to assume a ridiculous-looking “crest”. Queen’s University had already ditched their armorial achievement for a modern looking “Q”. The National University of Ireland has now followed suit, proudly displaying on its website a warped version of its 1912 arms. Sadly, it seems inevitable that our own ancient academy will eventually be faced with a similar mess when the administrators decide that we need an internationally recognised identity. We can be sure that whatever corporate branding company is hired for this purpose will not opt to retain the College’s arms as our main symbol. Convinced of the value of novelty, perennial tradition will be thrown out in favour of an experimental identity. Busybody administrators with a distaste for the past and a fear of the future are sure to initiate this rebranding scheme before long. After all, it would be entirely in keeping with their treatment of the College as if it is a company. We can only hope that the modernisers are kept at bay, and that the College’s arms (dating to at least 1612) remain our chief symbol, and that the arms of the University of Dublin also continue to be used where appropriate.
Student sabbaticals please, but with tight restrictions The decision to set up a group to look into the matter of students taking sabbatical years while acting as heads of societies and clubs is to be applauded. The status of such students needs to be defined in a concise manner, and guidelines drawn up as to who can be eligible for such sabbaticals. Currently at least ten people hold student cards yet are not reading a subject; rather they are performing – full-time – the duties of their society or other institution. Few would argue that nobody should be afforded this privilege. Indeed, it seems that the duties of the heads of some groups could not be carried out if they were also faced with the task of doing well in their academic subject. This is particularly true for those who would have entered the Senior Sophister year, the year which those who are most qualified to lead large student groups would have otherwise entered. The status of such a person, from the College’s perspective, must be taken into account when he is considered for sabbatical office. Thankfully, the Irish Universities Act of 1997 considers as a student, apart from those reading for a degree, “a full-time officer of the Students’ Union or other student representative body in the university recognised by the governing authority who was first elected or appointed to his or her office while he or she was a registered student of the university”. This could surely cover those students who lead large societies or other groups. If not, a structure could be put in place, as in some other universities, where a students’ representative council is technically the overseer of student groups. Despite the above, a sabbatical free-for-all must be avoided, and a committee or other group would need to define which groups are eligible to propose one or more of their members for sabbatical studentships recognised by the College. A line needs to be drawn somewhere, or we could be brought back to the days before restrictions were set on repeating academic years, when perennial undergraduates were a feature of Trinity’s student population. Furthermore, the line drawn should be quite restrictive; a minimum of year-off students should be permitted, with such permission limited only to those who clearly both require the time off and serve a substantial amount of students by their work. An arrangement like this can only serve to improve student life for all those to take the trouble to involve themselves in College activities.
Phil President betrays surprising lack of diplomacy Sir, – I am writing in response to a front page article on Tuesday October 31st that reported on the recent complaint lodged against several society posters for their depiction of women. I was dismayed at the response to this complaint by certain students, as the issue is clearly in need of confronting. Just over a week ago, a disgusted male friend of mine pointed out a poster for the Poker Society which advertised the registration for “Monday Night Poker”. For those who did not see this, I will describe the contents: There are three women in white silhouette, one holding a
whip. The second woman is standing in profile, while the third kneels behind her with her hands bound and her face pressed up to the other woman’s ass. Oh, and someone went to the trouble of including three faint playing cards behind the figures, lest we be too distracted by the pornography to realise what the poster is for. I can only assume that because the women are silhouettes and not actual photographs that this poster has escaped the notice of most. I admit that I found it absolutely outrageous. This is the main
We can place ourselves side by side with Oxford and Cambridge Sir, – I welcome (as I am sure do you) the report by John Walshe in the Irish Independent of 8 November in which Trinity in the arts is ranked in 39th position, above Cornell (no less), Brown, and Pennsylvania in the US, and St Andrews and York in the UK. This is a wonderful achievement in the light of underfunding over many years. I hope that, among others, An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Education Minister Mary Hanafin take pride in these figures. They hold out the promise of placing Ireland (and Trinity in
particular) at the forefront of the World’s universities. Funding in the arts is relatively inexpensive and with a little more investment we can place ourselves where we have always belonged, that is, side by side with Oxford and Cambridge. I am vain enough to think that we have always in spirit been there. Not every college has to cope with the fall-out of an Easter Rising. Yours etc, – Dr Gerald Morgan School of English
Free fees great news for economic growth and social justice Sir, – Your Leader “Re-introduction of fees will give College a needed cash injection” (31st October) was both facile and inaccurate. Your own article on Trinity’s €9.4m loss attributed it to “totalitarian management” rather than a dearth of finance. You paint a picture of falling services, academics voting with their feet and the insidious evil of ARAM. How can you advocate a return of fees yet lament the removal of subsidies to a bar? Research funding has trebled in the last five years. The modernisation of out-dated management structures, rather than sounding the death knell of the liberal arts, gives an
unprecedented level of autonomy to individual departments and redirects monies to where they are most needed. The Times league tables once again ranked Trinity as Ireland’s top University and we compare favourably with world leaders in many areas. Since free education was established ten years ago the number of students has rocketed to over 50% of all school leavers. This is great news for economic growth and social justice. Yours etc, Kevin Lynch JS Economic and Social Studies
The Agent Hello, underlings. Always the sports fan, the Agent was absolutely thrilled at the Football Club’s glorious victory over Belfield IT in the annual rugby Colours match, and happy to see the players rejoicing in their victory. The next day, the Agent understands that several of the Club’s young old boys in London took themselves off to Fabric nightclub – a fine establishment that stays open till the early hours. Everyone in attendance was allegedly “ecstatic” during the celebrations. Fair play, lads. Going from a high then, to a low, the Agent is told that the Hist’s collapse is imminent – if the information posted by some scoundrel on (the rather sad) boards.ie during the week is as accurate as the Agent believes it to be. Three officers have made it clear to the Auditor in no uncertain terms that if he doesn’t resign, and resign imminently, they will. This comes after two members of the committee have already resigned rather than continue to work with him, and a third broke down in tears during a committee meeting a n d announced her intention to go, before being talked out of it. Private business tomorrow could be interesting. James O’Brien, in an
attempt to fend off the hyenas, took himself over to Galway, sacrificing his place in the Irish Times debating competition. Why? Poor James attempted to make Martin Sheen’s acquantance in order to bring him to his ailing society. All he got, however, was an autograph, and the Hist is still destined for disaster. The Agent is pleased to see that the good old days of left wing radicalism are returning to the Students’ Union, in the form of a very transparent bid to seize power by Graham “free the weed” Ó Maonaigh and his associated bunch of Labour Youth lunatics. With his mane of designer-messy (filthy) hair, and his penchant for goatees and deep philosophical discussion, Ó Maonaigh is perfectly suited to play the role of prophet of the left and to rail against the abuses of power by the “right wing careerist hacks” that run the Union. Surrounded by fanatic disciples like Christina “humankind is to blame for everything” McSorley, Ó Maonaigh will lead a leftist faction in this year’s elect i o n s . Unfortunately, he’ll lead them to defeat – but on the upside he’ll still get to annoy everybody in the
process. Staying with Ó Maonaigh, the outgoing national chairman of Labour Youth, the Agent had great fun at their annual Conference out at UCDD. Motions passed included one calling for abortion on demand, another mandating Labour Youth to sing the Internationale at each of their events, and another inserting Marxism into the con-
reason why I am disappointed by comments from such persons as Phil President Daire Hickey, who believes that “the watchdogs clearly have nothing better to do”. As a feminist I advocate equal rights and opportunities for men and women and I deplore the widespread sexual objectification of women in today’s media. Women’s bodies are a commodity in this consumer-driven sex-obsessed society. The sex-slave industry is on the rise, as is violent pornography, not to mention the inherent misogyny in growing religious fundamentalism. In a recent article in the Irish Times, a women’s organisation claimed that they are struggling to answer an overwhelming upsurge of calls from women who are suffering abuse at the hands of their partners, abuse that has
In memory of Peter Fitzgerald Although Peter had been ill for a long time, it was still numbing for his family and friends when he passed away on the night of Monday, November 13. Peter had been sick with a rare and highly aggressive form of lymphoma for over two years, and in spite of what the disease did to his body, his spirit was simply humbling to behold. He maintained a fighting outlook on what he would accomplish in life, and avoided self-pity and directionless anger. Instead, all his friends saw was a man who continually engaged with people and had so much to talk about apart from his illness. Peter was a true renaissance man – he obtained his TSM degree in Economics and Philosophy in 1993, and a research masters and a PhD in Political Science at DCU. His breadth of knowledge and raw curiosity was plain: he had a deep appreciation of the visual arts, was a great reader of history, was a political activist for the Labour Party for many years, and had a connoisseur’s taste in modern fiction. He talked about all these subjects with passion but never pretension.
stitution. Nice to see they’re positioning themselves in the centre ground. Leading them in their campaign against everything will be Trinity old boy and former Students’ Union presidential candidate Patrick Nulty. The Agent wishes him well – leading Labour Youth isn’t a job he’d wish on his worst enemy. Another nobody hack on the move is one Wayne Tobin. Anybody who’s come within a hundred yards of house six lately will have heard anguished cries of “oh my God, I hate Wayne” coming from just about all the sabbatical and executive officers, with the President being particularly annoyed. It appears that TSM convenor Wayne has decided to be the voice of the common man on the street for the year, railing internally against the Union’s failure to cater for the needs of the silent majority of students who want a fighting, activist Union. They’re silent for a reason, Wayne. The Agent is putting Tobin and Ó Maonaigh on his list of people to expect
been linked directly to pornography. To describe the complaint about the society posters as “pathetic” betrays a surprising lack of diplomacy from the Phil President. As for the pornography-loving members of the Poker Society, they would do well to start showing some respect and awareness for people around them, men and women. Can we not please collectively raise our ethical standards and show some social responsibility? We’re not in school anymore, and the enduring teenage fantasies of surgically-enhanced, manworshipping Barbie dolls serve as pitiable inspiration for the posters decorating our College notice boards. Yours etc, – Kate McCarthy JS Film Studies and Russian His determination and attitude were awesome: even when the illness had clearly gripped him, he completed his PhD, did his viva and made his corrections. Up until near the very end, he talked about what research posts he wanted to apply for and what articles he’d try to publish. You could say that Peter loved the colour red – he was a huge fan of Liverpool FC, the Labour Party (although we’d disagree on how red they were), and red-headed women. Some book lovers can be out of touch with people, but Peter was someone who put so much store in his friendships. He loved the company of women, and the number of close women friends he had is evidence of the esteem in which he held them. It is rare to meet someone who made and kept durable and rich friendships from his college days, his time as Students’ Union Deputy President and President, his work in the UK and in Ireland, and his time as a postgrad. Trying to meet Peter socially was sometimes like trying to meet a busy executive! Right to the end, he made time for us all. He could never have been boring if he’d tried, and he had a biting sense of humour without ever belittling anyone. The world is simply not as good without him. We’ll never forget what he brought to our lives. Our deepest condolences go to his family, Therese, Thomas, Maria and Martina, who benefited most from having known him. (Kenneth McKenzie)
to see in the Union Presidential race, and fully expects to see neither of them win. Readers of the Agent might recall his telling them to “look for the arrival of a major Hollywood star” on campus. Well, Al Pacino was here, and Daire Hickey now has a conversation starter for the rest of his college career: “As I was saying to Al…” It being the Phil of course, it was next to impossible to get tickets for the event – mainly because of the 180 corporate guests invited to take up student seats. The Agent thinks that there’s a slight problem with asking students to pay €5 a year to fund flights and accommodation for millionaires like Pacino, only then to give priority seating to people who paid nothing to the society and are only there because members of the Council want to lick up to them and get jobs after they leave College. €5 well spent, eh? Suckers. Till next time. • email@example.com
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10 WORLD REVIEW
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Silent scream: the international enigma of female foeticide Andrew Forde There is big money in “legitimate” murder these days. As girl-children are considered a financial burden, many doctors in Asian countries such as India and China have facilitated the selective abortions of females throughout the country over the past 20 years. The birth of a male in many parts of India is considered reason for celebration, whereas if the offspring happens to be unfortunate enough to be female, she is doomed to be classed as a debt to her parents. The strong preference for sons under patriarchal traditions, coupled with the availability of inexpensive prenatal diagnostic techniques has resulted in an increased use of prenatal gender determination tests in South Asia. With the enthusiastic participation of medical professionals, this has incredibly become the case even among the rural poor. The Lancet Medical Journal assumes the figure of aborted female foetuses may be up to 10 million over the past 20 years. 10 million – this figure is more than the entire death toll of World War I, a number which is intellectually and morally indigestible. Terminating human life selectively at any time is abhorrent and a slur on the state of humanity. This highly organised, professionally administered crime of foeticide continues to be carried out throughout India despite progressive developments in legislation. In a world of political correctness where the fear of cultural faux-pas and stepping on toes dominates, the temptation is to avert our eyes and class it as “not our problem.” The reality is that even apart from the moral impossibility of this, the crime has the potential to effect the world in a more tangible way.
Abortions advertised for ten euro. Photograph: Andrew Forde India is the single largest democracy on this spinning ball of “development”, “justice” and “freedom” – a country who maintains an international agenda to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and a country of vast military power. For a second let’s leave aside genuine humanitarian concern for
the unborn child and consider a scenario which could before long bear its fangs. Villages in some of the Northern states of Punjab and Rajasthan are becoming what is colloquially know as villages full of ‘bare-branches’. That is, villages full of men, with no possibility of finding a female partner as they have been consis-
tently culled to such an extent that they are diminishing if not entirely absent; thus these men have become branches whom will never have the opportunity to bear fruit. Those women who do live in such societies are inevitably at risk of a plethora of abuses. Surplus men who lack stable social bonds often play a primary role in
making violence prevalent within society. Imagine a situation where a Government was to destabilise for whatever military or political reason, and seek to form an army of willing combatants. These bare-branches of course are ideal candidates to enlist from a military expendability point of view. For the ‘barebranch’ this opportunity to enlist may provide the structure, support and incentives he needs to feel like he is achieving something with his life. No powerful, liberal, democratic state which holds the Geneva and Hague Conventions in their breast pocket (and chooses to ignore them as the case may be) could rest easy in the knowledge such an army could be formed. Thus, in the interest of international peace and security (not in the interest of the peace, security and humanity of that particular nation per se), an international agenda of sorts begins to address the issue. Like so many social evils, it is left until the 11th hour to be acknowledged. Internationally speaking, thousands need to die at a minimum it seems before we, the international community, will add such an issue to an agenda. This argument is nonetheless a real and necessary one. We don’t care that there may be millions of babies being systematically culled because they are female; we don’t care about the coordinated campaigns of murder and rape unfolding in Darfur as we speak, and we don’t care that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains, to this day, a consistent hub of human rights violations on both sides of the conflict. We just don’t care. Until it begins to hurt us. For how long must the screams of the doomed unborn girl echo through every corner of a society ravaged by conspiracies of silence before we begin to listen?
Double trouble in Poland
A French judge last week issued arrest warrants for nine Rwandan government officials. This is based on the accusation that the RPF rebel front, formerly headed by current president Paul Kagame, was responsible for shooting down the plane of Juvenal Habyarimna – an event which sparked the 1994 genocide. The case was filed in France as a number of French citizens were also killed in the crash. Though not implicated himself (due to the fact that heads of state have immunity under French law) Kagame has reacted angrily to the claims. He has consistently maintained the French were complicit in the genocide, backing the Hutu perpetrators. The popular support of this opinion was highlighted last week when some ten thousand protestors took to Kigali’s streets in an antiFrench protest.
No respite for the Lebanon One can’t but feel sympathy for the Lebanese people at the moment. With fragile peace only recently restored after the Israeli war over the summer, last week Independence Day celebrations were cancelled in light of the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, a high profile politician. Staunchly antiSyrian, popular belief is that this is the latest in a string of politically motivated murders perpetrated by Syria, aimed at destabilising the Lebanese regime. Tens of thousands turned out to protest about Syria’s perceived behaviour at Gemayel’s funeral, turning the event into a massive political rally. Though pledging their support to the Lebanese regime, the United States’ reaction will be complicated by its desire to build relations with Syria in the hope of sorting out the Iraqi fiasco.
Bangladeshi strikes end as election commissioner steps down
Peter Doherty The Terrible Two are in trouble. Having come to office with promises of clean government and general “moral change,” President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski are now battling to save face following squabbles with their coalition partners and scandal. All this under the eyes of an increasingly fed up European Union. The identical twin brothers have proved to be the most entertaining executive of the recently acceded EU states. President Lech took office in October 2005. In spring of this year, the party formed a majority coalition with the Self-Defence party and the League of Polish families, comprising what has to be the government with the most troubling collection of party names anywhere. July brought Jaroslaw to the Prime Minister’s chair. Their domestic policies have ticked all the cliched conservative boxes and have gone a good way to alienating other EU member states. President and Prime Minister Kaczynski aren’t big on abortion or euthansia. Furthermore, they are seen by many as pictures of intolerance, with their attitudes to homosexuality causing friction in the Union. As Mayor of Warsaw, Lech refused authorisation for the Equality Parade for gay rights in the city. Neither brother is concerned with sugar-coating their policies for the rest of Europe. Indeed the President has claimed that: “if the number of homosexuals rose, relations between men and women would be turned upside down and mankind would be doomed to extinction”. Add to this the President’s call in August for the return of capital punishment and you have a leadership which is showing itself at odds with the EU’s prevailing culture of tolerance. Though membership has proved something of a cash-cow, with sixty billion euro in subsidies due to be handed out between 2007 and 2013, the Eurosceptic brothers haven’t exactly been keen to embrace the wider ideals and long-term goals of the EU. The recent rejection of the draft EU constitution by French and Dutch voters was welcomed by the President, who viewed the document as a ‘quasi-federalist’ threat. However, somewhat dissapointingly, the twins may not be around much longer to stir things up in Brussels as September’s near break down of the coalition over the deployment of troops in Iraq has left voters disillusioned with the executive.
Arrest warrants issued for key Rwandan figures
Mikhail Saakashvili (left) waves to supporters. Tensions with Russia’s Vladimir Putin have steadily escalated.
Russia-Georgia standoff continues Kevin Leahy Tensions are escalating between Russia and its southern neighbour, the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The longstanding conflict between these two countries reached new heights in late September when Georgia arrested four Russian servicemen whom it accused of espionage. Russia’s response has been bad-tempered with President Putin likening his counterpart, Mikhail Saakashvili, to Stalin’s chief henchman, Lavrenti Beria, himself an ethnic Georgian. Since gaining independence in 1991, Georgia has sought to extricate herself from Russia’s strategic orbit. Successive Georgian administrations have sought greater integration with the European Union and NATO. This Westward orientation has angered Russian leaders who remain particularly suspicious of the latter organisation. Nevertheless, RussoGeorgian tensions are at their most acute when it comes to the controversy surrounding Georgia’s “frozen conflicts” in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
These two regions declared their independence from Georgia during the death throes of the Soviet Union. Both retain a de facto state of independence to this day. Abkhazia’s declaration of independence was followed by a brutal civil war with the Georgian state. With assistance from the Russian military, Abkhazia’s partisan fighters ultimately emerged victorious. Russia maintains considerable political influence in both regions – a fact bitterly resented by Georgia. Saakashvili was propelled to power following the so-called “Rose revolution” of November 2003. Much of his popularity arose from his pre-election promise to recover Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Unsurprisingly, this vow angered the leaderships of both breakaway regions. It also alarmed their benefactors in Moscow who have since come to regard Saakashvili as a dangerous and unpredictable player in the region. Russo-Georgian relations became evermore fraught over the summer. In an apparent attempt to teach Saakashvili a lesson, Moscow imposed a series of economic sanctions on Georgia. However,
Saakashvili has responded aggressively, making bellicose statements on the breakaway regions and authorising a successful military operation to reclaim the lawless Kodori Gorge, a territory adjacent to Abkhazia. This bold operation led to speculation that Georgia was preparing to resolve the “frozen conflicts” by force. Some observers have suggested that the United States’ unqualified support for Saakashvili might prompt the young president to act recklessly against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, the unfolding North Korea crisis has reminded Washington of Russia’s enduring presence on the UN Security Council. Present indications are that the US is willing to qualify its support for Tbilisi in return for Russia’s backing on the North Korea issue. Perhaps recognising Washington’s dilemma, Russia has pressed ahead with a plebiscite in South Ossetia concerning the sovereignty of the breakaway state. According to official figures, this carefully orchestrated exercise, conducted on November 12, yielded a resounding
99.9% vote in favour of independence. Indeed, South Ossetia’s de facto President, Eduard Kokoiti, interpreted the result as a binding recognition of independence. Tbilisi observed this plebiscite impotently, although Georgia’s Prime Minister, Zurab Noghaideli, has subsequently reiterated his government’s longstanding threat to block Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation. While the present stand-off will likely gradually deescalate, Saakashvili’s behaviour may well have damaged his long-term political viability. Ordinary Georgians are beginning to feel the pinch from Russia’s economic sanctions. Also, as part of its response to the spy scandal, Russia is in the process of deporting hundreds of Georgian migrants. These refugees will surely prove an unwelcome burden for Georgia’s underperforming economy. Indeed, Russia could yet choose to impose even harsher economic sanctions; Georgia is dependent on Russia for gas supplies, for example. Should Saakashvili continue to antagonise Russia’s leadership, then it could yet be a very cold winter in Georgia.
Tensions eased in the run up to the hotly contested Bangladeshi election last week as chief election commissioner M.A. Aziz agreed to take a “90 day long sabbatical” from his position. With elections due in January, the country has effectively been shut down for the last three weeks by strikes co-ordinated by the Awami League, the major opposition party. Their protests were rooted in the belief that the current government, backed by the president and Aziz were colluding to rig the election. Though easing the fears of a descent into violence, the removal of Mr Aziz does not leave a clear path. With Aziz’s replacement sure to be hotly contested and up to fourteen million fake voters registered there are a number of issues to be negotiated before January.
Congolese election saga drawing to a close Though yet to be confirmed by the Supreme Court, Joseph Kabila looks set to become the Democratic Republic of Congo’s first elected president in over forty years. The elections and run off (a logistical nightmare in a country the size of Congo) have been ongoing for months, with the final result showing Kabila taking some 58% of the vote ahead of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Though the results are being challenged in the Supreme Court by Bemba, his supporters have already started leaving the capital after an ultimatum from Kabila. So far, violence in the country has been minimal in the aftermath of the results, though the 17,000 UN peacekeepers stationed in the region will remain on high alert for some time yet.
WORLD REVIEW 11
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
The dark side of mid term victory Justin Hall On November 7, the ideology and political organisation of Washington changed overnight. The Republican Party, which had previously enjoyed twelve years of majority rule in Congress following its meteoric rise to power in 1994, was summarily relegated to a minority with fortynine seats in the Senate, 199 in the House of Representatives. President Bush too suffered a drastic defeat. The midterm elections have created a Democratic majority, thereby making partisan legislation on key areas – such as Iraq, tax cuts, and government expenditure – politically unfeasible. But declarations of a new power in Washington, or the dominance of Democratic ideals within American politics are premature, and in a word, simplistic. The 2006 midterm elections must first be seen as a referendum of Congressional Republican performance, mainly concerning the state of Iraq. Before November 7, approval ratings for both parties wavered at barely 35 per cent, and inaction and disagreement over key legislation created a political environment equally critical of both Republican leadership and Democratic alternatives. Therefore, the election results represented a disapproval of the Republicans, not necessarily an embrace of Democratic policy. Indeed, Republicans were dismissed from Congress because they were perceived by the general public as being unresponsive on specific issues, not because they
believed Republican policy was wholly wrong. This places the Democratic majority in an unfavourable position, having been elected not because they were an effective alternative, but the only one. Thus their initial support is average at best, and necessitates an agenda that appeals mostly to moderates. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already endorsed an ambitious agenda for 2007. Priorities include energy independence, minimum wage increases, improved homeland security and affordable college fees. These policies are solely intended to attract the moderates and subsequently strengthen their position opposite a Republican presidency. Hence, the danger to a Democratic Congress is a return to the partisan rhetoric and policy that has characterised American politics in the last few years. To remain in power, Democrats must pass legislation that cannot be misinterpreted or be seen as appealing solely to their core constituents. Because the Democrats would have a near impossible time garnering the extra 58 votes in the House and 15 in the Senate to secure a two-thirds majority, liberal legislation would inevitably fail. This would re-enforce the stereotype of Congressional ineffectiveness that doomed its Republican predecessor. President Bush’s veto could also surface more frequently. This is the greatest threat to a Democratic Congress in 2008 and beyond, and requires a proactive legislature that is generally seen as fulfilling its
responsibility. Therefore it is no surprise that Democratic Representative Chuck Rangel’s recent calls to re introduce the draft were immediately dismissed by Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This insistence on a middle ground that won’t alienate moderates further removes impeachment proceedings and Presidential censures from the list of Democratic options, which was another prominent objective of many on the left. Furthermore, foreign policy and national security were the bulwarks of Republican support, and Democrats might have to emulate general Republican policy. This explains Democratic support for budgetary increases in military spending and homeland security. The change in the political landscape of Washington has introduced a tentative status quo between Republican President and Democratic Congress. To remain in power, the Democratic Congress must pass legislation that has clear support from moderates for it to be signed by President Bush. On the other hand, President Bush needs a cooperative Congress to accept bills concerning key issues of his administration, such as a hostile Iran and a nuclear North Korea. In months to come there will be an enormous emphasis on bipartisanship and cooperation as both sides realise nothing can be done otherwise. The key issue, however, is the time frame. President Bush, no matter how effective his last two years may be, will leave office in 2008. A Democratic Congress, on the other hand, can stay in power indefinitely, and this is
Tentative steps towards bi-partisanhip in Washington. sure to be the intention of party elites. However, they can only do their job if they have the support of the President. The President may seek cooperation and bipartisanship to get his key bills passed and so salvage his legacy, while strength-
ening the position of Democrats in the 2008 elections. Or President Bush can relegate his own legacy into a lame-duck presidency and stonewall the Democrats with vetoes. It’s ironic that the survival of the Democratic majority in 2008 will
depend so heavily on a President they’ve so vehemently opposed over the previous six years. As for President Bush, he faces a tricky choice: to govern in favour of his legacy or in favour of his party.
Mexico’s place in the new populist Latin America
Thailand’s silent coup
Lily Hastings Bass
On 10 September 2006, the words “La revolucion es la solucion” rang throughout the Zocalo (Mexico City’s central plaza). Meanwhile a group of Mexicanos Obradores lobbed rocks at an unwelcome police car and a hungry cheer resounded as they put into practice presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s words, “To hell with the institutions”. Since this period of civil unrest, when thousands of Lopez Obrador’s took hold of Mexico City’s principle streets for months, their grasp has loosened and the campaign fizzled out. After recounts, enquiries and claims of fraud, Felipe Calderon of the centre-right National Action Party (PAN) clinched the vote by a meagre margin of 0.56% (233,831 votes more than Obrador). Obrador and his Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) advertised themselves as modern social democrats, saviours for the poor and destitute. Obrador was to pave a path to lead them from the exploitation of greedy capitalist fingers. Despite these heavenly claims Obrador appears to have been playing for Latin America’s expanding populist strand which is polarising the continent. The president of Venezuela, Mr Hugo Chavez leads the pack. A self proclaimed “21st Century Socialist” Chavez has been collecting allies to join his virulent antiAmerican, anti-capitalist campaigns. Chavez relies heavily on his communicative skills to rally the masses and sees elections as a route to power for expanding the franchise. Populism within Latin America’s move to the left is clearly a product of the gross economic disparity in the region. However, such rhetoric does not necessarily de couple the movement from institutional corruption, a pressing
Labelled by its tourist board as ‘The Land of Smiles,’ Thailand is best known among students for its full moon parties, amphetamine fuelled buckets and idyllic beaches. But under the country’s laidback surface, serious political turmoil has been brewing for the past year, culminating in the bloodless military coup that took place on 19 September 2006. Conducted by the Royal Thai Army and led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin the coup succeeded in unseating the then caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The event resulted in the declaration of martial law, the arrest of cabinet members, cancellation of elections, dissolving of the constitution and stifling of negative media coverage. The coup has been deemed by the United States, the United Nations and the European Council as unjustified and a step back for Thailand’s democracy. China however, expressed feelings of neutrality and wished Thailand a harmonious future. Alarmingly, the case has sparked further debate as to whether a military takeover in one of Asia’s foremost democracies will encourage similar thoughts in other nations across the continent. Though Thailand’s greater political problems became more acute in 2005, from the moment he was democratically elected in 2001 Shinawatra’s time in office was overshadowed with controversy. Accused of corruption and insider trading, in January of 2006 Shinawatra received criticism for selling his family’s share in the large Thai communications company Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings, the Singaporean government’s investment agency. The sale made a large profit but proved politically costly as Shinawatra faced claims that he used his
Obrador addresses his supporters. Photo: Lily Hastings Bass problem in the region. Since Obrador suffered a humiliating defeat in October 2006 as the PRI lost his home state of Tabasco, it seems that for the time being the “Obrador phenomenon” has been laid to rest. But as Mr Chavez loses one brother he gains another. Nicaragua’s recently elected President Daniel Ortega won 38% of the vote and was once a hard line leader of the Sovietbacked Sandinista regime. Chavez had his hands in the election and encouraged Nicaraguan voters by flogging them cheap oil and implying that there would be more to come if the election outcome was favourable. Outsiders (namely America) fear Ortega as a danger to the relatively new and fragile democratic system in Nicaragua and warn it could threaten trade and aid. Though Chavez has been busy organis-
ing foreign allies his popularity in his own country has been waning. As the opposition gain chunks of the electorate, Venezuelan sources say that the elections on 3 December could potentially topple the president. Whether he will accept defeat is another matter. Mexico has just avoided being lead down what could have been a back alley to populist governance, regressing economically and democratically in the process. But Obrador’s antics have laid bare an abundance of dissatisfaction with incumbent President Fox’s policies. Rural and indigenous communities in southern states appear to have long been neglected, particularly in the poverty stricken Chiapas and Oaxaca. Calderon must not leave these states languishing or the gap will continue to widen and his fragile popularity suffer. Recent violent protests that merged into
riots were a call to arms for lack of accountability of power. The president elect has responded by adopting a pragmatic approach and rearranging his policies, with poverty and job creation coming from the bottom to the top of his priorities. Nevertheless, political tensions in this divided nation haven’t disappeared and will still be riding high when President Fox hands over to Calderon on 1 December. With the second richest economy in Latin America, Mexico has an opportunity to move forward. Calderon’s government must address what is holding it back. It is not Obrador’s protests but issues such as corrupt state monopolies, a defunct police force and gross inequality that citizens are most concerned with. These must be addressed for a modern, progressive Mexico to exist.
position to evade tax. This, coupled with tensions created by extremely violent drug wars of 2003 and 2005, added to his unpopularity. Further allegations of undermining the Thai Monarch’s authority led to mass protest mainly in the upper and middle classes, resulting in the eventual takeover. On 27 September, a draft interim constitution was released by the coup leaders (currently known as the Council for National Security). The document met with mixed reactions, as the constitution allows a powerful executive branch. Within days an interim leader was named: former Supreme Military commander and privy councillor to the King of Thailand Surayud Chulanont. Elections are planned for next year but as for now little has changed and martial law is still technically in place. “For the man on the street not much has changed,” an aid worker living in Thailand told Trinity News, warning that “though they are making steps in the south, they need to move fast in terms of making (political) progress.” Problems with Muslim insurgents in Thailand’s south have been a long-standing issue, one that was not heavily dealt with in Shinawatra’s time. Steps are now being taken (with high involvement from General Sonthi, who is Muslim) to ensure durable peace in the area. Recently, on 21 November 2006 it was reported that the Council for National Security is to release a ‘white paper’ to the public. The paper is to explain the Council’s reasons for the coup to the Thai public, perhaps in order to quell criticisms of the coup, the military, and lack of progress since the Council took power. Though this is another step towards the eventual elections, the people of Thailand are still waiting, with an unknown future ahead.
Why positive discrimination is testing negative Jonathan Drennan Another page has turned in South Africa’s chequered history. P.W Botha the symbol of a brutal apartheid government died recently, aged 90, in theory closing another door on the painful memories of the past. However, South Africa’s problems could be only starting for the optimistically named ‘Rainbow Nation’. Twelve years after Nelson Mandela was elected as President of the new South Africa under the banner of the African National Congress, the optimism on both sides of the colour divide has been quelled. An increasing HIV problem and spiralling murder rates coupled with
unemployment and a seemingly unchanging wealth divide have lead to greater frustrations than ever for South Africa’s citizens. Picking up the pieces of a harsh white minority government has remained a sore point. Many middle aged blacks still suffer from a lack of education and are largely helpless in their wish to escape the squalor of the townships. A vicious circle has been created, a government, which is unable to create jobs for its impoverished citizens, has left millions of promising black youths unable to afford a university education. The country’s black population feels it has waited long enough for tangible differences in the new South Africa. In response to the increasing frustration felt
by the coloured populace of South Africa the ANC have created two controversial schemes that are designed to address this inequality. The Land Reform project has been designed by the ANC to give land back to its rightful indigenous owners using democratic processes. Using a willing buyer/willing seller model, the scheme is long on ideas but short on results. The process has taken for granted the patience of people who are ensconced in the horror of the townships. There has been a rise in murders of Afrikaner farmers in the country, reflecting dissatisfaction with the scheme on the part of the people it was supposed to help. The Broad-Based Black Economic
Empowerment (BEE) was signed into law in January 2004, designed to aid coloured people who had suffered under apartheid. The scheme awards companies on the basis of black ownership, executives and the level of procurement from black firms. Whilst BEE has had some success, it remains a bone of contention for many whites that have been left isolated in the job market on leaving school or university. John Kane-Berman, chief executive of South Africa’s Institute of Race Relations feels the BEE scheme was too hastily conceived. He argues, “The (affirmative action) legislation was entirely misconceived. The reason there aren’t so many blacks in managerial positions is lack of
supply, not lack of demand. There are not enough sufficiently qualified black people.” Whilst successful in some cases, the scheme has been described as patronizing by blacks and whites and remains a stopgap to a larger problem: an acute skills shortage and mass unemployment among South Africa’s (mainly black) poor. After a lifetime of a harsh apartheid government, the white populace of South Africa generally agreed that allowances had to be made for blacks in the new ‘Rainbow Nation’. However, the initial optimism that greeted Mandela’s instatement as president has changed to thoughts of emigration for a huge number of whites. South Africa’s white population has fallen by 841,000 since 1995.
A brain drain of sorts is taking place; many of the country’s most skilled workers black and white are leaving in search of higher salaries and a safer environment to bring up their young. The Democratic Alliance’s leader Tony Leon reflects this fear, “We as a nation cannot afford to lose skilled and hard-working citizens of whatever hue.” Not long ago, security minister Charles Nqakula sparked controversy when he told opposition MPs that they should move countries if they wanted to “whinge” about crime in South Africa. Unfortunately, his words could prove ironically prophetic unless a balance is struck in the Rainbow Nation.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
A moving memoir of a Ukranian novelist’s life in occupied Paris Kevin Breathnach Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Française Irène Némirovsky’s uncompleted masterpiece, manuscripts of which were preserved by her daughter until it was finally published in 2004, details the anti-climactic fall of France and its occupation during WWII. Commentators have found it remarkable that Némirovsky could record the events of war and occupation just weeks after they had happened. It’s all there: the bombings, the armistice, Pétain, Hitler and finally Russia. What’s more though, she somehow puts these personally harrowing events to the background of this work. Her foreground is occupied instead by a collection of loosely interwoven experiences of war: rich families; farmers; bourgeois; villagers; and, of a writer called Corte. While one must praise Némirovsky’s insight into such a recent past, her triumph is her almost clairvoyant sense of the near-future. The mass exodus from Paris in June of 1940 was chaotic, if it was anything. Parisians scramble to organise transport out of Paris. Arbitrarily, some succeed, others don’t. The trains don’t seem to be running. Biblically, most people just walk out of Paris. Corte has a car, a driver, a mistress and a reputation, but food eludes him. The car in which the manuscripts of his latest novel sit is sent away accidentally. They eventually rematerialise, but for a few pages, Corte’s manuscripts are doomed to linger unpublished eternally. The connection is self-evident. Indeed, it is through Corte that Némirovksy conveys her feelings on writing, and writing Suite in particular. “He felt he had to hurry: something inside him was making him anxious, was knocking on an invisible door. By writing, he opened that door; he gave life to something that wished to be born.” The wish for birth is in keeping with the underlying tone of each text: that of long waiting. We enter Storm just as war is declared. In Paris, people look to the sky, waiting for the bombs of the illustriously billed airraid. The French Army still fight, but lolling behind a veneer of false hope, people wait impatiently for the Maginot line
to fall, perhaps if only to see what happens next. Explicitly, chapter 19 opens with, “The entire village was waiting for the Germans”. When one German arrives to ask for directions, the entire village holds its breath so as to hear every word. Next, the arduous wait for the Germans to leave the homes, the villages and the cities of France; while more hopefully and distantly, the end of the war is anticipated. Always, mothers and wives, daughters and sisters wait – with reluctance, hope or indifference – the return of their sons and husbands, fathers and brothers. Until I’d read about Suite Francaise, I hadn’t heard of Némirovsky. Apparently though, she was a fashionable and acclaimed writer before the war. Looking at Suite’s structure, this is not surprising. Her chapters became progressively longer. Interwoven as the novels are, the brief opening chapters tease the reader. I became fascinated by Monsieur Mericard and his Will, but when the chapter ends grippingly, it’s followed by a separate story: that of the Michauds. So while there’s no question that Némirovsky knows her characters, for reasons technical and tragic, the reader is never allowed to become properly acquainted with them. On imagery, Némirovsky is superb. The text’s most poignant moments - Hubert’s tears, Lucile’s tears, Madame Mericard’s tears – are draped in moonlight, while Storm’s final lines literalise the metaphor employed to demonstrate love for the orphans – misplaced though it was – carving its way back into Father Phillippe Mericard’s heart. “The wind had stopped. Just as it had come out of nowhere, so it had now disappeared without a trace. It had broken branches off trees, whipped the rooftops in its blind rage, carried away the last of the snow on the hill, and now, out of the dark sky devastated by the storm, the first rain of spring began to fall, still cold, but torrential and urgent, carving its way down to the smallest roots of the trees, down to the very heart of the deep, black earth.” The second book is more concentrated. We come to discover the village in question and one household in particular: that of Madame Angelier, her daughter-in-law Lucile and the Nazi in-charge. It’s the second novel that deals with France’s occu-
Suite Française (above) is a moving memoir of life in occupied Paris (right) by a Ukrainian novelist who was later to die in Auschwitz
pation, of which the Angelier household is emblematic. Lucile is originally hostile, distant and scornful of the resident German, Bruno, whom she blames for her husband’s imprisonment. The relationship develops beyond blind hostility towards actual amity. Bruno is pleasant, makes occupation comfortable and even plays the piano – Bach or Mozart? We never find out. Soon, Lucile - recently so shocked by her dressmaker’s relationship with a German - recognizes that she loves Bruno, says so, and almost succumbs. Never, however, is there any settled serenity; remaining, signs reading “Verboten”, or Bruno’s expressions – reluctant though they may be – of “you can’t.” With remarkable economy, this arrangement is encapsulated in Dolce’s second chapter: “These posters were of various type. Some depicted a smiling German solider ... under the caption, “Abandoned citizens, trust in the soldiers
of the Third Reich!” Other posters used drawings or caricatures to illustrate world domination by the English and the detestable tyranny of the Jews. But most of them began with the world Verboten – Forbidden.” Before the end, the village mayor willingly collaborates with the Germans. He
and his wife allow the Germans use their gardens for a party celebrating the first anniversary of the Nazi occupation of France. At first, they allow them the garden. When prompted, the tablecloths are also offered, and with them, four dozen napkins and some cutlery too! That the characters of Storm scarcely
reappear in Dolce inadvertently underlines the arbitrary, unsentimental nature of war and occupation. Did they die? Did their wishes come true? And Corte’s novel? We don’t learn enough about the characters to love them, but we know enough to want exactly what Némirovsky can’t offer: more.
The Butcher Boy looks at the Celtic Tiger’s underbelly Leonard Rafferty Patrick McCabe, Winterwood
Patrick McCabe has been hailed, and rightly so, as one of the most idiosyncratic voices writing Irish fiction at present. He tends to explore the more unseemly aspects of our contemporary psyche, not afraid to plunge into the recesses of behaviour that some may prefer to remain hidden, whilst throwing many satirical buckets of foul-smelling shite at a few sacred cows along the way. Whereas his acclaimed earlier novel ‘The Butcher Boy’ was set at a time when Ireland was still finding its feet as it tried to break free from the small-town conservativism and clerical domination that shrouded and stagnated the country, ‘Winterwood’ sees the writer now faced with a new prosper-
ous Ireland that has seemingly overcome its teething problems and been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Of course when McCabe holds what is consensually regarded as a new-found confidence in a bright, sassy, libertarian Ireland up to the light, he begins to see cracks in its sugar-coated gloss. The plot is told through a web of tangled timelines and from more than one point of view. The book begins light-heartedly enough – as McCabe’s novels are wont to do – with the narrator Redmond Hatch visiting his home town Slievenageeha to write an article on the changing face and traditions of rural Ireland. Here he meets an old fiddler known affectionately by the locals as Pappie Strange who is held up as a venerated relic from an idealised bygone era, full of witty sayings and ‘auld shenanigans’ and who captures Red’s imagination. Interwoven with this storyline is the withering of a once care-free love that existed between Red and his wife, who get divorced after he walks in on her getting it on with another man in their bed. The narrative is constantly skipping back and forth between periods in the narrator’s life which allows the reader to draw parallels between the multiple stories that are being told here. Whether it’s Red’s time growing up in Slievenageeha, his blissful time spent with his wife and daughter in Dublin and London, the subsequent spying he does on them after the divorce, his transformation as a high-flying RTE executive or the more sinister accounts of Pappie Strange’s life and ‘liaisons’ with little boys. 1980s Dublin haunts the book as a spectre of economic instability when hoards of Irishmen with cardboard suitcases caught the next ferry to England and Temple Bar was a collection of warehouses inhabited
When McCabe holds the new-found confidence in a bright, sassy, libertarian Ireland up to the light, he sees cracks in its sugar-coated gloss. Photo: Leonard Refferty by vagrants. In contrast, the spike becomes a modern emblem of a now pioneering but featureless Dublin. The language is evocative, lyrical and sometimes playful which belies the horrifying details that the reader is left to piece together by the end. The book is full to the brim with
folk stories, rhymes, songs and hilarious proverbs that are an attempt to cover up the repulsive events that are brewing underneath but which ultimately add to our sense of a lost innocence within the story that can never be found again. The narrator, who seems at first forthright and
lucid, becomes less and less reliable until you are almost unable to draw a definite line between fact and fantasy. As the Dublin Bus’ catchy slogan goes, Redmond is ‘changing with the city’ but yet he cannot exorcise the brutality that lies just under the glossy veneer and the
cool, calm demeanour he so desperately wants to exude. McCabe’s ability – and willingness – to shock readers is still present here but it’s noticeable just how more subtle it is than previously, how he has honed his abilities to expose the terrifying underbelly of a society lost in transition.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
RB McDowell portrayed as the icon of Trinity’s “golden era” Jonathan Drennan Anne Leonard, The Magnificent McDowell: Trinity in the Golden Era Trinity has got a reputation for being unique; the traditions of the place go in tandem with the characters. R B McDowell is in his mid-nineties, but still manages to work in the library with far more diligence than students a quarter of his age. McDowell is a beloved former Junior Dean, esteemed scholar and college personality who has long had a special place in the hearts of both Trinity’s undergraduate and graduate communities. For decades information and anecdotes about him was limited to dinner tables around the world. Anne Leonard a graduate of Trinity has divided the book into two specific genres, focusing on McDowell’s unusual life and the Trinity he inhabited which has been described as ‘the golden era’. Peppered with photos of the college, both contemporary and old, Leonard has tried to recapture a time at Trinity that is perhaps alien to the current student populace. The book is the second work from Leonard on McDowell, her first being The Junior Dean: Encounters with a Legend. In The Magnificent McDowell, Leonard tries to move on from the previous successes and creates a far more structured work. Compiling a vast array of anecdotes about the former Junior Dean from sources such as the Guinness family and the Irish Times, the reader is left in no doubt about McDowell’s enduring influence on Trinity. For current students the book takes on an even greater significance, it is difficult to imagine for today’s Trinity students who are often strangled by regulations to imagine a Junior Dean attending and indeed enjoying student parties. Throughout the work, Leonard is careful to avoid stereotyping McDowell as a loveable eccentric who loved to talk at length. McDowell is one of the most prominent living authorities on 18th century Irish history and is treated as such.
There are many facets to McDowell’s personality, a man who set a great stall on discipline and fairness in his role as Junior Dean. However, as important as his academic and disciplinary accolades are, the warm humour forms an integral backbone of Leonard’s work. Leonard makes it very clear from the outset that a distance has been established between the subject and the author to avoid accusations of manipulation. However, using letters from the Irish Times, Leonard has managed to gain McDowell’s personal opinions on the self. Despite being such a lofty academic, his ideals on writing are very easy to relate to. “I find writing a distasteful chore/ while by no means silent in conversation, I am a great believer in short, concise work in print. I am a great believer in slim books.” McDowell has established himself as an intellectual giant, but his true achievement in life has been his ability to converse on any level with students. His oratorical elegance leads him to becoming a much sought after speaker and media personality, successfully destroying any stereotypes about morose academics. The book engages with McDowell’s ability to memorize names and people, helping him to remember conversations and events that took place up to sixty years ago. Leonard has structured the work in an accessible way; an index of graduate’s anecdotes has been compiled for easy access to certain episodes in Trinity life. The main criticism of this book is that it takes an almost completely rose-tinted view of McDowell, relying on largely the hazy memories of graduates who have long since moved on from Front Square. However, this book is an unqualified success on two accounts, it helps a current student to get know a valuable part of Trinity and indeed the college itself. Many students will find it hard to relate to McDowell’s methods, but few will be able to quell their fascination for the man. The Magnificent McDowell is available in the Library Shop priced €18.
RB in Library Square returning from Commons one evening in late May 2004. Photo: Peter Henry
Marie Antoinette: Qu’ils Misogyny, sex, arrogance, booze and rugby mangent de la brioche Ciara Finlay
Lady Antonia Fraser, Marie Antoinette: The Journey
Paul Howard as Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, Should Have Got Off At Sydney Parade
Marie Antoinette has been the subject of much fascination and speculation ever since she first arrived in France as the Dauphine, on the 13 May 1770. This continuing fascination can be seen with the release of Sophia Coppola’s recent film. Marie Antoinette: The Journey is, as the sticker on the front cover describes, “the book which inspired the movie” and as such it is a compelling read, written by Antonia Fraser. Even before the first chapter Fraser in her author’s note sets about distinguishing the fact from the fiction surrounding the queen who is alternatively described as either infamous or famous depending on the point of view. The phrase “let them eat cake” (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”) has generally been regarded as the epitome of the French decadence which sparked the revolution, which would change the face of politics in Europe forever. A hundred and fifty years prior to this the “Spanish Princess who married Louis XIV” is said to have spoken similar words, this story then continued to be a reoccurring tale told by journalists throughout the 18th century. Antonia Fraser presents the reader with an objective account of Marie Antoinette’s life, often wittily revealing how for instance that “L’Autrichienne” was the name sneeringly given to Marie Antoinette which is a “coincidental combination” of the two French words for ostrich (autruche) and bitch (chienne). One point which The Journey stresses is how French hostility towards Marie Antoinette was due to her being a foreigner. It is therefore interesting to note that Marie Antoinette “had more French blood in her than her husband – two grandparents out of four – to his one in the shape of the King”. Cake and being Austrian were not the only reasons for the otherwise inexplicable hatred which culminated with her execution.
If you’re a Ross O’Carroll-Kelly fan, then Paul Howard’s latest offering won’t disappoint. The usual ‘Ross’ components are all there – misogyny, sex, arrogance, booze and rugby. As is the norm with any “Ross” book, there are several plots going at once, all merging and interlinking throughout the book. Despite originally being limited to the themes of girls, alcohol and rugby in his first few outings, Ross has had to mature into further activities such as running his business, taking care of his pregnant wife and avoiding being caught in his frequent dalliances. In his latest outing, Ross struggles a lot more with his conscience and this may not be to the satisfaction of all his fans. The original attraction of Ross was his sheer and utter amoral attitudes, but it’s been many years since we first met Ross, and maybe its time he began to grow up. Some of the best moments in the book circulate around Ross’s sympathetic pregnancy and the chapters dedicated to his mother’s raunchy attempt at chick-lit. Howard wrote this book a year ago and since then elements of it have appeared in his weekly page in the Sunday Tribune, so don’t think you are going crazy if you get a sense of deja vu from some parts of the book. One or two priceless episodes with Sorcha’s grandmother have already been previewed as have several of the Ronan anecdotes. But the merging of these incidents into the grander scheme of things brings a whole new clarity and the addition of other hilarious incidents adds to the experience immensely. In general, Should Have Got off at Sydney Parade hits all the right spots. It has the humour and the wit, even if this has slightly matured since Ross first appeared. Some fans won’t warm to the
Fraser’s is “the book which inspired the movie”. Initially the then Dauphine was admired as “an example of compassion”. This reputation for compassion was quickly tarnished by the libelles who accused her of having Sapphic relations as well as orgies at dawn with the guards and sending money from France to Austria. These libelles would in fact put the likes of the National Enquirer to shame as they were not only capable of fabricating such scandalous stories, but also had the power to impact upon public opinion and subsequently politics. The right to privacy being such an important issue now we cannot help being outraged by the way in which Marie Antoinette had to part take in rituals of etiquette. The lever and coucher marking the beginning and end of each day wherein the members of the aristocracy who had the “rights of entry” could witness and, depending on personal prestige, partake in the act of dressing and undressing the naïve Dauphine as the ‘constant element of private-performedin-public was present from the beginning’ (and would come to dominate all aspects of her life). Marie Antoinette needed “the quality of a mother” to be regarded as French. On the 19th of December 1778 Marie Antoinette gave birth to Marie Therese.
But it was eleven and half years after her arrival in France that she finally fulfilled her “duty” by giving birth to Louis Joseph, heir to the throne. Marie Antoinette was often reproached for the time and money she invested in shopping, this is something which women and girls nowadays can empathise with, as glamour comes at a price. Nevertheless Paris at the time, despite the libelles’ criticism, relied on the sale of these luxury goods of the fashion world and as such it was part of Marie Antoinette’s role as queen to help the economy in such a manner. The revolution led to the abolition of the monarchy, with Marie Antoinette often depicted as a harpy in cartoons, who was demonized and eventually executed (having been torn away from her children) whilst still in mourning for her husband. The Journey is an historical biography and so an unbiased and concise account of the facts is what is called for. Fraser produces this, rendering it utterly engaging through remarkable wit – holding the reader’s attention throughout the book. It is easy to understand why Sophia Coppola succumbed to the appeal of Marie Antoinette’s tale, a woman with a “smile sufficient to win the heart”.
new Ross, the one who every now and then shows a glimmer of decency, but those who refuse to believe that anyone, even fictional, could be so inhumane, will delight in the moments of conscience, particularly the ending. One thing’s for sure, once Ross makes his final appearance, Paul Howard definitely has a career in chick-lit.
“It’s been many years since we first met Ross, and maybe its time he began to grow up.”
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Emily Hogan’s road trip with the Sicilian takes her through Cantabria and Asturias Emily Hogan It was approaching day ten and neither the Irish nor the Sicilian had as of yet felt the need to shower. All attempts to come up with an itinerary had been abandoned, it had only led to heated name calling. We were however managing to exercise a modicum of control over the budget. A slight blow had been dealt to the camping confidence on a stop outside Bilbao. We had been told, by a uniformed lady with impressively large thighs, that we were to dismantle our tent and never camp on a Spanish stretch of sand again. Neither of us spoke Spanish but the message was nonetheless clear. This was to set the tone for the next stretch of the journey covering Asturias and Cantabria. A lot of camping hiccups. It was inevitable really, with the mantra of the trip being tent and bbq as opposed to pensión and restaurante, that these two activities would become the source of all our calamities. While it is true that the northern provinces of Cantabria and Asturias cannot offer the same guaranteed levels of concentrated sunshine as the south, these regions are virtually untouched by tourism and are green, lush and rugged, meriting the name, Costa Verde. With this in mind we made but a flying stop at Santander, the gateway to the stunning Picos de Europa mountains, to pick up some fish at the market in the centre before continuing our journey west. Santander's market is a wonderfully dark and grimy mecca of all things fishy. Equipped with a glossary of words torn from the back of the Rough Guide, I tagged behind the Sicilian who was working himself up into a frenzy about the amount of unknown and potentially life threatening fish on display. He circled the stalls and quickly fixed upon what he deemed to be the most genuine article of a fish monger. Lifted in ecstasy to a level where language was not a barrier, he threw himself into an excited exchange with the fish man. In an encounter resembling some sort of bizarre mating ritual, the monger began to feel around for how far the Sicilian was willing to go. Would he be up for this small pink fluorescent specimen with the eggs spilling out the sides? The Sicilian agreed wildly. Laughs from the fish monger. Screams. Nods. Gesticulating. A quick flick of a knife. Guts and entrails spilling. A bloody brush of the hand across the face to get rid of hair. Swinging of parsley as though it were a pair of castanets. Shouts and parroting of words from the Sicilian depart-
ment. The sort of nod that said, "that's exactly what I do with parsley myself." Another fish held up and flopped around. A face which said, "you won't find a beast like this from down around your parts." Another explosion of enthusiasm from the Sicilian. More shouts. Yippees. Ooh-ers. Whistles. Little kisses into the air. The pescados and the mariscos and the strange black things resembling birds claws were all lumped together into a plastic bag with ice. The bag was weighed, the price fixed and then dropped and a final fish flung in for good measure. Cash was pushed into the bloodied hands and the men exchanged their final goodbyes. The Irish was pulled away having caused high embarrassment for just wanting fish fingers. The site for this maiden barbeque was a wind swept beach in Comillas, a small rural town further down the coast from Santander, with pretty cobbled streets and squares, huge stretches of beaches and a Gaudí villa, El Capricho, to boot. The Sicilian insisted we hike a kilometre down the beach to solitude, not out of consideration for others but more motivated by the fact that carting a barbeque and a bag of charcoal along with crockery plates and other accoutrements that distance against gale force winds was bound to ensure a healthy appetite for the ridiculous amounts of fish he was about to cook. So excited was he by the various shapes and sizes that he was throwing onto the grill and so worried was I about the fatality of each bite, that we did not notice the tide arrive in, lapping up the barbeque and setting it afloat. Cries, tears and screams directing blame in my innocent direction, as we ran around trying to gather up everything. Stony silence as we trekked the wet gear back along the beach to the car. So gutted was he by this abrupt end to his barbeque, that the Sicilian refused point blank to spend any more time in Comillas. We continued on along the coast arriving in Llanes. Although it was too dark to see anything, the Sicilian, clearly still smarting from his ruined supper, immediately pooh-poohed the place as being touristy. In short he was wrong. Llanes, crammed between the foothills of the Picos and a particularly dramatic stretch of the coast, is a small punchy Asturian town of infinite charm and character. Small squares and shops that haven't been touched since the fifties. Exquisite pastry shops. Bars offering wine at ridiculously low prices. Sidra, Austuria's national drink. We immediately happened upon a small square where
“The Sicilian insisted we hike a kilometre down the beach to solitude, but not out of consideration for others.” locals were pouring out of a restaurant and splashing cider all over each other with high levels of merriment. The reasoning behind this golden shower is that the sidra must be poured from a height above the head so as to attain optimum fizz. The tree shaded plaza was full with trestle tables of animated Spaniards nibbling on wonderful plates of seafood raciones and discarding bottles over their shoulders like they were going out of fashion. We joined a table and were immediately engaged in a friendly exchange of pouring tips. Don't look at your glass. Fix a point in the distance. Listen for the flow. The Sicilian was quickly acclaimed a natural. The Irish abstained from making an attempt. Buoyed on by his new found party piece, the Sicilian enquired about a beach for our camping. We were provided with a
map and headed off in search of Playa Ballota. It seemed that everything was looking up when we eventually arrived at Ballota to find quite possibly the most beautiful beach either islander had ever encountered. A breathtakingly large cove, surrounded by green and sheer cliffs, we felt confident we would enjoy a sleep there undisturbed by the Spanish police forces. Slight confusion led to panic when at 6am we awoke to find the sea lapping into our tent, panic as the zip refused to open, gathering of clothes, a favourite red polka dot bikini lost to the sea and then similar dismay and more of the same stony silence as we realised it was still very early in the morning and we had nowhere to sleep. Having snoozed in the car for a couple of hours we returned to the beach (even
more beautiful in daylight) to dry our things. Once again the Sicilian insisted that we trek to the furthest end of the beach. Moaning and wondering if he was in fact imposing some sort of fitness regime, I began to notice an increasing level of undress the further along the beach we headed. And then NAKEDNESS. Everywhere. Naked old men playing beach ball. Naked bodyboarders. Naked sandwich eaters. An Indian chief, small children, a bit of Tai Chi and some yoga in the corner, a lot of very saggy limbs. Nonetheless we did not make an about turn. To their credit, this motley crew of naturists had chosen the nicest end of the beach and so it made sense to stay. Such a lack of inhibition was perversely fascinating. That night Playa de Poo, our new camping ground, disappointingly but not sur-
prisingly, also failed to provide an uninterrupted sleep. This time around it was a pair of bright spotlights and a roaring engine ploughing towards us, that had us scrambling from our tent. Perhaps they couldn't see us. Or maybe this was a sandcombing tractor driver with a chip on his shoulder about illegal campers. We sensed a vehicle circle us three times, roaring closer and closer before the Sicilian made a dive from the tent, somehow reasoning that this was going to appease the madman. The move, although brave, proved unnecessary, the circling had finished and the tractor moved off. The intelligent thing at this point would have been to start working a pensión into the budget. Emily’s journey continues in the next issue.
A first-hand experience of Cape Town journalism Jonathan Drennan My parents were understandably concerned, I had no visa and I had barely any journalism experience. I was going to Cape Town to work as a reporter for the summer. A few months before departure, I had secured a provisional months contract with the Weekend Cape Argus through a combination of bluff and a kind recommendation of a friend who should have known better. Arriving in Cape Town International airport I cut a rather awkward figure, my pale face and suit seemingly sitting ill at ease with the sea of tanned faces in shorts and t-shirts. Somehow my host remembered me from a rather distant family holiday in the same country some years before. Being a recent divorcee, I was slightly concerned about this man's frame of mind, especially with the prospect of having his domestic peace shattered by me for a month. Cape Town, like most of South Africa is a study of sharp contrasts. The road from the opulent airport takes in the primitive townships of Nyanga and Langa before reaching the developed infrastructure of the city bowl. Arriving in a suburban house in South Africa immediately managed to shatters my European sensibilities about domesticity in a couple of seconds. The house was surrounded by a high electric fence and we had bars on every window, even ordering pizza had to be conducted over an intercom. Turning on a light became a hazard in itself; the light switch happened to be directly beside the armed response panic button; after a hazy night on the beers it was sometimes easier just to undress in the dark.
After a few days of acclimatizing myself to Cape Town, I found myself in the office of the Weekend Argus. The first day in any newspaper is almost always a difficult time. You are given a recent newspaper to read and largely everyone ignores you. However, I was soon able to meet all of my colleagues and was impressed by their open nature from the outset. The office appeared to reflect the new South Africa; I shared a desk with Willem an Afrikaner, Iqsaan a Cape Coloured and finally Myolisi a Xhosa from the township of Khayletia. The art to success at any newspaper is the ability to be able to generate your own stories. I have always found this background work particularly onerous. I found it even more difficult to create ideas of stories in a city that I had scant knowledge about, having only been a resident for a few days. However, this initial fear soon faded and I completed stories of varying quality on land reform, shark attacks and the forthcoming football World Cup in South Africa. After proving my aptitude to some degree, I was told I was going to be moved on to more challenging stories. Arriving at my desk on Tuesday morning, my news editor told me he had found 'newspaper gold'; a parrot had speed dialled the police in the Cape Town area. Feeling like the builder's apprentice who is told to get some tartan paint and a glass hammer, I dutifully set about finding the owner of this troublesome bird. Arriving at the white owner's ramshackle shack on the edge of a black township, I found we were an unwelcome presence in the area. I was told by the photographer accompanying me that this could present some problems. The elderly owner of the parrot
had been a victim of serious racial attacks and had been forced out of her house and business. Ironically, a light story that wouldn't have looked out of place in "Anchorman" helped me to see at first hand racial tension that was seemingly burning under the surface of the rainbow nation. More than trying to learn how to become a better journalist, I enjoyed talking to people about their experiences in the new South Africa. White South Africans were generally frustrated. Held back by positive discrimination they felt strangled in the job market and many were heading for the more attractive climes of the United Kingdom. Black South Africans whilst theoretically being in the political ascendancy, still felt that the changes they were promised by Nelson Mandela and others were still far short of their expectations. As an outsider it was easy to find sympathy with both sides. Throughout my stay in South Africa, I felt it was important to try and get into the townships as much as possible from the outset. In Cape Town more than any other African city, it is incredibly easy to become lulled into believing that you are living in a beautiful first world metropolis. I was allowed to go into the townships during the day, normally being escorted on a bus when I wanted to do an article. However, I felt I wasn't seeing the full extent of what the townships had to offer. I had become friends with a colleague from the outlying township of Khayletia and sharing a love of football he asked me to come out and meet his friends who were training that night. Driving into a township at night is a thrilling, if slightly unnerving experience. Imagine your
Jonathan Drennan pictured with his photographer while reporting from a township in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Jonathan Drennan grandfather's hastily put together shed in his allotment; this gives you some idea of the living standards that prevail there. A buzz of frenetic activity, the townships exude a life of their own. They are the sole preserve of blacks that were forced there by a brutal apartheid government and they reflect a completely alien culture to the one I had enjoyed in the affluent suburb of Higgovale. Playing football in the rain that night in the township left an indelible mark on my experience of South Africa. South Africa is undoubtedly beautiful,
but this beauty can be immediately nullified when you consider its dangers. South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world and Cape Town has not managed to fully escape this statistic. My newspaper largely ignored the majority of shootings due to their frequency. Muggings and scams are as much part of the mother city as Table Mountain and Clifton Beach. On my first week in Cape Town I was held up with a sharpened screwdriver and on my last week three men grabbed me at a train station. Happily, in both cases I got away
unharmed, but they both served as a timely reminder of the hidden dangers of Cape Town I had been previously unaware of. Cape Town is rich in history and beauty, it was a pleasure to live and work there for a short period. However, a European passport is becoming a prized commodity for its citizens who are trying to get out of a country they no longer trust. Personally, I had mixed feelings. It's a city that thrills and deceives, but ultimately people always come back for more.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
Cambodia: a tale of two cities, a tale of prosperity and poverty Aisling Walsh “Water is here!” indicated our tuk-tuk driver, pointing vaguely in the region of his head to indicate the water level with a look of barely concealed disdain. We had managed to land ourselves quite a distance from Phnom Penh with a driver who evidently had no mastery of either English or Khmer. The monsoon rains fell, and with them, the bridge which was to take us from the Killing Fields back into the city. Our (Thai?) driver flicked nervously through a local phrase book, argued with a few locals (badly) and taught us a valuable new life lesson; when a canoe is needed to bring you across the road, it’s time to turn back. Like the beginning of every good story, six very inexperienced travellers set off for South East Asia and expected it to be a walk in the park. First to Malaysia, where our Bela Lugosi-esque Irish skin was sent reeling from the substitution of fluorescent lights for unadulterated U.V. The Lonely Planet soon began to mock us from its permanent residence at the bottom of our backpacks and so off to Cambodia on some cheap Air Asia flights. A point which caused slight hysteria among the group was the lack of ATM machines in Siem Reap, but food and accommodation was so cheap it made Thailand feel like, well, Dublin. Saucereyed backpackers make an easy target, and Eddie’s words to Patsy became our mantra: “Well, darling, just try to be little bit less Western in your thinking, if you can, please.” Siem Reap seethes with a sense of impending growth. The poverty is abject, with a constant stream of children who as soon as they are old enough to speak, beg. Then the hideous dance of avoiding eye contact, telling yourself that you can’t help them all, that by giving money you are feeding the cycle. In the middle of the Tonlé Sap Lake we had stopped to view the stunning horizon when a lapping sound caught our attention. A pair of boys had enterprisingly found two buckets large enough to squeeze into and had proceeded to paddle ferociously into the middle of the lake to beg. Staring over the side of the boat it became clear that in Cambodia there was no running from their determination. The temples are a short bike ride away, but the roads are populated by drivers
who make the French Connection seem tame and we settled on the less kamikaze tuk-tuks. The first sight of Angkor Wat, surrounded by a moat over two miles long, was heart-stopping. I expected a melodramatic soundtrack to start piping through the air. The spires rise up over the construction, giving the vaguest hint of the many levels and layers of architecture that are contained in the mammoth structure. It would belittle the majesty of Angkor to use clichés like “breathtaking” or “awe-inspiring”, although it was both of those things. We spent three sun-kissed days wandering through the temples that surround the ancient city, exploring the Bauphon, the Bayon and Ta Prohm. There were some Tomb Raider moments in Ta Prohm, where massive buttress roots spring out of archaic stone slab carvings of Apsara celestial dancers, and if the light is right, there is a dappled view of how little has changed in the last 900 years. Phnom Penh is the polar opposite of Siem Reap. I found it to be threatening and dark, not helped by the constant monsoon that followed us to our “guesthouse” (I use the term in its loosest possible sense). On our first day we experienced Toul Sleng, the genocide museum and former torture camp of the Khmer Rouge. The grey drizzle outside echoed the scenes we witnessed, with cells which barely had standing room and hundreds of photographs of Cambodian victims, from crying young girls to old men, lining the walls. Next was the Killing Fields where the prisoners of Toul Sleng were brought to be buried, and although we were expecting a more harrowing experience it felt more like the end of a journey. The Fields are covered in lush grass and playing children, even though a few metres away stands the central memorial temple which holds hundreds of skulls found in the mass graves. When trying to reconcile Cambodia in my mind, I have two images: the spectacle of Angkor Wat and the depravity of Toul Sleng. It encapsulates the best and the worst of what humankind is capable of; like the two cities in Dickens’s classic, “it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness”. Six backpackers left Cambodia weary, dirty, more than a little ill from all the coconut milk curry, but definitely, above all, changed.
(Above) Hundreds of Skulls found in the Mass Graves for the Prisoners of Toul Sleng now kept at the Central Memorial Temple. (Left) The spectacular temple at Angkor Wat at sunset which was built for King Suryavarman II in the Early 12th Century as his state temple and Capital City. Photos: Aisling Walsh
Trinity girls bumping and grinding with George Bush in Washington DC Charlotte Simpson
Charlotte Simpson gets a leg over George Bush on her trip to DC. Photo: Hilary Loughnane
Renowned for it’s endless succession of museums and monuments, the capital of the most powerful country in the world, Washington DC is undoubtedly a must see. Cruising along, our roadtrip to the City had begun. Intimidating truck wheels and endless placards advertising the joys of obesity-inducing fatty food restaurants as our scenery; an eclectic mix of George Strait and Cydni Lauper on the airwaves, eagerly anticipating our sojourn to the nation's capital - we truly were living the American Dream. A little dubious as to our choice of accommodation, the Harrigton Hotel, described by the Lonely Planet guide as “humble and old fashioned” was in fact perfect. Located between the Capitol and the White House, for only $120 per night, with the four of us in the room, we were onto a good thing. The hotels in the city are reasonably priced, and many do not charge for extra people in the room, and so it can often be cheaper than staying in a hostel. Having arrived in a city so couched in history and culture, we did what came naturally to us – went shopping! As is the beauty of American capitalism, every “American” brand is represented. I was very disappointed however with the distinct lack of “alternative clothing”. Although we managed to find one gorgeous vintage boutique, Annie Cream Cheese, and a few smaller women's boutiques, they were all very expensive. Armed with an array of new clothes (yes, we still managed to buy!) we were ready for a mad night out. We hit the town with the vigour and enthusiasm that could only be attributed to women on a mission.
We were severely disappointed. It was impossible to get in anywhere, as we were under 21. Despite our feeble attempts at “Ah! But we're Irish!” we eventually ended up in the only over 18 club in the city – Platinium. This was best described by a sheltered lady from Roscommon, as feeling as if we were in “a gangland movie”. We were almost strip searched going in, and as for the bumpin’ and grindin’ – we didn’t know what to do with ourselves! It did however make for an extremely amusing anecdote, and the Americans at law school were more than amused when we relayed where we had been. We decided to take a trip to Georgetown. Host to the renowned Georgetown University, this neighbourhood is just beautiful, ruined only by the excessive number of Starbucks outlets. It has the feel of a quaint village, and a “small town Ireland” atmosphere.There is little to do here, other than shop; but it has the best food in the city. In the afternoon, we took a well deserved rest from the shopping, and decided to take in some of the history. We made our first port of call the Holocaust museum. Nothing is more disturbing than this large exhibition, which personalises the suffering of the individual victims, of the persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazis. America has mastered the art of theme parks beyond compare, and I would argue they have done the same with respect to museums. They are all very interactive, and, as a self confessed hater of all things cultural, even I enjoyed it! Whilst DC may lack the buzz of New York or the laidback chill of San Fran, I surprisingly warmed to the city, its history and, of course, the bumpin’ and grindin’.
16 SPORT FEATURES
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2006
GAA must rewrite the Rules if series is to have a future Connel McKenna In recent weeks we have seen the International Rules series descend into farce, and a farce of its own making. It is this realisation, which has emanated from the shocking violence of the first quarter of the second test at Croke Park, compounding that of the previous year, which has lead the GAA to consider pulling the plug on the annual event. Truly, International Rules has become the worst kind of spectacle, but my belief is that it should be allowed to continue, battered; bruised, for another year at least. The situation is not yet irretrievable. For the GAA, the solution is in the name. Rules. The word’s very presence in the moniker of this sport is at this point iron ic and somewhat laughable. This is something which the GAA, in conjunction with its Australian counterpart the AFL, must seek to reverse. Given the ridiculous levels of thuggery which the players have displayed in the series of the last two years, it is time that International Rules became a sport (and I’m having to use the term loosely here) renowned for the severity of its approach to on-field violence, rather than its free-for-all-encouraging leniency. It has become clear that the players do not regard the sin-bin as a sufficient deterrent when it comes to gross indiscipline. Seven players were sin-binned during that hideous first quarter, when a couple of red cards would have much better served to put an end to the stupidity we were forced to endure. Under the current parameters of the sport, it is difficult to criticise the punishments that were handed down by the Australian referee, which is why the powers-that-be at Central Council must pass down a clear mandate that on-field assault must result in permanent dismissal. A punch or an elbow to an opponent (such as that suffered by Benny Coulter) simply has to constitute the perpetrator’s last action of a game. Punish a man in this way and you are also punishing his team. The culprit looks neither big nor clever when his team suffers as a direct consequence of his indiscipline. Letting his team down provokes shame in a sportsman like nothing else can. Discipline is one of the key ingredients for a winning team, or at least it should be. With the sport in its current state, the undisciplined are being let off the hook, and walking away as victors, as the Australians did this year and last. Not that the Irish were much better. The players of both camps cannot be afforded the luxury of buck-passing; they should not need to see in writing that something such as a clothesline tackle is just unacceptable. At present, inadequate ruling is coupled with a gross lack of responsibility,
something which the players should feel as sportsmen representing their countries. This is where the crux of the problem lies. It would appear that only greater stringency on the part of the officials can curb the Neanderthal tendencies of the players’ psyches when they cross the white line. We should never have had to arrive at such a situation. ‘Compromise Rules,’ as it is sometimes referred to, should have been able by now to compromise its hitherto base machismo posturing in the realisation that, well, the fans just aren’t buying it. Lads, we aren’t impressed. A ‘man’s game’ is not what this series currently represents. This concept demands hard but fair play, sportsmanship, and above all else respect for one’s opponent and one’s sport. Sorry, but none of these qualities were on display at Croke Park during this year’s debacle. What happened on the pitch resembled most aptly a schoolyard scuffle and well, as we know, men don’t generally partake in those. Boys do. Understand that I am not giving in to token sentimentality here, but it is difficult to imagine Cormac McAnallen, the late gentle giant of Tyrone football after whom the International Rules trophy is named, becoming involved in such petty fracas. What was supposed to be a tribute to one of the finest footballers and sportsmen this country has seen in recent years has turned horribly sour. At present this recognition does his memory no service whatsoever, which only adds another facet of shame to the tarnished series. The International Rules series though, remains a great concept, and it is a huge pity that its current ill-handling is denying it the prospect of flourishing into a major international sporting event, in the mould of the Ryder Cup or The Ashes. Such stature was always light years away (given the localised status of the sports brought together), but given the right cultivation this series has the potential to move towards such prestige, as any event which stirs national pride and rivalry (not to mention drawing crowds of 82,000 people) does. At this point in time it remains a novelty, as it was bound to in its infancy. The problem is that novelties are supposed to be fun, attractive propositions and unfortunately this series is neither right now. The fact that Ireland are currently taking a pounding in more than one sense isn’t helping, as far as those on this side of the globe are concerned anyway. The embryonic nature of the revived series only exacerbates the problem. We cannot call on a plethora of great tests of the past in order to bestow the sport with any legacy other than its violence. The sport and the violence are now inextricably linked. The violence that is currently plaguing the series would be much easier
Ireland’s Benny Coulter lies prone after one of many unsavoury first quarter incidents at Croke Park, which hosted the second 2006 International Rules test. to stomach if it could be seen as an anomaly, or if a little bad blood had been given time to arise. Not so though, for what we have seen so far is merely a new kid on the block intent on causing trouble. The ogre of International Rules has exhibited no redeeming features to its public, a public which is still more stirred by a Championship meeting between Dublin and Kerry, or more recently Tyrone and Armagh. These occasions produce a fizzing intensity on the terraces which is not nearly matched by the Ireland – Australia test matches. One day perhaps, but not with the current state of affairs. The extremity of the players’ conduct, (perhaps at the behest of their managers) as well as stunting the development of the series, looks wholly out of place in light of this comparison. That the future of the series is under threat can be held in no question. GAA
President Nicky Brennan has described its status as “hanging by a thread” and laid out his intention of absorbing the views of the county boards and Ireland’s management team, before relaying those views “to the management committee and Central Council.” It is clear too that he holds his own damning opinion, with Ireland manager Sean Boylan reflecting that he had “never seen our President so annoyed or so vexed” as he was in the immediate aftermath of the second test. Nevertheless, it would remain a hugely bold and perhaps hasty decision to axe the series at this point. The GAA could, with such a move, be seen to have retreated from its recent policy of progress for the sport, which has focussed hugely on intercounty competition, with the hybrid game playing its part in larger-scale thinking. This strategy has had many detractors (Martin McHugh among the most vocal)
who have argued with some merit that the club game, the grass-roots of course, has suffered, and that a movement back towards smaller, more balanced development around the country would have many supporters. Removal from the calendar of the International Rules series may be seen as the first step towards this. The GAA will be hard pushed though to strip itself of what is a valued ‘cash cow,’ bringing with it corporate sponsorship in the form of Coca-Cola, and being one of the few events in a year capable of selling-out Croke Park. Whether the impending three-year tenancy of the IRFU and FAI at Headquarters can influence the decision greatly enough remains to be seen. Nicky Brennan though would do well to attempt to repair rather than write-off the International Rules series. There remains no reason why this sport cannot control its
players in the way that other sports of high physicality, for example rugby, does. It is within Brennan’s power to do this, simply by clamping down on the sort of brutality which has become in his words, “a major embarrassment to the organisation.” If Brennan cannot effectively fend off threats to the sport of which he is head, then exactly why he deserves such a position is questionable. Pulling the plug on the series, potentially a major asset and source of pride to the organisation, does not necessarily constitute effective fending-off. Brennan will be applauded for his initiative in terminating the annual series only when it is beyond reasonable doubt that it cannot flourish. I would argue that that time has not yet come. It is up to the governing bodies then, here and down under, to re-write the Rules.
Ex-Trinity man Joyce wins deserved Ashes call-up to English cricket team
Athbheochan Aston Villa
David Lydon Ed Joyce recently hit headlines around the world as he was called up to the England Test Squad for the upcoming Ashes series against Australia. Dublin born Joyce, 28, is a Trinity Graduate in BESS and first made cricketing headlines after making his One Day International debut against his native Ireland earlier this year. Joyce has played three full One Day Internationals as well as one Twenty20 International. Joyce first approached English County clubs after finishing his Leaving Cert but decided to take up a course in Trinity, where he shone for the College’s Cricket Club, averaging well over fifty throughout his four years at the club and winning a call-up to the Ireland team. Following several good performances for his country, he accepted a contract with Middlesex Cricket Club, heading off to London’s capital and playing at Lord’s, cricketing
Headquarters. The left-handed batsman received plaudits for his stylish technique and reliability, and was entrusted with the Middlesex captaincy for the 2004 season. One of nine children, his brother Dom also played for Trinity with great success resulting in being called up to the Ireland squad. It was during the 2005 ICC trophy that Joyce really came into his own, top scoring for the tournament and helping Ireland qualify for their first World Cup on home soil. Ironically enough, Joyce’s performances caught the eye of the England selectors, and having already played in England for the necessary four years, Joyce was eligible to play for his adopted nation through residency qualification. Driven by a desire to play at the highest possible level, there were no doubts or concerns over national loyalty, and both English and Irish fans have applauded his decision. Joyce joins an elite group of only six Irish-born cricketers to have played for
England, and is the first to have attended Trinity. The first four all played before 1908, but more recently Martin McCague, born in Larne but brought up in Australia, won three caps back in 1993. Without doubt, Ed Joyce is the highest profile amongst this select few and has gained this reputation due to his effortless stroke playing and consummate professionalism. Indeed, Joyce is often the calmest of customers both on and off the pitch, and such a quality - which could easily be misread as complacency - is his defining feature. Many a time Middlesex have been lagging before Joyce’s arrival at the pitch – I recall the occasion last season where, playing Glamorgan under the lights at Cardiff, Joyce entered the fray at number four without many runs on the board, only to turn the game on its head with a quickfire 60. This juxtaposition of the wellrounded pro with the maverick batsman is surely the reason why England coach Duncan Fletcher chose Joyce ahead of alternatives Owais Shah and Rob Key,
both of whom have had previous Test experience. It is possible that, following Marcus Trescothick’s late withdrawal from the squad, Fletcher has gone for a like-forlike replacement, favouring Joyce’s strokeplay over that of Key and Shah. Joyce also has being left-handed to his advantage. I personally believe that Joyce is more than just a replacement for Trescothick, but in fact a superior asset to the squad, given the latter’s poor run of form in recent months. Whilst Trescothick has gained the reputation for being a leadfooted opener who can quite easily change the course of a match in a session, Joyce also has the rare ability to accumulate runs, as well as being equally able to tear apart a bowling attack. It is the blend of these two abilities that will benefit England in a testing series Down Under, and that will hopefully see a Trinity boy take part in an Ashes contest for the first time.
Diarmaid Ó hAinifidh Is é leasainm Gabriel Agbonlahor, imreoir óg de chuid Aston Villa atá i mbéal an phobail faoi láthair, ná ‘Roadrunner’. Déanann an t-ainm seo tagairt don luas lasrach atá aige, gné tarraingteach dá imirt atá ag cothú cainte ina leith ó thaobh fhoireann Shasana de. Níl aon ionadh ach go mbeidh tuilleadh cainte faoin leaid óg seo agus faoi imreoirí eile de chuid Villa toisc go bhfuil siad faoi láthair sa chúigiú áit sa Premier League agus ag baint sult as athbheochan an chlub. Tá ré Doug Ellis thart mar chathaoirleach. Tá Randy Lerner, Meiriceánach, anois sa suíocháin sin agus tá sé lán sásta airgead a chaitheamh go flúirseach. Cheannaigh Lerner Villa ar phraghas £62.6m. Ainneoin gur ritheadh an club go maith bhí spreagadh in easnamh dul chun cinn mór a dhéanamh. B’fhéidir go bhféadfaí mí-ádh a ghlaodh air nach raibh rath ar Villa ó thaobh bhainisteoirí agus cheannach imreoir de. Tóg mar shampla David O’Leary agus imreoirí de shaghas Bosco Balaban nár imir cluiche ach ar chaitheadh £6 mhilliúin air. Ach is cosúil go bhfuil feabhas ar chúrsaí ar ghach bonn anois áfach. Ní raibh Ellis in ann riamh na himreoirí a spreagadh agus gan amhras ní bheidh Lerner ach tá bainisteoir
den scoth ag Villa anois a bhfuil clú agus cáil air ó thaobh uasmhéid a fháil óna chuid imreoirí, sé sin Martin O’Neill. Bíonn go leor mholadh á thabhairt do Martin O’Neill mar ‘man-manger’, duine gur féidir na himreoirí a ghríosadh agus a fhorbairt. Léirigh sé an tallann seo go mór ag Leicester, áit ar chruthaigh sé ceannairí i Neil Lennon agus Muzzy Izzet, ar léirigh sé cumhacht Emuel Heskey mar thosaigh agus ar fuair sé áit do Steve Guppy ar fhoireann Shasana. Mar bhainisteoir ar na Ceiltigh chuir sé stop le ceannasaíocht Rangers in Alban a bhí tar éis naoi gcraobh leanúnach SPL a bhuachaint. Bhain sé amach áit i gcluiche ceannais Chraobh Uefa leo, éacht mór d’aon fhoireann Bhreatnach. Agus anois tá sé ag stiúradh Aston Villa, an club is mó sa dara chathair is mó, agus ceann den chúig fhoireann Bhreatnach a bhuaigh corn na hEorpa. Feicfear nuair a osclaíonn an fhuinneog aistrithe i mí Eanáir cé a cheannóidh O’Neill. Tá ainm Robbie Keane á lua go mór. Is maith an scéal í an aimsir ach bí cinnte de go mbeidh tuilleadh cainte faoi Villa amach anseo. Mar fhocal scoir- sliocht ó Wikipedia ar Villa: “They have not had the opportunity to wear the star on the shirt that other winners have been able to. This is due to FA rules forbidding the star to be worn in domestic competition.”
SPORT FEATURES 17
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2006
Support grows for Argentinean advancement I Mark Wright In 1978 Argentina’s Pumas, led by the now legendary Hugo Porta, arrived in England as part of a European tour to play an uncapped match against an England XV. In his opening statements to the assembled British media their manager stated firmly and simply: “We are here to win all our games and sleep with all your wives.” History doesn’t relate how successful the team was in the second part of their aims but they only lost one match on the tour and drew at Twickenham against England. Almost thirty years on and despite a home record that is second to none (from the mid seventies until the early nineties Argentina have never lost a home test series) the team is currently the only IRB (International Rugby Board) ‘tier one’ classed nation that has no regular competition. Over the past ten years there have been repeated calls for the inclusion of Argentina in the Southern Hemisphere Tri-Nations Competition, calls which have been given added vigor in the last two weeks on the back of their victories over England and Italy. Yet on Monday, Gary Flowers, the Chief Executive of the Australian Rugby Union and the Secretary of SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australian Rugby, the organisation which runs both the TriNations and the Super 14 Provincial Competition), in speaking to the Australian media in response to an approach by the Argentinean Government offered little hope for the future. He stated that whilst the move to bring Argentina on board was “possible” it would bring with it many problems. Foremost amongst these was the contractualisation of Argentinean players to their European clubs ahead of their country which raises concerns as to whether they would be able to guarantee their strongest team to appear in the tournament. He also pointed out that with the majority of Argentinean players playing in Europe it would make more sense for the team to participate in an enlarged 6Nations Tournament. In short Mr. Flowers towed the IRB party line and emphasised the difficulties without offering any viable solutions. So what are the other options? In recent
weeks there have been suggestions of an Argentinean side playing their home games in Barcelona as part of a 7-Nations competition – in which they would, according to their current form and world ranking, be expected to finish third behind France and Ireland, and quite conceivably higher. The South African Press have taken up the Pumas cause and are beginning to push for Argentina to participate in an ‘S-4’ Tri-Nations style competition playing their home games in South Africa (thus reducing the problems of holding a tournament across the dateline) and in the meantime the IRB have sat back and have, publicly at least, done nothing. It is an inactivity which is in keeping with their response to the globalisation of the game over the last ten years. Time and again we have seen money ploughed back into the established wealthy nations through television rights, fixtures allocations and percentage share of profits whilst the ‘minnows’ struggle on with little or no support. In the 2003 World Cup in Australia players on the Georgian National team who had qualified for the competition for the first time survived on a budget of roughly €17 a day (including accommodation, transport and food) living in hostel dormitories and cooking for themselves whilst the Home Nations sides lived in 4 and five star luxury beach palaces and reaped the rewards of extravagant match win bonuses. Yet Georgia’s plight must have felt comparable to Brian O’Driscoll’s padded sun-lounger by the pool to the Samoan players. Due to their financial situation they were unable to persuade the majority of their first choice players to make the journey Down Under. Lacking the funds to buy them out of their European Club contracts for the duration of the tournament they were forced to field a near second XV and even so they gave England a scare in the group stages! Even Japan, a nation with decidedly more political clout than either Samoa or Georgia, having the fastest growing rugby playing population in the world, a long established tradition that has seen them appear at every World Cup since the competition’s inception and a proven World Cup infrastructure that was firmly tested in 2002, failed to win the right to host the 2012 World Cup ahead of New Zealand – a nation who had to play qualifying
Argentina fly-half Felipe Contepomi, the best in the world in his position acording to team-mate Augustin Pichot. The talents of both are indicative of Argentina’s current status as one of the world’s premier sides. matches in Australia the last time they hosted the competition due to a lack of space and whose national infrastructure stretched to the breaking point by Lions fans two years ago. Given all this it’s hardly surprising that the IRB haven’t been falling over themselves to give Argentina the hand up into the International A-list they need, its hard to imagine a more out-of-character move, but nonetheless the time is ripe for Argentina to make their lasting presence
felt on the world stage. They will go into a World Cup year ranked sixth in the World where in the qualifying stages they will have to face Ireland (currently ranked fifth) and France (second). If they progress beyond these preliminary matches – which will be a tall order – a quarter final against New Zealand beckons. They’re rank outsiders, make no mistakes about it, but that’s no bad thing. Every tournament needs its outsiders and its unexpected heroes and Argentina
could just be the ones to do it. However, whether they do or whether they don’t, the need for their inclusion in one of the top flight competitions, playing competitive fixtures year in year out is essential to maintain their development. Without the IRB’s support they will continue to surprise and excite crowds around the world but to go any further looks a forlorn prospect. If that support was to come then the world really would be their oyster! Two days before the England game and
in the wake a great deal of media hype about Dan Carter’s New Zealand side Augustin Pichot announced to the assembled British media that Felipe Contepomi was indisputably the best fly-half in the world and that he was fairly confident of his own status as “one of the top two scrum-halves in the world.” Argentina talk the talk better than anyone but is time hey were given the opportunity to walk the walk. Vivad las pumas.
Real shame as Puskas passes away As football mourns the passing of one of the game’s greats, Andrew Payne looks back at a glittering career, and at a club which, he argues, doesn’t deserve the Hungarian forward’s legacy.
The great ‘Galloping Major’ Ferenc Puskas, in the famous white of Real Madrid. The late forward graced a by-gone age which his ex-club is now far removed from.
It was with genuine sadness that the footballing world heard of the death of Ferenc Puskas on the morning of Friday 17 November. While few Trinity students or staff will be old enough to have witnessed the great Hungarian’s heyday in the 1950s, there remains a generation of Irish people for whom there was never any greater. Speak to them and they will reminisce on Puskas and his team of ‘Magnificant Magyars’ who went to Wembley and became only the second team after Ireland to defeat the English on their own turf, the first team to do so at football’s spiritual home. They will tell you how they listened to the match on their radios as the Hungarians won 6-3, then listened to the British commentators dismiss it as a fluke before their side were again humbled in the return fixture, this time 7-1. As a goalscorer, Puskas’s record speaks for itself: 83 goals in 84 games for Hungary, 357 in 354 appearances for Kispest Honved and, most famously, 512 in 528 appearances for Real Madrid. That Hungarian side idolised by Irish radio listeners as the greatest team ever have some claim to the throne. In a period around the 1954 World Cup they embarked on a staggering run of 50 games in which they won 42, drew 7, and lost only the tournament’s final, a 3-2 defeat to Germany, a bizarre upset given that the Hungarians had earlier beaten the Germans 8-3 in the group phase. The final was amazingly the only game in the tournament where they scored less than four goals. While the 1970 Brazil team have since
dominated most international choices, there is rarely debate when it comes to deciding the greatest club team of all time. Puskas himself contributed four goals in 25 minutes as his magical Real Madrid side cruised to a 7-3 victory against Eintracht Fankfurt to win its fifth successive European Cup in 1960. In his only other final appearance he managed to score a hat-trick as Madrid lost 5-3 to Eusebio’s Benfica two years later. Sadly the club that Real Madrid has become was never more aptly illustrated than in its treatment of this great man. As Alzheimer’s, pneumonia and other ailments set in, Puskas’s memories of his own career began to disintegrate as his health collapsed. Last summer Real agreed to play in a benefit match against a Hungarian League XI to raise money for the near-penniless legend in the Budapest stadium now named after the player. The game – which featured the likes of Ronaldo, Zidane, Roberto Carlos, and David Beckham – took in a gate of approximately 1.7 million euro. Of this sum the Madrid club demanded an appearance fee of 1.3 million euro before collecting another 100,000 euro for hotels and other expenses. When the costs of stadium hire and security were accounted for, the multimillionaire ‘galactico’ club’s greed meant that only 91,000 euros of this 1.7 million made it to the man himself. Real however pocketed over a million. Their lack of generousity or sentiment was not something mirrored by the great Hungarian. One lovely anecdot from his playing career recalls a time when, going
into the last game of yet anoher trophyladen season, Pukas and his equally celebrated team-mate Alfredo Di Stefano were level on goals in the race for the ‘Pachichi,’ the top goalscoring accolade of Spanish football. Late in the game Puskas passed up a golden chance to score and take the personal glory, preferring instead to roll the ball to Di Stefano, who tapped home thus finishing the saeson one goal clear of his fellow attacker. As news of his death filtered through, Real were unsurprisingly at the forefront of the tributes. Newly elected club president Ramon Calderon spoke of the great emptiness the club and its fans would feel following Puskas’s passing. It is easy however to speak words of sorrow. It is more difficult to forget the actions of the world’s supposed greatest club. It is important that Real’s actions are remembered by the sporting world. It is a club which has no qualms about breaking the world transfer record, but no heart when it comes to doing right by those who made it great. Real will claim to have played its part by playing the fixture, but in reality it was little more than a publicity stunt, as their pillaging of the funds raised demonstrates. As modern football continues on down its multi-million pound road it should spare a thought for a goal scoring genius almost beyond compare, and the sorry state of its present money-obsessed clubs who will abandon those players who made them great, until the time comes to reclaim in death.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
DU Association Football Club
Brave performance not enough to fend off UCD in annual soccer Colours match Neil Walsh Dublin University 1 University College Dublin 3 The final fixture in DU’s Irish Universities League group, this was a game of massive importance for both sides. This competition is in a format similar to that of the World Cup with four groups of four teams each with two teams from each group advancing to the quarterfinal stage. This season, Trinity’s group consisted of Coláiste Íde, the Royal College of Surgeons and University
College Dublin. Trinity’s campaign got off to a slow start with a disappointing 10 defeat to Coláiste Íde, a soccer college making their inaugural appearance in the competition. However, a comprehensive 4-1 victory against the surgeons got Trinity’s qualification aspirations back on track. This meant that Trinity’s game against UCD was essentially a knock-out tie with a victory for either side resulting in elimination for the other. Trinity set out their stall to attack UCD early on and were much the better team in the early exchanges with Trinity’s strikers, in particular Dermot Byrne and Luke
Coynecurry, looking very sharp. Dublin University managed to carve out a number of chances in this period and they took a deserved lead in the third minute. A chipped ball upfield was flicked on by Coynecurry and picked up by Byrne on the left side of the box. Still with plenty to do, Byrne came inside, shimmied past two men on the edge of the area before coolly slotting the ball into the right hand corner of the net. Trinity seemed to be in total control, but within minutes, disaster struck. A breakdown in passing in DU’s half was capitalised on by Niall Daly who played in his strike partner, John Brophy, down the left
DU Climbing Club
side. The UCD man kept his composure and fired the ball into the bottom corner. Before Trinity could settle back into the game they found themselves behind. A long goal kick by the UCD goalkeeper was flicked on by Daly and, as Trinity’s defence pushed out, Brophy found himself in acres of space, one-on-one with Trinity’s goalkeeper, Hugo O’Doherty, and neatly lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper to claim his second goal of the day. Trinity struggled to get any consistent passages of play together after this and created few chances before the break. Just before half-time however, they could
have been ahead. A wonderful piece of skill by Byrne, who was a threat to the UCD defence throughout, created some space for him just outside the box but his rasping shot was tipped away by the UCD keeper. UCD dominated the game in the second half and on 68 minutes produced a third goal. A neat passage of play down the right hand side enabled Daly to get in a cross for Eoin O’Cinneide, arguably offside, to head home. After this the Trinity manager, Jimmy Cummiskey, changed things around, bringing on striker Mick McCarthy and midfielder Davy Andrews but unfortunately DU just couldn’t pull back the
deficit. So, on a crisp afternoon in Fosters Avenue, Belfield, it was the home side who came away victorious but Trinity only have themselves to blame with lapses of concentration costing them dearly. However, there was much to suggest that this young side has a lot of potential and the players and manager will have learned a lot from this experience and will be confident in their ability to gel together and improve in time for the Collingwood Cup, the main intervarsity event of the year in March 2007.
DU Football Club
Novice climbers looking forward to first trip Paddy Clarke
Paddy Clarke leads the climb at Spellack in the Mournes. Photo: DU Climbing Club
Dublin University Climbing Club, founded in 1958, is one of the oldest mountaineering clubs in Ireland. Almost 50 years on, the Club still attracts a high membership and carries out a packed programme of events throughout the College year. We have become famous for our regular climbing trips throughout Ireland, giving newcomers an opportunity to climb outdoors and enjoy Irish scenery and weather. On our first trip this year, we spent the October Bank Holiday weekend in the Burren, on the Cliffs of Murroughkilly. Despite the rain and wind, spirits remained high, and most people got a taste of climbing outdoors for the first time. Our accommodation was none other than the famous “Father Ted Caravan Park”. In December, we’re off to Glendalough to get to grips with the famous Wicklow granite, and those who don’t feel like climbing can enjoy a hike in the scenic surroundings. Next term, we plan to climb in Kerry and the Mourne Mountains, and possibly Donegal if time and studies permit. We train every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 7pm in Larkin Community College, Cathal Brugha Street, just off O’Connell St. This is a temporary measure until April, when the brand new wall in the new sport centre will be completed. Beginners are shown climbing basics, how to tie knots and how to belay another climber. The Club has a strong safety ethos and we monitor all beginners carefully and instil in them a culture of checking each other and their equipment while climbing. All members must pass a test before being allowed to belay. Experienced climbers can try out some of the harder routes on the wall including an arm pumping overhanging lead, or a fingery bouldering move. We also organise slide shows, guest speakers, and every few weeks, social nights, where we can tell tall tales of climbing terror and impress fellow members with the heights and severe scale of routes recently conquered, all from the relative safety of the Pav. During the summer months, many members climb abroad. This year 8 members went to the French Alps, tackling some of the more technical alpine routes, with 1 member completing an advanced Alpine Course. Others visited the Costa Blanca coast in Spain for its sunny sport climbs. Many also climbed extensively throughout Ireland, benefiting from the pool of Club Gear available on loan to members. The Club welcomes all grades of climber from complete beginner to seasoned mountaineers. We also welcome climbers from all genres, including sport, trad, ice and snow, and bouldering. Hikers and walkers often join us just for the trips! The Club is open to all staff and students of Trinity College, and membership costs just €4. Turn up at the Larkin Wall on Tuesday or Thursday from 5 till 7, or contact Gerard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dublin University’s first XV in action against UCD at Donnybrook in the recent Colours match. Full report page 20. Photo: Mick Fitzpatrick
DU Hockey Club
Trinity’s hockey players retain Mauritius Cup Cian Denham This month the DU Hockey Club won the intervarsity at the University of Limerick. This was the first time in nine years the Mauritius Cup has been won outside of Dublin. It was a great squad effort with many of the younger members contributing to the team’s success. One of the major positives to be taken from the victory was that the average player is only 19, so the team will be expected to be even better come next year. There were a few key games that week. The comeback draw against Ulster in the group stage was a great result. We looked in a lot of trouble at half time being 2-0 down and not making much headway. However the team pulled together after some rousing words from captain Jason Bryan during the interval. Newbie Chris Tyrell came on and bagged himself a famous goal but it was Richard Miles who scored the equaliser, his third goal in two games, showing why there’s life after last year’s superstar Peter Blakeney. Obviously the pillaging of UCD is a game we’ll all remember. We were very good and they were... well they were oiks so they were rubbish and they got battered. By midway through the second half Trinity were five clear. However due to
some charity by Trinity in the last third minutes that even the SVP would be proud of, the score changed from 5-0 to 52. The final was against University of Ulster and it was a lot harder work than expected. We were effectively missing three first team players by the start of the match with Andrew “Bever” Beverland (dislocated shoulder), Conor “Chav” O’Sullivan (pulled hamstring) and Johnny “Token” Orr (fractured wrist) all out of action. Despite the disadvantage the team held firm and took the game to extra time. During the course of the 70 minutes Jason Bryan and Johnny Royds were superb – the best I’ve seen either of the two men. Royds in goal was stopping shorts for fun and Jason was Paul McGrath-esque when putting in his last ditch tackles. Nicko Odlum also impressed all and sundry when he came in to replace Connor O’Sullivan. The highpoint was the penalty strokes. Trinity, not wanting to repeat another predictable victory this year, decided to provide a spectacle for the fans and win the game on flicks. Trinity were up first, Barry Glavey one of the best players of the tournament by a long way decided he’d play a bit of a bad joke on the team and miss the first one. Johnny Royds just missed stopping Ulster’s resulting flick. It
was Niall Sommerville who ran to the spot like a man about to get laid and lashed the ball home. Johnny Royds decided after the last one no more were going by him and plucked their flick right of the air. Daire Coady took his pair out of his purse, strapped them on, stepped up to the spot and fired the ball past the keepers stick side like a pro. Johnny repeated another acrobatic save to keep us in front 2-1. Up next was “Bangor” Ben Hewitt who decided he’d do his northern mates a favour and miss. However it was Johnny Royds who did the “saying no to Ulster” as he made yet another save, guaranteeing himself Player of the Tournament, which was officially presented to him at the dinner that evening. Up stepped Jason to retain the cup. Never any doubt, as the ball trickled home against the back board. It was fitting that Johnny and Jason took much of the plaudits in winning the tournament as they were very solid in the last two games. Results: group stage: NUI Galway 3-1 (Richard Miles 2, Barry Glavey), University of Ulster 2-2 (Chris Tyrell, Richard Miles), UCD 5-2 (Andrew Beverland 2, Stuart Cinnamond, Jonny Orr, Ben Hewitt). Semi-final: Queen’s University 2-0 (Barry Glavey, Richard Miles). Final: University of Ulster 0-0 (3-1 on penalties – penalties from Niall Sommerville, Daire Coady and Jason Bryan).
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
DU Central Athletic Club
DU Sailing Club
New club reps on DUCAC committee
Money central to clubs’ success David Cummins Money is central to the success of sporting institutions across the globe, and in Trinity the case is no different. It might appear that the old adage of being born without a silver spoon rings true for some of College’s non-traditional sporting clubs. Every year, clubs fight it out to get their share of DUCAC’s gold, and based on information released at the recent AGM, it seems that there are major discrepancies regarding finance among Trinity’s 40 odd sporting clubs. But are some sports simply more costly than others? A total of 47 affiliated clubs competed for approximately €360,000 in College funding last year. But to whom and on what does the money go? Almost 33% of DUCAC’s annual giveaway is procured by the hockey, rugby, rowing and soccer clubs alone, leaving the others to battle it out for the rest. Naturally the distribution of funds will reflect the size of the club itself, but clearly some sports, and indeed certain elements of these sports, are more costly than others. From the breakdown of club expenditure, it is clear that insurance, travel, accommodation and capital equipment
The DUCAC AGM saw a new group of students elected to the Club’s committee. This year's student representatives are Maria Daly (Basketball), Andrea Fagan (Ultimate Frisbee), Áine Feeney (Ladies’ Boat), Mike Finnegan (Equestrian), David Lowry (Squash Rackets), Pádraig MacSuibhne (Amateur Boxing), Edward John Roffe-Silvester (Boat), and Marcus Walsh (Surf and Bodyboarding). The new secretary is Marie-Therese Bolger.
are the main areas of disbursement. When it comes to accommodation costs being covered by College, the sailing and soccer clubs received the lion’s share: almost €8,000 between them. €18,000 was required by the soccer, rugby and GAA clubs to cover travel expenses for the year, while the Boat Club was allocated the enormous sum of almost €16,000 towards capital equipment, more than the combined totals for all other clubs. Potholing and Ladies’ Cricket were the real losers, receiving a grand total of €80 between them for the year. While both the Boat Club and Ladies’ Boat Club together notched up over €20,000 for capital equipment, their coaching costs paled in comparison to those of the hockey and football clubs who shelled out close to €30,000 on professional training. Interestingly the women’s soccer team received more money for meals than their male counterparts. This is undoubtedly a contentious issue and no one would envy DUCAC the task of distributing these funds in an impartial manner. But is the grand total of €360,000 really enough to give Trinity’s sporting clubs the resources required to be the best on this island?
Rowers plan training camp in Spain
DU Harriers and Athletic Club
Great organisers but losers in Maynooth Denis Tkachenko DU Harriers and Athletic Club has once again scooped the top prize in the one-day event nomination at the prestigious CUSAI Intervarsity of the year Awards 2006. The award-winnning event was the Intervarsity Cross Country championships organized by the Club at the Trinity grounds in Santry in March 2006. The awards ceremony took place in the Pav on October 26, where DUHAC and the other four final nominees (DCU women’s rugby blitz, UL rowing, NUI Galway judo, and the swimming championship organized jointly by the RCSI and NUI Maynooth) faced the decision of the CUSAI committee. This victory was a fitting recognition of all the efforts put into the organisation of the smoothly-run cross country championships by the organising committee, Club President Professor Cyril Smyth, dedicated Trinity groundsmen, and DUCAC. Previously, the Club won this prize in 2001 for organising the two-day track and field championship. Current victory thus establishes a perfect record of two awards for two events organised this century. On the competition front, the club recently began its intervarsity season, taking part in the Maynooth Road Relays on November 18. Having won the Colours relay match against UCD earlier this year, DUHAC captains were hopeful for good intervarsity results. The event was traditionally held in the scenic surroundings of Maynooth College, and consisted of a 12-3-2-1 mile relay for men, and 1-2-2-1 mile relay for ladies. Five Trinity teams, two ladies’ and three men’s, braved the bitter cold on Saturday afternoon to represent the College. The ladies competed first, with captain Fódhla Treacy getting the “A” team off to a good start by coming fourth on the first leg. The relay was taken over by last year’s captain
Caitríona Hooper, who was forced to give up some ground by fierce competition from UL and DCU teams. The two remaining legs were run by talented newcomers Bryony Treston and Sarah Jacobson, who gained on the UL runners to land a creditable fifth overall place. The men’s team held much promise before the event, but was severely depleted in the run up to the race, with three elite runners pulling out due to injuries and illness. Captain Mark Kirwan was under pressure to make strategic decisions on the day in order to keep the dented team in contention for the top places. Karl Fahy, making his seventh consecutive appearance at these road relays, has run an impressive first mile achieving his personal best for this distance, and passing the relay sixth, keeping Trinity’s medal hopes just about alive. It was our next runner Fintan McGee, however, who stole the show by being the fastest on his twomile leg and lifting the team up to the second place. The remaining runners have produced gutsy performances on their legs, but simply could not sustain the lead. Owen O’Dwyer, in his first run for Trinity, produced an impressive personal best time, but was pushed back to seventh place on his third leg. Following him were Sean Flynn and Brian Dennehy, who have kept Trinity seventh until the end. Forced to watch the race from the sidelines due to injury, harriers’ captain Mark Kirwan was disappointed with the results, but expressed hope he would be able to assemble the right mix of new talent and established top runners, whose absence has so weakened the relay team, for the next long-distance competition in Athlone in the new year. In the meantime, the Club is preparing to venture out to the coldest place in Ireland – Nenagh Olympic Stadium – for the Indoor Track and Field Championships in December.
Trinity’s crew won the student yachting world cup held in France. Photo: Lisa Tait
Momentous win for Trinity’s sailors Lisa Tait Nine Trinity College weary-eyed, wind burnt, world champion sailors returned home pleased as punch last week, having just been crowned champions of the 26th Student Yachting World Cup 2006, which was held in Lorient (that’s in France for those of you who don’t study geography!). The event which was organised by the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, was sailed in Mumm 30s (30-foot yachts) for the first time since its inauguration in 1979. Thirteen teams of different nationalities (ranging from Germany to Japan) competed for the celebrated Cup. Trinity qualified for the Student Yachting World Cup earlier in 2006, after winning the rankings of the intervarsity team racing circuit. The team selected included Stefan Hyde, John Downey, Sam Hunt, Lisa Tait, Ronan Murphy, Katie Hamilton, Claudine Murphy and Russell Treacy, with Kerstin Zimmermann as team leader and the late Jenny Starr (a three foot tall, French speaking, femme
fatale-esque doll) as our team mascot. With Stefan Hyde as skipper, the team rose to the extremely challenging sailing conditions, including a night race which tested the navigational skills and toilet etiquette of everyone on board. Very light winds at the beginning of the week meant no sailing on Sunday. Ireland kept the fleet entertained with some skilled halyard-swinging and rousing choruses of ‘Ireland’s Call’, complete with actions. Fortunately the breeze picked up towards the middle of the week, culminating in thirty knots on the final day. Racing was very competitive. This was most evident from the Irish quarters, being donned officially the loudest and perhaps crudest boat in the fleet. It quickly emerged that five teams were effectively in the running for the prestigious title of Student Yachting World Champions; Ireland, Scotland, England (Southampton), USA and Portugal. Luckily, Ireland got off to a great start, leading the event from day one. However, things got a bit nasty with Portugal due to a vicious protest involv-
ing helicopter footage, aggressive hand gestures and some intimidation tactics on their part involving a stark lack of deodorant or basic hygiene skills. By day six, Ireland, England (Southampton) and Portugal emerged as the true contenders to the throne. With a mere three points between first and second place, one race left in the series and thirty knots of breeze, all was to play for. Adrenaline was pumping as Trinity, aware that a third would secure their victory, set out for the final day amid paparazzi snaps from local newspapers. Due to expert sailing in the high winds, Trinity rose victorious and crossed the finish-line in true tri-colour style. We were met with screams and applause from the support boats, as well as a champagne shower courtesy of team Scotland. Trinity sailing team was extremely proud to become the first Irish team ever to win this prestigious title and will be returning next year with equal enthusiasm and dedication as defenders of the cup.
DU Hurling, Camogie, Handball, Gaelic Football and Ladies’ Gaelic Football Clubs
GAA numbers are their highest ever Gavin Kerr For many years, Trinity GAA teams have lost several players due to their unwillingness to make that laborious trip to Santry Avenue, home of Trinity’s Gaelic pitches, to attend training sessions. Leaving front arch at 6pm, it would not be unusual for the team bus to arrive back in town after 10pm. Each season a similar trend would be observed. A large panel of players would be assembled at the start of the college year, all brimming with enthusiasm. However, the long hours lost to travelling to Santry would soon take its toll and the numbers would slowly but surely drop. At
the end of the day, all our students are here to receive a quality education and losing four hours twice a week made it very difficult for students to keep up with their course work. No argument from the GAA club. Thankfully however, Trinity GAA now has a fantastic alternative to Santry. All our teams now train in the state of the art facilities in the Clanna Gael Fontenoy grounds in Ringsend, just a 20 minute walk from the back gate. These facilities include two floodlit pitches, an indoor hall, six changing rooms, treatment rooms and a club house bar. Plans are in place for an all weather pitch and a hurling wall which are hoped to be finished sometime
in the early New Year. It is now the case that we have more numbers than ever playing our national games for Trinity. This could be attributed to the huge success the clubs have experienced over the past two seasons but in the view of this writer it is due not only to the amazing facilities available to our players but also due to the sheer convenience of it all. The leagues are just coming to close with the Christmas break fast approaching. As always the league campaigns have been used to field new players and help management pin down the best team for the championships which begin in early February. All our teams have done considerably well with the men’s football team,
last year’s championship winners, due to play in the quarter finals this week against last years league champions BIFHE. It makes for a mouth-watering prospect. The GAA clubs are now among the most highly regarded and influential clubs on campus and are always on the look out for new players and members. Our Club notice boards are located just inside the Front Gate. These boards will contain information regarding training, matches and other club activities. Alternatively you can check out the clubs’ websites at tcd.ie/clubs/gaa which are well worth the look. All contact details for club captains and coaches are available and the pictures sections in particular should provide a
few laughs to say the least! Our Christmas party, one of our main annual events, is scheduled for the 6th December. By all accounts this will be a fantastic night and no doubt Santa and his reindeer will make an appearance again this year. Further details will be available at the notice boards closer to the date. If anyone would like any further information on Gaelic Games in Trinity, please do not hesitate to contact our Gaelic Games Development Officer, Gavin Kerr. Gavin is based in the Department of Sport offices in the Luce Hall and can be contacted at 01-8962868 or by email at email@example.com. We look forward to another huge year for GAA in Trinity.
DU Boat Club is planning a weeklong training camp in Seville in January where the senior squad will avail of the top-of-the-range high-performance facilities on offer. The squad of ten will train in small boats on a 20km stretch on the Guadalquivir River for the duration of the camp. Seville played host to the 2002 World Championships and regularly welcomes national squads from across the world. A race night will take place at the Club premises in Islandbridge on December 8th to assist in the funding of the camp. The Club recently bid farewell to inspirational coach and boat manager, Tim Levy. Tim coached DUBC crews at all levels since his arrival in 2001, and played an integral role in the development of novice athletes. His coaching record was an impressive one, and this departure spells the end of an era for the Club. Tim’s successor, Andrew Coleman, takes over the reigns. Andrew captained DUBC in 1999 and has since represented Ireland on numerous occasions. He will no doubt use his many years of experience to the benefit of the Club. Neptune Head, scheduled to take place on November 11th on Blessington Lake, was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The next competitive outing will be Dublin Head which is scheduled to take place in early February.
UCD air rifle competition The UCD Air Rifle Open took place on 12 November. Iain Nash finished third overall and second in his class. Paul Magrath won class “D”, while Tommy McQuaid and Karl Brown were second and third in class “C” respectively. Squad coach Mark Dennehy was third in the Air Pistol Class and Wiepke Wissema finished fourth.
Colours win for squash club DU Squash Rackets Club won the Colours match against UCD on Saturday November 11. It was the first time in two years the Club had won the title despite winning the intervarsity event both years. The Colours team had been boosted this year by newcomers to the College, Nicolas Cano and Ben Ramasubba, as well as the welcome return of a former Club captain Karlis Zauers. The ladies also fielded a strong team, with Harriet Johnson taking the over the captain’s role while the permanent ladies’ captain was injured. The men’s “A” and “B” teams both defeated their UCD counterparts on a scoreline of 4-1. The ladies won a close tie 3-2. The men’s competitions were closer than the scoreline suggests with Trinity getting many narrow victories. Most notable of these was Aidan Sharkey’s victory over Danny McInerney in a thrilling five set match. Aidan, despite at one stage being two sets to one down, won the remaining two sets with the loss of just a single point. Another notable fixture was that of Kevin-Francis Humphreys against Andrew Hornshaw (UCD club captain). Kevin-Francis in his first Colours victory in his fourth year competing in the event closed out the match 3-0. Meanwhile Fiachra Moloney picked up a comfortable 3-0 in the men’s “B” competition in his first year playing Colours. Darshini Ramasubba won the deciding match for the ladies to ensure Trinity won all the events. At the end of the day the Colours trophy was presented to this year’s captain David Lowry. The remaining University event for the Squash Rackets Club is the Intervarsity tournament, in which the club will be hoping to retain the trophy.
TRINITY NEWS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2006
DU Football Club Rugby Colours
David beats Goliath as Trinity come out on top Trinity’s Shane Young takes out Ross McCarron of UCD during the Colours match. The game was “admittedly not the most attractive game of rugby ever seen at Donnybrook, but neither the Trinity players nor their thawing supporters seemed to mind come the final whistle”. Photo:INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Paddy McCullough Dublin University 16 University College Dublin 13 Another year, another Colours match and as the eight hundred or so strong crowd took their places on a bitterly cold November evening, the lessons of history were pointing squarely towards yet another Trinity defeat. Indeed it’s been ten years since the Dublin University club have won in this fixture, during which time the best the students could offer was a single draw from as many games. Looking down through the UCD squad as listed in the match night programme, one sensed the embarrassment of riches available to the Belfield coaching staff with such regular Leinster starters as Robert Kearney and Cillian Willis among their number. Compared to Trinity, who took the opportunity to introduce eleven newcomers, the Dublin 4 side looked, on paper at least, the clear favourites. UCD started as they meant to continue, taking the game to Trinity through their considerably larger pack. After setting up a good rolling maul from second row Richard Mandeno’s impressive claiming of the kick-off they opted to spread the ball wide, outside centre Ross McFadden releasing Killian Lett on the wing for a substantial gain, before being bundled into touch by the Trinity cover. When out half for the students Johnny Watt failed to find touch with his relieving kick, UCD got their first opportunity of the encounter to register points, the oncoming Trinity defence adjudged to have been offside by Referee Kevin Beggs. McFadden, handling the kicking duties for College, slotted the three and it seemed as though the game was progressing according to the pre-match script. It was not to be. Trinity having been let off rather easily by two consecutive crooked throws into the lineout by UCD hooker Conor Geoghan, responded brilliantly with a well worked try for winger Morgan Hickey-Crowe off the back of the resultant scrum. Watt showed good vision to cut out the onrushing midfield defence with a beautifully timed skip-pass to centre Brian Hastings, and good communication between fullback Gareth Murphy and Crowe saw the winger cross at the Bective end. Watt added the two. Trinity, with this early display of good hands and intelligent rugby, showed signs of causing serious troubles out wide and when only a minute and a half later centre Conor Donohue broke the line to steam into the UCD ten metres it looked like more tries might be on their way. Again and again however, Trinity were let down by handling errors and poor turnovers in promising positions. UCD on the other hand focused their attack more around the fringes looking to their talented and mobile backrow combination to attack off the base of rucks and scrums and together with the lively Brian O’Neil at scrumhalf, they caused serious problems in these areas. Much credit must be payed to the Trinity defence for soaking up long periods of UCD pressure close to their own Line, notably Joey Burns’s try-saving tackle on his opposite number nine 20 minutes in, O’Neil having broken from the base of a close in scrum and looking to muscle his way over for a try. Some poor decision making on behalf of standoff Jonny Watt, may have cost Trinity a try towards the end of the half. When a lineout maul was deliberately collapsed inside the UCD 22, captain Brian Hastings curiously eschewed the three points and opted to go for the corner. When the maul was again brought down, this time legally, Trinity looked to go wide. Twice Watt found himself in space with numbers outside him and twice he opted to attack the number twelve channel instead of availing of what looked an obvious overlap; on the first occasion slipping an inside pass to his supporting number eight and on the second choosing to go himself. The result was a turnover and a relieving penalty to UCD. When Ross McFadden crossed for a try after yet another period of long UCD pressure and brave Trinity defence just before the break, one felt that there was at least justice in the half-time scorline with College going in with a 13-7 lead, McFadden having added a further three points shortly before. If his poor kicking from hand and one or two questionable decisions had somewhat blighted his first half performance, Jonny
Watt emerged after the interval as Trinity’s man of the hour. With the wind at their backs Trinity opted to play the percentages with Watt running the show at number ten and the pack stepping up to the challenge. Although he still struggled somewhat with his tactical kicking, the control he exercised on the game meant that Trinity were playing in the right areas. The introduction of Leinster and Ireland “A” scrumhalf Cillian Willis for UCD only compounded Trinity’s difficulties in dealing with College’s attacking game around the base. Already making a name for himself on the professional scene with crisp passing and quick vision he kept the Trinity defenders guessing for the rest of the evening. However it’s a credit to the students’ defence that UCD failed to register a single point in the second half, second row Max Cantrel in particular having an immense game in this area.
With the forwards beginning to stamp their authority on the match and Trinity finding themselves more and more in their opponents half, Watt begin to vary his game more, opting to break himself on occasion and launching one or two high Garyowens to pressurise the UCD defence. Spurning the more expansive backline moves that had cost them possession time and time again in the first half through handling errors, Watt chose instead to play the game in close, sending his strike running centres and mobile loose forwards crashing up the ten and twelve channels. Soon the pressure began to turn into points. When after a fantastic catch and drive the Trinity pack made almost forty metres resulting in a penalty against UCD for hands in the ruck. Watt, otherwise unerring in his goal kicking, sent his attempt just fractionally wide, but was given a second opportunity minutes later with an identical penalty in an
almost identical position. This time he made no mistake and with the deficit reduced to three it was game on. UCD however continued to threaten. With just over fourteen minutes to go, left winger Killian Lett was denied in the corner by a try saver of a cover tackle from openside Shane Byrne; not the first big hit of the day from the Trinity number seven. Outhalf Ian Keatley made two excellent breaks and was unlucky with the second, not to gather his kick ahead for a possible try. But in the end it was Trinity who played the more intelligent rugby. A third kickable penalty again for playing the ball on the ground saw Watt tie the score up at 13 apiece, with seven minutes left to play. With Trinity now claiming dominance upfront (their scrum which creaked in the first half even turning UCD over on their own put in the 75th minute) the momentum was all theirs. With a minute and a half to go Watt received the ball from his
scrumhalf in centre field and although his drop-goal attempt was blocked down, the former RBAI ten had the presence of mind to gather and finding a hole in the UCD defence that just seemed to open for him he broke to take the ball just short. Again Trinity were patient, retaining the ball flawlessly through the phases and when yet again the ball was held up by a UCD hand, the referee had had enough. While wing forward Louis Burke was making his way to the bin, Watt took the points and the Game, thereby dislodging a ten year old monkey from Trinity shoulders. Though admittedly not the most attractive game of rugby ever seen at Donnybrook, neither the Trinity Players nor their thawing supporters seemed to mind come the final whistle. After all, a win against UCD is a win against UCD and no one will say they didn’t deserve it. The boys from Belfield, however, may
not be so enamoured. Having lost a game against a second division club which, on paper, they would have expected to close out by half time, they will have to reflect on chances not taken and poor discipline. Indeed, given the possession and territory they had, especially in the first half, a haul of thirteen points seems very poor change and their repeated infringing at the breakdown resulted in the points that eventually saw Trinity emerge victorious. Still, on days like these, one can’t help but savour the sweetness of a David and Goliath style win for the underdogs, particularly if one is a student of Trinity College. DU Football Club's first XV against UCD: 15 Gareth Murphy, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Brian Hastings, 12 Conor Donohue, 11 Killian Stafford. 10 Johnny Watt, 9 Joey Burns, 1 Tristan Goodbody, 2 Matt Crockett, 3 Andy King (Graham Murphy 60), 4 Shane Mullane (Roger Young 60), Max Cantrell, 6 Ross Condron, 7 Shane Young, 8 Peter McFeely.