our social diarist’s enthusiasm peaks: societies 9
mark walsh is… donor a charmless report man inside
dublin revenge flick savage director Brendan Muldowney talks retribution
hub shortlisted for award: news features 8
world building of the year?
Trinity News Est 1953
Security guard impersonated Garda officer
Pay rises may breach freeze
EngSoc build up membership numbers
Anthony Burke Staff Reporter
Stopped motorists for speeding Unlicensed firearms found at home Receives 18 month suspended sentence Conor Dempsey College News Editor
A former College security attendant was convicted of impersonating a Garda, possession of unlicensed firearms and possession of child pornography during the summer. William Derwin of Dolmen Way, Poppintree, Ballymun, was given an 18-month suspended sentence by Judge Patrick McCartan in the Dublin Circuit “Vetting procedures apply to all security staff...principally based in references and referees” Criminal Court on 29 June. Derwin pleaded guilty to impersonating a Garda, possession of a Beretta pistol, a 9mm Glock pistol, a rifle, 175 rounds of blank shotgun ammunition and child pornography at his home on 9 November, 2008. Derwin was stopped by Garda Robert Roe who spotted a Ford Mondeo driving at 120 km/h around Dublin’s north inner city. Roe said that the car looked like an official unmarked Garda car. Derwin stopped his vehicle when the marked car sounded its siren. He told Roe that he was a Garda “on the job” and was allowed to continue. Still suspicious of the car, Roe sent
27 Trinity academics were promoted over the summer, and are set to receive pay rises in a possible breach of the Employment Control Framework for Higher Education. The move is defended by College and attacked in the national media. Trinity was criticised heavily in the media over the summer for the announcement that it would promote 27 members of the academic staff. 17 academics have been promoted to Senior Lecturer, seven have been promoted to Associate Professor and three to Professor. The current maximum salaries for these positions are €94,035, €110,066 and €145,952 respectively. The salaries of individuals will depend on their point on the scale. The College is subject to an Employment Control Framework for the Higher Education sector, as part of the public service
its registration to Garda control who confirmed that it was not an official vehicle. Derwin was then pulled over again after he was seen breaking two red lights at speed. When his house was searched a range of garda paraphernalia were found including handcuffs, a radio scanner, a utility belt and firearm holster, Garda badges, camouflage gear, Garda-style shirts, ties and gloves as well as a Pearse Street station calling card. Roe told the court that Derwin was “almost proud” when showing the Gardaí his substantial collection. Derwin would use the radio scanner, which he bought at a Dublin communications store, to listen in on Garda frequencies where he learned to recognise certain call signals, though he could not broadcast messages of his own. He claims to have bought his starter pistols from a man in Meath and his various items of Garda uniform from an army surplus store. An album containing 72 pictures of naked and semi-naked boys was also found at Derwin’s home. The pictures were printed on A4 photographic paper and were of boys aged between eight and fifteen years old. Derwin denied that the images were child pornography at first but later he admitted to having experienced sexual Continued on page 2
“Micromanaging universities is not a good idea, but more crucially it is not even neccessary”
SS Freshers’ Week started early in Trinity Hall on Saturday, where societies and the SU braved the wet weather to seduce newly-arrived residents. Photo: Richard Conway
Nursing lecturer arrested for poetic graffiti Conor Dempsey College News Editor
“Poor old dear Paul Horan”, a Trinity nursing lecturer sharing a name and perhaps “literary as well as criminal aspirations” with Joyce’s character from Finnegans Wake, was arrested on 10 August after writing words of a Jonathan Swift poem on the wall of the Tavern Pub in Carlow. Horan, a published poet, inscribed in marker the words of an eighteenth century poem written by Swift after a visit to Carlow town that read: “Small town, poor people; high church, low steeple.” Horan had been celebrating his forty-first birthday the night before
his artistic endeavour, which occurred early the following morning. The story was reported in two local newspapers, The Carlow People and The Carlow Nationalist, as well as in The Sunday Independent. Speaking to Trinity News, Horan reiterated the apologies he had made in those publications as well as in writing to the publicans involved. He added that he wished to apologise to the College community if his actions have been damaging to Trinity’s reputation. Horan, who was released after a caution for criminal damage, has said to Trinity News that his actions constituted a prosecutable criminal offence, that he was treated leniently, and that things “could have been a lot
more serious”. Horan repeated that it was “a stupid thing to do”. When asked what he would say to any Trinity student with their own literary aspirations, who might follow in his footsteps, he made it clear that he was not proud of his
actions and did not advocate graffiti, literary or otherwise. He did point out however that when done tastefully, as on the outside of the Bachelor’s Arms pub on Bachelor’s Walk, poetry can make a charming addition a pub’s exterior.
recruitment and promotion moratorium. It is understood that until this framework expires in December these promotions are in title only. The framework requires that between January 2009 and December 2010 all institutions in the Higher Education sector reduce staff numbers by six percent. Malcolm Byrne, Higher Education Authority Head of Communications, said that this reduction must take place across the board and at all points on the scale, not just amongst part-time or temporary staff. In the case of Trinity this means a reduction of 115 staff from January 2009 levels of 1892 staff members. After 2010 the ECF will run out but the HEA have said that institutions will then be required to remain at or below the reduced staff levels. Institutions are required to comply or they may face removal of Government funding. There is some confusion as to whether the promotions are in breach of the ECF conditions. The College plans to implement pay rises when the ECF runs out in December. The public moratorium constitutes a complete ban on promotion, but speaking to Trinity News, Byrne said that there is a “certain level of flexibility in institutions in exceptional circumstances”. When
Continued on page 2
21 September, 2010
2 News this fortnight they said
“The first signs of invention that all musical comedy needs”
“Small town, poor people; high church, low steeple” Lines inscribed by nursing lecturer Paul Horan (right) on the wall of a pub in Cavan the morning after his forty-first birthday celebrations
Reviews of the Edinburgh Fringe show “Obama Mia!”, produced by Trinity students, were positive
Cost of an MA degree purchasable five years after graduation with no further study
Trinity’s position in the new rankings published earlier this month
¤110,000 The amount raised by “Trinity Takes to the Streets” in aid of TAP and other charities
The number of academic staff promoted in a possible breach of the public service recruitment and promotion moratorium
100,000 The number of graduates estimated by the USI to be unemployed
The quota for the percentage of students from “non-traditional” backgrounds by 2013
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“Body armour will be provided” A Young Fianna Fáil flyer for Freshers’ Week promises to protect anyone brave enough to sign up from the “97% of the electorate who hate us”
“Not the same as someone who has studied” Ruari Quinn, Labour Education spokesman, on the practice of selling MAs to graduates who have only completed a BA
“Re-instating of institutional autonomy” Dr John Hegarty, Provost, commented that College control over academic staffing is neccessary to maintain world-class higher education in the wake of College’s drop in two sets of recent rankings
Fake Garda had child pornography Continued from front page
attraction to young men since the early 1990s. He claimed that the images now “repulsed” him and that he had downloaded them while discovering he was gay. Derwin has no previous convictions and is currently on dialysis for four hours a day, three times a week. Roe did acknowledge to Joseph Barnes BL, defending, that Derwin had been fully cooperative and had a good work history. When asked why he had impersonated Gardaí, Derwin replied that he had always liked the idea of being a Garda and that it was all about bravado. He described stopping drivers and giving them warnings for having no fog lights or speeding, before letting them go. He also described how he would occasionally walk along Sean McDermott Street dressed as a Garda and attract the attention of local youths so that they would salute him as a Garda and he would salute back. Derwin said that he had had to drop out of the army because of illness and that he thought people would respect him more as a Garda than they did as a security attendant in Trinity. Judge McCartan noted that this was a peculiar case of a man “who went slowly off the rails leading a Walter Mitty style life”. He added that Derwin lived an hermitic life with no family, had difficulty forming relationships, and had used the Internet for sexual gratification. He hoped that Derwin had learned his lesson and that he would not reoffend now that his name had been added to the sex offenders
register. When asked by Trinity News about whether security-vetting procedures were sufficient given the fact that Derwin was employed as a Trinity security attendant a College spokesperson said that “standard vetting procedures apply to all security staff, which are currently principally based on references and referees”. When asked specifically if there was any in-depth vetting done for security guards above standard staff vetting College replied: “Our recruitment and vetting procedures for security staff are reviewed on an on-going basis and take account of the evolving role of the security staff in a constantly changing security environment on Campus. Potential security staff members are subject to very rigorous, job specific assessment and vetting prior to recruitment. They also serve a lengthy probationary period during which time their overall performance and general behaviour is monitored closely and formally assessed on a regular basis”. We also inquired into the nature and extent of access security personnel have to on-campus accommodation and received the following response from a college spokesperson: “security staff have restricted access to student accommodation. This access is governed by strict protocols covering emergencies and responding to ‘calls for assistance’.” When asked for clarification on exactly how this protocol controlled access to rooms, and whether there was any way a security guard could breach protocol and gain access to rooms in situations other than those specified, we were
Pay rises criticised
SS William Derwin pleaded guilty to impersonating a Garda, posession of firearms and posession of child pornography
told by a college spokesperson that they could not comment further but that “individual security guards do not hold keys to residences”.
Several individual security guards were approached by Trinity News in relation to this issue but none wished to comment.
ing a moderating opinion. The series will naturally culminate in the heart of the campaigning period, where the final candidates compete for your vote. In the last blazing weeks of the campaign this column will also meet each of the candidates and invite them to give their opinions on the debates we have hosted here, in order to give an insight into their policies on these important issues. In addition to hosting debates on defining College issues, this column will also endeavour to shed some light on an election process that has often been compared to the papal election in terms of its mystique and secrecy. To aid the column toward this goal, we will also be inviting historians of Trinity to shed some light on the history behind each stage of the process as it happens. The goal of this column is to stimulate thought and debate and to encourage you, the electorate, to vote in one of the most defining moments of the next ten years for Trinity. The hope is that with neutral information, the College can make an informed choice on its future. Mark Moore next issue: The process and candidates
Grafton St countdown to the election
Continued from front page
asked specifically what would happen in the case that Trinity did implement pay rises Mr Byrne said, “the matter is still under discussion, therefore there is no comment at present”. Dr John Hegarty, Provost, has said in response to Trinity’s drop in university rankings this month that the sustaining of a world class university system requires “the re-instating of institutional autonomy around the appointment of the very best academic staff”. Newstalk’s Economics Editor, Marc Coleman, writing in the Sunday Independent, compared senior academics to the nobility during the French Revolution and said that the pay of top academics was “perverse”. College has defended its decision saying that the process leading to the promotions was begun in November 2008, before the ECF came into effect. It has also pointed out that without any chance for promotion “there is a danger that excellent academic staff would be lost to international competitors and the quality of teaching, research and innovation would decline.”
Others have spoken out in favour of the College’s decision. Ferdinand von Prondzynski, the former president of DCU who has been tipped as a potential candidate in the Provost elections later this year, said that “micromanaging universities is not a good idea, but more crucially it is not necessary or even helpful in achieving government objectives and targets.” The HEA has said that compliance with the ECF has been excellent and that the Higher Education Sector is set to achieve the six percent reduction required. TCD Students’ Union President Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem gave this comment on the issue: “I think that while, yes there is an argument for the need for promotions to remain competitive, the University management have handled this issue quite poorly. Firstly, it is worrying that the College considers these promotions necessary while cutbacks in essential College services such as the library are deemed acceptable. Secondly, there is a risk that the promotions will be seen as the College sticking two fingers up to the Government.”
this academic year will host one of the most important changes in the College for the next decade, the election of the new Provost. This election will determine who represents the College on the national and international stage in this period, in a time of uprecedented change and upheaval in the education sector with key debates on issues of sustainability and independence. Over the course of this year, this column will outline some of the debates that will shape the election of the new Provost. The overall goal of this endeavour is to help inform the staff and students of the College of the facts in these issues so they can make an informed choice in this election. Each issue, a number of contributors will give informed views on what the future holds for the College. The contributors will include current students, staff and former members of the college, giving their opinions on the topic. In addition there will be a guest contributors, experts on a particular topic, provid-
puzzles compiled by conor o’toole
colour in the beatles difficulty level: hard
Across (The Universe) 1. Who were Charles Hawtry’s backing band? 2. Here’s one for you, there’s nineteen for him. 3. What The Beatles wrote. 4. What you should dig. 5. Not the worst drummer The Beatles ever had. 6. What was Ringo’s real last name? 7. Who nowhere plans are made for. 8. Surname of The Beatles manager. 9. The sitarist who taught George about Indian music. 10. All you need. 11. What you can do in between. 12. George’s religion. 13. John’s second wife. beatles-themed crossword
Trinity of shows at Fringe Caitriona Murphy Deputy College News Editor
Obama Mia!, a Trinity College student-produced comedy musical, ventured out to the Edinburgh Fringe festival this summer to walk the Royal Mile. The musical, which was written by Rory Carron, Brianne Fitzpatrick, Eoghan Quinn and Matthew Smyth, originated in a Players project called the 24 hour musical, a large production that gets written ahead of time but is put together in the space of a day. After a member of the troupe brought the highly successful show “A Betrayal of Penguins” to the Fringe, the group decided to rewrite Obama Mia!, keeping only the catchy name and limiting the cast from 90 actors to just 12. Starting in January, it underwent countless rewrites before open auditions were held in May and the real rehearsals began. At the festival itself the cast lived in intimate conditions with ten of them sharing the same apartment in an atmosphere that resembled a permanent party. The first day the cast performed to a group of 17, respectable given that the average Fringe festival audience is just 6 people. However after some active flyer distribution the next day on the Royal Mile they were soon performing to crowds of over 100, including several sell out shows with
Deputy College News Editor
SS Aaron Heffernan and Paul Musiol acting in Obama Mia!
people crammed into the stalls. The play was performed in a venue called The Cave, an actual cave with a cramped performance space that some reviewers felt restricted the performance, due to its large cast. Eoghan Quinn, one of the writers/
actors, recalls rising damp and small floods but the show went on like true professionals. The play reviewed well and the cast were credited with ‘a warmth, generosity of spirit and the first signs of invention that all musical comedy
Kate Palmer Deputy Editor
21 September, 2010
Critisism of master’sfor-cash scheme Caitriona Murphy
needs to succeed.’’ Obama Mia! was not the only Trinity production at the festival this year, which also featured “A Betrayal of Penguins 2: Don’t run with scissors” and Conor O’Toole stand up, both of which received good reviews.
“Failed lamentably”: Trinity Access Programme slated by research student The value of the Trinity Access Programmes in promoting equal access to education has been challenged by a Trinity postgraduate student. DPhil student Ross Higgins claims the programme and others like it “have failed lamentably in their core objective of opening up college entry.” Unlike the more traditional student-staff disagreement over an unfairly graded paper, Higgins sparked the debate on a national level. In an opinion piece for The Irish Times, Higgins says programmes such as TAP are “struggling to draw students from disadvantaged backgrounds”. He suggests entry towards higher education should instead follow the “10 per cent rule” from Texas, whereby the top tenth of performers in each school automatically gain entry to a university in the state. This, he says, is a viable alternative to the current participation policy of “tinkering around the edges”, through “mentoring, support and guidance”. TAP staff Clíona Hannon, Grace Edge and Lisa Keane responded to Higgins’ piece as a “disappointing lack of reference to any of the varied
(Don’t Let Me) Down 1. George’s son’s name. 2. Album with something on it. 3. What The Beatles didn’t do from August 1966. 4. The club The Beatles performed in Liverpool. 5. The makers of Paul’s famous bass guitar. 6. Whatt youu shouldd digg. 7. “Once I’d lunch and it was a blast, soon found out, had an onion of...” -Blondie 8. “They’re only the band The Beatles could have been.” -Alan Partridge 9. Religious figure who was smaller than The Beatles. 10. Famous musician who introduced The Beatles to marijuana. 11. The kind of night it’s been.
SS Trinity Access Programme Students with Grant Thornton Staff in September 2009.
and imaginative responses” by TAP in aiding access to higher education. In a rebuttal published in The Irish Times, they point out that 17% of Trinity’s student body is compromised of nontraditional students. Hannon, Edge and Keane write that 1,000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be progressing to higher education this academic year, which they claim is by no means “tinkering around the edge of the problem”. The TAP staff dismiss the Texas model as inadequate,
saying it overlooks the multitude of factors relating to family life, resources, educational facilities and demographics which can affect academic progression. Currently there are approximately 500 TAP students enrolled in undergraduate studies, with 140 new entrants this year, the greatest intake since the programme began. Set up in 1993, the principal aim of the programme is to significantly increase third-level participation of those who, for social, economic and
educational reasons, have not yet realised their full academic potential. Trinity College has a quota of 15% for students from non-traditional backgrounds, which is planned to rise to 22% by 2013 as the initial quota was surpassed in 2008. The debate took place in the wake of the 2010 TAP Report, which finds that TAP alumni are defying international trends by securing jobs comparable to graduates that did not receive financial aid. It finds that 75% of TAP graduates are currently employed, mainly in the education sector. Their earnings are in line with national starting salaries for third-level graduates. The report concludes there is “little evidence that graduates experienced widespread disadvantage in the labour market”, even though TAP students generally have few networks to draw upon in establishing a career path. TAP graduates are hailed as a “testament to the success of widening participation initiatives in Trinity College” by the report. Speaking to Trinity News about the debate, Higgins comments: “The key point is that we all share a common goal ... the only question is what combination of different policy ideas will best achieve that goal nationally”.
Trinity came under attack by the Irish Mail on Sunday earlier this month in an article that labelled as “disgraceful, unfair” and “misleading” College’s practice of selling a “Master of Arts” to students who have completed their Bachelor’s degree, without requiring any additional study. College sells these top-up degrees to students for €637, provided they have completed 4 years of study in an Arts course. The MA is not regarded as a studied postgraduate degree in Arts, for which students receive the title of MLitt or MPhil. However Paul Gogarty, the Green Party’s Education spokesman, claims that the title of MA deceives employers abroad who assume it is the same as a UCD postgraduate degree that bears the same title. He claims that employers are unaware that the degree is awarded without study or additional work, and that the practice is not dissimilar to the online practice which sees people purchasing fake diplomas over the Internet. “There is a danger that Trinity will lower its standards, and devalue the entire Irish education system by giving out these degrees,” Gogarty said. “If someone is applying for a job in Ireland, let alone abroad you could easily forgive an employer for thinking that the qualifications given by Trinity are the same as those from UCD when they’re quite clearly not.” The Mail quotes an unnamed Trinity student as saying that the MA is a “well-known secret” amongst students and that “most employers don’t know the difference,” implying that students buy the degree deliberately to deceive. However a College spokesperson responded that “the status of the Trinity Masters in Arts is made very clear in all undergraduate academic transcripts issued by the College.” College offers the MA to students in a process that it calls historic and “in line with similar practices by universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.” However the cost for the same degree in Cambridge and Oxford is much lower at £20 and £4 respectively. The €637 fee to Trinity goes towards a central fund. Students who purchase the degree attend a ceremony that was this year presided over by former president Mary Robinson, who also holds one of the degrees. Ruairi Quinn, the Labour Education spokesman, was quick to assure that the MA was “not the same as someone who has studied for a master’s” and called on the Higher Education Authority to investigate the issue. The HEA has declined to comment on the matter stating that Trinity is an autonomous institution and therefore it is an internal matter. Editorial: In defence of tradition Page 18
4 college News firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamilton Library refurbished The Hamilton Library has been refurbished over the summer. The project was funded by the Buildings Office and the Library, and took four weeks. Ms Arlene Healy, sublibrarian, said that the “carpet, in particular, urgently needed replacing having been attacked a number of years previously by an insect infestation”. Both floors of the Library have been carpeted and painted, the desks and desk dividers have been re-upholstered and new windows have been hung. The lending collection – the most-used collection – has been relocated adjacent to the main counter. Conor Dempsey
College may abandon Irish banks Meadhbh McHugh Staff Reporter
College has implemented a new Treasury Management Policy which sets out the criteria that institutions holding College funds must meet. However these criteria are likely not to be met by Irish banks if the Government bank guarantee scheme is removed. A subsequent drop in the rating of Irish banks could lead to a removal of College funds. According to internal accounts dated from September 2009 College had €200 million in cash and equivalents in Irish Banks; Bank of Ireland being the main depository. The
Government-backed banking scheme currently limits the risk to College funds. The bank guarantee scheme, which had been due to expire on 28 September and was recently renewed until December, will be reviewed again by the Government at the end of the year and will then have to be approved by the European Commission. College’s plan to move its funds from Irish Banks will only occur if the scheme is not continued. College Treasurer Ian Matthews advised the board at a meeting on 30 June 2010 that College should implement a new Treasury Management Policy to limit financial
risk, stating that it was only in keeping with best international practise to expand its investment base. The national media reported that Trinity is not the only institution considering putting such plans in place: University College Dublin and possibly other institutions are said to have similar strategies should the Government decide not to renew the guarantee scheme for a second time. A College spokesperson said “Trinity College has introduced a new Treasury Management Policy in keeping with best practice to broaden its investment base to include international as well as Irish banks, with an increased emphasis on credit
Cancer jab discounted in College
Long Room Hub
Candidate for World Building of the Year The new home of the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity’s humanities research institute, was officially opened on 8 September by Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan. The new building in Fellow’s Square took just over a year to complete. It was designed by awardwinning Irish architecture firm McCullough Mulvin. The building has been short-listed for World Building of the Year along with 236 other projects, including 7 Irish buildings. Amongst these are the Aviva Stadium and Grand Canal Theatre. The winner will be announced in early November at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona. The institute received €10.8m from the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutes when it was founded four years ago and until now it has not had a permanent home. It describes itself as on the cutting edge of humanities research and includes a digitisation suite that will employ six full-time staff to work on the library’s ambitious goal of digitising and making available its entire collection, including manuscripts housed in the Old Library. The building will be open to the public as part of Culture Night on Friday 24 September and during the Open House architecture festival from 7 to 10 October. Hayley Mercier
Bachelor in Acting Studies Launched Trinity’s new academy of dramatic arts, the Lir, has launched its first undergraduate degree in Acting. The old Trinity Bachelor of Acting Studies ceased in 2007. The centre will begin auditions in November for entrance in September 2011. The Academy will be located in a new building on Pearse Street, near the Grand Canal Theatre and will house comprehensive studio facilities, rehearsal rooms, changing facilities and teaching rooms. The Lir is formally associated with the renowned Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts (RADA). A further undergraduate course, a Diploma in Stage Management and Technical Theatre, is expected to begin in September 2012 and, subject to approval, a Master in Fine Art (Playwriting) in November 2010 followed by MFA specialisations in Directing, Lighting Design and Stage Design in 2013. College noted that “creating a national academy of dramatic arts for Ireland was a long-held ambition of the late Cathal Ryan who established the Drama Academy Development Company two years ago to develop and fund its creation.” Conor Dempsey
limits and ratings. “The new policy will address the issue of credit risk associated with deposits in a structured manner with greater emphasis on placing deposits based on international credit ratings from international credit rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Deposits maybe spread over a number of Irish and Irish branches of international banks.” College will only withdraw its deposits from banks if the state guarantee scheme is withdrawn and international credit rating agencies downgrade the banks rating from an “A” grade.
Sarah-Kate Caughey Staff Reporter
Giant grant for tiny project at CRANN SS John Boland, head of CRANN and Jonathan Coleman, Principal Investigator, with the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope.
Conor Dempsey College News Editor
Excitement abounds in the Trinity nanoscience world. At the end of last month Jonathan Coleman, Principal Investigator at the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), received a prestigious €1.5 million European Research Council starter grant. These grants are awarded to 300 top scientists across Europe: 10 percent of those who apply. In addition, Trinity will launch a new undergraduate degree program in nanoscience entitled “Nanoscience – Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials”. The course will be run jointly by the Schools of Physics and Chemistry. It is similar to the old Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials course but with a more specific nanoscience focus in the Sophister years. Dr. Dónal A. Mac Dónaill, the course leader, told Trinity News that the course has been progressively evolving in this direction but that they are now “accelerating” that change. Last year, students of the old Physics and Chemistry of Advanced
Materials course received specialist tutorials from staff at CRANN. At first the biggest change will occur in the Sophister years, especially in the laboratory. The grant received by Professor Coleman is a continuation of the success enjoyed by CRANN over the past academic year, during which researchers at the institute drew more than €8 million in non-exchequer funding. CRANN is ranked sixth globally in terms of both the quality of its research as well as output volume per capita. The Forfás report on Ireland’s Nanotechnology Commercialisation Framework 2010-2014, which recognised nanotechnology as an important area of growth in the Irish economy, was launched by Minister for Science, Conor Lenihan, last week. The report studies Ireland in comparison to other countries including industry leaders Germany and the US. It highlights Ireland’s investment in nanotechnology and the resulting good infrastructure. However, it emphasises that the industry here needs to focus in order to achieve the profile it is capable
of. “Ireland should take a very close critical look at applications in markets traditionally considered strength areas, where quality was found to be lagging,” says the report. Furthermore, Ireland “needs to accelerate its efforts to focus resources in order to keep up with the progress of other nations in the coming years.” Nanotechnology is a very broad term for a science with applications everywhere from electronics to medicine to tackling climate change. Professor Coleman’s research currently focuses on two materials: bismuth telluride and molybdenum disulfide. Bismuth telluride is used to generate energy from waste heat, for example from car engines. Professor Coleman’s method of separating graphene using a liquid process could be applied to bismuth telluride, which could then be coated onto thin film substrates and attached to the side of a moving car or a nuclear plant to capture the lost heat energy and convert it into usable electrical energy. Nanotechnology is forecasted to be incorporated into products worth $2.5 trillion globally by 2015, up from $254 billion in 2009.
Trinity’s cancer Society is eager to nurture awareness within College of the importance of the simple Human Papilloma Virus vaccination procedure that can save a life. The committee aims to ensure that students understand the facts about the vaccine and realise that the benefit to females who receive the full treatment justify the price tag. The society are providing the cervical cancer jab to Trinity students at a reduced price by running a weeklong clinic starting 25 October to administer the Gardasil vaccination. The health centre charges €390 which is approximately a €200 reduction on the average GP price. Students wishing to avail of this treatment with the College Health Centre are urged to make appointments as soon as possible to ensure they can receive the treatment at the reduced rate. The society stresses that students worried that they are too old to avail of the vaccine should be aware that sexual history, including unprotected sex and the number of partners, is a more important factor than age. The vaccination was highlighted by national media last year when the government failed to introduce the vaccine to all 12-year-old girls. Since the vaccine is licensed up to the age of 25, a large bracket of the student population are eligible for the vaccination which will prevent up to 75 percent of most cancer-causing forms of HPV. The society seeks to raise awareness among students and staff of the benefits of receiving the highly effective vaccination. Further information is available from the Health Centre on 8961556/8961591; Trinity Cancer Society, email@example.com; the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700 and the Irish Cancer Society, www.cancer.ie.
Tremble before Trimble: New dean appointed Caitriona Murphy Deputy College News Editor
Dr. Timothy Trimble, a lecturer in the school of Psychology, has been appointed to the position of Junior Dean. Trimble, a lecturer in psychology for over four years, previously worked as an Assistant Junior Dean to his predecessor, Emma Stokes, and has graduated to his current position through appointment by the College Board. When asked how he envisioned his role as Junior Dean, Dr. Trimble replied: “I think it’s just human in a sense that there will be people who contravene the rules from time to time and there are people who make
mistakes, there are people who come up with mental health difficulties and the good thing about this role is that quite often you work in combination”. He does not plan to work alone, stating that one of the positive aspects of the job is working in combination “the decision making needs to be made in camera away from alternative influence or comment” with other college services such as the health service and senior tutors. Student relationships with the Junior Dean’s office are at times difficult; he is responsible for the
discipline of students and the enforcement of new policies such as no alcoholic drinks being served at student receptions before 6pm, which proved unpopular with the student body. The controversial tenure of Emma Stokes saw several reforms in the powers of the Junior Dean’s office, including an additional clause in the College Conduct and Regulations that extended its control over student societies. The amendment allows the Dean the power to discipline student publications, a change which followed an incident two years ago when Stokes attempted to discipline the editor of student magazine, Piranha! but did not have the authority to do so. Dr.
Trimble said that he does not envision having to extend the power of his post any further during his time as Junior Dean but points out that he will be working on a “case-by-case” basis and will have to address issues as they arrive. The office of Junior Dean and its policy with student publications is further complicated by its refusal to communicate with writers. This policy does not look likely to change, as Dr. Trimble believes that it is important to maintain a distance between the office and the student body. “Quite often you are left in the position of arbiter... the decision making needs to be made in camera away from alternative influence or comment’’.
No more plain sailing for grads ff 100,000 graduates unemployed, says USI ff SUs call for national internship programme ff Trinity graduates fare slightly better than national average Conor Dempsey College News Editor
The Union of Students in Ireland estimates that there are 100,000 unemployed graduates in the country at present. Gary Redmond, President of the USI, and Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem, President of Trinity Students’ Union, have both condemned government inaction on the issue of graduate unemployment and emigration. The USI launched its awareness campaign in August on the Jeanie Johnston, a replica famine ship. Last week, the USI also officially renamed the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation; it will now to refer to Batt O’Keeffe’s department as the Department of Unemployment and Emigration. According to preliminary figures from this years Higher Education Authority report What Do Graduates Do, just 43 percent of graduates from the class of 2009 had found employment nine months after graduation: a decrease of nine percent on the previous year. The percentage of graduates from the class of 2009 looking for work is seven percent, which is down two percent on last year. However, Sean Gannon, Director of the Careers Advisory Service, has warned that there may be a masking effect due to the large increase in
the number of graduates going on to postgraduate study. Redmond notes that many graduates are simply emigrating and finding work in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. A comparison with Careers Advisory Service figures specific to Trinity graduates shows that this college fares slightly better than the
national average, with 45 percent graduate employment compared with 43 percent nationally for the class of 2009. The proportion of primary degree graduates from the Trinity class of 2009 going on to postgraduate study is 42 percent, up 15 percent on the same figure for the class of 2008. This
compares with a national figure of 43 percent, up nine percent on 2008. Redmond, the USI and TCDSU have called for a graduate internship program to allow unemployed graduates to gain work experience. The USI argues that “the Government would already be paying social welfare benefits for these unemployed
graduates but would now benefit from the increase in GDP brought about by an influx of new graduates into the labour market”.
graduate unemployment: news features next issue
Rankings slip as funding cuts bite Trinity and UCD both drop in rankings Trinity still top university in Ireland Conor Dempsey College News Editor
SS The Trinity Arts Workshop celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. The Workshop has a colourful past in the Dublin art community; it once gave refuge to NCAD students when they were locked out of college. Photo: James Moore.
Arts Workshop anniversary Caitriona Murphy Deputy College News Editor
The Trinity Arts Workshop this month celebrates its 50th Anniversary. The Workshop, founded in 1960 and originally known as the Dublin University Arts Workshop, has a colourful and fascinating history the members plan to celebrate through a number of different events. The Workshop, whose foundation was announced in Trinity News itself 50 years ago, was set up with the aims of promoting artists and holding exhibitions, encouraging debate and discussion of art and forming a comprehensive art library. This simple agenda soon evolved into something much greater and during the 1960s the society became a revolutionary hub of artistic life. In 1968 the society became the first to host open life drawing classes with nude models, attracting
21 September, 2010
several well-known artists who posed for the students such as John Behan and Eamonn O’Doherty. Musicians were also welcomed, with visits from the Horslips and Jazz Therapy. A controversial library, which contained radical literature including the works of anarchist sympathisers, was set up but closed within days due to the disappearance of a majority of the books. The Simon Community of Dublin also held their first meeting within the society’s walls. In 1969 the Workshop played host to the exiled students of NCAD when they were locked out of college. Clippings from this period show the then President, Mr. George Wynne Jones, welcoming the students into the workshop to continue their studies. Students from this time still refer to the workshop as a refuge and it established a network between the two colleges resulting in several joint
exhibitions. The society has hosted many different classes going far beyond life drawing and painting. Fergus Byrne, the current president of the workshop, describes the 1990s as another strong period in its history. A huge variety of classes took place including bookmaking, jewellery and dance. To celebrate the landmark anniversary the Workshop has arranged an exhibition at 191 Pearse Street from September 24-27. Dr. Nicola Gordon-Bowe, a former exhibitor with the Workshop and a celebrated art historian, will host the launch. The Workshop has also collected many articles and memories about its past that have unveiled some fascinating facts and stories. Today the workshop hosts life drawing classes, ceramics, comic drawing and painting; membership is open to all Trinity students for €2.
Trinity has dropped in two sets of world rankings published this month, though it remains the highest ranked Irish university. The first set of rankings were published by Quacquarelli Symonds Limited on September 8. Up until last year QS produced rankings in partnership with Times Higher Education. In the QS rankings Trinity was ranked 52, down nine places from last year. UCD went outside the top 100; it is now ranked “Ireland must urgently move to a more holistic investment in education” number 114, down from 89 last year. On the positive front, UCC has risen in the rankings to number 184; this is the first time since rankings began that UCC has been ranked within the top 200 world universities. NUI Galway is ranked at 232, DCU at 330, DIT at 395 and UL in the 451-500 range. The second set of rankings were published by THE – traditionally these are the most anticipated. This year’s rankings were compiled in partnership with information specialist Thomson Reuters according to new criteria. THE claims that this new system represents “the gold standard in international university
performance comparisons”. Here Trinity has been ranked 76th while UCD has been ranked 94th. This is the closest UCD has been to Trinity since rankings began in 2004. UCC, NUIG, DCU and DIT were ranked at 243, 299, 313 and 347 respectively. Dr. John Hegarty, Provost, said that “it is great to see another international ranking of universities confirm Trinity’s position in the top tier”. He added “I am very happy to see our Innovation Alliance partner, UCD, also ranked in this elite grouping of world universities”. Gary Redmond, President of the USI, said that the general drop of Irish universities in international rankings was not surprising considering the cutbacks that the higher education sector has faced. Dr. Hegarty said that “it is apparent that Ireland must urgently move to a more holistic investment in education,” pointing out that “the creation and sustaining of a world-class university system requires resourcing at internationally competitive levels and the re-instating of institutional autonomy around the appointment of the very best academic staff in support of our students”. An OECD report published on the seventh of this month, Education at a Glance 2010, shows that Ireland invests less than only three other OECD countries in higher education. We currently spend 1.2 percent of GDP compared with an OECD average of 1.5 percent. The United States, whose universities dominated the rankings once again, spends 3.1 percent of GDP.
6 national news firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunt report to deny WIT university status Shona McDonald National News Editor
waterford institute of Technology’s dreams of attaining university status are set to be shattered with the publication of the long-awaited Hunt Report. The delay of its publication has not stopped the revelation of many important elements that it is to contain. Its significance for the future of Irish third-level education cannot be underestimated. It is said to map out a course for third-level education until 2030. Among the key points to be outlined in the report is the recommendation of increased specialisation by the institutes of technology in this country. Even though the report will call for a form of increased recognition of insti-
tutes (renaming them Technological Universities) it is not going to be in support of WIT’s appeal to be recognised as worthy of University status. This ends a four-year appeal, backed by the then transport minister and former student of Waterford, Martin Cullen. He argued that the title “university” would make WIT more appealing for prospective students. Mary Hanafin, the then minister for education, was not shy in showing her objection to the proposal and to the statements made by Cullen in a clash with Cullen at a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting in February 2008. She argued that WIT’s attainment of university status would have a knock-on effect for the other universities in the country. She also stated that the institute had not suffered in terms
of either staff or student number. That seemingly is the case, with student numbers showing a distinctive rise in popularity of the institute in the past five years, according to the Irish Examiner. Local Labour Party councillor Seamus Ryan was a member of the Governing Body of WIT at the time the proposal for university status was announced. He believes that WIT is completely deserving of this status and he highlights the fact that it is the only gateway city in the country without a university. He urges WIT to refuse the title of “Technological University” as he believes it is unacceptable and merely a way to try to keep the Governing Body of the college quiet. Students discussing the news on
The report is expected to recommend recognising WIT as a “Technological University” which falls short of calls for university status by former TD Martin Cullen.
boards.ie had mixed reactions on the news, with many describing it as unfair, but some do suggest that the institute’s poor facilities may be one of the factors inhibiting their goal. Clearly, there are many more pressing, more immediate matters for the current government to deal with first and this issue has been put on the back burner. Supporters of the campaign point to WIT’s location in the cultural and commercial capital of the southeast; the wide variety of courses it offers, including courses unique to WIT such as Airline Transport Operations, and its introduction of new courses such as Architecture. It remains to be seen how WIT will respond to the publication of the report.
Maynooth Union protest Hanafin visit “We cannot applaud any member of this cabinet,” says Students’Union Chris Flood Contributing Writer
The students’ union at NUI Maynooth staged a protest at the visit of the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Mary Hanafin, on Thursday 16 September. The Minister, a former graduate of the university, appeared at the opening ceremony of the new Íontas Humanities and Social Sciences building at the university. The Maynooth Union President, Aengus Ó Maoláin, held a brief discussion with the Minister, during which he asked for a commitment that there would be no further cuts to maintainance grants, and no further increase to the student services charge. The Minister, who is not directly responsible for the education portfolio, declined to make a commitment. At first, the students at NUIM were planning to boycott the opening ceremony entirely but eventually staged a protest on Thursday morning for approximately one hour. The protest began with a meeting at the SU Bar in Maynooth at 10:30, with the group then congregating outside the Íontas building for the Minister when she arrived at 11:00. They formed a “guard of dis-
honour” for her, whilst dressing up as various professionals. Organisers created a Facebook group entitled “Snub Mary Hanafin!” calling on students to join the protest. By the time of the protest, there were over 160 members. There is a history of student protest at NUIM. In 2009, more than 1000 students signed an unsuccessful petition to protest at the appointment of former taoiseach Bertie Ahern as a visiting professor to the university. Mary Hanafin previously served as minister for education and science from September 2004 to May 2008. In the aforementioned letter, Maynooth SU stated that while she is a notable graduate of the university, they believe it is “unclear to us” why the university should be honouring the Minister. “We cannot applaud any member of this cabinet while our students and graduates remain so vulnerable,” they said. In a letter last week to the President of NUIM, Professor John Hughes, the union laid out their plans for the boycott, and their rationale for doing so. Amongst other reasons, they cited lack of action by the government to tackle the issue of the near-100,000 unemployed graduates under the age of 25 as an “unforgiveable waste of talent.” The
Minister Hanafin pictured with President Highes ouside the new building. Photo courtesy of NUIM. letter also criticised cabinet considerations to raise the Student Services Charge to €2500, the possibility of the Student Assistance Fund being cancelled and a possible 5 percent cut to the maintenance grant this year, which they say will lead to some students becoming “unable to continue in education.” They did however welcome the opening of the building and pledged
their support for all future endeavours “to further improve Maynooth’s reputation as a centre of excellence in education.” Hughes is in fact set to leave NUIM from the end of September to take up a new post in Wales as Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University, where he will face a new challenge – learning Welsh. He has served as president of May-
nooth for six years, during which time the university has grown to become one of Ireland’s leading research universities. NUIM, winner of the 2008 Sunday Times Irish University of the Year, is one of only a few Irish universities to move up in the QS World University Rankings this year. Our own institution has dropped nine places from 43 to 52.
Trinity and UCD slip in QS university rankings Evan Musgrave Staff Writer
the publication of the 2010 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings sees the decade-long progression by Trinity and UCD halted. This year’s rankings, in which Trinity has fallen out of the top 50 and UCD out of the top 100, come as an OECD report highlighted low levels of investment in Irish education. Ireland lies 30th out of 33 OECD countries, with just the Czech Republic, Italy and the Slovak Republic spending less on education as a percentage of GDP. The downward movement of Ireland’s two highest-ranked universities has ignited discussion concerning the sustainability of the country’s educational funding base. Furthermore, the publication worryingly calls into question the stability of Ireland’s prestige as a knowledge-driven economy.
Academics can tend to treat International university rankings disdainfully, considering the possibility of relating the many factors involved to be problematic. The QS Rankings must be carefully considered, however, “Other countries are investing solidly in their third- and fourth-level sectors” – Hugh Brady being globally regarded as the truest reflection of quality among universities by employers. Under the QS system, universities are ranked on the basis of data gathered on aspects such as the number of academic citations per faculty to employment possibilities to staff-student ratios. The Provost, Dr John Hegarty, believes that Trinity’s staff-student ratio is leading the drop in the rankings, and warned that the university’s
ratio would “deteriorate further unless there is a meaningful change in the level of national investment”. By the end of this year staffing levels across universities in Ireland will be down by six percent. This will feed into next year’s world university rankings, cutting into our staff-student ratios. A fall in the QS rankings will also affect Trinity’s ability to attract top academics. Many of the top universities are able to build and sustain their rankings by competing for academics who will bulk up the university’s number of citations. Thus, a fall in the rankings has the potential to begin a downward spiral if not rectified. The president of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady, stated the movement in the QS rankings was not unexpected, pointing to the fact that “while Irish universities are cash-starved, other countries are investing solidly in their third- and fourth-level sectors”. In Ireland, the fall in the world rankings
for both Trinity and UCD has raised awkward questions about a sustainable form of appropriating funding for higher education. In an interview on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Hegarty was candid in admitting a shift down the rankings had been expected, but expressed his concern that further decreases in resources could exacerbate Trinity’s fall. This week’s rankings for Irish universities are based on data supplied in late 2009, just as cuts across the sector were taking effect. The drop also comes at a time when college tuition fees are on the rise. The question of efficiency and value for money must be raised in light of these rankings. Good news for Trinity students however is that the university charges one of the lowest registration fees in the nation, while being ranked the highest for quality. Hegarty was quick to point out the recent investment in Arts and
Humanities in the college, additionally highlighting this faculty as the university’s highest ranked sector. Despite this, a matter of concern must be noted in the consistent fall of Trinity’s Arts and Humanities, from being ranked 32nd best in the world in 2008 to 52nd this year. The Provost believes increased investment, such as the new €6 million Arts and Humanities Research Institute, known as the Trinity Long Room Hub, will help buck the trend and increase Trinity’s profile. Interestingly, while TCD’s Arts and Humanities ranking has been falling, the status of Engineering and IT and of Life Sciences and Biomedicine has been improving. The result is a much more balanced break down of Trinity’s ranking. Celtic-Tiger era investment and a more levelled base means Trinity is not badly set up to recover ground. Funding must arrive sooner rather than later, if the slip is to be rectified.
international news 7 email@example.com
Spectre of tuition fees looms for UK universities
Against hell and high water Ines Novacic Deputy International News Editor
Two months after Pakistan’s flood disaster, the country’s plight is featured less and less in news coverage. Time magazine in the United States even removed the Pakistan story from its September front cover. Nonetheless, a group of students in Pakistan have greatly contributed to the aid response. At times there is a literal glass wall between the social classes in Pakistan: the rich roll up their car windows when beggars approach them on the streets. Two years ago, a group of students from a privileged background in Lahore decided to combat social inequality by cleaning up rubbish in their city. Shaoib Ahmed, Umar Rashid, Pawail A. Qaisar, and Murlaza K. Khwaja, organised a local clean-up movement called Responsible Citizens (Zimmeram Shehri). They used Facebook to mobilise volunteers and held weekly “Take Out the Trash” refuse collections. Last year, the New York Times published an article about these students, and brought global attention to their work. Responsible Citizens started a dialogue between people of different backgrounds and helped them realise that collectively, their problems are the same. “You should see Responsible Citizens’ trash collection as a social experiment, not a trash-collecting initiative,” founding member Shaoib Ahmed told
Whilst campuses across the UK are preparing to welcome back students for the start of a new academic year, apprehension is starting to spread amid the hierarchies in British universities
Ralph Marnham International News Editor
For the past three months, the warning signals from the coalition government in the UK have been clear: there will be cuts to the university budgets and the current system of capped tuition fees is unsustainable. Next month, a radical review of university funding will be published by Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive. It is already being called “the most far reaching revolution in higher education for decades”. The British government is also expected to announce a comprehensive spending review in the same month with the inLord Browne’s forthcoming report will call for a steep rise in tuition fees in the United Kingdom. evitable result that billions of pounds of Whitehall money will be removed from university coffers. Ministers have made it clear that the government can no longer afford the current system. It is reported that the government pays £35 of every £100 borrowed by students to defer the payment of tuition fees until after graduation. The number of students going to university increases by 16% every year and in the present economic climate it is becoming apparent that this system can no longer be maintained. It is expected that Browne will tell ministers to raise fees, currently at £3290, to £7000. He is also expected to suggest relaxing the rules regarding the setting up of private universities. Proponents of this approach argue that it will allow new forms of competition to develop between Britain’s universities and col-
leges. Ultimately this would raise the standard of degrees. Universities have already been told to prepare for further cuts on top of a proposed reduction of £1.4 billion in investment in higher education over the next three years. Critics claim that the primary victims of such an approach will be the students. Research has shown that many students depend on handouts from their parents in addition to loans for living expenses, rent and tuition fees. However, it is not only the students who are worried. At Liverpool’s Hope University, Professor John Brown, a lecturer on higher education policy is contemplating the new term with alarm. “It is the perfect storm. There is going to be a considerable threat to quality. Institutions are going to have to cut their spending on staff and the courses that don’t pay their way,” he says. “This threat to quality will damage our ability to attract international students who keep the whole thing afloat. This is dramatic. The implications are very serious.” Others have tried to find alternatives to the increase in tuition fees. A large proportion of students and university leaders have backed plans for a graduate tax to fund universities in England. Million+, a group representing new universities, says a 1 percent tax on graduate earnings above £15,000 would allow for the abolition of tuition fees. This has been backed by student union leaders. Meanwhile, established universities are also looking for alternatives to government funding. Oxford and Cambridge are following the fundraising examples of their American counterparts. Momentum is gathering around Oxford Thinking, a campaign launched in 2004 which aims to raise
The iconic chapel at King’s College, Cambridge, one university unruffled by the looming funding crisis in British universities. Photo: Wendy Seltzer.
“It is the perfect storm. There is going to be a considerable threat to quality. Institutions are going to have to cut their spending on staff and the courses that don’t pay their way.”
£1.25 billion. This narrowly edged out Cambridge’s £1 billion 800th anniversary campaign as the most ambitious fund-raising programme outside the United States. The issue of university funding is promising to be a very divisive one within the coalition. The Liberal Democrats’ electoral pledge was a longterm commitment to scrap university fees and it seems that many Lib Dem MPs will not budge on the issue. Whatever the future holds, the storm clouds looming over Westminster regarding tuition fees seem to put Ireland’s higher education problems into perspective.
Universities start to look towards India Ralph Marnham International News Editor
Six months ago, the Indian Minister for Human Resource Development, who is responsible for education, announced ambitious new plans to encourage foreign universities to set up campuses across the country, mentioning the likes of Oxford, Harvard and Yale. However, since the Indian cabinet approved a draft law to open up the country to foreign education institutions, it is becoming clear that the world’s top universities are not yet willing to make the move. This is not to say that others have not taken an interest in the project. Mid-level institutions, still far superior to the average Indian education provider, are reported to be keen. M. Anandakrishnan, chairman of the In-
21 September, 2010
Minister Kapil Sibal wants Ivy League institutions to set up shop in India.
dian Institute of Technology Kanpur, says that “there is a high level of interest only from the Tier 2 institutions to do things in a serious manner.” He adds that the so-called Tier 1 universities “are simply not interested in setting up a campus here”. The interested universities include the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Virginia Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. Georgia Tech has announced plans to set up a research facility in the southern city of Hyderabad, while Carnegie Mellon University is helping the northern state of Punjab to plan courses at a new university. The market does not end there, however. The University of Wolverhampton plans to teach business courses through one of its partners, Bishop Heber College.
It is undeniable that India has a large education market that can be tapped into, a fact that is not lost on the education ministry. “I think the Indian government now is more receptive to foreign universities’ setting up in India,” says Jo Gittens, director of Wolverhampton’s International Office. Indian universities themselves have established some campuses overseas, most of them in the UAE. There are tentative signs that Columbia University in New York is taking an interest as well, following the opening of its fourth global center for research and regional collaboration in Mumbai. It does not yet have any plans to open a separate campus in India, though. With the draft law yet to be approved by parliament, the Indian government is realising that the process is going to be a slow one.
Trinity News last week. Shaoib is currently a fourth-year medical student at Yale University. “Initially it was just a very intriguing idea for a lot of people but eventually they realized that it wasn’t trash we were worried about and acknowledged deeper social problems in Pakistan.” Since the organisation was established two years ago, the students and volunteers of Responsible Citizens have organised community projects to improve social inequality in Pakistan. The country recently experienced the worst floods in living memory. Assisting the emergency response has become Responsible Citizens’ chief task. “As well as door-to-door collection, we have collected over 650,000 euro from individuals in the US, UK, Malaysia, and other countires,” Shaoib commented. “These were all people who had just heard about us, joined our Facebook group and sent us a message saying they want to donate”. Around 70 percent of Pakistanis are between the ages of 18 and 35. “A large number of student groups cropped up on Facebook in response to the flood,” Shaoib said. Responsible Citizens registered with the government and asked the Pakistani army to assist with aiddistribution. They provide a box of goods to last a family of four one week. They also regularly organise camps with free consultations and medical distribution, provided by three doctors. “Responsible Citizens is decentralised, but not lacking in focus,” Shaoib explained. “We have one of the founding members permanently in two of the five cities we work in. Responsible Citizens started by collecting trash because it was non-controversial. It was a symbolic gesture but the underlying aim was to create a sense of ownership, collective effort and responsibility among the people of Pakistan.”
8 news Features firstname.lastname@example.org
Architecture and knowledge The new Long Room Hub has been shortlisted for the World Building of the Year Award at the World Architectural Festival. Is it really any good? K. A. Oliver Contributing Writer
According to Guillaume Apollinaire, “A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature”. With adroit handling, new architecture, and its space, should yield a delight, foment awe and foster an awakening. Can a pursuit of convoluted spatial interaction, which seems all too prevalent in contemporary architects’ abstract, often idealised conception of spaces, satisfy the raw reality of their buildings’ subsequent lives? The constellation of built heritage in Trinity epitomises the college’s prominent historical reputation as a distinguished patron of fine buildings. Staggeringly, it seems that College may maintain this eminence, as Trinity’s Long Room Hub has been shortlisted for World Building of the Year 2010 in the forthcoming World Architectural Festival (WAF) in Barcelona. Taking its name from the iconic eighteenth-century library, The Trinity Long Room Hub is an advanced research institute for the arts and humanities. Thus, the Hub facilitates Trinity’s strategic development of research in the arts, humanities and social sciences through the fuller exploration of College’s research collections and the creation of a community of scholars across a range of disciplines. The Trinity Long Room Hub was established formally as the Trinity Research Institute in 2006, and in 2007 received a substantial start up grant of €10.8 million from the Irish government and the European Regional Development Fund within the context of all-island humanities consortium Humanities Serving Irish Society’s bid to the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 4 funding line. The manifestation of this farcical edifice is undoubtedly meant to convey a
valiant verification of College’s commitment to postgraduate research and collaboration in the arts – certainly a worthy assertion. The preliminary brief for this innovative “space of ideas” established an exigent task for architects McCullough Mulvin. Given the sensitive nature of the environs, the proposed site was almost non-existent. This initial constraint not only determined the principal form – tall and narrow – but also governed the integral structural fabric. The building is effectively draped on a steel bridge-like structure, supported by two concrete piers, and spans 34m over the services of the Edmund Burke
“Should incongruous juxtaposition of form and over-laboured initial design concepts be celebrated over a building’s ability to serve its purpose?”
Theatre. This skeletal core has been exposed throughout the building and is perhaps most notable in the precarious handling of the north-east corner immediately above the entrance. The facade – inspired by the beehive, cells under attack, and the rigidness of a cliff’s surface – is to be interpreted as a mask which simultaneously conceals and reveals the ceaseless movement of the academic mind, a sort of cell membrane for knowledge and learning. In an attempt to nestle in the site between the Arts Building and the 1937 Reading Room, this granite-clad installation exudes a taut disposition through a wantonly expressive idiom,
The great college squeeze Manus Lenihan Deputy News Features Editor
This summer saw 77,500 applicants try to squeeze into 48,500 available college places across Ireland. This recordbreaking race, run by 2010’s freshers, and by those who weren’t so lucky, was one marked by uncomfortable omens – this latest increase in applicants despite looming cutbacks being only one example. “No-one really got what they wanted,” said one of 2010’s Leaving Certificate students, “but that’s going by my friends and we were a stupid year”. Sweeping, plural self-deprecations aside, this year’s applicants faced a tough battle for places compared with the last decade. 2010 saw not only a radical shift in demand between courses but greater numbers than ever competing for places. The plunges and surges in the CAO points required for various subjects reflect Ireland’s crisis with some accuracy. Many courses relating to property, for example construction management, engineering and architecture, have fallen by between 30 and 60 points. The 50 point rise to 435 for Science at UCD is even more striking when you consider that in pre-recessionary 2007 it demanded only 305. This and the rise of 70 points for Mathematics in Trinity are a startling but representative example of a nationwide trend in such courses. Clearly the idea of an economy based on a highlyeducated workforce played a large part in this rising demand. Courses related to law, commerce and the arts, mean-
while, have seen results too mixed to allow any sweeping conclusions to be drawn. The mass desertion of property boom courses and the huge hopes the country has placed in the “smart economy”, however, are obvious. The general points surge is attributable to people deserting not only certain courses but the misery of the job search as well. In 2007 there were less than 9000 mature applicants. This year there were 14,696. In total, 58 percent of this year’s applicants sat the Leaving Cert in June, with around a quarter coming from PLC courses and 19 percent being mature applicants. As usual, around 70 percent of college places have gone to this year’s school-leavers. The possibility of resentment toward non-school leavers arising from scarcity of places is real and alarming. This hostility was expressed by Orna Mulcahy in January in a widely slated Irish Times article entitled “Should mature students be allowed to go to college?” She is not entirely alone. One fresher told Trinity News, “it was definitely marked harder for us [thanks to] unemployed twentysomethings who can’t get a job”. This might be written off as a minority opinion or a joke, but conditions of scarcity are a likely basis for hostile division between different constituencies of students, especially as the shortage of places grows ever more acute with each passing year. As long as few other options exist, we can expect the race for university to get tougher and more bitter every year. Meanwhile, considering the huge numbers now clamouring for science, the smart economy had better pay off.
achieved principally though the frantic ordering of recessed fenestration. Walnut panelling abounds in the four floors of the interior which host the Long Room Hub’s administration, office space for visiting academics, two seminar rooms and a double-height, communal ideas space. The fourth floor is devoted entirely as a reading room – the panorama of college crafted in this space is unquestionably superb. Substantial voids of precious space penetrate the various floors in a weak attempt to articulate internal zones. Perhaps appreciated by some as a benevolent bequest of light, is this a somewhat over-generous gesture in a building with a predetermined, limited capacity? A primary concern of the architects seems to have been the resolution of a backdrop to the 1937 Reading Room. As a consequence of this desperation to finally hem in the precinct that is Front Square, McCullough Mulvin appear to have overlooked the ungainly association of the Long Room Hub’s composition within the context of Fellows’ Square itself. It would be unfair to be overly critical. The height of the Long Room Hub was determined by a reverence by the architects for Thomas Burgh’s library and the retention of a vista between the Provost’s House and what was once the Fellows’ Garden has been appreciated. Further, McCullough Mulvin deserve praise for delivering a facility, on a limited budget in a short time-frame, and for managing its construction in a non-obtrusive manner in the middle of a university campus. These achievements do not necessarily spawn good architecture. The opportunity to create a dynamic spatial dialogue between the old and new has been neglected. Should incongruous juxtaposition of form and overlaboured initial design concepts be celebrated over a building’s ability to serve its purpose?
The Long Room Hub in Fellows’ Square. Construction was completed just in time for Trinity Week in the last academic year. Photo: Dave Molloy.
The newspaper’s last gamble James Coghill News Features Editor
“Rupert Murdoch has declared surrender. The future defeated him,” and so began the barrage of criticism. Journalists across the world saw 2 July as a turning point, not only for the survival of their industry, but also for the way in which consumers will access their news for decades to come. As the world followed the fate of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground last month, The London Times, in typical fashion, was reporting on scene within hours. Yet those searching Google for the latest on the breaking story that morning would have found no sign of The Times coverage – only stories by rival news organizations such as the CNN or The Guardian. It has been two months since News International, Murdoch’s mammoth media empire, took the decision to charge readers of The Times and The Sunday Times for access to their websites, erecting a “paywall” and thus removing their content from search engines. In so doing, Murdoch undertook a bold experiment that is having a marked effect on the rest of the world’s media. Many applaud Murdoch’s decision, hopeful that he is the vanguard of a cultural shift; a type of media messiah to lead newspapers out of the bottomless pit of dwindling sales and plummeting advertising revenue. But elsewhere there is dismay. Analysts, advertisers and publicists, not to mention readers, have balked at Murdoch’s announcement. Despite the relatively modest introductory cost of £1 a day and £2 a week to view both the websites, many have had their own marked reservations. The strongest of
these have come from the rival Guardian newspaper, which for months has been printing scathing attacks on Murdoch’s plans. Jeff Jarvis, one of America’s most respected journalists and Media Editor for The Guardian writes of Murdoch: “By building his paywall, he has said that he has no new ideas to build advertising. He has no new ideas to build deeper and more valuable relationships with readers and will send them away if they do not pay. Murdoch will milk his cash cow a pound at a time, leaving his children with a dry, dead beast, the remains of his once proud if not great newspaper empire”. Harsh words indeed, but perhaps not entirely unjustified. Critics, including Murdoch’s own biographer Michael
“Murdoch will milk his cash cow a pound at a time, leaving his children with a dry, dead beast, the remains of his once proud if not great newspaper empire.”
Wolff, have always commented on the tycoon’s ineptitude at using anything digital. Apparently he doesn’t even use the internet, let alone Google and only recently discovered email. How then, they ask, can he possibly understand the dynamics, demands and opportunities for media in the iPad generation? Naturally, Murdoch himself is bull-
ish in rebuke; he has, after all, rolled the gambler’s dice many a time before. Chairman of the world’s largest media empire which turns over a revenue of over $30 billion a year, home to publications as prolific as The Wall Street Journal, The Sun and The New York Post, not to mention its 39% stake in Sky television, he is a gambling man, and a successful one at that. But has it been a success? Readers will remember that The Irish Times introduced a similar “paywall” in 2005, only to remove it eighteen months later. Advertisers, generally regarded as the single largest income for news organisations, simply abandoned The Irish Times’s website: due to a collapse in traffic they had no choice but to leave it behind. The Irish Times story has left a bad taste in advertiser’s mouths. Rob Lynam, head of press trading at media agency MEC says of the paywall, “We are just not advertising on it. If there’s no traffic on there, there’s no point in advertising on there”. He may be right, as recent reports suggest that the paywall has cost The Times 66% of its internet readership – but this better than many expected. Reports before 2 July had projected falls of up to 90%. Media gurus talk of a new “ecosystem” of news, made up of “society” and “citizens’ reporting”: just think of the sportsmen and politicians that have literally written their own downfalls via Twitter this summer. “Murdoch is a stranger in a strange land,” Jarvis writes, “all he has left to do is build a wall around himself and shrink away, a vestige of his old, bold self”. In the complex, ever-changing media landscape, only time will tell whether Murdoch’s decision was the right one.
tuesday 21, September, 2010
Society 9 email@example.com
Penguins with Fringe benefits
Mark Walsh describes the overwhelming optimism which accompanies Freshers’ Week, followed by the soul-crushing depression and year round harassment.
Ross Dungan Contributing Writer
“You are going to lose a lot of money.” “This is a bad idea.” “You could, you know… not go.” These are just some of the things Matthew Smyth and I heard when we decided to bring our show “A Betrayal of Penguins: Don’t Run With Scissors” to the legendary Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The festival is the biggest arts festival in the world, with over 2500 separate shows taking place all over Edinburgh over the course of the month of August. This statistic not only serves to show how expansive and impressive the festival is but also just how insignificant you feel in the grand scheme of things going over, especially coming from a place like Players where there roughly 55 different shows produced during the year. However, while all those shows and all the big names of the festival may appear highly intimidating in terms of bringing a show over, this all blends together to create an incredible and unique atmosphere that sees the whole city transformed for a month. In Edinburgh the Fringe, whether it’s through a poster, a marquee tent or a persistent flyerer, is literally everywhere you look. The nerves and pressure of the first few shows are totally unparalleled by anything experienced while performing in College before, and they only get worse when you see the first audience members file in, and the reality that “these people have paid to come and see us” really sinks in. It’s no longer doing previews of the show for audiences in Dublin made up of people who you’ve personally invited to go, or in Players where students have paid two euro to go and see a show and are almost always a warm audience. This is something very different, and something altogether more terrifying. But as time went on, bit by bit we got less terrified of the people who had paid to come and see us. And as we got less and less terrified of the audience, the less they seemed to hate it, even getting to the point where it appeared they were genuinely enjoying it, surprising us all. We were then further dumbfounded to find our ticket sales to be WHAT THE REVIEWS SAID “This is really just an excuse for two very funny guys to get up on stage and entertain for an hour. And entertain they do. The plot feels forced at times, but the plot isn’t really the point.” – www.sanstaste.com “Betrayal of Penguins superbly captures the style of children’s television in all its cringeworthy glory. The two main characters, played by Matt Smyth and Ross Dungan, are well conceived as the repressed and stressed hosts of the programme, neatly varying between patronising cheerfulness and blind panic, bringing to mind the deliciously terrified faces of every children’s television presenter at the moment where everything goes wrong.” – www.edinburghguide.com
Hello. I’m Mark and I’m the society section’s columnist this year. I’m going to be sent to things – social things – and then review them. A social diarist, that’s me. Just like yer wan in Sex and The City. I actually had to Google that to see if it’s Sex and The City or Sex in The City. It was actually pretty silly of me to agree to write this column. I don’t really enjoy doing things. In recent months I’ve realised that I seem to be at my happiest when I’m at home doing nothing, wondering why I’m not out doing things. Breaking news: Grass greener on other side! I think my enthusiasm for social events peaked at Freshers’ Week in first year. The Fresher optimism is something I actually miss. I’m going to talk to everyone and do loads of things! I’m going to join lots of societies and get involved, not like in school where I did nothing all the time! I’m going to go on dates instead of just meaningless scoring girls on nights out! I’m going to study too though, gotta make sure the grades are good! Maybe I’ll do them Schols exams, if I study hard enough I’m sure I could do it! College is great! Life is great! I’m great, but in a totally humble modest way!
“Women all over Front Square will say things like, “Get a load of the really cool, funny guy over there. I think I’ll have intercourse with him”.”
“The nerves and pressure of the first few shows are totally unparalleled”: Ross Dungan and Matthew Smyth were behind the Edinburgh show “A Betrayal of Penguins: Don’t Run With Scissors”
in a very healthy state. Aided by positive reviews for the show, we soon found ourselves selling out on a daily basis. The final bow of the final show and the relief that came with it was something I don’t think we could have anticipated. Not immediately of course, as our stage is usually covered in paper airplanes, teddies and gunge (something I was also covered in) and we had about five minutes to clean it up every day before the next show came in, resulting in a daily hilarious and frantic few minutes. But following this as we packed up our stuff and headed for the airport, the idea that we had actually survived the month began to hit home. Through all the late, late nights and early mornings, no one in the cast had killed each other, people in the audience and in the press didn’t hate the show, and somehow for reasons unfathomable to us we had the honour of being one of the sold-out shows of the
festival. If you haven’t been over to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, go next year. Even if it’s for a few days, even if it’s for a few hours, it really is one of the most amazing events in the world today and any person who has been will tell you that; just go. If you want to bring a show over, there really is absolutely nothing stopping you. If we were somewhat successful, and considering the fact that I can barely dress and feed myself, you’re definitely in with more than a fighting chance.
“Bit by bit, we got less and less terrrifed of the people who had paid to come and see us”
Freshers’ Week advice
Beware kayakers bearing ropes Amy Franck Staff Writer
Quite frankly, the entire point of Freshers’ Week is to throw your money away. It’s all part of the fun. However, if you want to ward off the society hawks who would love to part you and your money, look straight ahead and assume a murderous demeanour. No one wants to talk to a psychopath. I was absolutely delighted with the new college atmosphere and made the mistake of talking to people. Thus, 17 societies were joined. Talking to you isn’t the only way societies can rope you into joining. Sometimes this happens in a literal sense. Last year I was alarmingly lassoed into joining the kayaking club. Wandering among the stalls wearing a slightly dippy smile, I had a lasso thrown
More freshers’ week tips and analysis, Features 10 21 September, 2010
This Charmless Man
around me, and before I knew it, an avid kayaker had reeled me in and listed all the benefits of joining the kayaking club. I filled in the form and handed over two euro so that the kayaker would release me. I have never kayaked in my life, certainly not competitively, and I never attended a meeting. Don’t be surprised by how many societies you join and how few of their events you attend. The Hist and the Phil are musts, I’m afraid. You’ll be a mighty muppet if you do not join for the sake of saving a fiver. You’ll have to watch all your friends with pretensions of intelligence waltzing off to debates and lectures in the evenings, whilst you watch Jeremy Kyle repeats. One of the high points last year was a debate called, “Is Islam compatible with the West?” run by the Phil. Islam4UK – recently banned by anti-terrorist legislation in Britain – had been invited. The flunkies were bonkers and the leader of the group, Anjem Choudary, was clearly dangerous. He ended his speech by thundering, “Our aim is to see
the flag of Islam flying over the Dáil! ... Is that how you say it? The Dáil!” Their gimmicky name made this rather humorous. Who doesn’t want to see this kind of thing? The two societies do invite some very odd people, but happily they also invite proper people to speak as well. If you really want to get involved with a society, you’re going to have to be proactive. You should not expect opportunities to pop up, you really have to talk to the people who run the society. You may be surprised as to how there is no obligation in joining a society. Don’t be put off the big societies such as Law and the likes, even if you have no affiliation with them, as they organise some excellent events. Make sure you keep all of your society cards – they’re very handy and get you some excellent discounts. Finally, join the climbing society. Every time you walk behind College, you will see the climbing wall and rue the day that you saved two euro.
Then a month passes, and you find yourself sitting at home alone on a Tuesday afternoon, missing lectures because it was raining and you weren’t arsed, watching Sky Sports News for hours on end, in your pants, eating beans on toast, and groaning as you get a text from one of the numerous useless societies you stupidly signed up to in a foolish haze of optimism and false hope. The texts from societies really do irritate me. One in particular, the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), especially gets on my nerves. I only joined it because I’d been listening to too much Rage Against The Machine at the time, and they have a similar logo – the fist thing. Their texts come from a regular looking phone number, so whenever they text, I get that momentary mixture of fear and excitement that comes with receiving a message from an unknown number. Oh god, what if it’s a girl? An attractive girl that I’d like to have sex with. That’d be class. Then again, what if it’s something bad? It could be an anonymous threat. The SWP acronym bothers me too, because I’m a football fan and I’m used to that acronym standing for Shaun Wright-Philips. And I don’t like Shaun Wright-Philips either. But that’s neither here nor there. Freshers need to note that as you walk around Front Square during Freshers’ Week, some people from Cancer Soc will approach you and ask you to join. “It’s free!” they’ll say. It goes down really well if you act incredulous and say something like “Cancer Soc? Why would I support cancer, it’s awful!” Everyone will think you’re really cool and funny if you say that. Women all over Front Square will say things like “Get a load of the really cool, funny guy over there. I think I’ll have intercourse with him.” With sterling social advice like the above, aren’t you glad to have me writing this column every week? Socially the past few months have been dull, with so many of my friends going away doing irritatingly exciting things with their lives. My best friends over the summer were the World Cup, the customers where I work, and right at the end, the X Factor. I even downloaded it once when I didn’t catch it on TV. The other week I was watching it with my sister as she got ready for a night out. At one point a lad called Mark auditioned. Cheryl Cole told him it was a yes, and he was through. I noted to myself that I could probably take the soundbite of Cheryl saying “yes Mark”, and listening to that on repeat would basically be like she was having sex with me, right? Then my sister finished straightening her hair, and asked if she could straighten mine. And I let her.
10 Features FRESHERS’ WEEK SPECIAL
Freshers’ Week, I love you, but you’re bringing me down By the time Freshers’ Week, and the boozing that goes with it, draws to a close there is good chance that most of us will be feeling a little worse for wear. Jamie Lynch turns the back the clock to discover how revellers of the past dealt with the morning after
“Pliny the Elder suggests a stomachturning concoction of owl eggs and raw garlic to be the best cure.”
e’ve all been there. We’ve all wokenup the morning after the night before with a head like a bag of loudly clanging spanners, a mouth as dry and furry as a badgers behind and, in extreme cases, a Hansel and Gretel style trail of vomit leading from the bedside to the bog. These are the first indications that today, or at the very least, this morning is going to be bad. Utilising every last scrap of energy you haul your broken body out of bed and then, once standing, assess the true extent of your “hangoverness” – does the road to recovery merely require a cup of coffee and a slice of toast? Are you going to need a couple of episodes of Two and a Half Men/Gossip Girl/Entourage (delete accordingly) and perhaps a fry-up before you’re ready to attack the day? Or is it, as many of us will doubtless have experienced this week, the sort of hangover that puts you in touch with your own mortality and calls into question your morality? How many people do you have to text to apologise for trying to snog them/ not trying to snog them/snogging their friend (delete accordingly)? How many of your flatmates are you going to have to apologise to for waking them up the day before an exam at four in the morning? How many washes will that t-shirt need to get those flecks of vomit out? And perhaps most importantly, how on earth can I rid myself of this misery? There are of course many modern treatments for this, surely the oldest ailment, which come in the form of handy pills or liquids (I am a particular fan of an Irn-Bru/Ribena hybrid); but such remedies come with hefty price
tags and often dubious success rates. Therefore, if you’re a bit cheap or are such a piss artist that you’ve exhausted all conventional cures, it is worth casting your eye to the bingers of yesteryear whose creativity in this field never ceases to amaze. First up are the lotions and potions of our ancient ancestors who, whilst they might not have been strawpedoing WKDs and banging back sambuca, did like a tipple or two, particularly before and after battle. One particular Roman boozer, Pliny the Elder, suggests a stomach-turning concoction of owl eggs and raw garlic to be the best cure. Indeed, writing in his Naturalis Historia encyclopaedia, Pliny also espoused the mythical quality of eels to relieve the symptoms of a hangover which he “suffocated in wine” before eating raw (others preferred theirs cooked with broken almonds). When eels were out of season (or Tesco had run-out) wellto-do Roman families started their day with a meal of deep fried canaries. The canaries were to be caught by a servant fresh that morning, stuffed with sage leaves and then deep-fried in olive oil.
Greeks, on the other hand, tended to favour boiled cabbage before a session on the cans and raw sheep’s lungs the morning after. Tasty. One hangover nostrum which rears its head throughout history is the “hair of the dog” – a group noun for all cures which entail getting back on the booze. Etymologist seem to agree that the phrase originally referred to imbibing as a cure for a literal dog bite and only changed in meaning after Shakespeare interpreted “the dog” in a more metaphorical sense. The idea is that you must grab the dog, your hangover, by the fur and show it who is boss by having another drink before it dominates you. Such cures are usually spicy (Bloody Marys or Prairie Oysters which consist of a raw egg with Tabasco and Worcester sauce) and weirdly enough often have Guinness as a main ingredient (from the champagne and flat Guinness of Black Velvet to the raw egg, vodka and Guinness of the Black Eye). However, by far the most popular cure offered by history seems to involve neither drinking nor eating. In-
deed, like almost all of life’s afflictions, the pain and gloom of a hangover is, according to many, best alleviated with an energetic session in the bedroom. The writer Kingsley Amis is one such proponent saying, “if your wife or other partner is beside you, and (of course) is willing, perform the sexual act as vigorously as you can. The exercise will do you good, and – on the assumption that you enjoy sex – you will feel toned up emotionally”. Amis is keen to impress, however, that “if you are in bed with somebody you should not be in bed with, and have in the least degree a bad conscience about this, abstain” and above all “do not take the matter into your own hands if you awake by yourself.” So there you have it. Hopefully this brief trip down hangover alley has given you a few new and more adventurous ideas when it comes to getting yourself in a fit state to make those nine o’clock lectures. At the very least it should have shown how blessed we modern folk are not to have to rely on eating raw animal or pickled eel in order to rid ourselves of a headache.
Get your dancing shoes on, you sexy little swine Paralysed with fear at the thought of impressing girls on the dance floor? New research may offer a helping hand. Izzy Cumming-Bruce investigates
ecent research conducted by the Universities of Northumbria and Gottingen has shown that hip-hop mastermixer Nelly might just have been on to something when he exclaimed the need for males to “shake ya tail feather” in order to attract lady companions. The study, which was published a fortnight ago, asked 19 men aged 18 to 35 who were not professional dancers to dance in a laboratory for one minute to a basic drum rhythm. They filmed the men’s movements with a dozen keenly trained cameras, and then turned those movements into computer-generated avatars, meaning that it was only the lads’ funky moves and
not their appearances that were on display. These videos were then screened to 37 “sexy mamas” in order to find out which moves flicked their metaphorical switches. The compelling results showed that in almost all cases the women found themselves attracted to those blokes that displayed “wide and varied moves” with particular emphasis on “the head, neck and torso” and, bizarrely, “deft movements of the right knee.” Perhaps unsurprisingly the dance moves that received the highest ratings from the gals, the videos of which can be watched on YouTube, seemed to combine the hip-twisting antics of Elvis with more subtle movements associated with, amongst others, Justin Timberlake. Crucial to the
success of these two types of move, according to Dr Nick Neave who headed the experiment, is that they entail keeping the feet in a fixed position and use the hips, arms and neck to create movement. This was beneficial as it allowed women to more easily focus on “the area we know females look to for signs of reproductive capacity”. In other words by limiting movement around the dance floor men allow their potential lovers to get a better look at their “junk.” That said, the success of Elvis does not lie purely in his finding and owning a section of the stage or dance floor. Indeed once they’ve got your slice of the club, would-be John Travoltas should aim to make their moves appear to be “high energy” or, to use a Hebrew phrase, they’ll need some chutzpah. There seem to be two reasons why girls prefer high-energy boys. Firstly, if researcher Kristophor McCarty is to be
believed, highly kinetic dancing with movements of the neck and torso attracts the fairer sex as it simply makes them stand out from the crowd: a lively jiver with large actions will catch the attention of more ladies compared to a corpse-like swayer and therefore increase the chances of scoring. Secondly, the speed and tenacity with which a man dances effectively shows ladies his ability (or lack thereof) to be a healthy and energetic lover: “highenergy dance movements are signals of a man’s reproductive quality,” suggests McCarty, “if you know your moves you reveal good health, vigor or strength.” It will come as little shock that the least attractive dancers are those who walk limply through the dance floor leaving their necks and booties unutilised, the
kind of moves made famous by Steve Martin “dancing like a white guy” in “The Jerk”. So to conclude, when that beautiful babe of your dreams bites her lip and says in an uber-sexy, gruff, Meg Ryan voice “You wanna dance?” follow her onto to the dance floor and find a good spot. Once in position, stand your ground and try to combine the wild gyrating, shaking and spinning of a fouryear-old child after a six-pack of Red Bull with the cool subtlety of a young Sinatra singing “New York, New York” and wait for the magic to happen. The good news for those of you who even after reading this scientifically proven advice and are still petrified of having a boogie is that dance ability plays second fiddle to several other factors when likely gals in nightclubs or bars are looking to find a partner. Appearance, fashion choice and (weirdly enough!) personality are all very important. So even if you can’t shake it like the proverbial Polaroid picture, there is hope for you still.
Unpaid internships: costly experience? Does unpaid work exclude the less well off? Bruff O’Reilly takes a look at the pros and cons
or students and recent graduates, internships offer up one of the most attractive methods for gaining experience and contacts in a cut-throat job market. In many fields, internships represent a necessary stepping stone to full, paid employment. With young people finding it increasingly difficult to find entry-level jobs, this poses several worrying problems for young people. The growth in popularity and acceptance of unpaid internships enhances the risk that businesses will exploit the unemployed by using them to fill positions which had previously been paid, and also to further marginalise those who simply cannot afford to take advantage of unpaid work. Sarah Gallagher, a Law and French student, worked in an unpaid internship this summer for a reputable, midsized law firm. “I would say that a lot of
the work I did could easily have been done by someone without a law degree,” she said, referring to filing and photocopying. But she was still overtly positive about the experience: “It definitely opened my eyes to the realities of a legal career.” She felt that ultimately, the tradeoff of doing legal grunt work was more than worth it for the contacts made, and a handful of “brilliant” experiences. Her position is typical of many students, who are often willing to forego a wage in order to gain experience and connections within their chosen field. But as the number of unpaid internships grows, there will be more and more people forced to forego valuable experiences – in favor of finding paid work – due to their economic circumstance. The people who are often hurt most by the growth of unpaid internships are those who cannot take advantage of them. While some young people
are able to lean on family and friends for accommodation and living expenses, many are not so fortunate and are forced to find employment in jobs which do not offer up any relevant experience for their chosen field. Unpaid internships therefore create a situation in which the more privileged are able to utilise their comfortable positions to gain an unfair advantage over their lesser privileged peers, further perpetuating inequality. The UK’s Institute of Public Policy Research recently released an article entitled “Why Interns Need a Fair Wage,” in which they argue that “the difficulties that young people from less affluent backgrounds face in accessing internships represents an unfairness for the individual and potentially a waste of talent if an able young person is denied the chance to enter their chosen occupation,” and continue that “it also adds to the existing patterns of inequalities in both economic well-being and power by helping to ensure that certain occupations and sectors remain dominated by people from particular backgrounds.”
Alma Clissmann, Project Manager at the Irish Law Reform Commission, a government orginisation that has recently been forced to replace paid researcher assistants with unpaid interns, was realistic in her assessment of the growth of unpaid internships. She commented that while there may be exploitation by some orginisations, many are simply trying to cope with the influx of untrained, unpaid workers who are not tied down to their jobs through a formal wage. Clissmann felt that it was up to employers of interns to ensure that there be “a fair exchange of benefits in any arrangement.” She was aware of the systemic problem of only offering unpaid internships, but was keen to stress that many internships should not be viewed as full employment, but as stop-gap measures between paid employment opportunities. She also noted that the Irish government was trying to ameliorate the inequality caused by unpaid internships, and that FÁS has organised a scheme whereby people do not lose their social support should they engage in a work placement or intern-
ships. Ultimately, Clissmann felt that it was down to both the employer and employee to try and negotiate terms which were favourable to both parties, including “free to leave at short notice” clauses in internship contracts. Unpaid internships present an obvious dilemma to young people. While obviously favouring those from certain backgrounds, they also provide one of the only ways of gaining experience and contacts in certain career fields. It is the responsibility of the government and labour regulators to be aware of the conduct of companies and organisations with their interns, and to help protect people who are working without a wage. Students and other young people are particularly vulnerable, but it also their responsibilty to avoid being taken advantage of by setting their terms accordingly.
great thing is that because it smells of Kerry Katona’s armpit not many people go, so you can hear what the lecturer is saying”. Obese ex-Atomic Kitten singers’ armpits aside, it is important to remember that sycophancy or roaring with laughter every time your friend hints at a joke is likely to have the opposite effect – people like to have their egos massaged a little but overcook the “I’m really nice” pudding at your own peril. Carnegie goes on to detail how you should give “honest and sincere appreciation” to potential friends which essentially amounts to being a good listener and a good encourager. Lending a listening ear to problem-stricken classor flat-mates is especially beneficial for developing friendships, according to relationship expert Dr Catherin Lawton: “people tend to gravitate towards those of their peers in whom they place greater trust... listening to a person’s problems and offering motivation in the face of them is one way to achieve this.” But this advice comes with a warning. Yes, it’s true to say that listening and encouraging will get you into the fabled friend zone, but it’s worth bearing in mind that there’s a good chance your position there might be irreversible. Research shows that shoulders to cry on rarely become anything more. Secondly, “honest and sincere appreciation” of someone means not being a backstabber, not being nice to them in lectures only to slag them off to others over lunch in The Buttery or a hazelnut latte in Cafe Sol. According to Dr Lawton this type of “social dis-
honesty” is damaging in two ways. Not only does it mean that you are investing pointlessly in a relationship that you don’t find rewarding or enjoyable and are therefore “needlessly wasting social capacity” but it’s also likely to deplete the trust that others place in you. The thinking in your audience is that if you are happy to spread malice about one person behind their back you could be doing it to them as well. Dr Lawton concludes that if you dislike someone or if they annoy you should move on. She says, “when a relationship goes south, is irreparably damaged or never got off the ground in the first place the best option may be to simply cut your losses and find a replacement.” Carnegie’s third, and perhaps most cryptic, advice to people trying to form friendships is to attempt to “arouse in the other person an eager want.” This is open to wildly varying interpretation. Although I think we can be fairly sure that he’s not talking about arousing sexual desire in potential buddies. We’re not supposed to, in the words of DJ Jazzy Jeff, try to “get fresh and funky” with everyone we meet and want to befriend. Instead the general wisdom is that you have to make someone actually want to be your friend, there has to be something in it for them. For example, if you’re good at maths someone might want to be friends with you because you can help them with their study, if you’re good at telling jokes someone might want to be friends with you because you make them laugh, if you’re ugly someone might want to be
“‘Will people think I’m nerdy if I bring my Warhammer collection to Halls?’ queries Satanlover666.”
Ines Novacic on interning in washington world review 13
Add as friend: social networking in real life The vast majority of new students have trouble breaking old friendships and forging new ones. Josh Roberts has the advice you need A recent study by educational and behaviour experts in the US, published last week, has found that for over 80 percent of new university students “making and sustaining meaningful relationships” is their number one concern about starting university life. And while it’s certainly not prudent to believe everything that comes from across the pond (Lady Gaga’s claim that she can speak to the dead or Tom Cruise’s belief that the world was created by an alien called Xenu should, for example, be taken with a pinch of salt) it does seem that these pre-college, friendship-related nerves experienced by our transatlantic brethren are just as prevalent here. This fact is quickly confirmed by a brief exploration of online discussion boards and threads: CrazyLaura_21 is “really worried about not making any friends!!” while a nervous @bieberluver wants to know, “Will I miss out on meeting people by being under 18?”. And “will people think I’m nerdy if I bring my Warhammer collection to Halls?” queries Satanlover666. It’s also apparent that this anxiety is by no means purely a Fresher’s concern. Indeed, the threads are also littered with second and third year students looking to develop or ditch old friendships from last year or simply make more and better friends. This begs the age-old question of how people make friends. How can you market yourself so as to be more attractive to others? Once you’ve got a set of pals how do you keep them? What should you do if things turn sour or you get bored? It might seem a little odd to
21 September, 2010
approach friendships and socialising in a forensic manner, breaking down emotions to mechanical science, but if you are nervous or think yourself a potentially a bit awkward harnessing a few quite simple techniques might just double your Facebook friend count. American psychologist and selfhelp guru Dale Carnegie is the undisputed champion of advice in this area. In his best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie outlines three facets of behaviour that people should adopt in their character in order to (yes, you guessed it) win friends and influence people. Firstly, and he suggests most importantly, people should avoid “criticising, condemning, or complaining” when around potential pals. This can be interpreted in several different ways, but in a college environment it is perhaps wise to see this as being a generally happy person: smiling, being helpful and looking for the positive in things, Carnegie suggests, tends to win folk over. For example, instead of “yeah, my course is OK but the lecture theatre smells like Kerry Katona’s armpit”, go for “yeah, my course is OK and the
“A few simple techniques might just double your Facebook friend count.”
friends with you because you make them look hotter, and the list goes on. Everyone has some of these “selling points”, whatever they may be, which once identified and displayed correctly will attract others. So if you’ve got an insightful comment about the rugby slip it into conversation, if you know your way around a Texas Instruments TI83+ (it’s a calculator) let it be known or if you’ve got a cracking gag up your sleeve then don’t sit on it. You do, it should be said, have to be careful when identifying your selling points. If you decide that you are the funniest man alive when in fact you’re about as funny as stage five melanoma you might look a bit of a plonker, and a mateless plonker at that. So there you have it. If you do want to make friends, and assuming that as a rule of thumb people do, you should aim to be smiley, helpful, complimentary, honest, a little bit cut-throat, talented in some respect and desirable. Or you could just try to be yourself which also, I am told, tends to work.
12 world review
Colombia’s victory but Mexico’s losing battle Alice Stephens analyses the drug war in Mexico
and the need for a change in government policy to tackle the rise in production and the oppression of Mexico’s poor by the drug cartels
ast June, the United Nations reported that the production of the coca leaf, the main ingredient in cocaine, has fallen by 60 percent in Colombia in the last decade. A top producer in the 1990s, Colombia has been devastated by years of violent drug-related conflict. Unfortunately, the drop does not represent a victory in the ongoing war against drugs in South and Central America but simply a shift in production and trafficking. As Colombia cracks down, drug trafficking has moved elsewhere. In Peru, production of cocaine has gone up by 55 percent in the last decade; Bolivian production has doubled over the same period. Mexican drug lords have evolved to become the most powerful criminals on the continent.
In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton went as far to suggest that the situation in Mexico resembles that of Colombia in the 1990s. “It’s looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, where the narco-traffickers controlled certain parts of the country,” Clinton said at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “These drug cartels are showing more and more indices of insurgencies.” The Secretary of State even indicated that it may be necessary to send US troops into Mexico. President Barack Obama has rejected the comparison between Mexico and Colombia but nonetheless, the situation in Mexico has reached crisis point.. While martial intervention may not be the answer, a change in policy is essential to resolving the deeply entrenched and violent conflicts in the country. On 25 August, 2010, 72 Central and South American migrants were found
Counting the cost of Mexico’s war on drugs • Since Felipe Calderón’s anouncement to tackle the drug trade in Mexico in 2006, 28,000 people have been killed in related incidents. • Mexico’s northern border towns experience the worst of the violence and mass graves where dozens of bodies have been uncovered. • 50,000 Mexican troops are involved in the drug-war because of the endemic corruption of the police. • Drug trafficking between the US and Latin America is worth $13bn since the US pursued anti-drug operations in the Caribbean. • 90 percent of cocaine consumed in the US comes via Mexico. • In November Californians will vote on Proposition 19, which deals with the legalization of recreational consumption of cannabis and will have affects on the Mexican drug trade.
Mexican policemen wear masks as they stand guard outside a money laundering operation. Photo: www.infosurhoy.com
murdered on a ranch in Tamaulipas in what is the biggest drug cartel massacre to date. The murders are assumed to be the work of the Zetas, a cartel described by the Mexican Defence Ministry as “the most formidable death squad to have worked for organised crime in Mexican history”. A survivor of the massacre testified that the Los Zetas opened fire on the migrants after they refused to carry out assassinations for them. This atrocity is just the latest in a pattern of ongoing and escalating violence that has characterised Mexican life since Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared “war” on the drug cartels shortly after his election in 2006. Since then, drug violence has claimed more than 28,000 lives. Felipe Calderón was elected amid allegations of electoral fraud. His declared “war on drugs” and the militant propaganda that accompanies it gives his presidency a legitimacy it failed to achieve in the election. Edgar Buscaglia, organised crime expert and a leading critic of Calderón, calls it the “Afghanistanisation of Mexico”. The war has provided the government with
a powerful goal around which they can garner support. Mexico has become a war zone, and the army, not the police, have been used to combat the drug trade. This militarisation has been heavily criticised both outside and inside the borders of Mexico The army practically occupies a number of communities in the north, where they control checkpoints, curfews and inspections. Human rights groups have accused the army of rape, pillage and extrajudicial killings. But the strongest criticism is that Calderón’s militaristic tactics have unleashed a torrent of drug violence that the government is unable to control. Support for Calderón’s government has gradually diminished as it has become increasingly apparent that the war on drugs is a losing battle. The United States, citing human rights concerns, have recently decided to withhold a portion of promised antidrug aid under the Merida Initiative. Nik Steinberg, Mexico researcher for Human Rights Watch, said, “Any withholding of funds would be a step in the right direction, but given the total impunity for
military abuses and widespread cases of torture, none of the funds tied to human rights should be released”. Calderón’s government insist that the violence is simply an inevitable outcome in a war against the cartels In a recent interview, Calderón said: “I wish there was less violence, but – being honest – that is not foreseeable in the short term, in which high levels of violence will remain. Violence will decline over the medium and long terms.” He points out that his government was the first to take on the drug trafficking organisations. Such assertions do not conceal the fact that, whatever the intent, Calderón’s tactics have failed. Instead of pumping money into weaponry and deploying tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police to take on the cartels, the government needs to put money into alleviating the social problems that drive young men into the drug trade. The failure to fully address money laundering, political corruption and poverty has not only triggered more violence but has allowed the cartels to penetrate even deeper into society. The current expensive and arduous
Insurgency rises as flood waters drain Iseult McLister looks at the progression of the Pakistani flood crisis, the international reluctance to provide aid and the consequences of the army’s involvement in the rescue operations
n the last few months some of the heaviest rains ever recorded put a fifth of Pakistan under water. They have affected over 17 million people and increased the number of those living below the poverty line from 33 percent of the population to 40 percent. Agriculture and transport links have been destroyed and there are grave fears about the winter months as snow is expected in many regions. $300m have been donated because of a United Nations appeal for emergency relief but more is needed. There are, however, international concerns over how relief aid will be put to use by President Zardari, who has been accused of corruption in the past. A UN official said that “donors are wor-
ried over the possibility of large-scale corruption and want to see evidence of a very efficient utilisation of their funds before they step forward”. Fears are that instability in Pakistan will lead to “spillover effects” in neighbouring Afghanistan where food prices have been adversely affected. It’s not just infrastructure which has been damaged – Pakistan’s “sphere of influence” has suffered. One major government policy has been tackling Taliban militancy; however, this has inevitably been put on hold because the more urgent internal crisis has taken priority. For example, the army is leading the relief effort and although they maintain that the situation has not obstructed military actions on the borders, they rule out any new deploy-
ments against insurgents in the next few months. Islamist charities with links to extremist groups have been helping with relief and they have filled a gap, in some cases, left by the state’s own rescue operations. These charities do not have the resources of the army, international donors or United Nations agencies but they are quick to respond and have much support amongst the people. Camps for the victims of flood damage could be open to extremist propaganda, where the desperate and homeless could be vulnerable to their ideology. Pakistan may be facing a cultural and societal shift towards more strict orthodox Islam and perhaps in the wake of the flood damage a fertile breeding ground will be created for this as modernity and prosperity are washed away. The crisis was expected to stabilise after one month but as Neva Khan of Oxfam has said they are “still in phase one of an increasing catastrophe”.
Pakistanis pick up the pieces. Photo: Shakila Maan.
Internships a must for would-be politicians
On the diamond trail As the ongoing prosecution of Charles Taylor shows, Western consumers pay a high price for their bling Iseult McLister World Review Editor
Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, a Mecca for students seeking the networking opportunities provided by an internship.
Ines Novacic Deputy International News Editor
W campaign against the drug cartels has not worked. For the war in Mexico to reach any kind of resolution, the policies of the current government must change. However, change also needs to be implemented outside Mexico. The United States and Europe cannot ignore their own responsibility in the drug wars that have devastated countries like Colombia and Mexico. As Calderón has pointed out, it is American consumers that fuel the demand and American weapons that help maintain the cartel’s violent campaigns. Instead of focusing solely on stamping out supply in other countries, the West needs to address the issue of demand in their own countries. The problem is never just one country. For instance, Guatemala has also experienced a surge in violence in recent years, largely related to the movement of drug trafficking into the country. In what is known as the balloon effect, if production is squeezed in one place, it will balloon somewhere else. The West and the Mexican government need to be part of a larger, unified approach to an issue that reaches far beyond the borders of Mexico.
hen the woman I childmind for asked me what I was doing for the summer back in March, I relayed my plan about going to China to immerse myself in its culture, and search for some sort of life-changing experience. Basically, I wanted to get as far away from Dublin and Trinity as humanly and financially possible: by the second half of third year my course, with all its reading lists (not to mention the lovely new semesterised way of doing things) was causing me anxiety crises at increaslingly regular intervals. I envisioned Tibet at sunset and striding alongside the Great Wall. So naturally, when the woman I childmind for responded, “Would you not do an internship instead?” I reconsidered her sanity and parenting skills. Why would a fulltime student want to work – for free! – during the summer? Three months later I was on a flight to DC, with an internship lined up at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). I’d be lying if I said I don’t know what convinced me to sacrifice my appetite for Asia for a desk in the seventh floor intern room at NDI. And it wasn’t just finding out that NDI pays their interns. The prospect of working at an internationally respected and globally relevant organisation won me over. That, and how impressive it would look on my CV. Having scouted for internships in Ireland and establishing that they are
non-existent, I turned stateside to the Land of Opportunity. I realised that location and networking were factors just as important as the company and job itself. Where better than the Mecca of politics and law, and what better than a non-governmental think-tank? I was delighted when NDI offered me a place on the Political Parties team. I’m not a Political Science student, and I was scared they expected me to know things like the entirety of Obama’s healthcare reform, or the key parties within every major political system worldwide. To my pleasant surprise my first week consisted mainly of orientation. After orienting myself about anything related to NDI and its offices in 65 countries, I enjoyed Staff Appreciation Day. This annual event consisted of a 20-minute ceremony honouring staff that had stuck around for more than five years, followed by food, drinks and new friendly new faces. I had struck gold. Under the wing of my lovely, young supervisor, I quickly learnt the importance of networking, and began to understand internships as a unique networking strategy. Why else would the wealthy parents of White House hopefuls encourage their Ivy League kids to act as pooper-scooper to the President’s dog? Getting to know the other interns in my office, who were mostly college seniors like myself, I found out that they had all interned at approximately five other organisations like NDI. Coming from an educational background that is virtually ignorant of the internship concept, I was shocked to find out that most respected companies and Masters programs required
students to have completed at least one professional internship, in a field relevant to their education and career aspiration. The tasks I was given throughout my two-month internship at NDI engaged the research skills I had acquired throughout my time as an English and History student. Finally I can stand up to those who worryingly ask me “Yes, but, what are you going to do with your course?” From writing reports about Youth representation in political parties, to compiling case studies on Political Academies, I happily read through IDEA publications, online articles, and books in the NDI library: I was getting paid to do the kind of research that I did at Trinity. Getting paid to write essays – now there’s an idea. Apart from the routine tasks I was given, we were encouraged to attend various events both within NDI and at various institutes throughout DC. I attended functions like a talk in the Institute of Peace by Kosovan politician Veton Suroi after the ruling of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo’s declaration of independence. The internship opened my eyes to the practical application of skills I’d been learning throughout my course, and broadened my knowledge about current affairs and global politics. I would encourage any student to consider the internship experience, and I’m not just talking politics in DC. For those considering a Masters or a PhD in the States, internships would seriously boost their chances; and for those having a mid-degree crisis, it’s a great way to discover the relevance and importance of your course-taught qualifications.
The first diamond auction in Zimbabwe since the ban enforced by the Kimberly Process was lifted, took place on 11 August. The Kimberly Process was set up as a joint government, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of African conflict diamonds. Many conflict diamonds came from the Marange fields where the Zimbabwean army forced out tens of thousands small-scale miners in 2008, and began forcing villagers, some as young as ten, to work as slaves under the threat of death and violence. These human rights abuses led to the global suspension of the sale of Zimbabwean diamonds through the initiative. Private jets delivered buyers from India, Israel, Russia, Lebanon and the US amid tight security at Harare international airport to the auction in August, just six days after Naomi Campbell testified during his war crimes trial at The Hague that she had received blood diamonds from Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, . So what’s the point of diamonds? Diamonds have two applications: industry and pleasure. The monetary value of industrial and gemstone diamonds vary greatly. Industrial diamonds need to be hard as they are used for cutting. Most industrial diamonds are synthetic and are produced in a lab, as opposed to diamonds mined from the Earth. These industrial diamonds, both natural and synthetic, have an intrinsic usefulness value and provide a service. Natural diamonds are only preferable to synthetic diamonds when they are cost effective, that is, cheaper. Gemstone diamonds are valued for clarity and colour and are used in jewellery, and a store of value for the exchange of goods and services. In recent years it has been possible to produce gem-quality synthetic diamonds of significant size. It seems that the market for diamonds is supported by societal pressure, ritual and myth. Their worth devalues the lives of the people who mine them, a colonial inheritance of ethnic inequality. This theft of natural resources gives rise to the notion that the West’s imperial ambition still holds strong on naturally rich Africa.
Somalia still suffers as gunmen and pirates rule Alice Stephens investigates the recent insurgency of al-Shabab, a Somali Islamist extremist group
n 24 August, militiamen disguised in army uniform stormed a hotel in Mogadishu and killed 32 people, including six members of parliament and five members of Somalia’s security forces. Two weeks later, Somalia’s main airport in Mogadishu was attacked by suicide bombers, and five insurgents blew themselves up as they attempted to reach the terminal. At least eight people were killed in the attack. Al-Qaeda affiliates, al-Shabab, who control most of the capital and the country, have claimed responsibility for both attacks. Somalia has not had a secure government since the collapse of the government of Siad Barre in 1991. Since then, the country has experienced almost constant warfare as Islamic fundamentalists wage war in an attempt to topple the Western-backed transitional government. Though protected by Af-
21 September, 2010
rican Union troops, the government is weak and ineffectual, and unable to help the majority of the population. The Mogadishu airport is one of the government’s few areas of control in the war-torn capital, and the recent attacks have starkly highlighted the government’s failure to protect its citizens and impose order over anarchy. The conflict in Somalia is one of international significance. Hundreds of foreign militants are currently in Somalia supporting extremist groups like al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam. Like al-Qaeda, al-Shabab has an international agenda. During the World Cup, in July 2010, they carried out bombings in Kampala, Uganda, killing more than 70 civilians. Such events have led to an increase in international assistance to Somalia. While Somalia’s own military is almost nonexistent, there are currently about 7000 African Union troops in Mogadi-
shu. Furthermore, the country’s rampant piracy has attracted the attention of navies from around the world. However, the government cannot rely only on international support. Without radical internal change, the violence will continue to ravage the country. “Change of a community can’t come from outside if the community itself doesn’t make a change,” Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed recently told a Mogadishu news conference. Insurgent control and lack of popular support for the current Somali government have prompted some analysts to propose that the government should be allowed to fall. It is argued that if Islamist fundamentalists take power, the population would soon tire of a repressive regime and replace it with a less extreme government. At least in that case the government would have popular backing. Even with international intervention, the current government cannot hope to defeat the violence and power of groups like al-Shabab without the support of the Somali people.
Without a meaningful central government for almost two decades, conflict is still an everyday reality in a Somalia now torn in several pieces.
Travel 14 firstname.lastname@example.org
A three course journey Jennifer Finn takes a look at the realities of the journey detailed in the best-selling travel memoirs Eat Pray Love, to Italy, India and Bali.
at Pray Love is the story of one woman’s search for anything and everything, across Italy, India, and Indonesia. It is set against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful places on earth and it has become the inspiration to many to take breaks from their everyday lives and get out to see the world. It’s not about backpacking and giving up all your home comforts, it’s about taking time out to eat, pray and love, or in the case of the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, learning to love again. Besides being an engaging read, the novel provides an enticing blueprint for a trip that would be an absolute epic to replicate. Here are a few tips to take away from Gilbert’s adventures. Choose a theme for your travels. Whether it’s eating in Italy or praying in an ashram in India, do something that you couldn’t possibly do at home, something out of the ordinary. Then, make a list of where you’d like to go. Choose your top three places and plan your route. Once you’ve chosen the destinations, think about what you want to do and see there. The first stop for Gilbert was Italy, which has a lot to offer in terms of history, art and sites. Italy is where all the eating takes place in Eat Pray Love. Rome is home to dozens of pizzerias and gelaterias, Florence has Michaelangelo’s David, and while Venice is sometimes seen as a melancholic place, there are plenty things to keep your spirits up. Gondolas are almost synonymous with Venice but don’t be fooled into handing over too much money for the pleasure. Legend has it that if you go on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs with the one you love, you will be together forever. When in Rome… The Mouth of Truth is another must-see if you love old movies. Think Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday”. Local legend claims that if you tell it a lie, it will bite your hand off. Tourists queue to have their photo taken beside it. The Vatican attracts hundreds of tourists on a daily basis. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the visit but you do have to be careful to dress appropriately. Even if it is mid-August and sweltering heat, you will not be allowed
to tour the Sistine Chapel unless your knees and shoulders are covered. You can’t travel around Italy without taking a drive along the Amalfi Coast. It’s too breathtaking to miss. Sorrento looks out onto the Bay of Naples and you can see Mount Vesuvius quite clearly from the coast. Also along this shoreline you’ll find the picturesque town of Positano which clings precariously to the cliffs. Wear your walking shoes because tour buses can’t fit down the small side streets. But the walk is worth it, if not just for the stunning views, then for the endless numbers of bars which overlook this beautiful coast. You’ll find plenty of places to rest along your way. Sicily has been described as “the most third-world section of Italy”. With fishermen aplenty here, you can guess what Sicilian cuisine has to offer. Sicilian lemons are justly celebrated and their reputation has reached Dublin, where Sicilian lemon sorbet features as a dessert in Milano on Dawson Street. It’s said that without seeing Sicily, one cannot get a clear idea of what Italy is. It’s a good idea to set some time aside to rest during travels. By choosing a
“You’ll have trouble gliding lightly into transcendence when your guts are struggling to churn through a sausage calzone.” place like India, you could seek refuge in an ashram. Just like university, you must apply for a place in an ashram. Places are awarded based on the study of yoga. Having gained a place in an ashram, you can attend courses in either Hindu or English. But beware of some ashrams because, despite their claims to spirituality, they may just be frauds with an eye on your money. Gullible westerners can easily be taken in by false ashram claims. There is no doubt that many will be enticed to visit an ashram after the release of Eat Pray Love later this
Clockwise from top: Sadhus waiting in line for free lunch at the Ramana Maharishi Ashram, India; The Amalfi Coast, Italy; and Tanah Lot Temple, Balalang, Bali. Photos: flickr.com/ thaths, Jimmy Harris, Fabio Gismondi.
year in cinemas. Gilbert, who is played by Julia Roberts, said that if you want to walk the path of a yogi in India, you have to visit an ashram. However, there are so many to choose from and all charge big money all in the name of spirituality. Ashrams can be found in all sorts of areas throughout India, from busy cities to quiet outlying locations. The off-the-tourist map ashrams have a better reputation for authenticity and promise to provide you with a quiet place to meditate and practice yoga. Ashrams are serene, calm and peaceful places so don’t be influenced into paying for a stay at a place claiming to be an ashram that embodies none of these things. Ashrams invest in their students as they see them as the future of spirituality. All students practice self-discipline where food is concerned. Food has a purpose, and that is to nourish. Digestion is linked to concentration and ease of meditation. Lack of concentration could mean that you’re overindulging or taking more than you need – “you’ll have trouble gliding lightly into transcendence when your guts are struggling to churn through a sausage calzone”. Overindulgence in food is not good for the body or the mind. The food eaten in ashrams is vegetarian.
In Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir, the novelist’s trademark introspective monologues reach a pinnacle that can be too much for one to handle. But amidst all the rumination, Coelho drops an absolute gem of a quote, and one that guides not only my travels, but my daily life. Hopefully, it can inspire you as much as it did me. “After supper, it’s the usual routine: they want to show me their city’s monuments, historic places,
fashionable bars. There is always a guide who knows absolutely everything and fills my head with information, and I have to look as if I’m really listening and ask the occasional question just to show interest. I know nearly all the monuments, museums, and historic places of all the many cities I have visited to promote my work – and I can’t remember any of them. What I do remember are the unexpected things, the meetings with readers, the bars, perhaps a street I happened
Indonesia was ravaged by a tsunami caused by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean. Miraculously, Bali was spared but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by this fact. It is still a high risk area for future tsunamis to occur. Responsible tourism involves knowing the risks and how to act in the worst case scenario when you are abroad. Would you know what to do if you got separated from your travel companion? Globe-trotting for a year certainly appeals to us students. The main message in Eat Pray Love is to plan your trip in advance. Don’t just arrive in Mumbai without a place to stay. Have a budget and make reservations prior to your departure. Choose a theme for your travels, decide if you want to go shopping in New York or learn how to surf in Australia. Travelling is an adventure so pack for all eventualities and do your research. Taking a full year off to travel is a big commitment and while most working professionals may find it next to impossible to take a year off, students have the world at their fingertips and the opportunity to travel as soon as, or even before, they graduate. So why not travel the world before you have a mortgage to pay? Just don’t forget to Eat Pray Love along the way.
the Eat pray Love Phenomenon
The Zahir: Wise words to travel by Jimmy Lee
Finding an ashram to suit you and your purse is a time-consuming but worthwhile process that requires an open mind and an open heart. After being ensconced in an ashram for a few months, you might feel like popping out for an adventure in Indonesia. Bali is the most popular tourist destination that Indonesia has to offer. Bali is something of a non-industrialised haven. “In the evenings there’s a cricket orchestra with frogs providing the bass line”, tropical birdsong fills the morning air at sunrise, and butterflies glide around all day long; an idyllic paradise and a far cry from city life. Whilst it seems like a utopia, Indonesia has a bloody and gritty past. Bali was once run on a strict caste system, and the Balinese economy was formerly fuelled by a slave trade and human trafficking. It was only in the 1960s that the Indonesian government began to lure tourists to visit Bali’s shores by marketing it as “The Island of the Gods”. This marketing campaign was hugely successful and Bali’s past was overlooked due to its beauty and serenity. It has since become a retreat away from city life to many in the Western world. However, when travelling through Indonesia, one must be prepared for all eventualities. On 26 December, 2004,
to walk down, where I turned a corner and came upon something wonderful. One day, I’m going to write a travel guide containing only maps and addresses of hotels, and with the rest of the pages blank. That way people will have to make their own itinerary, to discover for themselves restaurants, monuments, and all the magnificent things that every city has, but which are never mentioned because ‘the history we have been taught’ does not include them under the heading ‘Things You Must See.’”
• Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love has spent almost 1000 days in Amazon.com’s top 100 bestsellers list, and has been on the New York times Bestsellers list for over 180 weeks. • The book has been adapted for film, with Gilbert played by Julia Roberts. It was released in US cinemas on 13 August this year, and is set to hit Irish cinemas on 24 September. • The publishers have printed more than seven million copies. • At least some of the memoir’s success can be attributed to Oprah Winfrey, who dedicated two entire episodes to the book.
Science 15 email@example.com
PROFILE: DR PATRICK BRENNAN
Battling bad bacteria
Distinguished Trinity Science alumnus, Dr Patrick Brennan, is to be rewarded in November for his major contributions to research on tuberculosis and leprosy. John Engle reports
r Patrick Brennan is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University. His research into mycobacteria, particularly those that cause tuberculosis and leprosy, represents some of the seminal work on the subject in recent decades. Dr Brennan completed his PhD at Trinity, studying under the distinguished Dr Frank Winder. Since then, he has become one of the preeminent voices in his field, being appointed to the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology in 2004. This November, Dr Brennan will be recognised at the Trinity College Alumni Awards for his contribution to scientific progress and research. Dr Brennan spoke to us from his home in America:
“I recall Trinity News did an article on me, describing me as a ‘smallish man with muscular legs’.”
How did you get involved in your field of research, dealing with mycobacterium pathologies? I did my undergraduate work in University College Cork, and then came up to Dublin in the sixties to do my PhD at Trinity. My PhD director was Frank Winder, who died quite recently, and I worked with him on developing a new drug for treating TB, focusing on Mode of Action [the specific biochemical interaction through which a drug substance produces its pharmacological
Star Trek fantasy becomes reality SS Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as seen under an electron microscope.
effect]. We worked on isoniazid, a drug still commonly used today to treat TB, and put focus on exactly how and why the drug worked. Where did you go after Trinity? After Trinity, I went to Berkeley, California, where I worked under Clint Lowe and did more work on TB. At Berkeley I did research on the structure of the bacterium that causes TB. It was a profound experience. I met my wife there also. She was studying at Berkeley. After that we came back to Trinity where I again worked with Frank. Did you stay long in Ireland? I worked at Trinity and at UCD. We had our kids there. But my wife was American and eventually wanted to go back to America, so we went back to the US in 1976. You have worked on leprosy treatment as well as TB. How did you get involved in that? I obtained a contract with Novartis, a drug company, to work on Clofazimine, a drug that had been developed by another Trinity scientist, Vincent Barry. It was originally called B663 and was meant to be an anti-tuberculosis drug, but proved ineffective. It did, however, turn out to be very effective in treating leprosy. I again worked on determining the Mode of Action. Are you working on any research presently? Currently I am working on the problem of drug-resistant strains of TB which have been popping up. The worst strains developed in Russian prisons and cannot be treated by any of the current drugs. These are called XDRTB, extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis. We are now doing molecular epidemiology, and are trying to apply basic biochemistry of the organism to
find new targets for drugs to exploit. We are trying to understand how the organism works, particularly its cell wall. We focus on essential targets, the enzymes that are essential to the growth of the organism. Have you done much work on leprosy recently? Yes, we are currently working with the genome of the leprosy organism and its genetic coding ability. So far we have found that it has only a 50 percent coding capacity, or in other words, 50 percent of its genetic code is useless. There is also the problem of actually growing leprosy cultures in the lab. It is virtually impossible to grow except in the bodies of laboratory armadillos, which are virtually immune to the bacteria. Currently we are looking for what material could be potentially added to the genome in order to more easily grow it. We are also working in multiple endemic sites, taking biopsies and following to trace the spread of the disease. Looking back, do you have many memories of Trinity student life from your time in College? I was quite active with the Harriers and set the record for the Trinity Walk. They don’t do that anymore do they? It was a race from Belfast to Dublin during Trinity Week that was more an event than a race. People would stop at the pubs every couple miles along the way. The record had been up to that time about 36 hours, but in 1964 I made it in just over 24. I recall Trinity News did an article on me, describing me as a “smallish man with muscular legs”. The prize at that time was a barrel of Guinness. I won it again in 1965 with a time of 22 hours, ten minutes. I believe that record holds still today. I know they cancelled the walk due to the Troubles, and they must never have started it up again.
Robots and the future of warfare
As if right out of a science fiction story, researchers at the Australian National University, using a sophisticated laser beam, have succeeded in moving particles over large distances, in what may be the first step toward developing a functional tractor beam. While not fit for use in space at present, the technology may yet find an application. According to one of the researchers, for instance, the laser could be used in “directing and clustering nano-particles in air, the micromanipulation of objects, sampling of atmospheric aerosols, and low contamination, non-touch handling of sampling materials.” The beam “could be used for the transport of dangerous substances and microbes, in small amounts.” The possibilities seem nearly endless for this futuristic tech.
From Delhi belly to a new fuel source Researchers aT Rutgers University-Camden are in the midst of an endeavour to genetically modify E. coli bacteria to produce bio-fuel. They aim to develop a source of fuel that is not as energy inefficient as existing fuels, such as those derived from corn. For this project the researchers are breaking from the more traditional method of effecting change through small genomic alterations. Instead they have been making major modifications across large sections, including the insertion of entirely new traits, in what is called synthetic biology.
Space Adam Seline Contributing Writer
Warfare in the 21st century has become progressively more automated, placing ever-greater emphasis on computers and robots. The skies are no longer filled with expensive jet fighters, such as the American F-22, but instead with near-silent predator drones, unmanned planes that are far less expensive to manufacture, as well as considerably more expendable. Unmanned craft have become very popular in military circles, as technological developments in recent years have made them viable in ever more diverse fields of operation. Longer battery life, greater resilience, and more reliable computer interface, as well as budding progress in the realm of artificial intelligence, make such tools very desirable for use in hostile climes where human personnel would be in mortal danger. Scientists have developed increasingly varied uses for these robotic operatives, creating more and more advanced and adaptable machines that can react with ever greater semblances of intelligence. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have taken a step into what may well be the future of espio-
21 September, 2010
SS Combat robots have not reached the Terminator level yet, but massive strides have been made in their manufacture.
nage, having developed a robot that can actually deceive its adversaries, according to their study, published in the International Journal of Social Robotics. This marks a new step in the
development of artificial intelligence programmes, with robots now able to exercise greater freedom due to sophisticated algorithmic programming. By use of interdependence the-
ory and game theory, Dr Ronald Arkin, the lead researcher on the project, developed algorithms to teach a robot how to recognise scenarios warranting the use of deception tactics. Georgia Tech’s robot is designed to deceive enemy soldiers by creating false trails and hiding so as to evade capture. The robot was also taught how to distinguish between differing scenarios, and to employ different strategies. During trials, a “hider” robot, programmed with the deception algorithm, had to hide from a programmed “seeker” robot. Through deceptive tactics the “hider” was able to evade the “seeker” in 75 percent of trials. While Arkin’s research team expect their research to be useful in both the military and civilian spheres, they can see the moral dilemma that robots capable of deception might pose to some people wary of negative consequences. If Hollywood has taught people nothing else, it is to fear machines that become dangerously clever. Despite the potential ethical conflicts, Georgia Tech’s research offers a new avenue for research and its advances will hopefully serve as a harbinger of a brighter future in the field of robotics.
Amateur stargazers win the day Professional astronomers have doffed their caps to amateur astronomy enthusiasts who were the first to identify the unusual stellar bodies known as “green pea” galaxies. Astronomy fans, volunteering with the online organisation Galaxy Zoo to sort through a multitude of images of outer space, uncovered the tremendously compact star cities, filled with low amounts of complex elements due to dilution by streams of gas and the cosmic winds of supernovae. The success of Galaxy Zoo has helped move scientific endeavour from a monopoly of the ivory towers of academia, and into a popular realm in which all interested people may participate and contribute. John Engle, Science Editor
16 opinion profile martin mcaleese
All the President’s man As the end of his wife’s presidency approaches, Martin McAleese has been nominated for a prestigious Trinity Alumni Award. Sarah Clarkin looks at the contribution he has made to Irish life
r martin mcaleese will leave the Áras alongside his wife, President Mary McAleese, in 13 months’ time. Dr McAleese has come to be seen as something of An Ideal Husband, not in reference to the political corruption and blackmail of Oscar Wilde’s production, but in genuine reflection of the asset that he has been to his wife’s presidency. Strong to his belief that “every human heart has the capacity to change,” Dr McAleese almost echoes the famous line from An Ideal Husband, “no man should be judged by his past.” It is this unwavering belief alongside a durable dedication to making the future a better place for our children that Dr McAleese has contributed hugely to a better future for the two Irelands. Dr McAleese married in 1976 and began studying dentistry in Trinity College in 1980, although with a marriage and a mortgage, it was a vastly different experience from his time in Queen’s. He does not see the university as having changed much since the time he spent here, but sees the introduction of programmes such as the Trinity Access Programme as a “great thing.” In his eyes, we all have a social responsibility to make education more inclusive, increasing the opportunity and potential of all elements of society, including those previously denied such prospects. This social responsibility is witnessed again when the issue of women in politics is raised, for although Dr McAleese is married to a woman who reached the highest echelon of politics, he recognises that in Ireland, only 13 percent of our elected representatives are female. While Dr McAleese is not sure that quotas would facilitate
a lifetime’s service Who is he? Dr Martin McAleese, accountant and dentist, husband of President Mary McAleese. His daughter is a Scholar. Why is he in the news? The winners of “Your Country, Your Call”, a competition initiated by him, were announced on Friday, September 17. Key achievements: The Peace Process, playing hurling for Antrim Minors, and, infamously, playing golf with UDA man Jackie McDonald.
women of merit being elected, he is firm in his belief that there should be balance, and that the correct support mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that an equal gender balance can flourish. It is this implication of fairness inherent in Dr McAleese’s character that shapes so much of his work. It can be witnessed again in the competition initiated by the president’s husband, “Your Country, Your Call”. While the most obvious desired output of the competition were proposals to be taken and developed, one appreciates that the sense of ownership Dr McAleese hoped the competition would generate was more important to him, the desire to lift the country’s spirits and inspire hope and the belief that we are not helpless in the face of such economic doom and gloom seems to have been the main motivation behind the competition. It was designed for everyone, from the farmer to the university student, and all groups could have an input on the website. It is a mark of his hard work that the competition – the winners of which were announced last Friday – went global, with the website boasting hits from over 176 countries. Yet, perhaps what Dr McAleese will be most remembered for is his work on the Peace Process, and it can be argued that no other man would have managed quite what he has. The devastation of the Troubles was a firsthand experience for him. Dr McAleese was in his final year in Queen’s University in 1971, when, aged 20, he was burned out of his home by loyalist elements in the predominantly unionist area of East Belfast where he and his minority Catholic family lived. Despite this, he is adamant that he is a man devoid of bitterness. It is this commendable lack of hostility which allowed him to work alongside loyalist paramilitaries and convince them that they had nothing to fear from Dublin. Dr McAleese approached the problem with a vastly different approach. Security had been the British government’s weapon of choice, but he was adamant that the prejudices would not be overcome by the employment of coercion. In order to “breathe life into the theme” of his wife’s presidency, “Building
Bridges”, dialogue was opened to establish stability, understanding and reconciliation. It was his ability to see far beyond their disparities and recognise that beneath the limitless schism, stood two sides with a common purpose, namely enhanced prospects for their children to inherit. This led to unprecedented inroads being made in the peace process and have in no small way contributed to what is hopefully a lasting peace in the North. “Your Country, Your Call” seems a fitting last hurrah for a man who undertook formidable toils throughout his wife’s two terms, yet is adamant that he himself will not run in 13 months time. If the culmination of this recession is our version of the Underworld, guarded by Cerberus with its three inherently Irish heads of begrudgery, bitterness and resentment, then Dr McAleese can be viewed as our Hercules, completing seemingly impossible tasks, uniting the divided and conquering the unconquerable, with simple messages such as working together and accepting responsibility. When former President Mary Robinson asked what the people wanted from their president, the public replied with “someone to do them proud.” If this is to be extended to the President’s husband, Dr Martin McAleese has fulfilled his duty admirably.
Is there a free market solution to the Union’s failings? John Engle Science Editor
The students’ Union represents a monumental waste of money and resources by College. It is little more than a subsidised clique, serving virtually no function other than to inflate the egos of its miniscule active membership by serving as their personal piggy bank for the execution of colourless events and pointless protests. The SU boasts every undergraduate student as a member. Whereas student societies and clubs must actively campaign for membership and funding, the SU is allowed to simply extort money from each student as he registers. Is there a method of preventing this? No. Why? Because they are rightly scared to think that people might not willingly pay for the “service” they
supposedly provide the student body. What does the SU do? Not much really. It promotes various themed weeks by putting up banners and stages the odd “protest”, usually consisting of spending your money so they can have a good time while “fighting for your rights”. Anything else? Well it also publishes a newspaper about as well-written and edited as a seven-year-old’s English paper. The SU manages to accomplish all of this with a budget more than ten times the size of that of the two largest student societies combined. The amount of waste the SU represents is sheer insanity. It is unnecessary that it should make new t-shirts for every one-day campaign, nor is it necessary for its officers to be paid a salary and given free housing on campus when their workloads are barely more tax-
ing than those of the larger student societies who receive no such benefits. However, there are two roles the in the SU that are constantly cited (and usually the only cited), as being indispensable to the students. These are the positions of Welfare Officer and Education Officer. These two positions may well serve a useful purpose, but that does not justify the existence of the whole bloated hulk of the rest of the SU. Really, it shows that these two roles could, and surely should, exist outside the SU structure and simply be incorporated into the College organisation. Not only would this new organisation be more efficient, but also it would serve to distance these two apolitical roles from the SU’s highly charged agenda. This separation would allow these officers to no longer tow the Union line, which consists invariably
“If the SU considers itself indispensable to students, then it should genuinely make itself so.” of what is best for the SU leadership at the expense of its members, but rather to do what is in the best interest of the students they serve directly. The SU should not necessarily cease to exist, but it must cease to exist in its current form. The best solution is to make membership in the SU optional and to force its leadership to actively campaign for members in the crucible of Freshers’ Week, just as student societies and clubs must. Students enjoy the choice to join whatever socie-
ties interest them personally and that offer the best services. It is a beautiful example of market forces in action, resulting in an efficient distribution of wealth and resources among student associations. Why should the SU be exempt from this? It is not special and offers little for the price students pay. If it considers itself indispensable to students, then it should genuinely make itself so. Students will join if it serves a genuine, valuable purpose. The answer is to make them work for their membership like everyone else. This will not only allow students to reallocate the funds normally appropriated by the SU, but will also make the SU a better institution because it will truly be held to account for its actions and will be unable to simply absorb funds with no promises of return on students’ investments.
Women can multitask, but can’t drive Laura McElligott Being female myself, I tend to take it personally when I hear certain fellows (a term which does not apply to men only in this case) bad-mouthing women drivers as an entire section of society. The unusual aspect of this is that often the insulters are themselves the insulted. That said, I myself am eager to admit that I am a terrible driver, a hazard to myself and all those other road users (drivers, pedestrians, stray dogs, other wildlife) who unfortunately happen to enter within my range. However, alarmingly precarious as I am, I have yet to be involved in any kind of road incident, where the definition of road incident is non-inclusive of near misses. I am careful not to grow overly confident as this would be my downfall. I am aware that the longer I go without any kind of incident, the closer I come to having one, when I take probability into account. Nonetheless I believe that my awareness of the fact that I am a bad driver is the contributing factor to my safety and lack of injury thus far. My constant worry has instilled in me a kind of superhuman driving vigilance which I feel gives me an upper
hand on the good drivers who are of the opinion that their normal personal level of precaution will see them safely to their destination. Recently, I was a passenger in a hitand-run that involved solely female drivers. My mother was reversing out of her space in a shopping centre carpark. Regrettably, a woman was doing the same opposite us. Having spotted this woman my mother immediately stopped. The woman continued to career into the rear left side of our car. This was fine as accidents happen and it was only a very minor accident. My mother and I proceeded to step out of our car and assess the damage with a view to exchanging insurance details, only to find the woman making her getaway and officially shirking all responsibly for what happened. We were only too pleased. The damage to her car was undoubtedly a lot worse than ours. Biologically, as women are more inclined to shop than men are, probability implies that they are therefore more likely to be involved in small collisions like these. It is not down to driving skill but rather the way we were created and it is irreversible. Woman is more predisposed to road incident than man, said God as he
planted the forests. I also feel that a woman’s inherent ability to multitask affects the amount of concentration that she can allocate to driving at any one time. It is unfortunate that a woman is burdened with this capability for, although important in certain situations, it can cause distraction in the driver’s seat. For example, a woman may find herself engaged in a dialogue on her handheld telephonic apparatus when she discovers in her reflection that her make-up is in need of some touching up and must search in her bag for her lipstick. All this while she attempts to pull out of a notoriously dangerous junction. Life is difficult for the woman but she will manage. As for me, my fear of being caught up in this multitasking whilst driving requires certain precautions to be taken. My seat is adjusted and seat belt fastened prior to displacement. Hopefully indicators, wipers, lights and side mirrors will not require too much use today. The radio is switched off and all passengers are warned against its use and also the use of speech (of any volume) either amongst themselves or directed at me, the driver. Windows are closed and locked and heating/aircon are turned down below distracting
levels. Passengers, prepare for drive off. I also rely heavily on divine intervention should I come across what I refer to as a conflict zone, i.e. any object or situation that interferes with my driving, for example, slow drivers, dangerous drivers, roadworks, pedestrians etc. In these situations, my usual response (but which of course varies from one situation to the next) is the survivor’s instinct, which is to swerve. It has thus far proved to work very well for me and I hope that this technique will continue to ensure my safety in the future. What to do if you Meet Laura on the road • Stop the vehicle and turn off the engine. • Where possible, take a left turn, unless you are aware that her right indicator light is flashing. In this case the second step should be ignored. • Assume the crash position and brace yourself for impact. • Pray. • Brought to you by the Road Safety Authority (supported by AXA Insurance).
The murky, mysterious light of truth
21 September, 2010
in the camp of online freedom? The team behind the site claim that Wikileaks, launched in 2006, has released upwards of 1.2 million documents online. The site has flirted with controversy since then, having published details of an email account belonging to Sarah Palin, a highly sensitive list of members of the BNP and various US intelligence documents relating to Guantanamo Bay. Yet the real bombshells were dropped this summer, when Wikileaks posted more than 76,900 records of incidents and intelligence reports about the Afghan war on its website, providing a devastating portrait of the war. You could argue that a new era in online journalism had been forged following the biggest leak in US history, with the suspected whistle-blower being hailed as an antiwar hero by many. Traffic to the site doubled within one week. They revealed how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents and how NATO commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency. A “Collateral Murder” video of a US Army Apache attack helicopter mowing down people in Baghdad in 2007 also caused huge embarrassment for the US government and prompted a worldwide outcry earlier in the year. The site has undoubtedly staged some spectacular scoops in the last couple of months, which have left the US Department of Defense and other public bodies desperately chasing the trail of a new and interminable threat regarding information security and secrecy. The concept of Wikileaks and their stark expositions seem to continuously divide pubic opinion. The site undoubtedly has its supporters, championing free speech. Among those supporters is Michael Moore, no
Delaware Republicans reeling On September 14, Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell won the Republican Senate primary election in Delaware. This came as shocking news since 18-year veteran congressman Mike Castle had been seen as a sure winner in the state that had previously elected him as Governor. The Republican establishment was dismayed in the wake of O’Donnell’s victory, aware that a fringe candidate supported by the likes of Sarah Palin has little chance of defeating the Democratic challenger, Chris Coons. Current Vice-President Joe Biden formerly held the Delaware senate seat now in contention. There is no doubt that establishment Republicans will bemoan the loss of Castle whom they counted on to be one of ten senate seat pickups for Republicans in their bid for a majority. More pressing for the country at large, however, may be vexation over an increasing number of radical, fringe Tea Party candidates taking over the national political dialogue.
Cannabis researcher favours legalistion Roger Pertwee, a neuropharmacology professor at Aberdeen University and the leading cannabis researcher in the world, has thrown his weight behind the legalisation and regulation of marijuana. The UK, he said, should adhere to a scheme similar to that in California, where adults over the age of 21 are able to obtain the drug with the consent of a doctor. Pertwee, who co-discovered THC (cannabis’s active ingredient) in 1970, argues that legalisation would lead to a reduction in crime associated with the drug.
Laura Twomey wonders if the controversy surrounding Wikileaks heralds a new battle between free speech and security, or whether the site will collapse beneath the personal failings of its controversial director
ikileaks , now wellknown as a secretive organisation, have provided the raw documents behind some of this summer’s most controversial headlines. It is clear that Wikileaks is another facet in the growth of online journalism. They publish highly classified documents, otherwise inaccessible to journalists and the public at large, whilst protecting the anonymity of their whistle-blowers, who are often always in highly sensitive positions within their respective organisations. The site has been added to the US Department of Defense’s list of enemies “threatening the United States”. Yet Wikileaks claim they merely provide a public service to potential whistle-blowers. The site has become a media circus on it’s own terms. Due to it’s highly sensitive nature, the short history of the site reads like a Le Carré novel, incorporating secret military documents, whistle-blowers and encrypted secrets. Add in a mysterious director and site editor, the inscrutable Australian Julian Assange. Making the rare public appearance, he allegedly lives out of a suitcase, and is currently embroiled in a sex scandal. When the first reports of his being questioned on suspicion of rape and sexual assault in Sweden arose last month, he was one of the first to cry conspiracy on his Twitter feed. Already there are whisperings of plans to oust him by other board members of the site. Surely Mr Assange, being their public face, cannot be doing wonders for their already shaky PR. It all makes for a recipe of pure intrigue. Although declared by Time magazine as poised to become “as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act” in the US, are things beginning to turn sour
Papal British visit sparks protests stranger to controversy, who recently donated money towards the defence team of the suspected whistle-blower of the Afghan diaries. Even Fidel Castro has voiced his approval for the site. In an interview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, he stated the internet ‘has put an end to secrets…. We are seeing a high level of investigative journalism … that is within reach of the whole world.” He believes the internet “is the most powerful weapon that ever existed”. With the site revealing numerous human rights violations committed by the United States abroad, and the US Government violating many international laws in the Middle East, surely this transparency should be welcomed? Yet, 61 percent of Americans consider the release to be an act of treason. In an open letter to Wikileaks, Reporters Without Borders said: “The precedent you have set leaves all those people throughout the world who risk their freedom and sometimes their lives for the sake of online information even more exposed to reprisals.” Reporters Without Borders, self proclaimed protectors of international press freedom, have accused Assange of “incredible irresponsibility”. Despite their detractors, those behind the organisation may be prepared to release more sensitive information if authorities interfere with them. The
Pentagon want them to pull back the Afghan war diaries already posted on the Internet. Yet there is also an encrypted “insurance” document available, containing more sensitive information, which has been downloaded thousands of times. This tactic displays technology is allowing the site to be an unstoppable force, an unpluggable leak. Any fight, even by the Pentagon, will prove to be futile, while the file lies dormant on thousands of desktops. Assange, while still in his capacity as director, has pledged to fight on, and release more raw data, once it has been verified. Who knows where this story will go in the next few months? US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has already predicted the question of free speech versus illegal speech concerning Wikileaks will probably come before her during her tenure. So the question remains: can Wikileaks survive the growing pressure towards their transparent practices and the developing controversy surrounding Assange? Is there a point where transparency and information regarding governance can just go too far when the question of national security is at risk? One thing is clear – the information wars are undoubtedly going to shape the next few decades to come.
Many British Catholics embraced the arrival of Benedict XVI in Edinburgh on Thursday, while protesters run the gamut from atheists rankled by the State’s funding of the trip, to Protestants vehement about the need for Benedict to address more forcefully the charges of child abuse within the Church. The visit to Scotland alone is reported to cost the taxpayer no less than £1 million, this in a country where atheists and nonbelievers outnumber Catholics by a wide margin. Reverend Ian Paisley has organised a group of protesters in Glasgow to champion “those who have been very, very badly treated by these priests of Rome”. Meanwhile, Cardinal Walter Kasper has been quoted as saying that the UK is a “third world country” overridden by “aggressive atheism.” As vitriol spews from either side, one must wonder at the wisdom, or even the necessity, of a papal visit to the UK. It’s safe to say that if the Roman Catholic Church wishes a more congenial reception in the future, the Pope must address charges of corruption, sex abuse, cover-up, and – in the face of it all – pompousness. Johnathan Creasy
18 editorial Head to Head: tony blair’s visit
Trinity News Est 1953 towards some revival of the collegiate spirit that modern conditions tend to discourage
centuries-old M.A. practice neither misled then nor now The ancient practice of receiving an M.A. from Trinity without further study was heavily criticised late last month in an article published by the Irish Mail on Sunday. The system as it stands allows those who have held a B.A. for at least three years to have an M.A. conferred on payment of a fee. In response to the article, written by a graduate of the university, leading political figures condemned the practice as “unfair” or “disgraceful.” On the basis of facts presented by the Mail on Sunday, these comments might be justified. In reality, however, things are a little less sensational. The Oxbridge and Dublin M.A. system (as this tradition exists in our sister universities Oxford and Cambridge) dates back to a time before any other Irish university existed, let alone awarded Master’s degrees. It is based upon seniority, not study, and in the past indicated a standing of experience, not qualification. It is, essentially, another of our traditions which we share with the finest universities of the UK, many of which are being eroded by the passage of time. Our Master’s students are awarded M.Phil or M.Litt certificates for their efforts at further study to avoid confusion; and as for the charge that the university is somehow attempting to “fool” prospective employers, one would hope that any HR professional would be familiar with university qualifications, and that we are producing graduates who would not deliberately mislead a smaller business where an M.A. is required for a position. Reactionary hysteria from opposition spokespeople seeking extra column inches should be taken with a pinch of salt; as should an attack on an established practice dating to the middle ages.
“Like him or loathe him, you ought to respect him – but don’t waste food” Ciara Finlay
A Long way from World Building of the Year The Long Room Hub has been shortlisted as World Building of the Year 2010. It is, apparently, inspired simultaneously by bee-hives, biological cells and cliff faces – an impressive broad vision, and one which the architects clearly had trouble expressing in just one building. While it might technically be considered a successful project considering the tight timeframe, controlled budget, and limited available space, these are not really important concerns when making a permanent addition to a 400-year-old university. Rather than learning from the mistake of the Arts Building, the brutal concrete silhouette of which dominates Fellow’s Square, the College decided to construct another building in a similar style. Why one would do this when the 1937 Reading Room or the Old Library would make far better templates, one can only imagine – thought the most likely answer by far is “expense.” College authorities need to be practical in their use of funds, of course. But in another 100 years, it is hard to imagine the Hub will be viewed as anything other than an architectural disaster. The €6 million building was officially opened earlier this month, after being officially “completed” during Trinity Week last. Amidst the fanfare, College officials waxed lyrical on the university’s commitment to the arts. We can at least hope that this was more than empty rhetoric, and that what goes on inside the building will be of more value than its outward appearance. Eagle-eyed readers will note the addition in this volume of a line of text below our newspaper’s name at the top of this page. In the first Trinity News editorial, on 28 October, 1953, Anthony Bolchover wrote “If in the process, and in the news we present, there results some revival of the collegiate spirit which modern conditions tend to discourage, the newspaper will have justified itself.”
according to the Melian Principle, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”. This may be as true in life as it is often seen to be in politics. It is on this basis that two factions, of sorts, took to the streets in the heart of the city centre for former British Prime Minster Tony Blair’s visit to Ireland. Blair was in Ireland to promote the release of his memoir, The Journey, which is selling out in bookstores faster than the American troops went into Iraq. And it is on this basis that protestors outside Eason’s, where the booksigning took place, became, as it were, caught in a mosh. These protestors, many of whom looked as though they had gotten lost on their way to hang-out outside the Central Bank, chanted “Tony Blair, war criminal!” as they pelted the renowned politician with eggs and shoes. Furthermore, one of the protestors, Kate O’Sullivan, 24, from Cork, went to the extreme of attempting a citizen’s arrest, accusing Blair of “war crimes”. Perhaps one of the stranger aspects of this event was the verbal abuse with which those in the queue for the booksigning were bombarded. These included accusations that they were “West Brits”, an “insult” usually reserved for the special case of Trinity students. In this manner Blair’s previous relationship with Ireland was blanked like an embarrassing ex. After all this is the political champion of
the Labour Party who along with his opposite number, Bertie Ahern, helped foster the Northern Ireland peace process in the form of the Good Friday agreement. That is not to say that he was “right” per se to commit troops to Iraq, however the legality of the war itself is not a clear cut case. The Iraq war can at once be deemed to be legal based on the “revival” theory surrounding the Security Council Resolutions which originated in the First Gulf War. Conversely, this war can also be portrayed as an illegal act wherein Permanent Members of the United Nations chose to misrepresent the law in order to advance their own prerogative. In this manner the weak may have been called upon to suffer what they must at the hands of the strong. Nevertheless, freedom of speech is one of the core foundations of any democratic society and on this basis Blair is entitled to write his book, those keen readers who queued for hours are entitled to get the aforementioned book signed, and the protestors are entitled to protest. All that I suggest is that the latter group refrain from wasting food in this manner, and think twice about throwing away their shoes, it will make the walk of shame home much easier. After all, if they wished to share their views with Blair engaging him in debate is more suitable to creating the desired response. Like him or loathe him, you ought to respect him.
“It was pure cowardice to launch his autobiography in Ireland” Roisin costello
Much has been made of Tony Blair’s recent visit to Ireland. But before any other argument is ventured one question must be asked – why did Blair choose to launch his biography here? He is the first Labour Prime Minister to be reelected for a third consecutive term. Surely one would suppose him a figure of admiration, or at the least of respect in Britain? In fact quite the opposite is the case. He launched his biography here because he wanted to test the waters. The peace process in Northern Ireland was one of Blair’s greatest successes; surely it would stand to reason to begin here where he would be welcomed, where public opinion would still be in his favour. And here is where Blair, master of the media during his term in office, went wrong. To begin in Ireland – to use it as a political vehicle – a means of gauging public opinion served only to highlight Blair’s weaknesses. During his time in No. 10 Blair was a PR dream – he was part of the new brand of politics that made superstars out of political analysts and spin doctors. He was the epitome of the new, people-friendly politician that knew the mood of the public and managed to manipulate it to his advantage. Blair as envoy to the Middle East and existing in a kind of self-imposed foreign relations bubble no longer has the same insight he once did into mood of media or public, no longer seems to realise how to manipulate them to his advantage. And yet we might not have noticed
if he had not come to Ireland. By beginning in Ireland, Blair highlighted the dislike which still simmers in England for him; and, worse, he showed that he was scared of it. If he had begun his tour in England there would not have been flip-flops and citizen’s arrests. There would have been heavy, sensible shoes and possibly some kind of assault. It would have been bad. It would probably been so bad that a large portion of the public would have been outraged that a former PM would be thus treated. There may have been a growing feeling that the negative reaction was so strong as to be unreasonable and there would perhaps have been a great deal of rushing to the aid of Blair – now the beleaguered underdog. Blair’s visit to Ireland showed he failed to appreciate such a possibility and gave a focus to the negativity abroad thus re-enforcing the amount of negativity that must be present at home. Blair’s mistake was, ironically, a political one – in acting cautiously and starting in Ireland, he missed an opportunity to change the public’s perception of him. There are many arguments of why he should not have come, many I do not agree with. But the fact remains that Blair ran scared to Ireland at the start and everything after that just served to cement him in the role of a man whose greatest achievements have been forgotten and whose errors have not been forgiven.
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.
HIGH rANKING CAN BE REGAINED Madam– The university rankings were published recently and to my dismay theUniversity of Dublin has fallen out of the top fifty. Our provost has spoken out strongly on this matter, citing the reductions in funding and the low staff-to-student ratio as the main reasons for the rapid decline. This highlights the difficulty Trinity faces in trying to survive the economic recession. The university must be commended for trying to stem the tide by creating new fellowship placements. Furthermore, there is still some excellent research coming from this college. The Department of Immunology and Biochemistry recently published a significant paper in Nature Immunology concerning a molecule implicated in Type 2 diabetes. There is hope for this college to pull itself back into the top fifty once more but it must increase staff numbers and focus on its strengths such as scientific
research. Sincerely Paddy Kelly
no variety in college guides Madam– I am writing to highlight an issue that seems to have been long overlooked in college discourse. The tours of Trinity College are an institution, and many of us walk past the foppish young men who give them on a daily basis. But that is what they are, exclusively. Floppy-haired young men with accents located somewhere halfway between Dublin and Eton, all gowns and scholarly jumpers. I am relying solely on observation here, but I have certainly never seen a woman standing inside Front Arch waiting to guide tourists around the college. I don’t doubt that the young men who give the tours are capable guides, but it seems to me that their homoge-
neity is a firm reinforcement of certain negative stereotypes of College. Sincerely Catherine Mullins SF Law
Commencement fee an outrage Madam– Why am I required to pay €114 before this university will give me my degree? I am sure that there are some costs involved in providing chairs and Latin in the Public Theatre for an hour, but nothing to justify a levy of this nature. Levying a charge on graduands for the simple act of handing them their parchment, with the commensurate threat that the degree will not be conferred without payment smacks of blackmail. It is understandable that hapless graduands should pay without demur; everyone wants their degree, after all. But I feel sure that if each fresh applicant for commencement
were to join me in registering a protest in writing, even in the act of paying, College would be forced to take note. Richard Collins Graduand BESS
students hardly left deflated Madam– I note with pleasure the Senior Lecturer’s approval on 23 June of the Court of First Appeal’s decision to increase every English Land Law student’s exam mark by 10% — though probably not as much pleasure as those English Land Law students themselves. In the current climate, in which the threat of deflation has so effectively been communicated, any effort that results in inflation is to be roundly applauded. Mark O’Regan SF History and Spanish
The mystery of our first female graduate
T WASN’T until 1904 that women attended this university. In January of that year, the Board minutes recorded that “royal letters patent permitting women to receive degrees in the University of Dublin were received from the Lord Lieutenant”. That December, the university admitted women to the ranks of its graduates for the first time, when Isabella Mulvany, Sophie Bryant and Jane Barlow received honorary degrees. But did another woman sneak into the Public Theatre to take a degree nearly two decades before these took their doctorates? In April 1885 the Prince and Princess of Wales – the future Edward VII and consort – visited Ireland. Trinity College was one of the couple’s destinations during the royal visit. They were received in the Examination Hall, where, the Weekly Irish Times said, “thoroughly pleasant humour was the order of the day”. The newspaper reported: “There was not an inch of space in the hall, and the tedium of the long wait was beguiled with much harmless and hearty sport.” The undergraduates kept their seniors entertained, and, when the heat became uncomfortable: “The whole body of students by common impulse set up the cry ‘win-dow! win-dow!’ … until at last an adventurous don upon the dais seized the rope of one of the skylights.” Unfortunately for the don it was the wrong rope, and the hilarity continued. The royal pair arrived eventually, and were treated to speeches from the Vice-Chancellor and members of the various societies. The prince recalled that he had previously received an honorary LLD from the university. He had been in Ireland several times previously, and even had his first amorous encounters at The Curragh. After the visit, The Graphic newspaper published some attractive depictions of the scene in the Examination Hall. In one, the undergraduates are seen waving their caps as the princess is escorted to her seat, accompanied by the gowned dons and led by the macebearer. There is a particularly interesting engraving on the same page. The princess is depicted holding a tasseled mortarboard, wearing the gown of a doctor of music. (This is identifiable despite the monochrome of the picture, as it is our only doctors’ gown which is not scarlet – it is white flowered damask with rose satin sleeves and facings.) In the picture, the princess is being awarded a degree. The caption reads: “The Princess of Wales receiving the certificate of her degree as MusDoc from the Chancellor, Trinity College, Dublin.” We might call it the MusD degree
21 September, 2010
Old Trinity Peter henry
Engravings from The Graphic of 1885 showing the Princess of Wales receiving her degree.
and be careful to mention the Chancellor in connection with the university instead of the college. But here is a woman receiving a degree from the University of Dublin – many years before those of the fairer sex were officially admitted. A photo taken by Lafayette at the time shows the princess in her doctors’ gown. Georgina Battiscombe’s 1969 Queen Alexandra also mentions that the princess received the MusD from our university. But the Weekly Irish Times piece says nothing. Its detailed account says that the royal carriage drove around the college as the crowds cheered, before leaving. But nothing about an honorary degree. Nor is the princess listed in volume three of the DU Catalogue of Graduates, which covers the period, or the 1913 Red Calendar, which lists all those who had received degrees honoris causa from the university up to that year.
On the same visit, the princess was made a doctor of music of the Royal University of Ireland, with her husband being awarded an honorary LLD. The RUI’s garb for a doctor of music was the same as Trinity’s. Could this photograph be of Her Royal Highness in her RUI outfit, rather than Dublin University, as indicated? Did The Graphic make quite a large mistake, and fabricate its depictions of the scene in the Exam Hall based on confused information from its Dublin reporters, with the biographer Battiscombe being misled many years later? Or did the princess receive a Dublin University degree without the fact being widely publicised? ON SUNDAY, the great 19th-century scholar, author and Catholic convert John Henry Newman was beatified Pope Benedict XVI in Birmingham. The young Newman once wrote: “I really think, if anyone should ask me
what qualifications were necessary for Trinity College, I should say there was only one – drink, drink, drink.” Sadly, that honour goes to Trinity Oxford, where the blessed-to-be was an undergraduate. He was later a fellow at Oriel. In the historical essay “The Ancient University of Dublin” in his University Sketches the Oratorian seems to avoid mentioning our Trinity. Similary, the addresses delivered in Dublin and published as The Idea of a University make no mention of Trinity – certainly not directly. Perhaps Father Newman was being tactful, intending to prevent conflict or rivalry between the new Catholic University of Ireland, of which he rector-elect, and the well-established Trinity College. Did Blessed John Henry Newman have anything to say about Trinity College, Dublin? If a reader knows, I would be interested to hear. email@example.com
The Public Editor The concept of the public editor is a radical one. I am to serve as a readers’ representative by investigating readers’ and my own concerns about the impartiality and integrity of Trinity News. My appointment stems from the ambition of this year’s editor-in-chief, Aoife Crowley, to ensure that the paper pursues the news according to the high ethical standards she has set for it. It cannot be easy to assign someone to criticise your own paper from within, so for this reason I applaud her courage. As a close reader of last year’s paper, I could not fail to notice the abundance of talent on offer in these pages. In general, the news coverage displayed acutely observed detail and intelligent analysis. The opinion pieces were passionate and habitually illuminating. However, in a few exceptional cases, I had the sense that ethics had been sidestepped in pursuit of sensational headlines. Stories made the front page, only to have their journalistic merit ruinously challenged in the following edition’s letters page. As nobody reconciled the claims of the articles with the claims of the letter writers, I was left unsure as to whether I could believe what I had read. And that is where the public editor comes in. Starting with this issue, (I will not examine previous years’ articles), I will do my bit to safeguard the journalistic principles of the paper by publicly evaluating its integrity. My only colleagues are readers, who I invite to write to me if they detect a breach of ethical conduct. I may quote and refer by name to those who write to me. If a reader does not wish to be identified, this should be clearly indicated in all correspondence with me. Importantly, if a reader merely disagrees with the conclusions of an article Trinity News publishes, and wishes to express their own views, they should instead write a letter to the editor. This past summer, the editor and I curated a selection of guidelines into the Trinity News Journalism Handbook, which we are making available to newspaper staff and readers alike on the website at the following address: http://bit.ly/TNethics. It would be tremendously helpful if readers could cite a particular paragraph from that document of which they believe an article to be in violation. My investigation will take the form of a series of questions sent to the writer of a given piece, the relevant editors and sources. Nobody is obliged to answer my questions, but if they don’t, I will likely note that here. Occasionally, I will seek the advice of experts where the issue is a technical one, or where the correct conduct proves difficult to discern. As this is an exercise in transparency, I will go to great lengths to ensure that I do not speak to people off the record. Though the Journalism Handbook was a collaboration, my columns will not be. The views I will express here are my own, not necessarily those of Trinity News. I will not be edited, except for spelling and grammar. The editor-in-chief and department editors are under no obligation to implement my suggestions. However, in the event of a difference of opinion, it is my hope that they will explain their reasoning. I will publish my conclusions and recommendations in this column and, when I need more space, on www. trinitynews.ie. I intend to use these venues only when I need them. If there is no lapse in standard in a given issue, you will not hear from me. As this is the first year that Trinity News has appointed a public editor, I am proceeding on an experimental basis. Any feedback, however harsh, would be greatly appreciated. I understand that everyone who works for the paper is doing it on their own time, for free. My only advice would be this: Read the Journalism Handbook. Do good work. See you in a fortnight.
Opposition economics Part one: The Labour Party In the first of a two-part series, Owen Bennett evaluates the economic policies of the political parties that are most likely to shape Ireland’s destiny over the coming years
or years, the Labour Party has been in the shadow of the big two political forces, Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael. However, the emergence of a strong leader in the form of Eamon Gilmore, aided by popular discontent, has propelled Labour to the forefront of Irish politics. If opinion polls are to be believed, it is almost certain that Labour will form part of the next government; the only outstanding issue, seemingly, is to what extent. Given the scale of the problems currently faced by Ireland’s embattled banks, Labour’s proposed solution to the banking crisis constitutes a cornerstone of its economic policy. Unsurprisingly, Labour is categorically opposed to the NAMA project. It claims that NAMA places too much risk on the Exchequer and fails to guarantee the resumption of lending to smallto-medium enterprises (SMEs) and households. Moreover, within both Labour and Fine Gael there is said to be unease at the degree of power invested in the Minister for Finance in relation to NAMA’s workings. In light of the perceived shortcomings of NAMA, Labour has devised an alternative solution to the banking crisis, one which it says minimises risk to the taxpayer and assures access to credit for SMEs. It proposes that AIB and the Bank of Ireland be nationalised temporarily. The weakened loans held by the two banks would be transferred to an asset-recovery trust, which would operate in a similar fashion to NAMA. However, crucially, the asset-recovery trust would only pay the market value for toxic assets,
thus eliminating the risk attached to NAMA’s valuation process, which is based on “long-term economic value”. Temporary nationalisation of elements of the banking sector has been attempted before, with mixed success. Most notably, in the early 1990s the Swedish government implemented a plan similar to that of Labour. It was credited with resolving that country’s banking crisis. Speaking earlier this year, the minister who masterminded the Swedish nationalisation plan, Bo Lundgren, championed temporary nationalisation as the most appropriate solution to the present crisis. Nationalisation would solve the banks’ funding problems all at once, obviating their struggle to raise capital privately. Although Labour’s temporary nationalisation plan might seem attractive initially, there are a number of worrying consequences intrinsic to nationalisation. The most glaring flaw with Labour’s proposal is the scope for political meddling in the workings of the banks. The party’s most recent manifesto on the banking crisis, “Protecting the Taxpayer”, claims that “the legislation governing nationalisation would specify that the day-to-day running of the banks would not be subject to political control”. Worryingly, the party has yet to indicate how it intends to prevent the sort of political interference feared by many. Nationalisation of the State’s two largest banks would invariably drive up the risk premium attached to Irish Government bonds. As the Exchequer and the banks would effectively be joined at the hip, only one Irish entity would be borrowing on the international markets; with both banks and the Exchequer relying on international
Labour would seek to nationalise the Bank of Ireland and AIB – but only for a wee while. Photo: Martin McKenna.
“The party intends to harness a so-called ‘investment economy’ in Ireland, where improved infrastructure and easy access to capital for firms will culminate in sustainable growth, year on year.”
borrowing, borrowing costs would manifestly rise above their already precarious levels. The Labour Party recently published a document outlining the direction in which it hopes to take the Irish economy over the next 10 years. The party intends to harness a so-called “investment economy” in Ireland, where improved infrastructure and easy access to capital for firms will culminate in sustainable growth, year on year. In order to realise these ends, a strategic investment bank would be established. This bank would be charged with investing in infrastructure to improve competitiveness, and with providing working capital to SMEs. The notion of state-sponsored bank investment is broadly similar to the former ICC and ACC banks, set up in the early twentieth century to fulfil the same role in the economy. This is an idea which has also been mooted by Fine Gael to address the market failure apparent in the banking system’s inability to fund enterprise. It is true that the state of infrastructure greatly hinders the Irish economy’s ability to compete internationally. A State investment bank, similar to the bank Labour envisages, might just
be the vehicle to drive investment in infrastructure. The EU Stability and Growth Pact hinders the Government’s ability to borrow large sums for capital and for strategic investment; a State investment bank would not be subject to this pact, meaning it could borrow money internationally to finance its loan book. Nevertheless, there are a number of difficulties that will be encountered should the strategic investment bank be created. A huge capital outlay will obviously be required initially to capitalise the bank, which will necessitate increased borrowing by Government or further depletion of the already shrunken National Pension Reserve Fund. In addition, Labour intends that the bank retain all profits so as to increase its capital base. This could possibly eliminate the bank’s motive for profit, resulting in a web of inefficiency and bureaucracy. The leftist ideology of the Labour Party shines through in its current economic strategy. A Labour government would vastly increase the State’s influence in the economy. Only time will tell whether these policies will come to extricate Ireland from the worst economic crisis in living memory.
Apple in tune with changing music industry Hannah McCarthy examines how recent
innovations in the music industry have allowed it to survive despite recession and changes in consumer preferences Owing to the phenomenal increase in online downloading in recent years, the music industry has undergone a dramatic shift in the way it does business. In most cases it is no longer profitable to produce CDs, and they are now viewed chiefly as promotional items for the industry’s new cash cow, tours. In a bid to avoid financial ruin, every cog in the music industry’s machinery has had to significantly change its operations. The new face of the music industry is undoubtedly iTunes. Apple, the company behind iTunes, has devel-
oped a business model that caters for consumers who demand huge choice while being reluctant to pay high prices for it. Apple has capitalised on a new wave of portable technologies, such as smartphones, tablet computers and netbooks, to allow users easy access to iTunes’ huge catalogue of songs and albums. In February of this year, Apple celebrated the 10-billionth song download from iTunes. HMV, which owns one of Dublin’s biggest record stores and controls an empire of 700 retail outlets, has responded to the pressures exerted
by iTunes and various other online music providers by diversifying its operations into electronic games, live concerts and venue management. By taking these steps, HMV has seen its profits grow in recent times, and it is likely to survive in an industry which has been decimated by the advent of illegal downloading. Formerly, many music tours were regarded by industry executives to be merely a means of boosting album sales, and consequently many band’s tours were lossmaking. In recent years, however, tours have taken on a new dimension. The Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang”
tour, which grossed €340.5 million, and U2’s 132-date “Elevation” tour in 2000 are testament to this. U2’s current “360°” tour is anticipated to generate €1 billion in revenue for the band and its promoters.
The tough economic climate has forced many fledgling bands to pursue alternative means of funding. Young entrepreneurial bands have taken to seeking money directly from investors. The UK-based duo Honey Ryder, whose debut album “Rising Up” was released in 2009, came up with one such innovative funding scheme. “We offered investors shares that yield dividends based on future sales and royalties. There are 100 shares at £3,500 each. If we sell as many records as Dido, each share will be worth £250,000”. Investors in the band include former Global Head of EMI, Eric Nicoli, and founder of Caffè Nero, Paul Ettinger. The music industry is a prime example of a sector which has adapted to changing trends. It is beyond doubt that in coming years many other sectors of the business world will have to adjust in a similar fashion to survive.
Facing up to pension reform
The economic crisis has exposed the huge shortfall in pension funding across developed nations. However, governments have been attempting to address the problem so as to cope with projected demographic trends Vanessa Chanliau
ince 1980, the average age of the population of the developed world has been rising steadily. Life expectancy has gone up by four years since 1980 (when it was 70 years), and the age bracket that has increased the most is the over-85 bracket. According to the BBC, in Britain the over-65 population has nearly doubled since 1984. It has been projected that 5% of the population will be over 85 by the year 2031. The result is an ageing population and a diminishing ratio of workers to pensioners. In addition to these demographic changes, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the financial crisis, as well as the continued weakness of equities, have caused pension funds to record very poor returns in recent years. This undesirable situation has forced governments to step in and revise policy. In order to prepare for the inevitable increase in pension funding that will be necessary in the coming years, the trend has been to encourage private savings for retirement. Last March, the Irish Government unveiled
the framework for a new national pension plan. The plan encourages private saving for pensions by automatically enrolling all workers over the age of 22 in a pension plan. According to the plan, unless employees opt out, workers now contribute 4% of their salary to a pension plan, with their employer and the Government each contributing 2%. The State expects to see Government expenditure on pension funds increase from the current 5.5% of GDP to 15.5% by 2050. Employers cannot opt out of the pension programme. The plan is not without its critics, nevertheless, with the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation claiming that automatic enrolment will bring about demand for higher wages and a further erosion of competitiveness. In the United Kingdom, where an austerity budget is currently being implemented, the Conservative Party’s policy of repeatedly slashing state pensions is also designed to encourage saving on the part of the employee. State pensions are a mere £86.05 per week for a single retiree, and £131.20 for a couple. It must be noted, however, that the UK stands alone in adopting this policy. In most other European nations, this means of resolving the pension crisis is seen as
Pensioners on the march in the UK. Protests such as these may increase as governments seek to increase the age of qualification for state pensions.
“The State expects to see Government expenditure on pension funds increase from the current 5.5% of GDP to 15.5% by 2050”.
politically impossible. While encouraging private saving, the trend has also been to raise the retirement age. By 2028 in Ireland, the age of qualification for the State pension will be 68 (up from 65 in 2010). France is aiming to raise its retirement age from 60 to 62. In the United Kingdom, the age will be raised from 60 for women and 65 for men to 65 for women and 67 for men. Similarly, the United States is increasing the age of full retirement from 65 to 67. While most readers are far from a time when they must worry about their own pensions, the current pension crisis is a symptom of an ageing population. As long as more of the population is retiring than is coming into the workforce, there will be effects not only on pension schemes but also economic growth and savings.
Despite the ISEQ having risen by 2.8% since the beginning of the month, trading conditions remain volatile on the Irish market. The month began amidst one of the most important weeks of the year in terms of global economic data. Investors, who had become very bearish on the economic outlook in recent weeks, were finally offered something to cheer about as both the ISM manufacturing index and the US non-farm payrolls both came in well ahead of expectations. The ISEQ saw gains of almost 4% on the back of these announcements as fears of a double-dip recession were abated. The following week saw the ISEQ lose some of the gains, as investor sentiment towards Ireland declined due to fears over the strength of the Irish banks and the impact that the banking bailout will have on the government finances. Financials dragged lower with AIB and the Bank of Ireland down by 8% and 13% respectively. The plan for an Anglo Irish Bank funding bank and asset-recovery bank eased worries as investors were finally given some clarity on Anglo Irish Bank’s future. The strong economic data and an increase in load factors allowed the airline industry to post strong gains, as Aer Lingus was up by over 6%. Donegal Creameries’ share price jumped by nearly 12% as H1 results gave confidence that the company will achieve full-year earnings well ahead of expectations. CRH continued to be a macro play, but failed to follow the performance of its peers with Barack Obama announcing additional spending on infrastructure. As the ISEQ continues to trade in its current range, any break will only come with an improvement in the global economy and more clarity on the banking bailout. – Gavin Yates Trinity Capital is a new initiative by the students of Trinity College Dublin to gain practical investment experience whilst at university. Proudly supported by Trinity Business School and the Trinity Foundation, Trinity Capital is the first venture of its kind in Ireland.
The decline and fall of the euro empire Recent turmoil in the eurozone has dented the single currency’s credibility and has led to questions about whether membership is an asset or a liability, says Owen Bennett
he events of recent months have not been kind to the euro. Long the apple in the eye of many a Brussels bureaucrat, its fundamental flaws have been exposed by the economic turmoil of recent times. Although it would be overly harsh to credit all woes of the eurozone countries to their membership of the euro, it is apparent that the currency contributed to their afflictions in no small measure. Greece presents a prime example of how membership of the single currency can be a factor in fiscal crisis. As a pre-condition to monetary union, member states are required to surrender control of domestic monetary policy, including policy tools such as interest rates and availability of credit. It is the remit of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt to adjust monetary policy in order to control the eurozone economy. However, there is a glaring quandary with this situation. The 16 economies of the eurozone have vastly different
21 September, 2010
economic fundamentals, with each having varying policy requirements at any one time. It is this conundrum that exacerbated the property bubble and consequent slump in Ireland: at a time when contractionary monetary policy was required to prevent the economy from overheating, the ECB was pursuing a policy of expansion. Moreover, up until recently, many investors and bondholders believed that euro sovereign debt was practically risk-free. One benefactor (or victim) of this mentality was Greece. For years, Greece spent too much, earned too little and plugged the gap by borrowing, in order to facilitate its economic decadence. It flouted EU rules and used imaginative accounting to mask the country’s course toward financial meltdown. However, the party has ended and Greece, like the other PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), has awoken with a bad hangover. During a slump, currency devaluation is often seen as the most attractive means to kick-start the economy. Although a number of
“For years, Greece spent too much, earned too little and plugged the gap by borrowing, in order to facilitate its economic decadence.”
intrinsic problems are associated with the devaluation of a currency, the dual benefit of cheaper exports and more expensive imports can be the vehicle to drive economic recovery. Unfortunately, eurozone members do not have the ability to manipulate the euro’s external value at will. Devaluation of the euro is a policy decision that rests with the ECB and so far, much to the dismay of the PIIGS countries, policymakers have resisted calls to devalue. It is difficult to see how the many
diverse monetary requirements of the eurozone can be reconciled to ensure sound economic management in each of the 16 member states. It is very conceivable that in five years time, the makeup of the eurozone will be altered from its present state, with the possibility of a number of weak economies being forced to leave the single currency. As the Daily Telegraph commentator Jeff Randell lamented, “The euro was a boom-time construct. In the biggest bust for 80 years, it is falling apart”.
22 Sports Features firstname.lastname@example.org
Uggs in the press box Kate Rowan finds things not quite what she expected as she gains behind-the-scenes access at Leinster’s home ground
SS Leinster tore through the Cardiff Blues, whose garish, pink away strip didn’t inspire them to the heights attained by fellow fashionistas Stade Français in their first home game of the season. Our woman saw it all from the press box. Photo: www.irishrugby.ie
bviously, I watch too much Sky Sports News. I had not realised this until I entered the Leinster Rugby media room in the RDS last April before a Magners League clash against the Ospreys. I had been lucky enough to gain media accreditation representing Trinity News. I had pictured there would be lots of uber-glam Georgie Thompson-style ladies and also men in tight-fitting, shiny suits. I learned that this was the world of broadcast journalism, whereas print sports journalists are a completely different breed. I had, in my naivety, turned up with a rather cumbersome diamantéadorned Juicy Couture handbag, sporting Ugg boots and a lot of pink. All the other journalists were male and were rather understated in their dress, so I was inclined to feel like a fish out of water. I really was there to look at the line-outs, rucks, scrums, tries and conversions but I had a distinct feeling from the odd glances I garnered from my counterparts that they may have thought I was more interested in having a bit of a girly giggle at some of the hunky players. I was a bit intimidated by the journos and all their talk of complicated travel arrangements to the Heineken Cup semi-finals. The highlight of that game for me was an amazing run by Isa Nacewa to ultimately score a try. Leinster won that game 20 points to 16. Unfortunately the result was reversed
in the Magners League Grand Final in the same venue just over a month later. It was back in May that the head coach, Michael Cheika, bid farewell to the D4tress upon his move to Stade Français. He deserves some credit for adding a bit of fashion flair at my first press conference: he was sporting a most flamboyant ruffled scarf. He exuded charisma and I was very impressed with the ease with which he answered questions as he sat perched on the edge of a table. My next journey to the press box was for Leinster’s first home game of this season against the Cardiff Blues who turned up on the evening in a very fetching shade of pink. I had been wondering how Cheika’s successor, Joe Schmidt, a former school head-master, would compare, after the Australian transformed Leinster’s underachieving but talented team with a “ladyboys” image into Heineken Cup champions. The Kiwi certainly orchestrated a most entertaining game despite a few hairy moments. Most who were present in the RDS would have been a bit worried after giving away a lead and losing to Glasgow at Firhill the previous week. The Cardiff Blues game was tough-fought with Leinster winning by 34 points to 23. As well as being a thrilling spectacle with action moving quickly between each end of the pitch, it was a great opportunity to witness the cohesion
between Leinster’s more established names and their young blood. During the warm up, first-choice out-half Jonathan Sexton tore a groin muscle (sadly the banner “Sexton’s On Fire!” seemed a little incongruous) and it fell to 21-year-old Ian Madigan to fill his boots. It could have been seen as a blessing in disguise as Madigan seemed to relish the challenge and scored the game’s final try, securing a precious bonus point for Leinster. In the post-match press conference Schmidt’s presence was full of twinkly-eyed charisma. He explained he felt “very nervy” at hearing the news of Sexton’s injury but “Madigan was not a bit nervous, he was just dying to get out there!” He praised some of the more senior players such as Nacewa who “had really supported the young guys”. It seems that Schmidt, who built his reputation managing the New Zealand schools team for four years, is taking his experience of nurturing youthful talent and is bringing it with zeal to Leinster. Since those days he has been an assistant coach under fellow countryman Vern Cotter, first at Bay of Plenty and then in Clermont. A few questions were fielded at him about the transition from being a number two but he batted this off with a laugh. “I do feel like the guillotine is going to fall on me but it was always the same at Clermont, it doesn’t matter for me whether you are the number
one or two, you live and die for the rugby.” As Schmidt was energetically exiting I made the mistake of ambling along too slowly and as result blocked his way and out of sheer clumsiness almost elbowed him. I nearly jumped out of my skin with mortification gushing “Oh, God, I’m so sorry!” The Kiwi remained calm smiling “It was all my fault!” A gentleman to top it all off – I am impressed! The seasoned journos started to crowd around again and in walked the night’s captain and the first try’s scorer, 29-year-old flanker Shane Jennings. The Rathfarnham native had a softspoken intensity about him and was also happy to praise the young talent. He seemed relieved with the result: “I don’t care if we only win by one point, we got off to a disappointing start to the season and we needed a win”. He was self-effacing when asked about his try, laughing, “God, I hadn’t scored in donkeys’, it was like I couldn’t catch a cold and then I just missed a second one tonight!” I must confess I once again lost my rugby correspondent hat when I suddenly smelt a most fragrant yet spicy aroma in the media room and I thought, “Ooh, that’s lovely aftershave, I wonder what it is? Is it Shane Jennings’ or one of the journalists’?” Sometimes no matter how hard I try to keep thinking in technical terms about sport I can’t get away from being a girl!
Nothing to separate twin tennis titans Daniel O’Callaghan reflects on the magnificent sporting rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and their impending duel to be remembered as the greatest tennis player ever on 13 September, Rafael Nadal Parera became only the seventh player in tennis history to have won all four of the sport’s major tournaments by winning the US Open. At the end of a comprehensive victory over Novak Djokovic, Nadal fell to the ground on the Arthur Ashe centre court as a capacity crowd stood to applaud the Spaniard’s momentous feat. The tennis Nadal played during his two weeks in Flushing Meadows was arguably the best of his career. The first and only set that he dropped in the tournament was in the final. His opponent in the final, Djokovic, had earlier in the tournament knocked out Roger Federer and was producing excellent performances but was powerless to do anything more than watch as Nadal neared perfection. His first unforced error in the final set of the tournament did not come until the seventh game as he completed his lifelong goal in a typically ruthless fashion. A year earlier the world of tennis was celebrating the achievements of another modern great as Roger Federer completed his career slam by finally winning the French Open. Federer also surpassed the great Pete Sampras by claiming his record breaking fifteenth major at Wimbledon. The media reac-
tion following his achievements proclaimed him as the best player to have ever played the game, the tag line which some have now bestowed on Rafael Nadal. The long running competitive rivalry between Nadal and Federer has now moved onto a new level. The 24-year-old Spaniard and the 29-yearold Swiss are no longer battling for just titles; they are competing to be remembered as the greatest tennis player of all time. Rivalries in sport are embedded in and created by its own essence, competition. A sporting rivalry is a sustained period of time when the career paths of two athletes cross, each driven by success. Great rivalries are often defined by the characteristics of each man. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier rivalled each other for the world heavyweight crown, a battle which started with the “Fight of the Century” and ended with the “Thrilla in Manila”. The rivalry between the two men was personal with each man giving and receiving slurs. Ali famously said of the “Thrilla in Manila” fight, “It will be a killa... and a chilla... and a thrilla... when I get the gorilla in Manila.” The quip was typical of Ali’s charac-
ter as an entertainer who built himself up while disregarding his opponent. This went on to define their rivalry as one that lacked respect and there was a genuine dislike between the two men. The Nadal-Federer rivalry, however, is based on a mutual respect. There have been many great sporting duels in the past with a similarly shared respect, such as Arnold Palmer’s rivalry with Jack Nicklaus and Björn Borg versus John McEnroe. The Nadal-Federer rivalry has now reached a new level, putting it alongside these greats. The two met first in the third round of the
Miami Masters in 2004. Federer had won his first two majors and, at the age of 22, was already the number one player in tennis. Nadal, then a 17-year-old unknown quantity, produced a shock result to beat Federer in straight sets. Since then the two men have dominated tennis. From Wimbledon in 2004 to the 2010 US Open at least one of the pair appeared in 24 of the 26 Grand Slams finals, winning 23 of them. A fascinating component of their duels is the clash of styles be-
“Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are no longer battling for just titles; they are competing to be remembered as the greatest tennis player ever.” tween the two players. Federer stands out as a throwback to classic tennis, a game played through
craft, skill and elegance, while Nadal is almost like a prototype from the future of the game. The extent of their competition is truly magnified when one imagines what Rafa or Roger could have won if the other had not been around. Federer has amassed 16 Grand Slams by the age of 29. Nadal has just won his ninth slam at the age of 24. The race to catch Federer will be a long one for Nadal. Whoever finishes their career with the most slams will surely go down as the greatest tennis player of all time, but who will it be? Nadal’s recently defeated opponent Novak Djokovic believes the Spaniard is well placed to win out, “He has the capabilities already now to become the best player ever. I think he’s playing the best tennis that I ever seen him play”. Nadal is already ahead, having won more titles than him at the same age, as well as an Olympic gold medal. He also has a winning record against Federer (14-7). However, to be considered the greatest of all time you need consistency and longevity; Roger Federer has undoubtedly shown these qualities. Critics now say that he will find it increasingly difficult to add to his tally of titles but Federer has undoubted mental strength and has the ability to reach his magical best again. As spectators we can only hope to witness tennis like that played in the famous 2008 Wimbledon final, widely regarded as the greatest match of all time. If Nadal can stay fit (he has suffered from knee tendonitis in the past) and Roger can defy critics and reach top form again then the race to greatness is going to be a photo finish.
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First XV lose final game of cup campaign Michael Gaskin Deputy College Sport Editor
In their last game of the Leinster Senior League Cup, Trinity sought to get their early season back on track with a win against arch rivals UCD following back-to-back losses to Old Belvedere and Clontarf. Those heavy defeats against, admittedly tough, opposition meant that going into the UCD game they could not progress from the pool. However it was a chance to shine in a very tough physical match for players looking to break into the first team ahead of their AIL Division 2 opener against Queen’s University on 2 October. Trinity began positively with early
pressure being applied to UCD in the ruck, but ill-discipline then cost the away side as they gave away two easy penalties. With the wind blowing across the pitch UCD failed to capitalise on either, their fly-half firing wide with both attempts. In a game that was littered with knock-ons and poor line-outs, turnover of the ball was extremely high with very little in the way of good phase play on display. It was Trinity who eventually put the first points on the board. After a scrum on the UCD 22 the ball was worked wide to the Trinity wing where UCD eventually gave away a penalty for coming in at the side of the ruck. Trinity’s inside centre struck the ensuing kick sweetly to put his team 3-0 up
after ten minutes. Almost immediately after the restart Trinity had a chance to stretch their lead even further, however, after some impressive defence from the entire UCD side Trinity’s scrum-half was hauled down just short of the line, after looking certain to score in the corner. UCD came away with the ball and after slowly but surely working their way up field, they earned themselves a penalty which, at the third time of asking, was duly converted. Shortly after the restart UCD went down to 14 men after their lock was yellow carded for dangerous play in the ruck. During the next ten minutes UCD held tight while under increasing pressure from Trinity who sought to gain from their nu-
merical advantage. On the return, to their full compliment, UCD got what was ultimately the match deciding score by running in a well worked try that put them 8-3 up after 33 minutes. With scores very hard to come by due to the slippery conditions, Trinity could feel that they were still in touch with an increasingly dominant UCD side after they missed the conversion. This hope was all but diminished minutes later when, with two minutes left until half time, Trinity went down to 14 men and further behind when UCD converted a penalty that resulted from Trinity forwards coming in at the side. Midway through the second half
Kayak club return from Alpine expedition Clare O’Gorman Contributing Writer
DU Kayak Club is a long standing club in the Trinity community, all due to Garrett O’Connell and a few friends who in 1982 decided to set up Dublin University Canoe Club (or DU Kayak Club as it is known today). O’Connell states there was an old kayak club which “had been purely a racing club and had no interest in training beginners. We really wanted to grow the club and introduce people to the sport (and meet girls).” O’Connell wanted this club to expand, and develop new talent, so training was important. By pestering Dublin Corporation, he managed to secure a weekly pool session for the club in Tara Street. After an impressive turnout to the first meeting, followed by donations from DUCAC for fibreglass boats and safety gear, the club was up and running. Finding a place to keep the boats was another problem, but O’Connell quickly got around that by borrowing the keys to the Sailing Club’s garage behind Pearse Street. Having told them he was just having a look inside, he moved all the club equipment in. Since those wily days, DUKC has gone from strength to strength with more members every year. To this day the club welcomes all abilities, from beginners to advanced and includes all aspects of the sport such as Canoe Polo, Freestyle and Slalom kayaking. Pool sessions are held twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday from 8-9 pm in the Sports Centre, and Sundays are spent practicing new skills on local
rivers. Trips are taken around Ireland with other university clubs and this year they took their first trip abroad. Two weeks in June were spent kayaking in the Alps in Italy, Slovenia and France. Nine club members went, including several members of last year’s DUKC committee. The club’s secretary, Deirdre Bannan, said that it “was a a great success”. The club flew into Grenoble in France to sample the white water it had to offer. After incidents of forgotten drivers licenses and keys locked in rental vans, they arrived in a very flooded France at the Lower Durance, known as the sun run, to try their first alpine river. A nice introductory river, the Lower Durance is made for big, bouncy, grade 3 paddling. They spent two days kayaking in L’Argentiere were they met the UCD kayak club and the Cork kayak club. However due to the high water flow, a 200 metre boat chase was the punishment for swims, and the large number of kayakers and rafters on the short section provided a continuous stream of carnage. A decision was made to leave the high and slightly dangerous water levels in France and travel 500 miles across Italy to Slovenia, whose rivers were highly recommended. The car arrived at the camp at around 4am but as they had put the tents in the van, now lost somewhere in Kobarid, it wasn’t until 6am that they got to bed. It had taken 18 hours but the morning brought sunshine, clear skies and reports of massive flooding in the south of France. The river Soca, where they would spend 10
Trinity pulled back three points, and most supporters in attendance felt that Trinity were still in with a chance. However this was the best it was to get for Trinity as UCD started to ring the changes and shut up shop for the rest of the game. They did have a chance to tie the game late on with a try, but showed it was not only UCD who left their handling skills at home by knocking the ball on just as they were beginning to stretch the UCD defence. The match then petered out into a pattern of turnovers between the 22s that really summed up the match as a whole, the weather preventing neither team from playing any sort of expansive rugby. It finished 6-11; next up is the Dudley Cup on 25 September.
Trinity’s sporting scholars Michael Gaskin Deputy College Sport Editor
days kayaking on enchanting, crystalclear water, had some wonderful features such as the Kirithne tributary and the third canyon which made it a wonderful playground. They spent the first few days working on some techniques on the easy grade 2 and 3 sections of the river, with world-class Irish instructor, Dave Carroll. With their individual creases ironed out, they headed to the Otana section of the river, which had three major grade 4 rapids interspaced with grade 2 water. Access to the river was just below a canyon and required a long trek down with the boats but their efforts were rewarded by the outstanding rapids. Before long,it was time to say goodbye to Slovenia and
make the long trip home. They drove back through Italy and to break up the car journey back home decided to have a final thrill, taking a detour to Rassa to run the natural Sorba slides. The three closely spaced drops of increasing size and difficulty down the falls provided an exhilarating alternative to walking around a petrol station to stretch their legs. This year the club expects the expansion of their involvement in canoe polo and will be entering a team in the Dublin Canoe Polo League this winter. The first trip of the term will be set for Lucan weir on Sunday 3 October. Their annual bridge jump off O’Connell bridge will be taking place on Friday of Freshers’ Week.
Unlike many of the other universities in Ireland, Trinity College does not actively recruit young sports stars through the use of a scholarship programme. Instead it awards scholarships solely to those who have already been admitted to Trinity on academic merit. This means that not only is Trinity being represented by some of the best athletes of their generation but also by some of the brightest and most committed men and women the university has to offer. Awarded on an annual basis, the scholarship requires that students not only have an outstanding ability to compete at the very highest levels of their sport but also a commitment and desire to represent the University in their sport and take an active involvement in their sports club. Since its inception seventeen years ago, the scholarship programme has helped alleviate the financial strain that is placed upon student athletes. They do this in the form of a monetary grant of between €1000 and €2500 that is hoped will enable them to focus on developing their sporting potential while not being burdened with financial worries and the prospect of part-time work. Further benefits of the scholarship include access to high level fitness training and nutritional workshops. Also provided for the winners of the award are physiological assessment, fitness testing and follow-up training. Depending on performance and commitment to their sport, scholarships can be renewed in subsequent years. Previous recipients of the scholarship include Nicola Fitzgibbon, who has represented Ireland in Equestrian, Scott LaValla, a former USA U20 rugby captain who recently made his senior debut in this summer’s Churchill Cup, and Ger Cafferkey, a full back on the Mayo senior football team. Application forms are now available for download at www.tcd.ie/sport; the closing date for applications is Friday 8 October.
Commendation for Trinity divers in Heinke Trophy Christopher Tauchen Contributing Writer
Trinity’s student-run dive club has recently been awarded with a major commendation from the British SubAqua Club. Their application for the Heinke Trophy, which is given annually to one of the organisation’s best local affiliates, was one of two marked for special notice by the panel of judges. This places the Dublin University SubAqua Club firmly among some the of best dive clubs in the world. “We were extremely pleased to get some more recognition for all the hard work we’ve put in,” said Caitrio-
21 September, 2010
na McLean, the club’s Diving Officer. “What’s best of all is that BSAC consider all the clubs’ applications together, regardless of whether they’re student clubs or not.” As a student club, DUSAC functions like any normal BSAC branch, with the exceptions that membership is limited to Trinity students, staff, and graduates, and that the club members – many of whom are students – don’t have the same kind of money to spend on expensive membership fees. “Diving is not the cheapest hobby, by any means,” said Caitriona McLean, “but we’ve been able to organize some of the least expensive diving you’ll see.
We’ve got members regularly diving in Dublin Bay for 4-5 euro, which is only the cost of petrol”. With funding from DUCAC and the generous support of the Trinity Association and Trust, the club has been able to purchase an impressive amount of club equipment, which is available for any of the members to borrow. The club, in addition to supplying full sets of air tanks, regulators, and wetsuits, owns two of its own Rigid Inflatable Boats, several different kinds of air compressors, along with many of the tools and much of the equipment needed to service it all. Training in the club is undertaken
almost entirely by its own members. New members attend theory lectures, where they learn the fundamentals of diving, and practical sessions in the pool at the Sports Centre. The “Novice Trip”, which is taken during Reading Week in the spring, gives new members the opportunity to dive in the ocean for the first time and to complete assessments for their first diver grade. Those interested in joining who already have experience with other diving organisations are welcome to join as cross-overs, and will be given an equivalent BSAC qualification at the discretion of the Diving Officer.
DU Football Club’s first XV in action at Merrion Road on Saturday afternoon, where they took on Wanderers FC in a pre-season friendly. Trinity flew into an early lead with two trys on the board not that there was one - before the Division Three side had really woken up. The second period was a different story, as Wanderers stepped up several gears and managed to keep most of the play in the Trinity half. Despite conceding enough to allow the home team within a score with minutes remaining, some desperate tackling and key interventions at the breakdown allowed Trinity to cling on for a 36-33 win. Photo: Martin McKenna.
Trinity Takes To The Streets initiative returns in 2010/11 Over 110,000 euro raised in 2009/10 Participants run in Dublin Marathon Five teams involved in recent triathlon Students urged to take part Eleni Megoran College Sport Editor
On 29 August at 5am, Trinity Takes To The Streets undertook an intense team challenge relay in the Dublin City Triathlon. Five teams awoke to a 1.5 kilometre swim in the Liffey, 40 kilometre cycle and 10 kilometre run. TTTTS raises money and distributes it evenly for the beneficiary initiatives of Trinity Access Programme, the National Institute for International Disability and the Student Hardship Fund. TTTTS was set up to alleviate the financial difficulties placed on students. Since its initiation in 2009 it has raised over €110,000. The director of Trinity Foundation, Nick Sparrow, explains that “it was clear that everyone - college and students - were going into a very challenging economic environment. That it was unlikely that government support and other major supporters would be able to provide the financial assistance to students at its previous level. It was decided that the Trinity community should take direct action.” A committed group of TCD staff, alumni and friends have supported the cause since it was launched on Pancake Tuesday 2009 in the Pavilion Bar. TTTTS is understood as a minimovement allowing supporters to gather sponsorship through organising events under the TTTTS banner. The organisers then report back to the Trinity Foundation which can also give help and advice if needed. Over 150 staff, alumni and students
have been actively involved in what Nick Sparrow calls the mini-movement. Running marathons, mini-marathons, swimming in the Liffey, organising table quizzes and comedy nights are all ways that students have contributed to the initiative. TTTTS has received great support by thousands of people sponsoring the events. In 2009 over 30 people ran the Dublin City Marathon including the Rose of Tralee, Trinity graduate Charmaine Kenny, Dr Amanda Piesse and the former Pro-Chancellor of University of Dublin, Professor Eda Sagarra, to name a few. TTTTS also participated in the Women’s Mini Marathon with 15 people running for the cause. The Dublin City Marathon was particularly successful - raising €10,000 - which combined with the comedy nights and table quizzes brings the total acquired funds to over €110,000. Nick Sparrow fondly reminisces about the 2009 Marathon last October that he ran: “the pain and discomfort was awful, and then I remember reaching Terenure and there was a huge crowd of Trinity staff and students cheering for the TTTTS runners - the support carried me to the finish line Thanks guys!” Following last year’s success, Amy Murray organised five teams of Trinity College staff to take part in the Dublin City Triathlon to support students in need. The five teams that were brave enough to step up to the gruelling challenge were: “CMN” consisting of Colm Kearney, Marco Ruffini and
SS Trinity Takes To The Streets participants take a break from training to meet Provost John Hegarty.
“It was clear that everyone – college and students – were going into a very challenging economic environment... it was decided that the Trinity community should take direct action.”
Nicola Byrne; the “A Team” of Clodagh Nolan, David Byrne and Declan Treanor; “Wiser” made up of Mary Tracey, Caroline Roughneen and Beth Gromley; and “Trinity Foundation” composed of Joanne Hepburn, Sean Burke and Mark Platt. The first team to come in was “Trinity Foundation”, followed by “A Team”, “CMN” and “In It To Win It” while “Wiser” pulled out of the race. Amy Murray enthusiastically said that it was a “fab success and everyone really enjoyed it. So much that we are going to do it again next year.” With sponsorship for Triathlon still coming in, the
mini-movement is set to be even bigger this year. TTTTS has organised a variety of events throughout the upcoming year and their aim is to get as many people involved as possible. Nick Sparrow said that “what matters most to us is to get as many people involved as possible - if we can get the enthusiasm going with our students, the sky’s the limit.” They hope that this year would be as successful as last and will raise at least €10,000. The next event will be an organised barn dance in Trinity’s dining hall held on 21 October.
Freshers' Week issue of Trinity News