STARING INTO THE ABYSS
LEADING FROM THE BACK
GEOLOGICAL MUSEUM UNCOVERED
KATE ROWAN SPEAKS TO TOMMY BOWE SPORT FEATURES 21
CASHING IN ON PREDICTING THE FUTURE FEATURES 12
TRINITY NEWS Est 1953
Teachers’ outrage over cuts
The Cancer Society raises awareness with human pink ribbon for International Women’s Day
College in campaign for equality
Marino and Froebel
students in protest
THIS YEAR’S International Women’s Week in Trinity saw the most diverse and packed programme since it was first made a college-wide event in 2007. The week highlights Trinity’s participation in a global campaign for rights and equality, coinciding with UN International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March. First commemorated in 1911, IWD was a response to increasing demands across the industrialised world for better working conditions and voting rights for women. It has since grown to a global day of recognition and celebration. Trinity’s Equality Officer, Karen Campos McCormack, explained: “International Women’s Week provides an opportunity for recognising women’s contributions both inside and outside of academia, for activism in seeking gender equality, and for further reflection on our discourse around gender. The Week showcases student and staff initiatives that take place throughout the year and aims to raise awareness about the relevance of gender equality and feminism in a university context.”
10% teacher pay cut and pay scales Student teachers brand reforms unfair Manus Lenihan College News Editor
CONTINGENTS from the Trinity affiliated teacher-training schools, Marino Institute of Education and Froebel College of Education, have participated in a protest of over 1,000 student teachers. The student teachers were protesting against a series of cuts which have heavily affected young, recently graduated and aspiring teachers on 22 February. One student who spoke to Trinity News explained that on finding work as a teacher, he would be earning around €11,000 less than he might have done two years ago. A 10% pay cut combined with changes in pay scales for new teachers in 2011 has been augmented by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn’s decision to suspend allowances for new teachers. The students we spoke to related the example of a student teacher who has worked hard to complete a postgraduate degree and now will receive no allowance for having done so. One student commented: “It’s about hitting the weak. Those who are not able to fight back.” This sentiment was consistent throughout the protest with crowds chanting “Equal pay for equal work” and citing the inequality in pay between experienced teachers and The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland found 90% of student teachers are angry about pay cuts new entrants to the profession. A survey conducted by the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland found that 21% of student teachers were confident that they would be able to find a job which offered a decent salary. 90% said they were angry that they would be paid less to do the same job as colleagues. William O’Brien, a UCD student teacher who was involved in organising the protest, complained that the Union of Students in Ireland did not offer enough support to the demonstration. He called the cuts to new teachers “the segregation of the teaching profession”. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland says it will ballot members on withdrawing from the Croke Park Agreement over the suspension of allowances, which affect 52% of teachers. The government seeks to save an estimated €236m a year by ending allowances.
The Trinity College Cancer society created a human pink ribbon in Front Square to raise awareness for the Irish Cancer Society and breast cancer research, as part of International Women’s Day on 8 March. Photo: Shauna Watson
Halls hacking suspect released Chemistry student indicted by FBI in the US Accused of hacking US and Irish emails Student was released on Wednesday 18-year-old was interrogated by Gardaí Ruairi Casey & Kate Palmer Staff Reporter & Editor
A TRINITY Hall resident has now been released from Garda custody after being charged with computer hacking by the FBI. Donncha O’Cearbhaill, an 18-year-old Medicinal Chemistry student, was charged in a US court last Tuesday for conspiring to hack into confidential computer information. He was accused of hacking into a garda’s personal email account, and obtaining information from a call between US and Irish authorities. O’Cearbhaill was released from Terenure police station after a 24-hour interrogation period, the maximum allowed under Irish law for suspected hacking crimes. Another Irish citizen indicted was Galway University student, Darren Martyn. The FBI reported his age as 25, which he refuted on his Twitter alias, @info_dox: “Apparently I’m 25 now? The f*ck did that happen?! 6 years off the mark they are!” while also tweeting: “Bloody frightned [sic] so I am...” The US District Court issued the indictments, based on FBI affidavits, against O’Cearbhaill, Martyn, two British nationals and one American for their alleged role in cyber attacks committed by a hacker group known as LulzSec. According to the FBI affidavit, O’Cearbhaill told a LulzSec contact:
“[He had] just got into the iCloud for the head of a national cybercrime unit. I have all his contacts and can track his location 24/7.” The DU Pirate Party has spoken to Trinity News over the arrest of O’Cearbhaill, one of its members. A leading member of the society, who wished only to be referred to as a “chairperson”, stated: “The DU Pirate Party in no way condones illegal activities.” He went on explain the actions of groups such as LulzSec: “In recent years the Anonymous organisation and LulzSec refer to themselves as Hacktivists – individuals who would consider themselves more as protesters than hackers, as such,” the chairperson stated. “They would trend along the beliefs that taking down a website is more of a peaceful protest,” (s)he said. The chairperson explained O’Cearbhaill’s involvement with the hacking group: “Donncha has allegedly been affiliated with LulzSec which targets larger organisations and governments, notably incidents involving Rupert Murdoch as a response, possibly, to their members deeming the organisation’s policies or actions unacceptable and attempting to enact justice in cyber form (defacing of websites, stealing company information, DoS and DDoS attacks).” The Pirate Party placed a careful distance between the actions of
O’Cearbhaill and the society, reserving judgment on his intentions. It stated: “We are strong believers in a free media and freedom of information through the internet, so while Donncha may be a member of the society, whether he agrees with our views or not will be seen in the upcoming court cases.” The future of O’Cearbhaill remains uncertain. Though he was released from questioning on Wednesday from Terenure Garda station, a file will be prepared for the DPP. If found guilty and sentenced in the US, O’Cearbhaill could face up to 15 years in prison. Extradition may not be a simple affair, with such cases often taking years to process fully. The FBI has proven dogged in such attempts in the past – Gary McKinnon, a British man who hacked highly-classified US military computers, continues to fight extradition after being indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia in November 2002. Ireland’s extradition treaty with the US does not allow for extradition on the basis of “political offences” and this may be a possible defence for O’Cearbhaill. Whether such a defence would be legitimate in Irish law is difficult to say, as Irish law is not detailed on issues of cybercrime. Justifications of any kind have received little sympathy from the FBI in past hacking trials, so it is more likely O’Cearbhaill will choose to defend himself in the Irish court system. O’Cearbhaill was named along with Martyn by Hector Xavier Monsegur, known as “Sabu”, a leading member of LulzSec. Monsegur was arrested by the FBI last year and has been reportedly acting as an informant since.
The Equality Office says the week is crucial to recognising women’s contributions to the college community This year’s programme included events, talks and film screenings from a wide range of student societies and College departments. DU Amnesty International organised, among other events, “Fly a Kite for Women’s Rights” and “Step in Her Shoes”. The flying of kites across Front Square on Monday symbolised discrimination still facing women and girls in Afghanistan today. Kite flying is a popular pastime in the country which was banned under Taliban rule, yet even after the Taliban’s removal, females may make kites but do not have the freedom to fly them. Trinity men were called on to walk around campus in a pair of high heels to raise awareness of sexual violence. Other highlights included Cancer Society’s Giant Pink Ribbon, made up of volunteers in pink T-shirts, Judo Club’s free self-defence classes, and the History Society’s talk on “Women in the Irish Free State”. Many more societies made their contributions throughout the week, including the Gender Equality Society, Trinity Vincent De Paul, Trinity FM, College Historical Society and TCD Italian Society. This year also saw the launch of Siren Magazine, a new college publication, to mark International Women’s Day. Started by students Jean Anne Sutton and Fiona Hyde, the magazine calls itself a “gender equality focused publication” and will include Continued on page 2
Vol 58 Issue 8
13 March, 2012
2 NEWS WHAT THEY SAID
“Rather than focusing on one nightclub, we need to be looking at the bigger issue” Education Officer Rachel Barry on controversial nightclub promotions
The number of cases being dealt with in March alone by GSU Vice-President Martin McAndrew
11,000 Number of euros per year newlyqualified teachers have lost compared with two years ago
Laptops stolen from the Lecky Library in one day over Reading Week
18,887 CAO applications made to Trinity College this year- up over 450 on 2011
GET INVOLVED We’re always recruiting new writers, photographers, designers, copy editors and advertising executives. To get involved, contact the editor of the section you’re interested in at email@example.com
EDITORIAL STAFF Editor
Deputy Editor Trinitynews.ie Chief Copy Editor Copy Editors
David Barrett Josh Roberts John Colthurst Ellie Foulkes Eoin Tierney College News Manus Lenihan Fiona Ridgway National News Claire Acton Mairead Cremins International News Jack Farrell Nilgiri Pearson News Features Molly RowanHamilton Maya Zakrzewska Business Owen Bennett Paul McAufield Features Evan Musgrave David Babby World Review Aine Pennello Elly Friel Travel Maud Sampson Sophie Fitzgerald Science Anthea Lacchia Stephen Keane Opinion Eoin O’Driscoll Sports Features Kate Rowan Sarah Burns College Sport James Hussey Shane Curtis Printed at The Guardian Print Centre, Longbridge Road, Manchester, M17 1SL. Trinity News is partially funded by a grant from DU Publications Committee. This publication claims no special rights or privileges. Serious complaints should be addressed to: The Editor, Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. Appeals may be directed to the Press Council of Ireland. Trinity News is a member of the Press Council of Ireland and supports the Office of the Press Ombudsman. This scheme, in addition to defending the freedom of the press, offers readers a quick, fair and free method of dealing with complaints that they may have in relation to articles that appear on our pages. To contact the Office of the Press Ombudsman go to www.pressombudsman.ie
“Students would know how much work is on a laptop”
“Attempts to invite direct student input are actively blocked”
“We effectively “They don’t think through really know what being the internet” a feminist entails”
Postgraduate Claire Toher on the thieves who stole her netbook during Reading Week. She lost both the computer and saved work
SU President Ryan Bartlett attacks the Graduate Students’ Union sabbatical officers as the fundng controversy deepens
Trinity College student Fiontan O’Ceallachain addresses the SU Council on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
Co-editor of Siren, Fiona Hyde, on recent controversies over Midnight Promotions and Zeta Psi
Piracy law treaty brought before Students Concerns over ACTA raised before SU Free speech threatened, claim critics Lobbying of TDs and MEPs urged Una Kelly Staff Reporter
THE STUDENTS’ Union has promised to educate students about the AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) after the matter was raised in SU Council on 21 February, receiving an “enthusiastic” response. Trinity College student Fiontan O’Ceallachain addressed the SU Council on ACTA, heavily criticising the Agreement. O’Ceallachain told the SU Council that ACTA disrupts free expression and harms the internet,
and is a misguided solution to a misunderstood problem. An example, he said, if the agreement comes into force, would be if “an infant sings a song on a home video; if this is uploaded on the internet, the infant and its family are immediately in breach of copyright and the internet provider is required to close down any such links.” ACTA is a multinational treaty aimed at enforcing intellectual property rights across borders. No signatory has yet ratified the agreement. Supporters have described the agreement as a response to the increase in the
global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated works, while opponents say the convention damages freedom of expression and privacy. The signature of the EU and many of its member states resulted in the resignation of the European Parliament's appointed chief investigator, French MEP Kader Arif, as well as widespread protests across Europe. O’Ceallachain urged the Council to oppose these developments and for the SU, class representatives and all students to lobby their TDs and MEPs to oppose the legislation which will be voted on in the European Parliament in a few months’ time. Irish MEPs including the Socialist Party’s Paul Murphy and Labour’s Phil Prendergast have spoken out against ACTA. Trinity News asked O’Ceallachain
why he felt this was an issue that needed to be brought to the attention of Trinity students: “We live in the information age, it has liberated us in countless ways, we effectively think through the internet,” he said. “You investigate your interests through Google, Wikipedia or YouTube; perhaps you simply express your views through blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Is it right to have a private police force monitoring this online existence?” Students’ Union president Ryan Bartlett said he will direct students to O’Ceallachain’s information, and will continue to look at this issue and form a plan to inform students about ACTA. A broad campaign called “Act Against ACTA” is underway in Dublin, Cork and elsewhere.
Equality recognised in College Continued from front page
“intelligent, provocative and engaging articles on gender equality, LGBT issues, art, books, music, fashion, humour and politics.” Co-editor Fiona Hyde underlined the importance of International Women’s Week: “The negative reaction to gender equality-related endeavours further justifies the need to maintain them. I’ve noticed that in internet arguments – over, say, the recent Alchemy advertising or the fraternity set-up allegations, arguments essentially about gender and sex and politics – people often reveal that they don’t really know what being a feminist entails. There’s a lot of confusion out there, and that breeds hostility. Open, frank conversations without preconceptions are what’s needed and I’d like to think a publication like Siren facilitates that. The mood towards gender equality and discussion of gender issues in Ireland is changing for the better. Everyone in Trinity can be a part of that new mood, the progression towards change and conversation, and International Women’s Week – it requires nothing more than an open mind.” There have been vast changes since the first International Women’s Day in 1911 when women still had no vote in most countries, yet organisers insist that it remains relevant over a century later. DU Amnesty International Chairperson Sorcha McCauley commented: “International Women’s Week is massively important because gender inequality is still a real and current concern all over the world. It will not lose its relevance until all women in the world are on equal footing with men.” McCormack reiterated the Week’s continuing relevance for students: “The persistence of gender stereotypes and the increased sexualisation of women are also of concern – as has been evident in relation to the issue of sexist advertising for student events. The week’s events provide an opportunity to explore and develop contemporary debates on gender equality.”
e f i L y t y i h n i p r T togra
o o h p e 2 n d o 1 i i t v i 0 & mpet 2 co
Prizes from the Alumni Office include iPads and Trinity Ball tickets! FOR MORE INFO:
www.tcd.ie/alumni/competitions DEADLINE: 30TH MARCH 2012 TRINITY NEWS
Offensive promotion challenged by SU Slogan: â€œIf youâ€™re not up for it, donâ€™t cumâ€? 800 people join Facebook protest group Midnight promotions issues an apology Staff gate crash Studentsâ€™ Union Council Catherine Healy Staff Reporter
THE STUDENTSâ€™ Union is to look into future policy on the issue of sexual assault and sexist promotions in the nightclub business. The decision was taken at a meeting of the SU Council on 21 February following a discussion on the recent controversy arising from the â€œMondays at Alchemyâ€? online advert. While acknowledging that an apology had been made by Midnight
Promotions, Education Officer Rachel Barry, who presented the item for discussion at SU Council, noted that a large number of students were very angry about the advertisement. Barry told Trinity News she had been disappointed not only with the advertising campaign but with the offensive comments subsequently made by Midnight employees. The incident â€œshowed more than ever that gender equality is still a big issue.â€? She continued: â€œRather than focusing on
ADMISSIONS one nightclub, we need to be looking at the bigger issue, and the problem of a victim-focused approach â€“ that is, the victimâ€™s dress, history, conduct et cetera â€“ rather than the perpetrator, in cases of sexual assault.â€? The advertisement in question, produced by Midnight Promotions for the Temple Bar venue, featured the byline: â€œIf Youâ€™re Not Up for It, Donâ€™t Cumâ€? with a picture of a young woman reaching down for her underwear, which was round her ankles. Following objections to the poster being voiced on the â€œMondays at Alchemyâ€? Facebook page, a group named â€œEnd Alchemyâ€™s sexist and dangerous advertisingâ€? was set up which a number of Midnight employees joined in order to defend the advertisement. The group had over 800 members at the time of going
to print. The poster for the event was taken down in the wake of growing discontent online and was followed a few days later with an apology issued by management staff at the promotions company. A number of Midnight promotions staff attended the Council meeting at which the issue was discussed following the distribution of the agenda by Jack Oâ€™Connor, a class rep and promoter of the same company. Despite non-Trinity students not being allowed to attend SU Council meetings without the support of voting members, a manager of the brand posted in the Midnight Facebook group that day that they would â€œsneak [their] way inâ€?. The group stood at the back of the hall as Barry spoke but were soon asked to leave as they had not shown up on time.
Reading Week thefts in Lecky Library Four thefts reported in one day Library security staff urge caution Cutbacks have led to lighter security No CCTV or theft protocol in Library Fionnuala Horrocks-Burns Staff Reporter
READING WEEK saw a wave of criminal activity in the Lecky library as seven laptops were reported stolen. Additional posters warning students not to leave personal belongings unattended have been placed throughout the vicinity of the Berkeley, Lecky and Ussher (BLU) Libraries. Claire Toher, a postgraduate Global Health student, fell victim on Thursday 1 March. Returning her Samsung netbook to its blue case, she placed it under her desk before leaving the Lecky for a coffee break with a friend. Upon her return approximately an hour later, she found the blue case â€“ containing both the netbook and a USB which held the only backup of her work â€“ gone. Following the advice of the Library security staff Toher completed a report for the GardaĂ only to be told by librarians her case was the fourth incident reported that day. Toher was disappointed by the Libraryâ€™s reaction, stating: â€œthere seemed to be no protocol,â€? but said the
security staff had been â€œvery helpful.â€? The BLU libraries have no CCTV coverage and due to understaffing and cutbacks the libraries are not patrolled by security as often as they used to be. Toher said the lack of CCTV was â€œridiculousâ€?, but she maintained she did not blame library security or staff. â€œIâ€™ve done it before, it was my own fault,â€? she said. She was less forgiving considering the increase in criminal activity that day: â€œIf it had already happened three times that day why werenâ€™t they checking bags or something?â€? Following the incidents in reading week, College has encouraged students to be more vigilant, particularly with the exam season coming up. â€œIn order to reduce the likelihood of theft, it is important that students do not leave laptops and other property when leaving their study space in the Library and very important that they do not lend ID cards to others, and report the loss of ID cards promptly,â€? a Library spokesperson said. There has been a noticeable increase of concern on the part of Library security staff in the last week. In some
A quarter of school applications to TCD JUST OVER one in four college applicants have their eyes on Trinity College, as evidenced by another surge in applications for courses. However, less than one in six of these applicants are expected to secure a place in the college. 18,887 students have applied for Trinity College, up from 18,437 in 2011 and 17,288 in 2009. The approximate ceiling figure for students registered per year, however, stands at around 2,800. This is the fifth successive year in which applications for Trinity College have increased, 2012 is set to see the latest in a series of ever more fierce contests for college places. Manus Lenihan
Controversial Trinity fraternity is set up
The thefts of 4 computers and a USB device took place in the Lecky Library
cases of prolonged inattention, security staff have taken laptops from desks for safekeeping. After overcoming the initial shock, Toher still feels uneasy in the library: â€œMentally, this has put me off the Lecky, it was the place I found it easiest to study and now it feels a little unsafe,â€? she said. â€œEventually Iâ€™ll go back, but
I canâ€™t understand students stealing from one another. Theyâ€™d know how much work is on a laptop, theyâ€™d know how hard it would be to catch up.â€? Toher, along with other victims from reading week, are due to review the CCTV footage of the Arts Block this week in the hope of discovering the culprit or possible culprits.
US COLLEGE fraternity Zeta Psi has established its first Irish chapter under the name of Theta Omicron. It is heavily associated with Trinity College. At an installation banquet held on 25 February at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 25 new members received their charter. Jack Oâ€™Connor, a Junior Sophister TSM student, is President or, according to Zeta Psi terminology, â€œPhiâ€? of the Theta Omicron chapter, which has been referred to unofficially as â€œThe Dynastyâ€?. Ents Officer-elect David Whelan, Communications Officer-elect Owen Bennett and Horse Racing Soc Auditor Jack Cantillon were listed in the charter as members of the fraternity. However, all three students deny this claim. The names on the charter include students who hold positions of influence in sports clubs and large societies such as the Phil and the Hist. A spokesperson for Zeta Psi, which was founded in New York in 1847, said that â€œfraternities are new to Ireland, but the concept is not new. Fraternities provide an environment to develop close, lifelong friendships and develop leadership and other life skills.â€? Fiona Ridgway
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13 March, 2012
Occupy Dame St evicted in early hours
Fees referendum to be held by Union TRINITY STUDENTS’ Union has announced plans to hold a referendum on a new policy on third-level funding by the end of March. The current SU policy on fees, dating from 2008, states that “Education is a right, not a privilege,” and opposes fees in any form. The time limit for this policy has lapsed. This comes after a reduced attendance of 700 from Trinity College students at the USI’s “Stop Fees, Save the Grant” demonstration this past November, compared with the turnout of between one and two thousand Trinity students at the “Education not Emigration” march in November 2010. An increase in the Student Contribution – widely regarded as fees “by the back door” – to €3,000 by 2015 followed the November demonstration. Despite not officially having college fees, Irish students effectively pay more fees than any other country in Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom. A Town Hall meeting on the subject saw widely diverging views, with support for fees and for student loan schemes expressed, as well as total opposition to fees, with the demand that education be funded through taxation as is theoretically the case. Manus Lenihan
Manus Lenihan College News Editor
TRINITY COLLEGE’S short-lived neighbours on Dame Street were removed forcibly by An Garda Síochána shortly after 3am on the morning of Thursday 8 March. The eviction, which reportedly involved up to 100 Gardaí, came exactly five months after the foundation of the camp on 8 October last year. An Garda Síochána and spokespersons for the Irish Central Bank, as well as the Fine Gael Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar TD, called for the camp to be removed, citing health and safety and public order concerns with regard to the upcoming St Patrick’s Day parade. Dublin City Councillor Gerry Breen claimed that the plaza “acts as a safety valve for Dame Street in the event of needing to evacuate large numbers off Dame Street into Temple Bar on St Patrick’s Day.” Other reports claimed that the plaza was to be used for the parade’s VIP stand. The eviction involved up to 100 Gardaí and the closing-off of Dame Street. 12 huts and the wooden kitchen buildings were destroyed and possessions of the protestors – including laptops, a treasury
Protestors have already moved in to the site of the eviction from 6pm on 8 March
containing donations from members of the public, clothes and even bicycles – were confiscated. By 8pm on Thursday morning a small group of campers and four Gardaí remained. The plaza had been washed clean by council workers, and stickers, posters and banners torn down. Trinity News saw protestors erect a small sign saying “Occupy
GSU fails to fight off growing funds deficit
GSU faces losing Students’ Union grant Trinity scientists Vice-president “hurt” over scrapping role create Quick Response SU president hits back at GSU criticisms INNOVATION
Eoghan Hughes Staff Reporter
The Focused Ion Beam microscope at Trinity was used to create the code
TRINITY COLLEGE’S latest achievement in the field of science is a Quick Response (QR) code created using a Focused Ion Beam microscope. The code is believed to be a world record-breaker as it is the smallest in existence. Created by the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), the code will link smartphones to a brochure for the 2012 exhibition programme at the Dublin Science Gallery in Trinity College. Each cell in the code is one micron, or millionth of a metre, wide. A human hair is between 40 and 300 microns wide. Manus Lenihan
Dame Street, ride on”, which was torn down by a Garda amid cries of “Shame on you.” Activists claimed to have been treated roughly by Gardaí. “My back is in bits,” said one. They claimed that mobile phones had been destroyed during the previous night’s raid. In October Trinity News reported that the camp was home to between 50 and 80 protesters every night.
Public assemblies at which there were open discussions of political and organisational issues featured at 1pm and 6pm every day, attracting some Trinity College students on their lunch break. However, the background to the recent eviction is a steady decline of the movement, with public assemblies not being held for weeks at a time and only 15 people in the camp on the night of 7-8 March when the Guards moved in. However, Thursday evening saw scenes reminiscent of the first days of the movement, when around 200 people gathered on Dame Street plaza to protest against the removal of the camp. Speakers reiterated the determination of the protestors to continue “despite the efforts of the Central Bank and An Garda Síochána... if anything, our resolve is even stronger.” Speakers pointed repeatedly to “the real criminals” in the Central Bank building and criticised the Gardaí for removing a “legitimate protest”. It is unclear whether the protest will continue on the Central Bank plaza or elsewhere. At around 8pm a smaller group of about 100 marched to Pearse Street Garda station where angry scenes erupted as protestors demanded the return of their possessions.
GRADUATE STUDENTS’ Union (GSU) full-time officers are warning of the possible collapse of the organisation due to funding cuts. Recriminations and accusations are now emerging between the GSU and the undergraduate Students’ Union. €15,000 per year has for the past three years been set aside for the GSU from SU funds; Trinity News reported three weeks ago that this grant had been discontinued, leaving the GSU in a position where, as current VicePresident Martin McAndrew put it, they have the alternative of “Two sabbatical officers sitting in a office with no money to buy printer ink, or one officer with lots and lots of money but who is now so busy doing two people’s jobs that nothing can be done with it anyway.” Undergraduate Students’ Union President Ryan Bartlett disagreed: “[The GSU] had almost depleted their savings with expenditure greater than
income for the three years before” the grant from the SU was agreed. The office of Vice-President provides the services of both Welfare and an Education Officer to graduate students, both of which shall be merged into the office of the President should the Vice-Presidency be discontinued. This also means that individual student problems being dealt with by the Vice-President will be added to the President’s workload. Such cases, which can take months to resolve, reached 200 in number by March for this year alone. GSU President Mary O’Connor expressed fears as to the effect this would have on her own activities. “There is no way I could represent postgraduates on a committee level, on a policy and financial level as well as an education and welfare level, there would be absolutely no way,” she says. “Without the Vice-President this Union will fall apart.” When asked if the SU, which has five full-time officers, could possibly fulfil the Welfare and Education Officer
positions for postgraduate students, both O’Connor and McAndrew were adamant that such an arrangement would be unacceptable. McAndrew feels that an undergraduate Welfare or Education officer could not provide much help to graduate students because “The difference between a Freshmen Chemistry student and a first year postgraduate chemistry student is simply immense.” Mary O’Connor raised serious questions as to where the SU plans to divert the €15,000 now that it has been removed from the GSU’s budget. A breakdown of the Students’ Union’s expenditure requested by O’Connor has yet to be provided. She argued that because graduate students make up 30% of SU membership, the GSU should receive a proportionate sum from the SU’s earnings to safeguard the interests of postgraduate students. Both O’Connor and McAndrew expressed further frustration that the SU can afford to sustain a full-time Entertainment Officer while the GSU shall soon be cut down to a single paid representative. “The relevance of the SU expenditure breakdown is unclear as the SU used accumulated savings [and] not its operational budget to assist the GSU,” said Bartlett, adding that the compilation of such an account
is in progress nonetheless, though it is likely to be delayed because the SU considers it a “secondary priority to ensuring that students are catered for as well as possible.” McAndrew admitted to feeling personally affected by this situation, and stated that his proximity to the problems of postgraduate students made him believe that Trinity College will be “a less safe place for postgraduate students next year.” While claiming no responsibility to tell the SU how to spend its money, McAndrew admitted to feeling “hurt” by the SU’s lack of faith in the GSU and their retraction of the grant. Bartlett, however, claimed he did not “understand where McAndrew’s opinion that the SU has a lack of faith in the GSU has come from.” He then went on the attack himself, arguing that providing services to postgraduate students “becomes much more difficult without the support of GSU officers, and even more so when attempts to invite direct student input are actively blocked by them.” Bartlett believed that some of the conflict stems from his own “constant refusal to agree with the GSU sabbats that cutting services to ‘give the GSU more power, the ability to spend on things’ is of equal or higher priority to the interests of postgraduate students. I stand by this still.”
College goes eco-friendly for Green Week
RECOGNITION David Barrett & Michael Barry
Roll up for Honour Roll
Deputy Editor & Deputy TN2 Editor
FOLLOWING the success of the inaugural 2011 Roll of Honour, the Dean of Students Dr. Amanda Piesse has opened applications for the 2012 Honour Roll. Anyone with 20 hours or more of voluntary activity – either within college, in a local community, or abroad – is eligible to apply for the Honour Roll. It is designed to recognise the contribution students make in their extracurricular activities. In April last year, 385 students were included on the Honour Roll for a range of activities including sports coaching, scout leading, student journalism, society work and volunteering abroad. Students can apply to be included on the Roll on the Civic Engagement Officer’s website by 29 March. Kate Palmer
David Norris launches Green Week outside Public Theatre. Photo: Manus Lenihan
THE SIMON Perry Sustainable Lecture was the highlight of this year’s Trinity Green Week, the longest running event of its kind in an Irish college. The lecture, entitled “TCD Green Flag Campus – Think Global, Act Local” saw speakers ranging from Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan TD to comedian Abie Philbin Bowman. The event saw all speakers attempt to highlight differing aspects of the title, which is in common use by green parties all over the world, in addition to highlighting job opportunities that will be created in this growing sector in the Irish economy. The Minister showcased government efforts to align Ireland to the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, in addition to government plans to grow the “green economy”. Other speeches were less technical, with Gerard Whelan of Kingspan Renewables commenting on the merits of solar power and
Joseph Borza, a member of the College Environmental Society committee, going through Trinity’s efforts to become one of the world’s first Green Flag universities, showcasing the progress the university has made in the nine areas of the application. Philbin Bowman gave a more light-hearted concluding remark regarding Ireland’s dependence on foreign oil. The week was launched by ViceProvost Linda Hogan and Senator David Norris and also featured a variety of talks, displays and walks. The schedule also included a forum on the theme of the week which featured a debate on nuclear energy hosted by the College Environmental Society and a talk about Urban Biodiversity entitled “What does Dublin’s wildlife do for us?” which was given by well-known environmental commentator Éanna Ní Lamhna. Other events included an “Alternative Transport Day”, where students were encouraged to find alternative means of getting to the college, as well as special prizes. TRINITY NEWS
ONE LIFE, ONE YEAR, MANY CHOICES ;YPUP[`:JOVVSVM)\ZPULZZ 4HZ[LYZ7YVNYHTTLZ MSc in Business & Management Interested in a career in business management or in becoming an entrepreneur, but youâ€™ve never studied I\ZPULZZILMVYL&;OL4:JPU)\ZPULZZHUK4HUHNLTLU[PZKLZPNULKZWLJPÃ„JHSS`MVYNYHK\H[LZ^OV OH]LHWYPTHY`\UKLYNYHK\H[LKLNYLLPUHUVUI\ZPULZZYLSH[LKZ\IQLJ[HUK^OVHYLWHZZPVUH[LHIV\[ [HRPUNJVU[YVSVM[OLPYV^UJHYLLYHUKM\[\YL;OPZVUL`LHYM\SS[PTL4HZ[LYZ^PSSJVTWSLTLU[`V\Y MV\UKH[PVUKLNYLLHUKNP]L`V\HKKLKI\ZPULZZHUKLU[YLWYLUL\YPHS]HS\LWYV]PKPUN`V\^P[O[OLZRPSSZ YLX\PYLK[VSLHKTHUHNLHUKJYLH[LPU[VKH`Â»ZJVTWSL_I\ZPULZZLU]PYVUTLU[
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visit our website at www.tcd.ie/business 13 March, 2012
6 NATIONAL NEWS firstname.lastname@example.org
Galway students in court case over cuts
IN BRIEF DUBLIN
UCD student bar risks drying up due to debts
Case against Government over maintenance grant Distance eligibility rules under scrutiny by High Court Students hope for reversal of policy affecting 25,000 Amy Crowe
UCD’s STUDENT bar may face closure in light of the financial difficulties of its students’ union. SU president Pat De Brún voiced his concerns about the future of the bar after reviewing the estimated accounts from July to December 2011. De Brún said that no accurate account figures could be given as they are not yet finalised but does expect the bar to make a loss of just under €50,000. He also stated that if the whole year was accounted for as an estimate based on the loss of six months of the year it would not be a fair portrayal of the bar’s losses. De Brún refuted rumours about wages being paid to bar staff directly by the Students’ Union. It was admitted that funds can be transferred between different Students’ Union projects and this may account for the rumour.
THREE STUDENTS in Galway have gained the support of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) following their application of a legal case to the High Court against the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn. The students in question, who come from IT Dundalk, NUI Galway and Galway-Mayo IT, presented their judicial case to Mr. Justice Hedigan on 23 and 24 February. The Government announced a number of changes to the Higher Education Maintenance Grant in the budget – including that the family home must now be more than 45km from the college in order to qualify. In their action against the Minister for Education and Skills, the three students, who all live more than 24km from college, want orders quashing the decision to change the 24 kilometres
threshold to 45 kilometres or more. The case deals with the cuts in eligibility for student maintenance following the emergency budget formed late last year. The value of the full maintenance non-adjacent (higher) grant for the academic year 2010 to 2011 was €3,250, paid in three installments. This provided students with funding towards living costs. The limitations, as outlined in the budget, have seen a substantial reduction – 4% in the overall grant – and mature students (those over the age of 23) are no longer automatically entitled to any of the maintenance payments for the academic year 2011-2012. The grant will be means tested, based on your family’s income from the previous tax year. However, there will be allowances made to students in the lowest income bracket, although this figure has yet to be announced. Alan Wallace of Mangan O’Beirne
Solicitors, for the students, said after the 23 February application that the outcome was likely to affect thousands of people. The students described an increase in the distance threshold from 24km to 45km as “unfair and unjust” as many will now see their grants cut, as they live more than 24km from their university. They also say that those who had begun their academic term in September could not have legitimately foreseen these budget restrictions would have been in place. This, they argue, means that many students undertook a course – most of which last three to five years – which they subsequently would not be able to afford. USI President Gary Redmond backed the case, saying: “The biggest victims of these cuts are students from the most financially disadvantaged backgrounds who rely on the grant to stay in education. He continued: “If this cut is not reversed many of these students will have no choice but to drop out.” Deputy USI President Colm Murphy said the
changes “cut people who are already in the system.” It is hoped that if the High Court judge rules in the students’ favour, this may put pressure on the Education Minister to reverse the cuts, which affect over 25,000 students.
The case by three students affected by the cuts is ongoing at the High Court
Scholarship launched for Indian students THE GOVERNMENT, in collaboration with the Irish Universities Association, have announced a €10,000 scholarship programme for Indian students admitted to Masters courses at Irish universities. The scholarship programme will cover living expenses and tuition fees. The incentive is part of an aim to increase the number of international students studying in Ireland to 25,0000 by 2015. It is hoped the promotion of institutional relationships with other countries will facilitate teaching, research and mobility. The students will also be granted a one-year period with which to find a job, and after five years can apply for citizenship. Ruth Millar
Quinn’s comments knocked at UL event Minister for Education highlighted role of students Told UL members they need to assess their lecturers Quinn admits Education Dept has no idea of standards Mairead Cremins Deputy National News Editor
NUI GALWAY President James Browne hit out at comments made by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn to Limerick students, where he said the only people who can tell the HEA and the Department of Education whether lecturers are doing their jobs are students themselves. The Galway President said while this may be true to an extent, evaluation also comes from other sources. Minister Quinn said to students: “It is solely up to them [students] to evaluate those who are paid to educate third-level students and provide feedback on their performances.” He also told up to 100 students and academics that the Department of
Education and the Higher Education Authority “haven’t a clue if lecturers are doing the job for which they are being paid.” Browne responded to the remarks, saying that professional bodies are just as important in regulating lecturers’ performance. According to Browne, they would “have some sense of what should be in the curriculum because they are looking at the graduates that emerge from it, employers have a right to give feedback, the academics themselves have a right to look at international experience to see what’s being taught elsewhere.” He went on to say: “There are lots of different sources of feedback. Students are one, albeit very important part of that but not the only part of it. The Minister for Education sets the tone
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and I think he is right to set the tone in terms of the need for feedback and the need for students to be demanding and for lecturers to be responsive.” The importance of student representation was emphasised by “The Dept of Education and HEA haven’t a clue if lecturers are doing the job for which they are paid” the NUIG President. He said in future he would like to see each lecturer allocating a certain time that students can come to them for help. He does not believe that a lecturer’s job is solely to turn up on time and to deliver a lecture. Browne said: “I would like to see every lecturer saying to his or her class ‘if you need to talk to me I am available whenever, my office is open at certain times to you’.” NUI Galway has structures in place
to help lecturers improve their teaching skills. The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching runs courses which lecturers are encouraged to take in order to progress in their work. “Our approach here is to use feedback not in an inspectorial way. Our impression is to use feedback to increase the quality of the student experience and of the lecturing experience,” Browne said. “I am convinced that the great majority of staff in the universities do a really good job. I am convinced of that based on my own experience and also the data shows that,” he continued. In Trinity College, a Centre for Academic Practice and eLearning exists to provide a range of services and resources to support academic research and teaching staff in College. It aims to enhance the quality of teaching the University provides. They offer a number of programmes on various aspects of learning and teaching.
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Concealed camera has lives in its web
IN BRIEF UNITED STATES
Ellen Buckland Contributing Reporter
FORMER RUTGERS student Dharun Ravi, 20, is standing trial in New Jersey for allegedly using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi whilst he was engaging in intimate relations with another man. Clement later committed suicide in a case which is believed to have been caused by homophobic bullying. The testimony of a witness known only as “MB” confirmed that a webcam was present in Clementi’s room. MB was one of the last people to communicate with Clementi, 18, before he killed himself on 22 September 2010. His suicide followed the discovery that Ravi had secretly watched the couple kissing, and later shared the footage with fellow students. MB originally met Clementi through a social networking site for gay men, and their first encounter in person took place on 17 September 2010 – two days before the alleged spying. He told jurors that when he left the dormitory that night he noticed a group of students looking at him in “an unsettling way”, but thought little of it. MB was keen to continue the new relationship
Defendant Dharun Ravi at the courtroom in New Jersey facing 15 criminal charges
and testified that he sent text messages to Clementi following their third and final meeting. Weeks later he discovered the young man’s suicide when a newspaper reported that he had jumped to his death from the George Washington
Bridge. Ravi now faces a 15 count indictment, including charges of invasion of privacy, evidence and witness tampering, and bias intimidation. The most serious charge is punishable by up to
10 years imprisonment. The jury will ultimately face a decision on whether Ravi’s intimidation was borne of a gay prejudice that led to him to bully Clementi because of his sexual orientation. The second student charged in the case, Molly Wei, has agreed to a plea deal which will require her to testify against Ravi. Wei admitted watching several seconds of Clementi’s encounter during which she saw the two men kissing. Other friends of Ravi have testified that he did not have a problem with his roommate’s sexuality, and used the webcam to protect his privacy. Defence attorney Steven Altman released a statement that Ravi had been concerned about MB’s older appearance, describing him as “a scruffy, shady-looking, creepy, homeless-looking dude.” MB’s identity has been protected but several reporters describe him as clean-shaven and well-dressed, bearing little resemblance to Ravi’s description. MB’s attorney and human rights advocate Richard Pompelio said his client “knows Ravi did wrong, but he doesn’t want to see him go to jail.” The court has also heard that Dharun had attempted to rectify his wrongdoings with Clementi on the day of his death.
“Occupy education” Radio host brands on the road in Cali’ US student a “slut” Student supported free contraception Right-wing host lambasts student on air Limp apology after advertisers rush for exit Sam Quirke Staff Reporter
A protest at the State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, against education cuts
Emily Johnson Contributing Reporter
IN ANTICIPATION of increased spending cuts to higher education, students have organised a statewide protest at universities across California, leading to one campus partially shutting down. At least 80 schools participated in the “Occupy Education” protest. Thousands of demonstrators attempted to bring attention to rising tuition fees and budget cuts by blocking campus entrances, organising marches and staging walkouts. Last year, the same protest garnered significant media attention. This year the protests were endorsed by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which helped bring even more national attention to the cause. A San Francisco City College student noted how the Occupy movement’s focus on education shows how it is evolving beyond encampments. However, despite being more organised than last year, not all universities saw peaceful outcomes. Protestors at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), closed most of their school by blocking off entrances and preventing vehicles from entering the campus. At least one car drove into the crowd of demonstrators and hit several people in the process. No serious injuries were reported. The driver claimed he warned students that he intended to drive on through the blockade, before revving his engine a couple of times, then proceeding at 1-2 mph through the intersection. School officials said he was briefly detained by police, but was ultimately released pending an investigation. Abbey Edwards was knocked to the ground when the car drove through the blockade. Despite sustaining minor
13 March, 2012
injuries she expressed no regrets in taking part in the protest and concluded: “It’s important for all of us to be with each other.” Despite that incident, other protests proceeded peacefully, which was another improvement on the previous year. Executive vice-chancellor Alison Galloway of UCSC conceded: “We understand the real frustration that students are feeling.” If tax measures proposed by Governor Jerry Brown do not pass, UCSC will be hit with a $13m funding cut, ultimately effecting future students’ ability to afford university education. The two major public university systems of the state, California State University and University of California, each lost $750m in state funding in the 2011-12 academic year and more cuts are on the horizon. The University of California system has seen an increase in undergraduate education tuition of 56% since 2009. A UCSC graduate student explained his frustrations with the increasing cost of higher education: “We’ve destroyed our tax base and we stopped funding the most important parts of our society.” California’s public universities currently lead the nation in increasing higher education costs, and more protests on the issue have since occurred. The Occupy Education movement was a prelude to the major “Occupy the Capitol” rally that took place in Sacramento. Thousands of students, teachers, and workers took part in the protest. Some of these protestors walked the 99-miles from San Francisco to Sacramento to further highlight the cause. The hope is that their demonstrations will pressure Governor Jerry Brown to reject any legislation that calls for further higher education or budget cuts.
LAST WEEK right-wing US radio host Rush Limbaugh called a law student a slut and a prostitute. Limbaugh, who is no stranger to controversy, has had the spotlight shone even brighter on him in light of comments he made about Sandra Fluke and her testimony before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Speaking at a press conference organised by Democrats last month, Fluke argued in favour of requiring all private insurance plans to cover contraception coverage, even religious institutions. She cited the cost of contraception as a major reason for this argument, stating that over the course of her three-year law degree, contraception could cost her up to $3,000 (€2,278). Lack of free birth control, she went on to say, meant that many low-income students simply could not afford it and had to go without. In response to this, on 29 February, Limbaugh said: “What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee
Right-wing host Rush Limbaugh on air
and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. We’re the pimps.” The following day, he went on to say that Fluke was “having so much sex, it’s amazing how she can still walk.” The negative reaction to these comments from the public was instantaneous and went far beyond any of the criticism Limbaugh had previously attracted. Also criticised was his suggestion to an alternative birth control – “keeping an aspirin between your knees”. A campaign began for the companies sponsoring his show to pull their advertisements, and Sleep Train, Select Comfort, Quicken Loans, GoToMyPC, Citrix Systems and LegalZoon have all ceased advertising on his show. The controversy even reached the White House, with Obama telephoning Fluke to offer his support. On 3 March Limbaugh issued an apology through his official website in which he said: “My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.” He repeated parts of this apology on his show on 5 March. That same day Fluke responded to the apology on ABC’s The View, where she pointed out that he had insulted her over 50 times in 3 days and that saying that his choice of words could have been different didn’t really mean anything. Even after the apology, AOL and Allstate Insurance suspended their advertising with Limbaugh’s show. 75 Democrat lawmakers have since signed a letter expressing outrage at the remarks, labelling them as “sexually charged, patently offensive, obscene”, “indecent” and “an abuse of public airwaves”. Even some Republicans have condemned Limbaugh, with Congressman Ron Paul saying that his comments were “over the top” and that his apology was far from sincere. House Speaker John Boehner labelled the comments inappropriate. Fluke has intimated that she is considering legal action again Limbaugh for slander – a charge that legal experts say is viable.
Student, 18, dies after frat party in Illinois CITIZENS of Ogle County in northern Illinois have been given the tragic news of the death of 18-year-old student Brandon Landau. He was found with his lower body in a stream, his upper body resting on a log. Landau, a student at Illinois Wesleyan University, had been attending a university frat party. The cause of death is as yet unknown, but he was found with superficial cuts and abrasions, and preliminary reports do indicate that he was heavily intoxicated. Five fraternity members have been arrested in connection with his death. Signs point towards a party event gone horribly wrong. Fraternities are well known for their initiation traditions, and it could well be that Landau was the unfortunate victim of an initiation process that ultimately cost him his life. It is being argued that this is an indication of the consequences of having such a strict alcohol law, which prevents youths from having a healthy approach to drinking. Fred Rasmussen
SU candidate backs her “great rack” for election OXFORD student Madeline Grant has shot into the limelight for using her breasts to get elected to the position of Union librarian. Grant, 19, used the slogan: “I don’t hack, I just have a great rack” on her campaign manifesto prior to approval from the university. One student said: “Whilst this manifesto is clearly meant to be humorous, it shows a distinct lack of judgement. “The suggestion that anyone should be voted in on such a basis is deeply offensive to both male and female voters and is also very damaging to the perception of the women associated with the Union,” he continued. Grant’s revised manifesto omitted the slogan. A university spokesperson said that it may have been part of the original manifesto but that there were a number of issues with the original manifesto which Grant had to remove. Grant has come out to defend her campaign by claiming it was only meant to be “light-hearted satire”. A number of feminist groups have voiced their dismay at the 19-year-old’s attempt to win election by objectifying herself, saying it highlights a wider societal problem where women feel that in order to attain positions of power they need to use their sexuality. Jack Farrell
Sex scandal former IMF head talks to students DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn, former head of the IMF, spoke to students at the prestigious university last Friday evening despite campus wide protests against his invitation. Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF after allegations of sexual assault in a New York hotel. The Cambridge Students’ Union has come out to defend the invitation and announced that the invitation was sent prior to the allegations. Before his address, two people were arrested amid protests on Friday morning. Women’s groups have also condemned the invitation and believe that giving Strauss-Kahn the honour of speaking on such a platform trivialises rape. Jack Farrell
8 NEWS FEATURES
Fracking controversy racks countryside Cian Clynes reports on the growing concern of “fracking” gas exploration in rural Ireland
“The fracking process reportedly has the potential to contaminate groundwater supplies as well as damaging the local environment and habitat of wildlife”
ocal communities throughout the northwest of Ireland have been leading a growing movement of opposition towards the planned exploration of natural gas reserves in the region. Their mounting concern stems from worries relating to the harmful effects of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking”, as a method of extracting natural gas from beneath the earth’s surface. Fracking has been proposed as a method of liberating up to 4.4 trillion cubic feet of gas potentially worth €110bn in an area of north Leitrim and south Fermanagh, resulting in the potential creation of 600 jobs for the community over a 30 year period. The process of fracking involves forcing millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand hundreds of metres below surface to crack open the rock formation and channel natural gas into an onshore well. Fracking has proven to be a controversial issue with reports from the US claiming that the process has the potential to contaminate groundwater supplies as well as damaging the local environment and habitat of wildlife as a result of poor drilling practices. In a country which relies heavily on its agri-food and tourism sectors, the dangers of such consequences could have untold effects on Irish society and the
A shale gas fracking site in Pennsylvania, US, shows its effect on the landscape
economy. An investigation by the New York Times last year claimed that waste water from some water sources near fracking sites in America contained dangerously high levels of radioactivity. Furthermore, in an industry that has a tendency to frequently downgrade its estimates of recoverable gas by up to 80%, many would argue that any potential economic rewards do not justify the possible transformation of the socio-economic environment of rural regions.
However, accurately documenting the impact of a technology that works largely underground can prove to be a very difficult task. Proponents of the controversial process argue that examples of untoward effects to the environment in localised areas where fracking has taken place were present in these locations long before the commencement of gas exploration. Further justification of the process is evidenced by a report by the University of Texas which claims that there is no direct
link between fracking and groundwater contamination. The report claims that any contamination of local water sources was due to the improper disposal of “flowback” water used during drilling and not from the fracking process itself. The ability to proceed with the exploration of gas relies on the granting of an onshore exploration licence to the Australian company Tamboran by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The difficulty surrounding this debate lies in the lack of proper regulation regarding the issue of onshore gas exploration in Ireland due to the failure of successive governments to contemplate foreign interest in Irish onshore gas reserves. With an issue that incites powerful emotions from all parties involved, the government should think carefully about how it proceeds, particularly at a time when economic imbalance increases the temptation to welcome all forms of foreign investment that present itself. A final decision on the granting of a gas exploration licence to Tamboran is dependent on the outcome of a study, which has been contracted to the University of Aberdeen, on the potentially harmful environmental impacts of fracking. This study, which is due in the coming months, could prove crucial in determining the direction that Ireland takes in the extraction of its natural resources during this “golden age of gas”.
WORLD FOCUS SYRIA
Church and State debate a separation Diplomats
Deputy News Features Editor
THE CLASH between church and state has reached a new level over recent weeks. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has called for the protection of Catholic schools since the government shared its intention of stripping the church of its patronage. He says parents still want their children to be educated in a religious framework, and the government should respect this by “fostering Catholic schools that are truly Catholic”. About 90% of state-funded schools are Catholic. The Archbishop has stated that some of these do welcome students of faiths other than Catholic, which is probably intended to illuminate the church’s tolerant doctrine. He has also, however, indicated that such actions endanger these schools as being fully Catholic: “The Catholic Church is opening and welcoming to children of different cultural backgrounds but it has inevitably contributed to an erosion of the concept of what a Catholic school truly is.”
Such a statement almost borders on discrimination, however, considering how the Christian doctrine preaches equality and justice, because anyone who isn’t of Christian faith is placed in
“The Catholic Church is opening and welcoming to children of different backgrounds but this has eroded the concept of what a Catholic school is” a more vulnerable position. Were the Archbishop’s wishes followed, it would deprive these students of the opportunity to learn of other religions in classes of, say, religious education, which in turn might disadvantage them in the future, considering the immense mingling of cultures and religions in our century. The Forum of Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector has
been assigned the task of indicating how Catholic schools may better accommodate non-Catholic children, and the Minister for Education has the job of ensuring enrolment policies do not result in the unjust treatment of students. The tension between church and state has grown thicker since the beginning of this millennium, with the breakout of scandals concerning clerical sex abuse. Last November, Enda Kenny’s announcement of the closure of the Irish embassy in the Vatican was similarly met with opposition, and the Archbishop’s pleas to alter this decision are now heard anew. According to the Taoiseach, this is a choice made purely on economic grounds, yet Archbishop Martin contests such explanations, concluding that this ruling is “indicative of a view that saw religion as belonging to a private sphere. “The function of diplomacy is reduced to what is quantifiable in economic terms as if somehow spiritual matters did not belong to the real world.”
Such a bold statement is almost a contradiction in itself, as it implies decisions concerning spiritual matters should be made independently of economics, which in turn suggests they
“Enda Kenny’s closure of the Irish embassy in the Vatican was similarly met with opposition” would similarly be displaced from the real world. As it is, spiritual matters are simply related to the current economic situation and decisions are made taking into consideration both these matters instead of prioritising only one. Considering the pressure Enda Kenny has found himself under from some Fine Gael deputies as well as Catholic leaders, though, a possible consideration of a reopening of the embassy in the future cannot be ruled out.
24 hour waiting times for emergencies Akash Sikka Contributing Writer
RECENT research has revealed that unwell children admitted to accident and emergency are often having to wait in excess of 24 hours on temporary hospital trolleys before they are admitted to a ward and assigned a bed. Each night, 13 or 14 children spend their whole night on a hospital trolley – while for some, their whole stay is confined to one trolley. The Irish Association for Emergency
“Waiting times at Crumlin Hospital have reportedly increased by 700% in little over three years” Medicine has bemoaned the current situation, asserting that numbers are “at historically high and dangerous levels”. Waiting times at Crumlin Children’s Hospital have reportedly
“Children who need to be admitted into a ward are forced to remain in accident and emergency” increased by 700% in little over three years and Professor Ronan O’Sullivan, emergency consultant at Crumlin, has warned that rather than bring some respite, the months of March and April may exacerbate the situation, rendering it as bad “if not worse”. Budget cuts have resulted in the closure of 25 beds in Crumlin, while ten are out of bounds in Temple Street, forcing those who need to be admitted into a ward to remain in the emergency department. O’Sullivan remarked: “The number of children who now receive their complete care in the paediatric emergency department is now eight times greater than in 2008 ... These children could have illness like asthma,
chest infections, fever, meningitis and gastroenteritis. They should be admitted to a bed and may be in need of oxygen, intravenous fluids or ongoing therapy.” The lack of space has resulted in increased pressure on hospital staff, who have to treat sick patients on trolleys while at the same time caring for other children that have come in with an emergency. O’Sullivan has highlighted the risk of “doing two jobs” in such a way as clearly unsafe and unfair to patients. Similarly, consultants have described the 12 hour wait on a trolley and 24 hour wait for a bed as ethically unacceptable. The shortage of beds has resulted in numerous other problems; for example the rate of patients leaving the hospital without being seen is steadily increasing. The association is calling on the Minster for Health James Reilly to act immediately and decisively in order to ease the pressure. Dr. John McInerney has said: “We must reopen paediatric beds for a short but predictable period each winter to accommodate the increased
demand for short term hospital care of children.” This view is echoed by Professor O’Sullivan, who said, “We need short stay units and this could be done at low capital cost or reopening a ward.”
“Hospital staff have to treat sick patients on trolleys while also having to care for other children who have come in with an emergency” The Department of Health, which has set up a Special Delivery Unit in an effort to alleviate accident and emergency waits, has blamed the increased flow of patients on a rise in flu and respiratory illnesses, which have affected the most vulnerable social demographic: the very young and very old. It is clear, however, that more must be done for patients.
sealed fate William Scott Contributing Writer
LAST MONDAY UN diplomats and international figures were finally permitted entry into Syria to hold talks with President Assad’s regime. This comes four days after the bloody end to the uprising in the city of Homs, which has seen the shelling of residential areas and reports of summary executions of those implicated in protests. It is hard to know the extent of the death toll and details of the brutality of the pro-Assad Syrian army in their attempts to suppress any further expressions of dissent. The Red Cross has been denied access to the Baba Amr district in Homs for four consecutive days. This was the last rebel stronghold and it is thought that the regime’s forces are attempting to hide the worst of the violence. On 28 February the UN confirmed over 7,500 deaths since the crackdown was launched almost a year ago. The situation is hard to read. While it’s clear Bashar al-Assad’s regime has perpetrated extensive war crimes, there isn’t yet a clear “opposition” group which the UN can support. The rebel military force, the Free Syrian Army, is composed largely of deserters from the regime and the possibility exists that it has been infiltrated by Islamic fundamentalists. Syria’s position in the Middle East also makes it difficult for other countries to take a stance. Any instability would affect nearby Israel and Lebanon, and could mobilize dangerous proxy militant groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah. The Arab League, who effectively legitimised the bombing of Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has been cautious as yet. Their action resulted in the production of an ambitious political programme. Twice the UN Security Council has vetoed a resolution supporting this plan. Economic considerations enter in: the Syrian economy has a history of high unemployment, poverty and inflation. Economic sanctions have had a major impact on the government’s oil sales, as Assad will face the problem of funding his future sieges. As Assad continues to suppress any opposition, his position becomes more untenable. It is only a matter of time before he is held to account for his actions.
FOCUS ON BRICS
Is South Africa’s economy solid as a BRIC? Andrew Stanley asks whether South Africa can live up to its new found prestige in light of its induction into the BRIC(S) community
“The fundamental reason why South Africa struggles in creating jobs is more to do so with its history. The budget deficit is expected to stand at 4.6% of GDP next year”
t’s been more than a year now since Africa’s largest and possibly most influential economy was inducted into the BRICS club; however questions still remain as to whether it really deserves this membership, given its relatively small size and modest growth rates in comparison to the four original members. Just this week South Africa received some positive economic news as GDP grew by 3.1% for the last three months of 2011, which was higher than initially expected. These are positive signs for a country which in many respects is still a very young nation; having only shrugged off apartheid two decades ago, there is plenty of work still to be done. With unemployment standing at a staggering 23.9%, these current levels of GDP growth are not reaching even half of the 7% needed to fulfil the promise of Jacob Zuma, the current South African president, to create 5 million jobs by 2020. How Zuma plans to attain this level of job creation is unclear as the budget deficit is expected to stand at 4.6% of GDP for the next year, leaving little space for governmental intervention to help job creation. Furthermore any bad economic news, along with the massive infrastructure projects recently announced, could cause this budget deficit to grow. Along with this, the central bank in South Africa currently has interest rates set very low despite major inflation worries. In summary, this all paints a picture of a country with very high
South African President, Jacob Zuma, speaking at a World Economic Forum event. SA is now experiencing positive growth
expectations but with very little room to manoeuvre if faced with a serious problem such as double-dip recession in Europe, which South Africa is largely dependent on – one third of all its manufactured exports enter the European market. Indeed, this is where the South African government has sought to shift the blame when questioned over its poor performance in creating jobs since they hosted the World Cup in 2010. The finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, pinpointed “Europe’s inability to deal with a crisis” as the source of poor South African job creation levels. However the fundamental reason why South Africa
FDI’s not all it’s cracked up to be Cian Clynes asks whether Ireland is becoming overly dependent on foreign direct investment
ith unemployment at its highest level in over a generation, analysts of the Irish economy have looked positively on PayPal’s recent announcement of the creation of 1,000 new jobs in Dundalk over the coming years. However, with multinational companies supporting a growing amount of Irish employment and contributing to a greater percentage of economic growth, there is a budding unease at what appears to be the economy’s dependence on FDI. Recent data from the Irish Exporters Association’s annual report showed that multinational companies, which have invested heavily in Ireland over recent decades, account for over 75% of total Irish exports. The economy’s dependence on a relatively small number of multinational corporations is evidenced by the fact that the top 20 multinational companies account for 44% of total exports. While the growth of FDI in Ireland will certainly play a crucial role in the advancement of the Irish economy in the short to medium run, we should question whether the long term prosperity of the country should rest on the relative success of a small number of foreign owned companies with fragile ties to this island. The Obama administration’s policies on future US corporation tax rates could deter future foreign investment in Ireland. Facing elections in November, President Obama has proposed the imposition of a minimum tax on US companies’ foreign earnings as part of an effort to reduce incentives for US companies to shift income and investment overseas. President Obama has proposed reducing America’s top rate of corporation tax to 28% as well as implementing a series of tax measures to increase investment in the US.
13 March, 2012
With more than 600 US companies currently operating in Ireland, accounting for one-sixth of US firms’ FDI in Europe, one can only expect that any potential decrease in US corporation tax policy will act to negate against one of the key reasons for most foreign companies to locate in Ireland. Furthermore, the capability of the government to maintain the current corporation tax rate of 12.5% is becoming increasingly tested amidst cries from Brussels for greater fiscal solidarity and harmonious tax policy among all EU states. Any uncertainty over the retention of Ireland’s low corporation tax rate could potentially have detrimental effects on inward investment, particularly as international confidence in the EU plays a crucial role in attracting investment to Ireland. Despite the widespread belief that Ireland’s “young, educated, Englishspeaking workforce” helps attract foreign companies to these shores, it is Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% that primarily entices FDI; even more so at a time when cuts to higher education coupled with the country’s resilient lack of competitiveness makes Ireland a less attractive location to invest. Although it remains highly unlikely that Ireland will witness a mass exodus of multinationals anytime in the future, the mobility of these companies to relocate operations abroad generates concern in communities particularly dependent on foreign investment to support local employment. We only need to look at the detrimental effects to local economies as a result of decisions by Dell and SR Technics, to name but two, to downsize their Irish operations. The Culliton Report and several other pre-boom studies strongly recommended that indigenous Irish sectors should be developed as a
priority. The economic model of any economy should be for FDI to act as a transitional stage to support and foster the creation of indigenous enterprise and not to act as an endgame strategy. The next stage in Ireland’s FDI plan should be a series of policies that actively promote spillover from FDI corporations to Irish indigenous firms in order to expand and diversify domestic enterprise. The idea of Ireland becoming the self-sufficient country of De Valera’s dreams is entirely idealistic and at the same time utterly unwanted. Nonetheless, future governments should look to play a key role in developing the role of homegrown industry in creating employment and economic growth. A critical aspect of the government’s “Action Plan for Jobs” is the stimulation of employment creation by indigenous firms. Amongst some of the key measures outlined in the plan are the establishment of a MicroEnterprise and Small Business Unit in Enterprise Ireland, the creation of a €150m Development Capital Scheme aimed at addressing a funding gap for mid-sized, high-growth indigenous companies, as well as the formation of a Potential Exporters Division within Enterprise Ireland to identify and support indigenous companies with large export capabilities. In the short term it is clear that FDI will play a pivotal role in driving Irish growth and employment forward at this critical economic juncture. Any fear that Ireland may lose out on FDI to Asian Tiger economies is relatively low as the world economy remains highly regionalised due to various government regulations, cultural differences and trade costs. Despite the downturn in the global economy, high corporate profitability coupled with low tax rates will guarantee the presence of hundreds of multinational companies in Ireland for years to come, but once we have emerged from this economic rut should we consider weaning our economy off this economic drug?
struggles in creating jobs is informed by its history, which has created a large amount of bottlenecks in the infrastructure along with leaving the majority of the workforce uneducated and with little or no skills. Yet Gordhan has remained humble when questioned as to whether South Africa justifies its membership within the BRICS as he noted that, although South Africa is an emerging economy, it is extremely small in comparison to their counterparts and would consider the reason for their membership as being because of their “leadership in Africa, which is the second fastest growing region in the world”. While South Africa may not be
attaining the levels of growth that some may have hoped, there is no doubt that it was still a credible decision made by the original members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China) to include it in the club. South Africa’s membership will undoubtedly increase connections between Africa and these emerging economies, who most likely had this developing of relations in mind when deciding to select South Africa to become a member over countries such as Indonesia who have similar economic fundamentals to the original group of four. Either that or they just wanted a country starting in “s” to make BRIC plural.
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10 WORLD REVIEW
Cuba is coming in from the cold As Raúl Castro charts a new course for the enigmatic state, Ruairí Casey recounts from where and how far Cuba has come
ost-revolutionary Cuba is not known for its modernity. Pontiacs, Chevrolets and Fords from the 1950s with a fresh lick of paint, running only due to mechanical ingenuity, still chug through the streets of Havana; streets whose buildings range from the decrepit Spanish baroque to the Batista-era glamour of mob-funded businesses. Between embargoes, Cold War isolation and a conservative, dictatorial government, Cuba has remained in stasis. Under Fidel Castro, Cuba did
“Cars from the 1950s, running only due to mechanical ingenuity, still chug through the streets of Havana” a remarkable job of surviving as a communist state parked just a few miles away from a capitalist superpower, but domestic progress was stunted by its outcast status. Castro, the longest serving world leader of the twentieth century, accumulated a vast array of supporters and detractors during his rise from student revolutionary to Cuban dictator and leading voice of anti-capitalism. The end of his rule marked a crucial point in the history of the country, and ultimately a point of departure from the largely unchanged Soviet-era ideology with which he governed Cuba since the revolution. Fidel Castro’s resignation as president did not come as any great surprise. In July 2006 he had delegated major responsibilities to his brother Raúl while he underwent surgery. Infrequent public appearances led to speculation about his health, and in February 2008 the official state newspaper, Granma, published a letter by Castro saying he would not seek re-election, citing health reasons: “It would betray my conscience to take up a responsibility that requires mobility and total devotion, that I am not in a physical condition to offer.” On 24 February the National Assembly unanimously elected Raúl as his successor. Raúl Castro was an important
military figure during the establishment of communist Cuba and had long occupied a position of power within the regime. Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces since just after the revolution in 1959 and the Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, he was subordinate only to his brother within the party. Being such an intrinsic part of the government, few had hopes of significant change under his presidency. Relations with the US, which had arguably became more strained during the Bush years, seemed as if they would remain unchanged. The newly elected Castro was quick to announce suspicions of “offensive and openly meddling declarations by the empire and some of its closest allies”. Of his brother, he said Fidel was “irreplaceable” and would be consulted on “decisions of fundamental importance for the nation’s future, including defence, foreign policy and socio-economic development”. However, in his acceptance speech he also mentioned the need for structural change within the government: “Today a more compact and functional structure is needed ... [Cuba needs] a smaller number of central administration bodies and a better distribution of their functions. We have to make our government more efficient.” Changes in official policy were announced but any progress seemed at first trivial. Previously banned consumer goods like toasters, mobile phones and DVD players were made available. The prohibitive costs of these goods meant they would have little effect on the majority of Cubans, with the average wage about $17 per month. However, more ambitious plans were soon brought into effect, with
“Raul Castro was an important military figure during the establishment of communist Cuba and had long occupied a position of power” Raúl appearing to give serious weight to his promise for change in government “structure”. In June
Graffiti on a road sign outside Havana praises Raúl Castro. Photo: Reuters/Claudia Daut
2008, reforms were enacted which altered the existing system of wage differentiation, guaranteeing equal pay among co-workers. Now employees would receive a minimum 5% bonus for meeting targets, while managers could receive a bonus of up to 30%. “Egalitarianism is not convenient,” said Carlos Mateu, vice-minister for labour, “it is not fair, because while it is harmful to pay the worker less than what he deserves, it is also harmful to give him what he doesn’t deserve.” This departure from Marxist orthodoxy showed a government willing to adapt in order to revitalise its economy. Food production, which had been in deficit for years, was another sector in which Raúl brought much needed changes. He described food production as “a matter of maximum national security”. Land use and food distribution was streamlined with decision-making moved from the agriculture ministry in Havana to the municipal level. More state land was granted to private farmers and cooperatives that already produced over half the country’s produce on 20% of the tilled land. Another move away from rigid state
ownership was the decision to allow the sale of private houses in November last year. Following from the decision to allow the purchase of new cars (to persons of special status), legislation was introduced that allowed private
“Under Fidel Castro, Cuba did a remarkable job of surviving as a communist state parked just a few miles away from a capitalist superpower” dwellings to be bought and sold. Before this, Cubans were limited to trading houses between owners. Despite this, black-market trade existed and many trades were supplemented with cash sums. New legislation also put a limit on the number of houses one can own. A Cuban citizen may own one permanent dwelling and another for weekend or holiday use. In a country where housing is chronically overcrowded, with three or four generations of the same family often living together, the government is careful not to let property become a commodity one can accumulate in abundance. Raúl Castro’s government has been progressive, but progressive within the boundaries of a socialist state. He has never shown any sign of amending Cuba’s socialist structure, with institutions like the one-party state remaining inviolable. Of the oneparty system he said, “To renounce the principle of only one party would simply mean legalising the party or
“Criticism of the government has become less of a taboo, but only through approved channels such as workplace forums”
Raúl Castro’s government is more progressive than his predecessor but retains its military character
parties of imperialism on Cuban soil and sacrifice the strategic weapon of one party.” Criticism of the government has become less of a taboo, but criticism is to come only through approved
channels such as workplace forums and neighbourhood meetings. Public demonstrations are not tolerated. Counter-protests are organised and police are quick to arrest political opponents, while state media portrays them as “mercenaries” or “counterrevolutionaries”. While the number of arrests increased last year, according to the anti-Castro Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation, a large number of political prisoners have been granted amnesty. Almost 3,000 prisoners were freed during the Christmas period in a deal brokered by the Catholic Church ahead of the Pope’s planned visit to the island. Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights, dismissed the decision. “It’s a shallow measure by the government, a gesture to improve its international image,” he said. Many prisoners freed in the last few years have emigrated to Spain as part of an agreement between Cuban and Spanish governments, with other dissidents including the country’s
“More work is still to be done. Political freedoms must be expanded, serious economic problems need to be fixed” most famous blogger, Yoani Sanchez, searching for asylum elsewhere. Cuba’s position since the revolution has been defined by its isolation; trade embargoes and suspicion of foreign interference have left it largely to itself. Now, as Spanish energy giant Repsol begins drilling offshore for oil, as a high-speed internet cable is laid from Venezuela, as golf courses, marinas and hotels are built to cater for a burgeoning tourism industry, and as America’s resolutely tough policy on Cuba receives more criticism, we are beginning to see Cuba come in from the cold, no longer a global pariah. Raúl Castro’s rule so far has begun the modernisation of Cuba at a remarkably rapid rate. More work is still to be done. Political freedoms must be expanded, serious economic problems need to be fixed, and the promised emigration reforms, which mean so much to Cubans at a personal level, must be delivered. Whether Raúl Castro is the man to bring these changes is uncertain, but in setting a course for social and political reform he has ensured that Cuba is gradually becoming a fairer, better-functioning state.
The media blackout in war-torn Syria Jean Carrere details the dangers of being a journalist in war-torn Syria and what the media blackout means for its silenced victims
e can and do make a difference in exposing the horrors of war, and especially the atrocities that befall civilians. So said the late Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin, in a statement that perfectly reflects what she was trying to accomplish when killed in the besieged city of Homs last month. The Syrian army’s bombings on the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs hit a makeshift press centre, killing Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik, while seriously injuring British journalist Paul Conroy and French journalist Edith Bouvier. Stranded in the city for more than a week under heavy fire, and with failed attempts to evacuate them through the International Committee of the Red Cross, Conroy and Bouvier finally made it to Lebanon. They were assisted by Syrian activists, many of whom died in the process. Spanish reporter Javier Espinosa also left the city last week, arriving safely in Beirut late February. Overall, the deaths and escapes of foreign correspondents from Homs have worsened the country’s media blackout. Local journalists covering the bloodshed in Homs are also suffering many losses, with four deaths in the past months: Anas al-Tarsha, Rami al-Sayed, Mazhar Tayyara, and Basil al-Sayed.
Both Colvin and Ochlik were experienced war correspondents. Colvin, an accomplished conflict journalist, covered Kosovo, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, East Timor, and Libya, among others. She was known to wear an eye-patch after losing an eye to a grenade in Sri Lanka in 2004. Before her death, she said the siege of Homs was the “worst she [had] ever seen” – a remarkable comment considering her vast experience. Ochlik, 28, started covering conflict when he was only 20 years old, going it alone as a free-lance reporter in war-torn Haiti. He received the World Press Photo award in 2012 for his picture of a Libyan rebel fighter. Their deaths echo that of French correspondent Gilles Jacquier, killed in Homs on 11 January. One of few Western journalists to obtain a visa from the Syrian government, Jacquier was part of a convoy under tight supervision when he visited Homs. He was killed by an explosion while Syrian soldiers accompanying him had left the scene a few minutes prior. The Syrian government blamed the attack on “terrorist groups” – that is, rebel fighters – but French authorities claimed to suspect a “machination” from the Syrian government. There has been much speculation about Jacquier’s death, mainly concerning the type of weaponry used. Syrian officials claim the explosions were caused by a rocket propelled grenade – which the rebels are known to use – while journalists present at the scene claim it was mortar fire. However, the rebels’ military incapacity to operate mortars has led to speculation of a direct assassination by Syrian authorities. Overall, the deaths of Colvin, Ochlik, and Jacquier are not only terrible losses for the journalistic community, but also painful reminders of the high risks faced by journalists today.
Late Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Photo: AP/Ivor Prickett Sunday Times
Indeed, there has been speculation that the media centre where Colvin and Ochlik were situated was specifically targeted in an attempt to contain news of atrocities. Many journalists and activists claim the deaths are the result of a systematic targeting by Bashar al-Assad’s troops, aided by satellite phone localisation. Robert Young Pelton, author of The World’s Most Dangerous Places, compared the situation in Homs with the siege of Grozny in Chechnya, where the Russians use the same technology. “The Syrian Army had shut down the cell-phone system and much of the power in Baba Amr – and when journalists sent up signals it made
them a clear target,” Pelton said. This raises serious questions about the future of the city, as the Syrian army allegedly commits more atrocities. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commented on “grisly reports of summary executions, arbitrary detentions and torture”. But without the press acting as watchdog, the international community will soon face a lack of information about the Syrian conflict. According to Syrian activists, the siege of Homs has claimed 3,000 lives since last May. Without the testimonies of Western media, alAssad’s regime will have the latitude to carry on the massacre, possibly leading to what many have called a
“second Srebrenica”, in reference to the killings of 8,000 Bosniaks in July 1995. Comparisons have also been drawn with the Libyan siege of Misrata last year, which also proved fatal to Western journalists, including acclaimed photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. Since the fall of the city, the exact nature of the war crimes committed by the Syrian army are unknown, but it is clear they will not stop there. As of last week, the regime has started to bomb neighbouring Rastan, 20 kilometers away from Homs. With entry points previously used by the press under heavy security, how will the suffering of the Syrian people be heard?
European weakness throughout unity Eoin O’Driscoll discusses Europe’s impending security threats caused by the financial meltdown
he effect on Europe’s security is an often overlooked consequence of the economic turmoil currently enveloping the continent. Defence spending has been faltering for decades but the accelerated increased in defence cuts to balance European budgets has brought the issue into stark relief. Defence departments across Europe have become prime targets for budget cuts in the past few years. European defence expenditure fell by approximately 5% between 2008 and 2010. European countries such as Britain and Germany have enacted wholesale cuts to defence expenditure, the result being not only large scale reductions to troop levels, but also the cancelling and postponement of numerous research and development projects to further modernise European militaries. We are seeing a massive reduction in European defensive capabilities with no end in sight. Meanwhile, the US is also enacting massive defence cuts. The country’s ability to exert military power globally and protect allies is coming into question. America’s willingness to come to Europe’s aid is also becoming more and more debateable. The Obama administration, for instance, has been noticeably less committed to the partnership between the US and Europe, focusing more on less traditional allies. To paraphrase Robert Gates, former US Defence Secretary, “why would he not?” The traditional bond of goodwill between the two poles of Western power is not inexhaustible. European member states are not sufficiently contributing to their own
13 March, 2012
defence through NATO. It is the US that is left to foot the bill. Europe is bowing out of providing its own security in the belief that the US will step in to help out but will the US be willing or even capable of intervening? European defence cuts are heralding in a European-wide security crisis. Europe’s ability to deal with emerging threats is dwindling. Therefore the need for a coherent continent wide policy is apparent to European leaders and steps are beginning to be taken. The European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is geared for this purpose. It works on the notion that Europe can best safeguard its security through cooperative actions. Despite being given extra weight under the Lisbon Treaty with the appointment of a High Commissioner devoted to its development, the CFSP has so far failed to bring any significant advances in the area. It is with a sense of something less than urgency that European leaders have worked to progress the CFSP. The appointment of Baroness Catherine Ashton to High Commissioner also raised a few eyebrows. Ashton was unknown in the UK, her own country. She was seen as a safe, inoffensive choice, unlikely to take bold decisions and cause any trouble, unlike Peter Mandelson or David Miliband, the two alternative candidates. Her appointment was symptomatic of a lack of commitment to truly engage with the threat posed by the inadequacies of European defence and security. This lack of urgency or purpose to the development of a coherent European approach to security is a cause for worry. EU member states,
Funding cuts to member state armies have affected EU defensive capabilities
on average, spend only 1.7% of their budgets on defence. This is a far cry from the 4% plus that countries such as the US and Russia spend. Furthermore, this figure is likely to fall as the eurozone faces yet another year of recession. More worrying is the lack of cost effectiveness European member states get compared to the US, never mind the cost effective militaries of China and India. There is a lack of standardisation across EU militaries and little cooperation in research and development. The result is few economies of scale and mass repetition of weapons development projects. The European Defence Agency was set up to offer a solution to this problem. It is an EU body with the sole purpose of co-ordinating the
common military projects within the EU. It is slowly gathering up the political support necessary to make a considerable impact in combating the security deficit facing Europe. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has long been a vocal supporter of the initiative. The EDA has too much in the way of substantial fruit, but EU heavyweights such as Javier Solana have fully endorsed it and are holding out for it to deliver on its potential. If it does, it could positively answer serious questions being asked of European security. Of course, there is more to security than defence and military expenditure. With the ever changing nature of security threats faced by Europe, combating the roots of these threats is becoming more important. The
extension of European soft cultural power, preventing conflicts before they happen, is pivotal in keeping Europe safe. In this regard, Europe is having somewhat more success. As the world’s largest trading bloc, Europe is a highly sought after trading partner. It is the world’s largest single donor of development aid. Europe is still a cultural tour de force and the epicentre of much of the world’s intellectual and scientific development. Ashton’s tenure as High Commissioner may not have delivered much of a coherent defence or security policy yet, but it has put Europe at the centre of many conflict zones and regions of severe suffering as a provider and partner in recovery. The problem with this is that the effect of soft power to reduce security threats is hard to measure. It is very difficult to know if these developments are having an impact. It is largely surmised that simply being held in high regard globally will result in fewer threats, but it is unclear as to what extent this is actually the case. Of course, it is also true that no matter how much we attempt to stifle the sources of threats against us, we can never rest our aegis completely. It is inevitable that some conflicts will occur. It is also the case that many modern threats to European security are in fact internal, such as we sadly bore witness to in Oslo last year. When these threats do materialise, all the goodwill and soft power in the world will have little effect. The decline and lack of urgency in European defensive arrangements is a cause for concern and Europe’s financial crisis may well herald in a security crisis. Experts agree that cooperation between European militaries and defence departments can alleviate much of the problem, but whether European leaders will heed this call remains unknown.
Liberty, equality, fraternities Caitriona Murphy considers some tales attributed to Greek fraternities over the years, in light of the controversial emergence of an Irish chapter
raternities and sororities exist primarily in the United States, where they are wellestablished institutions across the country. Dating back to the 1770s, the concept of college fraternities is largely based on Freemasonry, involving the use of initiation ceremonies, emblems and a lodge house. They were originally based around secrecy but today are very much in the public eye. They are typically exclusive according to sex, although there are mixed fraternities, and they often group students together based on race, religion, course choice or sport affiliation. Each fraternity is named after letters of the Greek alphabet and has different branches, or chapters, in each university. Much like the universities themselves, families often show particular allegiance to a chapter, and pay huge fees to join and support. Students in each fraternity socialise and perform activities together, and many also get to live together in the fraternity building. Fraternities
“Thousands of fraternity alumni would testify that their experience was invaluable and prepared them for the real world” claim to be mainly philanthropic institutions, encouraging social responsibility and good grades in their members. However, from both an outsider perspective and amongst students themselves, the groups are far better known for wild parties and their dangerous and sometimes fatal “hazing” rituals. Hazing is the tradition of initiating new pledgers to the fraternity. It is a process that has become famous due to the involvement of large amounts of alcohol and dangerous rituals. Several students have died during the process of hazing and certain fraternities and sororities have been suspended or
permanently shut down as a result. In 1959, a pledger to the Kappa Sigma chapter choked to death after being forced to swallow raw liver. In 1978, one Chuck Stevens pledged himself to
“The Zeta Psi chapter that has come to Ireland is not without its fair share of scandal. At Dartmouth the chapter has been de-recognised” the Klan Alpine fraternity. One night he was locked in the boot of a car in his underwear by fraternity brothers and instructed to drink a pint of Jack Daniels, a six-pack of beer and a bottle of wine. The combination of the alcohol and hypothermia cause fluid to fill his lungs and he died as a result. In 2003, a pledger was forced to down pints of water every day for a period of ten days. He died after his brain swelled from water intoxication. As well as potentially fatal hazing rituals, other events have been regarded as highly offensive, particularly to female students. At Yale University in 2011, the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter, alumni of which include George W. Bush, was banned for five years after pledgers walked through female dormitories shouting “No Means Yes. Yes Means Anal.” The Zeta Psi chapter that has come to Ireland is not without its fair share of scandal. As recently as March 2011, a pledger of the fraternity was rushed to hospital following seizures, caused by being forced to drink a whole bottle of soy sauce. At Yale University, members of Zeta Psi posed outside the women’s centre with signs stating “We love Yale sluts.” At Dartmouth, the chapter has been derecognised following the distribution of newsletters with offensive sexual content. The newsletter advertised the sexual exploits of many of its male members, and included date rape techniques. Eugene Boyle, president of the Dartmouth chapter, called the punishment “overly harsh
A protest against fraternity related violence – invariably associated with hazing – by a sorority in the US
and grossly disproportionate.” Scandal aside, the real question is whether, as a whole, fraternities are worthwhile institutions to encourage this side of the Atlantic. As critics call for the disbandment of those fraternities already established in the US, it is seriously questionable whether they should be imported into Ireland. In an article on the Times Higher Education website, Maravene Loeshke, President of the University of Mansfield in Pennsylvania, said she was trying to establish fraternities at the university. She views the fraternities as a “positive leadership activity” and thinks they encourage students to grow by learning from their mistakes. However Nicholas Synett, author of The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities, fears that the fraternity image promotes hard drinking, sexual aggressiveness and hostility towards women. In a study released by the National Institute of Justice, findings stated that fraternity members are more likely to commit sexual assault than non-fraternity members. Despite this, thousands of fraternity alumni would testify that
their experience was invaluable and prepared them for the real world. In Dublin the outcry against the establishment of Zeta Psi revolves around the exclusivity it appears to be promoting. By its nature the fraternity excludes any females, and members of this initial chapter seem to have been handpicked by its founders, although it is unclear what criteria they had to fulfil. In the established chapters of the US, it is not uncommon for certain fraternities to have exclusively wealthy members, or members with an aristocratic family history. Many Irish students are understandably reluctant to encourage groups that can divide the student body in such a way. As it stands, if Zeta Psi wishes to gain recognition by Trinity as a society, the possibility of this would be highly unlikely due to the requirement that members be male. In Ireland, student societies largely fulfil the role of fraternities, except without a policy of exclusivity. They organise social events, form close friendships and many encourage or exist solely to promote philanthropic activities. Deaths associated with
initiation ceremonies are unheard of and any accusation of sexual misconduct goes straight to College authorities and the Central Societies Committee. It remains to be seen how the Dublin chapter of Zeta Psi intends to conduct itself. At the moment it remains shrouded in mystery, perhaps
“In Ireland, student societies largely fulfil the role of fraternities, except without a policy of exclusivity. Deaths associated with initiations are unheard of” recoiling from the vicious backlash delivered by the college community. However, a reaction of silence is not appropriate – if the chapter truly wants to act as a fraternity it needs to make itself public and encourage debate on the introduction of this new form of socialising in Ireland.
Alternative events in Dublin’s fair city Fiona Fitzgerald provides an overview of some of the unique and interesting events on offer in Dublin this summer
hose departing Irish shores for the delights of living abroad will almost certainly have finalised their plans for the summer by now, and if you’re one of the few “left behind” there’s no reason to reason to despair. For those willing to pursue adventure, Dublin has a whole host of festivals and events to experience during the summer months. Freshly Squeezed International Student Film Festival Freshly Squeezed is a new student film festival coming to town. Set up by Dublin-based postgraduate film students and professionals, the festival is the first of its kind set up in Ireland. Drawing submissions from students and recent graduates both from Ireland and around the globe, the festival hopes to put Dublin on the map as a centre for exposing new film talent, providing an opportunity for ambitious students to screen their works among industry leaders and professionals. Submissions are now open for short films up to 15 minutes in length,
and the judging panel is set to feature renowned Irish directors and critics. The competition is set to go ahead on the weekend of the 8-10 June in the award winning Block T venue in Smithfield. Daily student tickets are priced under the €10 range and weekend tickets are also available. The festival is set to feature 5-6 hours of cinema each day, as well as access to an after party at a secret location. Taking place just after the exam season, Freshly Squeezed looks set to provide a nice introduction to the summer for students staying at home, for less that the price of a ticket abroad. For more information visit www.freshlysqueezedfest.com Dublin Writers Festival Taking place just at the end of the college exams calendar (May 21-27), the Dublin Writers Festival provides a gentle transition to the more relaxed pace of summer living with plenty of informative exhibitions and talks taking place across the city. It might also catch students before going away. Events at this year’s festival are set to include high quality live literature
Dublin City of Science will be part of an event-packed summer in 2012
through readings, discussions, talks and multimedia events, featuring contemporary writers and poets such as Seamus Heaney, Melvyn Bragg, Colm Tóibín, William Fiennes and many more. Keep an eye on the festival website for information on writers’ workshops taking place during the week, and for other interactive events taking place. For more information visit www.dublinwritersfestival.com
Hack The City @ The Science Gallery As “Europe’s City of Science 2012” Dublin will witness an infusion of all things innovative and scientific this summer. It may not come as a surprise then to discover that Trinity College’s renowned Science Gallery has assembled something special to mark the occasion. Hack The City, a major interactive exhibition that aims to “rethink our cities from the ground
up through the spirit and philosophy of the hacker ethos” will run from 22 June - 7 September. Promising its appeal to “all hackers, makers, doers, data nerds, hobbyists, artists, citizen scientists, tech geeks, activists, edgy engineers and DIY urban planners”, the exhibition is set to advance the Science Gallery and Trinity as leading critical voices on the growing issue of urbanisation. “Hacking” conventional approaches to urban planning will be the key theme of the exhibition, encompassing the adventurous goal of seeking to “cannibalise our city systems, create possibilities, illustrate visionary thinking and demonstrate real-world examples for sustainable urban futures”. The exhibition will include existing and proposed innovations and inventions around the theme. It will extend beyond the gallery through workshops, labs, events and off-site projects with Science Gallery becoming a hub connecting the city to mobile and online worlds. High-profile talks, discussions and debates, webfocused interactions as well as games and collaborative experiences are set to feature alongside installations and documentary screenings. Over 5000 scientists and 500 journalists are expected to attend the centrepiece of Dublin’s tenure as the European City of Science. TRINITY NEWS
Air cleared for upcoming festivals Anna McGowan discusses the changing trends in Ireland’s famous festival calendar, and the fallout from the cancellation of Oxegen
ith MCD announcing a Glastonburystyle hiatus for Oxegen 2012, there is a yawning gap in the summer festival line-up waiting to be filled. Speculation about the reasons for this year’s cancellation is mostly based around the dramatic drop in the numbers last year’s event saw: the festival reached an average of only 66,000 per day, a stark contrast to the 80,000 odd it saw during its peak. The announcement begs the question: where will the tens of thousands of Oxegengoers head in the absence of this cultural institution? Enter Electric Picnic. Ireland’s only other major camping festival, it is the obvious contender for filling up the Oxegen-shaped hole this summer. There seems to be a consensus among Picnic regulars that the cancellation of Oxegen will lead to a mass migration of those who constitute the “darker side” of the festival to the idyllic pastures of Stradbally. The fear is that without the opportunity for drunken post-Leaving Cert debauchery offered by Oxegen, their boutique arts festival will be overrun by kids who are looking for
a camping festival regardless of the line-up. In reality, it is debatable as to whether these displaced Oxegen-goers really present that much of a threat to Electric Picnic. There is a reason people choose to go to Oxegen instead of Picnic, and just because one festival is removed doesn’t mean the impetus is necessarily transferred. Picnic has founded its reputation on being an “alternative” festival, aimed at a more
“These mini-festivals make a nice change from the wildly overpriced poorly-run events of the boom years” artsy crowd than Oxegen. Its clientele is more mature, with a mix of older student types and families, as evidenced by its age policy: while under-12s are welcome as part of its family friendly image, the age limit for general entry is over-18s. This is in contrast to Oxegen’s over-17s policy, which conveniently allows for post-Leaving Certers and the
associated exhilarated drunkenness. And while Picnic is paying host to some pretty big names this year – The Cure, Hot Chip, Sigur Rós, The Killers – it lacks the pop punch packed by the global superstars who have headlined Oxegen in the past: Beyoncé, The Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, etc. Are people with no interest in the more offbeat line-up of Electric Picnic really going to pay €230 just for an excuse to drink in a field? Nevertheless, the worry that Electric Picnic will change for the worse this year is still a pressing issue for many regulars, who are now seeking more off-centre alternatives to the festival. An ideal solution is offered by mini-festivals such as Forbidden Fruit, Sea Sessions, Life, Body & Soul, and Indiependance. These events are centred around the idea of offering more bang for your buck: for instance, Indiependance, hosted in Mitchelstown in Co. Cork, charges €99 for a three-day event, and features artists like Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, Editors and Roisín O. The festival seems to be benefitting from a new preference for smaller, more intimate events than what Picnic has become – it has already sold triple the number of early-bird tickets compared to last year. Similarly, Forbidden Fruit is returning this year to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham as an expanded three day event with a capacity for 8,500. Weekend
tickets will cost €115, and the event will feature five stages played by prominent acts such as New Order, Wilco, Leftfield, Death Cab For Cutie, and Death in Vegas. These mini-festivals make a nice change from the wildly overpriced,
“Just because one festival is removed doesn’t mean the impetus is necessarily transferred” poorly-run events of the boom years, and serve to benefit both promoters and customers. The organizers do not suffer devastating financial blows if the event is not a success, and the punter benefits from a more intimate, engaging experience, similar to that at Lecky Picky before it “went mainstream”. In the meantime, we mustn’t think that the organizers of Oxegen are putting money-making on the backburner this year. As a de-facto alternative to Oxegen, MCD is planning an array of stand-alone concerts in the Phoenix Park over the summer. The company has applied for a licence to hold seven concerts from the 5th to the 26th of July, each with a capacity for 45,500 people. Confirmed acts are The Stone Roses on the 5th of July; a quadruple bill of Swedish House Mafia, Tinie Tempah,
Snoop Dogg and Calvin Harris on the 7th; and Snow Patrol, Florence + the Machine and Temper Trap on the 8th. Two of the three events have sold out, and speculation as to who will fill the remaining four slots ranges from Rihanna to Coldplay. These concerts are extremely lucrative for the promoter, with the huge capacity of an outdoor festival combined with a smaller number of musicians to pay, yielding significant return on spend. In a slightly more cynical way, these events, like the mini-festivals, are beneficial for both audience and promoter. The audience gets to dance around in a field à la Oxegen, while the promoter gets to rake in the cash with infinitely less risk than with a camping festival. So with all these lucrative alternatives, are blow-out festivals like Oxegen and Electric Picnic on their way out? Maybe, maybe not. The fact remains that however convenient it might be to sleep in your own bed in between gigs at Forbidden Fruit, or however much of a laugh it might be to dance around Phoenix Park to Calvin Harris, neither of these alternatives offers quite the same buzz as the careless abandon and camaraderie you get at the big festivals. After all, there’s nothing quite like sitting next to a leaking, badly-pitched tent in a muddy field with one eye on the acts and the other on your two crates of Dutch gold.
The future isn’t what it used to be Evan Musgrave looks at the developing role of “futurists” and what they predict is in store
he power to successfully predict the future has long been honoured as one of the most desirable mystical qualities a human could hope to acquire. Even the most open minded of us tend to treat individuals who claim this trait with a healthy degree of scepticism, but recent trends in the sphere of multinational corporations have shown prognostication to be a valuable commodity.
forces, the primary fascination of the current breed is relentless networking. The original Association of Professional Futurists celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and in recent years a myriad of similar organisations have sprung up, with numerous industry-wide summits, conventions and workshops developing from these initiatives.
world that had been envisaged for their future. I remember in particular picking up a copy of the ambitious book Our World in 2015 (author unknown) from my primary school library. While fashion trends can perhaps account for the unlikeliness of hovercrafts ruling the streets in three years’ time, the book’s insistence that personal robots would surely attend to household chores stands out as a jarring fault of the author. One can also peek back to the turn of the last century, and the Y2K bug which had been erroneously fore-
Harry’s invisibility cloak) which is reportedly currently under design and testing. It is in the realm of data development that futurists’ predictions have proved truly overwhelming however. Dave Evans, head futurist for Cisco, does not hesitate to spell it out clearly: “We are drowning in a sea of data.” Evans has attracted fervent media attention in recent months by claiming that 95% of what humans will know will be invented in the next 50 years. That is to say, the information currently available to us will constitute 5% of what we
“Futurists are arriving en masse at the gates of big business: being accepted to offices and accepting extravagant salaries” Futurists, sometimes referred to as futurologists, are arriving en masse at the gates of big business: being accepted to offices and accepting extravagant salaries. One can be forgiven for assuming a certain eccentricity when imagining those associated with the intricacies of prediction, à la the historic Outsider type (Nostradamus, Jules Verne, Orwell); however, today’s futurists are far from socially maladjusted. They wear suits, have a neat appearance, smile for the cameras and are on the payroll of some of the world’s largest corporations. With a combination of raw data, sociological analysis and an imaginative mind, futurists coordinate the developing vision we hold of our future lives. The modern futurist is a treasured asset and public persona for business. For a position that didn’t even exist in its current form just a few years ago, futurists have risen to the forefront of economic and social discussion. Alvin Toffer, a prominent futurist author, is now considered (by Accenture’s rankings) as the third most influential voice in global business (after Bill Gates and Peter Drucker). Where in the past your average Joefuturist typically worked in self-imposed solitary conditions, harvesting knowledge of theological and mystical
13 March, 2012
“One futurist, Dave Evans, claims that 95% of what humans will know will be invented in the next 50 years, meaning what we know now is only 5%” cessing power of a village of people, and by 2050 (assuming a population of 9 billion), $1,000 of computing power will equal the processing power of all human brains on earth. In a world that is set to change so drastically, it isn’t surprising to note the likes of Alvin Toffer informing the workforce “your job won’t exist, at least not in the same form”. Evans echoes such assertions: “the top ten jobs of 2015 still don’t exist, the top 10 jobs of 2010 did not exist in 2006”. Those coming into the workforce today can expect to change jobs in greater
Futurists have risen to the forefront of economic and social discussion despite scepticism from the public
This kind of enterprise, however, warrants a lot of the doubt it receives. Most recent generations have been able to look back at the predictions made by “professionals” during their youth and chuckle at the outrageous space-age
“Recent generations have been able to look back at predictions made by professionals during their youth and chuckle at the outrageous space-age world they envisaged”
told, for an example of the fallibility of confident futurists. Still, with the authority that is afforded to present day futurists by corporations, it is difficult to ignore their alarming predictions. The future of warfare is a primary concern of those working in the industry. Future warfare specialist Marvin J. Cetron predicts that most extremist terrorist groups will acquire the technology of nuclear weapons by 2020; and according to Frank Sowa and Forecasting International, robotic warriors can be expected to replace the conventional foot soldier by the year 2022. Various voices have called attention to the developing phenomenon of “optical cloaking”, a technology capable of bending light around objects (picture
know in half a century’s time. It is clear that instantaneous communication has completely changed the way we do business. Old trade routes, in which meeting and exchanging words took weeks, have been resolutely flattened. It is estimated that approximately 20 billion emails are currently sent each day. Evans has some thorny predictions for the advancement of computer technology, which he doesn’t mind dramatically stating. Amongst his most intriguing forecasts is his claim that by 2020, a $1,000 personal computer will have the raw processing power of a human brain. Before then, says Evans, online devices will outnumber the world’s population. By 2030, a $1,000 personal computer will have the pro-
numbers and take on occupations previous generations could never have imagined. With this ancient craft of foretelling now married to the 21st century world of corporate PR, it is difficult not to consider the underlying principles as somewhat sinister. As celebrity futurists rise to prominence, it is wise to consider the motivations of the position. By informing its customers that the future human being will have an average of seven devices, it’s not difficult to claim that technological firms are simply just banking on self-fulfilment of these prophecies. Dave Evans’s future world caught in a “data avalanche” constitutes a prediction on an apocalyptic level; I do hope the new professionals have foretold the future wrong once again.
14 OPINION PROFILE PAUL KAGAME
Kagame on Eoin O’Driscoll wonders how a former militia leader could become Rwanda’s most popular and successful president since independence
“Kagame is convinced that it is essential for African development that states shed the dependency on foreign aid... He has sought to put a laptop in front of every student”
ur newspapers are constantly littered with stories of corruption and poor governance in Africa. It is rare that we come across an African success story, but Paul Kagame’s presidency of Rwanda may well be one. The Rwanda that Kagame was born into was one rife with ethnic violence. The Belgian colonial system had shown marked preference for the tall, lighter-skinned Tutsis. Their withdrawal prompted inter-ethnic conflict as the Hutu majority sought to assert themselves and wreak vengeance for years of oppression under the Belgians, to which the Tutsis were viewed as complicit. In 1959, when Kagame was just two, Rwanda erupted into violence that would serve as a prelude to the genocide with which Rwanda has become synonymous. Over 150,000 (mainly Tutsi) Rwandans were killed by 1961. Kagame’s family, like thousands of others, fled across the border to Uganda and settled in one of many refugee camps. Kagame was considered a diligent student and developed a keen interest in guerrilla warfare. He became a member of the National Resistance Army led by Yoweri Museveni – now President of Uganda – as it fought to oust the barbaric regime of Milton Obote. They succeeded in ending the dictatorship in 1986 and established the Museveni regime that has lasted until this day. Kagame was incorporated into the newly established Ugandan People’s Defence Force, the official Ugandan military, as head of military intelligence. In the same year he also began to look homeward, and with Fred Rwigema set up the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) amongst the Tutsi expatriate population in Uganda. This force’s aim was to invade Rwanda and protect the minority Tutsis against the persecutions they were facing at the hands of the Habyarimana regime. In 1990 Kagame went to the US to receive advanced military training while Rwigema led the invasion of Rwanda. Only two days into the military operation, Rwigema was killed. The Americans quickly flew Kagame over to lead the military
The far-sighted presidency of Paul Kagame in tragic Rwanda is a sadly rare example of an African success story
efforts, tacitly backing the rebels against the Habyariman government. The invasion met with initial success but the RPF were forced into retreat by a combined force of Rwandan, French, Belgian and Zairean troops. A renewed invasion in 1991 met with a similar fate. The RPF were a much more professional and well-trained force than the government forces. Kagame was reputed to be a fantastic military leader and a master at utilising geography to ensure victory. Outside interventions were frustrating RPF attempts at total victory but time and time again they defeated the government forces on the field of battle. A compromise had to be reached and the result was the now infamous Arusha peace accords in late 1993. The implementation of these peace accords was the task of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) led by Roméo Dallaire, posted to Rwanda before the year’s end. The plan was to quickly set in place a power-sharing, interim government that would bring the RPF into the system and give prominence to moderates such as Agathe Uwilingiyimana. Over the next 12 months all would change utterly. Agathe would be one of the first victims of the genocide that would claim the lives of 800,000 Rwandans – mainly Tutsi or moderate Hutu. It was the death of Habyarimana when his plane was shot down near Kigali International airport on 6 April 1994 that was the catalyst for the obscenity that engulfed the
country. For months extreme elements within the outgoing administration had been drawing up lists of Tutsi families and where they lived, and of those Hutus they considered to sympathise with them. Militias such as the Interahamwe were engaging in ethnic violence. Such militias and the Presidential Guard were stockpiling weapons throughout Kigali in direct defiance of the Arusha agreement. Hate against the Tutsis and those that would work with them was propagated across the airwaves by hate radio such as the infamous RTLM. Events were fast coming to a head. Dallaire’s UNAMIR knew about the stockpiling of weapons, they knew about the lists, but despite numerous attempts to receive an expanded mandate and deal with the approaching genocide, the UNAMIR mandate was never changed and they were powerless to stop the violence as Rwandan after Rwandan was brutally murdered simply for being born slightly different to their neighbour. It was not until Kagame and the RPF managed to drive the government forces out and establish their own government – still in place today under the helm of Kagame – that the genocide stopped. For all their protestations, the Western powers did nothing and even those that did care in the UNAMIR were powerless to intervene. Since becoming President, Kagame has modelled Rwanda’s governance on that of Singapore. Kagame is highly regarded amongst a number of prominent Western leaders such
as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. He has imposed strict laws to ensure the lessening of ethnic divisions and under his stewardship Rwanda is fast on the way to becoming a middleincome country. Rwanda has few natural resources and remains heavily dependent on foreign aid and on subsistence agriculture. Nonetheless under Kagame Rwanda has experienced economic growth rates of, on average, 8% for the past ten years. Its service sector is expanding rapidly, its dependence on foreign aid is falling and it is cited as a model for economic development for the whole continent. Kagame’s policies are notable for a certain far-sighted approach. He is convinced that it is essential for African development that states shed the dependency on foreign aid. To grow, they need independence and to fend for themselves, thereby nurturing progress, hard graft and innovation. He has recognised that education is key for enhancing the future of the Rwandan people. Despite its poverty (55% living below the poverty line) Kagame has sought to put a laptop in front of every student. He has sought to educate Rwandans to a level where they can compete globally. He has sought to make Rwanda known for its innovation and productivity and not the slaughter of thousands of her innocents. The regime is far from perfect but it may offer many useful lessons to those hoping to rebuild other states in a continent where so many have been ravaged by war, disease, famine and poor governance.
Tribulation farce: continuing drama of the left behind Michael Ward shuffles through the motley collection of jokers that is the Irish left, fighting apocalyptic battles which belong in fiction As Ireland approaches the first anniversary of the opening of the 31st Dáil, it is worth reflecting on the results of the historic election that brought it about. This time last year there was much talk of a new, significant left-wing force. There are now 62 “left-wing” Teachtaí Dála. The question must be asked: has the rise of the Irish left been a good thing? This new Irish left can be divided into three categories: the “protest left”, the “uncommitted left”, and the “delusionary left”. Each of these sub-groups, almost as bad as the other, demonstrate important aspects of the Irish left-wing. Firstly, the “protest left” manages to overcome the paradox of being a socalled “force for change” while also being the most conservative grouping in the country. It comprises a motley collection of characters, who attempt to turn complaining into an art form. They claim to represent ordinary people while never actually considering what ordinary people may or may not want. Instead they oppose any change that the government seeks to
enforce purely based on the fact that the government is composed of politicians and all politicians are a force for evil. They see political debate as an opportunity to shout down the opposition in the fervent belief that she or he who speaks louder wins. It represents anger not ideas. It is a conglomeration of dissatisfied punters who fail to appreciate nuances and hate the system, expecting other people to solve its problems. The “uncommitted left” are still coming to terms with their political affiliations. They are affiliated to social democracy because they feel it’s the right course of action based on their dislike of elements of neo-liberalism. They are wedded to the word equality but they cannot distinguish which form of equality (outcome, opportunity, income, legal, geographical etc.) that they are actually talking about. They quite like the idea of the welfare state although openly accept that there is a limit to the amount of taxation people will willingly accept to support it. In short they struggle to promote a
leftish ideology while deep down they secretly admit that the creation of a leftwing utopia is near impossible in a globalized, Western democracy, dependent on exports and competitiveness. The third grouping is in many ways the most ridiculous and at the same time most dangerous. They are committed to high levels of centralisation, and state power, as well as high taxation, import tariffs, equality of outcome and income, huge amounts of borrow-
“The ‘uncommitted left’ are wedded to the word equality but they cannot distinguish which form of equality they are talking about” ing and large scale nationalisation. Furthermore, they sincerely believe that the current crisis can only be solved by default, propagating the idea that there is an alternative to current austerity. What makes them dangerous is that they stubbornly believe in what they are saying, and they seek to spread this message widely. In reality such a course of action
would condemn Ireland to isolation in the bond markets for decades, meaning that we would be unable to fund ourselves. Huge numbers of job losses would accrue due to a flight of foreign direct investment and a collapse in competitiveness. Finally, stagnation would occur as people would end up dependent on a huge and inefficient state for employment and services. The problem with the Irish left is that they have no respect for the individual. They despise leaders but they still expect the state to be dominant in the provision of jobs and services. Any service or charity work inspired out of private initiative is viewed with pity or suspicion as, in their view, this is a job that the state should be doing anyway. They refuse to accept that voluntary action by groups of willing individuals is in fact inspiring and should be emulated as widely as possible instead of depending on an inefficient and bureaucratic state. In my view, this ultimately stems from a negative view of humanity. It is inconceivable that human beings could act outside the boundaries of self interest, so instead the state should force them. Furthermore, the Irish left seems obsessed with a tyrannical vision of equality that seeks to punish anyone who enjoys success.
For them, inspiration and individuality should be discouraged in an ultra PC environment, which will reduce people to numbers on a page. Minority
“Any service or charity work inspired out of private initiative is viewed with suspicion as if this is a job the state should be doing” views will always mean that the views of the majority will be cancelled out as any sense of majoritarianism is viewed as oppression. In this manner the politics of the left is in fact the politics of division. While mentions of class warfare are no longer evident, it still provides the basis for a left that claims to support the will of the people but which actually fights only for the will of a small number of them, be it union bosses, the less well off, inefficient civil servants etc. Any notion of a unified society is alien to them – for the left to survive there must always be an enemy to fight. TRINITY NEWS
PC: mad, bad and dangerous to kowtow Karl Shirran traces the origins of the phrase people love to hate, and asks whether it is relevant in a mature, pluralist society
olitical correctness is a notion people hear quite frequently in common parlance. More often than not people don’t fully understand it and certainly don’t appreciate its impact. The reaction once it is heard is to avoid the subject or suggestion that gave rise to it. This is precisely its purpose. Its basic tenet is that certain language, ideas, behaviour and policies are taboo or not suited to public discourse. The history and development of political correctness is
“The first strain of the concept came in the form of political opponents or ‘enemies of the state’ in Russia when Vladimir Lenin ascended to power” important and those who proffer the term would do well to remember it. The first strain of the concept came in the form of political opponents or “enemies of the state” in Russia when
Vladimir Lenin ascended to power. “Enemies of the state” – or, as they were also known, “enemies of the people”, which sounds even more dastardly – were persons whose views didn’t correlate with the views of the rulers of the day. The term “politically correct” was not used but those with beliefs contrary to the majority either didn’t disclose them or did and inevitably wound up in the Gulags. You might think this is just plain old-fashioned tyranny, which it is, but it was accompanied with a term of justification. Of course it was the principle of protecting the people of Russia – similar to the principle underlying political correctness protecting certain people’s sensibilities. The second strain originated in the later part of the 20th century. Neo-Marxists were frustrated by the fact communism wasn’t spreading in western Europe and north America. The basic belief of communism is that the middle-class will rise in defiance of the ruling class and demand a more equal society. However, the benefits of capitalism were becoming patently obvious with more money being spread among more people than ever before. The NeoMarxists realised that in reality the middle-class were not going to revolt
under the capitalist system and as a result turned their attentions to the minority groups. They believed that these groups were the lifeblood for the destruction of capitalism. These people would be the new downtrodden, taking the place of the middle-class. But they didn’t stop there. The Neo-Marxists wanted to give this minority class leverage when it came to public debate. Views perceived to cast these groups in a negative light became politically incorrect, leading to the adoption of the term “political
“Supporters of political correctness have argued it shows a society built on respect and tolerance, and one concerned about the language it uses” correctness” in common parlance. Supporters of political correctness such as Will Hutton of The Observer have argued that “political correctness” shows a society “built on respect and tolerance” and one “concerned about the language it uses”. Others claim it protects the sensibilities of certain groups and give the example of people with learning difficulties being referred to as “retards”. There is absolutely nothing
wrong with people upset with loose terminology applied to certain groups. But here’s the thing: there is also nothing wrong with not accepting political correctness full stop. Political correctness is an additional subjective layer of complication which is intended to replace well-reasoned logic. People are perfectly capable of deciphering words which don’t cause offence and those which may well be considered pejorative or disparaging without political correctness. Political correctness is so subjective and therefore ambiguous and variant that it is ineffectual. It is oftentimes nothing more than thinly veiled censorship. However damaging it may be in the area of language it pales in insignificance when dealing with ideas. Again its surreptitious shadow prevents certain standpoints on certain issues to be broached. It is seen by many as a tool of “lefty” liberals who consider certain viewpoints so vile that they shouldn’t even be allowed enter into debate. The famous British philosopher John Stuart Mill believed that all views be taken into account however small the number who agree with them. It was better that people articulate them despite their absurdity as this enabled self-realisation and growth which would not occur should people feel that certain views were a “no go” and held onto them only in their private sphere. He pointed out many times that eccentricity was far preferable to uniformity and stagnation. In other
words, we should allow outlandish, discriminatory, grotesque and base assertions to be subject to the full rigours of debate and polarised opinion. Surely one must have enough faith in society to weed out those beliefs which are unfounded. He also believed that views are rarely fully
“It is an additional subjective layer of complication which is intended to replace well-reasoned logic. People are capable of deciphering words which don’t cause offence” right or entirely wrong and that benefit was derived from hearing all. The one caveat to this total freedom to express one’s belief would have to take account of libel, slander and hate speech. However, these areas are subject to the careful evolution of jurisprudence in courts of law, not the whims of a majority in society. I cannot help but think urbandictionary.com gave the most apt description of political correctness which I viewed when first researching this topic: “Proof that George Orwell was way ahead of his time when he wrote his 1984 novel.”
Widespread cynicism casting a pox on all our houses Not all politicians are alike; every corrupt politician is corrupt in their own way. David Barrett argues against their stigmatisation
he Leveson Inquiry has thrown up many things about British journalism, most of it unsettling if not downright alarming. What the inquiry will almost certainly do is fatally undermine trust in the media for a generation in Britain. In Ireland there has been no inquiry into the media. We do a pretty good job of distrusting the media already. In fact, in Ireland trust in almost every one of the “pillars of society” is at an all time low, although this is more insidious in America – where the Republicans seem to be thriving by saying that nearly all groups but evangelical churches, whether they be politicians, the government or the “liberal” media, are inherently evil and “un-American”. It does not matter if they are the Gardaí, doctors, politicians, judges, banks, journalists, political parties, the Catholic Church or the civil service. You name it – we have no confidence in it. Only the GAA seems to have escaped this rather insidious trend and while some of the criticism is deserved
and needs to be said, I feel that it has gone too far. I speak of the blanket cynicism that now greets every politician and authority figure on this island. While Ireland has had its fair share of Charlie Haugheys, Ray Burkes, Michael Lowrys and Liam Lawlors, there is a reason why we know of those names. They were virtually the only Irish politicians that were indisputably corrupt. No one today remembers Eithne Fitzgerald, a Labour minister in the 1990s who introduced Ireland’s first ethics legislation for those in public life – but everyone remembers those that law allows us to catch. This is a problem that seems to be indicative of human nature. Everyone remembers the worst case scenario, the one incident when it all went horribly wrong. No one remembers the 99.99% of time that it worked exactly as it was supposed to. The one time it does go wrong leads to hysterical and badly thought out legislation that attempts to deal with a problem that does not exist, and just makes it more difficult for
The Leveson Inquiry has undermined trust in the UK media , but what about Ireland?
everyone to go about their day-to-day lives. Laws are created by people, and since people are not perfect, no law will ever by foolproof, clear and enforceable all at once. A more sinister problem is the growing belief that politicians are not just misguided but are fundamentally bad people, simply because they are politicians. This is a dangerous belief, and is just wrong. Everyone in Dáil
Éireann, whatever I think of their political beliefs or actual oratorical skill, works extremely hard. Working six days a week from six in the morning to ten at night is not uncommon – and that’s just for the Dáil. If they want to get re-elected they have to show up at every funeral and canvass every house on top of that. To some extent it does not matter how much they are paid – they don’t have the time to spend the money.
For someone who wanted to enter a job to make a large amount of money with little work could hardly pick a worse profession than politics. While TDs are well paid (as they should – it is a very responsible job and we want everyone, whatever their background, to be able to be a TD) it is hardly extravagant stuff and for the workload there are easier ways to make a fortune. In order to be willing to do it you would have to have a genuine calling, a passion to implement your vision of change – whatever that might be – and a serious amount of belief in your personal abilities. It’s a bit like teaching or the priesthood in that respect. You would have to want it for its own sake. Call me naïve or stupid, but I believe that it’s a good idea to trust the people that we elect to govern our country unless they personally give us a reason not to trust them individually. It is nearly always a bad idea to generalise about anything (otherwise you would still hate all BESS girls because of that one girl that started shrieking maniacally with her friend inside the Lecky). For her trouble Eithne Fitzgerald lost her seat because “all politicians are the same”. Don’t tar them all with the same brush. After all you did choose them to be our supreme rulers.
Candles in the sunshine: Herbert Butler and Derek Leinster
he names of Bethany Home and Trinity College Dublin are seldom found together in a single sentence, but whereas the latter is known throughout the world of learning the former is known to but a few and its history (in part a scandalous history) has often been wilfully obscured from view. The Irish state at first made no special provision for Protestant orphans and unmarried mothers. They were sent to the separately funded Bethany Home in Rathgar by the authorities after it had been designated for such a purpose by Dr (later Archbishop) Arthur Barton in 1922. Caring for the vulnerable was a task evidently beyond the capabilities of the home to carry out with due care or efficiency in many of the years between 1922 and 1949, when the Bethany
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Home was eventually funded by the Irish State. In the intervening years
A VIEW FROM NEW SQUARE
the crisis of management resulted in neglect on a scandalous, perhaps even criminal scale. Many died as a result. Even worse, the innocent victims were buried in unmarked graves (219 have been identified to date) so that their pitifully short lives were consigned to virtual nonexistence. I mention, for the record, the names of Isabella Davenport (died at 2 months, 5 November 1937) and Lilian Carty (died at 2 and a half months, 3 August 1941) in the tragic roll of nonpersons. It is a challenge to our Christian faith to bring these names to light, as they died in the midst of religious controversy. While these tragedies was unfolding authorities were seemingly more concerned with the issue of Catholic or Protestant identity than with medical well-being. Those fortunate enough to attend
Trinity College since the lifting of the ban on Roman Catholics imposed by Archbishop McQuaid in 1944 have been able to pursue their studies undisturbed by sectarian conflict. Sadly this has not been the experience of Derek Leinster, the illegitimate son of a Church of Ireland mother and Catholic father. Because of the sense of shame associated with illegitimacy at the time of his birth (1941) he was left (or rather perhaps abandoned) at Bethany Home by his mother. By the grace of God he survived to tell his tale, which he does in Hannah’s Shame (privately printed in 2005). He left Ireland at the age of 18 not only with a legacy of childhood illiteracy, poverty and abuse but also by way of compensation, as it turns out, with an unsectarian love of the Church of Ireland that inspires him to the present day.
In rendering justice to Protestants such as Leinster on the same basis as Catholic victims of child abuse we shall demonstrate conclusively to the world that we have transcended our sectarian hatreds in the vision of a new Ireland. Hubert Butler (1900-1991), that great Irish nationalist and man of letters, conceived of the transcendence of Protestant and Catholic allegiances by Christian neighbourliness in a world in which ‘doctrinal differences would become like candles in the sunshine’ (Hibernia, 25 July 1975, 8). The life of Derek Leinster, as of that of Hubert Butler (Charterhouse and St John’s College, Oxford) before him at the opposite end of the social and educational scale, has become in itself a candle in the sunshine. email@example.com
16 EDITORIAL HEAD TO HEAD: THE FISCAL TREATY
TRINITY NEWS Est 1953 towards some revival of the collegiate spirit, which modern conditions tend to discourage
IN CELEBRATION OF TRINITY’S ALUMNAE SUFFRAGETTE, politician, scientist and war hero – all women who have been awarded with degrees by Trinity College, Dublin. The contribution of women to this college, and beyond its walls, is undeniable. Dublin University has a strong history of recognising women for their academic capabilities. In the 1900s, the college awarded B.A. and M.A. degrees to female students of Oxford and Cambridge at a time when the women’s colleges refused to do so. These women, affectionately known as “steamboat ladies” after the mode of transport they took to Dublin, were conferred with ad eundem University of Dublin degrees. Many went on to have careers that began to shape the newly emerging role of women in politics and society. Dame Frances Dove, a women’s rights campaigner who received her M.A. from Trinity in 1905, is an exceptional example. The daughter of a clergyman, with some difficulty she gained an education at Girton College, Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin. Just two years after her graduation, Dove was elected a local councillor in High Wycombe, and became headmistress to several girls’ schools. Dove devoted her life to promote education for girls and women’s political involvement. She was a suffragette, and several of her pupils became prominent in the movement for women’s civil rights – including Mary Pickford, who became one of the first female MPs in 1931 (as a Conservative for Hammersmith North). Dove was made a Dame in 1928. Another staunch campaigner for women’s rights was Eleanor Rathbone. After graduation, she worked alongside her father, also a social reformer, to investigate industrial conditions in Liverpool. An opponent of the Second Boer War and of violent repression of rebellion in Ireland, Rathbone campaigned for female causes. She was an Independent MP, and used her prominence to found a women’s forum and an organisation to help widows of the Great War. Rathbone was instrumental in negotiating women’s inclusion into the 1918 Representation of the People Act, and exposed regulations that reduced married women’s access to benefits and insurance. She was one of the first politicians to recognise the threat of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, and joined the Anti-Nazi Council to support human rights. Rathbone was an outspoken critic of appeasement, earning her the enmity of Neville Chamberlain. The geologist Gertrude Elles, also a steamboat lady, paved the way for women’s role in scientific research. She receive the prestigious Lyell Fund from the Geological Society of London for her contribution to Grapholite research at the age of 28, but was unable to receive it in person as women were barred from meetings. Among Elles’ other accolades, she received the Medal of Member of the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Red Cross during the First World War. There were over 700 steamboat ladies during this period. They stayed at Trinity Hall, a residence for female students until the 1970s – it was only from then that female students of the college were allowed to remain on campus after 6pm. They lived in Oldham House, the Victorian building in Hall named after Elizabeth Oldham, one of the main campaigners for women’s admission to the college. Her portrait hangs in the front lounge. Today, female members of the college community would never expect to face the adversity of their counterparts a century ago – but inequality still remains. While Trinity employees and students are predominantly female, 18% hold Head of School positions and 20% of Fellows of the College are women. Therefore institutions like the TCD Equality Office and International Women’s Week remain vital, not only to recognising the contributions of Trinity’s exceptional alumnae and female members, but also to ensuring the campaign for rights and equality continues.
“By not borrowing we free ourselves from speculators and bondholders” NIALL MURPHY
What are the positive implications of passing the treaty? Aside from the diplomatic considerations, there are a number of badly needed economic frameworks in the treaty which will help improve Irish medium-term fiscal policy in a very positive way. It is important to note that many of the proposals that were agreed upon at the summit in the start of December by all Eurozone heads of state were already in the national pipeline long before being put to paper. A November 2010 report on fiscal governance issued by the multiparty Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service mentioned most of the proposals in the treaty as being a desirable way to manage the public finances – isn’t it odd that Mr. Ó Cúív and Sinn Féin had no opposition to these measures at that time? Furthermore, the three main parties advocated these policies in advance of the general election and they form part of the Programme for Government. Given the similarity that these measures also pose to the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), which was voted on by the electorate within the Maastricht Treaty, it would be fair to conclude that the electorate and the Oireachtas have voted on and approved these measures a number of times already. A sense of déjà vu will certainly be accompanying me to the ballot box. Many on the “No” side will argue that the treaty requires us to cede more of our domestic sovereignty to Europe. The reverse is, in fact, the case. Previously, the SGP had functioned under the auspices of the European Commission – if a country broke the rules they would get a slap on the wrist from Brussels and then go back to running wild deficits. This treaty requires all national governments to pass the budgetary regulations outlined in the treaty into their constitution/ domestic law. This means that supervision of domestic finances will now come from within the already existing body of domestic legislation in each member state and therefore will have to be supervised by the national parliament and the national courts. In addition, a common European budgetary framework can now be built into every member
state’s statute books, making the rules much more difficult to break than the SGP. How could we possibly be giving away our sovereignty when, if anything, we’re actually getting more back from Brussels? Another argument is that the treaty will “condemn” Ireland to permanent austerity. However, it is important to bear in mind what “austerity” actually is, what those who oppose “austerity” propose in its place and what the treaty actually does. As I interpret it, the issue for those who oppose austerity is the fact that public expenditure is being cut so heavily to balance the books. Looking at the Sinn Féin pre-budget submission for inspiration, the broad thrust of their policies was to bring in a third rate of income tax and a wealth tax, some additional spending measures and the heavy use of the pension reserve fund. Those who oppose austerity are not averse to running balanced budgets – in fact they must surely support it since by not borrowing on the international markets we leave ourselves to decide economic policy free from “speculators and bondholders”. They are instead looking for a greater emphasis on increasing revenue, in particular from the wealthier members of society. Looking at the treaty, there is nothing there that would prevent any of Sinn Féin or the ULA’s policies from being implemented, as long as expenditure and revenue balance over a certain timeframe. The treaty allows for a high tax, high spend policy once it balances, just as much as it allows for a low tax, low spend policy. I agree with those who argue the treaty does not go far enough. It is not, and does not attempt to be, a silver bullet. However, the sort of guarantees that it provides over national policy are absolute prerequisites to the implementation of other new measures that will help us come closer to the final package – possible solutions such as further high level liquidity interventions by the European Central Bank in bond markets, Eurobonds and European level banking regulation can only be built upon the kind of stability in budgetary policy that the treaty provides for. Therefore the treaty must be seen as a first step, and a massively important first step at that, along the path to prosperity for the Eurozone.
“An attempt to further rob the Irish people of their sovereignty” EANNA O’DWYER
THE ACTIONS of successive Fianna Fáil-led governments caused us to lose our economic sovereignty. They sold us out to the Troika of the ECB, European Union and the IMF. They signed us up to years of austerity, allowing the eurocrats in Brussels grow fat off the backs of the Irish worker. They cast away our right to rule ourselves and now it seems that Fine Gael and their whipping boys in Labour are little better. The Fiscal Compact Treaty is an attempt to further rob the Irish people of their sovereignty. It furthers the worrying trend of us losing more and more of our power to govern ourselves to the bureaucrats in Brussels. A simple glance at the shambles that is today’s European Union should be enough to tell any voter that supporting a treaty that gives Europe more power over us is a bad idea. This treaty adds an extra layer to this dominating European government. It will create a form of Eurozone government that will make decisions behind closed doors in Brussels on behalf of all states still using the single currency. It will take yet more decision making away from the representatives that we directly elect in Dáil Éireann and hand it over to the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel. We have already ceded much of our monetary policy decision making capabilities to the ECB and it is severely hampering our attempts at recovery. This treaty will tie our hands even more. Not only will this Eurozone government further restrict our hands with regards to monetary policy, but the strict limits placed on budget deficits and government
borrowing severely restrict our ability to enact an independent fiscal policy. It will permenantly tie us into a free market system of low taxes and low spending – precisely the kind of system that both got us into the mess we now find ourselves in and that so inadequately provides for society’s poor. How will we be able to promote job creation and economic growth when we are prevented from providing economic stimuli by the draconian fiscal restrictions contained in this treaty? You cannot tax and slash your way out of a recession. Further taxes and cuts in government services will severely hurt the Irish economy. It will ensure that dole queues maintain their already disturbing length. This treaty represents a last gasp effort of the unelected eurocrats to save their beloved single currency project. It is obvious that this EuroFederalist pipe dream has failed completely. It was an arrangement rushed into with no consideration as to the effects of an economic crisis. Eurocrats need to continue to propagate European integration. Once that process slows down the many flaws and cracks in its design will become visible and the whole ungodly system will fall asunder. We must reject this treaty for austerity. It will prevent Ireland from finding recovery and will prevent us from being able to prevent a repeat; it will cede yet more of our already dwindling sovereignty to the bureaucrats in Brussels; it will condemn the Irish people to years of yet more austerity and it will perpetuate the failed project that is the European Single Currency. We must vote “No”.
Letters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. We reserve the right to edit submissions for style and length. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Trinity News.
WHERE IS OUR USI REFERENDUM, OR IS THE SU EXCLUDING STUDENT OPINION Madam – I WOULD like to question the action – or rather, inaction – of the Students’ Union regarding Trinity College’s affiliation with the Union of Students in Ireland. Were the students not promised a referendum on the matter? When will this referendum materialise? I believe that signatures were collected to allow such a vote to be brought before the student body, but it seems that they have been misplaced. Is this really the case – that a matter of SU incompetency has prevented the referendum from going ahead? Even if a referendum was to be held, Hilary Term is now coming to an end and exams are on the horizon. Does the SU really expect students to be in a position to consider petty college politics when they have their finals to worry about? It seems to me that this is the latest incidence of the Union’s complete exclusion of the opinion of students who are not involved in the day-to-day ‘running’ of the SU. Representation, it seems, is out of the question.
“ON THE SUBJECTION OF WOMEN BY THE PRESS”
THIS TIME IN HISTORY
Trinity News: Thursday, 15 April 1965 Volume XII, Number 13 THIS ARTICLE has a surprisingly modern complaint – how fashion magazines demean women – with a decidely old-fashioned tone. The complaints about the low calibre of this kind of writing, such as the trivial issues that they cover (including someone’s daily routine and how to make a Cosmopolitan – with cream and cinnamon apparently!) and the apparent insincerity of their writing. To our eyes, though, the effect is slightly ruined by opening remarks, such as “few [women] can think independently, if at all”, that would not be out of place in a “Women: know your place” comedy sketch. David Barrett
Yours, etc. Sarah White
Progress or regress?: Trinity News, then and now
OLD TRINITY PETER HENRY
rinity College can with honesty boast about its history of student publications. These began in No 29, Rotten Row, the GMB’s predecessor, where the first number of TCD: A College Miscellany was put together in 1895. For the larger part of a century afterwards hardly a week went by in term without an issue of TCD or Trinity News (or, for a while, The College Pen) appearing. That year was not the start of Trinity’s association with the publishing of periodicals, of course. The 19th century saw Dublin University Magazine and Kottabos: A College Miscellany come and go, both put together mostly by Trinity men, though not undergraduates. Trinity News currently co-exists with the Students’ Union’s latest, The University Times. This kind of situation seems to arise regularly at this university. The DU Boat Club and DU Rowing Club raced each other for many years. TCD had to compete for readers with The College Pen and, later, Trinity News. The Phil and the Hist are still almost indistinguishable. Back then these separations came about due to principle and ideology; now they exist due to inertia, and so that students can tap the Capitations Committee for larger amounts of money. When one looks at the college publications of old, and compares them to the Trinity News of today, some differences are immediately apparent.
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Trinity News is today free. Almost: it is free for the student to pick up, but he still pays for part it through his fees. This is a recent development, and it was only in the 1990s that student rags became routinely free. This may be irreversible, especially considering the advent of the internet, but sales figures are a wonderful gauge of interest – if no one is willing to buy, is it really worth going to print? One characteristic of the older papers was their regularity. TCD published six times in each arts term, and Trinity News for many years carried the title “A Dublin University Weekly”. When, in Hilary term 1964, the editor of TCD was removed from his position by the Provost for writing a bold article, a piece in the Irish Times said that “for the first time in 70 years TCD has not met its Friday deadline.” Probably not exactly true, but it shows how that weekly deadline was sacred even in the 1960s. This kind of dedication is now utterly forgotten, and the Trinity News of the last few decades turns up sporadically and never ever weekly. My own year with Trinity News was nothing to boast about in that regard, but with the paper soon afterwards aiming for a fortnightly issue, it seemed for a while to be headed in the direction of weekly publishing. An ambitious and resourceful editor not content to rest on the system he inherits could find a way of publishing every week in term. The old editors of TCD and Trinity News prevented this regularity from becoming too much for them by changing editor every term. But this is not needed nowadays, as the boss of the paper takes a year out. Another glaring difference between the undergraduate publications of the past and Trinity News today is the subject matter. Student newspapermen until around the 1970s knew their remit: Trinity College and the life of the university, about which there is plenty to write. Trinity News is, or should be, a local newspaper – not a school-project version of The Guardian. Its target market is the many thousands of people who have a connection with this university, especially its students. Not one of them picks up the paper to find out about what’s going on in the latest
bloody Arab scrap, or to read whatever is exercising the mind of some young Fisk-wannabe. Yet the last number of this paper carried an editorial asking protestors in Greece to… take note of something, or something. One is reminded of the (possibly apocryphal) story about the 19th-century Skibbereen Eagle, which once declared it was “keeping an eye on the tsar of Russia” because of his border policies. Our ancestors in student publishing would be bewildered by a seeming obsession in today’s papers. One cannot turn a page without being confronted by the initialisms of the selfimportant representative groups: SU, GSU, USI. It is as if Trinity News’s main purpose is to report the actions of these cabals. The Students’ Union has its own newspaper. Surely this paper could provide a haven for those students who want news, but don’t care a damn about those groups. A final observation. The student newspapers of the past, before suffering some kind of implosion in the 1980s, were in general fastidiously produced, with barely a tittle out of place. The producers were certainly better acquainted with the English language than their modern-day successors. A sic was slyly inserted into a quotation on the front page of the last Trinity News – ironic, surely, considering the many spelling, style and usage errors that pollute today’s student newspapers.
The first issue of Trinity News, published in October 1953
I HAD to laugh at the online kerfuffle over a Trinity “frat”. It would hardly be a first. Trinity has had Masonic lodges for 150 years, and God knows what they get up to. The Heraeans sing very rude songs about men (surely meriting an article in Siren). And the Knights are still running around naked in Dublin, as anyone who read the Irish Daily Mail on 2 February last year knows. One of the most ridiculous things about this frat farce was the comment by some officious bore from the Central Societies Committee. He solemnly declared that the CSC would never recognise such a society. Oh boo hoo! The frat boys must be heartbroken. email@example.com
Panning for gold in Italy’s Piedmont Anthea Lacchia strikes gold in northern Italy, where a growing number of tourists and locals are joining forces to find the precious metal from the Alpine glaciers
t’s eleven am on a peaceful summer’s day in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. A peculiar sight is visible to motorists as they cross the bridges that arch over the local rivers: people standing in the water, bent over, examining what look like large saucepans. What on earth are they doing? Simple: they are panning for gold. Most rivers in northern Italy carry gold from the Alpine glaciers and deposit it along their banks in gravel. Gold panners scoop up these deposits and use gold pans to separate the light from the heavy material. To do this, they immerse the gravel-filled pan in water and shake its contents in a steady motion, discharging the waste material back into the water. All this involves sweat, backache and, at times, sweltering heat. So what is it that spurs them on? There can be only one explanation: gold fever. From Croesus to Wall Street, none of us are truly immune. But before you decide to drop out of college and book a one way flight to Milan, be warned: chances are you won’t get rich from gold panning. In fact, gold nuggets are extremely rare
Three panners hunt for gold with buckets and wellington boots in the Piedmont Region, northern Italy.
and often a lifetime of panning isn’t enough to find one. A general rule of thumb is that the further upstream the panning, the larger the particles will be; conversely, gold found far downstream tends to be in the form of tiny particles, mostly one or two millimetres across, called flakes. A day’s work might earn you twenty of these: not exactly what the Australian, Alaskan and Californian gold rushes were all about. However, in the second half of the 19th century, northern Italy was suddenly transformed into a true “El Dorado”, a Mecca to be exploited by avid panners and miners from all
parts of Europe. The Italian gold rush took place in the valleys of northern Piedmont, in the shelter of the Monte Rosa Massif and close to the border with Switzerland. Curiously the presence of this rare metal in Italian rivers has led to the birth of many gold panning associations, which not only organize trips to rivers for their members, but also set up competitions in artificial pools. You might wonder how this works. An identical number of gold flakes are seeded in buckets of gravel that are systematically panned in each heat of a competition. The heats test the
ability of individuals or teams to find as much gold as possible in the shortest time. This unusual hobby is not at all confined to Italy, and gold panning associations range from Slovakia to Canada and even South Africa. Each year, hundreds of panners travel to different countries to take part in the world gold panning championships. This year they will be held in South Africa, in the Mpumalanga Province, while in 2013, the honour of hosting the championships will fall to Italy. More precisely, they will take place in the town of Biella, in the Piedmont
region. The Netherlands is the current national team world champion, but it remains to be seen whether it will succeed in retaining its title. Competition is fierce. However, everyone agrees the championships are above all a chance to catch up with old friends. A whole range of activities are associated with the competitions, including day trips and evening entertainment. Of course, gold panners possess an extra spark of madness. Not only does it allow them to spend their free time trekking freezing river waters in wellington boots, gold pan and spade at hand, but it also makes the championships great fun. For more information, visit the World Goldpanning Association website, www.worldgoldpanningassociation. org. Who knows, you might be inspired to enter one of the beginners’ heats. If you’d rather take part in an organized tour of the area around Biella with the option of gold panning in a local river, go to www.theitalianexperience.co.uk. Incidentally, you might wonder if is there any gold in Irish rivers. Yes there is. The Irish are no strangers to the beguiling lure of a gleaming nugget. In fact, a major gold rush started at the end of the 18th century, with prospectors converging on the Gold Mines River, at Woodenbridge, near Avoca, Co. Wicklow. Why not try it yourself? Picture yourself standing in a river. As you go through the rhythmical motions, swirling the contents of your pan, a sheep stares at you from across a fence. Just as you start to wonder why you’re performing this ridiculous dance, suddenly a glimmer lightens the brackish contents of your pan: two or three golden flakes wink up at you. With childish glee, you put the treasure into your phial, to keep forever.
INTERVIEW LAVINIA BYRNE
After kicking the habit, Lavinia’s going places Maud Sampson speaks to ex-Catholic nun and Radio 4 contributor Lavinia Byrne on her strict upbringing and newfound love for travel
avinia is some woman: an ex-Catholic nun of 35 years, a Radio 4 contributor on the Today Programme’s “Thought for the Day” for 14 years and university lecturer are just a few of the impressive jobs that make up her CV. Nowadays, she is a tour guide for the exclusive travel company Jon Baines Tours. Raised in a strict English Catholic household, from age 14 Lavinia knew she wanted to become a nun like the “enlightened, intelligent women” she was taught by at her convent school. Byrne, 65, joined the religious order
“Four years after its publication, the Vatican condemned Byrne’s book and tried to force her to publicly declare only men should be ordained” of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1964, aged just 17. In 1993 Lavinia published Woman at the Altar, a controversial book outlining her argument for the ordination of women into the priesthood. Four years after its publication, the Vatican condemned the book and tried to quash Byrne by forcing her to publicly declare only men should be ordained priests. This precipitated her leaving the religious order in 2000, amid huge contention and media coverage of reputed “bullying” by the Vatican. She downplays this episode in her life, simply stating the whole matter was a mere “kerfuffle”. Today Byrne has strong words to say about the running of the Roman
Catholic Church: “I find it shocking that there is still so much sexism dressed up as ‘theology’.” She believes in the concept of women practicing as priests, almost 20 years after the publication of her controversial book. I ask her if she is a feminist: “Yes. A feminist and a practising Catholic.” A seemingly contradictory statement. I’m confused – as is Lavinia. How can she be both, considering her history with the church? “I find that quite a struggle because there is so much that alienates me in the way the church is run. For example, in this country [Britain], and I think in Ireland, a new liturgy has been imposed on us, that people can’t remember, can’t say properly. “In my church and parish, there is an enormous amount of silence. When the priest says ‘The Lord be with you’ there is total silence, so you end up answering yourself.” She is right – in 2011, a revised English translation of the Roman Missal was introduced to Catholic Mass with notable changes in the responses, causing confusion among some churchgoers. Despite her current issues with the church she remains true to her faith, 12 years after she renounced her religious orders. For the past six years Byrne has worked with Jon Baines Tours, which has facilitated her in finding a new vocation and purpose in life. She quickly realised, “People want to understand why they live as they do, and think as they do. Religion is often behind it, so I saw it as my task to explain in a forensic and as unemotional way as possible just why people think what they think, and therefore understand them better.” Travel has been her escape, allowing her to channel her former religious life and knowledge into her tours. “I’ve become very interested in Islam and other faiths, while building on my knowledge of the way Christianity has
authority in the traditionally maledominated public sphere. “I think she is excellent, but I also loved Queen Noor, who set up a foundation in Jordan to help girls in villages practice traditional crafts and sell their products to the public and tourists. There’s a whole enterprise structure supported by this queen.”
“In my church and parish there is an enormous amount of silence – when the priest says ‘The Lord be with you’ there is total silence, so you end up answering yourself”
Lavinia Byrne joined a religious order at the age of 17, but left after Vatican “bullying”
grown and spread.” Byrne has developed a fascination with the Middle East, with her favourite country being Turkey – “Where East meets West” – and she loves the Arabians’ hospitality. Does the appeal of the Middle East have anything to do with the fact there are no religious orders there? She is apparently indifferent: “I wouldn’t necessarily pick them out anyway. That chapter of my life is closed.” Being a former nun, I ask if she can
relate to the “repressed” stereotype of veiled Arab woman. Byrne never quite answers my question, instead talking of how she is thrilled that “There is so much coverage in the media of what is happening to women in the Arab Spring countries.” Byrne goes on to talk of her admiration for Queen Rania of Jordan, a woman in the public eye who has come under criticism by Jordanians for her involvement with Western charities, and for maintaining a position of
Lavinia calls Ireland “God’s own country” and has visited many times, particularly Dublin because she has two famous Irish cousins. The first is forensic pathologist John Harbison, a criminologist whose mother taught at Trinity. She had a room on campus, and “although she was almost blind she was very good at correcting exam scripts!” The second is Peter Harbison, author of High Crosses of Ireland. “I’m extremely proud of my Irish connection, plus my grandfather who was a doctor in Birmingham was one of 17 children, and all the boys in that Irish family became doctors.” Byrne talks of her experience of the Irish on her tours: “For Irish people, who adore travelling, you just open up a whole world,” and she identifies one of her favourite punters as a woman from Galway. She is full of admiration for the Irish, “because they battle on and things aren’t easy at the moment.” Lavinia’s next project is a tour to Lebanon in June. Despite travelling extensively over the globe, for Lavinia “nothing beats real Guinness brewed in Ireland.” Amen to that. TRINITY NEWS
fooled by The Geological Museum uncovered Astronomers supernova imposter modern oceans but go back 450 million years. I love researching them and just trying to work out from the skeleton how the soft tissues operated, how these animals lived, interacted with each other and so on. So that’s one part of my research but also arising out of my work in the museum, I became interested in the history of geology. Now I spend quite a lot of time writing biographies of Irish scientists.” So guessing what specimen is his favourite is not too hard: “Of all the specimens, it has to be one of the bryozoans. We have some rather insignificant-looking specimens from Co. Fermanagh, but they are significant from a scientific point of view because they are unique. But they might not excite everybody,” he laughs. In fact, he adds: “A lot of what we have in the museum may not look particularly great, like spores from fossil plants for example, but they are actually very important in terms of what they can tell us about past environments, and are useful for dating the rocks in which they are found.” In a world faced with conservation issues,
Anthea Lacchia takes a tour of the Museum Building, and speaks with its Geological curator, Dr. Patrick Wyse Jackson
he Museum Building may be undergoing restoration work at present, but what beauty lies beneath that scaffolding! True, countless students rush through the large wooden doorway every day. But for anyone trying to get to a nine am lecture on time, stopping to admire the coloured tiles and the carvings on the wall becomes quite difficult. So let’s take a brief tour of this fascinating building, which is also home to the Geological Museum. Who better to guide us than Dr. Patrick Wyse Jackson, Associate Professor and Curator of the Museum? “The Museum Building was designed by architects from Co. Cork, Thomas Deane and Benjamin Woodward, as well as the younger Thomas Deane. It was erected in 1853 and finished in 1857,” he tells us. It is inspired by the Byzantine architecture of Venice. “Seen from the outside, it’s a very distinctive building with lovely carvings of animals and plants.” These were carved by the Cork-born brothers John and James O’Shea, who used fresh flowers as models.
“Gone are the days when you go out, you shoot Sumatran tigers and bring them home! But the collections in the museums worldwide can still be used for conservation” “As a geological building, it’s wonderful,” says Wyse Jackson. “It is constructed out of Leinster granite and Portland stone, which is limestone from the south of England.” When you step into the building, your eyes are met with lots of different decorative stones. “We have different marbles (they are actually predominantly polished limestone) from Connemara, Kilkenny and Cork. We also have material with shark teeth in it from Co. Armagh.” Even the floor is worth looking at, with its interlocking flagstones and slates of different colours. “Of course, there are the two Giant Irish Deer specimens, male and female. These animals were roaming around Ireland about 11,000 years ago and this particular pair came from Co. Limerick.” It is actually quite
The building is a treasure in its own right, shown in Elaine Cullen’s watercolour
rare to see female deer in museums because they lack the impressive antlers that are found on males, he explains: “People used to find them and think they were an old cow or a horse, so they’d throw them away. “The building originally housed an engineering museum on the right hand side and a geology museum on the left hand side as you come in. Then in the 1950s the geology museum was split up and converted into labs. A small geology gallery was retained on the upper floor.” It is this gallery that is known as the Geological Museum today. So what kinds of specimens can be viewed in the museum? “The display follows the story of the earth and it’s laid out with the general public and students in mind. So people without much geological knowledge can learn a lot from it, but those with some geology will still enjoy it. We go through different mineral types and properties and then show how those might have some economic value, particularly in Ireland. Then we show how the different minerals go to make up the different rock types. Then we’ve got two rows of cases with different fossil groups in them. The collections consist of about a quarter of a million specimens, maybe more. There are 7-8,000 minerals and large numbers of rocks and fossils.” Some of the highlights include the casts and the originals of the marine reptiles that are on the wall. “These are a mixture of plaster casts and actual fossils of marine reptiles that swam about 150 million years ago and are now found in rocks around Lyme Regis and the south coast of England. Other highlights include some of the minerals
on display and some dinosaur bone that was found in Tanzania. When you come in, there’s a case showing some dinosaur material as well as nice fish fossils from northern Italy. “One case that I like is the one that has the grotty specimens: I put on display specimens that have been cracked and started to decay because people think minerals and rocks don’t decay, but they have to be kept under certain environmental control. You can’t simply dig rock and fossil specimens out of the ground and think they will look after themselves.” So what does the role of curator actually involve? “The main job is to ensure that the collection is safe and is well documented in terms of where the material came from, its age, its
“The display is laid out with the general public and students in mind” geographical location. And it needs to be reasonably well organized within the museum so we can actually find it if people want to use it for research.” Wyse Jackson’s interest in curatorial work stemmed naturally from his love of palaeontology, which is the study of fossils. “I came to college and I loved biology and geology so becoming a palaeontologist was not a terribly difficult decision in terms of where I wanted to go. Within palaeontology, I’m primarily interested in invertebrates and particularly in bryozoans, small colonial organisms that are found in
“The distinctive exterior carvings of animals and plants were carved by the Cork brothers John and James O’Shea, who used fresh flowers as models” the role of museums is ever important. “As resources dwindle we are getting more concerned about looking for useful commodities, but added to that is the need to conserve resources and keep our planet in reasonable shape. I do think that it is important for museums to be accessible and to make their collections available for research. Gone are the days when you go out, you shoot loads of Sumatran tigers and bring them home! But the collections that are in museums worldwide can still be used for conservation. For example, researchers can look at DNA or distributional patterns of organisms. So from a scientific and conservation point of view it’s important that we actually know what we’ve got in these museums.” And the Geological Museum plays its part in this respect: “As a museum, we’ve always made our specimens available to researchers and to groups that wanted to visit.” Some might think the museum lacks modern facilities: “Some think it’s very old fashioned and they actually love it. Others prefer more modern museums. I like it because it does give a flavour of the original Victorian museum. When I started here, I was very keen to restore the room to its original look.”
What’s the worst that could happen? Alan Martin Rice on the latest controversies surrounding mutants and avian flu research
hat’s the question asked lately by various government bodies, the World Health Organization (WHO) and prominent influenza researchers around the world after two labs demonstrated it was possible to adapt a highly lethal strain of avian flu to transmit more easily among humans. One team, lead by Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, submitted its work to Science and the other group, led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to Nature. News of this research sparked much debate and a two month hiatus on avian flu transmission research was called for in order to develop guidelines for a type of research
13 March, 2012
that could potentially be abused for bioterrorism. This agreement is unprecedented in biomedical research. Since then, a meeting convened by the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, has concluded that the papers should be published in full, despite recommendations to the contrary from a US government advisory board. But why is this issue being raised now? Some history is needed to explain how we got here and why it is an important decision for all of us. In April 2009, a strain of influenza H1N1, commonly known as swine flu, caused the first pandemic of the 21st century. A few years before swine flu became a household name, reports of bird flu, or avian flu, filled the news as it spread though poultry in Asia and Europe and even reached some farms
in the UK. This strain of flu, H5N1, evolved in China in the 1990s but rarely infects humans. Despite this, during its 2006 epidemic 584 people were infected and a staggering 335 of those died. While 60% of cases confirmed as H5N1 avian flu resulted in death, the actual mortality rate could in fact be lower, as those with milder symptoms may not seek treatment. However, if a H5N1 strain as dangerous as this evolved to spread as effectively as swine flu, it could lead to a devastating global pandemic worse than the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed 3% of the global population. Studies suggest that the 2009 swine flu strain was generated several years before it began circulating widely in humans. If we understood what genetic changes allow a strain to transmit in humans, we might be able to detect possible pandemic strains when they emerge and manage them better. Several researchers asked this
question of H5N1 and, in September 2011, two teams of researchers created lethal mutant H5N1 variants that can be transmitted between ferrets merely breathing the same air. This highly effective transmission in ferrets is noteworthy as ferrets are routinely used to mimic influenza reactions in humans due to their high similarity. This is what sparked the debate. The concern still is that, when the papers are published in full, the details of the mutations could fuel bioterrorism. But if genuine parties are not able to access the research, we will lose out on potential benefits, such as vaccines and better early warning surveillance systems. The situation has been compared to the discovery of nuclear fission: on the one hand, a new source of energy and on the other, the greatest destructive weapon ever created. Biology now has its nuclear fission moment, and it is just as important to each of us.
SCIENTISTS at the California Institute of Technology recently announced the rediscovery of a dead star now known as Object 7. The announcement comes based on recent observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope which showed the star to be still burning despite observations of it exploding in 1967. It turns out this explosion was a supernova imposter, an event characteristic of certain types of star. While the star survived the first explosion, it is expected that the real supernova could occur very soon and astronomers are on the lookout for its second supernova. NUTRITION
Health benefit is sweet news for chocaholics
Proof to continue eating chocolate
RESEARCHERS at the San Diego School of Medicine have uncovered an unexpected health benefit of chocolate. The group found that patients suffering from heart failure or type two diabetes were able to improve their exercise capacity by eating dark chocolate. The chemical responsible is epicatechin, a flavonoid found in cocoa which reduces abnormalities in skeletal muscle common in diabetics. The researchers were able to isolate it and enrich the chocolate further leading to even better results, leaving us with yet another reason to be grateful for chocolate. NATURE
US scientist makes waves in energy study MOHAMMAD-REZA Alam from University of California, Berkeley, has devised a new method of protecting structures at sea by cancelling out waves. The process involves transferring the energy of a wave below the surface then transmitting it to the far side using a pattern of ripples on the sea floor designed to interfere with the wave at the surface. While the sea is too complex to cancel out all waves, it is believed that this technology could be useful in protecting drilling platforms or provide protected areas for fishing boats. ASTRONOMY
Oxygen discovered on Saturn orbital
Artist’s impression of oxygen molecules
ASTRONOMERS at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US have recently discovered molecular oxygen in the upper atmosphere of Dione, one of Saturn’s 62 moons. The discovery was made by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer as the spacecraft passed by the frozen moon. The concentration of the oxygen is roughly the same as on earth at 480km. This is not enough to sustain life but astronomers are optimistic that it could shed new light onto the possibility of life on similar moons with liquid water such as Jupiter’s Europa. Stephen Keane, Deputy Science Editor
20 SPORTS FEATURES
It’s a long way from Croke Park to Zambia Kate Rowan speaks to All-Ireland medallist and Trinity graduate Alan Kerins about his journey from playing Colours matches to finding his true purpose – helping others in Zambia
rinity College has many graduates that we should be proud of. Alan Kerins is one of these. He shone as a sportsman as a dual player of hurling and Gaelic football for Galway, the highlight being an AllIreland football medal for Galway and All-Ireland club medals in both sports. However, it has been the work the physiotherapy graduate has done off the field, in establishing the Alan Kerins Project to help some of the poorest communities in Zambia help themselves, that makes him truly inspirational. The former Clarinbridge club man has very fond memories of his time studying in Trinity and credits it with setting him on the road towards his All-Ireland football medal. “I never played football until I came to Trinity. I had been training with the Trinity hurlers but I wanted to increase my fitness levels for the Galway pre-season while I was in Dublin, so I decided to just go out and train with the Trinity footballers as they were training at a much higher standard and I really enjoyed it. Two years later I won an All-Ireland medal with Galway. It was a very fast rise. I probably never would have played football, if it wasn’t for Trinity!” he chuckled.
“Kerins has very fond memories of his time studying in Trinity and credits it with setting him on the road towards his All-Ireland football medal” As well helping to provide him with probably his most precious sporting memory, playing Gaelic games helped Kerins forge some lasting friendships during his student days, as he explains: “Gaelic games were very much a minority sport there. That is actually how I met some of my closest mates, through the GAA. Because there was not a huge group of us we were a very close-knit group. We had a great camaraderie.” One of these friendships would prove important in a connection he would make that would send him on his path towards the landlocked southern African country. “Andy Farrell, a friend from Trinity who I played with on the football team introduced me to Father Dan Joe O’Mahony. He is a Capuchin; I met him during my time in college. He is actually the chaplain of the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and he is an inspirational man. He has been a major influence on my life and one of the reasons that I decided to go to Africa.” Kerins tells of how after a difficult season of football and hurling in 2004, “where we were well beaten by Kilkenny in the final, I decided I wanted to go to Africa as a volunteer working as a physio from September to Christmas and come back for pre-season. I approached one of the bigger charities in Ireland but the arrangements fell through. I had given up hope of going until I spoke to father Dan Joe.” The priest asked the Gaelic star if he would like to go to Zambia helping out some Irish Capuchin missionaries. Kerins agreed and it was arranged that he would spend three months working as a physiotherapist in a centre for disabled children ran by Sister Cathy Crawford. This period working would change
Workers are trained in construction during the building phase. Here they are receiving their nationally-recognised training certificates from Kerins
the course of the Galwayman’s life. “I was deeply impacted by both the amazing work done by Sister Cathy and the awful poverty of the area. Seeing the devastation from HIV and AIDS and the hunger was a life changing experience. I suppose you could say I developed a connection with the people and the place. I couldn’t forget about it when I came home. Sister Cathy’s home was the only place for disabled children for a province four times the size of Ireland. They are amazing people. They are the real heroes.” The everyday heroism Kerins saw inspired him to ask the nun if there was anything he could do to help her work when he got home to Ireland as the home is entirely donor reliant, meaning it receives no funding from either the Irish or Zambian governments. Sister Cathy suggested it would be helpful if Kerins could fundraise €5,000 to contribute towards the cost of building a well to provide clean drinking water for the community. So he returned home “and I tried to get the €5,000 for the well and that was just the beginning; I made a brochure with photographs I had taken and I raised that money and now here we are two million euro later!” Kerins has dedicated himself full time to his charitable work and although he enjoyed working as a physiotherapist, “I find this a million times more rewarding.” The idea behind the work carried
out by the Alan Kerins project is to “empower the communities to shape their own change rather than us coming in and doing everything. Our motto is to give a hand up rather than a hand out.” This is a multi-faceted approach that involves “an awful lot of programmes. We focus on income
“We learn an awful lot more from the Zambians than they do from us. They have so much time for others” generating programmes for the likes of Sister Cathy’s disabled home, housing, agricultural programmes, school, education, orphans, orphanages, community activity, youth leadership programmes.” One example of creating income generation is a block making enterprise where locals train and make blocks for buildings that are needed for their communities and, while doing this, earn qualifications in contractions, which it is hoped will encourage them to set up their own businesses, making themselves and their families selfsufficient. The one flaw in this approach according to Kerins is that “people are
much slower to invest in people and upskilling, as it is a slower process, but we listened to the locals and it is going well.” He points out how each and every project he is involved in “is selfsustainable, is based on longevity and has an educational purpose.” Despite this provision of education, he believes that “we learn an awful lot more from the Zambians than they do from us, I know we do give them help but you they are always smiling, they smile through their struggles and you always try to mirror that when you get back. You cope a lot better when you smile like them. We are so moany and whingey in comparison, we just don’t know how lucky we are. You see how much time they have for each other, they have so little but I think they have a lot more balance in their lives.” As well as the inspiration provided by the Zambians, Father Dan Joe and missionaries, Kerins can pinpoint one specific memory from his childhood that he kept with him. “I remember watching Live Aid when I was only about seven or eight. My father had won a big captain’s prize at the local golf club of maybe four or five hundred pounds and it was a lot of money for the time and he gave it all to Live Aid despite having a young family of his own at the time and that really struck me as a child.” He continues in this vein: “I was brought up with strong values to help others and if I can use the little bit of
Alan Kerins Projects built a dormitory for boys from the orphanage to sleep in. They attend school during the day
a name I got from playing hurling and football to help others, I will.” One way Kerins has used his connections through Gaelic games is by coming up with innovative and unique ways of fundraising. “We got Croke Park for the day, thanks to the kindness of GAA President Christy Cooney. The idea was to give people the opportunity to play in Croke Park, who never normally would get the chance to play there. Companies or individuals paid €2,500 per head,” and it was modelled on an All-Ireland final between Kerins’ home county Galway and Dublin. Taking part in the match were a number of stars of Gaelic football past and present, including Pat Spillane
“Each and every project he is involved in is self-sustainable and has an educational purpose” and the Brogan brothers who put aside the Dublin-Kerry rivalry to play on the same team in the colours of the current holders of the Sam Maguire. Rugby greats Tony Ward and Mick Galwey took part along with former Republic of Ireland soccer player Ray Houghton and snooker’s Ken Doherty. The event raised a total of over €100,000 and also helped raise the charity’s profile. Kerins explains that increased awareness is important due to the recession: “There are so many deserving Irish-based charities that affect Irish people, such as the Cancer Society and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. People want to fund charities that help Irish people. Funding for all of these is getting cut so we are very affected by that. So we need to do everything we can to show what we are doing at the moment.” One final aspect of Kerins’ work in Zambia that is unique is how they operate a cultural exchange where Irish transition year students travel to Africa to learn leadership skills with their Zambian counterparts. “It is not just good for Africa; it is good for Ireland because there is a whole generation of young Irish people coming home to their communities with the confidence to lead, whether or not they ever come back with us, and the local children see they are just as well-equipped as the Irish and that gives them confidence. It is a win-win situation.” So, just as Kerins was a winner in sport he is bringing his determination and winning ways to touch lives in both Zambia and Ireland. TRINITY NEWS
INTERVIEW TOMMY BOWE & EOIN REDDAN
Leading from the back Kate Rowan asks Irish rugby stars Tommy Bowe and Eoin Reddan about the importance of leadership throughout the international squad and examines how this helped bring victory against the Scottish
“I asked how Eoin Reddan felt about his leadership role in the squad: ‘I think at scrumhalf your job is to keep an eye on what is going on and of course the speed of the ball does affect how you can push the game, so it is important’”
eading by example. That is what new Ireland captain Rory Best promised ahead of Ireland’s victory against Scotland in the Aviva Stadium last Saturday. This promise was kept with the hooker scoring the first of Ireland’s four tries. However, it was not just the leadership skills of the captain that should be noted, as Best alluded to – saying that there are “three, four, five, six leaders throughout the team.” This was a striking remark considering that both Brain O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell, the team’s most iconic leaders were both out injured. Of course, in examining the future of Irish rugby it is important to see where leadership comes from in the squad and how this attribute is displayed by players in the absence of the two Big O’s and particularly in the area of the backs which has become so synonymous with O’Driscoll. When members of the squad come out to the press for interviews in their Carton House training base, it can be a rather surreal experience at first. Generally, a player will come out and sit down for ten or fifteen minutes surrounded by a small circle of journalists. This for some reason is reminiscent of a support group, with the player sitting in place of the therapist or facilitator and you would almost expect each member of the assembled media to declare “I’m so and so and I am rugby journalist!” with the rest clapping upon this admission. Obviously, this isn’t the case. It is more a reality of each journalist jostling for position to get his or her desired questions answered. There was a hum of anticipation as the man of the Irish rugby moment Tommy Bowe took his seat. Despite not having his second half effort allowed in Lansdowne Road at the weekend, Bowe is still at the top of the Six Nations scoring charts with five tries to his name so far this tournament. As well as playing with a spark, the Monaghan man has created a great buzz with the announcement of his imminent return to his home province of Ulster for next season, on a threeyear deal. Questions were fielded as to Bowe’s motivation to play at provincial level on Irish shores once more, why he
Ireland celebrates a Tommy Bowe try in an impromptu team huddle
chose Ulster over other options, his ambitions for the future, concerns over who will take over the coaching reins at Ravenhill, the truth behind Munster move rumours and the possibility of stepping in from the wing to play at this season’s most talked about position – outside centre. The back answered all questions with the ease and charisma one would expect from such a fan favourite. Bizarrely similar to the support group therapist, his steady presence and readiness to answer questions in a most articulate manner had an oddly calming effect on his questioners. However, no one had mentioned the topic of leadership in the squad that had dominated the earlier portion of the press conference with Best. I decided it was my chance to try
Eoin Reddan celebrates a try against Scotland – the scrumhalf has now assumed a leadership role in the Ireland team
13 March, 2012
to get Bowe’s attention for a moment and in a way declare, “I’m a rugby journalist too!” It had the same terrifying feel as voicing your opinion for the first time in a competitive tutorial, except Bowe is in the place of the teaching assistant, tutor or lecturer. This combined with the incongruous support group metaphor is what I imagined as I took the plunge and asked “Today there was a lot of talk about leadership with Rory Best, could you just tell us about that?” “Yeah of course”, the Emyvale native replied as he turned to me considering the question, “with Paul gone, we are of course missing a vital cog in the forwards but Rory is a terrific choice for captain.” He gave then gave a fascinating insight into the mentality of the backs. “But with the backs we have none of those issues in the past couple of games. Look at how we have both Jonny and Rog who are both very vocal, they are well able to give the rest of the boys a kick up the backside if needed! To be honest we are not a quiet backline and I think sometimes we speak too much! Sometimes it can just be the case of getting the clear direction and then going for it.” Not as hard as I thought! I decided to chance another question: “How do you feel about assuming a leadership role, yourself?” “I try to lead by what I do”, Bowe responds thoughtfully in his border counties drawl, “it is a case of trying to get involved as much as I can and obviously it can be difficult coming from the wing but that is the one good thing about being in Wales; I can give an outside perspective on things to the other lads, I do that a lot.” I am on a roll; one final question: will Bowe be doing this ahead of the clash with the Scots? Slightly obvious question but what the hell. “Of course, I will give an alternative view of the Scots and will enjoy talking to the lads about the differences I might spot,” and then a more seasoned pro jumps in to ask about the Scottish threats before I can catch my breath. Not bad work though and within a couple of moments Tommy’s tutorial is over.
Our next tutor on the subject on the coalface of international rugby is scrumhalf Eoin Reddan. The Limerick man is also a key focus this week stepping into the starting boots of the injured Conor Murray with many excited about the pace he injects into the Irish mix. I am secretly delighted with Reddan’s arrival as I see this as another opportunity to work the leadership theme with questions again, as this week and last Best had pointed out Reddan in particular as someone who is considered as a valuable leader within the squad. The Leinster player speaks with quite a bit of tempo that reflects his zippy style of play but also with a clarity and honesty that mirrors his intent on the field. I would like to think I am somewhat less hesitant as I have found the area I would like to ask questions about but I am still nervous as I mumble to the journalists “Err… sorry…” I have to butt in, Reddan turns in my direction and I ask: “Last week and again today Rory mentioned how you have assumed a leadership role in the squad, how do you feel about that?” His answer is reflective and somewhat prophetic of the events that will unfold at the weekend. “I think, as I said, I think at scrumhalf your job is to keep an eye on what is going on and of course the speed of the ball does affect how you can push or control the game, so it is important, I suppose you demand this from the players around you, but in all fairness with this group everyone is very aware of this and Rory is an absolutely excellent choice of captain, he is very down to earth and says sensible things and leads by example.” He continues with gusto, “and you know for the rest of us, it is just important for us to lead by example too and kind of just let Rory get on with his job, back him up and if you think handling is an issue you make sure your handling is perfect, and so on with the aspects of your own game.” He seemed to like that question judging by his detailed and reflective reply, so I persevere: “Do you think it is particularly important to be in charge, as scrumhalf is a link between the forwards and backs?” A brief pause and he picks up pace again. “Yeah, you know you have to be very vocal when needed. It would be important just to keep things running smoothly.” Finally before another journalist’s turn, I enquire if he concurs with Bowe’s thought on the backline being a vocal bunch? “Yeah, yeah, well backs are always screaming for the ball and then you have the forwards wondering why you give them the ball!” he quips which elicits laughs from those encircling him. The former London Wasps man concludes honestly: “Well, I suppose you really are a bit caught in the middle as a scrumhalf and that is the job you are paid to do!” So, that is it; after a few weeks sitting on the edge of the media scrum, I tentatively tested the waters and those questions over leadership and particularly the role of the backs in the team direction are answered. Both Bowe and Reddan, along with Best and their teammates, each played their part working towards a victory against our Celtic cousins. The scrumhalf literally followed his captain’s lead by scoring Ireland’s second try. Bowe also delivered a commanding performance. His point about the expressive backline gave another insight into the workings of the team and it was interesting to observe how, as he had explained, they all seemed to be communicating throughout the game. Here is hoping that this leading by example and strong sense of directing each other towards a common goal will help us vanquish the old enemy in Twickenham this coming weekend.
22 COLLEGE SPORT
Sailing starlet makes waves Down Under Conor Bates speaks to Diana Kissane, a Senior Freshman Law student who recently returned from New Zealand after placing eighth in the Junior World Sailing Championships
ourselves before the event started. New Zealand is amazing; itâ€™s the home of water sports so we had a great time. It was so much fun.â€? The actual competition was a series of ten races. â€œWe had some teething problems with the boat. We chartered an Olympic standard boat and it took a while to get used to it. We also had to fix some components the day before racing began. It all started with a few blips, but by the middle of the competition we
â€œWe chartered an Olympic standard boat and it took a while to get used to it. The day started with a few blips, but we were sailing really wellâ€?
fter a month away in New Zealand, one would expect the traveller to return well rested and relaxed. For Diana Kissane, however, her journey did not have the same elements of rest and recuperation as many others. Diana found herself in the far extremities, to compete in the 470 Junior World Sailing Championships in Takapuna, on New Zealandâ€™s North Island. In a team of two, she represented Ireland and placed eighth overall for the competition.
â€œI started sailing when I was eight and I didnâ€™t like it one bit. The only reason I stayed initially was because Iâ€™m competitive, but eventually I grew to like itâ€? Diana hails from Howth and learned to sail in the local club, where she is also an instructor. Her relationship with sailing didnâ€™t have such a promising start. â€œI started when I was eight and I didnâ€™t like it one bit,â€? recalls Diana. â€œThe only reason I stayed initially was because Iâ€™m kind of competitive, but eventually I grew to like it and now I really love it.â€? The second year law student points
TCD student Diana Kissane and her sailing partner Saskia Tidey in action in recent competition. Photo: Diana Kissane
out that itâ€™s not all plain sailing. â€œTo compete at this level you have to spend plenty of hours in the gym, and days on end just sailing. We had a scare
when my partner got injured before the event, but we got there in the end. It would have been terrible for all of that work to go to waste.â€?
The competition saw some of the worldâ€™s best sailors at that age competing for the prestigious championship. â€œWe had a week to
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were sailing really well.â€? Diana and her partner, Saskia e, achieved sixth place in four of the ten races, and eighth in a further four, and finished with an overall placing of eighth. â€œI took up rowing in Trinity last year, and joined the sailing club as well. I had to give up rowing to focus on sailing, and unfortunately I havenâ€™t been sailing with Trinity that much this year because of the New Zealand opportunity. Hopefully I can sail with Trinity again during Hilary term.â€? When pressed about her plans for the future, Diana is open-minded and optimistic. â€œSailing at this high standard is a great buzz. Olympic qualification in 2016 is the long term goal. It would take a serious amount of work and at the moment weâ€™re just laying the foundations for a strong season. Weâ€™re happy to have done so well at this outing and its driven us on to keep training harder. We received great sponsorship and support from our clubs and this has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life. Iâ€™d go back to New Zealand again in a heartbeat.â€?
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Facts and philosophy with Rafa James Hussey profiles the football manager as he receives his Honorary Patronage from the University Philosophical Society, before sharing his top Premier League stories
“Rafa opened up about the intricacies of dealing with boardroom members and club owners, sharing that his American overlords thought a US-style collegiate draft system was in place in Europe”
he mantra of Rafa Benitez, former manager of Valencia, Liverpool and Internazionale Milano, rang out with gusto in Trinity College’s Edmund Burke Theatre on Monday 5 March. The Spaniard, visiting Dublin to receive an Honorary Patronage from Dublin University Philosophical Society, spoke to an attentive audience about the perils of a managerial career, mixing in his unique brand of offthe-cuff humour with anecdotes and sporting philosophies. The evening began with an affirmed statement of positivity from Benitez: “Belief is important for everything in your life. Creativity and determination is essential for everyday happenings and obstacles.” Despite the best efforts of a seemingly unwilling projector, Rafa regaled the audience with a prophetic story of how, in 1996, at the beginning of a burgeoning managerial career, he told his wife that one day, a team under his control would lift the Champions League trophy. Those early days, when he coupled 4am bottle feeds of his newborn daughter with endless hours of watching opposition television footage, made Benitez the successful manager he was to become. The key to success, the final part of the triumvirate of succeeding in the manager’s eyes, is evolution. One must evolve continuously to be able to overcome the barriers and obstacles that often threaten to derail a project. This interesting point was immediately handled in self-deprecating fashion by the Madrid native, who pointed out that the evolution of his Liverpool team was one of the reasons he constantly rotated the line-up during his tenure, a point that was met with some laughter from the assembled audience. The status of modern football is a point that fascinates Benitez, the increasingly globalised nature of the “beautiful game” an area that intrigues him equally as much as he finds it frustrating. The cultural change that he personally felt, moving from small club Extremadura to second division
Rafa Benitez in typical managerial pose, fielding questions from the assembled media
13 March, 2012
Rafa Benitez humbly accepts his Honorary Patronage from Phil President Eoin O’Liatháin. Photo: TCD Philosophical Society
“Those early days, when he coupled 4am bottle feeds of his newborn daughter with endless hours of watching opposition television footage, made Benitez the successful manager he was to become”
Tenerife, meant a move from the mainland of Spain to an island. This seemingly trivial aspect of the move held deep implications for Rafa, who felt penned in by the confines of the Canary isle, despite the year round sunshine and lifestyle of the locals. His return to the mainland would bring Benitez his first taste of international success as a manager. In Valencia’s hallowed Mestalla stadium, Rafa was to produce a team that turned a seven point deficit against Real Madrid mid way through the year into a seven point margin of victory over Galician side Deportivo La Coruña in La Liga. That Valencia team, led by such figures as enigmatic Spanish keeper, Santiago Canizares, would later go on to win the 2004 UEFA Cup, a trophy that made Europe sit up and recognise the merits of the Iberian gaffer. Perhaps the biggest cultural change for Benitez came in his subsequent move to Merseyside, something that he remarked on in his speech. The now famous “be careful with the wine” statement to Liverpool skipper, Steven Gerrard, happened during a particularly tempestuous day at training. Benitez, relatively new to England and inexperienced in the English language, was telling his captain to take a free kick, keeping his mind on the fact that the wind was strong. The wind/wine mix-up caused hilarious consternation amidst the players and Rafa was keen to highlight these formative moments during his time at Liverpool, a cultural change that, for him, had pros as well as cons. The professional change was perhaps one that baffled Benitez the most. By this stage comfortable in front of his audience, Rafa opened up about the intricacies of dealing with boardroom members and club owners, sharing that his American overlords thought a US-style collegiate draft system was in place in Europe. With a hint of sympathy towards recently dethroned Chelsea manager, André Villas-Boas, the difficulties faced by a European manager upon arriving in England at an administrative level are often too much of a challenge, even before the team has kicked the ball! Keen to allow some audience interaction, Benitez explained his controversial approach to zonal versus man marking tactics, bringing two spectators on stage to show his defensive thesis. His argument was followed by the quip that, while “in man marking, with a mistake, the man
gets blamed. But now, Manchester City use zonal marking and they are celebrated.” A talk with Rafa Benitez would be sorely incomplete without mention of that magical night in Istanbul. He described it as an unforgettable night, a crowning achievement. A lucky first goal allowed Liverpool back into the match but the team’s game plan for the second half was well implemented and reaped its rewards. After a quick demonstration of Jerzy Dudek’s famous pre-penalty routine, Benitez showed one of the evening’s last presentation slides. A simple Spanish sentence stands out on the photograph, “Si mercamos, estamos en el partido.” Written before half time after AC Milan had made it 3-0, the statement, “if we score, we are in the match” holds a prophetic ring in hindsight.
“At the beginning of a burgeoning managerial career, he told his wife that one day, a team under his control would lift the Champions League trophy” His proudest moment as a manager? “The knowledge that your players speak highly of you. Dietmar Hamann’s compliments after that match was a more impressive personal achievement than the silverware.” Rafa Benitez, still an enigma, unfairly remembered in some quarters for his “facts” speech (delicately mentioned on the night) rather than his outstanding career thus far, received his medal with humility and good grace. The hubris shown at various moments throughout the night had melted away during the presentation. A prolonged question and answer session highlighted again this unwieldy balance between the headstrong managerial Benitez, and the modest, somewhat shy Rafa. The audience finished the night on their feet, applauding an insightful, interesting speech by an intriguing personality. The Premier League is not made of the sordid details of players’ love lives, but of characters like Rafa Benitez. Football is lucky to have him.
Trinity enjoys walk in the park against Instonians RESULT: DUFC – 49 Instonians – 15
Conor Bates Staff Writer
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY Football Club held a nine point lead at the top of the table coming into this clash with Belfast side Instonians. Their opponents were languishing in 15th place in the Ulster Bank Division 2A league, and Trinity hoped to pile on the pain on a dry Saturday afternoon in College Park. They were on the attack from the outset, as they put Instonians under pressure in their own half. Some loose play gave Trinity an early chance, but a kick to the corner was fielded and ultimately cleared. The visitors won the first scrum and began to shake off the early nerves, carrying the ball well into tackles. Trinity, however, hit hard, and in the sixth minute turned the ball over. A quick break saw lock-forward Jack Kelly scoop and carry the ball 30 metres for the first score of the game. Dave Joyce drove the kick home to give Trinity an early seven point lead. Despite the early setback, Instonians tried to build phases in attack. DUFC were equal to their probing, snuffing out a lineout in the ninth minute, and turning the ball over only a minute later. This turnover gave Trinity a chance to unleash Niyi Adeolukan; a long pass found the speedy winger and he duly blitzed home through some half-hearted tackles. A try in the corner gave Joyce a tough conversion, but again he found his mark, making it 14-0 after only ten minutes. Trinity restarted play again, building more attacks and taking the ball through
Veteran flanker Johnny Iliff gathers the recycled ball from No 8 Jack Diliger’s drive to score try number five. Photo: Peter Wolfe
countless phases of play. Back-row Brendan O’Connell and inside-centre Ariel Robles made good ground in an attack that ultimately found touch. Instonians made one incisive play in the next few minutes. Their back-rows and centres combined well in a passage of play that earned them a penalty. This seemingly easy kick, 22 metres out in front of goal, was missed. The game slipped into ebb and flow, with both sides going forward effectively and making the tackles when they counted in defence. Trinity conceded another penalty on their 22, and this time it was dispatched for three points. Another sparkling attack began with a courageous catch from fullback James O’Donoghue. From here the ball worked its way through the hands of Dominic
Gallagher and wingers Neil Hanratty and Adeolukan, before a monstrous hit on Robles forced a knock-on. Around the 20 minute mark, Trinity began to rest on their lead. A poor mistake in the lineout gave Instonians a chance, and Trinity had to perform some last ditch heroics to turn the ball over on their own 5-metre line. In the 28th minute Instonians were awarded a penalty 30 metres from the goal, in front of the posts. Trinity breathed a sigh of relief as this kick sailed wide. Perhaps sensing their own slump, the Trinity team roused themselves in attack once more. A great series of back line moves, led by O’Donoghue and centres Ciaran Wade and Robles, saw the home side striking with greater intent. Their attacks, however, ultimately came up short
on a number of occasions. Gallagher knocked-on in contact, Robles was brought down a number of times, and No.8 Jack Diliger put his foot in touch while carrying on the blindside. As the half drew to a close Trinity launched one final assault. Scrum-half Mick McLoughlin broke from a ruck before kicking ahead. His piercing kick found its way to the goal-line, and the Instonian fullback could only watch as both Adeolukan and Robles raced past him for a certain try. Robles got the decisive touch and Joyce converted from beside the posts to make it 21-3 at the half. The second half provided an even richer vein of form. Trinity never let up the pressure on their opposition, and a cutting blindside run from hooker Tim O’Mahony gave them great position in
the 43rd minute. Sharp play from the following ruck saw Trinity spread the ball the whole width of the pitch as Brendan O’Connell touched down in the corner. Joyce added two points with aplomb. Again the home side mounted pressure on the diminishing visitors, and the continual cut and thrust of the collegiate offensive play left the Belfast outfit chasing shadows. Substitute Darragh Crosby provided the next score, right underneath the posts, with Joyce converting to make it 35-3 after 52 minutes. A mishandled pass on the 5-metre line fell into the hands of Ciaran Wade who touched down beside the posts. Joyce converted again. Moments after the restart, a dominating run from O’Connell brought Trinity back inside the opposition’s half. After many broken tackles and sharp passes, the ball unfortunately found its way into touch. Another mishandle in the back-line saw Wade accepting the gift of his second try in a few minutes. Dave Joyce converted to make it 49-8 in Trinity’s favour. The final minutes saw some great spectacle from both sides. With Instonians on the attack, Adeolukan made a crucial interception to quash their momentum. The counter attack was initiated by Johnny Iliff. Iliff’s darting run upfield brought him deep into opposition territory before he was forced to offload. With wonderful flair Iliff threw the ball back over his head to the onrushing Robles. Unfortunately the play was halted, as the stylish pass had gone inches forward. With the last play of the game, a well measured Instonians interception allowed the away team to take a consolation try, which was also converted. The final score of 49-15 means that Trinity extended their lead at the top of the table with this bonus point win.
Men serve up win at tennis invervarsities in Cork Stephen Ludgate Tennis Correspondent
THE TRINITY men’s tennis team won the annual intervarsity competition in Cork recently with a 5-1 win over UCD in the final. The event, hosted by UCC and staged in Sunday’s Well LTC marked a glorious achievement for men’s tennis in Dublin University. It was at 2.00pm on the Sunday afternoon that Simon Clarke smashed an ace down the T to win the decisive match for Trinity and end a 13 year run of disappointment in the competition. Trinity’s men’s first team began their campaign against NUIG on the Friday and got off to a flying start. The team won all three doubles and all six singles to inflict a 9-0 defeat on their opponents. Good performances were put in by all and it gave the team a huge confidence boost as they prepared to take on the hosts, UCC, in the semifinal the next day. The semi-final proved to be a much tougher affair for Trinity however. Again the match opened with the doubles and Trinity won all three. Mark Carpenter and Simon Clarke made short work of their opponents in the first doubles, winning 6-2 6-3. Team captain Gavin Gilhawley partnered Christopher Ma at second doubles, while the two freshers, Ed Monbiot and Tom Lawless, played at third doubles. Gilhawley and Ma came through their match winning 6-2 6-4 while Lawless and Monbiot won 6-3 6-3. Cork began to fight back in the singles with Ma and Monbiot going down in their matches to give UCC a glimmer of hope. Cork won one more of the singles matches, but the first doubles pairing of Mark Carpenter and Simon Clarke won at first and fourth singles respectively to secure a 5-3 victory. It was a tough afternoon for Clarke who had to battle through three sets before securing victory and sending Trinity into the final after a
Dublin University Lawn Tennis men’s team celebrate their victory with the Intervarsity Competition Trophy. Photo: Justin Hintze
workmanlike performance from the entire squad. However the team went to bed that night with huge anticipation and optimism for the next day with the knowledge that UCD had beaten DCU in the other semi-final – the team who had beaten Trinity in last year’s final and had won the tournament for the last five years. The team awoke to a sunny Sunday morning in Cork, with a sense of expectancy and real belief that the title could be claimed for the first time in 13 years. Again, the doubles were played first, with Trinity using the same pairings as the semi-final. Mark Carpenter and Simon Clarke were playing against Alan O’Mahony and Graham Smyth of UCD and got off to a blistering start, not dropping a game on the way to winning the first set 6-0. Gilhawley and Ma also got off to an ideal start in the second doubles winning the opening set 6-2. In the final doubles game Lawless and Monbiot had a tougher time than the other two pairs and found themselves locked in an extremely tight opening set. With some great play by both pairs,
the match found itself tied 5-5. The Trinity pair held their nerves however, breaking serve and holding onto their own to win the opener 7-5. Carpenter and Clarke continued with the form they showed in the first set, dropping only one in the second and winning the match 6-0 6-1, significantly putting Trinity 1-0 up. Gilahwley and Ma continued to hold serve comfortably in the second and they found a break which proved to be decisive, winning the second set 6-3 and putting Trinity 2-0 up. Lawless and Monbiot seemed to have broken the will of their opponents after winning the first set so tightly and they then raced through the second set to take it 6-2 and put Trinity 3-0 up heading into the singles. Carpenter wasn’t resting on his laurels though and carried his form from the doubles straight into the singles, again dropping only one game on the way to beating Alan O’Mahony 6-0 6-1. This meant that Trinity only needed one more point to secure an unassailable 5-0 lead and celebrations began in earnest after Clarke delivered
the point, beating Martin Naughton 6-2 6-2. The joy was evident on the faces of all the players after beating UCD and justifying all the hours that had been put in in the build up to the tournament. Men’s captain Gavin Gilhawley received the trophy at the presentation and gave a special thanks to player/coach Mark Carpenter for all his efforts on and off the court throughout the year. It was fitting that Carpenter was a part of the team who recaptured the varsity title, being the man responsible for rejuvenating DULTC over the last couple of years. The Trinity ladies team also had a hugely successful campaign at varsities, but were extremely unlucky to lose out to DCU in the final. The girls began their campaign against UCC 1sts in the quarter final and proved much too strong for their opposition, who were unable to put up much resistance. The matches didn’t take long to complete and Trinity advanced in a very quick affair. They played UCD 1sts in their semi-finals but once again Trinity proved to be far too strong for their opponents and won the tie relatively
easily. This match will give the Trinity ladies a huge boost of confidence when they take on their UCD counterparts in Colours in March. The ladies were now through to the final where they were to take on DCU, and it proved to be a very tight match. The singles matches went out first and Lisa Lawlor was chosen to play at first singles for Trinity. She found herself locked in a tight contest with the DCU firsts singles player and was unlucky to lose in a close match. Hannah-May Morrissey also found herself locked in a tight encounter. However she was able to snatch victory for Trinity, earning an important point for the girls. Julie O’Beirne and her power and consistency proved to be too much for her opponent, winning comfortably in two sets. Maeve Crowley represented Trinity at fourth singles on the day but was unable to find a way past her opponent and lost in yet another tight game. Laura Gibney put in a brilliant performance to win, while Ruth Coleman was unable to match this feat. The match was tied at 3-3 heading into the doubles. There was an extremely tense atmosphere following the singles, but it was DCU who managed to seize the advantage, going ahead in two of the matches. Morrissey and Crowley fought their way into the lead in the second doubles and held on, winning the first set. Trinity were unable to wrestle the initiative back from DCU at third doubles, however, and Gibney and Coleman lost their match. Crowley and Morrissey held on to their advantage levelling the tie at 4-4, bringing the game down to the wire in the final doubles contest. Lawlor and O’Beirne were unable to find a way through though and DCU came away winners 5-4. It was a disappointing day for the girls, but the result gives them real hope that they too can break DCU’s dominance in the sport, especially with such a young team.