Trinity News THE
Ireland’s Oldest Student Newspaper
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Paris THE A-Z OF SUPERBOWL Hilton at SPORTS the Phil SUNDAY FEATURES PAGE26
Students with disabilities left out in cold by DUCAC Lecturer criticizes ‘Unfair’ treamtent Derek Owens
* DUCAC reject €125,000 funding to install disabled access to Pavillion Bar CollegeDigest And the candidates will be... With nominations opening yesterday for the Students’ Union Sabbatical positions, candidates are only now declaring their intentions to stand for positions in the SU.
See page 2 Union score high in Student Poll With the Student Union election approaching and nominations opening yesterday, Trinity News decided to poll students about their relationship with their union.
See page 3 UCC Disciplinary Case University College Cork is awaiting the unsealing of a special envelope, containing the results of the college’s disciplinary committe into allegations of misconduct against Prof Connell Fanning..
See page 4 InternationalNews Thailand needs its tourists
Michael Dowling DUCAC, the college sporting authority, is facing severe embarrassment and possible legal action after it has emerged that they are blocking access to mobility impaired students to the Pav bar. Trinity News has recently learned that while college authorities have promised funding of €125,000 to make the Pav accessible to all students, DUCAC has vetoed these plans. Plans to make the Pav acces-
sible have been in the offing for many years. But it was just last year, following TCDSU intervention and determined efforts by the Trinity Physical Access Working Group, that a specific plan was drawn up and funding for the plan found. The plan was to install a lift in a small unused room on the ground floor of the Pav that could allow mobility impaired students to enter the Pav. Funding was also found to make the toilets accessible. The total cost of this work
would have been in the region of €125,000, and funding was secured from a college access fund and the Trinity Foundation. DUCAC (which runs the Pav) wouldn’t have had to spend any of their own money under this plan. All that was needed was for DUCAC to give their approval to the works and the funding would have been released. It is likely that the work would have been finished by this summer. However, just before the summer DUCAC told college that they
would not approve the plans, and instead proposed an alternative plan. Their new plan involved the installation of an external lift. This new design appears to have been motivated by a desire by DUCAC to keep their room on the ground floor of the Pav, even though it is not currently in major use. The alternative plan put forward by DUCAC increased the cost of the lift and toilets to about €325,000. It appears that DUCAC were still unwilling to spend any of Continued on Page 2
MCD brought in to save Trinity Ball Klara Kubiak
I am generally irritated by articles that begin by harkening back to the Following months of rampant collapse of the twin towers but I feel compelled in this instance to com- speculation around campus, the mit that which makes me cringe.See page 7 fate of the Trinity Ball 2005 has finally been decided and the ball BusinessNews will go ahead this year, despite perPromises, promises, promises - but will the governments of the sistent rumours to the contrary. world follow through? Concert and festival organisers In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Asia, governments are quick MCD confirmed their sponsorship of this year’s ball on Monday, to promise aid, but slow to provide it.See page 8 January 10th. MCD will be Features responsible for the production and When Killing is a Kindness organisation of the event, with tickThree years ago this month, Irish newspapers reported what was billed ets sales and distribution remaining in the hands of C.S.C. For the past as the first case of assisted suicide in Ireland.See page 12 few years the future of the event Comment has been seriously doubted, as risAhern’s conversion to socialism needs some proof ing insurance costs coupled with Only in Ireland do people laugh out loud at a coup. Not so long ago, falling ticket sales have resulted in the word went forth (oddly enough, via a TV3 interview) that the rul- previous balls netting a loss rather ing faction in our potato republic was now a Socialist party.Clearly, than a profit. the exile of Charlie McCreevy to Brussels wasn’t just an electoral C.S.C.’s Capitation Committee ploy. Bertie had cunningly removed his ideological enemy (famously officially cancelled the 2005 ball in disdainful of those ‘left wing pinkos’ who dare to criticize his budg- April of 2004 after agreeing that it ets) just before proclaiming his bloodless revolution. See page 21 could not feasibly be staged unless it proves profitable. But following Index Arts:10 SU & Societies:17 much protestation from a student College News: 1-5 Travel:11 Features:18-20 body eager to retain what has now News Features: 6 Food & Drink:12-13 Comment:21-22 become an institution in college International Listings:14 Letters:23 Review:7 Careers:15 Sport Feature:25-26 Business & Science:16 Sport: 27-28 Politics:8 Gaeilge: 24
life, the Trinity Ball Committee met last November to discuss bringing on board a professional organisation to aid in the management of the event, according to S.U. Entertainment Officer, Niall Morris. After receiving proposals from two music promotions companies, MCD and the P.O.D. group, the committee decided that MCD would prove the most appropriate and beneficial. The future of the ball was still undecided until MCD confirmed their sponsorship of the event last week Trinity Ball’s recent history has been somewhat turbulent: 2002 was the last significantly viable year of the event, with the Nokia and Guinness companies contributing vast sums to money to the cause, and tickets almost completely selling out. 2003 however was met with escalating insurance costs (increasing by almost 170%) and a notable decrease in ticket sales. Last year’s ball, despite selling 5400 out of the 6000 available tickets, made a loss of 14,000 euro due to insufficient sponsorship, accord-
ing to C.S.C.’s Honorary Treasurer, Joe O’Gorman. The last ball to be cancelled was in 1995, and a decade later it could have suffered a similar fate, if not for the timely injection of this much needed funding. The Irish based MCD company have developed, promoted and managed some of the biggest festivals in Europe such as Witnness, Slane and Creamfields in Ireland and V2000 in England. Securing a sponsor within the entertainment and music industry will presumably benefit the ball’s organisers in accessing artists for the event. The Entertainment Officer believes working with such a company will also allow for a higher standard of production, publicity and sponsorship sourcing thanks to MCD’s contacts and experience. After recent structural reorganisation within the C.S.C’s Capitation Committee, profit sharing of ball proceeds will occur this year, O’ Gorman states. Thus funds made from the ball will go back to the Capitation Committee to be dis-
tributed amongst C.S.C., the Student’s Union and other societies. One discouraging factor for ball-goers in recent times (which is perhaps at least partially responsible for the fall out in attendance) has been climbing ticket prices for the event. O’Gorman predicts, however, that ticket prices will not increase this year, but perhaps could be marginally cheaper. At worst, it is expected that prices for tickets will remain the same as last year. C.S.C. will still oversee the ticket management, sales and distribution system, with payment for tickets again being made through Bank of Ireland. MCD and the Student’s Union Entertainment Officer, Niall Morris will together liaise with performers in the coming months; no acts have been confirmed to date, and those involved are remaining reticent about who will be approached to perform. Falling slightly later in Trinity term than in previous years, the 2005 ball will take place on Friday May 13th.
Dr. Gerald Morgan, a lecturer in medieval English, has sharply criticized the senior administrative staff of college for their handling of his disciplinary case two years ago. In an effort “to clear my name”, Dr. Morgan has issued a public statement to the Board of College, stating that “over the last two years I have been harassed and humiliated as if I were a criminal.” According to Dr. Morgan, the issue dates back to January 2002, when he issued a letter criticizing a colleague’s handling of a staff issue. As a result of that letter, Dr. Morgan was investigated for “malice and deffamation of character” by the Senior Dean, Prof. Cyril Smyth. In October, Prof. Smyth informed Dr. Morgan that he had found against him, and would (should Morgan give consent) reccomend that he be suspended for 3 months without pay. Morgan refused to give his consent and the case was set to be heard again by a disciplinary review panel. Before this happened, however, a complaint of physical intimidation and harrassment lodged against him by a colleague, Dr. Stephanie Newell.Dr. Morgan was suspended on the basis of Dr. Newell’s accusation with immediate effect by the Senior Dean, before any contact had taken place between himself and Morgan on the matter. When questioned on the step he took by Trinity News, the Senior Dean described it as a “very difficult decision”, but emphatically stated that he “stood by his decision”. The Senior Dean went on to say that Dr. Morgan refused to attend an interview regarding the accusation. Dr. Morgan told Trinity News that he refused on a matter of principle to appear “under duress”, and that his immediate suspension was “a presumption of guilt” and “an infringement of “my natural rights as a citizen”. Similarly, he resigned his fellowship “out of protest at what was happening”. Dr. Morgan states that he subsequently made a retraction of this resignation to the President of the Fellows. Since his retraction was not made to Board,a spokesperson for College argued, it was not accepted. The case has been the subject of extensive legal action, and at a recent meeting, a standing committee of the fellows found that there was ‘dubium’ surrounding the case. The meeting of the Fellows ruled, however, that the case was a matter for Board. In an interview with Trinity News, Dr. Morgan asserted his innocence of any wrongdoing, and stated that : “I don’t wish my life to be defined by allegations of harassment. I am innocent of this, and I want a chance to state my case, and prove this”
TRINITY NEWS ONLINE www.trinity-news.com
Thursday January 20, 2005
News Editor: Derek Owens
Union blow €43,000 on office renovations Jonathan Drennan One of the few negative aspects about being a student is the lack of money we generally find in our pockets at regular intervals during the year. The Student’s Union have somehow found some money though, and have recently had their offices fitted out to the tune of forty-three thousand euros. The work consisted of completely revamping the office with a new carpet, a
new counter, and a rewiring job amongst other things. The amount of money spent seems excessive given the nature of the work and some may ponder the wisdom of the move by the union. The Student Union owned Dublin University Student Travel has hit the rocks financially and the question remains could this not have benefited from the money, giving it a stay of execution whilst continuing to serve the student community
at large. Cutbacks also abound accross college, and Trinity News questioned President Francis Kieran, enquiring whether the money would have been better spent elsewhere. Kieran however vehemently denies that other financial pressures are relative to the issue of the forty-three thousand euros, arguing that:“The planning of this refurbishment took place in the year 2002/03 and was completed in late 2003. That was before financial turbulence with
DUST became apparent.” It is important to remember that the responsibility for the refitting of the office may well lie on the shoulders of ex students’ union president Will Priestley, with Kieran stating: “The planning of the Office refurbishment commenced early in Will Priestley’s year”. The plans only started to gain significant speed under the next President Annie Gatling who completed her tenure last year. It is hard for the average stu-
dent to understand the excessive spending of the Union in regards to something as trivial as office comfort. Kieran is adamant he is on the side of the student and this winter wonderland he has just created is designed to be more accessible to everyone. He says, “The previous office projected a very poor image and was not user friendly for students. It had been over 8 years since the last significant change in the office and given the planned flexibility in the newly
refurbished offices the SU are satisfied that it will get full value for the money invested on behalf of our students”. The current Student Union may not made the original plans for the office but have been left with a reasonably hefty deficit in their coffers. For the people at House Six however it will be business as usual, Kieran added that there would be no more visits to the January Sales saying, “This year - 2004/05 - the SU is not undertaking any similar
large expenditure and we are budgeting for a surplus.” It is imperative to remember that any blame for this debacle lies away from the current students’ union and their commitment to worthwhile causes are unwavering with the Union throwing it’s remaining financial muscle behind the Tsunami appeal taking place during week three of this term.
And the candidates will be....
* Nominations open for SU Sabbatical positions * Ruth Ní Eidhin, Ed Reilly, to stand for SU President * Scaled down election plans to save on waste & money Derek Owens With nominations opening yesterday for the Students’ Union Sabbatical positions, candidates are only now declaring their intentions to stand for positions in the SU. Speculation has been keen however, with figures ranging from SU Deputy President Ruth Ní Eidhin to society man Luke Reynolds being touted for the position of SU President. Ní Eidhin has confirmed her intentions to stand in the forthcoming election, along with last years defeated Presidential candidate Ed Reilly. Anotherr candidate from last year, Mark Munnelly, who lost out on the SU Presidency by only 47 votes, has been linked with a return to SU politics. Munnelly, currently pursuing postgraduate qualifications in Peace Studies, has yet to confirm or deny the reports. Trinity News has also learned of individuals from outside ‘traditional’ SU circles contemplating a bid. Though his name has been repeatedly reported to
Trinity News, Luke Reynolds, CSC chairman was unavailable for comment on any rumors. Sources close to Reynolds were adamant, however, that he was “seriously tempted” to enter the race.They are also expected to be facing strong competition from John Mannion, a 4th year history student. As a senior figure in the TCD GAA club, Mannion can expect, like Munnelly before him, a strong portion of the ‘athletic vote’. The field for the other sabbatical positions already appears to be taking shape. While the Deputy Editor of the Record, Claire Waters, appears to have ruled herself out of the running for Deputy President, reports indicate that Andrew Payne, BESS convener, is contemplating campaigning for the position. The election for Ents officer, meanwhile, is shaping up into a three-horse race. Reports that Niall Morris is contemplating taking on the role of Ents officer for another year remain uncomfirmed, but Mick Culinan, a member of the Ents com-
mittee has declared his interest in the position. He is expected to be facing stiff competition in the form of Niall Hughs, another longtime member of the committee. One name linked to the post of Education officer has been Rory Treanor. When asked by Trinity News about taking over the position, he reported that:”I’ve been thinking about it, yeah. I’m just sure now, I don’t know at all”. Should he decide to run, he is expected to be up against Denise O’Connell, a 4th year BESS student. In the race for Welfare, one clear candidate has appeared. Tom Lowth, another 4th Year BESS student and this year’s SU Equality of Access officer, is expected to make a bid for the position. When asked about the election plans by Trinity news, Education officer Daithi Mc Sithig, remarked how “It feels like a half term report, because a candidate lets on how good a job they think you’ve done.” Regardless of what kind of campaigns are run, Mac Sithig has to “sit there with a
Our Future Leaders? Clockwise from left: Mark Munnelly, Ed Reilly, Rory Treanor, Luke Reynolds poker-face”, as his duties entail administrating the elections. He was therefore keen to point out the details of the election schedule. Nominations are to close on Wednesday 2nd February, and campaigning is to begin officially on Monday the 14th February, continu-
ing on until Wednesday or Thursday of the next week of term. Mr. Mac Sithig told Trinity News that there would be no major changes from the election format of last year, but smaller changes would be introduced. The number of major campaign occasions will be reduced to
three ‘hustings’ events, taking place at the JCR, on the Dining Hall steps, and at Trinity Halls. There will also be a reduced amount of flyers and posters to minimize waste. The costs of running the campaign vary from candidate to candidate, but Mr. Mac Sithig informed Trinity News that a
deposit of €60 was necessary to run, which would be returned to each candidate, unless he or she had incurred fines for impropropriety during the campaign. Mr. Mac Sithig, along with the other Sabbatical officers, urged all those interested in standing for an SU Position to contact him for more information.
Pav’s failure to include disabled access Michael Dowling Continued from Page1 their own funds on the project. College baulked at the increased costs, and said they could no longer afford to fund the project. This has left the project in limbo, and unlikely to proceed in the near future. DUCAC, which is responsible for the running of all the sporting clubs in college, could now face legal action for discrimination under the European Framework Directive on Disability which was implemented by the Irish government in 2003, and which requires all buildings to be accessible by mobility impaired people. The blocking of mobility impaired students from the Pav is particularly embarrassing for DUCAC in light of the fact that
they are currently in the process of a major renovation of the Pav. These renovations include the installation of wide flatscreen TVs, a change of furniture, and improvements to the toilets. It will be hard for DUCAC to justify placing such emphasis on improving the experience of students who are not mobility impaired, while at the same time they are effectively blocking students with disabilities from enjoying the Pav experience. When contacted by Trinity News, Ross Wynne, the TCDSU officer for students with disabilities, who has been active for the last two years on the issue of getting all students the right to use all college facilities, including the Pav, said about the issue: “DUCAC have been very unhelpful in the Pav project, if we’d been allowed
run with the original plans, this project would now be underway or possibly even finished”. The issue has also been discussed before SU Council, although no motions calling for progress on the issue have yet been passed. According to the Disability Office in college there are at least 40 students with a physical disability in college. These students face numerous difficulties in attending Trinity including the inaccessibility of the 1937 Postgraduate Reading Room and even problems crossing the cobblestones of Front Square. Ross Wynne states that: "there are a lot of good people making positive efforts to make Trinity accessible to students with disabilities; it's just unfortunate that on this particular issue that it seems to have been held up by
Unable to access the Pav- DUCAC ensure it stays that way DUCAC wanting a more expensive and unnecessarily complex solution. Hopefully it's just a misunderstanding and they will join with the
rest of us in being a positive contributor to the project".
Worm unleashed on network March of restructurAnne - Marie Ryan A number of college websites became infected by an internet worm over the Christmas holidays, suspending write access for college web authors until January 10th. According to Sara McAneny, IT Security officer for IS Services, the worm, called ‘perl/santy.a’, exploited a vulnerability in older versions of a type of php bulletin board software. This worm affected thousands of web servers worldwide, including a number of web servers in College. The infection entered the system at approximately 4.30p.m. on December 20th, leaving many students unable to update society websites over the Christmas break. “The main College web server, www.tcd.ie, became infected because some web authors had installed the bulletin board software into their website folders and had not maintained or updated it”, said McAneny. IS services has come under fire however for the length of time it took to inform web authors of the write access suspension and the time it took to resolve the difficulty. Write access was not restored until January 10th.
According to Sara McAneny an email was sent by IS Services at 9am on December 21st to a web administrators mailing list to inform them of the situation. This web administrators’ list, she said, “consists of all top level web site owners”. These website owners, who have “ultimate responsibility for the websites” were asked to pass the information on to any other individuals who work on sub folders or sub sites within their sites. However, it would appear that these “top level web site owners” did not include the many students who update CSC and DUCAC websites. One student informed Trinity News that had he not made enquiries to IS Services himself he would not have discovered the nature of the problem until January 4th, when an alert was placed on the IS Services website in relation to the suspension of write access. Write access was suspended for 20 days while IS Services rectified the problem. However, McAneny defended the length of time it took to resolve the difficulty. “Following the Christmas break IS Services were required to make additional configuration changes on the original server to ensure
that once write access was resumed web authors could not reintroduce the original vulnerability back into the system”, she said. “These changes were made and a security review of the system was completed before write access was restored on Monday, January 10th.” Suspension of write access is not the only problem IS Service has faced in recent times. A network upgrade was planned on Thursday, 6th January and IS Services gave only two days notice of the four hour shut down. The upgrade was cancelled only two hours before it was due to start, when it became apparent that the proposed changes would introduce instability with the network core. Difficulties have also been encountered in computer rooms in Áras na Phiarsaigh and East End, where students have been unable to open e-mail attachments and access library databases. Trinity News recently highlighted the huge proportion of budgeting for IS Services which is accounted for by wages by comparison with UCD. IS Services also has a larger budget than its counterpart in UCD, in spite of having less public access computer facilities.
ing to start up again Abby Semple The SU Council and University Council are to meet next week to discuss the implications of newlypublished proposals on the structures and governance of college faculties. The Provost intends to push forward with the proposed restructuring of the academic faculties but signalled in a memo released on the 8th of December that a final decision on the restructuring proposals would not be made by the Board until February, before which time key documents will be made available to the SU and University Council. At a meeting of the University Council last Wednesday attended by faculty convenors, Education Officer Daithí Mac Síthigh and GSU Vice-President Charlie Larkin, concerns were raised about the content of the proposals as regards the weighting of subjects, non-EU students and the ongoing funding for the Library and Student services. However there has not been any indication that such objections on the part of faculty and student representatives
will affect the implementation of the proposals, giving rise to the perception that the restructuring is a ‘done deal’. Despite the Provost’s reassurances that the consultative process is being taken seriously, the timetable under which the Academic-based Resource Allocation Model (ARAM) is meant to be implemented, beginning in September 2005 has lead many staff members and student representatives to view it as unflexible. A paper published by the Bursar on December 14th set out the key features of ARAM including the weighting of different subjects to determine resource allocation and the funding of research. The second paper on ARAM, being published next week, will contain proposals on the way in which non-EU and post-graduate fees will be included in the income of the new Schools. Class Reps have also been asked to attend the meetings of their departments on the proposals, and to meet with their classes to discuss the proposals once the relevant documents become available.
Water coolers arrive - Francis Kieran declares victory
A- Level Solution Defended Toby Jones Despite recent unfavorable coverage in the national press, both College and the Students’ Union remain firm in their support of their solution to the A-Level admissions dilemma, which will see 25% of places being set aside for A-Level student. The move comes after several months of wrangling between the SU and College, after a review panel concluded that the current weight given to A-Levels (and ‘A’ grade, for example, was worth the equivalent of 190 CAO points) was disproportionately high. The panel recommended that the value given to A – level results be reduced accordingly, as reported in Trinity News on October 12, 2004. Protests were raised, however, about the speed with which this new system was to be introduced and a new system was implemented, whereby 25% of places in TCD would be set aside for A-Level Students applying this year. In the Irish Times of Tuesday, th 11 January, however, an article appeared in which Mr Brian Mooney, president of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, criticised the system. He told the Irish Times that that it “ gave a clear advantage to one group”. It was also pointed out by the Irish Times, that Prof John
Murray, Senior Lecturer, had told Alevel applicants that “they will be competing in a closed system” and thus have a very high chance of securing a place in Trinity. College rejected claims of discrimination against Irish students, and argued that the new system will make it easier for Leaving Certificate students to gain a place in ‘high-interest’ courses such as law and medicine. These courses can, on occasion, take in 50% of their students from the ALevel system. Sources within the Union also supported the decision, pointing out the above statistic, and stating that it was necessary to implement any changes to the current admissions system gradually, so that students who had begun the A-Level process already would not be harmed by the alteration. Mr. Mac Síthigh, SU education officer, stated firmly that “Changes that are being made for the year 2005/6 are absolutely essential to ensure that students taking 3 subjects are not discriminated against during the transition period. The Students' Union encouraged the college authorities to write to Northern Irish and British schools and to make the necessary interim arrangements, and we are entirely happy with the system that is in place.”
Assistant News Editor: Kathryn Segesser
Thursday January 20, 2005
College co-ordinates Tsunami relief efforts Senior Dean pushing College-wide fundraising effort for disaster victims Christine Bohan Trinity’s response to the tsunami catastrophe in South–East Asia has swung into action, as a co-ordinated staff-student effort at raising money to aid the disaster area begins next week. A wide number of events will be held during weeks 3 and 4 (January 24th – February 4th) with the hope that as many people in the college community as possible will get involved to help rebuild the devastated communities affected by the tragedy. The Senior Dean, Professor Cyril Smyth, convened a co-ordination group just before college started back this term, having received numerous emails over the Christmas break from people who wanted Trinity to help out with the relief effort. The group is made up of representatives from the Student’s Union, the Central Societies Committee (CSC) and DUCAC, as well as interested staff members, and have been meeting regularly to oversee the planning and organisation of a timetable of events. As SU President Francis Kieran explains, “By having all fundraising co-ordinated and taking place within a set timeframe we can raise more money and create a buzz behind the fundraising drive. For that reason it was decided to focus on week 3 and week 4, which is RAG Week, as weeks for action”. A full timetable of events will be publicized in the coming
week. Some highlights of SU-run events during RAG Week will include BESS day on the Tuesday, a hypnotist in the Buttery on the Wednesday, a hundred-metre long stretch of euro coins in Front Square also on the Wednesday, a DUCAC-run sponsored walk to the Phoenix Park on the Thursday and the Revs in the Buttery on the Friday, as well as a number of nightclub events. Ents Officer Niall Morris is optimistic that the relief effort will encourage more people –both students and staff – to get involved with RAG Week, which has a tradition of being met with searing indifference in Trinity. “Acombination of the relief effort cause and the range of events on offer should be incentive for loads of people to get involved. Also it’s been moved back this year, so it doesn’t clash with the SU elections, which mean potential candidates and their campaign teams have more time to get involved”. The CSC have encouraged all societies to hold fundraising events and get their members to take part. All proceeds from BESS Day (Feb 1st) will be going to the appeal, including all money raised by a street collection that the Vincent de Paul will be holding around Dublin city centre. VdePare also planning to do bag packing in several shopping centres and a pub crawl collection as well as speed dating and a slave auction in the Buttery. One World will be donating profits from their Japanese night to the cause; Zoo Soc will do the
same from their animal fancy dress party in Doyles. As well as the sponsored walk during RAG Week, DUCAC are also planning a Sporting Heroes night in the Pav. If the sound of all this activity is too much for you, January 26th may offer you some relief. A Big Night In has been organised, which means groups of friends stay in and watch DVD’s or have dinner instead of going out, instead donating the money they would have spent on a night out to the cause. The Senior Dean has been very proactive in getting the staff involved. In what is expected to be a major fundraiser, staff have been given the option of donating a day’s pay or alternatively a percentage of their salaries by filling in a form on the Senior Dean’s website. He is also looking into the possibility of publishing a book of poetry with new work from students of Trinity and leading Irish poets who may have links with TCD. He has been in talks with Catering to provisionally donate all money spent on tea and coffee in college on one day to the effort. The Provost, Dr. John Hegarty, has expressed his support for the project; speaking exclusively to Trinity News he spoke of Trinity’s duty to helping out those affected. “Trinity has always had a strong international sense both in terms of student composition and campaigns for those countries less well off than Ireland. The Appeal will provide a mechanism for all in
Above: Meeting to co-ordinate tsunami relief in College Trinity – students and staff – to help those in most immediate need in the world at the moment”. As the emphasis shifts from short-term emergency aid to long-term redevelopment issues, the Provost spoke of Trinity’s role: “I am looking into how Trinity might help, in the medium term, in other ways that
play to our considerable strengths in education, policy development and international connections”. He also encouraged students and staff to get involved with the fundraisers, saying “Recovery will necessitate all the help from across the world that it can get both in the medium
Photo: Cassidy Knowlton and long term. I would urge everybody to give as generously as they can. We in Ireland are privileged in many respects and have a duty towards those not so privileged”. His comments were echoed by SU President Francis Kieran; “There has been a huge outpouring of people in
Trinity who want to do something to help the victims of the disaster. Students should get involved in whatever way and to whatever extent they can. There will be so many different ways to contribute and get involved that it will be difficult not to”.
Major plans to add a new Pearce St. enterance to college being prepared Kathryn Segesser A planning application for the development of the Pearse street entrance is currently in preparation, to be lodged with Dublin City Council at the end of November. The Plan follows an international architectural competition held in 2002, the first phase of which, "Student
Residences on Pearse Street and changes to Luce Hall", was granted permission by an Bord Pleanála in May 2004. The current application is for livein buildings along Pearse Street designed to connect the island campus with Pearse Street and the city centre environs to the north of the College. A major new entrance would prove the focus of activity in connection with commuter rail links and the river Liffey.
As well as providing new teaching buildings on the college side, the Plan also incorporates the existing Georgian houses facing onto Pearse Street and a Victorian faience shopfront extending across the five houses. This will be moved to other shops with less commercial activity. Most of the houses will be upgraded and converted for use as student housing at upper levels, with new shops and stu-
dent society and social rooms facing onto Pearse Street at the ground floor level. The desire to open up the campus to the community is central to the plan. However, to achieve this a small number of houses will need to be demolished. These are of similar date, construction and character to those which are to be renovated. Consultations have already been held with Community,
Conservation and City Council representatives. These concluded that the loss of these houses will be outweighed by the living community benefits that will be achieved for the Pearse Street area and the College. The local community has been in active dialogue with the College over the past few years to improve the environs on Pearse Street as a living community area mostly through TCD’s
TN POLL SU score high in student poll, although still confusion over how to contact the Union Liz Johnson and Kathryn Segesser * 100 students polled about their Students Union * Generally positive feedback in run-up to this years elections With the Student Union election approaching and nominations opening yesterday, Trinity News decided to poll students about their relationship with their union. 100 hungry, ranting Students were cornered outside the Buttery, the Ed Burke and various other parts of campus and this is what we discovered: * Surprisingly, BESS students seemed best informed when it came to naming and titling SU Officers, although perhaps marginally more surprising was the even spread of awareness of SU officers and their positions. Rather than the results being polarised, those able to name one or two Officers were almost as common as those who could name all or none.
would do so this year. * Finally, it seems that the vast majority (64%) believe that the Student’s Union is doing its job, namely working for the students, however SU President Francis Kieran will no doubt be eager to address the 16% polled who felt the SU put the College’s interests ahead of those of the students.
Choice quotes: “They seem very proactive compared to my home university” American exchange student
tive this year” 3rd year nursing student
“Niall Morris would be really hot if he cut his hair” 2nd year BESS student “They seem to be trying but I think that the students need to support them more” 3rd year law student
“They don’t seem very proac-
How many SU Officers can you name and title?
Just when you thought that Michaelmas Term guests and debates could not be topped, with the likes of Senator John McCain and Rev. Jesse Jackson addressing Trinity, Hilary Term looks set to overshadow the last term with a fantastic lineup of guests and debates at both the Historical Society and the Philosophical Society. Kicking off the week is the Hist which is today, Wednesday 19 January, hosting a ‘Freshers’ Masters Debating Competition’ all day-long, and is also holding a weekly film to be shown in the Hist Conversation Room, every Thursday at 5pm. Then from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th January both the Hist and the Phil will be playing host to the TCD Intervarsity Debating Competition which will feature over 60 teams from around Ireland and the world, including the UK, US and Singapore. On Thursday 3rd February the Phil are hosting what promises to be a stimulating and controversial Northern Ireland debate, with such prominent guests as Nobel Peace prizewinner David Trimble, as well as ex-
Whose interests do the SU promote the most?
Did you vote in the last SU election?
Do you know how to contact the SU?
Have you ever contacted the SU?
structure status of the terraced buildings has however provided some challenges to the scheme. This is the reason for the involvement of Bord Pleanála. The College has indicated that it will be happy to comply with Bord Pleanála rulings on these matters, whatever they may be. If planning permission is granted, there is no definite start or completion date for the project as it is subject to funding constraints
Phil and Hist attract big names for Hilary Term David James
“Who are the SU?” 2nd year TSM student
“I know how to find them and whenever I’ve gone up they’ve always been very helpful” 4th year engineering student
Community Liaison Officer’s participation in the local RAPID committee. The design for the new entrance proposes a small public space set back from the street line to give some respite from the heavy traffic on the street. Each phase of the phased development strategy would introduce a new connection between the street and the College. The creation of a major new entrance to be called North Gate Square will be the central civic design aspect of the Pearse Street Development Plan. The protected
IRA and current Sinn Fein member Gerry Kelly. However, what will really whet Trinity appetites is the possible arrival of rich and kinky video star Paris Hilton, who might come to the Phil as she will be in London for London Fashion Week (13-17 February). Her publicist contacted Phil President Patrick Cosgrave in early January for some possible dates, but as yet nothing is confirmed. Michael Stipe of REM is very likely to come to the Phil for an interview in the third week of February, whilst certain but yet-to be announced Phil guests include Bob Geldof, Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Dr. Paul Nurse, and the economist Jeff Sachs, who masterminded the reforms in Eastern Europe. Dr. Alexander Shulgin, who essentially created the ecstasy drug as we know it today will be addressing Trinity thanks to the Phil on March 11th, whilst Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be speaking on June 7th or 8th. A jaw-dropping line-up of guests and debates are thus set to take Trinity by storm this term, ensuring students are kept entertained, stimulated, and out of the library.
* Over half of those questioned however, if able to name officers of the SU, were unsure as to how to contact them. Of those that did know, 72% had been in contact with various officers in the past. * Voting turnout for the last election was rather low at 44% of those polled. It seems that New Years optimism is still floating around though, as 36% of those who failed to vote last time swore blind that they
Michael Stipe and Paris Hilton may yet grace Trinity
Thursday January 20, 2005
Assistant News Editor: Liz Johnson
Trinity News New Year, New Awareness Campaign Liz Johnson * Food and Drink companies establish new Foundation * Aims to increase public nutrition awareness * Highlights importance of healthy eating and lifestyle choices After the excesses of Christmas, many of us will be casually thinking of detox and other healthy thoughts. However, moving back to Dublin and into the student life of bare fridges, slightly dodgy kebabs and liquid lunches makes it hard, especially after three weeks of becoming reaccustomed to three square meals a day provided lovingly by Mum! The eating habits of young people, including students, have been an issue of concern for some time now, and movies such as “Supersize Me” ,books and international government campaigns all tackle the subject. With obesity on the increase and fast food as popular as ever, Irish Food and Drink companies have
come together to establish a Nutrition & Health Foundation. The Foundation will provide consumers with evidence-based information on nutrition and physical activity, to enable them to make informed lifestyle choices. The Nutrition and Health Foundation brings together such stakeholders as scientists, government, health professionals and industry and will be led by Food and Drink Industry Ireland. (FDII). Ciaran Fitzgerald, IBEC Director of Sectors, says “We need to be proactive now in order to address the health of our young people, rather than risk the consequences later in life”. Mr Fitzgerald went on to say that the public need to tackle public health issues in a clear and factual way in order to bring about real change in our society. The founding food and drink companies have already put forward over €1million and that figures is expected to grow substantially as more and more companies join the foundation. This money will go towards finding out what information the public really desire, and then putting together the resources and expertise to go out and find the information and present it to the public.
Looking ahead: Food industry leaders with a vision for healthy eating The priorities of the Foundation will be to help consumers in different areas. For example, those involved are
aiming for a better understanding of the detailed information that is given on food labels. In addition, the Foundation
wants to see consumers engaging in attitudinal research in order to understand the needs of the consumer for information in the area
of nutrition and health. Eventually the Nutrition and Health Foundation wants to channel resources towards perti-
nent scientific research in these areas and to develop a campaign, in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, that aims to reach consumers with positive messages about the importance of healthy eating and adequate physical activity. The scientific grounding for the Foundation’s activities will be provided through its links with the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA), the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI) and the Exercise and Sports Science Association of Ireland (ESSAI). Trinity College professor, Mr Mike Gibney, is involved in IUNA and says “The Nutrition and Health Foundation formalises the longstanding links between the food and drink industry, scientists and health professionals. “It will contribute towards the promotion of a healthier Ireland.” This foundation is the first of its kind to be introduced in Ireland and it is hoped that by promoting its consumer- driven messages of increased public information and health awareness, it will be able to make some kind of impact on the state of young people’s health.
New Industry Initiative To Encourage High-Tech Grad Careers Liz Johnson Minister Hanafin, TD for Education and Science announced this week that a new internship programme was to be set up to help students completing degrees in the high-tech industry sector. The joint initiative is being undertaken in partnership with the Higher Education Authority and ICT Ireland, the IBEC body representing the hightech sector, with the HEA providing annual funding of €0.5m per year. The higher education institutions involved will develop alternative undergraduate degree tracks, initially in the electronic engineering field.
The final two years of the pilot programmes will be made available through an internship option in one of a number of participating high technology companies. In the pilot stage, which is due to start this year, over 50 third and fourth year students from five Universities and Institutes of Technology will spend two days a week in paid employment in industry. Students completing their CAO applications were asked by the Education Minister to pay special attention to the employment possibilities that may result from participation in such a scheme. It is also hoped that by offering this initiative, and in line with an ongoing campaign, more students will consid-
er a degree in the high-tech industry sector. This area has been experiencing a drop in graduates, due to more CAO applicants opting for arts or even science degrees. The Minister described the initiative as a win-win for industry, higher education and the prospective students. “This new collaboration has obvious potential benefits for the industry partners, in terms of the development of a future supply of highly qualified students, with skills relevant to the sector. “There are also benefits for the higher education institutions through improved take up of places, higher retention rates and the opportunity to work closely with industry leaders in
enhancing the relevance and quality of programmes provided.” The Minister went on to herald the initiative as a major vote of confidence by ICT industry leaders in future growth and jobs supply in the sector. “The initiative is an important signal of the close connectivity between higher education institutes and industry in areas that are key to our economic activities and development. The responsiveness of our higher education sector to the dynamics of labour market demand in the high technology sector sends an important message to potential multi-national investors in Ireland. From the perspective of the students themselves, there are huge advan-
Minister Hanafin, TD tages around immediate earning opportunities, together with valuable experience and career development opportunities.” It is hoped the scheme will come into effect as soon as possible.
UCC Court Case Gender Gap Still A Problem Ruth Hodgins
* UCC Prof subject to High Court Hearing * Misconduct allegations strongly denied
* Gender disparity amongst different courses still apparent * Little progession in efforts to tackle problem
University College Cork is awaiting the unsealing of a special envelope, containing the results of the college’s disciplinary committe into allegations of misconduct against Prof Connell Fanning. The envelope will be opened at the outcome of a High Court judgement presided by Mr Justice Gilligan. Mr Senan Allen SC, for Prof Fanning, said that if the proceedings were declared not applicable, the envelope would be torn up and Prof Fanning would be entitled to seek up to €50,000 costs. Mr Allen said Prof Fanning had taken part in the disciplinary hearing strictly without prejudice to his claim that he was not amenable to the procedure. Prof Connell Fanning is the head of UCC’s acclaimed economics department. He is challenging the college’s decision to conduct a disciplinary hearing and has stated that he “hotly contests” the allegations of gross misconduct. These allegations first surfaced when a female member of the college staff, reported that Prof Fanning grabbed her by the throat. The incident was alleged to have occurred in the college car-park on August 31st, 2001, when Ms Joan Buckley, then an employee of UCC’s language department, was leaving in her car. In November, a court hearing heard from Mr Ian Finlay SC, for UCC. He said that Ms Buckley had reported she was assaulted by Prof Fanning arising from his concerns about the safety of his dog with regards to her driving behaviour. Ms Buckley had given a written account of the event but had said she did not wish to pursue the matter. UCC contends that it was obliged to investigate and to suspend Prof Fanning on full pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Prof Fanning was later able to procure a court order restraining
UCC from suspending him. The earlier court hearings were also told that in October 2001, following correspondence between lawyers for both parties, the issues between them were amicably resolved and they agreed they would take no further steps. The professor's original proceedings ended in a High Court finding against him on July 25th, 2002, which was then overturned by the Supreme Court. It returned the case to the High Court for a further full hearing, which is now taking place before Mr Justice Gilligan. UCC denies that its decision to conduct a disciplinary inquiry under college procedures is outside its powers and says it was unaware that the dispute between Prof Fanning and Ms Buckley had been privately resolved. UCC has also denied that it is precluded from investigating because of the purported withdrawal by Ms Buckley of her report or by reason of her wish not to participate in an investigation. Mr Allen argued that despite all this the Head of Human Resources at UCC decided that the matter needed further investigating and exploration. The college had retained the services of Mr John Horgan, a former chairman of the Labour Court, to investigate the incident and to report to the committee set up to hear the complaint. There is no evidence that either Prof Fanning nor Ms Buckley had met Mr Horgan. Despite the absence of the two priciple parties, Mr Horgan had determined Prof Fanning had a case to answer. The court hearing continues.
The question of the ‘gender gap’ has been one of concern for authorities in recent years, with repeated efforts being made to bridge or at least limit the so-called ‘gender gap’ that refers to ‘male’ career and ‘female’ career patterns. However, recent research has shown that this effort may indeed be in vain. With the CAO deadline approaching, the annual increase in interest in courses, choices and points has re-appeared, bringing with it concerns that stereotyping remains apparent in the Irish system. While females continue to account for 55 percent of degree applica-
tions, 30 percent of these were in the arts/social science bracket, and a further 25 percent were in health related courses such as nursing. In contrast, only 9.2 percent of male candidates stated health related courses as their first choice, instead preferring to choose engineering or technology. 27 percent chose this area, compared to 4.1 percent of females. Indeed, when one looks back at the statistics from a decade ago, it is clear that little has changed, despite the drive to make non-traditional careers more appealing. In 1994, 30 percent of females also made arts/social science their first choice, with 23 percent of males opting for engineering or technology. These statistics are almost identical to the recent 2004 research. Gender differences aside, the drive to increase the overall number of students considering a career in the engineering and technology fields has had some success, with per-
centages increasing from 26.8 to 31.4 overall. While nursing and other health, and engineering and technology showed the most marked differences, dentistry (0.4 percent female, 0.3 percent male) and architecture (0.8 percent female, 2.0 percent male) seemed quite evenly matched. This perhaps shows the absence of any preconceived ideas about the suitability of these careers for one gender or the other, although it is noticeable that neither of these fields are major contenders in the overall spectrum of courses. It remains clear from these statistics that there is an obvious difference in the courses each gender applies for. However, whether this is due to the way in which careers are perceived, or due to natural preference or ability, is difficult to say. Here the statistics are, for now, silent.
Hanafin goes to China Derek Owens In a bid to increase links between Irish and Chinese 3rd level institutions, the Minister for Education and Science Ms Mary Hanafin T.D, is taking part in the largest ever Irish trade mission to China. Along with the minister, over 40 senior representatives of Universities, Institutes of Technology, independent colleges and language schools will visit the far East. The trade mission, taking place this week between the 17th and the 22nd of January, is being headed by the Taoiseach Mr Bertie Ahern T.D. In Beijing, the Minister will hold a bi-lateral meeting with the Chinese Minister for Education, Mr Zhou Ji. The
two Ministers will co-host a round table meeting between the representatives of Universities, Institutes of Technology, independent colleges and their Chinese counterparts. The aim of this joint session is to promote links between Irish and Chinese third level institutes and to promote Ireland as a study destination for Chinese students seeking to study abroad. Minister Hanafin will also visit Tsinghua University, the newly opened KaiEN English School and Fudan University. She will also visit the ChinaEurope international Business School. Speaking about the significance of the top level mission to China, Minister Hanafin said “The education links being
developed between Ireland and China are central to the strengthening of the overall relationship between our two countries. The collaboration that we have seen to date between individual colleges is the bedrock of what can be a very fruitful relationship for both countries. The long term importance of this relationship for Ireland cannot be underestimated. I am delighted to be joined on this trade mission by a significant number of topranking representatives of third level education institutions from Ireland. This is a testament to the high value, both economically and culturally, that is placed on deepening ties between the two countries.”
Gates close on ReRegistration - did you remember this year?
Student Views: ALevel reservations
Anne Marie Gayer, JS BESS
Fiachra Maloney, SF BESS
Do you feel a 25% reservation of places for A-Level students is too much? Yes. It’s the second choice for some English people and is at the expense of Irish people who really want to come here.
Do you feel a 25% reservation of places for A-Level students is too much? Yes, but I think previously CAO allocated too many points for an A-Level.
What percentage would you suggest? 10-15% for A-Level students. 25% would be fine for all international students. Do you think that the percentage should be standardised throughout Ireland? Yes if the British universities did it for us.
What percentage would you suggest? 10%
Do you think that the percentage should be standardised throughout Ireland? Yes. I don’t believe that other universities benefit from the same variety of students.
Thursday January 20, 2004
News Feature Editor: Paul Mc Gartoll
Trinity News NEWSFEATURE RESTRUCTURING IN FOCUS
What’s going on in No. 1 Grafton St? Restructuring is undoubtedly the most important issue in Trinity College this year, and it is also the least understood issue among the student population. Couched in academic jargon, the ‘Structures Report, published last April, did not make for enticing reading. Here, Trinity News will give you a run down of the proposals so far and some of the reaction. Anne-Marie Ryan The lack of publicity meant that few students were aware of the issue until they returned to college in October. An absence of consultation also accounts for a large proportion of ignorance regarding this issue, especially given that the Provost did not meet with students during term time until late November. Since April, the issue of restructuring has gained momentum, becoming one of the most divisive and controversial matter for concern among staff and students in recent years. Reports of huge staff opposition to the proposals have reached the national media, culminating in a survey conducted by the Trinity branch of the Irish Federation of University Teachers in December, in which 79% of the 181 staff surveyed said the restructuring proposals were not in the best interests of college. Restructuring is mainly concerned with changing the way in which college in administered. College currently consists of six faculties and sixty departments. The number of departments is seen as particularly excessive and many have become untenable because of their small size. With 44% of departments having less than ten full-time employees, and 83% have less than twenty, this overabundance of
small departments has made them unviable in terms of finance and human resources, and insufficient in size to be capable of managing support services such as finance independently. Departments are to be replaced by approximately 1315 schools, and it is now possible that the concept of faculties will be abandoned altogether, with College being run on the basis of a schoolsonly structure or a structure incorporating faculties and schools. The detail of the nature of these schools has been the subject of intensive discussion, and it is likely that their final composition will not be known for some time. However, some likely groupings have emerged so far. For example, the Faculties of Arts (Humanities) and Arts (Letters) have formulated a School encompassing the departments of Medieval History, Modern History, History of Art, Classics and the Centre for Women and Gender Studies, and a School encompassing the departments of French, Germanic Studies, Italian, Hispanic Studies, Russian, Irish and Celtic Languages and the Centre for European Studies. The Faculty of Health Sciences has formulated three schools: the School of Physic, the School of Nursing and Midwifery studies and the School of Dental Science. Schools have also been formed within the Faculties of Engineering and Systems Sciences and the Faculty
of Science. Difficulties have arisen, however in finding an integrated school arrangement for certain departments, namely Education, Religions and Theological Studies, Law, Music, Psychology, English, Drama, Centre for Language and Communication Studies (CLCS), and Mathematics. Particular difficulties have been encountered in the formulation of schools within the Faculty of BESS also. Restructuring is also concerned with reorganising the way in which college income is distributed. The current system is based on a centralised model developed forty years ago, and those in favour of an overhaul of financial administration see the current model as impeding upon Trinity’s ability to compete internationally. The new model will see individual schools budgeting for themselves and allocating income to it sources e.g. student fee are given to the units in which the students are registered, research grants are given to relevant units. The main instigator and advocate of restructuring has undoubtedly been Provost John Hegarty. In an e-mail to staff in November, he outlined the reasons for restructuring: “We are developing a devolved academic structure to enable academic units to take charge of academic and resource planning and management, to have accountability for educational and research out-
comes, to have a more direct connection to the central decisionmaking processes of College, to benefit from deeper administrative support, to free up academics to focus on teaching and research, to allow disciplines and Schools to grow and innovate through linking resources to activity, to foster the emergence of new academic specializations, and to simplify decision-making through devolved budgets.” But it is widely believed that restructuring was not something taken up entirely on Hegarty’s own initiative. With similar reform plans being embarked upon in universities across the country, in particular UCD and UCC, it has become clear that ‘restructuring’ is not a buzz word exclusive to Trinity College. It appears likely that the governing body of Irish universities, the Congress of Heads of Irish Universities (CHIU), is pushing the reform agenda to make colleges more economically efficient and sustainable in an era of reduced government spending in the area of third level education. Although dogged by student and staff opposition, Hegarty appears nonetheless determined to proceed with his reforms, although final decision and implementation of these reforms may take longer than he had previously hoped. Throughout the consultation process, Hegarty was keen to emphasise the positive
RESTRUCTURING REACTION Dr. Sean Barrett speaks out against ‘Stalinesque’ changes being railroaded by the Provost Paul Mc Gartoll If the restructuring plans of the Provost Dr. John Hegarty are implemented, Dr. Sean Barrett, senior lecturer in the Department of Economics and former Junior Dean, envisages a grim future for TCD. Civil war in college looms as the Provost pushes forward with the overhaul of Trinity’s departments and faculties, despite widespread and growing opposition among staff. Dr. Barrett accuses the Provost of adopting a “bulldozer approach” and predicts that the big losers will be students. Controversial as they may be, Barrett’s views are by no means unusual: “I go to meetings where 90% plus speak against the proposals.” The Academic Staff Association (ASA) are threatening strike action and Dr. Barrett says staff morale has never been lower: “I know people with TCD in their DNA seriously thinking about going on strike.” He insists that a large majority of academics are against Dr. Hegarty’s plans, quoting a recent survey among staff in the Arts faculty where 90% expressed opposition. Dr. Barrett has been a particularly vocal opponent to restructuring plans, publicly clashing with the Provost while he addressed students on the issue before Christmas. His frustration is palpable and he says staff feel let down and angry at the plans. “To tell people they’re mediocre and then try to abolish them, to tell them they need Directors of Teaching and Directors of Research, it’s very damaging.” Dr. Barrett believes restructuring is completely unnecessary because Trinity is, and will remain to be, a top university. “Our students grad-
uate younger than their European counterparts; they are accepted in all the great graduate schools like Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Harvard; our library is up to Ivy League standards; foreign correctors always praise our students’ work.” Being an economist, Dr. Barrett points to the Celtic Tiger and the drop in unemployment as proof that the system works. He also cites the Shanghai Index of Universities which places TCD on a par with great institutions such as the London School of Economics and the Ecole Polytechnique. Dr. Barrett explains that his colleague in the Economics Department, Dr. Richard Somerville, epitomises the high standards of the university by having recently had his work published in the American Economic Review, the most prestigious economic journal in the US. The main complaints academics have is that the plan is overly bureaucratic and undemocratic. He foresees the creation of a “cabal in Front Square” as the Provost will abolish elected Heads of Department and Deans and will instead install three Executive Provosts and the Directors of Teaching and Research. Dr. Barrett compares this to Bertie Ahern abolishing the role of other TDs and describes it as “dictatorial, almost Stalinesque”. “The three Executive Provosts and Directors will be too eminent to deal with students or academics and will need a layer of bureaucrats and secretaries underneath them.” He points out that the nation's Health Service has been destroyed by bureaucrats and goes on to say: “The business model in this is 40 years out of date. Nobody in this day and age in any other sector proposes more bureaucrats as a
solution to problems. They create overheads and increase costs, it’s quite amazing.” The plight of UCD, where similar restructuring plans are being implemented, can give the Provost an insight into what will go wrong: “Management have become bureaucrats and have got divorced from the staff and students. Academics have an overwhelmingly more favourable view of students than bureaucrats do.” Dr. Barrett tells of how his own department is a microcosm for the problems of restructuring. “If economics is grouped with the Department of Sociology and the Department of Politics, it suits one of the courses I teach but not the other.” He also says the consequences are more far-reaching than that: “UCD and Maynooth Economics Departments are not getting abolished but our one is. Forget about getting into the top 10 in the world, we’ll find it hard attracting anyone serious about economics. Dr. Hegarty says that a department needs at least 50 academics to be viable but he hasn’t produced proof of this. The existing departments in TCD are groups of mostly very good academics and students like the human touch that these small, specific departments give.” Dr. Barrett is also angered by the way in which the plans were put forward. The process began in July “even though we told them that was our month for correcting – 75,000 scripts have to be graded”. This also meant it was done behind the students back as they were on holiday, which Dr. Barrett believes was unfair. Opponents of the plans saw major problems with the document on restructuring presented to them: “It was so bad it would not have reached the standard of a freshman essay. They should have resubmitted it.” The
lack of constructive debate on the issue has disappointed Dr. Barrett: “The so-called consultation process consists of opponents getting talked down to. There has been no attempt to reach a consensus, we are being steamrolled. They are dead set on this.” He also hits out at the post of Provost being held for a ten year terms and claims that it should be three: “If the Provost was seeking re-election he would not be doing this.” While campaigning to become Provost, Dr. Hegarty made no mention of his restructuring plans, prompting Dr. Barrett to say that he has “no mandate whatsoever” to implement them. “He has not been able to communicate why he wants to do this. He has concealed the costs from us. He says that the benefit is that we will get into the top 10 world universities but this isn’t obvious either.” The real reason for the plan is simple according to Dr. Barrett: “It is a power grab and a money grab.” As a result Dr. Barrett believes more money will go to elite departments such as Physics, the Provost’s own department, which only graduates 10 students a year. Departments such as Economics, with a combined student body of 1200, will suffer. Dr. Barrett explains that each student’s education budget is EUR6,000. If restructuring goes ahead, Dr. Barrett says a sizeable chunk of this will be allocated towards research and bureaucracy and resolutely opposes it: “Research should be financed from a research budget not an education budget that 6 grand is for you guys! It is taxpayers money so any attempt to change where its spent without debate in the Oireachtas or a Public Accounts Committee seems to be a draconian and unilateral move.”
aspects of restructuring. During his questions and answers session with students last November the Provost constantly reiterated that one of the main aspects of restructuring was about availing of opportunity. “We’re not forcing departments together” he said. “Restructuring is about ensuring that existing elements are strengthened”. He has highlighted the fact that because of the consultation process “some very imaginative proposals for Schools have been made”. These new School compositions he said “have opened up exciting possibili-
ties, some of which were not anticipated when the consultation process started. The restructuring controversy has placed the Provost in an unenviable dilemma. The OECD report last September on third level education in Ireland insisted that it was imperative that Irish universities reform their structures drastically in order to complete in the international arena. Faced with a general trend of decreasing government expenditure in the area of higher education, reform is a necessity if Trinity is to survive financially in the coming
years. However, in stark opposition to this international and national drive for reform is the determined opposition of staff. Back in April, Provost Hegarty, wrote in a document entitled ‘Resources and Structure for the Future’ of how he believed that there was a “general conviction in the College that change is necessary”. But it is perhaps the nature of this change, however that will have to be reconsidered if the Provost is ever to be reconciled with disgruntled staff and students.
COMMENT Will the students come out as winners? Abigail Semple
that matter, worked as a telemarketer) understands how incentives work in influencing behaviour, it is arguable that this general principle applies to academics only very weakly, if at all. When was the last time a lecturer told you they would be leaving out their favourite section of the course because it was no longer competitive to include it? Without wishing to exaggerate the differences between academics and the general population, the way in which research, teaching and departmental politics are conducted all reflect a somewhat different
ance can be given to students that the new model would not result in a lowest-common-denominator approach to student relations, especially given the likely disgruntlement of faculties which have expressed their strong opposition? A further question which students might ask is why academic departments are being asked to become more efficient when certain administrative offices which are paragons of imperturbability in their obscure hours and lengthy processing times are not being subjected to similar reform.
duces long-standing inequities and does not encourage lackadaisical departments to improve their practices. All this may be true, but can we be sure the outcome of the restructuring would create a better situation? As it is, there is a marked discrepancy between departments in terms of staff-student ratio, post graduate support and general student-friendliness. What reassur-
market but also that of ongoing, unscheduled compromises and interactions between people and ideas which obey a less predictable logic. It may be that far-reaching structural change is the only way to maintain the quality and viability of the academic departments, but it is not a decision to be taken without careful consideration of what might be lost.
The manner in which the proposed academic restructuring will affect the quality of student life at Trinity is still largely opaque. Many students are only vaguely aware of the intended reforms, although some lecturers have taken it upon themselves to provide a summary of the proposed changes during class, complete with their own opinions, revisions and omissions. While awareness is likely to increase over the coming months, it may not be accompanied with greater In short, there insight into how Perhaps one of the least convincing ideas set out in are many things exactly students the documents made available to date is that of we expect from are likely to fare ‘incentivising’ academic units to behave in a certain our university should the proexperience, and posal succeed. way- primarily in order to produce more high-quali- many things we This is the same ty research and attract more post-graduate students. take for granted. k n o w l e d g e While anyone who has studied elementary psycholo- It is commenddeficit with able of the which the rest of gy or economics (or, for that matter, worked as a tele- Provost to take the university is marketer) understands how incentives work in influ- on the task of struggling, and it encing behaviour restructuring as represents the a means of inherent disadensuring that vantage of the new over the old. model of behaviour than that which successive generations of students Looking over the materials provid- responds readily to incentives in are able to avail of a similar expeed on the portion of the TCD web- the form of funding. rience at a financially viable and, to site dedicated to the restructuring use the dreaded ‘c’ word, competi(www.tcd.ie/Local/Structures) One of the central tenets of the pro- tive institution. However the Board does not provide much reassurance posed restructuring is that the allo- must acknowledge the particular that these proposals will enhance cation of funding upon historical type of organisation that a universithe student experience. lines is intrinsically unfair, repro- ty embodies: not only that of the Perhaps one of the least convincing ideas set out in the documents made available to date is that of ‘incentivising’ academic units to behave in a certain way- primarily in order to produce more highquality research and attract more post-graduate students. While anyone who has studied elementary psychology or economics (or, for
International Review Editor: Karina Finegan Alves
Thursday January 20, 2005
Thailand needs its tourists Niamh Fleming-Farrell I am generally irritated by articles that begin by harkening back to the collapse of the twin towers but I feel compelled in this instance to commit that which makes me cringe. It is appropriate you see, in light of the tsunami, to question what it is that draws tourists to a place and what it is that dispels them. Thus the site of the World Trade Centre is relevant. Two tumbling towers did not destroy New York’s tourist industry. They didn’t even serve to remove their location as a tourist attraction. During the March following the attacks I was in New York with some friends. Inevitably, curiosity drew us to Ground Zero. Humanity does have a desperate need to gaze upon its own mess. Yet as we approached and noticed the platform constructed to allow visitors a better view into the pit of death and debris, we reached a silent consensus. We walked past, no one saying anything until much later when it was agreed that such a sight is not something that is meant to be gaped at. The only thing that could have made the spectacle of that platform worse would have been an entrance fee. It seemed fundamentally wrong to brandish a camera and click away at a place where there was an overwhelming sense that reverence was the order of the day. I’m told that the prospect of visiting areas in South East Asia hit by the tsunami evokes similar emotions. For any reasonable person the deterrent from holidaying in Thailand, or Phuket etc. is due, not to fear of another natural disaster but rather, to the sentiment that it would be inappropriate at the present time to leer at that pit of death. Tourists go to these places to lie on beaches, carefree. They do not seek to be plagued by the scabs and
scars of chaos and destruction. They do not wish for that uncanny guilt to descend as they take out a camera and immortalize family good times. To go to a country and enjoy oneself in the aftermath of such horrific destruction is thus contemptible. As it attempts to rebuild, the areas hit are the destination of the aid workers and foreign ministers who are equipped to establish what is best and not tourists. Dermot Ahern’s tour and obligatory gape at the disaster determined that Ireland, and that means the Irish, will concentrate on giving aid to Sri Lanka. True, one cannot deny that Sri Lanka is devastated and its prime holiday spots are a bit of a shambles at present. But aid is not enough to rebuild an economy. The tourist industry cannot be propped up by aid; it needs that ever so important factor from whence it gets its title: tourists. Those who survived need bandages and builders but they also need people to avail of the services they will once again provide. Beach side restaurants need people to pay good money to eat good food. It’s simple. Naturally, some places were hit more severely than others, and some beach paradises are at present uninhabitable. I am not suggesting that tourists bring their tents along and impose their presence for the benefit of economy. I am merely eager to propound that tourists not be deterred from visiting less affected regions of the countries hit. And as businesses continue to reopen tourists should not balk at returning. Indeed, a January 4th Wall Street Journal report claims 22 of 48 hotels damaged in the tsunami have already reopened in Sri Lanka. It is in Sri Lanka’s best interest at the present time that the rooms in these hotels are full. These coastal towns are not now graveyards. It is idealist luxury to think that for some time to come one must go there sombre, deep in prayer, unwilling to disturb
the dead. The only real disturbance that could have is for those left living and it can be summated in a simple, familiar word: poverty. Respect is all well and good but it must have its limitations in reason. It was thus with some annoyance that I learned of the discouraging of British tourists from traveling to Phuket and Krabi for reasons related to the natural disaster. Jack Straw even dithered on revising the recommendation having flown to Thailand and met with government officials there. The Thai government requested he encourage British tourists to return, fearing that they would stay away for all the honourable reasons listed above. The Thai government recognizes that for their country to rebuild it needs its economy to be active and functional. The tourist industry is of course central to that. Fortunately, the British Foreign Office reviewed and reissued this advice and no longer advises against traveling to Phuket and Krabi. However, the advice was not revised until January 9th by which time many tourists would have already cancelled their holidays. Naturally it is unlikely that the tourists would come out in full
force at the mere bidding of the British Foreign Secretary. However, the impact of advice from the Foreign Office against travel cannot be denied. Are these grand ministerial visits the most tourism the countries affected by the tsunami are going to see for sometime? Is tourism to mean a government jet clogging up air space, distracting security and using resources? And then when it comes to helping, only doing so in as far as it can bestow the generosity of some old lady with a pension? Will we continue to insist that the area is treated as a disaster zone instead of pushing it toward some sort of normality? Who determines when the mourning ends? When do the ministers stop visiting with condolences? Honestly, all the countries affected will benefit a lot more from having visitors fly in on their national airline, stay in their establishments and eat at their restaurants than they will from the government minister that comes to assess the damage and keeps the locals at arms length. Hop off the plane, take a look and hop back on again, fly home and write a cheque. Throwing loose change into buck-
ets is pretty pointless when simultaneously demanding a refund from your travel agent. When do the tourists return to the beaches because surely those families with a living to earn cannot wait until all has been rebuilt perfectly in pristine white, a ghost arisen, ten times more modern, questionably more beautiful and waiting to greet you. Time did not stand still as the clocks did when hit by water. And life is not on hold until things get back to how they were just before the clocks stopped. No one’s living depended on that platform that let a gaze drift down upon Ground Zero. That tragedy had the luxury of extended mourning. It could afford to remain quiet and still for a time. South East Asia can’t. People do depend on the panoramic tsunami swept coasts to make a living. And while we gallop to the aid of these ailing nations we would do well to view their coasts not as graveyards but as beaches. If all aid is egotistic on some level (and there are few that would argue it isn’t) there is more than flippant justification in aiding the countries affected whilst getting a suntan.
Christmas may now be well and truly over but, alas, for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic there’s just one turkey that won’t go away: George Bush, and his so-called Administration. El Presidente recently nominated Judge Michael Chertoff, one-time head of the US Justice Department’s criminal division, as the next head of the Dept. of Homeland Security. Mr. Chertoff replaces the previous nominee to the position, Mr. Bernard Kerik. Mr. Kerik was deemed unsuitable for the post after it emerged that he had employed an illegal immigrant (the Dept. of Homeland Security has direct responsibility for immigration) as a nanny and had neglected to pay the requisite payroll taxes as stipulated by American law. He promptly withdrew his nomination. Strange, really, that such a trifling illegality would bother the White House, considering that nobody on the Senate panel charged with approving Kerik had a problem with any of the other multitude of shady dealings he was involved with. These ranged from nepotism and cronyism to unethical treatment of employees and even dealings with companies suspected of having Mafia links. In the ‘90s Kerik made representations to a New Jersey construction company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, on behalf of a friend of his (the best man at his wedding in fact), Mr. Lawrence Ray, who was subsequently hired by Interstate. It then emerged that Ray had given gifts (somewhere in the region of $7,000) to Mr. Kerik during the time that Kerik had served as Head of the New York Police Department. Kerik’s brother, Donald, would also later be hired by Interstate. Kerik, a married man with two children, carried on affairs with two women, one of them, Ms. Jeanette Pinero, employed by the Police Department as a city correction officer. Ms. Pinero’s work colleagues reprimanded her for her behaviour and were accordingly denied promotion by their boss, Mr. Kerik. Two cases were recently brought by the employees against the Police Department, one of them resulting in a $250,000 settlement. Chertoff’s credentials do seem somewhat more legitimate than Kerik’s (then again, whose wouldn’t?) but he is not without his detractors: the American Civil Liberties Union were recently quote by The Washington Post as saying that Chertoff’s public record implies that “he sees the Bill of Rights as an obstacle to national security, rather than a guidebook for how to do security properly.” Chertoff is a steadfast defender of the controversial Patriot Act which has, among other things, made it easier for US law enforcement agencies to carry out surveillance work and sanctioned racial and ethnic profiling. While some see the Act as but one element in the seemingly inexorable erosion of personal and civil liberties currently ongoing in the US, Chertoff has come out in its defence calling it both “fair and balanced”. From one gross misrepresentation to another – it’s only taken them a couple of years, over 1300 military deaths, tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths and countless billions of dollars, but the White House seems finally to have admitted that Iraq is, in fact, completely devoid of all and any WMDs. Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, admitted last Wednesday 13 January 2005) that there was no longer any “active search” for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and further admitted that few in the Administration now believed that such weapons would ever be found. Of course WMD was only one of the reasons advanced to justify the war on Iraq and we shouldn’t forget that El Presidente also saw it as imperative that the Iraqi people, those left alive after the initial invasion, obviously, should be liberated from the cruel oppression under which they had too long suffered and enjoy the fruits of a free and functional democracy. Unfortunately, reputable sources (The New York Times) last week pointed out that it now looks as if the impending elections in Iraq will have to be postponed for fear of igniting a civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Oh well, y’know what they say George: “If at once you don’t succeed, there’s always Iran’
Trinity’s positive discrimination - a good thing for A-Level students Graham Ó Maonaigh Recently objections have been raised toward Trinity’s new system for admitting A-Level students to Undergraduate programmes. Opposition has been mainly aimed at the discovery that A-level students applying to Trinity in 2005 will be competing in a ‘Closed System’, separate from Leaving Certificate students. At the beginning of the academic year Trinity News (Vol. 53, Issue 1) reported how College had reviewed the amount of CAO points that A-Level students would receive. College reviewed the ALevel points downward making it much harder for A-Level students to gain entry into Trinity Degree programmes. Currently most colleges in Ireland require A-Level students to present 3 subjects for
receive places in Trinity. The abrupt changes in the points for ALevels came as a surprise to many A-Level students. Many of whom had already been studying 3 subjects from the previous year and had to take up another subject as late as December into their final school year. Accusations by Brian Mooney, president of Institute of Guidance Counsellors of Ireland that the points level in Trinity College is likely to rise for the academic year of 2005/2006 are at best scare mongering and reminiscent of the days when Trinity College was seen as the last bastion of the Crown in Ireland. A-Level students will be faced with a system of entry with a reduced amount of supply and will no doubt find that the points will climb for them. Leaving Cert students however will be in a points system with a relatively small reduction in places however they will not have to compete with
Discrimination of entry is necessary to prevent the tyranny of the majority. Without such discrimination Trinity would not possess its current diversity. matriculation purposes on which they can receive a possible 170 points for each A. Trinity previously awarded 190 points for an A grade on an A-Level paper. Following the review at the beginning of the academic year 4 A-level subjects must be taken with a reduction in the points received for an A grade from 190 to 150. The new system effectively forces ALevel students to take up an extra subject if they wish to maximise their points potential if they wish to gain entry to Trinity. It is considered the norm to take only 3 ALevel subjects in the UK. Currently A-Level students outperform Leaving Certificate students in securing places in various undergraduate programmes such as English and Law in Trinity and the vast majority of A-Level students that apply to Irish universities
That’s My Bush Owen Corrigan
the high performing A-Level students from across the water. It is the belief of this writer that the points for Leaving Cert students will fall by a substantial amount in those courses that have proved popular with A-Level students such as English, Law and History. The opposition to quotas and special treatment for students from different systems are opportunistic. Without special treatment Mature Students would not have reserved places, Dyslexic students would lose out on a third level education just because they couldn’t read their exam paper fast enough or that they made one too many spelling errors. Discrimination of entry is necessary to prevent the tyranny of the majority. Without such discrimination Trinity would not possess its current diversity.
Europe has to learn to diversify and so must let Turkey in Karina Finegan Alves Last December 12 2004 en route home, I found myself killing time in Dublin Airport’s duty-free section, which sadly is no longer properly ‘duty-free’ for those of us traveling within the EU. Through a happy coincidence I had, on my way to the airport befriended a Turkish student also on her way home, who then offered to use her boarding card to purchase my bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream, saving me about €14 in the process. Five days later an EU summit in Brussels took the first step towards putting a halt to any such future deviations from correct and lawful airport shopping practice. On
December 17 2004 current member states agreed to open negotiations over the possibility of Turkey joining the EU club. These negotiations are due to start on October 3 2005. Turkey is unique in that the country is pro-EU, secular and predominantly Muslim. The reforms of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923 created the Turkey we know today, Ataturk looked to Europe for a model of modernity upon which to base the new republic, just as Turkey now looks to the EU as the path towards progress and future prosperity. The economic gains for Europe are positive if viewed in the long term. In line with EU stipulations Turkey has been working hard to bring its economy up to scratch. Education levels among the
younger generations are rising while inflation and unemployment figures are dropping. Revenues from the tourist trade are set to be Turkey’s saving grace alongside the government’s decision to slash taxes in 2005 in an attempt to attract some $15 billion of foreign investment. These and other economic reforms were all set about in the hope of convincing the EU that rather than act as a drain on the EU wallet, Turkey will in fact further European prosperity. It has been estimated that if allowed join Turkey would, by 2014, contribute approximately €6 billion to the EU budget, rising swiftly to almost €9 billion by 2020. The lustre of these figures is offset somewhat by the fact that Turkish membership would incur fairly substantial initial costs. Many fears revolve around the risk of doling out initial subsidies of up to €30 billion and failing to receive anything in return. Furthermore, Turkey’s current debt as a percentage of its GDP is about twice as high as that of any of the ten recent additions to the EU club. If the situation remains economically hazy, then why are many of Brussels elite pushing so hard for Turkish membership? The answer lies partly in the realm of the geopolitical. Turkey’s location is of strategic import for Bush’s current aspirations to spread ‘democracy’ in the ‘Greater Middle East.’ One is
tempted to talk then of a Bush-bullied-Blair, as the UK is currently Turkey’s number one advocate. Turkish membership however does present other benefits to the UK and Europe in general; the addition of such a large state would further weaken the FrancoGerman alliance, allowing the UK and other states a little more clout. Turkey also provides the EU with a much needed token Muslim state with which to counter accusations of European Islamophobia. As far as the religious question goes, the main obstacle to membership should not be over the ‘great cultural divide’ that places emphasis on the doctrinal or practical (call to prayer, Ramadan etc...) differences between the Turkey’s religiousity and European growing lack thereof. Such differences need not impinge on successful integration. Europe minus Turkey is hardly a religiously homogenous entity. The real obstacle lies in ensuring that Turkey’s generally moderate brand of Islam doesn’t clash with the EU charter of ‘Fundamental Rights’. Legislation for example akin to that proposed by Erdogan to making adultery for women illegal. In January 2002 Turkish women obtained equal rights to men. Despite such a positive step in the right direction, centuries of custom have to be overcome before its decrees are translated into practice.
Some claim that EU membership would spur forward the needed transformation of ingrained mentalities, while others believe that only once change is a reality, can Turkey be accepted. Horrific ‘honour killings’ of women who have disgraced their families, still take place in Turkey this ‘honour’ value must hit the scrapheap before membership. If the Turkish government uses the negotiation years to implement meaningful reforms to deal with these issues and if actual positive change is forthcoming, religion need not and should not be a deterrent to a larger Europe. Greater religious plurality in Europe is especially beneficial to Europeans without strong (or any) religious beliefs, as it will logically lead to even greater divorce of private morality and public concerns. Turkey would also help end the illusion that Europe can be defined with regard to its innate Christianity, helping us look to the future without dragging our heels in the past. The question of whether or not Turkey should be allowed ‘in’, is as thorny as the motivations of those actors pushing for its membership. Europe however has much to learn from Turkey’s past as the Ottoman Empire was a bastion of the ‘multis’, cultural, ethnic and religious. The sooner we realise that there is more to a person than national, religious or ethnic identity, the better.
“Let us trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle!” Karina Finegan Alves “Let us trim our hair in accordance with the socialist lifestyle” is the name of North Korea’s newest mechanism of state control over the behaviour of its male citizens. A five part TV series that urges men to keep their hair short, tidy, clean and aesthetically pleasing. The series claims that long hair makes you less intelligent, because
it sucks up valuable nutrients that would have otherwise contributed to the proper functioning of the non-capitalist brain. The series allows for plenty of individual choice offering North Koreans five exciting different styles; ‘the flattop crew cut’, the ‘middle hairstyle’, the ‘low hairstyle’ and the ‘high hairstyle’, ranging from one to five centimetres in length. The fifth option is a special exception made for balding men over 50 who are allowed to grow a truly Rapunzelesque seven whole cen-
timetres of hair so as to produce the famous comb-over. Men are urged to cut their hair once every fifteen days, but strangely enough no concern is shown towards the North
hiding in wait of unsuspecting crazy-haired rogues. When confronted with the cameras, some chose to run away, while others made excuses, but particularly
“no matter how good the clothes, if one does not wear tidy shoes, one’s personality will be downgraded.” Korean women who, following the series’ logic are the even greater victims of long brain-draining hair. Series two consisted of TV crews
notable is that the names and addresses of men with haircuts that were considered too long, were broadcast on national television as
a punishment to them and a warning to other ‘cousin It’ lookalikes. This attack on long hair is not wholly new, it follows radio programmes such as “Dressing in accordance with our people’s emotion and taste”, equating the proper outward appearance with the proper ideology. Apparently “no matter how good the clothes, if one does not wear tidy shoes, one’s personality will be downgraded.” A dictum BESS girls have been propounding for years.
Thursday January 20, 2005
Business & Politics Editor: Sinead Redmond
Promises, promises, promises - but will the governments of the world follow through? In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Asia, governments are quick to promise aid, but slow to provide it. Hugh Roche Kelly examines the effect this delay will have on the survivors of the disaster which shocked the world, and how their lives could be changed for the better by the provision of the money promised by multitudes of countries around the world, instead of bureaucratic procrastination. Hugh Roche Kelly Everyone’s been talking about numbers since the tsunami disaster on December 26 2004. Numbers dead, numbers missing, amounts pledged, amounts given, amounts needed. The staggeringly high casualty figure still rises daily, and it is only right that people throughout the world, and their governments, have pledged millions of euros in donations. But pledges aren’t enough. Kofi Annan, having gone on a whirlwind tour of the affected regions, pointedly told the
The amount pledged has reached over $3 billion. The total amount of cash aid that has reached Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, India, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives is $139.7 million world that pledges are not enough. When aid agencies working in Indonesia say that $371 million are needed there right away, it doesn’t come. Right now the total aid from all sources- government and private donations and the agencies own available cash - the total amount of actual cash that can be used is $64.4 million. That is not enough. Many agencies and governments talk of the need for long term investment - and yes, that is of course needed. But right now, only a few weeks after the disaster, people on the ground don’t want to know that they’ll be helped in a few months. They need cash and they need work. In several places they need food and, most of all, clean water. For water they are almost totally dependent on emergency supplies of drinking water, as not only is fresh water inland contaminated by hundreds of unidentified and rotting bodies, but water tankers that are essential for bringing clean water to remote villages (not that there are many roads left that they could use) were all parked outside water purification plants. All of which are situated by the coast. So, no more tankers. Aside from the mud and corpses that are in the fresh water system, water reserves themselves have, according to the Red Cross, been made salt water by the wave’s sea water. So many places, especially Indonesia, have no clean water of their own, they have no way of cleaning their polluted water supplies, and even if they did have clean water they have no way of moving it to the people who need it. And that’s just a small part of a huge problem facing aid agencies working in South East Asia. All many can do is to hand out little plastic bags filled with water, and they don’t have enough. On
December 27th, as the relief operation began to swing into motion, a plane left from Stansted airport, packed with emergency shelter supplies. On BBC television they asked a representative of the Red Cross - whose plane it was- how much shelter this plane’s contents would provide. He paused and, with tears in his eyes, said less than 250 people would get shelter. This plane was going to Indonesia, a country whose government has given up trying to accurately gauge the numbers of people homeless. Now the official account actually reads “hundreds of thousands.” So what is the world doing to help? What can diplomacy do in such times? One person who seems to misunderstand the meaning of helpful diplomacy is Colin Powell. On his visit to the region, he had the gall to mention that the US navy’s relief work in the Muslim country of Indonesia would help spread America’s “value system.” The affected people don’t need a “value system”, they need valuable help: shelter, food, water - the absolute fundamentals of humanity that we are lucky enough to take for granted. Instead, they get pledges. Promises. The amount pledged has, at time of going to press, reached over EUR3 billion. The total amount of cash aid that has reached Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, India, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives is 139.7 million US dollars, and most of that is from private donations or aid agencies’ own reserves. Not even enough to cover emergency aid in Indonesia alone, that figure puts much of this gushing about the world’s generosity into shame. Also worrying is the fact that agencies working over there seem unsure of what to do, and disagree on the course of action needed. Which is of course natural, as a disaster of this scale is almost unprecedented and unknown in this generation. But it was less then reassuring to read differing statements from various agencies. Speaking of the same area, Banda Aceh, one aid worker says that food isn’t the most important thing, that there will be no famine. They wish to concentrate on shelter. On the same day, in the same area, a different aid worker for a different agency warns of imminent famine, saying that while there is ‘plenty of food’ in the form of fish, many people will not eat those fish, fearing they may have been feeding on rotten corpses in the water. The way relief agencies work in situations like this - especially now a few weeks after the event itselfcould easily be called procrastination. Focus groups are used to find out exactly what is the most extreme problem, and while this in theory removes disagreement on priorities, it delays work by two weeks or more before a “plan of action” is drawn up. But this certainly is not to say that we shouldn’t donate money - cash is needed
Kofi Annan puts pressure on Bush administration and Wolfowitz commits troops to the region. O’Dea yet to send troops Clockwise from top left: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, US President George W Bush, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Willie O' Dea, TD, Minister for Defence, Two British soldiers survey a map of the Bande Aceh region on arrival in Indonesia, two Indonesian men ride by destroyed residential area in Banda Aceh province.
Nothing like this has ever happened in this generation of global technology and in relieving the suffering and hardship of hundreds of thousands of people in South East Asia, and by rebuilding these countries to a better condition than they were in before this disaster struck, it could create a more united and more peaceful planet. there to save lives. Government cooperation and effective diplomacy could do real good to millions of affected people. Until now much of the work done by foreign offices of all countries has been in the repatriation of any particular country’s citizens. As time goes on and the unfortunate realisation comes that many tourists who are missing in these areas may never be found, this diplomacy needs to be built on to co-ordinate help and aid. Over 3,000 American citizens were reported as missing, a factor that helped the growth of the government’s initially poor pledge of EUR35 million to the still less than brilliant EUR358 million. The chairman of the House subcommittee that is to handle US Tsunami aid is Republican Jim Kolbe. He says that critics should “take note of the $100 million the military is spending to send aircraft and troops to the region, as well as donations from the private sector.” Well, perhaps we should then ignore the $200 billion being spent by the military in Iraq. Perhaps we should ignore the irony of the different effort the US takes to reinforce a positive image of itself in South East Asia and the effort it uses to force this “value system” that Powell speaks of in Iraq. Perhaps we should ignore the fact
that the catfight that passed for the US election cost the same as total worldwide government pledges. And how dare Jim Kolbe use private donations to answer criticisms of the administration’s response. Japan has pledged one of the largest sums yet at $500 million. Germany, having lost hundreds of its citizens, has pledged 700 million, twice that of the American contribution. No rise will be seen in the US pledge until Febuary at the earliest, if it comes at all. Then, rather than an actual increase in the pledge, a request will be sent to Congress for more aid. Will this request be answered? Well, Congress doesn’t have the most charitable history. After Hurricane Mitch struck in Honduras, the US promised nearly three times as much aid as they have to the tsunami disaster: $900 million. But just as the reconstruction work was beginning, Congress put a two year time limit on cash support for work in Honduras. After the two years passed, contractors carrying out aid agencies promised to “build back better”, with the result that many rebuilding schemes are left unfinished to this day. Then, as now, donor governments insist on close scrutiny of the ways in which their donations are spent. While scrutiny like this is important up to a point, it can delay delivery of vital aid to those who need it most. When it is delayed, governments have quietly withdrawn pledges of aid once media and world attention has died down. After the Bam earthquake in 2000, US$1 billion were ‘pledged.’ To date $17 million has been received by the Iranian government - that’s less than 0.02%. We cannot let that happen again. Kofi Annan pleaded for $1billion in cash to be delivered immediately. That was during his visit to
Left: The north shore of Banda Aceh, Indonesia circa June, 2004 Right: The north shore of Banda Aceh, Indonesia December 26th 2004
the region in the first few days of the month. As of yet, promises are still all that have been given. Aside from the valuable, if comparatively unreasonable, response of US military to the disaster, all cash that has been pledged will eventually be the responsibility of the United Nations, but many governments are less than happy to hand over cash to the UN after its image has been tarnished by scandals such as the oil for food scheme in Iraq. This distrust is what will be the death of thousands. The subcommittee that Jim Kolbe chairs is not a charity, it is a means of scrutinizing far too closely what the UN does with the donations. Governments in the affected region themselves haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either. Aside from there being no early warning of any kind for the region – despite the fact that scientists in Australia knew about the quake long before the tsunami struck Sri Lanka - since then certain governments have failed to register that a new approach and a new commitment to all affected people is needed. The Sri Lankan government’s misappropriation of funds has left the Tamil people in desperate need of more food, and lacking in relief care as Sri Lankan authorities refuse to give in to what they see as a threat to the country. As unjust
the Sri Lankan government actions are, it pales into nothing compared with the reaction of Burma’s administrators. First delaying for days before acknowledging that they “may” have 36 dead - a figure now raised to 90 - the government have been uncooperative to foreign aid agencies, not allowing them to visit many regions such as islands off the Burmese coast where there are forbidden military installations and illegal casinos. No help has been forthcoming from the government on tourists and foreigners who may have been in Burma. The death toll figures are widely regarded as grossly underestimated. Justin Kilcullen of Trocaire claims that aid workers who have managed to get into Burma saw hundreds of bodies in various locations throughout the country. No effort has been made by Burmese officials to find out the fate of the indigenous Moken people, who live as nomadic fishermen off the Burmese coast. Some fear the entire tribe to be wiped out. Although it is true that Burma avoided the worst hits of the tsunami, Kilcullen says that the military regime’s irresponsible behaviour is a serious threat to the health and safety of the Burmese people. Here in Ireland, the figure
pledged by our government was paltry at first, although we have given more than many. We now have the as yet undelivered promise of EUR10 million from the government. One thing in which the rest of the world - and Ireland especially - can actually follow from the American example is to send military personnel to help the relief effort. Willie O’Dea did say that soldiers would be sent “if they were asked for,” but we need more courage in government circles than this. The Irish army is recognized worldwide as one of the best peacekeeping forces around, it has experience with humanitarian situations. Justin Kilcullen claims to have been contacted by many Irish army personnel who are frustrated at being unable to use their training to help the hundreds of thousands there. The Irish government should not only deliver on its pledge but deliver on so much more, with concrete physical help. A huge problem for aid workers is access. Most roads have been severely damaged and many have been destroyed. The he.licopters of the Irish Air Corps could and should make a huge difference to people’s lives. Michael D. Higgins made the point on radio last Sunday 9 January 2005 that there is no agreement between world leaders on what should be done. The Irish government and army can step into this gap and lead Europe and the world in relieving an almost unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Nothing like this has ever happened in this generation of global technology and in relieving the suffering and hardship of hundreds of thousands of people in South East Asia, and by rebuilding these countries to a better condition than they were in before this disaster struck, it could create a more united and more peaceful planet. It’s an opportunity that is in our hands, andif we drop the ball now the future may never forgive us. [All figures were correct at time of going to press.]
Travel Editor: Anthony Thuillier
Thursday January 20, 2005
Charming Arabian land lies in wait of discovery Mark Thompson hits the Leb: From Belfast to Beirut
he ‘Paris of the East’? The cosmopolitan hub of the eastern med? It’s hard to believe that a decade ago, Beirut was a crumbling war-torn mess where even the most trepid tourist would dare not to venture. Things have changed. The redevelopers have moved in; Versace and Vuitton have joined them. This is modern day Beirut. Having never explored the Middle East, I thought this infamous city might be a good place to start. So from Belfast I would journey to the Lebanon and the once infamous Beirut. On arrival into Beirut, I was surprised by the size of the city. This bustling metropolis was on a much greater scale than I had imagined. This urban sprawl stretched as far as the eye could see. The centre is the redeveloped area which is referred to as ‘downtown.’ In a striking mix the eastside of the city is predominately Christian and the Westside is populated by the Muslims. Downtown Beirut is an epicentre of cool; stylish people, excellent food, beautiful architecture but most importantly, plenty of Middle Eastern charm. It is an unpretentious and unspoilt type of cool which makes it particularly attractive. The food is famed as being the best of the Middle East region and it certainly was very good. Nearly all the restaurants offer traditional Lebanese delicacy so there is plenty of opportunity to sample this undiscovered fare. The side street cafes are filled with laid back people playing backgammon and smoking arguille (Lebanese equivalent of a bong) and drinking strong Arabian coffee; all stable features of the culture. The smells of the streets are pleasantly potent due to the various flavours of
tobacco being smoked in these arguille. The prices, along with the people, are unpretentious which adds to the appeal of this undiscovered rejuvenated city. Leaving the downtown area you will be immediately struck by the contrasts. The developers have not yet reached many of these areas so there is still plenty of evidence of the war with shell holes scattering many of the buildings. Meeting the genuinely friendly Lebanese people against the back drop of such
(jbail) is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited towns. The old port is a wonderful place to eat, walk around and simply watch the world go by. It makes a nice change from the hustle and noise of Beirut city. The cobbled streets boast many stall-style shops offering traditional Lebanese products. The Lebanese love you to bargain with them, so give it a go although the prices are so low anyway there is very little need. The main attraction of my holiday
The fact that you can be skiing in near perfect conditions, with the Mediterranean ocean to one side of you, and knowing the Syrian desert is in the distance beyond the mountains covered in snow is somewhat of a surreal experience. buildings just shows the optimism of this country in their bid to leave the war behind and look to a better future. I did feel genuinely safe in this city. There are guards on nearly every street watching, and deterring any potential criminals thus the crime rate is very low by international standards. Outside of Beirut, the beautiful landscapes offer many potential places and sites to visit. The underground caves of Jeita had some of the most spectacular caves which I had ever seen. The sheer size and scale was awe-inspiring in itself. They stretch back 6km into the mountains. The town of Byblos
though was the skiing. Yes, I found it hard to believe myself but with snow aplenty, I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to ski in the Middle East. Within a 90minute drive from Beirut, and the occasional army check-point, I was in the mountains which overlooked the city. The drive offers once more, ample opportunities to see the scars that the war has left upon this country. Lebanon boasts six ski ranges with my choice of Faraya Mzaar being the largest. The slopes were a pleasant change from the busy and more congested slopes of Europe and North America. A reason for
this emptiness was offered with regard to the nature of the Lebanese people who will visit these snowy climes, not to ski, but to indulge in the restaurants and cafes. The mountains are transformed in the winter months as the places to be seen by the Beirut social set. The snow quality during my visit was perfect and the pure blue skies and beaming sun glaring down on the Mediterranean only added to the beauty of the area. The off piste skiing was particularly impressive with miles of powdered snow stretched out waiting to be skied upon. The Lebanese ski season is shorter than most due to the early arrival of the warmer weather. When the summer months draw closer, there’s a cliché that would be well worth checking out which makes a very popular and very unique day out. It’s said to be possible to ski the slopes in the morning and catch the rays on the beach in the afternoon. I decided to give the beach a miss since it was the middle of December. It is this climate that struck me as being particularly strange. The fact that you can be skiing in near perfect conditions, with the Mediterranean ocean to one side of you, and knowing the Syrian desert is in the distance beyond the mountains covered in snow is somewhat of a surreal experience. It was however a very pleasant and enjoyable one. Lebanon is a country waiting to be rediscovered. Last year, for the first time since before the civil war, over a million people visited the country. So now that the tourist market has begun to slowly recover, I’d recommend that you visit before the mass markets join you. If you
are looking for a place of contrasts then it’s a fantastic country with warm and friendly people eager to
show you what their country has to offer. I certainly fell under the charm of this Arabian land.
Aleppo Mosque, Beirut.
Convoluted cosmologies, sensual overload, and intricate and rewarding dramas Tomas Ryan gets to grips with four months in India “Convoluted cosmologies”, “sensual overload”, and “intricate and rewarding dramas”, just some of the ways Lonely Planet attempts to describe the world that is India. All such descriptions are overused, stereotypical and extremely accurate. Four months in India was a gripping prospect. I was going there for science, culture, and travel. I was desperately looking for a compromise between work experience and my desire to travel beyond the conventional third level summer stomping grounds of God’s country. After an unlikely sequence of chance events I was accepted to an Undergraduate research program in a University in Mumbai (Bombay), along with one other classmate. We were going to have the opportunity
to further our experience in science whilst being immersed in Indian culture for 11 weeks, before 5 weeks of pure adventure traveling the sub-continent. Arriving in Mumbai airport, I was in quite a sleep deprived state due to a restless 24-hour indirect journey and only having leaving Brussells just a few hours before leaving Dublin. I was greeted by heavy monsoon rain, hundreds of screaming touts, and one reassuring guy from the University holding a card with my name on it. Driving through the city was interesting as most of Mumbai is an unplanned, uncoordinated suburb of less than pleasant sights, but it is also a city of over 14 million people with its more aesthetic areas
too. The more interesting areas of the city were towards the South side, spectacular 19th century British architecture all around, and plenty of shops, theatres, and bars to keep Westerners happy. We worked and lived at the extreme South of the city right beside a naval base. When I got to the guesthouse where I was to stay for the first three months the first thing I noticed were the crows. The crows there made the most disturbing noise, they were quite menacing looking and are not afraid of people- Mumbai would be twice as nice if it wasn't for the crows. My room was quite partan, the walls were filthy, and the communal bathroom was in such a state that I never wanted to meet the
other people on my corridor. The food in the canteen was of questionable quality, but extremely cheap. During the first two weeks I did not sleep or eat much due to the culture shock and the workload. Indian students are in a much more difficult situation than Europeans, inferring the 70+ hour work week that I quickly became a part of. Weekends were meaningless, no routine I fitted in to, and there were two modes: work and not working. All the people I worked with were extremely welcoming and friendly, there is much more social interaction in a lab where people spend all their waking hours than in a lab with a 40 hour work-week. The University was right on the waterfront and has some spectacular views of Mumbai’s marine drive and Chowpatty beach. Mumbai city is on a large island and observing it from the boat that we took the nearby "elephanta" island yesterday, it seems far bigger than Manhattan. However, it lacks any high-rise buildings. The restaurants are great whether Indian or western in nature. There were lots of attractive bars, the "traveller" hang outs in India are actually genuine places that you would want to frequent if travelling there, they're not of the prententious “beach” atmosphere that pervades traveller hubs in Thailand. Mumbai is set apart from any other large Indian city in that it has extreme poverty and extreme wealth right on top of one another, there is no urban segregation of any kind between the two, slums exist a stone’s throw from fantastic architecture. At any one moment you can be looking at a hundred different things ranging from horrific to spectacular and everything in between, all while actively trying not to get run over by the chaotic traffic. When it rains it’s enjoyable because it’s never cold and nobody cares. To get off a crowded train at
rush hour you literally have to push, shoulder, and elbow people in the face, at rush hour people dive head first onto moving train carriages just to get a seat. Towards the end of the first three months, some of our friends flew in to join us, four of us took a train from Mumbai to Varanasi (about 34 hours) where we met up with another two. Six of us spent one day and one night in Varanasi together. We watched the ceremonial body burning by the ghats, and took a two-hour boat ride up the Ganges. Unfortunately, due to the monsoon season, most of the buildings on the waterfront were submerged and it seemed to be low season for Hindu pilgrims. The next morning there was a split in our party. Two headed directly for Delhi, while the remaining four had the sudden whim to take off to Nepal. We took a local bus to Sonauli on the India/Nepal border, where we crossed to the Nepal side and spent the night. However, there turned out to be a general strike the next day, so no bus or tour company would take us to Kathmandu and given the deadline of the other's departure dates from India we were forced to take a local flight instead. We rode on an 8-seater plane to Kathmandu, defiantly the most enjoyable flight I have ever been on. Nepal is notably more relaxed than the insanity of India. The people are less pushy and more welcoming, but the food is quite bland in comparison and the hygiene here makes India seem more developed (though the beer and whiskey in Nepal is superior by far). Also, the people are almost like a mid-point between India and South-East Asia. That night we arrived here and obviously went to experience the nightlife. Kathmandu is an incredibly lively place, the bars don't seem to close if you are western and there is certainly more activity here than in Mumbai.
From the first bar we sat in (O’Reily’s Irish pub of Kathmandu) we observed a student demonstration quickly amassing, then shop owners closing shutters, police, paddy wagons, but we didn't get involved. The next day as we sat in our hotel garden eating breakfast we heard a bomb go off. Immediately afterwards the streets were filled with protestors and we were informed that a curfew was to be imposed for the afternoon due to the public outrage for the Nepali people that were killed in Iraq – wrong place, wrong time. While wandering the streets we were caught in an increasingly intimidating mob and
I had some angry 14 year olds pointing sharp objects shouting "no pictures" at me. There was one intersection where a car was overturned and destroyed, fires put out, and defaced Koran manuscripts lining the street. The mosque was attacked and ruined and Muslims here were being targeted all over the city. Curfew was enacted, the army appeared everywhere and the crowds were silenced.
Above: Golden Temple, Amriststar. Below:India/Pakistan Border Photos: Tomas Ryan
Thursday January 20, 2005
Arts Review Editors:Clementine Macmillan-Scott & Sharon Thiruchelvam
Trinity News ARTS REVIEW Lust in Translation Person Trinity
News Recommends Interview with Frank Wynne, Translator of Michel Houellebecq For those of you who don’t know, Michel Houllebecq is France’s latest literary rebel. As well as being a poet whose bleak and pithy FILM verses have led to him being called ‘The Baudelaire of the supermarket’, he is also the author of a handful of incendiary novels that In 2002, after Houellebecq won Closer Mike Nicholls, director of the Graduate, presents his screen adaptation of the hugely successful Patrick Marber play. Marber’s human drama investigates the deep intricacies and intimacis of love, sex and betrayal. Dark, raw and painful, you will be intrigued as Natalie Portman, Julia Roberst and Jude Law play the couples who turn each other’s lives upside down.
MUSIC JohnLegend: Get Lifted The multi-talented man from Ohio who played piano on Laureen Hill’s “Everything is Everything”, sung the hooks on Jay-Z’s ‘Encore,’ and Kanye Wests, ‘Jesus Walks’ strikes out on his own. A world apart from the bling bling R&B flufff inundating our radio waves, his debut is one of elegant soulful pianobased grooves, grounded in older days, and lit up by the richness of his voice.
EXHIBITION Tom Stoddart’s iWitness: Gallery of Photography The Indian Ocean tsunami asked in part the same questions asked by TomStoddart’s photographs-on the nature of responsibility to fellow suffering human beings. For the last fifteen years, Stoddart has photographed humanitarian disasters such as the Aid’s crisis in Africa, the trouble in the Balkans and the war in Iraq. His black and white photographs asks the observer to consider in what ways we are part of the human race.
Book Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore The cult Japanee writer’s works continually slide seamlessly between reality and dreams. Kafka on the Shore is no exception as its protaganist encounters talking cats, a rainstorm of fish, and a Hegel-quoting prostitute on his escape from an Oedipul prophecy. The novel more than fulfills its own vast ambitions.
Trinity News Warns Against Alexander Garunteed to sweep the board at “the Stinkers,’ not even Colin Farrell’s blond wig can save Oliver Stone’s terrible mess of a movie.
Compiled by Anna Mostyn- Williams
have managed to incur the wrath of just about everyone. His central characters are usually thinly drawn and obviously exist to give vent to the various themes that interest him, and the plots of his novels are lubricated by heavy quantities of cheap sex. But despite these affinities with crude paperback bestsellers, he has a knack for shoving his finger right in the wounds of modern society. Any reader with a sense of the absurd and its presence in human relationships shouldn’t delay in getting to grips with this writer and his curious quest for knowledge of self and society.
the Impac, you stood on stage with him in the Gate theatre during the Dublin Literary Festival, and read your translation in tandem with his original. Do you remember that evening well?
Here Luke Sheehan talks to Houllebecq’s translator, Frank Wynne, about the artist himself, the art of translation and the relationship between the artist and his translator.
I do remember it. We was late arriving, wet from the rain, sitting backstage doing the whole Dutch courage thing. There had been a mix-up with the organizers. They assumed he was going to read in English. But Michel’s English is functional, and he doesn’t enjoy speaking or reading any language other than French, so the day before he had suggested we go onstage and read together. I think he read very well, and he was pleased with it.
What’s your background? Did you go to college here? Like a lot of people, I imagine, then and now, I hadn’t really much idea of what I wanted to do in university. I did English and philosophy in TCD. I was the first person in my family to go, which was an achievement, but when I got there I didn’t quite know what I was doing. This was the early eighties, I had never been out of Sligo, and therefore for two and half years I was interested in little but sex, drugs and rock and roll. In my second year I ended up falling in love and failing my exams. So rather than repeating I left. I told all my friends I was moving to Paris, and to their surprise I did, and discovered pretty quick that I have a reasonable gift for language. Could you tell us how you got into translation? I didn’t come into translation by any standard route at all. For a while in the late nineteen-eighties publishers became genuinely interested in graphic novels. I was asked to translate some of these because I managed a French bookshop in London and knew a lot about French Bandes Desinées. This experience put me in contact with a lot of mainstream publishers, and I became a ‘Reader.’ My job was simply to read French books, write a report and send it back with the book. Mostly I said “Don’t publish this book.” Not that they were especially bad- they might have been interesting, or even good, but because translations are notoriously ‘difficult’ to publish, in most cases it just wasn’t worth it. When I finally did recommend one, the
publisher asked me if I’d like to translate it. The book came out and was shortlisted for an obscure translation prize… I didn’t win. And this is how you came across Houellebecq? The second book that I ever recommended a publisher publish was ‘Les Particules Elementaires,’ which became ‘Atomised.’ It hadn’t yet been published in France, so the scandal that erupted around it there didn’t influence me when I sent back my report. I remember saying something along the lines of: “This is a dangerous book, on every conceivable level. Most people will probably loathe it, some people will like it, probably for the wrong reasons. But it is funny, and lacerating, and as well as that, is intelligent enough to make you want to think seriously about the arguments it puts forward.” I think the rights were probably bought for four thousand pounds. Nobody had heard much of Michel at the time. Did you have any idea of how controversial he would become? I knew that everyone was going to know who he was. French Literature is very particular about some things: even if you’re a rebel like Rimbaud or Verlaine or deliberately transgressive like Bataille or whoever, there are certain things that you don’t do. You don’t write ugly prose. You don’t generally talk about Monoprix ready meals and the coffee-machine flirtations of lonely IT workers- it’s just not done. Literature is considered by the French to be an elevated and elevating thing, and clearly he didn’t respect that. But much more
serious than that was the way he pissed all over 1968. I mean, he might be called a pornographer in England, but nobody in France would care about that. However the student rebellions are still held in a sort of awe by people of that generation. They will pretend they were on the barricades when they weren’t, and there is this body of cultural memory that regards it as a second revolution that ushered in a libertarian society, leaving everyone free to have sex and enjoy themselves. Of course, as Houellebecq rather depressingly demonstrates, this is simply not true. He shows you just how violently hypocritical that generation were. And that had never been done. So I think that was bound to blow up in France.
er, or in Genetics how proteins and nucleotides function; what puzzles him is the world of men and women, how they interact. He finds it so overwhelming, to see people behave the way they do. Everything about sex, for example, and all the strange things we do to get it. He uses all his considerable talents to try to make sense of these impossibly difficult things. Does he take any interest in the translation process? Do authors in general? Not really. He doesn’t feel he has sufficient command of the language to play a part in the translation progress. Also I feel that he – as perhaps many writers do – moves away from a book when he has finished writing
Could you tell us about your method? What gives you the biggest headache when you’re translating a book? The main source of tension in translation tends to be the question of domestication. Strictly speaking, it would be nice to render every word according to the strictest academic standards, but the impact of
the original is completely lost this way (The prototype for this approach would be Nabokov’s translation of Eugene Onegin). With Houellebecq I try to reproduce the effect of the French as best I can, whilst keeping in mind the warnings and criticisms from all quarters. Above all what people don’t appreciate is how little time translators have to do their work these days. ‘Atomised’ took six months. It would be difficult to type the book in six months. And you’re under more pressure if the writer is well-known. Are you working on anything at the moment? I hear Houellebecq has a new book coming out in France soon… I can tell you the title of the book, but that’s about it. It will be called ‘Le Possibilité d’une île,’ which, given’s Michel’s fondness for Aldous Huxley may refer to his last book ‘An Island’ about an imaginary Utopia. English language rights on the book haven’t been sold yet – in fact, it won’t be delivered to his French publisher until early next year, so I don’t yet know whether I’ll be asked to translate - I hope so.
What kind of guy is he? I feel I can say this without being insulting- he is profoundly apart from everyone else, like a child who just can’t be persuaded to play with the other children, if you know what I mean. Even to the point of seeming a little autistic at times – as to a lesser extent most men are. He studied and worked as an engineer, I know that, so he has a better-than-amateur grasp of some of the scientific themes he touches upon.
How does all this show itself in his writing? To my mind what he wants to do ultimately is nothing less than put together a notion of the Universe that fits. He hasn’t managed to do that yet, but that’s what he is laboring to achieve. Obviously, what puzzles him is not how, in Physics, the elementary particles fit togeth-
Oriental Odyssey of sight and sound Hong Kong born Wong Kar-Wai's films have been lauded by Quentin Tarantino, Cahiers Du Cinema and the international film festival circuit. A month long retrspective of his work opens at the IFI. Report by Sharon Thiruchelvam. A retrospective of the internationally fêted and decorated, independent auteur, Wong KarWai, runs at the IFI (Irish Film Institute) from January 14 to February 13 2004. The season has been prompted in celebration of the release of Wong’s latest film, 2046. The film provides a fitting occasion for an overview, for as well as being loaded with tropes from and references to Wong’s preceding films 2046 exists as a quasisequel or conceit upon the 2000 release In The Mood for Love. Elegantly paced with reticence, In The Mood for Love followed neighbouring tenants, Cho Mowan and Su Li-zhen’s subsequent relationship following the affirmation of their suspicions of their respective spouses’ affair. Their own affair in contrast remained repressed; rehearsed but withheld from realization by the tight lacing of their self-censure. 2046 sees cheap kung-fu movie and pulp-fiction writer Cho’s current liaisons with four women haunted by the memory of that unrealised love and sees his emotional life displaced by his Kuberick-like work in progress, 2046, a sci-fi fantasy with a global train network with through which people can reclaim their memories. Just as In the Mood For Love was set in a noir-ish 1960s Hong Kong of an imagination, 2046 is situated in an equally fantastic 2046 of a seemingly retrospective future. The most striking quality of Wong’s work, which favours recurrent existential themes of, memory, identity, time, space, urbanity, love, isolation, absence, chance meetings
and missed opportunities, is his beautiful and deliberated cinematography and a developed sense of substantiated yet polished style, telling of his production of music videos for artists such as DJ Shadow and his diverse influences, Scorsese and Hitchcock in cinema and Manuel Puig and Haruki Murakami in literature. Wong achieved break-through recognition with one of the lost treasures of 1990s cinema, Chungking Express a post-modern, technicoloured tale of two cops’ parallel yearnings for love. One, preoccupied with the existential implications of canned food expiry dates that relate to the expiry of his last relationship. The other, quietly coveted by a kooky California Dreamin’ obsessed noodle bar waitress. As in many of his films the lives
of seemingly unconnected characters are woven into a tapestry of love and loss. Wong cemented his critical success by winning Best Director for Happy Together at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Hong Kong’s vexed history and diverse cultural identity have inevitably shaped the territory’s cinema, leading to a dynamic output of films that portray a distinct Hong Kong psyche. Wong’s films particularly attest to this quality of filmmaking, articulating a nebulous and rudely traditional, technological modernity and the dislocation felt by its citizens. His films are distinct cultural products of Hong Kong and its film industry must be considered as an active participant in its history. Although Hong Kong is the locus of Wong’s filmmaking, his
appeal transcends cultural location for Wong can be easily appreciated as a classic auteur. His films are unified by an identifiable personality, intentionality and an evolving style exacted through his writing, producing, casting and editing. Although the ‘auteur’ is a dying romance, near extinct in Hollywood, Wong’s success and the possibility in Hong Kong where most films are shot and marketed quickly as accessible products of popular entertainment, is even more remarkable. Wong’s semiimprovised creative process begins with a set of ideas, songs and images, instead of a script and like many Hong Kong filmmakers, he commonly writes dialogue on location and only formalises the film's structure in the editing suite. Few filmmakers dare now to make films with such faith and creative freedom.
The result are challenging, beautiful films, worthy of the revered cinematic accolade: comparable to Godard.
Schedule of Films: Jan Jan Jan Jan Jan
15, 16 Ashes of Time (1994) 15, 16 Chungking Express (1994) 17 Fallen Angels (1995) 18 Happy Together (1997) 29, 30 In the Mood For Love (2000)
Feb 5, 6 Days of Being Wild (1990) Feb 11 As Tears Go By (1988) Feb 12, 13 A Chinese Odyssey (2002) To late Feb 2046 (2004)
Arts Review Editors:Aisling Hanrahan & Louise Taylor
Thursday January 20, 2005
Modern Art: An Abstraction to the Exclusion of Substance? Laurence Berry
he term Modern Art encompasses a range of movements, from the widely celebrated Impressionism to the richly detailed philosophical work of Surrealism. However, much of what is deemed ‘modern’ evades definition. The recurring question with art of the 20th century remains to what extent can artists redefine the boundaries of art itself? Generally people accept the utilization of new techniques (such as digital imaging) and materials as new forms of artistic expression in order to embrace the modern mediums that emerge. Obviously, experimentation with new forms necessitates the enlargement of the arena that includes Modern Art. Yet in an era in which painting and sculpture are seen as ends in themselves and not conveyors of religious or political messages, complications emerge. Anyone who has seen the footage of the plastic bag whirling in the wind in the Sam Mende’s film American Beauty will realise the mawkishness which can result from awarding an everyday sighting the status of art. To avoid downplaying the picture of nature animating the bag, it must be stated that should the scene be brought into the museum using a generator to create the uplifting effect, it is not transformed into art. And besides, is it not the natural context that renders these moments of
appreciation so special? And is it not a requisite of art for the manipulation of materials to enhance the end result and not merely re-present it? It is clearly difficult to define modern art. As already stated, the line that encircles the set of conditions which define it is expanding according to the everincreasing availability of new mediums. But questions emerge in response to the widening definition. For example, is Performance Art an over-expansion of the definition of art as it encroaches upon other domains, such as drama? According to new definitions, the creation of art includes not just the creation of physical objects but ideas and actions as well. It seems that modern art emerged out of sheer innovation whereby the artists’ handling of new materials allowed for a radically different means of expression. Admittedly, the definition of art must move with the times with respect to other spheres of human achievement. For instance, the artist Robert Smithson fashions his earthworks out of elements of the environment. He used earth, rocks and water to create his Spiral Jetty (1970) in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. If, however, a reptile enthusiast were to create a climate controlled replica of a creature’s environment to sustain the life of a certain specimen, with cascading waterfalls, and rainforest plants strategically placed to grow on
gnarly branches, is this also art? Does a mere duplication of a naturalistic habitat qualify as art or does the creator have to leave his own stamp on his creation? Occasionally it seems that an artist is guilty of hijacking another discipline by exhibiting an everyday object as art without making the slightest modification to its physical form. Such a man was the French artist Marcel Duchamp who displayed a porcelain urinal as a work of art in Fountain (1917). This apparent transgression upon an engineering design in fact celebrates a receptacle for its peculiarity once removed from its context. An ergonomic structure instantaneously loses its utility when displayed in a museum and thereby provokes a fresh perspective in the viewer. Modern art, therefore, does not necessarily have to create anything more from the basic materials used. All that the artist has to do is to jolt the viewer out of his or her mundane relationship with the everyday world. What then of art that is so abstract that neither an intellectual reading nor a disturbing reaction can leave the viewer with a sense of connection with the piece? The Suprematist Kasimir Malevich painted a black square on a white background in his work Black Square (1913). The black square symbolizes sensation and the background nothingness. What Malevich wished to depict was the
pure essence of sensation itself, not a sensation connected to a specific experience such as hunger, sadness, or happiness. Here the abstract was intended to evoke pure feeling. The relative ease with which such a painting was executed should not detract from the value of the work. The lack of skill displayed is compensated by the conveyance of that which cannot be captured substantially. But how does a black square elicit the thought of sensation? How can an image represent sensation as an existent in its particularity as opposed to the essence of a concept that is revealed through concrete images? Such a work of art as this reduces painting to its most essential elements. The sharp contrast between black and white shows the depth and impenetrability of the organism’s penetrability in contrast with the void. The significance of the subject is that he feels regardless of the emotionlessness that surrounds his being. The central positioning of the square reflects the pre-eminence of feeling amidst nothingness. The evensided shape of the square denotes the uniformity of feeling as it takes a form that is whole and sharply delineated. So it appears that even something as basic in composition as a square on a page can arouse complex responses. We have seen that the definition of modern art is a very loose one, and when multifaceted meanings emerge in
D.U. Visual Arts Society ‘Czech’ Out Prague! Charlotte Ashe Once a communist city, Prague was far more vibrant than the Visual Arts Society could have imagined. With its bitter cold climate contrasting with welcoming locals, Prague was a fantastic spot to ‘Czech’ out some serious arty action! However, before we’d even reached the Apple hostel (our luxurious place of residence) the light fingers of Prague had worked their way through our pockets. Henceforth, down the trouser hand action was the order of the day…and night. [We all carried money belts- lest anybody get the wrong idea…] Despite initial dread at the thought of individual presentations to the group on various aspects of city architecture and points of interest, this idea proved a great success and avoided unnecessary confusion. The experience of crossing the feat of medieval engineering that is the Charles Bridge, populated by street sellers and frozen beggars at all times, was definitely intensified by the news that the main strengthening agent used for the mortar was, you guessed it, egg yolk. Rubbing the plaque on the bridge ensured our return to Prague, although I
think we all felt that such a measure was hardly necessary. On our electrifying ‘Ghost Tour’ of the city we listened aghast to terrifying tales of Prague. The legend of the Astronomical Clock was perhaps one of our favourites. When the clock was remodelled in 1490 by a certain Master Hanus, the Municipal Council were so impressed with it that they determined another such clock would never be built. To ensure this, they blinded him with a hot poker. Master Hanus, understandably a little peeved, paid a visit to the clock (scaling the building, quite remarkable when one considers he was blind) and threw some kind of a medieval spanner in the works. A few days later, the clock stopped and so did Master Hanus’ heart. Since then, they have gotten the clock back in working order. Master Hanus, regrettably, is still dead. Spine- tingling stuff. The Astronomical Clock itself put on quite a show - the skeleton who has rattled his bones without complaint on the hour every hour to shivering onlookers for the past six centuries scared the life out of us, somewhat akin to the appearance of a flying orange cat at the mari-
Salon der Cents, Alfons Mucha, 1897. This poster for Mucha’s first exhibition portrays a young girl holding a drawing board. She symbolises the Visual Arts.
onette opera of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni.’ Mozart actually conducted the premiere of this opera in Prague, and we’re sure he would have been proud to see this ‘Show With Heart,’ performed by some pretty agile puppets. The opera was certainly enjoyed, if not necessarily understood, by all. As the Visual Arts Society travelled to Prague just before Christmas, we decided to pay a visit to St. Nicholas before he paid a visit to us, calling in to him in the St. Nicholas’ Church where the screaming Baroque pink marble was as bright as any Christmas bauble. Of course, any trip to Prague would not be complete without checking out the cultural gem that is the Mucha Museum. This Art Nouveau palace has been renovated to house a museum devoted to one of the Czech Republic’s most loved artists, which is quite fitting when you consider that his work is indissolubly linked with the Art Nouveau style. The gentle tendrils of his Art Nouveau goddesses undulated about us, winning over even those uninitiated to his art. Unfortunately, we only got as far as the ornate façade of the Municipal House, but hopefully will return again to view the sumptuous decorative murals on the interior which Mucha also designed. On the other side of Charles Bridge, the rather imposing yet very attractive Prague Castle proved fascinating. The castle was well guarded by unmoving and rather frosty guardsmen, only one of which we succeeded in getting the slightest of giggles out of. Their frostiness was perhaps understandable in hindsight. It was snowing. St Vitus’ Cathedral, founded by Prince Wenceslas (a.k.a Good King) was the centrepiece of the castle grounds, a monument to Charles, the greatest king ever to rule Bohemia. It certainly looked the part. St. George’s Basilica was much cosier. Its interior dates back to 1142, but the zealous restoration at the end of the last century means it looks as if its been knocked up in the last few weeks. Not so squeaky clean however is the statue in the crypt below which portrays a decomposing skeleton shielding her groin in a pretty inadequate gesture of modesty as her abdomen is attacked by a horde of insects. This work officially represents ‘Vanitas’ a thematic reminder of the way of all flesh, but those in the know insist that it’s a portrait of a murdered woman, whose killer
tried to atone for his sins by sculpting the corpse of his victim. This made for interesting viewing, and most found this to be a pretty inexplicable method of atonement. Also fascinating was our visit to the home of writer Franz Kafka, No. 22, Golden Lane, one of the miniscule pastel cottages of this 400 year old street. Between December 1916 and March 1917 Kafka lived here and wrote most of the short stories published during his lifetime. The tiny cottages looked like a Matisse painting come to life. We certainly had no problems with cats here- you could barely have fitted a cat inside- let alone find room to swing one! We set a whole day aside to visit Prague’s Jewish Quarter. Strolling around this former Ghetto, important milestones in the history of Prague Jews became clear. Of the old ghetto, only the town hall, six synagogues and the cemetery survive, and that was only due to Hitler’s chilling plan to use them to house a post-war ‘Museum of an Extinct Race.’ At the Pinkas Synagogue we were able to view the heart-wrenching exhibition of children’s drawings from the concentration camp in Terezin. Of the 8,000 children sent to the concentration camps only 242 survived the war. This synagogue is the Czech monument to the victims of the Holocaust and the names of the thousands of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis are inscribed on the walls. The cemetery is an astonishing sight. Until 1787 it was the only burial ground the Jews were permitted and thus a mere twelve thousand tombstones mark the site of layer upon layer of some two hundred thousand people buried there. We also visited The Old-New, the Spanish, the Maisel and the Klausen synagogues, which provided us with an insight into the customs and rituals of Judaism. Most prominently however, the Jewish Ghetto brought to light to all the cruel truth of Prague history, especially for the Jews. On a lighter note, the atmosphere at the State Opera House was simply electric. With champagne between every act (there were five) we all thoroughly enjoyed Verdi’s ‘La Traviata.’ The Rococo interior was extremely impressive, and the drama students were rather taken by the rotating stage. Luckily there wasn’t one of those on the ice-rink the following morning, although some members of the group were doing more rotating than they would perhaps have preferred. Skating with a soundtrack of
response to the work that were not necessarily intended by the artist, the work is deemed even greater. From the dadaists whose work was intentionally meaningless to
Pollock’s interest in gravity and pouring paint it is clear that the creation of art isn’t always connected to the creation of meaning. In most cases the meaning of Modern Art is
to be found in the response of the viewer.
Black Square, Kasimir Malevich, 1913.
Chinese Whispers at I.M.M.A A report by Louise Taylor
When one contemplates the fact that Ireland has a population of 4.5 million people and compares it to the 1.3 billion who live in China, one realises that for the hundreds of artists practising in modern Ireland, there are literally thousands of practising artists in modern China. So who are these artists and why does our knowledge of Chinese art stretch no further than the painted scrolls in the Chester Beatty library? Dreaming of the Dragon’s Nation, a large-scale exhibition of contemporary Chinese art showing at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) until February 6th 2005 addressed these questions and poses many more. As an inter-government project the exhibition forms part of the China-Ireland Cultural Exchange programme and is the first of its kind in Irish art history. Curated by the director of the Academic Research Department of the Shanghai Art Museum, Li Xu, the exhibition provides an overview of contemporary art practise in China bringing together the works of forty-nine different artists from various artistic backgrounds. Divided into five sections, namely photography and film in the South Wing Galleries and painting, sculpture and installation in the New Galleries building, this microcosmic look at a modern Chinese art world addresses the viewer on many different levels. Taking the works at face value, it is clear from the variety of subjects, media and style that the contemporary Chinese art world is highly informed not only regarding its own artistic heritage but that of its Western counterparts. Whereas some of the artists for example Xu Lei and He Saibang are working in the traditional form of ink painting known as Gong Bi, the traditional mediums are approached with a new freedom and fluidity of expression. This point is made especially clear in the playful animals of He Saibang’s ‘cartoon strips’ which are depicted in a loose doodle-like style reminiscent of Joan Miro’s automatic drawings. Many of the works in the exhibition make profound statements about social and political issues in modern China. The video installation entitled ‘Let’s Puff’ by Yanq Zhenzhong for instance seems to Christmas songs and jollifications was, I must say, rather magical and for 1euro per hour, a bit of a bargain. ‘Christmas on Ice’…Eat your heart out! For those not so keen on this slippery entertainment, or with feet too large for the boots, there were some serious bargains to be
refer to the huge population problems within Chinese cities and the seemingly endless building of streets to accommodate the problem. The photographic works of Zhao Bandi also play upon such issues with the use of a pet stuffed panda named ‘Mi’ to highlight prominent social issues such as the fear of AIDS and the one-child family policy. From a curatorial point of view, the layout of the exhibition is in contrast to the customary placement of works in a modern art gallery such as IMMA. Instead of devoting a wall or even an entire room to a single piece as is generally the practise, the white cube is invaded with what could almost be considered a mishmash of pieces most of which are unrelated in terms of style or authorship. The second room one enters in the New Galleries for instance sees the display of over five separate pieces, two being hanging curtains, one a fabulous porcelain installation which covers most of the floor space and the others, paintings. The acting curator, Sean Kissane also informed me that the conservation standard of modern works in China is hugely at odds with our own. Whereas certain standards of framing, handling and storage
found at local shops and markets. All were rather sad to have to leave Prague. The trip was a triumph for the Visual Arts Society. We were fortunate in that the green fairy watched over us all during our time away and, in fact, travelled home to
must be upheld regarding the preservation of art works in Ireland, many of the works sent from China ‘were in such bad condition when we unpacked them that they simply couldn’t be put on display.’ On closer inspection, it did appear as though many of the art works had been seriously mishandled, the evidence of nails protruding from the frame of one of the works proving the point pertinently. As the horrific events of recent Chinese history had denied and to a certain degree eradicated artistic freedom in the mid twentieth century, Dreaming of the Dragon’s Nation is a rare opportunity for the Irish public to see for themselves the imaginative and progressive nature of contemporary Chinese art since the cultural re-birth of the 1990’s. As a representative of contemporary Chinese art, Dreaming of a Dragon’s Nation can surely be no more than a whisper of Chinas artistic voice, the full force of which I am sure we will experience in years to come. My thanks to Mr.Sean Kissane, acting curator, who recently led the Trinity Visual Arts society on an insightful tour of the exhibition.
Dublin with the majority. I would like to thank the Visual Arts committee who gave a lot of their time in order to run the trip successfully. We were all truly grateful. The trip simply wouldn’t have been what it was without you!
Thursday January 20, 2005
Food & Drink Editor: Patrick O’ Connor
FOOD & DRINK A Korean food experience
Frank Halley Just over two years ago I spent a year teaching English to children in a rural suburb west of Seoul. Often asked about my time there, the one word that continuously springs to mind when recounting the people and the culture is harmony. In Korea, harmony permeates every fold and nuance of the collective national soul, its environs and the eastern way of life in general. In Korea, even the food is harmonious. It is so well balanced that it is impossible to get fat there. I am a person who lives to eat and for me, Korean food was, and still is the ultimate in excitement and diversity. Koreans eat everything and anything. I mean anything. Silkworm stew and dried grasshoppers are sold from stalls at the start of most popular hiking trails. Men eat dog in the summer months as a virility booster, and I have heard that in the country people eat cat with the belief that it enhances their flexibility. The traditional snack food in Korea is dried squid. When drinking at a bar, Koreans “chew the squid”. Long peaceful car trips are frequently interspersed with the potent whiff of a dead squid, as hungry children tear them to pieces and chew till there’s nothing left. One of the most striking features of the Korean dining experi-
ence is the restaurants and how you approach them. Each restaurant will specialize in its own particular dish, so if you are in the mood for fish, you go to a fish house. If you want barbequed meat, you go to a grill house. There are a few basic staples that no Korean meal would be complete without. Every single restaurant meal is a feast of color, taste and texture. Rarely, did I sit down and enjoy less than six or seven dishes. One of the fondest meals I can remember had consisted of 27 different dishes on the one table. Beautiful Korean girls served us soufflés, bubbling spicy stews, grilled fish, and marinated beef. Vegetables were served raw, pickled, and cooked, and always came with interesting dips. An old man, also kitted out in customary attire, would accompany our dinner with music from times of old, as I reached for a chunk of beef, dipped it in chilli paste and wrapped it with a lettuce leaf, washing it all down with a healthy slug of rice wine. My quest to read and speak the language was initially fuelled by my voracious desire to peruse the menus and be able to order the food. I loved the ritual that surrounds eating out. Upon entering a restaurant, all patrons remove their shoes. People really do sit or kneel on cushions on the floor and lean on large, low, roomy tables. Much room is needed to accommodate the large assortment of different taste experiences. There is nothing
boring about Korean food. Eating out is ridiculously cheap by western standards and quite affordable by domestic standards. It is one of the national pastimes, along with Mountain climbing and wallowing around in bathhouses. Kimchi is the quintessential dish in Korean cuisine. Essentially a pickled cabbage aged with spicy hot chillis, ginger and garlic, no Korean would consider his meal complete without it; breakfast included. When the SARS virus threatened to sweep across all of Asia in 2002, not one single case emerged in South Korea. The people there believe that Kimchi is essential for a strong immune system. In an unofficial poll I took at the school I worked, when asked what food you could bring to a desert island, the majority of the kids chose kimchi and rice. One of the coolest things about the food is that you can eat it till you’re blue in the face and not gain an ounce. I actually felt healthier after it. It’s a dieter’s paradise. The abundance of roots and vegetables, incorporating everything from seaweed to tree bark, together with bowls of comforting miso-like, spicy broths and a minimal amount of meat is what makes this diet so supreme. And, thanks to the recent influx of foreign nationals and the subsequent upsurge of Asian supermarkets all across Dublin, I’ve been able to introduce Irish friends to the wonders of Korean cuisine.
Alilang Restaurant, 102 Parnell St, Dublin 1 Rosie GoghanKeogh It was over the Christmas period that I began to consider the way we eat in Ireland. While relishing turkey and ham, it struck me how odd it should be that for the majority of people, young people especially, Christmas has become one of the rare occasions during the year that calls for the family to sit down, eat and enjoy one meal together. I was always rather shy of my eating habits when out gallivanting with friends. In my slightly adventurous younger years, while wandering from party to party for sev-
eral days on end there seemed so many who could last for days on a shared packet of Tayto. I would secretly try to scoff wondering why I needed to eat and they didn’t (not because of any obesity related reasons I assure you). My family are one of the increasingly rare examples of a family who still come together and eat, for the enjoyment of the food and the company. And it isn’t that we feast every night. As I ate a Gino Ginnelli Pizzini and hash browns in front of the TV yesterday, it occurred to me that all of the excitement has been taken away from food. With fast food and every fruit, vegetable, you name it being imported, nothing is savoured, nothing is new. It was in this mind last Sunday evening while standing out side the Savoy, deliberating with -the boyhow much, if at all, we really wanted to see Alexander, that I suggested we go for dinner instead. And so we came across the Alilang Korean Restaurant on Parnell Street. The Alilang is an experience if nothing else. It specialises in an (apparently) world renowned style of eating called the Korean
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Barbeque (I’d never heard of it). This basically means you cook your own food on a gas ring that has been stuck in the middle of each table. The décor is an exact cross between Irish kitsch and, well, Korean kitsch, which gives the room the odd look of being a mixture of a rural museum café frequented by the elderly and an oriental restaurant. The fact that we were the only Irish people there assured us that we hadn’t wandered into some long forgotten Bewley’s. The menu is diverse –you’re not obliged to cook. We shared a starter of Korean dumplings, delicious beef and vegetable filled parcels of pastry –highly recommended. For main course we decided we had to do the Barbeque, which they rather annoyingly don’t do unless you order two separate dishes. But we did much to the protestation of our almost full stomachs. I pleaded for him not to, but the adventurous boy insisted on ordering chicken gizzard, for the simple reason that he didn’t know what it was. I was slightly less daring in my choice of lamb. (For those not even as daring as I, there is a separate menu of pretty typical Chinese
food.) The cooker went on, and the food came, two huge plates of raw meat, accompanied with rice, various sauces, and lettuce leaves to wrap the whole lot in. And that was that –we were left to our own devices, so just throw it on the Barbie, as they say. Mine was tasty; the boy claimed his had the consistency of a crunchy vegetable, probably due to our cooking or his rather questionable choice than the restaurant. Yet the Alilang really brings something back into food that is almost extinct in eating out in Ireland – excitement. We had a laugh doing something entirely different and reasonably priced at around ten euro or under for a main on the Barbeque and six for a starter, all served with an unusual barley tea. While the food is by no means exceptional, it’s balanced by the experience to be had in relishing it. Highly recommended for those who don’t know what movie to go to…
Guinness € 3.50
The essence of this column is cheap. But a cheap pint doesn’t have to mean a bad pint. It is with this in mind that we are including a section on drinking on the bright side of three euro. If you are taste sensitive then turn away now. The sunny side of three euro per pint comes at a cost, the bar maids with hoof dentures, the funeral time music and the refreshing taste of anti-design. This is not Dawson street country. I want to tell you of pub that serves pints for three fifty (Guinness). Now I understand I have again broken the rule, smashed the theme of low-cost drinking but at three fifty it’s still pickled with parsimony. I went to review Handles and found it closed on a Sunday night, so I walked from pub to pub looking for a pub with Guinness at that magic price of three euro. I found nothing, in the Thomas Street area and so stopped for a pint in a pub called O’Neill’s. Honestly I wasn’t going to mention it and keep it a secret but I remembered that all ten readers of this section will hardly spoil the broth. O’Neill’s is a NCAD watering hole and local hard knock’s gathering ground. It isn’t the charmless carvery canyon that is O’Neill’s Bar on Suffock Street. It is a genuine local with the toothless, the lemonade drinkers and the culture junkies seeking out a real Dublin pub. It has a domestic front window of the height of an average man’s top rib. It’s width is about the length of a family saloon car.
The floor handles like a beach bum on an ice rink so be careful or at least put led in your boots. In the pub there were six elderly people sipping drinks but within twenty five minutes the place was heaving with young people waiting to go to Pat Shortt gig. The places relatively dour atmosphere, romanticise it if you wish, was now soaking in tasty young ones getting lightly liquored. The bar man, now under pressure as he was on his own, fired out Labatts at three euro, Beamish at three twenty and plenty of white wine for the girls . The Guinness was good, bordering great.
and London leave Dublin’s designer bars look like the Connolly Station, with no exceptions. Whatever is next matters not a tot.
I wish it were closer so I could make it my local. On the way I nurtured the possibility of going at least once a week but in truth planning of that sort is not my strength. I hope I go back soon.Dublin pubs are going through a menoopause. The gastro pub idea hasn’t taken off yet, The Clarendon being but the only real exception, which is average restaurant quality at best. Design is still far from being world class. Places like Barcelona, Paris
The ice bar @ The Four Seaons.
It is only a ten minute walk from the Trinity and it gives me the chance to meet with the mullets and dread locks in NCAD.
Pubs at the top of their game.
Pulling a pint Mulligan’s, Poolbeg Street.
Pulling the celebs Pulling the opposite sex The Village, Wexford St.
Pulling the I.Q. Doyle’s, College Green.
Pulling your leg Cafe En Seine, Dawson Street.
O’Neill’s, 65 Thomas Street, D8
Thursday January 20, 2005
FOOD & DRINK
Trinity News Vodka Memoirs
Orlando Bridgeman My nephew’s godfather is actually a Russian Godfather. So when I discovered he was a notoriously typical Russian hard-drinking wheeler-dealer, my first question was what vodkas he would contemplate sipping outside Russia. ‘Orlando,’ he replied, as he attacked a second glass of claret with fearsome determination, before he had even started thinking about the dish in front of him. ‘So, Orlando, over here you have four safe bets.’ This being delivered in a heavy, Bond villain accent. ‘Absolut, Wyborowa, Finlandia, and the best, Stolichnaya.’I asked him about Smirnoffand all I got was a worringly violent Russian expletive. I enthusiastically set out undertaking controlled tastings of these authoritatively endorsed brands. He was quite right in singling out Stolichnaya, a seriously pleasurable vodka. Absolut was the one that I would have dropped from his roll of honour. I find it insipid. My old flatmate was going out with a Pole. I asked him what Polish vodkas I should be picking up. To familiarise me with the sort of vodka he was drinking at home, he told a tale. A construction worker from his home village brought some ‘normal’ vodka to the site and buried it in the snow. Midway through the morning he unearthed it and shared it with a friend to revive their cold and tired spirits. Shortly afterwards, they were admitted to casualty with frozen internal systems; they died later. Now, I don’t want to scare cocktail drinking readers into slipping their Martinis into the microwave before settling down with the potentially lethal substance. He avoided the actual question I had asked. Yet after half a bottle of Wyborowa, the biggest Polish vodka sold here, and drunk the Polish way (with
pickled onions, gherkins and plenty of cries of ‘Nostrovya’), he declared Wyborowa was ‘good’. Last week I found myself sitting next to a Finn. I asked him whether Finlandia was popular in Finland. Up to a point, he answered, but he gave me the names of some ‘superior’ vodkas. Having not yet got round to tasting most of them on behalf of the Trinity News, I claim no responsibility for their quality. Ruski Standard (a friend brought this vodka back from Russia and it froze in the freezer, suggesting inferior quality. It tasted unremarkable.) Flagman, Saarenaa, an Estonian vodka, and Koskenkorva, his personal favourite in the Finnish field of vodkas. In a recent American industry blind-tasting of one hundred vodkas, Belvedere was the one that reached the top spot. I smiled as I saw Absolut wallowing down in the forties. Strangely, the first vodka that taught me how fine vodka can taste was the Turkish state-produced vodka, imaginatively named Votka. Perhaps it is the happy memories of drinking of this vodka, but I consider it as the best vodka I have ever had. Of course, if it isn’t the taste you are looking for (and let’s admit it, vodka is basically without any defining taste or smell), the cheapest vodka in Dublin I know of can be found in litre bottles in an offlicence on Talbot Street. It’s name is Igor and, interestingly, it is distilled in Spain. Vodka in the nineties underwent an image enhancing makeover, to the extent one can now find single estate vodka and aged vodka and so on. Yet I have not sought in the above lines to give an overview of vodka today, rather to suggest some vodkas readers might like to explore. If there is one thing I am seeking, it is an invitation to join anyone who actually gets hold of a bottle Flagman, Saarenaa or Koskenkorva.
water. A potato with a high level of water is floury, it’s flesh collapses when cooked and when they meet with hot oil the flesh on the outside becomes crisp while the inside remains soft and pillow like. The firm or waxy potato has a low water content and when cooked their flesh remains firm. It’s nutritional value is underrated. It has ,for an average size potato, 33 mg of vitamin ( above our daily nutritional requirements), significant amounts of Iron, vitamin B, vitamin B2 and potassium. The potato is part of the nightshade family and as such does have some disagreeable traits. One should never eat anything green from a potato. The leaves and stem are poisonous. Potatoes should be stored in dark, but dry places. Light will cause the formation of solanine on the skin of the potato. Though not likely to cause serious harm, green skinned potatoes can taste bitter and may result in temporary digestive discomfort.
“We must not forget that rape, pillaging, mass murder go hand in hand with mash, dauphinoise and anna”. This was the opening sentence of a telephone call from a friend. I left a message on her mobile saying that I was doing a piece on potatoes and what did she think. Potatoes she said represented the result of mass exploitation, the death of a civilisation and she hadn’t yet begun to talk about the Irish famine. Potatoes do that to people. Observe when at home the dinner is brought, a roast, some carrots, some brocoili and a salad, there will be a first a moment of anticipation, then concern and suddenly fights will break out. No potatoes, you cannot have dinner without potatoes. Suddenly the cook is dead. The potato was brought back from the Inca’s in the 16th Century by Spanish explorers. It became popular almost immediately as it was very easy to grow. However it didn’t become a food staple in Ireland and Britain until the 18th Century. While in Ireland the potato gained acceptance from the bottom up, in France the potato was imposed upon society by an intellectual. Antoine Augustine Parmentier saw that the nutritional benefits of the crop combined with its productive capacity could be a boom to the French farmer. He was a pharmacist, chemist and employee of Louis XV. Parmentier discovered the benefits of the potato while held prisoner by the Prussians during the Seven Years War. He was so
enamored by the potato that he determined that it should become a staple of the French diet. After failing by conventional means to convince Frenchmen of its advantages, he determined upon a surreptitious means of making his point. Parmentier acquired a miserable and unproductive spot of ground on the outskirts of Paris. There, he planted 50 acres of potatoes. During the day, he set a guard over it. This drew considerable attention in the neighborhood. In the evening the guard was relaxed and the locals came to see what all the fuss was about. Believing this plant must be valuable, many peasants "acquired" some of the potatoes from the plot, and soon were growing the root in their own garden plots. Their resistance was overcome by their curiosity and desire to better their lot with the obviously valuable new produce. The 1840's saw disastrous potato blight. This terrible disease was caused by a fungus known as Phytophthora infestans. With the devastation of potato crops throughout Europe came the destruction and dislocation of many of the populations that had become dependent upon it. The Potato Famine in Ireland would cut the population by half (through both starvation and emigration). An effective fungicide was not found until 1883 by the French botanist, Alexandre Millardet. Potatoes variety is huge. At either end of the scale is the level of
When confronted by green skin on a potato, simply peel it away. Keep as much of the rest of the skin as possible. For this is where most of the vitamins reside. Potatoes are one of the most nutritious staple crops discovered by man. With milk in the diet, it can be a sustaining and healthful source of energy, vitamins and minerals both in times of want and in times of plenty.
Potatoes top five contributions to the food and drink world. 1. Vodka. Originally made from potatoes now potato vodka is the exception. If you can find a bottle of Teton, Luksusowa, Quotes, Chopin or Peconika please let me know. Most are Polish or American and are some of the finest in the world without the price that comes normally with such titles. 2. Mash. The chicken soup for the hedonistic noughties. Nearly the greatest hangover cure. I’m including puree here. 3. Gratin. Cooked slowly in milk, cream, stock even beer potatoes give up there starchy backbone and relax in the pool of sweet liqor. Includes Tarteflette. 4. Potato Flour. Steamed potatoes are dried and then ground to a powder to make this gluten-free flour, which is commonly used in baked goods for Passover (when wheat flour may not be used). 5. The chip. Brilliant.
January This is the third month of root vegetables and my stomach feels like a midland bog, pickled bog after the Christmas. It is however a good month for bargains. I know the only turkey most people will want to see is with the Bosphorous peeing out of it but turkeys are cheaper now than ever. The game at the moment tends to be stronger in flavour but less tender than previous months so lots of stews and braising. Forced rhubarb is available perfect stewed and topped with a basic crumble, the recipe for which I have included below. I have included also two recipes which I will be making in January in an effort to make some sort of change to my root and meat diet of the last few months.
Roast Cod’s head, Gigot style. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, The River Cottage Year. The cod’s head appears also in The French Laundry recipe book as a cod shank but with a different preparation. Ask the fishmonger for the head of a large cod, cut generously so as there’s a bit of meat on the shoulder. This you should be able to pick up for almost nothing. Rinse the head and pat dry. Massage the whole head with olive oil. Make incisions where you see the fleshy part and stuff a little sliver of garlic and small sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Stick a bay leaf in the mouth. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place the head in a preheated oven at about 220/gas mark 7 for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with mash.
Fragrant Green Curry. Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef. This recipe requires some shopping for spices and exotics so check the Trinity Food and Drinks guide for your nearest supplier. Green Curry Paste. 6 spring oinions, washed and trimmed. 4-6 hot green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped. 2 cloves of garlic. 1 tablespoon fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, pounded and crushed. _ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Half a handful of lime leaves 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed back and finely chopped. 2 good handfuls of fresh basil on the stalk. 3 good handfuls of coriander on the stalk. 3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Zest and juice of 3-4 limes, to taste. 4 Chicken breasts 1 400ml tin of coconut milk 1 handful of chopped pistachio nuts. Put all the green curry paste into a blender and whiz to a fine paste ( This can be done be constant of all the dry ingredients and adding slowly the oil and lime). Heat the pan and brown the chicken pieces ( I would encourage you to deviate and use chickens legs or thighs as they are cheap and will also give you more flavour). Add the green curry paste, stirring to cook gently both the paste and the chicken. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer until the chicken is cooked ( if you are using leg and thigh pieces you may need to add some liquid as the recipe is for breast pieces which invariably cook quicker). Sprinkle with the pistachios and some coriander leaves and serve with noodles or rice.
A Sweet Crumble. The Cookery Year, Compiled by The Reader’s Digest, 1973. One part sugar. One part plain flour Half part unsalted butter. Rub togther all the ingrdients until they resemble breadcrumbs.
THE DEAREST PLACES TO DRINK STOUT IN DUBLIN The Vathouse € 4.30 - Guinness (Late Price)
4 Dame Lane € 4.35 - Guinness
Wine Words Suffering
The Trinity News Guide to all your food and drink needs. Issue by issue we ingest the best, on your behalf. Area by area we pick apart your locality. The marks next to the victors are to emphasise how well they do against the very best in Dublin. The total of the marks will give you an idea of which part of town is the real liver and legume of Dublin’s food and drink scene.
Dublin 1 Best for booze:Sweeney’s Off-Licence,Dorset Street Best for spices and exotics: Moore Street Market, Moore Street, off Henry Street. Best for meat: Moore Street Market, Moore Street, off Henry Street. Best for fruit and Veg: Moore Street Market, Moore Street, off Henry Street. Best for stout: Sackville Lounge, Sackville Place. Best for atmosphere: Zanzibar 35 Lower Ormond Quay. Best for the larder: Tesco, Jervis Street Shopping Centre. Best for bread and cake: Panem Hapenny Bridge House, 21 Ormond Quay Lower, Best for cooking: Chapter One Restaurant 18/19 Parnell Square Best for cheap eat: Istanbul,Epicurean Food Hall,Lr. Liffey St., Best for tea:The Winding Stair Cafe 40 Lower Ormond Quay,
If you want to talk dirty to a winemaker just mention “suffer” and listen as you are drawn into the seedy world of oenological porn. Winemakers (most of them) love the idea that thirsty vines will bury themselves deep and deeper into the earth in search of a water, bringing back more nutrients and minerals as it goes deeper and deeper. Hugh Johnston also points out deep roots are in a stable environment and any sudden deluge will not instantly inflate the grapes with water. He also points out that it also helps to keep the roots deep enough for the roots to have constant access to water, since a vine under acute stress of drought closes the pores of its leaves, photosynthesis stops and the grapes cannot develop or ripen.
Dakota € 4.35 - Guinness
But the suffering doesn’t stop there. In Chateau Yquem grape pickers in four gangs of forty move through the vines very slowly gathering the grapes one by one if necessary (the vineyard is 260 acres) then going back over the vines again, anything up to making 11 passes through the vineyard. This painstaking care is to ensure that the grapes have shrivelled to a rot. The rot forms from a mould which the grape picks up under certain conditions of misty morning and sunny afternoons.
The fungus begins to feed on the sugar and tartaric acid. The grapes will lose more than half their weight but less then half their sugar. The result is a concentrated, ultra sweet wine. The effect is called botry . The grapes suffer, the pickers suffer but it is a small price to pay for what is surely one of natures loveliest miracles.
€ 4.80 - Guinness (Late Price)
€ 4.40 - Guinness
O Reillys € 4.40 - Guinness (Late Price
Searsons € 4.45 - Guinness (Late Price)
Café En Seine € 4.50 - Guinness
4 Dame Lane Renards € 4.90 - Guinness
Oliver St.John Gogartys € 4.95 - Guinness
Thursday January 20, 2005
Compiled by David Symington & Derek Owens
THE NEXT FEW WEEKS IN DUBLIN....... Thursday, January 20 Racing: Race discussion (1:00 PM 2:00 PM) We shall be discussing the weeks racing and what will be the hot tips for the week. This is a great way to for begineers to learn the basics and for experienced race goers to discuss racing with other enthuasiasts. There shall also be free tea and coffee for all those interested. Plus the Racing papers to read and if you want us to have form printed out for any of the races please let us know before hand. Location: Room 2, The Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Photographic: Photographic Exhibition (7:00 PM - 10:02 PM) This, as-yet-to-be-titled exhibition, will offer a showcase of this year's member's photography along with a reception. Location: 2nd floor of the Atrium Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing with instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street Christian Union: Praise + Prayer night (7:15 PM - 9:00 PM) A chance to get together to worship God and to pray for our friends, for each other and for our college Location: Regent House
Monday, January 24 DUPSA: Talks (6:00 PM - 7:00 PM) We are having speakers on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Opportunities for pharmacists in the 3rd World and on the new initiative Pharmacie sans Frontiers. Location: Hamilton Building Trinity Arts Workshop: Pottery and Ceramics (6:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Location: Arch 8, Goldsmith Hall Cards Society: Texas Holdem Poker Tournament (6:00 PM - 11:00 PM) No limit texas holdem, €800 prize fund, re-buys and top-ups Location: Buttery Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Sculpture (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) A taught introduction to Life Sculpture based on sculpting the head. We will be sculpting in clay, all tools and materials provided. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Tuesday, January 25 Fianna Fáil: Weekly Meeting (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM) An eclectic mix of political chat, laid back discussion and regular guest speakers. All welcome! Location: Seomra 6, Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Meditation: Meditation Course (5:15 PM - 7:00 PM) This class is a 6 week course which introduces two types of meditation : the mindfullness of breathing and Metta Bhavana (or Cultivation of Loving Kindness) meditation. Membership costs 3 Euro and you can join at the class. The course costs just 2 Euros per class. Don't worry if you miss any of the weeks come along anyway. Note the couse is in REGENT HOUSE (top of stairs in Front Arch), NOT Room 50. Location: Regent House Orchestral: Rehearsal (7:00 PM 10:00 PM) The D.U.Orchestral Society's weekly rehearsal. This term we will be practising Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Location: Regent House Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing without instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Wednesday, January 26 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Labour: Branch Meeting (6:00 PM 7:00 PM) All members and new members are welcome to come along to our weekly meetings at 6pm in room 3 of the Atrium. Come along to contribute to branch policy and also for general discussion. Location: Room 3, The Atrium Choral: Rehearsal (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Rehearsal of Bach's St. John Passion for the Hilary term concert series. There will be a short break for refreshments during the rehearsal, and relaxation in Doyle's afterwards. Location: Regent House
Thursday, January 27 Racing: Race discussion (1:00 PM 2:00 PM) We shall be discussing the weeks racing and what will be the hot tips for the week. This is a great way to for begineers to learn the basics and for experienced race goers to discuss racing with other enthuasiasts. There shall also be free tea and coffee for all those interested. Plus the Racing
papers to read and if you want us to have form printed out for any of the races please let us know before hand. Location: Room 2, The Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing with instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street DURNS: Cheap Thrills (8:00 PM 12:00 AM) Trinity's only Alternative Club brought to you by trinity's only modern alternative and rock music society DURNS! THURSDAY Week 3. details at the moment are provisional so keep your eyes on mails and our site as the weeks progress Location: Westmoreland Bar Westmoreland Street (planned)
Friday, January 28 Biological: Medball (5:30 PM - 2:30 AM) The annual Biological Society Medball hosted this year in CitWest Hotel, Golf course and Conference centre. Attended by all biological society members- meds and nonmeds. Preceded by drinks reception in the atrium at 5:30pm, buses to the venue, and a great nigh of food, drinks and dancing! Location: CityWest Hotel and Confernce Centre
Monday, January 31 Theological Society: Theo Library Open Day (12:00 AM - 12:00 AM) The Theo will be allowing it's members to access it's extensive library all day with tea and coffee provided as refreshments! Membership is available at the door! Location: Trinity Arts Workshop: Pottery and Ceramics (6:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Location: Arch 8, Goldsmith Hall DURNS: Noise Machine (7:00 PM 8:30 PM) We'd say it was an artform made for us except its an artform made by us! Come make noise with DURNS in the historical surrounds of trinity college (the place with the things)this will involce metal magnets drums sticks amplifiers and more! Location: Regent's House (house 5) Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Sculpture (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) A taught introduction to Life Sculpture based on sculpting the head. We will be sculpting in clay, all tools and materials provided. Location: 191 Pearse Street Filmmakers: Film4Fresh screening (8:00 PM - 12:00 AM) 35 min film made with filmmakers
directors and a fresher crew and cast. Other new filmmakers films will also be screened Location: sugar club
Tuesday, February 1 DUPSA: Pharmacy Ball (12:00 AM - 4:00 AM) Drinks Promo at hotel or other venue before ball starts, followed by the "usual" Location: Hotel Fianna Fáil: Weekly Meeting (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM) An eclectic mix of political chat, laid back discussion and regular guest speakers. All welcome! Location: Seomra 6, Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Meditation: Meditation Course (5:15 PM - 7:00 PM) This class is a 6 week course which introduces two types of meditation : the mindfullness of breathing and Metta Bhavana (or Cultivation of Loving Kindness) meditation. Membership costs 3 Euro and you can join at the class. The course costs just 2 Euros per class. Don't worry if you miss any of the weeks come along anyway. Note the couse is in REGENT HOUSE (top of stairs in Front Arch), NOT Room 50. Location: Regent House Orchestral: Rehearsal (7:00 PM 10:00 PM) The D.U.Orchestral Society's weekly rehearsal. This term we will be practising Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Location: Regent House Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing without instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Wednesday, February 2 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Labour: Branch Meeting (6:00 PM 7:00 PM) All members and new members are welcome to come along to our weekly meetings at 6pm in room 3 of the Atrium. Come along to contribute to branch policy and also for
general discussion. Location: Room 3, The Atrium Choral: Rehearsal (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Rehearsal of Bach's St. John Passion for the Hilary term concert series. There will be a short break for refreshments during the rehearsal, and relaxation in Doyle's afterwards. Location: Regent House
Thursday, February 3 Racing: Race discussion (1:00 PM 2:00 PM) We shall be discussing the weeks racing and what will be the hot tips for the week. This is a great way to for begineers to learn the basics and for experienced race goers to discuss racing with other enthuasiasts. There shall also be free tea and coffee for all those interested. Plus the Racing papers to read and if you want us to have form printed out for any of the races please let us know before hand. Location: Room 2, The Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing with instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Saturday, February 5 Biological: Tsunami Appeal Table Quiz (8:00 PM - 10:00 PM) Show off your general knowledge...and for a good cause Location: The Buttery Sunday, February 6 Mature: Lunch (12:30 PM - 2:00 PM) Mature Students Society Lunch Everyone is more than welcome, including new members! There will be a speaker from TCD's Career's Advisory Service. Location: Eliz Room DURNS: Zeireeka! (7:00 PM - 8:30 PM) a showcase of Zeireeka by the flaming lips coming in week 5 this term. forgive me if i spelt it wrong. few details available at the momenttime and location is subject to change :)stay tuned to the world of DURNS to learn more Location: Regent's House (house 5)(provisionally)
Monday, February 7 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: RAINBOW WEEK 2005! (9:00 AM - 12:00 AM) Daily LGBT Events on Campus details to follow soon... Location: Trinity Campus Trinity Arts Workshop: Pottery and Ceramics (6:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Location: Arch 8, Goldsmith Hall
Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Sculpture (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) A taught introduction to Life Sculpture based on sculpting the head. We will be sculpting in clay, all tools and materials provided. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Tuesday, February 8 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: RAINBOW WEEK 2005! (9:00 AM - 12:00 AM) Daily LGBT Events on Campus details to follow soon... Location: Trinity Campus Fianna Fáil: Weekly Meeting (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM) An eclectic mix of political chat, laid back discussion and regular guest speakers. All welcome! Location: Seomra 6, Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Meditation: Meditation Course (5:15 PM - 7:00 PM) This class is a 6 week course which introduces two types of meditation : the mindfullness of breathing and Metta Bhavana (or Cultivation of Loving Kindness) meditation. Membership costs 3 Euro and you can join at the class. The course costs just 2 Euros per class. Don't worry if you miss any of the weeks come along anyway. Note the couse is in REGENT HOUSE (top of stairs in Front Arch), NOT Room 50. Location: Regent House Orchestral: Rehearsal (7:00 PM 10:00 PM) The D.U.Orchestral Society's weekly rehearsal. This term we will be practising Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Location: Regent House Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing without instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Wednesday, February 9
shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Labour: Branch Meeting (6:00 PM 7:00 PM) All members and new members are welcome to come along to our weekly meetings at 6pm in room 3 of the Atrium. Come along to contribute to branch policy and also for general discussion. Location: Room 3, The Atrium Choral: Rehearsal (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Rehearsal of Bach's St. John Passion for the Hilary term concert series. There will be a short break for refreshments during the rehearsal, and relaxation in Doyle's afterwards. Location: Regent House
Thursday, February 10 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: RAINBOW WEEK 2005! (9:00 AM - 12:00 AM) Daily LGBT Events on Campus details to follow soon... Location: Trinity Campus Racing: Race discussion (1:00 PM 2:00 PM) We shall be discussing the weeks racing and what will be the hot tips for the week. This is a great way to for begineers to learn the basics and for experienced race goers to discuss racing with other enthuasiasts. There shall also be free tea and coffee for all those interested. Plus the Racing papers to read and if you want us to have form printed out for any of the races please let us know before hand. Location: Room 2, The Atrium Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU shop, and we are on the second floor. Just follow the signs. Location: LGBT Room - 2nd Floor, House 6 Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Drawing (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Life Drawing with instruction. Location: 191 Pearse Street
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: RAINBOW WEEK 2005! (9:00 AM - 12:00 AM) Daily LGBT Events on Campus details to follow soon... Location: Trinity Campus
Friday, February 11
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: Free Tea & Coffee (1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) We provide tea and coffee in our Society room every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 3. For those of you who have not yet joined our lunchtime get-together, come along, bring your lunch (friend/support group optional) and get to know the other members and committee. We are in house 6, the building in front square with the SU
Monday, February 14
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Society: RAINBOW WEEK 2005! (9:00 AM - 12:00 AM) Daily LGBT Events on Campus details to follow soon... Location: Trinity Campus Trinity Arts Workshop: Pottery and Ceramics (6:00 PM - 9:00 PM) Location: Arch 8, Goldsmith Hall Trinity Arts Workshop: Life Sculpture (7:00 PM - 9:00 PM) A taught introduction to Life Sculpture based on sculpting the head. We will be sculpting in clay, all tools and materials provided. Location: 191 Pearse Street
A Night In - TN’s Derek Owens takes a look at the best (and worst) on offer in front of the Telly Must–See Show: Sweeny Investigates, Thursday, BBC2, 9:50 Even to those for whom ‘Chelsea’ is just a nice girls name, Roman Abramovich is an interesting character. Blessed with all the personal fortune and ambition of a good James Bond villain, ‘Chelski’s Russian owner has managed, in less that two years, to become one of the most controversial figures in world football. No trace of Bond here, but stereotypical ‘hard-nosedjournalist’ John Sweeney is expected to do give Abramovich a grilling at least. The rags to riches story of
the oil, property and football magnate is well worth the telling, and Sweeney is also expected to take a long hard look at some of the lessthan-kosher financial moves that propelled him to immense wealth. Love or loath him, Abramovich captures the imagination, and this documentary may well provide our best insight into his current lavish lifestyle as well as his questionable past. Top Movie: Ghostbusters, Friday RTE 2, 7:00 Featuring the most lovable morbid-
ly obese ghost since John Candy, clunky but funky guns, and a geeky bequiffed guy named Egon, this film defined our childhood. Well, it really should have. In truth, Ghostbusters doesn’t grace our screens with anything like the frequency that it should, meaning that there’s still some poor souls who didn’t watch both films, read the comic books or collect the toys obsessively. For these people, who clearly wasted their childhood, the film follows the fortunes of four jobbing scientists who decide to earn their living by zapping and
trapping ghosts. So it’s true science graduates get better jobs… Could go either way: 29 minutes of Fame, Friday, BBC 1, 9:30 Gameshows are dependable daytime schedule fillers. Add celebrities and you can slot that into prime time. If you make the gameshow about celebrities, you might just have a hit. That logic seems to have spawned 29 Minutes of Fame, a show that, try as we may to judge on its own merits, will probably never escape comparison with Have I Got News For You. With
Bob Mortimer in the chair however, (and the show being firmly pitched at ‘celebrity culture’ rather than current affairs) it seems that this is either a dumbed-down or less pompous version of the longrunning HIGNFY, depending on how you feel about that particular show’s pretensions. Celebrity guest Jo Brand seems to fit into this more populist manifesto perfectly, but the inclusion of Stephen Fry (who loves nothing better than a chortle at the great unwashed) means that this one is still tough to call.
Avoid like Scabies – Joey, Mondays, RTE 2, 9:00 We all had a right to be skeptical. When a once-great show gradually loses its edge, before being mercifully put out of its misery, the last thing we need is one of it’s weaker characters being transplanted to another city and given their own show. We were all proved wrong, however, as a superb script, sharp timing and appealing plot-lines fueled a superb sit-com for several seasons. But Frasier this ain’t. Just as in the moribund final years of Friends, the character of Joey is
pitifully one-dimensional, providing no subject matter for jokes beyond a) his love of women, b) his stupidity and c) his love of food. Oddly enough, a love of food (and the weight gain that goes with it) remains the one consistently funny thing about Matt LeBlanc, an actor with all the comic timing of an undertaker. And when you can’t say anything nice about the script, end the review.
This Week Wednesday night: Trinity and UCD Ents present Unisex. Featuring the Classic Beatles, Camembert Quartet and a host of Dublin’s coolest DJs. Doors open at 10. Tickets €8 from SU shop or €10 on the night. Thursday: Live Music in the Buttery at 8.
Careers Editor: Wendy Williams
Thursday January 20, 2005
How to apply for unadvertised jobs Myles Gutkin Finding your ideal job starts with finding your vocation. Identify your field of interest, maximum travel distance and adequate pay. When you’ve decided what it is you want to do, it’s up to you to make yourself attractive to relevant employers. Certain careers may be more specialised than others and be less often advertised. This doesn’t give those with such a vocation an excuse to wait around for their ideal job to be advertised. You may have to making them aware of their need for a person with the very skills you possess. Look at advertisements and job descriptions of related jobs and talk to career advisers, to see what
skills you can use improve your prospective employers’ business. Read about people who’ve done what you want to do, and learn from their experiences. It will probably be necessary to study or take related jobs to develop experience and skills.
Now look for relevant advertisements. If ads are scarce, use a telephone directory and business directories (available in libraries) to identify all employers within your maximum travel distance, who could benefit extensively by employing you.
Once you’ve got the preparation done, it’s time to sell yourself. Marketing yourself as an employee starts with your CV, and good references.
Write specific covering letters to accompany your CV, which highlight the benefits you could bring to each employer’s business. Send them the CV, and telephone a week later to confirm receipt, and reaffirm your interest in working for the employer.
Your CV will be developed through related experience and study. Good references can be found by working diligently, and seeking counsel from lecturers and superior coworkers. Locating experts in your field of interest, and writing to them for advice, may gain you a mentor and an excellent reference.
What’s On! 19/01/05 Practice Interviews on Video 11.00 - 12noon Rm 3131 Arts Bldg _ hour per person. 20/01/05 Completing Application Forms 11.00 - 12noon 5 College Green All interested. 24/01/05 Selection Tests 10.00 - 12noon 5 College Green All interested.
Remember that employees must satisfy a need for their employers, while satisfying their own needs by being employed. So list what you want, and what you can give, and then look for a mutually beneficial situation!
24/01/05 Practice Interviews on Video 2.00 - 4.00pm Rm 3131 Arts Bldg _ hour per person.
Graduate Interview Christina Cotter talks to Wendy Williams about life as a Speech Therapist What course did you study at Trinity? Clinical Speech and Language Studies
on my career.
Does it matter what course you study if you later decide you wish to go into this field? Yes. You must receive a qualification that is recognised by the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists e.g. an undergraduate course such as the above course in Trinity, achieving a "BSc.(Clin Lang)" (taking 4 years). Up until last year Trinity College was the only third level college offering this course in the Republic of Ireland. Now it is also offered in UCC and UCG. The University of Limerick also offers a post-graduate course(lasting 2 years).
I found the wide range of areas studied in Speech and Language Therapy fascinating. (If hard work!). I think it may be quite a unique course in that it straddles both the humanities and sciences and therefore I feel it helps you to develop quite a holistic approach to your own personal life and a broad worldview. The skills used by a speech and language therapist can be applied in a diverse range of fields, e.g. human resource, communications etc. I found the course quite challenging in terms of the amount of lecture hours. However, I believe that has changed over recent years and now there is more of a focus on problem-based learning. In comparison to some other courses at Trinity, each Speech and Language Therapy year is quite small - about 20 students in my year - and mostly female - sometimes it felt like I was still at
What impact did studying at Trinity have on you and your career? It was nice to be able to study in Dublin. Careerwise, studying Speech and Language Therapy at Trinity as opposed to at another college would not have an impact
What do you feel you gained most from studying at Trinity?
school! But there was a nice class atmosphere. What does your job involve? One of the best parts about my job is its variety. I work with children that range in age from 1 year to 18 years. The 'detective' part of my work involves assessing the child to determine the nature of their communication disorder (e.g. using pictures, toys, conversation, written materials, examination of their face/mouth, discussion with parents/carers). I refer the child on to other professionals - such as audiologist, Ear Nose and Throat Consultant, Psychologist etc. as appropriate. Once the exact problem is diagnosed and intervention is appropriate, I plan a course of therapy that will address the difficulty. The 'creative' stage involves turning the goals of therapy into fun games and activities that the child will want to do and persist doing until they have learnt their new skill. It helps if you are a creative person. I work very closely with parents or carers, helping them to transfer therapy
activities into the home setting. I would also liase with schoolteachers, visit schools and pass on work to be done in the classroom setting. Children can be seen both on their own and in groups and each setting has a different dynamic and requires different skills from the therapist. Parent/carer and child well-being is also important; it can be a challenge coming to terms with a more severe communication disorder. Sometimes a Speech and Language Therapist needs to act as a sympathetic ear. I also enjoy the cameraderie of working closely with other SLT's. The 'admin' side to the work includes writing reports, recording the child's progress in therapy, scoring assessments, devising home/school programmes, maintaining waiting-lists, taking phone queries, keeping statistics, photocopying. Depending where you work, there is also scope for carrying out research, for devising new initiatives and ways of working. A Speech and Language Therapist is also like a creative scientist - there are 'many ways to skin a cat', and
Studying in Europe is now easier . By
Students are active and enthusiastic people who want everything all at once, and the European Union has made a big step towards making our life easier by creating PLOTEUS (a Portal on Learning Opportunities Throughout Europe). This is a regularly updating education portal where you can get all the information on jobs and learning opportunities in Europe in 23 official languages. The basic idea of this portal is to support
the right to freedom of movement for European citizens by providing the necessary information. Great work has been done by the National Resources Centre for Vocational Guidance Euroguidance (a European network funded by the Leonardo da Vinci program and national authorities) by giving students a greater choice in choosing their destination for study. The only thing you need to do is want to learn: hundreds of universities throughout Europe are waiting for you!
One thing that you realize while going through this site is how lucky students from the EU are. For students from Eastern Europe, for example, studying in a well-known European university seems to be an unreachable dream due to high costs or tough entrance examinations to be considered by any organization providing financial aid for students. Furthermore, in these kinds of countries it is highly difficult to get one of the few government grants, unless you are incredibly smart. But let’s go back to the well-
organized world of European opportunities. PLOTEUS provides you a huge number of links about any area of Europe giving information you need during your stay in other country. You can find links to web sites of universities and higher education institutions, and databases of different training courses. In order you to get acquainted with the specifics of the particular country, this portal provide you with descriptions and explanations about the different education systems of European countries.
our goal is always to find the best and easiest way to help the child progress.
Had you always had aspirations to becoming a Speech Therapist ? No.
How did you get into it? I met a Speech and Language Therapist by accident while working abroad for a year after school. Her job sounded fascinating. I was caught between science/languages and Speech and Language Therapy. I prayed about it and the answer was "Speech and Language Therapy"! The course was tough, but I've never regretted it!
What has been your career highlight? Thankfully, I've enjoyed all my career to date. A highlight is my relationship with my SLT colleagues - we have great fun while doing our job. Our boss is also very 'go-ahead' and welcomes new ideas.
How long have you worked in your current job? Three years. How long after graduating did it take you to find a job in your chosen career? Immediately. There is a shortage of Speech and Language Therapists. What is the worst job you have ever had? Fortunately I've enjoyed all the jobs I've ever had!
Of course there is information about exchange programs and grants which are available in European countries, such as Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Tempus, etc. The links are really easy to use as they bring you straight to the official sites of these programs, so you can find all the necessary information about applying, participating, etc. The other important part of being a member of this international student community is an ability to survive when moving abroad to another European country, so you can find practically everything you need to know: cost of living, tuition fees,
What advice could you give to students from Trinity who would like to become a Speech Therapist? I would recommend that if you are interested in becoming a Speech and Language Therapist that you fully investigate what the job entails to be sure it is down your street. You need to follow a set undergraduate or postgraduate course to become a Speech and Language Therapist. The course can be tough but it's worth it in the end. The skills you develop can also be used as a springboard to a range of other professions.
finding accommodation, legal framework and other general information for European countries. The thing that impressed me the most was that the information provided was very specific, with more than 25 examples of places to choose from Ireland alone, for instance. PLOTEUS is the right place to go to if you are looking for unified, direct access to national and regional databases on education in order to continue your career successfully.
Find out more at: http://europa.eu.int/ploteus/portal/
The A-Z of careers: each letter is a career explained By Wendy Williams
A for Accountancy
If you thought that accountancy was merely men sat in offices staring at endless facts and figures, you were wrong. Accountancy offers a wide of range of careers with the main areas of work in financial and managing accounting, auditing, taxation, consultancy and financial services. Whilst, managing cash flow and monitoring profit and loss are key areas of work, recent developments in the field now require accountants to become more involved in business development and business strategy. Furthermore, due to the joys of modern technology, these days it is the computers that do the number crunching. Today’s accountants act as advisers to all sorts of businesses, from small companies to international firms. It is interesting to remember that every business, regardless of size, needs an accountant. Choosing the business that you want to work for should be the basis for the training route you take as this has a huge impact on the direction of your career. For this reason it’s a good idea to think about that first. The Internet as usual is a useful starting place in
assessing which companies you want to work for and the qualification you want to gain. Qualification involves a minimum of three years’ work experience, usually with a single employer. Starting salary depends on the size of the company and its location (the Irish market for example will not offer the salaries paid in London) so this may also be something to consider when choosing you career path. The good news is though, that your salary is most likely set to double over the three years. Firms of accountants come in all sizes each with their own benefits. If you want to work internationally for example, you need to be looking at one of the biggest companies in the industry. Top tip: ask any employer what they look for in graduates wishing to become accountants, and they will stress the need for good communication skills, plus a general commercial awareness.
B for Banking
25/01/05 Second Round Interviews & Assessment Centres 11.00 - 12noon 5 College Green All interested. 26/01/05 Practice Interviews on Video 11.00 - 12noon Rm 3131 Arts Bldg _ hour per person. 27/01/05 Finding the job that is not advertised (Creative Job Search) 2.00 - 3.00pm 5 College Green All interested. 31/01/05 Practice Interviews on Video 2.00 - 4.00pm Rm 3131 Arts Bldg _ hour per person. Annual Fairs 26/01/05 The Postgraduate Study & Training Fair The Business Design Centre, Islington, UK Pre-register for fast-track entry. 26/01/05 The MBA Fair The Business Design Centre, Islington, UK Pre-register for fast-track entry. 10/02/05 PostgradIreland Fair 1.00pm RDS, Ballsbridge All Interested Employer Presentations
18/01/2005 Scottish & Newcastle PLC 1.00-2.00pm, Swift Theatre (2041A) AB All disciplines with languages. 25/01/2005 J1 Employers Roadshow USIT 1 - 2pm, Burke Theatre Arts Bldg All interested. however types of employment in It generally fall into three categories; Employees, (making up the majority) Contractors and Consultants (the last two categories are usually sought for their specialist skills and experience and graduates would need a large amount of experience before entering this field). Within these categories, you have the option of being a programmer or software developer, a systems or business analyst, a network engineer, a web developer, technical support, technical sales, software engineer or a project manager to name just a few. Programming is often the first port of call for computer science graduates and the opportunities for promotion are good. A background in programming is held in regard in all areas as it provides a good basis. It doesn’t have to be the first step though the choice is yours.
Banking and financial services are important and highly competitive areas of work particularly sought after by graduates of business and economics subjects. The major clearing banks such as bank of Ireland and AIB along with various investment banks however, do
provide opportunities. The various jobs on offer to new graduates incorporate advisory investment and lending roles. Various roles include retail banking, corporate/ investment banking and treasury/ foreign exchange. Within these areas, graduates will probably
work as ‘generalists’ carrying out a range of activities. For those of you wanting to work in investment areas you will have very high earning potential however it is a high pressure, competitive area due to the need to negotiate deals effectively ahead of
the competition. Like with so many careers, teamwork is very important, as are your communication skills. C for Computing and IT These days, a qualification in IT can lead you almost anywhere
Whatever area you go into, there are a number of key skills that employers look for in every IT candidate; communication, team work, problem solving, commercial awareness and a willingness to learn.
Thursday January 20, 2005
Science Editor: Kirsten Bratke
Trinity News Sexy Science Quakes and waves
This week, Jane Ferguson contemplates cheating and the fascinating sex life of voles OVER THE PERIOD OF Christmas and New Year, as the alcohol flowed and mistletoe hit you in the face, do you have any confessions to make? Or do you have the sneaking suspicion that your significant other may have been a little less than faithful to you? What makes somebody more likely to be a cheater? Scientists have found some answers in a surprising model – the vole. Two species of vole; the meadow vole and the prairie vole share many characteristics, but there is one important difference in behaviour that sets them apart. Meadow voles are frisky little creatures, forever hopping from one partner to the next, whereas young prairie voles save themselves for their one true love, and then spend the rest of their lives gazing into each other’s eyes. Meadow voles, especially the males, never show any inclination to settle down, but when a prairie vole couple first catch each other’s gaze across a crowded room, they spend the next 24-36 hours having continuous sex (although they prefer the more romantic term “making love” of course), and then spend the rest of their lives together. If one of them dies, the other will choose to live alone rather than find another partner. When scientists investigated the brains of the voles, they found one important difference. Prairie voles have a receptor in their brain for a hormone called vasopressin; meadow voles don’t. When the gene for the vasopressin receptor is inserted into the brains of meadow voles, their mating behaviour alters completely, and they start being monogamous. Could this hormone be having the same effect in us? Well, humans aren’t this simple, and our typical mating behaviour ranges from strictly monogamous to an “if it moves I’ll have a go” sexual code. So far, scientists haven’t found any significant link between the levels of vasopressin in humans and a tendency towards cheating, and it is likely that it will be very difficult to make any associations between certain genes and the incidence of something as complex as cheating. Human behaviour is governed by a huge number of factors, and the environment and circumstances play a big role. In evolutionary terms it makes sense to cheat, because it gives you the best chance of reproducing. Men have bucketloads of surplus sperm, so why shouldn’t they want to distribute it freely? Women also want to get the best men to father their children. Obviously people don’t really think about reproduction as a motivation for sex or infidelity, but the evolutionary by-product of needing to reproduce is that sex is
fun. Sex evolved as a means of reproduction, and our motivation to do this odd and sometimes awkward act is the enjoyment we get out of it. Underneath most of our calm and cool exteriors is a raving sex addict, waiting to be unleashed. Add in boredom, alcohol, or a particularly attractive person, and the inner sex fiend can be hard to control. Some people find it easier to resist temptation than others, but basically everyone will give in to their urges at some stage. The main reason for cheating to have become morally reprehensible is that it can lead to children with uncertain paternity, and since human children require much more parental input than some species, a father wants to be sure that the mouths he is feeding are not some other man’s children. Likewise a woman wants to make sure that her man isn’t getting himself into situations where he will end up paying child support for other women’s children, taking away from her resources. Now, however, with reliable contraception to prevent pregnancies and diseases, there is no real reason why we shouldn’t all be sleeping with each other. What still prevents us from being completely promiscuous is the lasting bonds we can form with others. Humans have a strong capacity to fall in love, and this feeling keeps us coming back to the same person rather than “spreading the seed” for the rest of our lives. Most people will agree that sex is different if you love the person you are with, so the majority of us eventually decide that it is better to sleep with the same person every time rather than drift from one partner to the next. The emotional stability this gives us is also an important factor in encouraging us to make a commitment. This doesn’t mean that it is necessarily wrong to have sex with other people besides your partner, it just depends on the couple. Humans have such different attitudes to sex that we cannot devise any guidelines on how to live your sex life. Instincts have to play a big role here, along with some basic morals and honesty. If you think that sleeping with somebody else is horribly wrong, don’t do it. But if you like having variety and want to have sex with the one you love, and with some of those you like, why not? We don’t have a single hormone that makes us behave a certain way, so as long as we’re not hurting anyone we can do what we want. That’s the beauty of being a human and not a vole – we have choice. So go forth and fornicate as you please, we won’t judge!
The Asian Tsunami has now claimed over 150,000 lives. What is the recipe for disaster and could it happen again? Is there anything scientists can do to prevent a catastrophe like this in the future? Marianne O’Reilly ON DECEMBER 26 2004, Mother Nature wreaked havoc on an unsuspecting multitude. A massive underwater earthquake off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island rattled the earth in its orbit causing devastation, the full extent of which is not yet fully known. The quake itself has been the largest experienced in over forty years and measured a staggering 9 on the Richter scale. So powerful was its grip that it literally moved some islands by up to 20 metres. The most significant and indeed, horrific consequence of this quake was the tsunami that it precipitated. As the full horror of the Asian tsunami comes to light, the reactions of scientists mirror those of the general population. A natural disaster of this magnitude stirs within us all feelings of immense vulnerability in the face of such an
awesome force of nature. In times like this, when many lives have been lost (current death toll stands at 155 000), people look to science for the answers- the how and why such a thing could happen in this impervious age of technology. Laying blame becomes important to distract from the sense of grieving. Could the application of science have allowed us to predict this, could we have prevented it? The word tsunami itself is a Japanese word comprising tsu, meaning harbour, and nami, meaning waves. A tsunami is a series of waves in the ocean capable of generating enormous energy and force. A tsunami is born when the earth’s plates make contact at a plate boundary. This is a process called subduction. When the colliding plates snap upward the energy of the force is transferred to the water. The energy of the water gathers momentum and due to the force of gravity this energy is distributed out horizontally along the
surface and through the depths of the water. The tsunami’s ability to maintain speed is directly influenced by the depth of the water and the tremendous force produced by the seismic disturbance generates its astonishing speed. The fact that the tsunami travels through the water as opposed to on top of it means it is notoriously difficult to appreciate the phenomenon visually before it reaches the shoreline. This is because the waterline may only rise, at most, by one metre. The Asian tsunami travelled at a speed of 600Km in 75 minutes. When it reached dry land, the shallower water and coastal land compressed the energy travelling through the water allowing the tsunami to transform. The compressed energy forced the water upwards (up to 30 metres in height). Witnesses on the shore will note the characteristic rise and fall of beach water when a tsunami is imminent. During the Asian tsunami, eyewitnesses recounted
Science Extravaganza 2005 IF YOU FEEL CHEATED at the lack of World Cup, Olympics, or any other exciting events in 2005, fear not, science provides some (less adrenaline-fuelled) replacements. Oh yes, 2005 is the World Year of Physics! Einstein published three landmark papers on special relativity, the photoelectric effect and Brownian motion 100 years ago and to celebrate this and just the general greatness of physics, events are held all over the world to increase
public interest in physics. For an overview of events in Ireland go to www.einsteinyear.org/about/ireland. 2005 also happens to be the bicentenary of the great Irish physicist Hamilton, which won’t go unnoticed either. As always, January brought young scientists from all over the country to Dublin, as the annual ESAT Young Scientist Exhibition was held in the RDS last week. And if that wasn’t enough, the British Association for the Advancement
of Science are holding the annual BA Festival of Science in Dublin this year. This scientific extravaganza is taking place from the 2nd to the 9th of September and runs under the motto “Setting the Agenda for Science”, so expect discussion of new developments and heated ethical debates. Who needs the Olympics when you can have physics, Einstein and science and religion catfights?
how the coastal water disappeared completely leaving them with an eerie anticipation that something truly horrific was going to happen. And then it hit. The wrath of a trillion tonnes of water. Monitoring stations in Japan and the US have been accused of not relaying information of the unfolding quake to those most affected quickly enough despite the abundance of telecommunication technology they had at their disposal. They will argue that the size of the quake was not immediately apparent with early estimates putting it at magnitude 8, which they insist is not extraordinary for submarine quakes. Also, noteworthy is the absence of an ocean-based monitoring system in the Indian Ocean meaning that remote seismologists did not know that the quake had even triggered a tsunami. While tsunamis are difficult to predict one can still look for the signs. Monitoring stations such as the station in the Pacific Rim have a
series of pressure buttons on the ocean floor that detect even slight changes in overlaying water pressure. The station also monitors a series of open ocean buoys and tide gauges which record and alert of any changes that could be indicative of an impending tsunami. Had there been a warning system in place in the Indian Ocean, such as the one in the Pacific Ocean which is allied to a public education campaign, the scale of the disaster could well have been lessened. As recently as 1999 ITSU (an international organisation that plans for tsunamis) called for the urgent need for a tsunami monitoring system. In the wake of the disaster the Indian government has pledged 29 million US Dollars to build this system. However, watching images on CNN of mass graves and quick lime, lost children and limbs and corpses strewn like sunbathers over the ravaged beaches, one can’t help but wonder: is it too little too late?
Volunteers for dietary study LIPGENE are still looking for volunteers to participate in their study on the Metabolic Syndrome. It sets out to understand the following symptoms of this syndrome: Being overweight or obese, having high Blood Pressure, having increased Triglyceride (a certain type of fat) levels of in your blood, having a Glucose (sugar) intolerance, having abnormal fat levels in your blood (Cholesterol). Volunteers will follow a type diet for 12-weeks. Clinical investiga-
tions include body measurements, blood samples and glucose tolerance tests.We are recruiting volunteers now and the study 12-week study begins at the end of January 2005. If you meet the above criteria for the Metabolic Syndrome, are between 35 and 70 years old and are interested in whether altering the fat in your diet will have a positive effect for you, please contact: Jolene Mc Monagle, Nutritionist, (087) 9499581 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FANTASTIC FOODS Forget the Buttery ... here’s the A-Z of healthy foods
Yes, that’s right. Insects are a recognised food type, and are pretty nutritious at that! Why bother going shopping for expensive chunks of dead cow, when there are delicious bite-sized snacks crawling around your house? Not tempted yet? I’ll admit I haven’t tried any of the delicious insects myself, and I’m in no hurry to. But since an estimated 80% of the world’s populations actually do willingly include insects in their meals, it might be a good idea to keep an open mind! Entomophagy is the official term given to the eating of insects, and apparently most of us are entomophagists without even realising. There is an “acceptable” level of insect life that can be included in food products such as strawberry jams, peanut butter, pasta sauce, and frozen chopped vegetables, so most of us will have already eaten quite a few insect parts in our lives. That isn’t even such a bad thing! Insects can add to the nutritional value of foods, and are better for us than the pesticides that are sprayed on crops. Insects tend to be high in
protein and low in fat and cholesterol, and contain lots of vitamins and minerals too. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are many ways in which to enjoy insects. A good entry level step is to dry your insects, and grind them up to use as a flour substitute. Just make sure the little critters are dead first, then remove any hard parts. Put them on a baking sheet in the oven at a low heat for a few hours to take out all the moisture. Then grind them up, and delight your friends with some delicious home-baked cookies! Other insects taste great roasted or deep fried – try crickets, larvae or mealworms! You can boil them or keep the stock for using in soups. Common insects you might like to try and include bees, crickets, grasshoppers, termites, moths, scorpions and ants. OK, so maybe I’m not entirely serious about advising you to check under the rocks in your garden, and cook what you find there, but insects may soon be increasing on menus. Remember when sushi first came over here, and so many people thought it sounded disgusting? Well, in certain circles, insects are said to be the new sushi…You heard it here first!
Eye spy... or not? Laser eye surgery is Cool this week.
Collage: Eamon Marron
How Cool Stuff Works (2): Laser Eye Surgery
An optical spectacle Thomas Lau GLASSES, THEY CAN MAKE you appear smarter than you really are, can conceal your secret superhero identity and in truly desperate times can be used to persuade people not to hit you in the face. One thing they are not though, is cool. Over the years, people have tried ways to overcome the need to wear their spectacles. These solutions include the successful contact lenses and the not so successful “stumble around blindly”. Recently, however, clever people have combined several cool things such as “burning things with a laser” and “being able to see things far away” to produce LASER EYE
SURGERY! “But shining lasers in your eyes is dangerous, a smart spectacled person told me!” I hear you say. Not true, let me explain… To first have laser eye surgery one must have an eye defect (yes, I was surprised too). Although there are many different eye disorders, laser surgery works best for myopia. Myopia (also called short sightedness) affects your ability to see things far away but you can read and see close things fine. This is caused by bad focusing in your eye. In myopia, the bad focus is usually caused by an eyeball that is too long. The eye has two parts that focus stuff. These are the cornea and the lens. The cornea forms part of a natural bulging curve in front of your
pupils (if you don’t believe me have a feel but wipe your hands on your jeans first). The rest of the focusing is done by the lens. The lens is adjustable by tiny muscles that we see as the iris (aka “the colouredy bit”). The principle behind modern laser eye surgery is that the cornea is reshaped by laser so it focuses images correctly. This reshaping technique works best on myopia but can also work on near sightedness and astigmatism (having a funny cornea shape, probably caused by too much eye gouging). Although this may all sound easy, “reshaping” the eye is a delicate process. Several tests must be done to check the eye shape is within a workable range and so they know where they need to
point the laser! The laser used to reshape the eye is literally a “cool laser”. It produces no heat except on the tiny area it is focused and by tiny I mean smaller than a baby weasel! Some laser beams can focus to a space of 0.25 microns. That means it could slice a single hair from the aforementioned weasel into 200 very thin wispy weasel hairs! However, although most people report a huge improvement in vision it is rare that perfect vision is restored. The surgery has the advantage of being very quick and anaesthetic eye drops make it painless. Surgery itself normally takes about 15 minutes and you can return to normal googling, gazing and glancing in a day or two. Problems after surgery are
quite rare but mainly include difficulty with lights or blurry, hazy vision. These problems can normally be fixed by another surgery or ironically, by wearing prescription lenses. With so many people jumping on this lucrative bandwagon, it is important that if you are interested in getting this surgery that you go to a recognised, certified professional. In Ireland the procedure, pre and postoperative care add up to around 2500 Euro. With that kind of price tag, laser surgery is not for everyone. You might be better off saving your money for other cool things like an electric guitar or a giant glowin-the-dark yeti figure. Make up your own minds! Until next time, stay cool amigos…
SU & Societies Editor: Christine Bohan
Thursday January 20, 2005
SU & SOCIETIES
“I’m told I’m here to do a degree but I refuse to believe it….” As Chair of the Central Societies Committee, Luke Reynolds takes responsibility for the smooth running of Trinity’s 90 societies. But what exactly does that mean? How much work is involved? And which societies would he secretly like to see derecognised?...
Christine Bohan The Central Societies Committee (CSC) is one of the five capitated bodies in Trinity, who are funded through the registration charge paid by all students at the beginning of the year. The CSC has responsibility for the smooth-running of all 90 of its societies, ensuring the provision of services to see that they function properly and allocate the annual grants. It also acts as a representative of the societies to the College and its Board and, if needs be, as a disciplinary force. The Committee itself is made up of the treasurers of all the fully recognized societies, who meet once a term to go over accounts and listen to the reports of its officers. The Executive, elected each spring, meets at least once a week to go through requests for funding from societies, consider societies for recognition and discuss any issues that may arise. The Chair of the Central Societies Committee chairs meetings of both the executive and the full committee, and also is respon-
sible for the CSC’s relations with the other College bodies; he acts as a liaison between the CSC and the other four capitated bodies, and also with all College officials or bodies that are not liaised with by the other executive officers under their individual remits. This years chair is Luke Reynolds, a Senior Sophister single-honors History student and native of New York City. Trinity News: What societies are you involved with? Luke Reynolds: I’m Station Manager with Trinity FM, Chair of Dance, and Amenities Officer for both the Metaphysical Soc and the ModLang, but I try to get involved and attend as many society events as possible. Someone keeps telling me I’m here to do a degree but I don’t believe them… TN: What’s the best part of being Chair? LR: As involved as anyone can be in societies, you never get to know just how many of them they are, and the sheer diversity of them
until you get to a position like Chair – and working with them all and helping them out anyway I can is great. TN: And the worst part? LR: There’s so many events going on each week that I simply don’t get time to make it to them all. TN: What kind of things do you have to do each day as Chair? LR: No two days are the same – my responsibilities include chairing all Executive and General meetings and liaising with other College organisations, so on an average day I’ll deal with the SU, Publications, the Junior Dean and the Steward mainly. Plus there’s always someone looking for advice for a million different things to do with societies. TN: What’s the wildest society event you’ve ever been to? LR: As wild as they get on their own, nothing compares to when a bunch of societies get together, so for sheer debauchery and enjoyment I’d have to say the CSC Ball
each year. But of course it’s always done within the confines of the College Alcohol Policy… TN: What’s the worst event you’ve ever attended? LR: Nothing springs to mind immediately, although I have found it tough sitting through a meeting in Irish once or twice, being from New York… TN: What society would you most like to see derecognized? LR: I can’t answer that! Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t! TN: Do you think there’s a gap for many more new societies? LR: I always think that we have pretty much every interest covered, but then someone comes up with an idea for something new that surprises me. There’s always people out there with new ideas – this year alone we’ve given provisional recognition to Europa, Paintballing, Comedy and Dental Societies. TN: How do you find working with the CSC Exec? LR: I’ve been very lucky – the Executive Committee and its Officers are fantastic this year. They’re all very enthusiastic about what they do and genuinely care
about societies. They’re fun too – I couldn’t ask for better colleagues. And the entire place just couldn’t function without the non-stop work of Lucy, ably assisted by Ailish. We’re very lucky to have them. TN: Does it affect your college work? LR: It’s taught me more than anything else to balance my time – the CSC can be addictive. There’s a comment on the Dance Soc website about me spending more time in there than most of the furniture! You can spend a whole day in there without realizing it – everyone you know is there and there’s a great buzz about the place. It can be very hard to drag yourself back to the library. TN: Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about running for Chair for next year? LR: Learn how to balance your time! And have fun. And don’t forget that it’s not a power trip, you’re there to help out all the societies as much as you can.
CSC Chair Luke Reynolds Photo- Eamon Marron
BESS Day 2005 SU Elections - The Inside track A world record attempt. A hush-hush but high profile gig in the Burke Theatre. Magic tricks in the GMB. And a banana eating contest… Get ready for BESS Day 2005.
Christine Bohan Get out your diary – February 1st is going to see the first ever celebration of all things BESS, as Rag Week plays host to BESS Day 2005. But if you’re expecting false tan, bad highlights, last season’s Burberry and a lot of air-kissing, you’d better think again. The head of the organising committee and instigator of the idea Niall Hughes has put together a plan for the day to get as many people as possible from around campus involved with a wide range of events lasting all day long. And although students in the faculty won’t escape from lectures, lecturers have been asked to extend any deadlines that might fall on the day to ensure as much participation as possible from the faculty’s students. “It’s been an aim of mine since coming to Trinity – having seen the success of Law Day and Med Day and how well they work I thought it was only right that the BESS faculty had its own day” says Niall, who is currently studying Economics. “It’s a chance for all BESS students to get involved with their faculty, to have a bit of a laugh and to raise money for charity”. As with many of the other Rag Week events, all money raised is going to go to the TCD Tsunami Relief Appeal. The day has received the
support of the Dean of BESS, Professor Colm Kearney, as well as the staff, which has been greatly appreciated; as Niall explains, “It would be extremely difficult to run the day without the support of the faculty – they’ve been great. We’ve been trying to get this off the ground for the past two years so for it to finally get the go-ahead is fantastic”. The co-ordination of the day is being managed by a committee made up of representatives from the SU (a mixture of class reps, the BESS Convenor and the Ents Officer), various societies (the Phil, Card Soc, VdeP, DUBES and Trinity FM) and interested students. But down to business – what exactly is going to be happening on February 1st? The big event is going to be the attempt to break a world record on campus at 12 noon on the day – the World’s Biggest Water Balloon Fight. As Niall puts it, “This is going to be big. We’re planning to have 600 people divided into two teams of 300 each, throwing 10,000 water balloons at each other. There’ll be people there from the Guinness Book of World Records to supervise the attempt. We’re hoping to get people from all over College to take part in this, because this record can definitely be broken”. Afterwards there’s going to be Fun and Frolics in the Phil from 2-5pm. With magic tricks, banana eating contests, giant card
games and the possibility of refreshments, there’ll be something for everyone looking to relax (and dry off!) after the water fight or just have a laugh for a few hours. A street collection, being run in association with the Vincent de Paul Society will also be held in the area around College. The evening will see attention focused back on the GMB, as the Phil hosts a debate with some of BESS’s most renowned graduates – David McWilliams, Mark Little and Seán Barrett will all be speaking, with more guests to be confirmed in the next fortnight. Afterwards there are plans for a gig with a well-known BESS graduate in the Burke Theatre in the Arts Block – Niall refuses to be drawn on any speculation before anything is confirmed so we can’t give you any clues, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed! Finally the day draws to a close with a night out in the Red Box with Ents, with the theme ‘Recordbreakers’. As to what kind of records you might try to break on a night out in the Redbox… well, draw your own conclusions. Hopes are high in the faculty for the success of the day. “The hope is that it will become an annual event”, says Niall “I believe that faculty days are the way forward for Rag Week as a way of getting more people involved, and making them feel part of something bigger”.
As speculation begins to mount over this year’s Students’ Union Elections, Ed Reilly, who ran for President last year, looks back on the campaign and offers advice for anyone thinking of running The gossip is beginning, the rumours are circulating, the contacts are being forged; it can mean only one thing – the SU elections are coming around the corner. Every year in mid February, week 7 this year, the student body is asked to vote for their choice of sabbatical officer be it President, Deputy, Education, Welfare or Ents. This year, like every other, be prepared for a bombardment of manifestos, flyers, class addresses and grandiose promises. Having run for President last year and witnessing from afar the elections the two years previous to that, I’ve been able to see this bizarre process from a variety of angles. Technically the only criteria for running is that you are a registered student at Trinity College, meaning pretty much everybody reading this article could give it a go. Bearing in mind sabbatical officers get a free room on campus [with first dibs on choice as well!], a pay cheque of approximately 220 euro a week and something great to put on their CV at the end of it all you may wonder why so few people run. Last year, in fairness, was quite unprecedented; not only did we have a record number of candidates, there was a record turnout and every position bar Deputy President was fiercely contested. The reality of actually winning an election though is something else. Although campaigning is supposed to last for two
weeks, the real business of preparation and sounding out your support groups takes place well before this. Likewise the successful candidates almost always have to have a proven track record in their particular field to have a realistic chance of attracting the cross section of support needed for victory. Take current President Francis Kieran; progressing from being a class rep in first year, he moved on to become Irish Language Officer of the SU before taking on the arduous responsibility of Chair of Council. Coupled with this he chaired, much to delight of the opposition candidates like myself who gave him plenty of stick for it, the Fianna Fail party in College as well as being highly active in the Hist and a member of the Executive of the CSC. Quite impressive hey! Similarly Ents Officer Niall Morris learnt the ropes working on the Ents Crew for two years, mixed with extensive range of independent promotional experience. Meanwhile Ruth, our Deputy President and only female sabbat, could rely jointly upon her role as TSM Convener and sub-editorial position on Trinity News to position herself as the most adept candidate for the job. What if you want to run but don’t have the pedigree on paper? Indeed this was exactly the dilemma I found myself in last year – the dark horse candidate of the elections according to one com-
mentator. Clearly you start at an immediate disadvantage - you have to prove yourself every step of the way and no one is going to give you any favours – least of all the other candidates. Saying that, there is a real sense of camaraderie by the end. Whether you want to or not you inevitably bump into the other candidates through your travels around lecture halls, affiliate colleges and social events. By the end there is a real mutual respect amongst all the candidates contesting all the positons. Getting up at the crack of dawn every morning to make the 9 o’ clock lectures, then trudging around College all day
whilst keeping a smile on your face and not getting into bed until the early hours of the morning for two weeks is no mean feat. Don’t be too put off though - the whole experience was a great learning curve that I would recommend to anyone so inclined. To stand up in front of a huge partisan crowd and explain why you’re the best man/woman for the job is hugely daunting, but once through it you can’t help but feel more confident in yourself. Similarly you will find that constantly learning new things about the way this funny old institution, with its particular idiosyncrasies, operates as a whole. All in all, win lose or draw, running for a sabbatical position is an experience I would recommend to anyone.
Card Society to host Ireland’s biggest ever poker tournament Niall Hughes
Niall Hughes, organiser of BESS Day
Photo: Eamon Marron
You would have to have been living under a rock not to have noticed the huge growth in poker both on and off campus over the past 12 months. Casinos such as the Fitzwilliam and the Merrion have seen a huge resurgence in the numbers they get every week, online poker playing has become one on the major uses of the internet, and Digital TV seems to have been taken over by the likes of “Late Night Poker”, “The World Series of Poker”, and “Celebrity Poker”. The latter sees the likes of Ben Affleck, Jack Black, Seth Meyers, James Woods, Sean Astin, Martin Sheen, Coolio, Tom Green, Matthew Perry, Denis
Rodman, Tony Hawk, Macauley Culkin, and Chevy Chase battle it out at the poker table. It’s no wonder then that the increased interest in poker manifested itself in Trinity too. It is less than a year ago that the virtually dormant Dublin University Card & Bridge Society, boasting a mere 11 members, was taken over by the current committee and transformed into the Trinity Card Society, which currently has 433 members and gains more every week. Throughout the year the committee have worked hard to bring about such events as weekly poker tournaments in the Buttery, a Casino night with the Phil and Food & Drink Soc, and tutorials for those who want to learn to play poker. We are even
sending a delegation over to St. Andrews University in Scotland to compete in the UK Student Poker Championships. To mark the one year anniversary of the takeover, the Trinity Card Society are organising the first ever Dublin Student Poker Championships. The tournament will take place on Wednesday 9th February (Week 5) in the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street. With 270 players from the various Dublin colleges it will be the largest poker tournament ever held anywhere in the UK or Ireland, eclipsing the current record of 239 players. Tickets for the event will go on sale in week 2 and will be priced at €20 each. The prize fund for the evening is expected to top
€3500 making it an event attractive to all of Dublin’s poker players. We are delighted to have sponsors such as poker.ie and vcstudentpoker.com on board as this will surely lead to a larger prize fund for participants. As tickets are being divided between various different colleges, those wishing to play are advised to get their tickets at the first opportunity. If poker players would like more information on the event please e-mail email@example.com. Niall Hughes is Chair of the DU Cards Society
Thursday January 20, 2005
Features Editor: Laura Fergusson
Trinity News When Killing is a Kindness
Three years ago this month, Irish newspapers reported what was billed as the first case of assisted suicide in Ireland. As we begin 2005, the issue of euthanasia is no longer a dark secret, but is openly debated in many countries. Darren McCallig examines this contentious topic and interviews the Trinity professor who has just published a book on the ethics of suicide and physician-assisted death. Darren McCallig
On January 26 2002, Rosemary Toole-Gilhooly (49) was found dead in a rented flat in Donnybrook in Dublin. She is said to have taken a cocktail of drugs and placed a plastic bag over her head, before breathing in helium through a tube from a gas canister. The following month, Revd George Exoo, a minister from the Unitarian Fellowship in Beckley, West Virginia, gave an interview to the Charleston Gazette. He described how he had helped set up a system that would cut off Miss Toole's oxygen supply. He also claimed to have guided her through five practice sessions before she killed herself. "The last thing she did before she pulled down the bag was take one last pull on the cigarette. I said: 'Okay, Rosemary, time to put down the cigarette if you don't mind'. I gave her instructions, but that's what we do. And provided spiritual support for her." Miss Toole had found Mr Exoo and his group, Compassionate Chaplaincy on the internet.
Compassionate Chaplaincy is a registered charity which claims to have assisted over 100 people in taking their own lives since 1995. However, assisted suicide is illegal in Ireland and in the summer of 2004, the Irish media reported that the Director of Public Prosecutions had given the go-ahead for Gardai to seek Mr Exoo's extradition. If these proceedings are successful, the controversial West Virginia clergyman will face trial in Dublin
Compassionate Chaplaincy is a registered charity which claims to have assisted over 100 people in taking their own lives since 1995. under the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 and could face up to 14 years' imprisonment. But regardless of the final outcome of the Toole-Gilhooly case, it would appear that the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide will need to be addressed in Ireland. The law in relation to euthanasia has been modified in several countries in the last twenty years. Since 1984, doctors in the Netherlands
who practise voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide under certain conditions have been able to defend themselves by invoking "necessity". In November 1997 physician-assisted suicide became legal in the American state of Oregon. Since May 2002 Belgium has permitted voluntary euthanasia. In the UK the debate is ongoing. Supporters of a change in the law claim that a large majority (82 per cent) of the public are in favour of allowing people to choose assisted dying by a doctor. That NOP poll commissioned by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society also found that 47 per cent of people said they would help a loved one die if they were suffering unbearably. The retired human rights lawyer and member of the House of Lords, Joel Joffe has drafted a private member's bill which would legalise assisted deaths for terminally ill patients. Under Lord Joffe's proposals voluntary euthanasia would be available to those in "unbearable pain" who had less than six months to live. There would also have to be psychiatric assessments and a cooling-off period to allow the patient an opportunity to change their mind. The bill has put the issue firmly on to the political agenda in the UK and has sparked great con-
troversy. Last month, the Guardian columnist, Polly Toynbee wrote movingly about her own mother's desire for help ending her own life: "My mother died three weeks ago, less than a year after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. From the start she faced its inexorable course with rational calm, unafraid of dying but determined to avoid lingering beyond what she thought bearable. She went to her solicitor and signed a living will. But all the same, linger she did, many weeks beyond what she found either dignified or bearable: it was no way to
“While there might be good, clear reasons for drawing the line conservatively, there would be no strong, indisputable ones for drawing it precisely in one place rather than another.” end a good life." "She asked us to put her on a stretcher and take her to the Netherlands or Switzerland. But we blenched at the idea of a terrible journey of death. She begged for enough pills, but I found I couldn't contemplate grinding up scores of them and helping her force them down. It is one thing to support her wish but quite another to live with the memory of killing your own mother. I was cowardly; she was disappointed in me." When one reads such harrowing accounts, it becomes easier to understand why only 11 per cent of Britons (according to the NOP poll) are of the view that the law should not allow people to receive medical help to die. One wonders what a similar poll in Ireland would find. Would a large majority in this State also favour a change in the law? Is it time that we re-examined this issue? I put these, and other, questions to Nigel Biggar, Professor of Theology here in Trinity. His latest book, Aiming to Kill, is an examination of the main arguments for and against a change in the legal position regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide. Biggar takes a nuanced and carefully argued view on these issues. He recognises that there are situations where it could be morally permissible to intend to take human life. These situations could include patients suffering from severe brain damage or intense pain that cannot be relieved. “It would not be unreasonable,” says Biggar, “to subordi-
nate merely biological human life to the good of relieving relatives of the emotional burden of attending upon someone irretrievably beyond the reach of their care, or to the good of conserving health-care resources for use in bettering the conditions of afflicted, but still responsible humans.” In other words, the euthanasia debate is not a simple black and white matter. The opposing claims that there is nothing morally problematic in assisted suicide; or, at the other extreme, that any medical intervention that compromises the duty to keep patients alive is forbidden, only serve to shut down the discussion and do little to help us pick our way through this moral and ethical minefield. More dogmatic commentators will no doubt say that once we have accepted that there are circumstances where it could be morally permissible to intend to take human life, then we have effectively started on a slippery slope. If intentional killing could be permissible, the only question that remains is, should it be permissible? “The central question,” claims Biggar, “is whether or not it is pos-
“She begged for enough pills, but I found I couldn't contemplate grinding up scores of them and helping her force them down. It is one thing to support her wish but quite another to live with the memory of killing your own mother.” sible to formulate and police effectively a law that stipulates that voluntary euthanasia or physicianassisted suicide may only be performed under certain conditions.” In particular, how would we define terms such as “intolerable suffering” and how would we determine the exact effects of brain-damage? Where would we draw the line? “While there might be good, clear reasons for drawing the line conservatively,” argues Biggar, “there would be no strong, indisputable ones for drawing it precisely in one place rather than another. Therefore, because a conservative line is likely to be somewhat arbitrary and very controversial, democratic deliberation would tend by default to draw a liberal one.” But what about the Dutch experience? What can we learn from their twenty years' experience in this area? Figures from 1990 show that there were 2300 cases of voluntary euthanasia in that year (1.8 per cent of all deaths in 1990). In addition there were 400 cases of physician-assisted suicide (0.3 per cent). However, there were also 1000 cases of non-voluntary
Disastrously illuminating or illuminatingly disastrous? Sorcha Ni Ghriofa Do you ever go through phases of having epiphany after epiphany of the type you’d rather not have? Have you ever wished the moment of clarity that suddenly awoke your mind and stirred your soul had just remained untapped, forever-dormant? Recently, I’ve been finding myself the unlucky victim of such moments with increasingly unsettling frequency e.g. my hair is more mousy than blond; after a few drinks I am loud, not gregarious; Lewis Carroll used to make young girls pin their skirts up while playing. However, I’m not about to embarrass myself and scare your honourable self by recounting anymore to you, but I do think it’s time for you to hear one of them which may or may not pertain to you too. In the Ussher one bitterly cold evening I was giving my eyes a break from disgustingly dense criticism by contemplating the crazy joggers’ persistence, when once again the noise I had always assumed to be some really loud, malfunctioning trolley disturbed my thoughts. It was only about six months before that when I realised it was actually the dual air-conditioning/heater system. Up until then, I had remained utterly perplexed as to how any one librarian could make such a racket.
Unbeknownst to me, there was apparently a plethora* of likewise dumbstruck students who were left flabbergasted as to the origins of this mysterious noise. Many** later admitted their earlier ignorance. It seems College possesses more mysterious characteristics than I at first imagined. Did you ever hear of the secret toilets? Have you ever wandered through the underground passages? If you’re like me, then you probably haven’t. Anyway, I digress. The point I’m trying to get to is that if you haven’t already figured these things out, maybe you should consider doing so now. It means you haven’t been spending much time (a) in the library, (b) in College, or (c) talking about the library and/or College. Like me, you probably didn’t begin your academic career with the most diligent of work ethics and probably went through a stage of just running home as fast as possible after every lecture. Well, let me tell you a few things from one fourth year to…. someone else. Firstly, if you’re lucky enough to be in College or even luckier to be studying something you quite like, let alone love…..study it. READ READ READ. Going into tutorials being able to partake in the discussion is actually an amazingly fun- dare I say it, ‘illuminating’ experience. Throw away those inhibitions and
don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Yours is as valid as the scary genius beside you. Anyhow, I realise that to many-if not all of you who have actually read this much, (thanks by the way) I probably sound like a nerd you knew in school who you probably dreamt of poking in the eye. Honestly, I guess I’m just beginning to get a little maudlin at the thought of not being able to read and talk about books etc on a day-to-day basis, particularly because this is a joy I feel I have only recently begun to exploit fully. So if that makes me sound like an irritating nerd, well then, that’s fine! I sometimes think that if I could do it all over again, I’d make some changes. If I could somehow implement those changes and go back in time, I’d probably have figured out what the weird noise was in my first week of college! But there you have it, I can’t change a thing. And thus, yet another disastrously illuminating moment, but maybe it’s not so late for you... * This is a lie. There was only one. But I think there were more and so does the other person. ** Lie. As above.
‘Dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians...’ Laura Fergusson I had two very disparate cultural experiences over Christmas. Both took place in London theatres, both involved singing, dancing and some degree of audience participation. But one I attended with nineteen members of my extended family, from my eighty year old grandfather to my eight year old cousin, while the presence of any of my relations at the other would have caused me to either flee to the bar or hide under my seat and try to pretend I wasn’t watching. I don’t imagine that the audiences of the pantomime Aladdin and Jerry Springer – The
euthanasia, i.e. a lethal drug was administered without the explicit request of the patient. The 1995 figures show some change. The number of cases of voluntary euthanasia had increased to 3200 (2.4 per cent), while the number of cases of physician-assisted suicide was static at 400. Finally, the number of cases of non-voluntary euthanasia decreased slightly to 900. The interpretation of these figures is hotly contested by experts. Professor Biggar argues that many of the cases of non-voluntary euthanasia committed in the Netherlands have involved dubious presumption. "There is reason to fear," he says, "that we have witnessed a moral slide." But what about those high-profile cases which generate so much media coverage? Many will remember the case of Diane Pretty. Motor neurone disease robbed her of all her functions, apart from her mind. In 2001, she appealed to the courts to grant her husband the right to assist her to die. She lost her case. Biggar feels that such extreme cases should not be allowed to dominate the debate on euthanasia. "They are," he points
Opera had many members in common besides me, and I quite enjoy the sense of incongruity in having seen both in the same week. The most offensive aspect of Aladdin was the painful attempt at slapstick, while the televising of Jerry the opera on BBC 1 last weekend generated more complaints than the corporation has ever received, before it had even been shown. I gather the complaints were principally with reference to the fact that there is not a single line in the show which would not cause every 1930s schoolteacher to run out of soap with which to wash out the mouths of the performers. And the director admitted in the pro-
out, "relatively few in number ... in a United Kingdom population of approximately sixty million there is a prevalance of 1500 cases of patients in a permanent vegetative state." But if, therefore, we are to keep the law in Ireland as it currently stands, is there anything positive we can do? Yes, says Biggar, and he makes a plea for further investment in palliative care. "It would be the mark of a humane society's commitment to supporting its hindered members in adversity that it should make this its clear priority." This increased investment should include more hospice beds, more palliative care nurses and more specialist doctors. But, it should also include a change in the vision of the goals of health care. "Doctors," he says, "and other health-care professionals, need to learn to see professional success not only in terms of fending off death, but also in terms of helping patients to flourish in their dying." This, he argues, will require more than just professional training. Rather, it will require a certain spiritual formation, "in which those who treat and care for the sick are
gramme notes that it was perfectly possible that the only reason his show was such a massive success (tickets are being booked up till October), was because the one overarching joke of opera singers swearing extravagantly to music was so funny. I have a feeling he may be right – technically as a piece of musical theatre I think Jerry Springer probably fails, as there were no memorable tunes; I left humming nothing. But the bizarre juxtaposition is enormously entertaining. The other accusation levelled at the show by outraged BBC viewers is that of blasphemy, which it is difficult to argue with. The second act is entitled The Jerry Springer Show in Hell, and features Satan versus Jesus – the latter wearing a nappy and admitting at one point to being “a little bit gay”. Hilarious, yes, but not, I think, what the nuns at my old school want the Theatre Society to see. At the beginning of this act, replica television screens, which at the start had run the standard “The Jerry Springer Show is not suitable for young children”, announced “The Jerry Springer Show in Hell is not suitable for those without a strong grasp of Judaeo-Christian theology”. Well, I have a theology A Level, I thought, but I’m not sure it was designed to prepare me for Springer as a Christ figure, or an overweight God singing “It ain’t easy being me”. The scene that has stuck with me, however, and which had me simultaneously laughing in uncontrollable hysterics and craning round to see how
formed into the kind of people who, when faced with death in the eyes of the dying, have the moral strength to resist the natural instinct of mortal human beings, and not to turn away." The euthanasia debate will continue. It will continue to provoke, to shock and even to frighten. Something of the raw emotion stirred up by this issue have been captured by Sharon Olds in her poem, The Promise. It tells the story of two lovers who make a vow to kill each other if terrible illness and suffering makes their lives unbearable. "With the second drink, at the restaurant, holding hands on the bare table, we are at it again, renewing our promise to kill each other … Your hand tightens on the table. You're a little afraid I'll chicken out. What you do not want is to lie in a hospital bed for a year after a stroke, without being able to think or die, you do not want to be tied to a chair like your prim grandmother, cursing. The room is dim around us, ivory globes, pink curtains bound at the waist - and outside, a weightless, luminous, lifted up summer twilight. I tell you you do not know me if you think I will not kill you. Think how we have floated together eye to eye, nipple to nipple, sex to sex, the halves of a creature drifting up to the lip of matter and over it - you know me from the bright, bloodflecked delivery room, if a lion had you in its jaws I would attack it, if the ropes binding your soul are your own wrists, I will cut them.” This is a harrowing debate. It is harrowing precisely because it involves us in a complex choice between opposing goods, rather than a straight choice between good and evil. Two valuable principles are in conflict: the principle of reverence for the sacredness of human life and the principle of compassion towards a particular individual in unrelieved suffering. Professor Biggar is probably right to affirm that no law could ever be formulated which could deal adequately with such human complexity. However, the question remains: should the immense difficulty of framing euthanasia legislation stop us from even trying?
many people were storming out, involved the Ku Klux Klan singing “This is our Jerry Springer moment.” That scene in The Producers with the dancing goosesteppers singing “Springtime for Hitler” may have met its match. The cast and their problems were familiar to anyone who has ever seen the orginal showenormous, foul-mouthed,flamboyant, sleeping simultaneously with their wife, her mother and the pizza delivery boy; desirous of wearing a nappy (giving rise to another disturbingly unforgettable set of lyrics to go alongside the ones I couldn’t resist using as the headline - “Momma give me smack on the asshole”), or, rather more tamely, wanting to poledance against their husbands’ wishes. As has been frequently pointed out by critics, the overblown personalities and massively heightened emotions of the most extreme talk show in television history are perfectly suited to the hyperbolic melodrama of opera. But JSTO didn’t entirely have the monopoly on the crossdressinh shock factor. With Sir Ian MacKellan playing Widow Twankey, there was an audible gasp, not least from my stepgrandmother, as his extremely impressive legs were revealed in a little sparkly number and he proceeded to sing, accompanied by a troop of boys in garters, about all the men ‘she’d’ had. Just for a moment, the theatrical boundaries were blurred.
Thursday January 20, 2005
Our maturity = our parents’ mid-life crisis Chloe Sanderson investigates a disturbing trend. Confronted at point blank by a member of your family straight facedly assuring you that they are of course telepathic may not be your average Sunday morning. Unfortunately however, these immature outcries for attention have, since my return from the Emerald isle, become a repeated family interaction. It is even more worrying that the comment comes straight from the lips of my mother! I have always been under the understanding that university turns us darlings kicking and screaming from grunting bipolar visions of hair dye and piercing into a new and improved model of maturity. As you read this, across the country numerous secret enclaves of tea-sipping mothers are conspiring to uphold this sup-
living room was my mother squeezed into her new leather trousers, sipping a glass of White Lightening Cider, and casually informing me we were going to be on a TV dating show together. Now it is just possible that my mother is insane, (she is in all certainty unique), and that other parents remain entirely normal. Sadly this writer has seen otherwise. Reports are coming in of strange parental behaviour outbreaks across these islands, if not the world. In England one 19 year-old arrived home to find her father returning from flying lessons having re-mortgaged their house to buy a plane. She was unfortunately too distressed to comment. You may be lucky enough to have parents who still do, or ever did, act as mature role
of dirty socks which rule my bedroom, and find a new home nestled between Descartes and Dan Brown in a far more intellectual haven than Block 87. This explanation for its disappearance decided upon I am forced to consult instead my not so trusty, slightly
In England one 19 year old arrived home to find her father returning from flying lessons having remortgaged their house to buy a plane. She was unfortunately too distressed to comment. dubious looking thesaurus, named Bob. Now Bob has afforded us these few words of wisdom: Mature: ripe, seasoned, experienced, and deep-laid. I hope that by the time I finish university I shall find myself as
I landed into the warm, if slightly clammy, arms of Essex fully expecting a rapturous welcome and astounded shrieks of glee at my newly acquired maturity. What I actually discovered in my living room was my mother squeezed into her new leather trousers, sipping a glass of White Lightening Cider, and casually informing me we were going to be on a TV dating show together. position by proudly praising ‘Dear little Charles, Seamus, or Magnus for returning from their first term at college all grown up’. This assertion worries me. At 6ft am I not tall enough? Am I to remain as I was kindly described by a recent drunk rugby player as ‘Freakishly tall for a girl’ all just for the honour of a degree? I am however an optimist and hoping that my future children will escape this fate of ganglyness I landed into the warm, if slightly clammy, arms of Essex fully expecting a rapturous welcome and astounded shrieks of glee at my newly acquired maturity. What I actually discovered in my
models, but any day now this could be you. And so I put the question to you, while we improve our minds and disintegrate our livers at university, are we really maturing or, as I severely suspect, are our parents simply regressing? Let us begin with an entirely scientific approach. I think it only right and proper to consult the wisdom of a dictionary. Sadly it seems that for the first time in my Oxford’s life it must have actually done what it said on the cover slip and made itself pocket sized. Its new diminutive state allowing it to slip away from the rampaging hoards
transforming into the leatherwearing, sports car-driving men, clearly age confused, who leer at us from bars and then come Sunday decry our student living habits? Prime suspects are Michael Douglas and Demi Moore, but they are refus-
deep-laid as humanly possible, however the fact that the entire sentence makes me smirk just a little makes me dubious as to how mature I really am. When it comes to the definition of Regression Bob sadly lets us down. Instead of Regression: a term aptly used to define the confused mid life crises that are your parents I am given: Regression: crab-like motion. Well at least this may explain dad’s dancing. This brings me frighteningly to an even more pressing question: who is to blame for the increasing number of previously sane middle-aged personages suddenly
ing to comment. Just as Naomi and Farrell may confuse us youths into believing we could one day look like that with just a few less carbs or a tad more protein, Demi and Michael delude our parents into thinking that a 20 year age gap or 20 year toy boy or girl could be graspable. Wouldn’t it be kindest just to tell them that even if graspable these youths would clearly be disastrous for their hips? Perhaps I am being a little unfair; there is the strong possibility that what I have discovered in my parents is in fact just the first signs of senility. I could return at Easter to the clatter of zimmers, and find my genetic providers purple rinsed within an inch of their lives. A great man (or the back of a cereal box) once told me that ‘Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone’, and as I inch closer to the years of moth balls and Vics vapour rub I am suddenly very sensitive to the plight of the aged. I have a lot of respect for Cliff Richard. Any man who can consistently produce successful records of no quality or talent no matter what age they are has to be commended. After all none of us are getting any younger, and
though those cat hair cardis, surgical support stockings, and bottle lens glass strung for safety and effective lint collection around their craggy necks may seem outdated by our standards what after all will we be wearing in our golden years? Suddenly their brand of slightly fluff laden humbug old age seems preferable to a sea of luminously fake tanned 80 plussers, their last strands of hair GHD’d within an inch of its life, a provocative hint of varicose vein peeking below their mini skirts as they slide their cowboy boots over the cobbles of Dublin. Perhaps instead we will become the new generation of aged. Not frighteningly tangoed and slightly confused but effervescently attractive. Our years of drinking will not melt our livers and pock mark our faces as predicted by so called doctors, but will instead have turned us into a super race who can handle their drink and finally have reached an age when they can afford to. We already have Mr. Clooney, Pitt, and Depp as proof that these days 40 plus is sexy. Unfortunately until the world is lucky enough for our beauty to mature requiring at least another 20 years we still have the problem of the old people are parents are turning into as we speak. I myself have frequented the pungent corridors of homes for the elderly as part of my Community
Service; surprisingly it was voluntary and not enforced by the nation’s justice system. With images of hoards of sweet old ladies hanging on my every word, feeding me sweeties, and declaring me ‘the granddaughter they never knew’ I was met by Angus. A small, heavily tattooed, even more heavily racist gentleman
Perhaps I am being a little unfair; there is the strong possibility that what I have discovered in my parents is in fact just the first signs of senility. from Shetland who insisted on spitting at me if I talked too quickly. Mustering all my former feelings of warm glowyness I persisted, until shocked to notice that my random banter had sent the old codger to sleep, I tried to rouse him. Angus was not be roused. Suddenly terrified that my joke telling had for once actually done what it had been threatening to for the last 20 years by killing someone I ran for the nurse. Only to find dear Mr. Angus almost wetting himself with laughter on my return for falling for his ‘Death Trick!’ I don’t in truth know why the
elderly complain quite so much. After all if we are to believe them, then the old dears are in fact gifted. Better than my mother’s telepathic powers the average old person can predict the weather through just their arthritic fingers. Surely millions could be saved on metallurgical tracking systems in weather report stations across the country; why not just plug in a few grannies? It occurs to me that we poor defenseless students have all been part of a conspiracy. If our parents are using the opportunity of our absence to fake their getting younger then we must realign the balance by acting as immaturely as possible. They may pretend they are incapable of making a cup of tea by asking us constantly to fetch them one, but we know better. Join me in a Trinity crusade to act as immaturely as possible. I know this may be a struggle, but play jokes, laugh at smutty innuendos, and most important of all attend all upcoming club nights which involve fancy dress. In case you need a little guidance this writer will be regressing to a schoolgirl, an Indian, and a childhood hero just in the next week. I will leave you with an old Chinese proverb: ‘To mature is to be like cheese’, and remind you that getting old may mean getting wiser, but getting wiser will never doom us into getting old.
Confessions from my Cupboard Laura Fergusson Relish this moment, because you will very rarely hear me, or any other woman admit what I am about to say. In fact I feel a bit of a traitor to myself, especially as if my mother reads this it will be very hard to persuade her that I urgently need to use her credit card. But I have a lot of clothes. I know this, because I went home to London for Christmas and, having packed merely what I regarded as the bare essentials, was charged 40 Euros in excess baggage. Yes, I was taking books too – the complete works of Austen in fact, for a ridiculously indecisive essay that refused to become more specific in time for me to leave some of the books behind. But I’m ashamed to admit that a large proportion of the six
ios. I am capable of being sensible about this if I am going somewhere where I feel I may look silly if I arrive with an entire wardrobe – boyfriends’ parents’ houses for example, where the last thing you want to do is appear the ultimate in feminine vanity – I discover usually hidden powers of rational packing and travel smugly with a shoulder bag. But when I’m going home, where I know that any attempts to appear a rational human being will be instantly seen through anyway, it becomes suddenly and bizarrely necessary to bring everything I own. I take more luggage home with me for two weeks than I took to another continent for six over the summer. It suddenly becomes of the utmost importance that I have the perfect outfit for every possible contingency. What if I get invited at the last minute to…I don’t know, a film premiere? Or I have to go to a funeral? Wouldn’t it just be so frustrating if I had a sudden need
When I’m going home, where I know that any attempts to appear a rational human being will be instantly seen through anyway, it becomes suddenly and bizarrely necessary to bring everything I own. extra kilos for which Ryanair felt obliged to relieve me of cash urgently needed to buy Christmas presents, consisted of spare tops for all those just-in-case scenar-
for that stripy dress that I haven’t worn for a year and it was in the wrong country? And I might decide to visit friends in the countryside, which would require a
whole set of mud-friendly attire… Of course then I only
that I simultaneously always feel in need of new outfits and have more clothes than I have room
The vast majority of my clothes stay in the wardrobe undisturbed for months on end except to be pointlessly carted backwards and forwards across the Irish Sea. wear three things, and after a lot of rearranging of hand/checked baggage pay 25Euros to bring it all back to Dublin again. And as I write this I have just unpacked into a wardrobe that perplexingly has far fewer hangers in it than I’m sure I used to own, and I have nowhere to put anything so I have random piles of skirts and scarves on the floor, and the whole process was extremely annoying. Because the thing is that I never feel that I have anything I actually want to wear. The vast majority of my clothes stay in the wardrobe undisturbed for months on end except to be pointlessly carted backwards and forwards across the Irish Sea. I find it very hard to think what these extra clothes that suddenly become so vital when I travel are or where they come from. I always seem to wear the same black trousers (3 Euro from a stall on Thomas Street two years ago that miraculously fit perfectly) and one of the same two tops whenever I go out, and the rest of the time seems to involve a rotation of two skirts and two pairs of jeans. How is it
for? Do other people suffer from that specific form of dissatisfaction which dictates that roughly a month after acquiring a new item of clothing, which you feel when purchasing that you love so much you’ll never want to wear anything else, you’ll hate it and wonder how you could ever have thought it suited you? It’s not as if I buy clothes very often, I swear. Splashing out involves spending 8Euro on a jumper from Penneys, while as extravagant as I ever get is 20Euro in Miss Selfridge. Yet somehow I have mountains of clothes that I wouldn’t be seen dead in. I’m always complaining that I need a new jumper, pair of trousers, or skirt, and I perpetually feel that I do. Which is why it goes so strongly against the grain to admit, in print, the number of tops I have just discovered I own. I just forced myself to count them for the benefit of journalistic accuracy. It’s a huge number. A seriously embarrassingly huge number. I was going to share it with you but I made the mistake
of telling my boyfriend first and he reminded me that there are certain pieces of information you don’t make public if you want to ever be able to show your face again, so I’m afraid I can’t. Except to say (but please don’t hold it against me) that I could wear a different top every day for the whole of Lent and still have two to change into in the evenings. I’m in slight shock about this discovery, it sounds faintly obscene, an appalling
admission of greed. I think there are only about six that ever actually emerge from the wardrobe, but even so, where did all the others come from?! Are they breeding in there or something? OK, to rationalise and try desperately to justify this ridiculous excess, a lot of them date back almost a decade, bear no relation to my current tastes or shape, and should have been given to Oxfam years ago. A lot more made their way into my possession during
my flat-mate’s Oxfam clear-outs and have never been worn by me. Even so, I am disturbed. My right, an intrinsic part of being female, to complain that I have literally nothing to wear, has been violated by hard facts. There’s nothing for it, I’ll have to finally get the bin-bags out for those that haven’t seen the light of day since I left school, and attempt to diversify in the rotation of the rest. And please, nobody show this article to my sister.
Thursday January 20, 2005
Features Editor: Laura Fergusson
Scream as loud as you can! Julie Dowling Depression is an indescribable scourge on anybody’s life. It grips you when you least expect it. It creeps up behind you and before you know it, it has captured your spirit, drained you of any confidence and gags you so that your voice, as much as you might try to speak, is never heard. At the end of this article there are some vital facts about help that can be received for yourself or anybody you know. Firstly, however, I would like to give you an insight into a personal experience of depression. If I had have been able to relate to the life of somebody real it would have helped me so much and for that reason, as much as it hurts to write it down, here is my story… I was still a junior freshman when I realised that my college experience wasn’t exactly what the brochure boasted. Contrary to my expectations, I was constantly lonely, didn’t have the social life that was so frequently talked about and the freedom to be an individual was nowhere to be seen. Gradually the despera-
words to me is one of the most difficult things to deal with. He wrote them on his note to our dad, ‘Please tell Julie on her birthday to remember how I lived and not how I died’. That is it. No other words, just that sentiment, spelt wrong and with shaky handwriting. He died when I was ten so you would think that the grief would have been dealt with long ago. To this day it still strikes a cord that stomachs me. I remember one day coming home from college, crawling into bed and just crying, for no apparent reason. It was that day that I first closed my eyes and imagined dying. After that, thoughts of death became a comfort. Gary Jules’ song, Mad World, would reside in my head, especially the line, ‘the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had’. It is only now that I realise how deep in the throes of depression I actually was. The crux of the matter here is that the last thing I wanted was to die; the problem was that I didn’t know how else to cope with the pain. Judging by how I felt, I imagine that Alec thought he was a burden. It was when this thought arose that I realised pos-
The last thing I wanted was to die; the problem was that I didn’t know how else to cope with the pain. tion began to deepen and I felt more and more isolated. Depression can strike at any time, for any reason and the problems it creates are awful, everything becomes so difficult, even the smallest decisions become a stressful chore. The problems I had in college seemed to be the manifestations of deeper issues, although I didn’t realise that I needed help until two years down the line. Alec, my brother, would always be floating in and out of my mind. Recalling his last
sibly the most important thing that I want to stress in this piece; the only thing about Alec that was ever a burden, was his death. With that in mind I decided to do what I wish every single day of my life that Alec did; I decided to scream. I wrote a desperate email to my tutor, Ms. T. Walsh (AKA my lifeline). She referred me to the student counselling service where I met Chuck, a man who listened to me, no matter what I had to say and guided my thoughts so that I could once and for all cope with
things that had happened in my life. The amount of support was overwhelming. That support is available to everybody but I honestly do not think that the mental health awareness in college is adequate and that is why I decided to share my story. I know last week was Mental Health Awareness week but nothing that was going on was striking enough to shout in the ear of every student who might
about the next victim? What about the person who woke up this morning and decided to shine up their revolver? There is NOTHING peaceful about this and it is time that this was shouted about. Anybody who is not happy should go, right now, regardless of how insignificant you think your problem may be, and make an appointment with the student counselling service in college, go and see your tutor,
I may not know the technical, medical expertise in relation to depression and suicide but knowing what it’s like to see your brother laid out in his ‘Sunday best’, with his eyes glued shut, his body stone cold and the rope mark on his neck evident, etches into your mind more than any text book possibly could need help. Nobody wears a sign saying ‘Hi, I’m depressed’. It’s a hidden problem, often masked so well. This is something that should be dealt with in a full on and open manner. Tiptoeing around this topic is a fatal mistake. I may not know the technical, medical expertise in relation to depression and suicide but knowing what it’s like to see your brother laid out in his ‘Sunday best’, with his eyes glued shut, his body stone cold and the rope mark on his neck evident, etches into your mind more than any text book possibly could. I am not aiming to shock; I am aiming to show the reality of suicide. If depression and suicide are not treated with a more obvious and open sense of understanding and help, the image above will become a reality for more and more people. There is nothing quiet and reserved about a suicide, so why should it be treated like that? I do not for one-minute suggest that those who die should not be laid to rest with the love and dignity that they deserve but I am screaming that those who are still alive should be saved. What
t e l l a f r i e n d , d o something…SCREAM!!!
Since I reached out my hand I have had the best time of my life. There are so many people now that I have become so close to and now, I actually enjoy College life. I must say that I was blessed with the friends I have in College, they did not dismiss me, despite my distant and subdued behaviour. I wake up every morning and thank God for all I have and that I finally saw what I had to do. The changes didn’t happen over night, it took a long time but each little jump makes you feel stronger and braver. Nobody can do it for you because, chances are, nobody knows that you are suffering. This is often a silent killer. It is more prevalent than you could imagine, as the statistics below show. Also listed are the places to get help, so please don’t let the deaths of those who have gone before us be in vain, do something, get help now!
Number of Suicides by Males Rate* 15-19 years 165 20-24 years 301 *Rates per 100,000
age and gender, 1997-2001 Females Rate* Total 19.0 41 5.0 206 40.4 54 7.5 355
Number of Suicides Registered in Ireland by Gender Males Females Total 1998 433 81 514 1999 358 97 455 2000 395 91 486 2001 356 92 448* *This figure relates to deaths registered in this year.
Help In College
Senior Tutor’s Office Student Counselling Service Student Health Service College Chaplains Niteline (9pm-2.30am in term, Thursday – Sunday)
608 1095/2551 608 1407 608 1556/1591 608 1260/1901 1800 793793
DUBDOC (weekdays 6-10pm, Weekends/bank holidays 10am–6pm) Samaritans (24 hours) AWARE’s Depression Line (10am-10pm)
Irish Association of Suicide Samaritans Mental Health Ireland
454 5604 1850 609090 676 6166 www.ias.ie www.samaritans.org.uk www.mentalhealthireland.ie
Seeking a smoker’s sanctuary Simon Thompson First, in return for funding the Health Service, the government turns on us, turfing us out into the streets to display our nasty little habit to the public and embarrass us as the social lepers we are. Now the weather, having held off by and large until the start of this term, seems to have it in for us fumeurs as well. Freezing myself outside a city-centre pub one late night last week, I was thoroughly angry. Myself and friends had assumed that a few months into the ban, some small bars would begin to welcome us in- they would become smoke-easies, and when raided by the cops would suddenly turn into legitimate pet-shops. Sadly, this has so far failed to happen. Sure, it means everyone who wants can have crystal-clear lungs and probably won’t die from a slow andpainful strangulation by lung cancer, but has anyone thought about how bloody annoying it is for many of us? There don’t seem to be any city-centre pubs with adequate provisions to enable smokers to sit outside without freezing; the best provisioned is probably The Market Bar on Fade St, with its large courtyard. This is fine on the rare afternoon when the gas heaters are on, but at night it is insanely packed and one often has to mingle around the owner’s cars. Therefore, on your behalf, I bravely wandered out to the west of the city, from Christchurch to St. James’s Hospital, to find out if there are any gems out there where dirty, filthy smokers are still made welcome, or at least not spat at. Armed with a good book and a packet of Camels, my first stop was The Brazen Head on Bridge Street, which claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland. A lot of pubs claim this, just like every tenth Irish person can somehow claim descent from the High Kings of Tara. I have been in at least four pubs in the country which dispar-
age others’ claims to primacy. This is slightly beside the point. I was here to assess facilities for smokers. First impressions were good. I emerged from the warren-like interior of the pub to find a large, semicovered area which had six gas heaters scattered around. Had they all been on, I imagine that the entire area would have been quite mild. Sadly, this is entirely left to my imagination as only one of them was and it was monopolised by a group of American tourists. So I sat in the covered area, shivering and drinking my pint as quickly as possible so I could head across the road to O’Shea’s, which was, unexpectedly, a much more pleasant experience. From the outside, this place looked like the worst kind of faux-old-Irish pub, advertising traditional music and various other things in Irish. Inside, the pub is a delight. The dining area, which I accidentally entered first, looks like a complete dive and I wouldn’t eat there in a million years, but the bar area itself is a traditional Dublin pub, covered with GAA paraphernalia that even I found quite interesting, and I wouldn’t know one end of a hurling stick from another. The outside smoking area is accessed through an almost secret door, and I had to be guided to it, but once there it was, again, a pleasant surprise despite a strange smell of fish. There were only two heaters, but that was ok because it was a small area, and within two minutes of me sitting down and fixing my eyes on the outdoor TV a member of staff came along and turned them up. The area was decorated with old road signs and a few potted plants, and was warm enough for me to stay for another pint. Also, the barmaid was beautiful. Swaying ever so slightly back out into the night, I headed up to Thomas Street and into the first bar I came to, O’Neills (65 Thomas Street), the old type of bar with only one high set frosted window onto the outside world. As I crossed the threshold it became immediate-
ly clear that I had entered the twilight zone and in doing so had made a potentially life-threatening mistake. All the male heads that had been intent on the TV swayed to regard me, and there was silence, but for the squeak of bottoms shifting on the red plastic sofas. The barman approached me rather nerv-
quipped that I should bring some candles next time. A few of them came out for a smoke with me. The outside area is accessed through the men’s toilets, which probably says something about how many women frequent the place, and it was a bit of a hole. I shared it with the locals, who were great fun, but less fun
On your behalf, I bravely wandered out to the west of the city, from Christchurch to St. James’s Hospital, to find out if there are any gems out there where dirty, filthy smokers are still made welcome, or at least not spat at. ously, and I enquired if there was an outdoor smoking area. I was pretty sure he would say no, enabling me to get the hell out of there, but in fact he said yes, but apologised that the heater was out of gas. This prompted great hilarity from the others in the bar who
was the large rusting oil tank and mouldy walls of the very enclosed space. There was also a random machine which came on every few minutes and required us to shout over the noise of it. My next stop was The Clock (110 Thomas St) which,
compared with O’Neills was palatial but lacked the friendliness of the smaller bar. The outside smoking area was very pleasant with three large picnic-style tables, gravel on the ground and various wagon wheel ornamentation and plants. About 1/3 of the area was covered, and cats prowled along the roof. There were no heaters, but I was sufficiently entertained by a couple having a huge domestic row right in front of me, as if they were staging a play solely for my benefit. Sadly they stormed off before reaching any conclusion, so I drained my pint and followed them out the door. The next pub I stumbled into was McGruders (17 Thomas St), a large, modern characterless bar. The outside area, however, was beautiful. A large area of raised wooden decking littered with tables and gas heaters, none of which were working despite valiant efforts on the part of the bar staff to
kick some life into them. This was the only bar I had been to that piped music outside (which in this particular case was unwelcome, but still, I thought it was a nice touch). In the summer, this place would be my favourite without a shadow of a doubt. Sadly, the night I was there it was subzero and I left as soon as possible to cross the street into Kenney‘s, which looks like a fairly nondescript place from outside, but is actually a bit of a tardis. It is huge inside, divided into several sections with open fires and a fairly serviceable outside area with two heaters, which were working and were enough to make the place bearable, if not exactly warm. They are running a table quiz in aid of Tsunami relief on 3rd February, which I may well return for. I asked for details on my way out, but by this stage I wasn’t really in the mood to process information, so immediately forgot what I was told. My last pub of the night
was a bit of a chore, not because it was unpleasant, but because I wanted to go to bed. It was Murray’s on Bow Lane West, and it is a wonderful little pub with a very local feel. It is quite new, but built in a tasteful way, not too Oirish but lots of wood and leather. The ace in the pack here is that it has a riverside deck where smoking is allowed. Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of heating, but sitting with a pint and a good book as the river rushes past is as pleasant a way to pass time as I can think of. Ultimately, I was searching for a nice place to have a pint and a fag, and I didn’t really find one. O’Shea’s was as good as it got, solely because they had good heaters and an outside television set. In the summer, many of the other choices would be preferable, but until then, I’ll just have to put up with that strange smell of fish. Or at least until I head out of the city in another direction in the name of public service, which may be next week.
Comment & Opinion Editor: Rory Loughnane
Ahern’s conversion to socialism needs some proof Derek Owens Only in Ireland do people laugh out loud at a coup. Not so long ago, the word went forth (oddly enough, via a TV3 interview) that the ruling faction in our potato republic was now a Socialist party. Clearly, the exile of Charlie McCreevy to Brussels wasn’t just an electoral ploy. Bertie had cunningly removed his ideological enemy (famously disdainful of those ‘left wing pinkos’ who dare to criticize his budgets) just before proclaiming his bloodless revolution. Not since Lenin had there been a Marxist so daring, so ingenious, so unconvincing. Our Taoiseach was clearly having a laugh, or just forgetting the truth again. That’s certainly what the ‘real’ Socialist parties (perhaps terrified at the
ambition to be the ‘sensible’ or ‘moderate’ candidate is an increasingly common one. This closing ideological divide has contributed as much as any ‘revelation’ of corruption to the attitude that ‘all politicians are the same anyway,’ as political squabbles hinge more and more on relatively insignificant questions of practice or personalities rather than substantial conflicts of principal. Certainly, there are exceptions to this broad trend, such as the U.S. Presidential election last year, but the phenomenal interest and voter turnout for that drama surely illustrates how much more people pay attention to politics now when they believe that, for once, serious matters of principal are at stake. So was Ahern really thinking of capitalizing on this reaction against bland consensus politics in
While McCain promotes a foreign policy that barely shies from sending masonry experts to Israel in its conservative prointerventionist line, his views on pollution, business in politics, and integrating ethnic minorities earned him enough respect among liberals to be seriously considered as a running mate for John Kerry. prospect of insignificance) thought, crying foul to anybody who’d listen. The rest of us had a bit of a giggle and got over it. Why, though, did we react with amused disbelief? The answer lies, at least partly, in the fact that Irish politicians tend not to talk ideology: when not asserting their nationalist credentials, or distancing themselves from any hint of a brown paper envelope, they generally try to come off as simply more reasonable than the other guy. This practice of franticly scrambling for the middle ground has a name among many debaters - it’s called the ‘compare your opponent to Hitler’ rule. While shrill denunciations are less popular than they used to be, it’s fair to say that this
the same way as Bush, Kerry, and ‘lunatic fringe’ parties, both right and left have done? Bring ideology into the debate, separate your party from the rest, drum up a few extra votes? You have to doubt it. Bertie may well be adaptable enough to indulge in a bit of posturing for extra votes, but also realistic enough to know when it would backfire. Given that Fianna Fail has enjoyed near-total ascendancy in Irish politics for several generations, changing the political landscape radically would be an unnecessary gamble. A sudden turn from Fianna Fail’s centre-right direction to revolution would also leave their support base taken aback and alienated. So just what was he trying to say when the word ‘Socialism’ passed his lips?
COMMENT&OPINION Thursday January 20, 2005
Since we haven’t entered into any trade agreements with Havana (being pretentious enough to read ‘Cigar Aficionado, I’d have noticed), we have to be a bit more flexible if we’re going to make sense of Fianna Fail’s new-found Socialism. Possibly it has something to do with those retreats and conferences they were dragged to over the summer. You know, like the one down in Dingle where they learned all about compassionate policies and that funny notion of Social Democracy. If you happen to remember how ‘Social Democracy’ used to be a euphemism for Socialism, then we’ve had a breakthrough. Political scientists will, of course, argue that Social Democracy and Socialism in today’s world mean very different things. On the other hand, does anybody really listen to political scientists? The leaders of Fianna Fail don’t seem to. In any case, we have to give a certain amount of leeway to the party’s spokespeople, given how unfamiliar they are with the territory they describe. The policies of Social Democracy, geared towards making society more equal (or at least giving everyone the chance to succeed), were once the sole preserve of the left, as conservatives grappled with the difficult concept of giving money to people for not working. The problem for those who still believe in the ‘undeserving poor’ is that Social Democracy has proved to be a popular idea. One can blame those nuts who unleashed the welfare state on us all (and showed that, in some cases, it can work) or even those damn hippies, but it’s hard to deny that voters, while rejecting the red flag, have become more sympathetic towards policies designed to give everybody a stake in society. The ‘middle ground’ in domestic policy has been shifting, broadly speaking, towards Social Democracy and equality for some time now, and votes for ‘unthreatening’ socialist parties that promote these policies (such as the Irish Labour party) have, until very recently, been on the increase. Understandably enough then, politicians of the Right have made
the mad dash to the center that characterizes modern politics with more urgency than ever. The latest generation has seen a new breed of politician spawned on the Right, along with the predictable rabid reactionaries. While pursuing a fairly conservative foreign policy, he (or possibly she!) is likely to at least pay lip service to racial, gender or social equality, picking up a fair slice of moderate or even leftof-center votes along with the solid right-wingers. America, one area where politicians play the ideological as well as the ‘reasonable’ card, has even fashioned a tag for these creatures: Compassionate Conservatives. The Compassionate Conservative brand has proven in America to be modern, flexible, and easy to scrub off. More importantly, it wins elections. Its popularity among voters is so impressive that Karl Rove had Bush try to take on the ‘compassionate conservative’ mantle for his first stab at the presidency in 2000. Four years of staunchly right wing domestic policy, as well as invading a third world country “to protect our way of life” ensured that, as a veritable bogeyman of the Left, he couldn’t try the same thing again. Other politicians have exploited the brand with a bit more finesse with 2008’s President-inwaiting John McCain being a prime example. While he promotes a foreign policy that barely shies from sending masonry experts to
Israel in its conservative pro-interventionist line, his views on pollution, business in politics, and integrating ethnic minorities earned him enough respect among liberals to be seriously considered as a running mate for John Kerry. Compassionate Conservatism, as well as simple reaction against years of domination by the Left, has been instrumental in reviving the fortunes of the American Right in recent years. Over in Britain, however, the Tories have found it more difficult to claim the title of Compassionate Conservative Party. Critics will blame a succession of incompetent leaders, as well as well as serious divisions within the party itself for this failure. Tories will blame a hostile media for not showing their good side. More important than all these factors, though, is the fact that they’ve been beaten to it. New Labour is quite possibly the slickest, most successful ‘Compassionate Conservative’ party in the Western World. It strokes the lefties by pledges to improve public services, promoting racial and gender equality, and a more sympathetic policy towards Trade Unions still smarting from the Thatcherite onslaught. The firm conservative base in England is soothed by the occasional tax cut, a good old -fashioned foreign policy, and a hardline approach to law and order that makes the Lib Dems tremble. If the architects of New Labour have
erred at all, it‘s been to pitch their brand of Compassionate Conservatism too far to the right. The only issues that have seriously endangered their cozy electoral dominance have been the intervention in Iraq and their ‘tough on crime’ policies, both of which have aided the cause of the Lib Dems rather than the Tories. The sad reality though, for those who pray for Tony Blair to lose just one election before he retires in triumph, is that the New Labour commitment to old fashioned lefty causes like public service has not just been a matter of lip service: It has been backed up with serious legislation and investment, if not always with results. This very real Social Democratic edge to the New Labourites, combined with their Conservatism, means that they’ll probably pick up enough votes from both Left and Right, to edge out both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems in at least one more general election. Compassionate Conservatism is not just an English speaking phenomenon, as right-of-center parties across Europe have embraced it under varying names, to varying degrees. It has rarely been practiced as superficially as in the United States, nor has it always been as confusing as New Labour in Britain. One thing that Compassionate Conservatives have in common across most Western democracies, however, is success.
By embracing the most popular Social Democratic policies, or merely pretending to, parties in Germany, Norway, Switzerland and France have effectively taken the moderate Left’s most powerful weapon away from them, and have improved their fortunes greatly as a result. Compassion sells, and used in this way ’Conservative Socialists’ win elections. Suddenly, Bertie’s conversion to Socialism, and Fianna Fail’s Social Democracy makes sense. The most savvy conservative party in Ireland have cottoned on to a phenomenon that has transformed the fortunes of the Right. One thing remains to be seen: how real will this conversion be? Will we see real policy aimed at making Ireland a more equitable society, or will Ahern shy away from pursuing a truly Compassionate Conservative line? Those who still find Social Democracy an outrage, or careerist ‘socialists’ in fear of being outmaneuvered on domestic issues, ought to hope for the latter. Those who believe that every person in Ireland ought to have a genuine chance to succeed in life can do something else: next time our Taoiseach starts nattering about his newfound Socialism, his compassion, or his belief that this country ought to be a fairer society, they shouldn’t be so quick to shout cry foul. “Prove it” would be a smarter, and fairer, response.
Down with New Year’s resolutions Rory Loughnane Year in, year out, there is the inevitable moment on New Year’s day, when hung-over to shreds and mindful of the fact that the following three hundred and sixty-five days won’t be as painful, you find yourself making promises that are
ludicrously moralistic and fairytale-like in their expectations. I’m not speaking of silly drink abstention promises, for those happen most Sunday mornings but rather of vows to make yourself a better person. It’s like a hark back to those heady First Confession days when it seemed reasonable that you
New Years Resolutions 1. Be nice to everyone all the time 2. Give all my bank details to a million different charity-mongers 3. Attend all my lectures and never sleep in 4. Give up all alcohol, carbs, sweets and anything I gain pleasure from 5. Become a student activist, curse Mr. Bush frequently and buy a trench-coat
This Years Hopes 1. This year I hope to… win the lotto a few times and then donate it all to the cause of student activism because that’s what really matters
wouldn’t argue, swear (didn’t know how to) or lie ever again. In the grown-up world, to promise to make yourself a better person is basically just asking for trouble. The problem lies in that the people you surround yourself with have certain expectations of you and when you deliberately decide to stray from form they become confused. For example, say you actually try listening earnestly in all conversations rather than your usual stare-out-the-window tactic. Your friend will probably become so self-aware of their speech descending on big wide eyes and an open mouth that they’ll just stop talking. Likewise stopping to chat with every highway-man charity peddler, while being liberal with dispensing information about your bank details, can only serve to burn chunks in your pocket. Friends walk away in dismay over your full-body plunge into moral rectitude and social concern. Apart from the disruption to your normal life, New Year’s resolutions are, by their very nature, impractical and unfeasibly grandiose. The things which people resolve to do without, like sweets, fries, cigarettes and liquor, are normally the things which you find most satisfying in life. The goals you set yourself like jogging, eating well and getting in touch with old lost acquaintances are almost always uncomfortable and annoying. No-one could really enjoy getting up an extra hour before college or work to go running around a field somewhere and feel crap because you realise you’re not actually an athlete of any promise at all. Likewise, eating shredded cardboard for breakfast doesn’t exactly make you feel all that exciting or interesting.
Inevitably, after a week of annoying your friends with your smug self-satisfaction, your innate impulses take over and you fall off the wagon. Maybe something small triggers this piece of bravery. Like a friend leaving behind a tin of Quality Street from Christmas and you find one purple caramel sweet stranded among all the disgusting fruit crèmes left over. It calls your name. You’re dying to answer but this horrible concept called “willpower” is actually making you feel guilty and half-afraid of yourself. But one sweet won’t hurt. Soon, thankfully, everyone will have returned to normality. As you must have all noticed, Nicorette and those other troublesome companies have been bombarding the airwaves and tellyland with awful ads pretending to be really concerned about their customers. No one seems to realise that it isn’t really in Nicorette’s interest to wean all smokers off cigarettes. Their profits are dependent on the type of people who believe that they actually possess willpower but in reality are the type who would have eaten the orange crèmes in the sweet-box anyway with or without the lure of the caramel. The forty quid spent dabbling with ten-week plans and patches is normally recognised as a waste of money about two weeks after New Year’s. Another annoying aspect of these resolutions is that they become centre-point to any conversation in the first couple of weeks. It is right up there with “the weather” in the battle of most boring conversations. People tell you what negative aspect of their life they’re discontinuing and you have to actually congratulate them on their effort. Irrespective of the fact that you
know they’ll have a break-down if they actually maintain the life they’re aspiring to. Similarly, you wouldn’t really want to hang around with people who live life with such restraint. We only have one shot at it; why set yourself unmanageable boundaries? And why bore the rest of the world with a desperate attempt to improve yourself? Unless you’re on forty Carrolls or two fries a day, you’re probably not in that bad a way. The culmination of all the annoying aspects of New Year’s resolutions found fruition in, possibly, the worst advert I’ve ever endured. It belongs to the company that has a pun in its name – NiQuitin CQ. I simply have to change the channel the minute those pictures of a reallife smoker attempting to quit are forced upon me. If I ran a television station I just wouldn’t let this advert be shown at all because I’m sure it has made people give up TV rather than cigarettes. NiQuitin CQ have spectacularly failed, by showing the viewing public a coldsweating thirty-something women moaning about her “big effort.” It’s bad enough when you have to listen to your friends speak of this hardship, but when it’s a completely charm-less stranger whose face is visibly moist with sweat, the graphic situation is unbearable. Of course we could take the same satisfaction from her complaints as we do from watching strangers make fools of themselves in Reality TV, but the whole episode is so irritating that we don’t even end up feeling superior to her or sorry for her. But rather you’re appalled at NiQuitin CQ for mis-judging their market so much. Also, you have the sneaking feeling that if the woman in the advert actually fails in her attempt, they’re hardly going to
have a follow-up advert of her and her mates, with not a drop of sweat to be seen, having a few cigarettes and laughing at her past ordeal that she was probably paid well for. So, this year I broke with tradition and decided I was going to treat the hell out of myself in 2005. I set down a few goals, but they’re all reasonable ones. Final year in college has enough pressures without throwing down the gauntlet to myself to become an astronaut or brain surgeon while also learning to juggle in the next twelve months. The corniest saying I’ve ever heard is “Reach for the moon because if you miss you’ll still land among the stars” or something uberAmerican like that. In terms of resolutions, this mindset is ridiculous. Instead of the moon and stars, it’s probably better to be realistic and aim for the fourth or fifth rung of a ladder, because it’s not too hard a fall back to earth. The recent Bridget Jones movie, which actually wasn’t as terrible as I suspected, put forward an almost ridiculously flawed woman as its heroine. Boozing, cigarettes, non-Hollywood waist-line, lack of social etiquette, quite dim, and dreadfully unlucky were her main traits but she ended up having a choice between characters played by Colin “Mr. Darcy” Firth and Hugh “Divine Brown” Grant. She would have done implausibly well if this was real life. Her complete, and very well documented, lack of restraint does not hamper her. This is all good for those of you who have already broken every res-
olution. It teaches that, at the end of the day, you might as well mess around because it will all sort itself out. Regrettably, the reason why a Firth-alike wouldn’t go for a Jones in the cold light of day, is exactly the meaning behind the smug pleasure which people who are still abstaining from life’s lovelies are feeling. The movie just doesn’t ring, in any way, true. Consequently, it’s the reason why so many people are annoyed with Zellweger for becoming an animated stick once more. She has the willpower; which is a painfully awful thing to rub in everyone’s face. So, the only defence is to throw caution to the wind because with resolutions and restraint you’re only going to end up disappointed, annoyed or annoying in the long run.
Thursday January 20, 2005
Why are we born to suffer and die? A reflection on the Tsunami disaster in South East Asia by Bart Connolly
hy are we born to suffer and die? It isn’t a n e w q u es tio n , b u t it req u i r e s c o n t e x t a n d p e r specti v e . " T h e o d i c y " co mes from two Greek words referring to the righteousness of God. The problem of theodicy is simply the question of how a righteous God can allow innocent people to suffer. But is it really God or do we lend a hand ourselves? To understand that we need to know how much help we are offering and how it compares to the overall scale of other factors that cause problems in the first place. In reflecting on the Asian tsunami I note that the central tenets of Christianity are Faith, Hope, and Love. While in France over Christmas, I remembered that they referred to a word I heard a lot as a child in place of “love”. Then it was Faith, Hope, and Charity and the greatest of these was charity. Indeed charity is also one of the central pillars of the Muslim faith too. I don’t want to detract from the charity of disaster relief, but I do think there is a need to put it into perspective. We rate in the top 10 countries in terms of income per capita. In overseas development aid as a percent of GDP our 0.4 per cent lags behind Norway Sweden Denmark Luxemburg and Holland who all top point seven per cent. Again, I don't want to detract from the voluntary societies. They count as the finest College societies and constantly recruit a cadre of willing, generous, and capable young people. Long may that continue. I am not branding such people as "do gooders." There is no doubt that aid works, but ask yourself how much it relates to the overall picture. The media have raced off to cover Thailand but I recall when Rwanda and Romania featured strongly on our media. We had great sympathy for the suffering of these people. We were presented with wall to wall imagery of mass slaughter from Rwanda, done mainly by machete wielding thugs. Or we were shown images of sick and starving children from Romania - a product of Nicolae Ceausecu’s regime. Nowadays, more media coverage about “these people” revolves about the idea that we don’t want “these people” here in Ireland. We do not seem too keen on the idea that the black baby to which we gave our penny has grown up, and has come here to help our huge demand for workers. We are constantly reminded of our consumer society. Rent for a student is about $500 per month. On a night out a student may spend $100, mainly on consumables. How does that compare to one of the richer disaster countries, Indonesia? We are rated among the ten richest countries in the world. Indonesia would struggle to get to 110th place. Over half their population live on less than $2 a day. That is one of the better-off countries. One solution offered to the disaster is tourism. Move our consumption to their country and have our lifestyle with their weather in resorts artificially constructed for us foreigners. We can even take a few days off to pretend we are assisting their heritage by having a similar banquet to the artificial ones we construct for the plastic
paddies that come here. But underlying this is a doublethink of the "be like us" society that would in no way allow the rest of the world to live at our standard of living and that is in spite of the inherent impossibility of the world not having enough resources to allow them to do so. Another problem is that we feel so powerless. It is rare that we ever can socially come together and feel unity as a nation. Indeed the word "nation" comes in for some derision nowadays, in a politically correct society that has apparently "progressed" from large and extended families to the anonymous living of single childless twenty and thirty somethings, pretending to be “friends” with flatmates and neighbours we will not have anything to do with in four years time. Not for us the third world impoverished village. That is left to our great unwashed working and rural classes, as we build our islands of apartmental affluence in their midst. Yes, we know all about poverty - we walk or drive through it on our way to work and college. In our affluent, busy, single parent, and nuclear family world, big media events like a World Cup or our contribution to disaster relief offer a replacement for a sense of community. We get to hug the great unwashed and pretend we are one with them in our common goal to solve world poverty or beat the English team. This belief may be
All well and good but what effect does our “giving” really have? What is the scale of the problem and where does our 50 million, indeed the several billions in donations worldwide fit into this? Understanding this really unfolds an answer for it enables us to reject the trivia and concentrate our vision on what really matters. This brings me to putting disaster relief in perspective. I recollect Bob Geldof saying that after Live Aid had raised 100 million dollars he felt great, until he discovered that it was only a few weeks debt repayments for a small African country. Today we are engaged in a backpatting league table of who is the most generous. It is only when we ourselves bother to remove the scales of ignorance from our eyes and have an informed awareness of issues that we can really claim that our public representatives could do otherwise. The tsunami event probably does
Trinity News Archive
Girls must be girls Staff College News Vol 2 No 8 1955 Editor’s Note:
qualify as “world shaking.” The poles moved by one inch (that’s 2.54 centimetres for our European readers). The poles regularly vary by up to ten metres (that’s 33 feet in the old money). It is important to mention because people frequently latch on to scientific half truths and make them disproportionate. It inflates the value of our charity if the related disaster is of Biblical proportions. We tend to exaggerate what we haven't bothered to attempt to understand. It is also important because there are other economic man-made problems which exist worldwide and continue to do so, whether or not a natural disaster occurs. So how much did we give? The newspapers lead with the story that we have already collected 40 million outside of State aid. Yet, over
Meeting the UN target of just 0.7 per cent of national income to aid “a target set in 1970” would generate $120 billion, enough to meet debt targets and other vital poverty-reduction goals. But only five of the 22 major donors, none of them from the G7, are meeting that target. harnessed by politicians and thus we have "wars" on drugs, poverty, terror, waste. The concept may yet become diluted enough to accomodate a "war on litter" or as the South Park Movie pointed to a "war on bad language". Don't blame politicians, after-all they represent us and we continually vote them in. They are just responding to our need to feel we can do something.
Comment & Opinion Editor: Rory Loughnane
the last fifteen years, it is estimated that about $ 1.3 trillion was paid by the developing nations to the rich nations in form of loan repayments and interests on loans. At our wonderful new rate of giving that would take us more than another two millennia. Every month, about $12 billion is remitted from economically poor nations to the developed countries in debt servicing. Rich nations take back three Euros in debt repayments for every one Euro they gave in economic aid to the poor nations. Rich countries today give half as much, as a proportion of their income, as they did in the 1960s. According to Oxfam, by 2015 45 million more children will die; 247 million more people in subSaharan Africa will be living on less than $1 a day and 97 million more children will still be out of school. Big problems require big solutions. So does giving really help? What power do we have? Can anything be done? Cancelling the debts of 32 of the poorest countries wouldn't make a dent in the accounts. The cost to the richest countries would amount to $1.8 billion each year over the next ten years - or on average a mere $2.10 for each of their citizens. The good people of the US may eventually, at the end of 2005, reach a 750 million dollars in aid for this disaster. That's a grest sum
from private donors for the tsunami affected countries, but I am always sceptical when I hear what is promised. I like to know when the money is spent. Just like I asked for the "secret files" of evidence for Al Khyda prisioners from Afghanistan detained in Guantanamo Bay and WMD in Iraq should be released a year after they were claimed i.e. long after the intelligence was still sensitive and secret. I will believe the money will be spent when I see it. Over the nineties when the Suharto dictatorship ran Indonesia, the US sold $30 billion in weapons and related materials to Indonesia. Thats three times their unprecedented level of giving per year in Indonesia - every year - for ten years! Days after the September 11th attacks, George Bush met with Megawati Sukarnoputri, new President of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation. Bush promised $700 million in Military Education and Training - that's over 20 times what he promised the whole region in disaster relief! Meeting the UN target of just 0.7 per cent of national income to aid “a target set in 1970” would generate $120 billion, enough to meet debt targets and other vital povertyreduction goals. But only five of the 22 major donors, none of them from the G7, are meeting that target. When it comes to theodicy religious people are encouraged to consider the lesson of what is accepted by most scholars as the oldest book in the Bible - Job. I couldn’t do an analysis of Job justice especially in the space I have here. But Job does not state that those who suffer should only trust in the Lord and wait in ignorance for their betters to bail them out. The responsibility is not on those who suffer but on that which inflicts the suffering. In spite of natural occurrences I think you might now accept why I believe that the responsibility for disaster can not simply be dismissed as the will of Allah.
Below Left: A Thai soldier rests against part of a mass grave in Takuapa, Thailand. Below: People carrying belongings through a crowded street. Above: Makeshift shelters at refugee camp in Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Fifty years ago, views on female emancipation were slightly different. This article opens with a lady calling for a little restraint and poise in the fast-forward moving debate that was feminism. On the chirpy but fundamentalist side her opposition calls for women to forget their feminine side and demand respect. A male lecturer who speaks between the two, notes how the use of the type-writer is as important to female emancipation as admission into colleges and, oddly, the scarcity of any servants. The Very Rev. Jackson seems a little bewildered and just laments that a woman has her place with her family. Fifty years on and Germaine Greer is leaving the Big Brother house in disgust because the other contestants are bullying John McCririck.
“A woman’s first duty is to be a woman, otherwise she ought to be made a man,” urged Miss Eve Ross at the Elizabethan society inaugural. In her paper on “The significant Middle Way,” she intimated that women had progressed since 1904. In substantiation she cited the admission of women to College. Women knew what might or might not function and, therefore, they were essentially more practical than men. However, for the feminine mind there was an ever-lurking menace of exaggeration. Nothing now seemed impossible, because modern science had also progressed since 1904. The possibility that it, with women, might advance even further must not be overlooked. Everything appeared to be moving too fast. In view of this a middle course must always be steered by poise and personality. Replying, Dr. McDowell pointed to the three stages of the female revolution. Firstly, the admission of women to the Universities and professions; secondly, the typewriter, and thirdly, the scarcity of domestic servants. He emphasised the terror with which some Victorians regarded the “desexed woman” produced by the franchise. The emergence of women has led, not to a feminine tradition, but to the break-down of male exclusiveness. Thus, he has had to contend with dirty dishes. The vibrant Miss Temple-Lane – Chairwoman of the Irish P.E.N. – urged her audience to forget their femininity. Women must win respect as people, not as women. Educational freedom came before political freedom, and so emancipation was comparatively civil. The Very Rev. R. Wyse Jackson regretted the lack of vocational training for the married home. It was for a family that woman gave her finest qualities. Reminiscing on the good old days was Professor Otway-Ruthven. When she entered College in 1927 women were firmly disciplined. Now the shackles are gone and woman is free to enjoy the status which has so recently been achieved for her.
Sourced by Rory Loughnane
Thursday January 20, 2005
Trinity News Trinity News EST. 1947
DUCAC need to change their plans for the Pav and provide access now With most of the buildings in Trinity inaccessible and listed the plight of students with mobility problems in college are generally viewed as being unsolvable. This is not the case however and it is the duty of college to make every effort to ensure that where possible accessibility is given priority in any particular planning issue. The current revelation about the deliberate blocking of the disabled access to the Pavillion Bar is a disgrace. It is shameful considering the fact that this was one of the few chances that the college had to improve things for people with mobility problems and they quite deliberately chose to favour flat screen T.V’s over a stair lift. The claim that the cost of a lift would be to the tune of €325,000 is clearly excessive. For example a twisting ramp built onto the Lincoln Gate side of the Pav would cause little more than the blocking of sunlight to some changing rooms as there is no real aesthetic appeal to that side of the building to begin with and it would be unlikely to cost more than €20,000. This is about the time when we should call for a boycott of the Pav but I realize that from this editorial alone little more than a raised eyebrow would be the general result of this emphatic plea. However I feel that this is likely to be the only way to get any movement on this issue. The Pav provides DUCAC with profits in excess of €100,000 yearly and this current redevelopment is estimated to be costing DUCAC €200,000 through actual costs and lost revenue. With the money for the redevelopment spent DUCAC will most likely consider any call for disabled access to have missed its chance. A student boycott would be the only way to change this. A student boycott would cost them roughly €40,000 a month in profit during term time. This would be the sufficient pressure needed to make access a priority. They had the opportunity to make the college a better place for disabled students and they chose not to take that opportunity. Now we should choose to drink elsewhere.
Trinity College is becoming a school, not a university Nowadays, walking into campus feels like you’re walking into your very own ‘nanny state’. Security guards make sure you get off your bike as you enter Front Arch, chase after you if you smoke under the cover of both Front Arch and the Arts Block ramp. Students can not even enter the grounds of their own university after midnight unless invited by a campus resident. Societies can no longer advertise “Free Food and Beer” at their events but have to euphemistically call alcohol ‘Light Refreshments’, whilst certain guests are disallowed by College authorities for fear of presenting the wrong values to the outside world. In the wake of 9/11, we are used to increasing controls, extra security checks, and more gardai on the streets, but a university is in principle one of the last bastions of academic freedom, where students and professors meet and debate free of interfering. Instead, one feels that College is developing a ‘Trinity Code of Conduct’, instead of promoting, in the Provost’s words, the ‘Trinity Experience’. As the Junior Dean’s website states, the aim of the College Alcohol Policy is “to create and maintain a College environment which is conducive to the health and well-being of students and staff”, such as providing an “atmosphere free from pressure to drink for those who choose not to drink” and “promote low-risk drinking and discourage high-risk drinking amongst those who choose to drink”. College’s alcohol policy is not wrong. It’s not wrong to discourage excessive alcohol consumption that can lead to alcohol-related problem. What is wrong is that College is promoting a policy attempting to influence its students’ behaviour. We’re all adults leading sensible lives and whether we’re students or not, the nets are in place for those that fall into life’s numerous traps. Those values of sensible behaviour should be instilled from early childhood through family, school and government-sponsored campaigns. School-leaving pupils who choose to go to university do so to pursue an academic degree, whilst discovering new interests, partners and develop enough alcoholic tolerance to survive wet dinner parties with one’s future boss. The main goal of university is to provide a degree, not attempt to shape Ireland’s brightest sparks into teetotal model citizens just because someone in the administration likes the idea. After eighteen years of nannying by worried parents, of instructions on how to behave by caring teachers, the last thing a fully-grown, mature adult wants is to be told what he can and cannot do.
LETTERS Foxhunting Debate Dear Editor A recent personal observation at a foxhunt in Co.Waterford gave a snapshot of the seedy nature of the activity. While standing on a ditch, I could see the riders of the hunt galloping across a field in pursuit of an animal. Suddenly, a fine adult fox broke cover in the field and ran onto open ground. His progress was also being observed by a number of hunt followers on the ditch. Running at speed, the fox headed back into cover and was lost in the undergrowth. The hunt followers on the ditch almost had a visual orgasm at the sight of fleeing fox. They ran along the ditch to get a closer view of the fox and to see when it was going. Then, almost as one, they hurried towards their vehicles eager to get going and follow the fox’s progress. It was a sight to see the hunt followers, not in the first flush of youth run-
ning at speed, their eyes glazed over with the intoxication of an imminent death of an animal and all determined to first at the kill. It brings home to this viewer the brutal nature of foxhunting. Here was an animal running for its life and so-called members of the human race were almost ejaculating with pleasure at the thought of being up close at its death. There is much truth in the viewpoint that hunting explores the depths of human depravity in a vicious sadistic tale of countryside murder. Make no mistake about it those who hunt animals for pleasure are evil people going about an evil project. Yoursetc. John Tierney Campaigns Director Association of Hunt Saboteurswww.huntsabsireland.org PO 4734 Dublin 1
Mobile phone appeal Dear Editor As Fundraising and Events Manager for Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, I am always touched by the number of supporters we have. Our valuable work could not be carried out without this help. Established in 1872 as a hospital for the poor children of Dublin, it is now under the care of the Sisters of Mercy and provides an acute paediatric service and specialist paediatric healthcare for children from all over the country. That’s where I thought your readers could help. Many people probably don’t know that their old mobile phones and empty printer cartridges can be recycled in exchange for money which goes straight to Temple Street. Mobiles can be worth up to €40 for us, whilst cartridges can earn up to €10. It’s amazing how much this money can mount up to help the children at Temple Street – and even more amazing is the fact that so many people throw these items in the bin. Recycling will not only benefit the hospital, but also the environment. These items can cause pollution and take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
So I am asking readers - search your cupboards and drawers for any old phones and think of us before you throw your old printer cartridges in the bin. You could even convince your employer to regularly donate cartridges from your workplace – almost 2,000 companies already help us this way. The items will even be collected from your workplace free of charge. The New Year is the perfect time to get involved – mobile phones were a popular Christmas gift, so if you got a new one, why not recycle your old one for Temple Street? You could even make a New Year’s resolution to help the charity AND the environment by regularly recycling your old cartridges. For more details call 1 800 933 616, visit www.recyclingappeal.com/templestreet or drop your unwanted items in the post to: Temple Street Children's University Hospital, Recycling Appeal, Dublin 1, Kind regards, Angela McNulty Fundraising and Events Manager Temple Street Children’s University Hospital Temple Street Dublin 1
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Issue 6 Volume 57
Driving the Jews into the Sea Dear Sir, Palestinians, observes Donncha O' Liathain (Trinity News November 23rd), want only 'to drive the Jews into the sea' and are therefore well suited to their late leader, Yasser Arafat, who did his best to avoid peace at all costs. O' Liathain bases his observation on a chance encounter he had twenty-two years ago with a certain Mrs Mohammad Atwan. Her belligerent proclamation was enough to convince him that peace could never come about when all Palestinians 'want what Mrs Muhammad Atwan wants'. Throughout his article O' Liathain presents an image of Israel as a totally helpless entity - the victim of a lawless and illegitimate band of Palestinians. He fails to mention that Israel has the 4th most powerful army in the world, 200-400 clandestine nuclear warheads, and the unlimited backing of the US and the UK governments. He has also chosen to ignore the fact that the Palestinians are a dispersed people without an army, navy, air force, or a functioning police force. On top of this, they are the victims of a separation wall built deep into the West Bank which cripples the Palestinian economy and separates children from their schools and farmers from their land. But O' Liathain doesn't care much for political reality. His article is founded on sweeping statements and misinformation. He asserts that Arafat declined Ehud Barak's 'maximum possible concessions' at Camp David. O' Liathain should note however that Arafat did not walk away from the negotiating table. Indeed, negotiations continued at Taba only to be broken off by Barak despite Arafat's plea to him to return and continue. O' Liathain writes that in 1948 Mandate Palestine 'was partitioned between the new state of Israel and the existing Arab states'. This has no factual grounding whatsoever.
A little research would show O' Liathain that the UN 1947 partition plan gave 56.47% of Palestine to the Jewish state and 43.53% to the Arab state, with an international enclave around Jerusalem. But then, who needs historical facts when one can prop up one’s case with theological assertion as O' Liathain does in observing that "the God of the Torah had given his chosen people" Israel? When religious texts fail him, O' Liathain likes to support his argument with assertions all of his own. He expresses his 'belief' that Arafat lied when he recognised the state of Israel before the UN, but provides no backing for this idea. That such an acceptance of Israel is the basis of all the PLO's (and subsequent PA's) negotiating positions since 1988 is therefore ruled to be irrelevant, all on the basis of O'Liathain's uncorroborated 'belief'. The belief that Arafat's objective was not a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza but in all of Palestine has been dismissed as unfounded by Amos Malka, the Israeli Defence Force’s chief of intelligence under Barak. When the head of the IDF's intelligence research branch, Amos Gilad implied that he had intelligence information to support his claim that Arafat's goal was the dismantling of Israel, Malka not only denied the existence of such intelligence but went so far as to accuse his subordinate of lying. As if to underline his failure to understand the nuances of this supremely sensitive issue, O' Liathain misquotes Abdul as exclaiming '...inish Allah'. Given his unique insights into Arafat’s mindset and that of the Palestinians in general, I find it remiss that he did not infer from this exclamation a sinister ploy on the part of the PA to occupy an island off the coast of Clare. Yours etc., Dave Comerford
January 20th, 2005
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Photograph of the Fortnight
The Juggling Soc annual fire juggling display beside the Campanile on the 6th of December.
Photo Graham O’Maonaigh
Thursday January 20, 2005
Eagarthóir na Gaeilge: Tony Quigg
Inspioráid ó Thobar na Cruthaíochta Níl deireadh ar bith le cruthaíocht Phádraigín Ní Uallacháin. Agus í críochnaithe leis an obair a rinne sí ar ‘A Hidden Ulster’ agus anois go bhfuil CD nua amhráin ghaeilge ag teacht amach aici, labharann Tony Quigg léi. Chuaigh mé le déanaí go dtí teach Phádraigín Ní Uallacháin ar an Mhullach Bhán i ndeisceart Chontae Ard Mhacha, bean a bhfuil meas ar leith agam dí, agus bean a bhfuil an-mheas ag phobal na gaeilge dí. Tá sár-obair déanta ag Pádraigín ag cur sean-amhrán ghaeilge ar fáil don ghlúin seo agus do na glúine atá le teacht, sa leabhar atá foilsithe aici, 'A Hidden Ulster: People, songs and traditions of Oriel' agus sna dluthdhioscaí atá eisithe aici, siad siúd 'An Dealg Óir / The Golden Thorn' agus 'An Dara Craiceann / Beneath the Surface.' Is mór an tsuim atá ag Pádraigín sna cúrsaí seo, óir is ag éisteacht leis na hamhráin seo a d'fhás sí aníos in Ó Meith, Co. na Lú. Bhí grá nach beag ag a athair, Pádraig O hUallacháin sna hamhráin, rud a thug sé do Phádraigín, is léir. Nuair a bhain mé teach s'aici amach, cuireadh fáilte ó chroí romham agus níor chuir sí aon am amú ag cur an chiotail ar obair chun cupán tae a dhéanamh dom. Ar an tábla os mo chomhair, cuid dá taighde, páipéirí, leabhair agus pictiúirí, scaipithe thart ach gan iad a bheith trína chéile. Achan rud neata eagraithe. Tosaimid ag comhrá agus baintear geit asam nuair a aithním cé chomh deas pléisiúrtha atá sí. Tá sé mar a bheadh aithne agam uirthi le blianta! TQ: An bhfuil sé tábhachtach na hamhráin seo a chruinniú agus iad a chur ar fáil don chéad ghlúin eile atá le teacht, ó thaobh chothú na gaeilge de go háirithe? Nó an mheasann tú go bhfuil sé níos tábhachtaí amhráin breá nua a chumadh agus fáil réidh leis an seanstíl agus ath-tús a dhéanamh. P Ní U: Sílim go bhfuil an dá rud chomh tábhachtach lena chéile. Is foinse den chruthaíocht é an cuimhne. Gan an cuimhne agus tobar an chuimhne, ní féidir an chruthaíocht a fhorbairt. Agus mar sin, má dhéanaimid dearmad ar na daoine a chuaigh romhainn, tá baol mór don chruthaíocht agus dár gcultúr féin san am atá i lathair. Tá a fhios agam go bhfuil sé sin sort teibí, ach is é sin an rud a chreidim féin.Tá fiosracht agam faoin thábhacht chuimhne na ndaoine a chuaigh romham. Agus ceann de na príomhfhathanna a ndearna mé "A Hidden Ulster" ná gur mhothaigh mé go raibh neamart milteannach déanta ar chuimhe na ndaoine a chuaigh romham mar go bhfuair an ghaeilge bás. Dá mbeadh an
ghaeilge beo, bheadh sé seo uilig ar eolas againn, bheadh na hamhráin uilig thart orainn, bheadh iad a gceol sa phub. Agus ar bhun praicticiúil, níl difir ar bith insan daonnacht a bhain le cruthaíocht na ndaoine a chuaigh romhainn agus a bhfuil ar siúl againn anois: is ionann mothú an ghrá, is ionann mothú an bhróin, agus is ionann mothú an uaigneis. Cuireadh sin i bhfoirm focal agus i bhfoirm cheoil insan am a chuaigh thart. Agus thig liom tarraingt air sin le mo chuid mhothúchán a chur in iúl. Ach chomh maith leis sin, mar dhuine chruthaíoch, tá riachtanas eile agamsa an rud chéanna a rá i mo dhóigh féin, ach ag tarraingt as tobar na cruthaíochta a chuaigh romham. Ní thiocfadh liomsa na hamhráin nua-chumtha a scríobh gan an saothar a chuaigh romhainn Agus tá borradh níos mó ar cheol thraidisiúnta úirlise ná mar atá ar amhráin. Agus ceann de na fathanna atá air sin ná nach bhfuil aon iarracht i gceist agus tú ag éisteacht le ceol. Nuair atá tú ag éisteacht le fonn, ní chaithfidh tú móran freagracht a thabhairt dó. Ach má tá tú ag éisteacht le hamhrán, caithfidh tú beagáinín díot féin a thabhairt don cheol, agus tá níos mó doimhneacht mhothúchán i gceist. TQ: Agus ag plé leis na hamhráin atá sa leabhar agus ar an dlúthdhiosca, cé chomh cóngarach is atá siad do bhunleagan, nó an bhfuil athrú mór tagtha orthu ó scríobhadh iad? P Ní U: An rud a tharla, ar fud na tíre ná gur bhailíodh focail gan cheol go ginearalta, sa chuid is mó de na cásanna. Agus bhí a lán fathanna éagsúla air sin: ní raibh cumas cheoil ag mórán daoine, ní raibh trealbh acu, agus b'fhéidir nach raibh suim ag cuid acu ach oiread. Ag an am chéanna bhí daoine a raibh a lán suime acu ach ní raibh cumas cheoil acu. Creidim nach raibh an cumas sin ag Anraí Ó Muiris, bhí ag Lorcan Ó Muirí, bhí ag Luke Donnellan, ach bhí níos mó suime aige sa cheol ná mar a bhí insna focail. Mar sin an rud a rinne mise ná tharraing mé iad uilig le chéile. Agus ó thaobh na nathruithe de, is é nádúr traidisiúnta an bhéil go n-athróidh sé. Athraíonn sé sa dóigh is go gcuireann daoine a chrut chruthaíochta
féin air, ach bíonn an bun-sraith ag dul fríd an rud uilig. An rud a chuir mé i gcló insan leabhar ná na foinn uilig mar a scríobhadh síos iad ó na sean-taifeadaidh a scriobhadh céad bliain ó shin. Mar sin tá siad iontach dílis don rud a cheoladh ag an phointe sin den am. Agus ar bhealach, tá siad b'fhéidir níos dílise don rud a bhí ann ná an rud a mhair traidisiúin le céad bhliain beo. TQ: An síleann tú go gcuidíonn an sort ceol seo, na seanstíleanna, an tseantraidisiúin, leis an ghaeilge san am atá i lathair agus í ag seasamh a foíd in éadan an chultúir nua atá ag teacht sa tír seo. An bhfuil áit fagtha sa tír don sort cheol seo, anois go bhfuil daoine ag déanamh dearmaid ar na seanlaetha agus ar thraidisiúin na nGael? P Ní U: Bhuel, ó thaobh amhránaíocht an tsean-nóis de, is ealaíon don mhionlach, ach ionann sé sin is a rá nach bhfuil a thábhacht féin aige agus a chuid áilleachta féin aige. Creidim féin sa lá ata inniú ann, go bhfuil pilleadh ar ais i dtreo ealaíon aonarach an duine, sa scéalaíocht nó san amhránaíocht, agus níl ann ach tobar saibhris. Agus gan cumadóireacht cheoil nua agus filíocht nua i dteanga ar bith, níl an teanga beo, níl an teanga ag gníomhadh mar is ceart. Agus gan tobar ealaíona cultúrtha le tarraingt as, níl an teanga beo. TQ: Cad é an fath, dár leat, a bhfuil an traidisiúin gaelach níos láidire sa cheantar seo ná mar atá i gceatair eile sa tír, nó an síleann tú gur fíor é sin a rá? P Ní U: O lár na 17ú aoise, ba é seo an priomháit ina raibh cothú na litríochta ar siúl i Leath Choinn. Agus creidim féin nach beag an tionchar a bhí ag an tírdhreach na háite seo, na cnoic, na sléibhte, an fharraige ar chruthaíocht. Agus tá fócas ar an cheantar seo mar go raibh Seamas Dall Mac Cuarta, Art Mac Cumhaigh, Pádraig Mac Giolla Fhiondáin, Peadar Ó Doirnín ann, agus gur mhair an teanga chomh fhada sin. TQ: Agus cad é an sort rud atá idir lamha agat faoi lathair? P Ní U: Tá dreamanna éagsúla eile go háirithe ó thuaidh, ag iarraidh orm cuidiú leo athbheochaint a dhéanamh ar na hamráin i gceantair eile, agus tá dualgas mór ag dul leis sin. Tá an dearcadh orm gur mise sort 'dochtúir na n-amhrán'. Tá dream i Liatroim, agus dream eile sa Chabhán ag iarraidh orm taighde a dhéanamh ar dhualgas s'acusan. Chomh maith leis sin, tá fiosriúchán a dhéanamh go mbéinn mar amhránaí cónaítheach in Ionad Séamus Heaney i mBéal Feirste, i Roinn an Bhéarla in Ollscoil na Banríona. Tá taighde eile a dhéanamh agam faoi lathair agus fosta tá an CD nua 'An Phóg' ag teacht amach go luath. TQ: Agus sin rud ara raibh mé ag smaoineadh: cén fath ar thug tú 'An Phóg' ar an dluthdhiosca? P Ní U: Tá 'An Phóg' sort débhríoch sa dóigh sin. Is ionann an phóg ar ndóigh agus beocht nó beatha, agus an taobh gnéasúil atá leis, ach chomh maith leis sin, tá póg na cruthaíochta ann. Póg don ghaeilge atá ann. Beocht úr a chur isteach san amhránaíocht. TQ: Agus cad é an sort amhráin a bheas le cluinstint ar an dluthdhiosca nua? P Ní U: Tá mé ag obair ar an dluthdhiosca seo le dhá bhliain anuas. Is amhrán nua-chumtha iad
uilig diomaite de cheann amháin; is é sin dán le Biddy Jenkinson, atá curtha le ceol agam. Rinne mé dán le Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill a chur le ceol ar an chéad CD 'An Dara Craiceann'. Ch diomaite de sin, is amhráin nua-chumtha ar fad atá iontu. D'oibrigh mé le Steve Cooney agus chomh maith leis sin, le Brian Dunning, Iarlaith Ó Lionard, Helen Davies, agus tá dhá trac léirithe ag fear darb ainm Palle Mikkelborg, fear as an Danmhairg. Só, tá an dluthdhiosca sin ag teacht amach go luath i mbliana, le ceol nua ar fad air mar is é brionglóid ata agam ceann de mo chuid amhrán a dhéanamh chomh 'cool' sin ná go mbeadh sé le cluinstint i ndioscóanna na tíre. Agus sílim go bhfuil sé sin indéanta! I ndiaidh dom teach Phádraigín a fhágáil, mhothaigh mé go raibh sí mar 'tobar' agam féin. Bhí sí do mo cheistiú faoin choláiste agus labhair sí faoina cuid laetha choláiste féin. Ní chaithfidh móran suime a bheith agam sna hamhráin ná sna dánta, sin tréith na n-ealaíonta. Ach is é an tréith sin a tharraingíonn mise agus go leor leor daoine chu-
cusan. Tá go leor inspioráide le baint as an cheol seo. Agus tá go leor fuinnimh curtha isteach sa cheol ag Pádraigín
Thuas: Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, taighdeoir, file, agus amhránaí. Agus ar chlé: Clúdach an leabhair atá foilsithe aici ar stair cheantar na hOirghialla, atá anois mar fhoinse fiúntach do staraí.
Sports Features Editor: Andrew Payne
Thursday January 20, 2005
Trinity News SPORTS Why Roy should not be idolised
Jonny Walls It is perhaps something of a paradox that in a nation renowned for its begrudgery such an outspoken and high profile figure like Roy Keane is adorned by so many. On his return to international soccer in last year’s friendly with Romania, following a self-imposed exile, the Cork native received a rapturous reception from the Lansdowne Road faithful. Two years previously he had been sent home from Ireland’s pre-World Cup training camp in the by now infamous Saipan debacle. On the eve of that competition many observers noted that the nation had not witnessed such division since the civil war more than 80 years previously. Brother turned against brother while friendships were lost over the issue. Despite the fact that the sorry affair subsequently led to Mick McCarthy’s resignation as manager, opinion polls at the time indicated that the former Millwall boss enjoyed 60% of the public’s support compared to just 40% for Keane. As time progressed the incompetence of the FAI was exposed by way of the Genesis Report. That, coupled with the Republic’s dismal performance in the qualifiers for Euro 2004, ensured that many of those who felt Keane’s actions in Saipan had been wrong still championed his return to the green jersey. That said there remains a hard core among the footballing fraternity who believe the Manchester United skipper’s behaviour on the tiny Pacific Island was the last straw in a long list of previous misdemeanours and that
he should not have been awarded the privilege of representing his country again. They have a strong argument. 1. During 1995 and 1996 Keane played only three competitive games at international level. Against Northern Ireland in March 1995, Austria in September 1995 and Iceland in November 1996. Despite the sparse number of games he played for Ireland during this period, he appeared in approximately 90% of Manchester United’s matches. 2. In March 1996 he was sent off on his first appearance as Irish captain against Russia in a friendly at Landsdowne Road. The red card was shown for violent conduct as the Irishman swung a wild boot at a Russian defender. This was surely not the most honourable way to embrace the captaincy of one’s country. 3. In the summer of 1996 Roy Keane withdrew from the Irish squad in which he was named captain, that was due to travel to the US Cup claiming he was in need of recuperation time following an arduous club season. Well it was hardly an arduous international season, was it? 4. It has been eleven years since the Corkman last played an away friendly for Ireland – a World Cup warm up match against Germany in Stuttgart (May 1994). Was he really unavailable due to injury for every away friendly since then? 5. In September 1997 the former Nottingham Forest player tore cru-
cial knee ligaments while trying to deliberately trip Leeds United opponent Alfe Inge Haaland in an off the ball incident. The Norwegian defender understandably showed him little sympathy at the time, taunting Keane as he lay on the ground in considerable pain. When the pair met again in 2000 at Old Trafford the Reds captain put in one of the most horrific tackles ever seen on his old adversary, essentially ending Haaland’s career. Keane received a meagre five match ban for a challenge that was in retaliation for what had happened a few years previously. The Irishman was exacting revenge for
tion of training facilities. This was a highly questionable move as Keane must surely have known that, at best, it would have had the effect of drastically souring relations between himself and the manager on the eve of a World Cup Finals. When confronted on the issue by McCarthy, Keane swore and ridiculed the Barnsley-born coach, thus giving him no choice but to expel his captain in a bid to retain his self-respect and ensure the dignity of the position of Ireland manager. However the most shameful chapter of this sorry affair was still to follow. Thanks mainly to the efforts of Niall Quinn to
“It has been eleven years since the Corkman last played an away friendly for Ireland” an injury he had received through his own fault while attempting to hurt the Scandinavian in the first place. The Munster man’s behaviour was nothing short of a disgrace. 6. Roy’s conduct in the build up to the 2002 World Cup Finals and subsequent manner of his expulsion from the squad’s training base was undoubtedly the biggest black spot of his career. Firstly he claimed he wanted to leave the camp for personal reasons but soon changed his mind and decided to stay. He later admitted the factors which he had cited for this request were false. The following day the former Irish captain gave an interview to Irish Times journalist Tom Humphries in which he slated, by implication, Mick McCarthy’s handling of team affairs and organisa-
resolve the situation, it soon emerged that if Roy Keane was to apologise to Mick McCarthy he would be allowed to return to the squad. Knowing how much the country wanted him back in the fold, and that the prize of playing for his country in the World Cup was still a reality, Keane chose to keep his personal pride intact and failed to do what was in the best interests of Ireland. In a later interview with Tommy Gorman the Corkonian then had the tenacity to claim no one wanted to play for Ireland more than he did, when the opposite was patently obvious. 7. In March of 2003 as new manager Brian Kerr prepared his squad for a friendly with Scotland at Hampden Park, Keane issued a statement saying that he would not be recommencing his international
career. Despite the fact that McCarthy was now out of the picture, and that he had already made a private agreement with Kerr to return for Ireland’s competitive games, the Manchester United skipper reneged on his promise. The reason given….. that medical staff at Manchester United advised him that his troublesome knee could not stand up to international football on top of club commitments. This explanation makes no sense considering a Premiership team plays thirty-eight league games per season plus FA Cup and Champions League fixtures. If he is fit to play all those, surely a smattering of Ireland matches to boot is not asking too much. He either has a serious knee injury or he doesn’t. And if the Red Devils had got knocked out early in the cup competitions would Keane then be in a position to play for Ireland? The player’s subsequent u-turn and return to international football rubbishes the reasons he gave for his initial failure to return to the Ireland fold. 8. It is staggering that the 32 yearold feels he is entitled to be exempt for friendly matches. The logic appears to be that at his age he gains nothing by taking part in such encounters and that his old injuries could be aggravated by additional games. However none of the other veterans are excused for friendly matches so why should Roy Keane be given preferential treatment? As for his injuries, it can now be safely assumed they are greatly overstated. Most importantly how can the debutants and inexperienced internationals be expected to learn and develop at this level without
Roy Keane: Hero or Villain? the guidance of older heads around them. There are myths which surround Roy Keane the footballer that must be exposed. He does not have the exclusive ownership rights to a supreme drive to succeed and a desire to be the very best. The vast majority of professional footballers undoubtedly have such ambition, they simply do not shoot their mouth off about it all the time.
Furthermore the Corkman is not the greatest player ever to play for Ireland. That accolade goes to Paul McGrath. His performances against Romania in Italia 1990 and Italy in USA 1994 were the two best displays seen in a World Cup finals by an Irishman. He could play centre-back and central-midfield with consummate ease and, most importantly, he did it without fuss.
Time for goal-line technology to be introduced
Are all star teams of galacticos destroying soccer at the local level?
Death of the Beautiful Game Patrick Nulty Contemporary social and political debate is frequently concerned with the impact of one phenomenon. This concept is globalisation and its different meanings and consequences. Yet nowhere is the changing nature of globalisation, deregulation and international capitalism more apparent than in modern day football. The globalisation of the ‘beautiful game’ takes many forms through the media, the transfer market and the internal dynamics of domestic leagues. The question one must answer is whether recent changes in football at a global level represent a threat to the sport loved by millions around the world or whether football is stronger now than ever before. In a paradoxical way both answers are true but the issues involved need further investigation and this is the primary goal of this article. Firstly, the impact of the global media has changed forever the way consumers and viewers of football conceptualise the sport as a spectacle. No longer is one confined to viewing their national leagues. Most viewers are now able to view football from a variety of different countries and as such acquire knowledge about more players and clubs, leading to people acquiring an affinity with clubs from different countries and continents. Major clubs like Liverpool,
Real Madrid and AC Milan are global brands with supporters all around the globe who religiously follow their team’s fortunes through satellite television. This phenomenon is in some ways a poisoned chalice for the game as local clubs struggle to attract supporters and clubs of limited finances often risk ruin in an attempt to compete with larger clubs. Equally television companies now want to negotiate individual contracts with clubs, which further exacerbates the divide between clubs in the free
prices for ordinary supporters drains away at the soul of football. Ordinary supporters have become more isolated from their clubs and the communitarian spirit found in many clubs has been replaced by the corporate greed of those who fail to recognise that sport is about cultural expression and enjoyment, not profit. Also, the Bosman rule has led to deep insecurity and problems for so many footballers. While some world stars are able to make exorbitant amounts of money by switching clubs under freedom
“Football, through its own success as a global commodity, is sowing the seeds of its own destruction” market of modern football. This is the case in Italy and while the Premier League clubs in England still negotiate collectively, leading clubs are already establishing an infrastructure to ‘go it alone’ by having their own TV stations, websites and other forms of media. The transformation of many clubs from cultural institutions into money-making corporations has several consequences. Success is required immediately by shareholders who fail to recognise the importance of long term investment in youth development and better training facilities. Instead, panic buying of players whose reputation exceeds their performance and the continual increases in
of contract, the reality for most players is greater insecurity about their career and their future in the game. Many players are now signed on short-term contracts and the inevitable financial meltdown of an unregulated market has lead to rapid depreciation in players’ wages outside the higher eschalons of the game. At a macro level this has meant that the general standard of domestic competition in Europe has declined rapidly. In most European countries only three, four and in some cases two teams are genuinely capable of becoming domestic champions. This reduces interest and excitement in domestic leagues and is slowly draining
away interest in domestic competition. Instead the hype and spectacle of the supranational Champions League has come to the forefront with most countries providing the same teams on an annual basis as entrants into competition. However, an even more stark hierarchy exists within European football as the leagues of England, Spain and Italy accumulate all the wealth and talent of the European and World games in which most teams are genuinely cosmopolitan and where the best talent of other leagues is quickly plucked away. This situation is deeply troubling for the long-term future of football. The accumulation of wealth and talent within a small number of elite clubs in elite leagues inevitably reduces standards everywhere else thus lowering the standard of competition and making the game less entertaining. Therefore football through its own success as a global commodity is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Any structure that encourages and facilitates gross inequalities and structural barriers to the development of new talent and enhanced competition is inevitably on a self-destructive path. Those who run football in Fifa, Uefa, and at the national level must seriously revaluate how the game is structured if it is to maintain its popularity in the long term.
away from the fact, however, that United were saved by the lack of goal-line technology. If Carroll had been playing rugby or cricket, among other sports, the video replay would have decided his fate and ensured his face went red as a beetroot. Some say that Carroll has brought the game into disrepute by not owning up to his error while others say that Carroll was very clever in getting the ball away from the goal as
Ball manufacturer Adidas has already started work on such an invention and claim the new ball is Manchester United goalkeeper Roy ready for testing. Carroll certainly got away with Any new innovations blue murder when he pushed the brought into play should not be ball over his goal-line during the concerned with free-kicks, fouls, or recent Premiership match between any other trivial matters. Basically, Manchester United and Tottenham just the incidents that change Hotspur at Old Trafford. As I matches, and in some cases, teams’ watched on the TV, I was incensed entire seasons should be scrutiat the injustice of the fact that nised. The consequences of a Pedro Mendes’ wonderful long wrong decision could spiral into range strike had not counted, thus the millions if relegation denying the London or Champions League team their first league victory at the ground “The incidents that change matches qualification is the end result. How are Spurs since 1989. And why? Because the linesman, or and, in some cases, teams’ entire going to feel if they miss out on European qualifias they liked to be called seasons should be scrutinised” cation by two points these days, ‘referee’s come the end of the seaassistant’, had not seen quick as he could. Sadly Carroll son? What’s more, imagine it. The commentators who escaped but the discussion this Ferguson’s ire had the situation were high up in the gantry could incident provoked will surely set been reversed and the ball had tell it was a goal and so could Alex football’s world governing body crossed the line down the opposite Ferguson, although he didn’t FIFA into overdrive on this issue. end of the pitch. In a tight title race acknowledge it in the post-match Video technology should be used with Arsenal and Chelsea two press conference. He moaned as for offside, incidents around the points could be the difference usual about how United should goal-line and penalty claims. between winners and runners up. There is too much riding have had a penalty at the other end Alternatively, some kind of sensor could be placed inside the ball on these matches for technology of the pitch shortly after the Carroll incident. There was no getting which would alert officials each not to be used to ensure people like time the ball crossed the goal-line. Carroll get humiliated.
Roy Carroll watches the ball sail over his goal-line. Photo: Channel 9
Thursday January 20, 2005
Sports Features Editor: Andrew Payne
THE A-Z OF SUPERBOWL SUNDAY We all get a guilty pleasure out of watching a good war (the ratings for Sky News last year showed that much). The guilt vanishes though, when the two sides of heavily armoured psychopaths involved crash into each other with real relish and (usually) without anybody getting killed. What’s more, America’s national sport features a small leather ball being flung about at lightning speed, adding to all the chaotic fun. The small battle unfolds over the course of 3 hours, leaving you just enough time to get well and truly tanked up. So there’s no excuse really not to love American Football. Well, there’s one excuse. The world being the way it is (and the U.S. being 6-8 hours behind us) any NFL games are only on our screens in the wee hours, making it impossible to go down to the local for a few drinks to watch the big Dolphins-Patriots grudge match. For something like Superbowl XXXIX, coming on February 6th, you’ve got to make a special effort. Short of hopping on a plane to the U.S., your options are limited. You can hold a Superbowl party yourself, bully a friend into holding one, or go down to Captain America’s for theirs. The good people at Trinity News wouldn’t have you going down any of those roads unprepared of course - American Football is a scary game to the uninitiated. Resident NFL expert Derek Owens has compiled an A-Z survival guide for going out, having a party, or simply looking like you know what’s going on for Superbowl Sunday.
A is for Apathy: This is going to be your biggest problem come the 6th of February, unless of course you enjoy sitting alone at home in front of the TV. For some insane reason, there are people who just don’t care about a sport played almost exclusively on another continent that they can’t understand. Fortunately, there are ways around this. Start dropping cryptic comments like “God, I’m glad the Jets got through their wildcard play-off match” into conversation. When people start looking at you oddly (and they will) explain about the joy that is American Football, and invite them all to a Superbowl Party. By February, you’ll have a guest-list big enough to fill your chosen venue. Or you’ll have no friends. It’s a bit of a gamble.
is for Beer: The other way to entice your friends into sharing Superbowl Sunday with you. If you can’t convince them to watch the game for it’s own sake, explain the other side of the Superbowl experience: A drink-fueled hormone-fest shouting at the TV, calling friends to confess your undying love, and hugging each other in a spot of strictly platonic (no, really) male bonding. Inside every geeky male
student, there’s a jock just itching to run naked around Front Square. Lots of beer will help unleash that inner demon upon the world come Kick-Off.
C is for Captain America’s: If you’ve no TV, no friends with a TV, but plenty of money, this classy establishment is probably the best place to go to watch the game. They have a €10 cover charge (boo), but serve hotdogs and burgers at halftime (yay!) Since the cover charge officially makes it a ‘private party’, they can also keep serving until the small hours, meaning you’ll probably end up walking home without a penny to your name. If you don’t mind this, or the high risk of suffocation from too many sweaty people being crammed into one room though, it’s a blast. D
is for Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins that is. The best team in the world... no, really. Sure, they’ve lost all but 4 of their games this season, their best player decided to retire at the age of 24, and they haven’t had a decent quarterback since Dan Marino (of Ace Ventura; Pet Detective fame) but next year, it’ll all be so different...
If anybody asks you what team you’re rooting for, just say you’re a Dolphins fan. They might giggle a bit, but there’s also a chance they’ll end up buying you a drink out of pity. That’s how tough things are for us.
is for Europe: Well, NFL Europe. Curiously enough, Europe has its own attempt at an American Football league, cobbled together with rejects from across the water a continental Eircom League if you will. Even sadder, the closest team to Dublin is the Glasgow Claymores, who somehow contrived to be the worst of a pitiful lot last season.
is for Food: Whether comfort eating after a crushing defeat, binging out of anxiety as full-time approaches, or celebrating victory with a deep-fried double-Chili burger, food is an integral part of the Superbowl experience. Wherever you end up, make sure there’s a good stock of snacks at least, ideally backed up with some serious calorific meat dishes. Organize a Barbeque if possible. Whatever you do though, don’t scrimp on the cheese.
G is for Gambling: Another ingredient to add some life to your evening. Even when a game makes no sense to you, it becomes the most interesting thing once there’s money at stake. Depending on how much you know about the game, you might do well to keep the stakes low enough so the result doesn‘t spoil your night, but high enough to prompt a frenzied celebration if you win.
H is for Half-Time: This is when the players retire for a rest, and millions of dollars are spent on entertainment and advertising to pummel the TV viewers into brain-
Stephen Sinnott passes away Simon Delaney & Andrew Payne As all keen sports fans will be aware, the Trinity FM Sports Show had the great pleasure of the company of motorsport journalist Stephen Sinnott during its last broadcast of 2004. It is with great sadness that all at the Sports sections of both the station and Trinity News learned of his untimely death at the age of just 43 over the Christmas period. Stephen had been involved in motorsport in many capacities over the years, from being a mechanic for the Jordan Formula 1 team, to getting behind the wheel himself as a prominent Formula Ford racer in the late 80’s. A champion of motorsport in this country, Stephen was responsible for overseeing the introduction and co-ordination of the Formula Ireland class of racing. He was also putting his considerable talents to good use as an occasional commentator at Mondello Park and as a motoring journalist. Stephen had an affiliation with Trinity College not only through Trinity FM, but also with 'the Phil', as he was the man who interviewed Eddie Irvine when he paid a visit to the G.M.B. earlier this year. Simon Delaney, a contributor to the sports show on the college radio station interviewed Stephen on the show and said, "I
was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of Stephen’s passing away. He was a genuine, good-natured gentleman and very professional in his work. It was great to have had him on the show, to talk to him about Formula 1, a topic very close to his heart, and he will be greatly missed. I didn't know him very long but he was a really fantastic guy." Stephen was very good to all of us for the short time we knew him. Despite our limited experience, and some sound problems in the early part of his radio interview, Stephen treated us as professional journalists and with the utmost respect. A warm, larger than life character, Stephen spent nearly half an hour discussing all aspects of Formula 1 with Simon ranging from the current scene to his all time favorite drivers. His death came as a massive shock to us all. He will always be remembered by us for the kindness, generosity, and enthusiasm he, a hugely popular and experienced member of the sports world, showed to us, a bunch of college students following our common love of sport. We were truly blessed to have had the chance to spend even the little time we did with him. Stephen will be greatly missed and our sincerest condolences go out to his wife Maria and his stepson Ian.
death. Don’t expect miracles from the half-time show itself; the most entertaining thing that happened last year was Janet Jackson’s top being torn away. Given the massive outcry in redneckland over that faux pas, we probably won’t see anything more interesting than the winner from American Idol reciting the pledge of allegiance.
O is for Optimism: The belief that
is for ITV2: This digital channel will be showing highlights of the NFL play-offs every Monday night in the run-up to the Superbowl. It’s well worth watching (or begging somebody who has digital TV to record) for entertainment alone, but will also help you understand just what’s going on when the big day arrives.
is for Jacksonville: This is the place in Florida where Superbowl XXXIX will happen. It’s named after Andrew Jackson, an American General who single-handedly started a war there by charging down into Florida killing any Indians or Spaniards in sight. As a result of the war, the U.S. took over Florida, and soon made Andrew Jackson President. It says a lot.
K is for Kilkenny: For some reason (probably their deep love of hurling, that other fine death-sport) people from this county seem to get a major kick out of American Football. All the shouting and sheer puppy-dog enthusiasm really adds to the atmosphere, so if you happen to know anybody from Kilkenny, make sure you invite them to watch the Superbowl with you. L is for Losing: It happens. Do it gracefully, and don’t let it spoil your evening. It gets easier with time. Take it from a Dolphins fan.
M is for Money: As I said before, you’ll probably finish the evening broke. Take as much as you can afford to lose, and remember you’re not the only one spending big for Superbowl Sunday. Billions of dollars of bets are placed around the world that day, Still more is paid for broadcasting rights. Advertisers make this worth it for broadcasters though, as advertisements during the Superbowl cost over a million dollars per second of airtime. It’s scary. N
These guys won the Superbowl last year. And the year before that. And the year before... ok, they win it all the time. Their fans are like the most obnoxious Man United cretin you’ve ever met, with an annoying ‘New Yawk’ accent. If you know one who’s having a party, go along. Bring Anthrax.
is for New England Patriots:
maybe, just this year, by some miracle, the Patriots won’t win.
P is for Packers: Realistically, the Green Bay Packers (based on their impressive record this season) have the best chance of beating New England. They’ve only lost one game out of 16, thanks largely to Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was unanimously named Offensive Rookie of the year by the Associated Press just last week. Q
is for Quarterback: If you’ve never heard of a quarterback before, it’s impressive that you’ve made it this far. The quarterback is probably the most important player on the team, the leader of the offence. He ultimately has to decide what plays to run on the field, he throws any passes, and gives the ball to the running back when they’re being all cowardly and not passing the ball.
R is for Running Back: This is the brave soul who runs with the ball. Typically this player is a gigantic mass of muscle, capable of a scary turn of pace. Running Backs also tend to have more ego than sense.
S is for Sky Sports: In the absence of Fox or NBC, we find ourselves relying on the evil Sky network for watching the Superbowl (or indeed any American Football games) on TV. The coverage is much the same as on the U.S. networks, but at halftime they drag out unlucky hacks to fill the time nattering away about the game. After about two sentences it becomes deliciously clear that they haven’t a notion what they’re talking about. Then again, neither do we. T is for Tickets: Tickets to the Superbowl are a prized commodity among football fans and sold out for this year shortly after the season began. If you ever want to be there in the flesh, you’d want to start try-
Use poses like this to convince friends... ing to buy Superbowl tickets as X is for Xavier soon as the location is announced. Even then, sexual favors will probably be needed.
U is for Underdogs: According to the universal rule of sport, unless you’re a fan of the favorites, you have to root for these guys. Otherwise, well, you’re just a horrid glory hunter. Nobody likes them. V is for Video Games: Almost as effective as beer and gambling for getting in a football mood. After an hour or two of playing Madden 2005 you’ll be ready to scream like you mean it at every goofy mistake made during the game. W is for Winning: Do it disgracefully. The more noise you make, the better. There are never any police about on a Sunday night, so if you don’t make it home without at least a traffic cone, you can ask yourself: “have I really won at all?”
Thomas: A very good Linebacker (a defensive player) apparently. Well, at least he has a helpful name when journalists get lazy and run out of ideas.
is for Yanks: Funnily enough, many Americans enjoy their national sport, so any party you go to will probably be chock-full of them. Depending on their allegiance, they may well be in a good mood and very chatty, which is usually great, though not always. Last year’s walk home was spent with two fans of the Patriots, who held forth about the joy of Roofies. Sometimes ‘creepy’ just isn’t a strong enough word.
is for Z-List: The kind of celebrities that ex-football players become, unless they’ve been on a Superbowl-winning team. If they have, expect them to see them plugging product after product until their hearts give out from all the steroids they’ve taken in their careers. That’s the kind of life these guys are playing for.
The Ultimate Rugby Survival Guide Tired of having to listen to rugger-heads go on about a sport you neither know nor care about? Never fear, Denise O’Connell is here to give you a few key pointers and phrases with which to go undercover in D4 and maybe even enjoy the match in the process! Every year, around this time, tele- grab each other around the legs, Now, for those of you visions ring out the joyous tidings. shoulders, etc) say “Wow, look at who are more familiar with footThe ringing that you can hear the size of those props!” This is an ball, rugby penalties are a bit dif(well, it rings in my ears at least) is easy one. Most props are about six- ferent. For one thing, the aim is to the news that huge amounts of teen stone or so, and have the tradi- kick it over the bar, through the rugby will be appearing on our tional cauliflower ears which are a middle of the two upright poles. screens. From the Heineken Cup to result of attacking each other in the This one is one to be careful of, the Six Nations, TV will be full of secrecy of the scrum. because an Irish tradition is for the sight of oval balls, sweaty Now here’s the advanced everyone to go quiet when a kicker muddy men, and H-shaped phrase - “I’m a bit worried about is doing his thang. So don’t say uprights. the Irish front row situation. By the anything till its all over. And then a Just in case this all next World Cup, the current crop useful phrase is “Ronan O’Gara is sounds like I’m relating the plot of will be a bit old.” Sounds sophisti- so hot.” Or “Mmmm, isn’t he a bizarre porn film, never loverly..” Or the ever fear. A) I’m not (as far as I “I’m not saying that these lines handy “Where would we know) and B) I’m here to be without O’Gara? He’s help. Without further ado, will fool everybody, especially if such a master of the kick, the bluffer’s guide to his kicks to touch and you use them when the guy in with watching rugby with your those amazing last-minute friends and not sticking question isn’t playing...” drop goals! Did you see the out like a sore thumb. Argentina game? Wow.” First thing you need is cated, will gain you respect, and And you thought I was going to confidence. See, if you know the really just means exactly what it slip something in there about him right phrases and yell them out at says on the tin! Easy, but don’t being hot again, didn’t you? the right time (or speak them with overuse it. Especially useful for I’m not saying that these conviction, for those who are a lit- Irish or Leinster games. lines will fool everybody, especialtle more discreet), you can fool A lineout is another stan- ly if you use them when the guy in most of the people most of the dard move. It occurs when one guy question isn’t playing. But it’ll get time. And as long as you don’t chucks the ball in from the side and you through the first game you mess it up too badly, this complex the teams hoist their guys up in the watch anyway, especially when game can even become fun to air to catch it. So some phrases interspersed with lots of “Go on ya watch. may include – for an Irish game – good thing” or “Come on lads” or OK. Here’s my cheating “I miss Woodsy and his big bald “Ronan O’Gara is so hot.” That plan. First thing you need is a list head. But Shane Byrne’s mullet is phrase peppers my conversations a of stock-phrases, (though a surrep- nice and distinctive too.” Or ,“Paul lot anyway... titious look at a team-list is essen- O’Connell is such a workhorse! tial to a lot of these.) Definitely one of the best second During a scrum (which is rows in the world.” (useful for an when eight men from each team Irish or Munster match)
Ronan O’Gara: Worth a mention
Sports Editor: Eamonn O. Hynes
Thursday January 20, 2005
Surf elation in Bundoran Roger Hamilton 12 foot waves were the order of the day at Tullan strand, Donegal Bay over the weekend. The surf club made their annual pilgrimage to the west yet again this year and were met with exhilarating if not incredibly dangerous surfing conditions. Boards were broken, ankles sprained, wet-suits torn and a few heads were ruffled; of course if you want to make fun of the sea, you must be prepared for it's wrath. This trip was definitely not for the recreational Surf Club member in search of fun, good company and perhaps a bit of surfing should the hangover allow. Front Square last
Friday afternoon was full of people walking around with surf boards under their arms - a full eighty members in one bus and several cars set off for their weekend getaway of sea, surf and socialising. Despite the freezing cold, excellent surf conditions prevailed all day Saturday. Sunday afternoon brought with it much needed sunshine and saw some of DUSC's more experienced members take on 'The Peak' one of Europe's top reef breaks. Ed Kelly's Surf Club is rapidly positioning itself as one of Trinity's most popular 'non-established' clubs both in terms of the numbers participating and the amount of activity. The next surf trip is February 13th, destination unconfirmed.
Big wave action from Donegal
DUCAC tsunami appeal As part of the Trinity Tsunami appeal, DUCAC and the Department of Sport & Recreation are organising a fundraising day on Thursday 3 February . A programme of events has been sched-
Photos: Matt Pitt
uled to include a lunchtime 10k walk (probably to the Pheonix Park) and a 'sporting hero' theme night in the Pavilion Bar. Sponsorship cards for the 10k walk can be obtained from
DUCAC in House 27. Admission to the Pavilion Bar will cost €5 for those not dressed in the ‘sporting hero’ theme. All proceeds go towards the Trinity Tsunami Appeal.
Boxing in the Exam Hall The Boxing Club’s excellent Cambridge series seems to have come to an end. For the last couple of years, Cambridge University Amateur Boxing Club and DU
Boxing Club have had an annual battle, with the venue alternating between Cambridge and Dublin. The exam hall atmosphere is not gone forever though - this year’s
Colours grudge will take place there on Thursday February 24th. If last year’s match was anything to go by this spectacle will certainly be well worth attending.
Renovation of the Pavilion Those of you who have had to endure the smutty Buttery this Hilary Term (which often smells of smoked cod on Fridays), will be happy to hear that the Pavilion is scheduled to open again at the end
Tennis Club presentation ceremony late Sir John Arnott to the Tennis Club by Lady Annie Arnott. Ladies Captain Lorna Jennings was there to accept the most generous gift which is to become the prize for the ladies draw of the annual Trinity Championships. Trevor West (DUCAC Chairman) and Terrence McAuley (Director of Sport & Recreation) spoke briefly before presenting Lady Arnott with a bouquet and a copy of the book The Bold Collegians: The Development of Lady Arnott and Lorna Jennings Sport in Trinity College, Dublin. The new Botany Henry Joyce Bay tennis facilities are excellent and since the upgrading of the The East Dining Hall was the per- courts last year, the level of activifect venue for the presentation of a ty indeed standard of play has silver rose bowl in memory of the increased dramatically.
Croquet Club’s disquiet at sunbathers Roger Hamilton Members of the Croquet Club are none too happy with the latest proposals from the Buildings Office. Under their ‘Development Control Plan for Dublin University’, proposals are in place to open up New Square to sunbathers. It appears that College security guards are spending too much time stewarding the open amenity areas during the summer months. Buildings Office logic is to alleviate this problem by opening up New Square as a “sit-out” area - this would certainly have detrimental effects for croquet play on an already sub-standard playing surface. Gardens and Grounds do a wonderful job on maintaining the New Square lawn throughout the winter months but this hard work would certainly go to waste were the general student population (indeed overweight American tourists) be allowed to trample across the lawn. Presently there is plenty of
choice of luncheon spots about campus for the outdoors student without the need to open up this grassy sanctuary of civilised university ambience. Fellow’s Square would seem a much more suitable spot for sunbathing given its close proximity to the Arts block ramp although some would prefer if the existing ‘keep off the lawn’ statusquo was maintained. Buildings Office have identified “a need on Campus for casual recreational space for unofficial games for students during summer examination time in particular.” This seems sensible enough, but one runs the risk of creating an environment similar to a Los Angeles university chill-out-zone for young adults. There is already a fully equipped gym as well as a vast selection of clubs to chose from including an ultimate frisbee club that can be played at all times on the grassed area just in front of the Physiology building. Croquet play resumes this February on the New Square lawn after the winter recess.
Hockey perspective Jonathan Drennan Apparently I'm told I come from a rich hockey heritage. My school in Belfast used to be pretty handy and apparently a relative of mine is a past president of Pembroke Wanderers Hockey club in Dublin. That's where the accolades end unfortunately, and in truth I have never really been cut out for the upper regions of the game and I feel I have found a home at the Trinity College 4th XI. I have noticed while reading Trinity News that the back page is generally dripping with stories on some of our resident sporting heroes, and why not? But I feel now the time is nigh for a review of the season thus far for a group of weekend warriors. The 4th XI fun bus's first port of call in the season was Pembroke Wanderers; any rather dubious family connections were forgotten as I was given a pretty harsh welcome into Leinster hockey. I would like to go on the record and say I have never been a dirty player, in Pembroke however with my first touch of hockey I managed to upend a forty year old man. The referee then told me that he didn't know how we played the game in Belfast but I was now in Dublin and should try to behave
myself on the field! The next match on the calendar was a team called Railway Union. But you certainly couldn't say that these hockey playing pensioners were the railway children. The tactics employed for this match were the hit and hope method where you hit it as hard as you can and hope to sprint past your elderly marker. This would have worked a treat, but unfortunately several members of our team had gone AWOL and we had to forfeit the match and resolve to start a winning streak soon. When I was very young I used to enjoy going to Bray looking for fun and I normally found it on the dodgems or eating a Mr Whippy. I never would have guessed that I would be back as a student playing the might of Bray Hockey Club in a convent school's pitch. At this relatively early stage of the season, confidence was still relatively high and this was reflected in our twenty-four pack of Bavaria in contrast to Bray’s neatly stacked Lucozade water bottles. Beer can do so many great things and that day was no exception with the team carving at a win against a pretty respectable outfit. I have tried to play hockey for the best part of eight years, I have played for my school and also for
of February. Trinity’s premier social venue is undergoing major renovations to include wireless internet, plush decor, outdoor heating and liquid crystal television screens. Visiting teams can now be
hosted in style in the newly redecorated function room which will also be available for hire by clubs and other organisations within Trinity.
Sports Centre finally under construction Hard to believe, but there are finally signs of construction activity on the east end of campus. Four years of student sport levies are now being put to use - three years after the entire amount was collected. Without the motivation to promptly construct the new CRANN nanotechnology building, the drive to develop the sports centre on the
east end corner site would arguably have been further delayed. Controversially, the iron and granite boundary railings around the site are to be scrapped to allow construction right up to the public pathway. This will facilitate non-student members use the facility without having to gain access to the main university cam-
pus. Details on the number of public memberships to be made available are still being discussed but priority will hopefully be given to competitive sports clubs. No completion date was available to Trinity News, but such a date has traditionally been rather arbitrary.
Hockey Club snip DU Hockey Firsts played Belfast Instonians last Saturday 15 January in their 4th round Senior Junior Cup match only to come a cropper 2-4 against the superior side (Daniel Needham being the scorer of both Trinity’s goals). This season's competition has an entry of 46 teams with the Division 1 clubs in each Province
being excluded until the 3rd round. Hockey Colours takes place this Tuesday 28 January at Belfield and should make for some excellent competition. The afters reception will be held in the Burlington hotel. Last year’s tongue-in-cheek colours programme caused quite a stir amongst college bureaucrats and this year’s edition will
undoubtedly be much toned down and politically correctised. It’s unlikely the Committee will have the bravery to publish such jocular literature in the current climate but then again, who really wants to know what shenanigans the 3rd XI got involved in at some hockey social night?
Excavation on cricket pitch High voltage electricity cables are the cause of the large-scale excavating on College park. Mass development at the east end of College (the new INS building is due to open shortly) has put a huge
strain on existing electricity infrastructure necessitating this major inconvenience to Cricket players. Unfortunately for them, the playing surface will not be back to normal for at least another 18 months.
Much arguing went on as to the routing of the cable, but high voltage cabling is so inflexible that only a straight path can be taken hence the most troublesome route: straight across the cricket field.
Cow Boys & Cow Girls DU Equestrian Club hosted their annual ‘Cow Boys & Cow Girls’ dance last night in Major Tom’s, South King Street. The night was a follow-on from their hugely successful ‘Whips & Spurs’ last Michaelmas. Captain Elva Phelan was delighted with the turnout and
the evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all. All proceeds go to help raise much needed funds for the club. In other equestrian news - Aine Elizabeth Cafferkey is to compete at the European Equestrian Championships which will be held
in San Patrignano, Italy. Incidently San Patrignano is Europe’s largest community for the rehabilitation of drug addicts - a rather ironic venue for an Irish dressage competitor! Trinity News wish Aine the very best of luck.
New Heraeans announced
Trinity 4ths vs Weston at Santry on Saturday my club. I had faced pretty rough teams in the past who if they could get the man would normally go for the ball. The visit of Smithfield was to open my eyes to hockey of a very different kind! I had sat in the cars of older team members and heard their many varied and enjoyable anecdotes about playing Smithfield. The one about the player attacking a Trinity player and biting him a la Iron Mike was the one that scared me about the prospect of playing the boys from Smithfield. Predictably we all arrived at Santry ready for the
game and were met by a pretty motley crew. The man I had to mark that day was as distinctive for his buddy holly classes and headband as he was for his hockey skills. The game actually ended without any real incident apart from a few standard bumps and bruises. In truth our season so far has been quite successful, at the time of writing we are topping the Division Ten league and hopefully the second half of the season will be as enjoyable as the first half!
This year’s bunch of proud new Heraeans were elected at a recent meeting in the GMB. Unlike other DUCAC affiliated clubs, the Heraeans do not draw any funds from the Central Athletics Committee. Instead they function as a group of elite sportswomen supporting women’s sports interests in Trinity. The Heraeans do
get their fair share of stick about College and have been described as an organised group of girls who essentially ‘faun over the Knights’ (Pirhana, 1999). Perhaps Pirhana’s kind of remarks are a bit over the top, though essentially they are an old-girls club who meet up every now and then to reminisce (indeed rant) on their
sporting days at Trinity. The Heraeans’ annual alcohol-fuelled initiation ceremony (a compulsory port and vodka mix being the traditional drink of choice) for innocent and eager-eyed new recruits is rather notorious for the lewd literature that is distributed as are their songs of poor taste.
Boat Club training camp Members of the Boat Club, Ladies Boat Club and Lady Elizabeth Boat Club travelled to Cappoquin, Co. Waterford for their annual training camp earlier this month. Jim Murray of Cappoquin Rowing Club hosted the squad and provided use of the local boathouse for the four-day trip. Appaling weath-
er conditions severely curtailed plans to get lots of lengthy water sessions done. Instead the back-up plan was initiated consisting of endurance road running and intense circuit training. Each year the natives of the town look forward to the coming of the rowers who, in great numbers quite liter-
ally take over the town. The next race for the club is Dublin Head of the River on Saturday, January 29 at 1:30. The race begins at Butt Bridge and finishes at Islandbridge which is just past Heuston Station. Expect a full race report in the next edition.
Thursday January 20, 2005
Sports Editor: Eamonn O. Hynes
Last minute heartache against 1st division leaders Clontarf Roger Hamilton DUFC Clontarf
DUFC hosted Clontarf at College Park last Saturday culminating in a dramatic injury time penalty from Clontarf’s Dan Van Zyl. His kick denyed a draw and sent Clontarf, current division 1 leaders, clear at the top of the table. Springbok all-rounder Van Zyl had just come on to replace David McAllister at outhalf who was suffering from a hamstring injury in the closing stages of the game. From a Trinity scrum just outside the 22 metre area, DUFC just had to maintain possession in order to force a draw. But the draw was not to be – Clontarf took advantage of a loose ball, and with Dublin University deemed to have had illegally put-handled in the ensuing ruck, Clontarf were awarded a penalty just left of the posts. It is fair to say that Trinity got the raw deal from the result, but it was a messy game and the first XV did not play their best rugby. The loss of anchor-man Donal Crotty due to neck injury was significant
Clontarf Shannon Garryowen Harlequins UCD Buccaneers Dungannon Galwegians DUFC CorkCon Ballymena Blackrock Landsdown Carlow
P 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
W 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 2 2 2 2 1
D 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
against the aggressive and more experienced Clontarf side. Clontarf played very anxiously throughout and would have expected a routine game against the students. Trinity took the early lead with a penalty from Simon Mitchell after 5 minutes, flustering their opponents who responded with unfaltering penalty kicks from David McAllister in the 7th and 15th minutes. Trinity were in control of the game despite being behind, and went over the line on 25 minutes after choosing to run the ball from a very kickable position; Mitchell again the scorer. Trinity failed to convert but were 86 ahead going into the break giving the team the belief and confidence to succeed in the second half. After the recess the match was rather scrappy and both teams took a while to settle into a nice flow of play. Marc Warburton was sin-binned for his infringement on 47 minutes and Clontarf took full advantage of this upset, Donovan Rossi going over for a try in the Civil Engineering corner. Clontarf failed to convert but Trinity were now on the run to secure the game. Although Mitchell was unlucky with a penalty kick on 54 minutes, Trinity began to take a more encroaching
L 1 2 2 2 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5
F 119 151 137 112 139 109 93 106 107 88 135 99 87 71
A 94 95 99 69 99 89 111 139 121 108 148 124 131 126
B 2 3 3 2 0 1 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 2
P 22 19 19 18 18 17 13 12 11 11 10 9 9 6
A crisp afternoon at College Park last Saturday position in the Clontarf half. The stopping and starting of inconsistent play continued right up to the game's decisive kick. With jus t minute s to go Trinity managed to get field position and had a line out near the Clontarf line. They caught and drove the ball, Clontarf infringed and Trinity had the choice of going to the corner for the win or taking a difficult kick for the draw. Mitchell stepped up and kicked the penalty goal to tie the scores. It wasn't to be enough and Van Zyl's injury time kick really
dampened supporters' spirits, putting an end to what was a disappointing match. Trinity had some consolation and came away with one bonus point since their loss was within seven points - this will help their league position somewhat. Trinity are in 9th position and their next game is against Cork Constitution on College Park next Saturday at 2:30. Dublin University: S. M i t c h e l l , P. H o w a r d , J . Q u i g l e y, B . H a s t i n g s , F. Keane, M. O’Neill, P. McCormack (M D’Arcy 70),
Photo: Peter Henry N. Conl on, M. Cr ocket t , F. G a i n e r, M . G a r v e y, M . Wa r b u r t o n , E . M o l l o y, H . H o g a n ( P. R o w e 7 0 ) , J . Heasl i p. Coach: T. Sm eet h, H. Maguire. Clontarf: D. Hewitt, D. O’Shea, M. Hewitt, C. Mahony, D. Rossi (N. O’Brien 58), D. McAllister (Van Zyl 80), M. Walls, W. O’Kelly, N. Carson, A. O’Donnell (J. Wickham 49), A. Wood, A. Kearney (J. Duffy 64), D. Quinn (D. O’Brien 64), S. O’Donnell, D. Moore. Coach: P. Werahiko, K. Nowlan.Referee: P. Roche (IRFU).
DUFC under 20s beat Belvedere Trinity under 20s had an emphatic 64-14 win over Old Belvedere to keep their unbeaten record in league play. This was a step up in quality for the U20s who had worked hard over the Christmas “break” under coach Seamus Twomey. They play UCD at College Park next Tuesday (25th Jan) at 2.30pm in a battle of the
unbeaten. The Trinity U20s B lost 22- 0 to an impressive top of the table Naas A team at Santry. The Trinity 3rds lost to Lansdowne in a great game 18-14 whereas the Trinity 4ths lost 30 22 to Kilkenny in a tough encounter at Santry.
Boxing Club show strength at Junior Intervarsities
John Byrne (Red, DU) v Gerald Fitzgerald (Blue, UCC)
Tina Morin Dublin University Boxing Club echoed its glories of recent years with a dominating show of strength at the Junior Intervarsities competition held last December 11 2004 in
the National Stadium. Performing to a crowded audience of friends, family, and fans, nine Trinity boxers, many competing for the first time, fought their way to six finals, two semi-finals, and one quarterfinal. Heavyweight (91 kg) Mick ‘The Mountain’ Galvin got things off to
Photo: Stephen Byrne an exciting start with his quarterfinal bout against a hefty NUIG (NUI Galway) opponent. The suspense was palpable as the boxers exchanged punch for punch, and a collective breath was held while points were tallied. Despite Galvin’s strong performance, the judges gave the match to the
Galwegian, who went on to win the weight class against, what all present considered, lesser opponents than Galvin. Next up was middleweight (75kg) John ‘Beachbum’ Byrne, fighting Gerald Fitzgerald of UCC (University College Cork) in a tight quarter-final bout that unanimously
went to Byrne, due to a superior display of boxing skills. With only a short time to recover from his first match and to prepare for the next, Byrne easily took his semifinal bout against Warren Reidy from IT Tallaght. Three contests in a single afternoon however were too great a test of Byrnes’ fitness
and, despite yet another fine display of skill, Joseph Norton of UCD took the title in the final match-up. At 67 kg, Padraig ‘Quicksnap’ MacSuibhne came up against Brian O’Regan. He quickly proved too strong for the Maynooth man, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the second. Mac Suibhne’s next opponent, Chrisopher Murnane from Galway, demonstrated fine boxing skills but had little time to display them due to Mac Suibhne’s quick hands and powerful right cross. This time the contest was halted in the first round. The welterweight final paired Mac Suibhne against Robert Coughlan of IT Tallaght, who failed to best the seemingly unstoppable Trinity man. The contest was again stopped within the scheduled distance. Patrick ‘Drummer-Boy’ McCormack, fighting at 57 kg, put up a strong show in the featherweight final against David Gannon from Maynooth but proved unlucky. McCormack suffered a heavy blow to the nose, and excessive blood from the resulting injury forced the referee to stop the contest in favour of the Maynooth man. At 60 kg, Conor ‘The Nugget’ Sweeney barely broke a sweat in his semi-final match against Patrick Enright of IT Tallaght. Moving easily around the ring and showcasing his fast feet and hands, Sweeney teased Enright with his playful jabs, tiring his opponent and watching carefully for his opportunities. His game plan succeeded all too well, and Sweeney gained the day after three rounds of great boxing. Matched with David Brennan from Waterford IT in the final, Sweeney kept the pace nice and fast but was unable, in the end, to get the better of his powerful opponent, who had the advantage of a straight buy into the final. In the light-welterweight (63.5 kg) semifinal, Trinity’s Robbie
‘Hitman’ Hollingsworth rumbled with Ronan McNamara of UCD but, despite his fine display of boxing skills on his debut, was ultimately bested in a tough match by a more experienced opponent. McNamara, who went on to win the category, was later heard to say that Hollingsworth was by far the toughest opponent he had met to date. Next in the ring, 71kg David ‘Friendly’ Henry proved a tough opponent for Maynooth’s John Sheridan. Henry danced around the ring like a pro and landed some sweet shots, but Sheridan won the decision and went on to fight the light-middleweight final. Cheered on by a bevy of adoring fans, Rob ‘Top Gun’ Carnegie (81 kg) walked through his semi-final bout with northsider Eoin Bonnar of DCU, downing his unfortunate opponent seconds into the match. Unluckily, Carnegie’s final match did not proceed as smoothly. UCD’s Kevin Hogan landed a lucky hook to the chin, and the referee called the match. Finally, ‘Flash’ Gordon Sweeney, fighting at 91+ kg, climbed into the ring to face Kevin Reid of UCC. With a speed and ease that belied his size, Sweeney tirelessly flicked out his punches, wearing out his opponent and undermining his confidence. The aggressive contest ended after three brutal rounds of give and take between the two skillful fighters. In the end, a controversial decision gave the contest to the UCC man, much to the surprise of the Trinity supporters. The club hopes to secure more victories in the Senior Intervarsities final in February 2005, and in the British & Irish Intervarsities in March. Eagerly awaited though is the TCD vs. UCD Colours clash due to be held in the Exam Hall on Thursday, 24th Feb. A dual fundraising table-quiz, for these events and Tsunami Relief, is being held by the club at 7.30 on Wednesday, 19th Jan., in the Buttery.